Dark Design

Friday, 7 January 2011


Today we are going to talk about the Lord... Now before you try to bolt the door and hide behind the sofa, I should say I’m not talking about God.  If you’ve been following things here at Adventures in the Meta, you’ll know that today is the day we talk about the many multi-purpose creature pumping dudes in the world of magic.

I doubt anyone could trace back to where we started calling them lords, but for whatever reason, someone did and the name stuck. I like to think it was because of this guy and in fact he remains the only actual creature type ‘lord’ in the game...

You may think our friend above has some baffling powers and as such deserves his unglued/hinged status, but there are even more bizarre examples of aristocracy out there and we’ll get to them later...

Now to make it clear what I’m talking about, I’m not going to be discussing creatures that are simply called lord or have lord in their name. I am only going to be looking at lords that give creatures of a type or a colour a bonus. It needn’t be  +1 +! and it needn’t be much, but if they have an effect, your other critters can benefit from then they count..

Here’s a photo of what I am not talking about... 

Yep that’s my ALPHA Lord of the Pit and it’s for trade if you’ve got anything good...

There are so many lords it’s hard to k now where to start, but as that has to be somewhere, we’ll have a look at the global lords first... 
A global lord will affect ALL creatures of a certain type or colour, not just your own and are therefore a little bit riskier than the others to play.

Some obvious examples Goblin King, Elvish Champion, Lord of Atlantis, but here are a few others too.

Some of them need a little kick to get them started, but in essence they are still lords like… Orc General
And if you thought I was joking about weirder lords than the donkey lord at the start of this article just check these guys out..

So why global and then why did things change? Well for a start it makes more sense giving only your critters a boost, and there was nothing worse than a mirror match where your opponent had better goblins than you, but the real reason I suspect, was the introduction of the changeling...Changelings popped up in Lorwyn and were special becaus they every creature type.

It’s a bit disconcerting to be clearly winning until an opponent drops a Chameleon Colossus which suddenly has haste trample and forest walk...
and that my friend is where we are going with this little adventure...

At the end of of lord’s research I’m going to help you put together the meanest, nastiest, five colour multifunctional-do anything-Swiss Army Knife of an EHD/Commander deck using the best of the lords and the best of the changelings

So after having a look at some of the Global lords are there any that look good for our EDH / Commander deck? Well, as it says at the start they can be a bit risky, but I think there are two that jump out... So get digging for....Balthor the stout. (all barbarians get +1 +1 and target barbarian get firebreathing) and Chainer Dementia Master - All Nightmares get +1 +1 (and who plays nightmares?) and she has an awesome raise dead ability too!

After a wee bit research I’ve decided to make this a weekly feature as frankly anything else would be a dissertation. 

So now we’ve had a look at some of the global lords and next week we’ll have a look at the leiges..

I’m putting a disclaimer in here by the way... There are over 11,000 different card to chose from... So if I miss a lord or two sue me..

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Caling all lords

Lord Almighty

We all like a boost and there’s nothing like strong leadership to inspire and empower. Of course in magic we also like making numbers get bigger and there’s no better way to do that than to stick some lords in your deck.


Yep it’s a colloquial name for any creature that gives a particular race (or a colour) a unique bonus, usually but not always +1 +1... EG... Lord of Atlantis, Goblin Chieftain, Scion of Oona etc. etc.
Tomorrow, we’ll be having a look at some of the best and worst and we’d like to hear your thoughts on the matter. So if you have a favourite or if there’s one you hate then please let us know. The email as always Gordonvader@hotmail.co.uk

Here’s one of my favourites to start us off...

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Dark Knight

What would Batman be without Robin?  Wayne without Garth? Bart without Millhouse? Abbot without Costello? Double acts are exactly that, they support each other and make the finished article just a little bit better. Without the funny guy all you have is an accountant, but without the straight guy you’re left with the overweight kid who got bullied a lot at school....

