Author Archives: Fendeviper

Poll of the Week 19.02.2014

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Sepulchral Strength Deck Build

Sepulchral Strength, Golgari, Black & Green Deck

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This black and green deck is, in my opinion, an interesting take on an all rounder build; it can fill most roles pretty well (creatures, creature removal, tokens), but has the added novelty of many of its cards growing in strength (green) as cards and creatures fill the graveyard (black). Here’s my personal build for Sepulchral Strength.

  • 4x Evolving Wilds
  • 2x Rancor
  • 2x Scute Mob
  • 2x Blood Artist
  • 2x Go for the Throat
  • 2x Viridian Emissary
  • 2x Maelstrom Pulse
  • 2x Troll Ascetic
  • 1x Yavimaya Dryad
  • 2x Yavimaya Elder
  • 1x Consuming Vapors
  • 2x Creakwood Liege
  • 1x Defense of the Heart
  • 2x Master of the Wild Hunt
  • 2x Mortivore
  • 1x Asceticism
  • 1x Bellowing Tanglewurm
  • 1x Drana, Kalastrian Bloodchief
  • 2x Lord of Extinction
  • 2x Spiritmonger
  • 2x Vulturous Zombie
  • 1x Gleancrawler
  • 1x Pelakka Wurm
  • 10x Forest
  • 10x Swamp

Total of 60 cards.

Here’s a brief rundown of the cards I’ve chosen. Pictures and specific card texts can be found here.

Evolving Wilds – Not even going to bother explaining this.

Rancor – A fairly weak but cheap aura, this card’s strength is ability to be attached to a creature that may well end up dying, and Rancor will end right back in your hand. A must-have.

Scute Mob – Another 1 mana cost card, this one a 1/1 creature. Once you have 5 or more lands during each of your upkeep phases, Scute Mob will get 4 +1/+1 counters on it. As long as you can keep it alive until then, this will quickly grow huge, in true green style. This card really is a testament to the thinking that a card doesn’t need to be costly to be powerful.

Blood Artist  – Lifegain may be this deck’s greatest weakness, so having anything to help you gain back precious life is more-or-less a must.

Go for the Throat – Your basic creature removal instant spell. Useful to get rid of those creatures you can’t tackle head-on.

Viridian Emissary – This is not a bad creature for 2 mana, and works perfectly as a chump blocker, as you can get a free land card onto the battlefield when it dies.

Maelstrom Pulse – Perfect for either taking out an army of tokens in one fell swoop, or taking out key enchantments or creatures that are causing you trouble. It is a sorcery, not an instant, but for 3 mana, you can’t argue with it.

Troll Ascetic – 3 mana for a 3/2 hexproof that can regenerate? Yep.

Yavimaya Dryad – This is only really a land fetching card, and in my opinion is the weakest card in the build. It’s still not too bad though, but could easily be swapped out for something like another Troll Ascetic or Go for the Throat.

Yavimaya Elder – Basically a nicer Viridian Emissary, unfortunately you’ll need 2 forests to play it, but it’s a solid, multipurpose card. It can attack and block (obviously), sacrifice to draw a card, or fetch 2 lands when it dies. Very nice.

Consuming Vapors – Forces your opponent to sacrifice a creature, twice. At worse you’ll be removing 2 creatures and gaining 2 life, and potentially much more life if your opponent is forced to kill something big.

Creakwood Liege – You should almost always play any card that is a liege. On top of giving black creatures +1/+1, green creatures +1/+1, it creates a 1/1 black and green worm token on each upkeep (which of course will be a 3/3). Must-have card.

Defense of the Heart – Not much needs to be said about this card. An easy way to get two big creatures into play, as long as your opponent can’t remove this.

Master of the Wild Hunt – As I’ve mentioned previously with cards like Intrepid Hero and Blood Cultist, I’ve underestimated this card for a while. Its strength is its ability to use the token wolves as kill-cards that you are willing to sacrifice.

Mortivore – This, like Lord of Extinction lower down, is a brilliant card, as it will get stronger as the game progresses and more creature cards enter the graveyard. Plus it can regenerate. Cool beans.

Asceticism – Gives all of your creatures hexproof and the ability to regenerate. This enchantment’s only downfall is that it itself is not hexproof, so can be targeted and removed. Still, not bad.

Bellowing Tanglewurm – This one allows most of your creatures to go on the offensive with the intimidate ability.

Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief – Flying creatures may be in short supply in this deck, so this legendary really is a blessing. With the ability to weaken an enemy and stengthen itself (effectively being able to remove other cards) is nice too.

Lord of Extinction – This is like a powered up version of Mortivore, as its power and toughness are equal to the number of all cards in all graveyards. More often than not he’ll be super powerful by the time he comes onto the battlefield.

Spiritmonger – He starts powerful, he gets stronger, he has regenerate, and can even switch colour if necessary.

Vulturous Zombie – Flying, and once again gets stronger as cards enter an opponent’s graveyard. A necessary card.

Gleancrawler – This is fairly self-explanatory. Keeps your guys on the field.

Pelakka Wurm – Strong, gain life, draw card, trample. Yep.

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So, what do you think? I managed to cut it down to 60, finally.

And another quick reminder to, if you haven’t already, follow me on various things! Here’s my Twitter, the official Facebook page, you can follow via email or WordPress using the links on the sidebar, or follow using the RSS feed here. Thanks!

 

 

New Elder Scrolls Online Trailer – Arrival

I am if anything hesitant to put out so much information for a game I am not likely to get, but here is the new (long) trailer for The Elder Scrolls Online, titled “Arrival”.

 

Among showing lots of jumping around and stuff, it also hints at some kind of undead (maybe Draugr, maybe not), and a nice view of the Imperial City.

 

Poll of the Week 29.01.2014

Trailer for Game of Thrones Season 4: Ice and Fire “A Foreshadowing”

Sunday Things 26.01.2014

Lo and behold there is another new Skywind trailer out, this one entitled “Savagery“. While it obviously showcases some of the redesigned creatures, I’m guessing that the title is also a reference to the savagery of Morrowind’s landscape, with it’s barren rocks and brooding swamps. Take a look see!

Grinning Malice Deck Build

Grinning Malice, Rakdos, Red & Black Deck

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Sometimes, there’s nothing better than taking the evil route. Who wouldn’t want all that power?

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With that in mind, we come to the Grinning Malice deck, from the expansion. This one is all about (as you might expect from a red and black deck) attacking outright with damaging spells (red), and using creature deaths to empower yourself (black). So, here’s what I’ve come up with.

  • 4x Evolving Wilds
  • 2x Bloodchief Ascension
  • 1x Dragonmaster Outcast
  • 2x Stabbing Pain
  • 2x Vexing Devil
  • 1x Demonic Tutor
  • 2x Onyx Mage
  • 2x Sootstoke Kindler
  • 3x Terminate
  • 2x Blightning
  • 2x Blood Cultist
  • 1x Heat Shimmer
  • 2x Hissing Iguana
  • 1x Pain Magnification
  • 2x Rockslide Elemental
  • 2x Ashenmoore Liege
  • 1x Blazing Sceptre
  • 2x Hellhole Rats
  • 2x Scavenger Drake
  • 2x Wrecking Ball
  • 2x Bitumous Blast
  • 4x Demigod of Revenge
  • 2x Grave Titan
  • 1x Massacre Wurm
  • 12x Mountains
  • 11x Swamp

Total of 70 cards.

And here is a quick check of the cards themselves. Specific details can be found on the Wizards website here:

Evolving Wilds – Self explanatory, you need lands.

Bloodchief Ascension – This is a nice one to start off with when you have little else to play. It’s not a make-or-break card, and it doesn’t matter too much if it gets removed, but nevertheless can be a great boon to help you recover precious life mid to late game.

Dragonmaster Outcast – I’ve read a few places giving this card some stick for being too weak for a card that only really works late game. While that may be true, if you’re playing it on turn 1, this is nonetheless a 1 mana cost card that can potentially pump out endless 5/5 dragons. Save it for late game when you have 6 lands if you can, but if it’s safe there’s no harm in playing it early.

Stabbing Pain – A classic instant. Either kill a 1 toughness creature outright, or use it to weaken a blocker so you can take it out with your creatures.

Vexing Devil – One of my favourite cards in the deck, there are two outcomes when you play it; either you get a 4/3 creature for 1 mana, or you sacrifice the card but your opponent loses 4 life in the process. For 1 mana, that’s pretty good.

Demonic Tutor – No question about keeping this card in the deck. Shame there’s only one of them really. Search for any card of your choice to put into your hand.

Onyx Mage – The ability to confer deathtouch to your creatures is nice. Not much to say about it.

