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Servant of the Conduit
Creature — Elf Druid
When Servant of the Conduit enters the battlefield, you get (two energy counters).
, Pay : Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
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Servant of the Conduit Discussion
3 days ago
Until the entire Dominaria set is revealed I'm using the comments instead of making another update to post how my playtesting is going with Dominaria. I'm not going to offically update Radiant Elves until all the cards I choose to play are in the TappedOut database with art and able to be added to decks.
Round One Dominaria Playtesting: Selesyna Ramp and Counters
Marwyn, the Nurturer looks to be the new Elvish Archdruid of Standard. She's finally since Shaman of the Pack a build around card specifically for the Elven tribe. I've been waiting for a card like her since Magic Origins. She's a unique lord, not a lord in the normal sense that she powers up other Elves or gives them abilities. She's different because she alone benefits from Elves to make her huge and give her major ramp.
In my playtesting I've been searching for ways to break her ramp capability. Being able to use her ramp to play a lot of Elves and Verdurous Gearhulk is fun, but I need a bit more oomph. Obviously good mana sinks are nuts if I can make six to eight plus green mana a turn. Rhonas the Indomitable and Walking Ballista have real potential with her ramp especially Rhonas because he can give her and other Elves trample. Marwyn can get really big with counters giving her trample while also adding to her power is great. Rhonas can act like a pseudo Ezuri, Renegade Leader for other Elves with Marwyn's mana.
These creatures are possibilities, but the card in my playtesting that's best with Marwyn is Approach of the Second Sun. Approach is really one of the most broken cards in Standard because it can be an instant win when casting a second copy of it. It's seen only in Control decks, most notable Azorius Control which it's the win condition. Elves with the reprinting of Llanowar Elves are now poised to have a unique position in Standard as being the tribe of ramp. Dinos can also ramp, but that tribe is about power not ramp. So far decks are not ramping into Approach instead they're controlling the game until they can cast the seven mana sorcery. With the amount of ramp that Elves can now make this changes how to approach playing Approach.
Llanowar Elves adds a one drop to the two and three drop mana Elves. This addition can completely change the tribe making it much stronger. Dominaria has already added these two very good mana Elves in Llanowar and Marwyn, the Nurturer to the already full pool of mana Elves. This tells me that Wizards intent for Elves as a tribe is ramp and I'm happy that they're finally chosen a coherent single strategy to pair with the tribe instead of pairing many different strategies that have no or very little synergy with each other. The fact that Marwyn cares about counters means she has interaction with Rishkar, Peema Renegade and Metallic Mimic this is a subtle, but fantastic hint that Wizards is beginning to care about the Elf tribe.
Servant of the Conduit is pretty much a staple two drop mana Elf in Standard for energy decks I've been playing him since Kaladesh. He's unique because he's the only mana Elf that can make other than green, another color of mana in this case white. Druid of the Cowl has not seen much play, but it's another two drop mana Elf who could make his way into this deck. Relying on Marwyn's ramp to cast Approach is a tricky plan because if Marwyn is killed than I need a back-up plan to make mana. This is where the other mana Elves come in. They can help me to cast Approach without Marwyn and they pair nicely with Rishkar, Peema Renegade.
Marwyn has fantastic interaction with the Kaladesh theme of Elves, +1/+1 counters. She continues this theme by also using counters, but unlike any other Elves she can continue to get counters turn after turn as long as I keep playing Elves. Rishkar, Peema Renegade, Metallic Mimic and Kujar Seedsculptor can all put a counter on Marwyn and Mimic can power Rishkar's mana ability by putting a counter on other Elves who ETB. These three have great synergy together. Marwyn gets a counter when an Elf ETB not when one is cast, this is relevant because Mimic can put a counter on her. Mimic ETB as the creature type I choose, in this case Elf, Marwyn will see it as an Elf when it ETB. Seedsculptor has seen zero play and that's understandable because she's pretty lackluster; however she can put two counters on Marwyn, that's good for a two drop Elf.
Steel Leaf Champion is another incredible Elf from Dominaria. He brings a very aggressive stance to the tribe. Turn one Llanowar Elves can help me to cast a turn two Steel Leaf. This interaction is crazy powerful and I suspect it will be the line I include in all my playtesting with Elves moving forward. The three drop spot on the mana curve is crowded now with Elves: Steel Leaf, Rishkar and Marwyn. Llanowar lets me play all these Elves together in the same deck because any one of them is a good turn two play.
