I Remember Banding
Archenemy Tech 16, True Blue Bloopers

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You might hate it when your game winning spell gets countered by that OH so crafty blue mage, but Imma tell you a secret:

That blue mage is the ONLY one on your team who can stop a scheme.

Take a look.

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Here’s the deal.  A large majority of schemes are triggered abilities that go on the stack and can be responded to.  Have you ever been on the receiving end of Behold the Power of Destruction, All in Good Time, or My Crushing Masterstroke?  

On that same token, a opening turn ‘Behold the Power of Destruction’ is completely useless for the archenemy, but anyway.

It’s basically a blowout.  At least this way, the blue mage gives you a way to stop the triggered ability from occurring.

But that’s not all!

Your blue mage pal also is crazy good at hosing WHATEVER the Archenemy wants to do.

In typical blue fashion none the less!

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Booyah!  End of Archenemy’s upkeep, tap all their lands.  Done deal.

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Do you remember my Joining Forces thing?  Or when I mentioned you can tap the Archenemy’s land for your own Liege of the Hollows?

No?  You’re killing me.

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4 mana too much?  All right, how about 3 AND you get mana out of it.

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Got done tapping his land?  Great, make sure they don’t untap next turn to Time Walk him.  Sort of.

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Just keeping lands tapped isn’t good enough?  How about lands and creatures?

In addition to making the archenemy see red by playing blue somehow, he can help teammates draw cards.  There’s some X spells such as Braingeyser, Stroke of Genius, and Blue Sun’s Zenith.  If you don’t feel like paying X you have Inspiration, Deep Analysis, Ancestral Vision, and Opportunity.

If you are feeling brave, you can have everyone draw cards, but I’m not crazy about seeing the archenemy draw cards to finish whatever combo he has going.  Words of WisdomLore BrokerVision Skeins are not bad choices.  If you want to get the party started, you got Prosperity, Indentured Djinn, and holy cow a Demonic Tutor for each person playing.

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*’It’s time to rock’ Mention*

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Blue Braids?!  Why in the holy hell would I recommend HER when I already told you not to use Hunted Wumpus?!  Have I officially gone senile?

NO!  I may be angry but I ain’t insane in the membrane! 

What comes before the draw step?  Yeah, your upkeep.  How hard is it to break apart a player’s hand?

Extremely easy.

Blue ALONE has Dismal Failure, Frightful Delusion, Venarian Glimmer, Wistful Thinking, Mindculling, Amnesia, and Piracy Charm.  Black has like…over 9,000 cards to discard or put things on top of their library from their hand.  Not to mention pinpoint discard like Cabal Interrogator.  It’s pretty easy to dedicate a deck to her and have everyone crank out things from their hand.

Archenemy Tech 14, Going Green

Full scheme art is VERY hard to find.  Just wanted to throw that out there.

The cool thing about Archenemy is you can just grab any deck and start playing.  But like I said way back, when you work together in a “RPG style team”, it makes for some fun games.

If you hate having fun and you just want to beat the Archenemy down, just have everyone use a Sliver deck.

But if you want to have fun and be a team player, it’s time to go green.

I already went over them back in part 5, but they fit the motif today so well.

You know what I just realized about Forgotten Ancient?  You can move the counters onto creatures with shroud.  He doesn’t target.

He’s also amazing and you should absolutely get some for any multiplayer format you can think of.  Your buddies will thank you for free counters on their doods.

Maybe one of your teammates can’t really cast or do anything.  They can dump some mana into the Hydra.  

Style points if you Mindslaver the opposing archenemy/team into putting counters on it.  

You probably can just have someone put Nemesis Mask on their creature and do the same thing.  But that is nowhere near as cool as having Krazy Kitties jump out the bushes that must be blocked by the Archenemy.

Whoops!  Everything else just got through.

Hunters’ Feast is really good at only 4 mana.  Sylvan Bounty and Stream of Life can also work in team games.

Yeah, it’s one of those Helm of Awakening type cards, where even the Archenemy benefits. 

Veteran Explorer is another forgotten classic.  You know what the best part is?

