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Edric, Spymaster of Trest
Legendary Creature — Elf Rogue
Whenever a creature deals combat damage to one of your opponents, its controller may draw a card.
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Edric, Spymaster of Trest Discussion
6 days ago
I understand Spike Feeder and Archangel of Thune combo perfectky well, simply in a competitive environment, either one will be countered, or they will be removed with something like Chain of Vaporing the Archangel, in response to the first activation of Spike Feeder. That is a blowout like a Time Walk since you can't activate it again without killing the Spike Weaver. Felidar Sovereign with Chord of Calling is your best actual wincon, but I mean... 9 mana/creatures? What turn are you on? If this deck consistently puts out creatures and mana like that by turn 3, since you need to win by turn 4 at the latest for this to be a combo/aggro cEDH deck, then run it, I just don't think that is plausible.
2/2 Cats aren't a real strategy on their own. They don't make mana, and so don't combo out and win, simply put, I could get into Commander theory and the 'Aggro Problem', but I will just copy and paste the work I already did for something else:
This is too much for them. Generally there are a few way aggro compensates, one of which abuses the already built-in system of 'Commander Damage.' Building up a ton of auras and equipment on a commander to make it huge and swing in for 21 damage works in a lot of cases, and is called "Voltron." The main issue with this is a cheap and fast commander like Rafiq of the Many is too easily prone to removal like Swords to Plowshares, and more controlling commander like Sigarda, Host of Herons or Uril, the Miststalker are generally a bit too , slow to get around board wipes like Toxic Deluge, Wrath of God, Damnation, Day of Judgment and Supreme Verdict.
But there are other tricks aggro has up its sleeves, think infect. Really, infect is just as powerful in Modern or Legacy than in EDH, right? Well, not exactly, yes infect still only needs to deal 10 poison counters to kill a player, but you still have to deal at least 30 damage given your opponents can't kill faster than you, or if they are also playing infect. It's tracked differently, so if someone is at one life, they can take up to 9 poison counters and still live. Running Atraxa, Praetors' Voice can give some inevitability to your infect win, and stuff like Saskia the Unyielding can also be run to make you only have to deal 20 damage to win with infect.
The biggest issue with infect is that players generally frown upon it, and will target you, or player cards like Solemnity as a counter to it. Some playgroups set the poison counters needed to kill to 15 or 20, and some outright ban it. Also, since there are no commanders other than Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon directly support it, there is little consistency to infect decks, despite there explosive turns and wins.
Well, that is the aggro problem, it is what leads so many decks to be control, midrange, combo, or hybrid builds, and why the format is generally considered slow. This isn't to say decks can't win turn 1 or anything, tons of combo decks can, however, this is what leads to the final point. Combo is generally the best win condition, not to say a deck like Edric, Spymaster of Trest shouldn't beat face to win, but for most decks, combo with differing levels of disruption is the best strategy.
Many playgroups don't use combos, whether they are more casual, frown upon combo, outright ban it, or simply run more beatdown strategies and don't care for combo particularly. This is perfectly fine, and reasonable, but it is the work-around for the aggro problem, while not relying solely on control.
Okay, so now you see the problem with aggro, and why 2/2 cats in essence aren't a wincon, Archangel of Thune can be removed in response to the first Spike Weaver activation, and so aren't as instant win as you thought, and even so, unless you have enough creatures to kill each other player, it isn't going to win the game, as they will simply win on their turn, in a cEDH meta. Since Felidar Guardian combo is too slow generally, and you only run 4 tutors for the Thune-Weaver Combo, it isn't a fast combo deck.
That isn't to say it isn't competitive, you could make it stax, run the fast elf-ramp, and Armageddon until you win, but that still requires a different gameplan.
Again, all of this is meaningless if you don't want to make it stax or fast combo, but without blue, your card draw isn't their for permission control, and that means you aren't able to consistently make this cEDH competitive, but I won't claim it is bad or anything, it is simply a high-powered mid-level EDH deck, and I think that is fine.
On ramp, most of the options you mentioned were sub-par, Tithe, Cultivate, Kodama's Reach, Growing Rites of Itlimoc Flip, Mirari's Wake all are either too expensive or not impactful enough, 1 mana ramp is where you want to be, the fast rocks, Ancient Tomb/Gaea's Cradle/Gemstone Caverns, elves, etc.
