## The Great EDH Challenge: Grixis – Sol’kanar, Demon King

Power Level: 7.4

We are finally here….Three-Color Commanders! Let’s start with one of my old favs.

My main man Sol’Kanar…what a dirty boy he is. He is ordinarily the Swamp King, murking about in the marshes and mud. However, when he gets bored with that, he goes to Hell and recruits some of his old buddies to wreak havoc throughout the Multiverse. This is what this deck is all about; Sol’kanar and his Demon Entourage wrecking holes.

This is a Demon tribal Battlecruiser deck, where I play a bunch of really high-costed, powerful creatures that do all sorts of interesting things. There are a few low cmc creatures in the deck, like Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire and Kardur, Doomscourge (thanks Kaldheim!), which are still quite powerful. I lean very much on my big boy demons to affect the board throughout the game, especially demons like Dread Cacodemon and Razaketh, the Foulblooded , who can be game-winning plays in the late game.

The high-cost of most of my spells really slows down the deck, so we spend the first four turns mainly ramping with artifacts. We usually play Sol’kanar on turn 5, and begin controlling the game in the following turns while playing bigger and bigger demons. Sol’kanar acts as a five-turn clock, especially when I’ve got Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth or Blanket of Night out. He may seem underwhelming, but never underestimate a five-power beater. However, once Sol’kanar is killed, there are plenty of other ways to win without him. Remember, most of our creatures are big, 6+ power flying beaters! You’d be amazed how few commander players actually use creatures that have flying.

And lest you forget, I am a Johnny at heart! There are 2 combos in this deck, if the beater plan fails:

Nexus of Fate Planar Portal + 13+ mana each turn = Infinite Turns Liliana’s Contract + 4+ Demons with different names on your upkeep = You Win

All in all, this is a pretty casual deck that lets you sit back, relax, and play big stuff to win. There are plenty of tools to help you manage your opponents while you develop your board, and plenty of ways to shift the game in your favor when you fall behind. And don’t forget about the gleeful delight you’ll get from spitefully making an opponent take damage and discard their hand with a big Rakdos’s Return !

## The Great EDH Challenge: Dimir – Silas & Keskit Take Turns

Power Level: 9

So, this is basically a Time Sieve deck with plenty of interaction and ramp. The goal of the deck is to assemble a Time Sieve combo that allows us to take enough extra turns to win. Time Sieve is my favorite non-creature artifact, so I’ve always wanted to build around it in EDH.

Silas and Keskit are at the helm due to their sheer utility. Silas Renn, Seeker Adept lets me recast useful artifacts that have probably been destroyed by my opponents or sacrificed by myself. Sometimes he is just a good blocker too, haha. Keskit, the Flesh Sculptor lets me dig three cards deep to find key combo pieces and interaction. He often sits there to sac things that my opponents are about to destroy. Sometimes I cast Keskit when I’m desperate to find something integral in the late game, or when I find myself with a board full of mana rocks and not much else. These two synergize very well together, though Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator might be a good replacement for either if mana acceleration is more your style.

There are numerous combos in this deck, as usual for me. Combining powerful, synergistic artifacts with versatile tutors makes for a very powerful, consistent deck. However, if you wish to simply play a long game with more casual friends, the deck can be played as more of a toolbox, slowly assembling value engines as you interact with your opponents. A few of the combos:

Chromatic Orrery Filigree Sages = Infinite Mana and Unlimited Draw

Basalt Monolith Rings of Brighthearth Staff of Domination = Infinite Colorless Mana / Infinite Life / Mass Draw / Etc.

Thopter Foundry triggering on Upkeep then recasting it on Main Phase + Time Sieve = Infinite Turns

Silas Renn, Seeker Adept dealing combat damage + Myr Battlesphere in your graveyard and the mana to cast it + Time Sieve = Enough Turns to Kill Opponents with no blockers

It is also important to note that this isn’t just an Artifact deck, but a Creature deck as well. We use creatures to tutor, interact, and ramp. We have the full Tutor Mage suite here, getting us our most useful artifacts at all CMCs other than 4, haha. Creatures like Duplicant and Meteor Golem act as premium, repeatable sources of removal. Master Transmuter is a classic favorite, letting us cheat expensive artifacts into play while simultaneously saving others. Chief Engineer Grand Architect , and Etherium Sculptor are excellent forms of artifact ramp. Vedalken Archmage acts as card advantage dynamite in our deck, while Muzzio, Visionary Architect gives us hilarious card selection in the mid and late game.

