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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-07 5:23 am 

Joined: 2017-Oct-19 12:02 am
Age: Drake
Mr Degradation wrote:
I did read it- but I don't think you realize how golden the advice Treamayne and Uktabi have been giving you is; based on your responses. Like, as far as dudes on the forum to take serious commentary from; they're pretty high up there.


Wel, I disagree

I did toked in consideration their valuable advice and inputs and I appreciate the time and effort each one of the posters has given.

I do think I lack the experience running mardu and not running esper and that was the objective of this thread, to gather opinions, tactics and advice about how to play those colors or that deck.

Your advice if I don't misunderstood (my natal tongue is not english so it may be very well the case) is to drop the good cards in favor off 'speed' and 'variety' while my playgroup stills with their tactics.

My current Oloro deck has acomplished what Kaalia has not, I have fun piloting him to the victry and also have fun in the looses. I just wish I could do the same with Kaalia

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-08 9:34 am 
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So I am just going to post this here: http://www.starcitygames.com/article/36674_The-Philosophy-Of-Second-Best.html as it says what I think would help more than anything.

To be frank, Kaalia is probably the worst (or very close) commander you want to play if you do not want to be the archenemy from the beginning. If you enjoy the challenge and your playgroup does too, great. If you want to play your spells and durdle a little bit then maybe look elsewhere. Kaalia is not completely busted, but if left alone she can one-shot people, or set up a nasty boardstate with MLD etc. That is why she is always a lightning rod.

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-09 2:48 am 

Joined: 2017-Oct-19 12:02 am
Age: Drake
Inkeyes22 wrote:
So I am just going to post this here: http://www.starcitygames.com/article/36674_The-Philosophy-Of-Second-Best.html as it says what I think would help more than anything.

To be frank, Kaalia is probably the worst (or very close) commander you want to play if you do not want to be the archenemy from the beginning. If you enjoy the challenge and your playgroup does too, great. If you want to play your spells and durdle a little bit then maybe look elsewhere. Kaalia is not completely busted, but if left alone she can one-shot people, or set up a nasty boardstate with MLD etc. That is why she is always a lightning rod.


That is a great article, thanks for sharing

I agree with you, Kaalia is maybe one of the worst for that, for now she will be retired meanwhile I have some fun with Oloro, but I will not forsake her, Ill keep trying to meke her work, even if that means I will have to build a nasty deck with less fun strategys (and not comboing out)

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-09 2:13 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
alexev wrote:
(my native tongue is not English, so it may be very well the case)


You've mentioned this a few times. Do you mind if I ask what is your native Language? We do have more than a few bi-lingual and multi-lingual people on the forums.

alexev wrote:
Treamayne wrote:
If a card/strategy prevents a player from playing the game (or interacting with you), it is "anti-social". Generally speaking, you should have a very strong "on-theme" reason to play these kinds of cards (and then, still limit them)
- Examples: Stax decks, Turtle (Pillowfort) decks, infinite combos, MLD (one-sided definitely, in general for most playgroups), Gaddock Teeg, Rule of Law, Vorinclex, Spreading Plague, etc.


I think Rule of law is a necesary evil, it is not there (in Oloro) to prevent people of casting a signet and then a creature, it is there to prevent Mizzix's Mastery overloaded , Storm things, Narset englightnened master and his broken "cast 4 things for free" ability among others.

Same is for Spreading Plague I have it as another extreme boardwipe thats also keeps the field clean.


And this is the thinking that starts the slippery arms-race slope. As soon as you think "I wouldn't use this, but it's a necessary evil," you've made the first mistake in trying to evolve a fun, casual group. No amount of rationalizing makes it better. You must play the kind of deck you want to play against.

If you want to be able to "play your magic," keep in mind they are thinking the same thing, and cards like Rule of Law stop that.


alexev wrote:
As oloro creatureless you are always "open" to attacks because the only thing that prevents people from attacking you are the enchants like Propaganda or Righteous Aura (preventing damage often makes people not want to waste the attack) or Maze of Ith etc. For that the curses you suggested are really great additions.


