(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
1 hour ago
Well, it seems I could not deter you from ordering a couple of expensive tournament-oriented cards like Noble Hierarch for casual play...
If the purpose is to abuse those keywords to the fullest, I do not think this deck is doing its appropriate job. Ok, lets break it down.
Having 15 cards that require blink effects to work and 15 blink effects is quite the overkill. When you draw too many of one or the other, the deck does not work. With 15 of each, that is entirely too many and the scenario is much more likely to happen. Balance it out somehow.
- Introduce cards like Flickerwisp that are good at both blinking and being a threat.
- Reduce the ration from 50/50 to 70/30 in favor of the blink targets - you really only need 1-2 blink effects per game.
- Introduce repetable blink effects like Crystal Shard or Conjurer's Closet to mitigate loss of the extra blink effects.
1 day ago
Some other "inexpensive" cards that could be fun:
- Capsize / Cyclonic Rift / Voyage's End / Crystal Shard / Wash Out for more bounce
- Isochron Scepter because a spell on a stick is always handy
- Curse of the Swine great removal (and VERY cheap for how good it is)
- Spell Crumple because a counterspell that goes back in to your deck rocks
- Ponder / Fact or Fiction / Blue Sun's Zenith / Foresee for more draw
5 days ago
- Requiem Angel (Out) for Restoration Angel (In). Restoration has flash with a flicker effect. Fits the theme better. Requiem's CMC is higher and the second ability (while possibly useful) is arguably unnecessary
- Vassal Soul (Out) for Wall of Denial (In). Wall is harder to remove, establishes earlier solid blocking against a commander, and can become a viable guardian with an anthem creature or two on the board
- Latch Seeker (Out) for Mirror Entity (In). Mirror Entity can be a great win condition in this deck.
- Judge's Familiar (Out) for Venser, Shaper Savant (In). Venser is a better "counterspell" since it always hits in the form of Remand. With plenty of creatures that bounce permanents/creatures back to hand on ETB, and now that I'm adding Crystal Shard, it's nice to have a repeatable Remand. Not to mention his recent reprint in MM17 makes him an affordable option again
- Murder of Crows (Out) for Thistledown Liege (In). Test playing shows I have plenty of cards in hand. Anthem creature to win faster / make my creatures beefier seems like a better choice. Also the 3 devotion of Thistledown's not bad
- Invisible Stalker (Out) for Crystal Shard (In). So much utility in the shard for either bringing my own back to hand or making an opponent pay for overplaying their hand. Can slow up aggro decks from early all-out taps to get creatures on the board
- Uninvited Geist Flip (Out) for Mist Raven (In). More bounce on ETB effects on a flying body to fit the theme
1 week ago
I play Ephara, God of the Polis as my commander and even though they are kind of different decks, there is a lot of overlap.
A few cards that are under or around $2 that I run and you might get benefit from:
Trinket Mage (you can add Seat of the Synod, Ancient Den, and maybe even Darksteel Citadel to make it worth more than just getting Sol Ring. I have Everflowing Chalice. In this deck, you may also get use from Pithing Needle. With this package, it's probably just better than Pilgrim's Eye.)
If you have Archaeomancer, you probably want Mnemonic Wall and Scrivener as well. These cards make Ghostly Flicker much better. So much so that I run also Displace and Illusionist's Stratagem as well in Ephara.
Ixidron could be interesting in this deck, especially if you add more blink effects outside of Brago.
I don't know how much I like creature auras for Brago. He's already a removal magnet (which is one of the reasons I don't play him as my commander) and I feel like you'd end up just getting two for one'd. Whispersilk Cloak might be a good alternative. You could also add stuff like Cloudshift, Momentary Blink, or maybe even Whitemane Lion to help protect Brago from removal or get additional value. Again, I haven't played this deck and don't know your meta, so this may be irrelevant.
You may want to look at making your mana rocks a turn faster so you can curve into Brago on turn three. You could run Talisman of Progress, Fellwar Stone, or Thought Vessel if you're looking to have your rocks all untap with Brago. They aren't as reliable at fixing as say Darksteel Ingot, but the speed could be worth it.
Here's a link to my Ephara deck if you're interested:
2 weeks ago
Like the +1/+1 counter subtheme as well. How do you feel about cards like Spike Weaver as a reusable "Not in the face" option while you set up your Energy loops?
Hope those are helpful.
3 weeks ago
4 weeks ago
Crystal Shard seems perfect! I'll def pick that one up and give it a trial run. I was on the fence about Rapid Hybridization and Reality Shift vs. bounce spells--the bounce spells tend to be less circumstantial but they are temporary solutions to problematic cards...I have to take advantage of the tempo Boomerang and Into the Roil provide, after all. Maybe I'll just cut the weaker swords like you suggested and load up on more removal. Thanks for the input mate!
4 weeks ago
sword of body and mind and sword of the animist seem cuttable
Crystal Shard can be a value engine that also taxes opponents, I think I like it more than familiar's ruse or deadeye navigator here. You could also run Gilded Drake which is great on its own and potentially get even more synergy