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A Dangerous Room for a Dangerous Age

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Call it Danger Room. Call it Battle Box. I call it the most fun a person can have playing Magic with their clothes on.

I've learned to deal with the fact that most people commonly call the format "Battle Box," however with that in mind my Battle Box is the Danger Room. It is the first Battle Box from which all other Battle Boxes originate. I take great pride in that aspect of my stack and I actively put a great deal of effort into balancing it. I'd like to think that not only is it the original Battle Box, but that the Danger Room is the best stack ever assembled.

I haven't gotten much of a chance to write about the Danger Room lately and for good reason---Battle for Zendikar was a terrible Battle Box set. Most of the interesting and/or fun cards of the appropriate power level dealt directly with lands or made Eldrazi scion tokens.

One of the most important elements of the Danger Room is equal mana development for both players, and there are only 10 lands available in any game (five basics and five allied tapped lands). Therefore, landfall is pretty lame (since you can actually draw these cards after you've played your 10th land and they have no ability) and Eldrazi scions are out because they produce additional mana and help players ramp.

Well, if BFZ was milk toast I can only say that Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW) has been full on French toast with a side of bacon and a make-your-own-omelette station!

First of all we get an additional set of comes-into-play-tapped duals to make additional and easily identifiable land sets.

These are a nice addition to the cycles we already have. Invasion, 8th Edition, Coldsnap, Guildgates, and now the Oath cycle! These don't really impact game play in any way but they are a neat change of pace.

My stack has a very strong emphasis on color balance. I always keep the same number of cards. I reworked my stack a while back and ever since then it has remained a consistent 486 cards.

  • 65 cards of each color.
  • 30 artifacts.
  • 100 bicolor multicolor spells (10 of each guild).
  • 30 tricolor multicolor spells (3 of each shard and wedge)
  • 1 Fusion Elemental

Additions From Oath

Slip Through Space

Slip Through Space is a fine card. Kind of like Shadow Rift except that it has devoid. I wanted to showcase a few of the devoid cards because they look cool and are a big part of the current set. It was also nice because a few more unblockable tricks always make for exciting gameplay.

Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim


Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim is a pretty sweet card. I really enjoy cards that have a bunch of abilities on them and I think that life gain is a difficult thing to find room for in this format. The life gain cards tend to be great---but they are typically just things like Loxodon Hierarch that is a big body with life gain attached to it. Ayli is a decent body with deathtouch that also has some incidental life gain built in. I'm a big fan and love these interesting card designs!

Void Shatter

Another cool devoid card. There are Red Elemental Blast effects in the stack so Void Shatter is a counter that dodges that which is a neat interaction. I also think the card looks sweet in foil. It replaced Dissipate---so just a slightly better version of that card that looks cooler.

Seed Guardian

Seed Guardian is sweet and I'm very excited to play with it. It has a nice body and reach which is pretty sweet in this format where flying matters quite a bit. Also, when it dies---especially if games go long---you have the chance to receive a very, very robust elemental token. Also worth noting is that the elemental token that goes with the Guardian has some of the coolest artwork in the set, period. So, I'm looking forward to getting that into play soon.

Sylvan Advocate


Another super cool green creature from OGW. I love that this creature is a solid early drop that scales to also be great in the later game. It is always lame to draw little beatdown creatures later on in the game once all ten lands in play, but at least this creature has a big enough body to matter once the game goes long. It is also sweet that he has a 2/3 body which defends well against a lot of the utility bear creatures in the early game.

Goblin Dark-Dwellers


The card is obviously insanely good but I'm giving it a try. Eyeless goblins that cast spells are intriguing to me. I probably don't need to justify why this is a card people would want to play with. However, just in case an explanation was necessary, here it goes: The card is freaking sweet.

Reflector Mage

Reflector Mage is exactly the kind of card the Danger Room was originally created to facilitate playing! Fun and interesting creature-based Magic. While I think this card will have an impact on Constructed I'm just happy to have picked up a foil one to include in my stack! The foil also looks super sweet because it has a bunch of mirrors in the art that are very foiled out and makes the card look fantastic.

