|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Dragon's Maze||Mythic Rare|
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Master of Cruelties
Creature — Demon
First strike, deathtouch
Master of Cruelties can only attack alone.
Whenever Master of Cruelties attacks a player and isn't blocked, that player's life total becomes 1. Master of Cruelties assigns no combat damage this combat.
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Master of Cruelties Discussion
2 days ago
Ok, all. I am an idiot. I had a realization in play yesterday that should have been obvious, but I had missed it. Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim was meant to be both Rattle Snake and spot removal, but the deck was not built around it, so she never got going. I focused on the spot removal, and when she was removed from the deck, I replaced it with repeatable creature spot removal, thinking that would at least come close to replacing the value of Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim. What I didn't fully grasp was that the weakness of slow speed of the removal, along with the durability of the removal was the problem, and that Assassins would never be able to make up for this. I was sitting on one of the best removal spells that are available in Queen Marchesa's colors, and I recognized this at least enough to put it into a sideboard slot because I just couldn't cut it all the way. I think I should just put the good spot removal back in, and skip all this getting fancy with creatures for removal BS. Since my Rattle Snake and Pillow Fort defense is already very strong, I am not sure why I am worrying about it so much, especially since I keep strengthening it with the most subtle of subtle Pillow Fort cards like Duelist's Heritage, Slayers' Stronghold, and Key to the City.
Right now, I think I just need to consolidate what I think this deck does best, make sure that I bring enough of both the offense and defense that this deck works off of, ensure that I am optimally countering common deck archetypes in ways that are synergistic with the rest of the deck, and not get distracted with complicated additions.
With that said, I have a sideboard that I have constructed of cards that are meant for tuning this more specifically to different metas, and for including cards for combating common archetypes that my meta does not contain. Even if I don't use this as a common sideboard between games, this is my list of cards to adjust for changing metas as I go between them, likely usually between sessions.
Changes that I plan:
Main Deck changes should be to consolidate the theme of the deck, removing weakness in favor of the strengths.
Stronghold Discipline - Rakdos Charm is a huge part of my offense, and wins a ton of games. Stronghold Discipline is essentially another copy. Unconventional offensive plays are what this deck does best. Consolidate around the deck's strengths.
Utter End - One of the best spot removal spells available. Control is one of the things this deck does best, especially surgical removal. Consolidate around the deck's strengths.
Sideboard changes should compensate for different metas and allow me to combat the weaknesses in the deck with respect to commonly played archetypes that are just not that common in my usual meta. I am OK with unfairly destroying decks in metas that are not my usual meta.
Out: Utter End - Into the Main Deck!
In: Rest in Peace - The best at what it does, kills a lot of combo, storm, spellslinger, value engines, reanimator, etc...
So, what does that leave us with?
Ramp and Fixing: Lots of Ramp and Fixing that is tuned and synergistic with the rest of the deck, as well as a curve that allows us to bring out early big plays. Gift of Estates and Tithe double as card draw late game, and our unconventional manabase is highly synergistic with the rest of the deck.
Draw and Tutoring: Enough Draw and Tutoring to make the deck consistent and holding enough answers for every threat or weakness, without being obtrusive or conventional enough to be obvious about it. Three all star players in this list are Shred Memory, Key to the City, and Sea Gate Wreckage. Uncommon tutors and draw with huge impact in this deck without ringing any danger bells for most players. This suite makes my already versatile card list even more versatile.
Defense: A 25 card subtle and somewhat unconventional Pillow Fort and Rattle Snake defense with a low curve, the potential to be used offensively, and which is synergistic with itself as well as my offense. Back this up with a nice Fog suite, making my defensive wall extend into my hand so as to not have all of it sit on the battlefield to be effective, and bringing it's own offense in the right circumstances. Add to this a control package that is complete with a very strong and versatile spot removal suite, some reactive board wipes that have offensive uses, and multiple cards to allow us to protect our board state, including counterspells in Mardu colors!
