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  • posted a message on The Ur-Dragon, Home of the 14 card Changeling Combo
    Quote from materpillar »
    Combined with the Ur-Dragon it’ll make a bunch of changelings cost 0 mana (like that new Imposter of the Sixth Pride). I’ll need to find some more infinite combos based around that I think.

    Surprise surprise, Cloudstone Curio is a busted with yet another card. Keep bouncing 1 or 2 mana changelings to your hand and trigger your infinite lifegain off Tolsimir, vindicates from Reaper King, card draw off Unesh or Wirewood Savage, etc. Gilt-Leaf Archdruid draws infinite cards as well, and then once you have 7 changelings in hand you can play them all, then with the Curio trigger on the stack, steal someone's lands, resolve Curio to bounce back a changeling, then play it again to return your tapped changelings to hand then replay them again, effectively untapping them to steal the table's lands. Aluren offers a bit of redundancy to this combo as well (though TBH with three direct-to-play tutors, it's probably egregious). Curio is also a good card by itself, since the deck has so many cheap 1-2 mana changelings (with more hopefully coming with MH) so it can juggle them to trigger Lathliss and Spit Flame and the like. With the tutor creatures you can also save your important creatures from wraths with Curio.

    For a more tribal-based combo, Hibernation Sliver + Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves gets you infinite life and infinite ETBs with any cheap changeling. If you have a haste outlet and a mana-maker, it's also infinite mana. Hibernation Sliver also seems decent in the deck already for the same reasons Cloudstone Curio would be. There's also probably something you can do with Arcane Adaptation to break it, but right now I'm not seeing it.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on The Ur-Dragon, Home of the 14 card Changeling Combo
    👀



    Welp, I've gotta start ordering the cards I need now. Making the Ur-Dragon cost 4 mana with a giant tutorable body is pretty slick.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Lifelink + Band Together + Ajani's Pridemate
    If I control two lifelink creatures and I target both of them with Band Together (as well as target an enemy creature to fight), and I also control an Ajani's Pridemate, will the Pridemate trigger twice, once for each instance of lifelink damage being dealt?

    This ruling for Pridemate:

    "Each creature with lifelink dealing combat damage causes a separate life-gaining event. For example, if two creatures you control with lifelink deal combat damage at the same time, Ajani’s Pridemate’s ability will trigger twice."

    ... suggests it should work the same way, especially since Band Together specifies that it is the creatures dealing the damage (thus lifelink definitely happens) and that they "each" deal their damage (implying two instances of damage) but I want to make sure I'm not missing a key difference between these scenarios.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on The Ur-Dragon, Home of the 14 card Changeling Combo
    You've got 33 creature types but none of them are Zombie? Smile

    Graveborn Muse seems like the best candidate to me, as a Phyrexian Arena on a body, except this Arena can easily draw you 5+ cards a turn if you flood the board with Changelings which compensates for the main weakness of Arena (drawing cards too slowly). If you're losing too much life, you can Champion it away, chump attack/block with it etc.

    For less damaging card draw, Gisa and Geralf act like Wort, Boggart Auntie #2, with some minor downsides and upsides: they can't get back Crib Swap; they don't let you hoard changelings in your hand, you have to cast one every turn or lose value; you get to cast a changeling the turn you play them; they mill you to make it more likely to have stuff to cast; they've got a bigger body but no evasion. I'd try and fit both in if you can.

    I'll also mention two other options though I think they're both weaker. Cryptbreaker does his best impression of Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca's good ability while also being way cheaper and providing additional bodies to block, attack, and tap for cards. Rooftop Storm is expensive and is pretty bad at casting your mostly cheap changelings, but combined with Artificial Evolution of Arcane Adaptation it can do some silly stuff.

    I might end up building my own version of this deck in the future, hope you don't mind me stealing the idea. :>
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Niv-Mizzet Reborn and His Golden Army - AKA 5C Midrange-Voltron-Combo
    Quote from TribalElfMage »
    I love this deck! I've been working on something similar for our new Niv, and this list gave me some great ideas. I had no idea about the Lasav combo, definitely sweet. I've been considering adding some infinite draw combos Horizon Chimera to either ping the table to death with Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, fuel a giant Debt to the Deathless with Cadaverous Bloom, or just be boring and flavorless with Lab Man. Ultimately, I feel I'm more spell-based then you at this point, are there benefits/disadvantages going one way or the other?

    I'm pretty sure Hostage Taker and two clones gives you infinite ETB triggers, right? Not sure what the payoff would be there barring adding something like Vela the Night-Clad, which while it would help the with making Niv-Mizzet unblockable for Voltron beats, as well as helping make sure your Lasav combo connects, I'm not sure if that alone makes it worthwhile.


    Thanks! There's definitely some other neat combos in guild colours. In terms of creatures vs noncreatures, one of the main advantages for the creature deck is getting to run Gaddock Teeg, Ruric Thar, the Unbowed, and Nikya of the Old Ways, the first two being serious thorns in the sides of spell-heavy decks that the deck is able to recur or protect in a number of ways, and Nikya is just a big source of mana strapped to a big body that has to be dealt with or you can do silly things with Niv. The other benefit is that creatures are simply more proactive than spells, and Niv really rewards you for being proactive. Most of the guild spells are reactive (i.e. counters and removal), but the problem there is you basically have to spew them on whatever your opponents play early, regardless of whether you really want to or not, because if you want to drop Niv, you'll probably end up discarding them to handsize anyways. If your build of Niv is more combo-oriented then that might not be a problem (since you'd be using Niv more as a tutor and thus card advantage isn't that much of an issue), but my original list was a spell-heavy control deck and so casting tons of removal would just lead to me getting hated out. That was my experience with the spell-heavy deck anyways.

    I KNEW there was a combo with Hostage Taker! Thanks for pointing that one out. In terms of how to win with it, I'm uncertain if Vela the Night-Clad is really what the deck wants. We aren't playing tokens, and while we do have a ton of creatures and flicker effects, its really expensive for a bad Blood Artist. And Intimidate is a big nonbo with our general, since intimidate stops artifact creatures and creatures that don't share a colour with our creature from blocking, which for our general basically means everything can block it except for Eldrazi, and it can only do so much with our other gold creatures.

    Long deepdive into the Hostage Taker combo below:

    Looking at some of the available options (and ignoring some of the less useful, finicky options like Bronzebeak Moa, though if there's something potent I don't mention here let me know), Juniper Order Ranger can become infinitely large but can only one-shot one player via combat (unless you also combine it with Aurelia, the Warleader or Medomai the Ageless, though if you've managed to stick either of those for a turn there's probably other ways you can win); however it's also an additional way to combo off with Murderous Redcap, performing a similar job to Master Biomancer in buffing up our dudes. Ezuri, Claw of Progress is similar in that he can only kill one player (though he can make any creature lethal, not just himself) and he doesn't have the same combo potential with the other combos in the deck, but the deck does have a ton of 2 power creatures for him to work with, he's legendary which has a couple benefits, he helps with the Voltron plan, and he's extremely cute when combined with Meren of Clan Nel Toth (which currently isn't in the deck). Boltwing Marauder can enable killing multiple players, but it's once again through combat, it requires multiple evasive creatures, and as a card the Marauder is pretty unimpressive for the cost, especially in our token-less deck. However, it is an additional card that combos with Murderous Redcap + a counter generator (use Redcap's ETB to kill itself, generating infinite Boltwing triggers to make all our attacking creatures lethally large).

    But a card that perfectly combos with Hostage Taker + clones and does so without using combat, while also being useful to the rest of the deck is Dire Undercurrents. Hostage Taker is both blue and black, so we have infinite draw and infinite discard, and importantly Undercurrents lets us target any player! We can even stack the triggers such that we put the draw trigger first (targeting our opponent) and then the Hostage Taker's ETB on top of that, meaning the Hostage Taker's ability will resolve first, exiling the other Hostage Taker, putting the OTHER exiled Hostage taker in play, triggering that Hostage Taker as well as triggering Undercurrents, and then repeat from the top, leaving all the draw triggers on the stack. Thus we can create a stack that is 1000 draw triggers targeting each of our opponents, meaning their only out to stop themselves from decking (aside from having interaction in hand when the combo gets started) is something like untapped mana + Teferi's Protection. Even if they do have that, we can also target ourselves and draw half our deck till we find some of our other combos as a backup to hopefully beat that player on our next turn. Note that we can also layer the discard triggers in between the draw triggers, so we can also discard all the cards they draw off Undercurrents (which does play around Teferi's Protection somewhat, leaving them with only their board and the top of their deck to answer me on their next turn), and if they discard an Eldrazi or something similar off the first 100~ draw/discard triggers, we can decline the discard trigger for the next 900 draw/discard triggers (since it is a may).

    As an expensive noncreature card, Dire Undercurrents is playing a bit against some of the constraints of the deck, but I am running 13 blue creatures, 10 black creatures, and 5 creatures that are both blue and black (not including the 4 clones or Niv-Mizzet), and the deck has a number of flicker effects, so it seems like I'll be able to generate advantage from the card often enough, and it even combos with the Redcap + counter generator engine again similar to the way Boltwing Marauder does, generating infinite discard triggers, though obviously that isn't all that strong. I'll also mention that its a 2-card combo with The Locust God that generates an insect for each card in your deck (and it's a may so you won't deck yourself), and while I think the God is bad in my deck since it's expensive and my deck barely runs any card draw, it might be relevant for anyone who does run draw.

