|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Guilds of Ravnica (GRN)||Common|
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Surveil 2, then draw two card. Notion Rain deals 2 damage 2 you. (To surveil 2, look at the top two cards of your library, then put any number of them into your graveyard and the rest on top of your library in any order.)
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Notion Rain Discussion
4 days ago
6 days ago
You may want to consider Angelic Renewal in this deck. The way it works with Evoke, you pay the Evoke cost, and by sacrificing Renewal, you get to keep the creature, as well as the ETB when returns to the battlefield. I've run the interaction in Pauper decks, and it's hilarious to do things like turn-2 Renewal, turn-3 Mulldrifter to draw 4 and get a 2/2 flier. You can do similar things by exiling the creature before it's sacrificed with Parallax Wave , Deadeye Navigator , Roon of the Hidden Realm , and Endless Sands . If you like that plan, I would include AEthersnipe and Walker of the Grove , too.
I'm also a little confused as to why you're not running Scapeshift in a Gates deck, especially one full of Landfall creatures. Other good land-fetch cards include Skyshroud Claim , Hunting Wilds , Ranger's Path , Wood Elves , Krosan Verge , Nature's Lore , and Karametra, God of Harvests , all of which fetch your Shocklands.
Path of Ancestry is fantastic in tribal decks, and it is an absolute staple in 5-color tribal decks.
The final thing I would do is include some looting effects and self mill that won't put your Gates in the yard, since your commander wants expensive Elementals to reanimate. Kiora, Master of the Depths and Mulch could be good on the mill side, and Faithless Looting , Frantic Search , Greater Good (You can sac Evoked elementals in response to the trigger! Value!), Sultai Charm , and Chart a Course are all good for looting. Also, Surveil can help to fill the yard, as well. Try Notion Rain and Price of Fame (Good for killing Commanders!).
As for cuts, I would lose Brighthearth Banneret (land ramp is just better most of the time), Fertilid (7-mana Explosive Vegetation is bad, even if it has recursion), Rubblehulk (no ability, so it'll just get chumped for days. Run Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar if you want the land-count effect), and Tyrant of Discord (too expensive for a random effect).
1 month ago
Great deck, I enjoy playing it!
A modification I found useful is mainboarding 4 Disinformation Campaigns instead of Notion Rain and Lazav, the Multifarious, and replacing the Thief of Sanitys with Fell Specters. There's a surprising amount of discard in here with that modification, and the Fell Specters give it a little more oomph with a minimal impact on surveil
1 month ago
Pretty cool build!
My first suggestion would be to go up to at least 24 lands. I would also replace the Opts with Chart a Course since this kind of deck would benefit more from card draw than selection. You could also do Notion Rain And Discovery / Dispersal and run Blood Operative.
A bit pricey, but Twilight Prophet seems perfect for you!
2 months ago
basicallyrob was originally a finisher in V1 of this. Was only Dimir then and with the dual lands and Navigator's Compass it was a huge benefit in here. Let alone devastating on turn 3 to see out. Very consistent too being I had more artifacts and way to fetch artifacts in V1. Main basis was tezz and The Antiquities War with Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp and Phylactery Lich as my fat bodies. A dimir only version of this would still be very streamlined especially with Notion Rain and Discovery for surveil out there.
2 months ago
I'm really enjoying the idea of this deck! The only things that I have qualms with right now is the lack of sacrifice fodder and the lack of surveil effects. I think this may stem from a conflict of interests. The deck seems to be trying to capitalize on both it's milling/surveiling effects (Disinformation Campaign) and the fact that it sacrifices creatures (Open the Graves).
This becomes problematic in that the focus of the deck is now split. Think about it this way, I'm going to state what the focus of the deck is and you can determine whether that's the direction that the deck is going or not:
Surveil The Grave aims to use the mechanic of surveil to pitch large creatures into the graveyard, and then return them to the battlefield using recursion. The primary engine for recursion is the use of Reassembling Skeleton and Whisper, Blood Liturgist.
