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  • posted a message on Help Brainstorm Brew for Gavi, Nest Warden
    Good feedback, Manasurfer . Slide and Drift would be included in the deck no matter what, specifically for protecting Gavi, yeah. Your comments have helped me think about focusing a deck more on that sustained value and not explosive plays, meaning I'm now thinking of including the incidental token generators like Drake Haven, Spirit Cairn like you mentioned, etc., but only as that value generation for cycling cards and including less stuff to weaponize the tokens in general. Instead, I think it would be more effective and on theme now to include a lot of cycling, a lot of cycling payoff, such as the token generators, Unpredictable Cyclone, and more control elements like Slide/Drift, Snare Tactician, etc. to get to the late-game and happen to win with enough tokens, or an alternate win condition like Approach of the Second Sun or Thassa's Oracle since some of those win conditions are made better when you're cycling more and drawing more cards.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Help Brainstorm Brew for Gavi, Nest Warden
    Okay, now that C20 (Ikoria Commander) commanders and decklists are revealed, I'm ready to start brewing what I'm drawn to most - Gavi, Nest Warden!

    I'm at a bit of a crossroads with the potential directions on themes and strategies though, so I'd really appreciate some feedback on what the wider community thinks. I like to play decks with value engines and card advantage engines in the command zone, and my favorite things to do in any game is draw cards and cast big splashy spells (I like defined win conditions and don't like durdly decks), preferably for free: things like Rashmi, Eternities Crafter with Lurking Predators, Mind's Dilation, and Selvala's Stampede; or Yennet, Cryptic Sovereign with Angel of Serenity, Cavalier of Gales, Doom Whisperer, and Lord of the Void. I mention that because I see a lot of those themes in Gavi, which is what draws me (pun?) to Gavi and may help you all in directing where Gavi might be built. Cycling some cards for zero mana that offer some effect when cycled, to me, is akin to casting it for free, and Gavi promotes card draw to provide additional card advantage in 2/2 tokens. Plus, Dinosaur Cat Tokens! <3 <3 <3

    In short, I'm seeing and liking a few different themes, but there's definitely no room to fit them all in a substantive way so I'd like to narrow down what may be more effective:

    1. cycle (obviously);

    2. ETB effects to abuse from cycling from Astral Slide, Astral Drift, and the new Escape Protocol, particularly of effects that draw additional cards such as Cloudblazer and Mulldrifter to make those likely cute cuddly tokens;

    3. drawing additional cards on other turns through instant-speed stuff like Brainstorm, Glimmer of Genius, Frantic Search, Chemister's Insight, Hieroglyphic Illumination, Mystic Confluence, Pull From Tomorrow, etc. (really that list could go on forever) and some static abilities of permanents to guarantee drawing an additional card on my turn (outside of cycling) such as Rhystic Study, Mystic Remora, Nezahal, Primal Tide, Consecrated Sphinx, Mercurial Chemister, Dictate of Kruphix, Kumena's Awakening, Fevered Visions, and Loyal Drake to maximize making 2/2 tokens ( The Locust God thrown in for good measure );

    4. and sticking more to the token theme with cycling payoffs such as Drake Haven, Improbable Alliance, and the new Valiant Rescuer by using ETB targets for Astral Slide/Drift that make more tokens such as Beetleback Chief, Siege-Gang Commander, Geist-Honored Monk, Myr Battlesphere, Emrakul's Hatcher, Chancellor of the Forge, Whirler Rogue, Maverick Thopterist, and Blade Splicer, and of course this would invite considering how to really weaponize those tokens into a win condition through things like Aven Wind Guide, Intangible Virtue, Anointed Procession, Divine Visitation, Ogre Battledriver, Impact Tremors, Purphoros, God of the Forge, Goblin Bombardment, etc. Really weaponizing the tokens in an aggressive way can even extend and interconnect with the cycling theme with things like Gleam of Resistance, Marshaling Cry, and Pursue Glory.

