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Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
  • posted a message on The Scarab God: Mirror-Mad Phantasm/Laboratory Maniac Combo
    Quote from JaishivaJai »
    Are you playing the combo? I would imagine that most times you could just combo off before they get too close to killing you.

    Besides adding more of what the deck already has, boardwipes and spot removal should help, I'd consider these:
    Vengeful Pharaoh to dissuade peeps from attacking you at all. Just point the big gun at someone else and let it do it's job. Other deathtouch creatures or perhaps a nice Basilisk Collar as we should always have a creature out.

    Dissipation Field same idea. Just make it look more appealing to attack other people and you'll stay alive.
    Ensnaring Bridge if it's in your budget.

    If green is going too wide vs. too tall there is Silent Arbiter

    Surprised you'd have trouble with green decks though. They seem to fold pretty easily to boardwipes and spot removal which we should have plenty of in the list. What commanders specifically?

    p.s. stuffy doll although this won't work if they have too many trample creatures, which is of course green's specialty.


    Its not any specific commander per se, it is more of the value that they can generate with a board presence, especially as they can ramp faster (usually chaining multiple land ramp spells together). I also have run most of the dimmer instant speed board wipes, but bouncing green's creatures isn't that much of a setback with that many lands. That being said, I still use the discard build (I have 2 other competitive tier decks (Animar and Sisay) which are also still combo builds) which may also be why as that is far slower and grinder build.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on The Scarab God: Mirror-Mad Phantasm/Laboratory Maniac Combo
    I am finding that my deck still has a weakness to mono green ramp and stomp decks, so I may consider adding an Acid Rain? Is anyone else having issues with this and how have you dealt with it?
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Which creatures are the best at blocking?


    We might as well include Hornet’s Nest to that list. Also permeating mass is obnoxious to attack into.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Which creatures are the best at blocking?
    Quote from paragonweapon »
    Deathtouch + First Strike/Double Strike usually works amazingly.

    Glissa, the Traitor does so at a great rate including utility.
    Using it as a blocker seems to be one of the most fair uses of Master of Cruelties.


    Even better than deathtouch is the ability stapled onto Pit Spawn|


    Trump card


    But the slagwurm doesn't deal with indestructible.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Commander for a Simic Hydra Deck?
    How about the new Zegana?
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Which creatures are the best at blocking?
    Deathtouch + First Strike/Double Strike usually works amazingly.

    Glissa, the Traitor does so at a great rate including utility.
    Using it as a blocker seems to be one of the most fair uses of Master of Cruelties.


    Even better than deathtouch is the ability stapled onto Pit Spawn|
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [Focused] The Scarab God
    Quote from JaishivaJai »
    Have to bring up Grafted Wargear again because it's actually better than either of us expected. The errata for wargear has changed the card to "when this becomes unattached from a permanent, sacrifice that permanent." So, if your opponents make the god with wargear on it into something besides a creature, wargear falls off, you sac. the god, it goes back into your hand at the endstep. It turns Imprisoned in the moon and Song of the Dryads into over costed bounce spells Laughing Against darksteel mutation, just attach the wargear to a different creature on your turn to sac. the god. The same actually goes for control magic type effects too. You still control the equipment, so on your next turn your force your opponent to sac. the god.

    I understand this may still not be enough to put it over the edge. The more I look at it, the better it gets though. I think wargear still can't dodge Path to exile type effects though, so instant speed sac. outlets are still superior to it in that way.


    In addition to running unconditional removal/bounce, I run overburden which also lets you play a creature to bounce you commander land (which deals with song and imprisoned) and sweepers to get around indestructible (like toxic deluge) which deals with mutation.

    For theft effects you can either kill the commander, steal it back (Gilded Drake), or copy it.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Fist Bump: Making Allies in EDH - A Deckbuilding Guide
    So a few cards that may be missing:

    Selvala, Explorer Returned gives each player a card and its controller mana ramp and life in addition to the card.
    Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis gives your opponents half of an explore at your end step while you get the full card.
    Sixth Sense is another green Curiosity functional reprint.

