Thank you for stopping by.

I first became acquainted with Magic: The Gathering during Alpha set. After that initial foray where I was introduced by a neighbor to the game, I didn’t play again until the Tempest block. Then I took a long, 20 year hiatus until 2019 when another neighbor reinvigorated my desire to play by urging me to buy some Dominaria and Core 19 packs for a friendly draft. Since then I’ve found myself addicted to deck building.

I prefer traditional formats like Vintage/Legacy/Modern/Standard/Pauper as opposed to this zany, newfangled “Commander” format all the kids are raving about.

I lean toward the / end of the color spectrum; preferred hubs are Reanimator and any type of build that uses uncommon or otherwise off the wall strategies or win-cons.

God I miss the old artwork and flavor text from the older expansions; some of the new stuff is half decent but it doesn’t hold a candle to the gorgeous art of cards like those found in the Arabian Nights expansion or Mirage block. And then there’s the classical literary quotes on cards like Repentant Blacksmith, Juzam Djinn, Hammerheim, Karakas, Pendelhaven, Revelation...the list goes on! I weep softly when I realize just how lackluster today’s MtG sets are in this respect, by comparison. But, I digress.

Feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have on any of my decks; all upvotes are much appreciated as well.

Balaam__ says... #1

@DreadKhan Hm, if that’s correct than I absolutely love this. These are the kinds of fringe, overly convoluted strategies I adore. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the finer details but I’ll keep an eye on this one. Well done!

June 30, 2022 11:09 a.m.

DreadKhan says... #2

I had a reply explaining things, then I realized the issue, Political Trickery doesn't have giving your opponent a land worded as a cost to cast the spell, you just target one of yours and one of theirs on casting. It's not like Raze, if that helps. Anyways, I'll leave the rest up in case, but I'm sure you're aware how the stack works!

AFAIK, the plan is that you play Political Trickery and you announce the targets (both of them) upon casting, at which point it goes on the stack. Then, you retain priority and use the Wasteland you targeted to blow up a land you didn't target for theft, at which point Political Trickery will then resolve if they don't have any interaction, because it still has a legal target to affect, meaning you'll steal their land.

The way Ghost Town works with Vedalken Plotter is that I use Nephalia Smuggler to flicker my Plotter on my opponent's turn, at which point I put the Plotter's trigger on the stack, having targeted Ghost Town and another land. I then use Ghost Town's ability to return it to my hand, and the Plotter's trigger resolves because it still has a legal target to affect, netting me a land.

June 30, 2022 10:50 a.m.

Balaam__ says... #3

@DreadKhan I was looking at your cycled deck and wanted to post this here rather than on your deck’s page. I’m all for unique decks that have odd playstyles, but I have a question regarding something in your description.

You mention trading lands with your opponent and ‘giving them a Wasteland you immediately sac’—unless I’m missing a specific interaction with another card, I’m not certain that’s possible. As I understand it (and I could be wrong), if you sacrificed Wasteland to presumably destroy target nonbasic land, there is no time in between the sacrifice trigger and the resolution to do anything (this is also why a player can’t sacrifice a permanent to fulfill a cost and then try to ‘save’ that permanent by, say, blinking it).

And once you exchange control of Wasteland, you cannot use it as you normally would meaning you can’t choose to sacrifice it for the second ability either (it isn’t under your control).

That said, I’m not exactly sure how Ghost Town functions in relation to how you stated you wanted to use it, so I can’t comment on that.

June 30, 2022 10:40 a.m.

RebelGenius says... #4

Thanks Balaam__! Oh yeah lol. I should play that again, it's been a while.

Ohh thats how you do it. I knew I had learned it at some point but I couldn't remember it lol. Thanks!

June 28, 2022 1:07 p.m.

Balaam__ says... #5

RebelGenius I like your new Goblin deck Just Give ‘Em A Nice Little WHACK. With Lightning Bolt it reminds me of that line from the beginning of Bioshock, “Just zap ‘‘em and whack ‘em!”

Also, not sure if you care or not but if you want to pluralize a card name without just adding an “s” immediately after, just type the card name as usual inside double square brackets, but just after the card name put a | and then the plural version of the card name. Legion Loyalists becomes Legion Loyalists. It doesn’t have to be just the pluralization either, you can type anything after the | such as Rebel Genius. Again, this is only if something like this matters to you, it isn’t really important.

June 28, 2022 11:43 a.m.

Hey, I got the accordions to work! Thanks for the help

June 23, 2022 12:54 p.m.

Hey, also, could you maybe also teach me how to make those things you have in your deck descriptions that get bigger when you click on them? Trying to make my decks look a little more professional...

June 21, 2022 8:57 p.m.

hey Balaam_, I just wanted to say that I love all of your decks! They're just awesome, and I love looking through them and playtesting them all. Thanks!

June 21, 2022 7:53 p.m.

