|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Guilds of Ravnica (GRN)||Mythic Rare|
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Creature — Nightmare Sphinx
When Dream Eater enters the battlefield, surveil 4. When you do, you may return target nonland permanent an opponent controls to its owner's hand. (To surveil 4, look at the top four cards of your library, then put any number of them into your graveyard and the rest on top of your library in any order.)
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Dream Eater Discussion
11 hours ago
so i had this hunch pre-rotation, and it turned out to be correct. turns out surveil/discard works really really well, and it boasts incredible win-rates at the moment. the idea is to use a playset of Disinformation Campaign, Thought Erasure and a few copies of Discovery / Dispersal, and a playset of Sinister Sabotage in a control setup, with the win-cons being Doom Whisperer and Dream Eater. you surveil ,they discard a card. you force them to topdeck and then counter or kill the one card they drew that they had to play because if they dont it gets discarded anyway. its pretty oppressive, and it punishes pretty much everything, even Esper control.
I was busy brewing this, but then the real good players built it first, and i am no net-decker sir...so now i have to build something else :( anyway if you wanna surveil that is probably the best way to go. the Dimir Spybug / Thoughtbound Phantasm route is pretty vulnerable, since it takes time to make those creatures strong, which gives you opponent more time to find something to kill them.
17 hours ago
Warning, giant wall of text ahead, proceed at your own risk!
OK, so I've played around 40 matches with the list, here's what I've found:
I didn't keep track of my win/loss ratio so I don't have hard numbers, but the deck felt pretty good, I think it's very close to being competitive against most of the meta.
First of all, the removal package seems a bit lackluster with the current standard meta. In boros aggro you have Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice which the deck pretty much cannot answer if they ever resolve it. (chromium is good but it's a lot of mana and won't work every time.) In boros angels besides Aurelia, you have Shalai, Voice of Plenty and Lyra Dawnbringer, (which are also sideboard cards in some selesnya decks etc). Again, they all dodge cast down and ritual. Nezahal, Primal Tide is a fairly common sideboard card against control decks, and again the deck really can't answer it unless we can find a chromium - and even then it's a trade. Dream Eater can answer those but it's a 2-of and isn't permanent, also to play it you are probably tapping out to deal with one card, whereas a good wrath would deal with the entire board.
As much as I would like it, without the azorious guild I'm not sure the mana base can take Cleansing Nova/Settle the Wreckage along with lich which we can't cut for obvious reasons. This means that we have to keep ritual as our wrath of choice and play more Vraska's Contempts or Price of Fames in the main deck, but I'm not sure where to make room. Maybe go down some combination of Cast Downs and Moment of Cravings as they both hit similar threats. Craving is obviously awesome once we get to lich, but that late in the game it usually doesn't hit too many threats that our opponents are going to play and it's only 2 cards. I'm toying around with adding some Chromatic Lanterns in and using that to ramp into our combo pieces as well as mana fix so we can play better removal spells - but again you have to make room for them somewhere. Side note: mono red and golgari reanimator is still a decently large part of the metagame and ritual of soot+cast down absolutely destroys them so at least there's that. Vona's Hunger is a card that I've seen in a lot of esper/dimir control lists, maybe it's something to consider here, though edicts aren't super great unless you can back them up with other removal spells. Unexplained Disappearance helps with things that we can't get with castdown+ritual, and the surveil is nice to stock your graveyard for extra "lich life" as well as dig for more answers, but if your plan is to Unexplained Disappearance into counterspell to deal with lyra/shelai etc. you're 2-for-1ing yourself.
