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.

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.

wtfmidun says... #49

I was wondering how Lotus Petal compares with Grim Monolith.

May 4, 2015 3:35 a.m.

EDHLOVE says... #50

May 8, 2015 5:49 a.m.

Silverf1sh says... #51

I've been running a deck a lot like this, and have been pondering the spot for Memory Lapse and whether I should replace it with Delay. In your opinion, why does Lapse make the cut Above the other? Is it just personal choice, or is the shift in difference big enough to make it understandable?

May 16, 2015 12:22 a.m.

@wtfmidun: I haven't tested Lotus Petal in this deck, so I'm not sure how it stacks up. I'll add it to the maybeboard.

@EDHLOVE: Capsize was cut from this deck a long time ago. It's inefficient as a regular spell, and I don't like running win conditions that can't function on their own if I need them to.

@Silverf1sh: Memory Lapse's main advantage was that it could prevent an immediate commander recast, but that's no longer true as of the rules change earlier this year.

As for whether it's now better than Delay, the answer is situational. Memory Lapse is good against expensive spells because it forces the caster to pay for the spell again. It also screws the opponent's next draw because they're just getting something that they used to have. Delay is better if you need to keep something off the field for a few turns so you can combo out or at least establish greater advantage. Your choice between them should be informed by your meta and needs.

I'm currently looking to cut Memory Lapse if I need space for other cards.

May 16, 2015 6:38 p.m.

Gspot says... #53

Have you gotten around to testing Frontier Siege? It's pulled some serious weight in my stax deck. Albeit my deck runs Contamination effects, and that might be making it feel stronger than it may be.

May 16, 2015 7:45 p.m.

I haven't tested it yet. I don't know if I ever will; I don't play anymore. I keep this list up as a community reference and to promote discussion about BUG combo-control in general. I'm more of a theorist than a player at this point.

May 16, 2015 7:47 p.m.

kinggef says... #55

This is the link to the deck i am currently building. http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/bug-edh-control/ (when i started building it i got yourand this one screwed up when i started proxying. But it is based off of yours i know you dont critique decks but i just wanted to know which cards would be better left out to allow switching between pod and 1v1. I usually play 1v1 against esper. And the deck is mostly proxied as i am buying the deck card by card

May 21, 2015 6:54 p.m.

That's a link to someone else's deck. I don't know if you intended to do that.

May 21, 2015 7:55 p.m.

EDHLOVE says... #57

Maybe consider Negate over Memory Lapse or Vendilion Clique. It's really fun to take away a combo piece that you know they are holding.

Heck, if its no holds barred, nobody has ever mentioned the total advantage you get with the card Telepathy. Maybe they have... idk?

The Diabolic Intent has been trying to make it's way into your deck for a long while. If you don't mind changing color. I'm sure you have already considered these cards, but its always fun to hear your reasoning.

May 25, 2015 9:22 p.m.

Negate is certainly a possibility, but it would be a meta call, I think. If you're up against lots of creature-based decks (e.g., Animar, Hermit Druid) or cheat-into-play decks (e.g., Zur, Sharuum), then it's pretty bad.

There have been various other counterspells printed in Khans block that I haven't fully assessed, but I suspect it'll just be more balancing the shortcomings and picking what's tailored to the meta.

Telepathy never really struck me as great in competitive EDH. There's certainly something to be said for that kind of advantage, but it costs you a card and you still need to play around what they could possibly get, not just what they have. You end up being in about the same position; if you're playing properly, then you're prepared for almost anything your opponents could have. All Telepathy does is remove some doubt; it doesn't usually change how you play all that much.

It's been so long since I played this deck that I'm not sure I ever will test many of the cards in the maybeboard. I guess at this point that's something I'll leave to anyone building the deck.

May 25, 2015 9:41 p.m.

enpc says... #59

The other thing is that Telepathy pulls a stupid amount of hate. People don't like playing with their hands revealed, especially in combo heavy metas. And they will punish you for running the card.

May 25, 2015 9:44 p.m.

The-Xellos says... #60

What do you usually name with Cavern of Souls? Is it the same every time or does it depend?

May 26, 2015 12:06 p.m.

The-Xellos says... #61

I was finally able to complete this deck (minus Imperial Seal, maybe in a couple of months I'll get one). I know that this isn't a easy deck that you can just play so I did a little testing last night. Getting land out is a complete joke. 3 games by turn 3 I have like 6-7 lands out with my commander out to refresh my hand the next turn. 2 of those I was able to combo out, but the third game I thought was the best. Turn 4 had the following out Commander, Crucible of Worlds, Burgeoning, Exploration, and Azusa, Lost but Seeking. With 2 fetches in the graveyard. Turn 5 drew Intuition, was thinking okay what to pull and how can I get the combo going, then I smiled and laughed pick another fetch, Strip Mine, and Wasteland. Granted I couldn't combo out, but on each of my turns I could destroy 4 lands. Once all lands were destroyed I could fetch the rest of mine, attack with commander and wait for combo. Plus I had like 4 counters in my hand.

June 1, 2015 9:37 a.m.

Joz says... #62

Well, I went ahead - and against my better judgement - did a few rounds of playtesting. I constantly ran into a problem. Out of the five times I play-tested it into a "resonable" kill or combo finish, I got Azsua twice, once she netted me a grand total of one extra land drop, and the other time I got four extra land drops.

