The Kitchen Table #302 – An MTG Forge Quest

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Friday, September 11th – Today, I want to write a different sort of column. I’ll tell you about a piece of Magic software I’ve been enjoying, and then show you what I’ve been doing with it. The software is free to download, so this will give you an example of something you can download and enjoy at your leisure.

Hello my friends! I hope your week has been treating you well. I want to welcome you back to my column, full of mirth and joy. Today, I want to write a different sort of column.

What I want to do today is tell you about a piece of Magic software I’ve been enjoying, and then show you what I’ve been doing with it. The software is free to download, so this will give you an example of something you can download and enjoy at your leisure.

We are going to start with MTG Forge. This is a program made by a few people to simulate playing Magic along with the rules and regulations of such. Now, the program is totally a work in progress, and there are many bugs still in the game. However, there are a ton of cards already in the game and you can play with them in a variety of ways.

MTG Forge can be found here.

This blog is updated numerous times a week, and the creator and lead developer will give you really interesting information about the goings on with programming or adding various cards and abilities and mechanics to the program.

MTG Forge comes with a Quest Mode. In Quest Mode, you begin with a random selection of cards, and have to build a 60-card deck. Then you play against decks by various computer opponents, and as you win, you get more cards, and the difficulty of your opponents increases.

Quest is the most fun I’ve had playing Magic in a year.

What I am going to do is show you a quick 10-game win in quest. You can play to 10, 20, 30, or 40 wins, but I’m just going to show you a 10 win in quest. I will show you where the game has bugs too, so you can see what I am talking about when I say WIP. I’m not holding anything back.

Sound like fun? Here we go!

The Initial Deck

I open up the following rares: Cover of Darkness, Visara the Dreadful, Ancestral Recall, Wall of Kelp, Memnarch, Roc of Kher Ridges, Sedge Troll, Crucible of Fire, Knight of the White Orchid, and Mass Calcify. There are a couple of great cards there, but nothing truly nuts like Damnation or such.

Let’s see what colors I can run.

Black — I have a few creatures, but nothing broken outside of Visara, but the best are heavy black (Black Knight, Visara, etc.) I also have an Ichor Slick for removal.
Blue — I have a Vigilant Drake, Brainstorm, Counterspell, Exclude, Sandbar Serpent and a few other nice cards in addition to the broken Ancestral. Nothing that good though. Nothing that screams “Play me!”

Green — I have a nice smattering of creatures, including Cudgel Troll, Giant Warthog, Stampeding Rhino, Gnarled Mass, Sakura-Tribe Elder, and a few others, plus two Giant Growth effects.

Red — A few solid creatures in the 3/3 area, plus TWO Walls of Granite. The Roc gives me a 3/3 flyer. Not a single piece of burn, though, aside from an expensive Cinder Storm and a crappy Scorching Spear.

White — Mass Calcify is expensive and often does not do what you want it to. I got a Skyhunter Patrol, Thermal Glider, Oblivion Ring, Ramosian Commander, plus my two rares.

Artifacts — Onulet, Hematite Golem, Patagia Golem, Gold Myr, Memnarch.

Multi — Loamdragger Giant which I can play with either Red or Green, Bull Cerodon for R/W and Kasimir the Lone Wolf for U/W. Sedge Troll is really for R/B, as is Firescreamer, and Duergar Cave-Guard for R/W. Leotau for G/W.

And I have to make a 60-card deck with this.

How many creatures do I get from each color?

Red — 8 —Two are walls, and Loamdragger Giant. Hematite Golem makes 9
Green — 10 — Including Giant.
Blue — 5 — One is a wall. Memnarch makes 6.
Black — 6
White — 7

It seems like Green is getting played. Let’s add the good artifacts and Green to my deck now.

I have added 13 Green cards and two artifact creatures for 15 cards.

Actually, hold on. Let me see how to maximize my good creatures, since it appears that I have to play three colors:

R/G/U — Gives you 25 creatures, plus two Giant Growths, 2 artifact creatures, a couple of burn spells, and some strong Blue spells.

R/W/B — Gives you 27 creatures with all of the gold ones, plus two artifact ones, Ichor Slick, Oblivion Ring, a couple of bad burn spells, and Mass Calcify if I want it.

U/G/B or U/G/W — Combines best spell color with best creature color and adds a few creatures from one other color as well for a full deck. 22 or 24 creatures.

W + G gives me Woodland Changeling + Thermal Glider for my Ramosian Commander.

So, what to do?

