Falcon Fly By: Lean Mean Black Green Machine

Hey everyone!

The Falcon is back with some modern action. If you have read any of my articles at this point you would know of my love for all things Jund. That love can fluctuate between Red and White depending on how I feel and how the meta is shaping up, but at the base of both of these decks are the two primary colors of Black and Green.

The decks skeleton and primary function come from the Black/Green base. The bells and whistles come from the third color. I’ll take some time explaining the positives of both colors and then I will go over why I believe that two colors is currently better.

RED

TerminateLightning BoltKolaghan’s CommandRaging RavineShatterstorm
Ancient GrudgeChandra, Torch of DefianceHuntmaster of the Fells

The biggest things we lose from not playing red in my opinion are Terminate and Raging Ravine. Both of those cards are the most powerful things you can be doing in these colors. One of the best man lands ever printed and one of the best removal spells. The snowball effect of Raging Ravine being able to win the game on its own is great. And having a Terminate in hand gives you the comfort of being able to deal with anything.

The sideboard cards are versatile and you have some powerful card advantage effects in Huntmaster of the Fells and Kolaghan’s Command. And the cards are very efficient for what they do.

WHITE

Path to ExileLingering SoulsSiege RhinoGideon, Ally of ZendikarStony Silence

Gideon and Siege Rhino aren’t exactly mainstays in Abzan decks. They come and go, but If I were to sign up to an event playing this combination I would auto include those cards. Path to Exile is another in the line of efficient removal spells. Takes care of just about everything at the low low price of your opponent getting a basic land. Between this and Fatal Push you have very efficient removal spells allowing you to cast two spells in one turn very early. Siege Rhino and Gideon are some of the best top end threats. Both gaining value upon entering (Drain and gain from Rhino and a 2/2 Knight token from Gideon) and both are hard to deal with.

Lingering Souls is the single best card in this color combination. It’s built in card advantage, a clock that can win the game, four flying chump blockers, and discard fodder for your Liliana of the Veil and Collective Brutality.

Out of the sideboard we lose Stony Silence, Timely Reinforcements, and Rest in Peace. All of these cards absolutely hose their competition and are great to see. Shambling Vent out of the land base is another card worth mentioning because of the lifegain and activation cost.

THE COST

That can be summed up in a few words. We lose consistency in the mana base and it costs us life for our lands to enter untapped when we need them. Do we have access to all of our colors? How much life are we spending for the first three turns of the game trying to cast a spell each turn? Also we don’t have that much room for colorless lands. Especially if we are playing Siege Rhino.

THE ANSWER

Just Black and Green baby!

For reference here is the list I ran to little success at Syracuse and to great success at a PPTQ.

You might read little success at the big event and say that maybe it’s not the best list. But when I say luck wasn’t on my side, TRUST ME.

I opened with a hand game 3 against affinity on the play with:

Verdant CatacombsMarsh FlatsFatal PushDark ConfidantAbrupt Decay
Maelstrom PulseFulminator Mage

And I lost….I even drew my sideboard copy of Creeping Corrosion. So yeah, not a great day. But in my defense I got a free ride, room, and we ended up getting free Renaissance Fair tickets, (shout out to my boy Jamal,) so I really won that weekend secretly.

Fast forward to the PPTQ, we ended up in a top 8 position on the draw versus Green White elves with the Devoted Druid combo. We had a strong tournament and I played a variety of decks. I played against G/R tron and if I could have drawn a 3rd land we could have had some game versus a turn 4 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. That’s very difficult to say when you’re playing any form of a Black Green variant. With the mainboard land destruction, sideboard Fulminator Mage/Surgical Extraction, and 3 Maelstrom Pulses you have the ability to deal with various permanents and remove them from the game completely.

