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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Blue Sun's Zenith
Target player draws X cards. Shuffle Blue Sun's Zenith into its owner's library.
3 weeks ago
Hey, thanks for all the upvotes at my decks.
Nice start for mono blue and interesting Commander who I don't see played much. You have 101 cards, Desolation Twin could be cut to make 100. It's a much worse Eldrazi then the others.
Your deck could be less price, it's not overpriced garbage, but you could cut the price in half and it would be just as good. Three of the most expensive price cards here are Blightsteel, Ulamog and Betrays, but without more protection, counterspells and some more haste these creatures can be subpar to cheat with Braids because they don't give you value unless they can attack. Each of these creatures is a must kill by opponents. If you don't get to attack the first turn you give your opponents an entire cycle of turns to find an answer which in multiplayer Commander is a lot time. Treasure Mage is another creature who can tutor for Blightsteel.
Consider some more lower mana cost hard counterspells such as Arcane Denial and some creatures who can protect such as Spellskite? Protecting Braids is not as important as protecting what you cheat onto the battlefield because opponents are getting value from Braids too. More one mana instant protection is helpful such as Stubborn Denial and Slip Out the Back which is phasing and it's powerful with Braids.
Swiftfoot Boots is a lesser Greaves, but still fine and wanted in blue that doesn't have haste options. Akroma's Memorial is more price, but it's a big artifact to cheat with Braids that helps to setup other big creatures since it gives haste as well as other attacking abilities. Might also want to play Tribute Mage because can tutor for Greaves.
If you play Blightsteel, Ulamog and Betrays also consider playing some big creatures who give you value without attacking such as Hullbreaker Horror and Tidespout Tyrant? Each are much less price and can pack a punch without attacking. With Braids you'll have mana open to cast spells after your upkeep, use this mana for protection while also getting value from each spell you cast.
Bounce the permanents that your opponents cheat with Braids because the first turns cycle opponents get to trigger Braids before you. Bounce your own clones to clone something else or them. Both of these creatures when you control two them can infinite combo with Sol Ring. Bounce your own creatures who draw to cast or cheat them to draw again. Bouncing Braids can be a smart strategy because sometimes you don't want to give opponents the upkeep trigger and maybe you don't need the trigger.
Phasing, when you can control when a creature phases out is a busted effect with Braids. Vanishing can repeatedly protect Braids if you need that or deny your opponents her trigger because of how phasing works, only phasing in at your untap step. With Vanishing you can phase out Braids at any time or after your upkeep trigger which skips all your opponents upkeeps. It also protects her from opponent's sorcery board wipes which are plentiful in multiplayer Commander. You don't have to phase out Braids, but having the option can be helpful and you can politic with it by letting one opponent have the upkeep trigger and skipping the rest.
A phased out creature also phases out all auras/equipment that's attached to it, Vanishing is protected from removal when Braids is phased out. Vodalian Illusionist can also repeatedly phase out Braids. Combine phase out with Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir to protect during your turn especially any hasty creatures you cheat with Braids. If you can get Teferi down before you cast Braids then you can flash Braids in before your upkeep to trigger her before your opponents.
Consider more draw especially from creatures such as Nezahal, Primal Tide or artifacts such as The Magic Mirror that Braids can cheat? Nezahal is Mystic Remora which is excellent in multiplayer Commander with a big body who can protect itself. With Mirror you can stack the upkeep triggers to draw before Braids trigger. Mulldrifter is a budget creature for draw who can also be easily cast and is a nice target to clone/create token or bounce.
Braids is a Wizard you could take advantage of some Wizard only effects such as Azami, Lady of Scrolls can repeatedly draw two cards by tapping her and Braids. Galecaster Colossus can repeatedly bounce two nonland permanents opponents cheated with Braids. Riptide Laboratory can repeatedly bounce Braids. Combine this effect with Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir to deny your opponents Braids triggers by flash cast her at last opponent's end step and then after your upkeep bounce her with Riptide. Teferi is also a Wizard.
Vedalken AEthermage can Wizardcycle to get any Wizard including Orvar, the All-Form who does count as a Wizard while in your library/hand/graveyard. Vodalian Illusionist is also a Wizard. Wizard's Retort is Counterspell with Braids.
I like the secondary strategy of cloning your own or opponents permanents and/or gaining control of your opponents permanents that they cheat with Braids. You could expand on this strategy with Agent of Treachery, who is more price, but he can gain control of any permanent. He's also not legendary making him an excellent clone/create token target since the more of him you have the easier to control three permanents you don't own to then repeatedly draw. He's a good target to bounce because you don't lose the permanent you gained control of. Clever Impersonator can clone any nonland permanent.
Instants with buyback that target such as Mind Games and Capsize are good with Orvar, the All-Form to repeatedly trigger it. Capsize can be a win condition when you create infinite blue mana which mono blue is quite good at doing. If you want go this route you wouldn't have to add very many cards. In fact Orvar + Peregrine Drake + any buyback instant that targets is a combo for infinite blue mana from Islands as well as infinite Drake tokens as a potential win condition.
Consider more ramp? You're playing a lot of high CMC spells that you're counting on Braids to cheat them, but if you don't control Braids then more ramp could help to cast these spells. More ramp can also help to be able to cast Braids and have mana up for instant interaction the turn you play her.
