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  • posted a message on Karador, Ghost Chieftain - War of Attrition
    Based on some comments in the Random Deck thread, I am looking at the following cards as additions:

    And, some of the cards being looked at for cuts:

    Of the cards to add:

    Ooze is Instant timing Grave Hate that is stapled to a creature. It is not as good as Agent of Erebos or Nihil Spellbomb in terms of blowing up the entire graveyard but combines the two to give me a creature to remove specific cards. I am willing to try this over the Agent for now to see how much the Instant Timing changes things.

    Underrealm Lich works well for the deck overall. I get to pick the card I want (and works fantastically with Sylvan Library) and it fills my graveyard to fuel Karador and other reanimation. Which is also where Necromancy comes in. I am going to try it out as a "better" Corpse Dance. Since some of these cards make it even tougher to control the top of my graveyard, Corpse Dance becomes tougher to set things up. Necromancy is one time use but a) is Instant timing if I need it and b) works pretty well with Sun Titan.

    Birthing Pod and Green Sun's move the deck further into the Toolbox category and both seem pretty good for the deck. Both are reusable (GSZ is a little harder since it shuffles in but I can draw it again) and both can get me cards I might need at a specific time. Both are Sorcery timing but their effects are worth that restriction.

    Evolutionary Leap is another Sac outlet and one that gets me another creature to replace the one I just sacrificed. It only goes to hand, and it does cost mana, but it seems that it could be a decent addition to the deck.

    Collector Ouphe is just a hate card to slow down opposing Artifact strategies. I play very few artifacts in the deck so it is unlikely to ever effect me and I can get it off a GSZ early or a Pod activation.

    As for the cuts, Farmhand and Solemn seem like some of my worse land based ramp. Farmhand is decent, but I don't really feel like I want to see it (even early on) and a lot of the more recent changes (and some of the ones I am thinking of) potentially lower the usefulness of the Farmhand as early ramp. Solemn is on the more expensive side but the same thing reducing the usefulness of Farmhand applies to Solemn. Plus, I am working in some additional card draw/filtering that having the Solemn die to draw a card becomes less useful.

    Agent is Sorcery timing so a straight swap with Ooze might be better. Ooze handles things earlier, comes back from Sun Titan, lowers the curve, and can be gotten easier off some of the new tutors.

    Corpse Dance, as mentioned above, is becoming more and more difficult to control regarding what I get back. I like that it is repeatable but I think there is a higher likelihood of it just not doing what I want since the top of my graveyard might be a Sakura-Tribe Elder or something.

    And, finally, Birds, Deathrite, and Wayfarer have been underwhelming so far. I have goldfished and played a few games with these included and I have never wanted them. Birds has been somewhat useful to get me the 10th mana when I needed it, but that isn't what it is really here for. Deathrite has never actually made an appearance in game and Wayfarer, when it does show up, can't be activated about half the time due to the rest of my ramp.

    And finally, due to some of the potential additions, I am going to try 39 lands again. I am having a real problem getting the right land count for the deck but seeing as a lot of the cards being added offer more consistency and let me see more cards, I think I am fine to go back to 39 for now.

    With all of that being said, here are the changes I made for today. Any cards not cut or added are still being considered based on comments above:

    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Niv-Mizzet, Parun
    Not much to report, but I have decided to try to slot in God-Eternal Kefnet. It seems like it just works very well with what Niv wants since the copies are cast. Even though some of my spells don't benefit from the discount, it can still be good to get an extra Ponder or Preordain.

    The list is becoming more "finalized" (or, as final as an EDH deck can be) so finding cuts is tough. I think Pokken's comment about Jaya is where I was leaning as well, but I do still have Solemn and Search for Azcanta as potential cuts. I have been going back and forth on Invert//Invent but Invent is pretty good even if it is on the high side for mana cost.

    I think I am leaning mostly to Solemn for now. I had thought a lot about Jaya as the 3 red is a lot (though Niv requires the same) and it is tough to tap out for her in order to let her ramp me the next few turns. I still think she is good for this deck though as her abilities are all relevant even with the somewhat prohibitive cost. Really, that is the biggest reason for a potential cut.

    Solemn, on the other hand, is really a 4 mana ramp spell (I can't consistently get it to die to draw a card) and I don't think the body is all that relevant either. Burnished Hart still gets a pass for now for coming down a turn earlier and getting 2 lands (even though the overall cost is 2 mana more). So, I am going to try that and see if Kefnet fits that spot better.

