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Said on Wrath of Marath ......

#1

LordPrism67

It's pretty much just a personalization thing. That, and I prefer old-border basics. There are corner cases where using them could make a difference, like if you were using Extraplanar Lens, but in this case it is just deck swag.

March 31, 2020 9:26 a.m.

Said on Wrath of Marath ......

#2

WarSpaniel

No problem! I'm happy to help.

Yes, Angel's Grace is useful against a few combos, and can buy you one more turn to win, but it is the best tool against Oracle. When Oracle enters the battlefield, its trigger goes on the stack. They then cast Consultation, exile their library, then you cast Angel's Grace and prevent them from winning. Now, they could also have Jace, Wielder of Mysteries or Laboratory Maniac and win with a draw, but we also have Pyroblast, Swords to Plowshares, and even Marath himself can ping them. However, more than likely Grace will seal their fate and they will lose on their next draw.

March 30, 2020 7:03 p.m.

Said on Wrath of Marath ......

#3

WarSpaniel

This deck is my favorite, so I love answering questions about it!

Blood Pod is one of those "easy to play, difficult to master" decks. The general idea of ramp/tutor into Birthing Pod/Survival of the Fittest as fast as possible is easy enough to grasp. The tough part is knowing the game plans of your opponents so you can play the appropriate stax pieces at the right time.

What helps is that most cEDH decks win with a set of fairly common combos. Thassa's Oracle/Demonic Consultation is the current go-to; Food Chain or Worldgorger Dragon combos powering out infinite mana; Aetherflux Reservoir or similar Storm finishers. Knowing what set of win conditions the most commonly seen commanders will be using is the first step to piloting a stax deck well.

How these decks get to their combos is just as important to interact with as the combos themselves. Flash/Protean Hulk, Ad Nauseam, fast mana like Moxen, Sol Ring, and Mana Crypt/Vault, and many tutors are all frequent ways to have turn 1-4 wins. Our stax pieces (including ways to break parity) and interaction spells are how we keep pace and control the game.

So what does a good opening hand look like for us? A general rule is we always want some form of ramp/fast mana, like a Birds of Paradise and/or Chrome Mox. On average, we are playing a slightly more fair strategy, and need to be able to keep up. We also want some form of interaction to stop your opponents from going off before you can establish stax, such as Angel's Grace, Pyroblast, Noxious Revival, or Swords to Plowshares, and two lands tends to be about right; one land hands are risky and almost never pan out. Beyond these 3-5 cards, there are three types of hands that I would consider keeping:

  1. The stax hand. Knowing what our opponents are likely going to try to do, and if we have 2 or 3 relevant stax pieces, playing them early can completely disrupt our opponents, giving us time to draw/tutor for a combo.

  2. The flexible hand. If we have a few tutors, maybe some protective interaction like Veil of Summer, we can play reactively to what our opponents decide to do. Search for an answer/interaction, a stax piece, or a combo piece; we have options with this.

  3. The nuts hand. Sometimes we just draw into the win. There is something to be said about playing the aggressive role and going for the throat. It is not impossible to have our opener filled with fast mana, Pod or Survival, Faithless Looting and Guardian/Kiki-Jiki/Karmic Guide, or any combination of cards that we can simply play and win on turn 1 or 2. Sometimes taking the reins and dictating pace if play can pay dividends.

Throughout a normal game, the main goal for this list is mana-denial. Winter Orb, Static Orb, Tangle Wire, Collector Ouphe, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, and Magus of the Moon are how we slow down our opponents, while Dockside Extortionist, Lotus Cobra, Garruk Wildspeaker, Ramunap Excavator, Gaea's Cradle, and mana dorks allow us to break parity and come out ahead of our opponents.

Along with mana-denial, we also have a few other stax pieces to slow the opposing gameplans. Aven Mindcensor is crushing, as many decks rely on deck searching. Phyrexian Revoker is a silver bullet for many commanders. Ethersworn Canonist stops many combos, as does Spirit of the Labyrinth. Aura Shards can devastate the board, and Grand Abolisher is one of the best forms of combo protection we have.

With some practice and metagame study, this deck can be very strong, fast, and disruptive. I hope this helps!

March 30, 2020 3:06 p.m.

Said on Wrath of Marath ......

#4

-Update-

I've put the above combo explanations into the the deck description for easier viewing.

