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Phyrexian Altar Discussion
48 minutes ago
1 hour ago
Nath is a popular discard-stax commander, that uses Necrogen Mists, Sadistic Hypnotist, Oppression, and Bottomless Pit along with a lot of general value cards like Root Maze, Manglehorn, Chains of Mephistopheles, Nether Void, The Abyss, Magus of the Abyss, green ramp like Birds of Paradise along with colorless rocks to pump its commander and other colorless stax options out onto the field.
Otherwise, the deck runs a normal Golgari-Stax deck, running black-tutors to fetch the colorless silver bullets like Sphere of Resistance against non-Prossh Food Chain lists like Tazri and green to make enough mana to still win.
Other notable cards sometimes run in this strategy are Mind Slash, Cryptolith Rite, Chord of Calling (with tokens it ends up decently), fast mana to cast Nath like Mana Vault, Lotus Petal, Grim Monolith, etc.
Ishkanah is the best golgari Food Chain list in the format, with Demonic Tutor, Grim Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Imperial Seal, etc. to fetch the Chain, and to fetch Eternal Scourge there are a ton of green and black tutors.
With Delirium so easy to get between fetchlands, instants, sorceries, and Lotus Petals, Commune with the Gods and other self-mill cards milling over creatures and artifacts, etc. You can reasonably make infinite spiders with Food Chain, and if you can pay Ishkanah's cost you win.
2 days ago
Looks like we have really similar balthor decks, i've just updated the description with more info on the strategy I'm going for if you wanted to have a look? - link here: Gimli, Son of Gloin
6 days ago
Might look at Volrath's Stronghold for a land. Ever think of using Syphon Flesh. Ever think of putting in cards like Illusionist's Bracers or Rings of Brighthearth ? Think I like Rings better in this deck. Also since you have blue you could run Fabricate too (to get Altar). Something like Flesh-Eater Imp could also one shot someone /w ease - wouldn't even need RoofTop Storm (Imp, Equip Boots, sac some shit, swing dead (easier if you say have Warchief out).
Just some ideas.
1 week ago
Don't know much about artifact sac outlets but as far as creature sac outlets go there's Viscera Seer, Carrion Feeder, Yahenni, Undying Partisan, Blood Bairn, Nantuko Husk, Spawning Pit, Bloodthrone Vampire, Vampiric Rites, Disciple of Griselbrand, Altar's Reap, and Bone Splinters, Hell's Caretaker, Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim, Phyrexian Plaguelord, and Whisper, Blood Liturgist off the top of my head. There's also Phyrexian Altar but it's not cheap. You can probably find more of these effects as well as artifact sac effects on gatherer.
2 weeks ago
Thanks, PrideGreen. I haven't gotten any Ravnica yet, but I'll be on the lookout for a Plaguecrafter.
I do like Bane of Progress too, I just worry that having roughly 20% of the deck be artifacts and enchantments, it might hit some of my important stuff. Would Reclamation Sage be better?
Thanks for the input, ScrubbinBubl. I know there are better reanimator commanders out there, but I really liked Gyrus and thought it might be fun to build around him. Gray Merchant of Asphodel is indeed very strong, but in a tri-color deck it might not be the greatest. Priest of the Blood Rite I was looking into myself. Since the token it would make upon being reanimated would stick around.
As far as sac outlets go, I already have:
- Diamond Valley
- Miren, the Moaning Well
- High Market
- Goblin Bombardment
- Greater Good
- Phyrexian Altar
- Flesh Carver
So I'm not sure if I necessarily need any more.
Thanks again for the input, folks.
2 weeks ago
StopShot: Sorry about the delayed response. I appreciate the thought that went into the comment and wanted to respond in kind.
So to start off (and I will bounce around with your suggestions to group them by function a bit) I will cover Kami of False Hope. I run Spore Frog as a bit of a niche card, but generally I don't deal much with combat decks. It's in there on the odd chance that I do, but most of my meta is full of infinite combo and I don't want to take up extra card spaces for a card which isn't going to add much value 99% of the time. Generally I can win faster than most beatdown decks can assemble and if I see them coming I can either use Yisan, GSZ, Chord or any other creature tutor to get frog. On the topic of Maze of Ith, I'm not overly a fan of the card personally. It's ok but I play a lot of combo and agin don't play against beatdown decks. It's ok in pillowfort lists, but I would rather a land that taps for mana. In this light, Urban Burgeoning isn't great, but if I ran it I would prioritise it on lands like Mikokoro, Center of the Sea or Gaea's Cradle. Don't get me worng, it's not a bad interaction, but it just feels like a lot of effort for not much value. And I would much rather find Skullclamp with Open the Armory. Divine Presence and Ensnaring Bridge kind if fit into the same category here, it's a lot of combat step prvention where my play group doesn't need it and more than that, most combo decks will have either an out that doesn't require attacking or an out that ends up with me having no permanents on the board, only to connect next turn.
