Creature — Dinosaur
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Sky Terror Discussion
1 year ago
I have replaced Skyknight Legionnaire with Sky Terror, which reduced the average converted mana cost of this deck from 2.81 to 2.79, which means that this deck now has the lowest mana curve out of all my decks. The legionnaires were nice, and the fact that they have haste made them a perfect fit for the theme of this deck, but haste is good for only a single turn, whereas menace on the terrors is good for as long as they remain on the battlefield, and the fact that they have a lower mana cost means that I can summon them earlier than the legionnaires and use the additional mana for other spells.
1 year ago
i would say to cut 2 legionnaire's and a cerodon for 3 copies of Sky Terror, try it like that and see if you like it.
1 year ago
I have four copies of Skyknight Legionnaire in my red/white deck, but I am contemplating replacing them with four copies of Sky Terror, due to that card's lower cost. While the legionnaire perfectly fits the aggressive theme of this deck by having haste, the terror can be summoned earlier, thus allowing me to cast a different spell on my third turn, such as Hearthfire Hobgoblin or Scourge of the Nobilis. Also, haste is good for only a single turn, while menace remains useful for as long as the creature is on the battlefield.
1 year ago
"Gishath Strong! Gishath Quick! Gishath gonna stomp your face!" :D
Of course WTTempesT, happy to offer what little wisdom I have :) had I known you were all part of the same playgroup I would have told you to scrap your plans, all build creature-based Mathas, Fiend Seeker decks, and watch the carnage unfold! :D (that actually sounds quite fun now that I think of it...)
Be warned, I've never built a Dinosour tribal deck so my advice might not be amazing, but I'll advise the best I can :) the first thing that strikes me about Gishath is that his ability triggers on combat damage dealt to players. That means you're incentivised to make Gishath (A) super-stronk and (B) 'quick' (i.e. unblockable) so that you flip more cards and get the biggest dinosaurs. It's also important the Gishath is (C) evasive so that he doesn't just disappear to removal when you try to attack.
Quick caveat before you start the essay below - don't see the huge wall of text as meaning there's lots to fix with your deck! It's more the case that I think as I write, and seeing as you're asking me about a deck type I've never thought about before, I've got lots more to think through than I've had for either of your friends! :) and with that...
There's a few options here - you could buff Gishath specifically, put out some anthems to make all your dinosaurs stronger, or make his attacks do more damage. Personally, since he's already got Trample I'd go in a double-strike direction, and add cards like Duelist's Heritage, Blood Mist or Berserkers' Onslaught to go alongside your Goring Ceratops. Alternatively, since you've already got Odric, Lunarch Marshal you could just go 'keyword soup' and chuck in cards like Momentum Rumbler and Ridgetop Raptor, but that's quite clunky and doesn't really fit the theme. (Oh, Silverblade Paladin is another decent way of giving double-strike, but again, it doesn't really fit your theme.)
If we're looking at giving Gishath double strike, then it might be worth thinking of ways to buff his power by 4. 11 power is the sweet spot for a One-Hit KO by a double strike commander. For example, if you've already got Citadel Siege and Sight of the Scalelords then you could cast Gishath and kill someone on the same turn. Alternatively, Xenagos, God of Revels does this 'better', but is a little more expensive. (Theoretically this is already possible with how your deck is set up with Bellowing Aegisaur and some of your 'deal 1 damage' creatures, but it's convoluted!)
You'll note that I didn't mention Overwhelming Stampede above. In my mind this is more of a 'win-more' card - great if you've already got a board established and untap with Gishath already out - but if you're in that position then chances are you're already won :) it's worth thinking how you're going to catch up if others are ahead, but I'll leave you to think about that.
The other way to get the damage through (and a way of getting super-synergy value if you have a way of giving your creatures haste) is to have ways of giving extra combat steps. Can't kill someone with combat damage in one swing? That's fine, just swing twice! I'd say the best combat-'doubler' with haste is Breath of Fury since you can move the enchantment onto some of the new dinosaurs that you're hitting, and the best without haste would be Aggravated Assault. Alternatively, if you have creatures with vigilance (e.g. Gishath), then you could go funky and use something like Godo, Bandit Warlord as your combat doubler :)
Unblockable Gishath is good. I like the Rogue's Passage in the deck - I'd also be tempted to chuck a Key to the City in there as well :) some other great cards to consider are Glaring Spotlight which can make your whole board unblockable for 3 mana and Whispersilk Cloak, especially since it gives the bonus of 'thick skin' shroud protection. (It would mean that you couldn't target him with your own abilities and spells, so that might be something to think about.) Other things to consider are ways of giving Gishath evasion - Sky Terror works well with the keyword soup route, though it's a jump through a hoop which the Majestic Heliopterus you already have in the deck doesn't require. Another alternative I'd suggest is Skyshaper - I quite like this as a one-time way to give your board flying, not to mention that it's free to sacrifice and can therefore be used the turn Gishath is played!
