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Also, what do people think about Twilight Prophet? Late game gas and bleed effect seems pretty strong.
January 20, 2018 4:53 p.m.
I think you and I have a very similar understanding of this deck, MegaMatt13. My plan is to check out Blind with Anger, and if that doesn't work, it will probably be either back to Act of Aggression or experiment with Besmirch. I liked it before, it does almost everything I want, but I really want an instant in that spot.
I also am considering moving Reanimate to main board in that spot, and putting Beacon of Unrest or another sorcery Threaten effect with a cheaper CMC than Insurrection in the Wishboard. Given that a boardwipe can slow me down as much as everyone else, since their offense is my offense, I like the idea of a quicker recovery with a reanimate package. With Mastermind's Acquisition being another Wish, one that is not exiled with use, I can return to the Wishboard more than once. I think that will make the Wishboard something more than it has been. I may find it can change how I play some. Making the Threaten effects only a 2 card inclusion main board, adding a 2 card reanimate package, and making the Wish package 2 cards with more flexibility and actually more useful than that due to reusability, that could add breadth to the deck.
January 20, 2018 11:11 a.m.
Disrupt Decorum is a total house. It brings disaster on all my foes, if it doesn't end the game within a few turns or so. It is nicely costed, and given that it's effects last for a full round of turns means that being a sorcery is not a huge deal. Great card, and while not technically a Threaten effect, it is not that different than Insurrection in what it does in play to make a difference. This has been my favorite.
Word of Seizing is an instant with split second. It is a very versatile card, if somewhat expensive. Still, you can pull all kinds of craziness with it. My second favorite.
Insurrection just finishes things. It is super expensive, and is better left in the Wishboard for retrieval when needed. Usually a single card late game one turn wincon.
Act of Aggression is technically CMC 5, but in reality, it is a colorless CMC 3 instant that does 4 damage to you, pay or to prevent 2 or 4 damage. It untaps, as MegaMatt13 astutely points out, meaning it has both offensive and defensive uses, and can't be foiled by the owner tapping it. Great card, I just wish it was CMC 4 for use with Sunforger.
Mark of the Oni looks very interesting. On the off chance that I have out Master of Cruelties, I get to keep the creature. If it untapped, this would be a perfect card. As it is, it has the same issue as Grab the Reins. I may try it anyway.
Blind with Anger has almost everything I want, instant, CMC 4 or less, untap and give it haste. Only problem is it is for legendaries. Too many legendaries I would want to target. Still, maybe worth trying.
Besmirch is pretty great, 3 cmc threaten that goads, untaps, and gives it haste. That is pretty amazing. The goad gives it defensive uses, even if not for blocking. Offensive defense. That is perfectly in line with this deck. It is a sorcery, which is the the only down side. I have like this one before, and may return to it. We shall see.
Unwilling Recruit is very interesting. Most things I am looking for, it untaps, it gives haste. It also can be used as an X spell finisher. I have not tried this one, but I am going to. A sorcery speed threaten effect that could turn a utility of midrange creature with some form of evasion into a finisher. Very cool. Too bad it doesn't bring evasion or trample by itself. I will try this one anyway.
Disharmony is a card I have tried, and I really wanted to like it, but in the end, it was a weird Fog/removal, with the potential of being a 2 for 1 in the right circumstances. Bummer. Not enough. Still, playing a card from Legends brings a little gravitas to a deck. Like drag racing a 57 Chevy. It may not win, but you look good losing.
Kari Zev's Expertise looks cool, but I am afraid that I would infrequently get to use the free spell. There are many CMC 2 cards, but most are defensive or early game cards. I may try it to see how it works.
Zealous Conscripts is awesome, but doesn't have flash, and comes with too much combo rep. Even so, it is worth considering.
Fractured Loyalty would be super fun in the right deck. Not this one.
Frenzied Fugue is pretty amazing. I could have some weird fun with this. Not sure is is the right card for this deck, though.
Other than those, there are also a few multi-target spells that fit in this category. Mass Mutiny, Mob Rule, and Molten Primordial are all great cards, and if I am creeping up into the higher CMC, as well as accepting some sorcery speed options, then these should definitely be considered. I am not sure which of them I like best. I am leaning toward Mass Mutiny due to the cheaper CMC, even though Molten Primordial comes with a large body, and Mob Rule will likely hit more targets. I may try them all.
While we are at it, since I am probably getting somewhat similar effects out or Animate Dead and Reanimate, maybe I should consider Beacon of Unrest. The CMC is higher, but the opportunity to use it more than once is interesting. It may find a spot as well.
