|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Commander 2018 (C18)||Rare|
|Commander 2016 (C16)||Rare|
|Avacyn Restored (AVR)||Rare|
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Return all nonland permanents to their owners' hands.
Miracle (You may cast this card for its miracle cost when you draw it if it's the first card you drew this turn.)
Devastation Tide Discussion
2 weeks ago
In EDH, when a player with a blue source and at least mana in other sources open on a field. It is a threat. It is a threat not because of a 7 mana spell, but a 2 mana spell, not a spell that deals damage, counters spell, destroys permanents, tutors, or cheats costs, but a bounce spell.
Cyclonic Rift , C-Rift, the big wave, whatever you call it, people know it as one of the strongest, most backbreaking spells in all of EDH, if not the best card in the format.
I am here to say that is isn't.
Part of my series on why other popular staples aren't good ( Phyrexian Arena , Rampant Growth ), or are simply not good in a specific way ( Rhystic Study ), I am not here to deny the power that a card like Cyclonic Rift has, but simply that it isn't a good enough card to warrant the hate or love that it receives.
Before I go over why it isn't good, I need to go over why at nearly every power level, it is good.
In casual EDH, the 50% or less, the Precons, the jank, lies it's the weakest state.
That is where all removal spells, sweepers, or countermagic is the weakest, especially bounce. If no one has threatening boards, why remove them. You'd rather spend 7 mana on a spell to improve yours most of the time, yet those games go long, the Cyclonic Rift acts as a Fog to save you, Sleep to get in for damage, or real removal if you use it on a player's end step if they have to discard just after.
Almost all cards that show heavy play at higher levels show some play at lower ones, and while the price-tag may limit it for most casual players, it does work.
At the 75% or the middle tiers of EDH, where I think EDH players mostly lie, it where it is the most powerful. IF it destroyed any number of target nonland permanents, it would be weaker, because of three reasons:
75% decks often use permanent-based engines to support their gameplan. Think Beast Whisperer along with a deck full of cheap elves, or Paradox Engine in a deck will a lot of Temple Bell effects and mana rocks.
These decks and their creators often expect opponents to remove threats, so have many threats to remove.
They try to protect against sweepers, the only punishing cards for going so wide, with anti-sweepers, think Heroic Intervention , or Boros Charm , and protect against some single-target removal with effects like Darksteel Plate .
Because of this, and because indestructible and hexproof don't protect against a mass bounce effect, along with Cyclonic Rift being the only mass bounce at instant speed that doesn't affect you at all, and doesn't target, it is truly the best anti-75% sweeper by many standards.
In the competitive setting, while not bad, it is mostly relegated to being a 2 mana Chain of Vapor or a Into the Roil that doesn't draw a card, that can let a combo deck get through stax locks once in a blue moon.
Don't get me wrong, being relegated to a slightly worse Chain of Vapor isn't an insult. Chain of Vapor is possible the best removal in cEDH, as decks like Kess consultation or P-Hulk variants Laboratory Maniac wins, and for 1 blue mana, or two in the case of Cyclonic Rift , you get to bounce their wincon as they draw off an empty deck, so they lose...
That is some powerful stuff.
So why isn't it the best EDH card, an efficient spell in nearly any metagame? 2 options for removal, one that crushes many lists and the other a sleek and useful trick?
Because it isn't hyper-efficient, nor is it unbeatable, nor is it irreplaceable.
To start, many cEDH decks that run it run consistent amounts of countermagic to protect it's possible great effect, and numerous cards could fit the spot. It isn't alone. Blink of an Eye , the second Into the Roil has been used over it in many combo lists that more mana-efficient options and many forget the slot all-together, in favor of a cantrip or other removal spell like Abrade or whatever. It isn't very dominant there, and so is easy to explain why it wouldn't be amazing there.
In casual lists, Cyclonic Rift costs about as much as half of many of the casual decks, or even more than some entire casual decks that I have seen. Bringing money-cards wins there, as would a Consecrated Sphinx that costs less money, and I'd wager would have more powerful an effect. Again, an easy argument, but I believe it works.
The really hard place to argue against Cyclonic Rift on the surface is the middle tiers. The 75% lists. Legitimately, I think it is because in the 75% players don't consistently a highly interactive 'metagame'. They just prefer to be interactive 'ingame'.
This comes down to theory, however, when a deck, for example, an elf list abusing the Llanowar Elves style effects along with untap effects to keep making mana, dumping it into something like Ezuri, Renegade Leader . All of that deck and many others get shut down by Null Rod . While that card may be less powerful than other cards against any random deck, as many players know exactly what decks they face, they can play to those decks.
