Ratadrabik Legendary Death Loops

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 month ago

This deck can get some super splashy things off but it also looks like its going to take some assembly to do some of it. The "Living the Dream" of this deck is going to be something along the lines of Commander + Double Death Trigger + Token Multiplication Mechanics.

In short, if it actually pops off its going to go super deep and I am going to have a stupid number of copies of things. It is possible that I should then pair some sort of anthem legend to stack a big stat growth of these guys but I feel like if I get all of that to work that adding some sort of anthem gets a little winmore at that point.

Decklist

COMMANDER (1)

PLANESWALKER (1)

Approximate Total Cost:

CONSIDERATIONS:
Ashnod, Flesh Mechanist - its a cheap legend and I like that it has deathtouch and can function as a sac outlet if I want it.
Hope of Ghirapur - Its a cheap legend with flying which could be a blocker or disruption.
Gollum, Patient Plotter - Curious of it from a sac outlet and slow churn value point. I feel like I could actually go through the tempt functions with this and my commander.
Lotho, Corrupt Shirriff - its a cheap legend that gives me some ramp.
Bolas's Citadel - Card draw has been something I have been fighting with and I have some amount of lifegain on enter stuff.
Legion Loyalty - The idea of attacking with legends and making more legends to split could be amusing. The issue is that its expensive to cast and I probably throw my legends away when they attack.
Lich-Knights' Conquest - Its an interesting sac outlet and rez effect.
Ascend from Avernus - decent rez if expensive.
Last edited by ISBPathfinder 1 week ago, edited 8 times in total.
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kirkusjones
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Post by kirkusjones » 1 month ago

I'm curious to see how Drivnod, Carnage Dominus works for you. I have it on the shortlist for a bunch of decks, but it usually gets cut in favor of other stuff that plays in a similar space/has more utility.

This is definitely what my Ratadrabik of Urborg list would look like if I was playing pick up games at the LGS, rather than with the Battlecruiser Boys in my Tuesday night group.

EDIT - don't know how I missed Adeline, Resplendent Cathar in my legend search when I built this last week. Definitely will need a copy.

Samwise the Stouthearted is fun in my list, though I suspect it may not measure up here.


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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 month ago

kirkusjones wrote:
1 month ago
I'm curious to see how Drivnod, Carnage Dominus works for you. I have it on the shortlist for a bunch of decks, but it usually gets cut in favor of other stuff that plays in a similar space/has more utility.

This is definitely what my Ratadrabik of Urborg list would look like if I was playing pick up games at the LGS, rather than with the Battlecruiser Boys in my Tuesday night group.

EDIT - don't know how I missed Adeline, Resplendent Cathar in my legend search when I built this last week. Definitely will need a copy.

Samwise the Stouthearted is fun in my list, though I suspect it may not measure up here.
I expect this deck to be REALLY derpy. Its going to be slow to do this stuff but its going to be big game ending kind of stuff and its going to be hard to board sweep due to the commander leaving things behind. I suspect it will probably try to keep everything and then suddenly move a bunch of things and have a concerning boardstate.

Samwise the Stouthearted - Yea, I looked at him but just returning to hand seemed worse than a rez to play effect even with getting two uses from him.
ChocoDude wrote:
1 month ago
Is there a way to abuse Mangara of Corondor? I have no experience with that card and can't see how you could get a token from it since it doesn't die.
Yea its really old school but the trigger to exile its target is also the trigger that exiles itself rather than the cost of activating. So what this means is that you can flicker or sacrifice it after you activate it before its ability resolves. This does mean that with a sac outlet you can target to exile and sac it and pop out the token. You can see it explains this in the rules for it on gatherer.
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Post by kirkusjones » 1 month ago

Mangara of Corondor is gross. I remember fearing him in Legacy Death and Taxes. That deck had some great unintuitive rules exploits.

I've only run my version of this once, but it felt very resilient. Excited to see how yours develops.


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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 month ago

kirkusjones wrote:
1 month ago
Mangara of Corondor is gross. I remember fearing him in Legacy Death and Taxes. That deck had some great unintuitive rules exploits.

