Cardsmith Blog

CCC: Sparks Will Fly

We're excited to continue Coast to Coast Casual (CCC), a blog series written by East2West, published on MTG Cardsmith.


As a Magic player Standard is not my forte. The last time I really played it consistently was Return to Ravnica - Theros and I played a jank Dimir Mill deck. I got out of Standard almost the minute Khans block entered the format. The decks that were in the format were just a little to aggressive for my taste, even the control decks were low to the ground (from what I recall). That's when I started getting more into casual formats and drafting as my main ways of playing the game. I revisited Standard during Kaladesh because I got a job at a store that had primarily standard players, I also got an employee discount so I had a pretty steady stream of playables. I was very proud of my Boros Vehicle deck. I ended up quitting the job just a little before Ixalan dropped so once again I went back to my little casual corner. In recent times I still haven't been able to get into the format, there's something about buying expensive singles that will only lose value after rotation that turns me off a bit. However I have been asked to write an article about War of the Spark, a set I have been drooling over since I first heard the phrase "Planeswalker in every pack." So I spent the last couple weeks diving deep into Standard to see what impact WotS will have on the meta in the short term and what the cards could do in eternal formats. I'm not going to break down every card, but there are a few specific ones that I think herald some interesting shake ups for Magic's most popular format.

Part 1: Mechanic Spotlight

In WotS we're introduced to the new mechanic Amass. Now flavor wise it's supposed to be Bolas's army amassing (wink wink, nudge nudge) and this flavor is where it kind of flops. If it's supposed to be an army then why is it a single token? Why can a single Ravenous Chupacabra eat what is supposed to represent let's say 10 whole zombies? From a power standpoint though I totally get it. Imagine if every card that had Amass created 1/1 Zombie tokens instead. It'd be kinda busted. However for the same reason it flops in flavor I think it'll flop in gameplay. It's nice incidental value but it seems a little weak compared to the other threats the current metagame holds.

We also see the returning mechanic Proliferate, now this is something I have huge hopes for considering the state of both WotS as a standalone and the current Standard meta. All planeswalkers and Sagas benefit from Proliferate being in Standard making for some interesting combos. Cards like Growth Chamber Guardian, Venerated Loxodon, Runaway Steam-Kin, and a few others also get a sort of helping hand from the mechanic.

Although not keyworded I do want to mention some interesting additions I noticed during the previews. Awakening of the Vitu-Ghazi is reminiscent of Awaken from Battle for Zendikar. Evolution Sage has Landfall, an ability seen in every Zendikar block. Devouring Hellion has an ability similar to Devour from Alara block. Makeshift Battalion has well Battalion which was the Boros mechanic from Return to Ravnica block. Finally, Tenth District Legionnaire has Heroic from Theros block.

My first impression here is that Proliferate will outshine Amass like crazy. Proliferate is insanely good considering the amount of planeswalkers and counter synergies in standard right now while Amass doesn't quite fit as well. Amass can be insanely good, it's not something to be taken lightly, but it still only creates the one token making it very weak to the large amount of removal in Standard. Still Amass is something that performs way better than I first expected so if you see that little Zombie token keep an eye on it.

Part 2: Current Decks

The main part of my research into Standard has been what types of currently existing decks will be getting new tools to work with and just how good those tools will be. I focused on the top 11 decks in Standard right now according to the MTGGoldfish meta page.

Esper Control

Esper Control gets a bunch of new options that honestly I don't know if it'll take. A lot of the different things I can see being put into the deck aren't strict upgrades and the current list seems solid. Time Wipe, Tyrants Scorn, Enter the God Eternals, And Teferi, Time Raveler are the main cards I can see being used mainboard with a hesitant mention of Ignite the Beacon and Contentious Plan depending on if the list leans more towards Esper Super Friends for its mainboard. The sideboard is definitely getting Super Friends though as I see Narset, Parter of Veils being added alongside Finale of Eternity, The Elderspell, and possibly Lazotep Plating to help against said Elderspell.

