BUG combo control
Designed to draw on the power and interactions available within BUG for incredible resilience, consistency, and brutality. Developed for a highly competitive multiplayer environment (tournament pods) but holds up extremely well in 1v1.
Primary Win Conditions:
There are far more interactions than that in the deck, but they are more dependent on board state in that they require more cards to be on the field and are easier to disrupt.
Sideboard: cards that are currently in the deck but are being considered for replacement.
Maybeboard: cards that are currently not in the deck and are being considered for inclusion.
Regarding My Meta
This deck is meant to be played in highly competitive environments. I play to win, and there are no house rules. It's by-the-books, tournament-level gameplay and the deck needs to be operating flawlessly at the highest level to survive. Therefore, I will not include any cards that lack power or synergy with the rest of the deck.
Please do NOT suggest the following cards. They are suggested all too often, and they aren't viable in this deck.
This deck is performing well, but I still feel that it should be faster and more consistent. Maybe I'm just greedy.
Speaking of greed, I have a list of cards to acquire.
This deck keeps getting faster and faster. Recent changes:
I had the opportunity today to play a couple games with this deck, and I also spent a good deal of time speaking with its codesigner. He has opted to drop many of the expensive counterspells and ramp cards in favor of their faster counterparts. He also runs a few mana dorks - a choice with which I don't necessarily agree. However, I more frequently play in multiplayer pods, so I face a higher risk of playing against sweepers.
I cut the filter lands for basics because, after talking with my friend, I realized they weren't always optimal. Running two of each basic allows me to squeeze a few extra uses out of my fetches. I also upgraded the basics into snow-covered basics in case I run into anyone using snow lands any Extraplanar Lens .
Finally, I dropped Survival of the Fittest for Lotus Cobra . I don't run enough creatures for Survival of the Fittest to really do what I need it to do, and Lotus Cobra is stupid with nine fetches, Nature's Lore , Skyshoud Claim, and three Exploration effects.
I'm considering dropping
In the wake of the RC's horrendous decision to ban Primeval Titan , I have made the following changes to the deck:
Dropping some of the cards I've come to question for some cards that hold the Promise of Power .
I'd like to fit Diabolic Intent in here somewhere. That probably means dropping a counterspell.
I havent found diabolic intent to be a high achiever. Its dependent on multiple conditions being fulfilled which makes it tricky.
I could see dropping Mental Misstep for Diabolic Intent . I actually really like that tutor because it replaces a not so good creature for a much better card for the situation that you are in. also, Mental Misstep is the most restricted counterspell that you have in here (i think).
Its dependent on both you having the tutor and a creature. Doesnt always happen. Having a dead card is bad times.
The intent is to sacrifice one of the utility creatures for the tutor, but I do need to protect Diabolic Intent itself; it's the kind of card opponents would love to counter in order to 2-for-1 me.
Is Spell Pierce all that useful with every deck (usually) having access to lots of mana? In 60 card decks drawing it too late is terrible, and obviously with larger decks you're even less likely to have it when it matters.
A couple of suggestions. I feel like a combo that requires fewer individual cards to win might be strong. Voltaic Key untaps mana rocks, and of course you can combo it with Time Vault . Did you feel that those cards were too weak individually to be in the deck?
I also feel that certain planeswalkers may be helpful to your attrition strategy. Vraska the Unseen kills anything you want her to. Liliana Vess is Vampiric Tutor on a stick. Nissa, Worldwaker and Garruk Wildspeaker , while more combat-oriented, can provide needed ramp in case you feel you don't have enough. If you want to go for the Key-Vault combo, Tezzeret the Seeker is great, and he still finds mana otherwise. Those are the ones I found to be at all relevant, but there are plenty of others obviously.
It might also run into the problem that Survival of the Fittest had. "Finally, I dropped Survival of the Fittest for Lotus Cobra . I don't run enough creatures for Survival of the Fittest to really do what I need it to do," (epoch). I never thought about the 2-1 business with that card, hmm. Also, could the argument be made for Riftsweeper ? you have five cards in the deck that exile your own cards (counterspell fodder, flashback, yawgmoth). it can also bring back exiled Palinchron /Deadeye Navigator combo pieces along with what you have exiled.
All of those are kind of high mana though. Although Tezzeret can come in and immediately get something onto the field which is very useful.
thispersonisagenius - Epoch has said that he doesnt like combo pieces that are useless on their own so I doubt that the artifacts will make it in. And as much as I love Tezzeret he doesnt have much to tutor up at the moment.
I generally do have a few creatures on the battlefield because I use several of my creatures for utility. I can justify sacrificing a Birds of Paradise or Azusa, Lost but Seeking to find a combo piece.
Also, Time Vault is definitely banned in EDH, so there's that.
