[SCD] Reliquary Tower

User avatar
RxPhantom
Pharmacist/Apothecary/Druggist
Posts: 337
Joined: 11 months ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
Location: Southern Maryland
Has thanked: 310 times
Been thanked: 129 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by RxPhantom » 1 week ago



Right before Nexus went live, I started a thread on Sally about Reliquary Tower and its place in the format. It generated some interesting discussion, and I wanted to see where people stood on it now. At the conclusion of this awesome series of articles at EDHrec, the author discusses his position that its popularity is appropriate; it's the fourth most popular land in the format, by the way, behind only Command Tower, basic lands, and Evolving Wilds. We also have a nice looking promo on the way.

I've heard a lot of players say it's overplayed. My position is that the hate on the card is warranted about half the time. I'll give two examples of my own decks.
.
First, Goreclaw. The entire point of the deck is to deploy a steady stream of fatties, and in order to do that through opposing board wipes and removal, I want to keep all the cards I draw off something like Rishkar's Expertise. To that end, the deck has a package to retrieve Reliquary Tower and is an important part of its strategy.

Second, Merieke Ri Berit. Reliquary Tower got the boot after two architecturally similar cards were printed: Arcane Lighthouse and Detection Tower. Those two cards were practically tailor made for Merieke, and since its three-color mana base couldn't handle that many colorless sources, the decision was easy. Cutting through hexproof and shroud, with lands no less, is too good to pass up.

The card is also budget friendly, and there are a lot of us for whom that's a massive plus.

I've bloviated enough. Thoughts?
Expand Signature
Can you name all of the creature types with at least 20 cards? Try my Sporcle Quiz!Last Updated: 5/23/20 (Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths & Commander 2020))

My (inactive) 720 Peasant Cube

Tags:

User avatar
Outcryqq
Posts: 174
Joined: 8 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: Indiana, USA
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 28 times

Post by Outcryqq » 1 week ago

I put it in decks that have multiple ways to draw a lot of cards. Generally speaking, if I work hard to draw a lot of cards, I'd like to keep them. The only exception to this is my The Gitrog Monster deck, which doesn't run Reliquary Tower because the deck can benefit greatly from having to discard to hand size.

User avatar
pokken
Posts: 1831
Joined: 11 months ago
Answers: 2
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 643 times
Been thanked: 455 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by pokken » 1 week ago

I think I've said most of my piece on it but I'll spin some of the highlights.

My manabases are usually to the point where I'd rather do something else fun with my few utility slots. I think it's closer to 90% of the time it's not correct except on a serious budget. But that does factor in or sure.

Explosive card draw in decks that can't abuse discarding and have flexible enough mana to absorb a reliquary tower (usually 3 color or fewer decks, mostly 1 or 2 color decks). It's fine in mono blue or mono green or whatever (although I can usually look at a list and see something better, it might not be budget friendly:)).

All things considered I think it's better to play your utility slots to get back in games you're not in than to try to preserve games (or straight up combo out!) where you're far ahead -- there're just so many utility lands that do so many powerful things. I think *most* of the time you'd win more games using those slots for Yavimaya Hollow or Volrath's Stronghold or Arch of Orazca or Deserted Temple.

But like everything if you're having fun with it do whatever :)
Expand Signature
EDH
UW Ephara Hatebears [Primer], UBWR Opus Thief CEDH, URG Omnath Rug elemental landfall

User avatar
gilrad
Posts: 87
Joined: 10 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Been thanked: 11 times

Post by gilrad » 1 week ago

The goreclaw example is pretty indicative of why this card is so heavily played: All you need is some scalable draw spells that can grab 12+ card in the correct circumstances, and without having to discard you're at a massive advantage (like, if you're not dead or discarded in two or three turns most tables cannot stand up to that kind of advantage).

I can't count the number of games a player sat behind a hand like that thanks to Tower, and I spent multiple turns digging, tutor-chaining, or otherwise desperately trying to afford the tempo cost of getting rid of the tower on the opponent's discard step. And the countless games where I couldn't flex fast enough and subsequently got crushed by the massive card advantage.