Steel Leaf is an aggressive Elf and that's really not the direction I'm going with this version, but it adds another dimension to the deck that my opponent has to contend with. Steel Leaf benefits a lot from the counters strategy because it starts out with five power putting any number of counters on it makes it just plain huge.
Armorcraft Judge makes Approach of the Second Sun a more consistent win condition. After casting the first Approach the card is then placed in my library seven cards from the top. To realistically be able to win the game with Approach I need a way to draw into my library seven cards deep. Of course I could have a second copy of Approach in my hand after casting the first one. I could then cast the second copy on my next turn and win the game, but this is best case scenario. What if I don't have another Approach in hand? I need a way to draw into the one in my library. Judge can do this, he cares about counters just like Marwyn, Rishkar, Mimic, Seedsculptor and Verdurous Gearhulk.
This is only the first round of playtesting. Second round is Gruul or Naya with Grand Warlord Radha. Stay tuned for more Elf goodness :)
1 week ago
Something I've noticed is Jadelight Ranger fares somewhat better than Champion of Wits and Trophy Mage. Jadelight does kinda of a similar job but is a bigger body. I say it after realizing the extremely weak bodies were terrible to aggression. The Irrigated Farmland I think need to be forest to make Ranger consistent, but I think it's overall a bit better.
I personally think Servant of the Conduit is on par with Channeler Initiate but feel 2/2 is necessary to block opposing Legion's Landing, Bomat Courier, and other problem weenies. Casting Initiate 2nd turn and literally dying to anything is really rough if your draw is not so great.
1 week ago
I run a mono green stompy list aswell, but mine uses Greenbelt Rampagers and Resilient Khenras. I use the khenras over fight effects to give my creatures a bit more punch in combat. (Plus you can chump with him early and eternalize late game for a really good pump+ a 4/4 body) The fight effects are good, but I run them in my sideboard in case there are certain creatures that I need to deal with. otherwise my only interaction with the opponent is smashing their face in with big creatures. The rampager is a very efficient one drop, that works well with Servant of the Conduit since you can extra energy before you cast the servant which means you can still make mana witht he servant if you cast the rampager again. Plus if you cast them both on the same turn that's 3 mana for 5 power on board (which is pretty good imo)
2 weeks ago
Hey, really good ideas here, creative.
The problem is your not doing anything worth while until turn four. There's no turn two plays other than Renegade Map, Navigator or Sanctuary and these are not good turn two plays. Consider adding 4x Servant of the Conduit or 4x Naga Vitalist? A mana dork will give you a good turn two play that can help to ramp into all the four and five drops here. Turn three Rashmi is also nice.
Hour of Promise with Deserts is one of the the best ascend enablers because it can potentially alone give you the city's blessing putting up to four permanents into play, combine this with the other four or fives lands that's ten or close to ten permanents. I recommend switching the numbers of Promise and Tendershoot Dryad around, 4x Promise, 2x Tendershoot. You want the city's blessing before you play Tendershoot because playing it before is honestly not good enough for five mana.
Simic colors has a problem with not having enough good removal and you need some kind of main deck cheap mana removal. Consider Expel from Orazca it has ascend and without it it's still a fine bounce spell to buy you some time to ramp and set-up. Instants are also very good with Rashmi because her cascade lite ability works on not just your turn, but also your opponent's turn.
Good luck with your deck.
2 weeks ago
Have you considered Demon of Dank Memes? I'm not a big fan of Bontu's Last Reckoning and Meme Lord would be a good replacement. I run a deck similar to this and I use him along with Servant of the Conduit and Aether Hub for mana fixing/early ramp.
2 weeks ago
Thanks for the comments and advice Shawn.
Made a couple of changes with your comments in mind.
2 weeks ago
Hey, risingaction thanks, glad I could help. A consultation fee? Haha, that would be nice, but it's not needed. Good advice from experienced players is part of the foundation the TappedOut community is built on. I enjoy helping and making this community better. Really good questions, I'll try to answer each one below.
razelfark, thanks you described the reason really well, you're exactly right the reason I left Lookout's Dispersal out of the main deck in the example list is because it's a slow card, not aggressive enough for game 1. Invigorated Rampage replaced it for one reason it's more aggressive can do more damage faster. Relying more on Stormtamer to protect a Pirate rather than a counterspell. Stormtamer can do more to advance the overall aggro game plan since it's a Pirate.