There is no attrition strategy in this deck. The focus is shutting people down and comboing out as soon as possible. The only planeswalker that's remotely useful in this deck is Jace, the Mind Sculptor , which makes the cut because it's a toolboxing engine and pairs very well with fetches.
What do you think of Mirri's Guile ? It's a good 1-drop and works well with the fetches.
I would suggest adding Hurkyl's Recall and Tezzeret the Seeker . Hurkyl's Recall has enormous blowout potential and Tezzeret the Seeker can generate large amounts of mana quickly and tutor for other mana rocks.
I would cut Remand and Utopia Sprawl . Both these cards seem to week except in certain situations. Utopia Sprawl fails to be useful as a topdeck late game and Remand against combos but cannot adequately defend a combo against a dedicated attack.
Hurkyl's Recall is kind of underwhelming. Optimistically, it's a Time Walk . However, mana rocks are easy to play off of one another, so it really doesn't gain me too much. It's especially underwhelming in multiplayer, where I can only inconvenience a single opponent at the expense of two mana and a card.
Tezzeret the Seeker might have a shot if it cost 2UU, but at 3UU, it's too steep to fit properly into this deck.
Remand is strong because it helps delay critical plays in a resource-intensive format, and it cantrips. It's not always a hard counter, but it works in many situations.
@rathalos3000: I considered Mirri's Guile a while ago, but I opted not to include it because it doesn't actually draw me any cards. The effect is certainly good, but I have to ask whether it's good enough.
Another suggestion: I would rather play Toxic Deluge than Damnation , it costs 1 less and destroys even indestructible creatures and creatures with regenerate. And I remember reading, that lifeloss is not very important.
I haven't been able to test Toxic Deluge because I don't own a copy. It's on my list of cards to get.
Mill is a bad win condition in competitive decks, especially in competitive multiplayer. It isn't a solid win condition, and it should be considered a liability until it "wins" because it doesn't actually prevent the opponent from doing anything in the meantime.
Although suggestions are appreciated, please remember that this deck is a tournament-level deck that is designed to be as fast and efficient as possible. Suggestions should be tailored to a cutthroat meta and a need for ruthless speed and efficiency.
I would add more removal. Maybe Doom Blade . I would also add Chasm Skulker . It's great against removal, works well with your commander, and if left alone, can be very dangerous even if they have removal.
@biggestmtgnerd: Removal is one of the things this deck lacks, but I don't think Doom Blade fits the bill. Many important creatures are black. The problem is that there are so few kill effects I could run without being too limited, and those effects are generally pretty expensive.
Chasm Skulker is generally bad in EDH. It's expensive to cast, small as a threat, and doesn't have relevant abilities. Tokens, and combat as a whole, are unimportant in a combo-based format.
Has Storm Crow been suggested yet? If not, I'm gonna go in as the one to suggest it, because Storm Crow ends games just by hitting the table. It's more powerful than Palinchron and Deadeye Navigator in play with a blue sun in hand. So yeah, I'd recommend that card. Totally worth it for 2 mana.
In all seriousness though, I'm surprised Scroll Rack didn't make it into your list. I saw that you added it, but I don't see it in the deck.
I'm also wandering about the possibility of Entomb and/or Reanimate . Certainly, it has exactly three useful interactions with the graveyard (grab strip mine if crucible is out, grab whatever if you have yawgmoth's will or eternal witness), which makes entomb less than stellar, but it is a 1-mana instant speed tutor. I can see it being useful with a few more graveyard strategies, but I don't know if any of that is powerful enough to merit space in the deck.Reanimate can grab a fallen opposing consecrated sphinx, vorinclex, etc, and for 1 mana that's fairly powerful. That being said, I don't play competitive enough to know how often that circumstance is met, so I can't really judge the value of the card.
Do you need any graveyard hate? I'm truly surprised that isn't more relevant in competitive. against many decks stopping their combo is a simple as a tormod's crypt or nihil spellbomb. If you want to really do it well, you can go with a relic of progenitus. It seems like having at least one piece of graveyard hate would serve your deck well, but again, I don't know competitive EDH, so that could be completely wrong.
Also, just because it would be hilarious, would you please, just once, put in a knowledge pool and whip out the old knowledge pool/teferi combo against someone? That would seriously be the funniest thing ever. Just once. Just for the story. And make sure they know your deck.
Lastly, I would like to suggest Chimney Imp . This card is right up there with storm crow on the table of deadly cards, so I definitely think you should run it. It's kind of like tooth and nail in that it wins you the game immediately, but it has a lower mana cost.
@Traveler247: Scroll Rack was cut. It's a good card, but it's just not good enough in this deck. It had some applications, and the interaction with the fetch lands was nice, but it wasn't a necessity.
Entomb won't make the cut because my graveyard interactions are fairly limited.
