// floating card image

Monday, July 24, 2017

Don’t Walk But Run! Ervin and Melek the Created Running Man

August 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Interview

Ervin and Melek

Ervin the Combo man and Melek the Running man

Hi there, fellow EDH-ers. Today interview article will be with a fellow EDH-er, Ervin Foong, who joined (or rather we joined their group) recently. Ervin first joined into the play group with us playing a Werewolf deck which trashed the shit out of me. Basically a very basic Aggro deck, Ervin’s Werewolf deck plays some of the cheaper cost Werewolves like Wolfbitten Captive and Reckless Waif, which hit harder after they transformed. Adding to the rage were Mayor of Avabruck, Immerwolf and Instigator Gang, all acting as the lords of Werewolves (Immerwolf preventing his Werewolves from transforming back; Mayor providing more power both before and after transform, producing more Wolves when transformed; Gang providing power to all attacking Creatures). And when there is too much blocker, the Kruin Outlaw transformed form, Terror of Kruin Pass, will make blocking for his opponent even harder by making his Werewolves can’t be blocked by except by two or more Creatures. At the top of it are two Werewolves, Daybreak Ranger and Huntmaster of the Fells, both which act like his control over Creatures on his opponent side when they are transformed. Rounding the rest of his deck were some burn spells which varied as he played his deck. I remembered how I had a hard time beating his deck which was very fast to render an opponent life points into the red zone for his burn spells. His Werewolf deck then would undergo changes with the numbers of the Werewolves changing here and there as he see fit. That was my first impression of Erin as the Werewolf guy. As an EDH-er, Ervin experiments with combo kills a lot. In fact two of his EDH decks (one of which is going to be feature in this article) use combo to kill off his opponents. Most of his decks have an element of control in them, making Blue a common color I have seen in most of his EDH decks. Due to that, he is usually the one to stop an absurd win at the table and make the game go on longer. So without further ado, let us get on with the interview.

Moonmist

Werewolves….. those who used to hang out with Ervin…..

 

Me: Thanks for your time, Ervin. So going on with the usual question I asked all the other guys. What deck did you use? Any deck name?

Ervin: Melek’s Marvelously Maniacal Magical Mayhem!

Me: I see… So it’s based around the Izzet’s created running man. How is the deck supposed to work?

Ervin: By creating chaos in hand and on field by using wheel and bounce effects respectively. The deck aims to win via deck destruction, other than that, some random win-con will turn up.

Me: I see, interesting way to put and achieve it. So tell us more about the inspiration behind the creation of the deck?

Ervin: I wanted to build an Izzet-themed EDH deck, but the other Izzet Legendaries didn’t have any abilities which I was really looking for. When Melek turned up in DGM (DragonMaze), I knew I had the guy I was looking for.

Me: Sounds like a savior finally appears to you. How did the creation process go about?

Ervin: From the start, I knew I did not want the deck to single out a player with my spells, so I went for global effects instead. Wheel effects affect everyone and with Melek around, it’s 2 for the price of 1. To further boost the wheel effects, I added in more copy spells and then I found Hive Mind… After that I threw in some cards that would really work well with it, together with some staples and the deck was more or less there.

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

Ervin: Quite well actually. The deck does not really attract too much hate in the start with 1 or 2 wheel effects. Every now and then I’ll throw down some card with random effects that mix up the game for fun. Then sometimes, the deck explodes and I manage to pull off a win, or… I go out in a bang!

Me: Yeah…. There sure was some fun times when we all got killed by some of the combos in your deck unexpectedly…..So to end it off, what’s your next idea if any?

Ervin: I’m thinking Doran, the Siege Tower… He’s got an interesting ability that affects the whole board.

Doran the SiegeTower

“Dude~~ You called ? ? ?”

From the short intro of his deck, we can see that Ervin’s featured EDH deck is a combo deck of sorts. Playing no favorites on opponents Ervin’s combo of choice deals with everyone; a critical way for most combo decks in EDH to win. Thus the choice of numerous board effect spells. This works both ways as he could give the excuse that everyone gets hits by the spells he cast, but it may also deem him as the number one threat too. So he has to play carefully with his spells. As with the political way of playing EDH, he lies low for most early games to avoid direct confrontation with other opponents. Melek was also chosen in this regard as he doubles into his combo with all the Instants and Sorceries in the deck. So now you have had a glimpse of what his deck does, let’s have a look at the deck in more detail.

