Watchers of the Dead
Artifact Creature — Cat
Exile Watchers of the Dead: Each opponent chooses two cards in his or her graveyard, then exiles the rest.
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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Latest Decks as Commander
Watchers of the Dead Discussion
1 month ago
I think you should consider using more useful enabler like Cauldron Familiar which can drain opponents after repeated etbs, Entrails Feaster which can grow bigger each turn with no investment, or Watchers of the Dead that can act as graveyard hate
You could also add more email blurs with pseudo evasion like Black Cat which will force a player to discard if blocked, Dreadmalkin that has menace, Frost Lynx which will stop a blocker, and Illusory Ambusher which will draw cards if blocked
1 month ago
1 month ago
You’re, absolutely right, Encircling Fissure would be better than Winds of Qal Sisma, can’t believe I missed it. It does the exact same things, except they’re more consistent and gains more semi-relevant text for the late game, which is well worth the extra mana. Plus, it’s in white, which is your primary colour, so you’re more likely to have the necessary mana to cast it in a pinch.
I feel we will always disagree regarding Watchers of the Dead. To me it’s a card that does two things badly, to the point where you’d always be better off playing a card that only did one of those things properly. A Fleecemane Lion will always be a better body on the board, will always trade better, deal with removal better and will be something that your opponent will have to do something about before you make it monstrous. In a tiny number of cases the graveyard hate might be needed more, but the number of times where this makes Watchers the better card for you are tiny. In terms of actual graveyard hate, Tormod's Crypt is just infinitely better. The difference between no graveyard and two optimal cards in a graveyard is game losing for you. I’m not entirely sure what you’re getting at with your opponent signalling what they’re doing in what they keep, most of the time it’s pretty obvious what the danger cards are, be it an Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, a Prized Amalgam, or just a big Eldrazi in a reanimator deck. Also, with Lurrus of the Dream-Den, Tormod’s can kill their graveyard every turn for free, basically shutting down their entire deck unless they can find an answer, which is surely much more desirable. And with regards to Lurrus, he can bring back ANY two drop, and actually interacts better with many of the others in your deck, since returning Watchers implies that you haven’t used it for its full value initially, whereas you probably will have with your other two drops. Finally, the fact that it is also an artifact can also be pretty relevant, and not in a good way. Many decks will have incidental artifact hate built into their decks, be that to counter decks built around Ensoul Artifact effects, Shadowspear or even to kill of the graveyard hate cards like Grafdigger's Cage, and to have the card even more vulnerable to removal than practically every other creature in the deck seems kinda problematic.
1 month ago
1 month ago
Ahh I just read the rulings on Druid's Deliverance and it says "Combat damage dealt to creatures or planeswalkers you control won’t be prevented." Damn. I thought it did that. Are there any better cards like Winds of Qal Sisma that don't require a 4 Power card as a prerequisite?
And even if I don't pull the combo with Watchers of the Dead and Return to Nature, even if I draw either card, I'll still do damage to their graveyard, and with Return to Nature I will still choose a specific card. The thing is that if I have a combo of the two, I will effectively make them choose the best two of their strategem with Watchers of the Dead, which then signals to me what to get rid of with Return to Nature. If I had more graveyard removal, I would be able to rid him of all useful cards. But a graveyard is ever-growing, so they will just make more cards fall into their graveyard, so it's not really a big deal to use unless I know their strategy, which Watchers of the Dead reveals to me. It's more like a signal card rather than a card that is used to completely wipe their graveyard, otherwise I would use Tormod's Crypt and forget about spending two mana to give them two cards back. And, like I said, a vanilla 2/2 isn't too bad... especially if I plan on exiling it for graveyard removal anyways. Even if I don't exile it, it will be useful in chump blocking or dealing damage to a deathtouch or what-have-you.
1 month ago
Not sure I’m a fan of Druid's Deliverance. Fog effects are fine, but you need to make sure that you pick one that can be used aggressively, not just defensively. Deliverance can only ever really be used as a defensive fog since only ever stop damage going to your face. I would instead recommend Winds of Qal Sisma instead, since it can also be used aggressively. You can force your opponent to trade with your board, but then make the trade one sided by negating your opponents damage, while still being able to hit their creatures/face. And, the fog effect will still be able to protect your health in much the same way. Sure, the populate is nice, but as I’ve said before you lack decent targets and the ability to one sidedly trade a board is far better value.
