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|Commander / EDH
|Commander: Rule 0
|Pauper Duel Commander
Creature — Shapeshifter
Changeling (This card is every creature type.)
: Mistwalker gets +1/-1 until end of turn.
1 month ago
I feel like this deck should look pretty hard at Relic of Sauron, it's one of the best mana rocks for a Grixis deck, it also offers card draw and a discard outlet when you don't need the mana. I also feel like you might want more ramp, but I'm not sure I'd shave the land count too much further. I do have much higher average MV decks with similar land counts, they tend to run a lot of ramp though!
I've always liked the idea of evasive Changelings in this deck, the best being Changeling Outcast, but Mistwalker is also good, Mothdust Changeling less so but still interesting, evasion is really good on an Army in here. Taurean Mauler might be worth throwing in too, any of these is infinitely better than trying to use a token as the base for your army. Amoeboid Changeling can make any creature an army (to trigger Sauron). You might even try Maskwood Nexus, you can always choose not to wheel your hand away if you're happy with it (could be an issue if you're getting in with several armies in a turn).
Since Sauron discards your hand before he draws a new one you might want to look into some recursion effects, Black is very good at that kind of thing. Sheoldred, Whispering One is a nice easy-button recursion card that also hassles your opponents, but she is slow and a ton of mana, but you can reanimate her with something like Animate Dead or Reanimate. Since Sauron can make you a new token whenever someone casts a spell (if you don't already have one) you could use sacrifice based recursion effectively, Hell's Caretaker could do some work. These are just a few low hanging fruit, if you need a bunch more (or cheaper ones) I could probably rattle off more.
With this much built in discard you might look at the better Delve cards, Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time come to mind immediately, both are pretty good card draw if you don't have to pay any generic mana in.
Mask of Griselbrand can work well as a draw source, it also gives two useful abilities for an Army. Not sure if this is too out there, but you could try Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep and Shizo, Death's Storehouse, if you make an Army your Ringbearer it becomes Legendary, meaning these lands don't just help Sauron (but making Sauron unblockable is inherently good in a deck like this because he has 7 power and he's a 3 hit kill). Fear from Shizo is probably better than First Strike in most metas, but First Strike is a very useful effect. Rogue's Passage is a nice budget card that can let Sauron or an Army get in each turn. I really have enjoyed using Scavenged Brawler, it would be very good with your Commander (if he can get in twice he can kill someone, regardless of their life total), but it'll also be useful with a good sized Army token, those key word abilities are pretty sweet in my experience. Dauthi Embrace is a nifty old card that can be very sneaky, you can use it to help opponents get in, not just to protect your creature from blockers. If you plan to attack and are in Red you might benefit from Berserkers' Onslaught, double strike on your entire board can be a very powerful effect.
If you want a way to protect Sauron from most board wipes, I really love Gift of Doom, this gem of a card can be cast as a Morph for 3 mana, after which you can sacrifice a creature to attach the aura to a creature (note that this method doesn't target the creature it attaches to, so you can get around Shroud on your creature) at literally any time you have priority iirc. It's also not a spell or ability, so you can use it in response to something with Split Second. Indestructible is very good, but if you can get Deathtouch on a creature with trample it only takes 1 point of damage to 'destroy' any creature (regardless of whether or not it dies), the rest goes over, so it has great synergy with Scavenged Brawler (and other Trample sources). You can always cast it for 5 mana, and it's not a terrible card in that form, but the Morph effect is one of the best ways to protect an individual creature (or to turn your opponent's block attempt into a blood bath).
Finally, Mercadian Bazaar, Subterranean Hangar, and Saprazzan Cove are my spiciest ideas for a deck like this, I will take no offense if you laugh at them, but you might be surprised by what they can do in a deck with a 6 mana Commander. I use the first two as well as two Fallen Empires storage lands (which I wouldn't encourage you to use unless you want gray hair) in my Rakdos deck, I play them as ramp cards, and it's openly hilarious how useful they can be if you really want to cheese out a big Commander (or recast them repeatedly).
Hope some of this brainstorming is helpful, Sauron is a pretty strong Commander that attracts a fair bit of attention afaik.