Consider replacing with Urban Evolution; or just Explore. I find Azusa to normally not be worth it in decks that run less then 40 lands. And when you're cutting your land count down with Fetches (though the effect is minimal) she becomes even less useful.

Now, this is just through observation of the Tappedout testing enginge, and maybe your actual real world results have varied.

Just my 2.c.

June 2, 2015 11:56 a.m.

The-Xellos says... #63

@Joz I know what you mean about Azusa, Lost but Seeking, same goes for counterspells. Some tests I had like 6 of them in starting hand. I think where she shines is when you have Damia, Sage of Stone out with 1-2 cards in your hand. Next turn drawing 5-6 cards there is a good chance to get 2+ lands in that draw. She is just another means to play more then 1 land a turn. She is good at the start of the game but towards the end not so much, but at least you can use her as a blocker. This deck is so crazy on what you can do and what I wrote might not even be why Epochalyptik included her in the deck.

June 2, 2015 12:39 p.m.

Although it's true that Azusa, Lost but Seeking becomes less effective in decks that run fewer lands, the aggressive ramp package is what allows this deck to accelerate as hard as it does. Azusa becomes an all-star with either Crucible of Worlds or Damia out, and it's not outrageously expensive to cast.

In contrast, Urban Evolution is pretty high on the curve, and it's slow overall. Explore is an ok card, but I don't think it generates enough advantage.

My paper testing generally proves Azusa to be useful; the TappedOut tester can be finicky at times.

I definitely appreciate the testing, though! If you have any other observations, let me know.

June 2, 2015 1 p.m.

Joz says... #65

Other then suggesting High Market, and/or Bojuka Bog, I've got nothing. I'm a casual battlecruiser player; and competitive things make my skin blister ;D

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/damia-battlecruiser-sage/

June 2, 2015 2:20 p.m.

EDHLOVE says... #66

I have been using Rites of Refusal as a counterspell and it works very well. Most of the time discarding one card works, sometimes two, never had to go three.

June 7, 2015 5:18 p.m.

@Joz: High Market doesn't offer a ton to the deck. It's a card that's only really useful for beating theft and exile effects, and I would need to have it out already in order to counteract those threats. Because it doesn't tap for color, and because those threats are uncommon and easily mitigated by countermagic, I don't think it's necessary to include High Market.

Same for Bojuka Bog. The fact that it enters tapped is a detriment. Combined with the fact that it can't be fetched, this means that it's a dangerous choice to include in a competitive environment. The loss in tempo isn't really worth a sorcery-speed, tempo-eating solution to the limited number of graveyard strategies (of which there are few that countermagic doesn't address).

@EDHLOVE: Rites of Refusal isn't something I want to include. It's in the same vein as Forbid. Given that you have to both discard and pay , it's a risky play that doesn't offer enough advantage for its investment.

June 7, 2015 7:54 p.m.

Fly927 says... #68

After play-testing Frontier Siege I can say there is absolutely nothing anyone can say or do that will make me remove it from the deck. The longer the game drags out the more value u get from it, the card is amazing.

Also, Palinchron is terrible and I've removed it.

June 9, 2015 2:08 a.m.

Fly927 Palinchron is the win condition of this deck. You do realize you aren't attacking with him just using him to get infinite mana with Deadeye Navigator or Phantasmal Image.

June 9, 2015 7:24 a.m.

klone13 says... #70

Fly927: I suggest reading the primer. It's a great way to understand the deck and to understand that Palinchron is extremely important to this deck, without it the chances of you winning is almost none, because this is competitive edh.

June 9, 2015 8:30 a.m.

enpc says... #71

Part of me wonders if there was a hint of sarcasm to said comment. Palinchron + Deadeye Navigator has to be one of the most well known infinite mana combos in the format. At least I'm hoping it was sarcasm....

June 9, 2015 9:10 a.m.

Wut

June 9, 2015 11:59 a.m.

PutridLeech says... #73

Have you considered Disrupt?

June 20, 2015 3:07 a.m.

The only real advantage to Disrupt is the cantrip. Granted, that's a strong advantage, and even Force Spike can win a counter war now and then, but Spell Pierce and hard counters are better at being counterspells. If you can tie up your opponent's , you're basically forcing him or her to spend another counterspell's worth of mana.

That said, though, I encourage those who play a variant of this deck to test Disrupt for themselves.

June 20, 2015 7:49 p.m.

EDHLOVE says... #75

Was wondering why Worldly Tutor isn't on your radar?

June 22, 2015 3:20 p.m.

MTGMachine says... #76

Have you considered running Mikaeus, the Unhallowed+Triskelion as an alternate Tooth and Nail target if one of your other win cons are in your graveyard?

June 22, 2015 7:06 p.m.

@EDHLOVE: I generally prefer the more flexible tutors because I'm typically looking for noncreature cards, but I suppose Worldly Tutor warrants testing in the deck (for those who run a variant, anyway; I don't play anymore).

