Cunning Lethemancer

Cunning Lethemancer

Creature — Human Wizard

At the beginning of your upkeep, each player discards a card.

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Set Rarity
Shards of Alara (ALA) Rare

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Vintage Legal
Casual Legal
2019-10-04 Legal
Legacy Legal
Noble Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Unformat Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Leviathan Legal
Highlander Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Modern Legal

Cunning Lethemancer occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.0%

Cunning Lethemancer Discussion

MarkovBrewer69 on Welcome to the Thieves Guild!

1 week ago

I like the deck, you have some interesting cards here in the 99. If you are looking to make it more powerful, Mindslicer might be up your ally. The only concern would be you do not have too many ways to sacrifice it, so up to you if you think it could work. Some other cards you might like Pox, Bag of Holding, Cunning Lethemancer, and Gray Merchant of Asphodel as a general black good card.

SueMe on Hogaak: My Favorite (Infinite) Combo Deck

2 weeks ago

Interesting suggestion MrDimir!

I haven't really put much thought into a group-slug discard strat. I think Oppression would be playable if it was a creature. Otherwise, playing it would be taking up a turn where I'm could be playing a creature or a card-draw spell. The closest thing to this effect on a stick is Cunning Lethemancer I believe (my research wasn't too thorough though).

Interesting stuff. I'll make sure to look out for more effects like this.

Spell_Slam on Kaervek Group Hugging Slug

3 weeks ago

I know this is probably one of the worst cards for multiplayer ever, but Grip of Chaos seems legitimately good for your deck as an on-curve way to protect Kaervek pretty much forever against any targeted removal.

Captive Audience is both a hug and a slug at once. Seems to fit the bill here.

Allure of the Unknown seems like a great way to get some card advantage and also get an opponent to cast a spell for you and trigger Kaervek.

Koskun Falls is a good way to dissuade attacks. You won't mind tapping even your Commander for this.

Xantcha, Sleeper Agent seems good to get opponents to spend mana to kill another opponent and get cards out of it.

Forcing opponents to discard their cards will also encourage them to play more aggressively. It also gives opponents less answers for your main strategy. You wouldn't want to focus on it too much, but a few key cards could be really fun. Rankle, Master of Pranks is pretty versatile, Sire Of Insanity might be overkill, Awaken the Erstwhile is still group-huggy, and then there's Bottomless Pit, Necrogen Mists and Cunning Lethemancer for continual discard.

Dash Hopes is one of the first cards I would remove from the deck. Gremlin Infesation, Tibalt and Judith all seem underwhelming.

Tzefick on How would you give white ...

2 months ago

TL;DR: The pre-text is LONG. Sorry about that, but there's a lot to unfold about the subject. If you just want to skip down to the suggestions I brainstormed, go below the first set of 3 lines.

It is no secret that the Commander community for a long time has regarded white as one of the weaker colors in Commander, especially as a monocolor. Many have pointed their fingers at how well the color achieves mana ramp and card draw/advantage.

White actually do have a small slew of card advantage and ramp cards or cards that in essence cheats the requirement for mana.

White has raw card draw in Mentor of the Meek and Dawn of Hope, although hidden behind a requirement in form of a trigger. Both are triggers that are fairly easy to achieve but not without costs. Not to forget Sram, Senior Edificer (and Puresteel Paladin) - but again behind a trigger requiring a very specific type of deck building. White has additional card advantage through regaining access to cards once lost, like through a Sun Titan getting back small permanents, or Nomad Mythmaker, Order of Whiteclay, or Bishop of Rebirth.

White has ramp in form of Knight of the White Orchid and Kor Cartographer and pseudo card advantage in good ol' Land Tax. The knight has a requirement that you need to be behind to actually ramp, and that aspect goes again in many of white's attempts to imitate ramp and card draw. White can only catch up, they cannot get ahead. These aspects are most recently seen through Verge Rangers (pseudo card advantage - not ramp, you don't get access to more lands than 1 per turn) and through Cartographer's Hawk. There's also Oath of Lieges but that is a symmetrical effect and may as well just benefit some of your opponents as much as it does you.

White can cheat the requirement for mana in a few instances, like casting Resurrection on a higher costing creature, an aspect they share with black and often a favorite when the two are paired. Where they differ is that black usually does it for less mana at another resource expense, and that black has different means to get those creatures out into your graveyard to set it all up. White has none of these opportunities/advantages.

