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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Creature — Insect
At the beginning of your end step, each player may put two +1/+1 counters on a creature they control. Goad each creature that had counters put on this way. (Until your next turn, those creatures attack each combat if able and attack a player other than you if able.)
3 weeks ago
Got another couple games in today:
I made some swaps prior to today's match incluuding:
I think our decks are still functionally the same but I have a lot of the tech you were heavily considering already swapped in and will be focusing on their performance in multiplayer format.
Forgot to snap a picture of my starting hand but I think it was something like that. Important play of the game was Firkraag playing an early Agitator Ant. By turn 3 I had Giada equipped with a Lightning Greaves and slowly played out my hand, focusing on dropping lands and playing removal. I constantly dumped the +1/+1 counters onto Giada and since she had the greaves equipped she was basically untouchable.
After bringing Arvinox and Ryu down to the low 20's with just Giada I began dumping the counters onto a Bishop of Wings that I drew into so I could start swinging at Firkraag. Ryu also got in 2 Hadokens against Firkraag's board to draw cards. I only got 1 swing into Firkraag before they boardwiped.
I was able to recast Giada and cast an Angelic Page drawing me a card off Folk Hero. I also cast a Pyre of Heroes excited to chain it off for some spicy tech. Unfortunately Ryu was at low life and killed shortly after the boardwipe. As the other 2 players had no board they scooped to end the game so we could start the next, giving me the win.
This game had some intense interactions. Isshin had a turn 1 Authority of the Consuls. Tevesh nearly played a turn 2 Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools with a Jeweled Lotus but was countered by Muldrotha. Firkraag played a Pursued Whale giving us all Pirate tokens and forcing us to attack. Isshin played into that with a Combat Calligrapher. The entire table started swinging into each other with increasingly multiplying Inkling tokens. After Isshin's Combat Calligrapher was blown up and they took a bunch of damage from their own Inklings they decided to super wipe the board with a Ruinous Ultimatum but luckily their board was pretty sparse.
I lost Pearl Medallion, Well of Lost Dreams, Sword of the Animist, Lightning Greaves and Righteous Valkyrie. This set me back really far but luckily I had been ramping every turn with Sword of the Animist and kept some strong angels in hand.
I recast Giada, and played Archangel of Tithes, Angelic Field Marshal and Lyra Dawnbringer with Mutavault giving me the extra +1/+1 counter. At this point Isshin started going off and nearly killed me with a combination of Tectonic Giant, Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin, Isshin, Two Heavens as One, Aurelia, the Warleader but they tapped out for Dihada, Binder of Wills to give Krenko vigilance, lifelink and indestructible. When they tried to swing at me, they forgot about the tax for Tithes and instead knocked out Tevesh and Muldrotha. Muldrotha took out Aurelia, the Warleader as retribution.
On the final turn I was left with only Oblation and Breathkeeper Seraph in hand. I had the choice to use it on one of Isshin's creatures but they were in such a dominating position that giving them 2 cards was probably a bad idea. Instead I used it on a tapped Emergence Zone and drew into Thraben Watcher and Sigarda's Vanguard. With the combination of all the angels I brought Isshin down to 3 and Firkraag cleaned up but had nothing against my board so scooped.
I debated even listing this game as it was over so fast. Alela burst out on turn 1 with an Island into Sol Ring into Arcane Signet. Turn 2 they played a Smothering Tithe. Turn 3 they played a Bolas's Citadel. In one of their turns they cast a Vendilion Clique bottoming my Teferi's Protection. Despite whiffing for 2 turns off the top of their library they were so ahead with ramp that they quickly overtook the game. I died by turn 5 to 35+ damage from a faerie army beefed up with Coat of Arms. The other 2 players scooped as they had no interaction with the Coat.
T1 Esper Sentinel did some amazing work here. I drew off every player at least 2-3 times so it netted me like 7-8 cards for just 1 mana.
I also attempted to attack with Battle Angels of Tyr but it was bounced to my hand by next turn.
The Ozolith ended up doing nothing this game but that's more due to having no boardstate. Together Forever wouldn't have done anything in this game either so its impact still hasn't been seen. Other players did comment that it could be a problem with a bigger board.
I did have a misplay here as I should have held up mana for removal spells which I had in my hand. My final hand was Vanquisher's Banner, Archangel of Thune, Angelic Accord, Serra Paragon, Valkyrie Harbinger, Path of Exile and Swords to Plowshares. I just didn't expect Alela to quintuple their damage in one turn.
T1 - Secluded Steppe tapped
I had several misplays this game as it had been a long day. The first was using my Clues too early instead of playing out my hand and refilling it later with the Clues.
