Format Legality
Noble Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Vintage Legal
Casual Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

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Set Rarity
Invasion Uncommon

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Backlash Discussion

precociousapprentice on Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control

1 month ago

Beebles, thanks for taking a serious look at the deck. I appreciate the feedback, since this is a work in progress, as evidenced by the huge comment thread and the various updates.

Sphere of Safety - Enchantments are one of the things that just seem to stick around more than other permanents. There are only 8, but I end up collecting them, and three of my most tutored for cards are enchantments, so they often come out. There once was a few more enchantments, and I am not sure of my threshold below which I would get rid of it, but you are right, I haven't really considered removing it. I was just recently thinking that I would put more Ghostly Prison type cards in if I could, and Sphere of Safety is just an overcosted and typically weak version of Ghostly Prison. Academy Rector would potentially fit the bill, in that I would be able to search for that Ghostly Prison, but Aurification may be counter to my strategy. Unlike No Mercy, Aurification leaves them with defense, and I dont want other players to have defense, if possible. I have considered Lightmine Field, but that is only worthwhile against swarm attacks. I will keep in mind that replacing Sphere of Safety with Academy Rector may actually work out nicely, and would lower my curve ever so slightly, and would even be another creature for my recently added Worship. I appreciate the suggestion.

Boros Fury-Shield - This was a card that I did consider early, and have not returned to it since, for no really great reason. I excluded it early for a few simple reasons. It is a fog that only affects the damage done by a single attacking or blocking creature. This seriously limits its ability as a fog. Every other fog I added could stop all damage aside from Deflecting Palm, and the ability to redirect any damage source makes it far superior. The ability to redirect damage is essentially shared by every other fog in my list aside from Dawn Charm, and the other modes of Dawn Charm make up for this. It sort of behaves like a highly conditional Backlash or Delirium, and maybe I should think of it that way. In that case, it actually could fill a role in the deck. Thank you for the reminder. I may consider trialling it as another conditional copy of Backlash or Delirium.

Lotus Vale and Scorched Ruins - These cards are there for much more than as a way to mitigate the damage from Price of Progress. They work somewhat subtly in the deck, and the real reason has to do with another synergy that you did not mention as well as a psychological reason. The risk has been mitigated in my meta by an overaggressive (others said abuse) of targeted land destruction by myself. After a fun bout with a Life from the Loam deck that abused Strip Mine and its various friends, when I tried playing Strip Mine in a few other decks, including this one, and there were enough complaints that we agreed that land destruction is not fun, and we basically all agreed to take it out of our decks. No one enjoys non-basic hate or color specific hate, either, so no one plays them. I understand that this is a very specific meta that I play in, but this mitigates the risk, and there is little risk in playing these lands at this point. The value of these cards has to do with keeping my land count low. This helps with Acidic Soil and Price of Progress, but also makes Tithe, Gift of Estates, and Weathered Wayfarer stay active. These three cards draw me a ton of cards, which I can pitch to Key to the City or Solitary Confinement. These three cards are a decent amount of my non-Monarch card draw. Solitary Confinement is my most tutored card, and extra cards in hand are really valuable. Trimming my lands with Lotus Vale and Scorched Ruins, as well as the Ravnica Karoos and Gemstone Mine all lead to lower land counts, and ensures these synergies with both my offense and my card draw, while leaving me with the same potential mana as everyone else at the table. This is where it gets subtle and tricky. When people look around the table for threats, number of permanents plays into threat assessment. Appearing to have fewer lands makes me appear as less of a threat. It is super easy to overlook the fact that I can often get 7+ mana from 4 lands. Scorched Ruins is actually Ramp, and is a little like a Sol Ring in disguise. When people actually count, they are not fooled, but it is surprising how often people just glance at your lands, unless they are looking for responses to their plays. Not playing Blue means I get less scrutiny than some, and this lowers my threat level. Altogether, the cards in the deck have many synergies as well as subtle psychological effects that the whole package together is much more powerful than the basics that could replace them.