Agp548 says... #10

Thank you for the upvote

June 17, 2022 1:08 a.m.

lespaul977 says... #11

Cathartic Pyre looks pretty cool. I like that it has the quasi-cycling ability, and if I have a Guttersnipe down I can still dish out some damage if I decide to use that option. Thanks so much for checking it out!

June 4, 2022 11:44 a.m.

Balaam__ says... #12

@lespaul977 ah, I figured that’s what must have happened. Like I said, I’ve done the same thing (curse my sausage fingers). All good.

As for your latest,I’m not really familiar with the top tier goblin strategies or what makes a “good” goblin deck, so take this with a pinch of salt, but your Stomp. Burn. Destroy build looks pretty solid. Mana requirements are well taken care of, the curve is low and you have some nice finishers, and each creature contributes something to the overall strategy.

The only thing I can think of is maybe some draw power in the form of Cathartic Pyre. It’s an inexpensive card from the latest Innistrad set I believe, and it offers great versatility. Other than that it’s looking great.

June 4, 2022 11:37 a.m.

lespaul977 says... #13

Hey Balaam__, the block was an accident on my part. I realized I hadn’t heard from you in a while, and I must have accidentally hit that button. I use the mobile version of the site as well, and I find myself hitting the wrong buttons often. That was completely my bad.

June 4, 2022 11:33 a.m.

Balaam__ says... #14

Sure, I’ll take a look at it lespaul977. Also, I’m not sure you were even aware of this or not but you had blocked me. The last conversation we had just prior to it went very well I thought, so I’m guessing it was an accident? I know I myself have done the same thing with a couple other users (I use the mobile version of Tappedout, and the icons for add friend and block user are literally right next to each other. Clicking block by mistake is only a matter of time lol). But in case I did say something you found offensive, I want to apologize—I really didn’t mean to. I enjoyed your various builds and never meant to cause any offense.

June 4, 2022 11:24 a.m.

lespaul977 says... #15

Hi Balaam__! I posted a new deck a couple days ago, and I’d love to get your opinion on it if you have some free time. Thanks in advance!

Stomp. Burn. Destroy.

June 4, 2022 11:14 a.m.

Please login to comment

Thanks for posting KBK7101 and yeah…there are whispers of a ban already, so I hope to get at least a few great games in beforehand. As for Firebrand Archer, that’s a great one. I added it to the maybeboard for the inevitable post ban retooling. For now I want to stick with Prowess tribal as it were.

July 1, 2022 9:41 p.m.

Thanks for posting Triton. I hadn’t considered Mutagenic Growth but that’s a great, cost effective buff to be sure.

I did look at Manamorphose briefly, but decided to go with Reckless Impulse instead. But it’s a viable card, so I’ll add it to the maybeboard in case of future revisions.

July 1, 2022 1:30 p.m.

Said on Balaam__...

#3

@DreadKhan Hm, if that’s correct than I absolutely love this. These are the kinds of fringe, overly convoluted strategies I adore. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the finer details but I’ll keep an eye on this one. Well done!

June 30, 2022 11:09 a.m.

Said on Balaam__...

#4

@DreadKhan I was looking at your cycled deck and wanted to post this here rather than on your deck’s page. I’m all for unique decks that have odd playstyles, but I have a question regarding something in your description.

You mention trading lands with your opponent and ‘giving them a Wasteland you immediately sac’—unless I’m missing a specific interaction with another card, I’m not certain that’s possible. As I understand it (and I could be wrong), if you sacrificed Wasteland to presumably destroy target nonbasic land, there is no time in between the sacrifice trigger and the resolution to do anything (this is also why a player can’t sacrifice a permanent to fulfill a cost and then try to ‘save’ that permanent by, say, blinking it).

And once you exchange control of Wasteland, you cannot use it as you normally would meaning you can’t choose to sacrifice it for the second ability either (it isn’t under your control).

That said, I’m not exactly sure how Ghost Town functions in relation to how you stated you wanted to use it, so I can’t comment on that.

June 30, 2022 10:40 a.m.

Said on How can I …...

#5
June 30, 2022 7:49 a.m.

Said on The Token Jank …...

#6

Thoughts on running Outpost Siege for the •Dragons option? Tokens are easily killed off, and with Impact Tremors + Outpost Siege you’ll be hitting on the way in and on the way out.

June 29, 2022 11:06 p.m.

Nice build, I tell ya h’what.

June 29, 2022 6:11 p.m.

Said on Balaam__...

#8

RebelGenius I like your new Goblin deck Just Give ‘Em A Nice Little WHACK. With Lightning Bolt it reminds me of that line from the beginning of Bioshock, “Just zap ‘‘em and whack ‘em!”

Also, not sure if you care or not but if you want to pluralize a card name without just adding an “s” immediately after, just type the card name as usual inside double square brackets, but just after the card name put a | and then the plural version of the card name. Legion Loyalists becomes Legion Loyalists. It doesn’t have to be just the pluralization either, you can type anything after the | such as Rebel Genius. Again, this is only if something like this matters to you, it isn’t really important.

