(3), Tap or (Blue), Tap: Return target creature to its owner's hand unless its controller pays (1).
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Crystal Shard Discussion
2 days ago
I haven't tested it out, but I don't think this is really what the deck wants to do. While it is nice to bounce my creatures back to the hand to play, this deck really wants them on the battlefield so that it can use things like Conjurer's Closet and Cloudshift on them (either every turn for free incremental advantage or at instant speed for cheap). Things that return my stuff to my hand (like Crystal Shard and Whitemane Lion) are almost always used for protection at instant speed. The best common case scenario is that you set your opponents back a land drop or two after five or so at the expense of not drawing a new card and spending an extra mana. At this point, many opponents can afford to bounce a permanent without falling too far behind and in many cases it will help them reuse their ETBs.
1 week ago
While you have to hard cast it, Temur Sabertooth seems like it could become a pretty powerful card in this deck. Crystal Shard also isn't too bad if you want more bounce effects and small tax on your opponents' mana.
1 week ago
Animar gets a lot of hate, and for good reason. Surrak is better for a fun deck in Temur, my 2c.
I think you're a little land heavy, I'd cut a couple and add either more ramp sorceries or artifacts. I always shoot for 36-18 lands, and 8-10 ramp spells.
2 weeks ago
First off, welcome to Magic! :)
You have chosen a good color my friend. Instead of telling you what is right and what is wrong with your deck, I want to instead tell you about evaluating a card's power level.
Firstly, as a blue player, it is your job to keep the game under control. In EDH, that job isn't always easy, and requires you to have a both a lot of resources, and a lot cards in your hand to play with. If you run out of cards in your hand, you have lost control of the game. When a blue player loses control of the game, things get very bad. So when you look at a card and try to determine how good it is for your deck, think about whether or not it helps you keep the game under control and/or keeps your hand stocked with cards.
One of the cards in your deck is a fantastic example: Azami, Lady of Scrolls. She is beautiful. Every turn, she adds another card to your hand. She keeps your hand stocked up, and that makes her good. Your commander also keeps your hand stocked, since it also draws cards.
Check out these cards that have both ends of the spectrum (control and card-draw):
- Dismiss: Counters a spell and draws a card. It's exactly what you're looking for.
- Repulse: Disrupt your opponent's gameplan, and restock your hand with yet another card to play with. Awesome.
- Repeal: Same concept. Great interruption and draws a card.
- Mystic Confluence: Ouch! This costs like $8... but hey. It's always nice to have a goal and to be introduced to higher power-level cards. It gives you some perspective.
- Cryptic Command: Ooooo gurl this card is expensive, but look how strong and magical it is. :D
Something that might take a while to figure out is a very important fact. Drawing cards isn't the only way to gain card advantage. You see, as a blue player, it's okay to go down on the number of cards you're playing with, as long as someone else goes down harder. For example, Curse of the Swine is a very good card. For only one card from you, you get to mop the floor with lots of your opponents' creatures. This is considered card advantage because now you're way ahead of them on sheer number of cards. In commander, the 2/2 pigs are pretty much worthless. Your life total is high enough to make that not matter. If they're really bothering you, you can just use Wash Out, naming green. Wash Out is another example of a really good card that can take control of a game. Cards like those that return a large number of creatures back to their owners' hands can be life savers when the board is starting to look hairy. If you don't want them to assemble their creature again very quickly, you could play a card like Arcane Laboratory. You're a slow deck anyway. It shouldn't bother you too much. However, it really slows down your opponents.
You should also know that when you play cards like Frost Lynx or Chant of the Skifsang, you're only delaying the inevitable. You haven't taken control of the game as we would say. In fact, you're likely still backed into a corner. Wouldn't it be nice to just do something like Rapid Hybridization, Pongify, or Reality Shift? Cards that actually take care of your problems are the ones that will save you from dying.
Another strong type a card is one that continues to do things as time in the game goes on, and the longer they're in play, the more they become worth their mana investment. A fantastic example of this is Talrand, Sky Summoner. While he's not too threatening the turn he comes into play, he can possible take over the game completely after being in play for a while. Another really good example is Crystal Shard. It can return your creatures to your hand that have good "enters the battlefield" effects, and your opponents won't want to tap out completely or else you'll bounce their crap. Rhystic Study is a bit expensive, but very strong. It's exactly the king of card that offers longevity and late-game power because it draws cards over time and keeps your hand full of options. Same with Staff of Nin and Mystic Remora.
