Thank you, SaberTech, for giving me a different view on my deck!
For now, I don't have lots of problems with mana, but I guess with more (flash) angel cards I will
That's only three more mana cards. Might not be enough yet. I think I will look at the lands again when having changed the rest.
Cards I could remove in my opinion:
Back to suggestions of SaberTech:
Adarkar Valkyrie is nice (I got boardwipe and can steal creatures)
Stonecloaker saves me one possible artifact exile
Lightning Greaves aswell
Other cards I found by other suggestions:
Suture Priest - Life gain - Perfect against some Myr combos of my opponents
Orim's Prayer - Life gain
Well of Lost Dreams - Card draw by Life gain
Cauldron of Souls - counter wipe, although too expensive to fit into this deck I think, I would need to remove other cards for space
End Game drops
I'm going to respond to the posts in order.
@MagicalHacker, post 1:
Dark Ritual is advantageous precisely because it allows for explosive plays. Although it isn't ideal in the situations you mentioned, being able to cast Damia two turns earlier than I normally would or being able to drop a Necropotence off of one black source is a powerful thing. Also, Damia's draw ability plays nicely with single-use cards. I don't pack the deck with them, but counterspells and ramp spells are much safer if they're being replaced so often.
Flusterstorm and Spell Pierce are for winning counter wars. They're strong because they offer a lot of protection for only when time and resources are tight. Spell Pierce is also a viable early-game option if I really need to stop a threat ASAP.
Memory Lapse is here largely because it's the next best 2-drop counterspell, and because it helps delay commander recasts. It's not the greatest or most viable counterspell, though, and it's probably the one I'd replace first.
Stifle is for those cases where I can't stop the spell itself either because the spell is or would have been uncounterable (Boseiju, Who Shelters All is a pain, but its ability can be countered if necessary) or because I wasn't able to respond to a permanent spell when it was cast. It also helps deal with DTAs that I don't want to allow resolve.
I run nine fetches because it maximizes consistency and allows me to make explosive plays with Lotus Cobra or Crucible of Worlds. Anti-search effects really aren't all that prevalent once you get to the competitive level; you're most likely to encounter them if someone's playing a dedicated group slug or punisher deck, and most competitive players don't. And since a quarter of my lands are fetches, there's a strong chance I'll always draw the lands I actually want or a way to get them fairly quickly. As for deck/land thinning, that's not really a problem. Statistically, the numbers are already pretty insignificant in 60-card alone. In EDH, they're not really worth considering. I'd much rather have the guarantee of consistency than a minutely higher probability of drawing another land (that might not even be the one I need).
By contrast, the alternative land choices aren't spectacular. I could theoretically justify running the check lands, but I wouldn't run the RAV karoos (too slow and vulnerable) or the temples (too slow). The filters, another common go-to, are also a bit too clunky for my tastes. I don't like color sources that are only color sources if you buy in every time.
Mystic Remora is good because it basically draws me cards or screws my opponents' tempo without me having to do or pay much. It's always a win-win. For , I can either draw cards, hinder someone's tempo, or both for a turn cycle. I actually rarely pay the upkeep cost more than once; I'm perfectly alright with paying it zero or one time and just reaping the benefits for a turn or two before moving on with my strategy. I can usually generate enough advantage in that turn to make it justifiable.
Disdainful Stroke is interesting, and I would need to test it before I say yes or no. I generally try to avoid CMC-based counterspells, though. They tend to be just a bit too inflexible, especially in a format with such widely varied strategies.
Muddle the Mixture has been in the back of my mind for some time, but I haven't been able to properly test it because I play so infrequently now. I think the card speaks for itself, so I won't go into the justification.
I strongly dislike CMC 3+ counterspells because they eat up too many resources and generally don't offer enough advantage to justify it. I'd rather play a cheaper counterspell like Remand, even if it isn't a hard counter or has some limitation, than play a counterspell like Cancel or Dream Fracture, even if it's more flexible or offers some other kind of advantage.
Glen Elendra Archmage was cut a little while ago because it's just too expensive to be convenient. It's one of those cards that I really want to make work, but it's best suited to a tuned environment rather than a competitive one (the difference being that tuned decks are a little slower and more forgiving; tuned is the bridge between true casual and true competitive).
Rhystic Study was cut some time ago because it just costs too much. It's too expensive to come down on the first turn or two without severely disrupting my other plays, and it's easier to play around than its cousin, Mystic Remora.
Mind Stone isn't here because it costs . That might seem a bit picky, but I don't think the advantage is really worth cutting something else when I have more powerful ramp rocks already.
