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.

Fun With Simple Combos

It’s pretty hard to get a 2 card win condition.  I just stick with casual games, so normally I try for some weird “synergies” between cards.

This might look a little “WELL DUH!”, but Liquimetal Coating is TARGET PERMANENT becomes an artifact in addition to its other types.

Why, that’s a nice enchantment you have over there.  I will destroy it with red mana.

*Head Asplode*

Whatever you do in life, don’t get old.

I had these two cards in a EDH deck for completely different reasons, and it just so happened one game I had both out.  I was staring down at my cards waiting for my turn and it slowly began to dawn on me, “Maybe I should equip my titan with this flail and attack for some reason.”

Oh hey, When I attack I can choose to destroy up to three creatures now.  

Senior moments are the worst.

Do you want the defending player to lose half their life or destroy whatever is bothering you?

Throw Fireshrieker in the mix for additional fun.

(For rules clarification, the guerrillas ability is now an activated ability.)

Technically it’s a 2 card win condition, you just need some way to kill the thief.

Opposition turns your creatures into multiple Icy Manipulators and they untap every turn thanks to the muse.  You can tap your opponents land at the end of their upkeep.  Even tapping 2-3 lands is pretty crippling.  Not to mention locking down creatures.

It might not seem like all that and a bag of chips, but you should try it out.

It’s not infinite or anything AND it requires creatures to be in the graveyard (beyond the initial tap)…but I played a lot of multiplayer during the time of Alliances and this was a pretty potent combo to pump something else up.

Lemme learn you on what is going on here.  Cumulative Upkeep was reworded to putting a counter on itself.  Tornado here in particular, gets a “velocity” counter after you use it’s ability.  You eat the counters with Hex Parasite for a repeatable Desert Twister once a turn.

Did your head asplode again from the idea of a card being able to put 2 different types of counters on itself?  Think about it.

My friend who first got me into Magic was all about the War-Riders.  He tried 7 ways from Sunday to “break” them.

It wasn’t happening.

His favorite thing to do was use Æther Storm to “stop” you from casting creatures, wait until there were a couple red survivor tokens out, then cast Psychic Allergy.

Only problem was we didn’t understand token rules back in the day, so technically Psychic Allergy never worked.  Not to mention never having enough islands to sacrifice. 

He was all about overly complicated combos.

All these years later, Blood Seeker is a more effective combo with them.  I made a “tribute deck” to him since he no longer has his cards.

It’s a silly deck, but a War-Rider with Grafted Wargear is pretty dangerous even by modern Magic standards.   Let alone a constant life drain from the Blood Seeker.

Archenemy Tech 15

While I always go on and on about how black is “the ideal Archenemy color” just because of the flavor, other colors have some pretty good anti-opponent cards.

It’s basically a blue Innocent Blood.

Could this possibly backfire with ‘enter the battlefield’ triggers?  It could.  But remember this card for later on.

Ha!  You thought this was annoying in EDH?  You haven’t seen it in Archenemy.

Ok guys, make sure you all pay 1 or I draw 4 cards.

"FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUU-"

So War’s Toll here combined with Rhystic Study from just before is…pretty aggravating.  You’re not gonna have mana available for other turns, you have to cast whatever you have now, the archenemy is PROBABLY going to be drawing cards, and worst of all it fudges with your defense.

This makes it easier to pick people off.

I didn’t include this back in part 9 because it would have ruined my cool setup for “having the team get extra turns and stuff”.  

Also because I thought this was printed as an answer to Time Stretch and every tutor out there in EDH.  But it is a great addition to archenemy decks for the same reason.

I don’t think you need me to tell you this makes Comet Storm or whatever burn spell, massive.

Black, red, fear, haste, zombie, deals damage to each opponent.

Lightning Reaver is right at home being a minion to the archenemy.

Looks like white wants to be cool and get in on some archenemy action.  

If you are getting the SUPER fresh beatdown from aggro decks, slam this down and help stop some of the assault.

You COULD use stuff like Lodestone Golem or Sphere of Resistance instead. But keep in mind you have access to schemes such as Introductions Are In Order so you have a good chance of dropping her early. 