    TL;DR: I think I'll give Dire Undercurrents a shot, if only because pulling off this combo even once sounds hilarious.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Niv-Mizzet Reborn and His Golden Army - AKA 5C Midrange-Voltron-Combo
    Reserving this post just in case.



    I would appreciate any feedback on my deck! I've already played the deck a few times and it's done extremely well thus far, but any criticism, critiques, or (not yet mentioned) card suggestions are welcome. I play in a fairly low-powered, semi-competitive meta without MLD and relatively few combos (they do exist, but most of them are incidental combos like Kiki+Conscripts rather than a dedicated combo deck) and I built this deck with that in mind, so please keep that in mind as well.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Niv-Mizzet Reborn and His Golden Army - AKA 5C Midrange-Voltron-Combo


    Niv-Mizzet Reborn and His Golden Army




    AKA 5C Midrange-Voltron-Combo



    When I first saw Niv-Mizzet Reborn spoiled, I fell in love. There are very few things I like more than drawing cards, playing big dragons, and the design and power of multicolour cards. As an avid deckbuilder, Niv-Mizzet offers a fun deckbuilding challenge: how do you construct a deck using exclusively or almost exclusively two-colour cards, while maintaining an even distribution between all the guilds? This deck is one of a couple attempts I made at this challenge, and is the one I found to be the most unique and malleable in terms of gameplan and strategy.

    The premise of the deck works on a couple fronts:

    • Play out all of the myriad of 2-4 mana proactive and disruptive creatures in the deck. The faster you empty out your hand, the faster you can play Niv-Mizzet Reborn to fill it back up again without discarding to hand size. If your board gets wrathed, redeploy with your fresh hand of cards and repeat the whole process again.
    • Copy/blink/reanimate Niv-Mizzet to draw a ton of cards and dig into your deck to find the appropriate threat/answer for any given situation. This is an aggressive deck that can draw more cards than the average control deck.
    • Reach a critical mass of creatures, then play out some of the combat-enhancing cards in the deck to end the game. This could be through an extra combat step with a board full of huge beaters, using pump effects to turn our small utility dorks into actual threats, or Voltroning up Niv-Mizzet or some other monster to knock a player out in one turn.
    • Assemble one of three different multicolour combos embedded in the deck, using combo pieces that have uses beyond just comboing. Each combo piece has synergy with multiple other cards in the deck, and all of them are useful for advancing the deck's other gameplans.

    Why you should play this deck:
    • You enjoy aggressive creature-based strategies.
    • You want to draw obscene amounts of cards.
    • You enjoy playing combo decks that don't rely on or excessively tutor for their combos.
    • You like finding and employing unique synergies and neat interactions between cards.
    • You want a deck that can be easily adjusted to match the power level of your opponent's decks.
    • You like the colour gold.
    Why you shouldn't play this deck:
    • You prefer creature-light control-based strategies.
    • You often get targeted and lose for playing decks that are too proactive and disruptive.
    • You play against a lot of non-basic hate.
    • Fetchlands and shocklands are out of your budget (ABUR duals are replaceable).
    • You want a deck that can compete with highly tuned competitive decks.
    • You like the colour brown.

    What is "5C Midrange-Voltron-Combo"?

    Let's break each component down.

    5C

    5C stands for five colour, and it means our deck has access to the entire card pool of Magic ... well, not quite. Niv-Mizzet Reborn's restriction means that two-colour multicolour cards (henceforth known as "guild cards") are much more valuable to us than monocolour, artifact, and 3+ colour multicolour cards, and thus this deck chooses to run only guild cards; every single nonland card in the deck is a guild card and is thus potentially findable by Niv-Mizzet Reborn. Furthermore, because Niv-Mizzet will only give you one of each guild card off of his trigger (i.e. if you see 2 Dimir guild cards among the 10 cards revealed, you'll only get to pick one to draw), it's important to maintain a semblance of balance between all of the guilds to maximize the amount of cards you can draw. It is entirely feasible to play this deck with non-guild cards in order to take advantage of the fact that we are able to run cards like Demonic Tutor and Food Chain to increase the power level dramatically; the same can be said for running fewer guild cards of the guilds that are less helpful to us, like Boros, and more of the guild card from guilds that have an abundance of synergistic and powerful cards with this strategy, like Selesnya. However, in order to stick to the theme, as well as ensure that this aggressively oriented deck is drawing as many cards as it possibly can to ensure it can continue to develop threatening boards even in the lategame, this version of the deck chooses to run only guild cards and does its best to run an equivalent amount of guild cards of each guild.

    Midrange

    Midrange isn't really well defined in Commander, but I'll try to make a baseline definition here: midrange is a strategy that attempts to advance a creature-focused boardstate while simultaneously disrupting the opponent's strategy through the use of hatebears, tax effects, and/or removal. It uses flexible cards that are good in a variety of situations to either attack and put pressure on more controlling decks or remove key cards used by aggressive decks to create a disparity of power between itself and other players at the table. It can then capitalize on this disparity in boardstate through the use of haymakers and swing cards like Aurelia, the Warleader to take out one or more players and advance the gamestate toward a more favourable position. If its board gets dealt with, it uses card draw and recursion to find the cards it needs to restabilize and develop again. Niv-Mizzet Reborn is perfect for this sort of strategy, letting us freely dump our hand onto the battlefield with the knowledge that a full refill on cards is in our command zone. And with many powerful disruptive and advantage-generating cards available in guild colours, the deck has plenty of tools to get on the board and pressure players' lifetotals.

    Voltron

    40 life is a lot of life to get rid of, and at a table of 4, dealing 120 points of damage might not be realistic, especially if no one else is playing aggressive decks and/or there are a bunch of controlling decks at the table. In this sort of situation, "Voltron"ing (AKA buffing up one creature to epic proportions) with Niv-Mizzet Reborn becomes a great option; as a 6/6 flier, he's already quite beefy, and the deck runs a number of ways to double up his power to turn him into a quick clock. With one of the multitude of ways of giving Niv-Mizzet haste, as well as some counterspells to protect him, Niv-Mizzet can potentially become massive and one- or two-shot a player out of the game. The best part is, even if they kill Niv-Mizzet, we can cast him again, draw a whole new hand, and are once again poised to threaten 21 points of commander damage. Against lifegain decks, pillowfort decks with Propaganda type effects, and decks that play lots of creature wraths, Niv-Mizzet can be a very threatening clock that can get around some of the weaknesses that the midrange portion of our deck is prone to.

    Combo

    The problem with midrange and voltron strategies is that sometimes, things don't quite go your way due to the weaknesses inherent in these archetypes. You don't curve out properly; you don't draw the right cards for the right situation; your opponents get out ahead of you despite your attempts to stop them; your board gets wrathed one too many times; your commander gets permanently dealt with, etc. That's where the combo part of this deck comes in; if your opponents have spent their resources stopping your boardstate and your general, they might not have the answer ready for your game-ending combo. There are 3 different combos in this deck, one of which is a 3-card combo with some amount of redundancy in its pieces and is also difficult to interact with, while the other two are 2-card combos that are, admittedly, tougher to pull off on a locked-up boardstate but still feasible. These are the backup wincons that the deck can fall on to bail itself out of games and matchups that end up not in the deck's favour. Niv-Mizzet Reborn is excellent here - in addition to having the potential to put an entire combo into our hand with one trigger, digging 10 cards deep into our library almost acts like a tutor effect, making the assembly of these combos more reliable despite the fact that we play so few tutors.

    As you can see, Niv-Mizzet Reborn is the glue that makes the somewhat disparate strategies of Midrange, Voltron and Combo form a cohesive whole. He provides the card advantage necessary to support an aggressive creature strategy, the card selection to assemble combos, and the body that is primed and ready to be suited up to deal big chunks of damage. This is the basis for Niv-Mizzet's Golden Army: a collection of colourful cards from different deck archetypes that come together to create something bigger than themselves.