March 28, 2020 11:14 p.m.

Said on Wrath of Marath ......

#5

WarSpaniel

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker makes a copy of Felidar Guardian. When that copy enters the battlefield, it triggers, targeting Kiki-Jiki, flickering it. You can then repeat this loop infinitely, creating enough Felidar Guardians with haste to kill all of your opponents with one combat swing.

The easiest way to assemble this is by using Birthing Pod (hence the archetype name, Pod. The "Blood" part of Blood Pod comes from Blood Moon, or in this case Magus of the Moon, commonly played with Pod). With any 3-cmc creature in play (conveniently, Marath is such a creature) and 3 mana available, you begin the chain by:

  1. Sacrifice the 3-cmc creature to Birthing Pod. Search for Felidar Guardian, flicker Birthing Pod with Guardian to have it return to play untapped.

  2. Sacrifice Guardian to Pod to search up Karmic Guide. When Guide enters the battlefield. Have it target Guardian in the graveyard to return it to the battlefield. Flicker the Pod again to reset it.

  3. Sacrifice Guardian again to search up Kiki-Jiki. Use Kiki-Jiki to copy Karmic Guide, returning Guardian to the battlefield.

  4. Flicker Kiki-Jiki to begin the infinite Guardian loop and win!

A similar line can be performed with Survival of the Fittest. Discard any creature to chain-discard through Guardian, Kiki-Jiki, and optionally Village Bell-Ringer (who also goes infinite with Kiki-Jiki), until you have them all in your graveyard and Karmic Guide in hand. Cast Karmic Guide, return Kiki-Jiki, copy Guide, return Guardian, reset Kiki-Jiki, go infinite.

Splinter Twin is used on Village Bell Ringer as an alternate infinite combo, as each copy untaps the enchanted Bell Ringer, making infinite copies with haste. This can be tutored directly into play with Academy Rector.

March 28, 2020 6:18 p.m.

Said on Wrath of Marath ......

#6

greyninja

Those cards certainly have great synergy with Marath, and when paired with Cathars' Crusade/Ivy Lane Denizen and Earthcraft, Ashnod's Altar, or Phyrexian Altar, can become the primary kill condition. The previous build of this deck ran those very cards.

This version is much more focused on the Kiki-Jiki/Splinter Twin combo, as it is much faster and can be fired early and with very little boardstate. The combo version telegraphs itself quite a bit, while this Pod version is tuned for a cEDH meta and tries to win as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The Earthcraft/Scales/Altar combo is a backup in the event that Kiki-Jiki and Splinter Twin both get exiled, and the beatdown route is not feasible.

I like your thinking, though!

March 28, 2020 3:57 p.m.

Said on Wrath of Marath ......

#7

WarSpaniel

Of course! And that's not a dumb question; it's a weird interaction between cards.

Let's suppose we are tapped out, but have Scales, Earthcraft, Marath, and the Altar in play. Usually not directly, but through playing them for the value they represent, we can incidentally contruct the combo. One land also needs to be Basic, but can be a Forest, Mountain, or Plains.

  1. Tap Marath using Earthcraft to untap the Basic, then tap the Basic for mana. Using this mana, pay 1 to activate Marath, removing a +1/+1 counter and creating a 1/1 Elemental token.

  2. Use Earthcraft with that token to untap the Basic again, pay 1 to activate Marath and remove a +1/+1 counter, having Marath target himself to add a +1/+1 counter. Scales then adds an extra +1/+1 counter, bringing Marath back to where he started.

  3. Sacrifice the token to Ashnod's Altar, generating 2 mana. Use one of the mana to create a token, and the other to get Marath's counters back. Each time you do this, Untap the Basic with Earthcraft and the token to add infinite floating mana to your mana pool.

  4. Once you have enough mana floating, you can make add enough counters to Marath and make enough tokens to sacrfice to the Altar for you to use Marath's ability's damage mode to kill the entire table.

March 27, 2020 9:20 p.m.

Birds of Paradise, too. I feel ashamed to have forgotten this one.

Looking again, after cutting some of the higher end stuff (I'm also not huge on Acidic Slime), you could use some card draw. Runic Armasaur, Beast Whisperer, Shamanic Revelation, or the best being Sylvan Library, all would be really good.

March 27, 2020 2:49 p.m.

