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  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    I updated the spreadsheet with your changes, bfine70.

    This deck is a pile of lands, color-fixing, ramp, tutoring, card draw, recursion, utility, removal, and counters that is almost entirely focused on playing CoA as early as possible and blowing up the board until you win with card advantage. For as long as I've been keeping the spreadsheet, we all run approximately the same number of cards in each category. It comes down to which cards we want to run to make the magic happen. Some cards are objectively better than others. Some are subjectively better. Some cards choices come down to preference. I appreciate you all taking the time to keep the conversation going. Smile

    Check out Study Hall from C21. Seems like it's worth trying as a replacement for Opal Palace. I'd rather have the Scry than the +1/+1 counter.
    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    I updated the spreadsheet to include both of your new deck lists. I updated a few cards on my list, but haven't made the snow/land updates yet, so you can ignore the manabase. I suspect it will look similar to your list(s).

    I'll try Coiling Oracle and Growth Spiral again, but I've always preferred the "guaranteed" ramp of other options. Feels bad when I "miss" the land drop.

    Card Draw/Quality
    Sea Gate Oracle doesn't look at as many cards as Augur of Bolas, but it is guaranteed to replace itself. Again, I prefer the guarantee. I saw your argument for cutting Treasure Cruise, but it doesn't sit right with me. Even if I cast it once in the mid-to-late game it seems worth it!

    We all cut Dimir House Guard. I am running a different reanimation package than you two, so it might make sense for me to leave it in.

    We are all trying out lots of blasts. They are versatile. In my experience, the "drawback" of milling two for Psychic Strike is equivalent to not being able to counter faerie spells. It's close. Psychic Strike is a hard counter that does not require UU. I would run Cancel over Dream Fracture, but I don't run either. Arcane Denial and Dream Fracture both allow my opponent to draw cards. Arcane Denial is hard counter 2MV (mana value) and requires only one U mana. I might give it another try, but Condescend always comes through for me and gives me a scry. Dispel seems like it could be fantastic at the right time. So does Deprive. Lots of options!

    Creature Removal/Sacrifice Outlets
    Fleshbag Marauder can't be better than Village Rites, can it? Fiery Cannonade can't be better than Village Rites. I guess what I'm saying is that Village Rites is good. Smile

    I like spells that put CoA directly into play from the graveyard (Breath of Life, False Defeat). Disturbed Burial has to be better than Grim Discovery, right? How often is that other mode (returning a land) putting in work? When I play Disturbed Burial with Buyback, my opponent usually concedes in response.

    I can see the argument for Cleansing Wildfire. There are lots of troublesome lands out there. And it replaces itself. And it's a red Crop Rotation (sort of). In a group game, I can usually get away with sitting behind Spore Frog / Disturbed Burial for quite a while, long enough to set up a haymaker turn or get Capsize online.

    I see the argument that tutoring for Rolling Thunder (2MV) is easier than tutoring for Fireball (1MV). I still can count on one hand the number of times I've won with the combo, so more often than not I'd rather naturally draw Fireball than Rolling Thunder to act as a removal spell.

    I haven't made any changes for snow yet. The reality is that I am hitting all five colors of mana to cast CoA on turn 4 or 5 a high percentage of the time already without making any changes. I appreciate the different ways you approach building the mana base for your deck. The math approach is cool. Thank you for the write-up. We have so many (great!) options for the mana base now. Amazing!

    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    Thank you for the update! Here's a link to the updated spreadsheet.

    What are you thoughts about Behold the Multiverse and Dispel?

    Also, have you considered Psychic Strike? It's a hard counter that's easier to cast since it doesn't require double blue (UU) like Dream Fracture or Faerie Trickery.
    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    Good point on Into the North, Shimmerdrift Vale, and the Thriving lands. I'm interested to see how the mana bases shake out in the next few months! Also, good points on Forsake the Worldly and Crib Swap.

    Discard Spells
    For the discard spells, it depends on how often you play 1vs1 or multiplayer. Don't get me wrong, there is something smug and self-satisfying when the table gangs up on the all-commons deck. Discard spells that hit everyone tend to invite that response. Of course, so does blowing up the board every turn (or threatening to).

    Syphon Mind
    Discard spells tend to be great when they show up on time. Syphon Mind has upside in that it can draw you 2-3 cards in a multiplayer game if the timing is right. I could see running it over a draw spell if you wanted a more proactive stance. But a draw spell in this slot is always useful. What would you cut to run it?

