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Cabal Ritual Discussion
4 days ago
She's currently in the batters box of decks I have started buying cards for even though I haven't decided on a final design.
First question. What is your opinion of running one-off ramp like Mana Geyser and Cabal Ritual to get you to the point where you can actually cast Insurrection ? It seems like the most Game Over card in the deck but I'd imagine actually getting to the point of casting it doesn't happen too often.
Second. I'm really iffy about relying on combat damage to win the game. Maybe it's just the meta I'm running in but unless Craterhoof of Triumph of the Hordes is involved I don't often see games ending because 3 people had their life total reduced to zero. I guess what I'm asking is, what is the finishing power of the deck? Would cards like Hatred or Grafted Exoskeleton possibly be good includes?
Third. How would the deck perform in a creature light meta? Tribal is the exception and not the rule around these parts and there are a lot of games I'll be playing against 2 or maybe even three decks that run below 20 creatures. In a lot of cases less.
Fourth: What would you think about shifting the ramp from artifacts heavy to mana dork heavy? My thinking here is that more bodies would help push the aggro once you've sufficiently ramped and could be sacced to an Altar for casting big spells. It would also enable running a bunch of mass artifact hate to attack other people's ramp.
Fifth: This sort of ties into the last one. How hard is it to get sufficient amounts of the colours you need? Because I'd like to go much heavier on basics and run non-basic hate like Bad Moon Ruination Magus of the Moon and Back to Basics . It's frowned on in some circles (not mine, but some) to go after lands but this strikes me as the perfect deck to mess with people's mana supply once you have a nice board state going.
dingusdingo on Flex
4 days ago
It is true that there are infinite "what ifs" in a game as open as Magic, but we know that there are certain cards we can expect to see in the most competitive formats. If we look at what is currently being run and why its effective, we can better prepare our decks to be more resilient against them.
Your deck tries to combo out by ramping mana, drawing cards, and playing into a win-con. There are going to be certain styles of decks that are more prone to shutting you off, which is why I'm bringing up these strategies in particular. Since your combo window is turns 4-6, you need to be worried about two things in cEDH. The first is people comboing out faster than you. We see this in decks such as Gitrog, Godo Helm, or even Grenzo. When these decks are consistently busting their combo turn 2-3, you need to answer or lose. Relying on other players to put a stop to a win attempt will prove unreliable, which is why its so important that you slot removal. Your turn 4/5/6 answer does no good when the game is over by turn 2/3. If you have no way to turn off their win, you are asking them to goldfish to a victory on you.
The second type of decks that will prove problematic for a turn 4-6 combo deck is stax, because their deck is designed to deprive you of resources and push your combo window so far back that you are unable to combo before they have won. They drop very fast and efficient heavy mana rocks, and then put down tax effects to make you unable to play. This specific style of deck can be hard for your build because they can lock you out of playing your draw spells, they can steal your draws, or simply prevent your draws altogether.
Let me give an example to show you what I mean.
Stax Example Show
You take your second turn, you play another land, and are unable to play due to Trinisphere
Your opponent takes their second turn, playing a fetchland into Underground Sea . Tap tomb to make , untapping Grim Monolith with Voltaic Key , leaving . Tap Monolith up to , use sea and opal to get to . Drop Tangle Wire then Sphere of Resistance
You take your third turn. You tap your two lands to Tanglewire, play a third land, and are still unable to play due to Trinisphere .
Your opponents third turn, they drop Tangle wire to 3 before tapping tanglewire sphere and ancient tomb. They drop any land, use it for voltaic key to Grim Monolith, before using monolith for and opal for / for Timetwister / Wheel of Fortune / Windfall , gaining them 7 shiny new cards while making you lose your mulligan card quality opening hand. They pass, knowing you still can't play anything
Your fourth turn, you have to tap all 3 untapped lands to Tangle Wire , you play a land, and pass. You have basically been timewalked 3 turns in a row.
Your opponent starts their fourth turn, dropping Tangle wire to 2 before tapping wire and sphere of resistance to Tangle wire. They are now free to drop more stax pieces ( Nether Void Winter Orb Static Orb Thorn of Amethyst Lodestone Golem Stasis ), play whatever commander/s they run, tutor up very cheap and cost effective winning combos, or establish a game-winning board presence that leads to their game winning combos.
Your fifth turn starts, you tap two lands to Tangle Wire , and if you play a fifth land. You have 3 untapped, so you might be able to play a spell assuming they haven't dropped anymore stax pieces and aren't holding any counterspells. Note that you can only play a 1 or 2 cmc spell, Sphere of Resistance is out, so your commander is still a no-go, and Trinisphere ensures you are only getting 1 spell max here no matter what. Its more likely than not with your current build you won't be able to play any spells here at all because your average CMC is so high. You've basically been time walked 4 turns in a row.
