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Sphinx's Revelation Discussion
on Oloro Stuff
2 days ago
- Chalice of Life Flip: Isn't the worst card in Oloro, but isn't all that reliable either.
- Darksteel Plate: I've seen you play this card a bunch of times, and most of the time it just sits there, all menacingly. Problem is - your deck doesn't plan to use creatures often, so the plate also won't be used either.
- Dreamstone Hedron: Ramp is great, but expensive ones that produce colorless mana can be iffy since they're often easy targets right after you play them. Gilded Lotus can at least let you cast counterspells after you tap all your lands to play it.
- Orzhov Keyrune: This one is just personal preference from me. I don't like 3 mana artifact ramp most of the time. (Chromatic Lantern and Darksteel Ingot are much better) It's up to you if you wanna take it out or not.
- Sun Droplet: This card is very slow and you could easily replace it with something better.
- Subversion: It may seem like a decent drain effect, but it's not that great since it's 5 mana and makes you wait til your next upkeep before it does anything.
- Thought Reflection: Decent card, but 7 mana is pretty costly. Up to you if you wanna keep it.
- Celestial Force: It's nice to instantly gain life each upkeep, but 8 mana for basically just a vanilla creature otherwise isn't really good.
- Pontiff of Blight: Extort is nice for your deck, but your deck doesn't have many creatures to take advantage of the pontiff. Up to you if you wanna keep this guy if you wanna add more creatures.
- Skirge Familiar: I think this card would be a lot better if your deck was more combo focused.
- Azorius Chancery: These types of lands will flat out screw you over if they get destroyed or Blood Mooned.
Cards you definitely should add (won't cost you a whole lot):
- Crested Sunmare: Easily synergizes with Oloro and provides very solid creatures for defensive/offensive plays.
- Aetherflux Reservoir: The win condition you've been looking for. It's a pretty funny card honestly, but works very well with Oloro once you get him going.
- Alhammarret's Archive: Simply synergizes well with Oloro.
- Felidar Sovereign: Not sure how the others would feel about alternative win conditions, but if everyone' okay with it, this guy can most likely win you some games.
- Karlov of the Ghost Council: An awesome card. Can help control the board or becomes a big body to swing with.
- Delay, Counterspell, Swan Song, Negate: Good, cheap counterspells you should at least be running.
- Sphinx's Revelation: Put that ramping to good use.
- Anguished Unmaking, Cyclonic Rift: Must-have control instants.
- Supreme Verdict, Merciless Eviction, Fumigate: Excellent board wipes to go with Oloro.
- Clever Impersonator: This guy's incredibly flexible and can be useful in just about any situation.
- Mana Confluence: Almost exactly another copy of City of Brass.
- Temple of Enlightenment, Temple of Silence, Temple of Deceit: These will make your mana base a tad bit more consistent while helping you a bit with your next draw as well.
- Diabolic Tutor/Dark Petition/more tutors: Your deck would be more consistent if it had more tutors.
- Brainstorm: Generally a good blue card to manipulate your deck/hand a bit at an instant.
Suggestions (Some are costly, but very worth it for Oloro):
- Grave Titan: Just a powerhouse in general. Just like Crested Sunmare, Grave Titan will give you excellent battlefield presence.
- Whip of Erebos: If you do add more creatures like Grave Titan, this card can be very good for your life gain strategy.
- Sun Titan: One of my favorites. Can grab back some useful stuff, even land.
- Soul Warden, Soul's Attendant, Suture Priest, Auriok Champion: The soul sisters. You shouldn't include all of them at once though. Just keep them in mind since they're good against creature-heavy decks.
- Consecrated Sphinx: Costly, but worth.
- Kambal, Consul of Allocation: Punishes spell-slinging decks, and generally nice if he sticks around.
- Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim: She can be good if you can keep your life total high enough.
- Sanguine Sacrament: Pretty nice for the deck's game plan at instant speed.
- Demonic Tutor: Arguably the best tutor you can find, but the price tag will probably turn you away. But... Greatness, at any cost.. Right?
- Enlightened Tutor, Mystical Tutor, Vampiric Tutor: Excellent tutors, but expensive (although Mystical Tutor is only around $5; not a whole lot compared to Vampiric Tutor).- Austere Command: Another one of my favorites. Very flexible, and doesn't cost a whole lot either.
- Torment of Hailfire: This card will probably make everyone hate you, but it's a fantastic card nonetheless.