    For Tempt with Discovery, the floor is a Reap and Sow without the entwine ability as it can grab any land and its ceiling in a 4 player pod is to ramp each of your opponents by 1 land of their choice and you get to ramp by any 4 lands you want (meaning you can grab some combos like Urborg/Coffers/Stronghold, or Stage and Depths).
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Rubinia-Polymorph
    I recently bought the C13 Bant preconstructed deck and wanted to build a deck off of it. I built a stax/prison Derevi before and I have seen plenty of Roon decks, but almost no Rubinia Soulsinger decks, so I went to build the latter. While I thought I could build a full on theft deck, I have The Scarab God deck that usually wins by reanimating my opponents' creatures so I wanted something different, so while there is a theft sub theme, I built it more as a polymorph/cheating big creatures into play, while playing a control shell to ensure you can play and win with your giant creatures:



    Any and all feedback is appreciated since. The lands and some of the control suite is what I had lying around when I changed the deck from the precon.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on What SCG Con Taught Sheldon About Commander And Its Players
    So, here are my thoughts on Sheldon's article:

    1. The first thing a lot of us do, before breaking out our decks, is to ask about what power level people are playing. If it is agreed to be a low power game, it is probably a good idea to not break out the stax deck. However, the higher the power level goes, the more reasonable it is to break out the stax deck. On that note, players, as soon as it is feasible to do so, should have decks of differing power levels. Most players keep a tuned deck (usually competitive) to break out as needed and 1-2 75% decks and then decks of lesser power levels for more fun/casual playgroups. It isn't fun to be at a table with one deck that is significantly more powerful that the rest and it feels terrible to be the very underpowered deck as well. This would solve some of his issues, as opposed to shame players who like higher power level games.

    2. There needs to be the difference between stax decks and stax cards. The former is more reserved for decks that use stax cards as the main theme of the deck with the plan of grinding and locking opponents out, while stax cards are cards, that while may be found in stax and resource taxing/denial strategies, are not used to promote that sort of deck. I used to play the former style of deck, but now play stax cards to either complement my strategy or to cover up my deck's weaknesses. In my The Scarab God deck, I run Overburden and Noetic Scales to weaken aggro decks and Sunder and Land Equilibrium to keep ramp heavy decks under control. Likewise, running a Hall of Gemstone in a mono green deck lets you play the game without fear of most counterspells or instant speed interaction (there are a few that can be cast for free or via artifact mana), while not hindering you at all.

    3. Stax pieces are proactive, virtual card advantage, which is a way of being able to pay a one time cost for a recurring benefit and not have to leave up resources to deal with the problem later, especially if you are not running blue, so the deck would have negligible interaction on the stack. There was an a SCG article about this involving Blood Moon a few months back. Weakening cards that would hose your deck allows you to play your game as well. For example, having a Gaddock Teeg in play, although a resource denial card, greatly reduces the chances of a wrath effect, protecting your board. In a 4 player game, your opponents start out by drawing 3 cards to your 1, so if you can weaken more than 3 cards with a card you played, then you are generating card advantage, which is one of the major resources in MTG.

    4. Sheldon specifically brought up Winter Orb. This is a card, while not for a very casual meta, is sometimes needed to help deal with green ramp shenanigans. Resolving an orb after an opponent casts Boundless Realms can be the difference between managing to cobble together a response before the inevitable combo/Genesis Wave and losing. It is also fun to catch a pact player tapped out with one, which causes them to lose the game. Im not advocating of running it in every deck, but ultimately, there needs to be a fair way of interacting with land ramp short of Armageddon other than Natural Balance (in green and really only run in decks that want to sacrifice lands) and Keldon Firebombers. If a player ramps with artifact mana, no one has an issue when they are all blown up, and the same with mana dorks being wrathed.

    5. While EDH may have started out as "Battlecruiser" magic, it has since evolved into a variety of strategies. In Starcraft, while a Terran player can race to build Battlecruisers, they can also turtle up with missile turrets and bunkers (pillow fort), marine/firebat rush (weenie aggro), vulture/wraith harassment (resource denial), siege tanks/goliaths (midrange), among others. One of the reasons I play the format is due to the sheer diversity of tactics that can be used when you play and have played and played against almost all of them.

