Archmage's Charm

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander 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
Penny Dreadful Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vintage Legal

Archmage's Charm

Instant

Choose one —

  • Counter target spell.
  • Target player draws two cards.
  • Gain control of target nonland permanent with converted cost/mana value1 or less.

zapyourtumor on Murky Waters

3 weeks ago

Think Twice definitely takes me back to an older era of modern when that card was playable lol. I still strongly think you should just go full dimir since you're already halfway there for the reasons I already outlined earlier, but I can also understand wanting to stay "mono blue". If you never want to go topdeck mode though, I think you should 100% cut the otherworldly gazes and trim down on FoN + thought scour.

I would 100% go 4th Archmage's Charm over Dismember, second best mono-blue counterspell in modern ATM (imo Drown in the Loch is a contender for second best outside of mono-blue).

Snapcaster mage is kind of slow, but I think he is still playable in these types of lists just because Snappy into Cryptic or Archmage's Charm etc feels so good. You probably need more lands to support him though since he's a very mana hungry card. Going up to 4 consider is very reasonable though, I think its a far better card than scour in this deck, hands down.

Surgical Extraction plays a slightly different role, and is definitely weaker than Ego against decks like Rhinos, Creativity, Grinding Station etc, especially since the deck runs no discard you need to counter/remove the cards before extracting them. If you need to stay mono blue, surgical is obviously the only one you can run, but in that case I would just replace it altogether with other sideboard cards in mono blue. For example, Invasive Surgery/Test of Talents for rhinos and creativity, Orvar, the All-Form for creativity, and you already have Pithing Needle for grinding station and stuff.

Dead_Blue_ on Murky Waters

3 weeks ago

I read your whole comment and appreciate the time you took for the write up. I really don’t want this to be a Dimir deck but I am planning to replace a few graves with Misty Rainforests

You’re not wrong in your assessments, having played Control as a secondary deck for years now I’m very familiar with almost all the cards you mentioned.

The thing you said about top decks, is why I used to have Think Twice in this deck over Consider… this deck pretty much never wants to go to top deck mode

Anyway instead of breaking down the pros and cons of the many viable cards you listed here’s where my head is at. I know Cryptic Command is too slow, I have barely ever cast it in any match up. I’ve been using it as a middle ground between the 4th copies of Dismember and Archmage's Charm I’m just not sure which I need the 4th copy of more since both have been all stars, what is your opinion?

Next on the table is Snapcaster Mage, it’s such a legacy card that it feels bad to want to cut it but I’ve seriously been thinking of dropping it in favor of 2x more Consider. What are your thoughts? Only thing that concerns me is cutting snap makes Unlicensed Hearse worst.

I think Unmoored Ego does need a sideboard slot, probably in place of Iymrith, Desert Doom which is only there for testing & flavor right now …do you think Surgical Extraction might be a better choice?

zapyourtumor on Murky Waters

3 weeks ago

Card Suggestions Show


I think the main decision you have to make with this deck is whether you want it to be a true control deck or a tempo deck. A true control deck would try to trade one for one and build card advantage before dropping a threat like Murktide or Jace or simply winning with Snappy beatdown. A tempo deck on the other hand would try to turbo out a quick Murktide and then protect that threat.

Mixing control and tempo is nothing new, and it sometimes works quite well. But because a lot of the cards from each type of deck don't necessarily go well together, you can sometimes end up in an awkward situation.

Here, you definitely have a mix of both types (which, I'd like to emphasize, is not necessarily bad). Archmage's Charm, Counterspell, Cryptic Command, Snapcaster Mage, Devastation Tide and Jace, the Mind Sculptor are all heavily control-flavored cards in your deck. They all either break even or generate card advantage, or massively stall out the game.

On the other hand, Force of Negation, Otherworldly Gaze, Thought Scour, Spell Pierce, and Subtlety are all tempo-flavored cards.

The problem with this combination in this deck is that half of your cards aim to turbo out a Murktide Regent as fast as possible with Otherworldly Gaze and Thought Scour and then protect it in the short term with cheap spells like Dismember, Force of Negation, Subtlety, and Spell Pierce. The main problems with these cards is that they are pretty terrible topdecks late game. Scour isn't too bad because it cantrips, but topdecking a Gaze when you really needed a counterspell or card advantage engine or a Murktide would probably feel terrible. And all the control-type cards aim to reach that stage of the game.

