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Ironroot Chef: Battle Ring of Three Wishes


Riding high with two back-to-back victories, Ironroot Chef Mike Linnemann finally had a break as a new challenger appeared: Neale Talbot. Coverage reporter for Wizards and a member of the infamous-for-losing Magic Online Community Cup team of 2012, Talbot took aim at the apparently unstoppable Ironroot Chef Ant Tessitore to battle over Ring of Three Wishes.

Challenger Talbot has his work cut out for him: Chef Tessitore has yet to lose in the battle to see whose theme will reign supreme. Further, dealing with wishes is always a tricky step. Can you wish for more wishes? Will a djinn or efreet appear?

Our wildest Ironroot Chef questions are about to be answered.

Ring of Three Wishes

Challenger Neale Talbot

My idea for the Ironroot Chef challenge was a built on a powerful ring that convinces the wearer he or she is invincible—so Lord of the Rings it is! I concentrated on mainly the fellowship, with a few cameos from evildoers. The deck has two major themes: counters (as in +1/+1 counters) and tokens. And it has various ways of producing both. It also has a small Elf theme—and rings, lots and lots of rings.

Battle Ring of Three Wishes ? Ironroot Chef | Neale Talbot

  • Commander (0)

Card Name Set Flavour Reasoning Deck Seasoning
Karona, False God SCG Our Commander is Sauron, for reasons of irony and the need to play five colors. In my head, there's an entire other deck that represents the forces of evil—ring wraiths and orcs and goblins and trolls, largely B/R—but that's a different deck. Though most of the subsequent cards are “good guys,” this was the only commander that would allow me enough color range to fill all of the fellowship's slots.
Sol Ring ME4 The 1-drop ring to rule them all Best 1-drop in the format
Sisay's Ring 7ED The Three Rings, given to the Elves and whatnot. Sisay's Ring would be the Ring of Water or Ring of Adamant, set with a white stone. While not the best mana rock around, we could use the extra mana in our deck.
Aladdin's Ring 7ED Narya, the Ring of Fire, as in this artwork, it's kind of steaming Repeatable removal is always useful, even at this cost.
Jinxed Ring STR Sadly, it’s not set with a sapphire as Narya, the Ring of Fire is. This works nicely with the token them of the deck, as we will easily be able to give it away to others.
Ring of Ma'ruf MED The Seven Rings, given to the Dwarf-Lords The Ring of Ma'ruf might not be playable in some circles. Check with your local group first!
Rings of Brighthearth LOR The Seven Rings, given to the Dwarf-Lords We have a lot of activated abilities in the deck, and this helps us abuse them.
Ring of Three Wishes M14 The Seven Rings, given to the Dwarf-Lords What you wish for will usually depend on what you draw. There are a lot of weird, interesting targets. Smaug is in the deck to go fetch it, one of our few tutors.
Ring of Gix UL The Seven Rings, given to the Dwarf-Lords Never underestimate the ability for a Ring of Gix to deal with spot problems.
Ring of Thune M13 The Seven Rings, given to the Dwarf-Lords Each of the following gives our creatures counters. Counters are a huge theme in the deck, with some profilerate support. These work really nicely, though your creatures sometimes aren't around long enough to benefit.
Ring of Kalonia M13 The Seven Rings, given to the Dwarf-Lords
Ring of Evos Isle M13 The Seven Rings, given to the Dwarf-Lords
Figure of Destiny EVE Frodo! Our hobbit hero Figure is a good drop no matter what stage of the game. We'll have a little issue mana-color-wise activating his abilities though.
Mosquito Guard MOR Sam, selected because he guards Frodo Counters are important in our deck, so the reinforce ability works nicely on theme.