The reason I also left Dispersal out of the example sideboard list is there's not enough room for it because Negate and Essence Scatter I feel are better, but this could be very wrong, that's where playtesting helps. Negate and Scatter are always only two mana to cast where as Dispersal requires that you have a Pirate in play to be two mana. Game 2 and 3 expect more removal to be boarded in by your opponent. It might be hard to consistently keep a Pirate in play to make Dispersal a two mana counter.
Another card I didn't touch on is Chart a Course. When your attacking and have evasive creatures especially flying who can potentially attack each turn then Chart is very good. It could replace Curious Obsession as it gives you more card advantage faster; not requiring that you enchant a creature and also attack with it. Obsession can be more long lasting card advantage, but is much more risky needing the Pirate enchanted to stay alive.
Aggro should take advantage of game 1 and be as aggressive as possible because this gives you the best chance of winning game 1. Winning game 1 is good for any deck, but much more so for aggro because expect game 2 and 3 to be much harder than game 1. Expect your opponent for game 2 and 3 to board in more creature removal, more narrow answers to cards you play, lifelink creatures, four and five drop creatures that are hard for you to answer or board wipes. All these make it much harder for you to win.
Your game plan should always to be aggressive because that's what aggro does, but Game 1 is very exploratory. You learn what your opponent is playing and can adapt for game 2 and 3 sometimes this does in fact mean you should dial down on the aggression and instead play a more interactive game with your opponent and him/her creatures or spells. Sometimes you simply can't beat a card such as Glorybringer or Heart of Kiran you need an answer for it, you must cut something main deck and board in for example Essence Scatter or Abrade.
If your opponent is playing a God then you want an answer for it Essence Scatter or Kari Zev's Expertise don't count on just Warkite even though it's attack ability can make a God worthless for the turn have additional answers to it. Expertise is not a permanent answer doesn't kill the God, but it lets you steal it for a turn, attack with it while also potentially playing a card for free from your hand such as Rampage. An attack with their own God can be quite devastating for your opponent.
The sideboard example list is theorycraft because I don't know what the meta is like where you play, what types of matchups you'll encounter. It's an overall board accounting for the three big archetypes in Standard: Aggro, Midrange and Control. In the simplest terms for Aggro matchups Abrade gives you additional creature removal and Fiery Cannonade can potentially kill all your opponent's creatures while not hurting yours.
In Midrange matchups your opponent is going big with creatures playing four and five drops you want to match this with answers to these creatures Essence Scatter, Kari Zev's Expertise and Walking Ballista is an option due to it's interaction with Warkite.
For Control matchups you want to be aggressive as you can, but sometimes this is hard to do because of all the removal your opponent will have. Negate can help even though it's not an aggressive card it can help to keep your creatures alive.
Metallic Mimic is a fine tribal card, I play it in my Standard Elf deck, Radiant Elves (RIX), but the only reason I play it is because there's not other playable two drop choices and I'm using a counters strategy. Completely different strategy than Pirates here. Simply put there's better two drop Pirate choices than Mimic.
Mimic also has the problem of being the best when you play it first, turn two. Playing it first then gives all other Pirates a counter when they ETB which is good. This is ideal, the problem is Mimic is quite bad when you play it last, then it's a 2/1 that doesn't do anything else. Unfortunately, consistently your much more likely to play Mimic last than first.
When in doubt always go to the opponent's face with burn. In a broad sense overall with Aggro your better off focusing on your game and ignoring the opponent especially game 1. Interaction with what the opponent is doing is minimal, care more about your creatures, attacking and doing damage don't worry about anything else.
Let your opponent hit you back and as long as you are doing more damage to your opponent then your opponent is doing to you, you have the upper hand because you have burn. If you waste burn on your opponent's creatures then you partly lose this upper hand. Remember you have 20 life, you don't die until you have 0 life.
This is overall advice, but of course certain game situations change things. There are certain early game creatures you want to kill because if you don't then they will take over the game or block the battlefield from you attacking. With these creatures you need to waste your first burn spell to kill them. Some examples are Winding Constrictor, Gifted Aetherborn, Servant of the Conduit, Glint-Sleeve Siphoner and Walking Ballista.
