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If a source would deal 4 damage or more to a creature or player, that source deals 3 damage to that creature or player instead.
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Divine Presence Discussion
2 weeks ago
Divine Presence is an option... Not the same thing though, would interrupt your own big swing plays, unless you are using "life-loss".
1 month ago
I forgot to mention earlier that a political card can also be cards that give a backhanded gift (ie Nin, the Pain Artist). Also, not listing every curse in Magic's history.
1 month ago
Needs more stax. Cards you may want to consider: Hanna's Custody, Thorn of Amethyst, Ethersworn Canonist, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Fall of the Thran, Global Ruin, Keldon Firebombers, Smallpox, Slaughter the Strong, Stronghold Rats, Necrogen Mists, Ensnaring Bridge, War's Toll, Tectonic Instability, Rite of the Raging Storm, Tainted AEther, Fulminator Mage, Divine Presence, Storage Matrix, Grave Pact, Bottomless Pit, Stoneshaker Shaman, Aura of Silence, Mesmeric Orb, Bounty Agent, Noetic Scales.
Not every one of these cards need to be included. Pick which ones you feel may suit you best as these are some of the best stax cards in your colors to choose from.
2 months ago
StopShot: Sorry about the delayed response. I appreciate the thought that went into the comment and wanted to respond in kind.
So to start off (and I will bounce around with your suggestions to group them by function a bit) I will cover Kami of False Hope. I run Spore Frog as a bit of a niche card, but generally I don't deal much with combat decks. It's in there on the odd chance that I do, but most of my meta is full of infinite combo and I don't want to take up extra card spaces for a card which isn't going to add much value 99% of the time. Generally I can win faster than most beatdown decks can assemble and if I see them coming I can either use Yisan, GSZ, Chord or any other creature tutor to get frog. On the topic of Maze of Ith, I'm not overly a fan of the card personally. It's ok but I play a lot of combo and agin don't play against beatdown decks. It's ok in pillowfort lists, but I would rather a land that taps for mana. In this light, Urban Burgeoning isn't great, but if I ran it I would prioritise it on lands like Mikokoro, Center of the Sea or Gaea's Cradle. Don't get me worng, it's not a bad interaction, but it just feels like a lot of effort for not much value. And I would much rather find Skullclamp with Open the Armory. Divine Presence and Ensnaring Bridge kind if fit into the same category here, it's a lot of combat step prvention where my play group doesn't need it and more than that, most combo decks will have either an out that doesn't require attacking or an out that ends up with me having no permanents on the board, only to connect next turn.
There is always an issue with playing pillowfort cards in that they are proactive cards, but they only really stop an opponent from doing stuff to you. This means that you're expending resources on cards that don't in turn actively slow opponents down the way true stax would, which is not a plce you want to be in, For more casual play this is fine, but for games which the deck is designed for it is just a waste of turns and resources.
Authority of the Consuls is an interesting card. it is good at shuitting down a few combos, but it feels a bit too niche in this particular build. If this was a more staxcy build it would probably be quite at home here, however as a singleton stax card I would prefer Blind Obedience as I can use it as a combo outlet as well.
On the point of wraths, it's the same kind of thing as with Kami of False Hope. I don't want to clutter up my hand with a bunch of removal (especially redundant removal) that also puts me back a heap. I would rather run a bunch of cheap, single point removal which I can use to deal with key threats than to clear the board (whcih can lead to an opponent comboing out of the blue). Because sometimes stax cards are better in play, shutting down my opponent. And I like Wrath of God because it's a cheap catch all. Cards like Slaughter the Strong and Citywide Bust are nice because of their cost, however they miss a lot of key creatures. In more competitive games, the majority of creatures you see are a lot smaller (because larger creatures generally have prohibitive mana costs) and if you're going to the effort of wrathing you would rather just hit everything. I used to run Rout before I ran Wrath of God and while it is more expensive than Day of Judgment I think it would be my next goto, especially since it has instant speed mode which is in a lot of ways more valuable than just a second wrath.
