|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Kiora (DDO)||Rare|
|Journey into Nyx (JOU)||Rare|
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Scourge of Fleets
Creature — Kraken
When Scourge of Fleets enters the battlefield, return each creature your opponents control with toughness X or less to its owner's hand, where X is the number of Islands you control.
|Have (8)||bakeraj4 , , orzhov_is_relatively_okay819 , Pumpkinking913 , goodair , Bluboltar , jecder , sonnet666|
|Want (2)||Jeanmorin , alexl86|
Scourge of Fleets Discussion
3 weeks ago
In EDH, when a player with a blue source and at least mana in other sources open on a field. It is a threat. It is a threat not because of a 7 mana spell, but a 2 mana spell, not a spell that deals damage, counters spell, destroys permanents, tutors, or cheats costs, but a bounce spell.
Cyclonic Rift , C-Rift, the big wave, whatever you call it, people know it as one of the strongest, most backbreaking spells in all of EDH, if not the best card in the format.
I am here to say that is isn't.
Part of my series on why other popular staples aren't good ( Phyrexian Arena , Rampant Growth ), or are simply not good in a specific way ( Rhystic Study ), I am not here to deny the power that a card like Cyclonic Rift has, but simply that it isn't a good enough card to warrant the hate or love that it receives.
Before I go over why it isn't good, I need to go over why at nearly every power level, it is good.
In casual EDH, the 50% or less, the Precons, the jank, lies it's the weakest state.
That is where all removal spells, sweepers, or countermagic is the weakest, especially bounce. If no one has threatening boards, why remove them. You'd rather spend 7 mana on a spell to improve yours most of the time, yet those games go long, the Cyclonic Rift acts as a Fog to save you, Sleep to get in for damage, or real removal if you use it on a player's end step if they have to discard just after.
Almost all cards that show heavy play at higher levels show some play at lower ones, and while the price-tag may limit it for most casual players, it does work.
At the 75% or the middle tiers of EDH, where I think EDH players mostly lie, it where it is the most powerful. IF it destroyed any number of target nonland permanents, it would be weaker, because of three reasons:
75% decks often use permanent-based engines to support their gameplan. Think Beast Whisperer along with a deck full of cheap elves, or Paradox Engine in a deck will a lot of Temple Bell effects and mana rocks.
These decks and their creators often expect opponents to remove threats, so have many threats to remove.
They try to protect against sweepers, the only punishing cards for going so wide, with anti-sweepers, think Heroic Intervention , or Boros Charm , and protect against some single-target removal with effects like Darksteel Plate .
Because of this, and because indestructible and hexproof don't protect against a mass bounce effect, along with Cyclonic Rift being the only mass bounce at instant speed that doesn't affect you at all, and doesn't target, it is truly the best anti-75% sweeper by many standards.
In the competitive setting, while not bad, it is mostly relegated to being a 2 mana Chain of Vapor or a Into the Roil that doesn't draw a card, that can let a combo deck get through stax locks once in a blue moon.
Don't get me wrong, being relegated to a slightly worse Chain of Vapor isn't an insult. Chain of Vapor is possible the best removal in cEDH, as decks like Kess consultation or P-Hulk variants Laboratory Maniac wins, and for 1 blue mana, or two in the case of Cyclonic Rift , you get to bounce their wincon as they draw off an empty deck, so they lose...
That is some powerful stuff.
So why isn't it the best EDH card, an efficient spell in nearly any metagame? 2 options for removal, one that crushes many lists and the other a sleek and useful trick?
Because it isn't hyper-efficient, nor is it unbeatable, nor is it irreplaceable.
To start, many cEDH decks that run it run consistent amounts of countermagic to protect it's possible great effect, and numerous cards could fit the spot. It isn't alone. Blink of an Eye , the second Into the Roil has been used over it in many combo lists that more mana-efficient options and many forget the slot all-together, in favor of a cantrip or other removal spell like Abrade or whatever. It isn't very dominant there, and so is easy to explain why it wouldn't be amazing there.
