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|Commander 2014 (C14)||Uncommon|
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- Are cards in exile (suspend), considered permanents?
- Can you activate a creatures ability with no actual target?
- Can instant-speed sacrifice effects be used on creatures that enter the battlefield with 0 toughness?
- Does paying a card's cost to activate an ability resolve before the stack is triggered?
- What does Cathar's Crusade trigger on first if I have Edgar Markov as my commander?
Creature — Vampire Shaman
Sacrifice Vampire Hexmage: Remove all counters from target permanent.
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Vampire Hexmage Discussion
3 days ago
I have been playing mono-black Vampires in Modern for quite some time now. It is actually more competitive than a lot of people think. It's like mono-black Jund, and I've out-Junded Jund with vamps before. But this also means I play much more disruption than the build laid out here. My version runs 6 Discard (either a 4/2 or a 3/3 split among Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek), 6 Removal (4 Fatal Push and 2 flex slots), 4 Planeswalkers (the best in Modern - Liliana of the Veil), a much lower creature count at 21, and 23 lands.
Now, you have correctly identified Bloodghast to be the best Vampire in Modern. It does everything you want it to do in this deck - it is a recurring threat, you can sac it to scry (Viscera Seer), sac it to drain (Kalastria Highborn), discard it to Lili's +1, etc. The second best vamp is probably Vampire Nocturnus because its ability is just insane. I'd max out the number of Gatekeeper of Malakir because the sac effect is very strong in the format. 4 Asylum Visitor is great for card advantage and Madness is great for discard effects as well. Finally, I play 4 Viscera Seer because it synergises well with the other creatures. With Seer, you can do the fetch land-scry trick with Bloodghast, you can fix the top of your deck for Nocturnus, you can sac your entire board with Kalastria Highborn for extra reach, and you at least get to scry when opponent tries to kill your creatures.
Some comments on why I won't run the creatures you are playing...they are only good when there is a critical mass or density of creatures on board. Captivating Vampire really shines when you have at least another couple or more creatures already on the board, and you can forget about ever activating his second ability in a typical Modern game. In contrast, Vampire Nocturnus works great even when he's the only creature on board (a common sight after you have grinded the opponent out with discard and removal a la Jund). Vampire Lacerator is only good if played Turn 1 and even then it gets outclassed very quickly and then becomes a liability (Tom Ross tried the card in a very early build and called it 'embarrassing'!). Stromkirk Condemned and Indulgent Aristocrat are also only good when you have at least 2 other creatures on board, which I have found to be quite rare in a format full of removal. Furthermore, you cannot afford the card disadvantage, I don't think, if you are not playing Bloodghast.
Lastly, lands - I play 8 fetches to activate Bloodghast and to turn on Revolt for Fatal Push, 4 Mutavault as an honorary Vampire which gets Nocturnus bonus and can be sacrificed to Highborn (man-lands are traditionally used for getting in damage when both players are topdecking after a war of attrition - think Jund again), 4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth so you can produce black mana with Mutavault and fetchlands (you'd want to save fetches for Revolt Fatal Push and explosive Bloodghast turns), and 7 basic Swamps.
My sideboard includes a little bit of everything, Collective Brutality against Burn/Infect, Damnation against creature heavy decks, Duress as additional discard against control, Fulminator Mage and Ghost Quarter to kill lands, Nihil Spellbomb, Surgical Extraction and Scarab Feast for graveyard decks, Pithing Needle for various activated abilities, Vampire Hexmage for planeswalkers, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet for Jund or Abzan mirrors.
Just sharing my own experience playing Vamps in Modern for the longest time.
2 weeks ago
Coiling Oracle - Not always ramp, but always replaces itself in terms of card advantage. Compare it to an Elvish Visionary or a Baleful Strix that are good in the first place and you'll notice that even if it isn't guaranteed ramp, it's still a gamble that's worth it.
Farseek - Great colorfixing when you have dual lands, and you want a couple of CMC2 ramp to get the ball rolling.
Nature's Lore - You need shocks for this to be worth it in a three-color deck, otherwise it's too inconsistent for colorfixing.
Deathrite Shaman - One of the best manadorks available if you have fetches and/or you run self-mill, since it ramps you in the early game and can grave hate in the late game.
