Hi! My name is Bill. I’ve been an addict of Magic: The Gathering for 18 years now. I’ve tried to Cleanse myself of the habit, really I have. I’ve tried everything BrainwashLobotomy, Shock therapy, among many other tactics. But each time I feel a Call to the Wild, I must have a Natural Affinity for the game. I’ve been playing since around the time of the Ice Age– no, not the Ice Age that killed the dinosaurs! And I don’t think I can stop anytime soon.

At the same time, I have been Cultivating a love for fire – the hot & spicy kind. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not talking about the kind of chili fanatic who can’t feel his lips after eating. I’m talking about all the wonders of spicy cuisines that promote flavor and heat – Cajun, Mexican, Asian, you name it, I’ve probably tried it and tried to cook it! I’ve been cooking since my early teens and in restaurants, where I learned a thing or two for about a decade. Then I realized I liked to experiment with cooking more than feeding hundreds of people I didn’t know every night. So I took my expertise home and let the creative juices flow.

Combine those two addictions of Magic and spicy food, and a love of the written word, and that might be why you see my work here. I hope you enjoy my combos – both in the kitchen and in the playing field!

So the latest expansion from Magic: The Gathering’s Innistrad, Dark Ascension, has been out for awhile now. You’ve had time to digest the power of the new set … or have you? I believe that this set brings some much needed meat to the table for killer combos. For instance, Feed the Pack is meant to be abused in combo decks – and I’m here to serve one up to you!

Fiery Feeding Frenzy
3 x Symbiotic Beast
2 x Symbiotic Wurm
3 x Hellrider
3 x Stalking Vengeance
2 x Quirion Elves
2 x Goblin Bombardment

2 x Rites of Flourishing
2 x Heartbeat of Spring
2 x Feed the Pack

3 x Naturalize
3 x Terminate

2 x Disturbed Burial
3 x Firecat Blitz
2 x Triumph of the Hordes

9 x Forest
9 x Mountain
3 x Rakdos Carnarium
3 x Golgari Rot Farm

This deck features two new key cards from Dark Ascension in a fun Legacy deck sure to toast some competitors, not to mention firing up some cats, wolves, wurms, worms, beast and insects. Feed the Pack is one of the key cards since it allows you to sacrifice your large creatures to create a number of wolf tokens equal to the sacrificed critter’s toughness. And Hellrider does 1 damage to defending player for each attacking creature.

Here’s the scenarios: Symbiotic Wurm is a 7/7 that with Feed the Pack will net you not only seven wolf tokens but also seven insect tokens. So next turn, Hellrider deals 14 damage as you swing with 14 tokens. Then we sac the critters to the Goblin Bombardment for 1 damage to the dome each – should be enough to kill your opponent right? Ok, fine, maybe not. Perhaps there’s another player aching for some punishment – suddenly they take another 21 points from all those critters hitting the bin with Stalking Vengeance. We’ve done a grand total of 51 points of damage without actually hitting a player!

Disturbed Burial, rinse, repeat or how about a Firecat Blitz? You don’t even need the Feed the Pack out to abuse this deck; it’s just more fun that way!

The only thing that would make this better – Kresh the Bloodbraided and a few Whispersilk Cloaks, possibly some land grab, and some hot & spicy food. Though preferably use napkins before playing with your cards!

— Nicol Billas

Originally Published April 5, 2012 @ castlesandcooks.com