So, thinking about what to use spare Quasiduplicates on, prior to the Declare Attackers step, it looks like the first priority is to make an indestructible token copy of Grand Warlord Radha; this is worth as much as a Mountain. The second priority is to make indestructible hasted token copies of Guildpact Informant; this costs three Quasiduplicates each, but they are only worth it in groups of two, since an extra proliferate only gets us one more land fetch, which can't produce an untapped Sulfur Falls. So, we can have between 0 and 5 leftover Quasiduplicates; these can be used on our third priority, creating more indestructible copies of Grand Warlord Radha. (In case we have enough Quasiduplicates left over, we should of course make sure our copies are nonlegendary.) Extra copies of Radha aren't worth as much as a Mountain tap, but they are better than copies of any other creature, so far as I can see. We then have either 0 or 1 Quasiduplicate left over, not enough to make an indestructible copy of anything else. This means that we don't actually benefit at all from Captain Lannery Storm, Tatyova, Benthic Druid, Teysa Karlov, Protean Rider, and Truefire Captain, since all of them only create benefits during or after the Declare Attackers step. Protean Rider would be awesome, if it could be used on our transforming lands, but unfortunately it only works after we attack, so no dice.
if we are using tatyova, benthic druid we can switch our initial sulfur falls(s) into steam vents(s). it'll slow us down a bit in the initial setup(slightly lower life) but should be a bigger payout during the proliferate portion of our combo as we can get 2 red sources per fall trigger resolution. another option is to run more quasiduplicate. i don't think more copies is an issue and allows going wider with some of our more important pieces(informant, niyka, marauders, etc). my guess is they are very close in value to a mountain, and possibly worth more. it also may make it easier to pull off some of the more complicated stack layering things without needing to reshuffle at all.
also, don't we need 2 elephants to do the sphinx version of the stage? it's been awhile but i remember needing 2 though you guys might have found a way to do it with just 1.
edit: we may want to up to the full 4 red sources as we can get all 4 into yard via sphinx deaths without putting them into play first. thinking about it more we just need 1 steam vents, not 2(or 4) which only costs us 2 life at the start up and then 2 life per full cycle of fall entering and then triggering 3 times and then getting reset(tho we are gaining far more than that to tatyova anyway).
edit: also we will want to get down a indestructible copy of teysa karlov during our stage process. she makes sphinx(s) double trigger on dying so we get even more reshuffles per wrath resolving
edit: i know being able to exile dauntless bodyguard to get another red source untap is important, but he is honestly super inefficient at helping us keep multiple things around if having many of them is good for us. for things we want to keep around using him basically halves our quasiduplicate output. this will really add up over the amount of times we will be wanting to grow our board state without giving that growth up to wrath's. something like assure from assure//assemble would allow us to save anything and everything we wanted without to having to waste quasiduplicate copies on it.
In this case, timing is everything. It may seem like Steam Vents is a good deal, since one would think 2 life < lots of red mana. But, it turns out to be a bad deal. Steam Vents gets us 2X red mana lands from X Guildpact Informant rather than just X. But, having an extra 2 life in the beginning allows for an extra casting of Ionize, allowing for another execution of a stage early on, which takes our TYS count X to something like X^^^...^^^X with X up arrows - and then we start transforming lands which turn our TYS count into red mana. So by the time we get to the Declare Attackers step, we will have a gajillion times as many Guildpact Informants with Sulfur Falls compared to Steam Vents, which overwhelms the fact that we only get half as many land fetches per proliferate.
For the same reason, Tatyova, Benthic Druid is not worth it, since we have to go through the trouble of making an indestructible copy. As harmless as that sounds, we could have made an indestructible copy of Grand Warlord Radha instead, getting us a ton of red mana rather than some life and some draws.
pretty sure the spear spewer just lets us do 19 more damage. it hits both players so we net 0 life and our opponent just loses 19. if lifelink stacked we could do some pretty gross things but i think WotC has pretty much done away with those types of effects so we'd need access to older cards to make it work. finding something that does allow us to do this type of effect early would be nice though as it would allow more life for us to work with in our early stage builds.
also does this mean we want to max our the potency of our early stage resources/plays? i'm guessing it's probably a case by case thing but it sounds like we want to max out the strength of our pre combat plays more than anything else(assuming we don't give up too much value later on to do it).
edit: hmmmm, now that we are working with the ability to donate creatures and or walkers, what about seeing what shield mare can do for us? if we donate a indestructible one it lets us control their life total(if we want to). it might require a different build all together but would allow us access to another facet of the game to abuse.