In conclusion, think about longevity. Think about drawing cards. Think about cards that hit the battlefield with impact, and cards that give you advantage over time. Be patient. You'll get there.
2 weeks ago
Alrighty, so from the top.
To Iron_Cube: Restoration Angel and Cloudstone Curio seem like pretty solid options that I'm still considering, but I'm not sure yet what to cut. If I had to choose between the two I would go with just Cloudstone Curio. The land recommendations are good, but not my style. I can't bear to hurt myself to gain that mana, because I hate when I have all the colors I need and I'm still hurting myself late game. I also feel that you might bed horrified to learn that I just took Chromatic Lantern out. I did this because the mana has been really smooth lately. No one in my playgroup plays hate, but if they did no ETB would help. Ixidron can flip Hushwing Gryff and Merciless Eviction can remove whatever else. Reclamation Sage is a solid choice, but I already have 6 different (but spendier) ways to remove artifacts\ enchantments.
To JaceTheSwagSculptor: You're right, my mana curve is unfortunately very high. I rarely run into color problems, but I need to have a lot of mana to be able to do the things I need to do. Somewhere around 10-13 mana is when I get my elbow room. Regarding board wipes, in the early game I keep my hand full by playing things that help me and blinking/bouncing them, rather than playing more cards. When board wipes come up, I don't have a lot to lose, and/or I can frequently save them with Crystal Shard, Eerie Interlude, Flickerwisp, Ghostway, Mistmeadow Witch, Otherworldly Journey, Roon of the Hidden Realm, and Turn to Mist. This has frequently caused board wipes to backfire on opponents. And with Eternal Witness or Archaeomancer, the instants are retrieved. And the card advantage options I have work well for me, if I draw them of course. But I can easily topdeck a Temur Ascendancy, Cloudblazer, Coiling Oracle, or Eternal Witness and get 2-6 cards into my hand. As for the win-con, it's pretty unfocused. My strategy is rather drawn out, maybe painful. Opponents usually run out of cards, lose their permanents, and then I'll kill with Cromat or Magister Sphinx. I play a strategy that is perhaps frowned upon, where I just try to leave them with nothing. No hand, no permanents. Unfocused. However, I do win fairly often against a competitive playgroup, and it is very rewarding for me. Do you have any win-con suggestions? I haven't really seen anything that feels that conclusive. although Rite of Replication can sometimes be very conclusive.
To Alkadron: I'm glad you think it looks fun! As for the ramp suggestions you posted, Kor Cartographer appeals to me. I had forgotten about him because I only recently got the last 2 shocklands, both containing white. I already have 2 ways to fetch my forests, and it hurts me inside when I draw one of those after all my forests are out. So I don't want to overdo it. And Knight of the White Orchid is uncomfortably conditional. And those cheap dual-type lands are good suggestions, but I have the shocklands for that purpose already, and I've worked on avoiding lands that enter tapped, since originally all my lands did that. I know that this isn't ramp, but for the purposes of consistently hitting land drops, what do you think of Shard Convergence? Does anyone have experience with this? And I appreciate the advice about critically evaluating cards. Mindclaw Shaman is an example of a hit-or-miss card that sometimes has little value, sometimes is crucial. I'll keep my eye on those cards. Thank you for that advice.
To Snickles@EDH_only: Horde of Notions looks like a very fun commander with plenty of potential, but I consider that to be a very different deck, because I don't want to be limited to elementals. The deck is just too different.
I love the responses, and you've helped me to remember forgotten cards, narrow down some problem areas, and reevaluate wincons. Please keep it coming!
3 weeks ago
Let me start by saying that you have picked a great commander. I like Momir Vig, Simic Visionary. He is so much fun, as long as you don't mind shuffling alot. Here's my Simic deck Simic Toolbox for a reference.
Momir Vig, Simic Visionary let you build a toolbox deck that has many options and deal with a wide variety of threats. Let's use that.
I'm going to start with basic strategy, then move onto what to remove, and then what to consider putting in.
