Whelming Wave

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Format Legality
1v1 Commander 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
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pioneer Legal
Vintage Legal

Whelming Wave


Return all creatures to their owners' hands except for Krakens, Leviathans, Octopuses, and Serpents.

Guerric on Fish are friends

5 months ago

Hi Anabasis! Since you asked for some feedback on the list prior to committing, I'll comment here since I can link cards easily. Let's begin with the archetype you are going for here, how it plays out with Braids, Conjurer Adept, how to make it run a bit smoothly. The archetype for this deck is "group hug," which is a bit of a misunderstood archetype that has gotten unnecessary bad rep in the past. Basically, a group hug deck built properly is one that has effects which benefit everyone, but benefit the player the most. The idea is that there is little incentive to target the group hug player because they are giving free stuff, and the free stuff nonetheless keeps every player more competitive, which takes more pressure off of the group hug player, who is then ahead in the value race. The most iconic group hug commander, for example, is Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis. This commander lets every player either draw an extra card or play an extra land each end step, whereas the Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis player gets to do both. Oftentimes what makes game uneven are some players encountering ramp or draw problems, and this evens things out and keeps them competitive. Usually players won't target Kynaios and Tiro because it is benefitting them, and because it is not inherently threatening. Nonetheless, the Kynaios player is ahead in the value race, and usually plans to win with some sort of alternate win condition like Approach of the Second Sun. Braids, Conjurer Adept plays out similarly, in that every player benefits from Braids, but unlike your opponents your deck is built to exploit it, and you will have scarier things to cheat out than they will. The difference with this deck, however, and this is the critical part, is that your deck will be inherently threatenting. People will soon figure out that you are dropping scary things and have plenty of incentive to kill braids. What's worse is that the way Braids works inherently gives them added incentive to do so. The scariest words on the card are "at the beginning of each player's upkeep" are ones you will come to loathe if you don't build this right. These words mean that if you play Braids normally, each of your opponents will get to use Braids before you do. This is bad, because after three opponents have used it, the third could kill Braids before you ever get to use her. This is the nightmare that should ever be in your mind when planning or playing this deck, but if you are mindful of it, it can be overcome. So let's think first about Braids' abilities and how to best protect and exploit her to your benefit over your opponents.'

The first is to do lots and lots of what blue does best, namely, countering spells. Whereas Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis are a pillowfort group hug deck, you should think of your deck as a control group hug deck. Forget the crappy boardwipes like AEtherize and Aetherspouts. You probably included them because you've sensed they won't hit your board, but you'll find that smart players never attack with their most important pieces, and that they won't generally do what you want them to. Spectral Deluge and Whelming Wave are probably fine, but leave the rest out- you're better off just stopping things from happening to begin with than wiping a board that will probably be in your favor. Counterspells are good here for two reasons. First and foremost, they protect Braids from removal, which will be their most important duty. Beyond that, since you're getting a free permanent every turn, you have the luxury of holding your mana open, so you might as well have stuff to do with it! I'd think about playing up to ten different counterspells along with premium blue targeted removal like Reality Shift, Ravenform, etc.

Since the weakness of Braids is that our opponents' get to use her first if we cast her at sorcery speed, we might as well rewrite the script and try to play her at instant speed where feasible. Leyline of Anticipation and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir can help with this. You'll enjoy much more playing Braids on your opponent's end step and getting to use her first than the reverse. This will also aid and abet your counterspell game, in that if you don't need to counter anything you can cast other spells on your opponent's end step rather than wasting your mana. I see that you included these spells, but I wanted to make sure that you realize how critical they are to your game, and that if you can find more of this effect it will be worthwhile to include it.

A third implication is that, in the true spirit of group hug, you should get to use Braids more than your opponents. It's only fair after all! Therefore cards that copy triggered abilities like Strionic Resonator are at a premium here. Braids is far better if you get to use her twice and your opponents only get to use her once.

