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Description

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.

MTGS Thread

Combos:

Infinite Mana:

  1. Palinchron + Deadeye Navigator
  2. Palinchron + Phantasmal Image

Primary Win Conditions:

  1. Deck opponent out using Blue Sun's Zenith (requires infinite mana)
  2. Bounce all permanents I don't control using Venser, Shaper Savant + Deadeye Navigator /Riptide Laboratory (requires infinite mana, latter requires infinite land untaps)
  3. Take infinite turns using Time Stretch and Eternal Witness + Deadeye Navigator

Control Interactions:

  1. Deadeye Navigator + Eternal Witness (powerful recursion engine)
  2. Deadeye Navigator + Venser, Shaper Savant (bounce engine against permanents and spells)
  3. Deadeye Navigator + Snapcaster Mage (decent recursion engine)
  4. Deadeye Navigator + Rune-Scarred Demon (powerful tutor engine)

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.

Event history:

  • May 30, 2012: 1st place - Icon's Comics & Games EDH Tournament (pod record 1st/1st/2nd)
  • (Date unknown): 1st place - Commander Pod #2, The Days of Knights
  • August 05, 2012: 1st place - Commander Pod #7, SCG Open D.C.

Other Notes

Please do NOT suggest the following cards. They are suggested all too often, and they aren't viable in this deck.

  • Forbid - Yes, I can replace the cards when Damia's ability resolves, but discarding two cards for a three-drop counterspell is not ideal. It's too disadvantageous.
  • Walk the Aeons - Yes, I can replace the lands if I have Azusa and Crucible, but sacrificing three islands is far too disadvantageous. I don't want to gamble against counterspells after losing three of the lands that would fuel my own counterspells (especially since they're likely to be dual lands), and I don't want to rely on two or more other cards being on the field to make something even remotely usable.
  • Acidic Slime - This card is too slow and expensive for what it does.
  • Lion's Eye Diamond - This card doesn't work with this deck. I don't want to discard everything to get Damia into play; if I did and Damia died or was countered, I would lose the game. It'd be too difficult to come back from having nothing in hand and no general on the battlefield.
  • Progenitor Mimic - This card doesn't benefit me at all. I don't want to spend 6 mana on something that needs to survive a turn cycle before generating lackluster advantage.
  • Prophet of Kruphix - This card doesn't offer enough advantage to justify its cost. It doesn't untap mana rocks, so it's worse than Seedborn Muse , which was already cut for being too slow.

Suggestions

Updates

Comment Sweep — Oct. 26, 2013

Resetting discussion.

Comment Sweep — Aug. 9, 2013

Resetting discussion.

Comment sweep — July 11, 2013

Just resetting the discussion. The page was becoming annoyingly long.

Cleaning house — May 11, 2013

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.


More playtesting and updates, continued — April 2, 2013

I decided to drop some of the slower and more situational cards to add a major boost to my ramp package. The deck now regularly gets to turn three Damia.

More playtesting and updates — March 9, 2013

This deck keeps getting faster and faster. Recent changes:

Cut:
Bribery
Cryptic Command
Leyline of Anticipation
Pernicious Deed
Phyrexian Arena
Seedborn Muse
Thran Dynamo

Added:
Brainstorm
Arcane Denial
Deathrite Shaman
Arbor Elf
Abrupt Decay
Birds of Paradise
Remand


Finally got some more playtesting done — Feb. 9, 2013

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

  • Mana Web - It's limited in application, and completely irrelevant in some games.
  • Bribery - It's great when it works, but there have been many games where I didn't even cast it.
  • Mystic Snake - It has a good interaction with Deadeye Navigator , but I rarely play Deadeye Navigator outside of my combo, and Mystic Snake itself ends up being little more than an expensive counterspell.
  • Cryptic Command - Although I like Cryptic Command as a card, it's prohibitively expensive for a deck that wants to ramp and control as much as possible.
  • Fact or Fiction - I like the instant-speed card advantage, but I often find the mana cost inconvenient.
  • Leyline of Anticipation - I'm on the fence about this one. It's great to have on the field from turn 0, but it's inconvenient to cast if I ever draw it.


Comment Reset — Dec. 28, 2012

Just cleaning up the discussion a bit. At this point, there are 507 comments on this deck.

Minor Update — Nov. 25, 2012

I'm siding out Deserted Temple for Cavern of Souls on the advice of my co-designer. We play enough Wizards to make Cavern a viable inclusion.

Cleaning up comments section — Oct. 20, 2012

No major changes at this point, just sweeping the existing comments under this update. Discussion for this deck seems to be dwindling, but I still want to keep it updated and finely-tuned. I've been busy lately, but when a tourney or event rolls around, I want this deck to be ready to perform.

A Moment of Silence for Primeval Titan — Sept. 22, 2012

In the wake of the RC's horrendous decision to ban Primeval Titan , I have made the following changes to the deck:

Cut:

  1. Primeval Titan
  2. Cabal Coffers (it isn't good enough without Primeval Titan to find it)
  3. Mindbreak Trap (it hasn't impressed me in the time I've been testing it)

Added:

  1. Azusa, Lost but Seeking
  2. Wasteland
  3. Necropotence


Minor deck updates — Sept. 3, 2012

Just made a few minor edits and tucked all comments to clean things up.

First major overhaul in progress. — Aug. 16, 2012

Dropping some of the cards I've come to question for some cards that hold the Promise of Power .

Cut:

  1. Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
  2. Vedalken Orrery
  3. Sphinx of Magosi
  4. Decree of Pain
  5. Increasing Ambition

Added:

  1. Mystic Remora
  2. Life from the Loam
  3. Scroll Rack
  4. Intuition
  5. Mystical Teachings

banaman says...

#1

ok, I have a random question for you that may or may not have been suggested before, (probably not though seeing as lands is a very commonly overlooked cardtype to use as a major part of a deck strategy...) but anyway:
your infinite mana combo allows you to untap up to 7 of any kind of land... so why don't you add in some special lands that allow you to tap to do x? this would give you additional potential combo's that's generally harder to get rid of should you pull it off, rather then relying on secondary creatures to use the infinite mana on. great example: Orzhova, the Church of Deals
also, I noticed you have a lot of cards that allow for extra land drops... but nothing that really -benefits- from it, save for potential mana ramp... but the problem with that is it is only useful if you are drawing multiple cards a turn, which especially in the EDH format, is either built into the deck, or unreliable at best... perhaps you should consider replacing them with other cards that will work more to your advantage?
that being said: I like it. 2 card infinite combo's seem to be rare, so always awesome, defenitely a +1 in my book for showing me that combo alone.
speaking of 2 card infinite comboes, I noticed you have Grim Monolith ... might I suggest adding Mana Reflection ? it then taps for 6, untaps for 4, creating infinite colorless mana potentially as soon as turn 3 or 4 should they both be in opening hand. and if not, is an absolutely beastly card in pumping out mana for anything else.
also, I wouldn't really call it a suggestion, per se, as it has proven to risky a card to throw in just for it... but Sensei's Divining Top and Magus of the Future is a ridiculously powerful draw combo. could be worth considering (though would highly suggest playtesting a few times to see how well it works with the others first)

October 31, 2013 1:53 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#2

@banaman: There aren't any BUG lands that would be relevant for that purpose.

The Exploration effects are all integral to the deck's speed. The deck absolutely benefits from having more resources - it's a control player's dream. On top of that, I can dump all the lands I draw with Damia and have that many more draws in the next turn cycle.

Mana Reflection is expensive and hard to use properly. I don't want to cast it if I have to tap out for it, and it's expensive.

Magus of the Future was cut from this deck a long time ago. It's slow and expensive. While the effect is good, especially with Sensei's Divining Top or Exploration effects, it isn't worth the cost.

October 31, 2013 2:07 a.m.

banaman says...

#3

just to kind of update from my previous comment: apparently I didn't read down far enough past the end of the deck description, so missed the updates on why you added the land drop cards... so ya, that does make more sense now, didn't click in my mind that Lotus Cobra used landfall, heh.
also, looking at colors again, I realize the land card example wasn't actually a great example, seeing as you do not have white in it so wouldn't be allowed to add it in anyway. a more "proper" example of it would be: Nephalia Drownyard and Duskmantle, House of Shadow .
again, sorry for any confusion on those 2 points.

October 31, 2013 2:11 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#4

Nephalia Drownyard and Duskmantle, House of Shadow are suboptimal because they only tap for colorless, and their abilities are relatively useless outside of the combo. The only time they'd be relevant is to hose topdeck tutors.

October 31, 2013 2:15 a.m.

Vanxius says...

#5

Why not add Prophet of Kruphix it can add alot of control by having it for 1 turn. Untaps creatures they have flash, you can get in Deadeye Navigator or any creature you want,on their turn, I believe its a very strong card.

October 31, 2013 6:05 a.m.

Dusty says...

#6

I feel they might consider it as a weaker alternative to Seedborn Muse which they already dropped, though the creature flash effect is nice. I run Prophet of Kruphix in my own Damia deck.

Epochalyptik, I've been interested in your thoughts on Mystic Remora over Rhystic Study . I run remora because it's less threatening to other players in my playgroup (due to the cumulative upkeep and triggering off noncreature spells) but I was considering grabbing a study to get more consistent draws.

October 31, 2013 11:55 a.m.

coleman984 says...

#7

Any cards you will be adding from Commander 2013? I didn't see any that interested me personally.

October 31, 2013 12:04 p.m.

Blakkhand says...

#8

Toxic Deluge could be better than Damnation . I think the trade off of life for mana is what this deck wants to do. Given, you have mentioned in the past that your meta has a Jarad deck, which toxic would be suboptimal against (large creatures and can punish you for the life loss).

October 31, 2013 2:31 p.m.

nbarry223 says...

#9

Restore could serve as another ramp card, as it works well with fetches (even your opponent's), especially viable if anyone in the meta runs any land destruction.

Tempt with Discovery could also equal huge ramp if everyone else takes advantage of it. Not sure if it's quite as good as Restore though, it all depends on your meta honestly.

October 31, 2013 4:37 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#10

@Vanxius: Prophet of Kruphix isn't good enough in the tournament environment. It's expensive to cast, and it doesn't untap mana rocks.

@Dusty: I play Mystic Remora because it's a 1-drop. The ability is very difficult to dodge, as well. Rhystic Study is a 3-drop, so it's not ideal for hypercompetitive metas. If you play in a more casual setting, run both.

@coleman984: Toxic Deluge , which Blakkhand mentioned, is kind of interesting. I think it warrants testing. There aren't any other BUG cards that seem good enough for competitive play, though.

@nbarry223: Restore is not ideal; it relies on there being a land in the graveyard that I actually want. Fetchlands, although certainly common in competitive decks, may not be in graveyards early enough for me to cast Restore without interrupting my other plans. I might test it, but it seems unnecessary.

Tempt with Discovery is interesting. My problem with it is that it will turn into the Command Tower /Ancient Tomb game, and I don't want to cast it for 3G if it would give my opponents appreciable advantage (giving a player even one extra land in a competitive meta can be deadly).

I'd like to see more discussion on Restore and Tempt with Discovery .

October 31, 2013 5:57 p.m.

Droxium says...

#11

When i think of Restore , i think of Life from the Loam , which you already cut. both cost 2 but life brings back 3 compared to 1, and has Dredge 3, which is really good with Sensei's Divining Top . Tempt with Discovery can be good since in a game with three other people, it can be able to get 2 of any land since more often then not, an opponent will want to get an extra land. On the downside, it does give the opponent the extra land, meaning the difference between win/lose. I owuld rather run Skyshroud Claim .

October 31, 2013 7:12 p.m.

Grimgrinner says...

#12

I think Restore is really better for legacy than edh. It can steal an opposing Strip Mine and Wasteland (or recur your own), as everybody knows, and also fetches and some utility cards. The best use i could see for it, is in a meta where opponents destroy YOUR lands, but it would have to be a lot. It would be much better at instant speed, but C'est la Vie. Imagine somebody destroyed your Reliquary Tower , causing you to have to discard, but you bring it back at instant speed. That would be neat.

To me, Tempt with Discovery is best when A: there are a lot of opponents, and B: where enemies have minimal control elements. It could also be used as a political card to get some of the heat off of you. In hypercompetitive it doesn't seem very good, but it could be a casual bomb.

(my opinions)

October 31, 2013 7:20 p.m.

nbarry223 says...

#13

tempt is extremely meta-dependent, while Restore isn't quite as dependent. It should usually be fast enough if it's a 4 man pod and everyone is running at least 2 colors with fetches. You can recur 9/10 fetches, so basically if anyone runs one, you are golden.

Restore is slightly meta-dependent, but since you are running 3 colors, if it's a competitive environment where everyone runs fetches, 1/4 people having a fetch land drop is pretty much a guarantee by turn 2.

October 31, 2013 8:51 p.m.

nbarry223 says...

#14

@Droxium

The BIG difference between Life from the Loam and Restore is that restore brings it to the BATTLEFIELD, which actually accelerates you (it comes untapped too). The other one brings them do your hand which is better if you are running a bunch of multiple land drops per turn cards, and your deck focuses on all those land drops (something like Lotus Cobra where you can abuse the fetch + land drop).

October 31, 2013 8:54 p.m.

Droxium says...

