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Land — Swamp Mountain
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2 months ago
Not sure of your budget, but here are some suggestion.
Alternative to Combo Win-Cons
The standard win-con in a Kaalia of the Vast which is not a combo is... Land Destruction! The idea being to use card's like Boros Charm, Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Teferi's Protection to protect yourself; OR have an A/D/D in hand that you can free cast that demands a response, but is hard to deal with no lands, like Hellkite Tyrant or Iona, Shield of Emeria. The key cards to this strategy are: Crucible of Worlds, Armageddon, Ravages of War, Cataclysm, Strip Mine, Waste land, Command Beacon. This is a HIGHLY viable strategy, people may not like facing your Kaalia of the Vast deck, but it definitely isn't a combo strategy.
Master of Cruelties has to be in there, attack with Kaalia of the Vast, drop in Master of Cruelties, during the declare blockers step their life becomes 1 (assuming he is unblocked), and Kaalia of the Vast hits for 2 finishing the player. Not a combo, a necessary Demon.
Another common strategy is multiple attack phases, non-combo, but with big A/D/D beaters, having multiple swings (especially with Vigilance is amazing way to deal damage). The key cards are: Hellkite Charger, Aggravated Assault, Sword of Feast and Famine, Aurelia, the Warleader, Seize the Day. There is a combo with Adarkar Valkyrie + Aurelia, the Warleader + sac outlet out of interest. Adarkar Valkyrie although not working properly with the Kaalia of the Vast mechanics, is still a great recursion angel. Reconnaissance is nice for this strategy too, as you can pull back your Kaalia of the Vast against block heavy decks, as well POST-damage, you can pull back EVERYONE, basically it gives all your creatures Vigilance.
Free A/D/D strategy, you have it with Sneak Attack, Quicksilver Amulet, Mimic Vat so your already there, try a Whip of Erebos gives all your creatures Lifelink, which increases your sustainability in drawn out games (non-combo strategy the only way to win is in a drawn-out game), plus give you another recursion engine. Could use a Sundial of the Infinite to keep them on the board permanently!!
Stranglehold is another good control mechanism, you have a few, can look at pairing it with Maralen of the Mornsong to lock down opponents draw. She has synergy with some other guys like Aven Mindcensor/Ob Nixilis, Unshackled. Eidolon of Rhetoric might stop a Sunforger cast depending on what you did earlier that turn, like a Haste Kaalia of the Vast for example, to consider, or in an Armageddon build will be very bad.
Out of the 99 Considerations
I'm not a huge fan of Reverberate/Shunt, you have Sunforger so I get it, but it will often just sit in your hand. And Kaalia of the Vast is usually splash , so not that valuable. Would rather have a Steel Hellkite or a Gisela, the Broken Blade, or heck, even a Wild Ricochet
Solemn Simulacrum really unnecessary land searching. Use mana-enablers instead.
Boros Garrison/Orzhov Basilica I find it too slow without infinite combo, although it ramps, but you have lots of mana enablers. Field of Ruin colorless mana isn't great, don't need the search. Flamekin Village cost is too high, tapped+, try a Hall of the Bandit Lord. Shadowblood Ridge is also not great (I know it seems like it should be, but it's not!), Slayers' Stronghold is too expensive , use Hanweir Battlements instead, but even then it's borderline (but better), Smoldering Marsh isn't going to come in untapped when you need it, Temple of Malice/Temple of Silence I also don't like, but borderline for me would be my last cuts, Vivid Meadow is no.
Earnest Fellowship I wouldn't do this, might make it hard for you to block (which you have the big creatures that are hard to block already). A little too dangerous for my liking, let opponents pump their creatures, no need to do it for them, and block with your big guys.
Devoted Caretaker I wish she provided protection period so could go unblockable. I think Mother of Runes is enough, but maybe theres someone that gives just protection and doesn't cost a and ? But it does permanents, so I get it.
Kothophed, Soul Hoarder will not be your friend some days during board wipe, but with so little drawing in Mardu, he's a fun one! I would run him in this type of build!
Sun Titan is questionable, what are you bringing back? Lightning Greaves, Sunforger, Animate Dead, Necromancy only stuff. He's discretionary. High Mana cost but utility, he can combo with Fiend Hunter but again combos a different strategy (so can Karmic Guide btw).
Right now, your 46%, 33%, 21% but your mana is 28%, 37%, 35%. In addition, Turn 1: 80%, 10%, 10%! / lands will be your best friends, but balancing / and / lands too. Avoid / that don't provide value, like Mountain, Shadowblood Ridge (awful), Smoldering Marsh, Temple of Malice.
Demonic Tutor doesn't get much better than that! Mortify can be a good utility removal the CMC3 makes it less attractive, Vampiric Tutor although inefficient to pull a Lightning Greaves or Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is still good enough. It's instant so at EOT pull what you need. Rakdos the Defiler can be fun in a Armageddon model. Fetid Heath/Rugged Prairie are not too shabby. Sensei's Divining Top can help look and top-deck the A/D/D you need, IF you have none in hand it can swap places so you don't miss Kaalia of the Vast drops. Cavern of Souls against Grixis/Izzet, Phyrexian Reclamation can keep you rolling once you run out of cards-in-hand, an alternate quasi-draw.
Very good Kaalia of the Vast non-combo deck, looks like a blast to play. Hopefully you found some of these ramblings useful.
3 months ago
The problem with the article (and this has been pointed out all over the place over the years every time it gets posted) is that it assumes everything in a vacuum. It ignores that life is a resource.
For example, suppose I lose next turn to my opponent's infinite combo and the only way I can win is if I do so on my current turn. In that case, paying all but 1 of my life total to gain a even a 1% chance of drawing the card I need to execute my own combo is worth it. If I'm playing Storm and sitting at 4 life, paying 3 of that life to go grab a Steam Vents before I try to draw a card is worth it.
