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Grafdigger's Cage Discussion
1 day ago
Depending on your budget, there are a few expensive cards that would make the deck a lot better; namely Cavern , Palace , the other 3 Companies (that is arguably the best card in the deck), that's all I can think of off the top of my head in terms of expensive cards.
You'll also want to complete some playsets to make the deck more consistent, creatures like Heritage Druid , Dwynen's Elite and Elvish Clancaller are (in my considerable experience with Elves) definite 4-ofs. Heritage Druid enables your most busted starts, Dwynen's Elite helps a lot in the grindy matchups, almost always being a 2-for-1, and Elvish Clancaller helps our little green men to stand up to the big scary creatures in modern.
Scavenging Ooze is an honorary elf, helping a lot against graveyard based decks, as well as the grindier ones that kill our guys.
Your sideboard choices don't seem optimal, there are a few cards that are just bad in modern (looking at you, Nylea's Presence and Overrun ) and some others that are just not ideal for elves ( Grafdigger's Cage non-bo with Company , for example).
Things like Beast Whisperer haven't impressed me, as it's only really useful when you're ahead and have cards in hand, once you've had your hand ripped apart or board wiped, you're likely to just be casting a 4 mana 2/3, which is embarrassingly bad by modern's standards. There are a few others that seem odd to me as well.
Take a look at this to see my preferred build and card choices
1 week ago
I'm surprised no one has mentioned it, but Timesifter happens to be one of the dumbest cards to run in colorless EDH. Most other decks are going to be doing their best to keep their curves reasonable, but since you have just buckets of colorless mana-producers your curve is going to run very high. If you run Sensei's Divining Top too, you can probably take around 80 percent of the extra turns.
Sculpting Steel is an excellent way to copy whatever your biggest mana-producer is.
I've never liked the tron lands in EDH. My reasoning is mainly that the reward is too difficult to obtain in a singleton, ninety-nine card deck, and that running more non-basics leaves you more open to attack from Back to Basics , Ruination and Wasteland . Many colorless decks already run a lot of non-basics, but you don't want to run more than you have to. I also think you're running a few too many lands, since you're also (ideally) going to be getting a lot of mana from your rocks. I think you should just do a straight trade of the tron lands for other accelerants.
There're also a few other colorless lands to consider. Cryptic Caves , I think, is better than Seraph Sanctuary ; typically you'd only gain one-ish life off the latter, and the ability to cycle Cryptic Caves late game can be very relevant. Ancient Tomb is a BOMB in most decks, especially colorless ones; if you have the ability to acquire it, run it. Thespian's Stage or Vesuva can copy a good land you want more of; Thespian's Stage is especially funny if you run Dark Depths , which also happens to interact favorably with your Mirage Mirror . Also Blast Zone . And Scorched Ruins .
In general, you want to run more two-mana rocks and fewer three-mana rocks. I don't like Pristine Talisman , Seer's Lantern , etc. simply because if you ran two-mana rocks instead, you could land the rock turn two, untap, play a land, and then land a four-mana spell like Thran Dynamo or Hedron Archive . There're enough two-mana rocks you can run in a colorless deck that I think you may find yourself playing a turn behind where you could be, unnecessarily. Some examples: Thought Vessel , Coldsteel Heart , Everflowing Chalice , Fellwar Stone , Grim Monolith (if you're rich) and Hedron Crawler ... I think replacing the aforementioned and other three-mana rocks with some of these is definitely worth trying. If you wanted, Metalworker is probably the best three-mana dork-rock ever made, though he is around $50 these days.
Tamiyo's Journal and Oracle's Vault are good ways to generate card-advantage in colorless decks. Same goes for Staff of Nin , Mind's Eye (which goes well with Victory Chimes , if you want to leave that in) and Karn, Scion of Urza .
