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Shadowblood Ridge Discussion
3 weeks ago
Well, I'll do my best for advice. I'll give you some basic info, stuff that I'm pretty sure we'll agree on, then explain the dilemma I have with some of the deck's more integral parts.
First off, under combos you list Faith's Reward and Merciless Eviction, this doesn't work because the exiling of permanents doesn't put them into the graveyard, but into the exile zone. Also, in combo #9, Sigarda's Aid appears useless, because you already have auto-instant-speed-free-equip-on-entering and instant-speed equipments with Stonehewer Giant.
Other than that, I'd suggest upgrading your landbase with the following cards, dropping tapped lands:
Now to the more controversial (I assume) part of my critque/advice. Really, you need to hone you deck into doing something more specific than Aikido Control Voltron Aggro Combo. It streches your deck too thin to do any.
Well, not exactly, there is a way to do it, but it requires some money, because the name of a deck that can pull off the N>3 where N is equal to the number of strategies type of deck is called Toolbox. A strategy in which a deck runs a selection of 'Tutors' (Enlightened Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Demonic Tutor, Gamble, etc.) and tutor targets, or cards that your most prone to tutoring out to get to position your deck to move into a role of gameplay. This strategy can rarely pull off aggro though, but can do a midrange voltron strategy, such as tutoring an Argentum Armor, Batterskull, and Fireshrieker onto the field, positioned to one-shot whoever looks at you wrong, blowing up a permanent per kill.
Control is fine to toolbox for too, in fact tutoring the right answer to the right problem is exactly where toolbox and control overlap. Aikido less so, due to the need for instant-speed tutoring in many cases, but most of those tutors end up tutoring to top, so it is hard to pull it off.
Combo is where toolbox starts to both shine and fall apart. As soon as you run efficient combo, the best answer to nearly any situation is run a tutor-line and win. No need to tutor a sweeper to kill your opponents' elves when you can just Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Felidar Guardian to make infinite cats and kill each and every one of your opponents. Really, it kind of makes the toolbox irrelevant, yes, when an opponent has Blind Obedience you may have to tutor something to get rid of it, or just, you know, run another combo that doesn't fold to Blind Obedience.
Some people have told me that you'd rather still have a toolbox because you might not have access to two tutors, but in that case, just tutor a Imperial Recruiter, use that to tutor for Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, cast Kiki, copy recruiter, and fetch Felidar Guardian, problem solves. Don't want to pay for Imperial Recruiter? Fetch Recruiter of the Guard and replace Felidar Guardian with Combat Celebrant so you make infinite combat steps instead of infinite cats, less fun, but it still works.
Point is, toolbox isn't a perfect answer to making this deck work the way it was intended, but it can piece it together from the stretched mess it is now. It is simply too inconsistent in the current form, with a mediocre landbase for a mana-hungry deck.
Some options would be to scrap the current build, and go heavy control-stax, with Armageddons, some of the pillowfort you have, and abusing the Monarchy to get back into the game faster than your opponents. This would be backed up by a combo-package used to win the game after success fully locking out your opponents from interacting with you, or playing the game at all.
Another option is to go heavy-combo, with an aim on the midrangy strategy of building up minor defenses so you can set up and combo out around turn 4-5, with decent disruption such as Swords to Plowshares, Inquisition of Kozilek, etc. This stops your opponents from going off before you hjopefull long enough for you to use the tutors at your disposal and win.
For an aggro-voltron strategy, dropping all of your top-end for better voltron cards like Hatred, and speedening up your build with more ramp like Lotus Petal, Grim Monolith, Mana Vault, Mana Crypt, Chrome Mox, and Mox Diamond should help smoothen it out, aiming to kill a player by turn 3-4, and each following turn knocking out a player. This strategy requires some level of protection for your commander, and a single Swiftfoot Boots won't really cut it. Perhaps changing the commander to something with more protection would help.
Those are my thought on how to better this deck in terms of competitiveness, but honestly I have no idea what you wanted me to do, since you didn't specify your playgroup, budget, amount of hate you can handle, etc. I assumed a decent budget, since it is already at $400+ dollars, an average meta (I didn't know), and all the hate could be taken (Grafted Exoskeleton).