3 months ago
Maskwood Nexus can make all of your creatures into Armies fwiw, and Changelings count as armies, Taurean Mauler and Changeling Outcast can do good work. Mistwalker also has evasion, but it's also a 3 mana 1/4 that is much easier to block than Outcast, but technically whenever you Amass you can add tokens to Mistwalker so I felt I should still mention it.
5 months ago
Lower creature count decks are at a disadvantage on most board states, but your Commander makes an ever-growing creature, and you can run cards that improve the Army (and possibly all of your creatures), making the Orc Army count for more than usual, without costing you very many cards. The best options IMHO are persistent, things like non-aura Enchantments and Lands. One way to improve your Orc Army is to throw in some creatures (or replace some with more powerful ones), Taurean Mauler, Changeling Outcast, and Mistwalker are interesting choices to include, they are Armies technically, so they can gain counters from Amass effects, I think evasion is especially interesting to help trigger Sauron. Oh, and they're also Wraiths fwiw, so they synergize with everything, and they're not much mana. Another thing you can do to buff your armies is include Equipment, it might be a huge flavour fail, but Armies can use weapons just fine, look for ones like Two-Handed Axe that offer a bonus that scales, or ones that offer Trample or some form of evasion. You can also use Anthems to buff your army, a few I really like are Dauthi Embrace, Berserkers' Onslaught, and Whip of Erebos, these don't even need to be equipped to work. The biggest hitch in the plan is that it's hard to have an army without Sauron out, and he's 6 mana, so I think the deck will be more effective once you have more ramp (and have shaved a few lands).
7 months ago
BIG REVISION HERE
Here is all the big changes I've made to this list, and an explanation for each. Guide edits will come in a little bit!
- Replaced Burnished Hart with Mistwalker. Burnished Hart feels too slow, Mistwalker is a cheap sphinx that makes the deck go fast. Mistwalker is a nice addition because it benefits from the full 2 cmc reduction from Unesh. 1/3 and flying on Mistwalker makes it the best changeling when it comes to combat.
- Replaced Guardian of Tazeem with Aetherflux Reservoir. Aetherflux Reservoir is a new win condition in this deck. With all of the added changelings and ability to bounce changelings to your hand, it is easier than ever to play a lot of spells on your turn. In addition to being a 50 lifepoint cannon at instant speed, it is the only lifegain in the deck. It can make up for all the health you lost from Mana Crypt and Ancient Tomb. Guardian of Tazeem's effect is underwhelming most of the time. Having the other cheaper sphinxes there is still 20% sphinx, and are easier to play.
- Replaced Leyline of Anticipation with Narset's Reversal. Leyline's effect is honestly underwhelming at 4 CMC. It's great if it starts in your opening hand, but it is Force of Will fodder otherwise. Debatably it is worth for synergy with Sphinx of the Second Sun, but adding emergence zone (description below) gives you a cheaper Leyline effect at the cost of it only being one turn. One turn with the effect is all you need to win the game though, or to get very far ahead with Sphinx of the Second Sun. Narset's Reversal is a great card because it can be great in a counterspell war, but it can also be used to augment your other cards such as Frantic Search or High Tide or Ghostly Flicker. I love Narset's Reversal because it is great on it's own, but also sees some great synergy.
- Replaced Myriad Landscape with Emergence Zone. Myriad landscape is noticably too slow, similar to burnished hart. The utility from Emergence Zone can be outstanding. Emergence Zone is a more easily accessible Leyline of Anticipation essentially. It is less mana to use at the price of using it for only a turn. Presumably the turn that you would use it you would also win the game, so you don't need it more than once anyway.
- Replaced Treachery with Cloudstone Curio. Treachery is a clunky card that rarely resolves. If the mana doesn't untap after this card is played, it feels very bad. Cloudstone Curio is an engine in this deck. It really keeps the BFOF's coming. Playing this card with Universal Automaton on the field means you get to double all of your BFOF's that you play. Additionally, it works particualrly well with the newly added Aetherflux Reservoir.
