Let’s Build a Doomsday Machine, possible updates.

This week I used my Let’s Build a Doomsday Machine deck again. The deck has some downsides, as it’s not very interactive and it does require a lot of concentration and knowledge of all the interactions and combos to use well. Discussing the deck with an opponent, we’ve even discovered some unintentional combos in it here and there. However, a deck is never finished, and even if it’s hard to find spots for new cards, there is always room for innovation, and inspiration comes from all directions.

So, I watched a youtube video on an event on Magic Arena, and this earned me some respect for a particular card. It always felt a bit niche, but seeing it in action really brought the point home of what it could do for the Doomsday Machine. It also happens that the theme of the card perfectly fits the theme for the deck.

Fires of Invention is a really strange card. It’s Wizards attempt at making spells free, without breaking the game. Nce try, Wizards! When it’s in play, it changes how the game works. Coloured mana has less of an impact, lands that don’t tap for mana or that are tapped still count for casting spells. There are two noticable downsides to having this in play: You can cast only two spells per turn, and only on your turn. So, instant and flash cards and interactions are mostly turned off.

So, the question becomes: How often do I play more than two meaningful spells on my turn, and how likely am I holding up an instant to interact with an opponent. As it turns out, the Doomsday deck doesn’t do that very often. Sure, I’ll play some cheap artifacts to dig deeper with Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain, but Fires of Invention allows me to play multiple of the more expensive artifacts, for more impact. And that’s where it breaks the two-spell limit: I keep my mana open to activate my artifacts. Because activations aren’t spells, so I get to do even more on a turn, despite the limit.

Concider for example, Planar Portal. Normally, it’s a very slow card, and I have to pay to cast it, to activate it, and then an amount of mana to play the spell I fetched with it. With Fires of Invention out, I play the portal for free, use my open mana to activate it ánd I get to play whatever I choose to find for free as well. That’s huge. Other portals work in a similar matter: There is now less risk on using a Prototype Portal or Soul Foundry, having the mana to activate it and at least get one token out of my card investment. And again, these activations don’t count toward the two-spell limit, so I’ll get a lot more things done per turn.

Another upside is that it allows me to play spells through my Kill Switch / Mycosynth Lattice combo. The way Kill Switch works is that usually, I’m the last one to untap my stuff, but Fires mitigates the downside somewhat. It’s not a perfect solution, but it might buy me some time and drop some things while the game is shut down for everyone else. All in all I’m very excited to try Fires of Invention out.

Another card I’ve found some respect for is Folio of Fancies. It seems Throne of Eldraine has some really weird cards, and this one really helps to dig for stuff, while also having the capability to mill opponents out, if you try really hard. It’s a non-combat wincondition, but also a risky one, because of the cards it gives to everyone. Sadly, it doesn’t have the option to mill yourself, but at least it makes games more interesting.

The discussion around the surprise combo in my deck was about Prototype Portal / Soul Foundry with Dross Scorpion. There was something about duplicating the Scorpion with, say, Sculpting Steel, having a sacrifice outlet and an imprinted Ornithoper. Then you can make infinite Ornithopters. I don’t run Ornithopter, but I do run Hangarback Walker, which dies when it comes of the Portal/Foundry. This does skip the whole “sacrifice outlet” part, and while I don’t get infinite Walkers, I might get infinite “Artifact enters the battlefield” and “Artifact dies” triggers. This in turn gets interesting with Quicksmith Genius or Reckless Fireweaver.

As far as “free” spells go, Stonecoil Serpent is an interesting one. It has both reach and protection from multicolored. This, and the fact that a lot of people run multicolor commanders means it’s a good blocker, holding off commander damage.

Of all these, Fires of Invention is the most likely to find a spot in the deck. The whole mana-efficiency boost it gives may be too juicy to pass up. For the others, well, space is limited, so new things to need to add a lot to the deck to replace old things, and in this deck every bit counts, as almost every card is a part of something.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Azorius Folio Control

After being a little burned out on Magic Arena for a while, I got back in with Theros Beyond Death. First thing I made was enchantments, using Paradise Druid with auras that give vigilane, and Barkhide Troll with Hydra’s Growth to get some hard to remove threats, and eventually get something really big. The deck was fun, if a little inconsistant, requiring drawing a good mix of creatures, aura’s and land to work.

