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Helm of Awakening
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Helm of Awakening Discussion
17 hours ago
Tidespout is interesting but generally a heavy resource investment that also comes with deck building constraints devoted to it to reliably employ it as a plan that tend not to function with other plans or lines. I've been experimenting with it a little bit but I generally think there are often better options for many decks.
If you were already running Sensei's Divining Top to go with Paradox Engine and possibly a Voltaic Key as well as artifact tutors related to these pieces then a pretty easy swap is Mystic Forge for Paradox Engine and maybe Helm of Awakening or some other artifact cost reducer added or in place of Voltaic Key if it's not really needed. Same number of pieces and similar mana cost investment as the PE, Top, Key combo to draw the whole deck but it won't generate infinite mana along the way. Of course with the whole deck in hand it should be pretty trivial to generate infinite mana in some way.
Omniscience feels really hard to get into play without cheating it in via Academy Rector or something.
5 days ago
@ Natux No offense taken mate, respectful discussion is how people learn, grow and come to understand new ideas. I'm definitely not the world's greatest gift to cEDH and I'm constantly striving to pick up information where I can from whomever I can.
I, by no means, assumed you were a new to cEDH player. Those players tend not to have well crafted lists and solid understandings of the meta and you clearly do. I did rather assume that the quality of competition you face in terms of players and decks is liable to be less than the quality of competition I tend to play with, but this is generally true considering my playgroup consists of 4 regulars who've all played for nearly 25 years and who all (minus myself) have achieved success at the professional level of play (I'm legit the only one in the play group without a single life time pro point, sad face), both at Pro Tours and GPs. The percentages I'm using come directly from our tracked data of games played. There's all sorts of info out there for Modern, Standard, Legacy and what not, but there is very little meta information collected when it comes to EDH so we started tracking our own when I first got really into EDH about 2 and a half years back. The program has about 8000 games worth of data at this point and is a nifty resource, I absolutely recommend using Excel to start tracking your own data.
I also don't want to give the impression that I don't comprehend your decks intended game plan, that much seemed pretty clear. It's just that using Yidris as a back up plan for a storm concept probably isn't ideal use of either Yidris or the storm archetype. Consultation Kess has a similar game plan and is significantly better at executing it, both because of the enhancement that game plan gets from the command zone and because of the card selection typical of those decks. Granted it isn't exactly the most potent gameplan in the meta, but I'm just using it as an example. It's not that you can't use Yidris as a back up, it's just that this isn't the most ideal use of Yidris. You might as well be all in on the ultra fast combo approach or opt into a different commander that better executes that style of gameplan, or even opt into a superior gameplan in the same colors and simply run the Sultai PS shell of Thrasios/Smasher. If it's going to be Yidris, might as well do Yidris things the Yidris way. Again, it's not that Yidris can't perform in a different fashion, it's just that there are better options generally for that style.
Land count isn't an exact thing, but there are some pretty common understandings in terms of the math. 44 out of 99 is a solid percentage, it generally means you'll be seeing the proper amount of mana sources in opening hands to facilitate your game plan. This means less mulligans and greater consistency which translates into more wins per 100 games played. That ratio (with the sub ratio of 28/16) means the odds for a typical opening hand will have that hand consist of 2 lands and one ramp piece. Your deck is a bit shy of that at 27/15 and 2 of those rocks are Lotus Bloom and Lion's Eye Diamond which aren't really effective ramp pieces. You'll probably have to mulligan 7-10% more often than you otherwise would per 100 games played just because of that mana source count, just something for you to consider.
I think what you're really looking for is something specific though, so let me see if I can provide an example of a specific change that would improve the deck. You're currently running Goblin Electromancer , primarily in a cost reduction role. This isn't an awful card, but the function it serves is pretty limited. It's only reducing Sorceries and Instants, and you have Baral to supplement that. If both are out on the field at the same time, very little of your deck is going to benefit from them both being out, it's just your wheel effects, Yawg Will, Force of Will, and Ad Naus. You could instead replace that card with Helm of Awakening and now all those cards would still benefit, but so would some of your enchantments, all your artifacts, and some of your creatures, significantly improving the quality of your storm turns when you go off. The draw back is negligible when you're storming off as you already are in a position where opponents couldn't stop you from comboing, so they likely can't even make use of it the overwhelming majority of games. In addition, your mana base is much less strained as the cmc is the same compared to the Electromancer, but the lack of color requirement makes casting it significantly easier. Just changing this one card would be an improvement that probably accounts for 1 or 2 more wins per 100 games played with your deck than it currently will achieve.