Lifelink doesn't stack in the sense that you can't get it more than once, but I'm pretty sure it does stack in the sense that if you deal damage to multiple things, you gain life equal to the total damage dealt. So Spear Spewer will deal 19 damage to us and 19 damage to the opponent, allowing us to gain 38 life through lifelink.
Dauntless Bodyguard isn't the best way to grant indestructible, but the comparison between it and Assure // Assemble is similar to the comparison between Sulfur Falls and Steam Vents. Assure // Assemble doesn't require Quasiduplicate to grant indestructibility, so we get roughly 1.5 as many hasted indestructible Guildpact Informant tokens with the same number of Quasiduplicate copies. But, we get that early advantage, only this time it's not just two life, it's a whole Tomb of the Dusk Rose land tap for a gajillion red mana. So that's an even more enormous advantage, and we will have a gajillion times as many Quasiduplicates to get a gajillion times as many hasted indestructible Guildpact Informants.
And yeah, we generally want to max things out as early as possible. More precisely, there are three mana gathering stages, the first being tapping Winged Temple of Orazca an Tomb of the Dusk Rose, the second fetching Sulfur Falls many times with proliferates, and the third untapping our Sulfur Falls many times with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. A small gain in an earlier stage will greatly increase the number of land taps in the next stage, so it is very hard to do any better in that later stage than the small gain in the earlier stage. So basically we want to focus on increasing the first stage.
Edit: Unfortunately, using Shield Mare would require us to reconstruct the whole deck, since our current stage fetches creatures and copies them freely, so we could gain oodles of life easily.
Vampire Neonate does work, although I think Spear Spewer works as well. There's not much to separate them; if we wind up keeping Teysa Karlov, then Spear Spewer might be better, since we avoid paying the two mana to activate it. If we wind up going back to Gideon for lifelink, then Vampire Neonate is probably better.
Edit: So, there's an obvious creature that adds to the TYS count - Citywatch Sphinx. It seems optimal to have four Citywatch Sphinxes and a Teysa Karlov, then use our Spark Doubles and Mirror Images to copy those creatures. Then, we use all of our spare Quasiduplicates to copy those two creatures so that we have about an equal number of both; if we have X of each, we get X^2 + X reshuffles when we resolve a Wrath Nova. After each reshuffle we can cast all of our cheap instants/sorceries, including Quasiduplicate to create even more Sphinxes and Teysas. So that will increase the TYS count very rapidly.
Adding a Citywatch Sphinx is even better than adding Grand Warlord Radha, since the latter is less valuable than two proliferates, which can fetch two Sulfur Falls. Adding a Citywatch Sphinx will escalate our TYS growth rapidly, so we will be able to generate many times more Guildpact Informants so we get much more than two more proliferates.
Next, we can try to add creatures that will reduce the number of Quasiduplicates that we have to waste copying those creatures. So we could add more Tragic Poets and Torch Couriers; four more is enough to fill out the rest of the deck list, squeezing out Grand Warlord Radha.
Agreed on the Spear Spewer vs Vampire Neonate discussion. Though Goblin Chainwhirler is even better with lifelink.
Hmm, how to spend early Quasiduplicates is difficult. We don't need to make the Radhas indestructible, they trigger on attacking not damage.
This also means that we don't have to make the Guildpact Informants indestructible until after we get mana from Radha.
Hmm, being able to tap the lands from the proliferate shenanigans sequentially is a ton more powerful than the extra Radha triggers. I think it might be best to just have the 7 extra copies of it in the deck? 2 of them are worth a lot more than anything else a creature is doing. (Grateful apparition is functionally identical)
So the top priority is to make as many indestructible 1/1 proliferation dorks as possible Angelic Guardian seems better than the bodyguard for this.
I'm pretty sure a Grand warlord is better than some of the extra copies of other creatures, Though the timing isnt great as we cant use the red from the warlord to make more proliferators. Should we just have mountains again and tap them precombat?
Edit 2: mountains dont work as any way we could get them in play would be too good with the Fall of the Thran.
