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You may cast nonland cards with cycling from your graveyard.
If a card with cycling would be put into your graveyard from anywhere and it wasn't cycled, exile it instead.
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Abandoned Sarcophagus Discussion
4 weeks ago
1 month ago
Well this looks a lot different than it did yesterday :)
Cheap cycling like on Censor is a good way to enable Faith even without the Oil. It's too bad we don't have creatures like Noose Constrictor and Olivia's Dragoon anymore that can discard any number of cards at will. Blue does have a nice amount of Cycling cards that have double duty, and combining them with Abandoned Sarcophagus might be worth looking into. Curator of Mysteries is a nice big Flyer that lets your scry all the time and if you stay in these colors you could even have Drake Haven as a secondary option to take advantage of cycling and discarding to hand size. I have pretty much all the good Blue cycling interactions that use those cards in a Sphinx Tribal deck that you could look at and see if there are interactions you might like there. This Deck Sphinx. I like the idea of combining both things, that could really be effective.
1 month ago
Hey, just taking a look and reading through your comments I like the addition of graveyard hate for those kinds of decks that want to replay things via Abandoned Sarcophagus, God-Pharaoh's Gift, and Torrential Gearhulk. I also like the idea of Raiders' Wake instead of Cruel Reality. It's less mana which is nice and it synergizes so well with the discarding, especially the Scarabs as has been pointed out. I run two in my sideboard that are supported by a few creatures like Kitesail Freebooter to trigger the Raid. I used to run Cruel Reality in the main board but honestly it just didn't accelerate the board. If you got it and it helped you win you were probably already going to win from Scarabs or a Hailfire prior to that, and early on it's a dead card at 7 mana. I love the effect, but it just helps you "win harder" not "win more often". Raiders Wake also is amazing against Cycling and other Looting effects and Standard is littered with that right now.
The comment about Midnight Oil made me laugh. I was so mad that it isn't possible in Standard, but I just finished a Modern deck that uses Midnight Oil and Harmless Offering along with 8-Rack (Shrieking Affliction + The Rack ) to be able to turn 1 hand disruption, turn 2 Liliana's Caress, turn 3 hand disruption and The Rack, turn 4 Midnight Oil, turn 5 Harmless Offering and Vampire Hexmage to eat the counters off of the Oil and pass to your opponent with 0 counters already. It's messy and clunky, but super hilarious. They die while discarding and starting every turn with 0 cards in hand.
Anyway, good luck with your build. Gotta love mono black discard ;)
1 month ago
So Gate to the Afterlife has come up a lot and my final thoughts on it after a lot of games is that I still like to have one around. It's true that getting it online for it's second ability is pretty slow, but not impossible. I'd say maybe 5% of games at best. So why keep it? Well, the fact that it has the second ability at all got it on the list, but the first ability hasn't come up in conversation and it turns out that is actually not a bad effect to have on the field. In games where I don't have the optimal opening hand with all of the things (1 Swallower, 1 Reunion, 1 Sanity, 1 Madcap, 3 land) I do end up with a few of the Bloodwater Entity on the battlefield because they are a decent threat in the air. Whether you hit Gate with Madcap or just cast it that first ability lets you loot when they die. That part actually has been pretty relevant as it usually gets to loot 3-5 cards a game when I've had it out early. Again, not incredible, but not completely dead.
As I type this, I've had another epiphany.
This actually is way more flexible for the same cmc, I literally just had this major "ah ha!" moment when going through this thought line in my head: "I already dug through all of the artifacts in Standard right now and Gate was the only one that had flexible uses and it literally pulls out the main win condition if you stall out and can't find it oh my god I completely overlooked that stupid mirror."
Let me list some things that it can do here in the order they flew by just now:
- Turn into a second copy of Fraying Sanity before each end step that your opponent dumps a bunch of cards.
- Turn into a second copy of Bloodwater Entity or Enigma Drake to attack for a bunch more damage.
- Turn into a second copy of something juicy from your opponent's board and use it against them.
- How funny would it be if you were playing in a Gift mirror and you use the mirror to copy their Gift?
But does it work on Sanity like that? It probably doesn't because it isn't attached to the opponent. Ok, scratch that first one off, but the other things are right. Or does it? If it's a copy does it share that property as well? Or is it unattached from either player and do nothing? I'm going to look into that.
Ok, so pending the results of that little tangent I think the Mirror is a solid replacement for the Gate. So much so I may consider actually having two? Dunno.