Kithkin Shielddare SHM Pippin or Merry; I forget which. I like the tiny little cycle these two offer, and they add nicely to the ability for tokens to engage in real combat.
Kithkin Daggerdare LOR Merry or Pippin, I forget which.
Gaddock Teeg LRW Biblo Baggins. Although we only see him briefly, we appreciate him being around. Our deck is heavy on the creatures and light on anything else with a 4-or-higher casting cost (looking at you, Ironroot ingredient). He gives our tokens a chance to get to work against the big creatures others often play in Commander.
Angus Mackenzie ME3 Gandalf. I thought a lot about who would best present him, and I realized that while a wizard would be more obvious, Angus is the one who gets people out of trouble and tries to pacify problems. He also looks vaguely Gandalfish. He was briefly my commander, but I couldn't make it work. Just giving us time to set up is important; plus, Angus can play an important “political” role in multiplayer.
Juniper Order Ranger CSP Aragorn, son of two whole beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onion on a seseme seed bun. Look, they're both Rangers, okay? Our best intersection of token synergy and +1/+1 counter synergy
Rhys the Redeemed SHM Legolas. I mean, just look at him, waving that bow and sword around. Rhys is very important to our token-making ability. He's often a commander in his own right because he can get out of hand quickly.
Dwarven Grunt ODY Gimli. Check out that Odyssey artwork. Uh . . . I got nothing.
Stangg Legends Borimir, who tries to steal the ring and then bites the dirt. I picked Stangg because he's very goofy, and as soon as he dies, his twin turns up—just like in the novels. At least he replaces himself.
Giltspire Avenger CON Farimir, brother of Borimir, selected as he does a lot to avenge his brother's death, and the artwork totally looks like the ruins of Gondor in the movies. Although it's not the greatest repeatable removal because we're still taking the damage, it's also hard to play around without the spot removal in hand.
Brago, King Eternal VMA Denethor, ruling Steward of Gondor and Lord of Minas Tirith. He always seemed like a bit of a dick to me, and Brago reminds me of Braggart. Plus, the flavor text is spot on. I've always found Brago to be broken in many different decks, but here, he kind of works against the whole tokens-and-counters theme—which, I'll add, is totally on flavor for Denethor.
Yeva, Nature's Herald M13 Galadriel, Elf ruler of Lothlorien. Tho Galadriel didn't have a bear—she would of rocked on. We can't use her ability a lot, but our opponents don't know that, so they at least have to respect it.
Eladamri, Lord of Leaves TMP Celeborn, Elf co-ruler of Lothlórien We have a small Elf theme, and the two Elf lords Eladamri and Ezuri help our other Elves (e.g. Legolas) out a lot.
Ezuri, Renegade Leader C14 Elrond the Lord of Rivendell
Selesnya Evangel CMD Arwen Tyler, love interest to the stars Token generator, forcefield generator—call it what you will.
Darien, King of Kjeldor CLD Theoden, King of Rohan, though decidedly after Wurmtongue is dispatched, not before Darien is a sweet token generator, especially in multiplayer. Stop hitting yourself!
Guardian of Cloverdell LRW Treebeard. This one even brings his own hobbits. I love the idea of Treebeard squishing Pippin just to gain 1 life.
Lavinia of the Tenth DGM Eowyn, who is no man. Lavinia is badass and can shut certain creatures down. A pity ring wraiths are black, not red.
Balthor the Stout TOR A brief cameo by Thorin Oakenshield. Because when he gets corrupted, you can play Balthor the Defiled instead. Look, Dwarves and Barbarians aren't a big thing, fine. But they should be.
Workhorse EX Bill the Pony The counter theme works, as we can produce weird amounts of mana with it. I haven't checked to see whether there's an infinite-mana combo—there may be with Rings of Brighthearth; I don't really know.
