|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Urza's Saga (USG)||Rare|
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Barrin, Master Wizard
Legendary Creature — Human Wizard
(2), Sacrifice a permanent: Return target creature to its owner's hand.
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Barrin, Master Wizard Discussion
3 weeks ago
Kiora, the Crashing Wave explores seem good.
This style of deck probably thrives off of a modest suite of black sweepers, to reuse your effects. And it's obviously sacrilege to not run Putrefy.
On the topic of durdly land goofery, Ghost Quarter is mandatory, both offensively and as a way to recycle your lands into the graveyard for replaying and tutor up to new basics for additional basics. Lotus Cobra also sounds fun. Barrin, Master Wizard can sac your lands when they're in surplus for late game interaction, and is a reasonable mana sink for your alpha strike turns. Infernal Tribute might also be reasonable.
Recycling Nihil Spellbomb every turn is kind of boner inducing.
2 months ago
Barrin, Master Wizard can let you do some cool things. I know some wizard tribal decks have been playing him, but putting him at the helm can give a mono blue control deck another way to interact with the board.
11 months ago
1 year ago
This looks pretty controlling but I like that it is all about bouncing, my favorite form of control in blue! Not sure if I'm excited to play against this, haha, but it'd be a fun challenge once you get it tuned (Zada's horde might cry).
You said draw could be better so why not do a wizard sub-theme? This obviously means including Azami. But guys like AEther Adept, Aven Augur, Barrin, Master Wizard, Cephalid Constable, Echo Tracer, Profaner of the Dead, etc. play well within a bouncing theme. They can give you the bounce control you need until Heidar is up and running and be draw/chump blockers before/after that.
I know there's a bunch of pet cards in here that I'm unaware of so let me know if you want me to suggest cuts and I will. I realize too I'm suggesting altering your deck a bunch but I think it'd be more consistent this way while still being quite unique compared to other tribal wizard builds.
1 year ago
Just some random thoughts, sorry for the disorder. I don't really have time to organize this atm.
You're extremely light on way to interact with _non_creatures. You're gonna feel real silly as a green deck when you're facing an Asceticism and you don't have so much as a Reclamation Sage to deal with one enchantment. Consider taking out the tapping subtheme and adding Decimate, Beast Within, Hull Breach, or similar cards. Get Cyclonic Rift in there too. You need Turn to Frog much less than more noncreature interaction. Most any creature you can target, you can steal, one way or another, and the ones you can't probably aren't numerous enough to make Turn to Frog worth it.
17/39 is a lot of etb tapped lands. Try to replace some guildgates and Smoldering Crater at least, swap them for untapped dual lands, or conditionally untappeds or basics. I would guess that, while also etb tapped, the U and G vivid lands would serve better than guildgates. High Market has great utility with your gameplan. Opal Palace is possible, it helps with Yasova's power.
FYI, you can tag cards into multiple categories, so Helm of Possession, Grab the Reins, and Demonmail Hauberk can both go under Sacrificing as well. You might want even more sac outlets and fewer steal effects. Your general gives you the second but not the first, so the rest of your deck should provide more of the first and less of the second to ensure you have one of each every turn. It seems like you can do better than Barrin, Master Wizard. What about Ooze Garden? There's always the classics Fling and Birthing Pod.
You need card draw too, and a generous amount. A hand with 4 Threaten effects is a lot worse than one with 3 threaten effects and a Harmonize. At the very least, no Tibalt please. He doesn't even count as a steal effect, he's too slow for that. Shamanic Revelation, Rishkar's Expertise, and Treasure Cruise are all options. Skullclamp can turn your enemy's dorks into cards for you, or just pump up Yasova and give her death insurance. Add some more like Elvish Mystic of your own for more consistency out of the clamp. Life's Legacy and Momentous Fall do double duty. If Yasova is out, Life's Legacy is probably better than a hand of three threatens.
