Return target nonland permanent you don't control to its owner's hand.
Overload (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")
|Have (2)||, metalmagic|
|Want (22)||MsPickletonIII , letter , Supercomet , cheesecrackr , gradstudent , BasedNorseman , Eurotrash , kukuminer , Nurarihyon , EKTurduckin , Krash343 , temote , slashcamp , Ozurot , elifosl , Pyrezz , MisterFamous , AmuroRei , aalsasa1 , henk3000 , buzzwulf , Miv-Nizzet|
Printings View all
|Modern Masters 2017 Edition (MM3)||Rare|
|Commander 2014 (C14)||Rare|
|Return to Ravnica (RTR)||Rare|
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Cyclonic Rift occurrence in decks from the last year
All decks: 0.04%
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.33%
GU (Simic): 1.73%
UB (Dimir): 2.67%
WU (Azorius): 2.85%
UR (Izzet): 1.7%
WUB (Esper): 1.54%
RUG (Temur): 2.89%
UBR (Grixis): 1.58%
GWU (Bant): 1.45%
BUG (Sultai): 1.5%
Latest Decks as Commander
Cyclonic Rift Discussion
3 days ago
Have ya thought of adding in some of these fun cards for shenanigans?
Maybe add in these cards as well to help with the ramp, tutoring, or just general value!
- Dockside Extortionist
- Thassa, God of the Sea
- Cyclonic Rift
- Soul's Fire
- Chandra's Ignition
- Lightning Greaves
- Fellwar Stone
Hope that helps!
5 days ago
That's what I was leaning toward, Dylan. Here's why:
Between all 10 Guild Signets, Arcane Signet and Fellwar Stone I have access to 12 stones that produce a wide array of colors. Now I could add in Coldsteel Heart, but this enters tapped and only allows me one color, so I'd rather not limit myself so heavily. There are about 10 or so lands I have identified that can also produce any color mana with little downside, on top of the 10 shocks and 10 fetches.
So I think I can build a robust enough mana base to pay for a 10cmc Commander relatively quick. What'd I'd need from to speed things up is draw.
Draw is the single most important aspect of this deck, because without it I'd eventually run out of cards in hand. So, for the purposes of this deck, I think high-impact draw spells such as Sphinx's Revelation are actually well worth it. There is, of course, Karametra, God of Harvests but unfortunately she seeks out basics. Between 10 shocks, 10 fetches and 10 that produce all colors, I already have 30 lands accounted for. If I go even just two of each basic, that's 40 lands in a 99 card library.
Add on top of this the 12 stones I've mentioned and I have a staggering 52 mana-producing cards, leaving me just 37 of them left available to me.
If I put in 25 Gods, this means I will be on average drawing a God every 3rd - 4th turn. This however leaves me with a mere 12 cards left to work around.
This is where the difficult part comes into play; Between the shocks and fetches, that's a staggering 30 life that could be paid into them over the course of a full game. So, naturally I'd want some cards to regain said life.
I want to plan for wraths, as with my Gods being Indestructible I want to blow up the battlefield and reset the game, allowing me openings to swing in for the win. I feel that in order to appropriately push this, I'd want at minimum 5 wraths or wrath-like effects. I think I have settled upon:
This leaves me with just three cards for draw. Bare in mind, Sphinx's Revelation is already listed and Karametra, God of Harvests effectively acts like draw. Something I think a lot of players miss is that there is a difference between draw and card advantage. What Karametra, God of Harvests does is give you card advantage by putting additional cards onto the battlefield. For each 1 creature you pay, you get an additional land for free. This means you remove a card from your deck, thereby increasing the percentages and chances of drawing into something better.
The same is true for fetch lands - Using one land to take another land out of your library is effectively removing 2 cards, meaning you improve percentages.
Between Sphinx's Revelation, Karametra, God of Harvests, Keranos, God of Storms and Ephara, God of the Polis there's a decent amount going on. There's also The Scarab God who I can use as an exile effect against graveyards to give me more bodies on the field, which in turn translates to scrying. The Locust God also works for draw, as well. So that's six already named in the base set. I still have 3 cards left to build into the +99.