    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on WAR of the Spark Foil Uncut Apology has Arrived
    I got mine today and didn't receive any sort of notification either. Just watch your mail I guess.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Yarok, the Desecrated and Necromancy
    Both will be sacrificed as both are tied to the same Necromancy. Necromancy doesn't say "sacrifice the enchanted creature". More specifically, because there are two initial triggers, there are two delayed triggers. Each returned creature has one delayed trigger and both will trigger when the Necromancy leaves play.

    Also correct about Animate Dead and Dance of the Dead. These are both Auras and targeting an aura is not a trigger. All that will happen in those cases is that the ETB trigger happens twice and tries to return the same card. It will fail the second time since it was already returned from the first trigger to resolve.
    Posted in: Rumored Card Rulings
  • posted a message on Yarok, the Desecrated question
    It is probably just easier to point you here.

    In short: you will get 2 creatures if you have 2 to target. Necromancy will only be attached to one of them and when Necromancy leaves, they both get sacrificed.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Random Deck Discussion: Zahrim - Savra [6/23]
    The desire to move away from The Gitrog Monster makes sense since he does tend to be combo oriented so I can see where the fear came from with your opponents. When I had mine built, it included a combo because all the pieces made sense in the deck. I ended up taking it apart after the last 3 or 4 games I played with it ended with that combo.

    As to your list, I like it quite a bit. I always felt Savra was kind of tough to make work well, but maybe she ends up doing well with the right support which you seem to have here. Any thoughts to Chainer, Dementia Master? I can see where the life payment would be a big deal since Savra is also costing life. But he seems like he fits in the recursion theme pretty well.

    What about Gray Merchant of Asphodel and/or Kokusho, the Evening Star as ways to gain some much needed life as well as helping to close out the game? I know Savra helps with this as well, so maybe she is enough life gain to offset her own ability.

    I have never been a fan of Worm Harvest but it seems like it could do good work here since the tokens are both colors. How good has this card been?

    You do seem kind of light on the sac outlets. Has this ever come up as a problem? I do agree with one of the comments that Viscera Seer seems good for this deck. Maybe Carrion Feeder works as well. I was also disappointed that you had Phyrexian Plaguelord and replaced it with Yawgmoth. Not that it isn't a good idea, but I really like the Plaguelord and I don't see many lists running it (it usually isn't good enough for mine either).
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Yaruk and Siege Enchantments
    Yarok, the Desecrated

    No. That is not a trigger. It is a replacement effect and Yarok doesn't do anything with replacement effects.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on More New Player Questions please have mercy
    Quote from Elahrairah »
    Thanks for the info. I understand.

    But when taking control of an opponents creature, do I actually take their card? I can see this as a possible problem, people taking other people's cards. Just for the fact of handling damage, or possibly forgetting to return it in the commotion of the game. Perhaps there is another way to position the card to show it is still the original owner's card, yet in control of another player? Is there a standard play here?
    Generally, yes, people will just put the creature on their side of the field. If you aren't comfortable with that, you can put it kind of in the middle or off to the side. The main issue is that this can lead to confusion.

    Another question: When adding counters, etc. is there an easy way to keep track, or is keeping it straight in your head part of the game? It can get confusing, especially with spells that counter multiple creatures stacked on top of single creature spells. Oh this guy says 1/1 but he is actually 3/1 because of this and another 1/1 because of that....easy to forget perhaps how strong someone is and block poorly. But I can also see that as part of the game, hey, you should know, don't let your mind drift...
    Most people use dice or, possibly beads, to keep track of counters. If something grants a static boost (like Glorious Anthem) you generally need to pay attention to the board state as the cards on the field tell you what to do rather than adding dice. It is the same with Loyalty counters on Planeswalkers where most people use a die to show the current loyalty.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on can't search for doomsday
    Yes. They will end up being stuck with 5 cards from their graveyard (or, as many as they have if it is fewer than 5).
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Unreleased and New Card Discussion
    New abzan elf is mad weird. Cost reduction and recursion, cool, but... legendary tribal? In abzan? I was super hype for a new choice in that wedge, but I guess I'll stick with Doran, who isn't crammed headfirst into the world's smallest pigeonhole.
    Well, Primevals' Glorious Rebirth is Black/White and deals with recursion so I would think it would have been worse if they had done something like this without those 2 colors. I am not saying they had to do this design but they did, it seems cool, and 2 of the 3 colors were probably already locked in based on that card. Also, White, Black, and Green make sense for any sort of recursion based card.

