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|Commander / EDH
|Commander: Rule 0
Creature — Sphinx Rogue
Prowl (You may cast this spell for its prowl cost if you dealt damage to a player this turn with a Sphinx or Rogue.)
When Enigma Thief enters the battlefield, for each opponent, return up to one target nonland permanent tha tplayer control so its owner's hand.
5 months ago
GHoag thank you for your most critical feedback. I agree with a lot you have to say on this. There are a few things I'd like to discuss further. I'll mirror your format so you know how I am responding to what. Thank you for the praise on the list so far, there is definitely some things to be worked out still. "The pinnacle is a concept only to the unambitious" -flavor text from a card I don't remember lol. (sorry for the novel below)
Regarding Fetchlands, I think the deck thinning is negligible or very hard to notice at most. This aspect of them definitely can't be a bad thing. But playtesting has shown that the negative effects of including them are negligible. I have never been upset about running all 4. Also, the synergy these lands has with Vantress Visions (Virtue of Knowledge) feels reeeally good.
Rite of Replication is expensive mana wise. The purpose of Rite is to get through your whole deck in one go assuming Unesh is on the field, which is not always the case. In my playtesting, it has been very hard to resolve due to mana cost, and when you do meet the mana requirement it is never safe from interaction. Given these flaws, this card might as well say "if you are targetting Unesh and this card resolves, you win the game." With the FOFs, you can pick up all counter magic and free mana rocks on the way down your deck to cast & protect Thassa's Oracle. A non-negligible side effect, this makes choosing piles easier to do because you no longer have to grab sphinxs or other wincons. This wincon is still relevant at this mana cost. I think the jury is still out if this is the best choice though. With inifinite mana you can do something similar, and I'll talk more about this below. Q: Why not add Personal Tutor? Simply because you don't need 3 copies of Rite. I already don't like Mystical Tutor, but the versatility to grab any instant makes it worth it. By the time you meet the mana requirement, you will have seen Rite or Mystical Tutor. Personal Tutor is too narrow to have in a slot, even on the 'Rite' plan.
cEDH meta talk, there is Turbo, midrange, and stax (early win, midgame win, lategame win respectively.) The average win without any interaction is turn 6-7 on this revision. This solidly puts Unesh into midrange. I think he can be sped up a bit with more revisions. Turn 4 is a late win for Turbo, but with enough interaction to stop the turbo player we can get to the midrange and win the game. Unesh suffers against a a few stax pieces. The main ones being Torpor Orb (which doesn't see a ton of play these days), and Null Rod and Collector Ouphe. Collectore Ouphe doesn't feel so bad with our interaction suite, and Null Rod is even more of a nuissance. If both are on the field, it is an absolute nightmare for Unesh.
Creatures: Yes a lot of fat was trimmed, and it took some time to really narrow down the best Sphinxs in these slots. There is still room for improvement here. For instance Vexing Sphinx feels awful. The reason I added it a while back was because he can be played early game for a bit of card draw. The card draw from this is not worth the mana spent, the fact that even with Unesh out he is 2 blue to cast also feels very bad. I will definitely replace him with another Sphinx, probably Argent Sphinx or Metallic Mimic. For 2 blue I am much happier to see the mana sink on Argent Sphinx. And for 2 colorless I am happy to see possibly the next cheapest sphinx not already in the deck. Enigma Thief though high CMC, I can reliably cast him for his prowl cost at 2 cmc, and his removal is top notch. Dream Eater though the removal is not the best, it is still good. The kicker here is honestly the surveil 4. You do Unesh FOF first, then surveil 4 and hopefully you can put all 4 in the graveyard. Still dream eater does feel a bit slower than everything else. Scholar of the Lost Trove, upfront I feel very strongly about this card. It's not because this is a pet card, it's because I think its very powerful in this deck. Even at 5cmc which is what I normally cast it for, it feels like insane value. You get the Unesh trigger, and a wincon from the graveyard that the opponents thought they didn't have to deal with anymore. After doing some math on this, the average cost of an Unesh trigger with Unesh on the field is ~2.25 cmc in the current revision (that is the cmc of a card generating the FOF divided by the total number of things generating FOFs excluding Rite). At 5 cmc, casting the Scholar gives you a 4 cmc game winning artifact and a ~2.25 cmc Unesh trigger. Not to mention, it gives you flexibility in choosing piles. For instance, If an opponent erroneously puts Panharmonicon in a pile by itself, you can shamelessly take the other 3 cards in that FOF. Palinchron is also rather expensive to set up, but not as expensive as Rite. I think it is a good back up win condition. If Rite doesn't resolve, or if Isochron w/ dramatic reversal doesn't resolve, we need at least one other way to combo off. With ways to tutor for High Tide this win condition has been online surprisingly often, and is definitely threatening. That said having this AND Rite feels too heavy mana wise. I think I am pretty much sold on Isoscepter because of how inexpensive it is. With recent mana rock additions as well as Mox Diamond and Grim Monolith (mentioned below) the wincon is online for far cheaper than Rite and effectively does the same job, also dramatic reversal can be used as a one time use now which makes it good on it's own.
