So, I build a LOT of mono white decks. This is currently one of my three live mono white decks. Its quite normal for me to build equipment into my mono white builds so when it came to sram, I was actually more interested in if I could make auras a thing than equipment in part because I push equipment plenty often given my love for mono white.
White's natural weakness is lack of card draw. I chose Sram as my commander because in a lot of ways he gets past that limitation of white and allows you to have more fluent and interactive turns.
The biggest drawback of playing with auras instead of equipment is that they are more fragile and when faced with removal they fall apart easier. On the flip side though, auras tend to give a bigger benefit for less mana so their efficiency tends to be a bit higher due to not having equip costs. When you tag free draw onto auras they balance out quite a bit better given that they are normally somewhat fragile their extra efficiency paired with draw actually gives a nice card efficiency.
EDIT:Auriok Survivors -> Ironclad Slayer just playing with my recursion a little. I think Auriok Survivors is a cool on theme card but so is Ironclad Slayer. Ironclad has the upside of the versatility in targets as well as recasting the effect will give me another draw. I think both of them will be a bit dead in the early game but having better targeting options might make the Slayer a little more useful and versatile. Auriok Survivors has good stats and efficiency when it picks up and equips an equipment but I think I care more about my targeting versatility here than I do stat efficiency right now.
I always wanted to play mono white, but the lack of critical mass of card advantage kept me off of it.
I've had Sram together for two weeks now - and it seems like a good choice for four or fewer platers.
I always wanted to play mono white, but the lack of critical mass of card advantage kept me off of it.
I've had Sram together for two weeks now - and it seems like a good choice for four or fewer platers.
Its interesting to see a drastically different approach. My own meta does not allow infinites as well as several other things like MLD / Stasis and such. It seems challanging to go at infinite from the standpoint of mono white as well given the limitations of tutoring and lack of counter magic.
Your list has 103 cards BTW. I assume thats part of being outdated though. Its interesting to see so much tempo ramp as well. I haven't gotten to play him yet so I dont know exactly what my card draw is going to look like. Since we dont allow combo in my meta there is a lot more just general control decks which is part of why I am hesitant to play voltron with Sram. I was going for some amount of just general beaters and other creatures I could equip up and aura up to try to lessen how much he is specifically sought out with removal.
Skybind + Serra's Sanctum - I actually was not thinking about this when I cut Skybind from my list. I actually was not sure if I was going to include the Sanctum until sort of the last minute. My problem here is that I felt like I dont have enough instant speed enchantment production to really have Skybind function how I normally want it to. I played Daxos the Returned at one point which I did like Skybind for considering I had an instant speed enchantment maker as a commander. I will consider it still because I do have a decent bit of ETB creatures in here but I was concerned about what value I was going to get from this offhand.
I need to find room for Recruiter of the Guard also. I realized I was missing the room for it yesterday when I was pushing my list together.
Grand Abolisher sometimes feel bad in that it doesn't feel like it does much, of course it gets better the more control there is. I'm not sure if Crovax is here as anti-token or not. If he is in as a counter to tokens, it make sense. In terms of Anthem though, I feel like making your beats more evasive would be better than a +1/+1 buff. Karmic Justice has also felt fairly weird for me in the past, it also doesn't proc off an aura getting dropped when a creature that is enchanted dies from spot removal/traded.
Shackles seems amusing in that it can generate cards. It's sad that it doesn't work on untapped creatures though. However, I think it is worth considering.
I have been playing this list for a few weeks now. All in all its doing well, I have had a few wraths catch me up but some of that has been a learning experience as well as just playing poorly into a Cyclonic Rift. I think I have won 2/3 of the games I played and the one I didn't win was due to a big stumble from a Cyclonic Rift that happened on my turn after I had tapped out. I have noticed that my Arrest affects have not been as useful to me and or that I have been holding onto more of them. I am going to keep watching them though as some of it might just be what decks I have been facing.
Sigil of the Empty Throne -> Sphere of Safety the defense has been good from the sphere. I ended up making this change before I put the list together so this is a bit of a delayed changed for my digital list.
Emeria Shepherd -> Accorder's Shield I have already noticed some clunkyness in my higher cost creatures. I like that the shields cost me nothing to just cycle with my commander, they can make my commander a little more robust, and they can also be used to make a big attacker also defend me.
Karmic Justice -> Sage's Reverie I noticed too many times that wrathing creatures more or less bypasses Karmic Justice as a lot of my stuff falls off at that point. It was an interesting thought but I think I am going to pass for now. Sage's Reverie gives me a powerful draw option as well as some pro active pump. I like that it could jump out off of an Auratouched Mage / Boonweaver Giant as well after my opponents pass on their opportunity to respond.
Temporal Isolation -> Cathar's Shield of my Arrest effects, this one is useful vs attacking commanders but its also the least versatile. I am going to try to keep to the ones that stop activated abilities and or can target non creatures where I can for now. Bringing in the shield gives me another cheap cycle and can give me some defensive options for my usual one big attacker plan.