User avatar
Maluko
Posts: 88
Joined: 10 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 41 times
Been thanked: 20 times

Post by Maluko » 1 week ago

I'm on the camp that Reliquary Tower is overplayed and overestimated. I see it as a card for n00bs, in the sense that, if you're running it, you are not at an advanced skill level yet where you can clearly plan ahead and access how you're going to win. You don't really need 10+ cards in your hand to win the game, with a few exceptions (I could see Maro style decks running Reliquary Tower with good success, for example).

Let me ask you this: in how many games have you observed a player benefitting from a "no maximum hand size" effect and actually reach a point where he managed to empty his hand? I'm going to anecdotally guess very few. Because, in my experience, one of two possible scenarios happen: either you are attacked by everyone at the table and die because you're limited by your mana and can't possibly keep up with all the players coming at you, scared of what you drew; or you're going to use some, but not all, of the cards you drew to keep gaining more and more advantage until you're able to overwhelm the table.

My verdict is, the more color-intensive your deck is, the more times you're going to be screwed by a Reliquary Tower rather than benefitted. And my advice to everyone playing Reliquary Tower is they start paying attention to this phenomenon. Then reflect if there isn't a better utility land, or even colored land, for that slot.

Now, this is the part where I kind of shoot my own argument in the foot and disclose that I've occasionally run Tower in some of my decks. It's not that I think I'm bad at selecting cards and planning ahead. It's just that I really hate to think in a game of Commander. And that includes choosing which cards to discard. There's a reason why I'm a Timmy player at heart and most of my decks are battlecruiser 😜
Last edited by Maluko 1 week ago, edited 1 time in total.
Expand Signature
Primeval Dragon Highlander (PDH)*
Deep FireJoin ForcesCall to the Depths
Knights' ChargeEnhanced EvolutionDragon Rage

*only cards printed in expansions and core sets since Mercadian Masques, or printed for the first time since 2002.

User avatar
pokken
Posts: 1831
Joined: 11 months ago
Answers: 2
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 643 times
Been thanked: 455 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by pokken » 1 week ago

One thing I think I missed saying in the original debate is that the card's stock goes way up in longer, slower, and lower powered games. If you're gonna be playin for a long time, you're more likely to run into needing more than your best 7 cards :)

Even just super grindy mid-powered games sometimes it can be worthwhile.

Most of the games I play do not last long enough, but I've had games where having Thought Vessel in my Thassa, Deep-Dwelling deck was really useful - as I built that deck specifically to hang with my lower powered group.
Maluko wrote:
1 week ago
Now, this is the part where I kind of shoot my own argument in the foot and disclose that I've occasionally run Tower in some of my decks. It's not that I think I'm bad at selecting cards and planning ahead. It's just that I really hate to think in a game of Commander. And that includes choosing which cards to discard. There's a reason why I'm a Timmy player at heart and most of my decks are battlecruiser
Is it harder to think about what to discard once or think of what card to play of 20 in your hand, eh? :) I've seen people who cast Praetor's Counsel and have 20 card hands go into the tank for so long figuring out what to do it seems like way more work than just discarding most of the time from a mental energy perspective.
Expand Signature
EDH
UW Ephara Hatebears [Primer], UBWR Opus Thief CEDH, URG Omnath Rug elemental landfall

User avatar
Dragoon
Posts: 76
Joined: 4 months ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
Has thanked: 39 times
Been thanked: 22 times

Post by Dragoon » 1 week ago

I like the card. Sure, it's not an auto-include, but it can shine in some decks, especially Green ones who tend to have explosive draw based on the power or the number of their creatures. I also like it in decks that don't run too many recursion spells, or toolbox decks that like keeping a lot of options at hand. It played an integrand part in my Soramaro, First to Dream deck at the time.
pokken wrote:
1 week ago
One thing I think I missed saying in the original debate is that the card's stock goes way up in longer, slower, and lower powered games. If you're gonna be playin for a long time, you're more likely to run into needing more than your best 7 cards :)