For spot removal, you're right in that swords and path play centre stage. I have tried to run primarily instant speed removal to deal with other combo decks/being able to wait to the last second to break free and combo out myself. Darksteel Mutation isn't bad but my problem with it is slot space. I run Song of the Dryads which is basically a better version under most circumstances (as it hits more). If I needed more removal, mutation is the kind of card which could work its way into the deck however I do need to be careful not to flood the deck with removal (for the same reason as with pillowfort cards). Soul Snare and Condemn are both cheap to cast, however they only work when a creature is attacking. That is enough of a drawback to not run them.
I used to run Qasali Pridemage but in this list I cut it for Caustic Caterpillar. While you need to have 2 open for caterpillar, you can fetch it on turn one with Yisan, the Wanderer Bard which is super good. Don't get me wrong though, if I ever need more artifact/enchantment removal, it will be the first card to go back in. Seal of Cleansing and Seal of Primordium are less good versions of pridemage (creatures are easy to find) and Thrashing Brontodon/Sylvok Replica, while good, are too expensive as you spend 4 mana total to remove something.
I've seen the Scroll Rack + Land Tax combo before and have considered it in the past, but ultimately passed up on it. My problem with the combo is that neither of the pieces provide the card advantage the deck needs separately and while together they are quite strong, the deck lacks the ability to assemble said combo. On top of that, any artifact/enchantment tutors are better suited getting me direct win con lines rather than assembling value pieces. And while I can shuffle my deck with fetch lands, it's still not as consistent as you might think. Blinkmoth Nexus + Mask of Memory is a cute little package, however I have tried to focus on raw card advantage (i.e. cards that outright draw cards). And the value engines I do run are based off individual cards which add enough to the deck outside of those loops. Mirri's Guile has caught my attention on occasion, however ultimately I decided against it since it doesn't actually provide card advantage. And Sylvan Library and Sensei's Divining Top are bother better.
I hope this explains the card choices in the deck and while I have avoided running certain pieces. Don't get me wrong, the cards you have suggested aren't bad and some of the cards and card combos you've mentioned I might commandeer for some other decks (I like the Mask of Memory + Blinkmoth Nexus loop for canadian highlander) however for this particluar list and given my playgroup I have to be very specific on choices. But I appreciate the suggestions, they always force me to evaluate the deck and the particular choices I have made for it.
Grandmaster5327: I'm glad you like the list. The core of the deck isn't too expensive (minus the Phyrexian Altar) however a lot of the cost is sunk in the mana base and some specific cards (Survival of the Fittest, Mana Crypt, etc.). If you replaced these with some omre budget options, the overall price could be brought down much lower. While I haven't specifically put together a budget list, I am confident that you could get the deck down to the $300-$400 mark, which is a 5-6 fold reduction in price.
2 months ago
Hello, I saw your deck and I was intrigued by it. I particularly make removal a big focus of my main commander deck and I might be able to help you with that as well as other suggestions if you don't mind.
First off I think there are some easy duplicate effects you could be running in this deck. I notice you are running Spore Frog, but have you ever considered running Kami of False Hope as well? It's essentially the same card and another fog effect can help out quite a bit. Another other card you can run is Day of Judgment. I run it along side Wrath of God and the downside of allowing creatures to regenerate is so negligible that it's practically one and the same.
If you are ever in need of another decent board-wipe I'd recommend Slaughter the Strong. I feel a lot of commander players underrate this card, but it does the two things every boardwipe should do and that's stop go-wide strategies and go-big strategies. Sure allowing your opponents to leave up to 4 power on the board doesn't remove everything, but it sure as heck keeps you from dying due to combat any time soon. Also never underestimate the usefulness of boardwipes that cause creatures to be sacrificed as they remove indestructible creatures unlike your traditional Wrath of God. Citywide Bust is another honorable mention and though my biggest gripe is it doesn't stop a lot of token decks it can remove a lot of key commanders that the other wipe might fail to like Brago, King Eternal, Doran, the Siege Tower, Nekusar, the Mindrazer, and Zur the Enchanter. I'd give both those wipes some consideration based on your meta, but Day of Judgment definitely deserves a slot if you find Wrath of God useful.
