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  • posted a message on Coming back, out of nowhere
    This is the resource you need.


    I have several very fun, and very strong, decks that have started with his $25 budget decks that were upgraded slowly. They start as very workable decks, and all of them have room to grow with your collection. I would put them hands down well above the WoTC precons, and typically cheaper. Get you some. For $200 you could get probably 6 decks with likely a few upgrades, and then you could play with them to see what you like.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Need suggestions to refine Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain deck
    My 12 year old daughter destroys people at our LGS with Jhoira. She has gone through a decent evolution with the deck from a more Cheerios deck to what she has now. She explored a stax iteration that was great, but she decided that this was mean and unfun, and took out the stax pieces. She went all in on the Paraxox Engine plan for some time, and people adapted, and she started losing when we all just surgically removed anything related to the Engine plan. When she saw this, she realized she needed a more robust game plan. We added a bunch of other things besides Engine/Reservoir. Locust God, Sai, Reckless Fireweaver, etc... All started to appear. Now her deck still wrecks people, and Engine/Reservoir are only a part of how she beats them. It does Engine/Reservoir, but it is not a glass cannon that is dependent on it.

    Some things that we learned about Jhoira as we worked to make her deck powerful and consistent:
    1. Every card matters. No weak cards were included just because they were 0 CMC. Cute is not good enough. Moxen and Petal are great, Bone Saw is a completely wasted slot.
    2. Rocks rule, especially 2 CMC rocks. With a couple of mana reducers, a strong card like Mind Stone becomes amazing. You would need more rocks simply as ramp to make your deck explosive, even with the cost reducers. From your list, you need more rocks.
    3. The token theme can be very strong in a deck that can trigger token creation a lot. Jhoira can trigger them a TON. This also gives you some defense when needed in the form of blockers. Locust God, Sai, any thopter producer, especially with an artifact cast trigger.
    4. Normal interaction is important for every deck. For Jhoira, Karn and Ugin are great for their legendary status. Limited counterspells are good, even when focusing on historic spells. Instant speed removal can make or break a game. Pongify and Rapid Hybridization can save your butt. You need enough historic to make Jhoira good, but when every spell is historic, she is actually worse than when enough are.
    5. Jhoira is an accumulated value commander, not a wincon by herself, and not actually a combo piece. You can have a small suite of wincons that also give value, and can get wins even if you are not hitting the splashy Engine/Reservoir combo. Play to her strengths.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Why isn't Magus of the Library an EDH staple?
    All I have to say is that my decks that want dorks have loved Magus of the Library. I have on problem getting it to work, even if I just sandbag an early turn, it pays off huge over the next few turns. Well worth it in accumulated value. Granted, I play mostly control, but that doesn't take away from how good the card is.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Why isn't Magus of the Library an EDH staple?
    Quote from Shadow345 »
    I don't like creature based ramp. Wouldn't even use Llanowar Elves or Birds of Paradise.

    Land fetch spells tend to be better since you get to keep the mana after the inevitable turn 4 wrath.

    Cards like Wood Elves and Sakura-Tribe Elder are my preferred creature based land ramp, although they function like Rampant Growth instead of Llanowar Elves.

    Despite all that, Magus of The Library is one mana dork that I might be more likely to use because of it's other function. Just not as a must have.

    I totally understand this. I used to love dorks back when the only ramp was the Moxen, dorks, Dark Ritual, and Wild Growth. I had a Manabarbs with dorks deck that destroyed people. It was Stax long before Smokestacks. I had an Armageddon Elves deck that was super fun as well. All this was before they invented "Type 1" and "Type 2" magic. There was only one format.

    Then there was EDH, and I realized the true power of both rocks, and better yet land ramp. When no one Armageddons in your format, and Wrath of God is more common that even Swords to Plowshares, then land ramp is king.

    But then my meta got really fast. Ramp had to happen in the first two turns, so you could either combo off or stop a combo in turns 3 to 6. Wraths happen, but less often than Swords. And then, when infinite combo became common for kills, and there were no holds barred decks being thrown at you, Armageddon was once again OK, same with Blood Moon and Contamination. Suddently, lands were no longer sacred. Dorks and otherwise bad Moxen became much more powerful. Now I value them about equally, and I have realized the power of building toward dorks and the synergies that can be created with them. Dorks are less bad than you think. Lands are less sacred, and more fragile than you think. Don't be afraid of dorks.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Why isn't Magus of the Library an EDH staple?
    OP is a troll who only wants to be right rather than read why he may be wrong. Why field the question on a public forum only to dismiss unfavorable (read: all) feedback?