June 28, 2022 11:43 a.m.

Said on Endless Wurm & …...

#9

Agreed; I hadn’t come across this particular combo before. Pretty neat!

June 26, 2022 6:20 p.m.

Said on I don't like …...

#10

I’m with you 100%, I much prefer the classic borders.

June 25, 2022 8:21 p.m.

@amarthaler Believe me I wanted to, but it isn’t Pauper legal:/

June 25, 2022 8:26 a.m.

Thanks for posting sac_ld. Ah yes you’re right about Blue Elemental Blast, I think I’ve just been collecting suggestions for awhile and haven’t given this a serious look yet. I should remove that one, thanks for pointing it out. I’ll add the other two suggestions to the maybeboard too.

June 22, 2022 8:21 p.m.

Scaretiller is not Modern legal.

June 22, 2022 7:31 p.m.

Said on Strength in mana...

#15

There’s always Scurry Oak to pair with Ivy Lane Denizen.

June 21, 2022 1:32 p.m.

@Batman18 sure, you could run Murderous Redcap if you wanted to. I went with Geralf's Messenger because it’s easier to cast initially and in case our engine goes offline it’s a bit more viable all around (Undying > Persist in this case).

June 18, 2022 4:16 p.m.

Alright, so most Infect decks are either mono colored or , or . I haven’t run across many Sultai variations, so you’ve got something a little unique here. Nothing wrong with that, but I do see a minor issue. With Proliferate, you’re either going to want to go all in on it 110% or disregard it entirely. A card like Grim Affliction for instance is grossly overcosted for little to no payoff. Since Proliferate would only add a single poison counter to an already poisoned opponent, it’s definitely not a card you want to be running with the current setup you have. I recommend cutting all copies and leaning more into fast buffs, something like Rancor or whatever the closest approximation in your personal collection is.

Aside from that I think everything else is perfectly playable. There are better (and significantly more expensive) cards that are staples in most Infect decks, but you’ve made your mission statement clear in the opening paragraph of your description and I commend that. I also think Corrupted Resolve is a great fit here. I hadn’t seen that card before and it functions like a full on Counterspell but at a Mana Leak’s cmc—quite nice!

June 17, 2022 10:43 p.m.

I’ve found Unsettled Mariner to be very useful. As a Shapeshifter he counts as a Spirit so he gets all the buffs, and the static counter effect works well in the early game. Incidentally, I’ve always heard it pronounced “Krāken”, with the long ā sound.

June 17, 2022 10:55 a.m.

Said on Jund budget...

#19

I have a feeling Topiary Stomper will be a weak link here. Even with its own ETB and cards like Rampant Growth, it’ll be far too long for the dinosaur to activate and become useful. I’d recommend replacing it with something else, and fortunately Jund has tons of very budget friendly options to choose from.

June 16, 2022 4:53 p.m.

Said on Liliana of the …...

#20

This is one of the better Lilipox builds I’ve seen on here, well done. +1

June 14, 2022 6:22 p.m.

Decks

Ferngully (Help Wanted!)

Modern Balaam__

SCORE: 51 | 52 COMMENTS | 1865 VIEWS | IN 5 FOLDERS

Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny

Modern Balaam__

SCORE: 30 | 18 COMMENTS | 1200 VIEWS | IN 4 FOLDERS

Trouble at the Old Mill!

Modern Balaam__

SCORE: 31 | 29 COMMENTS | 953 VIEWS | IN 6 FOLDERS

Altar of Despair

Modern Balaam__

SCORE: 32 | 23 COMMENTS | 1092 VIEWS | IN 4 FOLDERS

Exham Priory

Pauper Balaam__

SCORE: 39 | 14 COMMENTS | 1495 VIEWS | IN 8 FOLDERS

Geralf’s Walk-In Clinic

Legacy Balaam__

SCORE: 33 | 4 COMMENTS | 869 VIEWS | IN 5 FOLDERS

Darwin’s Dirty Onus

Modern Balaam__

SCORE: 24 | 14 COMMENTS | 951 VIEWS | IN 1 FOLDER

Modern Problems Require Modern Solutions

Modern Balaam__

SCORE: 41 | 10 COMMENTS | 1261 VIEWS | IN 4 FOLDERS

Finished Decks 100
Prototype Decks 12
Drafts 0
Playing since Tempest
Points 2390
Avg. deck rating 18.13
T/O Rank 8
Helper Rank 12
Favorite formats Legacy, Vintage, Modern, Pauper
Suppressed formats Pre-release, MTGO, Unformat, Heirloom, Commander / EDH, Noble, Hero, Block Constructed, Duel Commander, Tiny Leaders, Highlander, Magic Duels, Penny Dreadful, Leviathan, 1v1 Commander, Pauper EDH, Canadian Highlander, Brawl, Arena, Oathbreaker, Historic, Commander: Rule 0
Cards suggested / good suggestions 122 / 94
Venues Tales of Adventure
Last activity 16 hours
Joined 3 years