Night of Souls' Betrayal
All creatures get -1/-1.
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Night of Souls' Betrayal Discussion
4 days ago
@AtomicEmpire Yo, welcome to Esper! I can certainly talk about those points:
Playing 3 Verdict is totally fine, but I prefer 4 because it hedges way better against Lingering Souls decks (like Abzan midrange/Death's Shadow, Esper Shadow/mirror), Eldrazi, Merfolk, and GW Creature decks. Against all of the creature/synergy decks, you need some kind of boardwipe to stabilize (and oftentimes multiple, hence why I'm playing the set), and against Edlrazi you can typically afford to tap out for Verdict since they're likely on a one-threat-at-a-time type of gameplan (or they're on Bant and commit multiple Heirarchs, Skyspawners, Reshapers, Drowner+tokens etc.). It's also worth noting that Verdict is the only uncounterable removal spell in the decks against the opponents with blue, and thus dodges Negate and more fringy-but-relevant options like Unified Will/Stubborn Denial.
Again, playing 2x Secure the Wastes over Zenith is also totally servicable (it's actually still being debated over on the MTGS forum literally right now), but Zenith has a few advantages over Secure that break the argument for me:
- Zenith isn't at all graveyard reliant. Part of the utility of Secure is playing it early and Snapping it back later, but it's a much weaker wincon if your opponent plays Rest in Peace or Grafdigger's Cage -- cards which Esper with Zenith can literally just ignore. I've won so many games without my graveyard I can't keep count.
- Zenith takes up 1 less mainboard slot than playing 2x Secure would, and Esper doesn't actually have a lot of free slots. By the way, if you play Secure I highly recommend you play 2.
- Zenith shuffles back in, meaning you literally have infinite shots at winning with it, within reasonable time. (For the same reason, you also can't deck, by the way. I've won multiple games against Abzan CoCo opponents at infinite life by simply casting Zenith every turn to make a physical roadblock while decking them.)
- Zenith is more resilient to hate such as Night of Souls' Betrayal and Jace, Architect of Thought, cards that do crop up from time to time.
- Zenith produces more power in the late game than Secure does, so a topdecked Zenith is usually far better.
The first 3 are my main reasons for playing Zenith, mainly the recasting part and dodging grave-hate part.
As for Path-v-Push split, I am solidly in favor of 4x Path/2x Push because Push can't effectively answer Kitchen Finks, Wurmcoil Engine, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, World Breaker, Voice of Resurgence, Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Gurmag Angler, Bloodghast, Prized Amalgam, Reality Smasher, Matter Reshaper etc. These types of cards pop up so often that there's no doubt in my mind that 4x Path is correct. Also, Kolaghan's Command is much less of a problem when you're exiling their creatures.
As for why I play Blessed Alliance instead of the 3rd Push, it's mainly for diversity -- BA can answer a few of the above-listed cards that Push can't (mainly the Eldrazi and delve threats), but it also serves as lifegain/creature removal against Burn to mitigate drawing the "wrong side" of the deck. If I could make room for a 2nd, I would. (In fact, I actually usually play 2x Snapcasters and 2x Blessed Alliance.)
5 days ago
You know that you can cast Fatal Push starting on turn 1. Murderous Cut requires 4 cards in the graveyard plus a mana, which you most likely won't have when Tarmogoyf drops on turn 2. If you Small Pox before hand, you can then kill anything with a casting cost of 4. Night of Souls' Betrayal helps vs fairies and other weenies like tokens. I also run 2 Damnation in my sideboard. Geier Reach Sanitarium works with Waste Not. I also like Flaying Tendrils to deal with graveyard shenanigans.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago
I'm sure you haven't thought about this one in years, but if you like janky enchantment combos, you might consider Moat, Mystic Decree, and Gravity Sphere to go along with your Island Sanctuary and a Counterbalance to combo with your Scroll Rack and Sensei's Divining Top. Not sure what you'd ditch for those, since your other pillow fort cards are pretty solid. Maybe Meishin, the Mind Cage, Price of Glory, Night of Souls' Betrayal, and Act of Authority?
3 weeks ago
I'm working on a deck built around Death Cloud too using Saffron Olive's budget build as the base.
Couple of suggestions based on what I've used in my deck that I'm feeling good about so far.
