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Sure, you have "only" 22 enchantments, so this isn't the perfect home for Serra's Sanctum. But that doesn't mean it's bad, it's probably still pretty good and worth a slot. If it reliably taps for 1 mana, and sometimes for 2 or occasionally more, that's a solid deal in my eyes.
Even if you are usually fine on mana, isn't some extra mana welcome when you are playing cards like Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion, Rogue's Passage and Aggravated Assault? Also, it seems quite useful when facing a stax deck that taxes your mana.
I honestly have never played with the specific card Serra's Sanctum myself, but i've been surprised by similar cards time and time again. "That one point of extra mana" - sometimes it makes a huge difference. Have you played with the card before? If not, why not test it out with a proxy and see if you like it?
January 19, 2017 6 p.m.
I am not very familiar with many of the cards you discussed, so i can't judge them well. However, i would be really suprised if Serra's Sanctum wasn't a good inclusion for this deck. Lands that can tap for multiple mana are extremely powerful, even if this one requires some set-up. It won't be a big help at casting Uril early, but can tap for 2, 3 or more mana later on. You might not have many expensive spells, but with your card draw effects, spells with flashback and activated abilities, a little bonus mana won't go to waste.
January 19, 2017 4:36 p.m.
To be honest, i'm not sure. Your specific metagame is obviously an important factor in this. I haven't played your deck, so i don't know how well it comes back after losing an important thread to a counter. Also, you obviously need enough mana sources and threads, which means the room for interaction / protection is very limited. Maybe 4-5 is the a good number, but that's really just a guess. You can take a look at this list, it tries to resolve Food Chain at any cost for its combo and uses similar tools for protection (obviously you don't have access to red for Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast).
January 19, 2017 4:26 p.m.
Sakura-Tribe Elder is usually just a Rampant Growth, but that's a solid effect that your deck could use in order to become a little more explosive in the early turns. It has some minor upsides, like being able to block before it grabs the land, and just being a 1/1 with 1 devotion whenever you need that (protection against stuff like Grave Pact, fodder for Survival of the Fittest, an extra body for Regal Force, avoiding the tax by Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, flash with Yeva, Nature's Herald, draws a card if you have Zendikar Resurgent). But in the end, it's still mostly just a Rampant Growth, and there is nothing wrong with that.
January 19, 2017 10:21 a.m.
Since this deck is meant to be competitive, it needs a plan against blue decks. Countermagic seems like a real problem if you rely so heavily on resolving Tooth and Nail, and you need ways to fight back. How about Thoughtseize, Duress, Autumn's Veil, Imp's Mischief, City of Solitude, Dosan the Falling Leaf, Mind Slash or Hall of Gemstone?
Also, Islands are common enough on competitive tables that Carpet of Flowers is almost always live. The card can easily be better than Sol Ring and i really think you should play it. It's also great against many stax pieces like Winter Orb, Stasis or Stony Silence.
January 19, 2017 10:09 a.m.
I don't know your meta, so I can't really tell how important Darksteel Mutation is for you. It's a great tool against some commanders (Nekusar, the Mindrazer, Yisan, the Wanderer Bard) but useless against others (Narset, Enlightened Master, Teferi, Temporal Archmage). In comparison, Song of the Dryads is more flexible and almost always finds a good use, but running both is certainly an option. As I said, that's a metagame decision.
January 19, 2017 5:10 a.m.
You do in fact have lots of cards that produce extra mana, but basically none of them start doing that before turn 4 or 5. The cards the_earl_0f_grey suggested would help you get there a turn earlier, which can make a big difference.
January 19, 2017 5:04 a.m.
Since your commander costs 5, ramping twice on the first two turns allows it to land on turn 3. Of course there are a couple cards like Sol Ring and Joraga Treespeaker which can accomplish that all by themselves, but otherwise you will need to cast a ramp spell on both of the first two turns. In order to make that happen, you usually need a 1cmc ramp spell on the first turn, and you don't have many of those currently. Some of your Signets could make room for Search for Tomorrow, Orcish Lumberjack (enables turn 2 Uril by himself, but maybe that's too all-in), Llanowar Elves / Fyndhorn Elves / Elvish Mystic, or Carpet of Flowers. (Many people underestimate that card, it's incredibly good. Sure, there is always a chance it's a dead card if there are no Islands, but that's really rare in competitive EDH rounds and quite often Carpet is even better than Sol Ring.)
As for your mana base: Reflecting Pool and Tarnished Citadel are solid mana fixers, despite having some drawbacks. I would definitely play them here. Forbidden Orchard doesn't work incredibly well with your commander, but it might still be better than a basic land or Jungle Shrine. In my experience, the "fast lands" Copperline Gorge, Razorverge Thicket and Inspiring Vantage are a little more reliable than Rootbound Crag, Sunpetal Grove and Clifftop Retreat.
I was surprised not to find Ethereal Armor in your list. Do you think it's not good enough? I can't really claim to know if what's correct in that case, but assumed the card was too good not to play.
Also, you currently have zero answers to planeswalkers in your 99, and also nothing against artifacts and enchantments unless you sideboard your one Krosan Grip. That might be a justified metagame call, but are you sure you don't want access to at least Song of the Dryads or Beast Within? Especially the Song seems useful since you have so many tutors that can find it.
January 18, 2017 7:43 p.m.
January 17, 2017 12:54 p.m.
Since your deck seems quite good at defending itself, being the Monarch might work well. Both Palace Jailer and Custodi Lich have impressed me so far, they are basically Phyrexian Arenas on legs with a nice effect in addition to that.