I've only run my version of this once, but it felt very resilient. Excited to see how yours develops.
I put in an order for some cards and I am mulling over a few additional cards that might also happen. Its sort of a list of cards I need to think about more for now but I guess I can spitball it here.
  • Thalia, Guardian of Thraben - If I get her early she could be as useful on curve as ramp but later on splitting multiple of her could be nice against some card draw heavy decks I play against. I do have a somewhat slow creature oriented list so it might work out but then again I am so slow that it might not be enough. It could be worth a try though.
  • Gift of Immortality - It really could fit on almost any creature in my deck even on my commander it could work as protection but its not good value there.
  • K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth - I don't often consider this guy as a singleton but the commander can kind of keep him in play and he serves as some ramp sort of function.
  • Vampiric Tutor / Enlightened Tutor My draw in this deck doesn't look great which makes me think some tutors might be good.
I was also wondering how much of a concern spot removing my commander is. It does have ward 2 which isn't nothing but I was thinking about if I wanted to protect it further. For now I will probably just not but its something to think of.
ChocoDude wrote:
1 month ago
Thanks! I was wondering if it was a sac upon trigger effect. Seems so unintuitive though.
Its really bad templating but its a really old card. If they were to make that sort of card today they would make it exile or sac itself as part of the cost rather than the resolution because exactly what you said, it isn't intuitive.
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Post by kirkusjones » 1 month ago

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is on my shortlist too. Even with one of your token doublers, she can slow down your opponents. Late game with an Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation // Temple of Civilization token and a re-creature-ized version, you could come close to locking your opponents out of noncreature spells. Granted, it's symmetrical, but that's what sac outlets are for.

Did I miss Myrel, Shield of Argive in your list? She doesn't come down as early as Thalia, but she does good work.

As for tutors, I know @ChocoDude recommended Diabolic Intent in my Ratadrabik thread, it's no Vampiric Tutor, but it helps.

I will also be finding room for Saw in Half in my list. I use it in my Talion, the Kindly Lord pile and I'm always happy to see it.

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Post by ChocoDude » 1 month ago

I've got my deck in paper and have played it maybe 7-10 times as my playgroup gets together once a month. There's a couple cards in your list that I found to be too slow:

* The Kenrith's Royal Funeral Seemed too situational and would sit in my hands at times. I didn't always have legendaries in the yard to get card draw from or to eventually get the ramp from. It's almost too late in the game to benefit from the ramp unless you Buried Alive some legends. I replaced it with Nasty End for the quick card draw and sac.

* Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim Most of the time you're not using her second sac ability and I preferred a free sac outlet to her first sac ability. She's got a nice body for the cost though. I put in Viscera Seer for her even though she's not legendary. You could consider Phyrexian Altar here too. Although $$$. Also, Sword of the Animist is great, but doesn't seem as good here as a deck with more creatures with evasion. The Altar could work in its place. I run it in my Giada deck since Angels generally fly and may put it back into my Ranar deck as it pumps out the flying spirits.

Lastly, I haven't tried the Honor-Worn Shaku [/card] Worn, Shaku[/card]. How has that worked out? Relic of Legends is a house in this deck, so the Shaku intrigues me.


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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 month ago

Let me start off by saying I haven't piloted this at all so all of my thoughts are still mostly theoretical rather than anything proven.
kirkusjones wrote:
1 month ago
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is on my shortlist too. Even with one of your token doublers, she can slow down your opponents. Late game with an Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation // Temple of Civilization token and a re-creature-ized version, you could come close to locking your opponents out of noncreature spells. Granted, it's symmetrical, but that's what sac outlets are for.

Did I miss Myrel, Shield of Argive in your list? She doesn't come down as early as Thalia, but she does good work.

As for tutors, I know @ChocoDude recommended Diabolic Intent in my Ratadrabik thread, it's no Vampiric Tutor, but it helps.

I will also be finding room for Saw in Half in my list. I use it in my Talion, the Kindly Lord pile and I'm always happy to see it.
Thalia - Yea the thought of going deeper with multiple copies as it gets later would still be good. It is a symmetrical effect but I have a lot of creatures and my card draw isn't crazy so I don't imagine this deck is going to be chaining a bunch of things on average. I find this ability hurts some spellslinger / draw heavy decks more so.

Myrel, Shield of Argive - I had a few concerns offhand. Being a four drop legend contests with my commander's casting so it means me offset casting my commander or this. I also don't hate disabling spellcasting on my turn but I also don't find it to be super critical of an effect. The size of this creature as well being someone that needs to personally attack is kind of bad for something that is also at an awkward mana cost in a deck that isn't tribal for the tribal type it is going for. I don't think its wrong to run but I am also not blown away by its inclusion due to a number of these reasons.

Diabolic Intent - yea it could be a thing too.
ChocoDude wrote:
1 month ago
I've got my deck in paper and have played it maybe 7-10 times as my playgroup gets together once a month. There's a couple cards in your list that I found to be too slow:

* The Kenrith's Royal Funeral Seemed too situational and would sit in my hands at times. I didn't always have legendaries in the yard to get card draw from or to eventually get the ramp from. It's almost too late in the game to benefit from the ramp unless you Buried Alive some legends. I replaced it with Nasty End for the quick card draw and sac.

* Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim Most of the time you're not using her second sac ability and I preferred a free sac outlet to her first sac ability. She's got a nice body for the cost though. I put in Viscera Seer for her even though she's not legendary. You could consider Phyrexian Altar here too. Although $$$. Also, Sword of the Animist is great, but doesn't seem as good here as a deck with more creatures with evasion. The Altar could work in its place. I run it in my Giada deck since Angels generally fly and may put it back into my Ranar deck as it pumps out the flying spirits.

Lastly, I haven't tried the Honor-Worn Shaku [/card] Worn, Shaku[/card]. How has that worked out? Relic of Legends is a house in this deck, so the Shaku intrigues me.
The Kenrith's Royal Funeral - I do have some fear about its speed but its also draw and cost reduction. I want to at least try it out but it being slow is a concern of mine. I am currently planning to run a Bazaar of Baghdad in my list though as I felt it played decently with some of the reanimator stuff as well. I am not sold either way but I want to at least personally test it.

Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim - I agree I would rather have a free sac outlet but getting a 2 drop deathtoucher is still fine. I have a number of other also questionable sac outlet creatures who also could be looked at ultimately and with testing I suspect they will be.

Phyrexian Altar - I own like.... 5 so its not a problem. I just don't know that I want one in here. I feel like my landbase gets me my colors fairly well and most of my plays require more mana rather than more mana fixing.

Sword of the Animist - Yea I am not sure. I thought the commander could wield it in an opener but it might still be too slow. At first I started the list out as a bunch of small cheap legends and it made more sense then but I ended up swinging it the other way when I asked myself if the deck could actually function and what would make the deck interesting. It might go yet.

Honor-Worn Shaku - I have used it in two other decks in the past and generally enjoyed it. One of them I still have together in a Sanwell, Avenger Ace deck and the other was a Squee, the Immortal where I used it to cost reduce my commander and chain cast him in a turn. Obviously the colored mana is better but I still think they are both good performing mana rocks with heavy legends present.
ChocoDude wrote:
1 month ago
I'm also curious to try Illuminor Szeras and Search for Glory. How have the played for you?

And I'm not sure what the benefit of Edgar, Charmed Groom is? It just doesn't seem that great to me. What am I missing?
Illuminor Szeras - I haven't ever played the card before but this seems like the deck for him. I ordered a copy for this deck so I can't really say much for him.

Search for Glory - I like it as an option to go fetch important lands honestly and with all the legends in this deck it transitions later to be a bad black tutor kind of. Going and getting a Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx in the early turns and not giving up card advantage is fairly decent.

Edgar, Charmed Groom - So, he works with a lot of the death triggers and token generators. The original flips to the backside and the commander makes copies of the front. If you get multiple copies of the front side they buff each other as well as the tokens that come out and with time he flips back to the front to split and multiply again. I will be honest, its kind of slow but I like that the tokens he makes have lifelink and if plays well to both token double effects and death double effects. I have not played it at all myself but I think its amusing.
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Post by ChocoDude » 1 month ago

Oh ok. Got it, that you haven't played it yet. Well, I'll be curious to find out what you think after a few games. Thanks for the thoughts on each of those cards.

I like the idea of Brought Back and Wake the Dead bringing creatures back to the battlefield as opposed to a couple creatures I'm running that return cards to hand. I'm going to try and pick up those two cards to test out. (Maybe I'll just print out proxies to test.) I'm glad there are a few folks here to talk about Ratadrabik. Thanks for the discussion.

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Post by kirkusjones » 1 month ago

The nice thing about Sword of the Animist is that it triggers on attack, not damage, so even if the creature is not evasive, you still get your land. Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim is a great swiss army knife. 1 isn't zero, obviously, but it's a good little sac outlet and a great blocker in a pinch.

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 month ago

Ok, I have sleeved up what I can from what I have on hand and a bunch of stuff is in the mail still. I still haven't played this deck yet but the high curve was nagging at me so I worked on it a little asking myself what my priority in this deck is and I think I was really pushing myself on the legendary creature death and tokens kind of angles so I worked hard on lowering my curve and leaning into those elements with some of my changes.

@ChocoDude random thought but keep in mind Brought Back can also hit fetchlands back to play so if you play it right you can like double crack fetches and bring them back for some interesting ramp. I haven't ever done it but a deck that plans to play into creature deaths like this is where you would ideally give it a shot.