Even just super grindy mid-powered games sometimes it can be worthwhile.
I think that analysis is spot on. The more powered your meta is, the less likely it is that Reliquary Tower will make a difference. But if you find yourself often running stuff like Recurring Insight, Consecrated Sphinx, Return of the Wildspeaker or Disciple of Bolas, I think it's a totally reasonable inclusion, especially if you can tutor for it when needed.
Maluko wrote:
1 week ago
Now, this is the part where I kind of shoot my own argument in the foot and disclose that I've occasionally run Tower in some of my decks. It's not that I think I'm bad at selecting cards and planning ahead. It's just that I really hate to think in a game of Commander. And that includes choosing which cards to discard. There's a reason why I'm a Timmy player at heart and most of my decks are battlecruiser 😜
Ha, I think I'm more of a Johnny/Timmy and I still share that opinion. That's why I have a hard time with looters as well. All the cards I put in my decks are there for a reason, and I hate having to get rid of them before they had a chance to shine. xD

Wallycaine
Posts: 132
Joined: 10 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Post by Wallycaine » 1 week ago

pokken wrote:
1 week ago
Is it harder to think about what to discard once or think of what card to play of 20 in your hand, eh? :) I've seen people who cast Praetor's Counsel and have 20 card hands go into the tank for so long figuring out what to do it seems like way more work than just discarding most of the time from a mental energy perspective.
Way harder to think about what to discard, definitely. When picking what I need to cast in a turn out of a 20 card hand, I have to pick the best 2-3 cards for the current situation. Maybe more if I've got a lot of low cost stuff, but typically that's more of a "what do I have leftover". When picking what to discard, I have to pick the 7 best cards for every possible future situation. So not only do I have to weigh "what cards are best" but "whats the odds I get my board wrathed, and which cards are better in that instance" versus "what if I don't get wrathed, is it more important to hold onto this piece in case of that, even though it's worthless if I do get wrathed". And that's just a very simple binary choice, which pales in comparison to determining if your specific combo piece is likely to get removed, if you should hold recursion for it, do you have alternate targets if the recusion won't work, should you bin those alternate targets now or wait to see if it gets removed... so on and so forth. Sure, with perfect play you can make the perfect decision... but running reliquary tower removes the requirement to make that choice.

User avatar
tstorm823
Knowledge Pool
Posts: 344
Joined: 11 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: York, PA
Has thanked: 40 times
Been thanked: 179 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by tstorm823 » 1 week ago

Maluko wrote:
1 week ago
Let me ask you this: in how many games have you observed a player benefitting from a "no maximum hand size" effect and actually reach a point where he managed to empty his hand?
Many, but almost always it's me. If you play cards like Dream Halls or Mind Over Matter or Mindmoil, starting a turn with 12 cards in hand can be much more powerful than having just the best 7 you decided to keep. Reliquary Tower is a fantastic card, but it's ultimately a synergy piece, so it's going to look lackluster in any deck not suited to abuse a big hand all at once.
Expand Signature
Zedruu: "This deck is not only able to go crazy - it also needs to do so."

User avatar
ZenN
Posts: 205
Joined: 10 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: Canada
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 37 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by ZenN » 1 week ago

Once upon a time I played Reliquary Tower in more decks, mostly because there weren't as many good utility lands as there are today, and partial Paris mull meant I was more okay with putting more colourless lands in my decks.

Nowadays, I mostly only want it in decks that play Necropotence, or decks where I know the commander is going to draw a ton of cards. I don't have it in my Korvold, Fae-Cursed King list, but I've thought about it. I would not be unhappy to have it there.
Expand Signature
Commander
Derevi, ETB Tactician - Value Town
Maelstrom Wanderer a.k.a. The Kool-Aid Man
Korvold, Fae-Cursed King - OM NOM NOM
Kykar, Wind's Fury - Spellslinger + Tokens

UnNamed1
Posts: 73
Joined: 2 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 4 times

Post by UnNamed1 » 1 week ago

Feels like it is honestly dead, or slight synergy. Unless you are playing really slow games that get you to the point where you are drawing tons of cards, it really doesn't seem game changing. Sure, it was nice in my Thassa ETB deck, but if I never played it, it never really hurt me much.

I used to have reliquary tower in most of my decks. Was a "just in case" thing. Since then, most of my lists have become optimized to the point that most end steps I am never pitching things that aren't redundant in the deck.

