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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
 
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
  • posted a message on How can I improve my Eldrazi deck?
    If you are looking to optimize the performance of the deck a bit I would suggest replacing the 2x Eternity Vessels with 2 more forests. This will ensure that you hit your land drops more consistently. As it is, your deck is effectively only running 21 lands (Eye of Ugin is useless in the early/build up phase) which from my experience with running mono-green-fatties.deck is dangerously low. The last thing you want to be doing in a fatty deck is spending mana to cast ramp spells to compensate for the land drop you missed.

    On a more personal preference, I would replace the 4x Khalni Garden with forests as well. No reason to slow yourself down.
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on What's going on with Warren Instigator?
    Warren Instigator

    Apologies if it's been discussed before, but I haven't seen any mention of it in any of the other threads. What happened to this guy? He used to be $2-$3 for the longest time. I remember him slooooowly creeping up, but now he's suddenly in the $5-$6 range on tcgplayer. What's driving up his price? Is it just casual/commander appeal or is goblins making a comeback somewhere in the tournament scene?
    Posted in: Market Street Café
  • posted a message on "Messing With Your Mind" - Mono-Blue Mill
    Have you considered splashing black to play Glimpse the Unthinkable? It's by no means budget friendly, but it's the most efficient, straight-forward mill spell there is. Playing black would also give you access to Mind Funeral and creature removal if you think your deck needs it. I'm sure your deck could get a big boost by replacing some of its more underwhelming cards (Though Scour, Increasing Confusion, etc) with these powerhouse mill staples.
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Spicing up UG Madness
    My friend runs a very similar build with Spellweaver Helix. With all the digging his deck does, he's usually able to imprint Crush of Wurms with some other cheap sorcery like Deep Analysis or Chatter of the Squirrel and just go to town with his wurm army. You might have to adjust your deck a bit to work with the Helix by adding in more sorceries, but it's certainly a fun way to spice things up and it works well with what the deck is trying to do.

    Edit: Just to echo on a few things others have said: Intuition would be sick in this deck, but then again it's sick in a lot of decks. Roar of the Wurm is a good fit in this deck, my friend also plays it in his build and it gives spellweaver helix more options if you choose to go that route.
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Must play goblins? (mono red)
    I run a krenko deck. I've only played it a few times so I'm still working on my build, but I have found these cards to be very useful.

    Gauntlet of Might - amazing card for mono-red, though expensive. Gauntlet of Power and Caged Sun are good budget alternatives however.

    Mana Echoes - Well to be honest I still haven't had experience with this card in an actual game yet, but from goldfishing/testing it seems to do pretty well. It only provides colorless mana, but the mana can still be used to cast colorless spells or fuel an x spell/infinite combo engine.

    Slate of Ancestry - red needs all the card draw it needs. Krenko is good at making lots of tokens. These seem to go hand in hand.

    Goblin Assasin - Another card that I need more experience with, but it has performed well in testing. This guy is great creature control against non-token decks.

    Warp World - If you're looking for fun, look no further than warp world. Best used when you've got a bunch of tokens out and nothing to do with them, though it can also be useful to disrupt the board state. This card's just plain fun.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on R/G Aurochs.
    The leyline should be taken out because the hate is too specific to warrant including in your maindeck. It's completely useless against decks that don't gain life or use prevent damage effects. Even against life-gain decks it's not that good as a 1 of in your deck because it's unlikely that it'll be in your opening hand, and by the time you do draw your 1 copy of the card, your opponent has likely gained a good amount of life. It would be better in my opinion to drop this card for anything else that could make your deck a little more consistent.

    Of course, if your playgroup's meta is 90% lifegain decks, then that's an entirely different story. Otherwise, it's not worth playing in your deck in my opinion.

