- 1x Ancient Tomb
- 1x Bayou
- 1x Bloodstained Mire
- 1x Boseiju, Who Shelters All
- 1x Breeding Pool
- 1x Cavern of Souls
- 1x Cephalid Coliseum
- 1x Command Tower
- 1x Drowned Catacomb
- 1x Flooded Strand
- 1x Forbidden Orchard
- 1x Gaea's Cradle
- 1x Hinterland Harbor
- 1x Marsh Flats
- 1x Misty Rainforest
- 1x Overgrown Tomb
- 1x Polluted Delta
- 1x Reflecting Pool
- 1x Reliquary Tower
- 1x Riptide Laboratory
- 1x Scalding Tarn
- 2x Snow-Covered Forest
- 2x Snow-Covered Island
- 1x Snow-Covered Swamp
- 1x Strip Mine
- 1x Tolaria West
- 1x Tropical Island
- 1x Underground Sea
- 1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
- 1x Verdant Catacombs
- 1x Volrath's Stronghold
- 1x Wasteland
- 1x Watery Grave
- 1x Windswept Heath
- 1x Wooded Foothills
- 1x Blue Sun's Zenith
- 1x Consecrated Sphinx
- 1x Crucible of Worlds
- 1x Deathrite Shaman
- 1x Demonic Tutor
- 1x Eternal Witness
- 1x Green Sun's Zenith
- 1x Imperial Seal
- 1x Intuition
- 1x Leyline of Anticipation
- 1x Lim-Dul's Vault
- 1x Mystic Remora
- 1x Mystical Teachings
- 1x Mystical Tutor
- 1x Necropotence
- 1x Phantasmal Image
- 1x Sensei's Divining Top
- 1x Snapcaster Mage
- 1x Sylvan Library
- 1x Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
- 1x Vampiric Tutor
- 1x Yawgmoth's Will
- 1x Arbor Elf
- 1x Azusa, Lost but Seeking
- 1x Birds of Paradise
- 1x Burgeoning
- 1x Carpet of Flowers
- 1x Dark Ritual
- 1x Deathrite Shaman
- 1x Exploration
- 1x Grim Monolith
- 1x Lotus Cobra
- 1x Mana Crypt
- 1x Mana Vault
- 1x Mox Diamond
- 1x Nature's Lore
- 1x Oracle of Mul Daya
- 1x Skyshroud Claim
- 1x Sol Ring
- 1x Three Visits
- 1x Arcane Denial
- 1x Counterspell
- 1x Cyclonic Rift
- 1x Dispel
- 1x Flusterstorm
- 1x Force of Will
- 1x Mana Drain
- 1x Misdirection
- 1x Nature's Claim
- 1x Negate
- 1x Pact of Negation
- 1x Remand
- 1x Spell Pierce
- 1x Stifle
- 1x Swan Song
- 1x Toxic Deluge
- 1x Venser, Shaper Savant
Without trying to sound like a lap dog I have to say that every time I look at this deck it is an inspiration. It meets all of the criteria of a well balanced and finely tuned deck and the methodology and precision have inspired so many of my decks. Even a casual player can look at this list and appreciate the work and research that has gone into it. I just wanted you to know that. Thank you for sharing it
December 12, 2015 5:20 p.m.
Do you find (or at least did you when you played the deck) that you get much use out of Riptide Laboratory's ability? I know you can bounce Snapcaster Mage which is a decent play but did you actually find yourself doing this or did it just tap for mana?
December 15, 2015 2:42 a.m.
I am sure tasigur has come up before. I am curious what people think of him as a BUG general. I am giving him some testing and finding that while my opponents do get the choice with a deck of good cards i tend to get back something useful. it also provides a mana sink that is readily available when it is time to combo off and it lets you get all of your nonland cards to your hand. Damia is much more satisfying to get running, the card draw is really amazing but getting her their always seems to be a problem without flashing her out before my turn and that is way to easy to see coming.
December 15, 2015 3:53 a.m.
@knight611: Tasigur is covered in the primer under "Why Damia?"
December 15, 2015 7 a.m.
I'm not sure if this has come up before past resets but how does this deck do against the recent Boonweaver Giant deck?
December 17, 2015 7:28 p.m.
Hey quick question, is negate good enough? Seems like it is strictly better than split decision (unless you want the fork effect) and hits many of the pieces of interaction against you.
December 19, 2015 11:55 p.m.
I suppose that's largely a political decision, and I'd need to actually test this deck anymore before I could make a call one way or the other. Negate is better if you're playing the hard denial game whereas Split Decision tempts you with the possibility of copying a utility spell for more acceleration.
I suppose the fact that Negate hits a wider range of targets and always counters does give it the overall advantage, so I'll probably slot it in the end. Good pick.
December 19, 2015 11:59 p.m.
@Magnivore: I'm not all that familiar with the Boonweaver Giant deck, but I suppose it's mostly a matter of outpacing or outcontrolling that deck (as it is with other top-tier competitive decks). Countering Pattern of Rebirth or Boonweaver Giant (whichever is played first) is enough to at least stall the deck a bit, but there's no "permanent" answer to all recursion of those pieces.
December 20, 2015 12:04 a.m.
I'm sure it's been mentioned a thousand times before, but why no Abrupt Decay?
December 20, 2015 12:49 a.m.
Abrupt Decay is good if it works with your meta but the taregts it can hit are limited. while alot of 3 or less cmc permanents are good targets but if they last a couple turns the damage has been. the thing you want to get with are to high of a cmc.
December 20, 2015 3:27 a.m.
