|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Oath of the Gatewatch (OGW)||Uncommon|
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Creature — Human Wizard
When Reflector Mage enters the battlefield, return target creature an opponent controls to its owner's hand. That creature's owner can't cast spells with the same name as that creature until your next turn.
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Reflector Mage Discussion
2 days ago
First of all, thank you for your Primer, it’s been a great help! Very inspirational piece of deck tech!
I’ve recreated most of the deck with some minor changes.
I’ve cut out Utter End in favour of Sorin, Grim Nemesis as a redundant effect in Aminatou + Kaya + Guardian + Panharmonicon/Oath of Teferi combo. He also provides extra draws, something the deck struggles with, in my opinion.
I reduced Islands to three, adding Halimar Depths. Having hardly any Turn 1 plays, I think it’s worth keeping a slightly riskier hand and re-arranging the top to hit the missing land. If you have a fetchland in hand, you can t2 reshuffle easily. I also found it helpful when I was running out of gas.
I decided to include Eldrazi Displacer instead of Ixidron, so also had to tweak manabase a bit. Swapping Concealed Courtyard and Darkslick Shores for Caves of Koilos and Underground River respectively brought the deck to a satisfying number of colourless sources. Displacer does not disappoint! I was able to pull of Felidar Guardian + Gonti, Lord of Luxury tonight, without Aminatou, the Fateshifter and Panharmonicon or Oath of Teferi. Instead, I had a Peregrine Drake and five lands, including Winding Canyons and Reliquary Tower. Took a while to explain to the table it’s a win lol!
I do not own an Imperial Seal so decided to go more flickery way and added Brago, King Eternal. The deck isn’t that much value oriented though, so I will probably add Rune-Scarred Demon instead as I found myself struggling to find answers at times.
Also swapped Angel of Despair for a cheaper disruption creature – Reflector Mage. More likely to get cast with Winding Canyons. I know it only hits creatures, but I didn’t find myself in the need to heavily disrupt non-creature strategies just yet.
Perplexing Chimera is still on my list. I like how you can get it back with Aminatou’s -1, but opponents will slow roll their spells in order to get rid of it or will simply wipe the board. Considering putting Draining Whelk as it’s a more reactive disruption that I can later flicker with Eldrazi Displacer or bounce back with Venser.
Insidious Dreams is proving to be disappointing as oftentimes I don’t have enough acceptable cards to pitch to it. Might go with Personal Tutor or Mystical Teachings instead. The first one if I can afford to slow roll Entreat the Dead or can use Aminatou’s +1 to put Time Warp in my hand, provided Archaeomancer or Salvager of Secrets is on the field already. The second can be good to fetch Venser, Shaper Savant, a counterspell or any other instant tutor effect. Flashback can prove useful too.
Thanks for sharing your deck with us, hopefully you’ll find my playtesting experience useful, too!
1 week ago
I believe the general use of Gilded Drake is to remove a creature for a turn or two. Before it gets destroyed or bounced and recast from whatever zone the creature is in. Reflector Mage is only one mana more, and stops them from casting it for a turn, so does what Gilded Drake commonly does anyway. Willbreaker has good synergy with Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, but as it isn't an ETB effect, as you move to combat, or move to cast Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, it can be removed with a Swords to Plowshares and do nothing, Gilded Drake and Reflector Mage don't have these problems.
I understand your rational against midrange, but generally against creature builds, plopping down a Retribution of the Meek can win the game. Only Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite and Archon of Valor's Reach get hit by the sweeper, and if you have Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, you probably don't have a problem. Retribution of the Meek generally stops larger creatures, as 4 power is right about the threshold for the midrangey builds. It isn't any free win like Willbreaker, but it does have an immmediate effect, that you don't have to wait for, is 'cheaper' (unless Thorn of Amethyst effects are about), and is easier to cast, being one white devotion in comparison to double blue.
1 week ago
Thanks, these are great suggestions!
