Char deals 4 damage to target creature, player or planeswalker and 2 damage to you.
Printings View all
|Guilds of Ravnica: Guild Kit (GK1)||Rare|
|From the Vault: Twenty (V13)||Mythic Rare|
|Ravnica: City of Guilds (RAV)||Rare|
|Promo Set (000)||Rare|
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
3 weeks ago
Lightning Helix is the combination of Healing Salve and Lightning Bolt. We all know the value of Lightning Bolt, but much less so that of Healing Salve. These days, Lightning Bolt is too strong for Standard and we refer to Lightning Strike for a more appropriately costed card for that damage range. If we look at specifically instants or sorceries that deal 4 damage, we come into the midrange territory and the costs are similarly higher or with extra conditions or restrictions. Char, Collective Defiance, Electrify, Flame Lash, Exquisite Firecraft, Lightning Blast, Slaying Fire, Stoke the Flames. On the cheaper side we have Cut, Flame Slash, Heartfire, Galvanic Blast, Lava Coil, Reckless Abandon.
I think at the least we can say that dealing 4 damage to any target unconditionally is more likely a CMC 4 spell that usually has some additional benefit stuck onto it or a 3 CMC with some requirements. So the raw unconditional 4 damage is somewhere around 3,X CMC.
Now healing 4 is way cheaper and can be done with Life Goes On for a single mana, at instant speed, with a condition to gain more life. The only other card to note is Sacred Nectar, which I believe we can quickly agree is overcosted and underperforming. All other cards that gain life around these ranges have something else going on for them, Feed the Clan, Blessed Alliance, Life Burst. As such, the raw 4 life is not even worth a mana.
So 4 damage is roughly worth 3,X CMC and 4 life is worth 0.Y CMC. Put those effects together on a multicolor card and Warleader's Helix seems like a fairly costed card at uncommon. Although fair does not equal good.
That was a rather long way to go just to say that Warleader's Helix is a fairly costed card... but not a very good one.
A condition may shave off a mana in the cost, but that leaves us at 3 CMC for a 4 damage, 4 life spell. The Vampiric Helix is definitely undercosted by 1 or needs a tougher condition, say control 2 or more vampires.
Now the biggest issue I take to this card is the ability to play it mono black. Mono black is not that efficient, seeing cards like Consume Spirit or Agonizing Syphon, Pharika's Cure. However neither red nor white has these effects by themselves. I think a good midway would be to have black as a required cost and then have the supplementary color be hybrid: would be fair in my eyes. Alternatively you could have white as the primary color and black/red as the supplementary, but that is not very flavorful as far as Vampire tribal goes. To compensate the increased cost, you could have the base version be 3 damage/3 life.
3 months ago
Next you're going to sing the praises of Mind's Dilation .
Any way you slice it, Sunbird's Invocation is a card advantage engine. Its resource intensive to get onto the table, and requires further resources to do anything (spells in hand, mana to use said spells). It performs better with higher CMC spells, which makes it harder to cast multiple spells and get multiple uses. Are the free spells nice? Certainly. Stuffing your deck with cards you wouldn't play except when they're free means you're going to be spending a lot of time feeling extremely stupid when you don't see the 1 card that makes them worthwhile in your hand of 7 cards in a 99 card deck.
For example, Char does more damage than Lightning Bolt . Slotting char over bolt in your 99 because you're also running Sunbird's Invocation is extremely poor deck building. The card incentivizes you to run junk to get better triggers. Even in a casual deck I wouldn't recommend running junk cards to work around a card that isn't the commander.
Now compare Sunbird's Invocation to a similar CMC card, Sun Titan . Sun tit gives you a trigger when it enters. It can attack and block (with vigilance!), helping most casual deck game plans. It continues to get triggers turn after turn BY ITSELF, requiring no further resources or mana spent, just requiring cards in graveyard (which happens naturally as any game progresses). Sun tit doesn't ask you to run jank cards with higher CMC, it prefers to recur right in the CMC range you want your value cards to be.
