Creature — Human Wizard
Sacrifice Alchemist's Apprentice: Draw a card.
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Alchemist's Apprentice Discussion
3 months ago
Ok, I've found what I would consider to be the 7 easiest cuts. I'll suggest more later that are possibles, but these shouldn't effect the deck much if removed, and while not bad, their replacements would definitely contribute more.
Faerie Impostor: Replace with Temur Sabertooth. It can't bounce itself. Cards like Shrieking Drake and his two counterparts can all be played and bounced for repeatedly to quickly amass counters on Animar. Then, if need be, they can be allowed to remain in the field to bounce something else. Faerie Impostor is one time use. 1 counter, bounce something else. Not horrible, but you have 3 other creatures that do this better, plus Ancestral Statue.
Alchemist's Apprentice: Replace with Paradoxical Outcome. Alchemist's Apprentice is a weak card. Enters giving 1 +1/+1 counter, assuming you wait until Animar, Sould of Elements is on the field before you cast him. Then, you must sacrifice him to draw a card. An ability not easily repeated in your deck. The creature is lost, so overall you bet minimal gain.
Wild Cantor: Replace with Hardened Scales or Evolutionary Escalation. It is only good in your opening hand. Yes, it can get Animar out a turn earlier, but it is a single use card whose 1 mana is virtually useless later in the game. Basically a dead draw unless it's your first draw. The suggested replacements don't get your commander out that extra turn sooner, but they drastically increase his growth rate, getting him bigger in fewer turns than he would be one turn early.
Sylvan Ranger. Weak card. Land to hand, not even ramp. 1 +1/+1 counter, possibly. Could easily be cut.
Raven Familiar: Weak draw card. You draw him, then play him to gain a +1/+1 counter and hope to draw something good. Why not just replace him with something good? (Deepglow Skate or Chord of Calling would work well here)
Fortune Thief: Replace with Walking Ballista. This is such a situational ability, and requires you to have this card, ideally face down waiting to flip, right before you lose. And still you're left with 1 life and a 0/1 creature being the only thing protecting you. At the point that he is useful, you are already fighting a losing game. And that is on the few games that he is useful, and the fewer times you have him ready to use. He will most likely be a dead card in hand. I suggest Walking Ballista as the substitute because it is solid removal, or an instant game win. Keeps the same "last ditch" spot, but for a last ditch win as opposed to a last ditch survival effort.
Ok, this one I'm iffy on.
- Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. The reason he is in my cut suggestions is A, your Eldrazi are cast abilities, not etb, and B, his copies put no counters on Animar, Soul of Elements. He doesn't combo with anything, doesn't help your commander, doesn't do much with your big things, he's just there for the small etb triggers. Something more Animar focused, such as Increasing Savagery or the Deepglow Skate might do the deck better. That, or, I missed something in here.
Anyhow, these are my thoughts for now. I'll see what else I can come up with.
8 months ago
ibstudent2200: While those are certainly cards that could take out my deck I will rarely face any of them. I would never take a deck like this to my local game shop as it is only designed for cutthroat 4 person pods. Within cEDH Stifle is the only card I may face and even that is somewhat rare, but either way it good to know the weakpoints of the deck.
As for your suggestions. I have considered Buried Alive and Entomb but I would need a worthwhile target. Entomb is something I will definitely test since I added Postmortem Lunge and will possibly also add Shallow Grave.
Buried Alive is too slow unless I have a combo that ends the game with it. I am considering using it to bury Angel of Glory's Rise Trinket Mage and Auriok Salvagers to assemble Bomberman, since it would allow Thrasios to end the game with infinite colored mana but its a bit risky since it nukes my hand and has negative synergy with countermagic. As for the chain you suggested I had one similar in the deck for an infinite damage loop, but it made the deck clunky and was too card intensive.
However, since I need more discard outlets in the deck I will likely replace azami with Hapless Researcher as it essentially fills the same role, but costs way less and has utility in the early game as well. It also can dump itself in the graveyard if its in my opening hand. I may also add Alchemist's Apprentice as redundancy.
If I go the loop route I may add Saffi Eriksdotter as she is slightly more useful than Fiend Hunter for this deck and forms an infinite loop with Angel of Glory's Rise and Cartel Aristocrat. I may also replace Goblin Cannon with Zulaport Cutthroat to give me an infinite damage outlet for the loop. I will definitely have to test both versions to let me know which works best for the deck. Thank you (and thank you too Raging_Squiggle) for the excellent food for thought.
8 months ago
Time Stop is one of the most annoying cards to play against, though whether should use it to counter Dread Return or the angel's trigger is probably context-dependent. Gather Specimens is even more obnoxious, and your opponent would definitely want to resolve that after the angel hits the board.
If your opponent is playing around instant speed reanimation (ex. Makeshift Mannequin or Rally the Ancestors), then they'll wait until the angel's trigger is on the stack before casting Ravenous Trap (otherwise, you could combo off in response to the graveyard hate). Now that I think about it, playing instant speed reanimation might not be a bad idea for this deck.
K34 on kiki combo
10 months ago
Thornbite Staff more or less needs to be in a combo Kiki-Jiki deck. With Kiki-Jiki equipped with Thornbite Staff, and creature that can self-sacrifice can go infinite. It allows you to get maximum use out of stuff like Mogg Fanatic or Alchemist's Apprentice.
