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July 27, 2017 1:55 p.m.
I play it one-on-one sometimes. It is much harder, but not impossible. It demands that you become much more aggressive, but it does work.
I have checked out Vault of the Archangel, but didn't include it because most of my creatures have one or the other. I felt it was not as powerful as it would seem. I never trialled it, though, so it may actually be really good. I appreciate the suggestion, and may check it out sometime.
July 27, 2017 9:11 a.m.
Three more comments:
First, how have planeswalkers worked for you? I always find them to be super fragile, and they never perform as well as I like. I have removed every planeswalker I have trialled in my Queen Marchesa: Politics, Aikido, and Control deck. I would say that Sorin, Grim Nemesis may be an occasional bomb, but Ob Nixilis Reignited looks like a total dud, with both being way too slow for any real effect on the game. I would be tempted to remove both for stronger cards.
Second, I see that both Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile are in your maybeboard. These are both amazing cards. Oblivion Ring is in your maindeck, and without support, Oblivion Ring is just OK. Unless it is a matter of not having them, both Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile should be in your deck, and you should be able to find better cards than Oblivion Ring. There are many more spot creature removal cards that would be better. I would suggest Vindicate, and if you really like the edtic effects, you could retain To the Slaughter and Tribute to Hunger, and add Smallpox, Chainer's Edict, Diabolic Edict, and Geth's Verdict.
Third, you have very little pillow fort in here. That is completely fine, as not all decks want it, but I am not sure what Ghostly Prison will do for you without support. You need to figure out the focus of your deck first, and if a pillow fort is not part of it, remove Ghostly Prison. It will do you little good alone.
July 26, 2017 9:44 a.m.
MegaMatt13's deck is super solid, and may potentially be more in lione with yours than mine is. Our decks are very similar, and the differences may be at least as instructive as the similarities. Check it out.
July 25, 2017 11:01 a.m.
Some people love Burnished Hart and Pilgrim's Eye. I never end up playing them. I even always end up remoiving Solemn Simulacrum, but that is also a great card. I just don't really like the semi-manadork cards.
For Queen Marchesa, I lean toward mana fixing and and ramp in the to CMC slot. These allow you to cast your Queen earlier than turn 4, and get the Monarch our early. The Signets, Mind Stone, Talisman of Indulgence, these all get cast turn 2, ramping into a turn 3 Queen Marchesa. If you want her for early board presence, early card draw, and early defense/control, concentrate on getting her out early. Your curve is much higher than mine, but every one of those cards gets you your big fatties 1 turn earlier.
As far as control goes, you could immediately and very cheaply upgrade the control elements by swapping To the Slaughter and Tribute to Hunger out for Fleshbag Marauder and Merciless Executioner. CMC isexactly the same, both can be sacrificed to themselves or you can sacrifice another creature to them, and they hit all players, not just one. Given that the other player decides, I never found that the instant speed was that important compared to hitting everyone.
I will have to think about your use of Queen Marchesa.I totally get where you are coming from. It just may take me a while to understand how to best position Queen Marchesa to stand in for Kaalia of the Vast in a midrange angels/demons deck.
July 25, 2017 9:39 a.m.
I left a comment. I love thinking about other people's perspectives on EDH and MTG, so these conversations are fun. Thanks for the upvote.
July 25, 2017 8:29 a.m.
Hey, looks like a fun start. I have wanted to make a midrange Mardu deck for a while. They always look super fun. I have a few suggestions for the list, and a question that you may consider.
First, it looks like your ramp could be improved. I am not sure how much of this is due to budget/availability, and how much is because you just haven't yet dealt with polishing this area of the deck yet. A good base for any non-Green 3 color deck is all 3 appropriate signets and a Chromatic Lantern. After that, I like to add 4-6 other ramp cards.
The question I would love to hear you answer is, why Queen Marchesa? This deck seems like you would have instant improvement if you swapped in Kaalia of the Vast. Swap out a few of the weaker creatures, add in some of the most amazing red dragons, and you are set with a midrange Mardu deck. If there is something that Queen Marchesa gives you that I am not seeing, let me know, and then we can hone in on that.
Once we hone in on what your commander gets you, and decide what midrange gets you, then we can polish up the rest of the deck. And as always, take my suggestions with a grain of salt. I don't know your fun or your meta, so you obviously know best.
July 25, 2017 8:27 a.m.
Nice deck. I love Queen Marchesa. She has become my favorite commander, and my version has become my favorite deck of all time, and considering I started playing in 1994, that says something. I am happy with where my deck has evolved into, and I will be following your development to see if you take yours in a different direction that mine. As is stands, it looks like a lot of the differences are mostly based on my arbitrarily chosen low CMC limitation, and your desire to maintain theme. My biggest advice would be to limit your group hug style cards to ones that only give a bonus for directly forwarding your agenda. Cards like Duelist's Heritage function similarly to Avatar of Slaughter, but is only a benefit to your opponents when you choose, which can be whenever they attack one of your opponents. That will keep the guns pointed away from you. Check out my deck, there are lots of cards similar to that. If you want something that is more like Avatar of Slaughter, check out Gisela, Blade of Goldnight. Still keeps all the guns pointed away from you, and is attached to a large evasive body. Anyway, +1 from me, and I will keep watching.
