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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
|Pauper Duel Commander||Legal|
Sky Diamond enters the battlefield tapped.
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1 month ago
Dreamstone Hedron Sky Diamond Charcoal Diamond Ebony Fly Prismatic Lens Everflowing Chalice Predict Giant's Amulet Curator's Ward Sphinx of the Second Sun Displacement Wave Dismal Backwater Temple of the False God Replicating Ring Dimir Locket Temple of Deceit
4 months ago
Hi Anabasis! Since you asked for some feedback on the list prior to committing, I'll comment here since I can link cards easily. Let's begin with the archetype you are going for here, how it plays out with Braids, Conjurer Adept, how to make it run a bit smoothly. The archetype for this deck is "group hug," which is a bit of a misunderstood archetype that has gotten unnecessary bad rep in the past. Basically, a group hug deck built properly is one that has effects which benefit everyone, but benefit the player the most. The idea is that there is little incentive to target the group hug player because they are giving free stuff, and the free stuff nonetheless keeps every player more competitive, which takes more pressure off of the group hug player, who is then ahead in the value race. The most iconic group hug commander, for example, is Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis. This commander lets every player either draw an extra card or play an extra land each end step, whereas the Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis player gets to do both. Oftentimes what makes game uneven are some players encountering ramp or draw problems, and this evens things out and keeps them competitive. Usually players won't target Kynaios and Tiro because it is benefitting them, and because it is not inherently threatening. Nonetheless, the Kynaios player is ahead in the value race, and usually plans to win with some sort of alternate win condition like Approach of the Second Sun. Braids, Conjurer Adept plays out similarly, in that every player benefits from Braids, but unlike your opponents your deck is built to exploit it, and you will have scarier things to cheat out than they will. The difference with this deck, however, and this is the critical part, is that your deck will be inherently threatenting. People will soon figure out that you are dropping scary things and have plenty of incentive to kill braids. What's worse is that the way Braids works inherently gives them added incentive to do so. The scariest words on the card are "at the beginning of each player's upkeep" are ones you will come to loathe if you don't build this right. These words mean that if you play Braids normally, each of your opponents will get to use Braids before you do. This is bad, because after three opponents have used it, the third could kill Braids before you ever get to use her. This is the nightmare that should ever be in your mind when planning or playing this deck, but if you are mindful of it, it can be overcome. So let's think first about Braids' abilities and how to best protect and exploit her to your benefit over your opponents.'
The first is to do lots and lots of what blue does best, namely, countering spells. Whereas Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis are a pillowfort group hug deck, you should think of your deck as a control group hug deck. Forget the crappy boardwipes like AEtherize and Aetherspouts. You probably included them because you've sensed they won't hit your board, but you'll find that smart players never attack with their most important pieces, and that they won't generally do what you want them to. Spectral Deluge and Whelming Wave are probably fine, but leave the rest out- you're better off just stopping things from happening to begin with than wiping a board that will probably be in your favor. Counterspells are good here for two reasons. First and foremost, they protect Braids from removal, which will be their most important duty. Beyond that, since you're getting a free permanent every turn, you have the luxury of holding your mana open, so you might as well have stuff to do with it! I'd think about playing up to ten different counterspells along with premium blue targeted removal like Reality Shift, Ravenform, etc.
Since the weakness of Braids is that our opponents' get to use her first if we cast her at sorcery speed, we might as well rewrite the script and try to play her at instant speed where feasible. Leyline of Anticipation and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir can help with this. You'll enjoy much more playing Braids on your opponent's end step and getting to use her first than the reverse. This will also aid and abet your counterspell game, in that if you don't need to counter anything you can cast other spells on your opponent's end step rather than wasting your mana. I see that you included these spells, but I wanted to make sure that you realize how critical they are to your game, and that if you can find more of this effect it will be worthwhile to include it.
A third implication is that, in the true spirit of group hug, you should get to use Braids more than your opponents. It's only fair after all! Therefore cards that copy triggered abilities like Strionic Resonator are at a premium here. Braids is far better if you get to use her twice and your opponents only get to use her once.
You also need to rework your ramp section entirely. The general rule of commanders and ramp applies here, namely, that you mostly want to play ramp that can get your commander out a turn early. This means one and two mana rocks primarily, unless it can get extra lands out. Dreamstone Hedron and Hedron Archive are traps and will make you cry. I know the theory is that you can play them for free with Braids, but keep in mind that they will never help you cast Braids. Also, they tend to be removal targets, and you'd probably be putting out something threatening over a mana rock anyway. Caged Sun is definitely worth it though because of the overall value, and because it will be worth it even to double your mana for one turn in order to cast a massive x-spell. Armillary Sphere is just bad here. Importantly, it is not a ramp spell since it doesn't put anything onto the battlefield. When people do play it, it is just for color fixing in multi-colored decks, and you don't need that. It'd be better to just play more card draw so that you can draw into your land drops normally. Sol Ring, Mind Stone, and Thought Vessel are fine, but you want to add Wayfarer's Bauble, Sky Diamond, and Coldsteel Heart at least. Sword of the Animist and Dowsing Dagger Flip are also fabulously repeatable ramp that always makes me smile. Dreamscape Artist is also a sleeper blue card that can repeatedly ramp lands onto the battlefield which is often overlooked. You'll be far happy with these efficient options that can either get Braids out early or get her out on time with mana to spare for counterspells than with the big splashy cards.
