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
3 days ago
If I had to pick cards other than land I think should go they would be Archetype of Imagination, Frost Titan, Hornet Queen&Hydra Broodmaster unless you added some token doublers like Doubling Season, Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur and maybe Lorthos, the Tidemaker but I can see him working ok. Rishkar, Peema Renegade can just become a cheaper mana dork however if you keep him I like Avenger of Zendikar. I would also take out Worldspine Wurm you dont need multiple things that stop milling and you have Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre already. Leyline of Anticipation is cute but Alchemist's Refuge is better so if you want that affect more often change leyline into Crop Rotation. Sandwurm Convergence should go for the same reason as Hornet Queen&Hydra Broodmaster. Clash of Wills should be Spell Pierce dissalow is cool but with all the 1 and 2 drop counter spells just use those... Swan Song is another I forgot. Id also rather have a Pongify or Rapid Hybridization over Plummet every time.
Drain Power seems awesome... Until you realize that your opponents can just tap all their land in response and you get nothing.
4 days ago
XtremeManaFlood I've already removed needle and a land for the rings/monolith combo, at least I'm currently testing that change. I'll make that change in this list when I think it will stay as it is.
Why do you think the relic is out of place? It's a great colour fixer because it can save mana for a turn and then produce two coloured mana...for example when I only get three colourless on turn one it enables Augustin on turn 2, no matter if I have coloured mana from lands. I'd rather not cut any of the mana rocks at all because that's what makes up most of the reliability. If any mana artifact really has to go, I'm more inclined to remove Mind Stone because it doesn't help over color screw and doesn't accelerate either.
What's your opinion on the counterspells Negate and Swan Song and the removal Revoke Existence? Is a normal Counterspell better than one of these even though it costs double blue? Maybe Mana Leak instead one of these?
6 days ago
Hinder and Spell Crumple honestly aren't that great any longer since the tuck rule is gone (if a Commander would be tucked away into a library, they can choose to put it into the Command Zone now). Counterspell is a straight upgrade to one of those slots (tutor heavy decks would prefer the card being in the library versus the graveyard, plus 1 mana less), and Swan Song might be a good idea for the other as no one cares about 2/2 birds in a 40 life format.
Cyclonic Rift should be in. Overloading that gives you a late game option to swing in and claim a victory when you otherwise would have been behind. As for what to remove, Dovin Baan is cute but not really very good (his ultimate is Static Orb, but you could just run Static Orb if you want to be Stax Derevi as his other abilities aren't that great at once per turn for 4 mana).
Small creatures that grow or have evasion are great with Derevi. Pride of the Clouds is likely better than some of your other creatures.
Coastal Piracy is cute, but Rhystic Study would either draw you more cards or slow your opponents down: Both aspects are better for you.
It seems odd to run Perilous Forays in a list that doesn't make tokens over, say, Dawn's Reflection, which would net you 3 extra mana every time a creature of yours hits an opponent. Forays costs mana to use, as well, so you can't even properly loop Reveillark/Karmic Guide + a 2 power creature like you could, say, Martyr's Cause.
Also, you have Eldrazi Displacer as your blink enabler, but you don't have enough colorless sources or tutors to find those aforementioned sources. The only land you have that produces colorless mana is Reliquary Tower, and you have no way to tutor that card. The only other things in the whole deck that make colorless mana are Ashnod's Altar and Sol Ring, at least that I am seeing at a cursory glance. So, my suggestion is to add Adarkar Wastes, Brushland, and Yavimaya Coast to the mana base. Wooded Bastion, Mystic Gate, and Flooded Grove are easier to use, but also more expensive. In any place, 3-5 of these lands should replace things like Meandering Coast, Guildgates, etc., so that you increase the likelihood of being able to use Eldrazi Displacer if you draw it (because that diamond symbol means that you need colorless mana plus two of any other type). otherwise, switch Displacer to Deadeye Navigator as he's easier to use without changing your mana base right now.
1 week ago
Thanks for your comments Doran_The_ButtFighter,
I like the idea of switching Voidmage Prodigy and Voidmage Apprentice with Stratus Dancer and Willbender it seems more cost effective overall. I find too often that I am one mana shy in one way or another when I really need my morphed creatures to counter something. For that reason I'm also strongly considering putting Swan Song back in the deck so I can counter those pesky boardwipes. Also, Cryptolith Rite could easily replace Commander's Sphere and I would gain a lot more value out of this deck's large creature base, another great suggestion!
Surrak Dragonclaw was in a previous version of this deck before I made it morph-focused. I don't really use alternate commanders and my meta is such that I am the one who is most often doing the counterspelling. I like this card, just not for my group at the moment.
Finally, we both agree that Hooded Hydra is awesome! Therefore it'll stay right where it is ;-)
Good luck building your own sneaky morph deck and have fun with it!
