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Counter target enchantment, instant or sorcery spell. Its controller creates a 2/2 blue Bird creature token with flying.
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Swan Song Discussion
2 days ago
landofMordor: thanks for replying. I'll be sure to test with more Spellskite over time as it gets around any creature hate. However my biggest concern is always hand disruption and Swan Song is the clear counterspell winner for me in this deck. I have 2 Mainboard but may consider adding another to the Sideboard!
3 days ago
Reading your "weaknesses" tab, it sounds like you'd benefit from either more Spellskites or something like Negate/Swan Song/Turn Aside or the like -- generally my favorite way to get around cards-that-would-shut-me-out is to cancel them.
3 days ago
Ok, I'm gonna lead with I am actually wanting to give you good advice to make this deck more competitive and to preform better in a full CEDH meta. You don't have to listen or take it but some of your card slots could be much more efficient.
Disallow, Diabolic Tutor and Stroke of Genius are generally not considered for competitive because there are far better choices. Path to Exile ramps your opponents which is the worst thing you can do in the game pretty much, giving them a 3/3 creature is better almost always. Pongify and Rapid Hybridization should be better in most cases, those along with Reality Shift Toxic Deluge Swords to Plowshares Gilded Drake is generally enough to keep the creatures at bay. 3 mana for any counterspell is too much in CEDH just hands down. Spell Pierce or Mental Misstep would do you better 90% of the time. With Spell Pierce on turn 2 if its in your hand and all you have on the board is 2 lands then you can play a mana rock such as Talisman of Dominance and still have mana to counter something in the early game. In CEDH games are decided by 1 or 2 mana.
Thrasios/tyman is considered a fast combo deck which generally means that Counterspell is too slow being 2 blue. Usually they run the 1 drop counters Swan Song, Spell Pierce Mental Misstep Pact of Negation Force of Will and Mana Drain and call it good with those. Sometimes they include a Delay as well. Being a fast combo deck also generally means you don't bother with any stacks pieces. Torpor Orb probably works well against your opponents but its a slot that could get you closer to your combo that only moderately hurts some decks and since your not running other stacks pieces its just not going add any consistency to your deck. Without it you could put in a Trinket Mage and Trophy Mage both of which would get you combo pieces.
If your running Transmute Artifact I don't think you should need Reshape. It is a good tutor but I generally think Whir of Invention is more useful. If you sac a 1 drop artifact to Reshape to go get Aetherflux Reservoir it cost 2 blue, a saced artifact, and 3 colorless mana. To get Aetherflux Reservoir with Whir of Invention it costs 3 blue and 4 colorless that your non mana artifacts can tap to pay for. I think the possibility of a very slight cost increase is worth the instant speed and not having to sac a rock. I would not run all 3 however.
Beyond all of this advice the most improtant thing you should do is take out Walking Ballista whats the point? Once you have infinite mana you should win with thrasios.
3 days ago
sonnet666 I appreciate your response. I'll start off by saying that mentioning the obvious tier 1s (Thrasios, Zur, Tazri) was really just for completeness' sake. In hindsight, it was just a waste of time to mention them and I regret bringing it up.
You're also completely right about Mairsil, I just straight-up didn't do any research on the way that deck was going at all. The Mirror-Mad Phantasm line is great in a Doomsday shell and it's the main draw for it. The Razaketh line is a little bit more questionable since it requires creatures in play and Grixis has few creatures it actually wants to run and it can only be uses once a turn, but turning your commander into Diabolic Intent isn't bad by any means. I still think that Kess and Jeleva are clearly superior Grixis commanders though since they can have 99 cards that are gas and not dilute their deck at all. It's similar to Teferi vs Arcum Dagsson. Teferi runs a couple of bad cards or cards that aren't good for reasons other than The Chain Veil combo (Thran Dynamo, Gilded Lotus, and The Chain Veil itself would be useless without the rules interaction that allows for the combo), but Arcum runs a lot more bad cards because it needs to have artifact creatures to sacrifice and most artifact creatures suck. There's less of a difference between Kess/Jeleva and Mairsil than there is between Teferi and Arcum Dagsson in terms of number of different cards in each deck, but the principle is that Mairsil requires more build-around cards than the other Grixis generals and it hurts him overall. Regardless, I apologize for my ignorance and I think that tier 2 can be a valid placement for now.
I forgot that Razaketh was your pet deck. I won't bother arguing with you about it then.
I disagree about Karador. It's true that he reduces his own cost, but only if creatures are in the graveyard, which there will probably be few unless someone has wiped or you have Survival of the Fittest/Fauna Shaman. In the latter case, you probably won't need Karador since you'll be able to tutor up Boonweaver Giant and a sac outlet (or whatever you're comboing with) relatively quickly anyway. It's true that he casts creatures from your graveyard, but only one per turn, so saying he effectively makes your graveyard your hand is a huge overexaggeration. Being able to cast creatures from the yard is also only useful if you have creatures in the yard, which is not too difficult to achieve but not always a common gamestate. Compare this to Tymna, who generates value at every stage of the game as long as you have creatures, and he looks much less favorable. The Abzan Boonweaver strategy has never really relied on the commander for anything but value, so the fact that Tymna can create more value more quickly than Karador speaks to her advantages and his weaknesses. If you won't put him in tier 3, consider at least moving him down to tier 2.5.
Everything I said about Teferi was in jest. In fact, I believe I even said later in my post that I was just joking around when I talked trash about Teferi. I don't post a lot on tappedout anymore so I don't blame people for not knowing, but I am a Teferi main and although I don't consider myself an expert, I know the deck pretty well. The Blood Pod matchup is probably Teferi's worst matchup (it's even worse than Ruric Thar, which is saying a lot), but it's not enough to keep him out of the top tiers.
