|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Core Set 2019 (M19)||Common|
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Artifact Creature — Thopter
When Skyscanner enters the battlefield, draw a card.
1 month ago
Mana Vault on turn one allows you to cast your general turn two. I imagine one of the challenges with this general is his costing 5, as lack of access to another color means your options for ramp are rather limited. By the same token, Charcoal Diamond , Coldsteel Heart , Chrome Mox and the Cabal Coffers + Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth combo are your friends as well.
Nausea is good for you, as it gives you a way to kill off a bunch of little creatures and rebuy their ETB triggers. As Non-Linear points out, Grave Pact is good in your deck. Nausea makes it into a one-sided board wipe.
I see Demonic Tutor is in your 'Maybeboard.' I feel that this should be in the main deck of any black EDH deck if at all possible. It simply gets whatever you need more efficiently than anything else can.
Qarsi Sadist allows you to drain an opponent for two at each end step, if you have it exploit itself each time and Shirei stays on the board.
Night of Souls' Betrayal is an interesting thought. With a carful build, it could probably bust the deck wide open, as it auto kills each 1/1 and then brings them right back each end step. Pairing it with something like Burglar Rat , Skyscanner , Pilgrim's Eye , Black Cat or other such creatures seems simply rude as ****.
Finally, regarding the lands, I haven't had much luck with Crypt of Agadeem . You might want to replace that, Mortuary Mire and Memorial to Folly with basic lands. I also don't think Ghost Quarter is very good in EDH, unless your meta plays some powerful utility lands like The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale or Glacial Chasm . Ancient Tomb is a better Temple of the False God , but it is a more expensive card.
1 month ago
You should build a full sideboard of 1-off artifacts if you plan to use Karn, the Great Creator and you should sub out some shocks and swamps to play 4 Interplanar Beacon as the only black you run are planeswalkers. A list of sideboard artifacts are as follows Arcane Encyclopedia – card draw for control, Explosive Apparatus – Bad removal, Navigator's Compass – life gain, Damping Sphere – Anti Izzet phoenix, Fountain of Renewal – Burn, Sorcerous Spyglass – Walkers, Helm of the Host – maybe ok? Magistrate's Scepter – control beater, Meteor Golem – good but expensive removal, Orazca Relic – versatile, Sentinel Totem – graveyard hate, Silent Gravestone – graveyard hate, Skyscanner – replaceable blocker, The Immortal Sun – win-con, Transmogrifying Wand – repeatable removal, Treasure Map Flip card advantage. Please look at and comment my deck when you have time.
SCORE: 2 | 511 VIEWS
4 months ago
I've categorized the cards in your deck here: https://deckstats.net/decks/50753/1215572-animar
The following analysis is based on that categorization. Several cards are in more than one category, so I've categorized them based on their primary or common case. E.g. Ancient Animus is both "Removal" and "+1/+1 Counter Interaction", but you're going to cast it to kill something -- the +1/+1 counter is a nice bonus.
There's no explicit or stated goals of the deck, so I can't evaluate the cards against that. If you have a goal, let me know.
The core effect of Animar is to play creatures, which grows Animar. As Animar grows, he helps you play more (and more expensive) creatures. Some notable limitations:
- Animar only decreases colorless costs
- Animar only cares about creatures
- Animar only cares about casting creatures
Animar is cheap to cast and protects himself from most removal (due to his protection from Black and White). Because of this, we can assume that we will get him out early and keep him out long enough for him to provide benefit. We'll build the deck assuming Animar is on the battlefield at all times.
Since Animar reduces the colorless component of creature costs, we'll get the biggest benefit from colorless creatures. As with any unlimited cost reduction effect, we should look for ways to break the free case. The obvious one here is to bounce and recast colorless creatures for free.
Since we're playing all of these (hopefully free) creatures, Animar will grow quickly. Giving Animar good evasion will give us to win on commander damage quickly.
To best abuse Animar, we want:
- Many creatures across a range of mid to high colorless costs
- As many of those creatures in our hand as possible
- An many +1/+1 counters on Animar as soon as possible
- A means to make Animar unblockable
The easiest way to break Animar is to create an engine that casts colorless creatures and bounces them to your hand as many times as possible during a turn. We'll want ETB/LTB effects on those creatures and cards that care about creatures entering and leaving the battlefield. Additionally, we'll want cards that care about +1/+1 counters on a creature.
Favor creatures over non-creatures, as you get a discount on creatures. Try to keep colored costs to a minimum - avoid double or more colors in a cost.
