Description

Introduction

This is a tournament-level combo control deck. It is designed to win in high-pressure environments by withstanding incoming disruption, suppressing opponents, and using efficient and powerful combos.

This deck is built around a network of synergies; the combos have interchangeable pieces, and the cards that support them can be used outside of the combo as general utility cards. Because the number of combo-only cards is minimized, the deck's resilience is increased, and the odds of drawing dead cards are decreased.




The Primer



Feedback

Comments, suggestions, criticisms, and ratings are all welcome!

When recommending cards, please remember that this deck is tournament-oriented and must only contain the most efficient and powerful cards available. Please do not suggest casual or otherwise nonviable cards for inclusion. Also, please keep in mind that the deck is based around a network of synergies; combo-related cards should be useful outside of their combos.

Suggestions

Updates

I finally got around to updating the barebones description. I say updating, but it was more of a total overhaul.

This deck now has a worthy primer that will walk you through everything from the card choices to the combos, and it even offers advice on recreating and adapting the deck.

Feel free to explore the new material and offer comments for the deck or primer as you see fit.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

Comments

Epochalyptik says... #1

Reset the discussion.

I haven't been watching the spoilers, so let me know if anything good pops up.

March 4, 2015 2:23 p.m.

Ohthenoises says... #2

Thank you god for resetting this lol.

So many comments.

I'll try to keep you posted. Looks like there's a command cycle for color pairs.

You are looking at a / command.

March 4, 2015 2:25 p.m.

Indigoindigo says... #3

You mentioned Frontier Siege earlier. Have you given it more consideration?

March 4, 2015 3:51 p.m.

atgarnett says... #4

Is the new sidisi a possibility?http://mythicspoiler.com/dtk/cards/sidisiundeadvizier.html

March 7, 2015 7:03 p.m.

Ohthenoises says... #5

Pretty sure you've seen Silumgar's Command, seems like too much on the CMC scale for you.

The new Sidisi, Undead Vizier seems decent but you don't really have sacrifice fodder to make her work.

Does Den Protector have a slot? You can't really flicker it but....

That's all that seems like it would be remotely interesting for you.

March 7, 2015 7:12 p.m.

Gspot says... #6

All of those cards are FAR too expensive at what they do. Silumgar's Command costs more than Cryptic Command, which was cut for being too expensive (and color saturated, if I remember right). Sidisi is a 5 mana Diabolic Intent and Den Protector is a 5 mana E-wit.

March 7, 2015 7:15 p.m.

Epochalyptik says... #7

@Indigoindigo: I haven't. This deck has been on the back burner for a while, and I haven't been able to play it in a while. Frontier Siege is still a "maybe."

@atgarnett & Ohthenoises: I was moderately interested in the new Sidisi, Undead Vizier when it was first spoiled. I thought of using it like a backup Rune-Scarred Demon that happened to be castable if absolutely necessary. But the cost is still pretty high, and it would need to be recurred with Eternal Witness as part of the combo if I were to need to use it multiple times. I suppose the last concern is less relevant because I'll be able to combo off after one tutor in most cases, but I guess the question then becomes "Is redundancy with Rune-Scarred Demon necessary?" I think the answer is no.

Den Protector is just a more limited and expensive version of Eternal Witness. If I needed more recursion, I'd probably play a blue spell recursion creature or just Regrowth before Den Protector.

Silumgar's Command is just too expensive. It's the problem with Cryptic Command all over again, really.

March 7, 2015 7:36 p.m.

Ohthenoises says... #8

Gspot Found you!

Jokes aside, I said pretty much what you did. I told Epoch that I'd try to keep him appraised of spoils that might be relevant.

March 7, 2015 7:42 p.m.

Epochalyptik says... #9

Yeah, I'm not terribly impressed with the competitive EDH viability of any of the new cards. At least, not for this deck.

March 7, 2015 7:44 p.m.

Gspot says... #10

Ohthenoises Ha! I remebered you saying that before the comment reset. I was just pointing out the inadequacies of those cards in this deck.

Epochalyptik Backburner for that 5c Hermit druid deck? Or something else?

March 7, 2015 8:16 p.m.

I just have other things going on. I haven't actually played Magic in about a year (apart from maybe a game or two), so test-based decisions just aren't a priority for me.

March 7, 2015 8:19 p.m.

Memory Lapse is now on the chopping block because of the RC's garbage decision about tuck effects.

March 23, 2015 8:40 p.m.

Gspot says... #13

I am so salty about this, the wanderer player in my group just got a huge boost.

March 23, 2015 8:57 p.m.

