|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Printings View all
|Commander 2017 (C17)||Uncommon|
|Commander Anthology (CM1)||None|
|Duel Decks: Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis (DDR)||Uncommon|
|Commander 2015 (C15)||Uncommon|
|Eighth Edition (8ED)||Uncommon|
|Portal Three Kingdoms (PTK)||Rare|
Combos Browse all
You draw three cards and you lose 3 life.
Ambition's Cost Discussion
1 day ago
Final Parting might be good since you have a good reanimation suite.
Also, as a contoll-y deck, you should put down Torment of Hailfire and Insurrection in the Maybeboard for sure. Things like Comet Storm can be good finishers too. Vicious Shadows might be a win-con as well.
If you need extra pillow fort goodness there is always Koskun Falls . Wall of Shadows is like a worse Fog Bank but it can be a good blocker (along with Darksteel Myr , perhaps). There is also Queen Marchesa but the's quite expensive indeed. Silent Arbiter might be good too.
You might want to replace a single-target removal spell or two for boardwipes. I think you'll want an above-average number in a deck like this. Also, you're low on artifact and enchantment removal so perhaps Crush Contraband and others are worth considering for future updates. Cleansing Nova is dropping in price.
I'm trying to think of a reliable way to gain life but there aren't a ton of good, reliable life-gainers that don't rely on mass Lifelink or creatures in general (like Celestial Mantle or Loxodon Warhammer ) or aren't Exquisite Blood . Might not be necessary but it could be helpful in grinding out wins. I suppose playtesting will help.
Were it me, I'd switch Temple Bell out for Read the Bones or Ancient Craving / Ambition's Cost . That is, unless, you like the political stuff you can do with Temple Bell. It's definitely more political than Howling Mine .
3 days ago
While your commander draws cards for saccing creatures, it's only when he attacks so if your only other creature gets removed prior to combat, Greven sits on his thumbs so additional draw; Ambition's Cost , Ancient Craving and Night's Whisper to go along with Sign in Blood . Not sure if I'd keep Faithless Looting here unless going more reanimator style strategy.
2 weeks ago
Can't overestimate Moonlight Bargain , since it fills both your hand and your graveyard at instant speed.
Black also has a bunch of steady-draw effects, like Greed , Arguel's Blood Fast Flip, Erebos, God of the Dead , and the recent addition that I've liked a fair bit, (especially if you're going to be running sacrifice and reanimate tricks) Bloodtracker .
I'd also definitely recommend Harvester of Souls for your strategy, along with the red discard-draw spells like Faithless Looting , Tormenting Voice , Cathartic Reunion , etc. and the wheel effects like Reforge the Soul , Fateful Showdown , Wheel of Fate , Dark Deal etc.
4 weeks ago
These are all way better options than Phyrexian Arena , as you instantly get access to the cards and aren't depending on waiting for value or worst case Arena eating removal.
4 weeks ago
Right. Let's talk Stax.
Zur's Weirding : This is a hell of a card to consider when you have a general that gives you a lot of excess life. Being able to deny opponents any relevant spell is great, and because your opponents presumably don't have as reliable a source of life-gain, it is eventually going to be asymmetric-ish.
Xerox cards are good. Ponder and Preordain are both great cards, since they dig you to lands if you need them or past them if you don't. Brainstorm is especially good with a fetch land, and you run enough fetches to justify its inclusion.
Because you're facing so many opponents, one-for-ones are typically not enough to put you ahead in the game. Swords to Plowshares is one of the only one-for-ones I suggest in EDH (because of its absurd efficiency); I think you should include it. Oblation and Murder are probably not going to put you far enough ahead. I suggest running Supreme Verdict , Toxic Deluge , Wrath of God and friends. If you cut some of your creatures for more enchantment or non-creature artifact-based disruption, these will be especially powerful. If you make all your lands snow-covered, Dead of Winter is also an excellent boardwipe. Also, Cyclonic Rift .
In my Grand Arbiter Augustin IV deck I used to run Approach of the Second Sun as a win-condition... you might want to consider it. However, I think it is probably too slow and too expensive to be a reliable win condition. I think a better win condition would be Jace, Wielder of Mysteries . Planeswalkers are already really good in a stalemate, and Jace, Wielder of Mysteries can produce an insta-win if you resolve Demonic Consultation and name a card not in your deck. (Side Note: You get extra points if you name Atog , Singing Tree or Falling Star with your Demonic Consultation .)