    Soooo, as you can see I feel like there's some interesting juicy ways to go about things and a lot of these themes seem very interconnected, but it definitely seems like too much to all fit in one deck. For the cycling commander I feel like cycling should play a part in the show, but to what extent I'm not sure - I've never played a cycling deck myself. Do I fill a good majority of the list with cycling cards and hope to take advantage of blinking ETB abilities? If so, then do I lean more heavily toward ETB abilities that draw additional cards to make the 2/2 dino cats, or ETB abilities that make relatively more bodies that I can then weaponize easier? Or do I make the main source of card draw not in cycling multiple cards, but in instant-speed stuff and well established good static draw engines to trigger making the greatest amount of 2/2 dino cats as possible and then relying on weaponizing them? If weaponizing the tokens, would it be safer to stick to the tried and true cards that make mass bodies deadly, or try to incorporate pump spells with cycling to promote even more deck synergy?

    As you can tell I'm pretty excited about Gavi and the directions a deck built around Gavi can go, but would like a bit of assistance and thoughts from others on what should really be the focus from these ideas! Thank you all so much in advance!

    After posting this, Unpredictable Cyclone was spoiled and woah! I would definitely include this card cause free casting! With this addition, along with other specific cycling payoffs outside of token creation such as Snare Tactician, I'm much more inclined to focus on packing more cycling cards, having token generation a sub-theme or common incidental effect for cycling cards, and focus more on control and less on weaponizing the tokens generated, and using alternate win conditions like Approach of the Second Sun since cycling can help dig for it, or Thassa's Oracle since the deck would naturally want to draw a lot of cards.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on cEDH deck. Need help before GP Portland
    I plan to be at GP Portland and I’m not anywhere near competitive, so there’s one for you!

    You don’t have to play the scheduled side events for Commander (which do cost $ and come with relatively higher prize support than on-demand events, and thus can lean more competitive, unfortunately) to get decent or great games in. I’ve read some people actually agreeing before a sanctioned game to split the prize pool no matter who wins, which should take the competitive incentive down a notch. Otherwise, there are also “on-demand” events that are like “hey, we have enough players available at the same time, so let’s throw down an event that wasn’t previously scheduled.” I think you still have to pay for on-demand events (someone correct me if I’m wrong), but prize support is lower than scheduled events and you *may* have more control over what type of decks you’re going against by seeing if you can talk to and ask players currently waiting for an on-demand event what kinda of decks and what power level they plan on playing.

    Not only that, but there should be a great deal of players walking around willing to throw impromptu (e.g. no cost non-sanctioned) games together between other events and/or to take a break from walking. Communication is key - just ask what power level or style of decks they’re playing and let them know yours. There should be ample opportunity to play non-cEDH at the GP with all kinds of people.

    If you really just want to start into cEDH anyway, then my first advice is: don’t. Lol, just kidding, you do what makes you happy. My real advice: don’t spend a ton of money if you’ve not yet decided if cEDH is for you. Maybe pick a cheaper or budget-modified competitive deck list to start out with, just don’t play it against me please.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Celestial Kirin, Flying Sheep of Explosions
    Apparently I can’t edit the post from my phone (?), but the card tag I messed up should be Charge Across the Araba.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Celestial Kirin, Flying Sheep of Explosions
    I’m liking your deck and ideas here, Upkeep!

    Eldrazi are effective, but very unoriginal. Plus, once you play one, your deck is “marked” as having Eldrazi in it and some players like to kill those decks on sight because unanswered Eldrazi end games quickly.

    Instead, maybe a more consistent win condition can be tokens (preferably of the spirit variety) supported by other spirit creatures and arcane spells like Chargr Across the Araba. Get enough token producers and you can include Anointed Procession and other stuff. Luckily there seems to be an assortment of spirit and arcane spells that create tokens and spirit tokens too, but also some good non-spirit and non-arcane that do so as well, so you can possibly mix and match depending on how often you’re trying to blast some stuff with Celestial Kirin out.

    Avacyn, Angel of Hope certainly seems good, but I didn’t see Kindred Boon on the list.

