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Mana Crypt is one of the best cards in the entire game and is found in practically every EDH deck. You can manage the loss of life with some of the life gain built into this deck, and being able to play things on turn 1 that would otherwise come down on turn 3 is an insane advantage. It would certainly improve your chances of winning at a competitive table to cut something to bring it in, but if you want to play slower games with a cap on power level to make things fair with your buddies then I understand.

What two cards do you think you'd want to cut for those two? I have my ideas but I am interested in hearing what you think isn't essential in this deck.

November 28, 2021 8:54 p.m.

Circling back around here. I think you definitely need to add Mana Crypt, Jeweled Lotus, and Swiftfoot Boots or Lightning Greaves to protect your commander.

Another interesting route that this deck could go is to have an infinite mana outlet such as Basalt Monolith + Rings of Brighthearth . This way, if you cast the lantern, you can just win on the spot.

November 26, 2021 6:23 p.m.

DarianLoos No problem! Play around with it for a while and let me know what you think. I will come back in a couple days to check out the deck list again and we can chat more! :)

November 23, 2021 5:20 p.m.

Cool deck. I'm here to offer some suggestions after you pointed me here from your other deck.

Tergrid, God of Fright  Flip is a powerful commander and generates insane advantage in 4-player games. Let's take a look at this deck and see what it is doing, and then streamline it. I see three main objectives of this deck:

1 - RAMPING.

This is pretty much a primary objective of any commander deck, since if your only source of mana is playing one land per turn, you're going to fall way behind. Your main ramping plan for this deck is to double lands, using Cabal Coffers, Cabal Stronghold, Caged Sun, Crypt Ghast, Extraplanar Lens, Gauntlet of Power, and Nirkana Revenant. This is super cool and probably a pretty strong plan. We want to try to maximize this plan. How can we do that?

All of these cards want you to load up on basic swamps, which you did. We want to make sure we are playing a basic swamp every turn. Solemn Simulacrum is definitely a worthwhile add. Liliana of the Dark Realms is very helpful and I'm happy to see her in this deck. Often times Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is a worthwhile add for decks with Cabal Coffers. I think it is worth it here. Although you yourself don't have many non-swamps that will benefit from Urborg, you are likely going to be stealing people's lands with Tergrid, and counting those as swamps will be helpful for you.

How else can we keep getting swamps onto the battlefield to power up this strategy? Card draw. The more cards in your hand the higher the chance you will have a swamp to play every turn. Night's Whisper and Sign in Blood are great for this. Disciple of Bolas is solid too. Dread Presence loves swamps and is a must-add. I would add Phyrexian Arena, which is great card draw for you. Necropotence, one of the craziest cards in the game, is also a worthwhile addition. Not as good but worth consideration are Yawgmoth's Bargain and Null Profusion. Two other well-known card draw machines in black are Dark Confidant and Bolas's Citadel. You have some costly spells in your deck, so they might be a bit of a liability. If you want to include them, Sensei's Divining Top pairs very well with them.

Just because you are mainly ramping with land doubling doesn't mean there isn't room for other ramping as well. You have Black Market, which I have never personally tested, but is probably decent. Black has some explosive, single-turn ramp with Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, and Culling the Weak. These cards would do well in letting you get out expensive plays ahead of schedule, mainly Tergrid. Artifact ramp is also great in any deck. I would add Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, Jeweled Lotus, and Jet Medallion. I would consider adding even more artifact ramp as well. Getting down Tergrid as early as turn 1 or 2 is just so good.

2 - SACRIFICE AND DISCARD.

Once you have Tergrid out, sacrifice and discard become powerful effects that let you take control of your opponent's permanents. This is insane advantage and if left unchecked for very long will win you the game. Syphon Mind while Tergrid is in play not only puts you up 4 cards in comparison to each opponent (since they each went down 1 and you went up 3), but also could net you 3 more cards if they discard permanents that then go onto your field. That's insane. Let's take a look at all the cards you have that enable Tergrid:

SACRIFICE:

Archfiend of Depravity - A one-sided, almost board wipe that repeats every turn? Pretty solid. Getting the creatures onto your field with Tergrid? That is nuts. The one issue is that some commander decks won't have that many more than 2 creatures on the field when this comes down, and if they do, then this card and/or Tergrid become a big target, but if you survive the turn, this and your commander will put you ahead so far.

Butcher of Malakir - Similar to Archfiend. If this guy sticks around for a bit, you're going to be at such an advantage. It costs 7 which is a bit high and very vulnerable to something like Mana Drain, so I wouldn't be super upset if you cut it, but it is great with Tergrid.

