Norin the Wary - Heads I win, Tails you lose.

  • #1
    Heads... I win. Tails... You lose! Norin the Wary Primer!
    This is the God of Fairplay shoving Norin's head up your ass - Hourglass

    Building an EDH/Commander deck is an art form. And of course, there will inevitably be wildly varying views on how the art should feel, should be described, and should be visualized. Every card in the ninety-nine should be carefully selected from the palette of over 13,000 shades to most perfectly declare your story. Of course, if you're reading this thread, most of this doesn't apply to you. You want all of the paint on one canvas. One hundred cards is too few.

    See, if your creation of choice is Norin the Wary, "99" is an illusion. Your story will consume all of the decks on the field, and you can proudly proclaim your victory with a 2/1 that doesn't really do anything, yet does everything you want it to.

    Welcome to Norin the Wary - The only deck that can end the game with more cards on your side of the board than you've actually cast.

    Surging Chaos: It's official: Norin is a DB general
    Why Norin?
    Since the beginning of Norin's existence, there have been a lot of interesting and powerful red generals released into the petting zoo. Stuff like Kiki-Jiki, Krenko, or Purphoros exist, and are seemingly more powerful than Norin could ever be.

    Well, you're wrong.

    Where's the fun in running the obvious? All three of these seemingly powerful concoctions are extremely simple, have been done to death, and simply don't have the re-playability to sustain themselves for more than a year or two. It's much better to look at generals like Jaya Ballard, who has multiple interesting build paths, or Márton Stromgald because text box. These are the decks that will last throughout differing sets, and will offer the most bang for your buck. You cannot have a dull story when one of the key cards in your deck revolves around discarding itself.

    Furthermore, you're killing people with a 2/1 that can't be killed through conventional removal, has the greatest flavor text of all time, and is being given active support nearly every set.

    The most important part to figuring out if Norin is the best general for you is a very simple, quite literally vital check.

    Are you breathing?

    If you answered "yes" to this question, Norin is probably the general for you.

    If you answered "no" to this question, mono black is that way.

    Norin the Wary is a general with a lot of history, and a lot of subtle jokes and elbow jabs. You can be assured of hugely varying reactions every time you plop him down in front of a table, and can be assured of hugely satisfying reactions at the end of every game.

    However, be warned - Norin does not play well against solitaire-esque decks. If the player simply does not care about others' board state, you might not have the greatest game.

    The Truth!
    1 In the beginning players shuffled their libraries and presented their generals. 2 Now the board was formless and empty, mulligans were resolved, and Sol Rings were hovering in hands.

    3 And the First Player said, "Let there be Norin," and there was Norin. 4 The second player saw that Norin blinked, and chose to let it go. 5 The blue player thought this was pointless, and allowed it - the first turn.

    6 And the First Player said, "We need more creatures." 7 So he tapped two mountains and cast Genesis Chamber. 8 The second player sighed. The blue player was tapped out - the second turn.

    Jibsea: your deck might look fun to play
    Jibsea: but i think i'd rather play against zur and get
    9 And the First Player said, "I really hate nonbasic lands." And it was so. 10 The First Player cast Blood Moon. And the First Player saw that the second player had no basics.

    11 And then the First Player said, "At the end of turn, token." And it was so. 12 The Genesis Chamber produced a token: another myr to add to the swarm already gathering. And the First Player saw that there were no responses. 13 There was a sigh, and a facepalm - the third turn.

    14 And the First Player said "I need a win condition at some point 15 so i really hope I draw a Purphoros." And it was drawn. 16 The First Player cast a Sol Ring, tapping one mountain. The blue player did not respond. 17 The First Player then cast his Purphoros 18 and again there was no response from the blue player. And the First Player blinked Norin. 19 And there were more end of turn shenanigans - the fourth turn.

    20 And the First Player said "Let the board teem with artifact creatures, and let Purphoros hit you all for two each trigger."
    21 So the First Player attacked with everything at the second player, and Norin Blinked. And the First Player moved to the end step. 22 The First Player giggled, "Be fruitful and increase in number, and let me get more triggers." 23 The second player scooped, the blue player had no response - the fifth turn.

    24 And the First Player said "Genesis Chamber triggers moar times." And it was so. 25 The First Player reached for his myr tokens and put them onto the battlefield. 26 Then the First Player said, "I think it's time for some goblin tokens, too."

    27 And the First Player cast Goblin Matron, and fetched Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker.

    28 Then the First Player said, "I'll cast this Mana Crypt and then Kiki-Jiki." The blue player did not respond.

    29 Then the First Player said, "I'll activate Kiki targeting Matron. I'll search for Beetleback Chief. 30 He moved to the end step. The blue player didn't respond.

    31 The First Player saw all that he had done, and it was very good. Norin returned to the battlefield and more myr were made - the sixth turn.

    32 Thus the board was entirely one-sided. 32 The First Player attacked the blue player with everything. The blue player responded, "I scoop."

    33 The First Player took a drink - the seventh turn.

    Alright then, how can I replicate this? A decklist!

    Church of the WaryMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    God - 1
    1 Norin the Wary

    His Domain - 34
    1 Arid Mesa
    1 Bloodstained Mire
    1 Buried Ruin
    1 Cavern of Souls
    1 Darksteel Citadel
    1 Ghost Quarter
    1 Great Furnace
    1 Haunted Fengraf
    1 Kher Keep
    1 Scalding Tarn
    1 Scrying Sheets
    19 Snow-Covered Mountain
    1 Strip Mine
    1 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
    1 Wasteland
    1 Wooded Foothills

    His Magical Powers - 9
    1 Aftershock
    1 Faithless Looting
    1 Gamble
    1 Mogg Infestation
    1 Reforge the Soul
    1 Ruination
    1 Shattering Spree
    1 Warp World
    1 Wheel of Fortune

