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

zapyourtumor I can tell from past comments and suggestions that you definitely know what you’re doing. I’m still at the novice level; I don’t get a chance to play that often. If possible, I could really use your expertise on my Jund deck Jundilicious. That’s one I’d actually like to tune for more competitive play, but I’ve taken it as far as my skill level goes. I need a more advanced critique. When you had a chance, would you mind taking a look at it?

October 15, 2021 9:26 p.m.

Saccox says... #2

Hey Balaam__,no problem,i'm very happy if you put my deck in the description ^^

October 12, 2021 1:35 a.m.

Balaam__ says... #3

@Saccox I very much like your Vizier of black goblins deck. It inspired me to build my own (non-budget) Modern format variation, and I’m putting the finishing touches on it. It should be ready to cycle by this weekend. Do you mind if I cite your deck as the source of inspiration?

October 11, 2021 3:52 p.m.

Balaam__ says... #4

No problem Optimator. I don’t play EDH so I don’t know much about the format, but I enjoyed the theme and overall feel of the deck.

October 8, 2021 5:31 p.m.

Optimator says... #5

Thanks for the up-vote!

October 7, 2021 9:19 p.m.

Balaam__ says... #6

GrimlockVIII I’d like to keep it Death's Shadow-centric unless there’s a more compelling reason not to. I’m fortunate enough to already own the mana base, goyfs, shadows and 2 of the 3 Dark Confidant. I’d just need a couple odds and ends and I could have the complete package in paper for FNM, which is my goal. I’d like a very interactive Jund deck with a decent chance at answering most of the likeliest threats I’d encounter. I’m no pro, but I’m trying to improve my game and I feel this might be a good way to branch out.

October 7, 2021 5:08 p.m.

GrimlockVIII says... #7

Balaam__

Will do. Where it do be at?

October 7, 2021 1:34 p.m.

Balaam__ says... #8

GrimlockVIII I’m finished with my first Jund build, and I’d like to cycle it this weekend. Before that though I’d appreciate if you gave it a once over just to check if there are any obvious issues with it, if you’re available sometime today. It’s my first tri-color deck too, so it might not be as cohesive as it needs to be. I think I did alright, but I don’t want to waste a feature token if it’s actually a mess lol.

Also, if you have any ideas for a witty or clever deck title, I’m all ears.

October 7, 2021 12:43 p.m.

GrimlockVIII says... #9

Not to worry, I have responded to your response. Thank ye for the feedback.

October 4, 2021 3:46 p.m.

Balaam__ says... #10

@GrimlockVIII I posted my thoughts on the deck so far. Feel free to delete the post if I missed something and it isn’t really applicable, or if/when you make changes and the post is no longer relevant. I really do like the deck as a general statement.

October 4, 2021 2:27 p.m.

Balaam__ says... #11

@GrimlockVIII absolutely. I’ll take a look at it in a few minutes.

October 4, 2021 1:48 p.m.

GrimlockVIII says... #12

Hey Balaam__

I was wondering if you could pop by and have a quick look at my updated Killer Krab Kult deck. I completely revamped it to better fit the core strategy I had in mind when I first conceptualized the deck's idea.

October 4, 2021 1:29 p.m.

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Said on Jundilicious...

#1

Many thanks for the overview, zapyourtumor! You’ve given me quite a bit to think about. I can say for certain that I won’t be running Lurrus, I have a personal dislike for the card/mechanic. Not arguing it’s effectiveness, I just prefer not to play it. That said, everything else you mentioned makes a lot of sense. I’ll add everything to the maybeboard for now and work on retooling this one to be as optimal as possible. Thanks again!

October 18, 2021 8:36 p.m.

Said on The SHUT UP …...

#2

Ah, you do have a point there. That sounds reasonable. Great deck, once again!

October 16, 2021 9:08 p.m.

Said on The Sacrifice...

#3

Good call on Tragic Slip over the usual Cast Down, it really shines in this deck.

October 16, 2021 4:05 p.m.

Said on The SHUT UP …...

#4

I really like this, but my knowledge of the rules isn’t the greatest—so I have a question. Isn’t Evoke just an alternate way to cast something, so wouldn’t Fury still have to be sacrificed after it enters play? I was under the impression that when Evoke creatures get sac’d it isn’t because of an inherent ETB effect, but was directly linked to the Evoke cost. I really don’t have a firm enough grasp of the rules to have a firm stance in the matter though, so if I’m wrong please explain why.

October 16, 2021 1:51 p.m.

Said on Balaam__...

#5

zapyourtumor I can tell from past comments and suggestions that you definitely know what you’re doing. I’m still at the novice level; I don’t get a chance to play that often. If possible, I could really use your expertise on my Jund deck Jundilicious. That’s one I’d actually like to tune for more competitive play, but I’ve taken it as far as my skill level goes. I need a more advanced critique. When you had a chance, would you mind taking a look at it?

October 15, 2021 9:26 p.m.

Thanks for posting, zapyourtumor. Whenever I build something I deliberately don’t look around (and I’m not experienced enough with the game to have played a deck of this type before). That said, I did have a feeling this would be a well known, often constructed archetype. I had my suspicions that Melira, Sylvok Outcast would be the focal point of these decks, so I deliberately tried to build something similar-yet-different if that makes sense. It’s definitely not competitive, but for friendly games it’s interesting enough to be enjoyable. I really just wanted to see what sorts of fun interactions I could achieve within the framework.

October 15, 2021 9:18 p.m.

Not sure it’s exactly the sort of thing you’re looking for, but Hell's Caretaker, Serendib Efreet (Arabian Nights version, can’t get proper link to display) and Juzam Djinn?

October 15, 2021 6 p.m. Edited.