    The token focus would make Skullclamp, Mentor of the Meek, etc., more consistent card draw too, and could make Oyobi, Who Split the Heavens a more consistent win condition too, if protected well enough. I like that the tokens have built in “protection” in that their CMC is 0, so spirit and arcane spells aren’t blasting them away while Celestial Kirin is on the field, leaving a likelier clear path for the tokens to get through for damage, etc., plus they make easy sac fodder in games where that’s a thing *cough* Meren *cough*.

    I didn’t go through your list super in depth, but those are my thoughts.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on C18 Pre-Con Duels
    I played a few 4-player FFA games with my playgroup - each of us had one of the different C18 decks, so it worked out really well - and left them stock. I had the Subjective Reality Aminatou, the Fateshifter deck. They all did fairly well out of the box and I was really impressed with the Jund lands matter deck with Lord Windgrace despite the criticism of how the decklist looked like on paper (lack of certain synergy cards and obvious reprints, etc.). Nesting Dragon really was the All-Star in that deck for the few games. The Bant enchantments deck with Estrid, the Masked seemed to do really fun things if bodies with auras could be protected. The one that seemed to perform lackluster right out of the box was the artifacts with Saheeli, the Gifted.

    I really enjoyed the precon with Aminatou, the Fateshifter that I kept it together for the next week and a half until the rest of my cards for Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign arrived in the mail just the other day, and I liked the procon so much that now I'm thinking about putting it back together (picking up extra copies of the few singles I used for Yennett) to still play around with and maybe just make some very modest or moderate upgrades to it for a more streamlined theme of my choice. I played several games with it stock after release day against all kinds of decks (from upgraded C18 precons to dedicated combo, and a few tuned decks in between those levels) and it can really go the mile. It didn't win a ton, obviously, but it was never the deck most behind or lacking, surprisingly. Aminatou, the Fateshifter does a decent job of setting up big plays that make the power-level seem competitive against much better decklists, like placing a Silent-Blade Oni or Serra Avatar on top of your library and then manifesting it with Cloudform or Lightform. I used Night Incarnate and Aminatou's {-1} to keep a growing swarm of Thopter tokens at bay from an upgraded Saheeli, the Gifted deck and setting up a well-timed Terminus seemed to really mess up my opponents. Skull Storm has been a work horse and the reason I had won any of the games I actually did. Turns out a Terminus or other board wipe into Skull Storm for 2-3 copies does work - bringing opponents from nearly 40 to 10 or less life! Without really needing to say, the worst thing I felt about the deck was the mana base with so many ETB tapped lands, but it is a precon, so I wasn't holding that against my experience with it that much.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Wasitora, Nekoru Queen Ideas - Making Little Cat Dragons!
    Worldslayer would do the trick, but if I destroy all permanents (including lands), I feel like most opponents would be hard pressed to continue that game anyway, especially if Wasitora, Nekoru Queen is indescribable, making the resulting token moot.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Chromium, the Mutable - Elder Dragon Control
    I’m going for a solid control draw-go style of deck with Chromium, the Mutable!

    My playgroup has been independently building with the new Elder Dragons from M19 – Arcades, the Strategist, Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire, etc. – so I am deciding to build Chromium, the Mutable since he can lend himself naturally to my preferred style of play and so that I can sneak in an excuse for us to throw down against each other for some Dragon Wars flavor. Plus, I feel like this would legitimize my deck collection for being an Elder Dragon in the Elder Dragon Highlander format. I feel like a control build would fare advantageously against an Arcades aggro build and a Vaevictis deck that relies heavily on using him to cheat things in, particularly since I would be running a shallow amount of permanents (other than lands) to remove.

    Anyway, this decklist I feel is currently on the unpolished side moreso than other decklists I would post because I’m hoping for some feedback before putting it to paper.

    Basically what I’m going for is a traditional control build to protect myself and relieve the board of threats just long enough to land Chromium, the Mutable and go to town swinging in with him. For some reason that I can’t put my finger on, that seems a little shallow and a I recognize isn’t the strongest strategy in multiplayer, but my hopes is to play games out to survive through until it gets to 1v1 or even 3-player if I can seize an opportunity to take it away.

