|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Eldritch Moon (EMN)||Rare|
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Creature — Eldrazi Insect
Hooded Hydra enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it.
When Hooded Hydra dies, put a 1/1 green Snake creature token onto the battlefield for each +1/+1 counter on it.
As Hooded Hydra is turned face up, put five +1/+1 counters on it.
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Distended Mindbender Discussion
2 weeks ago
The first thing I'll say is that with 21 lands, you probably can't expect to get the mana to launch Army of the Damned or a really powerful Mind Grind or Torment of Hailfire. Well, at least without Organ Harvest, of which you're only sporting one copy. (If you don't play with teammates, or if you don't play with silver-bordered cards, you might replace it with Culling the Weak.) For reference, the math on Army of the Damned is that about 1/3 of your cards are lands = 8/24, meaning you need to survive to turn 17-18 (have seen a total of 24 cards between your opening hand and your draws each turn) to hit that 8th land. That’s a long time in a Magic game.
Second, Mind Grind, while fun, is questionable here, since none of your other cards will mill your opponent. Many people play with 4 copies of many of their cards, so milling them might not cut them off from their game plan unless you mill them so much they might die. And for that, you would need more support for the mill plan or a LOT more mana. (This is possible, but a big change. Look for cards like Glimpse the Unthinkable and Mind Funeral. Otherwise, I'd cut it for cards that affect board-state or life-totals.)
Third, your overall game plan appears to be to stall in the early game for more powerful plays late, since your low cost cards are generally defensive. This means you'll want more lands in your deck so that you don't stumble on your way to those big plays. I'd remove Coral Atoll and put in four Dimir Aqueducts. It's not the ideal play, but it's cheap and there's a lot of upside if your opponent doesn't Ghost Quarter it or something. Anyways, that will take you up to 24 lands AND increase your average mana output a little more, letting you rely on 4CMC, 5CMC, and 6CMC plays to dominate the game.
Finally, on to individual cards:
Kraken Hatchling, Mausoleum Wanderer, Pharika's Chosen, and Will-o'-the-Wisp are all fine defensive one-drops, but they all do something a little different. Thornbow Archer is a little more aggressive than the rest of your deck wants, so maybe drop it and pick your favorite of those first four and add a second.
Fogwalker is okay on defense, though it's not the best two-drop out there. I'm not a fan of Olivia's Dragon, especially outside of madness/reanimator decks. Rancid Rats just doesn't offer enough oomph for the mana (skulk is not typically a very useful ability). Graf Rats is bad unless you have Midnight Scavengers, so it's really about how much you personally want to meld them. Ultimately, I'd rather replace them with better blockers like Wall of Tears, Wall of Souls, Contraband Kingpin, Dragon's Eye Savants, Gifted Aetherborn, or the absolute top-tier Baleful Strix. Other value options include Omenspeaker, Sigiled Starfish, and Augur of Bolas. Other fun options here are Surge Mare, Riptide Mangler, Lazav, the Multifarious, Fathom Feeder, and Ludevic's Test Subject Flip. Choose your favorites. Alternately, spot-removal like Doom Blade, Victim of Night, Cast Down, Go for the Throat, and sometimes Dimir Charm are pretty effective.
Wharf Infiltrator can be good sometimes. You can leave it in for fun or replace it.
Eternal Scourge has its uses, but I don't think this deck is optimized for it. Ideally you'd want a few things that can exile it from graveyard or hand, such as Gurmag Angler, Soulflayer, Tombstalker, Scavenging Ooze, Grim Lavamancer), Azor's Gateway Flip (from hand), or the most hilarious option, Serum Powder. As it stands, it's just difficult to kill outside of combat, like a bad shroud or hexproof. Honestly, I don't think you need a 3/3 to be immune to removal. Replace with a finisher, which I'll discuss in a bit. Alternately, one of my favorite defensive 3CMC creatures is Graveblade Marauder, since its offensive capabilities can rapidly increase.
