How to actually fix the Yugioh meta in 2018 REALLY easily… (Yugioh January 2018 TCG Banlist Wishes)

So Yugioh (as it always manages to do) has become horribly stale with a solved meta and huge price of entry. Put in simpler terms: Spyral is too good and Ash Blossom and Joyous Spring is too expensive. I think I can quickly explain how Konami North America can fix the format and make the game more enjoyable and accessible.

Step 1: Give us a real Banlist that kills the established decks 

The format is being run by the bogeymen of the past. I actually think that all of the Vrains era archetypes (even to an extent Trickstars) are fair, balanced and promote a somewhat back and forth gameplay…

Well maybe not World Chalice…

It’s only a handful of antiqued decks and problem cards in the current meta that are stifling newer play styles. It’s not that Magical Musketeers are bad, its’ that older decks like ABC are still too good. I think Konami is making a clear effort to make archetypes weaker and to make generic link monsters much better (I know that the Crystron Link will break the game in 2 eventually). Anyway, I might as well get to banlist part since that’s what 90% of ppl are here for.



While Spyral only recently got its Link monster, its already proven too powerful to be allowed to live. The fact that every deck must run 5+ handtraps just to stymie the Spyral deck is absurd. Furthermore, Spyral exemplifies what I like to call the “10 minute turn”. This was started by Nekroz, made commonplace by Zoodiac and now has been perfected by Spyral. Basically the Spyral plays and combos take a large amount of time which causes their turns to be super long. This is the least fun aspect of the game because you know in your gut as you watch them play that unless you have a handtrap you likely won’t get much of a turn to play afterwards. Basically I think Spyral needs to be knocked down… hard. So much so that its best card should be banned…


I would like to see Spyral Resort banned as it provides the deck insane consistency. With Resort gone the deck would also lose access to Masterplan along with most of its basic combos. This will NOT kill the deck. Similar to Zoodiac players will innovate the deck to keep it meta relevant, which is fine. We need Spyral hit to give slower decks some breathing room. This in turn would lesson the need for handtraps. In my humble opinion the only reason handtraps are so good is because Spyral has gotten us in the mindset of “if I don’t stop them turn 1 I can’t play”. If the format slowed down, then handtraps would lose their relevance.

TLDR: Ban Spyral Resort 


Invoked, ABC and Paleo

None of these decks are particularly oppressive, but all of them have overstayed their welcome as far as being meta relevant. I think Konami could seriously consider hitting all of these decks just to make people stop playing them. Also it should be pointed out THAT EVERY ONE OF THESE DECKS WAS ALREADY HIT IN THE OCG AGES AGO! I’m not going to say that Toad, Aleister and Dragon Buster all need to go to 1, but that I wouldn’t be surprised if they did, nor would I be upset.

TLDR: Limit Toadally Awesome, ABC-Dragon Buster and Aleister the Invoker to 1



True Draco

Masterpeace was the problem, not Dinomight Knight. This deck like the former is just too good for the newer archetypes to handle because it inherently violates the basic rules of the game (multiple tribute summons per turn and tribute summoning without having to run bricky low level monsters) and is incredible in the grind game (True King’s Return smiles from the clouds).  Yeah I think Masterpeace belongs at 1. The deck will still be playable, but not nearly as strong. Also I know that Masterpeace is searchable off Diagram and that some builds only play 1. However, I think Masterpeace to 1 would weaken the deck enough that ppl won’t play it that much.

TLDR: Limit Masterpeace the True Draco Slaying King to 1  



Pendulum Magicians

Once Pendulums get Heavymetalfoes Electrumite in the new set it’s power and consistency will go through the roof. To prevent them from getting out of hand, I have a slightly unorthodox hit in mind.


Put Time Pendulumgraph to 1…

Now just wait a second and here me out…

I know that the threat of the deck lies in its ability to plus like crazy, but isn’t one of the biggest problems that it ends on the trap with Purple Poison Magician in scale? Scrap Dragon was a great Yugioh card. The Phantom Knights of Breaksword was an even greater Yugioh card. Well Time Pendulumgraph is like both of those cards on steroids. I’m not confident that limiting the trap to 1 will actually even hurt Pendulum Magicians. At the same time I’m not sure if a trap deserves to be banned in a format where we see very few trap cards see any play at all. I also don’t want to re-limit Skull Crobat Joker or Wisdom Eye since that would be akin to when Konami un-banned and then quickly re-banned Snatch Steal. It makes it seem too much like they made a clear mistake. For now I say hit the trap and see what happens. Also I know that the trap is searchable and that some builds only play 1. Despite this I think that if you can kill the trap once you should be safe.