Hmm, how can we activate Goblin Chainwhirler with a lot of creatures controlled by the opponent? We have to wait until the last Wrath Nova. After that we want to put Dowsing Dagger onto the battlefield as many times as possible. But, we have to retrieve Dowsing Dagger with Excavation Elephant, and then destroy it with a Purify Nova. But, I think we can only do that once. We can have waiting draw triggers on the bottom of the stage, but that's only twice. Sacrificing lockets won't help since they will go away after the first Purify Nova same as the Dowsing Dagger. So, I guess we don't wait until the last Wrath Nova, but rather keep playing Dowsing Dagger throughout the combo, then using Role Reversal to switch the Plants with our own indestructible creatures. That works, although it's not the most efficient. But yeah, we will get massive life gains 19 times, which is nice. (Not quite enough for 3 -> 3 -> 33 -> 5, I don't think.)
We do need to make the Radhas and Guildpact Informants indestructible if we put them into play before the final Wrath Nova. But, it turns out it is best to use all of those earlier Quasiduplicates to make lots of Citywatch Sphinxes and Teysa Karlovs. So yeah, after the final Wrath Nova we just make lots of hasted Guildpact Informants, and use any leftover Quasiduplicates to make Grand Warlord Radha tokens.
Adding 7 proliferate attackers will reduce the number of Quasiduplicates we need to create X hasted attackers by 7, so we can create 3.5 more hasted attackers on average. (We need one Quasiduplicate for the attacker, and one for the [c]Torch Courier[/]c.) So that's 0.5 hasted attackers per card slot used. Adding the first copy of Grand Warlord Radha is about equal to a proliferate. So adding each of these creatures gets us about an additional proliferate or less.
By contrast, adding a single Citywatch Sphinx means the very first Wrath Nova we resolve will trigger X+1 more reshuffles, where X is the number of Teysa Karlovs we put into play. So we get a bunch more reshuffles, resulting in a bunch more Quasiduplicates, and each of those Quasiduplicates will have a higher TYS count thanks to all the extra instants/sorceries that we can cast thanks to all the second reshuffles. And that's just after the first Wrath Nova. The second Wrath Nova causes a correspondingly bigger amount of reshuffles, for more Quasiduplicates at higher TYS count, and so on. So by the time we get to the last set of Quasiduplicates after the last Wrath Nova, we have gajillions more Quasiduplicates, so we can create a gajillion more Guildpact Informants.
I couldn't find a card called Angelic Guardian, is there another creature that can grant indestructible?
We can't use Mountains pre-combat since with Fall of the Thran we can destroy them easily, so we need to make them hard to put into play; if there is another difficult way to put lands into play other than with proliferate, that might be worth looking at. This was why I originally wanted to use The First Eruption, since that made sacrificing a Mountain hard, so that we then have Grow from the Ashes to put them into play easily. But, The First Eruption grows infinite with its first step. Anyway, it turned out even better, because Profane Procession allowed us to transform it not just from using the extra card slots, but also from most of the creatures in our main combo.
Edit: Oh, I found Angelic Guardian. We would still need Dauntless Bodyguard to make indestructible creatures when they aren't attacking, particularly an indestructible Nikya of the Old Ways token. So Angelic Guardian isn't worth the extra card slot.
hmmm, that list looks solid for what we've discovered so far.
i'm still wondering if extra quasiduplicate copies would be better than pretty much any creature. lets pick sphinx as an example. 1 extra sphinx is +1 reshuffle per wrath and +1 tapping for red mana later. 1 extra quasi is 1 less tapping of a red source, but it is +1 extra layer of storm for anything that cares about it, including red mana from tapping a land. so it breaks even in the mana(i think?) and then dwarfs the sphinx in pretty much every other aspect as it has uses outside of just reshuffles. i think sphinx is the closest thing to quasi in terms of excess pieces so there might be even better replacements, but i think +3 quasi might be better than the 3 creature slots it could replace.
i'm still also wondering about torch courier. i feel like a more wide spread haste enabler would be better, but it requires another arcane adaption to do it. i just feel like we care about saving bodies for our massive attack ... idk. maybe the layering aspects of the math just makes this stuff fade into the math in the end but it just feels wasteful to give up so many attackers(including informants).