DECK CHANGES:
  • Bennie Bracks, ZoologistTeysa, Orzhov Scion I had some fears that I didn't have a lot of token gen before outside of my commander seeing legends die. I do have a few others but it just felt like he might need to go and maybe come back later. Teysa gives me some token gen, sac outlet, removal all in one package and with my commander backing her up I like that she might feel a bit sticky.
  • Sidisi, Undead VizierAo, the Dawn Sky I kept thinking about this and I think Ao's death trigger putting things into play is really powerful. With my commander in play I could curve commander into Ao and if I have a sac outlet just that gives me access to the top 14 cards of my library with a permenant heavy build it just seems really good. Later in the game he can also function as an anthem which is great because again..... token concept.
  • Elesh Norn, Grand CenobiteClavileno, First of the Blessed I thought about Elesh Norn a LOT and I do really like her as a hate card in general. The fact that there was a potential to sacrifice her and multi split her into more than one elesh in play really got me excited. That said, she costs a lot of mana. I feel like I might at some point bring her back in place of either Dictate of Erebos or Martyr's Bond because I think that ultimately these cards can sort of fight over some of the same spots in the deck. Clavileno seems very odd in general but I am actually quite happy with its interaction of just consuming itself for draw and demon tokens paired with my commander's interaction of backup copies. Then there is also the option for more tokens or more death triggers and I think it can scale up but I think even just curving Clavileno into my commander is a fine line of play.
  • Avacyn, Angel of HopeThalia, Guardian of Thraben I just wanted to cut the curve heavily. I am a fan of Avacyn but that said her protection has gotten a lot weaker over the days. I was excited about being able to sac her into multiple avacyn if someone went to spot remove her but that doesn't make her better against something like a Cyclonic Rift unfortunately. I kept thinking about it and in reality she was really kind of stapled onto this deck rather than working well in duplicate or with my actual game plan. Thalia feels good on curve and might screw with some of my opponents. I did add more cheap ramp to my deck recently but I still have a 30+ creature count so she seems probably fine paired with my not so amazing card draw lol. Usually the guy drawing all the cards complains the loudest about cost increases.
  • Sword of the AnimistMana Crypt I was a little leery of adding crypt in here but I do think this deck has a number of lifegain preservation means. With adding Ao, the Dawn Sky to my list I was even more tempted for a few cheaky zero cost artifacts though so I decided it was good enough.
  • Heartless SummoningMiara, Thorn of the Glade Heartless was more ok with a higher curve but I have addressed that some so I am going to cut it for not. Heartless can be a problem for some of my tokens and small utility creatures even if the 2/2 versions from my commander survive. Miara, Thorn of the Glade doesn't seem amazing but I felt like I needed a few more cheap legends that were just there with the intention of dying. If you get more than one copy of her in play at a time her draw might actually be ok at that point.
  • Search for GloryMox Amber I am not actually sure where I stand with this change. Search on three is probably a fine play but if I have any ramp in my hand suddenly I am doing commander on or before three and then I hate search as it feels overly clunky. So, I guess lets throw in some more cheap ramp and see where we end up.
So, lowered the curve, added more ramp. These seem like good things to do. Not sure that my draw is where I want it exactly and I could see something like Welcoming Vampire maybe being useful even if its not a legend. Testing should go a ways for me seeing where I am at on this but I do like that I got some of the high cost cards to lower down.
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Post by ChocoDude » 1 month ago

Yeah I'm trying to get a copy of Brought Back as it seems perfect for this deck.

Of your changes, I think Elesh Norn will probably make its way back in. I've found it super helpful generally especially with two or more copies of it on the board. I play tested Ao, but can't remember why I pulled it. I recently added Sidisi but it hasn't come up in a game yet. Mox Amber has been good in my deck. Now I'm curious what you'll discover during actual games. Thanks for the update.



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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 month ago

I am not a judge but I believe in the case of Teysa Karlov it creates an instance where the other trigger goes on the stack twice rather than generating a trigger itself for the other effect to generate a second trigger. If we can shrink our commander via something like Yawgmoth, Thran Physician I believe Delney, Streetwise Lookout could trigger our commander 2x assuming their power were to decrease. I do have a handful of other interestring triggers with it aw well in my list like Teysa, Orzhov Scion, Mangara of Corondor, Whisper, Blood Liturgist, Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim (second ability seems good in duo). I really will be interested in testing Delney in this deck. It also does push a little towards testing with Heartless Summoning too.

