Armillary Sphere

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pauper Legal
Pauper Duel Commander Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vintage Legal

Armillary Sphere

Artifact

, , Sacrifice Armillary Sphere: Search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

estoner on I solved mana screw and …

1 month ago

My apologies, I'll elaborate. Artifacts should cost any kind of mana but be weak while colored spells are more powerful but harder to cast. The design space of most artifacts is negated by the existence of most spells that are colored but splashable.

Look at unplayable chaff Brainstone. In the current ruleset, you would never play a card that is just an overcosted jank version of a U instant. If the game used color screw as negative variance instead of manascrew, suddenly a control deck could run one or two as insurance in case they were drawing badly.

Cards that require heavy devotion SHOULD be more powerful. Look at Necropotence. I think all cards that take three or more pips should be pushed just as much as high CMC cards are, because then you have to balance ramp against your color access, making power levels a graph with both an X and Y axis instead of just an exponential curve that goes parabolic at 7, where any spell instantly wins the game.

I was testing variants of the manabase rules in paper. Obviously I couldn't play as both players AND record at the same time. I was just commenting on my observations.

Wastes is the best-designed card in the game. By incorporating it in the structure of the game as the default land, suddenly even drawing a basic Island feels like a relief. If I can just play fetches and 4x Trop, 4x U-sea, 4x Volcanic, why do we even have colors at all?

Choosing between land and nonland on draw when you have a 5-drop in hand you lack the colors for and you're losing on board is interesting. Do you gamble on hitting the the correct colored mana source from your manabase or just take a spell from your library you know you can cast?

Regarding Khans of Tarkir, you have to remember that most 3+ color lands either come in tapped or ping you like City of Brass. Colorless cards being easy to cast but weak while colored spells are sick but hard to cast is interesting, and that's how the game was meant to be played anyway.

Brimaz is a great example. No deck that runs Brimaz would ever be screwed off casting him because YOU WOULD BE PLAYING DUALS ANYWAY. And why would 3+c control want a 1CC potato that dies to Day of Judgment?

I still believe that color screw should replace mana screw and bad artifacts like Armillary Sphere should get another chance

multimedia on Umezawa of the Swamp

9 months ago

Hey, if you're looking for other potential cuts then look at the amount of removal you're playing. I count 19 removal sources including counterspells. That's a lot of removal and some of it could be cut for more draw and ramp.

Having a more balanced ratio of draw sources to ramp sources to removal can help gameplay. 10+-10-10 (draw-ramp-removal) is a good start. Overall more draw than the rest, with ramp sources potentially being less since on a budget there's not a lot of good ramp options in Dimir. More draw can replace some ramp since it can help to find lands. I don't consider Ecologist's Terrarium and Armillary Sphere ramp since these effects put basic land(s) into your hand not onto the battlefield. This effect is more draw than ramp and both of these could be cut for ramp, Terrarium is better card than Sphere.

The current ratio here of these three areas is 11-4-19 (draw-ramp-removal). Other than Nezahal, Primal Tide and bouncing Baleful Strix with ninjustu most of the rest of the draw is coming from one-time effects. One-time effects are fine, but repeatable effects are better. Number of ramp sources here is low. Prosperous Thief is in NEO set and it's good ramp for Ninjas since it also counts Rogues and many Rogues here are unblockable. It's two mana ninjutsu can be helpful for a potential turn two play after getting creature turn one.

Twisted Embrace, Essence Capture and Clawing Torment are some removal here that are worse than the rest. If you're getting Kaito Shizuki that's great, Twisted Embrace could be cut for him. Negate could replace another removal spell if you want to play it, it's better than Essence Capture, but If not I don't think you need it.

