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  • posted a message on Painter's Servant
    Well, it's certainly very good in 1v1. One of my legacy decks is based on exactly that. But in EDH, it's a very slow win.

    Ah; i don't use EDHrec very much, so i'd no idea that there was a check like that. but still, i can't figure out how many decks there are total on EDHrec, but the closest i could find is 307,105. so that makes iona pop up about 2% of the time (amongst the people who would post their decks on EDHrec).

    i can imagine a deck where the whole aim is to rite of replication a painter's servant, and having each medallion ever made; every card you cast costs 5 less! boom! that'd be pretty nuts actually.

    Dirk, have you tested PS? not sure if your playgroup is generally open to stuff like this. It's one thing to say it's fine, and another to actually experience it. My 1 playgroup is fine with it, but it's also fine with griselbrand and karakas, so i'm not sure its saying much.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Wishes
    Quote from FunkyDragon »
    Quote from Upkeep »
    I think we should also have in our casual spirits the idea of being in a relaxed setting and getting something exciting to bring to the table that you wouldn't usually want to put in your deck, but you happen to have on-hand.
    But you already have 100 slots and decided the card wasn't good enough to mainboard. Deckbuilding does, and should, involve making decisions and trade-offs. You build your deck ahead of time by including the cards you want to play and excluding the cards you don't. Wishes allow for sloppier deckbuilding, wasting time (just imagine if all four players had multiple wishes in their decks), and narrow hate cards that ruin the game for one player but never would have been included in a deck without a wish. Spawnsire is a one card game-ending combo with enough mana and a violation of the singleton rule, and while we have plenty of other cards that also win with enough mana they don't require violating one of the fundamental rules of the format.

    With all of those negatives, let me ask you - what positives would wishes bring to the format?

    well, the positives are pretty narrow, and depends on whether or not you'd consider normal deck-construction limitations to also apply to the wish-board. I'm always a proponent of having as few cards banned as possible, and for all the cards to be played within the spirit of the rules in the way that they are made.
    I feel like wishes are like tutors, but can break the deck construction rules of whatever format I'm playing. outside the game to me is exactly that, so it allows for some potentially weird things that can be done. So to me, i can wish for progenitus in a mono green, since that makes wishes different from tutors. It just allows for some really silly things that otherwise wouldn't be viable. I suppose i have a quite mature playgroup, so we tend not to push oppression too much even with wishes and with a very open banlist. Also, death wish also allows me to pay half my life; there aren't many cards in magic that lets me do that.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Painter's Servant
    Quote from Zygous »
    Quote from Sheldon »
    The main problem with Painter's Servant to me is that it can accidentally break games based not on the cards the person puts with PS in their deck, who may be interested in cool and fair interactions, but with the cards the other people play.

    I'm skeptical on the ability of this can happen in a multiplayer game.

    So let's say we are playing multiplayer and I cast Painter's Servant. My opponent is across the table and casts Iona naming the same color and decalres themsleves the winner. Except they aren't because I control the Painter's Servant. I can make the servent perform a fatal attack or block to get rid of the lock, or sacrifice it to some effect in my own deck. It's hardly game over.

    That's why on the original post, i put up the numbers of cards that show up on EDHrec (completely arbitrary numbers, but gives us a rough idea):

    island (to give context): 152,210 decks
    sol ring (another one to give context) 244,295 decks

    iona, shield of emeria: 61 decks
    all is dust: just over 10,043 decks
    ugin, the spirit dragon: 13,864 decks
    wash out: 3680 decks
    grindstone: 250 decks
    earnest fellowship: 179 decks
    blue elemental blast: 321 decks (i had no idea!!)
    hibernation 157 decks
    Llawan, Cephalid Empress: 373 decks
    tidal control: 131 decks
    well-laind plans: 99 decks
    insight: 163 decks
    chameleon spirit: 73 decks
    riptide: 24 decks
    sapphire medallion: 8184 decks (the other medallions could interact too)
    akroma's memorial: 10,803 decks
    wrath of marit lage: 102 decks
    mana maze: 487 decks
    chill: 115 decks
    invoke prejudice: 422 decks