    The deck is constantly changing and will continue to change so long as powerful guild cards are printed, but this is how the deck currently looks now:

    Niv-Mizzet Reborn and His Golden Army - Current DecklistMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Commander
    1 Niv-Mizzet Reborn

    Land (38)
    1 Command Tower
    1 Pillar of the Paruns
    1 Gemstone Caverns
    1 Exotic Orchard
    1 Reflecting Pool
    1 City of Brass
    1 Mana Confleunce
    1 Forest

    1 Arid Mesa
    1 Badlands
    1 Bayou
    1 Blood Crypt
    1 Bloodstained Mire
    1 Breeding Pool
    1 Flooded Strand
    1 Godless Shrine
    1 Hallowed Fountain
    1 Marsh Flats
    1 Misty Rainforest
    1 Overgrown Tomb
    1 Plateau
    1 Polluted Delta
    1 Reflecting Pool
    1 Sacred Foundry
    1 Savannah
    1 Scalding Tarn
    1 Scrubland
    1 Stomping Ground
    1 Taiga
    1 Temple Garden
    1 Tropical Island
    1 Tundra
    1 Underground Sea
    1 Verdant Catacombs
    1 Volcanic Island
    1 Watery Grave
    1 Windswept Heath
    1 Wooded Foothills

    Creature (46)
    1 Deathrite Shaman

    1 Baleful Strix
    1 Lazav, the Multifarious
    1 Sygg, River Cutthroat
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    1 Saffi Eriksdotter
    1 Grenzo, Dungeon Warden
    1 Kiora's Follower
    1 Lavinia, Azorius Renegade
    1 Meddling Mage
    1 Mistmeadow Witch
    1 Radha, Heir to Keld
    1 Zhur-Taa Druid
    1 Llanowar Dead
    1 Tidehollow Sculler

    1 Aven Mimeomancer
    1 Duergar Hedge-Mage
    1 Trygon Predator
    1 Gyre Engineer
    1 Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist
    1 Olivia, Mobilized for War
    1 Protean Raider
    1 Thief of Sanity
    1 Leyline Prowler
    1 Varolz, the Scar-Striped

    1 Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle
    1 Master Biomancer
    1 Altered Ego
    1 Prime Speaker Vannifar
    1 Brago, King Eternal
    1 Captain Sisay
    1 Knight of New Alara
    1 Dack's Duplicate
    1 Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain
    1 Evil Twin
    1 Hostage Taker
    1 Falkenrath Aristocrat
    1 Murderous Redcap
    1 Iroas, God of Victory

    1 Karametra, God of Harvests
    1 Nikya of the Old Ways
    1 Xenagos, God of Revels
    1 Vona, Butcher of Magan

    1 Aurelia, the Warleader
    1 Medomai the Ageless
    1 Ruric Thar, the Unbowed

    Instant (6)
    1 Assassin's Trophy
    1 Boros Charm
    1 Anguished Unmaking
    1 Counterflux
    1 Ionize
    1 Fire Covenant

    Sorcery (2)
    1 Last One Standing
    1 Primevals' Glorious Rebirth

    Enchantment (5)
    1 Legion's Initiative
    1 Journey to Eternity
    1 Rhythm of the Wild
    1 Aura Shards
    1 Mirari's Wake

    Planeswalker (2)
    1 Saheeli Rai
    1 Kaya, Ghost Assassin



    DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Commander
    1 Niv-Mizzet Reborn

    Lands (38)
    1 Command Tower
    1 Pillar of the Paruns
    1 Gemstone Caverns
    1 Exotic Orchard
    1 Reflecting Pool
    1 City of Brass
    1 Mana Confluence
    1 Forest

    1 Arid Mesa
    1 Badlands
    1 Blood Crypt
    1 Bayou
    1 Bloodstained Mire
    1 Breeding Pool
    1 Godless Shrine
    1 Flooded Strand
    1 Marsh Flats
    1 Misty Rainforest
    1 Plateau
    1 Overgrown Tomb
    1 Polluted Delta
    1 Sacred Foundry
    1 Scrubland
    1 Scalding Tarn
    1 Savannah
    1 Temple Garden
    1 Taiga
    1 Stomping Ground
    1 Underground Sea
    1 Tundra
    1 Tropical Island
    1 Volcanic Island
    1 Verdant Catacombs
    1 Watery Grave
    1 Windswept Heath
    1 Wooded Foothills
    1 Hallowed Fountain

    Mana (11)
    1 Deathrite Shaman
    1 Llanowar Dead
    1 Radha, Heir to Keld
    1 Zhur-Taa Druid
    1 Kiora's Follower
    1 Leyline Prowler
    1 Gyre Engineer
    1 Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle
    1 Karametra, God of Harvests
    1 Mirari's Wake
    1 Nikya of the Old Ways

    Card Advantage (9)
    1 Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain
    1 Sygg, River Cutthroat
    1 Baleful Strix
    1 Thief of Sanity
    1 Grenzo, Dungeon Warden
    1 Captain Sisay
    1 Prime Speaker Vannifar
    1 Primevals' Glorious Rebirth
    1 Journey to Eternity

    Disruption (7)
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    1 Lavinia, Azorius Renegade
    1 Meddling Mage
    1 Counterflux
    1 Ionize
    1 Tidehollow Sculler
    1 Ruric Thar, the Unbowed

    Removal (9)
    1 Aura Shards
    1 Trygon Predator
    1 Duergar Hedge-Mage
    1 Hostage Taker
    1 Assassin's Trophy
    1 Anguished Unmaking
    1 Vona, Butcher of Magan
    1 Last One Standing
    1 Fire Covenant

    Combat (8)
    1 Aven Mimeomancer
    1 Olivia, Mobilized for War
    1 Rhythm of the Wild
    1 Xenagos, God of Revels
    1 Knight of New Alara
    1 Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist
    1 Iroas, God of Victory
    1 Boros Charm

    Copy/Flicker (9)
    1 Legion's Initiative
    1 Mistmeadow Witch
    1 Kaya, Ghost Assassin
    1 Saheeli Rai
    1 Protean Raider
    1 Dack's Duplicate
    1 Evil Twin
    1 Altered Ego
    1 Saffi Eriksdotter

    Combo (8)
    1 Varolz, the Scar-Striped
    1 Falkenrath Aristocrat
    1 Murderous Redcap
    1 Master Biomancer
    1 Lazav, the Multifarious
    1 Medomai the Ageless
    1 Brago, King Eternal
    1 Aurelia, the Warleader


    DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Commander
    1 Niv-Mizzet Reborn

    Azorius (6)
    1 Lavinia, Azorius Renegade
    1 Mistmeadow Witch
    1 Meddling Mage
    1 Aven Mimeomancer
    1 Brago, King Eternal
    1 Medomai the Ageless

    Dimir (6)
    1 Lazav, the Multifarious
    1 Sygg, River Cutthroat
    1 Baleful Strix
    1 Thief of Sanity
    1 Evil Twin
    1 Hostage Taker

    Rakdos (6)
    1 Grenzo, Dungeon Warden
    1 Olivia, Mobilized for War
    1 Fire Covenant
    1 Last One Standing
    1 Falkenrath Aristocrat
    1 Murderous Redcap

    Gruul (6)
    1 Radha, Heir to Keld
    1 Zhur-Taa Druid
    1 Rhythm of the Wild
    1 Nikya of the Old Ways
    1 Xenagos, God of Revels
    1 Ruric Thar, the Unbowed

    Selesnya (8)
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    1 Saffi Eriksdotter
    1 Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist
    1 Aura Shards
    1 Knight of New Alara
    1 Captain Sisay
    1 Karametra, God of Harvests
    1 Mirari's Wake

    Izzet (6)
    1 Counterflux
    1 Ionize
    1 Protean Raider
    1 Saheeli Rai
    1 Dack's Duplicate
    1 Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain

    Boros (5)
    1 Boros Charm
    1 Legion's Initiative
    1 Duergar Hedge-Mage
    1 Iroas, God of Victory
    1 Aurelia, the Warleader

    Orzhov (5)
    1 Tidehollow Sculler
    1 Anguished Unmaking
    1 Kaya, Ghost Assassin
    1 Vona, Butcher of Magan
    1 Primevals' Glorious Rebirth

    Golgari (6)
    1 Deathrite Shaman
    1 Llanowar Dead
    1 Assassin's Trophy
    1 Journey to Eternity
    1 Leyline Prowler
    1 Varolz, the Scar-Striped

    Simic (7)
    1 Kiora's Follower
    1 Gyre Engineer
    1 Trygon Predator
    1 Master Biomancer
    1 Altered Ego
    1 Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle
    1 Prime Speaker Vannifar

    Lands (38)
    1 Command Tower
    1 Pillar of the Paruns
    1 Gemstone Caverns
    1 Exotic Orchard
    1 Reflecting Pool
    1 City of Brass
    1 Mana Confluence
    1 Forest

    1 Arid Mesa
    1 Badlands
    1 Blood Crypt
    1 Bayou
    1 Bloodstained Mire
    1 Breeding Pool
    1 Godless Shrine
    1 Flooded Strand
    1 Marsh Flats
    1 Misty Rainforest
    1 Plateau
    1 Overgrown Tomb
    1 Polluted Delta
    1 Sacred Foundry
    1 Scrubland
    1 Scalding Tarn
    1 Savannah
    1 Temple Garden
    1 Taiga
    1 Stomping Ground
    1 Underground Sea
    1 Tundra
    1 Tropical Island
    1 Volcanic Island
    1 Verdant Catacombs
    1 Watery Grave
    1 Windswept Heath
    1 Wooded Foothills
    1 Hallowed Fountain




    Card Choices and Explanations:


      Ramp

      Mana is important for leveraging the massive amount of cards Niv-Mizzet can draw, so playing most of the guild cards that are mana accelerants lets us do the most with the cards in our hand.


