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I don't have a problem with Grimdancer in general. However, I'd choose to play Hunted Nightmare over it. Call of the Death-Dweller can give a creature deathtouch if you feel you need it that much, and Hunted Nightmare is more powerful which can close out a game quicker. I'll give the fact that lifelink is relevant and may be how you can survive long enough in some games, but you also have it with Murderous Rider. That is just my feelings on it. I am someone who will say play with what you like/love more than just playing to win specifically. If you like it and feel it's a winner than by all means. I just didn't include it as I felt there were other options that performed similar or better functions overall.
Also, I saw in your description you were wondering why Tappedout has Archfiend's Vessel not legal in pioneer. M21 has not been released yet therefore Tappedout does not recognize it yet. The set comes out (in paper) this Friday so it should update by the weekend.
June 29, 2020 5:32 p.m.
I'll give you any and all suggestions I believe would work in this deck as I had thought about it when it was spoiled for Ikoria. Disclaimer, all of my suggestions would be for the Pioneer format. I'll most likely avoid suggestions for Modern as I believe this deck would be too slow there.
Since your deck wants to turn sideways to beat face, a card I GREATLY think would be amazing in this deck is Embercleave. Kari Zev, Skyship Raider gives you a second creature for free to reduce the cost which is powerful. Turn one Insolent Neonate, turn two Kari, to a turn three Embercleave can be back-breaking, especially with menace. Two I believe is enough to push the damage through. You can up Insolent Neonate to four copies and potentially add Archfiend's Vessel to ensure your one drop slot. He doesn't have menace, but you play Call of the Death-Dweller to get a 5/5 demon with flying. I believe it's worth it. I'm not a big fan of Frillscare Mentor since it has to tap. Also, Embercleave does what Frillscare Mentor does by pushing through against board stalls.
I'm not a fan of God-Eternal Bontu here. Stormfist Crusader draws you the cards you need, and it is unlikely you'll want to sacrifice your board later. This deck wants a big board to win quickly. Also, five mana is quite a bit when the rest of the deck is three and less. I understand he's a big menace beater, but I'm just not sure he's worthwhile here.
Revival / Revenge is redundancy with Call of the Death-Dweller. It can bring back every creature you play except Bontu. You'll need to be able to come back against board wipes since there are plenty in Standard and Pioneer alike.
Here's a list I'd probably start with to playtest then tune after playtesting:
Lands - 22
4x Blood Crypt
Creatures - 27
Instants/Sorceries - 9
Artifacts - 2
Here is my thinking on some of the cards I haven't already mentioned. I need to admit to my bias about Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger. It is definitely pet card for me that is everything I love about Rakdos. Since that is out of the way, it is a good card for mid-to-late games to keep grinding if you get to that point. Your opponent discards and potentially loses life PER ATTACK is ridiculous on a card that can keep coming back. I think it is a powerful grindy card. I replaced Fatal Push with Eliminate since most of your creatures have some sort of evasion (namely menace but also flying with the demon from Archfiend's Vessel). Eliminate can hit problematic planeswalkers like Teferi, Time Raveler that can protect itself. You also have Murderous Rider to get rid of bigger creatures and/or planeswalkers.
I know you said you wanted to stay a bit budget friendly so if anything seems too expensive you can find budget replacements for them. You mentioned Blood Crypt may be too much so you could put in basics or Temple of Malice. Fabled Passage and Embercleave are both below ten as of this writing so I feel like those are going to be the most expensive things in this particular list.
I hope all of that made sense and wasn't too wordy. If you have any questions about the list or anything that you want to change I'm willing to help. Like I said, this would be the template I'd playtest to then tune depending on whats works and finding the weaknesses. Two things I have in my mind about the list as of now. You'd have problem against combo decks. Trying to fit in four Thoughtseizes would be beneficial as a maindeck option to combat this. Also, Call of the Death-Dweller and Revival / Revenge needs to be playtested to see which amount of numbers would work. Three each, or switch Revival / Revenge to four and Call of the Death-Dweller to two since it is three mana. Something I'd think about in playtesting.
June 28, 2020 1:08 p.m.
I love the idea of this deck. When Labyrinth Raptor was spoiled my roommate immediately tagged me and said "now this is a Matt card." Question for you though, how competitive or how much tuning of this deck are you interested in?
Some quick suggestions for you, I'd change this deck from Modern to Pioneer. None of the cards are illegal in pioneer and Modern is a much faster and combo-heavy format. You'd have a better chance with this deck in Pioneer.
Secondly, Your land base could use a little work depending on your budget. Blood Crypt, Dragonskull Summit, and Castle Locthwain are three lands I'd greatly recommend to fix your mana to ensure you have the colors you need, as well as Castle Locthwain is great utility when needed. As Balaam__ mentioned, if you're interested in staying in Modern, Bloodstained Mire is another great one to add to fix your mana base.
Lastly, I'd argue Fatal Push or Murderous Rider are better removal spells than Heartless Act. Fatal Push is less mana with a restriction, and Murderous Rider benefits with having a creature with lifelink despite being one more mana.
I have other possible recommendations depending on the level you want to build the deck as well as your budget. Either way, love the idea and I hope you're having fun with the deck!
June 27, 2020 3:21 p.m.
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|Avg. deck rating||17.65|
|Favorite formats||Commander / EDH, Modern|
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