Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dragons of Tarkir Modern - Podless Pod

Hi Everyone,
Since I returned to Magic and started on Magic Online I have always been fascinated by Birthing Pod decks. I loved the way they could search up creatures to solve various problems like a box of tools. I suppose it started back when I started playing in 1994 that having general answers that could be searched for was a cool idea.

Later Gifts Ungiven let me create situations that were great for me and awful for my opponent using a deck full of one-ofs and four Gifts Ungiven.

Now that Pod is gone from modern and the format (not unlike before) is merely a field of combo decks and the best non-combo deck (Abzan).

One of the great strengths of Pod was that it was able to disrupt to keep the combo opponents from going off while still having good creatures that could win the game without a combo win.

An idea I have always kicked around is podless pod. An Abzan color beatdown deck that contains the combo pieces for the "Melira" combo finish from Pod decks.

I have always liked the idea of Melira but let's face it, she's just a combo piece and isn't good against anything except infect and in weird special board states where it lets you infinity block with a finks or redcap and your opponent can't remove Melira or the finks.

How about the new Anafenza from Dragons of Tarkir? She's double white but that's not that big of a deal in Modern with 10 fetch lands and all the shock, filter, and whatever other lands there are. She can serve as a better Melira in beatdown decks. She makes all your stuff bigger and gets rid of that pesky -1/-1 counter on your finks or redcap.

It seems like there are eight different ways to have "infinity persist" and sacrificing creatures isn't hard with cards like Viscera Seer and Spawning Pit (I'm sure there are more cheap sacrifice outlets that I'm overlooking right now).

I think the main benefit of Anafenza in podless pod is that it's a good card on it's own, it beefs up Finks, Redcaps, Voices, and even Birds. I'm not sure if this card could make a non-combo beatdown deck a playable deck in Modern, but I think it can make a decent combo deck.

Once Dragons is out online, I'm going to brew a little and see if I can come up with some sweet podless pod variants. I think it's a cool idea that could do will in a format like the current Modern format.

The only thing I am unsure of is that later Pod decks turned into value decks and lost any combo completely. I just wonder if running more good cards that kill the opponent is better than having a combo deck that has some good creatures.

Keep an eye out for a follow up article with a video once Dragons is available on Magic Online.

Dragons of Tarkir: combat tricks

Surprises are not welcomed during a draft. You should be able to predict what your opponent may be holding in his hand in order to minimalize the risk of misplay. To this end, I've prepared a list of cards that do unexpected combat tricks, hence only instants were taken into consideration.

WhiteArtful Maneuver, Center Soul, Enduring Victory, Fate Forgotten, Hidden Dragonslayer, Radiant Purge, Surge of Righteousness.
BlueBlessed Reincarnation, Dance of the Skywise, Glint, Ojutai's Breath.
BlackButcher's Glee, Coat with Venom, Death Wind, Flatten, Foul Renewal, Foul-Tongue Invocation, Foul-Tongue Shriek, Silumgar Assassin, Ultimate Price.
RedAtarka Efreet, Draconic Roar, Kindled Fury, Rending Volley, Sarkhan's Rage, Tail Slash, Twin Bolt, Volcanic Rush.
GreenAinok Survivalist, Display of Dominance, Dromoka's Gift, Inspiring Call, Pinion Feast, Press the Advantage, Revealing Wind, Shape the Sands, Tread Upon
MultiAtarka's Command, Dromoka's Command, Kolaghan's Command, Ojutai's Command, Silumgar's Command.

The Modern Bible of RG Tron Chapter six - The Titan deck

This week we will present the second of our three deck lists for RG Tron. We will call this deck list "Titan" as it features Sundering Titan.

The plan
The strategy remains the same as detailed in the other chapters.

If Sundering Titan does not get all their lands, we have the best endgame in the format with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.

Sundering Titan
Against decks that rely on many colors of Mana (such as Abzan or Scapeshift) a resolved Sundering Titan can often win you the game.

If you include Sundering Titan in your deck, it is very common to also include a Cavern of Souls (as discussed in chapter two) to make sure you can resolve him against control decks (that are often devastated by the Titan's ability).

Sundering Titan and Ulamog are mutually exclusive, as they occupy the same spot in the deck.

I was very dismissive of Sundering Titan in my early Tron career, but lately I have learned to love him.

The Deck List
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Eye of Ugin
1 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Powerplant
4 Urza's Tower

1 Sundering Titan
3 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Spellskite
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

4 Oblivion Stone
4 Karn Liberated

4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
4 Expedition Map
4 Sylvan Scrying
4 Ancient Stirrings
2 Relic of Progenitus
4 Pyroclasm

4 Nature's Claim
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Spellskite
2 Boil
2 Torpor Orb
3 Combust
1 Firespout

Changing the sideboard
Naturally you have to adapt your SB to metagame changes. This is just a sample sideboard. We will discuss sideboarding extensively in upcoming chapters (starting in chapter eleven)

For a full list of the chapters of The Modern Bible check out this link:

MTGO Library Bot 9.44

With ML Bot 9.44 we fixed a couple of annoying problems affecting mtgo.

  • First of all, the bot will restart mtgo if no trades occour after 5 minutes from accepting a trade. This is a mechanism to prevent the trade-lock still happening on v4. We already addressed the lock months ago by coding a 45-minutes timer (the bot will restart mtgo if no trades occur in 45 minutes) but this 5-minutes mechanism should be more effective and result in less downtime
  • We found and optimized a database query that used to took 15 seconds - during that time the bot was not reactive and was unable to accept trades
  • Fixed a bug with saving the bot settings when the bot restarts the system

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Vintage Decks - Mentor

Hi Everyone!

This week I played a lot of Standard after playing months of nothing but Vintage. I learned a lot in these couple weeks of nothing but standard. I learned that you can actually use f6 in Standard a lot more than in Vintage because it gives information away to be f6'd. That's not that important.

What is important is that everyone's been badmouthing white as a weak Vintage color. They aren't wrong, but there are some sweet options for white in Vintage.

The first sideboard card I absolutely love is Containment Priest. It stops oath, dredge, reanimator, and tinker or Kuldotha Forgemaster Blightsteel strategies and it's got flash. It's worth as much as an entire Commander deck right now. I don't see that as a losing proposition investment wise.

