"The plane once called Lorwyn, now called Shadowmoor, is a fairytale world, and Oona is Queen of the Faeries. Especially now that the elves have lost their place as the beautiful tyrants of the plane, Oona's dominion is spreading. Even now—even as feral giants, cunning pucas, monstrous kelpies, and the awe-inspiring demigods awaken from their daylight slumber—Oona remains one of the most powerful forces in the world. And there's one reason: information. Oona is one of the few beings on the plane who retained her memories across the Aurora. This has allowed her to advance a strategy that spans the entire plane, both light and dark—but it also makes her feel like she has a lot to lose. Oona has begun cracking down on the plane, budding off ever more faerie minions in order to contain certain rebellious elements that threaten to upset her plans. Her faeries bring her the dreams of an entire plane, allowing her to create a kind of dream treasury deep inside her of all that goes on in the world. In effect her faeries serve as her eyes and ears in the lands beyond her glamer-protected Glen Elendra. Finally, Oona is a powerful focal point for much of the plane's magic. She's a master of glamers and other magics that make her a subtly potent force in the world. If she were to be displaced or disabled, much would change in Shadowmoor. With her memories of Lorwyn intact, her network of faeries gathering information for her night after night, and her mastery of magic, Oona is probably the most commanding presence on the plane."
-Doug Beyer, Savor the Flavor
Deck History & Introduction:
I love combo decks. There's nothing quite like crafting a perfect hand, complete with counter magic backup, and winning out of nowhere, seeing the dumbfounded, shocked, and pained expressions of your helpless opponents. Sean McKeown has written a couple of commander articles with his version of the ultimate, balls-to-the-wall, Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT) deck, most recently using Griselbrand as his general, here.
I've goldfished his decklist a few times, and it is pretty fast and furious, so kudos to Sean. The deficiency with it, in my mind, is that it is a single counterspell away from completely fizzling and being rendered impotent, unable to recover from the slightest countermeasures from the opponent. It is truly a glass-cannon. If you play against this deck, you either counter Ad Nauseam, or you're all dead by turn 4 consistently, possibly even on turn 1 if all the stars align with an opening hand of Mana Crypt, Swamp, Dark Ritual, Ad Nauseam, and whatever else, and you happen to draw into the perfect cards (like free mana, Yawgmoth's Will, and a win condition).
No matter how much I love playing combo, and ANT in particular, I cannot make myself play this type of deck without my own counter magic, and several other paths to victory in the event that Ad Nauseam is shut down. To accomplish this, you need to add U to the mix, and probably the best multiplayer general in EDH for this, in my opinion, is Oona, Queen of the Fae since she is a token army generator, and milling machine win condition all on her own.
I have been piloting this deck with my local play group for a few months now, and have been playing Ad Nauseam in Vintage and Legacy ever since the card was released, which is why I've decided to turn this thread into a primer. It's my hope that all of the combo players out there will continue to help me tweak and evolve this deck list as new cards come out.
Why Play Oona?:
Oona, Queen of the Fae is a very versatile general. Her color identity is (U/B), which allows you access to the best draw spells, the best counter spells, and the best tutor spells. She is a 5/5 flyer for 3(U/B)(U/B)(U/B). Her activated ability has combo written all over it, since it allows you to pay X(U/B) mana to exileX cards from an opponent's library. But even without infinite mana, her ability is very powerful, allowing you to generate addition 1/1 flyers, depending on your luck of naming a color of cards your opponent happens to flip during the exile process. This versatile ability allows Oona to even be used as an aggro general, in the event that assembling infinite mana is shut down.
You might love playing Oona if:
You like playing control and combo, where you sit back until the time is right to win out of nowhere
You like thinking carefully through lines of play during the game
You think that having a versatile commander that can immediately exile the library's of multiple opponents is AWESOME
You like strategies that do not rely on combat
You like strategies with multiple lines of attack
You are looking for a competitive, cut-throat multiplayer deck list
You shouldn't play Oona if:
You like to attack with big creatures
You like winning with general damage
You like linear strategies, with few strategic decisions to be made during the game
You play in a casual group, with all of your best friends
You don't like combo, or your playgroup frowns on combo
Many (most?) of these cards are commonly used in UB Oona builds, but the way I see it, there is always room for improvement, and even changing out a small few cards can make a huge difference in the consistency of the deck.
