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Hieroglyphic Illumination Discussion
2 weeks ago
If it weren't for the already filled 4+ cmc slots, I'd be confident in suggesting Hieroglyphic Illumination to get around Chalice, but it might be too much curve-wise.
3 weeks ago
Deadpoo111, so here's where I'm struggling with how to balance the cuts. With dollar Shu Yun, the math can work that you hit lethal commander damage by playing 2 1-mana spells that add +3/- and casting an aura/flashback/rebound/equipment that provides unblockable. With Prowess and double strike, that's 24 commander damage. The consistency that comes from just needing 3 of many duplicate copies of those effects makes the deck work with otherwise underwhelming spells. As a bonus, that math allows a sprinkling of spells that only provide +2/-, still hitting for 22 unblockable commander damage. If you have something like Tahngarth's Rage that can still provide +2/- the turn after you cast it, the next person goes down with less resources, and so on, closing out the game in 3 or 4 turns.
I can't be as efficient with this build. Brute Force is perhaps the best representative of what budget Shu Yun is about, but it's 20 cents, so you can see the average card quality has taken a hit. 2 +2/- spells means that Shu Yun is only hitting for 20 Commander damage with an evasion spell that doesn't provide additional bonuses. That's why Distortion Strike was so painful to cut. I'm keeping Aether Tunnel at 22 cents, although that's still a turn slower. The bulk of the deck is cheap red pump spells, but too many inefficient ones add up- Two Brute Force , rather than two Run Amok is two turns slower. The non-explosive early game also takes a hit, since 2-mana rocks are expensive. 3-mana rocks conflict with casting Shu Yun on time, but early-game interaction also tends to be pricier. I had to cut some of the better cheap equipment, like Runechanter's Pike , so It's hard to tell what this deck should be doing turns 1 and 2, other than hitting land drops.
The last issue is card advantage. A lot of draft staples like Hieroglyphic Illumination are over-budget already, so I think this is the portion of the deck that will take the biggest hit. I couldn't justify the cost of Steam Augury , which is already budget Fact or Fiction .
1 month ago
Thanks for the feedback, honestly Tome Scour was just filler cause I didn't know what else to put in the deck. I've replaced them with 2x Boomerang for more mainboard removal and 2x Hieroglyphic Illumination for some easy card draw.
1 month ago
musicman3310: Basically because of its flexibility. While cycling Hieroglyphic Illumination isn't as good as casting Opt or Serum Visions , sometimes you just run out of gas later in the game and are able to draw 2 cards while holding up Cryptic Command . If your opponent ever doesn't cast something into your 4 open mana and you get to cast Illumination on their end step, you usually just end up winning the game.
1 month ago
1 month ago
DimirAgent8 thanks for the feedback!
My thinking with Hieroglyphic Illumination is that, while both its modes are subpar, having both options is actually good for this deck, and in practice I haven't had problems with it. It's pretty nice with hands where you have homunculus and not Gifts, since you can hold up any interaction then cast it at the end of their turn to draw two, hopefully digging you into a Gifts for turn 4. The cantrip 'mode' isn't good, but it does get an instant in the yard on turn one for homunculus to flip. Don't forget about flipped Homunculus' discount - Hiero as an instant speed Divination is actually pretty good. I can totally see the argument for just going with better cantrips, but it's worked decently for me up till now. If I replace it, I actually think Thought Scour would be the initial pick, since the self mill is actually reasonably helpful.
Thirst for Knowledge and Champion of Wits probably seem weird, but there are reasons I have included them. There are hands with this deck where you have a fatty and Unburial Rites in your opening hand, and having discard outlets that discard two cards is actually really helpful there. This is the same reason Collective Brutality is such an all-star in this deck - I have won games by discarding a fatty and Elesh Norn on turn three and reanimating them on turn 4. In addition to giving a little more consistency to the plan, they both dig into the deck. Champion of Wits in particular can be a quasi-finisher that refills your hand at a pretty low opportunity cost.
I do agree that the countermagic is subpar, but it's here mostly to protect the fatties. That's the main reason I'm running Negate - it slots in extremely well into the ideal sequence of cantrip -> homunculus -> Gifts. On turn four, you'll be reanimating for three mana thanks to the discount, letting you hold up one blue mana for the negate to protect against spot removal, board wipes, and surgicals. (Mana Leak also benefits from this.) I do want to try out Logic Knot, but I'm not sure if the anti-synergy with Homunculus is worth it. Supreme Will is an interesting suggestion! I hadn't thought of that and that might be promising.
All that said, I can definitely envision a more control oriented version of this deck using more/better cantrips and counterspells with a higher percentage of removal, and that might be the next direction I take it in. Thanks a ton for taking the time to evaluate my deck :)
1 month ago
your deck kinda vanished for a bit when I was first writing this comment, there was a bit more depth in when I first typed this out, but me more tired now than before lol.
Now maindecking Duress would be rather good vs tier 1 lists outside of humans.
Bojuka Bog is rather good as a means to graveyard hate for a deck that still wants access to it's graveyard for delve.
Spreading Seas is about the only land hate spell that's viable to fight tron and other decks with strong lands at common.
Peek could be an interesting option vs opt, the information of your opponent's hand could be vastly more important than a scry 1.
Logic Knot is rather good of a counterspell with a delve theme.
Hieroglyphic Illumination a pretty good card advantage spell used by usually w/u control, early game it fuels delve, late game you can gain card advantage at instant speed.
1 month ago
This deck is super sweet. Gifts Ungiven is an incredible magic card and this deck really makes use of its value potential. A few things I would recommend:
- Go for the Throat is strictly better than Cast Down against most decks, since legendary creatures are much more common than artifact creatures. You could also play Murderous Cut if you weren't comfortable with the downside, but it does hinder your Curious Homunculus Flip and Torrential Gearhulk package a bit
- Hieroglyphic Illumination is super awkward in this deck since on 1 you'd rather cast Opt and on 4 you'd rather cast Gifts Ungiven . I'd probably cut them for 2 more Opt and another value spell
- Thirst for Knowledge isn't great in this deck since you can't take advantage of the "unless you discard an artifact" clause very often. I'd honestly probably cut this for countermagic or removal but if you were really insistent on playing another draw spell Think Twice is much better, especially in Gifts Ungiven piles. I'd also recommend cutting Champion of Wits in this 3-drop slot since it's sorcery speed and your deck really wants to curve 1-2-4 with Curious Homunculus Flip
- Your countermagic package leaves much to be desired. I'd definitely play some number of Remand (if you can afford it) and make your 1-ofs Logic Knot and Mana Leak , or Supreme Will if you're REALLY lacking in card selection. Negate is just too narrow for modern (though it is a good sideboard option) and Condescend is only really good in hand, and even then feels a bit clunky without Blue-Tron levels of mana acceleration
- Fatal Push would be very good in this deck, and from my understanding is pretty inexpensive right now. I'd pick those up and slot them in if you can.
The deck idea here is sweet, and I think with some minor changes it could make a super sweet budge deck. Good luck tuning it and have fun!
Hieroglyphic Illumination occurrence in decks from the last year
All decks: 0.11%
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.0%