: Add to your mana pool. Ancient Tomb deals 2 damage to you.
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Ancient Tomb Discussion
10 hours ago
Your creatures look OK, Inferno Titan should be a Combustible Gearhulk or Skysovereign, Consul Flagship; Cataclysmic Gearhulk wouldn't hurt either. You're a little light on draw effects; Phyrexian Arena is good, as are a number of similar effects or even some walkers.
Stuff I think you're better without are Chrome Mox (it's a bad land); Mindcrank (you don't have enough redundency for it & it can really help graveyard decks); Wheel of Fortune (Teferi's Puzzle Box is better, creating a weird lock with Necropotence); Grim Monolith I'm not a fan of. Commander's Sphere is better because of color fixing + draw. If you think you really need the extra , try Ancient Tomb; Urrabrask I found to be pretty underperformed. Thalia was much better; Finally, Innocent Blood is a bad Smallpox, which is an amazing card that should not be overlooked or underestimated.
As always, these are just suggestions. Feel free to disregard or accept them as you feel you need to. O, I almost forgot to mention the allstar: Sword of Feast and Famine. Basically, it gives you an extra turn every turn. So, have fun with that.
1 day ago
Alright, I gave the deck a look through. I think I understand what you want to do with it, but I also think that you're trying to play Rafiq in an inefficient manner. Based on my interpretation, he isn't meant to be played in a way that prevents other players from doing things. He should be played in a way that prevents other players from doing anything to your board.
With that in mind, I think the best course of action would be to go full voltron. Of course, I have a bias towards aggro and voltron strategies in general, but you have a surprising number of options available to make this a great aggro deck, and there are multiple forms of protection available in Bant aside from just counterspells.
Something you're completely ignoring is the Exalted keyword. Exalted is a triggered ability, so each instance of Exalted stacks. You mentioned to me that you didn't want to necessarily rely on enchantments and artifacts to pump Rafiq. Fortunately, you don't. You just want to retool your creatures a bit so that you get more Exalted triggers, and find some other utility creatures that offer protection.
Any card suggestions I make in this post are going to sway the deck in favor of this strategy, which I understand is against your original vision of a control deck. Also, this does make it play like every other Rafiq deck. But, in my opinion, this deck (in its current state) looks like a bunch of cards put together with no real strategy in mind. Almost all of your control elements would be better off in the Grand Arbiter Augustin IV deck, or would be better suited for Derevi, Empyrial Tactician.
Some items to consider: you are only running 1 board wipe. I would at least consider having 3 in any EDH deck. Also, your mana base (33 lands, 5 dorks, 4 rocks) seems low overall. Since you have limited options to ramp for lands outside of playing multiple lands a turn (which is based on the number of lands in hand), and with how easily removed creatures are, I don't think you'll have enough mana to do things when you really want to. You are also only running 2 targeted removal spells, and they are for creatures. You have no way of dealing with artifacts or enchantments on the board, and you're playing with at least two colors that are good with dealing with those kinds of permanents. There also seems to be a curious amount of creature-searching, but none of the creatures you have seem game-changing enough to where I see a reason to search for creatures. I mean, sure, Linvala, Keeper of Silence can ruin someone's day, but there should be more than 1-3 creatures worth searching for.
SUGGESTED CARD REMOVALS AND SWAP
- Remove Academy Ruins: This one is a questionable removal since there is a benefit to it being there, but maybe not a large enough one in the deck's current state.
- Swap Ancient Tomb with Cathedral of War. You want that Exalted trigger more than losing two life for two colorless.
- Swap Buried Ruin for Rogue's Passage : Again, a questionable removal that is based on what dank artifacts you have in your graveyard, but Rogue's Passage helps you get in with Rafiq.
- Remove Dryad Arbor: Likely used to combo with your creature-searching spells, but I don't think you have enough stuff worth searching for. Maybe just swap for a Seaside Citadel for access to more colors? One tapped land won't kill you.
- Swap Jace, the Mind Sculptor for Elspeth, Knight-Errant. This Elspeth makes Rafiq a pain to deal with, and provides a good target for other players who don't want your shit to be indestructible.
- Swap Tamiyo, Field Researcher for Ajani, Mentor of Heroes. Not as good as Elspeth, but still makes Rafiq a boss.
- Remove Academy Rector
- Remove Aven Mindcensor
- Remove Containment Priest
- Remove Edric, Spymaster of Trest
- Remove Gaddock Teeg
- Remove Gilded Drake
- Remove Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
- Remove Hokori, Dust Drinker
- Remove Linvala, Keeper of Silence
- Remove Snapcaster Mage: Works in spellslinging decks. Not so much in decks more focused on permanents.