Hoarding Dragon M15 Smaug. Has a treasure we get when he dies. Seek the one true ring.
Field Marshal Eomer, Third Marshal or Field Marshal. Substitute ingredient. How many Soldiers are we running? That's not the point.
Battleflight Eagle M13 The big eagle things that save Gandalf from Saruman's Tower Jump!
Sages of the Anima ARB The Council of Elrond. And Elf Council. (Neale waggles his eyebrows.) Card-draw is always this great, even when it's this lame.
Silklash Spider C14 Shelob, who spins a web around Sam—delicious, tasty Sam Repeatable mass removal for flyers, which we are weak to
Council of the Absolute DGM The White Council This card is terrible in Commander, and you shouldn't play it.
Stormsurge Kraken C14 The weird octopus thing that attacks the fellowship as they ponder stupid dwarf riddles I am losing the will to live.
Spectral Procession C14 The ghost army that helps out during The Return of the King Token part of the army
Dearly Departed ISD The ghost army that helps out during The Return of the King Counter-generator part of the army
Obsidian Battle-Axe MOR "You have my axe." When you have a lot of tokens, it's always good to have some Equipment to beef them up a little.
Viridian Longbow MRD "And my bow!" Ping!
Staff of Nin M13 And Gandalf's staff. “You shall not pass!” Double ping! And draw! This thing does everything. Use with Rings of Brighthearth for all the LOLs.
Sword of the Meek FUT Sting Great with token-makers and hard to permanently remove.
Sword of Vengeance C14 Whatever Aragorn's stupid reforged sword is called Wonderful on commanders and generally a good piece of kit for winning combat
Magebane Armor M10 Frodo's mithril armor. I picked it because it doesn't stop him from just being stabbed, which happens so often in the novels, despite the armor. Darksteel Plate is the go-to, but Frodo doesn't wear plate, so it's this instead. It does . . . stuff.
Crystal Ball M11 Sauron’s/Saruman’s palantiri, as discovered by Pippin. Or Merry. Whoever. We need some card selection. This isn't that bad.
Downpour M13 The giant wave commanded by Elrond that sweeps away the Nazgul pursuing the delirious Frodo and Glorfindel Kinda removal
Path to Exile CMD At the end of the trilogy, the Elves all bugger off. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Spot removal is always kinda sketch in Commander, but if you're going to run it, this is great. Also, it provides some utility of finding a land by hitting one of our own tokens.
Journey to Nowhere CMD Well, we know where we're goin'. But we don't know where we've been. And we know what we're knowin'. But we can't say what we've seen. And we're not little children. And we know what we want. And the future is certain. Give us time to work it out. We're on a road to nowhere. Come on inside. Takin' that ride to nowhere. We'll take that ride. I'm feelin' okay this mornin'. And you know— We're on a road to paradise. Here we go, here we go. We're on a ride to nowhere. Come on inside. Takin' that ride to nowhere. We'll take that ride. Maybe you wonder where you are—I don't care. Here is where time is on our side. Take you there, take you there. We're on a road to nowhere. We're on a road to nowhere. We're on a road to nowhere. There's a city in my mind. Come along and take that ride. And it's all right, baby, it's all right. And it's very far away. But it's growing day by day. And it's all right, baby, it's all right. Would you like to come along? And you could help me sing this song. And it's all right, baby, it's all right. They can tell you what to do. But they'll make a fool of you. And it's all right, baby, it's all right. There's a city in my mind. Come along and take that ride. And it's all right, baby, it's all right. And it's very far away. But it's growing day by day. And it's all right, baby, it's all right .