Green is certainly my most consistent color, and Blue my best spell color. Although W/B/R gives me the most creatures, I feel weird going with it over Blue and/or Green.


Let’s take a look at my final deck.

2 Wall of Granite
1 Roc of Kher Ridges
1 Loamdragger Giant
1 Hill Giant
1 Cinder Storm
1 Scorching Spear
1 Inner-Flame Acolyte
1 Lowland Giant
1 Raging Cougar
1 Cudgel Troll
1 Elvish Fury
1 Giant Warthog
1 Gloomwidow
1 Gnarled Mass
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Stampeding Rhino
1 Thornweald Archer
1 Wildsize
1 Willow Dryad
1 Winnower Patrol
1 Woodland Changeling
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Boomerang
1 Coral Eel
1 Counsel of the Soratami
1 Exclude
1 Sandbar Serpent
1 Vigilant Drake
1 Wall of Water
1 Counterspell
1 Memnarch
1 Hematite Golem
1 Onulet
1 Patagia Golem
8 Island
8 Mountain
8 Forest

Okay, you ready to see what happens?

Match 1 — Catwoman 1

We are going to start with Catwoman I as my foe. I open with a land in each color and a few cards of value. You always play first in Forge, every game. Even if you don’t want to, you play first. I drop Coral Eel, and Catwoman is dropping cats like Savannah Lions and Jungle Lion. I Scorching Spear a Savannah Lions. I start trading damage 2 each way. Catwoman drops Penumbra Bobcat, and I drop Roc of Kher Ridges. Vigilant Drake follows and I begin the Hill Giant blues as I sail over kitty cats for 3 and then 6 in the air. I untap my V Drake at the end of my turn and the computer never wants to push its 2/1 cats into it, so I win a few turns later.

Game 2 arrives. I only have two lands, but I have a Willow Dryad and a Forest against a Green player, so I keep it. I miss my land drop on the third turn, but draw on my 4th and play it, dropping an Onulet. My opponent has Elite Cat Warriors out. I keep swinging with my Willow Dryad. Catwoman swings. I draw a land and play Patagia Golem. I play Inner-Flame Acolyte, use its ability on itself, and swing with everything. My Acolyte is blocked by a Penumbra Bobcat and I deal out 5 damage. Catwoman I keeps back the token, Elite Cat Warriors and plays King Cheetah, and now I have to do some work to deal the final 7 damage, although I do have out my 1/1 forestwalking Willow Dryad. I jump the Patagia Golem and hit for 3. Catwoman plays Jedit Ojanan of Efavra. I keep swinging and two turns later I’ve won.

I get a random pack of cards. Baneslayer Angel is nice for White if I want to slide into that later. Flowstone Thopter might be a nice choice. I get Wrecking Ball, Fissure, Cackling Flames, and some more jank.

I make the following changes to my deck:

-1 Inner-Flame Acolyte
+1 Fissure

-1 Willow Dryad
+1 Runeclaw Bear

-1 Boomerang
+1 Cackling Flames

I’ll leave the 7 mana Thopter on the sidelines for now.

Match 2 — Tarzan 1

I keep a four mana hand to open. He rolls with a Pygmy Razorback and I throw a hasted Raging Cougar at him. No blocks. I follow with a Hill Giant, and him a Wild Elephant. I push with the Hill Giant and he blocks – we trade. I then play Stampeding Rhino. Tarzan rolls with Flying Carpet. Not much of a follow through there. I attack with both, he blocks and trades this time his pig for my cat and takes 4 from my rhino. After combat, I play the 3/4 Sandbar Serpent. He plays a few chump blockers, but I don’t have to play another creature, and I eventually stomp him.

Game 2 arrives. I keep a four mana hand with an Island and a Brainstorm. I play it but am unable to advance my game much. Tarzan drops a Tree Monkey. I play a Gloomwidow on turn 3, starting the pressure. I start swinging and then bring a Hill Giant to the table. He drops another Wild Elephant. I have Wildsize in hand, so I push with both of my 3/3s. He offers a trade with my Gloomwidow, but Wildsize says no. I now have two 3/3s out to his Tree Monkey and 17 life to his 12. He swings for two and draws a card off Aggressive Urge, then drops another Pygmy Razorback. I swing for another 6 before slapping down Vigilant Drake and winning the game.

I get another random pack of cards. Let’s see what I have. Bodies like Dream Stalker, Yotian Soldier, Slaughterhouse Bouncer, Char-Rumbler and Slith Strider. Yet another wall in Flowstone Wall. Serra Angel, Valor and Cleanse are cracked. That makes White very…tempting.

