In celebration of Kross' birthday on Monday, we here at The Escapist office gathered up six players for a game of Commander and sat down to hours of beer, cake, and, of course, Commander. If you're not familiar with the EDH format, I posted a brief primer in January here. In preparation for the event, I assembled a new deck over the weekend featuring Mayael the Anima and plenty of creatures with power 5 or greater. By 'plenty' of course, I mean 'not quite enough to make her ability work consistently' and I was knocked out second in the first game and first in the second game. But I get ahead of myself. Let's have a quick look at who played what and how they fared at the table. We played two games, but the first game was quickly ended after some Worldslayer shenanigans, so we'll just be looking at the second game.
I was playing first with my new and exciting, though dreadfully underperforming Mayael the Anima deck. Slycne was to my left, running Rafiq of the Many. To his left was Kross playing with Omnath, Locus of Mana and the requisite mono-Green ramp deck with Elf sub-themes. Then came Trujkin and the ever-growing Kresh the Bloodbraided Jund flavored deck chock full of removal and Devour creatures like Predator Dragon to help Kresh get angry. Mayan played the pre-made Ghave, Guru of Spores deck called Counterpunch, wielding an intricate balance of +1/+1 counters and token creatures. Finally, s0osleepie sat to my right with her own Sliver brew, featuring Sliver Overlord and a Myr subtheme.
We all showed ramp out of the gates, with Rampant Growth-esque creatures and plenty of Signets coming down early. Kross quickly out-ramped everybody, of course, and Omnath was the first commander to hit the field. I held him at bay with a Forced Worship long enough for Trujkin to take him out with Eyeblight's Ending with some 8 mana stored on him, woefully missing the days of Mana Burn. Mayael came out next, followed by Rafiq. Omnath took a break, but Kross happily replaced him with Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger, earning the ire of the table at large. Ghave took this opportunity to join the party as well, and some Sliver-y shenanigans from S0osleepie managed to remove Vorinclex before he had a chance to mana-screw everybody, thanks to Psionic Sliver. I tragically drew my Godsire, which I didn't ever actually cast, and subsequently whiffed with Mayael's ability, churning five cards and getting nothing. Guardian of the Guildpact came down on Slycne's board, threatening Kross and his mono-colored deck a lot of damage over the next few turns. Omnath returned to the scene followed immediately by Kresh, and with that, excepting S0osleepie's Sliver Overlord, every commander was on the board.
Slivers saw a Birthing Pod, making them even more dangerous than before, sacrificing Acidic Sliver to bring out the dreaded Necrotic Sliver. With Psionic Sliver in play, this now means that any time a Sliver is going to die, it can be tapped for 2 damage, and then sacrificed to destroy any permanent. This doesn't bode well for the rest of the table, but given their lack of aggression thus far, the Sliver army remains largely unmolested. At this point only Slycne and Kross were taking the offensive with Slycne's Guardian of the Guildpact swinging at anybody without adequate multi-colored protection, and Kross' Imperious Perfect having churned out a small army of Elf tokens, plus the heavy-duty creatures he had on the table. I connected with Mayael's ability at last, bringing a Vengeful Archon onto the field as my sole defender. With only two mana untapped, though, its ability was less than impressive.
Thanks to Rafiq's Doublestrike and a pair of other Exalted creatures, Slycne's Guardian of the Guildpact was now swinging for 10 damage per turn, bringing Kross down to the low 20s while Slycne sat comfortably in the mid-30s. Kross spread his attack around, showing more tolerance for being assaulted than anybody had expected, dealing just a few damage each to Trujkin and Slycne. At this point Trujkin was pretty clearly mana-starved, having only four lands and a Signet in play, just enough to cover the cost of Kresh's first casting, but being unable to recast, should it come to that. With my Pacifism enchanting Kresh, however, this didn't end up being a problem. He topdecked Rakka Mar giving himself a steady supply of chump blockers, if nothing else. Mayan got back into the action with Hornet Queen with Deathtouch tokens dissuading attacks against her. S0osleepie kept her Slivers on the defensive, each getting a +2/+4 passive buff providing a nearly impenetrable wall of blockers with a plethora of nasty abilities.