This means general removal, like Anguished Unmaking may be worse if artifacts and walkers don't see much play, you'd rather Mortify . Or if instant speed doesn't help you much, as a lot of City of Solitude / Dosan the Falling Leaf effects exist in your meta, Vindicate , etc.
This is pretty basic knowledge, however, the point here is that there are many, many replacements for Cyclonic Rift in different metagames, and I want to share the ones, only in mono-blue, that in the 75% are why Cyclonic Rift is overrated.
This isn't to say it isn't the best, but that if many, many replacements cost way less $$$ and are occasionally better, that one card shouldn't be considered the best in every situation.
Aether Gale , sorcery, only hits six things, has to hit your things if you don't have enough targets of only your opponents, targets, etc. Yes, there are reasons this is clearly worse.
Why is it better? Politically, you don't have to hit cards from players you team with. Similarly, if you like the Howling Mine on someone's field, don't bounce it. Someone Banishing Light ed someone else's threat you can't deal with? Don't bounce it.
Also, 18 cents. Compared to ~20 dollars and I think it is a steal for budget lists.
Also, it is 2 mana cheaper, despite not being an occasional Disperse .
Evacuation , the downside is simple, it doesn't hit non-creatures, and bounces your own things.
The upsides are for decks that want their own things bounced. ETB effects like Mulldrifter (You can respond to the sacrifice on evoke if you want!), Archaeomancer (infinite sweepers by returning Evacuation , or just recur another card), Duplicant , Solemn Simulacrum , etc.
It is 5 mana too, still an instant, and is only 2-3 dollars right now.
Other options for this could be AEtherize , Whelming Wave , Inundate , Engulf the Shore , Profaner of the Dead , or Scourge of Fleets if you just want mass creature bounce, each with ups and downs, some that only hit opposing creatures, some that are instants, some with graveyard synergies, etc.
For mass nonland bounce that doesn't target? There are tons of options, plenty with lower mana costs than Cyclonic Rift .
Take Coastal Breach . It does a mass bounce for just 4 mana (with 3 opponents), leaving you enough to rebuild first, and being able to be cast much faster, making up slightly for the sorcery speed.
Or Crush of Tentacles , 6 mana? 5 mana and an 8/8, it needs to be in a deck with enough cheap drops to hit surge to be worth it, but an option.
Devastation Tide is a personal favorite, if you run Aminatou, Brainstorm , a lot of scry, Mystical Tutor , Long-Term Plans , Jace, the Mind Sculptor , or are lucky, it is a 2 mana bounce everything. Really strong, however, sorcery (unless you cast it with Miracle on an opponents turn.
Run really high mana cards? Displacement Wave can be better,
Like a big creature attached? Kederekt Leviathan . It even comboes with flicker effects, or can be repeated for 2 mana with an effect like Animate Dead or 3 mana at instant speed whenever with Necromancy in black/blue.
Only need to target one player for political reasons? River's Rebuke .
A lot of one color in the meta? Wash Out
Artifacts/Enchantments? Reduce to Dreams
Even outside of bounce effects, Ixidron can do work xD
Point is, there are options. Even outside of blue, sweepers that can get around the normal protection is seriously strong. Terminus , Hallowed Burial , along with most mass exile effects in white from Play of the Game to Final Judgement / Descend upon the Sinful to the new Urza's Ruinous Blast , etc. Mercilous Eviction in W/B, the -x/-x effects in black like Toxic Deluge or Black Sun's Zenith , etc. in any color, Perilous Vault exists.
These are half of why I think Cyclonic Rift is overrated. Not because it isn't great at what it does, but that it isn't that much better than the rest.
The other half is simple.
Every color (sorry colorless) has answers to Cyclonic Rift off the top of my head.
Black? Many lists abuse cards like Inquisition of Kozilek or other discard to remove powerful cards from opposing decks.
Green? Ugh... Yeah, I guess some colors don't have answers...
(Gutteral Response if they ever make hybrid legal in mono-colored xD)
That's all. Thoughts?
3 weeks ago
Yeah I feel like Ancient Stone Idol may be the worst of my big fatties, but I do like it in the meta I play in a lot. I play EDH all the time but usually its just me and my buddy so I play a lot of 1v1 and his Edgar Markov deck likes to attack. It'll regularly be 5 mana or less for me to cast it. Saheeli, the Gifted can also greatly reduce the cost as well. It wouldn't be hard to cast it for free on my turn off of her plus alone, but I can use her plus in combination with it's natural cost reduction when I attack. For now, until I pick up some needed cards like Blightsteel Colossus I would probably leave it in.