Eventually, that became boring as well, so I made an Esper () deck using Folio of Fancies, Smothering Tithe backed up with Underworld Dreams and Ob Nixilis, the Hate-Twisted to turn all the card draw into damage. This worked pretty okay, but I found I could do without the black in the deck. Often, Folio was enough to mill someone out, and slightly better mana made stabilizing early on a lot easier.

So, I threw something together, and it works well, even it’s not the final list:

~ Azorius Folio Control ~

Creatures (14)

Dimir Informant
Dream Trawler
Elite Guardmage
Overwhelmed Apprentice
Thassa, Deep-Dwelling

Artifacts (3)

Folio of Fancies

Enchantments (7)

Banishing Light
The Birth of Meletis
Smothering Tithe

Lands (23)

Azorius Guildgate
Castle Vantress
Castle Ardenvale
Hallowed Fountain
Temple of Enlightenment

Spells (13)

Didn’t Say Please
Shatter the Sky
Sinister Sabotage
Time Wipe
Warrant // Warden

I really love Overwhelmed Apprentice. Being a 1/2 for one mana already stops most other one-drops in red, or at least bait a shock, slowing red down a little. It also mills a little, which helps the Folio win a little, but the most important bit is the scry 2, setting up later draws.

Dimir Informant is a similar speedbump, and the 4 toughness is significant, requiring additional removal spells to get rid of it, most of the time. The surveil further helps setting up the draws. Both these creatures have power 1, making running into them a little problematic for aggresive decks. They tend to be more of a deterent than the 0/4 walls I’ve concidered.

Elite Guardmage is 3 life and a card, and can block flyers. is on the expensive side, but I’ve gotten a lot of value out of them while I had Thassa, Deep-Dwelling. Thassa repeats the scry/surveil/draw on my creatures. It also untaps them by blinking, which helps getting more value out of Dream Trawler, so I can attack with it and still have a lifelinking blocker afterwards. Thassa can tap down something in a pinch, although I haven’t used the option much, if at all. It’s nice to have in an emergency though.

Dream Trawler itself is a nice, hard to remove card draw engine, a source of life, and with Folio of Fancies out, something that can end the game quickly. It’s such a fun card, and some decks simply can’t deal with it, especially if they have to race it after a board wipe.

Speaking of board wipes, I currently run two total, but the idea is to get more. Time Wipe is one, Shatter the Sky is the other. I prefer the latter, because it’s slightly easier on the mana, and sometimes the card draw generates me some extra mana with Smothering Tithe. I plan on getting one or two more Shatter the skies in the deck. Fortunately with all the card draw and scry effects, I get to my wipes often already.

The main part of the strategy is to draw lots of cards using the Folio, and use tempo to invalidate anything the opponent does. Banishing Light is a catchall removal spell, and I run several counter spells. Both Sinister Sabotage and Didn’t Say Please have their merits. Extra mill is good, but setting up draws is nice as well. I had several times where I knew I had a counter on top, and just got it with Folio. Counter-wise I’m concidering Absorb as well, for a little bit more of a life buffer. In want of extra early removal, I run Warrant // Warden. I can Warrant something, then mill it, or counter it later.

The other counter is Quench, which loses some value later on. It helps stabilizing early though.

Finally, there is the “combo” part. Smothering Tithe is there to generate lots of extra mana using Folio of Fancies, potentially chaining Folios into each other to win the game. I think I want an extra Tithe, even though the means I’ll often go shields down when casting it. It is where the fun is for the deck, though, and it’ll often end games within a couple of turns after it.

Other potential inclusions are:

Teferi, Time Raveler. It might replace Warrant as the bounce spell of choice. It also stops opposing counter decks, and sometimes allows me to insta-wrath or hold up a counter, and still have the opportunity to play sorceries risk-free.

Apostle of Purifying Light. Might be a good  sideboard card against Cauldron Familiar / Witch’s Oven decks, as well as aggresive mono-black decks.

…and ofcourse the mana needs to be better.

Conclusion: It’s a fun deck to play, and sometimes wins by surprise. Games tend to go a little long though, so it’s not a deck to quickly get multiple wins.