How the Deck Wins:
Plan A is to assemble enough mana and tutor for Ad Nauseam for the eventual Exsanguinate (if you can assemble infinite mana) win, being careful not to kill yourself along the way. I realize that flipping a Force of Will or an Increasing Ambition can hurt, but so far in my testing this has been manageable. Both of these cards have saved my bacon on a few occasions, and seem worth the pain once in a while. The overall CMC of this current decklist is 1.45, not counting Oona (who's in your command zone), and Ad Nauseam, which you are casting and is not in your library. You'll probably end up drawing about 20 or so cards off of the Ad Nauseam if you have a decent starting life total, and usually this is enough. You usually want to wait to cast Ad Nauseam (since it's an instant), on your opponent's turn so you don't have to discard down to seven cards at the end of turn. You can play it in response to an opponent's bomb, hoping to pull up a Force of Will or other counter if you have the mana. Once Ad Nauseam has gone off, the next step is to assemble infinite mana using Basalt Monolith or Grim Monolith with Power Artifact. You can also do this with Basalt Monolith and Rings of Brighthearth and 2 extra mana for the Rings copy to untap the Basalt Monolith. With infinite mana, you can Exsanguinate or cast Oona, Queen of the Fae and mill everyone, or deck a single troublesome opponent using Stroke of Genius. Lastly, and for giggles, with infinite colored mana (via Gemstone Array), you could use Capsize to return all of your opponent's permanents back to their hands before you cast Oona and mill them all, thus infuriating them. This is the definition of "win-more", and not recommended if you like having friends.
Plan B is to exile an opponent's library using the Leyline of the Void/Helm of Obedience combo, where if you have one in your opening hand, it's pretty easy to tutor for the other one. Also, Leyline of the Void doubles as some graveyard hate for this deck.
Plan C is to set up a situation in which you can take infinite turns using Magosi, the Waterveil, Candelabra of Tawnos and Rings of Brighthearth. Many opponents won't see this one coming at all. Before you play your land for the turn, you pay U and tap Magosi to add the eon counter and skip your next turn. Then you pay 1 and untap Magosi using the Candelabra. Then you activate the last ability on Magosi to take an extra turn, paying 2 more and copying this ability with your Rings. You then get to take two extra turns, but skip the first of these, netting you an extra turn. Since you had to return Magosi to your hand, you play it as your land for the turn and it comes into play tapped. On your extra turn, Magosi untaps naturally, and you repeat the process for infinite turns. All it takes are the three cards, and 3U mana from other sources, and you can go infinite.
Ultimately, the plan of attack depends on your opening hand. There are a few conditional (artifact only) tutors, which will also influence your game-plan. Here is a brief summary of my initial testing, where out of my first 25 games, this decklist has goldfished the following times with my (sub-optimal, no doubt) play choices:
Turn 1 -- 0
Turn 2 -- 0
Turn 3 -- 1 (without counter magic backup)
Turn 4 -- 5 (3 times with counter magic backup)
Turn 5 -- 13 (9 times with counter magic backup)
Turn 6 -- 5 (3 times with counter magic backup)
Turn 7 -- 1 (1 time with counter magic backup...I should've mulliganed this one, and got into topdeck mode)
The general plan of attack with Oona depends on what your opponents are playing. In the first couple of turns, you want to be playing your mana rocks, accelerating your mana. If you are facing another combo opponent, or another U deck that has access to counter spell effects, you probably want to play conservatively, taking the control role in the game and holding back your counters either for your own protection, or to stop an opponent's bomb. For example, if you're facing down Zur the Enchanter or Arcum Dagsson, don't let them resolve ;). If they do resolve, and you have a turn to tutor for something, get Brittle Effigy to take out an unprotected creature, or Pithing Needle to deal with an annoying activated ability. These defensive measures should buy you some time to set up your own combo. As the first few turns pass, use any extra mana to play utility spells, like Doubling Cube or Voltaic Key, for example, but always leave colored mana open for your counters, or to bluff that you have a counter even when you don't. Also, once you have the mana, tutor for Ad Nauseam as long as your life total is at a reasonable level. You also may want to tutor for a combo piece, if you happen to already have the matching one in your hand (like if you had Leyline of the Void in your opening hand, you may want to just tutor for Helm of Obedience and take out your most troublesome opponent). Ideally, when the coast seems clear, you want to play Ad Nauseam just before your turn begins, and draw into your combo pieces, counter magic, free or cheap mana, and extra tutors to win from there. If you resolve Ad Nauseam with at least 30 life, you will be very hard to stop from here. Just watch your colored mana requirements and plan out (i.e. think about) which path you want to take to achieve the win.