This thread mainly aims to discuss white getting card draw/advantage in the Commander format and how they would achieve it to fit their color identity, but we can talk about the Commander format in general as well. To clarify, the topic is aimed at discussing how white could get card draw/advantage and not really whether or not they should - do feel free to voice your opinion for or against but please keep it limited and instead focus on how card draw could fit into white's color identity. It doesn't necessarily have to be from a place within the current color identity, but could be exploring new design space that hasn't been seen before.


Let's examine how other colors achieve card advantage:

Blue is super easy and the main color that achieves it, they usually do it straight as an investment for the specific purpose of gaining more resources; Concentrate. Blue also has access to looting options where they draw cards and discard cards (or the other way around); Merfolk Looter / Tolarian Winds. Blue also has the largest collection of cards with Flashback, so even once Blue uses a resource from their hand, they can do it again from their graveyard; Deep Analysis - although these cards are usually more costly than their non-flashback peers.

Black is also relatively easy as they imitate blue's investment but at an additional cost; Night's Whisper. As previously stated black can also access their graveyard like white and reuse mainly creatures that have died or otherwise put into the graveyard (from say an Entomb) by using Animate Dead or Zombify. Black's ability even goes beyond their own graveyard and dip into their opponent's graveyard. Black also have some aspect of self-discarding, usually as a symmetrical effect that aims at harming their opponents while still being able to access the cards they lost themselves; like Cunning Lethemancer.

Red is relatively new on this block, as they have for a long while had many of the same issues as white. Red did however have cards that looted (drawing and discarding cards) in the concept of picking up the strongest of a larger selection of cards - this is also called card filtering as you don't get an advantage in resources, only the selection. However red also has a selection of cards with flashback or activated or triggered abilities from the graveyard. With the introduction of impulse draw - so named from Act on Impulse, where red exiles a number of cards from the top of their library for the ability to play those for a limited time. Thus red has achieved temporary card draw.

Green is one of the richest colors in the color pie at the moment, having access to a lot of control cards, protective measures, card advantage, ramp and swingy plays. It is no wonder to me how green is one of the stronger colors in Commander. Green has access to some very strong card advantage cards that fits right into the slow format of Commander. Rishkar's Expertise is a favorite as it combines the Commander format's slow pace, green's affinity for big creatures, and a powerful swing in resources, all in one card. Another is the ability to draw from creatures being cast or entering the battlefield. Outside the slow Commander format, you don't really see these types of cards, but within the format they are strong and valuable. Green also has access to the most flexible way to reuse cards from the graveyard through Eternal Witness, Greenwarden of Murasa, Road of Return - road and Myth Unbound are even commander specific benefits that makes casting your commander cheaper, within the color with the most access to mana acceleration. So the color that needs it the least has ways to reduce their mana demand on casting their commander. I would argue this aspect should have been placed within white and/or blue more than in green. Black is getting in on it with Netherborn Altar, so in the future we might see the other colors circumventing the commander tax in some fashion.

White has very few card draw cards (the best of which are mentioned above) and all are locked behind some kind of condition that is not insignificant, compared to something like Beast Whisperer.


It would seem white lacks behind quite a bit in this aspect. When a color cannot do something itself or not very well, they usually seek toward artifacts to fix their issues. Here you can utilize Mind's Eye or Loreseeker's Stone or Arcane Encyclopedia or Book of Rass or Endless Atlas or Skullclamp or Tome of Legends to name a handful of the better variants. What most of these have in common is that they are expense to cast or maintain or require some specific deck building choices to function.

If the general consensus of Commander players are to be taken into account along with the perceived strength of each color, it would seem these artifacts are not enough to help white overcome its lack of card draw. Furthermore white's other strengths doesn't seem to have enough impact to offset this lack.

The general argument I have seen against providing white with card advantage is; it breaks the color pie, white can utilize artifacts to fix their weaknesses to some extend, white's strengths comes from mass land destruction, taxing (Thalia, Guardian of Thraben) and hatebears (Aven Mindcensor). Again I don't really want this thread to be overshadowed about arguing for/against White getting card draw into their color identity, let's just assume white eventually will get card draw - how would that look like?

Brief discussion on the counter arguments Show

I really like the way WotC incorporated card draw into red, as impulse draw feels red but it is card draw and it helps red smooth out some edges it may have in especially multiplayer formats, such as Commander.