Looking at the second ruling of Teysa for why I think this:
Teysa's effect doesn't copy the triggered ability; it just causes the ability to trigger twice. Any choices made as you put the ability onto the stack, such as modes and targets, are made separately for each instance of the ability. Any choices made on resolution, such as whether to pay a cost for that triggered ability, are also made separately.
I might swap Norn with one of the more expensive grave pacts. We will see. I do think there is room for synergy and its got some similar places in testing.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 month ago

I jumped to conclusions there it looks like its just triggered and not activated abilities. My bad for posting quick when I was on my way out the door.
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Post by ChocoDude » 1 month ago

No worries. I did the same, since Yawgmoth's abilities are activated and not triggered. However, we can still use Yawgmoth or Heartless Summoning to shrink our commander so we can get double trouble. I count eight creatures in my list with power >2 that have triggered abilities that would double with Delney IF in token form or shrunken by Yawgmoth. I have four more that are <=2 power, but can grow larger and would probably requiring shrinking. Then, I have another seven directly benefit from Delney without any modification. However, two of those creatures don't have that worthy of triggered abilities. That leaves 17 total including Ratadrabik. That's decent, especially with a recursion package.

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 month ago

Okkkkkk I finally got around to playing games with this deck and..... yea its fun but holy hell its also combo tastic and it can be kind of slow rolling to get to its objective. I think I got away with a lot of stuff just because things weren't falling into place until suddenly they super were. People didn't really see what I was doing until it was a very big problem and then my board of a few guys became like hella spooky. That said, I kind of never saw any draw from my deck and yeaaaaa its a freaking problem. I am probably going to come up with a fairly big pivot pushing it towards draw and some cheaper creatures at the cost of some of the better standalone legends that aren't part of the like strongest pairing bs combo stuffs at the top end. Given that I am going to outline three games over like 4+ hours of play I am probably going to give some of the highlights rather than a turn by turn basis.

Game 1: 4 player FFA game with a Bruna enchantress UW deck, mono white equipment deck, and a Doctor Who Grixus commander I can't name offhand but they make the Darilect tokens.
I started out kind of hard up on mana I kept a hand with one land and a mana rock but it was in part because my hand was all low curving. I topdecked a land on turn 1 so I did a T2 rock into T3 tutor for a fetchland which I left uncracked. On T4 I happened to topdeck another fetch and I did a 2x fetchland into Brought Back both of them which felt nice. T5 I had to overload Damn but had enough mana to follow it up with some creature.

From here I got a few more creatures into play and ended up getting swept after playing an Elesh Norn that I left in for Martyr's Bond. It split my legends and did a little bit of damage off of Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim. Someone tried to borrow Elesh Norn for a turn and I opted to sac her to High Market to keep the rest of my board instead.

This game ended by fighting over the Elesh Norn a few times. I rezed it a few times going through Animate Dead and Whisper, Blood Liturgist all abusing my opponents with it and Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim did a bunch of work due to an opponents Wound Reflection.

The game went down to a 1v1 and I managed to win due to how sticky my board was and that I was working with Whisper, Blood Liturgist

Game 2: heads up game because we were stuck without extra players. The opponent was the same one that ended up being the last standing the game before.

I curve into Clavileno, First of the Blessed on T3 and commander on T4 and attack. Opponent opts not to split my guy which honestly I didn't realize until now but he keeps his status of being a demon once its applied which is actually really sweet. T5 I sac my Clavileno to High Market and then Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Promise of Aclazotz. I end my turn and use Thalia to populate my Claviento.

This game goes on for a while and I start overwhelming my opponent using draw and 4/3 tokens generated and using a bunch of other legends to keep him going. Honestly I was not mad at all on how Clavieno played it was really good but this was the idea curving him into commander situation which I had assumed would be fairly good.

Opponent ends up scooping as my value train starts getting a little silly and he isn't able to scrape me off the board very easily.

Game 3: New opponents 4 player FFA game. Opponents have some powerful stuff but are experimenting with some experimental banned list for some event they are trying to play. Both opponents decks seem to be a little more control oriented though than I think is going to work for them so they end up not super fast out of the gates. Also there is very very little card draw to go around all of our games with a Sylvan Library being probably the most draw anyone at the table saw.

I have a slow hand with no ramp originally and I just curve turn after turn hoping to be in play soon enough. The esper player does a T1 Serra Ascendant and proceeds to roll random and happens to not attack me in the first two attacks and then attacks the player with the gold curse on the turn it should be my attack instead of me before it got answered.

T3 Yahenni, Undying Partisan (opponent plays Rule of Law). T4 commander (opponent plays Grand Arbiter Augustin IV). T5 Teysa Karlov and attack the player who has the curse that gives gold when they are attacked. The player who is getting beat up for gold answers the gold curse as he is sick of being filled with treats. T6 I play Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation which gets counterspelled by the esper player which sucks.

From here I flounder heavily for several turns doing things like just playing a mana rock for the turn kind of stuff because I don't have other plays. I think its 2-3 turns after the counterspell when I get lucky and I topdeck Junji, the Midnight Sky which resolves. My opponents don't quite understand what I am up to and or doing so I just pass. They sort of start smelling me out near the end of the last opponents turn where I probably should have just taken an attack for 5 and then popped off but I don't think it overly matters so I start popping the hell off mid combat.

