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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
|Pauper Duel Commander||Legal|
Counter target noncreature spell.
2 weeks ago
Pioneer's not a strong suit of mine yet, but I'll try to help.
I wouldn't go more than two copies of Iymrith. Maybe 2 each Iymrith and Kolaghan, 1 Lathliss for the legendary dragons.
Cut some of the 3-mana stuff and reduce overall costs. Stuff like Foul-Tongue Invocation and Spit Flame are thematic and reasonably useful, but you don't want to spend the first two turns sitting around waiting. Just pitching ideas here without analysis, but cards like Opt, Strangle, and Negate will keep you active.
Maybe 25-26 lands, 6-8 counterspells, 8-10 Dragons, 10-12 removal, and 10-12 draw would work. If you can find cards that double up or overlap these categories, like Kolaghan's Command or Maestros Charm, even better.
4 weeks ago
The deck looks way better! I am not sure thought collapse is worth the extra to mill three cards over something as efficient as Counterspell. There's also Miscalculation and Memory Lapse that could fit the bill in terms of general counters. I could also see Negate or Dispel seeing some maindeck play.
1 month ago
Your commander has a good effect but he costs 7 mana. I would suggest running more 2 CMC mana rocks to make it so you can more consistently cast him. Start with Fellwar Stone, Rakdos Signet, Izzet Signet, Talisman of Creativity, Talisman of Dominance, and Talisman of Indulgence.
1 month ago
I would definitely look at some mana rocks (artifacts that make mana) for your deck to help you speed up. Some can even help you with card draw or other things later when you don't need them for mana. I like Mind Stone as an example. I would keep these to 3-drop or less.
Some creatures can help with card draw too. Tomebound Lich, Master of Death, and Liliana's Standard Bearer can all provide card selection on bodies (that you can re-use later if needed). Surveil isn't quite card draw, but in a zombie deck, it should do about the same if you're playing enough reanimation.
Additional card draw I would look at is sacrifice card draw like Village Rites, Reckoner's Bargain, and Deadly Dispute. If you can combine the sacrifice from these cards with an effect your zombies may have, they're extra worth it.
One thing you may consider doing with your deck is seeing how many zombies you get per mana/card spent. Scarab God cares about quantity of zombies to be super effective, so maximizing that is key!
1 month ago
I personally would not use any ramp over two in this deck. My suggestions:
For card draw and removal:
Two other cards I would suggest to add but I don't know which cards you would be willing to take out for them:
1 month ago
Scrib Nibblers Siphon Insight Wizened Snitches Expel from Orazca Cathartic Adept Vantress Gargoyle Mind Flayer Sage of the Beyond Krydle of Baldur's Gate Consuming Aberration Dazzling Sphinx Palladium Myr Ruin Crab Dark Ritual Negate Dimir Charm Infernal Grasp Aetherspouts AEtherize Winds of Rebuke Stolen Goods Extract from Darkness Necromantic Selection Talent of the Telepath Ravenform Pyxis of Pandemonium Commander's Sphere Hedron Archive Firemind Vessel Sisay's Ring Ur-Golem's Eye
2 months ago
Thanks, Guerric! There’s a lot to parse here, so I may take it in parts.
Firstly, the extra lands are temporary. My target is 36, but I had 13 extra spells, so I added 7 basics (35% rate) to be able to goldfish effectively. Sometimes I can learn a bit more about the deck and make changes that way. As I pare down spells, I’ll take out lands too. I thought about Crucible of Worlds, but opted against it because it would change my play style, but without tutors or duplicate effects it’s too high-variance.
The Stifle is mostly there to stop graveyard hate, which tends to be one-off abilities (Bojuka Bog, Scavenger Grounds, Tormod's Crypt, Relic of Progenitus) and which could really mess up my plans. That’s a good point on Dovin's Veto; maybe I’ll swap it for a Negate.
I really like Reconnaissance because it not only allows me to attack into unfavorable board states but also gives pseudo-vigilance, allowing me to commit all my zombies without worrying about the crack back. Anything to maximize those Varina triggers! Flawless Maneuver might need to come out, though.
I’ve used Plumb the Forbidden to great effect in my Mazirek deck. Since it’s instant speed, it’s really good at turning creatures that would die to unfavorable combat or a board wipe into card advantage, and since it’s 2 CMC I can always just put the mana into Varina if I don’t wind up needing it. I had Kindred Discovery in there originally, but in a deck that’s both ETBing and swinging this much it seemed like overkill (plus it’s crazy expensive). A lot of my perspective on card draw may need to change, too. Like I said, I’m not used to using my graveyard, and while Varina let’s me look at a lot, I’m still uncomfortable throwing cards away. After all, they’re all in there because I want to cast them! I need to get better at choosing what to pitch (which is kind of the whole point of making this deck), but corollary to that is figuring out how much draw-to-hand I need and how much I can lean on my ‘yard.
A lot of the deck techs I’ve looked at leaned into Varina’s activated ability. I didn’t much like that because (1) it makes her into a glorified token factory, (2) I want to push myself to use the cards in my graveyard, and (3) why would I want to spend 2 mana and two cards for a vanilla zombie when I can spend 2 mana and one card for a Corpse Knight, a Wayward Servant, or 3 mana for a Diregraf Captain. In the little bit of goldfishing I’ve done, though, she’s dumping cards so fast that exiling two of them isn’t even a problem. I had originally taken Tormod, the Desecrator out, but wound up putting him back in because of the number of cards I was exiling. I’d like to bring it back toward a reanimator strategy, and I think Syr Konrad, the Grim would be a good payoff for that.
You have a ton of good suggestions, including Crashing Drawbridge, Dusk / Dawn, Necromancy et al. (I knew there were others, I just couldn’t remember them!), Living Death/Rise of the Dark Realms, Haunting Voyage/Patriarch's Bidding, and the talismans, but I still need to cut 13 spells to even get down to 100 cards, and then more to make room for any of them. This is my problem!
2 months ago
I like to lean into drawing with mono-blue mill because of cards you're already running like Psychic Corrosion and Teferi's Tutelage. If you go this route you can throw in Archmage Emeritus and other cantrips like Visions of Beyond and Quicken to chain-draw your spells. Teferi, Master of Time is also bananas because you can use his abilities on each of your opponents' turns, effectively negating one of the biggest downsides of planeswalkers in commander.
With Emeritus on the field, even your removal like Pongify and Rapid Hybridization replace themselves and even mill if you have one of your enchantments on the field as well. The same can be said of your counterspells.
Overall, this is a cool deck and I wish you luck with it!