The key here is that sacraficing creatures with Whisper is just a method to achieve the goal of the deck so all other cards should serve to further the goal of the deck (Doom Whisperer) rather than try to capitalize on a side effect of the deck's engine (Open the Graves, Midnight Reaper)
In theory you can sacrifice the creatures you're recurring after their ETB trigger goes off but why would you want to sac such a nice body after you put in all of the work to get it out? Additionally something I would watch out for is return to hand effects like Macabre Waltz. Because they return to the hand, you'll still have to cast them, so you're not actually cheating out a creature early, you're simply searching out that card earlier and getting it into your hand when it otherwise wouldn't be.
Overall I think the deck is going in an excellent direction, it just needs a little fine tuning! I'll leave a few suggestions for cards I think could work well below, best of luck!
2 months ago
The first thing I'll say is that with 21 lands, you probably can't expect to get the mana to launch Army of the Damned or a really powerful Mind Grind or Torment of Hailfire. Well, at least without Organ Harvest, of which you're only sporting one copy. (If you don't play with teammates, or if you don't play with silver-bordered cards, you might replace it with Culling the Weak.) For reference, the math on Army of the Damned is that about 1/3 of your cards are lands = 8/24, meaning you need to survive to turn 17-18 (have seen a total of 24 cards between your opening hand and your draws each turn) to hit that 8th land. That’s a long time in a Magic game.
Second, Mind Grind, while fun, is questionable here, since none of your other cards will mill your opponent. Many people play with 4 copies of many of their cards, so milling them might not cut them off from their game plan unless you mill them so much they might die. And for that, you would need more support for the mill plan or a LOT more mana. (This is possible, but a big change. Look for cards like Glimpse the Unthinkable and Mind Funeral. Otherwise, I'd cut it for cards that affect board-state or life-totals.)
Third, your overall game plan appears to be to stall in the early game for more powerful plays late, since your low cost cards are generally defensive. This means you'll want more lands in your deck so that you don't stumble on your way to those big plays. I'd remove Coral Atoll and put in four Dimir Aqueducts. It's not the ideal play, but it's cheap and there's a lot of upside if your opponent doesn't Ghost Quarter it or something. Anyways, that will take you up to 24 lands AND increase your average mana output a little more, letting you rely on 4CMC, 5CMC, and 6CMC plays to dominate the game.
Finally, on to individual cards:
Kraken Hatchling, Mausoleum Wanderer, Pharika's Chosen, and Will-o'-the-Wisp are all fine defensive one-drops, but they all do something a little different. Thornbow Archer is a little more aggressive than the rest of your deck wants, so maybe drop it and pick your favorite of those first four and add a second.
Fogwalker is okay on defense, though it's not the best two-drop out there. I'm not a fan of Olivia's Dragon, especially outside of madness/reanimator decks. Rancid Rats just doesn't offer enough oomph for the mana (skulk is not typically a very useful ability). Graf Rats is bad unless you have Midnight Scavengers, so it's really about how much you personally want to meld them. Ultimately, I'd rather replace them with better blockers like Wall of Tears, Wall of Souls, Contraband Kingpin, Dragon's Eye Savants, Gifted Aetherborn, or the absolute top-tier Baleful Strix. Other value options include Omenspeaker, Sigiled Starfish, and Augur of Bolas. Other fun options here are Surge Mare, Riptide Mangler, Lazav, the Multifarious, Fathom Feeder, and Ludevic's Test Subject Flip. Choose your favorites. Alternately, spot-removal like Doom Blade, Victim of Night, Cast Down, Go for the Throat, and sometimes Dimir Charm are pretty effective.
Wharf Infiltrator can be good sometimes. You can leave it in for fun or replace it.
Eternal Scourge has its uses, but I don't think this deck is optimized for it. Ideally you'd want a few things that can exile it from graveyard or hand, such as Gurmag Angler, Soulflayer, Tombstalker, Scavenging Ooze, Grim Lavamancer), Azor's Gateway Flip (from hand), or the most hilarious option, Serum Powder. As it stands, it's just difficult to kill outside of combat, like a bad shroud or hexproof. Honestly, I don't think you need a 3/3 to be immune to removal. Replace with a finisher, which I'll discuss in a bit. Alternately, one of my favorite defensive 3CMC creatures is Graveblade Marauder, since its offensive capabilities can rapidly increase.