Blue Sun's Zenith is an obvious must-have as it ensures replayability. With the insane density of mana in this deck, I'd be stupid to not play it.
I honestly feel Thopter Spy Network is a good choice as well, because not only does it give me 1/1 flyers as chump blockers while I wait on devotion to kick in, it also gives me card advantage when they deal combat damage. I think many players overlook the second ability on this card, as it rarely sees any play in any deck out there.
Finally, I think I rather enjoy the idea of Alhammarret's Archive. It gives me a guaranteed 2nd card per draw, gives me additional resources with all of the above-mentioned draw worked in by the Gods, doubles up all of the X-draw factors, and really helps me push forward the regaining of life.
Now I obviously don't "need" to run 25 Gods, however I want to ensure I am always able to put pressure on the boardstate.
So, for now, that's where I'm sitting. It's about shifting resources and honing in the design to make it both faster and more aggressive.
I know it won't be on par with Ur-Draogn, Scion, Jodah or some of the other more robust 5c Commanders out there, however it's a unique and fun design that's honestly really difficult to stop.
That's why I've settled on Progenitus. He's harder to get out at first, but he damn-near instantly turns all Gods into viable creatures. Morophon, the Boundless still needs to wait to turn them all on, and it could be several turns before any one of them come online.
Having said everything I did in here, the truth is I am building this deck as an excuse.
I really wanted the Stargazer Secret Lair pack so I bought it. I am in love with the artwork and the idea of it just felt so natural to me.
One of the biggest hurdles I've had getting into EDH more is the mana base. The lands in any deck, as we all know, can easily double the cost of it. So, I came to terms and bought all 10 shocks and all 10 fetches. Doing so set me back $430, but now it's a hurdle I no longer face. I can now build stronger mana bases and, therefore, play the game more confidently.
So since I have the Gods from Stargazer and I have the 20 lands, I figured why not combine them into something special and I can just move the lands into whatever deck I need later on.
2 weeks ago
I would cut the following:
Kami of the Crescent Moon, Dictate of Kruphix - Both of these are traps. They seem like they should be good with Nekusar, but, in actuality, will probably get you killed. They add no damage for themselves, so, if you cannot keep Nekusar or Spiteful Visions fielded, they are just pure card advantage to your collective opponents. Yes, each player is getting only a single draw, but you have to look at them as a whole unit--in a four-person pod, you get 1 chance to draw a card you need to win; but you're giving up 3 chances that someone will draw the card they need to stop you. Without built-in damage effects, they are simply not worth it. Likewise, I must disagree with TheOtherHand's suggestion of Howling Mine and Underworld Dreams.
Forced Fruition - much the same problem. Often this means they cast their piece of removal, draw 7, then combo out and win the game that turn.
Here are some things I would recommend adding:
I agree, partly, with TheOtherHand's suggestion on running more wheels. Wheels are the bread and butter of Teferi, allowing you to crank out significant amounts of damage. Howeverm Day's Undoing does not work with Nekusar. When Day's Undoing ends the turn, it also exiles all spells and abilities on the stack--that includes Nekusar's damage triggers. So, by using it, you just caused everyone to draw 7 cards, without actually taking any damage.
I would also add Teferi's Puzzle Box to the list of wheels worth adding. It can disrupt direct-to-and tutors and also does not provide actual card advantage. The repeatable wheel effect can get brutal very quickly. Dark Deal, Molten Psyche, Reforge the Soul, Whispering Madness, and Winds of Change are some other wheel effects not already mentioned.
You should also include more artifact ramp, such as Sol Ring and the talismans and signets.
Curiosity allows you to go near-infinite (can keep combo up until you run out of cards) with Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and is a solid choice to put on Nekusar as well. Helm of the Ghastlord also combos with Niv, and has the added advantage on Nekusar of forcing them to discard any card they draw, locking them into just playing instant-speed spells.
Hope some of that helps!