Chromatic Lantern - You don't need a lot of mana rocks when you're in green, but this one's utility is good enough when you're 3+ colors. Can help with activating Tasigur, the Golden Fang more, especially when you have Training Grounds out and colored mana is the limiting factor.
Harrow - Instant speed ramp is good if you want to save mana for counterspells/removal, and land sacrifice is good for self-mill/recursion synergies.
Realms Uncharted - Technically not ramp but it's both card advantage and dumping stuff into the graveyard, while fetching your 4 strongest lands and forcing your opponent to choose between bad and worse.
Fork in the Road - Not land ramp, not very impactful, but dumping stuff into the graveyard while colorfixing ain't too bad. Maybe a bit sad to get this one back with Tasigur, the Golden Fang's ability, but that's what delve is for.
Exploration - It's ramp that requires you to have a lot of card draw or things like Crucible of Worlds and Oracle of Mul Daya, but can lead to stupidly fast starts of dumping your hand and recovering with Tasigur, the Golden Fang's ability. Definitely stronger than Burgeoning.
Animate Dead - One of the best reanimation spells in the game by far.
Victimize - Even if you're not focused on reanimation, getting back 2 creatures for only 3 mana and something to sacrifice is very often worth it. The more self-mill you have, the more targets you get.
Regrowth - The original Eternal Witness which is cheaper but less abusable. Very good in conjunction with Tasigur, the Golden Fang since you can force your opponent to choose between the things you want or Regrowth which lets you get what you want.
Seasons Past - Card advantage recursion, very good in general and even better when self-milling to give yourself lots of choices.
Grapple with the Past - Instant speed recursion for 2 that also dumps stuff into your graveyard.
Nyx Weaver - Not an amazing creature, but can be dropped early as a blocker and some slow value self-mill only to be used as recursion in the late game.
Fact or Fiction - Drawing the best 1-4 cards out of your top 5 at instant speed for 4 mana is makes this one of the best cards for one-off card draw, especially when the rest end up in your graveyard for delve/recursion.
Baleful Strix - Only replaces itself in terms of card draw, but a flying deathtouch blocker for 2 mana is a very annoying deterrent.
Windfall - Very good card advantage if your game plan is to dump your hand such as with Burgeoning and Exploration effects and fills up your graveyard with the things you discard, but risky since it can help opponents with draw/recursion/reanimation.
Whispering Madness - Extra copy of Windfall if you want one. Cipher can be good if you have stupid amounts of mana for dumping your hand, but not worth one more mana if you're deciding between this or Windfall.
Necropotence - Not great in 3+ colors where it gets hard to cast and not really necessary when you have blue, but still stupidly good with enough life and mana.
The Gitrog Monster - Very strong draw engine since he triggers off of sacrifice, discard and mill. Also a 6/6 deathtouch for 5.
Pull from Tomorrow/Stroke of Genius/Blue Sun's Zenith - Lots of card draw if you have lots of mana, great when you're ramping hard and dumping your hand. Pull from Tomorrow is the best one for card draw because it digs one deeper, but the other two can mill someone to death with enough mana.
Taigam, Sidisi's Hand - CMC5 and needs a turn to do anything is not great, but the filtering and creature removal is alright if he survives.
Lim-Dl's Vault - Incredibly good card selection. It's card disadvantage in itself but you can easily dig through your library until you get a pile that gives you card advantage plus playable cards.
Sensei's Divining Top - One of the best cards for card selection. Use its first ability before using Tasigur, the Golden Fang's ability to help force certain cards into your hand, then use the first ability again to dig even deeper into your library.
Sylvan Library - Very good card for card selection, becomes stupidly good with lifegain and/or fetches for shuffling.
Satyr Wayfinder - Cheap way to get stuff into your graveyard, sorcery speed but creatures are more abusable than instants/sorceries.
Compulsive Research - Great source of card selection since 1. you get to draw before discarding, 2. you can discard anything from your hand, not just from the three you drew, 3. it can be card advantage if you discard the right thing.
Thirst for Knowledge - Like Compulsive Research except a lot better because it's instant speed, and slightly worse because you'll have more opportunity to discard and recur lands compared to artifacts.
Beast Within - Can target anything, so one of the best pieces of spot removal in the format.