January 19, 2018 5:04 p.m.
You know MegaMatt13, I somehow think we had this conversation, and I just forgot about it. I think reminding me about it means I am taking it out. The value is beating face, not a backdoor removal or weird sac outlet. Bummer. I would love an instant 4 CMC threaten that untaps the creature. Sunforger target, Aikido weapon... I need to revisit this. Stay tuned, and thanks MegaMatt13.
January 18, 2018 8:59 p.m.
BX223Hunter, I decided to respond here so that everything is all together as far as conversations go regarding this deck.
I tried Grab the Reins as one of the Threaten effects. It worked pretty well, but I found that Act of Aggression with it's flexible cost and Word of Seizing with split second to be better inclusions. In reality, this was a judgement call, and Grab the Reins was a great inclusion. It could easily be added in for either of those two, or even as an additional Threaten effect.
I had not seen Imp's Mischief, but I had considered Shunt. I didn't ever play it, but I ultimately concluded that Shunt shunt was not likely versatile enough to include. I think Imp's Mischief would be the same thing. Although, it may be fun to play in the right meta. Surprise cards like that out of non-Blue decks care really rock someone's plans.
January 13, 2018 5:38 p.m.
I had considered both. War's Toll is a card that can give incremental advantage, but it is really a forcing move. It is not really dissimilar to Winter Orb in how it feels when played, and it actually discourages attacking. When someone wants to maintain some defense, they have to abstain from any attacks to accomplish that. When someone wants to preserve a utility creature, they have to abstain from any attacks to protect it from blockers. It was counter to the decks optimal play. Reverse Damage is definitely a little limited. I have played Reverse Damage, Awe Strike, and Riot Control for a short time for each of them. Riot Control turned out to be the best of the bunch in the meta that I used it in, but even then, aside from an extra Fog that kept me from losing, it also never won me a game. I used that slot for better cards for this deck. I do appreciate the suggestion, though.
January 11, 2018 8:17 p.m.
I wouldn't worry about it. During development of my Queen Marchesa deck, there were times when I would change a couple cards and have my competitive score swing drastically. I don't put much stock in it yet. Given the multiple formats, the various archetypes, and continuously evolving card base, the complexity and depth of the current card base, and the fact that even being the best at MTG doesn't qualify you to make sweeping judgements with such precision as a specific percentage point score without definition of what that means, I would just continue to test and play without concern for what the number says.
I was thinking about your deck writeup. I have been struggling with Aikido ethics with regard to MTG for a while, and I had to come to a realization about MTG and violence in order to deck build consistent with Aikido ethics and still win. Given that you basically quote Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere, I thought that I would pass it on, in hopes that it would be helpful.
As you obviously know, in Aikido ethics, we understand four ethical levels of response to violence:
Unprovoked attack, in which the victim is assaulted without warning or reason.
Provoked attack, in which the victim insults or otherwise encourages the attacker to act.
Subjective self-defence, in which the defender fights back with the intent of harming the attacker.
Ethical self-defence, in which neither defender nor attacker are harmed.
In Aikido, we strive to conduct ourselves in a manner consistent with the fourth level described above. This at first seemed impossible to achieve in MTG, especially given that we are playing a game that supposedly simulates a mage fight to the death. Your task is to eliminate any measure of life in all of your opponents. At best, this can be no higher than level 3, unless you are into true Group Hug decks. I never intended for Queen Marchesa to be Group Hug, since Aikido is not really Group Hug. I always wanted to win, and this decision always seemed to be most consistent with level 3. This was where I consigned myself to create from with regard to my MTG deck and play. But, fortunately, I was wrong. I just needed to reframe.
In MTG, life is not a measure of health. It is a resource representing time until the conclusion of the conflict combined with the idea of who triumphs in the conflict. It is timing and victory, not life. Interacting with someone's life does nothing except change the potential to reach the end of the game, and only really matters when someone's last life is taken and no effect allows the game to continue. This is not health. This is a countdown to peace. Health is reflected in your hand, your deck, and your board state. Interacting with someone's hand, deck, or board state can do many things, but only on rare occasions does it directly change the timing of the end of the conflict. In many ways, it can secondarily affect it, but more importantly, it does this through changing the potential of each player to participate in the game to their best ability. It can, in essence, determine ability, and dis-ability in the game. That is where violence happens in the game, aside from the art and the language that the actual game mechanics are wrapped in. So this was my breakthrough.
