Strictly Casual

Strictly Casual – Angelic Commander

by January 15, 2016


About two weeks ago, I looked at the From the Vault Angels set since a friend of mine was curious about my opinion on one of his deck designs. At the time, I chose to look at his mono-white Commander deck and re-worked it, making it both a tribal and combo deck.

Now I will be looking at some of the other Angels in the Vault to see what Fires from Heaven & Hell we can rain down on the rabble! Continue reading

strictly casual – angelic commander

by January 15, 2016



Strictly Casual – Angelic Commander

By William D. O’Dell

About a week ago, I had a friend ask me about looking at some decklists centered on the new From the Vaults: Angels set. Awesome – I can do that! However, there are about three things of note on the request.

One: This friend has only been playing Magic for about seven months now. When my long-time sparring partners realized that I was teaching him, all there was were complaints and insults flung my way – for what reason I don’t know! 😉 Therefore he is an initiate of the Order Kill Bill, or in other words, he learned by being gifted decks created by me and then went from there. Continue reading

Strictly Casual – It’s all fun and games… By William D. O’Dell

by January 15, 2016


I don’t exactly remember when I started playing Magic. It was around the time of Fallen Empires and Ice Age with a smattering of Chronicles and Alliances thrown in for fun. I’ve either past 20 years playing or am about to.

Which means that I’ve played a few games and not all of them have been duels. Frankly, I would say the majority of them have not been duels, which probably explains why I make much better MP decks. Continue reading

Strictly Casual – American Origins By William D. O’Dell

by January 15, 2016



About two weeks ago, both Canada and the neighbour directly south celebrated Independence from England. At that time, I wrote the first of two articles about Origins, which centered around White and Red planeswalkers. It was a little aggro and decidedly unapologetic – not very Canadian even if it was the right colours.

This time we will look at an American counterpart based on the Red, White & Blue planeswalkers. While this deck runs with many similar themes especially considering the same flipping principals apply for two out of three planeswalkers, it has more of a combo feel. With three colours, the deck has to shift from more of an aggressive format to something much more combo-riffic.

American Control

2 Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy / Jace, Telepath Unbound
2 Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh / Chandra, Roaring Flame
2 Kytheon, Hero of Akros / Gideon, Battle-Forged

2 Willbreaker
2 Tower Geist
2 Avaricious Dragon
2 Embermaw Hellion
2 Archangel of Tithes
3 Dreamscape Artist
2 Jace’s Archivist
3 Lore Broker
2 Nivix Guildmage
2 Sunhome Guildmage
3 Confessor
2 Wandering Champion

3 Turn to Frog
2 Talent of the Telepath
2 Jace’s Sanctum
3 Act of Treason
2 Chandra’s Ignition
3 Celestial Flare
2 Swift Reckoning
3 Fiery Temper
3 Frantic Purification
3 Dragon Fodder
3 Lightning Helix

4 Evolving Wilds
4 Terramorphic Expanse
3 Boros Guildgate
3 Izzet Guildgate
3 Azorius Guildgate
7 Plains
9 Islands
7 Mountains

To say that there is a control theme would be an understatement. Most of the instants and sorceries are designed to control your opponent’s critters by eliminating those threats or making them your own.

Part of what makes this a combo deck is the interaction that the blue has with the original red and white spells from the Canadian Origins deck. Jace’s abilities make you discard to draw cards to get five cards into your graveyard. This deck has many ways – both spells and critter abilities – to drop those five cards into the graveyard.

Take for instance, the lands that sac for specific basic lands. Add in the critters that make you discard and then draw – in conjunction with a few madness spells. There are also critters that let you discarding to search for other cards or make everyone discard. That plays in with Jace’s ultimate.

Fortunately, there are many win conditions beyond any one of the planeswalker’s ultimates. Pave the way over the critters with spells, steal those critters or just attack with your own big baddies. This deck will have your playing control with all the strings.