In casual lists, Cyclonic Rift costs about as much as half of many of the casual decks, or even more than some entire casual decks that I have seen. Bringing money-cards wins there, as would a Consecrated Sphinx that costs less money, and I'd wager would have more powerful an effect. Again, an easy argument, but I believe it works.
The really hard place to argue against Cyclonic Rift on the surface is the middle tiers. The 75% lists. Legitimately, I think it is because in the 75% players don't consistently a highly interactive 'metagame'. They just prefer to be interactive 'ingame'.
This comes down to theory, however, when a deck, for example, an elf list abusing the Llanowar Elves style effects along with untap effects to keep making mana, dumping it into something like Ezuri, Renegade Leader . All of that deck and many others get shut down by Null Rod . While that card may be less powerful than other cards against any random deck, as many players know exactly what decks they face, they can play to those decks.
This means general removal, like Anguished Unmaking may be worse if artifacts and walkers don't see much play, you'd rather Mortify . Or if instant speed doesn't help you much, as a lot of City of Solitude / Dosan the Falling Leaf effects exist in your meta, Vindicate , etc.
This is pretty basic knowledge, however, the point here is that there are many, many replacements for Cyclonic Rift in different metagames, and I want to share the ones, only in mono-blue, that in the 75% are why Cyclonic Rift is overrated.
This isn't to say it isn't the best, but that if many, many replacements cost way less $$$ and are occasionally better, that one card shouldn't be considered the best in every situation.
Aether Gale , sorcery, only hits six things, has to hit your things if you don't have enough targets of only your opponents, targets, etc. Yes, there are reasons this is clearly worse.
Why is it better? Politically, you don't have to hit cards from players you team with. Similarly, if you like the Howling Mine on someone's field, don't bounce it. Someone Banishing Light ed someone else's threat you can't deal with? Don't bounce it.
Also, 18 cents. Compared to ~20 dollars and I think it is a steal for budget lists.
Also, it is 2 mana cheaper, despite not being an occasional Disperse .
Evacuation , the downside is simple, it doesn't hit non-creatures, and bounces your own things.
The upsides are for decks that want their own things bounced. ETB effects like Mulldrifter (You can respond to the sacrifice on evoke if you want!), Archaeomancer (infinite sweepers by returning Evacuation , or just recur another card), Duplicant , Solemn Simulacrum , etc.
It is 5 mana too, still an instant, and is only 2-3 dollars right now.
Other options for this could be AEtherize , Whelming Wave , Inundate , Engulf the Shore , Profaner of the Dead , or Scourge of Fleets if you just want mass creature bounce, each with ups and downs, some that only hit opposing creatures, some that are instants, some with graveyard synergies, etc.
For mass nonland bounce that doesn't target? There are tons of options, plenty with lower mana costs than Cyclonic Rift .
Take Coastal Breach . It does a mass bounce for just 4 mana (with 3 opponents), leaving you enough to rebuild first, and being able to be cast much faster, making up slightly for the sorcery speed.
Or Crush of Tentacles , 6 mana? 5 mana and an 8/8, it needs to be in a deck with enough cheap drops to hit surge to be worth it, but an option.
Devastation Tide is a personal favorite, if you run Aminatou, Brainstorm , a lot of scry, Mystical Tutor , Long-Term Plans , Jace, the Mind Sculptor , or are lucky, it is a 2 mana bounce everything. Really strong, however, sorcery (unless you cast it with Miracle on an opponents turn.
Run really high mana cards? Displacement Wave can be better,
Like a big creature attached? Kederekt Leviathan . It even comboes with flicker effects, or can be repeated for 2 mana with an effect like Animate Dead or 3 mana at instant speed whenever with Necromancy in black/blue.
Only need to target one player for political reasons? River's Rebuke .
