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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
If Mox Diamond would enter the battlefield, you may discard a land card instead. If you do, put Mox Diamond onto the battlefield. If you don't, put it into its owner's graveyard.
: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
3 days ago
GHoag thank you for your most critical feedback. I agree with a lot you have to say on this. There are a few things I'd like to discuss further. I'll mirror your format so you know how I am responding to what. Thank you for the praise on the list so far, there is definitely some things to be worked out still. "The pinnacle is a concept only to the unambitious" -flavor text from a card I don't remember lol. (sorry for the novel below)
Regarding Fetchlands, I think the deck thinning is negligible or very hard to notice at most. This aspect of them definitely can't be a bad thing. But playtesting has shown that the negative effects of including them are negligible. I have never been upset about running all 4. Also, the synergy these lands has with Vantress Visions (Virtue of Knowledge) feels reeeally good.
Rite of Replication is expensive mana wise. The purpose of Rite is to get through your whole deck in one go assuming Unesh is on the field, which is not always the case. In my playtesting, it has been very hard to resolve due to mana cost, and when you do meet the mana requirement it is never safe from interaction. Given these flaws, this card might as well say "if you are targetting Unesh and this card resolves, you win the game." With the FOFs, you can pick up all counter magic and free mana rocks on the way down your deck to cast & protect Thassa's Oracle. A non-negligible side effect, this makes choosing piles easier to do because you no longer have to grab sphinxs or other wincons. This wincon is still relevant at this mana cost. I think the jury is still out if this is the best choice though. With inifinite mana you can do something similar, and I'll talk more about this below. Q: Why not add Personal Tutor? Simply because you don't need 3 copies of Rite. I already don't like Mystical Tutor, but the versatility to grab any instant makes it worth it. By the time you meet the mana requirement, you will have seen Rite or Mystical Tutor. Personal Tutor is too narrow to have in a slot, even on the 'Rite' plan.
cEDH meta talk, there is Turbo, midrange, and stax (early win, midgame win, lategame win respectively.) The average win without any interaction is turn 6-7 on this revision. This solidly puts Unesh into midrange. I think he can be sped up a bit with more revisions. Turn 4 is a late win for Turbo, but with enough interaction to stop the turbo player we can get to the midrange and win the game. Unesh suffers against a a few stax pieces. The main ones being Torpor Orb (which doesn't see a ton of play these days), and Null Rod and Collector Ouphe. Collectore Ouphe doesn't feel so bad with our interaction suite, and Null Rod is even more of a nuissance. If both are on the field, it is an absolute nightmare for Unesh.
Creatures: Yes a lot of fat was trimmed, and it took some time to really narrow down the best Sphinxs in these slots. There is still room for improvement here. For instance Vexing Sphinx feels awful. The reason I added it a while back was because he can be played early game for a bit of card draw. The card draw from this is not worth the mana spent, the fact that even with Unesh out he is 2 blue to cast also feels very bad. I will definitely replace him with another Sphinx, probably Argent Sphinx or Metallic Mimic. For 2 blue I am much happier to see the mana sink on Argent Sphinx. And for 2 colorless I am happy to see possibly the next cheapest sphinx not already in the deck. Enigma Thief though high CMC, I can reliably cast him for his prowl cost at 2 cmc, and his removal is top notch. Dream Eater though the removal is not the best, it is still good. The kicker here is honestly the surveil 4. You do Unesh FOF first, then surveil 4 and hopefully you can put all 4 in the graveyard. Still dream eater does feel a bit slower than everything else. Scholar of the Lost Trove, upfront I feel very strongly about this card. It's not because this is a pet card, it's because I think its very powerful in this deck. Even at 5cmc which is what I normally cast it for, it feels like insane value. You get the Unesh trigger, and a wincon from the graveyard that the opponents thought they didn't have to deal with anymore. After doing some math on this, the average cost of an Unesh trigger with Unesh on the field is ~2.25 cmc in the current revision (that is the cmc of a card generating the FOF divided by the total number of things generating FOFs excluding Rite). At 5 cmc, casting the Scholar gives you a 4 cmc game winning artifact and a ~2.25 cmc Unesh trigger. Not to mention, it gives you flexibility in choosing piles. For instance, If an opponent erroneously puts Panharmonicon in a pile by itself, you can shamelessly take the other 3 cards in that FOF. Palinchron is also rather expensive to set up, but not as expensive as Rite. I think it is a good back up win condition. If Rite doesn't resolve, or if Isochron w/ dramatic reversal doesn't resolve, we need at least one other way to combo off. With ways to tutor for High Tide this win condition has been online surprisingly often, and is definitely threatening. That said having this AND Rite feels too heavy mana wise. I think I am pretty much sold on Isoscepter because of how inexpensive it is. With recent mana rock additions as well as Mox Diamond and Grim Monolith (mentioned below) the wincon is online for far cheaper than Rite and effectively does the same job, also dramatic reversal can be used as a one time use now which makes it good on it's own.