TLDR: Limit Time Pendulumgraph to 1



I had to put this somewhere. Trickstar is totally fair (annoying, but fair) outside of the interaction between its themed trap Trickstar Reincarnation and the old handtrap Droll&Lock Bird. There is no reason why a combo that denies the opponent their whole hand should be allowed to exist in modern era Yugioh. I don’t care if its inconsistent. I don’t care if it only happens 2 games out of a 9 round tournament. This is literally the most unfair play of the format. If we put Reincarnation to 1, then the combo has to rely on the unsearchable card Disturbance Strategy and thus becomes nearly impossible to pull off. Does limiting Reincarnation kill Trickstar? It does hurt the deck insanely, but I think eradicating the salt from hand-looping players is well worth that risk.

TLDR: Limit Trickstar Reincarnation to 1


I’ll save Step 2 for another day. Just to be clear these aren’t necessarily the hits I want as much as hits I think could happen. Also I’m not an authority enough on Yugioh to say that any of these hits are truly correct. Feel free to tell me that I’m wrong and what other cards should be hit. I’ll gladly reply to civil comments. I will also just as easily delete troll comments.

Thanks for reading as always.



It’s only due to a mix of sleep deprivation, extreme happiness and slight intoxication that’s finally getting me to address the elephant in the room. I haven’t posted here in almost 2 months. The world of card games has changed while I remained inert and silent. Banlists dropped, formats changes and did buy plenty of product, but I did it all in silence. Why you may ask? Well I realized something pretty important. Trying to play and collect all of these card games was already a pipe dream. Maintaining interest and following set releases is really hard. That’s why I started to branch out and hire guest writers (who I actually paid) to specialize in each game. Still even that was impossible to keep up. What happened to make things so difficult? Well it was quite simple really. I finished college.

During my time in school I could devote my money and far too much of my time to all this card game stuff. Summer 2017 brought me into the world of adulthood wherein even following ONE card game is a challenge. When you combine that with how honestly on the fringe I was with most of these games, it became pretty likely that I wouldn’t be able to follow them. That being said there was a time when I truly cared about this blog. It would be wrong to just let it die quietly.

So here’s:

  • My 5 AM unfiltered thoughts on each card game as of right now
  • Literally every major card game event/thing that happened to me since my last post
  • My thoughts on the recent Yugioh banlists (Can you believe I missed those? Geez)


Unfiltered Thoughts: 


My fanatical love of this game and franchise is unquestionable. The floor of my apartment has been coated in Yugioh cards for weeks at a time.


My collection of anime decks has long surpassed 100 completed decks. I’ve got them all organized by series in the corner of my room now.


It’s a 100% established fact that Yugioh is my favorite trading card game. I’ve even been dabbling back and forth with meta…


(aka bricking) but I still consider myself  both a very die-hard and eccentric collector.

Status: Actively Following, Buying, Collecting, Playing


Magic the Gathering 

Magic will always be my second favorite game. It has a richness and depth that both intrigues and terrifies me. I know almost every Yugioh that exists. I don’t know half of the Magic cards that exist. Since I moved to my new apartment my Yugioh cads have littered the floor while my Magic cards have gone untouched. I like watching Magic (especially StarCityGames replays) that much I know. However when it comes down to playing it I barely do or try to. All of my passion for

Status: Actively Following Standard and Modern, Infrequent Play due to Yugioh

And now for all of those other games…



I have never liked that in Pokemon it feels like comebacks are infrequent. Once you’re losing in prize cards it feels impossible to catch up. And yes I know there are supporter/trainer cards that support the losing player. They just don’t feel like enough to me. Also actually watching Pokemon feels like Legacy or Vintage Magic to me. I just can’t play the game anymore and I haven’t followed it in months. My deck has long since rotated.

