Yeah great catch on the orb of dragonkind/Kinnan interaction! I completely missed that, would have been worse than when we misread TYS two years ago.
As for primal might, that seems good, though working around the great henge seems tricky. I think gating all loops through quandrix command -> vadrok trigger -> octo -> blue spend is safe. I don't see any sorcery speed loopholes we can infinite through, even with a cheap creature like sorcerer's broom. Especially since we only get one draw per creature.
Aegar, the freezing flame looks like it almost works for transitioning, but can't actually generate blue because we can't cheaply trigger it between the reflections of littjara octopi.
I'm liking jfb's idea of using Avalanche Caller to make lots of copies of tapped snow lands using Orvar, the All-Form. This means we can't use Thaumaturges, but it will be worth it to gain a layer.
With Orvar, it doesn't look like we need supplementary mana, except for Sea-Dasher Octopus. We still need that one mana though, so I guess Palladium Myr + Kinnan is as good a choice as any, since they are creatures.
Edit: Hmm, the Legendary Rule does seem problematic. We can target a nontoken legendary creature with Quandrix Command, and then Orvar will trigger prior to resolution, and we can put a copy into play, sending the legendary creature to the graveyard. We can then use a second Reflections trigger to cast Quandrix again, and shuffle the creature and Island into the library. Then a Tibalt's Trickery can cast the creature, and draw the Island.
What might save us is the fact that we only draw one card. So we can't draw Sea-Dasher Octopus. If we try to loop with bouncing the Octopus, we have to use a lot of Quandrix Commands - the Octopus, Scaled Herbalist, and the legendary creature. So can we arrange things so that this is too much? Of course we have to make sure we can do the intended combo fine.
Edit: Oh, bouncing a mutated Octopus also means bouncing the Vadrok that we mutated it onto, so we have to use a Quandrix Command to make another copy of the Vadrox as well. So I'm thinking we can maybe be safe by not allowing for too many Quandrix commands each Octopus mutation.
hmm, that's not exactly true, but since reflections of littjara doesn't let us change the targets, the octopus is still going to end up on a vadrok stack. (instead of say a kinnan or orvar) This is important because remaking a legendary vadrok stack is expensive.
If the octopus is not going on a stack of vadrox (vadrii? vadren?), then we don't get quandrix commands, or other spells.
edit: oh the mutate stack can be nonlegendary, and on a scaled herbalist, hmm that does look problematic.
so we mutate onto the herbalist,
make an orvar copy of it
put island into play
resolve reflections trigger 1
vadrok casts instants
-kill our land
-command kills kinnan, reshuffle island
resolve reflections trigger 2
-command reshuffles kinnan
-trickery casts kinnan (needs a target... Dual strike gives it itself.)
resolve orginal octo
-command bounces octo
yeah this seems to go infinite, maybe cutting Dual Strike to make trickery need to counter something lower? Sea Gate stormcaller is also a problem though...
In case removing Dual Strike doesn't help, we can make use of the Kinnan loophole, and use it to make unrestricted green mana from The Ringhart Crest. This should get us 9 layers, compared to the 10 we could potentially get from The Great Henge.
Didn't add the Thaumaturge combo, because it may not be necessary, but it may well be the best way to start anyway. It's also missing how to get started, which may require more Genesis Ultimatums and Wizard's Spellbooks.
Even if the great henge is safe, which I'm not sure of, how does it help? If we kill all the nontoken creatures with toralf, then can replay them, this only seems to net as much blue mana as we have nontoken creatures, not a full stages worth.
Well, the idea was that we would get a gajillion triggers of Toralf dealing 1 damage, so that we could destroy a gajillion creatures, maybe 2 or 3 at a time. The first issue I think is making sure it doesn't go infinite, then we can see if the same construction can rebuild a stage with Toralf.
Because of retargeting issues, we only get to destroy all of our nontokens every toralf 2 damage trigger, so each one of those profits some blue. Effectively making the toralf stage one layer smaller but that's not a problem.
But sea gate stormcaller has the same problem as dual strike, allowing us to loop a legendary creature for great henge triggers, we even have an extra quandrix command mode to copy stormcaller with right before we cast trickery.
Multiple stages in the standard card pool! Again! Impressive stuff!
I have finally caught up with this thread and think I understand enough to contribute a bit
As far as I can tell the stages work as intended, so that is great. (I'm looking at the The Ringhart Crest version from post #206)
I did notice one problem in the layers, though: Primal Might cannot be cast at instant speed while paying the mana cost, so we can't spend green on it. Worse, even when cast without paying the mana cost via Tibalt's trickery or Vadrok, Apex of Thunder it still lets two creatures fight. So it gets Toralf, God of Fury triggers without spending green, going infinite.
Huh I thought primal might was an instant, good catch. and did completely miss the x=0 case for it. Fresh eyes are helpful with this stuff.
That takes out the sea gate stormcaller, and potentially allows the The great henge version ahead again? as trickery would need to actually counter something to cast kinnan. I feel like there might still be a problem in there...
start with a floating U and Island+Sea-Dasher Octopus+Toralf, God of Fury in the library.
1. spend U to create a bunch of draw triggers
2. draw Island and Octopus
3. put Island into play and tap for U
4. spend U to mutate the Octopus, getting a copy from Reflections of Littjara
5. resolve a mutate copy to get a bunch of Vadrok, Apex of Thunder triggers
6. Use Vadrok triggers to get Island into the library
7. Use Vadrok trigger to counter the original Octopus with Tibalt's Trickery.
8. Cast Toralf of the trickery, have it die to legend rule, draw a card from the Henge trigger: Island
9. put Island into play and tap for U
10. Use Vadrok triggers to get Island, Octopus and Toralf back into the library
We are back where we started with additional draw triggers and progress from spare Vadrok triggers.
So that leaves us with the the ringshart crest deck in #206 (ringheart crest is the back side of an mdfc, but the front side kolvori, god of kinship isn't problematic, and the back side can still be cast at instant speed from trickery as needed), with polukranos+swamp replacing primal might, for 9 layers (1 green -> X damage, 1 crest -> X green, 1 heliod's copy -> X crests (edit: 1 crest), 1 white -> X heliod's, 1 treasure -> X white, 1 room trigger -> X treasures, 4 ventures -> X room triggers, 1 combat -> X ventures, 1 main -> X combats, 2 mains) (or does that count as 8?); the alternative being the deck in #165 minus orb of dragonkind which is the same but 2 layers less.
So it looks like that deck is our best contender so far.
Unfortunately, I don't see how to get two layers from Heliod's Intervention -> crests. We can get crests either from destroying and recycling the nontoken copy, or through Orvar. For the first, we only can destroy the nontoken crest once per copy, the second we get a lot of copies, but only on the cast.
Ooh, nice! That gives two more creature slots.
Edit: We'll often have a lot of copies of legendaries for which the octopus is mutated on top, but Kargan intimidator can remove the octopus type from them.
Sorry, I haven't had much time for this recently, but should have some time over the next few days. With rotation fast approaching, are there any changes we want to get in? Also what start did we end up on?
Hmm, I believe it might - mutating leosaur onto vadrok can put the island into the library, then paying a blue draws and plays the island, replaces the blue mana spent on the draw, and as a side effect puts some draw triggers on the stack. They can likely be used for profiting back the mana spent on the leosaur.
Also remember that cheap red doesn't work well with the back side of toralf.