    As being in a pigeonhole, I am not sure that is true. If you wanted Abzan Superfriends (because Atraxa is played out), here you go. If you wanted to be able to go down the stax/control/combo route with the Thalias, Night of Souls' Betrayal, or any other Legendary enchantment/artifact/creature then here you go. If you really like Sisay but wanted to be able to play Black, here you go.

    I am not saying you have to like it but "smallest pigeonhole" seems kind of over the top.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Impossible transform?

    701.27d. If a spell or ability instructs a player to transform a permanent, and the face that permanent would transform into is represented by an instant or sorcery card face, nothing happens.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Niv-Mizzet, Parun
    There is a lot to unpack here so let's just move on down the list:
    Quote from RowanKeltizar »
    I have to admit that I'm a little bit confused as to what your play-style actually is though. At first glance, due to the lack of ramp or infinite combos, I would have concluded that you were a casual player but then I notice that you are running some high power cards such as Cyclonic Rift and Consecrated Sphinx as well as a fairly large number of counterspells. I would like to hear more about what kinds of cards you like to play with and what your intention for the deck is so that I might better advise. If I were to hazard a guess I would say you were primarily concerned with having fun and secondarily concerned with winning. No shortcuts, no infinite combos, no broken cards. Am I right?
    I am not sure what you mean by no shortcuts or broken cards. I mean, some people think Timetwister and Cyclonic Rift are broken. Are you thinking of things like High Tide or just using "broken" to mean combo pieces. Because yes, there is something I actively avoid in EDH and that is "infinite" combos. They are not fun to play against and, for me, they are not fun to play with.

    As for playstyle, I always prioritize fun over winning, but it *is* fun to win so I still want my decks to be powerful and cohesive.
    Now my Niv list is more of a long-term control, card advantage engine, with combos to seal the game.
    This is basically the same as my intent. I do "combo" with wheels and Fateful Showdown to win. I just don't use infinites.
    Firstly, I want to talk about your choice of commander. Have you thought about running The Locust God instead? I see him as a very viable option simply because your list isn't a combo list. It feels a bit more aggressive. One awesome benefit about the God is that he generates chump blockers. There are some pretty amazing synergies with the Locust God already in your list. He can also very quickly overwhelm your opponents with tokens and they can be Skullclamped which is a very powerful draw engine.
    My first Izzet deck I built was around The Locust God. And it was terrible. While it was more of a mindset than anything, the God seemed better suited to things like Mindmoil. Arjun, Teferi's Puzzle Box, etc. It was not a playstyle I enjoyed for what I wanted Blue/Red to be. If I wanted aggressive, I would play my Gisela deck.
    I don't actually see Parun as being the best spellslinger commander out there. I see him as being control/combo and utilizing more of a hand-fattening approach. This is arguably a more consistent strategy for commander than spellslinger unless you really have the support, simply because you have 4 opponents each starting at 40 life. That is 160 life that you have to ping away. I see the control in your list but not the combo. I also only see Parun as a win-con. Kess, Dissident Mage and Melek, Izzet Paragon are excellent spellslinger commanders. Not to say Parun can't get the job done nicely, but there are definitely some other paths you might consider.
    You might be right here in that there may be "better" spellslinger commanders but I didn't want Grixis (so Kess is out) and I hated Melek. The problem with Melek or Mizzix of the Izmagnus is that they want big splashy spells. They want to do a lot of (or a little) setup for a huge payoff and that doesn't appeal to me. I wanted a deck that left me in control. One that allowed me to set the pace of the game and win when I saw fit and I think Niv does a great job at that. He can't be countered, which is a plus, he has a big body, he basically always replaces himself (at worst) since I am going to get to draw a card off the removal spell people use on him and, if I can counter it, another card off my spell. That is not to say that Niv is perfect because he isn't. 6 mana, all of it colored, is a tough restriction sometimes.

