Battle for Zendikar – Casual Deckbuilding 1

While I don’t often get to play standard (I have a nice casual draft I like to go to on Fridays) I still cant help having the odd brewing session. Today I’m looking at some decks which are distinctly on the “filthy casual” end of the standard spectrum.

Sideboards on these are EXTREMELY placeholderey and in a lot of cases contain cards I just generally like. If you want to use any of these…well you know your metas better than I do.

BW Warriors

This one is probably the closest thing to competitive here (the pre rotation version of this got me 4 wins at a GP). Thankfully the deck didnt lose too much to rotation (the main hits were [mtg_card]Hero’s Downfall[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Temple of Silence[/mtg_card]) and what we did lose pretty much got a 1:1 replacement.

The creatures are solid, and in this version I’ve upped [mtg_card]Arashin Foremost[/mtg_card] to 4 as he really was the best card in the deck back at the GP and I only ever wanted more. [mtg_card]Brutal Hordechief[/mtg_card] has been demoted to sideboard and also the first card to remove should you want to slot in something for your meta.

Extra copies of [mtg_card]Blood-Chin Rager[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Mardu Strike Leader[/mtg_card] reside in the sideboard, the former for creature heavy matchups, the latter for control.

The removal is still pretty solid. [mtg_card]Valorous Stance[/mtg_card] is still great, [mtg_card]Ruinous Path[/mtg_card] does the job (it’s just here as unconditional removal, the awaken is pretty unlikely to happen very often in this deck) and [mtg_card]Ultimate Price[/mtg_card]/[mtg_card]Murderous Cut[/mtg_card] are pretty flexible between main and side depending on what you expect to play against more.

With [mtg_card]Thoughtseize[/mtg_card] gone I’ve opted for [mtg_card]Despise[/mtg_card]. I found this decks downfall being things like multiple [mtg_card]Siege Rhino[/mtg_card]s or [mtg_card]Dragonlord Atarka[/mtg_card] more than control.

[d title="BW Warriors - October 2015"]
4 Arashin Foremost
2 Mardu Strike Leader
4 Chief of the Edge 
4 Seeker of the Way
2 Battle Brawler 
2 Blood-Chin Rager 
4 Bloodsoaked Champion 
4 Mardu Woe-Reaper

4 Ruinous Path 
2 Ultimate Price

2 Secure the Wastes 
4 Valorous Stance 

4 Shambling Vent 
4 Caves of Koilos 
8 Plains
6 Swamp 

4 Despise
2 Murderous Cut
1 Utter End
2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
2 Blood-Chin Rager
2 Mardu Strike Leader
2 Brutal Hordechief

UG Morph/Manifest

This one a little further towards the silly end of the scale. It uses [mtg_card]Whisperwood Elemental[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Temur War Shaman[/mtg_card] to get extra creatures on the board, then uses their “turns face up” abilities for various effects.

The deck lacks any traditional hard removal but there are some flexible options in Temur War Shamans fight ability and Fleetfeather Cockatrices bounce. You also have some anti control options in [mtg_card]Scatter to the Winds[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Stratus Dancer[/mtg_card]s counterspell abilities and [mtg_card]Mistfire Weaver[/mtg_card] to protect a key creature.

The win conditions are either getting a face up [mtg_card]Sagu Mauler[/mtg_card], chipping in with your flyers or flooding the board through [mtg_card]Whisperwood Elemental[/mtg_card]s.

The sideboard adds some more counter options, some more [mtg_card]Sagu Maulers[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Mistfire Weaver[/mtg_card]s.

[d title="GU Morph/Manifest - October 2015"]
4 Den Protector
4 Rattleclaw Mystic
4 Stratus Dancer
4 Icefeather Aven
4 Deathmist Raptor
2 Mistfire Weaver
4 Whisperwood Elemental
2 Temur War Shaman
2 Sagu Mauler

2 Secret Plans
2 Trail of Mystery

2 Scatter to the Winds

4 Lumbering Falls
4 Yavimaya Coast
4 Thornwood Falls
8 Forest
4 Island

2 Ainok Survivalist
2 Silumgar Sorcerer
2 Kheru Spellsnatcher
2 Mistfire Weaver
2 Sagu Mauler
3 Disdainful Stroke
2 Scatter to the Winds

RUG Midrange

This is a less competitive and less expensive (read less [mtg_card]hangarback walker[/mtg_card]ey) version of some of the temur decks floating around at the moment.

The land base is a bit on the pricey end but theyre good cards to be getting.

The ramp is…worse than we’d like but w cant always have [mtg_card]Birds of Paradise[/mtg_card].

