My reasoning is that it is possible to play the tutors without setting back your clock because of how cheap they are. If you use rancor/gryff's boon/flickering ward/oppressive rays/natural state/path of exile/swords to plowshares/a 1-drop cat/saving mana for a trick like emerged unscathed on turn 2 (or just drop a 2-drop cat on turn 3), you can still have one mana open for a tutor while still working towards the turn 5-6 win (the difference between a leonin arbiter and a jungle lion may be limited in many games, for example).
Meanwhile, Collected Company gets you cats that can attack on turn 5 while Ranger of Eos gets you cats that can attack on turn 6... assuming that you get enough mana in a deck with a very low curve and no acceleration. These cards are useful for coming back if all of our cats are killed... but that is kind of the problem. Arahbo, or at least hyper-aggressive Arahbo, doesn't seem equipped to survive into any sort of mid-game or late-game. If your opponent stabilized and start casting bigger creatures, we start losing the race (as we can only buff one cat each round).
As such, playing cards to help us in the mid-game or late-game seems a bit counter-intuitive to me whereas playing tutors that can slip easily into early-game plays makes sense to me. Am I being a bit too pessimistic here? Does this deck have a chance going for plan b?
...and now I'm left wondering if we should invest in elvish spirit guide for the possibility of more resilient starts (2 cats or cat + god's willing mana).
- Rosy Dumplings
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Aug 19, 2017My bad on the divining top. I still get 1-vs-1 mixed up with multiplayer at times.Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
As far as the equipment, I stand behind the boots (which protect your dude and allow you to keep up tempo if your dude dies), the bonesplitter (As casting and equipping on turn 2 can legitimately shave a full turn off of the clock) and either the soup or Trailblazer's Boots for reusable unblockability that doesn't block Arahbo.
I'm kind of agnostic on the topic of tutors, I'll admit. Of those in the list above, my primary interests are:
Green Sun's Zenith: basically a creature (even if you pay more for it)
Survival of the Fittest: REALLY should've been banned but might allow us to grab Mother of Runes, Ulvenwald Tracker, Qasali Pridemage, Leonin Relic-warder, Selfless Spirit, or Heretic Cathar/Imposing Sovereign to slow blockers. While this is not a deck of silver bullets, the ability to grab what few answers we do have is still important.
Worldly Tutor: While speed and utility are far lower than SotF, I can imagine a surprising number of scenarios in which you would not want to drop a 2-drop on turn 2 with this deck (such as throwing down an aura or saving mana for a trick) and a huge number where you have a free mana by turn 3. In those cases, using your spare mana to ensure that you get a worthwhile draw next turn can be a life-saver.
Enlightened Tutor: If we end our third turn with a Rancor-loaded kitty and a Winter Orb or Static Orb, we are in a VERY good place. Enlightened tutor helps to make that possible.
But yeah, we have a bunch of protective cards: Heroic Intervention, Selfless Spirit, Blossoming Defense, Vines of Vastwood, Brave the Elements, Faith's Shield, Gods Willing, Apostle's Blessing all work as protection.
Honestly, Arahbo feels like a pretty odd deck. It doesn't really want or need more than two creatures on the field at any given point (one that won't have summoning sickness if the other is killed) and wants to win the game by turn 5 or 6 (if I'm reading it's gameplan accurately). For that reason, Collected Company and Ranger of Eos seem a bit odd as inclusions. If you can afford the tempo break to play that spell on turn 4 and NEED that spell, you are in a very bad place. Not saying that those are bad cards for the deck. Just interested in hearing how they would realistically slot into play.
I don't know, though. Maybe I'm still living in magical-christmas-land. If so, one of you smack some sense into me.
Aug 18, 2017What if I were to tell you about a deck that trolls all of your opponents to oblivion?Posted in: Commander (EDH)
What if I were to tell you that you can replace the libraries of your opponents with brand new libraries of your design?