    Also, I have 3 opponents normally, so 120 life. Not really the point you were trying to make, but I don't play 5 player games if I can help it.
    Of most concern to me is that it appears to me that you are entirely dependent on your commander to win. What do you do if he costs too much commander tax and you are locked out of playing him? What do you do when he repeatedly gets board wiped, or otherwise removed from play? In my mind it makes sense to have a win condition that is independent of your commander, but still on theme of course. There are several good options here. Many use Laboratory Maniac. I personally prefer a non permanent based and synergistic (can be tutored for or recurred) win-con which is Inner Fire + Comet Storm. Spiraling Embers can also be used but I like the mana generation from Inner Fire because sometimes it can be difficult to get enough damage out of embers to win. It is also obscure and flavorful and red, which I like.
    While the deck is reliant on Niv, that is the way I wanted it. Too often I build decks (or see decks built) that don't care about their general. Plus, The Locust God and good old fashioned beats with Kefnet and Sphinx can help close out games. Lab Man is a no go for the reasons "infinites" are and Fateful Showdown seems to be a much better Spiraling Embers. Inner Fire is an interesting option, but I have never felt that I needed anything more than I have. That isn't to say that they can't be good, but the list is actually pretty good and has been very successful in my group. I don't think I have ever had to cast Niv more than 3 times so him becoming too expensive hasn't been a concern.
    I would suggest trying either Trade Routes or Tectonic Reformation or even Seismic Assault. Because you have a higher land count at 38 (I'm actually only running 35 because I have ramp) I can foresee you having some issues of being land flooded from time to time. These two cards turn late game lands into useful spells or damage. I really like the effect. I am personally using Scroll Rack however, but that is a higher tier more competitive upgrade in my mind. It allows a broken counter-lock combo with Counterbalance. It basically allows your whole hand to be cycled for 1. It is also tutor-able with Fabricate, Tribute Mage, and similar artifact tutors.
    As I mentioned in one of my more recent summaries, I actually Wheeled and ended up with 5 lands in hand. But I wouldn't go as far to say as I have been flooded and I don't know that I want to start throwing lands away. Even if I do end up with more lands than I want at the time, I still want to play all my lands. The deck is actually fairly mana hungry so I would rather have those lands to play than get in 2 damage. Maybe the Reformation can be decent due to drawing cards and pitching excess lands for at least some value. I will think on that. The main issue is that it is kind of out of place for the deck. 2 mana to draw a card (which requires I have a land I actually want to discard) seems unlikely to come up a lot.

    As for Scroll Rack, it doesn't draw cards so it doesn't work with Niv and I am obviously not playing any sort of lock so it really doesn't do much in the deck. I also don't have a ton of shuffle effects so putting bad cards on top just means I have bad draws for a couple turns. I could maybe see adding Fabricate to get to my Basilisk Collar, but I am not sure if that is really worth it. I might have to think on it honestly since that is one of the better things I could be tutoring for. I love blowing up the board, one damage at a time.
    You've mentioned that you see the value of the cost reducing effect of Sapphire Medallion. There are many such effects, and it is a common tool for Izzet. It is a viable alternative or complement to artifact ramp in the deck, and I would suggest running a few more. The best in my mind are Baral, Chief of Compliance, Goblin Electromancer and Jace's Sanctum. Helm of Awakening or The Immortal Sun can also be used. There are others but these are the ones I would choose.
    While the Medallion has done well, I just can't justify slotting in more cost reductions since I would need to pull out good cards for those. Plus, the creatures just die way too easily. I think they can be good cards (Baral more than the Goblin) but it is not something I want to go too far into.
    A new card that I am really liking a lot is Reality Scramble. I am specifically using it to cheat Omniscience into play but it can also find Consecrated Sphinx. Izzet doesn't really have any good creature tutors outside of Gamble, Long-Term Plans, and Ethereal Usher. The fact that it has retrace is really what makes a winner in my mind. If you can get it into play and protect it, Sphinx is game winning. It's broken with Wheel of Fortune, Windfall and friends. I have prioritized getting it into play above doing other things for this reason.
    I run 6 creatures (7 with Niv), 3 planeswalkers, 3 Artifacts, and 1 Enchantment. Of the 6 creatures, there are 2 that I would be willing to Scramble away. While this card may be good, it is not something I would use to ensure I get Sphinx because I just don't have enough permanents to make it useful. And I can't see a situation where I would legitimately tuck the Locust God or Kefnet just for a shot at the Sphinx.

