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  • posted a message on Will & Rowan Kenrith - Sparks of Ice and Fire (Superfriends)
    It's been a while since I looked at the thread, great update and congrats on the primer status!
    A quite a few cards have come since War. There's a ton of cards that I have been absolutely loving, but there's a couple of cards that I thought would be really good but I haven't been high on.

    Ugin, the Ineffable and Firemind Vessel really surprised me with how well they perform. Ugin makes Paradox Engine cost 3 mana or lets you play and activate The Chain Veil for just 6 mana which is ridiculously powerful, before you even get in to the fact that he is protection, card draw, removal, and reduces the costs of all your rocks as well. I don't even have much to say about Firemind Vessel, it just works even if you're playing it on curve. I can't believe I didn't see things your way on these two cards.

    Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, Flux Channeler and to a lesser extent Karn's Bastion don't feel like they help the game plan much. These cards favor a more grindy game plan, but this deck is very explosive rather than cantripping off. I still have a little bit of faith in Karn's Bastion but I find it usually functions as a very mana intensive version of Forge of Heroes.

    Narset's Reversal and Planebound Accomplice have been absolute slam dunks for me. Narset's Reversal is very meta dependent, but mine has stuff like Ad Nauseam floating around, and even just taking something like Kodama's Reach or Demonic Tutor can be game winning tempo swing. Something else fun about the card is that after you have a Will Kenrith emblem, you can gain control of all instants and sorceries your opponents play as long as you have blue mana available. I don't even know where to start with Planebound Accomplice. If you have three red mana and Tezzeret the Seeker in hand, he often wins the game for you. You can also do some pretty disgusting things like sneak in a Jace, Architect of Thought or Tamiyo, the Moon Sage then follow up with Deepglow Skate to get an ultimate out of no where.

    Force of Negation has been pretty nice. I think this is one of the decks that doesn't see much benefit from it because we don't have the ability to go off on our opponents turns. The low end is that it's a Negate for one more blue mana on your turn, but the high end is that it's a second copy of Force of Will. I might end up cutting this one after I play with it some more.

    Talisman of Creativity, Fiery Islet and Prismatic Vista don't have much to say about them, they're just really good cards.

    For M20 spoilers, there's some cool cards. Chandra, Novice Pyromancer is really good just due to the fact that she costs R but makes RR, makes her one of the easiest walkers to make infinite mana with in a loop, and can burn your opponents out with her minus ability as well. I think Chandra, Acolyte of Flame is too narrow to be useful. Drawn from Dreams is looking pretty tempting to me, but I also love card draw. Flood of Tears being sorcery bums me out a bit, but the high end of this is pretty nuts. Repeated Reverberation seems better than I initially thought, I was originally thinking about it as a means to get extra value off my loyalty abilities, but then I realized it's a Time Stretch if you use it on an extra turn spell. I usually don't like duplicate cards, but this seems like it could be useful, and the low end for us is paying 4 mana to copy Will's minus ability and draw four extra cards with it. Manifold Key is another version of Voltaic Key but it doesn't go infinite as well, making its primary use to untap The Chain Veil or rocks to climb a mana ladder.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on [WAR] Niv-Mizzet Reborn - Master of Guilds & Astral-Living-Genesis
    Quote from darrenhabib »
    I should really change the thread explanation, and have the idea of the Astral Slide as kind of a bonus, rather than the name sake of the deck. But I would have never gotten the core idea of the cascade plan without it, so just left the thread as the original theory-crafting explanation.
    I've probably played like 50 games and had a proper Astral Slide setup twice. But I still win a lot of games, because the Living End or Hypergenesis just end up being too much for opponents, with just a single/few Niv-Mizzet Reborn triggers.