Warkite's attack ability does conflict because it very temping to use a burn spell to kill any creature, but remember you don't have to kill the creature you make a 0/1. Making the creature for that attack a non factor in combat is good enough. If it blocks one of your Pirates then this is good for you; If it doesn't block then it's also good for you.
Real exceptions are if you're facing down huge creatures like Gods, Glorybringer, Rekindling Phoenix, Dinos, etc creatures who are going to hurt you much more when they attack than you hurt your opponent. In these situations take advantage of Warkite's ability to remove all abilities from the creature it makes a 0/1 and kill the creature with burn. Including draw, Obsession or Chart also gives you some leeway with using burn because you'll draw more.
A majority of the good Pirates have evasion: flying, menace or unblockable. With evasion your much more likely to hit an opponent making using burn on opponent rather than him/her creatures a better plan. Rampage is additional evasion, trample, for Pirates it helps with getting in damage fast, really ignoring blockers.
When playing an Aggro archetype you want all lands in the manabase to be able to ETB untapped the first three turns of the game. These are the most important turns, you can't afford to have a land ETB tapped thus not letting you play a Pirate for the turn. Other archetypes such as Midrange and Control are different to a degree, these types of decks care more about what color mana you have then if the land ETB tapped or not.
With 11x possible one drop Pirates, you want the best chance to be able to play one of these turn one, Evolving Wilds doesn't help to do this. Wilds can help to thin the deck of lands to give you a better chance of not drawing lands, but the amount of thinning it does doesn't outweigh the negative that the land you fetch with it will ETB tapped for the turn.
You need lands in a game of Magic and unfortunately that means that you could get flooded or land screwed, but these are situations that every player encounters, that's Magic and not much you can do about it.
In the example list the main deck mana curve ends at 3 drops. Having a low mana curve allows you to not have to play as many lands. In the example list is 22x, experiment with dropping this number to 20x. However, being able to cast two or more spells in a single turn gives you an advantage, but you need lands to be able to use this advantage. With draw also means you want more lands because if you're drawing cards the advantage this gives you is being able to play more cards per turn then your opponent. This can be huge because of how low the mana curve is.
In the example list I've cut all ETB tapped lands in favor of Unclaimed Territory and more copies of Spirebluff Canal. If you can get 2x more Spirebluff I recommend playing them they're the best lands for this deck because they can ETB untapped turn one to turn three and make either red or blue mana. The same can be said for Territory if you name Pirate. Having 8x dual lands that can ETB untapped and make either red or blue mana turn one to turn three is very important because one drop Pirates are either red and blue.
I finished the rest of the manabase in the example list with Basic lands because there isn't another Izzet dual land in Standard that can ETB untapped. The only other Izzet dual is Highland Lake, but if you're playing Lake you might as just play Wilds. Aether Hub is another dual land that ETB untapped it's very good, but to play it you need additional energy sources which is not the direction you want to go with aggro and Pirates.
3 weeks ago
To see if these new Challenger decks can in fact be good out of box for $30 with no upgrades I've been testing Counter Surge vs the rest of the decks.
Counter Surge is good out of box it's wrecking the rest of them mostly because the manabase is so much better than Vehicle Rush and Second Sun Control because of 8x Golgari dual lands Aether Hub and Foul Orchard. Being able to produce enough energy to power Hub gives the deck a huge advantage.
3x Verdurous Gearhulk is basically not fair compared to the other decks. Blossoming Defense wrecks Hazoret Aggro. Glint-Sleeve Siphoner wrecks Second Sun Control because Aether Meltdown doesn't stop it from attacking gaining energy. Longtusk Cub and Walk the Plank are the worst cards in the deck and could easily be cut for Servant of the Conduit or Merfolk Branchwalker and Moment of Craving. 3x Dreamstealer is one too many.
Budget upgrades for Counter Surge:
- Cut 4x Cub for 4x Servant or Branchwalker
- Cut 1x Dreamstealer and 2x Walk the Plank for 3x Moment of Craving
- Cut 2x Appetite for the Unnatural for 2x Naturalize
- Cut 1x Slice in Twain for 1x Lost Legacy
- Cut 1x Cartouche of Ambition for 1x Crook of Condemnation
Vehicle Rush has a great decklist out of box, the best of the decks, but the manabase is shit. It's also missing Abrade in the 75 cards. The manabase is relying too much on Spire of Industry it needs 4x Inspiring Vantage. Aether Hub doesn't make sense for the deck other than using this land as an appealing reason to buy this product. Buy it for the complete decklist and put some money or trade into upgrading the manabase with Vantage. 4x Heart is a big draw it's still Standard legal for the rest of the year. A card or more could be printed in the next few sets that could break Heart again.
