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Return all nonblue creatures to their owners' hands.
1 month ago
With that extra space you might consider:
Dramatic Reversal would combo well with your Isochron Scepter and large mana rocks for infinite mana.
Dream Cache and Sensei's Divining Top for more topdeck manipulation.
Stroke of Genius if you want any more redundant draw X.
Fade Away , Inundate or Wash Out for some board control.
Long-Term Plans to tutor for a spell to topdeck with Kefnet.
4 months ago
In EDH, when a player with a blue source and at least mana in other sources open on a field. It is a threat. It is a threat not because of a 7 mana spell, but a 2 mana spell, not a spell that deals damage, counters spell, destroys permanents, tutors, or cheats costs, but a bounce spell.
Cyclonic Rift , C-Rift, the big wave, whatever you call it, people know it as one of the strongest, most backbreaking spells in all of EDH, if not the best card in the format.
I am here to say that is isn't.
Part of my series on why other popular staples aren't good ( Phyrexian Arena , Rampant Growth ), or are simply not good in a specific way ( Rhystic Study ), I am not here to deny the power that a card like Cyclonic Rift has, but simply that it isn't a good enough card to warrant the hate or love that it receives.
Before I go over why it isn't good, I need to go over why at nearly every power level, it is good.
In casual EDH, the 50% or less, the Precons, the jank, lies it's the weakest state.
That is where all removal spells, sweepers, or countermagic is the weakest, especially bounce. If no one has threatening boards, why remove them. You'd rather spend 7 mana on a spell to improve yours most of the time, yet those games go long, the Cyclonic Rift acts as a Fog to save you, Sleep to get in for damage, or real removal if you use it on a player's end step if they have to discard just after.
Almost all cards that show heavy play at higher levels show some play at lower ones, and while the price-tag may limit it for most casual players, it does work.
At the 75% or the middle tiers of EDH, where I think EDH players mostly lie, it where it is the most powerful. IF it destroyed any number of target nonland permanents, it would be weaker, because of three reasons:
75% decks often use permanent-based engines to support their gameplan. Think Beast Whisperer along with a deck full of cheap elves, or Paradox Engine in a deck will a lot of Temple Bell effects and mana rocks.
These decks and their creators often expect opponents to remove threats, so have many threats to remove.
They try to protect against sweepers, the only punishing cards for going so wide, with anti-sweepers, think Heroic Intervention , or Boros Charm , and protect against some single-target removal with effects like Darksteel Plate .
Because of this, and because indestructible and hexproof don't protect against a mass bounce effect, along with Cyclonic Rift being the only mass bounce at instant speed that doesn't affect you at all, and doesn't target, it is truly the best anti-75% sweeper by many standards.
In the competitive setting, while not bad, it is mostly relegated to being a 2 mana Chain of Vapor or a Into the Roil that doesn't draw a card, that can let a combo deck get through stax locks once in a blue moon.
Don't get me wrong, being relegated to a slightly worse Chain of Vapor isn't an insult. Chain of Vapor is possible the best removal in cEDH, as decks like Kess consultation or P-Hulk variants Laboratory Maniac wins, and for 1 blue mana, or two in the case of Cyclonic Rift , you get to bounce their wincon as they draw off an empty deck, so they lose...
That is some powerful stuff.
So why isn't it the best EDH card, an efficient spell in nearly any metagame? 2 options for removal, one that crushes many lists and the other a sleek and useful trick?
Because it isn't hyper-efficient, nor is it unbeatable, nor is it irreplaceable.
To start, many cEDH decks that run it run consistent amounts of countermagic to protect it's possible great effect, and numerous cards could fit the spot. It isn't alone. Blink of an Eye , the second Into the Roil has been used over it in many combo lists that more mana-efficient options and many forget the slot all-together, in favor of a cantrip or other removal spell like Abrade or whatever. It isn't very dominant there, and so is easy to explain why it wouldn't be amazing there.
In casual lists, Cyclonic Rift costs about as much as half of many of the casual decks, or even more than some entire casual decks that I have seen. Bringing money-cards wins there, as would a Consecrated Sphinx that costs less money, and I'd wager would have more powerful an effect. Again, an easy argument, but I believe it works.
The really hard place to argue against Cyclonic Rift on the surface is the middle tiers. The 75% lists. Legitimately, I think it is because in the 75% players don't consistently a highly interactive 'metagame'. They just prefer to be interactive 'ingame'.
This comes down to theory, however, when a deck, for example, an elf list abusing the Llanowar Elves style effects along with untap effects to keep making mana, dumping it into something like Ezuri, Renegade Leader . All of that deck and many others get shut down by Null Rod . While that card may be less powerful than other cards against any random deck, as many players know exactly what decks they face, they can play to those decks.
This means general removal, like Anguished Unmaking may be worse if artifacts and walkers don't see much play, you'd rather Mortify . Or if instant speed doesn't help you much, as a lot of City of Solitude / Dosan the Falling Leaf effects exist in your meta, Vindicate , etc.