oh, wow, we can make lots of 0/2 dousing tokens. we can make them in the stage combo. as long as we can use lena, selfless champion we can ensure they live through the wipes. (edit: we will need to be sure we don't make are elephant indestructible but that should be easy enough to time correctly) we should be able to make 1 dagger per 1 or 2 purify's resolving. we just need to have an extra naban around to pick the dagger up with the lockets. then we can donate them to our opponent after we make them indestructible, so goblin chainwhiller doesn't kill any of them off so that each successive one damages all the ones we made in the previous iteration. we will need to make sure we get arcane adaptation(and marauders) off the table before resolving a CW but that should be easy enough. if we life link our creatures, this will be a massive amount of life gained in this process but still limited to 19 times doing it. not sure when would be best to set this off .... pre combat?
@FortyTwo: Hmm, can we make Lena, Selfless Champion work? We need to make indestructible copies of various creatures at power 4 or 5, so we need to get Lena's power up to a 6. How would we do it? Oh wait, we have Giant Growth. It's still a little tricky, since we can't pick and choose which creatures we make indestructible, and we do want to be able to destroy some of them - but it probably works, and is more efficient.
@J_kibbs: An extra Quasiduplicate would be better than a Citywatch Sphinx, except for the fact that it's not a creature that we can exile to Profane Procession. That's actually the most important use of all the cards in our extra card slots (except perhaps for Dauntless Bodyguard, whose most important function is arguably to allow for both Nikya of the Old Ways and the original Spark Double to be exiled), since it gets us a land tap prior to attacking, which is pretty much as powerful a benefit as we can get. So a noncreature card can't get a slot, unless it somehow allows for an early land tap as well.
We definitely want to maximize our number of Guildpact Informant attackers. If I may make an analogy, if you are making a product, and you can choose between making 10 things of which 100% are acceptable, or making 100 things of which 50% are acceptable, the latter clearly gets you more product. In this deck, our early strategy is to get as many Quasiduplicates as we can, and the fact that we might have to divide by two to get the number of hasted attackers is overwhelmed by getting a gajillion times more Quasiduplicates.
Yeah, we want to use our Goblin Chainwhirler precombat, so that it impacts the number of Informant attackers.
I think we can certainly afford to recycle Arcane Adaptation for the moment that we attack. The problem is recycling it whenever we need to use Tragic Poet or Gyre Engineer, then recycling it again when we need to play Excavation Elephant. In fact, we need to use a Tragic Poet right after Purify Nova clears the battlefield of enchantments, so this seems like a nonstarter.
We can just use Lena before we cast Elephant or make sphinxes, those are the only creatures we really want to lose to Nova.
Role Reversal costs a red, I think Switcheroo works better, Gideon being a creature on our turn is pretty convenient.
Ugh, goblin Chainwhirler is infinite, we can give them a Sun Crowned Hunters with lifelink and force them to gain life. We can use Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord as our lifelink soure? But the other Gideon (Oathsworn) stays immune to damage when we trade it, and Sarkhan makes Teferi also a dragon, which allows us to quasiduplicate nonlegendary copies.
Back to Spear Spewer I guess. (Rakdos Firewheeler has the same problem.)
I guess Grasping Thrull is best? We miss out on half of the life from the first trigger, but gain 4 from each of the 8 tokens for a total of +34 life. Almost twice as good as the Spear Spewer.
ugh, that's a bummer with chainwhirler. hmmm, if we use cards like sorin and teysa as our lifelink enablers we might still be able to use chainwhirler. when we donate the creature the lifelink will fall off .... but i guess we could then donate an enabler too. only way i can think to turn this back on would be to to have sorin as our lifelink enabler, then not be able to donate them a walker, then make whatever we can donate them be able to block all creatures(not even sure this is possible). this would gain us a bunch of life but then we wouldn't get any proliferate triggers(has to be player or walker), so it would be a value losing line of play for us.
it has to be role reversal. this only works if we can give them a walker that can take damage, which switcheroo cannot do. luckily i think we only need to cast it twice and we can use draws to put it into hand for when we need it rather than actually giving up any red mana. edit: i'm an idiot, switcheroo works just fine and then gideon can take damage on their side of the table ...