Posted under Standard

Jund Food with Plaguecrafter

The experimentation continues. I’m still happy with how the deck plays, even though I sometimes get overrun by fast, agressive decks. Shorter games favour the luck of the draw, and I’m playing single games instead of best-out-of-three, so no sideboarding. So, I guess that’s ok. Sometimes I don’t have an answer to quick starts, and if I don’t find my Cauldron Familiar / Witch’s Oven combo, or my Mayhem Devil to take care of the many smaller creatures and stabilize. A sideboard would help against these fast decks. Also, in best-of-three I could mulligan more aggressively.

Being geared towards single games also informs my deckbuilding; Outside of the core cards, it’s a bit of a hotchpotch of 2-offs, especially in the removal section, to cast a wide as possible net in disrupting opponents. Assassins Trophy is the catchall removal spell, but unfortunately it only works on opponents permanents, so no trading a food for a land and ramping that way. I also found one card that has been working quite well: The Plaguecrafter.

I’ve been comparing this to Spark Harvest, and on the surface the harvest is cheaper, more flexible and it targets. The thing that pushes Plaguecrafter though is the fact it causes sacrifices, which play into Mayhem Devil. Plaguecrafter usually causes 2 Devil triggers, where Spark Harvest would only cause one. In quick testing, it already caused multiple one-sided boardwipes. One of the crafters replaced a Murderous Rider, because is easier to cast than .

I’m also concidering splashing for Oko, Thief of Crowns. He does add the need for a fourth colour to the deck, but Gilded Goose and Paradise Druid are already in, and they can take care of that. It’s just that turn 1 Goose, turn 2 Oko is such a strong start, and help stonewalling a ground offensive. I’m okay with trading a Cauldron Familiar or a Food for something a little more aggressive. The familiar I’ll probably get back soon anyway. When Oko a turn 2 or 3 doesn’t get hit with an early removal spell it’s going to be an uphill battle probably, buying me some time to set up my other tricks. Some steady food production also factors into my other cards, like keeping Wicked Wolf alive and growing.

Generally, the whole food thing works out really well. I didn’t expect the life-gain version of Treasure and Clues to be so flexible and effective. Food itself isn’t as good as the tokens that give mana and draws cards, but with the right cards around it food actually can draw cards and give mana. Is Jund Food the best deck? Probably not, so far it hasn’t been consistent enough, but it’s flexible, and very fun to play.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Jund Food Updates

After trying out the deck some more, and winning some wildcards to further tweak my deck, I made some updates. Mayhem Devil got bumped up to four, since they are the main damage dealers in the deck. With that, I also made some space for an additional Status // Statue.  Both sides of this card served me well. It won’t happen often, but I had some sacrifces queued up and had Status wipe out an army using the Devil, now pinging for deathtouch damage. For a card originally put in the deck as a placeholder removal card it does a surprisingly amount of work.

I also included a new planeswalker into the mix who sorta-kinda acts as an additional Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, providing some sacrifice opportunities and card draw, as well as generating her own sacrifice fuel.

I must admit she doesn’t look that powerful on paper, but the card draw effect is nice, and she makes a good tag-team with Garruk, Cursed Huntsman. His wolves and her -4 are devastating. But what do you expect from 2 six-mana cards? I’m also eyeing her ultimate, which could be a nice finisher with some Mayhem Devils on the table.

Speaking of the devils, I cut Syr Konrad, the Grim in favour of more of these, because they are more efficient and flexible in the context of this deck. Another card on the cutting table is Rankle, Master of Pranks. The haste is good, but I generally only use the discard effect, sometimes the sacrifice effect. The draw effect I generally won’t use, because I don’t want to give opponents cards. Sometimes, Rankle works, but I feel he needs specific situations to shine, despite the fact he has 3 abilities.

Once I have a Cauldron Familiar and a Witch’s Oven out, generally things are going well. Manifold Key helps getting out extra oven activtions, and functions as oven 5-6. The downside is it doesn’t do much without an oven and it requires additional mana to work. It requires testing, because when it works it is a force multiplier.

Wicked Wolf seems like a must-have for this deck. The fighting works with Status // Statue and he can eat food at instant speed. He’s removal with a body, and can dodge some removal.

