Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Revolt Tower Wednesday

Don't be a sheeple and conform to consulate standards. Revolt!

Well it's been a long time since we've had a Wizard's Tower Wednesday and since we have a new set that we haven't talked about, it is way past time we tell you what great cards to now add to your Wizard's Tower. Also I'm sure you'll read this on Thursday since it's being posted late but just know it was Wednesday when it was written so it still counts. Aether Revolt was a super fun set to play both in pre-release and in the Star City Games Open in Columbus. It has provided a lot of good cards and a lot of not so good cards that could find a loving home in your tower.

Some of you may be returning readers (all 4 of you) and if so skip on down to the "card analysis" and see what cards you may have pulled that could be good for this format. For those of you who have managed to misclick your way here, and aren't sure what Wizard's Tower is check out our first article that goes into detail about the format and gives you some starting ideas on what to put in your initial tower. If you are really lost and don't know what Magic the Gathering is, then you are beyond helping. Or I guess you could just google it and come back here if it piques your interest...

Turns out the secret to a second life is a second set of hands
Everytime I think I'm going to build a new deck archetype Wizard's decides to print something like this and I just want to try Black/White lifegain again. This card seems super fun but will be really hard to work into a standard deck effectively. All anyone has to do is kill this before killing you and you still lose. This is still a problem in Wizard's Tower but there will be less focused removal so you'll be more likely to go back to your starting life total. If you've ever wanted to double the time it takes to play a game of Wizard's Tower then this card is perfect. It's also a 5/5 flyer and although it's a little expensive you can still do some damage with it. It will definitely be a fun card to add to your tower.

Better than a hidden sock pile *badum tss*
This card also seems like a lot of fun because there are always permanents leaving the battlefield in this format. Between constant boardwipes and bounce spells and just general destruction and chaos this card will get you some value. You'll get a servo at the end of everyone of your end steps and if for some reason you won't get a servo naturally, you can just sacrifice a creature to scry and then get a servo anyways. This is a just a nice quaint enchantment that you can use as an almost infinite servo to scry machine if you play your cards right. Me? I never play my cards right and end up with 2 lands and no creatures on turn 12. "What do you do with all of your cards in hand?" Sire of Insanity.

Brought to you by the people who created Slap Chop and Shamwow
Hangarback Walker's younger brother with a little more siege equipment could find a lovely storage place in your Wizard's Tower. This card is nice and balanced for this format. Even late game it won't be unmanageable. And any time you have extra mana you can resupply your ballista to get ready for magical combat. The best part about this creature is that not matter what someone does to get rid of it, you can just remove all the +1/+1 counters in response and either kill some creature or send a message to whoever is trying to hurt your beautiful giant walking crossbow. This is a fun and balanced card that can only enhance your tower playing experience. The only thing that would be better is if you had a walking trebuchet.

I'm really not 100% sure what's happening here so it's hard to make a funny caption
Any sort of removal will always be good in Wizard's Tower, but removal like this will be better. Your opponent may have a giant threat on board that you need to deal with but what things will they get as a replacement? Will they get better or worse things? Do you use this on your own shitty creature to try and luck into a better one? How long is cheese good for after being left out and should I have eaten it? I won't call this a boardwipe because it isn't, but it gives you a lot of freedom to change the board to your liking. You can get rid of multiple threats at the cost of potential different threats, but you can just deal with that when those happen. I'll tell you right now that you should always play this card but it will never work out in your favor.

Ajani hates nets because as a young cub he got caught in a paper bag once and almost died

If you want to break up your friend group but aren't sure how to do so, just throw this card into your Wizard's Tower. When that moment finally comes where someone draws a boardwipe and is ready to clear the board and start anew, you just bust out this bad boy and ruin all friendships. Not only are will your creatures not die, but they also won't be able to target them with anything after. It's a good card but it's not over powered, it will just sway the game in favor of whoever played it. That's ok though, because sometimes you need that in order to wrap a game up anyways. If you have this in your deck, just always have a counterspell ready. Or even better use Insidious Will to just copy this and keep all of your creatures alive as well.

I remember from Literature class the first sentence of your final paragraph is supposed to restate all of your thoughts, so in conclusion: I like Wizard's Tower, I'm bad at Magic, bad cards make good Tower components, I like cereal but not 2 week old cheese, and above all, I am a Heavy Salami. I'd apologize for lack of content but sometimes we can't write about Magic because we have to go play Magic. We went to the Aether Revolt prerelease and then the weekend after was the Colombus Open sponsored by Star City Games. Rather than write stuff we built decks and did testing with them for the open. We obviously lost but we had a lot of fun. Now that Magic events have slowed down a bit expect more writing. Bye bye for now friends!

