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Vintage Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Legacy Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal

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Invasion Uncommon

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Backlash Discussion

DemonDragonJ on Iconic Masters Announced

1 month ago

I am somewhat excited about this set, but not as excited as I was about Eternal Masters (and I was very excited about that set), because this set does not seem to be the same type of set as the other. Iconic cards are often, but not always, powerful and popular cards, so this set may not have quite as many valuable cards as did Eternal Masters, but I still am excited about it, since I hope to see some older cards reprinted in the new border style.

Some specific cards that I would like to see are Absorb, Backlash, Essence Vortex, Fire Covenant, Fungal Shambler, and Dromar, the Banisher, since none of those cards have ever been reprinted, at all, let alone in the new card frame.

precociousapprentice on Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control

2 months ago

Ok, all. I am an idiot. I had a realization in play yesterday that should have been obvious, but I had missed it. Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim was meant to be both Rattle Snake and spot removal, but the deck was not built around it, so she never got going. I focused on the spot removal, and when she was removed from the deck, I replaced it with repeatable creature spot removal, thinking that would at least come close to replacing the value of Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim. What I didn't fully grasp was that the weakness of slow speed of the removal, along with the durability of the removal was the problem, and that Assassins would never be able to make up for this. I was sitting on one of the best removal spells that are available in Queen Marchesa's colors, and I recognized this at least enough to put it into a sideboard slot because I just couldn't cut it all the way. I think I should just put the good spot removal back in, and skip all this getting fancy with creatures for removal BS. Since my Rattle Snake and Pillow Fort defense is already very strong, I am not sure why I am worrying about it so much, especially since I keep strengthening it with the most subtle of subtle Pillow Fort cards like Duelist's Heritage, Slayers' Stronghold, and Key to the City.

Right now, I think I just need to consolidate what I think this deck does best, make sure that I bring enough of both the offense and defense that this deck works off of, ensure that I am optimally countering common deck archetypes in ways that are synergistic with the rest of the deck, and not get distracted with complicated additions.

With that said, I have a sideboard that I have constructed of cards that are meant for tuning this more specifically to different metas, and for including cards for combating common archetypes that my meta does not contain. Even if I don't use this as a common sideboard between games, this is my list of cards to adjust for changing metas as I go between them, likely usually between sessions.

Changes that I plan:

Main Deck changes should be to consolidate the theme of the deck, removing weakness in favor of the strengths.


Kiku, Night's Flower, Royal Assassin. I love the art on Kiku, but she was a distraction. Neither will be the bomb that I want, neither is subtle enough for a non-bomb card.


Stronghold Discipline - Rakdos Charm is a huge part of my offense, and wins a ton of games. Stronghold Discipline is essentially another copy. Unconventional offensive plays are what this deck does best. Consolidate around the deck's strengths.

Utter End - One of the best spot removal spells available. Control is one of the things this deck does best, especially surgical removal. Consolidate around the deck's strengths.

Sideboard changes should compensate for different metas and allow me to combat the weaknesses in the deck with respect to commonly played archetypes that are just not that common in my usual meta. I am OK with unfairly destroying decks in metas that are not my usual meta.

Out: Utter End - Into the Main Deck!

In: Rest in Peace - The best at what it does, kills a lot of combo, storm, spellslinger, value engines, reanimator, etc...

So, what does that leave us with?

Ramp and Fixing: Lots of Ramp and Fixing that is tuned and synergistic with the rest of the deck, as well as a curve that allows us to bring out early big plays. Gift of Estates and Tithe double as card draw late game, and our unconventional manabase is highly synergistic with the rest of the deck.

Draw and Tutoring: Enough Draw and Tutoring to make the deck consistent and holding enough answers for every threat or weakness, without being obtrusive or conventional enough to be obvious about it. Three all star players in this list are Shred Memory, Key to the City, and Sea Gate Wreckage. Uncommon tutors and draw with huge impact in this deck without ringing any danger bells for most players. This suite makes my already versatile card list even more versatile.

Defense: A 25 card subtle and somewhat unconventional Pillow Fort and Rattle Snake defense with a low curve, the potential to be used offensively, and which is synergistic with itself as well as my offense. Back this up with a nice Fog suite, making my defensive wall extend into my hand so as to not have all of it sit on the battlefield to be effective, and bringing it's own offense in the right circumstances. Add to this a control package that is complete with a very strong and versatile spot removal suite, some reactive board wipes that have offensive uses, and multiple cards to allow us to protect our board state, including counterspells in Mardu colors!