You also need to rework your ramp section entirely. The general rule of commanders and ramp applies here, namely, that you mostly want to play ramp that can get your commander out a turn early. This means one and two mana rocks primarily, unless it can get extra lands out. Dreamstone Hedron and Hedron Archive are traps and will make you cry. I know the theory is that you can play them for free with Braids, but keep in mind that they will never help you cast Braids. Also, they tend to be removal targets, and you'd probably be putting out something threatening over a mana rock anyway. Caged Sun is definitely worth it though because of the overall value, and because it will be worth it even to double your mana for one turn in order to cast a massive x-spell. Armillary Sphere is just bad here. Importantly, it is not a ramp spell since it doesn't put anything onto the battlefield. When people do play it, it is just for color fixing in multi-colored decks, and you don't need that. It'd be better to just play more card draw so that you can draw into your land drops normally. Sol Ring, Mind Stone, and Thought Vessel are fine, but you want to add Wayfarer's Bauble, Sky Diamond, and Coldsteel Heart at least. Sword of the Animist and Dowsing Dagger  Flip are also fabulously repeatable ramp that always makes me smile. Dreamscape Artist is also a sleeper blue card that can repeatedly ramp lands onto the battlefield which is often overlooked. You'll be far happy with these efficient options that can either get Braids out early or get her out on time with mana to spare for counterspells than with the big splashy cards.

Also, as far as card draw goes, I wouldn't take group hug to far here. You are already giving your opponents free permanents, and you are in the best card draw color and don't need their help in that. Personally I'd recommend skipping Kami of the Crescent Moon and the like entirely, and play more personal draw spells like Gadwick, the Wizened and Blue Sun's Zenith. Seriously. One advantage of Braids is that they will play spells for free and run out of stuff to cast, whereas you can keep drawing into it. If you help them out too much, you're just hurting yourself in the long run. I'd honestly replace all the reciprocal draw spells with spells which draw you cards. The only one that might be ok is Well of Ideas, but that one is benefiting you more and you first, so it fits the bill.

Some more cautions. While casting free haymakers is the reason for this deck, don't overdo it. You want to be able to afford to hard cast stuff sometimes, both in case Braids dies or just to amass more of a board presence. The power curve in magic has been getting lower in recent years, and there are many devastating spells that cost four and five mana, so don't sleep on those. Your average cmc here is 4.5, and while some high cmc haymakers are what you want, you also want lots of castable creatures.

I'm also not sure why we are playing the "creatures become every creature type" cards. Is this for better board wiping with Whelming Wave or synergy with Spawning Kraken? In my experience these synergies won't work out enough to justify the card slots, which might be better filled with counterspells or other creatures. Honestly, if I were to pick another theme to support this archetype I'd pick blink, since you doubling ETB counters can be great, but that's just me. Blinking is the sort of thing where you don't need to do a lot of it for it to be good.

A few other card choice matters. Reflections of Littjara only works on cast, so it won't copy creatures played with Braids. Definitely consider this before including a five mana enchantment that doesn't affect the board right away. Also, yes, absolutely play High Tide. It is so worth it in a mono-blue deck. Yes, Frozen Aether is amazing here. this is absolutely how to play group hug. Your opponents get free stuff, but it is only fair that you get to use your stuff first. Personally, I feel like Ominous Seas is one of the most overrated commander cards in recent years. It seems like you get a great rate on a vanilla 8/8, but often the enchantment will get blown up first, and it takes forever to come out. That's just my opinion thought.

One final thought, don't prejudice yourself too much in favor of sea monsters over against, say, eldrazi. I know the chase eldrazi are expensive, but Artisan of Kozilek is under one dollar in real world money and a wonderful thing to play with Braids, and to make copies of with your copy spells, and to give haste to with Crashing Drawbridge. You will have so much fun.

I think this will be a great deck and you have a lot of good ideas going here. I'd just refocus it a bit and then wreak some havoc!


7 months ago

hi Daedalus19876, I know you don't check this anymore (according to your profile) but I wanted to ask a question - since I'm overhauling my Koma deck to become more token centric.