User avatar
Guardman
A Dog's Dream of Man
Posts: 127
Joined: 9 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: In a Turn-Based World
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 9 times

Post by Guardman » 1 week ago

My thought on Reliquary Tower is if you can easily/repeatably abuse/use it, then it isn't out of place in a deck. This is especially true in a deck where you are drawing a lot of cards in a turn, and are constantly having to discard to hand size. At the very least your opponents will appreciate you not taking five+ minutes each turn deciding what to discard.

For example, my Korvold, Fae-Cursed King deck can draw 10+ cards a turn. If I had Reliquary Tower out it would not only cut down on my turn time quite a bit since I don't have to choose what to discard, I also can keep cards that might not be useful right now, but could be in a turn or two due to a change in board state. Now I just need to remember to put Reliquary Tower back into the deck (and figure out what to take out considering the already tight mana base).

User avatar
WizardMN
Posts: 529
Joined: 11 months ago
Answers: 28
Pronoun: he / him
Location: Twin Cities
Has thanked: 253 times
Been thanked: 176 times
Contact:

Titles & Recognition

Post by WizardMN » 1 week ago

I have it in a few decks, but it definitely isn't a go to for me. Half the time I forget about the existence of the card until someone else plays it in a game :)

I do have a fair number of decks that draw a lot of cards but I still don't bother with Tower. To start with, anything that is 3 or more colors already has a tough time fitting in lands in general, and even more so ones that don't produce colored mana. So, it is an easy cut. Lord Windgrace is probably the biggest one I have in this category that would benefit from it, but it just can't fit (even with 44 lands).

So, I ended up including it in two decks: Ephara and Sygg. Ephara likes it because she does draw a lot of cards and I want the colorless mana for Eldrazi Displacer anyway. So, the "drawback" is actually a benefit in that deck. Or, at least, isn't usually much of a drawback.

And Sygg tends to draw a ton of cards as well. In that case though, there is a lot more 1 to 1 interaction so being able to hang onto to "extra" cards comes in handy towards the latter half of games. It is a tough sell in that deck since I want Sygg down turn 2 and it hinders that, but with as much 1 to 1 interaction and the fact that it is pretty inefficient in EDH, I figured I could use all the help I can get.

Otherwise, I think it really just comes down to personal preference. I don't think there is any 1 or 2 color deck that would actively be hurt by its inclusion since mana fixing isn't as relevant when you only need two colors. But, I think there needs to be a very compelling reason to include it in a 3 color deck as then it does start interfering with producing certain colors.

User avatar
FoxOfWar
Posts: 70
Joined: 10 months ago
Pronoun: she / her
Been thanked: 18 times

Post by FoxOfWar » 1 week ago

I probably have more decks than can abuse discarding from over the seven than I have decks that would benefit from keeping the extra. I just don't have a lot of decks that end up with over seven that often, given my penchant for making incremental snowball engines that want to churn through a lot of small effects.

Of the 36 decks I have, Arjun, the Shifting Flame is the only one where I can for certain say I play Reliquary Tower, and it's because the deck plays five or six other effects that say 'no max hand size' as the deck is centered around having my hand be huge and my draws bigger via Arjun's ability.
Expand Signature
36 decks or so...
Show
Hope of Ghirapur Swordpile - Ghosty Blinky Anafenza - Nezahal - Big, Blue and HERE! - Gonti Can Afford It - Kazuul, Tyrant of Chandras - Polukranos, More Mana - Azor Takes Flight - A3OS System - Vona Life Pain - Angel With a Whip and Her Pet Fox - Tolsimir Wolf Crusade - Dragonlord Steal & Copy - Arjun, the Mad Flame - Tatyova's Mad Lands - Zegana's Simic - Chainer Does the Value Dance - Polukranos, Unchained - Running Thromok - Sydri's Loco-Inspiraion - Zedruu the Furyhearted - Estrid Land Animation - A Case of Tariel's Persistent F*ckery - Tail of the AristoCat Humanitarian - Karador, Tomb Operator - Tayam Re-Curses - Jeleva... does... things - Sidisi, Death is Served - Omnath, Blink and You're Missing - The Negatiweaver - Breya, Eggs, Breya'd Eggs - Ishai and Reyhan Dicepile - Kynaios and Tiro Landfall Impersonations - Tana and Ravos' Regal Gatekeeping - Yidris of the Chi-Ting Corporation - General Tazri's Utterly Amazing Allies

User avatar
Sinis
Posts: 806
Joined: 11 months ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
Has thanked: 89 times
Been thanked: 126 times

Post by Sinis » 1 week ago

There has been a LOT of internet ink spilled over this card on sally and even here.

