Quote from vikingtrader »First thing I notice is that your new list does not include Brain in a Jar. It seemed like you were very attached. Care to elaborate why you removed it?
I do like the Bontu's Reckoning and the Lilly package you have, but why aren't you running Fatal Push/Dismember? Also, no Abrupt Decay? Have you considered running an IoK/Thoughtseize package? I think that's one thing that hasn't been explored at all with the ED lists which should be. The ability to remove problem cards seems promising.
Since you're going to be competitive, let's take a look at some of the things you're going to have to beat in this meta:
- Spike Feeder + Heliod, Sun-Crowned. With BoP or Hierarch they can combo for infinite life on turn 3, turn 4 without.
- Devoted Druid + Vizier of Remedies. This one also needs another combo piece in some form but that's also a turn 3 combo.
- Infect throws down Glistener Elf on turn 1 and turn 2 you'll probably be dead with the pump spells they have. If it's Blighted Agent it's 1 turn slower.
- Ad Naus can combo turn 3 now with the help of Thassa's Oracle. The deck can also combo turn 2 on a nut hand.
- Storm can combo on turn 3 with a nut hand.
- Burn can kill you on turn 4 consistently, especially if they draw multiple Eidolons.
- Scapeshift now has Dryad of the Ilysian Grove which means they can Scapeshift on turn 4.
- Dredge has Ox of Agonas, Life from the Loam, and Narcomoeba to block Garg.
- Tron has turn 3 Karn/Ugin AND they can play Chalice for 0.
- Humans has Meddling Mage, Thalia, and Lavinia, Azorius Renegade.
- Death's Shadow has hand removal and Stubborn Denial, along with burn spells.
- Jund, well I'm not even going to go there.
How consistent is your 'full-combo'? Is it happening in 75%+ of your games, after sideboarding? If you're consistent even after sideboarding then maybe I'm wrong. I just don't see how your list is going to be consistent with 0 card draw and no way to find As Foretold. You're just praying that you get everything you need in your opening hand, and that the opponent doesn't disrupt you in some way. In a goldfish world, your deck looks fine. Against a competitive meta, I'm just not seeing it. Those are my opinions though. Prove me wrong.
Quote from TheGreatGodLoki »Hi, sorry for a brief absence. But I have a few more questions, for you.
1. Arcum's Astrolabe: I don't think you need this mana fixer in your deck. You don't seem to run enough blue to warrent this.
2. Coldsteel Heart: I feel the ETB-Tapped is a bit slow, compared to your borderposts which do its job better by giving you a -1 land count for balances
3. I like your sideboard. I think you've got a solid one there.
Quote from vikingtrader »Hey Loki, I want to know what you think about my idea in a cascade version (I'm thinking about going back to cascade).
The idea is using Calix, Destiny's Hand as a wincon with the indestructible God cards. I'm thinking Thassa, God of the Sea, Klothys, God of Destiny, and Keranos, God of Storms.
Since you're already using Detention Sphere and Ardent Plea, I was curious about your thoughts on this walker.
He may be too cute and his ult might be too difficult to pull off but his + and - abilities seem like they could be useful.
Quote from vikingtrader »@SunTzu - Sorry my posts might seem a bit brash; it's not my intention at all. When I type out responses on here I normally end up writing about 1500 words and then I go through and take all the 'fluff' out to leave in the brunt of what I'm trying to say. I can see how that might come off as condescending. I have to edit out the stuff that makes it sound like I'm casually talking, otherwise my posts would be very long. I have to be careful because I can analyse things to the nth degree and I have to remember that people don't want to read huge blocks of text.
That said, I've played thousands of games with this deck - cascade and ED. The problems that both versions have are close to the same. There's no deck that's going to be good against every deck in the field, but Restore Balance is quite powerful. I really enjoy the way it plays. There's no other deck like it.
I'm completely with you that the deck can be built many different ways. That's one of the reasons I enjoy building lists and trying them out. We don't know for sure what the best way is.
What this deck really is lacking is card advantage. As a mid-range combo deck our only card that provides true card advantage is the Balance itself.
I believe there's 2 main 'roads' if you will for the deck to be optimal:
- ED with Finale and Vision/Footfalls
The other variants are just spread too thin imo. Some of my lists fall prey to this as well; I'm not perfect. We can't have all the best threats, all the best removal, and the best card advantage. There aren't enough card slots after lands and the Balance package. This is where I think the most difficult part of building this deck lies. The cascade version has further restrictions here because it has to play posts otherwise Balance doesn't get good CA. On top of that it also has the 3 CMC mana problem. The upside is that cascade itself is kind of a tutor for 0 mana which is really nice.
As mentioned before, nobody knows the best list. These are only my opinions.
Quote from vikingtrader »Hey guys, just wanted to post my decision on which version I'm going to play. It's the ED version with 4x Finale. Crashing Footfalls and Ancestral Vision provide the deck with the gas it needs. Finale is like icing on the cake. Plus, it's really fun to pilot.
I'm also a firm believer that borderposts still need to be in the deck. The ability to withdraw lands in the early turns without Garg is just too good. I've played against lots of tier decks and lots of random brews and I'm finding that I am doing better with posts than without. I tried 2 different strategies: 3x Garg/8x posts and 4x Garg/4x Call/3x Astrolabe. In the tutor version, I found I wasn't able to reduce land count enough before needing to Balance. They would just draw into 1 creature *cough Tarmogoyf* and then I'm on a clock again. In the posts version, I was able to keep their land count down to 1 if I didn't naturally find a Garg. I won't lie I did get blown out by Eldrazi tron and Karn a few times because I needed the posts color mana. All in all, my posts felt like they helped more than being able to tutor for Garg. A lot of the time I wasn't tutoring fast enough, or I didn't have the one extra red mana to suspend Garg AND Balance in the same turn. I'm going to stick with the 3x Garg/8x Posts that I'm running; that feels the best to me.
Next, card advantage is more than just drawing additional cards. For example Anger of the Gods against a bunch of Goblins + tokens could be spending 1 card to wipe out 6 permanents, or a 1-for-6. The Balance itself is insane for card advantage if you're properly set up for it. If you look at Snapcaster Mage the reason it's so good is that it provides more card advantage by giving you a 2/1 body, and allowing you to reuse a spell you've already played. Dark Confidant is a great example because normally it will give you several cards for only using 1 card. Thopter Spy Network is another fantastic example. Not only does it give a hard to remove enchantment, each turn it gives you a 1/1 flying body that also has the potential to keep you drawing more cards. It's pure card advantage.
As a midrange combo deck I feel like our card choices need to have a lot more value in them. For this reason I'm not looking at using counterspells. I'm looking at using threats which will need to be countered or removed. Counterspells are typically 1-for-1 exchanges and I don't think that's good enough.
This is why I really like Finale of Promise in the deck. It gives those already used spells a second chance to come back and get good value. Being able to count it as Balance 5-8 is really nice too.
I would like your thoughts on adding an infinite combo to the deck. There are 2 I want to mention:
- Felidar Guardian & Saheeli Rai - infinite damage via infinite tokens
- Heliod, Sun-Crowned & Spike Feeder - infinite life
Both are 2 card combos so they would be fairly easy to implement into the deck. The Spike Feeder/Heliod seems better because they wouldn't work against the Balance shell, but then infinite life won't win the game directly like infinite tokens will. Would only be 8 potential slots with maybe more for tutors. Could work in both versions of the deck? Thoughts?
Quote from TheGreatGodLoki »One card I wanna try out is Talent of the Telepath, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, and The Wanderer. What do you guys think? I think the wanderer is a bit too slow against burn, but also a lot better than say MOnastery Siege