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Said on [PRIMER] How to ......


Thanks for taking a look and for the upvote!

The deck still plays reliably well with a lot of the budget substitutions in the primer, and doesn't require too many non-staple cards outside of the precon, so don't feel intimidated to tweak and try out whatever you're able to put together. It's just a hair slower/less explosive without the fast mana and ABUR duals.

Took me about two and a half years of upgrades to get here myself.

May 15, 2020 12:40 p.m.

Said on The Ur-Companion...


Oh god I did it again; of course you have in Toxic Deluge already. I swear I can read, just a little distracted atm (as I imagine many of us are!).

And yes, I can see now that in your build there are upsides to Ojutai, esp if you're spitting out multiple dragons per turn, potentially hasty, with your companion.

I've never run Ugin outside of Atraxa Superfriends (I know and I am sorry) or Teferi, Temporal Archmage, so would be curious to hear how that works for you if you go that route.

May 12, 2020 3:29 p.m.

Said on [PRIMER] How to ......


Oh god I did it again; of course you have in Toxic Deluge already. I swear I can read, just a little distracted atm (as I imagine many of us are!).

And yes, I can see now that in your build there are upsides to Ojutai, esp if you're spitting out multiple dragons per turn, potentially hasty, with your companion.

I've never run Ugin outside of Atraxa Superfriends (I know and I am sorry) or Teferi, Temporal Archmage, so would be curious to hear how that works for you if you go that route.

May 12, 2020 3:28 p.m.

Said on The Ur-Companion...


Glad it's been a help vs annoyance! When starting a new deck the decision paralysis and cuts/swaps can be a real pain as much as it's also fun. I suppose I'm a little antsy to help w/ some refining/tweaking, as my current main lists are all at a place where I'm happy with them (or can't safely acquire new cards and accessories to brew/build with at the moment).

In any case, given your meta, I think the one clear "maybe" add is Xenagos, God of Revels.

The rest all have clear downsides for narrow upsides. Without dorks, walkers can be more of a liability as people will attack them down cleanly and quickly. Sarkhan the Mad is the one card that Vlasiax does not cut from his respective list, but that's mainly b/c he has a lot of board stall/Ghostly Prison decks in his meta and sometimes needs to push through a heap of direct damage.

In terms of cuts, I'm with you in finding Keiga, Ryusei, and Niv Mizzet Reborn underwhelming here.

As previously discussed Earthquake could eventually become Fire Covenant or Toxic Deluge.

Maybe Despark becomes Assassin's Trophy?

I'd also suggest having a hard look during testing at heavy generic mana cards that the companion can't help ramp into at all, esp whether Ramos works with how you sequence your plays, if Steel Hellkite can connect with open mana often enough, and whether Golos has any good land targets/hits reliably enough off the top. Kind of cool that you can use the companion to help activate him, though.

Lastly, I've been underwhelmed with Ojutai, Soul of Winter, as for me at least it had minimal impact whether playing from behind, ahead, or at parity. When ahead, it often was just a win more card for me.

If you cut a small handful of some of those higher CMC dragons, I think you could sneak in a few extra enablers/draw effects to help smooth things out in terms of overall consistency?

May 12, 2020 9:20 a.m.

Said on The Ur-Companion...


And in the course of sticking my foot in my mouth w/r/t your companion restrictions at least a few times over, I thought of a few suggestions that do meet the restrictions and that your companion could help you ramp out more reliably:

Dragons: Numot, the Devastator, Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund

Walkers: Sarkhan Unbroken, Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh, Sarkhan the Mad

Payoff/enablers: Dragonstorm, Maelstrom Wanderer, Xenagos, God of Revels (fights with the CMC of companion, though), Surrak Dragonclaw (if meta is control heavy)

May 11, 2020 4:03 p.m.

Said on The Ur-Companion...


Yeah, having another look at the overall build makes me think the hit rate on Niv Reborn may not be worth it. The upside to Ramos is so sweet, though, and it's just a fun, splashy card to play with.

For Keiga and Ryusei, I'd rather be in a more dedicated aristocrats/sacrifice theme, otherwise they're slow/low impact/narrow. For Intet, I'd rather be in a "cheat big things via topdeck manipulation" theme. I ran and ended up cutting Nu-Vaevictis for awhile before cutting it for similar reasons, as you can really hose yourself without a decent topdeck manipulation package.

Over time I have really tried to focus more on ETB and on-attack triggers, in that order, vs death or deals combat damage or conditional+mana requirements, as the latter can be hard to pull off consistently. Prioritizing haste enablers also helps with prioritizing on-attack triggers.

May 11, 2020 11:59 a.m.

Said on The Ur-Companion...


Probably another reason why I won't ever build a companion deck: I'd muck up the restrictions at least 1-3x over. LOL.

I'm usually not into the new Niv and Ramos but I think they could be quite good here.

Keep me posted on how this plays in goldfishing and testing?

May 11, 2020 8:42 a.m.

Said on The Ur-Companion...


Lastly, there are two other lists I refer to pretty frequently you might want to check out:

May 7, 2020 12:20 p.m.

Said on The Ur-Companion...


Anytime! Always a pleasure to talk Dragons. And good luck/have fun!

May 7, 2020 12:15 p.m.

Said on The Ur-Companion...


As to your follow-up question, I did experiment with running Fist of Suns/Jodah, as well as Morophon, and all were eventually cut.

On their own, Fist and Jodah usually eat removal and you don't want to waste counters or protection spells to save them. I'd rather have "hard" ramp than conditional ramp/pieces that draw hate and are a bit slow in terms of when they can be used for optimal effect. I'm likewise not generally interested in 3-card+ synergies (vs true combos) that don't win the game and are slightly dead on their own/otherwise, but that's just where my build and meta have pushed me.

