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4 days ago
Your deck includes a lot of ways to get infinite mana, but only 3, maybe 4, ways to use that infinite mana. We'd add some spells that would allow you to draw your deck with that kind of mana. Spells that come to mind are:
That brings us to the deck's ability to draw cards in general. It literally has no cards that allow for extra draw. To us, this seems a rather bad thing, considering that you're playing blue and you're relying on combo's (and the cards to tutor for them) to win. Then again, the deck does contain about twelve tutor cards, so maybe it works like this. Let's just say we would at the least recommend adding something like Rhystic Study, Sensei's Divining Top or Scroll Rack and maybe add some cheap instants/sorceries for draw like Ponder, Preordain or Brainstorm.
The final main problem; countering/removal. The deck doesn't have any, and you do need at least some. Not having any of it can be bad for a number of reasons. Just as examples, opposing players can steal Sen Triplets or cast a card like Stranglehold to prevent you from tutoring. There's many more creative ways to screw around with combo decks. Therefore, we would advise you to include at least some forms of removal/countering like Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Swan Song, Counterspell, etc.
Well, we hope all this is useful to you and that we weren't being too preachy :) Good luck with the deck!
With kind regards,
Mr. and Mrs. NV_1980
6 days ago
Zedruu was my first deck, and aside from some differences in budget, I wanted to ask about a few of your specific choices.
The following cards I'm not sure why they were included in your list. Could you sell me on them? Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre Am I missing a way to cheat his cost? Scroll Rack and Search for azcanta - Do you need more draw/advantage? Rule of Law -Aren't you the low curve+draw who would want to play multiple cards morseso than most? Temple Bell - Is it a combo I'm missing?
Others I'm already tempted by but haven't been able to test yet Humility - Absent of tokens and using a commander which gives card advantage, do you break parity? Dack Fayden I recently added Treasure Nabber, on top of running Embargo and Stony Silence- Do you think Dack performs well enough to still be included? Stranglehold is so powerful. I currently run Aven Mindcensor and love the effect. Why did you choose Strangle over Aven? Would it be worth running both? Helm of Obedience I'm just not familiar with. How much do you normally put into X? If X = 3 and it is 4 to cast, 7 cmc for a random creature... It could be great but I assume you'd hit a lot of 2-3 cmc creatures no? Copy Enchantment I recently added Copy Artifact reasoning that it could function as a rock as a minimum each game and has a high ceiling- but I'm not sure about copying enchantments since so many are static effects that are redundant to have multiple. Am I misperceiving it?
Finally, I was curious about your Solemnity. I run it as well and at the time it was great. Stopping +1/+1 counters, experience counters... But now I never see those. I love that it can combo well with Delaying Shield (in my case) and Phyrexian Unlife (in your case) but I don't know if that warrants keeping it.
3 weeks ago
Thanks for the kind comment.
Here's a rough guide / thought process I use when evaluating cards / combos / synergies:
1) Assumption: One player (possibly myself), will try and Combo on Turn 3/4, and generally by 5 at least
Realization: I don't have a lot of disruption, so will rely on Commanders built to prevent others and take advantage
A Teferi's Protection might buy me another turn to try and Combo or Eliminate the issue player.
2) Assumption: I'm Tier 3 (I truly believe Kaalia of the Vast is tier 2.5 built like this), yet seem to be a threat
Realization: Use their bias against them, they think I'm just Aggro/Pub Brawl, might leave me open here and there.
Yes, I'll still Master of Cruelties a Stax or Disruption or Tier 1 Commander, but...
3) Assumption: I'm not a Stax player, I'm trying to go fast too, don't be that guy
Realization: I have some Stax type plays, but I'm not a Stax player, whenever possible go for the win, often you win
4) Assumption: Razaketh, the Foulblooded almost always wins me the game.
Realization: Don't let others (like Animar, Soul of Elements) use him against me. Resolve and Win.