If I was off, just tell me!
1 month ago
no Evolving Wilds, Rocky Tar Pit, or Terramorphic Expanse need xantcha out asap and one turn can make a difference, Tainted Peak, Cabal Coffers, and Cabal Stronghold if you feel swamps are abundant; Mana Confluence, City of Brass, Forbidden Orchard, Exotic Orchard for multi colored; Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth cuz you're gonna play it; Shadowblood Ridge cuz filter lands are cool
1 month ago
Also, you need more dual lands to help paying for those extreme colored casting costs. Some cheap lands that might help: Terramorphic Expanse, Nomad Outpost, Rakdos Carnarium, Orzhov Basilica, Boros Garrison, Bloodfell Caves, Scoured Barrens, Wind-Scarred Crag, Exotic Orchard, Caves of Koilos, Battlefield Forge, Shadowblood Ridge. // Some pricier (but better) ones: Path of Ancestry, Canyon Slough, Smoldering Marsh, Dragonskull Summit, Isolated Chapel, Clifftop Retreat, Graven Cairns, Rugged Prairie. Try to not have more than 7 lands that always enter the battefield tapped, because you're trying to play a signet at turn 2.
5 months ago
6 months ago
Hey, my suggestions are to improve the manabase.
Consider adding these budget Rakdos lands:
- Dragonskull Summit
- Sulfurous Springs
- Smoldering Marsh
- Graven Cairns
- Tainted Peak
- Foreboding Ruins
- Shadowblood Ridge
- Talisman of Indulgence
Good luck with your deck.
7 months ago
Gratuitous Violence, Nova Chaser, Gruul Signet, Rakdos Signet, Golgari Cluestone, Gruul Cluestone, Rakdos Cluestone, Golgari Keyrune, Rakdos Keyrune, Gruul Keyrune, Temple of the False God, Thunderfoot Baloth, Kessig Wolf Run, Skarrg, the Rage Pits, Angrath's Marauders, Kazandu Refuge, Hellkite Charger, Darigaaz's Caldera, Hissing Quagmire, Llanowar Wastes, Bloodfell Caves, Dragonskull Summit, Foreboding Ruins, Rakdos Guildgate, Tainted Peak, Tresserhorn Sinks, Shadowblood Ridge,
8 months ago
Not sure of your budget, but here are some suggestion.
Alternative to Combo Win-Cons
The standard win-con in a Kaalia of the Vast which is not a combo is... Land Destruction! The idea being to use card's like Boros Charm, Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Teferi's Protection to protect yourself; OR have an A/D/D in hand that you can free cast that demands a response, but is hard to deal with no lands, like Hellkite Tyrant or Iona, Shield of Emeria. The key cards to this strategy are: Crucible of Worlds, Armageddon, Ravages of War, Cataclysm, Strip Mine, Waste land, Command Beacon. This is a HIGHLY viable strategy, people may not like facing your Kaalia of the Vast deck, but it definitely isn't a combo strategy.
Master of Cruelties has to be in there, attack with Kaalia of the Vast, drop in Master of Cruelties, during the declare blockers step their life becomes 1 (assuming he is unblocked), and Kaalia of the Vast hits for 2 finishing the player. Not a combo, a necessary Demon.
Another common strategy is multiple attack phases, non-combo, but with big A/D/D beaters, having multiple swings (especially with Vigilance is amazing way to deal damage). The key cards are: Hellkite Charger, Aggravated Assault, Sword of Feast and Famine, Aurelia, the Warleader, Seize the Day. There is a combo with Adarkar Valkyrie + Aurelia, the Warleader + sac outlet out of interest. Adarkar Valkyrie although not working properly with the Kaalia of the Vast mechanics, is still a great recursion angel. Reconnaissance is nice for this strategy too, as you can pull back your Kaalia of the Vast against block heavy decks, as well POST-damage, you can pull back EVERYONE, basically it gives all your creatures Vigilance.
Free A/D/D strategy, you have it with Sneak Attack, Quicksilver Amulet, Mimic Vat so your already there, try a Whip of Erebos gives all your creatures Lifelink, which increases your sustainability in drawn out games (non-combo strategy the only way to win is in a drawn-out game), plus give you another recursion engine. Could use a Sundial of the Infinite to keep them on the board permanently!!
