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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.
1 month ago
I seem to have a better idea of what you had in mind, and have misread some of the cards as well.
I was under the assumption that Dreamscape Artist sacrificed himself, since that can be a pretty common occurrence (e.g. Burnished Hart). Since he can be used multiple times, I like it quite a lot; problem being he's not a guaranteed drop as opposed to the enchantments. Retreat to Coralhelm's main value as you described would be halted until we can draw Dreamscape. Has that been an issue in your experience?
Not sure what my brain was on when I read Dance of Many, but it seems to be a much better card now. Thoughts on what I should replace it with? - Definitely a shoe in.
Nighthowler Would be a great option to get big creatures. However it doesn't seem to jive well with any of the other themes in the deck. The only reason I could see wanting other creatures in the deck is to create blockers or avoid sac effects on Zur (not like it would be a problem with Vanishing).
1 month ago
Energy Flux: I did heavily consider Energy Flux when creating the deck, but ultimately decided against it because it doesn't fit my style. I think it would be dangerous to wait a full 4 turns using just land to get Zur out, however, that does not mean it may be worth using rocks and destroying everyone's artifacts after Zur is out. Also, it is important to note that sacrificing does not "destroy" a permanent, but simply places it in the graveyard; thus you would still need to pay Darksteel Ingot's cost (here it is on the Wiki https://mtg.fandom.com/wiki/Indestructible, under the "description" section). However you're still right, it is a good card in this deck and I think it would fit nicely, especially against any artifact decks. I don't doubt how good it is; maybe I'm just baby for being too scared to kill my own artifacts.
Dreamscape Artist: Hmm, it is definitely tempting. However, I think it would be better to use enchantments to guarantee land drops. It's for that reason that I included The Birth of Meletis and The Restoration of Eiganjo Flip, and I have been debating the necessity of Blanket of Night.
Dance of Many: This looks to be a really fun card. Although it would be sad to commit to an opponent's creature and have to kill your own if you need to remove it. I'll keep an eye on this one should I feel like changing things up.
Ash Barrens: Seems like a shoe in to me. It's cheap and as you said, it fixes mana if necessary. Personally, with 48 mana (land + rocks) in this deck already, I think mana fixing won't be much of an issue.
Retreat to Coralhelm: Yeah, this one is a bit out there. Considering that there is already a lot of draw enchantments, it would seem like a bit of a waste to scry. As for tapping creatures, Zur should be unblockable sooner or later as well as have vigilance.
1 month ago
Another cheap card that can do a ton of work sometimes is Energy Flux, a fetchable card that makes it impractical to keep around more than 1 or 2 artifacts. I run it with Skyclave Relic, but you can also use Darksteel Ingot for less, and you might even look at Dreamscape Artist to ramp. Very out there, but Retreat to Coralhelm works very well with Dreamscape, as well as with Stasis in general I suppose. I'd probably run Ash Barrens, it's floor is a Waste, but it can fix your mana for 1 mana, I love seeing it in my opening hand. If people run stuff like Blightsteel Colossus in your meta, Dance of Many is absolutely hilarious. Not sure any of that is especially relevant for you, but it's stuff that might be worth a look, depending on what you run into!