@MTGMachine: That's covered in the primer, but, to summarize here, those cards only really function in conjunction with one another. Outside of their singular combo, they don't offer very much to the deck, they're expensive, and they're dead draws. I would first try to incorporate an alternate win con that at least shares pieces with the deck's current combos, as that would better improve the deck's flexibility and resilience.

June 22, 2015 7:49 p.m.

The-Xellos says... #78

What do you think of the new origins card "alhammarret's archive", "If you would gain life, you gain twice that much life instead. If you would draw a card except the first one you draw in each of your draw steps, draw two cards instead."

June 26, 2015 10 a.m.

It's very expensive, and it doesn't really do much for me, to be honest. It's only really functional if I have my general or Sylvan Library out, which means it's plus the cost of either of those cards.

CMC 5 is a pretty awkward spot on the curve for a combo control deck. It limits you to the midgame because you won't have that much on turn one or turn two (most of the time), and you'd need to invest a majority of your resources to cast it, meaning there's little left over for countermagic or acceleration. Given that it doesn't do anything on its own, this is an unwise investment.

June 26, 2015 12:08 p.m.

The-Xellos says... #80

@ Epochalyptik, you know what I just re-read it and thought it was anytime you draw a card besides the first one, but now i see that you can only use it on your turn. I was thinking Consecrated Sphinx with this card. I forgot about Sylvan Library, that is just crazy card draw. I do see were you are coming from with the mana cost. I thought it was cheaper, I didn't pay too much attention to the cost just the ability. If something was made with just the second ability, what do you think would be a good cost to be considered to be put into the deck or would it still not be cosidered.

June 26, 2015 12:44 p.m.

It functions on all turns, meaning that it functions with Consecrated Sphinx as well, but it's still just very expensive.

As for what would be an acceptable cost, I'm not sure. It all depends on the design of the card itself: colors, cost, effect, etc. This particular effect isn't super valuable, though, because it merely enhances one of a very small number of other cards. It serves no function on its own.

June 26, 2015 12:48 p.m.

The-Xellos says... #82

land draw

What do you think of this card? Stinks that it is a sorcery and it is a chance card. Spell Mastery shouldn't be that hard to get though

June 30, 2015 11:28 a.m.

Leopleradon says... #83

Why don't you run Nephalia Drownyard to have another way to win with palinchron deadeye combo?

July 3, 2015 2:40 p.m.

EDHLOVE says... #84

That's not a guaranteed win (Eldrazi). Besides it's not useful in any other situation.

July 3, 2015 11:11 p.m.

What about Damnable Pact? It is a decent draw card if you need to draw, and it can be used as a kill spell with the Deadeye Navigator + Palinchron combo

July 5, 2015 4:16 p.m.

@The-Xellos: This deck won't include it. Sorcery speed severely limits Animist's Awakening's potential, and the ROI of its effect is very low when you account for the chance inherent in its design.

@Leopleradon: Mill is an unreliable win condition in EDH, and Nephalia Drownyard means I'd need to run another land that can't produce colored mana. It doesn't really do anything necessary for the deck's success.

@Antonius_Cleus: As a sorcery that doesn't make itself reusable (compared to the instant speed and reshuffle effect of Blue Sun's Zenith), Damnable Pact comes up pretty short on value. It doesn't do anything that isn't already done more effectively and efficiently by other cards in the deck.

July 5, 2015 4:26 p.m.

Silverf1sh says... #87

I hope you do not mind, in writing a primer for my deck I used your summary on the workings of Tooth and Nail, as we run it about the same way. I included proper linking to your user account as well. It's not quite finished yet, I'm currently finishing the last few odds and ends, but if you disagree with your writing being there, please notify me and I will take it down.

Thank you!

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/16-04-15-fear-the-old-blood/

July 8, 2015 5:07 p.m.

Feel free to use the info! And if you have any questions, ask.

July 8, 2015 6:54 p.m.

Silverf1sh says... #89

You know thinking about it, I do have a thought to send your way; how would you deal with combo decks going off faster than yours?

Outside of counters, I tried to think of other ways to stop a combo deck that gets pieces together first, or at least something to give me time to catch up. In my meta, there's a lot of Deadeye centered comboing out, so I've been playing with Overburden at the moment since I can just use venser to bounce it when I'm ready at the cost of one land while screwing them on lands to bounce Palinchron with, but I'm curious to see whether you'd have a better idea to try out.

July 9, 2015 2:18 p.m.

Silverf1sh says... #90

To give you better perspective on my choices, I'm running Simic to your BUG.

July 9, 2015 2:19 p.m.

anvindr says... #91

is there any reason not to run tainted pact?

July 10, 2015 10:37 a.m.

@Silverf1sh: I generally rely on countermagic to outplay faster decks; I tend not to be the kind of player who sides in or mainboards answers for specific threats. Then again, I also haven't played in a very long time, and maybe that option is realistic in your meta.

Overburden isn't bad. It's a cheap answer, but it's also relatively easy to answer in its own right considering it needs to be played preemptively and it just sits on the field afterward.

You could run Stifle and Trickbind to snipe critical abilities. You could also try increasing the speed of your own deck if there's room to do so.

@anvindr: Tainted Pact is just too much of a gamble. I don't mind exiling cards for a good cause, but Tainted Pact is just worse than a tutor. If I hit one of my combo pieces before I want it, then I have to either take it when I don't need it or exile it and switch to a backup strategy. Neither of those is optimal, and I don't really have a way to guarantee that this situation won't happen.

