Inkmoth says... #1

Thank you for preventing me from engaging in a futile discussion.

I was hoping I could get a critique of my deck, since you're so well versed. It's an optimized Yeva deck that can hang out at a cEDH table as an underdog, but it is by no means top tier, nor am I deluded into thinking it is. Thanks in advance and don't feel inclined if you lack the time, no hard feelings!

May 17, 2019 4:52 p.m.

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Alright bud.

If you intentionally don't use Primal Surge to the maximum capabilities, you are not min-maxing your deck. Without diving into more technical applications of card advantage, resource cost, opportunity cost, and speed that factor into format defining competitive decks, we can refute your min-max shenanigans with that one little argument alone. You are also spending the maximum amount of mana to get the effect, instead of cheating to cast Primal Surge somehow, which doesn't mean you're getting the minimum either. You're getting a maximum-mediocre, which is a lot different than a minimum-maximum. You haven't even minimized the number of non-permanent spells, because that would be 0 and that's definitely something you could do. facepalm again

Having the opinion that one card wincons are boring doesn't make much difference to how effective they are. Also Coalition Victory is banned because of the ease of Prismatic Omen with a 5 color commander, not because its a one card wincon (which its not, it requires at least 1 creature and 1 land that makes 3 cards, not even counting the cards required to cast the spell in the first place), the other reason being it wins on resolve instead of requiring an upkeep (creates no drama on the board, kaput game is over). A better example of a one-card wincon would be Felidar Sovereign , which is legal, but you do have to get it into play somehow, which would require some amount of cards to get the mana. Even if you do find 1 card win cons boring, you're openly stating you wouldn't run an optimal card to win. Once again, definitely not min-maxing.

Sandwurm Convergence is a bad card dude. It costs 8 mana to give you a creature every turn and negate some attacks. When the format has all kinds of legal 1 and 2 mana cost tutors, and even more 2, 3, and 4 mana cost ways to win, 8 mana for a pillowfort card that doesn't guarantee immunity is not good. Its not even good in a format like standard or modern either, due to the high mana cost. Compare to Bitterblossom .

  • Turn 2, you play BB
  • Turn 3, you get first token (and 1 every turn after)
  • Turn 4, you swing with 1 attacker for 1 damage dealt
  • Turn 4, you swing with 2 attackers for 3 damage dealt
  • Turn 5, you swing with 3 attackers for 6 damage dealt
  • Turn 6, you swing with 4 attackers for 10 damage dealt
  • Turn 7, you swing with 5 attackers for 15 damage dealt
  • Turn 8, you swing with 6 attackers for 21 damage dealt

By the time you get to play Sandwurm Convergence, Bitterblossom has already dealt 21 damage. Sure, the 5/5 tokens are bigger and nice, but you get them faaaaaaaaar later than you get the BB tokens. This is part of the reason things with lower CMC are so much better. Speed is very important in MTG.

From a pillowfort perspective, Sandwurm Convergence still doesn't make sense. You even run Solitary Confinement but don't understand why that's such a better card than this one. If you play Idyllic Tutor into Solitary Confinement, you've spent 2 less mana and you STILL get a better effect. Even when these two abiliites of token creation and pillowfort are stapled together, the card just isn't worth the CMC.

The same idea goes for Phyrexian Arena and Honden of Seeing Winds . By turn 5 when you could play Honden, you've already drawn 2 cards with Arena. This is also why Dark Confidant is so expensive and is worlds ahead of Phyrexian Arena , even though it will usually cost you even more life. Having also lower CMC means you can also do multiple things. On turn 4, if you draw a Dark Confidant you can play it while also holding a Counterspell . The same is not true for Phyrexian Arena .

But what about multiple draws from multiple Hondens? That requires a greater number of cards from hand/deck and a waaaaay larger investment in mana. For 4 cards and 17 mana, there are all kinds of way better things you can do. I'd rather just play Mind Unbound and save the 3 other slots, even though that is also a bad card.