Phenax became a huge threat towards mid-game as they had a Haunt of high tower on board along with their commander Phenax, God of Deception. They forced Ghisath to mill 40+ cards with 4 creatures. I had Kabira Takedown Flip in hand but it wouldn't put a dent in the Haunt. Instead I opted for player removal and swung with everything knocking them out.
My second misplay here was not tapping Giada to cast Angelic Field Marshal which would've given all my creatures vigilance. I was so used to swinging with Giada first and then tapping her that I failed to see her as a mana dork. Since I had Archangel of Tithes out it would've prevented huge swings against me as well.
Since I was wide open Gishath took the advantage and swung at me dropping a good number of dinos on their board. However on their next turn when they tried to use Silverclad Ferocidons with Pyrohemia Jared saved the day by sacrificing Primeval Spawn into a Time Warp.
When I tried to rebuild I realized I had no clues left and no attackers to draw into answers. I also made my third misplay by wasting a Path to Exile on a random dinosaur thinking it would sacrifice Pyrohemia but then stupidly played Bishop of Wings so I could trigger my The Book of Exalted Deeds by replaying Giada.
I died on the next turn to due to lethal Gishath commander damage. If I had saved my Path I could've used it on Gishath and played out more angels for the lifegain.
Lightning Greaves was amazing in the 2 games it was played. It was so great that Isshin focused Giada when it came back out. In fact I like it so much that I'm going to try and find a spot for Swiftfoot Boots so I can keep equipping without removing the protection.
Archangel of Tithes was SO GOOD. It saved me from lethal once and would've again a second time if I didn't misplay again. With vigilance it does double duty.
Well of Lost Dreams felt a little clunky in game 2. I want to like it, it has a high ceiling but it needs some prep work to start drawing. Either I drop it instead of a threat or I play it much later. I also need lifegain and the mana to draw from it. With the amount of work that goes into it to activate it, a board wipe usually turns it off. We have no other lifegain outside of creature based lifegain. So we would only draw with an established board presence and we're using mana to draw into threats rather than play them. It feels either like a win-more card or a hail mary to get something good. I'm actually debating its place in this deck and what may be a better card draw. Court of Grace at least replaces itself on our end step and provides either an Angel or Spirit on our upkeep. It also requires no additional maintenance to get it going.
Others at the table commented that Authority of the Consuls is a better option to the soul sisters. While I do like the tap mechanic of Authority, it doesn't trigger off my creatures. Also having it be an enchantment means that most people won't bother with it all game. Soul sisters typically get wiped with the rest of the board whereas opponents have to target Authority. I find that I don't usually hit the payoffs on opponents turn but on my own turn. However, I only hit the magic 4/5 life when Bishop of Wings or Righteous Valkyrie is out, not off a soul sister. I know that you really like the soul sisters but practically every game I've had a board wipe and the payoffs haven't been worth it.
Even though I STILL haven't pulled off Pyre of Heroes properly I'm once again debating Recruiter of the Guard and Weathered Wayfarer. Since they're both humans they can chain into our human sub-theme. Weathered Wayfarer can be sacrificed into Bishop of Wings to get our lifegain payoffs going. It also helps grab lands for Emeria Shepherd if we want to recur stuff from the graveyard. Recruiter of the Guard can tutor for Starnheim Aspirant, Esper Sentinel, Inspiring Overseer, Thraben Watcher and can be sacrificed into Mangara, the Diplomat.
1 month ago
A few things that might help, I'm hoping I've understood what you're looking for!
Viscera Seer is among the best sac outlets ever printed at only B, but the most popular altars are all really pushed, Phyrexian Altar, Ashnod's Altar and Altar of Dementia. Ashnod's is probably the best, but Phyrexian is still very good. Skullport Merchant is great on a budget, if you want a recursive body some of the better options are Gravecrawler, which only needs a Zombie and can easily go infinite with a lot of things, and Haakon, Stromgald Scourge who lets you recast any Knights, which also includes Changelings but most importantly lets you loop the same 1 drop Knight. These sorts of cards also like Pitiless Plunderer, Pawn of Ulamog and Sifter of Skulls, and any colourless sources can benefit from Bog Initiate. Nether Traitor can let you get an extra sacrifice for each Black mana you have to match a dying creature. If you usually have a cheap sacrifice outlet, Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder can make a ton of bodies for you. Another recursive body that can offer some ongoing value is Silversmote Ghoul, you just want a way to gain a bit of life, so something like your Exquisite Blood or Whip of Erebos can help ensure you gain enough. Ogre Slumlord is a decent source of bodies if you have some ways to kill enemy creatures, the nice thing is that once the Slumlord gains some steam, you're pretty tough to attack on the ground. Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs can make bodies that discourage people from swinging at you. Really bad in some ways, but Bloodsoaked Altar can make weenies into beefy demons, plays well with token generators obviously.
