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Cursed Totem Discussion
1 week ago
Hey man! I found you on youtube. I've been searching for fellow Koko players. it's crazy how few of us there are!
I recently built my Kokusho deck and it's become my absolute favorite deck to pilot. I love your deck and I'm totally stealing some of the cards you run. I'm gonna throw my deck at you too and see if you like any of the ideas I have, one fellow Kokusho player to another. These are just ideas or suggestions, take 'em or leave 'em obviously.
Soldevi Adnate - Wait a turn sac outlet. Soldevi can only be used once per turn but it gives you 6 mana!
Mikaeus, the Unhallowed - An extra reanimat in between every reanimate you're able to complete without him. clutch!
Chainer, Dementia Master - Arguable should be the commander, but I prefer him in the 99 myself. But yeah if I could only run one creature in the 99 I think this would be it.
K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth - So much value, especially if you have a Jet Medallion in play. It feels like you're casting everything for free. K'rrik + Chainer + Koko (in GY or on the battlefield) + any sac outlet = combo for the win.
Villis, Broker of Blood - For us he basically says "x: draw x cards, then draw x cards again" that is mana efficient card draw.
Personally I only run 8 creatures in the 99. These 5 absolutely make the cut. (Gary, Disciple, and Crypt Ghast are my other picks which you are already running. Gonti I sometimes throw in just for fun, he doesn't make the deck more powerful but he's fun to play in casual pods. I like stealing cards from people.)
We actually don't have any sorceries in common. Although I have been considering adding Exsanguinate. Anyway, here are some I suggest:
Reanimate - the Original Gangsta of reanimation. The namesake thereof. Very mana efficient. It hurts us a tiny bit in the life lost department. But you came to the right place if you want some life to spend.
Bubbling Muck - very good min-late game ramp spell.
Damnation - An efficient board wipe. It's basically Wrath of God in black.
Toxic Deluge - Also very efficient for us who love to spend life. It can get around indestructible too. I actually feel like I should be running MORE board wipes. Afterall, I have a creature that wants to die and I have very few other creatures. But these two were the best I could find. I also might add Mutilate .
Demonic Tutor - a Classic.
Diabolic Intent - Sac outlet plus a tutor.
Praetor's Grasp - i love stealing from opponents. You can usually find someone at the table that you think will have an Ashnod's Alter. But you can always find something good.
Scheming Symmetry - I like being political and making deals, this is a good way to do that.
Exhume - I can usually find a time to use it when it won't benefit opponents too much. Either way, it's 2 mana to reanimate Koko.
Footsteps of the Goryo
- 3 mana to reanimate. Plus it sacs at end of turn, although i often have sac'd and reanimated it again by that time.
You have a lot of Graveyard to hand effects, which are great, but I much prefer Graveyard to Battlefield.
Instants. I don't have Thrilling Encore but it is my style of play, so i just might add that one. I don't have Tragic Slip either but I can't say it's a bad card. Definitely a good removal spell.
I do have the other three that you have and they are amazing.
a few more I like:
Abnormal Endurance - 2 mana to pre-reanimate or "Preanimate" if you will.
Corpse Dance - 3 mana to reanimate. Plus Koko can come in and swing for 5 in the air so that's a plus. I almost never attack with him otherwise. Buyback on this makes it an absolute must.
Goryo's Vengeance - 1 mana to reanimate, again with haste! you want a sac outlet though else it exile at end of turn. (sends Koko back to command zone, but still, you're rather he die again of course. This one can actually be spliced onto the other Goryo which is fun and seldom happens. lol plus you can't target Koko with both of them if you do it that way, but hey, maybe you get Gary AND Koko.
Grim Return - 3 mana to bring back anything from any graveyard. Usually Koko, but maybe you want something else from someone else's bin. this can get it done. Instant speed is nice.
Sacrifice - one time sac outlet but also net 5 mana ritual! not bad at all.
Shallow Grave - This one, like Corpse Dance, picks only the top card so be careful the order you put things into graveyard. 2 mana to reanimate. yes please.
Undying Evil - very similar to Supernatural Stamina although I actually prefer this one because it leaves him up to block in case you need that.
Vampiric Tutor - not budget at all obviously. But if you have one, this is a great place for it.