Under your ramp package, Temur Banner should be Commander's Sphere and Nissa's Pilgrimage should be Cultivate to fix your colors. You've got a pretty high curve, so adding even more ramp and bringing down the curve would help. Better to play a spell with 80% power than have a 100% power spell stuck in hand for three turns. Think about exchanging Clone Legion, Nissa's Renewal, and one of the expensive threaten effects with Rampant Growth, Farseek, and Primal Growth which gives another sac outlet. With more cheap fixing, you can run more basics, and therefor fewer etb tapped lands.
Rancor is nice for helping the general, much more efficient than Incremental Growth I think. Stormsurge Kraken seems pretty intimidating but it doesn't advance the gameplan and Yasova herself is pretty easy to remove.
1 year ago
Sweet deck! I didn't realize how interesting Yasova was to me until I started thinking of ways to use her ability better.
I see you have Willbreaker, letting you keep the creatures you temporarily steal. Some other options for keeping these creatures past the end of the turn could be Conjurer's Closet, Deadeye Navigator, Synod Sanctum, Cold Storage, Nephalia Smuggler, and Ghostly Flicker, which all return creatures back under your control without you having to return them to their owners.
With Glaring Spotlight, you can steal your opponents' creatures that have hexproof. To steal your opponents' noncreature artifacts, try turning them into creatures with options like Toymaker and Titania's Song, and to steal your opponents' noncreature lands, try turning them into creatures with Lifespark Spellbomb or Quirion Druid.
If you don't want to give the creatures back after you've stolen them, you can use sacrifice effect cards to get rid of them for profit. Some powerful sacrifice engines include Ashnod's Altar, Culling Dais, Barrin, Master Wizard, Bloodshot Cyclops, Jalira, Master Polymorphist, Profaner of the Dead, Scourge of Skola Vale, Evolutionary Leap, Goblin Bombardment, Perilous Forays, Shivan Harvest, Momentous Fall, High Market, Life's Legacy, and Primal Growth.
You can also make opponents' creatures easier to steal by increasing Yasova's power, with any of these or other boosting cards: Kessig Wolf Run, Ceta Disciple, Llanowar Augur, Moonveil Dragon, Ursapine, Wolfir Silverheart, Bonesplitter, Hero's Blade, O-Naginata, Ring of Kalonia, Sai of the Shinobi, Shuko, Sigil of Distinction, Silver-Inlaid Dagger, Sword of the Chosen, Boar Umbra, Briar Shield, Elephant Guide, Exoskeletal Armor, Forced Adaptation, Giant Spectacle, Goblin War Paint, Inferno Fist, Madcap Skills, Moldervine Cloak, Mythic Proportions, Quest for the Gemblades, Rancor, Seal of Strength, Shape of the Wiitigo, Spectral Flight, Spider Umbra, Taste for Mayhem, Volcanic Strength, Wurmweaver Coil, Blossoming Defense, Brute Force, Giant Growth, Groundswell, Invigorate, Might of Oaks, Mutagenic Growth, Prey's Vengeance, Strength of the Tajuru, Wax/Wane, Blessings of Nature, Elven Rite, Give / Take, Increasing Savagery, Phytoburst, Reckless Charge, and Soul's Might
1 year ago
Be a terrible person with Buyback, Flashback, and all their friends! Mizzix reduces the cost of all alternate casting costs. (Also reduced Awaken, but I didn't include anything with that, because I know how much a fan you are, and I think you have most the good Overload)
Buyback:Capsize, Reiterate, Spell Burst, Whispers of the MuseFlashback:Lightning Surge, Cackling Counterpart, Devil's Play, Fervent Denial, Increasing Vengeance, Past in Flames, Recoup, Volley of BouldersKicker:Elemental Appeal, Illuminate, Into the Roil, Jilt, Molten Disaster, Spell Contortion
Denying Wind, Searing Wind, Insurrection, Temporal Trespass, Volcanic Vision, Aether Gale, Crush of Tentacles, Fall of the Titans, Mindswipe, Counterlash, Izzet Cluestone (and other colored mana generation), Reality Shift, Fissure, Rapid Hybridization, Pongify, Comparative Analysis, Tezzeret's Gambit, Mirrorpool, Scour from Existence, Dig Through Time, Treasure Cruise, All Is Dust, Mnemonic Wall, Archaeomancer, Izzet Chronarch also feel free to look at Niv's counterspell list.