4 months ago
Hi Anabasis! Since you asked for some feedback on the list prior to committing, I'll comment here since I can link cards easily. Let's begin with the archetype you are going for here, how it plays out with Braids, Conjurer Adept, how to make it run a bit smoothly. The archetype for this deck is "group hug," which is a bit of a misunderstood archetype that has gotten unnecessary bad rep in the past. Basically, a group hug deck built properly is one that has effects which benefit everyone, but benefit the player the most. The idea is that there is little incentive to target the group hug player because they are giving free stuff, and the free stuff nonetheless keeps every player more competitive, which takes more pressure off of the group hug player, who is then ahead in the value race. The most iconic group hug commander, for example, is Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis. This commander lets every player either draw an extra card or play an extra land each end step, whereas the Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis player gets to do both. Oftentimes what makes game uneven are some players encountering ramp or draw problems, and this evens things out and keeps them competitive. Usually players won't target Kynaios and Tiro because it is benefitting them, and because it is not inherently threatening. Nonetheless, the Kynaios player is ahead in the value race, and usually plans to win with some sort of alternate win condition like Approach of the Second Sun. Braids, Conjurer Adept plays out similarly, in that every player benefits from Braids, but unlike your opponents your deck is built to exploit it, and you will have scarier things to cheat out than they will. The difference with this deck, however, and this is the critical part, is that your deck will be inherently threatenting. People will soon figure out that you are dropping scary things and have plenty of incentive to kill braids. What's worse is that the way Braids works inherently gives them added incentive to do so. The scariest words on the card are "at the beginning of each player's upkeep" are ones you will come to loathe if you don't build this right. These words mean that if you play Braids normally, each of your opponents will get to use Braids before you do. This is bad, because after three opponents have used it, the third could kill Braids before you ever get to use her. This is the nightmare that should ever be in your mind when planning or playing this deck, but if you are mindful of it, it can be overcome. So let's think first about Braids' abilities and how to best protect and exploit her to your benefit over your opponents.'
The first is to do lots and lots of what blue does best, namely, countering spells. Whereas Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis are a pillowfort group hug deck, you should think of your deck as a control group hug deck. Forget the crappy boardwipes like AEtherize and Aetherspouts. You probably included them because you've sensed they won't hit your board, but you'll find that smart players never attack with their most important pieces, and that they won't generally do what you want them to. Spectral Deluge and Whelming Wave are probably fine, but leave the rest out- you're better off just stopping things from happening to begin with than wiping a board that will probably be in your favor. Counterspells are good here for two reasons. First and foremost, they protect Braids from removal, which will be their most important duty. Beyond that, since you're getting a free permanent every turn, you have the luxury of holding your mana open, so you might as well have stuff to do with it! I'd think about playing up to ten different counterspells along with premium blue targeted removal like Reality Shift, Ravenform, etc.
Since the weakness of Braids is that our opponents' get to use her first if we cast her at sorcery speed, we might as well rewrite the script and try to play her at instant speed where feasible. Leyline of Anticipation and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir can help with this. You'll enjoy much more playing Braids on your opponent's end step and getting to use her first than the reverse. This will also aid and abet your counterspell game, in that if you don't need to counter anything you can cast other spells on your opponent's end step rather than wasting your mana. I see that you included these spells, but I wanted to make sure that you realize how critical they are to your game, and that if you can find more of this effect it will be worthwhile to include it.
A third implication is that, in the true spirit of group hug, you should get to use Braids more than your opponents. It's only fair after all! Therefore cards that copy triggered abilities like Strionic Resonator are at a premium here. Braids is far better if you get to use her twice and your opponents only get to use her once.
You also need to rework your ramp section entirely. The general rule of commanders and ramp applies here, namely, that you mostly want to play ramp that can get your commander out a turn early. This means one and two mana rocks primarily, unless it can get extra lands out. Dreamstone Hedron and Hedron Archive are traps and will make you cry. I know the theory is that you can play them for free with Braids, but keep in mind that they will never help you cast Braids. Also, they tend to be removal targets, and you'd probably be putting out something threatening over a mana rock anyway. Caged Sun is definitely worth it though because of the overall value, and because it will be worth it even to double your mana for one turn in order to cast a massive x-spell. Armillary Sphere is just bad here. Importantly, it is not a ramp spell since it doesn't put anything onto the battlefield. When people do play it, it is just for color fixing in multi-colored decks, and you don't need that. It'd be better to just play more card draw so that you can draw into your land drops normally. Sol Ring, Mind Stone, and Thought Vessel are fine, but you want to add Wayfarer's Bauble, Sky Diamond, and Coldsteel Heart at least. Sword of the Animist and Dowsing Dagger Flip are also fabulously repeatable ramp that always makes me smile. Dreamscape Artist is also a sleeper blue card that can repeatedly ramp lands onto the battlefield which is often overlooked. You'll be far happy with these efficient options that can either get Braids out early or get her out on time with mana to spare for counterspells than with the big splashy cards.
