Would your answer change if WotC created a list of deck themes and let players vote on which would happen (as opposed to let players send in their own ideas)? And/or if the player vote only affected which of the themes happened first?Quote from Kelzam »I don't want them to ever open up design decisions to a player majority vote, because I've been in the community long enough to know that a large chunk of players don't know what is best for the game.
- Crypt Rat
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Jul 4, 2019Posted in: Commander (EDH)
May 25, 2019It makes sense that they'd do this. If they actually wanted Astral Slide to be a viable deck, the mirror match would be awful because your cycles give opponents flickers. This keeps it clean and comes with a handy bonus option when you don't have anything to trigger it or draw a duplicate.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
May 23, 2019Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Ah yeah, this is the case where I love it a lot more than the undying versions. Is this really the first black spell to make two immediate bodies for 2? That seems kind of weird in retrospect given that black sacrifices creatures more than any other color. I suppose the undying iterations have used that space in those sets the past three times and black hasn't gotten a lot of 1/1 tokens.
Tymna has several white options for doing that though, right? Two humans, two servos, two soldiers. Anything else?
May 23, 2019The new white Beast Within I think jumps to my number two behind Anguished Unmaking with respect to the flexible spot removal slot. Technically I could put it at the top purely because it has a looser color requirement which theoretically matters in some contexts and an off-color creature when protection from in-deck colors matters. Making a creature for a player is also much more of a tool that can be wielded politically, either in the context of blocking or equipment that need bodies.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
May 7, 2019Posted in: Commander (EDH)
But those cards always do a thing every turn without fail. In the context of commander, making a new body is significantly better than putting one +1/+1 counter on a small creature. Given that it's an upkeep trigger, you really want it to be reliable given how many things will happen in a commander game between them.Quote from hyalopterouslemur »Quote from Crypt Rat »Dreadhorde Invasion feels like a budget token option and may be irreplaceable at that mana cost / price point, but I really don't like it because you can't accumulate tokens. If you don't spend them right away, the later triggers don't do anything and also prevent the token from autodying to Skullclamp. Basically, you're losing a lot of value if you can't accumulate tokens / are forced to use them immediately every turn.
It goes into the theme of "pay 1 life and do something every turn", like Phyrexian Arena and Bitterblossom.
May 7, 2019Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
What were they imprinting? Scepter sounds redundant in this context unless that's the intent..?
May 7, 2019Posted in: Commander (EDH)
You typically won't be casting the angel as opposed to reanimating it for cheap or flickering it for also cheap. The body is just a means to an ends, but the deck needs to be built that way.
Though I'd still want a few standalone instants.
May 3, 2019Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Doesn't Voltaic Servant only trigger during your end step and not during other players'?Quote from darrenhabib »Voltaic Servant allows you to cast your one mana spell like Cloudshift, Bandage, Defiant Strike, Niveous Wisps, Heal, Crimson Wisps, Expedite, Panic, every players turn, which is exactly what the deck is designed to do. You of course need a colored artifact source to accomplish that as well, but there is even Ancient Den and Great Furnace to help out with that.
May 3, 2019Posted in: Commander (EDH)
This is why the cards I listed bypass the need to rely on playing a single land per turn. Burnished Hart and Sun Titan will quickly accumulate the needed plains count over a couple turns. If your local meta is playing Wasteland that frequently then yes, it does sound like it would be unreliable for you. My local metagame is light on that and I therefore am going to capitalize on it. A single wasteland is easy to bypass though and I have done so in the past with Thespian's Stage / Sun Titan / Mistveil Plains into Expedition Map.Quote from 3drinks »Every land you play that isn't a plains puts your Emeria off by a turn.
Ramping in general should should still be worth it regardless whether or not you have Emeria and regardless of whether or not they have Wasteland.
As a general aside, I place a huge priority on Sun Titan in all of my white decks and trying to maximize the number of triggers I get from that specific card and the number of cards in my deck that can recur/flicker Sun Titan and/or be recurred by Sun Titan. It just makes accessing the cards I want/need significantly easier at any point during the game regardless of the order I drew them or if some of them ended up in my graveyard.