If you're facing some serious aggression, say from a swarm of Goblins, or Edric weenies, you usually want to just tutor for a Black Sun's Zenith, or race them if you can combo out quickly enough yourself. Again, it totally depends on the board-state, and what your other opponents are doing. For example, if Edric, Spymaster of Trest is online, and you are facing three other opponents, and they're all ganging up on you since they know you're playing combo, your best bet is probably Black Sun's Zenith.
If you find that you've set everything up perfectly, and someone counters your counter of their counter for Ad Nauseam, do not panic. This list is resilient enough that you are often able to recover. Yawgmoth's Will is awesome for this, and is the ultimate recursion spell. I think that the biggest weaknesses of this deck lie with the poor choices of the pilot, since the list has answers for pretty much everything in the form of counters, bounce effects, and removal effects.
Basic Deck Statistics:
Here are some stats with the current deck list:
Average CMC = 1.45 (not counting Oona, or Ad Nauseam)
Total Number of Draw Effects = 6
Total Number of Counterspells = 10
Total Number of Bounce Effects = 2
Total Number of General & 2 CMC Tutors = 10 (Grim Monolith and Power Artifact are both 2 CMC)
Total Number of Conditional Tutors = 5
Total Number of Removal Effects = 3
Got rid of a bunch of situationally dead cards and replaced them with good ones.
The following cards are sometimes seen in Oona commander decks. Note that these are all solid cards, and it could be argued that any and all of them deserve a spot in the deck. Of course, there are only 99 card slots available, and so many great cards and favorites cannot be included. As well, the deck list should be personalized to the pilot's play style, just as the current deck list is personalized to mine. However, here are some other great cards to consider when constructing your own Oona, Queen of the Fae build:
Demonic Consultation -- A tutor with a drawback that costs B. The problem with Demonic Consultation is that it can sometimes exile combo pieces you need later, which is why I don't personally run this.
Bribery -- A great card in meta games that have Eldrazi.
Gilded Drake -- Another great card used to steal a creature.
Palinchron -- A card often used to generate infinite mana. The reason I don't run this card is that with a casting cost of 5UU, it really hurts flipping this card off of Ad Nauseam, and is a bit slow.
Phantasmal Image -- A great removal spell for opposing generals, and has a low CMC. When combined with Palinchron, you have another way to generate infinite mana.
Phyrexian Metamorph -- A very versatile card in that it can copy creatures or artifacts. In this deck, you will pretty much always have a good artifact you can copy, and there are always good creatures around in the commander format. But, with this deck being focused as a combo-build, I would personally have an extra draw spell or tutor in this slot, adding to the deck's consistency.
The statistics look interesting. But What exactly do you mean by goldfished? Form what I understand that means changing plans half way, but that doesn't make much sense. If by gold-fished you meant you won. Then this list is crazy and I'd never want to play against this.
When I said "goldfished", I meant that I played the deck 25 times without an opponent of any sort. So, that means I'm not thinking about playing around countermagic or worrying about table politics, I'm just trying to see how fast the deck can be, how consistent my draws and tutors are, and counting the times when I have my own countermagic in hand for interests sake. It's really just a theoretical exercise, and is only helpful in a limited way, as you can imagine. Winning by turn X usually means that Oona has been cast, and I have infinite mana to immediately activate her ability and exile my opponent's libraries. They wouldn't actually lose until their draw step, but the game is effectively over.
In an actual game, against competent opponents with decent decks and table politics, you can't expect to consistently win on turn 4 or whatever due to the presence of countermagic and multiple opponents who should be packing their own answers to try and stop you. But that's where playing smart, reading people, and generally being a good player yourself comes in. In an actual game (i.e. not "goldfishing"), I try and wait until the last possible second to combo out, and I don't care if it's turn 4 or turn 24, as long as I feel that I'm playing well and making good choices. I am going for a deck that can race, though, and kinda like being the guy bringing the Death Star to a gun fight.
Demonic Consultation is a one-mana, instant-speed tutor with a drawback. Unfortunately, that drawback tends to remove critical combo pieces I need from the game, and I have the worst luck with this, for some reason. One of the first times I used Demonic Consultation, I named Power Artifact, and it was THE BOTTOM CARD ON MY DECK. I lost the game the next turn because I decked myself. Bad luck, right?
