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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Promise of Loyalty
Each player puts a vow counter on a creature and sacrifices the rest. Each of those creatures can't attack you or planeswalkers you control for as long as it has a vow counter on it.
2 months ago
Have you ever thought about Witch's Clinic or Devoted Caretaker? Not quite sure what constitutes an '8', but Crackdown is pretty neat in mono-White, few people run big White creatures, it's probably a better defense than Ghostly Prison or Norn's Annex, but it might paint a target on your back. I think at a power level of 8 you can run something like Drannith Magistrate, that might be worth a look.
Wipes are very important as your power level goes up, people's decks get 'out of hand' both quicker and to a greater extreme, even 'fair' decks might have a much scarier board than you. Even in cEDH I hear about people using wipes these days, Promise of Loyalty is one I like, this will clear out even wide boards and force people to go after each other. The Eternal Wanderer is also interesting, but she is 6 mana for a pretty fun wipe in Voltron decks. There is also Single Combat, I suppose if you keep your Commander who cares if you can't summon any new creatures?
If your power level is reasonably high you can almost count on someone drawing quite a few more cards than you, maybe Wedding Ring would be worth it?
2 months ago
Hi there! Have you had a chance to play this deck irl at all yet? Do you have a set budget in mind per card, or overall for the deck? I have a few suggestions for potential additions as well as some likely swaps:
Sigarda's Aid - Super helpful to cheat Equip costs, as they can get mana intensive
Dismantling Wave / Wear / Tear - Can maybe replace Austere Command as a slightly faster options to deal with multiple artifacts/enchantments at once, and also because you can likely afford to run 1-2 fewer board wipes.
Forge Anew - Some more excellent new equipment support.
Frodo, Determined Hero - Excellent attacker that can skip on equip costs for himself.
Generous Gift - Is a versatile removal option since it can also destroy lands. The 3/3 Elephant token is fairly irrelevant in the grand scheme of an EDH game.
Promise of Loyalty - Can likely replace Slash the Ranks. I've played this in a Voltron Aura deck a couple years ago, and found it to be super helpful since it kept some heat off me while I swung away as everyone else was in rebuild mode. This is also a bit better than Slash the Ranks since the sacrifice removal gets around Indestructible, and destroy effects don't
I think you can remove Winds of Rath since your deck isn't really running any Aura enchantments to have your creatures benefit from.
2 months ago
Surprised you're not running Folio of Fancies here? Not sure if Geier Reach Sanitarium is worth it (it's technically 3 mana to discount your mana by 3, but that is for each spell fwiw), but if you can double/triple spell after that's pretty useful. If you include Folio, you might want to throw in some X mana spells, Curse of the Swine is budget, as is Mass Manipulation, though Mass requires 4 Blue, which can't be discounted. Cut a Deal seems good, you get cards and the spell can be discounted to only W. Love Song of Night and Day is a good way to get cards/discount, the other abilities are kinda meh, but it's great if it only costs W to cast. If you don't intend to keep it around you could try Tenuous Truce, you can play it for W on any opponent's turn (after their attacking is done for turn) to get the discount, it's also situationally handy if you want to ally with someone. I think my final one is Your Temple is Under Attack, this is even modal and can be discounted to cost W, both modes can be very useful. These card draw spells also make your deck more consistent.
It's over your budget, but Standstill seems like hilarious maybe? Either you get 3 cards and -6 on your spells, or a whopping -9 to casts if opponents draw.
I love Mass Diminish if you can net a discount on it, you can also use it as an Instant, which is busted beyond words IMHO, it's the only limitation on one of the best at what it does. I can't believe they made it last until your next turn, so you get less 'value' if you play it on an opponent's turn, but any other opponents going before you still have a sitting duck to swing at. Another Sorcery that looks a lot better as an Instant is Single Combat, if you keep your Commander you can cast on your opponent's turn, so there will be a turn cycle where nobody can do much with creatures. I think Tragic Arrogance is pretty solid as well, even without Flash it's devastating, but with it I think it's quite scary, I think it's much better than Aetherize for example. Finally, Promise of Loyalty is neat, you won't be getting swung at for awhile by what's left, and it gets a big discount potentially. While it'd sometimes be a dead effect, Visions of Duplicity seems made for your Commander, it's very easy to make that UUU to create quite a bit of chaos, and at Instant speed.
5 months ago
7 months ago
Hi there! I thought I'd try my best to answer the questions you left for me on my wall. I mostly play the "typical" 4-person EDH pod, with the occasional 5 person game here or there. All of my decks are built with a multi-player setting in mind. To answer your other questions as best as possible:
1 - What is my win rate with Isshin? - This is something I haven't kept close track of, unfortunately. In the past year, I've played at least 20 games with the deck, so I'd have a rough guess that it's won about 25% of the games it has played, and threatened wins another 15-20% of the time, but couldn't quite close it out for one reason or another. My primer has some game logs in the long list of updates if you want to try to read through those. I tried to capture the summary of some of my more memorable games, win or lose.