Not to mention her regular bonus of revealing it from your opening hand.  Help slow things down.

Yo.  Urza’s Armor.  Let me tell you about this artifact.

Reducing Preventing all damage by 1 might not seem like a big deal until you use it.  People who rely on swarming you with 1/1s or 2/2s start seeing red because they can’t kill you as quickly, if at ALL.  Preventing damage on multiple fronts is INCREDIBLY useful.

But you might think, “Aw man.  It’s 6 mana.  That’s pretty steep just to reduce damage.”

Son, this is Graybeard.  I ALWAYS got an answer for you.  

The Pieces Are Coming Together not only lets you draw 2 cards, which is always nice, but it reduces artifact costs for the turn by 2.  Would you spend 4 mana to try on Urza’s Armor?  Yes, because everyone wants to be like Urza.

I haven’t even mentioned combining it with Nothing Can Stop Me Now!  It’s like getting another Urza’s Armor for free!  AND the armor helps to keep the Ongoing Scheme around longer!

Ward of Bones.  Junk rare or awesome archenemy tech?

Remember Curfew from earlier?  Well it helps with this.  

I’ve been messing around with Ward of Bones a bit and I found if you can drop it early enough with The Pieces Are Coming Together, it pairs well with Infernal Tribute by being able to control what can be on the battlefield.

If anything, you are forcing the team to play at a reduced speed, which could help buy time for the next awesome scheme.

What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse

Along with all sorts of other mechanics, Innistrad will introduce Curses.  As of right now, they only printed 6 and I can only assume they will make a few more throughout the next two sets.  

One curse in particular reminded me of another Magic variant that time forgot.

It was called “The Dark Melee”.  The melee wasn’t dark, it was the set “The Dark" that functioned in a melee multiplayer setup.  I tried looking around online for it, but I couldn’t find anything on it, so I can only assume it has been lost to the ages.

The setup involved using cards from the current core set (Revised) and cards from The Dark in a normal 60 card constructed deck.  Ideally you should play with 7+ people in a circle.  ”Melee” variants were different in my day.  Your “range of influence” consisted of your right and left.  Nowadays it’s to your left.  This works much better with the right and left “range of influence”.

The problem was, no one knew 7+ people who played Magic AND had cards from The Dark.  The set didn’t have as low a print run as Arabian Nights or Antiquities…but people didn’t exactly have stock piles of it either.  

The idea was you were trying to be the last mage standing through any means possible.  That sounds like your typical game but what separated this variant from others was “putting bids of life on people”.  Here’s the rules straight from Inquest Magazine:

You may have noticed some rules issues:  

  • What does “give up life” even mean?  Lose life or pay life?
  • What happens since Player A has 4 life, and has to “give up” 6 life to Player D.  Does Player D gain 6 life or 4 life?
  • When can a player call a bounty?  I guess it doesn’t REALLY matter since everyone has to take a turn for it to go into effect.
  • Since I can’t mil someone to collect any bounty, what if I poison them? Marsh Viper was in The Dark.

Rules issues aside, this was a really cool variant.  When you start calling bounties on people, you have to think twice because one guy could survive for long enough and start collecting bounties to get PRETTY damn high on life.  That made everyone else think about starting to put 20 point life bounties on THAT guy’s head, which in turn would put the collecTEE at a high life total.  

Maybe you wanted to keep someone to your left or right alive so you could backstab them later to collect that precious life.

When people got down to 5 life or so, the game would get REALLY interesting with all the political dealings.  The trick was knowing when to call a bounty.

Curse of Stalked Prey reminds me of this “Dark Melee” because when you cast it, it’s LIKE you are putting a “bounty” on someone.  I guess in this case bait, so everyone has incentive to attack them.  Any fan of multiplayer should love this card.

I’m also telling you about this forgotten variant because “The Dark” was really the last “horror” set to come out all those years ago.  It wasn’t even that big a set.  With Innistrad coming out, it might be kind of fun to see someone try a “Dark Melee” with a block format of Innistrad.  It’s like…if you decide to play tribal…you can play with humans and put bounties out on werewolves.  Maybe to give the vampires incentive to attack?  That’s kind of cool.

Fun With Magic Art