Gruul Aggro

Ilharg, the Raze-Boar slides so cleanly into this list, sneak attack on a stick would be good already but a 6/6 for five mana plus hard to remove, plus it has trample is so sweet! As for possible includes I could see maybe a one of Domri, Anarch of Bolas and Rubblebelt Rioters also seems sweet but there might just be better options. As for the sideboard I could see the inclusion of Vivien, Champion of the Wilds. Flashing in your creatures for pseudo haste is always a powerful thing.

Azorius Aggro

Azorius Aggro is a bit of a weird one, the includes here are all pretty uncertain except for one, God-Eternal Oketra. With Oketra on board all your small creatures will also generate a 4/4 token which can really help you flood the board. The other possible include would be Finale of Glory which just generates so much value in this deck, however this may be more of a sideboard card than a main deck card. As for definite sideboarding Ravnica at War is a sweet pick for this deck, all of your permanents are monocolored so this becomes a solid board wipe against more multi color dependant decks like Esper Control and any deck running Hybroid Krasis. These suggestions also apply to mono-white aggro lists which is why it's not here.

Sultai Midrange

At first I couldn't see what Sultai Midrange would get from WotS and then I did my first draft of the format and the rare smacked me in the face. Vivien, Champion of the Wilds shows up once again on the list for the insane value of flashing in a Hybroid Krasis. Sphinx's Revelation is shaking. Vivien might not see mainboard play since it hurts your gameplan to take a turn off to cast her but as a sideboard piece I can see her being a valuable card to include. Other cards that might shine here are Tamiyo, Collector of Tales for your more removal heavy matchups. Sultai Midrange is also one of the decks that will benefit from Lazotep Plating since counter removal is a thing now and a lot of your threats rely on their counters.

Temur Reclamation

Personally I think Temur Reclamation will actually fall way out of favor with the printing of the new Teferi. I mean yeah it's cool your lands are untapped but it's not like you can actually use them. Dovin's Veto also makes it harder to remove that lock. Since I anticipate the new Teferi being a big part of the meta it might be time to say goodbye to the Reclamation shell. If we don't though, once again Vivien is a great addition for the more creature heavy builds.

Rakdos Aggro

This seems like the deck that will end up benefiting most from WotS as a whole and Amass as a mechanic. Grim Initiate, Dreadhorde Butcher, Dreadhorde Invasion, Widespread Brutality, and Banehound all seem like perfect fits for the current beatdown strategy however I could see a small zombie package being included in the sideboard in the form of Liliana, Dreadhorde General and Angrath, Captain of Chaos are booth quality zombie style includes that fit nicely in the board for grindier matchups. A definite include for the board has gotta be Angrath's Rampage, such a good card for this deck!

Selesnya Tokens

Selesnya Tokens doesn't get anything massive from WotS and is actually supremely hurt by the printing of Blast Zone. The best card in WotS for Selesnya Tokens is Finale of Glory which other decks in the meta will be able to utilize better than the token deck. Other than that Tokens just gets a few removal options like Return to Nature and Prison Realm. The only other card I can see here would be Pledge of Unity which could be seriously powerful with the right board. This is a deck I don't expect to see much of in the coming season.

Jeskai Control

Okay so Jeskai Control is about to get some major upgrades. Teferi, Time Raveler, Ral's Outburst, Invade the City, Dovin's Veto, Time Wipe, Solar Blaze, Augur of Bolas, Finale of Revelation, Commence the Endgame, and God-Eternal Kefnet all work for the deck! Seriously, Jeskai control just got a lot better and a lot grindier. I can also see maybe a one of the new Ugin in the board for the mirror match but unless the game goes long I doubt it'll be castable so I wouldn't mainboard it.

