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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Whenever you draw a card put a foreshadow counter on Ominous Seas.
Remove eight foreshadow counters from Ominous Seas: Create an 8/8 blue Kraken creature token.
Cycling : (, discard this card: Draw a card.)
1 month ago
thefiresoflurve First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to look over my list and put some real thought into these last cuts. I truly appreciate it. I understand all of what you had to say, and was having some of the same thoughts myself. As I said before, all these cards made it through several rounds of cuts so I have my reasons for them still being here. That said:
Minn, Wily Illusionist is still here because I like playing the quirky legendary creatures in my colors. There's not much else here that pumps the team the way she does and she would interact nicely with Murmuring Mystic. All this still probably isn't good enough reason to keep her though. Unless I'm drawing 2+ cards on each opponents' turn (which I'm probably not), her token output comes up short. Whispering Wizard is on the block for the same per-turn production limitation. Plus, I don't have much as far as scary permanents to cheat out with her second ability (nor a reliable way to kill my illusions to do so). It'll hurt to cut one of my token producers, but yeah, she's on the block for sure.
Wizard Class because I loathe having to discard for hand size, and I plan on drawing a lot of cards. Taking this one out means I'm left with only Reliquary Tower, Sea Gate Restoration Flip, and possibly Venser's Journal. I suppose that the amount of draw I hope to produce means I'll come across one of those other options, but it still worries me. Probably still not a good enough reason to keep it in though.
I like Capsize because I love having repeatable options in commander decks, and because it can target any permanent. It's great to have options to bounce a troublesome land if the need arises. Paying 6 total mana to do so (and keep Capsize) is probably not worth it though. I included Field of Ruin and Strip Mine to deal with problem lands, and I have Boomerang and Cryptic Command to bounce any permanent still.
I really like Guile because it does a lot of things for me I think. Besides its mega-menace, I like that it exiles my opponents' spells should I choose not to cast them. I'm guessing that opponents may steer away from casting big splashy spells while Guile is out though for fear of having them turned against them or losing access to them in exile. It also provides just a little bit of mill insurance with its last ability. I hate mill as a strategy and while I'm running a few recursion spells, I'm not going to have much graveyard interaction. I suppose Nexus of Fate does the same thing much better though, since ideally I could cast it every turn if I wound up being milled down to 1 and it would wind up back in the library. Anyway, I was excited about running Guile as I was putting this together but you may be right, might be more than I need.
Ominous Seas I figure will drop its token every other turn on average if the game is going at all the way I want it to. While I should be pumping out an army of small tokens, I figured it would be nice to have some big chonky bodies out there as well. Without trample existing in the deck though, an 8/8 without flying is no different than a 1/1 tentacle as long as you've got a plant to block it. You're right, probably win-more. I do want to win more though...
I certainly understand that Aetherflux Reservoir really shines in storm decks (which no, this one most certainly is not). While I wouldn't be working it as well as storming does, I do plan to cast a lot of cheap spells, sometimes several in a turn in a good game. Something mono-blue is not good at is gaining life, so I really want to include at least one or two pieces that can do that for me for matchups that are pinging down the whole table. So the reservoir serves both as a way to gain life, and as a possible alternative win-con in a pinch. Between reservoir and Venser's Journal though, I probably lean towards the journal to retain as an emergency life gain option. I run it in my Pheldagriff deck and it has proven itself a workhorse.
Finally, I see Psychosis Crawler as another possible win-con. At my LGS where I play at least, I run into a lot of decks that efficiently pump out tokens. This means that if beating face with tokens is going to be my only strategy to win games, there's gonna be some games where that just won't get me there. I can see crawler coming out late-game when life totals have dwindled, and being able to finish everyone off with a big Gadwick, the Wizened or Blue Sun's Zenith cast. I was honestly seeing crawler as a mortal lock to make the final cut, but you've given me something to think about for sure.
Thanks again for your input, I really do appreciate and you've definitely helped by reinforcing some stuff I was already thinking and giving me reasons to think about cutting some stuff I was not.
1 month ago
These cuts are hard to do. A lot of the blue counters are difficult to compare.
Psychosis Crawler can go. It just doesn't really belong here, tbh.
Guile: It's win-more here. If you're getting to cast instants and sorceries AND successfully countering, that should be all you need to win.
Ominous Seas is a little win-more as well. If you're drawing cards in the numbers needed to trigger it, you are in a fantastic spot. I think this is less obviously win-more than Guile, though.
Capsize is sometimes an infinite combo piece, but I don't see it as one here. If that's the case, I'd cut it as your highest CMC bounce spell.
Minn, Wily Illusionist - just a little bit slow to do much meaningful work.
Aetherflux Reservoir - I might've missed it - is this a storm deck? That's the only place this really belongs. Yeah, it's fine as an alternate win con, but it's not really fitting with Talrand, IMO. If you decide to cut this, I'd also go ahead and cut Venser's Journal due to it being a lil win-more. If you did want to keep the Reservoir, I'd just expect to see it run with more storm-friendly counters like Unwind and friends.