    (this list is by no means exhaustive, but i'm struggling to find cards that interact badly with painter)

    The cards that really interacts badly with painter's servant would be iona and ugin, really. the others do some weird stuff to the game, or bends it to a somewhat weird board state (my favourite being earnest fellowship). I don't think it's possible to convince anyone on the RC by just theorising here though; i'd be up for testing it.
    in my brief testing, it's been making games stranger (but that's how we like 'em). akroma's memorial becomes a house! but it's hardly game-breaking though. But then again, i built my deck for fun times. i don't recall any of my opponent's cards interacting badly. meteor crater became marginally better.

    sheldon, was there anything more specific that you had in mind when you say that it interacts badly with another player's cards? most of those cards i listed above are quite niche, and my knowledge of the total card pool is somewhat limited. I don't think many of them would wreck a game; more that they'd make the game go weird. I understand that its always better to be safer and more cautious though. I just feel that the world would benefit more than suffer from its release, and opening the game's potential strategies seems good.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day: Brutal Hordechief
    Quote from Onering »
    Quote from schweinefett »
    it doesn't seem all that good, i think. I've been a bit underwhelmed by most surveil cards (the sole exceptions being mission briefing and doom whisperer).

    I think i'd be one of those people who'd severely underestimate cards like this though; it's in blue, is hard to kill (bolt-proof), and has an ok ability stuck to it. It sort of smooths your next few draws, and can set up reanimate effects/snapcaster mage shenanigans.

    Notion rain is pretty solid, New Lazav is a good commander, nightveil Sprite is better than expected as a cheap evasive creature useful for damage triggers that surveils when it attacks. Price of Fame is a solid card as well in a format centered around legends. Destroy any commander a d surveil 2 for the price of terror? Sound good. The drawback of it costing 4 to hit a non legend is pretty severe, but at least it's still unconditional instant speed removal with upside. This is also a format where a lot of non commander creatures happen to be legendary, so it has more targets other than the commanders where it costs 2. Considering how key commanders usually are to their decks, firing this off for two is what's typically going to happen.

    Notion rain seems ok. a lot better in reanimate/some sort of shenanigans with the GY deck than any of my UB decks though. The thing is, i think most of the time, surveil is marginally better than scry, but unless you can actually make use of the cards in the GY, it might not actually be that much better. But yea, I'm sure you've had much better success with them than i have. Maybe i need to give them another look.

    I've always wanted a debt of loyalty actually, but never ended up splurging the moneys for it.

    In my group, people are constantly sacking guys, reviving them, killing them, all sorts; so even though it's quite limiting, no one would look at the board and think "hrmm.. he's showing 1WW... debt of loyalty mana!". it's simply not the same thing as holding up UU.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [Deck] Imperial Painter
    i've actually been experimenting with a mono blue prison 'stompy' style deck. i'd probably call it scarecrow stompy or painter stompy. but it runs chalice of the void, back to basics, with thirst for knowledge and accumulated knowledge as CA, mox opal (placeholders so far; i can't afford them yet!), mox diamond for acceleration. It feels pretty ok, but the wincon is very slow (since grindstone gets hit by chalice; so it's whir of invention/transmute artifact). it also does the tezzeret the seeker as a plan C wincon.
    By the way, I've not had a tonne of experience with the shortcake yet, but do you think the combination of sulfur elemental + painter on white being a good idea against TNN, mentors and pyromancers? or is that worse than just boarding in more blasts and leaving the colour on blue?

    haha not knowing how i wanna build/play this deck is actually a good problem to have; i'll probably just have to play it a lot more to see which feels best. I know for sure that this wasn't possible with my other legacy decks.
    I'm even considering giving UR a go; I'm gonna start with 4 of each blast colour, isochron scepter, trinisphere, smokestack and lodestone golem and go hardcore prison.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Burn
    Quote from lord_darkview »
    Against black-based combo decks, answers on the table are much better than those in hand. The land-based answers are your best bets against an on-table Marit Lage, Emrakul, or Griselbrand, if you choose to go that way. Karakas is hands-down the best of the bunch, but there is something to be said for variety in the face of cards like Pithing Needle.