    His Minions - 26
    1 Beetleback Chief
    1 Duplicant
    1 Goblin Assassin
    1 Goblin Matron
    1 Goblin Recruiter
    1 Goblin Settler
    1 Goblin Welder
    1 Imperial Recruiter
    1 Iron Myr
    1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
    1 Krenko, Mob Boss
    1 Magus of the Moon
    1 Manic Vandal
    1 Mogg War Marshal
    1 Moggcatcher
    1 Ogre Battledriver
    1 Outrage Shaman
    1 Purphoros, God of the Forge
    1 Rummaging Goblin
    1 Siege-Gang Commander
    1 Solemn Simulacrum
    1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
    1 Stingscourger
    1 Tuktuk Scrapper
    1 Viashino Racketeer
    1 Zealous Conscripts

    Ooh, Shiny - 20
    1 Cloudstone Curio
    1 Conjurer's Closet
    1 Crucible of Worlds
    1 Gauntlet of Might
    1 Genesis Chamber
    1 Helm of Possession
    1 Honor-Worn Shaku
    1 Mana Crypt
    1 Memory Jar
    1 Mind Stone
    1 Mind's Eye
    1 Relic of Progenitus
    1 Sculpting Steel
    1 Sensei's Divining Top
    1 Skullclamp
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Springleaf Drum
    1 Tangle Wire
    1 Teferi's Puzzle Box
    1 Trading Post

    The Mailman - 1
    1 Chandra Ablaze

    Wrath of God - 1
    1 Chaos Warp

    Bucket of Fun - 8
    1 Blood Moon
    1 Confusion in the Ranks
    1 Grip of Chaos
    1 Pandemonium
    1 Planar Chaos
    1 Stranglehold
    1 Warstorm Surge
    1 Widespread Panic

    Q & A

    Q: How the hell do you win?
    A: Uh.. winning?

    Q: Is this deck good?
    A: Yes, it's quite powerful.

    Q: Does Norin actually do anything?
    A: Occasionally.

    Q: What hurts your deck?
    A: Torpor Orb. Humility. Stifle effects. All of them suck!

    Q: What are your strongest matchups?
    A: The more colors you use, the better the matchup gets. The less basics you use, the better the matchup gets.

    Q: I thought Chandra Ablaze sucked - why are you running her?
    A: She is a complete beast in this deck, Jace has nothing! My favorite thing to do is use the -2 to screw with everyone's hands and refill mine.

    Q: Why run Norin over any other red general?
    A: Who asked you? (hint, read above)

    Q: Aren't you running a couple lands too few?
    A: Not at all, I have cheap artifact acceleration to go with them, so it's like running 40+ lands!

    Q: What do you do if someone attacks you from the beginning?
    A: Panic.

    Q: Does Norin ever die?
    A: Would you honestly spend valuable time trying to kill him? If you said yes, you don't belong here.

    Q: What do you do if Norin dies?
    A: Panic.

    Q: How do you play the deck?
    A: In Soviet Russia, deck plays you!

    Q: What card do you want printed the most for this deck?
    A: Better red draw, or more interesting enchantments.

    Q: What will you do if you dont get one?
    A: Panic.

    Q: Is the deck fun?
    A: Uh.... for me Grin

    Q: What's your favorite card in the deck?
    A: Goblin Welder. So much one red can do...

    Q: Advice for any new Norin players?

    Q: Seriously? Anything else?
    A: RTFC. Or Norin will find you.

    Card Selection


    You'll first notice that I run the barest minimum number of lands - you're going to be abusing mulligan rules a lot. In exchange, I'm drawing out the maximum amount of power per draw step that I can... hopefully. Every land has a function, and every land that doesn't perform a function isn't in the deck.

    Here we go!

    Maluleca: It's like a red machine gun! With bullets of

    Fetchlands (Arid Mesa/Bloodstained Mire/Scalding Tarn/Wooded Foothills) are the most expensive part of the mana base, but are the most important. A lot of mono-colored decks are just fine not running fetches, either out of price issues or simply because they do not feel they are necessary. Clearly, they have not seen my style of play.

    Smart play or not - I utilize fetchlands as "cheating" mechanisms. If I have a moon effect out, they are just normal mountains, and nothing is lost. If I have a valakut out, fetches turn into bolts whenever I need them. Alone, fetches enable a "do I need mana next draw or not?" playstyle. If I want to draw a land next, I will not crack the fetch. If I want business, I crack. Statistically, this is an insignificant plan, as the % chance of drawing or not drawing a land is tiny, assuming perfect randomization (something that logically can't exist) ... but I do it anyway, because I can.

    Clearly, fetchlands are more than just a land drop to my twisted mind. This IS a Norin deck, after all.

    Snow-Covered Mountains are the workhorse of the mana base. Being mountains, they enable the powerful Valakut burn engine. Being snow, they enable Scrying Sheets as a draw engine, giving even more utility to the mana base.

    Speaking of Scrying Sheets - this is an extremely useful tool combined with Sensei's Divining Top or Widespread Panic. As long as you can control the top of your library, you can magically draw the answer. True story.

    Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle gives the deck late game reach like few others can do. Once the magical number is hit, your land drops turn into bolts, and fetches turn into instant speed, nigh unstoppable removal.

    Cavern of Souls is probably one of the most overpowered lands printed in recent memory. The ability to erase the threat of counterspells on your creatures is fantastic - because pretty much all of the creatures in this deck are capable of winning on their own, or at least be annoying enough to help it along. Name "Goblin" for success, "Chuck Norris" if you think humans are the way to go. Or you can just give the finger to blue mages, I don't much care. They might, but they'll be dead in a few turns anyways.

    Adding to the pile of utility lands, Kher Keep functions as one of the best engines in the deck. With skullclamp, it turns into a draw engine. With Confusion in the Ranks, suddenly you can steal whatever you want at instant speed! If you've got nothing to do, there is nothing wrong with generating tokens. Drawing Warp World with a ton of 0/1s out can turn a bad game into a win.