2 weeks ago
I don't think Teferi is legal here. But I think you should play every wheel effect you can get your hands on. Wheel of Fortune and Windfall for sure. Day's Undoing would be as good since ending the turn doesn't matter if opponents are losing on the spot to it. Howling Mine , Underworld Dreams and all their clones do very well for me. You're playing Islands so Cyclonic Rift belongs. I also like Evacuation if you don't kind resetting your board as well. Just the first couple of ideas that came to mind.
2 weeks ago
So, I don't see any of the normal Nekusar cards here, and if you don't mind, could you explain why? Haha. Dictate of Kruphix, Font of Mythos, Temple Bell, Howling Mine, Teferi's Puzzle Box, Kami of the Crescent Moon, Spiteful Visions, even Anvil of Bogardan, or Forced Fruition.
You may also consider running a few board wipes at least. Vandalblast is quite good. Cyclonic Rift is amazing if you have one, they are a little pricey. Toxic Deluge, Damnation, even things such as Crux of Fate or Decree of Pain would be better than having no way to deal with a massive board state.
Lightning Greaves, Swiftfoot Boots, and Whispersilk Cloak are all excellent options for protecting Nekusar or other key pieces of your board as well. Just make sure you give him Shroud after you equip or enchant him if you're wanting to do so.
Sorry for the paragraph...this went a little longer than I wanted, but I really love Nekusar and while my deck got stolen about 2 years ago...I really am considering rebuilding him, he is an absolute blast to pilot.
3 weeks ago
I really want to find a place for Swords to Plowshares in here.
All fun suggestions, but I actually like the build right now. What do you think the weaknesses are?
4 weeks ago
In a cEDH setting, Nin is an artifact combo list with a healthy dose of interaction and a little stax. This is because we are slightly slower than the dedicated fast combo decks anyway (Food Chain, Storm, Flash Hulk, etc.), so it is best to pack more interaction to help control the game until we can safely win. Yes, I know Thrasios is king of the infinite mana generals, but I've got a soft spot for Nin and I've enjoyed tweaking the absolute highest power list with her as possible over the years. (I'm confident she's solid tier 2 material. She actually has some advantages over fish man!)
I'll start with the deck's plan, win conditions, my local meta, then break down the card choices by card type. To keep this from being the length of your average thesis, I'm not going to go in-depth into play patterns and such, but I hope you can absorb some of that type of information from my discussion on each of the cards in the list.
Basic Metrics / Gameplan:
Land count: 31
Average CMC: 1.81
cEDH Nin is an infinite mana combo deck. I have tried everything else (Theft, Storm, Sneak Attack Eldrazi) but nothing matches the power and efficiency of the artifact mana kill. Our gameplan is to generate infinite mana using one of our compact 2-card combos and find an outlet to kill the table. Nin fills the role nicely since infinite mana with Nin means you draw your deck (and win, presumably).
Here's how you can get infinite mana:
After you have infinite mana, you have a few options. In order to win, you usually play Walking Ballista for X = 1 million and activate its second ability a million times (holding priority) to kill the table. If you don't have it in hand, you can use Nin, the Pain Artist's ability on herself (or another creature you control) to draw your deck. You can also use Staff of Domination (or the suite of artifact tutors to find Staff) to achieve the same effect. If the Ballista gets exiled somehow, you can still kill the table with Expansion / Explosion by casting it and flashing it back with Mission Briefing. If everything has gone wrong and none of those options are available, it's time to start hitting opponents' creatures with Nin to deck them.
Why Nin over X General?
First, no, Nin is not as strong as 4-color Thrasios (No deck is, I believe it is the best deck in the format). This is partially since Thrasios doesn't care about summoning sickness to draw your library, and the extra colors allow you to take advantage of the best green and black spells out there.
But, Nin has a few unique advantages that I've found very enticing. First, the red splash offers a variety of helpful stax pieces (Blood Moon, Stranglehold) and enables unique cards that few other cEDH decks can take advantage of (Dack Fayden). This makes for a deck with all the payoff cards of a mono blue deck (High Tide, Vedalken Shackles) while still having the spiciest interaction. Second, she can hit herself midgame to refill your hand when running low on gas. Since cEDH is so fast and mana costs are so low, it's common for decks to peeter out quickly without a good draw engine. Nin fits the bill extremely well here, and there have been many situations where I've been able to ping Nin with her ability for 5 cards or so EOT, then win with my massive advantage the next turn. That efficiency just draws more cards than Thrasios/Tymna on average, which gives us an edge.
