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|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Woolly Thoctar Discussion
1 year ago
At the moment, it looks like you basically have two different decks mashed into one. If you cut your 120 cards into two decks of 60, you'll essentially have double the options to play while improving the power level of both. The two main strategies I'm seeing here are Naya ramp/midrange and some sort of bird/flying tribal. I'll give some of my budget suggestions for both archetypes.
For Naya ramp, you definitely want to focus on the mana dorks like Birds of Paradise, Ilysian Caryatid, and Knotvine Mystic before using the extra mana to play your threats like Godsire, Titanic Ultimatum, and Atarka, World Render. Midrange will forego some of the lower and upper ends of the curve to play efficient midgame creatures like Retaliator Griffin, Managorger Hydra, and Llanowar Visionary. Some other ramp options include Voyaging Satyr, Sakura-Tribe Elder, Rampant Growth, Arbor Elf, and Utopia Sprawl. Some other bombs include Hornet Queen, Vigor, Archetype of Endurance, Terastodon, Armada Wurm, Gruul Ragebeast, Rakeclaw Gargantuan, Spearbreaker Behemoth, Woodfall Primus, and Warstorm Surge. Some midrange threats are Wild Nacatl, Woolly Thoctar, Spellbreaker Behemoth, Burning-Tree Emissary, and Bloodbraid Elf.
For birds, I'd definitely recommend swapping red out for blue. This lets you play flying buffs like Empyrean Eagle, Watcher of the Spheres, Skycat Sovereign, Jubilant Skybonder, Favorable Winds, Flurry of Wings, and Stolen by the Fae. Some options that stay in white are Sephara, Sky's Blade, Emeria Angel, Midnight Haunting, and Battle Screech. Some additional bird stuff could be Aven Mimeomancer, Pride of the Clouds, Wingmate Roc, Kangee, Aerie Keeper, Call, and Murmuring Mystic. These types of decks generally go as wide as possible, buff the team with anthem effects, and swing in the air for the win.
Cards I see in this deck that don't fit in either archetype are Ajani's Pridemate, Pyroceratops, End Hostilities, Planar Outburst, Star of Extinction, Giant Growth, Moonhold, Double Vision, Furor of the Bitten, and Darksteel Pendant. At least, those are the first that spring to mind as targets to replace first. Anyway, let me know if you have any questions about my suggestions and I wish you good luck with your build!
1 year ago
Recommended additions and reasoning:
Mirari's Wake, Mana Reflection: These come at cheaper mana costs than your Zendikar Resurgent. Drawing a card on the Resurgent is good, but not good enough, since you have to cast the creature. While you likely will have enough mana to do so, it is going to be less common than cheating out the creatures. Additionally, Mana Reflection will work with all permanents, not just land. So your creature and artifact mana will double as well.
Exploration, Oracle of Mul Daya, Bloom Tender: all phenomenal sources of ramp. Highly recommend Oracle for the ability to remove land fromt he top of your deck, allowing you to dig that one card deeper... where you will find...
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth: Even if you aren't casting Kozi, you get a massive beater with Annihilator, and as a huge bonus, he helps recycle your graveyard in the event of a board wipe. Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, Gaea's Cradle: You run a ton of green permanents, and if you take the Mana Reflections from earlier, you double the number of green you get from it. It is a really cool way to generate a ton of mana super quickly. about the Cradle, creature heavy decks can always benefit from it, and again... Mana Reflections doubles it.
Warstorm Surge, Stalking Vengeance: 2 enchantments that give you free damage that you can use as removal for opponent's creatures or nukes to the face. Additionally, fun interaction with the surge and the Blightsteel Colossus I also recommend, the Surge says the creature deals the damage... unblockable 11 infect shoots someone out of the game.
Panharmonicon: In a deck with a ton of creature based ETB effects, this artifact is a must. With the Surge from earlier out, now you get 2 of those triggers.... Eternal Witness: Phenomenal recursion, and can save you by getting back something you need from the graveyard.
Genesis Wave: Now that we have you pumping mana out like a pro, Genesis Wave for 40, and watch as a large amount of unnecessarily large creatures enter the battlefield and turn them sideways because you have...
Urabrask the Hidden: Yeah that's right, get that haste, and if someone tries to flash in a blocker it's useless.
Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Sigarda, Host of Herons, Privileged Position, Vigor: Because nothing says "fun" like having a boardstate that is hard to remove. Additionally, damage to your creatures makes them bigger. Thank you, Vigor.
Craterhoof Behemoth: You play this with 10+ creatures on the board, and you have an automatic 100 damage added to your total.
Tooth and Nail, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Zealous Conscripts: This is an infinite combo as well as the tutor to get it. Tap Kiki, copy the conscripts, use the new copy's trigger to target Kiki, untap Kiki. Tap Kiki, copy the conscripts... Create infinite Zealous Conscripts to attack everyone for yes damage.
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight: Amazing for both extra damage and protection.
Vedalken Orrery: Because playing on your opponent's turn is funny. And your Seedborn Muse really gets to put in work in a 4 player game, on top of the Mayael useage.