What if this deck could literally transform storm crow into a god before transforming yourself into a dungeon master?
What if this deck was incredibly cheap to build?
Go in peace, my friend
And the original, 5-color version
Aug 18, 2017I did notice Greater Good and Momentous Fall (along with Selvala, Heart of the Wild) earlier.Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
I fear that Greater Good might be a bit slow for a hyper-aggro build. If we wanted to go in that direction, I'd definitely recommend running the cheaper Fauna Shaman and Survival of the Fittest first as they can fetch toolbox creatures (Mother of Runes, Ulvenwald Tracker, Leonin Relic Warder) and might allow the deck to support Brawn and Genesis for incidental trample and revival.
Hunter's Insight likewise has a (relatively) high cost for a combat "buff", even if the ceiling is high. Certainly worth experimenting for.
I support experimenting with Hyena Umbra and Spider Umbra, though I'd recommend only playing them in your postcombat main phase to avoid having an instant-speed abrade or lightning bolt 2-1 you out of nowhere.
Mirri's Guile and Sylvan Library are perfectly serviceable cards.
Hmmm... Let me try applying the old 8x8 theory to this deck.
1. Card Advantage/Control Package (Worldly Tutor, Mirri's Guile, Sylvan Library, Green Sun's Zenith, Life's Legacy, Enlightened Tutor, Sensei's Divining Top, Survival of the Fittest)
2. Buff Package (Flickering Ward, Gryff's Boon, Rancor, Berserk, Rhonas, Emerge Unscathed, Dromoka's Command, Selesnya Charm)
3. Minor Stax/Denial Package (Gaddock Teeg, Leonin Arbiter, Mirri, Static Orb, Winter Orb, Cataclysm, Armageddon, Thalia Heretic Cathar)
4. Answers Package (Aura Shards, Qasali Pridemage, Leonin Relic Warder, Natural State, Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Ulvenwald Tracker, Oppressive Rays)
5. One-Drop Package (Mother of Runes, Steppe Lynx, Savannah Lions, Jungle Lions, Scythe Leopard, Loam Lion, Wild Nacatl, Pouncing Leopard)
6. Two-Drop Package (Oreskos Swiftclaw, Initiate's Companion, Blade of the Sixth Pride, Fleecemane Lion, Adorned Pouncer, Metallic Mimic, Leonin Snarecaster, Longtusk Cub)
7. Equipment Package (Steelshaper's Gift, Stoneforged Mystic, Open the Armory, Umezawa's Jitte, Swiftfoot Boots, Hot Soup, Bonesplitter, Bloodforged Battle-Axe)
8. Miscellaneous Cats (Wily Bandar, Glittering Lynx, Sacred Cat, Brimaz, Mirror Entity, Pride Sovereign, Arahbo, Skyhunter Skirmisher)
And that deck would look like this:
Aug 17, 2017Well, I sure derped on the Mtenda Lion. First instinct for a replacement is either selfless Spirit (because it is awesome), Eos Ranger (for double kitty goodness), or eternal witness (which could recover a cat, any combat trick, or a kill spell). Depending on meta, serpopard worth a look.Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
My logic for including Skullclamp is two-fold
1. As this deck is about going big instead of going wide, we have literally no use for Jungle Lion in our hand until our Savannah Lions on the field is killed. Skullclamp allows that card to be transmuted into card advantage.
2. If things move a turn too slowly and your enemy starts to stabilize, you may have more need for one of the few answers in this deck than you do for its many cheap creatures. In such a scenario, a digging tool like this is your friend.
With all of that said, you can probably replace the clamp with a sensei's divining top to get the same end effect... and to let you get the benefit at instant speed with any mana you aren't using anyways...
Running the Gaddock Teeg was more of an impulse pick than anything else. Shuts down most planeswalker, green sun zenith, and most wraths... though many aggro decks don't even notice it. Might want to replace with Song of the Dryads so that the deck has at least one "universal answer" (especially one that can take out aggressive commanders like Zurgo for a while).