Markov Crusader isn't actually very good even in the rare case when you do have another vampire, and you only have one other one. Compare to 4CMC utility wunderkind Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, 5CMC finishers (like Archfiend of Depravity, Glyph Keeper, Ob Nixilis, the Fallen, Vengeful Pharaoh, and maybe even Serra Sphinx), and 6CMC game-winners (like Noxious Gearhulk, Dread, Kokusho, the Evening Star, Wurmcoil Engine, Grave Titan, or even Vengeant Vampire, though that last one is much worse than the others). Sure, none do exactly what Markov Crusader does, but some are close and they all have incredible upsides. Even something like Shriekmaw might ultimately gain you more life by just killing something outright, plus it's super-flexible. Heck, Soul Ransom and Mind Control are strong cards too, at least against creature decks. Anyways, Markov Crusader is a card to replace.
Midnight Scavengers is okay, especially if you have a lot of disposable deathtouchers to bring back, but it still doesn't compare favorably to the above finishers unless you really want to meld it with Graf Rats. Remember, doing things you want to do is an important part of MTG. But if you don't care to meld, I'd look to replace it.
Ob Nixilis, Unshackled is fine. In most cases it doesn't compare favorably to the 6CMC critters above, but it has its uses. If you've got a lot of little deathtouchers (Pharika's Chosen, Typhoid Rats, Dire Fleet Poisoner, it can grow really out of hand. Also, Field of Ruin forces a library search.
Elder Deep Fiend is fine. Usually you play it in a deck that has plenty of creatures you don't mind (or are better off) sacrificing (for example, Priest of the Blood Rite, Relentless Dead, Doomed Dissenter, Stormbound Geist/Geralf's Messenger), then you emerge it early and tap down lands. That's not really your plan here, so it's probably not the best choice. Some good choices for replacements are above, but within the category of emerge creatures, I think Distended Mindbender fits your deck better.
Organ Harvest is a powerful card, but has some drawbacks. Most importantly, a lot of people don't play with or against silver-bordered cards. They're not legal in any official tournaments. Tournament legal variations are Dark Ritual, Culling the Weak, and Ashnod's Altar. Other than that, it's a card that is useless in many situations and completely changes what you're able to do when you actually can make use of it, and that can be awkward from a strategy perspective. If you don't have creatures, you can't cast it. If you don't have a big spell in your hand, you don't need to cast it and you'd rather have almost any other card. So it wants your deck to be full of disposable creatures and big spells, like an emerge deck or a zombie deck really making use of Army of the Damned and From Under the Floorboards. But for the most part that is not this deck, so unless you want to build around the card, I'd remove it, either replacing it with Dark Ritual which is always useful when drawn early, or something else that's cheap and effective: Dead Weight, Apathy, Doom Blade, Pharika's Chosen, or whatever.
Sorcerous Sight is worse than Peek and Gitaxian Probe, but I don't think any of those are particularly good in your deck. If you want to know what's in your opponent's hand, play Telepathy. Otherwise, there's better card draw: Preordain and Ponder are the best cheap spells, but it might be worth spending more mana for more effect with Sign in Blood or Chart a Course.
Cemetery Recruitment isn't particularly good with so few zombies. You can add more zombies, or switch to Ghoulcaller's Chant/Find / Finality/Recover/Disturbed Burial/Death Denied to simulate the effect, or just do card advantage the old-fashioned way, with stuff like Sign in Blood/Consult the Necrosages/Read the Bones/Notion Rain/Secrets of the Golden City. Alternately, shred your opponent's hand (and lose friends) with Hymn to Tourach or punch your opponent for cards with Shadowmage Infiltrator. If you're committed to bringing creatures back from the dead, look to Zombify, Extract from Darkness, or Isareth the Awakener, which can randomly run away with the game if your opponent doesn't have an answer. The most efficient reanimation spell is Unburial Rites, but you'd need to splash white for it to be better than the above options.
