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Artifact Creature — Gargoyle
Whenever the first noncreature spell of a turn is played, counter that spell.
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Nullstone Gargoyle Discussion
1 week ago
@meowndabout Nice questions! Glad to help with this. I changed the write up slightly, to include a sample blue print for playing the deck. That answers some of your questions, other ones are below.
Fauna Shaman - usually you discard extra mana elves (which aren't that great in the mid-game) to get actual stax pieces or utility creatures. But, also, you can just discard anything. It turns each creature into a Worldly Tutor + free card draw.
Loyal Retainers - this is actually best with Iona, Shield of Emeria, which is decent to run if your meta has some mono-colored decks. However, it's worth leaving in the deck even without Iona, just to get back anything that happens to get killed. It's pretty good reanimation, just by itself.
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale - Actually, Magus of the Tabernacle is a pretty good replacement. Tabernacle is here mostly to combat other decks that rely on creatures and mana elves (like us), but have a harder time tutoring for Gaea's Cradle. To perform this function, another answer is Defense of the Heart. Magus might be better since it's a creature and slides under your Thorn of Amethyst effects.
Nullstone Gargoyle - this is a new card I'm testing. It's easily hard-castable with Gaea's Cradle and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. And it's a pretty strong lock with Eidolon of Rhetoric. Yes, if I could get this lock together, I'd just cast creature after that.
Recruiter of the Guard - you just get whatever you need for the situation you're in. Get whatever stops your opponents the hardest. You have to know how your opponent's strategies work.
Sanctum Prelate - pretty much always names 2 or 3. These stop boardwipes that sneak under Gaddock Teeg; on three you stop: Toxic Deluge and Fire Covenant; on two you stop Cyclonic Rift and Pyroclasm. I usually pick either 2 or 3 based on which board wipe I'm more afraid of at the moment; but in either case you end up shutting off large parts of your opponents' decks.
Yisan, the Wanderer Bard - this is becoming less important in this list; however I think it's still probably good enough to run. Yeah, you just get whatever is most helpful. You can either get Quirion Ranger on 1 to activate Yisan or Sisay twice per turn, or you get Sylvan Safekeeper to guard Sisay against spot removal. After that, you know, get whatever you need.
Crop Rotation - there's a lot of strong lands in the list. Strip Mine and Horizon Canopy are very good with Ramunap Excavator. You can also get Tabernacle. You can get one of the ramp-lands like Gaea's Cradle, nykthos, or Ancient Tomb. If possible, you should always sacrifice a Flagstones of Trokair.
Creature tutors - You get whatever you really need top stop what your opponents are doing. These tutors let you get non-legendary creatures tho, so sometimes you can get Sanctum Prelate or Eidolon of Rhetoric or Spirit of the Labyrinth if one of those seems really appropriate, or you're in a winning position already, you can go for the kill with Shaman of the Forgotten Way or a lock with Nullstone Gargoyle.
Enlightened Tutor - yes, frequently the most powerful thing to get with this is Living Plane, although there's a lot of great artifact/enchantment stax pieces you may want, particularly Rest in Peace, Null Rod or Sphere of Resistance. It can get ramp in Mana Crypt or Carpet of Flowers. It can also get Lightning Greaves which can be great for Sisay. This card is awesome in this list.
Gemstone Caverns, Chrome Mox - these are ramp, which is totally critical. You just exile whatever you don't need. Try to prioritize playing a turn 1 or 2 stax piece with these ramp cards. Also think about when you will play Sisay. If you have these ramp cards, try to set up a sequence where you play a stax card turn 1, a mana creature turn 2, and SIsay turn 3.
Null Rod, Stony Silence - these only shut off our artifact ramp, not our creature ramp. Only play them if they're going to hurt your opponents more than they hurt you. But the deck is pretty much designed so that it's usually pretty asymmetric, although certain hands and board states can make it more nuanced.
You can totally run snow lands if you want to.
Solemnity - this doesn't do anything...
