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Merchant Scroll Discussion
4 days ago
Hey I've been playing Kess, Dissident Mage since she was released and I love her. Some simple changes you could make to your deck are as follows-
- Kess, Dissident Mage loves instants and sorceries more than creatures, she especially loves Tutors and "cantrip's" (spells that do an effect and then replace themselves) since she can cast them twice they become card advantage. You have many cheap options I would add Gitaxian Probe, Ponder, Preordain, Impulse, Opt and maybe Serum Visions and Brainstorm for cantrips and Gamble, Dark Petition possibly Merchant Scroll, Beseech the Queen and Mystical Tutor for tutors. The cantrips will also help you hit early land drops.
- Your mana curve is pretty scary for a deck with only 29 lands you need to take that down a bit or add more lands probably do both. Decks with 29 lands run all the cantrips and have a average CMC of around 2 not 3.5
- You have Windfall how about a Notion Thief? Its quite powerful when flashed in in response to someones draw spell.
- The dragon theme doesnt make any sense and is very counter intuitive to what your deck is trying to do. You should probably cut all the dragons and dragon related spells.
- My favorite win condition for Kess, Dissident Mage is using Aetherflux Reservoir and Isochron Scepter with Dramatic Reversal to cast infinite spells and gain infinite life. If you went that rout adding Fabricate, Muddle the Mixture maybe Shred Memory and Whir of Invention would probably be a good idea.
- I think you could also probably cut The Locust God, Skullclamp and Unstable Obelisk instead of those add Dimir Signet and hopefully Talisman of Indulgence, Talisman of Dominance and for draw add cards like Fact or Fiction, Manifold Insights or Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise. You can add Faithless Looting and Frantic Search to preload the graveyard to pay for the last two spells.
- Dark Petition, Dark Ritual and Cabal Ritual are great mana producing spells for Kess, Dissident Mage
your counter magic suite is a little weak you probably want Chain of Vapor, Swan Song, Counterspell, Delay and Dispel along with Negate. take out any counterspell that cost more than 2 mana.
- Baral, Chief of Compliance is super good at reducing the cost of your spells as well. With him add Red Elemental Blast and Pyroblast depending on meta.
- These changes will make you weaker to creatures run Reality Shift, Snap, Rapid Hybridization, Fire Covenant and Earthquake
1 week ago
I'm gonna list a few cards that you could need room for as well:
1 week ago
Take out: Gut Shot, Mutagenic Growth, Mystical Tutor, Merchant Scroll, Enigma Drake, Spellheart Chimera, Vivid Crag.
Add: Delver of Secrets Flip, Remand, Electrolyze, Grim Lavamancer, and maybe Condescend and Shard Volley or Rift Bolt or Searing Blaze which ever one you prefer. If you got the money Goblin Guide, Cryptic Command, and more Snapcaster Mage's. Sideboard could use some of these Spell Snare, Breaking Point, Flames of the Blood Hand, Sudden Shock and maybe Vendilion Clique and/or a Bribery to steal Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Progenitus from an opponents deck. Guile Is a cool card as well.
2 weeks ago
Copy Artifact and Winds of Rebuke offer a win condition alongside an Isochron Scepter with Dramatic Reversal. I get that will generally already be making infinite mana which gets you where you need to be, but the additions seem pretty free to me. Winds of Rebuke gives you interaction (albeit mediocre interaction) while Copy Artifact can copy one of your mana rocks if you don't have Scepter. Merchant Scroll tutors up either Winds of Rebuke or Dramatic Reversal to pair with your Scepter or even Pact of Negation as a free protection spell on your combo turn. Dark Petition is another great tutor that could see play here. You're playing enough spells that turning on Spell Mastery should be inconsequential.
I haven't played your deck, obviously, but does Paradox Engine feel clunky to you? The CMC seems rather high for what you're trying to achieve.
