As an additional cost to play Skeletal Scrying, remove X cards in your graveyard from the game.
You draw X cards and you lose X life.
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Skeletal Scrying Discussion
2 weeks ago
I once built a Saskia deck, but mine was mono-creatures as a gimmick. Didn't last too long, but might give you a few ideas (particularly in the land base): *RETIRED* Thousand Victories: Saskia EDH
In terms of specific suggestions...
Most any other draw spell over Skeletal Scrying.
Artifact Mutation is a great token-maker here.
Have you considered Sneak Attack?
There is no better token card than Assemble the Legion :D
Hope this helps a bit!
2 weeks ago
Nice deck! Got a couple ideas for you.. I'm a big fan of Duelist's Heritage over Battle Mastery... Sword of the Animist is great in non green decks especially Voltron style ones... Inspiring Statuary is great with lots of equipment cards... I like effects like Dictate of Heliod over aura pump spells here since you have so many small value creatures, plus a bunch fly. Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx can get crazy in 2 color decks. Also I feel like you could use some big card draw spells. There's so much black card draw out there that uses life loss as a drawback that you could probably some no problem. Skeletal Scrying, Phyrexian Arena, Parting Thoughts, Ambition's Cost, Ancient Craving, Graveborn Muse, Minions' Murmurs, Moonlight Bargain, Necrologia, Promise of Power, and Underworld Connections... That's more than you need, but i would pick a few of them...Alhammarret's Archive is great in life gain but it's better with card draw effects... also Rhox Faithmender & Boon Reflection for more life gain doubling. Happy gathering!
1 month ago
1 month ago
If your deck ran more fetch lands I'd definitely recommend Skeletal Scrying since instant speed draw x spells can be pretty powerful so long as you have enough fodder in your graveyard.
If your deck ran more fetch lands I'd also recommend Crucible of Worlds since having any fetch land in your graveyard guarantees you'll never miss a land drop and they're amazing for stax decks that run effects that can blow up their own lands since it will give you an edge over your opponents.
1 month ago
Hmm... I actually like Expedition Map as it can look for Boseiju. Hindering light is also appealing to me since it replaces itself. I do see your point for more wraths as well as good reason for the skeleton (I don't know why I left that one out to be honest).
I think I misunderstood Skeletal Scrying... I have to pay the X in both mana and cards? Shameful! I'll replace it immediately with a better draw spell!
A little bit surprised about Athreos, but in retrospect it provides very little to the deck. I'll think on a replacement as well.
Concerning Auramancer's effect, would Hanna, Ship's Navigator be better or worse in your opinion? I like that her ability is repeatable and extends to artifacts, but that may be too slow/expensive (if an elixir happens to be around). On the other hand, Auramancer is just a one time thing, it's more narrow, but you get it immediately. I am a little torn... Ebbing towards Hanna atm.
1 month ago
I tested your deck a bit to see how it plays out, and just wanted to share some observations.
With the ramp you've included, the deck seems to be pretty consistent in hitting the 6 mana mark that you need. It comes at a bit of a cost though; spending your first few turns ramping means that you aren't playing cards early for Ertai to work with. I almost never wanted to cast Ertai when I hit the 5-6 mana mark because my board position was never at a state to take advantage of him. With the way the deck is currently designed, I think that what you need to do is include more wrath effects. That way, you can spend the first few turns ramping, then wipe the board, and afterwards play Ertai to hold back anything really threatening while you try to go for your end game. Wrath of God, Day of Judgment, Martial Coup, and bringing back Cyclonic Rift are all worth considering. I would also consider bringing back Reassembling Skeleton because of how it can block early and come back after a wrath to fuel both Ertai and Skullclamp.
Your selection of counterspells could be modified a bit. The ones you have are cheap and good for protecting, but not effective at helping you deal with opponents' counterspells. You currently have no way of getting Dovescape back if it is countered or destroyed by a creature. You could exchange Hindering Light for Negate and Turn Aside for Counterspell. I like the Rebuff the Wicked though, since it lets you leave blue mana up for other things and because no one expects a counter to come if you just leave white mana up. Open the Vaults or Auramancer might be worth including as a way to get Dovescape back if it does hit the bin.
