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Thanks for the input Bighimmy!
So I've gone through the list and my understanding is that you mean proactive interaction/removal. So from the deck list thus far there is:
- Assassin's Trophy
- Beast Within
- Windgrace's Judgement
- Pernicious Deed
- World Shaper
- Acidic Slime
For boardwipes there are:
Now for some of the other options I've gone through in the past I personally don't feel like a few of them are really worth it, and feel free to discuss these since there's always going to be something that I'm missing or haven't really thought about. My thoughts on:
- Chaos Warp : This is an attractive option, it deals with anything and you can even use it on your own permanents to try and spin into something more useful. It means that certain threats don't go to the graveyard (for reanimation or death triggers) and can get lost in the deck. However, from past experience I'm much more a fan of Assassin's Trophy as you can then Bojuka Bog to exile the threat along with the rest of the graveyard. This is a less risky option, and I completely understand why people go to it but I know I'll be kicking myself once a Chaos Warp turns a threat into a bigger threat.
- Gaze of Granite : Pernicious Deed just does everything that Gaze of Granite does that much better with the only exception being planeswalkers. You don't have to sink all your mana into the casting (so if it gets countered it's not a complete loss) and furthermore you can use Pernicious Deed at instant speed, which is a massive way to interact with non-creature permanent-based strategies (such as enchantments and artifacts).
- Go for the Throat / Doom Blade / Dismember / Abrupt Decay : I'm not a massive fan of conditional removal in commander because my rule of thumb is that the broadest answer is the best answer the vast majority of cases.
- Putrefy : for the longest time I played this in the deck before Ravnica Allegiances rolled around and Bedevil took its place. The ability to interact with planeswalkers is fantastic, but the key thing I think is that the inability to regenerate clause from Putrefy isn't of massive concern for this deck for a couple of reasons. Firstly regeneration isn't particularly common, and when it is you're dealing with Asceticism in which case you're not Putrefying anything. Otherwise you have access to Damnation which doesn't allow regeneration and Toxic Deluge which also doesn't allow regeneration.
- Force of Vigor : I started playing this in my Ayula, Queen Among Bears commander deck and in mono green it is the best answer to a lot of early game and late game threats. Current this deck has 42 green cards so there's no shortage of fodder to play this for free on your opponent's turn, but I'm unsure as to what this supercedes in the deck currently.
- Casualties of War : as a budget option this is fine but the sorcery speed makes this lacklustre.
- Noxious Revival : This was on the radar for a while when I was concerned about getting Glacial Chasm destroyed and then getting exiled, however there is not really a reliable way to recur this effect, and it is not particularly powerful (though has some utility due to being able to play it at instant speed for nothing). My other concern was that it requires an additional step to get it into hand, so if you draw it for turn, you would need a way to draw an additional card to then get whatever you need from the graveyard to your hand. As a redundant effect for Eternal Witness I understand, however I think it is too much of a corner case and I would be more of a fan of Regrowth -like as you will have access massive amounts of excess mana from Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth + Cabal Coffers . I imagine something like this will come along some time in the near future, it's only a matter of time.
- Red Elemental Blast / Pyroblast / Guttural Response : I find that this angle of interaction is far too narrow to really be applicable unless you know there is a very high chance of versing counterspells in your local meta. This is why I find that Boseiju, Who Shelters All is a better solution to this problem, primarily because it can be searched off abilities and deals with the majority of effects while being difficult to interact with itself. Now the way your opponents can get around this is effects like Venser, Shaper Savant , Narset's Reversal or any other Unsubstantiate -type abilities. I learned to simply accept this as a weakness of the deck given the colours. The archetype is rather weak to its inability to interact with the stack, but I think there are more unconventional ways around this, such as Contamination to punish their mana base or by waiting until your counter-laden opponents are tapped out from trying to deal with each other. I think that this is a fair trade off for this deck being difficult to interact with.
The main weakness of this deck I believe is its inability to deal with mill and combo effectively, vulnerability to bounce effects on the stack like Venser, Shaper Savant and counterspells. I've found that these weaknesses can be reduced with a couple of strategies:
- Playing some political cards Pir's Whim + Tempt with Discovery + Rites of Flourishing to try and ameliorate the board (and not draw the ire of anyone who might have a counter available),
- Building up a solid land base from both a deckbuilding and play perspective to support a late-game comeback due to the lack of cards that effectively interact with land-base strategies, and
- The ability to play around counterspells and interaction, such as Boseiju, Who Shelters All and reliance on using abilities rather than just spells.
So after a little more testing, Elvish Reclaimer is an absolute house in being able to effectively Crop Rotation each turn to more reliable tutor out either ramping or utility land. The summoning sickness issue means that again this does not pull this deck back from the brink in the late game, but as an early game drop it provides access to both stocking the graveyard for Lord Windgrace and fixing mana for the later game. I regret my initial skepticism on this addition and think it is a great upgrade for the deck.
I am planning on adding in Korvold, Fae-Cursed King shortly because I think another Gitrog Monster will be welcome here. I think I'll finally have to pull the trigger on cutting Zuran Orb , it's been there since the start...
October 12, 2019 9:41 p.m.
Commander / EDH
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