This pushes me a little more proactive rather than responsive / defensive. We will see how things go but so far the list has been doing very well and pressing in as the aggressor seems to be working for me so far. I have had several uses of my token defenses for this deck already and I have been well rewarded for including them as the Arrest options do not really nicely extend to tokens. I am trying to remember if I ever made room for Recruiter of the Guard but I cant recall if I did or not. I am still a bit up in the air as to how relevant it would be here.
I may consider cutting Rout or moving to a new direction for it in the future because when I am playing as the attacker which has been so far my experience, its not so useful. I have a hard time with full wraths as well and I have been adding anti swarm tactics to the list which makes it a little less good than originally.
Cultivator's Caravan - I looked at it a few times. I kept dismissing it as something I probably wouldnt ever activate. It might be good enough as a draw a card / mana stone but I at first dismissed it because it felt slow on curve to drop a one mana stone after my commander. I can see the appeal I guess but in my mind it really requires you to have it in the opening hand as well as having 5+ mana stuff in hand early on. Paradise Mantle is actually the one that I more of was looking at offhand but I guess both of them are a little similar. If you were looking to go voltron then you would probably have more want for the vehicle though.
Pentarch Ward - I had it in my list early on before I paired things down. In the end I kept the flash option ones instead because I felt like it was too much work to guess what protection I needed given it is only one protection. I considered some of the other 3 mana ones too I cant recall them offhand but I recall one where you could sacrifice it to get another protection. I felt like protection in the end was a little weak when it came to protections but you might have more success with it if you go for voltron and just use it as evasion. I intentionally buff other creatures to try to keep Sram from being the target of removal.
Empyrial Armor White normally does not keep a big full hand of cards which is why I passed on it early on. Keep in mind that you need some evasion before this is good which is normally why I would not run it myself. The buff can be good but its just a stat buff with no evasion which I dislike.
Battle Mastery - I felt like it was winmore. I need evasion + big power before I liked it.
Conviction - maybe, the flicker ward is good and I have used it for drawing extra hands a few times now but what the card actually does is less good and its more mana per loop. I think its worth considering and I will think more about it.
So, the deck has been doing well. I have won a few games and the few I have lost seem to have been issues where I didn't have spot removal and or instant speed wraths. My group seems to be a little more haymaker than I had given them credit for apparently so I am doing a few changes to adjust for the sudden burst kills that I have been experiencing. I clearly need a little more cheap spot removal and so my changes right now reflects that a little.
Arrest -> Faith Unbroken in a lot of cases both of these are probably going to be used primarily on commanders. Faith Unbroken gives me a buff and it removes their commander. The upside in my mind here is that I can Boonweaver Giant / Auratouched Mage for removal with this change. If I exile someone's commander it opens me a little bit to wrath removal but it also potentially kills someone's commander. There are pros and cons but I figured I wanted to try it out and see how it worked for me. My issues with the creature only arrest effects had been getting kind of rough.
Prison Term -> Swords to Plowshares just changing up my spot removal. I need a little more speed and I am getting decent draw already out of my deck. Its nice to pick up the draw still but the speed jump is what I need right now.
Loxodon Warhammer -> Unexpectedly Absent the warhammer had too many issues. It needed another big buff before I liked it and it was too much mana to move. The play + equip was just a little too much which made it feel like an entire turn was used just putting it on and I didn't really like it until they were already buff. I needed a little more versatile spot removal and I have always liked Unexpectedly Absent.
1 Plains -> Cultivator's Caravan its a little bit of an experiment but I need a little more ramp and it was between this and Paradise Mantle but this still should curve after Sram which I felt like Paradise Mantle also did but this does not require me to suit my commander up as a mana dork. I have fairly good and consistent draw with my commander plus I noticed I had Tithe + Weathered Wayfarer + Land Tax in the deck. For a mono white deck this deck draws better than usual so I wanted to try hedging my landcount down a little and watching to see how it performs. This new inclusion gives me ramp + draw so it could be useful to me.
With the changes with me cutting more of the arrest effects, its in part because I see less attacking commanders in my meta with myself being one of the players who runs more of them. Its not that I dont see them at all but they are not as common and hitting someone with an arrest can feel like a preemptive low blow. Keeping instant speed responses instead opens up where they can attack a bit more. I was getting too many instances where I had multiple Arrest effects but found them to be situationally wrong for what needed to happen.
Watchlist: Ward of Lights / Cho-Manno's Blessing I like both of them but I have honestly had more of an issue with being swept. I had one situation where I had these vs someone who had spot removal which felt amazing but outside of that my issue seems to be more with being swept than spot removal right now.
