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Play of the Game
Assist (Another player can pay up to of this spell's cost.)
Exile all nonland permanents.
Play of the Game Discussion
2 months ago
The two big things I notice here are: you don't have a lot of expensive cards to cheat out with Omniscience (unless I'm missing a combo somewhere), and Grip of Chaos can get really annoying in a four player game with lots of stuff on the board. (I also don't know if Arcane Flight does enough to really be impactful.)
Based on the style of deck this seems to be, I'm a big fan of tossing cards from the advocate cycle in. In particular: Nullmage Advocate and Spurnmage Advocate give you a way to blow problems up while also returning cards (of your choice) to another player's hand. Pulsemage Advocate lets you bring a creature back. It's a great way to 'gift' someone cards that are useful to you (like a counterspell when someone else is about to wipe the board).
5 months ago
In EDH, when a player with a blue source and at least mana in other sources open on a field. It is a threat. It is a threat not because of a 7 mana spell, but a 2 mana spell, not a spell that deals damage, counters spell, destroys permanents, tutors, or cheats costs, but a bounce spell.
Cyclonic Rift , C-Rift, the big wave, whatever you call it, people know it as one of the strongest, most backbreaking spells in all of EDH, if not the best card in the format.
I am here to say that is isn't.
Part of my series on why other popular staples aren't good ( Phyrexian Arena , Rampant Growth ), or are simply not good in a specific way ( Rhystic Study ), I am not here to deny the power that a card like Cyclonic Rift has, but simply that it isn't a good enough card to warrant the hate or love that it receives.
Before I go over why it isn't good, I need to go over why at nearly every power level, it is good.
In casual EDH, the 50% or less, the Precons, the jank, lies it's the weakest state.
That is where all removal spells, sweepers, or countermagic is the weakest, especially bounce. If no one has threatening boards, why remove them. You'd rather spend 7 mana on a spell to improve yours most of the time, yet those games go long, the Cyclonic Rift acts as a Fog to save you, Sleep to get in for damage, or real removal if you use it on a player's end step if they have to discard just after.
Almost all cards that show heavy play at higher levels show some play at lower ones, and while the price-tag may limit it for most casual players, it does work.
At the 75% or the middle tiers of EDH, where I think EDH players mostly lie, it where it is the most powerful. IF it destroyed any number of target nonland permanents, it would be weaker, because of three reasons:
75% decks often use permanent-based engines to support their gameplan. Think Beast Whisperer along with a deck full of cheap elves, or Paradox Engine in a deck will a lot of Temple Bell effects and mana rocks.
These decks and their creators often expect opponents to remove threats, so have many threats to remove.
They try to protect against sweepers, the only punishing cards for going so wide, with anti-sweepers, think Heroic Intervention , or Boros Charm , and protect against some single-target removal with effects like Darksteel Plate .
Because of this, and because indestructible and hexproof don't protect against a mass bounce effect, along with Cyclonic Rift being the only mass bounce at instant speed that doesn't affect you at all, and doesn't target, it is truly the best anti-75% sweeper by many standards.
In the competitive setting, while not bad, it is mostly relegated to being a 2 mana Chain of Vapor or a Into the Roil that doesn't draw a card, that can let a combo deck get through stax locks once in a blue moon.
Don't get me wrong, being relegated to a slightly worse Chain of Vapor isn't an insult. Chain of Vapor is possible the best removal in cEDH, as decks like Kess consultation or P-Hulk variants Laboratory Maniac wins, and for 1 blue mana, or two in the case of Cyclonic Rift , you get to bounce their wincon as they draw off an empty deck, so they lose...
That is some powerful stuff.
So why isn't it the best EDH card, an efficient spell in nearly any metagame? 2 options for removal, one that crushes many lists and the other a sleek and useful trick?
Because it isn't hyper-efficient, nor is it unbeatable, nor is it irreplaceable.
To start, many cEDH decks that run it run consistent amounts of countermagic to protect it's possible great effect, and numerous cards could fit the spot. It isn't alone. Blink of an Eye , the second Into the Roil has been used over it in many combo lists that more mana-efficient options and many forget the slot all-together, in favor of a cantrip or other removal spell like Abrade or whatever. It isn't very dominant there, and so is easy to explain why it wouldn't be amazing there.
In casual lists, Cyclonic Rift costs about as much as half of many of the casual decks, or even more than some entire casual decks that I have seen. Bringing money-cards wins there, as would a Consecrated Sphinx that costs less money, and I'd wager would have more powerful an effect. Again, an easy argument, but I believe it works.
