Saturday, September 1, 2012

[JT] CGC: Spellbook pt. 1: Introductions

Pic of me in Sailor uniform removed.  Your welcome.
I love flavor!  That should be pretty obvious by now after my last few CGC's.  There is just something about finding these little connections in the cards, or knowing that the deck I have in my hands is something that character X would use that just makes me giddy as a Japanese school girl (sailor skirt and all).  This obsession with flavor started back during Score's DBZ CCG, where I always felt Main Personality X would be best with style X because that's who they are (ex, Saiyans always felt best with Saiyan Style decks.  For those of you that have no idea what I mean, wait for a future CGC and I'll go in detail ;)).  This trickled over to Yu-Gi-Oh! where I would always tech United We Stand into my Ice Barrier deck because the IBs require other IBs to be on the field in order for their effects to be active.

My love of flavor is also part of the reason why I love M:tG.  The game has such rich characters that you cannot help but latch onto.  Granted, the mythos of the game is that you are a planeswalker slinging spells back and forth with other planeswalkers (your opponents), but with the story driven design, it's kind of hard not to get attached to a per-existing planeswalker.  I now find myself gravitating towards decks built around certain planeswalkers just like I was drawn towards the Saiyan-Saiyan interaction in DBZ.  I enjoy building character decks, like a mono blue mill deck for Jace, who used to be my favorite planeswalker.  My favorite walker now is Venser, and he has become my newest focus when it comes to character decks.

In my journey to build a deck of Venser's own design, I came up with an idea.  What if instead of an EDH commander, you had an EDH planeswalker, and the only cards in the deck can be spells that the planeswalker him(or her)self would cast?  What if you could not only craft a story with your planeswalker with your deck, but also JUSTIFY a story that doesn't necessarily fit with them as it stands now?

Let me explain.  In my drive to build a Venser deck, I had one simple rule: NO PHYREXIAN WATERMARKS!  Simple, as well as a very interesting restriction in terms of deck building.  Most of his deck would be an artifact based deck to highlight his artifice side, but he would not use Phyrexian artifact creatures because he is fighting against the Phyrexian corruption in the story.  The deck turned out decent.  Not very strong, but decent.

At the same time though my eyes kept drifting to the Spined Thopters and Porcelain Legionnaires that I refused to use.  In the back of my mind I was wondering how I could possibly use those cards and still be in line with the flavor.

Then my eyes fell on Pristine Talisman, and my brain screeched to a halt; synapses were firing as my mind crafted the story:  By having the Talisman on his person, Venser would be able to stave of the Phyrexian corruption and allow him to use the Phyrexian creatures.  I had it; my out to making both a strong and flavorful deck!  However, me being me, I couldn't leave it alone.  I had to take it one step further.  I mean, obviously one talisman couldn't be used to stave off the infection from 7 different creatures at once, could it?  Of course not!  What if it only kept the infection of only two Phyrexians at bay at once?  What happens if he goes over?  Does he become corrupted?

I came up with the answer which I will share shortly, but there was no way to convey this in the deck if I do not have Venser at my disposal at all times.  Here is where the idea of turning EDH into Spellbook dawned on me.  With each planeswalker, they could have a special condition attached to them that influences both HOW they play and/or WHAT they play.  Venser's could be something like:
"At the beginning of the upkeep, if Venser controls more than X Phyrexian permanents, he gets a poison counter, where X is twice the number of "Pristine Talisman" he controls."
So he could use four Phyrexian permanents as long as he had two talismans, but any more than that and he will start to be tainted and corrupted at the beginning of his next turn.  Setting this in EDH has a special meaning.  Since you can only have one Talisman in your deck, Venser can only use 2 Phyrexian creatures at a time without being Poisoned (unless you pull a few other shenanigans)

Viola!!!!  Spellbook is born! Now everyone can go enjoy a whole new format!  Right?!  Right? ...

...Nope!  There are a few things wrong with EVERYTHING I've done up until this point in development.  That'll have to wait until part 2 though...

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some Venser fan fics to write....


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