Due to the likelyhood of Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, Gaea's Blessing, or Elixir of Immortality being in an opponent's deck, the mill stategies tand to not work well in commander games. Especially multi-player games. Now, I'm not saying that you can't mill the opponents, just don't rely on that stategy too much.
Additionally, you should be in the 34 to 38 lands range. Only having 29 lands could really slow you down. Don't rely on mana creatures because opponents will target them to hinder you.
I would remove the following:
Blanchwood Armor, only sees forest, auras aren't that good in commander, and there are better options.
Curse of the Bloody Tome, only works on a sinlge opponent.
Khalni Heart Expedition, there are much moer efficient land seach methods.
Ring of Kalonia and Ring of Thune, there are better equipments and other artifacts to consider.
Gridlock, weak tap target permanent ability. Too much of a mana sink.
Gatecreeper Vine, Creatures with defender can't attack and in later parts of the game, just disappoint more often than help. The search for a gate only nets one card.
Skullwinder helps your opponents as much as it helps you.
Wood Elves only finds a forest. Borderland Ranger, Sylvan Ranger, or Farhaven Elf may be better options. And/Or add Breeding Pool.
Without haste, creatuers that have tap abilities are just targets until they lose summoning sickness. Let's minimize those.
Boreal Druid, Kiora's Follower, Llanowar Elves, Merfolk Mesmerist are all cards to consider cutting for lands or stronger creatures.
These are maybe remove or maybe keep, depends on where you want to focus:
Fertile Ground, more land would be better.
Ghostly Touch, better ways to untap a permanent
Paragon of Eternal Wilds, only sees green creatures.
Now for the toolbox creatures. Let's really expand on your +1 counters theme. In no particular order:
From my deck, look at Cytoplast Manipulator, Cytoplast Root-Kin, Cytospawn Shambler, Forgotten Ancient, Helium Squirter, Plaxcaster Frogling, Spike Feeder, Spike Weaver, Triskelion.
Additionally Armorcraft Judge, Baloth Pup, Oran-Rief Hydra, Ainok Guide, Avatar of the Resolute, Battlefront Krushok, Hooded Hydra, Experiment Kraj, Fertilid are all fun cards with abilities that capitalize on counters.
Mystic Snake gives you a repeatable counterspell when you have Roaring Primadox or a Crystal Shard on the field.
Murkfiend Liege, makes everything stronger and untaps your dudes each turn. Truly obnoxious with a Hair-Strung Koto in play.
Gilder Bairn can accelerate your creatures and planeswalkers. But to really abuse it you need a Holdout Settlement, Springleaf Drum or Hair-Strung Koto in play to tap it.
Sphinx of Magosi has been a favorite of mine in commander decks. Flyer, card draw, and keeps gettign bigger.
Omnibian is a good way to remove an opponents blocking creature by reducing it to a 3/3 after blockers are declared and before damage happens.
Simic Guildmage is good for the counters, but if you really want to run some auras then he gets better.
Other cards to consider:
Crystal Shard lets you block and then bounce a creature you control so that you can reuse the 'enters the battlefield' triggers.
Durable Handicraft give you an option to put a counter on any creatures as it enters the field.
Hardened Scales is a great card in this deck and is cheaper than Doubling Season.
Halimar Depths, Khalni Garden, Llanowar Reborn, Oran-Rief, the Vastwood, Temple of Mystery and Treetop Village have always been good to me.
Simic Growth Chamber lets you bounce the Halimar Depths, Khalni Garden or a tapped basic. Also retriggers the landfall cards.
Writing this up has made me want to get off my chair and go build my Simic commander deck. Thanks!I hope that these suggestions help you. As always, temper these suggestions with your collection and your budget. Feel free to take a look at my decks and let me know what you think.
1 month ago
A few thoughts ...
- Your best bet is probably Eternal Witness plus a recurring Flicker effect (like Venser, the Sojourner or Eldrazi Displacer) or a recurring return-to-hand effect (like Crystal Shard or many others). If you've only got 3-mana Walkers, Sun Titan works too.
- Alternately, you could use a one-time use card (like Yawgmoth's Will or Reap) and then recur that with Charmbreaker Devils.
- Another option: Mistveil Plains and Liliana Vess.
- Charnelhoard Wurm works too.
1 month ago
Ah, this looks fun!