2 - How do you win with Isshin in multiplayer? - Damage, whether combat or group slug/drain damage. Any aggro or damage based strategy has to find a way to pump out at least 120 damage over the course of a game, or capitalize on openings made by other decks in peoples' defenses. My Isshin deck wins by making swarms of tokens, and antheming them up with Battle Cry, Melee, or some other static power/toughness boost. The times I've won with combat damage, was typically off the back of Iroas, God of Victory because I had a board that could swing away and was hard to block. This is why I also have the damage effects of Purphoros, God of the Forge, Mishra, Claimed by Gix Meld, Commissar Severina Raine, Impact Tremors, and Brutal Hordechief. The group damage and combat damage help each other out. They both soften up your opponents and help make each other more viable. These damage effects also help you get "around" blockers.
"So what do I do? Lean more into group slug, i.e. put in Impact Tremors? Lean away from wipes and focus on ramp and draw? More protection for my creatures?"
These are all generally good ideas. Adding in more ramp and draw can help your deck with consistency, especially for staying gassed up in the mid-late game. While board wipes are helpful, I've found that sometimes it can get annoying to reset the game too many times. At some point someone has to win, and wiping the board 3+ times in a single game can make it tedious instead.
3 - "Is it mean/distasteful to eliminate the player that is the biggest threat, then finish off everyone else? Am I a bully?*" - Personally, I don't think so. I guess it depends on how well you know the people you are playing with. If the "threat" you eliminated has a deck that consistently pops off if it isn't dealt with, then I don't think it's wrong for them to sit one out. I've been a similar position numerous times with Isshin where I'll eliminate the player that might be the biggest threat to me specifically or could be the biggest threat to the table. If I become archenemy of that game, then so be it. Being archenemy can be fun, and it can be a compliment. Congrats, your deck is now the Big Bad Scary Thing. This is a game, and someone has to win each match up. Yes, EDH is supposed to be a "casual format", and that means a variety of different things to players, but after all is said and done, someone has to win. Ideally it can be you.
4 - "As the only deck in the meta with a robust removal suite..." - I will address the rest of the statement you left, but woof, it sounds like the group you played with this time around was maybe very casual? I found that when some of my friends first started playing EDH, they didn't run a whole lot of removal, often to their own detriment. As one friend and I like to echo, "removal wins games". I think you were correct in removing the Ghired's Anointed Procession, but left their other enchantment alone so they could have fun. Ideally, you shouldn't have to be the "Removal Police" and manage every threat you have the capability to. I typically use my removal to A) Address threats most pressing to me B) Address threats that are most detrimental to the table, but will buy me some good will and time to build afterwards. You can utilize removal for achieving parity as you see fit. In terms of this being a good strategy, I think a better question is more about was a fun game environment created? Being "Removal Police" is fun for some and not as much for others. Eventually, everyone else around the table might have to reconsider running more removal to stay relevant and interactive in games, if that's the type of play they want.
5 - "Board wipes made our games longer" - Going back to what I said a couple paragraphs up "While board wipes are helpful, I've found that sometimes it can get annoying to reset the game too many times" - I personally run 2 wipe effects in each deck. Most of my removal is single target, or can hit multiple things, but isn't quite a board wipe (Wear / Tear, Dismantling Wave, Grasp of Fate, Ashes to Ashes, or Druid of Purification). This is all personal choice though.
5.1 "How do I recover more quickly after a board wipe than my opponents? Do I need more card draw? Do I need more protection to keep my creatures around? " - Card draw is always more helpful. Upping the amount of card draw is typically helpful. The tricky part is tuning the type of draw utilized and finding the balance that feels right for you. For me I have about 14 effects in my deck that can draw cards in either cantrip single instances, in multi-card bursts, or in consistent but slow manners. It takes plenty of playing to see what feels right for you. I also run about 11 different effects that protect my board. I've found that Flawless Maneuver and Teferi's Protection have saved my board and kept them in tact enough to maintain momentum the times I've successfully pulled them off. Clever Concealment is a new option that is especially good in token decks. Scapegoat is another cool and cheap option for token decks, and also lets you redeploy your board strategically. I also keep my overall average CMC of my deck as low as I can, so in the event that I don't have a protection effect, but have drawn into plenty of material, I can play cheaply costed creatures and removal/interaction/protection while everyone else is still rebuilding.
