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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Make an Example
Each opponent separates the creatures they control into two piles. For each opponent, you choose one of their piles. Each opponent sacrifices the creatures in their chosen pile. (Piles can be empty.)
DreadKhan on Maralen's Merry-Go-Round of Death
4 days ago
Have you thought about using an Emergence Zone? Casting Maralen on the end step before your turn sounds amazing, you tutor first and can grab your Opposition Agent! Teferi's Puzzle Box is pretty interesting with Maralen out, especially if you can skip your draw step somehow (I like Necropotence). In a meta where people love Najeela and Winota I don't think I'd want to go without Make an Example in mono-Black, this removal will always hit the most important thing on each opponent's board, and if they choose poorly they'll lose more. I wonder if Necromantic Selection is more impactful/hits the table sooner than In Garruk's Wake? If you're really far behind keeping your board is probably a lot worse than stealing the best creature you wiped. I'm also not sure if Decree of Pain is better than Wake, it's modal (with both modes being potentially relevant), and it's a tad cheaper, the sheer card advantage is probably better in a cEDH deck with more fast mana though. Any reason you're not on Lightning Greaves? I find this is a reasonable choice in a deck that cares about it's Commander, I guess you're still open to Instants, but if you can't give Maralen Flash somehow it seems good, maybe I'm missing something?
Are you skipping staples like Mana Crypt and Mana Vault because they are too pricey? If you still want playable ramp in mono-Black, there are a few options that you aren't running yet. I think your average MV is high enough to look at Dream Devourer, this makes your spells easier to cast, and even if you lose the Devourer you can still cast the spell. I'm not sure it really fits, but if you need to cast big value stuff then Magus of the Coffers is good help, and it tends to impact the board sooner than Nirkana Revenant fwiw. Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth isn't ramp but it works with lots of Black cards that care about swamps. Cabal Ritual is a bigger Dark Ritual, especially if you've Milled yourself a bit.
I think I liked this deck so much it inspired me to look at my copy of Maralen, and I think I've thought of a deck for her at last, I think it'll be my sweaty try-hard win con in my Sisay, Weatherlight Captain deck, thanks for the inspiration, hope some of my ideas are helpful!
DreadKhan on thantis and the boys
1 week ago
I don't think Thantis should leave home without Rite of the Raging Storm, this way everyone has stuff to swing as your opponents, but nobody has extra vs you, but it also should work with Garruk's Uprising. Akroan Horse is another so-so source of bodies that get better with supporting buffs. I am always surprised at how much work War Cadence can do in a meta with lots of attacking, it can even play like a Stax effect if the board is pretty big, because you can turn any swing into an unblockable one at instant speed. Mask of Griselbrand is a pretty impressive equipment in practice, Flying is great evasion, Lifelink is a great ability on a large creature and that much card draw can change a game's outcome very easily.
If you're looking seriously at cards like Assassinate, I feel I should point out that it's a Sorcery and has targeting limitations. If you want to run sorcery speed removal then I strongly recommend Make an Example and Phyrexian Purge, both of those are quite a bit better. I think you could also look at Beast Within and Road / Ruin, both are very useful spells, offering versatility of effect.
Have you drawn Nikya in many games yet? I feel like with only 31 creatures in the 99 that you'll not want to cast him very often, it'll interfere with your other spells.
I'm not sure that Dragon Whelp is a very reliable Commander card, it's not that much less mana than a Shivan Dragon, and it's a much worse card. I would note that most people who play Shivan Dragon in Commander are playing it as a pet card, there are other better cards you could play. I think you could just play something like Avatar of Fury even, it's janky but it's very easy for it to cost 2 mana later game, or maybe Cavalier of Flame if you want something pricier.
Since Thantis can get pretty big, I suspect anything like Return of the Wildspeaker or Rishkar's Expertise would be pretty solid in here.
I'm not sure how much of a target Thantis ends up being, but Angel's Trumpet is a nice back up option that does something similar.
