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  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Ooh, I missed that the target creature will never go to the graveyard, so Martyr for the Cause won't get activated. So it looks like that works! It's too bad that the layer that we get from killing off many Martyr for the Causes won't stack with the layer that we would get for having many Teysa Karlovs. But, I guess that does mean we won't need to have Teysa Karlov for dies triggers. We are still using her for lifelink, but we don't necessarily need Spark Double anymore. (although I suspect it will be useful for more planeswalker activations).
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Looking good, lots of open card slots.

    I think bouncing a planeswalker back to our hand should be fine, so long as we don't have the mana to be able to cast it. So it needs to be red or black. All the planeswalkers that are able to destroy a Martyr for the Cause seem to be red or black anyway, so that should be fine. But, Chandra, Awakened Inferno has the problem that it can destroy itself by activating it for 6, so it can put itself back in the library.

    Oh nice, so that combo does seem to work. But, I can't quite see how to use it to extend our combo to further layers. The combo seems to be limited by Dance of the Manse, which requires blue and white mana, and needs to be in our hand. But, we have to be able to fetch instants and sorceries cheaply for the stage combo it seems, and Nyx Lotus can get us pleny of mana of any color. I'm wondering if there is some way to make things difficult in terms of having Dance of the Manse and our artifacts in either our graveyard or library. But, at first glance, it seems like we can cast Dance of the Manse, and then fetch it from the graveyard by casting Quasiduplicate to copy Scholar of the Ages (or else, cast Devious Cover-Up to reshuffle, then cast the Quasiduplicate to copy the other instant/sorcery fetcher). Quasiduplicate can also copy Nyx Lotus to put it back into the graveyard for recycling. Hmmm, but the other artifact doesn't have to be legendary, so perhaps there is no easy way to destroy it? That could be a thing.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Devious Cover-Up versus Quasiduplicate seems fine, we will have lands that produce 2 blue and 2 nonblue, and we will just build up nonblue mana, that won't help increase the stage. So Goblin Electromancer may be unnecessary, although having one might not be a bad idea.

    Loaming Shaman and Enhanced Surveillance seem like they would be reused via Quasiduplicate, which is probably no good.

    True, the next 2 expansions can certainly shake things up.


    Edit: I think I can get us back up to 11 layers again. Instead of having On Alert untap Nyx Lotus, it will untap Gyre Engineer. That loses us our first two layers for Samut's Sprint and Nyx Lotus getting lots of mana. But, we can make that back up because some mana colors are restricted again. We can cast Alter Fate to recycle Shepherd of the Flock, and we can only cast Alter Fate from the library at the cost of life, because we won't have the black mana to cast it from our hand. Then, we can end with a Planeswalker destryong many copies of Martyr for the Cause, and then Smothering Tithe getting us lots of mana from our restricted colors. We can bounce the Planeswalker with Shepherd of the Flock, but if the Planeswalker is red or black, we won't have the mana to recast it.

    So we get:

    Layer 1: Casting On Alert from Silverflame Squire can untap Gyre Engineer many times.

    Layer 2: casting Usher to Safety from Shepherd of the Flock can bounce Silverflame Squire many times.

    Layer 3: Casting Alter Fate from Order of Midnight can return Shepherd of the Flock many times. We can cast it from our library using 2 life.

    Layer 4: A Grasping Thrull can gain us a lot of life thanks to Angel of Vitality, at the cost of 2 life from the opponent.

    Layer 5: A lifelink creature dealing damage to itself can gain us a lot of life for the opponent, thanks to Angel of Vitality.

    Layer 6: Triggering step III of The Akroan War will cause a lot of tapped lifelink creatures to deal damage to themselves.

    Layer 7: Resolving a couple of proliferate triggers will add lore counters to a bunch of The Akroan Wars.

    Layer 8: Destroying a Martyr for the Cause will trigger many proliferates, thanks to Teysa Karlov

    Layer 9: Activating a creature destruction planeswalker ability will destroy many copies of Martyr for the Cause, thanks to Repeated Reverberation.

    Layer 10: Making the opponent draw a card will give us a lot of black mana because of Smothering Tithe, which we can use to destroy planeswalkers using Dreadmalken.

    So back up to 11 layers, hopefully.


