Quote from Dies_to_Doom_BladeWhile it may not be insane, whitemane lion is pretty much the best for reusable draw. Can even save your guys if need be
Quote from CossackI'm kinda surprised that you don't have Scout's Warning in your deck. It's a perfect fit.
Quote from BewareI dint see why you would run Scout's Warning, Leyline, or Orrery. These cards do next to nothing for you. While I see the appeal of Austere Command EOT, these cards do little else. Especially when you are lacking powerhouses like Cryptic Command. If you must keep one; Leyline is the best, but I don't think any of them have a place in a deck that is 80% instants/flash.
Quote from GFSnlI think I'd like to add a Saving Grasp too.
Quote from arguskos1Is there a reason that Luminarch Ascension isn't in here? It's a finisher, a critter maker, and an all-around great card. Seems perfect for your needs!
Quote from arguskos1Random card thoughts:
-Erratic Portal seems worth having, especially if you already have its cousin Crystal Shard in here.
-Galepowder Mage? He's a classic flicker guy and is neat if you don't have a guy to cast or want to save a flash guy for a trick.
-Lavina of the Tenth isn't a bad dude to have access to, despite not having flash. Pro-Red can be a handy piece of evasion to have around.
-Ghostly Flicker. So much amazing.
-Equilibrium seems pretty cool here if you go deeper into the flash thing.
-I hate saying it... but Deadeye Navigator?
One thing I'm noticing is that you've chosen to go style over substance. There's a lot of synergy here, but very little effectiveness. Stuff like Deputy and Pestermite are cool and everything, but they're not *doing* anything other than be cute with Ephara. Someone else is just gonna flip Avenger of Zendikar and something else scary off of a Maelstrom Wanderer and look at you awkwardly. You have no brute force, just cute synergies. Stuff like Sun Quan, Lord of Wu, Venser, the Sojourner, Galepowder Mage, Luminarch Ascension, and Akroma/Elesh Norn/Avacyn would give you some more ability to punch above your weight while also not being terrible cards for your theme (they're either all guys or flicker stuff).
Your other option is to leverage your prodigious card draw into a combo win. Archeomancer + Palinchron/Peregrine Drake/Great Whale + Ghostly Flicker is infinite ETBs for anything and infinite mana. I feel like you can do something there, even if it is *absurdly* boring. Rasputin Dreamweaver instead of the untappers isn't infinite but provides you stupid amounts of colorless mana (5 colorless mana per blue mana). If you run a bad card like Gemstone Array you can make infinite colored mana by bending the colorless mana into whatever you want.
Just some thoughts.
Quote from DTrainErraric Portal seems good enough if I can find a slot for it. I want to keep my creature count high enough so that I can reliably trigger Ephara, so I don't want to end up cutting too many creatures for noncreatures. As far as Ghostly Flicker and Galepowder Mage, I am not really going for a flicker type deck, as that's a strategy I already see quite a bit of in my playgroup. I'm fine with bouncing stuff back to my hand and playing it again, but I just find the flicker effects to be very boring, and I am hesitant to run them. That's the reason why Deadeye Navigator is not in here. I'm sure it would be very good, but it's one of my absolute most hated cards in the format and I try to avoid playing it at all costs. Also I don't want to be running a ton of creatures that force me to tap 8 mana on my own turn, since I always want to be leaving up mana to do things during other players turns. Lavinia doesn't seem good enough to me without playing a lot of flicker effects. She costs 5 mana on my own turn, and doesn't advance me very far towards winning the game. I guess she's good against aggro decks and token swarms, but I have several wrath effects already, and I don't think there are enough really aggressive decks in my playgroup to warrant her inclusion. Equilibrium is potentially nice because it can also bounce opposing creatures much more easily than Erratic Portal or Crystal Shard, but it is a bit more conditional in terms of ability to bounce my own creatures. Do you like Equilibrium or Erratic Portal better?
Deputy and Pestermite are definitely things that should be removed, but as I mentioned earlier, I want to keep my creature count high enough that I can trigger Ephara reliably. I think switching Deputy for Whitemane Lion would be a pretty good switch since the Lion can bounce itself to give me some extra draws for the low price of just two mana. I definitely hear what you are saying about the lack of brute force. It's definitely a problem I have been having with my decks: As I have tried to make them more efficient, they have lost some of their raw power in exchange for a lower mana curve and more utilitarian spells. I think there's a good balance to be found, and while many EDH players seem to end up too far onto the brute force side, I think I'm too far onto the efficiency side. Venser seems okay, but I don't usually generate a huge board presence, so I'm not sure how much damage he will really be able to push through. His flicker ability is alright, and I feel like he's the kind of card I can add to my deck and utilize for flickering without turning it into a flicker deck, but I don't know if he would make the cut over some of your other suggestions. Luminarch Ascension we discussed previously, and I agree that it would be a really great addition. I'm not sure I like Sun Quan because, as I said, my deck usually doesn't generate a large board presence, and just pushing through four unblockable damage per turn isn't so great for 6 mana. Avacyn and Elesh Norn are both fantastic bombs as usual, but their price tags are definitely getting up there, so I will have to do a little bit of searching, particularly with Elesh Norn.
The combo option is not one that I love, but it might be nice to have one combo that I can dig up if I need to finish the game. I was thinking of trying to include Sphinx's Revelation in this deck somewhere, but maybe Blue Sun's Zenith would be a better choice if I go the infinite mana route since I can use it to just mill everyone out and win that way.
Quote from arguskos1I had a thought. A terrible, terrible thought. I think I'm gonna try this in my Ephara (putting it together right now) and it makes me feel dirty. Here's the package:
-Mystical Tutor and Long-Term Plans
-Enter the Infinite
I think that Ephara might be my ticket to living the dream: since she draws so many cards I should be able to assemble it decently well (getting the mana is tougher though). It'll only go off once and be completely worth the stunned looks. Not sure how to win off of it, but I'll figure something out. Just swing out with all the dudes/cast all the things? Who knows? Should be worth a laugh, thought you'd giggle at it.
Quote from XeroxedFoolI played against an Ephara deck recently on cockatrice that was just soul crushing.
It played True Conviction which adds a lot to devotion is turns small creatures into big beaters.
Dust Elemental was a huge beating when combined with wraths.
He also had a miracles Scroll Rack theme.
In the end though I lost to a cyclonic rift and an extremely lucky Temporal Mastery.