Except, you also have the option of not playing creature-less. Or use redirection (like curses, etc. as mentioned before - More "it's better to attack them" and less "don't attack me"). Really, it sounds like control decks are your comfort zone, and you have a hard time leaving that comfort zone.

Example: if I were to build Oloro, and want an interactive deck that needs to dissuade attacks. In a quick search, my top ten picks would be:

Energy Arc - Combat trick Maze of Ith for multiple attacking creatures; but also good for untapping your blockers.
Sun Droplet - Gaining the life back, even slowly, is good for Oloro
Curse of the Forsaken - Incentivizes attacking elsewhere, and the lifegain is good when/if I do attack
Harsh Justice - A good rattlesnake, to deter all-out attacks
Vow of Flight - A good vow for helping an opponent break another opponent's defense
Phyrexian Splicer - Changes combat math, when they know they can lose keywords if they try to attack you. Can also be used politically - "I'll swap <keyword> to your guy if you attack <that player> instead" type of deals.
Dissipation Field - Often better deterrent than any "tax" enchantment
Illusionist's Gambit - Another combat trick for large, swingy attacks
Stuffy Doll - Solid blocker that can deter almost all non-trample large attackers. Synergizes well with Phyrexian Splicer
Mirror Match - Another rattlesnake for large swingy attacks, so many large creature have symmetrical power and toughness...



alexev wrote:
I did toked in consideration their valuable advice and inputs and I appreciate the time and effort each one of the posters has given.


Thank you

alexev wrote:
I do think I lack the experience running mardu and not running esper and that was the objective of this thread, to gather opinions, tactics and advice about how to play those colors or that deck.


And we did. For Mardu, you need a midrange deck (not a speedy aggro like Kaalia - or build her as a midrange aggro). You need to focus on the slower build-up (since you lack U for draw and G for Ramp) and board-wide interactions. Mardu control is even more difficult than Mardu "Sleigh." It will only make you a target.

alexev wrote:
Your advice if I don't misunderstood (my natal tongue is not english so it may be very well the case) is to drop the good cards in favor off 'speed' and 'variety' while my playgroup stills with their tactics.

My current Oloro deck has accomplished what Kaalia has not, I have fun piloting him to the victory and also have fun in the looses. I just wish I could do the same with Kaalia


I can't answer what Mr. Degradation meant, but I think you were slightly mistaken in your interpretation. It's not about dropping "good" cards, its about avoiding "the usual suspects" that draw all of the hate. It's also about changing how you see the deck. Don't try to shoe-horn a strategy that doesn't work for that general. Find a strategy that is fun to play, and fun for your playgroup to play against.

alexev wrote:
Inkeyes22 wrote:
So I am just going to post this here: http://www.starcitygames.com/article/36674_The-Philosophy-Of-Second-Best.html as it says what I think would help more than anything.


That is a great article, thanks for sharing

<snip>

I'll keep trying to make her work, even if that means I will have to build a nasty deck with less fun strategies (and not combo-ing out)


Again, that's the opposite of what you should do.

If you are really stuck on using Kaalia, you need to change the strategy to be more interactive, less oppositional and more fun. Try something new and different. Maybe try a tribal build (Angel, Demon and Dragon all work - I would suggest Dragons). Let the other players look through the deck (outside of a game) so they know you are avoiding the Avacyn, MoC and other fun-sucking interactions. Lose the stax and control elements, and maybe focus on things like combat tricks instead (Master Warcraft, Blaze of Glory, Mystic Barrier, Invasion Plans, Defensive Formation, Disharmony, Delirium, etc.)

When you go tribal you can do neat things like Harsh Mercy, Kindred Charge, Mana Echoes, Shared Animosity, Patriarch's Bidding, etc.