2 weeks ago
You have very few cards that cost 2 or less, in fact, almost half of your list costs 4 or more (counting lands!) That's an extremely high curve, and you will usually be glacially slow as a result.
Also, 26 planeswalkers seems slightly too many. I would cut down to 20 or so, and make room for some more cheap accelerators and tools to protect yourself. Your gameplan needs to be survival until the advantages gained by Atraxa and your Planeswalkers win you the game. So you need cards that help you cast your value engines quickly, and cards that protect them and you, then winning should be trivial.
That said, i would add: Fellwar Stone - since you are 4 colors, it will usually provide 2-4 of your colors. I like it more than Darksteel Ingot and other 3cmc rocks, since it ramps into your powerful 4cmc cards like Atraxa a turn early. Similar cards are Carpet of Flowers (It works almost all the time, and is just fantastic if it works. People play lots of islands!), Nature's Lore, Farseek, Chrome Mox and Signets.
Toxic Deluge, Snuff Out, Dismember, Moment's Peace, Swan Song, Stubborn Denial, Unexpectedly Absent - cheap interaction. The cheaper your interaction, the easier it is to cast it when you really need it to protect your planeswalkers from harm.
Vampiric Tutor, Wargate, Enlightened Tutor, Tezzeret the Seeker - a few more tutors to ensure you find the right tool exactly at the right time.
Blind Obedience, Meekstone, Maze of Ith - lockpieces that help defend you.
The cards i like the least and would therefore suggest to cut are Deploy the Gatewatch, AEtherize, Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath, Nahiri, the Lithomancer, Sorin, Lord of Innistrad, Lightmine Field, Tamiyo, Field Researcher, Dovin Baan.
2 weeks ago
Ah, I see you've switched to a full Paradox Engine build as well! Very nice.
I've been testing the Engine build since its release and have these findings:
More counters are helpful with Arcum now, more than ever, because one tap from him wins the game now by pulling Paradox Engine. Any spell means you untap, grab Citanul Flute, and then start spamming 0 drops to tutor out more artifacts. You can generate infinite mana by collecting Rings of Brighthearth + Basalt Monolith + Staff of Domination and just draw your library, cast Walking Ballista and win that way (or you can gain arbitrarily large amounts of mana by using Junk Diver + Myr Retriever loops with a Basalt Monolith/Grim Monolith/Mana Vault out using Paradox Engine). Because you run both Rings, Monolith, and Staff, there is no good reason for your opponents to exile Paradox Engine as you'll just assemble another winning combo (as if they let you pull Paradox Engine with Arcum so they can exile it, there's no way to stop you from untapping at least once. As active player, you get priority to cast a spell once an ability resolves on your turn, meaning that if you tap Arcum, you 100% get to untap at least once so you can grab Rings/Monolith/Staff and play the deck like you did last year). The lynchpin to hit is Arcum, which means if they stop him from tapping even once in a game, you'll have a hard time. I upped my counter package to 9, which gives me a comfortable amount to protect Arcum with as I go for the win.
The best counters I think you're not running are: Swan Song, Turn Aside (you're not running counters to police the board, you run them to stop people from preventing your win. Generally speaking, 90% of the time you'd cast a counter would be to protect Arcum anyway. Or counter a Doomsday, I guess, but mostly the former lol). Pact of Negation is now perfect for Arcum because you don't have to protect him for 2-3 turns, you only need to protect him for 1. Even Negate and Arcane Denial are worth a look, though you might also like Stoic Rebuttal.
Isochron Scepter and Dramatic Reversal are no longer needed now that you have the combination of both in a single card, honestly. Also, because you run Citanul Flute and 0 drops, you no longer need Myr Turbine as well. Glint Nest Crane isn't a good option for a creature slot, I'd recommend removing it (if you want draw and are in a competitive meta, Mystic Remora and Rhystic Study will draw you more cards and won't bottom your counters or Power Artifact).
My deck is still listed here if you want to compare card choices, etc.: Arcum's Asylum
You'll notice that I dropped Darksteel Forge + Lattice + Disk as well as Possessed Portal. I actually haven't missed them since the printing of Paradox Engine, lol.
2 weeks ago
2 weeks ago
Fair enough. I just remember from my days of running the Arbiter having a real struggle with colored mana due to the constraints of Back to Basics (which was incredibly good in my meta with a lot of people running 3+ color decks) and I would get stuck trying to hold up both Mana Drain and Swan Song for example and being unable to do so.
As an additional note, you could take some ideas from the Thrasios storm decks given that a lot of them run the Scepter/Reversal/Engine combo. Perhaps Aetherflux Reservoir could be of use to you for incremental life gain and just to end the game when you get your combo. Worst case scenario, if you get over 50, you can always threaten to spite someone who tries to stop you or tries to go for their own combo by killing them off, even if it kills you. This has kept me in games that I should have lost and actually won me a few games because my opponent would not go for a combo while I had the ability to kill them on board in response.