The other thing is that Abrupt Decay will more often than not be unable to hit combo pieces, so while it's uncounterable it won't help stopping a player from winning.
December 20, 2015 6:02 a.m.
Pretty much what they said. Abrupt Decay isn't relevant enough to justify the cost; I prefer 1-drop removal.
Added the Godfather theme for shits and giggles.
December 20, 2015 4:15 p.m.
I'm certain it's been brought up before, but Pernicious Deed really would make an excellent addition to the deck. It's a board wipe that both hits difficult-to-reach things like enchantments AND gives options; two extremely valuable features in EDH. It can be absolutely backbreaking against certain Tier 1 decks like Zur, Brago, and Derevi. Meanwhile, your strategy isn't terribly reliant on any of the three things Deed hits, with most low-cost nonland permanents being mainly used for ramp. Sacking it for 3 or 4 will usually clear the board of all forms of pesky things without setting you back in any serious way.
December 21, 2015 8:29 p.m.
I agree it is good but while it is an enchantment you cant expect it to stay around until you next turn very often its not just 3 or 4 its closer to 6 or 7 which is tough. that said its still good if there is a wide range of different types of permanents in your group because it is a nice blanket effect that can scale to problems.
December 22, 2015 5:54 a.m.
The biggest problem I have with Pernicious Deed is that at the lower end of the curve you really only hit a few mana rocks and while that's good against artifact heavy decks, it will most likely set you back as much as it does them.
At middle ranged stuff, you're probably hitting utility creatures, most of which probably are based around ETB so while you're hitting a few bodies, the cards have probable already done their thing.
At high costed stuff, you're paying the same kind of ball park as for Cyclonic Rift which just seems like the more potent play in most circumstances. And not to mention the deck's tutor suite is more suited to hit instants than enchantments.
December 22, 2015 9:16 a.m.
Pernicious Deed was in an early (read: not optimized) version of this deck, and it's serviceable, but it's not the best. Your mileage may vary if you're playing noncompetitively.
December 23, 2015 9:36 p.m.
I've used Pernicious Deed in fully optimized Karador, Mimeoplasm, Prossh, and Meren decks, and it was well worth the slot in each. Admittedly, all of those commanders can afford to be much more self-destructive. Still, I would expect the power to carry over to at least a playable extent. I could see it being run in place of a piece of targeted removal for the reasoning that, in multiplayer EDH, you want more AoE spells over one-for-one trades, especially at a competitive level where you often have to keep two or more fast combo decks in check long enough to resolve your own combo.
December 24, 2015 12:39 a.m.
So no Prophet because of the mana, but still a Teferi, with triple ? Also, no Chrome Mox or Mox Opal? Lastly, I've found Rhystic Study to be a strong draw engine, especially early game, and doesn't require the upkeep of Remora.
December 27, 2015 7:01 p.m.
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir is strongly tied to the deck's combo. It's played as a way to prevent people from interfering with the actual combo; it's not cast as a utility creature and then left on the board.
Chrome Mox would be in the deck if it could tap for any color; the fact that it can only tap for the imprinted card's colors makes it far less useful. It's still playable in some sense, but I don't consider it necessary.
Mox Opal is unreliable. I only run 7 artifacts in the deck right now, and Mox Opal requires at least two of them to be on the field before it becomes useful at all. The high potential for it to be a dead card doesn't make up for the low potential for it to be a relevant ramp/fixing card.
Rhystic Study is fine if you're playing in casual or semicompetitive metas, but I find it too slow in competitive games. The high mana cost and the fact that it's comparatively easy to play around make it subpar in this particular build. By comparison, Mystic Remora is very cheap to cast and can also be sustained for 1-2 turn cycles if need be. It's much harder to play around as well.
December 27, 2015 7:21 p.m.
I know this might be a stretch but do you remeber what you swaped Cryptic Command for or what you would choose now and why?
December 28, 2015 3:51 a.m.
See the March 9, 2013 update.
Cryptic Command and some other slow cards were dropped in favor of a much more aggressive ramp package.
December 28, 2015 12:19 p.m.
Do you get to draw 2 additional cards with Sylvan Library if Damia, Sage of Stone is in play?
The rulings allow you to discard any two cards drawn this turn, however the 2 extra draws only apply during your draw step; which is skipped.
If you cannot draw additional cards with the Library, would it be better to use Mirri's Guile instead?
December 31, 2015 7:34 a.m.
Sylvan Library doesn't work when Damia is out because your draw step is skipped. The ability can't trigger.However, the early game advantage created by Sylvan Library is very strong, and it makes Sylvan Library worth running even though Damia can make it obsolete temporarily.
Mirri's Guile, on the other hand, doesn't actually produce any advantage. It's just a free Sensei's Divining Top; there's no draw component to it. And it's relatively useless when Damia is out because I'll usually be drawing all of those cards anyway.
December 31, 2015 10:16 a.m.
How has Mystical Teachings been treating you? I've played a variant of this deck on and off every once in a while and I've never really been all that happy to see it in my hand. It does its job but it feels so lackluster compared to every other tutor in the deck.
January 1, 2016 10:58 a.m.
God dammit, now I have to find a soundtrack for my deck
January 2, 2016 4:16 a.m.
Did you ever run Mindbreak Trap in a version of the build? What're your thoughts on it as a counter? I've been really impressed with it personally as it can cut through storm decks and gets around uncounterable effects like boseiju or caverns. And the fact that it can cost zero is really nice in counterspell fights.
January 4, 2016 8:46 p.m.
@TheDevicer: It's a situational card, but it comes through when it needs to. It's a possible candidate for replacement with another tutor, though.