Ashes of the Abhorrent - This can work if your meta has a lot of reanimation or storm...
1 week ago
mmcgeach Back with more questions :)
Fauna Shaman - what are you discarding to this?
Nullstone Gargoyle - are you hardcasting this? at this point are you not casting noncreature spells?
Recruiter of the Guard - what would you tend to look for?
Sanctum Prelate - what number would you tend to choose?
Yisan, the Wanderer Bard - it doesn't matter what you get each time you search?
Crop Rotation - what land would you sac and in turn, search for?
Gemstone Caverns - this seems really risky - what would you toss to play this with a luck counter?
Chrome Mox - what would you imprint under this?
Carpet of Flowers - if my meta didn't have a lot of blue (yes, i know), what would you put in this spot?
OTHER CARDS TO USE?
2 weeks ago
I think my unfamiliarity with reanimator Zur led me to undervalue your Cataclysm play; it does seem like a good play after you've reanimated a fatty. Although, I usually want to keep conditional plays (that are only good if I'm already swinging with Zur or reanimated a fatty) to a minimum.
Although, I sort of wonder about Tidespout Tyrant as a reanimation target. It seems like that's only good if you also have access to more reanimation for sun titan, or possibly infinite mana from rocks (which you should run more of) that you can combo with trinket mage. I've run tidespout tyrant in Teferi Planeswalker, where the general is an infinite mana outlet; but it seems worse here since Zur doesn't really do anything with infinite mana or bounce. I like Jin-Gitaxias, of course, and I get that you probably want another quality reanimation target (if sun titan and sidisi together aren't enough?)... maybe tidespout tyrant, even though it's weaker here, is still the best?
It's too bad there isn't a better win condition than the 4-card combo of sun titan, 2 animate dead enchantments, and blasting station / altar of dementia. Maybe Leonin Relic-Warder + Animate Dead + Blood Artist ? It seems like it would streamline a lot of your lines if you could tutor a win more easily. Or, cut sun titan, tidespout tyrant, sidisi, buried alive, blasting station, attunement, replenish, and then add Laboratory Maniac, Doomsday, Tainted Pact, Frantic Search? Would give you slicker lines with just labman + pact = win; doomsday + necropotence has an awesome line (stack is: dark rit, necromancy, brainstorm, lab man, +1 other); and you could still put together strong (and sort of typical) doomsday lines with frantic search, git probe, brainstorm, and lab man.
I like EE alot; although potentially more in a list like Breya where you're already running the Salvagers combo. It's a pretty good sweeper here on 1 tho; cause like the best alternative might be ... Yahenni's Expertise and I'm not sure that's actually worth playing.
BTW, if you want to use rule of law, you should just use Arcane Laboratory, since it's blue. That makes it pitch to force and mis-d, and makes it easier to cast. OHHHH, Wait. You should play arcane lab + rule of law + Nullstone Gargoyle. Reanimate the nullstone gargoyle, fetch out arcane lab with Zur, then just swing everyone dead with Zur.
Last thing that pops out at me is that your mana base is a little frightening. I'd want to run a couple more basics to guard against Blood Moon and Back to Basics; unless nobody you play with ever uses these cards.
1 month ago
Colourless nasties: Blightsteel Colossus, Darksteel Colossus, Thopter Assembly, Phyrexian Juggernaut, Platinum Emperion and Nullstone GargoyleIt That Betrays, and all available titans, especially Kozilek, Butcher of Truth for card advantage"Combat tricks" for Animar like Battlefront Krushok, Herald of Secret Streams, or Tuskguard CaptainEvolution Vat seems like it could be interestingOther +1/+1-counter synergies: Novijen Sages, Novijen, Heart of Progress, Plaxcaster FroglingKessig Wolf Run, Skarrg, the Rage Pits
3 months ago
Other oddball cards I'd like to use are Fossil Find, Boneyard Wurm, and Nighthowler. I also wish there was there was room in decks to play the Skarrg, the Rage Pits cycle of utility lands from the original Ravnica.