- Leyline of Anticipation: One of the best blue enchantments in my opinion. Allows you to intimidate everyone just by playing a land on your turn.
- Crawlspace: Good against creature-heavy decks.
- Talisman of Dominance, Talisman of Progress, Fellwar Stone: Some decent and cheap mana rocks if you want more ramp.
- Decree of Pain: A good tempo swing in your favor if there are a ton of creatures in play. Kinda costly to play though.
- Hallowed Fountain, Godless Shrine, Watery Grave: Shock lands. Excellent at increasing consistency with mana bases. They're even better with the Fetch lands. All of these lands are very costly though.
- Flooded Plains, Marsh Flats, Polluted Delta: Example Fetch lands you could use.
- Ponder, Preordain: Cheap cantrips for a little more consistency.
- Maze of Ith, Kor Haven: Decent control lands.
- Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Cabal Coffers: Generates a ton of mana if you get them together.
- Expedition Map: Can help getting the above lands or any land you need.
- Crypt Ghast: Synergizes very well with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, but is overall decent for your deck.
That's all I can think of for now. I can post more for you if I think of anything else.
4 days ago
Nice, another card you may consider that I think could run well for you is Sphinx's Revelation
4 days ago
APPLE01DOJ - I don't know. Yesterday, I could have written you an essay; today, I'm facing down Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I know nothing until further testing. I have rushed to bring back two copies of Liliana of the Veil to the list since the unbans, a card I had eschewed very quickly in my original construction of the deck, since it hardly favours the player drawing an extra card a turn; however, with the advent of Bloodbraid Elf and Jace TMS, opponents are now likely to be able to keep up with the CA of Phyrexian Arena, and as such, Liliana of the Veil is likely to be good again (even if the format is being overrun by lots of Bloodghast, Hollow One, and Faithless Looting).
However, I can offer a breakdown of how the creatures function in non-blue matchups:
a. Pack Rat:
The deck started with the set of Pack Rat. But that all in-strategy was soon found to be suboptimal - drawing multiple Pack Rats was unnecessary and rarely served any purpose; not to mention the speed of Modern means turn 2 Pack Rat is often too slow. As sweepers, Detention Sphere, and Maelstrom Pulse became common, and as Hollow One and Death's Shadow and Tasigur, the Golden Fang started to surface, Pack Rat lost some of its luster.
The natural question, then, if Pack Rat is slow and vulnerable, why play him at all? The answer: Pack Rat is ten cards in one card. Backed up with any kind of disruption and removal, he takes over the board and ends the game, quickly and unstoppably. Two activations are more than enough to put away games, and trading spot removal for Rats is a losing proposition. So in this list, he's gone from being a windmill early slam, to a lategame engine that turns dead land drops and discard spells into an army of creatures. Barring Path to Exile before a single activation is possible, Liliana, the Last Hope can always buy him back - one copy of the Rat, therefore, is ample.
I've covered the virtues of this card in a post above - essentially, he's my Tarmogoyf, but he flies. Whether he functions as The Abyss or as a 6/6 unblockable, he ends games very quickly, and many a game against combo/Tron has been put away by disruption into disruption into Demon. Of the quick clocks available to black, he's one of the better ones. I believe the added utility to be well worth the extra two mana over Goyf (besides, far be it from me to argue against 6 6 fliers for four - speaking of which, Demon is almost always a strictly superior option to Abyssal Persecutor, since Persecutor requiring us to find an additional kill spell for our own demon while Phyrexian Arena ticks down/the burn opponent is topdecking is not a good feeling).
I cannot praise this card enough in any mono black midrange list. He exiles creatures, he gains life consistently, and he makes every removal spell in our deck a 2 for 1. Traditionally, efficient mono black removal has been weak to graveyard recursion such as Flamewake Phoenix, Bloodghast, Geralf's Messenger, Kitchen Finks, and so forth, since all these cards must be killed more than once, at no additional expense to the opponent. Thoughtseize and Phyrexian Arena is a painful combination, especially in a world of Lightning Bolt and Kolaghan's Command. Kalitas solves all of these issues beautifully, and with any removal spell stalls the board incredibly easily and well.
Okay, have you seen the art? If Drana were real, she'd totally be my Valentine.
