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Theros: Elspeth's Tragedy
The Magic Market Index for July 14th, 2017
Treasure Cruisin' with Daxos Enchantress
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    posted a message on Ephara, God of the Polis - Flash Hatebears
    Quote from shermanido37 »
    Several points I'd like to raise:

    In a recent pod, Ephara was one of the most dominant decks on the table (my friend was playing it). However, it seemed the deck had several problems:
    1. The deck got out Heliod rather early, but didn't use his token making ability at all, and he never became a creature. I've come to realize that 4 is a lot for a token, not to mention 2WW for Heliod or 3W for Oketra. I'm starting to question if I really want to slot her in.
    2. I wasn't happy with the amount of mana that Ephara got out. Sure, it was plenty for an Azorius deck, but I still felt it could have been better. I've been considering Walking Atlas as a 2 CMC mana creature, only this one is dependent on our hand and on us drawing cards to fuel its ramp. If we are in and advantageous position this card can help filter our hand from terrible serial land draws, or get more value out of Land Tax... But if we don't draw well it's a creature that does nothing. What are your thoughts?

    Otherwise, Ephara beat face. Thalia, Heretic Cathar that I had considered replacing broke the table almost completely, making it impossibly slow for the Sharuum the Hegemon player to reach his combo and for my Omnath, Locus of Rage deck to get a meaningful attack phase. Solitary Confinement saved the day when the deck was at 6 HP, making my opponents concede.

    Food for thought: Confinement - another card that excels only when you have enough card draw - is splendid, so that might be a case for our Exploration creature.

    More food for thought - when my friends asked how Ephara won, I replied that tokens and equipment was the way to go, but then I realized that it never actually came to that - my opponents conceded far before that almost every time I was winning. And that almost never happens in our meta.
    It's been making me think... Conceding is not a very fun way of deciding a game. Perhaps there should be something more decisive to help win. In Pokken's deck there are a lot more threats like Umezawa's Jitte and SOLAS but I'm starting my studies and I don't want to spend too much money on cards.
    Do you have any other suggestions? Maybe Empyrial Plate?

    1) I play a LOT of mono white so I thought I would give some additional thoughts on Heliod / Okina. Generally speaking when you look at mana for token producers they are better investments in colors that are more starved for card draw. Its true that you can draw a card and make a token but the token is still kind of weak. I have a token based Ephara together and I opted to not run Okina and only allow Heliod because I value mass vigilance.

    Generally speaking if you are in colors / a deck that has issues with card advantage or wants to play a draw / go strategy that is when a mana for tokens strategy like this actually works better.

    2) Walking Atlas has done a TON of work for me. I run it and Terrain Generator in my list because taking an early turn and giving up some mana for more later is strong. I actually dont love Land Tax in Ephara because honestly beyond like the first 4-6 turns it really is a not a good card. It has bad synergy with drawing lots of cards so its actually better in decks that have less draw to ensure land drops. If your deck is firing and you are playing creatures and drawing cards you shouldn't need to specifically be drawing more lands. Due to this, I have felt like Land Tax is a card that I would have to draw essentially in the opening few turns for me to like it in Ephara.

    Worry about the deck playing well and not dying. This kind of deck is more of a concern about making it work well than how it finishes thigns out.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on Gisela, the Broken Blade - Moat Control
    Quote from DementedKirby »
    I'm really liking this change up between the commanders. It makes sense since Gisela is cheaper and is more useful in the long haul.

    I've noticed that your quite the white mage! Your decks using W are very insightful! I feel that W can be a very difficult color to play around with in commander without supporting colors but your lists and descriptions help a lot with overcoming that hurdle. The eldrazi angel is definitely a deck I wanna build, as I've said before. Good thing I'm keeping my eyes on this thread!

    Thanks, I honestly didn't really think this deck was going to work but a cheap evasive commander with a powerful stat line is actually very impressive when it comes to equipment value. I really really love the idea and feel of a mono white flyer and the feeling of Moats / Tabernacle. I happen to own them so I like putting them to use. Even for those who dont own a Moat I suspect that Magus of the Moat, Magus of the Tabernacle, Mystic Barrier, Righteous Aura, Ghostly Prison, and Haazda Shield Mate can all come in as good considerations on how to put together a similar style / feel to it.