Offense: The offense is structured to take advantage of typical board states and the strengths of my opponents with cards that have outsized effect for their costs. It is designed to be huge Aikido bombs against any Big Mana, Big Creature, Big Army, Big Hand, or Big Attack deck. It is structured in pairs of cards for each of these, including Acidic Soil/Price of Progress, Backlash/Delirium, Rakdos Charm/Stronghold Discipline, Sudden Impact/Toil / Trouble, Deflecting Palm/Comeuppance, with Arcbond, Batwing Brume, and Eye for an Eye all reinforcing this array of counterattacks. This reactive offense is backed up with a couple of big bomb offensive attacks in the form of Master of Cruelties and Hatred, a couple of midrange beaters in the form of Serra Ascendant, Gisela, the Broken Blade, and Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs, and an army of smaller defensive and utility creatures. Bring in combat tricks and enablers like Duelist's Heritage, Slayers' Stronghold, Key to the City, and Rogue's Passage to act as later game silver bullets, and the offense is quite versatile.

Sideboard: Packed with Combo hate, a counterspell suite of my own for Counterspell and Blue Control hate, Graveyard Antics hate, and extra offense in the form of Dark Depths as an uncounterable big beater and Exsanguinate for big burn.

In all, I think I am pretty satisfied with where the deck now sits, and will likely consider this list to basically be the core deck. Testing will confirm, I think I have chased down all the areas that needed shored up, and I feel like this is, at the moment, a completed list.

precociousapprentice on Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control

2 months ago

Had a fun game yesterday. Edric, Spymaster of Trest was putting the hurt on the entire table, but generally avoiding me due to having out Delaying Shield, and him wanting to take advantage of the draw and not just do damage. He piled up a bunch of flyers, took out the Tolsimir Wolfblood elves and wolves player, then turned on the Omnath, Locus of Mana player. I one-shotted Omnath, Locus of Mana with a Backlash, then Batwing Brume'd followed by Rakdos Charm'd and Toil / Trouble'd Edric, Spymaster of Trest with a completely full hand to finish him off. Gisela, Blade of Goldnight tried to hamstring me with a Devastation to basically reset the game, which I Boros Charm'd, to leave me unscathed and him basically crippled. He never recovered and I finished him off with Queen Marchesa and a few other attackers. Super fun game.

precociousapprentice on Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control

2 months ago

I had Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts in it for some time. In play it always came out really late, and then usually did not add a lot beyond what I already had in place for a defensive board state. I get the unblockable creature angle, but really, a single unblockable creature is not often how I win, and if it were, I would probably add Whispersilk Cloak for that slot. I often win with Acidic Soil, or Arcbond, or Backlash, or Deflecting Palm, or Rakdos Charm, or something along those lines. They overcommit, do something that shakes up the board state that they think gives them the advantage, and then I pull out a riposte counter attack. The games often go something like, early game with early attacks being directed someplace other than me due to a Rattlesnake effect I have out, midgame with a build up of Pillow Fort cards, and my board state becomes completely secure with no one able to attack me while other players fall to each other. In this time, I may build up a few attackers, but they are not often able to attack because they are my defense as well, and often an offensive exchange is not in my best interests, even if a defensive exchange would be. As I wait, I slowly sculpt my hand until the right moment happens. Often, it is some board wipe that eliminates my fortress, and then an attack happens that I fog or reverse. I follow this with some large counter attack like Acidic Soil to finish them off. Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts doesn't really fit well in this strategy since it is slow, comes out too late to be a good Rattlesnake, and it's damage potential is small for it's price. Not a big enough bomb.

As for Strionic Resonator, I try to make sure that every card is effective all by itself, or can win the game outright when played. I continually think about removing Reverberate for this reason, but I think that the potential outweighs the costs. Hatred is similar, except that it just ends games. Cards can be added for their synergy, but only if they stand on their own as well. With Strionic Resonator, I am not sure that just doing more of what I am already doing is good enough. Necropotence is a bomb that draws a full hand if I need it, and is why I have it in over Phyrexian Arena. Strionic Resonator doesn't do much more than Phyrexian Arena, but has to be combined with something to even do that. Then we get into all the Pillow Fort or Rattlesnake cards, and I have significant overlap and duplication of all those. I guess if I am adding anything to the deck, I want something that aligns with what it does, but is not just another of what it already does. The deck is consistent, I rarely ever think, "If I just had more of that think I already have, I would win." Usually, I am thinking, "Now I just wait for my moment to end this." Show me an unconventional bomb with an effect that is completely outsized for it's cost, or something that does a better job of what the deck already does, and I will be interested. I appreciate the look and the comment, and I will think about the suggestions, but on first glance, I think that the deck is too tight for either suggestion right now.

precociousapprentice on Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control

3 months ago

Dig for answers that can end the game or an answer to losing a game. And you don't need to go for 20 every time. It is just a possibility. I never liked Necropotence until this deck. I can be within striking distance, need an attack, and search out Backlash, Delirium, Rakdos Charm, etc... and turn his wincon into a loss. I especially like it with Angel's Grace in hand. Dig for a huge amount, put yourself within striking distance of his big beater, Angel's Grace, then counterattack while he is tapped out. It is also nice when sitting behind a Solitary Confinement. Without it, you both are waiting for the card to break up the stalemate. With Necropotence, you dig for a huge amount, trying to win the race to the wincon. I guess that is how I see it. When it is a race to find the right card to win, Necropotence is like nitrous.