Would you like to come along? You could help me sing this song. And it's all right, baby, it's all right. They can tell you what to do. But they'll make a fool of you. And it's all right, baby, it's all right. We're on a road to nowhere. We're on a road to nowhere. We're on a road to nowhere. We're on a road to nowhere.

Valorous Stance FRF There are so many situations in which this card applies, but I like to think of it happening on Weathertop against the Nazgul. Removal + protection = utility I can get behind.
Voyage's End THS Throw that ring away, Frodo! Bite someone's finger off with this.
Rise to the Challenge BNG Sam's card I like turtles.
Siege of Towers GPT The battle of the Two Towers. A game finisher for us. Sometimes. Okay, rarely.
Dramatic Rescue RTR An eagle rescuing a dude from certain death. Remind you of something? Huh? If so, please let me know. WOOSH—Why didn't we all just ride eagles to Mt. DOOM? HUH, HUH, EXPLAIN THAT NERDS.
Narrow Escape ZEN Uh . . . 
Silent Departure ISD Bilbo buggering off from his own damn party I like repeatable effects, even when they are this lame.
Invisibility M15 A key part of the whole affair: invisibility. Especially as it doesn't make the actual card invisible to its true enemies, other players, just like the dumb ring. Look at what I'm working with here.
Citadel Siege FRF The Battle of Helm's Deep More counters, and an excellent way of making any token a threat
Clone The Worst Art Version This is a stand-in for all the comments saying, “Well, what about my favorite character? You forgot him/her/it! Didn't think of that, did you?" Well I did, and this is it. Always having a copy of the best creature on the field is good—and maybe the only way this deck can win.
Contagion Clasp SOM The clasp of Merripin's cloak that Aragorn son of Arrogant finds amongst the dead goblins in that bit with the—

Oh jeez, never mind.

Proliferate is one of our main ways of “breaking” counters. It’s a key wish target.
Contagion Engine SOM I refuse to justify this. See above, twice.
Command Tower CMD Tower #1. As our commander is Sauron, this must be Sauron's tower. Best mana-fixing land in the format
Urza's Tower ME4 Tower #2 It's that easy, folks! Clearly, this is Sauruman's tower—it also has a mine. Mana ramp
Urza's Mine ME4 No one actually knows how to spell Sarumann. A ramp made of mana
Urza's Power Plant ME4 He had a power plant. It was a plant with power (an Ent). A lamp made of lava
Forbidden Orchard CHK That stupid scene in the first book in which the Kithkin—I mean hobbits—steal from that farmer Mana-fixing
Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle ZEN MOUNT DOOM. I mean, it's pretty obvious it's going to be a bad place when it's called MOUNT DOOM. Not a lot of room for error there. This will never do anything in this deck.
Forest ZEN There are forests, right?
Flooded Strand KTK The whole boring bit in the middle parts when Sam and Frodo wander around in a swamp with Golem Mana-fixing
Marsh Flats ZEN Still boring Mana-fixing
Encroaching Wastes M14 Oh so boring. See, true to the novels. Mana-fixing
Dark Depths CSP The pit into which the big demon thing falls with Gandalf Counters? I guess?
Homeward Path C13 Well, Sam and Frodo need to return somehow, right? Stops dumb blue decks doing dumb blue things.
Ghost Quarter C14 Weathertop Kills lands
Ancient Tomb VMA That place with all the mist that Aragorb, Ghibli, and Legolamb wander around with the ghosts. Kills yourself
Rustic Clachan MOR The Shire Reinforce! Finally, there’s a reason to have this in the deck.
Opal Palace C13 The palace that gets attacked in that one place Counters!
Reflecting Pool SHM That one scene when Frodo or Sam, whatever short person, stares into the water and sees some dead things or something. Look, please, it's getting late, and I'm very tired. Mana fixing
Mountain ZEN There are mountains in the novels; I am sure of it.
Scalding Tarn ZEN So you can do the misty-mountain hop Mana-fixing
Evolving Wilds ORI Look, here's the thing: I need fixing badly. Mana-fixing
Shimmering Grotto M14 Mana-fixing
Bloodstained Mire KTK Mordor Mana-fixing
Plains ZEN Basically Gondor
Windswept Heath KTK The other part of Gondor Mana-fixing
Plateau ME4 The flat part of Gondor Mana-fixing
Savannah ME4 Lower Gondor Mana-fixing
Taiga ME4 The part of Gondor with all the pyres Mana-fixing
Tundra ME4 Upper-middle Gondor with the excellent real-estate prices Mana-fixing
Verdant Catacombs ZEN Treebeard’s forest—I am too tired to look it up. Someone, quick, tell me. Mana-fixing
Wooded Foothills KTK The bit between the two towers and the forest Mana-fixing
Sacred Foundry GTC Arasnore's sword must of been reforged somewhere. Mana-fixing
Temple Garden RTR One word: Elves Mana-fixing
Hallowed Fountain RTR I'm pretty sure if I could be bothered reading all the novels again, I'd find mention of a fountain somewhere, but I think at this late stage that I'm unlikely to get through it all. Mana-fixing
Arid Mesa ZEN The bit of Gondor I didn't mention earlier Mana -fixing
Stomping Ground GTC Orc place Mana-fixing
Island ZEN Fine, there were no islands in the goddamn novels. This is the most expensive deck that will lose every game you play. But you will probably have a blast doing so.