I love this deck, because it has almost all of my favorite artifacts and artifact interactions. It even has the three best Tezzerets in it! Despite it’s Time Sieve theme, there are many ways to play it, and each game tends to feel fresh.

Ah we finally made it through the 2-color commanders! Next time, we’ll be bumping up the complexity (and the jank!) a bit with my 3-color commander decks!

## My EDH Power Level Formula

To aid in better grading the power level of EDH decks using a 1 through 10 grading scale, I have created a handy formula that can be utilized with any deck.

or in Latex: ${\frac {2} {A}}+{\frac {\frac {D} {2}+T+{\frac {R} {2}}} {2}}+{\frac {I} {20}}=P$

Let’s break down what these variables mean.

A = Average CMC of the deck.

This one is rather straight-forward. The higher the Average CMC of a deck, the slower and clunkier it becomes. By having 2 divide by this value, I am increasing the number of points awarded to decks with lower CMCs, while reducing the points awarded to decks with higher CMCs.

D = Draw that either allows you to see 3 cards, or a permanent that gives you repeatable draw
Examples: Brainstorm, Howling Mine, Fact or Fiction, Phyrexian Arena

Draw is an important way to ensure that you are always able to perform actions during the course of the game. A deck with little to no draw will spend most of the time sitting around doing nothing. The value of the draw spells are just as important as their density, which is why I have restricted this value to draw that gives you more card selection, or generates value over a longer period of time. These factors ensure that you always have things to do on your turns. In graveyard decks, it may be necessary to count self-mill cards that share the same stipulations (lets you see 3 cards, and/or is a permanent with repeatable draw) as draw for this variable.

T = Tutors (with CMC 4 or less) that find combo pieces and other win conditions
Examples: Vampiric Tutor, Muddle the Mixture, Tribute Mage, Demonic Tutor

Tutors get you exactly what you want, usually when you want them. They give EDH decks a level of consistency that more casual players would say is not in the spirit of the format. Their main function in higher power levels are to attain game-winning combo pieces. The cheaper the tutor, the more likely it is that the player will be able to use the card they tutored for during the same turn. Because of this, this variable has the greatest weight of any of the other variables in grading power level.

R = Ramp cards with CMC 2 or less
Examples: Llanowar Elves, Rampant Growth, Plague Myr. Sol Ring

Ramp is a major determinant of how fast a deck will win consistently, alongside cheap tutors. The sooner a player has access to a large amount of mana, the sooner they can cast multiple spells in a turn. A game of magic is usually over when a player can cast multiple spells in a turn before their opponents can. This, of course, is more impactful in the first few turns of the game, which is why only inexpensive ramp makes the cut for this variable.

I= Interaction such as counterspells, targeted removal, board wipes, and even stax
Examples: Mana Drain, Swords to Plowshares, Damnation, Winter Orb

Interaction stops your opponents from winning the game before you do. It is vitally important, but only when there is a high density of it. Having two or three forms of interaction won’t do much to consistently answer threats during a game with 3 opponents. This reasoning is why I have this value divided by 20, to reward a high density of answers.

Stax is a very broad-ranging term that means many things to many people. In this case, I define it as cards that slow the game down significantly as their primary purpose, limit what actions players can ordinarily take, and tax opponents to build value for yourself. This includes Mass Land Destruction (MLD), Hatebears like Drannith Magistrate and Grand Abolisher, even Pillow Fort like Propaganda.

There are a few things that I would like to note, based on community advice.

Commanders count as 2 toward their respective variable, even if they are costed higher than the respective variable’s limitation.

For example, Tymna would count as 2 towards D (Draw), and Sidisi, Undead Vizier would count as 2 toward tutor, since she is always available. This is a workaround to the fact that this formula doesn’t handle commander-centric archetypes well, such as decks like Sram and aggro Tribal decks like Krenko.

Graveyard strategies may require creative consideration for variables.

A card like Mesmeric Orb may not count as draw in most decks, but it could be very powerful draw in a Muldrotha deck. Entomb may not seem like a tutor in most decks, but it can be a very powerful tutor in a Karador deck.