 

Deck List

Commander

Melek, Izzet Paragon

Lands (37)

Creatures (5)

Academy Ruins

Archaeomancer

Command Tower

Ethereal Usher

Desolate Lighthouse

Laboratory Maniac

Evolving Wilds

Snapcaster Mage

Halimar Depths

Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Izzet Boilerworks

Izzet Guildgate

Artifacts (12)

Madblind Mountain

Chromatic Lantern

Mikokoro, Center of the Sea

Gilded Lotus

Minamo, School at Water’s Edge

Isochron Scepter

Mystifying Maze

Izzet Signet

Reliquary Tower

Mind Stone

Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep

Scroll Rack

Steam Vents

Sensei’s Divining Top

Temple of the False God

Sol Ring

Terramorphic Expanse

Sundial of the Infinite

Tolaria West

Temple Bell

Island (10)

Thran Dynamo

Mountain (10)

Vedalken Orrery

Instants (20)

Sorceries (16)

Chaos Warp

Blasphemous Act

Comet Storm

Earthquake

Counterflux

Enter the Infinite

Cyclonic Rift

Epic Experiment

Evacuation

Eternal Dominion

Final Fortune

Incendiary Command

Hinder

Merchant Scroll

Long-Term Plans

Molten Psyche

Muddle the Mixture

Mystic Retrieval

Mystical Tutor

Past in Flames

Radiate

Prosperity

Reiterate

Recall

Reverberate

Reforge the Soul

Spell Crumple

Wheel of Fate

Starstorm

Wheel of Fortune

Time Stop

Windfall

Turn // Burn

Turnabout

Planeswalkers (2)

Twincast

Chandra, the Firebrand

Wild Ricochet

Jace Beleren

Enchantments (7)

Arcane Melee

Cowardice

Hive Mind

Leyline of Anticipation

Mind Over Matter

Possibility Storm

Stranglehold

 

Lands:-

Izzet Guildgate

His home, his guild, where he belongs.

Lands are the heart of a deck. Even when the deck is only two colors, getting the wrong mana at the most needed time is worst case scenario regardless of how low profile you been staying throughout the game. Here is some of the mana fixing Lands and utility Lands Ervin had packed into his deck.

Command Tower

This Land just fits into any multi-color EDH deck for fixing the mana.

Evolving Wilds / Terramorphic Expanse

Fixes color by fetching the right color basic Land.

Izzet Guildgate

Slow but effective mana fixer. Easy to get one too (common).

Madblind Mountain

Library manipulation is quite a big part in this deck and this Land provides a reshuffle when the next few cards are not up to expectation.

Mystifying Maze

A defend against enemy Commander. Rid the Auras on that Commander as well. Also combos with Creatures with enter the battlefield effects.

Reliquary Tower

Way to keep the hand when too many cards are drawn.

Steam Vents

Blue and Red Shockland. Nuff said.

Island / Mountain (10 each)

Rounding up the rest of the Land base of the deck.

 

Mana Ramp and Mana Boost:-

Gilded Lotus

Pumping up mana 3 at a time

Mana fixing is one part of the formula for Ervin deck but without a huge amount of mana, he still cannot fulfill his win con. Thus his deck also consists of various ways to ramp his mana. Some of the below may already be a familiar sight to many fellow EDH-ers out there.

Chromatic Lantern

Mana ramp and mana fixer by itself.

Gilded Lotus

Permanent and repeatable Black Lotus.

Izzet Boilerworks

Fix mana in the short run. It may be slow in the beginning but is a major boost in mana in the mid and late game.

Izzet Signet

Mana fixer and mini mana ramp.

Mind Stone

Mana ramp plus card draw when mana is not needed.

Sol Ring

Everyone favorite Artifact mana booster.

Temple of the False God

Everyone favorite Land mana booster.

Thran Dynamo

A colorless Gilded Lotus.

 

Card Draw and Tutors:-

Mikokoro, Center of the Sea

The center of Card Draw

As with every EDH decks, card draw and tutors are both a big part of the deck. These are even a bigger part for Ervin’s deck as it helps him to find his combo pieces. Constant sources of card draws are used here. Tutors come in the form of real tutor which search directly for the card he wants. The other form of tutor comes in the form of library manipulation which let him dig deeper into his library for the cards he wants. As a couple of this library manipulation are permanents, they could be combined with Madblind Mountain to shuffle away cards not needed at that moment. Here are cards he used to establish that need.

Card Draw

Jace Beleren

The friendly card drawing Planeswalker which no one would kill.

Mikokoro, Center of the Sea

The least likely nonbasic Land which opponents will destroy due to the card advantage it gives everyone.

Prosperity

This may seems to be giving everyone a great advantage but it really helps to Ervin’s scheme to deck everyone out with the later wheel effects.

