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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Slaughter the Strong
Each player chooses any number of creatures creatures with total power 4 or less, then sacrifices the rest.
3 months ago
Out: Wave of Reckoning
5 months ago
6 months ago
Reconnaissance is such a great card in this deck, glad you're finally giving it a try. I see you already have Gruesome Realization in the 99. I recently had a game a couple of weekends ago where a friend played his Krenko, Mob Boss deck. I drew with a fairly removal heavy hand, one of the pieces being Gruesome Realization. I used it fairly early, and was able to kill off Krenko's 5 Goblin tokens it already managed to create.
If you're looking for more evasion and anti-token tech, I'd also recommend checking out Legion Loyalist and Goblin War Drums. Rakdos Charm can also be a pretty cheeky way to punish token strategies that outpace you on board establishment. I also recently subbed in Urabrask the Hidden as another Haste anthem and stax piece to slow down board rebuilds after board wipes. Kismet is another decent stax piece to hinder what your opponents are rolling out.
Slaughter the Strong is a board wipe that Isshin can dodge, and forces your opponents to slim down to only the most crucial stuff they can afford to keep.
Lastly, Soul Partition is pretty versatile as a removal piece that essentially adds another instance of Commander Tax to a removed opponents' commander, or can be a protection piece for one of your own things. I used it that same game to get rid of Krenko for essentially the rest of the game.
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.
7 months ago
Thanks for the suggestions kamarupa!
I did actually consider Orator of Ojutai over Wall of Omens, but I figured the guaranteed extra card was better than having a flyer. However, given how often I tend to have Arcades, the Strategist in play or at least in my hand, it's worth at least adding him into the sideboard. Speaking of sideboards, Slaughter the Strong is definitely going in there too!
I also considered running Eladamri's Call but decided it was a little too expensive to run and I didn't really want to take out anything to replace it with.
I'm still on the fence about whether I want to add Wall of Denial or not. It is a really good card with amazing stats, but I wanted to keep every creature in the deck 2 CMC and under, except for Arcades and Axebane Guardian because of how vital they are to the deck. But maybe I'll add Wall of Denial in the future after some more real world playtesting.
Thanks again, I really appreciate it!
7 months ago
Ive been playing this deck and slowly modifying some cards in and out. Slaughter the Strong and Dusk / Dawn have been really good! Keeping my creatures alive while destroying theirs. Shield-Wall Sentinel has been good as a wall tutor, grabbing me a wall I need and thinning out my deck! I also swapped the Talisman artifacts for the Signets. I just dislike taking the ping damage and I tend to use the dual mana for the 2 CMC wall drops anyways.! Also used Unnatural Growth as a game closer a few times! Huatli, the Sun's Heart served as a backup Arcades. Anyways, I wanted to see what you also thought about those cards
7 months ago
I feel like with both Wall of Blossoms and Wall of Omens, Orator of Ojutai deserves some consideration. Namely, it's got Flying, which is useful evasion the other two don't have. It's considerably less useful in finding an Arcades, but better when building up creatures for a swing.
Your Sideboard doesn't look filled out, so I think Slaughter the Strong is a [cough] strong contender. It's been very effective one-sided removal IME.
Maybe too pricey and not as useful as your current non-creature spells, but I think Eladamri's Call is also a good fit here. The advantage is offers, while not being as broadly useful, is that's it more specifically useful in that it gets the exact creature you need, compared to the gamble of the top X or 5.
Finally, IME, Wall of Denial is a serious threat. Flying, tough, and difficult to remove, opponents are not happy to see it. Not sure it's really needed, but it def makes kills faster with its big toughness.