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Jun 24, 2019Oh, you like my decorations? I've just been adding some trinkets to add some interest to the room...this little elephant statuette, a craft project my kid made, an 800-pound warhammer...Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Jun 24, 2019Bummer Kibler's spoiler got sniped, but if it's his I'll watch his spoiler anyway, he's always fun to watch.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Hell yes, this is gold in Zirilan. That deck hasn't gotten anything exciting in aaaages.
Jun 24, 2019drakuseth, maw of flamesPosted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Woohoo, first Zirilan-viable dragon since Lathliss (who herself was just ok)! That is a pretty brutal attack trigger. In fairness it might still lose out to balefire dragon, the current best board-wiper dragon...but it can throw its damage around at different targets, or just connect for 11 damage (or 17 if you're hitting everyone at once), and it can blow blockers out of the way, which was balefire's weakness.
Jun 24, 2019There's been some really good suggestions here. I think Ayula is a great choice.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
I'll just quickly speak to Depala since I've built her in the past and enjoyed her - I think the deck can be made reasonably powerfully when fairly optimized. In particular, the durability through board wipes is real, and it means you can run a lot of board wipes yourself while getting in for loads of damage with vehicles. Not tier 1, obviously, but it might be stronger than what you're looking for, and more controlling. Assuming you build it that way. I'd probably rate my build at around a 7.
Jun 24, 2019People keep saying the most expensive card in modern horizons is terrible?Posted in: Variant Commander
I've got a wrenn oathbreaker decklist as well, which unfortunately I haven't actually gotten to play yet. But your list looks very...unfocused. I don't really see any overarching strategy besides beating face with relatively mediocre creatures. Which is fine for a low-powered meta, but I don't see how you'd be able to hold up against a faster deck.
You're also missing some extremely useful auto-includes - especially all the fetchlands, which you could be forgiven for not having the budget for, but you also aren't running the cycling lands, which are quite cheap. Tectonic reformation wouldn't even be necessary if you were running forgotten cave, tranquil thicket, etc. Hell, if you don't want to shell out for real fetches, I'd probably at least include terramorphic expanse and evolving wilds. As your deck looks now, it seems almost impossible to get value out of W&6 when cast on turn 2, which imo is a big part of the point of playing them, having a reliable T2 play that can generate constant value through a fetchland or cycling land (or a strip mine/wasteland situation).
I'm pretty sure W&6 is one of the most powerful options in the format when built with a cohesive plan in mind to take advantage of their low cost and ability to generate value, but I don't see how a midrange zoo build is going to do that, basically.
EDIT: Having thought about it some more, I think I've narrowed down the problems with the deck into something more helpful.
Wrenn and six's most important ability is recurring lands. You have very few ways to get lands into the graveyard, and most of them are slow and take a long time to get going. On top of that, you can't really abuse wrenn's ult either. Basically, Wrenn makes no sense to helm this particular deck. A commander who springs to mind for me, and makes far more sense is domri, anarch of bolas. He synergizes with your deck immediately, his fight ability works well with your fat creatures, as does his mana ability, and it would let you cut your counterspell protection.
You might also consider switching arachnogenesis for something more aggressive that isn't so bad when it's being telegraphed - lightning bolt, decimate, something like that. Maybe Pyroclasm if you're having trouble with aggro. Something more along those lines, though. Arachnogenesis is a fine card but it's defensive while your deck looks offensive. You could also go crazy and go spider tribal with arachnogenesis as your spell, of course, but that'd require some big changes for your deck.
Jun 23, 2019Hi Turnspit, I'm glad you liked the write-up! Maybe in a few years you'll be able to read my adequate prose in an actual book (I'm reaching the 3/4 mark, but at the rate I write I'll be lucky if it's finished before 2025).Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Your decklist composition looks very reasonable - it's a little hard to give too detailed of feedback without knowing the power level of your group, though. I think for anything in a low or medium-powered meta it could work just fine, but if you're finding yourself getting blindsided by things you weren't able to answer, here's some suggestions I'd make:
You have a lot of attacker-only removal, which will often not have any targets (let alone important targets) against certain kinds of decks - especially combo decks. Depending on your meta, that might be fine, or it could mean you have a hard time interacting with the things you really need to interact with. Personally my preference would be to replace them with removal that can hit non-attacking creatures and ideally noncreature permanents - first and foremost, beast within and generous gift are both amazingly versatile and relatively cheap. Bant Charm is another really versatile one that's not hard on the wallet. And Commit // Memory is another great.
I also prefer to avoid sorcery-speed targeted removal (you'll always have some sorcery-speed board wipes since it's hard to find enough instant-speed board wipes). The goal is to wait as long as possible before we're forced to act, which sorcery-speed removal doesn't let us do. So if possible, try to remove those ones (even if chain of acid is pretty hilarious...depending on your group it might be ok but it could also backfire hugely).