@enpc: I used to run Mindbreak Trap some time ago, but I never found it particularly useful. The problem is that it's obscenely expensive to hard cast, and its alternate cost is not as easily enabled as I would like.
January 4, 2016 8:55 p.m.
How about Personal Tutor? It's a relevant early spell since it fetches you Skyshroud Claim for ramp, can get you Toxic Deluge in a pinch, and can finds you Tooth and Nail for the win. At worst, it tutors for Demonic Tutor. You get a more mana efficient tutor but lose out on instant speed and putting a card in hand.
January 4, 2016 9:05 p.m.
January 4, 2016 9:15 p.m.
What's your opinion on Fathom Feeder for a competitive EDH?
January 5, 2016 11:11 p.m.
Absolutely unplayable. Baleful Strix is much better and it still sees no play.
January 5, 2016 11:31 p.m.
Hey, I don't mean to spam your comments section but I forgot to suggest Mana Breach and Phyrexian Arena. Considering how you're playing ramp anyways, wouldn't Mana Breach hurt your opponents more than it would hurt yourself? If so, it might be worthwhile...the downside is you have probably only one shot to execute the infinite mana combo.
Phyrexian Arena seems a lot less painful than Sylvan Library although it is one mana more expensive and you're forced to perpetually use it each turn. Even thought I believe the Library is ultimately better with this commander, I thought it would be worth mentioning.
January 6, 2016 3:35 a.m.
Mana Breach does not fit the overall gameplan of this deck. This is especially true given the huge focus on ramp the deck has. Imagine top-decking into Mox Diamond with that thing out. matrixnotlikethis.gif
Sylvan Library is accessible draw for an incredibly small amount of mana. It allows you to exchange your least valuable resource (life) for the most valuable one (cards). You're not even forced draw. It can act as free top-deck manipulation. Taking a look at three cards, choosing the best one, chucking the rest on top, and then cracking a fetch or playing a tutor. If this deck isn't running Rhystic Study, it sure as hell won't use Phyrexian Arena. I mean, don't get me wrong, that card is amazing in its own right, but it isn't efficient enough for this deck. It competes heavily with Necropotence.
Cruel Tutor is interesting because it hits any card. I considered suggesting it, but I didn't think it had enough versatility. You can't really use it early to accelerate, so that's a bummer. Later on, it becomes much better than Personal Tutor, but it's not like cycling peronal takes a great deal of mana. You essentially end up fetching demonic tutor, so now you're down a card and a turn but end up paying the same amount of mana for whatever card you needed. That's not good, but it isn't awful either. Does the added early playability of personal merrit running it over cruel? Are either of those better than Mystical Teachings? Those are some pretty tough questions.
The reason I raised the question in the first place was because I often felt happy with drawing Mystical Teachings in the early game or being forced to mulligan into it.
January 6, 2016 10:39 a.m.
For the thought scenario:
Play the laboratory and tap it to get the mana vault out, then use boseiju to get out ur tooth and nail with entwine and get deadeye and palinchron, leaving up . Infinite mana, then Demonic Tutor yo get zenith, then draw ur deck and eternal witness ur zenith and kill everyone. You have flusterstorm to counter any counters on the tutor or the zenith if need be.
Might be missing something but that's the base version I can see.
January 6, 2016 9:54 p.m.
Have you considered Gemstone Caverns before? At worst it's just a colorless land with no downside. At best it's another Mox Diamond that doesn't take up a non-land slot. I feel like a good cut for it would be Forbidden Orchard.
It is true that this deck is heavily color reliant due to the low CMC's, but with all the fetches and nature's lore effects the fixing should be taken care of. Plus, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth will often make this into a swamp anyway.
Mentioning that you exile the card instead of discard it is also relevant since you run Crucible of Worlds, but it doesn't have to be a land which is a plus, and other than Crucible there aren't any other scenarios in which it matters.
January 10, 2016 2:44 p.m.
Hm, I missed Deathrite Shaman which makes Mox Diamond's land discard better than I thought. My points above still stand though. I wish Tappedout let you edit your comments for a bit longer, apologies.
January 10, 2016 2:56 p.m.
January 10, 2016 5:33 p.m.
@NarejED: Grim Tutor is good, but the sorcery speed combined with the high cost (not that Mystical Teachings isn't expensive, but at least it's an instant) makes it somewhat less appealing. I'd need to test it to be sure one way or the other, but I don't have many opportunities to test anymore.
@Dankey: Again, I have to agree with TheDevicer. Mana Breach doesn't really do anything I want. It's terrible if I have to use my Phantasmal Image combo, and it's not great considering I generally want to use as much of my mana as possible every turn cycle. At that point, all of the Exploration effects in the deck would have to be used just so I can maintain a stable board position.
Life is a resource. Drawing extra cards with Sylvan Library may hurt, but it's certainly worthwhile when you consider that this deck's goal is to end games within 4-6 turns whenever possible. Phyrexian Arena, on the other hand, is more expensive, comes down later, and generates less advantage.
@Perseus: Gemstone Caverns is an option, and I'd have to playtest it to be sure. However, I don't really know what I'd drop for it. Maybe Cephalid Coliseum. I also don't like that I start a card down and have no access to that resource. In some cases, it'll be worth it. But when you start dropping cards from your starting hand, it becomes very painful. I generally like to keep many options open in my starting hand in case I don't get off to a great start.
@thewyzman: It could be viable in some situations, but there are many cases in which the removal being played is -/- (such as Toxic Deluge, exile (such as Swords to Plowshares), regen-proof (such as Damnation). Golgari Charm would only be effective against a smaller range of removal spells, and that range is generally of the kinds less favored in competitive metas.