My last suggestion's relevance will depend largely upon your moral compass. I have no issue being a grade-A douche in games, since they're just games, and a good person in important matters; you might feel otherwise. Stax, if you're like me, is the way to go with colorless decks that makes them way better, mainly because you have so much more mana than anyone else at the table can make. Consider some or all of the following: Lodestone Golem , Trinisphere , Thorn of Amethyst , Sphere of Resistance , Chalice of the Void (to be cast on X = 1), Winter Orb (especially good with your rocks and if you run something like Clock of Omens ... Relic of Progenitus is good against a lot of decks, and can cycle for a card when it isn't. Grafdigger's Cage is similar. Finally, you may have luck with Tangle Wire , although that can isn't at its best in the modern day.
Right. Good luck!
1 week ago
This is not bad looking... Highly competitive is probably a bot of a stretch, but not bad.
You could turn it into a Hardened Scales Affinity deck, that would be a huge upgrade, but I can understand wanting to avoid being too artifact heavy. (And buying Mox Opal s.)
As it stands now, your sideboard needs a lot of work.
The main thing you should focus on when making a sideboard for a fair, uninteractive deck, is how you plan to avoid losing to unfair decks.
Then preparing for your worst fair match-ups, and just answering things that are hard to beat.
1 week ago
What I suspect is going on is that your opponents are doing a lot on the aggro front. There're a few ways you can deal with this.
First, you can discourage your opponents from attacking you. Propaganda is probably the best-known card for this, but there're plenty of others. No Mercy comes to mind -- it was one of my favorite cards when I was a kid. Crawlspace and Silent Arbiter are good ways to limit the number of attackers an opponent can pressure you with, and assuming no trample, you likely can just chump away whatever they're hitting you with. Finally, Meekstone will keep the most dangerous ones tapped. I think any of these will probably be better than AEtherize , especially since none of them are 'single use.'
You also seem to be light on wrath effects. Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow ninjutsu ability gets around commander tax, meaning he'll really only ever cost to put down -- so feel totally free to wrath with him on the board. Kindred Dominance strikes me as being way too much mana to do real damage in the earlier stages of the game, especially if you're fighting a bunch of aggro decks. Damnation is, I think, preferable here, as are Toxic Deluge and Cyclonic Rift . Damnation and Toxic Deluge being four and three mana, respectively, means you can conceivably cast them before you're getting smacked but while your opponent has a summoning-sick army. Cyclonic Rift 's overload ability IS seven mana, but being instant speed makes up for that (at least in my opinion).
If you include wrath effects, non-creature token producers are worth including -- they'll give you creatures to 'return' with Yuriko's ability while surviving the wrath themselves. Bitterblossom is the best here, though like most good cards, it's relatively expensive. Other options include Breeding Pit , Graf Harvest (if you wrath Yuriko to the 'yard, you can exile him to the command zone to create a token, then ninjutsu him out on the token when it attacks), Spawning Pit and Volrath's Laboratory (which can make ninjas).
If you decide to run some of the above cards, they should replace your one-for-one removal cards. In general, EDH games will have you facing three opponents, and therefore three times the number of cards you have. You therefore want cards that will effect more than a single card your opponent has. Hero's Downfall and Grasp of Darkness may be great in one-on-one formats, but in EDH they simply don't pack enough punch. (One interesting exception to the 'limit your one-for-ones' rule is the inclusion of counter magic. In general, I think of counterspells in EDH as more than one-for-ones, since A) they can save more than one of your cards if you counter something like By Force or Fire Covenant , and B) they can stop combos cold, making your opponent waste all the combo pieces s/he/they cast before the countered card.)
I have some non-combat related suggestions, too -- I hope I'm not being presumptuous in offering them:
I'm sure you've noticed how awesome your Treasure Cruise is: being eight on a Yuriko flip but often costing around two or three mana at most to cast is pretty busted. There're other delve cards to consider, though I do think it is likely more than one or two in a list will occasionally cause issues when delve gets in its own way. Dig Through Time is a primary candidate here, as it is also eight mana, but it also happens to be an instant (yay!). Temporal Trespass also comes to mind.
