|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|2011 Core Set (M11)||Rare|
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At the beginning of your upkeep, reveal the top card of your library and put that card into your hand. You lose life equal to its converted mana cost.
Dark Tutelage Discussion
1 month ago
Phyrexian Arena is a strict upgrade to Dark Tutelage . Bitterblossom would be a nice addition as well since it's a win condition, makes blockers, crews Copter, and is consistent with the life loss theme. Have you considered playing Solemnity for the combo with Phyrexian Unlife ?
1 month ago
Been super busy lately so sorry for the late replies!
@Limo: Thanks for the upvote! I'll be sure to take a look at your deck!
@: If you had read the deck description I've put the relevant ruling for auras there as many get confused by them; basically auras only target when cast so if they are put into play as part of an effect (ie. Zur, Replenish , Open the Vaults , etc) they can be attached to a legal permanent of your choosing (as defined by the enchant ability) without targeting that permanent. As MtgMaster02 pointed out Triclopean Sight is indeed both backup to Daybreak Coronet as well as an effective means to get Stasis up and running.
@SlowMoon17: I'd say both yes and no. I've slightly drifted away from the straight 1v1 environment to make it more resilient and able to at least hold its own in multiplayer as well (due to the local meta). I feel like there are faster ways of combo winning ( Doomsday , Phyrexian Unlife , etc) but that's just boring. There's something about playing land destruction/ Stasis and seeing the light drain from your oppenents' eyes that just makes it oh so worth it haha.
@MordMetal: It really depends on how budget you want. Obviously don't foil it lol; but in all seriousness you can save a ton on the land base alone. Add more basics and tap lands ( Arcane Sanctum / Vivid Creek / Vivid Marsh / Vivid Meadow ), use Evolving Wilds / Terramorphic Expanse instead of fetches, etc. If your overall CMC is still low swap Dark Confidant for Dark Tutelage , Snapcaster Mage for Archaeomancer / Mnemonic Wall . As for Timetwister it really depends on what effect you are looking for... GY shuffle: Elixir of Immortality , Card draw: Windfall , both: Time Spiral although it costs double the mana (and untaps!) and is still expensive although still cheaper by a phenomenal amount. These are just some examples. I'd recommend doing an advanced Gatherer search (https://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Default.aspx) for specific effects you are looking for in a cheaper card variant.
@Dankey Thank you! I like running Jace, the Mind Sculptor for the Brainstorm effect (and Unsummon effect if needed) to filter away any enchantments that find thier way into my hand (so i can tutor them up for free). In 1v1 Jace basically lets me know what my opponent is drawing most of the time too; so for now I think he is just too versatile to get rid of.
@cango35: I really like Winding Canyons in most creature based decks but i think it'd be kind of a waste here for a few reasons. Firstly I overall barely have any creatures. Secondly the additional 2 mana is killer... it'd mean i'd need 6 mana PLUS the land to get it off and that's just not worth the luxury of flash in my opinion. Thanks for the suggestion though!
@Auraprime1984: There are a few options. The rest of the mana base is pretty solid, so to be honest it doesn't matter a whole lot. You could add more basics, the third painland ( Caves of Koilos ), Exotic Orchard , maybe Tainted Isle / Tainted Field , Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth , Prairie Stream / Sunken Hollow , Choked Estuary / Port Town , etc. You could also use some tap lands like Arcane Sanctum , Celestial Colonnade , Fetid Pools / Irrigated Farmland , Temple of Deceit / Temple of Enlightenment , etc. Signet lands are also an option Darkwater Catacombs / Skycloud Expanse . You mostly just have to figure out what would work best with your build. Hope that helps!
2 months ago
To answer your questions:
You are missing Pitiless Plunderer from Control_Train's four card combo of Chainer, Dementia Master , Izoni, Thousand-Eyed and Savra, Queen of the Golgari . This dovetails into my first question. How does this deck win? I'm in no way on the move to play a combo. Plus a 4 card combo in my opinion is maybe a bit janky to pull off. I don't have the feeling I miss the mana/ramp to include Pitiless Plunderer . Chainer, Izoni and Savra all stand on their own and perform a lot of work.
Would this deck benefit from an all star closer in green, Craterhoof Behemoth ? Short answer? No. Craterhoof Behemoth is a typical go wide card. Most of the time I have around 3-4 creatures on the board. Craterhoof would do nothing for my deck.
