“The Cutting Room Floor: The ‘Power’ Glove”
Blue certainly gets its share of grief from players who despise the color because of its power in Legacy. While Force of Will and Brainstorm are certainly two of the pillars that define the format, let’s not forget there are plenty of other cards, even obscure ones, that when carefully crafted can create a truly frightening concoction. I always like to go big or go home, and that’s exactly what I’m doing today…with blue cards! But we’re not going any conventional route in the sense of traditional blue decks. No. Instead, we’re going to abuse a card that, while conditional in nature, can create some incredibly broken plays in conjunction with several noticeably powerful cards already seeing play in Legacy. Continue reading The Cutting Room Floor: The ‘Power’ Glove
“The Cutting Room Floor: Baxter’s Prison”
While Standard (or “Type II,” as I still call it) may not be my forte, it certainly was a favorite of mine in the early days of my Magic career. I enjoyed doing incredibly broken things like drawing lots and lots of cards off of Necropotence and Strip Mining opponents’ lands into oblivion. These plays, believe it or not, were very much legal in the early days of Standard. In fact, just about every competitive deck during that time period ran some sort of configuration with cards like the aforementioned weaved into their fabric. This is why a good deal of the cards we recognize as overly powerful in Vintage has long since been banned in both Legacy and its predecessor. Clearing past all the smoke of brokenness that existed during that time, one of the more “fair” decks to rise from the ashes was piloted by one of my favorite players of all time, the legendary George Baxter. Continue reading The Cutting Room Floor: Baxter’s Prison
“The Cutting Room Floor: Griselbanned?”
We’ve seen it before.
We’re seeing it again. Continue reading The Cutting Room Floor: Griselbanned?
“The Cutting Room Floor: Imperial March”
Now this one brings back some memories.
It’s been a long time, five years to be exact, that I’ve actually taken the time to look at one of my favorite decks of all time, the bizarre Imperial Painter. When I first picked the deck up back in 2008 before leaving for the service, I was on a complete tear with this monstrosity. Blowing peoples’ lands up, countering Swords to Plowshares with Red Elemental Blasts and destroying Tarmogoyfs with Pyroblasts was about as fun as you could possibly get. I was obsessed with the idea that a single, cheap artifact creature could transcend so many already useful cards into instant-speed Vindicates or hard-counters at the cost of a single mana. The insanity of the deck just took the local meta by storm, and before I knew it I had basically Blasted my way past opponent after opponent, while turning their lands into Mountains in the process. Continue reading The Cutting Room Floor: Imperial March
“The Cutting Room Floor: Maniacal Tendencies”
I love flipping my deck sideways.
Seriously, I do. I don’t think there is a more gratifying feeling than finding a way or an opportunity where you can use virtually your entire graveyard as a resource to win games after finding a way to flip through your deck. It’s been that way for me for years, I did it when I played Illusionary Mask back in 2003 in the old “1.5” format with Spoils of the Vault, again in 2005 with Gamekeeper into Darksteel Colossus and these days with Manaless and Griselbrand. Perhaps it’s just the thrill of being able to achieve something so awesome like actually having all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place and using your graveyard as your hand, I’m not exactly sure. Continue reading The Cutting Room Floor: Maniacal Tendencies
“The Cutting Room Floor: Manaless Unplugged, Vol. I”
“And… this deck is dead.”
This was a comment I had read in regards to my tournament report from the January NELC. After reading and letting that sink in for a little while I asked myself, “Is this deck really dead? Is it time to hang up the boots?” Well, that’s kind of a hard realization to come to. You see, when you’ve played a deck for as long as someone like me or Bryant Cook has, they become part of you. Each one of you reading this right now probably at some point or another put a lot of hard work and energy into a deck that you not only felt comfortable playing, but comfortable competing with on a larger scale. I picked this deck up at a time when my Magic career (and future) was uncertain, and I succeeded greatly with it. Continue reading The Cutting Room Floor: Manaless Unplugged, Vol. I
“The Cutting Room Floor: Nobody Rides For Free”
If you would have asked me fifteen, ten or even five years ago if Wizards would print a card that basically says “Every spell you play is free,” I would have cautiously dismissed that and taken it with a grain of salt. The fact is that back when Dream Halls was printed, no one really gave the card its due; I even remember an article back in the old Inquest magazine where it was deemed one of the worst cards in the set with a “dishonorable mention,” or something to that effect. People started to realize slowly that playing cards for free is actually a really good thing, even if it means discarding a card to make it happen. It’s no wonder Dream Halls wound up getting banned even in a format where the spells weren’t ridiculously overpowered. Still, the weapons available during that time period had a difficult time contending with the card, and to this day it still doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
Continue reading The Cutting Room Floor: Nobody Rides For Free