In magic, there're a bunch of alternate casting-cost cards that work well with your general, as their CMC is usually pretty high. Unfortunately, some of them are expensive -- I'll just mention them, in case you have more money to blow than I typically do: Force of Will and Commandeer . Spinning Darkness , Gush and Misdirection are all more affordable and alright cards in their own right, though they are significantly less powerful.
Nexus of Fate is a pet card of mine, and I think it'd be genuinely good here. It hits for seven, but doesn't 'really' make you tap out since if it resolves you get another untap step right away.
A creature to consider is Baleful Strix . Having deathtouch and flying make it really hard to block, and if you keep ninjutsu-ing it back to your hand you can keep casting it for the draw trigger.
Top-deck manipulation is a good way to make sure your general hits his hardest, and your Brainstorm is a good start. Mystical Tutor isn't too much money, though the black version, Vampiric Tutor , definitely is a lot of money nowadays. Scheming Symmetry is an alright replacement, though you'll want to be sure to kill the opponent who searches, or at least remove his top card. Though they're pricey, Sensei's Divining Top and Jace, the Mind Sculptor really are the best ways to mess with your top few cards in the game; Jace has the added bonus, like Brainstorm , of being able to top cards that you want to reveal with Yuriko's trigger again. Dream Cache and Telling Time are both OK top deck manipulation.
Cantrips are good. I suggest running Preordain in addition to your Ponder and Brainstorm . It's not as good as the two you have (in this deck), since it can only leave one card on top of your deck for Yuriko triggers, but I still think it's worth playing. As a turn one play, it's gonna be hard to beat. (Of course, Ponder does still beat it.)
Finally, mass card-draw is a good thing. Even if it doesn't trigger Yuriko, having spells to cast is always preferable to not having them (exception: Mindslaver ). Windfall is excellent, especially if you put in Narset, Parter of Veils (I think you should). Fact or Fiction and Chemister's Insight are both good instant-speed draw spells.
Only good things! Hope this helped.
2 weeks ago
It’s really not a good selection at the 1 drop slot once you get to 2-3 cmc there are a lot more options.
3 weeks ago
Personally I would consider using 2 or 3 copies of Judith, the Scourge Diva and a playset of Priest of Forgotten Gods . If the budget is not an issue a playset of Bloodghast would work splendid in this deck, though you would need to rework your mana base with some fetches and shocklands.E.g Blood Crypt , Bloodstained Mire , Sacred Foundry and Arid Mesa . Perhaps 3 Seraph of the Scales instead of Hunted Witness and more copies of Cartel Aristocrat as your sac outlets. I would remove Shamble Back and Spark Harvest completely. I would use 3 Fatal Push and 2 Dreadbore instead as a removal package. In place of Utter End and Raise the Alarm I would use playset of Cruel Celebrant or Blood Artist as the main drain engine of the deck. I would also run Tithe Taker in place of Martyr of Dusk . As for the sideboard 2 copies of Grafdigger's Cage for graveyard hate, 2 copies Vandalblast for artifact hate, Bedevil and an extra copy of Anguished Unmaking
3 weeks ago
I love the deck name. I got a few suggestions:
Your land-base can use some work. I highly suggest Command Tower , City of Brass , Mana Confluence and Prismatic Vista . The prices on these lands varies, but they're all good (especially Command Tower )...
Xerox cards, sort of like your Opt , will allow you to run slightly fewer lands -- they'll dig you to what you need and past what you don't. I highly recommend running Ponder and Preordain in any blue deck; Brainstorm is great, too, though it requires slightly more shuffle effects than just Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds .
I think Swords to Plowshares is a lot better than Path to Exile . Ramping an opponent in a format filled with high-power cards is actively dangerous, and I suggest Path to Exile only in highly aggro decks that need to remove blockers to kill an opponent. Giving an opponent a little life is much less significant. Similarly, I think Grasp of Fate is likely a lot better than Pacifism .
Narset, Parter of Veils is a bomb in EDH, especially if you can pair her with a well-timed Windfall . Similarly, many decks have at least a decent number of search effects, meaning that Ashiok, Dream Render is also a powerhouse.