#15

I made a Damia, Sage of Stone deck, and two things. First, Living Wish is a really useful card. It basically makes your deck 15 cards larger, making it more flexible. Living Wish allows me to react to pretty much any situation. According to "Pandora's Deckbox" a deck should be flexible. Living Wish increases it's flexible by tenfold. Second, Toxic Deluge is much better than Damnation . First of all, it is 1 mana less and the life doesn't matter. As mentioned before, you really don't care what your life total is, you can just pay as much life as needed to kill the entire board, FOR 3 MANA.

November 2, 2013 12:11 a.m.

Droxium says...

#16

Living Wish also allowed me to move cards over from the main to make more space for other cards, like Stifle (my version also runs the risky but profitable Tainted Pact emphasis on risky). I once did a game where i played Living Wish for Nephalia Drownyard and played it to counteract somebodies Vampiric Tutor .

November 2, 2013 12:14 a.m.

nbarry223 says...

#17

That sounds like they misplayed an instant speed tutor. You shouldn't have been able to play a land before they draw if they played at end of turn before their untap...

November 2, 2013 1:15 a.m.

sjsilver says...

#18

@nbarry223 I think he may have meant Imperial Seal .

@Epochalyptik - have you considered Realms Uncharted it was a pet card for a while for me and I could see it having value here.

I have to agree that Tempt with Discovery could be very game ending for yourself. However something to consider may be just having the ability to tutor Wasteland et alia to negate the advantage some players may gain.


Cheers

Comments, suggestions and so on always welcomed Zedruu EDU (Help Welcomed)

November 5, 2013 2:38 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#19

@sjsilver: I don't think Realms Uncharted is as necessary as it needs to be. It only really benefits me if I have Crucible of Worlds , and I think I'd sooner run Farseek .

November 5, 2013 1:38 p.m.

Narwek says...

#20

Epochalyptik, if you didn't have a budget, and could use any cards you wanted, what would you change in the deck?

November 7, 2013 11:55 p.m.

Grimgrinner says...

#21

Uhh Narwek, that's already how this deck is designed I'm pretty sure. Notice the price tag is just over $2.6k.

November 7, 2013 11:58 p.m.

Narwek says...

#22

Maybe, but I don't see any Black Lotus or Time Walk , nor Ancestral Recall

November 8, 2013 midnight

Narwek says...

#23

We play "casual" EDH, with no ban list, and that's more what I'm asking about. If there was no ban list, and unlimited money

November 8, 2013 12:07 a.m.

Droxium says...

#24

i am pretty sure that he would add the power of nine save Timetwister (or he would've added it). Fastbond , Channel Gifts Ungiven Griselbrand (maybe) Primeval Titan Yawgmoth's Bargain . Other than that, this is a competitive deck, i doubt he would ever make it uncompetitive unless Damia, Sage of Stone was banned, or Palinchron (why???).

November 8, 2013 12:35 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#25

@Narwek: The reason those cards aren't in this deck is that those cards are banned in EDH. This is a tournament deck; I have to follow the ban list. Also, the deck already has no budget. My only restrictions are the rules.

If I could include banned cards, I would have Black Lotus , the BUG Mox gems, Ancestral Recall , Time Walk , Fastbond , Channel , and Library of Alexandria . Those are the banned cards that are useful enough to warrant a slot in the deck. Primeval Titan might come in, but I'm not sure it's necessary anymore. The deck has gotten a lot faster since the PrimeTime ban, and I don't know whether PrimeTime would fit back in so easily. Gifts Ungiven would need to be tested.

November 8, 2013 3:43 a.m.

Aelorith2117 says...

#26

how do you feel about Mirri's Guile as either a cheaper version of or redundancy for Sylvan Library ?

November 16, 2013 6:05 p.m.

Nortti says...

#27

Shred Memory could be good here. Tutors for a lot of stuff and is gravehate in a pinch. Great deck, gave me a few ideas.

November 20, 2013 12:44 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#28

@Aelorith2117: Mirri's Guile is alright, but it doesn't serve the same function as Sylvan Library . The former doesn't actually net me any cards. It just rearranges my topdeck. I want the card draw.

@Nortti: Shred Memory isn't very powerful. Graveyard hate isn't important enough to warrant a dedicated slot. My countermagic and Deathrite Shaman are usually good enough to handle those problems.

November 20, 2013 1:03 a.m.

Erectnid420 says...

#29

If only this were french ban list..

November 20, 2013 6:55 p.m.

ms says...

#30

I notice you have a lot of different lands... so why not use Sylvan Scrying ???

November 24, 2013 6:35 p.m.

Blakkhand says...

#31

@ms, he doesn't use it because Grim Tutor and Diabolic Intent exist (both much better).

November 24, 2013 7:12 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#32

@ms: There's no one land important enough to warrant running a dedicated tutor.

November 24, 2013 7:38 p.m.

musichate says...

#33

You're already on the fence about Diabolic Intent (conditional) and Grim Tutor (can be countered), so this is probably irrelevant but;

Have you considered transmute?

Dimir Machinations , Perplex , and Drift of Phantasms are all fairly terrible cards that turn into a key combo piece (perhaps when you already have infinite mana) like Yawgmoth's Will , Blue Sun's Zenith , Eternal Witness , or Necropotence for 3CMC.

benefits: thins the deck, is a better top deck late game than Chromatic Lantern , difficult to counter without a Trickbind effect.
cons: expensive, sorcery speed, card reveal.

Just a thought, probably too clunky. On the outside, Perplex might be a hard counter vs. anyone sculpting their hand.

November 26, 2013 1:32 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#34

@musichate: I considered transmute spells, but I didn't include any because I want the spell itself to be relevant if I ever need it to be. Muddle the Mixture is probably the only one that could function as both a spell and a tutor. Perplex isn't a hard counter, although it can sometimes function as one.

I'm willing to hear other arguments, though. Maybe I'm oversimplifying it.

November 26, 2013 3:38 p.m.

CallMeCrazy says...

#35

Does Sylvan Library do anything when damia is out?

November 26, 2013 4:28 p.m.

vishnarg says...

#36

Sorry, can you just explain why Preordain or Brainstorm don't make the cut in this deck?

November 27, 2013 9:44 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#37

@CallMeCrazy: Unfortunately, no. Sylvan Library 's ability triggers during the draw step, and Damia's ability causes me to skip my draw step. However, Sylvan Library makes the cut because it's an invaluable utility card and can help me generate advantage before I cast Damia.

@vishnarg: Preordain and Brainstorm don't do enough. They're just cantrips. I tested Brainstorm for a while because the deck has a lot of shuffle effects, but I never really found that the extra hand filtering was worth taking a slot away from another card. Preordain is even less powerful.

November 27, 2013 9:47 p.m.

vishnarg says...

#38

Okay, what took it's place though? Also, this may be a hard question, but overall, what card in this deck do you think overall pound for pound wins you the most games and plays the best, and then the opposite: what plays the worst? (excluding commander and lands)

November 27, 2013 9:54 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#39

I don't know that anything "took its place," per se. I tested it and decided it wasn't advantageous enough to add to the actual decklist.

Tooth and Nail is hands down one of the most critical cards in the deck. It enables so many of my combos and wins on resolution. That said, the deck is just a pile of combos, advantage generators, and control magic. It's hard to pick the most devastating spell, but I think Tooth and Nail is certainly a contender.

Glen Elendra Archmage and Chromatic Lantern are still it the physical list, and I'm never really excited to see either of them. They're up for cuts soon.

November 27, 2013 10:21 p.m.

vishnarg says...

#40

I would have thought Glen Elendra would have been a great 4 mana drop... interesting.

November 27, 2013 10:44 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#41

Glen Elendra Archmage is a solid card, but it doesn't really fit well in this deck. It's at an awkward spot on my mana curve, and it doesn't have flash. I basically need to choose between playing it or having ramp and countermagic open (and while Glen Elendra Archmage is itself countermagic, it's an expensive initial investment).

November 27, 2013 11:34 p.m.

nbarry223 says...

#42

It's nothing more than a bulky (limited) counter. It's 5 mana for it's first use, then 1 for the next, that's 6 for 2 counters. Much better cards if you ignore the virtual card advantage of 2 counters in 1 card.

November 27, 2013 11:42 p.m.

GoldGhost012 says...

#43

Padon my ignorance Epochalyptik, but why are you never excited to see Chromatic Lantern ? I think it's one of the best mana fixers in the game. Is it just never a good thing past early game?

November 27, 2013 11:50 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#44

@GoldGhost012: Chromatic Lantern is expensive. It's a 3-drop rock that only ramps me by one mana, and I have almost the best mana base possible in BUG. Color fixing isn't really worth paying 3.

November 28, 2013 12:28 a.m.

KingSorin says...

#45

Would Burnished Hart be better than the lantern? Or something that works similarly?

November 28, 2013 12:33 a.m.

nbarry223 says...

#46

6 to ramp 2 untapped isn't worth it either... he has access to green, there's plenty of better ramp.

He is better off replacing them with things like Gitaxian Probe , Grim Tutor , Street Wraith (since all the cards in the deck are pretty good anyway, 2 life to lower the deck count isn't too bad) instead of trying to replace them with cards that serve the same purpose. There are no cards that do the same thing better that haven't already been included in the deck.

November 28, 2013 1:03 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#47

Burnished Hart is much worse. If paying 3 once is bad, paying it twice is awful. Plus it only finds basics and they come in tapped.

November 28, 2013 1:29 a.m.

vishnarg says...

#48

I vote replace Chromatic Lantern and Glen Elendra with Gitaxian Probe and Grim Tutor.

November 28, 2013 9:31 a.m.

cowcarx says...

#49

I've been playing this list for a while and over time I've noticed I run out of blue mana on many occasions which prevents me from combo-ing off (with blue left for counterspell backup).

Due to this, I've switched Dispel (or whatever card you don't like the most, probably glen elandra or chromatic lantern, for a Thoughtseize. One black mana for a peek at the opponent's hand is a small price to pay for the knowledge of what cards you'll need to play around that turn, PLUS you can remove ANY card. If you're strategy revolves around sticking Damia, and the opponent is out of counters but has a Venser, you won't be able to prevent him from bouncing her.

One important difference here is Thoughtseize is a sorcery, but whenever you are planning on comboing, you (should) have some sort of prevention method in your hand. If that's the case, play Thoughtseize first, then drop your combo pieces. Most of my games with this deck revolve around setting up the combo on my turn, which allows for the sorcery speed Thoughtseize to be played effectively.

November 28, 2013 1:21 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#50

@cowcarx: I think I'd sooner take Gitaxian Probe . Having the free cast and the cantrip is more useful than having the discard effect, in my opinion.

November 28, 2013 2:27 p.m.

Blakkhand says...

#51

@cowcarx, sadly, targeted discard sucks in this format, which is probably one of EDH's greatest detriments. It simply is not disruptive enough when you have three opposing players.

November 28, 2013 2:29 p.m.

ChiefBell says...

#52

I was literally about to post a comment saying 'why on earth would you need Chromatic Lantern in this? Your mana-base is about as perfect as it possibly could be' then I scrolled up and saw that you were cutting it. I've been thinking about removing it from mine too - it just doesn't help me.

December 2, 2013 7:45 a.m.

nbarry223 says...

#53

there's actually a few cards that don't do a whole lot (or are very mana-intensive for what they do). Chromatic Lantern is probably the worst card in here, because its mana fixing is really unneeded, and the ramp it provides is slower than a lot of other options. Glen Elendra Archmage is a very expensive counterspell. Unless you have the luxury of dropping her for 4 mana and sitting back and not using her right away, you are better off with something else. Time Stretch is really mana intensive for anything outside of 1v1. If this was a 1v1 build it'd be fine, but you have so many people that would be willing to counter it, it will usually be a waste of 10 mana. If you have that much mana, there are probably better options that won't be such big targets.

I'd personally replace them with Gitaxian Probe Grim Tutor and Restore / Tempt with Discovery / Street Wraith . I probably need to explain why Restore and Tempt with Discovery would be worth it, so I'll do my best. Given the competitive format, and the fact that you can use every fetch other than Arid Mesa , Restore is almost a third copy of Nature's Lore / Three Visits . You can also bring back land destruction if no fetches have been played yet. Keep in mind it is everyone's graveyard, not just yours. Tempt with Discovery is a bit more iffy, depending on the meta, because you have to be careful not to accelerate other control players. Thankfully, you run both Strip Mine and Wasteland , so if two people happen to fetch some troublesome lands, you can always just 1 for 1 their lands (while thinning out your land count at the same time). Street Wraith is just a free cantrip for 2 life, which shouldn't be an issue given the speed of the deck. It's just eliminating a "useless" card for something that has more presence.

Hopefully that all makes sense.

December 2, 2013 11:56 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#54

@nbarry223: The cards in the current sideboard are all up for cuts. I mentioned in comment #39 that Glen Elendra Archmage and Chromatic Lantern are both being cut soon. I just need to find worthy replacements.

We discussed Restore and Tempt with Discovery earlier (see comments #9 and #10), and I'm still not sold on either of them. I'd take others' playtesting experience into account, though.

Street Wraith is only viable as a cantrip, which means it's only viable if I have a perfect 98 and don't need the 99th card. I would sooner take something that offers me more utility.

December 2, 2013 12:40 p.m.

nbarry223 says...

#55

Both restore and tempt are very meta dependent. Tempt is better in a less competitive environment, while restore thrives more in a competitive environment. Playtest them yourself a bit, you'll quickly see what I mean. I understand that Street Wraith is simply a cantrip, but if you are consistently thinking to yourself "wish I drew something else" that might be exactly what you need if you can't commit to something else. Gitaxian Probe is a strictly better cantrip, unless of course people are playing things like Trinisphere and Nether Void , which isn't seen too often (although I run both in my prison deck).