Jokes aside, one of the issues I was frequently running into with the deck was the amount of time it took me to close out once I had stabilised. While all of my creature threats (Gray Merchant of Asphodel is basically a Corrupt, he doesn't count) end the game quite quickly, I just wasn't drawing them fast enough - my opponent would get the opportunity to find that Cryptic Command or Sphinx's Revelation, or get those last 2 Boros Charm. There is a delicate balance between disruption and pressure that must be maintained in all decks that are not pure control, and maintaining that balance required me to find another fast game-ending threat.
I considered running the fourth Desecration Demon, but the idea of another big dumb beater was not appealing. I wanted a powerful threat with intrinsic value attached to its kit, that could help deal with the board even when I was not drawing multiple cards a turn, and hopefully one that was either resilient, or dodged some of the common removal in the format (Lightning Bolt, Abrupt Decay, Fatal Push - although I was open to playing four drops, since consistently having revolt to deal with a whole myriad of four drop threats is difficult). While black has plenty of value three drops, none of them offered this game ending power, or were too easily killed - Nightveil Specter and Lifebane Zombie, for instance, offer great card advantage in specific situations, but don't really pack the same punch as something like a Desecration Demon or Pack Rat army.
Finally, I settled on Drana. There are a lot of powerful five drops in black with value built in (Bloodgift Demon, for instance), but Drana does something none of the others do - she kills things, turn after turn, while being able to attack in the air for huge chunks. In a meta with Lingering Souls, Dark Confidant and Young Pyromancer, Drana seemed like an elegant solution, and so far, she has far exceeded my expectations. I do not think I should consider running multiples of her, since she is quite expensive and can be killed for no value the turn she comes into play, but untapping with her can feel a bit like untapping after a Supreme Verdict to an empty board.
No Geralf's Messenger, no Phyrexian Obliterator; only 2 Gray Merchant. I do not believe the all in devotion plan is likely to ever become Modern competitive, for sheer want of interactive capability and card advantage - if you are playing a midrange list in Modern, you need lots of early interaction in the form of hand disruption and removal, a proactive plan to end the game with efficient threats, and ways to pull ahead on cards after both players have been stripped down to limited resources. Gray Merchant is an extremely powerful card, as good as or better than Siege Rhino if it drains for upwards of five; it swings races, it ends games, it doesn't care about board stalls, and for all intents and purposes is basically a Modern legal Tendrils of Corruption (not my quote - blame LSV. Then again, that man also calls Disciple of Phenax Mind Twist, so take these statements with several grains of salt).
But despite his inherent power level, Gray Merchant of Asphodel is a very high variance card, and can sometimes be Highway Robber. Removal in Modern is aplenty, and curving out into enough devotion for Gray Merchant to be good is not a reliable plan. Even when the traditional mono black lists do manage to implement their plan - Geralf's Messenger into Gray Merchant, for instance, after having gotten two or more of their creatures removed, despite being an overall drain for seven to nine, just lacks the power/speed to push through opposing Tarmogoyf, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, Grim Flayer, Death's Shadow - not to mention blue decks with their Cryptic Command and board sweepers and Sphinx's Revelation.
Gray Merchant of Asphodel in my list is therefore a card I'll often be discarding to the various discard outlets in the early game; using either the second copy or Liliana, the Last Hope's minus two to drain the opponent out if necessary later on. His being a zombie means he can be sacrificed to Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet either to simply grow the great vampire, or to be recursed with Liliana, as the situation calls.
I do not think running more than two of the card is likely to be feasible for Modern given the uncertainty of whether Merchant will be Corrupt or Highway Robber, and also given Merchant's relatively high mana cost; while it is possible that one is the correct number (and indeed, often in post board games, I do go down to one or no Merchant) at least in game 1, the proactive plan of discard, kill, kill, flier, smack, Merchant win is a very strong one. Having access to the second copy in case the first gets exiled and therefore cannot be returned with a future Liliana is also quite relevant against decks with Path to Exile and Pyxis of Pandemonium.
Despite Merchant's variance, I believe his power level and his ability to end the game on the spot through cards like Ensnaring Bridge and Witchbane Orb is not to be undervalued. In a deck with Phyrexian Arena and Ob Nixilis Reignited, every life point represents an extra card; while Highway Robber may be terrible, a five mana 2 4 that draws 4 cards on etb and drains the opponent for four is an absolutely phenomenal Magic card.
I would also like to point out the maindeck inclusion of incidental lifegain like Collective Brutality and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet in conjunction with Gary makes most burn and aggro matchups extremely favourable.
