Monday, March 21, 2011

CommanderCast S2E6: Ib Halfheart is Top Tier

Posted by ANDY aka GHoooSTS
Andy, Adam, Jeremiah and Carlos charge into your ears this week in another very special episode of CommanderCast. We've got a diverse range of subjects this week so I hope you like variety (or at least as much as a super narrowly-focused podcast can muster up). This week Adam moves from a logical continuation of discussing his theory on overhyped value engines to a new Pressure Decks archetype discussion; Carlos is starting a NEW deckbuilding challenge akin to the $30 Wrexial Challenge from last season; and Jeremiah is getting us all rich with his league setups. We've got a new listener-suggested segment premiering featuring the one and only Ib Halfheart. Even I am bringing something to the table in a rare twist of fate championing Treasure Mage (SCIENCE!) over Trinket Mage.

Our episode this week continues the trend of being pre-recorded from a while ago, so I hope nobody is offended by this.

Show notes and pertinent links below. Enjoy.


00:00 to 02:01: Intro: Meet the goon squad.

02:19 to 21:00: League Setups: In a frequently requested segment, Andy and Jeremiah both discuss their Leagues. Jeremiah uses an achievement-based system to provide players with points, and Andy's system is just a big old filthy brawl with the last man standing getting the most points. How do you run it? How do you set them up? What kind of consideration should prizes receive? All this and more in this segment.

21:19 to 22:51: Deckbuilding Challenge: Carlos is known for beating any given deckbuilding suggestion into submission, then training it into a nightmarish beast of biblical proportions that he uses to make tables cry. He's basically the Beastbreaker of Bala Ged of EDH deckbuilding (he might wear a shirt more often, I don't know... frankly, I don't want to know). But he's bored of conquering the shit out of everything else so he needs a new challenge.

This involves multiple stages of voting on restrictions to give Carlos a challenging template to build a deck over. See the upper-left hand corner of the CommanderCast site to vote on the first phase of restriction! In two weeks, a new poll and set of restrictions will appear. After three rounds of voting, Carlos will unleash the deck upon the world in the season finale.

23:11 to 42:20: Strategy: Archetype Rundown: Pressure Decks: Adam is continuing to hit played-out value-engine decks with Van Damme spin kicks, and this week he shows you how to do your own sweet spin kick without pulling your groin. Pressure Decks are an archetype him and I have both been working on to combat these rampant "play Magic forever" types of decks. This week he tells you how to play them, and why. Card advantage whores need not apply.

42:38 to 49:58: Strategy: Legendary Plays: This week, Adam's mono-black deck gets control of a Palinchron and a guy gives Carlos a Niv-Mizzet deck for some incomprehensible reason. Guess how these stories end?

50:03 to 62:05: Technology: Entourage: Ib Halfheart: A new listener-suggested segment (first from Levi, then Tide Spout Elliot), in Entourages we take suggestions for less-played Legendary creatures and construct something of a skeleton around them to serve as the foundation of a deck. We each provide suggestions on cards that you can use as a starting point. For our test flight of the segment, we're doing Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician. This segment goes from being kind of a joke into some pretty serious business.

Andy's Picks: Invasion Plans, Repercussion
Adam's Picks: Shivan Harvest, Mana Echoes
Jeremiah's Picks: Confusion In the Ranks, Vicious Shadows
Carlos' Picks: Furnace Celebration, Shared Animosity
62:20 to 70:44: Technology: Trinket Mage vs Treasure Mage: Twins, separated at birth, both drawn to (or adept at finding) artifacts, Trinket Mage was raised and cuddled by EDH players everywhere as a virtual second copy of SDT and Sol Ring. But a new challenger approaches riding a dragon OF SCIENCE. Treasure Mage is Trinket Mage's bad-ass brother who just got out of jail, and now it's HIS TIME TO SHINE. We try to tell you why you should give this new guy a chance, compare him to Trinket Mage, and some other stuff.

71:01 to closing: Outtro.

