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Tolarian Academy Discussion
3 weeks ago
3 months ago
digbickmcgee: People play Magic for a variety of reasons; I think WBG is a fellow Vorthos. Personally, I'm here for knights, thallids, and magical horses; for the powerful sense of old-fashioned civilization that Magic can often convey (nonbasic lands, Trading Post, Castle, Knighthood, Worship, etc.); and for the few musketeers we've gotten so far -- along with the magical pre-8th-Edition frame and the beautiful look of Mirage block. I'm not going to hold it against anyone for having strong aesthetic preferences of their own, especially not ones that seem to have a little in common with mine.
WBG: Look at the Enchantress deck archetype; also look at tokens and Storm, if you're a little flexible on violence. (The classic finisher for the High Tide variant of Storm decks is Brain Freeze, which is probably not up your alley. Tokens tend to involve fighting with knights, soldiers, and pegasi, under the command of figures like Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa, Radiant, Archangel, and the occasional real-world general like Kongming, "Sleeping Dragon"; I'm perfectly comfortable with this sort of semi-storybook violence, though it sounds like you might not be.)
Try winning the game by generating infinite mana and decking your opponent. Stroke of Genius is the traditional finisher for this, or, again, Brain Freeze in High Tide.
Nacre Talisman, Malachite Talisman, Staff of Domination, Sword of the Paruns, Argothian Elder, Priest of Titania, and Freed from the Real are in-color cards that it's very easy to build infinite-mana engines around. High-mana-output lands are the natural complement for most of these; look at Growing Rites of Itlimoc Flip, Selesnya Sanctuary, Azorius Chancery, and Simic Growth Chamber. (Tolarian Academy, Gaea's Cradle, and Serra's Sanctum -- in order from strongest to weakest -- are the best infinite-mana-engine lands in the game, but they have prices to match. If using any of them nonetheless, look into Stormfront Riders and the Ice Age Talismans.)
Also, there's some white removal I think you could put up with: Swords to Plowshares, Path of Peace (look up the original art), Settle the Wreckage, Pacifism, Cessation. Look into the Circles and Runes of Protection, too.
4 months ago
Tolarian Academy is explosively powerful during the early game and generates continuous high advantage throughout the game. With artifact lands, cheap mana rocks, 0 cost artifacts, access to wheel effects, and Mycosynth Lattice it gives artifact deck players such a huge advantage that any deck not playing it will be hopelessly outclassed and unable to catch up.
If you want a similar effect in a less broken manner, try Storm the Vault.
4 months ago
Arcum Dagsson is one of the most dangerous commanders in the game, you will probably be targeted first in every game if you use him against experienced players.
Breya, Etherium Shaper gives you access to most of the colors you want and can act as an alternate Win-Con, but doesn't threaten to end the game before it really begins.
All the Nonland Cards with Urza in the name probably won't do much for you and most of the vehicles would be better off as mana rocks like Basalt Monolith, Gilded Lotus and the Ravnica Signets. Plus if you're using those Paradox Engine is a really strong addition.
4 months ago
Something you don't have calls out to several of your cards (i.e. volt key, brighthearth rings, omen clock, and divining top.) It wants to be abused. It's name is Paradox Engine. Infinite draw with the top is so disgustingly beautiful. The combo is extremely flexible because the clock, rings, and volt key are all valid substitutes for one another. The objective is to get two instances of the top's drawing ability on the stack so you draw your new card plus the top itself. Cast the top again, and every nonland permanent you tapped in the entire process (e.g. mana vault/basalt monolith) becomes untapped. Do it all again. The best part is that the Paradox Engine untaps your mana rocks, so infinite mana may become an unintentional, but useful, byproduct of this interaction. While not as impressive as true infinite draw, Paradox Engine + Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain is still an insane draw engine, and will get you very far, very quickly.
Arcum Dagsson, Merchant's Dockhand, Cloud Key, Myr Retriever, Junk Diver, Summoning Station, Intruder Alarm, Blasting Station, Altar of the Brood, Staff of Domination, Battered Golem, Unwinding Clock, and Vedalken Orrery are all great cards. Put the Nevy's Disk back in there too. Switch out Feedback Bolt for Vandalblast. Mycosynth Lattice lets Vandalblast sweep away everyone's stuff and leaves your stuff untouched when cast for the Overload cost. Even though it's a sorcery, the effect, for the same mana cost as the Bolt, is way better. People will often concede because of it.
The final thing I want to add is that Tolarian Academy has been brought into Commander from the banned list, in a rather unexpected way: Storm the Vault. It flips into what is essetially Tolarian Academy. In artifact decks, it flips the turn it's played about 80% of the time, making it a must-have for almost any Breya deck.
5 months ago
Are you aiming for this to be combo or fairy tribal? There are some good cards for oona to just combo off with, but that comes down to you're preference with decks
5 months ago
I've got a few thoughts. And by a few I mean many. But first, Tolarian Academy is banned.
Comboing in Esper
Mycosynth Lattice gives Sydri the ability to destroy target land for 1 mana of any color. Also combos with Darksteel Forge to make your whole board indestructible.
Salvaging Station + Disciple of the Vault + Seat of the Synod + Sydri, Galvanic Genius = infinite damage. Tap Seat to make Seat a 0/0 creature via Sydri's ability who dies, triggering Disciple's ability and untapping Station. Tap Station to return Seat into play and deal infinite damage.
Thopter Assembly + Time Sieve = infinite turns.
Thopter Foundry + Ashnod's Altar + Sword of the Meek = infinite colorless mana.
You're in blue and black with almost no card draw or tutoring. Demonic Tutor, Mastermind's Acquisition, Diabolic Tutor, Phyrexian Arena, Consecrated Sphinx, Blue Sun's Zenith, Rhystic Study, Sensei's Divining Top, Trinket Mage. All are great in EDH.
RemovalAgain, you're in the two colors best for removal in a format that relies on either having removal or being faster than removal, and you run no removal in a slow deck. Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Oblivion Ring, Vindicate, Utter End, Vraska's Contempt, Merciless Eviction, Supreme Verdict.
It's easy enough to say "just run duals and fetches," but they really do make all the difference in the world for Esper decks. Shocklands and buddy lands cycles are great places to start. You want to minimize "enters tapped" unless the secondary effect is relevant. Chromatic Lantern is the best 3 CMC mana rock in the game and you should run it.
Wurmcoil Engine, Steel Hellkite, Batterskull are all amazing cards. Nevermore and Gideon's Intervention are solid defenses. Venser, the Sojourner is cool. Ajani Goldmane and Telepathy are just bad.