    I see, I felt that after playing with it once. Two triggers of Niv provides so strong of a lead that my play group started aggressively countering him after seeing it in action. That being said though, I definitely think Astral Slide is the way to build the deck because once you get going it becomes very hard for them to remove Niv or to stop your advantage from growing. The regular cycling cards felt like dead cards most of the time, Niv's primary weakness is that he can't get lands or artifacts, so ramp and hitting land drops are a problem for the deck. Using Land Cycling cards or Borderposts is the main way to cover that flaw, and the Cycling version definitely feels better. I added in Astral Drift for testing purposes and it helped me get the effect in play more often.
    Actually as it turns out Rakdos, Lord of Riots has been the least useful of the creatures. Never cast it on Turn 4 (of course) and the colorless portion can only be used on creatures.
    Then Golgari Findbroker has also been something I just never used. Really need fetch land to get any use, as I don't want to put creatures back into my hand just in case of Living...stuff.

    I definitely see your point on Rakdos and I'll be removing him too. He hardly ever did anything meaningful besides being a body to punch with, which I could use any big creature card for. Golgari Findbroker also felt like a bit of a non-bo to me, I ended up taking him out as well.

    Yeah I guess because it doesn't have an ability that is very relevant to commander, that I didn't end up adding it, although haste to all creatures is suuuuper great if you have it. Just killing off the person that could deal with your board means that you normally win the game in that situation.
    I have to say much like Astral Slide, I have cast Immortal Servitude only a couple of times. Casting it for 9 mana to get the 6 drops has only happened when I had Cadaverous Bloom to fuel the mana to cast it.
    So in the end, distributing your casting costs, doesn't really matter long term for the deck.

    I just treated that part of him as flavor text honestly, being able to pull five things out of you graveyard and give them haste is just so powerful for blowing people up. If you happen to hit Aurelia or Medomai with haste enabled it's game over for at least one player usually.The haste enable is ridiculously potent, and I have some bonus spice about it at the bottom of my post. I think part of the woes of trying to hit Immortal Servitude for X = 6 is that there are only four sources of real ramp in the deck: Mirari's Wake, Cadaverous Bloom, The Gitrog Monster and Mina and Denn, Wildborn, but I was still able to hit it twice in one night of playing and once in the other night.

    I NEVER have mana spare, certainly not three in opponents turns. I was thinking about Force of Will as a non-color paired card that I might naturally draw, and I just did a count of 26 blue cards, which is fine considering Niv-Miz draw into blue cards as well. There is also Force of Negation, which could be worth considering as well.

    Yeah, I felt that entirely. I think I made the mistake of leaning on Wilderness Reclamation too much in my idea of having counter spells. I don't feel like that card helps very much outside of leaning VERY heavily on the Astral cycle plan after you've already established a board state because this deck doesn't play at instant speed for most of its powerful effects. Wilderness Reclamation is an absurdly powerful card, but I feel it shines far more brightly in decks with a ton of instant effects or ways to enable flash. Only twenty cards in the deck, if we include every cycling card, are usable at instant speed and there are no enablers for flash. I'll have to try it again next time my group meets, maybe I just need to be aggressively tutoring for it to set up Niv, Astral, and Wilderness Reclamation with a cycling card in hand. I think I'm ultimately going to keep it removed unless I have a change of heart.

    Currently, our lists differ by these cards:

    Force of Will - You added it after our discussion about counter spells. I think I may have been going down the wrong path by thinking of counter spells, but this is arguably the best one ever printed so it might be worth keeping even if Niv can't fish for it.
    Wilderness Reclamation - I gave some thoughts about it above, I think it's too narrow for my tastes and I don't like that Niv can't fish for it.
    Angel of Despair - I needed to cut one thing from Orzhov and this seemed like the right choice over Ashen Rider because exile is more potent and it can trigger twice situationally.

    Astral Drift - I put in a proxy of it to test with, it definitely feels good to hit the Astral effect more consistently while also providing an enabler or one time use version of the effect.
    Molderhulk - I wanted to round out Golgari a bit more, and this guy provides some ramp if you've been cycling or discarding to hand size. He also ends up being a much easier to cast version of Rakdos' 6/6 body.
    Rhythm of the Wild - I found a unique answer to the "counter war" problem I was facing, and it also acts as a haste enabler or an anthem if you already have a haste enabler. I kept it in my opener for the turn three play and it ensured Niv hit the table, I felt really good about it.

