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Thorn of Amethyst
Noncreature spells cost (1) more to play.
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Thorn of Amethyst Discussion
2 weeks ago
Hello, I'm building a Queen Marchesa BomberMan build and was wondering how often the following cards hurt you from going off with it:
2 weeks ago
After a lot of discussions with less competitive players, I have found that competitive EDH is frowned upon by many based on the notion that "EDH isn't designed to be that way." I would like to advocate for competitive EDH, not as the only way to play, but as a legitimate way to play the game. I will also outline a few guidelines on how to play competitive EDH (nothing on what your deck should look like, more on how you interact with others).
In his outline of Commander Rules, Sheldon Menery, the creator of the format, writes: "Commander is a Magic:The Gathering format which emphasises multiplayer play, social interactions, interesting games, and creative deck building." All of competitive commander is contained within these bounds, and I will relay how.
Obviously, competitive multiplayer EDH is, well, multiplayer, so there isn't much explaining to do there. Competitive play is also a social interaction just as much as casual commander. Assuming we can define social as done in communion with others and, generally, with conversation amongst players, I have yet to play a competitive game in which this is not the case. Check out this video made by Laboratory Maniacs, a YouTube channel dedicated to competitive EDH, in which the players make puns, chat, and laugh while playing a 3-way competitive game. I would certainly consider this to be social.
Using the LabMen's video as a reference, I think we can attest to competitive games to exhibiting "interesting gameplay." My argument for this based on the linked video is that, though Cameron took control very early, the first few turns were highly interactive: a Thorn of Amethyst completely shut down Dan's Thrasios/Tymna list by restricting his already strained mana base; Gilded Drake stole Yisan, the Wanderer Bard from Simon, which stops the Yisan deck by restricting him from casting his primary engine; the Swan Song targeting the Green Sun's Zenith of Simon's stopped him from getting a win condition or a way from regaining control of Yisan; the Shadow of Doubt and Ghost Quarter interaction was interesting, as was the choice to further restrict Dan's mana base in order to increase his odds of winning (in a 3 man pod, chances are 33%; in a 1v1, 50%; of course, Yisanless Yisan doesn't really stand a chance against Tasigur, but still). While the game may not have been as "fun" as a game posted by the Game Knights where revenge plays are rampant, and the entertainment aspect is upped, it was "interesting" nonetheless.
The last tenant of the commander definition created by Sheldon is "creative deckbuilding." While Doomsday and Storm are both established archetypes, Dan melded them into a new shell with Thrasios and Tymna that differed from many of the Buried Alive shells that have come to define many of the Thrasios builds. Tasigur also ran a host of interesting cards like Dimir Charm and Shadow of Doubt that are aimed at defeating metas that tutor a lot as well as play mostly small, utility creatures rather than the large, stompy ones found in less competitive pods.
Conclusively, I find that competitive EDH falls within the definition of commander defined by its creator and, thus, has a place within it.
Now, for those who play competitive decks, the only real rule is to gauge your playgroup. If your playgroup shows up with less competitive decks than you have, you have four options, three of which I think are viable.
The first option, the one I don't think is viable, is to stomp your meta continually. This option is not sustainable because people will not want to play with you, and EDH will stop being played. At least, this is the case in most places I've encountered. This also doesn't fall within the definition of EDH since these games are no longer interesting.
A better option is to help other players refine their decks to be more competitive. Obviously, this requires willingness on part of your playgroup, but if they do want to play better decks, then I think competitive players much foster a positive, collaborative atmosphere in which we aim to help one another achieve the most optimal forms of our decks possible.
If the playgroup is not looking to play competitively, then you can play less competitive decks in order to have fun, interactive games. You can still try for the optimal lines of play, but with a less powerful deck.
Of course, playing scaled down decks is not the interest of every competitive player, and that's okay, too. Your final viable option is to leave a playgroup and seek a new one. If you cannot find one, I advise reconsidering another of the proposed options, but I do believe that it is our responsibility to not partake in the first option. The only instance in which the first option is acceptable is when prize support is available in a tournament setting. In that scenario, you should always bring the best deck you can.
Let me know your thoughts on all of this in a CIVIL way in the comments section below.
2 weeks ago
It's hard to rebuild a whole deck in order to change the strategy. It's much easier to list what you absolutely want in every Stax list - at least I could list a basic package of cards that I always use in Stax builds, no matter what the rest is supposed to do. When building a new Stax deck I consider these slots fixed, so the numner of free slots in the deck is reduced by ~33 for lands and the number of cards used for the basic speed and disruption package. The rest depends on what colours I want to use and how exactly I want to play with the deck.
A lot depends on your budget though, because Stax is the most expensive way to go (except for 5 colour with all the duals maybe, but only if there's a lot of other expensive stuff there too). I was lucky enough to get my hands on a playset of Mishra's Workshop around 2008 or 2009, when the playset was below the price you have to pay for ONE copy today and I also got an italian The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale for 70 euro, wich is a tenth of today's price. You don't have to play these crds, but they make stax a whole lot better and they justify playing cards like Crop Rotation and Tolaria West, which you might not want to include otherwise.
