Snapcaster Mage

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Historic Brawl Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Snapcaster Mage

Creature — Human Wizard

Flash

When Snapcaster Mage enters the battlefield, target instant or sorcery card in your graveyard gains flashback until end of turn. The flashback cost is equal to its mana cost. (You may cast that card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

SufferFromEDHD on Uyo Copy

3 weeks ago

Retraced Image do it ;)

Your Riptide Laboratory needs its PB&J in Snapcaster Mage.

rckclimber777 on Build a Deck with Me …

2 months ago

Sometimes when I'm deckbuilding, I focus less on the commander and more on an interesting concept/combo that I want to use or exploit. This is the case with one of my favorite decks in my profile and actually one of the first commander decks I ever built. This deck began years ago when Magic finally started caring about the EDH format. It was a more simple time then, Rhystic study was $1.27 (exactly the price I paid for mine over 10 years ago), Cyclonic Rift was a bulk rare, and demonic tutor could be found for $10.

The combo that I was interested in was Palinchron and Deadeye Navigator. The latter was my favorite card at the time and is still one of my favorites. It was a great tool and with all the ETB effects that were out around then it was an underrated and uber powerful card. In fact, the entire blink mechanic was and is a very powerful strategy.

When I built this deck, I played a few times in shops and was quickly told that edh is a casual format and interaction of any kind is not fair (was told this by a land destruction deck...) So this deck is definitely more on the competitive side, but it would be the distant fringe of cedh. Alright with that let's get into it.

Initial thoughts

So we have a combo that we like Palinchron and Deadeye Navigator, but we don't even have a commander yet and going mono-blue seems not great, so we want to figure out what color(s) to add and what commander to choose. In a combo deck, there are generally three things that I like to make sure I include beyond the normal ramp, and card draw. That is redundancy, the ability to tutor up my combo pieces, and ways to protect my combo. So when thinking about tutoring up my combo pieces, I generally like to have the best tutors. Those are in black. So things like Wishclaw Talisman, Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor and Imperial Seal (if you have money to burn or your playgroup is fine with you proxying the best cards so you can obliterate their precons j/k I proxy all my expensive cards and put them in a binder in case someone has an issue).

So we have Blue and Black and we can certainly add another color if we wanted to, but at the time I liked Dralnu, Lich Lord because Snapcaster Mage was in standard and flashback was cool. So I stuck with it when I revamped it, but decided that I wanted something that could ensure I can protect my combo from any threat and then also use it to win if I wanted to. The answer came in the form of Ertai Resurrected. He can counter basically anything from spells to activated abilities (which will come in handy) or he can take a threat on the field at the cost of letting your opponent draw a card.

So now that we have our commander, how to build the deck?

Redundancy

Combo decks need redundancy. If you don't get your two cards or one of them gets exiled, you need a backup plan, or scooping is your only option. Fortunately, there are some great redundancies here. We have Ghostly Flicker and Displace. Both of these will blink your creatures (ghostly flicker will also blink artifacts). Displacer Kitten can be helpful too, but I don't own it and it is a little more chaotic than I need it to be. Palinchron is great because you can return it to your hand and potentially play it again and create infinite mana through the use of High Tide, but a similar combo that has added benefits is Peregrine Drake, Archaeomancer, and Ghostly Flicker. This bounces both the drake and the archaeomancer untapping 5 lands, and returning ghostly flicker to your hand. Rinse and repeat for infinite mana. Archaeomancer also will help in returning key counterspells and tutors to your hand. Nothing like doing double duty. Mnemonic Wall and Great Whale also fit here. The great thing about this combo is that each component is useful in and of itself. Bring out your Great Whale early untap some lands and do some other stuff or play out the rest of your combo with the untapped lands. Cast Archaeomancer to grab a used tutor for another combo piece.

One note here, if you get Peregrine Drake (or one of the other two) paired with Deadeye Navigator and you generate infinite mana you can now draw your deck with Ertai as commander: Step 1: Bounce Deadeye, when he enters don't soulbond with anyone.
Step 2: Cast Ertai, don't choose anything or if you want kill one of your opponent's creatures. It doesn't matter.
Step 3: Soulbond ertai and deadeye. Step 4: Bounce Deadeye and while that is on the stack bounce Ertai. Step 5: Ertai enters the battlefield counter the Deadeye bounce on the stack Draw a card Step 6: Soulbond ertai and deadeye again rinse and repeat. Draw as many cards as you need. Which means draw until you find your wincon.

Wincon

Since this is an infinite mana combo we need something to use all that mana. Obviously the activated ability on deadeye is great, but we need something to actually win with. I went with Commander's Insight and Blue Sun's Zenith. Both of these cards are useful even when they aren't being used to force your opponents to draw their cards. Blue Sun's Zenith works nicely because once you cast it goes back into your deck, which I showed above you can draw as many cards as you need so you cast it once, put it in your library draw again until you find it, cast it again on the next opponent, then again. You can also tutor them up or bring them back from the graveyard with the tutors or the archaeomancer/mnemonic wall from earlier. I like this more than straight damage, because if you don't have infinite mana these cards will still draw you cards.