While wipes are good I find they work best if you can throw in effects that practically turn off big creatures. If I'm playing a deck that doesn't care much for my combat step Ensnaring Bridge and Divine Presence are miracle workers. Before them I'd always feel inclined to slap down a board-wipe if ever my opponent played a big enough creature that could take me out in one swing. These cards let you hold onto prime removal longer so that you can use them at a time that might be much more dearly needed.
Lastly, before I move on I do want to say Authority of the Consuls is a very superb card. The two abilities together for just one mana allow you an extra turn to answer all hasty-threats, provides an effective edge against creature spam decks, but most importantly this card has easily shut down more than half of the infinite combo decks that I usually come into contact with. Goblin Bombardment, Blood Artist, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Prossh, Skyraider of Kher, and plenty of other lesser known yet still as deadly synergies all tend to badly need an answer for this card which has helped me overtake games I would have otherwise failed to win without its inclusion. This card is definitely a swiss army knife when it comes to keeping yourself in the game longer as it practically counters a sizeable variety of explosive plays.
As for creature spot-removal you're a bit limited due to your colors as Path to Exile and Swords to Plowshares make any recommendation vastly inferior in comparison. That said being less than a very powerful effect doesn't mean your options are bad on their own. Darksteel Mutation is a particularly evil card in this format, while you can use it to answer any creature you don't like, if you place it on someone else's commander they effectively lose it forever if they don't have enchantment hate or a sacrifice effect. Most cases removal leads to your opponent putting their commander back in the command zone, but this by-passes that and unlike Pacifism/Temporal Isolation they can't rely on a boardwipe to fix the problem either. Also if needed you can enchant one of your own creatures to have it double as an all-star chump-blocker if needed. Another option is Declaration in Stone and while sorcery speed and costing one more mana than a Path to Exile definitely doesn't sound too good in comparison, it is still an unconditional exile effect that can also be used to hose a token army if needed. Lastly there's Soul Snare while most people may prefer Condemn which is another useful card to consider, Soul Snare is useful in the fact that all your opponents see and know about its existence in advance. Let me clarify why that's beneficial. If the game is steady with no one in the lead and everyone's got their big stompy creatures out it's pretty hard to attack someone if they know you can remove it. With most cases your opponent's usually wager an attack on the factor of if you have removal. I have had games with the Soul Snare out where none of my opponents wanted to be the person to willingly throw a valuable creature away, and because of this I had effectively kept the entire table in check with a single spot removal spell, which is kind of funny really. That said it is still conditional removal which doesn't hold up well against creature-based infinite combos or Lightning Greaves or politics like when the group decides to team up against you, but for one mana you're still setting quite an impact on the board even if it never ends up being used. In conclusion these spot removal spells do have their flaws so don't take them as auto-includes but rather as cards to consider based on their merits.
Lastly there's artifact and enchantment removal. Before I start I think and feel that the Qasali Pridemage makes for a much better inclusion than the Caustic Caterpillar. While they cost the same amount of mana to generate the same effect the Pridemage only requires you to hold one mana up to use it whereas the Caterpillar requires two mana which is a bit clunkier to hold up if you ever need instant speed removal. Also you can Skullclamp the Pridemage for extra effect whereas the Catapillar does not grant you both options at the same time. I'd only run the Caterpillar if you have inconsistencies getting white mana in your deck and even then I think I'd rather run cards like Sylvok Replica and Thrashing Brontodon just because of their cheaper activation cost and also because of their synergy with Skullclamp. While I feel the Pridemage should definitely be looked at again I feel that any deck that has the colors to run Seal of Cleansing and Seal of Primordium should absolutely run these cards. If you're ever against a blue deck that runs counter-spells you can play these cards in advance preferably at a time when those kinds of decks don't have a need to hold up counter-spell mana. If these seals successfully resolve your opponents counter-spells can no longer touch them. I can say with confidence that the blue combo decks I run these against hate these cards with an absolute passion and just like the Soul Snare effect one seal can potentially keep the entire table at check, but unlike the Soul Snare the seals work far better because their targets are unconditional and you can sacrifice them for free which means you can feel a lot safer if you need to spend a turn tapped out on mana. They are a near equivalent to a zero mana uncounterable Naturalize or Disenchant when used preemptively, and best of all I use them effectively as counter-spell bait on turns I plan to combo-out on, because they are so cheap to cast and can be very necessary to counter due to their impact. (Do keep in mind you don't even need to target anything when casting them, so your opponent always has to presume the worst.) And if you ever run against a deck that runs Contamination you'll be more than glad you have these cards if you're able to play one before hand. I can not overstate the usefulness of these cards.
