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Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt to attacking creatures you control.
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Dolmen Gate Discussion
3 days ago
Just my thoughts on your suggestions.
1) Price of Progress is definitely a great card for this style of deck, but I much rather prefer permanent effects that ping opponents. It seems like a fantastic finisher later in the game however seems like a very dead card early.
2) I had Iroas, God of Victory in my list earlier and I think its great for Markov. It just happened to be one of the cuts I made earlier when building/testing this deck. Dolmen Gate is another lower CMC card that I've also tested and have found to be useful.
3) Honestly due to how low of a curve this deck functions on you really don't need much ramp/fast mana. Of the Moxen you suggested, the only one I would consider running is Mox Diamond, since it can really help with color fixing. Chrome Mox, makes you lose too much tempo by pitching a card that would be far more useful in play than as fodder for ramp (I tested this in earlier iterations of this deck). As for Mox Amber, I really am not a fan of the card; it ends up being way too inconsistent as it relies on you having a legendary permanent out to do anything.
4) Wheel of Fortune is definitely not in my list due to cost reasons. Amazing for this list though.
5) I have tested Yawgmoth's Will in this deck in the past. Good card for the list for sure, I just chose to use it in another deck and since this is one of my more casual decks I didn't feel bad removing it from this deck.
6) You hit the nail on the head about Aether Vial. I'm using 1-drops to get eminence triggers out early to swarm opponents. Aether Vial really goes against what I'm trying to accomplish since it bypasses the eminence triggers.
7) Falkenrath Aristocrat is a great aggro card, you curve very nicely into it on turn 3/4, it is evasive, has haste and can protect itself; this card is exactly what I'm looking for in this deck for later turns. Vona, Butcher of Magan is a vampire that functions as repeatable removal (my meta calls for a lot of removal) and as a larger body for later turns; I really don't want to be playing 1-drops on turn 5+ and would rather be playing larger threats which is why it's important to curve into these larger vampires. Vampire Nighthawk is def a pet card of mine, but that's not really the reason I run it. It has so many useful keywords on it that make it an extremely valuable threat. I have had all three (Mirror Entity, Adaptive Automaton and Taurean Mauler) in my list before and I think they are all fine cards to run, I've just replaced them with cards that are lower on the curve as I found I had too many cards in the 3CMC slot.
8) Had Lightning Greaves in the list earlier, the mass haste is far more valuable in this deck as it lets you get more damage out earlier. While the protection you get from greaves is nice, I've found running mass protection/recursion spells to be far more useful in this deck since you're almost always trying to protect your board rather than individual creatures. I had Olivia, Mobilized for War in my list also at one point and even though it's a great haste enabler, more often than not I found myself not wanting to discard cards to its effect or not even having cards to discard for its effect.
9) I think Elenda, the Dusk Rose is better suited to an aristocrats style deck as it is more reliable if you have more sacrifice outlets (which my deck doesn't really run much of). I think it's a fantastic card to provide resilience against board wipes assuming you have the pieces to get that big payoff of tokens. I feel the same way about Bloodtracker; I think it's a fantastic card but like Elenda I think it requires too much setup in my list for the payoff I'm expecting it to provide. I've been running Bloodtracker in my Marchesa, the Black Rose deck and have been loving it, but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that it has far more synergy with the game plan of that deck than my Edgar Markov deck. As for Bloodcrazed Paladin, I'm not a fan of it after trying it out when Ixalan came out. It's a very reactive card, so you tend to hold onto it and unlike Elenda, its payoff is consolidated into one threat (itself) rather than a board of tokens.
6 days ago
This is a great deck in essence. You are covering all our bases; ramp, control and aggro, with some defensive measures.
What screams to me when I look at your list is the 29 lands. I don't see how you can not constantly be missing land drops with such a low number. My method is to have (40-Number of alternate land/mana source and fetch lands) lands in a deck, which here would be 31. Even that is low, I don't usually go under 34, meaning I would cut 5 cards.
Suggestions for cuts : Kumena's Awakening seems a poor effect for the cost, there are so many better draw engines, like Rhystic Study mentioned above.
You probably don't need 3 mass removals, Day of Judgment could easily go.
One fewer counter would also not be a big problem, you have a lot in here; maybe Hinder is the weakest.
Ponder and Brainstorm are good cards, but they are not really doing much here. If all you cards are good, you don't need the selection, and the cantrip is really just a draw.
Ajani, Mentor of Heroes doesn't seem optimal in this environment.
Hope this inspires you!