    One note: I would like to fit Damnation, but do not own one, so leaving it off for now.

    The great majority of the deck is meant to operate at instant-speed, naturally for control. I particularly included the main instant-speed draw spells to draw cards right before my turn if nothing threatening enough popped up that I had to use a counterspell or other defensive spell. Things like Blue Sun’s Zenith, Dragonlord’s Perogative, Fact or Fiction, Jace’s Ingenuity, Lim-Dul’s Vault, Opportunity, Pull from Tomorrow, Sphinx’s Revelation, and Stroke of Genius.

    Handful of early playable sweepers to make sure the board is clear enough to land Chromium, the Mutable. Like Aetherize and Aetherspouts, Evacuation, Fated Retribution, Settle the Wreckage, Crux of Fate, Decree of Pain, Hour of Revelation, Rout, Supreme Verdict, and Wrath of God.

    The only real alternate win condition I see is landing a protected The Scarab God, or a late game Jin-Gitaxias. Core Augur, but wonder if that’s enough?

    So how does it look? Are there some elements or key cards I might be missing or some additional strategy that might work here?

    I feel like in a build with over 30 instants and sorceries, I should take advantage of other synergies like reusing them via Call to Mind, Mnemonic Wall, Archaeomancer, but are they worth cutting some other cards for? Same with Talrand, Sky Summoner and Metallurgic Summonings – I would think they can be included as alternate win conditions in a high relevant spell build like this, but not sure if they’re worth taking out some cards to deviate from the control game plan.

    Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions!
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on c18 Decklists Up
    Quote from cyberium_neo »

    Quote from turtlerock »

    So, I dunno for others, but for me I don’t see these lists and power level / reprints any greater than previous years, but didn’t WotC mention that they’ve increased the MSRP because they were going to include higher power level out of the box and higher valued reprints?

    Do you have a source for this?

    Nope, no source, just me casually remembering reading “something” on the internet. Doing a quick Google search didn’t yield anything concrete other than others’ reactions to the MSRP price increase leading to that conclusion. *\_(‘_’)_/*

    Woulda been nice, but oh well.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign - Let's Brew!
    For the sake of card and brewing suggestions, I have a question about Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign’s triggered attack ability: if the revealed card is an odd CMC and you choose not to cast it, then does that revealed card just stay on top of the library, or do you draw it based on the last clause of her ability?

    I’m basically trying to figure out where the word “otherwise” applies: otherwise to the cmc or otherwise to the casting/not casting of the card?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on c18 Decklists Up
    So, I dunno for others, but for me I don’t see these lists and power level / reprints any greater than previous years, but didn’t WotC mention that they’ve increased the MSRP because they were going to include higher power level out of the box and higher valued reprints?

    For example, the Esper Subjective Reality deck doesn’t include a reprint of Sensei’s Divining Top, which could arguably be the best card for the intended strategy of he deck, and otherwise the highest valued reprints are Sol Ring and Entreat the Angels, both under $5 to begin with? Seems lame to me.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Blade of Selves: How Good Is It
    I agree that Blade of Selves is very powerful if it sticks on the board unanswered, and still also underplayed.

    I use it in two decks (both centered around ETB value): Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign Sphinx tribal and Rashmi, Eternities Crafter Simic ETB tribal, so it’s essentially a shoo-in for both.

    I don’t run artifact synergy or equip reducers, and I think the equip 4 is still not at all prohibitive. I’m only playing it if I expect to have a creature to benefit from it within that turn or the next, and if it stays for even a turn or two, then the value generated from it is well worth it. Heck, I can play and equip it to Unesh the turn after he ETBs to get the 4 best cards out of my top 36 or something (in a 4-player game) - at the least. That’s worth 6 mana to me, but probably not worth losing my friends over, so I’ve not equipped him yet, but even just 3 of his ETB mini Fact or Fiction triggers is worth paying 6 for. Rashmi can get just as crazy or more with it: getting ramp from Wood Elves, tutoring a few creatures (with even more gross ETB effects) from Fierce Empath, not to mention how crazy it gets with Tishana, Voice of Thunder, or game-winning with Avenger of Zendikar. And those aren’t even the craziest things such as putting it on Gary as already mentioned (Gray Merchant of Asphodel).

