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  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day: Diregraf Captain
    Against bad players (do you pay the one?), it'll draw you a lot of cards (do you pay the one?). Against good players (do you pay the one?), it's an asymmetric Sphere of Resistance (do you pay the one?). Both those effects are really good (do you pay the one?). So yeah, run it (do you pay the one?).
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day: Diregraf Captain
    Around 30. Admittedly, it wasn't my life I was paying....

    But anyway, yeah, great card. Cheap, scalable, gets round indestructible and we're in a format with life to burn.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Pirate's Pillage
    Yeah, in a vacuum, it's not particularly good, and the CMC2 versions are much better. Once you bring in synergies though, this looks a lot more interesting. Copying it, making extra tokens or even just general artifact interactions make this a fair bit more attractive and should be at least worth considering.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day: Diregraf Captain
    It's the kind of card that's power is relative to the overall power of your deck. Spending a card to cast a Craw Wurm 1 turn early is likely a waste. Spending a card to cast Necropotence a turn early is very strong. Spending a card to cast Flash a turn early is insane.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on When the staples don't fit.
    I'll definitely second Reliquary Tower. No maximum hand size is such an overrated effect. It's certainly nice to have, but even if you draw 50 cards, taking the best 7 is almost always good enough. As such, yeah, Reliquary Tower should only be run if you've got sufficient fixing. And even then, there are a good number of better colourless utility lands. Unless you got specific synergies with hand size, fitting it into a deck with more than two colours is probably hurting you. Thought Vessel I feel is actually a better source of the effect, as there aren't that many CMC2 ETB untapped rocks around despite being a very desirable effect, which makes it a genuinely good card.

    Solemn Simulacrum is one I have to mention. It's not a bad card, but it really doesn't deserve staple status in my books. Unless you have either synergies with artifacts (and preferably artifact creatures) or reliable ways to retrigger its abilities (blink, recursion etc.), it's probably not worth a slot in your deck.

    Another thing I'd like to bring up is not a specific card, but countermagic in general. The number of times I see something like "I'm playing blue, so I'll throw in 2-3 counters" regardless of what the rest of the deck is doing. Sure, being able to answer things is very important, but if your deck is based on playing entirely on your turn and wanting to tap out to cast your spells while doing so, having countermagic is not really helping with your gameplan. If you going to commit to actually running a good number of counters, go for it, but particularly in multicoloured decks (where you are more likely to have access to other forms of interaction), having a couple of them in there just because you're blue isn't really doing much for you and there are likely better ways to deal with problems.

    I suppose this actually extends to answers in general - you always want them, but make sure your using the removal that works best with what your deck as a whole is doing, rather than just picking the staple versions. That doesn't necessarily mean you should run Lich's Caress over Murder in your lifegain deck - once the difference gets above a certain level, power is more important than synergy - but, say, in a deck that doesn't have any particular interactions with ETB effects or doesn't need creatures in play for various interactions, Naturalize is better than Reclamation Sage, even if the latter is considered to be more of a staple.

    There are a few decks that don't want Sol Ring (basically things like Edric Flying Men which where the bulk of the deck is cheap and has no generic mana in its cost), but it's just so incredibly powerful that even in a deck where you're not able to take full advantage of it, I think you should still run it. Something like Child of Alara can still benefit by casting a couple of spells two turns earlier while developing at the beginning of the game (for example, land fetching sorceries) even if it doesn't help directly cast the general and you expect to blow it up. In all honesty, I'd say that, unless playing it actively sets you back, if you can consistently untap with a Sol Ring and cast one good spell two turns ahead of where you normally would, it's done it's job - rituals are still good in EDH if you can reliably benefit from them.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Esper Control Assistance Required
    1 - Ultimately, the best way to figure this out is to play a deck a lot and see what works. But as a starting point, for a U/(BW) based control deck, I'd go for something like 6-8 counterspells, 3-4 creature removal, 2-3 non-creature removal (ideally some cards would do both) and 4-6 mass removal spells, plus a couple of tutors that can get these (Mystical Tutor, Demonic Tutor). I wouldn't go for any discard unless it had particular synergy with your commander - which in this case it doesn't - while card draw would also depend on your commander.

    If you've a commander that draw cards (which I would recommend for most control decks, as it helps with the drawback of that strategy), you can run less - and you do, given Zur's ability to tutor up some good draw engines, in particular Necropotence, but also Phyrexian Arena and possibly Rystic Study depending on meta (you always want it, it just depends how much you'll draw off of it). As such, I wouldn't run that many if any of the non-enchantment "big" card draw spells (Tidings, Blue Sun's Zenith, Ancient Craving etc.). Maybe 1 of the instant speed draw X (probably Pull from Tomorrow unless you need BSZ as a wincon). The two delve ones (Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise) are very good though, the former in particular.

    I do however like running a "Xerox" strategy in blue control EDH decks, where you run a low land count (32-33) and a lot (6-8) of cheap (1-2 mana) cantrips. It smooths out your decks performance very well and many of them are instant which synergises with the whole control theme.

    2 - While you can do some tribal stuff with Zur (Arcane Adaptation is an amusing thing), for a control deck, I'd not recommend it. You have other priorities. Especially as an Esper control deck will typically run a decent amount of board wipes which are anti-synergystic with the cretaure heavy strategies tribal tends to put you in.

