reading about cards to be released in an upcoming set, I
no longer think about the cards in my current mindset as
I used to.
Instead I've taken to jumping right into forming
deck ideas in a format where that set will clearly be
relevant, and that format is usually type 2.
I was better prepared for States in 2001 than I
have been for just about any other tournament, and I'm
sure this head start is at least part of the cause.
imagine a number of you are doing the same thing with
Torment, and I've decided to share with you some of my
first I'll bring to your attention is one which I most
certainly cannot take full credit for.
This idea was borne of a conversation I had with
an old friend.
To avoid his name appearing in this column more
often than my own, and also to annoy him, let's call him
Braids, Cabal Minion
those unfamiliar with the Torment cards I'm using:
Pet is an oddity in this deck, as I'm trying to
establish a board advantage and sacrificing my early
creatures doesn't tend to help that.
The real reason he's in here is because he's a
1/1 for B.
Clearly he's better than Necra Disciple for this
deck, because having an unattractive option is better
than having none.
I have used his ability, too, when I had three
land in play along with Blood Pet, no land in my hand, a
Braids in hand, and I felt playing Braids early was
The only card I could see as a rival for this
slot is Urborg Skeletons.
Its regeneration may prove a useful stall
technique depending on what you'll be facing.
I originally threw this little fellow into a
Braids deck for another one-drop, and while he does that
well, his blue ability is proving very useful.
Here's one situation where it helped: my opponent
is attacking with a white-kicked (not blue) Rakavolver.
I block with Braids, and Apprentice her.
My opponent doesn't gain any life, since no
damage was dealt, I take no damage, and I don't
sacrifice anything on my turn.
Then I attacked with Shadowmage Infiltrator,
played a land, and then Braids.
This went on for several turns.
I won that game.
Also, you'll find that someone Urza's Raging your
Braids can be a little less painful if you have the
option of sacrificing a draw and five mana to save her.
The mana doesn't even have to be paid all at
Rats and Mesmeric Fiend are both solid disruption at
their mana cost, as well as food for Braids.
The Fiend is much better at the former and the
Rats at the latter, but they both fit perfectly in the
I feel confident in them both being 4-of.
deck uses Standstill in a way that's a little different
from the usual, "Nimble Mongoose, turn 2
While it's true that a turn 2 Standstill can
follow an Apprentice, you generally would only do that
if you haven't seen a third land or a Rats/Fiend.
The reason being at some point you'll be looking
at four land and a Braids and trying to decide whether
to give your opponent three free cards or to allow her
to continue to stockpile lands making Braids all but
No, Standstill is really a mid-game way to refill
It may be played turn 4 following Shadowmage
Infiltrator, or better yet, on turn 5 after Braids,
If you have even a slight board advantage,
Braids, and Standstill, your opponent must choose
whether to be passive, allowing you to dominate the
game, or hand you food for Braids or answers to their
cards, thereby helping you to dominate the game.
I've found most people prefer the atter, and that
probably is the correct choice most of the time.
Light, Green Light 1U
does everyone ignore Phyrexian Rager?
He's a decently-sized creature, a cantrip, and
food for Braids.
It helps you to establish card advantage, draw
into land to sacrifice to Braids if that's what you
need, and essentially reduces the size of your deck
thereby improving consistency.
Oh, and it has synergy with Nightscape
If cantrips often cost 2 colorless more that the
non-cantrip equivalent, and they do, then ask yourself
whether you'd play a 2/2 for B that caused you to lose 1
life when it came into play.
You better believe you would.
It's not quite that good, but it most certainly
is quite good.
like being able to draw into what I need while
establishing card advantage and inching my way toward
This deck loves black creatures.
Shadowmage Infiltrator–what's not to love?
extra damage from his originally being played is nice,
particularly against control, but the real reason
Ichorid is in the deck is something AC pointed out to
stack Braids' ability, then Ichorid's.
Remove this guy I sacrificed to Braids last turn
now that he isn't helping me anymore, sacrifice Ichorid
each creature twice is good against everyone, but
Ichorid alone is great against control.
Each time they kill a creature o fyours your
mourning will be quelled by the sadistic satisfaction of
knowing they're about to take another 3.
is justified, I believe, by the fact that her name is
mentioned in nearly every other card discussion above.
Let me add, though, that your finisher being a
2/2, and a woman, is much classier than a 6/6 Beast, and
will leave you with more self-respect when you win a
game with her.
Or perhaps I exaggerate.
Roar of the Wurm
for the Torment impaired…
not going to get into this deck too much, as it was more
a deck that I built to be fun to play (remember I'm a
control-lover, so fun to play means something different
than what it does to most of you).
It's really just how I think a control deck would
look like if it was using Madness.
The singular Rites of Refusal will often just
discard a spare land to be a really weak Mana Leak.
However, I find it's justified in case you don't
have Wild Mongrel or Cephalid Looter in play and want to
discard your Roar of the Wurm.
You can often find yourself with tons of extra
cards, too, if Cephalid Looter and Cephalid Coliseum
your opponent following a Plagiarize during their
In that situation the Rites are a fifth
Counterspell (though you really shouldn't need it right
then if your opponent just discarded four cards and
didn't get to draw).
Obsessive Search can also reduce the pain of
want to make Teferi's Puzzle Box work in constructed, I
This deck's so wacky it's a blast when it starts
The card advantage you can get off of the Box and
Plagiarize is nuts.
Keeping your hand full with Mana Breach,
Standstill, Dromar's Cavern, and the aforementioned
combo (plus Coliseum) makes Wild Research and Teferi's
Puzzle Box really tick, which turns those Bursts into
some serious Power.
If it looks like you're going to have to discard
down to 7, that's about the time Zombie Infestation
starts coming into play.
This deck isn't all that great yet.
If anyone has some suggestions, please help! Empschao@aol.com
Magic can work in any setting, but I've found it's
typically employed in multiplayer games.
There is a stack of cards, typically
At the beginning of the first upkeep of the game,
the top card of the stack is flipped over.
If that card is a land, each player puts a copy
of that land into play.
Otherwise, each player just played that spell.
For instance, if the card was Opportunity, each
player would draw 4 cards.
Then, at the beginning of each of THAT player's
upkeeps, the next card is turned over.
If there are any permanents left over from the
last card, they are removed from the game.
For instance, the previous card was Craw Wurm.
The top card is flipped over and shown to be
Each player removes their Craw Wurm token from
the game, then discards their hands and draws as many
cards as they just discarded.
All creatures played this way gain Haste.
format isn't something that's supposed to heavily tax
your strategic thinking, it's just something wacky for
you to try with your friends when you're looking for
It can be a lot of fun, but make sure the pile
consists of things that will be interesting when they
enter the game.
Creatures aren't very interesting for the pile,
and may confuse people.
I'd suggest more global effects like Mana Flare,
Wrath of God, or Stasis.
you find what you seek.
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