Citadel of Pain
At the end of each player's turn, Citadel of Pain deals X damage to that player, where X is the number of untapped lands he or she controls.
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Citadel of Pain Discussion
2 weeks ago
I half agree with zorsmobile, you should add those tutors to the deck, but not at the cost of removing Lili. It seems to me the deck needs more tutors, not less, as it looks pretty inconsistent what with the close to 0 search and no additional draw effects. That said, I agree with those above me who've told you to double down on similar effects as this too will make the deck more consistent.
That said, I've got a bunch of random thoughts for you. First and foremost, Mana Echoes is a one card combo with your general that generates infinite slivers and generic mana. Granted Torpor Orb shuts it down, but you could easily swap it for Echoes. If you're too attached to removing triggers, I'd try and add Hushwing Gryff. Granted, Humility shuts off Echoes too, but that's WAY too important to remove.
Speaking of, did you know man-land layers stack so they retain their power, toughness, and abilities? Seems like they'd help fix your mana AND be a good creature whenever you need one. It's also hilarious with Reverence and Powerstone Minefield. On a similar note, I'd favor things that make it impossible for people to attack you or pay to attack you, like Elephant Grass, Propaganda, Ghostly Prison, Collective Restraint, Norn's Annex, and Sphere of Safety, over fog effects like Spike Weaver as they're constant and not generated by a creature.
And for our next point of interest: land hate. I'd recommend.adding Devastation and Decree of Annihilation to wipe them and cards like Ankh of Mishra, Manabarbs, Citadel of Pain, and, if youre feeling especially sadistic, Storm Cauldron.
All in all, it looks like a fun deck and I hope these helped.
1 month ago
I'd add in more wheels to cycle through your deck and mess with your opponents since dragons are big and you'll need more time to setup (typically). Wheel of Fortune, Burning Inquiry, Winds of Change, etc. fit the bill.
Taurean Mauler is cheating, haha.
You need so much more haste. Fervor, Hammer of Purphoros, Mass Hysteria, Urabrask the Hidden, and/or Anger. I think you could even add a few 1-shot haste & draw spells since I think that's typically how a turn will play out (like Crimson Wisps).
Possibility Storm could snag a bigger dragon.
2 months ago
Hate: Citadel of Pain, Mana Barbs; yes, both hurt you, but with Gisela, Blade of Goldnight out, it is a pain in the butt.
Creatures: Iroas, God of Victory, Ankle Shanker, Aurelia, the Warleader, Gahiji, Honored One Sheoldred, Whispering One
not much beyond that, as when I played Saskia, her non-creature spells were horrible, and there is a basic toolbox to pick and choose from.
2 months ago
After some playtesting, I think I went the wrong direction with my latest changes. Grave Consequences was a total waste. The Meren of Clan Nel Toth deck deftly played around it like it wasn't there. Each card he wanted to keep only cost him one life, and the rest of them he just let go. The player appreciated my change, but that was too much. I added Shred Memory and will consider Samurai of the Pale Curtain as an alternate but easier to take out Rest in Peace. I may also try Stonecloaker for repeatable grave hate. I can put in the lesser cards than Rest in Peace because I was asked to play nicer, but expecting to play a crazy graveyard based deck, then asking for people to not play any graveyard hate is a little much. Shred Memory is also an uncounterable tutor for a large number of really important spells, so will never be a dead draw. Samurai of the Pale Curtain is vulnerable to spot removal or wrath effects, so he can play around it if he faces it.
Citadel of Pain in my meta has been less than helpful. There is less of a non-basic land base than some metas, and there are fewer reactive or control decks, so a lot of lands are tapped, and it often gets 2-3 damage per turn, and I get hit as well. Not what I had hoped. I was going to try Price of Progress, but the dominance of 2 color decks makes this of limited value, and I get it worse than most. I may change focus a little with that slot and put in Toil / Trouble. The modal nature of this spell makes it never a dead draw, and hitting someone for a full hand may accomplish the same thing as I had planed for Citadel of Pain, but also expand who I can hit with it. I have also considered Sudden Impact for the same effect, but I want to see if the modal nature of Toil / Trouble makes it more valuable than the instant speed and Sunforger tutorable nature of Sudden Impact. We shall see. Due to the smaller number of control or reactive decks means that Grand Abolisher is less than helpful most of the time, and so may get the axe soon as well.