The next couple of times I used Demonic Consultation, I ended up naming one combo piece (like Power Artifact) only to remove the other parts (Basalt Monolith, AND Grim Monolith). Enough is enough, and one less tutor in the deck isn't the end of the world. I'm not sure how other people are sold on this card. Maybe statistically, this sort of thing should only happen rarely, but I find it happens to me more often than not so far, so this card is now dead to me.
See, that's the thing: Consultation seems like it should be strong to me too. But I've found in my testing that it has only really lost me games, or made it much more difficult for me to win by removing cards I wanted later. I only have about 30 or so games with this decklist under my belt, though, and I'm still learning its ins and outs, so I reserve the right to change my opinion later ;).
Generally speaking though, I hate random auto-loses as part of a card's effect. I'm totally fine losing a game when I'm outplayed, or when I tutor for the wrong card, or when someone else has the nut-draw. But it absolutely infuriates me to suddenly lose, or remove my best combo pieces, to my own tutor. This is why I've cut the card. Even if it turns out that if I played another thousand games with this deck, and Consultation ended up screwing me less, and paying off more, I'd still remember the time I decked myself with 87 cards in my library and lost to my own deck. In other games I've played, it just hasn't paid off yet. I'd so rather pay 1BB for a sorcery-speed tutor where I know exactly what I'm going to get, I won't randomly remove what I want from the game, and I won't randomly remove my other critical cards from the game either.
I have a similar love/hate relationship with Tainted Pact. But at least with Tainted Pact (and unlike with Demonic Consultation) I don't have to name a card, and I can just keep flipping cards until something useful comes up, which usually doesn't take too long, or cost me too many cards.
So, after a few more games with my Oona list against some other high-powered generals (Arcum, Azami, Zur, Riku, Edric), I've decided to make a minor change and add another bounce effect:
OUT: Worn Powerstone -- I've never really liked this card when I draw it, or when it's in my opening hand. It cost 3, and comes into play tapped, which is really counterproductive in this combo-focused deck.
IN: Into the Roil -- This card is a decent bounce effect, and combined with counterspells, can get rid of a problem nonland permanent.
Against Zur, an Aura of Silence really ruins my day, and the cantripping option of Into the Roil doesn't hurt either.
Thanks for pointing out the oversight on the Ad Nauseam omission...it's always really been there in my physical deck, but for some reason, after all of my talking about how great it is, I forgot to type it in on the digital list.
I'm not a huge fan of Repeal personally, since more often than not, I'm paying more mana than I want to to bounce the permanent I want to. I can see how it's useful for increasing storm count, though. In vintage, where I could bounce moxes and whatnot, it's decent.
Chain of Vapor, on the other hand, is definitely worth considering in my opinion. The only thing I don't like about it is that it gives my opponents options to bounce my stuff too. I'd hate to really need to bounce a Pithing Needle or something when I have a Basalt Monolith in play, only to have my opponent sack a land and bounce the Monolith, preventing me from going off that turn. I realize that usually I should be able to play around this, though, and paying only U for a bounce effect is awesome. Thanks for the suggestions.
No, I don't need to read Chain of Vapor again, I know exactly how it works, and that I can bounce my own permanents to potentially up my storm count, sack my own lands, etc. I've played a lot of storm combo in vintage, back when Dark Rituals were still a pillar of the format (i.e. before the printing of Lodestone Golem). I realize that Chain of Vapor's great with Mana Vault and company. The thing is, what I've noticed the current decklist needs is another bounce effect that is a bit better defensively, like Capsize, but less expensive, which is the role that Into the Roil fills at the moment.
Chain of Vapor may be the way to go in the end, though, since I can usually play around having my own permanents out on the battlefield until just before I combo out, which means that if I do have to bounce an opponent's stuff with CoV, it will be one-sided in my favor since I have only lands out before I go off. This won't always be the case, though, so I'll have to test it out a bit against some other high-powered decks to form a better opinion on it.
I made a few minor changes today, based on toying around with this deck for a month. I have to say that I'm quite pleased with it...mostly from the fear in the eye's of my playgroup every time I've pulled this deck out. I'm automatically the full on target as of turn 0 with Oona, which is satisfying in and of itself.
