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Artifact Creature — Construct
When Skittering Surveyor enters the battlefield, you may search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.
Skittering Surveyor Discussion
1 month ago
I honestly tend to find Bottle Gnomes pretty relevant, as I often lose a lot of life, but I suppose I'm playing enough tutors now to where I can just grab Zulaport Cutthroat or something if that's really such a concern--I suppose I can cut him, though I will miss him.
I'm still kinda on edge about cutting Black Market --my meta is still fairly casual, but I have, in fact, won before with Exsanguinate thanks to all the mana from Black Market against a fairly competitive (but by no means optimized) Prossh, Skyraider of Kher deck (and some other peeps). I might find something else to cut for Pitiless Plunderer , but I'd rather not have to choose between both of them. (Also, something worth considering is that Black Market is harder to remove than Pitiless Plunderer , though they'd need exile effects or something in any case).
As for Sanguine Bond + Exquisite Blood , getting 10 mana isn't a problem for me, but I get what you're saying--it's not exactly the fastest combo available, and my deck probably doesn't slow the game down enough to make it competitively viable. All the same, there's just not that many better mono-black combos.
As for running more tutors and stax effects, well, for one, I actually still want this list to be playable in my meta (it's approaching a point where it's just too cancerous relatively to what the majority of everyone else is playing, believe it or not), so adding Trinisphere and Static Orb and the like would be very unsubtle and super cutthroat (though, yes, that's exactly what would make the deck more competitive, I understand that). Secondly, the list is getting pretty tight, yet again, so I'd probably have to cut some Shirei synergy for that sort of thing, which would probably be worth it, but would make me feel that much more soulless, honestly. Can never seem to strike that balance between not playing a whole bunch of staples and having a synergetic build...
Thirdly, while they'd absolutely be worth it, I'm not playing more tutors simply due to budget considerations. I know that might sound pretty laughable considering the deck costs $830 dollars, but it's the only list I have that I own in paper (well, most of it--waiting for more cards to arrive, as I keep cutting stuff), but I've been building it up over the course of 3-4 years. Budget is no object in cEDH, I know, but it is for me--the most expensive card in the deck is about $75. Spending $100 on a card isn't something I really want to do. I might find something to cut for Cruel Tutor , though (bad as it is).
As it stands, I think Liliana's Shade and Bottle Gnomes are out and Skittering Surveyor and Scroll Rack are in. A marginal improvement--still not good enough, though, you're right. If only I could run Land Tax + Scroll Rack ...
(Oh, and, on a completely unrelated note, this might already be a thing, but I was wondering if anyone had figured out a way to combo out with Timestream Navigator in a Prime Speaker Vannifar list. All you'd need is a 1-drop that recurs itself to either your hand or the battlefield, and, so long as you had enough mana and the city's blessing, you could take infinite turns. That might actually be a viable combo in cEDH).
1 month ago
NoOneOfConsequence shirei is one of the best recursion engines (so if you're beating a dead horse, at least we can expect it from a Shirei player). He provides significant advantage, provided you play an efficient & synergistic gameplan.
Liliana's Shade is 4 mana to tutor for a swamp every turn. Neat, but still it's 4 mana - unless you're going balls to the wall on 28-30 lands, I can't see how this is great for you, as it's an inefficient Skittering Surveyor . You have no other Swamp cards that I can see, therefore no reason to actually run the card in place of a more efficient version.
Black Market is great turn by turn, but pound for pound it's worse than Pitiless Plunderer , as with plunderer you make mana the same turn. Black market requires you to wait an entire turn-cycle before it does anything - and in those 3 turns you're not holding up mana to respond to all of your opponent's threats - basically gambling with the hope of a payoff on your turn.
Sanguine Bond & Exquisite Blood together are 10 mana to win. Flash-hulk is 2 mana. Exsanguinate & Torment of Hailfire are at least 15 each & they don't certify a win as you have no way to make unbounded mana.