Status: Has 2 rotated decks and half a binder, Not Collecting or Playing


Force of Will

I honestly loved this game. I gave it a lot of time, money and attention all for it to completely fail me. I sold all but my most beloved cards from the era in which I played. Some swell chap in Germany bought my whole collection on Ebay. I pray those cards are serving him well. I occasionally see spoilers for new cards and to be honest I loved playing Force of Will (my decks still exist), but I don’t think I’ll be playing it ever again.

Status: Morally opposed to it in every way, has a binder and 2 decks as a keepsake



Naruto was a weird mix of Pokemon and Magic that I honestly found very enjoyable. Unfortunately Naruto died in like 2013 and there’s no changing that. I only ever had one friend (after Middle school) who played/collected the cards and he’s back in New Jersey. These cards now rest in half of a binder while I ponder how to get rid of my bulk.

Status: Half of keepsake binder and 2 tins of unwanted bulk left


My Little Pony 

I never gave this game a fair attempt. We played it incorrectly a few times (trying to force multiplayer), and I think I only played it normally twice. This game was just a bit tedious and the only novelty was that concept of “fighting” with the ponies. Oddly enough all my decks are still built, but this game is likely to waste away in my storage box.

Status: Like 6 decks just lying around


Cardfight Vanguard 

I don’t like playing this game. I really like the artwork of certain cards and I enjoyed collecting those cards (back when I had money to throw away). However, now I can’t say I would ever willingly play Cardfight. The gameplay just upsets me and I don’t know if that will ever change. I do still love the Bermuda Triangle and Angel cards. Somehow I never made a binder for them though.

Status: 2 large piles of cards that really need a binder



Wixoss died when my friend Kenny vanished. He was the biggest advocate for this game. Without him I lost all interest as did my friend group. I stopped following the show and the sets. My decks are still together, but Kenny took all my other cards so those 4 decks are all I have left.

Status: Selector Abandoned Wixoss


Weiss Schwarz

Weiss is the best card game to not play. I love getting cards of my favorite anime characters because I’m a colossal nerd. Just having the cards makes me happy. Actually playing the game however has never worked out. With the exception of one Sword Art Online player, EVERY PERSON I’ve ever played Weiss with has gotten incredibly mad during the course of the game due to a bad card flip or pull. Like they would get so angry that I would feel uncomfortable. This made Weiss increasingly unpleasant to play so I dismantled all my decks. I still love the cards, but adding to a Weiss binder is all I plan to do if even that.

Status: One binder filled to capacity (also these status posts sure have degraded over time huh?)


Fire Emblem Cipher

Uh I learned how to play this at 2 AM. I remember nothing about how to play. I’m not a Fire Emblem fan, THOUGH I am enjoying the phone game so that may change. I can’t really comment on the game.

Status: I swear I have these cards somewhere…)


What happened:

Philly Regional

I attended the Philly Regional on September 9th. I borrowed a friend’s True Draco Demise deck. This is a chunk of it.

20170908_205027I went 4-4-1 and placed 140th out of  roughly 500. While not great this was the highest I’ve ever placed in Philly.


Ixalan Pre-Release

I attended the Ixalan Pre-release immediately before writing this post. I went 3-0-1 running Jund Dinosaurs (because I do what I want).


I split with round 4 opponent so we could each get the most packs.


This is the second time I’ve ever done so well at a pre-release. I haven’t gone 3-0-1 since Dragon’s Maze.

I’ve constructed a number of yugioh anime decks.


Along with buying The Ur-Dragon Commander 2017 pre-con. Ur-Dragon has since replaced Progentitus as my commander.


I bought a box of Battle of Light’s Revenge and multiple 2017 Starter decks.


I opened Triple Dimensional Barrier in 3 Mega Tins. Honestly it was a good haul all around.


I’ve bought the entire Yugioh collections of two people and absorbed most of the cards from a third person.



And I got to watch a Hane-Hane get hit by Raigeki


There is probably more, but I can’t think of anything else right  now.


Yugioh September 18th 2017 Banlist (TCG) 

Zoo died the death it deserved ages ago finally opening the format up to new strategies. True Draco is still viable as Master Peace Turbo. Dinosaurs are now OTK or bust. Lightsworns can sack better. Most of the other hits are irrelevant. There are tons of cards that should’ve been hit also, but I still like this banlist.