If it is fun to play and play against, you should see less 3:1 and more actual threat awareness; because the game is more about position and less about removing the unfun deck as fast as possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-10 8:51 am 

Joined: 2017-Oct-19 12:02 am
Age: Drake
Treamayne wrote:
You've mentioned this a few times. Do you mind if I ask what is your native Language? We do have more than a few bi-lingual and multi-lingual people on the forums.


Spanish is my natal tongue

Treamayne wrote:
If you want to be able to "play your magic," keep in mind they are thinking the same thing, and cards like Rule of Law stop that.


I understand you point and trust me on this, I have no fun having to play Rule of law I can think in several other sweets cards to put instead of it, but when you opponents plays 10 spells a turn or even more then that card is the only thing between 40 minutes of boringness and some people scooping and the rest of the table doing stuff.

I also want to play more than one spells each turn, an active rule of law will prevent me also to do that, so I won't have it in play unless its completly necesary. If Narset, Jeleeva, Nekusar and all the other spell slingers deck where not in my meta I will never use it.

Treamayne wrote:
If you want to be able to "play your magic," keep in mind they are thinking the same thing, and cards like Rule of Law stop that.


Off course, and we all need to make consessions about it, I will never build a Gadock teage full hatebears, or any other commander that just don-t let people play.

But if one of my opponents thinks propaganda is opresive because he can't go for lethal against me with his horde of 3/3s I can also feel opressed by being deleted by turn 6 just because I dont want to play creatures.

It is not fun for any player to stand 40 minutes waiting for one player to cast his 10+ spells with mizzix's mastery overloaded, or that monoblue almost infinite mana casting again and again capsize with buyback and counter backup. In those cases cards like Rule of law protects the fun of everyone except for the guy who regretfuly can't just bounce half our permanents back


Treamayne wrote:
Except, you also have the option of not playing creature-less. Or use redirection (like curses, etc. as mentioned before - More "it's better to attack them" and less "don't attack me"). Really, it sounds like control decks are your comfort zone, and you have a hard time leaving that comfort zone.


Yes but it is not exactly my playstile, for example I canot run mono green, I just can't , I know there are several great decks, I just cant play a mono colored deck.

Now with Oloro, I am able to "play my way" I think that of all 'Control' commanders I can build (because I have the cards for that) Oloro is the least oppressive

I won't play armaggedon and crucible of worlds, I wont play winter orb or static orb or smokestack or any other nasty card, I wont be taxing people for doing their stuff.

My "control" in Oloro is in the way of hard removal and damage prevention in order to keep me alive while I can settle my board.

I will add some of your suggestions like Curse of verbosity to reward opponents for attacking elsewhere but I think the way this deck is going is fair.

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-11 7:19 am 
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@Treamayne-

To clarify- what I mean, is that EDH requires a type of redundancy that most other forms of Magic simply don't; it's the clearest, and most consistent way to bend the rules of the format in crafting your deck- and in truth, EDH is not only far less entertaining when a deck lacks the resources to put other players down within a couple turns- but it also belays the point of enjoying a control deck in EDH.

At some point in our EDH experience, most of us try to get overzealous to answer everything- but that is simply not how the game can be played beyond a certain point. This is a format where an Ignite Memories with a storm count of 20+ isn't difficult to imagine- and while answers exist; once a player commits to a play that big- the game needs to be decided, decks shuffled, jokes told etc. To play a control deck with a Vintage cardpool, is to break a combo, or unravel a huge arsenal of aggresion- and within the next couple of turns, secure your win condition (which often uses overlapping resources with your defensive plays.) This is simply, why Draw-Go strategies don't function in EDH- a player cannot hope to stop everything, only enough that matters for them to make a clever pivoting play.

In my own experience, this has been a problem at an LGS with some people I hold in high esteem; and they take their salt out on making their decks so progressively anti-social that everyone around them just sets up their big plays (like the "Ignite Memories"-) and then double down on them when the shields cannot be maintained.