I really like the Gemstone Mine because the reason I don't have a Tarnished Citadel is that I never liked getting dealt 3 damage, especially with the other 1 and 2 life from other lands. For me, that amount of life is better spent of Sylvan Library or something. So I'll definitely think about getting that.
I like Willbreaker against mid-range decks. Sometimes when the game gets slowed down with Sphere of Resistance effects, the mid-range decks get more time to play a few creatures that are generally better than yours. Willbreaker can turn these games into free wins. It is also on theme with stealing creatures, and is a card that I have won many games with. Pongo_Pygmaeu5 mentions this as well.
1 week ago
+1! Love Derevi and this build too!
1 week ago
Playing Grixis Delver recently has taught me that Mana Leak is still a very real modern card. Psychic Barrier has me underwhelmed. I love Countersquall, but not that many in the mainboard. It's really bad against decks like Humans. And I know you have a lot of creature removal for things like Humans, but it's still bad to have a 4-of unplayable card.
Instead of 4 Barrier 4 Countersquall I'd try something like 4 Mana Leak, 1 Countersquall, 3 Spell Snare, or something similar to that, and then put more Countersquall in the sideboard. You lose the incremental damage, but gain consistency.
Similarly, a lot of those creature removal spells will have no target in matchups like Control or Tron.
If you want to play more creatures, I do think Thing in the Ice Flip is great right now. If you flip it then you win the game, but there are still things like Reflector Mage to make for a sad day. Another card to consider is Cryptic Serpent. It's not too hard to cast, out of reach for Fatal Push, and at worst trades with all the creatures in modern except Ulamog. To support it you'd have to change the deck quite a bit, but it's still something to consider.
Why no Serum Visions?
To summarize my thoughts, it seems like a lot of the cards are too narrow. Sometimes the deck will draw all the right cards and win very handily. Sometimes the deck will draw half of the right cards and then discard the wrong cards to Liliana of the Veil. But other times still the deck will draw the wrong half and do nothing.
2 weeks ago
I don't think I would cut Acidic Slime. (Though it does seem to be one of SaffronOlive's pet cards) It just has so many useful modes and being able to copy it with Saheeli is just mental. Maybe Deadeye Navigator over Reflector Mage?? I don't know if that's any good or not. Pact of Negation to protect the combo?
2 weeks ago
It's not played because it's really slow and also removal spells. 3 mana to play a 1/1 isn't great. If you wait until you can play and hold instant-speed cantrips to grow it, then you need to be at turn 5 or 6, and at that point it's still maybe a 3/3 or 4/4. That costs 3 mana and additional investment.
Okay, maybe you play it turn 4 holding an Opt. Then you can have it trade with their Goblin Guide and I guess make a 1/1 to block their Monastery Swiftspear the next turn? Doesn't seem efficient when you could flash in a Snapcaster Mage and have it flashback a Vapor Snag or another cantrip and get basically the same result, but on a more flexible card and at instant speed.
What 16 cantrips are you playing? Serum Visions, Opt, Sleight of Hand, Thought Scour? Maybe Peek? Or are you counting something like Cryptic Command as cantripping (which I think is a valid thing to do)? I find it hard to stomach running more than 10 in modern (not counting cryptic command). I've toyed with 12 before but found it durdled too much. I'm imagining a hand of cantrips vs burn and it's not a happy thought.
Also Chasm Skulker lines up very poorly against Reflector Mage from Humans.
Basically, modern is a fast, brutal, unhappy place right now. It needs something powerful like Stoneforge Mystic or Splinter Twin to slow decks down and force more disruption and interaction.
3 weeks ago
+1, Venser, the Sojourner's +2 might work really well with Lavinia of the Tenth, Azorius Justiciar, Lyev Skyknight, Azorius Arrester, Azor, the Lawbringer, Reflector Mage, Dovin Baan, Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, Narset Transcendent, and Detention Sphere.