    • Deathrite Shaman/Radha, Heir to Keld/Zhur-Taa Druid/Llanowar Dead/Kiora's Follower/Leyline Prowler - These are all cheap to cast mana dorks that are (unfortunately) the best that we have for multicolour early mana acceleration at the moment. Deathrite gets a special note as the only graveyard hate in the deck, and Kiora's Follower has a number of neat interactions with some of the permanents with tap abilities in the deck.
    • Gyre Engineer/Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle/Karametra, God of Harvests - In a similar vein, cards that can generate multiple sources of mana will greatly help us keep up in the lategame with our lower landcount deck. Gyre Engineer is fragile but being able to jump straight from 3 to 6 is quite powerful. Arixmethes generates 2 mana for the price of one card and isn't vulnerable to creature wraths. Karametra plays off our massive creature count of 45+ to put multiple lands into play and accelerate our ability to deploy more threats faster.
    • Nikya of the Old Ways/Mirari's Wake - These mana doublers help the deck explode and abuse the heck out of its draw power. Mirari's Wake needs little introduction, though it's nice that the anthem effect is particularly relevant in our creature heavy deck. Nikya's restriction is mitigated by the fact that we run so many creatures and so few noncreatures, and even in situations where we absolutely need to cast a noncreature spell, the deck plays a number of sacrifice and flicker effects to get Nikya off the board.

    • Card Advantage

      While our general is a big source of CA, it's important that we have other ways of drawing cards, as not only can our general be countered or stolen or otherwise made unavailable to us, but its inability to draw lands means we are otherwise entirely reliant on our drawstep to make land drops. Having these backup CA engines means the deck has multiple avenues of generating advantage and thus creates more dynamic and fluid games.


    • Baleful Strix/Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain/Sygg, River Cutthroat - These cards all help shore up Niv-Mizzet's inability to draw lands by helping to filter through our deck to find them. Strix is a simple cheap card that cycles and dissuades potential attackers. Jhoira plays off the 28~ other legendaries in the deck to generate extra cards while being attached to a reasonably sized-body. Sygg rewards some of the big evasive bodies the deck runs while also potentially drawing additional cards on other people's turns.
    • Thief of Sanity - A pet card of mine that potentially offers cards that are unavailable to our deck due to its restrictions but would love to play. It's good in standard and it's good in EDH.
    • Grenzo, Dungeon Warden - With 30~ creatures with power 2 or less, 7~ with power 3, and 4~ with power 4, casting Grenzo as a 4/4 gives you nearly about 40% odds at putting a creature into play, many of which cost twice as much as Grenzo's activation cost. Even if he's just a 2/2, getting a creature 1/3 of the time ain't bad. There's only one 5 power creature in the deck (Nikya of the Old Ways), so it usually won't be worth it to spend the mana on the extra power unless it's free to do so (i.e. an odd numbered amount of mana sources), and with only 4~ creatures with power 6, it's almost definitely not worth the entire loss of an activation to go for those big boys. Special consideration needs to be paid towards Grenzo's interaction with Niv-Mizzet: the cards that Niv-Mizzet puts on the bottom are put there in a random order, so while you won't know the exact order of the bottom of your deck, you'll at least know what those cards are. Either there'll be a creature card you weren't able to take from Niv-Mizzet's trigger that you can try to fish for, or the bottom of your deck is all lands and noncreatures, in which case you should find a shuffle effect to reset your deck. BTW: The hardest achievement to unlock for this deck has to be using Grenzo to put Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle in play. Smile
    • Prime Speaker Vannifar/Captain Sisay - The only thing better than drawing lots of cards is finding just one perfect card. Vannifar lets us pod our creatures into better ones and provides virtual CA by grabbing ETB dudes and the like. She can also tutor for pieces of the combos, but she has to do so one at a time; there's no real pod chain, she's just here for value and as a toolbox. Sisay, on the other hand, is able to tutor up 2 of the 3 combos on her own, and can even get one piece of the third combo, in addition to being an incredible toolbox, with 29 other legendary cards in the deck to get, including a land (Gemstone Caverns), removal (Vona, Butcher of Magan), recursion (Journey to Eternity), mana (Nikya of the Old Ways) and incredibly, a mass reanimation effect (Primevals' Glorious Rebirth). If you are looking to power down the deck to match a more casual meta, these are likely the first two cards to go, as their ability to assemble exactly what you need in a given moment is leagues stronger than what most of the rest of the deck is capable of.
    • Primevals' Glorious Rebirth/Journey to Eternity - There are some powerful creatures in this deck, and we want to get them back to use them again. Rebirth has a ton of legendary permanents to return, and with a haste outlet like Rhythm of the Wild this can potentially kill the whole table in one turn. Journey to Eternity, when combined with the decks sac outlets, enable the reliable "flickering" (through death and reanimation) of Niv-Mizzet or any of the other good ETB creatures in the deck, leaving behind an additional mana source that becomes an engine all its own.

    • Disruption

      Part of the strength of this deck is its ability to run a variety of powerful multicolour hatebears and disruptive elements that can send some decks off-balance while leaving itself mostly unharmed.


    • Gaddock Teeg/Ruric Thar, the Unbowed/Lavinia, Azorius Renegade/Meddling Mage - These cards all put a serious limit on what our opponents are allowed to do. Gaddock barely effects us with only 3ish cards in the entire deck that get shut off by his ability, and Ruric Thar severely punishes and pressures spell heavy decks while leaving us mostly unscathed. Lavinia ensures that our opponents aren't trying to cheat the mana system by using Cabal Coffers with X spells like Exsanguinate or Omniscience to kill us out of nowhere with. Meddling Mage can shut down generals, cards that get repeatedly cast like Capsize or Whitemane Lion, or cards we otherwise know about through revealed information that we want to stop.
    • Counterflux/Ionize - Some things we can't interact with using removal, so counterspells help us stop anything our opponents are doing that we don't like. Counterflux and Ionize are both simple counterspells that do what they say on the tin. (Izzet unfortunately has some of the worst guild cards for a creature based deck, so these filler-esque cards are the best we can do to supplement Izzet's guild card ratio).
    • Tidehollow Sculler - Sometimes not even a counterspell can stop what our opponents are doing, in which case the next best option is to strip whatever they've got out of their hand. Sculler is a simple cheap bear that not only lets us see what an opponent is up to, but it lets our opponents see as well, potentially redirecting damage and interaction towards that player if they have a scary hand. We can also combine Sculler with a sac outlet to permanently exile the card we take by responding to the trigger.

    • Removal

      Some things our deck just can't deal with, and messing with our opponents board state gives us time to develop our own, so we run plenty of removal to keep certain threats and answers in check.


    • Aura Shards/Trygon Predator/Duergar Hedge-Mage - Between Propaganda effects, Torpor Orb, big mana sources like Gilded Lotus, and other worrying cards, being able to continually disrupt our opponent's ability to build up their noncreature board is essential. Aura Shards and Trygon Predator let us do just that, with Aura Shards in particular being extremely useful at maintaining a clean board. The Hedge-Mage is a fine utility dork, and with plenty of dual lands, we should trigger both of his abilities most of the time.
    • Hostage Taker/Assassin's Trophy/Anguished Unmaking/Vona, Butcher of Magan - These are all catch-all answers for most of the threats you need to deal with. Hostage Taker can exile and then eventually cast any creature or artifact that's troubling us, and it can also be used as a flicker effect for our general, using a sacrifice outlet to put Niv-Mizzet back into play. Trophy and Unmaking are versatile instant speed ways of interacting with our opponent's board, and Vona offers a repeatable source of destruction on a solid lifelinking body that plays nicely with a 40 life format.
    • Fire Covenant/Last One Standing - Sometimes the board isn't going our way, and these cards let us catch back up. Fire Covenant is a powerhouse of a card, letting us blow up whatever creatures are troubling us while still keeping our board in tact. We don't have much lifegain, but this is one of the few lifepayment cards in the deck and we are often the aggressor, so let's put that 40 life to good use. Last One Standing is a bit random, but most of the time you'll kill most of what you wanted to kill and might even end up ahead.

    • Combat

      We are a creature-oriented aggressive deck, and while a good portion of the deck is dinky 2/2 and 3/3s, we play a fair number of ways to make these creatures into real threats, either by making them tough to block, really big, or both. Voltron with Niv-Mizzet is a very realistic option with multiple cards helping Niv-Mizzet double his power or get a +1 to his power to turn him into a 3 turn clock. The number of cards that help with combat extends even beyond this list - most of our combo pieces and some of our blink and clone effects help as well - and even some of the cards in this section can help with other aspects of our gameplan, but for the most part the cards listed in this section are aimed at helping our dudes get into the red zone.


    • Knight of New Alara/Xenagos, God of Revels/Boros Charm - These are some of the main ways we can deal big chunks of damage. The Knight by default will give all our other creatures +2/+2, which is plenty to turn otherwise unassuming mana dorks into a real army, but also turns Niv-Mizzet into an 11/11 monster. Xenagos lets us double up the power of our larger creatures while also giving haste to creatures that need it. Boros Charm can give one big creature a big boost of damage for one turn, and can still do its usual thing of protecting our board from wraths. Combining any two of these three with our general leads to a lethal attack of 21+ points of Commander damage.
    • Aven Mimeomancer - This little gem deserves special mention as a way of making our utility dorks and ETB dudes into real, continual threats. As long as the sky is clear, our Gaddock Teegs and Deathrite Shamans can beat in with impunity. It even has the bonus of being able to shrink down large enemy creatures to something more manageable, allowing our general and our other beefier men to attack in freely.
    • Olivia, Mobilized for War - Olivia stands out as a cheap efficient threat that utilizes the extra cards Niv-Mizzet draws very well by letting us discard the cards we don't need off of his draw trigger, allowing Niv-Mizzet to attack with haste and an extra counter, speeding up his clock. Other creatures can use her haste too of course - Vona, Butcher of Magan, Medomai the Ageless and Prime Speaker Vannifar chief among them - but the simple synergy between her and Niv-Mizzet is noteworthy.
    • Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist/Iroas, God of Victory - Both of these cards help make sure that our creatures can connect for damage and let us attack without worry. Mirri lets us alpha strike an opponent and leaves them with just one blocker to stop our attackers, and as long as Mirri stays tapped she prevents an alpha strike in kind. Iroas means even our dinky 2/2s demand multiple creatures to block and makes them immune to combat to boot, and animating Iroas into a creature is fairly realistic considering how many red and/or white permanents we run. Combined, they also flat out make our creatures unblockable, with menace + Mirri's blocking restriction being a potent combo.