Ironroot Chef Ant Tessitore

When Nate revealed this secret ingredient, I immediately knew the story I wanted to tell. The summer before we all went away to college, my D&D group decided to meet three times a week for the remaining months leading up to life at our new schools. We were all heading to different locations across the country, and we each knew the odds of us all remaining friends was not in our favor (though none of us would dare voice these concerns at the time). It became an unspoken agreement between the four us that this was our last hurrah, a final adventure together before our characters would forge separate paths in unknown lands. With three freshly rolled PCs, my friends embarked on what would end up being my last adventure as a dungeon master.

Long before the Ring of Three Wishes was a Magic card, it was an extremely powerful artifact in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. Over the course of our adventures, my friends’ characters had raided the tomb of a powerful undead lich. Littered among the spoils of their successful campaign, the paladin of the group would find one such ring encased in a block of etched amber. The party would come to learn that the artifact was cursed. Though the ring contained three unused wish spells, it could only be used once by any single person.

Amber Prison
Ring of Three Wishes
Curse Artifact

“Three wishes, three party members,” our druid would say. “One wish for each of us!”

“Of all the curses, this one isn’t so bad,” the paladin would agree.

Little did my merry band of adventurers know that the cursed ring hid a far darker secret.

Growing up, none of my friends were into Magic. Try as I might, I could not spark their interest in the collectible card game that had so captivated my imagination. In an attempt to try to get them addicted to the many flavors offered by my favorite game, I would often inject Magic into my D&D games.

Living Wish
Golden Wish
Burning Wish

Some of my all-time favorite lines of flavor text exist on the Wish cards in Magic. Each line teaches the reader to “be careful what you wish for” in its own creative way. I decided to test my party by including a second subtle, yet powerful, curse on the Ring of Three Wishes. Each wish made would be “incomplete” and come with an unexpected price (similar to the flavor text of the Wish spells). The first wish made was by the paladin who found the ring. In his desire to become king of a vast and noble empire, he wished for land to rule, but not for a means to defend it.

Sir Shandlar of Eberyn
Living Wish
Contested War Zone

My friends spent many nights defending the land, exhausting valuable resources as they rallied forces to fend of barbarian hoards attempting to conquer their newly acquired “kingdom.”

Balduvian Horde

Still unaware the ring held a second, secret curse, the druid decided to make his wish. Up until this point, the druid of the party had built his character around his ability to wildshape, and he desired to become the most powerful shapeshifter the world had ever known. In the version of D&D we were playing at the time, druids were only able to shapeshift into a single type of chosen animal. Using the ring, the druid wished to shapeshift into any animal, but not for the ability to control it. In granting the druid’s desire, I cursed his wildshape ability so that it would change the character into a randomly determined animal form.

Lord Magnus
Golden Wish
Evolutionary Leap

At this point, the party caught on to the fact that there was something up with the ring, and they decided to refrain from using up the last wish until they could figure out exactly what it was. As the summer came to a close, the party was no closer to discovering the ring’s insidious secret. A number of rash decisions left the adventurers in a situation in which there was little chance for escape, leaving the mage of the group no choice but to use the final wish. In an attempt to save his friends (and himself), the mage wished for a powerful spell that would annihilate their enemies, but not for the ability to survive it.

Sunastian Falconer
Burning Wish

The resulting empowered, enlarged, heightened, maximized, quickened fireball spell incinerated everything in the surrounding area, including the party. This deck is meant to recreate that final adventure, with each card selected meant to represent my friends’ three characters and the dangers they faced after looting the Ring of Three Wishes.