Budget upgrades for Vehicle Rush:
- Cut 3x Hub for 3x more Vantage
- Cut 2x Evolving Wilds for 1x more Dragonskull Summit and 1x more Swamp
- Cut 2x Lightning Strike for 2x Abrade
- Cut 3x Harsh Mentor for 1x more Abrade, 1x more Cast Out and 1x Ixalan's Binding
Hazoret Aggro is not good out of box it lacks punch; it needs Earthshaker Khenra and Invigorated Rampage to make up for having only one Hazoret. Harsh Mentor doesn't do enough for the deck to warrant main deck spots. It's a sideboard card in Vehicle Rush, but some reason it's a main deck card in Hazoret Aggro?
4x Fanatical Firebrand is very lackluster. 8x main deck burn spells that can go to the face and 4x Ahn-Crop Crasher are saving graces for the deck. Crasher is the best card in the deck because you draw it much more than singleton Hazoret, Chandra or Glorybringer. 4x Chandra's Defeat in the sideboard is strange as it hits very few cards vs all the other decks. 2x Defeat and 2x more Abrade is better to stop Verdurous and Heart. Buy this product purely for the three stand out cards: Chandra, Hazoret and Glorybringer.
Budget upgrades for Hazoret Aggro:
- Cut 3x Mentor for 3x Earthshaker
- Move 2x Pia Nalaar from sideboard to main deck replacing 2x Firebrand
- Cut 2x Magma Spray for 2x Invigorated Rampage
- New sideboard: 3x Spray, 2x Mentor, 2x more Abrade, 2x Defeat, 2x Kari Zev's Expertise, 2x more Rampage, 2x Key
Second Sun Control is the worst of the decks out of box. You need more time to cast Approach of the Second Sun better cards to delay your opponent. The manabase could be better needs budget 4x Meandering River or 2-4x Aether Hub or both. You need to be able to hit double white, but 12x Islands which includes 2x Ipnu Rivulet is not helping. Aether Meltdown and Glimmer of Genius can power Hub.
The lack of Essence Scatter in the 75 cards is confusing, to upgrade start by including 3-4x Scatter. Kefnet is not a very good second win condition, but it's the Mythic in the deck, can't cut it right? A second copy of Settle the Wreckage would of been better than a second Kefnet.
The best thing about Meltdown is flash, but overall it's not a good card because it doesn't prevent the creature enchanted by it from attacking which is not good vs Bomat Courier or Glint-Sleeve, two of the best cards in these decks vs Control. It is however good to stop Heart of Kiran, but I would cut some for Baffling End because it can exile Scrapheap Scrounger, Earthshaker, Dreamstealer as well as Glint-Sleeve or Bomat all these creatures are hard for Control to deal with. 4x Cast Out, 4x Censor, 4x Supreme Will, 3x Fumigate, 1x Settle the Wreckage and 4x Irrigated Farmland are the reasons to buy this product. This is a nice a starting core of a Control deck, but not sure it's worth an investment of $30.
If budget upgrading I would make a lot of changes. New main deck:
- 1x Kefnet
- 4x Censor
- 3x Scatter
- 3x Will
- 1x Cancel
- 4x Glimmer
- 1x Pull from Tomorrow
- 4x Cast
- 2x Baffling
- 2x Meltdown
- 1x Farm
- 3x Fumigate
- 2x Settle
- 3x Approach
- 4x Farmland
- 4x River
- 2x Hub
- 2x Ipnu
- 6x Island
- 6x Plains
- 2x Ruin
In the end, if I was to buy one of these decks to just play right out of box I would get Counter Surge. If I wanted the best constructed decklist I would buy Vehicle Rush, but it requires upgrading the manabase to compete with Counter Surge. If I want the most monetary value for my $30, but the deck is not good out of box then I would get Hazoret Aggro.
The only deck I would avoid is Second Sun Control because I feel it's no good out of box requiring too many upgrades and Kefnet is a let down. Too bad the Mythic wasn't Torrential Gearhulk.