Scroll Rack was cut at around the same time Glen Elendra Archmage was. Although it's certainly a good card, and it does work quite well in theory with this deck (plenty of shuffle mechanics and hand filling), it never really seemed to pan out for me. It was either needed and not played because of the cost (it's something best played early so you invest less on the turn you need it, but it's prohibitively expensive for the first two turns when I'm also trying to ramp as hard as possible) or not needed at all. Like Glen Elendra Archmage, it's sadly just more viable in the tuned environment or in two- or one-color decks with fewer options.
Treachery is a good card, but I'd never be able to justify paying for it because it needs to resolve to pay for itself. The cost is a bit high for something that still needs counter protection.
I definitely respect the effort and time it took you to comment. I understand that this deck is a little tricky because the competitive environment just has certain quirks about it that completely change the viability of certain cards. It's food for thought, though, and that's all I can ask for.
@Orbrunner: I would have a stronger opinion about it if I played the deck more often. Sadly, I don't often have the chance to play (I'm normally limited to a few times per year at this point). Part of me is inclined to agree with you, though. As the deck has gotten faster, cards like JTMS have proved good, but underwhelming enough to warrant replacement. The nice thing about JTMS, though, is that Brainstorm is a very powerful ability to continually use with as many shuffle effects as I have, and it presents enough of a threat to creature-based strategies to draw some removal.
Interesting and wholly valid points on both sides. I think my earlier comments (as in the ones in this post) help to answer the fetch-related questions, but let me know if I should clarify anything. Same for Mystic Remora.
I'd suggest having more morphstuffs since only having one creature will mean that people who have seen it before know what it is. Bane of the Living is the one I'd want.
I'm not sure that Blood Seeker is too bad. He can do some damage to people rocking token strategies and he can get pulled back by Driver of the Dead. Need a decent number of targets if Driver is gonna be worth it.
Dude, I firmly recommend adding some more lands. Right now you're at 33 with a few expensive/situational dorks, a couple rocks, and a couple ramp spells. Having played hundreds of EDH decks and thousands of games, I can say that I have only had 1-2 decks that have successfully played so few (and their avg cmc was around the 1.5 point). I can not stress it enough, RUN THE LANDS. There are a few mana sources that wouldn't even make it more likely that you get flooded, like Horizon Canopy, Mind Stone, and Commander's Sphere.
tl;dr: lands are sweet
Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker is an interesting choice for a Commander. Where most generals tend to have a utility or aggressive function, she's more of a "rattlesnake" card that encourages opponents to attack someone else. It makes for an neat change in design focus.
I have a few suggestions for the deck but I think they may come from a different play style than what your deck is currently being building towards, so take my opinions with a gain of salt.
The most exciting aspect that I see in having Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker as a commander is that she makes your opponents really consider "Is this attack going to be worth the cards it will cost me?" and I would aim to play that up for all that it's worth. You already have cards like Karmic Justice and Forcefield to play up the defensive angle, and you have cards like Vedalken Orrery and Masako the Humorless that enable surprises that mess with your opponent's combat math. I think that both of those aspects of your deck can be developed further.
Your deck would benefit from Martyr's Bond as another way to make combat potentially very costly for your opponents. It That Betrays would also feed off of your deck's theme and messes with any sacrifice strategies your opponents try to employ. Crackdown would make opponents rethink attacking you if you are looking to keep pushing a defensive build. Adarkar Valkyrie's ability would give you a way to influence which creatures your opponent decides to sacrifice or just save your own creatures.
I think that you could also include more cards that allow you to keep your opponent's guessing. Creatures with Flash would work really well. Stonecloaker can function as repeat graveyard control or a way to save a creature. Restoration Angel lets you lure in attacks and then turn around the board state to make the attack costly for your opponent. Angel of the Dire Hour and Sunblast Angel both make attacks against you far more costly than the opponent suspected.
Those suggestions aside though, Your deck would really benefit from more artifact mana ramp. Sol Ring, Mind Stone, Thran Dynamo, Mana Vault, Coalition Relic, etc. Mono white has powerful spells but has a hard time racing decks that run green mana ramp. Every little bit helps you hit your high cost angels that much sooner.
Hey there! It's a strange feeling being asked to look through this deck for suggestions, both a bit intimidating and a bit of an honor, but I'll give it my best.
So first off, the decks I've built over the years are all synergistic machines designed to increase in their (non infinite) combos as the game goes on, so I've had to design a flowchart with regards to which commanders I can recommend to others to try out. I'm not going to bore you with the details unless you're interested, but the relevant part of my flowchart for this conversation is the fact that I discovered that any commander can be the commander of a control deck if the control aspect of the deck itself is good enough. Sure, some of them are a LOT better than others (Damia & Medomai are some examples), but the control archetype is powerful enough in edh that ultimately the commander doesn't matter. So my upper limit for the CMC of a commander to build around is 5, so that the synergy in the deck can be maintained by recasting the commander even if someone targets it over and over. Because the commander is pretty irrelevant in a control deck, this upper limit doesn't count, but a control deck doesn't usually have a center synergy, so I never built those control decks.
