Balustrade Spy


Format Legality
Modern Legal
Legacy Legal
Vintage Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Pauper Legal

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Set Rarity
Gatecrash Common

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Balustrade Spy

Creature — Vampire Rogue

FlyingWhen Balustrade Spy enters the battlefield, target player reveals cards from the top of his or her library until he or she reveals a land card, then puts those cards into his or her graveyard.

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Balustrade Spy Discussion

2gherkins on Oops, all spells... in modern?

1 day ago

Oops, all spells is a legacy deck that utilizes a lot of key pieces that modern doesn't have access to. (Nether Shadow, Ichorid, Cabal Therapy, Dread Return) I had been surfing the web, and travis Woo did an article way back last year about a version in modern. I liked it a lot, so I decided to put my own spin on it.

The idea of my deck is to use fast mana in the form of Simian Spirit Guide and Chancellor of the Tangle to ramp out an AEther Vial turn one or turn two, while also using either a Phantasmagorian T1 or an Insolent Neonate turn two off AEther Vial to establish a dredge base. Dredge until you get some narcamoebas onto the field and at least one Bridge from Below into your graveyard. Use AEther Vial to fill the board with cards like Blisterpod, Young Wolf, and Wild Cantor in addition to the narcamoebas. Use Viscera Seer to sacrifice all those creatures, have them come back in some form, all the while creating zombies. Use your creatures to convoke Endless Obedience onto a Balustrade Spy, milling yourself, but make sure you have either Snapcaster Mage or another Endless Obedience, or you've screwed yourself. Either AEther Vial in Snapcaster Mage and recast Endless Obedience or cast another Endless Obedience from your hand, then get Angel of Glory's Rise, reanimating Laboratory Maniac and Azami, Lady of Scrolls, winning with your next draw of Azami, Lady of Scrolls.

So it seems complicated, and it is, but it goes off surprisingly well. Here's the list:

I'm really looking for some suggestions, as this is a pretty bizarre deck for modern. I want to see if anyone has any ideas surrounding possibly one of the jankiest modern builds... ever.

The_Grape on The Ultimate Budget Way to Troll EVERYONE

3 days ago

I see your point, but I was referring your commander and cards like Angel of Glory's Rise, Archeomancer, Auramancer and Balustrade Spy among others. I think you may have misunderstood me because the etb triggers of some of your creatures are very useful and if you could repeat them for free with King Brago you could get a lot of cards back you might not be able to otherwise.

I mean no disrespect, your deck is great, so don't take my suggestion the wrong way.

titanreaver on B/U mill

1 week ago

Surgical Extraction, Extirpate, Extract, Lobotomy, Sadistic Sacrament, Pick the Brain and a few more cards I can't remember at the moment make it easy to get cards out of your opponents library without milling them. Which can be very helpful for you, because it prevents the problem of milling an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or something similar which sort of null and voids your game plan. Also since you are playing black you have access to Leyline of the Void as a mainboard option. Obviously leyline doesn't work with the first two cards I mentioned but oh well. Also Balustrade Spy, and Undercity Informer have the same effect of Mind Funeral on a body. You could also play one of the infinite mill effects like Leyline of the Void (although more commonly Rest in Peace) and Helm of Obedience, or Painter's Servant and Grind Stone. Both are pretty fun to play. Basically what I am saying is why not exile stuff if you can, and/or use some precision extraction with your mass mill. I am also not sure what you are doing with the Shelldock Isle since you don't have anything really in need of hiding away. I would switch to something else in that slot. I suppose it depends on how competitive you want to be, and how much you are willing to spend as to how to decide on what to change. Like playing Halimar Depths, Bojuka Bog, and Dimir Aqueduct is fun with the synergy and to fuel your Hedron Crab but not really fast enough to be very competitive, and playing Underground Sea, with Polluted Delta is fast enough and fuels the crab but is very expensive. You could also play Force of Will and Thoughtseize to protect your stuff, with a team of walkers like Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver, Liliana of the Veil, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor to lay down threat but that doesn't entirely seem like the way you wish to play. I have a few decks you could look at if you'd like to see what I did. your worst nightmare, tezzstone, and a deck that uses Shelldock Isle, today is doomsday. Hope something I said is worth while to you.

magicarp03 on Oops, all spells dredge?!?!?!?

1 week ago

This is for the people who know oops all spells well.