As for the average winning turn, that kind of stuff rather depends on the matches that get played and the decks included in it, but a useful indicator of relative speed, barring interaction, is the goldfish test. If you goldfish your list 100 times (taking into account mulligan rules in the event these are needed based on opening hands) it's going to average a gold fish win somewhere between turns 4-5. Probably close to 4.3 or 4.4 is my guess (haven't done this with your deck so it's purely an estimation, but I am pretty okay at that). By comparison the average goldfish win turn for my list is in the low 3s, almost a whole turn better. Now this data doesn't actually mean all that much in the grand scheme of things because real games aren't solitaire, but this information can be a useful indicator for relative speed of a deck.
Hopefully all this is a bit more informative, sorry if the first set of responses was a bit more ambiguous.
3 weeks ago
1 month ago
Sorry for the late response. I was caught up with finals at University and haven't had the time to play much magic or keep up with the game much at all.
The deck has gone through quite a few iterations, several of which were due to meta calls and what hate pieces were best at the time. Winter Orb effects were absurdly good in my meta at the time, hence the inclusion of Candelabra of Tawnos but I think that you are right in it being unnecessary for most metas. Helm of Awakening is also a relic of the old build that still had occasional use but again, I think you are right in cutting it. Krark-Clan Ironworks is a difficult one for me to justify cutting as it makes Spine of Ish Sah far worse without combo potential. I guess that dropping both would give a slot for the new Ugin and Karn without even messing with the mana curve so I will likely try that and see if I end up missing the old cards.
As for going down even more Wastes , that is a meta call but I personally feel like 5 is the right amount. Solemn Simulacrum and Burnished Hart get worse with less basics and when I originally ran 4 Wastes , I had more than one situation where I ran out in deck making the aforementioned cards nearly useless. Also, given how commonplace it is to see Assassin's Trophy nowadays, and given that everything this deck does is good at terrifying people into using all of their removal on you, I don't think I would go down any. Honestly, if I can find space for it, I think I would go up one more Wastes as all of the 4 color partner decks make Blood Moon and Back to Basics effects far better and far more common. Blood Moon is almost always just a mild inconvenience but Back to Basics can be game ending if you don't have enough artifact mana out (and was another consideration for why I ran Candelabra of Tawnos ).
Blast Zone is definitely better than Sea Gate Wreckage in most scenarios so I will swap that out. Zhalfirin Void is fine but I'm not sure what I would cut for it. If nothing else, I can add it to the budget options list.
Ugin, the Ineffable will probably find his way into the list (especially because of the synergy he has with Ashnod's Altar when he doesn't have to be used to break stuff) but I am far more interested in Karn, the Great Creator . Even if his minus 2 is basically useless excluding niche situations such as getting back your exiled stuff, his static ability is more than enough to justify his inclusion. (also, his plus kills Mana Crypt s and Mox Diamond s/ Mox Opal )s/etc. I might even experiment with the hard lock he has with Mycosynth Lattice .
As for Tormod's Crypt and Haunted Cloak , I will likely end up cutting Haunted Cloak due to the deck being less focused on the combat win than it was originally when I added it and wrote the primer. I am not sure about just swapping Tormod's Crypt for Grafdigger's Cage but I will think about it. Grafdigger's Cage is better at stopping Protean Hulk shenanigans (and a lot of other similar win-conditions) as well as stopping Yisan, the Wanderer Bard and Captain Sisay decks, both of which are already bad matchups. Tormod's Crypt is better against storm decks and anything that relies on Timetwister loops as well as just guaranteeing that certain problematic cards are removed instead of temporarily shut down. I might just end up running both if I can find space. I'll experiment with what I can and if I get the chance to play some games, I'll add my experiences with the new cards. Expect an update some time in the next week or so to the primer.