  • General show contact/E-Mail Andy: CommanderCast(at)gmail(dot)com
  • To E-Mail Carlos: cag5358(at)gmail(dot)com
  • To E-Mail Jeremiah: jeremiah(at)s1group(dot)com 
  • To E-Mail Adam: adnelso(at)gmail(dot)com
  • To Tweet Andy: (at)CommanderCast on Twitter


  1. The Ib Halfheart deck certainly looks baller. Any chance of seeing a list for that?

  2. I posted this on the edh forums, but I figured I'd spread my propaganda here as well since this is where the vote is taking place. :P

    Carlos' Deckbuilding Restriction

    My vote would be for no artifacts. The other two restrictions are fairly arbitrary in their demands, in that they deny cards for reasons unrelated to mechanics or gameplay. No artifacts actually has pretty large gameplay ramifications. Namely, artifacts are generally used to shore up color weaknesses. In the vein of our discussion earlier about slot fillers for ooc effects, it would be interesting to see a red deck that could generate cards effectively without artifacts or a black deck that could somehow deal with enchantments without artifacts.

    Lastly, on a completely unrelated note, I absolute hate classic borders, even to the point where I generally don't play with old cards unless they have either (1) a core set/expansion reprinting in the new border or (2) a judge promo with the new border. Silly, I know, but it's pure personal preference.

  3. Old borders are simply better looking. You get the feeling that each card is out of a spellbook. I can't stand that the newer cards look like the annoying popups on my computer. Windows graphics, get out of my game!

  4. Joey:

    Yes, I'll be doing an article on it in the near future. It needs some more table time. Me and Carlos might actually do a double feature on him since we're both playing him now. The deck is hysterical. I now say "all in" on a given turn and either I win, or have to just pack it up. If you think that sounds fun, this is the deck for you.


    Old frame = money. I was excited by the new borders when they were first coming out but now I find they look tacky as hell. They're functionally better, yes, but I find aesthetics important.

  5. Oh, I wasn't even around when the transition happened. I started in Masque, quit sometime near the end of the old frame, and came back with Alara.

    I just don't like the look of the old frame. I mean, yeah, it's better than the cruddy Future Sight frames, but they look, I dunno how else to explain it, amateur-ish compared to the new frames. My OCD also likes that each part of the card gets its own container in the new frame. It doesn't help that the old cards also tended to have way worse text formatting.

  6. The new card frames worked for Mirrodin, because the world was all metal and the new frames felt shiny and reflected that. For pretty much any other block, they just don't look fantasy enough for me.

  7. The new card frame and new text templating are certainly easier to read/understand. They look cleaner and more professional.

    But the old stuff looks so much more awesome, and carries the feel of "old-school magic". I think the new frame is certainly better for the game, and I can appreciate the upsides, but I'll always feel nostalgic for the old frame.

  8. First time caller.
    I've been trying to get into IRL commander, and so I archive binged your whole show in about 3 days.

    Great stuff so far!

    My favorite things are trying to detect Andy's Canadian accent every episode and the secret tech segments.

    Since you asked, the name is pronounced "He-Day-Sue-Goo", and to Adam, Ashling is actually female.

    I can respect people who don't keep up with the story not caring, but I for one was writing every time Adam said "he".

    Some additional tech for Ib.dec; Fumiko the Lowblood could allow you to attack unblocked pretty much every turn if you want to go that route. Like a very big Bullwhip. Run both if you want.

  9. She is female! Sorry. I was aware that she's female, but I can't seem to internalize it enough to remember in conversation. I won't do it on purpose!

  10. It's no big deal, the sexual characteristics for non-humans isn't exactly set in stone and I'm not going to hold it against you for not noticing Ashling's childishly small breasts.

    Now if you had been calling an obviously female character 'he', then we'd have a problem.

    The punitive achievements thing seems... unnecessary.

    It was my understanding that the normal procedure for a group to show their displeasure at a player unwilling to play within that group's social contract was to mercilessly ravage that player (in-game) week after week after week.

    Trinket Mage hate seems like a gray issue to be honest.

    When I first started playing EDH (on workstation), one of my first decks was a Zur deck. It was full of weird janky pacifism alternates and the like and was most certainly not top tier.

    Then I got hosed by another player's Zur list at some point.

    "Wow! That's so much better than mine!"

    I retool my deck into something competitive.

    "Wow! This is really fucking boring!"

    While you're masterbating with Zur, I'll just keep playing Narcolepsy's and Recumbent Blisses thank you very much.

    Trinket Mage seems much the same.

    Yes, you could be playing boring, practical things.


    You could be searching up Basilisk Collars, Avarice Totems, and the like. You know; fun cards!

    Trinket Mage *can* be an amazingly fun card if you let it be.

    Or you can be a painfully boring stick in the mud game after game, whatever works.