What I love about the land base, along with the ability to play Tectonic Edge and Ghost Quarter, are the manlands. Treetop Village only costs you two mana to activate and it’s a 3/3 with Trample. Trample works very well with all of your removal spells. If they try double blocking you can remove one and trample over the other. Hissing Quagmire on the other hand costs a little more and is a little smaller. But the upside is that it taps for both of your colors and has deathtouch. Which in a world of Tarmogoyfs, Death’s Shadows, Gurmag Anglers, Tasigur, the Golden Fangs, and Primeval Titans, it attacks planeswalkers and can block and trade with just about everything.

Another positive in this list is that with all the life you can save with your hyper efficient manabase you can afford to play another Thoughtseize over the 4th Inquisition of Kozilek.

The biggest question I still ask myself is about Go for the Throat. It fits the role we need it to, but there is some merit to Victim of Night and Murderous Cut.

Tireless Tracker is also great. 100% recommend you try it. And we get fetchlands!

The one mistake I made is thinking of the PPTQ as a smaller version of the Open. I should have added some Flaying Tendrils to my sideboard. I was floating the idea even before Syracuse and should have pulled the trigger. But there are a few flex options for this deck still. Eternal Witness, Traverse the Ulvenwald, Grim Flayer, Garruk Wildspeaker, and some mainboard/sideboard fluctuations.

I personally enjoy this list and very much recommend it to anyone looking to PPTQ this season. A buddy of mine borrowed this list and has been doing extremely well with it. His friend has also picked it up and went to the finals of a PPTQ.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Good luck at your next event!

As always, Stay humble and stay hungry.

Falcon Out.

Ixalan Booster Box Giveaway!

Hello everyone!

We are excited about Ixalan coming out. So excited, we are giving away a Booster Box, completely for free!

Here are some FAQ’s

FAQ:

Q: Is there any cost, other then answering the questions above, to me if I win this booster box?
A: No. There is no cost whatsoever to you at all. Whoever the winner is will receive this booster box from us, completely for free!

Q: When does this promotion end?
A: It ends Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 8:00 PM ET. We will randomly pick a winner within 24 hours of that. We should have the shipping address already so we will mail it out first thing Monday morning. If we think something is wrong about the address, we will contact you!

Q: 24 whole hours to pick a winner? What the heck, this is 2017, not the 1900’s! What could take you so long!?
A: Well, its true, it is 2017. We normally have a winner chosen roughly two to three minutes after the end of contest. We know that sometimes life happens and want to be sure everyone knows it may take 24 hours for us to push a button that reads, “Choose winner?”

Q: I don’t live local? How am I going to get the Ixalan Box?
A: We will mail the Booster Box anywhere in the United States! Please remember that this contest is only for people within the United States, as we can not mail any Magic the Gathering product outside of the United States for any reason.

Q: This seems too good to be true? All I have to do is answer three questions and I may win a booster box? for free? mailed to me?
A: Yes. One random entry will be selected at the end of the contest, we encourage everyone to enter multiple times to maybe push Lady Luck on their side. Odds of winning are determined by the number of entries we receive.

If you have any questions about this contest, please feel free to email us at events@kirwansgamestore.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read. Watch. Play! Ep. 11 – The Power of Thor Compels Us

On this week’s RWP, Cliff talks his weekly comics, the guys talk Amazon’s The Tick, and The Mighty Thor Heroclix set releases!

Read. Watch. Play! Ep. 10 – Forging Animation

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Hosts Cliff & Tony talk their weekly comic haul, some recent animated gems to watch, and the hot new board game, Dice Forge

Meta Worthy – Those Pesky Objects


Meta Worthy is an article series that seeks to delve into the current Heroclix meta and explore it fully.

by Jacob Prairie

Last week I took a look at the upcoming rules changes to Outwit. One change will allow any power to be a target for Outwit. This means that even powers granted by equipped objects can be ‘taken away’. However, as we can already see by a few released dials, The Mighty Thor set will include objects that give its wearer several different powers. There are also objects that grant EFFECTS that are not powers (Mace grants Knockback, for example). What if we want to just get rid of those objects or EFFECTS all together? Let’s take a look at a handful of modern figures that accomplish just that.

If you are unfamiliar with the NEW EQUIPMENT rules, you should probably take a look over here before reading on. It will help your understanding, but it’s not vital to get the gist.

