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Imperial Seal Discussion
5 days ago
Very well, here's my latest jank for your consideration (take your time)
Orzhov Advokist: Boosts one of your creatures and tells you ahead of time whether or not someone is planning on attacking you. This potentially lets it both replace one card from Conflict Escalation and another from Deterrence, which would free up a slot for something else. On the downside, it takes a player turn cycle to become relevant and it's more about quality than quantity (although you could use things like Tetravus, Murder Investigation and/or Hangarback Walker to alleviate this, see also about Elemental Mastery below). Another problem is that it doesn't reward people for attacking each other and it's arguably anti-synergetic with Mystic Barrier.
Harvest Season/(Growing Rites of Itlimoc Flip): More powerful yet less reliable alternative to Cultivate. (Although instead of Itlimoc you could just spend hundreds of bucks on a Gaea's Cradle I guess)
(Thornscape Familiar): The only one in the cost reduction Familiar cycle which affects more than one of the colors in your commander's identity. Aside from Gahiji himself, it works for 33 out of the 99 cards in the current deck (assuming no shenanigans like Celestial Dawn or Feroz's Ban). I dunno if you cast those 33 cards frequently enough per turn to make the cost reduction worthwhile compared to land-based ramp, especially since you got some land matters cards like Mirari's Wake.
Continuing my quest of exhausting every possible card advantage option known to beast, god and man:
Elvish Harbinger: Complement or possibly even a replacement for Wood Elves. Ramps and elf Imperial Seal:s from a pretty diverse pool consisting of Rhys the Redeemed, Reclamation Sage, Wood Elves, Knight of the Reliquary, Mirror Entity, Selvala, Explorer Returned & Oracle of Mul Daya. Since it doesn't have flash, unplanned shuffling is my biggest reservation towards this one. (As an optional bonus, it can form the middle of a threefold creature tutor chain with either of the Recruiters and any elf.)
Green Sun's Zenith: Banned in modern and probably something you've already considered. Puts green critters directly onto the battlefield and is self-recurable. It can pick from a pretty diverse pool that includes (among other things) Den Protector, Oracle of Mul Day, Reclamation Sage, Tireless Tracker, Wood Elves, Knight of the Reliquary, Mirri, and Selvala.
Worldly Tutor: Creature Vampiric Tutor, might be a bit slow without an available draw source. (Congregation at Dawn) takes things further, but with the presence of other (shuffling) tutors and a lack of great draw power it seems questionable. Eladamri's Call is the Demonic Tutor equivalent, dunno if it can compete with Green Sun's.
(Evolutionary Leap): Unsure about this one, but could be nice with things that give a benefit upon death (be it naturally or trough Skullclamp with 2 or more toughness) and/or are disposable (especially cheap ETB creatures that can be recurred with Sun Titan).
(Defense of the Heart): Obviously very powerful if it goes off, but I assume that it's too conditional & vulnerable to removal to be worth it.
Magus of the Wheel: Complement to the classic wheel that's already present. I prefer the Magus over Wheel of Fate & Reforge the Soul due to not requiring you to have all the mana at once and/or because it's more predictable for something that discards your hand (although slower without haste). As a bonus, it's recurable with Sun Titan (and tutorable with either of the Recruiters).
Other misc. cards which you've probably already considered and rejected, but just in case:
(Luminarch Ascension): On one hand, Ant Queen on steroids. On the other, draws a lot of hate and/or takes at least four turns to become not-useless (assuming no helpful proliferation) which makes it more and more of a dead draw over time. (Sacred Mesa is a weird compromise.) There's also Emeria Angel/Retreat to Emeria for if you want to expand on the land subtheme, but it doesn't have the same explosive potential as the aforementioned manasinks (although Hazezon Tamar might be a decent compromise).
Elemental Mastery: Channels a quality creature (e.g. a beefed up Knight of the Reliquary or just Gahiji himself) into a quantity of tokens which better synergizes with Gahiji's ability. On the downside, since the tokens only lasts one turn you can't increase their power on the long term with e.g. Curse of Predation. The card also has the two usual problems associated with Auras in that it requires the presence of an appropriate creature to be useful and that single-target removal against said creature becomes a two-for-one deal (and this is further exasperated by the fact that you're encouraged to increase the power of the creature by e.g. putting counters on it). Also too expensive for Sun Titan. Dragon Throne of Tarkir gives somewhat similar quality-to-quantity conversion in a more resilient equipment form.
