Test of Endurance

Test of Endurance

Enchantment

At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have 50 or more life, you win the game.

Latest Decks as Commander

Test of Endurance Discussion

jamochawoke on Eternal Flame

1 month ago

Lightning Helix would probably be better over Incinerate or Guerrilla Tactics. Might move the Incinerates/Tactics to the sideboard in case you run into regeneration creatures or hand disruption. While it's a cool survival tactic, you might not see a Wall of Hope to run Prismatic Strands with and you've only got the 4 creatures. I think the reversal cards are fun, but at a certain point it's better to just kill the opponent than live longer so Life Burst is another option to swap out rather than the Incinerates. You're also running a bunch of low cost instants, but have no way of refilling your hand. White struggles with that outside of EDH (which is why its game plan is on stalling or tax) but red has tons of options to refill the hand in Legacy.

But if you're intent on running so much lifegain Felidar Sovereign or Test of Endurance might be an alternate wincon for you but if Storm and spellslinging is of greater interest to you, you might consider Angel's Grace and Near-Death Experience over all the lifegain. If just being an annoying opponent to face in Red/White is the goal, keep the protection cards and instead slap in some Gideon of the Trials in there.

Mana_Mythic_Legendary on Pursuing Perfection, Part 6: Azorius …

2 months ago

Here’s something interesting: while there are over 120 mono-colored legendary creatures, there are less than fifty to each color pairing. As the pool has grown limited, we’ll need to shake up the format of these articles going forward. I’ll be grouping playstyle-linked generals where possible, but where that's not an option we’ll instead discuss generals who match the color pair’s themes overall. And today, we discuss Azorius!

Maybe you came here to build a deck build around flying. Maybe. Assuming you’re not Peter Pan, you probably came sniffing after a combination of White stax and Blue control. Maybe this is about enchantments for you. Maybe this is about blink. But in summary, this pairing has a general slant toward prevention and manipulation rather than offensive power.

White, when played defensively, comes across as a big, solid castle that central catering forgot to stock with anything but a vat of sour cream and the world’s blandest potatoes. Thick walls, but comparatively little offense or subtlety. This ties into stax in part, but also touches on themes which weren't covered in the white article: potent life-gain a la Rhox Faithmender and friends, shockingly powerful barriers such as Solitary Confinement and sweeping control of the board like the Aven Mindcensor . One of White's inherent disadvantages, however, comes to mind: besides a handful of "I win" cards like Felidar Sovereign and Near-Death Experience , white has no teeth outside the combat phase, and relatively little draw to dig for them. Test of Endurance and Celestial Convergence are made more reliable by white's fine pile of enchantment tutors, but personally I'd rather not depend on cards that give your opponents time to prevent your win.

Blue, on the other hand, isn’t so much defensive or offensive (in one sense, anyway), skipping that spectrum in preference of sidestepping problems until you can strategery your way to victory. It's great, in theory, and generally in practice. Blue, so long as we're lampooning, is a brilliant, twerpy engineer. A pest so frail they’d crumple under a breeze, so agile you’ll never tag them, and so annoying they’ll leave you begging for the clean killing blow they're too reedy to actually fetch you. The glaring problem, though, is that if an opponent can ignore a blue player's tricks and actually land a few hits, said blue player is probably screwed.

Combine them, though... Combine them, and they shore up one another's weaknesses in a big way. Combine them, and you potentially have the most solid, strategic defense in the game. Suddenly you have all the draw you could want for your Approach of the Second Sun , your Sphere of Safety will have an Enchanted Evening , and you can actually, feasibly win with Azor's Elocutors ... which will probably see you dying alone, unloved, and undoubtedly quite pleased with yourself.

For today, we're discussing Blink/Flicker, Control (again), and the Miscellaneously Themey. As always, please bear in mind that our focus here is not necessarily competitive but rather on thematic, archetypical commanders.

