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While on paper Deserted Temple seemed like a good addition for mana fixing, the only real synergy it has in the deck is untapping a Cabal Coffers with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth . Deserted Temple generally works a lot better when paired alongside lands like City of Traitors or Scorched Ruins but since this deck doesn't play either of those options it is a prime candidate for cutting. The most likely replacement is another basic Forest . Vesuva covers the same angle, but with far more flexibility.
Worm Harvest is another candidate for replacement. In a grand total of one game I have cast this spell, and the advantage is that it can be reused from the graveyard but unfortunately it is slow strategy (even for this deck) and is an inefficient way of getting land into the graveyard even if that becomes the main reason for using it in the first place.
More and more I find myself falling out of love with Wayward Swordtooth . Early game it provides some slight ramp, but ultimately a 5/5 that doesn't block effectively for Lord Windgrace until we get city's blessing is underwhelming. Especially in that critical 3-drop where we would otherwise want to cast an Azusa, Lost but Seeking for even more land drop potential (especially with Crucible of Worlds ) or Harrow for mana fixing.
I've also had a change of heart of Journey to Eternity Flip. This has mainly become tech against sacrifice-based strategies such as Sheoldred, the Whispering One or any deck playing Grave Pact / Dictate of Erebos .
Another few additions to the maybe-board that I've seen played across a few other Lord Windgrace decks are:
The primary issue with Chandra, Torch of Defiance is that her uptick for quasi-card advantage can exile an essential land with no chance to bring it back, but she does represent another win condition with her ultimate (even if it is slow). If you are only using Chandra for her mana uptick, I think that it's a waste as a 4-mana ramp spell. Whereas Nissa, Vastwood Seer Flip provices something the deck really likes doing: ramping or drawing cards. The downside of this Nissa is that her downtick is not fantastic, but I guess it provides a blocker to help protect her or Lord Windgrace . Further her ultimate (turning 6 lands into 6/6s) leaves lands vulnerable, but also represents a potential game-winning swing *(note that this does not give the lands haste so this has absolutely no synergy with anything that brings land back from the graveyard to the battlefield or making extra land drops as they would be subject to summoning sickness and would not even be able to tap for mana if you were planning of using it for Exsanguinate or Torment of Hailfire ).
February 12, 2019 6:40 p.m.
Okay so some more changes:
- Rampaging Baloths for Lotus Cobra : Unlike Omnath, Locus of Rage or Titania, Protector of Argoth , Rampaging Baloths did not do much when it entered the battlefield or have much consequence from its removal. All in all it felt slow and vulnerable and it's land-matters triggers did not seem to benefit the deck to a massive degree. It was a common pitch to Lord Windgrace and there were other utility creature that ended up being targets with graveyard recursion than the baloths.
- Cut / Ribbons for Vampiric Tutor : As stated before, Exsanguinate and Torment of Hailfire are just better cards than Cut / Ribbons . The inclusion of a second tutor has felt like a massive increase in the quality of the deck. I am sure there will be diminishing returns if we start looking at other tutors like Imperial Seal or Diabolic Intent . May give a test to Diabolic Intent as the card is handy.
Next in line for testing:
February 5, 2019 10:51 p.m.
Thanks xaarvaxus, hadn't looked over the card in much depth but it's good to know! In my previous experience I have seen other deck using The Mending of Dominaria as a solution but with how slow and uncontrollable the triggers are I was hesitant to walk down that path.
Another consideration which comes to mind as perhaps the only card from Ravnica Allegiances worth a look is Bedevil . Instant speed interaction which hits more targets than Putrefy , but has the usual drawback of more intensive mana requirements. I think it may slot nicely into the deck, especially as an answer to planeswalkers, which this deck has a fairly limited way to deal with short of Assassin's Trophy .
February 2, 2019 1:19 a.m.
After some more testing it has confirmed that Fury Storm simply will not cut the mustard in the deck. Now it is time to try something fresh: Underrealm Lich . Now this presents a very powerful avenue for card selection and graveyard filling, however presents a challenge in that you may possibly deck yourself as the deck has no ways of shuffling the graveyard into the library. While I haven't yet had any issues with potential decking yet, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
The first thing that came to mind was Elixir of Immortality , or simply putting in one of the eldrazi titans to provide more reliable (but less predictable) anti-mill but honestly in the colours present the options are rather limited. Another possiblity was Struggle / Survive which is fairly cheap and offers instant speed removal for a fair amount of damage along with a cheap shuffle effect.
I've since gotten my hands on a Cabal Coffers so that is going into the deck, replacing Canyon Slough . Often the amonkhet cycle lands feel worse than the single mana cyclers like Forgotten Cave or Barren Moor and all too often have ended up being discarded to an uptick of Lord Windgrace , who doesn't care what kind of land you discard at the time.
After more testing, Winding Canyons has not been the game changer that I had hoped, but I will give it a few more shots before completely discarding it from potential upgrades.
One final thought is whether or not adding Retreat to Kazandu to the maybe board is worth it. The deck can burn through life surprisingly fast and without finding a Zuran Orb you can end up playing on the backfoot the entire game. If anything it voids the first lot of lifeloss from Glacial Chasm and works great with Splendid reclaimation or Scapeshift . If anyone has any thoughts on the matter, let me know!
January 31, 2019 6:06 p.m.
Commander / EDH
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