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Once Upon a Time was sadly banned!

But I like this deck idea a lot. I playtested it a couple times, and it was a lot of fun to pilot. +1

December 3, 2019 1:44 p.m.

Hey, thanks for the +1 on my deck! I +1'ed you back. :)

A couple thoughts: First, I suggest that you more clearly define what you mean by budget, as it's different for everyone. Some people mean no one card being over a dollar, some mean nothing over $10, while others are fine buying one $50 card as long as the total budget for the deck isn't more than $100, etc.

On that note, you currently have 3 creatures — Abzan Falconer , Sapphire Drake , and Skatewing Spy — that grant flying. Since this buff doesn't stack, it would feel bad to draw more than one at a time. Instead, I'd recommend keeping just one of them (probably the Falconer, as he's the most cost-efficient) and replacing the other two with creature tutors, such as Green Sun's Zenith and Chord of Calling . I consider both of those budget, at about $5 to $7 each (T/O pricing puts them higher than that, but they can be found on TCGPlayer for that price). These essentially become copies 2 and 3 of ALL your creatures, so you can go grab whatever team-wide buff is most relevant at the time — ramp from Rishkar, trample from Zegana, etc.

December 2, 2019 3:11 p.m.

Said on "Your Debt Has ......


@Whirlwind_2100 — So I realized after asking you about Sorin that he wasn't even in the deck! (Sorin, Lord of Innistrad is currently in the deck, but Solemn Visitor was in the Maybeboard.) That said, I agree with your assessment of him and removed him from the Maybeboard. I also took out Vampire Nighthawk and several other cards, and upgraded some existing cards with better options.

@multimedia — Thank you for the long and thought-out comment! The funny thing is that a couple of your suggestions are things I had already realized, but hadn't had the time to deal with yet. For instance, I already planned for Heartless Summoning to go — like you said, it's a "non-bo" with my token generators. Same with Obzedat, Ghost Council — it amounts to very slow life drain. And I knew I needed more ramp and improved board wipes.

I had somehow completely forgotten about Command Tower ; thank you for the reminder! Definitely replacing Temple of Silence with that.

I do have a few follow-up questions for you, since you said that you are willing to offer more advice:

  1. You're suggesting taking out almost all of the equipment for buffing Teysa, because "equipping to Teysa is unrealistic". Could you explain what you mean? If it's simply a matter of surviving enough turns to generate enough mana to both cast and equip her, then that isn't an issue. It's not a high power meta, with games generally lasting well beyond Turn 10. In a previous comment, I posted a couple of the other decks that Teysa has to regularly face, and they are hardly fully-optimized themselves. Or were you thinking something else besides mana cost?

  2. If I remove the equipment buffs for Teysa, then what would you say are the deck's current finisher(s) / win-con(s)? Although I agree with you that this deck shouldn't be a fully Voltron deck, it's so easy to get commander damage through with her that, thus far, Teysa herself has been my main finisher, so I like to say that the deck has a Voltron sub-theme. If she's not the finisher, then what is?

  3. Currently, it's usually just my wife and I playing, as we haven't found a playgroup in our new town yet. Since it's 1v1, is it more advisable to keep the hand disruption like Despise in the deck? Or would you still recommend removing it for some of the other spells you suggested? (I do agree on cutting Brain Maggot , though, as it's always been too easy for the opponent to get their card back.)

  4. Finally, RE: Hushbringer , you cite my lack of creatures with ETB/LTB effects as the reason to run it. (Indeed, only Sun Titan has a meaningful ETB effect.) However, I was considering building this deck closer to Judgmental Eyes (Teysa) [[Primer]], which features a lot more creatures, sac outlets, and things that want creatures to die, hence being more of an Aristocrats build. Do you think that's a good direction? Or is a creature-less / -lite version of the deck better?

December 2, 2019 2:01 a.m.

Temur Sabertooth still makes a difference with the Sovereign. You are correct that it doesn't allow you to use his Exert ability any faster due to summoning sickness. But it does allow you to have him untapped as a large blocker when normally you wouldn't. And that's a HUGE difference.

I've playtested this deck probably a couple dozen times now, and one of the common dilemmas I face is whether I should Exert him to get more tokens, or keep him as a blocker during the next turn cycle. Fairly often I've been unable to use his Exert ability because I've been on the defense and needed his large body to block threats. Temur Sabertooth removes that dilemma! For 3 mana on my opponent's turn, I can create some cats and get an indestructible Sabertooth, then for 3 mana on my next turn, I can re-cast Sovereign to have an enormous blocker. (Keep in mind, too, that you can first declare Sovereign as a blocker before Exerting and/or bouncing him, and as long as the blocked creature doesn't gain trample, all of its damage is still considered blocked.)

All that said, I admit that I haven't actually playtested Sabertooth, so it might not be good. My main point is that you shouldn't discount him too quickly!

November 28, 2019 5:25 p.m.

I'm not sure what happened with my above comment. The "spoiler" buttons don't seem to work anymore, even though they worked fine when I was posting it. :\ Must be a T/O bug. In any case, here's the same comment as above, but with accordions, which still seem to work.

