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Root Maze Discussion
3 days ago
Oh, I take back what I said, forget it, sorry about me white-knighting the competitive tag in the past (not far past, but still) and I love the list!
If you really want to make it competitive, I can't promise I can make Arahbo tier 1, but tier 2-3 I can do, as long as you are willing to drop some of the more fun cats, and are able to build up this deck to become a stax-beatdown hybrid.
Okay, so to start, consistency is key, more tutors should be the goal, think Fauna Shaman and Survival of the Fittest type cards, and you'd really want to slow the deck down, which is the opposite of what most people will say.
Running Vryn Wingmare, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Glowrider, and Thorn of Amethyst can stop many combo decks in their tracks, and shut off storm decks in general, while not slowing you down nearly as much. Avacyn's Pilgrim, Birds of Paradise, Llanowar Elves, Arbor Elf, Elvish Mystic, Fyndhorn Elves, and Boreal Druid are all fast mana ramp that gets you to dropping your commander + Lost Leonin combo (what I believe to be the simplest wincon) faster and also gets unaffected by non-creature hate.
Effectively I am arguing for stax, but not just stax, also combo, running the combo you already have is fine, Archangel of Thune and Spike Feeder, however it doesn't win the game until your next turn unless you already have a large amount of mana, or an Aetherflux Reservoir type effect.
Consider Priest of Titania/Elvish Archdruid/Wirewood Channeler + Umbral Mantle/Sword of the Paruns/Staff of Domination as a powerful combo with cards that are individually useful. Emptying all of that infinite mana into a Genesis Wave or Walking Ballista can easily win games.
Okay, for the 50 bucks thing, Armageddon, Ramunap Excavator, Glowrider, Vryn Wingmare, Aven Mindcensor, Norn's Annex, Ghostly Prison, Spirit of the Labyrinth, Birds of Paradise, Llanowar Elves, Fyndhorn Elves, Arbor Elf, Elvish Mystic, Yisan, the Wanderer Bard, Boreal Druid, Avacyn's Pilgrim, Nature's Claim, Dryad Militant, Rest in Peace, Path to Exile, Suppression Field, Aura of Silence, Beast Within, Manglehorn, Mother of Runes, and Return to Dust add up to $49.95 on TCGplayer not including tax or shipping costs, and make up a core stax build, with other reasonably cheap cards that could help being Root Maze, Natural State.
4 weeks ago
Mindblade Render made me smile when I saw it, I am going to have to steal that idea. Mind if I ask why you don't run Manglehorn, it has always felt like a show-in piece of stax in green, along with Root Maze and the like, also, why do you have 2 Demonic Tutors and 2 Damnations? I apologize If I just don't understand something.
1 month ago
@ARAMbo, p0megranates, deakmana: I think what I don't like about stuff like Orcish Lumberjack and Root Maze and Dryad Arbor is the inconsistency. Sure, they're ok sometimes, but sometimes when you draw them later they're actually terrible.
I actually had Dryad Arbor (of course, right?) but I got so mad at how it was basically a mulligan everytime it was in my opening hand I dropped it. I think it events out. If it is in your opening hand, you've mulliganed; if GSZ is in your opening hand (and dryad arbor is in the library), then you don't have to mulligan. I think on balance you can just cut it. Then I traded Green Sun's Zenith for Natural Order, since the only targets for either are Manglehorn, Ruric Thar, the Unbowed, and Kamahl, Fist of Krosa. So Natural Order is cheaper, generally.
Going to try Lodestone Golem as another hate bear / sphere effect. Dropped Knollspine Dragon since it has decreasing synergy with the stax plan and was becoming a win-more card. I feel like I need more stuff that can possibly interact with combos (such as The Gitrog Monster), so I'm swapping Shamanic Revelation for Lurking Predators in an effort to just flip Ruric Thar if someone starts to go off with Dramatic Scepter or something. Also should have strong value as a Green Mystic Remora. :)
1 month ago
@deakmana, Thanks for the comments!
Its cool to get some comments from an actual competitive perspective.
Re: Crop Rotation : The card disadvantage is real; and it might not be obvious from just reading this list, but it doesn't really need Gaea's Cradle, it's just sort of nice to have. Most of the time you want a Blood Moon effect anyway, so the Cradle gets turned off (and Scavenger Grounds, and Spinerock Knoll). Although Boseiju, Who Shelters All is an interesting suggestion.
Spinerock Knoll has been good so far. It's a nice way to get more gas at a pretty minimal cost; in many cases it doesn't even cost a card.
