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Sep 25, 2018Posted in: Multiplayer Commander DecklistsQuote from benjameenbear »I'm a fan. Nezahal, Primal Tide is certainly much stronger than I initially gave it credit for and I've been quite pleased at how wrong I've been. Being able to protect itself from removal is also really nice as well, making it a more consistent, less threatening way of accruing card advantage. Besides being a Dinosaur.
Yeah, it's been good. An uncounterable draw engine is nothing to sniff at, and it does what it does well. No regrets here.
The card I'd be most interested in trying out is Mnemonic Betrayal. I think it could play VERY well with Paradox Engine, since most graveyards will have at LEAST 2 castable spells in it. With the Engine in play, I think it could be a consistent way to end the game (most of those early cards are probably tutors of some sort or a card draw spell) since you are allowed to use your opponent's 'yards to keep chaining spells together. For decks that aren't as focused on the Engine, I think it's a pass.
I did look at it. You're right, it could be a strong addition, and I don't necessarily think it's restricted to being a Paradox Engine addition - of course it'll be busted with the engine, everything is. Even picking up some ramp, draw, removal, rocks, walkers or value critters is good, and might even help to string a Tendrils of Agony storm together. It's reasonably costed, too. I'd have loved it to be an instant, but I can see why it isn't, if not for keeping the card from being too strong simply to keep timing less complicated.
The surveil adds....yeah, I guess there's nothing really strong enough to give a slot straight away. I like Doom Whisperer, but as far as looting engines go, I would really, really prefer Search for Azcanta - I need to pick one up. And I'm happy with every other creature I run - there really isn't room for one more.
Sep 24, 2018Posted in: Commander (EDH)
I've seen it hit a few times, but it really hasn't had the impact the owner had hoped for. I like the concept of the card, I just think it takes a bit more working about than I'm prepared for personally.
Sep 23, 2018Minor changes:Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
I've talked a little about these over on jenncertainty's primer thread, and it's probably time to make them official.
Nezahal, the Primal Tide
Tendrils of Agony
It that Betrays
I've proxied Nezahal a couple of games now, and it's worth it just for the draw. Noncreature covers a wide area, and conservatively in a turn cycle just with mana rocks and ramp he can draw 4 to your hand easy. The hand size modifier is nice, and his ability works well with reanimation, and is kinda cute/devastating with Archfiend of Ifnir. Tendrils of Agony is pretty easy to blast someone away with - I don't really intend to fully combo out with it, but it may well seem that way from time to time.
I'm not overly sad to lose the Eldrazi, without a way to swing in multiple times or other sac synergy it's a little wasted here. It's a little too Timmy for my likings anyway. Dismember I am...in two minds about. It's cheap easy unavoidable removal. But I don't really know what else to cut, so trying without this.
In other news, I have been keeping an eye out for possible applicants from the Guilds of Ravnica release. Honestly, there's really not a ton, although the surveil mechanic IS nice. I like Doom Whisperer, Price of Fame, Mission Briefing and Connive // Concoct but none well enough to grant an immediate slot. Notion Rain is similar enough to Read the Bones that I could see it doing good work. Obviously it'd be nice to pick up Watery Grave and Chromatic Lantern too. We'll see how far the budget can stretch.
Sep 23, 2018Minor Changes:Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Arch of Orazca
Pretty happy with all changes, they should all work just fine. The Brooch I am hoping will be more of a deterrent than anything, but if I ever do have to use it I'm able to reanimate a lot of what I'm turfing, so it's not the worst thing in the world.
Had a few games over the weekend, 2 with my Dralnu build, one with Bruna. She did remarkably well, although I feel it was probably due to bad draws from my opponents and a great start from me. It was 3v3 against Saskia, the Unyielding and Adeliz, the Cinder Wind. Landed a ton of early rocks with Sol Ring, Thran Dynamo and Mind Stone doing work, and locked the board down with Magus of the Moat, which was followed literally the next turn with Magus of the Moon from Adeliz. This basically took Saskia out of the game. He landed a whole lot of stuff, but couldn't do anything with it.
Azor's Gateway performed well - I never got close to flipping it, but the general idea is to flip the dross from your hand to give you the best options, and it did this well. Quite happy with the addition. Eventually I drew into Emeria Shepherd and Sublime Archangel, Azors activated me into True Conviction and I spent the game swinging for bouts of 16 each turn. Admittedly it wasn't much of an arm wrestle, but I was happy with the momentum.
Sep 23, 2018After experiences over the weekend against a Saskia build, I can seriously say Selvala's Stampede is totally nuts. In a super aggro build (and what Saskia isnt?) it does crazy work.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Also, from first hand experience, Wave of Vitriol can be absolutely crushing. I run it in my Nissa build. It's fairly common for 3+ colour builds with expensive mana bases to just sweep after it resolves. It's non basic land hate, but it's land hate at its most fair, so no one can really complain, but that doesn't make it any less brutal.