Gatekeeper of Malakir - This guy only costs three and steals a creature if Tergrid is on the field. Love it.

Phyrexian Obliterator - If someone is dumb enough to deal damage to this guy, then you're getting a lot of their permanents! I don't love this card for you. People will just leave it alone and then you just hit someone for 5 each turn or leave up a blocker, which is a bit slow.

Sheoldred, Whispering One - Similar to Archfiend. If this guy sticks around for a bit, you're going to be at such an advantage. It costs 7 which is a bit high and very vulnerable to something like Mana Drain, so I wouldn't be super upset if you cut it, but it is great with Tergrid.

Torment of Hailfire - Expensive and liable to be countered but if it resolves then you will get a ton of value!

Dictate of Erebos - I like it. Let's say you have 10 mana. Cast Tergrid, then somebody goes to kill him. Flash this card in. Now, you at least get 3 of your opponents creatures on the way out!

Grave Pact - I like this as well. You can't flash it in, but if you put this card on the field, then people will have to kill this before Tergrid comes down or else end up giving you their creatures.

The Eldest Reborn - Immediate impact with Tergrid on the field, pretty good value on its own. Definitely a keep.

DISCARD:

Liliana, Defiant Necromancer - You need to flip her first, but once flipped she is great.

Syphon Mind - Great.

Torment of Hailfire - Expensive and liable to be countered but if it resolves then you will get a ton of value!

The Eldest Reborn - Immediate impact with Tergrid on the field, pretty good value on its own. Definitely a keep.

... and that's it. We need more cards that are busted with Tergrid! The following would be great adds to your deck: Smallpox, Dark Deal, Liliana's Triumph, Plaguecrafter, Soul Shatter, Mire in Misery, Innocent Blood, Vona's Hunger, Death Cloud, Burglar Rat, Demon's Disciple, Fleshbag Marauder, Elderfang Disciple, Liliana, Waker of the Dead, Bottomless Pit, Fraying Omnipotence, Rotting Rats, Cunning Lethemancer, Merciless Executioner, and a personal favorite: Smokestack.

Notice that all of these cards are typically even trades (ex: I play Elderfang Disciple, going down 1 card, everyone else goes down 1 card.) These aren't great on their own since it costs you mana to do so, and, in the case of discard and sacrifice, the opponent gets to choose an asset that they are least upset to get rid of, making them actually below-even trades. However, they become insanely busted with Tergrid. (ex: I play Elderfang Disciple, going down 1 card in hand for a measly 1/1. But, I get a Carpet of Flowers, basic plains, and Birds of Paradise on my field? Now that's an amazing play). Therefore, the ones that are recurring are better, since they give you more chances to make sure they resolve while Tergrid is on the field. (ex: I play Cunning Lethemancer and my opponent kills Tergrid. Later in the turn I play Tergrid again, albeit for 7 mana now due to commander tax. Next turn, with the Lethemancer trigger, I get some great value!)

Here are some other cards that work well with Tergrid, although they only target one opponent: Sudden Edict, Hellish Rebuke, Pharika's Libation, Diabolic Edict, Duress, Thoughtseize, Hymn to Tourach, Chain of Smog, Despise, and Divest.

Notice that in the absence of Tergrid, these cards are negative trades. They set you and an opponent back by putting you both down one card. The other two opponents are left untouched. Seeing them early in the game is not particularly helpful since you'd rather spend the early game ramping. They are great and slowing down whoever is winning, but at the expense of your own board. There is a trade-off here, since these can be leveraged politically. "Each opponent discards a card"" can give you tons of value with Tergrid on the field but makes you 3 enemies. "Target opponent discards a card"" gives you not as much value in general but you can leverage this to make someone else the common enemy or make a deal with a player ("if you don't attack me next turn I won't target you with my Duress"). Things like Duress can also target specific cards, which is an added benefit for you and an added detriment to the opponent.

I would run some from each category, probably with an emphasis on maximizing Tergrid value.

3 - DRAIN AND GAIN.

Blood Artist and other cards gain you one life and drain your opponent one life. This is cool and certainly an interesting archetype of a deck. It doesn't synergize with Tergrid particularly well. I personally would not use this strategy at all in this deck and maximize the Tergrid plan. However, Exquisite Blood + Sanguine Bond is an awesome combo and an unexpected way to finish the game for you while people are busy dealing with Tergrid. If you want to keep this, I would trim some of the other cards, such as Exsanguinate and maybe Underworld Dreams.


