|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Seventh Edition (7ED)||Uncommon|
|Urza's Saga (USG)||Uncommon|
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Each player can't cast more than one spell each turn.
Arcane Laboratory Discussion
4 days ago
Right. Let's talk Stax.
Zur's Weirding : This is a hell of a card to consider when you have a general that gives you a lot of excess life. Being able to deny opponents any relevant spell is great, and because your opponents presumably don't have as reliable a source of life-gain, it is eventually going to be asymmetric-ish.
Xerox cards are good. Ponder and Preordain are both great cards, since they dig you to lands if you need them or past them if you don't. Brainstorm is especially good with a fetch land, and you run enough fetches to justify its inclusion.
Because you're facing so many opponents, one-for-ones are typically not enough to put you ahead in the game. Swords to Plowshares is one of the only one-for-ones I suggest in EDH (because of its absurd efficiency); I think you should include it. Oblation and Murder are probably not going to put you far enough ahead. I suggest running Supreme Verdict , Toxic Deluge , Wrath of God and friends. If you cut some of your creatures for more enchantment or non-creature artifact-based disruption, these will be especially powerful. If you make all your lands snow-covered, Dead of Winter is also an excellent boardwipe. Also, Cyclonic Rift .
In my Grand Arbiter Augustin IV deck I used to run Approach of the Second Sun as a win-condition... you might want to consider it. However, I think it is probably too slow and too expensive to be a reliable win condition. I think a better win condition would be Jace, Wielder of Mysteries . Planeswalkers are already really good in a stalemate, and Jace, Wielder of Mysteries can produce an insta-win if you resolve Demonic Consultation and name a card not in your deck. (Side Note: You get extra points if you name Atog , Singing Tree or Falling Star with your Demonic Consultation .)
In addition to Demonic Consultation , if you're smarter than me and have the requisite brain-power Doomsday can be a good way to end the game. As implied, I don't really know how to explain Doomsday decks and/or the best way to play them, but I've seen them go off and find it spectacular. Google 'Doomsday EDH Primer' -- I think the first one that comes up (a TappedOut link) is especially good.
As above mentioned, planeswalkers are busted in stalemates or when you have the game on lockdown. Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is a great card-draw engine that effectively costs three-mana, and he doubles as removal. Depending on whether you have ethical qualms about being a monster, he also produces a hard-lock on untapping when paired with Stasis . (Note that Smothering Tithe paired with Stasis also does this). Technically, this can be a win-condition; Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is capable of minus-ing on himself, preventing you from milling out, while you wait for your opponents to concede or draw their decks. Jace, the Mind Sculptor is another great card in a stalemate.
Ashiok, Dream Render and Narset, Parter of Veils are both extremely good in EDH. Narset is especially good if you can pair her with a Windfall , which you should also run. Teferi, Time Raveler is another sort of hate-piece, and I've been very impressed with him. Kaya, Orzhov Usurper can be good in the right meta, and her other incarnation, Kaya, Ghost Assassin is good in a much wider set of situations.
Tutors are a big part of making a good deck great. Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor are the best, but they're very expensive and therefore rather inaccessible. Lim-Dul's Vault , Dark Petition , Mastermind's Acquisition , Diabolic Tutor , Enlightened Tutor and Mystical Tutor are all good, too, and more affordable. Whir of Invention is a good way to utilize your artifacts to find whatever silver-bullet lock-piece you need.
If, as first mentioned in (6), you end up cutting some creatures, Night of Souls' Betrayal is a powerhouse against a lot of decks.
As you're in Stax, you're usually playing for the long-game. This means incremental value is extra important. Search for Azcanta Flip is a great way to improve the quality of your draws. Bitterblossom is excellent for producing blockers/small bodies to poke planeswalkers with, and it pairs REAL well with your Smokestack .
