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Back to Basics
Nonbasic lands don't untap during their controllers' untap steps.
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Back to Basics Discussion
2 days ago
So, first thoughts: it looks good! Very cohesive, good selection of reanimation, good targets to put in graveyard, etc. This is quite a bit better than my first EDH deck was, so kudos XD
With that being said, there are several places I might tune this deck, sorted into the rough categories below:
Removal/Interaction: Toxic Deluge is an amazing board wipe in EDH, almost unquestionably better than Damnation here (you can tailor it to miss your commander, too!). Beast Within is one of the best removal spells in the format, along with Nature's Claim and Assassin's Trophy: I'd try and include all three. Maybe might run a few counterspells such as Swan Song/Counterspell/Muddle the Mixture, but that's more of a taste thing: do you want your deck to be more slow and grindy and controlling, or more aggressive where it primarily uses its removal to deal with specific problems? You could also add Lightning Greaves, which is an amazing way to give protection and haste to your commander.
Other targets for reanimation: Sewer Nemesis maybe? I might actually NOT run Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger here, I'm not convinced he does enough to warrant being reanimated when you have other targets like Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur laying around. I'd also work on cutting down on SOME of these, since they're pretty much dead in your hand: do you really NEED Ghoultree as a vanilla 10/10 that's only good when exiled by your commander? Et cetera ;)
Other good methods of self-mill: The new set gave us various Surveil cards (particularly Doom Whisperer, run him, he's awesome). Beyond that, Mesmeric Orb (hey, convenient that you have one!), Underrealm Lich, Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, maybe Fraying Sanity? I'd check out the Sidisi list I texted to you, it has some good ones. I'd also use Glimpse the Unthinkable here, probably.
Other great reanimation spells: Exhume, Dance of the Dead, Dread Return, Victimize. Your deck isn't a token deck, so Whisper, Blood Liturgist isn't amazing here, but Hell's Caretaker might do the trick. Final Parting is a MUST, given that you can tutor Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur into GY and Reanimate/Animate Dead into hand.
Landbase tuning: For what it's worth, there's a strong argument for running ZERO basics here (despite increased vulnerability to Blood Moon/Back to Basics/Ruination) for the instant mill combo with Hermit Druid. But if you're gonna do that, or even if you're not, you want less lands that will enter the battlefield tapped (and/or to include Amulet of Vigor). Beyond that, Songs of the Damned is an AWESOME card in this deck, and Ramunap Excavator is silly here obviously. I'd also play the five allied fetchlands (Wooded Foothills, Polluted Delta, Windswept Heath, Flooded Strand, and Bloodstained Mire) and the three appropriate shocklands (Breeding Pool, Watery Grave, and Overgrown Tomb). In a 3-color deck, I'd remove most utility lands (excluding Rogue's Passage and Cephalid Coliseum, maybe one or two more), and primarily work on fixing your colors and having lands come in untapped. The other major lands I'd say you're missing are City of Brass, Reflecting Pool, and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. You can probably cut down to 36 lands, which can open a slot or two.
I'd say that the most natural cuts would be Fleet Swallower, Ghoultree, It That Betrays, Laboratory Maniac, Master Biomancer, Reyhan, Last of the Abzan, Taigam, Sidisi's Hand, Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger, Chill of Foreboding, Damnation, Sultai Ascendancy, and two lands. After that point, cutting gets hard.
I hope that helps!! :)
2 weeks ago
Really, it would be around tier 4 this build. I imagine a better version going with a more consistent stax plan that happens to run a few key enchantments, instead of this could even be tier 2.5, but the commander would be all but a major part of the deck.
If you want a real enchantment-based build, use Earthcraft and Squirrel Nest, drop the Enchanted Evening/Aura Thief, Starfield of Nyx, Sigil of the Empty Throne, and Solemnity/Phyrexian Unlife/Solemnity/Decree of Silence. You should run Altar of the Brood as support for both the earthcraft combo and Opalescence/Parallax Wave.
The other drops you should have are cards like Cultivate and Kodama's Reach, because they are bad cards and shouldn't be run in any non-landfall deck, Cleansing Meditation because it is bad, and Skyshroud Claim. Pendrell Mists is too much mana for this deck to handle, as is Omniscience, despite its power in some decks.
Leyline of Anticipation is weak for its mana cost, and is abd draw, only semi useful when in openning hand, but even then it isn't great.