Also, as far as card draw goes, I wouldn't take group hug to far here. You are already giving your opponents free permanents, and you are in the best card draw color and don't need their help in that. Personally I'd recommend skipping Kami of the Crescent Moon and the like entirely, and play more personal draw spells like Gadwick, the Wizened and Blue Sun's Zenith. Seriously. One advantage of Braids is that they will play spells for free and run out of stuff to cast, whereas you can keep drawing into it. If you help them out too much, you're just hurting yourself in the long run. I'd honestly replace all the reciprocal draw spells with spells which draw you cards. The only one that might be ok is Well of Ideas, but that one is benefiting you more and you first, so it fits the bill.
Some more cautions. While casting free haymakers is the reason for this deck, don't overdo it. You want to be able to afford to hard cast stuff sometimes, both in case Braids dies or just to amass more of a board presence. The power curve in magic has been getting lower in recent years, and there are many devastating spells that cost four and five mana, so don't sleep on those. Your average cmc here is 4.5, and while some high cmc haymakers are what you want, you also want lots of castable creatures.
I'm also not sure why we are playing the "creatures become every creature type" cards. Is this for better board wiping with Whelming Wave or synergy with Spawning Kraken? In my experience these synergies won't work out enough to justify the card slots, which might be better filled with counterspells or other creatures. Honestly, if I were to pick another theme to support this archetype I'd pick blink, since you doubling ETB counters can be great, but that's just me. Blinking is the sort of thing where you don't need to do a lot of it for it to be good.
A few other card choice matters. Reflections of Littjara only works on cast, so it won't copy creatures played with Braids. Definitely consider this before including a five mana enchantment that doesn't affect the board right away. Also, yes, absolutely play High Tide. It is so worth it in a mono-blue deck. Yes, Frozen Aether is amazing here. this is absolutely how to play group hug. Your opponents get free stuff, but it is only fair that you get to use your stuff first. Personally, I feel like Ominous Seas is one of the most overrated commander cards in recent years. It seems like you get a great rate on a vanilla 8/8, but often the enchantment will get blown up first, and it takes forever to come out. That's just my opinion thought.
One final thought, don't prejudice yourself too much in favor of sea monsters over against, say, eldrazi. I know the chase eldrazi are expensive, but Artisan of Kozilek is under one dollar in real world money and a wonderful thing to play with Braids, and to make copies of with your copy spells, and to give haste to with Crashing Drawbridge. You will have so much fun.
I think this will be a great deck and you have a lot of good ideas going here. I'd just refocus it a bit and then wreak some havoc!
5 months ago
I opted to keep the Sky Diamond even with the addition of the Opal in favor of extra mana ramp since that can be where blue struggles a lot.
I'll be interested to see what you edit in your own list to include the Fabricate in your list
5 months ago
I love your inclusion of spells to copy Jin! If you're looking for more protection, Commander's Plate is pretty good IMO. Super dig the artifacts, I definitely need to look into adding Fabricate to my list. Mox Opal would be a sweet replacement for Sky Diamond IMO, and Semblance Anvil is also a neat inclusion for reducing your arti costs (or whatever, really). Lithoform Engine is great for extra spell copies, for when you feel like compleatly ruining your opponents day. Great list, keep it up! :]
oh- and those draw baubles look super sweet. gotta look into those as well!
5 months ago
8 months ago
Major changes have been made.
Out: Snow-Covered Island, Beast Whisperer, Crash of Rhino Beetles, Dungrove Elder, Neverwinter Hydra, Omnath, Locus of Mana, Reclamation Sage, Seedborn Muse, Deepglow Skate, Icebreaker Kraken, Rite of Replication.
8 months ago
Hi Saccox. Glad to see you are playing commander! I think you might want a little more ramp. You could add Sky Diamond, Fire Diamond, Izzet Signet, Izzet Cluestone, and Izzet Keyrune. I think those are pretty cheap.
10 months ago
@Lanzo493 - Wishclaw Talisman I actually own, I didn't think to include it because my opponents also get an advantage from it, but if I use it to grab my winning piece, then theoretically they wont get to take advantage of it. I think I will test that further. If I am not mistake I have some Ponder and Preordain laying around as well...I will take a look and see what I can find. I am already running two ways to net infinite mana in my deck, plus the win con of just getting Oracle and Consultation. I swapped away from a Tainted Pact win-con because I wanted to run more basics for a more consistent untap land ratio. I will look into getting some more non-basic lands that come in untapped, but for now I think I will just stick with Consultation. Endurance looks really solid, but unfortunately it is out of my budget range currently. I am running all the mana dorks I have access to currently with the exception of one in my Meren deck, but I want to leave it there, if I can get my hands on some more in the future I will definitely slot them in for additional mana though. I know Sky Diamond is slow, but it is better than my other options currently. In your opinion, knowing my chances of winning are slim of course, could I at least sit at a table of cEDH and get some games in with this list?