, Pay 1 life, Put the top card of your library into your graveyard, Discard a card, Sacrifice Sinister Concoction: Destroy target creature.
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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Latest Decks as Commander
Sinister Concoction Discussion
2 months ago
@Raging_Squiggle, the cards you suggested removing have benefitted me countless times in cEDH though. Personally, I'd rather remove Terminate first. Holding up less mana every turn to address multiple threats is better as it gives me more flexibility. If you want to advance your boardstate it's better to hold up two 1's and a 2 than two 2's and a 3. Finding ways to do things cheaper without need for ramp is in a way card advantage as I see it and it mitigates how severe a discard cost is when you build your deck around flexibility than tempo. As I said I like playing more reactively than proactively. As for my experiences Lightning Axe 's removal capabilities in commander I find to be on par with Lightning Bolt 's capability in 60 card formats - not capable of removing everything but efficient enough to not get in the way of doing two things at once. Sinister Concoction is telegraphed removal which is incredibly undervalued in multiplayer settings as no one willingly wants to have it proc on their best card in hand, and having that kind of chilling effect on a whole table for one mana is pretty strong. And then there's Molten Vortex which is probably the best thing on earth for removing hatebear after hatebear and bypassing counter spells in blue combo decks. Losing lands to it may seem steep, but the cost is nothing when your opposition is locking you down and locking you out in the first place and if its a dead card I pitch it to the Lightning Axe or Sinister Concoction anyway.
Personally I've grown to loathe "non-black" removal spells. It's not just this combo but its also The Gitrog Monster and Kaalia of the Vast and Nekusar, the Mindrazer and Opposition Agent . I acknowledge there are a lot of non-black targets I can use it on instead, but picking between a Doom Blade and a Murder when Lightning Axe / Dismember takes out more of them for less mana sums up my approach to this. And I do run Chaos Warp , Anguished Unmaking and Generous Gift along with a slew of boardwipes for anything bigger - I just didn't mention I ran them here when the focus of my thread is on small and early game threats where the heavier removal isn't as apt at addressing these problems.
Still, even without the mana ramp the combo can come down on turn three by casting the cards on consecutive turns or on turn four by playing them all at once, and we are talking about competitive black which has plenty of tutors. In the early game holding up 2 or 3 mana for only one answer every turn I find to be a waste. It's not just this combo either as I'm in the company of decks that are looking to end or lock the game before turn six if left in a vacuum. At the same time I still want to acknowledge other non-aggressive strategies do exist and striking the balance is difficult when one set of cards is too slow for my current meta and another set don't go far enough for everything outside of that meta. Personally, I think the small spells still have some merit in all cases whereas the larger spells become an annoying liability when you're put on the clock. It's another reason why I value being reactive than proactive, to value flexibility over tempo, because I'd need to pick a different commander entirely if I want to match the speed my competitors play at. However, my opponents lose much more value than I do when they go headfirst into certain strategies only for them to be thwarted such as with the Witherbloom Apprentice + Chain of Smog combo or with the Auriok Salvagers + Lion's Eye Diamond combo or the Worldgorger Dragon + Animate Dead combo or anything that relies on Doomsday . My deck is built to address this kind of madness, but when I make card decisions I still want to keep more normal metas in mind when picking cards. Cards like Magma Spray and Fatal Push are incredibly narrow, I know that, but what I need to know is which card of that set is the best for taking on problems outside of my own meta.
2 months ago
If you’re playing competitive, you need to ditch some of the removal you have for ones with fewer drawbacks/requirements or ones that straight up kill something. Namely Sinister Concoction , Lightning Axe , and Molten Vortex .
Typically 2 or less suffice fine. Free spells are most important. Snuff Out , Force of Despair , and Slaughter Pact . Heartless Act , Devour in Shadow , Victim of Night , Fatal Push , Vendetta are all solid cedh removal spells because they either go for wider range of targets at 2 mana, or only cost 1, though may not be able to hit some things. This is usually the suite I run in Bx decks.
the likelihood of this player having Chain, the creature, a green and a black land, dark ritual, or Sol Ring+Rock in their opening hand is very low.
Don’t build around something that might happen once every 20 games. And don’t restrict your removal suite to only cards that deal with a little creature like that, you want to have cards that can deal with a multitude of potential threats.