Considering I’m out of wildcards, this is going to take some grinding though. Good thing my winrate with this deck has been good thus far.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Jund Food

Recently I came across an interesting deck involving the Throne of Eldraine Food mechanic. It’s a bit of a combo deck, and it offers some opportunities to use some random cool cards that work around sacrificing things. The base combo works with Cauldron Familiar and Witch’s Oven. These work together in a kind of sacrifice loop, slowly draining opponent’s life.

You can sacrifice the cat to the oven, get a food, and sacrifice that food to get back the cat, then drain a little life each turn. This in itself works great, and you’ll always have a little ground blocker, buying some extra time. It’s great that this works at instant speed, and doesn’t require mana. The real trick, however, is using these sacrifices as a trigger to deal lots of damage and maybe draw some extra cards.

So, lets take a look at the sequence: You sacrifice Cauldron Familiar to Witch’s Oven, Mayhem Devil triggers. Then you sacrifice the food to get back the familiar. Mayhem Devil triggers again. That’s already 3 damage and an extra life.

Korvold, Fae-cursed king is similar. On entering the battlefield he eats a cat or food, draws you a card and grows bigger, then you sacrifice a food to get back a cat and before you know it he’s a huge dragon that already drew you a bunch of cards, even before anyone can remove him.

The rest of the deck is food production and mana ramp and mana fixing, as well as some other haymakers that play into the food/sacrifice theme. I made the following prototype for testing the archetype, and it already works well, although there is a lot of room for improvement:

~ Jund Food ~

Creatures (22)

Cauldron Familiar
Gilded Goose
Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
Mayhem Devil
Murderous Rider
Paradise Druid
Rankle, Master of Pranks
Savvy Hunter
Syr Konrad, the Grim
Tempting Witch

Planeswalkers (2)

Garruk, Cursed Huntsman
Vraska, Golgari Queen

Lands (24)

Blood Crypt
Castle Locthwain
Overgrown Tomb
Stomping Ground
Temple of Malady

Spells (12)

Assassin’s Trophy
Golden Egg
Status // Statue
Trail of Crumbs
Witch’s Oven

Even though the list is suboptimal, it works really well. Generally, the mana is pretty good, but sometimes I had an egg countered or a goose killed, and then I ran into some colour screw. Well, it happened once in testing, and the game went on for a while, and I had an improbable amount of bad luck finding my third colour. I must craft some Fabled Passages, for further colour fixing. Also some Once Upon a Times will make the deck and the mana more consistent.

Some other thoughts:

  • I noticed that once Murderous Rider dies, this will trigger Syr Konrad, the Grim twice, due to changing zones twice. Sure, it makes sense, but it’s an interaction that’s easy to miss in a paper game.
  • One of the cards I’m debating is Woodland Champion. With all the food tokens coming down, he should grow quickly. But then;
  • I want to include an extra Trail of Crumbs. The card is similar to Golden Egg in function, minus the mana fixing, but with more long-term upside in grindy matches. Most of my cards are permanents anyway.
  • Gilded Goose turns food into mana, and mana into food. And it works well with Trail of Crumbs, because it provides both the mana and the sacrifice (and given long enough, the food tokens) for the card selection to work.
  • Judith, the Scourge Diva is being considered, although generally she is a worse Mayhem Devil in this deck.
  • I want to have some extra, free sacrifice effects, maybe. An additional Savvy Hunter might be the key.
  • Gingerbread Cabin is a trap. 3 other forests isn’t likely to happen in a 2 or 3 colour deck.
  • Status // Statue is something I’m on the fence about. I first included it as an extra removal spell, but it might not have been the best choice. However, the hidden trick is also that it grants Deathtouch, and that’s savage with Mayhem Devil, and a couple of sacrifices.

All in all I’m having fun with this deck, and all the moving parts. There is a potential for lots of card selection, and the food means you can keep a high life total if needed. Mill is popular right now, and it doesn’t interact with that at all, but the damage output is real, and most of the time control decks have a hard time disrupting everything. I’m really looking forward to testing some more and make some improvements. It’s delicious!


Posted under Standard

Happily Ever After

Recently, I got a prerelease foil of Happily Ever After. It’s not the best card, but it says “you win the game” on it, and it’s shiny and foil. The question is, which deck am I going to use it in? It took a bit of an epiphany to find the correct deck.

