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Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Arena Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Premodern Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vintage Legal
Casual Legal
Custom Legal
Quest Magic Legal



Counter target activated or triggered ability. (Mana abilities can't be targeted.)

Coward_Token on Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's …

1 month ago

Oh and I really hate green Stifle effects, so up yours Emerald Dragon

Apollo_Paladin on Budget Counters Arena

1 month ago

I've always liked Stifle myself. It can be awfully fun getting to counter your opponent's Fabled Passage trigger in the early game & there are a wide array of other devious applications as well like negating Planeswalker ultimate activations.

Perhaps as a Sideboard addition?

Either way +1 for playing Arena for enjoyment and not just Netdecking which seems so stupidly common it's sad.

dragonstryke58 on Questions about Giada, Font of …

2 months ago

Giada, Font of Hope's ability is a replacement effect that modifies how angels you control enter the battlefield. The ability is a replacement effect similar to Master Biomancer.

For scenario 1: I am assuming you mean you do not get the draw off the Welcoming Vampire because the Angelic Curator would enter in with 3 +1/+1 counters (since you already control 3 angels). Angelic Curator's power would be 4/4 when it enters so you would not get a draw.

For scenario 2: Yes, you are correct. Since no angels are on the battlefield as they are entering, none of the creatures would get counters. Also, in order for Giada, Font of Hope's replacement effect to modify an event, it must exist on the battlefield before the event takes place.

For scenario 3: Giada, Font of Hopes ability is not a valid target for Stifle. Stifle can only target activated and triggered abilities. It cannot target replacement effects.

Guerric on Questions about Giada, Font of …

2 months ago

Hi all! While I often answer questions here, I have a question for the rules pros about a new card. While I think I know the answer, I'd appreciate confirmation as I am building a new angels deck around Giada, Font of Hope, and want to make sure that I build it correctly. The card states that "each other angel that you control enters the battlefield with an additional +1/+1 counter on it for each angel you already control." This is significantly different from the more typical formulation where the counters are put on the creature after it enters the battlefield as a triggered ability. I have some questions about how this works in several specific scenarios.

1) I have Giada, Welcoming Vampire, and two other angels on the battlefield when I cast Angelic Curator. Vampire would normally let me draw a card off curator since it is a 1/1, but in this case it enters with two +1/+1 counters making it functionally 3/3. If the card were worded the traditional way the card draw and counters would trigger at the same time, netting me both. In this case it would appear that I don't get the counters. However, I could be misunderstanding the ability, and additionally there was a comprehensive rules recently that I believe impacts this, so I would appreciate clarity!

2) I have Giada and four angels with counters on the board. An opponent plays a board wipe, and I respond with Cosmic Intervention to save my creatures. They dodge the wipe to return on my end step. My guess is that none of them get counters both because Giada enters with them and isn't on the board when the others ETB, and because the language of "You already control" would be zero at the time they ETB anyway. This seems like the correct interpretation, but I want to confirm.

3) I have Giada and three angels on the board and play a fourth. Can my opponent Stifle the trigger, or can they not do that since the counters enter with it? This kinds of gets at whether Giada's ability is a triggered ability which uses the stack, or more of a global rule that applies while she is on the battlefield.

Thanks in advance for the clarifications!

awatts30 on Varina

2 months ago

Thanks, Guerric! There’s a lot to parse here, so I may take it in parts.

Firstly, the extra lands are temporary. My target is 36, but I had 13 extra spells, so I added 7 basics (35% rate) to be able to goldfish effectively. Sometimes I can learn a bit more about the deck and make changes that way. As I pare down spells, I’ll take out lands too. I thought about Crucible of Worlds, but opted against it because it would change my play style, but without tutors or duplicate effects it’s too high-variance.

The Stifle is mostly there to stop graveyard hate, which tends to be one-off abilities (Bojuka Bog, Scavenger Grounds, Tormod's Crypt, Relic of Progenitus) and which could really mess up my plans. That’s a good point on Dovin's Veto; maybe I’ll swap it for a Negate.

I really like Reconnaissance because it not only allows me to attack into unfavorable board states but also gives pseudo-vigilance, allowing me to commit all my zombies without worrying about the crack back. Anything to maximize those Varina triggers! Flawless Maneuver might need to come out, though.

I’ve used Plumb the Forbidden to great effect in my Mazirek deck. Since it’s instant speed, it’s really good at turning creatures that would die to unfavorable combat or a board wipe into card advantage, and since it’s 2 CMC I can always just put the mana into Varina if I don’t wind up needing it. I had Kindred Discovery in there originally, but in a deck that’s both ETBing and swinging this much it seemed like overkill (plus it’s crazy expensive). A lot of my perspective on card draw may need to change, too. Like I said, I’m not used to using my graveyard, and while Varina let’s me look at a lot, I’m still uncomfortable throwing cards away. After all, they’re all in there because I want to cast them! I need to get better at choosing what to pitch (which is kind of the whole point of making this deck), but corollary to that is figuring out how much draw-to-hand I need and how much I can lean on my ‘yard.