Wizard Class: all it is is Divination and a less-cool Library of Leng stapled together. If you wouldn't run both of those cards separately here, I might consider cutting this. (I don't really consider the third level very viable at all here, TBH).
I hope that helps some - these are some really tough cuts you're facing, I feel your pain.
Good luck, and have fun!
2 months ago
DreadKhan thanks for these suggestions! Yeah, at this point I’m not sure which is more important to counter with a 1-2 drop counterspell (creature/non-creature), so I’m using Keep Safe and Neutralize until I play more. I really like Spiketail Hatchling - I think that’s make a good replacement for the Stormchaser Drakes (which haven’t done much for me outside of being a flying body on the board).
Question: do you see anything in my list that you’d take out in favour of Teferi's Ageless Insight or Ominous Seas? I like those 2 cards, but I’m not sure if they’re worth replacing cards like Capture Sphere and Gust of Wind that have some sort of a bounce on no-untap control element.
3 months ago
A bit of an "upgrade" to Gaze of Adamaro: Fateful Showdown. It would be better if it made the opponent also wheel, but you can't have it all.
6 months ago
I love this deck! I've been toying with some cards, but I'm hesitant on some of them:
Mana Maze really slowed the table. But so did it with my deck! At the end I found it a bit fatigue-inducing, so I'm not sure...
The new Smuggler's Share should work pretty well here!
Enchanted Evening + destroy enchantments is mean. Also Aura Thief, which I love. I've tried a small package for this synergy, but have not played it yet, and I feel it's veeery niche. Getting a draw with Archon of Sun's Grace could be fun, I guess? Enchanted Evening has something that attracts me every time, though. Any other ideas to use it in this deck?
Meekstone was pretty effective.
Drumbellower is cheap mana-wise and allows us to overgift with Kwain. It feels like it needs more tap creatures, though, and I'm not sure it is worth it. But 3+ cards per round... Teferi, Who Slows the Sunset has another untap + lifegain. It should attract some gazes, though; is he worth it?
Words of Worship: with that much drawing, paying x to gain 5x life instead of drawing x could be interesting.
Wizard Class: hey! We don't have that many creatures, buuut this could become pretty stupid. Kwain Voltron anyone?
Ominous Seas has been cute: instant speed 8/8, you say?
I'm thinking of the New Capenna cards, let's see if some of them can work here too. Let's keep this deck brewing!
9 months ago
Hi Anabasis! Since you asked for some feedback on the list prior to committing, I'll comment here since I can link cards easily. Let's begin with the archetype you are going for here, how it plays out with Braids, Conjurer Adept, how to make it run a bit smoothly. The archetype for this deck is "group hug," which is a bit of a misunderstood archetype that has gotten unnecessary bad rep in the past. Basically, a group hug deck built properly is one that has effects which benefit everyone, but benefit the player the most. The idea is that there is little incentive to target the group hug player because they are giving free stuff, and the free stuff nonetheless keeps every player more competitive, which takes more pressure off of the group hug player, who is then ahead in the value race. The most iconic group hug commander, for example, is Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis. This commander lets every player either draw an extra card or play an extra land each end step, whereas the Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis player gets to do both. Oftentimes what makes game uneven are some players encountering ramp or draw problems, and this evens things out and keeps them competitive. Usually players won't target Kynaios and Tiro because it is benefitting them, and because it is not inherently threatening. Nonetheless, the Kynaios player is ahead in the value race, and usually plans to win with some sort of alternate win condition like Approach of the Second Sun. Braids, Conjurer Adept plays out similarly, in that every player benefits from Braids, but unlike your opponents your deck is built to exploit it, and you will have scarier things to cheat out than they will. The difference with this deck, however, and this is the critical part, is that your deck will be inherently threatenting. People will soon figure out that you are dropping scary things and have plenty of incentive to kill braids. What's worse is that the way Braids works inherently gives them added incentive to do so. The scariest words on the card are "at the beginning of each player's upkeep" are ones you will come to loathe if you don't build this right. These words mean that if you play Braids normally, each of your opponents will get to use Braids before you do. This is bad, because after three opponents have used it, the third could kill Braids before you ever get to use her. This is the nightmare that should ever be in your mind when planning or playing this deck, but if you are mindful of it, it can be overcome. So let's think first about Braids' abilities and how to best protect and exploit her to your benefit over your opponents.'
The first is to do lots and lots of what blue does best, namely, countering spells. Whereas Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis are a pillowfort group hug deck, you should think of your deck as a control group hug deck. Forget the crappy boardwipes like AEtherize and Aetherspouts. You probably included them because you've sensed they won't hit your board, but you'll find that smart players never attack with their most important pieces, and that they won't generally do what you want them to. Spectral Deluge and Whelming Wave are probably fine, but leave the rest out- you're better off just stopping things from happening to begin with than wiping a board that will probably be in your favor. Counterspells are good here for two reasons. First and foremost, they protect Braids from removal, which will be their most important duty. Beyond that, since you're getting a free permanent every turn, you have the luxury of holding your mana open, so you might as well have stuff to do with it! I'd think about playing up to ten different counterspells along with premium blue targeted removal like Reality Shift, Ravenform, etc.