Blink/Flicker

ETB effects are wonderful, wonderful things. You get a body, sometimes even a good solid one like the Sun Titan and some nice, tasty effect that hopefully makes said body only the icing on a fine, fine cake. The classic example would be Palinchron : pair it with something repeatable like Deadeye Navigator and you have infinite mana. Then you can Meteor Golem the table's collective psyche straight into the nearest mental ward. Or, if you really want to emotionally cripple someone, blink their commander whenever they try to attack, attach some voltrony wincon, or... well, anything.

Brago, King Eternal With White providing the protection keyword, Blue shelling out unblockable, and flying sourced from both, this pairing inarguably has the best evasion. Brago may not have the muscle to kill someone as is, but there are some great options for fixing that. Not that you need to: if you have a board of flickerhappy boyz, Brago's a great pick for commanding your blinking battalion.

Lavinia of the Tenth

Upon reading this card you may feel a great disturbance in the force, as though millions of token decks cried out in terror and were suddenly detained. Ask yourself: how many permanents cost less than 4 mana in a game? Assuming you're not playing an entire meta of leafy green lunatics, the answer is "most." This was my wife's first deck. Lavinia had herself a Conjurer's Closet , or something like, most games. I was grateful when she switched to slivers.

Ranar the Ever-Watchful

I like this guy. I like spirits. Rewarding the blink life with a swarm of tokens and supporting a neat mechanic with a number of good cards, Ranar's a great choice for someone who wants it all.

Control

Turtle up until you find your win, you spineless wart. Or, as Sun Tzu would say "Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack." Ghostly Prison AND Propaganda anyone? Nobody buys time like Azorius (blue extra turn shenannigans notwithstanding). The best spread of control options are tied up in these two colors, maintaining a proper hold on the battlefield to ensure you can, eventually, uninterruptedly, shamelessly legalese someone to death.

Grand Arbiter Augustin IV Simple. Direct. Rude. Terse? Resentful? Me? Absolutely. Do. Not. Want.

Lavinia, azorius renagade

I have seen Gaddock Teeg a few times, to my discomfort. This feels like Teeg playing favorites. For someone labeled as a renegade, Lavinia certainly abides by this pairing's preference for smacking people in the kisser with a banhammer. Opponents can't cast anything large. Opponents can't cast anything free. Those fond of Izzet spellcasting combos must HATE this card. Hell, as someone who plays Rashmi, Eternities Crafter , I hate this card and haven't even seen it played.

Gwafa hazid, profiteer

Taking a step back from going wide, Gwafa reminds me of that scene in Robin Hood: Men in Tights where the sheriff tries to laugh his way though delivering bad news. "Your creature is worthless, haha. But you draw a card, hoho, isn't that nice? Hehe, aren't I nice?" Go to the darkest, dankest, smelliest hell, Gwafa.

Miscellaneous

Hanna, Ship's Navigator

Most of the removal tied to artifacts and enchantments works off of destroy effects, not exile, so if your focus isn't on commander-based synergies but rather your board state, Hanna may serve you well, especially considering how often tossing an artifact will get you a new one.

Kangee, Sky Warden

If you really want to flyspam, Kangee is a solid pick: blue-white has a whole mess of options to hose down the opponent with an airborne death swarm. Top marks if you manage to regularly play Dovescape and know the pleasure of watching your opponents try to process all their cool stuff turning into birds.

Bruna, Light of Alabaster

You like auras? Here you go. Avoid stuff like Reliquary Tower , overload your hand with goodies like Steel of the Godhead and All That Glitters , then gloat when you slap Bruna down and get everything you discarded into play without the bother of paying for it. Hell, put your auras on the creatures that tutored them. Bruna doesn't mind. She'll take them anyway, from anywhere. Thank God she doesn't have haste.

And, for my personal favorite...

enter image description here This guy is a fantastic face to put on a political deck. Nobody wants to smash the guy who gives out free cards and life! At least, not until you find Mind Over Matter , or something like. You won't deck anyone thanks to this wascally wabbit's wording, but you'll have your entire deck in hand. That should be all, folks. The only reason Kwain doesn't have a deck in this house is because Rashmi and Pramikon got here first and stole all the good stuff.