Izzet Drakes

Not much to speak of here except for Invade the City. Drakes is a great deck but it might be one of the ones that just can't keep up with the new decks coming in. I could be wrong here but I really couldn't find any other card (except maybe Ral's Outburst) that will fit nicely with the drake tell. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong :)

Mono-Red Aggro

Three words. Chandra, Fire Artisan. Light Up the Stage has been showing everyone the power of red's unique type of card advantage and Chandra saw it and said "Hold my beer." Not only will she create a massive board presence very quickly once she's down but removing her is also a hassle. Since damage removes loyalty counters she gets to deal damage whenever she is damaged meaning often she can kill whatever hurts her. She's the only card from WotS I can see in the deck but hooooo, watch out folks.

Mono-Blue Tempo

Okay so once again we find a deck that doesn't get any obvious spice. To me I can see a few sweet board options with Narset's Reversal and Dovin, Hand of Control for the mirror but not much is given in terms of main deck playables. Maybe Aven Eternal? We'll see.

Part 3: Possible New Decks

Whew, wow you're still reading, thanks man. Now that we're done with what's already in Standard let's get to the fun part, brewing. I'm going to make the five decks that I can see being strong in the new Standard format. Now the deck composition isn't what I'm betting on more the archetypes themselves since, like I said, I am no brewmaster when it comes to Standard.

My personal favorite here is Chromatic Jeskai, hybrid mana is a pet project of mine so I'm excited to see it actually being used in an interesting way.

Part 4: Wrap Up

War of the Spark has got to be one of my favorite sets I've been around for. The story elements and power level feel right and there's an air of extreme fun to the whole thing. The draft format is sweet, Jeskai Walkers has been a favorite of mine and pulling a foil Interplanar Beacon felt so so so nice. I hope to hear about your drafts and games in the future. As always this has been East2west with CCC, I'll see you guys on the battlefield.


East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.

May 15, 2019 by East2West
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May The Forge Be With You



Happy Birthday MTGCardsmith!

For 8 years now, people have been making custom Magic cards right here on MTGCardsmith. We started off with a single frame, some tokens, then planeswalkers and the M15 Frame. Today we have Hybrid Borders, Dual Colored Borders, Colored Artifacts, Legendary Borders, Hybrid Legendary Borders, Dual Colored Legendary Borders and now Silver Borders! You can adorn your cards with one of six different Watermark styles (Ravnica is my favorite!) and more set symbols than ever! In fact, Premium users can not only edit their cards, but they can even add their own Custom Set Symbols!

So much has happened in the past 8 years, there's even a thread on the Forums for it!
Reflections and Browsing the Blog by Damnation In addition to that, we're closing in on some major milestones as well, drawing close to our 100,000th member and One and a Half Million Cards Created!




All month long we want to celebrate the birth of this amazing site by creating Forge cards! Make a card with the word "forge" somewhere on the card and give us the link. A few of you will even get to see your cards Featured this month! May the Forge be with you!




Lastjustice is our first featured Cardsmith this month. He's created over 700 cards and almost 30 Custom Mechanics and he is the self-proclaimed "Defender of All Existence". Take a minute to check out his cards and custom mechanics!






We've long been a fan of Mana_M0nger, who has cards going back 4 years, and this month we thought it would be great to take a look at his creations, as our second Featured Cardsmith for May. Hopefully you find them to be as realistic and elegant as we do.




Each month we're excited to highlight a few Cardsmiths that have helped make MTGCardsmith the best interactive online Card Creator. We hope you'll take some time to check out their creations!

Apr 30, 2019 by Corwinnn, & Tomigon
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CCC: UnUsual

We're excited to continue Coast to Coast Casual (CCC), a blog series written by East2West, published on MTG Cardsmith.

Happy April everybody! On this, the month of fools, I feel like it's an appropriate time to share some thoughts on Un Sets. Today I want to talk about the wacky, wonderful, and whimsical world we see in the silver bordered sets. Specifically, what happens when they're legal in EDH, what cards are fun in cube, and some other fun tidbits. Without further ado let's get into it.