@sergiodelrio I feel better about that split, thanks for suggesting those things. I’ll be updating the description soon to incorporate them.

@Saccox ooh, I like that suggestion too. Light of Hope has a lot more utility than Disenchant, good call.

October 15, 2021 2:43 p.m.

Thanks sergiodelrio for the input. I’ll definitely add Viscera Seer to the maindeck; I had somehow missed him when I was trying to find a free sac outlet (hence the 4x Carrion Feeder). I think you’re right and I’ll drop the counts to 2 Carrion Feeder, 4 Viscera Seer and 2 Village Rites. That cuts into the zombie count though—should I adjust Cryptbreaker? He’ll have less viable ways to pay for the draw ability since Viscera Seer isn’t a zombie:/

October 15, 2021 7:57 a.m. Edited.

Said on Ichorous...

#10

Honestly, I’d run 4x Mana Leak in lieu of Annul and Dispel. If you really feel the need for a 1 mana counterspell, run Spell Pierce. The others are much more situational, and while they’re cheaper than Mana Leak it’s unlikely you’ll be playing multiple spells early on and so it doesn’t really matter. Now if you only play casually and know the makeup of your friends’ decks, then that might be different; otherwise cut 4 Annul and 4 Dispel for 4 Mana Leak, 2 Spell Pierce and 2 more Throne of Geth.

October 14, 2021 11:24 p.m.

Said on Ichorous...

#11

For your first deck this isn’t bad at all. Significantly better than my own first efforts. This is just an idea, but maybe you could replace 4 lands with some of the new artifact lands. They’ll help boost your artifact count to make Throne of Geth more viable, as that’s one of your most cost effective ways to increase that poison counter total. Then you could add a full playset of the throne, making proliferate a bit more viable here.

October 14, 2021 10:43 p.m.

Said on Jund...

#12

I’ve not seen a Jund build running Arlinn, the Pack's Hope  Flip before. Does she pull her weight, or do you find she flips too often to reliably count on either side’s abilities?

October 12, 2021 9:34 p.m.

Said on Budget Merfolk!...

#13

Cursecatcher would help out quite a bit with the control aspect, and it isn’t overly expensive.

October 12, 2021 5:55 p.m.

Said on Spider Art Cards...

#14

I always thought Aerial Predation was a whip scorpion. But I think that’s still an arachnid, so close enough I suppose.

October 12, 2021 12:25 p.m.

Said on Balaam__...

#15

@Saccox I very much like your Vizier of black goblins deck. It inspired me to build my own (non-budget) Modern format variation, and I’m putting the finishing touches on it. It should be ready to cycle by this weekend. Do you mind if I cite your deck as the source of inspiration?

October 11, 2021 3:52 p.m.

Thanks DBCooper! I think I have more fun building them than actually playing them. I find it very compelling to look through old cards or seldom played cards and try and imagine ways to build a deck around some strange mechanic or interaction.

October 10, 2021 9:12 p.m.

Said on Selesnya wall tron...

#17

Looks nice. Maybe swap out a basic land or two for Blossoming Sands just to make sure you have the right color when you need it.

October 8, 2021 6:01 p.m.

Said on Balaam__...

#18

No problem Optimator. I don’t play EDH so I don’t know much about the format, but I enjoyed the theme and overall feel of the deck.

October 8, 2021 5:31 p.m.

Said on Jundilicious...

#19

Thanks awb422, I can see the value in both your suggestions. I’ll add them to the maybeboard for now.

October 7, 2021 10:45 p.m.

Said on Jundilicious...

#20

Thanks GrimlockVIII. I really, really like the Varolz, the Scar-Striped idea. I’ll add him to the maybeboard. I think I could get away with cutting a few removal spells to make room for him, but I’m going to hold off on making any adjustments just yet.

As for the discard enablers/benefactors, I did consider some (like Dauthi Voidwalker), but what I ended up with was a deck whose focus was kind of all over the place. When I narrowed it down to a bit of straightforward discard/removal backed up by some beaters, it seemed to perform more consistently in what limited playtesting I’ve been able to put this through.

Fabled Passage looks like it could help mitigate going overboard on life loss, but I don’t own any. I might have to compensate by moving Collective Brutality to the maindeck so I can gain some life back if necessary.

Thanks a bunch for the insights, I appreciate it.

October 7, 2021 8:09 p.m.

Decks

Exham Priory

Pauper Balaam__

SCORE: 28 | 14 COMMENTS | 825 VIEWS | IN 7 FOLDERS

Geralf’s Walk-In Clinic

Legacy Balaam__

SCORE: 27 | 4 COMMENTS | 663 VIEWS | IN 5 FOLDERS

Darwin’s Dirty Onus

Modern Balaam__

SCORE: 20 | 11 COMMENTS | 746 VIEWS | IN 1 FOLDER

Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny

Modern Balaam__

SCORE: 25 | 14 COMMENTS | 905 VIEWS | IN 4 FOLDERS

Modern Problems Require Modern Solutions

Modern Balaam__

SCORE: 33 | 8 COMMENTS | 907 VIEWS | IN 4 FOLDERS

Ferngully

Modern Balaam__

SCORE: 26 | 16 COMMENTS | 886 VIEWS | IN 4 FOLDERS

Altar of Despair

Modern Balaam__

SCORE: 22 | 18 COMMENTS | 721 VIEWS | IN 2 FOLDERS

Revelation 17:8

Vintage Balaam__

SCORE: 42 | 28 COMMENTS | 843 VIEWS | IN 1 FOLDER

Finished Decks 79
Prototype Decks 15
Drafts 0
Playing since Tempest
Points 3080
Avg. deck rating 14.97
T/O Rank 9
Helper Rank 10
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 64 / 49
Venues Tales of Adventure
Last activity 21 hours
Joined 2 years