The first thing the card does is giving everyone a card and some life. Technically, it’s card disadvantage, because aside from drawing, you also use up a card and everybody draws. People also get a bit of life, and hopefully, they’ll like you a bit more now. In a game where winning is zero-sum, “being liked” is a weird advantage, because you’re still the enemy, but, at least maybe the other players are more the enemy than you are. For now. Maybe the others now try to kill you last which is something. This is the group-hug theory, but beware, some people hate that, and try to attack you first. Having a card in play that reads “you win the game” probably doesn’t do you any favours either.

While it is unlikely to win with Happily Ever After, it’s fun to try. A couple of conditions need to be met, and it’s not easy.

– Your life total is equal, or greater than your starting life total. Since it’s likely everyones primairy strategy in the game is to try and lower your lifetotal, preferably to zero, this is a difficult condition to meet. The card graciously gives you 5 more life points to work with, but other means of upping and protecting your life total are in order to make sure it’s even possible, and to defend yourself when you threaten to win and become a target.

– There are six or more card types among permanents you control and/or in your graveyard. Happily Ever After is an enchantment. You probably cast it using mana from lands. And you likely have some creature around or in the graveyard. It’s handy that killing the creature doesn’t stop the effect, so that’s already 3 card types. Now all you need is an artifact, an instant and a sorcery, or a Planeswalker and you’re off to the races. In general, you’ll arive here naturally, and it’s probably the easiest condition to meet.

– There are five colours among permanents you control. It’s tricky, and it nudged me towards one of the commanders. But then it hit me: I’ll use this one instead:

Zedruu only has 3 of the 5 colours needed, and since there are restrictions in Commander based on the colour identity of the commander, I’ll have a hard time actually casting something black, green, or black-green. Hard, but not impossible. Living Weapon cards like Batterskull make a black Germ token. Curse of the Swine can turn something into a green Boar. Transguild Courier just is all colours. But do I really need to dilute the deck just to make an obscure wincondition work? Then I realized something about how my Zedruu deck functions. Trading!

The main thing the deck does is giving stuff away to gain cards and life (handy for the 40 life or more condition.) – But, it also has many control effects and effects that exchange control. It than hit me that I don’t actually need to run black, green or black-green things, as long as I have an opponent that does. Worst case scenario, and I’ll just give away Happily Ever After to some player that can’t trigger it, or to make someone a target.

So, that’s another card I can use to create a bloodless victory, and it feels more friendly than Approach of the Second Sun. It also works well, because Approach gives an additional life buffer. I just hope that other players accept that I’m playing a slightly different game with the alternate win conditions, but at least it’ll be different with a distinct play style, and generally focusing on enabling other decks, and creating a narrative. I mean, you won’t actually lose when you all get to live happily ever after.


Posted under Commander / EDH

DOOMSDAY MACHINE and Mirrodin Besieged

I’m still looking at tweaks for the Let’s Build a DOOMSDAY MACHINE deck. I found another card that might be interesting and could do many things in this deck. It seems like a powerful card, offering both the ability to create “scrap” – random artifact tokens I can sacrifice to other effects in the deck –  or it helps with card selection and with getting artifacts into the graveyard, so I can use Goblin Welder effects to get them out on the table.

But that’s not all. Should I ever get 15 artifacts in the grave -and it’s not that hard for this deck- I can start eliminating opponents, one per turn. And that is a bit of a pickle for this deck, as it looks for more contrived ways to do that, building intricate machines. Is it worth it to run one card that kicks a player out of the game that really deserves it, like the one hiding behind a huge pillowfort, or some stax player, or combo player? Or does it betray the goal and flavour of the deck?

Also, since I tried to find a spot for Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, but couldn’t find a spot, even though she has a similar function to the Mirran side by making tokens, it seems hard to find actual space for Mirrodin Besieged. At least Saheeli is somewhat flavour appropriate.

Posted under Commander / EDH


The DOOMSDAY MACHINE deck had the concept of using “scrap metal.” This is any artifact that I can sacrifice, to get another artifact out of my deck or graveyard. Typically, I want to use some token artifact for this, so the deck runs some cards that create treasure tokens, or clue tokens, servos, thopters or just any kind of token just for this purpose. So, anything that puts any artifact on my side of the table is worth taking a look at, especially if it can create multiples with no further investments needed.