That said, I do have opinions on what would be good cards to remove and what would be good cards to include. I haven't kept up with this deck, so my apologies if I suggest cards that have already been attempted.
Cards that I feel could be taken out:
I know that your commander can refill your hand quickly, but there are lots of cards that either always generate card disadvantage or do that every so often in this deck. The main ones I don't like are Dark Ritual (yes, I know it makes for explosive plays, but when you're drawing for an answer/late game/when your commander is been tucked, is it really worth the cost? I'd say not), Flusterstorm & Spell Pierce (being limited both by types of spells it can counter AND only countering spells when people tap out, which happens more in early game, there are better counterspells out there imo), Memory Lapse (again, better counterspells out there since hurting one players draw doesn't do much in multiplayer), and Stifle (I'd rather just counter the spell).
The only issue is that there might not be spells good enough to replace those. I know a few, but not a lot.
I also think that running all 9 fetch lands in your colors is rather risky. Edh is a format about getting lots of mana, so not quite sure why you would want to thin your deck of lands while opening yourself up to being land screwed by possible shuffle hosing (unless you're literally the only one who uses fetches, so no one runs shuffle hosing like Aven Mindcensor, Stranglehold, Leonin Arbiter, Shadow of Doubt, or Mindlock Orb). Sure, you always fix your colors, but is there really a lack of dual lands for your colors? The Theros block temples can actually get you to your answers one turn earlier and Ravnica block karoos can generate card advantage, but if you don't like taplands, you could easily go down to the three fetches in two of your colors and run buddy lands and filterlands for extra color fixing.
Lastly, I know that Mystic Remora CAN generate card advantage, but having to pay 4 mana for noncreatures is such a tax that smart opponents will most likely not cast noncreatures until you can't manage the upkeep of it (unless they can counter something game winning). I've never been afraid of it and I've never been tempted to use it. If anything, it reinforces opponents to not over extend. Then again, I may have just seen my metagame's reaction to it as the rare "ok guys, don't cast noncreatures, let's hurt the control player" response.
Cards that I feel could have a home here:
There are lots of cards that are rather similar to cards you are already running (or just counterspells), and may be worth taking another look at, and these are Disdainful Stroke ("counter target scary spell" for an easier cost than counterspell), Dream Fracture (counterspell plus draw a card and keep politics okay), Exclude (two-for-one counterspell for three mana), Muddle the Mixture (counterspell or tutor for Phantasmal Image, Snapcaster Mage, Cyclonic Rift, etc.), Spell Crumple (another Hinder), Rewind (because a free counterspell is pretty awesome!), Glen Elendra Archmage (card advantage plus synergy with Deadeye Navigator), Rhystic Study (one of the best cards to draw cards from my experience because it's only three mana), Mind Stone (early game it's ramp, late game it's a can trip, and it's cheap enough to simply replace a land), and Scroll Rack (because it's better than Sensei's Divining Top when you have more than three cards in your hand, which I'm guessing happens a lot).
Also, I really want to make an argument for Treachery because of the fact that it's a way to both remove a threat AND get a threat that needs to be answered with a net mana of 0.
Sorry for the excessive use of parentheses, and sorry if I wasn't of much help, but I hope it's evident that I gave my best for the suggestions I made.
You'll want Scourglass as well as an instant field clear just in case as well as Myojin of Cleansing Fire. In addition you can set these off when you play Avacyn to gain control of the board state. Angelic Skirmisher and Sublime Archangel can make Avacyn more dangerous as well as set you up for getting lethal damage in.
I'd drop single target removal for mana rocks and field clears. This will allow you to both play Avacyn as early as turn 3-4 if done right and begin a lethal blast of fire and brimstone on your opponents as they try to save themselves from God's hand.
I strongly recommend trying to switch 2-3 lands out for some artifact mana like Mind Stone, Charcoal Diamond, Wayfarer's Bauble, Coldsteel Heart, Solemn Simulacrum and/or Coalition Relic. Decks with few mana ramp opportunities fall behind quickly, so it's best to have an explosive start and stay on top mana-wise.
There's really no reason to run Everglades, it's simply bad. It is very very slow, doesn't give you any real advantages and it's a great target for things like Strip Mine, Tectonic Edge, Wasteland or even Ghost Quarter (and most players are playing at least some of these lands).
Best black card in edh: Demonic Tutor every black deck should have one.
|0.5 TIX||0.5 TIX|
|Avg. draft pick||2.96|
|Avg. cube pick||8.9|
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Duel Decks: Jace vs. Chandra||Uncommon|