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Psychic Strike Discussion
5 days ago
Okay! I finally have time to respond! The last two days have been really hectic, with me trying to finish two smaller research papers.
First, responding to NuBByThuMB:
Thank you so much for your comments! I do love mill and combo, and I am doing my best to make this as effective and interactive as I can within the Dimir Theme! I'm shooting for a 50-75% build, but I'm willing to make a few concessions for vanity's sake. Also some cards like Glimpse the Unthinkable and Sensei's Divining Top are a bit outside my budget at the moment because PhD apps are costly and it's Christmas time. Ive just been making do with what I have as I learn about Commander. I've only known about the format for a couple of months now. This is my first deck!
Providing a few justifications for my card choices, which you can feel free to debunk.
Hedron Crab was included as a way to get in some early mill. The same reasoning is actually why Mind Funeral and Undercity Informer ended up in the deck. I have found that if I don't have a few options for early mill, then Lazav just sits around looking ugly until I get to a higher cost mill spell that I can drop. A small creature like Hedron can also chump block a weak creature in the early game if I need. I guess I could cut him for Archive Trap to counter fetch lands and tutors.
Undercity Informer is a nice sac outlet in emergencies, comes out early so I can get my mill on, and I can sac my stuff if it is going to get killed blocking or in a wipe anyway. I'm open to some suggestions of things to replace him. What I struggle with is choosing cards that 'impact the board', because I'm not sure how much 'impact' is required to justify being one of the 99. My solution has been to find spells or effects that I like and try and get them on a creature. The Informer was doubly good because he also fits with my Ravnica/ Dimir theme. If I can find a copy of Erebos around, then I may consider him as a potential add. I know a couple people in my meta play some lifegain shenanigans. But, I'm wary of getting rid of some of my cheaper creatures because my deck is a bit slow and reactive already, I don't want to look too vulnerable early game because I have nothing that size along my mana curve...
Nighthowler was included because early game, like Wight of Precinct Six, he can usually be a 4/4 or a 5/5 with some early mill and defend me pretty well. Late game he is a good buff for any creature that needs it, like a voltron-Lazav strategy. This guy may get traded in for a Fate Unraveler that I have in my trade binder because of the synergy that you mentioned with my wheels
Phantasmal Image has had me on the fence for a while now because of how vulnerable he is. I may follow another suggestion and replace him with Dimir Infiltrator, who can also tutor for some combo pieces. Phyrexian Metamorph is one of my more versatile clones. I'm not sure what I could replace him with that would benefit me as well as he does. I'm sure you have some ideas.
Instants and sorceries
I noticed you said that you were looking into adding some more removal or counters into your deck. Perhaps some of my justifications can convince you of the utility of a few of these options. Or, they are feeble reasons and I should pack something much different.
The spot removal like GftT, Grisly Spectacle and Induce Paranoia are expensive. I could see cuts for at least Induce, because it rarely mills for too much (unless someone plays a Genesis Wave for 30, which is what convinced me to add it. If I take out Induce, it will be for the cheaper Psychic Strike. Grisly Spectacle has just been too reliable at milling for 30+ in the mid to late game because that's when people start swinging with crazy +1/+1'ed beaters. I took a guy out once by killing his own Consuming Aberration. Go for the Throat is included as an early game removal spell when something is threatening me like an early game commander, or when my deck is acting sluggish. Memory Plunder turns any instant or sorcery that I've milled into gold. I've stolen precious removal at desperate times, a kicked Rite of Replication or a Tooth and Nail. And those sorceries are able to be played at instant speed! The benefit of milling is that I can take advantage of the resources that they flip reluctantly into their yard. Cards like Plunder and Animate Dead help me capitalize on those things. Although I do agree that I need more tuck abilities. I just don't have a copy of any of the tuck counters to use for the time being.
If I take out Mind Funeral, It will probably be for my copy of Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver, since he is possible able to mill more over his stint on the board. Though I don't know if I will be able to defend him well without many creatures.
Sol Ring will likely become a copy of Strionic Resonator, since you made a good argument for why I don't need it and I ordered a couple copies not long ago.
I don't think I'll get enough permanents hitting the board short of an infinite loop to make Altar of the Brood viable.