As for other infinite commanders, most either are useless without infinite mana/storm (Oona, Circu) or need colored mana (Tasigur, Breya) and require more complicated combos than the ones seen in this deck. Among other Izzet commanders, the biggest competition is new Jhoira. But that deck is too glass cannon IMO (reliant on the commander) and is forced to play tons of weaker artifacts just to hit critical mass to reliably draw cards. If Jhoira is taken out, it's very hard to get the ball rolling again. Nin can play both the control role and combo role just as effectively.
As any tuned deck should, this list is tuned for my local playgroup. If you're looking to take inspiration from this deck, feel free to adjust things if you find they won't be as helpful in your pods. cEDH has a lot of silver bullet stax cards, so it's expected to pick and choose the best for your most frequent opponents. On a given day, I'll be against:
Thrasios + Tymna
Chain Veil Teferi
Brago, King Eternal Stax
Yisan, the Wander Bard
Jace, Vyrn's Prodigy
Food Chain Tazri
Approximately 8 million Flash Hulk variants (Tasigur is the main one in this group)
All of these are at or near the cEDH level. If you're not against other cEDH decks, don't build a deck like this. You'll be seen as a pubstomper asshole and it's kinda rude.
Let's dive into the decklist. Here you'll find a quick explanation for every card in the list - separated by card type.
Gilded Drake: Simply best in slot for commander theft. Obviously better than just killing an enemy commander since they'll need to kill it to use it again. Plenty of cEDH decks rely on their commander (Yisan, Selvala, Animar, Yannifar, etc.) and this stops them dead in their tracks (particularly greedy decks like Gitrog that don't interact at all).
Dockside Extortionist: Excellent new guy from C19 - he serves as a piece of ramp and leaves a body to be hit by Nin afterwards.
Metalworker: Yikes, what a card. Any card that can generate more mana than it costs is a contender for cEDH, and lil' robot provides. With 3 artifacts in hand, he combos for the win with Staff of Domination. Otherwise, often taps for a lot of mana, then gets sacrificed to Nin for a fresh hand.
Spellseeker: Can find Dramatic Reversal for the combo, Transmute Artifact to find the Scepter, or countermagic to protect the combo if you already have it in hand. If you're really in a pinch, go find Cyclonic Rift.
Trinket Mage: Basically Sol Ring on a stick. Still worth it even at 3 mana. Sometimes can snag Grafdigger's Cage when an opponent is eyeing their graveyard or about to tutor something directly into play.
Snapcaster Mage: Excellent all-arounder. Works as a double of your essential card draw spell or interaction against disruption. I prefer this over Mission Briefing since the body is relevant (you can ping him with Nin later to draw cards).
Tribute Mage: An even better variant, since it can find combo pieces such as the Scepter or Monolith. If you need to, it can find a different rock or hate piece.
Thing in the Ice Flip: A recent addition but welcome one. It blocks well, has a big butt so I can hit it with Nin for cards, and applies pressure when it flips. A 2 mana creature wipe is extremely rewarding, and shines when your meta is dominated by creature combo decks (as mine is).
Walking Ballista: The kill card of choice. With infinite mana, you win the game. Remember to hold priority after each activation of his damage ability to prevent people from interacting with you. Can find it with Trinket Mage, Inventor's Fair, and several other artifact tutors.
Pact of Negation: Cheap countermagic is the king of interaction in cEDH. Who cares about the upkeep cost if you win the game the turn you cast it?
Brainstorm: Legacy staple for a reason. Good here because of our shuffle effects (Ponder, Fetches, tutors, etc.). Handy for hiding cards you want in your library right before a Wheel of Fortune.
Chain of Vapor: No one's going to sac a land to copy it. 1 mana bounce is great.