As far as reactivity goes, I would break it down into two categories: Instants, and interactive permanents. While instants make up the bulk of the deck, interactive permanents are super interesting. I have 22 instants, 17 of which are tutorable with Sunforger. You dont need that many, even as a Sunforger package. As a toolbox, Sunforger packages are usually 10+ cards. Less than that is probably underpowering it. Aside from that, I have never had a goal in mind for reactivity. I thought about how I could lose, and set about trying to overcome those conditions, hopefully in a way that wins me the game. I also thought about what sorts of game states are common, and went about trying to punish those game states. Finally, I thought about how to create exciting game state swings in ways that would not make me a global target. Some of this lead to some Mardu goodstuff, but many of these cards are somewhat uncommon. What evolved from this thought process is the deck you see. It now has 22 instants, 18 of which are truly interactive and reactive, as well as a couple of interactive lands, a couple of interactive artifacts, a couple of interactive creatures, and an interesting interactive enchantment. In essence, I have no threshold, and would not consider the underlying philosophy of deck construction used for this deck to be particularly interested in thresholds.

I like the idea of Electropotence, and agree that the synergy with Lifelink and Deathtouch would be great, especially for Assassin and Snake tokens. I think that Warstorm Surge, Baneslayer Angel, and Exalted Angel are too mana intensive for my tastes. Thanks for the suggestion of Electropotence, I may trial it, and it may prompt me to add more Deathtouch creatures again. Ogre Slumlord with Electropotence is a wrath and token bomb all at once. Interesting.

Thank you for the suggestions, and the discussion. It always helps. You have given me a few cards to consider, or even just reconsider, as the case many be. These kinds of discussions have been what has lead to this decks long evolution to what it is now, and will continue to evolve it. Thanks.

precociousapprentice on Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control

2 months ago

Interesting point about Grab the Reins. I was looking for low CMC Threaten effects that are instant. I want both defense and offense. The sorcery speed cards are mostly unable to provide defense. Besmirch does provide defense, so it is actually a decent option, and I even considered putting Grenzo, Havoc Raiser back into the deck for more goad/pillage effects, but the dependence on attacking creatures makes Grenzo questionable. Besmirch does not have that dependence as much. Act of Aggression is more expensive, but does what Grab the Reins does, only it untaps and gives Haste, and it has the CMC flexibility of phyrexian mana if I need to cast it earlier. I also have a Disharmony that is asking to be played, but the only use it has is for defense, making it an awkward combination of half-fog, half-removal/control/combat trick. I am not sure if it will make the cut, but I will try it out. Kari Zev's Expertise may be great, with the number of <3 CMC cards in the deck, but a large number of them are reactive spells, so I am not sure how often it would pay off. I ordered one for testing anyway, thanks for the tip. Harness by Force would give a middle ground between the normal single target Threaten effects and the multi-target Insurrection/Mass Mutiny/Mob Rule, and could swing games, but is less flexible than Word of Seizing. The only real issue I have with Word of Seizing is the higher CMC, which may be something I just have to get over. Zealous Conscripts is an interesting option, but too many decks have it, and it may scream combo, which I don't want. I will have to play with the rest of these some to find out what I like. Cards like Backlash and Delirium have been really strong for this deck, and I could see any of the Threaten effects doing the exact same work, plus having potentially more flexibility. I will likely cycle through all of them, and every time I draw/play one, I will ask myself if I would have rather had one of the other ones in the list instead.

The other option I was considering was beefing up the midrange elements of the deck some. I am not sure I would have enough card slots to make it worthwhile, and I would be afraid that adding more overt offense would paint more of a target on my head. I would need midrange options that are significant defensive additions, that happened to come with some offense. I think Dread is a good example of this, but Jotun Grunt could make the cut as well, for it's graveyard work that can be used for my own recursion and as anti-reanimator tech. Midrange elements would potentially help against Stax and more reactive decks, but my meta actually frowns on Stax, so this would be a change to prepare for stepping into other metas, and may not really ever pay off. I think adding to what the deck already does through the addition of Threaten effects is probably the better plan that shifting to more midrange, even though it would be mostly useless agains other reactive decks.