Pulsemage Advocate is another big one that's worth mentioning here, though it loses a lot of its potency without the options available in other colors. Mitigating the cost is nontrivial but the power is there. It's hard for me to evaluate in monowhite though. There might not be enough low-hanging synergy for it to do its best work here. Anger, Buried Alive, and Fatestitcher and potent recursion targets like Bane of Progress aren't present, as an example.
It's not clear to me what kind of monowhite shell could make the best use of it, but my guess would have to be something like Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle which could at least get it back when it happened to be most relevant and use the ability to chain into recursion from the historic trigger. Maybe something like Pulsemage Advocate into Karmic Guide into Angel of Condemnation off a historic trigger after a board wipe, flickering the Karmic Guide on upkeep instead of paying echo.
May 3, 2019Sun Titan recurs Fetchlands giving you untapped mana with each flicker as well as getting back Sunforger, tutors or other bodies worth flickering. Getting back lands this way also opens up lines with other lands that sacrifice themselves like Emergence Zone.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Regarding the Sunforger package, I feel like it's worth mentioning that Chaos Warp after Lapse of Certainty can shuffle away something you definitely don't want them casting again. I've done that before to stop a Scrambleverse.
I think I would personally prefer Pilgrim's Eye over Skyscanner since in the early game, you really need to make sure you hit land drops and blowing a flicker spell to guarantee another plains feels a lot cleaner in those cases. Later in the game, you're just going to be looping cantrips and won't have trouble filling your hand, the choice is less relevant at that point.
I've been looking for places to put Dowsing Dagger in white-shells that are mana hungry and are already using equipment tutors. Feather has evasion and you're likely to be able to force through an early hit with her on curve with it, nearly doubling your mana and making the card nearly free the turn you play it. It's not Gilded Lotus and has some counterplay to it, but it seems rather explosive. Given that you're playing moxen, I suppose it might not be efficient enough for what you're looking for, but what do you think about it?
Voltaic Servant seems like it would be more reliable as a Marble Diamond or a Fire Diamond (given that you're already playing all the other 2-mana rocks that tap for colored mana). I get that Voltaic potentially costs 1 the turn you play it unlike the ETB tapped ones, but it doesn't combo with panharmonicon or unwinding clock. It's unclear to me what the potential gain from a sol ring is in this case since you'd mostly want to be tapping for colored mana.
May 3, 2019Crypt Rat posted a message on Cathar's Crusade is horribly annoying to use - but what are the best alternatives?If you're playing with predominantly 1/1 tokens, Mirror Entity will give you the exact opposite experience. Everything becomes the same size immediately (barring equipment/auras/counters) so the math is really simple.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
If you're working with bigger and fewer creatures and aren't ramping hard, Entity is probably less efficient than something like True Conviction, though I'm loath to recommend that because that much lifegain is kind of oppressive for decks that are just trying to attack (which can be dealt with using many tools other than lifegain) whereas the lifegain is irrelevant to combo decks, which can push people into building decks that are overall harder to interact with. Conviction can be destroyed with a spot removal spell though, so it's less reliable once active than Mirror Entity or any sort of actual Overrun-style effect.
May 3, 2019Posted in: Commander (EDH)
I feel like if you want two bodies for 2, Sultai Emissary is probably the best version of that effect in the vacuum with Butcher Ghoul having combo potential with something like Marchesa. Unless having to wait for the trigger to resolve is a liability, not having both creatures at once doesn't seem like that big of a deal if your intention is to sacrifice them as fuel. I could see where you have the option to chump block more things at once or maybe something like Whisper needing multiple bodies in play. It's probably deck-specific. The Amass just feels like a liability here though since if you recur it, you might lose a "free" creature as merely a +1/+1 counter, while with the Emissary, you accumulate manifests.Quote from BounceBurnBuff »Lazotep Reaver - Provides 2 bodies for 2 mana in black, rather than needing one to die like Doomed Dissenter does for example. I'm testing whether that upfront value is with decks that care about the amount of creatures sac'd to an effect (like the new Bontu) rather than providing a body post board wipe.