Void Grafter

I love Void Grafter as a Battle Box card. It does a lot of great things. First of all, it is essentially a counterspell for a removal spell targeting one of your creatures. However, it also has a sizable body and can drop down into play during combat to ambush an attacking creature in a pinch. 2/4 is the perfect-sized body for an ambusher.

Stormchaser Mage

Another great multicolor card from OGW. He basically replaced Frostburn Weird in my stack, so a pretty strict upgrade. Always good when I can replace one of the least exciting cards in the stack with a similar card that is much, much better! At the cost of one toughness Stormchaser Mage gains the following abilities +flying, +prowess, +haste...

Baloth Null

I'm kind of on the fence about whether or not Baloth Null will ultimately turn out to be too obnoxious. Getting back two creatures and having a big sassy body is a lot for a card in this format. That being said, zombie beast is a cool creature type and the card is pretty awesome. It might be exactly what a six-drop ought to be in this format!

The Updated List

Blue Creatures

Aeon Chronicler
Bonded Fetch
Cephalid Sage
Delver of Secrets
Dungeon Geist
Jace's Phantasm
Jolting Merfolk
Looter il-kor
Lu Xun, Scholar General
Man-o'-war
Merfolk Looter
Mulldrifter
Neurok Invisimancer
Phantasmal Image
Phyrexian Metamorph
Plaxmanta
Sakashima's Student
Serendib Efreet
Snapcaster Mage
Stratus Dancer
Sun Ce, Young Conquerer
Vesuvan Shapeshifter
Whirler Rogue
Willbender
Wonder

Blue Spells

Allied Strategies
Ancestral Vision
Braingeyser
Careful Consideration
Circular Logic
Complicate
Concentrate
Control Magic
Counterspell
Deep Analysis
Dismiss
Dispell
Envelop
Evasive Action
Exclude
Fact or Fiction
False Summoning
Forbidden Alchemy
Jace's Ingenuity
Jolt
Miscalculation
Negate
Neutralizing Blast
Opportunity
Persuasion
Power Sink
Probe
Psionic Blast
Remand
Remove Soul
Repulse
Sift
Slip Through Space
Steal Artifact
Stolen Identity
Syncopate
Talrand's Invocation
Tidings
Unsummon
Void Shatter

Black Creatures

Bane of the Living
Big Game Hunter
Bloodsoaked Champion
Bone Shredder
Coffin Queen
Crypt Angel
Dakmor Lancer
Dark Hatchling
Entomber Exarch
Gnarled Scarhide
Grim Haruspex
Gurmag Angler
Herald of Torment
Keening Banshee
Lifebane Zombie
Liliana's Specter
Nekrataal
Nezumi Graverobber
Ophiomancer
Phyrexian Gargantua
Phyrexian Rager
Reassembling Skeleton
Royal Assassin
Serpent Assassin
Shriekmaw
Silumgar Assassin
Skeletal Vampire
Skinrender
Vampire Nighthawk
Withered Wretch

Black Spells

Animate Dead
Annihilate
Chainer's Edict
Consuming Vapors
Cremate
Damnation
Dance of the Dead
Dark Banishing
Despise
Dismember
Disturbed Burial
Doomblade
Duress
Ghastly Demise
Go For The Throat
Hymn to Tourach
Inquisition of Kozilek
Last Gasp
Murder
Murderous Cut
Night's Whisper
Ostracize
Rend Flesh
Ribbons of Night
Ritual of the Machine
Sever the Bloodline
Skeletal Scrying
Smother
Sudden Death
Terror
Thoughtseize
Tragic Slip
Unburial Rites
Undying Evil
Unearth