10 months ago
The issue I found with the lower Graft N creatures, its only one or two counters put on. Marchesa then has to stick around long enough to bring it back at EOT. Vigean Graftmage is a good 3 drop, but it doesn't make a substantial difference, other than CMC to the other Graft creatures. The untap is very last luster, whereas giving creatures flying or drawing cards is very powerful. Its not a bad idea to maybe get rid of one of the more expensive ones. The deck (changed as of yesterday) only has 4-5 tutor like effects, one of which is on a creature
The issue isn't necessarily targeted removal, though it is worth noting I have had to sac her a few times to keep her alive at some point, so this is a consideration. It was also worth noting I had an issue with life gain. Gray Merchant did go in as of updates yesterday, but there have been times where I have dipped too low in life and I could jump back in the game with a Whip or if I had just a little bit more life.
Your suggestion of Alchemist's Apprentice and Baleful Strix are decent, but the issue you brought up is when Marchesa 'sticks' I assume in your deck, you use the dethrone trigger more so than I do. These two creatures CAN draw cards easily, but thats assuming I can get a counter on them. Trinket Mage Really only tutors for Sol Ring, since Skullclamp has left me with little to no options for anything. Grim Haruspex was a card i considered, but the issue is its not a 'may' ability, meaning I could amass a large board, and they destroy everything and I end up drawing out and dying. it hasn't happened, but Blue Sun and Wheel effects can easily bring your deck down. Same reason River Kelpie didn't make the cut. Oona's Blackguard has left alot of bad taste in peoples mouth, namely because it turns me into a target, having made them 'discard an important card', or even just because they had to discard a card. If Fire Covenant could hit players, it'd be alot better. Attack one player and burn the other out to trigger dethrone. Creature removal hasn't really been an issue, other than a not so nice Blightsteel I ate to the face yesterday.
Mephidross Vampire is in the deck for 2 reasons. It gives me another way to get counters on my creatures. THey will block and I can maybe trade with something, but a creature would then get a counter and come back, making it alot easier to get ETB effects and have 'vigilance' if Marchesa is around. Vampire also combos with Triskelion, allowing me to kill any creatures without indestructibility or hexproof. Novijen Sages is better imo than Helium Squirter. Gives me card draw and another Graft trigger. Grave Titan might be a pet card, but its 3 creatures with a total power of 10/10.
Hedron Archive replaced Treasonous Ogre, letting me EITHER draw cards and can produce mana without paying life. Brutal Expulsion was added to stop 'cant be countered' things, and as a bounce spell if i needed it to be. It could be taken out, but I haven't play tested with it enough. Beacon of Unrest was added because, as OP says, recursion was an issue for me. Beacon returns a creature OR artifact from ANY graveyard, AND shuffles back into the deck. If I wanted to go lower, I could probably use Corpse Dance, but it is less effective since I only animate from my grave and ONLY the top card. Counter spells can stop things such as Blightsteel from dropping down, or perhaps someone targeting an enchantment or something I need. As for the mana rocks, it helps me to cast things and (most) of them come down early enough to help ramp. Grimgrin is also a good sac engine, adding a counter to himself and can attack to destroy a creature.
I'm not arguing or disagreeing with your opinions. Just stating what I had picked and why, and the logic that I chose it
10 months ago
I think you should try to find room for Vigean Graftmage. Graft is so powerful on curve with Marchesa that the cheapest graft card is, in my opinion, the best. I only run Graftmage, Unspeakable Symbol, Sage of Fables, and Cytoplast Manipulator for counter production, but I almost always find myself tutoring for them because recurring a creature during each player's turn is when Marchesa is at its most powerful. Other decent ways to protect her are Mausoleum Wanderer and Spiketail Drakeling, which can both counter a spell pointed at her the turn she comes in and benefit from her ability. As for lifegain, I only run Gray Merchant of Asphodel alongside tutors, clones, and effects like Puppeteer Clique and Bribery. Lifegain is so situational that I find the easiest way to work it into my deck is to take it from my opponents when I need it.
As for more general suggestions, Alchemist's Apprentice and Baleful Strix come down on 2 when you're probably not doing anything else and can draw you cards turn after turn once you stick Marchesa. I'm really fond of Trinket Mage because it finds Sol Ring and Skullclamp. Grim Haruspex will draw you a billion cards. Big Game Hunter is a nice effect to be able to recur in order to police the boardstate. Same with Sedraxis Alchemist. Oona's Blackguard is such a strong effect if you curve out into Marchesa. Fire Covenant is an insane undiscovered gem that I feel belongs in every black and red EDH deck. Subterranean Tremors and Blasphemous Act have huge blowout potential and more boardwipes in general are just a great way for this deck to beat decks with bigger creatures. As you may be able to tell, I like playing low-cmc creatures in order to curve out with Marchesa. But when you're actually able to curve a sac outlet into a value creature into a +1/+1 counter enabler into Marchesa, it's pretty amazing.
As far as cuts go, I would probably recommend you drop Mephidross Vampire, Novijen Sages, Grave Titan, Hedron Archive, Brutal Expulsion, and Beacon of Unrest. I would personally also drop anything with 6+ CMC besides Flayer of the Hatebound, most of the mana rocks besides Sol Ring, some of the higher-CMC sac outlets like Grimgrin, the counterspells, and some of the more expensive card draw like Erebos.
Hope this helped.