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|Commander Anthology (CM1)||None|
|Modern Masters 2017 Edition (MM3)||Rare|
|Duel Decks: Blessed vs. Cursed (DDQ)||Rare|
|Commander 2015 (C15)||Rare|
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Sever the Bloodline
Exile target creature and all other creatures with the same name as that creature.
Flashback (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
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Sever the Bloodline Discussion
2 weeks ago
The first thing I'll say is that with 21 lands, you probably can't expect to get the mana to launch Army of the Damned or a really powerful Mind Grind or Torment of Hailfire. Well, at least without Organ Harvest, of which you're only sporting one copy. (If you don't play with teammates, or if you don't play with silver-bordered cards, you might replace it with Culling the Weak.) For reference, the math on Army of the Damned is that about 1/3 of your cards are lands = 8/24, meaning you need to survive to turn 17-18 (have seen a total of 24 cards between your opening hand and your draws each turn) to hit that 8th land. That’s a long time in a Magic game.
Second, Mind Grind, while fun, is questionable here, since none of your other cards will mill your opponent. Many people play with 4 copies of many of their cards, so milling them might not cut them off from their game plan unless you mill them so much they might die. And for that, you would need more support for the mill plan or a LOT more mana. (This is possible, but a big change. Look for cards like Glimpse the Unthinkable and Mind Funeral. Otherwise, I'd cut it for cards that affect board-state or life-totals.)
Third, your overall game plan appears to be to stall in the early game for more powerful plays late, since your low cost cards are generally defensive. This means you'll want more lands in your deck so that you don't stumble on your way to those big plays. I'd remove Coral Atoll and put in four Dimir Aqueducts. It's not the ideal play, but it's cheap and there's a lot of upside if your opponent doesn't Ghost Quarter it or something. Anyways, that will take you up to 24 lands AND increase your average mana output a little more, letting you rely on 4CMC, 5CMC, and 6CMC plays to dominate the game.
Finally, on to individual cards:
Kraken Hatchling, Mausoleum Wanderer, Pharika's Chosen, and Will-o'-the-Wisp are all fine defensive one-drops, but they all do something a little different. Thornbow Archer is a little more aggressive than the rest of your deck wants, so maybe drop it and pick your favorite of those first four and add a second.
Fogwalker is okay on defense, though it's not the best two-drop out there. I'm not a fan of Olivia's Dragon, especially outside of madness/reanimator decks. Rancid Rats just doesn't offer enough oomph for the mana (skulk is not typically a very useful ability). Graf Rats is bad unless you have Midnight Scavengers, so it's really about how much you personally want to meld them. Ultimately, I'd rather replace them with better blockers like Wall of Tears, Wall of Souls, Contraband Kingpin, Dragon's Eye Savants, Gifted Aetherborn, or the absolute top-tier Baleful Strix. Other value options include Omenspeaker, Sigiled Starfish, and Augur of Bolas. Other fun options here are Surge Mare, Riptide Mangler, Lazav, the Multifarious, Fathom Feeder, and Ludevic's Test Subject Flip. Choose your favorites. Alternately, spot-removal like Doom Blade, Victim of Night, Cast Down, Go for the Throat, and sometimes Dimir Charm are pretty effective.
Wharf Infiltrator can be good sometimes. You can leave it in for fun or replace it.
Eternal Scourge has its uses, but I don't think this deck is optimized for it. Ideally you'd want a few things that can exile it from graveyard or hand, such as Gurmag Angler, Soulflayer, Tombstalker, Scavenging Ooze, Grim Lavamancer), Azor's Gateway Flip (from hand), or the most hilarious option, Serum Powder. As it stands, it's just difficult to kill outside of combat, like a bad shroud or hexproof. Honestly, I don't think you need a 3/3 to be immune to removal. Replace with a finisher, which I'll discuss in a bit. Alternately, one of my favorite defensive 3CMC creatures is Graveblade Marauder, since its offensive capabilities can rapidly increase.
Markov Crusader isn't actually very good even in the rare case when you do have another vampire, and you only have one other one. Compare to 4CMC utility wunderkind Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, 5CMC finishers (like Archfiend of Depravity, Glyph Keeper, Ob Nixilis, the Fallen, Vengeful Pharaoh, and maybe even Serra Sphinx), and 6CMC game-winners (like Noxious Gearhulk, Dread, Kokusho, the Evening Star, Wurmcoil Engine, Grave Titan, or even Vengeant Vampire, though that last one is much worse than the others). Sure, none do exactly what Markov Crusader does, but some are close and they all have incredible upsides. Even something like Shriekmaw might ultimately gain you more life by just killing something outright, plus it's super-flexible. Heck, Soul Ransom and Mind Control are strong cards too, at least against creature decks. Anyways, Markov Crusader is a card to replace.