Whelp my eyes hurt…. like a lot. It’s time to stop.

What’s next for this blog? I honestly don’t know. I doubt I’ll have time to give it the attention it deserves. It may die. It may not. I thank you regardless for following the mad adventures of one man in his quest to perish suffocated under cardboard.

Thanks for reading as usual.

When the Ban-Hammer Strikes Again (July 2017 Yugioh OCG Ban list Reaction)

They banned even more cards in Yugioh while I wasn’t looking too. This time in the OCG where Link Summoning somehow did nothing to stop Zoodiacs…

That is until now…


Zoodiac Broadbull

You know, I thought banning Drident and Barrage was harsh. I thought the deck didn’t deserve such treatment to stop it.

I was wrong. These series of cards actually wrecked Yugioh more than almost any series before them. Zoo became (and has become) standard. You add Zoodiac to any deck and its ceiling raises. Everyone is playing it. Variants of it are among every top cut finish. It’s just an utter nightmare.

Banning Broadbull kills the deck though. I wish there was a way for zoo to exist without being leagues ahead of every other deck. It pretty took the torch from Burning Abyss in that regard of being on another level of consistency. Anyway, Broadbull’s death SHOULD be the end of Zoodiac being a top deck in the OCG, bar some new combo I still haven’t heard of yet.



Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King

Basically what I said before applies to the True King deck outside of the negative impact on the game (monopolizing the meta). This deck is just very strong and also doesn’t use Link Summoning. Konami wants ppl to use Link Summoning. Ergo we have to hit True Kings. This hit should not kill the deck, but will hopefully give the new cards a chance to shine.
Fairy Tail – Snow

Snow is the most powerful card in self-mill decks. It’s a proud member of the Lightsworn-Infernoid-Zombie family. Also Snow maybe the single best card to mill off of that Grass looks Greener/Lawn-mowing. Realistically an errata to be “Once per turn” would’ve fixed this card, but putting it to one works too.
Dragonic Diagram

So my rationale for True Kings being ok despite this and their boss monster being hit is that this is searchable off of Terraforming, which is somehow still at three… OH WAIT-

Maybe True Kings are ruined now…



There are a billion of these new semi-limits so I’m going to be pretty brief)

Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer (Pendulums have been nerfed by the new rules, thus Sorcerer is fair)
Witch of the Black Forest (I’m sure they mean with the same errata as Sangan… right?)
Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss (BA is… dead…)
Rescue Cat (Errata has made the card fair)
Burial from a Different Dimension (Uhhhhh, this seems like a terrible idea, but I guess this card doesn’t scream combo piece like most do)
Card of Demise (NOOOOOOOOOO, and so the dream of just playing the same stun/trap card deck dies)
Preparation of Rites (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, the Nekroz fanboy in me intensifies)
Saqlifice (People deserve to pay 800 and feel great again, oh wait that’s Scout isn’t it?)
Dark Hole (Like…. what?)
Terraforming (Oh, well this is embarrassing I legit didn’t remember this hit when writing the earlier part of this reaction. Anyway if they stop making field spells solitaire then maybe terraforming wouldn’t be broken… oh ok that’s a lie. Terraforming will always be broken)
Union Hangar (ABC will be good forever, no meta perhaps but still good)
Wavering Eyes (Again Pendulums are dead, I guess that makes this fine)
Dragon Ravine (The Dragon Rulers got this banned and all the Dragunity players died out waiting for it to come back)

*gets punched out for spamming caps lock/being annoying

Anyway, we all knew Strike would be limited someday. It has to follow the trajectory of Solemn Warning.



Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning (You know what? I don’t want to live in a world where BLS is at three. Regardless of how much play he sees this card should stay at 1 on principle. I mean why on earth would they put him at 3?!)
Wisdom-Eye Magician (Nuff said)
Armageddon Knight (Well ok then, I assume Dark Synchro decks are just nerfed now. I don’t recall anywhere else that Armageddon knight is commonly played)
D/D Swirl Slime (Poor D/D/Ds never got to a meta threat in TCG like they were in the OCG. It feels like they should be dead with links regardless)
Goyo Guardian (Hah! Remember back when Goyo was a threat?)
Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer (Wow, he’s back now that it’s too late to be relevant)
Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier (It’s the guy who lost his job to Coral Dragon)
Brain Control (Yeah, this errata was a mistake. The card is unplayable. You might as well as flipped it to only take Extra deck monsters)

And so ends my random, unprofessional and very sporadic review of the banlist for the card game I really only collect from at this point.