1 month ago
It's not that Thought Scouris bad, but I don't believe it is better than the other cantrips in this deck. The Merchant Scroll are for redundancy(Gifts Ungiven 5,6) and it is a toolbox that let's me run a diverse sideboard(Hurkyl's Recall+Repeal are Fetchable). If I can resolve a Gifts Ungiven with 3 mana floating, I essentially win barring hate.
1 month ago
I forgot to mention, between low block potential and very high cmc, all 3 bolas cards are too slow and only really get one activation for soo much mana
But what ive noticed as i put money into the deck is it does best when played like storm, casting rocks and rituals and a pain spell and then chaining wheels for spike damage, the cumulative upkeep stuff is rather slow and really draws hate from opponents before you can kill them, and you are forcefeeding draw but you dont necessarily want them to use the cards you let them draw,
Price of Knowledge is ok, but in order to achieve the speed for storm, its really hard on the mama base, the only card above 6 cmc i run in mine is Kozilek, Butcher of Truth or Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, and i never cast them they're only as a more useful Library of Leng
On top of being able to chain wheels after sticking a 1-4 cmc pain enchantment like Liliana's Caress Underworld Dreams or a discard/draw/combo engine 4-6 cmc like Dream Halls, Waste Not Rhystic Study, playing dimir colors means you have access to the best tutors for wheels and graveyard recursion, ive found that filling my graveyard by discarding wheels as a massive secondary hand and then either resetting the mill with the eldrazi titan while milling opponents out often removes the need for Library of Leng, but its a good card to learn the deck in the sense it teaches you what you want to keep or discard during wheels, plus if you have 50 cards in graveyard casting a Yawgmoth's Will or Mizzix's Mastery usually wins me the game with either 300-500 burst damage or decking opponents
Theres plenty of budget ways to recast wheels and other important spells from the graveyard you usually can fill up relatively fast
Non budget versions would be
Tutors really help you with getting the enchantments, protection or wheels you need to gain the lead, ill start with budget
Better but more expensive options
1 month ago
1 month ago
Alright, we can work with that. However, looking through the list, you'll need a lot of changes.
Let's start with the mana base.
I find most of your land choices questionable at best. I like that you started on a few of your shocks, so you're heading in the right direction there. The only other lands you're running I'd keep are Mana Confluence, Command Tower, City of Brass, and the 1x of each basic. You'll want to add the original duals (Tundra, Underground Sea, Tropical Island, Scrubland, Savannah, and Bayou) and all 10 fetchlands. This will bring us to 29 lands, leaving up to 3 slots for meta decision utility lands. I wouldn't go above 32 total, though. I also personally use Maze of Ith in every deck, but that's preference. I won't be counting those three slots in my running card total.
Next is your ramp. I like that you have Sol Ring and Birds of Paradise, but we can do more. You already have Simic Signet, but I suggest getting all the others, especially the blue ones (Dimir Signet, Azorius Signet, Golgari Signet, Orzhov Signet, Selesnya Signet). We can also run Mana Crypt, Mox Opal, Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox, Mana Vault, Talisman of Dominance, Talisman of Progress, and Talisman of Unity. Then, we start looking at fleshing out your mana dorks. Deathrite Shaman, Llanowar Elves, Fyndhorn Elves, Arbor Elf, Elvish Mystic, and Elves of Deep Shadow should all go in. Finally, Carpet of Flowers to get ahead of other blue players.
On to the tutors.
For card advantage:
Current card count: 69.
This is where it gets interesting. I like Cyclonic Rift, Swords to Plowshares, and Winter Orb, but, as before, we can add to those. Abrupt Decay, Mana Drain, Force of Will, Flusterstorm, Counterspell, Mental Misstep, Silence, Negate, Dispel, and Angel's Grace can all find a home here. We can also run Smokestack, tanglewire, Nether Void, The Abyss, Arcane Laboratory, and Notion Thief.
Card total: 87.
I don't see any in your list, so this is a new category. We'll start with the basics. Brainstorm, Ponder, Preordain, and Gitaxian Probe. With the best wincons I can prescribe, you'll also want Gush and Night's Whisper.
Card total: 93
Card total: 96.
Or we can not call it competitive. Usually a cheaper option.