The deck runs an awful lot of dead cards purely for the sake of supporting the combo.
Question: Why do Bontu's Monument when you could Inventor's Fair, tutor Cloudstone Curio, and then draw through your library with Reki, the History of Kamigawa until you reach Blind Obedience and then life-drain everybody by bouncing a couple two mana creatures?
Inventor's Fair doesn't take up a spell slot, and Blind Obedience is decent against several types of combo decks in Commander already so its inclusion is reasonable (Splinter Twin players have to remove Obedience before going off, for example, and Grixis Storm and Jhoira Cheerios dislikes it greatly). So you'd really be running only two cards for the sake of the combo in Curio and Reki, whereas in yours you run Oath of Nissa, Isamaru, Skyship Weatherlight *and* Stonecloacker. Consolidating these down from 4 pieces to 2-3 seems reasonable, even if both combos aren't exactly the 'optimized' lines.
My personal Sisay list uses Selvala, Explorer Returned and Thousand-Year Elixir as the payload to draw everyone out but myself. I was already running Thousand-Year Elixir and Green Sun's Zenith, so I just swapped which Selvala my deck was running, lol. Takes very few pieces that are dead without the others. This combo line is a bit more restrictive than the Bontu's Monument/Curio/Blasting Station/Bow of Nylea + Saffi lines, but I commonly have to play Sisay against Food Chain decks (Tazri, Prossh), Gitrog, Grixis Storm, ADN/DD Zur, etc., and each one of those is faster than Sisay, lol, so I'm usually playing defense and casting stuff like t2 Eidolon of Rhetoric to even have time to cast and tap my Commander.
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Mar 19, 2018About a month late, but cards I'd avoid running from the list you posted are Recurring Insight (too much mana), Neurok Stealthsuit (instant speed equip used to be awesome, but now you really just want haste and that's it. Thousand-Year Elixir can be an MVP sometimes), and Aetherflux Reservoir.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
You also don't really need all of the 0 drop dudes. I'd swap one of those out for Hangarback Walker since he pulls double duty (you only need two dudes to sac before your Citanul Flute loops, and Walker provides both), and then maybe drop another for Myr Sire, who is roughly the same as Hangarback Walker Texas Ranger.
Aug 15, 2017So it's been about a month and I've only been able to get two games in with this deck since last discussion (I built Paradox Engine Sisay, Daretti, changed my Nekusar to Locust God, etc., so I've been mucking with those each week).Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
The first was a pretty standard game. It was Tazri, Prossh, Vorel and myself in a game. Tazri flashed in Hulk and I Whir of Invention'd into Tormod's Crypt and he laughed (apparently that was his only line of play because he did nothing for the rest of the game). Vorel countered Prossh's Food Chain, and I forced Arcum through on t6 using Pact and a 1cmc counter while Elixir was on field, so I got to go straight for the Paradox Engine play and win. I found myself needing more mana, though, which was a complaint I had often before. Also, with Citanul Flute, Snapcaster Mage seems too good to not have, and I luckily have a spare floating around in my binder, so I tried that out in the second game and it was phenomenal even with only 17 instants/sorceries.
The Zur, Jeleva, and Yidris players both apparently moved away from Pittsburgh, so the strongest decks here right now are either Thrasios+Tymna or Tazri, which win via Flash Hulk, Hermit Druid, and Food Chain combos. I'm currently the only one with a Zur Doomsday list, so I may pull some of the stax cards that slow down Storm/ADN decks as they're not exactly necessary when the most troublesome combos they have are an instant + a sac outlet and a big freaking creature.
Heavily debating about re-adding Guardian Idol and Mind Stone, as getting Engine stuck in hand sucks badly, and more mana rocks makes playing with more counters easier on top of making third turn Arcum easier (which seems very necessary). Defense Grid is going out for one of them, for sure, as I have to play more proactively with counters to stop Flash Hulk which straight up wins faster. Torpor Orb hasn't had reason to be tutored for a while, so I'm going to sideboard it since Blink/Flicker doesn't hang around the competitive pods.