Lazotep Plating - This has been flying massively under the radar in testing. Situations where someone tries to remove a creature before combat with a player also having a Maze of Ith effect are pretty common across playgroups. Protecting all permanents also lets this one work for your lovely non-creature wincons.
Lazotep Plating is probably the card that is the most relevant to commander, though at the same time it's probably the most replaceable? I'm having a hard time thinking of things that Disallow can't hit that Lazotep Plating can. The Amass lets it be used as a chump blocker. Plating is cheaper and can be held up as a way to stop Bojuka Bog, but vs spells, it's competing against Negate and Dive Down, the latter of which I can't say I'm in the market for. It feels more like a metagame call if you want to protect your artifacts / creatures / lands and your metagame has a noticeably higher amount of Wasteland / Seal of Cleansing style removal; it lets you stop those without being as niche as Trickbind / Stifle.
Dreadhorde Invasion feels like a budget token option and may be irreplaceable at that mana cost / price point, but I really don't like it because you can't accumulate tokens. If you don't spend them right away, the later triggers don't do anything and also prevent the token from autodying to Skullclamp. Basically, you're losing a lot of value if you can't accumulate tokens / are forced to use them immediately every turn.
May 3, 2019I'd say put Stuffy Doll on the list. Attacking with it has always been a good way to force through a ton of damage when wielded politically, but it always had the problem where it would be tricky to reset and it was often a bit too slow to react once it's clear who needs to be chunked. 0-mana haste Doll in the right spot can be big game, especially if the table is trying to chunk someone from under a Ghostly Prison. Additionally, if you don't need that precise immediate utility it can still be deployed as a wall to hold the fort while you jam sideways with your commander. I would imagine that a mono-red deck would be leveraging looting effects to filter its draws so with a sufficient critical mass of these, the Doll can be ditched when it's too early for it to make relevant plays. Any sort of Goblin Welder / Daretti shell could also recur it later in those cases if there were an existing artifact creature shell to build onto (Steel Hellkite?).Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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Dec 6, 2017A fair chunk of recent changes are aimed at finally replacing holdover cards from the 1v1 version of this deck. Many of those cards played decently well in 1v1 but just have too much variance when it comes to multiplayer. Overall these changes balance out the power of removal. Older removal was a bit more niche than was healthy and utility creatures were a bit too strong compared to the amount of answers to them.Posted in: Crypt Rat Blog
• Scattered Groves replaces Temple Garden
• Ash Barrens replaces Safewright Quest
• Jade Mage replaces Selesnya Guildmage
The +1/+1 mode just isn't as good when the core creatures are growing to be more spread out. Repeatable 1/1 chump blockers is the most appealing part of this and doubling at 6 and 9 being achievable makes this a good swap.
• Gnarlwood Dryad replaces Death-Hood Cobra
With multiplayer, this is attacking less, so having to hold up mana for deathtouch makes the snake pretty bad, even if it can block fliers. This one turns into a threat when drawn late to help end games.
• Deathcap Cultivator replaces Avacyn's Pilgrim
This solves the problem of bad mana dorks. In smaller settings, 1/1 bodies can be made relevant fairly easily. This setting needs more longevity when flooding out late. Deathtouch is natural even if this change prevents the deck from moonlighting as a commander deck.
• Clear Shot replaces Dromoka's Command
This is a questionable change, but it makes it harder for this to 2-for-1 combat tricks, allows it to BE a combat trick, and allows deathtouch creatures to damage big creatures without dying. The blow out scenario is also lessened with awkward interactions with removing aura-based removal in combat.
• Choking Restraints replaces Contagion Glasp
This interacts with a slightly different set of threats. Instead of being expensive and targeting utility creatures, it's cheap, and stops big creatures before being a mana sink to deal with creatures with abilities late.
• Provoke replaces Detainment Spell
Doesn't answer threats as easily, but allows social play and deals with utility creatures with no card cost.
• Blessed Alliance replaces Martial Law
This interacts with a slightly different set of threats but does untap creatures tapped down by tappers. Detain is awkward and was ultimately just a 1 for 1.
• Faith Unbroken replaces Vow of Duty
This has better gameplay as the vow typically clogged the board and didn't answer utility creatures. This cleans up utility creatures decently, especially those that accrue value over time.