A lot of one color in the meta? Wash Out
Artifacts/Enchantments? Reduce to Dreams
Even outside of bounce effects, Ixidron can do work xD
Point is, there are options. Even outside of blue, sweepers that can get around the normal protection is seriously strong. Terminus , Hallowed Burial , along with most mass exile effects in white from Play of the Game to Final Judgement / Descend upon the Sinful to the new Urza's Ruinous Blast , etc. Mercilous Eviction in W/B, the -x/-x effects in black like Toxic Deluge or Black Sun's Zenith , etc. in any color, Perilous Vault exists.
These are half of why I think Cyclonic Rift is overrated. Not because it isn't great at what it does, but that it isn't that much better than the rest.
The other half is simple.
Every color (sorry colorless) has answers to Cyclonic Rift off the top of my head.
Black? Many lists abuse cards like Inquisition of Kozilek or other discard to remove powerful cards from opposing decks.
Green? Ugh... Yeah, I guess some colors don't have answers...
(Gutteral Response if they ever make hybrid legal in mono-colored xD)
That's all. Thoughts?
1 month ago
Thanks for the review WizardOfTheNorthernCoast! Looks good! I got some tips from the discussion on your deckpage. Unexpected Results is definitely on-theme but it could stop the Surge wincon. Seems like you put in more passive draw compared to my ETB/on-cast draw. I guess I could try that for another time. Would you ever get more than 7 cards and have to discard though?
I put the Conjurer's Closet and Minion Reflector because I have alot of ETB effects, so these help me to 'recycle' them. I think its fine to cast them on the mainphase or flash them in with Orrery/ Leyline/ Alchemist Refuge. The Reflector requires me to pay each time so i'll be cutting it out.
I'll be cutting Beast Whisperer first since GP works with the conjurer's closet. The Whisperer can be copied to give me insane draw though, so I need to test it out. And I almost forgot, the commander herself is a draw engine.
Primal Surge says 'may' so that incident with the Leviathan stopping the wincon wouldnt happen!
I actually opt to remove Mwonvuli Beast Tracker because it has only 5 targets now/
the Diluvian Primordial could work many things. Maybe I cast a wheel, or flash the Primordial in response to use an opponent's Counterspell. hahah
1 month ago
spiral_te thanks for comments/suggestions!
I agree for point 1-7.
The original reason I put in Expedition Map is that I based the deck around the 6 flash-enablers. Theres no way to tutor for Vedalken Orrery and Leyline of Anticipation , and only Momir to tutor for Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir and Yeva, Nature's Herald . So the Map is my efficient way to tutor out Alchemist's Refuge and Winding Canyons . I would shift over to a Ulvenwald Hydra for this purpose but I do not have one.
I agree for the cuts to Kiora's follower, but not for Gyre engineer. Both were meant to be manadorks and I was guessing I need to ramp fast to be able to cast things on multiple turns. Genesis hydra was just thematic of the 'cheating creatures out'.
For Prowling Serpopard/Gaea's Herald, it's not really needed in my playgroup, since I'm the one that usually plays counterspells most of the time.
I'm looking to slot in Kederekt Leviathan for a 'cyclonic rift' effect that can be used twice due to unearth. But my considerations are that I'll need to build up my board again, so this would probably be used more when I'm behind. So i've opted to put in Profaner of the Dead and Scourge of Fleets as my AOE boardclear instead. What are your thoughts on adding the Leviathan?
Still need to cut 5 more :(
1 month ago
Closer to when the Nyx block came out is when me and my fiance first started dating and I taught her how to play Magic.
In the game we were playing she had a significant board presence and was poised to win the game... but I drew my needed land to cast Scourge of Fleets and explained to her how creatures "x-y-z" went back to her hand but the tokens just are gone forever...
She hard pointed at the card and said "F*** you whale!"... and we have laughed about this ever since.