Stax is a very common archetype in the competitive scene, which is why its so important that you try to stax-proof your deck. It looks to me as if stax can cause serious problems for you.
On top of taxing stax, there's another type that may shut your deck off. Heavy discard. An early Sire Of Insanity can hose your whole game, while Mindslicer can impact your card advantage enough to cause a loss. Multiple discard effects like Necrogen Mists Bottomless Pit Oppression landing by turn 2 will make your build extremely sad (Turn 1 Dark Ritual Cabal Ritual Mana Crypt + any producing land and drop two discard enchantments). Chains of Mephistopheles turns off all your big draws, so does Alms Collector or Notion Thief
Another set of cards I would recommend taking a peek at is recursion. It can help against discard effects that would otherwise shut you off, or serve as a 2nd/3rd/4th copy of your draw spell. Wildest Dreams would work surprisingly well in your deck, the mana aspect is negligible and lets you reuse multiple big draw spells from your graveyard, as well as recover from wipes. Nostalgic Dreams is arguably worse with the additional cost, but can translate extra basics tutored by your 3 cmc ramp spells into more draws. Regrowth is also fantastic.
I hope you don't mind the close inspection! I really enjoy your build, I'm just curious to know if you run into these cards and how you interact with them. Almost all the stax cards I linked are included in tournament proven cEDH lists with various commanders, so they're cards that are in the meta and will be played.
1 month ago
Considering that your curve is a bit on the higher side, you can cut away the less efficient zombies and run a bit of artifact ramp as well as either more card draw or reanimation tech.
Some cards you can consider for reanimation are:
- Living Death
- Animate Dead
- Dance of the Dead
- Oversold Cemetery
- Patriarch's Bidding
- Wake the Dead
- Dawn of the Dead
- Debtors' Knell
Some ramp or card draw you can consider:
- Fellwar Stone
- Orzhov Signet
- Dimir Signet
- Azorius Signet
- Talisman of Dominance
- Talisman of Progress
- Mind Stone
- Dark Ritual
- Cabal Ritual
- Mystic Remora
- Rhystic Study
- Phyrexian Arena
Hope that helps!
1 month ago
I think there's at least a few auto includes youre missing here
1. Toxic Deluge
2. Fire Covenant
3. Blood Moon
4. Magus of the Moon
4. Pyroblast Functional clone of Red Elemental Blast and a better version of some of your other red counter spells
5. Gamble This downside isn't always all downside because of the GY focus of deck
Should Strongly Consider
1. Dark Confidant You have very low avg CMC so this will never be a problem
2. Demonic Consultation
4. Praetor's Grasp
5. Imperial Seal
6. Blood Artist Has a lot of synergy with your combos
7. Rakdos Signet
8. Talisman of Indulgence
9. Cabal Ritual
10. Cursed Totem
1. Rolling Earthquake
2. Dark Petition
3. Azra Oddsmaker
5. Infernal Darkness
7. Anger of the Gods
8. By Force
9. Animate Dead
10. Phyrexian Arena
11. Mindblade Render
1 month ago
Yo DavePeachtree there are plenty of ways to go infinite mana in dimir colors, i'll list a couple for ya.
- Isochron Scepter / Dramatic Reversal - Essentially when you have enough mana rocks producing mana you will be able to make infinite copies of Dramatic Reversal which leads into infinite mana. If you have color mana within those rocks, you can go infinite colored mana.
- Rings of Brighthearth / Basalt Monolith - Infinite colorless mana, requires mana before you can start to copy the untap effect of Basalt Monolith.
- Rings of Brighthearth + Cabal Coffers + Deserted Temple - Requires 6 Swamps to start netting mana, copy the untap effect of Deserted Temple to go infinite black mana.
- Grim Monolith / Basalt Monolith + Power Artifact - Infinite Colorless Mana.
- Grand Architect / Pili-Pala - Infinite Blue Mana.
- Dark Ritual / Cabal Ritual + Isochron Scepter + Paradox Engine - Infinite Black Mana.
- Cloudstone Curio + Cloud of Faeries / Peregrine Drake / Palinchron / Great Whale + Land that taps for ~2 mana - Infinite Mana.
That's just a small list from the top of my head but there are plenty of infinite mana combos that synergizes with each other. Hope that helps!
2 months ago
@Leptys Currently there are very few deterministic Gitrog loops without an Eldrazi titan. I've attempted this combo time and time again, and though it works, I'm hesitant to try it in a non-goldfish environment, so please relay your thoughts. Req's: Gaea's Blessing , Dakmor Salvage , Noxious Revival , Chrome Mox + 1 spare green card / Elvish Spirit Guide , 7 other nonland cards, Lion's Eye Diamond , Lotus Petal , Necropotence , Nature's Claim , Green Sun's Zenith , Dark Ritual , Cabal Ritual , Mana Crypt , Chains of Mephistopheles , Mox Diamond , Ad Nauseam , Crop Rotation , 1 payoff spell (more on that later).