But here's the thing that's been a rage since it's release, Monastery Mentor.

I whipped up a blue white black deck and took it out for some games. The deck performed well. I think it needs another mana source or two at least but it was still super cool and fun to play. Plus most of the time untapping with a Mentor and two monk tokens ends the game.

The sideboard is tailored to the stax and dredge match. I'm also really happy that I have another solution to oath. I think containment priest is one of the better cards available in white for Vintage.

I have a Kataki and four energy flux against stax. I only have 5 cards vs stax but I pretty any one of them wrecks their day. Two is game over. Enjoy the games below!

Here's the match:

Here's the decklist:
1 Brainstorm
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Ponder
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
3 Gitaxian Probe
1 Mox Jet
1 Flusterstorm
4 Flooded Strand
2 Mystic Remora
2 Tundra
2 Cavern of Souls
3 Monastery Mentor
2 Underground Sea
4 Polluted Delta
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
3 Thoughtseize
3 Cabal Therapy
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Notion Thief
1 Treasure Cruise
2 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Mox Pearl
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Swords to Plowshares
2 Island
1 Plains
1 Consecrated Sphinx
1 Mana Crypt

2 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Kataki, War's Wage
4 Energy Flux
4 Rest in Peace
4 Containment Priest

Play Pauper like Gary Busey (RB Flashback)

Back in December we talked about Mono Black Land Destruction in this article:

My Magic mentor, Power_T, took the list, added red and made it into something similar but different.

Lets meet Gary Busey the Pauper Deck.

l1 Mountain
5 Swamp
2 Radiant Fountain
4 Rakdos Carnarium
4 Bloodfell Caves
3 Bojuka Bog
3 Terramorphic Expanse

4 Cuombaij Witches
2 Crypt Rats
4 Phyrexian Rager
4 Chittering Rats

4 Firebolt
4 Dark Ritual
3 unearth
4 Chainers Edict
4 Rancid Earth
2 Stone Rain
4 Earth Rift


1 Unearth
3 Gorilla Shaman
3 Pyroblast
1 Crypt Rats
3 Oubliette
4 Gary Busey from Asphodel

Sideboard plan
Affinity: -10 LD, -2 cuombaij,  +1 unearth, +3 gorilla shaman, +1 crypt rats, +3 oubliette, +4 gary
(Random) Aggro: -9 LD (keep 1 rancid), +1 unearth, +1 crypt rats, +3 oubliette, +4 gary
R Burn: -4 chainer's, -2 firebolt,+4 gary, +1 crypt rats, +1 unearth
Delver: -10 LD, +3 pyroblast, +1 crypt rats, +3 oubliette, +3 gary
Delverfiend: -10 LD, +3 pyroblast, +1 crypt rats, +3 oubliette, +1 unearth, +2 gary
Goblins: = Random aggro
Familiars: -4 chittering rats, +3 pyroblast, +1 crypt rats
Hexproof: -4 firebolt, +1 crypt rats, +1 unearth, +2 gary
Izzet Control: -10 LD, -2 cuombaij, +3 pyroblast, +1 unearth, +1 crypt rats, +3 oubliette, +4 gary
MBC: -4 cuombaij, +1 crypt rats, +1 unearth, +2 oubliette
RUG Tron: -4 cuombaij, -4 firebolt, +3 oubliette, +1 unearth, +1 crypt rats, +3 pyroblast
Stompy: = Random aggro
Ugw Turbomill: -4 chainer's, -2 crypt rats, -1 firebolt, +3 pyroblast, +4 gary

Sample matches
Here are two matches with the deck.

So why is the deck called Gary Busey? Well, it is a long story. Ask Power_T to tell you in a comment to a video on MagicGatheringStrat featuring the deck :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

MTGO Library Bot 9.42

ML Bot 9.42 is a major update addressing speed issues (mainly Mtgo speed issues).

  • We worked hard to make the bot interact lighter with Mtgo with the final goal of having less freezes. In fact every time Mtgo freezes you lose 15-20 seconds and your customers won't be happy. Of course we cannot simply "fix" Mtgo and make it fast, but we can try to act as light as possible in order to avoid unnecessary freezes. 
  • Picking cards via wishlist will now cause less freezes - in the end the bot will faster in buying mode
  • ML Bot 9.42 fixes also a problem with the chat messages and the "@" symbol - the bot was unable to send it with the result that email addresses got trimmed.
  • Card quote messages are now simplified in order to have less "wall of texts", less clutter, in the chats
  • Login is now 7 seconds faster

Before adding new functionalities we will work on speed. This is necessary because, Wednesday after Wednesday, Mtgo became slower and slower and demanding more resources.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Standard Decks - Waste Not

Hi Everyone!

Standard is currently a format with many, many viable decks. I think Wizards is making the game very much a tempo game that makes each game more based on chance than on skill. I don't like that aspect of the game, but that's how Wizards has made Magic so successful.

The thing I do like is that there are many viable decks and it's a more diverse environment than Modern (that's pretty sad that the new non-rotating format is less diverse than standard). I played a deck this week featuring Waste Not. It's a little silly and relies a lot on Waste Not, but is still a neat deck.

Here's the decklist for the video posted above.

4 Dismal Backwater
1 Island
5 Swamp
4 Temple of Deceit
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Thoughtseize
4 Waste Not
4 Sign in Blood
2 Bile Blight
4 Dark Deal
4 Rakshasa's Secret
3 Hero's Downfall
3 Tasigur, the Golden Fang
4 Gurmag Angler
4 Treasure Cruise
1 Empty the Pits
4 Bloodstained Mire
4 Polluted Delta

2 Bile Blight
1 Hero's Downfall
2 Drown in Sorrow
4 Murderous Cut

It's mono-black with blue for Treasure Cruise. match above was great because it was against UB control and they tend to hold a lot of cards in hand so it made any discard spells awesome when I had Waste Not. I think I had to discard at least a couple times to hand size because I had so much card advantage.

