Scour the Laboratory
Delirium - Scour the Laboratory costs 2 less to cast if there are four or more card types among cards in your graveyard.
Draw three cards.
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Scour the Laboratory Discussion
1 week ago
Looks fine. Cycling Curator and bringing him back with Lili sounds like a fun play, and most of the deck seems solid. Maybe tweak your draw suite? Scour the Laboratory is only going to be played for it's delirium cost fairly late game or at least only after lili's online, but doesn't really need the cost reduction every game I guess.
2 months ago
Although it does have at least one of each, getting the single enchantment into the graveyard isn't going to happen very often. Delirium probably won't happen often before a gearhulk dies, which means turn 6-8 usually. Esper isn't really the shard for delirium payoffs, either. Maybe Descend upon the Sinful Scour the Laboratory is probably still too slow, since you'll almost never have delirium before turn 4.
2 months ago
Going Torrential Gearhulk dumping big instants with Cathartic Reunion will give you access to Grip of Desolation, Spreading Flames, Scour from Existence, Humble the Brute, Confirm Suspicions, Scour the Laboratory, Incendiary Sabotage.
3 months ago
Thanks for all who helped. I've decided to go with "The answer's in here somewhere!" on Scour the Laboratory.
3 months ago
I like this deck a lot. I love Blue/White or Black/Blue or even Esper control decks. A few issues I had noticed in light testplay, there's simply not enough draw to stay ahead on answers. Control decks require a steady enough stream of instant speed draw spells to cast in place of a counterspell not needing to be used. I would say +1 Glimmer of Genius, and even +2 Scour the Laboratory or, as someone else mentioned, Live Fast. Baral provides decent hand improvement, but it's not actual draw, so you simply need more as far as I can tell. Transgress the Mind is great early game, maybe add another? I'd definitely drop 2 Yahenni's Expertise since it is 4 mana, not always reliable removal, and cannot cast your counterspells so it's second ability isn't always relevant especially if you get more than one in a game. Maybe put in a couple of Ruinous Paths for more reliable removal in case a big fatty slips through? Certainly worth considering when you're going up against an Aetherworks Marvel deck and literally cannot counter the creatures they play. As for cuts, maybe cut down a couple lands in addition to the other cuts I suggested in favor of some of the suggestions I made for the deck, if any of those suggestions happen to appeal to you anyway.
4 months ago
I think there are enough books in magic to not need to resort to scrolls too. Some that could replace the scrolls: Otherworld Atlas, Book of Rass, Thran Tome, Scour the Laboratory, Insidious Dreams, Metalworker, Anarchist, Oath of Lim-Dul, Personal Tutor, and Twisted Justice.
4 months ago
A solid Hedron Alignment deck is something I've been trying to piece together for a while now. And a few things often come up as a problem:
1 The deck needs to survive until all Hedrons are aligned.
2 There needs to be a way to find your Hedrons in every situation possible. You don't want to end up with 4 Hedrons in your graveyard and no easy way to get a few of them in your hand/play/exile.
The first problem is dependent on the second one, so I'll start with the seconds problem. The problem (or actually "puzzle") of getting the Hedrons in position is split in various ways:
Get them out of your deck and into the 'interactive' area. Hand and graveyard being the prominent two areas. (I don't know what the official term is to describe the areas that are not the library, so I call them 'interactive' here.)
This deck seems to mostly mill itself and some card-draw on the side. I really like Vessel of Nascency here, it can get you anything but instants and sorceries and it leaves the other cards in the graveyard for possible future interactions. Contingency Plan is a card that continuously fails to deliver in my eyes. If only it was an instant OR one card can be put into the hand. Now it just seems to just do the bare minimum, and sometimes not even that. It sounds good: looking at 5 cards and choose which ones to put into the graveyard and what order they should be on the top of the library. I only found that card to be good at turn 2, any later and I really wanted to just get the one card I need and put in into my hand. Maybe this deck will perform differently than with my simple testing.
Another way is to draw the Hedrons with massive card draw spells and abilities. Cloudblazer combined with Panharmonicon and either Eldrazi Displacer or its budget-version Displace / Eerie Interlude / Essence Flux can become a major draw-engine. Other draw spells are obviously good here as well: Catalog, Take Inventory, Scour the Laboratory, Pore Over the Pages, Glimmer of Genius. Also scry-like abilities (Anticipate) can be part of this category as well. But a major flaw with those types of spells is that it doesn't thin out your deck as much. It's maybe not as big of a deal, but in a Hedron-deck every card matters.