Sootstoke Kindler – Same as above, but you tap Sootstoke Kindler instead of paying a mana cost, and target creature gains haste instead of deathtouch. These two cards make a lethal combo to turn any new creature into a killing machine as it hits the ground running.

Terminate – Again, not a lot to say about this card. Pay 2 mana, kill a creature. Simple.

Blightning – Kind of like a powered up Lightning Bolt, this costs 3 mana to play, but deals damage and forces your opponent to discard two cards in the process. Good to whittle down your opponents options.

Blood Cultist – This did initially seem like an underpowered/overcosted card (much like Intrepid Hero here), but in combination with other attackers/spells, this can quickly be boosted up to become quite decent. Still, not the best card in the deck, you have to be careful how you play it.

Heat Shimmer – Useful to force your opponent into sacrificing a creature to block you, or to simply cause double damage. You’ll lose the copy of your creature at the end of your turn, and unfortunately this card isn’t an instant, but still decent.

Hissing Iguana – A fairly fragile creature, you probably shouldn’t use this to attack outright unless it’s safe to do so. However, just having it on the field can whittle your opponent down bit by bit.

Pain Magnification – This is a nice enchantment, and really seems to fit with the apparently emerging theme of slowly hurting your opponent little by little, this card will force your foe to discard 1 card if you deal 3 damage from a single source.

Rockslide Elemental – The first card of the deck that gets stronger as other creatures die (+1/+1), this will get nice and strong from using your removal cards wisely.

Ashenmoore Liege – A good buffer creature, giving +1/+1 to all other red and black creatures you control, plus protecting itself from spells and abilities unless your opponent is willing to lose some life in the process.

Blazing Sceptre – As long as you’re not facing an enemy deck full of fliers, this is a sure-fire way of getting in some decent damage quickly, plus once again removing your foe’s options by discarding their cards.

Hellhole Rats – It was a toss-up between this and Singe-Mind Ogre. I opted for this as it is also a discard, plus it has haste. And Singe-Mind Ogre is slightly stronger and the card which it targets is random, not your opponent’s choice. It really is up to you which you think is more appropriate.

Scavenger Drake  – More or less the same as the Rockslide Elemental, but costs 1 mana more but with flying. Nice.

Wrecking Ball – I was hesitant about putting this card into the deck. It costs twice as much as terminate, but can target both creatures and land cards. If you’ve got land to spare it’s decent, but it’s quite a high cost.

Bitumous Blast – Cascade may be one of my favourite effects in the game. This card costs 5 mana, so you will automatically play the first 4 mana (or less) cost card drawn from the top of your library for free. Plus 4 damage to target creature. I see no reason not to have this in.

Demigod of Revenge – Definitely the pinnacle of the deck, this card can beat your opponent into submission very quickly. Every time you play this card, any other Demigods of Revenge that are sitting idly in your graveyard are returned to the battlefield. Also, they have haste and flying. Let’s say you play one and it gets removed pretty quick. When you play your next one, you get two Demigods onto the battlefield. Let’s now say they’re worn down and defeated too. Play another, you’ll get three onto the battlefield! By some mad stroke of luck the enemy decides to use something like Maelstrom Pulse and wipe off all three of your Demigods. Simply play another on your next turn, and lo and behold you have four Demigods of Revenge, with haste and flying. I’m not usually a fan of sticking too many of a single card into decks, but this one is worth it.

Grave Titan – Whereas the Demigod mentioned above will win through its refusal to stay in the graveyard for very long, the Grave Titan is the master of assaulting your foe with all-out brute force. When played you get the 6/6 Grave Titan plus two 2/2 zombie tokens (a total of 10/10 on the first turn), costing 6 mana. Assuming he’s not killed off, and you can keep up the offensive, you’ll get an additional two 2/2 zombie tokens each time the Grave Titan attacks. Even if you’re being blocked, this is a nice way to build up a large army.

Massacre Wurm – When this is played, it’s generally game over. This will kill off any weak enemy creatures outright as it enters, weaken any that survive, and beat down your opponent by sapping his health away. This card is a must.

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What do you think of the Grinning Malice deck build? I think 70 cards seems about right to me. There are couple I could get rid of, but this build has served me well. Do you have any suggestions, or other builds entirely? Let me know in the comments below!

And another quick reminder to, if you haven’t already, follow me on various things! Here’s my Twitter, the official Facebook page, you can follow via email or WordPress using the links on the sidebar, or follow using the RSS feed here. Thanks!