As far as the other cards go, of course there are some that aren't a totally optimal choice, but you can replace those as you get better options. There are a few I think run a little counter to the goal of the deck - hurricane is kind of a narrow board wipe and acts as a potential wincon (which could be good but also might make you a threat if people know you have it), Spelljack also could put you into a threatening position, and as you said I think the buyback spells can make you a threat (or at least a hindrance) that people want to get rid of (although you can always just play them without buyback if people are getting too bothered by them). That's not to say these things couldn't work out for you and still do well in your meta, though. My version of the deck is built on my experiences playing in my own groups, so you should feel free to take my advice with a grain of salt if these cards are working for you. But keep an eye on them when you play them, and decide if they're contributing or detracting from the game plan.
The one last thing I'd say is that I'd probably try to find more repeatable sources of card advantage. Right now the only repeatable engine you have is whispers of the muse, which is a great card, but I'd probably try to throw at least a couple more in there. Arch of Orazca is my favorite, pulse of the grid is great. If you can afford it, sylvan library is excellent, but if you can't, kumena's awakening does just fine in a pinch.
Hope that helps!
Jun 22, 2019Posted in: Commander (EDH)
well fwiw flash is not super helpful for stopping land etbs since the trigger goes on the stack before you get priority (although if they crack a fetch you could respond to that, I suppose).Quote from Pokken »I'm excited to have to put torpor orbs in everything again because of this nonsense
And landfall, ugh. I don't even know what to do about that. where's our upgraded torpor orb preferably on a flash body
Jun 22, 2019Don't forget urza's ruinous blast with the abzan guy. Recurring that seems preeetty good.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
to name some of my favorites:Quote from FearDReaper »
Unless you're playing Jank I think I can do that for any general
- Kaervek the merciless
- Lazav, dimir mastermind
- Tasigur, the golden fang
- The scarab god
- Glissa, the traitor
- Arixmethes, slumbering isle
I feel like those ones are open-ended in a good way. Not that flexibility is always good, but it does give commanders more durability in these days of edhrec.
- Kaervek the merciless
Jun 21, 2019Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
It's all dependent on the meta.Quote from Wi2520 »You were saying how this doesn't work well in games with less than 4 players, but how well does it do in larger games with more than 4 people? I could see it go either way because you are less likely to be targeted but there is also more people who can play threats.
If your meta is everyone playing lots of infinite combos or creating extremely difficult to stop board states and no one running answers, then the more players you have, the more screwed you are. Or like if everyone is playing purphoros, you're probably in trouble. Dig for that pulse of the fields, I guess.
If your meta is people playing a mix of control and threats then people will answer each other, and more players is generally fine.
If your meta is people playing somewhat durdly, lower-powered stuff, then they'll usually tussle with each other and answer each other through combat - which is also fine.
Basically, more players can exacerbate problematic situations, but outside of that it's generally fine, and can definitely be an advantage. It does create more opportunities to make mistakes, though - You need to be wary of everyone.
Jun 21, 20193/5 lifelink deathtouch is very respectable stats, especially in a format where deterrents are as powerful as they are here. I'm not saying it would be a popular commander on the basis of that alone, but it could have been a 2/2 with no keywords, so at least it would require some build-around to be good. But tbh in Yarok's case, I probably wouldn't find it interesting regardless of what they did with it, because I don't find etbs as a "tribe" interesting.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Golos is the one I'd rather fix, and for the simplest change I'd rather fix it in the same way I'd like to fix a lot of things - by restricting the CMC of what he's able to cast for free. Sunforger is cool because it can't just go get ANYTHING. You have to work with what you've got. When you don't put any restrictions on it, though, then you're motivated to put all the most obnoxious spells in your deck...expropriate, time stretch, enter the infinite, rise of the dark realms, insurrection, primal surge....blaaaarg. No thank you.
Jun 21, 2019Is that the "punished for not running any targeted removal" combo?Posted in: Commander (EDH)
My problem with Yarok is less about the effect and more about the design as a whole, and the number of "must-kill" commanders with really obvious build-arounds they make these days. I mean, Yarok is still powerful even if you don't play a single freaking etb in your whole deck. Because having a fail case for a commander would be too sad.Quote from Gutterstorm »Also: Those hating on Yarok; that's just like, your opinion man. Some of us like the idea of an effect that has only ever been on one card being strapped to a legendary creature so we can play it as our commander. Personally I'm doing that for Jeskai Ascendency because I'm a terrible person.
Tbh I think Golos is the commander that frustrates me the most. Mostly because the first half of his ability is really interesting - we haven't had a commander that can search up nonbasic lands before, and especially in 5c it opens up a lot of interesting possibilities. You could build a mono-black deck that tutors coffers up, you could build a green creature-focused deck that gets cradle, or you could just use it as a toolbox to find powerful situational lands. Either way, 5 to tutor a land is kind of a lot, but you pay extra for having that sort of ability in the command zone. Seems fair and interesting. But you'd be an idiot to just search up a basic or something, right?