    Close this moronic thread already.

    Pot calling the kettle black? Are you sore because I pointed out your comparison as silly? Get over it. The feedback has not all been dismissed, and has not all been as anti- as you imply. It has come in four different types:

    1) It sucks. Usually backed up with a very questionable reasoning. Like "Not as good as Llanowar!" or even stranger, "Not as good as Zhur-Taa Druid!" Both beside the point. Sometime of the form, "I can't get it to work because I don't hold cards!" Neither is totally credible. Your reasoning was truly laughable, and actually trollish. Nice.
    2) Definitely sub-optimal because other choices are better, but situationally can be good. Probably the most popular position.
    3) Good, but not enough for most decks, and rarely makes the cut. Definitely can be situationally good. This is probably the strongest argument.
    4) Good, and under-rated. More decks should run it, even if there are other cards that do similar things that are stronger. Takes a strong second tier in both card draw and ramp. I am not the only one who thinks this, even if this is definitely not the majority. My meta and my play style make it a card that many of my opponents will undervalue, I will get tons of value from, and which is probably the best card to run in that particular slot. No bells will ring as a threat, and I will out-value most of my opponents. Currently, this is what I see as I play. Granted, it is a small sample.

    Just because you can't see the value, doesn't mean that the value is not there. I have my answer as to why more people don't run it. I also know that it is not for the reasons that you think. It is because it works best in a very fast but not lightning fast competitive meta where combo wins are common, but grindy games are not uncommon, and MLD and stax are not frowned upon, and in highly tuned decks that do not fear board wipes, especially those decks not running blue. In other words, decks that are also under-valued by the majority of the community.

    No trolling, just testing. If you don't like it, move along.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Why isn't Magus of the Library an EDH staple?
    Quote from ISBPathfinder »
    In general, I think that mana dorks tend to be more optimal when playing with or against MLD, land stasis, or faster combo. In slower metas it tends to be more favored to ramp using lands due to sweepers.


    The faster your deck is, the less likely you will draw a late game dork. The faster your deck is, the faster you want your dorks to be though so at that point you would probably not run a GG dork that taps for 1. The problem I see with Magus of the Library is that its not that explosive when you get it in your opener and its a slow and fragile manadork. Ramping with rocks / land is just a lot safer for fair decks and its not as cheap as other dorks if you really want to move fast.

    The thing is, I am a non-blue control player and I play mostly with relatively competitive players. Not top tier cEDH, but definitely more competitive, highly tuned decks that will mop the table with decks that are not fast enough or interactive enough, some that would definitely be called cEDH. And I win. More than my share. So, yeah, I think dorks are better than many people think. I guess I play with a lot of people who don't play what you call "fair decks". They are meant to kill, and do it well, by any means possible. It can be very fast.

    Even for these games, not every game is done by turn four. Sometimes people make a move on turn four to win, but usually people are interactive enough that it doesn't go through, and the game goes on. See, even in combo heavy cEDH metas, games can be explosive early, but most still turn out to be grindy for at least several turns after that. Decks that only explode die to decks that contain explosions, and then grind better than the rest. Raw power and explosiveness, plus interaction, plus accumulated value often win. Decks that don't plan for the long game lose way more often.

    My preferred non-blue control are my Queen Marchesa control, my Meren control/value, my Selvala mono-G combo/aggro, and my Gaddock Teeg hatebears. Queen Marchesa obviously doesn't run it, Meren doesn't care if it dies, and uses Dredge for card advantage, leaving me at 7 cards much of the game, and Teeg is not afraid of sweepers, it just grinds better than anything, and needs more dorks and draw. Selvala could use it, but I don't right now.

    Quote from Ava »

    T1: Forest
    T2: Forest, Magus
    T3: Draw, tap Magus to draw, play up to 2 cards from hand.
    T4: Draw, tap magus to draw, play up to 2 cards from hand.

    You can still play your hand, you just have to pace yourself.

    This is exactly right. And then you have a single card card-draw engine that you can upgrade to insane levels with other cards that are powerful by themselves, and are very frequently played.