Like the aforementioned Windfall , there're a bunch of card-advantage spells to consider. Painful Truths is a favorite of mine, and Fact or Fiction , Dig Through Time , Treasure Cruise , Phyrexian Arena etc. are all awesome. Fathom Mage can also draw you cards.
One major bonus to playing green in EDH is that it grants you access to the best dorks; in these colors, you can play pretty much all the best ones except Orcish Lumberjack . Some are more expensive than others, but since dorks (and their low cost) are the best ramp in the game, you should consider running any number of these: Avacyn's Pilgrim , Llanowar Elves , Fyndhorn Elves , Elvish Mystic , Elves of Deep Shadow , Deathrite Shaman , Noble Hierarch , Birds of Paradise and Bloom Tender will all be powerhouses in this deck.
There're some charge-counter artifacts to consider, as you can proliferate the counters. Everflowing Chalice and Astral Cornucopia come immediately to mind, and Coalition Relic and Transmogrifying Wand are both powerful as well.
Depending on your meta, there're some enchantments you should consider: Mystic Remora is often an Ancestral Recall in more inexperienced metas; Compost can be a powerhouse, as black is the second most common color after blue; heavy blue metas are friendly to Carpet of Flowers ; and similarly, since you're not running any Island s outside the basics yourself, Choke can be good.
I think you forgot Sol Ring ...
If you want, you can run a little bit o' hate. Grafdigger's Cage is probably the best Stax piece in the current meta. Smokestack is a fun piece of work you can proliferate, if necessary; running it in conjunction with Orochi Hatchery or just Bitterblossom can give you all the advantage you need.
3 weeks ago
This list looks really good. I have a few thoughts:
With regard to combo packages, you generally want to use pieces that can be valuable on their own, while taking as few card-slots as possible. I highly suggest only leaving in the Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and the Worldgorger Dragon combos. I say this because the other combos require more cards that are dead on their own and/or cost too much mana. Leaving in just two combos, which have some interchangeable parts, means you have more slots for disruption, the deck is more consistent, and the average power of each top-deck you get increases.
You may want to consider haste-enabling reanimation magic, since you can use it to combo off without needing your general on the table. In general, the more you can combo off independent of your commander, the more frequently you'll win; people know 'kill on sight' generals, and can generally keep them off the table. Some spells to consider are: Corpse Dance (stacking the creatures you Buried Alive so Necrotic Ooze is on top of your 'yard), Shallow Grave (same stack) and Torrent of Souls . Obviously, this is a secondary method, but it's worth considering running one of these spells.
Your opponents are going to hate on you pretty hard (as people hate on all combo decks), so counter-disruption is going to be necessary. By Force is a powerful way to knock out Grafdigger's Cage , Nihil Spellbomb and similar stuff. Enchantment-based hate is a lot more difficult to deal with in Rakdos; I suggest using Engineered Explosives and/or Blast Zone to deal with cards like Leyline of the Void or Rest in Peace .
Your manabase is good, but I see some room for improvement. I think High Market is probably better than Miren, the Moaning Well as a sac-outlet, simply because it costs a bunch of mana to activate Miren, the Moaning Well . I may be missing something, but I don't think Piranha Marsh and Sunscorched Desert are very good here. I suggest running basic Mountain s and Swamp s instead.
I think you're also running two to three too many lands. You're running the best two-mana rocks, but running some of the slightly-less-awesome ones instead of a few lands can let you ramp to cast your general turn three. Mind Stone , Fellwar Stone and Coldsteel Heart are all good in addition to your Sol Ring , Talisman of Indulgence , etc.
Finally, red has some pretty great hate cards. Pretty much every deck searches at some point, so Stranglehold is a great card (that also occasionally hoses Narset, Enlightened Master decks). Price of Glory is good as a deterrent to countermagic. Depending on your meta, Flashfires , Boil and Omen of Fire can all end games -- I'm not sure what dork at R and D make Boil and Omen of Fire instants, but he deserves a high five.
Right. That's all I got. Good luck man! Hope this helps.
Grafdigger's Cage occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.02%
All decks: 0.03%
All decks: None%