One question to ask is 'how many sources of unblockable or other evasion do I need in my deck'. Let's say that you're preparing to play Gishath on T8 and want to have your unblockable ready to go by T7. Assuming that you've not drawn any extra cards, then during T7 you'll have seen 15/99 of the cards in your deck - more if you have any card draw. At that rate you only need 7 sources of something for it to be fairly likely to have on in hand by then. If you're optimising this then you might put more in, if you're not hugely bothered then you might have less. Personally I think Rogue's Passage, Key to the City, Glaring Spotlight and Whispersilk Cloak are enough ways to reliably get Gishath unblockable on T8-9 without needing flying/etc, but that depends on how much you want to rely on Gishath. Remember that the more non-dinosaurs you put in the deck, the less likely you are to not hit useful things with Gishath's triggers!
Gishath is king over aaaall land!
Speaking of 'how many sources to have in a deck', let's talk about your lands and ramp. The best way to be 'quicker' than your opponents is to make sure that you've got enough lands down and have ramped to your key point before they have. The standard method for number of lands in an EDH deck is to start ~40 lands and cut 1 land for every 3 other sources of mana. You have ~10 pieces of accelleration, so I'd estimate ~37 lands, especially since you're trying to get up to 8 mana to cast your commander. 34 lands is definitely too low when your average CMC is ~4!
Further, 15 of your lands enter tapped. I said this to one of your friends, but as much as you want to ensure having the right coloured mana available at the right time you should be careful of adding too many tap-lands. Think of it this way - if all of your lands were tap-lands, then every turn you'd have one less mana than everyone else and would be 1 turn behind with every spell. The stats show that thep layer who goes first is most likely to win since they get to certain amounts of mana before the others - playing all tap-lands is like willingly cutting off a foot. 15/34 lands isn't quite the same, but it's like cutting off a couple of toes; how would you feel finally drawing a land on T10 when you've been waiting to play Gishath, only for that to be a tap-land and for someone else to win on T11 before you get a chance to untap? Yeah - don't run too many tap-lands :P
One of the great things Gishath has going for him is that his identity includes green, meaning that you have access to the best land ramp spells in the game! Well done for putting some ramp in the deck. I'd be tempted to swap out one of them for Skyshroud Claim (since it can fetch your Shock lands), and I'd also be 'tempted' to add Tempt with Discovery (always fun in multiplayer games). Also, the Ikoria Migration Path is a direct upgrade to some of the ramp spells. Either way, I'd really add some more basic lands into the deck; you barely have enough of them to ramp with, let alone play, and you could easily get blown out by an overloaded Winds of Abandon and not have any lands to actually fetch.
As for land choices themselves - as above, fewer tap-lands and more basics. You'd be surprised In most decks I'm not a huge fan of Temple of the False God, but in your deck I can see it working. I don't really like Rupture Spire either, would much prefer Path of Ancestry. You could quite easily add Spinerock Knoll in for the free hideaway spell. Oh, and Krosan Verge is a pretty good card for multicoloured decks that include white and green - it allows you to fetch the shocklands/bicycle lands to have all of your colours in one go :)
If we're going to make Gishath big, then we need to make sure that he doesn't just get removed straightaway. Cards like Swiftfoot Boots and Lightning Greaves are really useful here - as well as Whispersilk Cloak above - but my top pick for this category is Favor of the Mighty. It's a fairly innocuous enchantment, but it's very unlikely that anyone else will have a CMC 8+ creature when you're casting gishath, and 'protection from all colours' is a really strong ability. Another great way of protecting Gishath the turn he comes in is by casting Shielded by Faith on another creature the turn before, then moving this onto Gishath. (It doesn't protect you from targeted exile, but it would stop Gishath dieing to destructive/damaging board wipes.) A card that's a little slower but could be interesting is Shield of the Oversoul - gives indestructible, but also gives flying - which is a keyword that Gishath doesn't have naturally.
It's a little pricey (~$10?), but I highly value Asceticism as a way of protecting creatures. Not only does it stop your opponents from targeting them, it also gives you a way of getting them back if your enemies destory them with spells or in combat. Other instant options to give Gishath hexproof include Blossoming Defense and Woodcutter's Grit (which both have the benefit of buffing Gishath at the same time), or the pricier Heroic Intervention which gives hexproof and indestructible at the same time.
Gishath have many Friends!
Since Gishath basically gives you free dinosaurs, you definitely want to be putting in the biggest and best dinosaurs you can to swing for the win the turn after. However, if you're sat there with a giant board then it's quite likely that some sort of Star of Extinction will wipe out your dinosaurs before your next turn. Choosing the right dinos for your super-squad who are going to stick around is key.
