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Search target opponent's library for a card and exile it face down, then that player shuffles his or her library. As long as it remains exiled, you may look at it and cast it as though it were in your hand.
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Praetor's Grasp Discussion
2 weeks ago
@JediCat: your only hope is to add in Praetor's Grasp, use some Dark Rituals and steal one of your opponents Storm Crows as fast as possible. Even then however, be warned, if your opponent assembles the Island + Storm Crow combo you are screwed
2 weeks ago
Thank you for your time and your detailed answer! It has been very helpful.
My question regarding the mana elfs came up, because I am playing with the german highlander banlist (http://www.highlandermagic.de)
Our meta is diverse with different and changing archetypes, but I haven't seen a GB Rock around so far. Anyhow, I currently face Ux Control (Izzet, Azorius) and RDW in approx. every third match. Overall I have quite good results against the creature style midrange decks and can beat RDW. Now I want to work on the weaknesses.
Running one or two mana elfs seemed to me like an okay replacement. However, I am not sure if they'll stay longer. I just don't see replacement options for the Mox's at the moment.
I don't consider Chrome Mox and Mox Diamond, because I feel like the speed isn't really worth the card disadvantage in this archetype. I have tried different numbers of mana elfs. These work better in midrange creature decks (like Jund, Abzhan, 4c Goodstuff), where curving into 4-drop in turn 3 and then protecting your board state is the key (or in elfball decks etc.).
If you have a good advise on the replacement question, I'll be happy to hear it!
Everyone keeps telling me it's crazy not to play Deathrite Shaman, but in the end I came to the same conclusion. I prefer more solid and reliable ramp, lifegain and even graveyard hate. Some players add ABU duals just for using the flexible options of the Shaman, but I haven't really missed him so far. Personal preferences, I guess.
I can also confirm your rating of the planeswalkers, even if still kinda undecided. Vraska, Relic Seeker is out for me, too. Nissa, Vital Force was okay, but mostly ended using the +1 ability with no additional board presence. Garruk Wildspeaker is better in the previously mentioned midrange creature style decks. Sadly, he makes tokens with the -1 ability, so still unsure about him. Since the purpose of Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath is creating sustainable board presence, maybe Grave Titan could fit the role. He is one mana slower, but it's 10 power for 6 mana and provides a more aggressive strategy. After three rounds, Grave Titan and Zombies have attacked for 42 life, Ob Nixilis for 15.
I am curious to see what changes you'll make in the future.
Last but not least, I will most likely include Thrun, the Last Troll to improve the matchups against Ux control decks. Unfortunately, he has no direct ETB impact. Still, Thrun is hard to handle for other control decks and he was okay for me so far.
2 weeks ago
Thanks for the excellent questions!Spell based combo decks like Storm are one of this decks worst matchups for sure. In the past, when the meta has been heavy with those decks, I've added cards like Shadow of Doubt and Praetor's Grasp, I haven't been as happy with the two mana discard spells just because of how fast the combo deck can go off, how early the Blue control decks can get their shields up, and how vastly better 1 mana is versus 2, but I don't see an issue with running either of the cards you mention.Blue based control is a bit better than Storm, but the slower the deck the harder it is: a lot of the wins here just come down to tight play, and knowing when to go all in versus when to sit doing nothing and play their game.
Bontu's Last Reckoning is one of the deck's flex slots where I try out new cards to see if they're good. Reckoning is getting cut because I haven't been sufficiently impressed with it, but I'm not yet confident enough in its replacement to list it here. Certainly a good slot for an answer if you want to shore up your combo/control matchups.
I'm not sure I understand your mana dork question since I'm not running either: I used to run both, but I didn't see enough value from Dryad Arbor to justify it being a comes into play tapped land (effectively) and easily killable, and Arbor Elf got worse the fewer forests I was running. You could put it back in if you wanted, but I might cut a couple of non-basics for forests to support it (having it and Wild Growth or Utopia Sprawl in an opener feels real good).
My decision to not play Deathrite Shaman remains a contentious one, but I stand by the fact that, aside from being an unreliable mana creature, the lifegain ability is marginal (and too fragile against the decks you care about having it against), and the life loss is significantly worse in a tap out control deck like this versus the Blue based decks that usually get good value from him. Being able to EOT ping for 2 because you didn't use all your mana is great if you plan on leaving mana open, but this deck is frequently tapping out turn after turn, and then swinging for 5 or 10, so I don't see the incremental advantage on it being as good. I would not call someone who wanted to play Deathrite in the Rock crazy, however.