DreadKhan on Abaddon Let Chaos Reign
2 weeks ago
I have a Chaos deck, maybe a few of the cards would work here too? I'm a huge fan of Exquisite Blood, even if you play it without the combo, the effect has big synergy with your Commander's ability, and it helps keep you alive when you're ahead. Another enchantment that works with Esquisite Blood (and your Commander) is Rite of the Raging Storm, this is often good for damage and it makes everyone else play way more cautiously (because anyone but you can be stuck taking 15 damage in a cycle if they can't handle the tokens). Rite itself likes a number of other cards that might work here too, one really sneaky one is Mask of Griselbrand, Lifelink is useful (and stacks with Blood), Flying is useful, and the card draw can be very powerful, obviously this is hilarious with Rite since you can equip the token with the Mask, at which point it's probably getting in for damage and when it dies inevitably you can draw 5 cards. It seems like a good piece of gear for your Commander especially. Berserkers' Onslaught is a funny card sometimes, you do need some kind of board, but even your Commander is openly terrifying with Double Strike. Another card that Rite and your Commander both would love is Dauthi Embrace, Shadow is really good evasion (you might look into Dauthi Voidwalker as well, very useful dual purpose card). Scavenged Brawler is a creature I'm testing in that deck atm, it seems good, offering a useful body that can be 'scavenged' when a wipe happens. If your deck doesn't run combos and is in Black Protection Racket can be a source of life loss for your Commander, your average MV is probably high enough to matter, it can also give cards. It will never give you any lands or 0 MV cards, so it's not a perfect card. Make an Example is a generically good card in my experience, you always get (at minimum) each opponent's most problematic creature. Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep and Shizo, Death's Storehouse are two cards that might help your Commander out, and they're untapped lands, very few drawbacks to those!
Cultural Exchange is a Blue Chaos feeling card I love, I can't decide if you've got enough tokens/creatures you don't care about to make it work, but if you can trade off some small stuff for the best stuff on board then you're doing good I think. I guess it doesn't say anything about untapping, so you can use it to open someone up to attack by trading away all their blockers for already tapped creatures in a pinch. Mass Diminish seems worse than stuff like Sudden Spoiling and Polymorphist's Jest (both great cards though!), but the ability to cast it twice is big, and the effect weirdly lasts a turn cycle, this can help eliminate 2 players sometimes.
Since you probably want your Commander out most of the time, have you considered Stubborn Denial? It's not Fierce Guardianship, but I find Guardianship to be obnoxious.
My final ideas are War Tax and War Cadence, Cadence can easily make your stuff unblockable if people are tapped out, Tax can make it very hard for people to attack in draw out games, but Cadence is probably the better fit.
DreadKhan on Lost Boys
3 weeks ago
In my limited experience with Do or Die, it tends to never hit what you really need to hit, but it's a lot of value for 1B vs decks with lots of creatures, so if you face lots of decks that have lots of creatures early, then it's a solid fit. If you don't mind a card that's a bit clunkier, Make an Example is a much more brutal effect (you chose the pile, not what goes into it), but since you're probably 1v1 Do or Die might make more sense. If people usually have 2 or 3 creatures (and they might have 2 creatures you're not worried about) then Reckless Spite can be a good fit, but I will say 5 life is a chunk!
DreadKhan on EDH Merens Reanimator
3 months ago
If you're interested in playing fair, then you might like Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest. This can take a board full of utility creatures and make them very formidable very quickly. Hell's Caretaker is a card I find useful that doesn't go infinite with anything I know of, it just lets you sneak stuff in once per turn. If you don't include anything like Pitiless Plunderer you can set up repeatable sacrifice loops to generate XP for Meren, probably to reanimate a Protean Hulk or someting else juicy. For this you might use Gravecrawler or Haakon, Stromgald Scourge and probably a 1 drop Knight to have something you can keep killing over and over. Any card that cares about creatures dying will go off, so some stuff that draws on death might be nice, Liliana, Dreadhorde General is a versatile card that fits the bill.
In my experience, the best thing you can tutor up is usually Protean Hulk, Sidisi, or Razaketh, any of these tends to spiral out of control in a deck that can reanimate them on the end step or sooner. Hulk can find various creatures to solve whatever problems you have, but you probably need a sac outlet to ensure it dies right away, the others are more generous. Razaketh notoriously likes abusing Life / Death to set up a pretty quick win when you're ready, you can find stuff like rituals to generate enough mana to go off.
If you want another reanimator that isn't picky, there is Demon of Dark Schemes that helps clear the board of weenies, and as long as you don't have cards that generate mana the Demon won't go infinite with something like Mitotic Slime or Underworld Hermit, they'll just give you lots of triggers for your extra mana. Demon also likes Merciless Executioner type creatures, they can easily generate Energy. Another reanimator I often forget reanimates stuff is Liliana, Death's Majesty, this brings back stuff as a Zombie if you don't want the ultimate, and she survives some wipes as a PW that can make 2/2s while milling you. Some people don't like PWs so ymmv.
