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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Inception: Into the Mad Mind of Manferd

April 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Interview

Hi there, fellow EDH-ers. Today I would like to introduce you to my partner for this blog, Manferd Hoe. Manferd had been playing MtG for quite a while and was more into Vintage back then, even (used to) owning a set of Power Nine. He had since retired from Vintage and now concentrates more on Legacy and EDH. A deep impression was left from him on me from one of his powerful and longtime Legacy deck, a Control deck called Landstill. He had been, although not recently, tweaking and improving it ever since he built it. The deck main game plan is to establish control over the board as quickly as possible. Once that is established, he would hide behind Standstill and starts killing you with Soldier tokens from either Elspeth, Knight-Errant or Decree of Justice; or beats you down with Mishra’s Factory. His style of playing EDH is not far from this game plan too. So without further adieu, let me present to you an interview into the Mad Mind of Manferd.

 

Me: What deck did youkuse?

Manferd: I use Chainer.

 

Me: Okay… Any deck name for this awesome deck?

Manferd: Just Chainer will do.

 

Me: So the Commander’s name is the namesake of the dec . How is the deck supposed to work?

Manferd: Graveyard is always treated as a virtual resource. Creatures die every game. They die, die… and die… basically, I making use of other people’s creatures, which died, either from other players’ effect or I just clear the board. Black has quite decent creature destruction, Damnation, Mutilate, Black Sun’s Zenith, Life’s Finale, etc etc. I will just clear the board, when players have over committed with creatures.

Here is usual game plan I have; there is always a player that wants to gain the first move to achieve initial ‘strike’. Initial strike has the huge advantage when 1v1 game. In modern warfare, it is very true also. Because initial strike may result tempo, in warfare, it may result assets destruction.

However, with so many players, every player wants an advantage. But generally people are micro thinkers, which means they can only think up to a finite number of situations and come up a number of plans against these situations. However with so many players, the situations can be really… more than any casual players’ brain capacity to deal with. Even if the deck is design to deal many players at once, he can only has 7 cards in his initial hand. Against X players times 7 cards initial hand he is still consider outnumber, materially speaking.

My Chainer deck, as you can see, has quite a number of tutors, and board sweepers. That’s the advantage of the Black. I play politics with players; there is no threatening creatures, no bastardly enchantment or artifacts that restrict player’s playing. But when a player needs help, then I go, “BOMB! You just own me a favor man~!” in this situation I have an ally. I almost virtually increase my handsize, gain virtually 1 attack phase on that aggressive player. People tend to be revengeful. I merely leverage on that trait and play along.

Black’s limitation is on the artifact and enchantment destruction. It is like there is almost none in their card pool. This is the core reason I believe that politics is the key to increasing EDH games.

 

Me: So tell us more about the inspiration behind the creation of the deck? How did the creation process go about?

Manferd: Actually, the inspiration comes from you. You told me that graveyard based decks seems to be very strong. Then I thought of all my black cards I have in my collection, then I found out these cards can be cheap. Zombify, Beacon of Unrest, Animate Dead, they are cheap cards. Why should I buy a $20 over dollars Primeval Titan when I can blow up the board, and use my Animate Dead to other player’s Titan and use its effect? Plus, there is no way that guy who summons his Titan and didn’t attack. If he attacks others, I have political advantage, if he attacks me, no one can blame me for nuking.

Me: Oh really, I did not realized that I was the one responsible for inspiring the deck. So how did the creation process go about?

Manferd: Not much… it is actually I spam all the nukes, all the tutors, all the reanimater I can find and see how it goes. Of course I put in some creatures, but that comes with trial and error.

 

Me: How did the deck perform during each EDH session?

Manferd: This may surprise you, winning is the last thing in my mind. But I do admit, my winning rate is pretty higher than what I expected. However, I believe my winning has little over my deck design. Of course, I have an infinite mana and kill combo, but it is actually required a lot of set up to happen (Umbral Mantle with Magus of the Coffers and SIX swamps! To kill is Exsanguinate). With such high requirement to kill instantly, what are my best chances? Survive as long as I can. How to survive as long as I can? Being useful! Hahaha!