Regrowth is strictly better than Treasured Find. I generally don't find those effects worthwhile on their own, though. I run Snapcaster Mage and Eternal Witness, which are sufficient and work better with the combos.
January 10, 2016 6:06 p.m.
what du you think about Fierce Empath?
Tried a pretty similar Build today(very inspiring Primer, btw, Thanks! :D).Sadly, 2 times i found no valuable target for Green Sun's Zenith while i got inf. mana going or possible.Eternal Witness was out of Range (1 Time in Gy, another time exiled).A Green Sun's Zenith into Fierce Empath can either find you a combo part ( Deadeye Navigator or Palinchron ) or you just go for Rune-Scarred Demon and find your missing piece.
January 16, 2016 12:04 a.m.
Further on the Fierce Empath synergises pretty well with Deadeye Navigator to find even more Combo cards, same with Ghostly Flicker (eg. 10 mana(7 lands)+Fierce Empath+Ghostly Flicker needed: play Fierce Empath (7 mana left),find Palinchron, play it (untap 7 lands=7 mana open), Ghostly Flicker them both (tap all,4 mana in pool, untap 7 lands,still 4 in pool), find Deadeye Navigator , play it(5 lands open), bounce Palinchron for infinite mana, bounce Fierce Empath, find Rune-Scarred Demon, End game.
You can use the Fierce Empath pretty nicely in Phase II, while you Dig for Wincon's. 3 mana is payable and he still can Chump Block.
With a Phantasmal Image and Fierce Empath on Hand and 10 mana available you can tutor for Palinchron , Combo it with Image for inf mana and finally Copy the Fierce Empath and find Rune-Scarred Demon for the Victory.I think the Fierce Empath really fits in the Synergy, just a little bit behind Rune-Scarred Demon.
January 16, 2016 12:52 a.m.
I like your thinking, its cool tech that i have been trying to figure out for a while and decide if i wanted to run it. 3 months ago it probably would have went right in. It provides another win route. So thank you for showing me this.
while Fierce Empath is a good idea its a little to slow for what a deck like this wants to do. its an expensive sorcery speed tutor. Wouldn't it be more efficient to run a tutor for anything card vs tutor a very specific type of thing. What tutors are you using right now? Why Mystical Tutor for Green Sun's Zenith over Tooth and Nail? it does let GSZ find non green creatures but not as good as tooth and nail. It enables other ways of winning but thats not really needed where protecting your winning play is far more important.
Fierce Empath's power is also dependent on your meta. for example i run Riftsweeper because people have started to remove things from the game on me and this lets me get them back. it saved me earlier today and let me retrieve my deadeye.
Just my two cents on the card.
January 16, 2016 3:43 a.m.
January 17, 2016 5:20 p.m.
Silverf1sh: the problem with sphinx is that opponents can still cast spells so things like Venser, Shaper Savant get through because they don't specifically counter. On top of that, people can also play removal effects in response to Deadeye Navigator's soulbond and Palinchron's untap ability. There is a very small window where your cards are vulnerable and sphinx doesn't help in those circumstances.
January 17, 2016 6:41 p.m.
Now that the partial paris is gone, does that change much of anything with play?
January 18, 2016 1:37 p.m.
February 1, 2016 10:27 p.m.
with only 16 creatures (+ tutors), how often is cradle better or worse than a basic forest?
have you tested City of Brass or Mana Confluence? the incidental life loss probably wouldn't matter, but i can see them being a problem if you need to repeatedly tap them to go infinite. how often do you combo out with exactly the number of lands needed, or could you start the chain with these and then stop tapping them once you are just paying u1 to flicker to infinity?
February 2, 2016 4:19 p.m.
Mas courser instead of le oracle of mul? Life is good.
February 6, 2016 7:28 p.m.
How is this deck after the mulligan changes? Still competitive or?
February 15, 2016 1:53 p.m.
Have you considered running Alchemist's Refuge and Winding Canyons? This would allow you to better flash in your commander and other combo pieces without being too reliant on Leyline of Anticipation. Not to mention you can still play defensively.
February 15, 2016 2:23 p.m.
In the deck weaknesses, you missed Azami, Lady of Scrolls as a deck that can out-speed you
February 17, 2016 10:53 p.m.
You do make a good point about its usefulness in certain combos, but those situations require you to have other cards in hand and not just Fierce Empath. I suppose that's not enough to disqualify it. I do agree with knight611, though, in saying that the option of using Fierce Empath doesn't necessarily mean that it's optimal to do so; the deck's central engines are better, so Fierce Empath is more of a backup-only sort of card.
I'll add it to the maybeboard, but I don't do much testing anymore.
@Silverf1sh: Sphinx of the Final Word has applications, but I think it's too expensive and narrow for this deck. It doesn't do anything for combos requiring creature casts (rather than being strictly enabled through Tooth and Nail, and it's sorcery speed.
@Magnivore & Perplex: I'm not sure. The deck, like most decks, suffers a bit in the early game from the change. But I haven't played in a long, long time, so I'm not sure exactly what changes may be necessary given the new mulligan rule.
@shuflw: Having not played the deck for a long time, I'm not sure how best to answer the statistical portion of your question. I think Gaea's Cradle is preferable to Dryad Arbor, but both of those cards serve different purposes than a typical basic. I guess the best way to assess it is that a basic is still better in the early game whereas Gaea's Cradle can potentially enable earlier combos and offers more late-game power.