    Buried Ruin, artifact recursion! This gem does more than just tap for mana - it brings back some of the many artifacts that serve to annoy everyone. Crucible of Worlds dead? No problem!

    Haunted Fengraf is a Dark Ascension addition. It provides one of the only ways to actually recur creatures in this deck, and rather handily at that. While it does have a random clause, it really doesn't matter. Anything recur-able is plenty fine by me.

    Darksteel Citadel and Great Furnace are two other tricky lands. Their sole purpose - turn Confusion in the Ranks into an artifact stealing engine, too. Did i mention they tap for mana? They do that too. See how useful they are.

    I need not explain Strip Mine and Wasteland. For those clueless bastards who don't know what they do - go outside and take a sledgehammer to something. That's what they do.

    I do need to explain what Ghost Quarter does, though. Instead of taking a sledgehammer to something, channel your inner jackhammer and chew up your neighbors lawn. They'll be forced to replace it with fake grass. This is what Ghost Quarter does, only in the example listed your neighbors won't know it's you. Seriously, have you tried it? They won't know.


    You thought that was all the mana Norin ran? You've clearly never played this format before.

    The best place to start for acceleration is the obvious place: Sol Ring. One mana. Two in return. Duh.

    A far more expensive version, even if cheaper, is Mana Crypt. In a game of 40 life, there is quite literally no downside to the card. Even if you drop to low life totals, you'll never die to it's upkeep cost. Seriously. It took nearly twelve flips at one life before the game ended. I won.

    Another great and cheap source of mana in the early game is Mind Stone. It's the opposite investment of Sol Ring, but given the relative efficiency of the card compared to other ramp, it's fantastic. For icing on the cake, You can use it to draw a card. This makes for a fantastic Goblin Welder engine.

    Another two drop that synergizes with much of the deck is Iron Myr. Yes, the rusty myr is indeed playable, and he is extremely good in this deck. As a two drop, he's basically another Mind Stone. One that works incredibly well with Confusion in the Ranks and Skullclamp, nevermind the more creature-oriented buffs that are also omnipresent. If you're really light on mana you can even tutor for him, but this is the rare case.

    Moving on to the less-obvious acceleration choices now. Honor-Worn Shaku and Springleaf Drum are two very odd cards for EDH. One of them is useless without a creature, and one has a very strange clause to increase the mana production. Thankfully, Norin the Wary provides the answers! With Norin, Honor-Worn Shaku turns into mana every turn, benefiting something like Mind's Eye. On your turn - it is two mana, making it one of the better cost -> return pieces. Springleaf Drum, as seen in old-school affinity, is great for turning tokens or free dudes into free mana - which is the same policy used here. With this in mind, I give both of these the label of Norin Engine!

    But where, you might ask, are the mana doublers seen in nearly every single colored deck? As it turns out, I feel only one of them is good enough to actually play. Gauntlet of Might does exceptional things for you, and if traded away doesn't hurt in the slightest. At four mana, it's the best doubler of them all.

    Non-Mana Artifacts

    With a Goblin Welder in the deck - you know artifacts are a goodly theme for the rest of it. Red needs advantage, right?

    Oh Myr God. They're coming! - Last words of Arcum Dagsson
    Beginning with a powerful Norin Engine - Cloudstone Curio is a card that is really quite odd. Red doesn't generally care about reusing cards. They just want to blow everything up and move on. However, being able to use something like Stingscourger or Imperial Recruiter every turn makes Cloudstone Curio the best long-term engine in the deck. Be warned - players like to kill this card. Bad memories, I'd assume. Elf-filled memories. Shudder.

    Genesis Chamber - This is never a bad topdeck. Genesis Chamber makes things happen for Norin. Turn one Norin -> Turn two chamber in a four player game can quickly turn to 15 power, and a dead player. While being a great source of tokens (blockers), chamber runs almost scarily well with Confusion in the Ranks or Skullclamp. You will run over games quickly with the chamber. It's a kill on sight style card.

    While you're literally crapping out dudes with Genesis Chamber, why not use them to steal stuff forever? Helm of Possession turns stealing into an art form. Nice Jin-Gitaxis you've got there. Mind if i borrow it? Note - you can sacrifice Norin to this! It's not like he doesn't anything useful. Get back in your room, Norin.

    Far more fun than stealing stuff is making sure it was yours to begin with. Sculpting Steel doubles up on all of your powerful artifacts and makes your opponent wish they hadn't dropped Blightsteel Colossus just yet.

    Annoying, yes? We've got worse in store! This is a deck that likes to blink stuff. A lot. In fact, Norin holds the world record for number of times blinked in a second. 42, because that's the number that matters. So, how are we going to help Norin practice blinking? A mirror would work, but I think we could do better. How about a closet for that mirror? Conjurer's Closet blinks things at the end of your turn, which means you can get some serious mileage out of that solemn simulacrum, or that zealous conscripts. Out of goblins? No problem! Blink a tutor, or blink that siege-gang. All in all, this is quite possibly the best artifact in the deck!

    Of course, doing useful things is great, but sometimes you need to ensure that nobody does anything! Tangle Wire can effectively silence players for long stretches of time - and because of Norin does far less damage to you than it does to anyone else. On the first cycle, you're only tapping out one effective card. Nifty, eh? If that's not enough, it's downright unfair when you cycle it with Goblin Welder. Stop untapping. Forever.

    Better than annoying - Red also needs draw. For this, Norin gets to play with two incredibly broken cards. Memory Jar and Skullclamp - I choose you! Memory Jar is a crazy draw engine alongside Goblin Welder, and enables a tertiary win con of just milling everyone to death. It has been done. Skullclamp combos well with too many things to list - so I'll just leave you with a "SkullclampIsBrokenUseItOrLose" and a "YouCanClampNorin" just for fun.

    But these are generally one-shot draw spells. Clamp will die, and jar doesn't last long. For consistent card drawing, Mind's Eye is one of the strongest sustained drawers in the game. Fun trick, with Honor-Worn Shaku and Norin, you don't actually need to spend mana to draw every turn. Just untap Shaku with the newly blinked Norin and tap to draw. Great way to draw 4 cards per turn cycle.