July 10, 2015 4:31 p.m.

Silverf1sh says... #93

Fair enough, I suppose I could use trickbind over overburden for now and see where it goes.

July 11, 2015 1:02 a.m.

Tata says... #94

I remember you mentioning a while ago how you were looking for good removal. Reality Shift is pulling some serious weight for me, in that regard. I like it much more than Pongify, for example, even with the +1 CMC because of the importance of exile vs. recursion/avacyn/things like that.

Anyway, this deck is legendary. Keep thinking about it.

July 13, 2015 7:15 a.m.

mrshadow says... #95

What are your thoughts on Jace, Vryn's Prodigy? Paramount was praising it a lot in his review of origins, though I think his damia list is a lot different than yours is.

Here's his review powerpoint:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/bgvirp6gaw876b1/EDH%20Review%20-%20Magic%20Origins.pptx?dl=0

July 25, 2015 6:19 p.m.

Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip doesn't offer anything to the deck. The draw ability is inefficient and slow, and none of Jace, Telepath Unbound  Flip's abilities are critical or even overwhelmingly useful.

If you want to copy and paste or summarize the arguments made in favor of it, I'll address them specifically, but I don't really feel like downloading and digging through a PowerPoint for them.

July 25, 2015 6:26 p.m.

Deathadder84 says... #97

I've been a naga/gorgon type fan for a while, so when I saw Damia, I wanted to build a deck, but I could never get it fast enough... I decided to try out my own version of this deck, and I thought I'd get some input on certain cards.

Abundance I think this is a good mid game card. Once you have your mana base, you can make sure the seven cards you draw are free of lands (or have just as many lands as you would want).

See the Unwritten up to two free creatures?

Great Whale Sort of for redundancy. Like Palinchron, but doesnt bounce back, still combo's with Deadeye Navigator

Villainous Wealth I'm just in love with this card... Exile an opponents deck, then cast any spells in that deck.. If that player is also playing with a combo, you can use his combo to possibly win

Echo Mage and Meletis Charlatan copy wincon spells in multiplayer, copy tutors, copy dispels.

Rhystic Study Draw cards early, can combo with burgeoning (draw lands during opponents turn, and play them)

Reanimate/Stitch Together/Animate Dead My last deck was Child of Alara Recursion, so I kinda fell in love with these guys. Get expensive creatures from the graveyard for cheap.

I also notice there isn't much destruction. Go for the Throat is good, and Putrefy seems dual purposed.thoughts?

July 28, 2015 4:58 a.m.

Abundance is ok in a more casual environment, but I don't think it's significant in any way. It's honestly quite good to draw a few lands because your Exploration effects allow you to turn that into immediate advantage.

See the Unwritten is underwhelming. It's a 6-drop that you have to toolbox to make useful. Else you have no control over how impactful it is.

Great Whale is fine if you need the redundancy,but I think Peregrine Drake is more economical as a backup. I suppose it depends. Great Whale is analogous to Palinchron and allows you enough mana to cast Deadeye Navigator if you Tooth and Nail another creature like Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir.

Villainous Wealth has been suggested numerous times since it came out, and I've dismissed it each time. It doesn't win on the spot, it doesn't guarantee a win, it only deals with one opponent, and it doesn't give you meaningful advantage if used as a noncombo utility spell.

Echo Mage and it's ill are poor investments. Sure, you can copy your game-winning spells, but your inner Timmy is getting the better of you. If the spells win the game on their own when used correctly, why include mechanisms to copy them? Especially if those mechanisms are uneconomical and require lots of setup.

Rhystic Study was cut a very long time ago. CMC 3 is an awkward place in the curve for this deck, and you could be playing better things at that point. I also think Mystic Remora happens to be more powerful as well as more economical.

You could certainly include reanimate on effects. I didn't go that route with this deck, though. If you were to include those spells, you'd probably want to shift to a graveyard strategy; those cards aren't really useful without a dedicated engine to capitalize on how cheaply they can get you your stuff. And one of the reasons I avoided that entirely is that I think Tooth and Nail, though expensive, is a much more dependable enabler.

You could include more removal. That is one of the deck's weak spots; it relies more on countermagic as a way to protect its combos and interfere with goings on in the meantime. Anything j don't counter is usually still inconsequential by the time I combo off. But if you find that threats tend to resolve and can't be overcome prior to your combo, then feel free to add more removal. Just keep in mind how much you're spending. 3 is a lot to drop just to kill something.

July 28, 2015 7:46 a.m.

enpc says... #99

I'll vouch for Putrefy as a card. Personally, my favourite is Beast Within but both do a good job. Although 3 is a bit to spend, usually its either counter or kill something. And being able to dissuade a player from attacking you because they know you run after the fact removal is always great, especially when they swing someone else.

That being said, removal is better if you find your games going a bit longer. For the short 7 turn games, counterspells should be enough for the most part.

July 28, 2015 9:53 a.m.

I used to run both is earlier iterations of this deck, but I found them uneconomical. It's simply too hard to hold 3 up without disrupting other components of your game plan, and it's difficult to justify doing so if you can already outpace most of the threats you'd need to answer.