If you expect to have medium size creatures die, Mask of Griselbrand can draw a reasonable number of cards, it can also gain you decent life while offering evasion. There are very few downsides to running this card in my experience, even in a deck that doesn't run many creatures your Commander can wear it.
Blade of Selves would be funny if you ever get your Commander melded, when you swing you get a copy of your meld for each opponent (though you only get the ETBs before they die unfortunately).
War Room is a very good land to look at, maybe Bonders' Enclave if you think you can get a big enough body out consistently. Agitator Ant can help ensure you have a big enough body fwiw, the effect can get very out of hand though if you lack wipes.
2 months ago
I'm not certain the Commander has enough explosive power to consistently win vs 2 decks, but I have very good results in 1 v 1 with my Rakdos deck, and it often has spare cards by the end of the game, be it wipe or removal, because the deck just runs so much of those, with lots of the removal hitting more than 1 target (I love stuff like Phyrexian Purge, Fire Covenant, Make an Example, and Volcanic Offering can each be a terror of a card, and a deck running all of them has lots of pinpoint removal that will clear lots of stuff out. Ashes to Ashes and Reckless Spite also exist fwiw, and if you aren't certain you'll have creatures out, Tergrid's Shadow can do a bit of work, as can Plaguecrafter or Demon's Disciple, cards Sedris can recur for 2B even. Another value card is Dredge the Mire, which can cheat in the 3 worst creatures in people's graveyards, note certain creatures will kill you if you control them, so check before playing! Necromantic Selection not only clears the field, it also gives you back the best thing, this is extra juicy if you use some sort of Indestructible creature(s) that won't die. If you consistently have a fairly big creature, or one with Deathtouch and Lifelink, Chandra's Ignition is one sided by definition, one of many cards that shines brightly with Basilisk Collar (which is also very good with Jaya Ballard, Task Mage or even good old Banshee, Jaya's 6 damage wipe really is amazing if you've got Collar on her, though it'll kill her too). If you expect to have multiple opponents, Goad is a very strong effect, Karazikar, the Eye Tyrant is potentially pretty solid, lots of card draw. There is also Kardur, Doomscourge that will force everyone's hand. Spectacular Showdown is a great card if you've actually got a board of your own to finish people off, keep in mind that on your next turn, you not only won't have been attacked by any pre-existing creature, everyone else will have swung for the fences with Double Strike, and they will likely have nothing left to defend with, making your Double Strikers very effective. Another Goad source that is great with a creature heavy board is Agitator Ant, which is hilarious a lot of the time. If you're using Goad effects, War Tax can let an opponent have a way around them, if there is a tax to attack Goad fails, and War Cadence is absolutely devastating with Goad, even a tax of 1 to block can make blocking impossible for weenie decks, and you can use either on anyone's turn.
As you've got access to Blue, there are a few non-Rakdos tricks you can use, the most hilarious I know of is Mass Diminish, note that it lasts until your next turn and have a good laugh. There is also Sudden Spoiling, which is powerful but lasts for that turn, or Polymorphist's Jest, which is similarly a 1 turn solution. I use Mass Diminish more aggressively, to make a player hyper-vulnerable to attackers (and make them unable to counter attack), getting two casts is just savage. Visions of Duplicity can create some chaos with it's two casts, Cultural Exchange is obscene if someone else has better creatures. Bident of Thassa is glorious if you want both of it's effects, forcing people to attack is incredibly mean, and this doesn't require you to run a weenie like Goblin Diplomats, but that's also a fun card fwiw. If you're going to run Oriq Loremage, you might slip in a huge creature to Unearth, something like Dragon Tyrant can be huge and not break the bank, Double Strike and Firebreathing are really good together, and you won't have to pay the upkeep with Unearth, he's dead before that matters.