Lands: After a day of listening to cEDH podcasts, this is what I came up with. Urza's Saga is nuts. After playtesting with these lands I felt a big power spike. Thank you for mentioning Mystic Sanctuary again. I didn't think about it being able to retrieve a wincon which is pretty relevant. I will consider slipping this one back in there. I also think that losing just one more Island wouldn't be very impactful. What do you think about Command Beacon? After playtesting, I think there is such a niche case when this card is good in cEDH. I think I prefer an Island here given the more recent revisions.
Enchantments: Agreed, all of these are great cards. Not much to change here.
Instants: I don't think there are any cuts to be made here. After playtesting I think I need to add more Instants to more reliably shut off early combo wins. Demonic Consultation and Ad Nauseum are rampant. Even fitting in a Dispel or Spell Pierce to the deck would go a long way.
Artifacts: Work needs to be done here. I agree with a lot of what you are saying. Lightning Greaves feels bad because board interaction is light and stack interaction is high in cEDH. Caged Sun is usually too expensive to play without cheating it in with Scholar. But scholar wants to hit other game winning cards anyway, so Caged sun needs to go. Grim Monolith and Mox Diamond need to go in. I have been reluctant to add them to the list because I don't have paper copies. You are spot on with these two though. I am not high on Moonsilver Key, but I do like Wayfarer's Bauble. The bauble putting a land into play is important to getting palinchron online, and this also sees great synergy with Vantress Visions similar to the fetch lands. Though bauable is definitely worse than mox diamond and grim monolith, it would be my last cut. Mox Amber indeed doesn't power Unesh out, but we don't need it to. I will say that my playtests have really favored this card. Being able to play more mana artifacts after a FOF for free will keep the FOFs rolling. Mox Amber feels very good. Mox diamond is superior, but I won't take out Mox Amber for it.
REVISION: After synthesizing both our viewpoints, here is a revision that I will go ahead and push. I think you will like this mostly, but let me know your doubts.
- Replace Vexing Sphinx with Spell Pierce.
- Replace Lightning Greaves with Dramatic Reversal.
- Replace Caged Sun with Isochron Scepter.
- Replace Lorien Revealed with Muddle the Mixture. I am okay with an effective land cut here after playtesting.
- Replace Moonsilver Key with Mox Diamond.
- Replace Wayfarer's Bauble with Grim Monolith.
- Replace an Island with Mystic Sanctuary.
EXPLANAITION: This rev cuts the Rite wincon and adds the less expensive Isoscepter wincon. There is still backup wincon in Aetherflux. Isoscepter is backed up by Palinchron, and Aetherflux is supported by Palinchron. Obviously, the goal with infinite mana is to play Thassa's eventually. Dramatic Reversal is good enough on its own now because of the artifacts added recently. I honestly think this is the cheapest that the wincon package can be while still being robust enough to not fizzle out. With these wincons, Unesh doesn't have to be on the field, which makes the deck less reliant on him, mitigating one of the deck's biggest flaws. Cutting Lightning Greaves will likely be inconsequential due to low board state interaction. Muddle and Spell pierce add some more stack interaction while Muddle can find combo pieces. I went with Spell pierce over Dispel because it can hit stax pieces as well as stopping an early combo win. Cutting a sphinx now relies on Ghostly Flicker to be part of the 20%. Mystic Sanctuary and Scholar of the Lost Trove are used to retrieve wincons from the grave if necessary.