Because of the difficulty of quantifying “Average Win Turn”, this formula focuses on how fast a deck can potentially amass a winning boardstate instead

Having R (Ramp) be limited to spells CMC 2 or less is an easy way to denote that early game acceleration is what it is representing. The same is true to a certain extent with regards to T (Tutors). These values are weighted heavily for this very reason.

With the commander out, the score can actually change.

However, this formula leans heavily on representing the flow of gameplay, focusing on the early game. If you can get your commander out with early ramp, that will be reflected in the formula, actually. It may be interesting to have people compare two results of the formula; for when the commander is not in play, and when the commander is in play. Many cards will suddenly belong to variables that they did not otherwise belong to.

This formula is a generalist tool, not meant to score unique commander-focused decks.

These variables work because they are metrics that can be widely agreed upon to be signifiers of power, speed, and consistency. Synergy in EDH is a very esoteric value, that varies greatly between decks. Because of that, I choose to focus my efforts on providing a tool for most decks, not all. All decks can benefit from Ramp, Draw, Interaction, Lower Average CMC and even Tutors.

Lands are largely a no-brainer, contributing little to power level in a well-constructed deck.

Playing minimal tap lands will make most decks better able to play during the early game. I make the assumption that the decks playing tap lands will be scored lowly by the variables of this formula. because those sorts of decks seldom run low cmc ramp, tutors, and draw.

From my own calculations utilizing this formula, I have been able to create a nice baseline of power levels that are usually below 10 and above 3. I have found that meta-“cEDH” decks seem to consistenly grade above 10, though this formula is not meant to accurately grade meta-specific decks such as cEDH decks. I will go through 5 examples of varying deck types. These formulas may not include changes to the variable calculations that have been implemented using community feedback.

Exquisite Invention -UR Artifact C18 PreCon
https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/exquisite-invention-ur-artifact-c18-precon/
A=4.16 D=8 T=0 R=4 I=9

Score: 3.95

Vampiric Bloodlust – RBW Vampires C17 Precon
https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/vampiric-bloodlust-rwb-vampire-tribal-c17-precon/
A=3.71 D=10 T=0 R=4 I=16

Score: 4.8

Jarad Graveyard Combo – GB “70%” Reanimator
A=3.30 D=1 T=7 R=8 I=19

Score: 7.3

Memnarch Control Combo – Mono-U Competitive
https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/memnarched/
A=2.64 D=13 T=11 R=11 I=24

Score: 12.9

Thrasios & Tymna Combo – “Tier 1” cEDH
https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/partner-combo-thrasios-tymna-cedh/
A=1.60 D=12 T=10 R=14 I=20

Score: 13.75!!!

As you can see, this scoring method is a good metric to gauge a deck’s general power level when factoring in deck traits that define the EDH meta. A deck with a score over 10 is most likely a competitive deck, perhaps belonging to the “cEDH” format. I like that it appears to turn out that way, as it puts those deck in a “tier of their own”, as many remark cEDH decks as being already.

Moving forward, I will be grading any EDH decks I discuss on this site using this formula. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this grading formula, and seeing your own deck power levels as defined by this formula.

## The Great EDH Challenge

Hey there EDH players.

I decided to reattempt the Great EDH Challenge. This challenge entails making an EDH deck of each color combination, 32 decks in total. I aggressively pursued this challenge several years ago, but was never satisfied with the unofficial 4-color options of the time; the Nephilim. But with the C16 Commanders, and their accompanying Partners, I can rightfully complete the challenge.

I will be spending several posts going through the decks I have chosen to create to complete the challenge. This is the ultimate challenge in deck creativity and expression for me, so I look forward to going through my decklists. Deck construction is perhaps my favorite thing about MtG, perhaps even more than playing the game! In any case, this is the list of decks, to be updated upon their completion:

Colorless: Ulamog Rocks

Mono Color
White: Mangara’s Enchanted Lifegain
Blue: Memnarch C&C (Control and Combo)
Red: Rograkh/Jeska Voltron
Green: Sekki Spirits

Allied Pairs
Azorius: Raff Superfriends (Teferi Tribal)
Dimir: Silas/Keskit Artifacts
Rakdos: Kaervek Hazard
Gruul: Gallia Satyrs
Selesnya: Saffi Reanimator Combo