[d title="RUG Midrange - October 2015"]
2 Frost Walker
4 Whisperer of the Wilds
4 Rattleclaw Mystic
4 Savage Knuckleblade
2 Yasova Dragonclaw
4 Thunderbreak Regent
2 Icefall Regent
2 Surrak Dragonclaw
2 Dragonlord Atarka

2 Kiora, Master of the Depths
2 Sarkhan Unbroken

2 Temur Ascendancy

2 Crater's Claws
2 Exquisite Firecraft

2 Cinder Glade
4 Forest
4 Frontier Bivouac
2 Island
4 Lumbering Falls
4 Mountain
4 Wooded Foothills

4 Radiant Flames
2 Roast
2 Stubborn Denial
2 Temur Ascendancy
2 Harbinger of the Hunt
2 Heir of the Wilds
1 Dig Through Time

Star Trek: Attack Wing – Homebrew (2009/Into Darkness)

(This post is a follow up to my earlier BoardGameGeek post here)

The last big alternate timeline bundle comprises the ships of the 2009 reboot universe.

This doesn’t include the Kelvin (and by extension Captain Robau and the Kirks) although I may make these up as Federation ships.

When it comes to the 2009 universe I cannot stand the oddly scaled hugeness of the ships so for the purposes of this assume that the new Enterprise is about the size of the original but with the stat line of the refit version to represent the technological edge. That puts the Vengeance in line with the bigger 24th century Federation ships (and not utterly ridiculous) so it’s stats fall roughly in the area of the sovereign class (with some downsides).

USS Enterprise

The Enterprise has the stats of the Constitution Refit, representing the alternate timelines seemingly higher tech level. The ship ability and move dial both let the ship push what a Constitution would normally be able to do (a 4th attack dice and a 5 forward maneuver) at the cost of auxiliary power tokens, after all a few scans of the Narada and a new arms race with the Klingons aren’t going to lead to fully developed and integrated tech.

The crew have had some changes since my original release. Captain Pike is now an Admiral. His ability remains largely unchanged but could be a shenanigan enabler given it can be fired off from any one of your ships on the Admiral side.

Kirk and Spock both have new templating courtesy of one of the many, many Riker cards (I THINK Pegasus Riker). Kirk is a pet favourite ability of mine, as I always wanted some way to use the two upgrade dice together (and fluff wise represents the ridiculous luck level of this Kirk).

The rest of the crew largely got minor templating changes and the obvious faction change.


The Narada breaks a few rules conventions. The named ship is the fleet killer we know from the movie while the generic is a lightly armed mining ship.

The logic here comes from the comics leading into the 2009 movie. The standard ship lacks any significant weaponry and has a terrible move dial. Once the stolen Borg technology is integrated into it it gains the Borg faction and upgrade slot, some more shields and a massive PWV. It does however lack any improvements to maneuverability or the agility value as the ship is still immense and bulky.

Nero’s original version had a restriction on where he could be used. I planned, in this version, to restrict his ability to being used on ships with a high PWV but that just wasn’t readable so now he just throws extra dice at point blank range (and grants a second reroll on top of any target lock or other reroll you may have).

Nero’s first officer Ayel has a shot at disabling each character on the enemy ship but it requires some dice luck. The Red Matter Bomb puts a token (I haven’t made this yet but basically a planet token sized object with an objective token in the middle) on the field which gradually destroys anything unfortunate enough to not be able to escape its gravitational pull.

USS Vengeance

The vengeance lacks any crew slots has a high powered stat block. To balance this it loses the 180 forward firing arc of most Federation ships of this era and gets a rather clunky move dial. It does however have a white forward 5 and a reverse 1 white (2 is still red). It goes fast…it just doesn’t turn very well.

Admiral Marcus also got the upgrade to Admiral and his action got a buff, basically allowing a ship to use old school disable torpedoes every turn.

Khan also got some alterations for readability reasons. His ability still functions the same but the text has been bumped onto a free (for him) upgrade card in the style of the NX-01 and enhanced hull plating.

And last but by no means least is Ambassador Spock, specifically Spock prime. I’ve made him dual faction Vulcan and Federation and given him an ability which, on a ship with the right upgrades, should have him working his usual magic.

CREW - Spock Prime (JJ)

There will likely be one more alternate timeline post (a few odd items like the Bozeman, Kelvin and Premonition plus anything else that comes to mind) and then I’ll get onto the Typhon and working out how to make a carrier work with the retail fighter rules. Well that or my Dominion War stuff.

