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The Magic Market Index for Oct 20, 2017
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The World of Kamigawa
  • posted a message on How do you evaluate Commanders?
    I've had the most fun with decks that prove to be resilient (almost regardless of the starting hand), challenging to pilot, do wacky fun stuff, and do the wacky fun stuff differently at least a good part of the time. Those are the ones that tend to stick around and/or get rebuilt.

    As for what I look for to try... I look for commanders that are different. You don't see many Horobi decks around. And I like unique builds and approaches to the somewhat more common commanders. Maelstrom Wanderer, for example, seems to usually get built as GRU goodstuff or combo, but I think Dragon tribal with clones, no tutors, and a few random, explosive shenanigans like Spelljack sounds way more fun.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Commanders you think that deserve their bad reputations...
    I imagine XHD storm could more easily just loop.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Help with Zedruu deck!
    Actually, there are ways to get noncreatures back. Venser, the Sojourner, and bounces like Devastation Tide or Cyclonic Rift (or the very powerful Tidespout Tyrant). And you probably won't want to donate anything that can kill you in the first place. And I probably wouldn't donate my Sol Ring.

    But there also other kinds of things you can donate. Auras, for example, usually still affect the enchanted creature or player regardless of the aura's controller, so you can donate those. That's why global effects are often donated with Zedruu so that it still affects everyone and you draw cards. You can also donate lands, and there are a handful of cards that swap control of lands. You can also donate useless things — Pentad Prism can be used to get Zedruu out on turn 3, and once it has no counters, just donate it.

    Zedruu and Phelddagrif (particularly DirkGently's version) are very different flavors of politics. The huge control package in the latter is more of a "don't mess with me or you'll lose something" politics. Alliances can only be temporary and conditional, anyway, but you can go in a few different directions here. Zedruu can make meaningless donations, mean donations (things that hinder or hurt the controlling player), global donations. Making donations that are beneficial to one player that isn't you is a pretty fine line to walk such that it doesn't contribute to your defeat, though.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on That makes no sense!
    If he just wants haste, there are other ways to do that. A dragon could totally drop a giant hammer on someone and would probably appreciate fire. As for hexproof/shroud, that might be a bit trickier to stick to flavor.

    I can respect sticking to flavor. I've been trying to do that lately sticking as much as possible to a nightmare/horror theme in Chainer.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Erebos, God of Goodstuff
    I can dig it. I like the meat and potatoes imagery. I've considered Erebos for hiding the deck's plan (not telegraphing), but hadn't fully considered he could reduce slots devoted to card draw (since I'm trending toward tutorless right now). Freeing up slots is tempting, but so is consistent access to Chainer.

    Gonti, Lord of Luxury is also an interesting commander I'd add to that pile. You get to use more obscure stuff like Misinformation and Lost Hours.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Favorite color combo out of Mono/Guild/Shard/Wedge/4/Partners/5
    B mono-black B

    I have a good respect for mono-red. I've piloted a couple mono-red decks that could do crazy stuff and they taught me about that tight-rope of trying to be agile and resilient with limited options, as well as using disruption to tilt the game. I also enjoy playing various things, as each color/combination has some crazy stuff they can do and I like doing crazy stuff.