Enemy Pairs
Orzhov: Vishkal Aristocrats
Izzet: Aegar’s Giant Burn
Boros: Gerrard Sunrise
Simic: Kumena Merfolk

Shards
Esper: Sen Triplets Theft
Grixis: Solkanar Demons
Jund: Lord Windgrace Land Destruction
Naya: Samut Anthems
Bant: Derevi Stax

Wedges
Mardu: Kelsien Human Equipment Deathtouch Pingers
RUG: Maelstrom Wanderer Stompy Ramp
Abzan: Kethis Black People
Jeskai: Gavi Cycling
BUG: Volrath Infect

4 Color
Yore-Tiller: Breya Goodstuff
Witch-Maw: Atraxa Charge Counters

I look forward to sharing and discussing these fun decks with all of you!

## “Problematic” Garruk, my favorite Planeswalker

When I returned to the game during Shards of Alara, I was introduced to the new card type; Planeswalker. Initially, I hated the idea of planeswalker cards, since their design allowed them to act as a second player on the side of their controller, and there weren’t many ways to get rid of them if you weren’t playing creatures. But when I saw and subsequently played with Garruk Wildspeaker, I fell in love.

I didn’t fall for the planeswalker card type, but I did fall in love with the huge, manly, savage guy who happened to be a planeswalker.

I’ve always had a great affection for the beefcake and barbarian archetypes. I remember reading old issues of Conan when I was a little kid, and marveling at his wild might and musculature. This was mimicked in many other works I viewed at that age, like The Incredible Hulk, Dragonball Z, and Hokuto no Ken. Perhaps it was because I’d been the scrawny kid who everyone saw as weak, and I was looking up to these powerful men who could defeat any enemy with utter brutality. That affection evolved into a general attraction as I entered puberty, so I began to seek those sorts of characters out more and more. It is an ideal that I never had any desire to embody myself, but to instead admire it in others who possess it.

When I began exploring Garruk’s lore, I began to be captivated by his “hunter druid” nature. I’d been reading the MtG novels for years already, so I was very captivated by Magic’s worldbuilding and flavor. But with Garruk, I had digital comic books to read, which really got me excited. The story of Garruk’s fight with Liliana, “The Hunter and the Veil,”  left a pretty bad taste in my mouth, but I had hope that Wizards would do something interesting with him soon. It took a year, but they did continue his story with “The Veil’s Curse,” which had a cool fight between Jace and Garruk, with Garruk breaking through the blue mage’s spells with ease. It was shortly followed by “The Wild Son,” which gave me a greatly appreciated insight into Garruk’s simple origins. This was the first story I really liked, and emboldened my interest in his character.

After reading the comics featuring Garruk, and learning of his humble beginnings, I began to really dislike the direction they’d taken his character. Being cursed by the evil wench Liliana, Garruk was corrupted and made ugly and vile. I really grew to hate Liliana as a character, and hoped that Wizards would find a way to cure and redeem Garruk. My greatest hope for this was a novel that was to be released back in 2010, called “The Curse of the Chain Veil”. However, it was never released, and I wouldn’t get anything lorewise concerning Garruk until 2012. Although, I did get several cool and interesting new Garruk cards while I waited, so my appetite was sated for a bit.

After Garruk’s story in Innistrad, where he was almost healed by Avacyn, his story became more and more dark, as he began to accept the curse, and the fate it brought him. I lamented this, especially with the culmination of this corruption storyline in M15, the Garruk-themed set. A part of me celebrated Garruk being center stage, but a larger part wished for the neutral-aligned mono-green hunter druid that I’d fallen for years ago. I’d felt that Wizards had run out of ideas for Garruk, and that they weren’t going to cleanse him of the curse that had turned him into a murderous, evil planeswalker hunter. But I have to admit, the card this version of Garruk received was pretty cool, and fun to play with.