I really liked your inclusion of Mindslicer . I just pulled one from my box last night and was planning to put it into the deck. Sheoldred, Whispering One had been on my radar for a while. Well credits for that one go to you, my friend. ;-) I had it in my binder and when you mentioned it I looked at it and went why not! Let's at least give it a try. Sheoldred, Whispering One is an all star and I would always run it in any meren deck.
Do you find that you need three boardwipes, Damnation , Toxic Deluge , and Living Death ? This deck plays more removal than any I have seen in a while. I count 13 cards, with the addition of Casualties of War , that serve this function and that is excluding Sheoldred, Whispering One and the graveyard removal cards. For now I don't have the feeling I'm running too much removal. The goal of the deck is pretty much winning the grind. So wiping the board + destroying and removing stuff is the main goal of this deck. I need to playtest waaaay more to figure out if I run too much. To look closer at the cards you mentioned. If I need to cut Damnation would be the first one. I just always have the feeling it's a welcome card to draw. Toxic Deluge is brilliant and it's an early boardwipe to disrupt our opponents. Living Death serves more as a reanimation card, then it is a boardwipe. My creatures are most of the time in the graveyard. It's basically a win con on it's own.
Could I make an argument that Imperial Seal is superior to Final Parting ? Would you include both? What would you cut? Superior, absolutely. It's basically another Vampiric Tutor . Unfortunately I'm not made of money and I simply don't own that card. That being said, most of my games I got to play Final Parting. And with Meren out on the table I would rather draw into a Final Parting then a Imperial Seal . Playing Final Parting means I get one card to my hand (any) and one creature to the battlefield at the end of our turn. That's where the power comes in from this tutor! Next to this. Imperial Seal is sorcery speed. So if we have no draw engine, we need to wait an entire turn. But if you have one laying around, I would just playtest them both a bit. See wich one feels better.
Why are you and Control_Train playing only one fetchland? I love fetches and normally I stuff my deck full with them :). But in this deck I don't have the feeling I'm missing them too much. I have 5 decks and 3 of them run all the fetches they can. One is Omnath, Locus of Rage (dont think I need to explain). Queen Marchesa a control deck, so it's important I get my colors and shuffle effects. This deck is more, if I have green and black I'm good to go. The fetch is more there to go to my shock. If I had more lands that gave double color and that I could fetch I would run 1 more. In my opinion, 3+ color decks and decks that want their decks shuffled benefit more of fetches. It's a personal preference.
You only have 13 basic lands to be utilized by Earthcraft . Has that been consistently sufficient? Earthcraft I'm still in doubt on as well. I mentioned it at Control_Train as well. The card often feels a bit underused. But early game it helps to get my bigger dudes out faster. The card is not in there to be super abused since we often only have about 3-4 creatures on the field. So yeah you might be right on that. For now it stays in but it's on the shitlist.
I thought Control_Train's argument for the exclusion of Gaea's Cradle was not his strongest. Do you agree with what he said? I totally agree with his argument. I own one copy of Gaea's Cradle and I run it in Omnath, Locus of Rage where it does all the work and really keep the engine going. In meren we probably will have a cradle tapping for 2-3 lategame. And tbh we don't need the ramp. Cradle is a super nice card, but it's a bit of the same argument why I don't run Craterhoof Behemoth
You didn't follow Control_Train's lead and cut Dread Return or Soul of the Harvest . As we speak I have my deck in front of me ;) And those 2 are laying outside of the deck. Now just checking what to put back in. Solemn Simulacrum is on it's way into the deck I think. Since he ramps and draws cards, but as you just mentioned I only run 13 basics and with also 2 other creatures who do so he might not be the strongest pick. I also laid out my curve and Birthing Pod might be on its way back in. Phyrexian Obliterator might also going back in, since he is a nice target to recur at 4 mana for a 5/5. It also stops people from attacking you. If you have any other good suggestions I would love to hear them!
What would you cut if you added Sol Ring and Lightning Greaves ? Do you not have issues with Meren getting removed? If you really want to play a sol ring maybe Dread Return ? Honestly I never really had the feeling I missed not having a sol ring in a deck. Lightning Greaves is maybe a good addition. The thing is with Sylvan Safekeeper he is recurrable. Lightning Greaves will definately get destroyed. Or at least in my meta people love blowing up boots/greaves. If you really want to play it, I think Prowling Serpopard if you run it now?