1 week ago
Edric, Spymaster of Trest is the most aggro? also Elves! I've never played him, but friends have. Very potent. Refills your hand between boardwipes lmao
I play Rashmi with extra turn spells! It's an expensive version but it's fun. (On my profile)
Honestly simic can go any direction. All of the above provide some version of card advantage; so choose what works for you and your meta! :D
1 week ago
I have a need to go for a more tuned deck. My metas getting more cutthroat and I need to keep up. On my budget, the best way I've decided is Simic, using a lot of counters to keep the turn 5 wins at bay.
Edric is a bit of weenie deck, which I have no experience with in all honesty. He uses his trigger to draw tons of cards with small unblockable creatures. He is very strong, and I feel I could win a few games with him for sure, but I feel like he's very linear, and wouldn't be fun to play multiple times.
Rashmi on the otherhand is a bit more random (can't see myself affording a Top without making my wallet sad right now) and benefits from playing a draw go style which is somewhat interesting.
Any ideas or decklists?
1 week ago
Oh Wow, I forgot to post this like 3 days ago... this is late. I've been busy with All About EDH if you wanted to know.
enpc Well, I have found there are enough sacrifice outlets like Altar of Dementia and tutors like Enlightened Tutor you should normally get an outlet before Harmonize needs to be run, however I don't know your build, so am mostly in the dark as to what should or should not be played. I also want to thank you for taking the time to write out these well-thought responses.
Yes, I do under represent aggro, as it does exist (in minor ways in comparison to the other archetypes) in cEDH. This is not a primer for all of cEDH, it is an intro to deck-building for competitive environments. The major point of this was to prove bad commanders could be competitive, hence the name "Why Every Commander is Competitive." Aggro requires in nearly all forms a very specific deck, with a specifically good commander, like Tymna the Weaver and Edric, Spymaster of Trest giving great colors for aggro and great card draw capabilities. In this way, I could not make an easy archetypal base for a cEDH aggro deck.
I could make a fully colorless 99 card stax deck and toss on any commander in the game. Though I have yet to do this for combo or control, I can set up a mono-colored varient all of them, so one base for each of the five colors for combo and control, leaving only colorless control/combo. I can't even make a 5 color 99 base for a cEDH aggro deck unless I know the commander. Not even close yet, and I have tried. Aggro relies too heavily on its commander to be viable as a base in this way. Simply put, if you can make a true 99 card aggro deck, I will Retract all statements on this list as to aggro/beatdown and give you credit.
One thing I would like to make clear, is that though this is an intro to deckbuilding in cEDH, specifically on an archetypal level, it isn't the same thing for MtG. I could talk about the historic nature of archetypes in every format of MtG, talk about midrange too, or hybrid decks, but it simply applies too little to the topic I wanted to cover, however I do very much want to say that I will keep all of this in mind for my 'all of EDH primer' that will take a couple weeks to set up.
1 week ago
Yes, the true terms for the control I specified are "Permission" and "Stax", the reason I separate them is because the point of this isn't to delve into the technical theory behind gameplay, instead I want to be able to build a base for any player trying to make a cEDH deck. I can build up a deck with extreme ease if I know three things:
The Colors of the deck (The Commander)
The Base to use (The Archetype)
The Win Condition (The Combo)
I can build up any commander deck using those 3 things in mind, and I built up plenty of examples for them. I went over cEDH staples because I wanted to show the type of cards you should be interested in, though there are tons more than I said.
You mention countermagic in combo decks, but I suggested that if you look at "So, How do I Build Combo?", so I don't think I ever disagreed there. I also wen't over beatdown in stax, it was in the "Pick a Win Condition!" strategy where I mention blood pod being a beatdown strategy. This isn't to say they don't run Karmic Guide/Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker/Felidar Guardian/Birthing Pod combo as a finisher separate to beatdown.
You say you run Eidolon of Blossoms in your Saffi Eriksdotter, which I assume means you can sac Saffi, then the Eidolon to draw a card, but then wouldn't you rather Elvish Visionary? Harmonize is actually a card I greatly suggest against for most people. Green decks are mostly creature-based strategies, and would rather a tutor like Summoner's Pact, Chord of Calling, Green Sun's Zenith, Worldly Tutor, Birthing Pod, or Sylvan Tutor or they would rather a better draw spell like Lead the Stampede. Harmonize rarely is useful in cEDH, it is simply too clunky.
Again, in this list I have made no claims of any card not being cEDH worthy or anything, there is a use for most cards in mtg, not all, Eager Cadet will have to sit this one out, but Eidolon of Blossoms could be in an enchantress deck, and I guess a dredge deck could use the Harmonize to great ability, I never claim a card can't work.