White Creatures

Ancestor's Chosen
Angel of Finality
Azorious Herald
Belfry Spirit
Blade Splicer
Cloudgoat Ranger
Commander Eesha
Eidolon of Countless Battles
Exalted Angel
Flickerwisp
Frontline Medic
Galepowder Mage
Geist-Honored Monk
Hidden Dragonslayer
Imposing Soverign
Isamaru, Hound of Konda
Karmic Guide
Knight of Glory
Kor Sanctifiers
Mardu Woe-Reaper
Mother of Runes
Restoration Angel
Rhox Faithmender
Savannah Lions
Serra Angel
Shrieking Grotesque
Silverblade Paladin
Soldier of the Pantheon
Soulfire Grandmaster
Soul's Attendant
Spectral Lynx
Sunscape Battlemage
Wall of Omens

White Spells

Akroma's Vengeance
Apostle's Blessing
Austere Command
Chained to the Rocks
Dawn Charm
Day of Judgment
Dismantling Blow
Divine Deflection
End Hostilities
Feeling of Dread
Final Judgment
Hallow
Hallowed Burial
Kirtar's Wrath
Lingering Souls
Midnight Haunting
Momentary Blink
Phyrexian Rebirth
Reciprocate
Renewed Faith
Resounding Silence
Rout
Scout's Warning
Seed Spark
Spear of Heliod
Sunlance
Swords to Plowshares
Terminus
Valorous Stance
Wing Shards
Wrath of God

Green Creatures

Ana Battlemage
Basking Rootwalla
Blastoderm
Boon Satyr
Briarhorn
Caller of the Claw
Citanul Woodreaders
Deathmist Raptor
Den Protector
Elvish Visionary
Eternal Witness
Flinthoof Boar
Genesis Hydra
Hooded Hydra
Imperious Perfect
Indrik Stomphowler
Jade Mage
Kava Predator
Kavu Titan
Loaming Shaman
Lumberknot
Master of the Wild Hunt
Mitomic Slime
Obstinate Baloth
Ohran Viper
Patagia Viper
Pelakka Wurm
Phantom Centaur
Polukranos, World Eater
Reclaimation Sage
River Boa
Scavenging Ooze
Seed Guardian
Skyshroud Elite
Stingflinger Spider
Sylvan Advocate
Thragtusk
Thornscape Battlemage
Thornscape Apprentice
Uktabi Orangutan
Vengevine
Wall of Blossoms
Whisperwood Elemental
Wild Mongrel
Wild Nacatyl
Wickerbough Elder
Wolfir Avenger

Green Spells

Avoid Fate
Autumn's Veil
Call of the herd
Forgotten Ancient
Gaea's Might
Giant Growth
Gnaw to the Bone
Harmonize
Moment's Peace
Predator's Strike
Rancor
Regrowth
Resounding Roar
Spider Spawning
Storm Seeker
Tracker's Insight
Whirlwind
Withstand Death

Red Creatures

Alesha, Who Smiles at Death
Anger
Corrupt Eunuchs
Crimson Muckwader
Cunning Sparkmage
Desolation Giant
Dualcaster Mage
Goblin Dark-Dwellers
Feldon of the Third Path
Fire Imp
Flametongue Kavu
Flamewake Phoenix
Fledgling Dragon
Fumiko the Lowblood
Grim Lavamancer
Hound of Griselbrand
Ingot Chewer
Kird Ape
Krenko, Mob Boss
Mindclaw Shaman
Mountain Yeti
Oracle of Bones
Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Siege-Gang Commander
Thunderbreak Regent
Thunderscape Battlemage
Vulshok Sorcerer
Young Pyromancer
Zurgo Bellstriker

Red Spells

Arc Lightning
Arc Trail
Barbed Lightning
Blind with Anger
Brimstone Volley
Burning Oil
Burst Lightning
Carbonize
Chain Lightning
Disintigrate
Expedite
Faithless Looting
Fireball
Firebolt
Flame Slash
Flames of the Firebrand
Forked Bolt
Hordeling Outburst
Incinerate
Lightning Bolt
Lightning Strike
Pillar of Flame
Punishing Fire
Pyroblast
Red Elemental Blast
Resounding Thunder
Roast
Searing Spear
Shock
Shower of Coals
Slice of Dice
Staggershock
Starstorm
Stoke the Flames
Tribal Flames