And thank you for all of the advice. I fell a bit behind on the primer due to college so if you have any other advice for potential cards or things to cut, I would appreciate it. I really haven't gotten to play much magic since the start of the new year and I am sure that the meta has changed quite a bit.
2 months ago
Hi Decrepit_Angel, I just wanted to say that I've really enjoyed the amount of work you've put into making this deck and I've had a ton of fun with it for the past year now. I wanted to type out some observations and ask you some questions if you're still around to read them lol:
1: The three cards I've found to be underperforming the most are Krark-Clan Ironworks , Candelabra of Tawnos , and Helm of Awakening (in order of decreasing effectiveness). I wanted to know about your thoughts and experiences regarding them.
Krark-Clan Ironworks I've basically never had a use for aside from some niche infinite combos, I never found a situation where it would be advantageous to sacrifice some artifacts to cast Kozilek nor was I ever tutoring for it. I wouldn't cut it yet, but I'm not terribly enthusiastic about it.
Candelabra of Tawnos was 99% of the time a dead card, never used it in infinite combos nor did I really ramp with it. There was never a situation where I only had one land untapped while wanting access to multiple utility lands at once. The best use I found for candelabra was in tandem with Winter Orb , but there are so many other ways to sidestep Winter Orb's drawback that it's not terribly important to me. The card has been dead in such a majority of cases that I've cut it in a few iterations and never looked back.
I've never found a use for Helm of Awakening, even a niche use. It's always the first card I chuck away with Azor's Gateway Flip, it's always the first card I throw away with Geier Reach Sanitarium , it's never once helped me when I had it in hand. Not useful while comboing with Paradox Engine , and there's never a good turn to play it otherwise because the drawback is antithetical to the stax options this deck employs. It's only a mana closer to Kozilek, and the drawback loses so many games. It never feels like there's a good turn to play it, and the times I played it just to try it, I promptly lost after.
Aside from those three, I've also wondered about Haunted Cloak and Tormod's Crypt . Haunted Cloak is difficult to fit into the curve, considering the initial 3 mana cost and the 1 to equip with after. Combined with the fact that it doesn't even protect the Kozilek, and I haven't found too many uses for it. Tormod's Crypt also feels situational, though I like its place as a graveyard hate. I wonder if it could be replaced by Grafdigger's Cage or some other card, some with more utility or something that replaces itself.
I've also been trying out lands like Zhalfirin Void and Blast Zone , currently shaving a Wastes and Sea Gate Wreckage (the latter I've literally never used its ability once). 4 wastes still feels very good to play with.
2: Are there any new options you might test out? I've been very impressed with Ugin, the Ineffable , all three abilities are relevant and the card provides much needed removal against the horrors of Stony Silence and the likes. I've also been playing with Staff of Nin lately, the card draw engine has been nice and the ping provides a much faster way to close the game with an infinite combo. Without the ping, I've had to resort to more convoluted means to close the game. Not necessarily an objective power level argument, but it saves a lot of headaches at the table.
I appreciate all the work you've put into the deck, and I hope you'll continue working on it in the future!
2 months ago
Thanks for the fast Reply Bad_Dog, I didn't spot the interaction with citadel, but that definately looks very interesting! I planned on Building this deck on a Budget a few days ago and thought of a list very similar to this, just with some(honestly many) worse cards and without citadel and doomsday. I will include citadel now, but I'm unsure if the inclusion of Doomsday is necessary: You have two wincons in scepter+reversal and labman/Jace+consultation, so your opponents would have to exile one of your scepter pieces and your labman, since he can win you the game with citadel.(If you are playing both jace and labman, your opponents would have to exile both of them, and Jace is a less dead Card, if you don't combo with him.) But I am sure, you have good reasons to play Doomsday, and I will surely check out the primer to get behind it! Other Things I'm a bit curious about: Which purpose do the Helm of Awakening and the Thing in the Ice Flip serve?
