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Cascade Bluffs Discussion
1 month ago
First off, I assume you're somewhat on a budget for your land base? Personally I don't like the tap lands like Izzet Guildgate or Highland Lake. Cascade Bluffs, Swiftwater Cliffs, and Wandering Fumarole would be much better choices. You could also consider cycle lands like the Deserts from Amonkhet.
There aren't a lot of cards that I'm super down on, but Arcane Denial is pretty bad. Same with Baral, Chief of Compliance. Counterspells aren't the best in commander, and you don't have enough for Baral to be worthwhile
Some other scattered thoughts:
Viral Drake isn't that synergistic and could probably make room for something else
Fabricate would be a good include to make your chain veil more consistent.
There's definitely more I could say, but this is enough of a text wall as it is.
2 months ago
Hey, I saw that you were looking for advice and there are a couple things that I could recommend. I'll go over a couple things, but I'll start off with the manabase since you said it was the thing you were looking to change most. Also, it's a bit long, but it should help you for what kind of a manabase makes a competitive one.
First off, there are several good replacements for duals, first and foremost being shocks, but since it looks like you already have those looks like you're already half way there.
Basically I would focus on removing any and all lands that come in tapped, because if you want your deck to be competitive, you need to be sure that every turn you take is as optimized as possible. A turn where you could be doing two manas worth of stuff you are only doing 1 manas worth of stuff which essentially means you are playing a turn behind. It's a bit of a simplistic way of explaining it, but that is the best explanation why without going into too much detail. Other lands I would highly recommend, firstly, are the pain lands. These are very effective replacements as well. ( Sulfurous Springs, Underground River and Shivan Reef ) find homes in many competitive decklists you will find. The filter lands are pretty good replacements as well, as they get you the colors you need with added fixing. They only issue is that the t1 plays they provide can be kind of awkward, but should only be really taken into consideration the faster and faster your deck is; In your case they should be a good fit though! They are Sunken Ruins, Graven Cairns and Cascade Bluffs. Also, it may seem weird, but adding every kind of fetch that can even get you one of your colors effectively gives you access to all the colors you could need! You could run all 9 fetches besides Windswept Heath, which seems like a pretty good deal to me, though if you have to pick and chose I would focus on the ones that give you your most important color (blue) first. This goes the extra mile in truly "optimizing" your mana base, and over the long run it thins your deck and makes it more consistent.
All in all, the changes I would make would look something like this -Canyon Slough, -Crumbling Necropolis, -Grixis Panorama, -Path of Ancestry, -Smoldering Marsh -Sunken Hollow, -Temple of Deceit, -Temple of Epiphany, -Temple of the False God
and do this
+Sulfurous Springs, +Underground River, +Shivan Reef, +Sunken Ruins, +Graven Cairns, +Cascade Bluffs, +Cephalid Coliseum, also these are pretty good, but the worst of the bunch I've recommended, +River of Tears, +Tainted Isle, +Tainted Peak. Additionally Ancient Tomb is amazing as well, so I would recommend that as a long term investment too. (plus it goes in every edh deck ever so it's non-exclusive!).
Apart from lands, there are a couple of things that I think you could use to increase the consistency of your deck and some of the combos that you seem to be going for. Going over enchantment's first, as there is a short list, I would consider taking them all out personally. Search for Azcanta Flip is a more value oriented card popular in decks that try to attain long term value and want games to go long. Storm isn't quite looking for this, and for that, I think it doesn't do enough for what 2 mana will grant you especially if you are looking to "speed up" the deck. Very often competitive decks can't afford to play things that don't do anything right away, so even though the card is great, it needs to fit a certain role in a deck. I also think that Jace's Sanctum also comes to the "too slow" argument as well, but I think that if you are looking at least for a semi-competitive option, this is fine to keep in. Also for Thousand-Year Storm I have seen some discussion floating around in the competitive community that it could work really well as a win con in a similar oriented style deck, but the huge argument is paying 6 mana for a spell that doesn't do anything, or win you the game right away. Regardless, I think for what your deck has going thousand-year storm seems like it could prove well if it is working well for you.