Land Tax is a bad card, honestly unless you are monowhite or in a deck that benefits from discarding cards, it isn't worth it. The thinning is the best it does, and a card in your deck that thins only is trash. If it is used to help you hit land drops, your deck is either A: Not in need of land, or B: Awfully built or was mulliganned poorly.
Now the next part is on what to add. I talked about dropping around 27 cards, so there is some room. I would drop around 3 lands at least as well, which leaves us with a clean 30 cards to add.
Now, we'll add the cards I previously talked about, Altar of the Brood, Earthcraft, and Squirrel Nest. These help you win the game after we dropped a lot of your previous wincons. Greater Auramancy is also a card I prior suggested, and helps stop a Nature's Claim kill you. 26 cards left to go.
The next is to replace the lands we dropped. You want mana fast, so you can empty your hand, and use Tuvasa to draw more cards, aiming to hit a real enchantress or tutor for one. This means two things, more tutors, and more ramp.
Wild Growth, Utopia Sprawl, Overgrowth, and Fertile Ground help benefit Earthcraft when used to make more mana on combo turn, especially with an Opalescence out. Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Sol Ring, Chrome Mox, Mox Diamond, and Lotus Petal allow the deck to get more mana faster as well. This leaves 16 cards.
Teferi's Protection, Swan Song, Flusterstorm, Seal Away, Ravages of War, Force of Will, Nature's Claim, Armageddon, and Cast Out are efficient pieces of interaction I would suggest. This leaves 4 cards.
Nature's Chosen is a card I have found success in, and suggest you try it too. Enchanting a Tuvasa makes it another land in essence, and can untap a Serra's Sanctum, it is under the radar, so pick it up before all of the Emmara, Soul of the Accord players find out about it. That is it!
After looking through, the following lands are must drops, as they aren't good in nearly any deck:
They don't have a place in this deck.
Similarly, you should optimize your deck to get your colors more on curve, fetchlands being a major part of that. Wooded Foothills, Flooded Strand, Polluted Delta, Misty Rainforest, Scalding Tarn, Verdant Catacombs, Arid Mesa, and Marsh Flats are the missing ones in your colors. You can use them to fetch the shock/dual lands for colors, or basics for Back to Basics/Earthcraft.
Wooded Bastion, Flooded Grove, and Yavimaya Hollow should be dropped as well to fit them, as well as Brushland for Razorverge Thicket, Adarkar Wastes for City of Brass, Hinterland Harbor for Mana Confluence, Glacial Fortress for Exotic Orchard, and one of each basic because you have too many lands.
That's it. That would actually be a tier 3 enchantress deck, and doesn't stoop to just playing Tuvasa for colors for a stax-combo deck, running no enchantments.
2 weeks ago
Actually, yeah, the definition fits that perfectly. Tuvasa is tier 3.
This is the middle tier. They can't usually compete against tier 1 decks, but might do fine with tier 2 decks. They usually have "the Aggro Problem," or they are wildly inconsistent. Most of the "pubstomp" decks that dominate casual meta go in here. They may have a bad reputation, but that doesn't make them tier 1.
Tuvasa can handle aggro swarm with propaganda/ghostly prison, aura of silence for artifact ramp, and stony silence for aggro voltron builds
It is wildly inconsistent, and slow. I play enchantress, and the most powerful combo and stax builds I have achieved over a year of trying has been tier 3 at best. Enchantress and enchantment-based stax is simply to inconsistent, relying on a draw engine, that is subpar in the command zone or not easily able to be put online with bad tutors like Summoner's Pact being needed when you just can't afford the tempo loss. Really, Tuvasa is bad against most tier 2 decks, and is way to slow and durdly for tier 1 to ever be affected by it.
Aura of Silence comes down after the artifact mana. Artifact mana, Sol Ring, Lotus Petal, Mana Vault, Mana Crypt, Chrome Mox, Mox Diamond, Grim Monolith, Mox Opal, and the other similar effects come down on turns 1 and 2. Without some very incosistent ramp strategy, Aura of Silence doesn't come down until turn 2 or 3, which is averagely missing most of the artifact mana.
The aggro strategy that sees the most play is Edric Turns, a deck that can attack any other player to get the draws, and easily blow up all of your pillow fort over 40 turns before one shotting you.
