, : Tap target artifact, creature, or land.
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Icy Manipulator Discussion
6 months ago
There's a reason why there aren't more creatures with vigilance besides the angel, it's because there's no need for them. I'll use the creatures you suggested as an example. Let's say I play either Alert Heedbonder or Tajuru Pathwarden. What do any of the these do to help develop my strategy? Nothing, especially the Heedbonder. The Pathwarden at the very least is big, but that's about it. Nether of them help to keep my opponent's creatures tapped. Taranika, Akroan Veteran I actually stopped to think about a little bit. However, it basically works the same way as the others. Sure she can untap my creatures and maybe grow some of them a little bit, which is important to know as a lot of the creatures wouldn't receive that big of a buff, but there's someone else that can also "untap" while also being an Engine. Soulherder. It doesn't technically untap but effectively is the same thing. To wrap up this point about vigilance, the only creatures that would benefit from having it would be the Bounding Krasis and Icefall Regent. Another thing to mention is Evolutionary Leap, which can turn useless tapped creatures into something more useful.
Icy Manipulator is an interesting one, but is kinda mana intensive due to the mana cost. Thankfully, I found other cards with similar effects, like Pacification Array. While I think the deck has sufficient tapping effects, this is something that caught my attention enough to make me want to playtest it.
Thanks for the opinion and suggestions!
6 months ago
I have seen that combo floating around for a while, (and even tried to make it work myself) but in general it's pretty meh. Urborg is a okay card by itself, (not amazing but okay) but when you add in mostly dead tutors outside of your combo you end up with a ton of bad draws. Spreading Algae however is increddibly weak unless you play against a deck that went turn one swamp and didn't Thoughtseize or Inquisition of Kozilek Algae away. I can even see scenarios where they don't take Algae because it's so underwhelming. At the end of the day, the combo gives your opponents fetch lands the ability to tap for mana and gives you a 1 mana LD spell. Unless you add in somthing that can force them to tap their land (Icy Manipulator maybe? That makes an already bad two card combo a worse three card one) it's just a 'this land can't tap for mana spell' but worse since when they need it they can sac the land for the mana. Devoting card slots to dead cards and tutors for LD is really bad, some decks will have already devoloped their board by the time you start Algaeing their lands. Even worse, if they start stockpiling fetchs (that can now tap for black mana) algae is useless because they can crack in response to algae and it will fizzle and not return, preventing you from locking most decks out of black mana.
Basically you have to play 1 card that is dead in most matchups and 1 okay card, it's mostly limited to Golgari colors, it dosen't win you the game (far from it in fact), and isn't consistent enough to just 'stumble' upon without devoting slots to tutors for again, a combo thats rather underwhelming.
All that said, it's certainly a fun little combo that I would love to see do something.
7 months ago
Since you're completely built around Stoic Angel, I'm surprised you aren't running more creatures with Vigilance! After all, her drawback applies to you too, meaning you can swing with a vigilant army turn after turn and save your one untap for a mana dork or whatever. There are plenty of solid budget options, including Alert Heedbonder, Tajuru Pathwarden and Taranika, Akroan Veteran. Of course, you can also just staple Vigilance onto your whole crew with something like Brave the Sands or the humble Serra's Blessing!
The other thing to consider is having a repeatable, reliable tapping effect. Bounding Krasis and Icefall Regent can tap a creature... once. But maybe something nastier shows up later - then you'd be better served by something like Icy Manipulator. Having more cards that can tap a creature on demand than just the mana-intensive Verity Circle is likely to keep your opponent down once the Angel is in play.
9 months ago
You need to decide what you want the deck to do before you can start cutting cards. Without knowing your build goal, you will not be able to know where to cut.
What do you wan this deck to do? Examples/ideas:
Is this deck mainly aggro? then keep the big monsters and the ramp. Cut the little creatures that are not mana dorks or cost reduction.
Is this deck mid-range good stuff? then cut creatures until you get 14-18, And add interaction cards to stop or negate your opponent's plays.
Is this a combo deck of some kind? For example; Is it built around Icy Manipulator + Voltaic Key for it's control? then get rid of the other stuff that is not part of that game plan.
Or is it going to cheat stuff out with Amulet and bridge? Then get rid of the icys and keys and focus on cheating big fat bombs out early.
Is it a toolbox deck? then cut your bombs and strong cards to 1 copy each and add more tutors to the deck.
These are just a tiny sample of archetypes, I am just showing how you can decide what kind of deck this is. Once you do, a lot of the cuts may become obvious depending on what you want for the deck.