The lands enter the battlefield untapped.  So if you can off him during a main phase somehow, all your teammates just got 2 extra land to work with.  

Having everyone (hopefully) going from 2 -> 4 land on turn 2?  Very yes.

Good Gravy.  I don’t even know what to say about this card.

Hey, who needs some land untapped?

"Me, I got 3 land and a Grave Titan in my hand."

Ok, tap your land.  I cast Early Harvest targetting Melvin.

"Tap 3 mana again, Grave Titan 2nd turn thanks to your Veteran Explorer.  Good call old man.”

Melvin approved.

It’s not bad.

"But this isn’t green!"

No, but it is awesome to help out someone who is mana screwed.

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*Play At Your Own Risk*

I only ever played with/against New Frontiers.  But Weird Harvest is one of those “weird” cards you probably don’t want to use.

Maybe if you were playing some giant 7 vs. 1 game I would say go ahead.  But having the archenemy be able to search for something like Silent Arbiter or Peacekeeper (Really? 9 bucks?) makes me nervous.

The reason I recommend the Explorer is the lands could enter the battlefield on your turn.  Guess who gets to make use of all that land from New Frontiers first?

I actually like Hunted Wumpus a lot.  In the right deck it’s pretty killer.  Having your teammates drop whatever is great.  Having the archenemy drop It That Betrays…not so much.

Surely I’ve lost my marbles by telling you not to consider using the almighty Multani.

Yeah sure, he’s got shroud.  But that won’t stop me from taking him out of your graveyard.  And in any multiplayer game, you can expect board wipes.

That’s not even it.  There’s nothing to stop Dance, Pathetic Marionette.

The Dead Shall Serve and My Crushing Masterstroke are a BIT more limited with what I can do with Multani, but just as bad.

You just DO NOT want to be on the receiving end of him even by accident.  He will ALWAYS be huge.

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*Honorable Mentions*

Before I let you go, I got a few honorable mentions.

MAYBE the archenemy isn’t playing R/G/W and you can ask your group ahead of time to play some combination of those colors to get the most use out of the Keeper.  Because you really don’t want the Archenemy getting more use out of something like PyrohemiaHurricane, or even Earthquake.

Waiting in the Weeds is like…a limited Liege of the Hollows.  But if you have a way to tap the Archenemy’s lands…Liege of the Hollows can be great.

I love this card, I mean…it makes BEAR tokens!  But it’s pretty wonky.  I look at it and expect epic…but I play it and see a couple of bears. 

Sad face.

EDH Tech You Never Heard Of 22, Bizarre Things To Consider

Last time I did some honorable mentions that could be fun/useful.   Today I got some funky cards to consider that you might overlook but shouldn’t.

You might remember this from my Barbed Battlegear lesson.  Serra’s Blessing could be a better choice…but it’s also white.  This is colorless and can give black or red creatures (or whatever) access to vigilance.   Which is amazing in multiplayer.

A vigilant Demon of Death’s Gate is terrifying.

It doesn’t give vigilance, but a defense boost of +0/+6 is INSANE.  It temporarily stops a lot of big green creatures and other naya dorks.  It also helps protect against Doran decks.

Any titan equipped with Slagwurm Armor laughs at Darksteel Colossus.

I said it.

If your group has a lot of removal already, this might not be that useful.  But it is only 2 mana to wipe out a few things.  I just think it’s fun because of the choice making process.

It’s a one time use, yeah, but when was the last time you saw a white Control MagicPreacherEvangelize?

This isn’t a bizarre choice, but it’s only useful in some combination of W/G decks or 5 color.  If you run white or green, please use this.  This is an amazing land.

Did I just say please?  I meant to say…SHUT YOUR FACE AND STICK THIS CARD UP YOUR DECK!

Speaking of 5 color decks, holy crap.  Have your general out?  Great, prevent all damage done to you.

It’s no Painful Quandary or Vicious Shadows, but it also doesn’t draw as much hate.

At first.

You can either soften everyone up with it or use it as a way to punish people who like to draw cards and keep large hands.  Or just discard your hand in some fashion to make everyone suffer like G did.

