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Bond of Agony
As an additional cost to play Bond of Agony, pay X life.
Each other player loses X life.
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Bond of Agony Discussion
1 month ago
Hey Maumoleseullevrai! I've taken a look and it really is more brutal ;). I'm going to elaborate a bit on both your comment here and from your deck, so it's a little big.
I agree with your consideration that lifegain is not a real priority with Licia. It definitely helps casting her and Licia herself hits like a truck but once she's in the field the lifegain is pretty moot so I do understand that perspective on it. I guess why people focused on small lifelinkers is to make the life more accessible. I initially started this as a life drain deck - make everyone lose more life than you and if possible, gain from it. But have moved more and more towards voltron, though some elements do remain.
Bond of Agony is one such element. I know that you have to pay mana and life to make everyone lose life, but as we have Licia.. our life loss doesn't matter, theirs does. I would much rather cast Bond of Agony for , have everyone at the table lose 5 life equally, and then swing with licia to get 10(+) life back, than putting that same 6 mana in Debt to the Deathless, which would have to be . Sure, it would get me 6 Life and would drain everyone 2, but the dedicated mana is a hurdle I considered too high. The difference between these two spells is the intention, do you want to gain life or do you want everyone to lose life? Of course if you have more than 6 mana to spend the difference becomes a lot bigger, but I like to consider 6 a soft cap and keep mana open for other spells, instant removal etc.
As for Aerial Responder and Vampire Nighthawk, if you consider it from a pure voltron then I agree that these are not that good, however, I put them in for three reasons. They're cheap at 3CMC for the power and effects they give, They can block or attack when Licia is not in the field or is tapped, and the keywords become game-breaking, absolutely insane when I play Odric, Lunarch Marshal. Flying, Vigilance, Deathtouch, First Strike, Lifelink Licia, Sanguine Tribune? hell yes! Don't forget Odric gives these effects to all your creatures eh? so those rather small and meaningless creatures suddenly evolve into world-oblitherating killing machines that beat face for breakfast.
My concerns with going pure voltron is that I usually play in a group with 3 sometimes 4 other players. If I get too strong (or if I forget to get the next round of drinks or really any reason bleh), they will definitely focus me down. I've seen the same with my Saskia deck EDH Saskia's Warband, and I really don't want a repeat of that as I had to retire it rather early. Especially lifegain is something they can't cope with, if you play the effect once they'll assume you have more, so you can afford to take more hits. This is what I have to keep in mind when I build my decks, and that is also one of the reasons I haven't yet gone pure voltron. It's absolutely possible to swing Licia in turn 4/5 for 20/20 lifelink double strike, but if I were to do so, it would be my first and last attack in that game.
Licia is exciting! But I think putting her in one specific corner, whether it be lifegain matters or pure voltron, is a bit of a waste. She's a general, so plan ahead and use everything you can to come out victorious.
1 month ago
Hey! After playing with this commander, I discovered that it is a pure Voltron commander, and that lifegain is good when it allows you to play Licia faster. Cards like Vampire Nighthawk are not that good actually (well it depends how you want to play your deck).
You can take a look at my deck here for ideas : Brutal Voltron Licia, Sanguine Tribune
It's cool to see someone else play a Licia deck!
2 months ago
-No Fun Allowed:
Bond of Agony is a card I have a love/hate relationship with. I also included it in an extortion deck I made (Modern) and ended up taking it out. The reason I took it out is because it's very much a "no fun allowed card." If you draw it in your opening hand you can end the game turn 1. Obviously it'd be a draw but if play Scoured Barrens as your land turn 1, and then play Bond of Agony turn 2, you autowin and the game never even started. Worse, there's not really a way anyone can deal with that type of move that early so it gives everyone at the table a feelsbadman.
I'd say something like Felidar Guardian (a card that by its nature is cheesy as hell in EDH since you START at 40 life) is cheesy, though not NEARLY as obnoxious as Bond of Agony because, though it's a "you win" card, you have to wait a full turn before the victory, allowing opponents the opportunity to wipe it off the board or decrease your life total under 40 before it's your turn again. Meanwhile, Bond of Agony is a 1 CMC victory with far less opportunity to deal with it short of a counterspell or maybe a Lightning Bolt to ensure that you can't wipe the table in one shot ( Lightning Bolt and other small burn spells are very uncommon in EDH.)