Already put Aether Revolt cards in your Tower? Get some sweet pulls during pre-release? Seen any good movies on Netflix lately? Send us a message or leave a comment and let us know. Also if you hate reading but like funny things feel free to follow us on twitter @Heavy_Salami where we say things in 140 characters or less. We also have a Twitch channel that we like to broadcast our Tuesday Night Standard games and do terrible commentary on it so check that out at twitch

Monday, January 09, 2017

Aether Revolt State of the Burn - Red

For anyone who missed it, we're doing commentary for our local store! Check it out on our Twitch channel by clicking these words. Or, for more info, here's the news post (Click here)

Dear diary: Spoilers were good to me today.
Hey there, my fellow burn players. It's Dan, and I'd like to try and bring you all some comforting words. Red ain't dead. Despite Standard becoming a Black Hawk Down situation with the loss of our beloved Copter, we will persevere. As some of you may have known, I've been dabbling in burn for a while now. Being a filthy MTG hipster, rather than do the regular old B/R Madness decks that have been running around in Standard, I went for a spell based deck. Is it correct? Probably not. Does it work? At FNM it sure does!

But Aether Revolt is out now. Copter is banned. Emma is banned. No more Reflecting. The game has changed. This set is lookin' tasty, and aggro/burn players everywhere have a lot to be happy about, despite losing one of the strongest aggro cards. Bans and new cards splashing into the pool are guaranteed to shake up the meta, so there's a good chance a new set of decks will emerge as top doggos of Standard. Is burn one of them?

In this article we're going to go over the available aggressive cards in the new set. Some are poised to be all stars, some may be one-ofs in the sideboard, but all give us more tools to try and boink our opponents in the head with. If you're looking to count to 20 as fast as possible, and think Grim Flayer and Spell Queller are stupid cards, join us, brother/sister.

The Red Menace

So I figured I'd start this up with the most obvious aggressive color - Red. Throughout Magic's history, Red has been the color of choice for speeding through games, and it has remained up near the top all the way to Aether Revolt. If you want to go fast, everyone says that Red is "Pretty schmexy."*

*Only I say this.

"Someone sabotaged our ship?! I better light it on fire, too." - Chandra, the Worst Engineer.
While not the best rate at three mana, Hungry Flames does a decent Searing Blood impression. It can take out a lot of the common threats in Standard, and nugs your opponent for a lil' bit as well.

I'd be surprised if this sees a ton of play, as three mana is quite a bit in a burn deck. However, a burn deck that can play a long game like the Fevered Visions deck could use this to keep the board clear while still pushing damage through.

This card makes me want to play through Skies of Arcadia again. That game was the best.
We'll get to Kari Zev herself in a second, but since we're better than the animals we'll start with the Expertise to keep things alphabetic. Team Heavy Salami isn't full of savages. Anyways, Kari's Expertise is a card with a lot going for it. "Threaten" style effects are always decent sideboard cards for aggressive decks. They get rid of a blocker while getting you another attacker, and this one does even more. Tacking on a free two-cost spell is spectacular in an aggro deck, where you want to deploy all of your cards as fast and efficiently as possible.

What good cards do we have to cast for two or less? Tons! For starters, oh I don't know, Kari Zev, Skyship Raider seems appropriate. Not to mention the tantalizing possibility of Incendiary Flow, Harnessed Lightning, Collective Brutality,  Veteran Motorist, or - well, there's a lot.

This seems like a spicy sideboard card, and depending on how creature-heavy the meta is, we could definitely see this played in the main.

Kaladesh has been a great block for Monkeys.
Besides being one of the sickest looking characters in the block, Kari Zev is a heck of a card. First Strike and Menace is a strange set of keywords, but they are surprisingly effective together, preventing an opponent from using a Servo or one-toughness critter to double block and kill Kari. Bringing in a legendary 2/1 attacking is massive - more damage is obviously good, but this gives decks a sure-shot way to activate the new Revolt mechanic as well. Ragavan has bananas to eat, so he dips at the end of combat.

Standard is full of powerful token makers like Gideon, Hanweir Garrison, and Sram's Expertise. We've also got a dope synergy card with Reckless Bushwhacker. Kari Zev fits perfectly into this suite, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see a R/W or Mardu Tokens deck pop up with Kari as a key player.

Body massage, who want's a body massage?
One of my favorite cards! Hooray! Shock, while a far cry from Lightning Bolt, has always been a passable spell. In limited we can all expect this to be an all-star, since cheap removal is always good, and the backup of a bit of reach to the face is a nice option to have. But does this little guy have what it takes to come into Constructed play this time around?

