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Target creature you control gains hexproof until end of turn. Remove all -1/-1 counters from it. (A creature with hexproof can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.)
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Hapatra's Mark Discussion
6 days ago
This is a good start. I feel like you are starting to look at cards the right way- assessing how to balance their disruptiveness and value, but the deck still feels a little unfocussed.
Lets look at a core concept in magic- card advantage- and build to that.
There are enablers; cards that don't do things on their own (lands, ramp spells, combo pieces, most 1/1s, etc). Proactive cards that are very good when your play them on their own (kitchen finks type stuff, planeswalkers) Reactive cards that are good at trading 1-for-1 with proactive cards (mana leak, fatal push), Card advantage spells (things that mean you effectively have more cards played, even if they don't always read 'draw a card'.)
If you have more relavant answers than your opponent has proactive cards, then they'll mostly find it difficult to hit you. If you have more playable proactive cards than your opponent you'll probably be able to race them. If you have cards that slot into multiple categories in useful ways, you have virtual card advantage, and can pick the appropriate approach for the particular matchup. These are the core concepts that you need to build midrange.
Lets look at what your deck wants to do. A build around Demonlord of Ashmouth and Demon of Catastrophes, with enablers in the form of small creatures and ramp spells, and a few spot answers with light card advantage tools to clear the way. You're prepared to give up cards to demonlord of ashmouth or demon of catastrophies to have a big threat hitting your opponent. This is a really good start that the rest of your deck should build to support. A big threat that goes over aggro and fights through answers.
So general principals- you want enough card advantage to offset your enablers, or to make those enablers useful in other ways. You want enablers that also help you race down other decks with big flying demons. And you want tools to protect those demons.
Budget lists can't afford the 'universally good' stuff, like Collective Brutality or Cryptic Command, so you need to look at larger groups of teir 2 cards with good synergy and large print runs, preferably with deckbuilding restrictions that cut the price further. So lets cover some general options, explain the why, and then leave you to find things to fill out the list.
You want things that make small creatures and make these big things easier to cast. Llanowar Elves(price listing on this is busted) and Elves of Deep Shadow will let you cut the land count some- and they'll let you slam a big demon earlier whilst providing a body to sacrifice. Turn 1 extra mana is strong enough for people to spend their lightning bolt on it- and thats one more thing not pointed at the threats.
While Sylvan Caryatid is a great card, spending an extra mana to 'blank' a removal spell with hexproof is less relevant when your big stuff doesn't also blank removal, and likely isn't worth the extra mana (its great when your threats are stuff like enchantments or combos which are hard to disrupt).
Scavenging Ooze should be maindeck- its a graveyard meta, and its a decent body that likes you sacrificing creatures, lifegain is relevant, and even against decks that play no creatures it hits their snapcaster targets. Its both a threat and an answer. Cards that give you lots of options are good.
Cards that let you play with +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters are good in sacrifice lists- much like Gavony Township makes Kitchen Finks nigh-unkillable, Cauldron Haze and cards like Exemplar of Strength or Hapatra's Mark/Heartmender/Nest of Scarabs with Young Wolf and Safehold Elite or Black Sun's Zenith can really put in work. You just need to be sure to pick cards that all work well together. While individually they are worse than high value cards, as a group they can outperform- and most importantly, choose them to be versatile.
A card that gives an aggressive and defensive option is perfect for midrange. When building the spine of your deck, look for groups like this to fill it out. Having interseting choices makes the game fun.
Most of all, playtest, and have fun playing. Because thats how you get a top-notch deck. I'd take a look at Rite of Belzenlok decks in standard right now, they showcase a lot of the tools you'll be looking for, and its a good card for the archetype (even if its a little slow).
5 months ago
If it does get removed, you'd have sacrificed enough card draw possibilities that you can't get a second Voltron up and running, and you're now at a major card disadvantage due to suiting up the Voltron.
My flavor of this deck is actually in Temur so I can get Bogle effects (Blossoming Defense, Hapatra's Mark) as well as Counterspells (Spell Pierce, Admiral's Order) so I can defend my Champion or Valduk while they get to work.