Markov Crusader isn't actually very good even in the rare case when you do have another vampire, and you only have one other one. Compare to 4CMC utility wunderkind Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, 5CMC finishers (like Archfiend of Depravity, Glyph Keeper, Ob Nixilis, the Fallen, Vengeful Pharaoh, and maybe even Serra Sphinx), and 6CMC game-winners (like Noxious Gearhulk, Dread, Kokusho, the Evening Star, Wurmcoil Engine, Grave Titan, or even Vengeant Vampire, though that last one is much worse than the others). Sure, none do exactly what Markov Crusader does, but some are close and they all have incredible upsides. Even something like Shriekmaw might ultimately gain you more life by just killing something outright, plus it's super-flexible. Heck, Soul Ransom and Mind Control are strong cards too, at least against creature decks. Anyways, Markov Crusader is a card to replace.
Midnight Scavengers is okay, especially if you have a lot of disposable deathtouchers to bring back, but it still doesn't compare favorably to the above finishers unless you really want to meld it with Graf Rats. Remember, doing things you want to do is an important part of MTG. But if you don't care to meld, I'd look to replace it.
Ob Nixilis, Unshackled is fine. In most cases it doesn't compare favorably to the 6CMC critters above, but it has its uses. If you've got a lot of little deathtouchers (Pharika's Chosen, Typhoid Rats, Dire Fleet Poisoner, it can grow really out of hand. Also, Field of Ruin forces a library search.
Elder Deep Fiend is fine. Usually you play it in a deck that has plenty of creatures you don't mind (or are better off) sacrificing (for example, Priest of the Blood Rite, Relentless Dead, Doomed Dissenter, Stormbound Geist/Geralf's Messenger), then you emerge it early and tap down lands. That's not really your plan here, so it's probably not the best choice. Some good choices for replacements are above, but within the category of emerge creatures, I think Distended Mindbender fits your deck better.
Organ Harvest is a powerful card, but has some drawbacks. Most importantly, a lot of people don't play with or against silver-bordered cards. They're not legal in any official tournaments. Tournament legal variations are Dark Ritual, Culling the Weak, and Ashnod's Altar. Other than that, it's a card that is useless in many situations and completely changes what you're able to do when you actually can make use of it, and that can be awkward from a strategy perspective. If you don't have creatures, you can't cast it. If you don't have a big spell in your hand, you don't need to cast it and you'd rather have almost any other card. So it wants your deck to be full of disposable creatures and big spells, like an emerge deck or a zombie deck really making use of Army of the Damned and From Under the Floorboards. But for the most part that is not this deck, so unless you want to build around the card, I'd remove it, either replacing it with Dark Ritual which is always useful when drawn early, or something else that's cheap and effective: Dead Weight, Apathy, Doom Blade, Pharika's Chosen, or whatever.
Sorcerous Sight is worse than Peek and Gitaxian Probe, but I don't think any of those are particularly good in your deck. If you want to know what's in your opponent's hand, play Telepathy. Otherwise, there's better card draw: Preordain and Ponder are the best cheap spells, but it might be worth spending more mana for more effect with Sign in Blood or Chart a Course.
Cemetery Recruitment isn't particularly good with so few zombies. You can add more zombies, or switch to Ghoulcaller's Chant/Find / Finality/Recover/Disturbed Burial/Death Denied to simulate the effect, or just do card advantage the old-fashioned way, with stuff like Sign in Blood/Consult the Necrosages/Read the Bones/Notion Rain/Secrets of the Golden City. Alternately, shred your opponent's hand (and lose friends) with Hymn to Tourach or punch your opponent for cards with Shadowmage Infiltrator. If you're committed to bringing creatures back from the dead, look to Zombify, Extract from Darkness, or Isareth the Awakener, which can randomly run away with the game if your opponent doesn't have an answer. The most efficient reanimation spell is Unburial Rites, but you'd need to splash white for it to be better than the above options.