    The point is, I am not advocating for replacing Birds of Paradise or Llanowar Elves with this. I am saying that this is another dork that also pretty easily provides very good card draw for grindy games. Focusing on it's fragility loses sight of the utility of a body. Chip damage, even if it doesn't kill someone, is important because it reduces a resource that can be used otherwise. A single damage is a card you deny the Necropotence player, or can reduce the depth a player can go with Ad Nauseam. Even small life loss can affect the game, even with 40 life. A chump blocker can mean all the difference in a game. An extra mana is essential when it is essential.

    When people say it is bad, I think that their meta is probably either top tier cEDH, or not very competitive. For second tier cEDH, it is fantastic for many decks, especially non-blue control players.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Why isn't Magus of the Library an EDH staple?
    So this is very interesting. Many people have made arguments against it, but I still think the value of the card has been overlooked.

    Every EDH deck needs to have potential cards evaluated with the following ideas in mind:

    1. Power of the card vs the cost compared to the expected power per cost of alternate cards. As was said above, the opportunity cost.
    2. Versatility. The more the card does, the better.
    3. Synergy. This has been downplayed above, but is everything in most really good decks.
    4. Consistency and duplication of effect. Tutors are good, but so are Llanowar Elves and Fyndhorn Elves together.
    5. Monetary cost. This matters for most people.

    I am not saying that Magus of the Library is the best dork. It is clearly not. Most 1 cmc dorks are better, most produce colored mana, and most have an easier casting cost. I am not saying that it is the best card draw. It will never be Sylvan Library, and often won't keep pace with many blue card draw, and it is definitely not Necropotence. That is not the point. Good decks have many ramp spells and many card draw spells, and many spells that perform multiple functions, and they try to do it with cards that synergize with the other cards that you want to play. There are also many ways to play each color, and so there should be decks that are better or worse at taking advantage of each card. Every deck plays some second string cards that happen to work well for it so that it can fulfill all the necessary functions of the deck.

    For Magus of the Library:
    1. Power for the cost - Even conditional card draw at a CMC 2 is good. No, it isn't Sylvan Library, but it pairs really well with it. And you should play as many card draw as you can without diluting the other functions of the deck, recognizing prioritizing card draw is pretty important. Also, it is not Llanowar Elves or Birds of Paradise. But many decks would like a lot of those effects. Ten is not at all unreasonable. This is another one, and is a reasonable alternative to many of those already mentioned, even if very slightly weaker when analyzed in a vaccuum.
    2. Versatility - Two essential functions of a deck are ramp and card draw. These are potentially the most powerful effects. This does both. I won't claim that this is Thrasios, but that guy is a powerful commander simply for providing the same two effects, and nothing else.
    3. Synergy - Many green decks run dorks, and many run things to synergize with dorks. Seedborn Muse becomes a beast with Magus of the Library, especially in a control shell. Same with the previously mentioned Paradox Engine, as well as things like Quest for Renewal, and so much better than things like Sylvan Caryatid and Drumhunter. Both Engine and Quest are run in a ton of decks, and make Magus crazy. Many decks run other green card draw. Sylvan Library makes this so much better, since you are likely to keep closer to 7 cards in hand.
    4. Consistency and duplication - Mane decks want more than 4-5 dorks. This is another one.
    5. Monetary cost - This is pennies. Birds is much more, Sylvan Library is much more.

    With all this in mind, I can easily see how this is not the right card for many decks. It is also a very good card for many decks, and can slot in without any extra build around to make it work well. Yes, some greed decks dump their hands by turn 3. Not all do. Yes, some green containing decks absolutely need every ramp effect to give you colored mana. Not all do. Not every green deck needs ramp to be colored, and not every green containing deck makes great use of the other options for card draw. My selesnya control, my golgari control, my mono-green control, all love this card.

    This card is absolutely under rated. The reactions to this subject pretty well prove it. People suggesting that the best cards in the format prove that this is terrible are silly. People suggesting that Zhur-Taa Druid and Drumhunter prove that it is terrible are way off. Any anyone who thinks that Library of Alexandria is not really that good have no idea. It is banned for a reason. People should play Magus of the Library more. I am astounded that they don't.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Why isn't Magus of the Library an EDH staple?
    I don't have Magus of the Library in a deck with Paradox Engine, but it would be stupidly good in any deck with the Engine that runs green. Paradox Engine needs rocks or dorks and some way to draw cards that is untappable or repeatable with the Engine. Magus of the Library is both. Many Paradox Engine decks run as many dorks as they can get their hands on. I have never seen one run Magus of the Library.