As a side note, I have really liked Burning Wish, but had poor outcomes with Death Wish. The Wishboard has been fun, and does create a lot of flexibility, without being totally overpowered. I may work on the contents of the Wishboard as I go along, but I will be replacing Death Wish with a Cruel Tutor I just traded for.

TheRedGoat on

2 months ago

Okay, so I think you're having an identity crisis here?

I personally see a significant difference between enforcing the seven deadly sins, and punishing them. The latter of which is not strictly possible solely within Grixis colors without some seriously specific card effects (though I will thusly try to point them out in my suggestions).

In my mind for instance I see the punishing of each sin like this:

Lust: dealing with longing means they want for a specific card, so, simultaneously disallowing them that card and/or the ability to go get it would be how you punish this. ex=Praetor's Grasp or Mindlock Orb.

Gluttony: excessiveness being this sin's focus would mean any myriad effects that scale up in power when opponents have something in abundance. ex=Decree of Pain or Price of Progress, but this doesn't truly include cards that are just more effective when the opponent has a lot of it, like with Vandalblast

Avarice: aka greed aka want of everything. Punishing this sin is easy enough to do because you just punish people for essentially wanting at all. ex=Trespasser's Curse, Underworld Dreams, Erebos, God of the Dead (he stops the want for more life).

Sloth: simply put this is inaction or accepted laziness. Thus, simply hurting someone for not playing spells, or not attacking is the point here. Although that's not that easy to do unless you allow for effects that force the person to take action. ex=Citadel of Pain, War's Toll, Curse of the Nightly Hunt.

Wrath: While not strictly the opposite of sloth, anger/hate does often invoke aggressiveness and rash action. To punish such actions you simply need to have negative effects for doing so. ex=Blood Artist, Exquisite Blood, Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs, Library of Leng (this makes forced discard pointless).

Envy: Similar as gluttony, lust, avarice, and this all seem, they have their differences. Envy for instance specifically wants what it doesn't have that someone else does, which is easily punished in the same way as the related sins. But Envy can also be said to want the same thing as everyone else, so they may want an abundance of the same thing, so you punish them for having same named cards I guess? ex for latter type=Illness in the Ranks, Evil Twin, Swiftfoot Boots (for stopping stealing spells?)

You could also say envy will want you to have nothing, so maybe just have cards that work when you have your cards countered/blown up or stop them from doing so? ex here=Price of Glory, Defense Grid, Gibbering Descent.

Pride: maybe better interpreted as arrogance you could say this is punishing people with hubris? As in taking something they have and punishing them with that thing? You could also punish them for thinking they're "above everyone else". Some overlap could be had with the other sins at this point. ex=Backlash, Repay in Kind, Soul Conduit, Mind Slaver .

Sorry that I can't say how to balance out your card choices to also be competitive, but this is a super thematic deck building idea you have here. Past this all I can say is good luck!

precociousapprentice on STOP FOCUSING ME

2 months ago

Im like your deck. It has similar elements to mine, but is much more budget conscious. I like both Traitor's Roar and Serene Master, and may playtest both in my deck, just to see how they play. I have multiple deathtouch creatures that are parallel to what Serene Master does, so that is a cheap alternative that may work nicely, since Serene Master will likely stick around, and deathtouch creatures don't always stick around after a fight. I like it, and it may be a nice upgrade. I get a lot of mileage out of Delirium and Backlash, so Traitor's Roar may be another nice addition. I use a Wishboard with both Death Wish and Burning Wish, so it may go in the Wishboard instead of the maindeck.

As for suggestions, for budget tutors, check out Transmute cards such as Shred Memory, Dimir Machinations, and Dimir House Guard. They work great for cheap tutors that also have another use. If you haven't, check out my Queen Marchesa deck. It is pretty similar to yours.

DemonDragonJ on Iconic Masters Announced

3 months 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

4 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

5 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.

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