On Mana Confluence and City of Brass, the latter was in a very early version of the deck. I cut it because it presented problems in certain combos (specifically, you need seven lands in order to make the Phantasmal Image combo work). I suppose it's a matter of whether you want another gold land at the (somewhat minor) risk of having to wait slightly longer to combo in some cases. I feel comfortable enough with the power of the land base to justify not running it, but I guess it's a personal choice.
@Ninjadude51: Courser of Kruphix doesn't actually ramp, so it isn't as useful as Oracle of Mul Daya. I suppose it does add some security if you're missing land drops, but I haven't tended to have that issue. I don't think saving is worth losing the ramp power.
@Oseros77: Alchemist's Refuge was in an earlier iteration of this deck, but I cut it because the ability is, in practice, too expensive to use to any great advantage. If I had more space in the land base, it might find its way back in for those cases where I want to dump a mana dork or small spell on an opponent's turn, but it isn't good enough often enough to edge out any of the other lands.
Winding Canyons was never in the deck, but the philosophy is the same.
@Podkomorka: The decks I listed in that section are examples. I don't claim or intend to create an exhaustive list of those decks that are faster or better; the principle is what's actually important.
February 23, 2016 6:35 p.m.
One more question for you, regarding Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I know that for a long time your were running this card, and I know that you cut it. I guess the question is what was your though process behind getting rid of it? after all you run 9 fetches plus like 14 other ways of shuffling your library making his brainstorm very powerful, at least in a vacuum. Did you find it to be too prohibitive cost wise? Or was he too underwhelming when he hit the battlefield? Or were you finding that people were just killing him?
I'm currently running him and he's not bad, but I notice that he pulls a lot of aggro just because he's Jace (much more than is warranted for the card at least). And the problem with relying on him as a constant source of card advantage is that if I get one brainstrom off and then he dies I've effectively just wasted a turn playing him.
So yeah, I'd be interested to pick your brains about keeping or not keeping him.
February 23, 2016 9:02 p.m.
JTMS is certainly a good card, but I often found myself in positions where I didn't want to cast it. is an expensive cost to manage in Stage II, and it's not really justifiable often enough in Stage III. This means it's a dead card in the critical first stages of the game, and I tend to prioritize those stages rather than late-game utility.
February 24, 2016 7:30 p.m.
I agree that City of Brass and Mana Confluence aren't optimal in this list because they hinder your combo, but what about Tarnished Citadel? Paying three life seems like a lot, but if you only need it to tap for colored mana once or twice per game it's maybe as painful as City of Brass, but works just fine with the combo.
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy seems like a solid option for this deck, as it filters yours draws and allows you to flashback tutors or a counterspell on your combo-turn. Have you given any thought to that card?
March 4, 2016 2:04 p.m.
The paying life would probably be minimal in edh..? It also synergises with Damia. You get rid of the land cards with Fastbond, and then Damia refills your hand with useful cards..?
March 8, 2016 2:03 p.m.
@xavrr: If it weren't banned, it would already be in the deck.
March 8, 2016 3:17 p.m.
Final thing, (I checked this wasn't banned!), have you thought about Telepathy?
March 8, 2016 4:18 p.m.
You might be underestimating Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
Flip. Looting once or twice might not always be fantastic, especially when everything else works perfectly, but whenever you draw for example both Exploration and Burgeoning, or the card Crucible of Worlds or a situational card like Toxic Deluge or simply too few/many lands, it can be really good. The new mulligan rule really makes those scenarios a lot more relevant. Also, looting enables you to access a card that you put on top of your deck with Vampiric Tutor etc right away.
The -3 loyalty ability is great and the one big reason Jace is played in basically every format he is legal in. (Many other planeswalkers also have one defining ability that you use most often and some others that are situationally powerful or necessary evils to get more loyalty.) After flipping him, two of his next three activations can be used to flashback spells (starting at 5 loyalty you use -3,+1,-3, or +1,-3,-3). In your deck, he could ramp, help to assemble your combo by casting a tutor multiple times, give you resilience against countermagic/discard, make the card Intuition a lot more powerful, or protect your combo by using -3 on something like Pact of Negation or Swan Song before you expose your combo (you can cast the spell you target with Jace's ability any time during your turn, just like Snapcaster Mage).
Finally, he will occasionally simply be a lightning rod for a Swords to Plowshares that would otherwise have been directed at your Palinchron later in the game. I will admit, that is not a great feature, but a small upside.
Let's compare him with Snapcaster Mage: Jace is slower, he can't flashback a spell right away, but needs 1-2 turns of setup. Also, he doesn't synergyze with Mystical Teachings, Riptide Laboratory, Phantasmal Image, Ghostly Flicker and Deadeye Navigator, for whatever that's worth. However, he is better in your starting hand as he can be cast for just 2 mana, the loot ability is solid, and he is better at flashing back expensive spells like Tooth and Nail because you don't need to pay for him in the same turn the way you do with Snapcaster. Generally, Jace prefers to work in combination with discard instead of countermagic, as he does his thing during your turn. That's not the way your deck prefers to operate though. Jace is able to do something Snapcaster can't: Given time, he can flashback mutliple spells, generating actual card advantage.
Jace isn't explosive, he won't be very helpful if you draw the nuts and your opponents don't interact. However, he is cheap, flexible and reliable, the kind of card you want if you hit some troubled waters. I'm not 100% convinced myself that he deserves to be in this deck, but i think he should be seriously considered. If Snapcaster Mage makes the cut, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Flip can't be completely wrong.
March 8, 2016 8:34 p.m.