5) Assumption: I'm not going to output 40 x 3 (4-player pod assumed) = 120 by Turn 5
Realization: If I can do 40 damage by turn 5 and eliminate a player, and rely on others disruption, I can Combo on Turn 6/7
6) Evaluation: Does this card help me win the game by Turn 7? If no, then I usually exclude it
Is this card good, WITHOUT the other combo pieces? Example: Stranglehold is good on it's own, prevents win-cons and can stax (no searching) a Fetch land or Tutor. Maralen of the Mornsong provides an effective and lasting Synergy (won't say Combo, No more drawing for others), BUT Maralen of the Mornsong without a Stranglehold is not good WITHOUT the other combo piece. Maralen of the Mornsong can in fact give the win to the next player in turn.
Adarkar Valkyrie Evaluation:
1) She doesn't trigger with Kaalia of the Vast, because Adarkar Valkyrie enters tapped, also doesn't have haste, and requires to use. What that means is I have to wait 1 whole turn before she can be used vs. something like a Razaketh, the Foulblooded or Rune-Scarred Demon.
3) What are the other combo cards, and do they meet the test that they are good without Adarkar Valkyrie
Took me a long time to take Aurelia, the Warleader, can get into that discussion later.
Zealous Conscripts on it's own is also pretty good, he has Haste built in, can take an opponents permanents, can untap your permanents (like Adarkar Valkyrie or Sol Ring etc). He's not an A/D/D is his only down side, so with a CMC5 am I going to play him before Turn 5? Tough to say.
I'm probably going to tutor Restoration Angel because I can 1) Free cast with Kaalia of the Vast, 2) She is Instant speed (Flash), 3) She is CMC4 vs. Zealous Conscripts. So it becomes, do i need Zealous Conscripts. If I'm running Adarkar Valkyrie as well, then yes. Honestly Zealous Conscripts has been on the cusp for a long time, he is VERY good, probably better than Reveillark (who I almost never combo with), the only benefit to Reveillark is he brings back Grand Abolisher so I can actually pull off the combo without Disruption.
I'd almost always rather tutor Buried Alive or Reanimate or a missing piece, than a Adarkar Valkyrie. He really provides the same combo structure, but slower, same with Zealous Conscripts. If I'm hoping to just have a higher probability of drawing into a Zealous Conscripts to complete my combo I'm starting with an Assumption that isn't going to make my Turn 5 window usually. I need to Tutor/Win.
Combat Celebrant, Felidar Guardian, Sparring Mummy, Thornbite Staff, Village Bell-Ringer, Zealous Conscripts, Fiend Hunter, Karmic Guide, Lightning Crafter, Restoration Angel, Reveillark, Changeling Hero, Changeling Berserker all work with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, some need Sac, many don't.
Not sure if I answered your Zealous Conscripts question, but the best answer I can give is, I don't need him, I don't want to draw him, and he just does the job of Restoration Angel. Certainly you need alternatives, incase of Exile or Removal, I decided on Reveillark because he has other upside (downside is needs a Sac outlet), but Zealous Conscripts is quite reasonable and has utility on his own so I like him probably will make his way back in, at a higher CMC than someone like Village Bell-Ringer though who has no utility on his own, but IS turn 5 probable, but without Buried Alive probably neither works anyway, so why not just Restoration Angel and win?
The truth is any of them are viable options, it's about the supporting cards, the "wheel of support" you put around each of them, if there's multiple synergies then it's always good to have. Remember though, you only need to Combo once to win, the reality is, if your Disrupted, someone else will likely combo before you get a second chance anyway in cEDH. In standard EDH, you may have the time to draw cards into a Zealous Conscripts or hard cast a Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker but probably not in cEDH.
Adarkar Valkyrie was in, she didn't work with Kaalia of the Vast and I never tutored Adarkar Valkyrie, and it needed Haste (Lightning Greaves/Dragon Tempest) and in most cases needed a Sac Outlet, so it ended up getting cut when Aurelia, the Warleader left. Adarkar Valkyrie I just found too difficult to manage, and 1 turn too slow.