This made me take a good look at Dockside Extortionist. Most creatures in my deck are artificers, but it seems I need some kind of acquisitions department as well. This goblin could very well make multiple treasure tokens at once, and give me some mana advantage and some resources for my Goblin Welder. Things get really crazy once I get Mycosynth Lattice online. Moreso when I can use Soul Foundry or Feldon of the Third Path and I can get multiples, and maybe repeat the process using Clock of Omens.

Another goblin that can do some acquisitions is Treasure Nabber. He won’t be as efficient and requires the opponent to use their mana artifacts, but having some extra mana ramp once in a while seems good. With Lattice, he can steal entire mana bases, and feed Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer or better yet, Krark-Clan Ironworks so I’ll never have to give anything back.

Another card I’m eager to add is Emry, Lurker of the Loch. Every piece of artifact recursion is welcome, and Emry also puts some extra cards into the graveyard as a bonus. She also facilitates some combos, even if it means finding card slots for things like Mirran Spy and some free to cast artifacts – preferably Lotus Petal for lots of mana. This might be worth it since Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain is my Commander, and it means free, infinite card draw.

Finally, in the category of things that change things into other things: Witch’s Oven. I might want to get into food tokens, although I don’t know what this will actually add to the deck. Sure, it’s fun to turn the goats I get from Trading Post into pies, but it doesn’t seem like the best use.

Maybe it can stand in for Blasting Station in the Station combo, creating another shortcut for that combo, as it can be sacrificed to Grinding Station, be returned (untapped!) with Salvaging Station, and bake the Pincher token from Summoning Station, creating lots and lots of food. Any other shortcut is great, and it fits the theme of the deck: Goblins building a crazy Rube Goldberg machine, and now death by infinite pies! It still will be an infinite mill combo, but at least it’s somewhat funny. That probably makes it worth a slot, somewhere.

Sidenote: I also have a Depala, Pilot Exemplar deck. I put in a random assortment of Dwarves, but she might have some use for the Seven Dwarfs, that might actually turn into giants at some point.

Posted under Commander / EDH


One of the interesting things in Modern Horizons are several Ninjas and Ninja-related cards. I run a Vela the Night-Clad deck which add to the evasive nature of my creatures and gives a little extra oomph to the Ninjutsu ability. Ninjas are few, and most of them aren’t really that good – especially the first batch from Betrayers of Kamigawa had a few low-impact ones that hardly make it worth the effort. But it’s fun, having creatures jump in and out of the game. There where a few later ones that feel a little more powerful, and now there is a whole new batch. But are they worth it?

Ninjutsu by itself has synergy with my commander, and the bar isn’t that high. Still, a Ninja deck is also about other cards. Having a Ninja swapped in for another Ninja isn’t really what we’re going for, it’s changing evasive creatures into Ninjas and doubling up on enter-the-battlefield effect (or leave-the-battlefield effects, with Thalakos Seer) that makes it shine. Deck space is limited, even if Ninjas themselves aren’t really large in numbers.

The Ninjutsu ability is cheap, only and 3/3 is a decent body. The indestructible is handy when attacking with multiple creatures. That’s a situational effect, but if you also have another cheap Ninjutsu card, it might make more than one attacker indestructible. This card is all about the cheap Ninjutsu cost.

Ninjas are all about their saboteur abilities. And this is a great one. Getting a double Thief of Sanity ability can create so much value. This is one of those newer Ninjas that actually feel good to hit with.

Drawing cards is good, and this one is a Ninja of the Deep Hours that shares its ability with your other Ninjas. There still aren’t many other Ninjas, but the Infiltrator certainly rewards playing as many Ninjas as possible.

This works well with Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive, and doubling itself can get out of hand quickly. If Mist-Syndicate Naga comes out early enough, it has the potential to overwhelm the board.

Probably a worse Mist-Syndicate Naga. The Illusions are small, evasive creatures though, so they can help setting up future Ninjutsu effects.