    • Copy/Flicker

      Flickering and copying Niv-Mizzet is an incredibly powerful way of drawing a ton of cards and digging deep into your deck to find the cards you need. WOTC printed a reasonably costed 5C commander that can draw 5+ cards as an unrestricted ETB, so let's abuse it.




    • Mistmeadow Witch/Kaya, Ghost Assassin/Legion's Initiative - Flickering, compared to cloning, has the highest upside when it comes to Niv-Mizzet, as most flicker effects are repeatable and fairly cheap. Mistmeadow Witch is slow but the potential of continual flickering with Niv-Mizzet makes it worth it, plus it can also remove scary attackers and blockers from combat or save our creatures from removal. Kaya offers a fairly slow form of blinking that nonetheless gets the job done, and the options to get some CA with her -2 when Niv isn't on the table is nice. Initiative does a number of neat things: it pumps our commander up to the 7 power necessary for a 3 turn clock; it saves our board from a wrath; it lets Aurelia, the Warleader get a third combat step by activating it during the end of combat step of her first combat phase; and, of course, it flickers Niv-Mizzet for those sweet cards.
    • Saheeli Rai/Protean Raider/Dack's Duplicate/Evil Twin/Altered Ego - Using a clone to copy Niv-Mizzet Reborn will create two legendary permanents with the same name, forcing you to sacrifice one of them to the legend rule (typically the clone, but sometimes killing off Niv-Mizzet can have some benefits), and you'll still get the ETB trigger, resulting in massive value. Clones have the additional upside of functioning as printed, meaning you can still copy your opponent's best stuff when Niv-Mizzet isn't available. Most of the clones are interchangeable and have their own pros and cons, but one worth mentioning is Altered Ego. In addition to being uncounterable, the option to get some extra +1/+1 counter on our copied creature is nice, particularly with Master Biomancer. The Biomancer will give the Ego two additional +1/+1 counters in addition to whatever we pay into the Ego (let's say 2 mana), making our Ego-Biomancer a 6/8 and, combined with the OG Biomancer, will cause all our creatures to ETB with 8 +1/+1 counters!
    • Saffi Eriksdotter - Saffi can be used to protect important creatures from removal or ensure we have some kind of board leftover after a wrath, but mostly she's useful as a way to trigger Niv-Mizzet's ability in combination with a sac outlet. For maximum value, use Saffi on Niv-Mizzet, clone Niv-Mizzet choosing to keep the clone and sac the OG Niv so that Saffi's abilty will bring Niv back, giving you two Niv triggers, one from the clone and one from the original Niv-Mizzet. Have fun looking at the top 20 cards of your deck!

    • Combo

      If all else fails, the deck has a number of combo finishes that can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Between Niv-Mizzet's draw power and some of the other tutors and recursion elements in the deck, assembling these combos can happen fairly quickly. If you would prefer to play without combos, due to your meta or personal reasons or what have you, then adjusting the deck is as simple as swapping out the more specifically combo-oriented cards for the many other options available in guild colours.


      Combo 1:
      Varolz, the Scar-Striped/Falkenrath Aristocrat + Master Biomancer/Rhythm of the Wild + Murderous Redcap - Get Biomancer or Rhythm into play, alongside Murderous Redcap and one of the two sac outlets (Varolz or Aristocrat). Sacrifice the Redcap to their ability, causing it to trigger its Persist ability. When it comes back into play, either Biomancer will cause it to come in with two +1/+1 counters, removing the -1/-1 counter, or Rhythm giving Redcap Riot will allow you to choose to give it a +1/+1 counter, once again cancelling the counters out. Repeat this for infinite damage to any target via Redcap's ETB ability. This is by far the most powerful combo in the deck, due to the interchangeability of many of its pieces, Rhythm of the Wild stopping counterspells from disrupting its own combo, and the fact that outside of instant speed graveyard hate or removal, there is no way of interacting with the combo once it gets going.


      Some individual notes on these cards:

    • Varolz, the Scar-Striped/Falkenrath Aristocrat - Both of these creatures are fairly efficient beaters that protect themselves from removal and wraths. Sac outlets are super important not only for this combo, but to a number of other cards we run as well, such as Journey to Eternity. Varolz turns our dead mana dorks and other creatures into additional power to the creature that most needs it, and living the dream of using Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle to put 12 +1/+1 counters on something makes him worth running for that possibility alone. Aristocrat does a good job of pressuring life totals and planeswalkers, and will occasionally have some humans to eat to grow bigger as well.
    • Master Biomancer - This is a reasonably costed creature that turns even the lowliest Deathrite Shaman into an unreasonably sized threat. When combined with some of the many ways we have of pumping our creatures up (like Varolz, the Scar-Striped) he can truly make some menacing board states.
    • Rhythm of the Wild - Haste is one of the more important mechanics that this deck craves, so having that ability on all our things, while also protecting them from counterspells and even giving us the option of a +1/+1 counter when haste isn't necessary makes this a package that's too good to pass up. Between Prime Speaker Vannifar, Medomai the Ageless, and even our general, a better Fervor is exactly what the doctor ordered.
    • Murderous Redcap - If you want to power down the deck and the combos in it have your ire, this card is the first place to start. It's the closest thing to a "combo-piece only" (i.e. Power Artifact) type of card in the deck as its utility is 70% combo, 15% picking off enemy utility creatures, 10% being a creature that provides multiple bodies for certain cards, such as Prime Speaker Vannifar, and 5% having a fun interaction with pump effects such as Knight of New Alara. Any removal spell that's a Rakdos guild card would be a suitable replacement for this card, and removing this card from the deck stops the combo entirely.

    • Combo 2:
      Brago, King Eternal + Aurelia, the Warleader - Get both of these creatures into play and attack with both of them, triggering Aurelia's ability. Successfully hit an opponent with Brago, choosing to flicker Aurelia. On your next combat step, attack with both of them again, triggering Aurelia's ability once again since Brago flickering her caused her to become a new object and made her forget that she already attacked this turn. Repeat until everyone you can attack is dead. This combo is fairly restrictive in that you need Brago (and Aurelia for the most part) to get through unblocked, so even a lowly 1/1 flying spirit token held back on defense shuts this combo down if we can't get around it. Considering both Brago and Aurelia are totally reasonable on their own, however, and both work very well with the gameplan of the deck, this will often be a neat interaction that comes up occasionally but has plenty of counterplay, leading to interactive games.


      Some individual notes on these cards:

    • Brago, King Eternal - Brago's main use is going to be flickering Niv-Mizzet every combat step that he can to re-trigger that great ETB. The fact that he can untap our attackers for a bit of pseudo-vigilance is a nice bonus, and in combination with a haste outlet like Rhythm of the Wild, he can even get you extra activations out of a card like Vona, Butcher of Magan or untap all your mana dorks for a bit of extra mana.
    • Aurelia, the Warleader - Aurelia is a powerhouse; she effectively doubles the power of your creatures in play, and when combined with other power doubling effects like Xenagos, God of Revels, she can help one-shot your opponents. This card ends games. Despite that fact, if you wanted to cut this combo from the deck, Aurelia would be the weaker of the two cards and thus would be the best candidate for cutting.

    • Combo 3:
      Lazav, the Multifarious + Medomai the Ageless + any cheap creature + a lot of mana - Get Lazav into play with haste (or without summoning sickness) and have at least one opponent attackable in the air. With Medomai in your graveyard, activate Lazav's ability to turn Lazav into Medomai, attack, and take an extra turn. Since Medomai can't attack on extra turns (and Lazav's name being Lazav and not Medomai doesn't change that fact), use Lazav to copy a cheap creature in your graveyard (like Deathrite Shaman or Gaddock Teeg), attack, and then before blocks transform into Medomai again, taking another extra turn, and you can then repeat this sequence for infinite turns. This combo has the same problem as the last one, i.e. creatures blocking Lazav put a stop to the combo, but it adds two new problems as well. Getting Medomai + a cheap dude into the yard can sometimes be difficult and awkward, and requiring at bare minimum 7 mana sources in play puts a limit on when and how the combo can be assembled. Still, both of these cards do some powerful things for the deck on their own so getting a neat combo from their interaction is a great bonus.