Rather, an EDH deck needs to have a good way to finish the game regardless of archetype; and while Control is a pleasure, it requires building and piloting that doesn't get you Caesar'd or make the playgroup feel like Caesar'ing you is always the correct line of play (if even to just make the game tolerable.)

It is for this reason, that we play cards redundant with our win conditions, even when we are the slowest, heaviest build at the table. To not eliminate players when you take the lead is insulting to their experience; and to fill your decks out with hatestax; but not utilize them to pivot the game is waiting to get absolutely demolished by salted players.

In EDH, every single slot is a precious resource. The ratios you build effect the frequencies which you encounter groups of cards. If you have less than 7 or 8 cards that propel you towards eliminating other players; then you are making 40 minute games 4 hour games and rationalizing it as "playstyle" to a group who wants to enjoy your company, and see you do badass things in the realm of the game- and you will often become eliminated early just to make sure that multiple hands can be played in the same timespan- or you'll be absolutely unprepared for the harder to stop, prevent and stall strategies that emerge in the thick of the game's climax.

Both in terms of social play, and competitive play- it's a methodology that does not coalesce with the format's very structure. It dips it's toes into the methodology of "Second Best"- but that is because Second Best cards tend to be effective multiple copies of a card inside of our deck. Playing more than 7 Wraths or Counters in a deck tends to lead to both vulnerable game positions, and anti-social group play.

About Rule of Law- Generally speaking, I like it- but I like Aura of Silence and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir much more. Rule of Law is a bullet card, that if you just play out can often effect the game for the worse- and draw aggro onto yourself, but in a pinch it's a fine answer. The problem of it in Stax lists, is that it turns the game into a crawl- because stax just wants to assemble as many of these extra rules as possible- and then finish the game with a supported win condition (Opalescence, Heliod, Stroke of Genius etc.) If you're going to play Rule of Law- you might as well also play Grand Abolisher and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir as well- but you then want to cut other types of hate cards, and focus on a resource (like Life) or Instant- based defense while you assemble your own win condition. Otherwise it's something that experienced players play around, and inexperienced players pull their hair over.

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-11 10:50 pm 

Joined: 2017-Oct-19 12:02 am
Age: Drake
Mr Degradation wrote:
@Treamayne-
To clarify- what I mean, is that EDH requires a type of redundancy that most other forms of Magic simply don't; it's the clearest, and most consistent way to bend the rules of the format in crafting your deck- and in truth, EDH is not only far less entertaining when a deck lacks the resources to put other players down within a couple turns- but it also belays the point of enjoying a control deck in EDH.


I undertstand this, and I agree 100%

Mr Degradation wrote:
At some point in our EDH experience, most of us try to get overzealous to answer everything- but that is simply not how the game can be played beyond a certain point. This is a format where an Ignite Memories with a storm count of 20+ isn't difficult to imagine- and while answers exist; once a player commits to a play that big- the game needs to be decided, decks shuffled, jokes told etc. To play a control deck with a Vintage cardpool, is to break a combo, or unravel a huge arsenal of aggresion- and within the next couple of turns, secure your win condition (which often uses overlapping resources with your defensive plays.) This is simply, why Draw-Go strategies don't function in EDH- a player cannot hope to stop everything, only enough that matters for them to make a clever pivoting play


I undertstand, and normally I also will agree 100% , but in my meta many of my friends built their decks with that 100% commitment with the strategy and just a couple of answers, wich means that when someone gets 20+ Storm, nobdy can or could do anything about it.

In oloro I want to get to play a long game, Winning with Sanguine bond + Venser's journal + a lot of cards drawed by Necropotence, or Test of endurance or Aetherflux reservoir or if I feel mean also Exquisite blood

For that to happend I need to survive long enought to make it happend without being necesarly hated out, I understand your point of view, I agree that Oloro is in his best as a Stax commander and my decklist is not, the reason I didn't build him as a Stax is because my friends hate those strategies.

One of them played ONCE a winter orb and they bullied him hard, and he wasn't playing stax, he just drop it in his breya.

