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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Mask of Griselbrand
Legendary Artifact — Equipment
Equipped creature has flying and lifelink.
Whenever equipped creature dies (is put into the graveyard from the battlefield, tokens are put into the graveyard before they cease to exist), you may pay X life, where X is its power. If you do, draw X cards.
Equip (: Attach this to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card enters the battlefield unattached and stays on the battlefield if the creature this card is attached to leaves the battlefield.)
1 week ago
Some of the most critical components for this list to increase the amount of is mana ramp and card advantage, and increasing the quality of some of the removal; you generally want 10 in each category.
Top contenders that synergize with Knights and Equipment are Danitha Capashen, Paragon, Sword of the Animist, Sword of Hearth and Home, Forging the Tyrite Sword, Boros Signet, Orzhov Signet, and Rakdos Signet for ramp, Armored Skyhunter, Akiri, Fearless Voyager, Stormfist Crusader, and Mask of Griselbrand for card draw.
Cards worth cutting would be: Armored Ascension, Recumbent Bliss, Bond of Discipline, Duress, Integrity / Intervention, one of each basic land, Crashing Drawbridge, and Moon-Blessed Cleric to make room for the essentials.
1 week ago
When I was testing out your deck, I definitely noticed mana issues, you probably want a mix of a couple more lands and some mana rocks. There is the odd mana dork you could use, none generally as good as a Green one. I always like Dreamscape Artist in a Dimir deck that makes use of the graveyard, it's actual Harrow so the lands are entering untapped, making the ramp a bit better than it might usually be. With a 5 mana Commander I think I would run Sol Ring, especially without Green, there is also Talisman of Dominance and Dimir Signet that are solid. A really solid 3 mana rock is Skyclave Relic, it can be a 3 drop or a big (and versatile) efficient 6 drop. Not sure if you need all of those, but I think you want some of those ramp options. TBH, you might also lower your average Mana Value, you're well over 3, which might be a tad high for 33 lands in a reasonably competitive deck. A couple handy utility lands that are nice with Voltron decks include Witch's Clinic, Shizo, Death's Storehouse, and Tyrite Sanctum. Sanctum is a bit weird, but getting Indestructible on your Commander will probably feel pretty good. There are also some MDFCs that aren't bad in Black, you could replace one of your 2 mana Black removal creature removal with Hagra Mauling Flip, risking 4 mana to remove something (with no restriction though) is harsh, but it's also a land which feels incredible in a lower land count deck. I hear Malakir Rebirth Flip is also very good, especially with a Voltron Commander.
I also noticed that the deck seemed to not excel at clearing the board of threats/problems, this can include combo pieces or Voltron creatures. From a competitive standpoint, if you expect to play against decks that are 7s or above you probably want at least a couple more solid counters, it's hard to know which to run because actual Counterspell costs UU, which is hard to hold up obviously, but Swan Song and Negate might not be versatile enough, but I think any or all of those would make the deck more functional. Niche removal like Ravenform, Resculpt and Feed the Swarm are also worth a look, you never know when you'll need to tutor up an answer for either of those types, and being able to hit a creature is also useful, fwiw Black isn't great at exiling creatures. I see you only have 1 Planeswalker in here, have you thought about Liliana, Death's Majesty? She's got some synergy with Zombies for sure, and offers a potential wipe.
A tutor that might fit in here that you're not running is Final Parting, which is clunky at 5 mana but it also offers a two for 1 tutor, so even if it's a lot of mana it does a lot of work. I'm not sure how many cards you're that desperate to get into the graveyard, but Final Parting finds 2 of 3 pieces for Gravecrawler combos in my Meren deck, very handy if I have one in hand already.