Galvanic Blast: A metagame choice. Brago, Linvala, Meren, Atraxa, Karador, Zur, and Kess are tough to deal with - Blast helps me efficiently deal with these pesky 4-toughness commanders. Sometimes you just have to kill a commander or lose (Yisan, Selvala, Zur). Most don't expect it, and punishes people who go a little too deep with Ad Nauseum. Most often gets rid of a hatebear, which is just fine. Also is a nice spell to imprint under the Scepter when I'm going for Plan D to win, which has happened a few times.
High Tide: 1 mana to make like 5 mana? OK. 1 mana = 1 card with Nin, so I'm down for that. We have lots of basic islands to afford to play with this.
Mental Misstep: A LOT of cEDH cards are CMC 1. The fact that this is free is even better.
Mystical Tutor: Not much that needs to be said here, generically useful tutor effect.
Swan Song: 1 mana hard counter for 3 card types. The bird doesn't matter.
Pyroblast: It's good disruption and combo protection all in one, especially if you know there will be a lot of countermagic trying to interact with you.
Abrade: Very versatile interaction - either blows up a piece of fast mana (Sol Ring, Mana Crypt), hatebear or other relevant creature (Yisan, Thalia, Baby Jace), or stax piece (Trinisphere, Null Rod, etc.). Really helps round out my removal suite since most of my other interaction doesn't hit artifacts or creatures.
Counterspell: Classic. 2 mana is good enough for an unconditional counter.
Cyclonic Rift: One of the remaining board wipes left in the deck, and the one with the most punch. Some decks cut this, but I think Nin makes enough mana to reliably overload it when really necessary.
Dramatic Reversal: Part of the primary combo. Not even terrible when you aren't imprinting it under the scepter, especially when you need to reset Grim Monolith or Mana Vault.
Expansion / Explosion: I'm interested in this as a replacement for Comet Storm (previous back-up plan kill card), so I'm trying it out. You can get Comet storm with Muddle the Mixture, but you can get this with Merchant Scroll. I like that it is a good early interactive spell that can counter opposing counters, or borrow some of black's tutor power when an opponent casts something, all while still being a good outlet for infinite mana when it's time to win (burn an opponent and make another deck themselves, or deck myself and draw into Walking Ballista if I don't have it yet). Besides, I'm not using the burn portion of Comet Storm much since I've been happy with Abrade and Galvanic Blast.
Impulse: Handy and efficient card draw when Nin isn't online. (Can put it under the scepter in grindy games.)
Mana Drain: Oof. I hope you don't need me to explain why this card is busted.
Muddle the Mixture: Secret powerhouse. It finds both pieces of Plan A and Plan B combos, and can also counter things when needed.
Narset's Reversal: Wonderfully tricky interactive spell. Can borrow some of black's tutor power while delaying opponents' tutors, or redirect their removal at their own board. This works nicely against counterspells since you can return your own spell to your hand in response, then recast it.
Negate Unless your meta is filled with Elfball and Creature combo decks, negate will always be great.
Whir of Invention: Chord of Calling for artifacts. The fact that this is instant is huge - not much else to say here. It's a tutor = It's good.
Fact or Fiction: Recently added back into the deck. I thought 4 mana was too much, but turns out that's still a great rate for what you get here.
Force of Will: See Pact of Negation. If this was some 4 color nonsense deck, I'd think twice about using this. We're nearly monoblue, so no regrets.
Gitaxian Probe: Free card draw. Useful for checking if the coast is clear to combo off, and 0 mana to get a Paradox Engine trigger sounds great to me.
Ponder: Obviously good card selection. Cheap and effective.
Preordain: See Ponder.
Vandalblast: Every cEDH deck uses fast artifact mana, and most use even more artifacts as engines, stax pieces, or kill cards (Like this deck). 5 mana to kill 8+ mana worth of rocks, Cursed Totem, and your Chain Veil? Insane. 1 mana to get your Sol Ring? Still good.
Merchant Scroll: Obvious generically good tutor. Main targets are counterspells, Dramatic Reversal, and Cyclonic Rift.
