It comes down to combo pieces, and cards that generate advantage. I find that things like Rings of Brighthearth, Mirari's Wake, Mana Reflection, Necropotence, etc... you really can't get mad when they die.
Sheldon has in fact written a few articles on it:
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Dec 23, 2017Those were from Jay13xPosted in: Community Discussion
Dec 22, 2017Alright, looks like they're starting to arrive! Glad you liked it!Posted in: Community Discussion
Dec 18, 2017Everything has shipped out today. Fingers crossed for a speedy delivery.Posted in: Community Discussion
There were a few cards added to each envelope (a few people added some stuff for everyone, and Jay13x sent in some cards based on his archive trap articles for everyone as well), so hopefully none of them get bounced back to me for insufficient postage...
Due to the volume of cards, I also stuck in some top loaders to brace the envelopes, which might also add to the thickness/weight.
Dec 17, 2017I think everything has arrived that will, so I'm going to doodle things up today and try to ship everything out tomorrow.Posted in: Community Discussion
Dec 14, 2017So an interesting conundrum occurred that hasn't happened to me before. A participant's envelope arrived... But without the contents.Posted in: Community Discussion
I'm going to see if I can get to the post office and see what happened, but there's a good chance they won't be able to do much.
I may try and divvy up other submissions to make a good number of packages, in the spirit of the holidays.
Dec 11, 2017Posted in: Community DiscussionQuote from Stoogeslap »Mine should be there any day now...
What's the official count of who is participating? Do we have a head count?
Those who have indicated interest in participating, and those I have received from are listed at the bottom of the OP.
3 have had to drop out. I have a confirmed send from 1 more, at least, and I know that 1 more has made cards. Which leaves 4 which I'm following up with to see if they sent.
Dec 11, 2017I have received 2 more packages. Ashnak and Stoogeslap!Posted in: Community Discussion
Giving a bit of time for stragglers to come in, then I'll shuffle up and send out!
Dec 9, 2017I have received 2 packages!Posted in: Community Discussion
Dec 3, 2017I got mine done this weekend! This is gonna be a fun exchange.Posted in: Community Discussion
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Oct 17, 2016You are right that it is a fitting choice in a Sydri deck as well. Sydri's ability to give lifelink to a large number of artifacts will quickly put you over the required life total, and then giving the Reservoir lifelink allows it to immediately recoup the life payment that you put into it, and eliminate all of the opponents in quick succession. This is especially synergistic with the popular pillowfort/control versions of Sydri, which use artifacts like Caltrops (given deathtouch) or Timebomb to deter attacks and keep the board clean.Posted in: Articles
If you have a Sydri deck of your own, I'd love to hear any stories of how the reservoir plays out for you.
May 4, 2016Thanks for the feedback, I'll try and keep that in mind for future articles.Posted in: Articles
You raise a good point about the Sundial's resilience, and you're right that it'll still see play in a number of decks/strategies that value that more highly. Something very controlling with a lot of wraths, for example, would likely prefer the sundial rather than the tracker, if it was looking for that effect. Overall though, for the decks that can run both, I agree the tracker will be the more valuable inclusion.
Apr 14, 2016A fair point, but the larger point is how to keep the cards flowing as the game goes on, and Clues are just a tool in that regard. When building a deck, it's important to utilize the tools you have, but also to use the correct tools.Posted in: Articles
The Tariel deck was continued from last month's article, where we discussed land ramp, in an effort to show the ongoing development of a deck concept. In this case, when adding the draw package, I looked at what tools would best fit the deck's strategy. Of several things in the deck, the Bygone Bishop fits with the reanimation strategy, having synergy with return-to-hand cards like Oversold Cemetery. Obviously the list is not finalized, and he may possibly be cut further in development if we don't have a lot of low drops... or more cards may be added to have synergy with him, like Phyrexian Reclamation. That pairing has shown itself to be quite potent in my Karador deck list.
Overall, I have had excellent success with Clues in my Commander decks, and if you're looking for additional examples, then my Karador deck list would be a good place to start. It utilizes Bygone Bishop, Ulvenwald Mysteries, and Tireless Tracker to great results, and the Clues have increased synergy with Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest.
