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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Destroy all nonland permanents your opponents control.
2 weeks ago
I'm not sure there's a place for "destroy everything" or "exile everything" in the current color pie. "Destroy everything nonland" and "exile everything nonland" have recently shown up in with Ruinous Ultimatum, with Ondu Inversion Flip and Devastating Mastery, and flavor/Universes Beyond approaches in and (Urza, Planeswalker Meld Meld and Exterminatus, respectively). is more or less the color of full board clearing at this point.
So from the point of view of the current color pie, I guess they are out of pie by default, since the effect doesn't have an associated color or color set. At the time, was the best fit. This is more a sign of color pie evolution instead of deliberate bend/break.
2 months ago
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the idea is to create a token army yourself while depriving every other player from their creatures (and tokens) so that they cannot retaliate your attacks, correct? And I see you're aiming for removal through the use of non-permanents, so that this triggers the creation of creature tokens for you. Here are some removal ideas I didn't see in your list:
- Archfiend of Depravity: not a non-permanent, but one of the more evil removal engines I can think of.
- Disrupt Decorum: this spell is so underrated. It's not a direct removal spell of course, but it usually still ends up in a lot of stuff dying and you get to sit by and watch and be totally unaffected by it.
- Void Rend: counterspells won't help against this baby. And it'll target ANY permanent, so very multi-functional.
- Ruinous Ultimatum: I know, it's expensive to cast, but in the ultimate removal deck, this spell has to be included, right?
- Do or Die: rather cheap yet very effective removal spell.
Have fun with this brew.
6 months ago
6 months ago
Overall I think your deck is solid and has many of the core components an Alesha deck would want. I do have some recommendations on potential cuts and swaps.
Cathars' Crusade - I don't think it's super helpful for this deck, as most Alesha decks aren't really aiming to go wide and swing a big board at multiple opponents, especially if you are more combo focused as you seem to be.
Dusk / Dawn - In general I think you can safely run 2 board wipes in this deck. The Dawn part of the card is kind of counter-intuitive since you would want those creatures returned to your board instead of your hand. This was a card I cut from my build fairly early.
Ruinous Ultimatum - Mostly because of the restrictive and higher mana cost. I've used this in both Alesha and Isshin at various points of each build and ultimately cut it due to having games where my mana wasn't perfectly fixed to accommodate the cost, mostly because I had some colorless mana rocks or utility lands.
Stuff to consider for swap-ins
Burning Inquiry - Can round out your suite of looting effects and also throw opponents off kilter if they chuck stuff they would want to keep. Def a risk/reward element.
Gamble - Another tutor effect that can potentially chuck something into your graveyard that you might want there anyways.
Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim - Another aristocrat that can cushion your life a bit.
Loran of the Third Path - Another reusable ETB removal effect, and a strategic/political drawing option.
Mayhem Devil - An aristocrat option that also punishes your opponents running sacrifice effects.
Retribution of the Meek - Ditto as Slaughter the Strong.
Slaughter the Strong - A wipe effect that Alesha can dodge, and is lower on cmc than some of the other options you're currently running.
Tocasia's Welcome - Another draw option. Currently 17 of your 33 creatures, including Alesha, are 3 cmc or less. Would also trigger from your Preston and Jaxis tokens.
Yahenni, Undying Partisan - Another Free sac-outlet, and a potential aggro option or decent blocker if needed.
I hope these suggestions are helpful. I'd be happy to chat more about your play experiences with Alesha so far, and maybe looking for other pieces that might be able to better help what you're trying to pull off. Cheers!
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
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
Got another couple games in today:
I made some swaps prior to today's match incluuding:
I think our decks are still functionally the same but I have a lot of the tech you were heavily considering already swapped in and will be focusing on their performance in multiplayer format.
Forgot to snap a picture of my starting hand but I think it was something like that. Important play of the game was Firkraag playing an early Agitator Ant. By turn 3 I had Giada equipped with a Lightning Greaves and slowly played out my hand, focusing on dropping lands and playing removal. I constantly dumped the +1/+1 counters onto Giada and since she had the greaves equipped she was basically untouchable.
After bringing Arvinox and Ryu down to the low 20's with just Giada I began dumping the counters onto a Bishop of Wings that I drew into so I could start swinging at Firkraag. Ryu also got in 2 Hadokens against Firkraag's board to draw cards. I only got 1 swing into Firkraag before they boardwiped.
I was able to recast Giada and cast an Angelic Page drawing me a card off Folk Hero. I also cast a Pyre of Heroes excited to chain it off for some spicy tech. Unfortunately Ryu was at low life and killed shortly after the boardwipe. As the other 2 players had no board they scooped to end the game so we could start the next, giving me the win.