In addition to Demonic Consultation , if you're smarter than me and have the requisite brain-power Doomsday can be a good way to end the game. As implied, I don't really know how to explain Doomsday decks and/or the best way to play them, but I've seen them go off and find it spectacular. Google 'Doomsday EDH Primer' -- I think the first one that comes up (a TappedOut link) is especially good.
As above mentioned, planeswalkers are busted in stalemates or when you have the game on lockdown. Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is a great card-draw engine that effectively costs three-mana, and he doubles as removal. Depending on whether you have ethical qualms about being a monster, he also produces a hard-lock on untapping when paired with Stasis . (Note that Smothering Tithe paired with Stasis also does this). Technically, this can be a win-condition; Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is capable of minus-ing on himself, preventing you from milling out, while you wait for your opponents to concede or draw their decks. Jace, the Mind Sculptor is another great card in a stalemate.
Ashiok, Dream Render and Narset, Parter of Veils are both extremely good in EDH. Narset is especially good if you can pair her with a Windfall , which you should also run. Teferi, Time Raveler is another sort of hate-piece, and I've been very impressed with him. Kaya, Orzhov Usurper can be good in the right meta, and her other incarnation, Kaya, Ghost Assassin is good in a much wider set of situations.
Tutors are a big part of making a good deck great. Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor are the best, but they're very expensive and therefore rather inaccessible. Lim-Dul's Vault , Dark Petition , Mastermind's Acquisition , Diabolic Tutor , Enlightened Tutor and Mystical Tutor are all good, too, and more affordable. Whir of Invention is a good way to utilize your artifacts to find whatever silver-bullet lock-piece you need.
If, as first mentioned in (6), you end up cutting some creatures, Night of Souls' Betrayal is a powerhouse against a lot of decks.
As you're in Stax, you're usually playing for the long-game. This means incremental value is extra important. Search for Azcanta Flip is a great way to improve the quality of your draws. Bitterblossom is excellent for producing blockers/small bodies to poke planeswalkers with, and it pairs REAL well with your Smokestack .
Mana-rocks are the best form of acceleration in your colors. Talisman of Progress , Talisman of Hierarchy , Talisman of Dominance and Dimir Signet are all worth adding, and Thought Vessel , Mind Stone , Prismatic Lens and Coldsteel Heart are all worth at least thinking about. Two-mana rocks are especially good if you pair them with an Ancient Tomb , which is another land to consider. Sol Ring , the best ramp in the game, should go in now. If you increase your artifact-count, you can also run Mox Opal in addition to your Mox Diamond .
You seem a little light on counter-magic. Mana Drain and Force of Will are the gold-standard here, but as such they cost a fortune. Other, more accessible counterspells include: Counterspell , Dovin's Veto , Negate , Dispel , Spell Snare , Spell Pierce , Flusterstorm , Swan Song , Delay , Remand and Cryptic Command .
If you choose to run more mana-acceleration, like those mentioned in (14), cards like Armageddon and Ravages of War can end games. This is perhaps the most brutal effect in EDH, but... you know. Is fun. Cataclysm is a powerful board wipe, though its effect extends past lands and therefore does not leave your board intact. So consider carefully.
I should mention Pox , as I see you're running Death Cloud . Pox is right up there with Armageddon in terms of brutality, though I haven't had as much luck with it -- costing triple black is a bit of a nuisance. I've had a better experience with Smallpox or just straight-up Liliana of the Veil .
I think Rule of Law is strictly better than Arcane Laboratory , as it cannot be killed with Pyroblast or Red Elemental Blast . In my experience, most red decks run at least one of those cards, and being able to dodge them if possible is a not-insignificant bonus.
Finally, the Words cards may be worth it. Words of Wind with Wall of Omens makes a three-mana-an-iteration loop that can, if you're in a favorable position, clean your opponents' boards. Words of Waste is usually good in Erebos, God of the Dead and other direct card-advantage generals' decks, but it may be worth including if you cast Oloro, Ageless Ascetic and draw with him often enough. It'll keep pressure on your opponents' hands real well.
Aright. Good luck man! Oloro was my first general, so I got a soft-spot.
1 month ago
Hello! So a lot of my suggestions will depend on budget/card access; since I don't know what yours is, I'll just leave all of the suggestions I think of. Feel free to ignore me.
The first thing I think of when I think of a 'demon' deck is Shadowborn Apostle . With a critical mass of these lil' buggers, you can just tutor out whichever demon is good for any given situation. Pair them with Thrumming Stone for instant fun. To take that strategy a little farther, you might consider running Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker as your general. I know he's not a demon, but his synergy with the Shadowborn Apostle s makes him an honorary demon, as far as I am concerned.
