|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Champions of Kamigawa (CHK)||Rare|
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Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
Tap: Add to your mana pool.
, Tap: Target legendary creature gains first strike until end of turn.
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Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep Discussion
1 month ago
So I notice your group's ban list is focused on the "feel bad" cards like game warping fatties and land destruction. This means your land is relatively safe and a deck focused on drawing cards can easily function on 34 or 35. I would build it with 33 but I see you want to get to a few select top end cards. I would cut these lands in order: Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep, Rakdos Carnarium, Izzet Boilerworks, Crosis's Catacombs, and Dimir Aqueduct.
High cost cards can be fun but it's important to balance their impact with the fact that drawing too many of them can stunt your game play. Cruel Ultimatum immediately jumps out at me as a fun card but ultimately lacking in the impact. Targeting a single player and being super heavy both in cmc and color requirements makes the risk to reward ratio not in your favor.
Jaya and Nicol Bolas both fall in a similar camp of cost outweighing their impact. Of the two a greater argument can be made for Jaya pumping out spells and drawing cards but that triple red is rough. Keep in mind the big goal here is to force draw absurd amounts of cards, each high cost and color intense spell you hit is a speed bump in that card drawing engine.
Dominus of Fealty and Thraximundar are a pretty high cost to invest into things that are off strategy. Nezahal, Primal Tide is in a similar boat but if your play group creates a need for a 7/7 uncounterable then it’s a fine inclusion. Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker is strategy adjacent but the slot can probably be put to better use. I also don’t like Guiltfeeder but I recognize that is likely do to my meta shaping my opinion of it.
Cards I would look at adding
Anvil of Bogardan I am surprised isn't already in here.
Memory Jar is another great wheel.
Psychosis Crawler is too on strategy not to include.
Sunder is great in decks like this but your group would probably ban it in a heartbeat based on your current ban list.
You’re already fairly deep in artifacts so a mana rock ramp package would massively increase speed and consistency. Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, (maybe) Mana Vault, Rakdos Signet, Dimir Signet, Izzet Signet, Thought Vessel, Chrome Mox, and Mox Diamond.
Vandalblast if your playgroup uses a healthy amount of artifact ramp.
2 months ago
Great list so far. Here are you my suggestions:
I'd swap out the infect cards for an evasion suite. Infect is great on paper, but you don't get to direct where it's going. Thus, it comes with #1 negative (painting a large target on yourself that says: 'kill me now') without the #1 benefit (eliminating your greatest threat in a turn or two). I think you'll do better flying lower on the radar. Stick the five commander damage and be happy. Some combination of Corrupting Licid, Sleeper's Guile, Dauthi Embrace, Shizo, Death's Storehouse, and Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep should do the trick. Add in a Nim Deathmantle to keep Xantcha on the field indefinitely.
War's Toll should incentivize others to use Xantcha as a mana sink on their own turn. Which is exactly what you want.
Glacial Chasm is good protection. Sit back and watch the world burn.
Alhammarret's Archive seems great w/Xantcha's ability, although it is quite slow. Maybe get a feel for how your opponents are dealing with Xantcha first. If you get to sit around a lot, slot this in.
If you find that Xantcha is eating removal often, Fury Storm seems like a good add. Playing Xantcha three times, and quintupling an x=6 Exsanguinate to drain the table for 30 sounds like a positively delightful way to spend 10 mana. Works with that Profane Command in your Maybeboard as well.
As far as what to swap out:
Spiteful Visions isn't asymmetrical enough. You're probably going to be using Xantcha's ability often enough to make this hurt.
Exquisite Blood isn't really working within your game plan. You're using it as a defensive option here. I think there are better options (Chasm, for example).
Blood Sun works against you too much.
Polluted Bonds could probably be swapped out for something. I get that your opponents will be drawing more, but if feels like 5 mana good stuff.
Rite of the Raging Storm might also be too cute, but it's hard to judge.
Overall, this is a really good list. Xantcha is a cool card and it's fun to see how many niche interactions she enables. Good luck with it!
2 months ago
Some takeaways from today's games:
Curse of Opulence is wonderful at influencing combat and helping ramp. A lot of value packed into one red mana. The card has cemented its slot in this deck.
While I never got to actually activate it, Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep was a fantastic option to hold up, as a 5/5 first striker can survive most fights in the early to mid game; it was nice to have the option.
I run too many non-basics for a two-color deck. A late-game From the Ashes neutered any chance I had at winning one of the games.
Drawing Words of Waste felt awful. I didn't want to skip out on the card draw for a Xantcha activation just to make everyone discard a card, and it didn't seem like a good use of 4 mana, either, even with the added loss of 2 life. I can see cutting this immediately for something more impactful.
I'd like to decrease my dependency on creature blockers as rattlesnakes, which will allow me to include something like Bedlam to more readily encourage combat. It improves the usefulness of Virtus the Veiled and Master of Cruelties, too.
Targeted unblockable repeated effects from cards like Key to the City seem like a better long-term goal for keeping Xantcha connecting each turn than to run extra targeted removal. I'd rather save that removal for the actual threats, while enabling Xantcha to continue dealing damage in other means.
Group damage doublers like Dictate of the Twin Gods definitely seem promising in such a world, so I'm likely to give that a try.
Finally, I need to take a hard look at how I actually intend to win. Seems simple and silly to admit, but in the late game, after casting a tutor, I didn't have the confidence in knowing what my ultimate end game needed to be. Maybe I do need to put some combos in after all...
2 months ago
Any reason you don't run Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep? She turns Marchesa and Virtus into serious rattlesnakes, gives your other legendary creatures some additional combat tricks, and is on additional tool to potentially affect combat between other players.
3 months ago
Fixing mana issues and other changes.
I always found Pilgrim's Eye to be kind of lame. I'm replacing it a Trophy Mage. It can search for Steel Golem, Burnished Hart, or Sunforger. A threat, a ramp-card, or the most powerful equipment in EDH. (I know this is kind of ironic, because Pilgrim's Eye, if it were to remain in the deck, could be tutored with Trophy Mage. But why would I do that?)
4 months ago
Hi! Since you said you aren't very familiar with old cards I'll just throw out a couple, that usually would go in a tribal/gishath deck and let you decide which way to go.
The fight mechanic is greens only creature removal, so you can keep a few, maybe consider Chaos Warp, Thrashing Brontodon Bane of Progress or any other stuff that can deal with enchantments/artifact. Also I think you need a bit more lands. Most of the deck run between 32-40, I put 36 in mine, but I run around 8-10 ramps and like 5+ draw in every deck I have. For 30 lands i think people run a very different deck than yours and possibly play broken stuff like Mana Crypt. If you really want to keep the enrage theme then the best way to do it is with Caltrops or Pyrohemia, as they provide constant effect, compared to say Rile's one-time use.
These are the cards I could come up with for now, hope they will be of some use to you. Happy deckbuilding! :)
5 months ago
Sweet deck! Academy Ruins, Hammerheim, Oboro, Palace in the Clouds, Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep, andTolaria, would be sweet just for being legendary blue or red producers that draw cards, even if an ability sucks.