I'll also second Ruric as a right pain in the ass. A good build can really leave bruises. He's in the right colours to still get some decent abilities attached to creatures, so you don't miss out on ramp, artifact and enchantment removal, pump and such forth. But obviously it's the punishment that makes him a solid commander - getting rid of him is costly, and there are a ton of ways to protect him. A lot of people just run him with tons of high impact creatures and Primal Surge, but he's easy enough to build on somewhat of a budget too.
Sep 20, 2018toctheyounger77 posted a message on Hoping to compile a list of Reanimate/Recursion tools that can be used immediately when creatures die.There's Necromantic Selection too.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Sep 20, 2018toctheyounger77 posted a message on Hoping to compile a list of Reanimate/Recursion tools that can be used immediately when creatures die.You're welcome, I came up with more than I thought I would.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Reanimation is one of my favourite mechanisms, so the more tech I know the better I can do it. I've checked over decklists and found another few corner cases.
Angel of Glory's Rise
Both very specific. Angel has been really good in my bruna build, the deck that just won't stay down.
Sep 20, 2018toctheyounger77 posted a message on Hoping to compile a list of Reanimate/Recursion tools that can be used immediately when creatures die.Faith's Reward is top notch. It's not just creature recursion, it's everything recursion.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
If it's 'same turn recursion' there's a pretty small list and you've got most of them. Probably top of the list is Saffi Erkisdotter. Crazy good card.
False Demise and Fool's Demise, Unhallowed Pact, Broken Fall, Lifeline.
That's all I can think of right now.
Sep 20, 2018I thought Indrik was 5. Well, I should read cards properly. At 5 it was a maybe, at 6 a no. Beast Whisperer I’ll definitely try, probably in place of Soul. I’ve found myself deterred by the CMC too often lately.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Pelt Collector probably does have an upper limit for growth that isn’t fantastic. To be honest I was more just interested in it for its CMC. Early game I can see it being great. Later on maybe not. Entirely possible I’ve overestimated it.
Sep 19, 2018Guilds of Ravnica Review:Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
The set has just been fully spoiled, so let's unpack it! To be fair, I really didn't expect a ton of value from Ravnica, considering the guild setup. Nonetheless, there's value in digging through every set, so I'll run through some considerations for the deck and see what comes up.
Affectionate Indrik - I...actually kinda like this. It's a mini Polukranos, World Eater, and there's plenty of targets things it could fight for value, especially if I can make it be bigger, recur it, or recur its ability. The CMC is higher than I'd like to see, but it's not without its charms. I may look at where I could squeeze it in.
Beast Whisperer - This is decent. It competes for a slot with Soul of the Harvest, and it's a dead heat. Lower CMC, but no evasion. Decent stats, but only draws on cast. Not a 'may' ability, but because its only on cast the chances of decking myself are very, very slim. If this is reasonably priced, I'll likely pick up a copy and see how it plays out. Plus its an elf, so Wirewood Symbiote can protect it.
Generous Stray - As a cat lover and owner, I can confirm that the flavour here is so, so good. Elvish Visionary 2.0, it's probably not quite as good as Skyscanner from M19, which I haven't tried out yet either. It's a consideration, but not a shoe in.
Pelt Collector - I can see this guy getting big quickly. My creatures die, they bounce, they get cast (obviously), and a reasonable amount of them are bigger than this guy. Synergy with Panharmonicon, too. I may well try him out.
Impervious Greatwurm - He's big, he's stompy, he can be cast cheap. Classic green rare monster. I'm not really interested. Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar is my current beater, and he is often considerably bigger than this guy. Plus, the chances of me buying a box is pretty rare.
It really is slim pickings here. There are probably only 2 artifacts that could be considered here, and neither is of any value to us. Silent Dart and Wand of Vertebrae are not for us. It's great for other decks to see shocks printed again, but we're really not interested, obviously.
So, all in all, a predictably small pile I'd like to playtest. Which my wallet is really happy about.
Sep 19, 2018Posted in: Commander (EDH)So I can see where you got the impression that I'm complaining about power discrepancy, but that's not actually the problem either. The core of the problem is that I feel like I can get overanxious about the results of the game, causing me to be a bad sport, in multiple EDH scenarios - one of which is when I play against someone with an uncreative, high-powered deck that wins in a way I feel is unearned, and another is when I'm playing a deck that I have significant attachment to. Power level discrepancies can bring out my anxiety and anger, but I need to solve the anxiety, not the discrepancies.
