Hercules23 says... #1

Hey man, do you mind taking a look at this varina deck and offering some suggestions? Thanks in advance. https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/varina-deck-1/?cb=1595602945

July 24, 2020 11:03 a.m.

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Hey, nice budget version of Kalamax. Several good upgrades you've made to the precon.

Chord of Calling with Kalamax to tutor for Pili + Architect for infinite mana is interesting. Consider more ways to draw into a win condition when you have infinite mana? Without the draw making infinite mana with Pili + Architect or with Scepter + Reversal doesn't do enough. Expansion / Explosion is another instant Fork or Explosion with infinite mana can draw a lot of cards. Pull from Tomorrow and Blue Sun's Zenith are other instants that draw X cards.

Nivix Guildmage with infinite mana can draw into your deck until you find a win condition as well as counters to protect the combo. Guildmage with infinite mana can also infinite copy an instant/sorcery you cast which can make Banefire a win condition since you can copy it for each opponent and target a different opponent with each copy. If you can some how get a third copy of Chord when you cast it then you can also tutor for Guildmage.

Some lands in the manabase could be upgraded. Life lands from the precon and Scry temple lands are not worth ETB tapped. Survivors' Encampment and Holdout Settlement are unique lands with Kalamax because they're repeatable ways to tap him. These lands are like Springleaf Drum, they make mana when you use them to tap Kalamax or another creature. But unlike Drum you can tutor for and put onto the battlefield with Crop Rotation. Having more ways to tap Kalamax without attacking while also making mana is beneficial.

Some other good lands that are reasonable price to consider adding are: Rootbound Crag and Shivan Reef. The Filter lands: Cascade Bluffs, Flooded Grove and Fire-Lit Thicket are at lowest price due to just being reprinted in Double Masters. Can get these lands for as low as $5 each. Bluffs is helpful since it can make or , important color combinations to want to consistently make to cast instants for Kalamax.

Cards to consider cutting:

Good luck with your deck.

August 13, 2020 2:34 a.m.

Hey, you're welcome.

Two drop Forks may be boring, but they're also some of the best cards/most mana efficient with Kalamax. The efficiency comes from copying an opponent's instant/sorcery which then gives you two copies of that spell as well as putting infinite counters on Kalamax. This is a ridiculous amount of value from a two mana card. Since a Fork can copy an opponent's instant/sorcery this makes them in multiplayer Commander really never dead cards unless your opponents are not casting instants/sorceries. Infinite counters onto Kalamax are a bonus; the real value with Forks comes from the copying and then copying again of the instant/sorcery.

Forks are also excellent with your own sorceries which with Kalamax gives you two copies plus the original spell for a total of three. Kalamax + Chandra's Ignition + a Fork is game over for your opponents. Merchant Scroll, Regrowth and Preordain are already good mana efficient sorceries that become even better with a Fork or Ral. Ral is a good card with Kalamax and a bonus is he can copy a sorcery you cast.

If having problems with Kalamax getting locked down than consider adding more removal that can remove a permanent? Especially an enchantment or artifact since these permanents can lock down Kalamax much easier than a creature can. Currently you have Beast Within and Cyclonic Rift that can do this and you don't want to have to bounce an opponent's permanent that's locking down Kalamax, you want to destroy it/tuck it. Some instant creature removal is good to have, but other permanent removal is in my opinion much more important. Having Mystical Tutor lets you cut down on creature removal (tutor for it if you need it) and instead play other permanent removal which will have more targets to remove to help Kalamax.

August 12, 2020 2:19 a.m.

AkimotoRiku, thanks for the upvote. Much of current deck description is out of date. I haven't had time to update it yet.

If you can afford a good four color manabase then in my opinion Breya is a much better Commander than Alela because Breya is a combo enabler/win condition. Having a combo piece in the Command Zone who can also be a win condition really increases the power level of a deck. Breya being an artifact is what makes her such a good Commander with artifact strategies and since she can sac herself for her 3 damage to a player mode is what makes her a win condition with combos.

Recently released Double Masters has helped this deck a lot. Breya is reprinted in the set and there's many other cards that are now budget options. The manabase got huge help from the Filter lands, Glimmervoid and I'm watching Sunken Ruins and Academy Ruins. Master Transmuter, Phyrexian Metamorph, Baleful Strix, Sculpting Steel are now very good budget artifacts and I'm watching Darksteel Forge. Arcum Dagsson's price has been cut in half letting me add him back in. Sword of the Meek is now a budget equipment and it combos with Thopter Foundry.

August 11, 2020 7:03 a.m.

Said on Varina Deck...


Hey, very nice version and you're definitely not making a budget deck anymore :)

I don't think Mana Vault is worth it because you don't have a way to interact with it to untap it. For your deck getting a single burst of isn't going to help much. Could replace Vault with Arcane Signet for more colored ramp. Bloodstained Mire could replace Windswept Heath since Mire can fetch a Swamp giving you many more options for dual lands where as Heath there's only two Swamp dual lands it can fetch.

If trying to get to power level 8 consider cutting some of the noncombo Zombie tribal? Doing this will make your deck faster to assemble combos because that's how you want to win. I offer more advice if you choose to go this way.

Good luck with your deck.

August 11, 2020 4:52 a.m.

Hey, good version of Kalamax.

32 lands is low especially when you're trying to get to nine mana for Chord to combo with Kiki. My advice is add more lands or more two drop mana rocks or both. Arcane Signet and Fellwar Stone are mana rock options, they could replace Docent of Perfection  Flip and Mizzix of the Izmagnus. This can help to reduce the avg. CMC and improve ramp. Docent is not as good, much slower, than Talrand/Murmuring and your not going to gaining very many experience counters from Mizzix since you have mostly low CMC instant/sorceries. Invigorating Surge, Refuse / Cooperate, Rapid Hybridization and Sublime Epiphany are options to cut to add more lands.

With a budget of $600+ could make some upgrades to the manabase. Lands such as Rupture Spire, Gain lands (Rugged Highlands), Scry lands (Temple of Mystery) are for low budget decks and Fast lands (Spirebluff Canal) will more times than not ETB tapped. I'm not a fan of Fast lands in Commander because as one ofs the consistency of having one in your opening hand or drawing one before turn three is too low.

Kalamax being a four drop also makes Fast lands not good if it's your turn four land drop then it makes it more difficult to cast Kalamax. Fast lands, Gain Lands, Scry lands and other lands that ETB tapped don't go well with Bounce lands (Simic Growth Chamber) together in the same manabase since having to bounce a Fast land sets you back even more for mana. Bounce lands also ETB tapped, but they're better at making mana/color fixing and with Seedborn/Reclamation.

Some lands to consider adding:

There's several cards in the sideboard that are better than cards in the main deck. Reverberate and Twincast are more two drop Forks that combo with Kalamax and Ral as the win condition. They're better cards than Invigorating Surge and Refuse / Cooperate. Chandra's Ignition is better than Immolating Gyre especially if you add more Forks to the main deck. Ways to give Kalamax infinite power which makes Ignition a win condition. Dig Through Time is better than Thassa's Intervention since you only have to pay for delve once.

I offer more advice, would you like more advice?

Good luck with your deck.

August 11, 2020 2:36 a.m.
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