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Plunge into Darkness
Choose one - Sacrifice any number of creatures, then you gain 3 life for each sacrificed creature; or pay X life, then look at the top X cards of your library, put one of those cards into your hand, and remove the rest from the game.
Entwine (Black) (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
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Plunge into Darkness Discussion
2 days ago
I don't think the regular mill subtheme works super well; it's a really convoluted win con for EDH excepting infinite combos, and you don't have many cards that take advantage of the graveyards of other people. I think focusing on the infinite combo aspect harder will give you a more streamlined gameplan for sure, and the alternate win-con should probably be tokens with Oona.
To that end, here are some more great tutors to grab Navigator and your other pieces:
Plunge into Darkness <-- works amazingly with Oona tokens.
There are some better board control cards as well:
Faerie Macabre <-- for graveyard synergies, if those are prevelant
Mind Stone etc.
And some more combos/alt win con ideas:
Scion of Oona can let you swing for the win.
Capsize + infinite mana lets you bounce whatever you choose.
Not that all mill pieces aren't good; Altar of the Brood obviously mills out with infinite bounces, Sword of Body and Mind is just good value, Jace's Mindseeker can be nuts with other go-big decks, etc. But the cards that exist just to mill, like Keening Stone, Mirko Vosk, Szadek, Dimir Guildmage--cutting these for a more streamlined approach will help the deck function smoothly.
Of course, if you love the mill strategy, play what you love! But a better commander for that approach is probably Phenax himself.
1 week ago
My deck: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/alesha-who-smites-death/
I've been having trouble lately landing infinite combos with Alesha who Smiles at Death. The combos I like pulling off involve the graveyard and work very well to my liking, but heavily fall apart to cards like Leyline of the Void, Rest in Peace, etc.
To counteract this I'm trying to go infinite with cards that don't use the graveyard, but many of those combos I've been finding very highly unsatisfactory. Instead I've came up with a new approach. If I can generate an infinite combo the produces infinite red or colored mana and I have either Blasting Station or Goblin Bombardment I can cast and sacrifice my commander, Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, infinite times killing my opponents. I'm just unfamiliar with infinite mana-combos in my colors that also don't use the graveyard. Any ideas? (Skip past the break below if you aren't going to ask whether I've tried a speific non-infinite mana combo.)
Extra: List of Non-Graveyard combos that I've already tried and won't reconsider. (Please don't recommend I try these. I've used many of them before already, and they're not reliable enough to my liking.)
Splinter Twin + Village Bell-Ringer Cons: I have to wait a round of turns after drawing Bell-Ringer after drawing it to mitigate summoning sickness before going infinite. I'd rather have something more instantaneous so I have more options to choose from when deciding to go off.
Ad Nauseam + Angel's Grace + Sickening Dreams OR Mana Geyser + Reiterate OR Dualcaster Mage + Heat Shimmer Cons: You have to cast all combo pieces at once rather than set up over a few turns in advance which requires usually completely tapping out. Also if the combo is thwarted it's too much trouble in Mardu colors to recur instants and sorceries from graveyard back to hand just to reset it.
Teysa, Orzhov Scion + Darkest Hour + Goblin Bombardment Cons: I've tried pretty hard to make this combo work, but for some reason having an extra creature to sacrifice makes this combo a little too unreliable for my liking.
[Any combo that involves milling] Cons: My playgroup runs the Eldrazi Titans meaning they're impossible to mill. Adding graveyard-hate interferes with my other combos and adds another piece to the mill-combo.
Parallax Wave + Opalescence + Impact Tremors Cons: Half the time this works. You can preset up Opalescence and follow up with Parallax Wave some turn later once you draw into it, but not the other way around since Parallax Wave has fading which becomes an unreliable clock to get Opalescence if you preset the combo in that order.
Sword of Feast and Famine + Aggravated Assault Cons: With the exception to Nether Traitor there are no other cheap CMC creatures with a form of reliable evasion and haste. Etched Champion and Mogis's Marauder are nice, but aren't as reliable as I'd like.
Eldrazi Displacer + Emrakul's Hatcher + Impact Tremors OR Restoration Angel + Impact Tremors + Felidar Guardian//Conspiracy Cons: Requires too much mana to set up at once or similar to the problems with Kiki-Jiki + Bell-Ringer in that you may have to preset the combo with a creature and hope it doesn't get removed by a board-wipe.
Mindcrank + Bloodchief Ascension Cons: Despite it being a multiplayer game getting three quest counters on Bloodchief Ascension is awkward and situational considering it gives my opponents extra time and turns to react.
Near-Death Experience + Plunge into Darkness//Fire Covenant Cons: Near-Death Experience has to sit on the field for a whole round of turns at the very least. An opponent removing Near-Death Experience after I've brought myself down to 1 life before my upkeep is also too high of a risk to take as well.
Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit + Murderous Redcap + Goblin Bombardment Cons: This combo already uses the graveyard, so its not a non-graveyard combo. Also I'm fine not using this one since the other graveyard combos I use I feel work better than this one.
