Student of Warfare and Other Strangeness


  1. Jamie Wakefield
  2. Student of Warfare
  3. The Spanish Inquisition

Before we get in to Magic: The Gathering blogging, I just wanted to throw something out there:

Jamie Wakefied has just come out with a new book. As far as I can tell, this book is not about Magic: The Gathering. I am going to order it… any longtime fans of Jamie (and I’m sure that many of you hold yourselves in that group) should probably do the same.

For the love.

This is an Affiliate link to
If you order, I will probably make one trillion dollars. Or maybe like one dollar.
Greedy capitalists.

Okay, now for the Magic: The Gathering part.

Student of Warfare:

Multiple people, including Jeroen Remie via Twitter and Slov01 in the comments of the last post pointed out that Student of Warfare is much the 3/3 for three mana as Transcendent Master.

I was actually planning to write about Student of Warfare anyway… But I hadn’t thought of it in that way.

The reason is that, even if it can be thought of as a 3/3 for three mana, it isn’t. It is much, much, better.

The first reason why Student of Warfare is better than a “regular” Gnarled Mass is that it costs one, not three, as a base. This lets you put a down payment on the card on turn one, then spend the next two on turn two for three damage on the second turn (you know, a turn before you could even playTranscendent Master.

Its one-ness is very powerful with one of my three favorite [Standard] creatures, Ranger of Eos.

Student of Warfare is like the white side of Figure of Destiny in the same way that Kargan Dragonlord represents a Red analogue. In my opinion, Student of Warfare seems like the stronger card because its one mana-ness lets it lace up with Antoine Ruel like Figure of Destiny did in Boat Brew.

The second reason why Student of Warfare is much better than a Gnarled Mass — not that being better than a Watchwolf on the second turn without going into a second color isn’t good enough — is that it isn’t just a 3/3; it’s a 3/3 first strike… Kind of like a White Knight grafted onto a Hand of Honor (you know, whiteout the racism).

Getting to Level Seven is quite realistic. It will be awesome when it is awesome. We probably don’t have to spend a whole lot of time on the “ultimate” to this leveler.

Snap Judgment Rating – Staple

More Spanish Inquisition

I know “current” Standard is medium-irrelevant just now, but I have been having a lot of fun playing. This is what I have been playing most; I am very happy with it actually:

4 Armillary Sphere
4 Everflowing Chalice
1 Obelisk of Alara

4 Ajani Vengeant

4 Burst Lightning
4 Chandra Nalaar
4 Lightning Bolt

4 Day of Judgment
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
3 Path to Exile

12 Mountain
4 Naya Panorama
2 Plains
4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

1 Obelisk of Alara
4 Goblin Assault
4 Celestial Purge
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
4 Oblivion Ring
1 Path to Exile

The distinguishing thing about this version is still the Goblin Assault set after sideboarding. I really like those: They have been great against control, in particular the relatively popular Jace, the Mind Sculptor decks.

Main deck the main difference between this and the pre-Worldwake version is the addition of Motherlovin Cup aka Everlasting Chalice. The Chalice lets this deck play third turn Ajani Vengeant, Day of Judgment, or sometimes Elspeth, Knight-Errant.

If there is one card (or kind of card) I would like to play (or rather add), it is something like Earthquake or Martial Coup. Martial Coup would be great in particular with Motherlovin Cup… Not sure what to cut right now. I have sided every card in the ‘board in the last 24 hours, with Oblivion Ring a necessary evil due to the many, many Planeswalkers that are now played even in Standard aggressive decks.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Pretty exciting news for fans of me, Billy Moreno, and Paul Jordan that we will unveil relatively soon 🙂



facebook comments:


#1 ALaflamme on 04.08.10 at 8:40 pm

First of all, Thank you so much for starting to write again, I am loving the articles.
Thank you for re-making the spanish inquisition, that deck was SO AWESOME!
you forgot 4x Arid Mesa in your list though, so the card count comes to 56… :/
Is there a deck that you could see yourself playing the has Student of Warfare? (other than mono-white?)
please keep us posted on what you are thinking about the upcoming type 2 metagame, and spoilers as they come around!

#2 MTGBattlefield on 04.09.10 at 1:16 am

Student of Warfare and Other Strangeness…

Your story has been summoned to the battlefield – Trackback from MTGBattlefield…

#3 Weiss on 04.09.10 at 5:45 am

Yay, you’re back =D I fully agree with Anthony =p Your articles decks are awesome as usual.

P.S.: Strange quick question: what would you do if you had an arbitrary number of fatestitchers in play? Note that they are all tapped but one.

#4 ibanez on 04.09.10 at 6:32 am

I’m very happy you’re back Mike! I’ll keep reading your fantastic articles 😀

As for the spoilers and stuff, I’m really seeing an eldrazi viable deck in standard, pretty much casting eldrazis early game and annihilatoring opponents. Also liking levelers more and more and hoping for some awesome counter/exile card, since I’m really enjoying U/W right now.

#5 Frenchy on 04.09.10 at 8:23 am

Chalice will buff Student afta honorable Ranger tutors him to battlefeerd! domo orogato.

#6 ProdigalT on 04.09.10 at 12:35 pm

I don’t buy books much these days, but I checked out the first 10 pages of Jamie’s book at amazon. Sounds just like him.

#7 TattooedOni on 04.09.10 at 8:53 pm

Well crap, I wrote a long rambling comment to your last post while this thing drops. The student makes levelers look a little better, but I feel like the GUT helps us evaluate them as risky at best. In fact the “irrelevant standard” deck you run with today looks like it will be awesome vs other people with levelers. You get 4 bursts, 4 bolts, 4 paths after boarding. Thats 12 one mana ways to really stick it to someone investing lots of mana into a creature to get an effect that for the most part isn’t even well priced for that effect. The whole student attacks for 3 on turn 2 thing is definitely awesome, but hey, “still dies to doom blade” amiright?

#8 rockbard on 04.11.10 at 4:28 pm

I think the levelers should be very interesting skill-testers. In a WW deck, what do you do in your second turn with Student of Warfare? Do you play a second threat then try to level him up on third turn with Brave the Elements support? Do you play a Honor of the Pure? Do you go for all the marbles and try to level him up to hit for 3 on second turn? Very interesting playing decisions.

#9 Here a Format, There a Format, Everywhere a Format « M:tG Color Pie on 04.27.10 at 6:14 pm

[…] I’m going to use the Tags option more often now. I like how Flores does his “Concerning” at the beginning of his posts, so I’m going to be using the tags for that. It’ll be more humor related. If I feel […]

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