Later in the week, I was playing a GW devotion and my opponent was playing the Waste Not deck. I thought the game was a lock to win because my opponent had double Waste Not and 6 zombies but had a Whisperwood Elemental, Polukranos, several manifested creatures, and a couple of other creatures and could have just attacked for the win on my next turn.

Well, it didn't go that way, my opponent played Whelming Wave!!!! I had to return all my stuff to my hand and he played dark deal so I discarded all my creatures for an awesome opening hand with a Elvish Mystic and Sylvan Caryatid for the turn 3 Whisperwood Elemental. The unfortunate thing was that my new hand was not prepared to win versus 15 zombie tokens that would be attacking next turn.

Next time you're sleeving up your Waste Not deck in Standard, remember that Whelming wave pretty much turned a game from un-losable for me to un-winnable. It was quite the swing.

There is a drawback to whelming wave that it doesn't return certain types of creatures. If you look around standard, none of those are a problem. In fact, I think the only time I had seen one of those creatures in play is when Kiora ultimated, so don't let that little drawback steer you away from adding a sweet card to your deck that could make Waste Not into a real deck.

The Modern Bible of RG Tron Chapter five - The Ulamog Deck

This week we will present the first of our three deck lists for RG Tron. We will call this deck list "Ulamog" as it features The Infinite Gyre.

This deck list does not play Emrakul
We will talk further about that in Chapter 24.

The plan
The strategy remains the same as detailed in the other chapters. We are just assuming that three Wurmcoil Engines and Ulamog will be enough to finish the opponent. In chapter 24 we will argue why this is highly likely.

Slaughter Games and Llanowar Wastes/Tendo Ice Bridge
As we are not playing Sundering Titan, we can use our one flexible land slot to help us get Black Mana for Slaugher Games (a devastating sideboard card against many decks). We will go deeper into how to use Slaughter Games when we discuss sideboarding in general and the SB plan for this deck in chapter 17. You need a minimum of 3 Slaughter Games and you really want 4.

Ulamog, the Aeons Torn
Ulamog might look weak compared to Emrakul but is primarily used in two ways. The first way is a bridge between assembling Tron and casting Emrakul. Emrakul often comes down on turn six or seven, which may be too late against many decks. To be able to cast an Ulamog on turn five and get the benefit from the Vindicate effect might be enough to rescue you. The second way to use Ulamog is as the ultimate finisher of the deck. His only weakness is Path to Exile. If he is not Path to Exiled, he will often win you the game. Annihilator 4 and Indestructible goes a long way. If the opponent somehow manages to remove your Ulamog, you can often just search for him with Eye of Ugin and recast him (against Counterspells mostly).

The Deck List
1 Tendo Ice Bridge
1 Eye of Ugin
1 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Powerplant
4 Urza's Tower

1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
3 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Spellskite

4 Oblivion Stone
4 Karn Liberated

4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
4 Expedition Map
4 Sylvan Scrying
4 Ancient Stirrings
3 Relic of Progenitus
4 Pyroclasm

4 Nature's Claim
3 Slaughter Games
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Spellskite
2 Boil
2 Torpor Orb
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Changing the sideboard
Naturally you have to adapt your SB to metagame changes. This is just a sample sideboard. We will discuss sideboarding extensively in upcoming chapters (starting in chapter eleven)

For a full list of the chapters of The Modern Bible check out this link:

How to draft Dragons of Tarkir?

I'm going to present you the list of cards, starting from the best pick during the draft and ending on the least desirable card. For instance, if you don't have any card from "2nd pick" card pool you look for cards in "3rd pick". Cards not mentioned below shouldn't appear in your deck. Notwithstanding, cards like vanilla creature 2/2 for 2 mana are as well essential in your deck in order to be able to stop early threats of your opponent.

1st pick:
white: Sunscorch Regent,.
blue: Icefall Regent.
black: Deathbringer Regent, Sidsi, Undead Vizier.
red: Thunderbreak Regent.
multi: Arashin Sovereign, Boltwing Marauder, Harbringer of the Hunt, Necromaster Dragon, Pristine Skywise, Sarkhan Unbroken, Dragonlord Dromoka, Dragonlord Silumgar, Dragonlord Kolaghan, Dragonlord Ojutai, Dragonlord Atarka.

2nd pick
white: Enduring Victory, Pacifism, Aven Sunstriker, Arashin Foremost, Hidden Dragonslayer, Secure the Wastes, Ojutai Examplars.
blue: Ojutai Intercepter, Silumgar Sorcerer, Illusory Gains, Stratus Dancer.
green: Shaman of Forgotten Ways, Deathmist Raptor.
black: Ultimate Price, Silumgar Assasin.
red: Sarkhan's Rage, Roast, Crater Elemental, Dragon Whisperer.
multi: Dromoka's Command, Kolaghan's Command, Silumgar's Command, Narset Transcendent.

3rd pick:
white: Dromoka Dunecaster, Dromoka Warrior, Herald of Dromoka, Lightwalker, Misthoof Kirin, Sandcrafter Mage, Sangdstorm Charger, Student of Ojutai, Dragon Hunter, Dromoka Captain, Echoes of the Kin Tree, Glaceblade Artisan, Scale Blessing, Shieldhide Dragon, Silkwrap, Strongarm Monk, Anafeza, Kin-Tree Spirit, Myth Realized, Profound Journey, Gleam of Authority.
blue: Elusive Spellfist, Gurmag Drowner, Monastery Loremaster, Ojutai's Breath, Ojutai's Summons, Palace Familiar, Reduce in Stature, Sidsi's Faithfull, Zephyr Scribe, Belltoll Dragon, Dance of the Skywise, Gudul Lurker, Sight Beyond Sight, Silumgar Spell-Eater, Youthful Scholar, Profaner of the Dead, Dragonslord's Prerogative.
black: Butcher's Glee, Defeat, Flatten, Hand of Silmugar, Kolaghan Skirmisher, Reckless Imp, Sibsig Icebreakers, Silumgar Butcher, Vulturous Aven, Ambuscade Shaman, Blood-Chin Ragger, Death Wind, Foul-Tounge Invocation, Marang River Skeleton, Minister of Pain, Rakshasa Gravecaller, Ukud Cobra, Foul Renawal, Risen Executioner, Damnable Pact, Pitiless Horde.
red: Atarka Efreet, Dragon Fodder, Hardened Berserker, Kindled Fury, Kolaghan Aspirant, Screemreach Brawler, Sprinting Warbrute, Summit Prowler, Tail Slash, Twin Bolt, Atarka Pummeler, Dragonic Roar, Kolaghan Forerunners, Lightning Berserker, Qal Sisma Behemoth, Seismic Rupture, Stormcrag Elemental, Stormwing Dragon, Descent of the Dragons, Ire Shaman, Zurgo Bellstriker.
green: Aerie Bowmaster, Ainok Artillerist, Atarka Beastbreaker, Colossodon Yearling, Conifer Strider, Dragon-Scarred Bear, Epic Confrontation, Glade Watcher, Guardian Shield-Bearer, Pinion Feast, Servant of the Scale, Sheltered Aerie, Stampeding Elk Herd, Tread Upon, Ainok Survivalist, Dromoka's Gift, Explosive Vegetation, Herdchaser Dragon, Lurking Arynx, Press the Adventage, Salt Road Ambushers, Salt Road Quartermasters, Scaleguard Sentinels, Foe-Razer Regent.
multi: Cunning Breezedancer, Enduring Scalelord, Ruthless Deathfang, Savage Ventmaw, Swift Warkite, Atarka's Command, Ojutai's Command.
artifact: Scion of Ugin, 5 Monuments, Dragonloft Idol.
land: Evolving Wild.