    But what can draw and is annoying at the same time? It can't be anything other than Teferi's Puzzle Box. With a side bonus of stopping Top Deck Tutors - the box also really annoys everyone. This instantly makes it a good card. Don't forget the draw for the turn comes first.

    Another joyous little artifact we've got is Crucible of Worlds. Hopefully it's fairly obvious that this card is good, because if it's not, I'm going to tell you why it is anyways. Why? Because this is a primer, and I get to tell you stuff. Anyways, Crucible has a very unique and powerful ability in recurring lands. This means that Strip Mine you've got sitting there? It's free to dig away at an opponent's mana base. That fetchland? It's getting even more value out of it. If that weren't enough, It goes great with Buried Ruin and Haunted Fengraf, giving you a recursion engine of your own, albeit an expensive one. Crucible lets you maximize the lands you have and the filter to find them. An excellent card, but beware giving it to your opponents, as it can be just as deadly in the hands of another.

    Now, of course we like recursion. Who doesn't? Well, we also like card draw. And token generation. And life gain. All in one. Trading Post is a small engine that does big things, like... say.... turn a token into a Genesis Chamber. It's no bazaar, but good Norin is it bizarre.

    Since we're down to the utility, we might as well speak about Sensei's Divining Top. This is almost a requirement for decks these days, because adjusting the top three cards of your library is an absolutely insane effect. The longer the game goes on, the more powerful it will become.

    Last, but certainly not least - mandatory Grave Hate. Relic of Progenitus is one of the best graveyard hate pieces to come out, and it doubles as a draw when you need it. Don't forget to use it every turn.


    The color red has the most bizarre set of creatures to ever walk the planes. You have your Manticores (evolution's little joke) and your Elementals. Barbarians and Dragons, the occasional Spirit or Beast. Maybe even a Phoenix here or there. Added to that, red does have it's strange little gremlins. Great flavor text, horrible friends - Goblins are red's primary tool for breaking things. So it makes sense when the first creatures you turn to for doing just that are goblins.

    Who better to begin the swarm of goblins than the immortal himself - Squee, Goblin Nabob. For the small sum of three mana, you get an infinite blocker, skullclamp fodder, or whatever other nefarious purpose you can think of. It's the gift that keeps on giving, even if you'd rather shoot yourself than get it.

    Although squee doesn't swarm well, Krenko, Mob Boss does. By himself, Krenko is capable of putting tremendous amounts of goblins into play. He's a true must answer card - and he only costs four mana! Just think of all the Warstorm Surge triggers. Which, if those weren't lethal, the stench of having several dozen goblins in one spot will probably kill you anyways.

    In some cases, dozens of goblins aren't enough. You only need one. A copy, in fact. Specializing in this particular brand of mischief is Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. He greatly enjoys smashing mirrors, tormenting children, and long walks through the marsh. He's easily one of the best ETB-based creatures in the game, so I think he's earned a spot in this deck.

    To ensure that bad stuff continues to happen, it's nice to have a clear board.

    And you thought red had no recursion? Think again...
    Ensuring this are our removal options. For spot removal, it's hard to beat Outrage Shaman. Not only is he tutorable in four different ways, his effect is great for killing that pesky utility creatures that like to hang back. I like to think he kills his targets by yelling at them.

    Another spot removal critter is Stingscourger. Although he's got echo, it's best to think of him as a fire and forget type effect. It will slow your opponents down mightily if timed correctly, and never mind the fun he does with Teferi's Puzzle Box.

    But sometimes you just need to kill a lot of things. All at the same time. But you can never be quite sure what to blow up, can you? Goblin Assassin will get quarters flipping in no time, and can be stacked to absolutely remove boards from the game. He's easily the most fun anyone will have killing things.

    So how can we abuse this further? Why token generators, of course! Mogg War Marshal, Siege-Gang Commander, and Beetleback Chief are capable of doing silly things with the assassin. Each guarantees up to three coin flips! The board will be wiped, make no mistake. As a plus, Siege-Gang can even chuck the goblins you wanted dead at the targets you wanted dead. Once you drive that bit of logic into your opponents, you can safely ensure victory... because if that made sense they're likely braindead and you can't possibly lose. ...unless that made sense to you, in which case I wish you luck.

    Rounding out the package of annoyances known as goblins are two alternate removal toys. Goblin Settler, destroyer of lands. Tuktuk Scrapper, destroyer of artifacts. As one shot-effects, they are wonderful. As copies off of Kiki, they are horribly scary lockdown machines.

    Now then, it's time for some utility. Starting with a classic, Goblin Welder is so good, vintage decks use him! (Though considering they use Slash Panther too, it isn't saying much)

    There are dozens of tricks that the Welder can pull off. Most notable is the use of Memory Jar, Solemn Simulacrum, and Duplicant. You can use it to take out "indestructible" things too. Just remember that Genesis Chamber makes artifacts waiting to be abused...

    Speaking of artifacts - two of the best creature/artifacts in EDH also reside in this deck. As Goblin Welder is also part of the 100, it makes sense that these two would be easily abused with him. And they are. As stated, Solemn Simulacrum and Duplicant live to be abused. One ramps, one removes. Being artifacts, they also interface extremely well with Confusion in the Ranks. It's so much fun to steal stuff, did i mention that?

    ...which is exactly what Zealous Conscripts lives for! Adding to the tricks Norin is capable of, this little beasty steals a permanent until end of turn and untaps it. This means stealing planeswalkers, fatties, enchantments, lands, whatever. As a small, almost inconsequential side-note... it goes infinite with Kiki-Jiki. As I said, it's nearly irrelevant. Infinite combos. Pfff.

    Sometimes, though, simply stealing something or wiping the board isn't enough. It's important to occasionally keep these plays from happening in the first place. Responsible for this is the always amusing Magus of the Moon. It turns expensive mana bases into fodder for laughter, as folks with too much money and little sense get their $2000 manabase destroyed by a $2 rare. If you're running red, Magus is a must.