For a long time now, three toughness has been the name of the game. Spell Queller, Reflector Mage, Lambholt Pacifist, Smuggler's Copter (RIP), Sylvan Advocate, and an asston of other highly-played early game cards have that magical three for their butts. Not great news for good ol' Shock. More versatile removal like Harnessed Lightning or Unlicensed Disintegration are the Red weapons of choice.

However, the new Saheeli Rai + Felidank Cub combo is threatening Standard with a Splinter Twin-esque turn four deck. Shock is one of the best ways in the format to break up the combo in the early game. If they -2 on Saheeli to copy their cub, this leaves Saheeli at only one loyalty left. Since Shock can target a playa, it can be redirected to finish off Saheeli before they blink her and combo out. If you do have to play against this deck, be sure to keep Saheeli under five Loyalty so a Shock can take her out after a minus and they can't get wild.

The verdict? Shock looks great! At the very least, it will be an impactful sideboard card. It's able to take out several early cards that have seen play - Servant of the Conduit, an Un-pumped Grim Flayer, and several different one drops. The added bonuses of breaking up the Saheeli combo and being able to damage a player are just gravy. And if a mono-Red aggro deck surfaces, and if I have any say in this, it will, then I would expect Shock to make the main deck.

Wranglin' varmint! Just like back on the homestead!
Though I think Kari Zev's Expertise is generally stronger, Wrangle is another card worth looking at. It can only grab dudes with four or less power, but at only two mana, this is excellent to get rid of an early blocker and put through more pain. Not to mention there's even a new sacrifice outlet, Yahenni, just in case you're more into gobbling creatures than giving them back.

Again, this seems mostly to be a sideboard card, and Expertise looks better overall. But if you're looking to play very low to the ground, saving a mana may be worth it for you.


We've got some zesty ones this time around. Red is lookin' hot, and I would expect the color to remain competitive. Prepare your Thermo-Alchemists and Fiery Tempers, because Standard might be heating up, even without our helicopter gunship support.

"DAN WAIT. What if I want to be aggressive with other colors?" Then you're a stupid idiot. Jk, don't worry, there's plenty for you too! Black and White got some spooky new aggressive tools, and even Blue and Green have some strong early-game cards. Keep an eye out here for a follow up article in which I'll cover the other four clearly inferior colors, in case you want to be a dirty mudblood and muddle the purity of your burn deck. Until then, happy trails, friends!

Did I miss one? Think one of these guys is actually cardboard garbage and doesn't even deserve to be considered? Share the knowledge, mang. Drop a comment below, or send a message using the form off to the right. You can also tweet opinions/vitrol at us on Twitter @Heavy_Salami!

Friday, January 06, 2017

Weekly Saturday Stream!

No, not that kind, idiot.
Hey all, it's Dan here with a friendly reminder about the new Heavy Salami Twitch channel! You can find it by clicking on these words. We wanted to make sure ALL of you knew about our latest and greatest project.

We've started working with the LGS we frequent - Stadium Cards and Comics in Ypsilanti, MI - in order to showcase the sick brews people play there. We'll be recording each Standard event, and then doing live commentary on Saturdays at 12 noon EST.


  • Brews! Though there is the occasional tier deck, a majority of the players at our store like to bring new decks frequently. Expect the unexpected from these players - G/B Panharmonicon, Naya Midrange, Mono Blue Summonings, and Bant Dubious Challenge are just a few of the zany decklists I've seen played.
  • Sassy commentary! At least, I like to think we're sassy. Let your ears be pleasured as we give sort-of-in-depth gameplay analysis, and make horrible meat-themed jokes, along with horrible jokes revolving around other topics as well.
  • Deck Techs! We will be explaining the different decks we play each week, and are planning on doing interviews for others players as well. Like a deck you see on our stream? Tell us, and we'll get the full list and do a deck tech with the player!
  • Prizes! After a few tries to work out any technical kinks, we plan to start doing this stream weekly. Once that happens and we can get a nice consistent audience, we have some sick Salami merch that we want to share with the world. You could be the proud owner of one of many different dope ass custom foil tokens:
Monks have never looks so stoic.
  • Pets! I have a dog and Gaige has a cat and sometimes they'll walk by as we talk.
If any of this sounds enticing to you, tune in and check it out. And of course, you can get updates of any fun stuff we do by lookin' us up on Twitter @Heavy_Salami. Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you in chat!

