Finding true names

When I’m not applying science to Magic, I’m applying science to, well, science.

If you’d like to see one of the projects I’m working on in the land of science, check out the new Orphan Enzymes Project site.

The “fuel” that really makes modern DNA-based science work is the fact that we have a giant library of genes with their functions. That’s how we are able to sequence a new gene and make a pretty solid guess at what it does based on what other genes it looks like.

Some of the time.

The problem is that we don’t always find a similar gene in our library of known genes. As it happens, there’s still a whole lot of older research out there waiting to be put into that library. That’s what the Orphan Enzymes Project is all about.

So if that sounds interesting, check the site out for a basic outline of the project, with more to come later.

RTR Standard – Golgari Zombies

Brains…or failing that, plant food

As I mentioned in my post about a Jund list, I did try to build an update on Black/Red Zombies. However, the addition of Golgari to Standard puts an understandable pressure (or incentive) on playing green in any Zombies deck. The build below came together after some tinkering and it’s surprisingly effective and resilient.

The Scavenge ability on Slitherhead is quite powerful, as is the ability to profitably pitch a Gravecrawler or Slitherhead to Lotleth Troll.

Dreg Mangler’s haste is also pretty important, as it makes it risky to leave yourself naked against what might otherwise be a slower aggro deck without apparent reach.

Golgari Zombies

Abrupt Decay
Blood Artist
Lotleth Troll
Dreg Mangler
Geralf’s Messenger
Underworld Connections
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
Golgari Guildgate
Grim Backwoods
Overgrown Tomb
Woodland Cemetery
Cavern of Souls
15 Sideboard:
Crypt Creeper
Golgari Charm
Sundering Growth
Liliana of the Veil
Vraska the Unseen

RTR Standard – Dread Jund

With Farseek, all things are possible

My happiness at the return of the shocklands is only matched by my happiness at already owning a set of shocklands.

One of the extra-fun features of the new Standard is that Farseek is cleverly written to be able to search up nonbasics as long as they’re typed. This means that, as we saw back when Ravnica itself was in Standard, many decks will want to touch green to give them access to superlative mana fixing.

The Jund build below actually began life as inspiration in the middle of a frustrated effort to build an updated Black/Red Zombies list. It’s quite a bit of fun and gets good mileage out of both Dreadbore and Abrupt Decay.

Dread Jund

Abrupt Decay
Gatecreeper Vine
Borderland Ranger
Liliana of the Veil
Falkenrath Aristocrat
Garruk Relentless
Huntmaster of the Fells
Rakdos’s Return
Bonfire of the Damned
Blood Crypt
Evolving Wilds
Golgari Guildgate
Kessig Wolf Run
Overgrown Tomb
Rakdos Guildgate
Rootbound Crag
15 Sideboard:
Pithing Needle
Golgari Charm
Rakdos Charm
Curse of Death’s Hold
Blasphemous Act