Section 1 - EDH

For anyone that was playing Commander around the time Unstable dropped you'll all remember a short time where Silver Bordered cards were officially legal in the format. Now obviously this couldn't last forever but lord what a time. Of course during this time certain cards were banned to make sure the format wasn't instantly broken, that list is still on the WOTC ban site. During this time a new group of Commanders became playable. This list of legends is going to be what this section is about, specifically if they are safe to play as generals and what kind of decks could be built.

Off the bat I'd like to knock off the ones that are instantly unsafe, some may not be broken but I just don't like what they open the game up to. Of the 14 possible silver border generals (Richard Garfield is Illegal) two stand out to me as instantly being unfun and they happen to be part of the same cycle. Spike, Tournament Grinder and Johnny, Combo Player are both cards I hope never to see as a general. Spike is unfun for a clear reason, ban lists exist for a reason. Being able to tutor up a Shahrazad in Commander is not something anyone wants, and before you say it wouldn't be able to be played in a Spike deck let me remind you City of Brass, Rainbow Vale, Mana Confluence, and other rainbow lands have no color identity. Johnny is slightly more playable but the second he comes out it just becomes a race among the other players for who can remove him faster. Tutor effects like that are usually tap abilities on permanents (Planar Portal for example) and even then they're really good, Johnny is the kind of card I can see being super broken in the right build.

With that out of the way let's get to the tier list of Un-Manders and their playability

No Tier - X / Jalum Grifter

The No Tier is reserved for generals that are playable but you still probably shouldn't play just for ease of other players at the table. X is straight up confusing for some players and is just kind of a drag to have at the table. He's not inherently broken but it's still something I'd urge players away from. Jalum Grifter is similar to this mindset. He's not broken but his ability is confusing and something to be steered away from. In all honesty though Jalum is much better than X play wise so I'd be willing to move him up a tier if someone could make a good case.

Jank Tier - Dr. Julius Jumblemorph / Grimlock, Dinobot Leader / Mary O'Kill

The Jank Tier is home to generals that would be awesome if there were just a couple more pieces for the deck. Dr.Julius is really cool but the amount of Host and Augment cards is low so a whole EDH deck with him might not find success, him being all creature types is pretty solid though especially given his colors. I could see random tribal working here, a Mistform Ultimus type deck. Grimlock is similar here, just not enough Dinosaurs and Vehicles for it to work, if there were this would actually be in the Fun Tier, it would make a sick deck. Mary O'Kill is the same story. There's only a single Killbot in existence otherwise an awesome and evasive beatdown strat would be the line here. I hope we get the pieces for these guys someday.

Fun Tier - Phoebe, Head of S.N.E.A.K. / Timmy, Power Gamer / The Big Idea

Fun Tier is where we start to get into the playables, these are decks that would lose to most actual EDH decks but would still kick butt. Phoebe is my personal fave at this tier since her ability is so unique. Her high cost and to use that ability and her lack of removal protection is what makes it fall flat. Still, I might have to make this deck. Timmy is sort of a legendary version of Elvish Piper which itself is an EDH staple but Timmy's ability costs more. There's a deck here, like this ability is super powerful, there are just commanders that can do it better. Timmy is 100% safe to play but if he was legal there really are just better options. Finally the Big Idea is a Rakdos Aristocrats/Token decks dream. This madman would enable that deck like no other General really. The main problem is once again his cost. He costs a total of six to play and his ability can't be used on play due to summoning sickness. Even if you did give him haste that's ten mana a max of only six 1/1 tokens. He's good, just not good enough.

Good Tier - Baron Von Count / Frankie Peanuts / Grusilda, Monster Masher / Ol' Buzzbark .