Feel free to keep it in your deck. Combos are a normal part of the game. However, while combos can often leave people feeling frustrated at how quickly they ended the game, they usually feel better knowing that the combo isn't that easy to pull off (see Duskmantle Guildmage + Mindcrank infinite combo). Just keep in mind that MTG, especially commander style play, is political in nature. If you make your playgroup hate your deck, they might not want to play with it (or possibly YOU) at all. I'm actually considering toning down my Nekbeard deck because its combos can be really ruthless. (e.g. turn 4 I made someone discard their hand, draw 7 cards, then discard a card for each card they drew. In essence, they discarded 7, drew 7 to replace them, then discarded those leaving them with 0 hand on turn 4. Not fun for them at all.)
At the end of the day, you want to win, but you also don't want to create an atmosphere where you win at the cost of other people's fun. "Pillowfort" decks are really unpopular because they slow down the game SO much. "Pure chaos" decks are also unpopular among certain playgroups because they toss the game into...well, chaos. It all depends on your playgroup! Ours is super lax and I haven't had any of my decks/cards "banned" yet for being obnoxious but I always keep it in mind when building.
On the other hand, if I plan on playing at a card shop or something I don't give a fuck. So yeah...that's my long-winded rant on unofficial EDH rules haha.
Your deck currently has 0 artifacts. You definitely want to include some. Things like Orzhov Signet, Commander's Sphere, Darksteel Ingot are great for mana ramp. Sol Ring is a cornerstone of EDH but it's definitely too expensive for our budget games. If you like EDH, though you'll want to grab one at some point. Other artifacts that would be good in this deck since you're going the lifegain route Chalice of Life Flip + Aetherflux Reservoir are both really strong. I'm using the latter in my deck as well but I'd be careful about putting it on the board too early since it makes you a giant target. Bontu's Monument might be good for additional ramp and damage while Oketra's Monument might be good for both ramp and chump blockers (plus additional sac outlets if you use some creatures such as Cliffhaven Vampire )
The fact that this doesn't currently include Gray Merchant of Asphodel is absurd. You make me sick. You don't deserve to play black or any form of it. GET OUT. No but seriously put him in or I'm dropkicking you in the head. Cliffhaven Vampire Blood Artist (pricey but a good add as your budget goes up), Defiant Bloodlord, Zulaport Cutthroat etc can be absurd source of damage when mixed with a card like Killing Wave depending on board state.
Another strong card for a multiplayer game like this is Exsanguinate. It can really get you out of sticky situations and alternatively serve as a wincon.
Finally, EDH gets crazy very fast, so board wipes are important and you want at least a few of them to make sure you can hit the reset button if things start getting out of hand. There are budget options out there. In a lifegain deck like this, I like Fumigate but I forget what it's price is.
EDHREC is a wonderful site that can compiles a list of the most commonly used cards for specific commanders. It's a data crawler so it collects data from Tappedout and other deck building sites for it's information and it constantly updates (it already includes Hour of Devastation cards etc).
Hope this helps!
2 months ago
My first thought was Wall of Limbs, but I see it in the maybe-board.
Trespasser's Curse seems like fun.
If you need to cut costs to get stuff in Scholar of Athreos might be a cheap substitute for something.
Bond of Agony maybe?
Blood Tribute is you have enough Vamps.
Mortify is quite versatile.
Those are my thoughts.
3 months ago
Nice deck idea. Unfortunately, I think you might not understand how Bond of Agony works. In addition to paying X life, you have to pay X mana to cast it. So to win on turn one, you'd theoretically have to cast a spell to gain life, then pay 21 mana and lose 20 life to make your opponent lose 20 life.
Sorry to rain on your parade. I'm painfully familiar with this mistake because I've made it myself.
3 months ago
3 months ago
Battlegrace Angel possibly not good enough
Bloodbond Vampire for a back up karlov. this is iffy
Chant of Vitu-Ghazi, remember to block then tap for convoke.
Contemplation, combo off!
Honor the Fallen - on theme graveyard hate that's also a combat trick
Mastery of the Unseen this needs a lot of mana to be great, but maybe you'll get some good use out of it. It's kinda iffy though
Resplendent Mentor this could be an all star if you go heavy white
Royal Herbalist combat tricks for karlov
Exsanguinate is good
Use all the life you gain for benefits, like card draw! Ambition's Cost, Ancient Craving, Graveborn Muse, Night's Whisper, Ob Nixilis Reignited, Phyrexian Arena, Read the Bones, Dark Tutelage, Underworld Connections
or recursion Phyrexian Reclamation
Some possible cuts
Sacred Cat dosen't seem strong enough for commander
Orzhov Charm What mode are you adding this for?