Anyway, changes I'm testing tomorrow after work:
- Static Orb/Tangle Wire
- Thorn of Amethyst
- Torpor Orb to sideboard, dropping Neurok Stealthsuit entirely
- 2 Island
- Arcane Denial
- Swiftfoot Boots
+ Mind Stone
+ Guardian Idol
+ Snapcaster Mage
+ Gitaxian Probe
+ Riptide Laboratory (someone at the shop gave me the idea to use this to return and re-cast Trophy Mage to assemble Monolith + Rings + Staff during games I can't stick Arcum. Idea came up when a Cyclonic Rift was popped on t5 to prevent Hulk shenanigans and my re-casting of Trophy Mage let me collect Rings, which let me go off after replaying all of my fast mana. Seems absolutely horrible, but it's a colorless land slot so I don't feel it's that big of a deal to try it out).
+ Force of Will
I think it's time to put Force back in, as well, as over a quarter of my deck is now blue which I feel is enough to support both it and Chrome Mox, now. Boots has sucked every single time I've drawn it for the last little while, so it's out for Force. My best tools against what is regularly played in my meta appears to be Back to Basics and Grafdigger's Cage/Tormod's Crypt, though some players have been trying to convince me to use Relic of Progenitus instead, and I may try it since I have some laying about.
How has everyone else's lists been doing? My list is still the same as the last post, minus swapping Windfall for Trophy Mage.
Jul 14, 2017Sure, if you want my thoughts I can give them.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
I'd run a couple more artifact creatures, especially those that interfere with opponent's strategies, like Phyrexian Revoker. They mess with opponents for a couple turns, and then they can be used as Arcum sac fodder, which is a plus. Having around 20-22 artifact dudes makes going off on the third or fourth turn fairly consistent, which is nice (as you need at least two of them). Myr Retriever is an important card to run- it's Junk Diver, but better (lower mana cost, flying is negligible). I do recommend running both of them as they give a solid backup option for infinite mana, and you basically have no reason to not run it. Remove Padeem, Consul of Invocation for it (Padeem doesn't really do much, as he doesn't protect Arcum and also competes with Arcum at the same mana cost). Millikin is very good, and Myr Moonvessel/Hope of Ghirapur are still useful if you had to use a 0 drop to grab either Paradox Engine or Flute. As you grab Engine > Flute > and then if only have 1 0 drop left, you spend that 0 drop to get Basalt Monolith, which lets you tutor the 1 drop and cast it with one mana floating. If the next creature you could cast is a 2 drop, Monolith alone wouldn't give you enough mana and your combo chain would stop there if you didn't already have the spare mana- which happens sometimes.
But the artifact dudes are important, and right now you run, what, 14 of them + the 3 lands? I've been doing 19 + 3, since two of them relatively necessary to launch the combo. Around 20 should be fine, though, so I'd at least add Phyrexian Revoker, Millikin, and a 1 drop to bring you up to 20 artifact creatures you can sac. Around 1/4th of the time you should naturally draw 2 artifact dudes/lands that turn into dudes, that way. Otherwise, you have tutors and Artificer's Intuition to help improve those odds to around half the time.
You only have 4 counters, which seems pretty rough. However, to really accommodate more counters, you would really need to remove the fluff artifact cards. Since you can win with Arcum in one turn, I really don't see much point in using Possessed Portal any longer, along with Unwinding Clock, Clock of Omens, Myr Turbine (unnecessary now that you run Citanul Flute, I'd do one or the other, not both), and Null Brooch which is, outside of some extreme corner cases involving casting instants, basically a nonbo with Paradox Engine: Pulling Brooch in an emergency and using it vs pulling Paradox Engine basically cuts off your path to win via that route. So, you pull it to respond to a guy casting Food Chain or Doomsday, and you effectively just played Kingmaker to keep that player from winning while another takes advantage of the fact that one of this three opponents can't stop him any longer, outside of corner cases that would have been better spent winning anyway. I just run more counter spells over it now (I run 5 more than you, making them more available and leaves me to tap Arcum to win while I just have the disruption in my hand). Muddle the Mixture and Pact of Negation, at least, seem worth inclusion.