I make these modifications:

-1 Coral Eel
+1 Joreal’s Centaur

-1 Wall of Water
+1 Skyshroud Troll

Match 3 — Da Vinci 1

I keep a three-land hand. Da Vinci leads with a Savannah and Birds of Paradise. I can drop Woodland Changeling or Scorching Spear the Birds on turn 2. I choose to take out the Birds. He Ostracizes me off a Scrubland[/author]“][author name="Scrubland"]Scrubland[/author] and discards my Changeling. I draw a second Forest and play Gnarled Mass. He follows with a morphed creature. I push, and then drop Wall of Granite. He turns it up and reveals Sootfeather Flock and flies over me for 3. We trade three damage and then he drops Hystrodon. I have Wildsize in hand, and swing into Hystrodon with my Mass but he does not take the bait and just takes 3. He plays a second Sootfeather Flock. This is not looking good. I have no Blue mana. I draw a Sandbar Serpent and can only cycle it. I swing again with the Mass, and again he does not block with his Flock. He follows up with Harmonize. I am at 5, he is at 8. Then he plays Gerrard’s Verdict and forces my discard. I better draw well. I draw….my 2nd Wall of Granite and lose.

I keep a 5 land hand with no Mountains. He Ostracizes me and forces me to discard my Gloomwidow. I draw Ancestral and play it. I have drawn both Walls of Granite but no Mountains. He plays Mire Boa. He swings for 2 and plays Spined Basher. I play my 5th land and play Vigilant Drake. I do not block the Basher, and he plays a morph. I swing with the Drake, play a land, and slam down Giant Warthog. He flips up a Sootfeather Flock and swings for 3 back. I play a Forest and drop… Loamdragger Giant. I attack with both of my guys and take him to 9. I’m out beefing him. He draws and plays a Sootfeather Flock. I still have yet to play a Mountain, but it looks like it won’t matter. I swing with everything with an Elvish Fury in hand. I kill him despite his blocks.

Game 3 is here. I keep a 4 land hand with all 3 colors. He drops a Plague Beetle and I play Woodland Changeling. We trade some damage, and he lays a morph. Again. We trade my Changeling for his morph and I follow with Roc of Kher Ridges. It was another Sootfeather Flock. Again. He plays a Stalker Hag (yuck) and then Thoughtseizes me and I am forced to discard my Counterspell (I did have 2 Blue, but it was tapped). I hit with my Roc and then drop my Stampeding Rhino. His Ostracize takes out my Giant Warthog while the Forestwalking Stalker Hag cuts away 3 of my life. I swing for a bunch and drop Patagia Golem. He keeps back the Hag for blocks since he’s just at 5. I swing with my Roc and a newly flying Patagia Golem for 5 and that’s game and match.

I get a new pack of cards plus a random rare. What did I get?

Some Bodies — Raiding Nightstalker, Fledgling Mawcor, Moss Kami, Vectis Agents, Soltari Priest.

Some Spells — Counterspell, Naturalize, Aggressive Urge

Some Enchantments – Fervor, Take Possession

I make some changes:

Even if I add Mawcor, Counter and Take Possession to my Blue, I would only have 11 Blue cards. I remove Blue from my deck.

I pull out:

Vigilant Drake
Ancestral Recall
Sandbar Serpent
Counsel of the Soratami
8 Islands

I add:

Moss Kami
Aggressive Urge
Willow Dryad

I pull out:

2 Wall of Granite
Scorching Spear
Roc of Kher Ridges
Lowland Giant
Hill Giant
Raging Cougar
Cackling Flames
Hematite Golem
Cinder Storm

I add:

Serra Angel
Baneslayer Angel
Skyhunter Patrol
Mistral Charger
Ramosian Commander
Thermal Glider
Disciple of Grace
Soltari Priest
Knight of the White Orchid
Grizzled Leotau
Veteran Armorer
Oblivion Ring
Flowstone Thopter
Mourning Thrull
Mass Calcify
12 Plains
4 Forest

Let’s roll with two colors, now that I have enough creatures to make the stretch. I have 30 creatures in my deck.