    Yea, i'd probably echo this. the karakas plan seems sound; better than glacial chasm at least. One other thing you can do is to try to speed your deck up. You'd expect post-board that they're going to shove in more disruption and artifact removal for things like bridge, so maybe it's worth to just speed up and kill them before they realise you didn't slow down to put hate in (its an ol' belcher side boarding trick).

    Just curious, but if you play some number (3-4 probably) of light up the stage, it could help you with card numbers just to keep your velocity up on longer grinds. I have a burn 'tester' deck, that's a stock burn list, but with 2 Luts and 1 reforge the soul. it's not amazing, but it gives some long-game-game against grindy decks. has anyone run reforge the soul in burn to any amount of success?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Painter's Servant
    Quote from DonRon »
    1) there's almost no real use to Painter's Servant other than degenerate combo. It's pointless in a fair deck.

    2) 2-card combo that costs 2-3 mana each. What does Teferi/Knowledge Pool(costing 5-6 mana each) have to do with this? You may as well say it's no stronger than Omniscience/Enter the Infinite

    Do I really need to go on?

    1) There are plenty of uses outside of a 2-card combo. earnest fellowship, king crab, cards with radiance among other somewhat janky uses. One of the fun part of EDH is the breadth of deck building strategies available, and manipulating colours is one of those overlooked ones. Sure it might warp cEDH, but i'm not convinced that power, as such is something that causes cards to be banned. Because if that were the case, i can see a very strong case for hermit druid among others.

    2) i specifically mention teferi/knowledge pool because painter's servant and iona, shield of emeria locks the table out of playing cards. They are more 'equivalent', as far as it goes in magic, than other 2 card combos.
    the argument that painter + grindstone is OP is extremely weak. You need to untap grindstone once per opponent in the game, and it also requires the player to draw a card to actually kill them. So it's possible to 'survive' the combo by just using any of the green sun's zenith-style effects, and it usually needs 1 turn per opponent kill, which allows the table some amount of time to find an answer.

    are there that many 2-card combos that it enables that other currently legal cards don't? And of those 2-card combos, with painter's servant, i think it's basically just ugin, the spirit dragon (-x for anything under 8) and iona, right? whereas, i dunno, rings of brighthearth, ashnod's altar, kark-clan ironworks, mikaeus, the unhallowed, aluren, palinchron, intruder alarm, necrotic ooze... I'm not thoroughly convinced that painter is more broken than any of those combo-machines.

    Also, cards like mycosynth lattice and enchanted evening do something similar to painter's servant (except that servant is a creature AND artifact, making it easier to hose, and costs less). So i'm not really sure if it's inherently that broken. (also, note that you can march of the machine-lock people out with the lattice. I don't think there are any cards that turns all red permanents into creatures or anything yet).

    I know that my playgroup's testing is pretty invalid (since we have a very skewed meta), but i know that my blind seer deck benefits from it, and it's never really broken any game (i don't use grindstone, but i do use king crab, baleful stare, suq-ata firewalker and essence leak. Highly broken stuff, here!).

    To be honest considering how cautious the RC is with unbanning cards, i can see this taking another 5 years before it's potential unbanning. But I feel like there is a pretty good argument for at least testing it.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Wishes
    By the way - do people here generally think that wishes take more time than tutors? 'cuz i've seen both take a nutty amount of time.

    Quite often, especially newer decks, players generally have this bad habit of casting a demonic tutor, then spend 5 minutes going through their deck trying to find a card they wanna tutor up. We try to make it a point at our playgroup to have a very specific card in mind when tutoring before you cast the tutor. I guess the same thing can be said about wishes, if time is the problematic part of wishes.

    I think power level shouldn't be the thing that stops people from using wishes; it should really be up to the 'spirit of the playgroup'. If the playgroup is open to letting you grab 200 eldrazi off a spawnsire, then that's cool. But if they aren't, then you don't need to keep pushing it.

