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 Post subject: Arcanis and Kamahl
AgePosted: 2011-May-16 6:18 pm 

Joined: 2011-May-16 6:12 pm
Age: Hatchling
Hello. I'm kind of a lurker who is making their first post, so I figured I'd say ..that..hello there first. But to get to the topic, I'm someone who is going to start playing EDH with the release of the Commander product next month, and since the format features legends as the "focal point", I was wondering if it would be possible to make two decks that worked together in 2HG using Arcanis and Kamahl (Pit Fighter) as the generals. They were the focus of the Core Set 10 decks that got my brother and I into magic to begin with, so I thought it would be cool to make commander decks that worked together using them as generals. Is it possible/ What staple cards should I look for?


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 Post subject: Re: Arcanis and Kamahl
AgePosted: 2011-May-25 7:39 pm 

Joined: 2011-Mar-03 12:40 pm
Age: Dragon
First of all, understand that 2HG is a completely different format from the multiplayer melees most people on this forum are used to, so take advice with a grain of salt and make sure it really makes sense.

Everything in this post will be written assuming the goal is to win games. Many people on this forum have other goals, so if that's you then filter accordingly.

Kamahl and Arcanis are a respectable pair. They're likely not the absolute best generals for the decks they will be leading (for a blue/red team I would recommend Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir or Vendilion Clique with Adamaro, First to Desire, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror-Breaker or Heartless Hidetsugu), but they are quite playable and should be fine together. Which of those legends would be best depends somewhat heavily on the local house rule for starting life total. Higher starting life will tend to favor Kiki-Jiki or Hidetsugu.

I think the best general strategy for team play will be for the red deck to mount a fast attack while the blue deck covers for a few key turns with counterspells and Treachery effects. Depending what cards are available, the Time Warp family is unreasonably good in team formats, especially if your partner can actually use the combat phase while you're tapping out for Capture of Jingzhou or Time Stop. Other strategies are possible, but Kamahl seems to favor this approach. Arcanis doesn't really lend himself well to it since you have to tap out for him and he doesn't have much board presence, but he is a HUGE bomb that can be good to hold in reserve if you end up in a stalled situation where everybody had enough removal for all the early attackers.

Key red cards:
Zo-Zu the Punisher (far more valuable in 2HG; he's virtually unplayable in traditional EDH)
Adamaro, First to Desire - one of your opponents will likely have a slow deck that can't shrink him very fast
Slith Firewalker
Kargan Dragonlord
Heartless Hidetsugu can win games on his own
187 creatures like Flametongue Kavu, Avalanche Riders, Ogre Arsonist, Ravaging Horde, Manic Vandals - these are significantly more likely to find a good target in a team game, and many of the red ones have a relatively worthwhile body attached besides
Honestly red doesn't have a lot of standout cards - in every format it has relied on consistency instead.

Key blue cards:
Temporal Manipulation as already mentioned. Beacon of Tomorrows and Time Stretch are too slow for 2HG
Gather Specimens, Spelljack, Desertion, Overwhelming Intellect, Draining Whelk - the top of the mana curve is blue's 187s which are really a kick in the nuts when they hit.
Treachery, Volition Reins, Confiscate, Control Magic, Binding Grasp, Corrupted Conscience, Mind Control, Persuasion are both removal and a significant threat. The two (plus the more expensive Take Possession that can take artifacts and planeswalkers are particularly valuable.
Bribery, Acquire - if you can stick either of these your opponents will be hard pressed to deal with it, especially when you can land a triggered ability like Primeval Titan or Sundering Titan.
Hinder - you'll want a lot of counterspells to back up the strategy I recommend. This one is the best since it permanently deals with a general (as do Desertion and Gather Specimens).

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I collect misprints and other examples of Magic's history. I'm especially interested in Alternate 4th Edition, Artist Proofs of Legends cards, and good misprints. See my buy list at MOTL if you have anything like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Arcanis and Kamahl
AgePosted: 2011-May-25 7:39 pm 

Joined: 2011-Mar-03 12:40 pm
Age: Dragon
And welcome to the forum :)

_________________
I collect misprints and other examples of Magic's history. I'm especially interested in Alternate 4th Edition, Artist Proofs of Legends cards, and good misprints. See my buy list at MOTL if you have anything like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Arcanis and Kamahl
AgePosted: 2011-May-29 3:56 am 
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Joined: 2010-Jan-11 12:13 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Emerald's Away
Captain Sisay and Gaddok Teeg are part of my same deck yet make a nasty pair in 2HG.

Play Karn, Silver Golem and Sliver Queen with a contradiction. The sliver queen deck plays all artifacts and Karn plays cards with named fived colored cards. Just kidding on this one. :P

Darien, King of Kjeldor and Zozo the Punisher to give your partner two 1/1's or more with storm caulron at least?

Jaya Ballard with Squee, non-creature stuff like Chandra Ablaze, and some white general with every pro-red creature to exist with Kors.

Jolrael, Empress of Beasts and some white general can give you a one-sided armageddon if you target an opponents lands.

Almost forgot about shifting sky, sway of illusion, crystal shard, with Llwan, Cephild Empress in the same deck. Partner could also play shifting sky, and other color tricks to help.