(Path of Ancestry) vs one of Temple of Abandon/Temple of Plenty/Temple of Triumph. Less reliable scry that only works with Gahiji & the changeling, but taps for all the relevant colors. Dunno how frequently this is relevant for you.
(Rith, the Awakener): Token generator alternative. I'm guessing you've rejected it because the tokens lack evasion and/or the token generation is too conditional. (But hey, at least it's a combat damage effect for Duelist's Heritage to interact with)
(Marton Stromgald): Potentially explosive token amplification but hard to keep alive.
Mass Hysteria: In case you're not getting enough haste from Slayers' Stronghold. Also works with the group slug aspect, but I dunno if it will backfire by e.g. letting powerful tap abilities come out of nowhere. (There's also Concordant Crossroads if you're not worried about it being replaced by another World Enchantment.) Samut, Voice of Dissent is another option that has quite a few other features as well, but I fear she'll come in a bit too late. Got similar feelings about (Urabrask the Hidden), who's also kinda detrimental to the group slug theme and/or will draw too much hate. ((Akroma's Memorial) is even worse in the lateness department.)
Mogg Infestation/(Settle the Wreckage)/Fell the Mighty/(Righteous Fury)/(Sunblast Angel)/(Angel of the Dire Hour): One of the Token Beatdown variants favors board wipes, but all of the listed cards have a tendency to kill your fatties and leave your opponent's weenies alive. In case you want a source of emergency non-targeted creature removal in the main deck and/or the variant, here's some additional options that can leave your own creatures alive, even if they're a bit more expensive than e.g. Wrath of God (or, in the case of Settle the Wreckage, potentially profitable for an opponent). Special mention to Mogg Infestation for still keeping the group slug going by being Beast Within on steroids & Angel of the Dire Hour for bypassing indestructible in addition to shroud, if that's relevant in your meta (although a plain (Arcane Lighthouse) might be better then).
(Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite): Saving the most prominently obvious card for last, I assume the reason you've rejected it is because it's not explosive enough to act as a 1v1 finisher, while being detrimental to the overall group slug strategy when there's more than one opponent alive.
6 days ago
Cool deck, though that last comment about wondering why Imperial Seal is not in the deck when it costs as much as the rest of the deck combined is rather inane.
6 days ago
Cards that I don't like:
Darkwater Catacombs | In a turn 4/5 build, it's too slow. Basically useless in some situations and opposite of mana fixing
Fetid Pools | Enters tapped needs strong abilities, maybe turn 8 cycling would be good, but in a Turn 4/5 build, it's not a turn 1 through 4 land so shouldn't be in there
Great Furnace | I think you can fetch , a single on Turn 1 though 4 is terrible
Tolaria West | Great land, but what does it tutor for you that's a combo card, Mana Crypt is ok, but none of your combos are land based, I wouldn't run this. If you needed to fetch a specific land for a combo would be ok.
I would go down 1 net land to 36 as well.
Devastation Tide | Miracle is too random, want to control your spells not have them control you. And it's a sorcery, as an instant it would be ok.
Cryptic Command has a pretty High CMC with , it's instant so it's better than some of the other sorcery/creatures, but could be a problem. It's VERY good card though, I would keep it worth the hard casting cost.
Scroll Rack mana sponges, it's too random, and too slow for turn 4/5 deck
Tolaria West go down a land!
Tunnel Vision (when used to tutor) >> Mizzix's Mastery! (Downside is it misses Omniscience so need something it can hit to put a card from graveyard into hand, best would be a card like that with flashback) OR Tunnel Vision >> Yawgmoth's Will. If it discards a Past in Flames get a couple shots. I think Kess, Dissident Mage can cast the Overload cost from the graveyard for Mizzix's Mastery too if you do get it looking for the Yawgmoth's Will which then cast the Yawgmoth's Will.
Summary: Harder to tutor items (Enchantment) should be priorities, Necropotence or Omniscience. Kess, Dissident Mage let's you recast and pull another item in most cases to finish the combo Omniscience + Enter the Infinite, lots of tutors pull Show and Tell for you.