- Remove Temur Sabertooth: This is a questionable removal, since I can see why its in the deck.
- Remove Thada Adel, Acquisitor
- Remove Yisan, the Wanderer Bard
- Remove Eldritch Evolution
- Remove Green Sun's Zenith
- Remove Temporal Manipulation
- Remove Temporal Mastery
- Remove Time Spiral
- Remove Time Warp
- Remove Aura of Silence
- Remove Exploration
- Remove Living Plane
- Remove Survival of the Fittest
- Remove Chord of Calling
- Remove Crop Rotation
- Remove Eladamri's Call
- Remove Force of Will
- Remove Mana Drain
- Remove Noxious Revival
- Remove Pact of Negation
- Remove Skullclamp: Most of your 1 toughness creatures are your mana dorks. Do you want to sacriface a mana source for two cards that you may not be able to play?
CARDS TO CONSIDER (largely based on EDHrec)
- Sublime Archangel
- Sovereigns of Lost Alara
- Sigarda's Aid
- Steel of the Godhead
- Giltspire Avenger
- Open the Armory
- Shield of the Oversoul
- Battlegrace Angel
- Stoic Angel
- Supreme Verdict
- Bant Charm
- Various Exalted creatures of your choice
- Silent Arbiter
- Thassa, God of the Sea
- Grand Abolisher
- Sakura-Tribe Elder
- Sigarda, Heron's Grace
- Dauntless Escort
- Sylvan Reclamation
- Krosan Grip
- Beast Within
- Return to Dust
- Simic Charm, Selesnya Charm
- Kodama's Reach, Cultivate, Farseek, Rampant Growth
- Ponder, Preordain, Serum Visions
- Wrath of God, Day of Judgment
- Loxodon Warhammer
- Behemoth Sledge
- Darksteel Ingot
- Hero's Blade
- Sword of Vengeance
- Commander's Sphere
- Eldrazi Conscription
- Mirari's Wake
- Armadillo Cloak
- Ardent Plea
- Angelic Benediction
- Dueling Grounds
- Bear Umbra
- Aqueous Form
- Unflinching Courage
- Hindering Light
- Valorous Stance
- Bident of Thassa
- Heroic Intervention
- Rogue's Gloves
- Grafted Exoskeleton
5 days ago
Nice deck. As it is your 11.7% of the time (changed its name for 11.67%?). Congratz.
5 days ago
hoardofnotions the counterspell scepter is absolutely devastating and it makes good use of colourless mana sources. I'd play much more artifacts and also Ancient Tomb for the sake of speed though. Just think of it: turn 1 land, Mox Diamond (or another 0 mana artifact), Merchant Scroll for Mana Drain. turn 2 Ancient Tomb and Isochron Scepter with Mana Drain imprinted...and 2 spare mana to activate it.
And with more tutors and more mana artifacts you have a good chance of actually playing it that fast if you happen to get scepter on the starting hand. Transmute Artifact does a great job too, as you can get a scepter for any mana rock if you have a counterspell left in your hand.
The big question is alway how you want to win in the end. Including a combo takes up a few slots and searching for combo pieces can also take some more slots you might need for something else. Planeswalkers als alternative win options are also fine, for example if you are able to protect a Jace, the Mind Sculptor long enough it's also game over and h is powerful on his own. Simply beating your opponent with whatever tokens you produce looks good but it might not be enough...you should think about how you really want to win and then you know how to build around the counter stuff your commander encourages.
1 week ago
alrighty maybe add Ravinca signets and the talismans in your colors. These should replace all the 3 cmc rocks definitely. Cabal Ritual Dark Ritual If you want those. Skyshroud Claim Farhaven Elf Wood Elves Fyndhorn Elves Boreal Druid Elvish Mystic Llanowar Elves Priest of Titania Skyshroud Claim Three Visits Farseek Nissa's Pilgrimage Rampant Growth Traverse the Ulvenwald Gaea's Cradle Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx Ancient Tomb Crop Rotation Sylvan Scrying Harrow Wild Growth Utopia Sprawl Garruk Wildspeaker Tempt with Discovery Carpet of Flowers Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth Cabal Coffers Chrome Mox Lotus Petal Mox Diamond Mana Crypt etc.
2 weeks ago
I agree with the "more lands" sentiment. Since most of the stuff in the deck is colorless, my recommendations would be utility lands like Ghost Quarter, Tectonic Edge, Buried Ruin (Wasteland, Strip Mine, Ancient Tomb if you go non-budget)--stuff that provides value once you don't necessarily need it for mana. Also should definitely add the fourth Silver Myr.
2 weeks ago
Your deck is fairly optimized, but I do see some spots in which I think it could be improved upon.
