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Mind Twist Discussion
1 week ago
1 week ago
Concise list of considerations:
The Rack single target is really crappy in EDH
Wheel of Torture Same effect as The Rack except it hits everyone.
Skullcage Hits all opponents who don't have either 3 or 4 cards in hand.
Raiders' Wake Another Caress/Megrim effect, except this one makes your opponent discard if you attack.
Quest for the Nihil Stone Anyone without a hand gets domed for 5 during their upkeep...seems good.
Bloodchief Ascension Self Explanatory card
Mindcrank This is a great card in a discard centric deck.
Get rid of all of these cards Bog Rats, Carrion Rats, Deathmask Nezumi (it's a nombo with everything you're doing), Drainpipe Vermin, Gutter Skulk, Nezumi Cutthroat, Pestilence Rats, Ravenous Rats, Swarm of Rats, and Typhoid Rats.
Relentless Rats Replace all of the cards removed with these. You are not restricted to a single copy, per EDH rules, because Relentless Rats specifically states that card limitation requirements do not apply to it.
Get rid of anything that is single target discard! Especially Raven's Crime, since you don't have enough lands that you can afford to be ditching them for a single discard.
Add more things that hit everybody, such as Necrogen Mists or are renewable.
Specter's Shroud Might be worth looking into.
You need more board wipes. You have one 9 CMC board wipe with only 32 lands in the deck. The Hyper-geometric distribution doesn't give you very good odds of pulling the lands you need in order to keep the board clear. Consider Bontu's Last Reckoning, Yahenni's Expertise, Crux of Fate (which may work to your favor with all the Dargon decks running around), Damnation is a given but it's pricey, Life's Finale, Kindred Dominance, and Necromantic Selection are all decent options.
Liliana of the Dark Realms is a much better Lili for a deck like this because you need ramp and that Ult is ridiculous plus it combos with...
Let's talk about your mana base for a second...
Thirty two lands? Even for a very cavalier spell slinger deck, that is a very low amount to play. I play a Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest deck on 36 and struggle some times to reach a critical mass of mana/spells. Don't fall into the trap of "I'll cut a land for this cheap spell; it'll be fine." Again, math and probability will not be on your side in the late game, not unless you're willing to invest in Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx or Cabal Coffers. An alternative might be to run Crypt of Agadeem but it's really no substitute for those lands.
Lastly, jam a Bojuka Bog or a Scavenger Grounds or both in there for graveyard hate, along with your choice of Strip Mine, Ghost Quarter, and/or Field of Ruin because if you can't have your Crypt or Coffers, why should they?
Hope this helps, good luck!
2 weeks ago
2 weeks ago
Thank you for your time and your detailed answer! It has been very helpful.
My question regarding the mana elfs came up, because I am playing with the german highlander banlist (http://www.highlandermagic.de)
Our meta is diverse with different and changing archetypes, but I haven't seen a GB Rock around so far. Anyhow, I currently face Ux Control (Izzet, Azorius) and RDW in approx. every third match. Overall I have quite good results against the creature style midrange decks and can beat RDW. Now I want to work on the weaknesses.
Running one or two mana elfs seemed to me like an okay replacement. However, I am not sure if they'll stay longer. I just don't see replacement options for the Mox's at the moment.
I don't consider Chrome Mox and Mox Diamond, because I feel like the speed isn't really worth the card disadvantage in this archetype. I have tried different numbers of mana elfs. These work better in midrange creature decks (like Jund, Abzhan, 4c Goodstuff), where curving into 4-drop in turn 3 and then protecting your board state is the key (or in elfball decks etc.).
If you have a good advise on the replacement question, I'll be happy to hear it!
Everyone keeps telling me it's crazy not to play Deathrite Shaman, but in the end I came to the same conclusion. I prefer more solid and reliable ramp, lifegain and even graveyard hate. Some players add ABU duals just for using the flexible options of the Shaman, but I haven't really missed him so far. Personal preferences, I guess.
I can also confirm your rating of the planeswalkers, even if still kinda undecided. Vraska, Relic Seeker is out for me, too. Nissa, Vital Force was okay, but mostly ended using the +1 ability with no additional board presence. Garruk Wildspeaker is better in the previously mentioned midrange creature style decks. Sadly, he makes tokens with the -1 ability, so still unsure about him. Since the purpose of Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath is creating sustainable board presence, maybe Grave Titan could fit the role. He is one mana slower, but it's 10 power for 6 mana and provides a more aggressive strategy. After three rounds, Grave Titan and Zombies have attacked for 42 life, Ob Nixilis for 15.
I am curious to see what changes you'll make in the future.
Last but not least, I will most likely include Thrun, the Last Troll to improve the matchups against Ux control decks. Unfortunately, he has no direct ETB impact. Still, Thrun is hard to handle for other control decks and he was okay for me so far.
2 weeks ago
xEth0sx, I've finished reading the description of your Gisa deck and I think I can help you with it. I'll talk about some of my impressions about your primer first, then I'll go over some of your card choices and I'll tell you about a few cards I think should be in the deck.