Wake the Dead - Kind of niche, but you can usually sac at instant speed so waiting for opponents turn isn't so bad normally. 3 mana to reanimate Koko and sac him again. already quite good. but you could pay 1 more and bring back Gary too if he's in there. 1 more brings back . . .Runescarred Demon or whatever. it only gets better and better in the late game with more mana available and more cards in the graveyard.
Blade of Selves - So this is my number 1 recommendation. It's my favorite card in all of MTG and it's the reason I even wanted to make this deck. I use BoS in my green decks a lot, and I have never made a black deck before but I kept thinking how awesome this would be on Kokusho so... here we are. As long as you have 3 opponents this card says "at the beginning of your combat step gain 30 life and each opponent loses 10 life." Plus you're swinging for 5 in the air so you can point that at the person with the highest life total and hopefully keep all opponents closer together so you don't get to that awkward late game where Koko dies and only gains you 5 or 10 life. Token copies can be abused as well. For instance, You swing Koko equipped with Blade, 2 tokens ETB, you kill one and then let's say you keep the other one and send the real koko to the graveyard because you have an instant speed reanimate effect but no sac outlet. You reanimate him and bam, legend rule triggers again and you kill him again or kill the token this time. You will have to spend 4 more mana to re-equip Blade but it can be worth it at times. Speaking of token copies of koko...
Minion Reflector - Basically a colorless Bramble Sovereign, another card that I love love love in my green decks. Minion reflector makes a copy, kills the real guy, the copy can attack, then maybe you reanimate Koko and let the copy die this time.
- This can be another Cabal Coffers, or a copy of an opponent's Zendikar Resurgent... it's insanely versatile.
you could stack triggers, making it become a copy of Kokusho and then before that resolves you make it a copy of Soldevi Adnate who you just cast. Soldevi has summoning sickness but Mirage Mirror doesn't so you become a copy of Soldevi, then tap to sac Kokusho and add 6 mana, then the first activation resolves and Mirage Mirror becomes Kokusho who isn't even around anymore. It's tapped, but that doesn't matter much, you can sac it for value, or maybe reanimate Kokusho who comes back into what otherwise would have been no sac outlet but now the legend rule triggers and you get another death trigger. End of turn Mirage Mirror is just a tapped Mirage Mirror again.
Mirror of the Forebears - even cheaper version of Mirage Mirror but not nearly as versatile. I always name "Spirit" because Koko is my only dragon but Crypt Ghast is a Spirit so there's a chance I'll want MotF to be a Crypt Ghast later on. Usually though it just becomes a Kokusho until end of turn to give me free repeatable "sacrifice" (not really but essentially the same thing). speaking of dragons...
Dragon's Hoard - This is fun, although I might take it out because there are more powerful things that could be added. But yeah, it's a 3 mana mana rock. Ramp is kind of important early game when you have a 6 mana commander and your whole deck revolves around him. But then you start adding Gold Counters and now it's an extra card you get to draw pretty much every turn.
Phyrexian Altar - Yeah I'd choose Ashnod's over this but it's a close second. well worth the slot IMO.
Blasting Station - Another great sac outlet. Repeatable. and you can ping down opponents' life totals or ping their small utility creatures.
Bolas's Citadel - This is how you get card advantage in mono black. And with koko we have plenty of life to spend! Finishes the game a little faster too, as soon as opponents are under 10 life you might be able to sac everything and tka 'em to 0.
Cauldron of Souls - Not as good as Mikaeus because he might reanimate Koko 2 or 3 times in a turn, but Cauldron is still awesome and can reanimate everybody you've got. Plus, being an artifact, it's a little more resilient than Mike.
Cursed Totem - I might take this out since stax aren't my style. But it is very powerful. Chainer, Vilis, and Soldevi are the only creatures in my entire deck that this hurts.
Jet Medallion - I'm often casting 3 or 4 spells in a turn so this can really put in the work.
Lifeline - interesting effect. it's symmetrical so be careful. but trust me, you'll get more use form it than they will. But yeah, I'd rather play group hug effects that benefit me more than they rather than stax effects that hurt they more than me. Anyway, this brings back anything that dies at the end of the turn, as long as there is another creature on the battlefield. When i'm not trying to win very hard and I just want a fun interesting game this will often be the target of my tutors. If I wanna win I grab Chainer and K'rrick :)
Strionic Resonator - Guess what's better than getting one death trigger from a dying Spirit Dragon? . . .