I'll admit that I went with Lost Leonin for the dream that it represents. Hitting two times for the victory (once if you have Arahbo out) is a hilarious prospect. In most cases, though, I admit that the Longtusk Cub is a better choice.
One other card that I found for the deck (almost by accident) is Triangle of War. While it technically costs 3 mana like ambuscade, the colorless cost and ability to split that cost up might make it worth a shot.
Edited my list.
Aug 17, 2017I actually don't agree with some of the choices in the OPPosted in: Commander (EDH)
1. To Start, cards like Sengir Vampire, Bloodbrand Vampire, and Blood Host don't really tend towards tier 1 power (even if they have the potential to build over time).
2. While I can certainly understand the temptation to use every white vampire available, Bloodcursed Knight isn't a top-grade card. Likewise, I would hold off on Cliffhaven Vampire unless you want to focus HEAVILY on the life-gain angle.
3. Both Crovax the Cursed and Ascendant Evincar might be worth pulling out as well. The former actively weakens all of your nonblack vampires (such as the mono-white vamps coming in Ixalan or Innistrad's Stromkirk Noble/Falkenrath Gorger, both of which would be killed by the evincar.
4. Finally, Vampire Nocturnus might be a bit of a liability. While it's one of the few vamp lords, you can only put so many low drops that cost three black mana in a 4-color deck and Necropotence seems more useful than the nocturnus for this purpose... and revealing the top of your library gives away information. For similar mana concerns, you might want to replace Dark Prophecy with Grim Haruspex (even though tokens don't trigger the latter).
As far as directions for a deck, the vampire tribe is nicely positioned to enter a more Aristocrats theme. Kalastria Highborn (which you noted), Blood Artist, Falkenrath Noble, Falkenrath Aristocrat, Pawn of Ulamog, Viscera Seer, and Bloodghast can all easily fit into a vampire deck, after all.
From there, you just need a couple of additional sac outlets (Ashnod's Altar, Phyrexian Altar, Goblin Bombardment, and maybe Bloodthrone Vampire for another vampire), some revival (such as Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, Oversold Cemetery, Phyrexian Reclamation, Rally the Ancestors, and Reveillark), some boardwipes (wrath of God, Damnation, Chain Reaction, and Blasphemous Acts).
Other Notable Inclusions you might consider are:
Purphoros, God of the Forge: 4 damage to each enemy's face (or planeswalker) for each vamp you cast
Teysa, Orzhov Scion: Turn your vamp tokens into spirit tokens as they die, which you can sack to kill things. Works well with aristocrats.
Wheel of Fortune: Supports any madness sub-theme while maintaining your constant supply of vampires.
Sanguine Bond + Exquisite Blood: Because vampires (and aristocrats in particular) are big on life gain, why not go for the infinite combo. If you want to be more fair (and tribal), replace the first piece with Defiant Bloodlord
Cathar's Crusade: Costs the same as Dictate of Heliod and lets those vampire tokens do serious work.
Licia, Sanguine Tribute: If you are already running Skeletal Scrying, Necropotence, Painful Truths, and Night's Whispers, you might get some nice use out of this commander.
Skullclamp: Hasn't been mentioned yet but pretty obvious.
Metallic Mimic + Captivating Vampire + Door of Destinies: For tribal support.
Anger: If you do decide to go with the discard route, this is the easiest way to give all of your dudes haste. Bonus style points if you pack filth with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.
Vampire Hexmage + Thief of Blood: Utility against superfriends.
Aug 16, 2017So right now I'm looking at something like thisPosted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
plus 36 lands (not the best at making mana-bases, either).
Edit: Gotta love any commander deck with 30 1-drops.