So, now that we know what the 3 objectives are, and have maybe cut the third, we have a bit more of a plan. I've suggested adding some card draw and mana rocks for ramp, and tons more Tergrid synergy. What are the cuts? I would say anything that doesn't fit in with the objectives, so basically any card I haven't mentioned already, unless it gives great value on its own. I'll go through some:

Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor are incredible cards and provide great value. Diabolic Tutor, Scheming Symmetry, and Shrouded Lore are worse tutor effects and should probably be moved to the maybe board. Sudden Spoiling is interesting and stops somebody from comboing off on their turn so is probably worth it. Reanimate is good value and should probably stay, same with Animate Dead. Demonic Vigor protects creatures but not Tergrid, unless you want him going to your hand. This is risky but probably fine. I could see him getting countered and then removed from your graveyard which puts you back majorly, but I could also see you avoiding commander tax. Worth looking into. Undying Evil is strictly better since it has instant speed and keeps him on the field. We might also want to protect him with Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots

Coffin Queen is too expensive and vulnerable. Drana, Liberator of Malakir is cool for aggressive strategies and can help you close out the game but is out of place in this deck. Falkenrath Noble is an overcosted Blood Artist. Gonti, Lord of Luxury is a value creature that if you can get his ETB many times, which your deck can't really do. Grave Titan isn't worth it in this deck. Gravedigger is fine but might be a bit slow. Helldozer is probably not worth it unless you want to pick on somebody lol. Korlash, Heir to Blackblade is not worth it. Massacre Wurm might not be worth it. Nighthowler isn't worth it. Opposition Agent is always a good add. Phage the Untouchable is too slow and vulnerable. Sepulchral Primordial might not be worth it. Skirsdag High Priest is probably not worth it. Syr Konrad, the Grim is not worth it. Wight of Precinct Six is not worth it. Tainted Strike is not worth it. Lashwrithe is not worth it. That's about 15 cuts right there.

Props to you for building Tergrid and having an interesting ramp strategy. I think if you go more in on the Tergrid plan by cutting unrelated cards for cards that ramp or are good with Tergrid then your deck will be a lot more reliable. After all, the most fun part of this deck is going off with Tergrid!

Hope this helps.

November 23, 2021 1:17 p.m.

DarianLoos Ah yes, I feel your pain. It is so hard to cut cards. I'll try to suggest a few that I think should go, since you really should make some more room for lands.

Thorn of Amethyst is going to slow you down almost as much as it will slow down your opponents. Investing two mana and a card into it is probably not worth it.

Phyrexian Unlife is pretty useless. If someone can get you down to 0 they can probably deal 10 more damage to you in that same turn. Think of decks that win with Craterhoof Behemoth swinging with 200+ trample damage or decks that have an infinite combo like Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Pestermite . Interestingly, though, Phyrexian Unlife + Solemnity is an awesome combo. Although probably not where you're going in this deck.

Approach of the Second Sun is too slow and vulnerable. Imagine investing a whole turn into it and then somebody just plays Counterspell.

Not quite sure what Elspeth, Sun's Champion is doing for you to be honest.

Chromatic Lantern is usually best in multi-color decks that need to fix their mana, but in a mono-white build it's not great. Certainly worse than Mox Opal or Mana Crypt.

This deck is coming together nicely! I'm happy to check out your other one. :)

November 23, 2021 10 a.m.

DarianLoos No problem! After cutting the signets, some good mana rocks you should consider are Mana Crypt, an amazing card in almost every EDH deck; Mox Opal, which will work well with your high artifact count; and Mana Vault, which can ramp you into better early plays, such as a turn 1 Gilded Lotus.

Thorn of Amethyst is looking a bit rough for your deck, since you currently have 51 noncreature spells. I would consider cutting it. If you want to go in the stax route more (stax means slowing down the game through effects such as these), then you could up your creature count a lot and cut some enchantments and artifacts. Then Thorn would probably be a lot more effective. If you go in that direction, then Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is almost a second copy of the same card.

You need to up your land count by a lot. I would suggest 35 lands AT MINIMUM. See this link https://draftsim.com/mtg-edh-deck-number-of-lands/ I know your commander is seeking to punish lands, which is cool, but you still want to hit your land drops for several reasons: 1 - you want to be able to get your commander down as soon as possible 2 - you will still get value from playing lands on your turn 3 - your commander will likely draw a fair amount of hate from the rest of the table (people hate when they can't tap their lands), so it won't stay on the field for long

To that last point, Lightning Greaves is a good card for you.

Hope this helps!

November 22, 2021 2:20 p.m.

Before I give suggestions, may I first ask if this deck is at all concerned with budget?

Also, regardless of that answer, you can't run the signets as they have mana symbols for non-white mana in them!

November 22, 2021 1:40 p.m.

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