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Cursed Totem Discussion
9 hours ago
I love Jhoira, it is a storm deck with a crazy powerful commander, two synergistic artifact colors, and the ability to run Mox Amber to its fullest extent, a card that screams commander, yet cannot be played in a variety of decks for many reasons. Captain Sisay actually also uses it to a great extent, abusing the commander that can fetch it because it is legendary to cast cards off of Paradox Engine, but again, that is besides the point.
Jhoira commonly needs to be all in to often storm off perfectly, and though by using Retract, Hurkyl's Recall, and Rebuild effects you can increase the amount of cards you draw to keep going off. Using effects that reduce mana costs is the backbone of the deck, and it is easy to see why this works when your commander can be cast using the artifacts you storm off with after she hits.
The issue comes with not depleting resources before you cast Jhoira, keeping jhoira on the field, meaning you have to run enough countermagic and removal to stop opposition, and also have enough to storm off after her, not fizzling when you draw dead lands or dead interaction. This balance requires a lot of work on the pilot to know when you have to mulligan to find more interaction. This isn't easy even for the best pilots in the best decks for the list.
Compare that to a stax deck that can shut off this deck with a well positioned Force of Will, Silence, Swords to Plowshares, or Dismember can not only stop you for a turn, but for many until you can rebuild at which point if a Rule of Law or Arcane Laboratory, Damping Matrix, Thorn of Amethyst, Sphere of Resistance or other random stax card hits you your out until you find an answer, of which your deck needs to run little of for fear of drawing too many when you try to combo out.
Not to menton some stax is anti-artifact, Kataki, War's Wage, Stony Silence, Null Rod, and a lot others will be nearly impossible to win through. The same is true for a lot of decks, but storm in particular due to their reliance on engines like Jhoira, Ad Nauseam or even Paradox Engine itself. These cards have answers, and will almost always lose given that the answer is found. It is sad, but the issue with storm.
Jeleva, Kess, and Yidris storm run tutors and are in black to make up for this, finding their engine before the opposition can answer it, but the card they find it Ad Nauseam, whereas even though Jhoira has already been found, being the commander of the deck, creatures are the easiest things to remove, and this is at sorcery speed to cast, so is weak to everything in essence. This means it is a weak engine, but still fast.
The biggest issue with Jhoira I haven't gone over though. Storm decks run storm cards. They run cards like Brainstorm, Dark Ritual, and Manamorphose if they are in color, these cards let you storm off with or without the engine, Kess Storm can go off with just some good cards in hand, Jhoira cannot do that. You can't storm off with Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, Lotus Petal, and a Sensei's Divining Top, it just doesn't work, but with Jhoira it is a perfect kind of hand, you can get her out turn one and have mana up for more stuff, however if your engine is off to any reason, the deck sucks really bad, as sad as it is.
Sisay is a stax deck, not a combo deck, I mean it runs a combo, but that is a finisher after it combos out, you can read more on it, but you are right, it isn't fast, control decks aren't often.
The combo is two turn win, Sisay hits, next turn you fetch Paradox Engine, cast it, cast something, untap sisay, fetch Mox Amber, then Mox Opal, Seton, Krosan Protector, fetch Bontu's Monument, Bow of Nylea, and Mikaeus, the Lunarch, let Mike die, get 3, use bow to put Mike on the bottom, fetch it, then loop this. Monument kills by draining each opponent.
This is all fetchable from the command zone, but also so it stax pieces like Linvala, the Preserver, Kataki, War's Wage, protection like Dosan the Falling Leaf and Yavimaya Hollow and removal like Mangara of Corondor. This outclasses Jhoira on the basis of straight consistency.
Frogger isn't my forteit, so I cannot vouch for it, but going against the deck is rough in many cases, it storms off through the graveyard, so my removal doesn't work. More in-depth descriptions elsewhere are on how it is so fast, but it uses a discard outlet and Frogger to cycle it's deck infinitely, a twocard combo with the commander, of which there are 7 or so other halves. That is insane consistency for combo decks often. Ask someone else for details.
Najeela can be made super fast, control, stax, what have you, it is a five color general with many two card combos with the commander, so that the deck is able to be blisteringly fast, or a slower deck, it is fully up to the pilot, unlike other decks in which the best variants are known. Druids' Repository is a great enchantment that goes through most stax, and it the most popular combo with najeela. She also is 3 mana, and has an occasional win under stax if the commander can just swing around like a kreno deck that doesn't die to Cursed Totem.
I hope you understand my take on this issue, and have cleared up the inherit flaws on jhoira and the reason some decks are better than it, not to say it is trash, just that as is, the deck isn't great in the meta.
1 day ago
PartyJ thanks for the compliments!
I need to finish this primer, which should help clear up some of my card choices, in the mean time feel free to bounce any ideas you have off me.
I really wanted to keep a tribal Elves aspect to this deck, I get it's not the optimal way to run a Nath stax list but it's a flavor win and keeps my inner aggro player happy.
