Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Wizard's Tower: Back to Basics

How the hell is it Wednesday already? Gaige here to tell you that I don't know what day it is or what outside even looks like right now and it feels like I just wrote last weeks article yesterday. Sorry we've been lacking in the article department lately but Dan and I both have been super busy with work. On that note, if you want more content from us, get more people to read this so we can quit our jobs and do this full time. We'll do live streams and show up to GP's and we'll even sign your chest for you. Get your friends to start playing Magic so they can follow us and we will keep entertaining you as a full time gig. And if we can't get that, I will make really spicy Magic memes in trade for chicken.

If you don't know what Wizard's Tower is or you just want a refresher go here to read all about it.

Old-school Wizard's Tower. Fuck, I miss this game. - Dan
Every week we talk about cards that would be good and cards that would be bad in a Tower. On a few occasions we have talked about mechanics and other aspects to help enrich your Tower. Today I want to talk about the fundamentals of Tower building. This probably should have been article number two on this subject matter but hindsight is 20/20. I've never really understood that expression though because I have sighted some hinds that were not a 20/20. Mine is a 12/20 at best.

Like any other deck in Magic, a Wizard's Tower requires play testing. No matter how you build it, either with bulk cards or if you go out and buy pieces, some cards will probably need to change over time. You'll find out what works and what doesn't as you play. The ultimate goal to making an effective and fun Wizard's Tower is to make it difficult for everyone to decide what they want to play as a land each turn. Sometimes someone will draw something and will say "Yeah that's definitely a land" and immediately lay it face down. If that's the case figure out why they were so quick to make it a land. Is it a bad fit or bad at the time? If it's turn 2 and someone draws a 9 cost card they may make it a land because they may not want to hold on to it for that long. Maybe it's a card that just didn't end up being as good or as fun as you thought it would be. Having a handful of cards off to the side that you can swap in is always a good idea. Keep in mind there is a difference between cards that just aren't good and cards that aren't good in that situation. A turn 12 Judge's Familiar will probably become a land but it's still a card you want in the deck. Same thing with a turn 2 or 3 Terastodon, it may get played as a land but that doesn't mean it's not good in the Tower.

Now most of the cards we have talked about in previous articles are 5 CMC cards or higher. This might be obvious but remember to include early game cards too. I think I know what I'll be writing about in future weeks now. Small cards for a big Tower. Title = Done. You will want to find a fair amount of 1 to 3 cost cards that people can play early game. Creatures that draw cards, manipulate the graveyard, or let you scry are always a good starting base for lower CMC creatures. They aren't huge bombs or anything but they give you some fun stuff to do.

When you have enough small things for the early game, then you can start looking at your 5 CMC+ silly cards. There are definitely some low cost silly things but it seems that all the really fun super janky "will never see play in any other format" cards are all 5CMC+. If the small things are the bread of your Tower, then the big things are the butter. Sure you can have just an all bread Tower but it will be really bland and people won't want to play. You can have an all butter Tower but after one session everyone will be throwing up making a goopy buttery mess. When you have the perfect amount of bread and butter though it's like eating a cloud that's nice and warm and will keep you safe and will never betray you. This is where you want your Tower to be. Warm and will never betray you.

Again, getting to where you are happy with it takes time. I can't even tell you how many iterations my Tower has gone through, and I'm still constantly updating it as certain cards seem either too week or two strong. If you have play group that you play with regularly and you play with your Tower regularly (I mean your Wizard's Tower not your weiner) they can all help you figure out what works and what doesn't. Then when you have a Tower you are pretty happy with you can take it to FNM or other Magic events and when you have a by or are in between rounds you can bust it out and everyone can enjoy what is the best format. More times than not no one has heard of this format but when you introduce it to them they'll want to build one too.

So go out my children and build your Tower to the best that it can be so that through it, you can spread the word and let everyone know what is the best Magic format.

Wanna tell us how much of a disappointment this article is? Want to tell us what cards you have taken out? Want to let us know it's time to retire this segment? Leave us a comment or send us a sensual message!


  1. I've really enjoyed the Morph cards as they play pretty well early AND late. Plus there are some flat-out hilarious options there (Kheru Spellsnatcher chief among them)

    Do you encourage some house rules like drawing an extra card and allowing an extra land drop on the first turn just to get the blood pumping?

    1. We haven't tried it before.

      Actually I think our only house rule is that if you drop a card/knock one off the table, it's exiled. We're always drinking, so it happens all the time lol

    2. We haven't tried it before.

      Actually I think our only house rule is that if you drop a card/knock one off the table, it's exiled. We're always drinking, so it happens all the time lol