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Said on Ancestral Animar...

#1

Yeah, if you need the backup as a meta call then I won't argue with that. I had my mind geared more towards a baseline build. And in testing I have run into a few situations where having the Oracle as an option would have made things a lot easier. It takes some of the pressure off of having to really plan ahead with your mana and plays when dealing with an active Glimpse of Nature or Beast Whisperer.

The topic of Extract actually brings up a point of conflict between my personal deck-building philosophy and proper cEDH deck building. Outside of Animar, I take into consideration something I like to call the "Sadistic Sacrament rule". The basic idea is that I have three opponents, so if each opponent manages to take care of one of my deck's key cards will I still have a viable game plan for winning? When testing a list I'll take out my three best cards and see how well the deck manages to still compete. The nature of the cEDH format and deck building makes the rule less relevant, but it tends to help me a lot when building casual or 75% style decks.

And as a side note, putting together a combo with Barrin and Extortionist is a lot easier than I was expecting, especially if you can space them out over two turns. It's hard to goldfish hands that center around the Extortionist though, because in reality its effectiveness is dependent on the board state.

In regards to having Animar stolen with Gilded Drake, that's one of the reasons I've always run both Phyrexian Metamorph and Phantasmal Image in my list. Just clone the drake and take Animar back. After having a Drake used on me, I've used Kiki-Jiki to make me a new drake every turn to take Animar and their other important creatures.

January 24, 2020 6:34 a.m.

Said on Ancestral Animar...

#2

I intend to get a copy to try, but I'm still trying to figure out in what situations it would be better to go for the Oracle instead of just going for Ballista.

The most likely scenario I can think of is if you or an opponent has Collector Ouphe (or Null Rod / Stony Silence) out at the time you are looking to combo off. Still, casting the Oracle will cost you UU once you draw it. For 1R you would be able to cast Goblin Cratermaker and activate it to kill an Ouphe and then win with Ballista + Painter's Servant + Animar. If you were running Reclamation Sage instead of the Oracle you would only need to pay G to kill a Null Rod or Stony Silence and it would give you another piece of interaction in your list that works with Barrin to net value. And in the end, going the Ballista route leaves you with more of a deck in the end than the Oracle would if you get interrupted.

What sort of situations are you envisioning where the Oracle would be better than Ballista as your win condition?

It would, admittedly, make for a more convenient backup win condition if something happened to your Ballista that left it unavailable. I'm not sure how often something like that happens. Working your way into a combo line with Barrin wouldn't be as easy as an Oracle line would, so I can see why having the Oracle for a bit of redundancy is appealing.

I guess I can't really argue against redundancy. I still run Kiki-Jiki combo in my list as a win condition that doesn't require Animar because I don't like being dependent on my Commander to net wins. Running Barrin now is making me reconsider the inclusion of Kiki but most of my turn 3 wins have been thanks to it, so there is that.

January 23, 2020 1:22 a.m.

Said on Ancestral Animar...

#3

Correction: The Kiri line requires 3 blue lands and a one-shot source of 1 red mana.

January 22, 2020 8:05 p.m.

Said on Ancestral Animar...

#4

I just recently added Barrin, Master Wizard to my deck to see how well it works for me. Haven't actually played it that much yet, but I did realize that it works well in combination with Gilded Drake in case the game goes long and you have to grind through your opponent's creatures. Sacrificing mana dorks to keep stealing your opponents' commanders is fun, and if you manage to get infinite treasure tokens with Barrin + Dockside Extortionist then there is the option of just gaining control of all creatures on the board in one go with the Drake. Or you could just kill everyone off the treasure tokens if you have Walking Ballista or Reckless Fireweaver.

Thus far, in the comparison between Kiri-Onna vs Barrin, my current conclusions are:

Kiri gives you a win line off of just Imperial Recruiter, has a combo line that only needs three mana, and offers an alternative line of play if you were to use Neoform to get Imperial Recruiter that requires one less mana than the next best alternative. On the downside, running Kiri can put some rougher demands on your mana base, isn't that great of a card on its own, and can be awkward if in your opening hand.

Barrin is cheaper to cast, doesn't put the same demands on your mana base, has repeat utility, and offers combo lines that aren't dependent on Animar as long as your opponents have enough artifacts and enchantments out. However, you miss out on some of the efficiency that Kiri offers, which can make all the difference in some situations.

Considering that my current mana base isn't refined enough to offer the consistent amount of Blue mana that makes Kiri work at its best, and my own personal bias about not wanting all my win conditions to be dependent on my commander, I lean more towards Barrin.

January 22, 2020 8:02 p.m.

Said on Ancestral Animar...

#5

Bigger body for the same CMC and a non-symmetrical effect that also protects our few enchantments (better for people who also run Mystic Remora and Carpet of Flowers ) at the cost of being vulnerable to a wider range of removal due to its dual typing. Considering how hesitant I am at playing the Herald at all unless I plan on comboing off on the same turn, I'm willing to trade it out for as strictly better, if a little more fragile, effect.

January 7, 2020 8:53 p.m.

Said on Ancestral Animar...

#6

I think most people are shaking their heads at Flash Hulk getting yet another tutorable win-con, and that it might prompt people to run more Torpor Orb effects.

The talk on the Discord is still discussing Thassa's Oracle. If your meta doesn't run a lot of ways of shutting down Ballista with cards like Null Rod or Extract then the Oracle isn't really needed. It would also require either Glimpse of Nature or Beast Whisperer + Ancestral Statue , which could still just as easily get you Ballista and are lines that are a little harder to put together.

However, the Oracle line can be achieved using just creatures, which goes back to one of Animar's strengths of having combo lines that dodge all the counterspells that say "non-creature" on them, which is a strength that has been slipping as Neoform and Weird Harvest have become more central to Animar's main combo lines. That same line could be used to potentially win with the help of Ballista and Painter's Servant though, which are already in the deck. And there is the (admittedly very minimal) risk of the line not working out if your win-cons are too close to the bottom of your deck, but with free mana from cards like the moxes and Elvish Spirit Guide to cast Sylvan and Worldly Tutors when you draw them the risk should be near non-existent.

January 7, 2020 5:30 p.m.

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