Altered Ego

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pioneer Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Altered Ego

Creature — Shapeshifter

Altered Ego can't be countered.

You may have Altered Ego enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield, except it enters with X additional +1/+1 counters on it.

nbarry223 on Viga-BOOM!

9 months ago

It does, but it will often whiff with not enough lands in hand. Scapeshift helps get around this by finding bouncelands alongside Tolaria West to fill your hand up.

I don’t like Cultivator Colossus in general when you draw it, and thanks to Altered Ego it is outclassed by Primeval Titan at 2+ amulets anyway. However, Scapeshift serves as a better second copy when drawn into, so it sort of makes it worth playing in my opinion.

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it makes a “bad” card better. I want my threats to be around the same density as all the other parts of the combo to maximize chances of assembling it, so our beefy plant with no evasion that’s more costly and relies on other variables to even produce value is unfortunately a necessary evil currently. It can definitely go over the top of other decks, so it isn’t necessarily a bad card, but it is win-more-esque.

It may get cut in favor of the fourth copy of The One Ring or something along those lines, since I really do dislike the card.

nbarry223 on Viga-BOOM!

11 months ago

I don't know, 3 Azusa's is a bit much, you'd be surprised how often that legendary rule comes up. Even with 2, I saw the second copy more often than I wanted to. Dead / Gone also seems a bit strange instead of Dismember. Relying on an early red so much seems odd, especially since the 3 CMC of the split isn't even permanent removal. You're weakening your position against a multitude of decks to have a slightly better edge against things like Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines that are unable to be removed otherwise. If you are going for an off-color answer anyway, there's definitely better options. Sure you can still answer Magus of the Moon with it's front, but almost any form of creature removal kills that.

Anyway, Altered Ego sees play in quite a few top 8 decks already, just in their sideboards. It is a fetchable answer to Archon of Cruelty and an uncounterable threat you can dump excess mana into (you can also copy an opponent's hexproof/shroud creature if that ever comes up). However, I like it mainly because you can copy your own Primeval Titan to chain into 2 titans with a singular amulet (can still usually only haste 1) or pretty often 3+ titans with double amulet. Being able to make a second titan so easily is really nice, and it happens to help with 2 of the deck's weaknesses. In fact, it is so powerful, that it devalues Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion quite a bit, essentially making it unnecessary in a lot of situations you would lean on it otherwise - to the point where I cut the win-more card.

It is possible to play into removal with the clone, but you shouldn't be playing that aggressive against an unknown deck, decks where you suspect Solitude or an opponent with open mana for removal. Always play for an actual second Primeval Titan first before trying to copy against those types of decks. Playing into something you shouldn't is what I would call a misplay, not a bad card.

Atraxa, Grand Unifier is a bit situational, but it is similar to Cultivator Colossus in what it does for the deck. It's recently seen top 8 play (which is what inspired the recent changes), albeit alongside Dramatic Entrance to cheat it into play. Instead of that, I am playing Timeless Lotus which I feel has arguably more synergy with the deck and the way I want to play it (as more of a midrange deck). It is capable of fixing our mana to cast Atraxa, Grand Unifier, and we also have Eldritch Evolution or Scapeshift to bring it or the land dependant Cultivator Colossus into play, depending on which is best.

Elvish Reclaimer is admittedly a bit slow, but it does almost everything you could possibly want (albeit slightly worse than other options). If you are capable of paying an extra mana at some point in the game, it is worth it as turns go on, being a psuedo-extra land card, mana fixing, better Expedition Map which puts the target into play, or a decent sized body (can even threaten pumping it and never actually investing mana into it to deter attacks). Hell, you can even pact for it when missing a bounce and unable to pay for pact, using its ability in response, returning that bounce to hand) provided you can actually pay for the pact AFTER the ability resolves).

The inclusions make the deck far less linear and complicate the lines a lot more (because amulet titan isn't complicated enough already...) I'm not saying they are a strictly better upgrade, as I am trading a little bit of consistency for resilience/explosiveness.

That being said, I think just dismissing all of the changes as "bad" because it "isn't what the pros are doing" is a little laughable. Am I stretching the limits of the deck a little right now? Absolutely. Is every new card you've never seen in an amulet shell automatically bad? Absolutely not. We'd still be playing with Hive Mind if that was the case (never liked the concept of combo pieces which do nothing on their own - so glad people moved away from that archetype).

nbarry223 on Viga-BOOM!