Another way to think about this is opportunity cost. If you were playing any game of magic, and you had Sunbird's Invocation in hand, would you rather have a different card in your hand? This is opportunity cost. 6 CMC is pretty high, it means the card will sit in hand during the early game, whereas you COULD have slotted a different card that may have been applicable during that period. For example, if you replace Sunbird's Invocation with a Swords to Plowshares , is your deck going to function better in more match ups? The answer is almost definitely yes. Switch out StP with some other card your deck needs, and you've found out what your deck should slot instead of Sunbird.
Now lets imagine yet another situation. You've got your Sunbird in play, you untap with a fresh new turn. You cast a spell for 5 CMC. You get all giddy, and you flip up Mountain Mountain Shock Mountain Pyroclasm . Just because you went 5 deep into the deck with a 5 CMC spell doesn't mean you're going to get anything relevant, or anything that will be useful to your current board state. Similarly, with 1 or 2 CMC spells, you may hit exclusively lands and brick out. There is no guarantee that these triggers will help you, or give you the relevant cards you want to see. Its just a card advantage engine for red at 6 CMC.
Another aspect of Sunbird is that it promotes non-reactive deck building. Flipping Counterspell with Sunbird isn't going to help you, unless you're intentionally holding spells to use Sunbird trigger in response to someone else's spell. Your removal and interaction is going to want to be permanent based to take best advantage of Sunbird. I'm not saying this is good or bad, but certainly opens you up to being locked out where a spell wouldn't be locked out. A great example of this is slotting Goblin Cratermaker for removal, and having it die as a state based action upon entering if an opponent has Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite . Another example Pyrite Spellbomb being locked out against Null Rod .
Sure, this card generates advantage when you're left alone to durdle in your ivory tower, but Scute Mob can one-hit-kill players on turn 30 after getting a bunch of counters. That doesn't mean Scute Mob is a good card in commander.
1 year ago
Have you considered Pirate's Pillage for card draw? In my experience of trying to get Risk Factor to work as the card draw for a control deck you often just Char your opponent as you don't have the pressure to make them unable to pay the life. I have been playing a very close version of this deck since rotation and I run Pirate's Pillage and Chemister's Insight as my card draw since Risk Factor didn't work nearly often enough to be viable. Give Expansion/Explosion a try as a 1 or 2 of, makes a solid removal spell, also works as a counter-counter not to mention using expansion on an opposing Insight feels like freaking Christmas.
1 year ago
@Xica, No, you're not wrong about those lines of plays, but Sleeper Agent isn't a turn one play. 100% of the time if I have a Monastery Swiftspear or Goblin Guide those will always go first. The thing about Agent is that he requires some thought. Aggressive decks like jund don't hold too much concern for their life totals given their mana bases along with Thoughtseize which would warrant using him just as a Shock in the late game as a finisher in this case. That's not true for all decks. Some decks might not even have any use for a free 3/3 like infect and so the Agent is played much earlier. Sometimes it's the equivalent of a 1 mana Char finishing them with a total of 4 damage while only dealing 3 to us. If I'm blind to a deck I'm playing against 80% of the time the agent is cast turns 3 or 4 and on odd hands the other 20% would be on turn 2. As you have said the Agent is only bad if I'm losing the race, and even then main-deck cards such as Niveous Wisps and Path to Exile while good for turning off blockers can also be used to turn off attackers if necessary as well, which is how those spells compliment each other.
Your point on Chalice of the Void however is irrefutable, but then again Chalice of the Void is a sideboard card. I do not see decks running it in the mainboard and just like Leyline of Sanctity would equally hose just about any burn deck, burn decks run cards in the sideboard so as to not fold under cards like Leyline of Sanctity or in this case Chalice of the Void. Just because they board it in doesn't mean it will be present in every game it's boarded in from (as having it in hand is a matter of chance), and just as equally every time it is played in game 2 or game 3 doesn't mean I will never have that answer in hand that was boarded in to respond back against it. (I can board in Shattering Spree or Smash to Smithereens if need be.)