Vexing Shusher: Because nobody likes blue. This card is a big middle finger to blue.
Lurking Predators: So your opponent wants to cast things? Maybe you get a free creature for it. Can be quite useful.
Recommended cuts and the reasoning:
Desolation Twin,Krosan Tusker: They don't do enough to better your boardstate in my opinion. Desolation Twin is a 10/10 sure, but other than that, nothing. Chances are, you won't be casting it that much to get the second 10/10 anyways. The Tuskar only benefits you if you cycle it, otherwise it is just a mediocre creature. Additionally, cycling it only gets a basic land, of which you are running very few. This is not a criticism of your land base. I didn't want to touch it too much because my own landbase is significantly more expensive.
Pathbreaker Wurm, Tectonic Hellion, Tyrant of Discord: These guys are all decent, but the Pathbreaker only helps one other creature. The Hellion is cool, but what if you have the most lands? You aren't running Crucible of Worlds, but your opponents might be. the Tyrant is more of a personal preference, I don't like it because of it's random factor.
Rith's Grove: It is a bounce land, without the benefit of tapping for 2 mana like the dual color bounce lands. Not worth running in my opinion.
Pure / Simple: This card is too restrictive. Running the Krosan Grip, Swords to Plowshares, and Path to Exile are all better options. They don't force you to choose multicolor creature, or equipment or aura. They just remove a target.
Tragic Arrogance: I love boardwipes as much as the next guy, but this hits you just as hard as your opponents, and instead of using Invincibility to get through it, you have to sacrifice. Wrath of God would be a much better option in my opinion.
Rith's Charm: To me it doesn't do enough by itself to warrant keeping. You have little to no ways of getting it back or making more uses of it, so it is a 1 shot item. I'm sure by now you have noticed I prefer things that have multiple and recurring uses.
Overall, I love it. I love Mayael, and she has been my strongest and favorite deck for a very long time (2012). My current version relies very little on her ability, because I played with a bunch of rather rude people that played Pithing Needle and named her all the time. It was not fun, but building my deck to use her ability as an option, instead of a strategy, changed the way I used her, meaning that the needle no longer leaves my deck dead in the water.
Please keep in mind that my recommendations are just that. if that Gigantosaurus doesn't do anything, but you like it because it's a dinosaur, and you don't want to cut it, you do not have to. I unfortunately gave up all my dreams of having cards I like for flavor, aesthetics, etc, because I decided to build my deck to compete and even stomp on combo and control decks. I have no room for cards that don't serve to better my boardstate as a whole.
Final Note: I will be more than happy to provide further insight and feedback if you have any other questions.
1 year ago
The only argument you could make is obviously equipment will count as artifacts for him to attack, but at that point, you just saying here is my Woolly Thoctar with flying as my commander, and if you want to destroy an artifact I can't even attack with him.
2 years ago
Wow LurkerInTheBush, I hadn't realized you asked this question so long ago. I meant to reply sooner, but life got in the way. First, I'm glad you like the deck! Aside from the obvious change of the Cluestones to the Signets, I think card draw is the deck's weakest point by far. I prefer reusable effects, so cards like Darksteel Pendant and Seer's Lantern are good choices here for filtering away bad draws.
Ramping for mana other than green is a good choice too. Avacyn's Pilgrim will most likely replace Llanowar Elves for another way to get Woolly Thoctar out on turn 2. Tinder Wall and Orcish Lumberjack are also up for consideration here.
2 years ago
Again I have to emphasize that without something tangible to compare to, I don't know what makes your Soulbond idea work better than the idea of Caretaker. Please provide some tangible ideas of how you would make this mechanic and put it on some creatures.
"First-off, it’s too similar to old Naya."
- Well... you do actually want to make it feel like it came from Naya, don't you?
"But more importantly, it doubles down on what made Naya the least popular shard- that is, that “power 5 or greater” is really tough to secure because most creatures in that range cost four or more mana, which basically disqualifies it from most competitive environments. It’s just too slow to be functional."
- Are you seriously saying that 4+ CMC is non competitive? In what format? Modern, Vintage and Legacy? Sure in most settings hard casting a 4 CMC dumb Beast is likely not something you want to do in those formats, but are we really designing cards for the sole purpose that they should appear in competitive eternal formats? In Standard? No way is that too slow.
I strolled through War of the Spark standard decks on MTGtop8.com. We have a group of Esper Midrange who utilizes fringe amount of Hostage Taker , a bit more uses Elite Guardmage and all uses Teferi, Hero of Dominaria . That's a midrange deck with no efficient ramp access.
And these are just the most present aggro decks and only one of whom utilizes mana ramp. If I go to UR aggro (next in line) they have Arclight Phoenix (although they may not actually cast it) and Crackling Drake
So I think it's wrong to say that 4 CMC cards are non-competitive.
It's also quite possible to make cards with the Caretaker idea that is definitely going to see play in eternal formats. It's just a matter of pushing the cards far enough.
Additionally the border for Naya's threshold doesn't necessarily need to be at 5. It could be at 4 instead to push the mechanic as a baseline a bit more.