Mr Degradation wrote:
Rather, an EDH deck needs to have a good way to finish the game regardless of archetype; and while Control is a pleasure, it requires building and piloting that doesn't get you Caesar'd or make the playgroup feel like Caesar'ing you is always the correct line of play (if even to just make the game tolerable.)


Also agree, and that is why I think (after playtes I will be able to say if I am right or not) my LifeGain pillowfort Oloro can get results, in my 4 last games while I got a lot of atention (attacks) and even the 2vs1 I always get from the same 2, Oloro was not a "Policeman" preventing them to do their stuff unless their stuff was coming at me.

My next build will try to get more pillowfort cards and more wincons, trying to still get the game fun.

Mr Degradation wrote:
In EDH, every single slot is a precious resource. The ratios you build effect the frequencies which you encounter groups of cards.


I got your point

Mr Degradation wrote:
Both in terms of social play, and competitive play- it's a methodology that does not coalesce with the format's very structure. It dips it's toes into the methodology of "Second Best"- but that is because Second Best cards tend to be effective multiple copies of a card inside of our deck. Playing more than 7 Wraths or Counters in a deck tends to lead to both vulnerable game positions, and anti-social group play


I play 7 wraths in the standard meaning of wrath and a couple more non standard like aetherize and Cyclonic rift and just 5 counterspells in all the deck.

Counterspells to protect my wincon or to prevent someopponents wincons or annoying stuff like Warp world.

As Oloro creatureless I will always be "open" to attack, the wraths are bargaining chips, they know I have them, they know Ill use them in the moment they attack me so, as long as they atatck each other my boardwipes will rest in my hand, I will only need them to close the game at the end.

So I need 7+ boardwipes, I need Righteous aura , Solitary confinement, Delaying shield and cards that prevents me from normal damage and also commander damage

Mr Degradation wrote:
If you're going to play Rule of Law- you might as well also play Grand Abolisher and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir as well- but you then want to cut other types of hate cards, and focus on a resource (like Life) or Instant- based defense while you assemble your own win condition. Otherwise it's something that experienced players play around, and inexperienced players pull their hair over.


You convinced me of dropping rule of law in this particular deck (Oloro)

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-12 12:39 am 
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Thanks for reading that :P

Something I have forgotten to point out- is some really good advice I got from one of my most proficient playtesting partner (who teases me about my militant love of UW decks-) In EDH, when in doubt about a white-based Control deck, remember the "Big Ass Flyer" principal.

There's a massive abundance of white Flyers that generate card advantage or break the opponent's tempo and combos- they function as "sorceries with legs" in ways that compliment suites of removal, combo busting tools etc. When you don't have a particular combo or doomsday spell to drop on the opponent in the deck, pack a few massive flyers- as they generate threat in addition to disruption or value. My favorite example being Angel of Serenity (which is admittedly FAR better in UW, BW, GW or RW than in 3 color combinations, because your manabase is far easier to fix to such a degree).

With regards to Oloro, Sunblast Angel, Dragonlord Ojutai, Sun Titan (not actually a flyer, but plays into the principal). Bruna, the Fading Light, Angelic Arbiter, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, Angel of Despair, Angel of Condemnation, Angel of the Dire Hour, Admonition Angel, Lord of the Void, Archfiend of Depravity, Bloodgift Demon- or most especially Archangel of Thune and Baneslayer Angel fit the bill. Generally- with two or 3 of these, and a modest number of smaller threats like Cloudblazer, Mulldrifter, Meddling Mage, Snapcaster Mage (since it isn't an acquisition concern-) you'll have the ability to run a deck with a low number of threats that share overlap with your disruption- and even build onto entire extra CA engines. If your win condition is less consistent than playing some Big Ass Flyers- then playing some will help solidify your ability to finish a game.

If you replace some stax with creatures that behave as stax, and some excessive removal with creatures that behave as removal- you'll find that the relative power you're playing at goes up dramatically- because you can not only stop combos, but force combo decks to try going off preemptively (allowing you to position for a gamebreaking pivot play.)