    Edit: Some random thoughts - I was wondering if maybe Dawn of Hope could be used for some advantage. However, it looks like having a life gain trigger a lot of card draws, so that we can draw say Shepherd of the Flock many times to cast it without spending life, is pretty much the same as gaining a lot of life with that life gain trigger and using it to cast Usher to Safety from the library many times.

    I was also thinking about shenanigans with Nyx Lotus, perhaps with cards like Dance of the Manse, Spark Double, Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, or Masterful Replcation. One possibility: Use Dance of the Manse to bring bac Nyx Lotus and one other artifact as artifact creatures. Cast Spark Double, and have it copy Nyx Lotus, to get a noncreature, nonlegendary Spark Double. Replicate a lot of noncreature copies of the other artifact. Then, cast Masterful Replication to make all other artifacts into copies of the Spark Double version of Nyx Lotus.

    Rules question: after Masterful Replication, will our artifacts made into creatures by Dance of the Manse still be creatures? Probably, in which case the above combo seems too easily repeatable. But, we could use Saheeli instead of Masterful Replication, to get many copies of Nyx Lotus at the cost of a planeswalker activation.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Oh, for the Adventure additions, the idea was to get rid of Clear the Mind, perhaps using Devious Cover-Up. (Can we get that to work instead?) Then, to get instants and sorceries back, we can use Augur of Bolas or Scholar for the Ages. So we can cast the Adventure spells from the library, but only at the cost of life, which is the next layer up.

    But yeah, there is some cleaning up to do, like replacing Clear the Mind, and figuring out the start.


    Edit: Okay, the most recent 11 layer chain doesn't work, because Usher to Safety can bounce our planeswalkers so that we can replay them. One option is to just remove Usher to Safety, and cast On Alert with life instead. That takes us down to 10 layers. But, we could also try to keep Usher to Safety, and see if there is some other way to destroy our copies of Martyr for the Cause. We can attack with many copies of Bloodfist Infiltrator or Drakuseth, Maw of Flames, destroying many Martyrs. So that also gets us to 10 layers. The difference is, that the planeswalker version will take us to X -> X -> N+1 -> 10, where N is the number of times that we can activate a planeswalker ability that can destroy a Marytr for the Cause. That is probably double digits at most. On the other hand, for the attacking creature version, N is based on how many Bloodfist Infiltrators and Drakuseths that we can attack with, so in that version N will itself be a large 4-chain number. So that's currently the best version for the turn 3 deck.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Hmm yeah, Rosethorn Acolyte's ability could be a problem. Anyway, I've found something better: Animate Nyx Lotus with Dance of the Manse or whatever, and give it haste with say Samut's Sprint. Then we can cast On Alert from Silverflame Squire to repeated untap it, and each time it taps for a lot of red mana, after making many copies of a red permanent, like The Akroan War. So we get one more layer, up to 11?

    Hmm, that does seem pretty rough for the 2-stage attempt.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Well, it's looking like the turn 2 version can maybe get 8 layers. (Did you see the last edit to post #27?) So if it's 8 with turn 2 versus 10 or 11 with turn 3, what would you think is better? Anyway, I'm gonna keep an eye out for both.

    Of course, if we can get a 2-stage chain, that would change everything again! Perhaps that's where our focus should be right now.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Hmm, those instant/sorcery fetchers could be useful. Of course, most of the card fetchers that can gain layers will be instants or sorceries anyway. But, there is one notable exception: Adventure cards, which are creature cards outside of the stack zone. We can use Seasonal Ritual to gain mana, and then the trusty Usher to Safety to bounce Rosethorn Acolyte.

    So we have

    Layer 1: Casting a Samut's Sprint creates a lot of copies, thanks to Thousand-Year Storm.

    Layer 2: Casting Seasonal Ritual from Rosethorn Acolyte will add a lot of red mana.

    Layer 3: Casting Usher to Safety from Shepherd of the Flock can bounce Rosethorn Acolyte many times. We can cast Usher to Safety from the library by paying one life, and then counter it with a drake.

    Layer 4: A Grasping Thrull can gain us a lot of life thanks to Angel of Vitality, at the cost of 2 life from the opponent.

    Layer 5: A lifelink creature dealing damage to itself can gain us a lot of life for the opponent, thanks to Angel of Vitality.

    Layer 6: Triggering step III of The Akroan War will cause a lot of tapped lifelink creatures to deal damage to themselves.