Ramp is a premium in EDH. I notice you have a few rocks already in your deck; however, I think there're better ones you can run. In general, two-mana mana-rocks are going to be a lot better than three-mana mana-rocks, if only because once you're at three mana you typically want to be doing more than just ramping. I like your Jet Medallion ; consider Thought Vessel , Mind Stone , Charcoal Diamond , Coldsteel Heart , Prismatic Lens , Mana Vault , Mox Diamond and Mana Crypt . With as many artifacts as you have, Mox Opal is usually going to be online, too.
Land-wise, I must confess confusion as to why you're running Command Tower . If I am not missing something, it's a Swamp that dies to Wasteland , Back to Basics , Blood Moon , Magus of the Moon , Ruination , Dust Bowl and friends. I think you should replace it with a basic Swamp . Temple of the False God is a land I have mixed feelings about, as it isn't exactly the sort of land you want to see in your opening seven; that being said, it can be powerful late-game. Consider Ancient Tomb , as (since it was reprinted recently) it is at a relatively low price, and it can cast two-mana mana-rocks on turn one. Additionally, in mono-black, Cabal Coffers and Cabal Stronghold are very powerful mana sources. Pairing them with Deserted Temple works pretty well, too. Consider Lake of the Dead , Shizo, Death's Storehouse and Phyrexian Tower as good utility-lands. Also, you could probably use two to four more lands in your list. Twenty-eight is pretty much were I tend to bottom out on land-count, at that's when I'm running all the zero-mana mana-rocks.
Card-draw, card-selection and tutoring are all also very important in EDH. Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor are the gold-standard for tutors, though their prices tend to make them rather inaccessible. Scheming Symmetry is a good tutor if your general is out; similarly, Maralen of the Mornsong seems... worth trying. Presumably, someone is going to take thirteen and kill her, but she's probably pretty good anyway. Diabolic Tutor , which I see you run, is a good option; Dark Petition , Mastermind's Acquisition and Beseech the Queen also come to mind. In the vein of card-draw, consider Night's Whisper , Ambition's Cost , Read the Bones , Phyrexian Arena , Twilight Prophet , Staff of Nin , Ancient Craving , Sign in Blood , Necropotence , Harvester of Souls , Null Profusion , Succumb to Temptation and friends. Graveborn Muse is good even as just a second Phyrexian Arena if you only have one zombie out. If you pair Waste Not with Words of Waste , you can also generate card-advantage. Almost as good as card-draw is preventing your opponents from drawing cards -- unfortunately, in mono-black this is pretty much just Chains of Mephistopheles , which costs about as much as a used kidney these days. Usually I'd suggest Narset, Parter of Veils or Spirit of the Labyrinth .
In terms of removal, you typically don't want to settle for one-for-ones. In EDH, you're generally facing three opponents, which means you're facing three times the number of creatures/threats that you would be facing in a one-v-one. So trading a card for just one creature is often times just not enough. I don't think Ob Nixilis's Cruelty or Unholy Hunger are very good, for that reason. You may have more luck with Ashes to Ashes , Toxic Deluge , Damnation and the like... perhaps even Hex , though keep in mind you'd need six targets on the field to even cast it. Decree of Pain , Overwhelming Forces , Mutilate and Rain of Daggers are also worth considering. Black also has access to some fun pox-style cards. Innocent Blood , Barter in Blood , Liliana's Triumph or Smallpox can all be powerful in the early-game, if you're ramping with artifacts and don't have any important creatures out yet. Similarly, I should mention Pox itself -- this is easily one of the most brutal cards to resolve in EDH, right behind Ravages of War , Armageddon and Cataclysm . I haven't had much luck with it, but depending on your meta Pox may be a powerhouse.
In the Stax/Pox vein, you might consider Night of Souls' Betrayal . Doing away with some of your X/1s would make this a powerhouse, and it is an insta-kill against elf- or goblin-decks. In the right meta, Yixlid Jailer is good; though bear in mind it's a straight nonbo with Night of Souls' Betrayal .