Ok, I’m going to have another go at trying to explain why I don’t think Watchers of the Dead should really be mainboarded in this deck. First reason, in any matchup that doesn’t care about its graveyard, the card is a below average rate, vanilla two drop. And sure, it can become a decent size if you have any lords on the field, but so would any cat you ran instead, and any other cat would arguably be a bigger and more impactful threat, be that simply by being bigger or by having a more relevant ability. If you compare to Prowling Serpopard, the other card that is arguably a sideboard card, it’s stats are actually very good, so even if you play it as a vanilla 4/3, it can trade well and be an aggressive threat, and therefore is a much better include. Watchers also has no real ability to scale well into longer games, unlike many other two drops, including Adorned Pouncer, Ajani's Pridemate or Fleecemane Lion. These all have additional abilities that can come into play later down the line that are impactful and can caused problems for your opponent almost always. Secondly, let’s consider what the graveyard hate ability on Watchers is actually able to disrupt on a major scale. Since you are allowing the opponent to keep two cards, you will almost never hit one of their powerful cards, since they’ll opt to get rid of something else, and this ultimately does you very little good. It might cause some momentary problems for a delve or delirium deck, sure, but those decks will quickly be back online since they can very quickly fill their graveyards, and would still have their key pieces available to them. The fact that your opponent gets to keep two cards available to them, and that they get to pick them, makes this effect a very weak form of graveyard hate that I don’t think will ever really be enough to stop a graveyard deck. Also, when evaluating the impact of a card designed to counter something, you must always consider the card in isolation, in terms of how good it ultimately is at that job. Sure, Watchers might be good if you happen to also have Return to Nature to get rid of the biggest problem that they kept, but what if you don’t have that? Since your only running one of each, it is extremely unlikely that you will have both, so that “combo” will almost never actually happen. I know this probably seems like I’m being unduly critical of this one card, but I think it serves as a good example of how cards need to be assessed when making a deck. Consider the range of the cards possible value, from when it will be as good as it ever will be and also as bad as it ever will be, and then compare how often those events will occur. A card that is game breaking 1% of the time but is awful the other 99% is never going to be a better card than one that gets good value 70% of the time (sorry if this comes across as kind of a lecture on why I think you’re wrong, I know you’ll have your reasons for liking the cards, I’m just trying to kinda explain how I evaluate and develop opinions on cards in the hope that it is helpful to you).
1 month ago
I have 28 creatures out of 70 cards total, which means it's 40% of my deck! I don't see why I need more creatures. If anything, I'm afraid I'll have bad luck drawing lands, as the lands only make up 34% of my deck. Enchantments, artifacts, or sorceries make up the remainder 26%. 34% is something I need to increase, and 26% need to decrease, but they're so useful! I would prefer to use both Return to Nature and Watchers of the Dead since the opponent is going to choose which two cards he/she wants to keep, effectively making Return to Nature a card that exiles the best out of the two. I know that I could just use Tormod's Crypt and take out their entire deck, but I get synergies from Watchers of the Dead, and don't have to use its ability unless necessary. Watchers of the Dead could become a 4/4 simply through my Companion and Feline Sovereign! That's pretty darn good! Plus, I need more 2 drops as they are cheap and will be useful early on in the game.
1 month ago
Unfortunately, Ajani's Pridemate will not retain its counters if it is brought back from the graveyard, as far as I’m aware the only creature in the game to be able to keep counters in the graveyard is Skullbriar, the Walking Grave. However, it will often grow pretty quickly again anyway, so I don’t think this is much of a problem.
Now that you’re running, Return to Nature, I’d be tempted to maybe cut the Watchers of the Dead from the mainboard, since you now have a far more effective form of graveyard hate. This would allow you to add the final copy of Ajani's Pridemate that I think would be better in almost every situation, but still keep the Watchers in the sideboard for when their effect is needed.
I get where you’re coming from regarding Blessed Alliance, I just feel that for a creature based tribal deck you might be running just a few too many non-creature cards, so it might be a good idea to trim back on a few of them. The deck will win with creatures, and with so many spells in the deck it could be possible to have points where you are just drawing spells, which will never be good for you. You might replace Invigorating Surge with a second Brimaz, King of Oreskos, you might decide to only run 3 Anointed Procession, since it is a (relatively) expensive card that has no immediate effect, and this might give you the space to have an extra Leonin Warleader or even a Cubwarden. These are just a few possible ideas, I have no idea if any of these seem like good ideas to you, but I think since the deck is now 70 cards, increasing the creature count might be a good idea.