• Elder of Laurels replaces Seedcradle Witch
This is less-dependent on the ability to ward off early plays and is less of an oppressive ability.
• Unstable Obelisk replaces Selesnya Keyrune
This is more tension and ramp-desiring / pay off. This may be less useful midgame though. This is one of the few remaining ways of getting an aura off your big threat.
• Become Immense replaces Beast Within
This targets combat rather than being efficient, flexible removal. This slot no longer destroys auras and doesn't leave behind a 3/3 token to be dealt with.
• Prepare // Fight replaces Test of Faith
Untap combat trick has more play to it than a flash aura that eats deathtouchers.
• Ainok Bond-Kin replaces Phyrexian Revoker
Early game 2/1s are just bad now and utility creatures are less important than in 1v1
• Heliod's Emissary replaces Wiltleaf Cavaliers
Aggro needs a bit more assist than beefy vigilance. This is now a mana sink and adds to delirium
• Benevolent Offering replaces Briarhorn
Testing out flying tokens and life gain. Might be too much of a liability, but Briarhorn was always too much of a blow out.
• Dragonscale General replaces Auriok Bladewarden
Trying something new.
• Sentinel of the Eternal Watch replaces Coalition Honor Guard
Flagbearers are significantly more awkward in multiplayer where they prevent opponents from killing each other's creatures.
• Conifer Strider replaces Acidic Slime
• Domesticated Hydra replaces Kavu Primarch
Golgari Decoy is now on the watch list because there are very few things it can actually interact against in a satisfying way compared to before. I think there are fewer permanent buffs it can acquire but it still may have enough buffs for it to be usable.
Jun 15, 2016As I'm not presently able to edit the post, here are some recent changes:Posted in: Crypt Rat Blog
•Dromoka's Command replaces Selesnya Charm
•Divine Verdict replaces Radiant's Judgment
These cards ended up sandbagging without good targets and ultimately could only get used against the big top end threats. This generally meant that the midrange 4/4s would rule the game. The change opens up more removal options to the midranged threats.
•Death-Hood Cobra replaces Seeker of Skybreak
•Lace with Moonglove replaces Vines of Vastwood
Dromoka's Command hates on smaller creatures and rewards larger ones, so these changes are there to remove some of the cards that scale with large creatures and provide a bit more strength to the small ones. Lace With Moonglove in particular is excellent at making a random 1/1 relevant.
•Citadel Castellan replaces Qasali Pridemage
With the inclusion of Dromoka's Command, I'm looking to prune some of the enchantment hate as it is a buff to threats, particularly the biggest ones. I want to cut Acidic Slime as well, but not just yet.
•Sickleslicer replaces Oracle of Nectars
This is a better mana sink and is more relevant later. The life was only really meaningful in the 2-player version where it could easily be oppressive.
•Skyhunter Skirmisher replaces Apex Hawks
While the Hawks are a natural mana sink, the double striker scales better with buffs, both own and other. This is a test, but may be reverted if the Vow enchantments prove to be too aggressive on it.
•Obsessive Skinner replaces Gigantomancer
Gigantomancer was a poor payoff for top end. It's very likely that Obsessive Skinner is too strong. Either way, with both of these top end cards becoming efficient cheap spells, I need to be mindful of including more mana sinks or just more large top end creatures.
•Avacyn's Pilgrim replaces Bloomtender (Needed Bloomtender for another deck)
•Canopy Vista replaces Sapseep Forest
•Topplegeist replaces Angelsong
•Banishment Decree replaces Awe Strike
Angelsong was a cute idea as a political tool and a way to punish someone for going all in on a kill but could also be cycled if need be, which was a cute interaction with Mul Daya Channelers. However, this was generally a trap card and just bad. Awe Strike was much the same way, though in a world with more deathtouch, damage prevention spells could theoretically be more potent. I'll have to keep an eye on Test of Faith which will likely help protect big creatures from deathtouch far more than it will be used in a double block something like Terrifying Presence would be a more welcome deathtouch-relevant combat trick since it lets the smaller creature eat the bigger one. Banishment Decree now introduces Mind Control into the deck and is particularly relevant given that it can steal removal auras or large threats.
