Purphoros, Bronze Blooded - The Creature Cannon

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toctheyounger
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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded - The Creature Cannon

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That feeling when you chow into your microwave burrito too soon and your mouth is aflame.

Introduction

I haven't built many red decks. It's a colour I've splashed, but mostly, my preference lies in or around ub or gb. The last mono red deck I built was Krenko, Mob Boss. It was supremely effective, but I took it apart after one play through. I could see immediately it would play out the same way every game, and that's not me.

In fact, being absolutely honest, there's a lot about red in this format that's a little strange to me, and in some cases a little unappealing. A lot of it's draw comes with an uncomfortable level of downside or risk, burn as a general archetype struggles to spread itself far enough to be successful, and it struggles to ramp, at least in a traditional sense.

This deck, well, it's a little different. We're not looking at a standard game plan here, and a lot of what this deck can do depends on what's going on around you, so it can be a relatively flexible build in terms of how it moves through a game. That's partly because Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded is a fairly unique commander. He's a lot of fun to play, and the deck can blowout really quickly, but a lot of what he enables turns what we look for in a standard game plan on it's head.

Why Bronze Purphoros?

Purphoros has changed a lot over the years. His first iteration fits really well in a lot of fairly standard game plans for red, or red with splashes. Classic token generation, lots of decks do that, and he can end a game really quickly. Nowadays, Purph has relaxed a little and taken a different tack, towards Sneak Attack. Let's break it down:

4R: Indestructible Legendary Enchantment Creature - God, 7/6. As long as your devotion to red is less than five, Purphoros isn't a creature.

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Other creatures you control have haste.

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2R: You may put a red creature card or an artifact creature card from your hand onto the battlefield. Sacrifice it at the beginning of the next end step.

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So yeah, there's a lot on that one card. Our commander is pretty tough to interact with or remove. He makes all of our other creatures go faster. And he can get them into play for a reduced cost, at instant speed, without having been cast, meaning there is no opportunity to counter the spell on the stack. Sounds like a lot of fun to me!

So our basic game plan is to set ourselves up with a way to get large, impactful creatures into play without paying full cost for them. Some of them will give us combat advantage, some will give us disruption options, some come with nice activated abilities; the world is our oyster for options.
You'll like playing this deck if:
  • You like having the biggest, baddest creatures on the field.
  • You don't like casting them. Or having them countered.
  • You like making explosive plays that come out of nowhere to drastically change the state of the game, sometimes ending it in one fell, explosive swoop.
  • You like non-conventional game plans that look to subvert strong mechanics and avoid the downsides.

Why Not Bronze Purphoros?



This is a bit of a strange build, and it can be a little bizarre to play, in that a lot of the time you won't have a lot of board presence. That can be a little daunting. There's also a couple of things that can make the deck a little bit restrictive to play. The first is obvious - the downside of Sneak Attacking your creatures in is that they are sacrificed end of turn. We do have ways to avoid this, or subvert it for our own gain, but it's there nonetheless. The second is that, because you're able to pump most of your hand into play fairly quickly with very little resource, it's very possible to run out of steam quite quickly and find yourself in topdeck mode. That's a problem for any deck, and a big one for this deck.

You won't like playing this deck if:
  • You don't like putting your boardstate at risk or using high risk/high reward card choices to make your plays.
  • You don't like cheating spells into play.
  • You prefer to grind out a win incrementally.


All of this aside, the pitfalls of running a deck like this are relatively obvious, and there are ways and means around them. Some of this is baked into the deck as is. The mechanism we're trying to leverage is very high risk/high reward, so it stands to reason that we include ways to mitigate said risks.

Alternate/Similar Commanders



Sneak Attack is a fairly particular card, so there's really not anything else out there that does a perfect imitation of Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded. That being said, there are some similar game plans about, both in and out of colour:


  • Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker - The next most obvious way to break value from casting creatures in r. Kiki is iconic, well-known, and pretty damn strong. He's a walking combo. A deck built around him probably looks a lot different, and plays a lot different, too. You're not exactly flying under the radar with him.
  • Xenagos, God of Revels - While Dionysus doesn't discount creatures, there are similarities in the way these decks operate; we want efficiency in our creatures, and we want to hit as hard as possible quickly.
  • Animar, Soul of Elements - Incremental discount for creatures, and yet another combo general. I have to be honest, I've yet to enjoy a game I've played against Animar. They just seem like goldfish decks. Hard pass from me, personally.
  • Sedris, the Traitor King - Fairly similar, and if anything a little more suicidal. We can recur things from graveyards (more on that later), but without ways of playing around Unearth as a mechanic you get one shot with your creatures. Can be a very strong build nonetheless, and follows a similar path of explosive plays to drastically change the game state or win out of nowhere. So in a sense this is our ubr kindred spirit.
  • Yeva, Nature's Herald - Probably the most similar deck in application to general play, Yeva is pretty damn strong. Obviously your creatures aren't free with her, but hey, you're in green, so you're probably alright. Instant speed interactions and shenanigans ahead. This is our g kindred spirit.