As far as primers go, I'd say this one is missing a couple of important things. If I had to list them in order of relevance, I'd say that it is missing (a) a single card discussion section; (b) a section about how one should play the deck, what the deck is trying to accomplish, and how it tries to finish the game (e.g., a How to Play the Deck or a Strategy section); (c) why mono-B instead of any other color or color combination?; and (d) why Gisa? There might be other things but those are the items that came to my mind. I get that maybe you've just started writing this primer but moving forward, I believe it would be important to address these issues.
Now, let's talk about the exciting stuff, namely the decklist. The idea to use Ghoulcaller Gisa as a stax commander is an interesting one. It punishes spot removal and it takes advantage of creatures with a recursion ability to make even more creatures, which in turn can be used for stax pieces (e.g., Contamination, Smokestack) and hit face. I like the idea but why did you choose Gisa?
As a mono-B player, you'll need to be proactive about making it hard for your opponents to combo off because you don't have the luxury of running permission spells. The stax plan is very good here and I can see you are also playing a few disruption spells. A+ here. The only strange choice is Cabal Therapy. The sac ability might come handy at times but seems too situational. Duress is hands down a better choice, and I'd consider running Hymn to Tourach and Mind Twist as well. In the same vein, I'd even consider running Ill-Gotten Gains, too. It has great synergy with Waste Not and Leyline of the Void, and if you manage resolve it in the early game, it will set all your opponents back quite a lot (and it's also an additional yard recursion). It's a very versatile card that should be in every mono-B deck in my opinion.
On the stax package, I'd favor Infernal Darkness over Contamination hands down, or play both. Contamination shuts down your own coffers and it is more situational than Inf Darkness--that is, if you can cast darkness, you can keep it going for at least 2 turns, but if you can cast Contamination, you can only keep it going it you can also sac creatures. I understand the role of Tenacious Dead and Reassembling Skeleton but in my mind, I think you could remove both of them and if you really need an alternative, add something like Ophiomancer. Similar to Bitterblossom, Ophio doesn't require you to keep spending mana to create a creature.
One thing I feel you are missing is mana doublers. One advantage of playing a mono colored deck is that it makes it easier to run mana doublers, such as Extraplanar Lens, Bubbling Muck, and Crypt Ghast. If you go that route, you can get additional value with Candelabra of Tawnos (someone suggested before) and I'd also run Snow-Covered Swamps instead.
I have additional suggestions (e.g., Jet Medallion, Snuff Out, Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed, Innocent Blood) but I don't want to make this comment longer than it is. I have a competitive Erebos list (Erebos' Bargain) that might give you a few additional ideas on how to improve your own list. Feel free to check it. Anyway, good stuff you have here. Keep working on it and good luck on future games!
2 weeks ago
Hey, welcome to TappedOut. Very nice build for your first Commander deck.
Consider decreasing the avg. CMC of the deck to 3.0 to start; currently it's 3.9. Cutting a lot of higher casting cost cards will make Scarab more powerful because then you can have a better established battlefield of Zombies before you play him. Scarab is a very mana hungry Commander because he costs five to cast and then four to use his ability each time. Once he's in play your mana is really tied up, dedicated to using his four mana exile ability.
Cards to consider cutting:
- Rise of the Dark Realms
- Decree of Pain
- Rooftop Storm
- Noosegraf Mob
- Gempalm Polluter
- Risen Executioner
- Syphon Mind
Zombie tribal is fun, but you say that you're playing against seasoned competitive players with competitive decks then after a while playing against them with this deck think about how it can be more competitive. The most competitive ability of Scarab is not it's opponents life loss and scry ability equal to the number of Zombies, but it's ability to exile and make a 4/4 copy of a creature from any graveyard.
This exile works with any creature not just Zombies. You could instead of playing Zombies play a deck stuffed full of value creatures with great enter the battlefield (ETB) abilities because in theory you'll get to use these ETB abilities twice. The first time the creature enters play and then again when it's exiled and copied with Scarab.
Value creatures like weak fliers such as Baleful Strix, Mulldrifter, Vendilion Clique who then become 4/4s. Creatures who let you reuse a spell like Torrential Gearhulk and Snapcaster Mage. Others such as Champion of Wits, Hostage Taker and Gilded Drake or great finishers like Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur.
You can then support these creatures, Scarab and overall strategy with more control: draw, draw/discard, removal, counterspells and hand disruption.
Good luck with your deck.
3 weeks ago
Hey, it's been awhile since I played this type of deck but personally I think 4 Lake of the Dead is going to be painful, 2 or 3 would be my preference personally. I'd throw in some Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx since it and obliterator are such friends.
4 weeks ago
Pyromancer's Goggles is a sick card for this kind of deck as well. Pair it with Fall of the Titans to instantly win games, or with Rakdos's Return to win multiplayer games. And for some more disruption, which is always a good thing, you might look to Mind Twist or Hymn to Tourach.