Tag Archives: FNM

Liches Be Crazy

There are a lot of hipsters out there that are claiming that they knew Dungeon Geists was a good card before the card was even spoiled. Same with Huntmaster of the Fells. And they are most definitely correct; both are extremely powerful creatures for their own unique abilities. However, now that all of the Dark Ascension newness has worn off, I still think that there is an extremely strong sleeper amongst the pack that hasn’t been explored to its fullest potential yet: Havengul Lich. I would like to introduce to you my list featuring this powerful card dubbed UBR “Liches Be Crazy.”

This card is pure pimp.

3 Dragonskull Summit
3 Drowned Catacomb
4 Evolving Wilds
2 Blackcleave Cliffs
2 Island
2 Mountain
2 Sulfur Falls
6 Swamp

24 lands

4 Perilous Myr
3 Bloodline Keeper
4 Necrotic Ooze
2 Olivia Voldaren
3 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Grimgrin, Corpse-Born
3 Havengul Lich
2 Wurmcoil Engine
2 Rune-Scarred Demon

24 creatures

4 Faithless Looting
2 Go for the Throat
4 Heartless Summoning
2 Forbidden Alchemy

12 other spells

2 Massacre Wurm
2 Doom Blade
1 Steel Hellkite
2 Beguiler of Wills
2 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Black Sun’s Zenith
2 Arc Trail
3 Manic Vandal

15 sideboard cards

Lich is so bonkers. I can’t get over it. What I love about this list is that there are so many different angles to shoot from. You can combo out on an empty board with Necrotic Ooze (and Grimgrin, Corpse Born and Bloodline Keeper in your graveyard). You can combo off with Havengul LichHeartless Summoning and Perilous Myr. The Ooze also plays as Lich 4-7, allowing you to play creatures from your graveyard, giving you pseudo haste with their abilities (which it already had anyways, but it is redundancy, which is nice). And even then, you can still drop Heartless Summoning and play Rune-Scarred Demon as early as turn 4. Olivia Voldaren takes care of token decks pretty quickly too and is completely relevant with Ooze. Honestly, though, Faithless Looting is the glue that sticks this deck together. It’s every bit as good as everyone has been claiming especially in other formats. While it hasn’t really been explored too much in Standard, this is the type of deck that loves it.

And on top of all of this, Lich plays really nicely with Heartless Summoning, making your guys even cheaper from the graveyard. Forbidden Alchemy is possibly the only odd card out of the bunch, but this deck needs creatures in the yard and this card does this pretty efficiently. Ultimately the line of play with this deck is to run out a Heartless Summoning and/or Perilous Myr to either speed things up for you or slow it down for you opponent. Then ramp up via Solemn Simulacrum into your bombs or combo pieces. Faithless Looting should also be an early line of play, setting you up for the later turns when mana is of the utmost importance.

Now obviously looking at this list, you’ll see some weaknesses. Extremely aggro decks will give this deck troubles if you can’t find an early Perilous Myr and/or Go for the Throat. The SB helps in the form of Arc Trail, Doom Blades, and Black Sun’s Zenith. SB graveyard hate definitely hurts this deck some, but most people aren’t packing Nihil Spellbomb, which is probably hits the hardest out of all the graveyard hate. Beguiler of Wills, another underexplored card, comes in against token decks as an activated ability that really plays well into the Lich (but unfortunately doesn’t play well with Heartless Summoning, which is fine with the redundancy in the form of Necrotic Ooze and Havengul Lich). Massacre Wurm comes in again against specific archetypes (Tokens, Aggro, other sacrifice based decks) and Steel Hellkite is kind of a swiss-army knife that can hit troublesome permanents that these colors can’t otherwise deal with (while also having relevant abilities to copy). Manic Vandal and Nihil Spellbomb round out the SB as typical options.

I’m not sure how resilient this build will be, but hopefully there will be enough angles to shoot from that opponents will get thrown off their game trying to disrupt one part while getting crushed by another. I’m definitely going to be playing this during this upcoming FNM and hopefully breaking this card wide open, at least within that crowd. The card is as highly abusable and as good as you think it’d be; if I were you, I’d pick some up soon and try em out. If anything else, the card is extremely fun and combo-riffic, something that isn’t too easy to come by in a somewhat competitive creature card.

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The FNM Syndrome (And Why I’ve Learned to Love It)

I am just going to come out and say it. I LOVE FNM. Everything about it. Everything from the people, to the store I game at (Dreamer’s Games in St. Louis Park, MN), to what it stands for in the MTG community. I’ll even go as far as saying that I love what FNM has done to impact the whole Planeswalker Points system and vice versa.

