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Culling the Weak
As an additional cost to play Culling the Weak, sacrifice a creature.
Add (Black)(Black)(Black)(Black) to your mana pool.
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Culling the Weak Discussion
1 day ago
All those suggestions for cuts are great to consider! I appreciate it greatly!
- I will implement the swap from Reclamation Sage to Apprentice Necromancer to try it out again, you are right that he has been a bit too slow for high paced games anymore as I do tend to rely on Nature's Claim nowadays or even Krosan Grip/Abrupt Decay.
- I can agree on testing out Hope of ghiraphur in replacement for Autumn's Veil as well as Culling the Weak for Angel's Grace. I haven't been able to use the Angel's Grace fully as always I just go straight for the Ad Nauseam.
- I will however keep Birthing Pod there is no way to abuse the infinite and untap itself, but it does threaten a win on the spot, there are a couple ways and it all flows within the deck. Mainly it is the win condition with my commander as well as any 3 cmc goes to Academy Rector, 2 cmc goes to Saffi/Renegade line, 1 cmc goes to Grand Abolisher, 0 cmc goes to sac outlet. It does hurt the curve being at 4cmc but it's worth it to win.
Thanks for the feedback and I will add in changes once I get the foils xD
1 day ago
I will try to give suggestions on cutting cards from your deck, oh man it won't be easy:
About Apprentice Necromancer - Faerie Macabre (and other powerful GY hate spells) is a nasty thing, without a doubt, for a deck which uses graveyard for all those engines, chains and piles. But if you play reanimator deck in GY hate heavy meta, then you should be ready for things like that, and play around it. The resolution of Apprentice Necromancer ability can be disrupted (like almost any other spell/ability), but when it will resolve, you will be glad that you have him in the deck. So, what to cut? I would easily cut Reclamation Sage for Apprentice, cuz I think that Sage is really slow as an answer in fast combo decks and hurts more when you fetch it with Ad Nauseam. Another option, and maybe it will surprise you, but I would consider cutting Birthing Pod. I think its pretty slow and situational. And I don't see any chains with it, that can untap it for repeatable activations, or maybe I just don't see it. In case you don't want to lose the sac outlet, consider using Blasting Station instead, it fulfils the same role, and if you crack Hulk with it and go for your Renegade Rallier + Saffi Eriksdotter line, you will win on the spot.
Hope of Ghirapur/Blood Pet - candidates for cut: I agree with you about Krosan Grip, I would definitely cut it, but maybe you should leave this cut for Assassin's Trophy? Autumn's Veil is another card that I would cut for Hope or BPet.
Mana Vault - cutting lands is a painful process. To determine whether it is worth it or not is possible only in the process of many tests, so go ahead and try.
Culling the Weak - how about to cut Angel's Grace? Just try to remember how often you had to cast this spell? Whether it was always helpful sitting in your hand, and how often you used a tutor to fetch it?
Well, I ran out of ideas. Hope all this will help to make some decisions.
2 days ago
I'm already running Nature's Claim, and K-Grip is only in here for the split second meta-call due to the Paradox Engine decks. In my meta as well cheap spells are best, while exile is the next best relevant thing, Deglamer is great but I prefer not to have it in their deck or in the battlefield LOL.
It was a misunderstanding on my part for Zulaport vs. Blood Artist as I thought only Zula drains, but Blood Artist drains as well. Matrix999 made a good point on stopping other people's infinite recursion combo which my meta also have and never really thought about before. Blood Artist also triggers on other creatures dying whereas Zulaport doesn't which I can drain from a Necro/Ad Naus player deck to make their draws even less.
The reason why Matrixxx999 suggests Blood Pet is because it can sac itself for Pattern of Rebirth to tutor for Protean Hulk. The extra mana is also helpful which is why I want to find room for Culling the Weak, this deck only needs to win and every black counts when you can win T1-4.
Hope that gives some more insight buddy :P
2 days ago
Thanks for the upvote! Love the suggestions that you recommended, some of them I tried before but I would like to hear your mindset on them!
- I did run Apprentice Necromancer in here before but was cut because it was a bit too telegraphed and my meta does run a lot of graveyard hate, especially Faerie Macabre. I get why you would run it as it sacs at end step as well, but should I reconsider running it again?
- Hope of Ghirapur/Blood Pet I see the reason and I like it, but what slots can be cut or replaced to run these? Currently I see the weakest card in here is Krosan Grip due to curve and meta call against Paradox Engine decks.