Star Trek: Attack Wing – Homebrew (Yesterday’s Enterprise)

(This post is a follow up to my earlier BoardGameGeek post here)

Number 4 in the series of Alternate Timeline attack wing expansions is Yesterday’s Enterprise, including the Enterprise-C and a warlike variant of the Enterprise-D and crew.

The Enterprise-C (not mirror universe as it was a prime universe ship that just happened to end up in an alternate future…pay attention wizkids) falls into an odd spot gameplay wise between the Excelsior and Galaxy classes. There’s no spot between 3 and 4 attack dice, nor does the ship really justify a second defence dice like my earliest version.  Factoring in some feedback on my original BoardGameGeek post I settled on a massive-hulled flying tank with an unusual move dial focusing on low speed turns (in the DS9 opening the Ambassador class looks pretty nippy).

The named ability also factors into the floating tank aspect, giving you an extra defence dice against a ship outside your firing arc.

Captain Garrett can be discarded to prevent your ship from being attacked for a turn. I wanted this one to have a little edge over the usual attack cancellers so its outright NO attacks as opposed to cancelling a single attack.

Castillo improves your defence, as long as you keep performing evasive maneuvers actions.

The alternate Warship Enterprise-D is designed to discourage the normal attack wing opening joust. Attacking it head on will let it split its attack with potentially quite a few additional attack dice.  Alternate Picard gets stronger the worse the situation gets for you or your most damaged nearby ally and when you finally do get taken out (lets face it this ship would be a bit of a firepower magnet) you can throw one last shot at your attackers.

Riker is slightly underwhelming against a single target, but gets progressively better the more targets you fire on. Throw the named ship plus Picard and Riker, with 2 damage on the ship into a split attack against 2 ships at range 1 and youll be rolling 10 attack dice split against the two targets with a guaranteed hit against each.

Data lets you turn the ship around 90 or 180 degrees. This one is probably the most potentially broken of my things, although unlike Admiral Q he does only apply to a single ship. Wesley is another passive defensive buff with the option to trade in for an emergency reroll.

Tasha Yar is another attack canceler, this time preventing an attack against another ship rather than your own, the threat of which hopefully being enough to force the enemy to focus on Tashas ship first.

Lastly Guinan (now dual faction Federation and Mirror) is another time travel/alternate timeline themed card, this one letting you mulligan a set of dice rolls or a maneuver.

Next in the list is the new movie ships.

Star Trek: Attack Wing – Homebrew (Timeless)

(This post is a follow up to my earlier BoardGameGeek post here)

Today’s custom goodness is the Voyager alternate timeline episode “Timeless”.

This one includes another shuttle I made before official shuttle rules, or mirror universe rules. My original Delta Flyer has now been changed to Mirror Universe (as well as getting a generic version) and had its stats changed to match the official one.

The USS Challenger also got changed to mirror universe and has had its stats altered to match the mirror Enterprise-D (and therefore doesn’t have a generic or move card).

The flyer is a simple faction change of the Federation version with a new defensive ability added on.

Captain Chakotay’s original version gave a flat reduction to your attack dice as the penalty for using his evasive action but I changed that to a variable based on the agility of the ship you attack, just to make it a little different (and there’s a kind of fluff logic to it…the slower your target is the easier it is to hit during evasive maneuvers). Harry, as in the show, tries to save another ship by repairing a critical (or preventing it from ever happening). Tessa disrupts enemy ships at close range. The flyer will easily get out of the arc of a large ship like a Galaxy and when they try and get you back in arc they’ll have to plan around a potential aux token.

The Temporal Transceiver (Seven of Nine’s severed head, creatively rewired) is another way to simulate the effects of altering time. In this case it let’s you remove a troublesome critical from one of your own ships or take a second shot at crippling an opponent. Both this and Harry are unlimited range, just for thematic fun reasons.

Enhanced Thrusters is a generic “one per ship” tech upgrade for both Federation and Mirror Shuttles. The original version just gave +1 agility, but I decided to push this one a little too, originally because the new Flyers move dial is slower than the one I made on the first attempt. The end result is a pretty cool fluff card (in my opinion) that lets you trade in enhanced maneuverability to overheat your engines for a burst of speed.

The Challenger is meant to represent a ship with a former engineer captain running at peak efficiency, hence removing extra auxiliary tokens (intention with this version is for it to remove 2 on a qualifying green move, 1 on a white. Would this be considered brokenly good if Wizkids released it…maybe…It would certainly be at least good.

Geordi straight up lets you repair a damage or shield, even if you are on auxiliary power. This works even better in Mirror than it did in Federation as the MU does tend to lean towards slightly less tanky versions of ships, so that’s nice. This one is also pretty pushed in power terms…but I’ve always liked Geordi.