Tutors

This is a fairly simple step, we need some good tutors. There are a number of good choices in black so I won't belabor that too much. I don't have some of the standard ones and feel like the deck performs fine with the ones it currently has. I do have a Tribute Mage in the deck because nearly all my mana rocks are 2 mana and so is Wishclaw Talisman. I found that the consistency with the deck is vastly improved by being able to tutor up my ramp. Also with deadeye I can bounce it multiple times and get more rocks or the talisman.

Protecting the combo

So I needed to figure out how to protect my combo and do so in a way that is flexible or can be used as needed. So Counterspell. Honestly, this part was fairly simple, most blue counter magic is here. Only reason Fierce Guardianship isn't here is because I don't have it. Other than that we have the typical cards here Force of Will, Mana Drain, Cyclonic Rift, Force of Negation, Pact of Negation, etc.

I also have a couple other standouts. Venser, Shaper Savant is great here as it can be bounced with Deadeye Navigator to essentially boomerang my opponent's board and all their spells. Ertai Resurrected also protects the combo and with deadeye becomes a nice repeatable counter/removal spell.

glen_elandra_archmage can be bounced when she has her -1/-1 counter allowing her to be used again and again to counter noncreature spells.

Typical stuff

There is a lot of ramp in the deck, so Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, and other mana rocks including some larger ones like Gilded Lotus and Basalt Monolith to really get the ramp going, the sooner you can get to 7-8 mana the sooner you can combo out.

For card draw some key performers here are Rhystic Study, Black Market Connections, Phyrexian Arena, The One Ring. Mystic Remora. In my initial hand I want to have 3 lands, and one of these/tutor to find one or I typically mulligan.

Special notes

A couple other cards deserve mention here. Time Stretch and Time Warp. These are both repeatable with Archaeomancer and Mnemonic Wall and I can honestly say that if I'm able to resolve either of these, it is unlikely that I'm going to lose, especially Time Stretch. With the ramp in the deck or a well timed Dark Ritual/High Tide I can play this fairly early and get a huge advantage.

Lands

Since this deck tends to be fast, you don't want lands that come into play tapped, so this deck uses fetch lands, shock lands, and duals that have the ability to come in untapped. (there are a couple that come into play tapped, but they are fetchable so I fetch them only when I know that I'm not going to be able to use the mana and only on an opponent's turn.)

I've had this deck for a while and it performs far better than any of my other decks. It always presents interesting lines that if followed will lead to surprising victories. As always let me know what you think in the comments and if you have a commander in mind that you want to see me build put it in the chat.

Here is the final decklist: Unlimited Power!

wallisface on Why Do Some Players Keep …

3 months ago

jethstriker i‘m not convinced that legendaries were ever deliberately made to be more powerful because of their inherent drawback - this feels like something that players would intuitively expect to be the case (because it would make sense), but looking through magics history of the strongest cards in formats, we don’t see that to be true - moderns past is littered with staples like Snapcaster Mage, Tarmogoyf, Death's Shadow, Siege Rhino, Arcbound Ravager, Goblin Guide, Bloodbraid Elf, Stinkweed Imp, Fury, Solitude, and Orcish Bowmasters. Yes there’s stuff like Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, but I don’t think there’s enough density/evidence to conclude legendaries are inherently built stronger.

I would also be sceptical of this being the case because it would be weird for Rosewater to be wanting to remove the Legend rule if it served a mechanical purpose

This might be a question for Blogatog?

DarkKiridon on Help Me With Kefnet

3 months ago

I'm not good with mono blue but what comes to mind is:

Baral, Chief of Compliance

Faerie Mastermind

Snapcaster Mage

Ponder

Disallow

Blustersquall

Echoing Truth can remove creature tokens

Misleading Signpost

Imprisoned in the Moon

Eaten by Piranhas

Cards like Ever-Watching Threshold and Propaganda could help.

Reins of Power

Hope this helps a little.

fuster on Mana Flooding is a good thing?!?!?!

4 months ago

Profet93, Let's talk about these suggestions, because I have ran most of these cards in the past and just straight up cut them:

Yavimaya Hollow and Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth are definitely cards I've considered for a while, but I can't reasonably justify cutting any other lands for either of them. I don't feel like I really need the fixing that Cradle of Growth provides, and the only card I'd really want to protect with Hollow is my commander, and I already run plenty of counterspells to protect her anyway.

I don't run enough basic lands for the Eldraine castles to ETB untapped consistently, and I can't justify cutting any other utility land for either of them. Deserted Temple and Gaea's Cradle is such a good combo, but the temple doesn't help me much if I don't have Cradle out already, as there's nothing else in the deck it really synergizes with. Plus, that combo feels very win-more.

As far as your non-land suggestions, I have run Abundance, Snapcaster Mage, Splendid Reclaimation, Tireless Tracker, and Courser in this deck in the past and just ended up cutting them all. Abundance just proved to be too expensive at 4CMC, and I cut it for extra ramp because it would either be a dead card in my hand, or I'd cast it and constantly forget its trigger since I have a lot of other triggers going on too.

