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I always remember that taking a mulligan is an option. Since the changes I have been treating it almost the same as my cEDH deck and mulling aggressively, sometimes regularly to 4-5 cards to ensure I find the right mix of pieces I feel are necessary to win.
I concur in full with what you said about the win turn, as well: I've noticed the deck is now a full turn faster and now the range is 5-6 turns, the most common being 6. This means the deck is now firmly an 8, which is excellent and making it one turn faster would essentially bring it into either the top of the tops of the High Power Tier or into fringe tier cEDH.
I suspect the key is more mana rocks to power out Unesh ASAP, but there are tweaks to ve made elsewhere in the deck, too, I'm certain.
September 19, 2023 11:33 p.m.
Skeptical yet curious, I added Mox Amber as a substitution for an Island. I instantly regretted it, drawing it in 3 out of 5 of the opening hands I goldfished after adding it. Every single time I wished it was literally any other mana rock or even an Island would be better. I'm going to cut it, but if it's working for you, do what you will.
September 18, 2023 8:48 p.m.
Agreed: As stated, Lithoform Engine is a High Power tier card, tops. It is not cEDH material, so it remains cut.
Moonsilver Key should also remain cut, though. It (and to a lesser extent, Wayfarer's Bauble) suffers from a basic math issue: They both require three mana to cast and activate, at which point you need to commit more mana to casting your mana rock (unless you fetch Mana Crypt, and even then, you're operating at a -1 net mana; at this point with Wayfarer's Bauble, you're up by 1 land, but need to make it to your next untap phase to actually get to use it).
For this reason, I'd posit that even the humble Basalt Monolith is a better rock, on the merit that it's CMC 3 and net 0 same turn, which is one better. Plus, it could form a combo with Mesmeric Orb to mill ourselves out and cast ThOracle, so it has ever-so-slightly better potential all around (and I'm not asserting that either one is good, to be clear).
For now, I think the deck is in a much better form overall, so I'll do some more goldfishing and I encourage more playtesting at your end to assess any further changes.
I will state, though that your comment about win turn being 6-7 means this is firmly a High Power deck for pure assessment purposes, in my opinion, but that doesn't mean we can't kick it up a notch or two with some more tweaking.
September 18, 2023 6:25 p.m.
After reading everything and after you've implemented a substantial amount of change all at once, I'd say some playtesting is in order before making any other moves.
That said, I feel similarly about Lithoform. It's a High Power card. Which makes it usable in that context, but it's too "on the cusp" if cEDH is the goal. While it's nice to be able to copy Unesh triggers, it's mana intensive. Due to this alone, Reflections Of Littjara gets the nod before this, as it's only one more CMC to cast, but provides a lot more value after a one-and-done mana investment.
As for Command Beacon, no comment: As mentioned before, I'm exclusively goldfishing while building out the deck and assisting you with theory crafting on it. Beacon is one of those types of cards that is best evaluated through actual playtesting.
That said, I can still help you there somewhat by asking if, when you draw it, which happens more often: Do you find yourself wishing it's colorless pip was a blue one or are you grateful to see it, as it prevents you from being forced to pay an insurmountable Commander tax that would otherwise cost you the game?
But like I said, playtest it more and try to put a premium on assembling and protecting the Dramatic Scepter combo, because once it's live and infinite blue mana is accessible, functionally Unesh can't be permanently removed (barring Imprisoned In The Moon and Gilded Drake effects) as we can just infinitely recast it (which even benefits is, for the FoF triggers we get when opponents attempt this), so this makes cards like Command Beacon and Lightning Greaves a lot less important than just inexpensive/free counter magic.
September 18, 2023 3:28 p.m.
I've been busy personally lately, but I had the chance to sit down in the last couple of days to do some analysis and philosophizing on the nature of the cEDH tier vs the High Power tier. Unfortunately, it's raised more questions than answers.
However, before I get into anything else, have you noticed the fetchlands making a difference in thinning the deck and or has that addition turned out to be negligible?
First of all in the pursuit of moving Unesh toward a fringe cEDH tier Commander, I appreciate some of the recent choices, such as cutting Omniscience and other mana-intensive spells, as these don't see play in true cEDH, anyway.
However, this now forces me to ask tough questions about cards like Scholar Of The Forgotten Trove and even Rite Of Replication. With Aetherflux now in the deck and Unesh quite good at FoF-ing through the deck on his lonesome, how realistic is a 9 CMC wincon vs the 4 CMC one in Aetherflux, much less a 7 CMC support piece that could be replaced by a cheaper Sphinx or a Shapeshifter such as the 2 CMC Metallic Mimic?
Also, if Rite Of Replication is still good and an actual relevant wincon at 9 CMC and we have Mystical Tutor as a 2nd copy, why not add Personal Tutor as a 3rd?
Parallel to this, Palinchron is an expensive infinite mana combo piece at 7 CMC. When paired with the fact that it needs something like Caged Sun (itself an expensive mana rock/combo piecet 6 CMC) this whole combo seems inefficient. However, I still think the solution is the Dramatic Scepter combo, as is not only much more viable (as it's an actual cEDH combo), but much more inexpensive to cast (2 CMC) but also to activate as well (2 mana, tap; 4 CMC total). We can also create redundancy by adding cards like Merchant Scroll, Fabricate, etc to add extra "copies" to assure we find it. It's also worth noting that once assembled, it generates us infinite mana AND/OR infinite cast triggers to win us the game on the spot with Aetherflux Reservoir on board.
