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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
You draw three cards and you lose 3 life.
1 month ago
So your very first upkeep that she's out, you draw 5 cards and lose 5 life? That seems pretty unbalanced. Yes it is on par with cards such as Sign in Blood which trades 1 life per card (2 life, 2 cards). Other examples are Funeral Rites, Night's Whisper and Read the Bones. There's also the theme of 1 life per card when you move up into Ambition's Cost, Ancient Craving, Demonic Offering and Harrowing Journey.
So to suddenly shift it back to 5-for-5, then 6-for-6, then 7-for-7, then 8-for-8... that's where the overpowered nature comes from.
Add on lifelink, and there threat of losing the game is essentially nullified. Even if she is chump blocked, you still get 100% of your life back. So what's the problem? Well, the problem is that this trend breaks with Infernal Contract and Cruel Bargain.
Worse still is that with having vigilance, you can get the life even on blocking. With flying, the evasion makes her largely unstoppable in most games, and with the advent of deathtouch, suddenly she's nearly impossible to really handle in terms of just combat.
Add onto that 4 colors, you have a toolbox bigger than most decks.
I apologize if I sound like I am insulting the design and being mean about it. I understand my tone can come off as stern. I'm truly not meaning to; I am simply explaining where the unbalance exists.
What if, as a solution, you Scry X and lose X life where X is her power, then you draw 2 cards? Now you are basically filtering the top half of your library and grabbing exactly what you want, when you want it <3
1 month ago
5 months ago
@ KongMing: I've had Grisly Salvage in before, but the randomness of the 4 cards that i can't put in my hand is what bothered me about it. Usually those were some spells that i rather had in my hand instead of my graveyard. so i took it out. Sure, there are better card draw options than Ancient Craving out there, but it's what i had in my collection and i want to keep this kind of budgety
5 months ago
So, I think why your deck isn't ranking so high is a lot due to your having so many basic lands in the deck.
Aside from that, you have very few creatures in the deck, and many that you do have don't do things that other similar cards can do far better, or can't effectively be doubled by Isshin.
Take, for instance, Ankle Shanker. All of your creatures gaining deathtouch and first strike is cool and all, but doubling that with Isshin doesn't actually do anything. Focusing your deck to actually get double triggers that result in true doubling would increase your deck's effectiveness.
Other creatures you have, like Skyknight Vanguard, drop a single token creature. Two, with Isshin. However, a creature like Hero of Bladehold gives +1/+0 to all creatures, and drops 2x token creatures ... or, with Isshin, gives everything +2 power and drops 4 tokens. Yes, this creature costs like $9 to buy, but that's because it does great things and is far more efficient, not to mention it's lower mana cost, and that's how you a deck can be rated as more competitive.
It may help for you to possibly add more Samurai to your deck. It appears, with all the equipment and few creatures, that you want to attack in smaller numbers anyhow, and Samurai can help you benefit from that. You have Godo, Bandit Warlord, but the only samurai you have is your commander. Guys like Raiyuu, Storm's Edge might be more efficient for you (and he's cheap).
Personally, I'd try to find ways to fit in cards that would allow you to draw more, or at least some recursion.
If you'd like any other suggestions, or inspiration, please take a look at my own Isshin deck:
Commander / EDH
SCORE: 1 | 2 COMMENTS | 32 VIEWS | IN 1 FOLDER
6 months ago
Hey Eldmoi, thanks for the info. There's a quite a bit I would recommend optimizing. The long story short is that most of the dragons I'd recommend are already on my budget primer that you've seen and my super budget deck list that was part of the primer but is also available here if you're interested here.
First of all, you need to make sure your deck has a decent amount of ramp to cast your awesome dragons within a reasonable amount of time. If you are on a budget then I'd recommend Cultivate, Kodama's Reach, and Sakura-Tribe Elder at the very least. Other options for cheap ramp are Farseek, Wild Growth, and Fertile Ground. If you want to further optimize ramp, then adding in Nature's Lore and Three Visits on top of some forest based shock lands (e.g. Stomping Ground or triomes (e.g. Ziatora's Proving Ground would be ideal.
Second, you want to optimize your mana base by minimizing the number of taplands and ensuring you have the colors you need. Any tap lands that tap for only 2 colors (e.g. guild gates) could safely be dropped for basic lands. Tri-lands like you mentioned are decent enough to start off, because they can tap for 3 colors, but even those are suboptimal in the face of options like Dragonskull Summit and Blood Crypt. Furthermore, almost 50% of your deck requires red mana, so I'd ensure your lands reflects that.