Offense: The offense is structured to take advantage of typical board states and the strengths of my opponents with cards that have outsized effect for their costs. It is designed to be huge Aikido bombs against any Big Mana, Big Creature, Big Army, Big Hand, or Big Attack deck. It is structured in pairs of cards for each of these, including Acidic Soil/Price of Progress, Backlash/Delirium, Rakdos Charm/Stronghold Discipline, Sudden Impact/Toil / Trouble, Deflecting Palm/Comeuppance, with Arcbond, Batwing Brume, and Eye for an Eye all reinforcing this array of counterattacks. This reactive offense is backed up with a couple of big bomb offensive attacks in the form of Master of Cruelties and Hatred, a couple of midrange beaters in the form of Serra Ascendant, Gisela, the Broken Blade, and Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs, and an army of smaller defensive and utility creatures. Bring in combat tricks and enablers like Duelist's Heritage, Slayers' Stronghold, Key to the City, and Rogue's Passage to act as later game silver bullets, and the offense is quite versatile.
Sideboard: Packed with Combo hate, a counterspell suite of my own for Counterspell and Blue Control hate, Graveyard Antics hate, and extra offense in the form of Dark Depths as an uncounterable big beater and Exsanguinate for big burn.
In all, I think I am pretty satisfied with where the deck now sits, and will likely consider this list to basically be the core deck. Testing will confirm, I think I have chased down all the areas that needed shored up, and I feel like this is, at the moment, a completed list.
3 days ago
Oh and about Iona, Shield of Emeria I'm kinda against cards that are so broken that some players don't have fun anymore. My playgroups ok with her and that's just my personal taste.
4 days ago
I'm Mind Blown with the math, dang, I hope I don't have to count up to that someday.
5 days ago
Even if a card is printed different, which many are, for example Karmic Guide, you have to play by the Oracle rule.
In addition, they publish specific rulings on cards that are unclear, or have questionable interactions.
In the case of Master of Cruelties, using this link http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=368981, you will find several rulings, the one that clarifies the interaction that you are discussing, ie: if he didn't attack, does his if he is not blocked trigger, and when does it trigger, it is very clearly laid out.
Rulings 4/15/2013 An ability that triggers when something attacks and isnt blocked triggers in the declare blockers step after blockers are declared if (1) that creature is attacking and (2) no creatures are declared to block it. It will trigger even if that creature was put onto the battlefield attacking rather than having been declared as an attacker in the declare attackers step.
1) Triggers in the "Declare Blockers Step, After Blockers are Declared"2) It further clarifies the ruling "It will trigger even if that creature was put onto the battlefield attacking rather than having been declared as an attacker"
It's very clearly been ruled.
1) Attack with Kaalia of the Vast
3) After blockers have been declared, IF: Master of Cruelties is attacking (do not confuse with attacked), AND, No creatures were declared blocking it, you will trigger Master of Cruelties, and the opponents life will become 1.
4) Master of Cruelties says Master of Cruelties assigns no combat damage this combat, so he can't kill the opponent, however, Kaalia of the Vast is still attacking (and assuming unblocked), will resolve 2 points of combat damage to that player. That players life is 1 during the declare blockers step. So when Kaalia of the Vast hits for 2 during the combat damage step, she eliminates an opponent, if no other effects like Angel's Grace or Platinum Angel, etc are in effect.
Works exactly as intended an expected with Kaalia of the Vast. They can lookup the rulings on http://gatherer.wizards.com/ if they are still unsure, but this is 100% how it works. They've been robbing you of victories! :)
5 days ago
I would consider Kederekt Parasite, his damage might be inconsequential once the angels/dragons/demons start attacking.
Blade of Selves for sure, only equips one creature, and the 4 is pretty high cmc for equip, plus it doesn't allow Kaalia of the Vast to multi-tigger, so not necessary. Can't equip it either during the attack, so only really myriads a creature that's survived a round or 2, which means it isn't a big enough threat probably that it matters to anyone anyway.