Thanks for reading as usual. jail



When the Ban-Hammer Strikes (June 19th Magic the Gathering Ban List Reaction)

If a card gets banned and I’m not around to hear it…


So Magic as part of their big week of updates (last week) delivered the swift banhammer blow to Aetherworks Marvel. This deck was a powerhouse in Standard mostly due to its ability to cast Ulamog for free. While the deck was not oppressive. It did upset a large amount of the standard players in the same way that the felidar saheeli combo did.


The deck has quickly been replaced by energy “good stuff” decks alongside the already popular constrictor and zombie strategies.

I am happy that Marvel is banned only because standard is meant to have games not decided on turn 4. The mere chance that a deck in standard can craft an effective win that fast is enough reason for me to want it banned. Hopefully, this banning and the upcoming Hour of Devastation set spice up Standard (which has been stale of late).

I basically skipped Amonkhet incidentally. School was hard at that time and if I wanted to play card game that had allusions to Egypt well…

Anyway, thanks for reading as usual.

Jori En – A Primer: A Self-Conscious EDH Storm

(Hello. I’m the same guy from the Grenzo thing. Big thanks to TooManyCardGames for hosting this deck tech.)

Storm is fun. For the pilot. This is a constant in all formats in which storm is viable, which is most of them. Better players than I have demonstrated exactly how true this is in Commander, with lists like this one. While all-in Grixis Storm decks may be the most viable way to win with a high storm count, they have some inherent problems for anyone playing outside a hardcore competitive metagame. Specifically:

  • Maintaining a three-color manabase in an archetype reliant on High Tide is not cheap, and can be inconsistent.
  • They can be incredibly intimidating, and immediately become the threat at the table.
  • They don’t play nice with others.

That last point is key. While there is a decent amount of interaction in Jeleva Storm and similar, most lists aren’t designed for the long game, and don’t have a comfortable plan outside of storming off. This is a huge deal, because there are absolutely tables at which an early storm kill is the least fun thing to have happen. So what can you do? Just not play storm unless your meta is purely competitive? I’m here to present another option: play storm in a combo-control shell.

The theory behind this is pretty simple. The deck has two stances: aggressivly play for the combo turn, or be the control player. Why does this matter? Well, the main problem storm has is the raw time it takes to resolve the winning turn. If you’re winning turns 3-5, and most of the early turns are land-go, you’ve just dominated the total time taken by all players with a five minute turn in a ten minute game. Do this an hour in, after controlling the board and keeping a few other players from winning, and this doesn’t seem quite as bad.

Of course, I can’t guarantee that this won’t still give people the feel-bads. Storm is not something everyone enjoys playing against, and for some people, the mere fact that it is your win condition will be enough for them to hate you and everything you represent. Unfortunately, this seems to be true of practically any deck one could play, so I’ll just be moving on.

Okay, so now we just need to figure out how to play control and combo with the same deck. To be honest, the control part on its own is not an easy task. In a four-player game, the only real types of controlling interaction that scale well are stax and board wipes. Stax is probably going to interfere with our storm plan, and board wipes can be dead or ineffectual against a variety of types of decks, so we will have to rely on traditional countermagic and spot removal as well. Both of these scale… poorly. Holding down an entire table is incredibly difficult. We need a commander that can recoup some of the advantage lost from spending our cards defensively. My weapon of choice: Jori En, Ruin Diver.

Jori is unassuming. She’ll generally draw you a card per round, sometimes two, and occassionally none. The interesting thing here is that as you try to control the table, she’ll often be drawing cards in proportion to the number of threats that must be dealt with. Every time you interact on an opponent’s turn, you have an opportunity to spin it into card advantage. This can actually be enough to tip the scales to where controlling three players is possible. The other key points Jori hits: she is not necessary for the storm plan, so casting her is usually not seen as threating; and she has relatively low mana cost, allowing her to be played while players are still developing.