- Mana Vault I think the original reason why I chose not to run it is because of the CMC curve and the heavy color requirements on black/green. I thus changed it into an Ad Naus deck so the burst is helpful, it bears consideration and I might cut a land for it, thoughts?
- Culling the Weak I really like this card...like really do, but I as with the problem above, I have no idea what to cut it out for.
- I did consider Recruiter of the Guard before, but having access to Black/Green it had gotten outclassed and cut by better tutors to lower curve. I also used to run her, just currently too high CMC and not enough slots to fit her in.
- Yeah the only reason I run Zulaport Cutthroat over Blood Artist is due to the target a player clause and because it drains which goes over certain cards like Glacial Chasm and the likes. I used to run both, but when your combo-ing off early game it doesn't matter, so I agree with your point and I'll make that switch!
Excellent points and suggestions I appreciate them very much, would you let me know what cards that you see that are too weak or can be cut to replace the cards you suggest.
2 days ago
I love good reanimator decks, so +1 from me!
Here are some suggestions that You can consider:
- Apprentice Necromancer - at first glance, this card seems slow, but given that we can sacrifice Rector and Hulk with his ability right out of the GY makes him a decent tool. I run this guy in both my reanimator decks with Hulk, Rector and Razaketh and it is always useful.
- Hope of Ghirapur - after several tests I found out that Hope is a greate anticontroll card, and it has a powerful synergy with Pattern of Rebirth. Actually, there is another creature which loves to be enchanted with Pattern - Blood Pet
- Mana Vault - a decent ramp card for playing key cards of the deck like: Ad Nauseam, Buried Alive, Pattern of Rebirth, Natural Order, Birthing Pod, Academy Rector, Karmic Guide, Reveillark and Protean Hulk ASAP.
- Culling the Weak - powerful ramp card and a great sac outlet for Hulk and Rector, in some situations can save your key creatures from exiling
- Have you considered Recruiter of the Guard? It seems like he can fetch a lot of your stuff, and maybe even create some chains.
- Also, why do you use Zulaport Cutthroat over Blood Artist, is it because Artist targets a player? Artist seems better, because it prevents your opponents from winning with their recursion loops.
1 week ago
The first thing I'll say is that with 21 lands, you probably can't expect to get the mana to launch Army of the Damned or a really powerful Mind Grind or Torment of Hailfire. Well, at least without Organ Harvest, of which you're only sporting one copy. (If you don't play with teammates, or if you don't play with silver-bordered cards, you might replace it with Culling the Weak.) For reference, the math on Army of the Damned is that about 1/3 of your cards are lands = 8/24, meaning you need to survive to turn 17-18 (have seen a total of 24 cards between your opening hand and your draws each turn) to hit that 8th land. That’s a long time in a Magic game.
Second, Mind Grind, while fun, is questionable here, since none of your other cards will mill your opponent. Many people play with 4 copies of many of their cards, so milling them might not cut them off from their game plan unless you mill them so much they might die. And for that, you would need more support for the mill plan or a LOT more mana. (This is possible, but a big change. Look for cards like Glimpse the Unthinkable and Mind Funeral. Otherwise, I'd cut it for cards that affect board-state or life-totals.)
Third, your overall game plan appears to be to stall in the early game for more powerful plays late, since your low cost cards are generally defensive. This means you'll want more lands in your deck so that you don't stumble on your way to those big plays. I'd remove Coral Atoll and put in four Dimir Aqueducts. It's not the ideal play, but it's cheap and there's a lot of upside if your opponent doesn't Ghost Quarter it or something. Anyways, that will take you up to 24 lands AND increase your average mana output a little more, letting you rely on 4CMC, 5CMC, and 6CMC plays to dominate the game.
Finally, on to individual cards:
Kraken Hatchling, Mausoleum Wanderer, Pharika's Chosen, and Will-o'-the-Wisp are all fine defensive one-drops, but they all do something a little different. Thornbow Archer is a little more aggressive than the rest of your deck wants, so maybe drop it and pick your favorite of those first four and add a second.
Fogwalker is okay on defense, though it's not the best two-drop out there. I'm not a fan of Olivia's Dragon, especially outside of madness/reanimator decks. Rancid Rats just doesn't offer enough oomph for the mana (skulk is not typically a very useful ability). Graf Rats is bad unless you have Midnight Scavengers, so it's really about how much you personally want to meld them. Ultimately, I'd rather replace them with better blockers like Wall of Tears, Wall of Souls, Contraband Kingpin, Dragon's Eye Savants, Gifted Aetherborn, or the absolute top-tier Baleful Strix. Other value options include Omenspeaker, Sigiled Starfish, and Augur of Bolas. Other fun options here are Surge Mare, Riptide Mangler, Lazav, the Multifarious, Fathom Feeder, and Ludevic's Test Subject Flip. Choose your favorites. Alternately, spot-removal like Doom Blade, Victim of Night, Cast Down, Go for the Throat, and sometimes Dimir Charm are pretty effective.
