|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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Time of Ice
Enchantment — Saga
(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
, — Tap target creature an opponent controls. It doesn’t untap during its controller’s untap step for as long as you control Time of Ice.
— Return all tapped creatures to their owners’ hands.
Time of Ice Discussion
1 month ago
I want to make a deck based around tap-down control. As in, Downpour and Feeling of Dread control. For years, I’ve been trying to make this idea work, ever since I first started playing, in Return to Ravnica. It started with the cards Gideon's Avenger and Sunblast Angel . I thought I could make something work, and I sort of did. I made a budget deck that achieved mild success on T/O called Frozen Solid. People liked it because it was cheap and gimmicky, but I wanted it to be more than a cheap trick, which is unfortunate, because that’s all it could have really been at the time. The deck suffers from a core weakness that other forms of control don’t have to deal with, namely that after your cheap tap-down spell has resolved, all your opponent has to do is wait another turn and build up their army even further. Sunblast angel requires a land drop every turn for six turns. The game ends up being about prolonging an inevitable loss instead of winning. Nevertheless, I tried my best to make it at least semi-competitive.
I tried every combination of U/W/X. I tried esper with its access to cards like Royal Assassin and Murderous Compulsion . A way to get rid of tapped cards is great, but why would anyone ever spend two mana on a Murderous Compulsion when they could spend it on Doom Blade , Ultimate Price , Walk the Plank , Cast Down , or half the mana on Fatal Push ? Royal assassin at least sticks around to be able to make use of a mana-free kill to complement your tap-down effects, but it dies to even the gentlest of creature removal. It dies to Lightning Bolt . It dies to Shock . Heck, it even dies to Darkblast . And aside from the assassin, there isn’t a whole lot to support tap-down control in black.
U/W/G has Glare of Subdual , which answers one problem the deck has, namely of a lack of creatures to serve as a wincon. At the same time though, you’re still tapping them down, so they can’t be used to attack with (unless you have something to untap them with, which splits your available resources even further) and if you have a big enough field presence to control the board by tapping stuff down, you could have probably won already through some Overrun kind of playstyle instead. I found merfolk a flavorful and surprisingly synergetic tribe for what I was going for here, as seen by cards like Merrow Reejerey , Merfolk Trickster , and Harbinger of the Tides . I thought that of all the ideas I’ve made thus far, this had the biggest chance of doing what I wanted, with built-in tribal support that aligned with a tap-down aesthetic. You could even finish games with a well-timed Wake Thrasher .
In R/W/U, I experimented with Aurelia's Fury . With cards like Assemble the Legion , stalling becomes a legitimate strategy. Battlefield Thaumaturge could be used to make the spell a two mana overloaded Blustersquall . Along that route, Gridlock and Glimpse the Sun God could be used to support it, but the idea is heavily reliant on thaumaturge, which doesn’t always see play, even as a 4-of.
A truly depressing match against Red Deck Wins made me realize that the deck is entirely reliant on the opponent’s having creatures. Thus, the idea to include something from the hunted cycle was born. Hunted Phantasm , for example, provides me with a good beater and plenty of things to make use of for my spells.
Every now and then, some piece of deck-tech makes me have that flutter of naïve hope, like when we got Time of Ice in Dominaria or Verity Circle in Ravnica Allegiance. Verity circle could be the answer, the missing link. It provides me with the ability to refuel my spells and dig through my deck to get to the wincon, whatever it should be. In any other kind of deck, it’s mediocre at best, but it’s the best support my jank idea has ever gotten. I could be missing something that comes clearly for you. I’m asking you to help me realize my seven-year-old dream: to create a tap-down control deck that holds its own against at least semi-competitive decks. (Decks that have a reasonably achievable means to win and efficient support to help it achieve its chosen way of winning.) I’m not asking for anything that’d make the top 8 list anywhere, just something I can be satisfied with. So long as the primary theme of the deck is controlling the field through tap-down effects, I’m happy.
Please help me out here. I’m at my wits end lol. A big thanks to any and all who put their two cents in.
4 months ago
Not sure if you have updated since writing the description but if you bounce Time of Ice the creatures that were tapped with it are now no longer tapped; you cannot bounce the Time of Ice to replay it and retain the effects of the previous Time of Ice .
8 months ago
I love it! Very fun, cheap deck. I'd recommend at least one or two copies of Favorable Winds to get more value out of your tokens (and it helps dodge a chainwhirler blowout). I like Time of Ice a lot but I think you could have better synergy using an instant or sorcery to slow your opponent down (which is exactly what you need with this deck), I like the above comment's suggestion of Sleep and I think Blink of an Eye could be a great help. Good luck!
8 months ago
I don't think Unsummon is in standard anymore, is it?
Sonic Assault is in there to slow attackers and burn them at the same time, what's not to like?
Do you have any other card suggestions?
8 months ago
Yea, all good. No offense taken.
As for Sonic Assault, I'm just not a big fan of the card, even with Jumpstart.
8 months ago
Time of Ice and Sleep can be good budget options with some interesting synergy. I like adding Chemister's Insight over Chart a Course and adding more Essence Scatter. Some creatures to look at for the sideboard are Diamond Mare and Murmuring Mystic. Also as a budget mill deck (though it would require a complete deck rebuild) there is the Naru Meha, Master Wizard Release to the Wind combo with Drowned Secrets get to seven mana and instantly mill out your opponent.
9 months ago
Love the budget, love the theme, and love the total concept. If you're going hard into being able to blink your permanents, I have to suggest Brago, King Eternal. Blinks as many of your permanents as you want every time it hits your opponent. Just be ready for the huge target this creature puts on your back, the king's power is well known.
Alternatively, if you want to go hard into tapping down your opponent's creatures, what about Time of Ice? Spends a couple turns tapping down your opponent's stuff, then bounces all tapped permanents to their owner's hands, including those tapped through other means.
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