    I really really do love playing mono white. I have always been a sucker for mono colored decks and white has always been my favorite. One of the hardest obstacles to overcome in mono white is often how to keep being relevant / how to not run out of card advantage and so I usually approach a lot of my decks with a question of how to not flounder with nothing to do. Gisela I started out with as a concept of what if she just bought me time early on with a beater who gives me a life buffer and then I noticed how she was in so early that a lot of equipment was doing a lot of work for her. Then I started noticing I was chip killing a lot of people with her by just swinging for some value and stalling.

    I have been working on the OP a little bit today but really there are so many amazing interactions with Gisela and she really can become a beast very easily.

    I totally am a W mage through and through :p
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on Gisela, the Broken Blade - Moat Control
    I played another game with Gisela this week. It was a really odd game as I never found any of my equipment to really modify Gisela and my overall card draw was low that game. I did end up using Hall of the Bandit Lord to run out Kozilek, the Great Distortion at the mono black reanimator deck that had just tapped out and played Reiver Demon for an exact lethal on him.

    From there the other two players started putting together some ground attackers and I moved to a 2x Moat / Magus of the Moat defense as I moved to the offensive with Serra Ascendant and soon after Gisela with 2 counters on her from Opal Palace.

    In the end I pushed through with Moat defense that game. It was a super satisfying win. With the few extra recent games I wanted to push a few things around.


    Angel of the Dire Hour -> Comeuppance The angel's body mostly kind of sucks and what I want here is a cheap answer to being swarmed. I cant really abuse the angel in any way so it seems like a smart move to take the cheaper answer to being swarmed.

    Erratic Portal -> Duelist's Heritage I dont know what my hopes for the portal were. My commander is cheap enough that its not that big of a deal to recast her considering the lack of card advantage in mono white. I really like that this enchantment in that I can buff opponents when they attack someone other than me and really it doubles the clock of Gisela as well as multi triggering some of my equipment. It is fast acting and somewhat cheap to combine in a turn with something else.

    I also considered a few other cards with these changes. In the end I am happy with the ones I decided on but I figured I would mention a few that sort of stood out at the time:

    Mystic Barrier The Moats have been doing quite well for me. This one unfortunately controlls me a little too but I can still pick and choose where I am going and who is coming at me. I do sort of like it from the element that it can really funnel someone who has big threats not at me but at the same time it draws a lot of ire from those who are being funneled at as well so I feel like it perhaps gets answered more than something that just stops attackers from happening.

    Haazda Shield Mate He is strong on defense and pairs well with having low card economy as he makes more sense to sit behind with low resources. Unlike Peacekeeper he allows me to continue being offensive plus allow opponents to hit each other with just a bit of a harder time focusing me.

    Armored Ascension I like the burst of offensive power. I dont have a lot of big bursts of commander damage but I could see this adding 1-2 commander swing turns to my clock. Auras are always a little wonky though.

    Parallax Wave I like it from an offense and defense standpoint. I could remove key creatures during an attack aimed at me or jump important creatures through a wrath. When this card hits play you generally sort of own the board for the next 2-3 turns.

    Righteous Aura it could be strong against big bursts of damage / voltron tactics. It does almost nothing to tokens but it gives you defensive capabilities to just swing with a commander and keep mana up which I do like.

    Disenchant / Act of Authority its hard to ever have too many disenchant effects.

    Rout its a solid creature wrath. I often find my noncreatures a little more important than my creatures so I try to keep my wraths here to creatures if I can help it and then supplement with some spot removal. I chose to go with Comeuppance for now but I could see reasons to go with Rout also.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on [Offtopic] Community Thread
    Quote from WizardMN »
    I was probably playing Karador, Ghost Chieftain as that was my first deck I really did anything with and at the time it was probably my best deck. My cousin though had (still has) a pretty busted Zur deck that he doesn't play very often so that might have been what you remember playing against.

    Yea... I cant recall Karador specifically but there were a lot of games that weekend. The Zur deck stands out to me in part because I was 1v1ing him with my Thrun deck for a few super rough games lol.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Ephara Spellslinger Tokens
    So I played my second game of Ephara this week. I dont think I got very good test results as the game was entirely too brief. I kept an opening hand of 3 lands + Monastery Mentor (I cant remember the rest of the hand). This was a new unknown meta to me so I dont know how much information to take from this game either.