I cut Snapcaster Mage because I actually have an easier to tutor, more efficient (and repeatable!) way to recur my instants/sorceries in Mystic Sanctuary. In the context of this deck, Mystic Sanctuary is just straight up a better card for that purpose.

I cut Splendid Reclamation for Ancient Greenwarden because Reclaimation is a dead card if my graveyard is either empty or only has 1-2 lands, while Greenwarden adds consistency even if my graveyard is empty by giving me a blocker for fliers, as well as doubling my landfall triggers.

I cut Tireless Tracker pretty early in my deck's development because it was too slow, too easy to remove before I racked up clue tokens, and I almost never had the spare mana to crack clue tokens anyway.

I went with Dryad over Courser just because the extra land drop is just that valuable to me, and I prefer it over playing lands from the top and gaining life, both of which I can already do with other cards anyway. It being easier to cast and allowing my fetches and colorless utility lands to tap for any color I want is just icing on the cake.

I've never considered using Horn of Greed not just because it's symmetrical, but also because I have no other cards or synergies that can make Horn's effect one-sided aside from Narset.

Realistically the only card I actually do want to try out from your suggestions is Finale of Devastation, and even then, I'm not sure what to cut for it. Craterhoof would be the obvious choice, but it would cost an extra 4 mana if I want to close out a game Craterhoof style using this card.

Profet93 on Mana Flooding is a good thing?!?!?!

4 months ago

fuster +1 It's hard to provide meaningful suggestions to a deck so tuned but I'll do my best.

Yavimaya Hollow - Protection

Maybe Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth - Or do you not need colorfixing/helping opponents?

Castle Garenbrig - Ramp, or is it considered a tap land?

Castle Vantress - Scry, or is it considered a tap land?

Deserted Temple - Untap cradle

Swap half your basic for snow-covered to more easily trigger field of the dead

Maybe Abundance - Synergy with sylvan library and a decent filter.

Snapcaster Mage - Recursion

Maybe Splendid Reclamation - Although you might not have enough land saccing to justify it's cost/too narrow. Works well with scapeshift and all your fetchlands.

Finale of Devastation - Tutor/alt wincon, especially with avenger and cradle.

Horn of Greed - Or is it too symmetrical?

Tireless Tracker - Or is it too slow/not needed given you draw enough?

Courser of Kruphix > Dryad of the Ilysian Grove ? - Can you explain your thought process behind Dryad > Courser? On the one hand, dryad doesn't reveal your draws, provides an additional land drop and is slightly easier to cast. I don't see any significant benefit to it's other ability. On the other hand, Courser gains you additional life (while not needed), is harder to cast but allows you to cast from the top of your library. It does reveal your cards so perhaps that's the reason? I just assume when I'm against the blue player they always have a counterspell. Been thinking of swapping out Dryad for Courser in my azusa list.

outofnothing0 on Memmmnaarrch!

5 months ago

@Profet93: Thanks for the upvote!

-#1 & #3: These were already in the deck but you've reminded me to update my deck description to reflect the newer tech. Thx!

-#2: Honestly I've never considered copying the Sensei's Divining Top card draw as I thought the bounce was part of the cost... I'll have to reconsider putting it back in. Thanks for the suggestion!

-#4: I've considered running the Mystic Forge draw combo here but I honestly don't think I can justify it with the number of artifacts I run... I'm currently running that in my Jeskai Kykar, Wind's Fury eggs deck: Kykar, Wheels Fury and my colorless Karn, Silver Golem deck: Karn on the Cob which both have waaay more artifacts.

-Mystic Remora: never really been a huge fan of this card without being able to abuse it but definitely always worth thinking about.

-Misdirection: I've played with this in high tier games for quite a bit in my Zur the Enchanter deck: Zur's Perfection and have found that it's usually not worth the slot... powerful as it may seem.

-Snapcaster Mage: I actually recently took him out but I really want to put it back lol. Having some trouble tweaking things at this point.

-Karn, the Great Creator like you said can hard lock; also it's static ability ruins artifact decks. My play group meta can very easily with multiple decks use this against me which is why it's a definite no for this deck.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Profet93 on Memmmnaarrch!

5 months ago

outofnothing0 +1

Other combos to consider....

  1. Everflowing chalice (4 counters) + voltaic key + rings of brighthearth = infinite
  2. Basalt Monolith + rings of brighthearth + Sensei's Divining Top = infinite + draw your entire deck
  3. Chromatic Orrery + voltaic key + rings of brighthearth = infinite
  4. Mystic Forge + artifact cost reducer + Sensei's Divining Top = draw your entire deck

Mystic Remora - Draw

Misdirection - Perhaps over disallow? It allows you a 3rd option to bluff without mana open. Instead of countering a targeted removal, draw or extra turn spell, you can redirect it. While the redundancy may not be needed, it is worth considering.

Snapcaster Mage - Recursion/value, synergy with riptide laboratory

Karn, the Great Creator + myconsith lattice = Hard lock

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