Match 4 – King Edward 1

I keep a two mana hand. He plays Savannah and Birds. I drop a second land and play Mistral Charger. King Eddie evokes Shriekmaw and kills my Pegasus. I draw a land on my 3rd turn and play a Gloomwidow without missing a beat. Eddie plays Briarhorn. With Wildsize in hand, I tap my Gloomwidow. He blocks and I make mine bigger and meaner. I draw a land off the Wildsize and play it. He plays a Cinderbones and has the mana to regenerate with the Birds. I use the turn to play Soltari Priest. He stupidly swings with the Cinderbones and then drops two Cloud Elementals. Gloomwidow is actually good in blocking versus Cloud Elementals, and I don’t want to swing into a double block, so just the Soltari Priest swings (which makes the Cinderbones swing not as bad I guess). I play Skyshroud Troll. He plays Inner-Flame Acolyte and makes a Cloud Elemental big and swings. I choose not to block. I have Elvish Fury and 7 mana, so I swing my shadow Priest, and buyback it for +2/+2. Keeping two Green for the Troll’s regeneration. In four turns I kill him with this trick.

Game 2 arrives. I keep a 3 mana hand and he leads with Tithe. I slap down a 3 mana Gnarled Mass and dodge a Spark Elemental. I swing for 3 and drop my Ramosian Commander. He Regrowths the Spark Elemental and sends it at me again, and I let it by. I swing for 5 and play Winnower Patrol. He plays and swings with an Inner-Flame Acolyte. I take the 4. I swing for 6 and keep back my Ramosian Commander. Then I use him to get the Pro Red Thermal Glider. He does not attack after playing a Lightning Elemental. I get a counter on the Winnower Patrol after revealing a Loamdragger Giant and crush him from there.

I get a new pack of cards. The goods:

Damnation. Dang.

Other cards of note: Thunder Spirit, Burning Shield Askari, Brilliant Halo, Hulking Cyclops, Capsize, Barren Moor, Disciple of Malice.

Damnation. Wow. Let me check my Black.

Still not enough Black to play, but wow.

A few more removal spells and creatures and I might be ready for a Black/Red deck. Right now you are at 30 cards, with some stretches in there like Dross Crocodile and Char-Rumbler. Just a few more cards and we are good.

-1 Willow Dryad

Match 5 — Wyatt Earp 1

I decide to rock my four land hand against Wyatt. He doesn’t play anything off his Taiga and Plateau, so I drop Gloomwidow on my third turn. He follows with Skyknight Legionnaire, but obviously doesn’t attack into my 3/3 reach spider. I swing and he takes three and he swings back before dropping a 4/4 Nettletooth Djinn. I do not swing, but instead drop a 4/4 Stampeding Rhino. He decides to swing with the Djinn, and I decide to take it. He follow with…shudder…Righteous Avengers. I attack with both my guys and he stupidly agrees to swap the Avengers for my Gloomwidow. I follow with Moss Kami. He drops Ancient Spider. I swing with my Moss Kami and it gets double blocked. I kill off the Nettletooth Djinn. I then slam Loamdragger Giant. Nice ramp. I take two in the air and my opponent drops Charging Troll. Ick. Loamdragger is sans trample. I draw…Elvish Fury and attack with both my guys. The Troll blocks my Giant and their 2/5 Spider blocks my 4/4 trampler, who suddenly becomes a 6/6 rhino of death. And spider killing. He uses Resurrection on the Nettletooth and plays Druid of the Anima. Since he does not have regen mana this turn, I swing. I chump block a couple of his creatures and he drops to 3. He plays Reviving Dose and Wheel of Fortune. I play a land and Oblivion Ring the Troll. He dies.

Game 2 is here. I have just two lands, but I keep since I have both colors. He plays Taiga into Kird Ape. This may be over with fast. On the 3rd turn, I draw a Leotau and play it, and he has played Druid of the Anima. He drops Ghost Warden and another Druid. I draw nothing. He attacks and I kill a Ghost Warden with my Leotau. I draw a Thornweald Archer and play it. He plays Sabertooth Nishoba. I draw a land. Yay. I play Thermal Glider as a Kird Ape blocker. He swings with the Nishoba and I take the 4 trample in other to kill it with my Archer. Righteous Avengers is played. A 4th land in drawn. I O Ring the Avengers. An Angel of Light and a 3rd Druid follow. Geez. I drop Knight of the White Orchid, to give me that crucial 5th land. He attacks and I’m down to 7. I untap and play Baneslayer Angel. He drops Ancient Spider. I drop Serra Angel. The turn is back to me. I fear a trick from either the Angel of 3/3 and 2/5 Spider taking down my Baneslayer, but I got to be aggressive. I swing with both my Angels. He takes 9 and I gain 5. I do it again and Wyatt goes to 5. He plays Tranquility and the Avengers are back. I swing and kill his Angel.

He is at 5 and I am at 22. I have taken over the game and then a bad thing happens. I just want to let you know that this will happen once or twice. The game freezes. It says the AI is thinking. My only option is to concede the match, despite having virtually won it.

