|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Guilds of Ravnica (GRN)||Uncommon|
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Creature — Insect
Menace *(This creature can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.) *
Whenever you surveil, put a +1/+1 counter on Dimir Spybug.
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Dimir Spybug Discussion
3 weeks ago
Tonight I played in my first FNM since returning to the game. I have assembled some decks of my own and played a few casual games, but for my first constructed competition, I wanted something that I felt would not lead to abject failure. I ran a clone of your deck. Wow.
There were only six people so we played a causal structure with just three matches. Your beautiful deck went 2 and 1.
The first opponent was a very experienced player (it was his card shop) using a Dimir control/midrange that relied heavily on surveil for card advantage and to fuel some 2nd and 3rd turn Dimir Spybug s in the first game. Unfortunately I had to mulligan having drawn only one land. The next hand had two but I failed to draw another until the fifth turn. By then, one of the bugs was 4/4, the other was 3/3, and we had traded blows with the smaller pirates I had been able cast. Luckily, my third land let me launch a Fiery Cannonade that took out the smaller bug (alas, the heroic Rigging Runner it had blocked didn't make it) as well as the two Nightveil Sprite s that had pumped the bugs. Next turn I was able to cast a Kitesail Freebooter and when I sent a full charge the next turn, he blocked with his big (now 6/6) bug only to find a flash-cast Dire Fleet Poisoner helping out the Freebooter. Hurrah. I was able to drop in a Dire Fleet Neckbreaker and the game was quickly over. For the second game, I sideboarded in the Duress package as well as the Cast Down s and Price of Fame s. I used two of the Duress to great effect snagging countermagic both times, and the Cast Down s were useful against a wide variety of Dimir nasties like Dream Eater , Nightveil Predator , and Thief of Sanity . It took a bit of time, but I finally defeated my opponent after dropping two Neckbreakers for a big charge.
My second opponent was another recent returnee to Magic--we both tend to play with out land in front on the battlefield as was illustrated in the original MTG instruction pamphlet. He was playing an unmodified Ral Planeswalker deck. The speed of the pirate deck made short work of him in about ten minutes. For the remaining time, we swapped decks and played again. He wasn't familiar with the cards or mechanics so it was drawn out, but he was winning when the other matches ended. He also sends you compliments on the pirates...Arg.
Third match was against the winner from the other bracket. The player is the local judge, and she lives and breathes the game. She was playing a Teferi control deck. The deck was four colors (no green) and the manabase cost enough to feed a small goblin tribe for a decade--there were no basic lands. The first game I was able to get a decent start and was able to do significant damage before she cleared the board with a Deafening Clarion . She then dropped a Lyra which I was unable to answer and that game was soon over.
I almost swapped in the entire sideboard, leaving out only one of the March of the Drowned . I had a decent draw, but unfortunately, the three lands--two swamps and an Unclaimed Territory were the only land cards I drew for at least six turns. I was able to cast some pirates and did draw both Sorcerous Spyglass s and used them both against Teferi (the first was destroyed). Unfortunately, she cast a Rekindling Phoenix and without any regular red mana sources, the only way I could get rid of it was to use two Cast Down s, first during her turn, then during mine. The next turn, she cast another. After finally dropping a mountain, I was able to Lava Coil the buzzard and got in a few decent hits before the bitch Lyra hit the board again. Luckily, I drew into a Price of Fame and got rid of it, only to have her cast another. I did try to use a Dire Fleet Daredevil to borrow one of her creature kills, but she counterspelled him. My demise was as quick as it was inevitable.
Overall, the deck did well. I don't know enough about the Teferi deck to figure out what else I could have done against it, but the second round would have been much closer if I had not been mana hosed.
Having successfully used the deck, I have two questions. First, when you sideboard, what cards do you tend to pull to make room? I figure it is rather situational based on what the opponent's deck looked like in the first game, but what are the most likely cards you pull. Against the Teferi, I stripped out the Rigging Runner s and the Fiery Cannonade s. I also dropped two Ruin Raider (which may have been a mistake because she quickly burned the one I was able to cast in game 2) and all four of the Dire Fleet Poisoner s--the Deathtouch would be worthless against Lyra and I don't think she would have fallen for the same attacking Freebooter trick I pulled against my first opponent to get rid of the phoenix.