This deck will likely be better against another single player big deck. However, with a few slight alterations such as mass critter control, it might work better for multiplayer. Fortunately, both Jace and Chandra are better for MP – so if you can take advantage of them, that’s even better.

Until next time, may your decks win and your planeswalker continue to be the ultimate force on the field!

Strictly Casual – Canadian Origins – by William O’Dell

by January 15, 2016


Canadian Origins

As some of you may know, Canada Day just passed. It’s a national holiday up here in the Great White North (though it’s not so white right now!) When I tried to do some research as to what exactly we’re celebrating, I realized that I need to study Canada’s history a lot more before I try to become a citizen!

Yet, that won’t stop me from celebrating with my Canadian family as we sport Red & White for a parade, fireworks and some roasting – er, are we talking about Magic or Canada Day?! Brilliant segue if I do say so myself!

With Origins around the corner, I decided to do a two-parter based on the Planeswalkers of Red & White, creating a beast of an aggro deck for Canada Day; and shortly thereafter you’ll see a Red, White & Blue combo deck for my country of origin’s day of celebration, Independence Day. Continue reading

Strictly Casual – Origins – A Blast From the Past Further Back

by January 15, 2016

Origins – A Blast From the Past Further Back

As Magic Origins will launch within the next few weeks, I have become a bit more nostalgic. In case you don’t know, Origins is the prequel of sorts for the five planeswalkers – Gideon, Nyssa, Jace, Liliana and Chandra. There will be a number of people who will look at those names in nostalgia, because they remember their first appearance around the time that they started. Continue reading

Strictly Casual -What I Learned at Tournaments by William D. O’Dell

by January 15, 2016

What I learned at Tournaments

Build a cat-apult for the little furballs that get in your way! Cue music – cat yelping slowly getting softer as the cat goes farther away. Ooops, this is not a Ren Fest tournament that I’m supposed to be talking about is it?

OK, so I was in the Peg (Winterpeg, er, I mean Winnipeg) last week. A Muse N Games co-owner Scotia was kind enough to invite me to play in a Modern Masters tournament on my one free night away from my day job colleagues. Who was I to say no? Modern Masters features some of the most memorable cards from some of the only sets in recent years that I was playing exclusively on MTGO. Continue reading

Strictly Casual – Plague of Tokens by William D. O’Dell

by May 15, 2015


Plague of Tokens

Tokens, tokens everywhere – as far as the eye can see. I’m sure you’ve all seen quite a few played by people. They come out strong and usually make everyone’s night unbearable. I was guilty of this the other night – that’s another story.

However, I got a random pack of Dragons the other day and came across this gem. I neglected to really take a close look at the uncommons and I noticed the Virulent Plague. virulent plague
Oooh, anti-token – nice if you happen to be playing against someone who only has token decks. And then I thought about Grave Pact and Butcher of Malakir – the wheels started turning on how to best run over tokens and take out everything on the board with them.
butcher of malakir

This deck will win one of two ways – you will either have enough tokens to exterminate your opponents, making it a standard token deck. Or as I intended, you will create tokens to be eliminated by the Plague and clear a path to victory for all of your big fatties. Continue reading

Strictly Casual – How I Broke the Unbroken by William D. O’Dell

by January 15, 2016


How I Broke the Unbroken

Once upon a time, there was a guy who really loved dragons. And one of those dragons really messed with him and his head. Then he went back in time and fixed everything – including his beloved dragons!

Suddenly Sarkhan was Unbroken – and I aim to break him down to instill a little fire and flight in your step toward victory! So let’s start with a decklist and take flight in a second … Continue reading

Strictly Casual – Dragon Combos by William D. O’Dell

by January 15, 2016

Dragon Combos

Up in the sky … Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a dragon about to rain down fire and destruction on all of those puny humans that inhabit the planes of Tarkir. And I have to admit that is AWESOME!!!

Way back in the day, the OG dragons – the Elder Dragons – started off my fascination with dragons in Magic. That has continued to this day and this latest set has just made me giddy as a fat kid who just got a free pizza!

Continue reading