That's my $.02, anyway. More artifact creatures to sac and more counters. I play Arcum in a meta of Zur (ADN/Doomsday Zur, not Voltron or whatever), Jeleva, Yidris, Tazri, Prossh, Karador, Thrasios, etc.. Tazri and Thrasios recently switched to a Flash/Hulk list, which has been fun to deal with. There's was also an Animar, Breya, etc., that float around too. I upped my counters specifically to handle these kind of decks. I dropped the 'larger' combos because I either go for the Engine win, or I don't get enough time to utilize anything else (Portal, Disk, Lattice, and Forge). I just use the aritfact dorks that return artifacts back to hand, rather than make them indestructible. I'm not 100% certain you'll have to do that, though. Food Chain Prossh is *somewhat* easy to handle if you mulligan to the right hands (your goal will be to interrupt Food Chain, as they can windmill slam it turn 2 and win. Flusterstorm and Swan Song will be important there). To make it worse, a lot of your silver bullets don't really touch Prossh since it's all about chaining creatures- Tangle Wire/Static Orb is worth mulliganing to as you won't have time to tutor it off Arcum. If Zur is Doomsday/Ad Nauseam, then you'll have a similar problem as with Prossh except Thorn of Amethyst will do some exception work here, since they ramp hard to five or six mana in a turn or two to Doomsday or Ad Nauseam + Angel's Grace (or just value Ad Nauseam to tutors/Doomsday). Phyrexian Revoker can hit mana rocks, which I find worth mentioning, especially if there's a suspicious Grim Monolith or something laying on field in preparation for a larger play. The opponent won't know *what* Revoker has chosen until after it's resolved and in play- you do not choose the card while it's on the stack, so opponents have to counter it blind, which I have used a couple times to interfere with t2 Food Chains, Selvalas, Mox Diamonds to prevent Doomsday/Ad Nauseam when they'd otherwise have the proper colors of mana, etc.. The rest of the decks you mentioned shouldn't cause you any trouble at all, I mean, maybe Meren or Hapatra if you're not careful, but that's about it lol.
I tend to ramble when talking about this deck, so apologies for most of the above as it's probably excessively verbose.
Jul 10, 2017Run more cheap counter spells than silver bullets, is my advice.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
You win via 1 Arcum tap now, so you will find that you won't spend much of your time tapping Arcum to grab things that slow your opponents down or prevent them from winning when you could win yourself (which has the side benefit of preventing your opponents from winning lol). I find that Back to Basics, Static Orb/Tangle Wire, Thorn of Amethyst, Torpor Orb, Grafdigger's Cage/Tormod's Crypt, Pithing Needle, Phyrexian Revoker, and counterspells to be enough hate cards so that I can tutor them if I need them before Arcum. Going without Transmute Artifact hurts, as your hate cards can only hate when they're on board and, again, you probably won't find yourself wanting to tap Arcum to get them if you have a 0-2 cost card in hand you can cast to start your Engine and win the game. Make sure to run Reshape, Fabricate, and Whir of Invention.
I wouldn't think it terrible if you ran Artificer's Intuition or Mystical Tutor to find one of the artifact tutors, honestly, because if you're against something with Pattern of Rebirth/Natural Order/Flash into Protean Hulk, you will *need* some form of graveyard hate so your opponents can't loop it and win on the spot (Hulk basically forced me to change Cage to Crypt, as Karmic Guide + Caustic Caterpillar would interfere with my Cage off of one Hulk sacrifice unless it was like turn 2 or 3 and they spent all their mana just to get Hulk on board).
You can get away with Phyrexian Metamorph over Copy Artifact, though I still run Copy because it's extremely useful and efficient, since the deck runs so many rocks. Running Dispel, Spell Pierce, or Turn Aside may be beneficial for you if you can't do Copy Artifact, you could just run more counters or even Artificer's Intuition in its place. Artificer's Intuition is pretty decent since it lets you find mana rocks or mana dorks when you need them, with very little fuss.
I guess you could try Jeweled Amulet over Mox Opal, though there's really nothing that replaces Opal. I don't think the Primer list has enough colored spells to warrant Chrome Mox, so Amulet is probably the closest you're going to get there.