Stony Silence is a great card, worse than Null Rod, but good in a stax build. It does help the deck be a good stax deck, however with only a handful of real stax cards, it falls short of making Tuvasa viable. Rest in Peace and Blind Obedience are other cards I have found help out with Tuvasa, and Rule of Law, Arcane Laboratory, Eidolon of Rhetoric, and ocasionally Spirit of the Labyrinth does as well. Blue has Mystic Remora, a card that sees extensive play in cEDH stax builds as well as many blue-based decks in the format, and Rhystic Study exists to help lock out some storm decks by drawing you until you can hit some 0 mana counterspells or a Flusterstorm if they are a Tendrils deck and are not going Aetherflux Reservoir.
Outside of those 11 cards, of which 5 are generally only decent or bad unless in a dedicated deck, enchantment-based decks need red or black for cards like Nether Void, Blood Moon and Stranglehold, however five color enchantments isn't viable due to landbases being too stretched to run Blood Moon or Back to Basics, which leads the whole point to be undermined.
I'll check out your link and see if it has any potential, but I highly doubt it.
3 weeks ago
Yeah, after looking through this deck, Winterblast is right. I made an edit to it, with a different (slightly) counterspell package, and more basics because I am on a budget and it helps negate Back to Basics a bit, but adding the bad combos you run kind of sucks, as you have so many dead cards. Now I also don't run Tangle Wire, because I'd rather run Cataclysm and a slightly different gameplan, more sacrificing than tapping, but you need more stax.
3 weeks ago
Tezzeret the Seeker seems decent, I'll consider him.
1 month ago
Glad you like it! Being as much of a control fan as I am, I always wanted to make something in Azorius colors and here is my first try. This will go through many changes before getting to the building phase, if I end up building it at all since it's only a first draft, but the general direction is here.
I'm not that excited about Ballista in here. X-spells double as wincons and ways for me to replenish my hand. Ballista is completely dead outside of combo, and I don't have enough artifact synergy to make it worth it IMHO. Trinket mage and artifact lands sound more like it though. So far I've often used Tezzeret to tutor for Sol ring/Top and I can see how this guy could help me there. Plus this could finally "force" me to buy a Mana Vault. At that point the Voltaic Key sounds better and that brings us to Basalt Monolith + Rings of Brighthearth combo... I'm unsure about how much artifact lands would help, but as long as I'm not playing Back to Basics, and I eventually might, I might as well play those.
Thank you for dropping by, it means a lot!
1 month ago
Thanks, that response was great. I have been following your deck building work for a while.
I am considering cutting Null Rod, Stony Silence, Sanctum Prelate, Runic Armasaur, and Ulvenwald Tracker. Consecrated Sphinx, Glen Elendra Archmage, Tendershoot Dryad, Sun Titan and maybe Idyllic Tutor would be the replacements.
There are no artifact based decks. I see the fast mana artifacts some. Grim Monolith, Mox Diamond and Mana Crypt are rare. Sol Ring, Thran Dynamo and Mana Vault are played. I never see Paradox Engine.
The other list has eight means to tutor creatures and none to tutor instants. Caustic Caterpillar and Manglehorn are in the list. I don't see Blood Moon, Back to Basics or many of the oppressive enchantments. I do see a lot of Propaganda effects. Do you think changing Manglehorn to Reclamation Sage would allow me to cut Nature's Claim?
Thanks for taking time to answer these questions. I know you have played Derevi for several years. Your insight into the deck is very informed.
1 month ago
I play a casual Zur stax/control build. It focuses more on getting a lot of propoganda effects out but i'm sure that you can build more around cards like Stasis and Solitary Confinement as well as the fact that you can be garaunteed to every game get Rule of Law to stop the storm players. The great thing about playing Zur the Enchanter is that no matter what your doing in esper, he can get the right stax piece at the right time, or just get Necropotence!!! I think that zur will be your best bet for cEDH, but you will probably have to restrain yourself from just building an all in doomsday deck. Here are some great hate pieces Zur can get:
RIP Stony Silence Eidolon of Rhetoric chains of long word I can't pronounce or even read on the card and don't even know exactly what it does because its so confusing! Arcane Laboratory Back to Basics Stasis random removal enchantments that arent stax but ruin everyones' day because they can no longer do anything even with their commanded like Imprisoned in the Moon(aka teferi-be-gone (also hits chain veil) or Darksteel Mutation Aura of Silence Contamination to go with your Luminarch Ascension In the Eye of Chaos
Zur is a win con and a stax piece all in one!!!