Capture of Jingzhou and Temporal Manipulation are good too, but not necessary, you're really just trying to combo win with Show and Tell + Omniscience + Enter the Infinite would focus on getting there.
Frantic Search is better if you have a way to recur-it, like a Nivix Guildmage, but it does give you more control on the discard. The problem arises when you only have 1 card in hand, becomes the same issue I'm sure you experience with the Scroll Rack.
Dreadbore could just be another tutor that pulls Hero's Downfall they do the same thing anyway (or a Yawgmoth's Will if you need to recast Hero's Downfall and have used Kess, Dissident Mage. And it's a sorcery (YUCK)
You need the Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots for Phage the Untouchable and Laboratory Maniac. You could lose the Swiftfoot Boots since you do have Artifact tutors, but I bet they are pulling mana sources not boots.
Temporal Extortion could be wasted spell, since i doubt your doing the extra damage, but in multi-player perhaps it may resolve due to politics.
Time Warp could come out too if needed, high CMC extra turns. Useful for mid-range play though.
Need to research a way to bring a card from graveyard to hand, if it has flashback, that would be AMAZING!
2 weeks ago
I think Im jealous of your Imperial Seal and Grim Monolith!! Nice score. From there I think an Underground Sea might be in your future. Anyway, correct me if Im wrong but this is primarily a Doomsday deck with Aetherflux Reservoir as a backup. Doomsday is awesome because it takes 1 blue mana to win if you have the right cards in your deck and 4 islands. You should try to build your deck twords that goal. Islands should make up about 85% of your land base not because of High Tide but because of Gush\Doomsday piles. From there High Tide gets stronger and your deck will have a win by turn 4 or 5 with protection 70% of the time.
2 weeks ago
I understood what i've said about High Tide, but as i don't have all the good islands (old dual), i see High Tide more like a ritual than win condition. Paradox Engine on the other hand hurts in Ad Nauseam, however it has proven its value for getting me to storm faster and getting out of stax locks such as taxes and etb tapped.
I Know it is kind of win more, however its consistency and power make me fit it into the deck.
Please let me know your thoughts on this.
3 weeks ago
4 weeks ago
Diabolic Intent is pretty strong, but personally I would prefer a higher creature count before running it. I get that I can sac a commander, but I'm still on the fence about it. Grim Tutor would probably be my next Goto (after I get an Imperial Seal that is) just because of the unconditionalness of it.
As for lantern, once I can finish off the manabase a bit more I will swap it out. At the moment it's still kind of a tingvas a comfortable card you know :P
1 month ago
Hey Emensmansera - thanks for the suggestions! I think that Tainted Remedy, while certainly an interesting card, isn't necessarily what this iteration of Licia is trying to do. Temporal Extortion I do find interesting, but it is somewhat difficult to cast and oftentimes just domes someone for a bunch of damage which feels just OK. Kambal, Consul of Allocation would be totally sweet if it was a spells matters effect that let us trigger it, but I think as is it is a little more incremental than this particular list wants to be. Sorin Markov is super sweet, and definitely makes killing our foes trivial, but the deck has limited room for high drops. Thanks for the suggestions!
Hey SurpriZe! That's an excellent question, and a well put question that really got me thinking. I think the mana base is probably the furthest off from the ideal case - I would of course include ABRU Duals if I owned them, for one thing, and likewise would include probably 5 total fetches if I had access to Marsh Flats and Arid Mesa. Most importantly, I would include Fetid Heath and Rugged Prairie filter lands that can filter black or red into white, because they would significantly improve our combo turns with that capability. I would also consider adding a Maze of Ith, as I've always felt that defensive "spells" in land slots is a powerful way to hold down the fort.
I think that most would make the argument that this deck needs more tutors. Diabolic Intent might fit, although the creature count is low which can be challenging. The one tutor I would strongly consider is Imperial Seal, otherwise I personally like playing somewhat tutor light.
Ultimately, this deck is evolving pretty much every week. I've never had a more challenging deck building experience than trying to tune this storm list. I'm sure that in a month there will be another 10 cards coming in and out of the deck.