4 months ago
Yes they can, you are correct
I used to run many more of these when he was the stax variant such as Nullstone Gargoyle, Planar Chaos, Ice Cave and Guile, but the storm variant cares more about storm count than artifacts actually resolving
5 months ago
Mark_Hill_AL, welcome! I think you made some good points, although you may have missed a few nuances (which is totally forgivable since you noted you don't play Daretti).
Trimming the curve with Daretti is a good thing, yes, but we do want to make sure we have a decent number of threatening artifacts to reanimate with Daretti. These reanimation targets are often high CMC and they do pull up our curve, but we don't typically plan on ever casting these as we cheat them in with our -2. I've already made some painful cuts -- I removed all the Eldrazi, Bosh, Iron Golem and several other high CMC cards. Nullstone Gargoyle is a headache for most opponents. Generally an opponent will have to burn two spells to answer this guy, at which point I can reanimate him again the next turn. He can really create card disadvantage for our opponents similar to Possessed Portal -- a great suggestion you made and a card I am only not playing currently because I don't own one.
Myr Retriever is decent, but he doesn't do anything upon early game -2 Daretti activations to sac him when my yard is empty, or if my yard is exiled. I think if I'm looking for -2 fodder that Ichor Wellspring may be better.
Wheel effects are this deck's bread and butter for two reasons: red card draw is hard to come by, and filling our graveyard is critical to make use of our -2.
Some of the card selection spells are okay, and they do feed my yard a bit, but some of them force random discard (bad) or don't provide card advantage (bad).
Stranglehold is in to prevent combo decks from simply tutoring a wincon that I cannot interact with (I'm playing mono red after all). It also stops their fetches! Extra turns are rarely in my meta but that's just sort of a bonus effect. I agree it's a bit pricey at 4 CMC and it doesn't synergize with the deck since it's not an artifact, but again, in red we need every advantage possible to prevent people from comboing off because we usually cannot stop them once they do.
Charbelcher is much better than you'd think, particularly with Unwinding Clock and stax pieces in play.
I agree with your point on Mirrorworks and Prototype Portal. I think I'm going to cut PP because it creates card disadvantage if it's killed before I get to use it, but Mirrorworks is generally solid. Mirrorworks also goes nuts with Ugin's Nexus!
Believe it or not, Chandra Ablaze has pretty nice impact generally. Her -2, used with no cards in hand, is a straight draw 3. Alternately, she acts as a mini wheel and fuels my graveyard while wrecking the hands of my opponents! Chandra Flamecaller is pretty similar but only hits me. Chandra, Torch of Defiance usually doesn't have that much impact in the testing I've done. She seems like she should be good, but her +1 Mana ritual is almost always useless so she's basically an Outpost Siege that my opponents can swing at and kill with their hate bears.
Paradox Engine and Ruination are definitely going in! I'm just considering what to cut for them.
Again, Crucible of Worlds is much better than you'd expect because it allows me to get back lands I pitch to Daretti's +2 and it also allows me to expediently recover from my land destruction spells. There's also a little bit of tech between Crucible and my nonbasic sacrifice lands, but that's secondary.
Grafdiggers isn't bad. It does hurt Nullstone Gargoyle though. But it hoses certain decks like Meren and Karador, but they aren't really the problem decks for me in my meta -- it's the blue decks that are problematic.
Let me know if any of this makes sense or if you disagree! Thank you for your huge comment!!
5 months ago
ibstudent2200 - Yeah, I thought about Grafdigger's Cage for a little while. I thought that the most likely target for his -2 would be to reanimate a stax piece rather than a creature. Currently there are only 6 creature targets in this deck - perhaps I misread here though. If this is the case though, the upside of neutering opposing reanimator strategies seems high.
Is Nullstone Gargoyle that good even when cheated in? I guess in early turns it can be quite disabling. In my meta there are usually many spells cast each turn so I am probably underestimating.