    Here's another way to look at it. Would you rather have a card in your deck that is only useful 10% of the time against a specific deck type? Or would you rather have a card that is always useful when you draw it (whether it be a kill spell, ramp, or another creature)?
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on U/W Mill/enchantment silliness
    I too was wondering the same thing. Regardless, I think you are running too many pacifism effects, so you could probably cut down on a few. I also think it would be more fun/consistent to focus the deck entirely on mill. Seraph of Dawn feels really out of place here, as does Ethereal Armor, since it only works towards the deck's goal of milling if you enchant it on crosstown.

    I think you should make the deck more controlling. Have some walls and counterspells to back you up and let you survive, and throw some cards in here that allow for self-repeating mill. Cards like Doorkeeper seem like a good fit in a pauper mill deck. You could pair it with other walls like Drift of Phantasms, which can let you tutor up something else late game, or Mnemonic Wall which can let you re-uses Tome Scour or Mind Sculpt. One-Eyed Scarecrow could be nice sideboard tech against birds.

    There aren't too many other reliable options for mill in blue, but Merfolk Mesmerist and Vedalken Entrancer are repeatable and can help you get there. Broken Ambitions is a good counterspell, the extra mill 4 is icing on the cake, but can be useful.
    Posted in: Paper Pauper and Peasant
  • posted a message on R/G Aurochs.
    Yay Aurochs, my favorite casual theme deck! I could go on and on about Aurochs, but I'll post a few simple suggestions to help fine-tune your deck.

    There are alot of cards in your deck that either don't make alot of sense, or have better alternatives in my opinion. I would Look into dropping the following cards from your deck

    -1 Spark Elemental
    -1 Kird Ape
    -1 Elder of Laurels
    -1 Orcish Lumberjack
    -2 Wild Cantor
    -1 Leyline of Punishment

    You could replace these with cards that help make your deck more consistent by focusing on the Aurochs. Monk suggested alot of good cards, but here are a few other sugestions:

    Stonebrow, Krosan Hero - Gives a mini overrun to all of your Aurochs each turn. Seems pretty good to me.

    Doubling CHant - I think this card could be decent in an Aurochs deck. The problem is it isn't that good until you already have a sizable army, but maybe you could include it as a 1 of or try it out and see how it works for you.

    Pack Hunt - I've seen many other Aurochs decks run this card. I don't run it in my deck so I don't really know how it is, but it seems good.

    Wild Pair - This is another card that I've seen in some Aurochs decks, and that I run personally as well. I am a big fan of it because you can tutor for any creature you need, and you can build a creature base around it pretty easily. Aurochs Herd plays especially nice with this card since it always feeds you another Aurochs to play.

    Dolmen Gate - I used to have this in my deck but took it out because I started finding it unnecessary with the pump I was getting from Stonebrow. This card can still be good in an Aurochs deck though because Aurochs are quite fragile in combat with their low toughness. It has bonus syngergy with Rimehorn Aurochs, which essentially becomes repeatable creature removal.

    Wall of Roots, Overgrown Battlements - Aurochs can take a while to get going. These walls can serve as a great means to help you get going faster while simultaneously protecting yourself.
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on GMAD #304 - Titan Forge (Budget)
    Edit: didnt see redwoods post. Disregard this post unless it turns out to be invalid.

    - Voting out the 4 cultivate, the mana acceleration/fixing isn't really needed or appropriate in this deck. That's 3 votes so they're out.

    - Voting out 2 everflowing chalice for reasons said above. This deck doesns't look like it is too mana heavy, abusing the counters is a nice idea and mana accel is always nice, but I don't really see this deck wanting to focus all of its
    time and effort on building up this card. At best it will probably have a few charge counters on it. One thing's for certain however, this deck doesns't need 4 of them.

    - Adding 1 Lux Cannon. It's cheap, it can charge itself and is abusable with pretty much everything here. A good deck should always have an answer to problem permanents. We can probably bump this up to 2 or 3 when we figure out the budget.