Ulasht is one of my favorites! There are many lines of play that you can take for powerful endgame plans, and you've got a lot of them in here.

Some changes I would make start with trimming down your mana curve. Your creatures are almost all haymakers. The way it stands, your gameplan is a bit too slow. I would begin by choosing a few big creatures that have the most impact and supporting them, cutting the rest. Avenger of Zendikar is a great card, but works better with a higher land count. Deus of Calamity has no immediate board influence. Same goes for Borborygmos. I do like Hornet Queen, Vigor and I would choose between either Dragon Broodmother OR Dragonlair Spider. Add in Craterhoof Behemoth, or, if that's out of budget, End-Raze Forerunners as a great win condition. Tendershoot Dryad is amazing, too.

Other important additions are mana dorks. They are the most efficient way to ramp into your larger things, while also making Ulasht bigger. Llanowar Elves, Elvish Mystic, Arbor Elf, Fyndhorn Elves, Boreal Druid, Zhur-Taa Druid, Radha, Heir to Keld all want to be in this deck. You're in green, so mana rocks not named Sol Ring or Mana Vault/Crypt can be dropped. Fecundity, too, as you don't have enough sac outlets to really garner a lot of value.

I would also say that your land count is low. Even with a bunch of mana dorks, you'll be mulliganning far more often than is comfortable. Add in a few more dual lands, or even basics, to smooth that out.

Hope some of this helps!

March 27, 2020 2:27 p.m.

Said on Ulasht's Harvest...

#10

It is a lot of fun to play! You develop a board presence early, but it consists almost entirely of mana dorks and tokens, minus a few utility things like Scavenging Ooze and Eternal Witness. The only time it ever seems to draw any hate is when you have Doubling Season, Purphoros, God of the Forge, or Krenko, Mob Boss on the battlefield. But if you plan it right, with mana and protection available, these hate-drawing cards will usually quickly win you the game.

March 15, 2020 11:31 p.m. Edited.

Said on Ulasht's Harvest...

#11

WarSpaniel

Yes, if you control no other creatures and Ulasht enters the battlefield, it will have no +1/+1 counters on it and will die after resolution.

Lightning Greaves grants Shroud, which prevents targeting. Ivy Lane Denizen needs to target a creature to place counters on it, so Greaves would prevent that if they were equipped to Ulasht. Equip them to Denizen before beginning the combo, and everything will work fine.

March 15, 2020 4:02 p.m. Edited.

Said on Ulasht's Harvest...

#12

^^^

I'll update the deck description with this more detailed explanation.

March 15, 2020 2:19 a.m.

Said on Ulasht's Harvest...

#13

Yarok WarSpaniel

Thank you! I've had a lot of fun building this deck.

The main goal of this deck is to ramp, throw out many tokens, mana dorks, and strong utility creatures like Scavenging Ooze, Runic Armasaur and Scab-Clan Berserker, then either use Green Sun's Zenith/Finale of Devastation to bring in, or cast, Craterhoof Behemoth, in order to win the game. Alternatively, Garruk Wildspeaker can use his ultimate to Overrun the board, and Chandra's Ignition targeting a massive Ulasht is devastating. As a tertiary method, smashing face with a Kessig Wolf Run is always an option.

Krenko, Mob Boss + Impact Tremors and/or Purphoros, God of the Forge is equally brutal.

The final alternate combo, which can be assembled via Gamble, GSZ, and Finale, consists of a few roles, filled by various cards, and executes as such:

1) The first piece we need is Ulasht, the Hate Seed, our Commander,

2) Ivy Lane Denizen, which allows the combo to go infinite,

3) a source of reoccurring mana in Ashnod's Altar or Phyrexian Altar, and

4) either Purphoros, God of the Forge, Impact Tremors, or Goblin Sharpshooter for the kill-condition.

The way it works is when Ulasht removes a +1/+1 counter to make a Saproling token, Ivy Lane Denizen puts the counter back onto Ulasht. You then sacrifice the token to one of the Altars, use that mana to make another token, and repeat the process. Each time you complete this loop, either Impact Tremors or Purphoros will deal damage to each opponent, or Goblin Sharpshooter will untap and you can ping an enemy for 1 damage. Repeat this loop until you win!

March 15, 2020 1:41 a.m.

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Wrath of Marath 3.0

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Modern thinkoriginal

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