    6. Personalities and play styles are not the same thing. People are not better or worse because they like certain strategies, but people like playing the play styles that come naturally to them. Just because someone likes playing stax/control cards, does not mean they are a sociopath/liked burning ants under a magnifying glass as a kid. For me, it takes more thought and mental gymnastics to pilot and play against decks like that, not to mention the politicking that usually occurs, since multiple people are being harmed by the same effect and who should expend their resources to deal with the threat. I have built some battlecruiser style decks, and learned that they are not my playstyle, not because I "hate fun", but because I find being able to control and interact with the board, proactively and reactively to be a lot more fun for me, as it turns the game into a puzzle.

    7. As far as full board wipes go, they are typically 5+ mana and require some set up and usually running up to 7-8 mana. For that mana investment, you expect to win the game should the card resolve as planned. If casing the Obliterate in this situation means that you won the game, is it really different that casting Insurrection with lethal on board, or Tooth and Nailing into a game winning combo? At that point, the game should end, and a new one should be started, assuming the wipe was played correctly. The issue for these wipes is when players do not know how to use them or use them for "spite plays", which does create less than pleasant game states for no real reason.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Commander MVP from each Magic Set - Poll 1 (ABU to Fallen Empires)
    My other vote on legends is for Nether Void, which is a back breaking card when played right (usually after an Armageddon type of effect).
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on The Scarab God: Mirror-Mad Phantasm/Laboratory Maniac Combo
    Quote from JaishivaJai »
    I'd say Arena of the Ancients may not be quite as narrow as y'all think. Note that it says "legends" not legendary creatures. Bye bye Gaea's Cradle, some artifacts, and other legendary creatures that get played. It is narrow, but not totally narrow. I need help beating this dumb jeleva deck, and I just haven't been able to test the card much at all. Keeping for now.

    Hey benjameenbear, very grateful for the response! Stoked on the list you provided.

    I am on a budget. Basically, I don't ever spend more than $25 dollars on a single card, and that only occasionally. Also, my playgroup already has trouble dealing with the deck, so I don't want to make it too powerful. EDH is about fun for me, and it's not fun if the same person wins all the time. That being said, this deck would make a great competitive commander. (Just realized I still have the competitive tag on this, I'll remove it.) I'm sure the list you put up would actually fall into the truly competitive category. This is my first choice as far as which deck to optimize though. It may actually reach that competitive realm in the next couple of years.

    Some of the cards you've recommended I will add to the deck when I can trade for them or afford them, Toxic Deluge Training Grounds being most notable. Add venser, shaper savant to that list too. I have always been reading this card as only "return target permanent to its owner's hand" and just now noticed the "spell or" part of the card. Now it makes sense why this card is so great.

    I have been considering a Haunted Crossroads as a budget volrath's stronghold type effect. My deck currently isn't creature dense enough for that to happen. I think you're right, adding in even more cheap creatures to really up the count would help the deck out.

    LOVE Soldevi Adnate and Aphetto Alchemist Nice and cheap $ too without extremely pushing the power level of the deck. Thanks for that type about sacrificing the now black zombie tokens that the god "externalizes". I have hesitated on Crypt Ghast because I'm just not sure how effective it will be. When I think about it though, if I have only one swamp out, it's still a decent ramp card. Maybe I've been underestimating it. Turning more of my ramp into creatures would be nice.

    I had in altar of dementia before, and I do need a good sac. outlet. It sucks to be in the lead on the battlefield creature wise, but have only a bunch of 1/1's 2/2's and the like. Generally upping the speed/rate at which I can get creatures into the 'yard would be helpful.

    The spiketail Drakeling type cards are nice too. Wizard Replica was in my list, but I couldn't find my copy and took it out. I will add one or two or three of these types of creatures. Don't want to over do it in that realm though. Too many repeatable counterspells would probably start putting this deck too far over the top of my playgroup.

    I will be looking at that list you put together and using it for future upgrades. Thanks! Hope you're able to pop in more, hopefully build your own The Scarab God list some day!

    Had duplicant in before, but it cost too much cmc wise for my current list. I could see it being necessary for a more competitive list.