Star Trek: Attack Wing – Homebrew (All Good Things)

(This post is a follow up to my earlier BoardGameGeek post here)

Second in this series of updating old Attack Wing homebrew to bring it up to line with current rules are the ships of “All Good Things”.

This is an interesting one as much of what I originally intended has already been release (namely Assimilation Target Prime included a mirror universe Enterprise-D and the Pasteur has been released to retail).

That in mind what we have here are some sections to fill the blanks (many I imagine will one day be obsoleted by a “Galaxy Dreadnought” release).

First up is a Federation faction version of the USS Pasteur. The stats have been changed from my original version to match the mirror retail one, but the named ship and captain Crusher have new abilities.

The ACTUAL AGT Pasteur exists in retail form along with Captains Crusher and Worf and crew upgrades for Ogawa and Chilton, however it lacked crew cards for old Picard, Geordi and Data.

The AGT Enterprise-D exists well enough as the mirror Enterprise-D from the Assimilation Target Prime pack, however it could do with beefing up to Galaxy Dreadnought status. Both upgrades are split faction to play nice with the Federation version as well.

Lastly I also originally made an Admiral Riker. While there’s now a proper mirror one (which I really like by the way) I’ve updated my old one and made him an elite talent to match.

This was of course originally made long before the Q Continuum card pack and Admiral Q and I wanted to represent Q himself in some way. I opted for a talent upgrade which originally let you reroll anything. In the updates I’ve changed it to Q faction and upgraded its power a bit, it now just sets a dice however you like. It does not come in cheap however if your captain doesn’t satisfy Q’s definition of interesting.

TALENT - Intervention

Next time…probably either Timeless (Delta Flyers for everyone) or Star Trek 2009.

Star Trek: Attack Wing – Homebrew (Endgame)

(This post is a follow up to my earlier BoardGameGeek post here)

Never content with just playing a game, especially a Star Trek one, I’ve taken to making up some additions to Attack Wing. My first batches went up in various themed posts on the boardgamegeek forums.

Since then however a number of the games rules and conventions have either changed (the addition of the mirror universe faction and what falls under that) or new features have been added (such as full rules for shuttles and fighters) as well as official versions of couple of the ships I made (USS Thunderchild, USS Lakota and USS Pasteur).

With all of that in mind I’ve decided to go back and bring my stuff up to standard where the new rules are concerned.

My first set of redesigns cover the Voyager finale “Endgame”.

The original rules predated the release of the shuttle Sakharov so I had my own shuttle rules. I had the range 2 limit but in place of docking and the capital ship rule I had some modifiers applying to range penalties and enemy secondary weapons to make them a little more survivable.

Also all of the cards were Federation and in keeping with the way the game has gone I’ve turned them into Mirror Universe (in fact MU will be getting a lot of the toys from these updates as they were primarily federation alternate timelines).

The USS Rhode Island

I decided to keep standard Nova Class stats and movement for the mirror version but to give the named Rhode Island an aggressive ability both to fit in with Mirror Universe faction and to represent soloing a pair of Neghvar class starships in a science ship.

Captain Kim provides a simple free scan action. A little unimaginative I know but it would make a perfectly reasonable science ship captain with an upgrade or two to trigger off it. His talent upgrade is suicide in the traditional head on attack wing joust but if you manage to get behind an opponents ships you could screw their entire attack for the round.

A new card type I introduced was the “refit” upgrade. These use no upgrade slots and cannot be disabled or discarded (functioning more like a flagship resource than an upgrade). They are not unique but only one can be assigned per ship. Each refit can only be applied to a specific class of ship, but a ship class may have more than one refit option.

The refits may grant upgrade slots, new abilities or improved stats.

The Nova Class refit can be used on either the prime or mirror Nova Class starships and bumps its attack and evasion up.

REFIT - Nova

Shuttlecraft SC-4

Admiral Janeway’s shuttle also got moved into Mirror Universe. Some changes were made to the maneuvers to bring the ship closer into line with other shuttle classes.

The ships defensive ability also got a push to balance the loss of some of the bonuses shuttles got in my old rules.

Admiral Janeway uses advanced tactics to weaken an opponent. There’s also the, somewhat pricey, option to take Janeway’s Neurolytic Pathogen. It massively disrupts your enemies for several turns, but will cost you the captain/admiral it’s assigned to.

Miral Paris allows you to trade tech upgrades with your opponents…whether they like it or not lastly the chrono deflector allows you travel to a different part of the board at a time of your choosing.

That’s it for this time, next up is probably All Good Things.