    Tasigur's Cruelty
    Thanks to Delve, Tasigur's Cruelty can come out of nowhere for "one mana" and snag the last couple of cards in a mid-game standoff. I'd rather have a counterspell in this slot, though. It's easier to point the ire of the table somewhere else if you aren't actively ripping spells out of your opponents' hands. Sitting back on an in-play CoA, a counterspell in hand, and suggesting that you aren't the threat is where I end up a lot. This may be a playstyle/metagame consideration more than anything else. What would you cut to run it?
    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    I see Shimmerdrift Vale in the same category as Evolving Wilds or Terramorphic Expanse, except it's snow for the ramp cards that care about it. It may not make the cut, but that's the fun part of testing new cards!

    My list hasn't been updated in years. I'm running Angelic Purge where some of you are running Forsake the Worldly. Angelic Purge is yet another way to trigger CoA, so it has that going for it. But it is a sorcery. How often are you cycling Forsake the Worldly? What troublesome indestructible artifacts and enchantments are you running into?

    Ravenform, Crib Swap, and Unmake are all fighting for the same slot (or role at least). Crib Swap gets the nod over Unmake because it's easier to cast, can be tutored for with Vedalken Aethermage, and the "drawback" of leaving a 1/1 behind is usually inconsequential. Ravenform can exile an artifact, but it's a sorcery, can't be tutored for by Aethermage, and leaves behind a flying 1/1. I tend to agree with you. I'm not sure that hitting artifacts is good enough to make me run Ravenform instead of Crib Swap. The addition of Foretell makes it a bit more interesting.

    Do I need Ravenform, Crib Swap, or Unmake? I'm not sure that I do. It could probably be more card draw for all that it matters. The rare occasions where I need to exile a creature (or artifact) do come up, but Angelic Purge has always been enough.
    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    Kaldheim Spoilers Ahead!

    Updated CoA Spreadsheet

    I added the card swaps I'm considering to the updated Google spreadsheet.

    Basically, I will test a configuration with all of the snow duals (ex. Snowfield Sinkhole, snow basics, and Shimmerdrift Vale, combined with low-cmc ramp spells that search for those land types (ex. Into the North, Farseek).

    To make this work, I'll replace the Panoramas, slow color-fixing lands, and some of the ramp spells. This makes the deck more dependent on Green, so I may need to increase the basic Forest count.

    I'm also interested in Ravenform from Kaldheim since it's Blue and exiles at a reasonable rate.

    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    I updated your list on the spreadsheet, bfine70! If anyone else wants to be added to the spreadsheet, post a link or post your list.

    CoA Dreamcrusher Deck List Comparison Spreadsheet

    Why Skred?
    Even with the snow lands coming in Kaldheim, I'm not convinced Skred is worth running. What would you replace? What role would in play in your deck?

    Skred is instant speed direct damage for creatures only. The amount of damage is tied to the number of snow permanents you control. Even if you aggressively tutor for snow lands in the first 3-4 turns, Skred is a Lightning Bolt with less flexibility (since it doesn't hit players). Even with snow basics in the mix, Skred is only an efficient direct damage spell for a single creature later in the game. By then, you should have access to better removal (exile/bounce) or be looping CoA.
    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    Fireball vs. Rolling Thunder

    In many lists, I see Rolling Thunder instead of Fireball. What am I missing? Here's my thought process for why I run Fireball in this slot. I'm interested in reading your thoughts for running Rolling Thunder instead!

    In this deck, there are four main uses for Fireball/Rolling Thunder:

    1) Combo Finisher
    2) Trigger CoA / Destroy a Single Target
    3) Destroy Two Targets
    4) Destroy More Than Two Targets

    Combo Finisher
    Once we have arbitrarily large amounts of mana, Fireball and Rolling Thunder are functionally equivalent. Either spell can be used to destroy any number of targets and/or remove any number of players from the game.

    Trigger CoA / Destroy a Single Target
    Fireball is more efficient than Rolling Thunder at dealing damage to a single target. It also does not require a second Red mana, which is important earlier in the game.

    Destroy Two Targets
    Sometimes we are in a position to either destroy two creatures or even take out two players at the same time if life totals are low enough and we've ramped enough. Fireball and Rolling Thunder are functionally similar in these situations, though not equivalent. Fireball requires one less Red mana symbol to cast. Rolling Thunder allows us to split the damage any way we want, however.