Current Decklist



Before going over the list and choices at present, it's worth noting that despite this being a fairly solid list, this is far from the definite list. There's generally a few ways you could build the deck, and some of them could be pretty neat. I see scope for an activated abilities tribal deck, artifacts tribal deck with things like Goblin Welder and Daretti, Scrap Savant, and of course, there's plenty of scope for combo within any of these shells. There are options within my build to make this happen, but I prefer not to.

As well as the above, there's a lot of seriously cool beaters in red and a multitude of ways to get damage through, so while I think this list is currently as good as I can make it, I think the beauty of this commander is that there's a real wealth of cards out there that could feasibly go into his deck. The great thing about this is that most of the cards that you'd consider are really cheap; thus far, for this being a fairly new build and built from the ground up to a pretty decent level, this is easily one of the cheapest decks I've ever built - and to really optimise it, barring a few really expensive cards, it really ought not to cost a whole lot more.

All that aside, here's the build at present:

Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded
Approximate Total Cost:


Card Choices

To a reasonable degree, our commander does dictate some of what we need to include in the deck to make it a high impact build. Let's break down what we need and why:
  • Our commander cheats on casting costs; this means that we can run through the cards in our hand very quickly.
  • It also means that we want to get our commander in play as soon as we can with extra resource to spare. Not easy in r.
  • While our creatures are fine to be transitory, if we can keep them on the table that's a great option, and leaves us a lot less vulnerable to retaliation.
  • Because a lot of our draw also causes a certain amount of discard, it's nice to be able to get access to what we've discarded.
With that in mind, let's look closer at what we're running. As usual with my lists, options listed in bold are currently in the deck, anything not in bold has been tried and removed.