December 2, 2013 9:02 p.m.

voidking says...

#56

Do you feel Time Stretch and Leyline of Anticipation are 100% necessary?

What are your thoughts on Beast Within and Maelstrom Pulse I am running both in a similar deck. Would you recommend just Beast Within or neither?

I do not have dual-lands, so I am not running Necropotence but instead Phyrexian Arena - thoughts on that? Should I still run Necropotence ?

Why do you not run Interdict or Trickbind in a hyper-competitive environment? I feel these are some of the best counter-magic available especially against other combo decks. Do you prefer cards like Dispel over those?

Finally, Llanowar Elves or Urborg Elf ? I do not have dual-lands so I feel Arbor Elf is a 'dead-card'.

Thank you!

My deck is here: Damia - Competitive

December 7, 2013 3:55 p.m.

Arcanum says...

#57

Prophet of Kruphix could be helpful

December 7, 2013 6:36 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#58

@Arcanum: Prophet of Kruphix isn't good in this deck. It doesn't offer enough advantage to justify the 5 CMC.

@voidking: Leyline of Anticipation is extremely helpful. I've never lost a game during which I've cast Time Stretch , but the CMC is a bit high.

Beast Within and Maelstrom Pulse are both too expensive to cast. Maelstrom Pulse is also a sorcery, so it's less advantageous.

Necropotence is always worth running if your mana base can support it.

Interdict and Trickbind are good cards, but I don't know if I would play them. I run Stifle , but Stifle has a low cost.

Arbor Elf is less significant if you don't run all the duals and shocks. I'm not a fan of Llanowar Elves or Urborg Elf in EDH.

December 7, 2013 7:22 p.m.

ChiefBell says...

#59

Do you run Time Stretch for the extra 2 draws and just so you get more opportunities to make the plays you want to (more mana etc)? Or are there other reasons?

December 7, 2013 7:32 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#60

Time Stretch allows me to do a lot because I can normally dump hand and refill it twice with Damia, or I can cast Damia and refill my hand on the second turn. It also allows me to set up for a combo in the late game.

December 7, 2013 7:56 p.m.

ChiefBell says...

#61

Ah Damia! Of course. Obviously allows you to quickly cycle through a lot of cards.

December 7, 2013 8:03 p.m.

TrostAft says...

#62

Just a quick question. I don;t see any protection for Damia, how do you keep her alive in a competitive environment. Is is primarily just countering their removal?

December 8, 2013 12:36 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#63

@TrostAft: Counterspells are a general answer to removal (and many other threats). There's no point in running preservative equipment or enchantments when I could use more flexible and useful counterspells to handle the problem.

December 8, 2013 12:58 a.m.

nbarry223 says...

#64

I have a random question here, because I'm really on the fence about a certain card and needed a second opinion (definitely wouldn't fit this deck by the way)...

Do you think a deck that's pretty heavily invested into a control shell (with a touch of prison cards) can function without it's hand during opponents turns? You still get to cast off you instant speed draw spells and ramp/bounce/remove and all that, but you are making all of your counterspells into dead cards (it currently runs 11 counterspells if that helps).

Is that worth a cumulative upkeep of "draw a card"? It's just so much potential draw power that giving up your counter power is so tempting.

December 8, 2013 1:11 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#65

@nbarry223: No. If you mean something like Bottled Cloister or Psychic Vortex , it won't work how you want it to. You pitch your hand, someone destroys your permanent, and you lose the game. Plus, you don't want to marginalize your control suite for the long-term allure of drawing a few cards. Especially if you severely limit your ability to protect the card on which you're relying.

December 8, 2013 8:19 a.m.

vishnarg says...

#66

Just curious but how do you usually cast Necropotence?

December 8, 2013 9:54 a.m.

Droxium says...

#67

if Primeval Titan was still legal in edh, would you run it? Would it be useful enough and easy enough getting to attack with it to get more lands.

December 8, 2013 9:55 a.m.

vishnarg says...

#68

Droxium the answer to that is obvious. He is banned for a reason and plays amazingly with Deadeye Navigator.

December 8, 2013 9:59 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#69

@vishnarg: I play 6 duals and 9 fetches. Getting the triple black is never a problem for me.

@Droxium: I'm not completely sure. I would need to test it again. I used to run Primeval Titan , but the deck has evolved greatly since the ban, and I can't say whether Primeval Titan would make the cut.

December 8, 2013 10:15 a.m.

Orbrunner says...

#70

Changing two of the snow-covered basics into regular basics would allow you to run Tainted Pact at maximum efficiency, which could then function as a "second Demonic Tutor " of a sort. Also, what's the reasoning behind the lack of Spell Crumple ? I've been testing a similar list, and the ability to tuck the commander has been relevant every time the opportunity's presented itself.

December 10, 2013 10:02 p.m.

nbarry223 says...

#71

can't recast it from the graveyard is the only thing I can think of. 3 mana is a lot to pay if you aren't tucking a general though.

December 10, 2013 10:10 p.m.

Grimgrinner says...

#72

wouldn't Dissipate work better, besides on commanders? unless that's the exact reason you mentioned that card.

December 10, 2013 10:12 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#73

@Orbrunner: I don't like Tainted Pact . I don't want to exile cards without knowing whether I'll hit what I want. If I find a combo piece I don't need at the time, I'll have to exile it or take it without needing it. I'd rather run a better tutor.

Hinder is my Spell Crumple . I don't like that Spell Crumple shuffles itself back into my deck because that means it probably won't be available again. Because Hinder goes to my graveyard, I can recur it with Eternal Witness or Snapcaster Mage .

December 10, 2013 10:15 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#74

Remember, I play this deck at the highest level of competition. I want every card to be an efficient solution to a problem. I already have Hinder , so Spell Crumple is unnecessary. I'd rather run another one-drop or two-drop counterspell.

December 10, 2013 10:16 p.m.

Orbrunner says...

#75

To clarify: why not run Spell Crumple alongside Hinder ? Not only would you have access to the ability more often, this is a deck made for multiplayer, and there's often more than one commander that needs tucking. Though, yes, the recursion is a possibility, it won't always be there when you need it. I'd say it's a consideration to sub in over Glen Elendra Archmage as far as countermagic goes.

December 10, 2013 11:10 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#76

I explained in post #74: I don't need two of them. One is sufficient, and I'd rather use another one-drop or two-drop counterspell instead of Spell Crumple . Remember, countering a general with a normal counterspell still makes the general more expensive to recast. It will normally delay the opponent at least a turn or two.

December 11, 2013 12:50 a.m.

CallMeCrazy says...

#77

How do you feel about the fact there aren't foil printings of some cards you run?

December 11, 2013 2:31 a.m.

jamiepeter6 says...

#78

ever tried Joraga Treespeaker ? in place of Utopia Sprawl ? u dont really need the colors form Utopia Sprawl do u?

December 11, 2013 10:15 a.m.

Orbrunner says...

#79

Joraga Treespeaker gives 2 acceleration for 3, Utopia Sprawl gives 1 acceleration (and fixing) for 1 and doesn't require haste in order for said mana to be used that turn.
A better suggestion with the would be Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary , but, in my opinion, there aren't enough Forests for him to be truly effective.

December 11, 2013 11:48 a.m.

Orbrunner says...

#80

What do you think of Personal Tutor ? It can get several notable cards, be they boardwipes, other tutors or Tooth and Nail .

December 11, 2013 12:04 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#81

@CallMeCrazy: I'm indifferent about it. I've seen some people with foil ABUR proxies, and I don't personally think those are necessary. I do like that Lim-Dul's Vault and Arcane Denial got some awesome new art in C13, and I've acquired the new printings of those cards specifically for that reason. I have alters of other cards (Counterspell , Sensei's Divining Top , Sol Ring ), and I can always get non-foils altered if I prefer.

@jamiepeter6: I don't like Joraga Treespeaker . It requires you to reinvest 1G at sorcery speed before it even taps for mana. Utopia Sprawl is immediately useful (unless played on the first turn on your only land), and it color fixes as well as ramps.

@Orbrunner: Personal Tutor is decent, but it's severely limited by the fact that it's a sorcery that only finds other sorceries. If it were an instant, or if it were more flexible, it might have been included already. I currently play only ten sorceries, and I don't know whether they're worth including a special, sorcery-only tutor to find because they aren't all the most flexible cards in the deck.

December 11, 2013 2:10 p.m.

coleman984 says...

#82

I play-tested your Dreamcrusher against my Stax deck and I got off a turn two Smokestack . The dreamcrusher had a Vampiric Tutor and Swan Song to protect the tutor but I couldn't find anything to tutor up to get rid of the Smokestack. What about Deglamer ? Does Dreamcrusher just lose to a resolved Smokestack ?

Sydri, Galvanic Genius - Where are the Creatures?

December 12, 2013 3:17 p.m.

Blakkhand says...

#83

I've been thinking for a while that Pithing Needle could be great for the deck. It's basically an auto win against Hermit Druid , as the deck can easily race the secondary win con(s), and they only run 1-3 answers to it. Also, it can take out a lot of common commanders, I know you've mentioned a Jarad deck in your meta, as well as other major decks like Scion of the Ur-Dragon , Captain Sisay , etc. If nothing else, it can just serve as a one mana Jace kill spell.

December 12, 2013 3:31 p.m.

Although Pithing Needle is good, a lot of the time you'll have to name a card blindly and hope to hit. In multiplayer its not very effective. I'm the player of the Jarad deck and I have answers to Pithing Needle but Epoch doesn't have a way to pull it out of the graveyard effectively. Its a one-time spell that can very easily get removed and doesn't make a huge difference in the game.

December 12, 2013 4:40 p.m.

YerpyMoose says...

#85

What do you think of the medallions (jet, sapphire, emerald)? Is the gradual advantage of the cost reduction enough to warrant an inclusion, or is the fact that they only work on spells (no synergy with deadeye navigator) and only a specific color of spell (in a tri-color deck) too much of an issue to make the cut?

December 13, 2013 3:12 p.m.

YerpyMoose says...

#86

Also, in lieu of Delay , would the bypassing of uncounterable spells be enough to warrant the inclusion of Ertai's Meddling ?

December 13, 2013 3:14 p.m.

alexsmith21 says...

#87

Your deck mig not be the best place for it, but what are your thoughts on Vendilion Clique ?

December 15, 2013 1:49 p.m.

TheGamer says...

#88

Since you need Palinchron for your infinite mana, why not use Great Whale also?

December 17, 2013 9:21 p.m.

nbarry223 says...

#89

Great Whale only combos with Deadeye Navigator and not Phantasmal Image . It's considerably worse because of that. He'd have to cut something else for a card that pretty much does nothing on its own. While it is a combo deck, you do want your cards to have as much usefulness on their own, and synergy with others as possible. Even if your combos don't go infinite, smaller things like Rings of Brighthearth (I know it isn't in this deck, just an example, since it is another infinite mana combo peice) + a fetch land can potentially win you games if they go unchecked.

Palinchron can also double as a flying blocker. He can return to hand before taking damage if you're really in trouble for some reason. Palinchron just has so much more utility than Great Whale , and including both doesn't really help the deck too much, because it is one of the higher CMC cards included in the deck. Time Stretch is a good card, but it's CMC means it is a dead card until you build up that much mana, and probably still dead until a turn or 2 after that, because you actually need it to resolve to be useful (it's prob top 5 most countered spells in EDH).

December 17, 2013 9:42 p.m.

Arcaedion says...

#90

Say you have a medium range budget for a deck like this (800-100$). What are some of the cards that could be replaced to make this deck a little more accessible while still holding most of its power?

December 17, 2013 11:46 p.m.

YerpyMoose says...

#91

Imperial Seal , Three Visits , Jace, the Mind Sculptor , Mana Drain and the mana base. To list the top price offenders.

December 18, 2013 12:05 a.m.

YerpyMoose says...

#92

Possibly Yawgmoth's Will .

December 18, 2013 12:06 a.m.

Arcaedion says...

#93

@ YerpyMoose What could those be replaced with?

December 18, 2013 5:12 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#94

@coleman984: Some cards do pose a problem. I go light on removal spells because I primarily use counterspells to get rid of threats. Do you think it's worth reevaluating that strategy?

@Blakkhand: I wonder if Pithing Needle is worth including, but it does serve as a strong answer to many threats. Smith_and_Tonic brings up a good point about its effectiveness being reduced in multiplayer, which is what this deck was designed for.

@YerpyMoose: The medallions are decent cards in some decks, but they aren't worth including here. Their effectiveness falls off as you add more colors to the deck, and they don't really do enough for me in a three-color build to warrant inclusion.

Delay is better than Ertai's Meddling , in my opinion. They cost the same to cast (Ertai's Meddling can only be cast for a minimum of 1U), but Delay gets rid of the spell for longer. Actually, Delay isn't even in the current build. I forgot what I cut it for.

@alexsmith21: Vendilion Clique is alright as a commander or a support card in some decks, but I don't think it's worthwhile here. This deck is designed for a multiplayer environment, and Vendilion Clique 's power decreases significantly once you start adding opponents.

@TheGamer: Great Whale doesn't go infinite without Deadeye Navigator . Palinchron can. The redundancy is nice, but not worthwhile considering how many other cards I could be including.