 

Me: What’s your next idea if any?

Manferd: Recently I saw Edric, Spymaster of Trest very interesting. It can work both as a 1v1 deck or a multiplayer deck. But I want to play test it. Hmm… do you happened to have some time online with me * wink *

 

Me: *Turns offline*

 

So there you have it. As you have read, Manferd’s EDH deck, Chainer, is a very basic reanimator deck. The main difference here for his deck compare to normal variant reanimator is that he don’t have to provide his own big badass Creatures most of the time. He instead takes it from his opponents as everyone if not all in EDH plays Creatures. Huge fat Creatures are not a rare sight in EDH. He achieved the above partly through his chosen Commander, Chainer, Dementia Master. By just paying BBB and 3 life, Manferd could just pull any Creature from any graveyard to his side. A side effect to this is that he would reanimate these Creatures as Black Nightmare Creatures in addition to their other Creature types. To top that off, Chainer also gives all Nightmares +1/+1. A downside to that is that if Chainer leaves the battlefield, all Nightmares will be exile, though not much of a downside if all those Nightmares will not from your graveyard to begin with. So now you have had a glimpse of his General, let’s have a look at the deck in more detail.

 

Deck List

Commander

Chainer, Dementia Master

Lands (30)

Creatures (12)

Barren Moor

Artisan of Kozilek

Cabal Coffers

Chancellor of the Dross

Crypt of Agadeem

Fleshbag Marauder

Deserted Temple

Geth, Lord of the Vault

Mystifying Maze

It That Betrays

Petrified Field

Magus of the Coffers

Scrying Sheets

Necrotic Ooze

Snow-Covered Swamp (19)

Pestilence Demon

Strip Mine

Reassembling Skeleton

Terrain Generator

Sheoldred, Whispering One

Thawing Glaciers

Steel Hellkite

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Twisted Abomination

Artifacts (22)

Sorceries and Instants (31)

Altar of Shadows

Barter in Blood

Armillary Sphere

Beacon of Unrest

Caged Sun

Black Sun’s Zenith

Coalition Relic

Buried Alive

Diviner’s Wand

Chainer’s Edict

Doubling Cube

Cruel Tutor

Everflowing Chalice

Damnation

Expedition Map

Decree of Pain

Extraplanar Lens

Demonic Collusion

Fellwar Stone

Demonic Tutor

Journeyer’s Kite

Diabolic Edict

Lightning Greaves

Diabolic Tutor

Memory Jar

Disturbed Burial

Mind Stone

Dread Return

Sensei’s Divining Top

Entomb

Skullclamp

Exhume

Sol Ring

Exsanguinate

Sorcerer’s Strongbox

Increasing Ambition

Sword of the Paruns

Life’s Finale

Thousand-Year Elixir

Mutilate

Umbral Mantle

Night’s Whisper

Wanderer’s Twig

Praetor’s Grasp

Profane Command

Enchantments (4)

Promise of Power

Animate Dead

Rise from the Grave

Dance of the Dead

Sign in Blood

Enslave

Syphon Mind

Necromancy

Tendrils of Corruption

Vampiric Tutor

Yawgmoth’s Will

Zombify

 

Lands:-

Wealth in Darkness

Besides the standard choices of Lands for a Mono-Black deck, Manferd had also chosen some other interesting Lands for the deck.

Barren Moor

This cycle of Lands acts as a card draw when your mana is enough.

Cabal Coffers

This combo with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth usually gives Manferd the edge over all of us, most of the time ending the game with him as the winner.

Crypt of Agadeem

Small boost for his deck. This does not work as hard as Cabal Coffers as he does not have a lot of Creatures in his deck.