I noticed Whelming Wave is on the list. However, after reading through the comments of this page, I see that you opt to not include Koma centric cards because he's played less often. This card seems out of place given that fact. Is there another strategy or reason for it?

multimedia on Runo, Vampire of the Seas

8 months ago

Hey, nice version, but you forgot Whelming Wave?

Frantic Search is a really good enabler for Runo, by discarding a 6 CMC creature and then use the three lands you untap to cast Runo. Lim-Dul's Vault is another excellent enabler since you have a lot of life in Commander.

Reanimation helps when playing so many high CMC creatures and a low amount of lands. With Apprentice Necromancer the creature you reanimate has haste letting it attack to be copied by Krothuss the same turn you reanimate. Obsessive Stitcher is a repeatable looter and can reanimate even at instant speed on your last opponent's turn to then attack with that creature and Krothuss on your turn. Both these reanimation sources are creatures which can be helpful with Krothuss, if the battlefield is clear to attack to copy. Victimize is sac a creature, most likely a token copy, to reanimate any two creatures.

Victimize and Time Warp, etc. here go well with Archaeomancer to recur them to cast again because Archaeomancer is a creature who Krothuss can copy. Can be infinite extra turns for repeatable five mana as long as Krothuss can keep attacking and copying Archaeomancer. Baleful Strix is great to mutate with Sea-Dasher Octopus, making a 2/2 Octopus with flying, deathtouch, draw a card when it ETB and when it does combat damage to a player.

Attacking creature you want to copy with Krothuss, Spawning Kraken, 9/9 Krakens, etc. can really benefit from evasion. Wonder is nice because you can discard it and you have a lot of Islands. Archetype of Imagination is a 6 CMC creature who also makes your creatures nearly unblockable and pairs with Stormtide Leviathan. Junk Winder is a Serpent who pairs well with Spawning to tap down opponent blockers.

If interested I offer suggestions of cards to cut. Good luck with your deck.

MatthewATate on Unique Commanders

11 months ago

Don't forget Vodalian Serpent and Whelming Wave are also fun, and fit in with the ship theme as well. :D

xSean on Braids, Conjurer Adept

11 months ago

She was my first commander. Consider Caged Sun, Kederekt Leviathan, Sphinx of the Second Sun and a Paradox Haze on a stick, Ixidron, Clever Impersonator and Whelming Wave. Have fun!

multimedia on Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait

1 year ago

Hey, well done for a first deck. You have good card sense on a budget and you've even included Rimewood for Farseek, nice. Sol Ring and Arcane Signet are staple budget mana rocks in Commander to consider adding.

I see Retreat to Coralhelm, but I don't see the missing piece to the Retreat landfall combo. Budget Llanowar Scout or Scaled Herbalist tap to put a land from your hand onto the battlefield thus you can untap one of them with Retreat and repeat. These creatures let you put a land from your hand onto the battlefield at instant speed to trigger Aesi on opponent's turn. The last piece of the combo is Simic Growth Chamber or Guildless Commons. The land can bounce itself back to your hand and repeat.

I see Kodama of the East Tree; if you add Meloku the Clouded Mirror then you have another landfall combo. Any basic land can be repeatedly bounced and played to create infinite 1/1 Spirits. Tap a basic land to make one mana, use that mana to pay for Meloku and bounce the basic land you just tapped. This creates a 1/1 Spirit which triggers Kodama, put the same basic land from your hand and repeat.

There's a secondary sea monster theme here which Ominous Seas would expand on. Seas has interaction with Aesi since you put a counter on it each time you draw a card including your first draw each of your turns. Combine Seas with Retreat combo to make infinite 8/8 Krakens. Whelming Wave can be a blowout since Aesi is a Serpent. Bounce all opponents creatures leaving just Aesi and any other sea monsters still on the battlefield. Wave is nice Fierce Empath to bounce it to then cast it again to tutor again.

Teferi's Ageless Insight lets you draw an additional card whenever you draw a card. For each card drawn means that if you have an effect that draws more than one card such as Brainstorm you instead draw six cards. Yavimaya Coast, Bant Panorama, Blighted Woodland are some budget land upgrades to consider.

Some cards to consider cutting:

Good luck with your deck.

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