That said, I again agree that those cards have their place in less competitive versions of this deck. If speed is not an issue, you have more room to play the slow control route.

July 28, 2015 10:55 a.m.

mrshadow says... #101

After rereading through Paramount's assessment basically he's just on some sort of extra turns build so that's why he likes the new Jace.

Additionally, what are your thoughts on Grim Tutor as a budget substitute for Imp. Seal (I'm currently running personal tutor and it sucks)? Or should I just save up and eventually bite the bullet?

July 28, 2015 12:01 p.m.

Even with extra turns, the new Jace is pretty underwhelming. I just don't believe that it adds valuable utility to a Commander deck.

Grim Tutor is good, but the high mana cost (compared to the deck's other tutors) means it's rather slow to play. Whether it's worth saving for Imperial Seal is a personal call. The latter is much better and is a staple in the optimized list, but you need to decide whether the extra power is worth the extra hundreds of dollars to you.

July 28, 2015 12:32 p.m.

enpc says... #103

I know I mentioned it a little while ago, but I can't remember what your thoughts were on Ghostly Flicker. I've been seriously impressed by it, both inside and outside of combo. It gives you extra value from both Eternal Witness and Snapcaster Mage, it doubles as a counterspell with Venser, Shaper Savant and it protects Damia, Sage of Stone from targetted removal. It's also good in combo when you don't have any of your wincon pieces in hand since you need 10 mana to TaN for all 3, but with ghostly flicker you can do it with 9. Get Palinchron and Rune-Scarred Demon who in turn gets flicker, and get back 7 mana. Cast flicker targetting both RSD and Palinchron, going to 11 mana total (from the ETB) and getting Deadeye.

August 3, 2015 11:50 p.m.

mrshadow says... #104

Have you thought about adding ad nauseam as an alternative draw engine and maybe retooling some things? The cmc of the deck is fairly low. I'm just saying this because I saw a zur ad nauseam deck that was pretty good and 40 life makes it pretty broken.

August 8, 2015 1:12 p.m.

@enpc: Based on what you've said, it seems like a good option. The fact that it also goes infinite with Palinchron and Eternal Witness is pretty strong. It warrants testing, that's for sure.

@mrshadow: Zur relies on no high-cost pieces. All of my combo pieces are extremely expensive. Ad Nauseam is basically : Draw 3-4 cards and lose 3-18 life, depending on how lucky you are. I can't see it being effective here because the deck already requires you to pay a fair amount of life (6-15 on average just for lands and tutors). Necropotence is a better version that requires less mana and less life. Although you typically don't get killed by combat in competitive multiplayer, you do risk quite a bit by chunking yourself down on one spell that doesn't necessarily promise proportional returns.

August 8, 2015 2:33 p.m.

enpc says... #106

Hey Epoch, there is a primer hub if you wanted to add it to your deck.

August 10, 2015 11:11 p.m.

knight611 says... #107

curious if you give me some suggestions for my damia deck i play in a very competitive meta and i am having problems with consistency. im up against azami, zeganna, and nin decks.

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/14-08-15-damia-sage-of-stone-help/

August 16, 2015 1:07 a.m.

miracleHat says... #108

I just noticed that you removed from your omissions list Lion's Eye Diamond. Now I have to suggest Lion's Eye Diamond...

Also, it has been mentioned before though never addressed as far as I can tell, Reality Shift.

August 16, 2015 4:15 a.m.

enpc says... #109

What're your thoughts on Jace's Sanctum? The utility is nice and the spell cost reduction seems good, but I'm not sure if the initial outlay makes it to prohibitive to actually use.

August 16, 2015 10:10 p.m.

@miracleHat: I dismissed Reality Shift when it was spoiled. Since then, various people have recommended it or reported success with it. However, I still view it as an expensive solution to a not-so-pressing problem. I would pick Pongify over Reality Shift; the lower cost is more useful than the exile effect, in my opinion.

@enpc: Jace's Sanctum is too expensive; it comes down after it would be most useful. Casting Nature's Lore or Demonic Tutor or Remand at discount would be great, but I'm likely to cast them in the turns before Jace's Sanctum becomes viable. And it doesn't really help the endgame because Tooth and Nail costs quite a bit regardless, and the effect is rendered useless once I combo off (it doesn't really do much for the combo itself, either). The scry is also only moderately useful because so many of my instants and sorceries require a shuffle.

August 17, 2015 7:43 p.m.

Silverf1sh says... #111

You may have said it before and I just havent seen it, but what are your thoughts on Sylvan Scrying?

August 27, 2015 4:29 p.m.

Sylvan Scrying doesn't really do much for me. There's no one land that's really worth paying and a card for unless it's going to the field untapped a la Three Visits. I guess Boseiju, Who Shelters All and Cavern of Souls are situationally fetchworthy, but I could just spend a more playable tutor on them if I really needed them.

August 27, 2015 7:47 p.m.

enpc says... #113

Hey Epoch, one other card worth getting your two cents on (and I know this one is very meta specific) - what do you think about Abrupt Decay?

August 27, 2015 8:09 p.m.

Like you said, Abrupt Decay is, to a certain extent, meta specific. It's also fairly limited in what it can hit, although the uncounterability means it's virtually unanswerable.