Compelling Argument I use differently depending on what I have/don't have. I'd definitely say that the best early game digging tools are Cathartic Reunion (more-so when you already have the fish in your hand to discard) and Strategic Planning (more-so when you have everything but the fish). If all I have are Arguments then I'd absolutely just use the cycling. This means I probably won't get set up fast enough to use it as a win condition but it'll still help me get there faster. If I have a Madcap Experiment and Fraying Sanity in hand but only Argument and no Reunion or Planning then I'd 100% use it to mill myself and hope that a fish drops in there, but I'd be ok with a Gearhulk and could work with a Drake or Entity as well. I'm torn when I don't have a Sanity yet, but I'd still probably do it if that was all I had. A deep Scry of 3 or more would be sweet to help in those situations but I'm unaware of a good option for that, especially since it would have to be for one mana to do on your first turn to really be worth it and not effect the tempo of the deck.
Abandoned Sarcophagus is a neat card, but I don't like it in this build without a lot more cycling. The huge problem with it for me is that any time I cast Fateful Showdown to cycle my hand, Compelling Argument myself to dig for a fish, or dump cards to Combustible Gearhulk anything with cycling would just be exiled instead of going to the graveyard. If I ran it here I'd have to remove all of those things to get the value out of it. That said, it is very "build-aroundable" and I did that with a mono-blue Sphinx Tribal deck of all things that is actually really sweet. I play it on MTGO because it was cheap as hell (less than 3TIX for the whole thing). It's great because you pretty much always cycle cards before playing them so you always have a nice full hand. It also can be problematic for your opponent because they have to keep track of what is in your graveyard because pretty much everything in there is basically also in your hand. Again, like the card a lot, but can't fit it in here the way I'm set up. (Not that you were suggesting I add it, I just wanted to get that out in case it ever came up)
Commit / Memory is a fun card. I like where you are going with it against big Dinosaurs, though sometimes just Argument on it's own to mill them away still works, especially if you have Sanity on them as well you are bound to drop things they wanted to play. Before rotation I had a few builds that were similar in design to this but without the Madcap/Artifact condition. They used a lot of these cards to cycle through the deck very quickly and get out as many copies of Fevered Visions as possible. I could have all four of them out in 8 or 9 turns, it was hilarious. The Memory part of that card was in there to keep myself from getting decked because with sooooo much draw and recycling entire hands it was impossible not to run out of cards in 11 or 12 turns. Like literally impossible. Shuffling it all back in and starting over was critical, plus any Wheel of Fortune effect that makes your opponent draw a new hand is always funny. Sometimes it helps them more than it hurts them, but that look on their face when you cast it, the eye roll in particular, makes it worth it.
I think that addresses everything, thank you Soulus101, ShpoK, and only_the_finest for all the continued inquiries and suggestions. Building and sharing is probably the most rewarding part of this game. It's truly exciting when other people play your decks or run similar combos and come back to talk about it. Much appreciation, thanks again :)
1 month ago
For me, it's the cycling plus back-up mill, because I don't use Gate. I do use Abandoned Sarcophagus for card advantage as well, but I'm still testing Sanity Swallower so I may go in a different direction.
1 month ago
It's certainly something I'm considering. River's Rebuke is in the sideboard to deal with Carnage Tyrant or token strategies, but it's not mainboard worthy due to CMC. Compelling Argument and Abandoned Sarcophagus are sort of second win-cons, and again, for dealing with uncounterable threats Commit + Compelling Argument could bury a serious threat.
That said, your thoughts are solid, so when I get around to testing I'll try those out.
1 month ago
Perhaps focusing on control, ramping and card drawing would do more for the deck than pure incremental milling. The goal should be to buy time to get the combo out. I would replace all Compelling Argument with Winds of Rebuke, one Abandoned Sarcophagus with one River's Rebuke and the other with another copy of Unsummon or Censor. Also Daring Saboteur instead of Nimble Obstructionist.
1 month ago
I have a similar debate re. Opt, 'Opt'ing instead for HI and Censor. The latter has more utility in the control package, and the Cycle + Abandoned Sarcophagus gives me card advantage. I decided this was preferable to Opt, but happy to be wrong.
The issue with Mirage Mirror is actually to do with how auras and curses work. Basically when an aura/curse ETB, it has to be attached to something, and this is the only opportunity to attach it. If MM copies FS, it becomes a curse, but it doesn't become attached to that player, and because it isn't attached to anything, it "dies". So it's actually worse than pointless... I use an app called MTG Cards Info to read up on cards, and it includes all of the rulings on cards. The MM rulings actually make a reference to this exact scenario.