Temple Bell

Artifact form of Mikokoro.

Tutor

Ethereal Usher / Muddle the Mixture / Tolaria West

Uncounterable tutor through Transmute. Muddle for 2cc; Usher for 6cc; Tolaria West for Lands.

Long-Term Plans

Delay tutor leaving the tutor card third from the top. Used at the end of opponent’s turn this would be second card then.

Merchant Scroll

Limited tutor for Blue Instant only.

Mystical Tutor

As most of the win con spells for the deck are Sorceries, this could effectively end the game there. Especially so when Melek is on the battlefield as its

Library Manipulation and Dig

Desolate Lighthouse

Dig through the library by drawing and then discard a card. Sort of like cycling cards which you do not need now for better draw.

Halimar Depths

Reorganize the next three cards of the library when it enters the battlefield.

Scroll Rack

Cycle away cards in hand which are not needed now for a new cards from the library.

Sensei’s Divining Top

The number one library manipulator.

 

 

Board Sweep, Control & Counterspell:-

As with all combo deck, if your opponents have too much threat or disruption, you will not survive till the combo comes. The bad is he would die before his combo is even established, at the worst he might have the combo but got disrupted by his opponents. So Ervin had packed some form of board sweep and control in the deck to control the board should things get out of hand. As not all threat and disruption are permanents, counterspells are used then to deal with those non permanent ones.

Cyclonic Rift

Taking care of the board Level: Overload

Board Sweep

Blasphemous Act / Earthquake / Starstorm

Sweep the board of Creatures with damage.

Comet Storm

Targeted board sweep which require high amount of mana.

Cyclonic Rift

Targeted bounce when cast normally; board bounce when Overload. And all on opponent’s sides.

Evacuation

Board bounce for Creautres.

Control

Chaos Warp

The chaos on field effect. The Easter egg spell which might neutralize a threat or make it bigger.

Cowardice

Foil against Voltron decks. With this, the Voltron cannot be assembled.

Mind Over Matter

Use cards in hand to tap down Artifacts, Creatures, or Lands; or help other players as political means.

Stranglehold

Prevent all advantages to opponents (Tutors and extra turns).

Turn // Burn

Fused and destroy any targetable Creature.

Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Deals with permanent threat and put a threat onto the battlefield.

Counterspell

Counterflux

Uncounterable counterspell. Overload to stop all the arguments at the table when people start casting too many spells and argue over how to resolve the spells.

Hinder / Spell Crumple

Counter a spell and stuff it to the bottom of the library. This makes it harder to see the spell again for the rest of game if the opponents do not have tutors to search for the spell as EDH decks are big.

Time Stop

The top counterspell which stops even uncounterable spell…..

Counterflux

“Don’t argue, I counter them all.”

 

Turning the Wheel:-

Wheel Of Fortune

Drop a hand, Draw a hand.

One way the deck kills is by decking out everyone. The idea is to cast numerous wheel spells in a turn. All these spells could be stored for a long time during the game just waiting to happen or be draw due to the previous wheel spell. Melek doubles the fun here by allowing the top card of the library to be cast if it is an Instant or Sorcery, and also copying it if it is casted from the library top. Since Ulamog is in the deck, it would be discarded and the library will be replenish to go again. Also hidden in the midst of these wheel effects is another win con which depends on the wheel effects killing everyone by damage instead. Below are the wheel spells chosen for the deck.

Incendiary Command

The multiple choices spell which one of the options is a wheel effect.

Molten Psyche

The semi-wheel spell (more similar to Winds of Change) with a hidden win con. Since multiple of wheel spells will be cast when the combo starts off. A Metalcraft active Molten Psyche could easily deal a huge amount of damage to everyone s the combo goes off. 

Reforge the Soul

The Miracle wheel spell.

Wheel of Fate

Suspend version of wheel spell.

Wheel of Fortune

The first and original wheel spell.

Windfall

Blue wheel spell which let everyone draw back to whoever had the largest hand size before discard.

 

Turbo Wheel:-

Reiterate

Doubling the impact each time.

As you could see that there are not a lot of wheel spells in the deck, you may think how do you deck out everyone with those. The answer lies in another classic spell, Fork. This Instant allows the caster to copy any target Instant or Sorcery. So each of these fork spells is another wheel spells, adding up to the finale at Molten Psyche if it draw at the end. Also one of the chosen Planeswalkers does fork effect adding to the numbers to connect up a big chain of wheel spells. Below are the spells or ways used to achieve that purpose.

Chandra, the Firebrand

Planeswalker with Fork effect.