My thoughts on it are that it's probably overplayed because there are a lot of people who mutter "low opportunity cost" as they sleeve it up, but there is now a saturation of non-basic lands you could be running, and you really have to choose between the lands that meet the three criteria of coming into play untapped, providing a colourless mana, and having some ability you might like.

Some decks actively don't want it; I've won plenty of games off of a Decree of Pain into graveyard hate, into a discard step followed by a Living Death on the next turn.

That said, there are plenty of decks that really want to play it. I ran it in Toothy/Pir. I ran it in Korvold (you can get a lot of cards from Brass's Bounty). I currently run it in Rashmi. Decks that draw a lot of cards are going to want it, and it has a self-reinforcing aspect to it: The more cards you draw, the more likely you will really want it, and the more likely are to draw it.

My own policy is that I have a pile of non-basics that I might play in any given deck, and I usually take the contextually best 10-15 of them and put them in the deck I build. Rarely a deck doesn't have anything better to play and it can be a defense against something like Jin Gitaxias. Or, maybe someone made you draw a lot of cards and played out a Megrim (this happened recently to me; they also played Forced Fruition). But, most of the time, it's not better than something else.

User avatar
Mookie
Posts: 838
Joined: 10 months ago
Answers: 15
Pronoun: Unlisted
Location: the æthereal plane
Has thanked: 20 times
Been thanked: 100 times

Post by Mookie » 1 week ago

I'm in the moderate faction here - Reliquary Tower doesn't go in every deck, but there are definitely decks it is good in. I suspect some of the flak against it is from decks that it is actively bad in, whether those be five color decks that can't afford a colorless land, or graveyard-based decks that benefit from discarding.

Another strike against it is the number of good utility lands that are available. A while ago, the number of good utility lands available was pretty limited - pretty much just Strip Mine effects like Ghost Quarter. However, with the printing of Field of the Dead, Arch of Orazca, Scavenger Grounds (plus a bunch of others I'm sure I'm missing), the competition for utility land slots has gone way off.

However, I also would say that the effect it grants is certainly powerful when it comes up. Green decks running a small number of massive draw effects like Rishkar's Expertise are the most obvious place - if the bulk of your draw comes in bursts, you may not be able to get down to 7 cards in a single turn. Simultaneously, without a consistent draw engine, you may run out of action before you can find another draw effect. Reliquary Tower is good in decks with feast-or-famine card draw, because it can tide you over between draw effects. Would those decks be better served by more consistent but less explosive card draw? Maybe, but unless you actually have a draw engine in the command zone, that isn't always an option.

As others have mentioned, Reliquary Tower tends to be better in slower decks. If I'm running a combo deck, then drawing 20+ cards is usually enough to win immediately. On the other hand, if I'm playing a deck that wins by attacking with creatures, then it may be a few turn cycles before I can leverage those extra cards into a win, especially if an opponent plays a board wipe. Alternatively, if I'm playing a control deck, it may be the case that having more cards than my opponents may actually be my win condition - I know if my opponents are topdecking, they're much more likely to concede if I'm holding onto a grip of 20 cards than if I only have 5 or 6.

As a side note, one deck I have that somewhat uniquely benefits from Reliquary Tower is Tasigur. For that deck, discarding a card to hand size is effectively a big glowing sign that tells my opponents to give it back when I activate Tasigur, which effectively turns off his ability to be a useful mana sink. And if I'm activating Tasigur 6+ times in a turn cycle, that's certainly a situation that can come up. There are obviously also other commanders like Arjun, the Shifting Flame and Kagemaro, First to Suffer that specifically care about hand size.

