Category Archives: Work In Progress

[WIP] GW Enchantress

Those who know me, know I love decks that are complex and have lots of interactions. I love a deck that rewards tight play and a solid grasp of its play lines.

In the days or yore, I played a casual Enchantress deck with Bramble Elemental and Aura’s like RancorMark of Fury, Crown of Flame, Fiery Mantle, and Ghitu Firebreathing. When I saw that GW Enchantress was a thing in Legacy I immediately wanted to play it. Granted, it’s not a very popular archetype and the argument against playing the deck is very reasonable. It is, for the most part, a bunch of separate pieces that do nothing alone and eventually coalesce into a win-condition–some would argue too slowly. In other words, Enchantress is a Control deck with a combo finish and in a format where combo also includes Show and Tell, Hypergenesis, and ANT, a turn nine or ten win just isn’t as impressive.

However, what about in standard?

Ever since we were told Theros was going to be an Enchantment block, I was hoping for the pieces to play a Standard-level Enchantress. Well, we got this:

EoB

I was skeptical at first when I saw our enchantment Enchantress was 4CMC, but in a world with Aburpt Decay 2GG is actually better than 1GG and besides, the three-drop slot is packed full of other wonderful toys. Cards like Courser, Boon Satyr and Banishing Light, cards that make the deck not just a collection of enchantments that do almost nothing but instead of collection of creatures that can beat down. The list I’m playing right now was inspired by the one Tomohoro Saito posted right when Nyx released.

I’ve since changed the list after a week of general success and then a week of nothing but draws as game one took forever.

2014-05-13 19.23.48
Deck List

Lands Creature Spells Non-Creature Spells
  • 4x Temple of Plenty
  • 4x Temple Garden
  • 9x Forest
  • 5x Plains
  • 4x Elvish Mystic
  • 3x Sylvan Caryatid
  • 3x Nyx-Fleece Ram
  • 4x Courser of Kruphix
  • 4x Eidolon of Blossoms
  • 1x Heliod, God of the Sun
  • 2x Archangel of Thune
  • 2x Karametra, God of Harvests
  • 3x Oppressive Rays
  • 4x Banishing Light
  • 4x Sphere of Safety
  • 2x Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
  • 2x Primeval Bounty

The core of the deck’s power is Sphere of Safety. Since just about all of your creatures are also enchantments, sphere stacks up rather quickly and most decks can’t even get through an enchantment count of three or four. It’s not like the deck fails to operate without it either. The Caryatids, Rams, and Coursers are massive brick walls for most decks that allow you to get past turns five and six when Elspeth, Karametra, and Thune take over the game. Rays and Light make for an effective removal package, placing a further tax on their earlier threats trying to attack and removing big threats somewhat permanently.

I’ve so far had pretty solid matches against Aggro and most Mid-range decks, but devotion Decks–especially those playing Nykthos–can push through a single Sphere without too much trouble. Gray Merchant and Fanatic of Mogis are both very dangerous cards, since you really only have four spells that remove a permanent from the field.

Which is why my sideboard is as follows:

  • 2x Banisher Priest (More real removal)
  • 3x Selesnya Charm (Mostly for GR monsters, and Mono-Black)
  • 3x Mistcutter Hydra (Can win blue based match-ups all on its own)
  • 2x Rest In Peace (Better for this deck than Scavenging Ooze)
  • 2x Bramblecrush (My answer to Nykthos)
  • 3x Celestial Flare (My only real hope against Hexproof)

I had the Thunes side, but I feel like I need to be able to win/steal Game One so that I’m under less pressure to close out two more games and with the Rams, Coursers, and Primeval Bounty, I do gain a lot of life and my creatures get massive quickly. I’ll have a report from states after this weekend, but until then, if you have any questions leave me a comment or tweet me @darkr3x.

Until next time, my all your top decks be excellent.

[Rambling] Vlog Edition

Please, please, please let me know how I sound. I can’t really tell ><

[Story – WIP] The Haunting at 29th and Q


Synopsis/BackgroundJump to Story

One of my goals for my first semester was to write a short story. Not a novel chapter, not a novella that I’d crammed into a tiny space, but a standalone narrative with a beginning, middle and end. That said, this Tess mystery is still part of something larger—think of it as something like the Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple short stories—but I feel it accomplishes that goal of having a narrative singularity.

As a note, the setting is a bit Sci-Fi/Alternate Reality, with primates not being the sole recipients of the “sapience gene.” Though I’ve not quite hammered down all the details, the history does stay pretty close to our own as most of the exceptions are pre-history and end up ironed out by the natural course of events. Yes, I realize that beast people would have greatly altered the course of history, but I’m fairly confident that the major high points would have still happened thanks to the nature of sapience. There would still be leaders, empires, and wars. Conflicts over religion, race, and everything else would still persist. In essence, the names might be different, but the moves and their effects are fairly inevitable.

