|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Masters Edition III (ME3)||Rare|
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At the beginning of each player's upkeep, destroy target nonartifact creature that player controls of his or her choice. It can't be regenerated.
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The Abyss Discussion
4 days ago
Not to worry! There are a lot of ways to speed things up. Looking at your list, here are a few things that I recommend:
This is something I plan to address, but haven't had the time to write up quite yet. Some of the answers you're looking for are in the replies I've made in the comments - I will add a section like this soon enough.
1 month ago
1 month ago
Long story short, that's because this deck is alarmingly different from the herd and that is the whole reason I've gone about writing this primer :)
Virtually every other Meren primer is some blend of midrange / goodstuff with most of what you've listed. I've tested and tried out all of those options and I just don't think this is the strongest way to build her... it results in a slow and slogging list without much potential to tango with fast combo. But, Meren can be so much faster and more potent if you are willing to step out of the comfort zone of "normal" and try this list out!
In regards to the recommendations - most of those options are just not fast enough. Turns 1-4 are where CEDH games are largely set, and focusing on accelerating hard, locking down those turns, and transitioning reliably out of them, is what I've found to win games - much more than goodstuff. The "standard" Meren staples (Bane of Progress, Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger, Sidisi, Undead Vizier, etc) are strong in theory but they just don't land quickly enough and you simply lose a lot of games because of it. Even The Abyss falls into this category - it hurt me to unsleeve it, but at this point the CEDH format and the rest of this list outpaces it so much that it's just not worth the 4cmc and long payoff period. Regarding Damnation specifically, it isn't there because Yahenni's Expertise is often the more efficient choice vs. the lists I see (i.e. Yisan swarm, etc).
Typical Meren lists are lucky to break an average 3.5 CMC, or 3.0 if they're lucky. Compare this to fast combo in CEDH which often hovers right around 2.0 or even lower - it's no wonder conventional Meren lists have a hard time keeping up! With the list in this Primer we're hovering right around 2.2, which means we're actually fast enough to keep pace with combo but still have the card quality and value engines to give us great control in the mid to late game.
It looks different because it is, I encourage you to give it a shot!
1 month ago
Why no Damnation, or Dark Depths / Vampire Hexmage combo, or Sidisi, Undead Vizier? Also no Sylvan Tutor,Buried Alive, Corpse Connoisseur Traverse the Ulvenwald, Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger, Thief of BloodRune-Scarred Demon,The Abyss, Sheoldred, Whispering One, Earthcraft, Bane of Progress, Krosan Grip, Yawgmoth's Will...
Missing an alarming amount of meren staples and combos for a meren list.. :/
1 month ago
I apologize if I missed an explanation for this or not, but have you considered running things that can make non-artifacts into artifacts to protect them? Things like Mycosynth Lattice, Liquimetal Coating, and Silverskin Armor can be used to save Glissa from The Abyss and effects like it...I don't know if they would hold their weight in this deck or not, but Liquimetal Coating has saved a few vital creatures for me at critical points in past matches.
1 month ago
Cards that I struggle to see the relevance of:Dictate of Karametra seems bad to me, you don't play many instants so after 1 game your opponents will begin to see it coming and it only gives you a small advantage at first, your opponents can likely take a lot more advantage of it than you.
Elspeth, Knight-Errant seems like a very weak planeswalker and could easily be removed in order to facilitate better support.Garruk, Primal Hunter also seems weaker, his only relevant effect on landing being to make you a 3/3 which will get steam rolled by any creature strategy.
Gideon, Champion of Justice is terrible isn't it?How often do you find Kiora, the Crashing Wave to be a waste of 4 mana to prevent 1 source's damage?Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath is fairly irrelevant, you drop him and gain a teeny bit of life or get a 5/5 token but reduce his loyalty to ping-range or wait for an irrelevant emblem.The remaining planeswalkers are all okay or at least obviously usable when they drop or if they attain critical mass. Speaking of which, there are obvious upgrades that are missing here.Doubling Season, you just have to play this card. You can't not play this card in EDH superfriends if you have green access. It sets up planeswalkers to instant-ult and doubles tokens you produce to block with.Rings of Brighthearth means every planeswalker ability gets doubled. Unfortunately this does not double the counters added.
You could go harder into token doublers with Primal Vigor,Parallel Lives, and Anointed Procession, which might give you enough blockers over time to start building the justice league.If you are going instead to preventing damage to planeswalkers you need cards like:Moat, Magus of the Moat, Humility, Sphere of Safety, Contagion Clasp, Contagion Engine, maybe Privileged PositionYou need more tutors. Planeswalker-specific or not. Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor for a start.It's usually good in blue to have one or two instant-speed responses like counterspells. The most relevant one I can think of is Fuel for the Cause although it's not a great one anyway. You seem like you have board control fairly well locked. This is probably your only answer to cards like Merciless Eviction or the new red spell from Ixalan I forget. Also, since you're always wiping the board and filling everyone else's graveyard why not run a Rise of the Dark Realms as an alternate win-con?
Obvious missing planeswalkers:If you choose to run very few creatures who are all extremely relevant, the duel deck Ajani, Valiant Protector actually acts as a pseudo-tutor for them, which could be very relevant with deepglow skate.
Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver can remove some serious threats, make players more wary about reorganizing the top of their library, and potentially net you blockers, dorks, etc. if it sticks. The ult is a win-con.
