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Sphinx's Revelation IN ; Remand OUT. We run a lot of counterspells, we didnt need another "soft" counter. The card draw was nice, but Revelation offers us even better card draw in place of an unnecessary counterspell.
Soulfire Grand Master IN ; Charmbreaker Devils OUT. SGM does a really good job of cycling spells, allowing us to choose what we want to keep rather that the random choices that Charmbreaker presents. Overall a more solid choice giving us yet another way to soft-lock as a backup plan.
Divine Reckoning IN ; Feeling of Dread OUT. Feeling of Dread would often be cast for four mana in one turn to tap down a few creatures and double trigger prowess. It was a fairly low impact spell, that was "fun" to use. Divine Reckoning for four mana has much more impact in my opinion. Being able to wipe a board then kill their creature with Shu Yun seemed too good to pass up.
Thanks the nayrash5 for the awesome suggestions that i completely overlooked!
Exchanged In:Arbor Colossus - Boon Satyr - Yasova Dragonclaw - Warden of the First Tree - Sunscorch Regent - Dragonlord Dromoka - Cached Defenses - Lightform - I took out a regular Atarka, World Render and put in a foil one instead.
Yesterday the deck seemed to work better. The star of day would be Sorin, Lord of Innistrad's ultimate. I was able to take away a Griselbrand away and fully use it to my advantage. One of the games I played I got mana-screwed big time; started out with 3 and took 5 turns before drawing a fourth but by then it was too late for my deck to function well enough to get out of the jam.
I want your thoughts about maybe adding Ratchet Bomb to the sideboard? If I get Elspeth's emblem making my stuff indestructible, the card could work nicely to my benefit but if I don't, I could loose everything.
at first I was really just looking for a little better utility than some of my less pertinent exploit creatures coughQarsi Sadistcough. I, however, did not expect to find a card that would accomplish the same exact thing as qarsi sadist, but with the added bonus of a pay to sac ability...
so now that I have briefly glossed over the positive aspects, which I will get back to very soon... lets take a look at the downside. for 1, it costs an extra to get onto the play field. that I can overlook since my average CMC is looking lower than I expected anyways. second, it changes an exploit creature into a combo trigger... Im actually not even that mad about it: it adds to the shenanigans that ensue when I exploit a creature with toughness 4 or greater (and with how heavily I rely on Sidisi's Faithful and Sidisi, Undead Vizier, that shouldnt be too hard to trigger).
now for the positive sides... the sides where it truly shines through and clearly beats qarsi sadist into submisison.
1) Did I mention it has a Pay to Sac ability? DID I??? Holy crap this is what I have been looking for for so long, how did I miss it??? so the logic goes as such... you are sitting around, you have successfully stalled out your opponents game for several turns and are feeling pretty safe at home. you dont have palace siege out quite yet, but you are a single sac of Sidisi, Undead Vizier (who naturally has been tagged with Gift of Immortality by now as it shoud ALWAYS be your first pull) away from grabbing it, when the clouds of despair part and the sun starts shining down on your opponent (there is nothing a predominantly "sultai" deck hates more than sunshine). there is a glimmer of hope in your opponents eyes as he realizes that your next 7 draws are land, and oh yea... you have no hand. what is a girl (pronounced "undead naga witch") to do??? oh... well why dont you just let that Kheru Bloodsucker take care of that for you??? Oh, Great Idea!!!
no, but in all seriousness, I cant tell you how often I have charged ahead a little too fast and emptied my hand right when I need to kill one of my creatures the most. it is a damn nightmare, and Im glad I may have a way around that.
2) Did I mention Pay to Sacrifice??? this has so much utility in my deck, beyond just fueling the exploit cycle. say your opponent is relying heavily on exile cards (exile cards that are specifically not Anafenza, the Foremost). you finally get your sidisi on the board, and they slap an exile card on her right away... are you seeing where Im going with this??? just throw the sacrifice on top of the stack, and laugh as they realize they just forfeited an exile card. I am seeing HUGE potential for protecting my creature assets with this one.
3) with as much as I am frequently exploiting Sidisi, Undead Vizier, and Sidisi's Faithful, I am thrilled about the potential for direct damage (can you really call it damage?) and the life gain. I have previously noted my love for throwing gift of immortality on Sidisi, and exploiting her into the ground with something like a SF. throw a blood sucker on top of that, and you are gaining 4 life every time you do it. get a second one on the field??? thats 8 unblockable damage every turn. its madness, and honestly could be considered a minor win-con in and of itself.
you must be asking yourself... could there possibly be more??? consider this... turn 1) Sidisi's Faithful, turn 2) Mirror Mockery, turn 3) blood sucker... every turn, SF swings, the generated token exploits itself, you bounce a creature, they lose 2 life, and you gain 2 life... that is a pretty menacing turn 3. I LOVE IT!!!
Im really excited about playing around with this card and finding plenty more combinations with it =D as it is, I could easily see myself throwing in a playset of these once theros roles out.