Lastly sac outlets was a rather odd point to make as I don't believe there are any around. You brought up Viscera Seer which was a bridgevine semi-staple until Stitcher's Supplier was printed which practically removed all of them in favor of the supplier. Furthermore if they have a Bridge from Below wouldn't sac'ing the agent put the Sleeper Agent in my graveyard effectively exiling their Bridge from Below rather than give them a zombie token thus the point you brought up works to my advantage? Also Arcbound Ravager says sacrifice an artifact which the Sleeper Agent is not so I'm a bit baffled as to why you've brought that up as well unless I'm missing something here.
Again the Sleeper Agent is just one card and if there is a match-up that just so happens to have an advantage over one card that's not going to be the end of my deck as a whole. I'd argue there are more match-ups where the Agent is better in which justifies it's inclusion as burn decks tend to race better than most other decks.
I mean no ill-will for disagreeing with you like this, and yes damage that can target creatures as well can be important as that too provides flexibility, but unlike a lot of burn decks I'm running Shard Volley which can also target creatures if desperately needed for such situations and Path to Exile practically works for creatures as well, which makes up for the lack of Lightning Helix or Rift Bolt while doing so for less mana even. Plus cards like Lava Spike and the aforementioned Shard Volley can hit planeswalkers as well, so the options are still there in any case.
@DragonKing90, Goldfish turn-3 wins? Okay let me just stop you right there. You can not goldfish a turn 3 win by using Boros Charm, Searing Blaze, Lightning Helix, or Skullcrack. Run any scenario in your head using just one of those cards and the closest you get is 19 damage which arguably can be game even if it's not 20, but that's only if you try to squeeze in just one Boros Charm under the optimal circumstances. If you try to fit in 2 two-mana damage spells, even if we're generous and say they're both Boros Charm the amount of damage dealt by turn 3 decreases. Contradictory however the cards in my deck that aren't found in other burn lists such as Shard Volley, Bump in the Night, and Sleeper Agent can all be used to achieve 20 or more damage by turn 3. (These are facts as I'd invite you to do the calculations for yourself if you don't believe me.) In essence this deck can turn-3 win more consistently than your average burn deck, but this wasn't a point I wanted to make, because we're talking about gold-fishing and not real matches. I was only trying to draw comparisons to indicate potential to drum up interest in finding real results, not to win any kind of online forum debate. Regardless all there is to gather from is potential and speculation without data.
The point is professional Modern players often test their decks against many other archetypes so that they can obtain a better understanding of how well their deck performs in the meta. This can be done by religiously joining in most events or building the other archetypes themselves just to generate hypothetical matches. This is something I don't have as my local player-base does not run these decks, I don't have the cash to build different archetypes, and I'm simply not experienced enough to pilot those decks optimally to generate said results even if I could afford such decklists. All I can do is advertise on potential and speculation so that experienced Modern players who do regularly check their match-ups against burn may consider running a few hypothetical match-ups with my deck against theirs in order to generate real results on win/loss ratio as well as provide comparisons on their individual deck's win/loss ratio to traditional burn match-ups. I wouldn't be asking this if the speculation or potential I've ascertained through gold-fishing was bad as failing to generate positive outcomes through gold-fishing would never warrant further testing, but in this case from what speculation and potential I've been able to derive from gold-fishing I feel this deck deserves hypothetical matches to be conducted to determine it's odds. I'm not saying this is a better burn deck, just that it has enough potential to make it worth consideration to determine if that is the case, and if it's not the case that's fine but for now all we can do is float around "if it will" rather than "it does/does-not." As I've said before, I'm looking for results. You can use speculation to make any deck look as good or bad as you want it to be, but speculation is not synonymous with fact and it's the facts I'm most interested in.
1 year ago
Blue mages unite.