In the deck thread, I suggested a "Doomsday Spell" method of Control (since, in multiplayer- Player Removal is just as important;) which is an alternative to the Big Ass Flyers principal- but both (along with token onslaughts-) tend to fill that difficult "How Do I Win?" answer while sharing substantial overlap with cards you'll already be wanting to play.

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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-15 5:27 am 

Joined: 2017-Dec-01 1:06 am
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Do all posts on this forum devolve like this??? Lol

I just wanted to say, I must have spent over 2 years developing my Mardu deck and it has been the single biggest challenge in maybe 7/8 years playing EDH. Mardu is hard work, you struggle with ramp and with card draw, so you're likely to fall behind in the late game and that forces you to be aggressive from the start. That makes it almost impossible to play politics, and as a result you are likely to be the beneficiary of much hate and fear throughout the game. If you fail, you will have to sit through the rest of the game while others play their long game, and hope to survive long enough to top deck a one-shot like hatred or master of cruelties.

In the end however, I reached a happy place by introducing no less than 4 game plans which I can switch to when needed: Plan A, aggro their face in, Plan B, cast mass reanimate spells with purphoros, God of the forge or similar, Plan C, one shot with hatred, commander damage or infect, and Plan D, the last resort, go infinite with a reveillark or Sun Titan combo.

But I would add, my commanders are bruse tarl, boorish herder and [/card]tymna the weaver[/card]. This was because I set out with the aim to make Mardu successful without the use of kaalia, as she is, in my opinion, a solved commander.

Solved like so: Kaalia decks are vulnerable to group hate, as you have clearly discovered, but the most successful version I know, is the version which unashamedly plays the villain. My advice, get her and a few fattys out as fast as possible, then then Armageddon the board. Failing that play reanimate or living death along with faithless looting and anger amongst your horde of angels and demons. And then just play the villain, you want to focus on one player at a time even when the others come at you, take out the strongest, then the middle, leaving the weakling to last. Save your one shots until you need them, and if it isn't working, play dead until you can rebuild a hand.

Most important, Enjoy being the bad guy, and never apologise for playing the game ;)

Best of luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Help a blue player to play a Mardu deck
AgePosted: 2018-Mar-16 4:07 am 

Joined: 2017-Oct-19 12:02 am
Age: Drake
Reach229 wrote:
Do all posts on this forum devolve like this??? Lol

I just wanted to say, I must have spent over 2 years developing my Mardu deck and it has been the single biggest challenge in maybe 7/8 years playing EDH. Mardu is hard work, you struggle with ramp and with card draw, so you're likely to fall behind in the late game and that forces you to be aggressive from the start. That makes it almost impossible to play politics, and as a result you are likely to be the beneficiary of much hate and fear throughout the game.


Solved like so: Kaalia decks are vulnerable to group hate, as you have clearly discovered, but the most successful version I know, is the version which unashamedly plays the villain. My advice, get her and a few fattys out as fast as possible, then then Armageddon the board. Failing that play reanimate or living death along with faithless looting and anger amongst your horde of angels and demons. And then just play the villain, you want to focus on one player at a time even when the others come at you, take out the strongest, then the middle, leaving the weakling to last. Save your one shots until you need them, and if it isn't working, play dead until you can rebuild a hand.

Most important, Enjoy being the bad guy, and never apologise for playing the game ;)

Best of luck!


Thanks, I am now building the most "nasty" non combo Kaalia and will try to make her work, my problems in the playgroup is that I am the 3v1 focus from turn zero, so I need to survive, Ill try cards such as Magus of the moat, No mercy, Aurification, Desolation
a lot of MLD such as Price of glory, Cataclysm, War's toll and of course Crucible of world , I may run Magus of the tabernacle a lot of chep hatebears to make me survive long enought to destroy the world.

Ill let you know how it went

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Oloro, Ageless ascetic The current updated decklist is here


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