Some thoughts on dinosaurs you could add:
- Apex Altisaur - repetive great creature removal. Would highly recommend!
- Quartzwood Crasher - new from Ikoria, this guy is really good in any decks that do lots of trampling. Add it!
- Titanoth Rex - big tramply dinosaur, can cycle to give trample to something else
- Rampaging Brontodon - gets big if you get to swing with it
- Verdant Sun's Avatar - a great way of stacking a huge amount of life. Great to have if you decide to cut all of your small stuff and just go late-game instead.
- Regal Behemoth - errata'd in 2018 to be a dinosaur instead of a lizard. A very good way of setting up the turn before casting Gishath to have extra mana left over.
- Sun-Crowned Hunters - it's not got quite the value I'd like, but if you're going heavy into the 'damage to my own creatures' theme then this might be a good card to add
- Snapping Sailback - as above, if you're leaning heavy into the 'damage my own creatures' theme then this could be decent to add
- Ranging Raptors - as above, great in the 'damage my own creatures' deck
- Atla Palani, Nest Tender - alternatively, if you decide to go heavy in the 'big dinos' direction, then Atla from C19 could be fun to have in the 99 as another way of getting big dinos out
Some thoughts on dinosaurs you could remove:
- Cacophodon - what's it doing in the deck, other than occasionally untapping a land?
- Draconic Disciple - I think a mana rock or ramp would be better here, the other ability is expensive enough that you have many other options to use first
- Imperial Ceratops - depending on how agressive your playgroup is, you might find that the life gain from this doesn't really help your gameplan
- Kinjalli's Sunwing - a great card if you're going aggro-heavy, but EDH games tend to go long and one round of creatures being tapped won't change much. How would you feel if this was the only dinosaur you find in one of Gishath's attack triggers?
- Kinjalli's Caller - unless you're regularly playing multiple dinosaurs per turn, this is effectively a mana-rock on a creature which is easily killed (including by some of your own creatures). It also means you have to have extra white lands in your deck to try and get it out. I'd just cut this and put some land ramp or a mana rock in instead.
- Zetalpa, Primal Dawn - if it wasn't for the keyword-soup then I'd remove Zetalpa. Most of the other elder dinosaurs are just better, but if you can reliably get Odric out then Zetalpa could work in this deck.
- Ulvenwald Tracker - whilst I like the ability to fight your dinos against others, the fact it's a 1/1 means it dies too easily to everything (including your own stuff!). I'd much prefer something like Domri, Anarch of Bolas instead, especially since it also 'pumps' your creatures and can act as a mana rock. (Okay, it can't fight multiple creatures in a turn, but it's rare that you'll be needing to do lots of fighting at once.)
As I looked through your deck I noticed lots of 'do damage when enters the battlefield' synergy and combos. I really like the look of it, and it almost feels like that's your main win-con with giant dinosaurs led by Gishath as your backup. Either way, it's a fun theme and game plan, and I'd be interested in how it turns out. A few things to think about:
- Marauding Raptor and Polyraptor is infinite in a bad way. Since it's not a 'may', triggering this goes uncontrollably infinite unless someone has a way of breaking the chain, and according to MtG rules uncontrollable infinites results in a draw - which is a bit of a naff way to end the game if you've all been playing for an hour!
- You don't have much white in your early game. I'd be tempted to take out some of your white lands and most of your white 1-3 CMC cards - if you can cut your early game down to 2 colours and mostly fetch to get your white, then you can also remove your need for so many tap lands. This will make your games much more consistent and faster.
- On a related note, pay attention to the colour wheels in the corner. You currently have ~equal sources of white/red/green, even though over half of the coloured mana requirements in your deck are for green. At the moment you could quite easily end up with green spells in hand but not enough green mana to play them. Further, because green is the colour of fixing, you want more green mana so you can more easily guarantee fetching the other lands that you need when you need them later. Balance your lands for (A) when you need specific colours and (B) how much you need in total to cast the spells that are important to you (e.g. Gishath).
Lastly, some cards to consider adding:
- Furious Rise - it's an extra Colossal Majesty, and extra card draw is always good
- Helm of the Host - why have one Gishath when you could have two?!? You'd want to make sure to play and equip this when Gishath is already on the board otherwise it would be too big a threat for people to leave on the table. (Also, this combos as an insta-win with Godo, Bandit Warlord - though I don't know if that's a negative or a positive for you!)
- The Great Henge - this is especially good with Gishath since all the dinos Gishath puts into play trigger the 'add a +1/+1 and draw a card', meaning that Gishath ends up drawing you a couple of cards as well as cheating out some dinos. Extra gas is always good!
- Finale of Devastation - slightly pricey, but this could be a decent upgrade to Overwhelming Stampede down the line, allowing you to both fetch a creature and pump your board at the same time.