I was looking at your land count and average Mana Value and I think you probably are running too few lands at this point, it's very tempting to cut them, but 30 is probably too few for a MV that is over 2.5. You might get away with adding 2 mana ramp, but I'd still aim for at least 36 lands (or MDFCs that count as a land, you probably already have the best two MDFCs in those colours, but people also run Malakir Rebirth Flip) to ensure you can consistently cast stuff. There is a smattering of ways you can run less lands/ramp, but these all come with downsides, but in Grixis you can run 4 solid Bounce Lands, Dimir Aqueduct and Guildless Commons should be in here as well if you want a lower land count, these let you hit another land drop when you draw them. You might also run stuff like Thran Dynamo or Worn Powerstone to help you hit higher MVs sooner, ramping by only 1 mana feels bad compared to hitting a land drop most of the time, there is also Gilded Lotus, but hitting 5 mana can be rough. Coalition Relic can charge for 1 turn, Skyclave Relic is super versatile/rugged, and Everflowing Chalice can be huge if you want, 6-10 mana is absurd but sometimes comes up. Cantrips like Ponder and Preordain are also good at digging for a land, but I know in Talrand it stings pretty bad when you Preordain and don't find a land and I needed one. As for some cards to remove, I'll take a look, but if I'm trying to build a deck that can handle attention, I look first at cards that will hurt only 1 player, unless that card will almost certainly end that player, either right away or in a few turns.
A few to consider removing (I may be missing why you have them in, so user discretion is advised or something): Archive Trap, Outpost Siege, Palace Siege, Ponder, Preordain, Haunting Echoes, Cruel Ultimatum (this seems insanely hard to cast, and hits only 1 player, unless you can copy it I'd run Captive Audience if I want to hose one player hard), Cranial Extraction, Cormela, Glamour Thief, Kess, Dissident Mage, Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger, Lobber Crew, Loyal Subordinate, Nekusar, the Mindrazer, Obeka, Brute Chronologist, Phenax, God of Deception, Runo Stromkirk Flip, Spear Spewer, and Thermo-Alchemist.Some maybe cards include Angrath, Captain of Chaos, and Cryptolith Fragment Flip (for another land, maybe a better rock, there is Thought Vessel, but fixing is sweet in Grixis).
Hope some of this is helpful!
2 months ago
If nothing else, Make an Example is a shockingly good card in Rakdos as removal that dodges almost any form of protection, and it hits all opponents at once. Do or Die is also worth a look, but it never hits your opponent's best stuff with any reliability. Final sorcery that's really good in Rakdos is Phyrexian Purge, which is a very one-sided wipe that only costs 4 mana.
I feel repetitive at this point, but Rite of the Raging Storm is very much worth a look in Juri, it gives a sac every turn and it also just generates chaos. It also synergizes with great stuff like Mask of Griselbrand and Exquisite Blood, which also loves Citadel of Pain (and Protection Racket, which is like Phyrexian Arena did a giant bag of steroids as long as you're not on obvious combo).
I feel like Agitator Ant is a solid card here, Ogre Slumlord is also very good with lots of removal/sacrifice effects, Mayhem Devil is probably an auto-include unless I'm missing something, not sure if it's relevant, but Infernal Tribute can both let you sac any non-token and draw cards at the same time, it's like really wonky Necropotence Plus with your Commander, only you pay mana and permanents to draw cards and deal damage. Very weird but Whip of Erebos would let Juri (and everything else) have Lifelink, which can be handy, it can also bring something back if you want.
2 months ago
You might look at Rite of the Raging Storm and Exquisite Blood, maybe Berserkers' Onslaught, even a Mask of Griselbrand as a backup to your Skullcap idea, paying 3 to draw 5 always feels great in my Pavel build, and the Evasion/Lifelink are often relevant. I run a ton of wipes and removal, perhaps the best of which is Make an Example, which is just backbreaking to any deck reliant on having a specific creature on the board, and it hits each opponent in such a way that it's almost impossible to protect against short of countering it. As my deck hates being interacted with itself (it's full of chonky spells/effects just begging to get countered) I run Boiling Seas and Omen of Fire, alongside a Citadel of Pain, Pavel can soak up a lot of spare mana anyways. Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast might be more reasonable than adding Boil, but the deck loves hosing Islands for some reason. Since I run lots of board wipes, I tossed in Tyrite Sanctum and Daring Fiendbonder to give stuff Indestructible. I mostly run utility creatures like Agitator Ant or token generators like Ophiomancer and Ogre Slumlord, I'm presently at 16 creatures in the 99, so it doesn't usually matter if I'm wiping the board 3 or 4 times in a game. It's not unusual to win off of a timely Thieves' Auction, it's funny when you have a deck full of questionable permanents, some people will just scoop to it as well, it's a salty card to some. I mean if you're already running Omen of Fire, why not throw in Thieves' Auction?
Hope some of these ideas can synergize with your build, Pavel is a great under-utilized Commander, I built him more janky, but the deck is truly a blast to play.
2 months ago
You might enjoy Agitator Ant, it is pretty funny in chaos decks, as is Angel's Trumpet. It's a weird card, but War Cadence is really useful to make blocking impossible. There is also War Tax, which is the opposite yet also very fun. If you aren't big on combos, Protection Racket can either give you non-lands or deal damage, extra juicy with Exquisite Blood obviously. He's clunky now, but Kaervek the Merciless deals a heap of damage, both him and Vial are good with Mask of Griselbrand, as is Rite of the Raging Storm.