I am sort of on the fence with Slumbering Dragon. It is hard to tell how much that one is working. It may be, but it actually never works out to be a wincon. It is strictly a Rattlesnake and spot removal bait. We shall see if another wincon catches my eye for playtesting in that slot.
Wheel of Fortune has been one that I find I rarely play when I have it. As a reactive deck, I often have cards that sit in my hand until I find the right time to play them. Wheel of Fortune is counter to the strategy of holding cards for when they will be most effective. I am looking for alternatives if people have suggestions. I want large card draw all at once for little mana that doesn't require me to dump all my cards. Please speak up if you have a suggestion.
I am always looking for amazing wincons that fit the theme of this deck. Cards that attack people for specializing or overreaching with common strategies, things that attack people for doing things that all decks do, or symmetrical damage that is outsized compared to the mana investment. Damage that is not dependent on connecting with an attack is best.
I may also bring in Felidar Sovereign. An alternate wincon is always good to have, and one that supports itself but is also synergistic with the rest of the deck is perfect. Another lifelinker for Hatred is also welcome.
Anyone who sees something I have missed that would fit here should also feel free to suggest things. As people who have followed this deck know, this is an evolving deck. It will continue to evolve as I tune it.
2 months ago
Dig for answers that can end the game or an answer to losing a game. And you don't need to go for 20 every time. It is just a possibility. I never liked Necropotence until this deck. I can be within striking distance, need an attack, and search out Backlash, Delirium, Rakdos Charm, etc... and turn his wincon into a loss. I especially like it with Angel's Grace in hand. Dig for a huge amount, put yourself within striking distance of his big beater, Angel's Grace, then counterattack while he is tapped out. It is also nice when sitting behind a Solitary Confinement. Without it, you both are waiting for the card to break up the stalemate. With Necropotence, you dig for a huge amount, trying to win the race to the wincon. I guess that is how I see it. When it is a race to find the right card to win, Necropotence is like nitrous.
As for the Land Tax effect and plains question, I already leaned plains, so the addition was not a problem. Those effects are in there for two purposes. First, to ensure I hit all my early land drops, and it gives me a little card advantage early, along with some fixing. It is not really ramp, but missing land drops is anti-ramp, so it is almost the same thing. It is the closest thing to I can get in this deck, it is a lower threat level than actual ramp, and for a reactive deck, it works pretty well. The second purpose is to combine with Scroll Rack later for a card advantage engine. Not a world shaking combo, but at least I can get some late game advantage out of them, and Land Tax each turn with a Scroll Rack out is a pretty huge advantage.
The Ravnica bounce lands and Lotus Vale are interesting. I have never wanted to run them in any other deck, but this one loves them. They allow me to keep a low land count on the battlefield, while evolving my manabase during the game to a high quality manabase, and can also feed my Scroll Rack. I usually get one of them early, and I put it into play as soon as possible, since I am not usually doing a ton on my first couple turns. I then put out a few more lands and I can usually still hit Queen Marchesa on time. As the game unfolds, I drop the others when it doesn't negatively affect me, and by late game when I want to hit them with Acidic Soil or Citadel of Pain, they get hurt much worse than me. I have been thinking about Price of Progress, even with my large nonbasic count because of the synergy and efficiency of my manabase. I trade tempo for efficiency and some card advantage, and set myself up for a big symmetrical bomb that I have made asymmetrical. Since my deck wants to lay low early and have power to react later, the early tempo loss is not a huge deal breaker.
For budget options, you could think about cheaper fetches. There are a ton, even though we get hung up on the Zendicar and Khans fetches, the loss of tempo in a casual meta is not a huge thing, especially for this deck. If you keep the Land Tax cards, keeping enough plains to make them all work is important. I like about 2 targets per fetch and another 1 target per Land Tax effect. The any colored lands and bounce lands are helpful, but are for a parallel purpose.