But as you said yourself; "Not only that, but both the power # and whether it’s “greater than X” or “less than X” makes it very broad design space, and gives me a lot of good knobs to work with. It’s also the furthest thing I can think of from a parasitic mechanic (which one could argue old Naya’s “power 5 or greater was, given nearly all of the decent power 5+ creatures below 4-5 mana were from Naya at the time, and kinda still today- most are either flip cards or have a serious downside)."
The Power X or greater/lesser than X does grant a certain amount of design space.
I also fail to see how a shifted Soulbond that forces a particular pairing (you said yourself you wanted it to be restrictive pairing) is a better transcending mechanic outside block than a mechanic that have you play lower CMC creatures that can bounce themselves to gain a powerful effect when you play a higher CMC creature.
Thematically, Caretaker plays into the same space as Exploit, except it's the other way around where you first play the mechanic and THEN the enabler, and you only lose tempo and not resources like you do with Exploit - which was a liked mechanic on the Storm Scale.
Based on MTGTop8.com's historic data, the only Soulbond cards who ever made it to competitive eternal formats (here Modern, Legacy, Vintage) are: Deadeye Navigator and Silverblade Paladin . Deadeye is used in 1 Legacy deck back in 2013, and ended up in rank 5-8 out of 8. Silverblade has occurred a few more time, 4 in Modern (3 of whom back in 2012 - 1 year after Modern launch) and 4 in Legacy (mostly in Death & Taxes decks).
Now these data are all taken from one source, granted, but Soulbond as a mechanic doesn't seem like it has shown much competitive potential or at least result. One of the present cards is a combo component. The other is a Double Strike enabler on a body. Double Strike is an incredibly powerful keyword, especially when you can grant it to any creature. The best alternative is Battle Mastery for a permanent Double Strike ability.
Actually looking at it, Spellbreaker Behemoth has 5 entries in Modern but it dies there for him. Woolly Thoctar had 4 in Modern and 2 in Standard. So either the data is just not there for Alara Standard or they made more splashes in Modern than in Standard. Ah and Woolly made 41 entries in Extended (yeah, it was back in those days). I think Naya was kinda overshadowed by the Naya zoo archetype featuring Wild Nacatl .
As for Soulbond's entrance on the Storm scale, MaRo states that the mechanic is very popular but the design space is medium. The template for Soulbond is mostly in P/T upgrades, Evergreen Keywords and occassionally other abilities. Another hindrance is that both paired creatures gets the same effect.
They also say their data may be skewed toward more enfranchised players who are more likely to be competitive. In Standard Soulbond was used quite a lot, especially Wolfir Silverheart , beating Silverblade Paladin but sharing a lot of decks too under Aggro. However Wolfir shows up nowhere in competitive eternal formats.
They haven't made a Storm Scale article about Shards of Alara (or they have hidden it beyond the reach of Google) so where do you get your data on Naya's Power 5 being unpopular with the players? I'm genuinely curious.
The Storm Scale is also a strange way to measure popularity TBH. It kinda pitches the block's mechanics against each other, so if there's a mechanic that overshadows the rest, then you may get a skewed picture compared to considering the mechanics individually. Food for thought I guess.
In conclusion, I don't think a restrictive Soulbond is that much better of a mechanic than what you could do with Caretaker and "Gargantuan". I do however think there's a flavor break on using Soulbond - I don't see the soulbonding between a massive beast and their worshippers. Unless the beasts somehow got way more sentient and actually starts having empathy for their worshippers.
I think you yourself have a dislike of the Naya Power-5 mechanic, so a mechanic that goes somewhat close to what it was is something you dislike. Unless you provide some sauce on the unpopularity of Naya's Power-5, I don't think it's right to say it is disliked as a mechanic. It may not have been a competitively pushed mechanic, but that doesn't mean the mechanic is disliked.
2 years ago
: Destroy target creature. Its controller creates a 5/4 Woolly Thoctar creature token.
A mind gone wild, his potions will cause commotions!
Sorry, I couldn't help making another one. Let's see what you got!
3 years ago
kingquark No problem!
Krosan Grip is great due to the split second clause as it's pretty relevant. Beast Within is generally an amazing card, but because you have access to other colors their are other cards that do it so much better such as Assassin's Trophy, Abrupt Decay, Maelstrom Pulse, and Vindicate.
Another card you can maybe run is Orim's Thunder.
Cards I would consider cutting would be: Shamanic Revelation (Too slow), Woolly Thoctar, Voltaic Brawler, Moltensteel Dragon, Herald of Torment, Bloodbraid Elf, and Accorder Paladin (All of them are a bit underwhleming in terms of value and a bit vanilla).
Some adjustment for budget I would consider are: Iroas, God of Victory, Gisela, Blade of Goldknight , Dauntless Escort, Forgotten Ancient, Shalai, Voice of Plenty, Mirror Entity, Taurean Mauler, Hydra Omnivore (Hidden tech, it also does additional damage to the player you chosen!), Tana, the Bloodsower (Also makes additional tokens due to hitting two players!), Urabrask the Hidden, Gahiji, The Honored One, Hero of Bladehold, and Hanweir Garrison.
Hope that gives an idea that could help!