I will say, if you are running Adarkar Valkyrie and Zealous Conscripts, definitely run Faithless Looting, maybe even Gamble. This differs than something like a Reanimator, If i could have more Reanimate (also use Animate Dead, Yawgmoth's Will which I view as CMC2 because I usually have a Fetch land to recur) then I LIKE drawing into those. When I draw a Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker in my opening hand, I always Mulligan, and when I draw him in play I really really really regret having Faithless Looting out of the deck because I can't tutor it, and now I'm hoping to tutor a Goblin Bombardment and Reanimate a Buried Alive | Karmic Guide + Reveillark. In this situation a Zealous Conscripts isn't helping you anyway. On occasion I draw Restoration Angel but then I Buried Alive : Grand Abolisher and then Reanimate Karmic Guide then Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker then Grand Abolisher then Flash cast Restoration Angel and have the Grand Abolisher pretty much guaranteeing me the win. It's definetely higher CMC to hard was him, but still less than Zealous Conscripts.
My deck is still a work in progress though, I wish I had more time to play and really advance it with playtesting, but In theory, MOST of the time I would prefer a Tutor to another instance of a card I can tutor that is worse. Like Anguished Unmaking and Utter End are the same but CMC1 more, but I don't run Utter End because instead I draw a tutor, and search for Anguished Unmaking if that's what I really need, otherwise I tutor Reanimate or Buried Alive and go for the win.
I'm always testing the new guys too, sometimes they roar, sometimes they fail. Razaketh, the Foulblooded for sure, is the best (sometimes Iona, Shield of Emeria) in a while, If I could have all Razaketh, the Foulblooded that would be very cool.
Another thing I've learned, I built Kaalia of the Vast because I liked Gisela, Blade of Goldnight and Griselbrand (I really miss him, pretty angry about that one), but try not to be attached to certain cards, even if you like it, make sure it properly synergies. Stranglehold + Maralen of the Mornsong was my favorite for so long, I would always Tutor a Baneslayer Angel first to counter the damage (Lyra Dawnbringer would probably be the target now), but had to let it go because Maralen of the Mornsong couldn't keep up. Same with Liliana Vess. Even Aurelia, the Warleader, I won a draft event with him, so valued him highly, but I just didn't have the right supporting cards in there for him.
The next A/D/D I'm going to try is Archfiend of Despair, I just don't know how to take advantage of his second ability properly, I mean him and a Gisela, Blade of Goldnight obviously, he does double my damage, meaning 120 damage is now 60 damage so makes that a potential strategy, but still not sure how to do 60 by turn 5/6 to 3 different targets, but perhaps, have to test him. I feel Archfiend of Despair has more upside than Sower of Discord because of his Lifegain prevention, but together the 2 are ok, I'm just not sure, he reduces 120 to 80 where Archfiend of Despair reduces it to 60. I will note, if you build other Loss of Life into the deck, like Liliana's Caress and Dragon Mage and Wheel of Fortune type abilities, both Sower of Discord and Archfiend of Despair, but even then Sower of Discord is "Damage", remember, "Damage" causes "Loss of Life" but doesn't work the other way, "Loss of Life" isn't "Damage". Hmm probably will not even test Sower of Discord, CMC6 for 6/6, no Flample, and no immediate threat/ETB off Kaalia of the Vast other than potentially 8 damage (Sower of Discord 6 + Kaalia of the Vast 2) is outside my current strategy too much.
I can win on Turn 1: Swamp + Mana Crypt + Buried Alive and a Chrome Mox (and a card to Imprint) + Reanimate, is an example, but it rarely happens. There are some other Janky ways with Sol Ring and Ancient Tomb and stuff too, but not consistently. Always looking for ways to improve here. (CMC1 Reanimate or High Mana Conversion Stones)
Turn 2, there's quite a few different ways to get there, including Kaalia of the Vast attacking, usually needs a Razaketh, the Foulblooded in hand to pull the combo pieces, mana rocks, and Goblin Bombardment because usually Combo AFTER the combat phase, so the Infinite Haste Angels don't really help me out that much.