[+] Dark Impostor
[+] Rakish Heir
[+] Skeletal Vampire
[+] Pawn of Ulamog
[+] Vampiric Dragon
[+] Comet Storm
[+] Crypt Incursion
[+] Rakdos Charm
[+] Mana Flare
[+] Profane Command
[+] Belbe's Portal
[+] Blood Tribute
[+] Diabolic Tutor
[+] Quietus Spike
[+] Rakdos Signet
[+] Spine of Ish Sah
[+] Swiftfoot Boots
[+] Unstable Obelisk
[+] Akoum Refuge
[+] Command Tower
[+] Opal Palace
[+] Rakdos Carnarium
[+] Rogue's Passage
[+] Tainted Peak
[-] Balustrade Spy
[-] Child of Night
[-] Markov Patrician
[-] Markov Warlord
[-] Pulse Tracker
[-] Sengir Vampire
[-] Stromkirk Patrol
[-] Vampire Warlord
[-] Vengeful Vampire
[-] Act of Treason
[-] Harness by Force
[-] Mark of Mutiny
[-] Traitorous Blood
[-] Warp World
[-] Rend Flesh
[-] Undying Evil
[-] Vampire's Bite
[-] Unhallowed Pact
[-] Barren Moor
[-] Forgotten Cave
[-] Polluted Mire
[-] Radiant Fountain
[-] Omen Machine
[-] Ring of Xathrid
Hypersonic Dragon - Found the need for flash largely unnecessary.
Counterflux - Counters seem largely irrelevant. May come back, but now is out in favor of more draw.
Vandalblast - Again, the control elements seem largely irrelevant.
Wild Ricochet - Only ever cast it to double my own spells, and four mana for that effect is not worth it.
Blue Sun's Zenith - Too mana intensive.
Spelltwine - Too unreliable. Better options are available.
Ruby Medallion - Amazing when casting many spells each turn. Sapphire would be more helpful, and will be added once I acquire it.
Strategic Planning - Good card advantage.
Desperate Ravings - Testing. The 'random' clause is worrisome.
Index - Setting up the top of my library.
Taigam's Scheming - Sets up the top of the library brilliantly.
Uncovered Clues - Card Advantage.
26 Lands: 4x Nomad Outpost, 4x Temple of Triumph, 3x Temple of Silence, 1x Temple of Malice, 4x Bloodstained Mire, 3x Mountain, 3x Battlefield Forge, 2x Caves of Koilos, 1x Swamp, 1x Haven of the Spirit Dragon
Game 1 (On Draw - Abzan Mul to 6): Abzan screwed off green allowed a moderately prosaic hand to still create enough pressure for a comfortable win
Game 2 (On Play): I was in a very dominant position landing a 2drop threat and using removal to efficiently keep the board clear. Until I couldn't draw a 3rd land for the rest of the game.
Game 3 (On Draw): A fantastic back and forth game which required continual top-deck solutions for the other build's problems. Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury is a beater for damage out of nowhere. As is a resolved Soulfire Grand Master with life-gain damage for holding up what should be unwinnable races. Nice
Game 4 (On Draw): More efficient removal + Stormbreath Dragon = pretty comfortable win
Game 5 (On Play) Very comfortable. Simple game plan: stick an early threat and removal opposing obstacles before lethal damage.
Thoughts of the Pre-Board Matchup
This is looking like a very favourable matchup pre-board. With Abzan Aggro generally only running 4-6 pure removal spells to accommodate for Dromoka's Command and often Abzan Charm proving narrowly conditional against several of my threats the secret is to stick a threat for a clock and keep removing creatures until the fliers arrive. Stormbreath Dragon is a MVP in this matchup. It can only be blocked by Sorin, Solemn Visitor vampire tokens and is resistant to all removal bar Hero's Downfall, Murderous Cut and Ultimate Price.
ABZAN IN: Duress, Ultimate Price to stick a threat and protect it from removal. Jerry Thompson runs a list with Nissa, Worldwaker and Tasigur, the Golden Fang in the side. Cards like these would come in too.
Plague Wind, Ashes to Ashes, Greed, Charcoal Diamond, and Swamp
Myriad Landscape, Worn PowerStone, Fated Return, Destroy the Evidence, and Rise from the Grave
So it turns out Spiketail Hatchling isn't all that good. The counter spell is nice but generally it gets killed by a cheap burn spell before it has any effect. I'm considering Spellstutter Sprite as an alternative however that too isn't all that effective unless there's multiples out, knowing that this isn't a fairy deck.
I've made additional changes to the deck as well. After learning about the magnificent Shriekmaw and Plaxmanta I've immediately put them in as they cover for a multitude of weaknesses my deck lacks such as removal as well as a way to survive targeted instants and sorcery. Dakra Mystic is finally being taken out with the arrival of the manta knowing that while she was a good card, dakra ultimately did not belong in a self mill deck. However, I have to admit the reactions on majority of my friend's faces were pretty funny once they saw her on the field.