As Wizards increased its efforts to gain new players in the coming years, I noticed that Garruk became nearly non-existent within the game. He’d seemed to have been completely replaced by the Elf planeswalker, Nissa Revane, who I saw as boring and unoriginal. The idea of a main character “hunter druid” had been somewhat fresh, but an elitist elf who was in touch with nature was a bromidic trope. I began to wonder why he’d been given a character-centric set, only to be abandoned at the climax of his corruption arc. I began to talk to others about this, and they told me to look at a card found in Innistrad called “Triumph of Ferocity”. I’d been out of the game during the Innistrad block, only peeking my head in to do a few drafts, so I wasn’t familiar with the cards, or the controversies, until I returned for the RtR block.

The Magic fanbase has been composed of a large number of immature, socially-inept guys as far back as I can remember (myself included, once upon a time), mainly consisting of young white males whose humor was oftentimes crass and disparaging. I’d oftentimes find myself at the butt of racist jokes, being the only black guy in some of the card shops I’d frequent. It didn’t bother me, because I knew that the guys were just being silly, and didn’t have hateful intentions. Nothing was off-bounds, whether it be sexist, homophobic, or racist. It was the sort of environment where you gained a tough-skin pretty quickly, because everyone else would point fun at your hurt feelings if you were offended by anything that was said. It was challenging, but also fun. It was an environment where you knew you could say pretty much anything you wanted. But that environment also incentivized saying the worst things you could think of, because it was a sure way to get a laugh.

That’s why I could understand how most of the guys I knew got a real kick out of the art displayed on Triumph of Ferocity. When I brought up the card to some MtG friends of mine, they always joked about it. Most of the jokes were sexual, saying things like, “Liliana and Garruk are so into each other, they even get into BDSM”.

It wasn’t much of a problem for magic players back then, but things quickly began to change as new, more diverse players began to flood into the game. Wizards was on a mission to make the game inclusive, and that meant removing things that would be “problematic” to new players who didn’t share the crass humor of many of the older players. A wave of inclusivity began to sweep through all sorts of industries and fandoms during 2015, as movements like Gamergate began to show a darker side of nerd culture to society at large. Wizards, being a center of nerd culture, made it a priority to clean up the public’s image of its nerdy player-base. “Triumph of Ferocity” began to be looked at by new players, and some of them began speaking about the sexism present in MtG. It is around this time that Garruk ceased to be present in the game. The writers of Wizards would add a little blurb about what he was up to every now and then, but that was it. I felt as though M15 had acted as a grand send-off to a character that Wizards realized needed to “disappear” for the good of the game’s inclusive future.

To me, it is tragic that Wizards would get rid of a character simply because of a single unflattering card art he was in years ago. It isn’t as though he was harming an innocent woman. Liliana and Garruk were engaged in a fight, where she had the upper hand. She refused to remove a curse that was partly responsible for Garruk’s aggression towards her. Liliana is an evil necromancer, obsessed with power and enamored with cruelty. She also got her turn to hurt Garruk during the fight, as depicted in “Triumph of Ferocity’s” opposing card, “Triumph of Cruelty”.

As The War of the Spark draws near, Magic’s first Planeswalker-themed set, I couldn’t help but reminisce about Garruk’s fate. 36 planeswalkers that will appear within the set have been revealed, with indications that they will be the only planeswalkers that will receive new cards within the set. Garruk was not among them, and hasn’t even been mentioned yet. Is this a confirmation that Wizards has indeed written him out of their larger narrative, relegating him to a few sentences in a “Catching Up” story now and then? I certainly hope not. And if there’s anything that Garruk has always given me, it’s hope that his character will get the compelling story he deserves.

## EDH Favourites : Mono-Colored

EDH/Commander is my favorite format. It allows such a wide range of deck-building options, and you can really express yourself through your decks. This appeals to me greatly, especially when I see theme decks, and especially flavorful decks. I tend to make either really powerful decks, or really casual decks.

I’d like to share my favorite commanders with all of you, within 4 different posts. This time, I will cover my favorite mono-color commanders. Mono-color commanders offer the purest color pie experience in EDH. The decks are oftentimes single-minded, having access to only one color. You really get to see the weaknesses and strengths of each color, even with access to nearly all of the cards in magic’s history.

## Mono-Blue : Memnarch

Memnarch is probably my favorite creature in MtG. He is the World Warden, the Wicked Wizard, the Obsessive Overlord. Memnarch takes your permanents…all of them.

