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Thursday, July 24, 2008

News for the Nebies: Champions

Submitted By
Cassa Hild (waterwolf on Scifigenre.com, cassa.hild@gmail.com)

Hello All, and thank you for stopping by. Our little community has had many new players joining in of late. With so many new folks, it becomes even more important to remember many of the not so new tricks, that may otherwise be overlooked by folks focused on the newest set. One such item is the Champion mechanic from Lorwyn in the current block. Without further intriduction Cassa has prepared a primer on Champions for those who may no yet be familiar with the potentially powerful concept. -the_magi


Some champions such as Unstoppable Ash and Changeling Titan can be a big assistance in a deck but they need to be supported. There are counter spells that can stop a player from championing a creature which will really blow that combo play you’re working on. Lets say that you have played a Gem hide sliver, this is a 1/1 creature, an opponent can use Shock to kill the Gem hide after you have tapped the land to play the Changeling Titan, you are now SOL, your only choice is to choose another target for the Champion and if you have no other creatures on the board then the champion fizzles and you loose the land and both creatures. Champions also have summoning sickness unless the card specifically states that they don’t like with Changeling Berserker, so you may have a big creature out there but he’s a blocker till next turn so don’t rely solely on this.

There is also a time and a place for Champions, it never hurts to attack with the creature that your going to champion before you do so. This being said consider the other cards on the deck, don’t attack with a creature unless your opponent has nothing that can kill the creature. Remember the card you champion can not be used until the champion dies, so attack when you can.

There is also a method to the madness with certain cards like Highway Robber, Keldon Marauders and other creatures that deal direct damage when they come into play. These creatures can make great champion holders. Let’s say you have Keldon Marauders out, the key would be to champion him right as his 2 time counters run out, so instead of him fizzling out, champion him and then if your champion dies, Keldon comes back into play and deals his damage again.

Some of the key champions are:
Boggart Mob
Changeling Berserker, Titan, Hero
Lightning Crafter
Nova Chaser
Unstoppable Ash
Mistbind Clique
Thoughtweft Trio
Wanderwine Prophets
Wren's Run Packmaster

If you’re playing a Sliver deck with any green in it then Changeling Titan is a must, but makes room to run 4 if possible. The Berserker is great in a red/burn deck due to the haste and the Keldon Marauder champion idea. The Trio is great with a kith kin deck and the Unstoppable Ash is also a must in any Tree folk based or elf deck. If playing a elf based deck the Wren's Run Packmaster is great with it's creature multiplier and can go broken easily. If your playing a Merefolk or control deck the Wanderwine Prophets is a good choice and if you like running blue Faeries then add in a Mistbind Clique or 4.

Remember to play smart though as these creatures may make you the main threat once they are on the board so be sure that your hand can protect the cards that are in play.

Champions and EDH really don't go together well from my experience unless you run doppelgangers or copy spells with some library search or Tutor cards. If you have the copy spells and tutors going and you are running an elf, Faerie, treefolk or burn deck I would try to run some champions just to see what was possible.


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