Midnight Scavengers is okay, especially if you have a lot of disposable deathtouchers to bring back, but it still doesn't compare favorably to the above finishers unless you really want to meld it with Graf Rats. Remember, doing things you want to do is an important part of MTG. But if you don't care to meld, I'd look to replace it.
Ob Nixilis, Unshackled is fine. In most cases it doesn't compare favorably to the 6CMC critters above, but it has its uses. If you've got a lot of little deathtouchers (Pharika's Chosen, Typhoid Rats, Dire Fleet Poisoner, it can grow really out of hand. Also, Field of Ruin forces a library search.
Elder Deep Fiend is fine. Usually you play it in a deck that has plenty of creatures you don't mind (or are better off) sacrificing (for example, Priest of the Blood Rite, Relentless Dead, Doomed Dissenter, Stormbound Geist/Geralf's Messenger), then you emerge it early and tap down lands. That's not really your plan here, so it's probably not the best choice. Some good choices for replacements are above, but within the category of emerge creatures, I think Distended Mindbender fits your deck better.
Organ Harvest is a powerful card, but has some drawbacks. Most importantly, a lot of people don't play with or against silver-bordered cards. They're not legal in any official tournaments. Tournament legal variations are Dark Ritual, Culling the Weak, and Ashnod's Altar. Other than that, it's a card that is useless in many situations and completely changes what you're able to do when you actually can make use of it, and that can be awkward from a strategy perspective. If you don't have creatures, you can't cast it. If you don't have a big spell in your hand, you don't need to cast it and you'd rather have almost any other card. So it wants your deck to be full of disposable creatures and big spells, like an emerge deck or a zombie deck really making use of Army of the Damned and From Under the Floorboards. But for the most part that is not this deck, so unless you want to build around the card, I'd remove it, either replacing it with Dark Ritual which is always useful when drawn early, or something else that's cheap and effective: Dead Weight, Apathy, Doom Blade, Pharika's Chosen, or whatever.
Sorcerous Sight is worse than Peek and Gitaxian Probe, but I don't think any of those are particularly good in your deck. If you want to know what's in your opponent's hand, play Telepathy. Otherwise, there's better card draw: Preordain and Ponder are the best cheap spells, but it might be worth spending more mana for more effect with Sign in Blood or Chart a Course.
Cemetery Recruitment isn't particularly good with so few zombies. You can add more zombies, or switch to Ghoulcaller's Chant/Find / Finality/Recover/Disturbed Burial/Death Denied to simulate the effect, or just do card advantage the old-fashioned way, with stuff like Sign in Blood/Consult the Necrosages/Read the Bones/Notion Rain/Secrets of the Golden City. Alternately, shred your opponent's hand (and lose friends) with Hymn to Tourach or punch your opponent for cards with Shadowmage Infiltrator. If you're committed to bringing creatures back from the dead, look to Zombify, Extract from Darkness, or Isareth the Awakener, which can randomly run away with the game if your opponent doesn't have an answer. The most efficient reanimation spell is Unburial Rites, but you'd need to splash white for it to be better than the above options.
Contingency Plan doesn't actually net you any cards in hand; you just control what you are going to draw later. Since you're not very graveyard-focused, there's little benefit. The more flexible version is Dimir Charm, and the more powerful version is Lim-Dul's Vault. If you want to stack the top of your deck for 2CMC without wasting a card to do it, there's Diabolic Vision, but the 1CMC Preordain and Ponder are worthy as well. Alternately, raw card advantage is an option. Any of the options I've already listed are fine, but here are some more: Chemister's Insight, Foresee, Deep Analysis.
Mind Grind attacks on an irrelevant axis. Recommend replacing it with a finisher unless you add more mill. If you want a non-creature finisher, Ob Nixilis Reignited is pretty cool. If you just want something that can't get Murdered, there's Sphinx of Jwar Isle.
Torment of Hailfire is possibly workable if you go to 24 lands with Dimir Aqueducts. X=3 is pretty much the bare minimum, and if they have cards in hand even that might not be enough. This is a possible swap for a finisher, as above.
Army of the Damned is hard to cast at 8CMC. Recommend replacing it with a cheaper finisher unless you're all about Organ Harvest.
Apathy is pretty decent at 1CMC. Probably not as good as just casting Doom Blade/Go for the Throat to kill the thing, but definitely more interesting and fun. It can stay in, though swapping it for something more reliable is technically the correct decision.