Guerric on Fish are friends

9 months ago

Hi Anabasis! Since you asked for some feedback on the list prior to committing, I'll comment here since I can link cards easily. Let's begin with the archetype you are going for here, how it plays out with Braids, Conjurer Adept, how to make it run a bit smoothly. The archetype for this deck is "group hug," which is a bit of a misunderstood archetype that has gotten unnecessary bad rep in the past. Basically, a group hug deck built properly is one that has effects which benefit everyone, but benefit the player the most. The idea is that there is little incentive to target the group hug player because they are giving free stuff, and the free stuff nonetheless keeps every player more competitive, which takes more pressure off of the group hug player, who is then ahead in the value race. The most iconic group hug commander, for example, is Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis. This commander lets every player either draw an extra card or play an extra land each end step, whereas the Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis player gets to do both. Oftentimes what makes game uneven are some players encountering ramp or draw problems, and this evens things out and keeps them competitive. Usually players won't target Kynaios and Tiro because it is benefitting them, and because it is not inherently threatening. Nonetheless, the Kynaios player is ahead in the value race, and usually plans to win with some sort of alternate win condition like Approach of the Second Sun. Braids, Conjurer Adept plays out similarly, in that every player benefits from Braids, but unlike your opponents your deck is built to exploit it, and you will have scarier things to cheat out than they will. The difference with this deck, however, and this is the critical part, is that your deck will be inherently threatenting. People will soon figure out that you are dropping scary things and have plenty of incentive to kill braids. What's worse is that the way Braids works inherently gives them added incentive to do so. The scariest words on the card are "at the beginning of each player's upkeep" are ones you will come to loathe if you don't build this right. These words mean that if you play Braids normally, each of your opponents will get to use Braids before you do. This is bad, because after three opponents have used it, the third could kill Braids before you ever get to use her. This is the nightmare that should ever be in your mind when planning or playing this deck, but if you are mindful of it, it can be overcome. So let's think first about Braids' abilities and how to best protect and exploit her to your benefit over your opponents.'

The first is to do lots and lots of what blue does best, namely, countering spells. Whereas Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis are a pillowfort group hug deck, you should think of your deck as a control group hug deck. Forget the crappy boardwipes like AEtherize and Aetherspouts. You probably included them because you've sensed they won't hit your board, but you'll find that smart players never attack with their most important pieces, and that they won't generally do what you want them to. Spectral Deluge and Whelming Wave are probably fine, but leave the rest out- you're better off just stopping things from happening to begin with than wiping a board that will probably be in your favor. Counterspells are good here for two reasons. First and foremost, they protect Braids from removal, which will be their most important duty. Beyond that, since you're getting a free permanent every turn, you have the luxury of holding your mana open, so you might as well have stuff to do with it! I'd think about playing up to ten different counterspells along with premium blue targeted removal like Reality Shift, Ravenform, etc.

Since the weakness of Braids is that our opponents' get to use her first if we cast her at sorcery speed, we might as well rewrite the script and try to play her at instant speed where feasible. Leyline of Anticipation and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir can help with this. You'll enjoy much more playing Braids on your opponent's end step and getting to use her first than the reverse. This will also aid and abet your counterspell game, in that if you don't need to counter anything you can cast other spells on your opponent's end step rather than wasting your mana. I see that you included these spells, but I wanted to make sure that you realize how critical they are to your game, and that if you can find more of this effect it will be worthwhile to include it.

A third implication is that, in the true spirit of group hug, you should get to use Braids more than your opponents. It's only fair after all! Therefore cards that copy triggered abilities like Strionic Resonator are at a premium here. Braids is far better if you get to use her twice and your opponents only get to use her once.

You also need to rework your ramp section entirely. The general rule of commanders and ramp applies here, namely, that you mostly want to play ramp that can get your commander out a turn early. This means one and two mana rocks primarily, unless it can get extra lands out. Dreamstone Hedron and Hedron Archive are traps and will make you cry. I know the theory is that you can play them for free with Braids, but keep in mind that they will never help you cast Braids. Also, they tend to be removal targets, and you'd probably be putting out something threatening over a mana rock anyway. Caged Sun is definitely worth it though because of the overall value, and because it will be worth it even to double your mana for one turn in order to cast a massive x-spell. Armillary Sphere is just bad here. Importantly, it is not a ramp spell since it doesn't put anything onto the battlefield. When people do play it, it is just for color fixing in multi-colored decks, and you don't need that. It'd be better to just play more card draw so that you can draw into your land drops normally. Sol Ring, Mind Stone, and Thought Vessel are fine, but you want to add Wayfarer's Bauble, Sky Diamond, and Coldsteel Heart at least. Sword of the Animist and Dowsing Dagger  Flip are also fabulously repeatable ramp that always makes me smile. Dreamscape Artist is also a sleeper blue card that can repeatedly ramp lands onto the battlefield which is often overlooked. You'll be far happy with these efficient options that can either get Braids out early or get her out on time with mana to spare for counterspells than with the big splashy cards.

Also, as far as card draw goes, I wouldn't take group hug to far here. You are already giving your opponents free permanents, and you are in the best card draw color and don't need their help in that. Personally I'd recommend skipping Kami of the Crescent Moon and the like entirely, and play more personal draw spells like Gadwick, the Wizened and Blue Sun's Zenith. Seriously. One advantage of Braids is that they will play spells for free and run out of stuff to cast, whereas you can keep drawing into it. If you help them out too much, you're just hurting yourself in the long run. I'd honestly replace all the reciprocal draw spells with spells which draw you cards. The only one that might be ok is Well of Ideas, but that one is benefiting you more and you first, so it fits the bill.