Finally, Good Tier, the decks that actually work! Let's start off strong with Baron Von Count. This guy is a dream for brewers. His ability is such a build around, taking out threats while inching the clock closer and closer to doom. Most importantly though he's fair. You clearly see the threat and have time to deal with it before the big boom making it a fun General that encourages table talk and interesting games. Frankie Peanuts is actually a commander I have experience with. My old LGS allowed him as commander and I played him for a solid couple months. He is a super fun pillow fort General that is completely fair, completely playable, and deceivingly tricky. I'm a big fan of Frankie and he holds a special place in my heart. Grusilda is a great card, she's like a cooler version of Grenzo, Dungeon Warden in my opinion. A sort of toolbox reanimator deck is where I see her niche, filling the grave then creating powerful and unique monsters. God I want to build this so bad now. And lastly we have Ol' Buzzbark, in my opinion and awesome take on Gruul in EDH. He's got an ability that involves the whole table and will definitely cause some major plays and memorable moments. I'd love to see him in action more.

Part 2 - Cube

Out of the 600 or so cards in my personal cube only 21 have silver borders and the ones that do are, in my opinion, the best of the best from among all the Un Sets. Some are just in there because I had them and they seemed fun (Knight of the Kitchen Sink, Modular Monstrosity, Very Cryptic Command, Split Screen, Goblin Tutor, Strategy, Schmategy, and Everythingamajig.) The others however I'd like to go into some detail about.
Un Cards in a cube environment should do one of maybe three things. Enable unique strategies, cause memorable play moments, and encourage table talk.

Unique Strategies - Magical Hacker / Grusilda, Monster Masher / Earl of Squirrel / Symbol Status / Goblin Haberdasher

Magical Hacker lets you play control and aggro but most of all it enables a deck in my cube called Ultwalkers. Imagine ultimating a planeswalker every turn as long as you can pay one blue. Enough said. It's powerful so add it with caution but it's really fun. I already said my piece about Grusilda earlier so no need to go over that again. Earl of Squirrel makes token strats just a little better and a little goofier. I was also lucky enough to get the promo so of course I had to put it in, besides Squirrel Nest is in the cube. Symbol Status creates another type draft experience where you're trying to find permanents from different sets. This card can create an army of 1/1 tokens out of nowhere, hands down a fave of mine. Goblin Haberdasher serves a similar role, have you ever drafted a creature based on whether or not it had a hat on? I have and it's some of the most fun I've ever had drafting Magic.

Memorable Play - Spike, Tournament Grinder / Richard Garfield, Ph.D / Urza, Academy Headmaster / Sword of Dungeons and Dragons.

Spike is not safe for EDH but in cube she's cause some amazing sequences. Ever played an 8 player Shahrazad? I have and it was insane! Richard Garfield is essentially as good as your knowledge of Magic. An experienced player dropping this will lead to a quick game but with the right players this will lead to the wackiest game ever played, swear to god. Urza is the fun kind of random, either a flop or a bomb but either way very memorable. The Sword of D&D is sort of an in joke but it is powerful as hell. I'm the DM for the same people that make up my MTG group so they got me this as a gift. It's been a much used piece in the cube ever since.

Table Talk - Jalum Grifter / Ashnod's Coupon / Bronze Calendar / Chaos Confetti.

Jalum Grifter is really fun in a casual format like cube, a sort of game within the game that I've come to appreciate. Ashnod's Coupon is a really funny card, whether in someone's house or in a more public space there's never a reason not to play it. It really makes for some funny conversations and forces you to talk to the others at the table. Did someone board wipe? Well now they're getting you a soda, perfect revenge. Bronze Calendar is just extremely funny. I've lost more than once to my girlfriend beating me down with giant creatures while speaking in a horrible british accent, I highly recommend it. Chaos Confetti is a weird one, trust me you don't want people ripping the card. I personally took a piece of paper as big as the card sleeve and keep it in there with Chaos Confetti. Once played that's what's ripped and used. It's one of those moments that feels so good, if the chance comes to play it, take it.

Part 3 - Tidbits

Do you want to use Un Cards in your cube or with your friends? Here are 5 tips to remember when using them. 1 - The salt can be real.

For all players losing to a goofy card can be a really feel bad moment, especially if it's the goofy mechanic that causes them to lose. Make sure your players know what they're getting into when they agree to use Un Cards. A common case of this when a card like Kindslaver causes a player to lose the game.