Seal of the Guildpact, Artificer's Epiphany, Mystic Confluence, Repeal, Thirst for Knowledge, Meteor Blast, Arjun, the Shifting Flame, Barrin, Master Wizard, Broodbirth Viper, Dragon Mage, Etherium-Horn Sorcerer, Gigantoplasm, Illusory Ambusher, Lone Revenant, Warchief Giant, Rite of the Raging Storm, Thopter Spy Network, Thought Reflection
1 year ago
First of all, I can assure you that I'm not biased towards Rayne. I've never built a Rayne deck in my life and I probably never will when there are so many better mono-blue options. I may be biased towards the combo-control route for mono-blue over other strategies, but that's because I honestly think it's the best route to go with for that color identity. Swinging with creatures en masse is not mono-blue's strong suite and a voltron strategy is extremely slow in a multiplayer format, even with access to time walk effects. So yeah, I'm probably biased towards the combo-control strategy.
Second, perspective is important here. None of the commanders I mentioned in my post are better than Azami, Arcum, Teferi (either one), Jace, or even Talrand. Most of them are just straight-up bad cards and the only reason to run them as your commander is to hide a mono-blue combo-control deck behind a seemingly innocuous commander, which you probably won't even cast. The key is to look at how they compare to eachother and how the small advantages they provide benefit the deck's general strategy.
You have very good points about Uyo and Tomorrow. Copying Turnabout with Uyo didn't occur to me, and what also didn't occur to me was the possibility of stacking Tomorrow's and Lab Maniac's replacement effects or just bouncing Tomorrow. These did not occur to me at the time, and because of that you are probably right about them being as good or better than Rayne. This is largely due to my lack of inexperience with either of them and I apologize for my ignorance.
However, I disagree with you on most of your other points. I'll start with the board wipes argument. Take a look at the optimized lists linked for the tier 1 and tier 2 decks and look at how many board wipes are in each. Cyclonic Rift is in literally every blue deck (not hyperbole, it really is) and Toxic Deluge is in an overwhelming majority of the black decks. That's about it. For the decks that run both black and green, Pernicious Deed is usually in there, most red decks have Vandalblast if they don't have better options, and mono-green generally runs Bane of Progress although Gx typically doesn't. Those are closer to tech choices than anything else. It's true that most of those lists are for decks that gain a really significant effect from their commander (Zur, Teferi, Yisan, etc.), but any highly optimized list in those same colors is probably going to be similar in its construction. Based on this reasoning, it's logical to infer that the average optimized EDH deck runs maybe 3 to 4 board wipes. By comparison, most optimized EDH decks run about twice as much spot removal, making it more likely that your stuff will be targeted. The only real exception to this are mono-red decks who have to run a lot of board wipes, but that's mostly because mono-red is just so bad at tutoring that they need to run as many redundant effects as possible. Additionally, board wipes aren't cast unless the board state is really problematic. Your commander is a 1/1 with a situational ability and since you're mono-blue combo-control you're probably running less than 10 creatures in your deck, so if your opponents do board wipe, it's probably not because of you. And since you're blue, there's also the trivial argument of "just counter it". I was reluctant to bring this up because it's both a cop-out argument and doesn't work on Supreme Verdict, but that doesn't mean it's not true.
You also say that permanents won't be targeted until they're an issue, which is true, but I feel like you're forgetting how many powerful permanents blue has access to. A lot of people aren't going to let Back to Basics, Rhystic Study, Mystic Remora, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Flip, or Consecrated Sphinx stay around for more than a turn or two. Heck, a lot of people will probably want to blow up your stronger mana rocks if you're accelerating too fast for their liking. So really it's not that uncommon for your permanents to be targeted.
