Defiant Strike

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Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Historic Brawl Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pauper Legal
Pauper Duel Commander Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Pioneer Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Defiant Strike


Target creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.

Draw a card.

wallisface on Azorius Aggro-Control deck

4 months ago

9-lives Cool, i'll keep all my card suggestions to $3-or-less per card.

Being one card-down is not worth it for only really knowing what your topdeck is. If you are using Assemble the Players you are wasting resources for almost no gain. Added to this a point which hasn't been mentioned yet - drawing a second copy of this card is absolutely disastrous, as you can't do anything useful with it.

Lawmage's Binding is worse that Oppressive Rays because 3 mana for a card that's still not removing a creature is just really bad value. Far better spells to remove the opponents creatures are Skyclave Apparition, Stasis Snare, Oblivion Ring, Fateful Absence, Declaration in Stone, Prismatic Ending, and Path to Exile

Opt, Preordain, Serum Visions, and Consider are all cheap and are overwhelmingly better than Defiant Strike.

If you're trying to be aggressive with control, your current creatures are really lacking. The current creatures you're running would fit better in a tax-like build, where the aim is to mess with your opponents tempo but ultimately just slowly chip-through damage. If you're trying to play an aggressive-control deck (like the Murktide Regent list) in , then your best bet for creatures on a budget would probably be Tolarian Terror, Delver of Secrets  Flip, Spell Queller, Haughty Djinn, and maybe Lion Sash

9-lives on Azorius Aggro-Control deck

4 months ago

wallisface Thanks for your advice and persistence!

Ohhh! Now I see where I went wrong in my thinking. I thought that Assemble the Players would give me a free cast for the card's presence. I literally read it as "Once each turn you can cast a creature spell with 2 mana or less" for free. Huge mistake on my part. Sorry. Nevertheless, I still would like to run it, considering how it will give me a heads up to what is next in the game.

Oppressive Rays I could get rid of for something else. Do you think Lawmage's Binding is much better? What card would you recommend?

I don't mind getting rid of Defiant Strike for something budget.

My budget is to just use cards that you know will be as low as below 3 dollars per card. Even if that is so, I don't want to spend 12 dollars for 4 cards.

I'm really trying to use budget cards for my deck, and I don't know what I should use for an aggro deck that is control. Do you think that I shouldn't run the artifact-creature stuff? I'm really putting my hope into Ethersworn Canonist, Esper Sentinel and Skrelv, Defector Mite. All of these cards are great for me.

wallisface on Azorius Aggro-Control deck

4 months ago


  • I feel like you are misunderstanding how Assemble the Players. You still need to pay for the mana cost of the creatures you cast with it. Also, you can only cast creatures with it from the top of your deck. With less than 23% of your deck being creatures, it's only going to be relevant at-all roughly 1-in-4 turns. The first time it's relevant, you're only breaking-even on the card (except that it has cost you additional time and mana). To be card positive will require having two creatures on your topdeck, which on average could take between 5-8 turns. The card is bad.

  • I don't get your obsession with "tying up mana" with Oppressive Rays when you could just remove the creature entirely! You're just giving your opponent the ability to keep using their creature if they want... but also, they're not forced to - you haven't gained anything by keeping it alive instead of just removing it. This is an entirely pointless endeavor when removal spells exist.

  • I never argued against Mishra's Bauble, it's a great card - I was only stating the rules text of it because your previous post seemed to indicate you didn't know how the card worked. I would also say, that while the card is awesome, it's often used competitively only because it either adds a cast trigger, and/or effectively gives you a 56 card deck. Your deck doesn't need cast-triggers as you're doing nothing with them, and your deck is already far too bloated with cards (being at 70), so it's not giving you the benefit of being able to "virtually play with a 56 card deck".

  • On Defiant Strike, as I stated at the beginning of this thread, your current creature selection is not remotely aggro at all - they're all far too passive and non-impactful... nothing applies pressure. The +1 damage from Defiant Strike doesn't change anything about that. You're always better off fixing your deck for a better draw, than drawing something entirely random for a poultry 1 extra-damage-dealt.