3 months ago
This is pretty sweet, I never thought of playing Nykthos in a Quest for Ula's Temple deck before! Sage of Epityr is great at setting up your library for the Quest, and Wistful Selkie helps dig for the Quest if you don't have it and gives +3 devotion for Nykthos. Cloudfin Raptor doesn't fit in this deck at all; coincidentally, Sage of Epityr fits perfectly, so there you go ;D
Other than that, I think you need some removal-creatures that give more devotion than what you have currently. Harbinger of the Tides is a pretty useful one, and Merfolk Trickster can fog a creature for a turn. For some disruption against noncreature decks you could also consider playing Judge's Familiar or Mausoleum Wanderer instead of Kraken Hatchling; while it's a Kraken and fits in the theme of the deck, there really isn't much point in cheating out a 1 mana 0/4 with your Quest. I do suppose it can block, though.
Also, I recommend replacing Tromokratis and Shipbreaker Kraken (and maybe 1 Lorthos) with some combination of Stormtide Leviathan and Inkwell Leviathan. They're less easy to hard-cast, but Tromokratis is mostly worse than Inkwell Leviathan in my opinion, and while Kraken's ability is okay, Stormtide Leviathan is even better at keeping your opponent's creatures at bay. (that rhymed) From my experience playing Whale tribal, Stormtide Leviathan and Scourge of Fleets can completely take control of games when used together.
3 months ago
To keep your theme I've suggested some improvements
Faerie Harbinger - Tutor for the fary you need
Inspired Sprite - Extra Card draw
Mistbind Clique - Basically a one turn time warp - more if you can bounce with effects like Glen Elendra Pranksters
Nightshade Schemers - Since most of your deck is Faerie
Scion of Oona - Faerie lord - the shroud could be beneficial too
Spellstutter Sprite - Counter spell - more if you can bounce with effects like Glen Elendra Pranksters
Sprite Noble - Weaker "Faerie" Lord - most likely to cut
Hypnotic Siren - on theme version of Spirit away but not dead in hand early game
Siren Stormtamer - counter spell
Midnight Banshee - might hurt with all the blue you play but strong against many decks
I would Remove Macabre Waltz, Fill with Fright, Send to Sleep, Wings of Velis Vel, Fear, Phyresis with Glistening Oil (repeatable infect + used as removal in pinch), Psychic Surgery, Sleep Paralysis, Waterknot (your in black use actual removal), Faerie Invaders, Oona's Gatewarden (sorry I know oona's the general but its a weak card) and Dauthi Embrace (I know you said its a win con but most of your creatures are evasive on their own)
4 months ago
Quicksilver Fountain is another way to turn on islandwalk and slow down opponents' at the same time.
Being able to connect consistently with combat damage opens up some fun avenues to explore. Coastal Piracy and Bident of Thassa for card advantage; equipment like Sword of the Animist, Quietus Spike, Bloodforged Battle-Axe, Dowsing Dagger Flip, Mask of Memory, Prying Blade, Rogue's Gloves, Specter's Shroud, and Spellbinder all give different options depending on what you feel you need more of; and for redundancy Thassa, God of the Sea is clutch.
I cannot imagine merfolk do not engage with sea monsters and they would definitely give you some late-game push. Ones that spring to mind are Scourge of Fleets, Stormsurge Kraken, Slinn Voda, the Rising Deep, and Stormtide Leviathan.
Throne of the God-Pharaoh could be potent with all of your sideways turning. To complement this fact and reinforce merfolk's weaknesses (aka aerial anything) vehicles could work. Smuggler's Copter comes readily to mind.
7 months ago
Instead, for bodies I've decided to use alot of draw in the form of Arcanis the Omnipotent, Azami, Lady of Scrolls, Kefnet the Mindful and to make up for the major loss in disruption (somewhat) Tidespout Tyrant. Commander's Sphere is slightly slower but makes a fine rock that comes in untapped and Gridlock and Aqueous Form to keep a consistent Instant and Enchantment count while still getting the job done. After a few test hands it seems to work out, so I'm looking forward to subbing them in when necessary even after i get the correct cards.
Sorry for the long comment, as it was mostly for me. I'm pretty new around here, but I think the draw creatures at least could be useful and potentially make room for other switches.
Scourge of Fleets occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.01%