_Sinistar_ says... #14

Sucks this is happening, it's gunna hurt some of my edh decks. Now Epochalyptik What are you going to replace it for. My suggestions being one of the counter spells on the maybe board list (they all seem good options) or Diabolic Intent, maybe even Pongify. I really don't like the RCA and some of there disicions man.

March 24, 2015 10:05 p.m.

cosmicteapot says... #15

I'm not so sure if Memory Lapse should be cut from the deck. It is still a cheap, efficient counterspell. From my experience it still does its job even with the new tucking ruling (which is honestly a big pile of shit).

Of course, if you feel that you don't need that many counterpells, Memory Lapse is definitely first in the cutting line.

Also, a quick question which probably has been asked before: what do you think of Chain of Vapor? I just recently added it into my deck for testing purposes, and I'd like to hear your thoughts on it.

March 25, 2015 5:01 p.m.

-KinkyPie- says... #16

I love the deck. I was hoping you could possibly look at my Damia build and tell me what you think? I'm not necessarily on a budget, but I can't go spending $300 on a single card.

You'd Better Watch Yourself.

March 27, 2015 3:24 a.m.

magicdai says... #17

How often do you use rune-scarred with deadeye? If it's not often you could swap it for the new sidisi to make it quicker

March 27, 2015 7:26 a.m.

I think Rune-Scarred Demon is one of the key combo pieces, because he needs to be able to blink it to keep finding Blue Sun's Zenith to deck everybody.

March 27, 2015 12:26 p.m.

vishnarg says... #19

Rune Scarred also doesn't rely on having another creature in play. Sidisi is good, but the extra mana for Rune Scarred is worth the exchange for the sac effect

March 27, 2015 12:35 p.m.

@cosmicteapot: I'll replace Memory Lapse if something better comes along, but it's just a thought for now.

Chain of Vapor doesn't immediately impress me, but I haven't tested with it. It might be fine as last-ditch combo disruption or something, but it's not extraordinarily valuable for any other reason I can immediately think of.

@magicdai: Rune-Scarred Demon is a critical part of the combo engine. I could feasibly get by with Sidisi, Undead Vizier in some situations, but the latter just doesn't present the same utility.

It's also significant that I don't generally cast Rune-Scarred Demon unless I've already initiated the combo; in almost all other situations, I put it onto the battlefield through Tooth and Nail. Therefore, the cost isn't much cause for concern (although it does certainly limit the card's viability in other situations).

@vishnarg: You can sacrifice Sidisi, Undead Vizier to itself, which is fine if you only need to tutor once and get Blue Sun's Zenith (at which point you'd draw your deck using Blue Sun's Zenith and initiate the combo by using Eternal Witness to recur tutor spells to grab Blue Sun's Zenith), but the option ultimately isn't better than what I currently have.

March 27, 2015 12:57 p.m.

vishnarg says... #21

Ah, I forgot about Tooth and Nail. That's a pretty important card.

March 27, 2015 1:25 p.m.

mrshadow says... #22

I tried to look, and forgive me if this has been asked before, but what are some Intuition piles that you would often get? I'm slowly making a slightly more budget version of this deck at the moment, and I just added intuition. What do I normally get? 3 combo pieces? 3 counterspells?

March 27, 2015 4:35 p.m.

@mrshadow: I have always struggled to give "good" answers to the Intuition question because the card is so flexible. I suppose that if you want an answer based on experience, I should tell you that I often use it to find free counterspells (Force of Will, Misdirection, Pact of Negation). I have sometimes used it to find three tutor spells. You can also find Eternal Witness, Crucible of Worlds, and Volrath's Stronghold if you're going for a slow utility game. Snapcaster Mage, Eternal Witness, and Tooth and Nail is another possibility.

I tend to avoid getting combo pieces because that exposes those pieces to unnecessary risk. It would be better to get cards to set up for your combo instead.

March 27, 2015 6:12 p.m.

vishnarg says... #24

Does this deck ever get blown out by Blood Moon? There are only 5 basics and a select few other answers I see. It seems like you might get totally screwed if you get caught off guard by one.

March 27, 2015 6:21 p.m.

bonjarber1 says... #25

Have you tried Life from the Loam and/or Crop Rotation? Loam allows for faster strip lock and works nicely with fetchlands + exploration effects. Crop Rotation helps find strip as well as any of the other utility lands and worst case scenario does fixing. Lastly, what are your thoughts on null rod? The artifacts in the deck are meh after the first few turns and can just randomly win vs some decks? Overall awesome list.

March 30, 2015 7:07 p.m.

@vishnarg: I've never actually had Blood Moon resolve against me, mostly because I acknowledge that it would blow me out. Part of playing this deck is always trying to have an answer for the few cards that could wreck you.

