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Key to the City
, Discard a card: Up to one target creature can't be blocked this turn.
Whenever Key to the city becomes untapped, you may pay . If you do, draw a card.
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Key to the City Discussion
2 days ago
Library of Leng is my pick if I wanna go the combo with discard route, even less mana investment :P although the Haunted Crossroads is cool if something has already died or been discarded. I feel like as a discard outlet I prefer something like Key to the City or Call the Bloodline. Not being a creature I think helps reduce vulnerability and Call the Bloodline can even provide blockers which is nice.
6 days ago
+1! Love the decklist!
1 week ago
Some takeaways from today's games:
Curse of Opulence is wonderful at influencing combat and helping ramp. A lot of value packed into one red mana. The card has cemented its slot in this deck.
While I never got to actually activate it, Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep was a fantastic option to hold up, as a 5/5 first striker can survive most fights in the early to mid game; it was nice to have the option.
I run too many non-basics for a two-color deck. A late-game From the Ashes neutered any chance I had at winning one of the games.
Drawing Words of Waste felt awful. I didn't want to skip out on the card draw for a Xantcha activation just to make everyone discard a card, and it didn't seem like a good use of 4 mana, either, even with the added loss of 2 life. I can see cutting this immediately for something more impactful.
I'd like to decrease my dependency on creature blockers as rattlesnakes, which will allow me to include something like Bedlam to more readily encourage combat. It improves the usefulness of Virtus the Veiled and Master of Cruelties, too.
Targeted unblockable repeated effects from cards like Key to the City seem like a better long-term goal for keeping Xantcha connecting each turn than to run extra targeted removal. I'd rather save that removal for the actual threats, while enabling Xantcha to continue dealing damage in other means.
Group damage doublers like Dictate of the Twin Gods definitely seem promising in such a world, so I'm likely to give that a try.
Finally, I need to take a hard look at how I actually intend to win. Seems simple and silly to admit, but in the late game, after casting a tutor, I didn't have the confidence in knowing what my ultimate end game needed to be. Maybe I do need to put some combos in after all...
1 week ago
If I gotta pick something, I'd probably try to get something unblockable. I know it ends up being a bit more expensive than giving flying to something, but It's a sure terror if your Champion of the Flame could get his hands on either Aether Tunnel or the Key to the City.
1 week ago
Hey, awesome deck! I love Licia to no end, I've been looking into her for a while now. I have some suggestions to make your deck stronger
Like Tavern Swindler and Gonti's Machinations. These are great early drops, and concerning licia, they ramp you very fast for no mana required! Instead of Temur Battle Rage and Brute Strength, consider Abzan Falconer and Duelist's Heritage and Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant. Heritage can be used politically, as you inch players not to attack you by promising double strike, and Falconer is amazing, nuf said. I also wanted to mention Illusionist's Bracers, Key to the City, and Ashling's Prerogative, if any of those strike your fancy. Lastly, for the late game, I'd recommend Treasury Thrull, Crypt Ghast, Chandra's Ignition, and Necrologia instead of your Syphon Mind.
The deck looks fine as it is, so it's hard to find cuts. Without testing your deck, the weaker cards seem to be Haunted Cloak, Baneslayer Angel, Josu Vess, Lich Knight, Drana's Emissary, Felidar Sovereign (you've a lot of wincons anyway), and Blood Tribute. Some of the stronger cards I see are Twilight Prophet, Sword of War and Peace, Hide (which I'm adding to my deck as we speak), and Crested Sunmare.
Hope this helps!
2 weeks ago
Great feedback! Thank you!
I had more removal in there, but pulled it out to make room for other stuff. (Used to have ultimate price and more tragic slips in there.) If you have them, fatal push would work great. (they would have doubled the cost of the deck when I built it.) I've never added the extra marrow-gnawer or stoneforge masterworks from the sideboard, so they can go for sure (I had them, so they went in.) Dredge was really big when I first started with this deck, maybe lose a relic now that it's not as popular. With all of the discard, 4 duress might be overkill, but I have boarded them all in vs. burn/control/blitz, etc. and didn't groan when I drew them. :-p
I'll try it going down on drainpipe vermin as well. I had thought Alms of the vein might be my first main board target to make more room (or maybe 1 tutor, I have played the tutors numerous times though, so they are important... I've also discarded them though too) but as you've seen, the army gets huge really fast and swings big, so giving up 3 damage might be worth the trade to make the deck more resilient/consistent. I like the 1 drops since they give you a t1 play that gums up the board and lords the pack rat tokens later, but agree that those (or rotting/rancid rats) are the less-great options out there. Cheap removal would preclude you from needing chump blockers though.