2 months ago
I enjoy playing competitive EDH and one of the recently spoiled Strixhaven cards I already know is going to shake-up my meta and make things difficult for me. Namely Witherbloom Apprentice is the card I'm dreading as it can close out a game if it's controller casts Chain of Smog as it can be copied infinitely if the controller always targets themself with it. It's very likely every BGx deck in my play group is going to run this combo given how easy it is to setup and when you pair the possibility of closing out the game on turn two through Dark Ritual or Sol Ring into a mana rock, it becomes a lethal threat I can't ignore when making deck building decisions. As such, I feel I need to add another one mana creature removal spell in my deck, but I'm stumped over which spell I should include not just to address this potential combo but also have the most practical use outside of it as well.
My current list of removal spells are: Path to Exile , Swords to Plowshares , Sinister Concoction , Dismember , Lightning Axe , Molten Vortex , Red Elemental Blast , Pyroblast and Terminate (I enjoy playing more reactively than proactively.)
The removal spells I'm considering are: Dark Betrayal , Fatal Push , Human Frailty , Lightning Bolt , Magma Spray , Weight of Spires and Seal of Fire . (The last one I'm considering for its use around counterspells by casting it early.)
Notable exclusions are: Deadly Rollick , Defile , Dispatch , Force of Despair , Galvanic Blast , Murderous Cut , Mutual Destruction , Necrotic Wound , Pyrokinesis , Reckless Rage , Skred and Tragic Slip as I feel I don't have the means to meet these card restrictions consistent enough to be useful in my deck, especially in the early game. I'm also not considering two mana removal spells like Go for the Throat because I feel at this point cost effectiveness matters more than removal range.
Of course the best removal spell is going to depend heavily on the meta, but I'm generally trying to figure out which of the spells I'm considering is the best in a competitive environment in general. I'm looking for feedback and second opinions on whether you think any of the spells shines well above the rest through your own play experiences. I appreciate any insight I can get, thanks.
3 months ago
The biggest potential weakness I see in this deck is that there's a sort of "cost void" between your 1-drops and your big demons, and the biggest threats in the deck may not be the most mana efficient. For instance, I'd probably run Desecration Demon or Demon of Catastrophes in a sacrifice deck instead of Goremand . I imagine he's a pet card for you though, so maybe you could lean more into the reanimator angle to cheat him in quickly. Most modern versions seem to be running Goryo's Vengeance into Griselbrand and praetors still, but I tend to prefer the budget alternatives. Some additions to Blood for Bones and Gravewaker are repeated activation creatures like Hell's Caretaker and Whisper, Blood Liturgist . Unburial Rites is also fairly popular if you don't mind splashing white. For the discard, staples include Thoughtseize , Collective Brutality , Ransack the Lab , and Mind Rake . For sacrifice synergy, I think Smallpox and Sinister Concoction could be options too. I'm also a big fan of creatures that mill for this role such as Stitcher's Supplier (which helps to play the very useful Gravecrawler ) or the green Satyr Wayfinder and all its Mulch brethren. Reanimator lets you play other big threats too, some of which could be Razaketh, the Foulblooded , Eater of Hope , or Xathrid Demon to stick with the demon theme. Another card I see as being pretty expensive here is Soul Foundry . The aforementioned Hell's Caretaker can usually produce a similar result without the 1 mana tax every turn. Furthermore, the tokens it creates could interfere with Grim Haruspex , a card draw engine I usually prefer to Dark Prophecy (or maybe Harvester of Souls if I'm feeling spicy.) There is some downside in cutting noncreature permanents for their creature counterparts, so choose the option that is being hit by removal the least in your meta. If creature hate is a problem, maybe a Grave Pact or Dictate of Erebos could dissuade your opponents.
3 months ago
@TriusMalarky While Twin can force a land to get tapped on turn 3 to prevent 3 mana spells from getting cast you do need to remember doing so leaves the combo piece open to sorcery speed removal such as a Dreadbore , Flame Slash or Declaration in Stone in the first game and in the second and third game it allows cards like Torpor Orb or Blind Obedience to be played - tapping all out to put the combo piece down means you won't have counter-mana up to stop these effects from hitting the board and often the Twin player will instead choose to cast the combo piece on the endstep of their opponent's turn incase if there is a sorcery-speed threat such as T-orb that needs to be countered on their opponent's turn instead. The Twin player will (in most cases) only choose to preemptively tap down the land if they know their opponent is mana-screwed, if they don't have a counterspell in hand or if they know their opponent is running Twin to further stall the opponent's combo. With that said I wouldn't entirely discount 3 mana answers that can be made uncounterable by Cavern of Souls or Aether Vial or 3 mana spells that completely disable the deck beyond repair such as Unmoored Ego if they resolve.