Friday, March 20, 2015

MTGO Library Bot 9.40

With ML Bot version 9.40 we fixed the function "restart Mtgo every X hours". The function is located on the General Tab of the bot client and it restarts Mtgo to avoid generic system instabilities.
That function was not working properly in previous bot versions - the bot was simply ignoring it and not  restarting Mtgo. With ML Bot 9.40 we fixed the bug and now the bot restarts Mtgo correctly. We strongly suggest to restart Mtgo every 3 - 4 hours.

ML Bot 9.40 fixes also a curl crash happening on screen with the error message "cURL has stopped working".

Finally we observed that many customers, when buying cards, do not have enough tixs in the active trade binder. The bot now writes an explicit message saying "You have only X tixs tradable, please add more to your active trade binder" instead of the generic message "You do not have enough tixs".

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Modern Masters 2015 Finance Advice

Hi Everyone,

Modern Masters 2015 is coming out in about two months. I want to discuss what "masters" sets do to card values.

A lot of people complain because cards that are expensive like Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant drop a lot in value because there is a greater supply.

 This mentality is plain wrong. You need to not look at what's losing, you need to look at what's gaining. When Vintage Masters was out the prices were sky high on Vintage (and some Legacy) staples that were not found in Vintage Masters.

My advice to you is to avoid the "mainstream" cards like Goyf and Bob and buy the cards that aren't expected to be in Modern Masters 2015. Then sell them when the set is on sale and the "Modern" craze is in full swing.

Then when the set goes off sale, buy them again.

I'm betting that it's going to be like wasteland (hit a peak of around $140 last summer) for cards that are staples but not in the set.

Then once Modern Masters goes off sale everyone will start on the "Return to Zendikar" craze and want to buy fetch lands again (they can't have Zendikar without Fetches, can they) and the entire cycle will mimic the prices of Vintage cards when VMA was out.

Turbo Exhume in Pauper

Delve has changed Pauper fundamentally. There are just so many ways to fill up your graveyard that an entirely new range of decks have appeared.

One of the videomakers on the MagicGatheringStrat YouTube channel, Tobias, had an interesting delve-inspire take on the old Exhume-Ulamog's Crusher combo.

Meet Turbo Exhume!

This deck plays extremely aggressively, active searching for Exhume + Ulamog's Crusher and often just playing Gurmag Anglers by accident while storming through the deck.

Here is a great example of how fast the deck is.

Here is the deck list:

4 Geothermal Crevice
4 Sandstone Needle
4 Sulfur Vent
4 Swamp
4 Lotus Petal
4 Manamorphose

4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Faithless Looting
4 Tormenting Voice
2 Wild Guess

4 Exhume
4 Dragon Breath
2 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Gurmag Angler
4 Ulamog's Crusher

3 Electrickery
2 Magma Spray
4 Pyroblast
4 Ingot Chewer
2 Duress

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

MTGO Library Bot 9.35

We just released ML Bot v. 9.35, this is a minor update over version 9.34 with slightly more debugging and verbose log files.

Monday, March 16, 2015

MTGO Library Bot 9.33 and 9.34

Yesterday we released ML Bot 9.33 and 9.34. These two versions improve version 9.32 ( and introduces some speed ups.

The login is now faster and the bot does not reload the collection twice when starting. The overall speed up is around 15-25 seconds. We also changed slightly the way the bot clicks the "Submit" button to make sure MTGO does not lag while pressing it. If mtgo lags there it could miss the click and does not move to the final confirm window.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Standard Decks - GW Devotion

Hi Everyone!

I'm sure everyone has heard that the GP Miami finals featured nearly the same 75 cards in a mirror match. It wasn't anything monumental because the deck was basically a green devotion deck with a couple Fleecemane Lions and Mastry of the Unseen.

You can watch the youtube video of the match below but I warn you that it is very long and tedious to watch.

This looks like the new deck to beat. It has a great match against control because of Mastery of the Unseen and it has a great match vs the aggro decks because it's got Sylvan Caryatids and Fleecemane Lions to block until it can start turning up manifested creatures and gaining a bunch of life.

The thing that appears to be blatantly understated is the power of Temur Sabertooth in this deck.

If you watch the match from GP Miami you'll see that the "return a creature ability" is amazing because it can return a manifested creature. You can return a Nykthos or a face down spell you want to play. It can also return Polukranos and Genesis Hydra when they are face up. I can't say enough things about Temur Sabertooth in this deck.

I played with the deck a little and found that the one thing that broke stalemates and made the deck faster in a lot of situations was the sabertooth ability. I have been running 3 and I think that's too many. I think 2 is the right number of sabertooths because it's such a sweet card.

The Modern Bible of RG Tron Chapter Four - The Bombs

This week we will talk about the bombs - the cards that win you the game. You have assembled the Tron and defended yourself using the stuff in your engine. Now it is time to reap the rewards.