    And of course, the creatures get filter as well. The recent years have been kind to this deck, and it just wouldn't work without a bit of ugly. Viashino Racketeer and Rummaging Goblin give you the power to filter like a boss... and adds another way to abuse the Immortal Squee; Bringer of Doom, Eater of Cheese.

    The other non-goblin trickster is Manic Vandal. Boring, but effective. Essentially, this serves as a secondary Tuktuk Scrapper, because artifacts always need to die. 'nuff said.

    However, no creature package is complete without ways to cheat them out of your library. Red is by far the most limited in regard to tutors, but the ones we do have are scarily efficient. Topping the list (and the most expensive card in here by a long-shot) is Imperial Recruiter. A $200 rare from P3K, it gets any creature in my deck sans the manticore, or gets a tutor to get out the others. A great first target for Imperial Recruiter is, as always, Kiki. Re-useable tutor every turn? Insert Evil Laughter Here. Coming up next is the goblin tutor, Goblin Matron. Having the card go directly to your hand is a bonus hard to discount. And of course, it's hard to go wrong with the old-school tutor for one of the most broken decks in its time. Goblin Recruiter sets up your next turn perfectly, provided you want to draw a goblin.

    Rounding out the tutors is Moggcatcher, something that, once active, turns the game around. For 3 mana, you can instantly get a toolbox goblin and use it for whatever nefarious purpose you might have come up with. Nice general, in response to equipping I play Stingscourger from my deck. Yes, I have Teferi's Puzzle Box out.

    We've gone through the fun things, but now it's time to examine one of Norin's scarier creatures. If you've ever looked at In the Web of War and thought ooh, that looks like fun you will absolutely adore Ogre Battledriver. Everybody but me! Charge! He's a haste enabler that also makes your creatures bigger. This is abusable in many ways, but the most obvious is Pandemonium or Warstorm Surge. Alternatively, you can attack with your 4/1 Norin, but considering it's the end of turn I'd like to know how you were planning on accomplishing that.

    And now we get to the false god. If you liked pumping things, and you liked doing things when things entered the thing, you'll think this thing is the only thing worth thinking about.


    Norin runs one planeswalker. Chandra Ablaze, Chandra has the unfortunate title of "Worst Planeswalker" due to her cost and the lack of abilities. ...Or did, until Tibalt came around. We don't talk about Tibalt here. This is, however, the best format possible for her. Her -2 is the most commonly used and perhaps the best of her abilities - hand disruption on what is technically a stick? Yeah.

    Ability by ability:


    +1: Usually used once a game, if at all unless I have a squee in hand. There is something rewarding about throwing a screaming goblin at a Dark Confidant. What is overkill?

    -2: The most used ability. As until Norin actually draws into a draw engine (sad, isn't it?) the hand is mostly empty, this is a great way to refill the hand and disrupt everyone else at the same time. Nothing screams joyous day like making your opponent pitch their carefully sculpted hand and then passing the turn. Or casting Wheel of Fortune, and THEN doing this. Or purchasing stock in a security company. Lots of it.

    -7: Every time this is activated, Norin wins. It is an Ultimate, after all.


    At last, the core of Norin's strength. These are how Norin usually win, and how the game turns into the crazy bundle of fun known as EDH.

    To begin, a card that gives 5c nightmares. Blood Moon is the best disruption available to red versus a large, large portion of decks. That's a nice Hermit Druid deck there, I think I'll completely eradicate any chance you have of winning. Also comes on a stick!

    Pheno: I really don't want to play Magic: the
    Wacky Bull****
    Further disrupting opponents, Planar Chaos randomly counters bombs and answers from other players. With the flip of a coin, games can be won or lost, usually in your favor. Hopefully in your favor. The odds are roughly 50:50.

    Because you cannot have a true chaos deck without it, Grip of Chaos gives us MORE disruption to spot answers. Was that Fireball aimed at me? My bad. Just be careful with this and any of the next three powerhouses. It can turn on you if you're trying to spam targeted effects.

    Norin, it seems, likes to blink. He doesn't do much else. So of course it makes sense that this ability would need to be abused. It doesn't get much more entertaining than good ole Pandemonium or Warstorm Surge. Whenever Norin (or another creature) enters, bam! And because it's that more amusing, with Genesis Chamber out, you get to add another bit of damage to the stack. Eventually, the board will be clear, and someone will start slowly dying. Feel the burn baby.

    But there remains one more Norin Enchantment. One that strikes fear in the heart of opponents. One that makes little kids cry when they hear it's name spoken. Confusion in the Ranks is by far the best card ever printed for Chaos and Norin. It reads: At the end of every turn, steal the best creature on the field. If that creature is an eldrazi or an iona, laugh at target player. If that creature is Blue, proceed to inform your opponent that Blue Sucks, and Red is Awesome.

    One of the more important aspects of EDH is the ability to search your library for an answer. Now, we can't have that. There is little more entertaining than to play Strangehold and watch nearly every deck in existence suffer. This is, of course, the whole point. That infinite turn blue deck? Gone. Toolbox.dec? Gone. Green ramp? I hope you can topdeck. It's a good way to drastically slow down your opponents until you can lay down one of the best ways for red to win.

    If we want to neuter green ramp though, there stands another. Widespread Panic, apart from having the best name in the business, is a cheap way to really slow down the durdly do-nothing decks. If you're smart you can abuse it with Scrying Sheets and Teferi's Puzzle Box, which will confuse your opponents long enough to slip in another myr token.


    What's a chaos deck without a little chaos? There is currently only one instant deemed worthy of the deck. It's a sad state of affairs - there are not many high-impact red instants.

    It stands the test of "duh" that the card in question is Chaos Warp. This is red's tuck, and by FAR the best removal spell red has access too. While it does have a chance of backfiring, odds are whatever you removed in the first place is much worse. Note - you can use it on your own things in an emergency!


