Each player loses 1 life, discards a card, sacrifices a creature, then sacrifices a land.
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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Latest Decks as Commander
6 days ago
6 days ago
I've always wanted to build a braids modern deck, but casting a 4 drop in a smallpox deck always seemed a bit risky to me, while running braids without smallpox always seemed too slow. Here are my comments on your list:
You have some cards that don't add enough to your gameplan.
1) Greater Harvester looks cute, but it sucks. A static ability that only affects you, while the only way for it to cause your opponent to sacrifice stuff is to deal combat damage with a 5/6 vanilla creature without any evasion or trample or anything. Even with Braids wiping your opponent's board this card will definitely hurt you more than them. World Queller is still pretty expensive, but has a much nicer effect that lets you choose the permanent type. I probably wouldn't run either but having another 5 cmc Braids is cool.
3) I know you run Thalia, Guardian of Thraben to tax your opponents and make it even harder for them to cast spells along with braids, but you have so many noncreature spells that it's probably not that good here either.
4) Leyline of the Meek synergizes with your token plan, but doesn't help you stretch out the game, deny your opponent resources, or create more tokens for yourself. If you really want to play something to buff your tokens I'd use Intangible Virtue , but I don't recommend it.
5) Timely Reinforcements definitely doesn't fit here. There's a reason it usually isn't played in decks with a lot of other token producers - because then its effect would be useless. Add in braids wiping the opponent's creatures and it becomes even worse. 4 Souls + 4 BB already seems like a good token package to me. It could maybe be a one-of in the sideboard though against hyper-aggressive decks.
6) Cabal Coffers is very questionable, since your land count is probably not going to be that high. If you are going to keep it, definitely add more Urborgs. Also 25 lands is a little high even for a pox deck like this one, I think 24 is the perfect number.
7) Crucible of Worlds does have nice synergy with sacrificing lands (and replaying Flagstones is pretty cool) but a lot of the time you would probably be sacrificing tokens instead. I don't think the card is that great here unless you have Flagstones of Trokair on the field, so if you need space for other cards I would recommend cutting these.
You should probably have more early game resource denial, lower your mana curve, and have more pieces that break symmetry.
1) Braids is a four drop, and doesn't have any impact on the board unless she survives a turn. You definitely need something early game that has a similar effect to braids. I don't think this deck can function without 4x Smallpox .
2) 4x Flagstones of Trokair . No questions asked. Also 2-3 Urborgs (esp if you keep Cabal Coffers). T1 Urborg, Inquisition/Thoughtseize into T2 flagstones + smallpox is backbreaking.
3) Bloodghast gives something to discard to pox, and you can repeatedly sacrifice it to braids as well. Nether Spirit is another option but I don't think it works well here.
4) Multiples of Braids suck, so I'd go down to 3 copies.
5) You could consider Sedgemoor Witch as a token producer instead of Bitterblossom. Not quite as sure about this one; it does something even if you only use the tokens to feed braids and gains life while BB loses life, but it also costs 1 more mana and acts as a juicy removal target. However, with braids on the field you already have removal targets so it probably isn't as much of an issue as it seems.
Your only early game disruption is Thoughtseize. This is definitely not enough.
1) I'd run 6-8 discard spells total between Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek . Honestly, In my opinion the best is a 4 IoK/2 Seize split, since IoK is better early game and you should be able to prevent your opponent from casting 4+ cmc spells anyways.
2) I understand that you are running Vindicate so you can blow up your opponent's lands, but you should definitely have some cheaper removal. I'd probably cut one and run 2-3 Fatal Push . Bloodchief's Thirst or Prismatic Ending could also work, just anything that isn't Path to Exile .
About the sideboard cards
2) Some boardwipes are probably needed, even though they don't synergize that well with tokens or braids. Without them, you'll just get run over by aggressive decks. Best ones are Damn and Bontu's Last Reckoning (first one is more of a 1-2x mainboard card, while second one is probably a 2-of in the sideboard).
2 weeks ago
lagotripha Thank you for commenting. Tidehollow Sculler is one of my favorite cards but I did not run it here for a number of reasons. I don't want to run more than 8 flickerable creatures, so basically I'll be comparing it against Burglar Rat .
