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The #1 Highest Ranked Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer deck on TappedOut!

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A Morph deck looking to out value opponents with card draw and morphing creatures to control the board.

Since we'll be playing most of our creatures as morphs and not casting them for their casting cost, the mana curve is somewhat skewed. Below you'll find the proper mana curve assuming all morph creatures' morph costs as their casting costs.

Avg. CMC: 3.00

Morph Creatures

Bounce

Activating a morph creature once isn't enough. We want to reset them face-down so that we can activate them again to control the board.

  • Cloudstone Curio - Free bounce whenever we set a morph creature. Excellent for reseting activated trap cards.
  • Equilibrium - A Cloudstone effect for the cost of . Can also bounce opponents' creatures.
  • Temur Sabertooth - Bounce our creatures at any time for .
  • Words of Wind - Like Equilibrium but at the cost of a card we would draw. Has the upside of also bouncing opponents' permanents.

Flash

There is something very important in the way Kadena's ability is worded that allows us to exploit it for value:

"The first face-down creature spell you cast each turn cost less to cast."

This means if we can manage to give our morph creatures flash, we can play one for free on each of our opponents' turns for more card draw!

  • Alchemist's Refuge - Allows us to play at instant speed if we need it for
  • Leyline of Anticipation - Gives us flash and not just to our morph creatures. It's free from our opening hand!
  • Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir - Not only gives us flash but also limits our opponents to playing at sorcery speed. Has the added bonus of being tutorable straight to the battlefield thanks to it being a creature.
  • Winding Canyons - Alchemist's Refuge for indiscriminate mana. Limited to creatures.
Morph is a strange mechanic which makes it difficult to play against. The uniqueness of its rulings also allows for some interesting plays and interactions. The rules pertaining to morph are as follows:
702.36. Morph
  • 702.36a Morph is a static ability that functions in any zone from which you could play the card it’s on, and the morph effect works any time the card is face down. “Morph [cost]” means “You may cast this card as a 2/2 face-down creature with no text, no name, no subtypes, and no mana cost by paying {3} rather than paying its mana cost.” (See rule 707, “Face-Down Spells and Permanents.”)
  • 702.36b Megamorph is a variant of the morph ability. “Megamorph [cost]” means “You may cast this card as a 2/2 face-down creature with no text, no name, no subtypes, and no mana cost by paying {3} rather than paying its mana cost” and “As this permanent is turned face up, put a +1/+1 counter on it if its megamorph cost was paid to turn it face up.” A megamorph cost is a morph cost.
  • 702.36c To cast a card using its morph ability, turn it face down. It becomes a 2/2 face-down creature card with no text, no name, no subtypes, and no mana cost. Any effects or prohibitions that would apply to casting a card with these characteristics (and not the face-up card’s characteristics) are applied to casting this card. These values are the copiable values of that object’s characteristics. (See rule 613, “Interaction of Continuous Effects,” and rule 706, “Copying Objects.”) Put it onto the stack (as a face-down spell with the same characteristics), and pay {3} rather than pay its mana cost. This follows the rules for paying alternative costs. You can use a morph ability to cast a card from any zone from which you could normally play it. When the spell resolves, it enters the battlefield with the same characteristics the spell had. The morph effect applies to the face-down object wherever it is, and it ends when the permanent is turned face up.
  • 702.36d You can’t normally cast a card face down. A morph ability allows you to do so.
  • 702.36e Any time you have priority, you may turn a face-down permanent you control with a morph ability face up. This is a special action; it doesn’t use the stack (see rule 116). To do this, show all players what the permanent’s morph cost would be if it were face up, pay that cost, then turn the permanent face up. (If the permanent wouldn’t have a morph cost if it were face up, it can’t be turned face up this way.) The morph effect on it ends, and it regains its normal characteristics. Any abilities relating to the permanent entering the battlefield don’t trigger when it’s turned face up and don’t have any effect, because the permanent has already entered the battlefield.
  • 702.36f If a permanent’s morph cost includes X, other abilities of that permanent may also refer to X. The value of X in those abilities is equal to the value of X chosen as the morph special action was taken.
  • 702.36g See rule 707, “Face-Down Spells and Permanents,” for more information about how to cast cards with a morph ability.
This leads to some interactions that are technically legal even if it doesn't seem like they should be. Here are a few characteristics I would like to point out specifically:
  1. Morph creatures are colorless 2/2 creatures with no abilites and no name.
  2. Morph creatures have these characteristics before determining casting cost or alternate costs.
  3. Activating a morph ability doesn't use the stack.
Guardian Project triggers upon each morph creature entering the battlefield because they have no name and therefore don't share a name with creatures on the field or in the graveyard. Can't share a name if you don't have one. Mystic Forge allows us to look at the top card of our library and cast it if it is an artifact or colorless nonland card. This allows us to play any morph creature from the top of our deck since they are turned face-down and treated as colorless spells before determining casting requirements. Let's say we have gathered a win con, but an opponent casts Angel's Grace which prevents them from losing the game that turn. We can't respond to it due to it having Split Second right? Wrong! Morph abilites are special actions that do not use the stack. That means while the split second spell is on the stack we can morph our Voidmage Apprentice and counter the spell! Morph creatures are slippery little things, aren't they?