    The biggest and most splashiest spells can be found here. Sorceries are where red's power lies - be it land destruction or mass disruption.

    However, there are some smaller suspects in this group. Among them is one of the rarest things in magic - a red tutor. Gamble is a tutor with a random discard, meaning it can sometimes fail. But for one mana, I'll be okay with a little randomization. Just to keep things interesting. (Actually this card hates me, I always seem to discard the thing I tutored for unless I get Squee. It will never discard)

    "Warp World" - Short for "Rage Quit"
    Another tiny toy is one of the best removal spells available to red, Aftershock. Though it costs four mana, it's one of the few things available to red that actually destroys a creature outright, which can be incredibly important.

    Since card advantage is so rare in red, it's good to be able to get x for 1s. One of the best (though for artifacts only) is Shattering Spree. This one-shot wonder can completely erase the field of artifacts, except yours, of course. If you're afraid of countermagic, you can target the same thing multiple times. Just to be safe.

    So these are the small timers. It's time to unveil the biggest spells we've got.

    Starting with... Warp World! For 8 mana, WW completely changes the game around. For spell-heavy decks, this is a deathblow. For everyone else, profit. Pure profit. Warp World does excellently late game after you've had the chance to generate lots of tokens, and can give you a win out of what was previously a dead board.

    For all the cards shown so far, none of them have swept the board. Sweepers are a huge part of EDH, as board positions can get pretty crazy. However, Norin runs exactly one; Mogg Infestation. Unlike most sweepers, Mogg Infestation is one that can be excellently cast on yourself. With a horde of tokens and a Pandemonium out, MI can one-shot someone. Don't forget even more applications with Confusion in the Ranks.

    One aspect that red has been missing for years is the ability to filter through your deck. Every other color has efficient ways of doing this, with the exception of red. Red had three. Now, I don't think Orcish Librarian is exactly what we're looking for, and Control of the Court/Goblin Lore can backfire spectacularly. If you know of some others, bugger off. Now, with the printing of Dark Ascension, red finally started getting so called "looting" effects. To start, there were two: Shattered Perception and Faithless Looting. Since Shattered Perception relies on your hand to actually be full (good luck with that) it was ignored, and its cheaper counterpart looked at more closely. ...I can say with firm resolution that Faithless Looting is the best one-drop Red has gotten since Lightning Bolt. Ignore the Goblin Welder. So we have filter. Don't forget to pitch squee to it for a further bonus to drawing.

    Last, but most certainly not least - our mass LD. 99% of magic players HATE Mass LD. 85% of this statistic was made up on the spot, and a further 104% of this sentence makes no sense. So, with the establishment that Gaka is a liar, and Mass LD is bad - Ruination! Wizards wanted "nonbasic" to be a drawback, just remember that. Ruination performs best in a "developed" meta - one where expensive mana bases (duals) run rampant.

    And of course, the wheels. If you haven't played with them, you haven't lived. Of the three decent ones, Norin plays two- Reforge the Soul and Wheel of Fortune. Both do the same thing - everyone ditches their hand and draws a new set! Obviously among the most powerful spells in magic.

    Everything below this line is outdated:

    Mods - Images hosted by!


    Playing the Deck

    Pre-Game, Early Game

    The Mulligan is arguably the most difficult part of Magic, after sideboard construction. It takes practice and intuition to look at a hand and judge it. Good hands lead to victory, so mulling away chaff is essential to pregame sculpting.

    Let's look at a random sample hand:

    Off the bat, it's clear we have too much mana in hand. Effectively, six cards are mana sources, with one sweeper. A terrible hand in anything but the slowest games, though potentially better with decent topdecks.

    I will mull away two mountains and Caged Sun.

    Now we've got a draw engine. This instantly turns the mana heavy hand into something befitting control. With the Infestation, we can keep certain decks at bay (like reanimator) and with Mind's Eye we can draw quickly into whatever we need. While you could argue that Mind's Eye was going to be drawn anyways... with what psychic power did you know it was next? There are situations where you can mathematically predict the chance of drawing a card (Say keeping a no-land hand with 4 one drops with an 80% chance of drawing some form of mana might be worth it) but in reality, greed is bad. Don't do it.

    I see what you did there
    In practice - the best hand for Norin involves three things:

    A Norin Engine

    The first enables victory, or at least attempts to control the board until it is slow and securely yours. These engines will be discussed later.

    Secondly, disruption ensures that no one ramps ahead and wins early. Decks like Niv-Mizzet like to drop mana facts and wheel into a fresh set of them. An early Manic Vandal slows this down, and gives the other players time to beat on the firey dragon while you slowly manifest your own form of CA.

    A sample start:

    Quite honestly, a great hand. We've got the key components to a successful match with Norin - Disruption, Acceleration, and a Norin Engine. Our early turns will be filled with crippling disruption and enough acceleration to gain a critical edge, followed by the best Norin Engine printed.

    Let's take this hand to turn 5 and see what happens.

    Turn 1, (Draw - Moggcatcher) Snow-Covered Mountain, Norin the Wary.
    Turn 2, (Draw - Great Furnace) Bloodstained Mire (crack for mountain) , Mind Stone.
    Turn 3, (Draw - Snow-Covered Mountain) Cavern of Souls naming Goblin, Blood Moon.
    Turn 4, (Draw - Beetleback Chief) Snow-Covered Mountain, Confusion in the Ranks (Steal best enchantment) EOT steal best creature
    Turn 5, (Draw - Scalding Tarn) Great Furnace (Stealing best artifact if Blood Moon was destroyed), Beetleback Chief (Stealing the board) EOT (Steal back Beetleback Chief)

    From there, the game is already over. You have control of the board, and from there you can do pretty much whatever you want.

    Everything below this line is outdated:

    Mods - Images hosted by!