I heavily considered subbing Dream Eater for Argent Sphinx. I will need to playtest that change before committing to it.
2 weeks ago
A controversial substitution perhaps, but deserved
Why not Omniscence?
- Omniscence is too mana intensive in this deck. In your opening hand it is completely a dead card 90% of the time. In the 10% you have a line to play it in your opening hand, you are putting all your eggs into 1 basket. Omniscence is too high risk for the reward. If this spell doesn't resolve (and it likely won't at a cEDH table) you lose the game.
- Even the times it does resolve in the early game, your hand doesn't always have enough steam to win outright.
- It is important for all cEDH decks to consider how a card will function in your opening hand as well as later in the game. I'll write more about this topic in the current theory module of the guide. This inconsistency in the opening hand is what makes it bad. It is true that other cards in the deck are similar, but they aren't as mana intensive as omniscience. Omniscence in my opening hand has lost too many games.
- Omniscence is essentially a combo by itself while Unesh is on the field. It is clunky at best because it doesn't always guarantee you get to the bottom of your deck unlike Rite of Replication. Recent powerful revisions of the deck have led to anti-synergy with this card. Example 1, removal of Long-Term Plans. Example 2, the addition of Palinchron makes infinite mana and storm more attainable than with Omniscence due to the reduced mana cost.
Why Moonsilver Key?
- I think this card might be as much of a blindside to you as it was to me. I knew Omniscence had to go, so I started researching what I would replace it with. And I found this card. This card is the most opposite of a clunky opening hand card I could find. Rather than having a dead Omniscence in your hand, you can spend your early turns playing this card and getting an important mana rock like Jeweled Lotus & Mana Crypt or an Island.
- The deck has been short on mana rocks. With a mana rock tutor in this slot combined with Virtue of Knowledge and fetch lands I have noticed a significant uptick in ramp reliability in my opening hands. I have been throwing around ideas like Mox Diamond, Mox Opal, and Mox Amber but none of these cards reliably solve Unesh's problems in the opening hand. I also considered Lion's Eye Diamond which seems a little too high risk IMO, because then your fate relies on the subsequent BFOF from casting Unesh. The runner-up contender was Fellwar Stone, essentially a worse Arcane Signet wouldn't be bad. It is important for Unesh to ramp out ASAP, and having a mana artifact tutor in the early game seems to help with that plan, and it thins the deck.
- Minor point, it enjoys synergy with the adventure mode of Virtue of Knowledge.
What are your thoughts on this sub? Could I be doing better here?
1 month ago
wallisface In the context of commander, I think the answer is really that commander is an incredibly broad format in a way that no other format outside of kitchen table magic really is. You have hyper competitive cEDH where the ABUR duals are almost a requirement for a lot of decks because of how optimized they run. And on the opposite end you have joke decks that aren't designed to win at all. And in between is a whole galaxy of other options.
I think the reserved list is an imperfect measure of power level. You have some of the most powerful cards in the game and then you have cards like Sawback Manticore. From an accessibility standpoint there is also a huge amount of price variation. Sure Mox Diamond is $600+, but Winding Canyons is around $20 and Hatred is about $36, which aren't crazy considering how much a Dockside will run you. So I guess I'd argue that the reserved list shouldn't impact what is and isn't allowed in commander.
2 months ago
Elder Brain: slow, but could be funny
Sword of War and Peace: could help punish the card draw
you may want to up the number of counterspells to deal with the fact you're helping your opponents dig, combo decks will ruin your day.
I might trade out some of the 3 drop rocks for signets or talismans
It may not be a bad idea to have some other cheap combo line to pull off when playing against combo decks as well since you're digging so much with the draw (Consecrated Sphinx could help here too)
the big worry is needing to speed the deck up which involves somewhat expensive mana rocks:
4 months ago
Deck was amped up with some fast mana.
