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Grafdigger's Cage Discussion
1 week ago
I run Walking Ballista for quick finishers, which doubles up as creature removal. This decklist is sort of weak when it comes to creature removal, since you only have Spine and Chaos Warp. So even a good old Bolt could do the trick, sometimes removing one creature can make the game. (I recommend Lightning Bolt to anyone making a budget version of Daretti)
In the case of Stony Silence or other cards such as Grafdigger's Cage, Rest in Peace, Leyline of the Void etc. I'm not too sure. This deck lacks in almost every type of removal as it relies on stax and combos. Perhaps if you were running a slower, budget version of this deck you could add basic removal like Crush/Smelt for artifacts. As for enchantments? There is no red enchantment removal other than ones that target blue cards. Spine, Disk, and Chaos Warp are really your only answers for enchantments.
Hope I can help! I've been lurking this thread for a while and it has made my Daretti deck 10x better. Love this deck hope to see it stay on top with the upcoming sets.
1 week ago
She's amazing! I like how many different directions you can go with her, and how competitive or casual you can choose to be. I did not realize how hard it is to shut down the sacrifice engine once it got started until I actually played it. The biggest weakness I've seen has been cards like Grafdigger's Cage and Rest in Peace, but she is even resilient to a lot of common board wipes, which is great!
I originally had Oona's Blackguard in the deck, but thought I would be doing a lot more combat damage than I have been and was afraid it was going to enter the "mass discard" category that I was trying to avoid. From initial play testing though, I usually am only attacking early on to get dethrone triggers before board states get crazy. I will definitely throw it in there and see how it performs.
I recently put Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth in to make sure my Tainted Lands enter untapped, and because my primary color is black. Do you think this is necessary? I could easily see cutting that card to put in another "expensive" but useful card.
Also thanks for the help! :)
1 week ago
Maelstrom Pulse, Treasured Find, Tormod's Crypt, Pithing Needle, Damnation, Naturalize, Putrefy, Golgari Charm, Dismember, and Noxious Revival are all great sideboard cards for Golgari decks. I would stay away from Grafdigger's Cage because it prevents Glissa from pulling artifacts back from the graveyard. Tormod's Crypt can erase an opponents graveyard and still give you access to yours. Also, a few Ghost Quarter is probably needed to stop Tron decks.
2 weeks ago
Sideboard cards: Stony Silence, Blessed Alliance, Kor Firewalker, Rest in Peace, Mirran Crusader, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, Grafdigger's Cage, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Thoughtseize, Zealous Persecution, Pithing Needle.
2 weeks ago
hey jerimie.mcbrayer, thanks for the upvote and feedback!
With my tutors, i like to simply divide it into offensive and defensive plays. Sometimes there is a food chain player threatening to go off turn 3 or a storm deck threatening an eot turn 2 ad nauseum, in which case I will search up a defensive piece to slow the tempo of the game down to my pace. This is balanced with knowledge of my opponent's decks and hands, if I believe that someone else will play the control role and use a piece of interaction to stop the early combo, then I will go for a more proactive offensive threat.
My top Creature tutor targets:
My top Enlightened Tutor targets:
My top Mystical Tutor targets:
This one isn't as easy, but I'm starting to lean heavier into grabbing Hunter's Insight in my removal light meta. Late game I'm more likely to grab a Cyclonic Rift and rarely I will get a piece of removal or counterspell. Usually I'll get a counterspell if I think I have the game in the next turn and need to protect my board.
My curve is completely reliant on the board state. In my meta, turn 3 combo wins aren't only common, but expected. So therefore I typically play a stax piece sooner than rafiq. Rafiq acts as a pump spell on a hatebear the turn he comes down, which is a nice way to apply pressure without having to devote slots to providing him haste.
Ironically, Path to Exile is a card I've been reconsidering lately. It's historically been mediocore as it helps your opponent curve out or increase their tempo. It's also pretty bad on opponent's generals, except in an emergency. That being said, the deck goes for the long game and I've seen an abundance of reanimator strategies lately since Protean Hulk got unbanned and tymna+tana blood pod has increased in popularity. I would play Path to Exile here before I play Pongify/Rapid Hybridization/Reality Shift and even Beast Within because timely blockers can often act as a time walk against us (one of the biggest weaknesses of the deck).
I haven't played this staxier version of rafiq in a few weeks, I recently brewed up a version that utilizes time magic and wins with infinite Seasons Past loops to run away with the game. It's very tempo heavy and relies weightily on our friend and MVP Cold-Eyed Selkie. Here it is if you're curious. I'm 2-1 with it so far in competitive pods and may update this list completely if it continues to be successful!
2 weeks ago
I second EmblemMan's suggestion of Ingot Chewer. It just plays better with Living End strategies, and most enchantments that are in the meta aren't worth dealing with, as most decks have resorted to Grafdigger's Cage, which doesn't interact with the combo at all, and Relic of Progenitus/Nihil Spellbomb, which we try to just make them crack early and rebuild from there. I also recommend trying to get all 4 Fulminator Mage in the 75 somewhere. I'd expect to see a lot of E-tron at an SCG open, and the ability to hit their lands and slow them down is what made the Living End match-up so good.
As an aside, why the 2/2 split of Architects of Will and Monstrous Carabid? Most lists I see will go with the carabid as it doesn't die to most 1 mana removal at the cost of having to attack each turn. Also, most moved away from Architects as it's a non-bo with Ingot Chewer.
2 weeks ago
Thanks for all of the suggestions Mandalorian! I will definitely consider Fabricate to tutor up my Paradox Engine. Also cards like Grafdigger's Cage and Nihil Spellbomb will 100% go into my sideboard, as well as Tree of Redemption for the burn matchups. You also have a good point with the "mill hate" cards so I will put in cards like Extirpate in the sideboard. Im not sure if I like the idea of Wall of Roots in the deck, because of it getting smaller as I ramp, and only giving me 1 mana when something like Overgrown Battlement which stays the same toughness and has the possibility to ramp me more. I definitely appreciate all of the suggestions though!
3 weeks ago
ETB abilities are definitely more of a challenge. If you're facing lots of that I might suggest Torpor Orb to shut that down entirely. Not super political, but there are only so many functional Stifle cards.
Other stax abilities can be used too without affecting Talrand. If you face lots of reanimation, then something like Grafdigger's Cage can help a bunch. Cursed Totem shuts off mana dorks and a huge number of commanders.
And looking over the cards I agree that I have perhaps too few of the flexible bounce abilities, focusing too much on specifically creature bounce. I can probably fix that.