Creatures
Creatures
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  • Feldon of the Third Path - A nice easy way to reanimate anything that we let die or wheel. Special synergy with haste means we can more or less cheat on the casting cost of these critters yet again.
  • Magus of the Wheel - Not quite as slick as Wheel of Fortune, but here it's fairly close. Again, haste makes this quick, and it's a really strong effect. Great to drop into play when your hand is empty or close to it.
  • Ancestral Statue - This is one of our ways of retaining crucial creatures instead of having to sacrifice them. As well as this, it can get us some nice ETB trigger repetition. As well, if we can make a copy of this we can bounce the original for use again itself.
  • Fanatic of Mogis - This is our Gary. It's not quite as strong, but that's not to say that it isn't strong. I've one-shotted people with this guy pretty regularly. Obviously you want to wait until you have some board established with r pips first, and if you can manage to have a damage doubler in play too, you're golden. Totally capable of ending the game with ease.
  • Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion - Less of a hand replenisher, more of a quality control for your hand. If it's full of stuff you can't use right now, don't be afraid to change that. As well as this he can give you resource to cast the stuff you draw. Nice on his own, even nicer with our commander.
  • Ogre Battledriver - Redundancy in haste and a slight combat boost. Synergy with more or less the entire deck when it's in attack mode.
  • Solemn Simulacrum - Ramp and a cantrip is pretty nice. Even better if we can another copy with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker or get it back with Feldon of the Third Path.
  • Surly Badgersaur - We don't have any direct discard here, but we do have quite a few wheel effects. We can get a lot of advantage from this, making this guy a resource generator, a fatty boomstick, and a way to clear the board, all as needed.
  • Torbran, Thane of Red Fell - A nice tidy package of damage boost, both in and out of combat. +2 doesn't sound like a lot, but it adds up. Another nice upside of running this guy is the healthy addition to devotion (see Fanatic of Mogis).
  • Treasonous Ogre - This is our r firehose (pardon the pun). Obviously, this can get a little dangerous, but we can make sure we're using this sparingly, or only go all in with it once we're closing out the game.
  • Brash Taunter - So this does a few things for us. Firstly, it's a chump blocker extraordinaire. No one is going to want to swing into a rattlesnake with this sort of upside for us. Secondly, it's a great way for us to get more damage in to the face by torching it ourselves. We've got a lot of ways to do this, and there's also ways to amplify this with things like Gratuitous Violence and Angrath's Marauders. If we can deal damage to Brash Taunter, that damage is doubled, and the damage Brash Taunter deals is then doubled again. Nasty.
  • Cavalier of Flame - There's a lot going on with this guy. Haste redundancy (again), a pseudo-wheel effect, and a death trigger for damage. All are great, all are useful in the right place.
  • Flamerush Rider - Another way of generating tokens for value. The dash cost is often actually quite helpful, and it's worth noting that the clone generated does trigger ETB's. and holds all relevant qualities that the original card had, so does count towards devotion.
  • Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker - The original red token generator. He's pretty bonkers, and totally capable of grossness. I have chosen, for the meantime, not to include anything that directly combos with him, such as Zealous Conscripts. I have a copy should I change my mind, it just doesn't seem much fun. Otherwise, he's our way to doubling impact. Again, lots of pips for devotion, too.
  • Ox of Agonas - A mini-wheel and recursion. Reasonably costed to hard cast, and while it's not something we're going to be doing a lot of, we can use its escape cost repeatedly.
  • Terror of the Peaks - Well costed flying beater that gives us ETB triggers every time we do anything. This creature is kill on sight good.
  • Zealous Conscripts - Another theft trigger, or if we really want to, infinite combo with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. That's definitely not the intent for me, but I guess it's an option.
  • Chandra's Incinerator - We have a lot of ways to deal damage outside of combat, so this guy is often going to cost next to nothing to cast anyway, even if we don't sneak it in. Then, once we have it in play it has a great combat keyword and helps us torch more stuff.
  • Conquering Manticore - A nice way to turn the battlefield about a bit. Always cute to drop this mid-combat, steal a blocker from someone else and change how things look, or to drop on our turn to bolster our own swings with.
  • Duplicant - Exile removal is really strong, and this guy is pretty abusable. If we can copy him or his ETB trigger we're golden.
  • Etali, Primal Storm - Free value. Obviously this is a 'can't get mad' sort of card, but it's still pretty back-breaking. Very much dependent on what we can turn up, but it's always worth a try.
  • Flayer of the Hatebound - Resilient beater in it's own right, we're more interested in what happens when this (or anything else of ours) dies and comes back. Pretty cool with Cauldron of Souls or Underworld Breach.
  • Hammerfist Giant - A board wipe and damage to the face on a stick. Won't clear flying, but everything else is up for grabs.
  • Hellkite Charger - Extra combat phases are super nice. Not the cheapest version of the effect but we're already getting a discount on our casts, so we can't overly complain, and ideally we ought to have the resource spare. Not only that, we can repeat this effect as many times as we can pay for it.
  • Inferno Titan - An ETB trigger, an attack trigger, lots of damage. Both go well in a deck that has no downtime, and it's not legendary so we can make tokens of it for extra triggers.
  • Moraug, Fury of Akoum - Landfall for attack phases is nuts. We can even keep this going in a cute little interaction with Solemn Simulacrum and any way to copy it (Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Flamerush Rider) for incremental attack phases with incrementally larger creatures. This guy is bonkers.
  • Runeborn Hellkite - A one time wheel effect from the yard. Not the absolute greatest version of this effect. but the more options we have in this respect the better off we are.
  • Ryusei, the Falling Star - A vanilla beater in any other place, this serves more as a board wipe for us.
  • Scourge of the Throne - Another attack phase additive, although a little more situational. The nice thing is if you play into dethrone this guy gets bigger and bigger, and because he isn't legendary, we can copy him plenty.
  • Steel Hellkite - A really nice way to use our extra mana when we have it. It's worth noting that this can decimate token strategies by paying 0 for it's last ability.
  • Wurmcoil Engine - Remarkable value on a single creature, with combat warping abilities and the ability to make a token army with copy effects.
  • Angrath's Marauders - Double damage on a creature. We want to either have this stick around or cast it when we can make the most of it.
  • Balefire Dragon - Decimator of board states everywhere.
  • Chaos Maw - Another board wipe on a stick.
  • Dragon Mage - A repeatable wheel, so long as we can connect to face.
  • Drakuseth, Maw of Flames - This guy does a LOT of damage. 7 in combat and 7 with flexibility on attack. This gets super tasty with damage doubling in play. Another with a few r pips for devotion.
  • Knollspine Dragon - A pseudo-wheel, but if we time it right, it can be a lot better in application.
  • Meteor Golem - A nice ETB trigger. Great if we can copy the trigger or the creature.
  • Molten Primordial - A scaling Conquering Manticore. Great in multiplayer, can really make a big difference to the board in the right place.
  • Myr Battlesphere - A classic combat beater with a great attack trigger. Doesn't really matter if it dies at end of turn because it's tokens don't.
  • Sandstone Oracle - Hand replenishment without the risk of discarding. Obviously, playing it at the right time is crucial.
  • Skyline Despot - Monarch is a really underrated mechanic. Especially when you get dragons, too.
  • Bedlam Reveler - The hard cast reduction is a little insignificant to us, but prowess is sort of nice and the pseudo-wheel is great too.
  • Bloodfire Colossus - Another board wipe on a stick.
  • Bogardan Hellkite - Another instance of lots of damage - 5 in combat, 5 on ETB. Has built-in flash, which is nice if we can't stick our commander.
  • Bosh, Iron Golem - A nice compact way to throw things at people. We've got enough artifact creatures, and in a vacuum they're going to die anyway. Once they do, we can copy them with Feldon of the Third Path or copy them in play, should be pretty easy to dome the crap out of people.
  • Living Inferno - Targeted removal to the tune of 8 damage, spread as you will. Sure, they deal it back, but once they're gone we really don't care too much.