Your plan is always to assemble the Tron and then play huge effects that are just bigger than anything your opponent is trying to do. This week we are talking about these huge effects.

Karn Liberated
Make no mistake, RG Tron is a Karn Liberated deck. We must always play four Karns (even though he can sometimes be sideboarded out). Some people would have included him in the engine section (chapter three) but read that ultimate again. Yes, that is true, Karn is a bomb. Karn wins you the game single-handedly. He provides inevitability even against opponents gaining infinite life, as he can just restart the game.

You must learn how to play Karn properly. He is the most important card in the deck. That is why I have dedicated chapter 21 to playing Karn.

Wurmcoil Engine
Often overshadowed by the larger creatures, the engines are your bread and butter. Often, you need no other big creature to win the game. In fact, in many sideboarded matches you will play no bigger creature as they are too slow to affect the outcome of the game. The resiliency of Wurmcoil combined with the Lifegain is essential to the deck.

Wurmcoil sometimes becomes the victim of Path to Exile. A very common sideboard strategy is to hit your own Wurmcoil with Nature's Claim against aggressive decks when they try to Path it or when it is tapped out because it was attacking.

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
This Modern Masters 2015 all-star is the most powerful creature in Magic.  Playing one copy of her and searching for her with Eye of Ugin ensures that RG Tron has the most powerful lategame in Modern. Yes, more powerful than anyone else. It is not often that playing Emrakul does not win you the game outright. It can happen but not very often.

In Chapter 24 I will make a strong case that we don't even need this giant she-beast in the deck (in fact our build in chapter 5 will banish Emrakul to the sideboard), but that is for later. For now, rest assured that her presence makes sure that no control deck can control us.

Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
Ulamog might look weak compared to Emrakul but is primarily used in two ways. The first way is a bridge between assembling Tron and casting Emrakul. Emrakul often comes down on turn six or seven, which may be too late against many decks. To be able to cast an Ulamog on turn five and get the benefit from the Vindicate effect might be enough to rescue you. The second way to use Ulamog is as the ultimate finisher of the deck. His only weakness is Path to Exile. If he is not Path to Exiled, he will often win you the game. Annihilator 4 and Indestructible goes a long way. If the opponent somehow manages to remove your Ulamog, you can often just search for him with Eye of Ugin and recast him (against Counterspells mostly).

Sundering Titan
What has been said for Ulamog can often be said for Sundering Titan. They shine in different matchups though. Against decks that rely on many colors of Mana (such as Abzan or Scapeshift) a resolved Sundering Titan can often win you the game.

If you include Sundering Titan in your deck, it is very common to also include a Cavern of Souls (as discussed in chapter two) to make sure you can resolve him against control decks (that are often devastated by the Titan's ability).

Sundering Titan and Ulamog are mutually exclusive, as they occupy the same spot in the deck.

I was very dismissive of Sundering Titan in my early Tron career, but lately I have learned to love him.

The builds in chapter five-seven
In the coming three weeks I will present three builds of the RG Tron deck, each one focusing on Emrakul, Ulamog and Sundering Titan.

Which build is the best? Well, that depends on your metagame. We will address this question later.

Huge creatures that you do not need
Kozilek, buther of Truth
Blightsteel Colossus

These (and other) giant fatties are not what you are looking for. In fact, you want to play as few bombs as you can get away with. You just need the inevitability and to survive. These creatures do not help you survive well enough to motivate their inclusion.

Do sideboard out the bombs
You often sideboard out your bombs. I will discuss this further in chapter eleven.

Emrakul, especially, is often way too slow to make a difference against fast decks such as Infect or Burn.

NIn the coming three weeks I will present three sample deck lists of RG Tron.

For a full list of the chapters of The Modern Bible check out this link:

Rise of the Eldrazi: flashback drafts

Rise of the Eldrazi drafts are coming back this Wednesday and will fire for the next 2 weeks.

Magic Online offers three types of drafts: Swiss, 8:4 and 4-3-2-2. Simply put, Swiss and 8-4 queues both provide a total of 12 packs in prizes, whereas the 4-3-2-2 queues provide only 11. However, ROE flashback drafts will introduce totally new prize structure 6-2-2-2. Quick math suggests that such drafts are more attractive now, thanks to 1 extra booster pack in prize pool. Who knows, maybe one day such drafts will replace standard 4-3-2-2. But before it happens, set lower prices on money cards from ROE, which are: Splinter Twin, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Linvala, Keeper of the Silence, Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, All is Dust, Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, Vengevine.

Friday, March 13, 2015

MTGO Library Bot 9.32

ML Bot 9.32 is a major bot update introducing stability fixes and new features.

  • The tracking of the inventory and of the tradable items has been rewritten. This was necessary because 3 weeks ago MTGO changed the way it handles the collections xml files and the bot needed to adapt.
  • We added the removal of multiple cards in buying mode, for example by typing "1 3! 5" in the chat.
  • We added to command "type 0 to remove all" in buying mode
  • The bot now detects faster the blinking of the submit button
  • On larger screens, the lateral Info Panel will expand till 500 pixels, for better readability

There are many other little things we did under the hood to improve performances and stability - we are sure you will like ML Bot 9.32 and that it will lead to better businesses.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Standard Decks - Jeskai Tokens

Hi Everyone!

Lately, I have been playing a lot of Standard format and I wanted to share a video I posted of me playing Standard Jeskai Tokens. I talk all about the deck in the video so you can check it out below.

The decklist is below but I think my opponent was well prepared for the mirror and probably had less game against a wider field of decks in the format. Either way, it was an ok match even though I got run over both games. I think it's likely that my list has less "small creature" removal than my opponent. They ran a lot of cheap removal that worked well against other aggro decks but probably wouldn't do much vs control.

