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How do you feel about Chains of Mephistopheles , shuts down the card advantage of draw, but still lets the search through their library. Mass draw like Enter the Infinite wield yield very little result. It's also a way for me to discard a Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker or Worldgorger Dragon (or any combo guys) if they are in my hand for CMC2?
Crucible of Worlds always feels too slow, CMC3, and no MLD seems advantageous, but with a fetch land, it ramps pretty good? Still too slow though.
October 12, 2019 5:49 p.m.
Hi again realsoupersand,
Had to fly out to Ottawa, ON in Canada for a bit, so back in action.
50% of the time, I win with my primary win-con, which is Buried Alive + Reanimate , generally between T1-4 depending on how much tutoring and mana ramps I have available. It's CMC4, which happens on T1 occassionally, T2/T3 more realistically.
Karmic Guide is a critical component of that combo, also, yes she is playable with Kaalia of the Vast . Also enables Razaketh, the Foulblooded from the graveyard, and provides for sac/tutor. It's usually never a dead draw, and at CMC5 is still playable from hand, on occasion if the game is going on, and the Protection: with Flying also has assisted occasionally. Other than her obvious CMC as just a recursion tool, she's generally been good, and a requirement for the primary win-con.
Angel of Despair is just a Vindicate for CMC7, its ridiculous and only 5/5 flying. However, it's what I ALWAYS Tainted Pact to when Show and Tell + Omniscience , unless they have Leyline of Anticipation it's "usually" good enough. I can tutor Anguished Unmaking , however, I have to give priority up with an Omniscience on the table, so it's far too late by then. Can also destroy other random threats if needed too. She's borderline for sure. Red Elemental Blast is too slow in this case.
Angelic Arbiter was answering the Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge but now it's always Kess, Dissident Mage . Also for Tooth and Nail type encounters (eg: Craterhoof Behemoth ) or any type of haste/recursion. All together stops a few. I usually just put 1 response to any situation, because I just tutor the exclusive solution needed.
Avacyn, Angel of Hope protects against MLD type situations, but she's not difficult to remove anyway, everyone's removal deals with her no problem. If she buys me an extra turn though, it's worth it. Can also put a player on a turn timer or make them act before prepared (no Force of Will for example), sometimes... Not the strongest for sure. Or like a The Gitrog Monster looping destroy maybe...
Balefire Dragon is again, just to solve specific issues or eliminate high value ground targets. Like the others, Tainted Pact to hand whenever, a situation calls for it. I tried to cut back on creature controls (ex: Damnation ) just because its not a creature world, but often creatures can be enablers.
Baneslayer Angel cut, served no purpose other than lifelink for the Hatred but the CMC5 was too much, and only removed a single opponent. Serra Ascendant T1 "usually" puts enough pressure on 1 player (usually )), who is now on a turn timer, spending life for tutoring becomes harder, and sometimes waste time removing it. Statistically found, I was usually nearly 1 turn earlier to win with Serra Ascendant , plus overcharges me for an early Necropotence or Razaketh, the Foulblooded win or Doom Whisperer win.
Phyrexian Arena is tough, high CMC, no return. It still the second highest played card in commander, and I don't know how else to draw? Mardu is a drawing nightmare. Have to think on it, how to deal with it but agreed, same issue is with Bloodgift Demon . I've had Skyline Despot recommended has a same turn impact (draw at EOT), but also, might be ramping oppponents draw too, especially if I have no way to reconnect on attack as Skyline Despot doesn't have trample.
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight has the added benefit of removing 1-damage win-cons like Impact Tremors , Blasting Station , Goblin Bombardment , Dragon Tempest (with 1 dragon), Etc... Also puts pressure on. Usually just for a specific application though. I think my interaction package is more similar to a Thoughtseize type application, where if I can't win early, I tutor what I need to address the specific threats, instead of using Instant spell to do them? If that makes sense. Gisela, the Broken Blade i've cut.
Hellkite Tyrant was specifically answering an almost consistent Breya, Etherium Shaper deck. It's been a while since C16 set now, so definitely seeing it less and less. Might help with Teferi, Temporal Archmage or Urza, Lord High Artificer on occasion. It wasn't enough on it's own though, it also needed a Linvala, Keeper of Silence to go with it. Prior to this, I had nothing to compete with Breya, Etherium Shaper , had no way to win.
Lyra Dawnbringer is on my cut list now, might become the Sire Of Insanity or something like that. Mother of Runes works good with Master of Cruelties , also can protect Kaalia of the Vast , makes guys like Balefire Dragon unblockable too, or protects a Razaketh, the Foulblooded and becomes Tutor mana, or blocks an early Infect attack. Slow yes, but has some utility. Also can protect my Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker or Worldgorger Dragon causing me to win (instead of lose). It's borderline for sure, have to think about it. Aven Mindcensor feels good, looking for a way to include him as well as the Sire Of Insanity .