A third method to get the right pieces could be to play black and just look for the right pieces with Behold the Beyond and Diabolic Tutor. This is probably the easiest way once you get on 7 mana. But since you don't have any black cards, and besides Aether Hub no way to splash black, I wouldn't recommend this strategy. I just wanted to note that this could be a strategy.
On to the second part of the deck:
From the 'interactive' area to the different zones
This also consists of multiple parts. Because for every possible situation, there needs to be a way out.
Your list includes Sigarda, Heron's Grace, Angelic Purge (a really solid card, because it covers 2 of the 4 Hedrons at once), Natural State, and Cataclysmic Gearhulk to manipulate the Hedrons once they're on the battlefield. All of them are fine. As it really depends on what method the deck has to solve the first part of the puzzle (getting the Hedrons out of your deck).In your case, you have a combination of self-mill and draw. Therefor you need a way to get cards (Enchantments) from your graveyard back into your hand. Possible solutions: Wildest Dreams I see you have it in your sideboard, personally I think it's a must to have it in the main. If only for the possibility that 3 or even all 4 end up in your graveyard. Emeria Shepherd; costs a lot, but is straighforward and effective. Greenwarden of Murasa; also very expensive, but only needs to enter the battlefield. Nissa, Vital Force; a little more playable even without the option to return a permanent card. Seasons Past; still a good way to return multiple cards and it doesn't exile itself like Wildest Dreams, but the costs also isn't as flexible.
Now the reverse: from hand/play to the graveyard
Angelic Purge, Geier Reach Sanitarium, and Natural State is your way of putting one Hedron in the graveyard. The only problem I have is Natural State. It is too restricted and doesn't really do anything else besides destroying an echantment or artifact. Granted, there are some decks which Natural State could be useful against, but I see it more as a sideboard-card. Other ways of discarding could be: Catalog; also draws 2 cards, Haunted Dead / Stitchwing Skaab / Geralf's Masterpiece / Noose Constrictor / Cryptbreaker and similar creature with discard abilities. Behold the Beyond; requires you to discard your whole hand, which could create some awkward situations, but can also be the best card to Hedrons align as early as turn 8.There are a lot of ways to get the Hedron Alignment in the graveyard, so this piece of the puzzle is not something to focus on the most.
Getting the puzzle piece in exile however, is probably the most difficult, and requires a careful approach.Your deck has Sigarda, Heron's Grace, Angelic Purge, and Cataclysmic Gearhulk to exile Hedron Alignment. Good choices, other possibilities are: Anguished Unmaking, Transgress the Mind on yourself, World Breaker , countering the spell with Void Shatter, semi-counter with Spell Queller, and my personal favorite Lost Legacy.All of them can be used, and it really depends on personal preference and what the deck needs (creatures, counters, hand-disruption). Lost Legacy is my favorite, because it can exile Hedron Alignment from anywhere, it doesn't need certain conditions.
Now on to how to defend yourself while trying to put the pieces in their place.
Like I noted earlier, it really depends on the methods the deck uses to align the Hedrons. So I only want to go quickly over some different strategies to survive. These strategies are not set in stone and can be used in combination with one another. There are probably also some that I have missed.
Call me Russian dictator, because I'm stalin'
Your standard control-deck with countermagic (Void Shatter, Negate, Summary Dismissal) and heavy removal (Grasp of Darkness, To the Slaughter, Harnessed Lightning, Radiant Flames, Ruinous Path, Murder, Fumigate). Only without the high-end threats, but instead Hedron Alignment will be the method to win.
Match your opponent in creatures
Put your own threats on the board which can trade with opponent's creatures because you don't rely on them dealing any damage (it can become a secondary win-condition). A few examples: Grim Flayer, Gnarlwood Dryad, Noose Constrictor, Haunted Dead, Prized Amalgam, Geralf's Masterpiece, Vexing Scuttler; almost like the old + combo, Eternal Scourge; a solid create that can constantly be played over and over again, Scrapheap Scrounger, any Gearhulk which fits the deck the best, Ishkanah, Grafwidow. Probably many other that I have not mentioned.
These are my thoughts on building a deck that is focused on winning with Hedron Alignment after theorycrafting and trying for about a month. I hope I explained it well enough, and if there's anything you want to comment on or disagree with, please let me know. (Sorry for the lenght, but I really wanted to explain my thoughts in detail)
In the end, I feel like the hedron alignement decks must always have an answer to the questions:
What do I do when 4 Hedrons are in my hand / the graveyard / the deck / in play?
What do I do when 3 Hedrons are in my hand and 1 in my deck / graveyard / play?
What do I do when 3 Hedrons are in play and 1 in my deck / hand / graveyard?
Etc, until every possible situation is covered.
And finally, the most important question: How screwed am I if 2 Hedrons end up in exile?