I also think it would be more problematic for Twin decks to also splash in a third color for enchantment removal. One aspect that made Twin decks so oppressive was a solid portion of them would include copies of Blood Moon in the mainboard in order for it to be more difficult for their opponents to interact with their combo. Dedicating to a third color to run Dovin's Veto is going to come with not being able to run Blood Moon while being easier for the Twin deck to also get disrupted by an opponent's potential Blood Moon as well. On the other hand, Blood Moon has also been made weaker in the meta as Cleansing Wildfire and Force of Vigor make effective get out of jail free cards from sideboard.
Plus, I think you're undervaluing some cards in your assessment. Back when Twin was around the only one-mana spells that could remove an endstep flashed-in Deceiver Exarch was Path to Exile , Rending Volley , Vendetta and the ever so infrequent Skred and Lightning Axe and out of those, the only cards that were mainboard worthy was Path to Exile and Skred (which only worked if you were running a niche deck and you were going first with extra technicalities). Fatal Push has had a huge impact on the format being loads better than Vendetta which gives many more decks greater flexibility when holding removal mana up especially in game 1 given how playable it is in the mainboard. There's also Veil of Summer which also deserves mention and while you may see it as a simple upgrade to Autumn's Veil , fundamentally it's not. In the event I toss a Path to Exile or Fatal Push at a Pestermite and the Twin player responds with a Dispel , or as you suggested a Dovin's Veto , if I play an Autumn's Veil (which would effectively counter either counterspell), it would be a 2-for-2 trade. I lose the kill spell and veil to remove the Twin player's combo piece and counterspell. This lukewarm outcome is the reason why Autumn's Veil saw none if any modern play as Silence typically did its job better enough to warrant a splash in white over it in most cases if such an effect was absolutely needed in sideboard. Veil of Summer surpasses both because it has a built in cantrip that turns the interaction into a 1-for-2 trade in your favor and if the interaction happens while your opponent is trying to put a Splinter Twin on the combo piece it becomes a 1-for-3 trade in your favor. Veil of Summer 's value is by no means merely replacing Autumn's Veil or Silence 's role in the format, but more accurately it's replacing the clunkier Krosan Grip and Sudden Death that were typically used against the Twin-combo instead which makes it its own unique answer against the combo in my opinion.
Two more cards that I think also deserve further assessment is Sinister Concoction and Dovin's Veto . To say Dovin's Veto is just an upgrade to Negate I think is an understatement. "This spell can't be countered" is the reason Abrupt Decay was a banger of a card at thwarting Twin's machinations and I think the fact a Dovin's Veto can stop a Splinter Twin on cast makes it good enough to be a Twin-killer too. You suggested Twin might have to go into white to run its own Dovin's Veto es and Path to Exile s but I think the fact this card can also be used against Twin may be a more compelling reason for Twin to splash green over white just to have Veil of Summer as a necessary means to put up with the combined pressure Abrupt Decay and Dovin's Veto would have in keeping Twin in check as the Veil is the only card that can universally counteract both spells. (And even so Veil of Summer isn't a 100% failsafe as it has nothing against Rending Volley .) As for Sinister Concoction , I'm not going to pretend this card sees much Modern play, but this thing is a serious contender at throwing a wrench in Twin's plans and outside of Twin it's not an unplayable removal spell either. The reason why is it works much like your explanation for why Authority of the Consuls works - you can play it turn one and your opponent has no means to remove it without splashing a third color. Now Authority of the Consuls may be the more ideal card to use over it, but if your multicolor black deck can't splash white this is your next best thing and it even has some upsides over Authority of the Consuls . Sinister Concoction may be more fragile to effects like Stifle and Tale's End or effects like Spellskite and Apostle's Blessing , but it makes up for it when enchantment removal is thrown at it, as you can crack it in response to dumpster one of your opponent's creatures, in this case most likely a combo piece, while also rendering the enchantment removal as a waste in the process. This in turn is going to make the Twin player more cautious about playing their combo pieces before drawing into enchantment removal which can potentially delay the Twin player's progress harder than an Authority of the Consuls otherwise would. And if the Twin player doesn't have an answer, you'll always crack the Sinister Concoction in response to whatever creature they'll try to enchant with Splinter Twin to inflict the most damage. Even if you're playing on the draw or you draw into the card later, much like Authority of the Consuls , Sinister Concoction also bypasses quite a couple of Twin's favorite counterspells too such as Dispel , Spell Snare and Remand which is why I think the spell has much merit as yet another Twin-hate specific sideboard card that just wasn’t available to be utilized before in the past.
Lastly, the list I put up above was something I compiled over a quick gatherer search. I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed a few cards that may be just as worthy of discussion on countering Twin as well.