As for the basic Stax package I mentioned, for me this consists of the following cards:
- Sol Ring
- Mana Crypt
- Mana Vault
- Grim Monolith
- Mox Diamond
- Chrome Mox
- Mox Opal
- Lotus Petal
- Voltaic Key
- Coalition Relic
- Ancient Tomb
- City of Traitors
- Mishra's Workshop
- Sphere of Resistance
- Thorn of Amethyst
- Lodestone Golem
- Tangle Wire
- The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale (unless I play aggro stax with many creatures)
- Land Equilibrium
- Crucible of Worlds
- Strip Mine
- Ravages of War
- Ensnaring Bridge (not in aggro stax)
- Moat (not in aggro stax)
Humility (not in aggro stax)
- Scroll Rack
- Jace, the Mind Sculptor
- Tezzeret the Seeker
- Transmute Artifact
You see, there are a lot of slots that I consider fixed when I play stax and the rest of the deck should define the specific strategy. I have also listed some blue cards in my basic package, but without blue these could be easily replaced with other must plays, for example Goblin Welder in red. The tutors also depend on the colours you want to use, but with black and blue you have quite a few to choose from. White is good for some of the most perverted masss removals and lockdown pieces.
To complete your deck you have to double-check every card for its power, if it has a direct impact on the game or if it does next to nothing without other cards in the deck (in that case it should be a lock or combo). You also have to check if there is anything similar but better and then make changes accordingly. Also avoid multiple copies of effects that are not cummulative, unless it's an effect you absolutely want to see in every game and which is most likely a top target for removal.
2 weeks ago
The issue is when you cast without paying it's mana cost X is set to 0. When you cast Whir of Invention from hand, you choose a value of X, then pay mana, then tap for improvise, then check to make sure you paid all the costs. When you cast without paying it's mana cost X is chosen to be 0, then you pay mana, then tap for improvise, then make sure any additional costs were properly paid. You could, for instance, use improvise to pay for a cost imposed by Thorn of Amethyst, but X will always be 0 when casting without paying it's mana cost.
3 weeks ago
I wouldn't play Pox in a multicoloured deck, especially if your manabase is so inconsistent. With BBB it will often be a dead card and if there's only Zur on the board you don't want to play it either...I'd rather use Cataclysm or Armageddon and Ravages of War. Not Damnation and Wrath of God because you probably don't need and want to clear the entire board.
Stax is really good if it prevents the opponents from playing anything useful in the first place instead of reacting to threats, it's the archetype for proactive control. I personally wouldn't play counters, if you don't play Mana Drain because it doesn't fit the overall strategy. You don't want to keep mana open to react, you want to drop something that locks the opponent down. Maybe some more taxing permanents? Sphere of Resistance, Lodestone Golem, Thorn of Amethyst, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Trinisphere...Tangle Wire is also great and you have some cards that prevent untapping too.
If you already play Rest in Peace I would include one of my all time favourite combos and use Helm of Obedience. For more consistency add the Leyline of the Void again as well. This trick has won so many games for me, it's ridiculous. A bit more tutors would be cool though, for example Transmute Artifact if you want to buy that (you find some on ebay for 40-50 USD).
1 month ago
I have an alternative win con in my Atraxa's super(un)friendly Stax, which is Mechanized Production. Cast on Sphere of Resistance, Thorn of Amethyst, Lodestone Golem or Tangle Wire it slows down the game so much that you easily reach the 8 needed copies to win.
1 month ago
I made a $60 version of Brago, King Eternal that did really well for a casual deck. Sadly, I don't have a list because it's been upgraded but here are the main pieces.
other cool cards are Peregrine Drake, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, Thorn of Amethyst, Vryn Wingmare, Tangle Wire, Parallax Tide, Parallax Wave, Reality Acid, Stunt Double/Clever Impersonator, Traveler's Cloak, Act of Authority, Storm Crow for power, Treachery, Phyrexian Ingester, Resolute Archangel, Duplicant, Sun Titan, Genesis Chamber, Stasis (personal favorite), Mystic Remora, Lavinia of the Tenth, Lyev Skyknight, Cloudblazer, and Unquestioned Authority.
Brago plays best in a pod. 1v1, he doesn't really have a lot of time to set up his stax/combo. I hope you like the deck as much as I do!
Here is my current build.
1 month ago
You asked to be ruthless, so let's be then. You was warried about your BUG and Show and Tell MUs. Crucible of Worlds, Wasteland is nice combo in some decks, but not really fitting on mana hungry deck like Eldrazi Stompy. Crucible of Worlds is often do nothing, when opponent has basics or you don't have wasteland. Even when it does something it might be too slow and you might be better off by just beating with spaghetti. Sometimes it might win the game, if none of these problems occur and opponent doesn't have answer. Still I would rather go with something more synergistic with spaghetti stompy plan.
We can go down to 24 lands. Wasteland seems to provide least amount of utility, so let's go down to 3, now that we don't have Crucible of Worlds and with 24 lands we are less likely to trade Wasteland anyway.
2 slots now open in maindeck, add 2nd Umezawa's Jitte it's really good at killing small utility creatures and is the best way to beat Tarmogoyfs. Also move 1 Endbringer from side to main. I was first skeptical about Endbringer and thougt 6 mana is not worth it, but I've learnt 6 mana is well worth it. It can win against Ensnaring Bridge or Moat, can be put into play from Show and Tell to stop Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, pings annoying creatures away and when everything else fails, it can DRAW CARDS. We don't have too much card drawing luxury going.
For sideboard I would go something like this:
1 All Is Dust
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Pithing Needle
2 Ratchet Bomb
1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
2 Warping Wail
2 Thorn of Amethyst
Leylines as gravehate, because they come down turn 0, are more difficult to answer and can shut down dredge.Damping Matrix hits our own stuf too, cots more and only does more than Pithing Needle against elves.