    But mono-black taught me so much. (Well, I'm betting red taught me some of this, too.)
    • It taught me to hang on by my fingernails for an opening if I have to. As long as my life is above 0, poison counters are less than 10, and there are cards in my library to draw then there's still a chance.
    • It taught me resource management. Everything is a resource, including your own life and the cards in your library. Also, you resources can be converted from one type to another, sometimes with a net gain.
    • You know, this is probably why I like using Birthing Pod in Ruric Thar.
    • It taught me that everything that I use as a resource my opponents have, too, and that I have access to these to augment my own.
    • It taught me the value of instant-speed responses, the value of a diverse suite of answers, and the value of monitoring the possible interactions from all around the table instead of just my own little corner.
    • The other day I was playing Chainer in a five-player game and the Sedris player had to discard and pitched Molten Primordial. I was super happy about that. Sigarda, Host of Herons attacks me with their voltroned-up general (no trample) and I resurrect the Primordial, stealing a few inconsequential creatures I couldn't yet sacrifice along with a Galerider Sliver with which to chump block. The point, of course, is that everybody was surprised by this play even after reading my commander at the beginning of the game.
    I'm not saying that other colors/combinations can't teach these things or also be versatile and powerful (though paying life is mostly black territory), but I'm quite enjoyed my journey through the dark side.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Erebos, God of Goodstuff
    Quote from Gnathion »
    Just wasn't interactive enough? Like the deck didn't really rely on Erebos? I want to play Black- Maybe I'll check out your Sidisi list.
    You've probably hit the nail on the head, there. Most of the time he's an indestructible enchantment for converting mana and life into cards that's available from the command zone. In contrast to commanders that are part of the deck's engine or are the main win condition or whatever, he doesn't really do anything. (I have rather the same issue with Sidisi, Undead Vizier.)

    There are plenty of interesting commanders in monoblack that are truly part of the deck's operations, if that's still your aim.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Zedruu the Greathearted - Early stages build
    I was alluding to situations where a mode could be really dangerous instead of useful or even mediocre.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Mind games
    I think the general idea is that it's not about single cards or mechanics. There are various styles of mind games and some cards can be used to rearrange the game state in more than one way, depending on the timing. That's why it's hard to point you in a specific direction.

    Then there's the matter of combining effects — Forking a Warp World or hitting a Confusion in the Ranks off of one is chaotic enough to make some people concede (and there are decks where griefing opponents into concession is the main win condition). Then there are more subtle means, such as using Reins of Power to fog by switching with the opponent attacking you, blow out two armies by switching with somebody else and blocking with lots of trades, using it to alpha strike, or using it to just take all the big green creatures and feed them to Disciple of Griselbrand. It's all in the timing and circumstances. The cards are multitools.

    If what you're liking the sound of more is surprise tricks, I have heard of a morph tribal deck or two. You'd probably want at least Azorious (WU) colors, because Mirrorweave is a very versatile trick. Things like Crystal Shard/Umbilicus to keep replaying different morph creatures so your opponents might not be able to tell which one is Willbender, which one is Brine Elemental, and which one is Dulcet Sirens (as opposed to resetting them with Ixidron), but also Evacuation. As I think about it, I'd probably want red, too (URW). With mana rock acceleration and color fixing, it's probably not going to be as tall of an order to hold up 5 mana, because you'll probably be holding up mana most of the time for 4-mana spells, at least. Leyline of Anticipation and Vedalken Orrery would also help a lot with giving you the ability to just draw and go, then in the end step just before your turn cast some morph creatures face down for 3. But they also turn enchantments like Infinite Reflections into combat tricks.

    You might also be interested in spells that scale with whatever your opponents bring to the table like Bribery, Spelljack, Control Magic, as well as cloning and copying effects. It can be quite efficient to Fork somebody else's Exsanguinate, kicked Rite of Replication, or even just their Demonic Tutor.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Zedruu the Greathearted - Early stages build
    Small change:

    Temporal Cascade

    Day's Undoing - That end the turn clause is troublesome.
    It's a good card. I definitely need to think through the consequences of the different modes before I choose next time I cast it.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Mind games
    Quote from glembo2 »
    I would also add in the potential to win at just about any time through really explosive offense, especially decks that are otherwise sleepers. I love this kind of play.

    Yes this is exactly what I'm looking for, pulling a win out of nowhere because everyone thought you weren't a threat or didn't know what you had in hand! Also, are there anymore Deflecting Palm effects? Because I don't know if there are enough cards to pull this off, but it sure would be fun to have a deck where every damage bounces off of you!
    Reflect Damage is better in some cases than Deflecting Palm because of the source of the damage. If someone attacks with a lifelink creature, you'll probably want Deflecting Palm. But if someone attacks with Blightsteel Colossus Palm is only going to do 11 regular damage to them, whereas Reflect Damage will end them.

