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Altar of Dementia
Sacrifice a creature: Target player puts a number of cards equal to the sacrificed creature's power from the top of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
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Altar of Dementia Discussion
3 days ago
Hi, nice deck! I like the theme. I've got a few suggestions, if they're not what you're looking for pay me no mind.
35 lands and average CMC 4 seems low, even counting the emerge effect. There are still more good budget lands available: Temple of the False God, Evolving Wilds/Terramorphic Expanse, (which are probably better than Foul Orchard, but I don't know if that's included for flavor) and Drownyard Temple which synergizes with self-mill and fits in Innistrad flavor too. There's hardly any ramp here, what about Rampant Growth, Cultivate, etc?
Draw looks really light too, especially for UBG. I don't know if you are bound to flavor to the point of rejecting good ol' Concentrate, but we can find some on theme things like Treasure Cruise that appreciate the milling. Ancient Craving at least sounds like eldritch horror, and Read the Bones, Night's Whisper, and Sign in Blood all sort of work too. Sift seems better than Amass the Components since you'd rather discard than put to bottom, though Sift has no flavor.
As for what to take out that I haven't mentioned, what catches my eye as not pulling their weight are Altar of the Brood (without an infinite combo this will just help opponents), Enlightened Maniac (low impact, no graveyard synergy), Ludevic's Test Subject Flip (slow), Geralf's Masterpiece, Momir Vig, Simic Visionary (not a huge number of triggers for him, the only other blue AND green creature is Sidisi), and Brood Monitor (Nice with blink effects but you haven't any).
1 week ago
MrKrabs: Sorry about the delayed response, it has been a really busy week.
I can still win with Altar of Dementia through reshuffle effects by using Mikokoro, Center of the Sea in response to the shuffle. Though the statement was more with regards to if Blasting Station was exiled. Thgough you are right, there are many ways to dig for Blasting Station with Altar of Dementia.
On the topic of Boonweaver Giant - I know that the card is pulled from anywhere. But this is my point, all of the focus is on the fact that with either Pattern or Boonweaver and a sac outlet you win. But the hardest part of that is not getting Boonweaver, it's the sac outlet. And outside of that, boonweaver giant is a 7 mana creature that adds very little to the deck. Even Reveillark does something outside of combo. however Boonweaver is more expensive to cast than any card in the deck but only fills a niche role.
As for Pattern of Rebirth, there are a few things at play here. The first is that my preferred playsstyle is combo control. Whiule creatures aren't as big a thing, I prefer to fly under the radar until my combo turn. And I almost never run out an Altar until I'm ready to win on the spot. And Pattern flies in the face of that. Inside of combo, it's not a problem. However if I need to tutor up utility, I want to a) have mana open as long as possible to give me options and b) Not give away what I'm doing or draw attention to it until the last second.
The other issue I have with Pattern is that you need a creature out and then 4 mana to cast it. And while I'm not sure what your meta is like, mine is quite removal heavy. So for 1 mana (via a Swords to Plowshares), I can have my entire play shut down. Plus with Eladamri's Call, I can do it as early as turn 2 without any boardstate requirements.
I do like Sylvan Tutor. I'm not sure if I'd run it in this list, however I did put togehter a slightly more combo focused list here which I am running it in (full disclosure that I haven't built/play tested the other deck in real life). If you prefer instant speed choices, there's always Congregation at Dawn which is more suited towards finding combo pieces. It just depends on the context. I don't mind it in your list as you're running a lot more stax so I think you can take your time a bit more.
I'm not sure if you've had this list posted in the past - the name sounds familiar though (I've looked through a lot of Saffi decks over the years to see what other people do with theirs). I'd be happy to have a look at your deck and leave some comments - the two themes are definitely very different but it's good see something from a different perspective.
1 week ago
If you want the most out of Yasova, you may want to get cards that boost her power so you can steal your opponents creatures. Cards like Hardened Scales and Experiment Krajj would be good places to start. Anything that gives her +1/+1 counters like Momentum would be a must have for late game when it only becomes harder to grab the bigger creatures. A few more sacrifice outlets can be useful such as Feed the Clan, Altar of Dementia, and Ashnod's Altar. There are cards like Mycoloth with the devour mechanic that can be used to rid yourself of those same creatures after they have exhausted their usefulness.