Your suggestions for additions to Teferi are understandable but misguided. The primary reason that Paradox Engine and Dramatic Scepter aren't in Teferi is partially because the deck already has two and a half alternate win conditions - Rings of Brighthearth+Basalt Monolith is one, Power Artifact+Monolith is two, and Teferi+Stasis is almost a win condition - and doesn't need to dilute itself by running any more. All the cards I just mentioned are also good on their own - Monoliths for obvious reasons, Rings of Brighthearth for its ability to copy Teferi or Tezzeret's abilities, and Power Artifact for generating more mana while comboing with The Chain Veil. Neither Dramatic Reversal nor Isochron Scepter have utility on their own. Imprinting a Counterspell or a bounce spell on Isochron Scepter is a fine strategy in 1v1 (and I used to play Scepter Chant back in Mirrodin-era Extended, so I know how it feels), but it ultimately isn't good enough in the midgame to be worth running. Dramatic Reversal is effectively just a ritual and has very little utility outside of the combo. We already have access to a lot of good rituals, like Teferi for example, and we don't need another one that badly. Paradox Engine is too reliant on cards that are already in hand and costs 5 mana. Why would you tutor for a situationally relevant card that costs more to cast than The Chain Veil and is not a guaranteed combo? Furthermore, running these additional win conditions would require multiple cuts to either the manabase, card draw spells, counterspells, or bounce spells, which would weaken the deck in some other aspect. It's just not worth it to run these cards.
And just because Manifold Insights isn't as good as Lim-Dul's Vault doesn't mean it's trash. Being able to see 10 cards deep and getting 3 nonlands is a big deal, even if it's the three worst cards in that set. The fail state of Manifold Insights is either getting your 3 worst mana rocks or your 2 worst mana rocks and a counterspell that's not relevant (ex. Flusterstorm at a table full of creature-heavy decks). That's not great, but it's still 3 cards that will likely not be dead. The only major drawback to the card is its sorcery speed, which is unfortunate but ultimately not a dealbreaker. And obviously the card is unplayable with fewer than 3 opponents, but ideally that shouldn't happen.
Finally, do not under any circumstance go with a different decklist than what you have posted. Even though it does not match my personal list and I don't agree with every card choice in it (cough Expedition Map cough), the comprehensiveness of the primer section is encyclopedic, which makes it an excellent resource. It talks about primary combo lines, alternate lines, matchups, single card choices, and even budget alternatives. If you are already vaguely familiar with competitive EDH, you could become a somewhat competent Teferi player just by reading that primer and goldfishing a bit. Something drastic would need to happen in order for that primer to become irrelevant, on the scale of a major banning or maybe a change to the rules interaction between Teferi and The Chain Veil.
As far as Yidris goes, Jim has talked a lot on the discord about his deck and the gist of it is that Yidris is plan B. Plan A is jamming a turn 3 Ad Nauseam, which he aims to do as often as possible. That should give you an idea of how important Yidris actually is to the deck. His current list also still runs Mass Hysteria, so Concordant Crossroads could be a possible addition to improve it. I doubt Need for Speed would work well though, it overlaps with Rain of Filth too much and you'd rather sac your lands for mana than give your dorks haste in most circumstances.
I would argue that The Gitrog Monster can fight through counterspells more easily than Sidisi, Undead Vizier can because of cards like City of Solitude and Autumn's Veil, but you're right in that both decks are linear and somewhat fragile. Gitrog makes up for this by being able to clean up at really weird times, like their own cleanup step.
I think Tier 3 is solid for Atraxa. She has pubstomp written all over her, so it makes sense to put her in the pubstomp tier.
When I said that Dimir was a limited color identity, I meant in terms of what it can answer and how well it can answer it, specifically in regards to artifacts and enchantments. Black can't really interact with artifacts or enchantments at all, and blue only has bounce spells or counterspells. Hurkyl's Recall and other bounce spells are only temporary, and unless you can win the turn after a bounce through countermagic for sure, you will still be in danger of the problem card resolving the following turn again. Swan Song and other counterspells are reactive, which a combo deck really doesn't want to be. Compare this to Grixis, which has access to Vandalblast and By Force, or Esper, which has access to Disenchant and Detention Sphere (in Zur), or Sultai, which has access to every good card in the format, and Dimir looks worse by comparison.Even the creature removal isn't as diverse when it comes to wipes. Dimir only has Toxic Deluge while Esper has Supreme Verdict and Grixis has Rolling Earthquake and Fire Covenant. That's really the only weakness of the color identity, but it's not a trivial weakness and it does make Dimir combo worse than Esper/Grixis/Sultai/4 color combo.
As for your question on Baral, whether High Tide isn't strong or Baral is just bad, the answer is kind of both. Baral is a commander who gets outclassed by Jace in almost every way, and although he isn't weak by any means, Jace isn't outrageously strong to begin with.Jace can loot more consistently, can get more value in the midgame when cards have been binned, and can enable double Tide turns. Baral's cost reduction is nice, but that's about the only advantage he has over Jace. Blood Pod is also pretty brutal against Baral since all the win conditions either require Islands (making it weak to Choke) or artifacts (making it weak to Null Rod and Stony Silence).
3 days ago
thegigibeast: Swan combo isn't a go-to line for me, but if you have Isochron Scepter + Paradox Engine, you can imprint something like High Tide on Scepter. Then you play Copy Artifact targeting Isochron Scepter, and you imprint Swan Song. This allows you to make infinite, non-hasty birds, but if both Lab Man and Reservoir are exiled or something, it's another win condition. It's just seldomly seen.
Generally-speaking, though, Copy Artifact is essentially another mana rock the majority of the time.