I almost went with Cavern of Souls (printed in Avacyn Restored) for today's entry. It's a great card that sees both competitive and casual play and is almost now a necessity in tribal themed decks. I have a couple of foils, and while I contemplated doing another double feature, I went a different direction, though maybe give me some credit for picking a semi-cavernous looking card...
This may seem like another odd choice, but it's another fueled by nostalgia. I don't believe Cephalid Coliseum (originally printed in Odyssey) sees much competitive play, let alone casual. Maybe back in the day (I obviously did, casually), but not anymore, at least to my knowledge. So it lends to being a bit more obscure, maybe even more so than Altar of Dementia. The foils were once pricey, but their value has dropped over the years, which may be because of a foil reprint in From the Vault: Realms.
When I came across Cephalid Coliseum I was suddenly struck by the realization that I had somehow completely forgotten about my number one Magic archetype: Discard. I'm not sure how I forgot, as I even have more pieces from this deck type coming down the pipeline to feature during the A to Z Challenge. I've expressed my passion for Burn and Mill decks, but my all-time, old-school favorite deck — and one I was fairly successful with — revolved around discarding!
My Discard deck was always an ongoing work in progress. I would love to experiment with different card combinations and playtesting newly released cards. Cephalid Coliseum was among them. At its worst, it could give me one blue mana (mana being the resource needed in Magic to cast spells, activate abilities, etc etc) with the drawback of losing one life. At its best (naturally meeting the Threshold requirement of having seven or more cards in your Graveyard, the title given to your discard pile), I could target myself and sift through my deck, replacing dead cards in my hand. Or I could target an opponent, forcing them to draw and discard, triggering enchantments I'd already put in play that would deal damage to opponents for each card discarded.
Sure, sometimes I would fail to meet the Threshold requirements and/or not have the appropriate damage dealing enchantments out in play, but when I did, the effects would be devastating, if not game-winning! At one point, I even played with cards that would deal damage to opponents when they drew cards, allowing for the potential to double down on crushing my opponents!
Ah, those were the days!
I'm not sure how long Cephalid Coliseum was in my Discard deck, again, it was constantly being fine-tuned, but it definitely made a lasting impression. I currently own eight regular copies and seven foil copies. It's unlikely you'll be surprised to learn that the foil copies were bought in an attempt to build an awesome all-foil Discard deck...
Have you ever played with Cephalid Coliseum? Do you happen to know if it was ever played competitively? Do you like the Discard archetype? If so, which cards do you almost always include in your Discard decks? Any favorite Discard cards?