Artifacts
Artifacts
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  • Everflowing Chalice - Scaling ramp. Ordinarily this is less optimal, but here because we're at less than optimum until we have our commander in play I don't mind dropping as many counters on this as I can.
  • Skullclamp - As a default, all of our creatures die. This helps us replace them and keep our hand full for a very low cost.
  • Sol Ring - What more to say about this? Early ramp, as good as it gets on a budget.
  • Wayfarer's Bauble - Makes sure we find our Mountains. More important than you might think, just in case.
  • Basilisk Collar - Perhaps a bit of a weird addition to the deck, but the applications for this are twofold; firstly, because our board state is often sparse this can keep our life totals up. And on the right creature it can do so admirably. Put it on your Bloodfire Colossus and shoot your life total into the stratosphere. Put it on Brash Taunter and you have a life boost on a stick. As well as this, it makes sure our direct damage and combat clear the battlefield.
  • Arcane Signet - Slightly redundant in a mono coloured build, but early resource is crucial in this build so it's most welcome.
  • Fire Diamond - Early colour fixing, does what it says on the tin.
  • Mind Stone - Either early ramp or a quick cantrip.
  • Sundial of the Infinite - One of our several ways of cheating the downside of Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded's last ability. Once you're done doing stuff for the turn, tap this, keep your creatures. Easy. The other thing we can use this for is to tank removal of our pieces at instant speed. Someone casting Cyclonic Rift in our turn? Anguished Unmaking? Blue Sun's Zenith for the win? Just sick of that end of turn Sensei's Divining Top? Put a stop to it for 1.
  • Worn Powerstone - More early ramp.
  • Assault Suit - Another way to cheat the ability, and it might not be immediately obvious, but the phrase cannot be sacrificed is really handy. Opens us up to political play too, if we feel like it. Protects us in that the creature we lend can't attack us, so that's always nice.
  • Panharmonicon - We coincidentally have a lot of ETB triggers in the deck. Whether it's doubling down on Fanatic of Mogis or getting 8 Myr with Myr Battlesphere, this gives us just a touch more impact.
  • Cauldron of Souls - Another way to keep our stuff. It will all be smaller once it comes back, but that's not the end of the world. Nasty with Flayer of the Hatebound. Worth noting that we can, if we choose, use this on any creature, not just our own. Do with that information what you will.
  • Conjurer's Closet - Our last artifact way of retaining creatures. We stack after the Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded end step trigger so that this resolves first, and the object the other trigger applied to no longer exists. As a plus, we also get ETB triggers again, if that applies.
  • Caged Sun - A light buff for (most) of our creatures, but predominanlty mana doubling is a great way to 1) cast our commander earlier than planned or b) play explosively where possible.
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Enchantments
Enchantments
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  • Goblin Bombardment - Mostly a 'pull the plug' button for when someone tries to take your stuff or destroy it for nothing. That being said it's really great to do this with other people's stuff.
  • Tectonic Reformation - So, this one seems pretty risky, but hear me out. Past a certain point, lands are at least somewhat surplus to requirement for us. You want to hit your one per turn, of course, but ultimately you really want a hand full of fat as often as you can, so if it's a choice between holding on to mutliple lands or filtering for better cards this is a really cheap way to do that. The other bonus of this is that it plays nicely with Underworld Breach, and the death trigger of Cavalier of Flame,
  • Underworld Breach - This card is pretty game ending. As mentioned before with Ox of Agonas, escape is a mechanism that can be repeated as many times as you're able to meet it's requirements. And with Breach in play escape is 3 cards, which is a reasonable reduction on most instances of the mechanic occurring naturally on cards. So if you've cycled a ton of lands into the yard you're ahead of yourself already. Other than that, the best way to get maximum value from this is to push for multiple copies of spells like Mana Geyser and Seething Song, as well lots of wheeling cards to keep your graveyard full. I don't have a dedicated combo in the deck to the end the game with this card, but ultimately it's a strong enough card that that isn't necessary. It's also worth noting that the last ability on this card will destroy it at end of turn, whether it's yours or someone elses. Sundial of the Infinite is not enough to save it. Thus, Conqueror's Galleon // Conqueror's Foothold.
  • Fires of Invention - Early game, this helps us get some framework in play while more or less ignoring our early curve. We can basically use it as a mana doubler; drop a couple of rocks in a turn then use the resource from them to cast more and get ahead. Late game this still gives us a few free spells here and there, and even at the top of our curve with Bogardan Hellkite and Bedlam Reveler it's not inconceivable to have 8 lands in play for a free cast. There are times where this isn't going to be the right enabler to have in play, so it's worth considering a longer scope for having this card in play.
  • Gratuitous Violence - Well, it's pretty obvious what this does. Bludgeon face. Gives us a little more flexibility in combat and more efficacy with abilities and direct damage.
  • Fiery Emancipation - Damage so nice we did it thrice. You know this is ending games, just make it count when you play it, because it won't last long.
  • Warstorm Surge - Our curve is pretty damn enormous, here. Thankfully, this card doesn't rely on casting, it relies on creatures ETB'ing for us - this means tokens will trigger it, as will creatures coming in via our commander's abilities. It also triggers Panharmonicon, so this can get really nasty, really easily.



Planeswalkers
Planeswalkers
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  • Chandra, Flamecaller - The only one in the deck, and for good reason. A wheel +1 per turn cycle is great card advantage, and it costs us nothing. As well as that, from the get go we have at least 4 damage to each creature available to us right away. The elementals we're not overly interested in, but 2/3 loyalty abilities isn't bad.