Jori isn’t exactly conventional, so let’s compare her briefly to the other options.

Alternative Commanders

Mono Blue

Baral, Chief of Compliance and Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy are both fairly viable for this archetype. Each filters your draws in some way, getting you to the card advantage needed to control the board, and each contributes to the storm plan (Baral by being a cost reducer, Jace by flashing back a critical spell, often High Tide). That said, they don’t directly contribute card advantage, and being mono blue removes Past in Flames and Yawgmoth’s Will as options, cutting some resilience from the storm plan.


Dralnu, Lich Lord presents an interesting twist on Jace, but the high mana cost and harsh risk make this option unappealing.

Oona, Queen of the Fae is an infinite mana outlet in the command zone. Aaaand… That’s it. For the archetype we are playing, a commander who is only useful when you are ready to win is not a great commander.


Keranos, God of Storms provides some of the same goodness as Jori, by either drawing a card or controlling the board each turn. Unfortunately, at five mana, the benefits Keranos provides are not sufficient. The majority of the time, this is a lightning bolt once per turn, which is just not enough.

Mizzix of the Izmagnus, and to a lesser extent Melek, Izzet Paragon and Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, can be powerful commanders, with abilities that contribute directly towards the storm turn. Unfortunately for the latter, they cost six mana, and unfortunately for Mizzix, he is very much a known quantity. Mizzix is incredibly dangerous to leave in play, and as a result, he dies. A lot. Further, Mizzix is highly build-around, so if he is not in play, the deck becomes significantly worse. This is just not what we’re looking for.

Nin, the Pain Artist is probably the closest to Jori En, and it would not be unreasonable to run her. At worst, she’s a slow Braingeyser, but when you have other creatures in play, she is repeatable instant speed card draw. Even better, she’s an outlet for infinite mana, and can act as spot removal in an emergency.


Let’s assume you accept that Jori En is a viable commander for a control/storm deck. Let’s take a look at such a deck.

Win Conditions

Ultimately, almost every win this deck gets will be through Aetherflux Reservoir. This card makes achieving lethal storm far easier than cards with the actual storm mechanic. This win condition, and to a lesser extent Grapeshot, is supported by two combos, both relatively well-known at this point.

Imprinting Dramatic Reversal on Isochron Scepter with mana rocks gives you arbitrarily large storm, and with mana rocks producing three or more total, infinite mana. Though this does not win the game on its own, in many circumstances, it is easy to transition this into a win.

Having Helm of Awakening, Future Sight, and Sensei’s Divining Top in play will allow you to repeatedly activate top and recast it for free, effectively drawing your deck and building a massive storm count.

Everything else

I’m going to break down most of the deck into several categories.


The countermagic suite includes cards that fulfill at least one of the following requirements:

  • Mana efficient (Mental Misstep, Mindbreak Trap, Swan Song, Rewind, Counterspell)
  • Highly flexible (Disallow, Cryptic Command, Unsubstantiate, Muddle the Mixture)
  • Draws cards (Arcane Denial, Remand)

Keeping roughly to these guidelines lets us split the difference between storm and control. Mana efficient can often mean that Jori En draws more cards, and that velocity is super important.


The exact mix of removal spells is something I’m constantly messing with, but here’s some examples:

  • Spot Removal
    • Creatures (Lightning Bolt, Pongify, Snap)
    • Artifacts (Dack Fayden, Shattering Pulse, Vandalblast)
    • Flexible (Chaos Warp, Metamorphose)
  • Mass Removal (All is Dust, Blasphemous Act, Cyclonic Rift)

Since it’s rare to get removal mixed into card draw in these colors, I focus on extreme mana efficiency for Jori, with the exception of the more flexible answers in these colors.


There has to be a lot of this, to smooth the divide between combo and control.

  • Cantrips (Brainstorm, Opt, Peek, Quicken, Ponder, Preordain, Gitaxian Probe, Impulse)
  • Tutors (Mystical Tutor, Gamble, Merchant Scroll, Personal Tutor, Whir of Invention)
  • Larger Draw (Fact or Fiction, Dig Through Time, Windfall, Reforge the Soul, Recurring Insight)

These serve drastically different purposes depending upon the circumstance. Cantrips allow Jori En to consistently build card advantage cheaply or velocity when looking for a combo, while deeper digging spells search for either answers or fuel for the storm turn.