  • For your question of a "card for granting haste in Azorius colors" - for what purpose? Your creatures pose no threat, and haste isn't going to change that. You need to refine your decks scope to something feasible, not keep adding more cogs to an already difunctional machine.

  • I do "have the entirety of your deck in mind", and understand what is going on. It currently doesn't work and I'm trying to show you that, so it can be taken in a direction that does actually work. I have tried giving you suggestions but you still haven't told me what your budget is so you're making it really impossible to do that!!

9-lives on Azorius Aggro-Control deck

4 months ago

What I'm saying about Assemble the Players is that since it is automatically casting on my turn a creature spell of, say 2 mana, it is not a loss at all even if I only spend 1 turn with it on the field. Thus, it is no loss at all, and if it stays on the field for 2 turns, then it gives an advantage.

Ahh. I agree that Spell Pierce is better! Thank you for recommending it, because I'll be running it!

Oppressive Rays is good considering that I want to tie up as much mana as possible. 3 mana per creature is really nice, considering that oppressive rays is 1 mana cost. I have played this card whenever I was running my Azorius Defender-Damage deck, and it worked really well. Can you recommend any mana-tying up cards that are like Oppressive Rays but better?! I'm thinking Lawmage's Binding is nice, but I really want a mana-intensive card that ties up mana.

Ahh, you're right about Urza's Saga. I was thinking that it would allow me to search for 1 white mana cards, but yeah. So, I'll just use it to tutor out Mishra's Bauble, I guess.

Mishra's Bauble is amazing. I really don't know why you're arguing against it, considering that it is a staple in a lot of competitive decks. And, yes, they may shuffle, but I'm counting on that they don't, and looking at the top card is great for predicting what will happen. Do you think this hand-knowledge is good? I think it will give me the heads-up for using counterspells on the opponent's turn.

Defiant Strike is just a suboptimal draw card, and adds +1 power. Nothing too bad or too good about it. I don't mind running it, considering that I need to increase the power of my creatures as a support for my aggro-control archetype.

I have a question for you! What is a good card for granting haste in Azorius colors?? I don't even know if they have this type of card available.

wallisface on Azorius Aggro-Control deck

4 months ago


For Defiant Strike you yourself even admit that Opt and Preordain are better - and that's the exact reason why this card is bad.

I have no idea what you mean by "And, no, I don't have to cast two creatures for it to be worthwhile, as whenever i cast it I would lose nothing if I didn't keep it for over 2 turns.". Assemble the Players does effectively nothing on its own. You play it, and now you have 1-less resource in-hand, for no inherent board-state advantage. Once you play the first creature from the top of your deck with it, now you've at-least "broken even" - that is, the cards you've invested into it have equaled the gain in boardstate you have acquired (albeit, costing 2 additional mana and having to wait an undetermined number of turns, so still being more hassle-than-value). Only once you've cast your second creature from the topdeck, has the card made any kind of net-advantage. The problem is that the sheer amount of time it would take to achieve that is ridiculous.

You are saying "Oppressive Rays is far underrated" but this is just your unfounded opinion. There's good reason why it sees no play at all, even in budget decks or in Pauper (where you can only play commons... if it's not even seeing play there then alarm bells should be ringing!).

Spell Pierce is infinitely better than Miscast, simply because it hits a much, much wider berth of spells. The difference between an opponent paying or is far less-wide of a gap than the one between only being able to target instants and sorceries, versus being able to target instants, sorceries, planeswalkers, enchantments, artifacts, and battles.

Mishra's Bauble doesn't let you look at the opponents hand at all, just their topdeck (which may get shuffled away before they draw anyway). Urza's Saga can only specifically search for artifacts costing exactly or , which none of your artifact creatures are, so you cannot grab them with this card.

I am looking at the whole deck. Some of the cards I have said are bad here can conceivably work in different shells. Just not remotely this one.

