Magic Market Index for Dec 28th, 2018
 
Magic Market Index for Dec 21st, 2018
 
Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
  • posted a message on Daxos the Returned - Enchantment Speed Bumps Galore
    So yeah, the whole set is out. The only non-Mana Study cards meriting some amount of thought are Ethereal Absolution and Font of Agonies. The former kind of reminds me of The Immortal Sun with its kitchen sink design, but I don't feel it's worth a slot here at six mana (especially as the curve's still trying to watch its figure). The latter is pretty cool in Christmas Land, but there's not a whole lot of life-paying effects going on. You'd pretty much need to land Doom Whisperer, Necropotence or Big Ole Raz for this to properly come online, but if you have any of those you're doing just fine.



    As explained in the post above, Mana Study has a very good dynamic going on. If somebody's drawing tons of stuff and running away with the game a bit, the card compensates you handsomely and keeps you in sight of them. The cut is to trim the rock population a little, as for some illogical reason running five rocks feels a lot more vulnerable than four. The deck's in a pretty good spot right now - Doom Whisperer settled admirably, and causes alarm levels akin to a game-ending haymaker upon hitting the board due to his dig flexibility. Possible future directions include the wipes that have been mentioned, or dusting off my mono white hatebear collection (think Aven Mindcensor, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, those sort of guys). However, those would be unpleasant to play against more so than just being throttled on spells per turn or whatever other mild aggravations the deck currently rolls out, so not going to happen. On a similar note, ran the list past Ebline, who decreed that the only real way to make a better Daxos would be to build him pretty hard stax and use the dudebros as fuel for various unpleasantness. I'm quite happy with the flexible, toolbox'y thing that's currently going on. It would be nice if I figured out ways to get some more Daxos independence that doesn't suck with the commander around though.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Forbidding Spirit
    Quote from SnowBunny ยป
    Like pillowfort decks needed another card to be utter annoying. Oh and in Commander you do have access to Helm of the Host which ensures triggers every turn.


    Might just be me, but you may want to aim a little higher in your Helm duplication schemes :p

    Card is cute, but then you remember Windborn Muse exists. To the bulk pile it goes.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Daxos the Returned - Enchantment Speed Bumps Galore
    Having gotten two separate playtest sessions in with the thing (about 7-8 games total, with the Mana Study in the opening hand as a replacement of Thran Dynamo), the card has an interesting dynamic to it. In a draw-free vacuum, where the person just topdecks their card for turn and that's that, a point is hit where they get a mana base so sculpted they can afford the 2 per turn and treasure generation is turned off. However, those sort of decks tend to respond poorly to removal and being dribble discarded. The builds that are less fussed by those things are the ones with more pronounced card advantage engines going on. Daxos also has ways of interacting, be it Rule of Law variants or the absolute lack of subtlety of Uba Mask, but they traditionally put up more of a fight as they're just more conventionally powerful. If played against a draw-happy opponent, Mana Study becomes a goldmine more often than not, and keeps delivering the goods late into the game as well. As such, the card acts as a sort of catch-up mechanism against well-rounded opponents, while delivering less value than a mana rock against decks that you don't need as much help against. Interesting!

    As to what to do with the treasures, erfunk has the mechanism down pretty well. Unlike a conventional rock, they just sit there, banking up. If you're just a little short of something, you can crack them, but on the whole I've found myself saving them up for power plays. On one occasion, I amassed 20+ treasure (with ~7 non-treasure mana!) while Intet, the Dreamer and Lord Windgrace got good things going on. In one fell swoop, I made a few extra dudes in the end step, buffed and pumped the team respectably, wiped the board and offered a table kill out of nowhere (which got ultimately blanked by a Constant Mists reveal). Thran Dynamo wouldn't have let me do that :p

    Due to its weird rubber band dynamic that feels like the polar opposite of winmore, I'll probably end up including this.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Daxos the Returned - Enchantment Speed Bumps Galore
    Except they don't - just dump the excess into bodies if you feel like it :p I'll be testing this bugger soon.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Daxos the Returned - Enchantment Speed Bumps Galore
    A year draws to a close, which is a pretty good excuse to look back on the deck. Sensei's Divining Top has performed admirably, granting me very good card selection. As stated in the update that introduced it, the deck does shuffle pretty often, so I get to pick from new cards reliably. Sculpt a line of play, build up a fat mana base, get things done. As such, I'm going to follow this whole "card selection" train a bit more.