This is pretty basic knowledge, however, the point here is that there are many, many replacements for Cyclonic Rift in different metagames, and I want to share the ones, only in mono-blue, that in the 75% are why Cyclonic Rift is overrated.
This isn't to say it isn't the best, but that if many, many replacements cost way less $$$ and are occasionally better, that one card shouldn't be considered the best in every situation.
Aether Gale , sorcery, only hits six things, has to hit your things if you don't have enough targets of only your opponents, targets, etc. Yes, there are reasons this is clearly worse.
Why is it better? Politically, you don't have to hit cards from players you team with. Similarly, if you like the Howling Mine on someone's field, don't bounce it. Someone Banishing Light ed someone else's threat you can't deal with? Don't bounce it.
Also, 18 cents. Compared to ~20 dollars and I think it is a steal for budget lists.
Also, it is 2 mana cheaper, despite not being an occasional Disperse .
Evacuation , the downside is simple, it doesn't hit non-creatures, and bounces your own things.
The upsides are for decks that want their own things bounced. ETB effects like Mulldrifter (You can respond to the sacrifice on evoke if you want!), Archaeomancer (infinite sweepers by returning Evacuation , or just recur another card), Duplicant , Solemn Simulacrum , etc.
It is 5 mana too, still an instant, and is only 2-3 dollars right now.
Other options for this could be AEtherize , Whelming Wave , Inundate , Engulf the Shore , Profaner of the Dead , or Scourge of Fleets if you just want mass creature bounce, each with ups and downs, some that only hit opposing creatures, some that are instants, some with graveyard synergies, etc.
For mass nonland bounce that doesn't target? There are tons of options, plenty with lower mana costs than Cyclonic Rift .
Take Coastal Breach . It does a mass bounce for just 4 mana (with 3 opponents), leaving you enough to rebuild first, and being able to be cast much faster, making up slightly for the sorcery speed.
Or Crush of Tentacles , 6 mana? 5 mana and an 8/8, it needs to be in a deck with enough cheap drops to hit surge to be worth it, but an option.
Devastation Tide is a personal favorite, if you run Aminatou, Brainstorm , a lot of scry, Mystical Tutor , Long-Term Plans , Jace, the Mind Sculptor , or are lucky, it is a 2 mana bounce everything. Really strong, however, sorcery (unless you cast it with Miracle on an opponents turn.
Run really high mana cards? Displacement Wave can be better,
Like a big creature attached? Kederekt Leviathan . It even comboes with flicker effects, or can be repeated for 2 mana with an effect like Animate Dead or 3 mana at instant speed whenever with Necromancy in black/blue.
Only need to target one player for political reasons? River's Rebuke .
A lot of one color in the meta? Wash Out
Artifacts/Enchantments? Reduce to Dreams
Even outside of bounce effects, Ixidron can do work xD
Point is, there are options. Even outside of blue, sweepers that can get around the normal protection is seriously strong. Terminus , Hallowed Burial , along with most mass exile effects in white from Play of the Game to Final Judgement / Descend upon the Sinful to the new Urza's Ruinous Blast , etc. Mercilous Eviction in W/B, the -x/-x effects in black like Toxic Deluge or Black Sun's Zenith , etc. in any color, Perilous Vault exists.
These are half of why I think Cyclonic Rift is overrated. Not because it isn't great at what it does, but that it isn't that much better than the rest.
The other half is simple.
Every color (sorry colorless) has answers to Cyclonic Rift off the top of my head.
Black? Many lists abuse cards like Inquisition of Kozilek or other discard to remove powerful cards from opposing decks.
Green? Ugh... Yeah, I guess some colors don't have answers...
(Gutteral Response if they ever make hybrid legal in mono-colored xD)
That's all. Thoughts?
5 months ago
TheRedGoat: Honestly, Scroll Thief and Smuggler's Copter SEEM bad, but they consistently draw me into my lands and my control pieces. I'm never ever disappointed when I see them in my opener. Inundate isn't a bad idea XD but I'd rather just play Merchant Scroll / Spellseeker to grab Cyclonic Rift for example, in that slot. The other rattlesnakes are... okay? But I'd usually prefer outright control or counters in that slot (I don't like giving my opponents choices when I punish them). I tested Hidden Strings , Last Thoughts , and Hands of Binding , but they all got cut :( Last Thoughts is strictly worse than Scroll Thief in this list, and the other two were too low-impact overall. The issue with Sakashima's Student and Ninja of the Deep Hours is that they're only unblockable ONCE in this list (they have too large of a P/T to be unblockable here). Teferi's Veil and Siren Stormtamer might have a home here, avoiding removal? Honestly unsure, I've definitely considered both. Prying Blade ups my power, which I actively want to avoid XD Verity Circle might make it in here, it's been really REALLY good in The Locust God , though Rhystic Study would get that slot first. Murmuring Mystic could be cute I suppose (paired with Bident of Thassa ? wooooooo that seems hilarious). But Time Stop really isn't my jam in multiplayer: it makes me tap out and be unable to answer anything :( Thanks for the thoughts!