I really want to give the Journal a try here. Free artifacts every upkeep in an artifacts matters deck seems good, plus it's card draw, and a tutor so it has some utility. Even if my opponent can answer it before I get the third clue and can tutor, I'm left with 1 or 2 artifacts that draw cards. So unless they answer it the turn I play it, it never just does nothing and it's basically going to require them to have artifact removal in hand that they haven't used already on a board full of artifacts. It may be something I eventually take out, but until I get some games under my belt with this deck I'mm not sold on it being terrible here yet.
Spine of Ish Sah is another card that can be cast for free or cheap regularly with Saheeli's +1 and it can answer any permanent. Plus, off the top of my head, I can think of 7 ways to sacrifice it so I can return it to my hand. Most of which are repeatable effects.
Spin into Myth will probably become Cyclonic Rift when I'm able to get my hands on another one but for now, it's an instant speed answer than can deal with a problematic creature or even get my creatures back after they're stolen.
I don't quite understand the hate for Hour of Devastation . It's a 5 mana board wipe most of the time that will also hit any planeswalkers in play. Most effects like this cost much more in these colors (i.e. Sudden Demise or Magmaquake , or they only temporarily deal with problems (i.e. Devastation Tide or Evacuation
1 month ago
I haven't been playing with or against this commnader yet. But it's one that floats on my list too.
Without looking at cuts, I would seriously consider these cards:
- Devastation Tide
- Isochron Scepter
- Careful Study
- Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Flip
- Dramatic Reversal
- Mana Leak
- Phantasmal Image
- Looter il-Kor
- Gitaxian Probe
- Dark Confidant
- Sygg, River Cutthroat
- Wharf Infiltrator
Enough food for thought :-)
1 month ago
2) Scroll Rack
BTW, some of the following mana base suggestions are somewhat expensive and are not necessary, but would be helpful:
3) Ancient Tomb
4) cut all the tap lands for previous suggestions or Basic Lands (trust me on this, they just hurt the mana base)
Next cut every single planeswalker from the deck except Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
FINALLY... In my opinion the better way to build Dragonlord Ojutai would be a "voltron" control based deck. Simply beat face with a flying 5/5 which you can occasionally make stronger, but devote most of the deck to control to utilize Ojutai's deck manipulation ability to grant you a way to always find answers to opposing threats.
1 month ago
1 month ago
Yes, cool deck! I like the way it works, especially that you've stayed away from an ultra control themed deck. The main thing to change is your average mana costs. Depending on your deck an average cmc could be around 3.0.
Many flying creatures are the proper card for this deck, but I would prefer to turn down Bruna, the Fading Light , Gisela, the Broken Blade for your decks strategy. Unesh, Criosphinx Sovereign on the first sight seems right, would be great to insert some more Sphinx creatures. Sphere of Safety is indeed a good card in enchantment decks, but in case of mana costs it may not be worth to consider the payment. On turn 5 you have really good spells in your deck, and the Sphere of Safety doesn't do anything more than Ghostly Prison or Propaganda . Whirlpool Drake is in my opinion not good for shuffeling your graveyard into your library.
My suggestions are Darksteel Plate , for giving your creature indestructible. As I see you are not going into the strategy to pump up your commander with many equipments, but this card could be useful. Also a nice card for giving any of your creatures vigilance I recommend Reconnaissance (okay, it doesn't say dirctly vigilance, but with rules understanding you can untap the creature after the damage is done and before end of combat - so the same effect as vigilance. Also it protects your attacking creatures). Commander staples for white-blue are of course Cyclonic Rift (budget alternative Devastation Tide ), Supreme Verdict or Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer .
- Strionic Resonator for getting more trigger effects!
- Warden of Evos Isle for some kind of mana ramp
- Steel of the Godhead
In my opinion you have to make some desicions wheter you play:
- Control with instants (Counterspells, etc.)
- Control with enchantments (Stax strategy)
- Creature based (more creatures - less spells)
2 months ago
2 months ago
Dimir Infiltrator - Tutor and unblockable.
Reality Shift - Good exile effect in blue.
Curse of the Swine - Also good exile effect in blue.
Imprisoned in the Moon - Incredible psudo removal.
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir - Provides psudo haste for an aggressive build like this. Teferi also doubles as a good control card here.
Devastation Tide - Blue/Black have a hard time dealing with enchantments. You will find use for this at some point.
You can also add some on-color cycling lands. They become useful after you don't care about drawing any more lands in the late game. Additionally, other on-color utility lands would be a plus. For example, Bojuka Bog or Halimar Depths would be fine additions.
Devastation Tide occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.04%