Teferi is amazing against a lot of the current meta, and he sort of mana fixes so maybe adding more of him is a good plan? While I would love to play 4 I don't think it is possible, maybe cutting the Dream Eaters and adding two more teferis is a plan. (as far as making the deck better, obviously you said you can't add more due to the price which is understandable)
As far as card draw goes, after lich resolves I've had very little problems - but beforehand is another story. Chemister's Insight is great, but in a deck that's trying to play 3 colors and wants to hit land drops every turn fairly consistently I don't think it's enough. Radical Idea is basically Think Twice for standard, which is a staple in modern esper control, (https://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/established-modern/control/571123-modern-esper-draw-go) could be worth testing. Discovery / Dispersal definitely deserves a spot in the deck. Not only does it cantrip but because it's surveil and not a scry it stocks the graveyard for future "lich life" as well as flipping Search, and the dispersal side can help answer tricky threats like Lyras or hexproof creatures that dodge our other removal - also synergies well with ritual because it's based on cmc. For the same reasons Notion Rain is amazing, (so it digs really deep for answers and combo pieces early game and stocks the graveyard. Payling life in a liches mastery deck is an interesting conundrum, on one hand because part way through the game we switch which resource we're using means that it's maybe more playable here than in normal control decks, on the other hand having to exile two things really hurts if we get behind after lich - I think it's probably worth the risk)
The mana base is about as good as it's going to get with the cards we currently have access to, except I cut out the Field of Ruin very early on in my testing, and I'm considering going down a Reliquary Tower though I haven't yet. Watery Grave isn't as important in standard as it is in modern because we don't have fetches, and after lich comes down it sucks to play so that's probably not worth the upside in the early game. Tapland duels are better than evolving wilds in my opinion because they support all of the duel blue/black symbols. I've added in two more Drowned Catacombs for my list and it has significantly increased my ability to go turn 3 Sinister Sabotage into turn 4 Ritual of Soot as well as casting lich later in the game. Also only playing 25 lands seems to be a mistake, most UW/UB control lists are playing at least 26 with some esper lists playing 27. For a deck that wants to cast multiple 5cm+ spells and possibly leaving up mana for countermagic I don't think 25 is enough: especially when playing Syncopate if you don't want it to become dead mid-late game which I've found to be the case (again Chromatic Lantern helps solve both mana problems but 3 mana at sorcery speed is a lot for a ramp spell in a control deck, (meaning you can't turn 3 a lantern if you have a bunch of counterspells in hand and no removal).
Pre-lich Healing Grace and Sanguine Sacrament are pretty much just bad because of how situational they are, sacrament can occasionally be useful to buy some time, and it's an important enough combo piece that I think it can stay in as a 2-of. After lich it pretty much wins you the game if it resolves, and man is it fun to do! Grace on the other hand I think should be cut. It's not a big enough bonus after lich to warrant playing it for before you lich. (unless you can play it turn 1-3 and save off some early damage which is unlikely because it's white, it becomes pretty much useless and often can't even buy you a turn where you need it). Revitalize could maybe take this spot, though I would rather it just be a Radical Idea or Discovery / Dispersal early game. (late game it is obviously better than Radical Idea but the dispersal half is also really good. If you want more synergy I could see Lyra Dawnbringer working in the main as an answer to creatures, a way to live until you get to lich and then a way to win once you lich.
3 days ago
Dream Eater is a possible finisher and I think you should put more in. Not a big fan of Chromium so maybe you could make a playset of Dream Eater by taking him out?
3 days ago
In my experience, Dream Eater and Doom Whisperer are great finishers in a UB Surveil themed deck. I have had a lot of success using them as my finishers in my own brews, but I rarely get to play them bc my opponents just concede.
5 days ago
Doom Whisperer I would suggest swapping with the Dream Eater. running Search for Azcanta Flip is almost a must with how heavily your goal is to surveil, it will quickly become active. Sinister Sabotage should also make it's way into the deck, Cancel with upside is the strongest counter you can run atm, so why not run it.
5 days ago
Pabs4444, While I don't have a strict budget, this was a deck that was actually meant to be built on Magic Arena, so I tried to steer clear of Rare and Mythic Rare cards. That being said, Dream Eater is an excellent choice if you want to add it. I would also consider some number of Doom Whisperer's if price isn't an issue. However, I'm not for the reason above. Maybe when I get more wildcards, but for now, I have to run a "budget" alternative. Thanks for the feedback though!
5 days ago
5 days ago
I would say add:
Negate or Swan Song (probably the later, 1 mana to save lazav in a pinch is a big deal) Snuff Out as well for that free kill when tapped out. Fact or Fiction is a draw spell I like here as is Pull from Tomorrow