Considerations: Disenchant its good spot removal. I always have a little bit of an issue with the fact that I rarely have any synergy with it but its a good response at good speed. Return to Dust good removal option. Its more of a sorcery but its nice the power it packs. Tattoo Ward I love that I could fetch this but the fact that its just enchantment removal and not artifact / enchantment removal makes me skeptical. Monastery Mentor I didn't initially remember this creature. It shoots out tokens on a lot of what I do though and those tokens buff off of most of the things I do as well. Serra Ascendant its just a beast. Humility Other than the fact that I would cut off my own draw, I like the fact that I buff and could probably get bigger than my opponents. Tawnos's Coffin it seems like it could be used offensively or defensively. I like that it saves my auras too. The seven mana initial is kind of rough but other than that I like the idea of it here.
I considered it but it has a problem that its really only good when I have a bunch of things out and enchanted. In a lot of ways thats when I am already doing well so its a card I consider a little bit winmore. It also gives no evasion and isn't something that is over the top good when it is working as it should. I like the low cost / cost to equip but at the same time its incredibly situational so it means that even in a starting hand it wont start off all that big. I am more likely to get more value out of something like Strata Scythe than I am Helm of the Gods just because it has a much less situational clause to it even if it is more to drop and equip.
So, this deck has been like.... evolving and changing slowly over time which has actually made it harder to bring it back up to date via my old digital list. Some of these changes will be new and some of them I will have already done in the past but forgot to update my list or I just did it on the fly lol.
Weathered Wayfarer -> Emeria Angel wayfarer is a great creature for mono white for card advantage. The problem is, I dont really need the card advantage it gives and there isnt a land I really need to play this deck. Nykthos and Emeria are nice but honestly I dont find it to be something I really need or care about that much in this deck so I figured I would cut it. Emeria Angel is an army in a can. It brings a lot of tokens out for cheap and its hard to get past. It brings up a good defense as well as offense all on its own its quickly becoming one of my favorite white creatures.
Eldrazi Displacer -> Angel of Condemnation I think that flicker is ok in general for this deck. I usually have enough card draw that I am not trying to repeat use Displacer and I dont have that many ETB effects in this deck either. What I like about the angel is that its got much better combat stats meaning that it can take buffs in auras and equipment and do more with them. It also has a flicker until end of turn built in which can help me recover better from a wrath by jumping my commander through. Displacer in this sense is better for immediate disruption of attacks and reusing ETB where the angel is better for a recovery plan as well as being relevant in combat.
Thalia's Lancers -> Palisade Giant I just dont have enough relivant legends in this deck to justify the lancers here. I like lancers more when I have less card draw happening as well as if there is a legend I want / need all the time. Avacyn and Elesh are both solid but I don't find myself wanting to spend 5 mana to tutor for them. Palisade Giant is completely 100% a silly idea I had but given the protection from creatures, protection from colors, and indestructible effects I have access to granting I thought perhaps I could put up a crazy defense with it. I was really split between the idea of Palisade Giant and Protector of the Crown but I thought that perhaps the Monarch might just bring more hate down on me so I will try Palisade Giant for now and see if I like it. I will acknowledge that I have no real basis to ground this inclusion on other than just thinking it looks like a cool card and wanting to test it for myself.
Sword of Light and Shadow -> Pariah I dont love or hate this sword. Honestly its just a little underwhelming to me as I dont have that many creatures nor do I care that much about most of them. Its dead early on and its dead if people are actively hating on graveyards so I think I will just move on. I have been interested in testing Pariah as potential removal as well as something that can kind of fog for me. I can put it on an opponents creature and suddenly that creature has a death sentence on it. I can also toss it out as someone is hitting critical mass and they have to overwhelm my defenses and then kill the pariah creature which is kind of cool.
Cho-Manno's Blessing -> Prison Term the spot removal auras just didnt work out. Wraths were more of a problem so I moved away from them a while ago. Prison Term is still ok but I still prefer auras that can attach to anything.
Ward of Lights -> Flickerform same as above. Flickerform is completely silly busted with Auratouched Mage / Boonweaver Giant. I used it once with Heliod's Pilgrim as well and it was still decent then.
I got to play this deck the other day and I got to see the Pariah effects in play. The first game I put Pariah on an opponents indestructible creature which I found very amusing (right up until the next player Oblivion Ringed the creature, and the player after him then exiled all enchantments bringing back the thing he lost but leaving me without my Pariah...
In the second game I played with the deck I managed to get out an Auratouched Mage with Flickerform and build it up with Unquestioned Authority + Pariah which was really cool. I have been surprised at how much my Auratouched Mage / Boonweaver Giant have been defaulting me to getting Flickerform first and seeing if I can run away with it. In this game I kind of became the archenemy and everyone was after me so they were trying to remove my Auratouched which I would flicker away form and then they would try to swarm me. They did manage to get me down to like 10-15 hp in this game and in the end I dropped a Palisade Giant in with Swiftfoot Boots + Darksteel Plate as backup and it ended up being what held my opponents at bay while my Auratouched Mage built itself up.
Accorder's Shield -> Dowsing Dagger I keep having issues with these shields that I really never have the time to equip them. When I draw them they do cantrip off into something else but really.... I am not that interested in a 0 draw one card that does't do much else. The vigilance can be useful but it seems to come up somewhat rarely. Dowsing Dagger I like that it draws me a card, gives me a good solid land that taps for good mana, and can probably get some good work in early. It kind of reminds me of Sword of the Animist with a bigger upfront reward.