User avatar
Dragoon
Posts: 76
Joined: 4 months ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
Has thanked: 39 times
Been thanked: 22 times

Post by Dragoon » 1 week ago

Just a side note, but I see people citing Arch of Orazca as a utility land that competes with Reliquary Tower. I don't see why though. If your deck needs an Arch of Orazca, there is very little chance that it needs Reliquary Tower and vice versa. (Also I find Arch of Orazca pretty bad, 6 mana to draw a card isn't fantastic, unless you're playing monowhite, monored or boros, and even then...)

User avatar
DirkGently
My wins are unconditional
Posts: 893
Joined: 10 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 93 times
Been thanked: 183 times

Post by DirkGently » 1 week ago

One thing I think might be worth considering, alongside all the well-trod arguments for an against the tower - I think in terms of (actual power)/(perceived power), a 10 card hand is probably more of a liability than a heavily sculpted 7. You're probably just going to dump a couple lands in the bin, NBD. But keeping to 7 means you never look THAT out of control, especially for players who aren't necessarily adept at keeping track of threat assessment.

There are so many potential threats in commander that it's hard to do the math of "ok, both those players have 7 cards in hand, but that guy sculpted it down from 12, so each card is roughly 40% more dangerous" or whatever. It's a lot easier to just go "oh, he's got 12 cards, that's scary, KILL KILL KILL".

@Dragoon How dare you besmirch the honor of AoO. Repeatable CA on a land in a draw-go control deck is suh-weeet. Although Bonders' Enclave is likely an upgrade for a lot of decks.
Expand Signature

User avatar
Dragoon
Posts: 76
Joined: 4 months ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
Has thanked: 39 times
Been thanked: 22 times

Post by Dragoon » 1 week ago

DirkGently wrote:
1 week ago
Dragoon How dare you besmirch the honor of AoO. Repeatable CA on a land in a draw-go control deck is suh-weeet. Although Bonders' Enclave is likely an upgrade for a lot of decks.
True, I didn't think of draw-go. I might try it in Kykar, Wind's Fury at some point then.

User avatar
darrenhabib
Posts: 967
Joined: 11 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 98 times
Been thanked: 230 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by darrenhabib » 1 week ago

Just going to repeat what I've talked about with this card in past discussions.

I mean its literally a sinking tower..you'd think people would take the hint.

Reliquary Tower has the title of "Card that has lost more commander games, than it has won". True story.


So for the times that if it was colored mana instead of colorless, more games would have been won through the knock on effects on playing cards in a timely manner, than games that have been won because you somehow managed to keep more that 7 cards at end of turn.

Now besides the fact that a lot of decks use their graveyard as a resource, so in fact the 7 card limit is actually very advantages,
I'll give people the benefit of the doubt that they don't play a graveyard strategy with Reliquary Tower in their deck, but you know..people..derp.

If you're discarding due to hand size and having to select from a number of cards then this means that you're in a winning position anyway.

My point is that people read Reliquary Tower as "oh, a free land I can play in case I get to draw millions of cards, so no cost to putting it in the deck".
The problem is that it comes with a real cost. The colorless mana will almost certainly effect your ability to cast spells in a timely manner. Maybe not some games, but enough that if you were able to cast your spells a turn earlier it might have actually won you the game down the stretch.
The games you win where you managed to be in a winning position anyway from drawing so many cards that you'd need to discard is proportionally less. Do I have official stats on this? Yes..yes I do, its all kept stored in my head.

Now I do play Reliquary Tower in one of my decks, Greven, Predator Captain. So I'm not saying its an unplayable card, but the moral of the story is that it has to fit perfectly with the deck design. You have to be willing to give up the colored mana for some long term strategies. The problem with newbies to commander (and unfortunately probably some old timers as well) is that they just literally jam it into every deck. The consequence is that you will lose more games because of it.

Dunharrow
Posts: 295
Joined: 10 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: Montreal
Has thanked: 41 times
Been thanked: 30 times

Post by Dunharrow » 1 week ago

I play Thought Vessel more than I play tower. Sometimes I just want another 2cmc rock. I guess it will become arcane signet eventually. I think I play Tower in 2 decks, which are decks that draw an obscene amount of cards and which want to keep as many cards in hand as possible (Arjun, the Shifting Flame and Kefnet the Mindful).