Dark Confidant in theory seems very dangerous in a deck with as high as a mana cost as this one. Am I way off base? The thing what makes Dark Confidant so good and for example Dark Tutelage absolute trash, is the fact that it's a creature. He is the one example where you don't want him to stick around. Enchantments stick around, creatures don't. Early game he is a powerhouse and an awesome target to dump in a meatgrinder after a few turns!
3 months ago
No worries. Glad we can be friends (:
Here are my thoughts: Phyrexian Arena is a permanent (unlike one-time spells such as Read the Bones ). This means it generates more and more value the longer it's around. Unlike Greed , it has no extra costs. Unlike Dark Confidant , it is an enchantment which makes it a lot harder to get rid of. Unlike Dark Tutelage , it only pings you for 1 per draw in a format where high CMC cards and long games are commonplace. The fact that it's slow and steady means that you get to USE all the cards that you draw off it. Necropotence and Ad Nauseam are great for drawing 20 cards at once, but if you already had 4 cards in your hand, then you're only getting to keep 3 of the cards you drew. At that point, why not just tutor for those exact cards you need? Also, with Necropotence , you can't activate it until your end step, which usually means you can't use the cards you drew with it until your next turn anyways. And lets say you kept 3 cards from Necropotence because you already had 4 in hand. You skip your next draw step, so now it's like you only netted 2 cards off of it. Three black mana and 20 life to draw 2 cards? No thanks. It also exiles anything that goes in your graveyard. The longer necropotence is around, the more it becomes a liability. (I know Necropotence is crazy powerful in cEDH combo lists, but as a casual player who prefers longer games, Phyrexian Arena much better suits my needs.)
3 months ago
Claiming a "Gotcha" when you don't read thoroughly the post is... umm... stupid. Yes. You are really dumb.
Also, for the long games, Necropotence , Greed , and Ad Nauseam give a lot more value. Once you get into the general late game of turns 10+, a card like Necropotence as a top deck allows you to draw many more cards, and turn life into a full hand every following turn. Unlike the more money expensive, worse Phyrexian Arena that wouldn't give that level of upside.
5 months ago
Dmany this is wrong, it takes 4 turn cycles, not 2, you'd get half those cards off of the one per turn either way, a point my whole argument was based on, yet you seemed to miss. It is a falacy that Arena is twice the card draw you'd normally get, it is the exact same, only after it is dropped. This draw 4 cards in 2 turns isn't the same as seeing 4 cards off of one card in one turn with no delay, and then 6 in 2 turns, if you are counting draws.
griffstick I was never solely talking cEDH, where Greed is trash, Arena is trash, and so are most of the cards I mentioned, like Read the Bones , etc. 2 mana card draw like Night's Whisper is weak, and Ad Nauseam rules all. Claiming my argument is on another power level is really weird for an argument against it, when it clearly isn't.
Now onto the notion that 7 mana splashy plays are the casual EDH game. Cool. Someone doesn't burn through their hand fast, like many midrange or control lists, but does it just fast enough to want to run card draw at all. Given these, Phyrexian Arena fails miserably. It isn't a splashy play at all, think about Read the Bones or Ad Nauseam , those DO something, not grind out at a snail's pace, that isn't splashy, and is less than half of a 7 mana play.
Oh, but it helps them hit land drops. Assuming mono-black, Necropotence is better with all of that. It is splashier, it is going to fill the hand perfectly if you need, and hits lands. It is 10x better than Necropotence . Assuming cards over 3 mana are an issue with the land drop thing, yet by the fact you think low mana curves aren't a casual thing despite the Savannah Lions and other aggro deck's cards at casual tables always exist, 3 is the sweet spot. Assuming the deck has a weak landbase, as casual decks often do, so Arena or Necropotence may be hard, Dark Tutelage is better. It is cheaper, more fun with the reveals and sometimes winning the life loss by hitting a land, or making a memorable flip on an Emrakul, the Promised End, etc. it can be much more fun. It also costs less than a 15th of the cost of Arena, better for Casual players. It is easier on the landbase, etc. etc. etc.
I have yet to see a well-made deck (casual, budget, competitive, etc.) that really, honestly wants Arena in any slot other than a secondary, worse copy of another card.
CrimsonKing Really, what is great about it? An overpriced piece of cardboard that isn't all that good in any situation I have seen isn't... great IMO.