Manifest

Sometimes a facedown card isn't a trap card at all. Sometimes we set a spell card to bluff our opponents. They might think we are laying a morph creature when really we just want to place a basic land facedown to get the card draw!
  • Primordial Mist - Not only does it allow us to manifest the top card of our library, but we can cast any non-morph cards we manifest with it. This will be one of the ways we can play our "face-down spell cards."
  • Scroll of Fate - Manifest from our hand. This could mean a second free morph creature a turn or it could mean ditch an unwanted land for more card draw.
  • Whisperwood Elemental - An extra face-down card per turn, but it's not optional like Primordial Mist. It can also help reestablish a board in the event of a board wipe.
  • Ixidor, Reality Sculptor - An all star in the deck. His static +1/+1 is nice for our face-down creatures, but his activated ability is why we want him. Not only does he let us turn up any cards that would otherwise be stuck face-down if manifested, but he also lets us activate any morph ability for only !
  • Ixidron - This guy can really shut down other board states. It's a good way to get rid of other commanders or any other troublesome creatures. Unfortunately he also flips over our own creatures which is good for resetting our morph creautures but not so good for cards like Kadena. Good thing we have Ixidor and Primordial Mist to help us turn those cards face-up again.

Card Draw

Top Deck Manipulation and Tutors

Isn't it crazy how Yugi always seems to draw exactly what he needs? Well now we can, too! Manipulating the top of the deck fixes our draws, and tutors will fetch exactly what we need. Fixing the top of the deck also has good synergy with our manifest cards.
  • Mystic Forge - Lets us look at the top of our deck and play it if it's an artifact or morph creature.
  • Sensei's Divining Top - The ultimate top decking tool.
  • Sylvan Library - Allows us to fix the top of our deck or straight up draw more cards.
  • Vizier of the Menagerie - Like Mystic Forge but for any creature and fixes our mana for us.
  • Defense of the Heart - Probably the best tutor in the deck if you can keep it on the board. Once an opponent gets 3 creatures, we get any two things we want straight to the battlefield.
  • Demonic Tutor - Tutor for
  • Scheming Symmetry - This one has interesting synergy in this deck. Choose whichever opponent is least threatening then either draw your tutor by casting a morph or cast it from the top of the deck if you're in position to do so.
  • Vampiric Tutor - Tutor to the top of the deck which is not a bad thing in this deck.

Mana Ramp

Recursion

  • Ghastly Conscription - Recover from a board wipe or steal and opponent's graveyard
  • Den Protector - Grab a card from our graveyard
  • Deathmist Raptor - Return from the graveyard when we activate a trap card
  • Synergies

    With the help of my Polymerization card, I'll fuse together Seedborn Muse and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir to create Prophet of Kruphix!

    Win Cons

    After controling the board and maintaining our board presence, we can win the duel and send our opponents to the shadow realm!
    Our primary goal is to assemble an infinite bounce combo. This combo consists of several pieces:
    1. Any combination of Dream Chisel/Heartless Summoning/Obscuring AEther/Ugin, the Ineffable to reduce the casting cost of morph creatures to
    2. Cloudstone Curio or Equilibrium & Earthcraft to bounce morph creatures back to our hand
    3. At least 2 morph creatures in hand or 1 in hand and 1 on the field.
    This allows us to continually play and bounce our morph creatures and draw the deck into a win con.
    Once we have our win con, we can bounce Kadena back to our hand so as to not deck ourselves. With this we have have a couple different ways to win.
    1. Aetherflux Reservoir - Blast our opponents' life totals
    2. Altar of the Brood - Mill our opponents out
    3. Words of Wind - With enough mana we can clear the board and keep it that way
    If assembling our bounce combo proves to be too troublesome, we have a couple different ways to lock down the board.

    "I'll just lay one card facedown and end my turn."

    +1 to Activate My Trap Card!

    Suggestions

    Updates Add

    I've created a discord server for anyone who wants to talk about Kadena. The link is at the bottom of the deck description beneath my trap card.

    Another tune up in the works. Here's the damage this time.

    Out---->In:

    After obtaining the Commander Collection: Green set, I slotted in the new art of Seedborn Muse into this deck as well as found a slot for Worldly Tutor . As we know, tutoring to the top of the deck can be a good thing in this deck because we can either draw the card immediately or play it from the top of our deck. Aphetto Runecaster has been cut for it since it does nothing for 4 mana, and we have to flip our morphs to make use of it.