edit: if we switch 3 drop gideon into 6 drop gideon, then switch teysa for sorin, and swap role reversal for switcheroo, i think we can make chainwhirler work ... i think ... edit: as long as sorin's -x ability doesn't cause us any issues edit: aw, shucks, 6 drop gideon doesn't take damage ..., still looking
i'm trying to keep role reversal out as it allows us to give them a lifelink enabler even if its a walker. switcheroo works if i can somehow give them a walker that can take damage.
hmm does something like merfolk trickster work here? can we use this to remove the not take damage clause? would 6 drop gideon remain a walker we could attack into?
to even do this we would give up teysa, which might not be a great thing ... we would give up a lot of sphinx shuffles so it might not even be worth it. tho we gain a ton of life which should more than make up for it
lyra + adaptation + spark double = blank spark doubles which i think was an issue? .. oh yeah, it lets us make infinite sized spark doubles with quasiduplicate ... and other things too i think. in general things that give a blanket bluff are too good because of spark double.
what we need is a lifelink enabler that isn't a creature, can't target, doesn't buff, and doesn't cause other issues ... i'll do some digging
edit: sorin should work if his -x is fine. his +2 can't hit creatures ... maybe we have it? if trickster also works? his +2 can gain us life but it's only 1. we'd need to use a spark double to gain 2 and we still wouldn't be able to recycle them in the reshuffles the life gains us ... wait maybe i can ... play sorin, play teferi, play 1 spark double copying teferi and then 1 copying sorin, use actual sorin +2 on actual teferi, then use actual teferi to tuck sorin and killing teferi, then use the 2 spark doubled copies to repeat this putting all cards back into deck or in graveyard and gaining us enough life to rebuild a draw tower ... nuts .... maybe we can do it with only 1 spark double in the list?
edit: trickster doesn't remove the damage prevention clause, so looks like it doesn't matter
we can use a copy of quasiduplicate to make a token gideon, then legend rule the original to get it back later. then we switcheroo the tokenn to them, and now it can take damage as it just reverts to being a normal non creature walker that can take damage. we don't need role reversal and not using it saves us some red mana.
hmm, are we sure trying to max out our proliferate triggers is the best way to do this? i know it's a great way for us to make some red mana but we actually don't quite get full value out of it because we have to use it while we are in combat(we can save the last few lands that we get back and tap them post combat). i say we don't get full value in combat because normally each red mana gives us the ability to get teferi triggers(having 4 spark double means we get 5 per 1 red mana?) for each red we use. this only works if we can do this at at time when we can activate teferi, so we don't get this value in the combat step mana generation. i'm wondering if it makes sense to wait on making any red mana from lands until we get through combat(edit: sorry, just meant that only make red from lands that will be destroyed in combat, and waiting other wise if we can). this means we won't have as many proliferate triggers of course, but we can't get full value out of them anyway because the mana it does make us is inherently limited. so not using the profane procession before combat we give up some red mana, but less valuable red mana, and in return we get more full value red mana afterwards. maybe it's semantic's but i do think it's worth pointing out
The thing that you have to keep in mind is that our numbers increase tremendously as we resolve our combo. Each successive land tap produces more than Graham's number times the red mana than all the preceding land taps combined. So, being able to activate Teferi on all of the land taps before the last one actually only increases the number of Teferi activations by less than 1/Graham's Number. On the other hand, getting an additional land tap will produce more than Graham's Number times the previious last land tap, so that will increase the number of Teferi activations by more than Graham's Number times. So yeah, getting more proliferates, even two more, will more than compensate for not being able to use our red mana for Teferi activations prior to the last two Sulfur Falls.
Waiting on Profane Procession would definitely reduce our final damage - currently it's at 3 -> 3 -> (3 -> 3 -> (3 -> 3 -> 32 -> 5) -> 5) -> 5, if we took out Hadana's Climb for another Profane Procession transformation, and waited on the transformations until after combat, we would only get about 3 -> 3 -> 26 -> 2 proliferates, for only about 3 -> 3 -> (3 -> 3 -> (3 -> 3 -> 26 -> 2) -> 5) -> 5 damage.
This keeps us from using transform lands, as we could just Quasiduplicate the transformed lands. It also prevents us from using destruction and retrieval of lands as a strategy, as our red mana lands have to come in tapped to avoid cheap Quasiduplication creating red mana.