Pretty tough finding stuff that sticks out for being suboptimal in this list! Here are a few I suspect could be upgraded: Reassembling Skeleton is a Skeleton. The recursion aspect is not particularly good at 2 mana for a non-Zombie body, with a max of one on board at a time. Undead Alchemist might do something sometimes, but I feel like it's a bad interaction with a lot of your deck, it's terrible with Living Death type stuff obviously, and if someone is close to death, this gives them way more life. Call to the Grave seems potentially iffy, you run some very good non-Zombies, and you can't sac a token instead to it, it eats only non-Zombies. Kindred Discovery seems questionable potentially, it negatively interacts with any combo that uses a zombie entering or dying repeatedly since you have to draw, this can also make you unable to swing with a huge zombie army, which seems agonizing without at least throwing in something like Capsize. More curious than certain, but do you often have 1 toughness things to work with Skullclamp? Any Zombie at 1 toughness is buffed by your lords, and the tokens you make are 2/2s iirc? If you ask me, unless you have a source of 1 toughness bodies I'm missing, you could instead run Mask of Griselbrand, it can draw cards too (sometimes way more), both require a sac outlet, and it offers real utility in combo by offering evasion and lifelink. I would run any of the removal I mentioned over Doom Blade and Go for the Throat, I feel like the versatility and some offering exile has an edge. For Tragic Slip, do you get stuck without a sac outlet very often, this seems like an unnecessary complication to have on your removal, but at least it can hit Indestructibles? IMHO if you can afford it run Deadly Rollick, this will also exile stuff without as harsh a requirement (I'd rather have the downside of 4 mana vs removing only x/1s).
1 month ago
A few things that might help, I'm hoping I've understood what you're looking for!
Viscera Seer is among the best sac outlets ever printed at only B, but the most popular altars are all really pushed, Phyrexian Altar, Ashnod's Altar and Altar of Dementia. Ashnod's is probably the best, but Phyrexian is still very good. Skullport Merchant is great on a budget, if you want a recursive body some of the better options are Gravecrawler, which only needs a Zombie and can easily go infinite with a lot of things, and Haakon, Stromgald Scourge who lets you recast any Knights, which also includes Changelings but most importantly lets you loop the same 1 drop Knight. These sorts of cards also like Pitiless Plunderer, Pawn of Ulamog and Sifter of Skulls, and any colourless sources can benefit from Bog Initiate. Nether Traitor can let you get an extra sacrifice for each Black mana you have to match a dying creature. If you usually have a cheap sacrifice outlet, Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder can make a ton of bodies for you. Another recursive body that can offer some ongoing value is Silversmote Ghoul, you just want a way to gain a bit of life, so something like your Exquisite Blood or Whip of Erebos can help ensure you gain enough. Ogre Slumlord is a decent source of bodies if you have some ways to kill enemy creatures, the nice thing is that once the Slumlord gains some steam, you're pretty tough to attack on the ground. Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs can make bodies that discourage people from swinging at you. Really bad in some ways, but Bloodsoaked Altar can make weenies into beefy demons, plays well with token generators obviously.
If you expect to have medium size creatures die, Mask of Griselbrand can draw a reasonable number of cards, it can also gain you decent life while offering evasion. There are very few downsides to running this card in my experience, even in a deck that doesn't run many creatures your Commander can wear it.
Blade of Selves would be funny if you ever get your Commander melded, when you swing you get a copy of your meld for each opponent (though you only get the ETBs before they die unfortunately).
War Room is a very good land to look at, maybe Bonders' Enclave if you think you can get a big enough body out consistently. Agitator Ant can help ensure you have a big enough body fwiw, the effect can get very out of hand though if you lack wipes.
2 months ago
Berserkers' Onslaught is pretty handy if you've got big attackers, double power and first strike is sweet for 5 mana. Rite of the Raging Storm can help by giving you a 5/1 every turn to swing with, while also giving everyone else one to swing at anyone but you, which helps create some chaos as long as people don't run big blockers, and even if most people do, just someone not having a blocker will make that 5/1 a slow, steady source of damage, and people must hold back a blocker for it or take the 5. I like Onslaught with Rite, and if I can get a Mask of Griselbrand and Exquisite Blood you can do a tremendous amount of work with a 5/1, including drawing 5 cards when it dies. Mask is good in general in my experience, evasion is helpful in Rakdos, as is Lifelink for various 'pay life' effects that you might want to run. Some of those include Phyrexian Purge and Fire Covenant, both very strong old cards in many metas, but they work best with some life gain. 2 more cards that cost life and tend to feel pretty good in EDH are Ashes to Ashes and Reckless Spite, hitting 2 bodies is pretty helpful, and black Exile isn't super-common.