Also, as far as card draw goes, I wouldn't take group hug to far here. You are already giving your opponents free permanents, and you are in the best card draw color and don't need their help in that. Personally I'd recommend skipping Kami of the Crescent Moon and the like entirely, and play more personal draw spells like Gadwick, the Wizened and Blue Sun's Zenith. Seriously. One advantage of Braids is that they will play spells for free and run out of stuff to cast, whereas you can keep drawing into it. If you help them out too much, you're just hurting yourself in the long run. I'd honestly replace all the reciprocal draw spells with spells which draw you cards. The only one that might be ok is Well of Ideas, but that one is benefiting you more and you first, so it fits the bill.
Some more cautions. While casting free haymakers is the reason for this deck, don't overdo it. You want to be able to afford to hard cast stuff sometimes, both in case Braids dies or just to amass more of a board presence. The power curve in magic has been getting lower in recent years, and there are many devastating spells that cost four and five mana, so don't sleep on those. Your average cmc here is 4.5, and while some high cmc haymakers are what you want, you also want lots of castable creatures.
I'm also not sure why we are playing the "creatures become every creature type" cards. Is this for better board wiping with Whelming Wave or synergy with Spawning Kraken? In my experience these synergies won't work out enough to justify the card slots, which might be better filled with counterspells or other creatures. Honestly, if I were to pick another theme to support this archetype I'd pick blink, since you doubling ETB counters can be great, but that's just me. Blinking is the sort of thing where you don't need to do a lot of it for it to be good.
A few other card choice matters. Reflections of Littjara only works on cast, so it won't copy creatures played with Braids. Definitely consider this before including a five mana enchantment that doesn't affect the board right away. Also, yes, absolutely play High Tide. It is so worth it in a mono-blue deck. Yes, Frozen Aether is amazing here. this is absolutely how to play group hug. Your opponents get free stuff, but it is only fair that you get to use your stuff first. Personally, I feel like Ominous Seas is one of the most overrated commander cards in recent years. It seems like you get a great rate on a vanilla 8/8, but often the enchantment will get blown up first, and it takes forever to come out. That's just my opinion thought.
One final thought, don't prejudice yourself too much in favor of sea monsters over against, say, eldrazi. I know the chase eldrazi are expensive, but Artisan of Kozilek is under one dollar in real world money and a wonderful thing to play with Braids, and to make copies of with your copy spells, and to give haste to with Crashing Drawbridge. You will have so much fun.
I think this will be a great deck and you have a lot of good ideas going here. I'd just refocus it a bit and then wreak some havoc!
4 months ago
Alright, I'll try to keep that in mind and minimize the jargon. One thing I'd say about running lands, it's easy to end up with less than you actually need. The difference between 36 and 38 is extremely minor in terms of how many lands you can draw, so the exact number isn't that important, but if you have a higher cost Commander (Tiamat has a Mana Value of 7, or MV 7), you'll want ramp. A higher cost is usually any Commander requiring more than 4 mana, and/or one that requires more than 2 colours, either makes a Commander harder to cast. I end up on 38 in a deck like Reaper King, but I also use a lot of ramp in that deck to generate the huge mana values that deck can require. This deck probably wants anywhere from 36-42 lands, with 42 being where you want to be if you run relatively few ramp effects, 36 would mean running more of them, at least 10. You should probably run Command Tower. Temple of the False God is a risky land in a deck that isn't running a lot of lands, I hate to run it with less than 40 in a deck unless I have a payoff for a land tapping for 2.