Aug 16, 2017V3 was basically what I was going for, in a nutshell. Considering that Insight does nothing more than negate first-turn advantages (IF your opponent follows highly specific lines of play), I kind of doubt that any additional costs are required if the effects are highly reactive.Posted in: Custom Card Creation
Deal 3 damage to target creature that entered the battlefield this turn.
Insight (you may cast this spell for before your first turn).
Counter target noncreature spell unless its owner pays .
Insight (you may cast this spell for before your first turn).
Yeah, that seems to work
Aug 15, 2017One last card that I'm kind of considering is Ulvenwald Tracker.Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
The thought of using the tracker to kill a blocker before attacking with a giant cat each round is hilarious. If your opponent can't draw into kill very fast, you win. If your opponent kills your first cat on turn 2, however, you'll be left wishing that you had cast a second cat instead. Even though you can still drop a new cat to get the buff and fight something, losing a turn of tempo like that is... bad.
As far as equipment... that's a bit up in the air. Swiftfoot Boots, Umezawa's Jitte, and Skullclamp (if you fail to with early and need some draws more than a random 2/1 cat) are all that you really need/want. Maybe consider Hot Soup of all things if you need more unblockability but don't like the shroud that a whispersilk cloak grants.
If you want to be cute with equipment though, you could always go with Shuko/Grafted Wargear/Sai of the Shinobi/stormrider rig/ronin warclub to automatically upgrade each new kitty you throw onto the field. Likely not the smartest plan, mind you, but cute.
Aug 15, 2017At the end of the day, first turn advantage is a pretty big deal. When games rush by too quickly for one extra card to matter and proactive answers hold sway, early advantages can quickly snowball and allow a player to take over a game. Even the few cards that soften this advantage, Force of Will chief among them, often put you at an active card disadvantage in the process.Posted in: Custom Card Creation
I wanted to play around and see if I could make some cards to help absorb this advantage. In the end, I came up with the following mechanic.
Anticipation- Discard CARDNAME: CARD EFFECT. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.
Unlike FoW, you don't have to burn an extra card to soften the first turn advantage. Unlike Mental Misstep, however, these cards are much harder to splash in decks without the right colors. The moment you have a single land, after all, Anticipation "turns off". Instead of being a "free" spell (which can cause real problems later in the game), it's a "before-you-can-pay" spell (slowing your enemy down for 1 turn).
Obviously, the design space presented by Anticipation is INCREDIBLY SMALL. All effects have to be largely reactive to keep the player on the play from using them (and to keep the odd landless deck from spewing them out for the win). Likewise, these effects can only really respond to things that your opponent might do on turn 1. Even so, a small cycle or two of these cards might soak an attack by a goblin guide, blank an Inquisition of Kozilek, blow up somebody's Mox, or perform similar tasks.
Prevent all damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn.
Anticipation- Discard Oracle’s Foresight: Prevent the next 2 damage that would be dealt to target creature or player this turn. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.
Weight of Ages
Exile target artifact or enchantment.
Anticipation- Discard Weight of Ages: Exile target artifact or enchantment with a converted mana cost of 1 or less. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.
Counter target spell with a converted mana cost of 3 or less.
Anticipation- Discard Clever Sabotage: counter target spell with a converted mana cost of 0. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.
Return up to two target nonland permanents to their owners’ hands.
Anticipation- Discard Spatial Redirection: return target nonland permanent to its owner’s hand. Its owner may draw a card. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.
Return target permanent card from an opponent’s graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.
Anticipation- Discard Forsaken Existence: return target permanent card that was put into an opponent’s graveyard this turn onto the battlefield under your control. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.
Exile up to two target cards from target opponent’s graveyard. For each card exiled in this way, create a 2/2 black zombie creature token
Anticipation- Discard Dark Bargain: exile target card from target opponent’s graveyard. If you do, create a 2/2 black zombie creature token. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.
Deal 2 damage to each creature that entered the battlefield this turn.
Anticipation- Discard Backdraft: Deal 1 damage to target creature that entered the battlefield this turn. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.