    Layer 7: Resolving a couple of proliferate triggers will add lore counters to a bunch of The Akroan Wars.

    Layer 8: Destroying a Martyr for the Cause will trigger many proliferates, thanks to Teysa Karlov

    Layer 9: Activating a creature destruction planeswalker ability will destroy many copies of Martyr for the Cause, thanks to Repeated Reverberation.

    Back to 10 layers?

    However, the above improvement doesn't work for the turn 2 version, since there we can turn mana back into life.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Hmm, nice. Also, if we can't find a place for artifacts, we can animate a Selesnya Locket and make copies of it with Replicate.

    Devious Cover-Up is interesting. However, without getting any card draws, it looks like we would need something like Experimental Frenzy, and I'm not sure why we would need to fetch cards if we have Experimental Frenzy.


    Edit: While I certainly prefer the turn 3 setup at this point, I think it's worth keeping an eye on the turn 2 setup, and see how far we can take it. Maybe it's too much trouble to write up both decks, but I figure at least we can figure out both decks, and have the writeup concentrate on one, and give a mention to the other.

    Looking at the turn 2 setup, which currently requires Gilded Goose if I'm not mistaken, I'm thinking right now it doesn't work with the current stage combo. While we can avoid having an easy way to give Gilded Goose haste, we can still Replicate it, and get lots of Food tokens. We can then spend a couple of mana to gain 3 life, which can be spent to cast Clear the Mind or Replicate using Bolas's Citadel. Or, could we make that part of the plan? Gain 2 mana from lands, and then spend that two mana to gain 3 life from Food, and use that 3 life to cast either of the spells. Maybe that could work. We do have to draw with Clear the Mind though - is there something that we can draw that we can put back in the graveyard or library easily? Maybe this is where we should go to Devious Cover-Up, to avoid drawing.

    Since the stage combo is now based on life, I guess we can just hook into the life gain layer in our current setup? Which currently just skips the Samut's Sprint layer. We could even keep the Smothering Tithe layer, if we don't have any way to give Gilded Goose haste. Or, we could find some limited ways to give haste, and extend the combo even more. Anyway, even without an extension, that looks like a potential 8 layers, in 2 turns? Which looks like the preferable version at the moment. I might well be missing something though.

    Even if I'm not missing something, this looks damnably hard to get started, even worse than the turn 3 version. In this one we can't get cheap mana from Leafkin Druid or Selesnya Locket, since any kind of mana can pay for food, which will give us life to extend the stage combo. But, there may be a lot of limited ways to gain life or mana, possibly enough to get going? It's worth exploring, at least.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    So, right now we are using lands to make blue mana, creatures to make blue mana, and Smothering Tithe to make black mana. Green mana seems to be necessarily cheap. We aren't really using white or red mana right now. The main problem is coming up with different ways to generate mana, that can be hooked into different layers. There is of course artifacts, but Dance of the Manse seems to kibosh those. Other than that, I really don't know. (A couple of Domris can make red mana, but that seems pretty limited.) There may also be more ways to use the opponent's resources, although we are already using opponent life total and library.

    One possibility - if we could change the stage combo so that we don't use Clear the Mind, could we get layers of cards fetching other cards? Of course, we would still need to be able to cast Repudiate // Replicate somehow. We could use Experimetal Frenzy I suppose. But in that case, I'm not sure what the advantage is of fetching a card rather than just casting it from the top of the library. We no longer have Omniscience, so we don't get out of paying the mana cost if the card is in our hand. And I think with Experimental Frenzy we can cast X spells just fine. So maybe there isn't a way to get card-fetching layers.

    Also, I guess now is a good time to think about the start - we aren't allowed to use Nyxbloom Ancient or Samut, Tyrant Smasher, so it's much harder to get mana now I think.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Yeah, Angel of Vitality takes care of large life gain already.

    For donating, probably the easiest is the Replicate a lot of Clackbridge Trolls, which will create a lot of Goat tokens on the opponent's side. Then we can Role Reversal a Teysa Karlov and a bunch of tapped creatures.


    Edit: Thinking about artifacts some more, The Great Henge gives us two green mana (probably useless) and two life. I'm not sure where to go from there though; that life can be used to cast Disenchant, or any non-X spell.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Yeah, we haven't used the opponent's life yet. Something like a Devastate would be nice, to kill off creatures at the cost of the opponent's life, but I didn't see anything like that.