So there's a couple things you should consider when making a list like this. The biggest thing is: Why are we playing mono blue and not splashing a color? What does mono blue let us do that we couldn't otherwise do with a splash? Currently you don't have a very good answer to that question, honestly. You're not actively benefiting from only playing 1 color, you're just nerfing yourself by limiting your options to interact.
There are a couple things you can do to make use of mono blue cards and mono islands. The first is making use of several copies of Disrupting Shoal. HIGHLY recommend this one. Excellent excellent card, but doesn't really have a home in modern. It fits best into this kind of shell naturally. Really catches people off guard.
The second thing is playing a couple copies of Vedalken Shackles. Honestly not the best suited card in modern right now (what with k commands and crazy fast clocks) but still a super solid card, at least deserves a place in the sideboard probably against goyf decks and such.
Tempest Djinn is also kind sweet as a finisher, but it's super unproven and probably too clunky.
..I'm about to just list off a bunch of random suggestions, feel free to ignore whichever ones you don't like.
I think Ancestral Visions is a trap in this deck. At least main. As a 4 of. At the end of the day, this is a tempo deck, and WILL struggle late game against decks that play more inherently powerful cards, so all this card is doing is trying to slow the bleeding. It's a very weak turn 1 play when you could be casting a delver or setting up with a serum visions or holding up spell snare, and it's an absolutely atrocious topdeck. I'd avoid this one in here. Just my own two cents.
Spreading Seas is a good card, but I don't like 4. They makes delvers harder to flip and you usually have to commit to tapping out on turn 2 to make the best use of them, which I personally don't like. Wouldn't be the worst thing ever to keep them, but its not like its filling the same role that it is in merfolk, where it gives your guys evasion and you can still be playing guys with vial while you tap out to cast spreading seas.
Psionic Blast is worth a consideration. Colorshifted Char is pretty sweet, and gives you some good interaction / game-ending potential. Alternatively I think even a Dismember or two would be kinda nice.
Embracing tempo, Vapor Snag is a card you probably want. It's like extra copies of remand but it's 1 mana, only works on creatures, and pings them instead of drawing. Super solid. Can also be used to save your own guys in a pinch.
Every creature you have right now is a wizard. You could consider trying Wizard's Retort and just getting to play the card Counterspell in modern. You might want to play a few more wizards to enable this plan, in which case you could consider playing Mutavault as a manland, and then stuff like maybe Nimble Obstructionist or even Baral, Chief of Compliance to give you a few more wizards. Baral is actually kinda sweet, he lets you cast Cryptic Command on turn 3, and then you even get to loot off of him.
Commandeer is absolutely hilarious in the sideboard. I know it looks like a weird edh staple or something, but try laughing at it when you steal a Karn and then exile their tron land with it. Absolutely silly card, definitely worth a slot or two imo.
Since you're playing fetches and stuff anyway to help enable JtMS, I feel like splashing a single Hallowed Fountain could actually be very nice. Gives you access to things like Stony Silence and Geist of Saint Traft postboard, which can give you a chance in your bad matchups. You could play Rest in Peace over relic as well.
And uh... I think that's all I've got. Hopefully there's some helpful stuff in there. Best of luck my blue brother
1 year ago
1 year ago
There have been similar cards in the past, but none of them have approached that power level. As damage increases, to keep it balanced, the mana cost would need to increase by more than you'd expect.
The closest thing you could compare your 4-damage Big Bolt to, is Flame Javelin, which is an older, more flexible Unfriendly Fire. There is also Char which included a drawback because its cost was so cheap.
Also, a 6-mana burn spell would need a higher cost than Explosive Impact. If the "2 generic mana = 1 colored mana" conversion rate is to be believed, this card implies 5 damage would be fair at the cost .
It turns out that Lightning Bolt is above the curve on burn spells, and makes a poor baseline for new card proposals. If you want to make a balanced spell, you should look at Shock and Lightning Strike for the correct way to cost a new burn spell.