If you find that you go up against low-cost combo decks like Hermit Druid or fast voltron decks, then it could be a worthy add. As a general removal spell, though, I think it falls short. It doesn't hit many of the larger threats, and it's useless against many popular combo engines (for example, the combo engine in this deck is entirely immune to it). It can kill many important ramp and utility cards, but you have to ask yourself whether paying for uncounterability is worth more to you than just paying for Nature's Claim, for example. Every time you increment a card's CMC, you drastically change its effectiveness and role in the competitive environment.

The saturated cost is another thing to consider; having to leave up in the early game is detrimental because you'd ideally be ramping as much as possible. You're also forced to get to pay for this card, so it may throw off your game plan a bit; I normally like to get both duals out and then worry about black unless I have a Vampiric Tutor or something to play early. That's more of a preference thing, but it does mean that if you're saving your spell as a hail mary against a quick threat, you'll need to unbalance your tempo and consciously make otherwise detrimental decisions just so a removal spell becomes accessible.

August 27, 2015 8:28 p.m.

Keep in mind, too, that I personally like to respond to threats while they're spells because I find that easier and more versatile an approach in this shell. I'm sure that factors into my decision to some degree.

August 27, 2015 8:29 p.m.

enpc says... #116

Which would explain why you run such a high counterspell count and such a not high removal count :P But yeah, that's fair. The uncounterableness is kind of offset by the limitations. I've seen a bit of back and forth aroudn this card's viability in Commander. But I think it's still better suited to the 60 card formats.

As for the thing, I can relate. Probably a bit slow for your build but I have been super impressed with Simic Signet as far as fixing goes.

Also, I remember in a thread a while ago you mentioned that most of your deck was foiled out / had signed cards / foreign language cards / all of the above. Is there a reason you don't show them in the decklist?

August 27, 2015 8:47 p.m.

Well, the fixing itself is not really an issue. The 3-3-9 takes care of the fixing, as do the multis like Command Tower. The issue is really just maximum mana production overall. If you spend on a removal spell (or hold it up for one), that's you aren't spending on ramp or something else.

I just think that Abrupt Decay is a very forceful answer to a relatively small threat in the format, generally speaking. The CMC 0-3 range is not really permanent-centric in competitive, mana rocks and ramp dorks notwithstanding. And you don't spend and a card to kill a mana rock or a ramp dork.

In semicompetitive or casual, it could be slightly more viable. But it still suffers from the "big stick, little foe" dilemma; there just aren't many omnipresent threats. Mirrodin swords and stuff like Sylvan Library or Rhystic Study are probably the likeliest targets in those environments, but they're just as easily answered by more efficient removal, so it's a meta call whether you want the uncounterability. I suppose it's worthwhile in semicompetitive.

As for the foils and whatnot, I don't show them in any of my decklists. I think that stuff just distracts/detracts from the deck itself. I'm here to look at the quality of the theoretical list, not the quality of the physical cards you own. I suppose I could put a section in the primer for that stuff, but it would really only be a "check this out" kind of thing.

August 27, 2015 9:09 p.m.

enpc says... #118

I run the signet because it's good opening hand fixing. In the community I play in, we don't partial paris mulligan. So I find the colourless aspect of cards like Simic Signet / Chromatic Lantern to be super crucial, even though the deck has good fixing (still need 3 fetches / Underground Sea though T_T).

August 27, 2015 9:20 p.m.

I suppose that's a fair way to compensate, but I've long been unimpressed by the signets as a ramp or color fixing solution.

My issue with them is that you have to pay as an initial investment and they never produce mana on their own. You need to leave another mana source up. This means that they're not optimal for decks with high color saturation because you'll either not be able to cast something (you can't cast Counterspell with only a Simic Signet activation) or be forced to use the signet on your turn to pay for some other stuff.

Now, the latter bit isn't terrible on its own, but I noticed that most of the time, signets don't really fulfill their role as a color fixer when used in this capacity. Instead, you often end up getting one useful colored mana and spending the other mana on some miscellaneous colorless component. In my experience, I only routinely use one of the colors per game, and I don't think the variance both within games and across games is so significant that you must run a signet to fill the role. So really you're getting ramp from it (the color fixing itself isn't justifiable cause to run something in a deck that already has a very consistent mana base), and the ramp isn't worth the initial cost and the fact that you have to continually pay into the activations.

But that's just my take on it. I'm in the pleasant position of not being fazed by card availability issues; if I want something in the deck, it's in the deck. But if you're in a position that forces you to compromise, whether temporarily or indefinitely, then yes, signets and their ilk may be a good second choice.

It may also be that you find the color fixing valuable if you run a more saturated lineup or one that forces you to jump between and costs rapidly.

I'd be interested to hear whether Chrome Mox does anything for you. Might be worth testing.

August 27, 2015 10:09 p.m.

Ohthenoises says... #120

Epoch, I have a question since you are fairly active here tonight.

Why not run Tasigur, the Golden Fang as the commander over Damia? I know you rarely cast her and she has her issues but considering that Banana Boy can act as Rune-Scarred Demon from the command zone with infinite mana it makes me wonder.

(Since you can just keep activating his ability with 0 cards in your library to just put everything in your grave that isn't a land in your hand.)