July 24, 2017 5:25 p.m.
That has been a consideration. Right now Austere Command has been pulling that duty rather well. I may test it in that spot.
July 20, 2017 11:45 p.m.
I have an Hour of Revelation that I have not yet tried. I may check it out.
July 20, 2017 8:30 p.m.
Beebles, you have gotten me thinking. I have had no problems with anyone I have played, even at my LGS, but it may be a very unique meta, and I will be moving soon, so the new meta is unlikely to be anything like what I have now. I will have to think and review things.
Deepstriker29, I am pretty sure, just from the comment alone, that it is a lot less than you think.
awalloftext, thanks for the kind words. In my meta, both Key to the City and Mana Tithe do a fair bit of work. They are surprisingly good. Both Serene Master and Righteous Aura have been considered in the past. Righteous Aura is a COP, and basically looked down on for that reason. Serene Master is similar to deathtouch, but without the synergies or offensive power, and didn't make it, despite the flavor win.
MegaMatt13, I will, once I have them and am able to trial them.
Thanks everyone for review and discussion. I really appreciate it.
July 14, 2017 12:59 p.m.
Beebles, thanks for taking a serious look at the deck. I appreciate the feedback, since this is a work in progress, as evidenced by the huge comment thread and the various updates.
Sphere of Safety - Enchantments are one of the things that just seem to stick around more than other permanents. There are only 8, but I end up collecting them, and three of my most tutored for cards are enchantments, so they often come out. There once was a few more enchantments, and I am not sure of my threshold below which I would get rid of it, but you are right, I haven't really considered removing it. I was just recently thinking that I would put more Ghostly Prison type cards in if I could, and Sphere of Safety is just an overcosted and typically weak version of Ghostly Prison. Academy Rector would potentially fit the bill, in that I would be able to search for that Ghostly Prison, but Aurification may be counter to my strategy. Unlike No Mercy, Aurification leaves them with defense, and I dont want other players to have defense, if possible. I have considered Lightmine Field, but that is only worthwhile against swarm attacks. I will keep in mind that replacing Sphere of Safety with Academy Rector may actually work out nicely, and would lower my curve ever so slightly, and would even be another creature for my recently added Worship. I appreciate the suggestion.
Boros Fury-Shield - This was a card that I did consider early, and have not returned to it since, for no really great reason. I excluded it early for a few simple reasons. It is a fog that only affects the damage done by a single attacking or blocking creature. This seriously limits its ability as a fog. Every other fog I added could stop all damage aside from Deflecting Palm, and the ability to redirect any damage source makes it far superior. The ability to redirect damage is essentially shared by every other fog in my list aside from Dawn Charm, and the other modes of Dawn Charm make up for this. It sort of behaves like a highly conditional Backlash or Delirium, and maybe I should think of it that way. In that case, it actually could fill a role in the deck. Thank you for the reminder. I may consider trialling it as another conditional copy of Backlash or Delirium.
Lotus Vale and Scorched Ruins - These cards are there for much more than as a way to mitigate the damage from Price of Progress. They work somewhat subtly in the deck, and the real reason has to do with another synergy that you did not mention as well as a psychological reason. The risk has been mitigated in my meta by an overaggressive (others said abuse) of targeted land destruction by myself. After a fun bout with a Life from the Loam deck that abused Strip Mine and its various friends, when I tried playing Strip Mine in a few other decks, including this one, and there were enough complaints that we agreed that land destruction is not fun, and we basically all agreed to take it out of our decks. No one enjoys non-basic hate or color specific hate, either, so no one plays them. I understand that this is a very specific meta that I play in, but this mitigates the risk, and there is little risk in playing these lands at this point. The value of these cards has to do with keeping my land count low. This helps with Acidic Soil and Price of Progress, but also makes Tithe, Gift of Estates, and Weathered Wayfarer stay active. These three cards draw me a ton of cards, which I can pitch to Key to the City or Solitary Confinement. These three cards are a decent amount of my non-Monarch card draw. Solitary Confinement is my most tutored card, and extra cards in hand are really valuable. Trimming my lands with Lotus Vale and Scorched Ruins, as well as the Ravnica Karoos and Gemstone Mine all lead to lower land counts, and ensures these synergies with both my offense and my card draw, while leaving me with the same potential mana as everyone else at the table. This is where it gets subtle and tricky. When people look around the table for threats, number of permanents plays into threat assessment. Appearing to have fewer lands makes me appear as less of a threat. It is super easy to overlook the fact that I can often get 7+ mana from 4 lands. Scorched Ruins is actually Ramp, and is a little like a Sol Ring in disguise. When people actually count, they are not fooled, but it is surprising how often people just glance at your lands, unless they are looking for responses to their plays. Not playing Blue means I get less scrutiny than some, and this lowers my threat level. Altogether, the cards in the deck have many synergies as well as subtle psychological effects that the whole package together is much more powerful than the basics that could replace them.