Some things off the top of my head for instants and sorceries: I would consider Crucible of Fire to be a win more card. Lozhan, Dragons' Legacy is almost a strictly better Sarkhan's Unsealing. Damn and Farewell are really good board wipes that aren't as mana intensive as some you're running. Garruk's Uprising is a very potent form of card draw. Monster Manual is probably better than Thran Temporal Gateway in most cases.
Finally the dragons. There are so many good dragons to consider, many of which I've mentioned in my deck primer, and many of which are available on most dragon lists online, that I'll focus on highlighting dragons I would recommend removing:
Acid-Spewer Dragon - Overcosted and doesn't do much. Deathtouch isn't as useful on a dragon that should be big enough to kill most thing it hits in the first place.
Backdraft Hellkite - Most instant and sorceries you have are too expensive or are simply aren't as immediately useful (e.g. don't want to board wipe your own dragons). The most useful ones you run are removal, but at that point you can just play dragons that can inherently remove things like Steel Hellkite.
Crosis, the Purger - Hard to save mana to take advantage of its effect. It'll feel bad to take advantage of its effect in casual metas anyways. If you really want to run a dragon like this then Teneb, the Harvester might be more fitting but even then I wouldn't really recommend it, because of the mana investment needed to make it work.
Dragonmaster Outcast - Not a good early game play and easy to kill later on.
Kargan Dragonlord - Costs too much to do too little. We have so many dragon options, even in budget decks, that vanilla dragons simply aren't worth it.
Malfegor - Discarding our hand isn't good to do unless it involves redrawing more cards (e.g. Knollspine Dragon).
Necromaster Dragon - Summoning vanilla 2/2 zombie tokens for 2 mana isn't good value in a dragon deck, and you have to go through combat to get it off. In a world where Ancient Gold Dragon exists, it's hard to justify an effect like this. Dragon Broodmother and Lathliss, Dragon Queen and Miirym, Sentinel Wyrm would be far more effective token generators.
There's always more we could do to optimize any deck, including mine for sure, so I'd be happy to comment more later if you'd like. But I also want to emphasize that as long as you and your playgroup are having fun, you really can't go wrong :)
8 months ago
To address your general speed problem, you are running 33 lands and 6 ramp with an average CMC of 3.57. This is entirely too mana light in my opinion. In my Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons deck I also run 33 lands, but have 11 ramp and an average CMC of 3.10. The ramp that I run that isn't in here is: Birds of Paradise, Devoted Druid, Llanowar Elves, Golgari Signet, Three Visits, Nature's Lore, and Wild Growth. Farseek always puts the land in tapped, so I run Three Visits and Nature's Lore over it since they grab the same duals. I'm not sure why I don't have STE in my list, though it runs well enough that I am not looking for more ramp. Since your average CMC is higher you may want to go with 13 ramp and just keep the ones you have and add all 5 of the additions.
To help with having sac fodder you are going to want creatures that recur themselves. You already have Reassembling Skeleton, but undying and persist would also let you recycle creatures for multiple activations. Puppeteer Clique, Rendclaw Trow, Woodfall Primus, Young Wolf, Strangleroot Geist, Geralf's Messenger, and Butcher Ghoul are all fine includes in a deck that wants to kill off it's own creatures in some way. Mikaeus, the Unhallowed will also grant all of your non-human creatures undying.
Burst card draw can be achieved with the black cards for life sorceries (Night's Whisper, Sign in Blood, Read the Bones, Ancient Craving). You can sustain card draw with Smothering Abomination, Phyrexian Arena, Skullclamp and Necropotence.
The following topics will help improve the deck in terms of pure strength, but may not be how you or your playgroup is wanting to play magic. Everyone's idea of fun is different, so I am going to include the suggestions in case they are something that both you and your group find acceptable.
Above some cards were mentioned that have the possibility to combo with cards already in the deck or with each other. Each card however is good in its own right and does not have to be used in the combos. If you are willing to go combo with the deck I will further explain these and also add some other cards specifically for the purpose of combos.
Yawgmoth and two undying creatures create a loop where you sacrifice the undying creatures in order to put -1/-1 counters on each other. It costs a life per iteration, but would give you the death triggers for your commander and for Gutter Grime. Adding in Blood Artist, Zulaport Cutthroat, or other similar effects gains you the life back and turns the loop into a win condition.
Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and any of the persist creatures allow for infinite sacrifice loops as the creature will come back with alternating +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters. Walking Ballista and Triskelion combo with Mikaeus and allow for infinite damage loops, in the case of Ballista you need a sacrifice outlet though. Things that enter with -1/-1 counters or that allow you to remove their +1/+1 counters for other reasons will also have similar interactions without the infinite damage.
With Devoted Druid you can add in Quillspike for shenanigans with infinite power Quillspike via tapping for green, untapping by putting a -1/-1 counter, adding power by paying green and removing the -1/-1 counter. This can be done with necrotic ooze as a 1-card combo if both pieces are in your graveyard. You can also get infinite death triggers by repeatedly killing Devoted Druid with Mikaeus out by activating the untap ability when she is not tapped.
Instead of card number advantage from drawing you could get card quality advantage from tutoring. In Golgari you have access to the best creature tutors and the best all around tutors available. Eldritch Evolution, Green Sun's Zenith, Worldly Tutor, and Finale of Devastation for creatures. Vampiric Tutor, Demonic Tutor, and Grim Tutor for all around.
10 months ago
Hey, me again! I really like Breena, the Demagogue's premise. I want to build her in the future, since I'm cultivating a combat metagame. But I have some ideas that can make your deck funnier and stronger:
I imagine you're trying to keep the idea of giving gifts to your opponents for them to killing each other, while reaping benefits to you.
One way is to force combat. You might want to put Martial Impetus and Parasitic Impetus back to deflect attacks and get draws off Breena. (Too bad goad is a blue-red thing - come on Wizards, give us on other colors). Otherwise, they buff Breena to hit harder.
Another thing you should consider is protection for your creatures:
- Sejiri Shelter Flip and Malakir Rebirth Flip can be slotted as lands.
- Lightning Greaves, Swiftfoot Boots, Whispersilk Cloak, Darksteel Plate and Hammer of Nazahn are great utility artifacts.
- Timely Ward has flash.
- Dawn Charm doubles as a fog.
- Valorous Stance doubles as a removal spell.
How about protection to you?
- No Mercy, Dread, Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker and Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts deter attackers.
- Koskun Falls is a second Ghostly Prison if you can pay its upkeep cost. Solitary Confinement is even more efficient, as long as you can keep up with its cost.
- No one will mess with you again once you cast Hellish Rebuke. Darien, King of Kjeldor also shows them why attacking you is not advisable.
- If you prefer the way of taxing opponents, Sphere of Safety synergize with your other pillowfort enchantments.
- You run a lot of permanents that might die. How about getting them back with Sun Titan or Emeria Shepherd?
- Mistveil Plains has good synergy with tutors.
- Liesa, Forgotten Archangel also acts as graveyard hate.
About card draw:
- Breena costs 3 mana and it is easy to recast, but you can't rely on your opponents wanting (or being able) to attack each other. Sign in Blood, Night's Whisper, Read the Bones, Treacherous Blessing, War Room and Castle Locthwain can be great options (it is good to lower your life total to trigger Breena). Erebos, God of the Dead can also act as a blocker and life-gain hater.
- Skullclamp is good if you can reliably generate X/1 tokens.
- Syphon Mind is a favorite of mine.
- Mangara, the Diplomat... The name says it all. #bffBreena
- Shadrix Silverquill is not only on-theme, but on-school aswell.
- Endless Atlas and Dread Presence require many basic lands.
- The cards above can replace Ambition's Cost, Ancient Craving and Secret Rendezvous (if they want free cards, may they attack each other).
About your ramp:
- I see you run cards that ramp you if an opponent has more lands than you, a la Knight of the White Orchid. Your Lotus Field is great for setting that up. You might also consider putting Orzhov Basilica back for the same effect.
- Loyal Warhound, Verge Rangers, Weathered Wayfarer, Archaeomancer's Map and Isolated Watchtower also capitalize on opponents ramping. I recommend replacing Boreas Charger (if you can't kill it easily), Scholarship Sponsor (not advisable to give ramp AND card draw to your opponents) and Oreskos Explorer (it is better to get lands on the battlefield instead of on hand, unless it is an unrestricted tutor like Weathered Wayfarer).
- If you ramp using the cards above, you will have a lot of Plains on the battlefield. Emeria, The Sky Ruin is free recursion on a land - enjoy ;-)
- You might also consider Fellwar Stone and Dowsing Dagger Flip as ramp options. Breena has flying, so it is easy to transform the artifact.
Sorry for not commenting on your whole deck. Since I have not played her myself, I could only suggest more general things. I hope the suggestions have inspired you somehow. As always, have fun with the Demagogue!