So far, I am really enjoying the Pariah effects. I want to test more and see how they are doing but its possible I could consider additional Giants / Pariah Shield as well. Pariah itself is just so versatile given I can target my opponents stuff too. The Pariah effects seem a little dependant on also getting protections so its a little tricky to judge. Darksteel Plate is really a big deal on whatever I am soaking the damage with so I will keep an eye on things and just see how they play out with more testing. Spectra Ward which is coming in right now could also serve as a protection source for a Pariah effect.
I just wish there was like a second copy of actual Pariah because its by far the best so far in my testing.
I wanted to push a few cards around and see how things work. Some of these changes are just to test a few cards I had in mind and wanted to see how they would play for me.
Prison Term -> Captured by the Consulate honestly, Prison Term has not been that good for me of late. I like that Captured by the Consulate can still put a stop to a beater but I think more relivant than the defense / activate portion of this card I like that it is a lightning rod of removal this way. I don't know if it will really work for ***** but its something I am interested in seeing how it plays. Playing it on a utility commander even sounds kind of fine to me.
Ghostly Prison -> Daybreak Coronet I have been seeing less token swarm tactics as well as I have been picking up a little more for a mass damage redirect kind of stuff. Daybreak Coronet is a high risk high reward kind of a card but it just packs so much punch for the mana I want to try it.
Windborn Muse -> Monastery Mentor this was a more fragile defense vs tokens than the Ghostly Prison and really thats about all it did for me. I want to try out Monastery Mentor because it looks like it could really just fire off a lot of dudes for me. The idea of like Flickering Ward + this seems super amusing to me as it could make a lot of tokens and or buff a lot.
Tithe -> Expedition Map I have been finding myself making this swap a little more often of late. The utility lands here can really push me into big mana so I think its a little more relevant given I am pushing hard on card advantage already.
Angel of Condemnation -> Linvala, Keeper of Silence same cost and both fly but I like the chance to really screw with someone with this hatebear. If Linvala is good I could potentially try to defend her as well which amuses me. I still like the concept of Angel of Condemnation but I think it doesn't quite fit the mold of this deck. I plan to test it more in my rebels.
Ironclad Slayer -> Emeria Shepherd I have played and seen Ironclad Slayer in plenty of games. Ultimately I feel it takes too long for him to become viable and the cost of playing him and the aura / equipment together seems like its about as slow as Emeria Shepherd anyways. So, I think even though there is a higher cost to play I think ultimately they cost me about the same to do and I like that Emeria Shepherd gives some semblance of urgency to remove after potentially quickly giving me something valuable back.
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite -> Protector of the Crown this change is more because I think that it is more flavorful and interesting rather than it being a better card. The fact that Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite has immediate impact on the board means that showing up might just remove a bunch of tokens. Protector of the Crown on the other hand is more useful against more types of decks other than tokens and utility creatures but is more vulnerable to being removed before I get swung at. Like I said though, I think that the Giants are kind of cool and flavorful especially if you can give them some protection from creatures / indestructible.
Hushwing Gryff - given that it flies and has flash its just going to be a stronger consideration than Tocatli Honor Guard. I am mostly fine cutting off my own ETB effects with really kind of the exception of Auratouched Mage and Boonweaver Giant. I think its something that could be quite good in this deck given I am often looking for a creature to put buffs on anyways.
Aven Mindcensor - it flies and has flash. Its hate effect is decent against the right kind of deck as well.
Hammer of Nazahn - With adding more Giants to the deck adding more protection could also be more viable. Its just unfortunate that the hammer does not have indestructible like Darksteel Plate.
Pentarch Ward - the draw a card auras have been fairly good for me in that they draw me a few cards for cheap.
I found a few new toys and honestly I wanted to bolster my cheap draw, general defenses, and find another way to keep opponents from dropping crap like Imprisoned in the Moon on my commander (it has happened a few times recently).
Grand Abolisher -> Remove Enchantments honestly, I like what Grand Abolisher can do for me... but I honestly find that people freak out and kill it where as I don't feel like that many people actually try to interfere with what I do generally as far as casting auras on stuffs. Remove Enchantments is something I did not know that existed. It looks incredibly strong as an aura recovery in a wipe. It also works to screw with my opponents auras (especially on my crap or attacking me). The fact that Sram draws cards off of casting auras means that I could use this to save the ones I have in play and turn them into even more draw which sounds just groovy.
Overwhelming Splendor -> Tattoo Ward I have used Splendor once now is all but it was extremely effective. My issue is more that it just feels..... bad to have this put on you. Even if you are the guy winning and I put this on you it just feels.... lame I guess. It was good and it did seriously handicap the person I put it on but I am taking it out because I felt bad about it. Tattoo Ward gives me some tutorable enchantment removal which is something I have felt I need on a few occasions now.