Likewise, another deck that has loved the inclusion of clues has been my Trostani Primer which uses both Ulvenwald Mysteries and Tireless Tracker as well, and the Clues have extra synergy with the token doubling enchantments, and with Rings of Brighthearth.
I also run Clues in my Kurkesh decklist, in the form of Tamiyo's Journal and Magnifying Glass, but that list is built more to be silly. Copying the Magnifying Glass' ability with Kurkesh, and then copying the Clues' abilities, which amusing, isn't the greatest return on card draw, clocking in at 4 cards for 12 mana (which isn't bad, just not great).
I hope that helps you out a bit more on how these tools can be used! I'm still looking through my decks for improvements, and I know that my Nemata deck will be picking up Tireless Tracker at the least, and that my Tibor and Lumia deck will be picking up Trail of Evidence. Whether I make additional changes to further support these cards remains to be seen.
Mar 8, 2016Thanks for your thoughts! I'd like to respond with my thoughts and reasoning to a few of your points, and hopefully explain a bit more where these points came from, so I'll break them out below.Posted in: Articles
General: Keep in mind that my writing is distilled from my own play experiences and philosophies. You can look at any of the decks I've built and see that I actually use a number of principles that I outline here. Most of my decks do run the expensive dual lands/shocks/fetches as I have been playing for a long time, but even so all of my decks tends to remain relatively high in basic land counts, compared to other lists I have seen online. Of my recent decks, even my 3 color decks tend to keep about 13-16 basic lands in each, and I have built several 3 color and even a 5 color deck with basics only, for various reasons, including: budget, high non-basic hate, and because I could.
Fixing lands (and vivid lands): I'm probably fairly unique in being unimpressed with vivid lands. I see them in a number of lists, but I've never found their benefit to outweigh coming into play tapped. My experiences in watching other people play them mirrors this, as I often see the counters go unused throughout a game, meaning that this is one more land providing little benefit, but that you can't thin out of your deck. I do believe that various fixing lands have great intrinsic value to lists, especially when starting out on a budget, but I tend to more highly value basic fetch lands, and various filter and other multi colored lands more highly. Even storage lands I place higher on the list, since they can act as a filter land the turn they come in, can still gain and benefit on off color mana by the turn after (when an etb tapped land would come online), provide an outlet for stockpiling extra mana, and can assist in big plays or surprise tricks in the future. I still believe that land search/fetch effects, such as given from Burnished Hart, is some of the best 'fixing' that you can get in general level Commander games, and that any fixing lands you run should be to complement that - not be the first line of fixing. That is my philosophy based off of my own experiences, however, and other people may align differently.
Thinning: Thinning from land ramp spells is a very large benefit to land ramp, and is likely one of the reasons I favor it so highly. I may not have emphasized this point as much in the article, which is my own fault. Since the benefits of thinning a deck are more widely known, I wanted to focus a bit on the tradeoff, and what the benefits on the other side of the equation were.
Mana rock cost: You raise a good point about their immediate value in the late game. Colorless mana rocks are indeed the cheapest ramp available, since they enter untapped, but on turn 2 that doesn't matter as much, though this often means they can be worked into future turns more easily than traditional land ramp. For a colored source of mana, it's typically a 3 cost for a mana rock that produces colored mana untapped, or 2 mana for one that enters tapped (which is way signets are above par for their cost). This generally makes them on par with Rampant Growth, but with added flexibility, and often with other benefits. There are, however, a whole host of artifacts that break these general values, and provide greater value than their cost, or provide additional effects that greatly increase their value to a deck.
Mar 8, 2016I'm glad you liked it, and I'm glad it made you think! It's a slight advantage to the mana rocks that's not often considered, which can make a difference in the goals of some decks.Posted in: Articles
I still lean towards a heavier land ramp set up for most of my decks, but that's primarily due to being in sweeper heavy and slower meta, where the mana rocks become collateral damage very easily. Even so, it's important to consider the goal of the deck you're building, and what tools will best serve that end result; also consider what other cards would benefit from shared synergy. In the past I've included a higher number of artifact mana when I've had other cards that could interact with them, such as Goblin Welder, Vedalken Archmage, or Trading Post, where the artifacts can be more easily recurred or used as an alternate resource as well.