      Some individual notes on these cards:

    • Lazav, the Multifarious - Lazav performs a very muted Baleful Strix impression in the early game, letting you filter your draws a bit while being a body with which to sac and chump. But if given enough mana, Lazav can be a strong and malleable creature, able to become powerful creatures your opponents already spent removal on, like Gaddock Teeg and Prime Speaker Vannifar, to disrupt your opponents or help your gameplan as the situation dictates. He has a particularly powerful interaction with Nikya of the Old Ways, by being able to turn into her and generate her beneficial effect, then become something else to ignore her downside. If you wanted to cut this combo, Lazav is the less powerful and more situational of the two combo pieces and thus can get the axe if that is your desire.
    • Medomai the Ageless - Much like Aurelia, the Warleader, this card generates extra combat steps with which to beat down our opponents, but has the added benefit of drawing a card and untapping our mana. When combined with haste, this card can surprise our opponents and lead to massive blowout turns and game-winning combat steps.

    Potential Options and Notable Exclusions


    99 slots isn't a lot for a deck. These are all cards that were in one of those slots at one point or another. I've looked at every currently printed guild card and made my judgments on them, so I've likely seen cards that aren't on either of these lists and decided against them, but if you truly believe you've found a gem you think I'm sleeping on then let me know. Feel free to tell me if any of the cards on these lists should be in the deck, or take these as suggestions and include them in your own deck if you feel they fit.

      Cards that I REALLY want to play

      These, for one reason or another, are all cards that I feel SHOULD be in the deck but aren't. If you think I should be running any of these specific cards over any other specific card currently in my deck, an explanation as to why would help me a great deal.

    • Qasali Pridemage/Cindervines/Utter End/Double Negative/Nahiri, the Harbinger/Rakdos Charm/Pernicious Deed/Despark - All of these cards are powerful forms of removal, graveyard hate, and board wipes, and right now while I'm still testing the deck I am unsure as to what kind and how many of these types of effects I should run. As I get more information on how the deck plays, I'll add or subtract these types of cards as I see fit.
    • Samut, Voice of Dissent - Probably the card I'm the most disappointed ended up on the chopping block, Samut has a number of very powerful interactions with many cards in the deck. As a mass haste enabler that's legendary, bringing her back with Primevals' Glorious Rebirth alongside a bunch of her strong legendary buddies like Aurelia, the Warleader and Iroas, God of Victory can lead to a big swing. Similar to Kiora's Follower she has a number of tap abilities she can interact with, the strongest of which being Captain Sisay and Prime Speaker Vannifar both of whom can abuse Samut to quickly assemble one the deck's combos. That is ultimately why I cut Samut from the deck - she made those cards way too strong for the power level I'm aiming for. If I end up cutting those cards, Samut might find her way back in.
    • Meren of Clan Nel Toth - Another dissapointing cut, I think Meren is a bit too slow in this deck, and often won't be able to get enough experience counters to get to the point where reanimating something each turn is realistic. If I find myself wanting a repeatable source of slow card advantage, maybe she'll get back in.
    • Treasured Find - On the other hand, this Regrowth might be just efficient enough to make the cut. Getting back a wrath, a removal spell, or even another recursion spell like Primevals' Glorious Rebirth is quite powerful, and getting back a fetchland or a utlity dork are also fine failcases. For now I'll see how the deck plays without it.
    • Venser, the Sojourner - Being able to repeatedly flicker Niv-Mizzet or any of our other ETB dudes is incredible value, and his -1 has surprising utility here, enabling big boards of previously unevasive creatures to get in unblocked. He even enables both of the combat-based combos to work through most forms of combat disruption. He seems a bit expensive though, so for now I'll try out some other cards.
    • Grand Arbiter Augustin IV - Taxing our opponents is a great way to slow them down to give us time to advance our board state. It's also a great way to piss everyone off and make me the target. In addition, it only discounts about 30~ of the cards in the deck, and only 3~ of the cards get the double discount, one of which being my Commander (which TBF is a neat interaction, essentially allowing me to ignoring one instance of Niv-Mizzet's tax as long as Augustin is out). Overall I think 4 mana is too much for a card that doesn't attack or block well and is more likely to get me or my board killed than do anything else. But it's certainly possible I'm wrong on him, so if I feel like I want a bit more mana acceleration and disruption I might give him a shot.
    • Collective Blessing - As an expensive noncreature spell that is reliant on creatures, this seems like a middling card, but considering just how many creatures this deck can vomit out, I think this card has massive potential. The killer, though, is that it's Selesnya, which right now simply has too many powerful cards in it to consider running this clunky enchantment. I do like this card, so any chance I get to try it out I'll be taking it.
    • The Scarab God - The God of value is, I think, ultimately too slow to fit in this deck, though its ability to win the game on its own is certainly alluring. If I end up cutting some of the topend cards, this might slot in, but for now I'm happier with Lazav, the Multifarious.
    • Lim-Dul's Vault - I think of this card as part tutor and part card filtering, and thus, as part of an effort to limit the power-level of the deck, decided against running an additional tutor effect. It's possible that if I cut some of my other tutor effects this can slot in, but right now I'm not interested.
    • Stun Sniper - It's pretty embarrassing that in a combat oriented deck I'm considering this card as a potential Boros guild card - says a lot about the state of Boros in EDH. Despite that, I do think Stun Sniper could have a place here. It's a cheap creature that comes down early, picks off mana dorks and utility creatures, and in the lategame can stop big attackers and tap down would-be blockers (though I REALLY wish it didn't have that mana activation cost). Plus it's got a neat interaction with Aven Mimeomancer. Ultimately I think this card is more cute than good, but I'm optimistic.

    • Cards I REALLY DON'T think I should be playing

      These are all cards that I considered, but I find it highly doubtful they'll make it in. Unless my deck undergoes significant changes, you won't be seeing these in my 99 (but they might make sense in yours!).

    • Kitchen Finks - This would be an additional creature to go infinite with the Master Biomancer (and various friends) combo. Infinite life is a lot weaker than infinite damage, and Selesnya simply has too many powerful options to be running this medium dork. If you want to go more all in on the combo, this seems like a fine addition.
    • Grimgrin, Corpse-Born - In a similar vein, this is another potential sac outlet for the Persist combo to create redundancy in effects, while also being attached to a reasonably sized body that offers repeatable removal. I don't think the deck runs enough tokens and disposable creatures to reliably use him in a way that won't be eating into our mana and utility dorks, but for more combo-minded indiviuals, this is another option.
    • Cruel Celebrant - This card likely has two homes in respect to its relationship with Niv-Mizzet: one, in a token build that can take advantage of a wide board to drain out opponents. Two, as an additional piece of the Murderous Redcap combo in a more combo-oriented build, as this card lets you ignore the need of a sac outlet; simply have the Redcap shoot itself with its own ability with Master Biomancer/Rhythm of the Wild out, creating infinite death triggers that this card can take advantage of.
    • Assemble the Legion - Ultimately this card is too slow and too expensive. While it has some great interactions with cards like Master Biomancer and Knight of New Alara, there are better expensive cards this deck can be playing. Maybe if the deck were more token oriented.
    • Tajic, Legion's Edge - If Tajic comes down early, he can mentor up my utility and mana dorks and pressure my opponents life total. Later on, while he might not be able to get in as easily, he does protect my board from damage-based sweepers. It's that last point that I'm skeptical of, given red is the only colour that has them and our deck isn't playing any, so ultimately I think this card won't find a home here.
    • Tymna the Weaver - Surprisingly, I think there is such a thing as too much card draw. Its condition can be hard to meet and encourages spreading the love when we really want to be focusing people down, 3 mana is a lot of mana to spend on a 2/2 with no evasion, and ultimately my commander draws me enough cards and does it a lot more reliably than this.
    • Magister of Worth - Too many expensive cards already, and while a wrath stapled to a body is nice, it's a bit unreliable.
    • Safewright Quest - In the current build of the deck, I believe it is correct to cut this. I think the correct amount of lands for this deck is 38, and so I can either run this card + 37 lands or 38 lands. I am running 8 Selesnya cards, meaning even in the case where I do hit this card off of Niv-Mizzet Reborn's trigger, there's pretty high odds that another Selesnya card will be there, and considering how powerful most of the Selesnya cards are, 90% of the time I'll take the other card. Add in the fact that I'm running Ruric Thar, the Unbowed and Nikya of the Old Ways to punish noncreatures, as well as the Quest being functionally extremely similar to a tapland which is a subsection of lands I wanted to avoid, and that should justify its exclusion.
    • Voice of Resurgence - Once again, Selesnya simply has too many cards that I want. Voice would be a great way of dissuading interaction on my turn while also leaving behind a nice-sized body to beat with, but when compared to the other powerful and synergistic GW cards, this one is just too low impact.
    • Dauntless Escort - Yup, same thing. The Escort would be great at protecting my board from wraths, but not being able to protect it from all wraths (i.e. Merciless Eviction) is a bit of a bummer, and a 3/3 ground beater is fine but not quite good enough.
    • Defiler of Souls - Rakdos has some issues when it comes to guild card quality, so it was surprising when this card, which fits thematically and mechanically with the deck, ended up on the cutting room floor. The deck has better expensive cards it can be running that more reliably disrupt our opponents or advance our own gameplan than this thing.
    • Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker - As a Taurean Mauler with wings, I thought this guy would make the list, but being a french vanilla beater is just a bit too behind the curve. Maybe if it cost 3 I'd be in, but 4 mana is too much for a beatstick that can still get chumped by flying tokens.
    • Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage Despite the deck being half historic cards, there isn't much of a reason to play Raff. A lot of those cards (Gaddock Teeg, Lavinia, Azorius Renegade) are cards we want to be playing on our turn anyway, and a 3/3 body for 4 is just a bit too mana inefficient.