    72 Cards, $23.94Magic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Creatures: 8
    4 Vital Splicer ($0.17 ea)
    4 Coretapper ($0.93 ea)
    2 Wall of Junk ($0.26 ea)
    2 Tangle Golem ($0.13 ea)

    Artifacts: 24
    1 Lux Cannon ($1.04 ea)
    4 Titan Forge ($0.38 ea)
    4 Energy Chamber ($1.42 ea)
    4 Voltaic Key ($0.52 ea)
    2 Unwinding Clock ($0.84 ea)
    4 Golem Foundry ($0.10 ea)
    2 Clock of Omens ($0.18 ea)
    4 Everflowing Chalice ($1.16 ea) (2 @ -2)

    Spells: 8
    4 Volt Charge ($0.21 ea)
    4 Druid's Deliverance ($0.12 ea)

    Lands: 24
    24 Tolarian Academy (Priceless)

    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on GMaD #302 - Nantuko Cultivator
    Wow, great GMAD choice, I've always wanted to do something with this card and there are many ways to go with this deck. In addition to the obvious Terravore I'm going to suggest we throw in a single copy of Worm Harvest. It's re-usable and cares about the number of lands in our graveyard, I can see it getting out of hand fast in this deck and works as a great alt win condition. It's also discardable to Rites of Spring. Only throwing in 1 copy for now since it's useless to have multiple copies in the graveyard, but if we decide we want to put more emphasis in the "lands in graveyard" theme then we can look into bumping the count up for consistency.

    Bug Farm (33 Cards)Magic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Creatures (4):
    4 Nantuko Cultivator

    Spells (4):
    4 Rites of Spring
    1 Worm Harvest

    Lands (24):
    24 The Hive

    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on 5-Color Knights
    This is a fun looking deck, but it looks to be quite dependant on a few cards, mainly Haakon and Prismatic Omen. Prismatic Omen is great for the deck, but it seems you might have some trouble without it otherwise, especially with all of the colorless lands you are running. I realize you're running a tutor package with knight of the reliquary but are all of those colorless lands really necessary for the deck to function? Personally, I would ditch the Last stands and a couple of the Prismatic Omens and focus on making my manabase more independent of Prismatic Omen in order to function. You could still keep a few utility lands to tutor up with KoTR. Maybe Desolate Lighthouse, so you have a tutorable discard outlet incase you end up drawing Haakon.

    Here's a few other small tips/things that I noticed:

    • I agree with Mooncrow on Life from the Loam over Crucible, especially since dredge can help get Haakon into the graveyard faster.
    • I would also consider changing your knight numbers around a bit. For example, Dragonsoul Knight and Paragon of the Amesha are underwhelming in the early game in my opinion. They're only good if you activate their abilities, but they are a huge mana sink and are just asking to be removed/destroyed, which can really hurt your tempo. I would consider cutting these guys to 2 or 1 of each for the late game once you've got Haakon out.
    • Brawn doesn't make much sense to me since you don't have alot of big beefy guys. I would personally rather run Wonder to give all of my knights evasion
    • Knight of Exemplar should be at least a two of. If you can get both of the knights on the battlefield, then they can give each other indestructibility. Seems pretty good to me.
    • Cut out Phyrexian Crusader, it doesn't really make sense in this deck as others have pointed out.
    • Finally, consider packing in more removal. Yes, Nameless Inversion and Crib Swap are recurrable with Haakon, but what if you don't have Haakon? Furthermore, I'm not seeing any way to tutor up these spells in your deck. With only 1 copy of each in your deck I don't see you getting the opportunity to play with these cards often. Consider bumping up their count.
    Posted in: Multiplayer
  • posted a message on angels and wurms help
    This deck needs a LOT more ramp for what it's trying to do. I have always been a fan of Joraga Treespeaker as it gives you 2 extra mana on it's own. That's 5 mana by turn 3 assuming you played a land every turn. With 1 more accelerator down you can easily be plopping down fatties as early as turn 4. You can also look into cheating creatures into play. Someone already mentioned Elvish Piper and you have a lurking predators in the deck already. Quicksilver Amulet is another consideration. It's activated ability costs more, but it's much less fragile than the piper. Wild Pair is always a fun card to build around and can help plop extra creatures down onto the battlefield.