You are running Return to the Ranks, so you might also be interested in Rally the Ancestors and Wake the Dead. You only get the creatures back temporarily, but i think your deck can work with that.
January 16, 2017 7:20 a.m.
Maybe some transmute cards could be helpful: Dizzy Spell can find High Tide, among other cards. Muddle the Mixture tutors for Cyclonic Rift.
I've found Ixidron to be a surprisingly powerful answer to creatures, and some decks have real trouble once their commander is a useless 2/2. Could be something for you.
January 16, 2017 7:06 a.m.
Your commander can give flying to creatures. Many of your creatures already have flying by themselves. (Or in case of Stormtide Leviathan, don't really need it.) So why would you need cards like Levitation, Flight or Wonder for even more flying? You don't even have many creatures in the first place; with only 14 of them, you'll have no more than 2 or 3 on the board most of the time.
How about Dismiss into Dream? That card synergyzes with your commander nicely. Also, you could use a little card draw to make sure you don't run out of gas. Treasure Cruise or Tidings are my suggestions for that job.
January 16, 2017 4:35 a.m.
You need three artifacts in play before Inventors' Fair is anything but a Wastes. The deck has a total of 14 artifacts and plans to win relatively quickly. So i don't think you'll achieve metalcraft all that often even when just goldfishing, but in addition to that your opponent's might not leave your Winter Orb or Sphere of Resistance in play forever. Every once in a blue moon you get to tutor for combo piece (i really doubt anything else will be useful at the point in the game this becomes relevant), but even then it's an expensive effect.
If you really want to add any more colorless lands, Wasteland, Homeward Path or Wirewood Lodge seem more useful. However, having at least one green source in your opening hand is absolutely essential, and having two isn't wrong either, so playing plenty of boring old basic Forests isn't all that bad after all. Not being too greedy really does pay off every now and then.
January 15, 2017 10 p.m.
Obviously a single Diabolic Edict isn't a fantastic effect, but that's not the reason to play Custodi Lich. I'm getting the impression that you aren't really familiar with the Monarch mechanic. The Monarch draws a card in his end step, so the Lich basically brings a free Phyrexian Arena with it (and even draws the first card the turn you become the Monarch). Sure, there is a risk associated with it, someone else can steal the Monarch title and draw cards from it. On the other hand, nobody can just destroy your card advantage engine with a Nature's Claim like they can with Phyrexian Arena. Controlling decks might sometimes have trouble dealing combat damage to you, so you can stay Monarch for a while against them, and you can always reanimate the Lich once you lose it.
To come back to the value of a Diabolic Edict again: The effect isn't great on a full board where everyone has multiple creatures, but it can still be useful. Some decks are light on creatures, or someone might just be rebuilding after a board sweeper, and that's where edicts can shine. While the opponent gets to choose which creature to sacrifice, if they only have a single one, it dies, and you even bypass stuff like Lightning Greaves.
January 15, 2017 9:34 p.m.
Oh, now i responded to a post that doesn't even exist anymore. First world problems i guess :D
January 15, 2017 7:33 p.m.
While most of your points about Rishkar's Expertise are true, it can be returned by Eternal Witness and Greenwarden of Murasa. On the contrary, Regal Force might stay in play for a while, whereas Expertise goes straight to the grave, ready to be brought back. You can even cast Eternal Witness of the Expertise's "free spell" clause and grab it right away.
Also, my assumption is that on average, Rishkar's Expertise will draw way more cards than Regal Force in your deck. Regal Force probably draws something like 4-7 in most cases (occasionally more if you have a token producer), whereas Expertise can easily net 10-20 cards with fatties like Omnath, Primalcrux or Mossbridge Troll. Neither of them is great if you don't have a solid board position, but i feel it's a lot easier to get 5+ cards out of Expertise than Regal Force - you only need a single creature with decent power.
Still, your points about Regal Force are true: Devotion and availability via tutors matter a lot. Cutting such an important role player would hurt cards like Green Sun's Zenith and Tooth and Nail by reducing their arsenal. So maybe it would be an option to keep Regal Force and find space for Rishkar's Expertise elsewhere?
January 15, 2017 7:32 p.m.
Blighted Woodland has the very serious drawback of not producing green mana unless you crack it. For this particular commander, the number of actual green sources needs to be as high as possible. While i personally like Blighted Woodland a lot, i'm not sure it has a place here.
If you would replace Skyshroud Claim with it, in comparison you lose a landdrop, you ramp a turn later, and the lands come into play tapped (in a deck that needs every point of mana it can possibly get). If you want a permanent as a replacement, how about Argothian Elder? It taps for 2 mana (or more), and provides both devotion and extra uses of utility lands. It does also produce infinite mana with Maze of Ith (attack with it, use Maze, then keep untapping Maze and a mana producing land), so if don't like infinite combos, either of those two would have to stay out.
I have another suggestion though: The new Rishkar's Expertise would fit in here very nicely, it draws a ton of cards and also gives you a free spell.
January 15, 2017 4:11 p.m.
That sounds very convincing, thanks for the fast response. I guess now i should just play with the card myself some to get a better understanding.
January 15, 2017 1:34 p.m.
How often do you run into trouble casting Necropotence? While you have 30 black mana sources (counting Moxen and Elves), only Dark Ritual, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Selvala, Heart of the Wilds can produce multiple black mana. So triple black doesn't seem like something you naturally achieve by turn 2 or 3 every game. Maybe i am just plain wrong about that, but i would really like to understand the card's value and reliability a little better.
January 15, 2017 12:37 p.m.
Commander / EDH
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