One-Drop EDH

This is not the most serious deck I’ve ever made.  This is a tribute to the most serious deck I’ve ever made.

Continue reading One-Drop EDH

So you want to be a wizard…

This is a guide for building a Commander Cube. If you want to make your own, this is a great place to start.

First I’ll give you a little background on how I created mine.

I love building decks, especially EDH decks. About a year and half ago I started building new decks pretty much every week. I don’t have an unlimited budget to support having dozens of EDH decks built at once, so what I decided to do was to start turning my collection into one of each EDH staple. The idea was to have a big box full of really good cards that I could pull from and be able to make a deck on the fly. After awhile it dawned on me that what I was really doing was creating an EDH cube, about that time the MtG Commander Decks came out, so I decided to call it the Commander Cube because I adore alliteration.

The best thing about cube (from the builder's perspective) is that you get to decided what's balanced and what isn't. Another thing is that its harder for players to abuse the really broken cards because you often have to build around them to make them really disgusting, which is very hard to do in a cube draft.

Once I decided to make the plunge and turn my collection into an Commander Cube. I took some time to do some research on cube design, and if anyone had done EDH cube in the past. There are a number of good resources out there for standard cube design, but I was surprised to find that there really wasn’t much about drafting commander decks. The only thing I could find were some whisperings about it in the somewhat obscure “format variations” forum on It was somewhat helpful, but did not contain a lot of details, and didn’t look like it was exactly the way that I wanted to go with it.

The first thing I wanted to determine was how many cards I was going to need to have in my cube. In order to do this I took a look at how a normal cube draft goes (or any booster draft for that matter). Most of you reading this will probably already know that you draft three 15-card booster packs and then construct a 40-card deck when you do a normal booster draft. I asked myself: if it takes 3 boosters to make a playable 40-card deck, how many would it take to build a 100-card deck? Well, 100 is 2.5x 40, so if we multiply 3 by 2.5, we get 7.5 packs. What I decided to do was to have each player draft seven 15-card packs, as well as draft some number of generals at the start of the draft. Initially each player got a pack of seven generals (commanders) and we drafted those. After a while it became clear to me that seven was a bit high, so I changed that number to four, and moved 20 multicolor legendary creatures into the packs to serve as back up plans for people during the draft.

Continue reading So you want to be a wizard…

CommanderCast 4-color commander contest.

In yesterday’s commander cast, Andy announced a new contest! Here’s a link to the rules. In short, he asked for a full cycle of 4-Color Commanders.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. I wanted to share with everyone to inspire other people to make some awesome Commanders because there aren’t any 4-color ones right now. I’m not hellbent on winning, so feel free to build off of my ideas (just don’t copy them exactly, obviously).


(My friend already pointed out to me that Fugazi is the name of band, it was unintentional and I haven’t gotten around to changing it yet.)

Here are some notes on my design process:

Continue reading CommanderCast 4-color commander contest.


You may have heard the podcast on Commander Cast that came out this Monday, and I thought that I should give you all an update. Since they were nice enough to give us (and my cube) an awesome shout out, I figured I should give you all an update on what has changed in my cube, and what what’s been going on with it.

Most exciting change is that I made an awesome box to house my cube. Have a look:

I’ve made a decent number of changes to the contents of the cube (and haven’t really kept up the change log as I said I would). So here’s a big update.

Another big change that I’ve made is that we’ve been drafting a smaller number of commanders at the start of the draft and including some in the packs. Currently we’ve been drafting a pack of 4 generals, and then 20 more are randomly selected and mixed into the packs. I’ve found that this works best because it gives the players a good direction for their draft, but also gives some second chances for those draft didn’t go as expected. A good example of how this works well came with the last time I drafted: I had been working on drafting a BUG deck and then realized quickly into pack 2 that I was squeezed out of green from both sides and then picked up a blue black general and was able to seamlessly swap into that that.

In other news, I’ve created a small subset of cards that I can swap in and out of my cube to create a smaller 360-card cube for running standard cube drafts. I’ve been having a lot of fun doing Winston drafts with it. I drafted a WUBR aggro deck that worked very well, it was fun times.

Feel free to post any questions you have about Commander cube, or regular cube in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Here’s a list of some of the recent changes to my cube:

  • Moved signets from Gold to Colorless to make room for commanders in packs.
  • Took out 10 Gold cards for the above reason.
  • We now draft a pack of 4 commanders at the start and then proceed with seven 15-card packs.
  • Added some more VERY broken and normally banned cards. (see if you can find them)
  • Obviously my custom wooden box. (not sure if I’ll be making some to sell)
  • I managed to (almost) completely balance out the multicolored cards, both in the commander section and in the gold section.
  • Trimmed down the amount of mass land destruction because it was discovered that there was a “mass land destruction deck” and I decided that was VERY BAD.
  • Traded for over 100 foil basic lands recently!!! That was probably the funniest trade I’ve ever done.
  • Total cards in my cube is 872 (down from 896).

Look for a cube design article coming soon.

Commander Cube First Pick #5

Which card do you first pick and why?  Assume that your group has decided to draft your generals at the end instead of at the beginning.  How would that pick change if you had drafted a certain general beforehand, instead?