    April 6, 2011:

    April 29, 2011:

    May 5, 2011:

    May 12, 2011:

    July 16, 2011:

    August 23, 2011:

    Primer being added bit by bit!

    August 30, 2011:

    mana/artifact explanation

    - Mouth of Ronom
    + Buried Ruin

    September 08, 2011:

    Finished card selection section

    Febuary 20, 2012:

    May 25, 2012:

    June 08, 2012:

    July 10, 2012:

    October 10th, 2012:

    January 4th, 2013:
    Last edited by Gaka: 11/2/2013 1:42:08 AM
    Tantarus: It didn't make the gaka greifer level, so it should be fine

    RNorin the WaryR <-Link! (Primer - Mono Red Control)
    GUEdric, Spymaster of TrestUG <- Link! (Mini-Primer - Dredge)

    Duel Commander:
    WUGeist of Saint TraftUW <- Link! (Aggro-Control)
    BGSkullbriar, the Walking GraveGB <- Link! (Aggro)
    BUGDamia, Sage of StoneGUB <- Link! (Extinction Control)

    Church of the Wary
  • #2
    The deck looks fun, but the question and answer section is just hilarious

    Many thanks to Rising Studios for the sweet avatar
  • #3
    the deck's just hillarious! especially at cockatrice Smile

    keep up tweaking Smile
  • #4
    Having now seen this deck in action and read the subsequent Q&A section, I have a new respect for Norin. Any general that can make Electropotence anything other than garbage gets a nod from me!

    the only fair combo is my combo
  • #5
    I was definitely impressed. I'm going to have nightmares about Planar Chaos tonight...

    Have you thought about Goblin Assault? It's another source of creatures.

    UW Land Hax (U/W Tempo) UW
    GW Death and Taxes GW

    WU Hanna, Ship's Navigator WU
    GW Saffi Eriksdotter GW
    W Akroma, Angel of Wrath W
    RB Lyzolda, the Blood Witch RB

    WUG Jenara, Asura of War WUG
    U Thada Adel, Acquisitor U
    R Jaya Ballard, Task Mage R
    W Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero W

    W Deck Parfait W
  • #6
    Actually - i havent. It's a good idea, works well with pandemonium too.
    Tantarus: It didn't make the gaka greifer level, so it should be fine

    RNorin the WaryR <-Link! (Primer - Mono Red Control)
    GUEdric, Spymaster of TrestUG <- Link! (Mini-Primer - Dredge)

    Duel Commander:
    WUGeist of Saint TraftUW <- Link! (Aggro-Control)
    BGSkullbriar, the Walking GraveGB <- Link! (Aggro)
    BUGDamia, Sage of StoneGUB <- Link! (Extinction Control)

    Church of the Wary
  • #7
    Gaka, you're a man after my own heart. You've inspired me to make some kind of R/U/x chaos deck now, with all this coinflip madness.
    EDH/Commander Generals
    RGWMayael the AnimaRGW
    BGGlissa, the TraitorBG
    UGEdric, Spymaster of TrestUG
    URMelek, Izzet ParagonUR

    Quote from Phil
    Things like people are describing in this argument do not happen consistently enough unless your play group is you, your pillow, the vacuum, and the drugs you're smoking.
  • #8
    I love it, but where's the Fiery Gambit?

    B Infect
    BW Death & Taxes
    UBR Affinity

    R Burn
    UBR Sac Land Tendrils
    UBRG Oops, All Spells

    WUG Phelddagrif
    GGG Omnath, Locus of Mana
    BBB Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed
    RRR Ashling, the Pilgrim
    BBW Teysa, Scion of Orzhov
    UUU Talrand, Sky Summoner
    UUB Vela the Night-Clad
    GGB Vhati il-Dal
    RUW Ruhan of the Fomori
  • #9
    I kid you not, Herb, I was going to suggest just that card. Fantastic and fun, and game winning is you can pull all three off, half the time. Favorite card, that Fiery Gambit.
    "But Overlords are EVIL!"

    Show me where it is written
  • #10
    Oh, that was what it was called. I couldn't remember for the life of me.

    I will find room!
    Tantarus: It didn't make the gaka greifer level, so it should be fine

    RNorin the WaryR <-Link! (Primer - Mono Red Control)
    GUEdric, Spymaster of TrestUG <- Link! (Mini-Primer - Dredge)

    Duel Commander:
    WUGeist of Saint TraftUW <- Link! (Aggro-Control)
    BGSkullbriar, the Walking GraveGB <- Link! (Aggro)
    BUGDamia, Sage of StoneGUB <- Link! (Extinction Control)

    Church of the Wary
  • #11
    Artifact lands to steal with Confusion in the Ranks has always been a fun strategy too.

    ~Lil Kalki
    Quote from Maybe Eid
    Saying Venser is a more compelling character than Radha is like saying that belly-button lint is more compelling than the contents of my septic tank.
    Quote from Volrath »
    Since when is a race of twisted, evil, biomechanical horrors able to be associated with Sesame Street...?
    Quote from Gaka
    I, for one, welcome our new Norin the Wary overlords.
    Quote from zombiepete »
    Armada Wurm should meet up with Corpsejack Menace.

  • #12
    Not sure if this is along the lines of what you're looking for, but with pandemonium out, playing a Mogg Infestation against yourself would be very interesting indeed. Also Voracious Dragon to drive the stake home.
    Quote from OCPunisher
    This isn't Lorwyn/Shadowmoor Standard. People play Titans and Dragons and Eldrazi (oh my).

    Current EDH Decks
    WRTajic, Soldier's March <-Link!
    GUEdric's Forest Friends <-Link!
    BUGrimgrin Zombie Horde <-Link!
    B Drana, Sac and Drain <-Link!
    RGWort, the BURNmother <-Link!
    GURAnimar, +1/+1 Assault <-Link!
  • #13
    Mogg Infestation is an absolutely fantastic find! Room shall be found for that.

