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20 December, 2006

Guild wars II: attack of the nephilim

Ah the nostalgia, it brings a glint to my eye…



IT2Any Twincast regulars, or irregulars of which there are many in the world of magic, will remember the chart-smashing Guildwars series that shot to the top of any ‘readings’ ratings and rose head and shoulders above the odd few tournament reports and deck analysis’s that fought for light in the under-growth, under the vast canopy of the guilds. Though the simic was by far the most loved, the others were close competitors and when ravnica block left and Time Spiral came, a huge casual magic void was formed, crying out to be filled with another load of ‘so bad it’s good’ decks. However, all the possible colour combinations had been used up (any budding mathematicians out there will be able to work out that that there are in fact 10, thanks to good ol’ Pascal and his triangle), so it was left to the Supreme Lords of Twincast (Tony and Chris) to put their thinking caps on and think of something so grand, so extreme that it could follow up the legacy of the guildwars. After minutes of brain-boggling, thought-stripping meditation, they finally came up with it:

Guildwars II: Nephilim FTW!!!
(Queue dramatic music, lightning strikes)

Sadly, however, when this genial Einstein-rivalling idea was first introduced on the forum, I didn’t quite have the lightning fingers fast enough to sign myself up for one of the 5 guilds up for grabs (post times show I was 0.3 nano-seconds off signing up for the 5th Guild). I’d never felt so miserable in my life – it felt like somebody and plunged their hand into me and ripped out my soul, removing any glimmer of hope of ever managing to write a nephilim article, but even so I secretly hoped. Praying at night and checking the nephilim thread every day, I kept my hopes high on finding out that somebody had dropped out and left me a gap to fill. This day seemed like it was never to come, until finally one day came where Tony B (Pootank on the forum) decided nephilims weren’t for him, and handed down his hold on the Glint-eye nephilim to me. My soul felt suddenly replaced, and the first thing I wanted to do was get back to my beloved pc and write up what was to be my best work ever, an epic tale of all things casual!

[/extreme sarcasm]

Back to all seriousness, I was looking forward to the nephilim guildwars, as (quote Chris) asploding all over other decks with doubling season in the original guildwars was a great laugh, even when I had it done to me off Nigel’s Selesnya scion of the wild deck. The nephilim I was given to toy around with was glint-eye (yes, Chris, glint-eye, not anything else), the discardy-drawy snake-like nephilim with one big eye, a round mouth and two beefy arms poking out of the top of its head (though arguably the head is the whole body).

Going into this challenge I decided the deck would have to be so terrible, and use such awful cards, that it would end up being king of casual. Cards that would normally be bad but that combo oh so savagely with glint-eye nephilim, that let him swing unimpeded, unblockable, unstoppable, to let the card-drawing mayhem begin! Any guesses as to what the card that creates such synergy with glint-eye that it makes scryb-ranger and spectral force seem lightweights is??? No??



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Yup, you saw it right – writ of passage! This card’s seen so many 15th picks in rgd drafts it puts sun’s bounty up in the highly pickables, but it actually, in a distant and rather bad way, combos with glint-eye nephilim. You forecast it (I was told auras are generally bad when attached as they generate card disadvantage when the creature is killed), make your nephilim unstoppable, and then pump the hell outta him once the chance to declare blockers has been missed!

With the all-conquering writ of passage up my sleeve, I decided to go build a deck around a general theme of card-drawing and card replacement, by chucking some niv-mizzets and mindmoils in – The niv mizzets mean every attack off a nephilim that goes unblocked and unkilled becomes 2 + X damage to your opponent where X is the number of cards in your hand. The mindmoil also lets you dig for the nephilim (obviously there aren’t many in the deck), so you don’t sit there taking the beats, waiting for an answer to come. Other random and terrible, terrible cards I chucked in were shielding plax (to try and preserve as many nephilims as possible) and a macabre waltz, should all my nephilims roll over and die to all the removal my opponent has been storing in his or her hand.


Glint Eye for The Magic Guy
Designed by Matteo Orsini Jones


-6 creatures-

4 Glint-eye Nephilim
2 Niv-mizzet, The Firemind

-32 Other spells-

4 Electrolyze
4 Putrefy
4 Wrecking Ball
4 Farseek
4 Utopia Sprawl
3 Life from the Loam

2 Mindmoil
1 Macabre Waltz
3 Writ of Passage
3 Shielding Plax

-22 Lands-

4 Pillar of the Paruns
8 Forest
3 Mountain
4 Island
3 Swamp




There’s the deck, the masterpiece, the child of my sheer genius. Most of the cards are self explanatory – Pillar of the paruns to mana up my 20 multicoloured spells, the farseeks and utopia sprawls are vital for the dual-less manabase, the life from the loam is for savage land-discard-dredge-draw recursion (extended aggro loam eat your heart out), and the removal is for, well, removal.

Being part of the casual nephilim wars, the casualness has to be investigated, evaluated, and summed up in 4 simple questions:

Q: Is the deck bad?

A: Hell yes! Look at the jank it’s playing!

Q: Is it cheap?

A: Seems so – electrolyze is most likely the most valuable card it’s playing J

Q: Is it fun to play?

A: One word – Nephilim


Q: Can it hold its ground against other decks in the format?

A: No idea, I’m too embarrassed to even try it out on mwsplay.net, Mecca of all n00bs and scrubs alike.

Yup, seems casual enough to me…

Well I hope you enjoyed reading my paddle into the pool of the nephilim, and that maybe one day every magic player in the world will be taking glint-eye awesome card-drawing mega combo decks to rav block FNMs (obviously these will be voted for just to try out the glint-eye deck). Maybe one day I’ll revive my warpworld deck, or perhaps I’ll make a nasty saproling + savage thallid combo deck to storm a ptq near you. Isn’t casual magic fun?

Signing off,

Matteo Nephilorsinim jones

Matteo Orsini Jones, Mtgtwincast.com or any related persons will not be held responsible for any sides split during the reading of this article or any other article written in the future, past or present by the great Matteo Orsini Jones. Comments and compliments, however, may be taken to the forum and gifts and/or money may be sent to Matteo’s home address. Send him an email at m_orsini_jones@hotmail.com if you wish to request it, or just tell him how great he is.



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