    In terms of Wotc printing more wishes, it's mostly for standard (which looks at the sideboard), and limited (the rest of the drafted card pool). It's fine for those formats, and wizards focuses on those formats. So whether or not we like it, we're going to see more of them with time.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day: Brutal Hordechief
    it doesn't seem all that good, i think. I've been a bit underwhelmed by most surveil cards (the sole exceptions being mission briefing and doom whisperer).

    I think i'd be one of those people who'd severely underestimate cards like this though; it's in blue, is hard to kill (bolt-proof), and has an ok ability stuck to it. It sort of smooths your next few draws, and can set up reanimate effects/snapcaster mage shenanigans.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on R/G side board help
    well, i can tell you at least that i'm not going to be there.

    I'm gonna assume that you're running cheerios then, not sure if you're going the multani's presence version or glimpse of nature version.

    Either way, you're very reliant on your glass-cannon combo at that point, since any amount of disruption, especially on the play is going to completely shut you down for a good 5-6 turns for you to build up again. So with that in mind, i'd go with 1 of 2 options:

    1. 4 leyline of the void + 4 orim's chant + 4 silence + engineered explosives + ratchet bomb or maybe even pact of negation
    2. 15 island. Make your opponent think that you're planning to slow your deck down by adding in tonnes of hate, but then go off at exactly the same speed.

    The thing is, against any form of dredge, if you don't go off turns 1-2, you're pretty boned. the leyline will help you blank some number of turns, giving you time to sculpt and prepare to go off.
    against any Ux deck, ~40% chance you'll meet a turn 1 force of will. On the draw, you're facing even things like daze, spell pierce, and more disruption. so silence/orim's chant forces them to counter that, so you might be able to go off after that. but you know, they always have that second counter.
    Against other chalice of the void-style decks, you need explosives, ratchet bomb to blow it up to go off.

    If it's not cheerios, then this sideboard probably won't be very helpful.

    Oh by the way, the cheerios I've seen in the past all run 4 gemstone caverns, so things like silence and chant are all castable anyways.
    Posted in: Legacy (Type 1.5)
  • posted a message on London Mulligan
    ::putting on a trolling face::
    I'm going to build a grenzo, dungeon warden deck to completely break the mulligan rule in half
    ::taking the troll-face off::

    So it's really not going to be all that relevant in EDH, except that you're significantly less likely to get mana screwed even if you mulligan down to 4 (as in, you'd draw 7, four times, and within that, you're bound to get at least one hand with 2 or more mana sources, right?). For the vintage and legacy, it's really going to mess things up. We're going to be playing chalice on 0, trinisphere and lodestone golem turn 1 all day every day.

    But for EDH, i think it's going to be great. In fact, it's probably gonna be great specifically for decks with grenzo in it. being able to plan for your turn 2-3 creature-drops with grenzo is awesome!
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Painter's Servant
    So this is something i took from the banlist philosophy on the EDH committee's forum here (, and i thought i'd test it against painter's servant. Yes, it 2-card combos with iona and grindstone and wash out, but it's not like there aren't already cards that already exist that basically does the same thing or act quite similar. (Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir+knowledge pool, rest in peace+helm of obedience, apocalypse, dimensional breach, and things along those lines). So i'm not 100% sure that painter's servant really needs to be on the banlist anymore.

    I also went through the old thread about painter's servant, but i figured i shouldn't necro an old thread.

    Creates Undesirable Games / Game Situations.
    I'm not sure that painter's servant does. It interacts strangely with many cards (i recently had a legacy game with painter, earnest fellowship in play to make an opponent's creature drop his sword of light and shadow), and i think that's fun and mind-bendy, but not necessarily undesirable. According to EDHrec, iona, shield of emeria exists in 61 decks, and all is dust in just over 10,000 decks. Island, on the other hand, features in over 150,000, just for an approximate "how often a moment of feel-bad" would occur.

    Problematic Casual Omnipresence.
    Possibly...? i highly doubt it after an initial rush of "WOAH! now i can uber-charge my blind seer shenanigans deck!", it's probably going to fall by the wayside.

    Produces Too Much Mana Too Quickly.
    Nope. or at least not by itself. And at least not with any card i can think of off the top of my head. is there anything outside of things like chaos moon? and that's not very good as is.