I see you're running Leyline of the Void . Consider pairing it with Helm of Obedience . If you activate Helm of Obedience targeting an opponent while Leyline of the Void is out, the mill from the helm will be replaced with exiling the card. Thus, Helm of Obedience just makes the opponent keep trying to put the top card of their deck into their graveyard and keep exiling it instead. This results in exiling your opponent's library, and leaving Helm of Obedience tapped on the field. This combo only takes out one opponent at a time, is sure to draw a lot of hate, and requires several tutors to make it consistent, but I figured you might be interested in it. If you're good at politics (I'm not), it can be a pretty powerful A-Bomb.
In mono-black, you should consider a reanimator package. Buried Alive or Entomb combined with Animate Dead , Reanimate , Necromancy , Victimize , Dance of the Dead or even Exhume can get a fatty on the table real fast. Entomb -ing Lord of the Void turn one and Reanimate -ing him turn two (or even turn one, if you run Dark Ritual or Lotus Petal ) seems pretty good to me. Whip of Erebos is also a form of permanent-based reanimation, which has the added bonus of gaining you life.
If you're having trouble killing opponents, consider Helm of the Host . This'll add a new threat to the board every turn, provided you can keep one on the table. Bloodchief Ascension also puts down one hell of a clock. Doom Whisperer , Herald of Anguish , Carnifex Demon and Desecration Demon are all additional demons to consider.
Finally, in terms of what to cut: Start by looking for inefficient cards or over-redundant/unnecessary/underwhelming effects. Keep an eye on those cards when you play, and if you're often seeing them, wishing you could just discard them and draw another card, that's a card you should cut. It might be a baller effect, but if the cost is too high or the effect to narrow, it isn't worth running.
Good luck, man!
1 month ago
First of all, thank you for including the budget in your deck description. It helps me to know what kinds of cards to suggest.
Swords to Plowshares is one of the few one-for-ones I think should be regularly run in EDH -- you should include it in this list. It is easily better than Path to Exile , as the ramp is significant in a format like EDH, where people are always trying to do big things. Ashes to Ashes is another good piece of removal, as it kills two things with one card; Kaya's Guile is similar. Despark is worth considering, if only because of its versatility.
Entomb is 7-odd dollars these days, and if you pair it with Animate Dead , Unburial Rites , Reanimate or Dance of the Dead you can cheat out a fatty like your Harvester of Souls or Sheoldred, Whispering One nice and early. Buried Alive is similar to Entomb . Consider an Ashen Rider or Grave Titan as other reanimation targets.
Caves of Koilos is a good enters-untapped land to consider, as is Isolated Chapel . Shambling Vent , Command Tower and possibly Godless Shrine or Silent Clearing are also worth considering. Speaking of lands, I think you're running too many. Thirty-three lands is generally about where you want to be -- thirty-eight is generally only appropriate in landfall-style, Azusa, Lost but Seeking -type decks. Including more mana-rocks like Mind Stone , Coldsteel Heart , the soon-to-come-out Arcane Signet , Fellwar Stone or Prismatic Lens is also worth considering.
Blind Obedience is a good way to slow down your opponents while providing a way to recoup life you pay to your Necropotence or similar. Blood Artist and Cruel Celebrant are also good cards in the vein of draining opponents.
Card advantage is a big deal in EDH. Phyrexian Arena is worth considering, even if it is a big expensive these days; Twilight Prophet is similar. Night's Whisper and Ambition's Cost are good one-shot draw-spells.
Dawn of Hope is worth considering, especially if you also choose to add Mentor of the Meek . Having tokens to sac with Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim 's abilities (especially the second one) is good. Which brings me to recursive creatures: Having creatures who return themselves to the board will make Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim that much stronger. Nether Traitor , Reassembling Skeleton and Bloodsoaked Champion are worth considering.
Mother of Runes is a good way to protect your creatures from spot-removal. Similarly, hatebears like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben , Vryn Wingmare , Glowrider , Aven Mindcensor or Leonin Arbiter . Smallpox is a card I really love in EDH, and its daddy Pox is worth a nod of consideration as well -- I do think Smallpox is the better of the two though.
If you choose to run Snow-Covered Plains and Snow-Covered Swamp s instead of regular basics, you can run Dead of Winter as a pretty powerful boardwipe that gets around Gaddock Teeg . Planar Cleansing is also worth consideration.
Fiend Hunter is an interesting card I thought of when I looked at this deck. Sac-ing him with the exile trigger on the stack makes the 'return to battlefield' resolve first, resulting in a permanent exile effect. This may be too marginal a synergy to include, but I figured it'd be worth at least mentioning.
Right. That's all from me, at least as far as I can think right now. Good luck with deck building!
2 months ago
Ambition's Cost occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.02%