@Arcaedion: To be honest, you'll have to cut a significant amount of power from this deck to build a budget version.

A lot of the price tag comes from the land base because it uses the 3-3-9. I invested a lot in lands because they are the foundation of the deck. I have perhaps one of the most consistent mana platforms possible in BUG.

Additionally, as YerpyMoose mentions, Imperial Seal , Jace, the Mind Sculptor , and Mana Drain are expensive. Mana Crypt , too.

There are several cards in the $15-25 range that perform vital functions.

You'll have to decide what's worth including. If you have a budget of $800-1000, you can afford to include most of the $25 stuff, and maybe even some of the $100 stuff. Imperial Seal is an obvious cut, and you'll probably need to make some sacrifices when it comes to the land lineup. You can use pain and check lands instead of some of the duals and checks (I would at least keep the shocks). Filter lands are another possibility.

You'll basically be trying to downgrade most of the expensive cards, which will probably be hard. Those cards are in the deck because they do their jobs so well.

December 18, 2013 5:51 a.m.

coleman984 says...

#95

@Epochalyptik No I don't think running less counter magic is the right move. And personally I wish there was a better exile / tuck counter to stop problems that are likely to recur. As far as I'm aware there are 3 counters that either tuck or exile that cost 1UU but none that cost less. But depending on your meta I think Deglamer might warrant a spot. I believe it to be superior to Krosan Grip on two fronts; mana cost and tucking. I personally run a Purphoros, God of the Forge list and if he doesn't get disrupted he can win very quickly. But aside from the gods to many things stop something from being destroyed or what not or can recur things from the graveyard easily so therefore I would rather put it back into the library.

December 18, 2013 10:07 a.m.

Orbrunner says...

#96

Am I missing something, or is there a reason that City of Brass isn't included in the land base?

December 18, 2013 4:17 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

#97

@coleman984: I cut Krosan Grip a while ago because I didn't like the mana cost. I can see your argument for Deglamer , though. I just wonder whether it's worthwhile to have Deglamer in addition to, or instead of, Nature's Claim .

@Orbrunner: City of Brass is a fine card, but I don't really want to kill myself when I go infinite. With Deadeye Navigator and Palinchron , I need to tap three lands per cycle to go infinite. With Phantasmal Image , I need to do seven. Because I get a large portion of my mana from artifacts, especially in the early game, there's a good chance that running City of Brass will come back to haunt me at an inconvenient time.

I actually tested City of Brass a while ago and cut it because it felt unnecessary. Of my other life loss lands, Ancient Tomb actually ramps, and Boseiju, Who Shelters All is an anti-control utility.

December 18, 2013 4:40 p.m.

vishnarg says...

#98

You run seven forests. How in gods name could Utopia Sprawl help here?

December 18, 2013 5:31 p.m.

coleman984 says...

#99

@vishnarg And 9 fetch lands...

December 18, 2013 6:03 p.m.

vishnarg says...

I forgot that part.......... I also forgot that this deck is the pinnacle of stupidly expensive ones.

December 18, 2013 8:26 p.m.

Orbrunner says...

Deglamer vs. Nature's Claim :

Deglamer avoids indestructible, and tucks the target, while not giving the opponent an extra 4 life.

Nature's Claim costs less to cast, allowing or more freedom of casting on your turn, and enables a (highly situational, but still possible) lifegain loop involving Deadeye-EWit.

Personally, I would go with Nature's Claim over Deglamer, because in the vast majority of matchups in which it is relevant to be killing artifacts/enchantments, the lower cost makes Claim superior. In addition, it is unnecessary to run more than one artifact/enchantment hate spell, as it can already be recurred through a variety of methods, and dedicating another slot to that takes away a slot from something else.

December 18, 2013 11:50 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@Orbrunner: The 4 life from Nature's Claim is completely negligible in almost every case. The lifegain loop is also irrelevant (and very convoluted). I agree with the meat of your argument, though.

December 19, 2013 1:29 a.m.

Droxium says...

Something that i just realized about dropping Time Stretch is that you would be losing one of your primary win conditions. Also, adding Prophet of Kruphix do the don't suggest part of your description might be necessary (it has been suggested many times).

December 19, 2013 10:27 a.m.

coleman984 says...

@Epochalyptik I would say yes to run Deglamer over Nature's Claim but there are times where it could matter on the recursion front that something not go to the graveyard. And it costs 1 colorless so if you need to make it uncounterable you can with Boseiju, Who Shelters All where you can't with Nature's Claim.

December 19, 2013 11:08 a.m.

TheCommonFig says...

I'm curious how much work Tolaria West does for the deck. There's no doubt that it's a solid tutor (difficult to counter, grabs any land/Pact of Negation /Mana Crypt ), but is it worth paying 3 mana at sorcery speed? I'm also assuming it's rarely played as a land due to entering the battlefield tapped.

December 19, 2013 6:34 p.m.

BawwPixels says...

Do you think you should maybe put a few more basics in? Seems like your in trouble if your opponent drops an early Blood Moon or Magus of the Moon .

December 19, 2013 8:52 p.m.

vishnarg says...

How does Misdirection and Dispel play here? I can't bring myself to put it in my own EDH deck.

December 19, 2013 10:24 p.m.

vishnarg says...

Also when did Sensei's Divining Top come out of the equation? It's such a very powerful card but never gets played in high level competitive decks and I think I'm missing why.

December 19, 2013 10:28 p.m.

Blakkhand says...

vishnarg, would you happen to be taking your sample of competitive decks from mtgtop8.com? They use the duel commander format, which top is banned in. Otherwise, top would be in most of them.

December 19, 2013 10:34 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@TheCommonFig: You are correct in your assumption that I rarely play Tolaria West as a land. I find that the transmute ability does justify Tolaria West 's inclusion because it allows the card to function as ramp (by finding Mana Crypt ), a land tutor (especially to get utility lands like Boseiju, Who Shelters All ), and a counterspell tutor (by finding Pact of Negation ). The fact that transmute is an ability means the effect can only be countered by a very small group of cards. This, in turn, means I am likelier to get what I need.

@BawwPixels: I do rely quite heavily on nonbasics, and Blood Moon is one of the cards that threatens this deck most. I've been looking for ways to combat it, and I'm leaning more and more toward including Living Wish and moving some of my less important utility lands into a sideboard.

Unfortunately, Blood Moon is very difficult to answer except by countering.

@vishnarg: Misdirection is a great spell. It thwarts counterspells because I can redirect them to Misdirection itself, and it helps defeat removal spells. Dispel is good for protecting Damia and my combos. It's a great card to have during counter wars.

Sensei's Divining Top is still in the deck, and I have no plans to remove it in the near future. I suspect that most of the decks that don't include it either can't afford it or are playing by French rules

December 20, 2013 1:48 a.m.

TheCommonFig says...

What are your thoughts on running Toxic Deluge over Damnation ? Deluge is one mana cheaper, kills indestructible (admittedly, there are very few indestructible creatures worth running), and gives some flexibility by letting you set the X value. The only downside I see to it is that you already have a fair number of cards that you lose life to (fetches, shocks, Boseiju, FoW, Ancient Tomb, Mana Vault, Mana Crypt, Vampiric Tutor, Necropotence, etc.). Would those ever cause enough life loss to interfere with the Deluge? Or conversely, could the Deluge cause you to miss some of those effects later in the game?

Apologies for few card links -- I'm on my phone.

December 20, 2013 8:17 a.m.

Droxium says...

Life is a resource, never be afraid to use it! I would run Toxic Deluge over Damnation just for the -1 cmc.

December 26, 2013 12:54 a.m.

YerpyMoose says...

If you had to sacrifice green, how would you go about building a competitive U/B combo-control deck able to compete with this list?

December 26, 2013 5:10 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@TheCommonFig: I haven't been able to playtest this deck in a while. I suspect Toxic Deluge will take Damnation 's slot, but I can't make the final choice without playing a few games first.

@YerpyMoose: It's not that simple. Green is an integral part of this deck because it was designed to be an integral part of this deck. If you transition to UB, you lose the massive amount of ramp power that green provides, and you also lose Tooth and Nail .

If you desperately want to go UB, you might try an Oona, Queen of the Fae or Vela the Night-Clad deck. Both of those general can take advantage of infinite combos.

I personally think mono-blue would be better than UB, though. You lose some tutor power, but mono-blue is faster and better at comboing that UB. Arcum Dagsson and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir are the go-to generals.

December 26, 2013 5:18 p.m.

YerpyMoose says...

I meant stylistically similar. You could simply run a mono-u list with Oona at the helm with a Rings of Brighthearth + Basalt Monolith wincon. I've seen an "undefeated" mono-U list by MTG_Player that fit the bill, using Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur as the commander. Eh, seems interesting enough. I'll look into it.

I noticed that you commented earlier that you have trouble with Blood Moon . Do you have similar trouble with Back to Basics ? What of tutor-hosers such as Stranglehold and Mindlock Orb ? If so, how do you seek to remedy said troubles?

December 26, 2013 6:21 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

Counterspells are my primary line of defense against those cards. Unfortunately, there's not much I can do against them. If a Mindlock Orb or Stranglehold or Aven Mindcensor resolves, then I have to play around it until I draw into an answer. Likely, that means filtering my hand as much and as often as possible with Damia.

As for the nonbasic land hosers, they kind of wreck this deck. I can't change the fact that this deck is dependent on nonbasics - it's the nonbasics that make it consistent enough to win so early and so often. I may end up using Living Wish and moving many of the less essential utility lands to the sideboard in favor of more basics (especially because the Crucible+fetch interaction tends to deplete my deck of fetchable lands pretty quickly).

December 26, 2013 6:42 p.m.

vishnarg says...

How does Living Wish work in EDH where there are no sideboards?

December 27, 2013 10:49 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

EDH does have sideboards.

December 27, 2013 11:04 a.m.

nbarry223 says...

yes, you sideboard after having commanders revealed, and prior to the game. It's a little different. Plus it is only 10 cards instead of 15.

December 27, 2013 11:11 a.m.

schmedly235 says...

just a question maybe stupid but in what way is Grim Tutor better than Sylvan Scrying ? i mean they are both sorcery speed but the tutor costs 1 more mana and 3 life.....

December 27, 2013 7:04 p.m.

schmedly235 says...

oops my bad disregard my prior comment i misread it.

December 27, 2013 7:05 p.m.

CallMeCrazy says...

Just out of curiosity which Dark Ritual and Counterspell art do you run?

December 28, 2013 4:02 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

I run the FTV foil Dark Ritual (although I also have a foreign copy stored away in my deckbuilding collection) and an altered-art Mercadian Masques Counterspell .

Most of the cards in this deck are either foil or altered.

December 28, 2013 12:19 p.m.

Trying to create the Blue-Green equivalent of this deck is very hard. Without the inclusion of black you lose all of your reliable tutors as well as Necropotence and Damnation . We'll have to play sometime soon when I iron out the kinks in my Prime Speaker Zegana build.

December 28, 2013 4:54 p.m.

larsenp says...

Deglamer keeps getting brought up, but I'm going to add more validity to its merit! what about as a tuck for the times you go up against esper generals! or in the event your opponent plays some nasty combo centered piece that you didn't have a Counterspell for? This card gives you another out-of-the-box disruption that most people wont anticipate.

December 30, 2013 3:13 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@larsenp: I suppose I could add it to the sideboard and side it in if I go up against a deck I know will use artifact combos. However, I still question whether it is good enough to see general mainboard play.

December 30, 2013 3:15 p.m.

Prismatic Omen might be good for manafixing

January 1, 2014 10 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

Prismatic Omen is unnecessary because it doesn't actually ramp, and because I have all possible duals, shocks, and fetches. The color fixing is fine, so I'd rather have ramp.

January 2, 2014 12:36 a.m.

YerpyMoose says...

Have you tested to see how many competitive decks your list can fend off at the same time, in excess of the usual 3-4 man pod?

January 2, 2014 2:28 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@YerpyMoose: No. Such a test would be pointless. Any deck will fail when it gets focused by too many opponents, and there are too many variables and too few applications to bother with all the work such testing would require.

January 2, 2014 3:33 a.m.

larsenp says...

I play this deck almost to the T, just 3-5 different cards weekly, almost daily, and I can say this: it works well 1v1 but it really shines in 2v2 format. When we play any other formats like star, ffa, 3v3 it has a hard time going off because there are simply just too many interactions.

January 2, 2014 1:54 p.m.

larsenp says...

Oh yeah, that was @ YerpyMoose

January 2, 2014 1:55 p.m.

vishnarg says...

Why not Storm Crow ? Great combo enabler.

January 2, 2014 2:56 p.m.

Droxium says...

Storm Crow and Chimney Imp are great cards, and perhaps you need another way to kill creatures? Razor Boomerang will kill any Hermit Druid that you need it to.

January 2, 2014 3:02 p.m.

Orbrunner says...

Wild Growth ?

January 5, 2014 10:01 p.m.

vishnarg says...

Wood Elemental can help for a late game beatdown and has good synergy with Damia.

January 5, 2014 10:46 p.m.

What countermagic were strong considerations for the deck but didnt make the cut?

I don't see much graveyard hate in the deck, barring Deathrite Shaman , leading on from that i was wondering if Trinket Mage was ever in the deck to fetch up your mana rocks, Sensei's Divining Top , and what might've been graveyard hate artifacts like Nihil Spellbomb , Relic of Progenitus or Tormod's Crypt .