    The game was kind of normal with me playing the Mentor on turn 3, Ephara turn 4. The issue is that there was a goblin build Queen Marchesa who ramped his commander in and then proceeded to swarm with goblins. I managed to get out Teferi but what I was doing was drawing some attention from him so he was beating me up decently. He managed on his turn 7 my 6 to assemble Krenko with haste who tapped for 12 more tokens. I threw up some defenses which slowed him down by being late to the party on spot removing his haste outlet. He managed to put me to the low to mid 20s though.

    The problem is then the next player played a 2 mana spell, and then cast Fall of the Titans for 15 choosing me and one more player and then copying it (Rosheen Meanderer deck had only ramped that game). He domed me for 30 on turn 7....

    Soooooo, I have a fast swarm that was mostly pointed at me followed by a dual face bolting that murdered me. I honestly dont know what all I can generate from this testing other than.... move faster I guess. I am looking at possibly adding some cost reduction and moxes to the list. I dont know what I would be considering cutting as of right now but I feel like I need to speed some things up. This deck can replace some tempo ramp so lets start by ramping and then see where things look after we get moving a little faster.

    Right now, I am taking a look at these mana ramp options:

    I considered the idea of like mana dork myrs but honestly I would rather just move faster than worry about drawing a card from them after the fact. I will see what I can work out to push some of this into the list. I might have to mess with my spot removal a little to make room as I dont want to remove too much of the core concept of the deck when I am still a bit early on testing.

    Like I said though, I really dont know how much to really give this game credit for. I think I might want to consider some of the cost reduction cards from the standpoint that I retain very good card draw with a deck that can continue to draw more cards. I considered something like Grand Arbiter but I think its hitting a little too late for what I want. I would like to ideally curve into Ephara sooner and make my mana go further.

    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on Ephara, God of the Polis - Flash Hatebears
    Monarch is a mechanic that works a lot better in decks that have combat capabilities but lack draw. My concern with running Monarch in Ephara is that we already have draw so you might be giving away draw to someone else.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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    posted a message on [Offtopic] Community Thread
    Quote from WizardMN »
    I think I remember playing against you at that time. It was a while ago, but I remember playing against a Márton Stromgald deck. For some reason, I think that was you. Even if you had another deck, it was still a good time Smile

    I did bring Marton and played him a few games. What decks were you playing at the time?

    Wait... were you the guy with Zur? I remember a few locals and one of them brought out a almost 1v1 zur but with multiplayer banned list.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [Offtopic] Community Thread
    Quote from Ulka »
    Just move to Minneapolis area ISB. XP We have a great modern scene and we can edh then

    From the standpoint of competitive magic goes, a big city is the way to go. Sadly, I have things such as my job and my wife's job that dictate where I am at lol. I did make it to the twin cities for a modern GP back I think the summer of.... 2014??? I had not been playing modern much though so I opted to just go there and play commander lol. One of the guys who went with my group took like 56th place with Living End.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on [Offtopic] Community Thread
    I like modern so long so long as I am happy just playing a deck I like rather than chasing the current top deck. I really liked Pod sadly and then they banned it. Since then I built elves and thats as far as I have gone with modern. Its a bit of a question of how much I get to play modern to be honest. I would be happy if I had a larger LGS with a thriving Modern community but I keep getting in on these smaller areas with smaller modern scenes. It kind of sucks when you have to personally diversify what you own to not get metagamed in modern.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Agree or Disagree (Discussion on Tutor Effects)
    I think most players do not have problem with basic land tutors (Rampant Growth, Cultivate, etc.), or even non basic mana producing lands (using a Polluted Delta to find a Hallowed Fountain). That being said, it can be annoying playing against a 5 color deck, but because of the mana base, the deck can somehow consistently cast Liliana of the Veil or Counterspell on turn 2.

    I think what is unfun to play against is a commander deck led by Mikaeus the Unhallowed that uses Demonic Tutor/Vampiric Tutor/Beseech the Queen every game to tutor for Triskelion and win the game via infinite combo.

    People say that tutors allow people to search for answers to get out of difficult situations, but many of these incredibly difficult situations are much more likely to happen when tutors are involved. Oppressive stax and resource decks generally run tutors because they need specific pieces to be effective, they also run few win conditions to tutors ensures that they run into them every game.

    It's annoying to play against turn 1 Enlightened Tutor for Sol Ring.