Wharf Infiltrator can be good sometimes. You can leave it in for fun or replace it.
Eternal Scourge has its uses, but I don't think this deck is optimized for it. Ideally you'd want a few things that can exile it from graveyard or hand, such as Gurmag Angler, Soulflayer, Tombstalker, Scavenging Ooze, Grim Lavamancer), Azor's Gateway Flip (from hand), or the most hilarious option, Serum Powder. As it stands, it's just difficult to kill outside of combat, like a bad shroud or hexproof. Honestly, I don't think you need a 3/3 to be immune to removal. Replace with a finisher, which I'll discuss in a bit. Alternately, one of my favorite defensive 3CMC creatures is Graveblade Marauder, since its offensive capabilities can rapidly increase.
Markov Crusader isn't actually very good even in the rare case when you do have another vampire, and you only have one other one. Compare to 4CMC utility wunderkind Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, 5CMC finishers (like Archfiend of Depravity, Glyph Keeper, Ob Nixilis, the Fallen, Vengeful Pharaoh, and maybe even Serra Sphinx), and 6CMC game-winners (like Noxious Gearhulk, Dread, Kokusho, the Evening Star, Wurmcoil Engine, Grave Titan, or even Vengeant Vampire, though that last one is much worse than the others). Sure, none do exactly what Markov Crusader does, but some are close and they all have incredible upsides. Even something like Shriekmaw might ultimately gain you more life by just killing something outright, plus it's super-flexible. Heck, Soul Ransom and Mind Control are strong cards too, at least against creature decks. Anyways, Markov Crusader is a card to replace.
Midnight Scavengers is okay, especially if you have a lot of disposable deathtouchers to bring back, but it still doesn't compare favorably to the above finishers unless you really want to meld it with Graf Rats. Remember, doing things you want to do is an important part of MTG. But if you don't care to meld, I'd look to replace it.
Ob Nixilis, Unshackled is fine. In most cases it doesn't compare favorably to the 6CMC critters above, but it has its uses. If you've got a lot of little deathtouchers (Pharika's Chosen, Typhoid Rats, Dire Fleet Poisoner, it can grow really out of hand. Also, Field of Ruin forces a library search.
Elder Deep Fiend is fine. Usually you play it in a deck that has plenty of creatures you don't mind (or are better off) sacrificing (for example, Priest of the Blood Rite, Relentless Dead, Doomed Dissenter, Stormbound Geist/Geralf's Messenger), then you emerge it early and tap down lands. That's not really your plan here, so it's probably not the best choice. Some good choices for replacements are above, but within the category of emerge creatures, I think Distended Mindbender fits your deck better.
Organ Harvest is a powerful card, but has some drawbacks. Most importantly, a lot of people don't play with or against silver-bordered cards. They're not legal in any official tournaments. Tournament legal variations are Dark Ritual, Culling the Weak, and Ashnod's Altar. Other than that, it's a card that is useless in many situations and completely changes what you're able to do when you actually can make use of it, and that can be awkward from a strategy perspective. If you don't have creatures, you can't cast it. If you don't have a big spell in your hand, you don't need to cast it and you'd rather have almost any other card. So it wants your deck to be full of disposable creatures and big spells, like an emerge deck or a zombie deck really making use of Army of the Damned and From Under the Floorboards. But for the most part that is not this deck, so unless you want to build around the card, I'd remove it, either replacing it with Dark Ritual which is always useful when drawn early, or something else that's cheap and effective: Dead Weight, Apathy, Doom Blade, Pharika's Chosen, or whatever.
Sorcerous Sight is worse than Peek and Gitaxian Probe, but I don't think any of those are particularly good in your deck. If you want to know what's in your opponent's hand, play Telepathy. Otherwise, there's better card draw: Preordain and Ponder are the best cheap spells, but it might be worth spending more mana for more effect with Sign in Blood or Chart a Course.