Cards that under-performed for me were: Athreos, God of Passage (there weren't many threatening creatures on my board for it to matter); Kor Cartographer (there is enough cheaper ramp in the deck that I usually wished I drew a different card); Expedition Map (never wanted it considering all the other ramp and land search that is in the deck); Diabolic Intent (I only occasionally had a creature in the early game to sac to it); Skeletal Scrying (never had that many cards in my graveyard early on, and it was usually easier for me to search up Necropotence); and Utter End (expensive to cast and usually left me wishing it was a Swords to Plowshares or Cyclonic Rift).
You were right about that Netherborn Phalanx though, it's a nifty bit of tech in this deck.
2 months ago
Hello there, BlackWitch!
So I've been wondering how can you, with all the awesomeness and kickassness you already have, become more resilient.
I've found some interesting pieces that might suit your needs and wills.
Artifacts/auras to stick to Kaalia and lean back relaxed while she reaks the havoc she was born to dwell in:
Champion's Helm -looks good on on sadistic flying cleric chicks imo.
General's Kabuto -shroud and no damage is just what Kaalia needs! The only thing still that could break her is a wipe.
Ward of Lights/Cho-Manno's Blessing -are both similar with the exception of Cho-Manno's Blessing being much better. Maybe a little costly but certainly worth a thought or even two.
Righteous War -it's a two-colour Earnest Fellowship.
Reconnaissance -that would be nice if you wanted a Dolmen Gate effect. Not if Kaalia has shroud but still a valid ability. Maze of Ith can help you with that, as well as making opponent's creatures do no damage.
Stave Off is just a Gods Willing with no extra effect. Simply a reliable one-drop.
Otherworldly Journey can both protect your commander from being destroyed and make her more beefy with the counter. Same can be done with Ajani's Presence or Undying Evil.
Bathe in Light can be used on Kaalia and grant protection to all the other creatures you control at the same time. To be used at a tougher than expected combat phase or in order to make your attack go through.
If you are facing an incoming Wrath of God or such, you can always use a Ghostway! Similar effect can be achieved with Cauldron Haze or even Cauldron of Souls only with -1/-1 penalty.
If you want a protection against every spell AND not just as a counterspell but with until-end-of-turn effect, there's always the old friend waiting: Silence. Very powerful imo. I need to get one as well! I wonder why doesn't it cost much more.
Now for more proactive play:
Go for the Throat is a really nice spot removal which black can provide.
Aurelia's Fury -this card I am always biased about. It can be costly, it can be cheap. It can be useless if you want pure damage of pure control. But if you need to just tap the creatures or if you just need to counter that creature spell it is the one you go for. AND it does damage!
I see you like discards and no wonder -it's a very efficient and honestly -tilting activity. If you want maximum salt, I propose Hymn to Tourach. No targeted discard can tilt as much as random shot at two lands in opponent's 2nd turn, or even before that. Pure cruelty and immorality. But that's what you aim for, right?
As to the creatures I've found:
Ending the topic of discards: Mesmeric Fiend. Not OP, but hell, it might be just what you want.
And while at two-drop creatures, Benevolent Bodyguard, Obsidian Acolyte, Daru Spiritualist, Selfless Spirit and Standard Bearer can all help you with the Bearer being far superior to others imo. If killed/discarded, you can also bring them all back with the Reveillark! Same can be done to one-drops (like the Mother) with Ranger of Eos.
Last, but not least: Deathless Angel. I know it's not the omni-potent killing machine you'd like to drop with Kaalia, but it's really nice when comes to protecting her mother or any sibling actually.
Now the tricky part: I have one thing I don't really know if it works and some that I know you won't like, but I still want you to know them.
Illusionist's Bracers can potentially let you put two fatties on board at once. I'm not sure if it really is so, sadly.
And all the life-loss cards:
Phyrexian Arena -come on! It's supernice! Who cares about 1 life if you draw a protection you'll need or a demon that will win you the game!
Same goes for Night's Whisper and Skeletal Scrying.
Toxic Deluge just annihilates the board. You usually control more beefy ones so you can get rid of anything to the threshold you choose.
Grim Tutor is just another one to get what you need.
