I’m reversing the schedule this week because this article is done and the other one isn’t. Deal widdit.
Is your deck having a hard time drawing cards? For the most part, card drawing is limited to blue and black, with a little bit sprinkled here and there in other colors. White in particular has a very difficult time drawing cards, and Red tends to have to discard as many cards as they draw (though that’s not necessarily a bad thing). Well, there is help out there, but it can be hard to come by. There aren’t a lot of card advantage cards with brown (or grey) borders, but here is a list of all of them I can find with my pearls of wisdom scattered throughout. Enjoy!
Last time I said I was making a conscious effort not to talk about only blue cards, but this one’s caught my eye after it worked its way into my new Bruna, Light of Alabaster deck. I also happen to think this format suffers from the use of too many tutors, and this card is a tutor, but it’s definitely a tutor with a twist. It’s a strange rare from Scourge called Long-Term Plans.
Consistency is the measure of a deck’s ability to draw and play the cards which establish its stranglehold condition(s). There is no Commander deck composed solely of cards which comprise its stranglehold — there are also the support cards which allow the deck to “get there”. The consistency aspect is what underlies the effectiveness of tutors, card drawing and filtering, mana acceleration, and so on. Given the importance of all the categories just mentioned, that they fall under the consistency concept speaks to its necessity.
There are general principles which make a deck more consistent rather than less. A deck which has no way to access a card necessary for its stranglehold condition except hoping that it is one of the cards it sees during the normal luck-based drawing process is simply not consistent. A deck must take reasonable steps so as to increase the likelihood of accessing the cards it needs to win in every game it plays. This is most commonly done through the use of tutors. The second most common way to build consistency is through redundancy. There aren’t very many cards in Magic that have a completely unique function. There are usually numerous ways in which a small subset of cards can interact so as to produce the result necessary for one piece of your particular stranglehold condition. The more “copies” there are of stranglehold conditions, and the more tutors there are to fetch those, the more consistent your deck is in seeing cards it needs to establish your stranglehold.