|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|From the Vault: Lore (V16)||Mythic Rare|
|Vintage Masters (VMA)||Common|
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Cabal Ritual Discussion
4 days ago
Might be worth it to play Cabal Ritual, Unearth, Duress, and/or Altar's Reap/Costly Plunder for card draw or Devour Flesh for life and avoiding Echoing Truth issues. I've also seen the suggestion of Peat Bog which is great for the mono-color of this deck but it could be almost as good to just play a bounce land so that you don't lose it after two uses and splash a color with the slight disadvantage that it might be harder [but not much harder] to ensure you always have those two blacks for rats or gary.
4 days ago
turn one Dark Ritual rat, Dark Ritual or Cabal Ritual turn two rat, turn 3 Unearth previously killed rat, new rat, turn 4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel, gain 10 life, opponent takes 10. I think this game is over. I also shouldn't forget Duress is possible on turn one.
4 days ago
Unearth, Cabal Ritual, Gray Merchant of Asphodel, and Chainer's Edict will make this deck run. You can also play Unearth, the best kill cards, and crypt rat. You probably want to go a bit light on other cards because your relentless ones are key but this deck is a lot scarier than folks are thinking.
1 week ago
For a combo deck, I'd recommend to go all-in on the combo, so including cheap tutors like Shred Memory is helpful, because it tutors all of the combo pieces (the actual effect is negligible). Cabal Ritual is another card that helps ramp into your combo so you can play it sooner.
For cuts I'd recommend Murder and Diabolic Tutor for Cabal Ritual and Shred Memory. The former two are rather inefficient at what you want to do. Wight of Precinct Six and Dimir Machinations could also be cut for draw power (Wight is win-moar, because you're already milling out your opponent with this combo).
Hope this helps!
3 weeks ago
I've got more time now so here are my thoughts. First and foremost, Kess, at it's best, is often the head of a dedicated Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker combo deck. If you're playing vs pretty decent players who understand a thing or two about the format and are ok playing at a pretty high level of power, this isn't something to worry about. On the other hand, if you're just playing at your local shop and people frown on combos, especially fast and resilient ones in decks with basically no other win cons, you might not want to go extra turns and some control stuff. After all, you really don't want to sever relationships or drop a ton of money into a deck only to find out people at your store plan to shank you in the parking lot.
Anyway, I'm going to assume your group is ok with high levels of power an will be pitching Kess to you as a dedicated fast combo general. When I say that, I mean as a general who aims to win very quickly through some minor disruption but will often struggle vs groups that pack tons of efficient and early hate. The reason Kess is such a great general is because the Kiki Jiki combo is incredibly resilient. As long as your yard is open to you, you can push the combo live from both your hand and from your yard. This opens up a ton of different lines of play for you and makes it incredibly difficult for your opponents to tell how they should react to you.
Still, because you're on budget, you're going to have to build a little bit on the slower side. I recommend going more control heavy than the average Kess list. For a great example of a kess deck, check out this list..
As for your combo package, limit it to just this:
Keep in mind that with kiki and deceiver in the yard, just using Phyrexian Delver is good enough to combo for the win.
For your deck, you want about 10 to 14 sources of ramp. Unlike in most decks, rituals like Cabal Ritual and Dark Ritual are fine, but I wouldn't go beyond those two. The rest of your ramp needs to be cheap and preferably untapped. The signets and Talismans are awesome, Fellwar Stone, Everflowing Chalice, Mind Stone, etc. I also really like Nightscape Familiar.
Your best bets for reanimation are;
Finally, since you're on a reanimate plan anyway, it pay to have like one really good fatty that you can bring out. I like Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur. In my group, I've stolen away so many games by flashing in Notion Thief, going to my turn, reanimating Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, and casting Wheel of Fortune.
Overall, kess is a blast to play. The games tend to be short because you either assemble the combo fast or die. Every game feels like a mad rush to assemble a contraction through some ridiculous means and since you have so many different lines of play and avenues to push for the win, the deck never gets old for me.
BTW, the competitive meter on tappedout is a joke, don't trust it.
These are my general thoughts. Feel free to ask questions.
3 weeks ago
Just some general recommendations: shocklands, Dimir Signet, Counterspell, Reliquary Tower, Fact or Fiction, Search for Azcanta Flip, Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Chromatic Lantern, Swan Song, Toxic Deluge, Past in Flames
1 month ago
Ok thanks! Yeah we run a lot of rituals because we only have 34 lands that make mana. I took the Cabal Ritual into the wish board for games when We'r mana screwed and stuck at 4 so I can use it the turn after to cast most any card in the deck. The floor is much lower on Lion's Eye Diamond but the ceiling is ridiculous when combined with Yawgmoth's Will with rituals in the graveyard gets me big mana to hard cast Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and Triskelion. also brought that Necromancy into the wish board for stealing Mikaeus, the Unhallowed from an opposing self milling Meren of Clan Nel Toth deck OR taking pieces out of the Saffi and Friends combos.
Still need to find a place for Shriekmaw. suggestions anyone?
1 month ago
Happy to help you out AinsleyTheGod, so here are some ideas for you:
Both of the previous commenters have some good ideas, but before you start grabbing upgrades suggested, you probably want to answer the question of how competitive you are looking to be? If you're wanting a fun home-brew in a casual meta, then there really aren't any wrong answers. Playing cards that you find fun and entertaining is all good in that case, so adjust the deck to your personal preference/flavor. On the other hand, if you are specifically looking to become more competitive against all comers, then job number one needs to be to reduce your CMC curve significantly while increasing your turn speed to get Sheoldred into play ASAP.
Considering your commander's strengths are forced sacrifice and reanimation, your best bet is to build primarily around that synergy. To that end, there are a ton of creatures lower on the mana curve that will provide an upgrade in synergy as well. I would suggest the following that you don't currently have included in your deck: Viscera Seer, Zulaport Cutthroat, Fleshbag Marauder, Merciless Executioner, Stinkweed Imp, Ophiomancer, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, Su-Chi, Phyrexian Delver, Sidisi, Undead Vizier, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, Rune-Scarred Demon and Razaketh, the Foulblooded. Each has their own way in which they improve the overall synergy, with the higher CMC options providing significant benefits or board presence, which will almost always require your opponents to deal with them immediately, clearing an easier path for your commander as well.
In addition to creatures, you'll want to increase the number of cards that will fill your graveyard with select creatures, as well as increase the number of ways to reanimate them, and even sacrifice them, typically for your benefit, but also to your opponent's detriment. The following would be my initial suggestions based on those criteria: Entomb, Innocent Blood, Reanimate, Animate Dead, Exhume, Vampiric Rites, Buried Alive, Necromancy, Ashnod's Altar, Grave Pact and Dictate of Erebos. There are numerous other options to fill these criteria as well, but sticking with the lowest CMC options, these are among the best.
Also, black has great options for ramp, tutors and card draw, so accelerating the deck and finding what you need shouldn't be an issue. Among the best low CMC options for these purposes include: Dark Ritual, Bubbling Muck, Vampiric Tutor, Sensei's Divining Top, Expedition Map, Demonic Tutor, Cabal Ritual, Sign in Blood, Night's Whisper, Beseech the Queen, Phyrexian Arena, Necropotence and Diabolic Tutor.
Hopefully you find these suggestions helpful - obviously some of these options aren't necessarily budget friendly, but as you accumulate more of them, focusing on the most affordable first if necessary, the end result will be a significant improvement in consistency and performance from your deck. Best of luck with your deck brewing, and have fun with it.