TJFNIJ: Oh, that's cute XD I like that, but it's 10 mana before I get the pump effect (assuming I want to pay echo), so I think I may have to skip it for now.
7 months ago
Still an impressive piece of work I see.
Next, what are your thoughts on the following (literally just your thoughts not saying you should make cuts for them):
Prying Blade as completely unnecessary ramp.
and last but not least, Time Stop . Because nothing is more oppressive than hearing "beginning of your turn, end the turn."
9 months ago
I don't know what your budget is, but "sweepers" are always good, even in token decks. If you can, definitely play Cyclonic Rift, and maybe River's Rebuke, AEtherize, Coastal Breach, Engulf the Shore, Evacuation, Inundate, Kederekt Leviathan.
1 year ago
Commonly control loses card advantage in 1 to 1 trades, because there are two opponents who didn't lose cards, but you did, if for each trade you make, you draw a card, the trade is a 1 for nothing. It is straight gravy. Honestly it is a 2 for nothing, since you got a drake. 2 for nothing is absurdly powerful.
The issue is blue doesn't have the best tutors, and that will mean you won't get this level of gravy often, but we can try to optimize the list to survive until you can, or until we find another card drawing engine.
There may be a problem here that you have noticed, you still spend the mana of each card you cast. We have to make sure your answers are very cheap for you to win. I want 0 mana spells, 1 mana spells, and 2 mana spells as your answers. If they are any higher, they have to either:
A: be castable for a alternate cost to make it cheaper (Force of Will, delve spells, etc.)
If all of that is done, we need to talk card draw, outside of engines, engines are great, but we can't just run engines, they are slow, clunky, and few-and far between. You run plenty of the next point, cantrips. Let us take the best option, Brainstorm. It is absurdly powerful, one mana to dig 3 cards, at instant speed, using up mana that otherwise would have been wasted, if you held up mana on the opponents turn. It helps find the answer or counterspell you need, all in response to the Food Chain you can't let resolve.
You run a number of cantrips, even some bad ones I would switch, like Telling Time, it may look like an Anticipate, but being forced to top a card sucks. I would run Anticipate over it any day, but you already run that, so toss in a Preordain, I promise, it is worth it tenfold. Quicken would be another drop, toss in Kindred Discovery over it or something.
Cantrips are nice, but good card draw, like Fact or Fiction, you know, a way to get more cards in your hand than you had, they do cost mana. 4 mana is topping it off, and it has to be instant speed for me to consider it at 4 mana, but FoF fits the bill. Windfall should be run, as the control player, before an engine hits, you need to spend more cards than your opponents do to keep threats of the field. Windfall gets you the new hand, and tosses out whatever cards your opponent tutored out.
The trick with sweepers it to hit as much as possible, and be 4-2 mana, or do other great things. Cyclonic Rift is an example of a great removal spell, that occasionally can double as a sweeper, but shouldn't be held back for that effect. Whelming Wave is pretty good at sweeping opponents, I would drop Inundate for it.
Most of your creatures I could drop for more tutors and answers and card draw Solemn Simulacrum isn't worth it, as it doesn't have flash, it wastes a turn and doesn't win you the game, you could lose it if an opponent combos out because you couldn't answer it. Toss in a Mana Leak or something in it's place.
Others I would suggest dropping for basically the same reason are as follows: Archaeomancer, Burnished Hart, Chasm Skulker, Docent of Perfection Flip, Duplicant, Fatespinner, Kira, Great Glass-Spinner, Phyrexian Metamorph, Portal Mage, Sower of Temptation, Thing in the Ice Flip, Trinket Mage, Vedalken Shackles, Mindslaver and Runechanter's Pike.
All of these drops will allow for more space for answers, card draw, and a little bit more ramp, such as Fellwar Stone, Sky Diamond, Coldsteel Heart, etc. More answers like Pongify, Mindbreak Trap, Snap, and other answers can allow for exponentially more ways to stop your opponents.
Not all answers are great though, Boomerang is a card I would drop for a better hate-piece like Pithing Needle, Grafdigger's Cage, or any other decent hate-piece, like Silent Arbiter for a meta in which beat-down is regular, or you see a lot of Tymna the Weaver lists. Damping Sphere against storm, or whatever else you need.
In conclusion, I'll probably write up a rough list for this style of game, and good luck!
1 year ago
Arm with AEther and Inundate can potentially bring out enormous card draw and even greater value bye returning a Blazing Archon or something from a jodah deck. Even returning a jodah would be great value. Great choices!
1 year ago
Also, Inundate is a good wipe that also sets up your winning "make a billion copies with ETB effects" turn.
Inundate occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.0%