As far as reactivity goes, I would break it down into two categories: Instants, and interactive permanents. While instants make up the bulk of the deck, interactive permanents are super interesting. I have 22 instants, 17 of which are tutorable with Sunforger. You dont need that many, even as a Sunforger package. As a toolbox, Sunforger packages are usually 10+ cards. Less than that is probably underpowering it. Aside from that, I have never had a goal in mind for reactivity. I thought about how I could lose, and set about trying to overcome those conditions, hopefully in a way that wins me the game. I also thought about what sorts of game states are common, and went about trying to punish those game states. Finally, I thought about how to create exciting game state swings in ways that would not make me a global target. Some of this lead to some Mardu goodstuff, but many of these cards are somewhat uncommon. What evolved from this thought process is the deck you see. It now has 22 instants, 18 of which are truly interactive and reactive, as well as a couple of interactive lands, a couple of interactive artifacts, a couple of interactive creatures, and an interesting interactive enchantment. In essence, I have no threshold, and would not consider the underlying philosophy of deck construction used for this deck to be particularly interested in thresholds.
I like the idea of Electropotence, and agree that the synergy with Lifelink and Deathtouch would be great, especially for Assassin and Snake tokens. I think that Warstorm Surge, Baneslayer Angel, and Exalted Angel are too mana intensive for my tastes. Thanks for the suggestion of Electropotence, I may trial it, and it may prompt me to add more Deathtouch creatures again. Ogre Slumlord with Electropotence is a wrath and token bomb all at once. Interesting.
Thank you for the suggestions, and the discussion. It always helps. You have given me a few cards to consider, or even just reconsider, as the case many be. These kinds of discussions have been what has lead to this decks long evolution to what it is now, and will continue to evolve it. Thanks.
July 13, 2017 11:08 p.m.
July 11, 2017 8:13 a.m.
MegaMatt13, I love the idea of Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion. I have looked at it a bunch of times, and I have no idea why I never chose it. The is a little steep, but it seems like it would fit so well. I think your suggestion of switching it in for Slayers' Stronghold is probably perfect.
sashaza, I think I totally misunderstood you, and now I feel silly. You asked about Gisela, the Broken Blade, and I responded to my feelings regarding Gisela, Blade of Goldnight. Oops. Gisela, the Broken Blade is basically a holdover from when the deck needed flying lifelinkers to pair with Hatred. It was efficient, had flying and lifelink, and was not too expensive for a midrange creature. I have kept it for the same reasons, but at this point, it may not be the best choice available. I have not switched it, mostly because I just kinda like it. To replace it, I would need to find an efficient flyer, with secondary abilities that are more pertinent than lifelink. At this point, I am mostly pretty happy with it.
Beebles, thanks, it has been fun to create, collect, and evolve.
July 10, 2017 9 p.m.
Sorry all for the delayed responses. I have been on an island with no digital communication.
MegaMatt13, I have played with both Wild Ricochet and Reverberate. I found that game changing sorceries and instants were rarely of a type that I wanted to copy. The ones that were most likely for me to want to copy were counterspells, and my meta has been pretty short on them, until recently. I often found that the rest of the sorceries and instants were well taken care of with the rest of my cards, and they sat in my had without being played whenever I drew them. I cycled them out of the deck after looking at them sit in my had a bunch of times without targets.
As far as the suggestions, I may try out the other Threaten effects. I chose the ones I though would fit best, but will probably cycle through all to get an idea if others may work better.
I also go back and forth about Phyrexian Arena. Great card, just slow. I am thinking about revamping the card draw in the deck, see below.
sashaza, I will have to check out your deck. As for your questions:
Pillow fort cards are often powerful in duplicate, but there is a threshold over which any more of them would be less effective than it could be with another card. I often hold them, or ditch them to things like Solitary Confinement or Key to the City. It is surprising how often a card is useful in this deck as a generic card resource, and I can ditch less than useful cards to pay these resource costs. This is also true of things like Gift of Estates, Tithe, and Weathered Wayfarer. Cards in hand are useful, even if the specifics of the cards in hand are not.
That being said, I am considering adding more scry to the deck. I find that the Temples are often very useful, and they fly under the radar more than just drawing the card would. I am considering adding Crystal Ball, Seer's Lantern, and Hidden Stockpile, as well as the semi-loot cards Winds of Change and Molten Psyche. This would keep my profile low, while allowing me to dig for what I need. I find that scry is lower profile than draw or even looting, but I get what I need with it just the same. Combining scry with semi-loot, loot, subtle draw, and outright draw, including The Monarch, will likely put me good shape.
I keep resisting Gisela, the Broken Blade. She is a bomb, for sure, but she is expensive, and she is not at all subtle. I am sure that she would be a great inclusion, but I think she would cause some problems that would be counter to the best functioning of the deck. I am ever in search of Wincons that fit the theme.
Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim is a cheap Rattlesnake with an additional benefit, that is all. The play was for a sac outlet, even if it will be rare to have it all come together.
I will update the list and record my thought processes in updates as soon as I make them.
July 10, 2017 1:20 p.m.
Commander / EDH
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