5 months ago
Okay, clickbaity title, but yes, I firmly believe that Phryexian Arena, EDH verified staple, is a piece of cardboard worth nearly nothing to most decks that use it, and the sleek Night's Whisper or more versatile Sign in Blood is better in aggressively costed combo lists and storm decks, Read the Bones is better in midrange, and even in control, a larger draw spell that is an instant, think Ad Nauseam is just so much better.
Even aggro decks woul rather a proactive possible threat that pressures life totals over time, like Dark Confidant or Mindblade Render , and the arena isn't powerful enough in nearly any of these decks to warrant the inclusion.
Now onto why these are all so much better, and why poeople like the Arena, but it is still bad. It is that Phyrexian Arena looks like a draw 2 per turn, however it is a possible only draw 1. You draw 2, but 1 you'd already get. It also, if removed on an opponent's turn, doesn't draw you anything, leading to card disadvantage. It takes 1 whole turn cycle just to be a cycler that loses a life and costs 3, and 2 turn cycles (8 turns) before it is as good as Night's Whisper , but costs more, and at turn cycle 3 (12 turns in) it gets the powerful effect of the 3 mana draw 3, lose 3 life, on a 3 turn suspend. Impressively bad for an effect like that. Read the Bones is more splashable, doesn't suspend, looks at possibly more cards, and loses 1 less life. Dark Confidant / Mindblade Render costs less and have a creature attached and do about the same things, with more use in creature-abusing decks, perhaps being sacrificed later to a Attrition for more advantage need be, who knows.
At turn cycle 4 (16 turns in), it gets the 4 mana draw 4 suspend 4, lose 4, which doesn't draw as much as a Moonlight Bargain , you need to be on turn cycle 5 (20 turns in) for that luxury, and with Ad Nauseam , you'd often draw 20 more cards in the single turn. See how that it bad? Especially in a color combination with many better, still generally bad card enginess that do basically the same thing. Dark Tutelage is more splashable, Greed draws more, Necropotence draws more, Mindblade Render is cheaper, more splashable, with more synergies, Dark Confident does basically the same as the Render, etc. etc.
It is often compared to the black Sylvan Library , but that is cheaper and actually draws 2 cards, twice the work of the Arena. It isn't even in the same ball park of card advantage as the library.
This was all off of the top of my head, yet, Phyrexian Arena is considered a staple, almost exclusively played in EDH, and is just not a good card despite that. Theater of Horros, a new red added variant to the Arena, at least when you have infinite mana wins the game, and has synergies with effects like discard.
The only real time I have seen some use to the Arena is in stax decks that use a lot of the other options too. Mono-Black Stax often resorts to a lot of mass discard, think Oppression , Bottomless Pit , Necrogen Mists , etc. to empty everyone's hand turn after turn. Using Arena, Tutelage, Confidant, Render, Necro, and Greed all allow the stax deck to fish through it's deck and break parity on these stax lists, even if it takes 10 turns to make them worth it.
Thoughts? Am I just not seeing it properly, or is it truely bad?
5 months ago
Hey, so it looks like you have stuffed the deck with ways to tap down your commander, but you're only untapping during your untap step for the most part, you should look into more untap affects. You have Saddlebags, which works, but I would look to add a few more; Staff of Domination , Umbral Mantle , Thornbite Staff , Thousand-Year Elixir , Paradox Engine , also there's Maze of Ith and Thaumatic Compass Flip. Additionally, if you're going to be tapping and untapping creatures, creatures like Avatar of Woe and Visara the Dreadful , to get more value out of those untap affects. Also, take a look at some of the Crew costs. You are low on creatures, high on Vehicles. You'll always have access to King Macar, the Gold-Cursed , but there's no guarantee you'll have creatures with Power > 2 on the battlefield on in your hand so; Aradara Express , Ballista Charger , Bomat Bazaar Barge , Conqueror's Galleon Flip, Consulate Dreadnought , Demolition Stomper , Fell Flagship , Heart of Kiran , Irontread Crusher , Skysovereign, Consul Flagship , and Weatherlight , all are likely dead cards on the battlefield, unable to be crewed. Also, Magus of the Coffers will be high value as well, generating mass amounts of mana while also being able to untapped by untappers. You also might want to look into adding some more card draw, you have Greed , but perhaps Bloodgift Demon , Pain Seer , and Dark Tutelage are solid options. I know some of my suggestions are expensive, but I'm just trying to help optimize, and efficient untappers are going to be expensive because they're rarer.
Dark Tutelage occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.0%