When I had this realization, life only became important as it related to when the game ended for each player. What is important is board state, hand state, and deck state. If I wanted to create an Aikido deck that was most consistent with the highest ethical level of self defense for the most of my play, I needed to acknowledge that to achieve that, I would have to avoid being violent to my opponent's hand, board state, and deck, and to only affect those elements when not doing so would mean no other option but real harm to me. I realized that I had to try not to blow up their stuff, and I had to create strategies that were sound and allowed for victory, but free of aggression toward their hand, board state, or deck. In addition, these strategies would need to allow me to choose the timing and circumstances of the end of the conflict, that would allow me to end the game with me as the victor. That design philosophy directed just about every choice in the deck. It supported the specific political methods that Queen Marchesa uses, and allows for very surprising wins. And you seem to be on a similar track for designing a true Aikido deck here as well, since you seem to at least be aware of Aikido in ways deeper than just the name. I look forward to seeing you spend the time and truly develop this deck.
January 9, 2018 9:46 p.m.
Trimming a list is always the hardest. You have to just decide to kill your babies. I would need to spend a little time going through the list to have a good idea of what should be removed. My first thought would be that you have a ton of what I would call Fog effects. I love a Fog suite, but with that deep of a Fog pool, I bet some room could be made there for at least a few. I see you are already making changes. I am sure you know your deck better than I do regarding what is working and what is underperforming. It is definitely going to be fun watching you develop it.
January 9, 2018 5:42 a.m.
I love Mardu, and I am trying to digest your deck. Can you give me an idea of why you went with Mathas over some of the other Mardu general options. I run Queen Marchesa, and I find her to be really great in this sort of role, or at least a similar role. I feel like Tymna and Vial Smasher could also be good. Just curious about your reasoning.
Also, I second all suggestions made by SomaCruz. I run them all for really great effect.
January 8, 2018 10:19 p.m.
Love the deck. I am really partial to this style of play. It acknowledges that there are multiple players, and not all are your enemy at any specific point, especially if you play correctly. +1.
For some additional card ideas, you could check out my Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control deck. I have tried a lot of the cards in your list. In white, I would suggest that you consider Mana Tithe and Lapse of Certainty. Counterspells in white can really come out of nowhere. It goes well with Dawn Charm and Teferi's Protection . Also, it is worthwhile to consider cards like Silence, Abeyance, and Orim's Chant. They can be very powerful control elements that can allow you to dictate how turns play out. I would also consider Sun Droplet. It is a low CMC artifact that comes down early, and in multiplayer, it can buffer a lot of early attacks, even if it just decreases the total damage done without eliminating it. If you have the funds, Forcefield fits this category as well. When people are deciding between a decreased effect attack onn you versus a full effect attack on someone else, they frequently attack elsewhere. This is basically a 2 for 1 for you. And finally, check out Worship. It combines really well with your Near-Death Experience for a much easier to accomplish wincon and Pillow Fort all wrapped up in one.
Again, love the deck, and I can't wait to see where you take it. I may have to try out a mono-White Aikido as well. This looks great. I just might go with Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker instead.
January 8, 2018 10:05 p.m.
Hey, I like the deck, +1. I also play Mardu Aikido. Super fun archetype. I chose to go with Queen Marchesa as commander, and I am curious to hear your take on the archetype, and why you went with Ravos and Vial Smasher. Can you explain some of that thought process?
Also, you play some similar cards as my list, which is understandable given the parallel goals and identical colors, but I would be curious about what you see as the differences, and why you chose to play the cards you have.
I also have a section in my deck description that links to several deck lists that are great to check out for inspiration. See my Influences section for the list, if you are interested.
For context, here is my list. Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control
January 8, 2018 8:37 p.m.
So I copied the deck writeup to a word document to ensure I had a backup. Turns out it is 23 pages. Crazy.
January 8, 2018 7:49 p.m.
Yeah, there are some whacky loops possible. With Jaces Archivist you can get into some pretty strange things, and I threw in Words of Wind to keep from decking myself while going after the mill win. I try not to Sunder to Windfall without a plan for a win right after too often. People get angry, despite the fact that keeping the game in the early game phases and taking advantage of tempo is exactly how the deck best likes to play. The amusing thing is doing that and then going Aggro with a bunch of little utility creatures. Beating a table with Jaces Archivist and Refector Mage to everyones face is just stupid.
Glad you like it, let me know how you do.
January 8, 2018 2:25 p.m.
Thanks DrukenReaps, I'll check it out.
January 7, 2018 12:38 p.m.