Strange Augmentation is bad in your deck. While +3/+3 for 1CMC is fine in a very aggressive deck, that doesn't seem like your game plan. Ideally, your finishers are big enough to win without the extra P/T. If they're not, these could be replaced with kill spells to make sure they are.
Tormod's Crypt is useless unless you frequently play against graveyard-based decks. Even then, with only one in the deck, you're in bad shape. I'd swap it for Relic of Progenitus or Sentinel Totem if you really need graveyard hate. If a creature is reliable against those graveyard decks, Deadeye Tracker, Nezumi Graverobber, or Withered Wretch can do some work. Agent of Erebos is another option. If the only things you need to exile are creatures, then Cemetery Reaper, Dimir Doppelganger, and the powerful Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet are options. Otherwise, cheap kill spells, counterspells, or even more expensive exiling removal (e.g. Sever the Bloodline, Silence the Believers) are options. Phyrexian Scriptures is another card I'll mention, just 'cause it does lots of stuff.
Nevinyrral's Disk is pretty good. Go ahead and keep that in there.
Gridlock is okay, but it's basically a Darkness you can use aggressively. I think Sleep is generally better at that. Alternately, if you want a mass-defense spell, Yahenni's Expertise, Languish, and Damnation are the go-to sweepers.
Outwit is way too narrow; most decks don't target players. (The primary exceptions are burn and mill, so if you play against them a lot, it might be fine.) If you want a dollar-cost-effective counterspell in that slot, play Counterspell or MAYBE Dimir Charm for flexibility.
Murder is fine. (Card-wise, not morally!) Technically Hero's Downfall is better if you can get one.
Liliana Vess is fine, but she's a little slow. I'm not sure whether she's better or worse in this deck than Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, Ob Nixilis Reignited, Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath, or even Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver. My inclination is that those are stronger as you increase the median quality of the cards in your deck (making Vess's -2 less important).
Here's one inexpensive, somewhat-boring take:
2x Glyph Keeper
1x Liliana Vess
2x Dimir Charm
2x Doom Blade
2x Agony Warp
3x Notion Rain
That's just one take on the general strategy. Ultimately, (I think) you're playing Dimir Midrange, and so you're looking for about 40% (24) lands, 30% (18) things that keep you alive until you have 4-6 mana, 20% (12) things that kill your opponent and are themselves hard to kill, and 10% (6) things that put you ahead on cards just in case you're not drawing the right part of your deck.
2 months ago
Thanks for the comments on Spirits Wall.
What do you guys use to value your decks? We use Deckstats.net Un-FLICKING-believable!!!!!!!!!! Deck. $60.82 - Basic Lands $1.10 = $59.72. We always found TCGPlayer.com (Sidebar) was always missing cards (Caution triangle), and was so variable made it unpleasant. Interested to know what you guys settled on.
Rakdos Charm in all honesty is not the best, but it is modular (graveyard protection), and it kills a go-wide token strategy that you indicated to have issues with. Also, or alternatively, you can run board clearing, like Chandra's Ignition or Whipflare.
Ontop of Dualcaster Mage + Ghostly Flicker + Piranha Marsh, Archaeomancer + Peregrine Drake also work.Animate Dead + Worldgorger Dragon can also, but he is high risk. Maybe some additional Tutors to consistently get the Ghostly Flicker.
Rite of Replication + Dualcaster Mage / Naru Meha, Master Wizard is infinite Wizards (Don't even need to kick it). Rite of Replication is good on it's own too, especially with all the ETB's you run. Add a Gray Merchant of Asphodel and that's a win-con (unless the opponent is playing heavy life gain), does 60 damage to each opponent ( x 6 Gray Merchant of Asphodel + 5 triggers) by itself, and you gain 180 life.
I see the mana fixing in the base, but so many tapped lands can slow you down too much. May overcome this with the ramp?
Dinrova Horror I understand he can be a powerhouse, and recurring him makes him good, but High CMC, and can't target yourself (efficiently anyway).
Dreamscape Artist that is a hell of a price to pay, I wouldn't. If it could pull any land maybe, but not basic.
I'm not sure Duplicant is effective enough, and high CMC, for his $ cost in a budget format. There's lots of ETB's to abuse, for sure, he is one of them, but not sure worth it. Would rather have money for a Rite of Replication.
Withered Wretch and Ingot Chewer are ok, but I would rather have a Rakdos Charm, I realize can't flicker them, but those creatures aren't the greatest anyway, and Withered Wretch doesn't benefit from flicker.