2 months ago
Exactly. My meta may be different than most, but there are a ton of slower grindy wins, because people dislike infinite combos. It means I want to watch the early scuffles that chip away at people's life from behind a Pillow Fort, wait until something big starts to happen, drop a bomb on everyone to bring them within striking distance, then pull out a riposte Aikido attack against their assault, and if that doesn't finish them, I need a few midrange beaters that I can finish them off with, probably with the aid of Citadel of Pain, Duelist's Heritage, or Sunforger. Depending solely on Aikido ripostes meant I was waiting for big attacks that were infrequent while their grindy attacks slowly ate up my life, and it also gave them time to search for answers. When it is time to close, I want to close.
2 months ago
What I found is that I often make it to the mid or end game with the most life, even by if by just a little bit, making symmetric damage a decent option, and this applied very well to Eye for an Eye. It's like in Chess when you end up a pawn ahead in the mid game. At that point, it pays to start trading pieces.
I also noted that I could survive on less land than most decks, and being conscious of this makes Acidic Soil and Citadel of Pain asymmetric in my favor. Reactive spells end up requiring a huge amount of untapped mana, and even Reflect Damage is a big mana requirement for a deck that likes to run fewer lands.
I often found that I wanted to be able to bring my own offense once I entered into a conflict with an Aikido card. After looking at all this, I realized that having some traditional wincons mixed into my offense made all those Aikido cards more effective. When I can redirect an opponent's offense for a big chunk of damage, punish them for their overcommitment in the form of lands or creatures for another big chunk of damage, and then hit them a couple times with a big creature attack of my own, I may not win on their turn, but I usually win between their turn and my next.
Taking the deck in this direction also shored up a general weakness of this deck. By adding that little bit of my own offense in the form of my own big swingy attacks, I can become very aggressive against another reactive deck, which is the type of deck that Aikido traditionally has trouble with. To me, this is an extension of the idea that you should punish each deck for what it is. For other reactive decks, Citadel of Pain after an early aggressive start can make them cry.
While I did not adhere to Rachmiel's original theme of only hitting them with their own stuff, I believe my Pillow Fort and Rattlesnake suite is psychologically stronger for this deck, and my deck can become very aggressive in ways that his really had a harder time with. His did have Tariel, Reckoner of Souls to get aggressive with their graveyard, but I would prefer to hate their graveyard and then bring my own offense, especially since I can take out a single opponent with the right hand by turn 4, without their help at all. Tariel, Reckoner of Souls is an expensive beater that needs a full graveyard to exploit before it really gets going. His cannot be that aggressive.
In the end, I think that Aikido gains a ton of power from being a strong theme in a deck, but not the only option. Redirected attacks, exploiting overcommitment, punishing decks for things that all decks do, and traditional big beaters combine nicely in ways that are starting to make a dedicated Aikido redirection style deck look one dimensional.
2 months ago
I have considered both Erebos, God of the Dead and Greed as they seem to fit well. I have what feels like a very tight list, and have not figured out how to work them in. I find that they would enhance what I am doing, but are not necessary. Citadel of Pain has been a great grind out or outright game ender for the games that it has been in there. I run a low land count, I have several lands that help to trim the number I have in play, and I have lots of things that either limit life loss or regain life. I do have a few mana sinks in the form of Sensei's Divining Top and Scroll Rack, which can also limit land overload and turn lands in hand into useable cards. Even with all this, I am very conscious of how many lands I play. The deck runs well on about 5-7 mana, and with a Lotus Vale or Boros Garrison and a few Rocks, I can get there with sometimes 3 lands. I play lands early to build a board state, exchange normal lands for more efficient lands, drop some rocks, then hold lands to bluff with or Scroll Rack away. I often can drop Citadel of Pain to a very asymmetrical board state, then allow them to overcommit to stay under it as much as possible, and punish them for it. Sometimes this can also mean going aggressive with removal to open up anattack with a beater, using my removal in a very no reactive way. I have been surprised how well I can get aggressive when I want to, using my typically defensive cards like Backlash or Pacification Array to facilitate my offense.