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Steelshaper's Gift Discussion
6 days ago
You should include a secondary win-con into the deck, the standard Kaalia of the Vast is Crucible of Worlds + Armageddon + Ravages of War + Command Beacon + Strip Mine + Wasteland. Others are Worldgorger Dragon and/or Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker which is the one I play. It's too hard to deal 40 damage to all 3 players, especially with your board position, it pulls attention of the other decks, even though the others may be driving toward their win-con combos.
Mother of Runes is a nice cheap re-usable protection as well.
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is awesome, miss Phyrexia/Innistrad, but she isn't an A/D/D so tough to cast her. She will be too slow, albeit very controlling.
You have Brave the Sands use Angelic Field Marshal spot for something else. Maybe an Exquisite Archangel to hit the reset life button, or a Baneslayer Angel to lifelink who can be cast without Kaalia of the Vast, maybe Angelic Arbiter/Linvala, Keeper of Silence if you like the control aspect, or a Grand Abolisher which protect Kaalia of the Vast during your turn, which especially combos nice with the Haste.
I think Sheoldred, Whispering One again is someone that's not working with your overall game plan. The Praetors are way too awesome, but they are going to be far too slow for what you need to accomplish with Kaalia of the Vasts bar-brawl style of aggro play.
Citadel Siege is a little slow, your guys are already pretty big, not sure it's worth the 1 blocker tap-down.
Really cool, love Kaalia of the Vast, the mana will take a while but slowly work on it. Cheers.
1 week ago
Its not a bad build for a beginner, however there are some cards I personally don't like, in my many times of testing
Ankle Shanker - Its not a BAD card, but if you reanimate, it doesn't trigger his ability, cause he was never declared as an attacker. Otherwise, its an ok card, but a card like Master of Cruelties would be better and provide a game winning play.
Burnished Hart - With a low curve, Sad Robot is better in the long run. Sure this guy gets you lands, but you are better off running more Signets or mana ramp
Ponyback Brigade - I'm not saying its a bad card, but for the mana you are paying, you aren't getting much value. I'd run something with more utility, like Knight-Captain of Eos, which synergizes with the deck but ALSO creates tokens for blocking or helps to fog the field if someone goes wide. Mogg War Marshal, Noosegraf Mob are other inexpensive (money wise) cards that make tokens as well
Rakka Mar - Other than being recurable, this doesn't really provide you much advantage. a 2/2 that makes a 3/1 isn't overly fantastic.
Behind the Scenes - While it is good, there are much better things you can run. The only creature you don't really want dying is Alesha, so focus more on cards that keep her alive or swing in without issues.
Impact Tremors - Less effective than Purphoros, God of the Forge (though a better "budget" card), I don't see alot of "abuse" you get from it. In my version of the deck, I have at least 9 token producers, two of which are on attack only so I get more value from them. I recommend either going more tokens, or focus more on things of yours dying, like Blood Artist, Zulaport Cutthroat and Falkenrath Noble to start draining life from the opponents.
Mana base is what it comes to for a budget deck. Can't really comment on it too much
One thing that shuts down an Alesha/any ETB focused deck, is cards like Torpor Orb and Hushwing Gryff. While these may or may not be in your meta, having the answers to them is key. Wear / Tear, Disenchant are two artifact AND enchantment removal, and inexpensive (money wise), helping you turn off other strategies or things that are hindering your plan or can slow down people.
Personally I'd remove Mardu Banner, and instead include Fellwar Stone, if nothing else. This gives you another signet like effect, and is low enough CMC to help you get to where you need to go. Non-budget I'd get a Chromatic Lantern as an upgrade
Cards I'd consider adding:
Sadistic Hypnotist/Mind Slash - Both of these cards, while can only be used at sorcery speed, can help to disrupt players hands and can help to take them off of cards, without overly affecting your board, depending on whats going on.
Mindless Automaton - Personally I like card draw guys you can use more than once. Mindless Automaton can fuel discard effects, while also adding to the card draw. Even if you reanimate him, he gets blocked, you get to draw a card. Other card draw effects I'd consider are Phyrexian Arena, Greed, Smuggler's Copter ect.
Open the Armory/Steelshaper's Gift - Both help you to get much needed equipment out. Non budget version would be Enlightened Tutor, Stoneforge Mystic ect. Tutors are very much needed to get cards you need, but with enough card draw you can easily offset the loss of "I need X Card" to "I can draw multiple cards and dig into it", or use Viscera Seer to begin scrying to it.
As noted, the deck seems fine as a whole, but there are some cards I'd change for more consistency. I will link my deck below for reference. I personally really like my current build, and just need to work on tweaking it as I try new things and see what works and what doesn't. Hope this helps!