2 - Don't punish players for playing Magic and/or speaking.

There are plenty of Un cards that punish players for normal things and that's just simply not the environment you want to have. A lot of cards with the Gotcha mechanic are like this, they're fun for a bit but the line between fun and annoying gets crossed really fast. Use common sense, think about if you'd have fun playing against the card before putting it in.

3 - Complication does not equal fun.

Cards like Bureaucracy and Gerrymandering are good for a laugh but at the end of the day they are so overly complicated that it's just not worth playing them. Make sure the cards you put int are understandable and funny, not just one or the other.

4 - Fun does not equal playable.

Similarly, not all fun cards are playable. Cards like Face to Face and Side to Side are really fun but their effects can make them unplayable in certain circumstances. If you notice cards never being played it's best to remove them entirely.

5 - Cater to your play group.

Your playgroup are the people you want to have fun with, if they're not having a good time it's not worth it. Make sure everyone's on the same page about using Un Cards in cubes and EDH. If some players don't want to that's okay, Magic should be fun for everyone. Accommodate those players, maybe save the Un idea until you find a player who wants to.

That's all for this month folks. The Future Sight article is going to be on hold indefinitely at this point. I need to trim down the list of cards before I can actually finish it. Expect to see some of the promised supplements coming soon though. If you have any ideas for future articles comment below, message me on the forums, DM me on twitter @East2westmtg, or you can even email me at [email protected] As always this has been East2west with CCC, I'll see you guys on the battlefield.

East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.

Apr 15, 2019 by East2West
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It's Time To Get UnSmithed!

It's Time To Get UnSmithed!



Foegod Awaits!

Last April the universal trickster Foegod took over the site during our month long April Fools theme. This year he's back, but he's not here trying to trick you. No, this year we've asked Foegod himself to help us announce the long awaited SILVER BORDERS!

Did You Just Say Silver Borders!?

That's right, Silver Borders are here! We wanted to mark this festive occasion by asking you to UnSmith your best cards and submit them either here, or to the Forums. If you're able to impress us, or our special guest Foegod, your card could end up as an April Feature!


Featured Cardsmiths


KJMartin

No one is sure just when KJMartin first arrived on the scene, but he definitely made an impression when he first joined the Forums way back in 2016. He credits his brother with introducing him to Cardsmith, and after a long absence he has returned and started the Creature Type Contest along with rebuilding his amazing card collection. Check out some of the cards we thought you might like, and then go and give the rest of his cards a look as well!



Ranshi922

Our second Featured Cardsmith this month is Ranshi922. If you've been to the Forums you know Ranshi922 is pretty active there, and he's also quite busy offering card advice to a lot of his fellow Cardsmiths when he's not studying or taking a test! Here are just a handful of fantasic cards he's created, so we'd love it if you took some time to check them out and then go through all of his other cards as well.



Each month we're excited to highlight a few Cardsmiths that have helped make MTGCardsmith the best interactive online Card Creator. We hope you'll take some time to check out their creations!
Mar 31, 2019 by Corwinnn, & Tomigon
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CCC: Baroque

We're excited to continue Coast to Coast Casual (CCC), a blog series written by East2West, published on MTG Cardsmith.

So I'm pushing back the Future Sight article by another month due to something I want to talk about that's been coming up more and more lately in the Magic community, deck prices. Modern decks have actually gone up in price lately and the format is now out of reach for many that want to play. This is the duality of our game, the more popular it is the more expensive our cards will become, making it even harder for new players. Pauper is an amazing alternative, for now. As it too becomes more prevalent it's likely those prices will rise as well. EDH has many budget options but as a recent episode of The Command Zone stated, the deck that has the highest price will win more often than a budget deck. I spent the past month looking for a solution and I believe I found one in the form of a new format I've crafted similar to Penny Dreadful. I present, for the approval of the players, Baroque.