Both Thoughtseize and Mind Twist look good. Mind Twist can really vegetablify the opponent at almost any time of the game.
And the last one: Hall of the Bandit Lord. I know 3 is a lot of life. But considering you might take far more from the opponent I believe it can be neglected. The card is very powerful if used correctly. I believe it could make the deck more aggressive, just another brick in your wall of hatred in the wrath castle of Kaalia.
I hope you will take as much as you can from it and that it will help you somehow in making this damn good deck a masterpiece.
2 months ago
Ooh I love obscure tribal decks. Saw your post on reddit but from some reason the website was saving my comment so I'll just leave comment here:
Rule #1 for janky tribes is that you cannot skimp on the power of the support cards. The core theme of your deck (skeletons) is already at an disadvantage (since skeletons are not that strong and there are not too many of them), you can't afford to pull too many punches on your other slots.
First, I think you have too many small draw effects like Succumb to Temptation and Infernal Scarring. If your meta is not too fast I would recommend only keeping the best 1-3 of these and adding some larger draw or tutor effects (e.g., Skeletal Scrying, Promise of Power, Moonlight Bargain, Necropotence, Plunge into Darkness, Diabolic Intent). Mid-sized draw is also worth considering, like Ancient Craving or Ambition's Cost.
You also have a lot of (weak) point removal which seems excessive unless your meta is really atypical of casual EDH metas. You run just keep a few (3-6) of your favorites (ones that are cheap, unconditional, and exiles are best), and replace the rest with in some removal that give you more card advantage and other utility. Mass removal that don't block regen, e.g., Crux of Fate, Day of Judgment, and Austere Command, could be useful for this deck because your skeletons can regenerate from them. You can also consider more Dictate of Erebos type effects like Grave Pact, Butcher of Malakir, or Martyr's Bond. You should at least replace Pacifism with something like Journey to Nowhere or even Faceless Butcher.
The next step is deciding on a specific game plan. Right now I see elements of aggro, control, and combo, but you'll want to specialize I think. Aggro is probably the weakest because skeletons don't have good aggressive stats, but if you want to go that route you'll want better pump effects like Obelisk of Urd, Coat of Arms, good equipment (Sword of Fire and Ice, Batterskull, Umezawa's Jitte), etc. If you want control then bombs like Profane Command, Wretched Confluence, etc.
If you want to combo win, which I think is actually the best plan for weaker tribes (because instant kill is instant kill no matter how bad your creatures are), then it's about picking which combo you want. I really like Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Phyrexian Altar + Reassembling Skeleton/Tenacious Dead combined with something like Blood Artist or Falkenrath Noble, since most of the pieces fit naturally into what your deck was already doing anyways. Mikaeus + Triskelion is also super strong. Combo pieces like Enduring Renewal also go well with what you have already. If you go the combo route don't forget more tutors like Entomb, Increasing Ambition, Beseech the Queen, etc.
For sacrifice outlets some good ones are Phyrexian Altar, Viscera Seer, Phyrexian Plaguelord, Sadistic Hypnotist. And for artifacts, I would replace some of the less reliable ones like Gorgon's Head and Howling Mine with better equipment or Smuggler's Copter.
And for your mana, do you find 32 lands is enough? Skeletons are cheap but they have some pretty hefty activation costs. Most EDH decks are 35-40 lands, and maybe some more mana rocks (Sol Ring).
And finally, you can take a look here http://magiccards.info/query?q=t%3A%22skeleton%22&s=cname&v=card to see if there are other skeletons that might be better for your deck (e.g., Marang River Skeleton). Did you know that freaking Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon is a skeleton? Probably the best one in the game. Also don't forget things like Metallic Mimic, Adaptive Automaton, Brass Herald, or changelings like Skeletal Changeling, Cairn Wanderer, Mirror Entity.
Sorry about the huge wall of text, I just really like what you are going for with your deck! Hopefully some of those ideas useful even if not all those cards are going to fit into the deck. Let me know if anything doesn't make sense or if you want more budget suggestions. You can also check out an example of the janky tribe with powerful support staples in my black knight combo deck The Dark Knight Returns - Haakon combo knights if you want. Good luck with your deck, whichever direction you end up taking it!