While I still frown on mass land destruction, Azusa McRampy still goes unchecked.  You could use things like Invader Parasite and Polluted Bonds to “kind of punish” them.  But they aren’t the most reliable of cards.

Hooowwwevvverrrr…think about how many lands everyone has out per game.  Maybe you have 8, another has 7.  Someone else is stuck at 6, and McRampy is sitting at a pretty 14.

That’s 35 TOTAL damage for only 3 mana.  Holy stuff.  This is a potential late game finisher.

Everyone joined forces for Collective Voyage?  Someone cast New Frontiers?

At least you can bring some pain to punish everyone.

Eon Hub.  Skip the upkeep step.  Look at how many awesome cards that are  rendered useless by this:

Land Tax, Braid of Fire, Verdant Force/Verdant Embrace, Mind Unbound, Phyrexian Arena, Awakening Zone, Hall of Gemstone, Oversold Cemetery, Bitterblossom, Call to the Grave, Debtors’ Knell, Forgotten Ancient (well, they still get a large creature), Genesis, Damia, Sage of Stone, Dark Confidant, Reya Dawnbringer, suspend/Jhoira, Primordial Hydra, Magmatic Force, Zedruu the Greathearted (to some extent), Sheoldred, Whispering One.

The Hub is worth using against Sheoldred ALONE.

It stops lame win conditions like:

Felidar Sovereign, Test of Endurance, Mortal Combat, and Epic Struggle.

It turns Contamination/Infernal Darkness, Ritual of Subdual, Naked Singularity/Reality Twist into the most aggravating cards ever.

What doesn’t this card do! 

Eon Hub is secret tech.

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*Honorable Mention*

I’m mostly listing this due to nostalgia factor of Sleight of Mind spells, since I don’t think any of the newer generations of magic players have even heard about “hacking cards”.

While Sleight of Mind can hack a spell, 99% of EDH players don’t really use color-hate spells since it’s a one time use.  They will rely on permanents.

That’s where this comes in.

Believe it or not, people will main deck Choke JUST because.  Hack it to forests?  Thanks for playing!

Chameleon Colossus is a fantastic commonly used creature along with Akroma, Angel of Wrath.  Well, you can’t target the Angel of Fury one.  Changing protection colors around is always fun.  Maybe gain someone’s favor with some political use?

You could hack King Crab and start time walking certain people.  To an extent.

Back in the day Justice was BRUTAL if that player had more life than someone.  Changing Justice’s color to black or whatever was easily done and shut down people on the spot.

Douse, Chill, Insight, Stromgald Cabal?

It might be limited, but it has some pretty good uses.

Archenemy Tech 13

I picked out some more archenemy cards for you kid.  Some might look a little familiar from past EDH tech ramblings.  But let’s be honest…both are multi player formats so a lot of cards are bound to overlap.

Oh no, I’m reusing cards already!  Unfortunately he doesn’t get bigger from stuff like Explosive Vegetation.  If you need to get past land ramp, Shattered Angel and the previously mentioned Polluted Bonds can work.

I am totally recommending K-Drix.  I feel he is a fairly solid black creature even after all these years.  4/4 First Strike, IN BLACK?!  Totally blew your mind again.

Think about it, you leave one guy out with his mana doods while you wail away on the other players.  If anything he is decent defense.

Liliana’s minion is deceptively good.  A scheme like Every Hope Shall Vanish or Surrender Your Thoughts followed by the specter is pretty aggravating.  Or worse, Syphon Mind

OR UNNERVE!  I’ll admit, even I feel guilty casting this after said schemes.

If you’re gonna grief people, you might as well do it right.  I sort of recommend Oppression as well if you have reanimator effects, madness, or whatever.  But the Quandary is more easily shoved into your deck.

If you decide to not use crazy discard effects because you WANT people to play with you, I would recommend Adamaro.  It’s rather fun to watch the players discuss how best to get rid of him early on.

Because I always gotta end on a bang…

Divinity of Pride is to Archenemy as Serra Ascendant is to Commander.

