Blog Elemental – A Pale Shade of Dawn

The beginnings of Jay’s Fifth Dawn Menu are revealed.

Blog Elemental – A Pale Shade of Dawn

June 9, 2004

I haven’t done a Fifth Dawn menu yet (read my article to see what the heck I’m talking about) for two reasons. One, my relationship to sets is different now that I’m a names and flavor text writer. I’m not able to qualify that difference just yet, only notice it’s there. Two, I’m only beginning to revive my deckbuilding brain from its Skullclamp-induced hibernation.

This blog feels like a good space to work my way through a Fifth Dawn menu. Let’s start with the white cards:

Class IV (Cards I like that others are talking about or using)

Currently nothing to see here.

Class III (Cards I like that no one else seems to like)

Auriok Salvagers & Leonin Squire

General interest outside of Type I has waned because of Skullclamp’s banning. For us non-tournament folks, however, there is still great potential in a one-mana artifact deck with things like Chromatic Sphere, Baubles, Spellbombs, Scrabbling Claws, and Engineered Explosives. For non-Standard, try Eggs, Sextants, more Baubles, Ashnod’s Transmogrant, Claws of Gix, Shield Sphere, Triangle of War, and more!

Class II (Cards I really like that others are talking about or using)

Bringer of the White Dawn

It’s big, it’s cool, and I named it. Everyone seems to be stuck on abusing Mindslaver, but I think there are a whole slew of fun things you can do with recurring artifacts. I picture a mono-White deck with things like Bottle Gnomes, Oblivion Stone, Pentavus, Coretapper, and Triskelion. I mean, why win outright when you can do weird things instead?

Class I (Cards I really like that no one else seems to like)

Roar of Reclamation

One of my”special three” cards. Everyone looks at the cost and moves on, but I would rather think through possible decks first. There are enough graveyard-destroying cards in Magic to make it one-sided, and this comes in the same color as Akroma’s Vengeance. More on this one tomorrow.

Y’know, all four of these cards might actually fit into the same deck. That makes my head hurt, if you must know.

Blog Elemental – An Unlikely Tribe

June 8, 2004

I have a running list of cards from Eighth Edition I think could make for fun decks – some people will recognize that I call these lists”menus.” Bloodshot Cyclops was on the list, but I’m pretty sick of him at this point (notice my decided lack of deck discussion last week). One day I’ll print my Eighth menu, but today I’m plucking another”bad rare” from the pile.

Brass Herald was probably included in Eighth because of the Onslaught Block and its heavy tribal theme. What I noticed when Mirrodin came out was that it was a golem. Then Darksteel came along, adding to the pack of golems from the previous set. Now Fifth Dawn completes the Artifact Block, so let’s see… are there enough golems to make a fun deck?

The Standard-legal golems: Arcbound Overseer, Arcbound Reclaimer, Battered Golem, Bosh, Iron Golem, Brass Herald, Cobalt Golem, Composite Golem, Dross Golem, Hematite Golem, Lunar Avenger, Malachite Golem, Mirror Golem, Mycosynth Golem, Oxidda Golem, Patagia Golem, Pewter Golem, Razor Golem, Spire Golem, Tangle Golem, Titanium Golem, Tribal Golem, Voltaic Construct.

I think a golem deck is either going to go the 5-color route or monocolor to use the Darksteel golems. I like mono-Green because you can ramp your mana, thin your lands, and thus make Brass Herald more bang-worthy.

Something like this, which is obviously hypothetical, untested, and full of holes:

Brass & Iron

Standard-legal deck

4 Battered Golem

4 Eternal Witness

4 Brass Herald

4 Tangle Golem

3 Bosh, Iron Golem

2 Voltaic Construct

4 Rampant Growth

4 Reap and Sow

4 Explosive Vegetation

3 Tel-Jilad Justice

1 Riptide Replicator

4 Wooded Foothills

2 Mountain

17 Forest

Or here’s a 5-color version:

Brass Ring

Online Extended-legal deck

4 Emblazoned Golem

4 Eternal Witness

4 Brass Herald

3 Composite Golem

2 Bringer of the Black Dawn

1 Goblin Replica

1 Junk Golem

1 Voltaic Construct

1 Arcbound Reclaimer

1 Cromat

1 Bosh, Iron Golem

1 Bringer of the White Dawn

4 Chromatic Sphere

4 Rampant Growth

4 Pentad Prism

4 Mirrodin’s Core

2 City of Brass

2 Grand Coliseum

10 Forest

2 Plains

2 Swamp

1 Island

1 Mountain

Blog Elemental – I Did That! ME! MEEEEE!

June 7, 2004

Unlike Magic card design, credit for names and flavor text isn’t terribly difficult to determine. It may not be quite as clear-cut as a card’s artist, but writers get paid by the number of names and pieces of flavor text accepted for each set.

If you missed it from my mtg.com article today, here is the list of cards for which I can take credit in Fifth Dawn:

Card names: Abuna’s Chant; Battered Golem; Blind Creeper; Bringer of the Black Dawn; Bringer of the Blue Dawn; Bringer of the Green Dawn; Bringer of the Red Dawn; Bringer of the White Dawn; Conjurer’s Bauble; Ebon Drake; Fist of Suns; Goblin Brawler; Grafted Wargear; Guardian Idol; Ion Storm; Lantern of Insight; Leonin Squire; Neurok Stealthsuit; Possessed Portal; Retaliate; Skyhunter Prowler; Steelshaper’s Gift; Suncrusher; Tel-Jilad Justice; Fill with Fright; Joiner Adept; Roar of Reclamation.

Flavor text: Arachnoid; Auriok Windwalker; Blind Creeper; Channel the Suns; Circle of Protection: Artifacts; Devour in Shadow; Fold into Aether; Gemstone Array; Loxodon Anchorite; Moriok Rigger; Night’s Whisper; Retaliate; Roar of Reclamation; Skyhunter Skirmisher; Viridian Lorebearers.

There are also some cards I desperately wanted to name but my submissions weren’t accepted. For legal reasons, I can’t say what I submitted for cards like Relentless Rats and Endless Whispers, but trust me when I say they were Friggin’ Brilliant! Or, at least, I liked them a lot.

For those keeping score at home, there are three cards with both my name and flavor text stamp: Blind Creeper, Retaliate, and Roar of Reclamation. I was trying to figure out how to mark my special affinity for these cards, something better than just owning them and something less than tattoos.

Then a very cool person gives me all the cards with my flavor text as foils, along with a set of Bringers. Man, I love my life. I tell you, this whole gig feels too good to be true. Someday I’m going to give Aaron Forsythe and Brandon Bozzi a big wet kiss on the lips. [Note to self: Don’t give JMS any jobs. – Knut]