1 week ago
KALE434 Can't say I'm a big fan of O-Naginata. The power buff isn't bad but without increasing Zurgo's toughness it falls short when compared to Tenza, Godo's Maul. That's just my opinion. Sunforger isn't a bad idea. I've got one lying around, I might be able to find enough of a use for it. Mask of Memory feels like another Infiltration Lens. The draw on damage seems less useful than the card draw on block that the lens provides, given that Zurgo may very well end a game in the turn he isn't blocked.
Stoneforge Mystic would be awesome, but it's a bit too expensive for my taste. Stonehewer Giant on the other hand would fit perfectly in here. Steelshaper's Gift is really good too. I'm mixed on Steelshaper Apprentice. Four mana for a 1/3 that requires another mana to activate his ability seems a bit too costly.
1 week ago
Sram, Senior Edificer has to be in here.
3 weeks ago
Become Immense is pretty good, since it's cheap to cast, and provides a big buff.
Conqueror's Flail stops people from countering your buffs, and provides a decent buff to Power/Toughness.
3 weeks ago
Playing the entire game at sorcery-speed in a blue-white deck just seems wrong. Total logjam at the 3-mana point on your mana curve. Creature selection could be trimmed down and optimized; if it doesn't fit either of your two plans--locking your opponent down with mana taxing effects and/or alpha striking with Geist--don't run it. Stuff like Jin Gitaxias probably won't even hit the board before your opponent is already dead, so cut it. If you're looking to win via commander damage, tutors for your Voltron pieces (equipment) would be ideal. Stoneforge Mystic, Stonehewer Giant, Enlightened Tutor, Open the Armory, Steelshaper's Gift, Fabricate, Relic Seeker etc. Fireshrieker and Silverblade Paladin make Geist kill twice as fast. Mother of Runes and Rogue's Passage make him unlockable. Run some countermagic--at least hard counters Counterspell, Disallow, Cryptic Command, etc. to ensure your plans don't get blown up by wrath effects and/or your opponent doesn't combo off. The Vows are substandard, and would be much better as Path to Exile and Swords to Plowshares. If you want to lock your opponents out with taxing effects like Ghostly Prison, Armageddon seems like an obvious include. Some cheap cantrips like Impulse,Ponder, Preordain will make your game plan much more consistent.
Oh--and I can never stress this enough--a typical EDH deck needs to have at least 42-44 mana sources, so try adding some more lands and a few mana rocks.
3 weeks ago
the sorins feel too slow for kaalia.you could replace them with any 2-card combination of Steelshaper's Gift, Mana Crypt and the other swords (Sword of Fire and Ice, Sword of Light and Shadow, Sword of War and Peace...)
3 weeks ago
Hey logician: Wow - thanks for the detailed feedback. Some really interesting suggestions and insightful advice here!
Aven Mindcensor is a really good suggestion - that effect is amazing. It'd be one of the few cards in the deck that gets worse when Doran is out, but it's not like I'm playing it for the body anyway. Definitely going to fit this in somewhere.
The land is a little on the low side (especially since one of them, Hall of the Bandit Lord, is more a spell than a mana source). I actually just cut down from 35 after playing a few games with it, so this might go back up after more playtesting. The main reason this is low right now is related to the lack of end-game that you pointed out - there's not a ton of cards to ramp up to besides Elesh Norn.
You're absolutely right about the meta being more on the casual side. I'm not opposed to combos, and they would help in the late game, but I'm not going to introduce them unless the meta forces me to.
Council's Judgment is a interesting card (and also a fun political card, which I like) - will try to fit this in, as more removal is always good. Assault Formation I've already tried and found pretty underwhelming - there aren't a ton of defenders in the deck worth using it on (really only Tree of Perdition) and I'm fine with letting them just be big blockers and attack with other creatures/Doran.
You're absolutely correct on the creatures - they are mostly chosen so they are immune to power-based boardwipe/lockdown, though there are exceptions for obviously good cards. Luckily most hatebears are small enough to be unaffected.
Tutors can definitely be improved, yes. At some point I'll probably add a Demonic Tutor, maybe just replacing the Steelshaper's Gift. The repeatable tutor is a good idea, especially to grab the best hatebear for a specific situation. Do you have a suggestion between Fauna Shaman or Birthing Pod (or should I just grab both)?
The endgame point is quite apt - it definitely doesn't have anything it's building towards, so it can/does get out-curved by late-game decks. At later turns I'm usually just reactive (removal, board wipes) and hoping that's enough to stop a late-game opponent from going off - which isn't ideal. It is an issue that I need to address. Short of combos, I am considering adding some MLD instead (somewhat degenerate as well, but slightly less so and already done by a few players) to try and bring the game back to the early/mid game - let me know what you think of this. It would probably replace an existing board wipe, maybe swapping out one of Retribution of the Meek or Fell the Mighty for a Catastrophe
Thanks again for looking the deck over! Really appreciate it.