The paragraph before this covered most things I'd put in italics so I'm really just putting this here for consistency #Meat #Italics #Meatalics

Sunday, January 01, 2017

What to Expect in Aether Revolt

A first look at spoiled Aether Revolt card art

With Aether Revolt starting spoilers on Monday, we at Heavy Salami Research, Finances, and Party Planning Inc. have used physics and pagan rituals to determine what cards we can expect to see in the next set. If you want to see how accurate our salamintific methods are check out our Eldritch Moon article to see what we were right about and what we were hilariously wrong about (which is nothing because we used science). Let's take a look at some of the exciting cards we can expect to see in Aether Revolt!

A Chandra Story Related Spell

Chandra was separated from her parents at a young age and thought she was the reason they died. Well to her pleasant surprise she didn't kill them and her mom was even alive. In Aether Revolt some shit is going to go down and Chandra will do whatever to keep her mom safe. And I mean absolutely whatever. She would probably hook up with Tezzeret and make weird metal fire babies if it meant keeping her mom safe. We can definitely expect to see a card reflecting what Chandra will do to stay with her mom and help fight in the rebellion.

A New Mechanic

If you don't get the reference

This one is kind of a freebie, because with a new set there will obviously be a new mechanic. I'm hoping however that this mechanic will interact with other peoples energy in some way. I realize it won't be because it would make it useless outside of this block, but I really just want a way to screw someone who's player an Aetherworks Marvel deck by taking their energy away. At least with how I made this, you can drain energy but ultimately get energy regardless of whether you drain them or not. If it's not this (which it won't be, but a salami can dream) it will be some artifact thing.

The "Anti-Oath" Cards

With all the good planeswalkers having oaths and a buddy system and the first introduction of a bad planeswalker we can probably expect to see an "anti oath." I imagine over time we'll have a big bad team up with Tezzeret, Nicol Bolas, and John Travolta who all have the "Fuck the multiverse" oaths. Tezzerets will deal with some artifacts things and probably hurt your opponents ability to use planeswalkers. Then we can probably expect to see a Bolas one in Amonkhet and we'll have a John Travolta oath in the following block.

Some Way To Deal With Smuggler's Copter And Aetherworks Marvel

With Smugglers Copter and Aetherworks Marvel being so dominant hopefully we'll find some form of removal that is fairly versatile. Something like this would prevent a Copter with haste being used right away and it would prevent Aetherworks Marvel from being used the turn it's played. It can also remain on the battlefield to keep their artifacts in check, or you can sac it to destroy just one. I'm no R&D but I think this could work. The mana costs probably need to be fixed but hopefully Wizard's will see this and hire me.

A Big Green Thing That Everyone Says Is Bad But Then Is A 4 Of In Every Green Deck

It seems every set has that one big green thing that everyone writes off as unplayable until someone plays it and all of a sudden it's the best card in the set. We can probably expect to see some neat looking big green thing that will get a "this might be good when Ishkana rotates out. 2/5" and then a week after some big event everyone will go "whoa huh this gundam creature is actually really good. 5/5." I'm looking forward to this and will prepare for this by buying every mythic green card in bulk while they're cheap and sell them when it ultimately escalates. I'll probably lose money but it's really more about sending a message.

A Fun But Difficult Win Condition

In Zendikar we had Felidar Sovereign and Hedron Alighnment. In Innistrad we had Triskaidekaphobia. In Kaladesh we haven't seen one yet and with a revolt coming it would make sense that we get some weird aether or mechanical win condition. I'm sure it'll be more like "If you control 20 or more artifacts you win the game," but I like to dream and this was one of the wackier ways that you could potentially win a game.

Hints At What's To Come

So we now have an interplanar portal that anything can go through opened in an artifact heavy world. The eldrazi are sleeping so what big threat could be coming? I don't know what might be next but this weird black oil has just started showing up everywhere. I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. Let's just go to Amonkhet and see whats happening over there and we can return to Kaladesh to see the world rebuilding after this revolt. Oh look at this! It is rebuilt but everything is some sort of weird oil creature and everything has "poison." Now entering New New Phyrexia! Population: everyone.

Now I'm no artist so I can bet that these cards will have more professional looking art when they are released, but other than that, these are exact, word for word, cards we can expect to see in Aether Revolt. Once spoiler season is finished we'll link back to this article to show you how correct we really were.

Have your own card predictions? Want these art versions rather than the one Wizards will release? Want to tell us how you're going to lie to yourself about making 2017 better? Tell us in the comments or with a message! Also feel free to spit 140 characters at us through twitter @Heavy_Salami We also plan on doing some streaming soon so check out our Twitch channel