Deserted Temple

Combos with Cabal Coffers to generate huge mana for big time spell casting.

Mystifying Maze

A defend against enemy Commander. Rid the Auras on that Commander as well.

Petrified Field

Way to retrieve a lost Cabal Coffers.

Sc2ying Sheets

Act as an extra Sensei’s Divining Top.

Snow-Covered Swamp (19)

Necessary for Scrying Sheets to work.

Strip Mine

Standard solution for all EDH decks to opposing annoying Land.

Terrain Generator

Mana ramp. Provides himkmana growth at the end of opponents’ turn as it breaks the one Land per turn rule.

Thawing Glaciers

Same as Terrain Generator but better as it searches from the library directly.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

As mentioned earlier, this is the other combo piece with Cabal Coffers for his finishing move most of the time. The tomb also ties up the ends for most of his other spells which effects depends on the number of Swamps he control.

 

Mana Ramp and Mana Boost:-

All that remains after the Combo are the echoes of the players sent to the bus stop.

As mentioned before, his deck requires a lot of mana for the killing combo. That’s why mana ramping and boosting is present in the deck.

Altar of Shadows

You may not think of it this way but this Artifact actually serves as part of his mana ramp too. As most EDH multiplayer games last very long, this could actually stores up to quite a decent amount of charge counters while neutralizing opposing Creatures. Each Creature destroyed with this Artifact effectively says each of your spells cost 1 lesser to cast.

Armillary Sphere

Ensures he do not miss a Land drop.

Cabal Coffers

The one card which pushed MBC (Mono Black Control) to a power tournament deck during its standard legal days. Still doing the same for Manferd’s mono Black EDH deck.

Caged Sun

A very powerful ramping tool for most mono color decks.

Coalition Relic

Quite a nice standard addition for all decks. Charge counter at opponent’s end turn to get more mana.

Crypt of Agadeem

Minor boost as Manferd tends not to hard cast his Creature, thus leaving them in the graveyard. Numerous times have we seen the Crypt being used to produce the mana needed to reanimate the very Black Creatures which powered it.

Doubling Cube

A mid or late game killer. This, combines with Thawing Glaciers, could easily generate tons of mana with one activation. Especially so when Manferd always stays under the radar and builds up unnoticed.

Everflowing Chalice

Though he usually doesn’t cast it with more than one Kicker, it is still 1 mana more to his mana pool.

Expedition Map

Searches for the ever important Cabal Coffers and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

Extraplanar Lens

This actually helps only him to doubles his mana as he would imprint a Snow-covered Swamp most of the time, and no one else use Snow-covered Swamp except him.

Fellwar Stone

Not so much for the color but more for an additional 1 mana.

Journeyer’s Kite

Permanent mana ramp, works a bit like Thawing Glaciers.

Magus of the Coffers

Cabal Coffers with legs. Part of the combo he used to kill us all.

Mind Stone

1 mana ramp in early game, 1 card draw for the late game.

Sol Ring

1cc for 2 mana.

Twisted Abomination

Early game ramp through swampcycling, late game beater. Also a reanimating target for beatdown if needed.

Wanderer’s Twig

Another basic Land search.

 

Reanimators:-

No creature is safe from the Manferd…. Not even in death…..

The main power and theme of the deck.

Animate Dead

The first and standard reanimator Enchantment.

Artisan of Kozilek

The highest cc reanimator in the deck but fits well into the theme of Graveyard decks. Problem is that it has to be cast physically to be able to reanimate a Creature from the graveyard. But then again with the huge amount of mana this deck could generate, that is usually not an issue. As he will be getting two threats at the same time in his case most of the time, 9 mana seems to be a reasonable price to pay.

Beacon of Unrest

Reusable reanimator for Artifact and/or Creature from any graveyard. Plus point for being reusable (shuffles back to library after resolved).

Dance of the Dead

Serves as another copy of Animate Dead.