Cast Balustrade Spy, Narcomoeba triggers, Cabal Therapy, Bridge from Below triggers, Dread Return, BFB triggers, return Flame-Kin Zealot, swing for lethal.

Eretoryi on Weird sideboard for manaless dredge!

2 weeks ago

I'm a big fan of Chancellor of the Annex. If you want to play the manaless counters package you throw in Disrupting Shoal, Force of Will, and Wave Rider instead of Balustrade Spy. I actually think this is the safest version of Manaless Dredge to play, but it weakens your combo consistency.

The problem with Surgical Extraction is it only targets one kind of graveyard hate, and only after they have used it against you. A lot of decks diversify their graveyard hate because it makes it more difficult to answer with your own sideboard cards. It's not uncommon to see Nihil Spellbomb and Surgical Extraction in Shardless BUG, plus they get to play Deathrite Shaman in the mainboard.

Daedalus19876 on I Call Her Vera: Sidisi EDH

3 weeks ago

parjir7: Thank you for your long and in-depth thoughts! In the order that you brought them up...

1) If Necrotic Ooze is on the battlefield, and Mirror-Mad Phantasm is in the graveyard, Necrotic Ooze gains its ability. Because of the odd way the ability is templated, if you pay 1U, you shuffle Necrotic Ooze into your library and flip cards until you find a card named "Mirror-Mad Phantasm" (don't worry, I cleared this with a judge). Because there obviously isn't one (singleton formats are great), you mill your whole library instantly. Without Necrotic Ooze, you're correct that Mirror-Mad Phantasm can be a tiny unreliable, but on average it still Traumatizes me for 1U (sometimes more, sometimes less). If I miss, I can always use its ability again! It's definitely something I'm happy to cast at any point in the game.

2) Splendid Reclamation is perfect for this deck. I haven't updated the list online with cards from Eldritch Moon, but I added both Splendid Reclamation and Haunted Dead (over Geralf's Masterpiece and Pernicious Deed, the latter of which went into my retuned Meren deck). I'm actually considering adding Amulet of Vigor to combo with Splendid Reclamation (Yawg Will --> Amulet --> Reclamation --> everything else).

3) I have a very strange relationship with draw power in this deck: because my deck is built almost exclusively around recursion and reanimation, self-milling becomes a form of card advantage (much like Dredge in Legacy). I actually rarely draw cards in the deck anyway, because I turn a draw into dredge whenever I can. However, there are some powerful options for draw (such as a mass reanimation spell into Disciple of Bolas sacrificing Terastodon or Sewer Nemesis). Deep Analysis gives me the draw I need when I am in a tight spot, or when I want to win off of Laboratory Maniac. But as long as my graveyard is full, having an empty hand really doesn't bother me too much.

4) Conjurer's Closet: the ETB effects are important to this deck, but Conjurer's Closet is too slow and fragile, and I need to keep the creature-count as high as possible. I would consider Deadeye Navigator for this purpose, though, if I could find space (also, because it goes infinite with Peregrine Drake). Thoughts on what to cut for him?

5) Westvale Abbey  Flip: Too fragile - Ormendahl can be bounced or exiled, which leaves me down a land and five creatures. Also, I have some trouble getting the right colors in this deck, so I'm wary of lands that produce colorless if I don't have a good reason for their inclusion. Westvale is in my new Meren deck, though! You're welcome to check it out if you want (though the description isn't very good): Beggars and Kings: Meren EDH

6) Balustrade Spy: Ehh. The ETB isn't super good (if it said "basic land", I would be immediately sold). Undercity Informer is generally better.

7) Liliana, the Last Hope: Too expensive (in terms of money), and I find her somewhat underwhelming in EDH. I suspect I'd end up using her mostly for her -2 (or for picking off utility creatures), and there are better options for that (for example, Oversold Cemetery, which has been hiding in the maybeboard forever).

8) Sheoldred, Whispering One: Too expensive (in terms of money). I'd also probably run Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur over her.

9) Haunted Dead: Great minds think alike! As I mentioned above, he's gone in already :)

10) Consecrated Sphinx: Too expensive (in terms of money). Also, I'd again prefer Jin Git.

11) Glimpse the Unthinkable: WAY too expensive (in terms of money) AND it's bad in EDH (imo). A $40 one-time effect that takes up a non-creature spot and is basically irrelevant after T2 or T3? Count me out.