This game had some intense interactions. Isshin had a turn 1 Authority of the Consuls. Tevesh nearly played a turn 2 Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools with a Jeweled Lotus but was countered by Muldrotha. Firkraag played a Pursued Whale giving us all Pirate tokens and forcing us to attack. Isshin played into that with a Combat Calligrapher. The entire table started swinging into each other with increasingly multiplying Inkling tokens. After Isshin's Combat Calligrapher was blown up and they took a bunch of damage from their own Inklings they decided to super wipe the board with a Ruinous Ultimatum but luckily their board was pretty sparse.
I lost Pearl Medallion, Well of Lost Dreams, Sword of the Animist, Lightning Greaves and Righteous Valkyrie. This set me back really far but luckily I had been ramping every turn with Sword of the Animist and kept some strong angels in hand.
I recast Giada, and played Archangel of Tithes, Angelic Field Marshal and Lyra Dawnbringer with Mutavault giving me the extra +1/+1 counter. At this point Isshin started going off and nearly killed me with a combination of Tectonic Giant, Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin, Isshin, Two Heavens as One, Aurelia, the Warleader but they tapped out for Dihada, Binder of Wills to give Krenko vigilance, lifelink and indestructible. When they tried to swing at me, they forgot about the tax for Tithes and instead knocked out Tevesh and Muldrotha. Muldrotha took out Aurelia, the Warleader as retribution.
On the final turn I was left with only Oblation and Breathkeeper Seraph in hand. I had the choice to use it on one of Isshin's creatures but they were in such a dominating position that giving them 2 cards was probably a bad idea. Instead I used it on a tapped Emergence Zone and drew into Thraben Watcher and Sigarda's Vanguard. With the combination of all the angels I brought Isshin down to 3 and Firkraag cleaned up but had nothing against my board so scooped.
I debated even listing this game as it was over so fast. Alela burst out on turn 1 with an Island into Sol Ring into Arcane Signet. Turn 2 they played a Smothering Tithe. Turn 3 they played a Bolas's Citadel. In one of their turns they cast a Vendilion Clique bottoming my Teferi's Protection. Despite whiffing for 2 turns off the top of their library they were so ahead with ramp that they quickly overtook the game. I died by turn 5 to 35+ damage from a faerie army beefed up with Coat of Arms. The other 2 players scooped as they had no interaction with the Coat.
T1 Esper Sentinel did some amazing work here. I drew off every player at least 2-3 times so it netted me like 7-8 cards for just 1 mana.
I also attempted to attack with Battle Angels of Tyr but it was bounced to my hand by next turn.
The Ozolith ended up doing nothing this game but that's more due to having no boardstate. Together Forever wouldn't have done anything in this game either so its impact still hasn't been seen. Other players did comment that it could be a problem with a bigger board.
I did have a misplay here as I should have held up mana for removal spells which I had in my hand. My final hand was Vanquisher's Banner, Archangel of Thune, Angelic Accord, Serra Paragon, Valkyrie Harbinger, Path of Exile and Swords to Plowshares. I just didn't expect Alela to quintuple their damage in one turn.
T1 - Secluded Steppe tapped
I had several misplays this game as it had been a long day. The first was using my Clues too early instead of playing out my hand and refilling it later with the Clues.
Phenax became a huge threat towards mid-game as they had a Haunt of high tower on board along with their commander Phenax, God of Deception. They forced Ghisath to mill 40+ cards with 4 creatures. I had Kabira Takedown Flip in hand but it wouldn't put a dent in the Haunt. Instead I opted for player removal and swung with everything knocking them out.
My second misplay here was not tapping Giada to cast Angelic Field Marshal which would've given all my creatures vigilance. I was so used to swinging with Giada first and then tapping her that I failed to see her as a mana dork. Since I had Archangel of Tithes out it would've prevented huge swings against me as well.
Since I was wide open Gishath took the advantage and swung at me dropping a good number of dinos on their board. However on their next turn when they tried to use Silverclad Ferocidons with Pyrohemia Jared saved the day by sacrificing Primeval Spawn into a Time Warp.
When I tried to rebuild I realized I had no clues left and no attackers to draw into answers. I also made my third misplay by wasting a Path to Exile on a random dinosaur thinking it would sacrifice Pyrohemia but then stupidly played Bishop of Wings so I could trigger my The Book of Exalted Deeds by replaying Giada.
I died on the next turn to due to lethal Gishath commander damage. If I had saved my Path I could've used it on Gishath and played out more angels for the lifegain.
Lightning Greaves was amazing in the 2 games it was played. It was so great that Isshin focused Giada when it came back out. In fact I like it so much that I'm going to try and find a spot for Swiftfoot Boots so I can keep equipping without removing the protection.