Otherwise, there are just a couple of cards such as Jaya Ballard, and Docent of Perfection Flip that really stuck out to me. Personally, I don't think that the amount of mana they are is really worth the investment, and I would rather play cards that help setup the win. To go off this, I noticed that you were playing Isochron Scepter, so why not replace those other cards and play Dramatic Reversal which is a near 2 card combo with the scepter? To utilize this combo you would need to play more things that tap to give you mana, but adding mana rocks will make your deck faster and I would recommend adding more anyways. In general this combo is low investment, high reward because none of the cards that you play to make the combo work arn't progressing you towards your endgame anyways. For the mana rocks you could add, I would highly consider cards such as Mox Opal, Mox Diamond, Mana Vault, Mana Crypt, Chrome Mox which are the high profile options, but for leaning more on a budget any of the signets are also highly viable (Izzet Signet, Dimir Signet, Rakdos Signet). In general this will increase the speed of your deck and make it more turbo charged. You won't find many competitive decks without these!
Lastly, I'd just like to briefly mention the best counterspells for competitive EDH. In general it is widely agreed upon that for combo decks in general, you want your counterspells to be as cheap and efficient as possible. Some of the most favored are Force of Will (i saw that you have that one), Pact of Negation, Flusterstorm, Delay, Mana Drain and Swan Song (also on the list). Secondarily, people do play Counterspell but it is often outclassed by the ones I mentioned prior. Also, there are other counterspells that people will play for more narrow purposes and should be played specifically for the meta you are expecting to play in. These are Negate, Mental Misstep, Spell Pierce(only for decks looking to win t2-t3 really),Arcane Denial, Remand etc... (here's a useful link if you want to know more: https://www.reddit.com/r/CompetitiveEDH/comments/5k0tef/a_lexicon_of_cedh_counterspells_and_some/ )
In general I would cut the counters that are 3+ mana, because there are just better options out there if you go looking, and hopefully that page can give you some good insight for what counterspells are the right choice for you. And that will about wrap things up for me without going in too deep.
Yeah, so I could go over every card piece by piece, but that would probably be an entire article on it's own. It really because what makes a deck "competitive" is kind of an ambiguous term in the grand scheme of things. I'm not 100% sure every recommendation I make fits what you are looking for, so it's hard to analyze what cards are truly good/bad without sitting down and discussing it directly. Also, since there are legitimately several different version of a deck that 1 commander could hold, I think I'll just leave you with some resources that can further your cEDHing. Here are some of the competitive edh resources that I like to visit, and hopefully they can serve you well too!
also here is my Kess storm decklist if you want to take a look!: https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/nekusar-we-legacy-storm-now-cedh/
It's always good to have another person in the community, so I'm glad that your interest has been peaked! Hope to see you around and feel free to message me if you have any other questions!
2 months ago
Manabase tinkerer to the rescue! Hiya!
First off, I love this deck, Izzet is always one of those combinations that threw me off yet impressed me. To start, Fast Lands! Kaladesh gave us Scars' Amazing fast lands in enemy colors, so pick up a few Spirebluff Canals before they get any more expensive (Darkslick Shores was 40$ last time I checked). Cascade Bluffs is fairly cheap atm, but I don't blame you if you wait on buying it, it's a bit expensive. Wait till Sulfur Falls rotates out, you'll be grateful to have one of them. Keep in mind pre-release versions of it are going for the MSRP of the non-foils. Steam Vents may or may not get cheaper, so make sure you have your eyes on it. Izzet suffers a lot in regards to the price of lands, and the available options, but I hope I could still be of some help!