    Changelog

    (N/A)
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Found my commander but can't make a deck around them.
    One subset of cards to consider playing are mana rocks that produce 2 or more mana, such as Sol Ring (obviously), Everflowing Chalice, Coalition Relic, Worn Powerstone, Thran Dynamo, Hedron Archive, Gilded Lotus, Dreamstone Hedron, Pyramid of the Pantheon, Firemind Vessel, etc. (there's some more like Sisay's Ring, but these are probably the best of them).

    Most of them don't manafix which is fine for a 2-colour deck, but they do double duty for your commander, both giving you lots of mana to be casting her (especially since, as kraus911 says, you'll only be able to play her a couple times a game because she's mana hungry, so more mana helps get her out more often) as well as tons of mana to sink into her ability to mill people and raise your odds of getting faeries.

    With all that extra mana, you then might consider going for a "big Dimir" route with some splashy expensive spells like Clone Legion or Rise of the Dark Realms (Rise in particular is great if you go for a mill-oriented deck - unfortunately it doesn't work with Oona's milling though), some X spells to sink your big mana into like Mass Manipulation and Torment of Hailfire as well as the new Finales (Finale of Eternity and Finale of Revelation), and maybe some fatties like Rune-Scarred Demon or Nezahal, Primal Tide.

    On the subject of power level, I think it might be a good idea to visit your LGS during Thursday night commander just to see what sort of decks people are playing, or maybe just ask the store owner or someone you know that plays on Thursdays what sort of power level to expect. If you show up on Thursday with your casually-oriented deck and everyone is playing highly competitive and tuned lists, you aren't gonna have a great time (same goes for if you end up building too competitive and everyone is playing super casually). At the very least I would go in with the expectation that you might have to end up scaling your deck up or down in power level in order to match the level of what other people are packing.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on What stories have stayed with you over the test of time?
    I've got 3 that come to me right away. Part of what's memorable about the first two is they both involve either me or my opponent eating our own words.

    One was a game with my Nin, the Pain Artist Erratic Explosion deck playing a casual pickup 1v1 game against a stranger's Angus Mackenzie Superfriends deck. I was able to burn most of his walkers out, but he's managed to stick a Jace of one sort and an Ajani of another while I've just got a Psychosis Crawler and a lot of mana. I'm mostly untouched and he's at 19. We've both been holding up our mana representing counterspells for a turn or two, but on his next turn he decides to go for it. He casts Time Warp and tries to Twincast it with both his walkers nearing ultimate, still with plenty of mana untapped. I decide to go for it as well. I cast Brainstorm, which he lets resolve, pinging him down to 16 with Psychosis Crawler. I then cast Riddle of Lightning targeting him, and I'm ready for the counter war, but instead he responds with these words: "I mean, it's not like that'll kill me."

    No need to scry: I just flip over Draco. We're both laughing like madmen.

    A second story was another 1v1 game, this time against a friend (my decks are all built for multiplayer, but the unique, memorable moments only seem to happen in 1v1). He asks if I've got a deck that's more midrange in competitiveness to play against his newly built Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire tokens deck, so I pull out my own newly built Reyhan, Last of the Abzan+Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper deck. I tell him it's mostly just a goodstuffish big value dudes + removal deck with some +1/+1 counter and lifegain synergies, but it's a slow deck with no infinite combos or super mean cards and it shouldn't kill you out of nowhere.

    Of course, I kill him on turn 4. We're back to standard of a year ago with turn 2 Winding Constrictor into turn 3 Walking Ballista (killing his Llanowar Elves) and then turn 4 I play Unspeakable Symbol. I'm at 38 from fetchlands and don't believe in half measures, so I pay 36 life into the Symbol to put 24 counters on my 1/1 Ballista making it a 25/25, then remove 2 counters to kill his only blocker, Falkenrath Noble (which drains me down to 1). I attack with both for 25, then remove 23 counters to ping him for an unnecessary amount of overkill. Pretty incredible first game for the deck, pretty bad look for me when I follow up "shouldn't kill you out of nowhere" with that godhand.

    My last memorable story is a story (or rather, an entire game) I've already posted years ago in the "Crazy Plays" thread, but the fact that it's the only "crazy play" I've deemed "crazy" enough to post in that thread should indicate just how memorable it is to me. It's a bit long as it's condensing an intense 9-10 turn 2HG game, but it's a pretty wild ride if I may say so. Spoiler'd to avoid making this post into a giant wall of text:

    Quote from Stapler »
    Had a fairly epic game last Friday where every time I untapped, I thought there was no way I was going to untap again. There is no one "crazy play" here; it's just a series of neat plays that were enough to overcome a massive early game disadvantage.


    It was a 2-headed giant game with me piloting a Nin, the Pain Artist Erratic Explosion-based deck paired up with a Malfegor deck (which looked like it did Malfegor things) against a generic Nahiri, the Lithomancer deck teamed up with goodstuff The Mimeoplasm running a bunch of 2-card combos. We are immediately put on the back foot at they both draw Sol Rings very early and start ramping up mana and putting down threats. Mimeoplasm copies a Triskelion that gets milled with Dreamborn Muse to shoot down my general as well as one of Malfegor's creatures. Meanwhile, we are both having slow draws with only a couple removal spells to help stabalize, where the most impactful cards on our side of the board are my Scroll Rack and suspended Reality Strobe along with Malfegor's Bottled Cloister. It culminates to the point where they attack with 2 creatures each, with Nahiri using Jazal Goldmane to give itself and a Stonehewer Giant +4/+4, and the giant fetching Loxodon Warhammer to deal us 25 damage in one swing, which put us down to 1, and our opponents up to 51. It is turn 5.

    At this point, I am forced to pull the trigger on the Temporal Mastery in my hand (which I use Scroll Rack to set up). This gives us a turn where I am able to drop Pyromancer's Goggles and Malfegor plays Sarkhan the Mad, which sets up for next turn, where I get to remove the last counter on Reality Strobe to bounce Plasm's Golgari Rot Farm to stifle his mana development (which ended up being crucial), where I use Goggles to cast Riddle of Lightning killing off 2 of our opponent's creatures, and where Malfegor uses Zealous Conscripts to steal the Stonehewer Giant that had the Loxodon Warhammer to put us back up to 8 and to give ourselves a dragon by killing the Giant with Sarkhan's -2 (though we go down to 7 life after a cracked fetchland).

    Mimeoplasm tries to come down, but I am ready with Traumatic Visions (heh), and next turn I ease some of our pain by finding and cracking a Relic of Progenitus. Nahiri makes things difficult for us by coming down and grabbing an Argentum Armor that was milled by Dreamborn Muse (which has still been milling everyone), and we have neither artifact nor creature removal handy, but we luckily have the next best thing. Malfegor plays Molten Primordial to steal the token equipped with Armor, and I use Vesuvan Shapeshifter to copy Zealous Conscripts to steal the Argentum Armor, enabling us to use Armor to destroy itself (if I didn't steal it, Nahiri would get the trigger). Malfegor also plays Withered Wretch, getting rid of Nahiri's equipment and most of Plasm's scary graveyard stuff. We also used Molten Primordial to steal and subsequently dragonify Melira, Sylvok Outcast, which was very lucky for us as Plasm's next play is Woodfall Primus with a Greater Good on board (Primus hits Bottled Cloister). We even deal with the Primus without much trouble, as we play Malfegor to wipe their board and use Wretch to exile Primus in response to Persist (Plasm forgot about the trick and didn't sac Primus to Greater Good, thinking he'd get it back).

    The next few turns have us gaining traction, with Malfegor drawing more cards off of Sarkhan and my Reality Strobe bouncing Golgari Rot Farm a second time (Plasm hasn't ever gotten past 8 mana), till finally we get smacked down yet again by an overloaded Cyclonic Rift, with a 3/3 flier equipped with Warhammer putting us back down to 1 once more. At first it looks like we won't be able to get rid of the trampling flying creature due to Malfegor's mana constraints thanks to Rift bouncing his mana rocks, but I find the line: Malfegor plays Sol Ring, taps it to cast Zealous Conscripts, then uses Conscripts to untap it. With Conscripts in play, I can use Vesuvan Shapeshifter to copy Conscripts, stealing our opponent's Warhammer'd up creature. Finally, after attacking and getting a life buffer, Malfegor has exactly enough mana to play Sarkhan and kill the creature I stole, giving me a dragon. At this point, because we've dealt our opponents so much damage from stolen creatures and dragons, and because our opponents know exactly what cards are in our hand that got bounced from the Rift (Molten Primordial most notably), they both scoop.

    tl;dr: One is not zero.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Casualties of War, Decimate, and Sequential Destruction
    Thanks for the explanations! Good to know that Austere Command is another card that destroys sequentially.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Casualties of War, Decimate, and Sequential Destruction
    In the recent War of the Spark release notes article that went up, there's a ruling on Casualties of War that caught my eye:

    "Each target permanent is destroyed in the order specified. Abilities that trigger when one is destroyed won't be put onto the stack until Casualties of War has finished resolving."