Sultai Charm - Very flexible removal or decent card filtering, one of the best charms available.
Reclamation Sage - Removal on legsthat can chump block, be cloned, reanimated etc.
Krosan Grip - Very strong removal, can't be countered and can stop problem cards like Oblivion Stone and Necropotence.
Murderous Cut - Creature removal for 1 is very good, as long as you have enough stuff to delve away.
Abrupt Decay - Slightly too restrictive in commander unless you play in a combo heavy meta, but still worth considering.
Nature's Claim - Removal for 1 is very very good. It's arguable whether this or Krosan Grip is better if you can only choose one.
Tetzimoc, Primal Death - Not very good, but pretty fun and good value if you have a lot of mana.
Vraska the Unseen - Unconditional removal: good. Sorcery speed for 5 mana: bad. Planeswalker with 2 loyalty left after you removed something: not great, but fun.
Scavenging Ooze - Targeted grave hate for cheap is great.
Toxic Deluge - The best creature board wipe in the format, bar none.
Pernicious Deed - One of the best board wipes in your colors. Can be asymmetrical if you have the most expensive stuff, can kill tokens for 0, can hold the table hostage by waiting with blowing it up.
Decree of Pain - CMC8 makes this not great, but the card draw makes it worth considering. Cycling is also good as an instant speed uncounterable board wipe against early aggro.
Torment of Hailfire - Generic big mana wincon, can still be pretty painful even if you don't cast it for X=lots.
Crop Rotation - Card disadvantage since you sacrifice a land, but being able to fetch any utility land at instant speed for 1 is crazy for potential. Bojuka Bog, Tectonic Edge, Alchemist's Refuge, Cabal Coffers/Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Thespian's Stage etc. Can compensate for the card disadvantage while colorfixing with Myriad Landscape/Blighted Woodland.
As Foretold - Not a very good card, but it's pretty fun to use if you get the ball rolling, especially since you can spend any extra mana on your commander once you get to freecast spells. Even better with cheap instants.
Propaganda - Generic protection, both against token decks and to avoid becoming the path of least resistance in multiplayer.
Isochron Scepter - Absurd value with stuff like Brainstorm, absurdly annoying with counterspells. It runs a fairly high risk of being a dead card in your hand though, since you won't be running lots of CMC<=2 instants. Very sad to get from Tasigur, the Golden Fang's ability with an empty hand.
Faerie Artisans - Relatively underrated card. You get the ETBs of anything your opponents cast/flicker/reanimate/etc. plus a chump blocker/attacker of varying quality.
Mirage Mirror - Incredibly strong card, even though it may not look like it at first glance. Copy a Cabal Coffers/Zendikar Resurgent for lots of mana, copy creatures like Arcanis the Omnipotent/Etali, Primal Storm and you get to tap/attack immediately as long as the artifact has been in play for a turn, copy creatures like Oracle of Mul Daya/Kess, Dissident Mage and get cheap value, scare off attackers by saying "I can copy the biggest dude on the board and block you", dodge removal/board wipes by copying a land etc. Extra fun if you run Dark Depths.
Avenger of Zendikar - Generic wincon, but still a very good wincon.
Exsanguinate - Generic big mana wincon, can save you from an early aggro death even if you don't cast it for X=lots.
Telepathy - Not a good card, but it's pretty fun for politics and mind games.
Assault Suit - Kind of fun multiplayer card, but not very good since your opponents aren't forced to attack with the equipped creature. Can cause some funny commander damage blowouts if your politics game is strong.
Psychosis Crawler - Generic but slow wincon, decent creature to clone.
Dark Depths - If you're already running support cards for Cabal Coffers, you have most of the stuff for a decent Dark Depths package like land tutors and Thespian's Stage (plus Marit Lage is cool). Throw in a Vampire Hexmage for a potential turn 3 20/20 to really set the pace of the game.
Hinterland Harbor/Woodland Cemetery - Checklands are great and not that expensive, and stay great even as your manabase improves. These two will get reprints in Dominaria, might want to wait for them.
Temple of Malady - The last scryland, you have the other two.
Cephalid Coliseum - Good for card filtering late game, comes in untapped early.
Choked Estuary - Not the best cycle of lands, but at least it's better than lands that always come in tapped. Doesn't exist in your other colors yet.