With infinite mana, Memnarch serves as the best theft-based mana sink in the game. He keeps your opponents’ permanents….permanently. He turns card advantage on it’s head, by allowing you to gain an advantage while disadvantaging your opponents. Normally, filling your deck with mana producers seems underwhelming, but Memnarch turns any excess mana into additional permanents on your battlefield. He is oppressive, yes, which is why I only play him when I’m playing against other powerful combo decks. And with a head that big, how couldn’t he out-think his opponents?

Weakness : Aggro Decks

## Mono-Red : Kamahl, Pit Fighter

Kamahl is the champion of the Pit. He is a vicious gladiator, coating his massive blade with the blood of his opponents. Pretty manly, eh? Alas, he lacks stamina; he is a one-minute man. But man, does’ he know how to smash during that minute!

Kamahl is the king of pingers. He is a lightning bolt on a stick, who deals 3 damage to any target the moment he comes out of the command zone. But more importantly, he comes out swinging, possibly doing 6 commander damage to an unfortunate opponent. He is aggressive, and also shoots lightning bolts. To me, Kamahl is a red purist, epitomizing the classical aspects of the color. You can build him as tribal pingers, or you can voltron him up, or you could just run burn spells and hasty creatures. His versatility is his strength, just as it was in the Pit.

Strength : Damage

Weakness : Big Booty Blockers

## Mono-White : Crovax, Ascendant Hero

The Time Spiral Block gave us so many amazing remixes of the color pie, game mechanics, and even previous characters. Crovax is known as being a merciless vampire, corrupted by Phyrexia and turned against his previous allies. His story is complex and nuanced, creating a multi-faceted character with a living, breathing history. In typical What-If fashion, Planar Chaos gave us a parallel universe-version of Crovax, who’d been cleansed of his corruption, and who became an incredible force for good.

I love Crovax, and always wished he’d gotten a happier ending during the Weatherlight Saga. This card gave him that happier ending. Because he fights against the evil that had corrupted him, and as such, I build him with a Black-Hate theme. Because he fights the darkness, I have him joined by a team of creatures that have Protection from Black, and various tools to lock down their black minions and the swamps they come from. Crovax is an anthem that can be saved from nearly everything for 2 life, who sometimes nerfs your opponents’ creatures. He is the hero we deserve, but not the one we need when we’re not going against a black deck. 😀

Strength: Going against Mono-Black decks

Weakness : Going against another Mono-White deck

## Mono-Black : Mikaeus, the Unhallowed

Poor Mikaeus. Once a religious leader, he was turned into a zombie by that evil wench, Liliana. Just as she corrupted my favorite Planeswalker, Liliana defiled the pious Mikaeus, and used him as a puppet for her own ends. A tragic end to a holy man who tried his hardest to preserve a dying faith.

This Zombie is actually a combo machine. He goes infinite with so many cards that it borders on ridiculous. And with access to Black, you can easily tutor for all of your combo pieces. Bring pack your creatures endlessly, while draining or pinging your opponents to death death in the process. It’s easy as 1. 2. 3 combo pieces! I solemnly swear as a Johnny player that Mikaeus is a combo player’s wet dream. Humorously enough, I almost always forget that he destroys humans that deal damage to you!

Strength: Winning Outright

Weakness: Getting Hated Off the Table

## Mono-Green : Kamahl, Fist of Krosa

Look who decided to become a member of the Green Party! Kamahl had a revelation within the deepest parts of the Forest of Krosa, and spent a great deal of time meditating on all of his past crimes as a Mono-Red brute. Being taught by the forest and it’s protectors, Kamahl became a druid, and found an inner peace through continued meditation. His future was not a peaceful one, however, seeing how he was forced to kill his own sister, who’d essentially been turned into an avatar of death by the evil Cabal.

Kamahl’s Green incarnation is even more versatile than his red one. Not only does he turn lands into prime targets for removal, but he also pumps your entire team. Overrunning your opponents with infinitely big creatures is always good for a laugh, and a win! Just as he epitomized the classic features of Red in his previous card, the Kamahl represents what makes Green great; the ability to punch your opponents really hard. I mean, look at those bulging muscles!

Strength: Big Brawny Creatures

Weakness: Board Wipes

## *Colorless – Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

To finish things off, let’s cover the mysterious and inherently weak Colorless….color? Not having access to colored mana drastically reduces your options for things like early interaction, but it doesn’t matter when you fill your deck with artifact ramp and slam down the always cranky, never lackluster Ulamog.