    I would consider dropping the Oracle of Mul Daya and Predator Ooze. The oracle is not going to be reliable as you want her to be for mana accel. As for the predator, it doesn't make much sense in this deck. What role is it playing? It only gets bigger if it attacks, but do you really want to be attacking in the early game and just leave yourself wide open? These slots could probably be dedicated to something else. Either more ramp or something better to help protect yourself. Cards like Overgrown Battlements and Wall of Roots could be great here as they fill both roles nicely (they both ramp AND protect you)
    Posted in: Multiplayer
  • posted a message on Scars Lands Value Changes?
    They are a unique set of lands that probably wont see reprint for a while and don't have much more room to drop in price.(I don't see them getting cheaper than their painland equivalents). In my opinion, if you can acquire playsets for cheap on ebay then there's no reason not to as they can pretty much only go up from here.
    Posted in: Market Street Café
  • posted a message on Just looking for feedback and suggestions
    I'm surprised no one's mentioned Basilisk Collar yet, the card's nuts with pingers. The collar plays especially well with these cards:

    Gelectrode: This guys a BEAST since he has built in ability to untap himself. Very abusble in the right deck.

    Goblin Sharpshooter: Another (expensive) beast of the old days. With Basilisk Collar, he can wipe out the entire board.

    Your deck looks like it wants to be a combo deck, but I can't help get the feeling that without any proper card draw/filtering, you have some games where you just don't get what you need, or draw all pingers with nothing to interact with them. Personally if I were building this deck I would take it into more of a control/combo build. Ponders and Preordains would be the order of the day to help me find my combo pieces. I would probably have a few extra utility counter/burn spells in my deck to fend off my opponents and keep them in check while I get my board position setup. Gelectrode and Basilisk Collar would fit very well in this deck, and you could probably even fit a few of the other cards from your list into this build like Cunning Sparkmage, Slumber Titan and Niv Mizzet.

    There are probably other ways you could go. For example, since you're already running a fair number of golbins you could focus more on goblins and make it a goblin combo deck. Goblin Matron is an excellent goblin tutor, and I'm sure you could easily set up some infinite combos with Krenko, Mob Boss, Goblin Fireslinger and/or Goblin sharpshooter.For example, Thornbite Staff and any sacrifice outlet (which there are plenty of options for sac outlets in goblins) allows you to untap any of the creatures I mentioned above.


    These are just some ideas, I'm sure there are plenty of other ways you can go. Best of luck with the deck!
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
  • posted a message on Release the Worms
    It's a cool deck idea, but I really think it's too inconsistent in it's current state to pull off what you're trying to do. What happens when you don't have a Treasure Hunt in your opening hand? It seems too dependent on Treasure Hunt, your game plan is basically Treasure Hunt] or bust. The problem of course is that any additional non-land cards you add actually hurt your chances of drawing into Worm Harvest.

    If you're looking to take the deck in a different suggestion, I would suggest putting it in a dredge shell. You'll still be able to easily get Worm Harvest and a bunch of lands in your graveyard with the benefit of having other non-land cards in your deck that can help protect you like Stinkweed Imp. Darkmor Salvage could be a 1 of in the deck also so you always have a land to discard to play Worm Harvest. You could even run a couple of Creakwood Lieges with Dread Return, just sac some worm tokens and now you've got your worm lord out on the battlefield! I'm sure there are plenty of other ideas/interesting combos to play around with in dredge.


    If you're still intent on trying to abuse Treasure Hunt, then I would suggest you look into more utility lands. You should at least be running a playset of Halimar Depths so you can dig for your Treasure Hunt in the early game.


    Best of luck with the deck!
    Posted in: Casual & Multiplayer Formats
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