There is always an issue with playing pillowfort cards in that they are proactive cards, but they only really stop an opponent from doing stuff to you. This means that you're expending resources on cards that don't in turn actively slow opponents down the way true stax would, which is not a plce you want to be in, For more casual play this is fine, but for games which the deck is designed for it is just a waste of turns and resources.
Authority of the Consuls is an interesting card. it is good at shuitting down a few combos, but it feels a bit too niche in this particular build. If this was a more staxcy build it would probably be quite at home here, however as a singleton stax card I would prefer Blind Obedience as I can use it as a combo outlet as well.
On the point of wraths, it's the same kind of thing as with Kami of False Hope. I don't want to clutter up my hand with a bunch of removal (especially redundant removal) that also puts me back a heap. I would rather run a bunch of cheap, single point removal which I can use to deal with key threats than to clear the board (whcih can lead to an opponent comboing out of the blue). Because sometimes stax cards are better in play, shutting down my opponent. And I like Wrath of God because it's a cheap catch all. Cards like Slaughter the Strong and Citywide Bust are nice because of their cost, however they miss a lot of key creatures. In more competitive games, the majority of creatures you see are a lot smaller (because larger creatures generally have prohibitive mana costs) and if you're going to the effort of wrathing you would rather just hit everything. I used to run Rout before I ran Wrath of God and while it is more expensive than Day of Judgment I think it would be my next goto, especially since it has instant speed mode which is in a lot of ways more valuable than just a second wrath.
For spot removal, you're right in that swords and path play centre stage. I have tried to run primarily instant speed removal to deal with other combo decks/being able to wait to the last second to break free and combo out myself. Darksteel Mutation isn't bad but my problem with it is slot space. I run Song of the Dryads which is basically a better version under most circumstances (as it hits more). If I needed more removal, mutation is the kind of card which could work its way into the deck however I do need to be careful not to flood the deck with removal (for the same reason as with pillowfort cards). Soul Snare and Condemn are both cheap to cast, however they only work when a creature is attacking. That is enough of a drawback to not run them.
I used to run Qasali Pridemage but in this list I cut it for Caustic Caterpillar. While you need to have 2 open for caterpillar, you can fetch it on turn one with Yisan, the Wanderer Bard which is super good. Don't get me wrong though, if I ever need more artifact/enchantment removal, it will be the first card to go back in. Seal of Cleansing and Seal of Primordium are less good versions of pridemage (creatures are easy to find) and Thrashing Brontodon/Sylvok Replica, while good, are too expensive as you spend 4 mana total to remove something.
I've seen the Scroll Rack + Land Tax combo before and have considered it in the past, but ultimately passed up on it. My problem with the combo is that neither of the pieces provide the card advantage the deck needs separately and while together they are quite strong, the deck lacks the ability to assemble said combo. On top of that, any artifact/enchantment tutors are better suited getting me direct win con lines rather than assembling value pieces. And while I can shuffle my deck with fetch lands, it's still not as consistent as you might think. Blinkmoth Nexus + Mask of Memory is a cute little package, however I have tried to focus on raw card advantage (i.e. cards that outright draw cards). And the value engines I do run are based off individual cards which add enough to the deck outside of those loops. Mirri's Guile has caught my attention on occasion, however ultimately I decided against it since it doesn't actually provide card advantage. And Sylvan Library and Sensei's Divining Top are bother better.
I hope this explains the card choices in the deck and while I have avoided running certain pieces. Don't get me wrong, the cards you have suggested aren't bad and some of the cards and card combos you've mentioned I might commandeer for some other decks (I like the Mask of Memory + Blinkmoth Nexus loop for canadian highlander) however for this particluar list and given my playgroup I have to be very specific on choices. But I appreciate the suggestions, they always force me to evaluate the deck and the particular choices I have made for it.
Grandmaster5327: I'm glad you like the list. The core of the deck isn't too expensive (minus the Phyrexian Altar) however a lot of the cost is sunk in the mana base and some specific cards (Survival of the Fittest, Mana Crypt, etc.). If you replaced these with some omre budget options, the overall price could be brought down much lower. While I haven't specifically put together a budget list, I am confident that you could get the deck down to the $300-$400 mark, which is a 5-6 fold reduction in price.
2 weeks ago
I feel like there are a couple of nice combos that you already have most of the pieces for but are just missing one or two cards that would work well in the deck as non-combo pieces anyway.
Adding Nim Deathmantle would give you:
- Infinite sacs, recursion: Phyrexian Altar + Nim Deathmantle + Priest of Gix
- Infinite sacs, recursion, black mana: Ashnod's Altar + Nim Deathmantle + Priest of Gix
- Infinite sacs, recursion, life drain: Ashnod's Altar + Nim Deathmantle + Geralf's Messenger
- Infinite sacs, recursion, tokens and colorless mana: Ashnod's Altar + Nim Deathmantle + Abhorrent Overlord/Wurmcoil Engine
- Infinite sacs, recursion, life drain/gain: Chainer, Dementia Master + Phyrexian Altar + Abhorrent Overlord/Wurmcoil Engine + Blood Artist