Thoughts? Considerations? I mean, someone could attempt to kill you with a "target player draws cards" spell but the chances of them actually succeeding are so slim since you can keep putting counters back in your hand an infinite number of times.

Seems like a worthy contribution especially if your demon gets nailed with a well timed exile effect

enpc I prefer the talismans, Talisman of Dominance etc and depending on the meta Fellwar Stone works very well.

August 27, 2015 10:18 p.m.

Tasigur, the Golden Fang doesn't really offer a whole lot to the deck. Value calculations ultimately have to be based on the utility provided by Tasigur's activated ability, but that ability doesn't really change the game. You'll often just get a ramp spell back, as it's unlikely that your opponent will give you a counterspell or tutor. And the ability is very expensive considering it will always give you the worst of the available options.

And while you can use the ability ad nauseam to return all nonland cards to your hand, you'd need infinite mana in order to do that, and when you make infinite mana in this deck, you already have a win. The other cards provide recursion and draw as well as actual win conditions, so the only reason to include Tasigur would be to offer redundancy with the recursion and draw effects that already supplement the combo.

And I thought of the talisman cycle as well, but I then realized that there's no talisman (yet); there are only allied pairs. That means you have to choose one or two weaker options here. and are easily the most important colors for the deck's general function; is here largely as tutor utility. Fellwar Stone could be good, though (as a replacement for signets). It's generally likely that at least one opponent is playing either or (if not, enjoy your free win), and not really any less likely that you'll be across from both of those colors.

August 27, 2015 10:31 p.m.

Ohthenoises says... #122

I was just thinking that Tasigur makes more sense as the commander due to how little you praise Damia, it makes me wonder if she is just there for color, if you cast her a bunch that's fine but I was just thinking that if someone gets rid of your rune scarred demon it would allow you to not be out of the game.

He just seems to support the deck/combo more than Damia does. For example, if you naturally draw into Palinchron/Deadeye and have no tutors but you have infinite mana then it stands to reason that you could go off on that turn with Tasigur since its like having a rune scarred demon in your command zone.

The Talismans are only one of a few cycles of lands/rocks I wish WotC would finish. River of Tears and Horizon Canopy are some cycles I would like to see complete but that's another discussion for another thread.

August 27, 2015 10:58 p.m.

Damia isn't a necessary component of the deck 100% of the time, but it helps refill your hand after heavy early game play. It serves as a bridge between the first and second halves of the game, really.

As for Rune-Scarred Demon, there are workarounds. As long as it hits the field once, I should be good to go. And it's possible to combo off without it; it just provides a few extra Tooth and Nail permutations to help improve the deck's flexibility and resilience.

Hardcasting Palinchron and Deadeye Navigator is generally undesirable; even if I had both in hand, I'd probably still Tooth and Nail them in if I could (and get two more cards in the process). If I didn't have any tutors, it's more likely that I would wait until a safer opportunity arose. In that sense, Tasigur does offer an out, but at the cost of the midgame hand refill that often keeps the deck going.

A switch to Tasigur would likely require the addition of more draw engines to help the deck sustain on its own. Either that or a modification to strategy to prevent yourself from running out of steam to quickly.

August 27, 2015 11:21 p.m.

enpc says... #124

@Ohthenoises: as for the talismans, basically what Epoch said holds true - though I will go into a bit more detail for my logic. As mention, there is not yet a U/G talisman and my issue with Fellwar Stone is that 1) I have to rely on my opponents playing my colours and 2) I have to rely on them being in a good mana fixing state themselves. The point of Simic Signet is that it gets me both blue and green without any external reliance on my opponents.

The other reason I like it over a talisman style solution is that my deck runs Kiora's Follower and I can (and have) made plays along the lines of T1 - Land, Mana Vault, Simic Signet, Kiora's Follower. Hello 5/6 mana turn 2.

Not to mention, while the life loss is marginal it's nice to not have to spend it if I don't have to. I can use it for fueling other cards instead.

@ Epochalyptik:I have seen Tasigur, the Golden Fang decks play before, a highly tuned one does very well. It also means you can run cards like Fact or Fiction more freely. And while it's true that you would need to increase the draw capabilities of the deck, you can remove some of the more "Damia enabling" cards like Mana Vault and Grim Monolith since you're able to delve Tasigur in.

August 27, 2015 11:38 p.m.

Hey, I've just done your scenario with the deck and I did the exact same as you up to the point of when you got the Snapcaster Mage into play and gave Tooth and Nail flashback. I gave Demonic Tutor flashback and tutored for Blue Sun's Zenith to win that way. Is there any reason why you did it your way rather than mine?

August 28, 2015 7:52 a.m.

More options, mostly. Both options work, but having Venser and the tutor is preferable to having only the tutor. You might also have to account for abilities that could interfere with your combo (Teferi shuts down spells, but not abilities).

August 28, 2015 8:14 a.m.

I know Teferi doesn't shut abilities down but the only thing on the board is a Sharuum the Hegemon who has no activated abilities. Im sure there are other ways to win. Either way I enjoyed the scenario and the deck is insane!

August 28, 2015 9:06 a.m.

The battlefield is not the only zone from which abilities can be activated. Because you can't be sure what else opponents could have in hand, it's worth exercising caution.