These cards are primarily useful as setup, fuel, or payoff for the storm turn. As always, there is some overlap (in fact, the more useful these cards are elsewhere, the better). The win conditions already listed above are omitted.

  • Mana Production (High Tide, Mana Vault, Frantic Search, Turnabout)
  • Payoff (Grapeshot, Mind’s Desire, Past in Flames)

You may notice that the cards dedicated just to the storm turn are few. This is intentional. There is enough draw and filtering to find them when the time is right, and the majority of the list should be flexible enough to be useful both when looking to combo and when just kicking back.


Both forms of ramp are essential to this deck. Cost reducers lead to turns similar to the modern Past in Flames deck, and turn certain spells mana-positive. Besides the general need to get ahead on mana common to all EDH decks, running the Reversal/Scepter win condition requires some dedication to mana rocks.

  • Cost Reducers (Baral, Chief of Compliance, Goblin Electromancer, Helm of Awakening, Sapphire Medallion)
  • Mana Rocks (Wayfarer’s Bauble, Thran Dynamo, Sol Ring, Mind Stone, Izzet Signet, Gilded Lotus, Fellwar Stone, Chrome Mox)


First thing first: High Tide is a good card, and to use it we need islands. Second, we intend to be relying on not “whiffing” during the storm turn, which can be caused by drawing too many lands with wheel effects and other card draw. As such, we want a low land count. The high density of cantrips and the engine Jori En provides somewhat compensates for this. Everything else should consistently provide two colors and arrive untapped, with the possible exceptions of Izzet Boilerworks (which works very well with untap effects) and at most one basic Mountain. My current list looks something like this:

20x Islands (including shocks and fetches)

8x UR Lands

1x Bounce Land

1x Mountain

Reading the Table

With the list established, it’s time to talk about what I consider the most important part of playing this deck: figuring out what your opponents want. There are players who want to play against the best you have, and others that would rather the game go long and everyone get a chance to play. As the pilot of this deck, you have the opportunity to give both types of players what they want. Figuring out what’s going on at your table is essential to having a good game of EDH for everyone, and it’s worth going into some of the subtleties.


As anyone who has played against multiple opponents knows, the commanders your opponents choose can either be highly indicative or highly misleading. Take the information you have, but don’t make hard assumptions. Certain commanders, like Jace, Teferi, and Zur, can be strong pointers that your opponents are trying to win. Others are more ambiguous, like Breya, Jeleva, and Animar, each of which have viable competitive builds and casual fun modes. Still others are indicators that your opponents aren’t trying to optimize to win, like Norin, Kynaios and Tiro, or Kangee (sorry man).

In short, the information you get on turn 0 is the first clue as to what you should be doing. If this isn’t enough information, you’ll have to move on to the next indicators.


I know, crazy, right? Full disclosure, I’m generally against fishing for information in a tournament setting, but this isn’t quite the same. Everyone’s here to have a good time, and it’s in everyone’s interest that players be on the same page. If the guy across from you shows you General Tazri, allow yourself to show some natural fear that this may be Food Chain Tazri, and you’ll be dead on turn 4 (you won’t be, most likely, we have a lot of interaction to prevent that sort of thing). You may get a response along the lines of “Don’t worry, I don’t play combos,” or “Haha yeah,” and you can feel free to treat them appropriately.

By the same token, if someone asks you what you’re doing, don’t lie. Honesty in your expectations for how the game will be played is the best way to get the game everyone wants.

Card Choices

If all else fails, the cards don’t lie. From the overt (Mana Crypt, ABUR duals, revealed combo pieces) to the more subtle (cards like Preordain are often overlooked by new players in favor of splashier effects), it should be possible in the first 2-3 turns to figure out roughly what people’s decks are like.

When Not to Win

Okay, look, I know this sounds bad. I don’t at all mean to say that this deck is super competitive and has to shoot itself in the foot in order to not utterly overpower your local scrubs, because that is absolutely not the case. What I mean is that there are ways in which you can win that result in only you having fun, and if you’re like me, that probably means you aren’t having fun either. As you play the deck more, you’ll start seeing windows to go infinite relatively fast, because it turns out Dramatic/Scepter is pretty good.Don’t do this if you don’t think the table would be okay with it. By the time you have the opportunity to go for it, you should have an idea whether people are playing fair or not. Ending the game suddenly, especially if most of what the other players expect from a game hasn’t happened yet, will likely not make you many friends.