I'm never sad to see a one-sided wipe. Literally every competitive deck except maybe Jeleva and Teferi have creatures in play. I'm not sure if you've played any competitive EDH in the last 18 months, but there's these two commanders called Thrasios and Tymna... And those decks tend to be loaded with creatures. It's sort of a bummer that most decks actually do have a few creatures in play, frequently with stats like 1/3 or 2/2, which makes it hard to get clean attacks with the hatebears. Ezuri's Predation is just about as easy to cast as Mizzium Mortars, and is vastly superior. Not only is it disruption and mana destruction, it's nearly a game-ending threat!
re: Gamble. I tried this and cut it quickly. If you want to use it to get something you're not going to discard, then you have to do it off your opening 7. That means you're spending turn 1 playing gamble instead of a mana elf, which is just terrible. Or your spending turn 2 playing gable instead of a stax piece, which is also terrible. Then if you want to play it turn 3, you've got 3 cards left in hand. One of the benefits of this deck is that it doesn't use the graveyard... so if the tutor target gets discarded it's gone for good. In a lot of decks Gamble is good because it's a second copy of Entomb. As you can see, the opposite is true here.
Incidentally, Chrome Mox has a similar problem: basically its likely that you don't have enough spare cards to come back from the card disadvantage. The general doesn't provide card advantage, so we're not reliably ramping into something that refills the hand.
I've tried Orcish Lumberjack. It's really bad to play a turn 1 dork that might not actually make mana, which happens, if you don't have a forest. It can be strong tho. Perhaps its worth using. Have you tested it in this list?
I've also tried and cut Skullclamp. It's just slow and not good. I don't have a reliable 1-toughness token producer (like in a Tana, the Bloodsower deck), and basically token-making isn't a great route to victory. It doesn't draw off commanders and the only thing that leaves is using it to draw off mana elves after the mid-game when you don't need the mana anymore. That's just not a winning plan, anyway.
1 month ago
Thank you man that means alot to me. I have been working on this list for about two years now.
The list already preforms really well in any group, so I do not think it needs to be tuned more competitive unless you are playing in a pure cEDH meta.
If you want to tune this list for cEDH group do this:
Cut alot of the pillowfort cards (Leyline of sanctity, Privileged Position, Glacial chasm, ++)
Add more counterspells
Change commanders from Angus to Derevi, Empyrial Tactician.
Add Omniscience and Laboratory Maniac, cut divine intervention.
These changes dramatically changes the deck. I really like it like it is at the moment. My playgroup already thinks it is a little to overpowered so I would advice against some of these changes if you do not need them. Here is a small primer on Derevi enchantress for cEDH: [Dankchantress]https://www.reddit.com/r/CompetitiveEDH/comments/4gpj1y/brewsday_brew_5_dankchantress_derevi_enchantress/
Approach of the Second Sun
This is a fine wincon and works well in most cases, but you would not run it in a competitive deck due to the high mana cost and its weakness to counters. If you feel like you need a wincon I would switch it out for Omniscience. It synergizes with the rest of the cards in the deck and can be cheated into play with Academy Rector or Lost Auramancers.
If you have any ideas about additions or if you get any experience with playing the deck please tell me. I would love to hear someone elses perspective on the deck.
2 months ago
In MT:G we use "hypergeometric calculation" to figure out our probability of drawing certain cards, or in this case types of cards. I was too lazy to work it out by hand so I used an online calculator.
The cards we are concerned with are: Null Rod, Sphere of Resistance, Tangle Wire, Thorn of Amethyst, Trinisphere, Winter Orb, and Root Maze. I left out Manglehorn as a stax piece because Yissan the wanderer bard is our commander and can fetch him on verse 3. So 7 stax pieces, with no easy ways to tutor for them in a 99 card deck. What's the chance that we draw any one of them naturally in a 7 card hand?
The calculator says 33.53%. I'm not great at math, but I'll make a few assumptions. You will draw one of the 7 stax pieces in your opening hand in a third of your games. In commander we get to mulligan once for free, so the odds are even better. And with successive mulligans, as is suggested when playing cEDH, digging for a stax piece makes your chance of success even higher. You can use the calculator to figure out your chance of success on successive turns, in case you don't get what you need in an opening hand.
In my opinion, this totally justifies the inclusion of 7 stax pieces in the deck in a competitive environment!
3 months ago
I don't think Cataclysm is a good card for you, it looks like you like to hoard permanents in the field, and Cataclysm is no good for that. Another thing, you have few pieces to combo well with Stasis you do have Root Maze but Kismet (or Frozen AEther) or Orb of Dreams can help you finnish the combo.
Eventhough Mana Vault is a great card I dont feel like is necesary, but it's an artifact based stax so I get it. I wouldnt play Ichor Rats it's way too slow even for a stax deck.If you wanna check my deck here it is: Max Stax Atraxa
Also, I like to play Armageddon and Heroic Intervention, It has won me a lot of games. And since you're running Armageddon and Ravages of War you double the chances to get the combo. Also Heroic Intervention is a great counter for all the boardwipes or targeted disruption in commander.
See ya man! =)