That's it for this round. Thoughts and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back soon for Dimir!

Other Articles:

Mono-Green, with links to the other colors at the bottom

mi37516 on Rampant Lifegain with Mangara, The Diplomat

3 months ago

Cards I've removed as they were upgraded or didn't perform well

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monkeyofficeboy on Oloro, Tutored Ascetic

3 months ago

Oh I forgot one!

Test of Endurance is another durdly lifegain win condition too, and with a fair number of ways of gaining life, it becomes useful.

DevoMelvminster on Bounce and Ye Shall Be Healed

3 months ago

Hey, thanks for the suggestions. Many of these were in the deck at some point or another. I feel like the vast majority simply didn’t make the cut because they weren’t as efficient mana wise as the alternatives and the extra redundancy wasn’t needed. That, or they were more combat related and I, surprisingly, almost never win via combat. The specific ones that do not fall into those two categories i’ll address below:

Blasting Station - i actually kick around the idea of adding this as another wincon pretty often. If i were to slot another one in, it’d be this, or Altar of Dementia , or maaaaybe Test of Endurance / Felidar Sovereign

Arch of Orazca / Bonders' Enclave - these just ended up being more expensive to use, or less consistent than War Room , keeping in mind that God-Eternal Oketra doesn’t activate enclave and that actually does end up being relevant pretty often. Anyways, with Expedition Map and Weathered Wayfarer , 1 draw land seems to be sufficient as emergency fuel.

Cathars' Crusade - It gets wild in this deck for sure, and when i was leaning less into life gain, and was winning with Altar of Dementia more, it took the place of Angelic Chorus . But nowadays, I just don’t swing that often and i’m not running altar right now so it’s out.

Enduring Renewal - this is an interesting one... I’d honestly have to sit down for a bit and figure out how it interacts with everything to give a good answer here. I’ll look at it more.

Search for Glory - This is a great one. I’d like to run it, but I don’t have many good targets outside of Mangara, the Diplomat and the monuments, which i have a couple tutors for already. The biggest problem, silly as it may sound, is that i’d want to run snow lands, and for thematic purposes i’m running the full art amonkhet plains, so i can’t do that. Solid suggestion though.

Palace Jailer - this ended up getting replaced with Skyclave Apparition for cheaper and more versatile removal. I do miss it sometimes though. I love being the monarch. Which remind me... Throne of the High City could be fun, but my colored lands are already stretched pretty thing for a deck that so desperately needs white mana. Really can’t drop any more.

Love getting suggestions and talking through options for the deck. Thanks again. I really enjoy your decks as well!

DrSnipy on Runetail, and his immortal Angels.

4 months ago

Cool Mono White Deck, never seen that Commander! You already run Felidar Sovereign , how do you think about Test of Endurance ? Its 50 life instead of 40, but a second version of the Sovereign wouldn't hurt, I think.

RambIe on Licia Bank of life

5 months ago

at first glance i am going to suggest
Test of Endurance , Felidar Sovereign
Serra Avatar , Scourge of the Skyclaves , Malignus
Brion Stoutarm , Rite of Consumption , Fling , Thud
note: there are many other cards with similar effects so that these functions can be consistently played
its a busy day at work today but ill try to get some time later to do a more through inspection

golgarigirl on None

5 months ago

Sounds to me like your group needs to have a conversation about what kind of Commander they want to play. Since it's not a tournament setting, you can decide, as mine did, that we don't want any 'insta-win' conditions before turn 6 or so. We want to give people a chance to set up, prepare, and do things before faced with a 20/20 that people feel they can't answer. Alternately, if we decide to have a 'no holds barred' game, we are clear that's what we are doing.

My group also has agreed that conditions like Infect and cards like Test of Endurance were built with a 60-card, 20-life format in mind. So we tend to double any numerical values for conditions such as these. To infect someone out, it now takes 20 damage and to meet Test's wincon it takes 100 life. Most of these conditions were DESIGNED to be difficult alternates without a deck being dedicated to them, so the group agreed it was fair. Maybe your group sees it differently.

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