Transmute Artifact: Best there is. Easiest tutor to sneak Paradox Engine into play early.
Fabricate: Obvious generically good tutor. A tad expensive, but can't complain.
Pyroclasm: Wrecks the elfball / hatebear decks. I wanted a cheap sweeper to fight against creature decks since most of my remaining removal is designed to fight blue.
Wheel of Fortune: 3 mana for 7 cards. We want as many of these as we can get after dumping mana rocks early. Try to use this right after an opponent tutors for something to hand.
Windfall: See Wheel of Fortune.
Chrome Mox: A lot of these will be busted mana rocks, so let me lay it out here - fast artifact mana is absurd in cEDH. In a game like magic that is balanced by limited resources, if you can have 5 or 6 mana on turn 2-3, you'll win a vast majority of those games. There's no mystery why every powerful deck is filled with these 0-2 CMC rocks (minus Animar). In our deck, more mana = more cards with Nin, and a greater likelihood of doing something insane with Dramatic Reversal + Isochron Scepter or Paradox Engine the moment they hit the field.
Lotus Petal: Yeah, still good enough. See Chrome Mox.
Mana Crypt: Busted. See Chrome Mox.
Mox Amber: It's a mox, albeit the weakest of the bunch.
Mox Diamond: It's a mox.
Mox Opal: it's a mox.
Grafdigger's Cage: Stops Reanimation, Hulk combos, Yisan, and Chord effects. Hardly affects me at all.
Mana Vault: Busted. See Chrome Mox.
Sensei's Divining Top: Provides a little bit of extra digging when you need it. You can stack draw triggers when you have a Paradox Engine loop to draw through your deck.
Sol Ring: Busted. See Chrome Mox.
Fellwar Stone: 2 mana, comes into play untapped, makes colored mana. "Rock" solid.
Arcane Signet: Great new rock! Even better than Fellwar.
Grim Monolith: Busted. See Chrome Mox. One of the pieces for Plan B infinite mana combo.
Isochron Scepter: One of the pieces for Plan A/D infinite mana combo. Don't be afraid to imprint something other than Dramatic Reversal if you can't find the combo after a while. Mana Drain / Impulse / High Tide / Whatever every turn is still pretty sick.
Izzet Signet: 2 mana, comes into play untapped, makes colored mana.
Mind Stone: Weakest among the rocks here, but cycles when I'd rather have something else. Still good enough.
Talisman of Creativity: 2 mana, comes into play untapped, fixes mana when you need colored.
Scroll Rack: One of the best ways to dig through your deck, especially after scooping up a bunch of cards after using Nin to refill your hand or a Wheel of Fortune effect.
Staff of Domination: an infinite mana outlet, and a piece to achieve infinite mana in Plan C. Usually we use this to draw our deck.
Vedalken Shackles: A little expensive mana-wise, but much stronger than it looks. Most creatures in a competitive environment are small, so I usually only need a few islands to threaten to steal anything. Makes strategies that rely on a commander very difficult (Yisan, Brago, etc.). Sometimes just steals mana dorks, which I'm fine with since I can hit it with Nin and steal another one the next turn.
Mystic Remora: A cEDH staple that has still gone under the radar in a lot of casual circles. Will either force everyone to play slower for a few turns or draw you like 8 cards.
Power Artifact: The other piece of the Plan B infinite mana combo. Usually find this guy via Muddle the Mixture.
Blood Moon: I live off the tears of greedy 4-color manabases. Straight up locks some decks out of colored mana, and doesn't affect me at all. Stops other stuff that's tough to interact with (Gaea's Cradle, Cabal Coffers, etc.).
Back to Basics: Another excellent payoff for being primarily blue with a light red splash. Decimates greedy manabases of 3+ color decks. Unlike Blood Moon, you can play this when opponents are tapped out to completely lock them off of mana (instead of giving them a bunch of mountains).
Dack Fayden: Consistently awesome and one of the biggest payoffs for going UR. There is always a good mana rock to steal.