Contingency Plan doesn't actually net you any cards in hand; you just control what you are going to draw later. Since you're not very graveyard-focused, there's little benefit. The more flexible version is Dimir Charm, and the more powerful version is Lim-Dul's Vault. If you want to stack the top of your deck for 2CMC without wasting a card to do it, there's Diabolic Vision, but the 1CMC Preordain and Ponder are worthy as well. Alternately, raw card advantage is an option. Any of the options I've already listed are fine, but here are some more: Chemister's Insight, Foresee, Deep Analysis.
Mind Grind attacks on an irrelevant axis. Recommend replacing it with a finisher unless you add more mill. If you want a non-creature finisher, Ob Nixilis Reignited is pretty cool. If you just want something that can't get Murdered, there's Sphinx of Jwar Isle.
Torment of Hailfire is possibly workable if you go to 24 lands with Dimir Aqueducts. X=3 is pretty much the bare minimum, and if they have cards in hand even that might not be enough. This is a possible swap for a finisher, as above.
Army of the Damned is hard to cast at 8CMC. Recommend replacing it with a cheaper finisher unless you're all about Organ Harvest.
Apathy is pretty decent at 1CMC. Probably not as good as just casting Doom Blade/Go for the Throat to kill the thing, but definitely more interesting and fun. It can stay in, though swapping it for something more reliable is technically the correct decision.
Strange Augmentation is bad in your deck. While +3/+3 for 1CMC is fine in a very aggressive deck, that doesn't seem like your game plan. Ideally, your finishers are big enough to win without the extra P/T. If they're not, these could be replaced with kill spells to make sure they are.
Tormod's Crypt is useless unless you frequently play against graveyard-based decks. Even then, with only one in the deck, you're in bad shape. I'd swap it for Relic of Progenitus or Sentinel Totem if you really need graveyard hate. If a creature is reliable against those graveyard decks, Deadeye Tracker, Nezumi Graverobber, or Withered Wretch can do some work. Agent of Erebos is another option. If the only things you need to exile are creatures, then Cemetery Reaper, Dimir Doppelganger, and the powerful Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet are options. Otherwise, cheap kill spells, counterspells, or even more expensive exiling removal (e.g. Sever the Bloodline, Silence the Believers) are options. Phyrexian Scriptures is another card I'll mention, just 'cause it does lots of stuff.
Nevinyrral's Disk is pretty good. Go ahead and keep that in there.
Gridlock is okay, but it's basically a Darkness you can use aggressively. I think Sleep is generally better at that. Alternately, if you want a mass-defense spell, Yahenni's Expertise, Languish, and Damnation are the go-to sweepers.
Outwit is way too narrow; most decks don't target players. (The primary exceptions are burn and mill, so if you play against them a lot, it might be fine.) If you want a dollar-cost-effective counterspell in that slot, play Counterspell or MAYBE Dimir Charm for flexibility.
Murder is fine. (Card-wise, not morally!) Technically Hero's Downfall is better if you can get one.
Liliana Vess is fine, but she's a little slow. I'm not sure whether she's better or worse in this deck than Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, Ob Nixilis Reignited, Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath, or even Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver. My inclination is that those are stronger as you increase the median quality of the cards in your deck (making Vess's -2 less important).
Here's one inexpensive, somewhat-boring take:
2x Glyph Keeper
1x Liliana Vess
2x Dimir Charm
2x Doom Blade
2x Agony Warp
3x Notion Rain
That's just one take on the general strategy. Ultimately, (I think) you're playing Dimir Midrange, and so you're looking for about 40% (24) lands, 30% (18) things that keep you alive until you have 4-6 mana, 20% (12) things that kill your opponent and are themselves hard to kill, and 10% (6) things that put you ahead on cards just in case you're not drawing the right part of your deck.
3 weeks ago
I simply adore this theme! I just built a sanity focused deck my self but not to this extent!