Here's the deck list in case you don't have time to watch the video:

2 Gods Willing
4 Raise the Alarm
3 Soulfire Grand Master
2 Valorous Stance
4 Monastery Mentor
4 Treasure Cruise
3 Lightning Strike
3 Hordeling Outburst
1 Outpost Siege
4 Stoke the Flames
4 Jeskai Ascendancy
1 Jeskai Charm
3 Battlefield Forge
3 Flooded Strand
2 Island
3 Mountain
4 Mystic Monastery
2 Plains
1 Shivan Reef
3 Temple of Epiphany
3 Temple of Triumph
1 Wild Slash

2 Outpost Siege
2 Erase
1 Glare of Heresy
1 Valorous Stance
1 End Hostilities
1 Magma Spray
1 Anger of the Gods
3 Disdainful Stroke
3 Negate

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Modern Decks - The Land Deck

Hi Everyone,
Last year I posted a video on the magicgatheringstrat youtube channel. It ended up being one of the most popular videos on the site and was a viewer favorite.

Today I wanted to talk about the deck a little because I played it last week and had some fun playing it. Also, since Treasure Cruise and DTT are banned now, it's a playable deck again. It was just too hard to beat a deck with good tempo AND the ability to stay in long games with cards like treasure cruise (I'm talking about UR delver). Pod surprisingly wasn't as rough of a matchup as I thought because pod relied so much on creatures and I could kill his early mana weenies and Finks so he couldn't pod early on, then use seismic assault to kill anything he plays or pods for at instant speed. There reached a point if the game lasted long enough where it was unbeatable by pod.

Here's a link to the first installment of the deck:

It was a popular video because it was a deck of 44 land and 16 spells that have great synergy with land cards. The video contains the rundown of the spells and lands.

Last week I got the deck out again and made some updates. Here's the list:

3 Fire-Lit Thicket
3 Raging Ravine
4 Stomping Ground
1 Mountain
3 Ghitu Encampment
3 Treetop Village
3 Tectonic Edge
4 Seismic Assault
3 Life from the Loam
1 Island
2 Scalding Tarn
3 Ghost Quarter
2 Reliquary Tower
2 Crucible of Worlds
4 Wooded Foothills
1 Steam Vents
1 Blood Crypt
4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Bloodstained Mire
1 Swamp
1 Forest
2 Flame Jab
3 Countryside Crusher
2 Trade Routes

I think the deck is now better tuned and can beat control matchups with the addition of Raven's crime in the sideboard. Last week I played a few matches with the new revised list and I recorded one because I Thought it was a good match that showed off the capabilities of the deck.

I doubt it will ever be tournament playable, but it's a great deck that's fun to play and I'd recommend taking a stab at your own version of a land deck.

The Modern Bible of RG Tron chapter three - The Engine

This week we will talk about the engine - all the cards that make RG Tron the efficient Timmy machine that it is.

Your plan is always to assemble the Tron and then play huge effects that are just bigger than anything your opponent is trying to do. Your engine cards help you accomplish that.

The search cards
4 Expedition Map
4 Sylvan Scrying

You are a deck that is reliant on having the three different Urza lands in play. Go find them with these cards. The fourth card you fetch is most often Eye of Ugin.

The Eggs
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star

These cards enable you to play a 52 card deck while color-fixing. They are great. They are what makes the machinery tick.

Note that Stars are a lot better than Spheres as they let you draw a card if they are randomly destroyed instead of used for their color effect. This can become useful when you have sideboarded in Nature's Claim and target your own cards to gain the 4 life.

The insane Cantrip
4 Ancient Stirrings

There are cards that are worse than this card that are banned in the format. Consider what Ancient Stirrings can do for you with all your colorless cards compared to what Ponder or Preordain could do. Never sideboard them out. You would have liked eight of these if you were allowed to play eight.

Stuff that blows up the world
4 Oblivion Stone
0-4 Pyroclasm
0-4 All is Dust
0-2 Ugin, The Spirit Dragon

These are part of the engine as they will protect your gameplan and give you time to assemble Tron to play the win conditions.

In a Zoo-heavy meta, some number of Pyroclasms can be replaced with Firespouts. Firespout is a much worse card than Pyroclasm. You really want to kill creatures on turn 2 if you can.

We will discuss these cards more when we discuss specific matchups.

Note that Oblivion Stone is by far the superior of these cards and extensive testing has shown that you should play four of these. There are matchups where they are sideboarded out but it happens rarely.

The optional cards
2-4 Relic of Progenitus
0-4 Spellskite

These are pre-sideboarded cards, mainly included because they are useful in a lot of matchups. These are often the cards that come out for more useful cards when sideboarding.

They are in the main deck because they are super powerful in certain matchups, such as Relic of Progenitus vs Living End or Spellskite vs Infect.

In certain rare metagames, some other cards could be included in the main deck. We will discuss them when we discuss the sideboard options for the deck.

Do not sideboard out the engine
A very common mistake is to sideboard out cards that enable you to find Tron. In a certain small set of matchups this can be correct, but it is generally wrong. This deck plays somewhat like a combo deck and you do not want to weaken your chance of assembling the combo (Tron + bomb).

If you are facing a very fast opponent, it might sometimes be correct to sideboard out one Sylvan Scrying as it is the slowest way to complete your Tron. I often sideboard out one Chromatic Sphere as well. That is it. Do not hurt the engine more than that and if you can avoid doing it, please keep them in the deck.

If you can, only sideboard out cards that are in the optional card section above. We will discuss this at length in chapter eleven.

Absolutely never sideboard out Chromatic Stars, Ancient Stirrings or Expedition Maps.

Next week we will talk about the win conditions in the deck. They are few but powerful.

For a full list of the chapters of The Modern Bible check out this link:

Dragons of Tarkir: mechanics

Dragons of Tarkir set is on the way, hence it is high time to introduce new mechanics:

  • Rebound - lets you cast an instant or sorcery spell a second time for free during your next upkeep. If you cast a spell with rebound from your hand, you exile it instead of putting it into your graveyard. Rebound works only if the spell resolves. This is the new Jeskai mechanic, which for the first time appeared in Rise of Eldrazi set.
  • Formidable - an ability that allows you to do something if the total of power among creatures you control is 8 or greater. This is the new Temur ability.
  • Exploit - an ability which states that when this creature enters the battlefield, you may sacrifice a creature. It says on the card what happens if you exploit. This is the new Sultai ability.
  • Megamorph - if you turn a face-down creature with megamorph face up by paying its megamorph cost, you put an extra +1/+1 counter on this creature. Turning a creature face-up doesn't use the stack and it can't be responded to. All clans have this mechanic. 
  • Wednesday, March 4, 2015

    Pig Trinket in Pauper

    As you know I like Pauper quite a lot. Earlier, I have introduced you to the two decks BUGs & Pigs and UB Trinket Control.