Anyway, sticking with the Sherlock context, this is after Tess’ Sign of Four and Study In Scarlet cases and is about halfway through Adventures. The principles have already been established and the groundwork for the their relationships laid. The two mains, Kao and Tess, are roommates in Gilligan Hall at River City University.

Tess is at RCU because it is the premiere university for undergraduate creative writing. She has spider in her ancestry which is shown most prominently by her pointed ears and six extra eyes, two in the center of her forehead, one on either temple, and one on either cheekbone; the irises are red and the sclera is black. She is slender, pensive, and styles her hair to hide most of her eyes. She likes playing MMOs.

Kao on the other hand, is going to RCU on a Track and Field scholarship and is a psychology major. Her parents are from Australia and she carries the accent with pride. Kao has ‘roo in her ancestry and as such has their characteristic feet and ears, along with a tail that comes down to the back of her knees. Kao dresses casually, preferring printed t-shirts and loose pants. She is a hardcore PC gamer and does Maui Thai.

The story starts in February, six months into freshman year. People know that Tess solves mysteries about ghosts and the occult, her blog about the cases gets around a thousand hits a day. Their last case was stopping a cult from stealing the silver plates used by President Jefferson for communion. We open as the pair of them walk through historic Citadel Hill towards one of the city’s recent hauntings.


Story Jump to Top

Tangora Del’Tessa—just Tess, please—and Kao Folsmith stood on the corner opposite of a mansion whose grounds occupied the entire block of 29th and Q in Citadel Hill. The sky was cloudless and the winter evening was tinged with a subtle chill.

“And you’re sure that place isn’t haunted?” Kao asked in a wavering tone. She was bundled up in a heavy black zipper hoodie that bore the letters RCU and came down to her hips. Her long speckled ears were down and back against her scarf. “I saw the news last night. A woman got attacked by the ghost while walking near here.” Her blue eyes darted around the abandoned intersection, looking for any sign of the specter they had come to disprove.

Tess blew her bangs out of her face and shifted in her patch-covered canvas coat. She stared across the street, taking in the huge house for a moment before responding. “Yeah, that place is totally haunted.”

Kao glanced at her roommate, eyebrow quirked and eyes widening. It was so hard to tell when the spider-girl was being serious with her deadpan tone; even now, after six months of living together.

Tess grinned at the expression, “If bad taste could be counted as a haunting, that is. My room is more haunted than this place.”

Read the rest of this entry

[Story – WIP] Rebirth – Chapter 1x

This was, at one point, the first chapter of Rebirth, but times have changed and its now somewhere near the middle. Rex has arrived from Farenheim in response to rumors that entire city has vanished the same way the Enthi had at the start of the novel almost two months ago. After the confrontation with the Brigade in New Fareh and later in Fayholme, Rex believes some very dark is responsible for the destruction and find himself apprehensive as he ventures into the unknown.

Feel free to comment, as always any feedback is appreciated.

Fog had rolled in with the storm, obscuring the beach in a fine mist. One that muffled the crashing waves but did nothing to soften the pouring rain. Even with my aura burning, I was getting soaked. I couldn’t turn back though, I close enough to the city now though to see its silhouette through the haze. Aside from the storm and waved though, there was no noise where there should have been. Even with the rain, there should have been the dull murmur of people conversing as they hurried through the streets. It looked like the first part of the rumors had been true—but what about the second? Only one way to find out.

I moved forward, the fog clearing with each step in that particular way it does while you’re standing amongst it; like you’re in a bubble. Anticipation rolled off my skin, mixing with the equally plentiful rain that blasted the open stretch of sand. Despite myself, I tensed up causing my aura’s light to wane and the mist to close in around me.

Soon, the base of the wall loomed out at me and my gaze climbed its face. I stopped after only a few feet. The white stone wall, which used to tower over me, was devastated. What remained was blackened and charred. Forgetting that there might be pirates or even Augmented Loh troops, I rushed through one of the gaps in the wall.

Scrambling up and over the debris, I found myself in a courtyard. There were no signs of life in the small open area. I forced myself to relax, to center, and felt my energy start to flow freely again. My aura flared up, burning off the fog and filling the space with blue light. Ornate columns emerged from the mist, a few still stood but many were knocked over and lay shattered on the stones. I cast it out in long sweeps around me, looking for energy, no matter how faint. Almost immediately, I knew it would be futile. The Currents of energy that used to run throughout the city were sluggish and weak. It was, in a sense, like all the water in a river had been removed, laving behind only mud. I knew before I’d even started there would be no survivors.

Read the rest of this entry