    I am not super stoked about including a five drop in place of a two drop. Not too long ago I had to slim down the deck's curve as it bloated with various expensive things, and here I go introducing another costly card to the mix. However, Doom Whisperer is very good, and has performed admirably in testing. In a standard scenario, he allows for some card quality assessment and binning things of less importance. In a time of need, you can dig harder. In two rather patchy looking games, I'd funnel 6-10 life into the bugger and use the deck's reasonable level of haymaker density and overall redundancy to find something interesting to shake things up. Things will probably get quite silly if I land some lifegain with him around. I'm also yet to set up some graveyard synergy (Crucible of Worlds, Sun Titan, Replenish, the standard stuff), but I'm sure it'll be cute. More resilience! Daxos doesn't need to be around for the filtering to do relevant things, so appropriate evasive manoeuvres can be taken to ensure the deck can come online. Oh yeah, and he makes for good walker police and wears Sword of Rampant Growth very well.

    The cut seems unfortunate, as it eats into both my explicit draw power and my low-cost enchantments. And it's not the promised Blind Obedience either! However, the Whisperer eats life, so the extort made for a good excuse to keep the Obedience around. In all honesty, I don't even remember the last time I got good value off Arguel's Blood Fast. I've gotten less stupid with my keeps, so its potential early game boost hasn't come online in a while, and this whole "I got wiped, so I can funnel all the mana I had up for bodies into cards" is not super common. Also, in fairness, it'd be better to reintroduce Greed for sheer mana efficiency. That, and the whole "look ma how nice Blood Fast is at 4/5 mana" scenario I cooked up way back when ends up with the same net everything off the basic Greed, with cheaper activations later. However, that keeps endangering the curve, so not gonna happen quite yet.

    In terms of future direction, I am still keeping my eyes peeled for sources of Daxos independence, or at least less dependence (i.e. Cathars' Crusade). I've got some fat dudes, with the newest include being a nice beefslab as well, but I'm not sure that's enough in a 40 life multiplayer format. The most reliable way forward would involve Exsanguinate variants, as the name of the game is buff mana. However, if I have the mana to funnel into this to do serious harm to the table, I'm in a pretty good place, no? Most eligible Daxos-independent value town pieces have already been in the list at some point, and been cut for being very expensive while not doing that much (even if what they offer works in a vacuum). The wipe quota upping is still a possibility as well.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Patron of the Orochi - The Cockroach Tron (Combo/Swarm)
    2018 has been a quiet year for Patron. Grow from the Ashes got printed and included, but that's about it really. The deck does what it wants to, has the same set of putative includes that sit on the outskirts, yet never quite make it in as the deck plays well already. The list rarely gets walked in my playgroup as it sticks out a bit in terms of power level, which further limits playing time to assess any possible tweak avenues. Still, it's my flagship casual terror jank heap, and I'm very happy it exists.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Xenagos, the God of Double Damage Beatdown
    I'd say that if you pursue that route, the 4CMC enchantments are the best way to go. You also get Vance's Blasting Cannons, which may not let you hit lands but at least it doesn't die when you turn stuff sideways at it. My gut agrees with your hypothesis that The Immortal Sun is a bit too steep to merit a slot, at 6CMC you probably want to be doing business stuff. Some part of me wants to recommend Elemental Bond and Lifecrafter's Bestiary.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Reya Dawnbringer
    That preview video was magnificent. Not beating around the bush, calling chaff out for what it is. I still remember Wedge trying to hype Anya, Merciless Angel...
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Daxos the Returned - Enchantment Speed Bumps Galore
    Time to slink further into mindless goodstuff!



