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The Flip Side – One Grind to the Next

I could bore you with the details of my life story and why I haven’t written lately, but that isn’t why you’re here. So, I’ll keep it short. Apart from having some technical difficulties with being able to write and submit; I can’t be completely dishonest by saying I wasn’t a bit relieved as I haven’t exactly been in the right mindset when it has come to playing magic  the past couple months.

I spoke briefly in regard to the amount of grinding that I had been doing in hopes of claiming a Planeswalker Points Top Hundred slot in the few articles that I have written for Jupiter Games. However, when you add on a relative slump in finishes the past couple months, the grind turned into something else altogether. It got to the point where I was questioning why I still kept on playing this game. When it comes to that, usually I take a break from the game, but because of the Planeswalker Points system that WAS in place, it took another alternative altogether to remind me why I continue to play the game that we have all come to love.

Enter EDH, or “Commander” to be DCI official. I never saw myself entering this format. I had briefly delved into it in it’s infancy, but never followed through on building a deck. I’m also not going to lie that I didn’t entertain a misconception that the “casual” side or the “political” side would play too much of a role  in winning me over, when I appreciate intricate deckbuilding, card choices, and tight play.  However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It really depends upon who you decide to play EDH with, and what your local playgroup(s) is/are like. Personally, I fall on the side of enjoying powerful strategies (mostly combos) to play quick games, but I still appreciate clogged convoluted board states. Another side is that my newly made EDH deck allows me to play towards every sort of archetype that I have ever played in U/R.

 

Commander:

Jhoira of the Ghitu

 

Creatures:

Artisan of Kozilek

Charmbreaker Devils

Consecrated Sphinx

Deceiver Exarch

Drift of Phantasms

Izzet Chronarch

Lighthouse Chronologist

Mnemonic Wall

Mulldrifter

Pestermite

Sphinx of Uthuun

Trinket Mage

Willbender

 

Artifact Creatures:

Phyrexian Metamorph

 

Legendary Creatures:

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir

Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Venser, Shaper Savant

 

Artifacts:

Crystal Ball

Crystal Shard

Darksteel Ingot

Everflowing Chalice

Expedition Map

Gilded Lotus

Izzet Signet

Journeyer’s Kite

Sensei’s Divining  Top

Sisay’s Ring

Sol Ring

Venser’s Journal

 

Enchantments:

Honden of Seeing Winds

Paradox Haze

Splinter Twin

Take Possession

Thought Reflection

 

Instant/Sorceries:

Blue Sun’s Zenith

Commandeer

Counterspell

Discombobulate

Evacuation

Fact or Fiction

Force of Will

Fury Charm

Gather Specimens

Hinder

Last Word

Muddle the Mixture

Mystical Tutor

Pact of Negation

Rewind

Blatant Thievery

Bribery

Compulsive Research

Decree of Annihilation

Insurrection

Jokulhaups

Merchant Scroll

Obliterate

Recurring Insight

Rite of Replication

Time Stretch

Time Warp

Knowledge Exploitation

Planeswalker:

Jace, the Mind Sculptor

 

Basic Land:

7 Island

5 Mountain

 

Non-Basic Land:

Academy Ruins

Arid Mesa

Cascade Bluffs

Forgotten Cave

Halimar Depths

Izzet Boilerworks

Lonely Sandbar

Minamo, School At Water’s Edge

Misty Rainforest

Oboro, Palace in the Clouds

Reliquary Tower

Riptide Laboratory

Scalding Tarn

Seat of the Synod

Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep

Shivan Reef

Steam Vents

Strip Mine

Sulfur Falls

Tolaria West

Vivid Crag

Vivid Creek

Volcanic Island

Honestly, if it wasn’t for EDH, I might have just become so frustrated with the game that I would have quite as I lost track of exactly what this whole thing is: a game. I’ve since attended Grand Prix Orlando, Pro Tour: Dark Ascension, and most recently  Grand Prix Baltimore, and while my finishes were lackluster at best; I did realize just how much the last year’s worth of traveling/grinding along with managing life outside The Matrix had really taken a toll. I don’t know how a lot of the “pros” do it, but it really is quite taxing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining as I was extremely grateful to have the opportunity to travel to all the awesome places I did this year, but it really is a drain at times.

 

With that in mind, I decided to delve back into the world of MODO (I mean… MTGO) to satisfy my competitive side of playing Magic and cut down on the amount of traveling and time away from home. It’s only been a week since I dove into the world of Pauper to try and go infinite and I couldn’t be any happier. I invested into a U/R Storm deck (shocker) and so far, I’ve 3-1’ed three Daily Events and 4-0ed one. It really is a rather awesome and diverse format. I’ve had the pleasure of the high-variance turn 1 kill, but the deck consistently goes off turns 2-3 and, obviously, still consistently combo later at the proper window. For reference:

 

U/R Pauper Storm

 

Creatures:

4 Goblin Bushwhacker

 

Instants/Sorceries:

4 Desperate Ritual

4 Impulse

4 Manamorphose

3 Pyretic Ritual

4 Seething Song

4 Empty the Warrens

4 Gitaxian Probe

4 Ponder

4 Preordain

4 Rite of Flame

 

Artifacts:

4 Lotus Petal

 

Snow-Covered Basic Land:

2 Snow-Covered Island

3 Snow-Covered Mountain

Non-Basic Land:

4 Sandstone Needle

4 Saprazzan Skerry

 

Sideboard:

3 Mogg Raider

4 Dispel

2 Echoing Truth

3 Lava Dart

3 Pyroblast

 

I’ve gone through a few lists and I’ve had the most success with this one so far. You have a pretty awful Mono-Black matchup, but can still get there at times. I used to have three Deep Analysis in the sideboard, but have since foregone them as the match was still pretty miserable. The great thing about the deck is that it allows you to double que with ease and playing around most of the hate isn’t too difficult as long as you understand what cards most colors would have access to (such as green with Sandstorm, white with Holy Light, blue with Echoing Truth, black with Echoing Decay, red with Seismic Shudder, etc). Pauper as a format is pretty entertaining, and the perfect way to build up your collection and decks. I only invested about $80.00 between getting the deck and having a bankroll of tix and I’ve since made my money back with relative ease after only a week. Anyway, to be perfectly honest I had an article much more intricate, but when you are forced to rewrite the same content you had already written and lost to… error… well, it’s a tad frustrating. Till next time (whenever that may be), you can find me on MODO in the Pauper ques.

 

Tim Sussino

flipthis@comcast.net

MTGO: flipthis

 

 

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