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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
|Pauper Duel Commander||Legal|
Creature — Human Spellshaper
, , Discard a card, Sacrifice a land: Search your library for up to two basic land cards and put them onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.
2 months ago
I'm not sure if I'm missing something, but are you sure 30 is enough lands for an average MV that's almost 4? I could see it in a Green deck I guess, but I'm sure just throwing in some MDFC lands would help a lot, mana was a serious issue when I did some playtesting with your deck. The deck seems to be fundamentally sounds, with plenty of good cards, but losing the Commander seemed like it'd be a critical situation because it could be hard to recast, and she's serious card selection while she's out. I also think I'd skip Temple of the False God unless you add quite a few lands, you have to see 16.5 cards to expect to see your 5th land, unless you're drawing a lot of cards you're going to miss many land drops. I'm sure you're fine if Varina can stay out/swing safely, but what if someone wipes after you play her? I wonder if one of your considerations is that your meta doesn't use a lot of wipes/removal (some casual groups play this way) at a high rate, and you expect Varina to stick around if you can get her out? If that's true then the lower land count is probably less of a problem.
Oh, not sure if you want another discard outlet/ramp source, but Dreamscape Artist is a pretty strong card in the right deck (even as it's a terrible one in many others). You might have to add a few more Basics, and Dreamscape loves Sensei's Divining Top and/or Bolas's Citadel, really anything that cares about your next card since Dreamscape is a way to reshuffle for cheap.
3 months ago
If you like stealing creatures and have access to Blink Thassa, you might like Callous Oppressor. I'd also look at Helm of Possession for the same reasons. TBH I think I'd run Sower of Temptation over Gilded Drake with your Commander (Drake is a great card, but at least if you kill off Sower's creature you can just flicker Sower to get a new creature, at which point you can flicker Sower to steal something else), either way it's also worth a look.
If you're looking for ramp in Blue, I'm a fan of the usually clowned-on Dreamscape Artist, Myriad Landscape and Retraced Image, but I think it's probably a reasonable choice to run stuff like Arcane Signet/Fellwar Stone if you're struggling to get your ramp numbers high enough. A sneaky trick I heard about from The Command Zone (it's a Youtube EDH channel) is that you can use creature lands like Mishra's Factory or Faerie Conclave as a form of Blue ramp if you can copy them when they are creatures, Magic has few issues with cloning/copying lands if they are also creatures. Another unusual form of 'ramp' is to use the odd card like Walking Atlas to cheat extra lands in, but you probably would want a few more lands or card draw.
As one-off theft effects go, I find Bribery, Inevitable Betrayal and Cultural Exchange to all be pretty solid, Exchange does want you to have token generators, but Blue isn't bad at making small tokens. Bribery effects can be a LOT bigger than a theft effect, so Betrayal is deceptively powerful vs the right type of deck, but most decks have a few really strong creatures at least, and you should have multiple opponents to choose from.
It's not a Theft effect, but Rite of Replication is hilarious in practice, getting a single copy for 4 is pretty much market rate, getting 5 copies for 9 is crazy when it happens.
5 months ago
I have a Quest for Ula's Temple deck which does some similar things, I liked Dreamscape Artist because it can reshuffle your library as needed, incase you don't have a relevant creature to work with on top. It's technically only 1 mana and a card to Harrow (you get back 2 untapped lands, so it can also helping mana fixing) Blue, and I could be wrong but I think your Commander wants the odd Discard outlet too. A worse (but still potentially useful) piece of Blue ramp is Apprentice Wizard, it's not as good as Dreamscape, it's like Worn Powerstone, which is a good rock if you want bigger ramp to potentially cast a big creature a bit sooner. Thran Dynamo and Gilded Lotus are big ramp rocks with decent ratios. Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Cabal Coffers are pretty good together, if you have a lot of devotion to a colour Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx can help, Deserted Temple can untap any land that makes extra mana. Less rampy and more of a big Scry effect, Soothsaying is a neat card if you care about your deck order. Scroll Rack is better but costs more.
Just a general idea, you might throw in things like Reconnaissance Mission, Bident of Thassa, and Coastal Piracy along with some Unblockable or Shadow creatures (Thalakos and Dauthi are the Blue and Black tribes). You can also throw in stuff like Sword of the Animist, Dowsing Dagger Flip, Prying Blade, Goldvein Pick, Grim Hireling, and any other attack payoffs you can find to generate more value over time. I understand you want a sea-monster theme, but you might want a way to draw some cards/get in some chip damage to soften people up. The only drawback to Shadows is that they can't chump block. If you really want your evasive creatures to be able to chump, there are some small flyers like Spectral Sailor and Thousand-Faced Shadow that have other upsides, these are risk free but are way less evasive than Shadows.
