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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Search your library for a sorcery card, revea it, shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.
2 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.
4 days ago
Wizards were my 1st Commander archetype! Here some recs to help you get to, execute & get more value out of your stated wincons a bit faster:
Lands: Cavern of Souls
Incorporating some of the Tutors and card draw & Ramp here will get you there imho. Let me know what you think!
2 months ago
Retribution of the Meek might be a reasonable wipe with so many smaller creatures, ditto Elspeth, Sun's Champion. If a wipe is one sided it's not just resetting the board, not sure how many of these you're willing to run. Elspeth makes a small army, much better at blocking than the Samurai from Wanderer fwiw, but Wanderer is really strong too. Smothering Tithe is great with Stasis out, Brago, King Eternal might be fun too. If people are running obnoxious stuff, you could run Enlightened Tutor to find your Stasis/Tithe cards as needed, Muddle the Mixture can find both Stasis or Brave the Sands, while also being a counterspell. If you like Stasis, you could also try Static Orb, Meekstone, Crackdown or even Winter Orb/Rising Waters, not sure how hostile you want to be but Stasis is harsher than these. How often do you cast Approach of the Second Sun in here? I ask because there are a lot of tax effects, but if it's not trouble have you thought about running some tutors to find it? The best ones I can think of are Mystical Tutor, Personal Tutor, and Solve the Equation, they can also find other cards as needed, handy if you need removal, a wipe or a counter.
As for alternatives that can do similar things, you might look at either Zur the Enchanter or Hinata, Dawn-Crowned as alternatives that offer more offensive punch while still offering a solid route to shutting the table down. Zur can dig out enchantments like Rule of Law, Stasis (and Black Market Connections) and various ways to fairly quickly win the game, all while being able to hold up lots of mana for interaction, be it counters or removal. Hinata is another tax effect, but you get access to Red as well, and Red has some interesting additions to the Stax department, you'd definitely want Grand Arbiter in your Hinata deck, and you'd run most of the same cards, but you also have the option of running a bunch of cards that care about Hinata's discount, Hinata makes interaction better, especially if it has multiple targets, the annoying thing for both is that they're much harder to cast than Grand Arbiter, so you'd have to raise your budget to have the same consistency. The big problem with Zur is protecting him. If there are literally specific players you know are a problem you can run either Baral, Chief of Compliance or Talrand, Sky Summoner, Baral is better at playing 'Counter Everything' but Talrand can be just offensively good vs a specific player since he also is generating evasive bodies while interacting with that player's win attempts. The nice thing about he mono-Blue approach is you can just brutalize a player or two while letting the others play a smaller (but more normal) game.
Oh, if those players run specific colours (and nobody else likes them as much) there are old school colour hosers, cards like Karma can make life extremely hard. They exist for all colours, and they were so staggeringly unpopular that the developer stopped printing cards like it.
5 months ago
Griselbrand's power level doesn't just come from its potential as a commander; rather, it's just a value card that can come down at any moment, usually in reanimator decks, and draw out to a wincon consistently.
5 months ago
I've never really been a fan of the ban list used for commander. I don't think it addresses potential problem cards the right way. There's always going to be a new problem card printed. I also think there's cards stuck on there that use to be scary and just aren't now. Like when Worldfire came off and no one really cared lol. So I wanted to just go through the mental exercise of designing a new ban list. First thing is I wanted to bring back the old "banned as commander" and therefore have 2 ban lists. The argument I heard most against this is that it's complicated but we play the most complex deck design game in MTG. I think people can handle 2 ban lists. For the banned from the 99 part of the list I was thinking I'd focus on fast tutors and fast mana. Like I said there will always be more problem cards. Many that aren't banned are arguably stronger than banned ones currently. For example Godo, Bandit Warlord + Helm of the Host is arguably easier and more consistent than Cromat + Coalition Victory.
So here are the 2 lists, they do not contain everything. Just wanted to start the idea and see people's thoughts.
Banned from the 99- Mox Emerald Mox Jet Mox Pearl Mox Ruby Mox Sapphire Black Lotus Channel Sol Ring Mana Crypt Mana Vault Worldly Tutor Enlightened Tutor Personal Tutor Vampiric Tutor Demonic Tutor Mystical Tutor
I would also simply declare that Companion doesn't work in Commander. So you can play your Lutri, the Spellchaser if you so desire. I think this mechanic as a whole was poorly thought out and poorly tested, hence the changes and bans across multiple formats.
5 months ago
@FireMind42: Yeah in that case, you'll want to go for Underworld Breach or Paradoxical Outcome (or something weird with both). I'd lean more towards Paradoxical Outcome because it lends itself better to straight U/R Storm. Not to mention, it opens up Displacer Kitten + Coveted Jewel shenanigans. Then you won't have to rely on rituals so much (Desperate Ritual, Goblin Electromancer, and Seething Song are especially awkward). You can then fit more artifact mana and draw spells.
You'll still want Bolas's Citadel because you're never going to actually spend black mana to cast it and the card is just the nuts in Storm. Memory Jar is always fun with Hullbreacher and Narset, Parter of Veils, but Bolas's Citadel is like Yawgmoth's Will and Yawgmoth's Bargain in one card that can be Tinker'd for (especially with Sensei's Divining Top, Brainstorm, and Ponder). You'll still need Sphinx of the Steel Wind in your sideboard, which is another card you're never going to actually cast.
Since you don't want Monastery Mentor, you'll have to get by with Laelia, the Blade Reforged. Sometimes you'll want to Grapeshot. Sometimes you'll want to Brain Freeze. Sometimes you'll want to Empty the Warrens. Other times, you need something that can get big quick and an easy way to do that is Laelia, the Blade Reforged, Treasure Cruise, and Dig Through Time. She's mostly for Underworld Breach, but I'm not sure you'll need that with Paradoxical Outcome.
I also don't know how I forgot to mention Mind's Desire in my original post. That's the reason to play pure U/R Storm in Vintage LOL. Personal Tutor may also have a potential spot somewhere in this list. It grabs Tinker, Grapeshot, Time Walk, Mind's Desire, and draw 7s. I'd even consider it over the second copies of Past in Flames and Grapeshot.
9 months ago
Winter's Chill weiiird
10 months ago
Hey, you can add these spells : Culling the Weak ; Jeska's Will to accelerate your mana, and all tutors : Scheming Symmetry ; Wishclaw Talisman ; Tinker ; Diabolic Intent ; Imperial Seal ; Gamble ; Grim Tutor ; Personal Tutor ; Planar Bridge ; Demonic Consultation ; Tainted Pact (with the combo Thassa's Oracle if don't play a lot of lands), you can add Divining Witch same thing, and the master piece for these tutors is Laboratory Maniac. Nowday there is a lot of mana rock : Arcane Signet ; Mox Amber ; Thran Dynamo ; Thought Vessel