1 month ago
Hey greyson161, thanks for the kind words. I wouldn't really consider my build of Nin to be a competitive take, necessarily. I've devoted a fair bit of the deck to pulling Stuffy Doll from my library, as his strange mechanic sort of breaks the balance inherent in Nin's ability, allowing you to draw cards and deal direct damage simultaneously. This is a bit cutesy and definitely way too disruptable/expensive to be considered a cEDH wincon, but it makes me smile!
That said, this deck definitely includes a number of ways to create "infinite" mana, many of which are cEDH Staples. Grim Monolith + Power Artifact , Basalt Monolith + Rings of Brighthearth , Metalworker + Staff of Domination , and Deadeye Navigator + Palinchron can all accomplish that feat, and that is a mighty tool indeed in this deck. Not only is it a one-hit KO with the aforementioned Stuffy Doll interaction, but boat-loads of mana can be translated very simply into boatloads of cards. Usually I'm dropping an ETB creature, cashing in its value, then slamming it for as much damage as I can afford in order to refil my hand. There are a number of cards that cause damage/loss of life when I draw, including both Niv Mizzets, Psychosis Crawler , and - a bit more indirectly - The Locust God . I also run Blightsteel and Lightning Greaves for good measure, and Laboratory Maniac is a great wincon when I'm over 100 mana. Oh, and even though I find the combo distateful, this deck also runs Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Zealous Conscripts , because both halves of that combo are independently excellent in this deck.
Hope some of this was helpful/interesting! For my part, I think more competitive builds of Nin are less creature-heavy and run a bit more control/wheel effects. The Spike Feeders YouTube channel often features a pretty spicy build of Nin, which you can see pop off in this episode: https://youtu.be/TVWocKbLg1A Of course, this was before we lost Paradox Engine (RIP). Happy brewing!
1 month ago
Infinite Mana Combos
Grim Monolith + Power Artifact = infinite mana
Basalt Monolith + Power Artifact = infinite mana
Basalt Monolith + Rings of Brighthearth = infinite mana
Aphetto Alchemist + Rings of Brighthearth + artifact that make 3+ mana = infinite mana
Aphetto Alchemist + Illusionist's Bracers + artifact that make 1+ mana = infinite mana
Dramatic Reversal + Isochron Scepter + artifact that make 3+ mana = infinite mana
Grand Architect + Pili-Pala = infinite mana
2 months ago
I am unsure of your budget, however, you should consider Grim Monolith + Power Artifact as an additional line to generate infinite colorless mana. You may also want to consider running Jace, Wielder of Mysteries as a secondary Laboratory Maniac that is a little harder to remove. With such a low CMC, your land count seems like you could cut 1 or 2. You may also want to consider Chrome Mox & Mox Amber as well just to get. Hope this helps you!
6 months ago
Thoughts for edits
Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek + Time Sieve suffers from being a 3 piece combo and from card quality. Foundry can be worthwhile for instant speed blockers, but the other two are dead draws without the combo assembled.
I would recommend Tainted Pact for running with Laboratory Maniac . It serves as an A + B combo for winning (+ draw 1 card ofc), and is safer for the purposes of your deck than Demonic Consultation , although you could easily run that for cheaper CMC comboing. Worth noting that Pact has synergy with Isochron, or can be used for getting the last combo piece for a Top combo.
It seems as if assembling infinite mana + draw deck is your goal. I would recommend slotting Copy Artifact + Winds of Rebuke as an alternate wincon to lab man wins. Combos with dramatic scepter (you copy the scepter, imprinting winds of rebuke, to mill everyone out and pass to them, causing draws into empty libraries for GG). Copy Artifact and Winds of Rebuke also both have very high card quality, both are playable independently.