Speaking of mana acceleration, I really, really want to know what kind of games you're playing where you can "get up to 15 mana easily" without being interrupted by MLD or stax effects. I run a ton of ramp in both my competitive and non-competitive EDH decks, and, infinites aside, I have never gotten that much mana, nor have I ever seen anyone get that much mana. Other than High Tide, I can see no way to reasonably do this. Even with High Tide, you need to have a lot of other mana at your disposal. And even if it was as easy to get to high amounts of mana as you say it is, why would you want to do anything besides immediately win the game at that point? I'd much rather play Enter the Infinite or Omniscience (or both) than Jin-Gitaxias if I get to that much mana.
Speaking of Jin-Gitaxias, let's talk about him. You seem to think I am underselling his strengths even though the first thing I said was that his effect was more powerful than anything else that any other mono-blue commander in tier 4 could do. Let me be more clear about Jin-Gitaxias and his strengths and weaknesses then. Jin-Gitaxias is the best creature to cheat into play in EDH bar none. However, because he costs 10 mana, you need to construct your deck around him if you want to actually cast him from the command zone. Because of this, you'll need to run a ton of mana acceleration which takes up a lot of card slots, and since he's in your command zone for all your opponents to see, they probably won't let you get to 10 mana if they can help it and will either blow up your acceleration or just win before you. Because of Command Beacon, cheating him into play with Show and Tell (or Quicksilver Amulet or Braids or whatever) is viable, but chances are your opponents are going to do whatever they can to stop it. In the example you stated, the card economy for Rayne seems kind of similar to what Jin-Gitaxias gives you proportional to their mana costs, with the only difference being that Rayne gives you that advantage slowly over several turns where as Jin-Gitaxias is immediate. You're right about Jin-Gitaxias having an extremely powerful effect though. If he cost 7 mana he would be tier 2 at least. If he cost 8 mana he would be a solid tier 3. If he cost 9 mana he would be at the top of tier 4, borderline tier 3. But since he costs 10, he's stuck in the middle of tier 4.
Now let's talk about the last general you mentioned explicitly, Ertai. First of all, I think you misinterpreted what I said about him. I didn't say that Ertai needed card advantage to function and that he was inferior to Rayne because he lacked it (I did say that about Hisoka, but anyway). What I said was that having a draw engine (Rayne) is better than having a way to counter spells (Ertai), and I stand by that statement. Also, I could have easily turned your argument against you nearly word for word: "She's blue. She has counterspells. there are more important things to do, like actually winning the game." I didn't do that because a) it's childish to do so and b) they both have access to countermagic and card draw, so the questions simply becomes which is better to have. Rather than countering that eldrazi (which won't prevent cast triggers btw), I would rather have a commander that lets me draw into my own win condition or threat or is a big threat on their own. Neither Ertai nor Rayne is a big threat, but Rayne can at least draw me into threats, which is more proactive. I guess ultimately it comes down to what type of deck you'd want to play, proactive or reactive. Personally I think proactive is better in a multiplayer setting, but that's likely just a product of my own playstyle.
As far as not explaining myself goes, I concede that I did slack off on a lot of the descriptions (seriously though, why aren't Lorthos and Tromokratis tier 5?). I spent the first paragraph talking about why Rayne is good, so I felt like I didn't need to repeat myself every single time. If I did that, most of the descriptions would be "X is good at Y but costs too much/is not well suited to multiplayer/doesn't have a lot of support in blue, and therefore Rayne is better because she costs 3 mana and draws cards." That's pretty much what my analysis of each general was anyway only without the last 8 words. I suppose I should elaborate on what I meant for each of the commanders that I said was "low impact" or something similar or just didn't write a whole lot on (except Lorthos and Tromokratis, I don't have anything more to say about them).
- Alhammarret, High Arbiter - Unlike most of the other commanders on this list, his effect is symmetrical, which is good in a multiplayer setting. However, since it can only target cards that are currently in your opponents' hands, there are ways to get around it (Brainstorm, Scroll Rack) and it doesn't necessarily hit your opponent's win condition. This makes it a relatively weak effect, and the fact that it costs 7 mana makes it even less desirable.
