|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|2011 Core Set||Rare|
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Creature — Beast
When Obstinate Baloth enters the battlefield, you gain 4 life.
If a spell or ability an opponent controls causes you to discard Obstinate Baloth, put it onto the battlefield instead of putting it into your graveyard.
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Obstinate Baloth Discussion
1 day ago
Ok, after everyone's comments, here are my thoughts ...
GOOD MATCH-UPS (Bant Knightfall, UW Control, GBx Midrange, Jeskai Control, Death's Shadow): Mainboard is fine; no sideboard slots needed.
- Ancient Grudge, if I end up using some number of Trinisphere too.
- Ancient Grudge + Shatterstorm, if I don't use Trin'
- Obstinate Baloth (putting one back into the main) and Kitchen Finks (in the side)
- Maybe some Trinisphere.
- The more I think about it, the more I think Beast Within is the key. Say an opponent casts Scapeshift and sacrifices 7 Lands to fetch 6 Mountains (basics and non-basics) and a Valakut. All the Lands enter simultaneously and 6 Valakut triggers go on the stack. With the triggers on the stack, I kill a Mountain. The trigger from that Mountain will resolve and I'll take 3 damage. But the triggers from the other 5 Mountains fizzle, since "the ability will do nothing if [my opponent controls] fewer than 5 Mountains other than that new one by the time it resolves" (source).
- Beast Within is also superb against a resolved Primeval Titan.
- I might be able to catch an inexperienced pilot with Crumble to Dust, but an experienced pilot will wait until the last second (i.e., fetching them with Scapeshift) to play their Valakut. Crumble may still be worthwhile though ... partly for free wins against less experienced pilots, but mostly because hitting Stomping Ground will leave most decks with only 10 Mountains ... depending on the board state, that will often not be enough for lethal.
- Blood Moon is of course amazing in the match-up, but post-board they will almost certainly have Engineered Explosives and Reclamation Sage to deal with it. Still, Blood moon #5 may be worthwhile.
ELDRAZI AND Gx TRON:
- I'm excited to try Crumble to Dust here.
- Blood Moon is of course amazing in the match-up, but post-board they will almost certainly have Ratchet Bomb, Nature's Claim, etc. to deal with it. Still, Blood moon #5 may be worthwhile.
- Beast Within for Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies
- Anger of the Gods, for everything else.
- For Counters CoCo: Druid and Vizier demand answers. Renegade Rallier and Eternal Witness makes Exile effects much better.
- For Valuetown CoCo: 7x Manadorks, Ramunap Excavator, and Knight of the Reliquary complicate the Land Destruction plan.
- As with any White deck, I need to watch out for Blessed Alliance post-board. Burrenton Forge-Tender, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, Reclamation Sage and Qasali Pridemage could make an appearance as well.
- 3x Trinisphere to slow them down or Eidolon of the Great Revel to kill them
- 1x Anger of the Gods for Goblin Electromancer and Baral, Chief of Compliance
The bottom line (for now anyways) ...
Main: 1x Obstinate Baloth
2 days ago
Thanks so much for all the comments! WOW!
I've played a bunch of matches with Blood Moon #5 in sideboard, but my match-ups vs. the three-color decks are all good enough that I don't think it's the best use of a sideboard slot for this deck.
Gut Shot's is amazing vs. mana dorks on T1-2, but for anything else and for any turn after that, I like Sudden Shock and Lightning Bolt much better. And to get Gut Shot on T1-2 I'd want to run it as at least a 3-of.
I really like the idea of Pithing Needle, but I personally haven't done enough studying/gotten enough reps in with it to use it effectively. I suspect you'll see it in my board this time next year though!
Funny you should ask about Trin' vs. Affinity. I hadn't been bringing it in at, since they can usually dump their hand before it comes online. But I was thinking it could be REALLY effective, so I've been trying it out in lately ... which is why I just pulled the Shatterstorm lol!
Ok, I'm totally embarrassed I never thought of Crumble to Dust! That's EXACTLY what I'm trying to do with Surgical Extraction but Crumble does it so much better it's not even funny. Thanks so much!
Chalice of the Void is amazing, but I like the fact I can still easily cast though Trinisphere. Plus you're right on the budget ... it'd be a solid investment, but the cost prevents me from using it anytime in the near future.
Eidolon of the Great Revel though? That's a VERY intriguing option, and one I had never considered. Thanks so much!
I love Trinisphere too, and I've been amazed at how useful it is vs a wide range of decks. Against Storm though, I like your idea of Trin' + Gravehate.
Surgical Extraction is actually great as a "generic" sideboard card. It gain us a ton of information, stops every Lightning Bolt/Thoughtseize/whatever after the first, blanks Snapcaster Mage's Flashback ability, nerfs Tarmagoyf, and generally messes with Graveyard decks. And though it's an edge case, you can also use it to reduce the chance of late-game mana flood by hitting your own Fetchland. So when I started thinking about how to beat Titan Shift, it was the first card that came to mind. All that said though, I agree that Crumble to Dust and some better Graveyard hate is MUCH better for what this deck wants to do!