Oh, i think nobody mentioned Dark Petition so far. I haven't really played with the card myself (oustide of limited), but seeing that your list is pretty high on tutors, this might be another option. It will be worse than Demonic Tutor most of the time, but occasionally it can find Necropotence and fix your mana for it at the same time. Seeing that it's played in Vintage storm to great success, it might be good enough for you.
March 8, 2016 9 p.m.
Wait, this deck is now number 1? What happened to the Mikaeus deck?
March 14, 2016 2:34 a.m.
Nice control deck Epochalyptik.
Have you ever considered using Curse of the Swine for targetted exile? it might be good with all the ramp.
can you let me know how you made that +1 button? I want to use it for my EDH Stax Primer
March 22, 2016 8:05 a.m.
Curse of the Swine is an expensive sorcery that doesn't progress this deck's gameplan (combo quickly) and is not very reliable in terms of disruption, as sorcery speed only gets you so far and leaves you unable to use your countermagic. Take this deck itself, as an hypothetical example: It uses creatures to combo, yet they almost always come into play the turn they are used to combo, so Curse would offer no disruption against that (except for cornercases involving Leyline but that's irrelevant). So i don't think that card is qualified for a competitive deck like this.
March 22, 2016 9:25 a.m.
What's your opinion on tidespout tyrant? With two mana rocks you can go infinite.
March 26, 2016 4:32 a.m.
That is true Emzed, I was just trying to suggest something. I know there was a targeted blue exile spell that cost 2 and might have been an instant I'm just blanking on the name. It was released in the tarkir block and it had manifest mechanics too.
March 26, 2016 2:47 p.m.
Also you aren't tempted to turn someones things into piggies? R U EVEN HUMAN!!!
March 26, 2016 2:51 p.m.
And not everyone wants bacon during their EDH games
March 26, 2016 5:17 p.m.
lemmingllama: That's a pretty bold statement. Bacon is among the finer things in life. The only reason I could think to turn down bacon during an EDH game is that it might get your hands and cards greasy.
March 26, 2016 5:28 p.m.
March 26, 2016 6:51 p.m.
You have a nice deck. I just see that in my meta there are very diffrent decks. When a Torpor Orb or Humility resolve you can't win anymore and you have only one Nature's Lore. I would play at least a Maelstrom Pulse just to be save.
March 29, 2016 3:15 p.m.
There is also Cyclonic Rift as an answer to whatever permanent causes problems. Besides, i think Beast Within or Krosan Grip are usually better than Maelstrom Pulse if you want another effect like that.
March 29, 2016 7:55 p.m.
@xavrr: Telepathy is theoretically useful, but I'm not convinced that it's worth including in the deck over other cards. I would have to playtest to know for sure, but it seems to me like a Mana Web sort of card. It's a cute control effect that paints a target on itself and doesn't necessarily win the game.
@Emzed: I sort of see where you're coming from with Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Flip, but I don't think it's as close a comparison to Snapcaster Mage as you argue. Snapcaster Mage is in the deck because it provides instant value and also interacts with the combo. Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Flip does have a similar function, but it's slower and its other abilities aren't really relevant. I concede that the loot effect is more appealing in the Vancouver mulligan environment, but I question whether it's worth it to staple that effect to a Snapcaster Mage at the expense of speed and safety (summoning sickness leaves it vulnerable for a turn before I can get any value out of it).
In all likelihood, I'd probably be able to loot with it and it would then be attacked before I could get more than one loyalty ability out of it. Although most competitive multiplayer decks don't focus on combat, utility creatures can still do damage, and I'm not about to lose a Deathrite Shaman to keep Jace, Telepath Unbound alive for a +1 activation the second turn it's out.
As for Dark Petition, I have mixed feelings about it as a card. It's certainly playable in casual and semi-competitive decks (in much the same way as Increasing Ambition or Diabolic Tutor), but the cost is very steep for a sorcery-speed tutor. It's likely that I'd be able to get two cards with it at the point at which I could afford to cast it, but I don't think it's more effective than using, say, Demonic Tutor and leaving mana open for a counterspell the next turn.
@Perfect_Phyrexia: Emzed's response is pretty much on point. Curse of the Swine is a slow and expensive form of removal. At the point at which I need to remove multiple creatures, Toxic Deluge and Damnation are both superior. I'd sooner play Pongify if I needed more removal. Indestructibility isn't super prevalent, so I'm comfortable taking the low cost over the flexibility to answer more kinds of threats.
@atgarnett: Tidespout Tyrant is one of those combo-only cards that I tend to eschew in decks like this. I'd rather the combo cards be functional as utility cards if necessary. The fact that it doesn't depend on Palinchron or Deadeye Navigator is a plus, but I hesitate to include a tangential card just for the sake of having an out that I'll only need once in a great while.
@Mr_M03: Admittedly, one of the weaknesses of this deck is the lack of removal available for threats on the board. I tend to favor counterspells because they're a more flexible and preemptive measure that can prevent more things from happening (the caveat being that they have immediate resource demands and are useless if not enabled every turn). I tend also to dislike expensive and/or slow removal spells because they're so often dead cards.
April 1, 2016 9:55 a.m.
The running joke is that Intuition is largely based on intuition.
For example, if you can combo next turn and you need a way to protect the combo, you could search for the three free counterspells or others as appropriate. You could also search for three tutors if you want to lower the risk of someone knowing denying what you actually want. Finding cards with redundant effects is one of the more effective ways of using Intuition.
You could also use it to find combos (e.g., find Deadeye Navigator, Phantasmal Image, and Ghostly Flicker because they're (roughly) interchangeable. Some people find Strip Mine, Wasteland, and Crucible of Worlds to answer lands.