As for the changes, here's a summary:
OUT: Lim-Dul's Vault -- Just wasn't paying off like I'd hoped. Diabolic Tutor -- Is a fine tutor, but I'm testing Diabolic Revelation in its place. Tendrils of Agony -- Honestly, I have never used this card in this deck. The 2BB casting cost is makes it a bit pricey (since I never use it), and a bit annoying to flip off of Ad Nauseam. Call me crazy, but I'm not missing this card, since there's always a better way I can think of to spend the mana on, especially the colored mana. Damnation -- Is replaced with Black Sun's Zenith.
IN: Chain of Vapor -- It's solid, cheap, and can be used offensively and defensively to bounce nonland permanents. That's good enough for me. Diabolic Revelation -- This card is in the testing phase at this point, but so far, it's been surprisingly better than I initially thought it would be. When I play Oona with my current playgroup, I am forced into a defensive role, biding my time until all of the pieces are in place and I either have counter magic ready, or the way is clear. Even though this deck can win fast, I usually end up taking longer to set up the pieces, and with all of this deck's fast mana, it's not too hard to tutor with X being 3 or 4. Also, Diabolic Revelation is sometimes used after I have infinite mana, and BB floating, in a situation where otherwise I would not be able to seal the deal that turn. If only it cost X2BB instead...it'd be an auto include in my opinion. Bog Initiate -- This deck is a colored mana hog, and I have a few 2 CMC transmute tutors (for Grim Monolith and Power Artifact, my combo pieces), so she fits well, and it doesn't hurt much to flip her off of Ad Nauseam. Black Sun's Zenith -- Replaces Damnation, since with all the mana this deck usually has, there is no difference functionally. Except, of course, that I can tutor for BSZ more easily (with the 2 CMC transmute tutors, for example), and that it hurts less to flip BSZ to Ad Nauseam.
Also, I guess after cutting Tendrils of Agony, I can't call this deck "ANT" anymore. Really, Exsanguinate is my Tendrils, since it's way better at filling the Tendrils role in Commander.
Any other suggestions from the good people at MTGS?
OUT: Trinket Mage -- Is a solid card, but it really reads, "pay 2U and search your library for an artifact with CMC 1 or less, and put it into your hand". Who cares about the 2/2 creature part. If I'm going to fit this card into this decklist, I'd like it to be a bit more versatile as a tutor. Rain of Filth -- I found myself never really wanting to use this card, since if something should go wrong, and your combo fizzles, you end up losing all of your land making it almost impossible to recover.
IN: Doubling Cube -- Once you have more than 6 mana, this effect becomes worthwhile. And, with Oona being a mana-hog, being able to convert colorless mana to colored mana is a big deal. Voltaic Key -- Has synergy with just soooo many cards in this deck, it should really be almost an auto-include.
Hello faithful readers. I just wanted to chime in today and say that Doubling Cube is a solid addition in the Oona decklist. I was a bit skeptical at first, but it is amazingly fantastic in the mid to late game. Voltaic Key has also been absolutely awesome, which I'm sure most of you reading this can attest to. And, special thanks to Capitacom for reminding me of the awesomeness and versatility of Chain of Vapor, which has also more than pulled it's weight.
All-in-all, IMO this deck rocks if you like UB combo/control with multiple avenues to victory, and is my favorite Commander deck to play. To keep my friends, I can only really play it rarely with my pals, but they know as soon as I pull Oona out that it's all of them versus me, which makes it a challenge fighting through all of the counter magic.
A few nights ago my group played two games where I played Oona. The first game I won on turn six with infinite mana via Grim Monolith and Power Artifact, decking everyone with Oona's ability. My opponents were playing Edric, Spymaster of Trest, Glissa, the Traitor, and Riku of Two Reflections (all pretty decent decks). I waited for Riku and Edric to over-commit so that I could land the combo through their counter magic (although the Riku list didn't have a lot of counters). The second game we played was interesting. I kept an opening hand with two lands, a mana rock, Grim Monolith, a counter, Increasing Ambition and something else I can't remember. In my opinion, this was a keeper, anyway. Then I didn't draw a single land for the next five turns, which usually doesn't happen, but oh well. I did draw another counter, a bounce spell, Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, and I can't remember now what else. Over these turns, the other guys were attacking me with a few weenies bringing my life total down, while they built up their board positions. I lasted until turn six, just before my turn. The guy going before me (Edric) played Triumph of the Hordes and did me in with poison counters with his several evasive weenies (I had, unwisely in hindsight, tapped out one of my lands and Talisman of Dominance the previous turn to play my Grim Monolith, leaving only one land untapped. Also, my life total was still strong enough not to worry about dying the regular way, and I was saving my alpha-strike for the next turn). Nevertheless, I died with a smile on my face, since if I drew a land, I had the cards to combo out and win as soon as I got to my turn (unless someone could stop me, of course), which is one thing I really love about the Commander format. The reason I didn't tutor for some more mana sooner is that I was hoping I'd pick up that next land in my first five turns (which never happened), and I wanted to save Increasing Ambition for Power Artifact. With Increasing Ambition (and its flashback), along with my final remaining counter, Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, and three lands (my two lands in play, plus one if I drew it) and Talisman of Dominance and Grim Monolith in play, I would've had just enough mana to fetch Power Artifact and combo out. Anyway, that's magic for you.
