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You’re a Designer, Harry! #13 – A Vanilla Lot, Eh?

Welcome to another installment of You’re a Designer, Harry!. I know last week that I said I was going to explore designs for legendary creatures (Read: four-color commanders) and planeswalkers. Even though I know it’s a good idea to get the mechanical identity along with most, if not all, of the mechanics designed before individual card designing began; I still wanted a fun break from the usual aspects of the set we were focusing on. Despite the possibility of time waste as well as having more difficulty designing without that mechanical backbone there, I believed that we could at least gain something from the effort, even if it’s not the most efficient way to go about designing the set in it’s current position.

So, it all sounded good in theory to go down this refreshing, not-so-efficient path; but once I got down to try to design some legendary creatures to fit into their respective factions, it felt wrong to decide on some set of abilities and for that to feel correct within the context of the whole set. Especially when I’m trying to determine what a legendary creature from a faction all about vanilla creatures would be like. And I’m not even sure which faction should be the vanilla creatures one (actually, I’m only a tiny bit not sure. Oh, right. Read on to learn what in tarnation’s going on here dealing with the “vanilla faction” thing I’m talking about). Read the rest of this entry

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The Commander’s Chair – The Voltron Matrix

I  like to build decks with a strong overall theme and synergies that flow throughout the entire deck.  During the Reaper King contest, two particular cards were brought to my attention, Melira, Sylvok Outcast and Juniper Order Ranger. I want to build a deck around the strong synergies related to both of these creatures.  To accomplish this, I will use one of my favorite methods of deck construction, the Matrix.  The Matrix isn’t just an awesome movie. It is also a wonderful way to plan out a deck.  You start with a primary focus point for your deck and build around it.  In most cases, this is your general.  However, you can choose anything to be the focus of your Matrix. Read the rest of this entry

The Commander’s Chair #5 Tool Time

“Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.” – Thomas Carlyle

I am in the middle of reading the Desden Files from start to finish.  I had read a few of these in the past, but this is the first time I will read them in sequence.  Harry Dresden, the main character, has some strong opinions of the power of mages.  He believes that, while not the most powerful being around, they can take on anything if they have time to prepare.  Magic the Gathering is the same way.  There is an answer to any play.  You just have to be prepared.  Building a toolbox into your Commander deck will help you deal with most of the problems that you can expect to come across in a game. Read the rest of this entry

The Commanders Chair #3 – Ominous Teachings

Last week, I mentioned the combination of Prismatic Omen and Vedalken Shackles. There was a comment posted this weekend inquiring if a deck could possibly be built around Prismatic Omen.  I started to type up an answer when I realized that the response was going to be an article in itself.

I have been using Prismatic Omen in my Commander decks for some time.  I started including Prismatic Omen in five color decks alongside Mycosynth Lattice as a major mana fixer.  After all, what could be better than not having to care which land you tap for mana.  Prismatic Omen even lets you tap lands like Eye of Ugin for mana.  I would include large, normally difficult spells to cast like Cruel Ultimatum. Read the rest of this entry

You’re a Designer, Harry! #1 – Howdy, Folks

Hi, I’m Squirrel. My affinity for squirrel decks started about a decade ago.

Hi, I’m Luigi. During college, it was common to see me garbed in clothing resembling those that belong to a familiar, green-hatted Italian plumber.

Hi, I’m @bradleyrose . I most frequently tweeted and followed Magic-related “tweeps” during The Great Designer Search 2.

But, most importantly…

Hi, I’m Bradley Rose. I won’t be writing Magic strategy articles here. Neither will I be writing about any other non-sanctioned kinds of Magic like Commander or Cube. Nay, my articles will be related to Magic design. Read the rest of this entry