I know that areas which I lack are graveyard hate (considering Shred Memory for that) and general mill effectiveness. I try to mitigate this by making good use of the little I am able to mill. I also feel that not going in whole-hog on the mill makes the game more fun for the others in my meta. In that case mill is more of a support strategy (I'd still like for it to be a more feasible wincon in a 4-player game though). One other area that I am less confident is my curve and overall synergy. I would like to be the "win out of nowhere" guy to better simulate the sneakiness of the Dimir. This means I need to have many lines of play available to me, and many of these will be taken from among my opponents' own graves and libraries!
@PayOneLife Thanks for the suggestion of Archive Trap and Psychic Strike! I will be sure to get those when I have the chance! I'm also using your Dimir Infiltrator suggestion in place of another cut suggested above. He was in the deck but was cut for something else.
6 days ago
My only advice is to try and lower the mana curve. Your first counter has a CMC of 3, and before that the only solution to a creature based deck is Ultimate Price, which can only hit mono-colored creatures. You should either try to get more creature destruction, or lower the cost of your counters if at all possible.
1 week ago
I like Lavaz as the commander, Mirko is too narrow and perhaps not as interesting. In your description you mentioned laying traps, so I'm surprised not to see Archive Trap which is a great card and super flavour. I'll mention Glimpse the Unthinkable but guess that it's too expensive for not enough grunt. Shadowmage Infiltrator is a good card draw engine that you can stick a sword on for massive upside. I found Induce Paranoia to be too expensive to sit on the mana until your opponent's turn. I like Psychic Strike better because counterspells should be counter first, mill second - otherwise another mill spell might be better. Muddle the Mixture, Shred Memory and Dimir Infiltrator are all Dimir and are perfect for helping to put the + combo together, and are all useful in their own right.
As for clones, my theory is that they are excellent so long as you have good card draw. This is because being cheaper isn't an advantage unless it allows you to cast more spells than your opponent, who is probably going to have more lands than you. Their other spells are going to synergise with the creature most of the time, but because you've stolen it it isn't necessarily going to work as well with your other creatures etc. So the best way to use the clone is to have lots of other cards in your hand, play their creature for cheap and keep going (maybe destroy the creature you just copied!).
1 week ago
I really like Dream Twist so I probably wont be switching it out for psychic strike because, I also really like Psychic Strike beside of the countering. Thats why id like to put them both in my deck but I already have too many cards as is. But I did however put in Memory Erosion in place of Phyrexian Arena to delay my opponents and make them reconsider using spells.
1 week ago
I can help you out a little with your sideboard. Get rid of Duskmantle Guildmage. and while Gigadrowse is a good card to have. it can also get in the way. Play a few games with your friends. and figure out how much tapping you want/ need in this mill deck.
I would also think about switching out Dream Twist for Psychic Strike and while Psychic Strike mills for four less it also give you a sweet counter. and a little more control over the battlefield and cards that make it past your milling. and you should switch Phyrexian Arena for Memory Erosion. Memory Erosion gets your opponents to stop and think. and some time they won't even play they card because it. Plus, mill deck become targeted by opponents really quickly. So, you don't need to do the extra damage to yourself.
1 week ago
A few comments on your choices:
Ensoul Artifact is essentially worthless in this deck. Yes, you have 11 artifacts, but at the point where 7 of them are creatures anyway and the remaining 4 (Tormod's Crypt) are sideboard fodder (or at least, not a 4-of mainboard), you need to question why they're in the deck in the first place. I'd guess they're supposed to provide a wincon, which leads into my next point.
Winning. Your deck is missing the most high-profile WotC (huh, that acronym looks familiar...) card: Magister of Worth. Not only is it a flavorful wincon, it's also mass removal- something your deck sorely lacks. I'd pull the Ensoul Artifacts for 4 Magisters.
Counterspells. Cancels are strictly worse than the vast majority of counterspells out there, and since you have access to black and white, you gain access to some very cool options. For your deck, I'd recommend something along the lines of Undermine, or maybe Psychic Strike for the lower color weight. Dissolve is also a solid option. Whatever you choose, bump the number you run up to at least 6, maybe 7 depending on how counter-heavy you want it to be.