Counterbalance is a much better option than any of the other counter enchantments you're running. Unfortunately, you have 0 topdeck manipulation, so you're basically just crossing your fingers and hoping it works.

Relying on Sterling Grove or Privileged Position to protect you from Hive Mind is absurd when you run almost no tutors and very mediocre draw. When are you going to have both these out? If just one of them is out, it gets nuked first by removal, then the rest of your board follows suit. Hive Mind is bad the same way Mind's Dilation is bad, don't rely on your opponents to have certain cards in their decks to win for you.

You rely on about 3 different cards to win, none of them are even close to fast, and you have no way to reliably get them to hand or get them from the command zone. Even in battlecruiser casual EDH, most decks win or create a game winning board state by turn 10. Your game plan is topdeck well or lose. You need to get some better win conditions, or you're going to be losing a lot of games against anyone who has been playing longer than six months. I really don't know why you're writing a primer for a casual mish-mash of 99 cards either, you aren't doing much education on your card choices and I can see no reason someone would run this build over another K&T build. You aren't running optimal card choices, from your lands, to your ramp, to your draw, to your win cons, to your removal, to your pillowfort. This list is just another enchantress list stapled to K&T with almost no wincons and with a sub-optimal Primal Surge package stapled on that doesn't even guarantee a win on resolving.

June 13, 2019 10:10 p.m.

Said on Gyre Fire...

#2

I used to have a similar deck back in the day that ran Arbor Elf with Wild Growth and Utopia Sprawl to ramp the mana instead. Here are some takeaways I've learned from decks like this

  1. You need an engine card to untap your mana producers. Early Harvest for lands matter, Vitalize is a really great choice for creature related strategies.

  2. You want big value mana producers. Marwyn is a great choice for ramping extra mana, but also check out Priest of Titania and Elvish Archdruid .

  3. Card draw helps to stabilize. Harmonize is a neat choice for mostly green. So is Regal Force or Rishkar's Expertise

I like that this deck has beatdown as a backup plan. Maybe consider a slot or two for some artifact/enchantment removal. Marwyn is legendary, so running tutor cards could help free slots while adding utility. Primal Command is a nice toolbox card, and easily castable with all that ramp. Time of Need is cheaper but more limited. Also I don't know how many of these are standard legal :-)

June 10, 2019 10:44 p.m.

Said on Solitaire...

#3

Narset isn't considered tier 1 due to color identity (no G or B really hurts), mana cost, and lack of consistency. Slotting enough topdeck tutors to make it "go" reliably eats away slots that should be filled with ramp, removal, or counterspells. The high density of extra turns required to consistently hit one in the top 4 means you'll wind up with them sitting in hand as expensive dead draws unless you're already comboing out with free turns for a win.

Sarkhan also has a point about your damage output. The only way you're getting kills is empty deck + Nexus or Beacon. With both of them countered or exiled or in hand, your combo stops. Also consider that 19x4=76, so unless you've magically drawn or milled 10-16 cards, you'll run out of turns and swings before hitting empty library. You could always hit Nexus or Beacon the 4 extra times required to achieve empty library state, but you're leaving your fate to chance. Also consider, you could just entirely whiff on your first 4 drawn and have to pass the turn, or really at any point in the combo chain. You should also consider that without any combat buffs or even first strike, any 2 power critter with first strike OR any 2 power critter with 4 or more toughness makes you really sad.

I think you're missing out by not running a suite of wheels and red mana rituals to help power out early Narset. Wheel of Fortune Timetwister Windfall should be included for sure, if for no reason but to neutralize runaway card advantage of opponents on turn 1. Great for refilling hand after dumping rocks and rituals too. I would also include Rite of Flame as it lets you hit many 2 cmc rocks on turn 1. Pyretic Ritual and Desperate Ritual are also options but rather slot heavy for what they give you. Seething Song is nice ramp but gives an overproduction of red that makes it hard to turn it into Narset.

