Not legal in any format
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Copy target instant or sorcery spell, except that the copy is red. You may choose new targets for the copy.
Price & Acquistion
4 days ago
As someone who uses the pairing myself, I can say that you're off to a good start here.
Third, speaking of mana rocks, you need to add more, including the better ones. Thran Dynamo, Gilded Lotus, Darksteel Ingot, and Coalition Relic are all examples. I'll count Burnished Hart and Solemn Simulacrum here as well.
Fourth, I advise you to avoid going too deep into the rabbit hole and run all the coin flips. Run some utility/goodstuff too. Just imagine Forking Fiery Gambit and winning all 6 flips. That happened to me too.
Fifth, feel free to look at my deck for some ideas.
I hope this helps.
5 days ago
Galacticus This deck has had a few interesting bouts with some of the competitive commanders. Its suite of removal has performed well against decks such as a Lockdown Derevi, Empyrial Tactician deck, and both Mana Web and Heroic Intervention have been extremely useful. I will list off some of the more cEDH commander decks I have gone up against, and am testing it against different decks whenever possible.
Atraxa, Praetors' Voice Infect: The amount of tokens this deck can spit out even at an early stage is wonderful. Dragon Fodder has been the MVP against this deck, though the times I have gone against it I did not have Doubling Season in, but Worldly Tutor, which I typically used to fish for either Krenko, Mob Boss for nigh-infinite blockers, Magus of the Moon to cripple their start, or Vexing Shusher if I am preparing to go off on someone with spells and have the mana to spare to block it, be it taking out their board or burning them. I have had to play really fast against that person's particular brew of it, so I have sometimes had to mulligan once or twice to get cards early enough to keep from getting a single counter if I can help it.
Talrand, Sky Summoner Control/Mill : This deck has been pretty straightforward, going for shusher or waiting until I copy spells before trying to cast anything. His deck is not too heavy on the offense, so I am typically able to build up a board state, and ramping spells are typically ones that he doesn't counter, as he waits for Wort, the Raidmother or a burn spell to counter it. Obviously Vexing Shusher is really great against control, and I had both that and Price of Glory in before making further changes to the deck. Mana Web has proven more useful since I had to cut back on using my own instants one too many times.
Mizzix of the Izmagnus Burn/ Laboratory Maniac deck: This one was pretty back and forth, but I found that being able to copy on certain spells he cast, especially since we take the X value they pay for, it makes casting on their turn particularly powerful. Fork and Reverberate have managed to either get me a hand full of cards or get my card advantage particularly potent. I know that the most effective strategy I found was being able to copy certain powerful combo pieces like Expropriate to work against his style. I typically mulligan for those types of copy spells, but not just for interrupting the combo, also moreso to safely let creatures like Wort enter with a copy spell ready in case of counterspell, as a lot of his counterspells grant him additional value such as drawing a card or untapping mana.
Prossh, Skyraider of Kher Combo Voltron: This one has been difficult due to the flying Voltron and how quickly it can get off the ground. However, Chaos Warp has saved me multiple times during this combo to get rid of a certain permanent, which stops that infinite. With this one I mostly try to mulligan for a Blood Moon or a Magus of the Moon with the number of multilands they run, and it has worked out well so far. Past that, ramping into Wort to double-cast something like Hull Breach or even a few games I got Boundless Realms and managed to get my mana on board to start drawing like crazy. I had to play a lot more aggressively against this one, moreso ramping aggressively to try and get to where I can conspire either removal or card draw into removal.
Those are the most competitive decks I have faced with the deck so far, and if there are any super notable matchups, I will be sure to edit it in. Sorry for the mountain of text, but hopefully I answered your question!
1 week ago
StopShot those are all great suggestions. For some of them, I think anything that is Stax-y is probably strong but counter to the play style. I have Torpor Orb, Damping Sphere, and Aura of Silence that have not been put in for this reason. I want people to go off, just not at me. I played Orim's Chant as a semi-counterspell for a while. It was OK, but had to be used proactively, and this made it much weaker than I wanted. Norn's Annex turns out to be mixed. People just pay the life. This can add up, and on occasion was almost a wincon by itself, but it didn't redirect attacks away from me as strongly as other tax cards. The discard card are a little difficult. They have a tendency to make me more of a target than I want. They are powerful, but I think they may undermine the strength of the deck. Rule of Law may be similar, but I would need to see it in action to know.
The suggestion of Fork is well taken. I had a conversation with a friend about them both, but I forgot the fact that Fork turns the spell red. That is a good addition. I may switch it. I have a nice revised Fork I pulled in one of the very first packs I ever opened that would fit nicely. I just threw the Reverberate in because I found it first and like the art.