    Effects that really mess around with the typical ways the game works. Whether chaos, stax, or prison, the idea is usually to use them in a deck that is hurt less by them than others are, thereby creating an advantage. Some of them can make gameplay quite complicated and messy, which occupies extra overhead in your opponents' minds and hopefully put them on the defensive.

    There are also plenty of effects that will have your opponents making tougher decisions because the consequences of certain common game actions are now higher. I usually prefer bottlenecks and punishment effects over locks. The difference between locks and bottlenecks (at least in the way I use the terms) is usually a matter the degree to which they hinder what your opponents can do. Winter Orb is more towards the lock end, while Tangle Wire is more towards the bottleneck end. Same with Peacekeeper vs Dueling Grounds. Punishment doesn't limit actions, but makes the cost of the actions steeper: Spellshock, Price of Glory, Oppression, Mana Web, etc.

    Messing with your opponent's hand (Teferi's Puzzle Box, wheels, etc.) can keep them off balance if they're not prepared to play their deck more spontaneously. In this vein I'm glad Head Games was already mentioned.

    I also like rattlesnakes that psychologically deter certain actions (usually actions aimed at you) without actually having a constant effect on the game state unless you activate it. Oblivion Stone, or an untapped Nevinyrral's Disk can keep players from committing more permanents to the battlefield. Soul Snare is the rattlesnake version of something like Condemn. Maze of Ith, Strip Mine, No Mercy, Karmic Justice, leaving two Islands untapped and in clear sight of your opponents, etc.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Daxos the Returned - Enchantment Speed Bumps Galore
    Well. Cloudstone Curio + Reconnaissance + Land Tax is a thing. Personal best of 14 experience counters this game, even though the only enchantments I had all game were these two, Skybind, and No Mercy. I acquired 11 during the single turn I did the Cloudstone trick. Imagine having flash.

    Skybinding lands used in the above is like getting the counters for free. Cracking Marsh Flats and making a Spirit to Skybind Sun Titan and recur Flats before each End Step is probably the best ramp I've every had with this deck.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Growing Rites of Itlimoc
    I can see Ikea's Cradle going into a Sisay deck, which is pretty good. I'm thinking about putting one in my Wort, the Raidmother token/spells deck. Should be able to get it to flip easy with all the token generation, and then pump out huge X spells. And, as mentioned, Prossh loves this card as much as Prossh loves everything else not called food chain or Purphoros.
    +1 for "Ikea's Cradle". XD
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Growing Rites of Itlimoc
    Even in a Gx deck that goes wide but doesn't have many creature cards, one could just consider the 2G a ritual cost — in the same vein as Cabal Coffers's Nykthos's cost of 2 — except you only have to pay it once.

    Granted, since it flips into Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun at your end step, some flash or mana sinks are probably called for.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Gazing into the darkness of the human psyche with Phelddagrif
    Quote from DirkGently »
    I wouldn't say it's unrealistic or unlikely to assume that people will ignore my lands if I don't use them. I think it's pretty likely, actually. But I think that's mostly because, and I know I'm generalizing here, most commander players are not actually very good at magic, and it seems a little cheap to take advantage of that. If this deck is a trap, I think it's more interesting to try to create a trap that works even on the skilled player - to see if we can create a scenario where even taking the correct play will result in you losing.
    I was seeking clarification on "because of correct plays" versus "in spite of correct plays". I think I'm starting to get the gist of what you want: You want this to work without any disinformation, misinformation, or deception?

    Quote from DirkGently »
    I think working on this deck might accidentally be turning me into a supervillain. I have a strange urge to buy a hairless cat and a high-backed chair.
    Embrace it. Just make sure to get the kitty a sweater. I hear they're very cuddly because they want to keep warm.

    But more seriously, I like the villain thing sometimes. I've wanted to build a combo deck where the combo is like 8 pieces or something and use that in Archenemy. The reason for this is that assembling a combo that goes off and ends the game has a parallel to Doomsday Weapon tropes. The other players (the Heroes) would probably have to keep to aggro/midrange because even 1 control could probably pin the combo deck down pretty hard. And, of course, their goal is to defeat the villain before they can complete their Doomsday Weapon and activate it.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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