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Creature — Azra Warrior
At the beginning of combat on your turn, you may discard a card. If you do, choose a creature. Whenever that creature deals combat damage to a player this turn, you draw two cards.
Azra Oddsmaker Discussion
2 weeks ago
2 months ago
Hey man! I got some suggestions. Feel free to ignore any/all of them:
There's a reason Ponder and Preordain are banned in Modern, and it's because they're good. I highly suggest running both in any blue deck -- they may not look like much, but being able to dig to what you need and past what you don't for one mana is a deal I'll take any day. You're running a good number of fetch lands, so Brainstorm is one you may want to add in there as well.
I don't know what your meta is like, but in general people need to draw a bunch of cards to win the game. Narset, Parter of Veils brings back thoughts of when Leovold, Emissary of Trest was legal... I think almost any blue deck should run her, especially since if you run Windfall (I think you should), she can win you the game. Or your Wheel of Fortune .
I don't know how this deck plays, but I suspect you'll have at least one or two creatures out at a time. If you do, Azra Oddsmaker can be a good source of card-advantage; Edric, Spymaster of Trest is similar, though better if you have dorks (see (5)). Painful Truths is another favorite of mine, as are Treasure Cruise , Dark Confidant , Dig Through Time and Thirst for Knowledge . Faithless Looting can also be pretty good.
A lot of decks run a lot of artifact ramp. Dack Fayden is a great way to capitalize on that, and if you run Notion Thief (which also pairs with your Windfall ), targeting your opponent with Dack's +1 can produce a four card swing.
Dorks. You're in green, so you have access to the best ramp in the game, aside from Sol Ring (which I think you should run). I highly suggest including any/all of the following in addition to your Deathrite Shaman : Birds of Paradise , Elves of Deep Shadow , Orcish Lumberjack , Llanowar Elves , Fyndhorn Elves , Elvish Mystic , Bloom Tender , Arbor Elf ... Though they may not be 'dork'-ramp, I've also been impressed with Utopia Sprawl and Wild Growth , not least because these double the mana from Arbor Elf . If you end up running Edric, Spymaster of Trest , the dorks will draw you cards when you're not using them for mana.
If you're looking for the best way to generate infinite mana with your general, I think Isochron Scepter with Dramatic Reversal is the best way. You'd need to run either artifact ramp or dorks (I highly advise the latter), but it's a pretty busted combo and I think you should put some ramp in anyway. This lets you draw your deck with Thrasios, Triton Hero and then win through Torment of Hailfire or the like.
Reflecting Pool is an often-chromatic land you may wish to consider, and Exotic Orchard is frequently at least a tri-land. I may be missing something, but running Strip Mine and Wasteland to pair with your Crucible of Worlds and Ramunap Excavator seems... good.
You're running two artifacts (three, if you run the aforementioned Sol Ring ): You should give strong consideration to things like Collector Ouphe (if you don't like the Isochron Scepter loop) or even a janky Energy Flux . These'll make sure opponents don't do nasty things with their own Isochron Scepter while hardly touching you. Also, things like Ancient Grudge or By Force are powerful magic cards.
Spell Snare is a counterspell you may want to consider, as it counters a wide range of frequently played cards in EDH like Demonic Tutor , Cyclonic Rift (overloaded or not), Winter Orb , all the talismans/signets, Counterspell , Mana Drain , Arcane Denial , Sylvan Library , Chains of Mephistopheles , Abeyance , Baleful Strix , Nature's Lore ... Also, if you're in an Ad Nauseam -heavy meta (I sure as hell am), consider things like Dispel to keep those decks in check.
If your meta is blue-heavy (most are), consider some second-order countermagic. Things like Veil of Summer and Vexing Shusher can both make sure your spells resolve. Similarly, Carpet of Flowers is a good way to get free mana from blue opponents, and Pyroblast tends to be good as well.
Personally, I've found Mystic Remora to be better than Rhystic Study , if only because it is one mana. People are way less likely to pay four mana than one, and in less experienced metas people tend to let you pull off an Ancestral Recall or two in two-ish turn cycles. In more experienced metas, Mystic Remora slows the game down as your opponents wait for it to go away and you just make sure you hit your land-drops.
Multi-for-ones are pretty important in a format with three opponents. Fire Covenant has been a favorite piece of removal in my meta since it'll clear out opponents' creatures while leaving yours untouched. Hull Breach and Decimate are also good, although it is important to bare in mind that Decimate requires a bunch of different targets in order to be castable. Windgrace's Judgment and even Casualties of War are also good.
If you want to go deep into magic history, there's another way to make infinite mana in your colors in addition to (6): Worldgorger Dragon . Entomb , Buried Alive or Faithless Looting to the graveyard this mo-fo, then cast Animate Dead , Necromancy or Dance of the Dead targeting him, and BOOM you win. (In case you aren't familiar with the combo, Animate Dead returns Worldgorger Dragon to the battlefield, and then Worldgorger Dragon triggers to exile Animate Dead . Animate Dead leaving then makes you sacrifice Worldgorger Dragon , bringing back Animate Dead and then Worldgorger Dragon ... rinse and repeat. Tapping your lands for mana in between each exile trigger yields infinite mana. WARNINGS: 1. You need a second creature in a graveyard to end the loop, or the game is a draw; 2. If someone Nature's Claim s your Animate Dead while the Worldgorger Dragon is entering the battlefield, you lose everything and you're boned. So make sure either your opponents are out of mana/counterspells or you've got your own protective backup.)