Your lack of counterspells means its really easy to shut off your combo turn. Swing and reveal a free turn, it gets countered, and you're left twiddling your thumbs hoping someone doesn't win before your next turn. Similarly, you can't protect Narset from pyroclasm effects or wrath of god effects. Null Rod or Stony Silence or the new Collector Ouphe coming out before you've played Narset means you are going to lose before you can draw enough lands to get to 6. You run two cards that can remove either of those cards, and 3 that can counter it. Similarly, Kataki, War's Wage and Manglehorn also cause big problems. And please don't try to tell me you just go too fast to be stopped by them. Stax pieces also cause immense problems for this deck, just like your other deck, because your removal is so low. Turn 1 Trinisphere makes this deck cry big sad tears. Stranglehold means you have to flip into your only 2 answers or also cry big sad tears, you can't tutor to them and you run almost no draw. The list goes on.

I asked this on your other deck too, but what decks are you playing against? You keep saying you play against competitive decks in a competitive league, but there's just no way you're facing optimized decklists and players who make correct choices based on board/hand texture if this and your other list are big winners at the table. Are you pubstomping 15 year olds in your small town of 1,000 people? That's really what this list looks like. The fact you continually archive comments that are literally only days old on this list and your other because they contain criticisms of your list speak a lot about what it is too, and it makes it hard to find actual discussion on your deck because you keep stifling it. This is just a pubstomp list to snag those +1's and views from casuals, nothing more, you even have a +1 button in your description ffs.

For real though, stop tagging your pubstomp lists as competitive and talking mad game about the cEDH community. Your deckbuilding philosophy is "let the rest of the pod stop others from winning" and it really shows man. Your opinion about turn 4 means nothing because the meta revolves around the turn 3 board state. You have a real head-in-the-sand reaction to critiques of your deck, and calling us "sheeple" for realizing only certain commanders are actually viable at the premiere competitive level is rather childish. Yes, its cool to make lists for commanders to try to make them relevant, but there is actually a power level difference that gives a strong edge to certain commanders and decks. Spend some time and learn the meta before shitposting and making me write paragraphs. Again.

And yeah, I'd love to see some step by step instructions. I'm not confident this deck gets to empty library state from one swing, or even 2 or 3 swings. Also stop assuming that hitting a piece of MLD is the same as an extra turn, using MLD then passing leaves you vulnerable to the dorks and artifacts that are EXTREMELY common in cEDH, you're just handing games over to competent players who realize MLD is a viable strategy in cEDH and appropriately diversify their mana base.

June 6, 2019 4:30 a.m.

Reducing lands is definitely the correct move for this deck. In the modern meta, the only decks running above 20 lands are Amulet Titan (for obvious reasons), and decks that feature land based land destruction in Ghost Quarter and Field of Ruin (Eldrazi Tron and Teferi Control, respectively).

Almost like I recommended a value draw engine to help fill hand, a mana rock to help accelerate and color fix, and a cost reducer as well as the deck already running a turn 1 dork ?

How it work

You don't even need the turn 1 dork to get to the turn 4 Owl, or you could miss the turn 2 rock. Worst case scenario pitch Owl to power your Force of Negation or tuck it with Serum Visions if you see it early on top. There's a reason I recommended small inclusion size, not a 4x. Yes, in a vacuum the Owl is expensive, but not with the other recommends I gave. Also consider that it serves a role as finisher for games that go longer where this deck can grind value with its big removal and counterspell suite (14 pieces of interaction!), and unlike Marit Lage's Slumber you don't have to take an upkeep for it to be a creature. The Slumber can be removed by enchantment removal, as well as permanently be lost to any 1 or 2 cmc bounce spell.

June 6, 2019 3:06 a.m.

Scrying Sheets is free, reusable card advantage from a land. The only downside is that if you up fetchland density (which you should for deckthinning purposes) it has less effectiveness.

23 lands is really high. You can cut down to 20 rather easily, especially with the scry/draw you run. Frost Marsh should 100% go, ETB tapped. I would also cut Watery Grave Breeding Pool and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth , your color intensity really isn't that high and they aren't snow permanents. If you up Coldsteel Heart to 4x, you should not have any problems with color requirements, especially with fetches.