Archangel of Tithes was SO GOOD. It saved me from lethal once and would've again a second time if I didn't misplay again. With vigilance it does double duty.
Well of Lost Dreams felt a little clunky in game 2. I want to like it, it has a high ceiling but it needs some prep work to start drawing. Either I drop it instead of a threat or I play it much later. I also need lifegain and the mana to draw from it. With the amount of work that goes into it to activate it, a board wipe usually turns it off. We have no other lifegain outside of creature based lifegain. So we would only draw with an established board presence and we're using mana to draw into threats rather than play them. It feels either like a win-more card or a hail mary to get something good. I'm actually debating its place in this deck and what may be a better card draw. Court of Grace at least replaces itself on our end step and provides either an Angel or Spirit on our upkeep. It also requires no additional maintenance to get it going.
Others at the table commented that Authority of the Consuls is a better option to the soul sisters. While I do like the tap mechanic of Authority, it doesn't trigger off my creatures. Also having it be an enchantment means that most people won't bother with it all game. Soul sisters typically get wiped with the rest of the board whereas opponents have to target Authority. I find that I don't usually hit the payoffs on opponents turn but on my own turn. However, I only hit the magic 4/5 life when Bishop of Wings or Righteous Valkyrie is out, not off a soul sister. I know that you really like the soul sisters but practically every game I've had a board wipe and the payoffs haven't been worth it.
Even though I STILL haven't pulled off Pyre of Heroes properly I'm once again debating Recruiter of the Guard and Weathered Wayfarer. Since they're both humans they can chain into our human sub-theme. Weathered Wayfarer can be sacrificed into Bishop of Wings to get our lifegain payoffs going. It also helps grab lands for Emeria Shepherd if we want to recur stuff from the graveyard. Recruiter of the Guard can tutor for Starnheim Aspirant, Esper Sentinel, Inspiring Overseer, Thraben Watcher and can be sacrificed into Mangara, the Diplomat.
9 months ago
+1 just because I love Mutate! Hahaha, don't even know if this deck is good or not, but it definitely could be, and looks fun as hell either way.
I can make some suggestions, but take them with a grain of salt. I really believe that I would have to actually play the deck to determine what it needs, what it doesn't need, and what might be helpful to add or cut in order to improve it.
First, here's a list of cards that are generally good for a Ramos deck:
Shielding Plax - gives Ramos Hexproof, puts two +1/+1 counters on him, and draws a card.
Maelstrom Nexus - Puts five counters on Ramos with one spell, grants free casting.
Corpsejack Menace - Speeds up access to Ramos's mana ability.
Zacama, Primal Calamity - Castable using Ramos's ability, and in my experience one of the best things to do so with.
Horned Kavu - Two colors for feeding Ramos, allows you to recast something, and has the added bonus in this deck of possibly allowing you to re-mutate stuff.
Next, I think that you need more early ramp. Here are some suggestions for that, starting with the most obvious choices:
To help facilitate some of these inclusions, here are some suggested cuts:
Thrun, the Last Troll - You have enough targets to Mutate without this, and removing him lowers your mana curve.
Lore Drakkis - Yeah, I know, that would make one less Mutate trigger, but it really doesn't do much of anything else for you. You don't have many instants and/or sorceries.
Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin - I understand why you may want him (he generates blockers, and you are vulnerable to go-wide strategies), but I think he's just unnecessarily raising your curve. By the time you can cast him, you'll probably have a lot of other spells you'd rather cast with that mana. If your meta dictates that you require defense against go-wide, there are better choices. Crawlspace, Lightmine Field, Silent Arbiter/Dueling Grounds.
Fertilid - Absolutely a waste of mana. There are a million things you're better off with than this.
Geist of Saint Traft - I'm actually torn on this one, but I really believe that it falls into the same category as Thrun. You'll likely have other good targets for mutation, though the Flying and Hexproof combination is a good one. I'd still consider your mana curve when deciding whether to keep it.
Windgrace's Judgment - Pure jank. I take it your meta is mostly multiplayer? Even so, you'd probably benefit much more from some kind of cheaper, targeted removal. However, if you're so inclined, Decimate for one less mana, or Ruinous Ultimatum for a much more beneficial effect.
Finally, your land base could use an upgrade. That's probably obvious, and likely due to budget restrictions. I get it, land can be what makes a deck expensive to build, and casual decks sometimes aren't worth the money. However, you have a lot of lands on your list that ETB tapped, and that is disconcerting. Pain lands and check lands are the cheapest way to remedy this problem (albeit, the check lands are way more effective if you have shock lands and/or triomes, and furthermore aren't exactly inexpensive either).
I hope I didn't explode your brain, hahaha. If anything, take all of this as proof that I really want this deck to be awesome!