Well of Lost Dreams - Draw as many cards as you want for 1 mana each. not a bad deal at all.
Wishclaw Talisman - Another tutor, but one that can make friends. I usually pick the person I want to befriend and I say ""I'ma use the first wish, I'll give you the second wish if you give me the third. Deal?" If they won't make the deal I pick another opponent. Someone is likely willing to do it, and you end up with basically 2 Demonic Tutors.
You have amazing enchantments. I don't yet own Wound Reflection or Exquisite Blood but when I get them they will definitely go in this deck. Black Market is AMAZING, Sanguine Bond is a must. The others I don't run but they are great cards. A few I recommend:
Necropotence - After Vilis this is the best card draw spell in my deck. My playgroup always targets it because it can get crazy ESPECIALLY if you have Thought Vessel or Reliquary Tower in play. I've considered running Shimmer Myr and Vedalken Orrery so I can just draw my whole deck minus 1 or 2 cards, and then chain some rituals into Shimmer Myr into Vedalken Orrery into either a win or a Spellbook to keep my hand. But yeah, I don't run those right now. Just reliquary Tower and Thought Vessel. But even without those, I usually pay enough life to draw up to 10 and then I have to exile 3 cards. But it's so much card draw and card selection!
Attrition - Very nice creature removal
Gate to Phyrexia - Very nice artifact removal, although it has been annoying that it can only happen at upkeep. Still worth though!
Tainted AEther - Super mean stax piece. Great for the Kokusho player, not great for anyone else.
Lethal Vapors - This one is even meaner somehow. And I love that it has it's own demise onit. like "hey, you're welcome to end this meanness any time you want man..." My friends have learned to just kill it as soon as it comes out, it's just a matter of who will be the one to lose a turn for the team. pretty funny stuff.
Dawn of the Dead - Kinda like Lifeline but even better IMO. It reanimates at upkeep and gives haste. It's interesting that this and Cauldron of Souls and Chainer and Mikaeus and Lifeline and Corpse Dance with buyback all cost 5 mana. Apparently that's the sweetspot for repeatable reanimates.
Unholy Indenture - A preanimate effect that can steal opponents' creatures if you want to use it for that.
Kaya's Ghostform - Another preanimate for only 1 mana. Also beings it back from exile! I noticed you have a couple planeswalkers as well, this can bring them back too, with renewed loyalty of course, and ready to use a second tie if you killed them on your turn. It's just 1 mana! insane!
Necromancy , Dance of the Dead , and Animate Dead are three more reanimate spells. They have a lot of text but basically they bring koko from GY to battlefield. All three can steal from opponents' graveyards if you so choose. Necromancy can be played as an instant.
I'm currently re-thinking my lands package. I have Field of the Dead so I've kind of gone pretty heavily into running all differently named lands. I have a few Swamps, a few Snow-Covered Swamps, and then a bunch of great stuff and a bunch of janky terrible stuff lol. But I'm thinking i might clean it up a bit and go with more basics to help out Cabal Coffers more.
I'm super jealous of your Cavern of Souls. I would love to get one of those someday. And I too run Glacial Chasm. It can be a really important card in some games. A funny janky combo that I've never done but hope to one day is to have Glacial Chasm in play and Lethal Vapors and then I activate Lethal Vapor's skipping my next turn, but before it resolves and kills Lethal Vapors I activate it again, 1 billion times. Then it dies and I skip all my turns from now on, and if opponents don't have a way to destroy Glacial Chasm, or to drain me of life, then they eventually mill themselves out and lose. Obviously this is very situational, most of the time I feel like they'd be able to find a way to win, but it would be funny nonetheless.
Anyway, good card. Also Nephalia Academy. I didn't even know about that card but I'ma get one and start playtesting it. very interesting effect!
Geier Reach Sanitarium - Sometimes you really want a certain card in your graveyard, this can help you put it there.
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth - A classic. Don't forget it might help opponents too though.
Cabal Coffers - Pair with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth for lots of manas.
Gemstone Caverns - Possible turn ramp with little downside.
Ancient Tomb - better in the early game than Temple of the False God. The life loss can add up though, even in a Kokusho deck. In casual meta with longer games it isn't quite as good as it is in cEDH.
Bojuka Bog - Your enemies might be as keen to play from their graveyard as you are. Hit them before they hit you.