My record is technically 4-1. I get a new pack of cards. What did I get?

Bodies — Hand of Cruelty, Razortooth Rats, Kitchen Finks, Gaea’s Skyfolk, Essence Sliver.

Spells — Opt, Threaten

I make the following switch:

-1 Onulet
+1 Kitchen Finks

Match 6 — Crocodile Dundee 1

I keep a triple Plains hand that has a two drop. Turn 2 sees me play a Mistral Charger, turn 3 a Woodland Changeling. I then draw and play Knight of the White Orchid and Dundee finally plays something — a Lightning Angel – and swings for 3. With Elvish Fury in hand and 5 mana out, I swing with my 2 2/2s. He blocks and I kill it with a Fury. Dundee follows that with Staunch Defenders. I attack with everything, he blocks, and again an Elvish Fury pumps a creature and I kill his blocker. Tobias Andrion comes down. This time I keep back my Changeling and swing with the Knight and Charger. He blocks my Knight, and with its first strike and the Fury, Tobias bites it. A bunch of blockers, turns, and two Reviving Doses later, I kill him.

I keep a 3 land hand for game2. He plays a Boros Recruit. I drop Sakura-Tribe Elder. He attacks, I block and then sac. I play Runeclaw Bear and Grizzled Leotau. Dundee plays Mobilization. I swing with both of my creatures, and then drop Gnarled Mass. He uses Mobilization to make a 1/1 then Ancestral Recalls himself. I bring the heat and take him to 11. A 3rd token joins the fray and he nips me for two with his vigilance soldiers. I attack with everything but no blocks. I play Loamdragger Giant. He makes two soldier tokens and I topdeck Naturalize. I don’t think I’ll need it but I thank my deck anyway. I swing. All of my creatures are blocked by 1/1s, and I Wildsize my Giant, giving him +2/+2 and trample. He dies.

I get a new pack of cards and a random rare.

Bodies — Pestermite, Inkwell Leviathan, Venser’s Sliver, Twinblade Slasher, Zebra Unicorn, Goblin Spelunkers

Spells — Breath of Life

I like the Slasher and Breath for my deck.

-1 Grizzled Leotau

+1 Twinblade Slasher

The Slasher fits my aggro deck much better than the Leotau. I’ll sit on the Breath of Life for now.

Match 7 — Spock

No mulligans. I drop Veteran Armorer on turn 2 and Gloomwidow on turn 3. Spock drops Hillcomber Giant on turn 4 after I get some hits in. I have a 3/4 Gloomwidow due to Veteran Armorer, so I swing. Post combat I play Stampeding Rhino. My opponent plays Tor Giant. I attack with non-Armorers and force a bad block. Spock plays Serendib Efreet. I Oblivion Ring it, and attack for game.

I paris my one land hand. I get no lands until 3 cards, and keep this one land hand because I have too. I die soon thereafter. Argh.

I keep a triple Forest hand in game 3. I turn Sakura-Tribe Elder into a needed Plains. I go with Winnower Patrol on turn 3 over Skyshroud Troll. Spock plays Reviving Dose. I attack for 3 and play the Troll. My opponent drops Serendib Efreet and it stalls my offense for a turn. I play Kitchen Finks and gain 2 life. He swings with the Efreet and drops Vedalken Outlander and Riptide Crab. I draw a second Plains. I have now won the game. I attack, and force some bad blocks killing the Outlander. Then I drop Baneslayer Angel. He plays Sky Spirit and Hoofprints of the Stag. I swing with Baneslayer Angel. He Ancestral’s himself, and I Naturalize the Hoofprints. The Baneslayer beats begin. He even drops Kamahl, Pit Fighter and is unable to stop me.

I get a new pack of random cards and a random rare.

Bodies — Undercity Shade, Cloud Elemental, Cloud Spirit, Aesthir Glider, Titanium Golem, Nacatl Savage, Lightning Angel, Flame Spirit, Obsidian Giant, Marble Titan, Disciple of Grace.

Spell — Flame Javelin.

I choose not to add the 6 mana Flame Javelin to my deck. If I were to even get Giant lords, my deck would be sick. I have:

Obsidian Giant
Marble Titan — not for this deck though
Loamdragger Giant
Lowland Giant
Hill Giant
Woodland Changeling
Skyshroud Troll

I am close to wanting to play Marble Titan except for my Green beef. I could totally play a weenie deck with him. However, currently, I am playing a beef deck, not a weenie deck, so nope.