I get it. The “saboteur” ability is just doing extra damage. Even though it has Ninjutsu, it feels like a vanilla creature though. It’s not bad, but it does feel like where the new Ninjas begin to falter. I know you can’t compare commons to rares, but for paying 4, look at Fallen Shinobim and while this has an extra point of damage, that’s it. It doesn’t compare at all.


Oh, now we don’t even get Ninjutsu anymore. I have enough much better unblockable creatures in my deck. While Phantom Ninja can use the (sparse) tribal effects, just compare it to the cheaper Changeling Outcast. The latter is also a Ninja (because Changeling) but at a third of the cost. We lose 1 point of power and the ability to block, but blocking (or dealing damage) isn’t really the role of these cards. I can’t find myself to include Phantom Ninja in my deck, when there are so much better options.

No Ninjutsu, no evasion. Even token Ninjutsu would have tied it into the Ninja theme and this doesn’t. Lifelink is ok, but there are better sources of extra life than this guy, and at the very least less conditional. So, it’s a pass for me.

So, that’s 8 new Ninjas. A few great ones but 3 that feel really ‘meh’ and are only worth to include for thematic reasons. Changeling Outcast is a nice ‘bonus’ ninja. Still, with so few Ninjas in the game at all, having 3 that are great is still a a luxury. Fortunately outside new Ninjas there are also a couple of Ninja-related cards.

Cunning evasion isn’t exactly a Ninja card, except for the theme and because it really, really synergizes with Ninjutsu. If something goes through, its likely the Ninja of your choice goes through and the way it’s done looks really fun. It also helps the “enter the battlefield” cards in the deck, and helps Vela trigger. So, while it’s not an actual Ninja, it really belongs in a Ninja deck.

Smoke Shroud is basically an extra Sai of the Shinobi. Nothing dramatic, really, but it’s difficult to get rid off. How a cloud of smoke using to escape grants +1/+1 I don’t know, but the extra evasion should be helpful.

Posted under Commander / EDH

DOOMSDAY MACHINE Modern Horizons updates.

With Modern Horizons on… the horizon, I wasn’t really planning to get into it. Because, somehow, Wizards decided these are going to be more expensive boosters. I might hunt down some singles though, because there where some cards spoiled that fit one of my favorite Commander decks: Let’s Build A DOOMSDAY MACHINE. This deck, headed by Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain tries to assemble a combo out of artifacts, and Modern Horizons has some new tools.

Thing is, the deck is already filled to the brim, and when War of the Spark came out, I wanted to include a Saheeli, Sublime Artificer but honestly couldn’t find something to cut, even when Saheeli does something important for the deck: Creating scrap metal to transmute into more powerful things. So, I think the bar for replacing cards is really high, and still, I think these cards make the cut.

First, there is Goblin Engineer. The DOOMSDAY MACHINE deck has some Goblin Artificers, and it’s part of the theme to have them make random stuff, and turn that into other things. This is a nice second Goblin Welder and even though unlike the welder it has a limitation on what to get back, it also functions as an artifact tutor, in conjunction with other “from the graveyard” effects in the deck. At the very least, it helps me find Expedition Map and turn some scrap into Urzatron. I also like his interactions with Feldon of the Third Path. With al the combos, having a tutor for at least a piece is great. If only to find the next card I’m interested in: Scrapyard Recombiner.

This is another tutor card, even though it’s more limited in what it can find. However, the deck does have some very powerful constructs. Metalworker? It’s a construct that can makes lots and lots of mana, potentially infinite in the deck. Kuldotha Forgemaster is recombiners bigger brother and can find all the artifacts in the deck. Myr Battlesphere is a big construct that makes more scrap. Hangarback Walker also counts. Then there are Combustible Gearhulk and Scuttling Doom Engine which may be part of an infinite damage combo.

What hasn’t been said about this Urza card? It’s Urza! And he comes with his own construct, which is either huge or a nice piece of scrap metal to transform. Then, when used fairly, he is “just” a source of mana and card advantage. Then, if there is a Paradox Engine around, he potentially plays your entire deck. I must admit, the deck does play some scummy combos, but Urza might push it over the edge a bit.

All in all some aggresive cuts may be in order to include these new toys in the deck. But at least the first two cards fit the theme of the deck very well.

Posted under Commander / EDH
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