5.2 "when is the right time in an aggro deck to play a board wipe?" - This requires more nuance and playing IRL to determine what feels right to you. I typically board wipe when someone else is building a bigger board than me, and is out-pacing me in that regard, but I have things in hand to quickly rebuild with afterwards, or have a protection effect to spare my board from my own wipe. It also depends on the types of wipes you are playing. White has a ton of options such as Promise of Loyalty, Slaughter the Strong, Retribution of the Meek, Vanquish the Horde, Farewell, Austere Command, and By Invitation Only to name a few. I've found it can be helpful to maybe have 1 wipe that is somewhat asymmetric, usually by presenting each player a choice on what they get to keep. This is a double edged sword since.... people get a choice on what they get to keep. While this may not solve the threat you were looking to eliminate, this may at least make things more manageable. I know Ruinous Ultimatum is a popular option because of how one-sided it is, but the restrictiveness of the mana cost can be annoying. Isshin doesn't necessarily win in 1 big flashy play that seemingly comes out of nowhere, like a combo deck might, but does build up a board presence and aggro momentum over a few turns. If you can continue to build and maintain a momentum, and add in more damage modifiers or Impact Tremors effects, it may then open up the opportunity for a big alpha strike turn, or a turn where you make a bunch of tokens with krenko tin street king pin because it stuck around long enough and you also have Impact Tremors and/or Hellrider and will either make a metric ton of goblins when Krenko swings, or you already have a metric ton of goblins to swing with for Hellrider.
Ultimately this is about finding what is most fun and engaging for you to play, and balancing that out with what is fun for your group. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same definition of fun. Some people will think its unfun or boring to get token swarmed or killed with Impact Tremors, and that's okay.
Definitely add more draw and ramp. Cut down your mana curve and on splashy, but inconsistent effects where possible.
Running robust removal and interaction is helpful, but don't think you have to be "threat/parity police" because of it. Other people can choose to step up their removal/interaction suites too. Less board-wipes can be a good thing.
A variety of board protection effects will help you maintain the momentum you are building. A lower mana curve helps you go into aggro mode faster, and hopefully rebuild more quickly after wipes. Ideally, this also helps leave a little mana leftover for your Clever Concealments, Boros Charms, and other protection effects.
Group Slug and combat damage help each other out and make each other more viable. You are trying to land 120 damage around the table to take out 3 other players, so ideally you should maximize your damage output and find what works best for you, and what is most fun and dynamic for you.
Best of luck and hope you continue to have fun playing this awesome commander.
8 months ago
Your deck is off to a pretty solid start. I see that you copied another Isshin list to play-test it, but is there a specific build avenue you are most interested in for Isshin? The plethora of attack triggers out there lend themselves to a few different theme possibilities for him: Token Go-Wide, Exalted/Voltron, Dungeon Venturing and Party, and Pillowfort/Goad/Forced combat control.
The deck you have here has a lot of the main staples, but isn't leaning into one avenue or another quite yet. A lot of what I see in your list currently leans a bit more towards a token build. Regardless of your choice, I have some recommendations that work well with most variations:
Reconnaissance - Pseudo-Vigilance and also protects your board by removing creatures from combat after they've dealt damage, but before combat ends. Not the most budget option, but an all-star card in Isshin.
Scapegoat - Especially helpful and cheap board protection, especially if you are leaning towards tokens. Basically return any number of creatures to hand
Dolmen Gate - Very helpful board protection, and helps round things out with the Iroas you already have in board. Also not the most budget option, but a great card in this deck.
Plumb the Forbidden - Awesome draw spell that you can hold up in response to boardwipes. This has helped my Isshin deck stay fueled up after board wipes that set everyone else back.
I hope these suggestions are helpful. I'd be happy to give some additional feedback if you have a more specific build or budget in mind.
8 months ago
It sounds like you're on the right track with your swaps plainsrunner. I'm glad you have a Purph already, because it is an absolute heater in Isshin. It's helped me close out a few games, especially once I crank out tokens enough. Toxic Deluge is good if you have a lot of indestructible in your meta.
Slaughter the Strong and Retribution of the Meek are both potentially asymmetrical options, especially since they let you save Isshin. Promise of Loyalty is another wipe I've had some decent success with in other decks. I think Farewell is probably your best option. Ruinous Ultimatum is good, but the restrictive cost has hampered me in a couple games, so I nixed it recently.
I think the extra combats are a sliiiight trap, but I haven't played one out irl to finalize judgement. My ideal scenario is to have extra combats paired with any of the group slug options, eliminating some need for all creature damage to connect or be spread out.
If you lean into tokens I also highly recommend Plumb the Forbidden and Scapegoat as draw & protection options. In a game I played this past weekend, I played a Plumb the Forbidden in response to a Living Death. I was able to get Isshin and Grave Titan in my yard before Living Death resolved, and they both came back upon its resolution; I also had Purph on board. I closed the game out a turn or two later.
8 months ago
Promise of Loyalty is definitely an interesting one. The whole C21 Breena precon was really well done, I thought. Adding it to the maybeboard!
Aura Shards is one of those cards that I think is perpetually $20... but this last reprint in Mystery Booster has knocked it down to $4! Definitely gonna have to pick that one up. Thanks!!