[card]Battle Mastery[/card]
[card]Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir[/card]
[card]Beacon of Unrest[/card]
[card]Hoarding Dragon[/card]
[card]Seedborn Muse[/card]
[card]Cavern Harpy[/card]
[card]Dryad Arbor[/card]
[card]Seal of Cleansing[/card]
[card]Frost Titan[/card]
[card]Wheel of Fortune[/card]
[card]Far Wanderings[/card]
[card]Sundering Titan[/card]
[card]Overgrown Tomb[/card]

Too Fun to Wait: The Maelstrom Wanderer’s Suicide Squad

Eagle-eyed adherents of Daily MTG might have spotted this gem back in November, but for the most part it’s fallen under most players’ radar. It’s the Maelstrom Wanderer, a new commander that’s going to be released this summer along with a new edition of Planechase. It reads like an EDH player’s wishlist: 7 power for that coveted 3-turn clock, haste, free spells for card advantage, and access to both green and blue – the two most powerful colors in EDH. Sure, it costs eight mana, but when you’re cascading into 7 mana spells not once but twice, that’s more of a feature than a drawback. Once I saw it, I was hooked. Availability be damned, I knew I had to make a deck.  And here it is.

The overall concept behind the deck is simple: ramp up to eight mana as soon as possible, then cast the Wanderer and start swinging for the fences with whatever you cascade into. It’s by far the Timmy-est deck I’ve ever put together. Sure, you could technically use [card]Scroll Rack[/card] to sculpt the top of your deck into the perfect cascade, or run things like [card]Jokulhaups[/card] that practically hand you the game on a silver platter when you cascade into them, but this isn’t that kind of deck. The randomness is the point. Sometimes the deck cascades into [card]Wood Elves[/card] and [card]Cultivate[/card], and other times it cascades into [card]Primeval Titan[/card] and [card]Avenger of Zendikar[/card]. You never know what you’re going to get, but with a curve that has more 7 drops than 3 or 4 drops, the odds are it’s going to be good.

Continue reading Too Fun to Wait: The Maelstrom Wanderer’s Suicide Squad

Commander Cube First Pick #4

Which card do you first pick and why?  Assume that your group has decided to draft your generals at the end instead of at the beginning.  How would that pick change if you had drafted a certain general beforehand, instead?

[card]Baneslayer Angel[/card]
[card]Cryptic Command[/card]
[card]Vengeful Pharaoh[/card]
[card]Furnace of Rath[/card]
[card]Concordant Crossroads[/card]
[card]Double Negative[/card]
[card]Crucible of Worlds[/card]
[card]Isolated Chapel[/card]
[card]Hokori, Dust Drinker[/card]
[card]Ray of Command[/card]
[card]Liliana Vess[/card]
[card]Inferno Titan[/card]
[card]Yavimaya Elder[/card]
[card]Death Grasp[/card]
[card]Cloudstone Curio[/card]

Commander Cube First Pick #3

Which card do you first pick and why?  Assume that your group has decided to draft your generals at the end instead of at the beginning.  How would that pick change if you had drafted a certain general beforehand, instead?

[card]Martial Coup[/card]
[card]Diabolic Tutor[/card]
[card]Vicious Shadows[/card]
[card]Indrik Stomphowler[/card]
[card]Darksteel Forge[/card]
[card]Caves of Koilos[/card]
[card]Stoic Rebuttal[/card]
[card]Dread Cacodemon[/card]
[card]Stand or Fall[/card]
[card]Vow of Wildness[/card]
[card]Izzet Chronarch[/card]
[card]Spine of Ish Sah[/card]
[card]Underground River[/card]

Dark Ascension Set Review

Coda: Innistrad was a resounding success for Wizards of the Coast.  Not only did it absolutely nail the flavor and feeling of classic gothic horror, it’s provided one of the most engaging Limited formats of all time and given greedy little EDHers like us some pretty spectacular cards to work with. Falkenrath Noble, Kessig Cagebreakers, Snapcaster Mage, Unburial Rites, Balefire Dragon…these cards have all made a fairly large impact on decks in our meta.  That said, if there was one aspect of Innistrad that I think it fell short in, it would have to be its support for white.  All the other colors got these crazy awesome creatures and great utility cards, but white really only came out of Innistrad with a decent anthem, [card]Intangible Virtue[/card], and a mediocre draw engine, [card]Mentor of the Meek[/card].  Let’s hope that Dark Ascension throws white a bone or two in addition to keeping the hits coming in the other colors.  Now, on to the cards! Continue reading Dark Ascension Set Review

Commander Cube First Pick #2

Which card do you first pick and why?  Assume that your group has decided to draft your generals at the end instead of at the beginning.  How would that pick change if you had drafted a certain general beforehand, instead?

[card]Akroma’s Vengeance[/card]
[card]Vesuvan Shapeshifter[/card]
[card]Diabolic Edict[/card]
[card]Mighty Emergence[/card]
[card]Unburial Rites[/card]
[card]Vedalken Orrery[/card]
[card]Reflecting Pool[/card]
[card]Path to Exile[/card]
[card]Patriarch’s Bidding[/card]
[card]Balefire Dragon[/card]
[card]Oracle of Mul Daya[/card]
[card]Double Negative[/card]
[card]Blightsteel Colossus[/card]