1 week ago
@UnleashedHavok Thanks for the feedback.
I was initially running Ashnod's Altar (and Nim Deathmantle), but I found that having a 2 mana sacrifice outlet just felt a lot better, hence Altar of Dementia. That way, you can play it on turn 2 before Alesha comes down, or on turn 4 and still have mana to activate Alesha. It's also important to note that you can (and should) target yourself with Altar of Dementia to give yourself more options in your graveyard. The fact that you can infinitely mill your opponents later on is just gravy.
My rationale for having Mindclaw Shaman over Mesmeric Fiend (or the mostly better Tidehollow Sculler) is that, while they both strip a card from your opponent's hand, Mindclaw Shaman lets you cast that powerful card for yourself. This seems much better to me in a multiplayer environment, where you need to get maximum value out of each card in your deck. It's especially useful when your meta is filled with cards like Demonic Tutor, Time Stretch, and Expropriate like mine is.
I am indeed aware of using the stack tricks for Fiend Hunter, etc. They wouldn't make the deck otherwise, because I don't want cards that are only temporary solutions since removal is so common in commander.
Serra Ascendant is something I'm considering, since I own a couple copies. Just isn't in the deck for now since my meta is so combo-oriented and the lifegain tends not to matter.
1 week ago
I would suggest Ashnod's Altar or Phyrexian Altar over Altar of Dementia, unless you find yourself with the ability to sac enough creatures in a turn to mill for the win. Alesha is a surprisingly mana hungry lady, my main deck is Alesha, Who is Unfinished and I have found that she needs quite a bit of juice at times.
I would suggest that you decide which route you want to take Alesha in, especially since you say your playgroup is competitive. Your list is pretty tight, I would just make a change or two. I would probably take out Mindclaw Shaman for Mesmeric Fiend. I think that if you are wanting to shut down your friends' decks, this is an option that fits with the overall feel of your deck a little better. I would also suggest putting in a Nantuko Husk so that you can have one more sacrifice outlet available to you since you have so many solid ETB effects. I like that you already have Fiend Hunter and Leonin Relic-Warder in here. I'm sure you are aware that you can permanently exile with both creatures just to bring them back to do it again, right? This would also work with Mesmeric Fiend if you choose to add it. I play my deck in a very control minded fashion, so I would also suggest cramming an Oblivion Ring and Banishing Light in here. I'm actually looking at cutting Disciple of Bolas..... I know I know, it feels like blasphemy but I find that I am wishing for a different answer when I draw him. He looks great on paper, and really is a good card in a sacrifice themed deck, but I feel he would be better in a Meren deck where you will be getting bigger creatures to sack throughout the game.
Anyway, I hope that my suggestions are helpful. Let me know if you want to chat more about one of my favorite commanders!
1 week ago
Perusing the internet this morning, I came across the "seven by nine" rule. If your not familiar with it, you can check it out here, under note three - http://www.quietspeculation.com/2011/05/building-depietro-depauper/
Anyways, I found it quite brilliant. I broke out my EDH deck (The Cairn Nel Toth) and decided that it needed a serious overhaul.
I decided that my nine "slots," if you will would be the following:
Sacrifice Fodder (CMC 1 or less)
Sacrifice Fodder (CMC 2)
Sacrifice Fodder (CMC 3 or greater)
Utility/assorted random cards
So i started sorting the piles, and quickly realized I had too many cards for some slots, and not enough for others. I started the long, laborious, and painful process of cutting cards. I couldn't quite cut enough cards from the utility pile, so I decided I would have nine utility cards, and only six distinctly self-mill and CMC three or greater sacrifice fodder cards, because a lot of other cards can do those things in addition to doing their main purpose (if that makes any sense).
Anyways, I'll list the cards I have for each slot (its quite different than the original deck). Also, many cards serve multiple purposes, so I'm putting them in the category of their MAIN purpose.
Self-mill - Golgari Grave-Troll, Life from the Loam, Altar of Dementia (The best card in the whole deck, hands down. Not even kidding. Every Meren deck should run this card), Mesmeric Orb, Grapple with the Past. I need one more card for this slot (Stinkweed Imp?).