Eldrazi Titans are notorious for their cast triggers, which normally ensure that you aren’t wasting large amounts of mana to cast a spell that might just end up getting countered. Spending 10 mana to exile two permanents is pretty amazing by itself, but imagine getting a 10/10 indestructible creature out of that has a disgusting attack trigger! And by the way, you always have access to it! EDH is one helluva format, eh?

Strength: Exiling Stuff

Weakness: Slow to Interact

## Culture War

It’s so strange, living in such a socially precarious time, after having grown up in the bubbly era of the 90s and 2000s. I find myself having to watch what I say when I go out and meet new people, since voicing the wrong and otherwise harmless view could immediately turn you into their enemy. I am a conservative. Expressing many of my views on the current government, society at large, and even facts about biology could get me thrown out of establishments I frequent for leisure and business. I wouldn’t have thought that I’d end up living in such an Orwellian environment, yet here we are. Many talking heads warn of the impending fascist crackdowns on freedom of speech, but those crackdowns are already here, in the form of social pressure.

I’ve seen this behavior seep into nearly every fandom and community I’ve held dear since childhood. Comic books, Magic the Gathering, even Star Trek and Star Wars have fallen victim to toxic concepts like identity politics, third-wave feminism, and grievance culture. These concepts are inherently hateful, exclusionary, and destructive. They bloom forth from anger at institutions that their adherents view as racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and a host of other claims that can be summed up as “problematic”.

Seneca said that anger is “greedy for revenge even when it drags the avenger to ruin with itself.” Such is the nature of those on the left who utilize the concepts I stated earlier to “correct” the mediums and works they gain control over. In their rush to imbue their own views into products that have been successful for decades, they end up running them into the dirt. They destroy the very things they gained dominion over, only to end up being ridiculed by their competitors (in some cases) or fired (in the best case). But because they have built up their network of supporters through the unifying concept of Intersectionality, they are never truly punished. If they fail at one endeavor, they are simply given another endeavor to fail at, no matter how colossally they failed in the first place. So the destruction is perpetuated again and again, as it infects nearly every institution in the western world.

The far right has been guilty of violence, but it is hard to say that they have caused as much strife and division as the left. Charleston may have been a terrible event, but it doesn’t compare with the constant violence perpetrated by AntiFa, the calls to violence against the right by leftist celebrities and media personalities, and the constant negative reporting and seemingly never-ending criminal investigation of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, which only serves to divide the country further.

There has been much discussion about the causes and effects of the Culture War we are experiencing currently. Both questions have complex answers, but one thing is simple and apparent; this war is destroying people’s ability and desire to communicate with people that they view as different from themselves. Self-segregation is becoming more and more common, which only exacerbates the problem. Both those on the right and on the left are alienating themselves from each other more and more, with constant ad hominem attacks made about each other.

“Leftists are crybaby snowflake SJWs who aren’t capable of independent thought.”

“Everyone on the right are racist neo-nazis who want to kill all POC and LGBT people!”

What is necessary is a common ground to be reached between both sides. What is needed is a….dare I say it…”safe space” where both sides can carry on dialogues without fear of mob retaliation for expressing their views. If this cannot happen, if the two sides can’t restore rational communication between each other, then we are left with a fractured society. We will be left with a civilization split into various factions, unwilling to have meaningful engagements with each other. Although I am not completely opposed to smaller groups being formed that govern themselves independently , I do think that it would be a shame to no longer be able to exist within a large, open nation. Another possibility would be the seizing of power of society by the group who already seems to have the most power, the Leftists. Some theorize that this is inevitable, seeing as how western civilization has always seemed to move more and more to the left. In that situation, the Leftists would most likely enact increasingly socialist policies that would quickly bankrupt the nation, leading us into a hard economic downturn that could pave the way for an authoritarian government. I feel that this possibility is the most likely, and it isn’t something I look forward to.

In any case, I’m doing my best to have open dialogues with people when I can, and to passively resist the ever increasing destruction of traditions that benefit society.  We can’t, after all, openly rebel against the group with all the power. We can compete with them, and form our own institutions independently of theirs. Giving people an alternative to the madness all around them gives them the ability to combat it by living a life that transcends it.