-1 Disciple of Grace
+1 Nacatl Savage

I just keep removing the more defensive creatures for more aggressive ones. The Savage isn’t even that good since its ability is hardly pertinent, but for my deck, it beats the 1/2 Pro Red cycling guy.

Each time I go to play a match, the game generates 3 opponents at my level to play me. I choose my foe from that list. If I beat the same person again, I don’t get more cards.

Match 8 — Kojak 2

I’m good enough now that I am getting the second iteration of opponents, and I missed Kojak 1, but now Kojak 2 is around and I decide to play him.

I keep a triple land hand. I play Veteran Armorer and he plays Gaea’s Skyfolk. I decide to swing into it. That seems like a trade I’m willing to do. No blocks. I smile. And I play my Gloomwidow. I love this guy. Unfortunately, he gets Repulsed by Kojak, and I take 2 from the Skyfolk. My Armorer swings for another 2 and Gloomwidow again hits the table. He plays Assault Zeppelid and does not attack with the Skyfolk. I push with my 3/4 Gloomwidow. No blocks. I drop Serra Angel! It gets Repulsed too, and my opponent swings for 5. Just in case, I keep Gloomwidow back and swing with my Armorer before re-playing my Angel. He does have that 3rd Repulse for my Angel. He finishes with a Wistful Selkie and passes the turn. Yay Gloomwidow. I drop Serra and do not attack. He plays Water Elemental. I do some quick math with flyers. I play Moss Kami. He plays Plated Spider. I pass the turn, he Repulses my Angel. 4th one. He drops a Nettletooth Djinn. I drop my Angel + a Thornweald Archer I drew. He plays…Centaur Glade. Okay that’s not a good thing. I decide to drop my remaining air force — Mistral Charger and Thermal Glider plus I have enough mana for Kitchen Finks and 2 life. He makes a 3/3 and plays a Rootwater Commando. I draw Skyshroud Troll and play it. He plays Wandering Stream and makes a 3/3. I topdeck Winnower Patrol, play it, and am out of cards. I eventually die to too many 3/3 Centaurs.

I keep a 3 land hand. Mistral Charger on turn 2, Thunder Spirit turn 3. He plays Cold-Eyed Selkie. I stall on 3 white mana and swing for 4. I would normally keep the Spirit back but I suspect bounce spells anyway, so I might as well get the 2 damage in. He plays Bull Hippo. I attack for another 4 in the air. I take 4 and he plays Nettletooth Djinn. I swing for 4 more still stuck on 3 Plains. I have him at 3, so he keeps his guys back. Luckily, my guys fly, and I kill him.

Game 3 — 3 land hand into Mistral Charger and Gnarled Mass. He Repulses the Mass and attacks me with a mana elf. I replay it, it gets bounced, etc. This repeats a 3rd time. Then he plays Water Elemental and Deeptread Merrow. I take him to 10 with my Charger, and play Cudgel Troll. I’m stuck on 4 mana, but I can trade with the Elemental. He attacks and I make that trade. He drops Rootwater Commando and Gnarled Mass himself. I draw and play a Forest. 2 more in the air, and the Charger has him at 8 I could play four creatures with 2x White but I only have one Plains, so I drop Gloomwidow instead. I take his Gnarled Mass and he plays Yavimaya Wurm. Another Mistral Charger hit, then I Oblivion Ring the Wurm. I take another 3 from the Mass, then he plays Wandering Stream, and Timetwister. I play a second Plains and Knight of the White Orchid to give me a 3rd one. I then use that land to play Stampeding Rhino. Mistral Charger takes him back to 8. Plated Spider and Zodiac Horse enter his battlefield. Flowstone Thopter enters mine. I swing with the Rhino and he trades the Spider for it. He plays a second Plated Spider, Cold-Eyed Selkie and Ancestral on himself. I topdeck Mass Calcify but I don’t need it now. I swing with a 5/3 flying Thopter and a Charger. His Spider trades with my Thopter. 6 life. I play Kitchen Finks. He plays some bounce spells and an Assault Zeppelid. I attack with Knight of the White Orchid and my Charger. He blocks the Knight and I Elvish Fury it to kill the Zeppelid. 4 life for him. I drop Gnarled Mass. He attacks with Zodiac Horse and Gnarled Mass. I trade with Gnarled Mass and Kitchen Finks. He plays Centaur Glade and another Assault Zeppelid. I play Mass Calcify, and attack with a 2/1 Finks, Knight of White Orchid and Charger for game. My Charger dealt 22 damage that game. That’s an MVP.