Magic is full of great double acts, what would Windbrisk Heights be without Spectral Procession, Eldrazi Conscription without Sovereigns of Lost Alara, Game of Chaos without Krark’s Thumb or Poly Morph without Emrakul?  Sure the cards would all work without their favourite dance partners, but would they have they made centre stage?  I don’t know for sure, but I think at least a few of them would still be waiting in the wings...
And so, my friends, to the point... My friend Melenko from Venezuela follows the blog and asked me to create a Vampire deck. It was going to be mono black, but after a wee bit of research, I discovered what I believe to be another great double act and so Ladies and Gentleman I present my new deck I call it... 

Dark Knight( for reasons that will become apparent soon.)

You will need
6 Plains
6 Swamps

Ok so what’s the cunning plan? Ok well this one is pretty simple, but first I want to talk about the cards I didn’t put in. As you as probably aware vampires do exist and not only that, but currently they are one of the forces to be reckoned with. Being one of the top decks means there are lots of opinions on it and more importantly it can affect the price and we at Tragic The Gathering or Adventures in the Meta, whichever way you think of us, will always fly the flag for budget, so for this reason you won’t find any Bloodghasts, Highborns or Vampire Nighthawks in this deck.  Now it’s important to say that these are good cards and they would go well in the deck, but there are over 10,000 magic cards in existence and with numbers like that there’s really no need to play with the same 50.... (Standard... Less cards...Yes I know...Making a point...ok? ... Good... Let’s move on...)   

So now we know what’s not in it, here’s a quick run through the stars that did make the list.  There are two, one drops, Guul Draz Assassin and Student of Warfare, and they are both pretty imposing first turn threats. There are two lords and each has an awesome second ability. Being black and white the deck has the best of removal and Grim Discovery will help you get your favourite critters back and help you sort your colours out by recurring the Marsh flats...

Ok what was all that about a double act? Well the two reasons I went black white with this deck are Arrogant Bloodlord and Knight Exemplar. If ever two cards were meant to go together it was these two, The Bloodlord is a rare creature indeed a 4/4 for 3 and its sole flaw is compensated perfectly by the other 3 drop knight, who not only makes him indestructible but also pumps him... And since we’re adding a knight lord... why not add one of the best one drops and knight in the game, Student of Warfare.

Now this a real word of warning... These cards are cheap now, but they are going to go up and I mean rocket in value. With the introduction of Hero of the Bladehold and the two new cavaliers in the new set, there’s a good chance that knights will be the new white weenie deck and if we remember why we don’t have Bloodghasts in this deck I’d suggest if you haven’t got Students of Warfare or Knights of the Exemplar already you better get onto EBay now.  (Speaking of which you may have noticed the Amazon.co.uk search box at the bottom of the blog... Have you ever searched for Magic the Gathering on Amazon? If not... try it... the results might surprise you)

For the sideboard try Vampire Hexmage (Which could also be worth a shout in the main deck) and as we are in black and white you could add either or both of the leylines, or maybe Inquisition of Kozilek or duress to steal the threats before they hit the table...

Black Knight and white knight also fit the build, but I sincerely think you'll get more value out of the vampires and there are enough to make the Vampire lord's ability resolve and that is a hidoeus trick. Of course the new knghts will also work here but this is a vampire deck for my friend Melenko and when the new set comes out I'll make a knights deck too.

If you have them, then BloodGhasts and the gang fit right into this deck, but what makes this deck special are the lords... 

Captivating Vampire? +1+! to each Vampire and you can steal creatures? 

Knight Exemplar +1+1 and indestructabillity? 

I find the mana is working, ok but if you feel you need more stability you could always add Prophetic Prism. Other options for the main deck could be Journey to Nowhere over the Condemn and Disfigure over the the Feast of Blood.

In my opinion these are two of the best lords wizards have printed, but we'll have the chance to test that theory really soon, as we take a look at the best Lords ever... From the double pumping lieges to the tricksy Reejeries and the frankly bonkers Goblin Riggers...