11 months ago

What card in here is so bad, that it can't see play? Please educate me. I think you are just unaware of the overlap between certain card choices, and the "out of the box" concepts behind some of their inclusions.

For example, Scapeshift and Eldritch Evolution are both threats or ramp, depending on how they are used. Cultivator Colossus and Atraxa, Grand Unifier are both big creatures that create card advantage and draw into more threats, alongside Altered Ego which can copy either, or be a second Primeval Titan for cheaper after transmuting Tolaria West.

The reason most winning decks are basically the same is that it's easier to copy someone else's work than be innovative. I've had a few concepts within this particular deck before they ever made it into any top 8s or anything, but someone tried them out a few weeks later, and top 8'd with them.

Any synergies you are overly confused about, feel free to ask, but please don't try to tell me to copy paste a generic decklist, if that isn't something I want to do. There's quite a bit of flexroom in amulet titan, you don't even need Primeval Titan as the payoff card, it is just one of the most resilient and fast/consistent options. There's also multiple ways to count to 6, allowing multiple paths there.

Post constructive feedback, outlining what you disagree with in particular, don't just throw generic shade telling me to copy/paste a homogenized list.

nbarry223 on Viga-BOOM!

11 months ago

Yeah, I took it out when I removed Cultivator Colossus.

I found Cultivator Colossus to be underperforming in comparison to Altered Ego in all situations except a single amulet scenario.

With 2+ amulets, the inclusion of Altered Ego guarantees double Primeval Titan at 7 mana which is almost always better than a singular Cultivator Colossus.

Scapeshift is a solid card, but we have too many lands that become amulets, and no payoff card anymore that benefits from bouncing all our lands to hand. I wouldn’t say it doesn’t fit, just that I found better options.

nbarry223 on Viga-BOOM!

1 year ago

So I ended up cutting Cultivator Colossus because I found it underwhelming since adding Altered Ego in, for all situations except for when I cast Scapeshift. This has led to Scapeshift being a lot weaker than it used to be, since it isn't always a win on the spot type of card, like it used to be, without the Cultivator Colossus to find, which was almost guaranteed to draw into multiple threats. For now, I'll go up to 3 Explore, but I really liked having access to a powerful and flexible midrange card like Scapeshift, so I'll continue searching for potential replacements.

nbarry223 on Viga-BOOM!

1 year ago

Alright, I am pretty happy with this 75 now. I have an answer to most of the weaknesses I want to cover, and the deck is quite explosive. I am honestly surprised nobody is running Altered Ego or Tyrranax Rex since they do so much for the deck. Altered Ego is a cheaper second Primeval Titan, letting you get 2 titans at 7 mana instead of 9 by transmuting after the fetch, meaning you only need 1 extra mana with 2 Amulet of Vigor. It is also quite relevant to copy an opponent's Archon of Cruelty or any other major threat. Tyrranax Rex is just impossible for any interactive deck to interact with favorably, and it also gives us an out against "infinite" life gain, as a nice coincidence. Since it comes down swinging, it is a nicer control answer that something like Carnage Tyrant in my opinion, making it capable of slotting in the main instead of the side, since it is only a slight downgrade from Primeval Titan against a non-interactive deck.

Some other options in the main or side might look a little strange, but I've updated the deck description, so you should be able to see why I've chosen them. I honestly think these 75 are fairly ideal (you can tweak the sideboard a bit depending on meta obviously).

I've also been toying around with the idea of Nexus of Fate maindeck with the increase of mill matchups (maybe side, although I think Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is still slightly better for mill matchup). However, it only comes in foil so is considered a marked card (good job on that one Wizards...)

My main thought is that it almost invalidates the mill matchup, since it recycles itself and is a replacement effect, so it can't really be interacted with - hitting it with Tasha's Hideous Laughter is their only answer. This could potentially give me back the Emrakul, the Aeons Torn slot in the sideboard, and is honestly a solid hit for hideaway in any matchup as well. Not sure how I feel about drawing into it with no other threats, so I will have to playtest a bit and see if it is too much tradeoff, as it would probably swap in for the third Forest or second Boseiju, Who Endures, both of which I think are slightly better, if I am being honest.

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