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Test of Endurance
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have 50 or more life, you win the game.
Test of Endurance Discussion
18 hours ago
BearJOO: So firstly, I think it's important to realize that a deck will need control, and that while counterspells certainly give a deck an amount of that, they are not the only way of gaining a controlling advantage. In the current configuration, I see only two counterspells in your list: Absorb and Counterspell . Counterspell is certainly very good, though I am not sure that Absorb is better than just an Arcane Denial or Dovin's Veto . Because you aren't playing a hardcore Stax list, countermagic may well be how you want to hold sway over a game; if this is the case, consider bringing in four to seven more counterspells. (Other good counterspells, though they vary vastly in price, include: Force of Will , Swan Song , Mana Drain , Negate , Countersquall , Cryptic Command , Remand , Flusterstorm , Dispel , Spell Snare , Spell Pierce and the meta-dependent Mental Misstep , among others.)
If you want more permanent-based disruption, I advise Rule of Law , Narset, Parter of Veils , Ashiok, Dream Render or even the classic Smokestack itself. (Note that Smokestack is especially good with token-generators, like the Bitterblossom mentioned above.) Zur's Weirding , which I believe I mentioned in my first comment, is similarly constant and powerful. Generally, you want your Stax pieces to do something to the broadest variety of things your opponents are doing. Propaganda and Ghostly Prison are good against creature decks, but tend to do little to nothing against combo. Running something like Ashiok, Dream Render means that any deck that tutors (which is pretty much any deck) is going to have trouble. This idea of universal applicability is why Authority of the Consuls and Rhystic Study are good.
I think Test of Endurance is not a good card, if you intend to win with it. It is a four-mana enchantment that needs to survive a full turn circuit to do anything (assuming you cast it during your main phase, without a flash enabler, and have to wait for your next upkeep). During that time, you will be the number-one threat to all other players at the table, meaning three people will do whatever they can to get rid of you and/or Test of Endurance , which, as an enchantment, is very easily removed with widely-played cards like Krosan Grip or Nature's Claim . Approach of the Second Sun is not an unfeasible win condition (I used to run it in a Grand Arbiter Augustin IV list), but it does require you to have a stranglehold on the board between when you fire cast it and when you cast it to try to win. If you want to run it, you'll want to bring in a lot more Stax pieces.
I think that, when considering cuts, you should look for needless redundancy. Tutors are meant to fetch out the best card for any given situation, and are therefore in themselves a sort of redundancy; if you need X card, you need to topdeck X OR a tutor for X, not just X. So I'd advise cutting Exsanguinate or Debt to the Deathless , as having just one in your deck to tutor up is probably going to be enough, most of the time. Also, I count four boardwipes (including your Cyclonic Rift ): In all likelihood, three or even two will be enough. I suggest cutting Fumigate . Toxic Deluge is less mana-intensive, and Cyclonic Rift and Merciless Eviction are both more versatile.
Running more two-for-one style cards will also allow you to cut back on the number of slots used by your removal suite. Running either Ashes to Ashes or, better yet, Grasp of Fate is likely enough to replace both Path to Exile and Utter End .
That being said, I've always found that the easiest way to make cuts is to play-test the deck against a wide variety of opposing decks, and see which cards most often get stuck in your hand. If nine times out of ten you're looking at a card, wishing you could just cycle it for zero rather than having it there, the card is a blank and should be cut.
Good luck man!
2 days ago
SideBae Thanks so much for your very detailed notes. I was thinking of adding Drana's Emissary and Agent of Masks for some additional damage and time bombs. Bitterblossom looks like a fun add and seems like it could proove useful for blockers/attackers, triggers for soul sisters, and sac outlets if need be. Did you feel that theres a definite lack of counter spells withing the deck? With what I have in there, its becoming super hard to make cuts. I like having all the tutors in there, but maybe there are better things? Additionally, are Approach of the Second Sun and Test of Endurance other good wincons? Or just cheesy?