It’s official; I’m suffering from FNM Syndrome. I don’t know how to cure it; and quite frankly, I don’t care. Because for me, it’s a purely symbiotic disease. It feeds my MTG addiction while allowing me to flex the often used but never abused analytic muscles deep within my brain.

How so? Well, it’s quite simple. I love the FNM syndrome because I love deckbuilding. Ever since this new Planeswalker Points system has been introduced, I have had no fear when it comes to deckbuilding. Normally I would attend FNM (when I did attend, which was often infrequent), I would be more concerned about doing well than about trying new things. It really got in the way of my true love affair: building decks with cool cards at the centerpiece.

Maybe part of it comes at the best timing, with Innistrad being release as a hugely top-down design focused sight. Maybe it’s a bit of both luck with the timing of the set and the timing of the PWPTS changes. Either way it’s a weird syndrome to be afflicted with, especially coming from someone who doesn’t aspire to be a grinder or PTQ regular. I just look to FNM to have a good time with friends in an environment that doesn’t pressure me to waste wads of cash on a frivolous night that I’d soon rather forget. So you’re thinking, then why would PWPTS affect my outlook on deckbuilding at all? Why wouldn’t I just never care about my rating in the first place, even with the old system?

I guess it was just liberating to know that the company who has produced this game for more than half my life is willing to let go of antiquated systems. Maybe it’s just the fact that the whole system encourages you to just go out and play the game. Hell, maybe it’s the time in my life, where my personality has shifted enough to not always take this game seriously. Maybe it’s just that I want to swing for 6 with one of the baddest mf’ers to walk the Multiverse (Geist of Saint Traft, of course). Who knows? I just know I’m loving the syndrome and I’m embracing it.

Geist of Saint Traft

Kneel before my badass-ery.

How so? Well since coming back to regular FNM play after a two year hiatus, I’ve literally played upwards of 8 different decks in a matter of 2 and a half months. Almost a new deck a week. My deckbuilding juices are overflowing like ectoplasmic goo in Dana Foster’s tub. I’ve just grabbed random cool cards to build with. Hell why not? Who cares if I go 1-3 at FNM? It allows me to learn about cool new interactions while have a crazy good time.

I’ve even built a deck based on Gutter Grime. YES, Gutter Grime. And I went 2-2 with it (not too bad when the centerpiece is an overcosted Green enchantment).

At any rate, I’ll cut to the chase. My latest creation is probably my best yet (until I make something else badass and sweet). Here it is in all it’s glory:

2 Forest
1 Gavony Township
2 Glacial Fortress
1 Hinterland Harbor
3 Island
1 Moorland Haunt
3 Plains
4 Razorverge Thicket
4 Seachrome Coast
2 Sunpetal Grove

23 lands

4 Birds of Paradise
3 Cloistered Youth
4 Snapcaster Mage
3 Geist of Saint Traft
4 Mirran Crusader
2 Hero of Bladehold
1 Thrun, the Last Troll

21 creatures

3 Ponder
3 Vapor Snag
3 Feeling of Dread
4 Mana Leak
3 Travel Preparations

16 other spells

1 Thrun, the Last Troll
4 Doomed Traveler
3 Timely Reinforcements
2 Turn Aside
2 Spellskite
3 Leonin Relic-Warder

15 sideboard cards

I love tempo decks and this deck is chock full of tempo cards. Vapor Snag and Feeling of Dread will tear up other decks that aim to lay down a couple quick blockers to try to make the pain subside until they can Day of Judgment. Other quick decks will just get out classed by Mirran Crusader. Travel Preparations comes in to offer quick Overrun type effects to blow out your opponent when they’re in the danger zone. And Snapcaster can definitely beat some face too while allowing you to come back pretty easily in the mid game (if you do happen to be behind).

The main reason why I decided with a tempo deck is because I wanted to build a deck that features the badass-ery that Geist of Saint Traft truly is. Sure he’s good on his own, but he doesn’t do well when facing down another dude. Yeah you’ll get in 4 damage, which is fine for 3 mana. But really what you want to do is rely on him, purely because he’s hard as hell to kill if you can’t throw a guy in his way. Enter Feeling of Dread and Travel Preparations. And watch as your opponent prays to all that is Geist.

I’m looking to crush this week’s FNM. Hell if not, at least learn more ways to use the cards I love. You gotta ask yourself; what are you doing this week for FNM? Playing a 75-card copy of a Wolf Run list? Or thinking of a way to abuse the hell out of Undead Alchemist? I know which direction I’m taking. And it’s all thanks to the FNM Syndrome.

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