    The deck likes its games long and drawn out, plus like Shantu pointed out there's a ton of shuffling going on. I didn't realise just how much until I started explicitly paying attention when considering/testing the Top - the best case is getting some Crucible of Worlds/Land Tax/Sword of Rampant Growth action going for a fresh set of three to evaluate each turn, a tutor/fetch every couple of goes is realistic. I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but yeah, the value this thing brings to the table is pretty silly in the long run. Plus, given the deck's awkward early game, the oft ridiculed turn one Top into turn two use is actually welcomed here! Daxos is apparently morphing into tepid Orzhov goodstuff. Any other value engines I should be running? :p

    The cut is actually not Blind Obedience, in spite of what I said. I don't remember the last time I dumpstered a commander with Darksteel Mutation. The same old-age softness that led me to slide out Nevermore has stopped me from using the Mutation for maximum benefit, and all too often it gets dribble discarded or used as suboptimal single shot removal on non-commander targets. The Christmas Land synergy with Doomwake Giant and Sun Titan is cute, but not worth keeping around for. And so ends an era of the deck!

    In terms of potential future direction, the most reliable way to cheese more wins would be to up the removal quota. Put in the recent wipes that let Daxos live (Citywide Bust, reintroduce Dusk // Dawn) to bleed people out, probably slip Darksteel Mutation/Nevermore back in and play them ferociously. That's not particularly fun to play against... not that Daxos is made of fun or anything, but the list's style of unpleasantness is anchored in many small inconveniences adding up rather than a perpetual wrath crawl. In terms of more general spitballing, I still kind of want to find room for Painful Quandary again, and I can't shed Liliana's Contract thoughts for whatever reason either. Both of those cost quite a bit of mana though, which is keeping me in check. Last time I let the curve flow wild things ended up quite clunky.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Daxos the Returned - Enchantment Speed Bumps Galore
    That's unfortunate, but understandable. It's sad to watch everyone leave Daxos behind though. Think that I'm currently on the third rotation of folks in the thread, it's never quite as ghost-towny as Patron of the Orochi (which has a third of this thread's page count in spite of existing longer). Feel free to stop by any time Wink

    With that said, RTRTR is not contributing anything to the deck. The angel maker is an interesting token side-grade, but I think it hoses too many of the deck's primary synergies basing on the fact that the bodies are enchantments, so I'll give it a pass for now as mentioned before. It's nice to see cards like Crush Contraband, which are solid utility control pieces that should be available to the general populace for a pittance. There will obviously still be a select set of optimal utility spells to run, but it's cool that the backend is diversifying and offering a comparable impact level.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Daxos the Returned - Enchantment Speed Bumps Galore
    Nice to see you guys back in here Smile It's an interesting side-grade for the tokens, but another thing that would get shot by the metamorphose is Serra's Sanctum, which tends to balloon out of control with spirits. Personally I'll give it a pass for now, but if any of you have success with it I'll be happy to hear about it. Never forget that I initially skipped Anointed Procession :p
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Kumena and the Magical Untapping Fish Sticks
    Let's continue down this direction then!



    The deck was a smidge too tutor-rich for its own good - there were six creature searchers, which is a bit on the heavy side. I can't really axe the general tutors as the power to fetch an untapper is crucial, and Seahunter's reusability makes him fantastic and right at home. I did state that I'm eyeing the ETB fish tutors for cuts, so time to cut them! They came with the secret perk of single-handedly ensuring three fish for Kumena purposes, which was nice. I also surveyed the playgroup for aspects of the list they dislike (I bought a freaking Tropical Island for this list, I need to keep it in good standings with the meta), and they pointed to Mana Drain and Opposition. The list has never been too permission-heavy, opting for cheese cards like Heroic Intervention instead of more counters, so going down to four spell control options in the list with some potential of re-use should be good enough. Meanwhile, actually looking at Opposition made me realise the thing teeters between do-nothing and winmore. If the board is lean, this card has very negligible impact. If the board is super wide and an untapper is around, it starts mauling mana bases in upkeeps and people get mad. However, if the board is super wide and there's an untapper, the odds of you winning the game are pretty damn high without the Opposition to hold the foes' heads below water and piss them off. The card was included in the list to thrive on a mid-size setup, controlling key swingers in a weird defensive manner, but that very rarely happens. Away it goes! Also, curve thinning means Zendikar Resurgent bids farewell. It's a nice card, the draw was cool, the ramp was commendable, but the seven mana price tag is not where we want to be in the end.