Narset, Parter of Veils: One of the more recent heavy-hitters in cEDH, Narset is an excellent stax and card advantage piece all in one. Notably, you can Nin opponents' creatures with Narset out, and they'll only draw 1 card (0 if you're doing it on their turn). Also pairs especially well with Wheel effects, since you'll strip opponents of their hands.
Tezzeret the Seeker: Expensive, but excellent. Think of it like a copy of Transmute Artifact, but if you're lucky you can use it twice.
Inventors' Fair: It's a tutor!
Timetwister / Mishra's Workshop / Volcanic Island: The benefit just isn't worth it in real world dollars. I'm not doing any infinite Timetwister loops, so it's just an insanely expensive wheel effect. Mishra's Workshop is not even good, and while including Volcanic Island would be nice, the benefit is marginal for how much it costs.
Past Inclusions + Currently Testing:
Paradox Engine: Goodnight, sweet prince. It was nice while it lasted. RIP
Kuldotha Forgemaster: Too expensive / clunky.
Consecrated Sphinx: Casual all-star, but 6 mana to maybe draw some cards is too much to ask.
Magus of the Moon: Great when Karador, Animar, Kess, and T&T are at the store, but lately there's been a lot of Edric, Yisan, Yannifar, and Teferi (who don't care about this effect).
Great Furnace: Used this to make sure Mox Opal would be active more often, but I've found it's more important to just have Islands (Vedalken Shackles, Blood Moon effects, etc.)
Annul: The blue 1-mana disenchant. The cards I'm most terrified of are Stony Silence, Null Rod, and Cursed Totem - all of which are hit by Annul. Also, there are plenty of scary targets besides the one I mentioned. There are other 1 mana answers that are more useful though.
Thought Vessel: Got cut as the weakest of the 2cmc rocks as more hatepieces made their way into the deck (Grafdiggers, Blood Moon, Stranglehold, etc.)
Voltaic Key: If we're treating this as a mana rock, it doesn't net mana often enough to be worth it. (Grim Monolith, Mana Vault, Sol Ring, Mana Crypt are the only good targets)
Torpor Orb: Karador has mostly left the local meta, so I feel better about taking this one out. The only deck this really messes with nowadays is Animar and Brago, but I have some tech for him already.
Stranglehold: Gets better the more competitive your group is. Brutal when powered out early, since it also turns off fetchlands. Love playing this against Yisan and Sisay players in my group.
Gamble: This card was in the list for years, and it was only recently that I took it out. I understand why it's popular (it's a 1 mana tutor in red!), but in my years of experience I've found it to be overrated. You usually use tutors to find the second piece of your two card combos (Iso/Scepter or Grim/Power). By that time, there usually isn't much else left in your hand, so discarding one of your combo pieces is likely. So, perhaps you use this to just tutor for fast mana or silver bullet stax pieces? But you can't do it when you have any combo piece in hand, since you're SOL if you discard it. Sometimes you're just unlucky. Generally, I only use this card when I've drawn a lot of cards with Nin and the probability of discarding something critical is low. So, most of the time Gamble is a win-more card. I'm testing taking this card out, but who knows. Most cEDH lists use it, maybe I've been using it wrong.
Spell Snare: Just like Mental Misstep, most people in cEDH play cheap spells. This slot was at first reserved for protection against the scariest stax pieces (Stony Silence, Null Rod, Cursed Totem), but I realized that Spell Snare is more useful than most counters not just against these hate cards, but tons of others. Hits Survival of the Fittest, Kataki, tons of hatebears, Isochron Scepter, several counterspells, Grim Monolith, Flash, Thrasios, etc. Currently replaced with Into the Roil since it's more versatile.
Dispel: Turns out cEDH has a lot of good instants to counter. Most non-elfball decks run at least 20-25. Handy for protecting Nin when attempting to shoot herself to refill my hand, or countering disruption during combo turns.
IN GENERAL: the 1-mana "narrow" counter/removal slot(s).... I'm constantly flip-flopping between Spell Pierce, Pyroblast, Annul, and Spell Snare. Judging from other cEDH lists, Spell Pierce is the most popular, followed by Pyroblast...but I'm not too fond on any of these cards.