2 months ago
Oh man, Mirage Mirror . No need to sell me on that card honestly, it's great. The only reason it's not already here is because I've neglected to update this list in a while because I hadn't been able to play much the past couple years. That absolutely needs a spot. I forget it can copy lands, so it can actually be a third way to pull off a sneaky Dark Depths combo if need be as well. That's pretty sweet.
I've run Mindslaver before here, and I ended up cutting it. It's fun, but I needed the spot for Kaladesh tech. Clutch Emrakul, the Promised End casts have won games for me before though. Helm of Awakening is pretty gnarly, I may have to test it and see if I can't make it work for me. I'm just not a fan of symmetrical effects.
As for the 100 Strip Mine s, I put 100 there because it wouldn't let me add a million. "You really need 1000000x Strip Mine, huh?" YES I DO TAPPEDOUT, MAY I PLEASE HAVE THEM? I figure if I keep that there for long enough, I will eventually get at least one.
I could use a sell on Tangle Wire . I like it, and I bet I could get it past my group, but how do I break parity with it? Clock of Omens kind of things I would guess? I mean, I guess tapping the Wire to itself is a cheeky cheat, but you seem to know something I don't that makes it go from good to incredible.
As for your puzzle, hell, challenge accepted. I too am a fan of Rube Goldberg machine plays.
- Tap Sensei's Divining Top
- Pay 2 to Rings of Brighthearth trigger using Metalworker , 2 remaining in pool
- Draw Wastes and Sensei's Divining Top
- Play Wastes (because why not honestly)
- Tap Inspiring Statuary and Clock of Omens to untap Metalworker
- Tap Metalworker again for 6 mana now, 8 mana in pool
- Turn Mirage Mirror into Rings of Brighthearth , 6 mana in pool
- Tap both Rings of Brighthearth to untap Metalworker, pay both triggers to untap both of my Rings as well
- Proceed to generate literally a googolplex of mana. Because overkill.
- Finally replay Sensei's Divining Top
- Use Rings of Brighthearth + Sensei's Divining Top with unlimited mana to draw until I get the following cards: Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre , Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger , Lightning Greaves , Swiftfoot Boots , and Strionic Resonator
- Play Kozilek, Butcher of Truth , Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre , and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
- Play Lightning Greaves , Swiftfoot Boots , Sculpting Steel copying either of the boots, and Strionic Resonator
- Equip each Titan with boots
- Swing one Titan each at each player
- Using infinite untaps and mana, two players entire boards disappear and one's entire deck gets exiled via Strionic Resonator spam
I'm not sure if you had a way to actually end the game proper from there in mind but this is what I came up with. One player has no deck, and the rest have no boards, so realistically everyone scoops and the hypothetical players here probably never play with me again. God I love colorless.
2 months ago
That was a quick reply. $70 for a mana crypt?? I'm jealous. I'm proud of my collection too, having seen Ugin, Rings, and Crypt all double in price since I bought them.
I completely understand you not wanting to start a stax arms race. I guess some people like untapping their cards, god knows why. I know you've decided against it, but Tangle Wire is so stupidly good in EDH, I just have to mention it one more time. Of all the tap effects, Wire holds a special place in my cold, dead heart.
A card I forgot to mention is Mirage Mirror , which not only can make a little mana, but can also serve as a sac outlet for Kozi due to the legend rule, as well as serve as an emergency Kozi duplicate WITH HASTE. If you're feeling combo-inclined, Mirror can duplicate Inventors' Fair to set up a near-certain win with a double-tutor. Not only that, but you aren't limited to your own permanents. See a Necropotence ? Now it's MY Necropotence.
I see you've added 100 Strip Mine s to the maybeboard. I'm not sure that's enough. Also, I've tried (and cut) Lotus Petal myself. It's decent enough in your opening hand, but pretty poor at any other point in the game.
I love coming up with puzzles and challenges involving unique interactions in these sorts of decks. To show off the power of Mirage Mirror , I've come up with a puzzle for you.
Goal: Win the game against 3 players with 40 health this turn. The top of your deck is irrelevant (let's say that all 6 Wastes are on top).
Ignore the puzzle if it's not your thing. Thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed reply.
Helm of Awakening occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.02%