Stranglehold is another good control mechanism, you have a few, can look at pairing it with Maralen of the Mornsong to lock down opponents draw. She has synergy with some other guys like Aven Mindcensor/Ob Nixilis, Unshackled. Eidolon of Rhetoric might stop a Sunforger cast depending on what you did earlier that turn, like a Haste Kaalia of the Vast for example, to consider, or in an Armageddon build will be very bad.
Out of the 99 Considerations
I'm not a huge fan of Reverberate/Shunt, you have Sunforger so I get it, but it will often just sit in your hand. And Kaalia of the Vast is usually splash , so not that valuable. Would rather have a Steel Hellkite or a Gisela, the Broken Blade, or heck, even a Wild Ricochet
Solemn Simulacrum really unnecessary land searching. Use mana-enablers instead.
Boros Garrison/Orzhov Basilica I find it too slow without infinite combo, although it ramps, but you have lots of mana enablers. Field of Ruin colorless mana isn't great, don't need the search. Flamekin Village cost is too high, tapped+, try a Hall of the Bandit Lord. Shadowblood Ridge is also not great (I know it seems like it should be, but it's not!), Slayers' Stronghold is too expensive , use Hanweir Battlements instead, but even then it's borderline (but better), Smoldering Marsh isn't going to come in untapped when you need it, Temple of Malice/Temple of Silence I also don't like, but borderline for me would be my last cuts, Vivid Meadow is no.
Earnest Fellowship I wouldn't do this, might make it hard for you to block (which you have the big creatures that are hard to block already). A little too dangerous for my liking, let opponents pump their creatures, no need to do it for them, and block with your big guys.
Devoted Caretaker I wish she provided protection period so could go unblockable. I think Mother of Runes is enough, but maybe theres someone that gives just protection and doesn't cost a and ? But it does permanents, so I get it.
Kothophed, Soul Hoarder will not be your friend some days during board wipe, but with so little drawing in Mardu, he's a fun one! I would run him in this type of build!
Sun Titan is questionable, what are you bringing back? Lightning Greaves, Sunforger, Animate Dead, Necromancy only stuff. He's discretionary. High Mana cost but utility, he can combo with Fiend Hunter but again combos a different strategy (so can Karmic Guide btw).
Right now, your 46%, 33%, 21% but your mana is 28%, 37%, 35%. In addition, Turn 1: 80%, 10%, 10%! / lands will be your best friends, but balancing / and / lands too. Avoid / that don't provide value, like Mountain, Shadowblood Ridge (awful), Smoldering Marsh, Temple of Malice.
Demonic Tutor doesn't get much better than that! Mortify can be a good utility removal the CMC3 makes it less attractive, Vampiric Tutor although inefficient to pull a Lightning Greaves or Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is still good enough. It's instant so at EOT pull what you need. Rakdos the Defiler can be fun in a Armageddon model. Fetid Heath/Rugged Prairie are not too shabby. Sensei's Divining Top can help look and top-deck the A/D/D you need, IF you have none in hand it can swap places so you don't miss Kaalia of the Vast drops. Cavern of Souls against Grixis/Izzet, Phyrexian Reclamation can keep you rolling once you run out of cards-in-hand, an alternate quasi-draw.
Very good Kaalia of the Vast non-combo deck, looks like a blast to play. Hopefully you found some of these ramblings useful.
10 months ago
Hey, very well built budget Dragon deck.
I have a few budget suggestions:
Exhume could replace Crucible of Fire. +3/+3 pump for Dragons is overkill. Turn one Faithless discard Utvara Hellkite turn two Exhume Hellkite. Reforge could replace Fearsome Awakening it's the worst of the high casting cost reanimation spells here. Having a wheel effect is good with the reanimation strategy.
Rakdos dual lands that ETB untapped. Cairns was just reprinted in Iconic Masters it's price is low. It's seems very good here with many double black and double red casting costs. 10x Swamps, Marsh and Slough is a fine number for Tainted Peak and it can still be tapped for colorless if no Swamp. Shadowblood is a Signet like land which is good.
Bog is an excellent black utility land, exiling an opponent's graveyard with a land is very helpful.