Yeah, every single time I face Burn I think about you and Big Robot! I did a TON of testing a while back with Huntmaster of the Fells Flip in the main, but I'm embarrassed to say I never really thought about him in sideboard. That's really interesting, and I'll give him a hard look.
I love Beast Within but I don't like seeing it in my opening hand, so I'm not inclined to bump it up to 4x in my 75. If I've got the space though, I know there are enough Planeswalkers, and big beaters (in Colorless, Black, and Green) in the match-up list above to justify Beast #3. We'll see ...
As always, thanks so much!
Yeah, my mainboard is VERY much optimized for the Death's Shadow match-up, and I've absolutely sacrificed some percentage points vs. Burn to do so. I think that's the right meta call ... though I of course won't know for sure until it's too late! :-D
And I totally agree on the goodness of Blood Moon vs. Boros and Naya Burn. I learned that the hard way early on, when I had the opportunity to cast a Blood Moon in First Main, chose not to (so I could use the mana for something else in Second Main), and promptly died to Deflecting Palm. Oops!
That's a really good point on keeping Sweepers post-board vs. Storm for Empty the Warrens. Thanks!
I'm not sure who first taught me about mul'ing aggressively, but it's once I've passed on to others as well. There's one big exception though: When facing a bunch of hand disruption. I'd MUCH rather keep a meh 7, than mul' to an amazing 5 ... which turns into a meh 4 on my opponent's T1!
Thragtusk is a superb card, but I like Obstinate Baloth better for this deck. Mostly because it's lower on curve but also because its Discard-to-Battlefield effect is randomly useful. Plus, Death's Shadow is already an easy match-up.
Yeah, I keep coming back to Scooze as my favorite Graveyard hate too. I think you'll see it when I update!
I love Anger of the Gods vs. Dredge too (I pulled it out of my sideboard a while back, only because Dredge kind of died off locally). But yours and other comments here have me liking it more and more ...
Idk on Eidolon of the Great Revel yet either ... I look forward to figuring out an opinion though!
Good point ... there may actually be more variance here than data!
Other points I try to keep in mind are the timing of my wins and losses (I'm still pretty new to the deck, so plenty of the losses were punts and clueless sideboarding) and the casual-ness of my meta (plenty of the wins were against people testing new cards, rather than against the finely tuned decks they'll be bringing to a PPTQ)
Thanks though for the reminder!
Thank you all again! I REALLY appreciate the time y'all invested in making my deck better!
2 days ago
If you're looking at just one lifegain fattie in the side, I would go with Thragtusk over Obstinate Baloth, as it can trade with Tasigur and Angler in the Death's Shadow matchup. I have found Obstinate Baloth to be superior to Huntmaster of the Fells in the aggro matchup, so maybe curve out and go to 2 finks, 1 baloth, and 1 thragtusk?
For dredge, I haven't found anything better than scooze, as it hates the graveyard and blocks. Anger of the Gods is very good also, and if they're expecting it I've had Dredge players slow down to play around it.
I would like at least two Anger of the Gods in the side. Much better than Bonfires if you have it in opening hand game two against aggro.
I find the idea of Eidolon of the Great Revel very interesting, never thought of it before. I could see it being good against storm and deaths shadow, but not really sure if it is better in the slot than Trinisphere.
3 days ago
Ok, I'm going to start from the bottom and work my way up.
Trinisphere: I really like 3-ball in this deck. I think it gives us the opportunity to get some really busted wins in, especially with it on turn 2 on the play. However, if you are playing it in the purely "anti-storm" way, I think that you should probably play 2 copies and more removal/graveyard hate. The Storm deck has a very hard time winning without a graveyard, and if you can kill their cost-reducers it slows them down significantly. I would recommend at least one Grafdigger's Cage as well in the sideboard.
Surgical Extraction: I truly don't understand this one. This is a land destruction deck. E-Tron, Traditional Tron, and Titanshift (to a lesser extent) should be free wins without any sideboarding. But if you are determined to have more land hate, then I agree with abby315 about Crumble to Dust. It's one card instead of two, and can come in for your Mwonvuli Acid-Moss to accomplish what you need.
Obstinate Baloth: Ok, short disclaimer here. I don't know how normal Ponza lists do against Burn and its variants. I haven't lost a match to RDW in a long time since I main the Madcap Experiment and Platinum Emperion combo, which wins me the first game right off the bat. What I have ended up doing is running 2x Kitchen Finks and 1x Huntmaster of the Fells. Huntmaster is interesting because he makes 2 blockers, still gains life, but more importantly plays well in a grindy matchup. It's a lot more value to get 2 life and a 2/2 in a value matchup than just 4 life and one 4/4. But if you feel the need for the 4 life, then the baloth seems good to me. I just realized that I run a Thragtusk in my main as well, so that helps too.