I don't really have a fix, but I can relate. It frustrates me because it doesn't seem fair in a format where social contracts are important. If you win a straight up arm wrestle, I'll tell you I had fun. If you combo off, I'll say gg, but it'll be grudging and I'll suggest that next time you bring a deck that scales to the rest of the group instead of handing beatings downwards. That's how it seems to me, a lot of the time - some people just enjoy being bullies. I'll call this sort of person a dick. There are, however, some out there that just....don't get it, and think everyone enjoys having their ass handed to them in an unfair fight. I'll try and illuminate them gently. Either way in both of those situations I think the frustration is justified. I mostly play online, where anyone can build any deck they like, so there's a lot of degeneracy.
There's one specific card I see a lot of that's really starting to frustrate me - I've been a good sport about it, but it's an immediate kill switch, and I don't like that, so I can see myself ranting at someone eventually; Aetherflux Reservoir. Being able to nullify what my deck can do simply by gaining more than ten life is galling.
I dunno, I think maybe the fix is to take a step back and see the bigger picture - in these games, anything you can do to fight back you should consider a win, and you definitely shouldn't take it personally - either for your sake of the sake of your build. The fault lies with the person who threw the social aspect of EDH to the wayside.
Sep 18, 2018Posted in: Commander (EDH)I've been thinking about the sorts of decks that I might try building to attempt to assuage my inner demons, and right now I'm thinking something along the lines of a proactive control deck. Extremely reactive control decks like Phelddagrif are really cool and unique strategically, and can definitely be fun, but they can also be kind of stressful since you're vulnerable in a lot of ways without a strong board presence, oftentimes I'm effectively policing the entire table, it's very difficult to play well, and also it almost always wins via people scooping because the games goes too long So I'm thinking maybe something life Raff Capashen that can play to the board while still keeping up answers to block stupid stuff, and wins on a reasonable time scale.
Not really a permanent fix, because I still love designing difficult to play, politic-heavy, reactive control builds, but it's still something worth experimenting with.
It's funny how control is commonly reduced to blue permission. It has many faces and many strategies. I also find passive control to be frustrating sometimes. When an aggro or combo player is fixed on dominating the table there really isn't much you can do, and policing the table is laborious.
It may not be a permanent fix, but sometimes shifting the way you think temporarily is enough to deter your frustration into the future. I say build Raff - I've seen some strong builds around him, he should be fun.
Of my decks, I think my athreos actually has an OK chance against cEDH since it can semi-reasonably kill someone as early as turn 3 (theoretical turn 2 with a god hand) with a little help from a co-conspirator (which ought to be easy to get when the other player is pulling some serious BS like that), but that requires a good draw which I didn't have, and cEDH guy had 4 mana on turn 1 because mana crypt is totally a boon to the format Rolleyes Anyway ofc I don't judge my decks based on how they perform in those scenarios, but it's still the sort of conflict that tends to stress me out. In retrospect I should have said "no thanks, I don't like playing against cEDH decks" but oh well. Heat of the moment. (btw it was jhoira not jeleva but who cares)
These conflicts stress me out, too. Problem is I also like a challenge . I have a couple of decks that potentially could go toe to toe with something competitive but I agree that it's not a good metric; as soon as it is, it changes what you're wanting the deck to be.
Jhoira, Jeleva, tomayto, tomato: both are known for degeneracy. I'd be aiming to target anyone who sits down to play against me with either one.
FWIW, the metric for a good game is not necessarily one I win, but one in which all contributors have a great time. The metric for my decks is generally evaluated over a couple of games. How well the cards synergise, how many lines of play I have, how fun it is to pilot and play against....generally synergy is the most crucial. It is also the metric most easily disrupted by interference from other decks, unfortunately. That might be where some of the frustration is coming from, simply because brewing is so far removed from actual play.
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May 21, 2018Fair enough! I guess it just comes across that way in a summary article because there are so many guilds to track through ~1-2 pages of information. I always thought the nephilim would play more of a part, too, considering how unique they are.Posted in: Articles
Feb 27, 2018Thanks so much Jay. This is the last bit of lore I've really wanted to know for a while. Teferi being one of my favourite characters and wanting to know more about the Mending and 'modern Bolas', this was a great read, and well timed coming into Dominaria.Posted in: Articles
Sep 27, 2017Great article. Long but not unnecessarily. I can pretty well agree with the conclusion too. My first thought was Leshrac, but not knowing a HUGE amount of older lore (I started playing at a young age), Leshrac seems unlikely. Lim-Dul fits the bill. It would be a great twist at some point too.Posted in: Articles
What are the odds the reveal happens in the upcoming Dominaria set next year? Fingers crossed.
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