Instants
Instants
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  • Thrill of Possibility - Instant speed hand filtering. There's always something to improve what's in your hand, and it's really nice to cast this towards the start of the game to hit a couple more lands, a rock or a nice critter.
  • Chaos Warp - There's enough great permanents in our own deck that even casting this on ourselves is favorable. Otherwise, you know what to do with this.
  • Valakut Awakening // Valakut Stoneforge - A modified wheel of sorts, but just for us. While it's also a land, it's in instants purely because this is where the value is, and the opportunity cost is really low. Just a great way to filter our hand with minimal downside, at instant speed.



Sorceries
Sorceries
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  • Gamble - Red's only hard tutor. Well costed, and it is risky. Nonetheless, it's worth having, because the chances of losing what you searched for are slim, and we have of grabbing things back anyway.
  • Irencrag Feat - Burst mana, and lots of it. We can only cast one more spell, but that's no big deal. If we can use this to cast our commander with mana left over we don't need to cast. Or if he's already in play we're not casting as is.
  • Mana Geyser - In a multiplayer game this can generate a ton of r for us. One cast gives us enough to make great use of, or if you're lucky enough to have Underworld Breach around, casting it repeatedly should give you more r than you could possibly know what to do with.
  • Reforge the Soul - Today's Wheel of Fortune. Standardly more expensive, and occasionally a little cheaper. Either way it's great advantage.
  • Seething Song - Pays for our commander in one fell swoop. Nice early play, or a way to pump a little more momentum into the game, or a way to generate enough resource to make Underworld Breach end the game.
  • Blasphemous Act - Sure, we might not be reducing this to absolute minimum with a minimal board state, but that also means we can be more relaxed about using this.



Lands
Lands
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[*]Mountain - You...you do know what this does, right? I sure hope so.
[*]Labyrinth of Skophos/Mystifying Maze - Just a little bit of combat insurance. From time to time we have the resource to spare, so there's no reason not to use it here. Worth noting is that neither of these options will prevent attack triggers such as Etali, Primal Storm, or, more frighteningly, Kozilek, Butcher of Truth and pals.
[*]Spinerock Knoll - Hideaway is another pretty overlooked mechanic. We can hit the threshold for using it easily, and the hideaway mechanism allows you to cast whatever you have hidden ignoring usual timing. Pretty damn good.
[*]Endless Sands - A weird card, but one that fits here, purely for being a good way to save our creatures. We exile them, and when we decide we want them again, sacrifice the land, and they all return to play at once. It's a little cute, but this is another way to prevent yourself from giving back creatures on loan from Molten Primordial or Conquering Manticore. Once the land dies, they will return to their owner's control, not yours, but it gets them out of the way at least temporarily.
[*]Mage-Ring Network - About the easiest way to store up 1 early game. Mostly, we work in divisions of 2r: if we don't have enough to hit another trigger, we can store it for later use. What's nice about this option is you can take as much from the land as you like, you don't have to use it all at once.
[*]Myriad Landscape - Cheap fetches, for color fixing. Seems silly in a mono-color deck, but it's worth doing purely for the fact that if we're forced into hard casting any of our creatures we do have a relatively high weight of color density. The other bonus of these is inclusions like Tectonic Reformation and Cavalier of Flame. If we don't need them we can cycle them, and if we've already used them we can burn face with them.
[*]Forgotten Cave/Smoldering Crater - As above, cheap advantage. We can either play them out, or cycle them for the same cost Tectonic Reformation offers. There are other cycling options, but these are the cheapest, and that's why I run them - we want our card advantage as lean as we can get it.
[*]Ghost Quarter/Field of Ruin - Pretty obvious what these are here for, getting rid of problematic lands. The other option you have, if for whatever reason you're color screwed, is to pop your own land for a Mountain.
[*]Rogue's Passage - When combat just isn't favourable or you have an alpha strike you want to drive home.
[*]Sandstone Needle - It will eventually do nothing, but rr twice in a row is nicely explosive.
[*]Bonders' Enclave - With the curve in the deck as high as it is, there's every chance we can sink lots of resource into this to keep our hand fill, even if the card in question isn't our commander.
[*]Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle - There's no reason not to bolt things just for playing basic lands. Very strong effect, great card. [/list]



Notable Exclusions
Notable Exclusions
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So this list is obviously not entirely exhaustive, and there's definitely things I'd like to pick up for it, some intended and some 'pie in the sky' wish list items. Here's a bit of a rundown as to what I would add or intend to eventually:
Nonland:

Land:


Deck Philosophy

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If there exists a picture of what we want to do to a board state, this is it.


This deck is built in a reasonably particular way, and operates similarly. It's designed in this case to hit quickly and hit hard, causing maximum damage, or maximum havoc, per action we take. In that respect, the deck is fairly often quite proactive, in contrast to most of the other decks I've ever built.

A lot of my previous builds have been somewhat passive - I hold things back just in case of board wipe, commit only what I'm sure is going to stick and play more of a long game, arm-wrestling the table until they have nothing left or until I have a win. A midrange value strategy in general, trying to always have an answer and be able to bounce back from most setbacks.

This is not that deck.


Because we're predominantly not casting creatures, they can't be countered. We don't need to worry about that almost at all. Also, you know that ridiculously annoying, overcosted uncommon enchantment, uh, what was it called again? Well, it's mostly useless against us. Every time someone says 'pay 1?' at you, you get to say, 'there's no trigger buddy, settle down' :cool: trust and believe team, it's a great feeling against one of the most annoying cards in the format.