Mass Removal. You're in the removal colors, so use them as effectively as possible. Since this is (I assume) a control deck, you can never go wrong with Supreme Verdicts, especially when you're 3 mana away from a Magister.
Better Conciliating. The whole point of these cards is to allow options, and Brago's Representative and Grudge Keeper essentially turn them into more interactive charms. That said, you want to use only the most effective ones. You're good with the 4x Plea for Power and 4x Tyrant's Choice, but Riot Control is far worse both theme-wise and strategically for your deck than Council's Judgment. It's a Detention Sphere with a little less blue and a little more input from your friends. Also, Split Decision is a good undercosted counterspell, but just keep in mind the fact that there's very little you'd use its alternate ability for. Keep it in, absolutely, but don't count on it for copying. Also, Bite of the Black Rose is pretty weak, comparatively. Pull them for the Verdicts.
1 week ago
You really want to get down to 60 cards on the dot buddy. You've got 7 too many cards. Then your second problem is that on top of the first, you don't have enough lands, so I think you're going to have to cut some additional cards and add some land.
Looks like you're trying to make what's called a 'mill' deck. This is actually different than 'discard'. Discard actually refers to making your opponent discard cards from their hand. When you do it from the library it's mill.
There's going to be a lot of people that tell you mill isn't competitive, just a heads up more for warning. I'm not going to dissuade you one way or another, so I'll just try to help.
You need to start by removing everything that doesn't focus on your win condition or take advantage of mill. So drop the following:
- 1x Accorder's Shield
- 2x Dimir Keyrune
- 1x Skyblinder Staff
- 2x Deathcult Rogue
- 1x Phantom Warrior
- 1x Shipbreaker Kraken
- 1x Taigam's Scheming
- 1x Agoraphobia
- 1x Claustrophobia
- 2x Skygames
- 1x Way of the Thief
- 1x Spell Rupture
So, that's 15 cards. So what's happening all in all so far is you have too many cards in your deck, not enough lands, and then 15 cards don't even technically help you win by mill. By removing 15, we need to re-add 8.
So, I don't know what your budget is like, so I'm going to make very cheap recommendations. Firstly, get 3x more Dimir Guildgate to bring you up to 24 lands.
Now, you're still going to likely receive criticism for your card choices. Tome Scour is widely considered to be a bad card in general. This is because if you have no cards in your hand, and you top deck a Tome Scour, then all you get to do is mill 5 for 1 mana and you can't do anything else. For this logic, it'd be better if you top decked just about anything else so you can do something more impactful in the game. Even a Mind Sculpt since you'd have the spare mana anyways. Try to look for ways to make the deck work for synergistically as a whole. Maybe try Treasure Cruise so you can draw a few more spells to mill your opponent faster.
Here's my mill deck if you want some ideas. I'd say Mind Funeral would be the best investment you could acquire for your deck, since it's already mostly focused on milling based on land count anyways. Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have.
1 week ago
Hey, I'll give you some advice: First, with your curve ending at 5 cmc (converted mana cost), you'll want 25 lands to ensure you cast your 5 cmc spells on your turn 5. I suggest -1 New Benalia (strictly worst than Temple of Enlightenment), +3 Godless Shrine, +1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx if you have them. Second, if you're looking for a modern legal deck, the best counterspells are Mana Leak, Remand, and Spell Snare, because they're cheaper to cast than the ones you are currently using. Take out Psychic Strike and Render Silent for +4 Mana Leak and +2 Spell Snare. Third, I like what you're doing with enchantments, but I suggest -4 Martial Law because it's really slow against any aggro deck and +2 Blind Obedience to keep your opponent slowed down. Remove Tamiyo, the Moon Sage for the same reason, she's too slow to work in modern. -2 Sphere of Safety for +2 Ghostly Prison because it's just a better way to tax your opponent's attacks. The token producers seem unfitting for a control deck, I suggest -2 Lingering Souls, -2 Spectral Procession for +4 Geist of Saint Traft. Let me know what you think of my advice, and I can help you through anything you have to ask.
|Avg. draft pick||5.82|
|Avg. cube pick||3.21|
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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