Sacrifice Outlets - Ashnod's Altar, Skullclamp, Attrition, Mind Slash, Evolutionary Leap. I don't love one-off sacrifice spells, but I have the slot for one. I've been debating between Altar's Reap, Morbid Curiosity and Eldritch Evolution.
Thoughts? What cards should fill my unfilled slots? Any cards I should replace?
1 week ago
It's worth noting that Altar of Dementia isn't completely dead if your opponents have any shuffle cards in their libraries. If you use it to mill yourself you can (usually) still build up to the full kill:
Saffi + Sun Titan: This one is a little trickier and board-dependent. If you have the mana you can just let Saffi go to the command zone and use Sun Titan to return Blasting Station, then recast Saffi. If you need extra mana and you have the board state for it, you can bring back Phyrexian Altar first, then sac extra creatures to get the mana to recast Saffi. You then can loop Sun Titan for enough mana to send Saffi to the command zone one last time and bring back Blasting Station. This one is much more boardstate-dependent, unfortunately.
Separately, Boonweaver Giant is a little more nuanced than you give it credit for. Most of the time it's just grabbing Gift of Immortality over Pattern, sure, but the key is that it can grab it from anywhere. If both of them have been binned, Boonweaver Giant gives you another direction of resilience. Even if one of them is still in your hand, it means you only need to cast one of them, since Boonweaver Giant will find it there, too, unlike Sun Titan. Still, overall I agree with most of your points on Boonweaver Giant - I go back and forth on it fairly regularly.
I do strongly disagree with you on your points RE: Pattern, however. I think it's far better than Eladamri's Call, just because it puts the creature directly into play. I can't count the number of times I've put Pattern on Saffi, sac'ed Saffi, and tutored up something to bring her back. It also cranks Academy Rector up to 11, since Rector dying (or better yet, being sac'ed) often means you just win the game.
Finally, thoughts on Sylvan Tutor? It's slow, for sure, and it's a huge advertisement, but sometimes the extra consistency offers so much value. I go back and forth on it personally.
I'd be interested in swapping notes on our builds. I've been playing mine for 3+ years and I think I moved in a fairly different direction. It would be interesting to go over card choices and testing experiences: Saffi's Weenie Hut Jr.
2 weeks ago
EDHTest: I don't think it adds enough to the deck to warrant running it.
The biggest issue with the deck is getting a sac outlet. Because I'm in white/green, my options are quite limited. I have 5 main ones: Blasting Station, Altar of Dementia, Greater Good, Phyrexian Altar and Ashnod's Altar. Of these, Blasting Station and Altar of Dementia are win conditions - I only need a recursion loop with these and it's game and Greater Good draws me into the rest of my deck already with a recursion loop. This only leaves the two mana altars. And since I run enough raw card advantage, it makes up for these two cases.
On the side of recursion loops, my commander already forms half of the loop, so really I only need one of 4 other creatures to combo (Sun Titan, Karmic Guide, Reveillark and Renegade Rallier). On top of that, there is a bunch of redundancy between these and other cards as well. And I already run a bunch of creature tutors to help me find any of the other "other half of the loop" creatures.
So while Boonweaver package is nice, ultimately Boonweaver Giant himself is too expensive as I'm trying to deploy the combo cheaply (seven mana is a lot for one card) and while Pattern of Rebirth is cheaper to play, I have only one card in the deck which can tutor for it (Enlightened Tutor) and chances are I'm going ot be using this card to find a sac outlet rather than pattern (which still needs a sac outlet anyway). So I have to draw into it.
Couple all this with the fact that outside of combo, Boonweaver Giant doesn't really do anything and while Pattern of Rebirth is an ok creature tutor, a) you have to sac the creature it's attached to and b) you can remove the creature in response to it being enchanted. So while you're ahead it's find but trying to come from behind, it's just not as powerful as something like Eladamri's Call.
I get that's the boonweaver package is very nice and could work here, but overall I think it actual detracts from the deck in this instance. If this was a Karador, Ghost Chieftain deck I would probably be running it as I would have access to things like Viscera Seer and Demonic Tutor.