Kojak 2‘s deck was nice.

New pack, new rare!

Bodies — Kithkin Rabble, Loxodon Stalwart, Giant Dustwasp, Inkwell Leviathan #2, Dross Crocodile #2.

Spells — Grizzly Fate, Timetwister

I kid you not, I have two of the P9 now. Wow.

Okay, my deck improves with the Dustwasp for sure, and probably with the Fate. Perhaps I could slide back to Blue:

2 Inkwell Leviathan
Ancestral Recall
2 Counterspell
Counsel of the Soratami
Sandbar Serpent
Vigilant Drake
Cloud Elemental, Cloud Spirit
Fledgling Mawcor
Take Possession

There is some serious strength there, but it doesn’t fit my deck. I’d have to go with a different style deck for it.

My good Black:

Visara the Dreadful
Hand of Cruelty (With no Bushido, just Pro White — Bushido has not been implement yet)
Black Knight
Ichor Slick
Bunch of bodies — Dross Crocodile x2, Razortooth Rats x2, Slaughterhouse Bouncer, Raiding Nightstalker

Not much after the first few cards.

My good Red:

Cackling Flames
Scorching Spear
Cinder Storm
Flame Javelin
Roc of Kher Ridges
Large number of medium sized bodies — Obsidian Giant, Hill Giant, Lowland Giant, Hulking Cyclops, Flame Spirit, Burning Shield Askari, Goblin Spelunkers, Raging Cougar, Inner-Flame Acolyte

Since I haven’t gotten a lot of removal in Black or Red, I think my G/W aggro deck is still the way to go.

-1 Patagia Golem
+1 Giant Dustwasp

-1 Mourning Thrall
+1 Grizzly Fate

Okay, let’s keep kicking butt.

Match 9 — Buffy 2

I keep a 2 land hand that includes Sakura-Tribe Elder. On the 2nd turn I drop it and grab Plains. I follow with Gnarled Mass. Buffy is playing a Dakmor Bat. She played Threaten on my Mass and hit me for 4. I haven’t gotten another land, so I play Runeclaw Bear. Buffy plays Cinderbones and Ostracize, forcing me to discard Skyshroud Troll. I draw Thermal Glider and drop it. I swing for 5 because of a tapped out Buffy. I take 2. She plays Hypnotic Specter and Regrowths that Threaten. I swing with everything and trade my Thermal Glider for her Specter. I drop Gloomwidow. My Gnarled mass is Threatened and I take 3, putting me at 9. I still have just three lands, but now my deck has stopped giving me playables. I swing with everything and Cinderbones blocks my Gloomwidow making it a 2/2. I swing again next turn, Gnarled Mass is blocked, but I deal out that last 4 damage and kill Buffy.

Game 2 sees me with 3 lands and I keep my hand. I drop Mistral Charger on turn 2, and Buffy plays another Dakmor bat. I follow with Veteran Armorer over bigger creatures so I can attack with my now 2/2 Charger into the 1/1 Bat. Buffy drops a Sickle Ripper. I swing with both of my guys, and my Armorer and her Sickle Ripper trade. I play Thermal Glider. Buffy Harmonizes. I swing for 4 in the air. Then my Baneslayer hits the table. Buffy plays Boggart Ram-Gang and Ostracizes me, taking my Thunder Spirit. It was all I had — my other card was Grizzly Fate. I attack and force my opponent to trade the Bat for my Mistral Charger. She takes 7. She Threatens my Angel and hits me with it and gains 5 life, and ends with Cinderbones. I hit for 7 in the air and then play Giant Dustwasp. She plays Sengir Vampire and then Distresses my Grizzly Fate. I attack with both my Wasp and my Angel, and kill her.

Another pack of cards and a random rare arrive.

The cards in my colors are Pygmy Allosaurus, Wall of Ice, Elvish Warrior, Mtenda Herder. I want none of them.

Match 10 — Silver Surfer

I keep a 3 mana hand. I play a turn 2 Mistral Charger, a turn 4 Cudgel Troll, and a turn 5 Skyhunter Patrol. Silver Surfer only plays Harmonize during this time. On his 5th turn, he drops Baru, Fist of Krosa. I Oblivion Ring Baru, then play Woodland Changeling. Silver Surfer is at 2. He plays Groundbreaker and I eat 6. I untap and smack him for 10.