I have asked you twice now already what your budget is for this deck, so that people giving you card suggestions can cater this for what you are wanting to spend. If you want people to be able to help you, you need to include this information!

The biggest problem holding your decks back at the moment, as far as I can see, is that their constructor is too stubborn and not-open enough to feedback. By getting super-combative with every suggestion/response people give you, these decks are not going to be able to improve, and instead cycle around in a rut indefinitely. The best thing you can do to help strengthen your deckbuilding is learning to be more open to healthy non-combative discussion, and being more open to listening to others ideas. Coming to a pre-determined decision that everything you've done is correct from the start only serves to leave you exactly where you began.

9-lives on Azorius Aggro-Control deck

4 months ago

What is so bad about Defiant Strike if it's simply a addition to having the ability to draw a card? It's no Opt or even Preordain, but it's good for my purposes.

And, no, I don't have to cast two creatures for it to be worthwhile, as whenever i cast it I would lose nothing if I didn't keep it for over 2 turns.

Oppressive Rays is far underrated for its power.

I have 13 counterspells out of around 70 cards. Miscast is not better nor worse than Spell Pierce. Spell Pierce is targeting other things, and also has a different mana cost to the opponent.

Urza's Saga and Mishra's Bauble are great. The latter lets me look at the opponent's hand. The former is good for artifacts, and can search for artifact creatures as well as Mishra's Bauble.

wallisface on Azorius Aggro-Control deck

4 months ago

To counter your points:

  • You've changed the list since first read as Defiant Strike wasn't initially there - but this should never be in any deck aside from maybe some super-janky prowess build. But my point on Assemble the Players is that you need at least 2 creatures to make it worthwhile (which was the 5 turn estimate, re-read my post because I think you've misunderstood). Furthermore, you can only cast this card reasonably once you also have the mana to control your opponents turn as-well, so it's a super late game tool which won't really give you the value you're wanting. Mishra's Bauble doesn't help Assemble the Players at all because you have no flash-creatures, so there's no interval where you can make use of Assemble the Players with it.

  • Your argument for keeping Oppressive Rays isn't a valid one, and shows a clear misunderstanding of how games typically play out. I feel like you're just digging-your-heels-in as opposed to taking-in actual advice and well-meaning criticism.

  • With 11 counterspells, 16% of your cards are countermagic, which is a low-enough density that you can't assume to be reliably countering magic for long.

I've just noticed you're at 68 cards. Get down to 60. I remember having this discussion before with you - but if you're even remotely trying to take deck-building seriously, this is the first thing you need to do.

I see you've added Miscast to the deck... this is just a worse Spell Pierce.

I think Sorcerous Spyglass was in the deck initially but I should call out this is a sideboard-card at best. The vast majority of decks won't care at all about this card - a lot of cards don't have activated abilities.

Urza's Saga can only grab Mishra's Bauble so seems unideal to have here, but it's no biggie either way.

You still haven't let anyone know what your budget is!!

9-lives on Azorius Aggro-Control deck

4 months ago

The thing about Oppressive Rays is that I will also be casting Mana Leak and No More Lies. If they pay the mana, fine, that's good because I am tying up their mana usage. If they don't pay the mana, that's good too, because it will remove it. The fact that it works out for them later in the game isn't a probem; i'll still tie up the mana in usage if they ever want to use it.

Assemble the Players is useful because no matter what I'm going to keep it on the field for one turn. Any further turns and it's doing its job just fine. You think I'll only draw one creature card in 5 turns, even with Defiant Strike and Mishra's Bauble and Peek?

I could add like 2 more counterspells. Consider that I have enough that if I individually drew each counterspell, it would last around turn #6 for mana cost 2 spells to only cast each turn with the max mana spent, which would be around 7 or 8 spells, guesstimating. The probability of what I'm doing is 13/70, which is 19% chance of drawing one. Around 20% is just fine for my purposes.

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