Oct 7, 2013As an afterthought, I've noticed that the Stacks I've enjoyed the most create interesting and complex board states with cards that offer interesting and meaningful choices to players.Posted in: Crypt Rat Blog
I also like it when more of the lands players draw are relevant. Either there are things for players to do with more mana. Or the lands turn into spells. Or the lands provide a rare splash color.
I prefer splashes to give bonus options on cards that have already been played, affecting as many cards as possible while still being reasonable cards without the added effect. I will allow few cards that outright require the color and such cards must provide extreme utility in the context of the deck.
Aug 1, 2013Looking a bit closer at the interactions available, I need to add Needlepeak Spider and probably will have to cut Tuktuk. Dragon Egg would probably substitute for Tuktuk, though it pushes the focus away from artifacts (which may or may not be a good thing).Posted in: Crypt Rat Blog
If the combat tricks and their increased relevance aren't enough to deal with Tuktuk and it IS cut, I can probably cut Scrap as well.
Keeping Tuktuk in would be similar to keeping Shivan Dragon in core set limited. Sometimes, you just need some players to get free wins. The dragon can be dealt with, but not easily. However, Tuktuk shows up far more often than a draft bomb, is cheaper to cast and has been rather swingy as to whether you could deal with it or not.
Needle Drop and Grifter's Blade only give +1 damage, so in a square stats world, for them to work out, the size spread would preferably be small. Most of the creatures don't have square stats, though, so I'm not sure how this will end up working out. Needle Drop could end up being irrelevant.
Aug 1, 2013As far as 1-drops go, I think Stonewright might work for now. I was tempted on including Dragon Hatchling, but given that the (R/G) lands are going to become forests, Dragon Hatchling would be very inconsistent at both attacking and trading. Were it a 1/1, it would have been in for sure. The deck's top-end toughness at 4+ is not helping it any either.Posted in: Crypt Rat Blog
Stonewright, while not having flying, is a bit more flexible in how it allows you to trade up.
I still want an evasive creature. I was tempted on Goblin Balloon Brigade, you have to pay mana for the flying. Goblin Fireslinger can't block fliers, so combat tricks don't work on it. I think I'm really going to just have to find space for Needlepeak Spider or Crested Craghorn.
Kird Ape is another possibility, and with 4 forests and Fiery Fall, won't be too inconsistent. However, as a 1/1, it doesn't do ANYTHING unlike Flinthoof Boar.
Tattermunge Duo is a card I looked at a while back, but it seemed too strong then. Without all the instant speed burn, it might be fine, though it's still very hard to block.
Gruul Keyrune was another card I considered, but I'm not sure about. I like that it's a green source that asks you to get another green source, but by itself it's not that impressive. The ramp isn't needed from 3->5. I like the 3/2 body though. Copper Myr was another possibility here, though unlike Guardian Idol, it doesn't trade with anything.
Jul 30, 2013I would also note here that I have tried a lot of different removal options over the course of this deck's life. The original version had Fatal Attraction (which I'm going to try again) and Galvanic Arc.Posted in: Crypt Rat Blog
Fatal Attraction was not the best top deck which I'm going to be keeping an eye on. However, if it's one of the few good removal spells that remain, it should still be something that you'd want to draw. A new interaction, though is that the new green cards allow the enchantment to be destroyed before your upkeep which can make it harder to kill larger creatures with it.
The first strike on Galvanic Arc made creature size too relevant. You had to play it on something that couldn't be burned in response and then that creature had to be dealt with using removal, which was harder based on its size.
I tried Flame Slash briefly, but it turns out that tempo is a thing. ^^; Requiring 3-5 mana for hard removal is something I look to do now.
Jan 14, 2010Crypt Rat posted a message on The Top 10 Keyword Abilities Ever - #1 and Wrap-UpWhere's Kicker? o.oPosted in: Improbable Things
In any case, Equip wouldn't do that bad in a beauty contest. Compared to the old atrocious artifacts like Runesword, Equip is positively fabulous. It fills the flavor niche that would be vacant without it.
Now, if only problems with Auras could be ironed out...
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