Victory's Herald maybe, he's good, CMC 6 for a 4/4 isn't that great, but his Lifelink is nice, it doesn't trigger off of a Kaalia of the Vast drop in though, so just for that reason could consider cutting him, but then again the next turn lifelink is appetizing. Gisela, the Broken Blade instead? or Baneslayer Angel
Not sure what you mean about Master of Cruelties? He is my #1 creature, I always Vampiric Tutor or Demonic Tutor. Kaalia of the Vast + Master of Cruelties (unblocked) = Eliminate Opponent. Not sure if you confused on this guy, but errata ruling is pretty clear.
4/15/2013 An ability that triggers when something attacks and isnt blocked triggers in the declare blockers step after blockers are declared if (1) that creature is attacking and (2) no creatures are declared to block it. It will trigger even if that creature was put onto the battlefield attacking rather than having been declared as an attacker in the declare attackers step.
6 days ago
True, yeah :) I love demons too, there are so many cards like Sire Of Insanity I want to use in decks. Always so hard to include fun cards like that. Also Master of Cruelties is frikken hilarious if he does his thaaaaang, hes also looks cool as heck
6 days ago
I agree. Add in No Mercy.
If you are playing Maralen of the Mornsong, along with the necessary Stranglehold to keep it one sided, you have no issue with tutors and combo. You should go all the way with this and play Vampiric Tutor, Enlightened Tutor, and Idyllic Tutor. Maybe add in some Transmute cards for extra tutoring, since these are often budget friendly tutor effects. Brainspoil gets you Starfield of Nyx, Sphere of Safety, Norn's Annex, Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (why aren't you running this?), and Master of Cruelties. Dimir House Guard gets you a ton of stuff, most importantly including Stranglehold, but could also get Opalescence. Dimir Machinations gets you any number of cards, most importantly including Maralen of the Mornsong, Price of Glory, and Solitary Confinement. Both Shred Memory and Netherborn Phalanx could potentially tutor up some good stuff. Add in some Group Slug enchantments for continuous pings, or some combo kill, and you have a lockout recipe. Any of the Gods in would also make nice wincons that are tutorable with any of the above tutors. If you are going strong on enchantments, both Opalescence and Starfield of Nyx turn out to be good wincons all by themselves. If you have that many enchantments, Replenish provides protection against an enchantment board wipe.
I like all the Freeze elements, it makes this into a scary Stax style taxation deck. If you are going that direction, why not add in the three best Stax pieces, Parallax Wave, Smokestack, and Tangle Wire? Lethal Vapors, Parallax Wave, and Starfield of Nyx would create a recurring board wipe for creatures, and even as a one shot, both Tangle Wire and Parallax Wave would fit in here nicely.
I also suggest thinking about lowering your curve. The cards in your list that are the highest CMC are actually not adding much to your major strategy. Trim them to make room for more efficient pieces, more tutors, and more cards that exploit the Stax/Tax theme. Also, you should think about running more ramp in the form of mana rocks. My experience is that both Stax and Pillow Fort want a curve with an average CMC somewhere around 2.5, and these archetypes also want a lot of mana rocks to power out early defensive plays. You only run two ramp cards, and your average CMC is 3.65, with a curve that tops out at 9! You will probably be waiting until turn 15 or so to get out Avacyn, Angel of Hope or Blazing Archon. Waiting that long for your defense means that it is unlikely to be doing anything for you.
Anyway, this is a very interesting deck, and a very different take on Queen Marchesa than most. I will be watching you develop it with great interest.
1 week ago
At the moment I'm doing pretty good with this deck, but I guess that'll change next weak when the Infect player and the Kaalia player are back. Setting life totals to 1 with Master of Cruelties or to 10 with Sorin Markov is just a big f*ck you to this deck...
But I know, it's far from optimized and I will try to do so over the next months or even years.