What I’ve found is that a natural storm turn can actually be more interesting to less competitive players than an easy combo. This is especially true late game, when a couple other players have already tried to push their advantage. As mentioned above, this isn’t always true, but it’s something to consider. The most important thing to remember here is your time. Play fast. Make mistakes. Apologize for taking time, if you have to think for more than a few seconds. You’ll get better at the deck and mess up less eventually, but until then, don’t waste everyone’s time by trying to optimize your every move.

This leads to the most important thing to remember. It’s okay to lose. It’s even okay to lose if you could have won. Unless everyone’s showing up to the table with the explicit intent to compete to the best of their ability, you have nothing to prove. Against non-competitive tables, racing to the kill is like trying to win a figure skating contest by speed skating.

Budget Concessions

As with Grenzo, this is not a fully optimized list. Obvious additions given a higher budget include Volcanic Island, fetches, Mana Crypt, and Wheel of Fortune (though Reforge the Soul does have interesting synergy with Jori En). Other more marginal omissions include Ancient Tomb, Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

Wrapping Up

TL;DR: It is possible to play storm at tables where nobody wants storm and come out not looking like a jerk. I think this is a pretty good way to do that.

Thanks for reading, folks. If you enjoyed this, consider checking out my youtube channel 1600 Horsepower or my website here.

Elder Entity Norden has finally been BANNED! (Yugioh June 12th Banlist Reaction)

Apparently, the only force capable of getting me to post is the ban hammer.


The only thing that really matters 


I have been calling for a ban of Elder Entity Norden for years. It would take Zoodiac variants winning all 32 spots of YCS Pittsburgh last weekend to finally seal the coffin of this blight on the game though. Fusion Substitute broke Norden in Zoodiac by letting them recycle his use (which invalidated limiting him to 1 copy per deck). Norden has been the key piece in degenerate combos since his printing. This is one of the best ban lists in ages just for this one hit. I am biased I admit. I’ve personally thought Norden deserved a ban so much that I never bought another copy after selling it with my ABC deck.



Speedroid Terrortop

Terrortop is one of the best one-card combo starters in the game. A lone terrortop leads to more plays than any one card should, especially without using your turn’s normal summon. This darn toy while loved by all, deserves to finally be shelved.

That Grass Looks Greener

When grass actually resolves, it generates enough card advantage to win games by itself. I like that Grass made playing more than 40 cards a viable option, but the blowout potential of this card is just too great. It engendered a brief period where people played 60 card decks just to make their opponent’s copies of grass dead. No one card should affect deck design this much. Limiting grass to 1 per deck is yet another good hit.



  • Performapal Skull Crobat Joker
  • Wisdom-Eye Magician
  • Pendulum Call

All of these are just Konami letting full-power pendulum decks be a thing before the rule changes of Link Format kills the mechanic. I’m certain that devoted Pendulum Magician fans are happy that they get one last hurrah with their deck though.

And that’s it. I think these hits were great. I generally hope that they beat back Zoodiac. The deck feels like the new Burning Abyss. Limiting Ratpier to 2 did nothing to stop the deck. Zoo also just seems better than everything else that the game has to offer. Anyway, that’s enough of my bias/salt.


Where you belong old man!

Thanks for reading as usual.

Apparently Felidar Guardian x Saheeli Rai is no longer canon (April 24th Banlist Addendum)

Wizards of the Coast literally 2 days after the initial ban and limited list has added Felidar Guardian to its standard ban list.


I agree fully with this ban (long diatribe about the combo preventing diversity and linking it to the old Splinter Twin combo). The only issue is that this entire situation makes the WoC game devs seem bad at their jobs. If they were considering banning Felidar Guardian, there was no reason to wait 2 days after the normal ban announcement. This whole situation was likely just a reaction to the negative publicity surrounding them NOT banning Felidar Guardian in the first place. It also made me have to post two days in a row on the same topic (those fiends).


Anyway, thanks for reading as always. Standard most likely saved now… hopefully…