Ruthless Sniper


Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Standard Legal
Legacy Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Casual Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Amonkhet (AKH) Uncommon

Combos Browse all

Ruthless Sniper

Creature — Human Archer

Whenever you cycle or discard a card, you may pay 1. If you do, put a -1/-1 counter on target creature.

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Ruthless Sniper Discussion

BaiZongTong on Archfiend Hapatra

2 weeks ago

How's Archfiend of Ifnir working out for you?

I play a similar deck and was excited about the archfiend, but didn't think there's enough cycling cards to make it worthwhile. Ruthless Sniper I thought may have been an interesting addition, but again, not enough good cycling cards. I run The Scorpion God instead for late-game big-hitting. It also helps with card advantage.

Cycling lands is a way to got to compensate the problem, but I run Blooming Marsh instead which allows the deck to be a lot faster.

An intersection is Stinging Shot, which is a great sideboard card against flyers like Glorybringer, and gives you three insects for just one mana with Nest of Scarabs. It also fits into the cycling requirement also.

On the topic of Nest of Scarabs, I find it to be perhaps the most powerful card in this setup, because it allows you to flood the board with creatures very cheaply. Combine it with the previously mentioned stinging shot, Channeler Initiate, or Exemplar of Strength, you are basically throwing out multiple 1/1s for just 1 or 2 mana. The 1/1s do more than just flooding the board. Target one of the 1/1 with one of those creature's ETB effect, and you have cheap 4/4 or 4/3 for just 2 mana.

I also find Supernatural Stamina to be extremely helpful in this setup, since it allows you to trigger ETB effects again. Imagine you have channeler on the board with some counters, and you play exemplar targeting channeler, channeler dies, but you play stamina to return it to the battle, triggering its ETB. Now you just created 6 -1/-1 counters in two batches, which allows you to either create two snakes with Hapatra and/or 6 insects with each tomb. It also helps you save creatures, and sometimes gives you that extra push for lethal damage.

With that many creatures, right now I run Westvale Abbey  Flip to transform the 1/1s into a giant creature. But when that rotates out, I'm thinking of something like Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter or Metallic Mimic to help.

Anyways, this is my interpretation of the deck. I recently splashed more red (I have red already since I was supporting the scorpion god), which affects the mana base, hence all the Aether Hub and Attune with Aether. I'm still debating whether this is the direction I want to go into.

multimedia on Double Negatives

4 weeks ago

Why are you getting so stressed? This game doesn't have to be serious. If it's stressing you out so much that you want to quit because of it then just play for fun. Look into drafting Amonkhet with some friends or check out Commander and buy a premade deck, it's much more fun than Standard. If you're not playing the game competitively you shouldn't be stressing out over it. Ixalan is also coming to Standard and the set looks very fun with Dinos, Pirates and an overall tribal exploration theme.

Don't get the idea that looking at other peoples decks is a bad thing because it's not. In fact it's quite the opposite when you're learning. Looking at established decks gives you a much better understanding of how to correctly build a deck from the start. I'm not saying to copy a deck card for card, but it's fine to get some inspiration from established decks and see what cards are working and what cards are not.

Grasp of Darkness, Hissing Quagmire and Noose Constrictor rotate out of Standard in a month, end of Sept. meaning you have little time to play them in this deck. You're better off starting out not playing them and cutting them for other cards. Evolving Wilds or Foul Orchard can replace Quagmire, Ammit Eternal can replace Noose and Grind / Dust can replace Grasp.

In my opinion Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons, Ammit Eternal, Grind / Dust, Obelisk Spider, Channeler Initiate, The Scorpion God(requires a splash of red), Banewhip Punisher and Ifnir Deadlands are the best cards for the -1/-1 counters archetype. I essentially just build a deck with this list.

Here's a core to consider:

  • 4x Hapatra
  • 4x Eternal
  • 4x Channler
  • 4x Spider

  • 4x Grind

  • 4x Deadlands
  • 4x Wilds
  • 4x Marsh

Cards to support this core:

  • 3x Punisher
  • 2x Scorpion God

  • 2x Splendid Agony
  • 3x Blossoming Defense
  • 2x Key to the City
  • 2x Nest of Scarabs

Eternal might be the best overall card for this archetype because he's a big body, 5/5 who you can put counters on and remove them. He's especially good with Hapatra. I would start any -1/-1 counters deck build with 4x Eternal. Channeler is next because it can make mana of any color which is great and is something you can take advantage of in this archetype. Three drops are pretty important here, a turn two Channeler gives a much better chance to cast a three drop turn three. If you can keep Hapatra alive she can take over a game, that's powerful for a two drop. As long as you have ways to get counters on creatures or can attack with her. She's pretty fagile, expect her to die and even though she's legendary I would still play her as a 4 of because having her in play is very good.

Scorpion God is worth splashing red for, something for you to consider. You can splash red with 4x Channeler, 4x Wilds, 1-2x Mountain. You could also consider adding 4x Attune with Aether and Aether Hub.