Abusable Colorless Creatures:
- Myr Battlesphere creates four Myr tokens
- Precursor Golem creates two 3/3 tokens
- Artisan of Kozilek reanimates a creature
- Duplicant exiles a creature
- Anodet Lurker and Peace Strider gain three life
- Electrostatic Pummeler and Multiform Wonder give three engergy
- Reservoir Walker gains three life and gives three enery
- Grim Poppet gives three -1/-1 counters to put on something
- Meteor Golem destroys something
- Mirror Golem exiles a card from a graveyard
- Pierce Strider drains three life from an opponent
- Skyscanner draws a card
- Mindless Automaton draws a card via a +1/+1 counter interaction
- Solemn Simulacrum tutors a basic land into play
- Thought-Knot Seer can effectively mill and oppenent with ETB and LTB triggers
- Triskelion deals damage via a +1/+1 counter interaction
- Workhorse grants colorless mana via a +1/+1 counter interaction
- Oblivion Sower steals lands from your opponents deck
- Panharmonicon !!!
- Cream of the Crop
- Decoction Module
- Impact Tremors
- Leyline of Vitality
- Hardened Scales
- Simic Ascendancy
- Path of Discovery
- Warstorm Surge
- Wild Pair
- Herald of Secret Streams
- Thassa, God of the Sea
- Whispersilk Cloak
- Protective Bubble
- Aqueous Form
- Keeper of Keys
- Key to the City
- Passwall Adept
- Rogue's Passage
- Aether Tunnel
- Cloak of Mists
- Suspicious Bookcase
- Marchesa's Smuggler
- Tricks of the Trade
We'll want to get as many creatures down as quickly as we can. Card draw and other card advantage effects are valuable.
- Vizier of the Menagerie
- Sunbird's Invocation
- Stolen Strategy
- Rashmi, Eternities Crafter
- Garruk's Horde
- Descendants' Path
- Elvish Visionary
- Fierce Empath
- Wall of Blossoms
Changes to the Existing Cards
I would consider cutting way down on the amount of ramp. Mana dorks get the deck running early, but they don't have any synergy with the core effects. I suspect that's what was leaving you feeling like you had a dead hand.
Cards that seem particularly problematic:
- Wild Cantor . Requires a sac for effect. Doesn't get cost reduction. A dork that taps for mana would be better.
- Tinder Wall . Same as Wild Cantor sans the cost reduction bit.
- Vivid Creek and Vivid Crag . These both ETB tapped, don't have basic land types, and only provide off-color mana twice. If would strongly consider running Amonkhet cycling duals over these.
- Ancient Ziggurat . Be careful, as this mana can only be used for casting creature spells. I don't like this land in most decks.
- Bond Beetle . I have no idea why this is in here. It works once and has very little synergy with the deck. Verdurous Gearhulk would be better, but still not great.
- Green Sun's Zenith . I think a cheaper card that tutored to hand and then let you cast the card would be better, as you'd get the cost reduction effect and other synergies. No cards come to mind, but there are lots that look at the top X cards and tutor to hand ( Gift of the Gargantuan , etc.).
5 months ago
Actually, I might play Skyscanner or Ad Nauseam just because I suppose you could technically classify Living Death as a removal spell in addition to being a wincon (as it doesn't matter whether it's in the graveyard or not), but I don't know. I'll think about it.
5 months ago
CyborgAeon Vampiric Rites is admittedly kinda bad (I've realized that relying on having engines set up in order to perform basic functions life drawing cards is good if it works, but very risky--putting aside the fact that that's sort of this whole deck), so I guess can play another hate piece.
I don't like how Priest of Forgotten Gods requires me to have two other creatures to sac. She can't sac herself, and I'm obviously not going to sac Shirei to her, so that means I have to be doing pretty well already just to get use out of her. Don't get me wrong, she does a lot, but I can see her just not being useful most games.
Mindblade Render does seem like pretty good tech, admittedly. Smothering Abomination is a little worse than my other draw engines because I can't just play him by himself and let him sit there until I'm ready to use him, so I suppose I'll cut him.
As for Oblivion Stone ? I'd like to play a full playset of removal effects, and I don't know how I feel about going all-in on our plan without any outs to someone having a Leyline of the Void . Oblivion Stone as a 1-of is too slow for that anyway if they start the game with it in play, but you get what I'm saying--I'd like a 1-of that I can tutor for to deal with unforeseen problem permanents that I'd normally have to scoop to.