Has the deck ever had to cope with losing it's win conditions? i.e. a turn 1 Dark Ritual +Sadistic Sacrament

Gaze of Granite is a card i've found invaluable in edh, dealing with opponent's mana-rocks and early plays if you wind up playing it before your own, did it not make the cut similarly to how Pernicious Deed got cut from the deck?

January 7, 2014 6:07 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@gheridarigaaz: I tested a lot of the 1U counterspells, but cut several of them (like Delay ) for more effective counters (like Swan Song , when it came out) and other cards. I avoided most of the 3+ CMC counterspells because they are too expensive for a fast-paced control deck, and they sit awkwardly on the mana curve.

Graveyard hate is pretty specific, and it isn't generally relevant except in certain cases. Even in those few cases, it's generally better to have a counterspell than graveyard hate.

Trinket Mage never made the cut. I'd sooner run Fabricate , and I cut Fabricate because it wasn't performing optimally.

I've never seen Sadistic Sacrament in game, and it's exceedingly rare that someone plays something that interferes with my win conditions while they're still in my library or hand. Regardless, I have backup combos. They aren't as efficient or straightforward as my infinite mana combos (especially if they exile Deadeye Navigator , but they can do the job in a pinch. Overall, though, the deck is a bit more fragile than I'd like. I'll be the first to admit that. Multiplayer games tend not to see a whole lot of single-opponent disruption beyond counterspells and removal, though, because it's just not mana or time efficient to target one player to lose the game.

Gaze of Granite can certainly have its place in many decks, but it isn't up to scratch for competitive circles. It's just too expensive to cast, and it's a sorcery. Pernicious Deed would likely make a reappearance before Gaze of Granite sees play here. I need to include only the most efficient cards when I can.

January 7, 2014 5:56 p.m.

Atmaweapon says...

I'm building something similar around Damia with a little bit less focus on Infinite (my group rather frowns on it, unless the game is getting extremely drawn out). I was wondering if you had ever experimented with Parallax Tide for mana-denial, counter-LD, and potential hilarity to the tune of "oh, Pact of Negation ? You lose." (It'd require your Leyline of Anticipation , but the look on your opponent's face would be priceless.)

January 8, 2014 1:52 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@Atmaweapon: I have not used Parallax Tide , but I've seen some decklists experiment with the card (and similar cards). I don't personally find it too impressive, at least on paper. Then again, I don't have any in-game experience playing with or against it, so my opinion on the matter is of limited value.

January 8, 2014 5:13 a.m.

How does one interfere with your win-con combos? I'm looking to make either a chaos or policing edh deck. My vorosh BUG deck is exceedingly good at making people quit, discouraging people from playing against me. Hence asking about counters and library disruption, theres a similarly combo-centric bug deck in our meta that i'd look to stymie or stifle to earn favour with the other players

And i am aware this ought to be in one of the forums, but i'm just looking for a straightforward answer

January 8, 2014 6:08 a.m.

gheridarigaaz the most fragile point of the combine is when Palinchron and Deadeye Navigator enter the battlefield. The easiest way to disrupt it is to kill one of them in response to the soulbond trigger. It can't be blinked to make infinite mana since it hasn't been bonded yet. Also you don't get to untap the lands just yet since that trigger is also on the stack.

January 8, 2014 1:15 p.m.

larsenp says...

I think a comment purging is in order soon.

January 8, 2014 3:21 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@gheridarigaaz: Disruption against this kind of deck is largely situational. For disruption to have effect, I need to not be able to counter it. A careful combo-control player presents few opportunities for disruption.

That said, the best means of interfering with combos are counterspells and removal. If you counter a critical combo piece, then it takes time and resources to get that piece back or change combos. For example, if I combo with Phantasmal Image and Palinchron , you can counter Phantasmal Image on the cast or recast (that's one of the reasons I like Deadeye Navigator - it evades counterspells).

Spot removal also works, provided I don't have counterspells or Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir to protect my combo (although the same is true of counterspells in general).

Other options include discard, tucking, and exile (e.g. Vendilion Clique ).

@larsenp: I agree, but I'll wait until BNG is spoiled. That way I can update the deck (if anything usable even comes out) and purge the comments at the same time.

January 8, 2014 3:32 p.m.

Prophet of Kruphix

January 10, 2014 10:26 p.m.

Arcanum says...

I suggested that earlier but this person said and I quote "Prophet of Kruphix isn't good in this deck. It doesn't offer enough advantage to justify the 5 CMC"

January 10, 2014 10:35 p.m.

Droxium says...

Epochalyptik!!! Please put Prophet of Kruphix in your "other notes". it is extremely tedious to get a notification for this deck because somebody (not meaning to offend anybody) suggested a rejected card.

January 10, 2014 10:40 p.m.

Think I may proxy your work and try it out. Thx

January 16, 2014 12:23 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@ColdHeartedSith: Make sure you read the MTGS primer, then. An EDH combo-control deck is probably the most difficult thing to pick up without having designed it yourself. If you have any questions about how the deck functions, ask.

January 16, 2014 12:28 a.m.

You probably don't have room to fit it in or anything, but one infinite combo that goes excellently with Damia is Laboratory Maniac + Horizon Chimera + Nefarious Lich Draw ALL the cards.

January 17, 2014 12:32 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@CommanderLovecroft: I generally don't like including combos just because they're combos. They need to be relevant to the rest of the deck. Horizon Chimera doesn't do anything for me on its own or with any cards except my combo. Same for Nefarious Lich , but the latter is much riskier to play.

January 17, 2014 1:41 a.m.

wesley18 says...

Have you ever considered Frantic Search ? I have my own damia deck, but it's much more budget. Anyway Frantic Search is always relevant for me. It can ramp for one turn, find answers and the cards that I pitch to it are either irrelevant or I can recur them later. The only downside is the -1 card advantage but it tends to be an upside with damia on the the field because I can dig through more cards then.

January 18, 2014 12:07 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@wesley18: Frantic Search doesn't ramp because it doesn't give you extra mana production. At most, it can put a land in your hand so you don't miss your land drop for the turn.

Frantic Search might have been a consideration, but there's nothing in this deck that I'd cut for it. Everything else is just more useful.

January 18, 2014 12:17 p.m.

nbarry223 says...

it can ramp with Utopia Sprawl but that's about it.

I think it's more useful than Chromatic Lantern generally speaking. You can keep mana open for counters even without counters in hand, and pitch something else if you draw one when you need it. if not it still helps to filter your hand for pieces you need (or forms of ramp to enable more).

It actually does work if it's played properly, and at worse it is a good card filter when damia is out.

January 18, 2014 12:50 p.m.

I'm sure you have played alot with this deck, in playtesting I found grim monolith really bad without like a zelous conscripts to blink or something , what am I missing or is it just and opponents end of turn mana sink?

January 18, 2014 5:56 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@ColdHeartedSith: One of the biggest misconceptions about Grim Monolith is that you need to untap it. You don't; you can use it as a turn one or turn two investment to get extra mana later. It's like Dark Ritual .

Mana Vault serves a similar purpose. It's a burst of extra mana, and you aren't obligated to untap it after you use it.

January 18, 2014 7:03 p.m.

It was in an update , but it doesn't look like Abrupt Decay is in the decklist. Seems like the perfect answer to Blood Moon . Was it just too situational of a card to be included? And what about Sylvan Primordial ? The cmc may be a bit steep but he can ramp alongside his removal and interacts with Lotus Cobra nicely. Does the problem of something slipping through a counterspell to land on the board occur often enough to warrant his use? I feel like he would have to go in the SB if you do put in Living Wish .

January 18, 2014 10:52 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@supercaptainpow: Abrupt Decay was cut a while ago because it was unnecessary. It's decent overall, but I didn't find it necessary. I might reconsider.

Sylvan Primordial won't make it in. It would only serve as another finisher for Deadeye Navigator 's blink ability, and it's too expensive to be a utility card.

January 18, 2014 10:55 p.m.

Ok I thought that was its purpose but I was trying to make sure it dosn't untap for free somehow or something I missed. I guess its well costed as a 3 colorless 2 mana Sol Ring that dosn't untap. Well in a round about way. I think its a good one for Glissa, if anyone plays her in golgari or B/U/G Grim Monolith I mean.

January 19, 2014 12:51 a.m.

Blakkhand says...

Not including Abrupt Decay is probably a bad decision. It's the best removal spell ever printed for eternal formats (admittedly, it's not as good in EDH as it is in legacy, mainly because Counterbalance isn't a card and CMCs are a little higher). It should easily edge out some of the worse counterspells. Also, I can tell you after some testing that Voidslime probably shouldn't make the cut. CCC counters are just too clunky, and the additional utility does not justify it. You could even just switch the two.

Also, you could consider switching Nature's Claim for Seal of Primordium ; being proactive often makes the latter more mana efficient.

January 19, 2014 6:13 p.m.

thataddkid says...

Have you ever tried out Words of Waste ? If you can get Damia, Sage of Stone online it could be the ultimate control tool.

January 19, 2014 6:22 p.m.

vishnarg says...

@ Blakkhand - "best removal spell ever printed for eternal formats"? I'll stick with Swords to Plowshares and Lightning Bolt there.

January 19, 2014 6:26 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@Blakkhand: I disagree about Abrupt Decay being the best removal spell ever. Each removal spell has its applications. In this case, Abrupt Decay is pretty limited. It does hit lots of utility permanents, but the question is whether it's worthwhile to include Abrupt Decay just to kill Sol Ring s, Sylvan Library , and similar permanents. I'm not adamant about not including Abrupt Decay , but it doesn't seem worthwhile at this point.

Voidslime keeps its place because it can counter anything. It's CCC, but it's in the two most relevant colors in the deck. The flexibility to counter any part of a combo is really nice.

Nature's Claim is better than Seal of Primordium . An opponent can force me to crack Seal of Primordium early because he or she knows I have it (it only functions while it's a permanent). Nature's Claim is cheaper, and I can surprise an opponent with it.

If anything, I would run Deglamer or the new Unravel the Aether instead of Seal of Primordium .

January 19, 2014 6:40 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@thataddkid: In a slower Damia deck, it might be worth pursuing. However, I don't really want to give up my own card advantage and mana just so opponents can pitch lands.

January 19, 2014 6:42 p.m.

You are everything wrong with the commander format, please go and play legacy/modern/standard that where tailored for individuals to be ultra-spikey and have the primary goal to win every game. This is a format based upon interaction, multiplayer political dynamics and playing often with a close group of friends.

January 20, 2014 7:25 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@Behappyorelse: Bad troll is bad.

If you bothered reading my work, you would know by now that I'm one of the more outspoken proponents of playgroup selection. I play this deck against people who want to play against this deck: people who expect and crave a high-stakes, high-tension, competitive game. When I play kitchen table EDH with my casual friends, I break out another deck.

Assumptions like yours are everything that is wrong with the discussion about the Commander format.

January 20, 2014 7:29 p.m.

larsenp says...

This in a nutshell: I am sure this is not his only deck of play. I run a mirror of this deck minus 5-10 cards and it is not unstoppable, nor does it claim to be. That being said Behappyorelse maybe your meta is full of Johnny's where as ours are more competitive and players of a different caliber.

Also.. domination is a form of interaction, just apparently one that you are not familiar with in your Bonbon's and X-box playgroup.

January 20, 2014 9:37 p.m.

So far it doesn't look like anything from Born of the Gods will make it into the deck. Hopefully some super high powered spoiler gets released sometime soon

January 20, 2014 10:39 p.m.

Dusty says...

I've been reading through the comments since the last wipe and haven't seen anything on Library/combo extraction. I'm thinking of running either Bitter Ordeal or Sadistic Sacrament in my own Damia build but it's played in a far less competitive environment than what I assume this deck is built for. I'm curious to see thoughts about them either as tools to shut down other decks or alternate win cons to Blue Sun's Zenith .

Perhaps I'm the problem of power creep in my playgroup.

Damia and the Time Wizards

January 22, 2014 12:22 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@Dusty: Bitter Ordeal isn't a very effective win condition in this deck because there's no sacrifice/kill loop. It's also not a very good utility card on its own. I suppose if you reworked the deck it might function, but I don't see the need to do so. Sadistic Sacrament is borderline. I suppose you could use it, but the cost is kind of out there for a non-permanent utility card.

Also, this deck already has a few alternate win conditions to Blue Sun's Zenith . I wouldn't really call either Bitter Ordeal or Sadistic Sacrament a win condition in this context.

January 22, 2014 12:44 a.m.

-Logician says...

Cheater! You have two copies of Time Stretch in there. One in the mainboard and one in the sideboard.

;D

January 24, 2014 11:54 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

The sideboard is the potential cut list.

January 24, 2014 12:03 p.m.

I haven't seen anything about Kira, Great Glass-Spinner . As far as a counter goes she does extremely well paired up with other utility cards and ultimately forces a board wipe or massive resource dumping into removing her. Not much you have targets your own creatures so she seems like a legit 3 CMC fit. Thoughts?

January 24, 2014 12:24 p.m.

-Logician says...

But if you cut Time Stretch, you wont have Time Stretch. My logic is flawless, trust me.

January 24, 2014 12:35 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

I used to have Kira, Great Glass-Spinner in an early version of this deck, but I cut it because it felt unnecessary. I might consider re-adding it, but I would need to justify the addition.

My major problem is that it doesn't have flash, so I have to cast it preemptively, which hinders my control options.