Okay, this next one is the hardest... Edric, Spymaster of Trest and aggro. Yes, it is a deck that wins by dealing combat damage, yes it is a creature based deck that wins... "fast." No, it isn't aggro. Here is my argument, the deck is an extra turns deck, that has a draw engine based on dealing combat damage. This means that it isn't an aggro deck for two reasons, The goal of the normal Edric, Spymaster of Trest deck isn't to win as fast as possible by setting your opponents' life totals to 0, it is a deck based around being able to draw enough cards in a turn to chain effectively infinite turns together, which wins through use of combat damage as a finisher.
I would claim it is a combo deck, no, it doesn't set up a combo like Time Vault + Voltaic Key + Storm Crow to win a game, but it does effectively the same thing, in the same way a storm deck isn't technically a combo deck, nothing it does goes infinite or does something that was an unintended side effect of two or more cards in conjunction, a storm deck simply uses a lot of cards that synergize well, yet they are considered combo because they play the game with a mindset based on winning as fast as possible (while being protected from interaction) without the use of normal creature swings or general burn.
If you were wondering, I will come back to this primer and revamp it, give me a week though, because I have been working on making a primer for all of EDH... and that will take time.
1 week ago
Overall I think that this list is quite useful, however I would provide some feedback.
I don't think it's as clean cut as just choosing your archetype and then choosing your win condition from that. In magic, regardless of the format (with some exceptions), you will always have the triangle of Aggro, Combo and Control. Ultimately there are two ways of winning a game in Magic, either beatdown or combo (short of a few "I win" cards which can still be classified as combo I guess). So the triangle becomes Aggro, Combo and Control:Aggro/Combo.
Stax and Control are two different categories, you're correct, however they both fall under the overarching Control parent category. They are both permission based in that they try to take permissions away from a player. In the case of stereotypical control, it's a reactive strategy where you counter/remove threats and in the case of stax, it's just proactive control - trying to starve your opponent of resources before they can play them/threats.
But saying that Aggro is not an archetype is incorrect. It may be under-represented, however it still exists.
There are definitely some blurred lines here, but it's important to represent the category. You can have a deck which runs counterspells, but is still fundamentally a combo deck, not a control deck. you can have a control deck that runs aggro as it's win condition. Sure, it's not typically going to be very good, but you can still do it. Control Voltron decks are a thing after all. While not as optimised as Doomsday Zur, you can and do see control/Stax Zur beatdown lists. And decks like Edric, Spymaster of Trest are legitimate aggro decks. Yes they run counterspells, but it's in the same way that a Yidris Storm deck runs them - to help protect the deck's strategy.
On top of this, with a decent chunk of stax decks, the primary win condition is actually beatdown. This is because they prey on the fact that most cEDH decks are not very creature heavy (dorks aside) and so are designed to punish "spell" heavy decks. Asymmetric cards like Linvala, Keeper of Silence definitely help, but most stax decks will rely on creatures to do most of the work.
The other piece of feedback that I would provide is that it's important that you don't turn this into a "List of Staple cEDH Cards". You have some really good advice about card selection and while you can provide some examples, I would recommend actually keeping these to a minimum. The reason for this is that you're better off talking about the why and then letting people decide for themselves if a card is a good fit. Harmonize can be really decent draw in a mono green deck when you can cast it turn two with no issues. Hell, I run Eidolon of Blossoms in my Saffi Eriksdotter deck and while no, it's not the most comeptitive list it still does pretty well. And Eidolon at fist glimpse might seem bad, but is actually a powerhouse. We see cards like Sire Of Insanity at the top end of Blood Pod lists. Definitively saying a card is or isn't cEDH worth stifles creatively and leads to stagnant lists, which flies completely in the face of what this primer is about. I really think for lists like this it's worth applying the "teach a man to fish" strategy. I get that sometimes it's more work to write as you have to explain the why, but it yields much better results.
On the whole though, the primer is good and I hope my advice helps.
2 weeks ago
None of my suggestions are super competitive oriented but all have pretty good synergy Bred for the Hunt if your big boi does damage he gets even bigger Fathom Mage gets +1/+1 you get a bigger boi more cards and since you have plenty of get +1/+1 cards it could be steady help Vorel of the Hull Clade help get you big bois big at twice the speed A little slow but both effects could help out a lotPrime Speaker Zegana Edric, Spymaster of Trest
3 weeks ago
Isn't Edric, Spymaster of Trest a competitive commander for aggro/tempo?