    Hmm, but we can just have The Akroan War make lifelinked tapped creatures donated to the opponent deal damage to themselves, and give the opponent life. Then we can transfer that to our own life with Vicious Rumors or Grasping Thrull, gaining a layer. (Any way to get more?) That takes us to 3 -> 3 -> 55 -> 10.


    Edit: So, I was thinking about getting started, and I ran into a problem. Our current setup depends on white mana being very restricted, but to get started we need to cast an Emergency Powers (either that, or cast Bolas's Citadel, which requires three black mana, and black is also supposed to be restricted). Also, later on we need to cast Dance of the Manse, which also requires a white mana. So the problem is, how are we supposed to get two white mana, without making white mana too cheap? I don't see a way yet.

    One thing we could do is give up the artifact layer, and have life be used to cast Samut's Sprint instead. So then we could allow white mana to be plentiful. In that case though, I don't think we can use Kenrith, the Returned King, since he can use white mana to gain life.

    Another thing we could give up is Dance of the Manse. I think we could give up having a lot of copies of Thousand-Year Storm. Our stage combo casts a bunch of instants/sorceries, so our storm count goes up a lot just processing the stage combo. The only question would be if we need many TYSes for targeting purposes - the only place it seems like we need it is for Disenchant recycling our lockets, but I think we can use Repeated Reverberation to fix that. So that seems all right. But, we would lose having many copies of The Akroan War and Smothering Tithe, so that would lose us two layers. So we don't want to give up Dance of the Manse.


    Edit: I guess we could use one of the opponent's card draws to get one white mana. (or more if we need it, with more Smothering Tithes) We can play a white mana land that comes in tapped in the beginning, so we can use it for Emergency Powers without being able to recycle it later. Then, we can use an opponent card draw for Dance of the Manse. That loses one opponent card draw, so we go down to 3 -> 3 -> 54 -> 10. Still better than losing a layer.


    Edit: Hmm, there's another problem with Dance of the Manse. It can animate enchantments, but it can also animate artifacts, which means we can animate our locket and then just Replicate it to get more red mana.

    I don't see a way to fix this - dropping Dance of the Manse costs more layers than just dropping the artifact layer. Perhaps there could be a way to not be able to animate the locket, but I don't see how. A legendary artifact would work here; too bad Mox Amber is no longer legal. Nyx Lotus enters the battlefield tapped, and anyway we will have white and black permanents. So there doesn't seem to be a good legendary artifact that we can use.

    I guess we can just drop the artifact layer. This means we can have plentiful white mana again, so we don't need to use an opponent draw. So we are at 3 -> 3 -> 55 -> 9, unless we find a way to use artifacts again.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Another improvement - we can use Dreadmalkin to sacrifice Planeswalkers at the cost of black mana. We can get a lot of black mana by putting a bunch of Smothering Tithes into play, and making the opponent draw cards. Kenrith, the Returned King seems like a good candidate. The other abilities seem okay - the red mana ability performs the same function as Samut's Sprint, so we could actually use Kenrith in place of Samut's Sprint, I think. The green mana ability seems harmless. White and black mana are very restricted, so those abilities shouldn't be a problem. So the only potential problem is the blue mana ability, if we use it to draw cards for ourselves. I think it should be okay though - an important aspect of Clear the Mind is shuffling the graveyard into the library, so spending four mana to just draw a card seems like an inferior version of that.

    So we have:

    Layer 1: Casting a Samut's Sprint creates a lot of copies, thanks to Thousand-Year Storm. We can use an Izzet Locket to generate the red mana.

    Layer 2: Casting a Disenchant can destroy and recycle a lot of Izzet Lockets. We can spend two life to cast Disenchant.

    Layer 3: A lifelink creature dealing damage to itself can gain us a lot of life, thanks to Angel of Vitality.

    Layer 4: Triggering step III of The Akroan War will cause a lot of tapped lifelink creatures to deal damage to themselves.

    Layer 5: Resolving a couple of proliferate triggers will add lore counters to a bunch of The Akroan Wars.

    Layer 6: Destroying a Martyr for the Cause will trigger many proliferates, thanks to Teysa Karlov

    Layer 7: Activating a creature destruction planeswalker ability will destroy many copies of Martyr for the Cause, thanks to Repeated Reverberation.