Junji, the Midnight Sky blocks some other 5/5 attacking me in the air and I sac Teysa into a token ahead of Junji's death which rezes Teysa and Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation. I think I technically am supposed to make 2 teysa tokens when she dies but I probably need to double check that that happens so I just have 2 Teysa in play now. My opponent sees whats going on and he goes to exile my sac outlet and I sac Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation in response getting 3 token triggers from my commander which again might have been supposed to be more. The first Ojer comes in, the second trigger resolves to make..... 3 tokens of him, and then the fourth trigger resolves............. and this is where I go.... %$#% I don't know how many tokens this is. I..... think it makes 81 tokens of him. Then I sac something else and make some horrible unknown number of creatures that I don't even know..... how vast my horde is lol. I sacrifice a token of Junji, the Midnight Sky and have my opponents discard cards

I swing and kill 2/3 of the players as there is a Propaganda. I pay 10 mana and pay to attack with 5 on the esper player and I end up gaining some horrible huge amount of life off of Teysa which I just declare my life to be 5k. He takes a turn and scoops.



Soooooooooo I think this deck is really interesting but if I am being honest I think I have a lot of just like..... clunky topend. I would rather lower my curve by a bunch and add a bunch of card draw on death sort of stuff maybe even an equipment package due to skullclamp being sick. I am really thinking about cards like Erebos, Bleak-Hearted, Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor, and maybe even like Krav, the Unredeemed. I just really want to cut like half of my 4+ cmc stuff that isn't double death / double token and see if I can't make it run faster with more draw on a lower curve.

I was also really not impressed with a number of token production effects. Like I saw Adeline, Resplendent Cathar but I had no idea how it was going to be useful other than if I had a grave pact setup but it just wasn't really something that was going to make my deck work so I might cut some of the token stuff likely Adeline and Edgar. I am going to go down in my overall token stuff probably and just bank on double tokens from my commander being baller enough to carry that mechanic.

I just wanted to get a quick and dirty reply on how the deck did and I will probably circle back after processing things a little more with changes but for now I think the list is likely to change a lot cutting a lot of generic standalone good cards for more draw and focusing the top end of the curve to being the things that let me pop off and trying to push to more cheap end legends.

The one shot rez stuff was ok but its also probably going to get culled down some for some loop rez or mass rez or just be cut in general for better draw. I think the one shot spot rez stuff could be useful its just that is something to sort of look back at after the draw is working correctly.
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ChocoDude
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Post by ChocoDude » 1 month ago

Yeah for draw I chose Village Rites, Nasty End, and Plumb the Forbidden to combine the sac element with the draw. I think there's a new Village clone that would work better than Plumb in terms of mana efficiency. Plumb though is decent when facing a board wipe, but then it's more reactionary.

I also just got a Call of the Ring to double as a ring tempting effect and card draw. I haven't played the deck with it yet though. I also added in Mangara, the Diplomat and a Yawgmoth, Thran Physician as legendaries that draw. I like your idea of Erebos since it's a draw/sac outlet. I'm also tempted to try out Bennie Bracks, Zoologist.

Of course, there's always the staples like Necropotence or less $$$ options like Night's Whisper and that ilk as simple draw to keep fueling your hand.

I'm curious to see where you go with things.

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 month ago

ChocoDude wrote:
1 month ago
Yeah for draw I chose Village Rites, Nasty End, and Plumb the Forbidden to combine the sac element with the draw. I think there's a new Village clone that would work better than Plumb in terms of mana efficiency. Plumb though is decent when facing a board wipe, but then it's more reactionary.

I also just got a Call of the Ring to double as a ring tempting effect and card draw. I haven't played the deck with it yet though. I also added in Mangara, the Diplomat and a Yawgmoth, Thran Physician as legendaries that draw. I like your idea of Erebos since it's a draw/sac outlet. I'm also tempted to try out Bennie Bracks, Zoologist.

Of course, there's always the staples like Necropotence or less $$$ options like Night's Whisper and that ilk as simple draw to keep fueling your hand.

I'm curious to see where you go with things.
I was thinking about Village Rites and Plumb the Forbidden but they sort of let me down as sac outlets and draw outlets in just being one shot. Plumb might be the one I would consider just because I can mass sac and draw to it but the others I feel like don't give me enough draw or sac options for me to really want them in this deck. I tend to like those ideas more if I have a single creature that needs to be saced reliably rather than chaining sacs.

Call of the Ring its got a little bit of similarity to Eye of Vecna with the tradeoff of not drawing immediately but not costing mana later. Its interesting but it does seem a bit slow to perform for me.