My last combo suggestion is for Praetor's Grasp . Especially with Sen having the potential to steal combo pieces, you have the potential to stop win cons as well as getting closer to your own. Praetor's Grasp will run as a functional tutor here, grabbing faster ramp or the combo pieces you need.
ad nauseum is a strong card, but you should consider the following. You are already pressuring your own life total with Dark Confidant as well as Phyrexian Arena , plus incidental damage from Mana Crypt as well as Ancient Tomb and the talismans. Your average cmc 2.33, meaning your Ad Naus will usually dig 10-20 cards, depending on damage and what you flip.. You also don't run any rituals, and have no way of reusing rocks outside of Dramatic Reversal . Supporting cards like Chain of Vapor or Hurkyl's Recall give extra mileage to Ad Nauseum as they let you re-ramp your own mana positive rocks after landing the Ad Naus, and Yawgmoth's Will is a monster in Ad Naus decks. You are also light on creatures and pack a medium sized removal package, so creatures can get free swings and reduce your Ad Nauseum that way too. You are running white, so you could decide to make ad nauseum + Angel's Grace a win-con as a possibility too. Right now Ad Nauseum looks more like expensive card draw in this deck than a strong win condition. As it stands, I firmly believe Necropotence is stronger in this current list.
You should consider swapping slower, permanent based draw spells for faster, instant/sorcery speed draw spells. Brainstorm + Ponder + Preordain + Sleight of Hand will all bring down the cmc for Ad Naus, help guarantee smoothness in your early game, and give you cantrips to "win immediately" with Lab man. They also allow you to hold up counterspells more meaningfully. You could cut Padeem, Teferi, and the U/B Tezzeret, those changes alone would cut 10 CMC out of your deck for speed and Ad Naus purposes. For what it's worth, I also believe that Scroll Rack is most effective in edh with decks that sustain larger handsizes (gives ability to dig deeper), and would also be a proponent of cutting for a cantrip. One final note on card draw, your commander acts as card advantage for you,
Your removal package can be modified to be faster and stronger. Council's Judgment has some nice perks, but it should be tertiary to both Swords to Plowshares as well as Path to Exile . Both of them are just far more efficient. You also only have two answers to artifacts or enchantments on the board, Cyclonic Rift or Council's Judgment . 2-3 more bounce spells could help with board state by quite a bit, especially if you are able to stax them out of replaying their pieces. 1-2 pieces or artifact/enchantment removal will also go a long way to helping your board presence, especially since cEDH skews towards non-creature permanents.
Humility + Night of Souls' Betrayal is a nice creature lock, but I would rather see wipes in both of those slots. Humility wrecks card advantage from your own commander, and Night is low card quality outside of combo. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is the preferred -x/-x effect, as it kills many of the strongest hate bears in the format (+ lab man) and allows your own hatebears to win through beatdown. I wouldn't recommend Elesh in a bear-lite build, so I would propose two wipes or pieces or removal instead.
Disallow is high cmc for a counter, consider running something else if you still want Ad Naus. If you want to hamper activated abilities, run either Pithing Needle or Phyrexian Revoker , both can deal with some of the premiere critters of the format, from Sisay to Thrasios. There are still plenty of fantastic 1 or 2 cmc counters that are common in the format that you don't run, such as Negate and Counterspell . Special mention to Swan Song for also doubling as a dramatic scepter + Copy Artifact wincon
Land base looking strong. Only changes I would suggest are remove the ETB tapped manlands, because speed is important, as well as swap out the artifact lands for basics. With a very high artifact density, you don't need to be worried about metalcraft enabled for Opal, and having nonbasics that don't give abilities and only produce 1 color of mana is not worthwhile when you can get caught by someone else's Back to Basics
2 years ago
The problem with Recruiter of the Guard is that while it can get HD and other key creatures its 3cc and does nothing else. I tend to dislike 3 mana tutors unless they do something special. With access to green tutors recruiter just doesn't cut it. For instance Eldritch Evolution can put HD into play as early as turn 2. Chord of Calling can put him into play on my opponents endstep and rarely costs as much as recruiter+HD. Muddle the Mixture grabs HD and both halves of + / + and serves as a counterspell on turn 3 for Dread Return.
Bloodghast is very intriguing. If I have a spare land in hand it is essentially a 3rd free creature. I always loved its interaction with Skullclamp and fetchlands too so maybe it could serve as enough of a draw engine to warrant a spot ourside the combo.
One issue I am having is Blue Sun's Zenith and Candelabra of Tawnos. Yes they free me from dependence on lab man, but I truly hate both cards outside the combo. Any thoughts on a different win with infinite colorless and draw?