This archetype is about synergy with all your creatures therefore keeping your creatures alive especially Hapatra and Eternal is important. My suggestion is to add Blossoming Defense because it can protect a creature from targeted removal and also pump it. I would cut Festering Mummy, it's not good enough for Blossoming. I would also cut Ruthless Sniper for Grind / Dust. It's no guarantee that Sniper does anything for you because it requires other cards and mana to do anything, but Grind can get counters on creatures right away and Dust has potential to exile a lot of your opponent's creatures. Channeler can help to cast Dust.

Deadlands is a better Swamp for this archetype because of it's synergy. I would cut 4x Swamp for 4x Deadlands. Spider can help to gain life back that's lost from Deadlands.

Good luck with your deck.

Sunnydash on Pauper EDH Primer

1 month ago

Yes, I would like to compare notes with anybody who plays this format (not many people in my area do). I have built the following decks so far:

Drooling Groodion: Voltron/control deck that uses some recursion elements to repeat effects such as Crypt Rats, Nantuko Vigilante, and Dimir House Guard. Bascially, you generate a lot of tokens with cards like Sporoloth Ancient and Sprout Swarm, which you then sacrifice into the commander's ability. Actually surprisingly strong, because it allows repeated removal (which is great in this format, since most wins are creature based) and boosts itself at the same time.

Thunderclap Wyvern: Beatdown/control. Plaxcaster Frogling: Beatdown/control. Gelectrode: Control/Combo. Mesa Enchantress: Beatdown/control. Cliffhaven Vampire: Lifedrain. Contraband Kingpin: Artifact control. Stromkirk Captain: Vampire tribal.Drogskol Captain: Spirit tribal. Unraveling Mummy: Zombie tribal.

Currently thinking about Ruthless Sniper as monoblack cycle commander.

mdenil on -1/-1 Insect/Snake Swarm

1 month ago

I don't understand what Torment of Scarabs does for the deck.

I would also include Ruthless Sniper, it seems like a nobrainer for this deck.

Deepstriker29 on Grix and Stones, Draw Cards and Break Bones

1 month ago

Your lack of counterspells is highly disturbing.

Apart from that, throw a Jace's Sanctum in here for a discount and some good scry action to filter out a bit of the land you'll be drawing. You might want to look into some self-discard pieces like Drake Haven and Ruthless Sniper.

Portwood on

1 month ago

Mono_Land: I see your point, but this deck is not focused on cycling/discarding effects...

Noose Constrictor combos superbly well with Archfiend of Ifnir and Ruthless Sniper. I am currently thinking about creating a GB Counters Deck with these cards...

Thank you for your advice!

elvishandhung on Grixis Bicycles

1 month ago

I took a more control approach when I was building around sarcophagus and 2 of was working great for me, granted I had a bit more selection / draw running 4 hieroglyphic illumination. I can post my list if there's some interest, but I think you're pushing more towards a midrangy aggro deck.

I do think Hollow One ought to be a 4 of in the sense that you can cycle all 4 over the course of the game, and at any point on your turn later you can cast them for free - so say the game goes long, 10 turns down the road, cycle a few cards, put 16 power on the board for free..

If you could post a bit about your general strategy I can probably give some more concrete suggestions regarding cards & # of each. It seems your going survive early game w/ push & spray & sweltering suns -> mid range beatdown, my thought is you've got to go bigger or wider than your opponent for that strategy to work.

So while your getting some good value out of your cyclers, I don't feel like they have the ability to play around or interact with some of the most played cards. Take u/r control - an early Abrade on sarcophagus into an Hour of Devastation would (no offense) leave you dead to rights and facing the inevitable Bolas. Whereas if you can create opportunities to drop 2-3 threats in a turn 2-3 turns in a row, you can force your opponent to play more into your value & bash plan (if that is your plan, I may have misinterpreted).

I think if you're going the archfiend route, Ruthless Sniper is absolutely wonderful choice (kudos). One thing I haven't seen that may be an interesting direction could be building around these two homies and putting a copy or two of Liliana, Death Wielder (yep, that jank planeswalker deck card) at the top of the curve.

If you really wanted to get funky may you could do something like sniper > cycle/cast > cycle/cast > Fateful Showdown + drop your hollow one's > Abandoned Sarcophagus + cycle/cast > Archfiend of Ifnir + cycle > Liliana and drop what like potentially another 5-6 creatures?

I think censor's a great card for you as well and based off what your deck is doing I'd be more inclined to run that and or countervailing winds over negate.

Zondarian on Hour of Hapatra

2 months ago

The only other 1 drop I was considering was Festering Mummy but I don't think that's better than Ruthless Sniper because in this deck I have removed all the cards that enter with -1/-1 counters. The slight advantage I do have is that Key to the City is available to use every turn so while I am limited on discard outlets the few I do have aren't a one and done source.

With that I considered Geier Reach Sanitarium and I really want to make space for it but the mana base is looking stretched enough already.

I'm taking the instant removal out more to see what happens rather than to definitely get rid of it permenantly. I suspect the most likely outcome will be at a minimum dropping Nest of Scarabs to the sideboard to make space for the removal.

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