Boseiju, Who Shelters All - depending on your meta it might be really important to have uncounterable sometimes. Especially when you tap out to cast a huge Exsanguinate. Nothing worse than having that Mana Drain'd
Buried Ruin - I have several Artifacts I love in this deck, but most of all my baby, Blade of Selves.
Field of the Dead - a powerhouse late game.
High Market - a sac outlet on a land. Run this card! and speaking of sac on a land...
Phyrexian Tower - this is super clutch. It's only once per turn but it's really really good to have.
Diamond Valley - ok I admit I don't own this so it's not in my deck. but if i had a spare 1000 bucks.... this is a great card. It doesn't tap for mana unless you have Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth in play though.
Miren, the Moaning Well - a poor man's Diamond Valley. It does tap for mana though so it's got that over DiamondV. but it will cost 3 to tap it and sak Koko.
Mirrorpool - This taps for colorless, and comes into play tapped. so that suck. but... it can become a Kokusho token to that's pretty cool.
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx - An auto-include in any mono-color deck.
Reliquary Tower - Often overplayed in EDH but in a deck with Vilis or Necropotence it is definitely worth a slot.
Shizo, Death's Storehouse - Not worth it to buy this one for Koko. You pretty much never use it to give him Fear. But it is a differently named card for my Field of the Dead and there's not much downside so... I have it in there for now.
Thawing Glaciers - I think i might take this one out. I don't have many early game ramp spells so I thought this might be good but omg it's so slow! it was aptly named.
Witch's Cottage - This one is up your alley since you like returning from GY to top of library.
Volrath's Stronghold - is another such card with a very similar effect you might like.
I have Vesuva which usually copies Cabal Coffers. and I have Thespian's Stage and Dark Depths for my boi Marit Lage. They make for fun things to tutor from your two wishes on Wishclaw Talisman. There are stronger things that could be done but if you feel like just being silly and smashing face with a 20/20 indestructible flier then there's always that option.
Urborg is a silly land to run, i mean there's no downside other than it isn't a swamp. But there's really no upside either except for people saying "what the hell is that?" which can be fun. Most people have never heard of it and have been calling Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth by this name without realize it belongs to another.
Well if you made it to the end of my novel, congratulations. Let me know what you think of these cards and stay in touch so we can bounce Kokusho ideas off of each other.
1 week ago
Hey! So I have a few suggestions. Feel free to ignore any/all of them:
Cantrips are your friend in combo decks. Preordain and Ponder are the gold-standard here, since they dig pretty deep for one mana. You're including Brainstorm is good, but I'm not sure it's good enough without non-mana intensive shuffle effects (i.e. some form of fetch lands) to make sure you don't accidentally lock yourself with two cards you don't want on top. While cards like Prismatic Vista and Scalding Tarn can be expensive, depending on your meta something like Terramorphic Expanse or Evolving Wilds might be good enough. Flood Plain and Bad River are also worth considering. Other cantrips ( Opt , Sleight of Hand , Serum Visions ...) are ok but should be considered secondary to Preordain and friends.
Grafdigger's Cage is currently one of the best hosers in EDH, and it does not stop Urza's ability (since Urza's ability exiles the card before casting it, you never cast spells directly from your library). I think it's better than Darksteel Relic , since it still taps for mana and can be a turn one play while having a direct effect on the board state. Tormod's Crypt is a similar card you may want to consider. I think Relic of Progenitus is better than Phyrexian Furnace , especially since you're not running Snapcaster Mage .
Everflowing Chalice seems like a good rock. I've never been a fan of Mox Tantalite , since taking several turns to hit the board is a major drawback. Everflowing Chalice is a slightly worse Mind Stone , but you can cast it for zero when Urza is on the field and have a build-your-own Mox Sapphire .
Retract and/or Hurkyl's Recall can act as pseudo- Paradoxical Outcome s for the purposes of rebuilding mana or building storm-count for Temporal Fissure . They're admittedly not as good, but since you're already running Paradoxical Outcome you may want a redundant card for that effect.
You may want to revisit your counter-suite. Consider substituting more efficient cards for Dissolve and/or Exclude , since three mana is a lot to pay for a counterspell. Things like Spell Snare , Dispel , Spell Pierce , Swan Song , Pact of Negation and/or Delay are all good ways to protect your combo without using too much mana.