Kyren Negotiations are an interesting option if you have lots of goblins but can't swing through a Propaganda. Make an Example is very good value, you choose what dies (not targeted), and each player loses at least their best creature, maybe more). Volcanic Offering is a really solid card that can deal with 4 things that are bothering you if someone else is feeling helpful, but it can never directly hurt you, this can shut down an archenemy with one spell. If you find yourself troubled by Blue decks, there are Boil, Boiling Seas, Omen of Fire, and Citadel of Pain that are pretty helpful vs Blue and 2 colour Blue decks.
2 months ago
If nothing else, Make an Example is a shockingly good card in Rakdos as removal that dodges almost any form of protection, and it hits all opponents at once. Do or Die is also worth a look, but it never hits your opponent's best stuff with any reliability. Final sorcery that's really good in Rakdos is Phyrexian Purge, which is a very one-sided wipe that only costs 4 mana.
I feel repetitive at this point, but Rite of the Raging Storm is very much worth a look in Juri, it gives a sac every turn and it also just generates chaos. It also synergizes with great stuff like Mask of Griselbrand and Exquisite Blood, which also loves Citadel of Pain (and Protection Racket, which is like Phyrexian Arena did a giant bag of steroids as long as you're not on obvious combo).
I feel like Agitator Ant is a solid card here, Ogre Slumlord is also very good with lots of removal/sacrifice effects, Mayhem Devil is probably an auto-include unless I'm missing something, not sure if it's relevant, but Infernal Tribute can both let you sac any non-token and draw cards at the same time, it's like really wonky Necropotence Plus with your Commander, only you pay mana and permanents to draw cards and deal damage. Very weird but Whip of Erebos would let Juri (and everything else) have Lifelink, which can be handy, it can also bring something back if you want.
2 months ago
You might look at Rite of the Raging Storm and Exquisite Blood, maybe Berserkers' Onslaught, even a Mask of Griselbrand as a backup to your Skullcap idea, paying 3 to draw 5 always feels great in my Pavel build, and the Evasion/Lifelink are often relevant. I run a ton of wipes and removal, perhaps the best of which is Make an Example, which is just backbreaking to any deck reliant on having a specific creature on the board, and it hits each opponent in such a way that it's almost impossible to protect against short of countering it. As my deck hates being interacted with itself (it's full of chonky spells/effects just begging to get countered) I run Boiling Seas and Omen of Fire, alongside a Citadel of Pain, Pavel can soak up a lot of spare mana anyways. Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast might be more reasonable than adding Boil, but the deck loves hosing Islands for some reason. Since I run lots of board wipes, I tossed in Tyrite Sanctum and Daring Fiendbonder to give stuff Indestructible. I mostly run utility creatures like Agitator Ant or token generators like Ophiomancer and Ogre Slumlord, I'm presently at 16 creatures in the 99, so it doesn't usually matter if I'm wiping the board 3 or 4 times in a game. It's not unusual to win off of a timely Thieves' Auction, it's funny when you have a deck full of questionable permanents, some people will just scoop to it as well, it's a salty card to some. I mean if you're already running Omen of Fire, why not throw in Thieves' Auction?
Hope some of these ideas can synergize with your build, Pavel is a great under-utilized Commander, I built him more janky, but the deck is truly a blast to play.
2 months ago
You might enjoy Agitator Ant, it is pretty funny in chaos decks, as is Angel's Trumpet. It's a weird card, but War Cadence is really useful to make blocking impossible. There is also War Tax, which is the opposite yet also very fun. If you aren't big on combos, Protection Racket can either give you non-lands or deal damage, extra juicy with Exquisite Blood obviously. He's clunky now, but Kaervek the Merciless deals a heap of damage, both him and Vial are good with Mask of Griselbrand, as is Rite of the Raging Storm.
Not quite sure it fits, but Fatespinner does a fair bit of work, adding a substantial cost to attacking for your opponents while doing nothing to you.
2 months ago
Hi! I really like your take on one of my fav commanders of all time :) Don't mind me taking a thing or two for my own brew. I'm especially fond of your Scepter of Celebration
A little food for thought:
Aspect of Mongoose is a card I usually really like, but in a voltron-y deck it seems like a bad choice as it disables your own spells you would usually target Skullbriar with. How about running Canopy Cover instead?
If you want a lategame finisher to possibly take out everyone at the same time: Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord does it.
Feel free to check out Skullbriar, the Walking Grave | The Terminator !