Contingency Plan doesn't actually net you any cards in hand; you just control what you are going to draw later. Since you're not very graveyard-focused, there's little benefit. The more flexible version is Dimir Charm, and the more powerful version is Lim-Dul's Vault. If you want to stack the top of your deck for 2CMC without wasting a card to do it, there's Diabolic Vision, but the 1CMC Preordain and Ponder are worthy as well. Alternately, raw card advantage is an option. Any of the options I've already listed are fine, but here are some more: Chemister's Insight, Foresee, Deep Analysis.
Mind Grind attacks on an irrelevant axis. Recommend replacing it with a finisher unless you add more mill. If you want a non-creature finisher, Ob Nixilis Reignited is pretty cool. If you just want something that can't get Murdered, there's Sphinx of Jwar Isle.
Torment of Hailfire is possibly workable if you go to 24 lands with Dimir Aqueducts. X=3 is pretty much the bare minimum, and if they have cards in hand even that might not be enough. This is a possible swap for a finisher, as above.
Army of the Damned is hard to cast at 8CMC. Recommend replacing it with a cheaper finisher unless you're all about Organ Harvest.
Apathy is pretty decent at 1CMC. Probably not as good as just casting Doom Blade/Go for the Throat to kill the thing, but definitely more interesting and fun. It can stay in, though swapping it for something more reliable is technically the correct decision.
Strange Augmentation is bad in your deck. While +3/+3 for 1CMC is fine in a very aggressive deck, that doesn't seem like your game plan. Ideally, your finishers are big enough to win without the extra P/T. If they're not, these could be replaced with kill spells to make sure they are.
Tormod's Crypt is useless unless you frequently play against graveyard-based decks. Even then, with only one in the deck, you're in bad shape. I'd swap it for Relic of Progenitus or Sentinel Totem if you really need graveyard hate. If a creature is reliable against those graveyard decks, Deadeye Tracker, Nezumi Graverobber, or Withered Wretch can do some work. Agent of Erebos is another option. If the only things you need to exile are creatures, then Cemetery Reaper, Dimir Doppelganger, and the powerful Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet are options. Otherwise, cheap kill spells, counterspells, or even more expensive exiling removal (e.g. Sever the Bloodline, Silence the Believers) are options. Phyrexian Scriptures is another card I'll mention, just 'cause it does lots of stuff.
Nevinyrral's Disk is pretty good. Go ahead and keep that in there.
Gridlock is okay, but it's basically a Darkness you can use aggressively. I think Sleep is generally better at that. Alternately, if you want a mass-defense spell, Yahenni's Expertise, Languish, and Damnation are the go-to sweepers.
Outwit is way too narrow; most decks don't target players. (The primary exceptions are burn and mill, so if you play against them a lot, it might be fine.) If you want a dollar-cost-effective counterspell in that slot, play Counterspell or MAYBE Dimir Charm for flexibility.
Murder is fine. (Card-wise, not morally!) Technically Hero's Downfall is better if you can get one.
Liliana Vess is fine, but she's a little slow. I'm not sure whether she's better or worse in this deck than Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, Ob Nixilis Reignited, Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath, or even Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver. My inclination is that those are stronger as you increase the median quality of the cards in your deck (making Vess's -2 less important).
Here's one inexpensive, somewhat-boring take:
2x Glyph Keeper
1x Liliana Vess
2x Dimir Charm
2x Doom Blade
2x Agony Warp
3x Notion Rain
That's just one take on the general strategy. Ultimately, (I think) you're playing Dimir Midrange, and so you're looking for about 40% (24) lands, 30% (18) things that keep you alive until you have 4-6 mana, 20% (12) things that kill your opponent and are themselves hard to kill, and 10% (6) things that put you ahead on cards just in case you're not drawing the right part of your deck.
Notion Rain occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.01%
U/B (Dimir): 0.06%
All decks: 0.16%
U/B (Dimir): 1.82%