- Replaced Long-Term Plans with Chain of Vapor. If you are playing the deck right you are seeing enough of your deck to get your game winning cards without using long term plans. Long term plans also scuffs one of your BFOF's because your opponent knows which card it is. Chain of vapor has many uses. As well as being spot removal, it can be used to protect Unesh, and to return other cheap sphinxes to your hand to be played again which grants additional synergy with the Aetherflux Reservoir win condition.
- Replaced Sphinx of Uthuun with Sakashima of a Thousand Faces. Sphinx of Uthuun is expensive for what it does. It will normally be chaper to play Sakashima, and it becomes a second Unesh which doubles all of your BFOFs rather than getting you an extra regular FOF. Having a second Unesh on the field also grants you protection from spot removal targetting only one Unesh.
- Replaced Riddlemaster Sphinx with Bloodline Pretender. Riddlemaster Sphinx's ETB isn't as good as the others (Enigma Thief and Dream Eater). Bouncing one creature isn't super great because your sphinxes already have combat superiority most of the time. It feels expensive for what it does, which means it is too slow. Another cheap sphinx in this slot speeds up the deck, and provides extra synergy with the other added cards.
- Replaced Island with Lotus Field. I want to try this out. I am skeptical that it is actually better than an Island, but we will see! Let me know what you think here.
- Replaced Island with Sea Gate Restoration Flip. Becasue why not really? Worst case scenario, you pay 3 life to have it enter as an untapped island. Having it your hand later game can get you a lot of cards in a pinch.
- Replaced Imprisoned in the Moon with Gilded Drake. Gilded drake is 1 mana cheaper. It not only takes your opponents creature away from them, it also gives it to you, at the cost of them having a 3/3 flyer. In cEDH this trade is insanely good for you. Imprisoned in the moon can be removed to return the creature back to their side. Nothing happens when Gilded Drake dies. He can also be easily blocked by one of your sphinxes, which means it might be chip damage to a different opponent. To me Gilded Drake is a no brainer here.
7 months ago
GHoag no worries, I appreciate the questions because it makes me revisit the deck with another perspective. I think You are probably right about Bloodline Pretender, generally. A niche situation where Amoeboid Changeling is better is if you know a deck that you are playing against has a specific type. But yeah that is very niche, and bloodline pretender will be better usually.
I have noticed that Burnished Hart/Myriad Landscape feels slow, I have enjoyed seeing either in my opener before. Perhaps I am hanging on to them too much and I should test branching out from them. Solemn Simulacrum feels a little bit better usually. Changleings are great for having cheap sphinxes for sure. I was pretty much out of MTG for all of Kaldheim so I didn't know about Mistwalker, but that one is definitely great to have. It's nice that it benefits from the full 2 mana cost reduction of Unesh, because usually the changelings only benefit from 1 mana cost reduction. The flying keyword and extra toughness on Mistwalker is just awesome.
Lotus Field could be a great sub for Myriad Landscape, as it benefits from all of the untap effects and isn't slow. HOWEVER if you are playing against single land destruction like Strip Mine (which is pretty common in cEDH), it will be a target. A little bit riskier, but it could really pay off.
Leyline of Anticipation, the effect is not particularly useful for creatures/artifacts. It can be great for playing Rite of Rep or thassa's oracle immediately after the other blue player taps out. But yeah these days I have noticed it mostly as a dead card and I want to play with that slot for sure. Something to be said about Vedalken Orrery here because it is easier to cast, and has synergy with Scholar of the Lost Trove. But it has its cons too, no pre-game effect and can't be pitched to force of will. I think the effect isn't worth how slow either card feels in your hand.
Jeweled Lotus is extremely powerful for Unesh. In your opening hand, it lets you play Unesh early. If you draw it later, it is still helpful for getting Unesh back on the board after removal. Unesh does card advantage really well. Using a card slot for Jeweled Lotus is has been extremely valuable every time, because getting Unesh on the board makes up for the card lost every time.
Well I definitely have some tinkering to do. Thank you for more of your perspective on the deck!
8 months ago
Deck looks like a lot of fun. I considered building something similar after lotr spoilers were over.
1 year ago
2 years ago
You know what this deck needs? Another changeling. I'll give you Mistwalker. I even have it in a sleeve set aside for you already.