While the creature suite has been carefully picked, and is constantly being chosen and rechosen and tweaked, the engine that enables this deck is Phyrexian Arena. Any interactive deck with reactive spells always runs the risk of its reactive measures not lining up well against the threats being deployed on the other side; Arena churning through the deck presents the critical mass of answers and threats to overwhelm the opponent, ensures land drops are made, and essentially in every regard dots the deck's i's and crosses its t's. With discard outlets like Collective Brutality and Liliana of the Veil to trade potentially dead cards for relevant spells early on, irksome draws with too many high cmc cards can still function smoothly and well.
5 days ago
Hollow One seems worth testing here, and I like trying Esper here instead of Rakdos.
You may also want to mess around with cards like Funeral Charm, Inquisition of Kozilek, and Thoughtseize to let you disrupt opponent's early plays or discard your own cards for a Hollowed One, if you play it. I think Pack Rat + Hollowed one would be sweet in this deck, too.
Rule of Law and Grand Abolisher are probably good sideboard cards versus Control, and a Worship + Pack Rat seems great. Maybe also a Renewed Faith, Blessed Alliance, Sphinx's Revelation, or a Kor Firewalker or Burrenton Forge-Tender or two for the Burn/Zoo match-up.
1 week ago
Hey, love to see someone getting into UW control. First off, to get a more competitive build will be a little tight on the budget.
First off, your mana base needs to be better. Some great budget options are Prairie Stream, Glacial Fortress, and Port Town. The reason you should consider these is that they have a chance of coming into play untapped, and while control can generally survive a few tapped lands, having as many as you do now would be deadly. Temple of Enlightenment is one of my favorite tapped lands though. I have personally been very impressed with Field of Ruin over Ghost Quarter. Once you're able to put a good amount of money into it, go for Mystic Gate (only one), Flooded Strand, Hallowed Fountain, and Celestial Colonnade.
I'm a big fan of big flying angel win conditions. Torrential Gearhulk is fantastic, but just make sure you're running enough instants to make it worth it. Nyx-Fleece Ram is definitely a sideboard card, don't run it in your main deck. 4 Wall of Omens is a pretty good defensive option.
Dissolve is my favorite counterspell, but you shouldn't be running it in modern. 4 Mana Leak. 4 Remand, and 3-4 Cryptic Command are the usual counters to run. Disallow is pretty interesting though. You should not be running Condemn, it was some pretty early Death's Shadow sideboard tech, but there are better options. You will definitely need to invest in a playset of Path to Exile, luckily they're at a pretty low price right now. Instead of Jace's Ingenuity, cantrips like Serum Visions, Opt, or Think Twice would be better options.
I would not run Divination or Ugin's Insight. Your board wipes are pretty spicy, but a little slow. Supreme Verdict is the most typical UW board wipe. Wrath of God and Terminus are other great options. Terminus is a personal favorite.
Planeswalkers you should consider running over the ones you currently have are Jace, Architect of Thought because his +1 will protect you quite well while the -2 is a fantastic source of card advantage. Elspeth, Sun's Champion will win you the game if she goes unanswered, pumping out little dudes with a board wipe at the ready. Narset Transcendent shines in instant/sorcery heavy decks. Gideon Jura is another great planeswalker. All of his abilities fall into control very well, saving you from attacks, removing opponent's creatures, and beating face.
Other great cards to consider; Geist of Saint Traft, Vendilion Clique, Entreat the Angels, Secure the Wastes, Faerie Conclave, Sphinx's Revelation, Baneslayer Angel, Dispel, Spell Pierce, Spell Snare, and Jace Beleren
1 week ago
and Mirari are also all good cards to include in a control/turn taking deck
1 week ago
You'll want Cyclonic Rift. It's one of the best tempo cards in EDH. Also, if you're going for control as your theme you're probably going to want more counter magic, like Counterspell. Swords to Plowshares is also good.
Another thing to think about is whether or not the lifegain strategy is going to work given the current control shell. Maybe you could mill yourself out and with with Laboratory Maniac, which is pretty easy to do, as an alternate win condition.
Some other cards to consider: Mind's Dilation, Supreme Verdict, Merciless Eviction, Rhystic Study, Consecrated Sphinx, Sphinx's Revelation, Blue Sun's Zenith, As Foretold, Mystical Tutor, Baleful Strix.