Oh wait, no, screw that, screw subtlety, because his second ability makes him a huge must-kill threat, and even if you're playing him like an idiot and searching up a basic it's still fine, because all you have to do to make him obnoxious to play against is jam all the biggest, dumbest bombs into one deck. We just got Jodah, and now we have a different 5c "just play all the stupidest bombs you can!" commander. Why would you play one over the other? I don't even know.
While Omnath doesn't bother me from a power level front, it has kind of the same issue - value on top of value, to obliterate any kind of fail case. You're not playing any other elementals? That's okay, building around elementals is really hard...what would be easier....hmm, are you playing lands? You ARE? What a crazy random happenstance! Have a bunch of free value anyway.
All of these designs annoy me because it basically means that there are no bad commander decks. Totally new players can build powerful decks with very little deckbuilding skill, because the baseline for power is so high. I like formats to reward players for being good at them, and sometimes it feels like commander is trying to do the opposite - a sort of "no child left behind" program for magic players, where even the most thick-headed can build a powerful deck with minimal effort.
The design I like the most, honestly, might be atemsis, all-seeing. Because it actually has a freaking fail-case! Playing a 6-mana 4/5 flyer with a really overpriced loot ability is a pretty crap commander, and assembling 6 different CMCs is not a trivial task. Plus you'll need to connect, and odds are people will be a bit wary to let you do so, so you'd better have evasion and protection. It feels like it actually requires some smart play and smart building to make it good.
Jun 20, 2019DirkGently posted a message on Lazav, Dimir Mastermind / Wydwen, the Biting Gale - Dimir Voltron ControlRan 3 games with it tonight and managed to win all three, although there were some close ones. Wydwen twice and Lazav once. Most games someone else was scary enough to attract attention, and by the time I was archenemy it was too late to do anything about it because I'd just killed the previous threat and was rounding second base. Y'know, the usual.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
Not a ton of interesting info - it's a voltron control deck, so it stopped some nonsense and delivered a hard-to-interact-with kill. Equipment-wise, sword of steel and sinew ended up being an all-star, and ate a ton of powerful artifacts in the games it appeared in, plus a planeswalker (ugin!) once. The mages ended up being quite nice to have as backup sword-holders. Didn't really get to abuse Lazav's ability much - when stuff dies, it tends to die all at once in a board wipe. Which is why the indestructible equipment is there, but I really only became another creature once (though I could have a second time and just forgot, whoops).
Jun 20, 2019I like it, it seems like a nice little value engine. For fast decks I imagine they'd rather have something that doesn't need to survive a turn cycle to bring out Cradle, but for those of us who like endless utility lands, I'm sure it'll find a home. Being able to rip out, say, bojuka bog as an instant is always cute.Posted in: Commander (EDH)
Jun 20, 2019DirkGently posted a message on Lazav, Dimir Mastermind / Wydwen, the Biting Gale - Dimir Voltron ControlIt's that time of the year when I have a weird desire to build a voltron deck. Or maybe it's just because of the new swords getting released. Either way, in this case, I wanted something to prey upon the durdly ramp/combo decks I keep playing against - controlly enough to break combo, but fast enough to kill them before they get the chance to assemble something harder to answer.Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
I made a lazav deck ages ago (OG lazav, before he got too combo-tastic for my tastes), and it was one of my favorite decks at the time. I've been meaning to go back to it for a while and give it a bit of an update. I've also added Wydwen as an optional switch-in commander, for games where Lazav is unlikely to have good things to transform into (or especially nasty games where tapping out turn 3-4 is likely to get you killed).
Anyway, it's a pretty straightforward voltron control deck - play a hard to answer threat, suit it up with sweet equipment, and bash face while suppressing other shenanigans with removal and counters. Ramping to 4 is obviously the primary concern - beyond that, it's not super important. CA is generally generated via the commander + equipment, so there's not a lot of general-purpose goodstuff.
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Apr 30, 2018Was anyone really saying legends is a bad set? It's iconic as hell and has tons of powerful cards, maybe only second to alpha (although urza's saga puts up a good fight).Posted in: Articles
Not sure I'm convinced the legends rule is good (I don't even really see an argument that it is). Flavor-wise, it is (or at least used to be) a big win. These days...idk man. Having both versions of jhoira is fine, but having 2 of the same version isn't? Maybe it's supposed to be a multiple timelines thing, but then why can you and your opponent have one, but one poofs as soon as one switches sides? It feels like a top-down rule that's proven to be bad for gameplay, and at this point wotc is just trying to pay lip service to the flavor motivations while essentially destroying everything mechanically important about it.
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