Ob Nixilis is absolutely just a 5/5 flier; his other modes do nothing. However, if unanswered he can make additional 5/5 fliers, which makes him a pretty decent threat. I don't view him as a planeswalker so much as a creature who can eventually make more creatures; it's a resilient threat that generally requires two removal spells to answer. Quite good if you can resolve him in the aforementioned Blue control match.The problem with Nissa (who I have tried and had high hopes for), is that the ability leaves no value next turn. If your opponent can kill Nissa, she leaves nothing on the board (versus Ob Nixilis' 5/5), and since this deck is not very aggressive I all too often found myself having to hold back the land she animated to keep her alive, which wasn't actually achieving anything. Her other abilities were nice, but too slow in practice in games you weren't already winning. (Nissa Worldwaker also suffered from animating lands that were usually tapped, so she couldn;t defend herself either if she came down on 5, making her too slow too)Garruk Wildspeaker is a great card and I played him for a long time (honestly, with the Planeswalker rule change I could see justifying putting him back in), however I found that he was often too fragile against any kind of evasion or burn, and getting a single 3/3 for 4 mana wasn't worth it. He was great if he survived and got to ramp mana and churn out beasts, but against aggressive, tempo and midrange strategies he couldn't last long enough to be meaningful consistently. If you want to improve your control matchup, he could be a good addition (although he does basically nothing against combo).
I have said multiple times that Vraska, Relic Seeker is a great 5 mana walker with only one down side. I think at 6 she is too slow and doesn't impact the board enough to make up for it, but if they had shaved a mana off her and rebalanced her loyalty and abilities appropriately, I would play her in a heartbeat.
Hope that is helpful, and I'm happy to answer any other questions you have!
1 month ago
Once you ramp out Gitrog the goal is to tutor or draw into a discard outlet and Dakmor. Discard Dakmor, dredge and repeat. When land is dredged draw a card. Kozilek is there to shuffle your graveyard back in and start over the dredge process. The goal is to have your entire deck in your hand minus kozilek a land and the spell you plan to loop. Then using Lotus Petal or Dark Ritual you loop into infinite mana using kozilek to reshuffle the spell into the library and dakmor to dredge the land to redraw the spell. Once you generate infinite mana you can you either loop ebony charm till win or torment of hailfire for however much damage you feel like. You can also infinite mill with Praetor's Grasp. These combos are also possible with Doomsday.
1 month ago
It ramps into an infinite combo. Torment of Hailfire is for emergencies and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth is only for reshuffle. damage is meant to be from Ebony Charm or infinite mill from Praetor's Grasp or even Manabond into torment with Vedalken Orrery
1 month ago
Are you using Garza Zol, Plague Queen for any reason? The new legendary Inalla, Archmage Ritualist is pretty easy to get right now, and taps for effects(and lets you get copies of Trinket Mage and Inspired Sprite to get more draws/artifact search.) Praetor's Grasp is always an amazing card to find something in an opponents deck.
Since you have a combo you want to get out, you might like cards like Whir of Invention, Artificer's Intuition, the more expensive Fabricate to get paradise out, and for getting the Freed from the Real try Drift of Phantasms and Dimir Machinations. You can also run the other transmute's like Dizzy Spell or Clutch of the Undercity etc. to find other things in your deck too.
Racecourse Fury is not especially high on the threat list, so you can have essentially free haste-enable on the cheap.Quicksilver Dagger enables tap+damage+draw a card for cheap. Unscythe, Killer of Kings is a silly card that might find a place.Hematite Talisman and Lapis Lazuli Talisman let you untap other creatures to boot.
I'd lose some of the instant/one-off untaps- they're cheap but only good for one motion, whereas you want to be doing it over and over again. Same with ETB like Breaching Hippocamp. Chain Stasis is fun because you could pay 2 to do it again on another creature, making it 2 - trigger inspired. Tidal Bore can let you get out an extra untap or tap when you're strapped for mana.
Thassa's Ire isn't the most mana-effective option but it's a one-drop that lets you do it over and over again as long as you have mana. You also may want something like Fortuitous Find to bring back things. Recurr is always good! :D
1 month ago
1 month ago
@Profet93: Hmmm... to remove Whip Silk is a bold move. It is not entirely unthinkable. HOwevver, in that regard I would more tend to remove Flickering Ward because it is easier to generate green mana in this deck given the mana dorks and the overall need for green color. Problematic are cards such as Praetor's Grasp which then could take away my combo when only one storm enchantment is left. When they choose to get Paradox Engine I am still able to generate a large amount of mana and thus can get ahead of the table pretty hard when playing these recurring enchantments, while an enchantress is on the field (or better multiple ones) eventhough I cannot go infinite. Also it helps to have both color available to make better use of Gaea's Cradle andSerra's Sanctum. So I am a bit skeptical.