Jun 30, 2017Even in the event of Ballista getting exiled (it being milled isn't an issue because of Junk Diver, Myr Retriever, Scrap Trawler, etc.), there's always Hangarback Walker and an arbitrarily large number of tokens, which is essentially the same gameplan that Arcum has utilized before Paradox Engine (except then it was done by the more clunky Myr Turbine + Rings + Clock and infinite mana).Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Generally speaking, Ballista won't be the problem card to resolve. By the time you get infinite mana + Ballista, you've already resolved a *bunch* of spells and abilities that had no business resolving if someone had discard/removal/counters, and quite frankly, the odds of someone exiling Ballista over Paradox Engine, Rings, or Arcum himself, are quite slim.
May 30, 2017That's.... actually a very good point. I haven't picked up anything from the last couple Magic sets and it appears I just forgot about Trophy Mage. It can grab the entire Monolith/Rings/Staff combo, a mana dork, etc., so that seems very good. Out goes Windfall, in goes Trophy Mage.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Unfortunately, many times I drew Windfall, if I were to cast it I would have wound up filling up my opponent's hands more than my own (decks with Rituals are no joke when it comes to emptying fast) which seemed less than stellar. It's kind of why I had been in a love-hate relationship with that card as it'd have been a lot better if it were Timetwister, but Mana Drain comes long before that does.
May 29, 2017It does not, because Arcum's ability doesn't cast anything. Casting a spell is a specific game action: You put the card onto the stack, announce the spell and targets if applicable, pay its costs, etc.. Arcum's ability allows you to search your library for a noncreature artifact card and put it directly onto the battlefield, and while the ability does go onto the stack, it can't be countered with a standard counter spell (like Counterspell or Cancel) because it is an ability, not a spell, so we never cast a card from a library at any point.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Cage does prevent us from casting Whir of Invention or Transmute Artifact to put an artifact creature onto the battlefield, but that's never been relevant, whereas Cage basically wins a game against Karador, Meren, Mimeoplasm, etc., by itself if protected.
May 28, 2017Sure thing, my list at current is this:Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
My configuration between sideboard and mainboard changes a *lot* as of late, as cards like Tangle Wire/Static Orb/Sphere of Resistance/Grafdigger's Cage/Torpor Orb/Defense Grid are slightly better against slightly different decks, so I wind up putting them into the mainboard interchangeably. Lodestone Golem comes in pretty often too over Windfall/Back to Basics. Crypt is there as a just in case because Cage doesn't stop every popular graveyard combo. Jester's Cap comes in sometimes (I've made Zur scoop by exiling his Lab Man off of a t2 Arcum play), but I've barely, if ever, used Crucible, Stealthsuit, or Bridge lately.
Outside of swapping things around in the board all the time depending on what I'm playing, I'm pretty happy with the mainboard. I still need a Mana Drain, Flusterstorm, and a Mishra's Workshop, but only two of those are really obtainable for me at the moment and proxies aren't allowed. Artificer's Intuition is pretty excellent even in the Engine build because you can turn non-creature artifacts into an artifact creature, or turn non-mana producing cards into mana producing ones. I basically slow myself down a turn to ensure that I have enough mana/disruption to get through my combo turn, which works well against everything non-Doomsday in my experience.
Arcbound Ravager has an interesting quirk of usefulness in the event Paradox + Flute gets assembled but Arcum is lost (you can use Ravager to loop Retriever/Diver for infinite mana, and can all be found via Flute). So, that's nice I guess. It's not incredibly useful but he's a decent creature so having him in as a just in case is fine, probably.
As for backup plans, I still use Rings + Monolith + Staff for a method of generating infinite mana to win via Ballista or Hangarback. It was the best combo line to establish a lock before Ballista/Engine came out, and I think it probably is the second best one available to the deck since Power Artifact can't be reliably tutored in blue. I've won numerous games by grabbing a Monolith off of Arcum instead of Engine/Flute when removal comes at him and I don't have much else to do. It still only takes two turns to win via Rings and Monolith, and all of the things that prevent the Paradox Engine combo from working also prevent the Possessed Portal lock from working (which is basically removal or the inability to utilize Arcum for whatever reason. Portal is practically impossible to use without Arcum out, which is similar to Engine, and has the issue of not being able to grab all of its combo pieces in the same turn, which is unlike Engine). The exception to this is probably graveyard hate like Rest in Peace, which is why I utilize Rings and Monolith for infinite mana (decks without Rings grind to a halt against a random t2 Rest in Peace because they rely on looping Retriever/Diver). Any deck in white around here, save Karador, seems to run RiP so I found it to be a necessary thing to keep. Mileage may vary on that choice though.
