After I quit playing Standard a couple years ago, I spent a lot of time playing EDH. For a long while, my “signature” commander among the casual players in Austin, TX was Sharuum the Hegemon, which lends itself to some very degenerate plays and board states. After much honing, the deck became something to be both feared and admired: Sharuum is already one of the more powerful generals around, but I think I can say with confidence that my 100-card pile (which evolved into a super-showy pet deck) was one of the sweetest builds in town.
EDH is no longer fun for me, though, so lately I’ve been pulling cards from this deck to play Vintage and trade/sell them off. The beginning of the end for Sharuum came earlier this summer, when I sold the Mishra’s Workshop to pick up a good-looking Mox Emerald. Before I dismantle it for good, I figured I’d post my list as an obituary of sorts.
In my experience, there are basically three ways to build a Sharuum deck: 1) as an aggro deck with tons of cheap affinity creatures, equipment, etc.; 2) as a dedicated combo deck that abuses Sharuum’s enter-the-battlefield ability; or 3) as a powerful control/prison deck. My version started out as a clunky combo deck before evolving into a more control-ish build that retained important combo pieces. The deck was designed so that it could win from multiple zones, by pursuing different strategies. Continue reading
As a constructed format, Modern is full of suck, but it’s clearly the direction that WOTC is going and I can be induced to play when the prizes aren’t too bad. Dragon’s Lair in Austin held a Modern tourney on Saturday (August 10) that served as a qualifier for this year’s Feast of Blades MTG tourney in Denver. I still don’t really get the connection, because I thought Feast of Blades is more of a Warhammer 40K thing, but whatever. Since D-Lair gave out Modern Masters participation packs, the $10.00 entry fee was more than reasonable. In general, though, I am not a fan of participation packs, because they eat into the prize pool for those who go 3-1-0 or better.
Anyway, my friend Paul convinced me to play in this thing, then my buddy Woodrow shipped me the decklist for the B/G Rock deck that Josh Utter-Leyton played in the World Magic Championship a couple weeks ago. It looked pretty saucy, so I picked up the final pieces for the deck at FNM the night before. Due to some card availability issues, I wound up playing this not-quite-identical list: Continue reading
Every few months, I have an opportunity to sleeve up some of the most broken cards ever printed, head north to Denton, TX, and play in an awesome Vintage tournament at Madness Comics & Games. On Saturday (June 29), I did just that, making the journey with fellow format enthusiasts Michael Kersch, Paul Luthy, and Kyle Driskill.
The evening before the trip, Paul and I tested a BUG control deck that featured Dark Confidants, a suite of planeswalkers, and my trusty Vampire Hexmage + Dark Depths combo package as an alternate win condition (two copies each of Depths and Hexmage). I found that I didn’t really care too much for the Dark Times combo and Bobs, so at around 4 a.m., I converted the deck into an Oath of Druids build. Last time we went to Denton, I got first place–and a Time Vault–playing Oath with a Gush + Fastbond package, so I felt comfortable with the deck. I cut the Gushbond business this time around, settling on this list before arriving to the tourney: Continue reading
Once upon a time, journalism students kept physical portfolios or string books to showcase their work for instructors and potential employers. Nowadays… well, not so much. In the J-School at UT-Austin, where I have been a teaching assistant since 2008, faculty have incorporated digital portfolio requirements into the coursework they assign. In our large lecture class, Reporting Words, we expect students to update and share these portfolios at the end of each semester.
The following is a quick rundown for aspiring journos who’d like some advice about piecing together digital portfolios. I wanted to post something like this earlier this week, but working on my dissertation proposal interfered with those plans. Better late than never, I suppose.
I’m more than happy to take questions from students. Just drop them in the comments, hit me up on Twitter, or email me if necessary. I won’t have all the answers, but for whatever it’s worth I’ve been building and administrating websites for about 15 years. Continue reading
Just picked up this foil Brainstorm and decided to test the mobile WordPress application while I’m out and about.
Only needed the one, fortunately.
I just submitted the idea below to WotC’s You Make the Card #4. Voting has progressed to the point that the community is creating a Black global enchantment, which is right up my alley.
Your Card Concept (100 Characters or Less)
Recurring Pox and/or Kaervek’s Spite effect.
Your Card Mechanic (300 Characters or Less)
During your upkeep, lose half (or a third) of your life and sacrifice half of your permanents, rounded up. If you do, each opponent also loses half of his or her life and sacrifices half of his or her permanents, rounded up. Permanents other than planeswalkers, enchantments, or artifacts, of course.
It has a cheesy name, obviously. It needs some finessing, but I think something like this could replace The Abyss (out of reach for most players at ~175.00) in Pox-style Legacy and EDH decks. I assume a card like this would have a casting cost of BBBB or similar.
EDIT: Assuming it can’t nuke artifacts, enchantments, or planeswalkers, this card should have a way to kill itself. Something like a state trigger: “When no creatures or lands are in play, sacrifice Ruthless Infection.”
Props to Michael Kersch for clarifying what the kill condition is actually considered, rules-wise.
I’ve decided to post a quick update from my phone about how to remove permanent marker from Magic cards. Often players will use unwanted or bulk commons and uncommons as proxies for other cards they need to playtest certain decks. Occasionally, however, they will accidentally proxy using a card they did not intend to deface. For instance, this Master of Etherium was accidentally used as a proxy for a common, Doom Blade.
Luckily, there is an easy way to remove (most) permanent marker and restore some of a card’s value and playability. Continue reading
Earlier today I installed a WordPress application on my Android, and now I’m testing it out. Here’s a picture of my cat, Noodles.
If you know of any other good Android applications, let me know in the comments. Also, I just typed this with my voice using fancypants Google technology.