2 months ago
Flagstones of Trokair
Maze of Ith
Minamo, School at Water's Edge
Oboro, Palace in the Clouds
Temple of the False God
1x Academy Ruins
1x Cascade Bluffs
1x Command Tower
1x Eiganjo Castle
1x Flagstones of Trokair
1x Halimar Depths
1x Hallowed Fountain
1x Maze of Ith
1x Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1x Mystic Gate
1x New Benalia
1x Oboro, Palace in the Clouds
1x Rogue's Passage
1x Rugged Prairie
1x Temple of the False God
3 months ago
Changes so far:
+1 Sunken Ruins
-3 Mana Leak
+3 Fatal Push
-1 Mana Leak
7 months ago
Let me redo the final bit:
In all, there are my drops, then I'll say what to run instead:
7 months ago
I want to go over your land base, because in the deck, it seems the most improvable (is that a word, I mean most able to be improved upon if it isn't!)
You run 30 land, which is fine, but the lands you run seem a bit strange to me:
1x Ancient Ziggurat - All colors, untapped, only works for creatures, being useless for 18 cards.
1x Bloodstained Mire - Fetchland
1x Breeding Pool - Shockland
1x Cascade Bluffs - Filter, only works for two colors, not fetchable.
1x Cavern of Souls - Five color fixer, untapped, stops counters, and works for colorless on other creatures/spells.
1x City of Brass - Untapped five color fixer, not fetchable.
1x Command Tower - Untapped five color fixer, not fetchable.
1x Exotic Orchard - Untapped fixer for some colors, not reliable, not fetchable.
1x Flooded Grove - Fixer for only two colors, not fetchable.
2x Forest - Basic, fetchable, untapped.
1x Gaea's Cradle - Only one color, untapped, taps for commonly multiple mana, not fetchable.
1x Grove of the Burnwillows - Untapped two color fixer, not fetchable. Not filter.
3x Island - Basic, untapped, fetchable.
1x Karplusan Forest - Pain land, untapped two color fixer. Not fetchable.
1x Mana Confluence - Untapped five color fixer. Not fetchable.
1x Reflecting Pool - Not fetchable, and not always reliable, can be a five color fixer, untapped.
1x Scalding Tarn - Fetchland
1x Shivan Reef - Pain land, two color fixer, not fetchable.
1x Steam Vents - Shockland
1x Stomping Ground - Shockland
1x Taiga - OG Dual.
1x Thran Quarry - Not always reliable, five color fixer, untapped, not fetchable.
1x Tropical Island - OG Dual.
1x Volcanic Island - OG Dual.
1x Windswept Heath - Fetchland.
1x Wooded Foothills - Fetchland.
1x Yavimaya Coast - Two color fixer, painland, not fetchable.
I'll order these out below, and say which ones I like or don't and give reasons.
Breeding Pool - Shocklands are very good in conjunction with the fetches, so I am glad you run all of them, with the OG duals.
Forest (2x) - I'd drop one, more room for mana fixing, such as the fetches.
Cavern of Souls - Stopping counterspells and making your commander stick is worth it alone.
City of Brass - Any untapped, non-restricted, reliable five color mana fixer is godly.
Exotic Orchard - Not always reliable, it can be kept though.
Cascade Bluffs - I don't like this in the deck because it is your worst two colors.
Flooded Grove - I do actually like this one, green and blue are way more useful in this deck than red.
Grove of the Burnwillows - like a pain land, but reversed. I think it is worth a spot.
Karplusan Forest - Painland for some of your colors. It is fine.
Shivan Reef - I'd drop it, it isn't worth the fixing when it is your least useful colors.
In all, there are my drops, then I'll say what to run instead:
7 months ago
I agree with Fellwar Stone as well if you are not super attached to that draw effect from Commander Sphere. An extra mana a turn earlier is more helpful in a deck without a lot of ramp such as this. Instead of Cancel go with Dissolve for that sweet, sweet scry effect. Go with a filter land such as Cascade Bluffs, Graven Cairns, or Sunken Ruins instead of Temple of the False God. It's useless until at least turn 5 unless your have Urborg out.