    Layer 8: Making the opponent draw a card will gain a lot of black mana thanks to Smothering Tithe, allowing us to destroy and recycle Planeswalkers many times.


    Making the opponent draw 53 times will take us to more than 3 -> 3 -> 55 -> 9 damage.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Ah nice. I'm not seeing a way to add any layers by using artifacts in the stage combo instead of lands at the moment, but I'll keep it in mind.

    I figure the lifelink creatures can be anything that has a tap ability. For example, Gyre Engineer tokens, given lifelink with Teysa Karlov, for example. Fortunately, Martyr for the Cause does not have a tap ability.

    Speaking of Teysa Karlov, we can use her to get another layer, since with lots of copies of Teysa, killing off a single Martyr for the Cause will get a lot of proliferate triggers. So that takes us to X -> X -> N+1 -> 8.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Hmmm... but, we want being able to recycle the artifacts to be based on Replicate, just like with the current combo, so that we can't keep recycling the artifacts after each copy of Clear the Mind. So we need to have to copy some creature to either draw an artifact, or put it into play, or destroy/sacrifice it.

    Anyway, I found an improvement with the current setup, so perhaps we don't need to switch. It's going back to proliferate/sagas, but using Martyr for the Cause rather than Evolution Sage:

    Layer 1: Casting a Samut's Sprint creates a lot of copies, thanks to Thousand-Year Storm. We can use an Izzet Locket to generate the red mana.

    Layer 2: Casting a Disenchant can destroy and recycle a lot of Izzet Lockets. We can spend two life to cast Disenchant.

    Layer 3: A lifelink creature dealing damage to itself can gain us a lot of life, thanks to Angel of Vitality.

    Layer 4: Triggering step III of The Akroan War will cause a lot of tapped lifelink creatures to deal damage to themselves.

    Layer 5: Killing a couple of Martyr for the Cause will add lore counters to a bunch of The Akroan Wars.

    Layer 6: Activating a creature destroying planeswalker ability can kill a lot of Martyr for the Cause, thanks to Repeated Reverberation.

    So we get to X -> X -> N+1 -> 7, where N is the number of times we can activate a creature destroying planeswalker ability.


    Unfortunately, I couldn't find a suitable Planeswalker that could destroy a bunch of creatures with a single ability. The second ability of Chandra, Awakened Inferno seems ideal, but unfortunately, we can use the -X ability to kill off some Martyr for the Cause, while also destroying Chandra, allowing her to be recycled. Chandra, Flame's Fury has an ultimate that looks promising, but it seems pretty easy to arrange for Chandra to have exactly 8 loyalty after some proliferates, so that Chandra will destroy herself with her ultimate. Too bad, it would have been another layer.

    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Most Damage Without Going Infinite, GRN-M21 Standard edition.
    Hmm, that's looking pretty good. Yeah, Frilled Mystic seems like it should work.

    Is it too early to start thinking about how we could add on layers? We would need ways to generate lots of blue mana.

    One possibility: Have a creature that can generate blue mana, like Gyre Engineer. Make a lot of copies of it, then cast say a Samut's Sprint to give them all haste? Then we find a way to get lots of red mana - or possibly life, if we cast it using Bolas's Citadel.


    Edit: So for example, we could do the following:

    Layer 1: Casting a Samut's Sprint creates a lot of copies, thanks to Thousand-Year Storm, allowing us to haste a lot of Gyre Engineers. We can use an Izzet Locket to generate the red mana.

    Layer 2: Casting a Disenchant can destroy and recycle a lot of Izzet Lockets. We can spend two life to cast Disenchant.

    Layer 3: A lifegain planeswalker ability can gain a lot of life.

    Layer 4: Activating a lifegain planeswalker ability can get a lot of copies, thanks to Repeated Reverberation.

    So that gets us to X -> X -> N+1 -> 5, where N is however many lifegain planeswalker abilities we can activate. Not a bad start, I guess.

    I was hoping that I could factor in Crashing Drawbridge to multiply the effect of Samut's Sprint, but it looks like that goes infinite with Quasiduplicate.

    We could get more layers if we used something other than lands for the stage, like perhaps artifacts. But, I didn't see a way to make the switch. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any cards in Standard that put artifacts into play without paying their mana cost.
    Posted in: Magic General
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