I'm at an odd inbetween area with this list, I want to find a hybrid between stax, combo and aggro but I'm not sure if that's possible.
4 days ago
Sorry I should have clarified. I meant how I helped TheErebos not asking him for advice. To go with your questions.
How well do you know cEDH? You do know that unless your running a combo deck multiple pieces of cards as a win con is too slow. You said you want to make a Boros color as competitive as possible. The cards you listed are not optimal and subpar.
You mentioned that you want to build a value town/stax(prison) hybrid. You are delving into combo pieces and not part of the lines you set your self up for. The main reason I listed the partners as commanders is because in a competitive meta life is a valuable resource if your going against Ad Naus type of decks the pressure Akiri gives is great. Having all the mana rocks in addition to stax/hate pieces will boost up her power and rack up damage as well as staxing the board. You break parity by gaining additional creatures for the value and go hatebears to swing and chip away at their life slowly while Bruse helps micro manage and enables higher outputs of damage.
- Aven Mindcensor
- Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
- Containment Priest
- Ethersworn Canonist
- Magus of the Moon
- Imperial Recruiter
- Recruiter of the Guard
- Treasure Nabber
- Vryn Wingmare
- Eidolon of Rhetoric
- Hokori, Dust Drinker
- Hushwing Gryff
- Linvala, Keeper of Silence
- Sanctum Prelate
- Spirit of the Labyrinth
- Thalia, Heretic Cathar
- Harsh Mentor
- Cursed Totem
- Defense Grid
- Grafdigger's Cage
- Mana Web
- Null Rod
- Orb of Dreams
- Sphere of Resistance
- Static Orb
- Tangle Wire
- Thorn of Amethyst
- Torpor Orb
- Tsabo's Web
- Ward of Bones
- Winter Orb
- Blood Moon
- Blind Obedience
- Price of Glory
- Aura of Silence
- Porphyry Nodes
- Rest in Peace
- Rule of Law
- Stony Silence
1 week ago
I'm just glad I have an abundance of ways to play around Cursed Totem. That card neutered my Yisan deck. Now I'm getting back at them bahahaha!!
3 weeks ago
I'd say it's somewhere in between. We're not all-in on stax since we don't have access to white, and any tax effects or Rule of Law effects are detrimental to the storm win condition. But an all in storm deck is too slow compared to other options, since we lack the unconditional tutors of black, and the critical Ad Nauseam. So we're not as fast or consistent as UBx storm because we're missing black, and we're not as good at stax as a dedicated stax deck because we can't run a lot of the effects, so we play somewhere in between instead. All we're looking to do is slow down the table just enough to win. The best way we can do this without hurting ourselves is mana denial, and that comes from cards like Blood Moon and Cursed Totem, and using Jhoira as a card advantage engine to ensure we continue to have resources. Then you look for cards like Hurkyl's Recall, Retract, Rebuild, Chain of Vapor, or Paradoxical Outcome as a way to initiate a storm line off of your existing mana rocks, or you manage to find Words of Wind (which happens more often than you might think) and loop off of that to either grind out a large board advantage if you're not infinite or win the game outright if you are.
KCI serves as a solid CA engine when paired with Scrap Trawler and is generally just a great mana producer even without that. But it's entirely possible neither of those should really be there, honestly.
3 weeks ago
I initially ran the other cost reducers when I was on more of a storm game plan, but I transitioned to a slightly slower, more stax-focused build at some point and the more expensive cost reducers don't really bring anything to the table at that point.
Winter Orb basically just plays the mana denial game by hitting land-based mana, and we break parity by using artifact mana. Of the three major sources of mana production (lands, artifacts, and creatures) we're running land hate in the form of Winter Orb and Blood Moon (and you could even experiment with Back to Basics, and creature hate in the form of Cursed Totem and to an extent Pyroclasm. We don't run artifact hate since that's how we break parity. Something like Static Orb isn't realistic for us to break parity on since it also hits our artifact mana, so it's not included.
I wouldn't advise Grand Architect since it's a 3-CMC double blue creature that doesn't trigger Jhoira.
The description is very much out of date here (and I'm very lazy and haven't updated it), KCI combo isn't in the deck anymore.
1 month ago
These cards will be helpful against many decks and you won't need to worry about Zacama either.
1 month ago
The goal of these types of cards is that at least for effects like Nevermore, Null Chamber, Gideon's Intervention, Pithing Needle, Darksteel Mutation, Imprisoned in the Moon, Cursed Totem, Sorcerous Spyglass, Song of the Dryads, etc. is that they are 'commander removal', a way of getting around the command-zoning techniques that are abused by commanders that get removed often, yet can just be cast for more.
Mairsil can also use cards like Empress Galina or other steal effects as you can't command zone those either. Empress will also have an activated ability Mairsil can get, allowing you to make a sort of lock on all commanders.