Our commander is also pretty tough to interact with. So we can play with general confidence that a lot of what we do is relatively inevitable. Nothing is certain, of course, there's always ways to interact in this game. But we can play out our hand here with a lot more confidence. So generally, we're going to look to set up a pretty small boardstate, stay under the radar until we have a few threats to unleash, and then do so quickly and hurt as much of the table as we can. Generally, if you have the opportunity to make some crazy plays it's almost always the right play.

All this being said, it's fairly important to make your plays count - the other side of the previous statement is that our board has a lot less permanence than most, so a lot of the time it's absolutely important that you make each creature you cheat in count as much as possible, and that you spend your r wisely. It's fairly common for us to look like we're screwed or just moving at a slower pace than the rest of the table, which means a lot of the time we're off anyone's radar, so we can use that to our advantage until we're ready to make things happen.

The main thing we need to keep in mind is that we are stranded until we hit 4r worth of land and rocks, bare minimum. Ideally the sooner we get there the better, but once we're at that stage we can get from 0-100 fairly quickly.

Deck Strategy



And this is why we're here. The how-to guide. First, we'll go through what hands you ought to be keeping or tossing, and then we'll see how your average game is likely to shake out.


Starting Hands
Sample Hand #1
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Probably a tough keep. Sure, we can get our commander out, but the end of our possible plays is limited by losing a land after it's second use. Depends a lot on our topdeck, so probably a mulligan. [/card].


Sample Hand #2
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Probably a good keep. A few early rocks to keep our resources swelling somewhat, and two really reliable sources of card draw, with possible dragons.

Sample Hand #3
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We're not missing land drops here, but there's also absolutely nothing going on, so this is an obvious pass.



Early Game
Now that we know what we're looking for in our starting hand, more or less, let's see how it all shakes out. Now, this part of the game always looks the same for us; get your commander in play ASAP. He costs fairly reasonably, but we don't necessarily ramp like g does, so the sooner the better. Don't be afraid to use looting effects if you need to, there's even times I've Chaos Warped my own stuff to hit some value, be it land or critter. Do what you have to do, at this point in the game.

There really isn't much in the way of variation in our game plan this early in the game. Ultimately our curve can't support hard casting on our monstrous curve, so the sooner we get our commander, or some explosive mana like Seething Song, Mana Geyser, or Fires of Invention the better off we are.

What we really don't want is to be playing 'land, go' the first 5 turns in a row. You know for sure that anyone running green is going to get well ahead of you is this is the case, and we certainly want to at least try to keep pace. If we're just dropping lands we are going to fall behind, and we open ourselves up to taking a lot of damage.



Mid-Late Game
I put this part of the game together as a wider strategy purely because once you have your commander in play your options open up significantly. You basically have a creature cannon to fire at the board, and plenty of ammunition to keep doing so.

That being said it's still good to be careful how you play your hand. Proper sequencing can lead to a super quick blowout win, and poor sequencing can leave you without a hand in topdeck mode and slowly drowning. Once you have our commander in play, you're going to want to chain together some value for quick and explosive combats, quick and explosive ETB triggers, and wrecking as much face as we can. Have yourself a damage doubler in hand? That'll pair as nicely with an Inferno Titan or Chaos Maw as a Cabernet Sauvignon with a finely cooked filet mignon. Got yourself a sweet ETB doubler? Make the best use of it that you can.

While we're generally fairly loose in terms of structured play here, there are some constants:

Don't be afraid of combat!
Look, all things considered unless you have some mitigating factor in hand like Cauldron of Souls, your creatures are going to die. It's not the end of the world, and frankly it gives us a degree of certainty in combat. We know our creatures are doomed so why would we hold back? So don't hold back. But also, choose your target - if there's someone who's precious about their creatures in play and you have the opportunity to bolt them or obliterate them in combat, do it. This counts doubly when you have damage modification in play; get your damage triggers, swing in combat, raise some hell, lower some life totals.


Don't let yourself run out of cards in hand!
Look, this is fairly obvious. It goes for any deck, but because we're a)discounting all of our creatures or just casting them for free and b)they won't stick around unless we do something about it, there's a really good chance that if you're not careful you will shred your hand, and after the end of your turn have very little around to show for it. That's a dangerous place to be - especially because in most normal circumstances, with no creatures in play, your commander isn't one either. This means you're wide open to attack with nothing to stop it. So, we have a lot of draw stapled to creatures, and a few that aren't. Don't be afraid to use these, just make sure you use them right. Most of them will net you additional cards, but all of them will cost you cards too - if any of those cards you want, play them out first. Ultimately, because most of the draw effects we have could be considered looting or filtering your hand, make sure you choose wisely and leave yourself something in hand to fall back on, even if it's just one or two cards.

Your lands are (mostly) dispensable in your hand.
Well, that's probably a little reductive, but past a certain point it's not untrue. There's a lot of ways in which we really don't want lands in hand past, say, 9 lands on board. Cavalier of Flame will ping your opponents quite nicely with enough lands in your graveyard, and Tectonic Reformation will allow you to turf them (pun fully intended) to resculpt your hand with cards to cast. Don't be afraid to do it - if it looks like it would benefit you, it probably will. Keeping more than one or two lands in hand past mid game will hurt more than anything else.