Consider Rimefeather Owl as a possible 1x or 2x finisher. Its like the Treefolk except it flies and can generate further snow advantage. I'm also surprised you aren't running the Treefolk as a 4x.

I think Icehide Golem or Rimebound Dead both are better than Phyrexian Ironfoot . You aren't using ironfoot to combo with the untap + payload, so it just means it becomes a mana sink. Icehide is better if color intensity is too high, Rimebound better against aggro decks.

Also peek Centaur Omenreader .

June 5, 2019 4:36 p.m.

Alrighty roo, let's spend 10 minutes fixing your deck

Thoughts

Aluren + Cloudstone Curio + any 2 legends 3 CMC or below = draw your deck.

Don't run Reap . It depends on opponents board state to function, meaning it is unreliable.

You are running Snow-Covered Forest but don't have Mouth of Ronom slotted. Low opportunity cost land that allows mono G to have a targeted creature nuke.

Add Prismatic Vista for increased deckthinning.

There are a whole host of other legendary cards you can be running that are 3 CMC or less. Replace any combat oriented or random buff artifacts/creature (most of the 2/3/4 CMC legendary artifacts, and also Skyship Weatherlight) with some of the following

Voltaic Key works with Paradox Engine and Sensei's Divining Top to draw deck. You already slot the other two. Key also lets you ramp or get value from other artifacts.

Inventors' Fair opens many winning lines from many board states, usually by fetching Paradox. Expedition Map lets you get to Inventors' Fair more often.

You should really up creature tutor density, and add some value targets. Eldritch Evolution Chord of Calling Finale of Devastation Natural Order Time of Need Woodland Bellower Summoner's Pact Uncage the Menagerie Weird Harvest

Adding in value creatures that can be grabbed from tutors gives you a far greater chance to escape from nasty artifacts/enchantments Caustic Caterpillar Reclamation Sage Manglehorn

Burgeoning Mirri's Guile Earthcraft and Oath of Nissa have far less value here than you think. I would cut them all, except possibly Earthcraft due to how well it works with Paradox engine. You should add Squirrel Nest as an alternate wincon if you keep it.

Why are you running Strip Mine ? You run no other stax pieces and no land recursion.

June 5, 2019 2:15 a.m.

Said on Yeva Draw-Grow...

#7

I mean, an approximately 1% change in card quality in your deck is rather small, but repeatedly changing it by 1% over your first 3 turns adds up quite a bit.

99 cards in an EDH deck, start with 7 in hand for 92. You also get 1 draw a turn and 1 land a turn under normal circumstances. If we compare 3 turns of fetchlands versus 3 turns of regular lands I think it will make more sense. We will assume 30 lands, with 3 starting in hand, and that you don't draw any lands for ease of math purposes.

Regular lands

  • Turn 1, after draw you have 27/91 for 29.6% land chance on any draw
  • Turn 2, after draw you have 27/90 for 30% land chance on any draw
  • Turn 3, after draw you have 27/89 for 30.3% land chance on any draw

Fetchlands

  • Turn 1, after draw you have 27/91 for 29.6% land chance on draw. After cracking the fetchland, you have 26/90 for 28.8% land chance on any draw
  • Turn 2, after draw you have 26/89 for 29.2% land chance on draw. After cracking the fetchland, you have 25/88 for 28.4% land chance on any draw
  • Turn 3, after draw you have 25/87 for 28.7% land chance on draw. After cracking the fetchland, you have 24/86 for 27.6% land chance on any draw.

Analysis

Assuming no lands drawn and 3 lands in hand, the percentage chance to draw a land increases with every draw. While using fetchlands, the percentage decreases. After 3 turns of using non-fetches, there is a 30.3% chance to draw a land, versus the 27.6% for using entirely fetchlands. The difference after 3 turns ends up being 2.7%, which doesn't sound like a lot until you factor in performance across a large number of games. Having access to higher quality cards is just as important as having access to more cards.

The difference in % of card quality is interesting to look at too.