New Elder Scrolls Online PVE Footage

A nice video has been released showing some PVE combat and mechanics involved in the Elder Scrolls Online. Among the features shown are the need to fight certain enemies (in this case an overland boss monster that looks awesome) as a team, fast travel to group members and arena-esque combat, where Daedra come at you in waves. The video is played by Paul Sage (Creative Director), Nick Konkle (Lead Gameplay Designer) and Dan Crenshaw (Dungeon Lead).

This also comes alongside the frankly surprising news that the game has been deemed an M – Mature rating by the ESRB (i.e. 17+). Bethesda has released a statement saying that they do not plan to change the content of the game as a result of the decision.

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Poll of the Week 22.01.2014

Peacekeepers Deck Build

Peacekeepers, Odric, White Deck

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This is definitely one of my favourite decks in Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013. It’s a solid all-rounder, being able to pump out plenty of tokens on the one hand, and having enough removal to cope with trickier cards as well. Here’s my deck build.

  • 2x Doomed Traveller
  • 2x Elite Vanguard
  • 2x Honor of the Pure
  • 2x Journey to Nowhere
  • 2x Master Decoy
  • 2x Pacifism
  • 2x Raise the Alarm
  • 3x Squadron Hawk
  • 2x Attended Knight
  • 2x Crusader of Odric
  • 2x Fiend Hunter
  • 2x Glorious Anthem
  • 2x Intrepid Hero
  • 2x Oblivion Ring
  • 1x Safe Passage
  • 2x Captain’s Call
  • 2x Dawn Elemental
  • 1x Odric, Master Tactician
  • 2x Geist-Honored Monk
  • 2x Captain of the Watch
  • 1x Spirit of the Hearth
  • 1x Sun Titan
  • 1x Mass Calcify
  • x28 Plains

Total of 70 cards.

Now for a quick run-through of the cards (if you want to see the cards themselves, have a look at the Wizards page here) :

Doomed Traveller – A good card to play right from the start, if you can, for some quick damage. And by purposefully sacrificing him you can get yourself a flying creature token. Not bad for 1 mana.

Elite Vanguard – Nothing extraordinary here, just a solid way to deal some damage for 1 mana. I’d recommend both this and Doomed Traveller just to increase the deck speed.

Honor of the Pure – Considering that this deck can pump out a fair few 1/1 tokens, enchantments like this are a blessing, turning an army of weaklings into decent fighters, and decent fighters into powerhouses.

Journey to Nowhere – In my opinion, permanent removal is this deck’s main weakness, so putting in cards like this is a no-brainer. The exiled card is useless until your opponent can somehow remove Journey to Nowhere from play.

Master Decoy – If you’re not set up to deal with hard hitting enemy creatures soon enough, being able to tap them for 1 mana can really be a life-saver.

Pacifism – In general, this is a slightly weaker version of Journey to Nowhere, to be honest, in that while the enemy creature cannot attack or block, it can still use abilities and passive abilities (e.g. exalted) as it is still on the battlefield. However this deck really does benefit from cards like this, at least until you can play Odric, Master Tactician.

Raise the Alarm – A nice cheap way to get some tokens down fairly early. Better still, this card is an instant, so should you need some chump blockers you can quickly play them before an impending attack.

Squadron Hawk – Paying 2 mana for a 1/1 flying is not a great deal, however, you can search for your other Squadron Hawks when you play one, so if you have the mana, you can quite quickly get some fliers onto the field. At worst, it’ll take you three turns to play three 1/1 fliers. At best, if you have the mana when you draw the card, you can play three fliers in a single turn, and if you have played either Honor of the Pure or Glorious Anthem, you’re looking at potentially three 3/3 fliers in a turn, maybe stronger. It’s a big if, but to be honest flying is always nice, and this gets you a nice supply of them.

Attended Knight – 2/2 with first strike is quite nice, plus a soldier token while you’re at it is not bad thing.

Crusader of Odric – This is where getting all these creature tokens down starts to pay off. Power and toughness are equal to number of creatures you control, and considering that this is a token deck, this card can get real powerful, real quick.

Fiend Hunter – A decent blocker, that can take another creature out of play until the Fiend Hunter leaves the battlefield. Similar to Journey to Nowhere, useful when you’ve got to remove an enemy beast of a creature, but with the added bonus of adding a decent blocker to your side.