Don't wait for a way to save your board state!
There's a few ways we can save things from the mostly inevitable sacrifice trigger; Cauldron of Souls, Sundial of the Infinite, Conjurer's Closet, Ancestral Statue, Endless Sands. But don't rely on them. Sure, we have Gamble, but you just can't rely on one of these coming up reliably. So use your creatures as best you can and let them go. We have ways to get them back sometimes, so just focus on keeping your momentum up and move on.


Some Card-Specific Notes



It's worth going into at least a little detail as to what particular strategies and particular cards do and how they interact:


Damage Modification
There's every chance we will be able to layer some of these up from time to time. In fact, I wholly recommend it! Even if it's just Torbran, Thane of Red Fell and Angrath's Marauders, that's plenty of damage in, and I won't turn my nose up at it. Unfortunately, it's not up to us how these effects are layered: the target opponent (or each opponent if we're pinging everyone) gets to choose how these effects apply. Let's have an example:

Let's say we have Bloodfire Colossus in play with Torbran, Thane of Red Fell and Gratuitous Violence. We pay r to deal 6 to literally everything. The options here are we can deal (6x2)+2 damage for a total of 14, or we can deal 2x(6+2) damage for a total of 16. Fairly obvious what people will go for, and it's not a huge difference, but it's worth knowing how these interact.

It's also worth saying that these paint a huge target on us - don't expect them to stay in play for long, and if they do stay in play, make hay while the sun shines and get maximum damage in. If your opponents can't come for your damage doublers, they will come for you instead, so make your time count as much as you can.





Sundial of the Infinite
Alright, so it's a relatively weird effect, and it's worth knowing the full extent of what it can do to help us. A lot of it is on the card itself, but let's go through it:
  • Exile all spells and abilities from the stack.
  • Well this is nice. We can nullify any activated abilities or instant speed spells that our opponents might like to try out on us during our turn. This will also become relevant later.
  • Discard down to your maximum hand size.
  • This one doesn't really help us at all.
  • Damage wears off, and "this turn" and "until end of turn" effects end.
  • This is where the value is for us. Because Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded's last ability is to sacrifice the creature at the beginning of the next end step, what we want to do is move to the end step, put the delayed trigger on the stack and then end the turn, thus referring back to the first clause, which exiles abilities from the stack.
What this won't do is allow us to keep creatures from things like Conquering Manticore and Molten Primordial. These abilities will allow us to borrow a creature until end of turn, so what we will be exiling is the ability that allows to take control of the creature - ending the turn will simply end the period in which we have control of the creature. There are other ways we can do this, but this particular card will not.



Credit and Thanks



I haven't seen a huge amount of action around for this commander, which is surprising to me, he's a lot of fun to play. He's the cool guy that walks away from explosions. But there have been a couple of folk about who have done some brewing on Nexus, and there's definitely been some help from those quarters. This list has drawn a lot of suggestions from DirkGently's earlier list, which I understand is currently not active. As well as that there's been some ramp and land suggestions from pokken - and of course, anyone who weighs in on the thread to follow has my thanks!




Last edited by toctheyounger 2 months ago, edited 10 times in total.
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Post by MeowZeDung » 6 months ago

I dig it.

Terrain Generator seems worth it to me in the same way Mage-Ring Network is: a way to spend some mana now to get more Purph activations later.

I also like Drownyard Temple to go with Thrill of Possibility and Reforge the Soul for a speck of extra ramp that doesn't cost a spell slot. Even better if you ever include Faithless Looting, which smooths draws twice and goes good with your Feldon of the Third Path effects. If you're just going to run either looting or Thrill of Possibility, I'm curious why thrill?

I played against a friends Purph 2.0 over the weekend which wasn't too different from yours and seemed fun and powerful.
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Post by Sinis » 6 months ago

1. I think there are only a couple of things in my long list that don't seem to be in yours; just a handful of cards that were intended to squeeze more out of a temporary or stolen creature (in addition to the 'keep forever' cards like Sundial of the Infinite and Conjurer's Closet) like Mimic Vat, Skullclamp, Culling Dais and Helm of Possession.

2. You beat me to a primer on a deck that I'm actually excited about, again.

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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

MeowZeDung wrote:
6 months ago
I dig it.

Terrain Generator seems worth it to me in the same way Mage-Ring Network is: a way to spend some mana now to get more Purph activations later.

I also like Drownyard Temple to go with Thrill of Possibility and Reforge the Soul for a speck of extra ramp that doesn't cost a spell slot. Even better if you ever include Faithless Looting, which smooths draws twice and goes good with your Feldon of the Third Path effects. If you're just going to run either looting or Thrill of Possibility, I'm curious why thrill?

I played against a friends Purph 2.0 over the weekend which wasn't too different from yours and seemed fun and powerful.
Hey thanks!

The deck is a blast to play. It's a fairly high risk high reward scenario but that's what makes the game fun right?