    Destroy More Than Two Targets
    This is where Rolling Thunder becomes more efficient and flexible than Fireball. It allows us to split damage any number of ways and in any amounts. Rolling Thunder costs less mana overall to cast than Fireball in this scenario.

    Why Fireball?
    Although there are scenarios where Rolling Thunder is better, Fireball is the better spell in more situations. Fireball is easier to cast in the early game, requiring only one Red mana. The superior flexibility of Rolling Thunder is often unnecessary and only slightly better than Fireball in most scenarios.

    95%+ of the time, I use Fireball as a single target removal spell, either to kill a creature, kill a player, or trigger CoA. In every one of those situations, I'd rather have Fireball than Rolling Thunder. The other 5% of the time that I am splitting up damage to kill two creatures, Fireball is less Red-intensive to cast than Rolling Thunder and it matters. The scenarios where I split up damage to more than two targets are vanishingly small, and even then Fireball usually produces similar results.

    I'm sure I'm missing something obvious! What are your thoughts on running Rolling Thunder instead of Fireball?
    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    Many of you will already know what I'm talking about if you've been looking at the Kaldheim spoilers.

    We get access to a bunch of sweet ramp cards that can also be used for color-fixing with the Kaldheim snow duals. The snow duals fundamentally change how I will build the manabase and ramp package. Cards for consideration, in addition to the cards mentioned in the previous post:

    Prices are spiking on some (most) of the cards that can search up the snow duals. Three Visits is crazy expensive in the P3K version anyway. It was reprinted at least, but at uncommon. I always run the version of the card printed at common in this deck, so yikes.

    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    I'm back.

    It's been about three years since I played this deck, but I always look at new commons that get spoiled thinking about how they would fit. It's time to dust off the deck and update it!

    Side-by-Side Deck Comparison
    I copied and formatted the deck lists posted in 2020. I found urdjur's and bfine70's lists. Check it out, here:

    CoA Dreamcrusher Comparison

    If anyone has an updated list (or wants a list added), post it and I'll add it to the spreadsheet.

    Check out the "Current" tab where I included my list from 2017 (which is my current list) for comparison. My list is from before the rule change about commander death triggers. A lot of sets were released since then. I left the old lists in the "Archive" tab.

    Quick Analysis
    Recursion is down. Card draw is up. Countermagic is up.

    This makes sense. There is less focus on getting the commander-recursion engine going with the new death trigger ruling. We have a couple new (and slightly more efficient) options for removal/sacrifice/utility and some new color-fixing lands (Thriving X).

    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    Quote from Fr0sty711 »

    Have a few questions. What combos am I looking at in the "combo finisher section".. Ive never really comboed out and don't necessarily want to but curious what my build has that im not seeing.

    Also wanted a clarification on 2 cards.

    Sidisi's Faithful I am allowed to sacrifice child of alara and blow up the board then target sidi's and put him back into my hand correct? That is the correct play with that card right?

    also Wretched Gryff I sacrifice COA and only have to pay 1 blue mana because of Emerge right ? then COA blows up the board but Gryff stays on the battlefield right? Or does he die as well?

    Is secrets of the golden city a must add?

    thanks for the help with my deck.

    I've played dozens of games with this deck and /never/ pulled off the combo. I've tried both combo versions. I've even played with the specific goal to combo off instead of the more usual route. Still never happened. YMMV, but with every new common they print I can feel myself wanting to remove the combo and just jam more utility.

    Yes, that's how Sidisi's Faithful works. He ends up back in your hand with Child in the graveyard and the board all blown to smithereens.

    Yes, that's how Wretched Gryff works. You sacrifice Child to pay the casting cost of the Gryff, so the "blow up everything" trigger is on the stack and resolves before the Gryff is even on the battlefield.

    I'm not sold on Secrets of the Golden City. Lord knows I love to draw cards, but something deep down inside me avoids spells with two mana symbols of the same color if at all possible. (Apparently, I'm the only person running Psychic Strike?!) Hell, I lost a game just the night with this deck because I didn't have the second blue mana I needed when I needed it. Those losses stick with me. Plus, there's this new common in Guilds of Ravnica that looks cool.

    Rain of Notions
    Surveil 2, you draw 2 cards. Rain of Notions deals 2 damage to you.

    I'd run this over Secrets of the Golden City. I haven't thought about what I would cut. Probably Cloud of Faeries. =P

    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    Thank you for the update, urdjur. I can't believe that we are still talking about this deck years later! This is still my favorite deck for Commander multiplayer and 1-vs-1.

