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DeifiedExile on Kraken Skulls
2 months ago
Removed: Belbe's Portal Unwind Nadir Kraken Quicksilver Amulet
Added: Crashing Drawbridge Junk Winder Entomb Vampiric Tutor
Tur on Hidden Power - Mono-Color - …
2 months ago
Hello everyone! This will be a forum post for a "Commander - Hidden Power" series. My goal is to show relatively inexpensive cards which are often overlooked by commander players in semi-competitive and casual play. (This post is not designed for competitive play.) If you enjoy the topic, please upvote the post or provide positive feedback and I will consider creating similar posts.
The powerful cards I plan on discussing are mono-color cards which are strong with big mana in commander.
I will provide one card per mono-color identity. These cards will not include x-spells nor multi-color identity spells. (I.e. no Torment of Hailfire nor Zacama, Primal Calamity)
It is obvious that big mana is a huge part of semi-competitive play. Whether it is from ramping through creatures, artifacts, enchantments, instants, sorceries, or lands. Big mana is pretty fun. Mana doubling effects from lands are especially useful. In this article, I'll be focusing on mana doubling from lands, but other ways to generate big mana are always possible
Here are some common big mana effects for each mono-color identity:
- White (W) : Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, Extraplanar Lens
- Blue (U) : Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, Extraplanar Lens, High Tide
- Black (B) : Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, Extraplanar Lens, Crypt Ghast, Nirkana Revenant, Cabal Coffers, Magus of the Coffers
- Red (R) : Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, Extraplanar Lens, Gauntlet of Might
- Green (G) : Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, Extraplanar Lens, Mana Reflection, Zendikar Resurgent, Nyxbloom Ancient, Vernal Bloom
This is not an all inclusive list as Mana Flare, Heartbeat of Spring, Keeper of Progenitus, Sword of Feast and Famine, et cetera would work just as well. In each mono-color identity the artifacts Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, and Extraplanar Lens can be used, however the black and green color identities have an advantage for mono-color double mana effects. Furthermore, green contains cards such as Seedborn Muse, Awakening, and Wilderness Reclamation which allow for more interactions.
Well, let us begin in WUBRG order!
White: Sacred Mesa
This card is relatively unused. According to EDHREC, Sacred Mesa is played in 1511/849227 (0%) decklists and is under one dollar. You'd be surpized how powerful this card is with double mana. Imagine making some number of pegasus at instant speed as either blockers or attackers for your next turn. (The upkeep cost can be paid by making a summoning sick pegasus during your turn.) Not to mention power and toughness buffing effects are ideal with Sacred Mesa, examples include Dictate of Heliod, Cathars' Crusade, Caged Sun, or Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite.
It is often compared to Luminarch Ascension because they have similar effects. Yes, it makes a 4/4 angel instead of a 1/1 pegasus.
However, Luminarch Ascension has many downsides:
- You have to have four quest counters to use the ability. (That is, you have to not lose life during an opponents turn four times.) This creates a huge target on your life total and you'll see it surely chip away.
- Bounce effects, such as Cyclonic Rift really mess it up. Welcome back to square one!
- Common cards, such as Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider prevent quest counters from even occurring. Vampire Hexmage or Hex Parasite are also options to remove the counters.
Sacred Mesa is way more versatile and does not have such downsides. Not to mention is it only three mana, ideal for Sun Titan recursion.
It is very rare to see this wonderful card. According to EDHREC, Compulsion is played in 1000/945324 (0%) decklists and is under one dollar. Having an activated draw ability with very little downside on a blue enchantment is insane. Ideal when paired with Teferi's Ageless Insight or Thought Reflection. There are a few cards which have a similar effect, such as Triskaidekaphile or Kefnet the Mindful without having to discard a card, but having a two mana activation is much more versatile. I suppose that an argument could be made with Training Grounds, but that is too much just to make the Kefnet the Mindful ability more cost effective. Furthermore, discarding a specific card like Echo of Eons, Wonder, or a shuffle Eldrazi such as Kozilek, Butcher of Truth has some nice synergy. (In fact, it should be played in most bant enchantress decks, such as the commander Tuvasa the Sunlit. Replenish for life!)
Black: Chainer, Dementia Master
This is a wonderful card, but a little pricey compared to the previous two cards. According to EDHREC, Chainer, Dementia Master is played in 6344/983251 (1%) decklists and is approximately ten dollars. Yes, we all know that you can abuse Chainer, Dementia Master with Gray Merchant of Asphodel or Kokusho, the Evening Star with sacrifice outlets such as Phyrexian Altar. Suppose we don't want to abuse this card into the ground is it still just good card? Yes. We can fill up or graveyard with Buried Alive or Entomb and get back a creature card, or we can grab a creature card from an opponents graveyard. It can also be used to interrupt graveyard combos, such as Aristocrats by using the ability on an opponents Butcher Ghoul with the undying trigger on the stack.
An extremely powerful and undervalued card. According to EDHREC, Scourge of Kher Ridges is played in 1005/912333 (0%) decklists and is under three dollars. If you're able to untap with Sourge of Kher Ridges and double mana, your opponents are going to have a rough time. As you can put multiple activations on the stack, it provides you with a very high on-board presence. Even within a response to removal. I've heard players complain that Scourge of Kher Ridges dies too quick to removal and my answer is "from your opponents perspective it needs to die before you're able to untap". Ideal with lifelink (and deathtouch) equipment such as Basilisk Collar or Shadowspear.