Turn 3/4 is really where I want to combo, and am looking to build further consistency, like Gamble or Beseech the Queen (maybe but it only tutors Reanimate usually for , so where does the for Reanimate come from). Does Zealous Conscripts or Adarkar Valkyrie check this box? Not really, which is probably why they are out. But honestly, I still have a bunch of junk, like Reveillark, Gisela, the Broken Blade maybe, Lord of the Void, Teferi's Protection it's really dumb this card doesn't have Split Second, Boros Charm too situational, see lots of stuff that could be Zealous Conscripts.
What I really wish for, 1) A good A/D/D that has Goblin Bombardment built-into it, like a Murderous Redcap of A/D/D, 2) More CMC1 Reanimate, 3) More CMC1 or CMC2 Tutors, I'll checkout your deck but if you don't have Tainted Pact it is CRITICAL to finding solutions, although means your lands are $1,000,000 but luckily no so HEY still cheaper than a Volcanic Island. 4) More effective mana rocks. I've looked at Mox Diamond a million times, can't decide if it helps/hurts in the average case (not just the Turn 1 case), like as a before Turn 5.
Rakdos the Defiler has been my friend, when I'm not doing well he often helps me out lol. Dance of the Dead is a possiblity, because it doesn't matter that Karmic Guide is tapped, but Karmic Guide is pro black so the interaction sucks even more (already sucks with Animate Dead but the triggers work).
I'll check out your deck a little later, and provide any feedback I can.
Hopefully, somewhere in this rambling I answered your questions.
PS: I hate that Kess, Dissident Mage (and some others) can win on Turn 0, win before it's even their turn, that sucks!
4 weeks ago
I took a second look at Coveted Jewel and there is a lot of synergy here. Same with Treasure Nabber. Last night I had Winter Orb Lock with nabber out and no body wanted to tap there rocks, it forced them to choose to cast a spell losing there rocks for a turn. My meta uses a lot of artifact rocks, and so far my playtesting with Nabber produces a powerful stack piece against other Artifacts decks or stax decks that rely on heavily on mana rocks.
The Coveted Jewel on the other hand seems bad, but after some play testing it proved to provide a lot of card advantage. Think about it this way, most of the time we do not cast High CMCs, but rather weld them right? Cast it or recur it, the ETB draws 3 cards, and now you have a gilded lotus active to cast one of the spells that were drawn. This strategy proved to produce gross value because once someone finally was able to hit me I sacked it in respond to declared blockers/attackers step, then weld it again to EOT draw cards or do it on my turn, Alhammeret's Archive drawing you six instead, keeping metal worker relevant throughout the game. I believe that if your opponents attack daretti the Coveted Jewel doesn't trigger.
I also had to add Stranglehold becuz Turnz is a thing in my meta. It is also a strong piece against Heavy tutor decks.
I have been brewing Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain at the helm with mostly Daretti's build, but now with etb abuses and blue tutoring.
1 month ago
Well... Apparently everyone claims I should run Aurelia...
...& Boros Stax.
Shame I already have a Stax Deck in the works. I just wanted some options for this kind of deck: Alms Collector against X Draws, Rule of Law to lockdown combos, Manabarbs which can deal damage just by tapping lands, Aven Mindcensor/Stranglehold to stop tutors, etc. Those kinds of cards. I hope you understand. I'll settle on Aurelia if nobody can find some options too...