Likewise, decks that have required an exceptionally high amount of mana, but compensated with a high amount of draw found that playing lands on turn, and bolstering with quick mana rocks, provided the early game boost needed, and the late game stability.
Feb 4, 2016bobthefunny posted a message on Word of Command #10 - Swearing an Oath of the Ban ListPosted in: ArticlesQuote from lastdaysgunslinger »Wait so now we cant play celestial dawn and use other lands as colorless? What the heck BS is this.
Celestial says it right on card " others produce COLORLESS" .
So basically wotc has F'ed up the soup and now we have to eat it.
Celestial Dawn makes all of your lands plains. If you have some other way of making them produce a different color (perhaps because of a chromatic lantern) then that ability will indeed produce colorless, as stated on the card.
The card itself has not changed, what has changed was the rule in Commander that would cause mana generated outside of your color identity to become colorless. This was used to lock players out of the game by donating a celestial dawn to a player with a non-white color identity. With the removal of the rule, that interaction no longer exists, and that player would be able to tap their plains for W.
Likewise, this rule in theory could have been used to allow Darksteel Ingot to produce colorless if your Commander was not 5 color, as you could attempt to tap for an offcolor, and have it changed into colorless. This would have made it considerably easier to use colorless matters effects in Commander than was perhaps intended.
Nov 20, 2015Phasing in/out isn't a Zone change though, so you can't send the Commander to command zone on phasing. It's simply a status change.Posted in: Articles
And there are many reasons why phasing can never be made a zone change.
Apr 24, 2015If an object phases out, any objects attached to it phase out with it, indirectly. When it's time for things to phase back, anything that phased out indirectly phases in with the object it phased out with.Posted in: Articles
So, if you phase out a creature with an aura, the aura phases out with it, and when the creature phases back in, the aura with it.
Tokens do not phase back in though. Thus, if you have equipment on a token - Batterskull perhaps - and you phase out the token, the batterskull will never return, since it can't phase back in with the token.
So - now the complicated part - turn the general into a non-creature (Soul Sculptor), then turn it into an artifact (Liquimetal Coating), make that non-creature artifact into an equipment (Bludgeon Brawl), attach it onto a token (Magnetic theft), and phase out the token (Reality Ripple). The Commander is now phased out, and can't phase back in since it phased out indirectly.
There are other cards that can do most of those things, but Bludgeon Brawl and Soul Sculptor are fairly unique. (the best is to make a token copy of Vulshok Battlemaster, since then it'll steal all the lands and stuff too. Even without the token copy, if you have Teferi's Veil, you can make it so their lands only ever phase in on your turn**).
Technically, they can use Time and Tide to phase it back in... but that's a corner case on a corner case. And no one would ever run that. Also, it's slightly confusing and debatable.*
The rule in question is this:
702.25f When a permanent phases out, any Auras, Equipment, or Fortifications attached to that permanent phase out at the same time. This alternate way of phasing out is known as phasing out “indirectly.” An Aura, Equipment, or Fortification that phased out indirectly won’t phase in by itself, but instead phases in along with the permanent it’s attached to.
702.25k Phased-out tokens cease to exist as a state-based action. See rule 704.5d.
* I've never gotten an answer if Soul Sculptor's ability can wear off while the Commander is phased out, because it's technically not a creature until that effect does wear off - It's clear that the temporary effect can end while phased out, but what I don't know is if it regains its types immediately, or when it phases back in.
This rule is a bit unclear on that:
702.25e Continuous effects that affect a phased-out permanent may expire while that permanent is phased out. If so, they will no longer affect that permanent once it’s phased in. In particular, effects with “for as long as” durations that track that permanent (see rule 611.2b) end when that permanent phases out because they can no longer see it.
The line I bolded would indicate that while the soul sculptor's ability would end while phased out if someone were to play a creature spell, that the ability would only cease to affect the Commander only when it phased back in (which we already decided won't happen). Because of that, technically Time and Tide might not be able to return it (Because it won't be a creature).
** I have never gotten an answer whether indirectly phased out lands can untap when they are phased out. This usually isn't a problem since things phase in on the untap step, but since these lands are now phasing in on YOUR untap step, they are phased out when they would normally untap.
