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We're all just here for the deep Urza lore - Talking about Magic: The Gathering!


commander damage
i am legit debating whether i can afford to get ten sets of the bob ross lands to actually have a playset


can stop, will stop
I believe those codes are only good through December 14th, so don't sleep on them if you want them.


I've been trying to get a skeleton of my pet-project cube built on tappedout.net. The more specifically cube-oriented sites people have posted links to might be a better place if I actualy get this into a playable state, but so far the visual editor on tappedout has been helpful.

The current draft is up at: https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/multiplayer-mini-cube/?cb=1607146982

The cards there are organized into the Jumpstart-style packs (minus their basic lands). For now I'm trying to build packs with a clear flavor identity, and then trying my best to find mechanics that work within that flavor.
  • Black/Blue is a rogues/mill pack mostly using the cards from Zendikar Rising (I might pivot this to ninjas if mill doesn't work out for balance)
  • Black/White is vampires/clerics/lifegain
  • Black is zombie tribal, and mostly copy-pastes the Liliana pack from real Jumpstart
  • Green/Black makes saproling tokens and then sacrifices them for value, with the archetype mostly coming from Dominaria draft (IIRC)
  • Green/Red is dinosaur tribal and focuses on the Enrage keyword (creatures that provide value when they take damage)
  • Green is a loose beasts pack, copy-pasting the Garruk pack from real Jumpstart
  • Red/Black is pirate tribal with sub-themes of taking control of opposing creatures and also sacrificing them
  • Red/Blue is a spells/wizards archetype, mostly cribbing from ZNR
  • Red is a dragon pack that is adapted from the real Jumpstart dragon packs (my wife likes dragons so I had to pick them over goblins)
  • Blue-Green is a ramp and sea creatures cribing a bit from one of the ZNR precons
  • Blue-White is a flying tribal pack (I might try to push it more specifically to thopters to make artifacts-matter possible)
  • Blue is a basically just a copy-past of the Teferi pack from Jumpstart; needs some attention
  • White/Green is a +1/+1 counter theme, mostly taken from M21 (I might push this toward a cat tribal sub-theme)
  • White/Red is an equipment-matters/warrior pack, cribbing from the other ZNR precon (I suspect I don't have enough equipment cards to actually make it work)
  • Mono-white is angels (not exciting, but I like angel in MtG)
For now I'm sticking with the idea of one planeswalker in each pack (matching its colors), which was actually kind of helpful since it limits the space of available archectypes a bit. I might drop them later since there are often better-suited cards for those multicolor slots.

I'm definitely not done iterating on this since some of the packs are thematically weak and/or just crib directly from Jumpstart, and I'm worried that the archetypes don't overlap enough to make for interesting drafts. Rather than keep iterating in a vacuum, I'm hoping that some feedback from more experienced players could help identify the places where I'm way off base.

(One note there is that I'm primarily thinking of this as a cube for casual 4-player multiplayer, so I'm mostly interested in balancing for the setting instead of 1v1)

Edit: I’ve already spotted at least one serious problem, since I had the three-color Ghave in a two-color green/black pack.
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(I know I'm double-posting here, but this is unrelated to the preceding post)

Since I'm relatively new to MtG I only recently found out that I went and did just about the most cliche thing for a new player. Most of you will probably already know one or more newbies that did the same thing, but I'll go ahead and share my sad story.

My initial plunge coincided with the start of the COVID-related lockdowns, and like many I engaged in some "retail therapy" as a way to cope. Among those unwise purchases was one of the Double Masters VIP packs, from which I pulled an extended-art Kaalia of the Vast. I read the card and realized it was an easy recipe for a Commander deck, and went about putting one together.

The result is that I have the most bog-standard new-player Timmy deck possible, and even just playing it with family members I immediately ran into the (well-known, I later found out) problem that Kaalia is really hard to build and play in a way that is fun for everybody involved. If the opponents don't know what to expect, Kaalia might cheat out some fatty early and create a big threat, but you instantly become the archenemy and get swatted down. From then on people just counter or bolt Kaalia as soon as you try to cast her. It's the counter-intuitive thing where the deck is "too strong" so you lose every game.