Lands: After a day of listening to cEDH podcasts, this is what I came up with. Urza's Saga is nuts. After playtesting with these lands I felt a big power spike. Thank you for mentioning Mystic Sanctuary again. I didn't think about it being able to retrieve a wincon which is pretty relevant. I will consider slipping this one back in there. I also think that losing just one more Island wouldn't be very impactful. What do you think about Command Beacon? After playtesting, I think there is such a niche case when this card is good in cEDH. I think I prefer an Island here given the more recent revisions.
Enchantments: Agreed, all of these are great cards. Not much to change here.
Instants: I don't think there are any cuts to be made here. After playtesting I think I need to add more Instants to more reliably shut off early combo wins. Demonic Consultation and Ad Nauseum are rampant. Even fitting in a Dispel or Spell Pierce to the deck would go a long way.
Artifacts: Work needs to be done here. I agree with a lot of what you are saying. Lightning Greaves feels bad because board interaction is light and stack interaction is high in cEDH. Caged Sun is usually too expensive to play without cheating it in with Scholar. But scholar wants to hit other game winning cards anyway, so Caged sun needs to go. Grim Monolith and Mox Diamond need to go in. I have been reluctant to add them to the list because I don't have paper copies. You are spot on with these two though. I am not high on Moonsilver Key, but I do like Wayfarer's Bauble. The bauble putting a land into play is important to getting palinchron online, and this also sees great synergy with Vantress Visions similar to the fetch lands. Though bauable is definitely worse than mox diamond and grim monolith, it would be my last cut. Mox Amber indeed doesn't power Unesh out, but we don't need it to. I will say that my playtests have really favored this card. Being able to play more mana artifacts after a FOF for free will keep the FOFs rolling. Mox Amber feels very good. Mox diamond is superior, but I won't take out Mox Amber for it.
REVISION: After synthesizing both our viewpoints, here is a revision that I will go ahead and push. I think you will like this mostly, but let me know your doubts.
- Replace Vexing Sphinx with Spell Pierce.
- Replace Lightning Greaves with Dramatic Reversal.
- Replace Caged Sun with Isochron Scepter.
- Replace Lorien Revealed with Muddle the Mixture. I am okay with an effective land cut here after playtesting.
- Replace Moonsilver Key with Mox Diamond.
- Replace Wayfarer's Bauble with Grim Monolith.
- Replace an Island with Mystic Sanctuary.