    TL;DR: It’s powerful, and underplayed. If you run enough ETB to get good value out of it for 6 mana and it can win you the game paired on the right creature, then it’s worth a serious consider to include or keep in the deck.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Looking for a Tempo Commander...
    I'll vouch for Talrand, Sky Summoner - I was able to build him cheap with basically any fun cheap (mana and $-wise) blue instants and sorceries I wanted. He can actually be built very tempo since almost everything you'd do with him is on other players' turns like at end step bouncing their permanents that they just played, tapping down creatures, or other things. I remember countering like 4 boar wipes in a row because I was getting insane with the 2/2 flyers, Reliquary Tower, and Bident of Thassa, Kindred Discovery, and Coastal Piracy, but I later learned of a nice card called Teferi's Veil. The drakes I'd attack with don't have vigilance, so they're not sticking around to block anyway, and the Veil ensured that even if I couldn't counter a board wipe, I wasn't set too far back as all my tokens would be protected until my turn anyway. I threw in Soul of New Phyrexia as a way to defend against wipes without countering them as well. An early unanswerable Overburden was back-breaking for opposing creature-based decks (I only ran 6 non-token creatures). I took the deck apart before I could try it out, but I was starting to think about something like Cast Through Time and to double-up on making 2/2 drakes, not to mention all the free casting value.

    As long as the table isn't out to get you from the start, and thus keep using removal on Talrand faster than you can counter it or protect him, then he gets pretty fun and is a win-condition on his own just for playing cheap fun spells.

    I ended up making a fun hand-tribal (hands prominently or at least moderately featured in each non-land card art) with Taigam, Ojutai Master, and he can definitely be made into a solid cross of control and tempo by taking advantage of his built-in rebound ability and his "you can't counter my spells" clause too, although, admittedly, counterspells don't exactly jive with him since you don't typically cast those in your post-combat main phase, but I'll suggest looking into him if you wanted something a little less commonly played/built than Talrand. Plus, you can include Talrand in a Taigam, OM deck (as I do).
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rhonas Takes on Armies - Come at Me, Bro!
    M19 Updates

    + Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma

    - Vorapede

    Yes, yes, yes, Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma is an amazing card for this deck. Such a powerhouse - enables Rhonas on curve, cheapens the casting cost of other big creatures by 2!!, and pumps and grants the entire team of beaters (including our beloved Rhonas) trample on attack. Amazing card. This is one of those creatures that I would've likely built around if I didn't already have a good thing going with Rhonas. I cut Vorapede for now as the least utility I could see from the list and recall from games. Undying is good to ensure Rhonas stays enabled even after a wipe, but that hasn't been a real issue thus far.

    I am considering Colossal Majesty since Rhonas triggers it and it's card draw - and I love nothing else over drawing more cards in a game of EDH - but this particular card has some issues. It's not a creature, so I can't pump it if I had to for enabling Rhonas (like I could with Drumhunter), but not being a creature also means it's harder to remove like Elemental Bond. The trigger is on upkeep unfortunately, so it has to live around to get a replacement card, again unlike Drumhunter, which just needs to live to the next end step. It's hard for me to pass up on card draw though, so I'm still thinking about it. Anyone thinking this card is better than I'm viewing it as? Does something on the list look cuttable for it?
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Any deck suggestions for a control meta?
    What kind of control are you seeing: classic counterspells, target removal, and draw-go holding up mana for instant speed answers? Or more permanent-based grindy value decks that slowly advance a game plan?

    For the former, I can’t think of “nice” options, but if you’re okay with being “mean” (quotes classified IMO only), Ruric Thar, the Unbowed with some Red Elemental Blast or Pyroblast backup if they try to counter him could fit the bill. Gives you access to green ramp (preferably of the creature type so you don’t hit yourself with Ruric later), which is what you’d want to do to get Ruric out ASAP anyway, and red control disruption stuff like War’s Toll and general red chaos stuff that gives control decks a headache.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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