As you can see I've covered a long range of different non-graveyard combos, but each one is too unsatisfactory for me. Unless I have missed a non-graveyard infinite damage combo I would like to know what infinite colored-mana or infinite red-colored-mana combos exist in my colors if anyone knows of any that don't use the graveyard. Thank you for your help.
1 month ago
Ooh I love obscure tribal decks. Saw your post on reddit but from some reason the website was saving my comment so I'll just leave comment here:
Rule #1 for janky tribes is that you cannot skimp on the power of the support cards. The core theme of your deck (skeletons) is already at an disadvantage (since skeletons are not that strong and there are not too many of them), you can't afford to pull too many punches on your other slots.
First, I think you have too many small draw effects like Succumb to Temptation and Infernal Scarring. If your meta is not too fast I would recommend only keeping the best 1-3 of these and adding some larger draw or tutor effects (e.g., Skeletal Scrying, Promise of Power, Moonlight Bargain, Necropotence, Plunge into Darkness, Diabolic Intent). Mid-sized draw is also worth considering, like Ancient Craving or Ambition's Cost.
You also have a lot of (weak) point removal which seems excessive unless your meta is really atypical of casual EDH metas. You run just keep a few (3-6) of your favorites (ones that are cheap, unconditional, and exiles are best), and replace the rest with in some removal that give you more card advantage and other utility. Mass removal that don't block regen, e.g., Crux of Fate, Day of Judgment, and Austere Command, could be useful for this deck because your skeletons can regenerate from them. You can also consider more Dictate of Erebos type effects like Grave Pact, Butcher of Malakir, or Martyr's Bond. You should at least replace Pacifism with something like Journey to Nowhere or even Faceless Butcher.
The next step is deciding on a specific game plan. Right now I see elements of aggro, control, and combo, but you'll want to specialize I think. Aggro is probably the weakest because skeletons don't have good aggressive stats, but if you want to go that route you'll want better pump effects like Obelisk of Urd, Coat of Arms, good equipment (Sword of Fire and Ice, Batterskull, Umezawa's Jitte), etc. If you want control then bombs like Profane Command, Wretched Confluence, etc.
If you want to combo win, which I think is actually the best plan for weaker tribes (because instant kill is instant kill no matter how bad your creatures are), then it's about picking which combo you want. I really like Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Phyrexian Altar + Reassembling Skeleton/Tenacious Dead combined with something like Blood Artist or Falkenrath Noble, since most of the pieces fit naturally into what your deck was already doing anyways. Mikaeus + Triskelion is also super strong. Combo pieces like Enduring Renewal also go well with what you have already. If you go the combo route don't forget more tutors like Entomb, Increasing Ambition, Beseech the Queen, etc.
For sacrifice outlets some good ones are Phyrexian Altar, Viscera Seer, Phyrexian Plaguelord, Sadistic Hypnotist. And for artifacts, I would replace some of the less reliable ones like Gorgon's Head and Howling Mine with better equipment or Smuggler's Copter.
And for your mana, do you find 32 lands is enough? Skeletons are cheap but they have some pretty hefty activation costs. Most EDH decks are 35-40 lands, and maybe some more mana rocks (Sol Ring).
And finally, you can take a look here http://magiccards.info/query?q=t%3A%22skeleton%22&s=cname&v=card to see if there are other skeletons that might be better for your deck (e.g., Marang River Skeleton). Did you know that freaking Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon is a skeleton? Probably the best one in the game. Also don't forget things like Metallic Mimic, Adaptive Automaton, Brass Herald, or changelings like Skeletal Changeling, Cairn Wanderer, Mirror Entity.
Sorry about the huge wall of text, I just really like what you are going for with your deck! Hopefully some of those ideas useful even if not all those cards are going to fit into the deck. Let me know if anything doesn't make sense or if you want more budget suggestions. You can also check out an example of the janky tribe with powerful support staples in my black knight combo deck The Dark Knight Returns - Haakon combo knights if you want. Good luck with your deck, whichever direction you end up taking it!
1 month ago
Also, you don't pay life into Ad Nauseam and the life loss isn't restricted to one. You reveal a card and then lose life equal to its CMC. You can go negative with Ad Nauseam because it is an effect that happens, not a cost that is paid.
Plunge into Darkness you choose how much life to pay as it is resolving and as acbooster said you can not pay more life than you have at that point. Lim-Dl's Vault is something where you are able to pay 1 life at a time, and it too is limited by the amount of life you have to pay.
1 month ago
I know that with the card Plunge into Darkness you choose the amount of life you pay before you pay it, unlike Ad Nauseam, where you pay life one at a time until you run out of life/library. My question is, is the amount (x) that you choose with Plunge into Darkness limited to either the amount of life you have, or the number of cards in your library? Pretty much, can I choose x=47, go to -29 life, then lose?
2 months ago
2 months ago
I like the changes you have made. Im wondering how Jin has fit with the more focused build? Also you appear to have alot of reanimation spells but only one true target. You can probably cut several even if you keep Jin. What are your thoughts on Plunge into Darkness and Demonic Consultation? They are somewhat risky but they speed up your clock significantly.