    The fish morph into Darting Merfolk and Thrasios, Triton Hero. The former is the embodiment of a nameless fish stick that taps for Kumena abilities, and the self-bounce is occasionally useful (examples include triggering Paradox Engine/Intruder Alarm on the cheap, partaking in Merrow Reejerey + Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx as a Surgespanner proxy, flying out of the way of a wipe). The latter should have been in here since day one, but I have this thing where I dislike running cards that explicitly interact with the command zone as part of the 99. Thrasios coming down on the cheap and offering a mana sink is very nice for the list. Hey, there's nothing wrong with getting even more cardboard from time to time. The remaining slots went towards ramp, helping sculpt a hard to disrupt mana base in line with the game plan. Exploration is synergistic with the draw life the deck lives, as there's usually extra land in hand. Dowsing Dagger has its drawback nullified out of the command zone, and ends up being a flexibly costed Thran Dynamo in land form after a smack to the face. Harvest Season makes a triumphant return. The lower curve fish sticks make popping this for big gains more convenient, and I've found myself having an easier time not being a greed monster and only pulling the trigger once every last body has made it onto the field.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Daxos the Returned - Enchantment Speed Bumps Galore
    Oh, I was a greed monster and wanted Azor's Gateway for the flip :p Top could be interesting here, you bring up I run the fetches and a bit of library search. Thanks for the tip, I guess I need to see how it plays.

    Hey, if you get value off Shepherd, all the more power to you. I just trimmed the list's curve as it was getting a bit too dependant on its big mana lands. The tweaks did what I wanted - shaved the high end a bit, replacing it with proven low cost options that were in the list previously. The deck runs smoother now, as expected. Blind Obedience is likely gonna get offed the next time the list gets a bone.

    Yeah, Open the Vaults is the immediate budget Replenish, but I've never been a fan of the symmetry. Once again, if the Shepherd works for you, keep it :p
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Kumena and the Magical Untapping Fish Sticks
    A bunch of interpersonal developments within my meta have made fish a considerably less thorny inclusion. I do miss Earthcraft for its utility options, but I am happy about the fact it became a bit harder to combo. The deck is quite happy to assemble a value engine and toss up a smoke and mirrors board presence, draw some cards, pump the team, thwart attempts to kill the fish off, the regular spiel. What helps get there? Low-cost fish sticks with some trace amount of other utility if needed. So let's go in that direction a bit more.



    Empress Galina is a hellishly powerful, but also hellishly dickish option. Theft is probably the most powerful mechanic I have been routinely using throughout my EDH career, but it's quite painful to play against and this list doesn't need to stoop to it to survive. Plus, the bugger costs five mana to field when not being Seahuntered in the end step before your turn to much chagrin. Sylvan Library is a superboss card in most everything Gx, but this deck tends to quite easily set up a pretty decent draw engine that leaves this in the dirt very quickly, making it essentially an early game card. Cold-Eyed Selkie is perfectly fine, but it costs three (butting curve heads with the commander a little) and brings a smidge of draw to the table. If I'm being so critical of high cost and non-commander draw, what about Tatyova, Benthic Druid or Kindred Discovery? The latter draws so many damned cards that it's 100% safe and was one of the motivations for making this decks. The former offers a nice trickle of value independent of the commander or whatever lands other people may be playing. It's fine, and not in danger.

    Time to slot in a bunch of low-cost fish! Rootwater Diver has a rather narrow set of fetchables, but it can be a Mistcaller style silver bullet that taps for Kumena stuff 99.9% of the time. If I decide to experiment with more one-drops, the most likely to be included would be Reef Shaman variants. Mess with opponents' mana, grant your dudebros evasion if a Lord of Atlantis variant comes out to roost. Sea Scryer has been unexpectedly amazing, flexibly offering extra mana or a Kumena ability fish stick as needed. Waterfront Bouncer is a less severe Surgespanner, acting as a decent ETB recycler and defensive rattlesnake. And, guess what, when unneeded it also works for Kumena abilities. Who could have foreseen this! :p

    I'm quite happy with this direction for the deck. Eyeing the four drop ETB fish tutors to slightly increase the variance a bit more while potentially dropping the curve further. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully RTRTR set 2 will bring some neato things.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on "My Threads" link from user dropdown now gives "Not Found"
    I accidentally left an actual link to "My Threads" open on a computer that was asleep for a few days. The actual link that works is nearly the same, there's just no / after new-threads. Just letting you guys know in case this helps spot any of the other stuff that broke.
    Posted in: Forum Software Feedback and Bug Reports
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