1 month ago
@Suns_Champion: Tried to put in Generator Servant, but T/O database didn't recognize it for me. XP What I mean by the query was that there was one card/combo (Whichever it was.) that bypassed whatever ruling stuff like Spiritualize couldn't. But you'd have to halt the combo before you deck out while immolating foes, & gaining life; and when all foes lose before deck out, it's too late. BTW, I found this out via Reddit. A RW deck, in Commander as a whole, without Sunforger?! That might be an interesting idea... Considering your deck is "Casual" (Kind of...), right now it only seems fair to call this so far, "Core" (In-Between Casual & Hardcore.). I'll check the decks later. I have to pull off a Sorin Markov currently.
@DespairFaction: Hmmm... Cards that slowdown others... Well, Manabarbs might work with Personal Sanctuary, but what to use when it's not your turn? I'll see what to cut for Rule of Law; I got to add basic lands at some point... Alms Collector could easily shut down X Draws, I approve. I suppose Stranglehold does need an Avian Menace working for the God-Pharaoh to ally with...
Thanks guys. I'll see what I can do...
1 month ago
COL_Cashmoney I would say the list as currently built is not competitive at all. The deck is great for slower metas because it's dealing like 2-6 damage a turn pretty consistently so it puts a "clock" on the game. If the games only last 4-5 turns then it's not really doing much of anything. I guess it depends on what you mean by "competitive". If you're talking true cEDH like Prosh + Food Chain or Blood Pod; this deck won't ever really hold a candle up to those. If you mean more in lines of highly tuned 75% decks, I could see a chance of this deck being pretty decent.
Not sure how competitive this type of deck can be, but here are some suggestions if you wanted to make it more highly tuned:
Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Grim Monolith, and Basalt Monolith - Fast mana is great at speeding up any deck. Basalt Monolith is definitely the weakest of the four, but I included it so that you can pair it with...
Rings of Brighthearth - Paired with Grim Monolith and Basalt Monolith lets you generate infinite colorless mana which you can use for Xantcha's activated ability. You can only take out one person this way before she comes back under your control and you have to sacrifice her, so cards like Ashnod's Altar, Phyrexian Altar, Phyrexian Tower, and Viscera Seer would be helpful inclusions if you want to go this route.
More draw & tutors to make the deck more consistent like Vampiric Tutor & Imperial Seal. I've never played with Ad Nauseam so I'm not sure how much I can recommend it; but after taking out all of the high CMC cards out of the deck I imagine it would be pretty great.
Also since this deck is pretty much an "aggro" deck, you can throw in cards like Phyresis or Tainted Strike to reduce the amount of damage you need to deal to take someone out. You could always try for one of those cards or a Grafted Exoskeleton onto Heartless Hidetsugu with a Glacial Chasm in play, but that's probably too slow.
Finally, cards that focus on resource denial like mass land destruction and discard can slow down the game so you have enough time to close it out like Blood Moon, Impending Disaster, Ruination, Stranglehold, Planar Void, Mindslicer, etc.
I think the best way to make this deck competitive is to throw in a bunch of stax elements that will disrupt your opponents' combos and slow the pace of the game down. This deck's current strategy wants to get some damaging permanents on the board and have them stick around for as long as possible. Kind of similar to a Brago lock, it doesn't matter how much damage you're doing a turn if your opponents can't respond to it. The difficult part of that though is finding enough stax cards to put in the deck (and drawing them consistently) and the sad fact that Xantcha's ability literally works to refill their hands. While Xantcha might be an interesting concept, you might have more luck making a more tuned version of Mogis, God of Slaughter since he helps with the resource denial plan too. I guess it just depends on whether you want an infinite mana sink or a card that actively helps keep your opponents' boards clear.
Let me know if this helps!
1 month ago
Asymmetrical effects basically mean one-sided. For example, cards like Leyline of the Void/Aven Mindcensor/Stranglehold only affects your opponents which is basically an asymmetrical effect. Also, there is a way to break parity in stax where cards that affects everyone (symmetrical effect) like Stasis can become asymmetrical...for example Aminatou can break parity of Stasis by flickering a land/mana rock.