Second, what plans do you have to include cards from Allegiance? The creature cards don't fit the pirate theme, but with the possibly diminishing payoff of the Fiery Cannonade (which may change if the is a resurgence of aggro from Rakdos or Orzhov via the Allegiance cards) would it be worth it to include some non pirate creatures?
Aside from creatures, I think both Light Up the Stage and Theater of Horrors could be viable ways to get additional card advantage. With Spectacle, Light Up the Stage is a cheap way to access two more cards and you have until the end of your next turn to use them.. I saw the card used to great effect in the prerelease.
Theater of Horrors ? Don't know..your opponents see all cards as they build up, but that could be to your advantage if they focus on the potentials of the exiled cards and may not anticipate cards in hand. Plus basically drawing two card every turn without worrying about hand size? Only fear is removal that kills your enchantment andthus permanently exiling everything.
Anyway, thanks again for your deck. I am more confident about trying my decks, but I may still the sirens call to go sailing some Friday night with those scurvy seadogs. :)
1 month ago
If you're focused on fliers I'd consider Dimir Spybug
2 months ago
As a new player, with a lot of singleton cards you might want to consider playing Brawl. If you want to build a deck, even for casual use then you need a lot more consistany. Play 4x of the cards which matter the most and probably focus on either a two colour deck our a mono one. A deck should have a main plan and if possible a backup plan, for example if you wanted to build a deck around Vraska, Regal Gorgon, then because that card costs 7 mana, you would look for ramp, fortunately green is the colour best at this, cards like Fertile Ground and Arbor Elf being good examples. To utilese those cards you would need to buy singles rather than packs though.
What your deck shouldn't have is vanilla creatures, cards like Douser of Lights and Wild Ceratok are limited filler, there are better options for the same casting cost. The same is also true for a card like Bartizan Bats there are better options, cards like Dimir Spybug released in the same set or even Bone Picker if part of your plan is to keep your graveyard filled. Generally you also don't want an escalating mana curve, it's normally better to have 10 cards which cost 1 than 10 which cost 4, unless you are cheating the cards into play in some way.
What are your 4 favourite cards in this deck? (run 4x of them) Does using all 4 of them let you run a two colour deck? (if you cut 1 do you have 2 colours? If so do that and pick another) What is the goal of your deck, what is it you ideally want it to do?
Hope this is of some help, welcome to MTG.
2 months ago
I think I'd get rid of one or both of the Dimir Guildmages depending on how much you like the card (the ability is a bit expensive for what you get in my opinion). If you like the dual utility of Dimir Guildmage you could also consider swapping it for House Guildmage which I think is a tad better unless you're really hurting for draw abilities. Same with Dinrova Horror, while flavorful 6 cmc for a 4/4 with bounce seems a bit much when you have a good number of counters, removal, or things like Unexplained Disappearance. Of surveil cards, Nightveil Sprite can give you some great mileage out of just one card. As far as Dimir Spybug and Thoughtbound Phantasm, you'll have to make the call if you think its worth it for just one copy of each. From experience playing a Dimir deck I drafted with lots of surveil but only one of each those creatures, they're amazing when you draw them, but also often I had games where I didn't draw them. Or they got immediately removed. Surveil helps filter your deck to get to them faster, so 2 of each would probably make it much better. Up to you.
You could probably replace Dimir Charm with one of the cards I mentioned that you like, since I think the best ability on the charm is usually going to be the counter, followed by the removal, and you have a fair number of counters and some removal already.
Unmoored Ego is cool but if your friends/playgroup are also playing "guild kit" style with few duplicates, then it probably wouldn't make much sense in the deck, unless you have that one pesky friend that's always rocking 3-4x of a particularly annoying card that you need to nip at the bud.
Whispering Snitch and Enhanced Surveillance are also fun if you feel like you're surveiling enough to make it worth it. Though one could also say, if you're surveilling a lot then Enhanced Surveillance is a bit unnecessary overkill.
Also keep in mind, I don't think Whispering Madness would be nearly as useful without something like Notion Thief, outside of a scenario where you only have a couple cards and your opponent/s have a full hand. If the scenario is reversed, you'll only be helping them out. However, with Notion Thief it basically becomes a reusable "opponent discards hand, you discard and redraw a full hand" or some such.
Kinda hard for me to answer specifically "replace A B C with X Y Z" since a deck with few duplicates is generally less consistent in the direction it's trying to go. Some fun cards here though for you to consider.