So, if we assume white is eventually going to get card draw, how would it look like? Here's a couple of ideas for concepts on how to incorporate a card draw mechanic with white flavor.




Taxing

Good ol' taxing. We already have Smothering Tithe, so something similar to Rhystic Study could be a possibility. It could be an aura you put on a land, so whenever it is tapped that opponent pays mana or grants you card draw. It doesn't necessarily have to be mana that is taxed, it could also just be the action/trigger itself that is the tax.

A taxing example Show



Warring / "spoils of war"

White is the most militarized color that deals in organized military strategy, being the main color for the creature types Soldier and Knight. White is often associated with combat and attacking as well. Perhaps it should be used to its advantage and provide some means to acquire card draw - figure it a substitute for roleplay wise gaining lands / trade routes / power / intelligence.

Example of war "spoils" Show



Trading

I actually really like the idea of this one, although it may be harder to properly accomplish.

White has before had trades happening like Armistice and Bargain. There's also the advocates and Benevolent Offering but they are not unique to white and is a set mechanic. It's been a while since this was part of white's color pie, but it could be again.

Example on trading Show

The flavor is there, as white is a color of community and peace, so trading seems like a natural byproduct. I really like the political aspect from this mechanic when considering multiplayer formats.



Divination

An alternative to direct card draw; you choose a card type (instant, sorcery, creature, land, artifact, enchantment, planeswalker) and then look at top X cards of your library, you may reveal a card of the chosen type and put it into hand, put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

This reflects the Commune with Nature (which is a green card I know) but it seems to fit white's color pie as the more religious color, to ask the gods/divine/faith for a boon and maybe it is answered, maybe not. Obviously you can deck tech to increase your chances but the idea is a card draw that is not guaranteed. Under the right circumstances it can be stronger than a card draw as it may filter.

Example on Divination Show



Honor the ancestors

I really wanted to create some kind of mechanic that allowed white to dump cards into their graveyard, to synergize with white's inherent ability to generate card advantage through recurring permanents, especially low CMC permanents. As it stands white needs to cast those smaller permanents and have them put into the graveyard from the battlefield - thus making these recurring effects a lot more narrow than their black and even green brethren, who can more easily set up these beneficial plays. But it doesn't seem very much like a white thing to self-mill, ala Surveil, nor do they discard. For white to have this particular synergy you would have to make them gain it without much prior precedent.

One thing that seemed sort of within the flavor of white would be to honor the ancestors, remember the history, keep to the traditions. I think you could work that flavor into some kind of mechanic that could work to white's advantage.

Examples on Honoring the Ancestors Show




Anyway, that's just what I brainstormed for. Like I said before I really liked the flavor on red's card draw and I want white to get something similar. Do you like any of my suggestions or think you can refine them? How would you give white card draw that is flavorful?

TwinStags on Skullbriar, Oh Lawd He Comin’

4 months ago

McToters

Right? My play-group fell apart and I stopped playing. I plan on starting up at an LGS soon, even though I hate most people that play lol. I figured I’d put an new coat of paint on before I get smeared.hows your deck favoring? I’ll check it out after this comment.

Thanks for the compliments though! Over time I realized Skullbriar isn’t worth protecting when golgari is so good at just bringing shit back. I figure the best method is keeping people’s hands empty, graveyards full, and a board full of lock out creatures. I’m writing up a new primer and adding more cards like Sheoldred soon.

A TON of cards are plummeting with the mystery boosters so I’m considering cards I previously hadn’t.

Hydras growth is the best card we’ve received in ages for this deck. I’m so excited for all the new EDH cards coming out this year. Maybe it’ll allow a more counter focused deck.

The discard theme is new but I figure it’s a much stronger protection than just beefing up with enchantments and artifacts: Necrogen Mists, Oppression, Bottomless Pit, Cunning Lethemancer, Liliana, Heretical Healer  Flip, and Stronghold Rats

sc4rr4 on Davriel's Torture Chamber

11 months ago

ew

Also I would cut Chittering Rats for something like Arterial Flow , Cackling Fiend , or even Caligo Skin-Witch . Heck, even Cunning Lethemancer is better - I would rather affect all opponents than just one, and putting a card back on top is just not satisfying for me. Your call though!

I have a special place in my heart for cards like Capital Punishment and Delirium Skeins but they are more conditional.

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