I keep a 3 mana hand. I play Nacatl Savage on Turn 2 ,then Joreal’s Centaur on Turn 3. SS plays Spawnwrithe. I swing with Nacatl Savage and get a trade. Without a fourth mana, I play Woodland Changeling. He drops Rhox Charger. I get my fourth mana, play it, and swing with my flanking 2/2 Centaur. I get a block, and both die. His turn he plays Thornling. Ouch. I draw and play Thornweald Archer. He swings with an Indestructible 7/1 trampler, and I take it. I draw…Oblivion Ring. Whew. I Ring it and hit for 4. He plays another Baru. I swing with Thornweald Archer. I play a land and drop Stampeding Rhino. He stupidly plays Might of Oaks on Baru before attacking, and I block with Woodland Changeling. I swing for 6 and slam a newly drawn Gnarled Mass. He uses Baru’s Grandeur to create a 6/6 token and casts Harmonize. I pressure him with my Archer and he smartly decides to take the damage, taking him to 4 life. He drops Rootwalla. I have a surprise. I just drew Wildsize. Let’s read the board real quick. I cannot kill him, so I swing with my Archer. He blocks with Rootwalla. I Wildsize mine, keeping it alive and his dead. I draw and play Gloomwidow off the Wildsize. I swing with everything and win.

Cards — Immaculate Magistrate, Mist Leopard, Llanowar Mentor, Craw Wurm and some card’s in other colors.

If I were to keep my deck for a while, I might look to pump the elf theme. I have the Winnower, Mentor, Magistrate, Elvish Warrior, Woodland Changeling, Twinblade Slasher and Thornweald Archer as elves. That’s enough to begin a bit of an elf sub-theme.

My record is 9-1, but that loss came to a game quirk. I can play one more game, and it’s Magic, so I say, okay.

Match 11 — Luke Skywalker

Four lands = no mulligan. Runeclaw Bear on turn 2, he drops Druid of the Anima. I play Thermal Glider on turn 3. He plays Gaea’s Anthem and swings with his 2/2 druid. I trade with his mana. I swing with my Bear and play Skyhunter Patrol. He plays Eternal Witness, returning the Druid, and drops Dryad Arbor. I attack with my Bear and get a trade with the Dryad. More mana dying — I’m happy to see that. He plays Harmonize. I attack with the Patrol for two and play Moss Kami. Luke plays…Force of Savagery. Ouch, a 9/1 trampler. I keep Skyhunter Patrol untapped with its First Strike self. Luke stupidly attacks and I block and kill it. Here is what my opponent does — Garruk, untap two lands, Druid of the Anima, Ancestral Recall, Birds of Paradise. Dang. I attack with my Moss Kami and get a double block. I smile and play Aggressive Urge on it. I Urge into Naturalize, and immediately Naturalize Gaea’s Anthem. He makes a Beast with Pulse of the Tangle, then another with Garruk. Skyhunter Patrol attacks Garruk and Moss Kami attacks. He double blocks. Again, I smile and buyback Elvish Fury. He plays Eternal Witness and returns the Force of Savagery. I play Veteran Armorer and swing. Moss Kami is blocked by just an Eternal Witness, so I play Elvish Fury with buyback, and then just by itself, to give it +4/+4, and trample kill him.

I keep a 4 land hand. I play Woodland Changeling. Luke plays Watchwolf. Ouch. I drop Knight of the White Orchid and pass the turn. Watchwolf attacks and I double block. He takes out my Knight, then follows with a Druid of the Anima and Ancestral Recall. He plays Gaea’s Skyfolk and Dryad Arbor. I play Baneslayer Angel. The best card in my deck makes an appearance in my final game (if I win). Luke Harmonizes and plays a Birds. I swing with an Angel and a Changeling. He plays Garruk and untaps some lands and drops another Birds. An Angel causes Garruk to eat it. I then play my biggest creature on the 7th turn — Loamdragger Giant. My opponent drops a Watchwolf. I swing with Giant and Angel. I eat some chumps. My opponent plays Gaea’s Anthem. I eat some more chumps, and then play my newly drawn card — Serra Angel. Luke drops a Watchwolf. I swing with Serra Angel, Baneslayer, Giant, and Changeling. Luke dies. Badly.

New cards and such. The good stuff — Spectral Procession, Kaysa, Lace with Moonglove, and Shadow Rider for my Black stuff.

Actually, I am being given an option to keep playing despite playing the basic game. I don’t know what’s going on with that, since I should be done. I am ending it, of course. Yay, completed quest.

I had a ton of fun, and I hope you did too! There are bugs, no question, but it’s worth the stretch, in my mind. And with that, I bid you adieu. I hope to see you next week!

Until later…

Abe Sargent