If you're just starting out, I'd recommend rolling a d6. The RDW and Mardu Vehicle decks are pretty good Standard staples that are rotating out very soon. However, Voltron is a heck of a lot of fun to play as.
5 months ago
6 months ago
I actually really like the idea of this deck! My only suggestions would be to add a sideboard (yes, that might raise the price slightly, but will provide better ways to counter other decks) as well as considering using cards to keep you alive for longer. For example, mono-red would likely be able to outrace your combo, and you don't have any way to deal with resolved threats. To each of those ends, perhaps consider splashing green to have access to Hapatra's Mark and Haze of Pollen, or black for removal/disruption. Finally, Meandering River might be worth considering. I hope this helped you!
6 months ago
Nice effort with the deck. As far as the archetype, I think this fits somewhere between tempo and midrange. It is too slow to be aggro and is certainly not a control deck. I think with a good draw this deck can definitely win games, and I imagine it's best match-ups would be against aggro where you can create a board-state they can't reach through, while you can ping through unblockable damage.
The weakest match-ups would be against control variants, where you can get board-wiped and may not be able to recover advantage in time before they Approach of the Second Sun you. Holding up and even just representing Negate will be the key in this situation.
My two cents on card slots to work on:
There are very few artifacts in this deck, so Temporal Machinations should be replaced with something with a higher upside or lower mana cost, such as Blink of an Eye (though there are many other options for this slot)
Shed Weakness should be replaced with something like Blossoming Defense, since there are no "-1,-1" counter synergies in this deck, and you are unlikely to see any in most standard tournaments (for now..). Same argument for Hapatra's Mark in your sideboard.
Speaking of the sideboard, I think the Meandering River and Teferi, Timebender plan absolutelly needs to be replaced with something more versatile and useful. Teferi, Timebender is unlikely to win you the game and dedicating 5 sideboard slots towards enabling him is unlikely to pay off.
I would suggest sideboard cards that offer specific advantaged against certain decks:
Lifecrafter's Bestiary to give you card advantage. Shaper's Sanctuary would be nice against red/black targeting kill spells specifically. Spell Pierce to supplement your Negate's in protecting against big board wipes
Prey Upon (or similar fight style effects - there are many) to trade off against weaker aggro creatures.
This is a less obvious one, and would largely depend on the kind of meta game you are facing. Something like Baral's Expertise could be worthwhile against fastish midrange decks like Mardu Vehicles to give you a bit of a tempo swing maybe?
Finally (though I think you are aiming to make this deck on a budget) one of the best way to improve it would be to add some dual lands like Botanical Sanctum. Even 2-3 Evolving Wilds should be considered just to make sure you hit your colours. A big advantage to dual lands specifically is that because they cover more of your coloured mana requirements, you can afford to include a few colourless utility lands like Scavenger Grounds or Field of Ruin, which can take care of troublesome things like graveyards and other utility lands, when your main colours have no way of dealing with them naturally.
Anyway, I hope some of that might be helpful to you, best of luck!
6 months ago
I guess with Grunn the best way to go is have lots of ramp, and lots of protection/trample effects for Grunn.
Off the top of my head, some cards that would do quite well in this sort of deck:
6 months ago
The fact that you can give a Creature +2/+2 can be the difference between winning and losing a game.
7 months ago
I always liked the -1/-1 theme cards. You have a fairly good build here. I personally would change Hapatra's Mark into Blossoming Defense. I find the +2/+2 generally works out better as most of your creatures don't increase by 2 or more usually and functions as a better combat trick.
I am also a big fan of Nest of Scarabs as the card combos very well with Ammit Eternal, Archfiend of Ifnir, and Channeler Initiate. It makes Ammit a bigger threat as all spells they cast will now generate you 1/1 tokens, pairs well with Ifnir for obvious reasons, and makes a later game draw of Channeler Initiate more relevant.
The only thing that seems shaky with your deck design is the running of 4 copies of Archfiend of Ifnir. The reason this seems potentially problematic is that you have only 1 card in the deck that allows you to discard. you might want to cut down to 2 copies in the deck and bring in something like the nest or Banewhip Punisher.
Best of luck with the deck.