On that note, if you're worried about getting attacked you might look at Propaganda, War Tax, Flood, and Fatespinner are all great ways to make you hard to attack. Mass Diminish, Polymorphist's Jest, Sudden Spoiling, AEtherize, Aetherspouts are all great cards for people to fear.
Callous Oppressor is a funny repeatable theft effect, Ritual of the Machine and Helm of Possession can both steal stuff and are great with tokens, Thieving Skydiver can steal an artifact creature fwiw, Sower of Temptation is a so-so theft effect that shines bright if you can flicker or bounce it, Thalakos Deceiver is probably way better since he permanently steals whatever and can be reanimated, Inevitable Betrayal and Bribery are both pretty sweet.
Inkwell Leviathan, Lochmere Serpent, Spawning Kraken, Stormtide Leviathan, and Wrexial, the Risen Deep are some relevant creatures I use, some are better than others but there is nothing as bad as Sea Serpent or Bog Serpent, both cards I love but don't use.
If you like Whelming Wave, you might like Spectral Deluge as well.
Hope some of this helps, Big Dimir is a fun deck!
7 months ago
Dimir Signet, Mind Stone, Prismatic Lens, Arcane Signet, Charcoal Diamond, Coldsteel Heart, Corrupted Grafstone, Ebony Fly, Fellwar Stone, Fractured Powerstone, Guardian Idol, Liquimetal Torque, Obsidian Obelisk, Sky Diamond, Star Compass, Talisman of Dominance, Thought Vessel - Those are the viable 2 cmc mana rocks (Everflowing Chalice could also be played for 2 mana, but also scales more into the later stages due to Multikicker) Moonsnare Prototype and Springleaf Drum are 1 cmc but require a creature/artifact which you could tap to produce 1 mana. Sol Talisman and Mox Tantalite are also relative cheap in price.
For Land ramp, there arent that many options in Dimir, but here are the ones I would consider - Lantern of Revealing: 3 cmc Rock, that can ramp later Wayfarer's Bauble: The classic Dreamscape Artist: 2 CMC creature, that turns each card in your hand into Harrow Druidic Satchel: Not guarantees a land but not completely without value Navigation Orb: Bauble but slower Myriad Landscape: Land that fetches 2 Lands
7 months ago
When I was testing out your deck, I definitely noticed mana issues, you probably want a mix of a couple more lands and some mana rocks. There is the odd mana dork you could use, none generally as good as a Green one. I always like Dreamscape Artist in a Dimir deck that makes use of the graveyard, it's actual Harrow so the lands are entering untapped, making the ramp a bit better than it might usually be. With a 5 mana Commander I think I would run Sol Ring, especially without Green, there is also Talisman of Dominance and Dimir Signet that are solid. A really solid 3 mana rock is Skyclave Relic, it can be a 3 drop or a big (and versatile) efficient 6 drop. Not sure if you need all of those, but I think you want some of those ramp options. TBH, you might also lower your average Mana Value, you're well over 3, which might be a tad high for 33 lands in a reasonably competitive deck. A couple handy utility lands that are nice with Voltron decks include Witch's Clinic, Shizo, Death's Storehouse, and Tyrite Sanctum. Sanctum is a bit weird, but getting Indestructible on your Commander will probably feel pretty good. There are also some MDFCs that aren't bad in Black, you could replace one of your 2 mana Black removal creature removal with Hagra Mauling Flip, risking 4 mana to remove something (with no restriction though) is harsh, but it's also a land which feels incredible in a lower land count deck. I hear Malakir Rebirth Flip is also very good, especially with a Voltron Commander.
I also noticed that the deck seemed to not excel at clearing the board of threats/problems, this can include combo pieces or Voltron creatures. From a competitive standpoint, if you expect to play against decks that are 7s or above you probably want at least a couple more solid counters, it's hard to know which to run because actual Counterspell costs UU, which is hard to hold up obviously, but Swan Song and Negate might not be versatile enough, but I think any or all of those would make the deck more functional. Niche removal like Ravenform, Resculpt and Feed the Swarm are also worth a look, you never know when you'll need to tutor up an answer for either of those types, and being able to hit a creature is also useful, fwiw Black isn't great at exiling creatures. I see you only have 1 Planeswalker in here, have you thought about Liliana, Death's Majesty? She's got some synergy with Zombies for sure, and offers a potential wipe.