4 weeks ago
bushido_man96. I have removed Distended Mindbender, Patron of the Moon(Though I am reconsidering that as it synergizes well with Nesting Dragon, and gives me mana regardless, whether I have to wait one turn or not. I would like you opinion on this.), Dreamscape Artist, Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, and Sire of Stagnation, as I recall. I have added Viscera Seer, Nirkana Revenant, Burnished Hart, Archfiend of Depravity, and Ghoulcaller Gisa, as I recall. Is this fine?
4 weeks ago
Ok, lets unpack this a little bit.
You mentioned the deck's average CMC at 5.5....that's probably too high. If it were me, I'd work on having more 1 and 2 drops to smooth out the curve and make sure I can get things up and running more quickly. A card like Burnished Hart would work better for you than Patron of the Moon. Let's look at Patron real quick: nice ability on it, for sure, if you can really abuse it. But 7 CMC for to get an ability to then pay 1 for two tapped lands is NOT ramp. Fixing, maybe, but not ramp. I feel the same about Dreamscape Artist. 2 CMC to cast, which is a good early play, but then a 3-costed activated ability to sac a land and go get two lands.....its like a really bad way of playing Harrow.
Good creatures to include: Baleful Strix: draws you a card, and has deathtouch. Edict creatures, like Fleshbag Marauder, Plaguecrafter, Merciless Executioner, Ravenous Chupacabra, Nekrataal, Bone Shredder and Shriekmaw; the Maw is especially synergistic here with his evoke ability. Just one of these creatures cast could end up netting 3 to 4 sacrifices across the table. Even a card like Mulldrifter fits your theme. A few other cards that might interest you: Tortured Existence and/or Phyrexian Reclamation. They can help you get some of these cards that trigger your Commander's ability back into play or into your hand to re-cast (like Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder).
Thrilling Encore is ok, but adding one card to reuse that one card seems like a waste of two card slots. Archaeomancer and Mnemonic Wall could do it for you, though. You could consider running Deadeye Navigator as a way of blinking some of these creatures I've listed with ETB effects.
Two items left I want to hash out with you:
Item 1: Distended Mindbender. This is just not a good card, and there are plenty of sorcery speed discard spells that black runs that would do a better job, not cost 5 CMC, and will force some discard. Hell, I think Thrull Surgeon would be better, and you could recur him with some of the options I've listed.
Item 2: Lotus Bloom. Not good, in my opinion, especially when compared to other options, like Worn Powerstone, Mind Stone, or Commander's Sphere. You cast it for free essentially, but then have to wait three turns to essentially net a Dark Ritual effect. So you wait three turns for a one-off effect, then it goes to the graveyard. Worn Powerstone is repeatable after it untaps, although it is colorless. With Commander's Sphere you get ramp and fixing, and you can choose to send it to the graveyard in exchange for a card, replacing itself. Mind Stone replaces itself, too. I'd like Lotus Bloom more if you had a way to recur it, like Goblin Welder, but that isn't what your deck does, so it doesn't make sense with better options available.
I hope that helps explain my reasoning a little bit. I like to try to manage my mana curve as much as possible, so I have things going on early to set up mid and late game. Your Commander is high CMC as it is, so you've really got to build to getting him out as soon as you can; by turn 4 would be great, but probably not going to make an appearance consistently until around turns 5 or 6. Let me know what your experience with this is, though. When deck building, its easy to get wowed by big dumb creatures, but too much of it makes the deck clunky and inconsistent. Better to get the consistency that makes the deck function early, so you can play your game later on, too.