Oh by the way, I didn't realize this at first so I'll throw this in here in case you didn't already know, but you can bounce Etrata back to your hand after damage to get her whole "hit counter exile" wincon thing and avoid reshuffling her ;)
2 months ago
Not much surveil for a Dimir deck, given it's their signature. If you want to go more with the surveil theme I'd highly recommend Dimir Spybug, Thoughtbound Phantasm, and Nightveil Sprite. If you're open to Dimir cards from past Ravnica sets, there's a bunch of cool ones all with the transmute ability (Dimir's old signature ability) like Perplex and Dimir Infiltrator (not the best examples maybe), and others like Notion Thief, Psychic Drain. I could go on and on, Dimir was always my favorite.
2 months ago
@pbowen331, I'd say "Welcome to Tapped Out," but you've been here longer than I have.
Etrata can work, but only on non-token creatures, since exiling a token makes them nonexistent. You'll need to work on finding another form of winning condition if the first option isn't possible. I also notice that this is very budgety, is that deliberate?
I'll try to suggest things around that if possible, but I'll will suggest some pricer cards as well. I also don't know how heavy you want to go into Surveil. While I'm not going to name all of them, just the ones that seem useful.
- Useful cards would be Duress, Unmoored Ego, Plaguecrafter / Ravenous Chupacabra and Midnight Reaper to name a few.
- Better suited lands would Watery Grave or Drowned Catacomb.
- Cards that take advantage of Surveil: Blood Operative, Disinformation Campaign, Thoughtbound Phantasm, Whispering Snitch and Dimir Spybug.
- Cards that have the Surveil mechanic: Unexplained Disappearance, Price of Fame, Barrier of Bones, Sinister Sabotage, Doom Whisperer, Notion Rain, Dream Eater, Nightveil Sprite, Mission Briefing, Discovery / Dispersal and Connive / Concoct.
Hopefully that gave you some additional insight on improving your deck.
2 months ago
Good Morning captainamerica,
I'm not sure I follow the core concept for this deck. So my apologies if you have already fielded this question, or another like it. You call this an aggro deck, however, it is more "reactive" (like a control deck) than "proactive" (like an aggro deck). I only say that because you are running a total of 7 creatures in the main board. I understand your budget constraints, and would like to recommend a budget Dimir Surveil Aggro list to you for consideration.
4 Thoughtbound Phantasm 11 Island 4 Nightveil Sprite 3 Dimir Informant 4 Dimir Spybug 8 Swamp 3 Discovery / Dispersal 4 Thought Erasure 4 Notion Rain 4 Drowned Catacomb instead you could run 4 Dimir Guildgate 3 Sinister Sabotage 3 Cast Down 2 Barrier of Bones 3 Disinformation Campaign
This list would be a little more aggro. I hope this helps.
3 months ago
There is a difference, but honestly, Guildmages were never playable outside of Limited and maybe a few in commander, but never in standard. There is no difference between tapping and not tapping for the ability, unless you want to activate it two or more times. And if you can afford to activate your guildmage twice in any format, you are probably already winning.
In constructed, even though the guildmages have to tap, I think that it is OK. League Guildmage is great in Limited and both abilities are OK in Standard, where you can never realistically expect to activate the ability twice.
Legion Guildmage having the ability to push early damage with its first ability and late game damage with its second one is exactly what the guild wants to do in Limited.
Selesnya Guildmage is less useful, but your Rosemane Centaurs having trample or not is a really big deal. Heck, your Flight of Equenauts being chumped by a Bird token from Murmuring Mystic feels awful. And the second ability takes over the lategame in a stalemate.
Swarm Guildmage has two very useful abilities. The small ability is useful versus aggro, where golgari really struggles to trade efficiently. The large ability is useful as a game ender. Making Vigorspore Wurm unblockable is a huge deal that has won me multiple games. And in combination with something like Izoni, Thousand-Eyed, it is amazing.
House Guildmage being an instant-speed source of surveil at a good price is incredibly important in the early game to power up your Disinformation Campaign and Dimir Spybug and filtering away lands in the late game. Locking down a powerful creature is an underestimated ability.
TLDR - They have uses which you have chosen to dismiss for unknown reasons. Maybe not as much in commander (though I would still have both Swarm Guildmage and Korozda Guildmage in my izoni deck) though.
Dimir Spybug occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0,0%
All decks: 0,05%