And yes, there are other permutations that could result in victory. But I tend to favor the safest identifiable approach in any scenario like this.

August 28, 2015 1:41 p.m.

So I'm hoping that the second set of BFZ brings enemy fetchable check lands. I would run the one as a third Tropical Island that I could fetch EOT to leave Breeding Pool available for an untapped play if needed.

August 30, 2015 1 a.m.

vault says... #130

Is the UG check the only one you would play, or would you consider the other two as well? I'm not entirely certain I want to play them in my deck at only 4 basics, but I might be underestimating them.

August 30, 2015 1:09 a.m.

I singled that one out intentionally, although I could have made it clearer why.

Blue and green are the most important colors in the deck. I'd want to be able to run a third Tropical Island, but the other two duals are not as important. Between Underground Sea, Bayou, Watery Grave, and Overgrown Tomb, any demand for /X duals is satisfied. I wouldn't need to run additional /X duals if they're likely to come in tapped, even if they're fetchable. is the only pair of the three that I'd make an exception for, and only for the niche purpose I described above (although playing it tapped isn't terrible if I have an Exploration effect and another land to make up for using a land play on a tap land).

August 30, 2015 1:15 a.m.

vault says... #132

You mentioned in the Spoiler thread the Forest finders you run. Does this make the BG check at all tempting?

August 30, 2015 1:19 a.m.

Not really. The Forest finders are in the deck because they get lands untapped. The fetchable checks are almost guaranteed to never enter untapped in this deck except as a late-game play when I've exhausted all other fetch options and gotten my basics out (and even then, I'd probably have to be dropping basics to even include them because the other lands are too important).

The only reason I'm even considering the one (again, assuming it's on WOTC's list for the next set) is to provide slightly more padding for that color pair.

I view the and tentative/speculative fetchable checks as fancier tap lands that don't really fit with the deck's tempo. They aren't necessary for the color fixing; the ABURs and shocks, along with the non-land fixing, are sufficient in that regard.

August 30, 2015 1:30 a.m.

knight611 says... #134

First i have to say i love your deck. i am crafting my own damia deck using yours for inspiration. I am curious what made you consider Arbor Elf as part of the deck? i am considering it for mine but i cant figure out what to cut. any suggestions would be awesome http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/14-08-15-damia-sage-of-stone-help/

August 30, 2015 2:47 a.m.

Arbor Elf can untap dual lands, which means I can typically produce another mana of whatever color I need. It's like a second Birds of Paradise, and the ramp and color fixing are both invaluable at that cost.

I also used to run Utopia Sprawl, and Arbor Elf was quite useful in conjunction with the enchanted land.

August 30, 2015 8:43 a.m.

DokuNoSquid says... #136

the real question is, and slap me if you heard this before, how would you build a budget/multiplayer oriented BUG?

also, you already went over Kiora's Follower, correct?

August 30, 2015 11:55 a.m.

This deck is multiplayer oriented.

As for budget, it's hard to translate this deck to a budget list without giving some things up. The combo pieces themselves are fairly inexpensive, so it's really about the shell you build for them.

Imperial Seal is the first cut for a budget list.

The land base will have to become worse; that much is inevitable. If you cut the ABUR duals and the six off-color fetches, then you can save a significant amount of money. The downside is that you lose a lot of consistency and speed, and some of the saturated costs like that of Necropotence become more troublesome.

You could also cut Mana Crypt and Mana Drain if you really needed to save money.

Kiora's Follower is covered here.

August 30, 2015 12:02 p.m.

That link 404s

August 30, 2015 12:07 p.m.

Fixed.

August 30, 2015 12:08 p.m.

DokuNoSquid says... #140

fair enough. i asked because i always thought this was a 1v1 BUG deck. i failed at my attempt at a mimeoplasm so ive hit a rough patch for deck ideas.

Sylvan Scrying used to be in the deck, no? or was it too restrictive and slow for what you were doing?

August 30, 2015 12:17 p.m.

This deck doesn't do as well in competitive 1v1 matchups, which tend to be faster.

Sylvan Scrying was not in the deck. It's covered here.

August 30, 2015 12:30 p.m.

DokuNoSquid says... #142

must be old age then. thank you

August 30, 2015 12:41 p.m.

vault says... #143

For budget, one could still run the five KTK fetches which are somewhat inexpensive right now. It would still grant a decent landbase, even without Crucible. And the new latelands (is that what we're calling them?) should make three color budget lists more accessible still.

August 30, 2015 12:44 p.m.

*tangolands

August 30, 2015 12:47 p.m.

https://m.reddit.com/r/CompetitiveEDH had a competitive edh tournament. The winning deck was identical to yours with three exceptions. Dig Through Time, Diabolic Intent, and Pongify replaced Voidslime, Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Venser, Shaper Savant. Venser would seem to be a glaring ommission. The other two by your own designation are close to being cut. What is your opinion of the changes?

August 31, 2015 10:59 p.m.

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Date added 3 years
Last updated 2 days
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.44
Tokens 1/1 Spirit, 2/2 Bird
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Top rank #2 on 2012-08-19
Views 154463

Last update 3 weeks ago

+1 Ghostly Flicker maybe

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