January 24, 2014 12:38 p.m.

Ohthenoises says...

Have you ever considered any redundancy for Leyline of Anticipation ? Alchemist's Refuge seems like it could do work.

January 24, 2014 12:55 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

I cut Alchemist's Refuge a while ago because it was taxing my land base a bit too much. I might redesign the utility suite to more directly address the deck's needs, but I need more playtesting data first.

January 24, 2014 1:08 p.m.

Ohthenoises says...

Fair enough, I like Alchemist's Refuge more than Vedalken Orrery if you're in the colors for it.

January 24, 2014 1:10 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

Vedalken Orrery is just bad in fast combo decks because there's no viable way to cheat it in. I'd much prefer to staple the effect onto a land.

January 24, 2014 1:17 p.m.

saltyk says...

would suck if Deadeye Navigator got exiled somehow :/

January 25, 2014 2:59 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

The deck can recover. Phantasmal Image picks up the role as combo enabler.

I often T&N for Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir as well (although that depends on whether I have a combo piece in hand.

January 25, 2014 3:04 a.m.

saltyk says...

i mean you have A LOT of counter so i doubt it would get exiled any way

January 25, 2014 3:10 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

Well, ideally anyway. It's always good to have a contingency plan, though. Combo decks just disintegrate without one.

January 25, 2014 3:11 a.m.

saltyk says...

how do you get the Phantasmal Image off without the dead eye though. cause i know thats my biggest weakness with my damia deck is somebody exiling my dead eye

January 25, 2014 3:16 a.m.

saltyk says...

nvm i see it

January 25, 2014 3:17 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

Phantasmal Image copies Palinchron . You don't need Deadeye Navigator at all. And once you have your mana, you can copy something else to tutor for your win.

January 25, 2014 3:21 a.m.

twisteddtim says...

once born of the gods comes out maybe Courser of Kruphix top card + 1 life for every land that comes in

January 25, 2014 6:28 p.m.

Droxium says...

Oracle of Mul Daya is better since it allows you to play more lands per turn.

January 25, 2014 6:34 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@twisteddtim: Courser of Kruphix doesn't actually allow me to play extra lands. The lifegain is irrelevant. I'd rather pay 3G for an extra land drop than 1GG for some minor lifegain.

January 25, 2014 7:08 p.m.

vishnarg says...

If you need more creature removal, Toxic Deluge is absolutely fantastic. I know you could fetch Damnation , but the life loss isn't significant for EDH, it can kill other things but keep Damia on the field, it costs less than Damnation . I would at least sideboard it for hyper-aggressive decks.

January 27, 2014 7:58 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

I thought I added Toxic Deluge to the maybeboard earlier. Good catch. I need to test it before I decide for sure, but it will likely be an alternative to/replacement for Damnation .

January 27, 2014 9:52 p.m.

Ohthenoises says...

I have to chime in that Toxic Deluge is fan-freaking-tastic. Paying 4-6 life to potentially wipe an entire board is absolutely huge.

January 27, 2014 10:09 p.m.

vishnarg says...

I definitely think it will do more than Glen Elendra Archmage or Chromatic Lantern overall.

January 27, 2014 10:13 p.m.

Orbrunner says...

My testing of a similar build (currently the effective changes are Toxic Deluge , Grim Tutor and Spell Crumple over Glen Elendra Archmage , Chromatic Lantern and Delay ) has been quite successful. The only one of those three that I've missed has been, on rare occasion, the Lantern, whereas the extra tutor has proven far more useful than the extra counterspell. While I'm well aware that Crumple doesn't do Hinder's job as well as Hinder itself does, my metagame has a lot of decks that are absolutely crushed by getting their commander tucked, so I felt the inclusion was necessary. Having both Deluge and Damnation as wrath effects has been more successful in testing than having merely one or the other, in my experience.

January 27, 2014 11:21 p.m.

Dreno33 says...

i'm surprised to see Savage Summoning not make an appearance in the deck, Epochalyptik. it keeps you open right after ramping to counter anything necessary and then at EOT for opponent, you cast general, uncountered, a bit bigger, then start your turn. idk, seemed relevant.

alright, re-unsubscribing for the deck, hate my newsfeed when i forget, lol. link me if you reply.

January 28, 2014 2:17 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@Dreno33: Savage Summoning just seems questionable. A few users were bouncing the idea around back when M14 was spoiled, but I haven't yet picked one up. I might test it, but I don't know if it'll make the cut.

Speaking of testing, it's been quite a while since I was able to test this deck seriously. I play an occasional matchup against Jarad or Prime Speaker, but that's once a month, if that. I just don't have the time to commit right now.

January 28, 2014 7:23 p.m.

nbarry223 says...

a mini Leyline of Anticipation effect is pretty good. It's also almost like holding a Flusterstorm (which is a good card) when you cast damia, it essentially assures it will resolve.

When you finally get around to playtesting, I'd strongly consider Frantic Search (it's a lot more powerful in this type of build than it looks at first glance) Savage Summoning Gitaxian Probe and Toxic Deluge for the four spots you have up for replacement (Flusterstorm if you feel you need the counterspell, but two of the suggested cards are capable of drawing into counterspells, so might not be needed).

They significantly bring down your mana curve, allow you to play as a control player A LOT better, and give you a few more options as far as plays that can be made.

I feel I need to elaborate on the reasons why Frantic Search does work in this deck, because it definitely isn't apparent at first glance. It just looks like a filler card (as does Gitaxian Probe , but I'll get to that one later).

Frantic Search is basically a free Brainstorm (provided you can get damia out before you run out of cards), with a few added benefits. As I mentioned earlier, it can actually ramp you if you have Utopia Sprawl out. It can also be used to feed graveyard based cards like Deathrite Shaman and Crucible of Worlds . Finally, last but certainly not least, it refills your hand much better than any card when damia is on the field. It allows you to pitch those lands you aren't able to play for significant draw power. It's also significantly more powerful than the aforementioned Brainstorm because the unwanted cards are going to your graveyard and not the top of your library. The lack of a cantrip effect is almost negligible in a deck with damia as a general.

Gitaxian Probe is another underrated card. It allows you to gather information about any player's hand for 2 life, which is invaluable as a control player. Even if you have 3 other people at the table, you can tell who is most likely to be holding a couterspell, so check out their hand before playing your "bomb" whatever it may be. It's basically a peek at someone's hand whenever you want it (2 life is generally insignificant), which is great.

The other cards are pretty self explanatory (Flusterstorm is a great counter because you simultaneously cast a bunch of counters that have to be dealt with separately if they really want to get into a counter war with you. It's almost a cheaper Last Word )

January 28, 2014 11:18 p.m.

CallMeCrazy says...

What does Mystical Teachings usually get?

January 29, 2014 3:36 p.m.

larsenp says...

Well aside from answers to current threats, I use it to set up the mill combo, fetch Snapcaster Mage , not to sure about the wording on Leyline of Anticipation + Mystical Teachings , seems arbitrary and worthy of looking up "as though they had" versus "gain" effects. Need a counterspell? No problem, tutor for one, need another? Flashback and grab another. Flashing back and tapping out isn't bad when you can still Pact of Negation .

January 29, 2014 6:47 p.m.

Droxium says...

Mystical Teachings grabs Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir at end of turn, and then you flash him in. During your turn, you can combo off without any problems and win the game.

January 29, 2014 9:11 p.m.

Mystical Teachings can allow you to tap out to cast it, and then grab a free counterspell like Pact of Negation or Force of Will . It can also grab Venser, Shaper Savant as well as Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir . There are other notable instants, like Blue Sun's Zenith and Cyclonic Rift . Mystical Teachings is a highly situational card which can grab what ever you need.

February 1, 2014 11:32 a.m.

Krayhaft says...

I noticed that most of your infinite combos require Deadeye Navigator to execute. Are there ever situations where you find yourself without the navigator (such as your opponents exiling it even through your counter protection, somehow), and how often do you expect to win those games without him)

February 1, 2014 4:24 p.m.

Tee_Yum says...

Nice list. I have a few cards that I don't really think have any business being in a competitive list. Many of them you've already identified yourself, such as Chromatic Lantern so I'll try not to bring those up. The following is a pretty direct deck criticism, which I don't see many of here in the comments. I'm not going to pull punches,

First concern: how do you win if someone resolves a Jester's Cap or Sadistic Sacrament against you? Counter them, sure, but if you're playing in a competitive meta I'm suspecting the other players are going to be doing relevant things worth countering sometimes too - so I'd be worried about win conditions that rely almost ENTIRELY on 3 cards.

Green Sun's Zenith is actually pretty low impact here. It can find two relevant cards in Eternal Witness and MAYBE Deathrite Shaman and otherwise should probably just be another ramp spell since that's what you can find with it. If you need this effect, play Worldly Tutor and EOT it - it lets you find your combo win to boot.

Alchemist's Refuge almost certainly wants to be in here, as it does not require you to resolve it and it forces people to play around it, whereas Teferi is pretty obvious and there are plenty of less narrow ways to deal with him and he gets hit by uncounterable sweepers.

I'm also not a huge fan of Dark Ritual in a deck with as much ramp as you have. It's card disadvantage and the best thing you can ramp into is..Necro? Oracle? Damia? You're not playing stax or combo here - you're a control deck. If your curve is not working out or you can't find space to play a ramp spell or creature...my suspicion is that you're misplaying or that your other cards aren't doing their jobs.

Finally, Utopia Sprawl and Remand are not ideal. Given your present over saturation of counter magic remand is a cute redundant cantrip at best. I would much prefer this be something like Frantic Search or Interdict . Utopia sprawl is just an overt begging to get 2 for 1'd, much like the mana dorks sans DRS. They die to literally everything and they only marginally ramp. Instead, I'd think about running things like Sprouting Vines and Summer Bloom that let you REALLY punish an opponent for getting in a counter war with you or playing a lot of things at once. Even though these lands don't come into play, with the other effects you have you should be able to dump them out or pitch them to other effects quite readily. Bloom also lets you ramp to Damia with an empty hand for the draw 7.

February 2, 2014 1:50 a.m.

Tee_Yum says...

I also really don't agree with your reliance on counter magic to stop all threats. Things like Vexing Shusher and Boseiju, Who Shelters All crap on that strategy, and I think you need to be able to reliably answer more than just one opponent doing relevant things in a game (if you're playing competitively). IMO maybe you need to drop some of the weaker counters and run one or two utility answers such as Beast Within or Oblivion Stone .

February 2, 2014 1:57 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@CallMeCrazy: Typically, a counterspell or Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir .

@larsenp: Leyline of Anticipation doesn't interact with Mystical Teachings because it doesn't actually give anything flash. Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir , however, does work.

@Krayhaft: There are replacements for most of the combo pieces. The deck will obviously suffer a bit if it loses an important piece, but the alternative options are there. It's mostly a matter of whether I'll have time to repair the combo.

@Tee_Yum:

Jester's Cap and Sadistic Sacrament seem to not even exist in the competitive multiplayer meta. They're too narrow, and too expensive. No player really wants to spend that much mana just to focus one opponent. If anything, single-target exile is the real problem. Even then, there's countermagic, and most of the combo pieces have at least one replacement.

Green Sun's Zenith finds several relevant creatures. Dryad Arbor , Deathrite Shaman , Azusa, Lost but Seeking , Eternal Witness , and Lotus Cobra are all fine fetches. Oracle of Mul Daya is really the only green creature I can't see myself fetching. Worldly Tutor serves a different purpose, although it is certainly a good card. Choosing one over the other seems mostly like a preference thing. Worldly Tutor has the advantage of being a cheap instant, but it forces you to hardcast the creature. The capacity to find any creature is certainly nice, but delayed access can be a hindrance. When I have a chunk of time to devote to playtesting, I'll try Worldly Tutor as a replacement for/addition to Green Sun's Zenith .

Alchemist's Refuge is on the list of things to (re)include in the next update. I'm thinking about reworking the land base and dropping some of the less necessary utility lands (Homeward Path , for example, hasn't really done much for me).

Dark Ritual is good for ramping into Damia because Damia's ability just replaces the card. It's also perfectly reasonable to ramp into a Necropotence considering black is the color I fetch last. It's not that the curve doesn't work, it's that getting to better cards sooner is, well, better.

Utopia Sprawl is functional because of how frequently and rapidly I get a Forest on the field. Granted, aura-based ramp is not optimal. The color-fixing utility is pretty strong, though. I could replace it with another ramp card if testing proves such a move would be advantageous. Sprouting Vines probably wouldn't be that card, though. It's expensive to cast, and storm is not as relevant as it needs to be. Summer Bloom is nice, but it doesn't honestly do enough unless I'm already land-flooded, and it's pretty rare that I am, given how many other Exploration effects are in the deck. Carpet of Flowers is the likelier candidate. I'll probably end up making that swap after some testing.

Remand is usable as a pseudo-hard counter within the combo turn cycle, but I'll agree it isn't the strongest counterspell.

I honestly question the utility of Frantic Search . At least one other user has suggested it, but it seems like too much of a gamble. It begs to be counterspelled, and it only filters. If it resolves, it gets the reset, but the 2U cost makes it feel too risky to include. I know nbarry223 extolled Frantic Search 's benefits, but the still seem marginal in a deck that rarely has dead cards (the Exploration effects mean I almost never have useless lands in hand).