Since the weakness of Braids is that our opponents' get to use her first if we cast her at sorcery speed, we might as well rewrite the script and try to play her at instant speed where feasible. Leyline of Anticipation and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir can help with this. You'll enjoy much more playing Braids on your opponent's end step and getting to use her first than the reverse. This will also aid and abet your counterspell game, in that if you don't need to counter anything you can cast other spells on your opponent's end step rather than wasting your mana. I see that you included these spells, but I wanted to make sure that you realize how critical they are to your game, and that if you can find more of this effect it will be worthwhile to include it.
A third implication is that, in the true spirit of group hug, you should get to use Braids more than your opponents. It's only fair after all! Therefore cards that copy triggered abilities like Strionic Resonator are at a premium here. Braids is far better if you get to use her twice and your opponents only get to use her once.
You also need to rework your ramp section entirely. The general rule of commanders and ramp applies here, namely, that you mostly want to play ramp that can get your commander out a turn early. This means one and two mana rocks primarily, unless it can get extra lands out. Dreamstone Hedron and Hedron Archive are traps and will make you cry. I know the theory is that you can play them for free with Braids, but keep in mind that they will never help you cast Braids. Also, they tend to be removal targets, and you'd probably be putting out something threatening over a mana rock anyway. Caged Sun is definitely worth it though because of the overall value, and because it will be worth it even to double your mana for one turn in order to cast a massive x-spell. Armillary Sphere is just bad here. Importantly, it is not a ramp spell since it doesn't put anything onto the battlefield. When people do play it, it is just for color fixing in multi-colored decks, and you don't need that. It'd be better to just play more card draw so that you can draw into your land drops normally. Sol Ring, Mind Stone, and Thought Vessel are fine, but you want to add Wayfarer's Bauble, Sky Diamond, and Coldsteel Heart at least. Sword of the Animist and Dowsing Dagger Flip are also fabulously repeatable ramp that always makes me smile. Dreamscape Artist is also a sleeper blue card that can repeatedly ramp lands onto the battlefield which is often overlooked. You'll be far happy with these efficient options that can either get Braids out early or get her out on time with mana to spare for counterspells than with the big splashy cards.
Also, as far as card draw goes, I wouldn't take group hug to far here. You are already giving your opponents free permanents, and you are in the best card draw color and don't need their help in that. Personally I'd recommend skipping Kami of the Crescent Moon and the like entirely, and play more personal draw spells like Gadwick, the Wizened and Blue Sun's Zenith. Seriously. One advantage of Braids is that they will play spells for free and run out of stuff to cast, whereas you can keep drawing into it. If you help them out too much, you're just hurting yourself in the long run. I'd honestly replace all the reciprocal draw spells with spells which draw you cards. The only one that might be ok is Well of Ideas, but that one is benefiting you more and you first, so it fits the bill.
Some more cautions. While casting free haymakers is the reason for this deck, don't overdo it. You want to be able to afford to hard cast stuff sometimes, both in case Braids dies or just to amass more of a board presence. The power curve in magic has been getting lower in recent years, and there are many devastating spells that cost four and five mana, so don't sleep on those. Your average cmc here is 4.5, and while some high cmc haymakers are what you want, you also want lots of castable creatures.
I'm also not sure why we are playing the "creatures become every creature type" cards. Is this for better board wiping with Whelming Wave or synergy with Spawning Kraken? In my experience these synergies won't work out enough to justify the card slots, which might be better filled with counterspells or other creatures. Honestly, if I were to pick another theme to support this archetype I'd pick blink, since you doubling ETB counters can be great, but that's just me. Blinking is the sort of thing where you don't need to do a lot of it for it to be good.
A few other card choice matters. Reflections of Littjara only works on cast, so it won't copy creatures played with Braids. Definitely consider this before including a five mana enchantment that doesn't affect the board right away. Also, yes, absolutely play High Tide. It is so worth it in a mono-blue deck. Yes, Frozen Aether is amazing here. this is absolutely how to play group hug. Your opponents get free stuff, but it is only fair that you get to use your stuff first. Personally, I feel like Ominous Seas is one of the most overrated commander cards in recent years. It seems like you get a great rate on a vanilla 8/8, but often the enchantment will get blown up first, and it takes forever to come out. That's just my opinion thought.
One final thought, don't prejudice yourself too much in favor of sea monsters over against, say, eldrazi. I know the chase eldrazi are expensive, but Artisan of Kozilek is under one dollar in real world money and a wonderful thing to play with Braids, and to make copies of with your copy spells, and to give haste to with Crashing Drawbridge. You will have so much fun.
I think this will be a great deck and you have a lot of good ideas going here. I'd just refocus it a bit and then wreak some havoc!
10 months ago
Hey Coward_Token, thanks for the upvote. Yep, Wizard Class is for it's level 3 which can make Krothuss huge because my version has lots of draw. It's a backup plan to have a win condition of Commander damage from Krothuss. You're right no max hand size is a drawback of the Class, but I feel I have enough discard effects to overcome this. Ominous Seas was played for a while in place of Class as another budget card that cares about lots of drawing.
11 months ago