Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar (feel free to call him JMS) started playing Magic for fun during Ice Age and for prizes during Mirage. He has since abandoned the big tournaments to focus on creative deckbuilding, moved from Ann Arbor, Michigan to the San Francisco Bay Area, and has a wife, a child, a dog, a corporate job, a weekly column at Magicthegathering.com, and a novel ("Birthright," published by Virtualbookworm.com). What the hell happened?!?
In an additional article for the weekend, JMS takes us through the development of his own pet Mono-Black creation, Black Knights. Utilizing the powerful Haakon, Stromgald Scourge, and a plethora of Black beatdown monsters, does the deck have what it takes to impact the coming Planar Chaos metagame? And what does it gain from the new set, aside from a four-mana board-sweeping sorcery? JMS reveals all…
For this tenth Standard Tribal article, I knew that I wanted to focus on Coldsnap. I wanted a tribe or feature card that spoke to Coldsnap’s central themes and that resulted in a very Coldsnappian deck. I wanted to look at the final decklist and immediately think “cool,” or “snappy.”
I don’t see any reason to rehash Centaurs, Assassins, Imps, or Skeletons. I also don’t see the need to try Thrulls after Flawed Paradigm gave it such a valiant effort in the Forums a few weeks ago. I’m left with half of the Tribes of Five list: Avatars, Kirin, Lizard, Lord, and Nephilim. Which to choose for a deck this week?
Jay tackles the most monstrous of tribes… Beasts! He shares two decklists, both with high synergy and an excellent fun factor. Tribal Standard is a format with a growing fanbase… are these the decks for you?
JMS jumps aboard the six-legged bandwagon and builds a competitive insect deck for the online Tribal Standard format. Do these creepy crawly underdogs have what it takes to swing with the Humans and the Spirits? Read on to find out!
I’m throwing a curve ball at you today. I had expected to provide another in-depth discussion of a smaller tribe on my way to a new deck. Instead, I got excited to give a Tribal-focused look at Coldsnap. Surprise!
Once you get past the big two tribes, there are a number of tribes I consider “Tribal Nations.” These tribes don’t necessarily have the five-color ubiquity of Spirits and Humans, but there is a lot there from which to choose. Wizards, Warriors, Shamans, Goblins, Samurai, and Soldiers all occupy significant territories in today’s Standard and should be able to raise pretty awe-inspiring armies. I decided that my next deck would involve one of these nation states.
After a week of spirit fun with his U/W Sprit build, JMS returns to nature… with a deck chock-full o’ Druids! Elves, Wayfinders, Enchantresses, and more… but is it enough to rock the Tribal Standard scene? Read on to find out!
With Standard Tribal Wars now up and running, JMS takes a look at the Kamigawa-centric Spirit tribe, with particular reference to the Blue and White monsters. The Spirit pool is huge – touching U/W is merely one avenue of attack – but Jay shares his decklist and runs through a bevy of matchups in this new and exciting casual format.
The irrepressible JMS returns to StarCityGames with a Casual Constructed plea: Play Tribal Wars! In this enlightening article, Jay deconstructs the Tribal format for Standard play, and presents a handy crib-sheet for the Tribes That Can, and the Tribes That Most Certainly Cannot. Looking for a new casual challenge? Then look no further!
Sasaya has one tough flip trigger. I not only need seven cards in hand – which is a pretty impressive feat for any green deck – but those seven cards have to be lands? Even worse, the condition involves me revealing my hand to an opponent, so if I have a special-secret card I’m hoping to use once Sasaya flips, my opponent will know.
Ugh. You have got to be kidding me. And yet I must build a deck around her….
I consider Rune-Tail’s flip trigger to be the easiest of the bunch to accomplish. Magic is stuffed full of tricky ways to gain lots of life. But if Rune-Tail is the easiest Ascendant to flip, then Rune-Tail’s Essence is the least dominating legendary enchantment.