    The way I evaluate cards for this deck is driven by my assumption that this is a control deck that is trying to survive into the long-game where it wins with overwhelming card advantage.

    The win-con is almost always one of the following:
    1) Multiple Opponents: Looping CoA until they give up (because it is clear that I will eventually win anyway).
    2) One Opponent: Casting Capsize with buyback twice each turn until they give up (because it is clear that I will eventually win anyway).

    There are corner cases that will also result in a win, like quick CoA beats and assembling the combo kill. But, I usually win one of the first two ways. Once the game is on lock, you can win with Sakura-Tribe Elder beats for all that it matters. Your mileage may vary.

    When I shuffle up with CoA, it is my game to lose. In other words, my deck already contains everything it needs to win. If I lose, it's because I didn't evaluate the threats properly. This is in contrast to some of my other decks where when I shuffle up it is my game to win, where even if I do everything exactly right I sometimes still lose. CoA is not that kind of deck. When I lose, 90%+ of the time it is because I screwed up, 5% is mana screw, and the other 5% is that the other decks are way, way too crazy and nothing I could do would matter anyway. (I lose more than 10% of the time, but WHEN I lose, it's usually my fault. I missed an important play. I tutored for the wrong card. I countered the wrong spell. I killed CoA too early. That kind of thing. Does this make sense?)

    So, I evaluate cards like this:
    1) Does this card help me set up one of my two primary "win conditions"?
    2) Does this card stop the other player from stopping me set up one of my two primary win conditions?
    3) Does this card stop the other player from doing something that makes them win faster than I can set up one of my two primary win conditions?
    4) Does this card make my deck "smaller"?
    5) Is this the card with the most efficient cost for the effect?

    And, well, that's about it. The deck is just a good mix of cards that satisfy those criteria and then lands to cast all those cards.

    With the primer updated, are we to a point where we want to start having single card / strategy discussions?

    I'll give you an example.

    I've lost more games to Emeria, the Sky Ruin than I can count. Once that gets online and starts looping Sun Titan, I have a difficult time getting control back. So, my deck needs at least one way to destroy a land. That effect has to be in the 99 somewhere or I am tacitly accepting that I will lose in those situations. What are my options?

    Scour From Existence
    Wrecking Ball
    Reap and Sow

    Scour From Existence hits everything, but it's a lot of mana. Wrecking Ball has good utility and can trigger CoA. Reap and Sow has good utility and optional card advantage. You can make arguments for which one is best depending on your other mix of cards, but my point is that unless you have at least one of these cards you will not have a way to interact with troublesome lands.

    Think of the last time you did everything right and still lost. What got you? Was it an indestructible God? Was it an overwhelming Genesis Wave? Was it graveyard-based? How did they beat you? Did you have an answer for it in your deck and just couldn't get there? Or did you have no option to win at all?

    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    I added my deck to the new spreadsheet. I play this deck online, but finally got around to building it in paper. I can't find some of the cards in my collection, like Angelic Purge, that should be in here. I'll keep looking. At some point, it's less expensive to just buy the missing cards rather than spend more time trying to find them. Smile


    My deck has a little bit of spice that I didn't see in the other lists.
    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    Quote from "Fr0sty711 »
    I cleaned up and organized the spreadsgeet.

    Well done! I like this layout. By the power vested in me, I officially make you the new keeper of the spreadsheet. Wink Keep up the good work.

    Maybe now I can post my list and you can add it, too. Smile
    Posted in: Variant Commander
  • posted a message on [[Primer]] [PAUPER] Crushing Dreams on a Budget - Child of Alara (UPDATE 07-2018!)
    Thank you for the updated deck list, urdjur. I added it to the spreadsheet (and hid your old deck list).


    I also reformatted the lists slightly. There seems to be consensus around some cards, although urdjur, LouCypher, and alexandre have cards that differ from d0su's list in many areas. This could be because d0su's list is outdated, or it could be preference.

    For example, Crop Rotation shows up in all of the lists except d0su's. Crop Rotation not only color-fixes, but also allows for techy plays with utility lands. It is almost certainly good in this deck. The decks are split on Wayfarer's Bauble, which is a card I like here for being colorless ramp, color-fixing, and also a reasonable first-turn play in a deck that doesn't have many.

    Deep Analysis is another card that shows up in all three lists, but does not show up in d0su's list. Similarly, Dimir House Guard. And again, with Angelic Purge and Ash Barrens. I have to believe that in at least some of these cases, it is simply because d0su's list is out of date.
    Posted in: Variant Commander
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