Tasigur, the Golden Fang - might be a consideration as he is a significant threat that can be resolved fairly easily after a hefty Death Cloud with only one or two lands left in play thanks to Delve. His ability also gives you some limited recursion on your cards should you manage to stick enough lands later on.
Blooming Marsh - might be a worthwhile consideration as a relatively budget two colour land, the reason I like this one is that as you are quite often sacrificing your own lands this can often enter untapped, whereas something like Woodland Cemetery has to be played tapped if you don't have any basics in play. Could make a fair difference tempo wise after the Death Cloud hits.
The removal package you have seems pretty decent, I'd maybe replace the Murderous Cut with a Fatal Push because it's much easier to cast early game and Revolt can be triggered by your Sakura-Tribe Elders.
I'm not sold on a Night of Souls' Betrayal either although I've seen a lot of builds run it, part of me feels like I'd rather just have a second Curse of Death's Hold as the Night can shut off your own Sakura-Tribe Elder's. But that's my two cents anyway. Love the idea of the Death Cloud deck and good luck with yours.
1 month ago
This looks really sweet! I've built a Marchesa stax deck using much the same strategy of directing people away from me, but with a much more oppressive spin and I've found it works fairly well.
Even if you don't want to go full on asshat with cards like Lethal Vapors/Possessed Portal/Smokestack, as I have in my deck, there are some cards you might want to take a look at if you're going more for a game where the other players kill each other rather than kill you. And I will most certainly take some inspiration from this deck and apply it to my own!
Island Sanctuary is a very powerful way to stop people getting at you when playing Marchesa since you're not as dependent on the draw step for getting your cards if you can hold on to being the monarch or just draw cards some other way. Windborn Muse is a slightly worse Ghostly Prison since it's a creature. Maze of Ith and Mystifying Maze are both good utility lands for disincentivising attacks against you and Glacial Chasm straight up makes it impossible. Also if you're going for a planeswalker sub-theme you might want to consider Chandra, Torch of Defiance since her two +1's offer both card draw and ramp that may be quite welcome.
Some borderline oppressive cards, or rather oppressive cards that are not insanely oppressive, might be worth a look as well. These cards may however be too much for your taste as they stop players from doing stuff all the time rather than only hurt them when they try to hurt you. Humility basically makes any good creatures non-existent without putting them back in hands or graveyards, a kind of semi-exile I guess. It also combos hilariously with Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite or Night of Souls' Betrayal by making it impossible for your opponents to have any creatures. Torpor Orb and Hushwing Gryff stop very large amounts of edh decks from doing what they want to do. Grand Abolisher, Defense Grid and Price of Glory make it costly or impossible to do stuff on other people's turns.
If you want to explore the dark side of magic the gathering and want tips on really nasty stuff let me know, it takes its player and its play group but staxing out is really fun in the right setting!
1 month ago
I'm loving the idea, have you considered Marrow Shards/Rain of Blades/Thunderstaff? Its a little faster than secure the wastes for trading, although it can't handle swan song/pongify. Black has access to the terrifying Night of Souls' Betrayal which would make this really kick butt, and give Esper Charm and Flaying Tendrils access, but that makes the mana tricky. Palace Guard has potential, but I'd rather see some Condemn as spot removal. Darksteel Mutation also exists, but grants indestructable. Searing Light exists, but i'm feeling like that would trade poorly compared to Arrow Volley Trap.Blade Splicer, Attended Knight and Precinct Captain would all trade well and provide a stronger creature base should you desire it.
All told, I really like the idea and list.
1 month ago
Interesting list, so +1, this is the list I ran a little while ago for Sultai
4 Abrupt Decay1 Breeding Pool3 Courser of Kruphix2 Creeping Tar Pit3 Darkslick Shores1 Dismember2 Forest3 Inquisition of Kozilek1 Island4 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Flip3 Liliana of the Veil1 Maelstrom Pulse2 Misty Rainforest1 Murderous Cut2 Overgrown Tomb2 Polluted Delta2 Profane Command2 Scavenging Ooze4 Serum Visions2 Swamp4 Tarmogoyf2 Tasigur, the Golden Fang3 Thoughtseize1 Twilight Mire4 Verdant Catacombs1 Watery Grave