Sometimes, when I write about a variant format, I will have a ‘totem card’ for that article. I feel it gives me a good way to pull everyone into an article. Even though everyone will not be familiar with certain cards, they can be REALLY playable and REALLY good in the right format. For my stint here at WOOBERG.com, I want to open people’s eyes to some un-played “jank” cards that actually become playable, if not GOOD in other formats. Defining a card as good or not is something we all do, it tells us about the set it came from, and usually about the next deck you will build (if you liked it enough and have/can get enough copies). The totem card will not only usually be featured in the article, but will have something to do with what is good or fun in the format and not in many others. So without further ado, today’s totem card…
In the world of alternative formats, huge decks with loads of cards have always been fun to me.
I love a challenge, and gigantic decks create a challenge in both build and play strategy.
This is why 5-Color magic
is an absolute blast to play.
With a minimum deck size of 250 cards, and 20 of each color required during construction a few things are king.
- Land Fetch: This will pretty much take up all of your green card slots unless you plan on making green one of your more dominant colors. It is usually a good idea to have more than the 20 green cards because of how much land fetch is king.
- Dual Lands: When many people think dual lands, they think of any land that produces mana of 2 different colors, but I am specifically referring to the old school originals, and the Ravnica block shock-lands. Why are these two sets the only ones that get referred to as ‘dual lands’ you ask? Three words; “basic land types”. The fact that these sets of duals are both probably the best as far as drawbacks (or lack thereof) aside, these lands play well with #1. The fact that these lands can be fetched very easily is an excellent bonus feature to them and probably a large part of the reason that they are so expensive. (Well, that and the fact that they both still see a lot of tournament play.) If you can’t get the originals, or even the Ravnica ones, deckbuilding can be a bit of a challenge. This is something that can hold its own as an article and I will likely cover it soon in a future article.
- Colorless Abilities: Morph, Cycling, Landcycyling. These abilities effectively turn a card that is one of your minor colors into a colorless card that simply replaces its self (sometimes with an aforementioned dual land). I don’t care who you are, that’s just a good deal right there. One of the best ways to prevent mana screw is to have cards of a color that you never have to spend that color of mana on, EXSPECIALLY if they draw you a card (see cycling and landcycling).
- Combo and Control: Face it, in a 250 card deck, beat down rarely works, however I have been proven wrong on this point before. At least in a 1 on 1 situation. Most of the articles I will be talking about will be in regards to multiplayer however, so this is not as much the case. If you want to play an aggressive deck in multiplayer, you pretty much want to play some sort of midrange deck.
- Legal Tutors: When you are playing with so many cards in your deck, the game is bound to be inconsistent. Any kind of tutoring effect that isn’t banned (this list has been growing lately as more and more cards have been deemed ‘Not Broken’ by the 5CRC [5-Color Ruling Council]). Honestly if you can use it, it doesn’t even matter what the card gets, as long as it helps you win faster. My first multiplayer 5-color deck ran [card]Sunforger[/card] and [card]Junktroller[/card] and a bunch of W/X and R/X gold cards, including [card]Absorb[/card] to counter spells for WR, [card]Terminate[/card] to kill creatures and many, many more. I did fairly well against several good casual players.
Now, looking back at these categories of cards, they are pretty narrow, and some cards will stick out as definitely better than others.
Most 5-Color decks will contain many of the same spells to get you the cards you need.
This is where Grim Reminder comes in.
For a low cost of 2B (splashable!) you can easily deal six damage to a player, good, but not game breaking.
The second ability is what makes this card SO much better.
For BB you can do it again… and again… and again.
For example, in the average deck, we can likely assume any player will be playing with [card]Harrow[/card].
A spectacular land fetch card and easy on the pocket book.
If you have a Harrow in your deck, you can easily deal six damage to each player without losing a card for it.
And, even if you have 0 of the same cards that any opponents have in a deck you can still use it as a repeatable discard to a spellshaper or other discard effect.
That’s all the time we have for today, so until next time...
Use YOUR shoes as counters!