I think that's all I got. Good luck!
3 months ago
Hey, nice start on a budget, good first deck.
Unfortunately, it's going to be difficult to get a lot of value out of Alesha's reanimation when playing so many high mana cost creatures. There's nothing wrong with playing high mana cost creatures that have 2 or less power with Alesha as General, but you also want enablers to get them into your graveyard so you can reanimate them with Alesha. You see you don't want to actually cast very many of the creatures here, they're better in your graveyard and then use Alesha to reanimate them.
Budget enablers to consider adding:
- Buried Alive : tutor for any three creatures in your library and then put them into your graveyard.
- Faithless Looting
- Key to the City : repeatable protect Alesha in combat.
- Cathartic Reunion
- Tormenting Voice
- Magus of the Wheel : wheel, can be reanimated.
- Rix Maadi Reveler : can be reanimated.
- Azra Oddsmaker : repeatable, the discard happens in combat before Alesha attacks.
- Nahiri, the Harbinger : repeatable.
Buried is by far the best enabler; tutor for three creatures and then put them into your graveyard is very powerful. The other suggested enablers are discard and draw. These enablers let you choose what cards in your hand you discard letting you choose creatures after that you draw cards which is also helpful. You're playing lots of reanimation spells, but these cards also need enablers to get creatures into your graveyard otherwise they aren't doing much.
Other enablers are called sac outlets and I see one aristocrat here Cutthroat; these are the types of cards that are good with sac outlets since they give you value when your creatures die. For now ignore the sac outlets enablers direction and focus on the other enablers; make a larger ratio between reanimation and enablers with enablers as a much higher number. Alesha is your reanimation so you don't really need lots of other reanimation unless they're creatures who she can reanimate ( Karmic Guide ).
Cards to consider cutting to add enablers:
- Finale of Eternity
- Endless Obedience
- Devout Invocation
- Descent of the Dragons
- Volcanic Vision
- Blood for Bones
- Swift Warkite
- Xantcha, Sleeper Agent
- Vizkopa Confessor
- Resolute Blademaster
- Preyseizer Dragon
- Fledgling Dragon
- Anya, Merciless Angel
Many of these suggested cards to cut are redundant high mana cost reanimation, high mana cost cards or creatures who have higher than 2 power or creatures who are lackluster even if Alesha can reanimate them.
Budget lands and additional mana sources to consider adding:
- Command Tower : one of the best lands for multicolored Commander decks.
- Exotic Orchard
- Caves of Koilos
- Battlefield Forge
- Foreboding Ruins
- Smoldering Marsh
- Ash Barrens
- Talisman of Hierarchy or Orzhov Signet
- Talisman of Conviction or Boros Signet
- Talisman of Indulgence or Rakdos Signet
Good luck with your deck.
6 months ago
Hey, I think Olivia, Mobilized for War is an underrated Rakdos Commander. Don't have to necessarily play Vampires with her, she can be good with reanimation strategies since she's an enabler from the Command Zone to get a creature into your graveyard. She gives a creature haste that's good with big creatures such as Grave Titan and Demons when you cheat them onto the battlefield with reanimation.
Support creatures who can keep coming back to the battlefield or your hand to trigger Olivia: Bloodghast , Squee, Goblin Nabob , Bloodsoaked Champion , Reassembling Skeleton . Cards that create tokens can trigger Olivia with/without needing to use mana: Bitterblossom , Dreadhorde Invasion , Kher Keep . Feldon of the Third Path is like repeatable reanimation as he can make a token copy of a creature in your graveyard.
Refill your hand with wheels especially Dragon Mage as a creature to reanimate and repeatable wheel. Also Magus of the Wheel who can be reanimated or recurred. As well as many other wheel spells. Azra Oddsmaker is another underrated card in Commander for reanimation strategies and he interacts well with Olivia to draw cards since she has flying.
Could build Olivia in a way that you don't have to rely on Olivia for the deck to function since reanimation is great and flexible in the Rakdos colors.
6 months ago
Hey, consider Warriors with Zurgo as Commander and Aurelia, the Warleader at the top of the mana curve?
There's many budget Warriors. Some that stand out are Mindblade Render , Rushblade Commander , Alesha, Who Smiles at Death , Ash Zealot , Bloodsoaked Champion , Blood-Chin Rager , Blood-Chin Fanatic , Arashin Foremost , Brutal Hordechief , Azra Oddsmaker ,etc. Aurelia is not a Warrior, but she can come into play after Zurgo for big double combat phases swings. Some budget pay offs for being tribal are: Raiders' Spoils , Shared Animosity , Obsidian Battle-Axe , Blood-Chin Fanatic , Arashin Foremost , Metallic Mimic , etc.