Thanks for checking out the guide! If you have any questions/suggestions about the deck, feel free to comment below.
(Sidenote: My playgroup allows PEngine, which I've replaced narset's reversal with.)
4 weeks ago
If you really want to power up your faeries, take a look at anthem enchantments. Glorious Anthem is a good start, but there are many others (most of which have fairly useful side-quirks) like Radiant Destiny, Force of Virtue, Gravitational Shift, Favorable Winds and Etchings of the Chosen. Cathars' Crusade isn't technically an anthem, but it can be no less hilarious if you can set up a turn of enchantment / artifact storming. If you have the budget for it, and you aren't too opposed to artifacts, The Immortal Sun is a pricey piece, but it has a lot going on, especially if you don't run any of your own planeswalkers. A fair bit of warning on this anthem route: Skullclamp absolutely will not work the way you want if you play anything that offers toughness bonuses to your tokens unless you have some kind of sacrifice outlet. Some seem to consider that alone as reason to not anthem your faeries into the stratosphere, even if it's very possible on even tight budgets. Others tend to avoid anthem spamming because it makes you look far more dangerous than you're likely prepared to be, and impromptu archenemy is no fun to be on the wrong side of.
For space, I'd take out Ancestral Blade, as I've never been a big fan of that card when you can get far faster, cheaper, and overall more robust power-ups from anthem sources. (It's more of a knight tribal / white weenie card.) Also you may want to tone down your sizable nonland permanent hate. Oblivion Ring type effects are fine in the short term, ideally if you're ready to swing for lethal if not for that pesky Ghostly Prison in the way, but eventually you could get your enchantment answered and be right back where you started. For long-term answers, you're better off with Swords to Plowshares and Mortify (or arguably even better, Counterspell) effects that can straight up remove the problem for good, especially if exiling is involved. No sense tying someone's arm behind their back when you can just shoot them in the head.
If you wanted to win on commander damage, Cranial Plating is a fairly-priced budget piece that can play well into smashing face with Alela, especially if you can spare the mana to attach at instant speed. Shadowspear is a fairly expensive piece, as you would expect from something that not only confers trample (a bit hard to come by in Esper colors), but can strip hexproof and indestructible.
You don't have a lot of ramp sources. Ramp can be tricky to come by outside of Green, so you probably want a good 8-12 artifacts, probably closer to 12. You already have the big two (Arcane Signet and Sol Ring), Heraldic Banner, and most of the Talismans. You can also look into Signets (Azorius, Dimir, Orzhov), Diamonds (Sky, Marble, Charcoal) and Myrs (Silver, Gold, Leaden). Mind Stone and Worn Powerstone aren't terribly expensive for colorless artifacts, and Everflowing Chalice, Thran Dynamo and Gilded Lotus aren't much more expensive than that. And last but not least, particularly if you're leaning more heavily into enchantments, the newcomer Nyx Lotus from TBD is a fantastic choice if you plan to have a lot of colored non-token permanents on board. Alternatively, you could lean massively into artifacts given how much Alela likes them anyway, though it's worth pointing out that (1) artifacts have some of the widest ranges of cheap and commonly played answers and (2) the vast majority of them do zilch for your color devotion.
It might seem counter-intuitive to include board wipes in a deck designed to go wide with faeries. My take is that eventually you're going to be on the wrong end of a wipe at some point, so you want to have some wipes of your own ready to go just in case someone rebuilds quickly or you start getting jumped on by the rest of the table. This is especially important as Alela decks' bodies mostly come in the form of tokens that get wrecked outright by the ever-popular Cyclonic Rift. Speaking of which, it's worth pointing out that Cyclonic Rift has a cousin card in white, Winds of Abandon. Less good admittedly, but it's a lot more budget friendly, and even overloads for less mana. Speaking of budget, Time Wipe and Kaya's Wrath are other classic wallet-friendly wipes, while the flat out best one (after Cyc Rift) seems to be Toxic Deluge. Another reason to have wipes in Esper: they have some of the strongest ones in the game.