April 1, 2016 4:56 p.m.
Thanks, couold you also explain how Ghostly Flicker wins?
April 1, 2016 5:47 p.m.
April 1, 2016 5:54 p.m.
That's covered in the primer.
April 1, 2016 5:54 p.m.
Declaration of Naught can be alright in certain scenarios, but it typically just forces a counterspell or removal spell, needs to be played preemptively, and only affects one card at the table once it sticks. I'd rather just cast Counterspell at the correct time and then use the time that it takes the opponent to reset to win the game for myself.
April 1, 2016 5:57 p.m.
True True, I'm currently trying to change from a more casual edh mindset to one thats more competetive and cutthroat so i'm just adjusting to some of the cards I liked experimenting with in the past
April 1, 2016 6:09 p.m.
Not sure if this has been asked in the past, but: I understand from the Primer that the deck is typically meant to be played in an environment in which you are allowed to make partial mulligans. But under Vancouver mulligan, how does your consideration for cards in the opening hand change, if at all?
Also, just wanted to say that this is a gorgeous deck. Much respect for the amount of time you've taken to put the deck together, updating it based on constant testing, and responding so promptly to comments on this post. Not only does it help me maintain my own deck, but the answers you give are great peeks into the mindset of how to play this deck at a high level. Keep up the good work!
April 2, 2016 11:22 a.m.
I am curious. I have read your primer and was reading through your win con. Is your only win con Milling?
I play at my LGS, at like to play a few games or so, for a couple hours. Unfortunately, I am still new to magic and only have this deck assembled. I have been working on a Lin Sivvi, but it's either annoying, doesn't work, or people won't play due to inexpensive but still in test mode proxies.
So my question is, what would be considered some other win cons I could look into while still maintaining the board control aspect of the game? I feel this deck would get stale after 2 games by just milling the entire deck, and could be played maybe 5 - 6 times before it's shelved for a while.
I am a fan of the colors for sure, and am a fan of the card draw which is why I choose her. Also, her artwork is just gorgeous.
Also, what do you do about someone having a Kozilek, Butcher of Truth? With the Blue Sun's mill, the mill would never end, especially with that hitting the graveyard, and to my understanding from my game store explaining it, you couldn't target or exile a graveyard once Koz hits the graveyard, causing an infinite loop where a turn wouldn't end.
Am I wrong about this?
April 2, 2016 12:24 p.m.
Blue Sun's Wins off the rule that says "If you would draw a card while your library is empy, you lose the game instead". That's the paraphrased version, anyway.
If I have 60 cards and get hit with an infinite blue sun's, I lose before those cards ever hit the grave.
April 2, 2016 1:24 p.m.
Ah, my bad, I thought the ruling, and it seemed that's how the people at my store played, if you would draw a card on your turn. Thank you for that clarification.
April 2, 2016 2:33 p.m.
@Perfect_Phyrexia: Understandable. Depending on your particular meta, you might get away with some unusual choices here and there. A lot of the deck should still be optimized, though.
@OhMyGodImOnFire: I haven't done much testing with the Vancouver mull. One of the issues I've been seeing, though, is that it's harder to get a good balance of lands and low-cost cards in the opening hand. This is, of course, a problem for all decks now, but the fact that this deck relies on some fairly expensive combo pieces means that there's a chance that one of the cards you'll have to keep (or that'll make you pitch a hand) will be one of those high-cost pieces.
And I'm always happy to be of help. I'm glad people are still looking at the deck.
@Ishio: As Silverf1sh explained, the deck doesn't really win through mill. What you do is you force people to draw more cards than there are in their library, which causes them to lose as a state-based action immediately after Blue Sun's Zenith resolves. As a result, reshuffle effects have no impact on this deck's win condition.
Because the deck is designed to win consistently, efficiently, and effectively, I'm not too concerned with variety in the approach. I don't mind winning through Blue Sun's Zenith ten games in a row.
The deck does, however, have a backup win con in Venser, Shaper Savant. It doesn't technically win the game, but putting your opponents' boards back into their hands usually causes them to scoop.
If you're playing in a semi-competitive environment rather than a highly competitive one, you could probably get away with a few changes in the name of variety (as I mentioned in my response to Perfect_Phyrexia). For example, you might add Exsanguinate if you wanted to actually kill people rather than win by decking them.
April 2, 2016 3:31 p.m.
I have, when I first built the deck, ran the Exsanguinate combo with infinite mana, I tried to stay away from Mike and Trik, as from a semi-competitive standpoint I don't think that's entirely fair to the other people, especially with how easy it is to tooth and nail ramp into it turn 3.
Thank you for explaining your win-con a bit more. It was an option I didn't think of before.
I am still trying to find something to bring in as a backup in case my infinite mana combo can't happen. I currently only have DEN, Palichron, and Phantasmal Image. I will have to try and get the other three creatures as back up.
What's your view Dryad Arbor? One combo I run is just that or Treetop Village, Intruder Alarm and Squirrel's Nest right before my turn. Usually as it's never really expected.
However, that said, my deck lacks consistency, and now that I kind of understand your win-con a bit more, I can figure out how to make mine more consistent instead of random.
April 2, 2016 4:27 p.m.
Deadeye Navigator and Phantasmal Image are redundant as catalysts, and Palinchron and Peregrine Drake are redundant as reactants. I don't usually find that running only one direct backup for each primary piece is an issue.
Dryad Arbor was in the deck for a long time due to the ramp interaction with Green Sun's Zenith on T1, but I cut it because it was often too slow and vulnerable. I replaced it with Gaea's Cradle because I think Cradle has more explosive potential.