With all that said, what is your average win turn, currently? I agree that the average cast turn for Unesh is 4, but I had a goldfishes hand result in a T3 Unesh this morning followed by a T5 win. This got.me thinking that if the T4 is fairly widely agreed upon as a "late" win in cEDH, we need Grim Monolith and as many other rocks we can get that will push us towards a T3 Unesh cast - or better yet, T2 - as we need to be threatening a win substantially earlier to sit at a cEDH table properly.
All that said, overall, I like the direction the list is taking, on the whole, but I'd like to address cards by type as well.
Creatures: I think a lot of the fat has been trimmed at this point and aside from the aforementioned Palinchron and possibly Scholar Of The Trove, the next highest CMC cards are Enigmas Thief and Dream Eater, bot of which achieve important removal functions, so there isn't much else.to be done in this quarter of the deck.
Lands: Similar to Creatures, Lands look pretty good at this point. I should note that Mystic Sanctuary say you "may" put a spell on top of your library, but aside from getting a wincon out of the graveyard, such as Dramatic Reversal or Rite Of Replication, it's more of a liability in the early game, so it could remain a basic Island in the deck, otherwise, I'd reconsider adding it back in. Otherwise, I like Urza's Saga and that it can grab Mana Vault! Great add!
Enchantments: again, not much fat to trim here, as everything here supports our game plan of running through the Library. That said, of Rite Of Replication were to be cut, functionally a decent lower CMC replacement would be Reflections Of Littjara. Speaking of Rite, this brings us to...
Sorceries: This entire section may be something that could be cut. I already explained why in the case of Rite, but in the case of Lorien, I don't think Islandcycling is that valuable and drawing three cards in a deck like this isn't amazing, anyway.
Instants: Frankly, I can't decide which card here is the "worst card" because they're all so good and so valuable. This section is arguably the single most optimized and I wouldn't touch it, save to maybe add more good cards after cutting from other sections.
Artifacts: This section is mostly solid as well. That said, I question the value of Caged Sun, as I can't think of a single cEDH deck I've seen run it. Lightning Greaves is somewhat questionable, too, with the recent revisions. Especially if Rite is actually a realistic and "fast enough" wincon (especially if we continue to lean toward big mana-construction to power out a T2-T3 Unesh), because as you mentioned in your primer, Greaves can shut off the Rite line. I think Wayfarer's Bauble is just bad, at this point and it sees a cut for Mox Diamond. I don't think Moonsilver Key makes the cut, either as the card is very similar to Bauble and I think Grim Monolith is more helpful, overall. Finally, while I appreciate Mox Amber's 0 CMC, it's inherent flaw in our deck is that it doesn't really help us power out Unesh as he's the only consistently available Legendary Creature and we only have two other ones in Orvar and Sakashima. However, due to the nature of Unesh, I think we'd pretty much always going to want to cast Unesh first and the others after for the FoF effect. As such, I think Mox Diamond is a superior 0 CMC rock to Mox Amber.
Anyhow, agree to disagree is always an option, of course, but consider these suggestions, let me know what you think and if any of them inspires you and you think of something else, let me know!
September 16, 2023 7:26 p.m.
The more I think about it, ASalesman, the more I think we basically want not only Panharmonicon and Virtue Of Knowledge, but also Reflections Of Littjara and every single creature or spell we can get our hands on that provides us with the ability to copy Unesh effectively, such as Sakashima and Irenicus' Vile Duplication. A the end of the day, all we really want to do is get more and more FoF triggers as we play, as Thassa's Oracle is Plan A. Plan B is now Aetherflux Reservoir but we still want to pick up as many spells as we can to further both goals simultaneously. Agree or disagree?
September 5, 2023 4:39 p.m.
Dramatic Reversal is there for the combo, but if you just need to cast a couple more Sphinxes, Dramatic Reversal acts as a Reset for mana rocks. That said, BECAUSE I run Dramatic Reversal, I don't have Jeweled Lotus and instead have "reusable" rocks like Chrome Mox and Mox Opal in my build.
It's other, far more tertiary use would be acting as an "artificial Vigilance" combat trick, but this isn't nearly as good nor often-utilized as the first two usages.
The single best part about the combo is that it can be assembled as soon as T1 and isn't incredibly difficult to assemble by say, T4 with cards like Muddle The Mixture to find the other combo piece (which I also included in my deck because it also helps protect combos by winning counter wars), whereas Omniscience, even with heavy ramping won't generally be castable by turn 5 or 6 at earliest, only to get countered because it's an obvious and absolute bomb.
Obviously the main impetus of the card choices is the combo. Once resolved with 3+ mana in rocks, one of them being blue mana-producing, it's functionally the same as Omniscience, allowing you to cast anything in your deck, but the Dramatic Scepter combo's pieces are individually useful in their own and, unlike Omniscience have strategic uses as well, as mentioned in my previous post.
September 2, 2023 10:02 a.m.
I don't consider this controversial at all, ASalesman: I'd been considering the cut for the same reasons for a few weeks.
At ten(!) CMC, it doesn't come down enough and any blue player worth their salt holding a counterspell won't let it resolve. I actually like Isochron Scepter more, especially in a FoF deck, because it can be used in so many ways, you can put imprint Mystical Tutor or Dramatic Reversal on it to end the game or just pretend you have one of those and use it as a counterspell lightning rod. It also can imprint and counterspell itself providing a stronger control game early on.
Omniscience is a wincon but too narrow and expensive of one to be good, in my opinion.
September 2, 2023 12:50 a.m.
Commander / EDH
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