Golgari Rot Farm/Simic Growth Chamber - These are not that bad budget lands since they give you virtual card advantage at the cost of speed, but having three of them in a three-color can sometimes be too slow and awkward. If you want to keep them, then buy Dimir Aqueduct.
Halimar Depths - I would not use this over a basic land in your deck because you don't have lots of lands to find with your ramp, and the upside is not big enough for a tapped land that only produces one color.
Evolving Wilds/Terramorphic Expanse - These are a bit slow but they're good for colorfixing and they're great for Ramunap Excavator and Splendid Reclamation, as long as you have enough basics in your library.
Lumbering Falls - Manlands are not really worth it in commander unless you're have a lot of equipment, combat damage triggers or creature sacrifice.
Reliquary Tower - This is not a definite cut, but you don't want too many colorless lands in a three-color deck. Reliquary Tower is only necessary if you have lots of card draw and very little graveyard interaction, but since you have plenty of graveyard recursion, you should be fine without it.
Tectonic Edge - It's a good card, but I prefer using Ghost Quarter because you don't need to have any mana ready to be able to use it. Wasteland and Strip Mine are both strictly better, but expensive.
Temple of the False God - Not that great in three-color decks.
Jace, Memory Adept - Milling opponents with this guy is stupid, milling yourself is kind of decent but at 5 mana it's bad.
Kiora, the Crashing Wave - If you want it for the -1 (which is pretty good), just run Explore instead. Using it for the ultimate is stupid since your opponents have 3 turns to handle it and you're not getting any value from the +1.
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage - The -2 is not the worst, but at 5 mana and when you're blue it's not really worth it. Same as with Kiora, the Crashing Wave, you will never reach the ultimate against competent players and the +1 doesn't really give you any value. This one's worth some money, so sell it and buy better cards.
Archfiend of Depravity - The effect is not terrible but in practice it's less impactful than it seems. You can usually play around the ability or remove the creature if it's a huge problem.
Beastcaller Savant/Deathcap Cultivator/Elves of Deep Shadow - This deck has no reason running mana dorks other than Birds of Paradise and Deathrite Shaman, at most. Elves of Deep Shadow is not awful since it's 1 mana and colorfixes, but still not worth it.
Dimir Doppelganger - The main advantage to clones is that you can abuse strong ETBs, which this clone can't. Decent if you're two colors, not really if you're three.
Edric, Spymaster of Trest - This guy will more often enable your opponents than it will help you. Terrible card unless you're spamming tokens.
Forgotten Creation - Dumping cards into the graveyard is not bad, but CMC4, only in upkeep and discarding before drawing is awful.
Kruphix, God of Horizons - You need a lot of big mana dumps or a draw/go playstyle to justify using Kruphix, God of Horizons. Your commander is a mana dump but your limiting factor is going to be colored mana.
Solemn Simulacrum - Not awful, but there are better alternatives for ramp when you're in green. Could be worth keeping if you run a lot of clones for slightly better value compared to something like Wood Elves or Cultivate.
Torrent Elemental - Can blow out an opponent when you have a big board, but is very telegraphed and isn't very impactful on its own. Use Pathbreaker Ibex if you want better blowouts. The exile ability isn't great even if you delve him away, since you're still casting a mediocre creature for 5 mana.
Yahenni, Undying Partisan - Good when your deck is based around sacrifice and reanimation, but very out of place here.
Bounty of the Luxa - Slow ramp or slow card draw, but you can't choose which one you need right now. Better to use proper ramp and proper draw spells instead.
Deadbridge Chant - You can keep this if you like it because it's pretty fun. However, the random aspect and lack of impact until your upkeep is a bit too unreliable for 6 mana.
Perplex - Cards that give the opponent the final choice are generally bad, and this one isn't even good for its mana cost.
Spell Pierce - Good in faster combo-heavy metas, but not quite reliable enough in slower metas.
Unravel the Aether - This card is actually very good since it ignore indestructible, but it's worth considering if you'd rather have Nature's Claim for the mana cost or Krosan Grip for the utility, since I don't think you have room for all three in the deck.
In Garruk's Wake - Good card when you have the mana to use it, but 9 mana is a lot.