    BUGs & Pigs:

    UB Trinket Control:

    What if we combined them? What if we named the hybrid Pig Trinket?

    Here is the list:

    21 Land
    2 Bojuka Bog
    2 Jungle Hollow
    2 Simic Growth Chamber
    2 Terramorphic Expanse
    2 Thornwood Falls
    1 Tree of Tales
    1 Vault of Whispers
    2 Island
    2 Forest
    5 Swamp

    17 Spells
    2 Executioner's Capsule
    2 Sylvok Lifestaff
    2 Grim Harvest
    3 Tragic Slip
    2 Undying Evil
    4 Chainer's Edict
    2 Deep Analysis

    22 Creatures
    2 Brindle Boar
    3 Crypt Rats
    4 Fume Spitter
    2 Krosan Tusker
    4 Mulldrifter
    4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
    3 Trinket Mage

    2 Nihil Spellbomb
    4 Choking Sands
    2 Brindle Boar
    4 Thermokarst
    1 Deep Analysis
    2 Wickerbough Elder

    Let me know what you think.

    The Very Best Magic Story Ever.....That Never Actually Happened

    Hi Everyone!

    As I'm sure everyone who read the title of this article found, I'm going to talk about the greatest Magic story that never actually happened despite Mark Rosewater saying it did, and I can prove it.

    Mark Rosewater wrote an article about the pro tour hall of fame. You can read it here.

    Here's the excerpt:

    "Mike has a number of amazing plays. My favorite happened in PT Paris. Mike is playing Pros Bloom (the first successful tournament combo deck). He realizes that he is dead in a turn and needs to have his combo go off to win. The problem is that Mike's only means to go off involves him removing his only win condition from the game. But this is before decklists were shared so he gambles that his opponent doesn't know that he only has one copy of the kill card (that card being Drain Life, most other versions of the deck played two or three). He removes his win condition from the game and starts going off. Then when he gets two thirds along the way, he just shows all the cards to his opponent and says, 'Do I really need to go thought the motions?'"

    It's from the section titled "#5 – Here's Why I'm Voting For Mike Long" in the "playing ability" subsection.

    How do I know this is all made up and not a real true story? I have seen the video. Yes, there is a video.

    It's actually on youtube. Watch the video here. Oddly enough, the video only has about 880 views. I think a video like that would have been watched by thousands checking the facts on "the greatest pro tour finals play ever" (those are my words, but Mark Rosewater does call the above described moment his "favorite"). Rosewater made it sound like he had seen the video, or was there but watching the video contradicts the story about the event.

    Here's a breakdown of the video if you don't want to watch the whole thing:
    18:30 Mike Long loses game 1

    24:25 Mike long wins game 2 by showing Drain Life in hand (it is NOT exiled).

    32:15 Mike Long loses game 3.

    44:37 Mike Long wins game 4 showing drain life  (again, drain life is not exiled)

    1:01:45 Mike Long wins game 5 (this time Mark Justice did make him play it out. He drew his entire deck and played Drain Life for 22.

    At no point did Mike Long ever in the match exile Drain Life and get a concession from Mark Justice. Justice didn't concede once without seeing Drain Life in Longs hand.

    I hope this brings some truth to the story of the "exiled drain life".

    Sunday, March 1, 2015

    Modern Decks - Soul Sisters - Part 4 - Evolution

    Hi Everyone!

    I found that my Soul Sisters deck was fun to play but had the fundamental problem of all "fair" decks in Modern. It lost to combo and many control decks, especially ones with cards like electrolyze (but it dominates vs other creature decks). After trying many different variations of the deck I found that I always needed one more turn to win vs a lot of the unfair decks or they wrath me on the last turn I have before I kill my opponent.

    The deck functions in a way that there are really only 8 threats, Ajani's Pridemate and Serra Ascendant. Everything else in the deck just enables those 8 threats to be dangerous threats. The exception to this statement is Honor of the Pure. It was the card that was to make my giant army of 1/1s into a slightly bigger army that is more useful than a board of 1/1s.

    My approach to the evolution of my Soul Sisters build was to put in cards that had to be "I win now cards" because Honor of the Pure just wasn't cutting it. It made my creatures less laughable, but attacking with a 2/2 after a wrath effect isn't going to strike fear into a control players heart.

    I put in two cards that are specifically for those matches where I have 5 1/1 creatures and my opponent is at more than 5 life. It happened all the time, they were at a point where if I could get in one more attack I'd win the game.

    The first card I put in is from Kamigawa block. It's called Charge Across the Araba. It allowed me to turn my creatures into larger creatures for one turn. This was great as when I drew it and played it, I almost always won the game. It's worth noting that i don't need to return the plains until the spell is resolving. It was great but it was an all-in answer. If it didn't work I was back to square 1 with land and trying to catch up is rough. I needed something else.

    I came across Archangel of Thune (most famously from Pod decks that use it with a Spike Feeder to gain an arbitrarily large amount of life).

    When I finally read the card I realized, this is PERFECT! I had only ever thought of it as a combo piece and never thought it could be cast (to be honest I didn't realize it only cost 5 mana, I assumed it cost 6 or 7). If I play archangel and it resolves and it's ability resolves after a few soul sisters are in play, the game is over. I most often end up playing it with Windbrisk Heights and using it for the kill on a specific attack, or to ambush blockers. There's not a lot better than having 3 1/1 Soul Sisters attacking and cast an archangel off Heights at instant speed for the win when they don't block.

    Here's my final decklist how it sits today. The Charges are way less good than archangel, especially that the deck has Cavern of Souls and Windbrisk Heights now.I have considered cutting the Charges but I think only having 4 "I win now" cards isn't enough against a lot of the unfair decks in the format. I also added the maximum number of Paths to the deck because there are too many creatures that can muck up the ground early on if we don't have something really powerful. Also, with Electrolyze, players will nearly always burn two soul sisters so I added brave the elements. It can cost them the draw from electrolyze and they kill zero creatures instead of two. It takes a great trade for them, essentially a 3 for 1, and turns it into a 1 for 1, and we're happy about that.