The really hard place to argue against Cyclonic Rift on the surface is the middle tiers. The 75% lists. Legitimately, I think it is because in the 75% players don't consistently a highly interactive 'metagame'. They just prefer to be interactive 'ingame'.
This comes down to theory, however, when a deck, for example, an elf list abusing the Llanowar Elves style effects along with untap effects to keep making mana, dumping it into something like Ezuri, Renegade Leader . All of that deck and many others get shut down by Null Rod . While that card may be less powerful than other cards against any random deck, as many players know exactly what decks they face, they can play to those decks.
This means general removal, like Anguished Unmaking may be worse if artifacts and walkers don't see much play, you'd rather Mortify . Or if instant speed doesn't help you much, as a lot of City of Solitude / Dosan the Falling Leaf effects exist in your meta, Vindicate , etc.
This is pretty basic knowledge, however, the point here is that there are many, many replacements for Cyclonic Rift in different metagames, and I want to share the ones, only in mono-blue, that in the 75% are why Cyclonic Rift is overrated.
This isn't to say it isn't the best, but that if many, many replacements cost way less $$$ and are occasionally better, that one card shouldn't be considered the best in every situation.
Aether Gale , sorcery, only hits six things, has to hit your things if you don't have enough targets of only your opponents, targets, etc. Yes, there are reasons this is clearly worse.
Why is it better? Politically, you don't have to hit cards from players you team with. Similarly, if you like the Howling Mine on someone's field, don't bounce it. Someone Banishing Light ed someone else's threat you can't deal with? Don't bounce it.
Also, 18 cents. Compared to ~20 dollars and I think it is a steal for budget lists.
Also, it is 2 mana cheaper, despite not being an occasional Disperse .
Evacuation , the downside is simple, it doesn't hit non-creatures, and bounces your own things.
The upsides are for decks that want their own things bounced. ETB effects like Mulldrifter (You can respond to the sacrifice on evoke if you want!), Archaeomancer (infinite sweepers by returning Evacuation , or just recur another card), Duplicant , Solemn Simulacrum , etc.
It is 5 mana too, still an instant, and is only 2-3 dollars right now.
Other options for this could be AEtherize , Whelming Wave , Inundate , Engulf the Shore , Profaner of the Dead , or Scourge of Fleets if you just want mass creature bounce, each with ups and downs, some that only hit opposing creatures, some that are instants, some with graveyard synergies, etc.
For mass nonland bounce that doesn't target? There are tons of options, plenty with lower mana costs than Cyclonic Rift .
Take Coastal Breach . It does a mass bounce for just 4 mana (with 3 opponents), leaving you enough to rebuild first, and being able to be cast much faster, making up slightly for the sorcery speed.
Or Crush of Tentacles , 6 mana? 5 mana and an 8/8, it needs to be in a deck with enough cheap drops to hit surge to be worth it, but an option.
Devastation Tide is a personal favorite, if you run Aminatou, Brainstorm , a lot of scry, Mystical Tutor , Long-Term Plans , Jace, the Mind Sculptor , or are lucky, it is a 2 mana bounce everything. Really strong, however, sorcery (unless you cast it with Miracle on an opponents turn.
Run really high mana cards? Displacement Wave can be better,
Like a big creature attached? Kederekt Leviathan . It even comboes with flicker effects, or can be repeated for 2 mana with an effect like Animate Dead or 3 mana at instant speed whenever with Necromancy in black/blue.
Only need to target one player for political reasons? River's Rebuke .
A lot of one color in the meta? Wash Out
Artifacts/Enchantments? Reduce to Dreams
Even outside of bounce effects, Ixidron can do work xD
Point is, there are options. Even outside of blue, sweepers that can get around the normal protection is seriously strong. Terminus , Hallowed Burial , along with most mass exile effects in white from Play of the Game to Final Judgement / Descend upon the Sinful to the new Urza's Ruinous Blast , etc. Mercilous Eviction in W/B, the -x/-x effects in black like Toxic Deluge or Black Sun's Zenith , etc. in any color, Perilous Vault exists.
These are half of why I think Cyclonic Rift is overrated. Not because it isn't great at what it does, but that it isn't that much better than the rest.
The other half is simple.
Every color (sorry colorless) has answers to Cyclonic Rift off the top of my head.
Black? Many lists abuse cards like Inquisition of Kozilek or other discard to remove powerful cards from opposing decks.