Actually, you just made up my mind. I got tired of waiting to find one to trade, knowing that was likely impossible. I ordered a Forcefield. About time.
January 6, 2018 11:50 p.m.
Suns_Champion, thanks for the upvote and the very kind words. I appreciate it. Here are my initial answers to your questions. I may have other answers as I think more about your questions, but these are my answers based on what I have seen so far.
First, the deck is fun, and if you already win most games, this deck will probably not change that, unless you are seriously cutthroat already. It basically just evens the power of most decks until the last round or two, and plays as a 75% deck at every table I have found it. I probably wins more than that, but this is because I am the most experienced and obsessed player in my normal meta (it has seen 2 different metas so far, due to a move) and when I show up at random tables, no one really expects it. It has become more popular to play Queen Marchesa, but not enough to be that big of a deal. I would love people to build it and give me feed back on how it does at more tables than I can reach. Even with the concerns about inexperience in your meta, it can withstand more hate than it seems, and while the intention is to ride below the radar, even if it doesn't, it can still often hang. If they waste resources on your death touchers, even the Queen, something else will get them. The Queen and her deathtouch army definitely add to the strategy, but the deck runs fine if they are taken out. Something gets them in the end.
Second, as for Swiftfoot Boots and Lightning Greaves, I didn't include them for two reasons. First, I needed the slots. It is a really tight list. Second, removing the Queen is less of a problem than you think. Bring her back out and you are the Monarch again. This provides some disincentive to take her out, at least for the guy who is currently or soon will be the Monarch. She is fairly inexpensive with a CMC of , so this can happen a few times before it gets truly out of hand. For a minor third reason, you only get half of the benefit of those cards when playing with Queen Marchesa, since she already has haste. I found better uses for those slots.
Third, Price of Progress, Anathemancer, and Acidic Soil are all just cards with a low CMC and a high potential damage for the average meta. Commander is notorious for non-basics. If this is not worth it in your meta, think about a resource, situation, or game characteristic that is very common in your meta, and hit them for that. If a bajillion creatures are often on the board, try mainboarding Insurrection, Incite Rebellion, and Stronghold Discipline. If people draw a ton of cards, try Underworld Dreams and Sudden Impact. Go after common game states and the usual overreach for your meta. Take advantage of the way that players build their decks to work. Use their strategy to take them down. Become one with their deck, let their power become yours. There are many ways to do this, I have just seen that excessive lands, especially nonbasic lands, can be a source of power for my offense, and Price of Progress and Anathemancer are usually just really efficient bombs.
Fourth, there have been a few times I have really wanted Arcane Lighthouse. It is pretty amazing. This has been especially true against really aggressive decks, especially voltron decks, since Greaves/Boots are standard issue for voltron. That is definitely a consideration, and probably could be fit in if shroud/hexproof are a problem.
Fifth, Scavenger Grounds is a great card, and if graveyard is a serious threat in your meta, it is a good include. I find that with Bojuka Bog, Shred Memory, and Rakdos Charm, I am often covered well enough. If it got further out of hand with the graveyard shenanigans, I would possibly include Scavenger Grounds, or maybe Rest in Peace.
Sixth, Pacification Array is pretty weak. It occasionally allows for something surprising, since it is often forgotten about, and is otherwise pretty cheap. It probably gets played from my hand as a sorcery speed tap one creature or artifact card for immediate advantage more than any other way, but it does act as a decent Kor Haven replacement with some frequency. Think of it like surprise tempo, defense, and politics all wrapped up in a relatively cheap package. I like how flexible it is, being used for both offensive and defensive uses, as well as politically by defending other players (rare) or opening a line of attack against a common opponent (more frequent) so that I can encourage that attack to point away from me. It is honestly still in there because I have just not taken it out again, since it has come out before, but you may be overlooking it's subtle power. It will get replaced with Forcefield when I can get one. With a deck as pimped as I have made this, Forcefield kind of needs to be in there. It will be some day. For someone else's deck, it could be just about anything.
Thanks again for the kind words. I look forward to seeing your version when you make it. It really is a ton of fun to play, and never disappoints, even when it loses.
January 6, 2018 11:15 p.m.
I decided that this deck needs to try out X. The card looks to be super silly and perfectly in line with what it is built for, almost like a secondary Sen Triplets. We will see how people respond, but honestly, I think that it can't really be worse to see X than to see Sen Triplets.
January 3, 2018 10:01 p.m.
Commander / EDH*
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|Playing since||Revised Edition|
|Avg. deck rating||31.38|
|Favorite formats||Commander / EDH|
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