    Honestly I feel like perhaps you might want to sit down and have a discussion with your meta as to what tactics are being used and if they should be doing them. Many metas frown on infinite combo / stasis / MLD tactics. My other suggestion is to shift to a more control / responsive style of play. Mike and Trike is a combo thats actually fairly easy to disrupt and if Mikaeus is his commander then the rest of his deck is going to feel a little clunky after you instant speed grave hate him.

    I hate to really suggest this but the problem actually sounds like its a matter of what type of effects your meta is using and how they are playing than an issue with tutors.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Agree or Disagree (Discussion on Tutor Effects)
    Honestly I guess I have two responses

    6 - It is a little more enjoyable to have the inconsistency and see all the different cards.

    1 - Blue is strong enough. Hitting tutors makes blue WAYYYYYY more powerful by neutering all the other colors. Green is probably the hardest hit by this considering their ramp would be hurt by this.

    Overall, tutors are part of the balance of the game. You could cut them out but no.... I dont want to feel like I need to play every deck as a blue deck. Draw is just as powerful as tutor and cutting out core elements of every color but blue seems harsh. I play a lot of white in what I play and cutting out the Equipment / Aura / enchantment tutors from them would really hurt. I play a defensive toolbox rebels deck as well which that would essentially have to throw away.

    @OP User - I notice all of your decks in your sig fall into simic based colors (aka the best colors). Try playing some mono white, mono red, or boros. It will solve this problem :p
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Is Boros strong enough for multiplayer?
    Boros trades off card advantage for combat advantage. It has a strong presence in combat but its also prone to being run into the ground by control based and value based decks. The trick to playing boros tends to be figuring out how to stay relevant later into the game. If you run out of cards / card advantage in boros you tend to die. Generally speaking trying to rush things and kill everyone doesn't work because of the life totals of the format as well as just how long it takes to burn through all of your opponents.

    Keeping a strong central element commander who has a strong board presence on their own helps a lot. Aim for how to overcome opponents in a long drawn out game rather than trying to burn them down fast as fast wins rarely happen for boros.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on What Cards Are Good In Monocolored Decks? [Discussion]
    Gauntlet of Power, Gauntlet of Might, Caged Sun, Crypt Ghast, Nirkana Revenant because double mana is groovy.

    Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx - It is far more likely that you have a higher devotion count in mono color.

    Your landbase is simpler and thus you can usually justify more utility lands. My average two color landbase might have like 4-6 colorless lands but my average mono colored deck usually has like 10+. As you add more colors usually you should cut back on colorless utility lands.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on Strategy Assistance: Playing Against the New Gods
    So some generics and then some specifics.

    • Theft is a good way to deal with sticky legends / gods. It generally forces your opponents to use answers on their own commanders which is kind of a 2 for 1 for you.
    • Grave hate will help against all gods because they are in the grave temporarily. Things like Rest in Peace, Scavenging Ooze, Withered Wretch, Crook of Condemnation all work fairly well in that they globally stop or can target remove graveyards.
    • Wraths - it might sound odd but most of the new gods take a bit to get set up. The Scarab God will be a little faster at rebuilding but any of the tokens you kill will be gone given its an exile to make the tokens.

    The Scarab God
    • Graveyard hate is honestly going to be one of the biggest things here. If you have graveyard hate, the rest of what this god does is mostly manageable.
    • Running creature light strategies is also potentially a thing here since this god rezes from all graves. Avoid a self mill / reanimator strategies if possible against this one if you can help it.

    The Locust God
    • Anti token strategies should be good here. Magus of the Tabernacle, Propaganda, Pestilence, Silklash Spider, etc. Pillow fort as well as anti token strategies will make life harder for this player.
    • Wraths will be your friend. This deck actually takes a few turns between casting its commander and then trying to make tokens to really hit some sort of critical mass. Wraths will set it back a lot between a 6 mana commander and then needing to
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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    posted a message on The Scarab God's Rez and Legendary status
    So, according to the rules for The Scarab God,

    Quote from Rules of The Scarab God »

    The token is a Zombie instead of its other types (unlike Zombies created by an eternalize ability) and is black instead of its other colors. Its power and toughness are 4/4. These are copiable values of the token that other effects may copy.

    Does that mean that a token that is created by The Scarab God retains being legendary (assuming the original was) or not? I am aware that Legendary is NOT a creature type so my automatic assumption is that it does not remove this on tokens. I just wanted someone to verify one way or another for me.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
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