Eldrazi Conscription -> Act of Authority Conscription is strong but honestly it doesnt feel like it has done much for me. I dont like drawing it as it sits there like forever until the right situation comes up. Its not one I really want to tutor that often and given the clunkiness of it, I think I just want to move on. I like that Act is removal that is also an enchantment and it falls at the right mana range to potentially rez it back into action. It is exile removal to boot which is nice vs things like gods and *****.
Rout -> Hobble I just..... never felt all that good about Rout. Hobble draws me cards and gives me some defense so.... yea lets try it out. Unlike usual spot removal it gives me a few cards so it feels a little better to me.
Swords to Plowshares -> Darksteel Mutation I just wanted to try again to bring this back into a more on theme removal. I have just wanted a little harder removal for commanders who keep coming at me and while.... this does have some backfire potential in that a wrath could leave just that creature behind.... I am willing to see what this can do for me.
Emeria Angel -> Pentarch Ward I like Emeria Angel but I think I am for replacing it with some more cheap draw. There is nothing really giving me synergy with the angel and other than giving me bodies.... its not really doing anything on theme for me.
Sword of Fire and Ice -> Pearl Medallion I don't know how I didn't realize until now.... but I am playing a mono colored deck that is low on colorless effects that runs a high amount of draw and cheap effects. This medallion seems..... like how did I not already have this in here?
Mind Stone -> Helm of Awakening in the same line of thought as Pearl Medallion, I want to see if this works out for me. Obviously its all players but I think I actually have a lot to gain by cost reducing spells for this deck. I don't really need the draw return of Mind Stone for this kind of a deck so I think the cost reduction will actually pan out stronger as the game progresses.
Well, I am bringing my curve down and my draw / removal up with this change. There were a few more cheap draw auras such as Capashen Standard and Ritual of Steel which I did not opt to add at this time mostly because I felt that they were a little more lacking in comparison to the ones I did add.
I played two games with the deck tonight as I showed up and there were only three of us and I felt a little bad playing some of my more aggressive decks heavier given the smaller group. I managed to win three out of three games and two of those games were with Sram. I will see what I can do for doing a game summary for them.
From here, Riku flounders for about another two turns and is done as well. I might have missed an early game turn there in my sequencing. After Teneb died the game is a little fuzzy too but essentially Sunscorch Regent goes the distance as I disrupt the few things he does play.
T1: Land, Sol Ring (I opt to play the sword after sram for the draw) T2: Land, Sram, Sword of the Animist T3: Land, Mesa Enchantress, equip Sword of the Animist to Sram and swing. T4: Land, Angelic Gift drawing some cards and I swing with Sram again. My opponents both throw in some removal on me and kill the enchantress and sword. T5: Land, Sun Titan rezing the sword. I equip the sword back onto Sram and swing again. I think my land play this turn was Emeria, the Sky Ruin which is close to active (I think its at 5/6 plains now).
From here I get a little fuzzy on the turn by turn plays. Sun Titan dies before it can swing again. I play an Auratouched Mage and get Flickerform with mana to flicker it. Teneb rezes a Tranquil Grove from his graveyard. I didn't realize the effect was repeatable as I thought it killed all enchantments. I flicker out and I get Tattoo Ward which I use to pop his Tranquil Grove.
Tasigur answers the aura, tutors bojuka bog and tries to wrath the board after I kill his sun titan in combat. I flickerform out and sun titan is indestructible. He scoops now as I have over 40 damage to swing back at him with.
So I guess I will start with take aways. I really liked the smaller cost draw cards as they seemed to really pay off well. The cost reduction was also very strong with all of the cantrip heavy auras. I felt like I drew a little heavily into the arrest effects but looking at my actual count I think it was just an odd situation where they all came at the same time. I run 6 of them but given how I am wrath light I think its important to keep some form of removal in and I like that they fit the theme of the deck. Apparently I run no graveyard hate in this list which I guess I didnt realize until last night and looking at my list now. I guess that is on the list of things to fix.
Land Tax -> Tormod's Crypt the point of running land tax in white decks is card advantage. I have been drawing enough cards though with the synergy of my deck and honestly I don't think that Land Tax is actually holding up its weight. Beyond the first few turns it just doesn't seem to do much for me. I seem to be consistantly enough drawing cards that I dont really notice myself missing land drops. I needed to make room for some grave hate and given some of my sweet recursion tactics I feel like perhaps I dont want to run something as global as Relic of Progenitus or Rest in Peace. The main drawback of Tormod's is that it lacks card advantage but right now I feel like I am drawing fairly well so I think I will give it a shot.
Sphere of Safety -> Tawnos's Coffin the sphere has been really hit or miss lately. When I am being proactive its not doing much for me. When I go against non token decks its also a little hit and miss. So many of my enchantments are auras too that it feels like if someone creature wraths me suddenly this defense falls apart even if it lives because I have no auras in play. Tawnos's Coffin seems a little interesting to me possibly in part with how much I have loved Flickerform of late. I like that it keeps the auras and can protect, abuse ETB, or act as another arrest effect on opponents things in a pinch. Its kind of spendy to cast and use that first time but I think its interesting here.