You're actually fine using a Protection card that targets only one creature, because all you have to do is play it in response to the Declaration, targeting the same creature that the Declaration player targeted, and then Declaration will have an illegal target, causing the entire spell to fizzle. But that said, single-target Protection doesn't help against burn. I'd suggest Heroic Intervention to protect against both threats — and bonus points, it has a CAT in the art! XD

Before talking about this card specifically, first a quick note regarding "fog" effects: Some people actually feel similarly about "fog" effects as they do about lifegain — it doesn't deserve an entire card slot to itself. The rationale behind this is the same as with lifegain — a Fog neither develops your board, removes threats, nor decreases your opponent's life total. It essentially amounts to a lifegain spell that gains you the same amount of life as you were dealt in combat. That said, if you can find a Fog that does allow you to have an effect on the game, they can be great.

Alright, so on to your card choices. Unless you really care about the cycling, I'd actually choose a different Fog effect in its place, as both the CMC of Haze (2) as well as its cycling cost (3) are over-costed ( Fog costs 1 and cycling is usually 2). In its place, I recommend one of the following:

  • Druid's Deliverance — Since you have a lot of token generation, you'll almost always benefit from Populate. Note also that it doesn't prevent damage to creatures, so it gives you the option of not blocking at all to save your creatures, or choosing to block in order to remove threats as well as gain life and/or put your Pouncers and Sacred Cats into the graveyard. So this Fog does develop your board a little, and allows for the possibility of removing threats.
  • Encircling Fissure — This costs 3, but it has a couple benefits. Unlike Druid's Deliverance, this allows you to freely block any way you want, more easily allowing you to kill threats while benefiting from Lifelink, since your creatures still get to deal damage. The second benefit is that, late game, the Awaken option adds a little more power to your board, which could be the little extra you needed to turn the tide.
  • Heroic Intervention — Already mentioned above and not technically a Fog, but since you will in general have so many blockers, it effectively becomes a Fog if you can block all the damage from getting to you (obviously won't work against evasion like Trample or Flying). As with Encircling Fissure, it has the added benefit of allowing you to stack-block creatures to remove threats, as well as allowing you to benefit from Lifelink.
  • Winds of Qal Sisma — It is so easy for you to control a creature with power 4+, between Pridemate, Sovereign, and an eternalized Pouncer. And if you do, then this becomes an Encircling Fissure for 1 less mana.

Of them, my favorites are Druid's Deliverance and Heroic Intervention.

Like I said before, I already feel like you DO have heavy-hitters (Pridemate, Sovereign, an eternalized Pouncer). The only thing Oketra has that they don't is indestructible (and a high-costed token producing ability). But Oketra also has the drawback of potentially being useless, as well as having no synergy with Sovereign or Regal Caracal.

That said, if you really want the Indestructible (and temporary Indestructible from instants like Valorous Stance or Heroic Intervention aren't good enough), then I recommend Fleecemane Lion — an efficiently-costed early threat that later becomes an Indestructible, Hexproof 4/4 — or Temur Sabertooth , who has a repeatable Valorous Stance ability that actually combos nicely with both Regal Caracal (creating more cat tokens after re-casting) and Pride Sovereign (who can be Exerted, returned with Sabertooth, then re-casted next turn untapped and ready to block).

Sadly, neither of them benefit from the Monument's mana reduction.... but honestly, I don't think that's the most important element of your deck to be building around. Monument is a nice "extra" if you happen to draw it and have high-CMC white creatures, but it's not a necessity for the deck to function well, IMO.

November 28, 2019 4:15 p.m.

P.S. I see you already added Dromoka's Command ! Good card — I was going to suggest it. Like Blessed Alliance, it offers a lot of flexibility, and almost all the modes are going to be consistently relevant and helpful, especially the last two.

It might be better housed in the Sideboard, though (meta dependent, of course), since it'll truly shine when you're in matchups where you'll actually need the first and/or second mode (e.g. it's pretty good sideboard tech for dealing with Theros gods!).

November 28, 2019 12:58 a.m.

RE: Declaration in Stone Show

RE: Haze of Pollen Show

RE: Oketra the True Show

November 28, 2019 12:49 a.m.

I think we may just have a difference in philosophy regarding Heroes' Reunion . It was drilled into me that a card that only gains you life is bad. Incidental lifegain is great, but only if attached to an effect that helps your gameplan. If Reunion fits your playstyle and deckbuilding instincts better, go for it! But if you'll indulge me, let me attempt to present a stronger argument one last time. If you disagree, then I won't bug you about it again. ;)

Blessed Alliance's 3rd mode is good removal in this deck. You'll be swarming the board with a lot of little lifegainers, so I found in my playtests that the opponent would rather crash in with one or two bigger and/or evasive threats rather than let me gain a lot of life and put cards like Sacred Cat into the graveyard for additional value. In one game, the opponent had a large threat protected with Spectra Ward , swung in with that each turn, and kept his other creatures back as blockers. But Blessed Alliance doesn't target, so it completely bypassed his Protection, and he got 2-for-1ed! Likewise, it'll deal with Hexproof and Indestructible creatures (imagine facing down an Oketra on the other side of the battlefield). Obviously, it won't be as good against decks that DO attack with a lot of creatures, as they'll just sac their worst, but that's where your sideboard will help you — you'd side Alliance out and bring in something more effective.