Radiate

This Fork does not really helps with the whole game plan of decking out the opponents but creates chaos on the battlefield. Single removal become mass removal in an instant.

Reiterate

Fork with Buyback.

Reverberate

The new Fork for the newer players.

Twincast

The Blue Fork often refer to as the Spoon.

Wild Ricochet

This Fork adds insult to injury by redirecting the spell then copy it.

 

Enablers:-

Arcane Melee

And thus the battle of the mages begins….

The idea of the deck is to cast a series of wheel spells and deck out everyone. This requires a lot of mana but Ervin packs a couple of ways to make casting the spells easier.

Arcane Melee

Get a political point in the game by making Instants and Sorceries cost 2 less to cast.

Leyline of Anticipation / Vedalken Orrery

Both enable Ervin to finish everyone with his wheel effects at the end of opponents’ turns. Leyline is in this case the best of the two since it will begins on the battlefield if it is in the opening hand, saving time and mana to cast it.

Mind Over Matter / Turnabout

Both enable the deck to work by untapping mana sources so you can cast more wheel effect spells. Since all wheel effect spells forces discard first, Mind over Matter lets you throw away cards in your hand first to untap mana sources. Turnabout on the other hand is a one shot untap source and could also be use to tap down opponent’s stuff.

Possibility Storm

Chance casting of spells. Create chaos on the board.

 

Retrievers:-

Past in Flames

Flashbacks are nice memories.

Long games are unavoidable in our play group and Ervin uses recursions to bring back cards too to stay alive long enough so he could win with his wheel spells. Some of these spells are common and many of you might have already had it in your deck.

Academy Ruins

A good retriever for Artifacts if you are playing Blue in your deck.

Archaeomancer

Since most of the key spells are either Instants or Sorceries, this Creature is effectively an Eternal Witness.

Mystic Retrieval

Spell form of Archaeomancer and with Flashback.

Past in Flames

Like an ultimate of the deck, the spell grants Flashback to all the Instants and Sorceries in the caster’s graveyard when it is casted. And since it too has Flashback itself, you could do it again later when your graveyard is full of the spells you need.

Recall

On the surface this looks like using cards in hand to retrieve cards from the graveyard. But it is to be noted that it is more like rearranging your hand since you could return cards you discarded for the spell.

Snapcaster Mage

Grants Flashback to one Instant or Sorcery when it enters the battlefield.

Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Retrieve the whole graveyard when it goes to the graveyard from anywhere.

 

Combos:-

One Last Turn

Here are some of the combos in the deck.

Hive Mind + Final Fortune + Time Stop / Sundial of the Infinite

One last turn for everyone except the caster of the combo as either Time Stop or Sundial will end the extra turn and prevent the caster from losing from Final Fortune.

Hive Mind + Eternal Dominion

Create chaos on the board and let everyone play each other cards.

Enter the Infinite + Hive Mind + Draw spells + Laboratory Maniac

After everyone draw out all but one of their deck, cast draw spells to make a draw game. Or win the game if Laboratory Maniac is on the battlefield.

Final Fortune + Isochron Scepter + Sundial of the Infinite

Infinite turns.

Archaeomancer + Evacuation

Mini Creature lock out.

Cowardice + Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep + Minamo, School at Water’s Edge

Lock out Commanders or legendary Creatures.

Desolate Lighthouse + Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Library replenisher when needed.

Possibility Storm + Scroll Rack + Melek, Izzet Paragon

Fixed way to ensure the spell you flip with Possibility Storm is the spell you want to cast.

Melek, Izzet Paragon + Leyline of Anticipation / Vedalken Orrery + Wheel spells + Mystical Tutor (optional)

Start off the wheel combo at the end of opponent’s turn. Throw in Mystical Tutor to speed things up if the top card is not a wheel spell. Alternately, this combo can also be use to cast board sweep at the end of opponent’s turn, saving the mana to cast other stuff when the turn comes around.

Snapcaster Mage / Past in Flames + Wheel of Fate

Flashback cost is zero, so it is effectively a free wheel spell.

 

Rest of the deck:-

Epic Experiment

Act as the game ending spell for long drawn out games when mana is abundant.

 

And there you have it, the marvelous combo deck from Ervin. Special thanks to Ervin for taking out his time for this interview and sharing his deck with us. We hope you had enjoyed reading this article as much as we had writing it. Thus till our next article….

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

:D~

Comments

One Response to “Don’t Walk But Run! Ervin and Melek the Created Running Man”

Trackbacks

Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] informed by my good friend, Ervin, who himself had built a Karametra deck, he found a quirky way to capitalized on all those Land […]



Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!