Buried Ruin -> Reliquary Tower most of my equipment feel like they are more needed early on and later in the game they fall off some. I cant really ever recover Darksteel Plate unless it gets countered so that one just isnt really a target and Batterskull is hard to kill so it just feels like I dont really have targets to rez with Buried Ruin. The no max hand size doesn't really feel all that huge either but unless I can come up with some other utility land I feel I need, I feel like this is probably an ok swap for now.
I guess right now I would like maybe another creature or two for the list I am just not really sold on anything. Linvala, Keeper of Silence and Heliod, God of the Sun seem a little questionable but I am trying to wait and see how they play. It feels like I never see either one of them really. I could maybe consider something like Solemn Simulacrum as its always fairly decent. I wish there were a few more creatures that felt like they fit the theme on the 2-4 mana range. To some degree I do run a few of the creatures right now just because I feel like I need to run some extra creatures.
I didn't get a chance to play this list this week but I had a few changes I was trying to work in and I didn't have time until now to square them away. I am still excited to get more test games in with the heavier draw that I recently added.
Linvala, Keeper of Silence -> Stonecloaker I like Linvala but she is incredibly niche as to when she works. For the most part what she does is just attempt to arrest someone's commander as well so I think I can probably move on. I didn't like her when I did see her and this deck can actually run arrest effects which I think are more effective than she is. The lack of grave hate a few weeks ago was very apparent and I think I need to step up a little more than I originally did with just adding one grave hate effect. Given that I use my own graveyard I wanted to ideally add some more grave hate that would not hit me as well. I also like the Stonecloaker with the newly added cost reduction effects as I think that sounds quite nice.
Heliod, God of the Sun -> Hundred-Handed One I actually like Heliod a lot in general but it seemed really questionable the longer I play this deck for him in here. Given all of the arrest effects that I brought back in of late my concern is more towards removal (especially sweepers), and swarm tactics rather than having vigilance to block with. The enchantment tokens also really don't fit here all that well. I will admit I do have a little bit of an unhealthy love for Hundred-Handed One but beyond that, I was thinking how great he would be with protections and or indestructible. Going monstrous is a little expensive but given that I have been pushing fairly good card advantage I thought he could make an interesting defensive measure that was a little different from my Pariah giants but still takes buffs really nicely. I don't necessarily need more card advantage for this deck so I was more going for something that could give me some board control and I like the elements behind the giant. Time will tell I guess but I have this love for the card so I want to give him a shot.
I am looking forward to more games with all of the changes this deck has been through of late. I need to get more testing in for sure.
I haven't gotten to play much commander the last several months due to my LGS closing down. I am just keeping an eye on the Dominaria spoils so far and the one we got earlier today for Danitha got me wanting to do a quick review for what we have so far. I would like to possibly work on my curve a little as my expensive creature count feels kind of bad right now.
Karn, Scion of Urza - given that I generally have fairly good card advantage in this deck I don't think it fits as well especially since defending him could be a pain. I like him more in a deck with good defense and a lack of card advantage.
Baird, Steward of Argive - it has some resemblance to Windborn Muse but it lacks flying and has vigilance and a little less tax per attacker. I think if you are looking for forting effects though I would still be likely to resort to Ghostly Prison or Sphere of Safety given the focus on enchantments. Its possible though to run a creature version for something to equip but I don't think that any of the creature versions are that appealing over just suiting up Sram. I think its interesting but I don't see a lot of reason to consider it here but the built in vigilance could be amusing if you did pump him up.
Danitha Capashen, Paragon - cost reduction effects have been very powerful for me thus far for this deck. The ability to take a 2-3 mana cantrip aura and multi cast it with other effects in a turn really turn on some powerful draw. I really like how this new legend has great built in abilities and a low cost. I have really wanted to pick up more cheap creatures for this deck of late because it feels like I have so many 6-8 mana creatures in this deck of late. It is possible I might try to cull one of my expensive drops to include this new legend because it is important to keep cantriping as much as possible.
On Serra's Wings - It is very similar to Serra's Embrace which is a card I do enjoy. Its a smaller buff but it adds lifelink which seems nice. I don't think its.... huge but I do like it. I will see if I cant make room for it somewhere. My issue with this card offhand is that it does not have much for stat gain and in a lot of cases having a ton of ability auras don't stack all that nicely. In some ways I kind of like Serra's Embrace a little more for the bigger stat gain it has on it. I like the lifelink on this one but the small stat gain of +1/+1 feels a little underwhelming for me given I have so many small creatures in this list. There is a diminishing return on gaining abilities on auras after all.
Seal Away - it isn't an aura but being that it is still an enchantment with flash it is something I think is kind of interesting. I think to some degree it does compete with Temporal Isolation but I think this new card is interesting in that it interacts with combo and value cards better. The aura is nice vs voltron commanders though and it is an aura. I think there are reasons to consider both cards but being that offhand it is not an aura I think there is a reason to kind of backburner this card still.