Some more cautions. While casting free haymakers is the reason for this deck, don't overdo it. You want to be able to afford to hard cast stuff sometimes, both in case Braids dies or just to amass more of a board presence. The power curve in magic has been getting lower in recent years, and there are many devastating spells that cost four and five mana, so don't sleep on those. Your average cmc here is 4.5, and while some high cmc haymakers are what you want, you also want lots of castable creatures.

I'm also not sure why we are playing the "creatures become every creature type" cards. Is this for better board wiping with Whelming Wave or synergy with Spawning Kraken? In my experience these synergies won't work out enough to justify the card slots, which might be better filled with counterspells or other creatures. Honestly, if I were to pick another theme to support this archetype I'd pick blink, since you doubling ETB counters can be great, but that's just me. Blinking is the sort of thing where you don't need to do a lot of it for it to be good.

A few other card choice matters. Reflections of Littjara only works on cast, so it won't copy creatures played with Braids. Definitely consider this before including a five mana enchantment that doesn't affect the board right away. Also, yes, absolutely play High Tide. It is so worth it in a mono-blue deck. Yes, Frozen Aether is amazing here. this is absolutely how to play group hug. Your opponents get free stuff, but it is only fair that you get to use your stuff first. Personally, I feel like Ominous Seas is one of the most overrated commander cards in recent years. It seems like you get a great rate on a vanilla 8/8, but often the enchantment will get blown up first, and it takes forever to come out. That's just my opinion thought.

One final thought, don't prejudice yourself too much in favor of sea monsters over against, say, eldrazi. I know the chase eldrazi are expensive, but Artisan of Kozilek is under one dollar in real world money and a wonderful thing to play with Braids, and to make copies of with your copy spells, and to give haste to with Crashing Drawbridge. You will have so much fun.

I think this will be a great deck and you have a lot of good ideas going here. I'd just refocus it a bit and then wreak some havoc!

IHATENAMES on Bounce and Ye Shall… Bounce?

10 months ago

Here are some ideas

Angel of the Ruins might be good. Late game Removal with plains cycle

Ambitious Farmhand  Flip tutors a land

Armillary Sphere works well 4 mana draw 2 lands and you have recursion already in the deck. Helps keep a lot more hands off this one card doing work.

Alms Collector staxy card draw

Knight of the White Orchid ramp

Loyal Warhound ramp

Wandering Archaic  Flip More powerful effect than it looks

Expedition Map land tutor

Ondu Inversion  Flip boardwipe that's a land

Emeria, The Sky Ruin recursion late game

Enduring Renewal recursion

Warping Wail multi use preferably counterspell for sorcery

Sigil of the New Dawn recursion

Some sac outlets like Altar of Dementia or Fanatical Devotion or Martyr's Cause

Perhaps Eldrazi Monument orAkroma's Memorial for evasion

Guardian of Faith protection

Field of the Dead tokens

Odric, Lunarch Marshal so you commander has double strike. Your tokens have vigilance. Some rando dorks have flying. It can easily be evasion/threatening in this deck.

Beyond that good Ole elesh norn grand celobite it a powerhouse

This is just a few ideas ramp =card draw kinda so adding more ramp may fix the card draw issue you were talking about.

multimedia on Pirates a'hoyyyyyyy

10 months ago

Hey, nice version, but where's Glint-Horn Buccaneer? I saw your deck in the featured decks ad.

You can improve on balancing card quality since you have some amazing cards here, but also quite a few lackluster ones that are much lower on power level compared to the others. An example is Scalding Tarn which is excellent, but not playing a dual land that Tarn can search for... Steam Vents could replace Izzet Guildgate and Volatile Fjord could replace Highland Lake. Other Izzet dual lands to add in place of some basic lands to improve color fixing from lands: Training Center, Cascade Bluffs, Sulfur Falls, Stormcarved Coast and Frostboil Snarl.

I don't think I've even seen Armillary Sphere in the same deck before that also has Mana Drain, Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, Jeweled Lotus, Dockside Extortionist, Goldspan Dragon, Jeska's Will and Urza's Saga. Sphere is really out of place power wise. Consider cutting Sphere for Arcane Signet? The Diamonds are also subpar, considering cutting both of them for Talisman of Creativity and Izzet Signet? These are not expensive changes, but can make a big improvements on ramp.