You're running crypt gast mainboard? I was thinking of having him in the sideboard for games where I'm stalled early and I need more gas at t4-t5, hadn't really thought about trying to get him in there on curve vs. cloning a rat. A though I had the other day (but hadn't put on here yet) was Key to the City as it checks the card draw and discard outlet box. I'll throw it in the maybeboard. I did want to make room in the SB for a 4th of each of call to the netherworld and dark withering in case of aggro or decks with heavy removal.
Thanks again for playing the deck and especially for giving me feedback on it!
1 month ago
I do love Hapatra!
Through experience of many Hapatra variants, I find that these cards are your maindeck core:
4x Hapatra 4x Chaneler Initiate 4x Ammit Eternal
Then depending on your strategy, there’s some sweet lines of play. Here’s a few ideas.
Crocodile of the Crossing (comes out on turn 3 if chaneler on the field) Rhonas, the Indomitable (synergises well with all the crocodiles and a good -1/-1 counter dump) Skysovereign Consul Flagship - Hapatra and a snake can crew (happens a lot)
Hapatra and Archfiend Ifnir:
Normally these two don’t play well together but add in Key to the City and you have a Hapatra that can safely attack plus a discard engine to activate Ifnir for hopefully many snakes.
To further maximise the counters on opponents creatures, Decimator Beetle is good and Grind // Dust more viable. White from Chaneler and a couple of dual lands shouldnt hurt the mana base
Its not great that -1/-1 mechanic is spread over 4 colours. What makes it worse is how unplayable Soul-Scar Mage and Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons are together. Accepting that, the red splash is still good for two cards.
Samut’s +1 is incredible with all the crocs. 8 points of life from Baleful / Crocodile of the crossing hits for an explosive 10 for a great follow up after playing samut.
The Scorpion God will never feel great, but a 6/5 body that’s hard to deal with after playing a couple of must remove crocodiles is a threat that tends to last and can therefore more viably gain some card advantage and maybe place some counters.
Overall, I find Hapatra works best in a proactive deck, lightly splashing removal. Opponents familiar with playing against Hapatra will remove it immediately - which truely breaks the decks potency.
Therefore, depending on your local meta, I suggest Blossoming Defense as the primary protection spell, delaying hapatra until you have the mana to protect her. Its somewhat counter intuitive to not curve out Hapatra to Ammit Eternal, so another line of play is to fight through the removal and when you have the chance, cast Claim // Fame to bring her back.
Finally, for card advantage you should definitely try 2 copies of Driven // Despair. Its game breaking with 3 creatures on the field.
1 month ago
MaybeBoard Options I Fully Support
Geier Reach Sanitarium and Fellwar Stone in the maybeboard are both great in my experience. Anyone with a Command tower on the field allows fellwar stone to tap for any color. The Sanitarium helps everybody filter but generally if you're activating it you're doing so to intentionally pitch something to the graveyard in order to reanimate it, which puts you up a card and mana on everybody else post combat reanimation.
Mother of Runes, who is also in your maybeboard, is actually very versatile, serving as protection but also as an enabler for Alesha, allowing her to slip past blockers in a pinch with protection from a color. I used to be dubious about the usability but at 1 cmc, I am never sad to see her in my hand since I added her in.
Cards I Would Take Out
I used to run Restoration Specialist and in my experience, it is not worth it. (Junk Diver also falls into this category and is also not worth it.) Consider this. You only have 3 enchantment/artifacts that Sun Titan can't get back. When I ran specialist, it was after a particularly rough game where it seemed like everyone had artifact removal. After many games with the specialist in the deck however, I realized it is far more efficient to use Sun Titan as the artifact/enchantment recurrsion, and just focus on drawing into new threats when I lose my bigger artifact/enchantment effects like Cathars' Crusade.
Reconnaissance is an MVP in the deck, and you should run it alongside your Key to the City. You attack with Alesha, get her trigger, allow first strike damage, then untap her and remove her from combat. All this from a 1-mana enchantment.