This is done at multiple instances throughout the game because I can only play one land a turn. So with the example of Storm in Modern, if I'm going up against another fast deck like Death's Shadow, Burn, or another combo deck, I can map out the number of cards my opponent can play.
So let's continue by taking a look at Burn. It can do 4 damage with Boros Charm. 2 damage a turn with Goblin Guide is one of its more efficient means of damage. Monastery Swiftspear does a lot of damage but is limited by the mana available. Atarka's Command likely does the most damage. A resolved Eidolon of the Great Revel is enough to kill me on its own. What's the fastest way that a burn deck can kill me, as a Storm player?
Hitting a land drop each turn is ideal for the Burn player. If they hit 4 lands and nothing but spells, they should be able to do 20 damage by turn 4.
So with 7 starting cards and then 4 turns being on the draw, they have 11 cards total. 4 of those are lands, meaning they get 7 of their burn spells. The absolute nuts is if they get multiple Goblin Guides and Atarka's Command. So:
Turn one: Goblin Guide, attack for 2 (18 life remaining).
Turn two: Cast another Goblin Guide, attack for 4 (14 life remaining). Cast Lightning Bolt (11 life remaining).
Turn three: Monastery Swiftspear -> Atarka's Command for 3 to the face (8 life remaining), pump the team, attack for 9 (0 life remaining).
That's 21 damage by turn 3, with the Burn player getting a strong draw. So if I'm on the play, and I know I take 21 damage by the Burn player's turn 3, that means the most life I can pay of my own is 10. That's because it's what keeps me alive at the end of turn 2. If I pay even 1 life, I'm dead on turn 3 regardless of what else I play. Because of this, any life I pay by turn 3 is irrelevant.
So if my opening hand has only 2 Misty Rainforest, but I need , then I'm going to pay at least 2 life to fetch a pair of Steam Vents. If I have to fetch and shock twice, I go to 14. I'm dead when my opponent gets their turn three, so I decide to combo off. Part way through my combo, I draw Scalding Tarn and Island. I can still play a land and I only need to get , so I can play the Island. However, since I know I'm dead the following turn, I may as well pay the life to use Scalding Tarn, even if it only improves my draw by 0.000000000000001%.
This is a long, convoluted example, but I hope it illustrates my point. Life is a resource. Games more often that not depend on certain life total breakpoints (in our Burn example, it goes 18 -> 13 -> 1). Using a fetch to thin out your deck in those cases makes the smallest percent worth it.
The times where the article is correct is when looking at a meta that does random amounts of damage each turn and you're playing Mono-Red Burn. It's better off to play nothing but basic Mountains, even if the option of fetches is there. That's because you'll never be in a situation where paying life to improve your chances will be relevant.
Even then, sometimes the shuffling itself becomes a relevant resource. Or you want to fill your graveyard (Grim Lavamancer being the go to example). But most of the time, it comes down to mana fixing. Because fetchlands can grab dual lands, they open up all 5 colors without any issues. If you rely just on dual lands, you may draw all of your spells, but only your lands. If those lands were Verdant Catacombs? It's no longer an issue because you can go get your Taiga or Badlands.
This becomes even more obvious against decks with few actual win conditions. Sneak and Show is going to attack me with either Griselbrand, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Ashen Rider, or all of the above. Scapeshift is going to kill me with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. Once you know the threshold for when these decks can kill you, crossing that threshold means any life you pay from fetchlands makes the deck thinning worth it.
Edit: I should mention, my point is that "Fetches are good for thinning your deck" is a correct statement. This is only clear if you take the time to think about why. But once you do, it's obvious and becomes second nature to most players.
3 months ago
3 months ago
So.... if you take out all those lands like Scrubland and Bayou and whatnot, this deck is less than $200. If you want this deck, but at a lower power level and MUCH lower cost, cut these:
3 months ago
Today I took another look at my land base.Currently I run 13 basic lands (4W, 5B, 4R). This is a lot in any non-green deck.Also there are 3 lands that can be upgraded. Nomad Outpost,Windbrisk Heights and Opal Palace. I have found a few upgrades. I will be adding both filterlands that contain Red, I don't see much value in filtering between white and black, which I often want both. But changing red into these will be a good change. These will both replace one basic land ( Rugged Prairie replaces a Plains and Graven Cairns replaces the fourth mountain)
Path of Ancestry works as a strictly better Nomad Outpost so it will replace the outpost (which will be the last land that enters tapped).
The fifth Swamp will be replaced by Foreboding Ruins
Which leaves the basic count instead at 10 (3W,4B,3R)There is one last upgrade to the mana base I would want to make, which is add the third and final OG Dual Land, Badlands replacing the fourth swamp. Bringing all basic lands to a neat 3/3/3 split.
4 months ago
Removed a lot of cards with a casting cost of more than 1 colored mana. It was often too difficult to play spells.
4 months ago
Okay, lets also address error number 2 as well. Playing Ruination with a Blood Moon in play will still absolutely destroy all non-basic lands, despite them only being considered mountains for mana production purposes. The land super-type is not changed by Blood Moon, otherwise the replacement text would specifically state "become basic mountains" - and as we all know, there are plenty of non-basic mountains available, including Plateau, Sacred Foundry, Taiga, Stomping Ground, Volcanic Island, Steam Vents, Badlands, Blood Crypt, etc. As such, the lands affected by Blood Moon have the sub-type replacement of Mountain, but remain non-basic lands otherwise (i.e. Darksteel Citadel would still be considered an indestructible artifact, despite producing red mana as a mountain, and count toward affinity, if applicable). They do not count as basics, and Gauntlet of Power will not impact their mana production either.