I cut Scroll Rack a while ago, but it seems Scroll Rack would be a more useful version of Frantic Search . It's repeatable, costs less to use unless it's on the turn you cast it, and allows me to choose any number of cards to filter.

Interdict could be a suitable inclusion, but I wonder whether it would be better to use Trickbind . I'd be trading the cantrip for uncounterability and the option to target triggered abilities, and I can live with that.

While it's true that Vexing Shusher and Boseiju, Who Shelters All are serious threats, the suggested answers are iffy. Oblivion Stone is very slow and expensive, so I don't think I could justify including it. Beast Within used to be in the deck, but I found very few situations in which I needed to destroy something so badly that I could justify spending that much on the process. Still, the option to answer a resolved threat would be nice. Pongify or Rapid Hybridization seem the likelier options as far as creature removal go.

Honestly, it's been so long since I tested this deck in a multiplayer environment that it's no wonder some of the card choices appear outdated or suboptimal. The competitive EDH scene around here doesn't exist anymore, and I haven't had time in the past half a year to commit to serious online playtesting.

The lack of recent game experience has effectively frozen this deck's development for now. I rely largely on useful discussions like this one to keep it going.

February 2, 2014 2:50 a.m.

Tee_Yum says...

I think your mana base rework is certainly in order. You don't run any of the karoos (such as Dimir Aqueduct - all of which would make cards like summer bloom, frantic search, and sprouting vines much better - AND they're better than Utopia Sprawl . I'd honestly rather run another land over that card.

I also still don't agree with GSZ - fetching Lotus Cobra , Dryad Arbor or Azusa, Lost but Seeking is EXTREMELY marginal and turns the card directly into a ramp spell. It's good - certainly, I just happen to think there are cheaper, more flexible options (which seems to be what you want either way).

I think you're making my point for me with the Dark Ritual comment. If you need to cast rit to cast damia, you're probably asking to get blown out. As someone who plays competitive EDH vs control decks, I seek opportunities such as this to tuck or kill your general. Maybe you'll have counter magic, but my guess is that people will want to deal with your general because it's pretty obvious what your gameplan is.

As to the Jester's Cap and Sadistic Sacrament sentiments: I play them in most decks where I suffer against control, because usually casting either of them means disabling EVERY infinite combo in 90% of decks. There's no reason to kick sad sac: 3 cards is enough to disable most infinite combos. Same with cap. In my experience, the best way to deal with this is just to play at least SOME way to win that doesn't rely entirely on Deadeye Navigator or Palinchron

February 2, 2014 1:26 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@Tee_Yum: The Rav karoos don't really make sense here. They can interact well with the Exploration effects, but they're VERY risky if I don't have any such effects. Strip Mine basically turns into a Time Stretch against those lands. Plus, they come in tapped. I also don't have any room for them in the decklist.

While using Green Sun's Zenith as a ramp spell may seem odd, it's worthwhile in my experience. Having that option for the turn one cast into Dryad Arbor , or the turn X cast into anything else is kind of nice. I'm willing to test other options, but Green Sun's Zenith has worked thus far in this capacity.

Dark Ritual is situational, but I haven't yet had a negative experience with it. I don't use it to walk something into a counterspell if I know the counterspell is there (or have a feeling it is). Early on, it accelerates into Necropotence and mana rocks. It can also turn into Damia or Tooth and Nail . I cast it when I'm at least 90% sure that I can resolve the spell that follows it.

While I agree that Jester's Cap and Sadistic Sacrament (and I'm aware the latter doesn't need to be kicked) are good at disabling combos, I don't agree that they're threats in the competitive multiplayer meta. I've never come across someone who plays it in a tournament pod. It's a lot of mana to thwart a single player, and you'll just turn that player into a single-focus enemy for the rest of the game - he or she is probably going to want to make you lose if you guarantee he or she can't win. As I mentioned earlier, the bigger threat comes from spot removal like Path to Exile or Swords to Plowshares .

February 2, 2014 1:38 p.m.

larsenp says...

I don't know what your feelings are on Riftsweeper , but I am trying one out at the moment and it did work very nicely for my post-enemy Merciless Eviction to get my Deadeye Navigator back.

I also plan to soon playtest Rite of Replication because there are too many fun ETB interactions with my deck to abuse.

Also as far as "competitive meta's" are concerned... let's be honest here, this is EDH. I play @ one of the most populated card shops in Texas and still haven't seen unbeatable, professional, or quality decks win all the time. Say someone resolves a Leyline of the Void , pretty much beast of a card in itself, combine it with some mill mechanics and you straight annihilate most decks out there. Find a way to recur it and it can be one of the most annoying cards to play against in EDH in my opinion.

February 2, 2014 4:53 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@larsenp: Riftsweeper is an iffy card. It does its job well enough, but it only does that one job. It seems easier to just transition into another combo than to tutor up Riftsweeper , then tutor up the returned card, then play the returned card again.

Rite of Replication is fine outside the competitive level. It's just too slow here.

As for your view on competitive metas themselves, you're wrong. I'm being blunt, but that's a fact. Competitive EDH (in both the "more than casual" sense and the "tournament level" sense) does exist, and to dismiss it is to dismiss the reason this deck exists. The competitive meta in this format has nothing to do with what's annoying or what tops in casual playgroups. It's about efficiency, speed, and power. The top decks - Arcum Dagsson , Scion of the Ur-Dragon /Hermit Druid , Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir , Animar, Soul of Elements , etc. - all balance those elements and win very consistently within five turns or so.

February 2, 2014 6:43 p.m.

vishnarg says...

Is Mimeoplasm A Top CoMpetitive Deck?

February 2, 2014 7:12 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

No. The Mimeoplasm is a strong utility general, but it doesn't do enough in terms of speed and magnitude to support a top-tier competitive deck. That's not to say you can't build a good deck around it, but you aren't setting yourself up in the best position to take on established tourney decks.

February 2, 2014 7:18 p.m.

Damn, if Deadeye Navigator was band, your deck would lose all of it's infinite combos...

February 2, 2014 7:22 p.m.

Except Phantasmal Image .

February 2, 2014 7:23 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

Even though Deadeye Navigator is an important element of the deck, it's possible to combo without it. But would I continue to play this deck if Phantasmal Image were banned? No.

February 2, 2014 7:28 p.m.

thataddkid says...

What elements do you think put Damia above a general like Animar? I noticed you said Animar was a top competitive general as well, what are some of the staples for an animar combo deck?

February 2, 2014 10:31 p.m.

nbarry223 says...

The difference between Scroll Rack and Frantic Search is that Frantic Search eliminates the dead cards. Scroll Rack lets you draw into them later.

You really need to playtest it to see its power I think. People will seldom counter a card like that when you are playing it EoT. That's one less counter they have against key combo pieces. Countering a filter card is about as useful as targeted discard.

February 2, 2014 10:33 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@thataddkid: Damia is a worse combo general than Animar, in my opinion. I just really like BUG. Animar is good because the general itself is a combo staple. There are lots of decklists on MTG sites, and some primers on MTGS, that cover in far greater depth than I can what competitive combo-control Animar should include.

@nbarry223: Scroll Rack is used with the numerous shuffle effects to ditch dead cards; I don't intend on keeping what I pitch on top of my library long enough to draw into it.

February 2, 2014 10:39 p.m.

nbarry223 says...

@thataddkid

look at my deck EDH - Animar the Archenemy for most of the animar staples. I have a few cards in it to deal with burn and counterspell heavy decks specifically (people like to play those in the made up edh archenemy format) but it is mostly "optimal" cards in there.

Some people like to take the Cloudstone Curio path, but I find it too slow and vulnerable.

February 2, 2014 10:43 p.m.

ChiefBell says...

Do you find that you have enough forests to reliably cast Utopia Sprawl ?

February 3, 2014 12:50 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@ChiefBell: Yes. The 3-3-9 lineup and the extra basic Forests mean I almost always have one or more Forests within the first turn or two. The casting restriction isn't the problem; it's the fact that it's an aura. Auras are inherently risky because your opponent can 2-for-1 you.

February 3, 2014 12:58 p.m.

ChiefBell says...

Apologies, but by 3-3-9 are you referring to the number of cards that tap for a certain colour?

February 3, 2014 1:02 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

No. 3 ABUR duals, 3 shocks, and 9 fetches.

The 3-3-9 is the optimal foundation for a tricolor EDH land base.

February 3, 2014 1:07 p.m.

ChiefBell says...

Many thanks Epoch - very informative as per usual. I've made some changes to my own deck in accordance with the above information.

February 3, 2014 2:34 p.m.

truble says...

I think Negate is much stronger than Arcane Denial .

The things you are most afraid of are combos and counterspells. Aside from the creature based combos negate catches both of those. It is likely that you are the most degenerate deck at the table, and most of the time your counters are going to be used to protect your combo. Negate does a great job of this. I just hate to see my opponent draw cards.

February 3, 2014 7:29 p.m.

infinitemana says...

With 9 fetches, Wasteland , Strip Mine , Tolaria West and Cephalid Coliseum , I think that Life from the Loam would almost always get some value on the initial cast, and once it starts dredging it can be a very powerful land recursion engine.
I would also like to suggest Mystic Snake and/or Plasm Capture . The latter might be too slow, but they both have served me well in the past, even if they just end up chump blocking.

February 4, 2014 5:56 p.m.

RedSoxFanKy says...

Just for the sake of correctness you have Chromatic Lantern in your maindeck and sideboard.

February 5, 2014 7:17 a.m.

RedSoxFanKy says...

And I just read the description..... Sorry!

February 5, 2014 7:20 a.m.

ChiefBell says...

Epoch said that he wanted to remove Chromatic Lantern , I think he must be keeping a list of 'maybe' cards.

February 5, 2014 7:21 a.m.

RedSoxFanKy says...

Yeah I didn't read the description well. It says the sideboard is on the bubble cards.

February 5, 2014 7:48 a.m.

infinitemana Life from the Loam was cut a few months ago, even if he would have the card in hand, he would never want to cast it. Also, you run the risk of dredging a piece of your combo if you do decide to dredge it. One a side note, Life from the Loam + Scroll Rack + Lands in the graveyard is a 3 mana draw 3 every turn.

February 5, 2014 8:05 a.m.

Ohthenoises says...

What are your feelings on Defense of the Heart ?

Cons: It is opponent "controlled" and it's slow seeing as you have to wait until your upkeep.

Pros: It can win you the game on the spot, it keeps your opponents creature count low, and it dodges most removal.

February 5, 2014 8:32 a.m.

I'm not sure whether or not you've already considered these options, but I think Gifts Ungiven and Fact or Fiction (Gifts especially) would make your deck much more consistent, as you can search for combo pieces and dig for counterspells or whatever you need much more efficiently.

February 5, 2014 2:32 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@thispersonisagenius: Gifts Ungiven is banned in Commander.

Fact or Fiction was cut because it was expensive. I'd rather have a cheap tutor.

@Ohthenoises: Defense of the Heart was cut a while ago because it was just too inconsistent. It's easy to deal with because it has to be played in advance, and there's no real guarantee that its ability will trigger. Your opponents also know what's coming, so they can prepare in advance.

@infinitemana: Life from the Loam was cut a while ago. It's a good card, but it didn't really do enough for me.

Mystic Snake was also cut a while ago. It's too expensive to use properly. Plasm Capture was never in the deck, but it's also too expensive to use properly.

February 5, 2014 2:44 p.m.

rathalos3000 says...

Why don't you play Phyrexian Arena ?

February 5, 2014 4:28 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@rathalos3000: Phyrexian Arena is too slow. It, too, was cut from the deck. I just didn't want to invest 1BB in the card while I could be ramping or countering something. Rhystic Study was cut for the same reason.

February 5, 2014 4:31 p.m.

rathalos3000 says...

Wow, it's harder than French :)

Phyrexian Arena is very powerful in French :)

February 5, 2014 4:36 p.m.

thataddkid says...

I know that Deadeye Navigator is a key part of your deck, but do you think it's ban-worthy?

February 5, 2014 4:47 p.m.

rathalos3000 says...

I think no, but I wonder why Tooth and Nail isn't banned ;)

February 5, 2014 5:02 p.m.

Bellock86 says...

In my opinion Tooth and Nail and Deadeye Navigator aren't banned for two very simple reasons: cost and vulnerability.

DN does nothing by itself. It takes time to set up for him to be useful and it's effectively an 8 mana investment to get running

TAN is expensive and vulnerable to a multitude of things that can stop it.

February 5, 2014 8:23 p.m.

hynes81 says...

What about Memnarch ? When you have the Deadeye Navigator + Palinchron or Phantasmal Image + Palinchron for your Infinite mana. It is game over time.

February 6, 2014 10:57 a.m.

vishnarg says...

I Second Memnarch As A Win condition

February 6, 2014 12:09 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

Memnarch isn't a very good win condition, at least in this deck, because it's only functional when I have infinite mana. It's much too expensive and limited to be applicable outside of the combo.

My win conditions tend to be cards that serve some purpose outside of the combo. For example, Blue Sun's Zenith and Venser, Shaper Savant are both usable utility cards even without an infinite mana or bounce combo.

February 6, 2014 1:13 p.m.

nbarry223 says...

Capsize would be the best card if you wanted something else as a win condition when you have infinite mana probably, since it is usable outside of it.

I think there's enough cards to capitalize on infinite mana as is though.

February 6, 2014 9:08 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

Capsize was in the deck a while ago, but it was cut (this is a pretty common pattern in the development cycle of this deck). I like Capsize in theory, but it's just too expensive to cast for buyback as just a regular utility spell.