  • Turn 1 there is a 0.8% difference.
  • Turn 2 there is a 1.6% difference.
  • Turn 3 there is a 2.7% difference.

The other thing to consider is how density of fetches is impacted by adding 1 more fetch. You currently run 4 fetches, with a 7.07% chance of starting with one in the opening seven. To put it another way, you have a 92.93% chance of NOT starting with any given fetch. We can calculate the odds of not starting with ANY fetches by using (0.9293)^x, where x is the number of fetches you run. With 4 fetches, you have a a 74.5% chance of not starting with a fetch in hand. If we bump that up to 5 fetches (adding Prismatic Vista , we instead have a 69.3% chance of not starting with a fetch.

Put another way, swapping a basic forest for Vista increases your odds of starting with a fetch from 25.5% to 30.7%, a 5.2% increase! You are increasing the chances you get a card that increases your draw quality, which is a great way of saying you're improving card quality.

5 Fetches scenario

Using the same scenario but starting with 5 non-fetches or 5 fetches instead. Assuming 30 cards of your 99 are lands, and no lands drawn during this period.

Regular Lands

  • Turn 1, 25/92 for 27.2%
  • Turn 2 25/91 for 27.4%
  • Turn 3 25/90 for 27.8%
  • Turn 4 25/89 for 28.1%
  • Turn 5 25/88 for 28.4%

Fetches

  • Turn 1 25/92 for 27.2% prefetch, 24/91 for 26.4% postfetch
  • Turn 2 24/90 for 26.7% prefetch, 23/89 for 25.8% postfetch
  • Turn 3 23/88 for 26.1% prefetch, 22/87 for 25.2% postfetch
  • Turn 4 22/86 for 25.6% prefetch, 21/85 for 24.7% postfetch
  • Turn 5 21/84 for 25% prefetch, 20/83 for 24.1% postfetch

Difference

  • Turn 1 0.8%
  • Turn 2 1.6%
  • Turn 3 2.6%
  • Turn 4 3.4%
  • Turn 5 4.3%

Thoughts

Having a smaller chance to draw a land off the top deck is nice. It means you need less draws to reach the cards that make you win. Fetches also are incredible for color fixing purposes, which can't be overstated in a 3 4 or 5 color deck. Fetches are actually more useful in a 60 card environment too, because you can run higher density of color appropriate, as well as the smaller land count + card count means each land and card removed has a higher impact on your draw percentages.

One of the ideas that makes Magic really fun is how chance and probability play into it. In casual circles, chance helps to level the playing field between decks, as anyone can get hit by bad top decks. One of the things that separates casual and serious play is knowing how to build decks to navigate the % chance of chaos, as well as designing decks to work consistently despite chance being part of the game design. Most decks do this through using tutors (effectively copies 5-8 of your winning card), or by drawing many cards (increasing your chances to draw the card you need). Deck thinning is a staple of competitive decks in all formats because it gives you that small advantage which you then hedge against other decks. Even if the advantage is small, by repeatedly stacking every advantage in your favor, you are much more likely to win.

June 4, 2019 5:20 a.m.

Said on Yeva Draw-Grow...

#8

Gotta agree with Soren841 about Prismatic Vista being a nigh auto include. Any amount of deckthinning for effectively free is useful to the pilot. Let me use some examples for easy analysis here.

You are in a game where you have 15 fetchlands on the field, and your deck is exactly 100 cards (hypothetical!). You have 30 more lands in your deck. If you pop no fetchlands, the chance of drawing a land on any given draw is 30/100, or 30%. Now imagine you have popped all 15 fetchlands at the same time. You have grabbed 15 lands out while reducing the library size by 15, so your chance of drawing a land is 15/85, or 17.6%. If you don't want to draw anymore lands then the fetchlands have helped.

What if we only use 5 of the fetchlands? Chance to draw a land then becomes 25/95, or 26.3%. Our chances to draw a non-land are better with more lands removed from the deck, despite the deck size dropping overall.