Artifacts

Basilisk Collar
Brittle Effigy
Chariot of Victory
Crystal Shard
Culling Dais
Duplicant
Engineered Explosives
Etched Oracle
Hangarback Walker
Icy Manipulator
Juggernaut
Lightning Greaves
Living Wall
Loxodon Warhammer
Mask of Memory
Mirror Universe
Nihil Spellbomb
Peace Strider
Perilous Vault
Pierce Strider
Power Matrix
Pyrite Spellbomb
Runechanter's Pike
Serrated Arrows
Spellskite
Sylvok Lifestaff
Tawnos Coffin
Trip Noose
Triskellion
Whispersilk Cloak

Gruul

Artifact Mutation
Assault // Battery
Bloodbraid Elf
Dragonlair Spider
Fanatic of Xenagos
Fires of Yavimaya
Ghor-Clan Rampager
Ground Assault
Huntmaster of the Fells
Savage Twister

Selesnya

Advent of the Wurm
Dromoka's Command
Elderwood Scion
Enlisted Wurm
Kitchen Finks
Loxodon Hierarch
Loxodon Smiter
Mystic Enforcer
Selesnya Charm
Voice of Resurgence

Azorius

Absorb
Azorious Guildmage
Detention Sphere
Hindering Light
Lyev Skyknight
Ojutai's Command
Ordered Migration
Reflector Mage
Supreme Verdict
Wall of Denial

Dimir

Baleful Strix
Consult the Necrosages
Countersquall
Dragonlord Silumgur
Far // Away
Psychatog
Shadowmage Infiltrator
Soul Manipulation
Spite // Malice
Terminate
Woodlot Crawler

Rakdos

Bituminous Blast
Blazing Specter
Blightning
Deepfire Elemental
Hellhole Rats
Kolghan's Command
Murderous Redcap
Rakdos Charm
Shambling Remains

Boros

Basandra, Battle Seraph
Boros Charm
Boros Guildmage
Boros Reckoner
Bull Ceradon
Intimidation Bolt
Lightning Helix
Spitemare
Warleader's Helix
Wear // Tear

Simic

Aether Mutation
Ethereal Ambush
Horizon Chimera
Icefeather Aven
Jungle Barrier
Mystic Snake
Plaxcaster Frogling
Shardless Agent
Simic Charm
Void Grafter

Izzet

Counterflux
Dack's Duplicate
Electrolyze
Etherium-Horn Sorcerer
Fire // Ice
Izzet Charm
Prophetic Bolt
Stormchaser Mage
Swerve
Turn // Burn

Golgari

Abrupt Decay
Baloth Null
Consume Strength
Dreg Mangler
Gleancrawler
Golgari Guildmage
Maelstrom Pulse
Nyx Weaver
Pernicious Deed
Putrefy

Orzhov

Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim
Blind Hunter
Castigate
Death Grasp
Mortify
Orzhov Pontiff
Pillory of the Sleepless
Sin Collector
Utter End
Zealous Persecution

3-Color Multicolor Spells

Crackling Doom
Ponyback Brigade
Mardu Charm

Sidisi, Brood Tyrant
Sultai Charm
The Mimeoplasm

Adun Oakenshield
Jund Charm
Sprouting Thranax

Gwendlyn Di Corci
Slave of Bolas
Tetsuo Umezawa

Bant Charm
Rhox War Monk
Rubina Soulsinger

Dromar's Charm
Esper Charm
Punish Ignorance

Savage Knuckleblade
Temur Ascendancy
Temur Charm

Fiery Justice
Marath, Will of the Wild
Woolly Thoctar

Lightning Angel
Mantis Rider
Sage of the Inward Eye

Abzan Charm
Crime // Punishment
Doran, the Siege Tower

Fusion Elemental

~

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my current Danger Room stack updated through Oath of the Gatewatch. If you haven't played this format before be sure to check it out. It's an absolute blast to play.

Did I miss anything from the new set? Or any cards that you've got in your stack that you really enjoy that I haven't included? Be sure to let me know in the comments or tweet suggestions at me @briandemars1.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers,
Brian

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