What’s the first thing you say when you see Serra Ascendant cast?

GROAN!

What’s the first thing you say when the Archenemy casts Divinity of Pride?

GROAN!!

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I got a few honorable mentions that you’d PROBABLY consider a meta-game choice, but check them out anyway.

I could list anything that says “protection from white”, but I feel these two are some of the better ones with a reasonable casting cost.

I say pro white only for the abundance of white weenie decks nowadays and the popularity of stuff like Path to Exile.  I can walk into a card shop, throw a Mudhole and hit at least two white decks.

I’m not complain’, I’m just sayin’.

I would list Eviscerator because of his most awesome name, but I can’t really justify losing 5 life when the Bloodwitch has flying and gives me AT LEAST 1 life from ALL of my opponents.

Come to think of it, she’s pretty good in general.

Archenemy Tech 12, Swingers

Since I forgot to bring you up to speed on past Archenemy ramblings, there’s part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10, and  part 11.

Normally I do the pattern of archenemy cards, player cards, schemes, etc.  I’m gonna switch it up a bit and show you some swinger cards that could be useful for either side.

I’ll start off with one of my favorite cards from Zendikar.  This thing is so easy to get out.  Fuck yeah zombie giants.

Target player.  Archenemy going to 60 life from 30? 

Have any teammate double their life total?  Follow it up with Arbiter of Knollridge

Teamwork!

Let it be known across the land…I hate this card.  Pacifism just stopped a creature from attacking or blocking.  This comes along, also stops activated abilities AND you can move it to a new threat.

This guy shuts a lot of decks down while leaving options open for yourself.  Also upon closer inspection, it actually says “search A library”.  It can help guard against Praetor’s Grasp/Grinning Totem.  Not that…people use those, but hey, every little bit helps.

He might be a little familiar from part 3 where combining him with Choose Your Champion resulted in hair pulling mayhem if only for a turn.

But this is a hard workaround for whichever side of the field is looking at him.  This is also the 4th white card in a row!  What gives!?

Stupid white trying to keep the player down!  Let a playa play!

I like this card because it feels “arch-ish”…but it’s more impressive on paper than actual function.

EVERY TIME I cast this junk…”sac a token”.  “Sac my mana dood”.  Yeah…great…thanks.

Maybe that’s why it went from $4 to .70?

Aside from some hate I have for this, it’s more suited to the players team since it can be more easily focused onto ONE archenemy.

ANOTHER half-decent card to come out of Homelands?!  What is the world coming to!?

Broken Visage is just plain old FUN.

Nyahhahaa~!  I destroy your attacking creature and get a semi-copy of it to block another attacker thus killing it as well! 

Hopefully!

Ashes to Ashes is just all around good.

Lich’s Mirror.

"What?"

I know, right? 

Check it: you, Melvin, and Vorthos somehow beat me down.  I lose the game, shuffle everything, then start again at 20 life.  When it comes back to my turn, I get a new scheme like I am supposed to.  That scheme MIGHT be something like My Crushing Masterstroke or Behold the Power of Destruction.  HOPEFULLY it can buy me time while I turn the game around.

On the opposite end, I off you because you always bother me kid.  You reshuffle and come back in at full health.  I now have to spend maybe a turn or two trying to kill you AGAIN while Melvin and Vorthos set their plan into motion. 

It’s like you got an extra life in Archenemy.  Most of the time that’s a big deal.  And what if you are able to cast it again?

"I guess that’s kind of cool."

Such a hater.

This card needs a *Warning: Play At Your Own Risk* branded across it.

You remember how I told you the player team will all get an extra turn?

"Yeah."

This card can be built around for the Archenemy well enough, but the player team can easily abuse this.

There’s 3 of you and 1 of me.  How hard would it be to make sure ONE of you will have a higher casting cost top card?

Who cares if you tie with a teammate…your whole team will get the extra turn!  Then you just do it again on your next turn!  Use something like Sensei’s Divining Top, or for the budget minded, Soothsaying.

Point is, SOMEONE is getting locked out of the game.