Green: Kamahl, Fist of Krosa
Typically unseen in play. According to EDHREC, Kamahl, Fist of Krosa is played in 4786/880991 (1%) decklists and is approximately five dollars. It is odd how unused Kamahl, Fist of Krosa is compared to Ezuri, Renegade Leader when they basically have the same effect. Overrun as an activated ability which is stackable multiple times. I agree that Ezuri, Renegade Leader is better in elf tribal decks, however Kamahl, Fist of Krosa is great in most big mana decks. Ideal for wide aggro. Tall aggro will gain the benefit of trample. If you don't have extra creatures you can animate your lands as 1/1 attackers, correction 7/7 attackers. (Pretty interesting because these attackers get around Cyclonic Rift, they're lands.) You can also get some payback by animating your opponents lands in response to a creature board wipe. (From that reasoning it can be paired with cards such as Ascendant Evincar and Crovax, Ascendant Hero to destroy opponents lands through animation.)
All in all, these are relatively unused cards which have a lot hidden power with big mana. If your deck is mono-colored and designed for big mana spells or abilities, think about giving these cards a chance. See if they work well for you and your playgroup.
teafresch on Tormod
2 months ago
Id suggest switching out Relic of Progenitus with either Unlicensed Hearse or Scrabbling Claws. Poxwalkers, Prized Amalgam, and Master of Death are also cards that have proven to be super good in my Tormod deck although I also have Intuition, Entomb, Traumatize, Unmarked Grave, Altar of Dementia, Oriq Loremage and Vile Entomber in mine. Some dredge cards might help filling your grave. If you ever add fetchlands then I would also add Hostile Desert and Crucible of Worlds. Phyrexian Tower, High Market and Unholy Grotto/Volrath's Stronghold are some other good lands. Tortured Existence is also a must. 1 black mana per 2/2 zombie as much as you want is hard to beat.
Delphen7 on Nekrons Dismembered
3 months ago
Illuminor Szeras seems very strong.
You can upgrade your way to big threats really fast, especially if you include Technomancer.
My inclination would be use cheap mana like Dark Ritual and Sol Ring to ramp out a t1, t2 Szeras. Next is a card like Cathodion to net postive if you immediately sacrifice it, all of which culminates in high mana threats and X spells like Torment of Hailfire
Trazyn the Infinite also seems powerful.
Chromatic Orrery and Basalt Monolith in the graveyard go infinite with him (generating infinite colorless mana and infinite card draw), and Buried Alive/Entomb/Unmarked Grave/Final Parting all get you there fairly easily. Prismite makes infinite colored, and I'm sure something could be pieced together there. Torment of Hailfire perhaps?
multimedia on Be'lakor Demons
3 months ago
Hey, Satoru Umezawa is spicy tech. Some other tech to consider is Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats? Makes it so with Belakor any Demon who ETB can kill any creature it targets with damage. Belakor + Great Unclean One is a machine gun with Zagras.
How about adding a few lower mana cost Demons with evasion to help to get through for ninjutsu? These can also help to get more Demons on the battlefield quicker for Belakor draw.
- Changeling Outcast --> Demonlord Belzenlok
- Blade of the Oni --> Gyruda, Doom of Depths
- Taborax, Hope's Demise --> Warstorm Surge
- Herald of Torment --> Venomcrawler
Loot, more entomb effects and expanding on reanimation are more ways to get Demons on the battlefield quicker, relying less on ramp.
- Faithless Looting --> Brainstorm
- Animate Dead --> Molten Echoes
- Entomb --> Panharmonicon
- Azra Oddsmaker --> Rakdos Signet
Emergence Zone is helpful with Liliana's Contract. It's mana before you want it as a flash source. Flash allows Contract to be on the battlefield much less time then not which gives you more chances of winning with Contract.
Good luck with your deck.
DreadKhan on unthinkable apocalypse
4 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.
Apollo_Paladin on Ultra-Budget Speed Dredge (2x 5-Card "Gold Hands")
4 months ago
Yeah, I really think it's already tweaked to be just about as nasty as can be. There are other creatures who are nasty that can be dredged out, but none that are as consistent about keeping control as Annihilator creatures. Played that early, it's almost a guarantee that you're eating mana with them this way and no other creature despite how powerful a win condition they are seems to work quite as often for me.
As always, I welcome people playing around with other ideas on my builds, but if you're looking for a straight competitive edge deck that completely exploits the dredge mechanic to win the maximum number of games, then this configuration I have now is really the highest win % that I've tested (and I tested quite a few variants of this deck way back in the day).
The only exception is 4x Entomb, and that would be the only real upgrade that I can see. The only reason I never got around to doing this is that I built the deck as a Budget variant as a kind of concept, and a full playset of Entombs is easily equal if not greater than the entire rest of the deck combined. Someday I'll end up adding them in, although it's already quite brutal without them.
I'm glad you liked this strategy though, I too find it difficult to get many repeat takers to really grind out test games with this deck, haha.
RobinsonCrusoe89 on EDH Karador Reanimation
6 months ago
SufferFromEDHD thank you for your input. Entomb is definitely a card I‘m going to include in the future. Right now I‘m fine with the budget friendly alternatives, though.
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