I definitely see people draw 20 cards, take 5 minutes to figure out what to play, and then lose before they get close to casting more than 3 cards. And I see people win within a turn of when they drew 20 cards. People are afraid to discard and they really shouldn't be. Unless you both draw a lot of cards and want to keep a lot of cards in hand for strategic benefit, there is really no point to tower.

User avatar
WizardMN
Posts: 529
Joined: 11 months ago
Answers: 28
Pronoun: he / him
Location: Twin Cities
Has thanked: 253 times
Been thanked: 176 times
Contact:

Titles & Recognition

Post by WizardMN » 1 week ago

darrenhabib wrote:
1 week ago
Just going to repeat what I've talked about with this card in past discussions.

I mean its literally a sinking tower..you'd think people would take the hint.

Reliquary Tower has the title of "Card that has lost more commander games, than it has won". True story.


So for the times that if it was colored mana instead of colorless, more games would have been won through the knock on effects on playing cards in a timely manner, than games that have been won because you somehow managed to keep more that 7 cards at end of turn.
This seems like an odd way to put it. I mean sure, in some cases having colorless mana instead of colored is going to hurt, but that applies to literally every land that can't tap for colored mana. And let me tell you, Diamond Valley has won me far more games than it has lost and it doesn't even tap for mana :P
If you're discarding due to hand size and having to select from a number of cards then this means that you're in a winning position anyway.
Perhaps there is some grander idea you have here, or I don't understand what you mean, but this seems to be pretty much untrue. Discarding from 8 to 7 hardly seems like a "winning position". Maybe it is only when you have 10 cards in hand? 14? What number would be considered "winning" versus "I happened to have a full hand and drew a couple cards"? I mentioned Ephara and Sygg and having more than 7 cards in hand in those decks is hardly winning; it just means I am waiting for stuff to happen and it hasn't yet. In fact, it is possible the inverse is true: if you have more than 7 cards in hand, something is preventing you from casting/playing those cards and you are, in fact, losing. In either case, I am not sure it is really a metric that a) can be measured or b) even matters.
The games you win where you managed to be in a winning position anyway from drawing so many cards that you'd need to discard is proportionally less. Do I have official stats on this? Yes..yes I do, its all kept stored in my head.
Well then, /thread. This is definitively the end of the conversation. How can we argue about "official stats" that aren't written down anywhere or have any sort of verification?

I don't mean to be so hostile here, but this is pretty dismissive without offering any real reason for the dismissal. There is a lot of confirmation bias (on both sides) but I think there are merits to including it that go beyond "how many games did it win me?". I find the decks that are reactionary and tend to draw more are more geared towards the card simply because waiting on reaction to have to get rid of the one sweeper in hand to save the one counterspell (or vice versa) can at least keep the game going longer. Maybe you don't win because of it, but it helps you to not lose I suppose (at least, not right then).

That isn't to say every control deck should run it. It, to me, just seems like a pretty good home.

I do think that most midrange or aggro decks wouldn't want it. And I stand by my comment about it needing to *really* be needed in anything with 3+ colors. So I think I agree with your overall assessment, just maybe not the reasons behind or how black and white you seem to put it. I think there is a lot of gray area and if there is one format that loves gray areas, it is EDH.

User avatar
darrenhabib
Posts: 967
Joined: 11 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 98 times
Been thanked: 230 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by darrenhabib » 1 week ago