I could try to tech out the deck to protect Kaalia better or implement a backup plan for cheating out the creatures, but it seems like that would only be digger deeper into "unfun" territory. The sad bit is that I had originally thought Mardu colors would be a good idea, because I was intentionally avoiding the two "best" colors.

The deck really appeals to the Timmy in me (my real name *is* Tim after all), but I'm realizing that it is likely to sit on a shelf forever. If anybody has advice on how I could repurpose all these angels and dragons and demons into other shells that are more fun to play against, I'd be interested to hear. Alternatively, if people have advice for better commanders to pick that are fun to play with/against, I'd welcome advice (bonus points for using Mardu colors so I can use the same mana base).

(Sadly, my second EDH deck effort also turns out to be a complete cliche: I went and built a mono-black "Liliana tribal" deck. Apparently I am just That Guy.)

Mr Bean

Chief Detective
Old Kaalia is a pretty archenemy commander. If you want to play her, you have to resign yourself to having a giant target on your back the whole game. You could turn down the power of the deck by using the less good Kaalia. That's probably the fastest fix.

Otherwise, do you have more of one type of the three than the other, or is there a tribe you prefer? We could probably offer some tribal deck suggestions based on that.


My deck leans a bit more heavily the angels than the other tribes, so that's probably the right direction for me to go. The two Kaalias seem to be the only on-flavor Mardu commanders for angels, so it might mean dropping down to Boros or mono-white.

I included he Bruna and Gisela meld cards just because the concept is neat, so if I went mono-white angels I might try to argue Rule 0 for them as partners.

The other big option I can see that lets me re-use a fair number of the cards is to pivot toward doing an underpowered but flavorful Innistrad deck that focuses on double-sided and meld cards. I could use Avacyn, the Purifier as a Boros commander there and I doubt anybody would complain about the power level. Then I could add Hanweir, the Writhing Township and other nonsense like that. Is there by any chance a flavorful and fun Innistrad commander in Mardu colors?

(Aside: Eldritch Moon seems like it was basically Bloodborne in MtG and I'm all about that.)

Mr Bean

Chief Detective
Edgar Markov is THE go to for Innistrad Mardu commanders, but he's all about the vampires, powerful enough that everyone will hate you, and super expensive to boot. If you wanted to stick with the Angel theme you could try Tariel.

There are surprisingly few Mardu Commanders out there. I was sure this would be a bigger pool to choose from.


I agree that Edgar Markov doesn't look like a step in the right direction if I'm trying to avoid painting a target on my back. Either Tariel or Kaalia, Zenith Seeker seem to be the better flavor fits for my pile of angels without risking being the archenemy.

I'm not wedded to the Mardu colors (although my wallet might complain). I think the bigger issue is that I need to fight my natural tendency toward cliche deck ideas that don't leave a lot of interesting choices during brewing. I looked at ninja tribal and then realized that there isn't a ton of variety in how to build that deck either.

Meanwhile, my wife's dinosaur deck with Atla Palani is a ton of fun to play with/against even if it is also a "cheat out big creatures" deck like Kaalia. I guess the randomness makes a big difference.


Arm Candy
There's lots of ways to go with Mardu, if that's the colour combination you want to stick to. Tymna/Vial-Smasher can scale pretty competitive, as can Queen Marchesa. If you're looking for a reanimator strategy, you could go with Tariel, or a more specialized reanimator deck with Alesha. Mathas has a rather unique ability that could lend himself to a group hug (or group slug) deck. Syr Gwyn or Zurgo are good voltron Commanders. The recent Commander Legends partners have opened up a lot of strategies, so it's kind of the wild west when it comes to those. If you're curious about Mardu decks, EDHREC keeps a running tally of each commander and the various strategies that go along with them.
The Bob Ross lands are great because if you tell someone with zero familiarity with Magic: The Gathering to paint a swamp for a magic card there won't be a fucking skeleton emerging from it


commander damage
Man, if you want to be hated off a table even more than you are with kaalia, go with Edgar Markov.


Rated Ages 6+
(He, Him)
Or this...