One example of a problem that arises when you try and combine these two archetypes is in the manabase. Tempo decks typically don't need many lands; depending on the deck's mana curve, we are generally looking at 19-20 lands, and occasionally even 18 or less. On the other hand, control decks almost always want at least 22-23 lands, sometimes up to 24-26 lands in order to reliably play their more expensive spells on curve like Archmage's Charm, Cryptic Command and Snapcaster Mage, and to also always have mana held up during their opponents turn for a reactive spell.

Of course, many cards fit very flexibly into both tempo and control decks, for example Counterspell is just so strong it works in both, while Consider being a cheap cantrip also fits into both types. So in my opinion one of the most important decisions you should make, if you want to make the deck more cohesive and just function smoother as a whole, is whether you want to lean more towards tempo or control.

Quick disclaimer: I think it is definitely possible to make the deck more competitive while keeping both tempo and control aspects; however you should probably then trim both the very slow control-leaning cards (Cryptic Command, Devastation Tide, Jace, the Mind Sculptor), and the cheap tempo-leaning cards (Otherworldly Gaze, Thought Scour, Force of Negation) and replace them with cards more towards the middle ground. The rest of the cards, like Archmage's Charm, Subtlety, Force of Negation, Spell Pierce, Dismember, and of course Murktide Regent are all flexible enough that they can slot into both types of decks.


The second important decision to make is what secondary color, if any, you want for your deck in order to complement the primary color (blue). The main issue with mono blue control is that you have very few ways to deal with resolved permanents, which is why most players typically splash white or black (or occasionally red). Blue only has access to bounce spells, which are decent in tempo decks but generally bad in control decks because they are card disadvantage (and also terrible late).

Here, I see you kind of "splashed" black, but your only maindeck spell with black pips uses phyrexian mana anyways, while the only black spell in your sideboard can be casted with only blue mana. In my opinion, since you already have black lands, I would commit fully to a UB manabase by including a few more fetches (U fetches since that's your main color) because it gives you access to a lot of strong options:

Drown in the Loch is a really good spell doubling as both removal and countermagic at only 2 cmc, and only gets stronger as the game goes on. Fatal Push is another great removal spell which is generally stronger than Dismember, although it needs at least around 7 fetches to show its full potential. You can also run discard like Inquisition of Kozilek, although that is more tempo/midrange-esque so it may not be a great fit for this deck. Black also gives you an actual boardwipe in the form of Damnation, which is definitely a lot stronger than something like Devastation Tide since it gets rid of the creatures permanently and indirectly generates CA by trading with multiple enemy creature cards. It also doesn't hit Jace. If you don't think you need it in the mainboard, it can be a great sideboard inclusion. Lastly you have access to some sideboard options like Unmoored Ego.

If all of the blue pip spells like Counterspell and Archmage's Charm have you worried about mana fixing issues, you can run the filter land Sunken Ruins which is great in these types of decks to ensure you can cast both BB and UUU spells.


Those two main points aside, I have a few other card suggestions I think could work well here, some of which lean more control and some which lean more tempo.

Ledger Shredder is a great card which leans a bit more towards tempo but unlike Gaze/Thought Scour it helps turbo out a Murktide while also growing into a significant threat itself.

Aether Gust and Mystical Dispute are decent color-specific sideboard cards.

Remand is a tempo-leaning card that is generally not great in pure control lists, but could be good here if you decide to stick to the turbo murktide strategy.

Spreading Seas is probably the best sideboard option mono-blue has against Urza's Saga.

Memory Deluge has a bit of antisynergy with Murktide, but a very good digging spell if you decide to go towards control.

Orvar, the All-Form is another great sideboard card which instantly turns the tables on any Creativity player thinking they auto won the game after cheating out an early Archon of Cruelty.