3 weeks ago
I have a fond place in my heart for Saskia though my deck is long retired. I have a few suggestions of cards that I used to run which can ramp up your deck's explosiveness:
I'd replace Putrefy with Anguished Unmaking and then run Sunforger as it likely would be the best card in your deck. You could also run Crackling Doom, Path to Exile, and Aura Mutation (all tutorable by Sunforger).
Martial Coup might be a solid board wipe to include here and there are a bunch of token doublers in green and white you could consider.
Lastly (I know this is a lot of suggestions, sorry) I think your deck could use more card draw. 6 total cards that provide card draw seems a little low to me (I usually never go below 10 in my decks). Mentor of the Meek, Shamanic Revelation, and Skullclamp are all really powerful in this type of build. There are also other card draw staples in these colors like Sylvan Library, Read the Bones, Night's Whisper, etc. which you could consider.
I hope some of these comments help and happy deck building!
1 month ago
Love Kaalia, though my deck (shameless plug: Still Better than Dan Brown...) doesn't bother with the dragons as I feel you have to give them a bit more support if you want to make use of the firebreathing abilities lots of them come with. If you've not seen it definitely look into the Dominaria card Helm of the Host which is just filthy with Kaalia. The earlier suggestion of Gustcloak Savior is a good one but you can get a similar effect from Dolmen Gate, which will be out earlier and so can protect Kaalia from her first swing. Plus you still get to do some damage. Do you have any draw/search plans? I know tutors are expensive but you may find yourself with no creatures in hand which is a waste if you want to go down the extra combat phases route. Even just a Phyrexian Arena will greatly raise the probability of drawing a playable creature as the game goes on, or there's Ob Nixilis Reignited who brings creature destruction along with him too! Finally, as you're not heavily into Angel Tribal I'd consider Dust Corona over Angelic Destiny. Cheap and simple way to make your flying Commander unblockable without blue.
1 month ago
Why did you skip the original Lure combo, Thicket Basilisk +100 style points for that.
1 month ago
I use to run Rune-Scarred Demon, Aurelia, the Warleader, Sorin, Grim Nemesis, and Iroas, God of Victory. Each have their benefits, but all of them I've found underwhelming for what the deck needs as I pilot it.
The best of points, as I've stated previously in the comments, is that Aurelia, the Warleader does not give benefit the turn it drops. She must survive another turn, if dropped by Kaalia, before she is even viable. A rule that I've learned to follow is creatures that are dropped by Kaalia Must have ETB or static effects to be useful. Every arch type has a set of rules that are to be followed to gain maximum benefits. Take for Legacy Red Burn for example. I wrote an article on the deck a few years back on the topic with rules in which was intended to guide beginners through the process of card selection:
The Art of Legacy Burn [http://www.essentialmagic.com/em2/Doc.aspx?hDocID=318]
Rune-Scarred Demon is a great beater with the tutor add on, but if you look at my list you'll see that it's Swamped with tutors. What I run into now days is the need for immediate removal options of permanents or increased damage to drop a threat quickly from the pod. Demanding Dragon is not the best of cards ever printed, but it serves both of the purposes that I've set forward. Opponent takes 10 damage from it the turn it drops, or they sac a creature and take 5 damage. Either way its a win for me.
Iroas, God of Victory, where to begin....This card for Kaalia I've found to be a tragic disaster for my build. He is nothing more than an overly priced menace enchantment with built in a Dolmen Gate that I'll virtually never acquire devotion for due to my high use of black permanents. Furthermore, I get more use out of his replacement, Moat and it's back up Magus of the Moat, in this evasive flyers deck.
Sorin poses a problem for me. Grim Nemesis is to slow and without the use of deck manipulation the primary increase is not worth it. You basically pay 5 for card draw and it won't pay for itself in the long run due to resources devoted to protecting him and set up to effectively make use of the first ability. The other two abilities.....I'd rather run Nahiri, the Harbinger. Sorin Markov, to drop one opponent to 10 life, I've considered, but the triple black with no way to sneak in makes the idea difficult to swallow.
Dark Confidant and Dark Tutelage have yet to kill me in any game that I've played. The card draw is fast and penalty is minimal due to the large array of cards in the deck that have 3 or less cmc. The probability of getting hit for a large amount is very small. Yes I have had games where I've hit two in a row for 7+ life lose, but the amount of damage output for the card advantage makes up for it and the decks ability to shut most opponents down.
Ob Nixilis Reignited was under consideration, but the idea was dropped after a previous revision.
1 month ago
I'd use Dolmen Gate as a "smokebomb" card.