5 months ago
Regarding fast mana, I think that removing 0 and 1 mana cost ramp that sticks around (nobody's complaining about Lotus Petal) and that can be used the turn it was played (without using some other effect) and that doesn't require expending another significant resource (such as Mox Diamond) is probably the best and possibly the only realistic way to scope fast mana out of the format. That would leave Llanowar Elves and Nature's Lore intake but the impact of those forms of ramp is much less than Sol Ring. You'd also need a much larger list with much more complicated criteria if you wanted to expand the fast mana ban beyond that. So in essence, I think that you've got just about all the cards that should be banned already listed.
5 months ago
This article is blaming players for problems caused by WotC. There's nothing really stopping them from printing cards that are staples for older formats other than the secondary market. Players only play Modern and EDH because those formats are accessible compared to Legacy and Vintage, which are largely suffocated by the Reserve List. Even EDH feels that. There's a major difference between a deck using Golgari Guildgate and basic Forests vs. the deck using Bayou and Gaea's Cradle.
You're also not considering another reason people don't want formats that rotate: a lot of older formats aren't solved. Standard often becomes a solved format in a matter of weeks, if not days. Extended didn't have this problem because the card pool was large enough. There wasn't a clear answer as to what the best deck was until U/B Faeries followed by Stoneblade killed the format. People are still trying to figure out what the best deck in Vintage is, despite it being MtG's oldest format. U/R Delver is probably the best deck in Legacy, but Delver isn't as dominating as Grixis Control is right now in Standard.
There's an easy solution to these problems, which is switch from a TCG model to something else (like a Living Card Game) or change how people buy product. Imagine if instead of booster boxes, each new set was released as pre-made cubes that had one copy of each card in the set and each set had enough cards for 8-person Booster Draft or 4-person Sealed. Or if they just reprinted the Reserve List with something like the Zendikar expeditions. EDH players would absolutely buy packs if it meant a chance of opening a Tundra or Mox Diamond.
WotC isn't going to do any of that, however, because these solutions don't make as much money as the lottery tickets known as booster packs. They're also not sure what would happen if they got rid of the RL. If they thought it would make them more money than they'd lose, WotC would have pulled the plug a long time ago. So we're just kind of stuck with Modern, EDH, and so on.
Also, I miss Extended :(
8 months ago
19/01/2023 changes: There have been a few rounds of changes. Removed counterspells to attempt to make the deck to make more fun to play against, sold the Mox Diamond because it's become worth a mint in the last 7 years, added more draw and refocused the deck on creature ETB based interaction instead of something like Oblivion Ring. It's a good card but I don't get the value that I could get out of a Fiend Hunter. You know where I'm going with this. I've also added more mana fixing to the land base and adjusted colours for the new balance.
- - 1x Akroma, Angel of Wrath
- - 1x Azorius Signet
- - 1x Detention Sphere
- - 4x Forest
- - 1x Force of Will
- - 1x Isochron Scepter
- - 1x Land Tax
- - 1x Martial Coup
- - 1x Mirrorweave
- - 1x Mox Diamond
- - 1x Oblivion Ring
- - 4x Plains
- - 1x Polymorphist's Jest
- - 1x Prototype Portal
- - 1x Pyxis of Pandemonium
- - 1x Pestermite
- - 1x Spell Crumple
- - 1x Strionic Resonator
- - 1x Treachery
- - 1x Temple of the False God
- - 1x Thran Dynamo
- - 1x Time Spiral
- - 1x Tinker
- + 1x Arcane Signet
- + 1x Adarkar Wastes
- + 1x Blue Sun's Zenith
- + 1x Barkchannel Pathway Flip
- + 1x Brokers Hideout
- + 1x Consider
- + 1x Deserted Beach
- + 1x Dreamroot Cascade
- + 1x Echoing Truth
- + 1x Evolving Wilds
- + 1x Fading Hope
- + 1x Hengegate Pathway Flip
- + 1x Joint Exploration
- + 1x Mind Stone
- + 1x Overgrown Farmland
- + 1x Preordain
- + 1x Relic of Progenitus
- + 1x Repopulate
- + 1x Stonehorn Dignitary
- + 1x Terramorphic Expanse
- + 1x Temple of Mystery
- + 1x Temple of Enlightenment
- + 1x Wilt