Alliance's second mode is mostly useful with Pride Sovereign's Exert ability. Since he doesn't untap the turn after exerting, sometimes you're put in the bad spot of having to decide whether to generate cats to develop your board or leave him available as an attacker / blocker. What if you didn't have to decide that? Or, what if you wanted to generate FOUR cats (or even EIGHT with Procession out) by using his exert ability twice, perhaps the turn before you land a Regal Caracal ? Blessed Alliance just happens to have incidental value with Oreskos Sun Guide as well, but Sun Guide was hardly my main focus. (In fact, I'm not even a fan of Sun Guide, since, like you said, you have to attack with him to get any value out of him. I'd recommend a different card.) Finally, say you take advantage of an opening and attack, but that leaves you without enough blockers? Simply untapping two of ANY of your cats in response to a counter-attack will leave your opponent in a worse situation, since it'll mess up his calculations.

And yes, if you REALLY need it, Alliance's first mode gives you some life. But honestly, in the several games I played, I was always able to stablize with around 5-10 life left, and then from there, I started gaining way more life than my opponent could keep up with. Like I said, Regal Caracal was the key!

So that's my argument. Basically, Heroes' Reunion is, based on everything I've learned about deckbuilding, a bad card, because it has no impact on the board nor on your opponent's life total. So even if you dislike Blessed Alliance in it's place, I'd still recommend choosing something else that has more impact (like something to actually remove the threats that are dealing that damage you're trying to use lifegain to recover from).

Or if you truly desire to have a pure lifegain card, then I suggest Life Goes On — 1 mana for 4 life is already a better rate than 2 mana for 7, but you have so many chump blockers that will die (in fact, some you want to die, in order to Embalm/Eternalize later), that most often you'll be getting 8 life for that 1 mana!

As to your concern about needing a finisher and ways to deal with deathtouch, you actually DO have double strike from Adorned Pouncer . And after Eternalizing, Pouncer can be a finisher all on his own. In one game, I played an Anointed Procession and Regal Caracal on curve, turns 4 and 5, then eternalized an Adorned Pouncer turn 6. My opponent couldn't deal with two 5/5 lifelink double strikers, and it was swiftly game over! But even a single 4/4 double striker can be hard to deal with. And of course, you have Pride Sovereign and Ajani's Pridemate which can both get big. So between the 3, you have lots of finishers.

The danger with Oketra is that it CAN be turned off if you lose your creatures. And while yes, like you said, you plan on making lots of 1/1s with the Monument and other means, you also already pointed out that you're susceptible to damage spread across your whole team. You could easily find yourself with no 1/1s and a deactivated Oketra.

What you actually need instead of Oketra are ways to get the damage through from the above large threats. Easiest would be trample, but any type of evasion might be good, depending on the meta. Protection can be strong.

November 26, 2019 5:09 p.m.

Said on "Your Debt Has ......


Hey Whirlwind_2100, thanks for giving my deck a little love! I usually don't get very many likes/views, so I appreciate it. :)

It's definitely a fun and interactive deck and, as it was designed to do, does a good job of hampering the opponent. However, it almost always loses to "The Stampede Approaches" (Mayael) and "Death Is Not the End" (Karador). It'll really interfere with them for a while and get in some damage, but in the long game, their engines out-value Teysa and she can't close out the game before they do. So I'm trying to power up this deck.

I agree about Vampire Nighthawk — it was an early include because I love the card and didn't have good ideas of what to put in. Can you explain why you'd remove Sorin ?

November 26, 2019 12:46 p.m.


"Your Debt Has Come Due" (Teysa)

Commander / EDH HalbrechtHalbrecht


"Nascent Delirium"

Legacy HalbrechtHalbrecht


"Impeding Skies" (Tap, Destroy, Attack)

Casual HalbrechtHalbrecht


"Death Is Not the End" (Karador)

Commander / EDH HalbrechtHalbrecht


"On Tainted Ground" (Punishment Combo)

Casual HalbrechtHalbrecht


"Crumbling Confidence" (Ally Mill/Lifegain)

Casual HalbrechtHalbrecht


"Your Loss, My Gain" (Life Leech Combo)

Modern HalbrechtHalbrecht


Finished Decks 40
Prototype Decks 9
Drafts 0
Playing since Zendikar
Points 357
Avg. deck rating 3.00
T/O Rank 189
Helper Rank 232
Favorite formats Legacy, Commander / EDH, Modern, Pauper, Casual, Pioneer
Good Card Suggestions 37
Cards Added/Fixed 1
Last activity 1 week
Joined 6 years