Thanks for the suggestions, and keep them coming. I think the deck is pretty mature, and needs very little changes, but you can see that it has been a long evolution. It remains my favorite deck, and wins surprisingly often.
1 week ago
If you're going to use only one copy spell I'd suggest using Fork over Reverberate. While they're very similar and neither is strictly better or worse than the other one common scenario Fork has over Reverberate is when copying counter spells and turning them red. This can be significant, because in past times when copying counterspells I've had cards like Red Elemental Blast, Pyroblast, and Guttural Response used to counteract my Reverberate when copying a blue counter spell or draw spell. Most non-blue decks that can run those cards will likely run them more-so than not and Fork bypasses that issue easily when needed.
It seems your meta is thoroughly diverse. Hand and deck disruption can be a strong asset for taking down a combo deck, but I wouldn't consider Praetor's Grasp or Wheel of Fortune strong enough effects since combo decks can always run back-up combos to rely on. What really hits combo is repeatable effects and some of the strongest you could probably run would be Mind Slash and Bottomless Pit which a lot of combo players would find nasty. (Painful Quandary is a close third place and can stop storm decks pretty effectively as well.) Also if you're going up against non-graveyard strategies Mesmeric Orb is a ballistic nightmare in any singleton format it's put in which would be the only effective mill card I'd ever recommend when hurting combo.
Do note graveyard-based combos are a little more resilient to the card suggestions I've given above, but so long as you have something like Rest in Peace and/or Planar Void you can easily avoid this issue without giving them any fuel to burn.
Given your meta I would imagine Torpor Orb would lift a lot of weight for you especially against Purphoros, God of the Forge, Palinchron/Deadeye Navigator, and whatever ETB effects the Muldrotha, the Gravetide deck is probably abusing.
One aspect about blue I've never liked was it's use of counter spells. If you find Reverberate helpful I'd recommend also using cards like Seal of Cleansing, Sinister Concoction, Gate to Phyrexia, Aura Fracture, Aura of Silence, and Umezawa's Jitte. Not only do they serve as good rattlesnake cards that deter your opponents from just putting their bombs on the field, but I've noticed blue decks only hold up counter spell mana on turns they might need it on. If you drop one of these early when they're not ready their counter spells won't be able to stop the card effects, and I can verify from past experiences that the blue players I go up against when using the cards I just mentioned hate them fondly because they know I save them for their combos which makes their job of combo-ing out much more complicated. In fact one card I've found more success with than I'd ever give credit to is Molten Vortex, because the number of utility creatures and win-cons it hits without needing to use prime removal spells is pretty big and as I said before it's another one of those spells that if resolved the blue decks are going to have troubles playing around with. The Vortex can remove Mizzix of the Izmagnus, Laboratory Maniac, Norin the Wary, Hermit Druid, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, etc. and even when I don't have a land to pitch to it I've found it's presence alone is enough to deter plays entirely. Shattering Spree also plays well against blue, because not only can it hit multiple targets, but you can hit the same target twice or three times which would require more than one counter spell to stop a key combo piece being removed if needed.
As for multiple combat steps or a super massive army being swung your way you already can use Ghostly Prison, but if you need more options Norn's Annex can also work as well as Orim's Chant which not only stops combat but can also be used but can also stop storm or certain combos if you cast it at the right moment. It should also be noted that Rule of Law as well as the aforementioned Damping Sphere also does a marvelous job of stopping storm as well. Lastly if your opponents gaining life is an issue I think Rampaging Ferocidon makes a good option, because it can also punish your opponents if they try to build an army, so it fits two functions rather well, and I find the menace handy if you ever need to punch into a super-friends deck.
1 week ago
StopShot, those are really good observations. I always appreciate the feedback.
As for responses, I will first address your question of Aikido. Aikido does not mean not defending yourself against attacks if it would mean disruption of your opponents' efforts. The discussion of ethics is about the most preferable ways to defend yourself. I include spot removal, and that affects board states and plans as well. The highest ethical level in Aikido is to defend oneself while preventing harm to both the attacker and the defender, but it leaves the possibility for defense that harms the attacker if necessary, it is just much less preferable. In the case of storm, you are right in that the board state of storm is the storm count, but no one goes off in storm without the intent to win the game, so defense in this situation can be justified. The alternative is to lose. Preferably, you could Deflecting Palm or Comeuppance an Aetherflux Reservoir for a win of your own, but causing the storm to fizzle is acceptable when you can't end the game yourself. The higher in the ethical hierarchy you play, the better you are, but dipping down to avoid disaster is OK.