    Long Term Plans was a card I had considered early on and I think I skipped over it for being too good (basically). I enjoy decks where I need to piece things together or just slowly grind out games. I am generally down on tutors and I especially don't like unconditional tutors which is really the main reason I left it out. I think anyone else looking at this that doesn't have my hang up on tutors would see that as a good suggestion though.
    A good redundancy piece for Consecrated Sphinx is either Thought Reflection or Alhammarret's Archive. I find the draw doubling effect to be really powerful, especially in combination with cards like Winds of Change or your other wheel (hand-cycling) effects. Thought Reflection is a good card to dig for with Reality Scramble.
    Maybe those are alright, but they do have different functions. And Sphinx is here partly because it can be a beater. And, again, the Scramble doesn't work for Reflection at least since I only have 1 Enchantment and, arguably, there might be cause for cutting the one I have. Again, I am not knocking the suggestions as I think they fit in certain builds but I don't really think I want, or need, them here.
    Graveyard recursion is a very powerful strategy for a deck like this. I would recommend swapping out some of your lower powered spells for at least 4 or 5 of these. Snapcaster Mage, Shreds of Sanity, Mystic Retrieval, Mission Briefing, Finale of Promise, Call to Mind, Mizzix's Mastery, and Recoup are some of the best. The reason these cards are so powerful is that they increase your flexibility. They generate card advantage, allow you to cast your best spells multiple times, and generally permit your graveyard to be a pseudo extension of your hand. It is incredibly synergistic with the discard type of hand-cycling effects. Discovering this strategy was a definitive "eureka" moment for me.
    I am curious as to which cards you feel are lower powered. There is a reason for nearly every card in the deck and generally finding room for cuts is difficult so knowing what cards to look at can be helpful.

    As to your mentions: I already run Snapcaster and Mission Briefing and I run those specifically because they are Instants (or, has Flash in the case of Snapcaster). I can see the use of the others to get back spells so Shreds of Sanity really looks like the main one I could play since it gets back 2 cards.
    All is Dust is an amazing catch all removal spell for this deck. I really really wouldn't play without it.
    I disagree. You already brought up the issue of Niv dying too often so I definitely don't want to do too much to make that happen.
    Propaganda can be a big help. Repeatedly board wiping can make your opponents target you. This card can singlehandedly force your opponents to kill each other.
    While I don't think this card is needed, I think this summation is a little too optimistic (at least, for my playgroup). While Propaganda will certainly slow things down there is no way I am getting out of that unscathed. It puts a target on me and will likely just get blown up anyway. And I doubt I am going to want to spend any resources on trying to protect it.

    I do like some of the suggestions so I appreciate the write up. I do think our visions of the deck are not completely in sync (which is to be expected) but the deck has done well for me so far.

    Also, since I know different playgroups have different "levels" of competitiveness, I don't think mine is on the lower end. I play against combo (too much of it sometimes for my tastes) and control as well as aggro and midrange strategies and, for the most part, the people in my group are playing to win as well and are pretty competent. That is not to say that I don't occasionally play against a precon or something like that, but this deck has been able to weather some pretty tough games. While I understand there are a lot of things that can make this deck "better" it does what I want it to *and* it wins so it is tough to move too far from the current vision.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Random Deck Discussion: Zahrim - Savra [6/23]
    Jeez....I already had a tough time trying to make cuts for other cards. You all just have too many good suggestions :p

    I will have to think on GSZ. I have always thought of the deck as one that has answers but not really one that was a traditional "toolbox" sort of deck (at least, in the sense of Pod toolbox). By that I mean, it had the answer cards along with a few others, but it wasn't all about trying to tutor out specific cards. Hulk was my main thing for this but I never went too deep with it.

    I guess, basically, I don't want a ton of tutors or things like that. I like the variety and I like the "randomness" of trying to assemble things without necessarily just getting the right answer via a tutor. Now, I do believe there is a balance to this and I am likely on the shorter side but I don't want to go too far with it either. I like Pod and I like Green Sun's as both are restrictive enough. And, with Fauna Shaman and Hulk, that makes 4 total cards to move into Toolbox territory without being too obnoxious I think. That does strike me as reasonable so I will see how things play out. I have a lot of new things to try I suppose Smile
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Why is our community moving to two sites? What's the benefit?
    I echo Weebo's thoughts as well. When the announcement came out I thought "well this sucks" and then immediately looked forward to the new site. The announcement of this site staying open didn't really matter as I already looked forward to leaving. As Weebo mentioned, the staff here, that are moving over, seem to be very competent and transparent (see that entire thread mentioned above) whereas we have heard basically nothing from the new owners from what I have seen. Enough has happened that it seems like it would be in the new owner's best interests to indicate their thoughts about the future of this site. I know they likely have a lot on their plate, so it might be unreasonable, but silence does not instill confidence.

    Since MTG Nexus seems to be somewhere that the owner(s) and mods will be actively engaged, just based on their engagement here, I am more than willing to move over there.

    For me, there is also the idea of starting over new which I like the sound of.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Ephara, God of the Polis
    I had thought about it when it was spoiled (and I wouldn't mind getting a promo Time Wipe) but I am not sure if I need another wrath in the deck. I should pick one up anyway and the synergy with Archaeomancer is pretty good.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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