Cryptic Command

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Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy 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
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Cryptic Command


Choose two —

  • Counter target spell.
  • Return target permanent to its owner's hand.
  • Tap all creatures your opponents control.
  • Draw a card.

Rhadamanthus on what is modal?

3 months ago

A modal spell is a spell with an effect that says "Choose [some number] - [list of choices]" where you make the modal choices as you cast it. Spells like Simic Charm or Cryptic Command are modal spells. Aether Channeler has a triggered ability with a modal effect, but Aether Channeler itself as a spell is not modal because you don't make any modal choices as you cast it. Similarly, Umezawa's Jitte has an activated ability with a modal effect but the Jitte itself is not a modal spell and Jace, the Mind Sculptor has a bunch of different activated abilities but doesn't have anything modal about it.

wallisface on Dimir control modern

7 months ago

Mana cost-effectiveness is super important, and the difference between a 2-mana counterspell and a 3-mana one is astronomical. The only reason Archmage's Charm and Cryptic Command see any play is because they can do powerful effects instead-of/in-addition-to the countering… but no other counterspells above 2 mana are ever worth running.

Countering a trigger is super niche and unlikely to come up often enough (or be powerful enough) to ever justify costing an extra mana.

ASalesman on Unesh, Ultimate Guide (Tribal)

10 months ago

Minor Revision

  • Replaced Rewind with Unsummon. Rewind is expensive, and like Treachery it feels bad when it doesn't resolve. The main reason to include Rewind over another counterspell is that it can gain additional mana in combination with mana doublers. However this usually only happens when you counter your own spell which is not always ideal. Unsummon keeps the value train rolling baby. This mana cheap spell keeps the win con rolling. So it keeps the deck faster and more focused.
  • Replaced Cryptic Command with Mystical Tutor. Cryptic command is an expensive spell to hold up. With other recent additions making the deck fast, it is probably better to speed the deck up more and win the race to a wincon rather than defend against other wincons. This card will mostly end up fetching Rite of Replication, but it can also grab your only board wipe Cyclonic Rift, Ghostly Flicker for value, or a piece of interaction.
  • Replaced Swiftfoot Boots with Trickbind. Swiftfoot boots feels a little slow with the 1 cmc equip cost. It is easier to defend Unesh with some of the other additions like Unsubstantiate or Unsummon (these also defend against a boardwipe while the boots don't. Trickbind is included because it can stop a lot of cEDH combos that don't rely on spells resolving. This spell can also be tutored by recently added tutors Spellseeker and Mystical Tutor.

ASalesman on Unesh, Ultimate Guide (Tribal)

10 months ago

Thank you, that's an interesting take! You already know my reasoning for Cryptic Command. The reason I do like Rewind is not actually for the counterspell, but for mana generation. With Extraplanar Lens (or other mana doubling effect) on the field, a Universal Automaton (or other cheap spell) followed by Rewind countering Universal Automaton nets a nice chunk of mana. I will say though rewind does feel like one of the weaker cards in the deck now following all of the revisions. Definitely worth revisiting on my part.

ASalesman on Unesh, Ultimate Guide (Tribal)

11 months ago

GHoag, thank you very much for the compliment! A lot of time and effort went in to considering these changes. Also, thank you for your perspective, it is incredibly useful to talk through decisions more thoroughly.

I agree on Solemn Simulacrum. I think it is a pet card of mine that I need to let go of. I would much prefer to have faster ramp in this slot. 4 cmc feels like such a high cost every time. I'll have to do some math when considering Mox Opal. I am not sure how frequently it will be online in the early game, obviously it is still great in mid/late game though. I like the idea of throwing Metallic Mimic back in because of the low CMC. It helps with the beat down plan, and helps with getting more FoF's.

I am also still considering Cryptic Command as a possible cut. I think it's actually good because of the different modes, even at 4 cmc. It is a very versatile card. Unsubstantiate is an intersting proposal. In that vein we can also consider the 1 cmc Unsummon. I am hesitant on An Offer You Can't Refuse, because allowing another cEDH deck 2 more mana could be a big swing in their favor.

I think you might be right about Sea Gate Restoration  Flip. Having actual islands is important to the deck. I can understand why shutting off High Tide in the early game could be the difference between winning and losing. You can actually draw more than 7 without max hand size. My thoughts were if you hit that card during a big chain of sphinxes, you could draw many many cards. But at 7 CMC I think you definitely want to doing something else. Reward is not worth the risk here. The other thought I had, if it is in your discard when you cast Scholar of the Lost Trove, you could get great value by casting it for free. Then again, I think casting the artifacts/instants from your graveyard for free is more valuable. I'll likely put an Island back in this slot.

For the fetches, the main positive is deck thinning. My thought is, the biggest negative is that it makes all of your Islands more valuable during FoF's. If you make your islands TOO valuable, your opponent could starve you of lands on your FoF's. I might be overevaulating this threat right now, but I am not sure. I definitely need to play test this more.

Gidgetimer on Conjurer's Bauble with an invalid …

1 year ago

In post #4 wallisface says "nope" to the question "But if the text was separated on another line like Opt would the ability fizzle?" but then goes on to explain that the ability would fizzle.

For clarity, the ability does fizzle. If all targets are illegal when a spell or ability tries to resolve, it fizzles. There is no situation in which this isn't true.

Different iterations of paragraphs and sentences are used to conform to formatting. The point of MtG's formatting rules it to try to communicate what the card does clearly. The formatting has no rules implications at all. For example the change from Cryptic Command to Cryptic Command was just presentation and not functional.

ASalesman on Unesh, Ultimate Guide (Tribal)

1 year ago

GHoag ooooohh that is absolutely nasty and I love it. I never thought about that interaction before with Frantic Search and Narset's Reversal. And Narset's Reversal is a great card on it's own. You should absolutely make room for that card. There are a lot of things you could take out to make room. I nominate Cryptic Command to be replaced. I have been waffling on this card because it is slower, but sometimes the 'tap all an opponent's creatures' mode saves me from losing.

I am not particularly high on Lithoform Engine. It looks too slow at first glance. Caged Sun and Extraplanar Lens can also enable the combo and those have better general use cases. The combo also works with any card that untaps lands. On that front I have thought about slipping in a cheeky Palinchron every now and then.

Potvuurka on Jhoira of the GG no re

1 year ago

To remove any issues with your suspend cards being countered I would suggest running some counterspells. Preferably Spell Pierce, Miscast, Swan Song, Dispel. Since you don't have a way how to defend yourself I would play 8 of them at least in any combination. Perhaps Unsummon might be a good addition either at some point.

As someone suggested above Clockspinning, Jhoira's Timebug and Fury Charm are not good.

Cryptic Command is a great multipurpose thing.

For the lands, if you wish to stay budget you can use something like Shivan Reef, Swiftwater Cliffs. For the non budget of yourse Steam Vents and Scalding Tarn.

If you would use Unsummon or any other similiar effect cards, you might be interested in playing Braids, Conjurer Adept. She's slow but fun, and works without suspend.

Mainly, better threats for opponent. Something like Inkwell Leviathan, Pathrazer of Ulamog. Using suspend even Emrakul, the Aeons Torn could prove useful.

Then of course more your own card control / draw - Serum Visions, Opt, Fire / Ice

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