Green? Ugh... Yeah, I guess some colors don't have answers...
(Gutteral Response if they ever make hybrid legal in mono-colored xD)
That's all. Thoughts?
6 months ago
7 months ago
Hey, I am not very experienced with dedicated political decks but I had a few ideas for your deck.
- Homeward Path : You mentioned returning creatures to their owner as political tool. I think Homeward Path would be another good option for this and it costs only a land slot.
- Victory Chimes or Spectral Searchlight : These two would be great mana rocks for this deck. If you need the mana just use it for yourself. If you don't need it at the moment you could propably make a deal with someone. Victory Chimes are especially good because it untapps every upkeep.
- Play of the Game : It seems this would be a nice board wipe for your deck.
7 months ago
For these reasons I do believe all these lists should run at least one really good fast effect recursion spell that is not a permanent. It might get you back on your feet after a “destroy all” spell.
9 months ago
Duelist's Heritage, Spectral Searchlight, Victory Chimes, Play of the Game, Regna's Sanction, Pulsemage Advocate, Shieldmage Advocate, Spurnmage Advocate, Oblation, Wall of Shards, Benevolent Offering, Infernal Offering, etc.
11 months ago
The next step is to make sure your mana ramp is in order. It is really important to have at least 10 ways to ramp, and with Atraxa, you might even want to add one or two more in the future. For now, you should stick to 10 so you can test the deck’s other components.
Something I noticed is that you had Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse counting as mana ramp cards. These should never be thought of as ramp. Mana ramping is taking any action that puts you ahead of the amount of mana you could have available if you only dropped lands. Evolving wilds counts as your land drop, and while it fixes your mana by going to get any color you need, it does not put you ahead on your amount of available mana. In fact, it puts you behind because it comes in tapped. Fixing is great and important in a four color deck, but the more lands you have coming in tapped, the more you’ll set yourself behind. You can still run a good amount of taplands, but having a good ramp package can help soften the blow. Once you get good duals, the ramp starts to work even better.
It is always of utmost importance that your ramp is both cheap and long-lasting. The biggest downside to not playing green is not being able to ramp mana as effectively. This is because the other colors have to resort to mana rocks and mana dorks, artifacts and creatures that tap for mana. Using ramp like this can be fast and effective, but you are always vulnerable to board wipes and removal. One Vandalblast will ruin anyone's day if all their ramp is artifact based. Luckily, you are playing green, so you should never have to worry about rocks getting blown up. All of your ramp should be land focused, unless you have a really good reason for using something more synergistic. It is kind of a widespread unspoken courtesy that people do not actively use mass land destruction in EDH. Sure, there are those that do, but WAY more people come ready to blow up all artifacts/creature/enchantments when they need to. This makes throwing extra lands out a safe way to ensure you get ahead on mana and STAY ahead on mana.
Let's go down all your ramp one by one and see what better options you have:
1) Cultivate is exactly the kind of spell you want to be ramping with. It finds two of your colors, puts you ahead on mana, and guarantees you'll make your next land drop. You would be hard pressed to find a multicolor EDH deck with green that doesn't want this card.
2) Darksteel Ingot looks good on paper, but 3 mana is a lot to pay for a rock, even if it gives you all your colors and is indestructible. The Ingot may have indestructible, but stuff like Merciless Eviction or Play of the Game don't care anyway.
REPLACEMENT: There are, however, reasons to want 3 CMC ramp cards. For instance, Cultivate is so good, it didn't need a replacement. It is SO good, that you actually should use it's twin Kodama's Reach to replace the Ingot. It may seem like the flexibility of Ingot adding any of your four colors is worth it, but something like Kodama's reach, when working with a good mana base, can actually be more effective, because it can give you two of the colors you need simultaneously, instead of giving you access to one at a time. That's on top of being land based rather than artifact based.
3) Fellwar Stone is where we start to make exceptions for rocks based on power. In a 4 player game, Fellwar almost always taps for any color you need. The power of a rock skyrockets when it costs less than 3, can tap for multiple colors, and can be used right away. This one is a great call, and its benefit in the early game will outweigh it's vulnerability to mass artifact destruction.
4) Golgari Signet is a great rock, but not being able to tap right away and only getting two of your colors makes it not work as great as land based ramp. Keeping most of your ramp to 2 CMC will help you cast 4 drops (Like your commander) on turn 3. It also means you could be more likely to cast two ramp spells on the same turn and start flying ahead. It also means you could ramp and still have room to cast other spells. That kind of advantage doesn't seem like much, but it makes turns worth of difference.