Mana-rocks are the best form of acceleration in your colors. Talisman of Progress , Talisman of Hierarchy , Talisman of Dominance and Dimir Signet are all worth adding, and Thought Vessel , Mind Stone , Prismatic Lens and Coldsteel Heart are all worth at least thinking about. Two-mana rocks are especially good if you pair them with an Ancient Tomb , which is another land to consider. Sol Ring , the best ramp in the game, should go in now. If you increase your artifact-count, you can also run Mox Opal in addition to your Mox Diamond .
You seem a little light on counter-magic. Mana Drain and Force of Will are the gold-standard here, but as such they cost a fortune. Other, more accessible counterspells include: Counterspell , Dovin's Veto , Negate , Dispel , Spell Snare , Spell Pierce , Flusterstorm , Swan Song , Delay , Remand and Cryptic Command .
If you choose to run more mana-acceleration, like those mentioned in (14), cards like Armageddon and Ravages of War can end games. This is perhaps the most brutal effect in EDH, but... you know. Is fun. Cataclysm is a powerful board wipe, though its effect extends past lands and therefore does not leave your board intact. So consider carefully.
I should mention Pox , as I see you're running Death Cloud . Pox is right up there with Armageddon in terms of brutality, though I haven't had as much luck with it -- costing triple black is a bit of a nuisance. I've had a better experience with Smallpox or just straight-up Liliana of the Veil .
I think Rule of Law is strictly better than Arcane Laboratory , as it cannot be killed with Pyroblast or Red Elemental Blast . In my experience, most red decks run at least one of those cards, and being able to dodge them if possible is a not-insignificant bonus.
Finally, the Words cards may be worth it. Words of Wind with Wall of Omens makes a three-mana-an-iteration loop that can, if you're in a favorable position, clean your opponents' boards. Words of Waste is usually good in Erebos, God of the Dead and other direct card-advantage generals' decks, but it may be worth including if you cast Oloro, Ageless Ascetic and draw with him often enough. It'll keep pressure on your opponents' hands real well.
Aright. Good luck man! Oloro was my first general, so I got a soft-spot.
2 weeks ago
You might find running off-color fetches like Flooded Strand or Verdant Catacombs to be helpful. These will act as secondary Tropical Island s and Breeding Pool s, and make your mana way more consistent. Waterlogged Grove is another ETB-untapped dual you may want to consider. Birds of Paradise is an excellent dork you should run. Depending on your meta, Carpet of Flowers may be worth including. In conjunction with your Arbor Elf , Utopia Sprawl and Wild Growth can be better than one-mana mana-dorks. Fyndhorn Elves is another Llanowar Elves .
Running Primal Surge puts a bit of a damper on the traditional blue side of EDH; not being able to run Ponder , Preordain or Brainstorm is difficult. However, if you run permanent-based card-draw, you can probably get around this problem -- Hydroid Krasis is a good start. Jace's Archivist comes straight to mind. Since you're running so many creatures, Edric, Spymaster of Trest could be an Ancestral Recall most turns. Slate of Ancestry in creature decks is... good.
Keeping your opponents from doing things is similar to drawing cards. Narset, Parter of Veils is excellent to keep combo-players back, and also nets a card; running Root Maze and Arcane Laboratory are similarly powerful. If you run Wirewood Symbiote and Elvish Visionary , you can produce mana and card-advantage. With your Intruder Alarm , you can go off with enough mana dorks; similarly, using Words of Wind to return the Elvish Visionary can get you infinite experience, enemy-permanent bounce, and mana. Energy Flux is really good, in the right meta. Depending on your opponents, Heartwood Storyteller can be a good draw engine. Mystic Remora is a good turn-one play if you have a slower hand.
Reclamation Sage is a good utility-creature, since you can't run Krosan Grip or Nature's Lore . Mystic Snake is a creature you can use as interaction, like Venser, Shaper Savant , Draining Whelk and Frilled Mystic . With Deadeye Navigator , you can recur this effect. Eternal Witness 's Regrowth effect is a good use of a slot, as it can recur countered threats. Walking Ballista synergizes with your general REAL good; Hangarback Walker is similar, but I think it's a little worse.