I like a lot of your suggestions. As for Vampire Nighthawk, at this point it is sort of a legacy card. I think about removing it every time I consider an alternative. It is in the wincon spot now as an oversight from when I ran Hatred and had several lifelink creatures to go with it. Now it is just a flying rattlesnake. It currently occupies the most likely flex spot, and is in danger of losing it's place. If it is cut, it is likely to be replaced by something more than a simple flying blocker.
Reverberate and Fork have been in the deck in the past. I think you are right in that they function very well in the right meta, and my previous meta was not the right place for them. My new meta may be. The fact that I now face combo and more counterspells means that it will probably function exactly the same way you say. I may trial this in the Vampire Nighthawk slot, probably my revised Fork. The other option I consider for this spot is Praetor's Grasp or Wheel of Fortune. Both can really mess with combo.
As for what combo I face, Karlov of the Ghost Council with Sanguine Bond and Exquisite Blood, both Mizzix of the Izmagnus and now Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain storm, a new Muldrotha, the Gravetide infinite Villainous Wealth, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight infinite attack phases, Purphoros, God of the Forge Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker shenanigans, Damia, Sage of Stone infinite turns Deadeye Navigator, and Palinchron BS, and probably more. I would say that many decks use combo wincons in addition to other strategies, but there are some that only win with combo, such as the storm and Damia decks.
1 week ago
lab man and nauseam are in maybeboard. this is not a kess doomsday deck. and doomsday/lab man are too narrow for the game plan. nauseam usually kills me, i have a copy of both but cut them years ago.
dramatic scepter is for artifact combo decks, and again has almost no synergy with the game plan, i can untap after a wheel using Mind Over Matter more reliably than a noskill 2 card combo that generates mana i dont need.
did you even read the decklist? i run dark ritual, always have, and cabal ritual and seething song have also been taken out. i have more than enough ramp with my artifacts so running multiple rituals dilutes the consistency. nekusar wins with waste not/draw damage and wheels, not self mill/doomsday or dramatic reversal, which is a garbage card by itself in this deck and scepter isn't worth running when i only have 5 other possible targets, all of which i would rather cast from hand and recast with kess or will. exiling any of them isnt worth it when scepter will just get removed. just because im not running narrow combos with zero deck synergy and rituals i havent needed since the deck was first built. this is a competitive primer. which is why its 95% competitive. running any more rituals dilutes the strategy.
i have run Doomsday, Laboratory Maniac, Seething Song, Cabal Ritual and High Tide 5 years ago when my deck was still casual, along with all the Forks.. all of these cards are in the maybeboard as ive already tested them or had them suggested.
1 week ago
I did a brief read-through of your deck description and objectives. I wasn't familiar with the term "Aikido" until after I read it here. I run a full-focused combo deck and the term Aikido seems at odd ends with Combo since stopping the combo will mean disrupting your opponent's board-state.
There isn't any card that just turns off combo since combo strategies could rely on graveyard or storm or infinite token loops or infinite mana use. An excellent card you might want to consider that can help fall in line with Aikido would be Damping Sphere which hits hard against decks that try to storm out for the win. A good way to deal with graveyard-based combos could be Mimic Vat which not only can serve as a good deterrent, but it's triggered ability can stop a graveyard loop when in a pinch. Lastly if someone aims a lethal spell at you that deals infinite damage or infinite loss of life or forces you to draw infinite cards I've found that cards like Fork and Reverberate are excellent ways of turning those spells against their caster and not only that, but if they die to your copy that effectively exiles their original spell before it ever resolves saving you in the process. Fork and Reverberate are also good at giving your Price of Progress or Backlash more of an edge and can stop counter spells as well.
If you mind can you tell me what combos you're up against? I might be able to come up with a suggestion better suited to your meta. Also I noticed you have Vampire Nighthawk listed as a win condition which I found a bit amusing and out of place. Could you tell me what significance it holds in your deck? If you're looking for an effective aerial blocker I think Mischievous Poltergeist does the trick trading lethality for durability. Also if you have any issues with creatures trampling you to death you might want to consider Dead-Iron Sledge which practically works like super deathtouch killing the creature before combat damage.
1 week ago
I feel like it doesn't. The flexibility is nice in the command and you can choose all options if you Fork it in someway. I guess it's a slightly better damage rate than an X spell, but you can probably wheel your hand to get another kill if you are that close to knocking someone out. two cents