Tap up to two target land cards. Those lands don’t untap during their owners’ next untap steps.
Anticipation- Discard Clear Away: Target land doesn’t untap during its owner’s next untap step. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.
Create five 0/1 green plant creature tokens.
Anticipation- Discard Living Barricade: If any opponent controls one or more creatures, Create a 0/1 green plant creature token. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.
Return target card that was put into your graveyard from anywhere this turn to your hand.
Anticipation- Discard Ranger’s Cache: Return target card that was put into your graveyard from anywhere this turn on top of your library. Activate this ability only if you control no lands.
While I know that wizards is unlikely to ever print cards like these, I am still interested in hearing any thoughts you might have on this topic.
Aug 15, 2017Rosy Dumplings posted a message on Why are so many people distraught about infinite combos?Here is what I don't get.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
If you are about to join a game with an unknown group, the others might be playing their own combo decks/efficient stax or control decks ("competitive decks") or casual battle-cruiser decks ("casual decks") and you would be unaware of this fact. In many cases, however, steamrolling other players or being steamrolled by others is boring/unfun, even if it can be educational (outside of settings where you PAY to play and/or there is a prize for winning, in which case everything is fair game).
In this unknown setting, is there any reason why we can't just say "So you guys know, my deck trying to win on turn 3". When you put it like that, you aren't insulting the players of casual decks and you are giving them a chance to respond to that deck (such as advising you to take out another one) before the game starts. I mean, this just seems like common courtesy when dealing with unknown groups.
Aug 14, 2017Very suprrised that some cards like Bloodghast and Viscera Seer haven't been brought up in a discussion of vampire aristocrats. Sounds like you might be after something like this.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
That seems to hit all of the high notes of a good aristocrats deck... though it only has 18 vampires (including Edgar)
Aug 13, 2017Posted in: Baseless SpeculationQuote from Yamahako »Can we swap one of those for New Phyrexia and get a colorless commander deck? I would love to have one to build a mana base from.
I don't really understand this request. While I understand wishing for a good mana base, commander decks are famously terrible about placing the rare lands in decks and most of the rare lands you would probably want (Mikokoro, Mirrorpool, Geier Reach Sanitarium, Ancient Tomb, Command Beacon, Miren, Mystifying Maze, Ruins of Oran-Rief, Sanctum of Ugin, Scavenger Grounds, Sea Gate Wreckage, Shrine of the Forgotten Gods, Winding Canyons, etc) wouldn't come with the deck.If anything, the mana base would consist off some uncommon tricks (Urza's Factory, buried ruin, spawning bed, etc), one or two rares, and a whole bunch of wastes. Not exactly an enviable mana base.
Aug 13, 2017You may want to add Flickering Ward to the deck, depending on your local meta.Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
Kind of serves as another Rancor/Gryff's Boon in terms of cheap and reusable auras to keep your creatures unblocked... though I'll admit that it makes for an awkward mirror match (as it stops Arahbo from targeting). If you're running a couple of 3 or 4-mana beaters like Brimaz and Pride Sovereign, running this card can be useful even against green/white decks.
Aug 12, 2017Personally, I'd go all in on the aggressive start.Posted in: 1 vs 1 Duel Commander (French)
Savannah Lions, Mtenda Lion, Loam Lion, Steppe Lynx, Jungle Lion, Pouncing Jaguar, Scythe Leopard, and Wild Nacatl all allow you to swing for 5 on turn two.
Qasali Pridemage, Oreskos Swiftclaw, Initiate's Companion, Fleecemane Lion, Blade of the Sixth Pride, and Adorned Pouncer all let you come over for 6 on turn 3.
If you build up enough redundancy with early beats, not many commanders can bounce back. This is exactly the sort of start that Serra Ascendant allows in multiplayer commander... except that there is only one opponent, that you have a whole ton of redundancy, and that the opponent's life is halved.
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