REPLACEMENT: To keep this slot to 2 CMC, the best option would be Farseek. It can grab any Plains, Island, or Swamp and put it into play tapped. This will become super important once you acquire dual lands that have basic land types because it can go get a Plains/Forest or an Island/Swamp, giving you access to two more colors instead of just fetching a basic land.
5) Khalni Gem is just straight up bad unless you have a reason to bounce lands to your hand. 4 mana and returning two lands is way too steep a price. It doesn't even put you ahead on the turn you play it. On top of that, it can only add one color at a time.
REPLACEMENT: Rampant Growth is a shoe-in here. 2 mana, gets any color you need. It only gets basics, but that is fine as long as your mana base is built right and you know your deck well.
REPLACEMENT: So this is a case where you can make a replacement that ignores the downfalls of the original card by being super synergistic with your deck. Might I introduce you to Astral Cornucopia! It will most of the time cost 3 mana just like Manalith, and tap for any color just like Manalith, but every time you proliferate, it will tap for more mana. This can get WAY out of hand with all the proliferating your deck is trying to do. You may find it becomes too hot of a target for removal, but the benefit here is super unique to your deck and is worth running until your playgroup starts to hate it out of existence.
REPLACEMENT: Another easy 2 CMC option to slot in here is one of the best ramp spells you can have, Sakura-Tribe Elder A.K.A. STEVE! It is basically Rampant Growth on a creature. This makes it crazy good because you can play it and have it out as a blocker, sacrifice it after it blocks, and go get your land. You can sac it on the end step before your next turn after playing it and basically see the same benefit as a Rampant Growth, but with the added benefit of having had a creature out that whole time. Hell, if you don't need the land and would rather have a blocker, keep him out longer and sac him in response to anything that would kill him or exile him. On top of that, it could be something you give infect to in a pinch. Master Biomancer could even make him huge when he enters. Any powerful effect that can be stuck on a creature adds so many benefits, you'd be hard pressed not to want it.
8) Sol Ring is always amazing. Nuff Said.
9) Temple of the False God is pretty awful in a four color deck. It can make your opening hands terrible, and shouldn't even really count as a land in most cases. If you're not counting it as a land, then it should fall into the ramp category, but in this case it ramps you one mana ahead, but gives you no colors, and replaces your land drop. On top of that, it wont work until turn 5 at the earliest. This is will be a feel-bad card a lot of the time.
REPLACEMENT: Harrow is ridiculous good. It costs 3 mana, but leaves you with 2 more mana to use after it resolves, effectively making it cost 1. Sacrificing a land is a small price to pay to go get two lands and have them come in untapped. It can fix your colors, put you ahead, and allow you to cast more spells that turn. Basically all the good gravy.
10) In order to make the 10th ramp slot, another cut will have to be made. As cool a Plague Myr is in the deck, I think it is best to consider that most of the time it will just be a 2 mana 1/1 with infect, because you'll want to spread those poison counters. When you do need it to be a mana dork, it might not even give you the colors you need. This kind of low impact is not enough to justify crippling your ability to ramp effectively, so for now it should go to your maybeboard. I would continue to keep it in mind in mind for the future if you feel another 2 cmc infect creature might as well become something that taps for mana occasionally. For instance, this could come back in to replace black mamba in the future if playtesting deems it viable.
REPLACEMENT: There a few really great options left. Chromatic Lantern is going way down in price due to the upcoming reprint, so I would definitely have that at the top of the list for this slot. For now however, you can stick to a land based ramp spell that I can mail to you. Nature's Lore is fantastic because it costs 2, searches for a Forest rather than a basic land, and puts the Forest in untapped. This means it can go get dual lands with forest as one of their two types, or even something crazy good for your deck: Murmuring Bosk. Nature's Lore should take priority over rampant growth once you have enough good duals, but for now, Lantern and Rampant work better together.
If you get Lantern, don't use nature's lore until you have enough duals to make it worth replacing rampant growth with it. If you don't get Lantern, Use both Nature's lore and Rampant Growth.
These changes should make your mana much smoother and more effective in the long-term, as well as allow you to cast most anything when you need to. Continue to think about whether you should add 1 or 2 more after you've play-tested a bit.
1 year ago
have you looked at assist cards from battle bond? Those can be super political in edh and are somewhat cheap. Specifically Play of the Game is a very political board wipe
Play of the Game occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.0%