12) Mnemonic Wall: I've considered it before, and I would be amenable to re-adding it. I'd need to find space, though.

13) Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip: Ehh. He's very powerful in EDH, but I'm not super interested here because he cost a lot of $$$, and the only super-relevant mode is his -3 (which you can usually only do once).

14) Dark Salvation: Too expensive (in terms of mana) for a marginal effect. Also, it's comparatively low in power for a non-creature spell in this deck.

15) Grave Titan: He's been in previous versions of the deck, and he's pretty good. I just...ended up taking him out because he has no evasion, and although his zombies can be resources, I'd usually prefer to draw/reanimate other things over him.

16) Havengul Lich: The only complaint here is that I have to pay the mana costs (including color), and my mana is relatively tight. I could see it, though, especially if I can steal my opponents' utility creatures. I'll consider finding a space! :)

17) Curse of the Bloody Tome: While the thought of cursing myself is entertaining, it's too slow and non-creature. I would prefer Splinterfright over this.

18) Dream Halls: Great card, but the symmetry would kill me immediately. I don't want to make every counterspell into a Force of Will, haha.

19) Mana Reflection: Expensive in mana and money, and if I have 6 mana, I usually should be winning or moving more directly towards winning. Also, I sound like a broken record, but non-creature spells are tight here.

20) Sultai Ascendancy: Too slow, and non-creature.

21) Worry Beads: Way, way, WAY too slow, and non-creature.

22) Undead Alchemist: He's an interesting case. I don't get to hit my opponents with my zombies very often, though. The one big use I could get from him would be to defuse Eldrazi titans, but currently Gravespawn Sovereign is in that spot and also useful at other points in the game.

23) Wharf Infiltrator: I haven't considered this guy before. Hmmm. I'm thinking he doesn't fit, but maybe the looting might help...

24) Thought Scour: No. See point 21.

25) Wailing Ghoul: Almost strictly worse than Balustrade Spy.

26) Cyclonic Rift: ...Yeah, this should probably be in there (it should be in ever deck that plays blue, honestly). But I haven't found a space, and it's tricky to cast it from my GY.

27) Snapcaster Mage: WAY too much $$$. If I had one, though, I'd be playing it!

Thank you for your comments, and taking the time to find so many relevant cards! I hope this wasn't too long of a response, haha. If you like the deck, you're welcome to leave a +1 :)

parjir7 on I Call Her Vera: Sidisi EDH

3 weeks ago

Thank you so much for sharing your deck and knowledge! I have been looking into making my first EDH deck and love the idea of self-mill, so I am really glad I found this. I apologize for my long, and probably dumb, comment.

Would you mind explaining how Mirror-Mad Phantasm + Necrotic Ooze works and why it is effective? I would have thought that ability would fizzle once Ooze left the battlefield. Regardless, it seems to me less effective than the Basalt Monolith + Mesmeric Orb combo, due to having to cast 1U mana for the ability each time and up to luck on how much it mills/where it ends up in the deck.

How does it typically play out with building up your mana?/ Do you play more land from your graveyard or from your library? Maybe Splendid Reclamation would work well?

Do you have any problems with draw power?

Some card I've thought about:
-Conjurer's Closet + Eternal Witness Or any of the EtB effect cards
-Westvale Abbey  Flip
-Balustrade Spy
-Liliana, the Last Hope
-Sheoldred, Whispering One
-Haunted Dead
-Consecrated Sphinx
-Glimpse the Unthinkable
-Mnemonic Wall
-Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip
-Dark Salvation
-Grave Titan
-Havengul Lich
-Curse of the Bloody Tome
-Dream Halls
-Mana Reflection
-Sultai Ascendancy
-Undead Alchemist
-Worry Beads
-Wharf Infiltrator
-Thought Scour
-Cyclonic Rift
-Wailing Ghoul
-Snapcaster Mage
/stuff from

Wiktul on Promised End comes turn 5

1 month ago

Yep, and you can win turn 1 in Legacy with no lands and Balustrade Spy. In my meta it's not possible to get as many creatures as it is required wit Rites to ramp that amount of mana and to keep them alive long enough to get anything from it. The major threat I have to face are various human aggro's, GW tokens and CoCo, so trust me, Rites with 14 mana turn 4 simply won't do ;)

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