Mangara, the Diplomat - I think Mangara is..... fine. There are opponents who it will draw consistently from just them playing but there are others it won't. It might vary a little from meta to meta but even then I feel like when I have access to black there are better consistent draw engines.

Bennie Bracks, Zoologist - I do still think he is interesting but what was holding me off is that I really prefer to keep all of my legends not in zombie mode when I can help it just to help against wraths. I feel like with Bennie he gives us a reason to slowly eat through resources assuming we don't have some other token gen other than the commander. If he would allow me to churn through all my guys in one shot as draw rather than once a turn is kind of my issue with him.

Necropotence - Yea I was originally not going to go there but as I lowered my curve I think its fine to give it a shot. Really any generic draw could work out.

Equipment - I talked about equipment and equipment tutors before and I really did explore it further. I just thought I would explain my thoughts now in that as I looked into equipment tutors more my issue was that outside of Skullclamp a lot of equipment clashed with my curve and I had issue reliably having evasion to connect with it. I was thinking about Sword of the Animist, Sword of Feast and Famine, Sword of Light and Shadow, and Deathrender all as options and I just didn't really feel like I could reliably connect without an evasive commander. Sword of the Animist competes with casting my commander on four which probably isn't the end of the world but I couldn't come up with another equipment I really felt good about in this deck. Due to this I opted to add another generic tutor over a specialized equipment tutor and further equipment package.

DECK CHANGES:
  • Adeline, Resplendent CatharSarah Jane Smith pushing for lower curve with more draw and while the clues might be a little clunky I think I have some potential for big mana with a few of my lands still.
  • Edgar, Charmed GroomAthreos, God of Passage lowering the curve a little and Athreos plays well to the aristocrats idea. With double death triggers its going to REALLY hurt to pay 6+ life to deprive me of looping creatures back to hand.
  • SheoldredErebos, Bleak-Hearted lowering the curve and adding more draw.
  • Sheoldred, Whispering OneLifeline Lifeline should be really crazy with this deck and commander.
  • Wayfarer's BaubleViscera Seer I realized with adding more low cost legends in that the bauble got a little more awkward.
  • Mind StoneFellwar Stone with adding more draw to the deck I really want a stone that comes in untapped by turn two and provides colored mana.
  • Ashnod's AltarDiabolic Intent With lowering the curve and running more small legends the colorless mana is harder to use. I opted for another tutor just to fill as needed with draw / answer / wincon. I like Intent as I get more cheap bodies to use it with so it seems like it fits better with a lower curve.
  • Animate DeadDaxos, Blessed by the Sun trying to cut my one shot rez stuff and I realized that Daxos is both on enter and leave for my guys. I thought offhand he was just one direction rather than both so with both I like him more to offset some of my draw effects.
  • Promise of AclazotzMikaeus, the Lunarch Promise was just a little weird with its timing. Thinking about it more it feels like a really bad Gift of Immortality effect and while its still probably fine, it wasn't stellar. Mikaeus amuses me in that when it dies and comes back as a zombie it saves itself from insta dying with no counters. It might not work out but the cost to cast him is somewhat low so I figure why not try it out.
  • NecromancyBastion of Remembrance I was thinking about running a Zulaport Cutthroat but felt that it got swept worse in wraths so I like bastion not getting hit by creature sweepers (unless the sweeper hits enchants) and the fact that it comes with a token is kind of on theme too.
  • Dictate of ErebosDark Prophecy pushing for more draw.
  • Martyr's BondNecropotence more draw.
  • Brought BackWernog, Rider's Chaplain not really sure on this legend but I think he will likely turn into some draw. Maybe he just comes in and does 2 life loss to each opponent four times but I feel like someone is going to go for his clue and even a few clues should be fine.
  • Saw in HalfGift of Immortality I think that these play the same role but the upside of Gift is way higher. This gives me the option of making up to four copies of a legend in a turn and maybe more if I have token or death trigger double effects. Adding this in also expands the Academy Rector package as well.
  • Bazaar of BaghdadCrypt of Agadeem with dropping the one shot rez effects and lowering the curve I felt it was natural to drop my silly Bazaar idea too. I brought crypt into my paper list as I was building it and I think it makes sense to run here. The cost of running it isn't super high just being an ETB tapped land but it could make me good mana.
UNSURE:
  • Kokusho, the Evening Star - He was the last bit of top end that I was like..... I could cut him or he could be something else but what I like about him is that he has his own death triggers and with the double death trigger / token gen he does do a little more than something like elesh norn with a few other cards in the deck. I do think that ultimately this build is likely more of an aristocrats than a token swarm wincon so Kokusho is some nice top end but he could go if needed.
  • The Kenriths' Royal Funeral - With dropping the curve down I don't know if the draw or cost reduction is really going to work as well but I haven't drawn it yet and I want to at least see the card before I cut it just because I think its interesting and fits the theme. It might still get axed immediately but I want to see it first.
  • Grave Pact I went down to a single last effect of this but I do have a few tutors. I wanted to still give myself the option but with a lower curve and better draw setup. It might feel better with my other changes so lets see how it plays out for now.
With these changes the curve is down in a good way. Going to see if I can't get my hands on all the changes and get some more testing in. I really wanted to preserve the double death / double+ tokens as my high end and then just push for a bunch of synergy triggers.