- Barrin, Master Wizard - Bouncing a creature on command can be good, but the fact that you have to sac a permanent in order to do so will usually leave you at a card disadvantage or, at best, only a temporary advantage. There's also the fact that a lot of EDH decks don't rely heavily on their creatures, making his ability sometimes completely irrelevant. The only real draw of Barrin, like I said before, is the infinite he has with Palinchron+Genesis Chamber. He has very little utility outside of this combo because of the disadvantages I mentioned before.
- Empress Galina - 5 mana to cast and then you need to either wait a turn or have Lightning Greaves in play and then pay 2 more mana to steal a legendary permanent. Stealing is a powerful effect, but if you can't win the game with what you've stolen then the impact is severely lessened. I mentioned stealing Gaea's Cradle before, but a much more efficient and immediate solution to Cradle is Strip Mine, which costs 0 mana and can take care of Cradle without any other cards in play. Only being able to steal legendary permanents is also quite narrow, even in a format where players are almost always guaranteed to have at least one legendary creature.
- Hisoka, Minamo Sensei - Hisoka is like a worse version of Ertai. He can counter stuff but he almost always puts you at a card disadvantage in order to do so. Even in blue, it's still difficult to continuously have enough cards in hand to answer all your opponents' threats. If something happens to your draw engine, you're in big trouble and will likely run out of gas. Compare this to Rayne, who is a draw engine (a very poor draw engine but a draw engine nonetheless) and you can see that Rayne has some good advantages over it.
- Kaho, Minamo Historian - Mana Severance combo is her best option and it's not a bad option by any means. However, it is fragile and if your opponents know what you are doing then you will be targeted down. Because you need to run so many lands for Mana Severance to work well, you have less room for things that would make your combo more resiliant (additional countermagic, etc.)
- Keiga, the Tide Star - Keiga is a lot like Galina - they both cost a lot of mana and they both steal things. However, because they are so similar they also both have similar weaknesses, namely that they both depend on your opponents having good things to steal and no way to prevent them from being stolen. Keiga is also notably vulnerable to Homeward Path, which many creature-based decks run. And additionally, if you can't win the game with what you've stolen, what's the point? Personally I'd rather cast Consecrated Sphinx when I have 6 mana since it's better than any other creature in EDH anyway.
- Lu Xun, Scholar General - Any card that can draw more cards is not a bad card, especially if it's an unblockable creature. The problem with Lu Xun is that he's just so slow. If you don't have Lightning Greaves, you need to cast him, wait a turn, and draw a card. Meanwhile, Rayne comes down earlier and can potentially draw more than one card per turn cycle. Unless you're going for a dedicated voltron deck, it should be pretty clear why Rayne is better.
- Vendilion Clique - This card is a staple in every other constructed format, so it's not immediately obvious why its effect is weak in multiplayer, but it is. When you play Clique, you target one of your 3 opponents, Distress them, and then they draw a card. You have an additional permanent on board so you're not down on card advantage, even if that permanent is very small and doesn't do much while it's actually in play. The opponent you targeted lost a card from their hand, but potentially drew another bomb, so they may or may not be down on card advantage. Your other two opponents are either completely unaffected by not being targeted or are benefiting from you forcing your other opponent to "discard", so they are the ones who are truly benefiting from it. So it doesn't really provide you with any advantage and helps your other opponents more. Rayne, however, gives you advantages.
- Zhuge Jin, Wu Strategist - I'm trying really hard to say more than just "Sun Quan is better", I really am. I don't have much more to say beyond that though. Making things unblockable to swing in and kill your opponent is kind of a slow way to win the game in a multiplayer setting. The best card you could make unblockable with this would probably be Blightsteel Colossus, and that card already has trample and infect so anything that blocks it probably won't block it a second time.
Also, if you don't care whether or not Rayne moves up or down on the tier list, why did you respond to me in the first place? Do you have a problem with me or something?