    Devour effects might be a good idea. Instead of coinflip chaos, focusing on the token aspect might be stronger.
    Tantarus: It didn't make the gaka greifer level, so it should be fine

    RNorin the WaryR <-Link! (Primer - Mono Red Control)
    GUEdric, Spymaster of TrestUG <- Link! (Mini-Primer - Dredge)

    Duel Commander:
    WUGeist of Saint TraftUW <- Link! (Aggro-Control)
    BGSkullbriar, the Walking GraveGB <- Link! (Aggro)
    BUGDamia, Sage of StoneGUB <- Link! (Extinction Control)

    Church of the Wary
  • #14
    Updated with a few changes.

    Notably - disruption with Smoke, recursion with Anarchist, and a small tutor-box with Imperial Recruiter

    Made some tough cuts, i'm sad to see them go:

    Confusion in the Ranks
    Warp World

    Two traditional chaos cards - but warp world has only done something useful a few times, usually it just ends up hurting me - and confusion in the ranks backfires too much now that i'm actually running toolbox effects.
    One traditional norin card - but the deck revolves more around tokens than just norin atm, and i tap out a lot. sorry norin.
    Last edited by Gaka: 1/23/2011 5:20:57 PM
    Tantarus: It didn't make the gaka greifer level, so it should be fine

    RNorin the WaryR <-Link! (Primer - Mono Red Control)
    GUEdric, Spymaster of TrestUG <- Link! (Mini-Primer - Dredge)

    Duel Commander:
    WUGeist of Saint TraftUW <- Link! (Aggro-Control)
    BGSkullbriar, the Walking GraveGB <- Link! (Aggro)
    BUGDamia, Sage of StoneGUB <- Link! (Extinction Control)

    Church of the Wary
  • #15
    Somebody with a Norin deck just spanked us in a 4 player...

    He had Genesis Chamber out, which generated massive tokens... then he played Confusion in the Ranks. Traded each new token each turn for the best creature or artifact on the battlefield... pretty beastly, fast deck.
  • #16
    Do you mind if I take this sucker for a spin sometime soon?

    You may know me as Doctor Rocktopus.
    More EDH decks of varying quality here.
  • #17
    Go for it, those who have already love it!

    It's also apparently really annoying to play against XD
    Tantarus: It didn't make the gaka greifer level, so it should be fine

    RNorin the WaryR <-Link! (Primer - Mono Red Control)
    GUEdric, Spymaster of TrestUG <- Link! (Mini-Primer - Dredge)

    Duel Commander:
    WUGeist of Saint TraftUW <- Link! (Aggro-Control)
    BGSkullbriar, the Walking GraveGB <- Link! (Aggro)
    BUGDamia, Sage of StoneGUB <- Link! (Extinction Control)

    Church of the Wary
  • #18
    You should ask your play group if they would allow you to play Goblin Bookie just for kicks.
    Last edited by MaelstromX: 1/24/2011 11:58:41 PM
    Thanks to mchief111 @ Rising Studios

    Proud member of the Church of the Wary.

  • #19
    Goblin Bookie would be pretty Hillarious.

    In other news - Confusion is back, and other updates.
    Tantarus: It didn't make the gaka greifer level, so it should be fine

    RNorin the WaryR <-Link! (Primer - Mono Red Control)
    GUEdric, Spymaster of TrestUG <- Link! (Mini-Primer - Dredge)

    Duel Commander:
    WUGeist of Saint TraftUW <- Link! (Aggro-Control)
    BGSkullbriar, the Walking GraveGB <- Link! (Aggro)
    BUGDamia, Sage of StoneGUB <- Link! (Extinction Control)

    Church of the Wary
  • #20
    If Planar Chaos were a town I would poison it's water supply and burn it's crops. That being said, I begrudgingly admit that it was kinda fun to play against.
    If you having burn problems I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems but a bolt ain't one.

    mxmlmn on cockatrice
  • #21
    That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said about the deck, which sort of concerns me Grin
    Tantarus: It didn't make the gaka greifer level, so it should be fine

    RNorin the WaryR <-Link! (Primer - Mono Red Control)
    GUEdric, Spymaster of TrestUG <- Link! (Mini-Primer - Dredge)

    Duel Commander:
    WUGeist of Saint TraftUW <- Link! (Aggro-Control)
    BGSkullbriar, the Walking GraveGB <- Link! (Aggro)
    BUGDamia, Sage of StoneGUB <- Link! (Extinction Control)

    Church of the Wary
  • #22
    Well I got mana screwed, so I didn't do much, and when I tried to do anything, Planer Chaos put a stop to it, so I mostly sat back and watched the hilarity ensue.
    If you having burn problems I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems but a bolt ain't one.

    mxmlmn on cockatrice
  • #23
    Look! I updated the front page - now has the beginnings of a primer in the form of a Card Selection section!
    Tantarus: It didn't make the gaka greifer level, so it should be fine

    RNorin the WaryR <-Link! (Primer - Mono Red Control)
    GUEdric, Spymaster of TrestUG <- Link! (Mini-Primer - Dredge)

    Duel Commander:
    WUGeist of Saint TraftUW <- Link! (Aggro-Control)
    BGSkullbriar, the Walking GraveGB <- Link! (Aggro)
    BUGDamia, Sage of StoneGUB <- Link! (Extinction Control)

    Church of the Wary
  • #24
    My Ashling runs Mana Geyser to dump my hand mid-late game. Have you considered it ?
  • #25
    Have you considered Aftershock? Red doesn't have that much spot removal since it's focus is burn, so this card makes for a needed 'control spell'.
    Quote from OCPunisher
    This isn't Lorwyn/Shadowmoor Standard. People play Titans and Dragons and Eldrazi (oh my).

    Current EDH Decks
    WRTajic, Soldier's March <-Link!
    GUEdric's Forest Friends <-Link!
    BUGrimgrin Zombie Horde <-Link!
    B Drana, Sac and Drain <-Link!
    RGWort, the BURNmother <-Link!
    GURAnimar, +1/+1 Assault <-Link!
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