2 years ago
My gripe with the card is that it is very narrow on its usage and usually a big target for removal/bounce, which inevitably leads to the end of the combo pretty quickly as the instant is exiled with no way to bring back in blue's color wheel as of yet. Used to be able to use Cunning Wish, but that was a very long time ago before the wishes were changed thanks to degeneracy.
When I talk about Isochron Scepter being narrow, it is a deck by deck basis. If I was a more controlling Azami deck, that was much better to proactively protect the combo versus reactive recursion of the combo, then I would gladly test out the incredible synergy provided by + .
Notice how my decklist only runs 4 counterspells (Memory Lapse, Pact of Negation, Forbid, Arcane Denial) while the more controlling builds of Azami will run 3-4 times as many counterspells as I run PLUS creatures that counter spells themselves. This is because some of my combos I can recur at a later point in the game or instantly with certain cards. An example would be: Counter my Stroke of Genius? Okay, I'll just Snapcaster Mage or Pull from the Deep or Archaeomancer it back. Or if I get really desperate, I'll Merchant Scroll for a Mystical Tutor and put Blue Sun's Zenith on top. Most often than not, I'll move onto another combo with something like grabbing Enter the Infinite (usually with Omniscience in play because 12 mana spells are rough to pay) and have a Laboratory Maniac in play, because then my hand will have most of those counterspells and/or ways to get them back to protect that precious maniac.
Another thing to note is that cards like Meditate are a dead giveaway to a combo deck. When I cast Meditate it is almost always because I do not expect the other players to ever get the benefit of me skipping a turn. Vendilion Clique is rather odd in this list to look at as it seems more like a traditional control card, but I don't play it as such. Usually I use it to see if someone has a counterspell that I need to get rid of before I goldfish, use it on myself and bottom a piece of a combo that I don't want to be forced to discard, or a card that needs placed back in my library (I've even done it once to bottom a 1cmc artifact so Tezzeret the Seeker could put into play while I got to draw an extra card).
However, for someone new that wanted to build this deck but didn't want to fork out $75 on + , then it would be a good idea to test it and make some other minor tweaks to get more blue mana producing mana rocks in the list. Infinite colorless is nice, but even one blue mana producing rock could mean the difference between fizzling out or getting that lethal Blue Sun's Zenith or Stroke of Genius.
I personally prefer the latter only because I've been making people draw 9001 cards since 2007. Why 9001? Because "ITS OVER 9000!"
I also thank you for a very simple question that allowed me to expand further on my play style, the deck, and a possible new way to enjoy Isochron Scepter. In my wall of text I also realized that I'm a bit of a fool for not putting in Riptide Laboratory to go infinite turns with + (or Scrivener if some would like). I have yet to take infinite turns with that combo in another deck I have, Brago, King Eternal, but that is more of a stax type deck.
2 years ago
Cards that get stuff out of the graveyard saying Target is just a habit and expectation at this point but not an iron clad rule:
To get something out of the graveyard you can do any of these:
- Not target anything
- Target a player's graveyard
- Target a player
- Target the cards in the graveyard
- A combination of the middle 3
As a side note the best counter they could ever print would say "Exile a spell on the stack" because the opponent would have to respond before you've made it clear which spell you want to exile. Once they let you choose which one you wanted to exile it would be to late for them to respond. This is generally why cards do say "target". Being able to get something back for or without telling an opponent what you're getting back until the spell resolves is much stronger and really punishes cards like Surgical Extraction if they are drawn later in a game.
An extreme example of this would be playing against a deck in EDH that has two combos: + and + . Imagine they have a Grim Monolith on board and 6 cards in hand with a Splinter Twin and Power Artifact in the graveyard. The odds are that they don't have the Pestermite but what if they did? In this case if they target one I can fire back with Surgical Extraction and stop them. If they don't have to target I either let the spell respond or blindly guess which half they have in hand and may just loose.
Of course I should really be playing + but what can I say I haven't pulled a C-Rotation yet. XD
Anyways with all of this said I really think Grapple with the Past deserves serious consideration in any commander deck.