Increasing Ambition - I generally recommend against using tutors since games become very samey with them, but even then there are a lot of better tutors out there than this one.
Praetor's Grasp - Not as fun as Gonti, Lord of Luxury since looking at top 4 is more exciting than picking the best card for the situation, not as flexible either since you need the correct colors to cast things.
Dimir Signet/Golgari Signet/Simic Signet - Signets are good since they're cheap, can be used immediately and colorfix you, but in a slower meta they're prone to get board wiped away compared to land ramp, so they're not that great when you're green.
Gilded Lotus - People generally don't use spot removal on mana rocks, but the big and efficent ones like Gilded Lotus and Thran Dynamo sometimes do. You can use the mana immediately, but otherwise it's not much better than an Explosive Vegetation.
3 weeks ago
Looking for good sideboard options.
Biggest problem right now is affinity, which considering the budget nature of my deck, I think I may have to come to terms with the fact that I will just get crushed over and over by Affinity whenever I run into it.
4 weeks ago
You're looking for big black mana? Then look no further, suggestions have arrived!
Thespian's Stage - copy coffers or utility land
Nirkana Revenant - Big Black Mana
Reassembling Skeleton - Same as above (excluding flying)
Torment of Hailfire - Amazing X spell
Disciple of Bolas - Card draw and life gain (to mitigate life loss that's common with black). also works as a one time use sac outlet
Ophiomancer - token producers are key for sidisi, also helps against stompy
Ghoulcaller Gisa - Sac outlet, token generator, seems solid
Kokusho, the Evening Star - Sac target, defense against flying, lifegain
Beseech the Queen - You are mono black so TUTORS ARE A MUST!!!!
Yawgmoth's Will - Ultimate recursion
Victimize - Synergy with token generators
Cards for fun...for you and the whole fami....JUST FUN FOR YOU!
Worst Fears - One time use, extreme potential
Mindslaver - Similar to above
Emrakul, the Promised End - My favorite out of the 3!
Oblivion Stone - You seem to have some cards to deal with blacks inability to deal with artifacts and enchantments. In case you feel you need more, you can add this or Nevinyrral's Disk. All the suggestions I have made could go into your 10 card wishboard (playgroup permitting)
Soul Conduit - THINK NECROPOTENCE!!!
Trading Post - Synergize with spine of ish shah, token producer (think contamination or sidisi), sac outlet, and in a pinch can gain life (perhaps from getting attacked too much or necroed yourself too low)
No Mercy - Run it, no exception
Overall the deck seems solid, +1 from me. If you want me to recommend other cards, find cards to remove, or have any questions in general, please let me know. You have a combo in there or 2 so I can suggest actual combos that you might want to consider given that you have a tutor in the commandzone. If you want some other (mostly nonbudget) ideas, feel free to check out my deck The Descent Into Darkness
4 weeks ago
TheLineGuy, hope you don't mind but I'm going to make one very minor adjustment to the card's "Perfecting N" ability. Rather than dealing damage to an opponent and gaining control of their creature indefinitely (You'd have to somehow remove the counters; Vampire Hexmage?), I'm going to word it that he creature must die by instead. I feel like this is more in line with Phyrexian methods, and makes the gameplay feel more balanced.
Artifact Creature - Horror (Uncommon)
Perfection 2: (When this creature deals combat damage to creature, if that creature would destroyed this turn you may return it to the battlefield under your control if it has a converted mana cost is two or less. It becomes an Artifact - Horror in addition to it's other types and subtypes.)
The perfect amalgamation of flesh and metal.
1 month ago
1 month ago
I'm not sure if this goes in Rules Questions or Spoilers, Rumors, and Speculation, but I had to choose one.
Are all artifacts equally historic? Do Lantern of Insight or Etherium Sculptor count as historic? More than anything else, this seems like a question of odd flavor if they do. I think they do, but I want to confirm before I start messing around.
If the words "mana pool" are taken out, will that affect cards like Kruphix, God of Horizons?
1 month ago
Big fan of budget decks and this one looks solid. Maybe Harsh Scrutiny over Despise if you're not worried about Planeswalkers too much? Couple alternatives to Black Knight could be Blood Scrivener, Nantuko Shade, Pain Seer, Ravenous Rats, Vampire Hexmage.