4 weeks ago
bushido_man96. Yes, Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder seems nice, but I'm usually going to have high power creatures, so he would be immediately killed. If anything, I would put a card that can just bring back Thrilling Encore, since it is the same mana cost, and that will be of more use when I will sacrificing tokens. Krenko, Mob Boss is a little bit too slow for me. Ghoulcaller Gisa is an almost definitely; I'll think about it. Most of the rest of the cards in that paragraph I have considered, and rest of the cards seem pointless except for the tokens generation, or just have one aspect about them that I would rather not have to satisfy(e.g. the mana that needs to be spent for Pentavus to create tokens or the artifact requirements.) For the next paragraph, I probably add one of two of those cards. I should have clarified a bit more that I need things the get sacrificed, instead of things that sacrifice. Archfiend of Depravity most certainly going to be added.Diplomatic Immunity as well. Distended Mindbender allows me some vision into an enemies' hand, while having a lower CMC with a sacrificed creature. Patron of the Moon and Dreamscape Artist are there for a bit of ramp. The deck's average CMC is 5.5, so I would prefer to have as many lands as possible onto the battlefield. Lotus Bloom is a free source of mana that gives me an extra boost when I need it. Sire of Stagnation, Blight Herder, and Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur is what I meant by "fine tuning". I would like to have at least some card draw, all while inhibiting opponents. Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur and Sire of Stagnation would be great if they had a "may" in between the "you draw". But that what Omniscience and the ramp is for, and if the card draw gets too out of hand, I can just sacrifice them. "...if you're opponents aren't playing creatures, they can't sacrifice them". Yes, good point, but that is why I have annihilator creatures. Thank you for the suggestion, and please give me feedback on my reasoning! Thank you once again!
1 month ago
Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder and Krenko, Mob Boss are some good token generators. You could really do your mana curve a favor and probably go with early goblin drops to support the Krenko rout. Ghoulcaller Gisa is pretty solid, and for lots of fun, equip her with Thornbite Staff. That can make a lot of tokens you can then sacrifice for fun stuff. Kher Keep is a solid land to include. Even cards like Myr Battlesphere and Pentavus can provide you with sac outlets. Hangarback Walker is another solid option. Blue has options like Thopter Spy Network and Efficient Construction for generating tokens.
So, with your commander, what you care about is creatures getting sacrificed. Not dying, but sacrificed specifically. So, the best way to help yourself out is to not rely on your opponents to provide the sac fodder. For that, you need more sac outlets of your own. Cards like Carrion Feeder, Yahenni, Undying Partisan, Viscera Seer, Phyrexian Ghoul and Nantuko Husk are all free sac outlets that you let you start putting counters on your commander really quick. Red offers Goblin Bombardment, which could be switched out with Vicious Shadows.
Archfiend of Depravity would fit your theme well, too, along with the Eldrazi you have with the Annihiliator mechanic, but you don't need too many of them. Running three or four of them is probably sufficient.
Distended Mindbender could probably go. I fail to see how it fits what you want it to do with your Commander. Patron of the Moon doesn't look like it fits, and neither does Dreamscape Artist. I'd cut Sire of Stagnation as well. Blight Herder probably isn't great, either. Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur is a good card, and good for card draw, but if you're opponents aren't playing creatures, they can't sacrifice them, and it just might make you a big fat target. I'd ditch Lotus Bloom for something more like Worn Powerstone or even a Mind Stone.
I hope these suggestions help. Thraximundar looks like a fun commander to run. I hope these suggestions help you to focus the deck more, and make it run more smoothly. Let me know what you think.
1 month ago
So a sort of Scarecrone tron build?
I feel like diving more into tools for a grindy matchup where post will shine might be best if you want that route. Running black for things like Distended Mindbender and more value oriented midrange creatures like Filigree Familiar/Solemn Simulacrum might perform well.
1 month ago
Rogue's Passage to make sure that big damage gets through. Cavern of Souls so your Eldrazi can't be countered. Sandstone Oracle, not really on theme but is a great lil colorless card. Belbe's Portal to cheat some Eldrazi out. Tomb of the Spirit Dragon for some life gain and should be pretty good in this deck. Sanctum of Ugin for a tutor when your good on lands.