But there are some cuts you should do no matter what goal you have:
-3 Fabricate (You already have 4 tinkers and 2 tezzerets), -1 Black Vise (Without support for it only 1 copy of this is just an annoyance when it shows up in your hand or is in play), -1 Paradox Engine (This is a freaking amazing card but it does not do a lot for this particular deck) , -1 Winter Orb (Like vise, without support it is not that useful with 1 copy), -1 Colossus of Akros (You have better big bombs already), -4 Etched Champion (this is a vanilla 2/2 most of the time and is probably the worst creature in your list), -4 Ornithopter (These are okay with the other cards in your deck but you will ramp into big stuff so fast they are just not too useful), -4 Welding Jar (at the very least cut it down to 2 since it synergizes with Academy Ruins. But Academy Ruins, Tinker, and Tezzeret the Seeker do the same thing kind of as this already. Id cut all of them to the maybeboard and see how it plays).
In a vacuum, none of these cards are bad by themselves. But none of these cards help you reach your goals for the deck. And only having 1 of something has a very low chance of seeing play. So if it does see play, it needs to do big things for you.
For your lands, they are another resource for the deck. So I would suggest filling in your land base with support cards. Stuff like;
+3 Buried Ruin (if you dont want to get more academy ruins), +2 Rogue's Passage (they don't hurt and can let you win off the back of one of your big creatures), +2 Arch of Orazca (really, slots of any land that gives card advantage), +5 more Islands or so, whatever gets you to 20-22 lands. If you dont want any of the other non-island cards, just add islands.
Your deck has very little interaction and I would suggest adding some to the deck. There are hundreds of options but I would look to add stuff that is similar to any of the following cards:
Spine of Ish Sah, Unstable Obelisk, or Meteor Golem. These cards synergize with academy ruins and buried ruin and can be Tinker targets when you need them. Just 1 or 2 copies of cards like these in the deck you can tutor for. Once you bring one of them online, you can keep bringing them back repeatedly to destroy your opponent's game state.
Then you need instant speed answers you can use to respond to what your opponent's do. Interaction is important and you will lose games just because you didnt have a Disenchant in your hand. Add copies of stuff like Scour from Existence, Titan's Presence, Not of This World or even repeatable stuff like Capsize or similar.
I am not saying you have to do any of the things I suggested. But you do need to decide what you want to do with the deck, cut cards, and add land and add interaction to the deck or it may just stay a hot mess like it is now.
10 months ago
My favorite artifact:
A very long time ago, my favorite artifact was Icy Manipulator. The original artwork hooked me. Back when artifacts got turned off when they became tapped this card was a great answer for nearly everything that would get put into play that could hurt you. And it was always relevant.
My favorite creature:
Once Arabian Nights happened, The Khabal Ghoul became my favorite creature. For 1 mana, a creature that could just keep growing? Pair them with Royal Assassins and grow them like crazy. If playing with white, add Spirit Links to the ghouls. They just added an ever growing threat to your board and were very flavorful.
My favorite instant:
Capsize has been my favorite ever since it's first printing back in 1999. This is repeatable denial at instant speed in an opponent's end step, targets any permanent and is in a color filled with protection for it. I believe it's a perfect example of what blue magic is. Versatile and another form of permission. And if unanswered, it will stop any strategy across the table from you. Since it can even bounce lands, it's never a dead draw really.
11 months ago
11 months ago
I'm not a huge fan of Howling Mine in general, since it helps your opponent draw more lands to recover from Armageddon. You definitely don't need 4 Library in addition to 3 Mines. I'd cut some or all of the Mines in favor of something like Icy Manipulator, which can double as mana denial and creature control. I think the original Erhnam-geddon decks also included a handful of efficient creatures for early chip damage or defense (Savannah Lions, White Knight, Order of Leitbur, that sort of thing), if you don't like the Icy Manipulator idea.
Also, I just noticed that Black Vise isn't in here. It should be an auto-include in the maindeck unless you tend to run into a lot of aggro decks that empty their hands quickly.
11 months ago
a few extra seasonings...
Stax: The name comes from Smokestack, the first "grand-daddy" of this style of 'hard' permissions/control play. But prison was sort of its predecessor. The first "prison" I'm aware of was probably the monowhite (from somewhere in the memory vault Chris Cade comes to mind) from the mid/late 90s, or white/red artifact and removal heavy brews that played stuff like Ankh of Mishra + Winter Orb + Icy Manipulator and the like combined with Armageddon, 4x Strip Mine and some tax effects and other ways to make sure your opponent had a bad time. It was brutal but effective. Sometimes with a beater like Serra Angel to actually end the game in less than an hour...
Pillow-fort was a newer one to me but stuff like Island Sanctuary and Moat have been around for a long time. It's a soft lock more or less against many common strategies/deck types and gets more so in combination with other 'stax' pieces.