    3 - I'd run more than a non-Zur Esper control deck certianly, but I wouldn't go crazy on it. My instinct would be around 10-15 targets for him to get, including some card draw as previously mentioned, some removal (Oblivion Ring, although I wouldn't make all your removal enchantments), maybe some stax (Rule of Law) and some "silver bullet" cards which are great in some situations but not necessarily something you want all the time (Rest in Peace, Stony Silence etc). Depending on how you plan to win, you might push this up a bit with some auras if you expect to be going voltron (Empyrial Armor is a good one, especially with Necropotence and something that removes max hand size)

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on cEDH deck. Need help before GP Portland
    I'll definitely second DirkGently's first point there - just because there's prizes on the line doens't mean everyone will be bringing cEDH decks. I'll also add that, even if the official commander event does end up being closer to cEDH, at something like a GP, chances are you'll find some people who will want to have some casual games of "normal" commander on the side, so don't feel too pressured to go full competitive unless you're desperate to win the tourney.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day: Diregraf Captain
    Quote from Kryptnyt ยป
    I think before you ran this as an 'extra board wipe,' you'd consider all the tutors in your black deck to be extra copies of board wipes, but that's just me. How many do you really need?


    If you're on a tight budget, the tutors available to you are arguably even worse than the additional board wipes....

    As for today's angel, well, the effect is very powerful. The card as a whole, less so. It's not bad but the reasonably high mana cost combined with the fragility (being vulnerable to the two most common types of removal) means that its hard to really abuse the way you would want to. Usually, all you'll get out of this is an extra turn in the face of impending doom. At which point, you should probably look at cheaper ways to do the same thing.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Random Card of the Day: Diregraf Captain
    Outside of some weird enchantment creature deck with black in it, this is only going to be considered if you're lacking white. So how does it match up against the other options available to black decks?

    Toxic Deluge and Damnation are a clear top two, but the latter is reasonably pricey, and even the former might be more than some people want to spend. After those two though, we start moving into more expensive or conditional cards. If you want to keep things cheap on the mana side, Languish is a very good spell, but obviously doesn't kill every threat, while Mutilate is iffy outside of mono black and Phyrexian Scriptures takes a turn and is vulnerable to enchantment removal. In terms of hard boardwipes, Crux of Fate is nice at 5 mana, but even then it's not guaranteed to hit everything. After that you're onto 6 mana for a destry all creatures, for which there are a few options including this, Life's Finale and Deadly Tempest. Of course, there are the asymmetric ones like Plague Wind but the mana costs really start getting pretty high for that kind of effect. So if you want to just kill all creatures at a reasonable point of the game, there aren't actually that many better options.

    So, overall, while I don't think this is a particularly good spell, I could see it being played in a budget non-white deck that wanted a good number of board wipes.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on cEDH deck. Need help before GP Portland
    There are basically three deck types in cEDH: stax that wins with combo, control that wins with combo and just straight up combo. There are a couple of oddities that skirt the edge of these categories, such as Edric, Spymaster of Trest, but many of the strategies that work in other formats don't fit cEDH as they simply aren't efficient enough at killing 3-4 players to compete. And on top of that, Boros is the weakest colour combination in the format (both mono-red and mono-white are actually better thanks to the commanders they have access to).

    Frankly, if I were you, I'd try to avoid the competitive side of the format. Looking at the kind of cards you like (i.e. Angels), it's just not for you. Find some more casual EDH players and have fun.

    If you do want to stick with Avacyn yet make her as competitive as possible, you're probably going to have to move towards a more stax/resource denial instead of just playing big angels. I had a quick look over on TappedOut, and something like this list looks like a good start. There's a guy in my playgroup who's built her in a similar direction, albeit with a bit more of a focus on getting her flipped at will in order to take advantage of the repeatable Anger of the Gods (hint: cheap utility creatures that can sacrifice themselves), and it performs well. It's not up to full cEDH level - Boros just doesn't give you the tools to get there - but it holds its own when we're playing anything short of our best decks.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Which Reclamation Sage effect for Karador
    The thing about Knight of Autumn is that, in EDH, the modes that aren't Disenchant on a stick are pretty much irrelevant. A few points of life or a mediocre body just don't do much. In the vast majority of decks, I'm not going to play it out unless there's something I need to destroy with it so I'd still run Rec Sage above it - getting colour screwed isn't something that happens often, but even so I think only needing one colour is more important than having two extra irrelevant modes. However, in Karador, you might well be playing it out early, as you can reliably reuse it when you actually need your Disenchant so I suppose the minor upsides are better here.

    That said, I'd probably drop Acidic Slime and run both knight and sage. I don't consider hitting a land worth 2 mana, especially as you have a couple of other removal spells that can take out a problematic land.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Birthing Pod Discussion
    Even if I'm not trying to do combos with it, I love having access to Felidar Guardian when I'm playing Pod. Being able to jump from 3 to 5 in one turn is fantastic. Plus, Pod decks generally make heavy use of ETB/LTB effects, so the cat has plenty of general utility.

    So, yeah, I guess this is another recommendation for GWx. Generals like Saffi Eriksdotter or Karador, Ghost Chieftain could be worth looking at as they can mitigate or even take advantage of the need to sacrifice the creature. I have a Saffi deck and Pod is one of the best cards in it, albeit with the caveat that the deck is oriented more towards combo than value.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Commander MVP from each Magic Set - Poll 2 (Ice Age and Mirage Blocks)
    Usually, I see Demonic Consultation used to tutor for Food Chain while having a good chance to also get (via exiling) one of the cards that combo with it. 1 mana to get both halves of one of the best combos in the format is pretty disgusting....
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Mana Web
    It's a pretty good way of disrupting control decks. Less effective against those set up to play pure draw-go, but really annoying to play against for the kind of deck that wants to play something on their turn while holding up a couple of mana for interaction.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Unkillable commander
    Kill the player who controls it....
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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