EXPLANAITION: This rev cuts the Rite wincon and adds the less expensive Isoscepter wincon. There is still backup wincon in Aetherflux. Isoscepter is backed up by Palinchron, and Aetherflux is supported by Palinchron. Obviously, the goal with infinite mana is to play Thassa's eventually. Dramatic Reversal is good enough on its own now because of the artifacts added recently. I honestly think this is the cheapest that the wincon package can be while still being robust enough to not fizzle out. With these wincons, Unesh doesn't have to be on the field, which makes the deck less reliant on him, mitigating one of the deck's biggest flaws. Cutting Lightning Greaves will likely be inconsequential due to low board state interaction. Muddle and Spell pierce add some more stack interaction while Muddle can find combo pieces. I went with Spell pierce over Dispel because it can hit stax pieces as well as stopping an early combo win. Cutting a sphinx now relies on Ghostly Flicker to be part of the 20%. Mystic Sanctuary and Scholar of the Lost Trove are used to retrieve wincons from the grave if necessary.
I heavily considered subbing Dream Eater for Argent Sphinx. I will need to playtest that change before committing to it.
1 year ago
Dominaria Remastered Gave me a couple of goodies! Also I made some subs to favor early game power of the deck rather than greeding the later game. CEDH decks are powerful because they are fast. I want UNESH to play as fast as possible.
I updated the version of Urza's Incubator and High Tide because they have foil prints now! Now just waiting for foil prints of Enigma Thief, Riddlemaster Sphinx, and Fierce Guardianship to have a full foil deck!!
Vexing Sphinx instead of Argent Sphinx due to lower mana cost, early survivability, and card draw that isn't necessarily reliant on UNESH being in play. Further testing needed to see if the discard from vexing sphinx hurts too much or not.
Mystic Remora instead of Kefnet's Monument. Kefnet's monument always feels too slow for what it is actually doing. It is clearly the lowest powered artifact in the deck. In the two turns waiting to play Kefnets monument, Mystic Remora could draw you several cards. These cards could be the difference between winning or losing, being able to ramp in to UNESH or not, having an additional answer faster than you would otherwise. I had a personal crutch with Kefnet's monument because it fit the theme. However Mystic Remora is the clearly stronger card (and has a foil print for the very first time).
2 years ago
Made Updates for testing:
- Replaced Reality Shift with Pongify. Lower CMC on pongify, a little easier to cast.
- Replaced Panharmonicon with Force of Negation. Lower CMC more interaction, one less clunky win more cards
- Replaced Sphinx of the Final Word with Enigma Thief. Final Word's ability rarely comes into play, adds more direct interaction potential, can potentially cast enigma thief for much cheaper.
2 years ago
Enigma Thief and Thieving Skydiver are great on theme ways to deal with problems on the other side of the board. Yarragoth, Bloodsky Sire with the evasion built into the deck can get you any piece for any occasion on a recurring basis. I’d also reconsider Dimir Guildgate and Submerged Boneyard. I totally get working on a budget, but make entering tapped give you SOMETHING. Sunken Hollow is less than a buck and is gonna come in untapped most of the time. Temple of Deceit is like 50 cents and gives you at least a scary for the bother of coming in tapped. Totally respect the budget side. Hope some of these ideas help ya…
3 years ago
Hey, nice version of Anowon. You have several good cards, but what's with the manabase? Compared to the rest of your deck the manabase with 29x basic lands looks like it's for a $100 Commander deck not a $400+ deck. It's the main area to consider upgrading with more Dimir dual lands.
- Watery Grave
- Underground River
- Darkslick Shores
- Sunken Ruins
- Drowned Catacomb
- Sunken Hollow
- Choked Estuary
- Path of Ancestry
Consider other Rogues?
- Ghostly Pilferer
- Thieves' Guild Enforcer
- Zareth San, the Trickster : can be a repeatable effect to reanimate your opponents permanents from their graveyards after they mill them.
- Nighthawk Scavenger
- Enigma Thief : consistently it's four mana for a 5/5 flying Rogue with a strong ETB ability.
Anowon can be repeatable draw if the attacked opponent mills a creature, but this can miss/will miss a lot. Other repeatable draw options to consider.
Cards to consider cutting:
- Feldon's Cane
- Trepanation Blade
- Mind Grind
- Torment of Hailfire
- Dreamscape Artist
- Balustrade Spy
- Keymaster Rogue
Good luck with your deck.