And some cards to perhaps remove:
- Herald's Horn - you've only got 29/100 cards which are dinosaurs. Okay, this gets your commander out one turn earlier, but so does every mana rock. Okay, this card gives you ~0.3 extra card draw each turn, but in the turns between getting this out (~T3) and when you think the game might end (~T10) this would only 'draw' you ~2.1 extra cards. I'd take a simple mana-rock over this since it gives you the flexibility to cast any of your 30 non-creature spells, which Herald's Horn wouldn't help you with at all.
- Lurking Predators is fun, but as with Herald's Horn - you won't hit things often, so this is mostly a 6-mana 'do nothing' or 6-mana 'get a ~4CMC creature'. The biggest benefit is that it deters people from swinging at you - especially with multiple creatures - but it doesn't feel like it helps your strategy in the same way.
- Gaea's Blessing - what does this do for you?
- Primal Rage - I don't think you need this in the deck. Enough of your creatures already have trample, and the rest will anyway if you had Odric out.
Final thought - this would be the ultimate flex, but if you somehow find some way to get Colossification onto Gishath during the combat step... Currently the only methods I can think of are (1) playing it on another creature then using Flicker of Fate during combat to move it to Gishath, (2) sacrificing Academy Rector during combat, (3) having it on another creature that you kill then casting Second Sunrise during combat... That's about all of the ways I can think of, let me know if you think of any more! (I guess an easier way would be to just cast it in main phase 1 and find a way to untap him. Hey ho!)
I should have gone to bed a few hours ago, but I thought I'd finish writing this before I went to bed... Little did I know how deep the rabbit hole went!
Stay safe! ^_^
2 years ago
As usual in red/white tribal brews, Mirror Entity and Taurean Mauler are good. Rampaging Ferocidon was banned in standard but is modern legal. Snubhorn Sentry is a lot simpler to turn on, and running an 'all 3 toughness' board means a single pump puts you out of bolt/anger range.
Theres probably some colour matters/keyword shenanigans you can manage with Cerodon Yearling / Relentless Raptor / Sky Terror / Swiftblade Vindicator / Truefire Paladin , but that feels like a different deck.
2 years ago
First thing that stands out is that your mana-curve isn't low enough to the ground. Modern is an extremely fast format and the majority of your threats are in the 4+ range for converted mana cost. Bringing in white will open up some early threats while also giving you some low cost removal.
- Relentless Raptor - 2 cost for three power, sure it has to attack each combat but it also has vigilance which allows it to still be on defense while doing so.
- Sky Terror - Flying 2/2 for 2 and menace to boot making it an effective attacker that will evade a large amount of creatures.
- More Frilled Deathspitter ! - This guy is just fun, sure he's only a 3/2 for 3, but if he doesn't get through he at least shocks the opponent to the face.
- Kinjalli's Sunwing - If you've got this in the mainboard of sideboard it's good either way, it definitely shines more against aggressive matches due to the tap ability, but having flying makes this thing a decent attacker.
- More Rampaging Ferocidon - This is going to hurt opponents that want to swarm the board, but definitely something you sub out against control unless they are running life-gain to get out of your reach.
- Wayward Swordtooth - Sure he can't attack until you get the city's blessing, but if you have 2-3 of these in your deck and are happy with just being able to drop the double land he'll serve you well.
- Runic Armasaur - Love this guy. He's got a fat butt on him to stop from being bolted off the field and with the number of activated abilities in modern you'll have a full grip nearly all the time. Keep in mind that fetch lands will trigger this dude.
- Regisaur Alpha - Having 2 of these on your higher curve is a nice boon. He brings 7 power and toughness as well as haste.
- Carnage Tyrant - Control players, eat your heart out. Can't be countered, trample, hexproof. 2-3 of these on your top end will be your beaters.
- Ghalta, Primal Hunger - 1-2 of this guy is all you need. He'll eat removal in some form most of the time, but if an opponent allows a 12/12 trampler to go unanswered, he'll hit HARD.
Some nice buffs:
- Blossoming Defense - Protection in the form of hexproof as well as a +2/+2 buff at instant speed.
- Groundswell - More often then not this is just a straight +4/+4 at instant speed.
- Vines of Vastwood - This is what happens when you combine the above two cards into one.
- Lightning Bolt - Kills a lot in the format, there is a reason the saying "dies to bolt" exists.
- Path to Exile - Big threat? No problem.
- Dromoka's Command - Putting this here as it will often help you remove something. Good all round card.
2 years ago
Ya I noticed right after I posted the comment that Sky Terror doesn't actually meet the criteria for Path haha. As for Swiftblade Vindicator however, yes it runs the risk of being an instant-kill but that is going to be just about any good creature in this format. Just my thoughts :)
2 years ago
Swiftblade dies to the format as it is now, unfortunately, and Sky Terror doesnt synergize with Path. It would be a pain to be stuck with those and a need to flip