To use an even more absurd example, imagine you have 3 cards in your library and one fetchland in play. 2 cards in your library are lands. If you use the fetchland, your chance of drawing the nonland goes from 1/3 (33%) to 1/2 (50%).

Combining our two examples, deck thinning increases your chance to draw any specific card in your library by reducing the overall library size. It is more effective with less cards in library, so every fetch that happens after another fetch or after any draw has greater impact on the % of lands to non-lands than any previous draw or fetch. You also have to consider that you're raising the chance to deck thin too. You have a higher chance to get a deck thinning land, and also greater significance from every deck thinning card added.

The downside to running the fetches are -1 life and possibility of getting caught by stacks pieces, giving them lower value than regular lands. In a 40 life format where people win by comboing, the -1 life is negligible in a deck that doesn't use life as a resource (i.e. Ad Nauseum). The chance to get caught by stax pieces is scarier, but the amount that specifically effect Prismatic Vista that WOULDN'T effect a basic Forest are:

Also, many non-basic hate simply doesn't work on it due to timing. Ruination or anything that isn't a constant effect the Prismatic Vista can just sac in response.

You should 100% run Prismatic Vista in cEDH. And if God forbid they ever print a fetchland that fetches fetchlands, you should run that too.

June 3, 2019 11:01 p.m.

Said on Shuffle.dec "cEDH"...

#9

You should highly consider Storm Cauldron . It serves as another combo piece in place of Oboro, Palace in the Clouds or Trade Routes , plus you can directly tutor it in color with Fabricate or Transmute Artifact (which also can grab Walking Atlas, meaning it grabs multiple pieces of combo).

A glaring problem I see with your deck is that every infinite line requires Retreat to Coralhelm . You also run a total of 1 card that can tutor it, Long-Term Plans , which puts it third from the top (read: hard to reach without library digger like Brainstorm or Ponder ). Every single infinite line requires a creature to use a tap ability, meaning they can't be summoning sick. You also run a total of 1 haste enablers. Have you been goldfishing this deck? What turn does it normally combo off on?

You should investigate your ramp package some more. You run a high elf density, you can slot Priest of Titania for big value. Turn 1 elf dork into turn 2 Titania means turn 3 Tatyova. You should also run Wild Growth and Utopia Sprawl , they are very much so staple in cEDH green. Chrome Mox is another very common card that could fit here. I'm also surprised not seeing Mana Vault .

You should definitely consider Wasteland and Strip Mine . With Ramunap/Crucible and extra lands per turn, you can ride out games where you stall or run into big stax.

Why do you run Swiftfoot Boots over Lightning Greaves ?

June 1, 2019 3:27 a.m.

Said on Yeva Draw-Grow...

#10

Well hello there Inkmoth, nice deck you got here.

Have you been running into many exile effects? Riftsweeper could very well have a place here, plus it has value against food chain decks that put cast from exile creatures into exile with cheap tutors. Certainly a flex spot but I bet the new Sisay will spark another round of FC decks (I've been thinking about building one lol).

You should consider the usually laughable Sunscorched Desert . It acts as a second win condition with Crop Rotation loops if Shaman is offline or unavailable. Use the Mouth of Ronom loop with the desert to kill players.

I also have three spicy suggestions that go together, but they are hard to tutor in mono G and most likely don't fit. Rings of Brighthearth Sensei's Divining Top Voltaic Key . Rings can combo with Top as an outlet for infinite mana. Top can also generate infinite mana/draw with Paradox Engine and Voltaic Key . Rings lets you combo off with Deserted Temple and Cradle or Itlimoc or Nykthos, provided they produce high enough mana counts. Rings also combos off with Key + Thousand-Year Elixir + any big dork that can generate 5+ mana

Top has the benefit of allowing you to sauce on opponents from a zone they have a hard time hitting. It would allow let you up tutor density with Sylvan Tutor . Works well with Worldly Tutor and Noxious Revival , plus gives effective card advantage when using Fetchlands to shuffle away bad top 3.

May 30, 2019 7:19 p.m.

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