Leyline of the Void is unavoidable in this build, as your win con is not coming out until late game, and any hulk deck will win first.
It's admirable that you've found so many creatures that synergise with shirei to hurt your opponents turn by turn. But here, a lot of these are redundant. In a stax deck you need many more ways to hurt your opponent decks. Including Trinisphere , Sphere of Resistance , Winter Orb , would all help your gameplan.
You could use Praetor's Grasp - as it's likely to find a card that will actually win you the game & it's a stax piece.
There are a lot of issues with your list - those t3 decks are usually decks that are unproven (imo). Your shirei deck still needs a lot of refinement for tier 3 to Deem Worthy .
I could go on about many of the other options in your Shirei build, but maybe you should re-read the comments section. I made sure to put a healthy set of options in there for you to consider several days ago.
I'd recommend doing some solid research into the cEDH meta and how cutthroat every design decision needs to be. I think there's a discord called playEDH, or look for some cEDH decks to test against. You'll find out very fast that your shirei build may be good in some metas, but in cEDH it is not enough.
1 month ago
Hi, I played Shirei off the cuff a few times as I saw he was cute. But I like your niche view of using wiping artifacts repeatedly.
Have you thought about: Canal Dredger (lets you recur destroyed/hated out pieces) Coretapper + Magistrate's Scepter for an easy 3 card combo? Run Snow-Covered Swamp so you don't share mana with extraplanar lens (but only if you insist on using it) Blood Pet - extra mana every turn. Makes for faster shirei Skittering Surveyor and Skyscanner are both card advantage engines with shirei + sac outlet
Furthermore you should run The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale , Mox Diamond , Mox Opal , Dark Ritual , Culling the Weak , Mox Amber (since your entire gameplan is focused around shirei being in play anyway), Chains of Mephistopheles vs decks with draw power, Contamination , Imperial Seal . Now next is for sheer faster wins. Ad Nauseam , Pitiless Plunderer can function as a semi- Phyrexian Altar , Demonic Consultation so that you can find your win conditions faster, Tainted Pact is another competitive level backup but requires the rest of the deck to be tuned around it.
When alliegance set drops I'd also recommend Priest of Forgotten Gods
This is clearly a pet-deck. Play it however you want. But honestly? You need to make room for Toxic Deluge , Lake of the Dead , Strip Mine , Wasteland , Dust Bowl . In stax black needs every advantage it can get. But building up until you have a critical mass of mana like with Exsanguinate / whatever is just unrealistic in a competitive meta. It's far too easily disrupted.
A Crucible of Worlds & some fetch-lands would go well. That way at least you'd be able to gain mana advantage turn by turn with almost no loss. Lastly, try running Meteor Golem - I've seen him be busted with Scarecrone and other recursion effects, but ymmv. Especially if you don't like using sorceress queen.
Rahvin_dom on ZOa
2 months ago
It sounds like you want to:
- Slow down opponents' ability to cast spells, which forces opponents to keep cards in hand
- Force opponents to discard, limiting their options
- Use discard triggers to punish opponents
This sounds like it can work with Bolas. The risk I'd point out is with the discard punishers, specifically ones like Megrim and Liliana's Caress. They can be a little fragile - once the opponent no longer has any cards, you stop getting triggers. They're nice incidental damage and can add up, but you can't rely on them to actually close out the game. Bolas is also not ideally suited to the stax plan - he doesn't inherently break symmetry, so there are much better options for hard stax.
Wheels that discard are going to be excellent for you, getting a ton of discard triggers. Ignore wheels that shuffle and then draw without discarding.
Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur would be a pretty amazing, synergistic reanimation target. You should definitely run some reanimation effects if you plan to force opponents to discard - you can grab tasty targets from your own deck or theirs. Reanimate, Animate Dead, Necromancy, Dance of the Dead are a good start.