I think Mystic Remora is probably better than Rhystic Study . First, it comes down faster (T1 or T2), which means it catches your opponents' rocks when they're casting them in the first few turns. Second, four mana is a lot less payable than one, so you're more likely to draw even in experienced metas. Finally, your strategy is typically going to be a combo strategy -- so you don't need a PERMANENT shield, just one that will last long enough to protect you until you go off with Urza.
Cyclonic Rift is the best board wipe in blue. It's $20 nowadays, but if you can afford one you should definitely run it.
Dig Through Time is an excellent card, as is Treasure Cruise (though I don't like cruise as much as dig in combo decks like this, since it sees fewer cards). Running one of them seems like a good idea.
Chain of Vapor is REALLY good. If you can cast it and bounce an opposing stax piece ( Cursed Totem , Collector Ouphe , Damping Sphere ), it rarely gets reflected. And even if it is, you're likely to just be able to recast whatever they bounce on your board. More importantly, you can use it to bounce a bunch of your low-cost artifacts to both net mana and build storm. So... yea.
3 weeks ago
lalexer It's not a bad suggestion, but problems arise because we would need 3 cards out of the 99 to win rather than having 2 plus our commander, that and casting without setup feels like worse Praetor's Grasp . I can see it being a back up in case of Cursed Totem but having Twinflame and Dualcaster Mage as the back up gets around totem and all forms of graveyard hate. Thanks for the comment!
1 month ago
Finally had some time to give some insight!
Here is a list of possible cards that you can use depending on the route/direction you want it to go for!
- Viscera Seer
- Baleful Strix
- River Kelpie
- Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Flip
- Gilded Drake
- Blood Artist
- Zulaport Cutthroat
- Mayhem Devil
- Judith, the Scourge Diva
- Drana, Liberator of Malakir
- Gray Merchant of Asphodel
- Imperial Recruiter
- Gonti, Lord of Luxury
- Hostage Taker
- Vindictive Lich
- Zealous Conscripts
- Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
- Agent of Treachery
- Rune-Scarred Demon
- Vilis, Broker of Blood
- Sheoldred, Whispering One
- Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
- Praetor's Grasp
- Yawgmoth's Will
- Altar of Dementia
- Ashnod's Altar
- Cloudstone Curio
- Lim-Dul's Vault
- Faithless Looting
- Frantic Search
- Wheel of Fortune
- Dance of the Dead
- Animate Dead
- Wake the Dead
- Shallow Grave
- Corpse Dance
- Buried Alive
- Living Death
- Phyrexian Reclamation
Feel free to ask about any card choices! There is probably more cards but I can't think of any off the top of my head haha
1 month ago
I know that the "traditional" Reanimate line is:
While you can exile Hulk in response to the tutor trigger going on the stack, Grand Abolisher locks out most (and I say most, I am aware that ther are still cards that play through GA) interaction so that the combo can happen comfortably.
jaymc1130: If your meta is full of proactive stax leveraging hate cards like Cursed Totem , I don't think its blundering to have a backup line which can take deal with these threats for the sake of one card slot in addition to your main combo. Yes, this creates other vulnerable spots to attack the combo however that's just how it goes.
1 month ago
ArthurDayne Thank you for the upvote. The deck no longer runs Hermit Druid so there is no real reason for me to stick to zero basics. If one of each is too few to be reliable against Bad Moon then I think they are also too few for the downsides to be noticeable. Jaymc1130 pretty much sums up the other reasons why running basics is a good idea. Besides, our win cons are very mana efficient so fetching for an Island early in the game is usually enough to negate Blood Moon effects.
As for Reanimate, the deck runs a Spellseeker + Reanimate line that allows us to deal with Cursed Totem . Using the said line, we use Flash Hulk to put Carrion Feeder, Nomads en-Kor, Leonin Relic-Warder and Spellseeker into play. Warder takes care of the Totem, Spellseeker tutors for Reanimate. We then Reanimate the Hulk for a second Hulk trigger to assemble the missing pieces to win the game.
1 month ago
FenIsABasicSwamp: All I can say is that effect like Cursed Totem , Linvala, Keeper of Silence , etc shut down Yawgmoth pretty hard. Part of that is inevitable, but having other sources of draw are critical.
And just remember that with Horobi in play, you won't draw cards off of Yawgmoth if you target things with his ability. That's the main reason I don't run him.
Cursed Totem occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.02%