Cemetery Recruitment isn't particularly good with so few zombies. You can add more zombies, or switch to Ghoulcaller's Chant/Find / Finality/Recover/Disturbed Burial/Death Denied to simulate the effect, or just do card advantage the old-fashioned way, with stuff like Sign in Blood/Consult the Necrosages/Read the Bones/Notion Rain/Secrets of the Golden City. Alternately, shred your opponent's hand (and lose friends) with Hymn to Tourach or punch your opponent for cards with Shadowmage Infiltrator. If you're committed to bringing creatures back from the dead, look to Zombify, Extract from Darkness, or Isareth the Awakener, which can randomly run away with the game if your opponent doesn't have an answer. The most efficient reanimation spell is Unburial Rites, but you'd need to splash white for it to be better than the above options.
Contingency Plan doesn't actually net you any cards in hand; you just control what you are going to draw later. Since you're not very graveyard-focused, there's little benefit. The more flexible version is Dimir Charm, and the more powerful version is Lim-Dul's Vault. If you want to stack the top of your deck for 2CMC without wasting a card to do it, there's Diabolic Vision, but the 1CMC Preordain and Ponder are worthy as well. Alternately, raw card advantage is an option. Any of the options I've already listed are fine, but here are some more: Chemister's Insight, Foresee, Deep Analysis.
Mind Grind attacks on an irrelevant axis. Recommend replacing it with a finisher unless you add more mill. If you want a non-creature finisher, Ob Nixilis Reignited is pretty cool. If you just want something that can't get Murdered, there's Sphinx of Jwar Isle.
Torment of Hailfire is possibly workable if you go to 24 lands with Dimir Aqueducts. X=3 is pretty much the bare minimum, and if they have cards in hand even that might not be enough. This is a possible swap for a finisher, as above.
Army of the Damned is hard to cast at 8CMC. Recommend replacing it with a cheaper finisher unless you're all about Organ Harvest.
Apathy is pretty decent at 1CMC. Probably not as good as just casting Doom Blade/Go for the Throat to kill the thing, but definitely more interesting and fun. It can stay in, though swapping it for something more reliable is technically the correct decision.
Strange Augmentation is bad in your deck. While +3/+3 for 1CMC is fine in a very aggressive deck, that doesn't seem like your game plan. Ideally, your finishers are big enough to win without the extra P/T. If they're not, these could be replaced with kill spells to make sure they are.
Tormod's Crypt is useless unless you frequently play against graveyard-based decks. Even then, with only one in the deck, you're in bad shape. I'd swap it for Relic of Progenitus or Sentinel Totem if you really need graveyard hate. If a creature is reliable against those graveyard decks, Deadeye Tracker, Nezumi Graverobber, or Withered Wretch can do some work. Agent of Erebos is another option. If the only things you need to exile are creatures, then Cemetery Reaper, Dimir Doppelganger, and the powerful Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet are options. Otherwise, cheap kill spells, counterspells, or even more expensive exiling removal (e.g. Sever the Bloodline, Silence the Believers) are options. Phyrexian Scriptures is another card I'll mention, just 'cause it does lots of stuff.
Nevinyrral's Disk is pretty good. Go ahead and keep that in there.
Gridlock is okay, but it's basically a Darkness you can use aggressively. I think Sleep is generally better at that. Alternately, if you want a mass-defense spell, Yahenni's Expertise, Languish, and Damnation are the go-to sweepers.
Outwit is way too narrow; most decks don't target players. (The primary exceptions are burn and mill, so if you play against them a lot, it might be fine.) If you want a dollar-cost-effective counterspell in that slot, play Counterspell or MAYBE Dimir Charm for flexibility.
Murder is fine. (Card-wise, not morally!) Technically Hero's Downfall is better if you can get one.
Liliana Vess is fine, but she's a little slow. I'm not sure whether she's better or worse in this deck than Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, Ob Nixilis Reignited, Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath, or even Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver. My inclination is that those are stronger as you increase the median quality of the cards in your deck (making Vess's -2 less important).
Here's one inexpensive, somewhat-boring take:
2x Glyph Keeper
1x Liliana Vess
2x Dimir Charm
2x Doom Blade
2x Agony Warp
3x Notion Rain
That's just one take on the general strategy. Ultimately, (I think) you're playing Dimir Midrange, and so you're looking for about 40% (24) lands, 30% (18) things that keep you alive until you have 4-6 mana, 20% (12) things that kill your opponent and are themselves hard to kill, and 10% (6) things that put you ahead on cards just in case you're not drawing the right part of your deck.
1 week ago
+1! Great deck! I love Mono-black! So, have you thought about Razaketh, the Foulblooded for insane tutoring and Culling the Weak and black rituals for more ramp to use stolen spells earlier? Beautiful alter bye the way!