Steel Hellkite I tried for over a year, I would either, not be able to connect (no trample), or when I did, not enough mana to get the threat that I really needed to remove. I gave up on Steel Hellkite , also needs a Mother of Runes for support.
Ancient Tomb is back in, can't recall why I removed it. Think it screwed me one game with the colorless, but now that I've removed most of the colorless, it makes sense. Prismatic Vista isn't great, only 2 basics (can put in the snow's but for why), I like that it filters a land out (lower probability of drawing a land), but also destroys my mana-fixing as well, so agreed, unnecessary in this build, but feels weird.
I'm probably going to continue reducing CMC and reducing land counts as you've recommended, but needs some expensive 0-CMC rocks which I don't have, or some resource planning around alt. mana sources.
Overall goal is still to build for cEDH, understanding that consistency isn't going to push into more than a Tier-2.5/3 categorization, so I'll go over High Power again later lol.
Thinking about Interaction, I really don't want to go heavy into that with things like, Dismember or Lightning Bolt would rather let the opponents use their removal, and PRAY that I can sneak through a combo. If I combo T1 it has a fairly high success rate (other than a Pact of Negation which eliminated themselves) usually don't get stopped (Odd Force of Will or Swords to Plowshares here and there), T2 is still decently good, often others are still tutoring for a T3 win, but outside of T3 or beyond, usually I need to wait until someone tries to combo, and then is stopped, before I have a chance. I just go for it whenever I can though, increases winning % over trying to strategically go for it and being too late.
I think perhaps Red Elemental Blast or Pyroblast or both perhaps will be handy, Silence I wish it had Split Second (like Teferi's Protection ) because most combos don't have a "sorcery" speed interaction so doesn't stop. Can protect me on the turn I'm going for it like another Grand Abolisher but outside of that not highly useful. Will do some playtesting with it and see if it improves my completion % for combo and increases my combo win % because that's all that matters.
I decided not to go MLD, can Stax/MLD certainly is a strategy, but prefer just to ignore others, and just go for the win myself, win or lose. Plus I don't repopulate my hand nor ramp, so probably just slowing myself down instead of the opponents. Plus I don't have a Ravages of War so would require a financial commitment, would rather focus on finding a way to go for the win on T1-T3 more consistently.
I think if you found Kaalia of the Vast wasn't competitive using MLD before you dissolved that strategy, don't think it's the right course to go down either. Would rather try some out-of-the-box planning, and see if we can get her into a cEDH, which your comments are VERY helpful, and VERY appreciated. Think I've made some decent strides, still waiting for my card order to come in the mail so I can make some more cuts/adds to the deck!
I'll reply on high power shortly since it's lower priority, and hopefully you'll see my deck going in a stronger direction. Pushing that T1 probability up is key. I keep thinking there must be a T1 with Entomb and Goryo's Vengeance that I can do somehow? Razaketh, the Foulblooded would need another enabler, but there must be someone (like Griselbrand aka Griselbanned) to win with? Hmm.
October 11, 2019 7:20 p.m.
Wow, thanks realsoupersand, appreciate all the work you put into this review and comment. I have lot's to work on here.
I spent about an hour making a reply earlier today, but when I clicked preview forced me to login and it was gone forever. So I decided to make some updates to the deck before responding again, here it is.
I understand and appreciate your comments about Kaalia of the Vast and cEDH, of course, your correct the play analytics certainly support the position. The meta is fairly narrow on cEDH, however, like most formats (eg: Modern), there are non-meta decks that can be competitive in the format, but perhaps not with a high degree of consistency. I feel that the ability to have T1-T4 win-cons can make it competitive in the cEDH format, and with your help if we can get avg turn win under 4 or improve T1/T2 win %, it certainly can play although being mardu, it doesn't have access to the core strengths of the Tier1 decks.
I reduced my lands count a few. I read an article and ran their statistics through a bunch of models I created based on the raw data. Their conclusion, and my analysis verified, there is a co-relation between playing or missing a T3 land drop and your winning % in commander. At my previous lands, I still miss the T3 land about 20% of the time. I'll see how the reduction in lands impacts those statistics. I removed Rugged Prairie , but the other 2 filter lands, provide additional conversion avenues for a Turn 1 win, so although not the best lands, the higher T1 win % benefits from their inclusion.
I also hate any land that ETB tapped like Hall of the Bandit Lord . The way I was thinking about it was, Dragon Tempest is CMC2 (but active that turn if I have mana to play something), if I play Hall of the Bandit Lord tapped on T2, it is only CMC1 because I still have my T1 land available (although it doesn't do anything that turn). Haste is important for utility, I didn't include it for a long time, then added it back to see if it brought my avg win turn down, will do some testing with it in and out.
Yawgmoth's Will mostly has been beneficial. Although its CMC3 (terrible), assuming I have a Fetch land in the graveyard, and don't have a land drop in hand, it can play the fetch, so in some cases it's a modular ramp. Also, it can cast a Karmic Guide (we'll get to her) to start the Infinite Combo, also, it can cast a Reanimate or Animate Dead to do the same, or be a Demonic Tutor /modular tutor/removal, etc. Also, with the inclusion of Worldgorger Dragon Infinte Mana, going to allow me to play my entire graveyard in a single turn. It helps with improving the T3 and T4 land drops % and provides as good a ramp as mardu is going to get.