Notwithstanding, decks that win faster than turn 4 (which is now Arcum's consistent kill turn via Engine) tend to be Doomsday decks, which can win over top of a Possessed Portal with relative ease because they can insert Chain of Vapor into their pile and cantrip to it, and leave us with an 8 mana blank in hand. Doing a pass pile isn't so rough for them when they've practically Time Walked you twice because you're stuck with an 8 mana card in hand and something like Crucible on the field that won't do much now that Portal is gone. I've been in that boat and didn't like it much, lol.
I've been playing Post-Engine Arcum as literally just: "Can I tap Arcum this turn? If yes, and I have a card I can cast in my hand, then I can win the game this turn. Otherwise, I play like I used to and grab Rings so I can pull Monolith/Staff next and draw my library, then win via Ballista" Due to all of the untaps and tutors, I can draw into or grab any/every card I want once the ball gets rolling- I keep Staff around largely because it lets me draw until I hit Chain of Vapor, which can bounce anything that prevents me from targeting my opponents with Walking Ballista (Spine of Ish Sah would do the same thing for those that still run it). There's a couple decks that mainboard Glacial Chasm (Gitrog comes to mind) which requires with Strip Mine or Chain to beat in my current list, though its trivial to eliminate those once you've gotten that far because you have access to all of the cards in your library basically.
Anyway, I'm always long in the tooth when it comes to talking about this deck. Can you tell its my favorite Commander deck? lol. Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions, I'd be happy to listen to them. The Ravager tech was suggested to me a month or two ago and it's been reasonably helpful (I got to use it once to win because Arcum cost 8 and Rings got exiled, so that was nice. Obviously not sure if it's super worth it, but the only competitors with that slot are Palladium Myr and Myr Moonvessel, sooo....).
May 27, 2017I don't see the benefit of Meekstone? That's a card that prevents creature decks from swinging more than once, sure, but it doesn't do a thing to most every combo deck that's hard to deal with in Commander, such as Zur, Jeleva, Yidris, Karador, Tazri, Thrasios, Breya, Prossh, etc.. It might mess with Yisan a bit, but if Yisan swings once with Craterhoof the game is over anyway, so it's not exactly helpful there. It also doesn't help that creature decks are basically the least of Arcum's problems anymore lol.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
It's been roughly two months of me playing this deck and I still don't see how our greatest weapon is Possessed Portal. Against the combo decks I have to play against much of the time, Portal doesn't do anything because it's not feasible to tutor it out with Arcum as it needs to be *in play* by turn 3, which means I need a nuts draw to get Arcum down a turn earlier than they can cast their win condition, which typically isn't feasible. In almost all cases of me trying it out again, Portal doesn't do anything but clog up my hand when you need a cheaper spell to cast in order to win via Engine. Even when I've put the card back into the deck, I've not needed it (or, I should say: I had moments in which it would have been helpful, but I was literally unable to get it to the board because I didn't have the aforementioned nuts draw).
As for Crucible, it is too slow nowadays, in my opinion. If it needs to be out for Possessed Portal, that's two cards we need to tutor and put to board, which begs the question of why you haven't just won already instead of trying to lock the game, since one Arcum tap and two creatures is all it takes to win with Paradox Engine (so in one scenario, you use two creatures and Arcum to put out Crucible and Portal, and in another you win the game with Ballista or Hangarback. The second one is a lot more efficient, in my opinion, and the Portal lock is very easily fought out of by decks that run every tutor in black, Doomsday, etc., to find Chain of Vapor and leave you with an 8 cost artifact that you can't immediately put back out). In any event, mana denial locks (like Strip + Crucible) against Arcum no longer works very well, because our deck only needs 4-6 mana and one turn in order to win and that's very easy to accrue when your deck runs all the mana dorks and rocks we do (admitting, you may not even need the one turn), so I don't see the need to pack a card that is typically going to be blank.