WizardMN wrote:
1 week ago
This seems like an odd way to put it. I mean sure, in some cases having colorless mana instead of colored is going to hurt, but that applies to literally every land that can't tap for colored mana. And let me tell you, Diamond Valley has won me far more games than it has lost and it doesn't even tap for mana :P
Completely different card, completely different context. Do you put Diamond Valley into all your decks? No, you need to consider how it functions within the deck itself.
My point is the often people slot Reliquary Tower automatically into their deck with no actual design considerations around how their deck actually functions.
Perhaps there is some grander idea you have here, or I don't understand what you mean, but this seems to be pretty much untrue. Discarding from 8 to 7 hardly seems like a "winning position". Maybe it is only when you have 10 cards in hand? 14? What number would be considered "winning" versus "I happened to have a full hand and drew a couple cards"? I mentioned Ephara and Sygg and having more than 7 cards in hand in those decks is hardly winning; it just means I am waiting for stuff to happen and it hasn't yet. In fact, it is possible the inverse is true: if you have more than 7 cards in hand, something is preventing you from casting/playing those cards and you are, in fact, losing. In either case, I am not sure it is really a metric that a) can be measured or b) even matters.
Really the number doesn't matter. If you are discarding because you are mana screwed for example, then chances are that Reliquary Tower is just going to be a terrible land in the first place, as you normally need colored mana to get those cards out of your hand and onto the table.
In the case that you've drawn lots of cards, you've realistically achieved some combo, which means that you've established yourself already.
It doesn't matter if you are discarding 1 card or 8 cards, you get to select 7 of your best cards that are going to line you up in a winning position more often than not. And this point is the most important thing when it comes to actually understanding how overrated having a larger hand size is.
Well then, /thread. This is definitively the end of the conversation. How can we argue about "official stats" that aren't written down anywhere or have any sort of verification?

I don't mean to be so hostile here, but this is pretty dismissive without offering any real reason for the dismissal. There is a lot of confirmation bias (on both sides) but I think there are merits to including it that go beyond "how many games did it win me?". I find the decks that are reactionary and tend to draw more are more geared towards the card simply because waiting on reaction to have to get rid of the one sweeper in hand to save the one counterspell (or vice versa) can at least keep the game going longer. Maybe you don't win because of it, but it helps you to not lose I suppose (at least, not right then).
My whole explanation of its effect is purely based off my experience playing with it and against it.
At the end of the day you can't actually plot the path of what would have happened in games had you been able to cast your spells. You might still have ended up losing. But not casting spells sure is an easy way to lose.
And Reliquary Tower can definitely do that. I've seen it a hundred times and experienced it quite a few times myself, before of course I evolved.
That isn't to say every control deck should run it. It, to me, just seems like a pretty good home.

I do think that most midrange or aggro decks wouldn't want it. And I stand by my comment about it needing to *really* be needed in anything with 3+ colors. So I think I agree with your overall assessment, just maybe not the reasons behind or how black and white you seem to put it. I think there is a lot of gray area and if there is one format that loves gray areas, it is EDH.
Interestingly with my Ephara control deck I cut Reliquary Tower in the end. It wasn't terrible, but I finally realized it was just better off being a colored land. My point being that once I was discarding due to hand size, I just had a grip on the game anyway. Then I'd had games where I wanted colored mana and the Tower prevented me from casting in a timely manner.
Again, I can tell you that my decision making on this card is through pure experience.

But as I say I do play it in my Greven, Predator Captain, so I'm not just on this completely dismissive frame of mind, its all based on deck design. This is where probably realistically 50% or more people fail with Reliquary Tower is that they included it and its actually a design flaw to their build.

User avatar
pokken
Posts: 1831
Joined: 11 months ago
Answers: 2
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 643 times
Been thanked: 455 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by pokken » 1 week ago

Another piece I've noticed is that, maybe in the last 5 years or so, people have been cutting lands en masse. Lots more 32-35 land decks with lots of cheap ramp these days, even on the more casual end.

The fewer lands you play the less room you have for lands that don't make colored mana.
Expand Signature
EDH
UW Ephara Hatebears [Primer], UBWR Opus Thief CEDH, URG Omnath Rug elemental landfall

User avatar
ZenN
Posts: 205
Joined: 10 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: Canada
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 37 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by ZenN » 1 week ago

pokken wrote:
1 week ago
Another piece I've noticed is that, maybe in the last 5 years or so, people have been cutting lands en masse. Lots more 32-35 land decks with lots of cheap ramp these days, even on the more casual end.

The fewer lands you play the less room you have for lands that don't make colored mana.
Absolutely. More and more people are coming to the conclusion that they're better off with replacing a couple lands with cheap ramp, which is mostly true.

Also, I appreciate that you used "fewer" and not "less".
Expand Signature
Commander
Derevi, ETB Tactician - Value Town
Maelstrom Wanderer a.k.a. The Kool-Aid Man
Korvold, Fae-Cursed King - OM NOM NOM
Kykar, Wind's Fury - Spellslinger + Tokens

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic

Return to “Commander”