So, now that story time's over, is there anyone out there with an opinion on how to make the list even better?
First I just want to say I love your list, and even though our decks follow different strategies you gave me many new ideas. Just a few questions, how has Necropotence been working out for you? The exile part always seems like such a pain in the balls to deal with. Has the thought it using arena in its place ever crossed your mind? I think i'm comfortable enough with my list to post it later in the week, and maybe it can give you some ideas as well.
There is a special place in my cold, dark heart for Necropotence. Like Ad Nauseam, it perfectly characterizes what it means to play B:Pay with your own life, and reap the rewards, but there's a very real possibility that you may end up killing yourself. Seriously though, Necro is awesome, but it does have to be used carefully. Early in the game, you want to play it, pay 10 to 15 life, take the seven best cards, and try not to laugh maniacally. I would say that about 1/5 times when this happens to me, I am able to lock down Reliquary Tower, so that the exile part is a non-issue. In fact, this is the only reason that I run Tolaria West...to get Reliquary Tower for Necropotence, or Ad Nauseam. The other 4/5 times, the exiling down to seven does hurt, but the cards you're dumping are usually things you don't really need, like extra land or lesser tutors (like ditching Cruel Tutor and keeping Demonic Tutor, for example).
Necro will also act like a removal magnet, which, if you're a glass-half-full kind of guy, isn't that bad either. In the mid and late game, Necro usually isn't great because you've typically already used much of your life total as a resource to do other things. With this decklist, I very rarely win a game with more than 10 life.
With all of that being said, I would personally never cut Necropotence from the decklist, since in your opening hand it is pretty much a one-card combo. Phyrexian Arena is a great card too, and also wouldn't be a bad idea to run. Actually, since the deck has such a low CMC, Dark Confidant wouldn't hurt either.
The last couple of days I've been toying around with the idea of cutting some of the lesser tutors for some more draw spells. I'm not sure this is the way to go (yet), since I've really been pleased with the redundancy that the high tutor count provides. Of course, more card drawing power will also provide its own redundancy.
Lastly, I'd love to see your Oona list. Just the other day I was playing a 1v1 match against an Edric deck, and I actually used Oona the way she was designed to be used (go figure?) by milling 8 or so cards, naming U, and generating 4 or so flying tokens per turn. My combo/control deck actually won by going aggro over several turns...it was quite a surprise for me. Oona is such an awesome general.
I can absolutely understand pseudo pet cards, and I can't believe I forgot about the tower, especially since I run it/west myself ><. I've been eyeing Ad Nauseum for a while now, but I think my avg cmc still needs a little shaving before I can utilize it without killing myself more times than not. I saw Gemstone Array in your list a while ago and never really thought much of it, but the more and more I play the deck the more I wish I had it. Definitely picking up a copy asap. Imo, I can absolutely seeing some of the meh tutors for more draw. Maybe Skeletal Scrying or Necrolagia, along those lines. Finally, oh my god aren't those wins the best? I was playing vs a black Mikaeus deck, and he Lili'd for triskelion. Next turn Oona his library for like 9, and since he had no fliers it was just a good ol beatdown. Feels good
When I first put together this list, I decided that I didn't need Gemstone Array on it because I thought I could get by with Candelabra of Tawnos filling the same role. I soon found out that I was totally wrong. Once you have the infinite mana assembled, Gemstone Array becomes THE tutor target so that you can immediately nuke everyone. In fact, I've come to recognize this effect as being so essential that I've even added Bog Initiate to the list as a second pseudo-Gemstone Array.