I've been having some fun with this deck in my local meta though. The few guys we have with legit competitive decks are getting tired of seeing it, and several of them have begun running more removal so I've transitioned to my Zur deck a bit more the last month or so, but Arcum still chalks up wins a solid percentage of the time. I had a great game against a Zur, Gitrog, green Selvala, and Prossh deck a few weeks ago, though. The details are fuzzy but I ran Arcum straight out to get killed (I had a counter but more than one opponent had removal mana up), so I wound up with a 3/3 beast instead of my Commander. I topdecked Greaves my next turn which made me pure sodium at that moment, but I had an idea and played and Artificer's Intuition to toss a couple of my non-mana artifacts to grab Mana Crypt and Vault at the end of an opponent's turn (I also countered one of Zur's mana rocks because it would have given him 6 mana and I feared Angel's Grace + Ad Nauseam because he tutored twice already). I cast Crypt and Vault, then Greaves, then Arcum, and I sacrificed the mana dork I played earlier to get Engine. I think this was the game in which I played was a Chain of Vapor I cast on my own Crypt to untap via Engine, I then replayed the Crypt to give me enough mana to activate Mishra's Factory and then sacrificed that for Flute and won from there.
Zur spent the majority of his disruption on Prossh and Gitrog from what I remember. I don't recall Selvala doing anything but killing my Commander with Beast Within lol. Some of the details are probably a little off because it was a few weeks back but that's thereabout where I am with the deck. I can post my current list if anyone cares or if anyone else has anything to add or suggest.
Mar 31, 2017I've been able to do the Null Rod play exactly one time since I've built this deck and it was right back before the Paradox changes. It was glorious though: I had first turn Arcum and played first, on my second turn I just played a mana dork and passed. Brago player Enlightened Tutor on another player's end step for Null Rod, and then untapped for his turn to cast it. I simply tapped Arcum for Lattice with Null Rod on the stack and everyone was like, "Wtf."Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
I had a 2/2 legendary, Brago had no creatures, and the other player had some green 1/1. I swung at Brago a couple times and he quit lol.
But I've never been able to do that more than once. Null Rod costs 2 and even with tutors it still can only cost 3- I find it difficult to justify getting out a 4 mana card with summoning sickness or a 6 mana card to beat a 2 mana card that sometimes costs 3 or 4 mana. Though, I have been thinking about Spine of Ish Sah again to get around Null Rods, since people are beginning to run them here and abstaining from copious amounts of degenerate mana rocks. I could justify an Arcum tap to get Spine when Null Rod stops my combo entirely. I'll at least test Spine again since that seems reasonable.
As for Scorched Ruins, I have them but I've never tried them. They seem a bit too all-in for my tastes. Strips and Wastes are a problem, but I prefer to have as few as possible variables arise from my mana base choices. For example: If you already have a blue mana dork or an artifact plus 3 lands, you already have t3 Arcum (albeit without protection). Having a leftover colorless mana on turns you cast Arcum without haste isn't really all that valuable, but maybe I'm missing some of its value or something.
Mar 29, 2017Actually, it'd be pretty sweet if the OP could write up his thoughts on various matchups, strengths, weaknesses, etc.. I've been shown the weaknesses Arcum has over the course of 3 years (weak to spot removal, in particular, very similar to Food Chain's weakness except we lack green to compensate for it), and while Arcum's weakness hasn't really been removed, the timetable for people being required to answer him has certainly sped the hell up. Due to powerful, competitive decks running fewer creature-centric spot removal, which is one of the reasons why Yisan thrives the more powerful a meta game is, it's not uncommon to see more powerful decks tutoring to find their Anguished Unmaking or Vandalblast rather than spending that time finding their Ad Nauseam, Doomsday, Food Chain, or Aetherflux Reservoir, among other things.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Hell, I probably am able to get away with a *lot* of plays due to the people around me running crazily tuned decks that only have room for 2-4 removal spells (and if GB each one runs Abrupt Decay even though it hardly hurts Arcum in the broad scheme of things, so Tazri, Prossh, Leovold, Yidris, etc., all run it, for example. It's a lot harder to keep Arcum off of mana dorks now that the deck can easily squeeze in 23-25 of them between creatures that replace themselves like Myr Sire/Hangarback Walker and man lands).