The problem with offering suggestions for this deck is exactly that difference between theory and practice. BUG has many, many theoretically strong options, but not all of them are viable at the competitive level.

February 6, 2014 9:35 p.m.

nbarry223 says...

I wouldn't cast Capsize for its buyback unless you had infinite mana. It's mostly there for the needed temporary removal in game threatening situations. Otherwise you should just hold it. It's more of an "if all else fails" type of card.

I'm not saying it's worthy of a slot in the deck, there are better options. But paying its buyback without infinite mana is a waste, especially in a deck that generates this much card advantage. It should be treated as an expensive Boomerang unless you have infinite mana.

February 7, 2014 12:07 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

Casting it as a Boomerang is clearly the better option without infinite mana, but at that point it's just an overpriced bounce spell.

February 7, 2014 12:13 a.m.

Krayhaft says...

Do you have a wishboard made up? I don't know how much you value your life total, but Death Wish might also have a place in here.

February 8, 2014 11:30 a.m.

Droxium says...

Would you consider Magus of the Library for the Library of Alexandria effect or just ramp?

February 8, 2014 12:10 p.m.

vishnarg says...

How does Mystic Remora function? It looks like a weak link to me, I've never seen somebody try to use it before.

February 8, 2014 4:37 p.m.

Mystic Remora is nuts even just in theory. It's a one-drop and the cumulative upkeep will last a few turns, long enough to get great card advantage out of it. More powerful than Sylvan Library and Rhystic Study .

February 8, 2014 8:23 p.m.

OpenFire says...

If you are going for infinite mana, maybe Kiora's Follower ? sry for not knowing that much about EDH

February 9, 2014 3:04 p.m.

nicknac30 says...

When it comes to infinite mana one of my personal favorites is Mind Grind . Granted you need BU for it and it does not shuffle back in like Blue Sun's Zenith , bit it does hit all opponents which is really nice when you have a large group. Something else worth looking into is this new combo I came across of Deadeye Navigator + Gray Merchant of Asphodel .

February 18, 2014 12:10 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@Krayhaft: I don't. If I test the wishes, I'll have to come up with a viable sideboard to support them.

@Droxium: It's debatable. I haven't tested it or seen it used, so I can't currently vouch for its viability.

@vishnarg: It's incredibly strong. Nobody will ever pay the cost, and competitive EDH is about speed. If your opponents want to make plays in the first few turns, I get a large card advantage. If they don't, I'll probably win the game shortly after winning the resource race.

@supercaptainpow: Sometimes I don't even pay the upkeep cost. The nice thing about CU costs is you can just opt to not pay them once the card has outlived its viability. Mystic Remora is a great tool for generating advantage because you can just throw it away once you get a strong enough lead.

@OpenFire: Kiora's Follower doesn't really do anything in this deck. I have very few abusable tap abilities, and the ability doesn't go infinite with anything.

@nicknac30: Mind Grind is not really applicable; neither is Gray Merchant of Asphodel . Neither one is useful outside of an infinite combo. If you examine the deck list, you'll notice all the listed win conditions are viable as support cards, so they're still usable without combos. Additionally, Mind Grind doesn't end the game outright.

February 18, 2014 1:31 a.m.

vishnarg says...

I know that it isn't good on it's own, but Helix Pinnacle seems like the very best infinite mana combo piece there is. Why fetch Blue Sun's Zenith and have to kill one at a time when you can just win? It also has shroud so it's almost unstoppable.

February 18, 2014 7:56 a.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@vishnarg: Helix Pinnacle isn't really a good infinite mana combo piece. You don't win immediately, and the closest you can get is EOTing all the counters if you can set off your combo at instant speed. Helix Pinnacle is also useless without an infinite mana combo.

In contrast, I can kill an entire table at once with Blue Sun's Zenith . I cast it on myself first, then draw into it or tutor it and recast it until I win.

February 18, 2014 6:32 p.m.

vishnarg says...

Oh right. I totally missed the upkeep part. Nevermind that, Helix Pinnacle is not an option.

February 18, 2014 6:59 p.m.

Blakkhand says...

I take this deck for a spin every once in awhile, and it really needs better mana. I would seriously consider cutting Homeward Path (EXTREMELY niche scenario, no reason to hurt your mana for an effect that comes up like 1 in 50 competitive games), Reliquary Tower (most of the time this would help you, which is already somewhat rare, you are already going to win regardless), maybe Cavern of Souls (no creatures that you really need to resolve, though it does fix a little), and Chromatic Lantern (you don't really need it if you get a higher colored count) with 3-4 lands. I like City of Brass and pain lands, though I could see a filter or two getting in there, or maybe even Tarnished Citadel if you feel like going all in.

This is one of the few remaining flaws with the deck, it just needs to go. I've been noticing that in about 1 in 5 games I need to mull to 5-6 just to get a keepable hand. Converting a 2-4 colorless lands to colored lands could easily result in a lot of free cards, just through avoiding those mulls.

February 18, 2014 11:08 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@Blakkhand: I agree completely, and that's one of the changes I've been planning to make for a while. Unfortunately, the competitive EDH meta around me is nonexistent, so I have very few opportunities to do the playtesting necessary to find suitable replacements. I might simply add basic lands to the deck to further fuel my fetches. I sometimes find that between the Crucible of Worlds and the exploration effects, I run out of lands to find. The pain lands are tempting, but I don't know if they would hinder my ability to combo effectively. I suppose I find enough blue sources that I probably won't need to worry about it.

February 18, 2014 11:57 p.m.

I don't know how well Tempt with Discovery would do in a competitive environment, but every time I've played it, I can get 3-4 lands in and gain massive advantage over my opponents. It's about the only useful card with tempting offer. The downside is its only a bomb if your opponents make it one. 4 mana for one land can be a devastating waste.I personally think it has a place in casual games, and that's about it. Probably only worth running if you had Cabal Coffers , or lands worth grabbing in pairs/trios.

February 27, 2014 12:58 p.m.

thataddkid says...

Are your ABUR duals altered? What printing are they?

February 27, 2014 4:06 p.m.

Blakkhand says...

@supercaptainpow, I've cast Tempt with Discovery about 20-30 times now, with decks of varying competitiveness, and I've only seen the temptation be resisted a couple times. Many people simply come to the conclusion that their best land is going to be better than your second best land.

February 27, 2014 4:24 p.m.

BinkyBoo says...

I prefer Toxic Deluge over Damnation to drop them indestructible turds out ya way. Also why you no Maze of Ith ??????

March 1, 2014 4:57 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

Maze of Ith is irrelevant in competitive multiplayer EDH. Combat is almost never significant, and Maze of Ith doesn't tap for mana on its own.

March 1, 2014 6:04 p.m.

ChiefBell says...

I really think that Toxic Deluge is a pretty great card. Also, do you ever clean up the comments? This section is turning into something akin to a Greek epic.

March 1, 2014 6:08 p.m.

ChiefBell says...

Finally - I just gave you your 250th upvote :)

March 1, 2014 6:09 p.m.

Dusty says...

Thoughts on City of Brass and what do you usually grab with Intuition ?

March 1, 2014 11:04 p.m.

Erectnid420 says...

But Forbid is a near infinite lock down with Elixir of Immortality .... and with infinite mana.. oh no.

March 4, 2014 7:35 a.m.

larsenp says...

In a 1v1 format, why not use Stroke of Genius over Blue Sun's Zenith ? or is it once the infinite mana is available, they are the same, BSZ just being re-curable?

March 6, 2014 12:46 p.m.

ChiefBell says...

BSZ is recurrable.

March 6, 2014 1:07 p.m.

Hello Epochalyptik !

In this deck, what do you think about Swan Song ? I was thinking of cutting or Hinder or Glen Elendra Archmage for it .. What do you think? And what do you think best?

And what do you think of Utopia Sprawl ? I was thinking of cutting Farseek for it .. What do you think?

If possible check out my decklist:http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/commander-edh/multiplayer-commander-decklists/527707-damia-the-queen-of-card-advantage

Your tips are always welcome :)

March 17, 2014 9:12 p.m.

Just a suggestion, but I recommend switching over to tappedout....MTGSalvation decklists always look like forum posts and you get the benefit of automatic deck price, mana curve, intuitive user interface, along with a very large and friendly community willing to lend their two cents on your build.

March 19, 2014 4:17 p.m.

KingSorin says...

I'm not saying that it's a bad card in any regards, but i think that Dark Ritual is not great for EDH. Sure, 2+ mana turn 1 is broken acceleration, but you lose a card and it's dead in the late-game. I think there would be a more sustainable mana-dork / rock / land tutor which would do more for you, such as Life from the Loam . What do you think?

March 20, 2014 4:03 a.m.

nbarry223 says...

The general cantrips it late game, it is in no way dead. Life from the loam would put cards into the hand which are the hardest to get rid of (which means they don't cantrip).

Just saying.

March 20, 2014 4:33 a.m.

KingSorin says...

Very true dat.

March 20, 2014 4:56 a.m.

artakha says...

Have you considered Plasm Capture for it's mana gain ability? Or Rewind for it's untap?

While Plasm Capture is a bit of a hefty price to pay for countering a spell, think about when you counter someone's Praetor or Eldrazi, and how much mana you'll get back for that.

What if a guy casts Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur during your turn? Use a Plasm Capture on it, which not only saves you, but could probably turn into a hard casted Consecrated Sphinx and Rune-Scarred Demon on the same turn!

March 23, 2014 4:55 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@artakha: Plasm Capture and Rewind are very underwhelming in competitive EDH.

Plasm Capture is a 4-drop, and its cost is completely color saturated. I never want to spend that much on a counterspell, and certainly not with that kind of restriction.

As far as Rewind goes, lots of players like to call it a free counterspell. That's misleading, though, because you still have to pay that massive mana cost to cast it. I'd rather take a cheaper counterspell.

March 23, 2014 6:27 p.m.

artakha says...

A cheaper counterspell that doesn't give you back the mana? Think about it like this: Rewind is great for mana-correcting. Plus, most cheaper counterspells are either restrictive, or have a downside. Remand doesn't get rid of threats permanently. Swan Song gives your opponent a creature, which, against a saccing deck, is just more fodder for them to use. Plus it doesn't counter creatures, which makes stopping a goliath like Worldspine Wurm or Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger a lot harder. And Mana Leak , Stymied Hopes and most other preventable counterspells aren't good against ramping decks that ALWAYS have enough mana to pay the prevention cost.

Honestly, you're making me feel like you don't want recommendations, because I've seen nothing but you shooting down recommendations in the comments box.

March 23, 2014 7:17 p.m.

ChiefBell says...

Because most of the recommendations are just bad. You need to keep 4 mana open for a Rewind . Whilst you get the mana back, you then can't cast many cards except instants, which isn't wholly useful. You'll notice that the instants in this deck are mainly counterspells so he'd have enough mana open to then cast another counterspell...... but have wasted a turn when he might have wanted to cast something else. Rewind doesn't give you back mana. It still takes mana away from your turn, because you have to leave it open in the opponents turn. The mana that you 'get back' you can't effectively utilise, therefore it's not efficient.

Mana Leak and Stymied Hopes aren't in the deck so I don't know what your point is.....

Remand is one of the best counterspells every printed. It replaces itself and potentially wastes an opponents entire turn for 2 mana. Swan Song does almost nothing to favour an opponent in a competitive meta.

This is a highly competitive and honed EDH deck to be run in the most cutthroat of metas. Board clear needs to be 4cmc. Counters need to be 2 or less cmc etc. This is how it (generally) rolls.

It's not personal, it's just that most recommendations don't meet the needs of the deck.

March 23, 2014 8 p.m.

Epochalyptik says...

@artakha: I will take a Counterspell over a Rewind any day. I don't care about getting the mana back if it's going to cost me so much extra to cast the spell in the first place. It ties up too many resources, and a response blows me out if I overinvest.

Remand and Swan Song are great counterspells in the competitive EDH environment. They protect combos on the last turn, and they are cheap to cast. The fact that Swan Song gives my opponent a token is entirely irrelevant. A 2/2 is meaningless in a combo format. Additionally, I'm alright with Swan Song not hitting creatures because it hits instants, which makes it invaluable for winning counter wars. 1-drop counterspells are important utilities for combo-control decks.

As a side note, nobody plays Worldspine Wurm or Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger at the competitive level. Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger might make an appearance in mono-green super ramp or in an infinite mana combo, but it isn't very common.

I don't run Mana Leak or Stymied Hopes so the comparison to those cards falters a bit. I'm not sure I see where you're going.


It's not that I don't want suggestions. If I didn't want others to say anything, I'd just keep the deck private. Rather, it's that the majority of suggestions are unrealistic.

ChiefBell's assessment is spot-on. This deck is designed to function at the highest level of competition, and most users just aren't familiar with how EDH works at that level. That's not a slight against them, competitive EDH players tend to be in the minority in communities like this.

That said, most users still offer suggestions. I appreciate that, but I need to filter those suggestions based on viability. Diabolic Intent , for example, is a powerful and viable card in competitive multiplayer EDH because it's efficient, effective, and utilitarian. Something like Progenitor Mimic is not viable because it costs a lot, it's slow, and it doesn't do enough to justify either of those shortcomings. What works in casual or even semi-competitive decks and metas does not necessarily work in competitive metas.

March 23, 2014 9:37 p.m.