Sir Shandlar of Eberyn
Lord Magnus
Sunastian Falconer

I chose these three legendary creatures to represent my friends’ three characters: the paladin, druid, and mage. Sir Shandlar or Eberyn’s flavor text serves as a reminder of the many lives the paladin would have to rally in order to protect his lands. Sunastian Falconer’s flavor text is fitting because, at one point, the mage’s character attempted to multiclass as a wizard/fighter. All three are from the Legends set due to my attempt to bring the supertype full circle. As we learned from Mark Rosewater in his Legends Drive to Work episode, the “legendary” type was actually inspired by the D&D characters of the set’s designer. Now these legendary creatures are being used to represent the D&D characters of my friends’ adventurers. The remaining ninety-six cards (and three sideboard cards) are meant to showcase these three characters’ equipment and spells, the perils they faced, the wishes they made, and the Ring of Three Wishes itself.

Last but not least, we come to the commander: a multi-headed, multitasking Hydra whose imagination served as the soul of the adventure. I present to you the dungeon master himself.

Image found here.

Our Last Adventure Time ? Ironroot Chef Commander | Ant Tessitore

  • Commander (0)

The Vote

Below, you can read the judges’ scoring to see how Nate and Stybs cast their ballots. However, this is your chance to score the winner of Battle Ring of Three Wishes.

{six different polls, each with an end date of midnight 7/24}

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The Judging

Nate’s Judgment

Nathan Holt @walktheplanes

Nate’s the host of Walking the Planes, a documentary series about Magic: The Gathering with a healthy dose of sketch comedy (for value).

What an interesting coincidence! Both of our chefs brewed up five-color Commander decks that are themed on fantasy epics. Neale chose JRR Tolkien’s ever-popular Lord of the Rings saga while Ironroot Chef Ant chose a D&D campaign, inspired by the work of Gary Gygax, who was in turn inspired by JRR Tolkien. It is said that great minds think alike. But there can only be one ring to rule them all. Two chefs enter the arena. One will make like an Ent and leave.

Challenger Neale Talbot

Sol Ring
Good sir, your deck is masterful. Rarely is such an ambitious project so well-tuned and detail-oriented. You’ve taken one of the most famous stories of all time and found one hundred analogies to bring it to life in a Magic deck. These analogies rely heavily on card names and artwork rather than the flavor of their effects on the battlefield. That’s fine with me. Your priorities are in the right place. In reading each card, the images on the cards came to life in my head.

I need to ding you for adherence to the theme. It’s true that Sol Ring is the 1-drop ring to rule them all, but shouldn’t the deck be centered on Ring of Three Wishes? It’s a bit disappointing to see the latter relegated to one of the seven, crappy-ass, un-special, dwarf rings. What’s up with that?

A note about presentation: I don’t expect challengers to rise to Ironroot Chef Ant’s level of peacock plumage with respect to how you showcase your deck. But I’d omit the admissions to mechanical necessity of a certain ingredient (“I needed this for mana reasons,” etc.). A good showman keeps these things secret. Everybody knows Mario Batali cheats by adding extra butter to his pork dishes, but that’s not where he wants to draw the focus.

Creativity: 3

Boldness: 3

Adherence to the theme: 1

Ironroot Chef Ant Tessitore

Sword of Fire and Ice
With each challenge, your “plating” grows fancier and fancier! This may win points with the community vote, but no such ostentatious displays of jpegs and Photoshopping shall curry favor (or flavor) with me!

Furthermore, I’m growing weary of a growing trend between you and Ironroot Chef Mike Linnemann: the use of tear-jerking personal stories to persuade your audience about your deck’s flavor. You’re both excellent writers. We get it. I cannot and will not forbid you from writing these stories. By all means, give the people what they want. Just know that I will not fall prey to your charms. I want to taste your creations in the decklist. The cards should tell the story on their own.