Not quite sure it fits, but Fatespinner does a fair bit of work, adding a substantial cost to attacking for your opponents while doing nothing to you.
2 months ago
There is Kaervek the Merciless, this might work well with your fairly high MV. Also with the higher MV, you could look at Protection Racket, which is mostly a problem if your deck cares about specific cards, as long as your deck is just a bunch of cards that are all good together it's one of the best cards in Black, it can draw you more cards than Rhystic Study in some metas, or just drain everyone of life if they're really, really responsible and always pay. Finally, Timesifter is hilarious if your opponents have a deck with a noticeably lower MV, or a lot of lands compared to you. You could toss in some really high MV spells like Blasphemous Act and/or Reckless Endeavor, wipes are handy I find, even in a deck that usually is ahead, sometimes you face a faster deck, or a deck that has one sided wipes. I think if your MV is over 3.75 you probably could look at all but Timesifter, for that you might want to go even higher. Another way to raise your average MV is MDFs like Hagra Mauling Flip, as a spell you would never run it, but in place of a land it is both versatile and has it's MV for any effect that cares about it, the only question is if you can afford a tapped land (or want to pay for the Mythics, can enter untapped in a pinch). Some of these cards are just incredible value IMHO, like Valakut Awakening Flip, but some seem bad, afaik the best way to rate these is to consider if the effect is valuable period in Commander (is it worth a card in theory), not to worry as much about the cost because the alternative of hitting a land drop is almost never a terrible thing.
If you run a lot of creatures, I like Court of Cunning and Court of Ambition, both are annoying cards that can also draw you cards, and Cunning is a great source of repeated mill vs something like Glimpse. Also if you run a lot of creatures, Bident of Thassa is perhaps the best non-Frostfang version of this effect, the forced attack can be backbreaking to some decks. Another decent one is Reconnaissance Mission, the worst of the lot is Coastal Piracy. Grim Hireling and Professional Face-Breaker are also nice cards. Thalakos Deceiver and Thalakos Dreamsower are nice Blue Shadows, Dauthi Voidwalker is a really good Black one, each of these is really hard to block and comes with a substantial upside. It's a bit janky in Commander, but Sower of Temptation isn't a terrible card, you just can't count on stealing anything too game breaking, as long as you steal something not worth spending another card on you'll get an evasive 2/2 that can sneak damage in for triggers.
If you want a one-sided nearly-Wrath, you might consider Make an Example or Phyrexian Purge. Example is able to pinpoint remove the best creature of each opponent, by any metric, and it's almost impossible to get around with present day cards (it's a chosen, not targeted sacrifice effect), while Purge lets you clear out the best 4 or 5 creatures so you can just take over, Purge likes having access to some life gain, it's especially good with something like Sangromancer, but if you want life gain in Grixis it's hard to do better than Exquisite Blood, but I'm almost never unhappy with Mask of Griselbrand, I think that card is slept on somewhat in Commander.
If you do go with Kraum or some other beefy Commander for your deck, Agitator Ant is a pretty strong card, but you either need the biggest thing on board already or to be able to remove stuff as needed. Kraum having evasion means you'll usually be able to get in against someone, so +2 power is great, and you being Goaded wears off before your next attack step anyways, so it only matters if someone steals it I guess (at which point it can't attack you I suppose??), Agitator Ant also works with any super-evasive creatures, so if your deck has lots of Flying or Shadow it
Hope some of these ideas are helpful!
7 months ago
Love forced combat. Love dropping a Crescendo of War & pushing engine-to-endgame decks to consider a field presence midgame or watch as they realize how much life can matter again in these types of games. Forced combat is just another strategy that is opening up new avenues of playstyle, new tempo, new threat recognition. Other players that can't see the forest-for-the-trees with the strategy are the ones left complaining the most. I've seen vigilance heavy decks dominate goad games (vigilance...seriously!), lifegain decks dominate, tap/untap decks dominate. It is an easily circumvented strategy that scales well to whatever combat capabilities the opponents are fielding. It inherently brings importance back the the midgame aspect of the game & it can force chip damage to be an important factor in games, which I love because before I had this option I saw far less: midgame, chip damage matters games & more 90% alternate wincon games. I honestly couldn't give less of a crap when I "do not have a choice" on my combat, usually I planned on swinging anyway - as long as my beater isn't removed I'm happy. Even happier if I'm swinging a vigilant lifelinker - Agitator Ant that all day long.