Concordant Crossroads is useful if you wanna activate Prime Speaker Zegana right away; it also enables chaining dorks together, each casting the next, while something like your Beast Whisperer acts as a draw-engine.
Right. That's all I can think of right now. Good luck!
3 weeks ago
You don't have to go overboard on the Voltron strategy if you don't want to, you could instead play a simple, but effective 4-5 auras to enchant Zur:
- Empyrial Armor : win condition with Necropotence and/or no max hand size ( Reliquary Tower , Thought Vessel ) and/or other auras.
- Diplomatic Immunity : protect Zur.
- Steel of the Godhead
- Daybreak Coronet : vigilance is helpful.
- Ethereal Armor
Zur's ability to get and choose from lots of enchantments is great for a control toolbox:
Protection for you - Solitary Confinement : powerful with Necropotence; it makes sure you have cards in your hand to discard to keep the protection. Yes, any card you discard to keep Confinement will be exiled, but that's fine when you have tons of cards in your hand to choose from.
Protection for Zur - Diplomatic Immunity : when you get an aura with Zur it enters the battlefield without being cast therefore it doesn't target. Even if a creature has shroud you can enchant that creature with that aura. Shielded by Faith , Kaya's Ghostform
Graveyard hate - Rest in Peace
Land disruption - Back to Basics : powerful land disruption if you build your manabase around basic lands. Signets and Talismans can really help if going the basic land route. Mana Breach , Overburden
Reanimation - Animate Dead
3 weeks ago
All required enchantments for control-voltron:
Possible enchantment: Arcane Laboratory (slightly better than Rule of Law , unless Pyroblast / Red Elemental Blast are played often), Aura of Silence , Imprisoned in the Moon , all dependent on metagame.
Otherwise, run a lot of 2cmc or less mana rocks, the best 0-2 cmc interaction, some hate, lands, etc. and win.
4 weeks ago
Have you tried Dramatic Reversal with Isochron Scepter ? Typically you'll have the rocks out to make it an instant win. I think this combo is likely more competitive than Palinchron loops, if only because it's cheaper mana-wise and blue has more tutors for its parts. Whir of Invention is a personal favorite, and Fabricate is similar. Mystical Tutor , Muddle the Mixture , Personal Tutor and Spellseeker also tutor for the combo parts. Even if you choose not to run the Dramatic Scepter Combo, I think the tutors are worth running.
Other infinite mana CI=U combos include Rings of Brighthearth with your Basalt Monolith or Grim Monolith , and Metalworker with Staff of Domination . If you want to keep the Palinchron loops, try High Tide .
Mana Vault is good, if you have access to it.
Ponder , Preordain and Impulse are all cantrips worth considering. I like that you're running Fact or Fiction ; have you considered Glimmer of Genius , Thirst for Knowledge , Chemister's Insight and Windfall ? Running Narset, Parter of Veils with Windfall can produce an insta-win.
Why're you running Unknown Shores ? I think just a basic Island is better, and Ancient Tomb is GREAT in artifact-decks. Similarly, if you're not running Mox Opal , I think Seat of the Synod and Darksteel Citadel are worse than basic Island s. They die to Null Rod / Stony Silence effects, and they're soft to Blood Moon and Back to Basics . If you choose to make your land-base more basic-heavy, you can run Back to Basics yourself, likely to great effect.
Creature-stealing effects can be good in EDH, especially since they can remove threats as well as produce them; I like your running Desertion . Sower of Temptation , Vedalken Shackles , Control Magic and Treachery are also worth considering.
Instant-speed bounce effects can help fight Stony Silence and Null Rod on the other side of the table, as well as control opposing pressure. Chain of Vapor , Cyclonic Rift , Winds of Rebuke and/or Boomerang ?