@bonjarber1: I tested Life from the Loam for a while (in conjunction with Scroll Rack), but it didn't add value to the deck. I never really wanted to cast it.

Crop Rotation isn't appealing because the land sac is an additional cost. It would only really be useful for getting Boseiju, Who Shelters All out on the pre-combo turn. Or maybe for finding Cavern of Souls.

I use the ramp rocks up until and even during my combo (to get it started, anyway), so Null Rod isn't great. Against an artifact-heavy deck it might be alright, but it's definitely not something I'd mainboard.

March 30, 2015 7:34 p.m.

Jigsaw107 says... #27

Have you considered Kiora's Follower? I always found this to be an amazing utility/ramp card. Since it can just untap your Mana Crypt, Mana Vault and Grim Monolith, the card could boost your ramp even further.

April 2, 2015 5:15 p.m.

The issue that I have with Kiora's Follower is that it's a 2-drop. If it were a 1-drop, it would replace Arbor Elf (and it would also be exponentially more powerful in a vacuum). However, I don't really want to invest two mana (both of which must be colored) in something that has summoning sickness and isn't extraordinarily useful. The ramp effect would be much better if it could be achieved on turn one (such that it would be available on turn two).

Cards in this deck have to be evaluated according to where they fall on the curve because that greatly influences playability in the early game.

April 2, 2015 5:22 p.m.

Fly927 says... #29

If I'm not playing the duals are the bounce lands a viable replacement? I was thinking the extra land per turn effects and lotus cobra would negate the risk of getting two for oned. Also what are your opinions on Lion's Eye Diamond, Somberwald Sage, Alchemist's Refuge and Winding Canyons? I feel like I need more ramp as I'm only dropping Damia turn 4-6 on average with your list minus Mana Crypt, Duallands, FoW and Mana Drain.

April 3, 2015 11:31 a.m.

vishnarg says... #30

No, the two for one of the karoo lands, in addition to the slowing down they do, are what make them inherently terrible in EDH. Definitely stick with shocks, fetches, and I usually use the Glacial Fortress check lands or Adarkar Wastes pain lands as replacements. Your call though.

April 3, 2015 11:36 a.m.

Not listed on the primer, annother tooth and nail might be for eternal witness/snapcaster and teferi, then using the second tooth and nail for the two combo pieces.

April 4, 2015 9:19 p.m.

Megalomania says... #32

I wouldn't take a risk like that considering how heavily the deck relies on Tooth and Nail.

April 4, 2015 9:27 p.m.

NateJH says... #33

Mystical Teachings seem like an expensive and selective tutor for a deck like this, any reasoning for this?

Plus, do you have any advice for testing specific cards?

April 4, 2015 9:30 p.m.

@Fly927: I would shy away from the bounce lands. Generally speaking, they're bad in competitive metas because you get two-for-oned by common LD like Strip Mine and Wasteland. You don't entirely negate that by playing Exploration effects, even if you do somewhat mitigate it. Also, you want to avoid ETB-tapped lands; tempo is important for this deck.

Lion's Eye Diamond is terrible. People have, in the past, proposed it as a way of getting Damia out and justified the proposition by saying that Damia refills your hand, but the issue is that you have no hand left and you're banking on Damia surviving a turn cycle without protection. It's simply a bad play.

Somberwald Sage is ineffective. It would only be useful for casting Damia or one of the combo creatures, but a summoning-sick three-drop isn't the best acceleration for either, and I rarely cast the combo pieces.

Alchemist's Refuge isn't critical, but you can add it if you're building a lower-level version of the deck. Winding Canyons isn't particularly useful because the creatures can be cast on your turn without the extra ", " investment. It might be alright for EOTing Damia, but that's about it. And even then, you'd still need to have counterspell protection.

@biggestmtgnerd: Although that's a possible approach, it's extremely mana intensive because it requires you to entwine Tooth and Nail twice before you can initiate the combo. For that reason, it's rarely ever relevant.

@NateJH: Mystical Teachings is one of those cards that could be cut if something better or testworthy came along. The instant speed and flashback makes it useful because you can EOT it to find Vampiric Tutor or Mystical Tutor, then get Tooth and Nail, and then use it again after the combo to find Blue Sun's Zenith or Snapcaster Mage. It can also fetch Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, and when Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir is out, it can fetch any creature in the deck.

As for test advice, I guess you'll have to be more specific. Like what do I look for, how do evaluate, what do I cut, or what?

April 4, 2015 10:27 p.m.

what about Eternal Witness and Palinchron, which taps the lands so you can cast Tooth and Nail again for teferi and navigator

April 10, 2015 7:19 a.m.