EDIT: Looking at the list real quick I might also pop Altar of Dementia into being some other sac outlet. I feel like offhand maybe it should be Phyrexian Altar or Woe Strider but I will give it a bit of thought. I did cut back on my reanimation quite a bit that could come from me milling so the self mill results have diminished quite a bit.
Last edited by ISBPathfinder 4 weeks ago, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ChocoDude » 4 weeks ago

Repeatable draw would be better. I forgot about Dark Prophecy and it makes sense that you'd test out Daxos considering you'd lose a lot of life drawing cards.

I have a spare Necropotence from an unfinished deck I can add. Maybe I'll add it in. Additionally, I've seen Gift of Immortality in other Rata builds and again a repeatable effect is certainly way better. I'm going to pick up one to swap out Animate Dead.

Kokusho has been good for me and I wouldn't consider removing it.

Your point about Ashnod's has me thinking of swapping it out.

Lifeline looks awesome! I didn't know it existed. Expensive though. $$$

Have you thought about Luminous Broodmoth , Carmen, Cruel Skymarcher, orLiesa, Forgotten Archangel?

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 4 weeks ago

ChocoDude wrote:
4 weeks ago
Repeatable draw would be better. I forgot about Dark Prophecy and it makes sense that you'd test out Daxos considering you'd lose a lot of life drawing cards.

I have a spare Necropotence from an unfinished deck I can add. Maybe I'll add it in. Additionally, I've seen Gift of Immortality in other Rata builds and again a repeatable effect is certainly way better. I'm going to pick up one to swap out Animate Dead.

Kokusho has been good for me and I wouldn't consider removing it.

Your point about Ashnod's has me thinking of swapping it out.

Lifeline looks awesome! I didn't know it existed. Expensive though. $$$

Have you thought about Luminous Broodmoth , Carmen, Cruel Skymarcher, orLiesa, Forgotten Archangel?
Yea I went through a lot of card draw because a bunch of it was situational that I could get draw off zombies dying (aka the token side) or draw off of the nontokens dying (front side) so I really wanted to focus more on draw based on any death which was harder to come by. I did look into some other odd things like Cryptbreaker too but I felt like a lot of the draw that was specific to my creatures being zombies was also sort of a problem as it pushed me to flip my resources too early and proactively.

Good to hear on Kokusho, I really want to give him a shot even though I haven't seen him yet just because he does have synergy with a lot of what we are doing and he fits the theme of how I plan to sort of win with this deck.

Lifeline - Keep in mind its global so opponents benefit from it too but its unlikely they will get as much as we do from it. Its a really good card though and its incredibly difficult to disrupt.

Luminous Broodmoth - Yea I have thought of him a few times though but not being a legend and being mostly just inferior Lifeline kept me from really thinking he has a spot here.
Carmen, Cruel Skymarcher - Its..... fine. Its a tad slow and a bit expensive but it is to play res. I am not crazy about it if I am being honest just because it does look hella slow for a five drop but its probably fine in part because if it dies it comes back the same size due to our commander and could then rez itself which would be funny.
Liesa, Forgotten Archangel - my expectations for a five drop are just rather high. Its got value and I think if you are hard up for draw it is draw in a sense I just think its also clunky to set up a five drop for slow churn value.

I also think if you are looking at these five drops that Ravos, Soultender could be fine. I am not crazy about it for most of the same reasons and its upkeep trigger might be a little weaker than the ones you mentioned but the anthem part of the card is decent and if you ever got extra token or death triggers you could split it into multi anthems and thats not bad. It splits some of the rez power with being an anthem. There is a reason I am not running it but I think it could also be a consideration I wouldn't completely dismiss if you are already looking at the other two five drops. Carmen, Cruel Skymarcher is probably the strongest of the bunch but also its slow and might get targeted due to that where as some of these flying under the radar is also good.

EDIT: Carmen, Cruel Skymarcher is slowly growing on me. I will see if I can pick one up on TCGPlayer just in case and see if I can test it at some point. I still think its slow as hell but the commander sort of protects her in a way I find acceptable.
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