    Do you mind sharing your thoughts about the recent changes you made and if you have any on these few cards?

    EDIT: Soulherder got spoiled literally right after I posted. Do you think it's worth replacing Swans of Bryn Argoll for?

    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on [WAR] Niv-Mizzet Reborn - Master of Guilds & Astral-Living-Genesis
    I seem to always find my way to your threads. I've been working on Niv myself since he got spoiled and also ended up at an Astral Slide deck. Needless to say, I was delighted to see Astral Drift spoiled a couple days after I started working on it. I had yet to refine my list to something I was proud of, so I decided to take your list for a spin to see how I liked it. It performed amazingly well, but I had some questions about a few cards in particular.

    How do you consistently get Astral Slide in to play? I was using tutors in the first draft of my deck, but you only seem to have a couple of cards that are able to get Astral Slide for you.

    Rasputin Dreamweaver - I'm not even really sure how this card helps the game plan. It's a seven CMC card that makes one colorless mana every turn after sort of paying for itself if you hard cast it. If you're getting it off of Hypergenesis or Living End, you're probably already about to win the game. Azorius has the most cards in your list, and I think he's one of the least helpful cards in the deck overall.

    Underrealm Lich - This card isn't in your deck, but I imagine it lets you filter your deck and pitch more stuff into the graveyard, as well as fixes your hand way really well. Golgari also has the least cards in the deck, do you think it would be worth it to include it?

    Dragonlord Kolaghan - This card isn't in your deck, but you have Garna, the Bloodflame and Samut, Voice of Dissent in to provide haste. They don't match that 6 CMC cost you want to hit with Immortal Servitude, but this guy does. Is there any reason he isn't included?

    In general, I felt I would be happier with some more counter spells to protect the combo pieces better. Counterflux, Ionize, Render Silent, Absorb, Psychic Strike, Undermine, Voidslime are all 3CMC counters that don't interfere with your Cascade plan. I imagine if you ran some combination of them, it would be almost impossible to not have at least one counter spell ready each turn. Do you find that just Perplex is enough most of the time? Or do you just find yourself not in counter wars or not in need of protection very often?

    I also noticed that you have all the shock lands except for Blood Crypt. Would it not be better to use it instead of Grand Coliseum just to avoid lands that enter tapped? Or is Grand Coliseum good enough to ignore the fact that it enters tapped?

    Then the last thing I could think of is that you're a little light on Orzhov cards, having the least in the deck tied with Golgari. Are there any more Orzhov cards that you think could be worth running? Ashen Rider and Angel of Despair are the only two that come to mind for me.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Will & Rowan Kenrith - Sparks of Ice and Fire (Superfriends)
    Quote from GrimoireDark »
    The build i’d Like to put together would be big value spells like Apex of Power and the like. It might be a bit more efficient to run a different commander, but I prefer having a deck that can function fine without the commander. I will try to put together a build to post once I have a bit of time or do so OMG

    If you want a big spell focused or spellslinger focused deck, I would recommend checking out some Melek, Izzet Paragon and Mizzix of the Izmagnus deck techs and lists. Will and Rowan have a more controlling based game plan if you go for an instant and sorcery focused list, you would be prioritizing Will's Emblem instead of Rowan's in order to get your spell fork online earlier. Something unique that Rowan brings to the table in a list like that is her -2 ability combined with spells like Deluge or Sleep to function as some light board wipes.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Will & Rowan Kenrith - Sparks of Ice and Fire (Superfriends)
    Quote from darrenhabib »
    The answer is yes, there are some things I want to add to the deck from War of the Spark. I'll explain the choices and reasonings when I get a bit more time to do a full set review Smile
    I really like Firemind Vessel actually, I think any artifact that provides two mana is really good. I will discuss this and new Karn and Ugin, they are very note worthy.
    Sorry if my answers have been a bit vague, I'm processing my thoughts at the moment, and most likely will be discussing elements you've touched upon, so hopefully fill you in more then.