Zurgo benefits a lot from repeatable double strike being able to potentially do 14 or more points of Commander damage with one Zurgo attack. Arashin Foremost , Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder , Duelist's Heritage , Fireshrieker , Ajani, Caller of the Pride . Boros Charm is also an excellent card in Commander.
6 months ago
So my first thought is that you should run a LOT of instants, rather than just 2. Vial smasher can trigger on ANY turn, not just one, so running something like Dig Through Time would be... really good. Generally, you'll want these instants to draw you more cards, so Fact or Fiction and Glimmer of Genius are also fine choices. Cards with alternate casting costs also tend to have high CMCs: for example, Force of Will is a Lava Axe in this deck, as well as a counter spell. While Force may be a pricey card, other cards from the same cycle aren't. Contagion is well under a dollar, and can potentially also 2-for-1 with opposing creatures, while Pyrokinesis is even stronger. Misdirection and Commandeer also come to mind. If you want to get REAL spicy, Mind's Dilation is another good way to cast spell on your opponents' turns, but bear in mind this card tends to be killed pretty fast.
Flash creatures like Torrential Gearhulk also seem like pretty good ideas.
I suggest replacing Vedalken Orrery with Leyline of Anticipation . It's (very) slightly harder to remove an enchantment than an artifact, but more importantly if Leyline is in your opening 7, you avoid having to pay its cost. I can see a world where you play both, though.
I see you're running a few mana rocks, but I advise more. Two mana rocks tend to be far superior to 3 mana rocks, so Dimir Signet and Rakdos Signet are likely better than Thought Vessel or Worn Powerstone . Talisman of Dominance and Talisman of Indulgence also come to mind. Being in green means you have access to a whole host of dorks, like Llanowar Elves , Fyndhorn Elves , Arbor Elf , and Elves of Deep Shadow . These 1-drops may not look like much, but being able to accelerate you into quickly casting your general and then the following high-cost cards is a good thing. Orcish Lumberjack is a personal favorite in any red-green deck. However, if you choose to go via artifact ramp and not dork-ramp, this opens you to using effects like Pyroclasm or Volcanic Fallout to keep opponents' creatures in check. Ancient Tomb tends to be REAL nice for powering out turn-one 2-drop rocks. Depending on how blue-heavy your meta is, Carpet of Flowers can range from good to a straight-up powerhouse. If you take this part of my advice, your curve will drop significantly and you will be able to run 32-ish lands with no real problem.
You'll also probably want a good card-draw package, if you're planning to cast a lot of spells. Azra Oddsmaker is a goldmine if you have an open opponent to attack, and black has access to enchantments like Phyrexian Arena . Night's Whisper and Ambition's Cost are also good, and work well with Kydele.
Delve spells will act sort of like X-cost spells, but be easier to cast late-game and harder early-game. Empty the Pits may be interesting, but you should also consider Logic Knot , Treasure Cruise and Tasigur, the Golden Fang . Tasigur will give you an out later in the game for excess mana, and will allow you a level of recursion. In order to make these cards powerful, you need cards in the graveyard. For that, I recommend Faithless Looting , Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Flip and Dack Fayden . While these last two are pricier cards, I think looting is the best here of the three, as you can cast it turn one to filter out a hand that may be too heavy in lands or spells. The flashback is also very significant. Jace is a powerful card in that he allows more card filtration on a permanent, and allows you to snap back a spell if you want. Dack Fayden is a boss in EDH, where stealing a Sol Ring is very common. So even if you don't need to filter your draws, stealing a rock should be an option about 98% of the time.
Speaking of card filtration, Ponder , Preordain and Brainstorm are all potent cards in any blue deck. While they may not work particularly well with Vial Smasher, they all work rather well with Kydele while also giving you a cantrip to cast turn 1. A lot of times, these are the cards that make a boarderline-keep hand into a keep hand for me, as they are extremely good at finding lands and/or spells as need be.
With Kydele, cards like Windfall , Wheel of Fortune and Winds of Change all become rituals in addition to their usual effects. Running Notion Thief in conjunction with these 'everyone draws' spells is... good. Similarly, targeting an opponent with Dack Fayden 's +1 while Notion Thief is on the field is a pretty good way to tip the card-advantage scales in your favor.
I like Whip of Erebos . You should consider running some Entomb or Buried Alive effects with it, as that would allow you to get some one-shots in with powerful creatures when hitting an opponent or just when entering the battlefield. Nicol Bolas and Massacre Wurm comes to mind.
Good luck with deck building!
7 months ago
VraskaTheCursed, thanks a lot for commenting! I'd like to make this primer much more complete than it is now, but I appreciate that you already enjoyed it.
Regarding Azra Oddsmaker , It has been going pretty well for me. It's true that it doesn't fly, but it has a great body for cEDH, and throwing him in Tymna the Weaver or Thrasios, Triton Hero people aren't willing to trade that often.
Additionally, in my meta at least, it's not that difficult to find opponents without blockers. Another perk is that if you activate najeela while using him ability, you'll discard one and draw 4.
Azra Oddsmaker occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.01%