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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
|Pauper Duel Commander||Legal|
Destroy target artifact or enchantment. Its controller gains 4 life.
2 weeks ago
I might take out Withering Boon. Willowdusk's ability works only as a sorcery. I pay three life but it won't trigger her. I'm looking to replace it with a removal spell like Go for the Throat or Nature's Claim.
1 month ago
If you are aiming at 'competitive' in the technical sense of the term (as in 'cEDH' or 'competitive EDH'), like the title seems to suggest, I see many staples missing that unfortunately make the deck quite far from being competitive.
Tutors: you are missing Vampiric Tutor, Imperial Seal, and Worldly Tutor and Green Sun's Zenith if you run any combo, win, or strategy whatsoever based on creatures. You could also add Wishclaw Talisman and Solve the Equation, and, although not a tutor, Peer into the Abyss, which works quite nicely with Thought Vessel.
Lands: any competitive deck plays true duals, namely Underground Sea, Bayou, and Tropical Island. Same for shocklands and at least 6-7 fetchlands in a 3-color deck like this one. You could also consider lower the number of lands, depending on whether or not you want to keep the Gate strategy
Protection: any competitive deck that plays blue automatically plays top-end counterspells, namely Swan Song, Arcane Denial, Force of Will, Force of Negation, Pact of Negation, Fierce Guardianship, Mental Misstep, An Offer You Can't Refuse, and Flusterstorm. You are also missing key cards like Cyclonic Rift or Chain of Vapor. Needless to say, ideally a competitive deck playing blue also plays Timetwister: not a counterspell but a must card (yeah, the price is another topic of conversation).
Creatures: I understand the Gate theme but you are missing some high-value creature cards in here, most notably Dauthi Voidwalker, Malevolent Hermit Flip, Lotus Cobra, Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Tatyova, Benthic Druid, Ramunap Excavator, Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, Oracle of Mul Daya, Elvish Reclaimer - to name a few. Much depends on the strategy of your deck, although don't let keywords aligned with your strategy (e.g. 'Gate') fool you into thinking some cards are good for that.
Now, I totally understand there is a budget situation going on with upgrading to competitive MtG (spoiler alert: MtG is a pay-to-win type of game, research confirms), but generally the term 'competitive' sticks to decks that, to the very least, include most if not all cards mentioned above - without mentioning the fact that any competitive deck needs running at least one winning combo. At this stage, your level is more looking towards casual. This isn't to criticize you or anything of course, pretty interesting build, just not really a competitive deck in its strict sense.
If you want to try the competitive experience, my suggestion is to proxy cards by printing them online - this should cost around 10 bucks on colored and good quality paper, and effectively save you more than 7k worth of cards.
2 months ago
Wildsize is an easier cut as it doesn't really have any situations where I'd rather see that in my hand than something else. So many other spells in the deck do essentially the same thing but for cheaper.
Wild Shape is a bit trickier, as 2 of the 3 choices could be useful. However, there are better protection spells to run, and I've found that turning something into a 3/3 with trample is never as effective as it seems in theory. (Think about those spells like Pongify, the 3/3 with trample isn't much of a reparation.)
I personally have my doubts about Blighted Agent and Corrupted Conscience, but mostly with Blighted Agent. If you draw the agent and not the conscience, the agent will quite likely be counter-productive, as you'll spend cards and mana trying to buff it only for an opponent to remove it on their turn, and now you'll be potentially several cards down with no way to use the poison counters you've just given your opponent. Sure, Blighted Agent starts being really good if you cast it together with Corrupted Conscience, but on it's own it's not particularly useful, so I would cut it to avoid that possibility.
I would probably take out Return to Nature, I've found it to be a relatively weak removal spell and tend to have more luck with cards like Nature's Claim, but I understand that there are some budget concerns with that.
I'm generally not much of a fan of cards like Resculpt, 2 mana to get rid of a creature isn't that bad but your other removal options are a lot better since they also target your creatures. I would cut that for sure.
I would consider cutting Refresh. It's a good protection spell, but 3 mana is probably a bit more than the spell is really worth. Though this one could very much go either way.
The last cut is one of your basic lands. For the kind of deck you're running, you don't need 36 lands, 35 is probably a better number and maybe even as low as 34 depending on how your games tend to go. With all the card draw you have, you're way more likely to hit land drops even if you have fewer land cards. Plus, you have a good amount of ramp, and not that many expensive spells, so that's less of a concern.
Good luck narrowing down the list further! Sorry I can't help all that much.
2 months ago
Damping Sphere? It also doesn't hose your cards during your opponent's turn so your Veil of Summer will still be 1 green and not 3 colorless and a green. Leyline of Sanctity? Pithing Needle? Naturalize, Nature's Claim,or Back to Nature,Disenchant, maybe some Oblivion Ringlike effects. Cut Rest in Peace unless your meta is graveyard heavy. Why are you running Secure the Wastes in the sideboard?
2 months ago
Welcome to the club, JHM921!
For this deck, I see a focus on getting Sarevok, Deathbringer as big as possible, but I also see some bits and pieces that I think can be switched out. Cards like Butcher of Malakir and Grave Betrayal would work better in a more graveyard-focused deck than what I think this deck wants to be. There's some ramp and mana modification, with Nature's Lore, Sakura-Tribe Elder, and similar cards, but I think some more early cards like Elves of Deep Shadow, Golgari Signet, and Elvish Mystic would help accelerate early game into mid game.
Virus Beetle, Ravenous Rats, and Festering Mummy are all kind of underwhelming in this deck. If you want to force discard, you either want to affect every opponent or choose the discard yourself, and Festering Mummy just has too small of an effect that the deck doesn't really have ways to capitalize on. I recommend adding some more targeted permanent destruction. Depending on how much money you're willing to spend, Nature's Claim, Maelstrom Pulse, Abrupt Decay, and Assassin's Trophy are all viable.