The rules of the untap step make it clear that things have to phase in before you determine what untaps, and that you have to choose things to untap, and that things that are phased out "don't exist" (thus can't be chosen?) - so it would seem that phased out things don't untap, but it's a bit unclear.
502.1. First, all phased-in permanents with phasing that the active player controls phase out, and all phased-out permanents that the active player controlled when they phased out phase in. This all happens simultaneously. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. See rule 702.25, “Phasing.”
502.2. Second, the active player determines which permanents he or she controls will untap. Then he or she untaps them all simultaneously. This turn-based action doesn’t use the stack. Normally, all of a player’s permanents untap, but effects can keep one or more of a player’s permanents from untapping.
702.25b If a permanent phases out, its status changes to “phased out.” Except for rules and effects that specifically mention phased-out permanents, a phased-out permanent is treated as though it does not exist. It can’t affect or be affected by anything else in the game.
Apr 23, 2015Posted in: ArticlesQuote from Jemolk »One card I haven't seen mentioned (not entirely sure how much it's played, but I play it in every deck I can) is Rakdos Charm. It's basically never dead, it's multipurpose removal: it can remove an artifact, or an entire graveyard, or it can remove that player who just went infinite with squirrels. I originally started running it as a way to deal with infinite combos by killing people who use them, but it has been fantastic as an instant-speed, whole-graveyard exile effect for 2 mana. That, and removing swords, greaves and memorials.
It doesn't fit into any of the categories here, but I felt that it was worth mentioning.
Versatility is always a definite plus. I focused mainly on mono-color options to highlight the specifics what what each color has access to, but you are 100% right that Rakdos charm is excellent in each of those regards. It's also cheap to cast and takes the opponent entirely by surprise to boot!
Mar 28, 2015As ISB said, Stonecloaker is Graveyard spot removal. At 3 mana per iteration you don't really want to be attempting to keep everyone's yards clear, but it's useful to foil that Chainer activation or Glissa trigger. Having that surprise shot will definitely ruin someone's day, and then they have to take it into consideration for all of their future moves.Posted in: Articles
Since it can act as a save spell in a pinch as well really gives it that flexibility to react in a lot of situations. You're obviously going to need to keep mana open for it, so I really see it shine in control decks, such as Bant Blink, or a white deck that feeds mana into token producers, such as Heliod - where I've used it to save my Sun Titan in a pinch.
Rest in Peace has been highly successful in my Heliod deck. While it turns off my own Emeria and Sun Titan, my own recursion is more 'incidental.' If I'm casting it, it's because it's making someone else's day a lot worse than mine.
Mar 18, 2015Ouch, a good catch Elemental; that does indeed lower his value tremendously. Sadly even Animar and Mayael will not even look his way now.Posted in: Articles
Mar 18, 2015I was trying to highlight some of the lesser used options this go around. I did at least mention the other ubiquitous choices, so I guess it's a bit out of place that I didn't discuss the Ooze, who is pretty much green's version of Withered Wretch, with plenty of upside.Posted in: Articles
Feb 12, 2015My goodness, How I am embarrassed!Posted in: Articles
Thank you so much for catching these!
For Dromoka, it's true that if a creature has +1 counters it will affect where it can be chosen in the line up of triggers to get counters, if the difference in counters is only 1, it will still get the counters, but will be the last one to do so. If it's 2, then on the last trigger you can choose any creature, etc. It was just a bit complicated of a corner case to go into.
About Dark Deal, I agree that Shattered Perception fits the similarities as well. I feel Perception itself is also a semi-mashup of Wheel and Winds, in that it affects everyone, but everyone is limited based on their own amount (the way winds does). Wheel and Winds were simply the ones that more immediately popped into my mind, also due to their larger prevalence in Commander games.
About Outpost Siege you raise another good point. Most similar effects (at usually higher strength) tend to be dies effects, so this enchantment certainly plays nicer with other forms of flickering, including even Rush as a mechanic. At the same mana cost though you can pick up Purphoros though, who again has much higher strength for that style of play, but switching sides again, any form of redundancy or consistency can only help your game plan. I still feel that the option this card (and the other sieges) opens though, is the capability to give you options for both ongoing development, or to help close out a game.
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