If you made it this far, thanks for reading all of my comments. I like the deck and I'm excited to see where you can take it in the future. Happy brewing!

wallisface on Question about cards that utilize …

1 month ago

9-lives just responding to your response - up to you what you want to do with my thoughts below.

  • the reason 80 cards is a an issue in trying to make a deck competitive is that it ruins any chance of consistency. In pretty-much every deck there will always be worse cards to have, and removing those bad cards for a more optimal 60-card-deck will always yield better results. Even if you’re not aiming for your deck to be top-tier, 60-cards will always be stronger than 80 - and if you’re looking to improve a deck the easiest thing to do is to cut it back to 60 cards.

  • on counterspells, people want countermagic to be efficient. There’s a reason all the most popular counter-magic in modern is 1-2 mana. Nobody plays any counter magic costing 3-4 mana unless it has some crazy benefits stapled to it (like Archmage's Charm). This becomes even more important later in the game, where an opponent could cast multiple important spells in a turn - if you only have the mana available to counter one of these spells, the others will get through. Mana efficiency is super important.

  • Harmonic Prodigy is potentially a fine build-around card, though the list currently doesn’t make a whole lot of use from it. However I stand by Spellweaver Eternal being really unhelpful/useless in this deck. By the glossary definition in the link Balaam__ provided above, this doesn’t even do anything remotely “Aikido”, so not sure what the theming is here.

I think if you are wanting to improve the deck, the obvious steps i’d be taking are:

  1. Cut back to 60 cards. Ditch the bad Planeswalkers.

  2. Get a better land ratio. A 60-card control deck wants at least 23-24 lands minimum.

  3. Play far less creatures. You can’t ever hope to control the board properly with such a large creature-base.

  4. Lean more-in on the Aikido theming where it matters, instead of playing a bunch of suboptimal cards for the sake of it. Stuff like Deflecting Palm can be a really potent threat when used well, but you’re watering down everything in a quagmire of “themed badstuff”. Its definitely possible to build a cheap & competitive deck aligned to an “Aikido” theme, but not the way you’re going about it.

Epidilius on Rubik’s Control

3 months ago

Most (basically all) the UW decks I see run 4x Archmage's Charm, how come you made the decision not to here?

Also, have you thought of going down to 2 TPB, moving them side, and running 4x Karn, the Great Creator instead?

Icbrgr on The One Drop Zoo

3 months ago

@Dragaan Great card choices!

Guttural Response vs Veil of Summer is a meta decision for people that contend with nonsense like Gifts Ungiven/Cryptic Command/Archmage's Charm... its more narrow of a card choice but because its a sideboard card when its brought in the hybrid mana of can enable the deck to still make aggressive plays while still having appropriate mana available to cast if applicable. I think for a lot of people Veil of summer is probably a better/more rounded choice though and I should definitely mention it and explain this in the primer.

Pelt Collector is another great option that I neglected to mention in my deck description which I will update later on. It feels so so so good to open with and would probably say it is generally a better choice than Kytheon, Hero of Akros  Flip; which frankly is a "win more" card when not just being a fancy Elite Vanguard. My only complaint about the card is that it can feel bad to topdeck but otherwise its outstanding!

TheOfficialCreator on Jeskai Mentor

3 months ago

Do you find it difficult to hit all your pips in this deck? Archmage's Charm sticks out in particular to me as a difficult spell to cast in the average game, inhibiting its effect as a quick and easy control card. I could be completely in the wrong though.

MrGuizee666 on Viability - mono blue wincons

5 months ago

Evening modern community!

I'm trying to put together a monoblue deck to play in modern league in MTGO and currently I don't think there's any win conditions for mono blue besides Murktide Regent. I can't afford buying 4 copies of that card, it's just too expensive. Other cards I can't afford are Archmage's Charm, Tasha's Hideous Laughter, Subtlety and Force of Negation. My deck consists of Baral, Chief of Compliance, Snapcaster Mage and Torrential Gearhulk to make spells like Cryptic Command and Time Stop cheaper or free. So far I've been thinking about the viability of these cards below as my win conditions, but I'm not sure if I should include them: Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Thassa's Oracle. I'm also including Narset, Parter of Veils and Ashiok, Dream Render for some utility. What do you guys think?

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