2 months ago
The four I commented about are the only ones I have played. My Oloro deck was my oldest and favorite commander deck. I had it together from the week he released until all my decks and my binder were stolen last week. The way I had him built was Esper Combo/Control deck while slowly building life advantage. A small number of pillow fort cards along with wipes and targeted removal kept my life going up. The life was used for either the win cons of Test of Endurance and Felidar Sovereign ; for card advantage from Necropotence or Bolas's Citadel ; or just winning if you have both Necro and Citadel. Plenty of tutors make combos more consistent and a small counter package protected the combos. The constant life engine allows you to explore alternate win conditions to what most Esper Control decks use. If you enjoy every decision you make mattering and novel win conditions that are decidedly not cEDH he is a blast. If you have something against combo or want to be high tier competitive he probably isn't the best choice.
Xenagod is again not highly competitive, but from your list of commanders I got the feeling you were more interested in functional and interesting not turn 3 combo or heavy stax. He was my second favorite. There are a number of cards that work exquisitely with Xenagos, God of Revels that are neigh unplayable elsewhere. I had someone ask me "isn't Malignus banned" because of how powerful it is with Xenagod even though the card is mediocre at best in any other deck. Good aggro cards become seriously busted. Pathbreaker Ibex with just your commander out is 12 trample for 6 mana. If you have say Hydra Omnivore out you are swinging 32 trample that will reflect any damage that gets through to all other opponents and also a 19/19 trample. A Theros block God that isn't a creature is very annoying to deal with. So you can consistently count on having the ability each combat. Your big dumb beaters will routinely get killed, but Xenagos grants haste along with the buff so you can get at least one hit in most of the time. The deck isn't for people who feel bad about swinging for half of someone's life in a single hit early. But if you have ever wanted to swing lethal on turn 4 because you got the perfect acceleration hand Xenagod is your man. (ask PookandPie about how much he loves Heroes' Bane , he ended up stopping it but what was a $60 deck at the time had no right to swing lethal that early.)
2 months ago
Your deck already looks miserable to play against, so I would recommend Expropriate . That card makes people want to die. The one thing is that your deck has 12 lands that come in tapped. I think shock lands or the ones from battlebond ( Watery Grave and Morphic Pool ) could be nice for getting a faster start. It all depends on your budget. Also, your deck seems kind of control-y, so maybe a slower ramp that is stopped less easily could be good. Dreamscape Artist 's ability basically just says, "once per turn cycle, one of the cards in your hand becomes Harrow ." Land based mana ramp is harder to stop because most people don't play land removal ( Armageddon ) but Artifact removal is common ( Vandalblast ). Another possible wincon for your deck is Test of Endurance , or just Fabricate as a tutor for Aetherflux Reservoir as well as any of your other artifacts. I hate lifegain. But yeah. Those cards are pretty good in my opinion.
3 months ago
because #realtalk angels are gonna get you life. Why not wincon because of it?
Also, I use Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant as my mono-white commander - it's shenanigans, and it could be helpful shenanigans in your case. If you play it with 30+ life, prevent all damage to all of your creatures until your opponent can remove enchantment (and let's be real, not a lot of people plan enchantment removal)
3 months ago
Why play nice when playing Esper? I've learned over the years that you'll get hated off the table for just playing certain color combos, so instead of playing nice, I've embraced the dark side with Esper. New additions include Test of Endurance and Felidar Sovereign which (coupled with Teferi's Protection ) are easy way's of winning. I also was able to add more tutor's which helps get win con faster. Right now I am working on getting the rest of my shock lands ( Hallowed Fountain and Godless Shrine ) and flushing out my fetch lands( Flooded Strand , Polluted Delta , & Marsh Flats ). As long as this deck can survive to mid-game it has enough removal and board control to pull out a win. Do not play if you want to make friends.
3 months ago
Thx for the input so far. Gidgetimer i wasn't going for an Angel tribal, i just brain stormed some Cards that i already had with the few Cards i bought. Forgot to mention that Cards like Ghostly Prison , Propaganda and Exquisite Blood are Cards id realy like to have in this deck but they are a bit pricy for me atm :) If you have any other good sugestions for pillow fort Cards i'd be all ears.
Test of Endurance is a good idea however i would like to win by some other way than Cards like this. I only play with a small Group so all the mass destruction etc. is there because i know the decks they run usually overpower me with creatures and population etc.
I'll prune the deck some more with your advice and see what i can add, ill post Again when im done :)
If you have any suggestions to Cards with effects that might Work here, such as "whenever you gain life something happens" or "pay life to" it would be much appreciated aswell. I don't know a Whole lot of Cards by heart so much is found by searching various frases on google and gatherer (y)
Test of Endurance occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.01%