Lands: You do not need 38 lands, 36 would probably be best. Furthermore you should also have fetches in your colors (i.e. Misty Rainforest. Flooded Strand, Polluted Delta, Bloodstained Mire, Marsh Flats, and Scalding Tarn). Trim the lands such as Temple of Deceit and Temple of the False God. Ancient Tomb is a much better option than Temple of the False God. Add Riptide Laboratory as it works well with Venser, Shaper Savant. Homeward Path does not seem worth it, Shizo, Death's Storehouse allows Lazav to get in damage more easily. Nephalia Drownyard is a decent option to give you mill when you have nothing on board.
Planeswalkers: Tamiyo, the Moon Sage does not really do much for the deck and can be cut. I am also not a fan of 7 cmc planeswalkers and think that you should cut either Ugin, the Spirit Dragon or Karn Liberated. I personally think Ugin, the Spirit Dragon does more for the deck as it actually puts things into the graveyard. Jace, Memory Adept and Ob Nixilis Reignited should probably be in the deck.
Creatures: You have wayyyy too many creatures that are just value and do nothing in the way of pushing forward your gameplan with Lazav. Creatures I would cut: Consuming Aberration, Dimir-doppleganger, Diluvian Primordial, Grave Titan, Phenax, God of Deception, Sheoldred, Whispering One, Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon, Wrexial, the Risen Deep, and Wurmcoil Engine. You creature base should mainly consist of cards that draw you cards, ramp you, counter spells, tutor, kill creatures, protect Lazav, lock down the game, or get back something from your graveyard. You will also most likely want a backup win-con usually in an Eldrazi titan, Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre being the best candidate. As for the replacements I can suggest Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Flip, Bloodgift Demon, Solemn Simulacrum, Burnished Hart, Noxious Gearhulk, Ob Nixilis, Unshackled, Venser, Shaper Savant, and Steel Hellkite.
Artifacts: Mesmeric Orb is a staple for Lazav. I'm not a huge fan of Mindcrank unless your combo-ing with it and as you said you want no combo's. Mind's Eye does not do enough for it's cmc. Lazav should probably have an card that gives him lifelink in either Batterskull or Loxodon Warhammer. Mana Vault should also be in here.
Instants: Desertion is mediocre and is much better off as Mystic Confluence. Dissolve, Hinder, Stifle, and Undermine are all pretty underwhelming as 3 cmc seems to be the spot at which counterspells seem to become average. I'd suggest Forbid, Arcane Denial, Swan Song, Disallow (when it comes out), and Pact of Negation. You also really need at least one kill spell as a catch all for creatures. I would suggest the following Ashes to Ashes, Hero's Downfall, Ruinous Path, Slaughter Pact, and Snuff Out.
Sorcery: I'm not really in love with any of your sorceries except for Demonic Tutor. Temporal Mastery is outclassed by Time Warp. I don't think Rite of Replication is worth it as none of your creatures are really worth copying. As for Bribery, Lazav should always be your primary focus and you should not be relying on your opponent's to win. I could see Rise of the Dark Realms sticking around as a secondary win-con in case the game goes poorly, but you should never really be in that state unless you navigated the game poorly. Traumatize only hits a single player once, Lazav wants something repeatable. Also if Eldrazi titans are big in your meta then Traumatize is pretty bad. Toxic Deluge and Dark Petition should definitely be considerations.
GL and hope this helps!
2 weeks ago
You've got far more lands than you need. Use artifacts for fast mana (i.e. ramp in early turns) and cut down to 33-36 lands.
Stax is very meta dependent. I don't know what decks you play against most often so some card suggestions may be a poor fit. That said, general resource denial is staple of stax strategies and you're light on it currently.
Cards to cut to make room for recommendations below: Loxodon Warhammer, Balance (this is banned in EDH), Burning Wish (you have no sideboard!), Whispersilk Cloak, generally fewer MLD spells unless you build more heavily to make it one-sided. Stax wants to find ways to break parity in the mess it creates of the game state. Royal Assassin, Solemn Simulacrum, Windborn Muse, Devastating Dreams, possibly all 3 walkers as there are easier ways to "recur" small creatures to sac.
Creatures to consider (heavily dependent on your meta): Aven Mindcensor, Containment Priest, Ethersworn Canonist, Recruiter of the Guard, Spirit of the Labyrinth, Lodestone Golem, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Vryn Wingmare, Glowrider, Reassembling Skeleton, Eidolon of Rhetoric.
Land recommendations: As many of the fetchlands in your colors as you can afford (Bloodstained Mire, Polluted Delta, Windswept Heath, Flooded Strand, Wooded Foothills, Marsh Flats, Scalding Tarn, Verdant Catacombs, Arid Mesa). Budget alternatives are the Mirage cycle of fetches, such as Bad River.