    Unfortunately Ixidor, Reality Sculptor only reduces the cost of 4 morph cards, and the +1/+1 wasn't really needed. Yes, he could flip over our non-morphs after an Ixidron , but we could just bounce those to hand if we didn't want some of them face-down. At 5 mana he was a dead card more often than not and would be better in a build that used more morphs that had a high morph cost. He was cut for Noxious Revival which will give us more accessibility to the graveyard and therefore more flexibility if our pieces get removed.

    I found that I really wanted to be able to get a flash land out in certain situations, so Crop Rotation has found a home mostly to grab Alchemit's Refuge. However it can also be used to grab another utility land if needed. Primordial Mist was cut for it. It was a fun card to play with, but mostly it only ever was a 5 mana "draw a card at the end of turn" machine.

    It was brought to my attention that Ruthless Ripper could be used as a finisher in the infinite bounce combo. At first I was hesitant since the deck doesn't run many black spells, but we usually want to bounce Kadena to avoid decking ourselves anyway which means we'd have a black card we could use to morph it. I'm going to try it in place of Altar of the Brood . Ripper gives us a card draw cantrip even if it does nothing until we win. Altar for the most part didn't do much until we reached that win threshold either. Sure, there's a possibility we could mill some answers away from our opponents with it, but I want to see how the deck runs with that additional morph creature. We'll see how it goes.

    Defense of the Heart is being replaced with Shared Summons . The main reason for Defense of the Heart was to get Seedborn Muse and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir on the field so we could play under Prophet of Kruphix . The problem with Defense is that it sits on the board until our upkeep which gives opponents a chance to remove it unless we flash it in with Alchemist's Refuge which is a 7 mana play. With Shared Summons, we can grab our two creatures at the end of our opponent's turn before ours then play Seedborn and flash in Teferi on the next opponent's turn. It's a safer way to get our engine online. It's also good for grabbing any other combination of morph creatures we'd want to have on the board.

    So far the deck has run a total of 4 flash sources: Leyline of Anticipation , Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir , Alchemist's Refuge , and Winding Canyons . The reason I don't want to run too many flash sources is because once we have flash out, the other non-land sources become dead draws. It's why I don't run Vedalken Orrery . However we want enough in the deck that we can reliably land a flash source every game since playing with flash ups the deck's value tremendously. Adding Crop Rotation makes getting one of the lands more consistent, but I still felt like I wanted one more. Enter Vivien, Champion of the Wilds which many Kadena lists run and for good reason. At 3 mana it is our cheapest flash source, and her -2 can come in handy. At this point each flash source brings something else to the table to mitigate the redundancy. Leyline is all spells, not just creatures, and can begin on the board if it's in the starting hand. Teferi prevents opponents from playing at instant speed, and Vivien provides another source of utility. Finding a cut for her was difficult, but I settled on Dream Chisel . This one hurts a bit since the card is taylored to the deck, but here's my reasoning: I was running 4 sources of cost reduction for morph spells. Any combination of two of them would make each morph free except for Dream Chisel + Obscuring AEther . Dream Chisel got the ax being 1 cmc more expensive than its cousin for the same effect. Three cost reducers should still be enough, and any combination of the two will make morphs free.

    Made some cuts to make the deck more efficient and give it better tools.

    Out---->In:

    Deathmist Raptor did not provide enough value without pairing him with Temur War Shaman who really doesn't do enough without the raptor and so never earned a spot in the deck in the first place. Eternal Witness will provide some graveyard recursion alongside Den Protector , and we can bounce it for more value.

    Somberwald Sage was replaced with Bloom Tender because it is 1 cmc cheaper, and the mana provided is all colors that can be used for anything rather than one color that can only be spent on creatures.

    I was unhappy with Whisperwood Elemental 's performance. As far as manifest goes, Primordial Mist does it way better, and Whisperwood's ability only works for face-up creatures which was really limiting. It was cut for Heroic Intervention which will provide better board protection.

    Riptide Laboratory was added as a utility land that hits a surprising number of our morph creatures as well as Kadena herself. This will let us reset our wizard morphs--many of which are counterspells in some way--and protect Kadena, saving us from commander tax. An island was cut to make room.

    The ramp package has received the biggest upgrade from this update. Trail of Mystery was a fun card, but Exploration and Burgeoning will do a much better job at getting our lands onto the field. We draw so much in this deck that we may find our hand cluttered with lands. Rather than adding more lands to our hand, we are getting them out to ramp faster. I cut all the talismans in favor of these and Nature's Lore for more land based ramp which is usually the safer option as far as removal goes. Fierce Guardianship is the last addition which can be a trap card on its own when we counter something while tapped out.

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