Elspeth Tirel can create token blockers, can setup to ult the following turn as a boardwipe, incidental life gain if you are going hard with tokens.
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar similar to Elspeth he makes tokens but his ult is more relevant to building a token-defensive board state, can be used right away, and if he sticks around he can beat face for damage while gaining loyalty. Rotating out of standard so he will be cheaper now.Jace Beleren, less of a "I win card" but less likely to be shot down right away in a political meta. Everyone drawing a card doesn't draw attention, and you can selectively choose to replace him in your hand with the minus as well if you just want to "cycle" him. The ult is fairly irrelevant so you can basically treat this as a semi-permanent draw engine.
If you upgrade your land base and throw in an urborg/cabal coffers combination you should go for Liliana of the Dark Realms since she can tutor for dual types, turn your swamps into super-engines and act as a removal for even indestructibles if you get there.Nissa, Vastwood Seer can also be good, she gives you land drop, she's relevant if you draw her late and flip her, you can potentially get tricky and flip her using lands like Evolving Wilds after you block an opponent, and her flip side provides ramp/filtration, a token blocker, or potentially a board of 6/6 creatures. also she re-enters so works with doubling seasonTamiyo, the Moon Sage can protect itself somewhat, or remove a threat on board which can politically let you leverage your opponents. Against creature-wide strats can draw you a full hand worth and its ult is very hard to fight against.
Teferi, Temporal Archmage combos with Chainveil if you replay it same turn and you NEED THIS ULT.Tezzeret the Seeker tutors for sol ring, nuff said.
Venser, the Sojourner resets your other planeswalker loyalties, I mean seriously flicker is always good. The ult acts as almost a win con.
Moi expensivo:Your mana base should be fetches and duals, enough said.Jace, the Mind SculptorKarn LiberatedUgin, the Spirit DragonLiliana of the VeilThe AbyssCaptain Sisay since all planeswalkers are retro-actively legendary.
1 month ago
Alright, we can work with that. However, looking through the list, you'll need a lot of changes.
Let's start with the mana base.
I find most of your land choices questionable at best. I like that you started on a few of your shocks, so you're heading in the right direction there. The only other lands you're running I'd keep are Mana Confluence, Command Tower, City of Brass, and the 1x of each basic. You'll want to add the original duals (Tundra, Underground Sea, Tropical Island, Scrubland, Savannah, and Bayou) and all 10 fetchlands. This will bring us to 29 lands, leaving up to 3 slots for meta decision utility lands. I wouldn't go above 32 total, though. I also personally use Maze of Ith in every deck, but that's preference. I won't be counting those three slots in my running card total.
Next is your ramp. I like that you have Sol Ring and Birds of Paradise, but we can do more. You already have Simic Signet, but I suggest getting all the others, especially the blue ones (Dimir Signet, Azorius Signet, Golgari Signet, Orzhov Signet, Selesnya Signet). We can also run Mana Crypt, Mox Opal, Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox, Mana Vault, Talisman of Dominance, Talisman of Progress, and Talisman of Unity. Then, we start looking at fleshing out your mana dorks. Deathrite Shaman, Llanowar Elves, Fyndhorn Elves, Arbor Elf, Elvish Mystic, and Elves of Deep Shadow should all go in. Finally, Carpet of Flowers to get ahead of other blue players.
On to the tutors.
For card advantage:
Current card count: 69.
This is where it gets interesting. I like Cyclonic Rift, Swords to Plowshares, and Winter Orb, but, as before, we can add to those. Abrupt Decay, Mana Drain, Force of Will, Flusterstorm, Counterspell, Mental Misstep, Silence, Negate, Dispel, and Angel's Grace can all find a home here. We can also run Smokestack, tanglewire, Nether Void, The Abyss, Arcane Laboratory, and Notion Thief.
Card total: 87.
I don't see any in your list, so this is a new category. We'll start with the basics. Brainstorm, Ponder, Preordain, and Gitaxian Probe. With the best wincons I can prescribe, you'll also want Gush and Night's Whisper.
Card total: 93
Card total: 96.
Or we can not call it competitive. Usually a cheaper option.
1 month ago
Hey I love seeing another Xiahou Dun player. Your build seems pretty solid. +1 from me.
A few suggestions...
Mishra's Workshop might help since 10% of your deck is lands, just something to consider. Urborg can always make it a swamp when needed.
Mirage Mirror - CRAZY Versatility, can dodge a fair amount of removal, combos with Dark Depths
Expedition Map to search for the land you need.
Mana Web can go well with Urborg, and/or make the blue player think twice about countering you as I know this deck draws a lot of hate.
Corpse Dance to recur your commander at 5CMC or just any good creature at the top.
Torpor Orb to stop Aura Shards since 1/3rd of your deck can get demolish by that. On the other end of the spectrum, how do you deal with artifacts and enchantments since that's mono black's weakness. I recommend either of the following ..... Ugin, the Spirit Dragon (can hit your stuff, but is still great). Karn Liberated for target removal (and more hand hate). Nevinyrral's Disk (again, hurts you too, but it's always an option). Other options include Oblivion Stone and Spine of Ish Sah.
Trading Post is another card you might want to consider (also synergy with Spine). It's very versatile and has saved me a couple games. Always works well with contamination
Grim Tutor for more tutoring?
If you have time, I would love your feedback on my deck The Descent Into Darkness.