**Throughout this article I will refer to both objects and characters that are equipped. In most cases, it will not matter what type of equipment it is. In the cases where it does matter, I will discuss why and what effects it has on gameplay.

For organizational sake, I’ll group the figures into four different categories. One category for figures that remove objects from the game, one for figures that ‘steal’ objects, and one for figures that nullify the EFFECT of an object. The final category will cover figures who may benefit from increased object inclusion.

Figures that Remove Objects:

Leonardo – TMNT3 028

This guy is probably one of the first figures that most people think of when they think of removing objects. What sets him apart from many of the other figures in these lists is that his trait works on both possessors and objects. The downside is that since both players roll 2 dice, and you have to score a higher roll (tie goes to your opponent), you have a slightly less than 50/50 shot to remove the equipment (44.36% to be exact – used AnyDice.com and found the probability of beating my opponent’s roll).

As a bonus, Leo is still a pretty solid figure for 75 points. Traited flight (not Wing symbol, so no carrying here) with the ability to increase attack and speed by +1. A solid ranged attacker up top with nice close combat options late. A small host of generic keywords could help to get him onto a theme team, as well.

Firestorm – WKD16-012

One of my go-to Call Ins when it comes to IDs, this Firestorm was one of the most meta worthy OP figures recently – probably only after Doc Oc and maybe Green Arrow. The main upside of this guy has already been stated. As an ID character, you don’t need to build your team around him. For 5 points you have a 12 attack chance (+1 from perplex) to remove an equipment from someone.

His downside is that you have to be able to target and hit someone. Stealth hurts here. Also, if used as an ID character, you’ve only got one shot to remove a single equipment from the opposing team. At 115 points with no reducer up top and only 6 clicks, I can’t see him being played as anything but an ID character.

Donatello – TMNT2003

Alright, so I’m not sure how meta worthy this guy really is, but I’m trying to include anyone who messes with your opponent’s objects. Donnie here can remove any object from the game IF he is given a power action while adjacent to it. As you can tell, that may not happen very often, since he would need to get almost all the way across the map to do it. He also needs to get there before the opponent can equip the object. You could combine him with someone from later in the list (I’m not giving it away yet) for some shenanigans, but that would also be more than ⅓ of your team build.

The intellectual leader of the turtles does have a nifty Outwit ability. He can Outwit and on a roll of a 5-6 can Outwit the same character a second time. Also, if he is pushed to his second click he also can provide some defense with an 18 Defend. None of these things, however, will really make him viable. I’d love to see him work, though.

Dormammu and Loki – ADW 060

Here’s another figure that most likely (I’d love to be proven wrong) won’t see much competitive play. These guys just need to be within 8 squares of an object and they can remove it with a free action and turn it into a Mindless One. This means that on either starting line DormLoki should be able to turn at least one (non-standard) object into a bystander, if not more.

Unfortunately, even on their short dial they will be your largest point figure. This method of removing objects is only something you should consider if you’ve got another plan for these guys. It should not be the main reason you run them.

Figures that ‘steal’ objects:

Black Cat – SFoSM 047 **

Black Cat is one of my favorites from this list. Her object stealing mechanic comes from hitting with an attack. What makes her really stand out is that she doesn’t destroy the object when she hits, she steals it and equips it herself. This is a great way to turn the tables on your opponent. For 50 points. One thing to keep in mind with the new rules is if Black Cat has an equipped object and steals another, she may just drop or destroy the first one, depending on what the UNEQUIP condition is on the object.

Felicia here also has a bunch of other things going for her. Stealth and Combat Reflexes across the dial are nice. Her pseudo-prob helps her to land those object stealing hits – and to avoid being hit. She’s also a Wildcard, which allows for flexibility.

Captain America – WKMP17-004 **

Who doesn’t love this Cap? Similar to Black Cat, Stevie just has to hit someone equipped with an object and it becomes his. All of them! If you are lucky enough to grab more than one object this way you can switch between them at the beginning of your turn. Unlike Black Cat, multiple hits won’t cause you to destroy or drop other objects.