    And to counter the argument about how hard it is to get GG, any deck that wants to run multiple dorks has no problem getting GG. Most dorks get you G, and they take G to cast. You should have GG without much trouble. Some 3 or 4 color decks will not want to run it, but they sometimes don't want Llanowar Elves either. In a deck that wants dorks, especially if it wants a lot of them, Magus of the Library is not hard to run, and has very little down side compared to any other dork.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Why isn't Magus of the Library an EDH staple?
    "Why do I never see crash of rhinos as a win con, even though that overcosted 8/4 hunk of man used to stomp my KT group in 6th grade?"

    Wow. Both patronizing and wrong. This comparison is idiotic, to the point of not even deserving a real response.

    My meta runs from very tuned but still casual to cEDH. I win more games than are my fair share. Your comment presumes I don't know how to play, and that I have not evolved my play since I was 12, or that no one I play with is any good. Check your ego, treat others with respect, and take a moment to think before you speak.

    GG is somewhat of a hurdle, but for effects that can draw a card, that is not at all the worst. Phyrexian Arena is played all the time, and requires BB, and has a CMC of 3 instead of 2. Dark Confidant is only really common in cEDH circles, but this is close to comparable. It is not that hard to keep 7 cards in hand, especially early game, especially when you are drawing 2 cards per turn, and especially when you have a commander to play that is outside your hand. Any extra card draw, and you have a consistent engine that is a single card.

    As a mana dork, many people run plenty of 2 CMC ramp, and while it produces colorless mana, so do a lot of ramp that people play. Mind Stone is a staple, and while not usually in green, colorless dorks are run pretty often, as Boreal Druid is also a staple. In more competitive meta than most battlecruiser style metas, bringing your curve down often results in more wins, and the ability to chump block, attack for even chip damage, ramp when needed, and draw cards, that is what wins games.

    It is not flashy, but it works well, and fills a lot of roles. I think it is way overlooked, and I think that those people who overlook it are likely to get more consistently beaten by people who are willing to consider it in the right deck. Those decks are probably most decks that run manna dorks. I am surprised how little people appreciate it.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Why isn't Magus of the Library an EDH staple?
    Magus of the Library

    I often draw a ton off of this card. It is a decent mana dork, and played early it is amazing. Late game, it is no worse than any other dork. I have never seen it in anyone else's deck. Why don't people play it?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on EDH stats via Command Zone
    Stats via Command Zone

    What do you guys all think about the episode, and the information presented? Did it change your mind about anything? Were there any lightbulbs that went off for you?

    For me, I only had one surprise. I think Superfriends and planeswalkers in general are really weak. I still think that the stats are wrong on this one due to low sample size, but that was my surprise.

    For the Sol Ring, I don't always put it in my decks. I know. Sacrilege. It is a good rock, and just as powerful as everyone says, but I never though that it actually helped people win. Multiplayer corrects for known power, and the person who takes a strong lead first is less likely to win. Strong counter attacks are much more likely to win and accumulated value.

    Turn order makes sense in general, but I think that this is potentially variable between meta. cEDH it would make a huge difference, casual but strong EDH it would make a pretty strong difference, but for decks that are not seriously tuned, it will make less impact than the random junk people play. If you are reading this, your deck is probably tuned, so are your opponents' decks, and the more you should account for first turnn advantage in your play. Player 1 is top dog in any game, unless you know that they aren't. Everyone should read Jusstice's primer on table position, consider this data, think about their play style and meta, and then adjust their threat assessment to increase the value of the advantage that they see player 1 having.

    The available lands stat is interesting, but I think I want to see some correction for available mana of other players AT THE TIME THAT THE LOSER WAS PUT OUT. It is understandable that the last player standing will have more land available, the winner likely had more turns for land drops, and because other players were put out sooner. What about looking at the ratio of lands that players have at the time a player is put out, and then stats on how much ramp they each play? Every player will make every land drop available, and most will ramp when they can, so how we play is unlikely informed at all by this info, it is more useful as a deck building clue than anything. The ratio at the time someone is put out and the number of lands and ramp in the deck would correct some for the extra turns the winner gets, and could give us actionable ideas, like players of more land ramp win more, players with more lands in their deck win more, etc... The whims of fate that give one player more land and they just win because of it are not actionable. The knowledge of how to build a deck with more ways to get lands, while hopefully not sacrificing other essential deck elements, that is actionable. As it stands, I am not sure we gain any information from this, because the statistic is not complete for what we think it says, and we are left with no idea of what it means for deck building.