A strategy section for how to combat certain deck archetypes might be a great idea. I can give my experience with Doomsday decks: "Always counter Ad Nauseam, Doomsday, Food Chain, etc.. If you don't have a counter, mulligan to one because you *will* need one and you will need one early if their deck is optimized." Trying to stop ADN/Doomsday with artifacts is a losing battle as they can combo over top of them if their hand is good enough (no matter if it's Possessed Portal or Thorn of Amethyst). No permanent-based hate seems to work against Doomsday decks because a protected pile with Chain in it will eliminate the hate card- immediately, even, if they have a cantrip in hand. That applies to Teferi and Arcum both lol.
And yeah, Null Rod is crazy good. Definitely keep one around when not using Teferi/Arcum as its miserable to deal with for the other player, especially if they didn't mulligan well. So many decks rely on mana rocks its crazy.
Mar 24, 2017Are you talking about my list? I find that Chain, Rift, my counters, etc., to be enough to get around Null Rod when it comes up. I've... never actually had someone cast Pithing Needle naming Arcum, but Needle can be won through without Arcum if necessary while Rod stops this deck's entire plan, so I think it's a worthwhile comparison, at least.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Teferi and Arcum run basically the same tutor package, and my list runs 9 counters at current and 2 spot removal- every Teferi deck I've ever played does 10:3 in counters to removal, so I guess just make sure your friend adds Delay or Mental Misstep or something for the counter package and Into the Roil to bounce things and your lists will be pretty close in the, "Options to remove troublesome permanents" category. He should probably Mystical Tutor as well. He can (and should) Pithing Needle you back, and Thorn of Amethyst works better against Teferi than it does any other nonblack Commander deck, in my experience. A resolved Needle/Totem before Arcum even gets to tap (so if drawn in turns 1-2) means that your friend needs to go on the Staff-Rings-Monolith plan... which he'll probably have plenty of time to do since Arcum can play several stax pieces to slow you down even further, as well. Your friend also shouldn't forget to swing his mana dorks into Teferi if he needs.
He could swap Mystical Tutor, Into the Roil, and another counter spell in my list over Back to Basics (he won't be needing this if you're the biggest fish there, and it does practically nothing to Derevi or Yisan), Gitaxian Probe (kind of a wtf spot anyway. Tutor would be better; I'll make that swap myself), and one of anything else. Then your goals for each game will be to keep each other off of your Commanders, and your secondary target is to eliminate Rings of Brighthearth/Paradox Engine while his will probably be to knock out The Chain Veil/Tezzeret. Both of you go off at sorcery speed for your fastest combo, it's just that Arcum does it faster when uninterrupted. You're both pretty well hurt if Derevi resolves a Stony Silence or Kataki, etc..
Mar 24, 2017So I got to play Arcum against some similarly powerful decks and am still quite pleased with the performance.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
I only played it for one game (I've been trying to play different things at my card shop), but it was Arcum against Selvala, Heart of the Wilds (a fully powered high tier list, Cradle and all), Gitrog Monster (also a fully powered high tier list), and Dralnu, Lich Lord (arguably the weakest of the decks in the game).
Dralnu cast 5 counter spells on just myself, Selvala cast Beast Within on Arcum and a Bane of Progress, while Gitrog hit a Mox Opal with Abrupt Decay and Maelstrom Pulse'd my Citanul Flute (I pulled Flute with removal at Arcum on the stack, as I cast Arcum with Thousand Year Elixir on board). I still managed to pull out a late win by using Rings + Monolith to force down Arcum through Dralnu's counters, and then when Arcum resolved he tried to Murderous Cut him- which I countered and then windmill slammed Phyrexian Revoker naming Dralnu. Since he tapped out over the course of my turn, Revoker prevented him from just untapping with Dralnu and re-casting Cut to kill Arcum. I also dropped Spellskite that turn, just in case. Used Arcum to pull Staff of Domination, drew the library, played Strip Mine to destroy Gitrog's Glacial Chasm, and then won through Ballista.