I would play but evaluate Discovery / Dispersal, doesn't provide any card advantage, have to see how often it is Surveil a card into the graveyard that you return as a %. If it inconsistently works, I wouldn't run it. If you find your usually recurring the card it throws, or your aggressive enough to dig for a combo piece, might be ok. Hard to evaluate.
Nightscape Familiar is not a terrible ramp, and he has Regenerate, so can block Non-Flample pretty good.
Devastation Tide scares me to, because you probably rebuild your board the slowest (or close to the slowest). I wouldn't want to reset myself, after doing all the ramping work. Might be situational good on occasion, but rarely on a miracle. There is a blue card (not Cyclonic Rift that does opponents stuff, name escapes me now, but it has a very high CMC)
Commit / Memory at CMC4 seems pretty high too. Seems to much, lose the game with it in hand and unable to cast, or saving CMC4 and don't end up using it. Not Flash or anything (other than the copy spell guys) to really utilize the saved mana, or draw, etc. Some with the artifact returns/recur though.
Burnished Hart is really good, I know he doesn't ETB, but if you can recur him, lots of ramping. A little $ expensive too.
Most of your drawing is CMC 3+ which, I understand early turns your playing tapped lands for the most part, so you're slowly moving, then turn 3-5 your trying to draw. You have a couple tutors, but you might get overwhelmed before you can get to it. Luckily in a multi-pod, you'll probably be left alone for a while, but hard to evaluate if your fast enough. Since you restrict to only Tier 4+ commanders, you may have enough time, our league doesn't restrict, just restricts the budget, Animar or Brago, you'd never get ahead of, so you have that going for you!
Razaketh's Rite is high CMC, but the Cycling makes it playable if drawn in opening rounds.
Sever the Bloodline is great for Horde removal too (or indestructible), or Bile Blight. Not sure how often you see it though, we have 1/1 Snake and 2/2 Wolf and */* Vampire in our league. Tragic Slip too (instant speed).
I like the draw on Illusionist's Stratagem but the CMC4 sucks, it's still good though because it triggers the 2 creatures, which you need.
Custodi Lich is awesome (for the extra draw and the sacrifice), but his $ and his CMC5 make him not budget friendly. Plus he many not even get the target your really want to kill, and sorcery speed. Once the Monarch is on the table, if you don't have a way to take it back, you may actually hurt yourself by giving away card advantage.
Good deck idea, like the flicker. +1.
4 months ago
You are INCREDIBLY land heavy. Most commander decks run 32-38 lands, with decks based entirely around lands usually only playing up to 45. In a deck like this with a curve like yours, probably drop down to 35. That also gives you 21 more card slots to fill.
Seems to me you're pretty light on removal - you might find it hard to keep up with your friends if they're playing more 'Hardcore' creatures. For some budget-ish options try Hero's Downfall, Ruinous Path, Beast Within, Putrefy, Tragic Slip, Sever the Bloodline, Murderous Cut. There's plenty of other playable removal spells but those are some of the best. Have fun!
6 months ago
I highly recommend more answers and draw power. This deck has almost no draw power, so it will probably run out of gas pretty quickly. You also don't have many ways of dealing with troublesome cards from your opponent.
For card draw, I recommend:
- Staff of Nin
- The Immortal Sun
- Arch of Orazca
- Phyrexian Arena
- Underworld Connections
- Disciple of Bolas
- Kumena's Awakening
If you don't mind giving cards to your opponent in return for a slight mill effect and cheaper draw power, you can try:
For removal/answers, I recommend:
- Sever the Bloodline
- Curtains' Call
- Go for the Throat
- Murderous Cut
- Victim of Night
There's probably some stuff that could be done better in regards to the mill and kraken themes the deck is going for, but I don't know enough krakens and I don't play mill, so I can't be much help there lol. Those are some things I spotted though.
6 months ago
9 months ago
Sign in Blood is good but I think you would do better with 2x Phyrexian Arena. I know your 3 drop slot is cluttered as is but it'll benefit you more in the long run. You could run some Wrench Mind, Gurmag Angler, or Tombstalker in those 2 free slots.
9 months ago
Here is a search for all cards in your color identity with the word "Bolas" in the flavor text, if that helps.
As for cuts, I'd consider:
11 months ago
I remember the Snow Days on your deck. I love the concept and style, very unique. +1 for me!.. I would like to suggest instead of Geth's Verdict Why not use Liliana of the Veil One extra black but multiple option. I agree with the Smother against Fatal push. Also instead of Unmake, I would suggest Sever the Bloodline. Utility against speed. But just a suggestion.