I suspect that if you're not sure if you need more wipes, you might want to try one or two more. In Black there is Make an Example that is very brutal as you always hit your priority target for each opponent. It won't clear the board, but it can help manage it, and you can follow it up with a bunch of forced sacrifice. One card that likes seeing a wipe happen (that makes running extra feel less problematic) is Ogre Slumlord, if you run enough 'pay life'effects you might want Sangromancer, and if you think you can kill enough of your opponent's permenants then Kothophed, Soul Hoarder might work out, that can turn a Damnation into a big draw spell.
If your deck is finding it hard to stay alive, you can use Dawnstrider to save you on needing to reanimate a Spore Frog, though I use both as I find Meren can be annoying to certain players.
If you like Phyrexian Arena and aren't using 'win on the spot combos', have you considered Protection Racket? This can draw plenty of non-land cards or deal damage to your opponents, both seem good as long as you don't care if you lose some random 1-3 drops. There is also Black Market Connections, this can provide various resources without being as busted/all-or-nothing as Necropotence.
Hope some of this is helpful! Any Commander that requires a lot of tutoring is very frustrating to learn to play, Commander is incredibly hard to master, but it's easy to get better with practice!
DreadKhan on Mishra's Might
4 months ago
It feels weird to complain people aren't being creative in a game where you have to use pieces that you buy, many of which are considerably worse than the best options. Everyone ends up running similar cards when you get to certain power levels, until you hit cEDH and everyone just runs the most optimal build they can. You can fight this by running absurdist stuff (I have several decks that are doing this), but every pet card you add makes your deck strictly worse, so you either lose more games or run other, even more staple cards because they are stronger.
Not sure if you're running any key combos/cards, but with an average MV over 3.5 I'd take a look at Protection Racket. It's terrible if people know what cards you 'need' (or if you need lots of lands specifically), but if that's not a problem it's free damage or free cards. I also love Make an Example, it's probably the more aggressive 4 mana removal that will ever see print, you always hit everyone's best pile because you get the final choice, it's everything that Do or Die wishes it was, except the MV.
DreadKhan on Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest - Insect tribal
6 months ago
If you end up running no combos/don't care much about a particular card, Protection Racket can draw a lot of cards/deal a lot of damage, especially in larger games (it hits each opponent, which is absurd in multiplayer). You'll get no extra lands, but extra spells are what you usually need. It's also great with Exquisite Blood, which is a dumb combo with Sanguine Bond if that's relevant. If you like forced sacrifice effects, Make an Example is incredibly pushed, even at 4 mana. You won't get as many bodies as Pox, but you will always hit each opponents best thing at minimum, and more potentially, it's not even targeted. It's narrow, but Do or Die also does good work at 1B, either take their most important stuff or take a ton of smaller stuff, hard to lose at 1B.
Have you thought about running some land ramping spells over 2 mana rocks like Golgari Signet? Farseek, Nature's Lore, or Three Visits are all better in this deck IMHO since you run Wave of Vitriol, each can find a basic or a non-Basic dual for fixing that won't go away as easily. You can run Utopia Sprawl instead of Sol Ring, it's not quite as good but it's still pretty good 1 mana ramp, offering fixing is always good.
Apologies if this stuff doesn't work with your restrictions, hope you have fun!
DreadKhan on tBZ_Garna-Bloodfist
6 months ago
I suspect cards like Rite of the Raging Storm would probably work in here, you'd either get in for 5 each turn or get a card, and nobody else can swing at you with the tokens/changelings. Since you can also use Goblin Bombardment after a creature has dealt damage, you can kill any creature before combat actually ends, so you'd still get the card even if they let the creatures hit them. Any token generator that would ever be worth using is probably good in here too, even Orochi Hatchery could draw a lot of cards if people have to block. The best way to force people to block would be any kind of power buff that is global, I like Berserkers' Onslaught in Red, double damage also works well with any other buffs you can add. I guess there is stuff like Judith, the Scourge Diva too. The effect is pretty clunky, but with your Commander Captive Audience looks a lot better, those tokens are much more valuable, and it still usually a death sentence for one player.
Zulaport Cutthroat is a great Aristocrat to look at, I usually don't bother with it but at your budget maybe Butcher of Malakir can be a real nuisance, as can Ogre Slumlord if you're losing lots of non-tokens. If you find yourself running more wipes/removal, Sangromancer can generate a lot of life.
Not sure if they're within your budget, but Fire Covenant and Phyrexian Purge can both clear a ton of other people's stuff. Make an Example might be the best sorcery speed removal effect ever printed, it's non-targeted and uses sacrifice, but you choose the piles that die so you always hit what you need to hit with it. Ashes to Ashes/Reckless Spite can clear a couple bodies. In Rakdos I feel like you want some of the following, Feed the Swarm, Chaos Warp and Wild Magic Surge to deal with awkward permanent types.