Mox Diamond unfortunately I don't have one, I have several decks including this one that need it, but it's not budget friendly either, so going to be a future add whenever I can get my hands on some. I'll see what I can do with artifacts to get to a reasonable consistency on Mox Opal going to take a while to make all the updates and buy some cards. Arcane Signet still shows as Illegal in commander, I assume the Brawl decks will be released soon or else tapped out will update their system. It's the best CMC2 rock, it will be in there whenever legal.
Diabolic Intent has only screwed me once so far, outside of Grand Abolisher there isn't anyone (including Kaalia of the Vast ) that I won't sacrifice to pull my combo piece and go for the win. It usually finds the last piece. Mausoleum Secrets works nicely with Buried Alive and Entomb to pull the Reanimate card. They are not the best, they were includes for testing purposes, I just find I need more tutoring to be consistent so having CMC1 and CMC2 tutors with conditions is still useful, I wish there was better options for mardu. I'll keep evaluating them, if they are unplayable when drawn in too high a % of circumstances they do not add value to the deck.
To replace the Swiftfoot Boots I added Idyllic Tutor , I know you didn't suggest, but with Worldgorger Dragon in, any way to pull Dragon Tempest for haste or Infinite damage or Animate Dead feels right? Steelshaper's Gift with just Lightning Greaves does feel weird. I'm wondering on the Swiftfoot Boots though, the Equip 0 is key certainly on Lightning Greaves , but usually just throw it on Kaalia of the Vast maybe a Grand Abolisher so Steelshaper's Gift + Lightning Greaves is similar CMC to Swiftfoot Boots and equip () but of course not playable on T1 (boo). I'll try with boots out and keep the tutors in, see how consistently I get to haste when I need it to drop a Razaketh, the Foulblooded , would never want to be waiting for haste when I have a win-con in hand.
As you mentioned Sensei's Divining Top works well with Dark Confidant , but mostly I use it to enable same turn Vampiric Tutor / Imperial Seal or to ensure I get the lands I need or try and find an ADD to resolve if Kaalia of the Vast is available and don't really need the mana. Also, if I have nothing else, it's a good random draw chance to stop a win-con or pull a tutor (and shuffle it away! happens so often).
I'm thinking on Tymna the Weaver seems not bad, I don't play to her strengths but still viable as mardu can't draw properly.
About 40% of my wins are my primary win-con of Buried Alive + Reanimate , Karmic Guide is the enabler. Even when I draw her to hand, CMC5 is still playable, or cheat-able with Kaalia of the Vast . She did combo with Reveillark but that wasn't working, Reveillark was too high CMC. She re-pops a Razaketh, the Foulblooded then he sac's her, outside of the primary win-con, its never a dead draw usually. I put Dance of the Dead in, but now, I'm thinking Necromancy is better, because it also works with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker as well. Might swap the Dance of the Dead to Necromancy if I have one, I'll check tomorrow.
Dismember I like, play it in Modern even, Fire Covenant makes sense, but feel I would rather just Tutor Toxic Deluge which can remove indestructible and not have the duplication. Usually, I just try and win instead of disrupting, just let the Counterspell players stop the others, that opens a windows sometimes for me to try going for combo. I hate how Red Elemental Blast and Pyroblast are potential dead draws, but realistically always of value. Similar to a more generic Silence (wish it had Split Second), probably need them, need to review for more cuts. Path to Exile is a CMC1 exile, so it's good for decks that rely on commander (understanding they often don't care if they are removed because that is too late), I also use it as a modular ramp card, CMC1 to pull a land into play. I haven't found it hurts me most of the time, it's usually stopping a go for the win (like a Laboratory Maniac or something), usually wouldn't play it to enable a win.
Thoughtseize and the like, one of my favorite cards BTW, I found just hurts me and 1 player. Gives a wide opening to the other 2 players to go for the win, and now I'm short on card advantage, draw poorly, and disabled a player potentially that could have stopped the win. If it's pre-emptive (like Silence ) before going for the win, do I really want to increase my Win-Con by CMC1 or wait that extra turn to have the mana, or just go for it now, and maybe win? Tough to tell. Again too, wherever I can would rather go for my win than stop others win.
I'll have to go over creatures responses tomorrow as I'm out of time tonight, my earlier message addressed everything plus a bunch of cards I'm considering putting in and your opinion on those. For another night!
Thanks again for the fantastic input, I'm really working on making the changes. I ordered a bunch more cards on Card Kingdom today, so in 7 days free shipping, should see some more changes coming down the pipe. Also going to continue reviewing your recommendations and deciding on cuts tomorrow and over the upcoming weekend.
October 3, 2019 11:47 p.m.
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