A tutor that might fit in here that you're not running is Final Parting, which is clunky at 5 mana but it also offers a two for 1 tutor, so even if it's a lot of mana it does a lot of work. I'm not sure how many cards you're that desperate to get into the graveyard, but Final Parting finds 2 of 3 pieces for Gravecrawler combos in my Meren deck, very handy if I have one in hand already.
Pretty tough finding stuff that sticks out for being suboptimal in this list! Here are a few I suspect could be upgraded: Reassembling Skeleton is a Skeleton. The recursion aspect is not particularly good at 2 mana for a non-Zombie body, with a max of one on board at a time. Undead Alchemist might do something sometimes, but I feel like it's a bad interaction with a lot of your deck, it's terrible with Living Death type stuff obviously, and if someone is close to death, this gives them way more life. Call to the Grave seems potentially iffy, you run some very good non-Zombies, and you can't sac a token instead to it, it eats only non-Zombies. Kindred Discovery seems questionable potentially, it negatively interacts with any combo that uses a zombie entering or dying repeatedly since you have to draw, this can also make you unable to swing with a huge zombie army, which seems agonizing without at least throwing in something like Capsize. More curious than certain, but do you often have 1 toughness things to work with Skullclamp? Any Zombie at 1 toughness is buffed by your lords, and the tokens you make are 2/2s iirc? If you ask me, unless you have a source of 1 toughness bodies I'm missing, you could instead run Mask of Griselbrand, it can draw cards too (sometimes way more), both require a sac outlet, and it offers real utility in combo by offering evasion and lifelink. I would run any of the removal I mentioned over Doom Blade and Go for the Throat, I feel like the versatility and some offering exile has an edge. For Tragic Slip, do you get stuck without a sac outlet very often, this seems like an unnecessary complication to have on your removal, but at least it can hit Indestructibles? IMHO if you can afford it run Deadly Rollick, this will also exile stuff without as harsh a requirement (I'd rather have the downside of 4 mana vs removing only x/1s).
10 months ago
If you're big on creatures, Sedris, the Traitor King can reanimate them for you. Any discard/mill effects become quite a bit better in such a deck. Stuff like Buried Alive, Entomb and Final Parting all become much better in Sedris, as do stuff like Vile Entomber or Oriq Loremage, even Dreamscape Artist becomes really interesting. Self-mill is much better too, as long as you're not on a combo. Sedris is great with a higher MV deck, since you can reanimate big creatures to swing the one time, and stuff like Court of Cunning can resupply you with creatures as needed, and there are lots of cards that care about a higher MV (Protection Racket is incredible if you aren't on a combo and you just want people to either take damage or give you tons of cards, it's hilarious with Esquisite Blood as you gain what they lose) as I already mentioned. With Sedris I feel like you'd want to look for creatures that have good ETB effects, and build less around combo and more around either attacking with Unearthed bodies or using ETBs like Callous Bloodmage to generate value.
Thraximundar is also a reasonably interesting choice if you want an older Commander and don't mind being slower, and Sol'kanar the Swamp King is great if you run lots of black spells and everyone you play against runs black, Swampwalk and lifegain are small but neat abilities to have. Keep in mind I tend to skew older when I look for Commanders, and like less heavily played ones, but the new Xander is very strong (might attract a lot of attention), Crosis is strong without attracting as much attention right away, Bolas is always a good pick if you like the character, Garza Zol, Plague Queen can get bigger and draws the odd card, it's a bit harder to find good Commanders for creature driven decks in Grixis, most of the Commanders care about instants/sorceries/artifacts, hopefully some of these will be helpful.
10 months ago
I often find War Tax and Flood are playable, especially if I usually am not the most threatening deck (and thus are less targeted depending on groups), either can very much ruin a deck's day. There is also Mass Diminish that can either neutralize a threat or make someone super vulnerable, in addition to just being the funniest way to use resources most of the time. I feel like there are a few situations you'd prefer Polymorphist's Jest, but Mass Diminish's shockingly long duration means it can do crazier stuff in my experience.
You might want good old Ivory Tower in here, not sure if you play in a meta where people win via non-infinite combat/damage, obviously a stinky garbage fire if everyone plays infinite combo.
Since you'll often have extra cards, not sure if Dreamscape Artist as a repeatable Blue Harrow matters enough (it's slow but the untapped lands make it 'cheap' ramp), also nice with Graveyard utilization.
10 months ago
I think building an artifacts deck around Ashnod isn't really exploring anything new with her.
Anyways, here are some suggestions for cards that I think are interesting. Not all of these will really work for thr deck you are trying to build, but some will.