High Tide is a favorite of mono blue since it's only one mana and playing so many Islands. Caged Sun with or without Braids can help to repeatedly cast almost any spell. Combine Tide/Sun with a draw spell such as Pull from Tomorrow or Blue Sun's Zenith to draw a lot of cards at instant speed, giving you a lot of options of permanents to cheat with Braids.
Good luck with your deck.
1 month ago
So some suggestions would be:
Mystic Remora is also typically a fairly consistent source of draw for a short period of time
1 month ago
I really like the idea of non-combat infect!
I think it'd be much better to have a Chandra's Ignition than the Vraska. The ultimate is a pretty cute win but it's unrealistic to think it'll ultimate often, if ever, and all it takes is your opponents destroying your creatures to null the ultimate. Her plus does not do enough and her minus takes away from the ultimate while being slow.
Tezzeret's Gambit and Contentious Plan seem better than the sorcery card draw present (Read the Bones, Bitter Revelation, Concentrate), and any of the 3 mana X draw spells (like Commander's Insight, Blue Sun's Zenith) are going to be better than Mind Spring, with an interesting emphasis on Drown in Dreams since if you wanted you could mill yourself with Kess's ability to get back most anything you may want at some point. Might not be worth it like the other ones are, but definitely interesting.
1 month ago
Brainstealer Dragon is really good, I would add it back in, I've been running it in chainer and it has been surprisingly good. Elder Brain is also fun, I've been running it in Isshin and it has been hilarious. Looking at your maybeboard there is an argument for many of those to be added.
Up the amount of control, run maybe 5-7 counterspells. Probably need more draw as well, you could use the usual Ponder, Brainstorm, Preordain, and the like, as well as some stuff like Blue Sun's Zenith, Gadwick, the Wizened (it may same janky but can help your creatures push through after the draw effect), and Lim-Dul's Vault.
4 months ago
I picked up Kaalia. It is hard for me to find a table where i'm not instantly the biggest threat at the table, and that's not even for stuff that's "unfun" to play against. It's just how aggro she is. I don't even run land destruction outside Myojin of Infinite Rage and Obliterate, which i have to hard cast, since i like to keep it casual-ish. I don't misplay them though. I blow up lands once kaalia is out, so then i win in short order, and i'd only obliterate if i was also casting Boros Charm at the same time or had something to make at least kaalia indestructible so it wasn't just making the game an hour longer. I guess that's not hate. That's just fear. Sheoldred is more "hate" inspiring.
Well there you go. Vanilla 2/3. Useless. Dies to bolt. Will probably be a waste to swing into someone because in all likelihood by the time i've cast him they have something bigger because they're running a lot more creatures they intended to bring to combat. If i use him to block i will probably just lose him and i'll really only be prolonging the inevitable. Might as well build a flavor text deck at that point. That way i can get a vanilla 2/3 for a lower mana cost or maybe even a 3/3 or 4/4 for the same cost.
That's not in "the spirit of commander". It just shuts down my strategy with very few counterplay options on my part to re-enable my strategy. Same as iona. There are answers to her, even if youre playing a mono-color and she names that color. Spine of Ish Sah, right? Mycosynth Lattice makes her a vanilla 7/7. It's just shutting down your primary strategy, which ostensibly included casting spells of a certain color or colors like most MTG decks do. Against Iona you can still cast nevinyrrals disk or O stone still. She doesn't stop that, so it's not That big a problem. You could still cast your sol ring and ornithopter or solemn simulacrum or your ramp myr. Ramp into a big artifact creature like Blightsteel Colossus. You can still do that. You can still play with Iona out. Yeah you're gimped, but it's not over. You're not actually hard locked out of the game. Especially now that they have intro to annihilation and scour from existence. I was playing back in the day when those weren't even things. There's colorless creature removal so she doesn't actually lock you out.
Fair enough. If they just said "it's arbitrary", I'd accept it a lot more. I don't put up some of my decklists because they're basically the same as something else, just with some minor tweaks usually due to what cards i have available to me. The only one i've really considered adding is my kaalia deck. Not enough people believe in the power of Sunforger, and I have not seen one person running the Hilarious "Tap to win at the cost of a quarter of your life" combo that is Heartless Hidetsugu and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight.
I just wish the rules committee would choose to balance around competetive play all the time instead of only some of the time and then leave it up to casual players to decide what they don't want at their table, and be more consistent. Like why is it fine that Palinchron isn't banned but Paradox Engine is. With a few lands that can tap for 2 mana (Caged Sun), it can usually just turn into infinite mana right then and there. You cast palinchron, bounce it, recast over and over again, Blue Sun's Zenith yourself, draw every card in your deck. Put zenith back as the only card in your deck. Draw it with a draw spell you drew. blue sun's zenith someone else for infinite... rinse repeat.
Half their bans make sense. The other half just make the RC look like salty bad players.
5 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!
6 months ago
6 months ago
Thanks for your feedback! I threw this together to get an idea of how it would play against my group with the cards I have since I haven't built anything simic in a long time, however you're totally right. The main issue I had was with draw. Initially I was focused on the ETB trigger value but as I was playing I was thinking of other ways I could balance the deck out. I also think it might be good to add another wincon like Laboratory Maniac/Jace, Wielder of Mysteries + Blue Sun's Zenith was well. Simic Ascendancy almost won a game as well with the Scute Mob combo.
I'm certainly going to add a few of the cards you recommended (The Great Henge is a bit expensive for my blood right now) and fine-tune things.
Thanks again Hav0cD3m0n!