Kitchen Finks: I really like this card against everything aggro, so 2-3 copies seems great to me.
Bonfire of the Damned: I would suggest 1-2 copies of Anger of the Gods instead of bonfire. Anger always costs 3, and is a life saver against Dredge, as well as being very good against GWx company. I think that the added speed and utility is important in a sideboarded damage wipe.
Beast Within: You know that I like 4 copies in the main of this card. I think it is quite powerful when you have 4, but the one-of in the sideboard seems a little weak. I would either bring it up to 2 because of how versatile it is, or drop it all together.
There are my thoughts, and good luck at the PPTQ!
3 days ago
I'm playing Ponza at an upcoming PPTQ, and I'd love your thoughts on sideboarding.
SCORE: 72 | 86 COMMENTS | 8117 VIEWS | IN 16 FOLDERS
Considering the current meta and especially the Tops 32s from Birmingham, Sao Paulo, and Richmond, here are my thoughts on sideboarding, based on the match-ups I'm expecting and my personal win percentage against them:
Mainboard is fine; no sideboard slots needed
- Bant Knightfall: 100% (2-0)
- UW Control: 83% (5-1)
- GBx Midrange: 80% (4-1)
- Jeskai Control: 75% (3-1)
- Death's Shadow: 70% overall (6-2 vs. Grixis DS, 1-1 vs. Jund DS)
Needs Artifact hate: 3x Ancient Grudge
- Affinity: 57% (4-3)
- RDW, 53% overall (1-0 vs. RW Burn, 3-1 vs. Mono-R Goblins, 2-1 vs. Mono-R Burn, 3-6 vs. Naya Burn)
- Eldrazi Tron: 50% (2-2)
- Gx Tron: 50% overall (1-0 vs. RG and mono-G, 0-1 vs. BG and GW)
- Titan Shift: 50% (1-1)
- Hatebears: 50% (1-1 vs. Mono-W)
- GW Company, ~50%? (It feels like 50% in testing, but I've never faced the deck IRL)
- UR Storm: 0% (0-2)
Based on all that, I'm thinking of a sideboard like this:
- 3x Ancient Grudge
- 1x Beast Within
- 1x Bonfire of the Damned
- 3x Kitchen Finks
- 1x Obstinate Baloth
- 3x Surgical Extraction
- 3x Trinisphere
THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR THOUGHTS!
1 week ago
Thanks tons for the shout-out, and again, congrats on your performance at SCG Syracuse!
As always, you raise some REALLY good points. Tbh, I haven't really thought about the Lightning Bolt much ... it's been in the deck since almost the very beginning, and I'm always happy to see it, so I've never really thought about swapping it out for something else. But now that you mention it ...
For low-CMC spells, Atarka's Command comes immediately to mind as another super-versatile option, and Nourish as a great option for the lifegain. Moving up the curve, "pre-boarding" a Kitchen Finks could be really good. Or, like you mentioned, Obstinate Baloth or Thragtusk are awesome. And depending on the meta, Huntmaster of the Fells Flip or even another Primal Command aren't terrible options either.
And on the graveyard hate, I go back-and-forth on Cage vs. Relic vs. Scavenging Ooze vs. Surgical Extraction. There's a slightly-dated-but-still-useful discussion on Cage vs. Relic here.
To both of you: Draw well!
1 week ago
I know that you're mainly going off of clayperce's list, but there are a few things about it that I personally don't really like. Primarily the 1-of Lightning Bolt. I think a Thragtusk or Obstinate Baloth would be better in that slot, shoring up burn and BGx matches along with generally helping against random aggro decks. When I play against non-black decks, I often feel like I'd rather have some other threat than a colossus against some opponents. Gaining 4-5 life really helps against aggro decks, which I think this deck has the more trouble with than against control or midrange. Another little thing that might be nit-picky is the Grafdigger's Cage in your SB. I know from experience how awful this deck is against Living End, so I'd hedge my bets and use a Relic of Progenitus in that spot rather than cage since cage does nothing against LE, while relic can still do work against dredge.
Good job picking Ponza as the deck to play though! It's done good work for me and I know you'll enjoy it!
2 weeks ago
I played some games online against Naya Burn yesterday. While there are starting Hands wich can race the burn Player, ist still not favorable. I dont like Obstinate Baloth, since in this deck, it will only be lifegain. Sure, there are ways for the burn guy to destroy the Bridge, but ... nah, i just dont like him. So i tried other things. While testing Outpost Siege i figuered, that the Card actually didnt do what I had in mind, when i put it into my Side. So I tried replacing them with 2 more copies of Molten Rain, and that inclusion gave me the edge against Naya burn as well, since their land Count is low. In some games, it can simply win the game on its own, since they cant cast multiple spells per turn.I think I will try the 4 copies of Molten Rain in the Side tomorrow at fnm.