Again, it's a possible play, but it doesn't make more sense than the currently-preferred approaches. With your play, Palinchron is sitting on the board without much help. Also, the reason you get Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir is to prevent people from doing anything for the rest of your turn; it doesn't make as much sense to get it after you've assembled the rest of the combo. You'd want it out ASAP.

It's also difficult to discuss these situations because they depend largely on the board state and what you have in hand. There may be a case in which an alternate T&N fetch is more appropriate.

April 10, 2015 9:02 a.m.

Fly927 says... #37

I'm quite satisfied with your well reasoned responses to my card suggestions so I'm pulling my trump card Crop Rotation.

April 11, 2015 3:15 p.m.

@Fly927: Crop Rotation does have specific applications, but it doesn't really demonstrate its potential in this deck.

The two real fetches here are Boseiju, Who Shelters All and Cavern of Souls because they both help to protect the combo. But because the sacrifice is an additional cost to cast Crop Rotation, and because those lands aren't irreplaceable elements of the game plan, the risk to reward ratio is a bit less favorable than would be optimal.

I see it as more of a meta-response pick than a mainboard inclusion. If it's something that helps you survive a high-control meta, then it's probably worth at least testing. But it doesn't offer enough for me to consider it a general-use card in the 99.

April 11, 2015 3:38 p.m.

Fly927 says... #39

Yea i thought it would work amazing with those two cards in particular or for Homeward Path against Merieke Ri Berit and Bribery or to search for Dryad Arbor when you need to sac a creature to stax effects. Is there any way to utilize Cursed Totem and things like Trinisphere to stop or slow down Hermit Druid? Also how about Autumn's Veil?

April 11, 2015 4:32 p.m.

Cursed Totem is a bad idea because my combo is based on creatures' activated abilities.

Trinisphere is a possible board option, but I have no testing experience with it.

Autumn's Veil may warrant testing, but I remain skeptical until I see how it performs.

April 11, 2015 4:41 p.m.

Vexton says... #41

I think Green Sun's Zenith has a pitiful amount of targets there may be a better straight to the battlefield tutor.Chord of Calling might prove more useful in this list considering all your low cost dorks and its instant speed capabilities.

April 14, 2015 7:11 p.m.

Green Sun's Zenith is far, far cheaper than Chord of Calling. Most of the creatures I'd have out when I cast either would be mana dorks anyway, so the convoke isn't going to provide enough of a boost to offset the extra .

I do sometimes wish that Green Sun's Zenith could find any creature card, but I wouldn't be using it to initiate a combo anyway.

April 14, 2015 7:15 p.m.

I got 500th upvote!!!

slinks back into corner

April 16, 2015 11:41 p.m.

enpc says... #44

You've had Living Wish on your sideboard for a while now, have you thought about the possibility of a wishboard?

Cunning Wish might also be a card worth considering - it means you can run things like Shadow of Doubt / other niche cards without having to make mainboard space for them. The other benefit is that you can run backup pieces to your combos (like Stroke of Genius as a backup for Blue Sun's Zenith, Turnabout as a backup for Palinchron) or gives you access to cards like Snuff Out or Murderous Cut for when you need more removal.

April 16, 2015 11:57 p.m.

I can't determine whether Tibbles has been waiting for that.

@enpc: I'm not sure which update has eaten it, but there was a fairly developed discussion of wishboards earlier in the deck's history. I really haven't given any further thought to it, though. I'm no longer actively developing this deck.

I like the potential that the wishes have in expanding the deck's flexibility, but I don't really know what I would drop to run them (probably Mystical Tutor and Memory Lapse; I don't remember whether I already dropped Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Voidslime). I also don't have the opportunity to test them.

April 19, 2015 1:02 p.m.

No comment.

April 19, 2015 1:49 p.m.

DarkAnthem says... #47

just a thought - also sorry for the stupid post on Chromat - if you have infinite mana up for blinking anyway why wouldnt you run Wall of Blossoms, Elvish Visionary, Baleful Strix or a combination of the three+ over Rune-Scarred Demon to dig up USZ - I really dont see the point of spending 7 mana for no reason (even if you have inf)

April 27, 2015 2:06 a.m.

Rune-Scarred Demon allows me to tutor regardless of whether I have infinite mana or not. I sometimes pick Palinchron and Rune-Scarred Demon, find Deadeye Navigator, and combo out. I can't do that with a regular draw effect.

April 27, 2015 7:02 a.m.

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Date added 3 years
Last updated 2 months
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.44
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Top rank #2 on 2012-08-19
Views 135024

Last update 3 months ago

+1 Frontier Siege maybe

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