    4 Serra Ascendant
    4 Ranger of Eos
    4 Ajani's Pridemate
    4 Path to Exile
    4 Soul Warden
    4 Soul's Attendant
    4 Archangel of Thune
    3 Spectral Procession
    2 Brave the Elements
    2 Auriok Champion
    2 Charge Across the Araba
    2 Cavern of Souls
    2 Windbrisk Heights
    19 Plains

    Tempest Remastered

    Tempest Remastered is a 269-card set, containing 101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares, and 20 basic lands from the Tempest, Stronghold, and Exodus sets, what implies some amount of rarity shifts. In other words, it is set made from the Tempest block, which oryginally contained 616 cards in total, tuned for draft and limited play.

    Tempest Remastered is being released on May 6, 2015, and will be available through May 27, 2015. This is a Magic Online-only set.

    In my opinion, it is all about adding more Wastelands into circulation. Tempest block draft let you open just one pack of Tempest. With three uncommons in the pack, that meant a 2,72% chance of opening a Wasteland per draft. Assuming Wasteland is uncommon card again, the chance is raising to 11,25% thanks to smaller uncommon card pool and thanks to three booster packs where Wasteland may be opened. However, if it is a rare card the probability is equal 5,66%, what is still better result than it was in Tempest block.

    Wizards couldn't just run TE TE TE flashback drafts, because it is not a solution to the problem of high price of Wasteland. Indeed, price of TE cards would drop, but in the very same time ST and EX spike. The clue is Tempest Remastered set, which will siginificantly lower price of Wasteland and keep other prices balanced.

    The Modern Bible of RG Tron chapter two - The Lands

    RG Tron is a deck named for its lands, the famous "Urzatron".

    Today we will discuss the structure of the lands in your main deck. You do have some options but most of them are written in stone.

    You have the power to tutor for your lands with Expedition Map and Sylvan Scrying, which does allow you to play silver-bullet singleton lands for specific reasons. The most common ones will be mentioned here.

    Most versions of the deck play 20 lands. I believe that is wrong and will address that in chapter eight. For now, lets stick to the generally acceptable 20 lands.

    They are listed here in order of importance.

    The Urzatron
    4 Urza's Tower
    4 Urza's Mine
    4 Urza's Power Plant

    These twelve lands are the core of your mana base and what your deck is all about. You will naturally play these exact twelve cards. RG Tron enthusiasts often argue about which version of them is the prettiest (I even got a set of foil ones because the ones I were doing videos with were too ugly) but I will leave that discussion to those exact people.

    The Eye of Ugin
    1 Eye of Ugin
    This is not really a land, but you have to spend a land drop to play it. Eye of Ugin is essential as it allows you to fetch your win conditions as well as key defensive creatures such as Spellskite. Do not leave home without it. With eight ways to fetch a land, you will always have this when you need it. It is normally the fourth land you fetch after completing the Urzatron (having one of each Urza land in play).

    The Groves of the Burnwillows
    4 Grove of the Burnwillows

    One of the advantages of playing RG Tron is that you get to play with the best dual land in all of Modern. While your enemies are hurting themselves with their lands (which you can not really capitalize on), dying to Burn because of it, you do not. You will find that you often win duels with very few life points remaining - in fact, Tron is all about almost dying, then stabilizing and then playing a giant haymaker. One of the reason you win those duels instead of losing them is this fantastic land. It gives you the mana you need and when Emrakul or Ulamog comes calling, it does not really matter what their life total is.

    Never go below four Grove of the Burnwillows. There is no substitute (although Karplusan Forest is the one people recommend when players keep asking what to do without groves). Your deck will play significantly worse with three Grove of the Burnwillows. I repeat: NEVER go below four. If you can not afford Grove of the Burnwillows, this is not the deck for you.

    Hopefully Grove of the Burnwillows will be reprinted in Modern Masters 2015. It is essential to the deck.

    Sometimes, it can even be useful that Grove of the Burnwillows give your opponent life, for example when he is playing Death's Shadow.

    The Ghost Quarter
    1 Ghost Quarter

    This has several purposes. First, Ghost Quarter rules the mirror match or fights against the cousin from the countryside; Mono Blue Tron. Secondly, Ghost Quarter stops man-lands, one of the big problems for RG Tron.

    If you substitute any other land (such as Tectonic Edge) for this you lose a significant advantage. Tectonic Edge can not break a 3-land Tron, which is all your opponent needs to cast his Karns Liberated and win the game.

    The Basic Forest
    1 Forest

    The basic Forest does a lot for you. It will protect you against Blood Moon, allowing you to cast Nature's Claim. It will allow you to get the benefits of having Path to Exile or Ghost Quarter resolve against you. It is extremely important to play at least one basic Forest.  Due to Blood Moon and your deck being more green than red, Forest is to be preferred over a Mountain.

    The land you can actually chose
    This is the open land slot. You need the 20th land to be able to play something even when you can not assemble the Urzatron. The exact nature of this 20th land is up to your metagame and your personal preference.

    Here are some commonly used options in this land slot

    Forest: Having a second basic forest is often useful. Not being able to fetch a basic land after Path to Exile or Ghost Quarter hurts you a lot.
    Ghost Quarter: The second Ghost Quarter does little compared to the first but some people really want the second copy.
    Tendo Ice Bridge or Llanowar Wastes: One of these two lands if often used to make it easier to cast Slaughter Games if Slaughter Games is in your sideboard.
    Cavern of Souls: This is played together with Sundering Titan to enable you to cast the titan in the matchups where he matters the most; Scapeshift and Jeskai Control.
    Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth: This is also used to enable Slaughter Games and might be better for you if you run Sundering Titan, allowing you to destroy one more land for your opponent in most matchups. As Cavern of Souls is more important than Urborg, this is most commonly played as the 21st land (the whole topic of chapter eight).

    Next week, we will talk about the engine, all the little cards that allows you to summon eldrazi and other giant johny monsters to fight for you.