Since your commander is a big part of your win condition, you need to be able to protect it. Regenerate effects like Golgari Charm or Wrap in Vigor, indestructibility from Tamiyo's Safekeeping or Heroic Intervention, or simple unkillable-ness from Supernatural Stamina or Undying Malice will help keep Sarevok fresh and deathbringing.
Look through your deck, and for each card, ask yourself, "Why is this card in here? Does it advance my win condition? Does it remove an opponent's specific threat or problem? Does it protect my board?" If the answer to any of these is no, then it can probably be replaced with something more directed to this particular deck.
For some more specific suggestions, I assume Cloak of the Bat is to make Sarevok harder to block. I would switch that for something like Whispersilk Cloak. You don't have a solid Vampire base for Indulgent Aristocrat, and the Vampires you do have don't contribute much to your winning strategy, so I would save the Vampires for another deck.
I think if you tighten up the focus, this deck will become very solid. Happy brewing, and above all, have fun!
3 months ago
3 months ago
But otherwise this is a really tightly done deck, I love it!
4 months ago
Luminarch Ascension is just slow. I used to run it in my Sythis, Harvest's Hand enchantress prison deck as a backup method to get beaters out, and most of the time I'd play it and it'd just sit there as I'd use my mana for other things. It's not worth it most of the time.
I do not know why you aren't already running Esper Sentinel. In your deck you're running a bunch of anthems, and Esper Sentinel can easily draw you a ridiculous amount of cards rather quickly if his tax gets up to 4~5 mana. He's easily one of the best white cards in Magic, and your deck seems likely to support him. Plus he's only one mana, and you have an absolutely ridiculous CMC of 3.87 with only seven mana rocks - two of which are 4+ CMC.
My advice? Fuck Smothering Tithe. I personally think the card is overrated and is one of the most "kill on sight" cards in Magic. A quarter of the time you play it and it's countered. Another quarter of the time you play it and it gets blown up immediately. Another quarter of the time you play it and it does nothing. The last quarter of the time it does something. If you wanted to play some cheaper "kill on sight" cards to bait out counter magic and kill spells, Food Chain, Survival of the Fittest, and even something like Grafdigger's Cage against certain decks. But, take what I say here with a grain of salt - I just don't like Smothering Tithe, and I think the CMC of it won't help you that much since you don't run a lot of ramp. I'd honestly rather run Yasharn, Implacable Earth over Smothering Tithe in your deck right now.
Now, you asked for feedback and suggestions, so here are my main suggestions. I'm not sure your budget, but considering you're asking us to decide between two $20~$30 cards, I'll assume it's higher than the average Magic player's. Here is a basic list of things you can do to improve your deck:
- Go through your deck and individually look at every card in it. Think to yourself "How often do I play this card? Does this card make an impact whenever I play it? Is it just immediately answered? How does this fit into my game plan?" etc. Cut cards that you think aren't up to par or properly fit into your deck.
- Your deck seems to lack a proper direction. You say you want to pillowfort and focus on building up an army. Cards like Windborn Muse and Ghostly Prison can help you prevent people from swinging at you. If you wanted to prevent people from swinging at all, Crawlspace and Dueling Grounds can work, and you can just pop them with a Nature's Claim or something before you want to start attacking. If you wanted to focus more on the army aspect, you could go with stuff like Avenger of Zendikar, Rhys the Redeemed, or Tendershoot Dryad.
- Lower your Converted Mana Cost. You currently have a CMC of 3.87, which is rather high. In addition, you are only running seven pieces of ramp - all mana rocks - and two of them are four or more CMC, which does not help you much. Cut cards that don't do much and replace them with either cheaper mana rocks or mana dorks. A few that I immediately see that I would cut are cards like Treva, the Renewer, Skyward Eye Prophets, Empyrial Archangel, and Archon of the Triumvirate. Cards you should add are like Avacyn's Pilgrim, Birds of Paradise, Sylvan Caryatid, and Noble Hierarch. This will lower your CMC and provide additional mana ramp.
- Lands. You are currently running 38 lands, which is definitely on the high end. However, I think this is a product of having a CMC of 3.87. I think should you end up reducing your CMC to around 2.75 to 3.00 while adding in at least ~7 sources of mana acceleration you can go down to 32~33 lands, which is much more reasonable. However, I also want to talk about your land choices. You aren't running any fetches and many of your lands have a chance to enter tapped. I would look at adding in more fetches such as Prismatic Vista, Windswept Heath, Misty Rainforest, and Flooded Strand at least. In addition, I'd also look at lands such as City of Brass, Mystic Confluence, and the Battlebond lands such as Bountiful Promenade, Rejuvenating Springs, and Sea of Clouds should you reliably play with 3+ people pods. Cut cards like Seaside Citadel and the check lands, as they're kind of feelsbad turn one plays.
- Removal. You aren't running much removal to deal with threats. Cheap removal such as Nature's Claim, Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Return to Nature, and On Thin Ice are all super good in EDH. I would definitely look at improving your removal suite outside of 3+ mana counterspells. Also, look at cheaper counterspells. Cards like Mana Drain would be super good here as it provides you mana acceleration while stopping your opponents.
There is more I would like to add, such as talking more about card advantage, but I've spent damn near close to an hour typing this so I'm gonna call it here. Now, take what I've said with a grain of salt. I'm a high-powered player; I like to optimize my decks, and with optimization comes homogenization. I.e; your decks become less unique. You've got a pretty unique deck here, and if you like it then you like it. Ultimately it's up to you on making that call of whether or not you want to optimize and change everything. If you need more help, feel free to ask. Good luck, and sorry for the wall of text.