Yeah, I'm thinking a blue splash is absolutely worth it. A 1-CMC cycler with a big evasive body is great on its own, and having our cyclers do double duty on digging is great when we're in topdeck wars.
They're pre-selling at a decent price on eBay; can be had for about $2.50 a pop right now. I grabbed a set just in case cycling ends up being super pushed in this set and Standard demand drives up the price.
Private Mod Note
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
Playing UX Mana Denial until Modern gets the answers it needs.
WUBRG Humans BRW Mardu Pyromancer UW UW "Control" UR Blue Moon
I think between the Sphinx and As Foretold (which lets you freecast copies of Living End that would otherwise get stuck in your hand), a Living End variant with a 4c manabase (or perhaps even dropping a color for U) looks really appealing right about now. That said, I don't really play the deck, so I'd like to hear what the community thinks.
I like the new Sphinx and all, but I think radically changing the foundation and consistency of the deck just because he's a little better than our current cyclers is probably an extreme reaction.
Thumbs up. The deck is always a meta dependant deck and we have some new tools right now, but I'd wait for the whole set to be released to see if it's worth moving from jund colors to 4 colors or the splash something. Like a light blue splash seems reasonable to me.
I actually hate this card for the time being, maybe I will change my mind when more gets spoiled.
First off, it is not strictly better than Carabid or Deadshot or Architects. All of them cycle for hybrid mana and none require more than 1 of any color mana to hard cast. That takes a lot of burden off your mana base which is already stretched. Ive actually never liked Architects to begin with because to me they basically did not cycle for hybrid, but rather black, which hurt the mana base even more. I have had plenty of games where deadshots 3 damage did matter as well, so lets not discount that.
Second, blue is off color. It is off color because the deck is always going to want to run Violent Outburst because it's instant speed, and Demonic dread is the only other 3 mana cascade that shares a color with it that is in the format. And demonic dread is on color with your other cyclers and living end itself.
Basically, going blue/white/red/green to run this guy for the marginal upside he provides, and then potentially having to swap out another dude into glassdust hulk to make the mana base consistent who is far worse than other options, is simply not worth it. Then remember that you still have black cards in the deck you may want to cast (Living end and street wraith) and how much harder it becomes to cast fulminator or use SSG to full power, and its really not worth it.
Like I said, maybe if something else, and enough of it comes out then we can talk, but I also suspect if anything playable in black comes out then it'll give us even less incentive to move over to a new color.
Quick thought. Looking over some decklists it seems that although Living End is seen as a Jund list. Without Demonic Dread and Shriekmaw black the deck could run entirely on RG(if you're just cycling). Considering the new Sphinx and a potential focus on U in Amonkhet for cycling it seems like the deck oculd change to a RUGb mana base as opposed to a BRGu one.
I'm new to Living End so i'm not sure how viable this sounds. I get that it would make hardcasting more difficult but it seems like it would make the mb gameplan smoother (8 more 1 cmc cyclers with significant upsides) and potentially some sb cards [[aethersnipe]], [[Wipe Away]], [[Imprisoned in the Moon]] or [[nevermaker]] for us.
The deck can be run entirely off RG with the exception that you really need more than 4 cascade spells, and if you run blue fundamentally you still need to run another color to get access to another 3cmc cascader.
To me that's a totally different deck, where you run Restore Balance, Ancestral Visions, and LE and forego using cascade at all. Then you can open the deck up things that cost less than 3 mana and instead of cycling things maybe use Eldrazi and discard engines.
T1 Faithless looting discarding like Emrakul and Madrush cyclops
T2 SSG into Kari Zev or As Fortold into Living end win game
The only real issue is what we take out and how do we solve the mana base given the color restrictive cost.
I'm inclined to 1 for 1 swap on monstrous carabid seeing as this is just a strict upgrade over that in the context of our deck but that would definitively put us in blue and we need ways to accommodate it, fetches and landcyclers become even more valuable now.
This is a solvable problem. I would immediately replace Architects with Sphinx, and replace one of the spiders with Demon, probably Pale Recluse cutting white completely. Cutting the land cycles for a non-landcycler may be an issue but my gut says no.
We would then switch from Jund splashing white to Grixis splashing Green just for Violent Outburst. Losing beast within hurts, but with wear//tear now playable in our deck, I think we can handle it.
I'm gonna brew up a list tonight and post it here and see what everyone thinks.
The major issue with Ardent Plea is that we NEED to run Violent Outburst, as ability to combo of at instant speed is just so much better than sorcery speed, even just representing the threat of doing so. At that point, i'd rather run Demonic Dread compared to Ardent Plea since it's shares a color with Outburst.
I am very ready to be proven wrong though, and the right build will likely be unclear until someone starts jamming games.
A) You won't be proven wrong. Violent outburst is the thing the deck wants to play unless we get a totally different non cascade brew at some point, which as i mentioned would not be the same deck anymore.
B) None of this really matters till we see all the other stuff in the set. There may be better 1 mana options for all we know that are on color (black) which really just pushes us back to Jund where we need to be. I mean, literally a vanilla 4/4 that cycles for 1 black would probably be enough.
Yeah, I mentioned it before, but it feels right to say again that all of our cyclers currently are commons. As much as I like the sphinx, and I'll probably try him out at some point, we really don't need the extra abilities as much as we do the efficient cycling. Cycling digs us into the deck, fills up our graveyard, and allows us to swarm after the Living End. This is a deck that does one fancy thing, it doesn't need much more.
Again, I'll try out the sphinx, but I really think the demon is a better long term addition to the deck, the more I think about it.