The rebound from Ephemerate is usually wasted with Sculler, which means it only exiles 1 card permanently and 1 card until it dies, compared with rats discarding 3. Also, if we have a sculler on the field and topdeck ephemerate, we can't really do anything either.
Usually the sculler will end up dying, making the combo only a 2 for 1 (instead of a 2 for 3), either because the opponent has nothing else to spend their removal on or because it was sacrificed to our own Smallpox (having rats/grief with a smallpox is much less awkward since we don't care as much if they die).
There are only 8 pieces of targeted hand disruption (inquisition + grief) here for a reason because drawing into that kind of spell late game is much worse than a normal discard effect since opponents will frequently hold lands. By turn 3, which is when you can cast sculler+ephemerate, you usually want to be just powering out as much discard as possible instead of targeted discard.
Rats gets around leyline
Regarding the sideboard slots, I would rather run more hate cards.
I hope this answered your question.
1 month ago
To be honest, the token strat might be good right now while people are trying out new cards like Solitude .
To make the deck a better choice, you would probably need to be faster. The best way to go about this would be having less lands that come in tapped. If you have the resources, fetchlands and shocklands would be really helpful towards this.
As it stands though, I count a 67 card deck which isn't great for finding the cards you need when you need them. Definitely trim that down towards the minimum 60 the best you can.
Cards to consider adding (assuming you can make room for these) could be Bastion of Remembrance and Grave Pact . Even something lkke Smallpox is worth considering since it will probably hurt an opponent more than you.
There's probably more I could suggest, but I want to see where you go from here. A helpful resource to use for finding cards is scryfall.com because you can search for things like abilities or even phrases like when something dies, etc. Good luck out there.
1 month ago
Played a quick game against W/B Pox Reanimator. I don’t even know if the deck was going heavier on Pox but it had Liliana of the Veil , probably as discard outlets.
They led on a pair of Inquisition of Kozilek and Liliana of the Veil to strip me. I was able to hold out long enough to get Gideon, Ally of Zendikar to threaten Lili. They continued stripping me down to top deck mode. I managed to pull Gideon of the Trials to to get an emblem before being taken down. Middle Gideon held down the fort for a couple turns and the opponent ate up their Lingering Souls . I got out Castle Ardenvale to help with the Smallpox . They got out a Priest of Fell Rites and I followed up fortelling Doomskar . We went a couple turns with a Knight Ally token and Priest trading blows with Castle providing blocks for Priest. They got a Smallpox to eat some board and eternalized Priest to get Archon of Cruelty to kill my token. I stupidly forgot about my Doomskar for a turn but was kinda hoping for a Path to Exile or Solitude but I ended up blowing it up on the next hit. They followed up with a Persist and I pulled a useless Stoneforge Mystic .
That was a slug fest as they stripped my hand, I deployed threats, they are my threats and got out a big boi with me blanking on removal. I should note that I had a Path earlier in the game but between double Inquisition, several Liliana activations, and Smallpox , I had lost it before it was relevant. We’ll played, opponent.
1 month ago
This is the start of a project inspired by a TED talk. The speaker was part of a commission to create the perfect Pepsi, but the data he’d gathered was less than helpful. Instead of forming a nice, easy bell curve, the gathered preferences formed seemingly random clusters. That’s when he had an epiphany: a perfect Pepsi was impossible, but perfect Pepsis were. Some people liked it sweeter, some with less carbonation, some with more citric acid. I don’t remember how Pepsi took that report, but it was an interesting insight and I never forgot it.
Years later, I was reading the comments on an article about the ten best commanders. Most of them railed against the writer’s choices. Why wasn’t this one at the top, why wasn’t this guy on the list, why were all the picks garbage… That's when it occurred to me. Salt aside, the article was chasing the perfect Pepsi. Any article trying to rank options would be, because the commanders don’t exist in a vacuum. They exist in context, and what works in one place is a wretched pile in the next. There is no perfect commander. However, there are perfect commanders, and that’s what we’ll be thinking about here.
Over the course of this project I’ll be discussing the thematic strengths of various colors and color combinations. Each article will highlight nine commanders who showcase those themes in different ways, then close with a personal favorite. This isn’t meant to be a list of the optimal but rather the fun, a celebration of the format.
