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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
|Pauper Duel Commander||Legal|
Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control. It gains hexproof until end of turn. (It can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control.)
1 week ago
wallisface that's actually a change I just made, after doing some playtesting I learned that while this deck does thrive early game, it absolutely struggles extending to the late game because of how low the land count is. My idea when originally making the deck was a turn 3/4 kill with Illuminator Virtuoso + Scale Up + (any +2/+2 spell here), and with games ending that fast, less lands means more virtuoso hits and more slots for other cards, but while the deck has tons of ways to get that turn 3/4 kill, there's always a chance it just doesn't assemble the combo early game(Stormchaser Drake is there to try and draw into it if we don't start with a virtuoso/hero). I made a few cuts, the big cut being the Rancor copies since playing Mutagenic Growth for essentially free is a better option to close the game right on that turn(both mutagenic growth and rancor fit the +2 power slot in the above mentioned combo, but mutagenic > rancor since you can pay 2 life instead of G, saving mana for a scale up or Snakeskin Veil to protect virtuoso). All in all, it now has 18 lands and 2 MDFC lands, I did a bit of online playtesting with that change and it seems to now perform just as good in the late game! However, writing this long-ass paragraph has taught me I need to actually write a valid description for the deck and not shrug it off... guess I'll do that real quick ;-;
3 weeks ago
Well, something like Tamiyo's Safekeeping is super useful against a creature deck (say like this one), due to indestructible. Snakeskin Veil and Lazotep Plating also give +1/+1 counters, and so seem core to the deck. And the Budget Beasts deck I linked to does have a little bit of creature removal in Rabid Bite. I wouldn't say it was tuned for competitive play, though. How would you sideboard against it? Fog, I assume, but what would you take out?
3 weeks ago
Thank you, Balaam__, for all your hard work on this deck. I appreciate your extensive notes.
I think if I were to build this deck, I would go for cheap lands. Maybe Ash Barrens and Simic Growth Chamber. It'd be casual, though, since Ash Barrens isn't modern legal. It's just that decent lands doubles the cost of the deck! And while spending money on a cool card is OK, it seems lame to spend that much on just lands. It's like having tires that cost more than the rest of your car. Or a mouse that costs more than your computer.
But as for the deck as listed. If you were facing a "fair" deck with little or no removal (a green stompy deck, say,) what would you swap out? I'm clueless when it comes to sideboarding, so please forgive me if this is a stupid question.
Also, what do you playtest this deck against? I noticed that it wants to face a little interaction, so as to use Snakeskin Veil, and it works better if an Iron Apprentice or something dies occasionally. It needs enemy interaction for its wincon to make sense. If you are playing a goldfish, you just kill them with your creatures, not move counters around until your Simic Ascendancy goes off.
Thanks again for a very cool deck.
1 month ago
Overall, I like it! Few observations:
My personal experience with Elf builds (particularly in Legacy format) is that nowadays there a SO many decent elves to choose from that no "one build" really has it all, and a deck's viability tends to depend a lot on the playgroup it's being used with.
Anymore, the "infinite combo" approach with Staff of Domination takes FAR too long to set up in my opinion (plus, artifact destruction isn't nearly as 'niche' as it used to be), and you can easily (and more quickly) win the game without it. (I actually removed the one Staff of Domination I own from my elf deck as it kept winning before it could really get moving). I can see it still being viable in, say, Commander format -- but nowadays there are SO many ways to deal with an artifact threat, that I don't feel it's anywhere NEAR as strong as it used to be (let's remember after all, 20 or so damage is all you're really looking to achieve in a lot of games). Bottom line, you're eating up 8 card slots in order to pull off an infinite combo, so unless that's your ONLY win condition (which here, it is not) I personally find it to be a waste.
So you don't think I'm just being negative, one possible thing to add which might help with this would be to swap your 4x Snakeskin Veil for 4x Tamiyo's Safekeeping. True it doesn't add a counter, but Tamiyo's Indestructible effect will: A) Protect a creature from a Boardwipe effect (which mere Hexproof won't do), and also B) Can be used to target ANY permanent, not just a creature (so, perhaps saving your Staff of Domination or Umbral Mantle from some artifact hate). This would help ensure that you are in fact getting that combo off when you happen to have the cards (no tutoring effects either makes pulling it off especially difficult game after game).
Another thing I see right off the bat is how many "tap for mana" elves you have. I don't see Umbral Mantle being valuable here except for your 'infinite combo staff maneuver'. Me personally, I favor things like Vitalize, because it'll hit everything you've got rather than just one creature, and I would also add in some form of Card Draw -- because all the mana in the world won't help you with an empty hand if your opponent has board control.
Again, if the infinite Staff combo is REALLY something you're sold on, then yeah maybe keep the Umbral Mantle, but it's such an old combo now that I find it far too easy for opponents to disrupt in one way or another. I also don't see any X-cost stuff in here (except for the Gelatinous Genesis copies, which I'd drop for something better honestly) -- X-cost stuff is really what makes the Infinite Staff combo shine in my opinion. If you're going that route you'd want Helix Pinnacle (for a next-turn win with Infinite Mana), Tribal Unity (should you want to do a big Elf Attack with all that mana, Stream of Life (if you're doing a teams game and want to heal your teammate) -- stuff like that, to really put down a power play when you finally hit infinite mana. In any case, if you end up wanting to stick with the Staff, put some more X-cost stuff in so that "infinite mana" is more than just a novelty and can essentially end the game for you.
I appreciate the vote of confidence in my elf builds, so I'll assume you've already seen my Legacy Elf build -- but here's a link again in case you want to review some more options. It's basically a deck that COULD have gone infinite mana, but didn't because it genuinely doesn't need it to win. The Card Draw just gets nuts, and I've regularly had turns where I'm playing out 4 or 5 Elves.
See my Elf Build: Tae'rin Terror (Elf Zerg) for more thoughts/suggestions along this line.
You've clearly got some seriously solid cards going on here now though, so any critique anyone can offer isn't really going to be along the lines of "This is just outright bad" and more of "This is slightly more efficient and reliable". I wish you luck, and +1 on your build!
1 month ago
1 month ago
Personally if it were me, I would be dropping the 4xArcus Acolyte, 1xBasilisk Collar (only 1 here because I know you like it in the deck otherwise I would drop all of them), and 3xEnter the Unknown. I think if we made a ramping counter deck that Enter the Unknown would be better but I feel like most the time I play it, I just get a +1/+1 counter on a single creature which is not very impressive. I swapped that out for Snakeskin Veil to shield some removal. That gives you 8-10 slots to play around with!
1 month ago
Drestlin - I am not sure if it helps you but I was getting tired of Conclave Mentor or similar key creatures getting bolted or destroyed so actually swapped out Enter the Unknown for Snakeskin Veil. It has had some value as it has kept creatures on the field which is key and I did not feel like Enter the Unknown was really helping me out the majority of the times I played it. I saw it on your sideboard so know you have thought about it but just want to let you know it is nice for the hexproof and extra counters!
2 months ago
You ever experiment with Snakeskin Veil? I feel like that may have some merit for you against some of your described opponents. I was looking at that the other day after I ran into a number of burn/prowness decks and thought, it would be so nice to keep a creature on the board for a turn and pump it simultaneously!