Glorious Anthem – Seeing as using this deck I don’t believe there’s any way of getting non-white creatures under your control (maybe only in Planechase weirdness), you may as well think of both this and Honor of the Pure as, total, 4 enchantment cards that cost 2.5 mana and give creatures +1/+1. If you need to remove some enchantments, it goes without saying that this should go before Honor of the Pure.

Intrepid Hero – When I first started playing this deck, I dismissed this card as underpowered in terms of it being a 1/1. Now that I’ve started playing it, I’ve realised how much of a blessing it is. Let’s assume your opponent isn’t directly removing it; Anytime a creature your enemy controls gets just that bit too big (I’m thinking of green decks here), you can just destroy it. For free, no mana cost. Useful if your enemy relies on few, powerful creatures, or is using something to increase a creature’s power every turn, for example.

Oblivion Ring – I like to think of this card as Journey to Nowhere‘s big brother. Whereas the aforementioned card can exile only creatures, Oblivion Ring can exile any non-land permanent. Other than that it works the same. Given the choice, save Journey to Nowhere for creatures, and Oblivion Ring for enchantments and the like, although you may have to break that rule if your situation becomes dire.

Safe Passage – One of the few cards I have only one of in this deck build, which shows how useful it is. A classic “Get out of jail free” instant here, for when you’re expecting catastrophic creature losses or life-threatening damage to hit you.

Captain’s Call – There is nothing to say about this card. It plays three tokens down, which you can use to boost up Crusader of Odric or just as weak attackers or blockers in their own right. Nothing special, but a decent card to play. Shame it isn’t an instant though like Raise the Alarm.

Dawn Elemental – If you’re familiar with Fog Bank, it can be quite difficult to deal with creatures that cannot be “conventionally” damaged. However, this is one-up on Fog Bank, as it does not have the defender attribute (though you may well be using it solely for defence), so you are able to attack as well.

Odric, Master Tactician – If you have at least three other creatures able to attack with Odric, you may as well have won (unless your enemy can directly remove Odric, Master Tactician). You can choose how you opponent blocks! So maybe you want to just straight up damage your opponent, or maybe you want to get rid of an annoying enemy creature with a spell or passive ability that has been bugging you, so you can choose that to block one of your strong creatures. Essentially, when you’re on the offensive, you become in almost total control.

Geist-Honored Monk – A beefed up version of Crusader of Odric here, same basic mechanic, but with vigilance is a nice touch, plus an extra two flying spirit tokens. At best, you will have an overpowered creature capable of attacking/blocking almost anything. At worst, you’ll have a 3/3 with vigilance + 2 1/1 flying spirit tokens, with the potential to grow quickly (for example, by playing Raise the Alarm, it will be boosted up to a 5/5). Either way, it’s a good play.

Captain of the Watch – This card is essentially half-creature / half-enchantment. A 3/3 with vigilance is nice, an extra three soldier tokens is better, and having all soldier-type creatures you control (which is almost all of them) get +1/+1 and vigilance is gosh darn good.

Spirit of the Hearth – Useful against anyone that’s trying to directly harm you by circumventing your creatures, this essentially makes you (i.e. the planeswalker) have hexproof (someone correct me if I’m wrong on that).

Sun Titan – There really is little to say about this card. It’s a good way of getting a key card out of your graveyard which might have been untimely removed. It’s a good card. (P.S. It’s linked because it is available as part of a bonus ten cards for this deck which can be unlocked free from a promo code, so is not on the official Wizards decklist linked earlier.)

Mass Calcify – This is a panic button for late-game, if you find yourself overwhelmed, or if you want to wipe the board to allow a final attack. Needless to say, this is a very good card UNLESS you’re playing someone with white creature cards (i.e. Aura Servants, Celestial Light, Exalted Darkness, Mana Mastery, Grim Procession, Act of War, Collective Might, another Peacekeepers deck, or any deck that has stolen your creatures and is using them against you). That was quite a long caveat, but for most situations this is still worth keeping in the deck.

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So! What do you think of my deck build? I know I may have 10 cards too many in there, but I can say from experience that it does work pretty well. Do you have any suggestions, or other builds entirely? Let me know in the comments below!

And another quick reminder to, if you haven’t already, follow me on various things! Here’s my Twitter, the official Facebook page, you can follow via email using the link on the sidebar, or follow using the RSS feed here. Thanks!

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