Reanimate is certainly a good card, but it's also limited. I don't like having to depend on there being something useful in a graveyard when I'm trying to combo out on turn four or five. For the same reason, graveyard hate is not strictly necessary. Yes, there are some graveyard-based strategies, but counterspells work as a general-purpose answer to both those and normal strategies.
@Traps_and_Spells: DRS is banned in Modern. It's perfectly legal in EDH.
Looking at your maybeboard, i saw Trickbind . I thought that the cost was too prohibitive. Has that changed?
Trickbind 's cost has never been objectively prohibitive, I'll admit, but in comparison to Stifle , it's a little higher. It's a matter of testing whether the split second and full-turn shutdown is worth the extra mana.
You've had Worldly Tutor on your sideboard for a while now - have you ever given it a playtest? Also, have you given a thought as to what cards you would run in your wishboard?
Have you considered adding Cabal Coffers to go nuts with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth . You could also add Crop Rotation to find matchup specific cards like Boseiju, Who Shelters All combo cards like Riptide Laboratory .
Cabal Coffers + Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is certainly a strong ramp interaction, but Cabal Coffers is useless on its own in this deck, and I'd only ever want to play it if Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth were on the battlefield.
Regarding Living Wish in your maybe board: since there are no sideboards in EDH, are you able to fetch any legal cards you have with you?
aeonstoremyliver Most competitive metas that I have heard about institute a 10 card sideboard.
@Nigeltastic: Partially. The other major thing is that Mystical Teachings has flashback, which means I can use it to find Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir or Vampiric Tutor (Merchant Scroll can only find blue instants), then find Blue Sun's Zenith . Merchant Scroll is also a sorcery, which is not ideal. Demonic Tutor gets away with being a sorcery because it finds any card and has no reveal restriction.
@aeonstoremyliver: In casual EDH, wishes typically work the same as they do in casual 60-card (which is to say you can find any card from your collection). However, competitive EDH typically follows the EDH sideboarding rules (which allow you to pre-board after commanders are revealed, and allow you to wish only for cards in your sideboard).
I would suggest testing Pongify or Rapid Hybridization . I think they're the only two creature removal spells worth testing at this point. At the very least, you could use them to destroy utility creatures at the low cost of U. As for what to remove to make room for one of them, I'm leaning toward Mental Misstep . It may be a free counter, and a good one when it hits, but it really sucks when no one is playing 1cmc spells and it's dead in your hand. There will always be something to hit with Pongify , even if it's less than ideal, but the same is not true of Mental Misstep . It's still worth testing Mental Misstep as it could be more useful than I imagine (for example, it counters 22% of your decklist), but I don't foresee it staying in the deck long-term.
I was also wondering about Homeward Path . Is it common for creatures to be stolen in competitive games? I can't think of any creature theft card worth playing aside from maybe Gilded Drake . I don't know how often people try to destroy your creatures, but Yavimaya Hollow might be a better option than Homeward Path if you think creature destruction is more common than creature theft. I know you generally have counters to protect from either occurrence, but I think it's worth considering.
@TheCommonFig: I use Pongify and Rapid Hybridization in another one of my EDH decks, and I don't know how I feel about them in this deck. They're probably worth testing because I have little removal in this deck, and you're probably right about testing them over Mental Misstep . I will say, however, that Mental Misstep is key for countering many important counterspells as well as Sol Ring , Vampiric Tutor , Mana Vault , Sensei's Divining Top , Carpet of Flowers , and Exploration .
Homeward Path falls under the "nice just in case, but not a big deal" category. I was considering the idea of moving some of the less important utility lands to the sideboard and adding Living Wish to find them or an alternate win condition, but that idea never got past brainstorming. I think we kind of stopped discussing it.
@imarockyou: Because I can't miss the opportunity to use this response: it's largely intuitive. Sometimes I use it to find three free counterspells. Sometimes I find three tutors. It depends largely on the situation.
How about Submerge ? In my meta, there is usually one other opponent that plays forests. In response to a fetch or a tutor, it can be fired on a general or large opposing creature threat, causing em to shuffle it into the deck.
Part of the problem with not being able to regularly playtest is that I have a harder time telling what is and isn't viable anymore.
Is it your job to win before the Reanimator player sets up his/her combo? I'm asking this because i do not see a Scavenging Ooze
I don't often find myself in need of graveyard hate. Counterspells serve as a general-purpose answer to many strategies, including reanimator. They won't catch everything, but they're more flexible then running answers to single strategies.
My stance might be different if I were exposed to reanimator-heavy metas, but you also have to account for the fact that counterspells make up a significant portion of the deck and are therefore a widely available answer to multiple kinds of threats.
In your description, you mention Time Stretch, but it appears to be cut from the deck.
Good catch. I recently removed Time Stretch from this list in favor of some other cards.
Probably not. It's too expensive for what it does.
|Date added||2 years|
|Last updated||6 days|
This deck is Commander / EDH legal.
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|Top rank||#2 on 2012-08-19|