The deck building restriction for Baroque is simple, no cards in your deck can be worth more than $1.00 (USD) according to Scryfall, the usual "no conspiracies, no un-cards, etc" applies as well. Baroque will rotate when Standard does so even if a card in your deck goes over a dollar you won't have to remove it until Standard rotates out. This makes it very easy to maintain your deck, every rotation just check your cards and find alternatives for what's rotated. This also means that most big cards aren't legal in the format so new alternatives must be found. The best part though is that every type of deck is represented in the possible meta. I've compiled multiple deck lists as you'll see below. I've given the technical names on this article and some fun alternatives on the decklists.

Do you like Aggro? Well Baroque boasts builds of Bogles, Red Deck Wins, and White Weenie
Bogles (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1695764#paper)

This build is pretty straightforward, get one of our evasive creatures out and swing in with our enchantments boosting it. Classic Bogle cards like Ancestral Mask, Ethereal Armor, and well Slippery Bogle are all legal making this a pretty easy transfer. Our sideboard features the standard removal as well as the spicy additions of Dryad Sophisticate, for our Tron matches (yes, Tron is a deck) and Rampage of the Clans which can be used to flood the board with 3/3 Centaurs at instant speed.

RDW (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1695735#paper)

One of the main issues I've found with this format is that, unlike other formats, quick mana isn't really a thing. RDW gets around this by just being able to play 24 mountains. Bomat Courier gives us solid card advantage if we can get it down early and our multitude of burn spells combined with Chandra's Phoenix can give us a near impossible to remove threat in the air. All in all RDW is a solid build of the classic strat.

White Weenie (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1699541#paper)

Similar to RDW White Weenie wants to get creatures out fast and swing in with them, however we get to mix in a little splash of midrange type cards to push through. Cards like Imposing Sovereign give us an edge over RDW by tapping down their hasty dudes and Mentor of the Meek makes sure our hand remains full. We also run multiple anthems to boost our on board attackers for one final push through our enemies defenses. Our sideboard has one addition I'd like to specifically point out which is Eight-and-a-Half-Tails. This is the Mother of Runes of Baroque, in specific matches this card will save you in a pinch.

What about Midrange decks I hear you say, well we got you covered with Boros Vehicles and Merfolk decks.
Vehicles (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1695787#paper)

Entering the format due mostly to the drop in price of Kaladesh singles, Vehicles is a super fun option combining bits of Affinity and Mardu Vehicles. Court Homunculus and Toolcraft Exemplar give us early crew targets while Depala gives us the ability to crew late game as well as dig. Dispatch and Galvanic blast make sure we're able to keep the board clear or even ping to the face if needed. Finally our vehicle selection is pretty great. Vehicles like Heart of Kiran, Peacewalker Colossus, and a single copy of Skysovereign, Consul Flagship allow us some pretty good finishers. A solid Midrange if ever there was one.

Merfolk (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1699227#paper)

Anyone for a game of Standard? Baroque Merfolk is given amazing help by the new Green Merfolk from Ixalan. Our early game includes Mist-Cloaked Herald and Triton Shorestalker to give us some unblockable threats which can be targeted by their best friend Jade Bearer. Merfolk Mistbinder and Merfolk Sovereign encourage our little guys as they smash into enemy lines. Deeproot Waters ensures us a small army while Wistful Selkie gives us an Elvish Emissary like effect. And for disruption our copies of Repulse and Harbinger of Tides are solid plays. Our sideboard could use some work but Baroque Merfolk is a fun option for the format.

Have you forgotten Control scream the Blue players, well...maybe.
Dimir Winds (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1701519#paper)

As a quick disclaimer, I have no idea how to build control and I think this may actually be midrange but nevermind that. Dimir Winds relies on it's heavy amount of removal and counterspells to make it to either a Sphinx of Foresight or a Wydwen, the Biting Gale. Judge's Familiar and Oona's Warden give us some quick defense and running them allows us to play Favorable Winds since all our creatures have flying. We're running Countersquall, Force Spike, and Deprive to keep our opponents down while Smother and Ultimate Price keep their board clear. This deck is mean and consistent but boy is it fun.