    No worries on the vagueness, I understand you don't want to put your thoughts out while you're working on something as big as a full set review. I look forward to reading it. You and I have a lot of similar deck building habits and tastes, so I bet you've got some good stuff cooking up for Ugin.

    When I deck build, I have what I call "flex slots" which are the non-essential cards that I rotate in and out of the deck or meta decisions. Example for this deck is the slots I used for defenders like Locust God or Meishin, or slots for the non-essential PWs like Tamiyo or Jaya. Meta decisions for example, cards like Reins of Power and Meishin, the Mind Cage are almost useless for me because my playgroup doesn't have a lot of creature based decks in it, or things like Arcane Lighthouse for groups that have a lot of hexproof. I'm hoping you include a short list of cards like that when you update this primer, just to give some ideas for customization and adaptation in the deck without jeopardizing the game plan too heavily.

    Did you ever give Desolate Lighthouse a try? It felt pretty good to me when I got going with it just because I love card draw, but I don't like colorless lands very much in this deck.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Will & Rowan Kenrith - Sparks of Ice and Fire (Superfriends)
    I've been playing a version of Kenriths for months now, but I can't wait to see your updated primer for this deck. Your recent work on Vannifar is one of the best deck tech's I've ever read and I hope this update is just as good.

    I popped by to see if you had any updates on cards from War of the Spark, but I also saw you've rotated quite a few cards out of your old list. I was wondering about some of your specific thoughts on them.

    Saheeli Rai seems like a good fit, I can't believe I overlooked her. After you get a -2 off of Will with Cloudstone Curio, she can bounce and create mana with some of the bigger mana rocks, meaning you can use her with one of the Chandras or Koth to burn people out in a bounce loop. She's also another way to do bounce loops and generate blue mana, which is what I usually run out of. She doesn't seem to be quite as useful as some of the other Planeswalkers outside of that though. Is there anything else she does that's awesome?

    I've been on the fence with Jaya Ballard. I feel like the clause on her mana makes it not that useful because I run so few red instants and sorceries, and Will usually takes care of colorless mana with his -2. I don't feel like I get bottle necked by red mana very often, especially for those card types. Her drawing ability is also less helpful than I like, rummaging is often a lot worse than looting because you don't get to sculpt your hand as well. The drawing ability is only beneficial when I'm already really far ahead and just need to churn through my deck as fast as possible. Her ultimate is a light version of Tamiyo, the Moon Sage unless you get it off really late in to the game, but I find Tamiyo to be much more versatile and generally more helpful for situations where everyone is even on board, or when I'm slightly behind. Am I underestimating the usefulness of the repeatable rummage three on Jaya? Or perhaps I'm overestimating Tamiyo, to me she feels like a better choice for similar pay off just due to being far less narrow than Jaya.

    I noticed you cut down on the mass removal in the deck a little bit, notably the land destruction. I still like Obliterate and Jokulhaups because they seal the game for you if you have a Planeswalker or two out, and blowing up Forests is probably my favorite part of Magic. My play group has a dedicated stax player, so we're pretty accustomed to getting hit by Armageddon. Why did you take Ugin, the Spirit Dragon out of the deck? I always find him easy to get an ultimate off of, easy to cast, useful for burning people out in bounce loops with Cloudstone Curio, and his -X is so amazingly powerful for the mass removal. I don't see a lot of downside to him.

    Have you tried Locust God at all? I've been trying him out recently. He's a bit on the expensive side for mana, but he's one of the best blockers and he can sometimes win the game on his own if you get wheeling while he's down. I noticed you have Meishin, the Mind Cage in your list, which kind of fulfills a similar purpose for about the same mana cost. Meishin is really powerful but I don't think works well for me because my play group doesn't have many creature decks. There's an argument to be made for Locust God over Thing in the Ice as well, but the looming threat that Thing in the Ice provides is great and it comes hits the board so much sooner. It's a tough choice to make, I don't think there are many slots available for blockers because there's so many other good things to run in this deck.