A lot of the deck techs I’ve looked at leaned into Varina’s activated ability. I didn’t much like that because (1) it makes her into a glorified token factory, (2) I want to push myself to use the cards in my graveyard, and (3) why would I want to spend 2 mana and two cards for a vanilla zombie when I can spend 2 mana and one card for a Corpse Knight, a Wayward Servant, or 3 mana for a Diregraf Captain. In the little bit of goldfishing I’ve done, though, she’s dumping cards so fast that exiling two of them isn’t even a problem. I had originally taken Tormod, the Desecrator out, but wound up putting him back in because of the number of cards I was exiling. I’d like to bring it back toward a reanimator strategy, and I think Syr Konrad, the Grim would be a good payoff for that.

You have a ton of good suggestions, including Crashing Drawbridge, Dusk / Dawn, Necromancy et al. (I knew there were others, I just couldn’t remember them!), Living Death/Rise of the Dark Realms, Haunting Voyage/Patriarch's Bidding, and the talismans, but I still need to cut 13 spells to even get down to 100 cards, and then more to make room for any of them. This is my problem!

Guerric on Varina

2 months ago

I think I can help with this deck! I've built a lot of tribal decks and have pondered building Varina myself. I like to help thoroughly, so I am going to give a bit of feedback, and might separate the posts out for convenience. I'll also upvote it and draw some others to this page to provide feedback as well!

To begin with, I commend the choice of avoiding infinite combos. Though Varina has a few, she can be plenty powerful without them and while I play a lot of combo decks myself, it gets boring sometimes. I guess we'll start with cards to cut, and then we'll get to direction and cards to add! To begin with, the first thing to cut is lands. 43 is way too many for any deck that isn't a landfall deck. I realize that you are playing Field of the Dead and that lands help it, but you won't see that card every dame due to no tutors, and its potential is limited without access to green. Playing Field is fine, and you may even want to play Crucible of Worlds so you can just discard your lands and play them from your graveyard and for synergy with Field, but don't get too excited about it. 37 is the golden mean for most decks in EDH, and with an engine commander like Varina I'd play 35 personally, though 36 could be a compromise. I also don't think you need Flawless Maneuver. When your zombies die you can just bring them back! I don't think you need Reconnaissance either. Your Zombies are fodder for the horde, and you can just bring them back. Just don't attack with Varina and you have nothing you need to worry about protecting. Lazotep Plating is fine, but you'll mostly use it to protect Varina, so I'd think of it as a protection spell. Void Rend's mana cost is prohibitively highly (3 colors is too much). I'd just play Generous Gift instead. Smothering Tithe is a great card that I play in three of my decks, but I wouldn't play it in Varina. Its a slow grindy card more suitable to control and combo decks, and you'd rather be casting Varina on turn 3 and Zombies or Zombie spells every turn after. I'm not sure if cEDH is what you usually play, but cards like Stifle and Songs of the Damned are often a bit one off and limited for standard EDH. The latter could maybe be fine for flavor, but I'd definitely cut the prior. If you want a more flexible spell play Disallow which will be a lot more flexible. Nykthos Paragon is a neat idea because it does something with your life gain, but it is pretty high costed at six and isn't a Zombie, so I might not play it, but it will bring slow value if it isn't killed.

I'd also cut down on your card draw pieces. I never say this, but with Varina you'll see lots of cards, and can play a lot from discard or the graveyard, so I'd focus on the highest impact one and cut some of the bad ones like Plumb the Forbidden. Cards like this have limitations because you have to sac them (versus letting them die in combat), and you won't always want to do that. The best ones are the high impact ones like Teferi's Ageless Insight and Alhammarret's Archive. I'd also cut Bontu's Monument. The ramp isn't very good and the aristocratic effect isn't as good as you think its going to be.

Now for what's great here- all of your Zombies. Seriously, it's a great list, all of them! You also really want to play a few cards from your maybe board too. Syr Konrad, the Grim is a must play. Seriously, it'll be the best card in the deck bard none. It's not an infinite combo, but he's amazing with recursion cards, board wipes, and death (more on that below). You also need to play Haunting Voyage and Patriarch's Bidding. They are in your maybe board and are must plays!

Squee_Spirit_Guide on Dread Thoughts Lead to Dreadnoughts

3 months ago

This is great! Who hasn't always wanted a 12/12 trampler for ? I remember trying to use Pandemonium to make the dreadnought useful back before Stifle was a thing.

plakjekaas on Are Lands Just Too Boring?

4 months ago

I wish the effects were at least similarly powerful. It's true, it's all free value on cards that you need in your deck, but can draw too many of... But the green Assassin's Trophy knockoff and the red Forbidden Friendship knockoff are comparable on no axis.

They do make bouncelands better, but can't be fetched, not even by a Cultivate. And I agree with Omniscience_is_life that there's plenty of nonbasic land hate in the format. I love seeing people die to their greedy mana bases when I play a Primal Order.

I do fear escalation though. If too many powerful effects like these exist, the answer would be more Stifles, which would push blue ahead of other colors once again.

Giver of Runes can at least protect your creatures from Colorless, if these really run rampant in your meta.

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