Cerebral Vortex

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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
Penny Dreadful Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vintage Legal

Cerebral Vortex


Target player draws two cards, then Cerebral Vortex deals damage to that player equal to the number of cards they've drawn this turn.

Crow-Umbra on Your Cheap Obscure Overperformers?

3 weeks ago

I've really liked Pulse of the Grid in my Anhelo, the Painter deck. I was able to copy it and return it to hand about 2-3 times in a couple of games. I think it certainly has a place in any Blue decks that also want to play with their graveyards or have a discard subtheme.

I'm going to be testing out Cerebral Vortex in place of Pulse of the Grid, in Anhelo pretty soon. The potential to draw 2, take 2 damage, or draw 4, take 6 damage in a pinch seems okay, especially when people play stuff like Stinging Study. I am also interested in Cerebral Vortex's potential to punish an opponent for digging deep on draws, especially if copied. I have a certain Wheeling Xyris, the Writhing Storm deck in my meta in mind for this scenario

Artificer12 on Can I cast an instant …

1 year ago

An opponent has Vedalken Orrery in play, and at the end step before their turn, they flash out Gadwick, the Wizened, with X = 8 (This also applies to any other instant speed draw spell, this is just the scenario I was confronted with).

I have Cerebral Vortex in my hand, and would like to cast it targeting this opponent (It's a draw punish deck), but after Gadwick ETBs so that it deals the 8 damage from drawing those cards within the current turn .

Is there a second round of priority before the turn passes, but after Gadwick hits the field so that this is possible? Or does the turn end after the spell resolves?

wallisface on Izzet Sway Combo

1 year ago

Stolos Ahh yeah my bad - i missed that sway set life totals to 7. This combo does indeed feel a LOT more feasible to me now that i understand the actual interaction.

I still think aiming for a turn 6-8 win is a bur slow, especially when most modern decks aim for a turn 4-5 win, and even a lot of casual creature-based strategies will be able to beat you down before turn 7. Here are some thoughts on potential improvements:

  • The combo only realistically needs Cerebral Vortex, Sway, and Mana Seism, with 8 lands in play. I would suggest making the rest of the deck hard-control to stall out the game that long. Going to 25-26 lands, and including White as a 3rd colour, gives you a lot of hard-control options to buy you all the time you’d need to pull this off. Control thrives on dragging the game out long, so that feels like the best-bet.

  • To that end, i’d suggest adding Archmage's Charm, Counterspell, and Cryptic Command, as well as some draw packages like Opt or Serum Visions. White becomes useful for running Prismatic Ending, and a few copies of Teferi, Time Raveler.

  • A must, imo for this deck would be 2ish copies of Memory Deluge - this will help you assemble the combo pieces quickly late-game when you have enough lands to go-off.

The reason i’ve suggested going down the hard-control route is that your current plan leaves your opponent too much ability to do what they want - and for a slow deck that spells doom. The other option could be to add Green and try going for heavy-ramp, but that will leave your deck a lot more unreliable in its ability to complete the combo.

Stolos on Izzet Sway Combo

1 year ago

Hi wallisface! Thanks for your feedback!

However, I think you may have missed that fact that Sway of the Stars sets each player's life total to 7 as part of its effect. This means that a subsequent Cerebral Vortex would deal lethal damage. Alternatively, a Lightning Bolt and a Char would do the trick.

Mana Seism is indeed the main way this deck would cast a quick Sway of the Stars, and the aim would usually be cast it on turn 6 at the earliest or 7 or 8 more realistically. A turn 7 Seism puts you up to 12 mana, so two treasures or extra mana from Mage-Ring Network would give you the requisite 14 mana to be able to cast Sway and either Vortex or Bolt+Char. Also a Sway into Unexpected Windfall would give you a strong start in the "reset" game.

I will happily admit that, by the standards of a competitive Modern deck, this plan is still quite hard to pull off. The deck is supposed to be a Combo+Control deck, so the plan is really to stall out until you can combo off rather than accelerate the combo to an earlier turn. It is not designed to compete in competitive Modern tournaments, but if you do have any suggestions about how to make it stronger without completely losing sight of the deck's main plan, then I would still appreciate them.

wallisface on Izzet Sway Combo

1 year ago

Some thoughts:

  • i’m not sure how Sway of the Stars helps you combo-off and win the game - there’s no immediate wincon outside of just burning your opponent with spells. I get there is Cerebral Vortex, but that only gets you half-way there.

  • You have almost no ramp outside of a few treasures, and Mana Seism… but to cast just Mana Seism followed by Sway means you need 6 lands in play, which is already a very hard/impossible feat for any deck that isn’t ramping or playing control. And even if you do that, it leaves you with no mana left (outside of a few treasures?) to actually cast anything. (Note with 23 lands, you’ll draw your 6th land, on average, turn/draw 9).

  • Assuming you can generate the required mana to Sway into Cerebral Vortex, you’re still only around halfway there, and need to inflict 11 more damage before this point. You only have 14 other burn-spells, and you’ll need 3-4 cast before your big finale to secure the win. Which is going to require you’ve drawn through around 17 cards in your deck (10 after starting hand): that’s no small feat! It will generally require you surviving through 10 turns/draws, on average.

It just feels to me like this deck needs too much time to enact its plans, and in the meantime you have very few ways to stop your opponent completing theirs & winning.

mobizque on $45 Burning Hand

1 year ago

Hardhitta7, you're right. Opt would probably be more consistently competitive. Electrolyze is not worth the cmc.

Opt doesn't really thrill me though. I like a more interactive play style. You got me hunting out something better though.

Cerebral Vortex ! Backs up the Fevered Visions plan.

Strangelove on Storm Fury

2 years ago

+1 Mizuki_Minami!

+1 Crop Rotation... its cheap now! (I also think you should def play +1 Harrow)

+1 Impact Resonance... chunk.

+? Overblaze... more chunk.

+? Cerebral Vortex... maybe?

...more evasion!!!

+1 Lazotep Plating... this is so good!

+1 Sheltering Word... this is gonna gain you like 20+ life

+1 Simic Charm... yes plz

Refuse / Cooperate...

Insidious Will...

...Idk if you wanted to do this or not (it seems like you avoided Increasing Vengeance, etc.)... Idk if you feel like you need them, but just a heads up...

-1 Fling... because the sacrifice is a cost you can't throw Kalamax twice T.T

-1 Ravenous Gigantotherium... so fat... ur tokens step 2 so this is step 3... slow!

-3 Electrostatic Field/Guttersnipe/Murmuring Mystic... idk if I like these... you're not playing for pure storm and these don't trigger off copies.

-1 Hunting Pack... so fat... so slow? Also doesn't trigger off copies.

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