As for draw spells, I like Necrologia (I've got a foil one kickin' around, just in case it earns a spot in the decklist), and Skeletal Scrying is pretty good too. I like that Skeletal Scrying is almost painless when it's flipped off of Ad Nauseam, but my biggest hesitation with this card is the graveyard card-exiling requirement, making this draw spell somewhat conditional. Almost always, the condition of having cards in my graveyard to exile should be a non-issue, but Murphy's Law says that there will be times when there are three cards in my graveyard, and I want to pay X=7, and can't, which is a pet peeve of mine.
If I do add some more draw, it will likely be from the U card pool, since these spells won't cost me life like most of the B draw spells do. Since Oona typically has a lot of colorless mana available pre-combo, at the moment, I'm considering X spells like Braingeyser, Mind Spring, and Blue Sun's Zenith. My favorite is Braingeyser, since I can use it to draw a butt-load of cards, or target someone else and mill them with infinite mana. Braingeyser is almost as good as Stroke of Genius, which is already in my decklist. I love versatile cards that perform double-duty in my decks. Blue Sun's Zenith is an instant, that is potentially re-usable, but the UUU in the mana cost can be a real pain, which is why the X2U cost of Stroke of Genius is sooooo much better. In my experience piloting Oona, you have to watch your colored-mana requirements, since it is very common to be able to assemble the infinite mana combo, only to have to wait a turn before you have enough colored mana to seal the deal. You will almost never get to the next turn, which is why you don't want to try and combo out until the turn you can actually mill (at least) your most formidable opponent, or ideally, all of your opponents. This is another reason I really like the tutor Beseech the Queen, even though many people don't run it. The fact that you can tutor for something using only colorless mana is awesome, and worth the 6 life when I flip it off of Ad Nauseam. If you have an extra B available, tutor for Yawgmoth's Will and just win from there, and if you don't, tutor for Gemstone Array.
Finally, oh my god aren't those wins the best? I was playing vs a black Mikaeus deck, and he Lili'd for triskelion. Next turn Oona his library for like 9, and since he had no fliers it was just a good ol beatdown. Feels good
So, he top-deck tutored without a subsequent draw spell when he knew he was playing against Oona? He probably won't make that mistake again ;). I love that the Oona tokens are flyers, too. It totally makes a difference.
Sorry for the late reply, things have been hectic! I did get to test my list a bit though. Also I felt the annoyance of "too much colorless mana" floating around, and not enough colors. When I played at my lgs weekly game earlier this week I won with helm/leyline, with counter backup, so the color mana requirements didnt really hurt as much there. But boy did I notice it goldfishing.
One card I didn't see in your list that turned out to be an absolute all-star in mine is Mystical Teachings. That thing realllllly came in handy.
Yeah, I bought a copy of Mystical Teachings a while ago, just in case it found a spot in my decklist, and it subsequently got forgotten about. I used to think that the restriction of fetching only an instant was too limiting. It's really tempting to include because it has flashback, though, and the colored mana requirements are cheap on both the regular casting cost and the flashback cost.
Now I'm considering it again, and so I made a list of the things I can fetch with it. First and foremost, it gets Ad Nauseam, which none of us would deny is utterly awesome in this deck. But, Mystical Teachings also fetches, at instant speed (which is a nice bonus):
Have you tested Rhystic Study? I was against it for a long time when I ran combo Oona but after playing it I could not deny its power. It drops turn 1-3 and will either baits removal, grants you obcene card advantage, or slows your opponents down. A similar card for more "free" draw is Mystic Remora, however I like this one less so.
These cards are excellent because they let you draw before the spells resolve which gives you the chance to draw into countermagic.
Nope, I haven't tested Rhystic Study, but it looks great, and you bring up solid points...thank you! I've been meaning to get a bit more draw effects in my list, and this sounds perfect. I'm thinking of cutting Into the Roil to fit it in. I don't think I really need three general bounce effects in the list, especially since I'm running so many tutors, and Capsize has buyback once I fetch it (if needed).
With the recent changes, the average CMC of my list has gone up (slightly) from 1.50 to 1.52, and I think the changes I've made are well worth is, and the extra pain off of Ad Nauseam will be negligible.
Mystic remora > rhystic study . I consider remora better than mans crypt in opener it's bonkers. People pay 1 no one pays 4. In general it's Pay 1U-3U draw 7-15 cards. It's that good don't let cum****jvd fool you and errate is all players. It's an auto include in EVERY blue deck IMO