Lodestone Golem is a stax piece you should consider. Depending on which combo you want to run, Arcane Laboratory is worth considering. Running Clock of Omens with Winter Orb , Howling Mine or Static Orb is also a way to control the game. Counterbalance with your Sensei's Divining Top -- just saying.
Good luck, man!
4 weeks ago
Congrats on your first EDH deck! Here're my suggestions. Feel free to ignore them if you want.
Training Grounds makes Memnarch into : Steal target permanent. I don't know if it'd be great, but it's certainly worth testing out. It's similar to your Heartstone . Power Artifact is similar, though I think slightly worse and far more expensive.
If you have access to it, Mana Vault is a great card. It is especially powerful if combined with something like Aphetto Alchemist or your Voltaic Key . Basalt Monolith and Manifold Key are two other cards to consider in this vein.
Mana rocks like Sky Diamond , Coldsteel Heart or the soon-to-come-out Arcane Signet are good includes to generate blue mana. Fellwar Stone is a similar rock that generally will produce blue, as blue is the most common color in EDH (and the rest of magic).
Running Vintage Xerox cantrips can be very helpful; this means replacing some lands with low cost draw spells. Running cards like Ponder and Preordain in addition to your Brainstorm will allow you to run thirty-two-ish lands. Impulse , Sleight of Hand and even Serum Visions and Gitaxian Probe are good also, though these aren't AS good as Ponder , Preordain and Brainstorm . Using a Xerox design like this means that you can find lands if you need them, or use the draw spells to avoid getting flooded when you don't.
Pairing Memnarch with Karn, the Great Creator allows you to use your general's first ability to turn off opposing lands. While EDH does not typically have a sideboard, so Karn, the Great Creator 's second ability is usually irrelevant, the one-sided Null Rod effect is probably enough reason to include him.
Regarding your lands, Ancient Tomb is at a relatively low price nowadays; I suggest picking one up if you can. I don't think Darksteel Citadel is as good as a basic Island , if only because it gets shut off by opposing Null Rod s, Karn, the Great Creator s, Blood Moon s and Back to basics and does not produce mana. Same with Seat of the Synod , though this one DOES make mana. I get these lands are meant to build metalcraft; see suggestion 15. Inventors' Fair is worth considering because of its tutor effect.
Vedalken Archmage is a good way to build card-advantage.
Dispel and Flusterstorm are two good counterspells to consider adding, although the second one isn't super cheap. Cryptic Command is also a pretty penny, but as a cantrip-ing usually-counterspell, it is an excellent card. Spell Pierce and Spell Snare are worth considering as well.
Tezzeret the Seeker ? He's a great 'walker for any artifact deck, and in the non-foil form he's about $20.
If your meta is filled with combo decks (I know mine is), Arcane Laboratory can put a stop to that. Overburden is a good way to slow down elf-decks and other aggro strategies, and Lodestone Golem is just plain good. Back to Basics is awesome in mono-blue decks. Note that some of these stax pieces may disrupt your Isochron Scepter / Dramatic Reversal win.
Mindlock Orb ? If you choose not to follow Suggestion 9, this thing does work.
Unless you're running a bunch of 0-cost artifact rocks, I don't think Stoic Rebuttal is good enough. Metalcraft is really good if you can get it online turn one or two with the help of Mox Opal or Mox Diamond , but if you can't get it online early, you're better off running something like Exclude or Mana Leak . Because the good 0-mana artifacts are about as much money as a half-used kidney, I don't think it's worth pursuing the metalcraft theme.
I think changing your Island s to Snow-Covered Island s and running Extraplanar Lens is probably better than Caged Sun . It's cheaper mana-wise, which means it can help you ramp out your general faster. (Once you have six mana for Caged Sun , you can almost cast your general anyways.) That being said, I've never been in love with Extraplanar Lens either, and I think just running other mana rocks like Thought Vessel is probably the best rout there.
Consider Sower of Temptation , Treachery or Control Magic . I had a lot of fun with those when I played mono-blue, as they can steal the game right away from an opponent. Similarly, if you have access to Academy Ruins and Mind Slaver , you can end up being two players instead of one.