On top of his ability to steal and keep objects, this guy also has pretty decent stats and abilities for a 65 point figure. Attack values of 11s and 10s with precision strike. Move and attacks on most of the dial. And of course this guy has one of the best leaderships in the game right now. As many have noticed before, removing action tokens on up to 150 points of characters anywhere on the map means that every bystander with a token can have it removed. This is one guy I think we will see in or near a winner’s circle fairly soon.

**One thing I’m unsure of is how Captain America’s and Black Cat’s traits interact with things like Bloodaxe on Executioner in the upcoming set. Executioner’s card says:  Executioner starts the game with the TMT #s001 Bloodaxe equipped. Black Cat’s trait says: If you do, you may choose an item equipped to that character that was an object and equip it to Black Cat. The Cap has a similarly worded trait. The question I would have is, “Was Bloodaxe an object before it was equipped?” It may just be to differentiate between object and character, but it may not as well.

Mr. Nobody – WF 006

While not technically ‘stealing’ your opponent’s objects, Mr. Nobody does ‘borrow’ them for a bit. Being able to place your opponent’s objects could really hamper what your opponent was planning to do, especially if they had some TK ready to bring their objects into be equipped on the first turn. You can use this guy to bring objects that anyone can equip (EQUIP: ANY) close enough for your team to put them on, put objects out of easy reach of your opponent, or set up a kill box to lure your opponent into.  

Mr. Nobody also has one of the coolest special powers in the game (I love dropping it on my opponents and seeing them try to comprehend what just happened). Nobody here can take any two opposing figure’s powers that have a color and switch them with each other. This is a great way to get around characters who can’t be Outwitted. Unfortunately, it does take a power action to activate this ability, and beyond that, Nobody offers little else for his steep 55 points.

Figures who Nullify EFFECTS:

Bedlam – DXF 026

This guy probably went largely unnoticed in your Deadpool sealed events and then ended up in a bin somewhere. Honestly, he is 40 points of little else than equipment control. What is really nice about this figure is that he just needs to be within range of a figure in order to shut it down. Someone increases their attack and then uses Running Shot to within 5 of Bedlam. That increase is gone. Someone takes Impervious from Eclipso. Move Bedlam to with 5 and Impervious is gone. Something to note: This only affects stat increases and STANDARD powers from equipment, so special powers and effects that are not powers (again, Knockback from Mace), would not be affected.

Professor X – UXM 100

This version of the professor completely nullifies the EFFECT of equipment on adjacent opposing characters. At 50 points, he’s a little bit of an investment, but on the right team he could be useful. With the changes in Mind Control, he becomes a little better. You could Mind Control an opposing character, have the character make an attack, and then move adjacent to the Professor, opening him up for follow up attacks. Also, with the ability to phase, you can easily get in position to shut someone’s equipment down. Having an 18 Defense with Super Senses isn’t bad, either.

Figures with other Interesting Benefits:

The Atom – WKD16-010

Ok, I know what you’re thinking and I’m thinking the same thing. What could make you ever want to use this guy? Yeah, yeah… I know. However, he does have an interesting ability that allows him to jump from one object to another, anywhere on the map. I guess you could use him to lock down an opposing object until he’s either KOd or until the rest of your team can get there. His JLA Team Ability at least allows that move action to not cost against your total. And he has Outwit. A bit much for 75 points, but there he is.

Hawkgirl – SMWW 020

I find this piece a bit intriguing. If she’s in hindering terrain and can roll a 6 on that die roll, you can bring in an extra 8 points to your team. I still don’t think that’s worth the 75 points you have to invest into her to try to make it work. Maybe it all depends on what other objects we get in this set. She does have Wing Symbol and Perplex, which helps a bit. Probably not enough, though.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this article. If you have any thoughts, comments, feedback, please feel free to do so. The new Heroclix rules will be released online this week (08/21/2017). I’ll give a rundown on the changes and my thoughts about them next week.