5 months ago
I know that Vampiric Rites is a card-draw engine, but you can rely on tutors to find Necropotence . I'd suggest replacing it with a sphere of resistance, or Null Rod , or another hate-piece - Ad Nauseam would even be acceptable, given your average mana-cost is 2.3. At this point, maybe it's even worth cutting out the Smothering Abomination for a shirei-able draw source, as Abom is 4 mana, and I feel like your curve can still get lower. Mindblade Render is run in a lot of cEDH decks as it draws cards from any najeela deck at the table (also it blocks tymna), Priest of the Forgotten Gods draws cards, makes mana and pressures your opponents, Skyscanner draws cards & is recurrable from scarecrone. Those I think are your best options.
The only other cut that I can see is O-stone, which I know that it hurts, but it'll be better as a Sphere of Resistance .
5 months ago
Not to beat a dead horse, but I thought I'd bring up Shirei again (and my deck specifically, The Recursion Nightmare), just because I've actually changed it around a fair bit since last time. Workhorse , Harvester of Souls , Heap Doll , Myr Sire , Diabolic Revelation , Homeward Path , Mindslaver , Arcbound Reclaimer , Sorin Markov , Dictate of Erebos , and Coffin Queen are all out in favor of Midnight Reaper , Mausoleum Secrets , Skyscanner , Dusk Legion Zealot , Sensei's Divining Top , Cabal Stronghold , Petrified Field , Burglar Rat , Liliana of the Veil , Sanguine Bond , and Exquisite Blood .
The wincons are stronger, the mana curve is lower (and more balanced), the cabal-tron package is now super-redundant (with Cabal Coffers , Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth , Vesuva , Deserted Temple , Petrified Field , Cabal Stronghold , and Expedition Map ), the stax effects are stronger, and the utility spells are cheaper. I'd say the deck has gotten at least 12% better, which, admittedly, goes against what I said ealier about the deck being almost perfect (though, in my defense, I hadn't yet taken a good look at some of the cards they've been printing recently--that's the great thing about Shirei, he only gets better the more worthless black commons they release).
I might take out the sanguine bond + exquisite blood wincon for Desecrated Tomb and Torment of Hailfire . Desecrated Tomb is more value, but obviously not really a wincon unless things are going way too well for me, and Torment of Hailfire isn't nearly as straightforward as Exsanguinate , but they might be better, anyhow.
Also, I still stand by Damnation --especially now that I'm playing Midnight Reaper and Dusk Legion Zealot , my life total is kind of a precious resource--sure, toxic deluge might be worth it anyhow, but it also kills my commander (read: I get my board state back after a damnation), so it's not strictly worse--though, I might consider playing deluge over Oblivion Stone , even though that card is my one way of dealing with problem enchantments, for instance.
Oh, and, I considered adding Pitiless Plunderer , but, again, the list is really tight, and I'd rather have Black Market over him, as I don't need more than one color of mana, the mana from Black Market accumulates, and it triggers whenever anything dies (relevant with Grave Pact ).
There are probably still better Shirei decks out there that still wouldn't qualify him for tier 3, but, frankly, even given a casual glance, tier 3 could easily be split up into multiple tiers (or just not have so many commanders crammed in it, and maybe we add a new bottom tier). I mean, Ghost Council of Orzhova and Ambassador Laquatus probably shouldn't be in the same category as Aminatou, the Fateshifter and Oloro, Ageless Ascetic , for instance. All the same, just in case these somehow weren't already obvious, let me detail a few of the more interesting interactions Shirei has with some of the dorks in this deck:
Mesmeric Fiend has an O-ring trick going on where, if we sacrifice him before his first ability resolves, the second ability triggers and does nothing, then we exile a card from our opponent's hand permanently. Doing that every turn with a sac outlet can be pretty good, and if you do it for long enough, you'll have everyone topdecking. I used to play Brain Maggot in this vein, but later learned that that works differently--it's all wrapped up into one ability, so if he dies before it resolves, during resolution, we take a card, the game sees that it's dead, then we immediately return it to their hand. Not very good, obviously.
Coffin Queen has a slightly different but effectively equivalent O-ring trick--if she's sacrificed before her ability resolves, the ability resolves, but since she's dead, the game doesn't remember her as an object and the delayed trigger of the ability can never happen, so we keep the creature permanently. When Coffin Queen comes back, she is, of course, a new object with a different timestamp.
Oh, and, in case this one wasn't obvious, cards like Mindless Automaton work with Shirei because their power is 1 or less when they enter the graveyard, thus triggering Shirei's ability, and their power doesn't become more than 1 until they've already entered the battlefield, as per layering rules.
5 months 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.
Skyscanner occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.01%