    The deck type discussion was much less useful than the rest. This is not about archetype, and the only impressive number in there was significantly under represented in the data set, so we can draw no reliable conclusions. I would like to see p values for these stats, even knowing that p value is not the perfect reflection of the reliability of a stat. Without it, we only have representation within the sample size, and a data set with only 4 data points representing Superfriennds is not convincing, unless it had won every game. As it stands, with a 44% win rate, I think that they are probably misunderstanding or misrepresenting the stats. 44% looks like 4 of 9, so there would have to be 9 superfriends decks, not 4, or the stats would have to be 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100%. So a deck type that showed up 9/313 of the time, and only won 4/313 of the time, that is not enough of an impact on the data set to draw any conclusions.

    I look forward to further stats and discussions, this is a good direction to go for the game. I just think, like every good statistical analysis, the numbers presented need to be questioned, considered, and study limitations, confounding, and bias brought up for discussion. As it stands, I am unable to draw conclusions that will change my deck building or play style. I reviewed these stats with my EDH playing kids, and it was good for them to hear why I already play and build the way I do, but my play and deck construction style are unlikely to change as a result of these numbers.

    What about everyone else? Will these numbers affect your game at all? Will metas change any due to these numbers? Are there hidden gems that we can take advantage of here? I look forward to a good discussion.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Stolen Strategy as late game gas.
    I played Stolen Strategy again today. My favorite moment was Lapse of Certaintying a Sanguine Bond when the blue player was tapped out and the Karlov player tried to combo off. Hard counter to exile against a combo player from a Mardu deck. I let it go to exile just for spite because I didn't need it. Priceless. This is gas.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Stolen Strategy as late game gas.
    I put Stolen Strategy in my Queen Marchesa control deck. I have only played it once, but it was a nice source of threats and answers from the top of my opponents' decks. None of the threats were things I would have played in my deck, but they were nice when I didn't have to put them in the deck to be able to play them. The answers were amazing, and included things I can't play in Queen Marchesa. My favorite was a Cryptic Command.

    The only other feedback I have gotten on it was someone who said it was a bunch of non-synergistic trash, and he just ignored the cards and was left just playing what he drew from his deck.

    What are people's thoughts? Has anyone played it yet? What were the experiences? Gas or trash?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Take out a player early, spread the damage or bide your time?
    My favorite deck allows me to choose how aggressive I become depending on who I am playing and how things are evolving. The main tactic is to wait it out, letting other players use their resources on each other, and then going for the win when all the remaining players are within striking distance and don't have the resources to stop me. The deck also packs enough efficient offense that players who try this same thing will be punished for not attacking each other, and I can pull off surprisingly early wins. Yesterday I played a game that I knew would be hard for me to win against one of my opponents, but easier against the others. In that case, I picked apart the defense of the only player who was a threat, allowing openings for the other players to bring the threat player within striking distance of me, and then wasted everyone at the table when no one had the resources to stop me. This tactic actually required me to save a non-threatening player from an earlier loss so I could use them as a hammer to beat the threat player with, effectively expanding my card draw and offense to two decks and two attack phases each turn, mine and the player I saved. Sometimes I actually use this same tactic, only spread out amongst all opponents, concentrating on stripping the board of defenses, and keeping the strife going at the table, and holding my offense until everyone is in striking distance or a single player is left. Being flexible has been key to this, and the ability to bring strong offense when no one else has any is the usual decision point. Midrange and aggro opponents can be left alone as I sit back and bide my time as long as I can encourage them to attack someone else, while combo and control always needs to be pressured early, either by me alone, or better yet, by helping out the aggro and midrange players to take them out.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on The Sagas - Are they good and where are you playing them?
    I think Song of Freyalise may end up being good in Muldrotha. The ramp it provides may be pretty good, and bringing it back multiple times will overcome probably the biggest drawback. Seems solid enough for me. Not at all game breaking, but definite value.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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