    I think I overlooked it last time I read your primer, but I noticed you have Myriad Landscape in it. I really don't like that it comes in tapped, and you have to pay to crack it, and the lands that it fetches also come in tapped. It feels really clunky every time I get it, and I don't think the upside of getting to pull more lands out of your deck after you have Rowan's emblem is enough to justify the awkward turns it creates. If I'm running a colorless land that comes in tapped, I would prefer Boseiju, Who Shelters All just because it offers counter immunity to important spells like extra turns or Paradox Engine or Deepglow Skate. We talked about Boseiju a bit last time though, and your point on having a lot of spells that can be countered is valid but sometimes it only takes one big thing getting through to seal the game. I honestly don't like lands that come in tapped in the first place though unless they really do something stellar.

    Would Great Furnace and Seat of the Synod not be better options than some of the other lands? You can fetch them with Tezzeret if you absolutely get stuck on lands, and you can untap them with some of the artifact untappers in the deck, and you can replay them with Academy Ruins if they get blown up.

    There's a couple of cards in War of the Spark that I'm excited to try out, are there any in particular that you're excited to test? Narset's Reversal is at the top of my list. Narset's Reversal is so amazingly powerful and versatile, I think it's by far the best card in the set. Double blue is a little harsh, but I think it's worth it. You can put someone else's game plan on hold, just steal a big effect for yourself, you can use it as a pseudo buyback for your own spells, and you can use it for protection on your own spells. If you go to play an extra turn, and someone uses a counter spell on it, you can use Narset's Reversal on your own extra turn spell to get it back and fizzle their counter spell, AND still get the extra turn. The blow out potential on it is so high and I absolutely love it.

    I don't think the pseudo enchantment planeswalkers are all that great, but I'll give them a try. Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor and Narset, Parter of Veils have some good effects, but I'm not sure if they're worth it because they burn themselves out. The new Jace is obviously good, but I really hate Lab Maniac so I won't be testing him much. Spark Double is really exciting, it won't get the cost reduction from Will's -2, but I'm sure that if you clone Will, Teferi, Tezzeret or Chandra that it can go off like crazy and it acts like a second copy of some of the best cards in the deck.

    I really wish Firemind Vessel didn't come in tapped. Karn's Bastion is obviously really powerful, and now that I think about it I think I might use it instead of Boseiju or Myriad Landscape just so that I don't end up with too much colorless mana in the deck and avoid having lands come in tapped. Do you have any thoughts on Karn, the Great Creator and Ugin, the Ineffable? They seem pretty good to me, but I'm not sure if they fit in well enough.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Will & Rowan Kenrith - Sparks of Ice and Fire (Superfriends)
    Thanks for the thoughtful response. I overlooked the Heart of Kiran infinite because I always forget you can continuously crew vehicles, I'll make sure to include it. Reins of Power kind of counts on two players playing creatures, only one player in my play group uses a creature deck so I think I might leave it out of my deck for now. You sold me on the Jace cards. Boseiju was to prevent the extra turn cards from getting countered more than any other cards, because most players would never let you resolve them if they had a choice in it. I see your point on Tezzeret and Yanling, they don't really do enough outside of Chain Veil loops. I was thinking Ral would be good because of his unconditional digging for 2 every turn and his ultimate in particular is game ending, there's still 28 instant and sorceries in the deck to maybe get some value out of the minus ability.

    I think for now I'll run Expropriate in place of Reins of Power, and maybe try out Ral, Izzet Viceroy when I get my hands on him.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Will & Rowan Kenrith - Sparks of Ice and Fire (Superfriends)
    I have been infatuated with the Kenriths since I saw them spoiled for Battlebond. I had been working on a deck list for a couple months before I found your post. My thoughts on my inclusions were all very similar to yours and our lists ended up almost the same aside from your mana base being far superior to mine, but there are a couple of cards I was curious about in your list.

    Could you perhaps elaborate on why you include Heart of Kiran, Reins of Power, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and Jace, Architect of Thought? I quite like Expropriate, Boseiju, Who Shelters All, Tezzeret, Artifice Master and Mu Yanling, are there any reasons you don't include them? Do you have any thoughts on the new Ral, Izzet Viceroy?

    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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