Another example of card quality balance are the counterspells. Mana Drain, Counterspell, Pact of Negation, Negate are great thus you don't also need to play Hornswoggle, Admiral's Order and even Lookout's Dispersal because these are not as good.


Some more one drop/two drop flying Pirates and unblockable Pirates can more easily trigger Malcolm and Breeches. Spectral Sailor, Warkite Marauder, Departed Deckhand could replace some higher mana cost Pirates such as Captain Ripley Vance, Deadeye Quartermaster, Prosperous Pirates and Sailor of Means. You have Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, Dockside Extortionist, Goldspan Dragon and Corsair Captain which are all excellent thus you don't really need to play other Pirates that create treasures when they ETB because those cards are not as good.

Wonder and Anger are powerful with Pirates, but they need help to get them into your graveyard because you don't want to ever cast them. Expanding with more loot can help to draw/discard them that also adds more draw to your deck. Faithless Looting, Windfall, Mask of Memory and Frantic Search could replace Mutiny, Hornswoggle, Dowsing Dagger  Flip and Admiral's Order. These changes are also not expensive and improve card quality.

Good luck with your deck.

multimedia on Kaalia's My Life(gain) with Dragons

1 year ago

Hey, what you have so far is fine with many good cards, but also quite a few cards that look out of place or could be replaced with better even budget options. I see that you're not finished yet with your first version since have only 18 lands as well as missing Command Tower.

I want to mention that if you want to gain life then a good way is playing flying Angels who have lifelink who you can cheat onto the battlefield with Kaalia or even cast. Gaining life from attacking Angels goes well with the overall game plan of cheating creatures onto the battlefield attacking.

After you add more lands to get 35-38 then also consider adding more ramp?

Cards such as Wanderer's Twig and Armillary Sphere are not ramp since they don't put the land you get onto the battlefield, it goes into your hand for a land drop. These types of cards are quite bad when there's actual mana rock ramp that could be added. Weathered Wayfarer also isn't ramp, but the difference is it can be a repeatable effect to get a land which is worth it from a one drop. A reason to add more ramp is as a backup plan to be able to cast high CMC creatures if and when Kaalia gets disrupted since don't count on having/controlling Kaalia all game.

I offer more advice. Good luck with your deck.

DespairFaction on Budget Equiptment

1 year ago

Hey, here are some changes I might recommend while still staying on a budget. Fist, for a voltron deck I would probably drop the creature count a little bit as 29 is a little high. For this build I would probably eye something around 22-25. Also your land count is very low, I would bring that up to about 36 lands with several ways to search for lands, that will allow you to have plenty of mana and cast the bigger stuff in your deck.

Next, I would cut some cards that seeming underwhelming. Those are: Auriok Edgewright Auriok Bladewarden Fireblade Charger Leonin Relic-Warder , Evra, Halcyon Witness Shimmer Myr Spikeshot Elder , Wayfarer's Bauble ill talk about this one below, Leonin Bola Neglected Heirloom  Flip Berserkers' Onslaught . So yeah once you know what to cut, it becomes very easy to make a bunch of additions.

Im not sure if you are married to the $50 budget, most of my suggestions here will be about $1 a piece but here's what I would add. First as mentioned we want better mana production, so you'll want Gift of Estates and Armillary Sphere over wayfarers bauble. In 700 games of commander, I've found that armillary sphere is just better than bauble for many reasons I wont go into right now. Fervent Champion , Sun Titan Kazuul's Toll Collector , 4 basic or flip lands, Flamekin Village Blackblade Reforged . Berserkers Onslaught can be a straight switch for True Conviction . Fleetfeather Sandals . Because your mana production is getting better, you can go just a little bigger on the top end of your deck. I might put 1 or 2 bigger equipments at the top end like Argentum Armor or maybe even a Scytheclaw . I would add Dismantling Wave and a Tome of Legends .

Here's some other very good cards on a budget that I might consider Forging the Tyrite Sword to cheap tutor, Ignite the Future excellent card draw Showdown of the Skalds also great card draw. Theres a whole package of cards you can use with Goblin Welder Goblin Engineer and Daretti, Scrap Savant and if you add those I would add a Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion . Because you have Toralf I might consider a few more red based board wipes like Chain Reaction or Magmaquake but i wouldnt say no to a Fumigate or a Rout either.

Anyway that should give you plenty to think about for now. Enjoy!

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