Morophon is likely one of the better ways to help make sure you can get the Ur-Dragon out, esp if it was already removed and you're dealing with commander tax . . . but my list has so much fast or big mana production in the mix that it was a win-more card for me and got cut after a few games. Might be worth testing here, though, perhaps even over Jodah or Fist? As it also does get a 1CMC discount from Ur-Dragon and buffs other Dragons (so there are more upsides)?

May 7, 2020 11:56 a.m.

Said on The Ur-Companion...


Ah, I missed Teferi's Protection already being in there, somehow. Sorry!

But yes, for your build I think the sweet spot is likely 25 to 29 dragons in the main list.

Steely Resolve has been great for me, as have haste enablers (esp when they have card draw or buffs stapled on, too). I wonder if your build wouldn't want to consider something like Sneak Attack, especially if you splash 1-2 recursion spells?

Double apologies for not remembering that Rishkar's Expertise has GG in the mana cost. Return of the Wildspeaker does a great impression of the effect, at instant speed, and allows for a flexible Overrun style effect, arguably even better than Rishkar's?

If your average CMC boops up too far above the 3.5-3.8 range, then maybe cut Primevals' Glorious Rebirth even from the maybe list, but my only thinking here is that if your gameplan is to ramp hard, wipe early, establish and protect a board, etc, you may want to consider adding 1-2 splashier spells with big, immediate impact and at slightly higher, 5-7 CMC. Expropriate or Omniscience are off the table due to companion restrictions, obviously.

But as you say, pacing from playtesting will help determine sequencing and CMC adjustments.

As to Earthquake and Subterranean Tremors as asymmetrical board wipes, I like that they are flexible in terms of sequencing, but maybe one could be cut in favor of the mana efficiency of Fire Covenant? If walkers are an issue in your meta and you value instant speed, I quite like Magmaquake as another option to test in that lane.

Very happy to continue to provide some feedback as you playtest/get in some games (hopefully safely!)...I've been on the Ur-Dragon for my mid-power/battlecruiser deck since it released in 2017 so have built/played around with many different strategies and builds with it, but also across many different metas. Not an expert by any stretch but I do have an overloaded "maybe board" binder of like 350 odd cards that were tested/cycled in and out, including some less obvious, older tech.

May 7, 2020 11:50 a.m.

Said on The Ur-Companion...


Moving the conversation from my list:

How you balance the mix of counterspells/protection spells/removal spells/board wipes is entirely dependent upon personal play style and overall deck construction (as well as your local meta).

Because you have built your deck, smartly, without any mana dorks or mana-accelerating creatures (aside from Jegantha) that need to stay on the battlefield, and b/c midrange aggro plays best within mid-power/battlecruiser pods, I was just suggesting that fighting non-creature spells on the stack might be less of a priority to your gameplan, whereas having regular access to 1-2x more 3-4 CMC board wipes could leave you with both tempo/card advantage more consistently. That number is likely closer to "1x" and you probably want to think about Fire Covenant?

Part of the reason I have a combo package and pivot between aggro and combo wins is exactly what you intuit correctly: This commander and the dragons present a threat that is often answered by the rest of the table swiftly. B/c I have relatively compact backup combos in my list, I have de-prioritized protecting my board over including more recursion packages and draw engines. But either way, if/when you build a large board state it will be difficult to protect it against 3x player who want to disrupt it or wipe it.

2-4x counters/protection spells is likely the sweet spot, at least based on my testing of this commander back from when I was running a pure creature/aggro strategy, but even more essential, like most other multiplayer decks, is having a relatively early/reliable card draw engine.

So more specifically, I might suggest that you retain Swan Song and Stubborn Denial but add in Heroic Intervention and Teferi's Protection? Both of the latter have the advantage of turning another person's board wipe into a one-sided wipe in your favor.

And use the last 2x slots this opens up to consider one more card advantage engine, even a bomb-ier draw spell like Rishkar's Expertise, and perhaps one larger recursion spell, like Primeavals' Glorious Rebirth?

May 7, 2020 9:24 a.m.

Thank you! And glad to hear you got a few ideas from the list.

I had a look at your own list and really like the creativity in the mix there.

Let me know, after some testing, whether or not it feels consistent enough, as well as whether or not the restrictions that Jegantha imposes are worth it, vs, say, just including Morophon in the 99?

I for one would miss having to cut one of the best mana dorks (Selvala), one of the best reanimation spells (Patriarch's Bidding), and a few of the best dragons (Lathliss, Scourge, Broodmother), but as you note many of those cards aren't as absolutely necessary if you're going for a more linear midrange aggro strategy.

As to Spell Rupture, it's a decent option to get around Jegantha not allowing you to run Counterspell or Mana Drain, but I worry a bit that it is too conditional/there are better other counter or protection spells to run at or below 2CMC before slotting that in? How has it played for you?

For what it's worth, and depending on your meta/goals for your deck, on your list I'd recommend you think about cutting 2-4x counterspells to add a mix of a few more board wipes/spot removal/big splashy payoff spells? These kind of midrange decks can't really hang in fast combo pods and without early/reliable card advantage engines in the command zone, it can be hard to claw back from the card disadvantage that counterspells leave you with in multiplayer?

May 7, 2020 8:21 a.m.


[PRIMER] How to Chain Ur-Dragon

Commander / EDH NeonEndymion


Hot Baron Summer (Old School 95/96)

Commander / EDH NeonEndymion


UPS Express

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The Urza Files: Fight the Fish Edition

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