    That first sentence reminded me of a question I've had that's popped up IRL multiple times that I never had properly answered: how do cards that destroy permanents in a (supposedly) sequential order interact with permanents that care about cards being destroyed? Specifically, if a permanent of one type is granting another permanent of another type indestructible, and both permanents are being destroyed by a single spell or effect that destroys multiple different permanent types, does the order of permanent types listed on the card matter in terms of successfully destroying both permanents?

    For example, if I cast Casualties of War targeting an Eldrazi Monument and a Runeclaw Bear, would the Bear end up getting destroyed because the ruling for Casualties of War states that they are destroyed in the order specified? Thus (since artifacts are listed first) Eldrazi Monument will get destroyed first and stop granting indestructibility to Runeclaw Bear in time for Casualties to destroy it?

    Does the same hold true for Decimate? One of the things I've heard (though I am uncertain as to it's veracity) and which seems to contradict this new ruling is that the order of card types on a card that destroys multiple permanent types only matters if there is a "then" separating the two destruction clauses. So assuming that claim is true, using the previous example, a card like Akroma's Vengeance would kill the Eldrazi Monument but not the Runeclaw Bear (and by extension, I think that would mean that Decimate wouldn't kill the bear either).

    If that's all true, and to follow what seems to be the logical conclusion leading from the ruling on Casualties of War, am I then correct in assuming that Casualties of War, and by extension all modal spells that can have more than one mode chosen at once (i.e Cryptic Command, Fiery Confluence etc.) effectively have the text "Do x; then do y; then do z etc." when the modes are chosen and the card is cast? Or am I completely misinterpreting what "Each target permanent is destroyed in the order specified" means?

    Sorry if I'm making too many assumptions and examples, I'm just trying to work my understanding of the game's mechanics into these examples so that I can be corrected if they are wrong and thus have a better understanding of how this all works.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on God-Eternal Kefnet (Let's Brew!)
    Man, this is the third general I'm building from this set. Wotc's doing something right I guess.

    Brainstorm and Dream Cache both let you repeatedly cast any instant/sorcery once every turn cycle, as long as you have a way to draw a card at instant speed. This "combo" is what the 75% Kefnet deck I'm building will use as a potential win condition rather than infinite turns or something like Paradox Engine + Isochron Scepter/Chaos Wand, which I considered but decided would be too repetitive and wasn't really playing to the commander or theme (well the infinite turns do, but they do it too well).

    To explain, in case it isn't clear: use Kefnet to "Miracle" one of either Brainstorm or Cache off the top of your deck (which can be setup with Mystical Tutor, Long-Term Plans, Scroll Rack, various Scry effects, as well as Brainstorm putting Dream Cache on top or vice versa). Both cost one mana to cast a copy off a Miracle thanks to Kefnet. With that copy, put the Brainstorm/Cache you just drew on top, and then a powerful spell you want to cast (i.e. Bribery) on top of that. Then cast an Opt, a Quicken, use a Merfolk Looter activation, whatever way you can draw on someone else's turn and Miracle your powerful spell. When it comes back to your turn, Miracle the Brainstorm/Dream Cache again and repeat. You can also instead Miracle Brainstorm/Cache on someone else's turn and the powerful spell on your turn, it's all up to how you set it up and what makes sense for the situation.

    You aren't actually casting either Brainstorm/Dream Cache or the powerful spell out of your hand ever, you are just copying them, so as long as Kefnet sticks in play and as long as you successfully continue to "Miracle" the Brainstorm/Dream Cache, your opponents can't stop you. Blatant Thievery everyone every turn, keep casting Cyclonic Rift overloaded, make a giant army with Rise from the Tides at instant speed. Eventually you'll either die, Kefnet will get answered, someone will Wheel and disrupt your hand, or your powerful spells will end the game.

    Quote from darrenhabib »
    Riverwise Augur can be used to try and get indefinite triggers by using "return to hand" or "play". Crystal Shard, Eratic Portal, Equilibrium, Cloudstone Curio, are some that come to mind.

    There's a similar trick to the one I outlined above that can be done with Riverwise Augur and Ghostly Flicker (technically any flicker effect works, but Ghostly Flicker is the best). "Miracle" Ghostly Flicker, exiling the Augur and any other target (doing it to a land makes Flicker cost effectively 0 mana thanks to Kefnet's reduction), then with Augur's ETB trigger, put Ghostly Flicker + whatever on top, setting up a Miracle spell and also continuing the ability to flicker the Augur. The two-target flicker effects also work decently with multiple Archaeomancer effects (flicker two ETB spell recursion creatures, get back the flicker effect + a counter or w/e) and can protect Kefnet from some removal.

    As a general note, slow cantrips like Clairvoyance, Portent, and Arcane Denial seem really powerful with God-Eternal Kefnet because they are card draw spells that you can "Miracle" into off Kefnet (Arcane Denial can be Miracle'd into via a cantrip in response to a spell), which then trigger another card draw effect on someone else's turn, letting you chain together "Miracles" without actually needing to cast another cantrip or use a loot effect everytime you want to Miracle.

    Blink of an Eye and Into the Roil become UU: Bounce almost anything, draw a card when Miracle'd off Kefnet.

    Miracling Submerge lets you cast the copy for 0 as long as someone has a Forest.

    Impulse would normally get played in these sorts of decks, but Telling Time seems better with its ability to set up for Kefnet (plus Impulse doesn't draw).

    If someone really wanted to play an extra turn card in this deck and wanted to play the least abusive but still usable version of that effect, Temporal Trespass is the card to use. You can potentially take two extra turns in a row off of Miracling it + casting it with a stocked graveyard to kill the table using a board of drakes from Talrand, Sky Summoner, a buffed up up Kefnet, or an army stolen by Clone Legion or what have you, so it's still quite powerful with the right setup, but going infinite requires 10 mana with Scroll Rack or 9 with Jace, the Mind Sculptor, making it a lot harder to pull off than most other Time Walks. It's the only extra turn effect I'm considering running just because getting to that much mana should end the game, and thus it won't happen with consistency + it makes it a lot harder to have mana up to protect the combo, so it's more fair for less competitive playgroups.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Infinite combos and strong synergies - now under new management
    Ral, Storm Conduit's -2 ability is the link you are missing, I believe. Use the -2, then cast Doublecast, causing Ral's delayed trigger from the -2 to trigger, copying Doublecast. Let just that copy resolve, then cast any Fork variant targeting the original Doublecast still on the stack. The delayed trigger from the copied and resolved Doublecast will trigger, doubling your Fork, which you use to copy the Fork still on the stack, resulting in infinite copies and Ral triggers.

    EDIT: Howl of the Horde would be another Doublecast effect to run for the sake of redundancy.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Feather, the Redeemed + Arcane Arts (Let’s Brew!)
    Oh lord, I just realized Intimidation Bolt lets you target your own creatures but still prevents your opponents from attacking. This is an easily assembled Constant Mists in Boros. Feather has just enough toughness to survive the Bolt too.

    Worth mentioning that Aetherflux Reservoir seems pretty easily enabled here and provides a potential alternate win condition if the token thing isn't working out.

    Voltron with lots of equipment and pump spells, forgoing most of the token cards, also seems like a possible way to build her, and would allow more room for interaction and such so that the deck can survive to the lategame where it shines (a lategame Boros deck?!?!).
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Feather, the Redeemed + Arcane Arts (Let’s Brew!)
    Some more thoughts:

    Two pretty important things for any Feather deck is going to be protection and mana. Feather gives you all the cards you could need via buyback and cantrips, but if she dies too much, or if you don't have the mana to take advantage of your big hand, your deck won't be operating very efficiently.

    For protection, Swiftfoot Boots and Champion's Helm are the two most efficient sources of hexproof (note that shroud a la Lightning Greaves is a bit of a nonbo since we can't target her - still might be worth running if we have enough other targetable creatures). Darksteel Plate and Hammer of Nazahn give her indestructibility. The flicker spells like Long Road Home and protection spells like Gods Willing are all great, and I think any successful build of Feather will play multiple of them to ensure she sticks on the field. Feat of Resistance is another one that hasn't been mentioned yet, that's also useful at pumping up your general every turn if you have spare mana, or using it with Zada/Mirrorwing as an anthem effect that also pushes through blockers.

    For mana, the usual suspects of Smothering Tithe, Knight of the White Orchid, Burnished Hart, Kor Cartographer, and Solemn Simulacrum seem like auto-includes here, along with Boreas Charger and Sword of the Animist (though running too much ramp might make the Knight of the White Orchid effects worse, so keep that in mind). With all the cards we're drawing, Walking Atlas should be able to work overtime, and with flicker effects you can do a neat trick: use Atlas' ability, Cloudshift/Otherworldly Journey it, then use Expedite/Crimson Wisps/Accelerate on it to give it haste so it can use its ability again, powering out multiple land drops on every player's turn. Note that colourless sources like Thran Dynamo as well as colourless utility lands have less value here, since we're mostly going to want to be casting cheap 1-2 mana coloured spells on every player's turn and having mana sources that can't cast those spells can be a liability.

    Some other cards:

    Precursor Golem lets us triple our Bandages and other spells.

    Stand Firm is another cheap pump effect that also gives some great card selection.

    Skullclamp works great with all the tokenmakers and is a good backup source of card advantage in case our general gets answered.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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