Urza's Ruinous Blast - its interesting but I think it is too hard to control and it sucks that it exiles the auras.
Blackblade Reforged - its a strong buff and its cheaper to cast than Strata Scythe and it does not punish you for nonbasic lands or rely on opponents running the same colors as you. Given that a lot of the auras give evasions it seems like a nice way to give a big bang to follow some evasion. There is some concern though that it costs 7 to equip to a non legendary and my goal is usually not to voltron with my commander and I currently have one other legendary creature in my deck. Still.... I think it is worth considering but there are some concerns given I don't plan to play voltron here.
Helm of the Host - It is an interesting effect but the cost to play + equip is just too much for me.
Mox Amber - Given that my commander only costs 2 to play.... it could be fast and efficient ramp. It won't ramp me into Sram but given how quickly and reliably I get to him anyways this might be something to consider.
Overall, Danitha Capashen, Paragon is probably the card I am most interested in so far. On Serra's Wings might be interesting but I just find myself not being impressed with the concept of the card with most of my creatures. Mox Amber is still a bit of an enigma for me as I can't really weigh it all that well but I have a feeling that it is not going to be that impressive for most commander decks. Ultimately.... I have a good expectation that I probably do make room for Danitha Capashen, Paragon but the other cards so far still seem a little lacking from where I stand right now.
Stonehewer Giant -> Danitha Capashen, Paragon I managed to draw most of my equipment the other day and really I found that outside of Darksteel Plate and or Batterskull I found the giant a little underwhelming and slow. I don't have that many targets for him and overall I didn't find him all that vital to what I was doing when I did get and stick him. He draws so much attention given that I didn't actually find him all that useful here. I have so many other sources of card advantage here that shifting to a creature with more synergy and less cost seems like an easy swap for me right now.
Tawnos's Coffin -> Umbra Mystic I still think that its possible to use Tawnos's Coffin in this deck, I just think I am currently struggling to lower the cost of a lot of things and given the 7 mana to drop and use it in the same turn its kind of clunky. I like that the mystic is cheap and it can be a good rebuild start or drop into an existing board as protection. I am not really sure why I have not ever run it in here but I think I am willing to give it a shot.
I think ultimately I may need to cut the Pariah giants to lower my curve. I think they are fun and interesting but I might ultimately cut them in favor of trying to push more on card advantage and chaining spells. The move to a higher density of cantrip auras has been a very good move for me thus far and now I just need them to print more of them as well as more solid auras in general.
I did just add Danitha Capashen, Paragon which in my mind also brings to question if Hero of Iroas may be worthwhile but I think that Danitha is far more useful being all of the built in abilities she has. Hero of Iroas on the other hand really only has the cost reduction where as if you can give flying and or stats to Danitha Capashen, Paragon it really becomes a monster given just that.
Why doesn't Sigarda's Aid see any play in the deck? I know it doesn't do anything on it's own but I wonder if it's blowout potential and saving time on all of your sequencing would be worth it alone to play it.
Why doesn't Sigarda's Aid see any play in the deck? I know it doesn't do anything on it's own but I wonder if it's blowout potential and saving time on all of your sequencing would be worth it alone to play it.
I mostly have not found it necessary. It could be useful with some of the Arrest type of effects but for the most part I just have not found it needed. You could just as easily justify Veldelken Orrery as really that is just an improvement over that effect for the most part. I don't really have that many interactions with non aura enchantments as it would be like.... Sun Titan, Mesa Enchantress, and Replenish that would interact with a non aura enchantment like this. To some degree it depends on the meta you are in how useful it might be. You might get as much or more mileage out of Grand Abolisher (a card I did run for a time in this deck). I think there is a big concern over how many permanents this deck does have in play in any one time. Permanents that hang out to give some small buff are a little concerning to me given that with auras we are already having some concerns with sweepers. I don't overly like having too many extra permanents that hang out and provide low amounts of utility due to this. When I was running Grand Abolisher as example, it was a creature with low impact that I didn't really want to buff as it lacked any real reason to ever buff.
So, of late I have wanted to make my curve a bit better. I do really enjoy the Giants but for now I think I will be fine without them. They are more amusing and fun to me than anything. I opted to keep Hundred-Handed One in part because he costs less and can be cast in a lot more situations than the giants could be. Even if he becomes monsterous he is probably weaker than the giants but I think he can be played in a lot more situations given that the giants need to be cast and set up immediately where as I could curve him in whenever I want. These changes ideally should give me a little bit better chain casting and draw.
Protector of the Crown -> Sun Clasp cutting some of my high cost and going deeper on cost reduction and multi casting auras. +1/+3 is not a great buff but its also not bad as it can turn my commander into a 3/5 which can work well to defend me in a pinch. The cost reduction effects turns this into a similar card draw effect as Flickering Ward.