As for consistency, you can improve that in a few ways. One is to increase the redundancy in the list. For example, I plan Burgeoning, Exploration, Oracle of Mul Daya, and Azusa, Lost but Seeking as extra land effects. You could get by with fewer (it would be dangerous), but having more of them increases the chance that you'll draw at least one card with such an effect.
Tutors are another means of improving consistency because they act as additional copies of a card, but are more flexible.
Raw draw power also improves consistecy; the more you draw, the more likely you are to see any given card during a game.
What does everyone think of Cryptolith Rite? I feel like it could be a great way to squeeze extra value out of my utility creatures, but its usefulness is directly proportional to my board state.
April 2, 2016 6:43 p.m.
I feel like if you are looking for that type of effect that Earthcraft is strictly better since it allows you to commit more to the board and it doesn't need to worry about summoning sickness.
April 2, 2016 6:50 p.m.
I thought really hard about cryptolith rite....I personally really like it. However, it is as you say with the usefulness being proportional to board state. With your deck, as well as mine (which takes heavy inspiration admittedly from you), I think it requires heavy testing.
I did almost put in Concordant crossroads just to be dumb with rite, deadeye, and an untapper.
April 2, 2016 6:59 p.m.
The thing I can see about Earthcraft is that it's for
basic lands only. Epochalyptik is running about 5 basic snow-lands which wouldn't benefit him. Also, it is limited to what basics are on the board as opposed to Cryptolith Rite which adds any color mana.
If you feel like your deck is working as is, what we can only suggest is based on your play outs. Are you more likely to have creatures out on the board to benefit from that? To me, that card seems more likely for a token based deck to ramp. Like an elves token tribal. But that's my opinion.
Epochalyptik In regards to your response to my comment, I will reevaluate my deck and update my list. Perhaps I can PM you to take a gander in the future? I am on a strict tight budget so $40 + cards are out of the question.
April 2, 2016 7:01 p.m.
Cryptolith Rite is interesting. But I don't like that fact that it isn't actually ramp in and of itself. It will help with some of the creatures, however the most of your early drop weenies already tap for mana anyway. I still personally think you should look into Kiora's Follower instead.
April 2, 2016 8:22 p.m.
Yes! I was at my prerelease today and actually thought about utilizing Cryptolith Rite in this deck. However I'm not sure just how good it could be in this deck. Creatures account for less than one fifth of the deck, and most of those creatures, when you do get the opportunity to play them, either already have a tap for mana effect, or they wouldn't be on the board unless you were going to win anyway (unless I'm playing the deck wrong.) It just doesn't seem to pack as much of a punch or give immediate value like much of the rest of the deck.
April 3, 2016 1:22 a.m.
hey i love this deck i made some changes to may Damia, Sage of Stone after seeing this and reading your primer. in my deck i went for the more win con aproach and mid - late game ramp rather then early game ramp. i would appreciate any advice u have on minethe golden walkers
April 7, 2016 8:05 p.m.
I don't think Cryptolith Rite is even an contender for this deck, that card requires very specific conditions to be any good (lots of creatures, the possibility to give haste to creatures) and this deck doesn't offer that at all.
However, could you imagine Traverse the Ulvenwald being okay? It's not easy to enable delirium in this deck, but not overly difficult either (instant, sorcery and land should be a given by turn ~3-4, creature, artifact or enchantment are less likely). The possibility to tutor either a combo relevant creature or a powerful land like Boseiju or Cavern seems very solid.
April 8, 2016 9:04 a.m.
Sylvan Scrying / Expedition Map / Crop Rotation just feel more solid. The heavy reliance on delirium to make a card good in a non graveyard based deck feels like way too much risk for very little payoff.
April 8, 2016 10:05 a.m.
Not sure if it was specified elsewhere but what was the reasoning for cutting Dig Through Time/Damnation?
April 9, 2016 12:10 p.m.
April 9, 2016 5:05 p.m.
Hm may have been someone's edited list that ran the dig
April 9, 2016 8:28 p.m.
Have you ever considered Dictate of Karametra? It makes infinite mana with Palinchron. You tap 7 lands to float 14 mana, then use 13 of it to cast and bounce Palinchron, untapping all your lands in the process, netting you 1 mana with each iteration.
It's pretty expensive for a ramp piece and ramping your opponents isn't super desirable, but flashing it in end of turn before you go to combo can make it a little easier and help make the ramp more one-sided.
April 11, 2016 9:54 a.m.
ToolmasterOfBrainerd: There are two issues with Dictate of Karametra. The first is that it can't be fetched by Tooth and Nail, meaning you have to naturally draw into it and the other half of the combo. It also only works with Palinchron, not Peregrine Drake.
But the big one you've already hit on the head - outside of combo the card is unplayable. At the competitive level you don't want to help your opponents by giving them extra mana. This means that outside of the specific combo, the card is just a dead draw. And since it isn't blue, it's not like you can even pitch it to Force of Will or Misdirection.
April 11, 2016 10:19 a.m.
Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger is the card you were looking for. It's a creature, which makes it easier to access, and its effect is one sided. Nonetheless it's extremely expensive and just not good enough outside the combo.
April 11, 2016 11:04 a.m.
@ Epochalyptik I'm never going to learn how to spell your name...
Anyways, thank you for including the budget option on this deck. I love the fact that you list how to buy on a budget. Most decks don't have this and as someone without a steady stream of income it's very much appreciated. I've also read your articles and they're fantasticly written. I particularly enjoyed the casual vs competitive. I just want to say thank you for all you've done for the Tappedout community. Big fan.