In the Community Super League play-offs a bunch of different formats were played. One of them was a new one, based on the signature cards of the players. Kenji Egashira got Numot, the Devastator, because he’s handle is Numot the Nummy, and Paul Cheon got Empty the Warrens, because the phrase Empty the Cheons somehow came about.
So, it got me thinking. What’s my signature card and how could that even be decided?
Of course, this is actually about just self-examination and thinking about what I’m actually like as a player and deck builder.
So, what cards do I like to play the most? I’m known in the Guild commander group for playing cards that make terrible for others, such as Cyclonic Rift, Kira, Great Glass-Spinner or Liliana of the Veil, but I don’t think these are very ‘me’, because this is the kind of stuff everyone does. I’m looking for something more special.
I like cheap, efficient, unexpected spells, that can swing the game in the right situation.
I play both regularly in my EDH decks, because they are just so good in certain situations and can destroy otherwise game-winning plays for one mana (of course Quicken needs something else as well, but still) while replacing themselves. I even wrote a whole article on one of them.
Another good contender could very well be some efficient small creature, preferebly a black one with a drawback. I’ve used a lot of these over the years with good results. Blocking? Not for me.
The one that might actually fit the best, is one of the really early ones. Maybe even the first, because it was first printed in Arabian Nights, of all places.
In Commander, I’m more known for never missing a land drop (its not true, but legend is better than the truth). This sort of leads us into splashy plays that play on me having loads of mana, such as…
Okay, so that’s a bit more green-centric than I usually am, but there’s another way to approach this, which is card advantage.
I like card advantage, like everyone, but I enjoy it more, when I have to work for it. Even though tapping Arcanis the Omnipotent for cards is very satisfying, it doesn’t come with any kind of feeling of accomplishment.
Even my commanders are often just there for the cards.
I just like how cards like this require some effort or time. I guess Kolaghan’s Command is sort of universally known now, but this leads me to the final category.
I like to play strong cards people didn’t think about, yet. Kolaghan’s Command was one of these. I can’t really say I found Necropotence back in the day, but I was trading for them when people kept telling me they were terrible. I like to have that strange tech no-one expects. Den Protector just happens to be a warrior, so Arashin Foremost can give it double strike. Who’d have thought of that? Well, I did.
There’s plenty of pairings like it, but here’s a special one. A combination of cards I think is most me. It starts with Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, but that’s not very me. That’s actually boring, but in GP Paris 2016, I discovered a way I really like to use Gideon.
There’s a very special category of cards I enjoy. Good cards that do something weird, which makes the opponent read them. Carefully. Twice, actually.
I’ve used all these in Standard, but back then in Paris, I managed to convince others to play this guy.
I know its been played in some decks since then as well, but I like to think I discovered this. I was the one came up with it. We played one in our sideboards in our Bant Tokens deck (this was before rotation). Mostly for possible mirrors and Collected Company decks. And it was great. It was usually Gideon who had to take the hit.
… however, its not just this tournament that makes it most me. Its the flavor of not giving a shit and doing whatever it takes to win, even if its cutting off the head of one of your compatriots, and its the fact that its pretty corner case card, but when it works, it really, really works. Things have to go your way for you to use it, but when you do, its a complete blowout. Whenever I cast it, I won the game. Of course, it was a one-of in the sideboard, so that didn’t happen very many times during the two days, but it did happen often enough.