Alright man, that's all I got for now. I'm sure after I go to bed I'll think of more suggestions, so if you need more help let me know. Good luck and have fun and stuff!
1 month ago
First things first: All EDH decks need ramp. Unfortunately for UB decks, most of the ramp in the game is in green or occasionally red (see Orcish Lumberjack ). That means artifacts are the way to go. I advise Dimir Signet , Talisman of Dominance and MindStone (maybe) as relatively affordable cards you can use for ramp; but since you're running Mox Diamond , I might as well mention Grim Monolith and Mox Opal . Your artifact count is a little low for the opal, though, but that may change as the deck evolves.
I see you've included Changeling Outcast . Consider running Mothdust Changeling as another evasive, one-drop ninja. Mist-Syndicate Naga and Silent-Blade Oni are excellent ninjas as well; you should at least consider Throatseeker . Baleful Strix is another creature to consider, as returning it to your hand with ninjutsu allows you to draw more than one card with it after you cast it additional times. It is also hard to block, and can make a formidable blocker on its own.
Cavern of Souls is an excellent include, if you have access to it. It's usually a lot more integral, but you'll likely be using the ninjutsu ability most of the time rather than casting your guys. Still, keep it in mind.
Running Jace, the Mind Sculptor seems good here, though he is over $100 nowadays; I must admit I am having a hard time determining the deck's budget, mostly because of the Mox Diamond and Mana Crypt . Note also that, as you're already including Sensei's Divining Top , Scroll Rack and potentially Jace, the Mind Sculptor , you can consider running Counterbalance . Counterbalance is generally a high-variance card in EDH, but I've had some success with it in the past.
In my Tasigur, the Golden Fang deck, I run a similar combo-kill of casting Nexus of Fate repeatedly with an otherwise empty library. I use Tainted Pact to get rid of my library, running a single basic and snow basic of each type. Crafting your mana base carefully might allow you to run Tainted Pact too -- give thought to lands like Ancient Tomb , Cephalid Coliseum or Cabal Pit . If that doesn't work, Demonic Consultation with Nexus of Fate in hand is also good.
If your meta is filled with combo decks (I know mine is), Arcane Laboratory is a good option, especially since ninjutsu isn't an alternate casting cost; Mana Maze is similar. Dispel is a counter-counter spell I've found tremendously useful, especially since it can stop an opposing ad nauseum right away.
Raven's Crime seems like a good way to use up excess lands you draw.
Not sure how much I like Aether Vial in an EDH deck. Yes, your creature-curve is low and very consistent, but drawing it later in the game, especially if you're behind, has all the feel-bad-ness in the world. Maybe Leyline of Anticipation is better? It allows all your spells to go in at instant speed, flips for an extra three damage off a Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow trigger, and can begin the game occasionally on the table for free. Yes, it is still dead if drawn late, but it isn't AS dead in that it immediately takes full effect; Aether Vial requires two or three turns to become powerful, and then only works with creatures.
Time Stretch is an extra-turn card to consider, though it may be too expensive to cast.
Mystic Remora is good in most blue decks, especially if your opening hand is otherwise slow. Players have to either play around it, which slows the game enough for you to catch up, or play into it, which can easily make it an Ancestral Recall . I personally think it is a better card than Rhystic Study , if only because by T3 you probably want to be doing other things with your mana.
Thirst for Knowledge , Painful Truths , Chart a Course , Notion Thief and Night's Whisper are all worth considering as efficient draw-engines. Notion Thief feels especially brutal when cast as a response to an opposing Brainstorm .
Ok man -- that's all I got. Good luck with deck building!
1 month ago
Some more cards I found whilst building a Curses deck that I thought you might like: Arcane Laboratory , Boon Reflection , Annex , Aegis of Honor , Absolute Grace , Absolute Law , AEther Barrier , AEther Storm
Arcane Laboratory occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.01%