That's it for removal, but I definitely relate with you on how there can be a lot of inconsistencies with running just white and green. There's two draw engines however that I run in my deck, and I think they could be quite strong in your deck as well. The first one is Land Tax + Scroll Rack. The point of this synergy is with Land Tax you put three basic lands from your library into your hand and then with Scroll Rack you exchange those basic lands and whatever dead cards that are in your hand for new cards off the top of your library. Then when your next turn rolls around Land Tax can put those three lands back in your hand so you don't end up top-decking them. Think of it like playing an Ancestral Recall every turn. Even if you run out of basic lands Land Tax let's you still shuffle your deck every turn so you never have to top-deck anything you Scroll Rack away which is helpful and both cards are particularly strong by themselves, especially Scroll Rack since you run quite a number of fetch-lands to shuffle your library with. (You could replace Tectonic Edge with Ghost Quarter if you'd like to run another land that can shuffle your deck.)
The other draw engine uses Blinkmoth Nexus and Mask of Memory. This is fairly straightforward as you animate the land, equip it and easily connect to gain some card advantage. It's not impressive, but over a span of turns it can help out a lot and using a man-land means you don't have to worry about it getting removed by sorcery speed boardwipes either. I also run Inkmoth Nexus just out of consistency and if you throw in a Smuggler's Copter you can effectively max out the number of cards you draw per turn though the initial draw engine should work fine as it is. (Also both Nexus cards work as good chump blockers if you ever desperately need a chump blocker. Also they work really well if you have both Skullclamp and Crucible of Worlds in play.)
Lastly while it's not a draw engine you may want to include Mirri's Guile as it can also improve deck's consistency, and if you pair it with any effects that shuffle your deck you can effectively remove dead-draws as well. This card along with your Sylvan Library would probably pair excellently with shuffle engines such as Land Tax as well as your Crucible of Worlds which can recur your fetchlands.
I hope my suggestions were of use to you, and I apologize if this came out as a word wall. Also if you don't mind me asking I'd like to know your thoughts on Maze of Ith? I run it in my deck along with Deserted Temple for added effect, but often I switch back and forth on whether to cut it or not. That said running a Maze of Ith with Urban Burgeoning seems particularly good especially if you ever run Open the Armory which can fetch the aura. I'd like to hear your thoughts on it though.
3 months ago
In my list of weird enchantments to think about: Aurification, Lightmine Field, Island Sanctuary - useful finally? Mystic Barrier - who uses this? Divine Presence - see prior Spirit Link - because I want to see you put this on someone's walking ballista Web of Inertia - for bizarre pillowy graveyard hating?? Pollenbright Wings because I have yet to see an enchantment commander voltron land with it and suddenly turn into a swing wide deck. You think Enchanted Evening will stay on the rise because of this?
6 months ago
8 months ago
Ah, I get you. Yeah, stompy would flatten me pretty hard too. The best cards I'd always run to counter those strategies would be Ensnaring Bridge and Divine Presence which neuters those strategies pretty hard and have saved me in quite a number of games. (And Portcullis as a personal favorite, but that card can be a little too overboard at times.)