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True, Animar does have a lot of combo options open to it, but a majority of them are pretty dependent on Animar being in play for them to be game-enders, Splinter Twin/Kiki combos and Deadeye Navigator combos being exceptions. To get the speed that Animar decks are known for though, you usually need Animar out. That's one of the reasons I suggest that its tier rank should be dropped, I was under the impression that being heavily commander dependent bumped a deck down in the ranks according to the tier descriptions.
I'm not certain that having a lot of combo options necessarily translates into resilience against disruption. It give more options, sure, but it's pretty easy for Animar to find itself stuck in top-deck mode after an early board-wipe and having a couple key cards countered. And that's just in 1v1, never-mind in multiplayer where the odds that someone having a piece of counter or instant removal is that much higher.
This is just my opinion, but I see Animar as a proactive deck that relies on combo speed to snag most of its wins. Losing the ability to sculpt its starting hand with Paris mulligan, having to face cheap and easily splashed wraths in the form of Toxic Deluge, and now having to compete against the speed of Flash Hulk combo gives me the impression that Animar is going to suffer even lower win-ratios. I'm just not confident that Animar can currently match the top end of the cEDH meta as well as it used to. It'd love to be wrong on this topic though, since I enjoy piloting Animar decks.
What are your thoughts on how Animar squares up with the rest of the meta?
May 29, 2017 12:27 a.m.
Does Animar still deserve its 1.5 Tier ranking? It can pull off extremely fast combo wins, but it is heavily reliant on its Commander to do so and it rarely packs more than a few sources of countermagic and interaction to protect its game plan. The printing of Toxic Deluge hurt it, and then the change to Vancouver Mulligan reduced the deck's consistency to a degree that I'm not certain it has managed to recover from. In terms of speed, variants of Flash Hulk combo can win on turn 1, which can outpace Animar. In multiplayer, the overwhelming amount of Blue that is played means that there are a lot more Chain of Vapor, Cyclonic Rift, and Rapid Hybridization at the table that can disrupt Animar if it manages to get past counterspells.
Would anyone else argue that Animar is currently too much of a glass cannon to hold its tier 1.5 spot?
May 28, 2017 6:27 p.m.
Heh, not sure if I can call being a 3-turn killer that much of a downside. Only 2 (possibly 3) out of all printed Leviathans can kill in only two swings. Besides, I appreciate that White isn't able to pay just 1 mana to convince my 9-mana monster to pack in the good life to take up farming.
May 19, 2017 9:58 p.m.
While not a particularly original option, I'd have to say that my favorite is Inkwell Leviathan. Watching my blue-loving friends' expressions when I reanimate Inkwell Leviathan on turn 2 always brings a small bit of joy to my heart.
I'm not sure Inkwell Leviathan really counts as a Leviathan in spirit though. It's a huge body with strong abilities for zero downside beyond costing 9 mana to cast.
May 19, 2017 9:03 p.m.
Back when WotC announced that the 2014 Commander decks were going to be mono-colored, I wondered how they were going to keep Blue, the most powerful color in commander, from clearly being the best deck. Once I saw the deck list, I had WotC's answer:
"Make the blue deck play like a green deck."
They really tapped into Blue's association with fat fliers and deep-sea monstrosities for that deck, focusing on Teferi, Temporal Archmage's untap ability and a bunch of artifact-based mana ramp to fill the board with muscle. I guess they didn't entirely skimp out on the fun blue spells though, since both Cyclonic Rift and Rite of Replication made appearances to further support the game plan of "Fill your board and hit your enemies in the face."
May 18, 2017 5:43 p.m.
I like the summary format that you used here to make a quick reference index. And while I know that you cover this in your podcast, I think that it would help in these reference guides if you make it clear somewhere at the start which of you is the Timmy, Johnny, and Spike. It will be a bit of redundant information for your regular followers, but it would make the context of what you are doing with the Trinisphere a little more clear for the people who find these reference posts before they listen to the podcast. In particular, it would let people know which mindset contributed to building which deck in the Builder's Bane challenge.
Other than that though, I like what you guys are doing here. Awesome job.
May 10, 2017 4:52 a.m.
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