As for the Land Tax effect and plains question, I already leaned plains, so the addition was not a problem. Those effects are in there for two purposes. First, to ensure I hit all my early land drops, and it gives me a little card advantage early, along with some fixing. It is not really ramp, but missing land drops is anti-ramp, so it is almost the same thing. It is the closest thing to I can get in this deck, it is a lower threat level than actual ramp, and for a reactive deck, it works pretty well. The second purpose is to combine with Scroll Rack later for a card advantage engine. Not a world shaking combo, but at least I can get some late game advantage out of them, and Land Tax each turn with a Scroll Rack out is a pretty huge advantage.

The Ravnica bounce lands and Lotus Vale are interesting. I have never wanted to run them in any other deck, but this one loves them. They allow me to keep a low land count on the battlefield, while evolving my manabase during the game to a high quality manabase, and can also feed my Scroll Rack. I usually get one of them early, and I put it into play as soon as possible, since I am not usually doing a ton on my first couple turns. I then put out a few more lands and I can usually still hit Queen Marchesa on time. As the game unfolds, I drop the others when it doesn't negatively affect me, and by late game when I want to hit them with Acidic Soil or Citadel of Pain, they get hurt much worse than me. I have been thinking about Price of Progress, even with my large nonbasic count because of the synergy and efficiency of my manabase. I trade tempo for efficiency and some card advantage, and set myself up for a big symmetrical bomb that I have made asymmetrical. Since my deck wants to lay low early and have power to react later, the early tempo loss is not a huge deal breaker.

For budget options, you could think about cheaper fetches. There are a ton, even though we get hung up on the Zendicar and Khans fetches, the loss of tempo in a casual meta is not a huge thing, especially for this deck. If you keep the Land Tax cards, keeping enough plains to make them all work is important. I like about 2 targets per fetch and another 1 target per Land Tax effect. The any colored lands and bounce lands are helpful, but are for a parallel purpose.

precociousapprentice on Queen Marchesa Aikido

3 months ago

As an example of aggressive behavior, Eye for an Eye and then Selfless Squire of a big creature attack on their turn, then Backlash of even a small defender to tap it followed by an attack of a big Selfless Squire is often GG. Backlash becomes an offensive maneuver to clear the way for a big creature attack, and it doesn't matter that it does less damage by itself than it could have.

Another example is to Fog an attack, then swing for GG with Vampire Nighthawk and Hatred.

Another example is Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, and Pacification Array to clear the way Queen Marchesa equipped with Sunforger with a Duelist's Heritage.

precociousapprentice on Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control

3 months ago

I have considered both Erebos, God of the Dead and Greed as they seem to fit well. I have what feels like a very tight list, and have not figured out how to work them in. I find that they would enhance what I am doing, but are not necessary. Citadel of Pain has been a great grind out or outright game ender for the games that it has been in there. I run a low land count, I have several lands that help to trim the number I have in play, and I have lots of things that either limit life loss or regain life. I do have a few mana sinks in the form of Sensei's Divining Top and Scroll Rack, which can also limit land overload and turn lands in hand into useable cards. Even with all this, I am very conscious of how many lands I play. The deck runs well on about 5-7 mana, and with a Lotus Vale or Boros Garrison and a few Rocks, I can get there with sometimes 3 lands. I play lands early to build a board state, exchange normal lands for more efficient lands, drop some rocks, then hold lands to bluff with or Scroll Rack away. I often can drop Citadel of Pain to a very asymmetrical board state, then allow them to overcommit to stay under it as much as possible, and punish them for it. Sometimes this can also mean going aggressive with removal to open up anattack with a beater, using my removal in a very no reactive way. I have been surprised how well I can get aggressive when I want to, using my typically defensive cards like Backlash or Pacification Array to facilitate my offense.

Wizno on Marchesa, Political Queen of Pillows

3 months ago

I like a lot of the recent changes you've made to deck MegaMatt13. While I see the value in Backlash, I would say not to rule out Crackling Doom entirely. It has done an amazing amount of work for me in my meta to get around indestructible and hexproof commanders or big threats. It's also a nice finish after swinging in with a Master of Cruelties. I certainly see your point for the swap though and totally support it.

I noticed you incorporated Tainted Remedy into your deck (a card I've considered running myself) and I'm wondering how many lifegain decks you have to deal with in your meta? If it's a substantial number or if they are problematic, I would also consider running Erebos, God of the Dead. He has been an amazing addition and offers another source of card advantage if need be.

I would consider adding in Orzhov Advokist and Darien, King of Kjeldor as well if you would like to add some pressure to the decision of attacking you. Again, the deck looks really solid and I like a lot of the changes you've added.

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