Dust Bowl -> Scavenger Grounds I decided I wanted a small upgrade to my accessibility to grave hate. I feel like I have enough access to land hate without Dust Bowl and so swapping it to a potential grave hate for as needed seems like a good trade off. The fact that I run Expedition Map also gives me additional access to grave hate with this swap. I don't have so much grave abuse that its all that much of a concern if someone would copy it.
Cloud Key is also a card I considered but so far it seems like the least useful of the cost reduction effects being that its not a creature and it very narrowly cost reduces. The two creatures I added recently for cost reduction are also good buff targets in their own ways and the two artifacts I originally added cost reduce almost everything I cast rather than just one category of effects.
I always thought this was the case as well, but recently I discovered Sun Clasp does something different. It returns the enchanted creature instead of itself. (I have both Conviction and Flickering ward in my peasant cube)
So I built the deck and won my first 4p game against new Kozilek, Mizzix and Kruphix.
Ok, so we're ~7/8 turns in. Initially I was trying to kill Kruphix, but on ~18 commander damage his Capsize + Sunstone let him stabilize. I start going for Kozi with a big Sram over 2 turns. Sram locked out all his answers: Maze of Ith (hexproof), tons of blockers (pro creatures), alpha striking me in between (Pariah+Darksteel Plate). The next couple of turns I focus on Mizzix. Again, the hexproof ensures he can't touch my Sram. Kruphix seems fine with all of this, confident he can beat me. At this point I notice I have drawn over 70 cards..
Honestly, it was one of the best games of EDH I've ever played. It was super grindy, people got to make huge plays. The deck was good (and won) but wasn't oppressive. It had answers for stuff, and even was able to grind out the game when the voltron plan was not an option anymore.
Great deck, thanks!
Crap..... you are totally right I assumed it was the same dang thing..... I will have to figure out somewhere else to jump to. I had considered Shackles and Cage of Hands a bit too but I figured they cost too much and or felt not that great for how much they would cost to bounce in and out. Ultimately I am not all that fond of creature only arrest effects as they have a more narrow use. I will have to put a little more thought in what to swap it to then. Thank you for pointing out my oversight.
It is good to hear some results from someone else. I wasn't aware anyone else was toying with an auras build so its great to hear some results from someone else. If something isn't working out or if you make some changes that work out for you let me know as I am interested to hear if something else is working out for you.
Wow that seems like an incredibly hostile game to bring mono white to the table with lol. Capsize / Cyclonic Rift are some of the things I dread the most with this deck especially if and when they start getting recovered and reused repeatedly. I have been going back and forth on how many card slots to devote to graveyard hate but a lot of the options I would want also hit my own grave so its been kind of a give and take. I only really use 4 cards for recursion but those are four very strong cards.
@the Return to Dust: Yeah, but I was afraid he’d counter it. Thought I might make the less optimal play to see if I could get away with something. I really needed it to work out because winning through that Capsize wouldve been even harder..
That is fair. For the most part counter magic doesn't bother me much with this deck but when you have that key bit of removal that needs to resolve it really sucks to find it then. I would much rather they use counter magic on our proactive plays than our responses.
Sun Clasp -> Ritual of Steel I just wanted to make some sort of change after finding out that Sun Clasp did something other than what I thought it was going to do. I am not really convinced that Ritual of Steel is where I really want to be but it does still draw me two cards. I REALLY hate when its draw trigger is though as its a pain in the ass to remember to do it at the right time and for a deck that does a lot of its plays at sorcery speed its really an unfortunate way to draw. Still..... I am not sure what else I want right this second so I think any change I do right now will be a little hasty and probably temporary.
There are a lot of arrest type effects that could be played. Vow of Duty is interesting in that its still a decent buff (a good portion of Serra's Embrace) but I found that it was very dependent on how many commander damage type commanders you see. It could still be useful against random eldrazi or some other random beater opponents might play but in a lot of cases I found that to be somewhat conditional on what opponents are playing. I found that more and more I wanted auras that could target anything and try to choke it up when it came to my answer auras. I would honestly run 10 copies of Soul Tithe if only there were more versions of it. The enchant permanent auras I have gotten a lot more success out of especially given that so many artifacts do have activated abilities.
There is some level of diminishing return when you look at Arrest effects and I have gone up and down in how many of them I have run in the past. The worst thing is when you have like 3+ of them in hand and are not really using them as often I am trying to move my auras to just draw cards and move the deck along. In a lot of cases arrest effects can be a problem too like what if their commander is a passive ability or a triggered ability? What if their commander has hexproof? It is a fine line that really every meta can dictate a little as to how many of these effects to run because each meta is different so if its something that you find yourself wishing you had more of..... swing the count up. Right now I am fairly happy with my counts but like I said.... really anytime I could change and adjust numbers. Vow of Duty is one that I have considered several times and it is something I could see bringing in because as a buff it really is decent and the versatility of it is nice in that I can hand it off to someone else. I will give it some more thought but I thought I would just explain where I have been and why I am at where I am at on arrest effects.