It's worth considering basing your mana base around Green, not because most of the cards will be Green but to use Green ramp spells/mana dorks. I'm guessing you aren't aiming to spend a lot on this, so the cheapest $$$ way to increase your mana available is to use Green spells which can find Basic lands for you. Circuitous Route, Harrow, Roiling Regrowth, Search for Tomorrow, and Dire-Strain Rampage are all very good ramp effects, with most of them being cheap and able to find you colours of mana you might need. Sacrificing a land can be a good thing if you've got several of the same Basic land, which can happen easily. There are a ton of other ramp spells, many quite cheap, especially if you don't mind 3 mana effects. Spells that find land can be much better than artifacts, because artifacts can be blown up very easily compared to lands. I would also look for ones that can find any Basic land compared to ones that can only find a Forest unless you want to raise the budget a bit, as these lands are generally more expensive, but Kaldheim has 10 Snow type dual lands, one for each pair, and they are fairly cheap, and ramping with one of these off of Three Visits or Nature's Lore feels really good, but it'll be more investment. There are a lot of effects that find Forests and can find non-Basic Forests like Breeding Pool or Rimewood Falls, and finding one of those can really help make sure you can cast Tiamat. I would still play cards like Arcane Signet and Sol Ring, and most 2 MV mana artifacts are good cards usually.
A card that should be very useful in Tiamat would be Maskwood Nexus, which makes all creatures, wherever they are (in your hand, library, graveyard, or in play) are all every creature type, including Dragons, so Tiamat can find any 5 creatures. If you end up playing many cards that care about Dragons, this is worth looking at. Silverglade Pathfinder and Dreamscape Artist are pretty helpful some games as creatures that can also ramp you, potentially repeatedly if you are playing Casual games where you have a few more turns.
Interaction to protect your creatures can be very useful, Bolt Bend and Stubborn Denial are interesting options for you in a deck that will often have a power 4 creature out. Disdainful Stroke can stop board wipes, and Saw it Coming can stop anything in it's track, involving only U to cast, I would watch out for counterspells that cost UU (Blue Blue mana) to cast, this can be hard to arrange. You might think of Vindicate and/or Utter End to have removal vs any type of permanent, AFAIK neither is very expensive atm. There are 5 'Signet lands', Darkwater Catacombs, Skycloud Expanse, Shadowblood Ridge, Mossfire Valley and Sungrass Prairie are all very cheap and pretty good dual lands. Ash Barrens is a very good way to find a needed colour, especially Green. The World Tree is getting up there a bit, but it's a card worth looking at in 5 colours, especially if you run plenty of cards that find lands for you. If you have especially good non-Basic lands, IE lands that tap for 2 or more, Crop Rotation, Hour of Promise and Reap and Sow are all worth considering, finding a World Tree or other especially good land can be much stronger than finding a Basic. Faeburrow Elder and Jegantha, the Wellspring are very good ways to generate mana, probably don't run Jegantha as a Companion, just put him in the deck and you have no restrictions from him.
Well, that's what I'm thinking of right now, I'll probably have more later for you. I'll try to think of cards that are cheap and work for your deck, it might be a few posts before I've run out of relevant thoughts.
5 months ago
Dreamscape Artist can be pretty good, Parcelbeast is similarly useful in Simic Lands. You could even go so far as Silverglade Pathfinder. All three also work well with Retreat to Coralhelm to untap themselves to keep digging. I run Retreat as a combo engine in my Simic deck, but it is also used as more of a synergy piece. Dreamscape is the best I'd say, and combos with your Excavator already.
There is also Stone-Seeder Hierophant to ramp you per landfall, which synergizes better with your 2 mana lands than a Lotus Cobra or Tireless Provisioner would, though all three are very strong potentially.
6 months ago
Yeah I made a few cuts from underperformers from my first game with Runo, Namely, Nemesis of Reason, and Mission Briefing. Mission briefing was just a dead card in my hand early and Nemesis betrayed me the only time runo got around my next upkeep. Frantic Search is already one of the cards that is going in. Vile Entomber is a good get! Striped Riverwinder, and Dreamscape Artist were the other two I was thinking.
Got any other suggestions for cuts?