Back to Basics doesn;t stop you from using your own fetches (even budget slow-fetches) since you only use those once - they don;t need to untap. Blood Moon works, and it sets your nonbasics to one of your actual colors, but it also turns all your fetches into Mountains. Watch out for that.
I'd also look at Ruination. It's MLD...but it only blows up non-basic lands. It's exactly what you're doing with the enchantments, but with removal.
You already seem to know the mana rock drill from your Nekusar deck. You want to lean heavily on the mana rocks - all of the 2CMC signets/talismans/Fellwar Stone. Fellwar is going to get much less useful once you land Bloood Moon though. Star Compass is useful since you'll be loading heavily on basic lands. Coldsteel Heart is useful to plug a specific color hole. Obviously Sol Ring. You're going to be looking for color fixing more than anything, so Chromatic Lantern is worth the extra mana, and any Mox you can afford are worthwhile (except Mox Amber, that one's less useful).
You need land fetching. Grixis Panorama is normally not a recommendation, but it can find any of your three colors, not just two, and you're already basically excluding fetchable duals with the stax effects. Journeyer's Kite and Thaumatic Compass Flip, Armillary Sphere, Pilgrim's Eye, Skittering Surveyor, Solemn Simulacrum, Sword of the Animist, Wayfarer's Bauble are all at least playable. The ETB creatures are useful if you plan to abuse Nicol Bolas, the Ravager Flip's ETB effect - you can use blink effects and Panharmonicon to get extra triggers.
Blood Moon and Back to Basics are great, but they likely are not enough to consistently slow opponents enough to be wroth all of this workaround by themselves. Even Ruination doesn't add enough. Unfortunately Grixis doesn;t have any of the neat land-untap triggers like Nature's Will or Seedborn Muse - if it did, you could abuse things like Stasis and Rising Waters and Static Orb more easily. Still, you could support Winter Orb with enough mana rocks. Be sure to run good one-sided artifact removal like Vandalblast to keep opponents from using their own rocks.
And of course Omniscience can let you blow up all the artifacts and lands and still play what you want. You'll be running a ton of rocks anyway, which could ramp you into it fairly early.
The big thing, though, is how you want to win. Stax doesn;t work super well on its own - you need to be using stax to slow your opponents down so that you can pull off your own win condition. Do you have any ideas on how youd like to win, even if just generally? Combat, combos, punisher effects like Megrim, mill, etc?
4 months ago
carpecanum Thanks for a bomb-ass suggestions! I totally forgot about the existence of Alexi's Cloak - that is a must add. Def gonna sub a land for Pilgrim's Eye and Skittering Surveyor (just gotta figure out how to shift my costs around since I'm fast approaching my limits for the challenge). Thopter Spy Network is already in - but I think I'll end up passing on Thopter Squadron and Puffer Extract because I don't have 75cents to spare.
Thanks again! Really helpful and some awesome improvements!
4 months ago
I would also consider dropping two or three lands (replaced with the land tutors)
4 months ago
There are many things that can be done to improve this deck but I'll start with a few key points:
You need WAY more lands, probably at least 24. Rupture Spire is a pretty terrible land and does nothing more than being a worse ETB tapped land. There are some more expensive blue/red lands you can get, Sulfur Falls and Steam Vents
The Skittering Surveyors don't really go with the theme of the deck, I'd remove them to help get to the higher land count.
There is a lot more to be done to a deck like this, but the suggestions here should get it moving in the right direction. Land count is definitely the most glaring issue right now.
5 months ago
Skyscanner and Desecrated Tomb look like important additions to an artifact/token theme Shirei deck. Skittering Surveyor seems handy too. If/when I come back to playing, that's definitely what this is going to turn into.
Going back to Ixalan also gives me Pitiless Plunderer (thanks shub!) Gleaming Barrier is also great mana and (non-creature) artifact token creation, Dusk Legion Zealot has great potential but it's risky if you use it too often.
I'm hoping for something good in mono-black with Undergrowth from Ravnica, but we'll wait and see.
Skittering Surveyor occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.0%