Today’s topic is White, held by some to be the weakest color to run solo in commander. Funny, since this “weakest” color has little miss indestructible-on-a-stick Avacyn, Angel of Hope , that black hole of aggro Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite , and the wombo combo beast Heliod, Sun-Crowned himself. We’re not here to discuss the powerhouses, though. We are here to talk about why you would play mono-white in the first place. White, friends, is where you come to drown your opponents in tokens, where Voltron stashes the best kitties, and where the friendless beast Stax makes its lonely home.
While Marrow-Gnawer and Krenko may live in the limelight of mono-colored horde decks, white is where said horde hangs its thematic hat. Here be the lion’s share of “creatures you control get” goodies, crowned by the mathematically grueling Cathars' Crusade . Here be the Hero of Bladehold and the Knight-Captain of Eos . Here! Be! Elspeth!
First in our trifecta of white weenie lords is Mikaeus the Lunarch. Stick him at the head of a horde and watch his minions git gud. There are quite a few shenanigans, like Elite Scaleguard , that will delight in having this guy at the head of a deck.
Going a different direction, Darien makes minions himself rather than relying on token generators from the deck. Opponents will be understandably leery of touching his pilot with anything less than lethal damage. Add in Soul Warden and a few of her friends and things get downright silly.
Lord of keyword soup. What more needs to be said? Go in fear of his motley crew, in all probability lead by Zetalpa, Primal Dawn .
Anyone can sink money into a fistful of swords or powerhouse auras and turn their pet legend into an unholy terror. White, though, has the greatest affinity for soloing Voltron. Equipment or auras, or even both, there’s a deep pool of support to chose from. The keyword Protection is part of what makes the swords so lethal, and white hands out that keyword like candy.
Drawing is white’s weakest point, you say? Sram laughs at you and your lies as he beats you senseless. There is a pile of white cards that reward you for playing auras or for playing artifacts. Sram isn’t so picky. Be like Sram.
I really like this guy. Moving gear for free is great, but passing out double strike like free samples is downright brutal. Bloodforged Battle-Axe , anyone? Even as an equipment he does silly, silly things with friends like Kami of False Hope or Ranger-Captain of Eos .
Hulk or horde? Why not both? Stack some toys on Kemba and watch your board grow, then go full theme and drop Raksha Golden Cub to take the throne with your army of cranky Norwegian forest cats. Include Leonin Shikari and (cat)ckle with glee. I wasn't joking about white, Voltron, and kitties.
Here’s the mean side of white. Blue may counter you, red may burn you, black may drain you, but only white truly embodies the spirit of the Smallpox flavor text. Whether you share the pain with cards like Hushbringer or dish it out with Drannith Magistrate and friends, opponents will go in fear of those terrible words “can’t” and “don’t.”
If you’re building stax, we can assume making allies in the game isn’t a priority. Horoki has no friends. Horoki needs no friends. Only rocks. Rocks, and something to put victims out of their misery.
Somewhat kinder than Horoki, but only somewhat, since you don’t suffer with them. Their creatures can’t tap for mana. Their creatures can’t sacrifice each other. Their creatures can’t. So many can'ts, so little can.
Maybe you can’t outramp them, but you can slow them down. Thalia functionally robs opponents of turns, blockers, and, if you rob them enough, of the win. A 3/2 with first strike is already good for three mana, and at this point is just icing on this vicious cake.
And, for my personal favorite...
A rule of thumb of mine is that one mark of a good deck is that it can function without its commander.
This is a rule I gleefully break most of the time.
Rune-Tail will automatically flip on turn three in almost all games, and a commander with effects like this make Pariah and other, similar cards downright hilarious. I made and took apart a Rune-Tail deck over a decade ago. It was a terrible mess, but a fun one, and the tech available for it has grown since then. The deck was built around walling up, gaining life and otherwise stalling until a win-condition like Darksteel Reactor or Felidar Sovereign could be triggered. It was a fun idea, but these days I'd probably build Halvar for fun or Sram if I wanted to win.
That's it for this round. Thoughts and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back next week for Blue!
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2 months ago
Hmmm.. You sound like Smallpox would be right up your ally. For a very budget use to the card I would look at Delve cards; so T1 land and Duress , T2 land and then POX and you can just about T3 Gurmag Angler . More or less look up decks with "Death and Taxes" and I'm sure you will find some inspiration.
2 months ago
Why no Smallpox ? Seems like it would fit this deck really well, especially when you’re on the draw.