Disturbed Burial

Additional way to reuse his Creatures. Buyback helps the spell to be more reusable.

Dread Return

Reanimator which cannot be Naturalize. Comes with Flashback for reuse.

Exhume

His political tool. Who doesn’t like to have a Creature back from the dead? (Maybe except the one who doesn’t has one in the graveyard….)

Geth, Lord of the Vault

Reanimates Artifact and/or Creature from opponent’s graveyard. Adds insult to injury by milling that player at the same time.

Necromancy

Serves as another copy of Animate Deadn

Profane Command

Powerful spell with four effects, one of which is a reanimating effect, to choose from.

Rise from the Grave

Like Dread Return but options of reanimating targets expands to opponents’ graveyards.

Sheoldred, Whispering One

Serves as both reanimating means and Creature control.

Zombify

The pioneer of Dread Return.

 

Things he Brings Back:-

“You called ? ?”

The Creatures in the deck may not be a lot but most of them are pretty mean reanimate targets.

Artisan of Kozilek

10/9 with Annihilator 2. Trample is not really needed here…

Chancellor of the Dross

6/6 with flying and lifelink.

Geth, Lord of the Vault

His reanimating ability aside, Geth is still a force to be reckoned with for being a 5/5 with intimidate.

It That Betrays

11/11 with Annihilator 2. Steals everything your opponents sacrificed. EVERYTHING.

Pestilence Demon

7/6 flying Pestilence.

Sheoldred, Whispering One

Besides killing opponents’ Creatures and reanimating yours, Sheoled also swampwalk with a body of 6/6. Party time with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

Steel Hellkite

5/5 flying with 2: +1/+0 and selective board control.

 

Board Sweep and Control:-

Need a helping hand? Called Manferd… He will wipe them all out for ya…

As Manferd had mentioned, politics is part of his game plan, his deck also packs its fair share of board sweepers and control cards so that he could aid to help maintain leverage on the board for other players.

Barter in Blood

Forces everyone to sacrifice two Creatures.

Black Sun’s Zenith

Renders all Creatures smaller with -1/-1 counters. Plus point for being reusable (shuffles back to library after resolved). Stops Persist.

Chainer’s Edict

Diabolic Edict which can be Flashback.

Damnation

The Black Wrath of God.

Decree of Pain

This once drew almost his entire deck when he casted it. Token Creatures do go to graveyards too and count for the card draw for the spell.

Diabolic Edict

Instant way to deal with Voltron Generals, since a lot of times these decks have only one Creature on the board.

Enslave

Neutralizes opposing Commanders by stealing it. Further hurts the owner as the Aura deals 1 damage to the controller during the upkeep.

Fleshbag Marauder

Innocent Blood on legs.

Life’s Finale

Sweep the board of Creatures and searches an opponent’s library for more targets to reanimate. Quite a low blow if you ask me.

Mutilate

Staple board sweeper for mono Black.

Pestilence Demon

Clears the board of little Creatures. Foil to horde tactics.

Steel Hellikite

A very powerful board controller which comes with its own evasion (Flying).

Tendrils of Corruption

Deals with a Creature and also enhance his life points. Helps him to stay in the game a bit longer.

 

Card Draw and Tutors:-

Still the best there is since it was made

Buried Alive

This is considered as a 3 cards tutor to Reanimator decks.

Cruel Tutor

This according to Manferd is part of the Vintage stuff he had left after he cleared his stock. The nuke he was talking about?

Demonic Collusion

The Buyback cost actually helps out in this deck as he could dump big Creatures for reanimating later.

Demonic Tutor

The most classic tutor.

Diabolic Tutor

More tutors.

Diviner’s Wand

Permanent way to draw a card (4: Draw a card) though a Creature is needed to equip it first.

Entomb

For a graveyard deck, this is the Demonic Tutor.

Increasing Ambition

A powerful late game play when Flashback. Could be set up for Flashback too with Entomb.