    Interacts Badly with the Structure of Commander.
    Not sure. Don't think so. Doesn't affect colour identity, right?

    Creates a Perceived High Barrier to Entry.
    Doesn't cost that much, and was somewhat recently printed.

    The majority of anti-unbanning sentiments are around the 2-card combos of things like ugin, the spirit dragon and wash out. But similar arguments have been made about keeping things like worldgorger dragon and protean hulk on the banlist. There's also the sentiment that the net positive of unbanning it doesn't outweigh the net negative of it. I'm not completely sure i'm sold on that sentiment. Having played painter myself in legacy, there are some genuinely fun interactions you could have. suddenly, radiance can do some real nifty things. You could even make cloven casting always active by making all your spells multi-coloured. I know that there's a lot of feel bad potentials here, but i think the general positives are many. From the very niche uses like jasmine seer to chrome mox being able to tap for more colours, to king crab shenanigans to a whole range of weird things.

    I also get that iona is a pretty crappy feel-bad that can come up - but is that any worse than teferi + knowledge pool?

    With the recent unbanning of cards like protean hulk and worldgorger, i think the vast majority of players in EDH has shown that the ones who do want to go broken combo will do so, but the vast majority of us want to just use the cards to make weird interactions (or at least i'm not aware of a sudden influx of world gorger dragon combos when it was unbanned).

    I feel like since the last discussion was over 2 years ago, it might be worth revisiting this. Our thoughts might've changed, and the banlist philosophy might've had a change in definition over the years.

    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on What was playing with Griselbrand like?
    it's weird actually, but he's legal in my meta (we play with only dexterity, sub-games and Un-cards banned), and no one plays him. I suppose we don't think it'd lead to fun games, so the thought never really pops up.

    Generally though, i see enough of him in legacy that i'm happy to not have to deal with him in EDH too.
    Posted in: Commander Rules Discussion Forum
  • posted a message on Storm deck ideas?
    remember that you can always remand/unsubstantiate your own original storm 'card' (not the copies), to bring them back up to hand to recast.

    It's one of the wincons of my legacy storm deck.

    For bitter ordeal, you can always go 'bomberman' (auriok salvagers + LED) just to get storm to infinite (or whatever number you want). But at that point, you might as well go pyrite spellbomb without needing the grave storm.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [Deck] Imperial Painter

    After testing shortcake out a bit, i've noticed that it's too mid-rangey to actually be that effective. something about it just makes it feel like it's too slow for a prison deck, and a tad too janky to power through the combo in a hating meta. This is my build thus far. I'm prepping for a small tournament next week, and i wanna try to sleeve up painter. I'm still undecided between mono U, imperial and shortcake. though i'm leaning to between imperial and mono U.

    After some brief testing, it has sort of 2 modes: a balls-to-the-wall combo machine (against all forms of decks that don't run counters), and a mana-prison/grind mode using moon effects and if needed, recruiting the one-of ethersworn canonist. the grind/mode has some ways of getting value, mostly around ticking up daretti. The debate about light up the stage has made me cut some number of them, but most of the time when i see it, it's not a bad card to have. casting it for 2R never really feels that bad either, actually, so that's also been nice.
    the crater maker has been good, but has somewhat limited use after the painter lands, and the tinkerer has also been good, but is a bit slow. I think there's space for both, and it would be good to pick and choose one post-board.

    My sideboard's the messy bit. there are a lot of pet-cards that i've used to great effect, but the problem is that most of them are already artefacts, which makes opposing hate that much more relevant. I was considering trying a transformational sideboard, but i've no idea what i could do that isn't artifact nor creature based. especially against cantrip-heavy decks, i like trinisphere and defense grid, but maybe that's more relevant in vintage than legacy. The chandras and karns are good for those really grindy games, and can close stalemates out after some time.
    Does anyone have an opinion about where my SB is going? i feel like i should drop the containment priest and just go up to 3 or 4 pithing needle instead, since they also shut off vials and more. doesn't help against reanimator though, so that's problematic.
    Posted in: Combo
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