And last but not least are the Combo decks; Owling Mine, Dredge(?), and Mono-Blue Gift.
Owling Mine (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1695679#paper)

I am so glad this can happen, Owling Mine is one of my favorite decks of all time and we get almost all the pieces. Ebony Owl Netsuke, Black Vise, and Fevered Visions give us repeatable damage based on cards in hand while Cerebral Vortex, Molten Psyche, Runeflare Trap, and Toil /// Trouble give us extra spell based damage. Arcane Denial keeps their threats off board and fills their hand while Prosperity, Vision Skeins, and Dictate of Kruphix. make sure both players have full hands. I'm ecstatic to see one of my favorite decks playable in my format.

Mono-Blue Gift (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1700134#paper)

Taking a hint from a Standard season gone by, Mono-Blue Gift aims to reanimate a massive threat as quick as possible using Argivian Restoration and God-Pharaoh's Gift. The big bads we sport are Ulamog's Crusher, Artisan of Kozilek, and the main guy Desolation Twin. Our ways of getting Gift and it's targets into the grave are pretty solid including Taigam's Scheming, Contingency Plan, Careful Study, and Frantic Search. Early game we can get Judge's Familiar for disruption or Hapless Researcher for additional digging. Nothing too spicy in the sideboard but two copies of Tolarian Winds are a nice touch in my opinion.

Dredge(?) (https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1699312#paper)

You may be wondering why Dredge (?) has that question mark, it's because this deck really isn't a dredge deck, it has more in common with Hollow One than anything else. The one Dredge card run is Golgari Brownscale which is included more for it's life gain than anything else and is completely on the chopping block for if the deck gets upgraded. We run a lot of rummage effects and discard payoffs to get both value and threats into the right zones. Our payoffs are cards like Basking Rootwalla, Flameblade Adept, and Wild Mongrel while we run Faithless Looting and Tormenting Voice to get the right cards into the right zones. Bloodsoaked Champion is a card that works similar to Rootwalla in the deck and helps us with repeatable aggro. This deck is shaky, I wasn't sure if I should lean on the graveyard or discard strat so it's very open to improvement. I do want to point out the inclusion of Darigaaz's Caldera in our mana base though since I love the lair cards.

Now these aren't all the possible decks of the format, I mentioned Tron earlier and that was good reason. The main problem is there are some pieces of decks that I personally can't figure out how to make, and it's my hope you guys can. Here's a quick list of decks that can be made, I just couldn't figure out.

  • Storm - (Grapeshot, Empty the Warrens, Fecundity.)
  • Affinity - (Galvanic Blast, Dispatch, Carapace Forger, Ardent Recruit, most of the artifact lands)
  • Death and Taxes - (Lodestone Golem, Vryn Wingmare, Flickerwisp)
  • Tron - (Cloudpost and other Locuses, Eldrazi)
  • Charbelcher - (Goblin Charbelcher)
  • Mill - (Drowned Secrets, Jace's Erasure)
  • Chromatic Beatdown - (Glass of the Guildpact, cheap multicolor creatures.)

Baroque is a format full of possibility, if you're willing to give it a shot leave a deck list below. Let's play on untap. Try the format with your friends and tell me about it. Baroque is something I want to see more of in the community. Even if you don't try it out, leave a comment. I love hearing from you guys. As always this has been East2west with CCC.

Here's the current list of cards legal in Baroque: Full List


East2West is an aspiring writer from NJ currently seeking fame and fortune on the internet. She's been playing Magic since Zendikar block (the original one) and is a commander player with one deck for each two color pair and one for each single color. The only non EDH deck she plays is her own personal Pauper brew, Pauper Eggs. Follow her on her newly created and probably soon to be underused twitter @East2WestMTG.

Mar 16, 2019 by East2West
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