I'm not actually used to seeing that much hate in a game because, usually, because Arcum typically isn't the strongest deck at the table. Exactly one counterspell was cast against another player, and it was when Gitrog tried to resolve City of Solitude or something- not a single removal spell was spent on a deck other than Arcum. Feels good, haha.
This is my list, as it stands:
A few weeks ago I dropped Lodestone Golem, who was typically too expensive with nut-draw levels of ramp to stop the things I needed him to stop. I removed Force of Will because I needed it for another deck I was testing and... well, I just never got around to putting it back. Chrome Mox is probably going to be leaving for Jeweled Amulet and Force is probably going to come back in over Dispel or Arcane Denial. I also keep adding back in and removing Voltaic Key (because it's absurdly good with either Monolith, Mana Vault, and Metalworker), but its performance is unreliable for me, at best.
I've basically cut any of the high cost stuff that I'd only search out with Arcum- so if it's a silver bullet or something, it has to be cheap enough to cast in the earlier turns (hence cutting Lodestone Golem). If Arcum is untapped and available, I generally try for a win rather than trying to fetch a silver bullet or anything else.
Feb 5, 2017Pook and Pie posted a message on Ghave, Guru of Spores - Attrition and Reanimation for valuePosted in: Multiplayer Commander DecklistsQuote from toctheyounger77 »
Perilous Forays is good ramp, but i can see where you're coming from. Earlier options for ramp are better, and that's where heartbeat of spring came from. I'd be happy to take suggestions in either of these spots. I am limited in what I can spend, but I'd definitely be interested in alternatives if you have more suggestions.
My apologies; I wasn't aware Saffi Eriksdotter jumped up in price. I'm imagining it's because of Aether Revolt's Renegade Rallier, but it is unfortunate since that's several times its original price.
As for Perilous Forays and Heartbeat of Spring, you could easily utilize Sakura-Tribe Elder, Solemn Simulacrum (cheaper than Forays and just as easily abused), Wood Elves, Farhaven Elf (since you don't have Temple Garden or Overgrown Tomb), Skyshroud Claim (still cheaper than Forays and gets you up to six). The general thing is that it may be well better to focus on cheaper, earlier ramp that allows an early Ghave, Cathars' Crusade, etc., rather than a spell that competes with him in mana cost and is really just win-more. For example, Forays doesn't help you if you're already behind on board position. It's an okay sac outlet, but there are significantly strictly superior sac outlets you could use (huge fan of Evolutionary Leap if you're okay with mana-requiring sac outlets as it's generally pure card advantage in this deck). For mana ramp, it comes down way too late and only helps you when you're already at a strong board position- meaning if people are interfering with you, you're stuck without ramp instead of just casting a Wood Elves and getting a Forest and a body. Also, even the t3 ramp guys enable a fourth turn Ghave if you hit your land drops, so there's little reason not to avoid them.
As for Heartbeat, literally anything mentioned above over it. Sure, you can have 8 mana on turn 4 with it. However, you just spent your third turn casting it and gave each of your opponents between 3 and 4 free mana for their own third and fourth turns, letting them ramp past you because you spent your turn casting this card and they get to take advantage of it. I may be overthinking it, but letting a control or combo deck jump right up to turn 6 or 8 (at least) before while you just used your turn 3 just sounds terrible to me, so anything from Avacyn's Pilgrim to Sakura-Tribe Elder to Farhaven Elf would be flat-out better in that spot. I'm imagining your group plays without Sol Rings so that's off the table, but still, any of the above would be nice without helping your opponents to boot.
Last, Eldrazi Monument would still be a good choice here as it makes it much more difficult to eliminate your army when you finally create one. If you're looking to replace Trike, I see no reason to avoid a card that gives all of your creatures +1/+1, flying, and indestructible for what is essentially 1 mana per turn.
Edit: I just checked the price of Burgeoning. You should totally run one while they're cheap from the Commander 16 reprint. $3 and is probably among the better ramp options for you since you have 38 lands since you can untap with 3-4 mana on turn 2, and when your draw engines get going, it'll be like you never took Perilous Forays out of the deck. I'll bring up draw engines next time.
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