1: Achieve library in hand, 0 grave, 0 library via usual discard dakmor loop until you hit GB ( Gaea's Blessing ); go to step 2
2: After shuffling, resolve draws until you have 1 card left in library. Discard GB, cast NR ( Noxious Revival ) to put GB on top of your 1-card library. Dakmor these to get a shuffle trigger, hold priority; go to step 3
3a: if you gained an additional draw trigger from the last card being a land: discard nonlands from your hand equal to the number of draw triggers on the stack -2. Resolve GB shuffle and draw triggers; go to step 4
3b: if you dredged a non-land to put the shuffle trigger on the stack, discard nonlands from your hand equal to the number of draw triggers on the stack -3. Resolve GB shuffle & draw triggers; go to step 4
4: (this is where it gets hairy).
Cast Chrome Mox (or exile Elvish Spirit Guide ), exiling any excess card ( Nimble Mongoose / Colossal Dreadmaw ); Discard 3 more nonlands; Cast gaea's blessing to shuffle the discarded cards in; Cast GSZ ( Green Sun's Zenith ) for 0; NR your GB; Chain LP ( Lotus Petal ) into DR ( Dark Ritual ), into CR ( Cabal Ritual ); Discard 4 nonlands;
Play LED; Dredge dakmor for a GB shuffle - hold priority and pop LED (for green) - dredge again (you won't net draw triggers as you only have nonlands in library); resolve GB; go to step 5:
Recap! So far you've binned some cards, made some mana & drawn the same cards. You're at ground 0, with some floating G&B mana. But this is just the setup for the real combo.
5: Cast Necropotence . Discard & exile from your hand all unnecessary nonland cards (like Storm Crow or extra discard outlets etc) until you have 1 land in your hand MORE than the nonland count. Then NC ( Nature's Claim ) your necropotence; go to step 6
6: Cast GSZ for 0; discard GB; NR your GB; Play&pop LP for G; Play&pop LED for GGG - dredge dakmor; use normal dakmor loop to refill hand, empty your library & yard. You SHOULD now be floating BB,GGGG; go to step 7
7: Chain the following: LED, LP, MC ( Mana Crypt ); NC your MC; GB your NC into your library; cast CoM ( Chains of Mephistopheles ); cast GSZ; cast MD ( Mox Diamond ) & float G; hold priority over the draw trigger (from the discarded land to MD) and discard lands equal to one fewer than the number of cards in your library & yard; hold priority - NR your GB; dredge dakmor; hold priority over the GB shuffle & pop LP for G, cast DR, cast CB, resolve GB shuffle; go to step 8
RECAP: Your library should now be: GB, DR, CR, NC, MD, LP, GSZ, NR, MC and a bunch of lands.
8: cast ad naus' to put these cards in hand; go to step 9
9: discard GB, NR your GB, discard all lands in hand; cast entomb - hold priority; NC your CoM - hold priority; cast DR, CR; proceed to step 10 10: Cast a payoff spell (like Assassin's Trophy , Beast Within , Ebony Charm . Hell, for all I care - cast a Death of a Thousand Stings at this point); proceed to step 11
11: cast Crop Rotation - hold priority over the draw trigger, pop LED for GGG. Mill 1 from crop rotation draw (with CoM in play) - milling GB. Resolve shuffle, tutor up Twilight Mire from Crop Rotation - filter B into GG; resolve NC on CoM; resolve entomb to put GB in the yard, shuffle; resolve all draw triggers - emptying your library; go to step 7 to continue looping.
This section is shortcut-able in tournament play - as you now have a definitive card count during EACH iteration of this loop & you can ensure that you always end up with the same card count in library, hand, graveyard.
2 months ago
Thanks again for a lot of good suggestions. I recently pulled a Gamblefrom an UMA pack, so I'll definietly be trying it. The rituals are also probably very good now that I run Kess. I played around with Cabal Ritual in Jeleva but I never really reached Treshhold when I actually needed the mana
I also love all the cantrips like Ponder, Preordain, and Gitaxian Probe. The sellers I've bought for just never haven't really had them at anything less than way too much when I've looked. But I agree that they're all pretty much staples in Kess.
Do you have any suggestions for cards you feel like might not fit in my list? :)
2 months ago
Kess is super fun. There is a lot of cards you do and her ability to reuse them from the yard just makes it so much better. Here are some cards off the top of my head that you can consider using.
- Dark Ritual
- Cabal Ritual
- Bonus Round
- Rhystic Study
- Mission Briefing
- Gitaxian Probe
- Faithless Looting
You can also take a look at my Kess deck if you want some ideas as well!
Cabal Ritual occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.03%
U/B/R (Grixis): 0.55%