Your siren song aside, your deck (surprise surprise) is great again. Unlike Neale, who focused more on the rings, you focused your story on the wishes. Good move. I also love the subtheme of Equipment, which evokes D&D so well.

However, Neale chose a bolder task in subjecting himself to the judgment of analogies that are known to the public—and therefore more vulnerable to scrutiny. One cannot examine the veracity of your D&D epic in the same way. You are asking us to suspend disbelief on many of the details. Are you using this leeway to make sloppy creative decisions? I don’t know.

Creativity: 2

Boldness: 2

Adherence to the theme: 3

Adam’s Judgment

Adam Styborski @the_stybs

Adam is the Content Manager for Gathering Magic. He's a casual player at heart and weekly columnist for MagicTheGathering.com. He also travels the country for Pro Tour and Grand Prix coverage, and he shares his Pauper Cube everywhere.


Commander decks are hard. While the openness of having access to almost every card in the game and having one hundred slots to fill seems easy at first, building a cohesive deck from so many disparate pieces is challenging.

You asked for the challenge, but I feel you fell short of your called shot.

Karona, False God
Karona, False God is a great commander because she existed as a representation of the wishes of people—if those who worshipped her believed and wished she was capable of something, she simply was. To manifest desire is what wishes literally are.

There is huge potential to explore wishes and the essence of tapping directly into desires. Feeling powerful and mighty is one fantastic avenue I was excited to see you jump on, but going into Lord of the Rings was disappointing. The One Ring grants some parlor tricks to the bearers, but it’s only in Sauron’s grasp does its full power become manifest. It’s a story about how power tempts and corrupts—comparable to cards like Jinxed Choker or Jinxed Ring.

Ring of Three Wishes is all upside, all the time. I see the connection you wanted, but it isn’t as strong from this side of the table.

While I found your reasoning for commander (colors over flavor) lacking and choice of theme off taste, you did a fantastic job scouring Magic for one-to-one correspondences for arguably the most influential fantasy novels of all time. With the Elf subtheme, that pays off for the commander, and there’s plenty of mischief to be had with lords and rings, though I have to say cutting Tom Bombadil from your vision of the story was as unforgivable as when Peter Jackson did it.

My scores for you reflect the wonder of your attention of Tolkien that didn’t matchup to the challenge Ring of Three Wishes was asking for.

Creativity: 1

Boldness: 3

Adherence to theme: 2



Let’s say your story of running a campaign was totally false and that each turn of your story was faked simply to sell your flavor. It wouldn’t matter: You captured something rich and wonderful, even if Ring of Three Wishes doesn’t have the dramatic drawback the ring in your story did. (See my commentary for Challenger Talbot above.)

Top-down, your deck is internally consistent. DMs do have protection from everything—at least from players—and function like a multi-headed hydra. While it’s still convenient to use a five-color commander, your rationale is at least satisfying for the allegory you present. Capturing each step of using the ring—from acquisition to wishes to regret to ending—is through and just as impressive as Talbot’s take on Lord of the Rings.

My scores for you reflect the wonder of the tale you concocted—for us or truly for your friends—with the slight mismatches to the way Magic’s Ring of Three Wishes works:

Creativity: 2

Boldness: 3

Adherence to theme: 2

Voting closes midnight Thursday, and the first winner will be announced Friday (7/31/2015). Follow @IronrootChef on Twitter for the final score, for the victory announcement, and to share your ideas for secret ingredients. Chairman Holt will continue to use your suggestions to challenge our chefs to the core.

Next week, we’ll have a break, as all eyes should be on Pro Tour Magic Origins happening this weekend in Vancouver, Canada. It wouldn’t be fair for the chairman to be disturbed during his hour of need.

And if you think you have what it takes to challenge the chefs, send an e-mail to IronrootChef AT gmail DOT com with all of your flavorful qualifications. We’re looking for new Ironroot Chefs and competitors, and you could be the next to take a shot at impressing the judges.

Going to Gen Con? Be sure to visit the CoolStuffInc.com booth for singles, trade-ins, and more!

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