    The oracle text on Arena of the Ancients has been updated to state that it only affects creatures unfortunately. Veneer has been very helpful in my deck, especially if people forget that he is in my yard. He is also one of the few pieces of planes walker removal we run and the threat of him is usually enough to persuade a negative ultimate (think Ajani Vengeant) from heading my direction without having to expend resources.

    Depending on the number of wizards you run, Voidmage Prodigy and Patron Wizard could be very powerful (on their own, they are a hard counter spell and a repeatable Force Spike, though Patron Wizard's price has been climbing lately. The two things I like about the spike tails over the Wizard Replica is that the former is not an artifact (as there is no artifact synergies in the deck) and hence just more vulnerable to removal and that it requires an additional mana to activate.

    I guess my other issue is that I am probably more of an Azorius mage given that I prefer prison strategies and will usually throw 3-6 cards in my deck designed to hose strategies that can give me trouble (e.g. Overburden and Land Equilibrium) and warp the table so that the other players have to play the game on my deck's rules.

    Given the sac effects in your other lists, would Grave Pact style effects be helpful to keep opposing boards clear? How about Attrition as a potential sac outlet?
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on [Focused] The Scarab God
    Quote from Grimoire »
    That's good to hear. My latest order of cards should be arriving in a day or two, so I'll begin testing the Discard package in my list. If it gets online often enough, I'll definitely add a Grimoire too.

    Herald of Anguish is one of those cards that since it was released, I've wanted to play it. So - fingers crossed that I can replicate your results. Improvise is nice too, if only because I can see being able to reduce it's casting cost by 2-3 consistently.


    My game had close to ideal results for the Herald, so I am not sure how often I will be able to replicate that, considering it probably caused my opponents to discard 10-15 cards and due to the Grimoire, drew me that many as well. Ideally, it draws out a board wipe and ends up making my opponents all discard 2-3 cards over the course of the game.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on [Focused] The Scarab God
    I played another game with my list tonight and Herald of Anguish was an all-star, eating a board wipe and then coming back with The Scarab God, though having a Geth's Grimoire helped a ton as did a lack of artifact or enchantment wipes.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on The Scarab God: Mirror-Mad Phantasm/Laboratory Maniac Combo
    Quote from JaishivaJai »
    Played another game the other night. 3-0 for victory since the upgrade! My victory was in no small part due to our lesser experienced friend letting me draw tons of spells off of Rhystic Study starting turn 3. Again I had the ability to combo off, but chose not to. I want to make sure this deck doesn't rely on the combo to win.

    Phyrexian Arena has been great. I've seen some arguments for things like Read the Bones being better due to the amount of time it takes to reap your investment on Arena. However, this deck is in it for the long game, so Arena does well usually.

    Arena of the Ancients finally showed up. It got blown up the turn after I played it. Gaping However the artifact sniper was playing his "All legendary themed deck" I think this card is really good. So good it will draw the hate. When they don't have that artifact removal though...

    I was playing against Child of Alara. Funny enough, I kind of wanted a boardwipe because I was dominating the board, but only with my small power and toughness creatures. I needed more targets to "externalize." It's part of why I went with Rotting Rats despite it making me discard. I'm heavily considering smallpox going in. I want the 'yard to start filling up early, even when we are doing well and keeping all of our creatures on board. It's also making me reconsider psychic corrosion for an addition. I'm down to only 1 mill card down from 4-5. I think this could be a good second mill card.

    Spellseeker was quite useful. I already had boardwipes, so I searched for Counterspell. Funny I hadn't considered how strong that little one-two is before.

    Still very pleased with the deck. No big changes coming, maybe just a smallpox.


    Arena of the Ancients is one of those hit or miss cards. Generals that do not need to use the combat step or tap to use their ability are mostly unaffected by it, while cards that need to tap to activate their main ability or generals that grow huge and smash face are hurt by this card. Keep in mind if a vigilance legend is put on the battlefield after the arena hits the field, it would also have no effect. I would look at it the same way as Pithing Needle/Phyrexian Revoker, Torpor Orb and Cursed Totem in that they are very useful or useless.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
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