3 months ago
@DuTogira Personally, I disagree about Splinter Twin stifling diversity in the Modern meta. Before its ban I was running a homebrew Mardu deck that had an incredibly favorable win-rate against Twin. The deck's win-rates also varied amongst the other decks in the format with its worst matchup being burn. Ever since Twin's ban aggro has swarmed the format outpacing my deck harder than before.
My homebrew deck's most defining piece was utilizing an Evershrike in the graveyard and using a Spirit Loop or Rancor to make it a constant presence in the late game. Graveyard strategies weren't as common back then either as I believe Living Death was the only significant graveyard strat at the time, so most decks wouldn't dedicate too much room to graveyard hate. With Twin gone other faster and more efficient graveyard strategies arose and graveyard hate out of sideboard became all the more frequent which made winning games 2 and 3 much more difficult for my deck. Not only that but those graveyard strategies that couldn't exist with Splinter Twin around ended up getting Faithless Looting banned. As a non-blue deck Faithless Looting was the glue that kept my deck together as getting a certain 5-CMC creature in the grave and an aura in hand is difficult and slow enough as it is. My deck could handle Jund/Abzan's hand disruption and their Scavenging Ooze 's, but with much more graveyard hate, more aggressive aggro decks and no Faithless Looting I would argue banning Splinter Twin killed my deck even though I never used that card in the first place.
I feel the banning has only diversified aggro and phased out slower decks like mine that had better win rates against Twin and BGx. I also think it's a false positive as there have been a huge slew of new modern-viable cards that have been printed since Twin's banning. The format was going to grow regardless of if Twin were to be banned or not, the real question was by how much? I also feel like there have been many more cards printed during this time that could be made excellent sideboard cards against Twin than there have been new cards printed to help with Twin's strategies. I remember the times when Combust was one of the answers used at stopping Splinter Twin and then they printed Rending Volley which took countering the strategy even further. Since then I've seen more and more cards printed in Standard that I feel could further help in keeping Twin in check today more than it ever was before. These are cards printed after it's banning that could be used against it now if it were ever unbanned: Sinister Concoction , Thalia, Heretic Cathar , Unsubstantiate , Spell Queller , Authority of the Consuls , Lost Legacy , Fatal Push , Harsh Mentor , Trespasser's Curse , Tocatli Honor Guard , Rampaging Ferocidon , Kinjalli's Sunwing , Kitesail Freebooter , Cast Down , Assassin's Trophy , Unmoored Ego , Dovin's Veto , Force of Negation , Force of Vigor , Veil of Summer , Fry , Aether Gust , Brazen Borrower , Hushbringer , Deafening Silence , Mystical Dispute , Drown in the Loch , Wilt and Necromentia . I've likely missed a couple more due to how many sets have been released since and there will always be more cards that will be printed in future that can disrupt the strategy too. Since there have been many new deck archetypes that have emerged and been developed and improved upon over the many years in a non-Twin environment I'd like to see how they'd stack against Twin now just to see if it really is still an obstacle.
7 months ago
People keep posting that you should run Lightning Bolt in your deck. As far as cheap removal goes there are plenty removal spells I’d rather run before I pick up Lightning Bolt. My picks include Dismember, Lightning Axe, Sinister Concoction, Weight of Spires, Go for the Throat, Terminate, Molten Vortex, and Heartless Act
11 months ago
I would personally run Nethroi, Apex of Death. Nethroi has lifelink which can be fun to pump up with auras, but Nethroi's reanimate ability can be seriously powerful at enchantment reanimation if you build your deck right.
Auramancer, Griffin Dreamfinder, Monk Idealist, Restoration Specialist, Trusty Retriever, Acolyte of Affliction, Golgari Findbroker, Lurrus of the Dream-Den, Eternal Witness, Felidar Guardian. These make excellent targets to recur enchantments and auras with as you could recur 4 to 5 enchantments every time Nethroi mutates.
Do keep in mind a few card draw enchantment creatures also have 0 power making them free to reanimate too. Creatures like: Argothian Enchantress, Mesa Enchantress, Verduran Enchantress, Kor Spiritdancer.
Also if you run out of enchantments to recur I'd recommend running these enchantments as they're easy to both put into the graveyard and obtain value off of them which is what will make this strategy even stronger: Sinister Concoction, Seal of Primordium, Seal of Cleansing, Soul Snare, Weight of Conscience, Aura of Silence, Font of Fertility, Sterling Grove and Unbridled Growth. Sigil of the Nayan Gods and Cast Out also work if you only intend to cycle them.