Memory Jar

Refills his hand for a turn. Also effectively milling 7 cards on all opponents if they do not have instants to cast.

Night’s Whisper

Althoughksimilar to Sign in Blood functionally, this actually stands above the other for being un-redirect-able as it says “you draw two cards” instead of “target player”.

Praetor’s Grasp

Searches opponent’s library for cards to be used. If the opponent does not play the same color as Manferd, this would serve to neutralize one threat or even a combo piece from the deck.

Promise of Power

2BBB and 5 life for 5 cards is quite a deal in EDH. Paid in full cost, this would be a 5cc for 5 cards and at least a 5/5 flyer, presuming Promise of Power is the only card in your hand.

Sensei’s Divining Top

Manferd’s favorite Artifact of library top manipulation and card draw.

Sign in Blood

2 life for 2 cards for an9one. Political tool.

Skullclamp

Discourages opponents from destroying his Creatures, as that would mean two cards draw for the destroyed Creature. Kinda of like a Standstill.

Sorcerer’s Strongbox

Dependant on luck but as Manferd puts it, “It’s still a pretty good deal if I win the coin flip.”

Syphon Mind

Usually a three cards draw as we always played four way chaos games.

Vampiric Tutor

Instant version of Cruel Tutor.

 

Combos:-

Killer Combo

Here are some of the combos in the deck.

Magus of the Coffers + Sword of the Paruns / Umbral Mantle

This is the infinite mana combo which we had been talking about in this article. Once set up, Manferd would use either Equipments, preferably Umbral Mantle as it has equip cost of 0, to untap Magus of the Coffers after he had tapped it for mana, after which he would use again. Rinse and repeat the steps and infinite mana is produced. This works as long as each Magus of the Coffers’ activation nets him more than five mana. Combo is usually top off with Exsanguinate to kill everyone else.

Necrotic Ooze + Sword of the Paruns / Umbral Mantle

Due to the above combo, Magus of the Coffers always gets killed whenever it hits the battlefield, well before Manferd could assemble the combo. Necrotic Ooze acts as an extra Magus of the Coffers here to execute the same combo. As the Equipments are usually left untouched as they do not provide any benefits if Magus of the Coffers is not present, but a Magus of the Coffers by itself could still generates tons of mana. Therefore, most of the time the Equipments will be left on the battlefield till the Necrotic Ooze comes along.

Infinite mana Combo + Diviner’s Wand

This combo is used when Exsanguinate is not in the hand and there are no tutors available. Usually a sealed win when used as Manferd will draw into what he need.

Cabal Coffers / Magus of the Coffers + Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Makes the mana producing duo produces even more mana.

Mutilate + Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Makes all his other non-basic Lands count towards Mutilate effect.

Reassembling Skeleton + Skullclamp

Reassembling Skeleton provides him the fodder needed for Skullclamp, making this effectively “1: Draw 2 cards”.

 

Rest of the deck:-

Greaves

Helps to protect the Magus of the Coffers. Could also be throw into the mix of the infinte mana combo to make it possible to activates the combo the same turn Magus of the Coffers hits the battlefield.

Thousand-Year Elixir

Works the same as Lightning Greaves to enable activation of infinite mana combo in the same turn the Creatures enter the battlefield. Also doubles as a small mana combo for untapping the Creatures once.

Yawgmoth’s Will

%3span style=”font-family: Arial, sans-serif;”>This sometimes caught us by surprise when Manferd top deck it and proceed to cast the infinite combo from his graveyard. Another nuke in his collection maybe?

With that, we have come to the end of today’s article. Great thanks to Manferd for sharing his deck with us. We hope you enjoyed the article and gained some insight for your EDH decks. So time for us to leave the mad mind of Manferd behind and be back to our normal world. Till our next article….

 

This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.

:D~

“Why should I buy a $20 over dollars Primeval Titan when I can blow up the board, and use my Animate Dead to other player’s Titan and use its effect?” – Manferd Hoe

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