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Be afraid, very afraid of my general EDH strategies.

Generally commanding Captain Sisay and Karn.


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 Post subject: Re: Arcanis and Kamahl
AgePosted: 2011-May-29 6:54 am 

Joined: 2011-Mar-03 12:40 pm
Age: Dragon
Why do people think that mediocre combos involving otherwise unplayable cards (such as Storm Cauldron and Darien, King of Kjeldor are a good inclusion in decks that have no tutors?

_________________
I collect misprints and other examples of Magic's history. I'm especially interested in Alternate 4th Edition, Artist Proofs of Legends cards, and good misprints. See my buy list at MOTL if you have anything like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Arcanis and Kamahl
AgePosted: 2011-May-29 3:10 pm 

Joined: 2010-Nov-25 9:22 am
Age: Elder Dragon
best red cards:
Vicious Shadows
Reiterate
blood moon magnus of the moon ( i personally like these cards cuz they punish 5 color/3 color but don't destroy them)
Insurrection
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker ( most seriously red general, makes godo look silly)
Mana Geyser
wheel of fortune

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A real man's dragon deck
Genomancer wrote:
Our aim is not to make commander an unbreakable tournament format... it continues to be (and hopefully always will be) chock full of crazy powerful plays which you, the players, are trusted to explore rather than exploit.


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 Post subject: Re: Arcanis and Kamahl
AgePosted: 2011-May-29 3:22 pm 

Joined: 2011-Mar-03 12:40 pm
Age: Dragon
I wouldn't think Vicious Shadows and Insurrection are even playable in 2HG actually, despite their greatness in melee games. You can't play 7+ mana cards unless your deck is really built to lead into that. Arcanis might reasonably play Take Possession, Palinchron and Blue Sun's Zenith/Stroke of Genius, but that really would be the top of the curve even in a deck that's wanting to hit its land drops for ten turns running.

Team games need to be played at a higher power level because there's no hoping that an opponent will aim their spells some other way than at you. These decks should be built with a mana curve.

_________________
I collect misprints and other examples of Magic's history. I'm especially interested in Alternate 4th Edition, Artist Proofs of Legends cards, and good misprints. See my buy list at MOTL if you have anything like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Arcanis and Kamahl
AgePosted: 2011-May-29 3:49 pm 

Joined: 2010-Nov-25 9:22 am
Age: Elder Dragon
gzeiger wrote:
I wouldn't think Vicious Shadows and Insurrection are even playable in 2HG actually, despite their greatness in melee games. You can't play 7+ mana cards unless your deck is really built to lead into that. Arcanis might reasonably play Take Possession, Palinchron and Blue Sun's Zenith/Stroke of Genius, but that really would be the top of the curve even in a deck that's wanting to hit its land drops for ten turns running.

Team games need to be played at a higher power level because there's no hoping that an opponent will aim their spells some other way than at you. These decks should be built with a mana curve.

depending on your local meta game,but i don't see how 2hg is TOO different,you are putting the life totals at 80 and does general damage still need to be 21? well its still from on general so it's fair

_________________
A real man's dragon deck
Genomancer wrote:
Our aim is not to make commander an unbreakable tournament format... it continues to be (and hopefully always will be) chock full of crazy powerful plays which you, the players, are trusted to explore rather than exploit.


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 Post subject: Re: Arcanis and Kamahl
AgePosted: 2011-May-29 5:44 pm 

Joined: 2011-Mar-03 12:40 pm
Age: Dragon
We took the starting life to be 60 (since normal 2HG is 30 so it made sense to double it) with 31 general damage (half plus one). If general damage remains at 21 then what I said is even more true. There is all the difference in the world between a game with three opponents and a game with two opponents and one ally. Aggro is playable and it is possible to close out games quickly. Uril, for example, would kill a player turn 6 the majority of the time if not disrupted, and there will be some turn 5s in there involving Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Ancient Tomb. Given the limited number of cards that can interact with him, only a limited amount of support from his partner is required. All your opponents' cards will be directed against you and will never help you. You have help advancing your goals. If your cards aren't available for play early enough you just lose. Aggro (with a supporting partner) is only about a turn slower than Legacy, and that due more to the life total than card pool. Combo is at least two turns slower, but still plenty fast enough to ignore your 8-drop. I can't think of a way to build a control deck that cares about either Vicious Shadows or Insurrection.

"Your local metagame" can justify any subpar deck I guess, and is a term usually reserved for that purpose. I have to assume on the forum that we're talking about the best ways to build decks. Certainly Vicious Shadows is an awesome card to beat the guy who shows up with the non-Scion Dragon theme deck, or the guy who plays Scion with all basic lands, and I do see those, but I can also roll that guy with Reki, the History of Kamigawa* more often than not.

If your goal is something other than winning the game, just say so. This forum is very accomodating of that. Just understand my advice is directed toward that end.

*Nothing in this post should be interpreted so as to imply that Reki is in any way playable in any format, including COK limited.

_________________
I collect misprints and other examples of Magic's history. I'm especially interested in Alternate 4th Edition, Artist Proofs of Legends cards, and good misprints. See my buy list at MOTL if you have anything like that.


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