Thrill of Possibility I like for being instant speed. It's nice to do an EPT loot before your turn and dig for land. Looting potentially could have a space but every space I contribute to a spell instead of a creature is one less grenade to throw, so I've been slightly reluctant thus far.

Terrain Generator seems a really good add, and I'm gonna try and track down a Thawing Glaciers too. Other than that I do have a few immediate upgrades to make from the latest core set; should be fairly easy to pick them from the lineup. I'll try and post some switch outs in the next day or so.
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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

Sinis wrote:
6 months ago
1. I think there are only a couple of things in my long list that don't seem to be in yours; just a handful of cards that were intended to squeeze more out of a temporary or stolen creature (in addition to the 'keep forever' cards like Sundial of the Infinite and Conjurer's Closet) like Mimic Vat, Skullclamp, Culling Dais and Helm of Possession.

2. You beat me to a primer on a deck that I'm actually excited about, again.
Aww, I'm sorry! To be fair this isn't a primer, it just uses the template for it. I don't know if I'll take it there, but I figured it best to do the groundwork right out the gate. Going back and amending the code is a %$#% of a job.

As far as differences go I have a few more coming - I want the creature count higher and quality higher too, plus I want at least one novel way to keep my life total at a decent level purely because a lot of the time I'm relatively unguarded.

How fun is this deck though right? It's red at its funnest.
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Post by Sinis » 6 months ago

toctheyounger wrote:
6 months ago
How fun is this deck though right? It's red at its funnest.
Mine is still in the planning stages, but it's definitely one of the more inspiring legends to come out of the last few sets, for me. I think there's a lot of real potential in the instant-speed interaction department, as well. I kind of like that it's a fair sneak attack. I kind of like that it interacts well with Flameshadow Conjuring. I'm thrilled at the idea that I could use Conquering Manticore at instant speed, and I have a serious interest in running Sword of the Ages, because reasons.

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Post by MeowZeDung » 6 months ago

I can't speak from experience how fun Purph 2.0 is, but my buddy certainly had a smile on his face when he hit me with a 3 mana Steel Hellkite and had plenty of mana left for its activations.
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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

Sinis wrote:
6 months ago
Mine is still in the planning stages, but it's definitely one of the more inspiring legends to come out of the last few sets, for me. I think there's a lot of real potential in the instant-speed interaction department, as well. I kind of like that it's a fair sneak attack. I kind of like that it interacts well with Flameshadow Conjuring. I'm thrilled at the idea that I could use Conquering Manticore at instant speed, and I have a serious interest in running Sword of the Ages, because reasons.
Ooh that's a nifty interaction, I like it! Manticore and Molten Primordial have been really strong so far for me. I don't really have a way to make any more of them than just thieving right now, aside from Conjurer's Closet to keep stuff. But yeah, cloning effects do work really well here. I've been looking at Flamerush Rider as a nice add too, it'll probably get added shortly.
MeowZeDung wrote:
6 months ago
I can't speak from experience how fun Purph 2.0 is, but my buddy certainly had a smile on his face when he hit me with a 3 mana Steel Hellkite and had plenty of mana left for its activations.
My biggest blowouts thus far have been generally been with Fanatic of Mogis - it's no Gary, but it's no slouch either. Last game I played I torched my opponents for like 36 with fanatic and a copy of it in just one turn. But yeah, there's lots of neat options here and it's been a blast so far.
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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

I finally got some time to make a few updates I'd been planning prior to uploading the list anyway:

So Basilisk Collar is a nice way to keep my life total high in the absence of blockers, and in some cases very high if I can get it on something like Ryusei, the Falling Star, Bloodfire Colossus or similar. As well as that it makes my direct damage immediately fatal which is great. Brash Taunter works as a nice rattlesnake/chump blocker that can funnel damage towards any face I please. Flamerush Rider is nice for clone effects, and the dash cost has been really handy. Chandra's Incinerator I have yet to playtest, but I expect good things. Fellwar Stone is nice early ramp that enters untapped, simple and easy.

Wayfarer's Bauble was a little slow by comparison, and Goblin Bombardment I have been wheeling away more often that not. Ogre Battledriver I've found a little redundant, and does very little on it's own. Surly Badgersaur I've actually been a little disappointed with, I had hoped for piles of treasure tokens that just haven't eventuated. Living Inferno I haven't playtested, but is probably the easiest creature cut to make, it's a little weak.

As well as these, I also have a Terror of the Peaks on the way. Frankly, I expect it to be nothing less than devastating. Strong ETB effect I can take advantage of on a really well-costed body. I'm also on the look out for Fiery Emancipation, that card is just stupid.





I thought it might be nice to share some game experience briefly too. I had a great win yesterday against Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, Avacyn, Angel of Hope and Elsha of the Infinite.

Hit my land drops relatively early, although I had little in the way of rocks. I had a Solemn Simulacrum in my startiing hand and shortly drew into Conjurer's Closet, so I hammed that up for all it was worth, and dropped my commander at about 7 lands deep.

Elsha was durdling around a lot, clearly wasn't a competitive list, and Avacyn had me well within his sights. He had a few swings at me with angel tokens and Gisela, the Broken Blade and I could do nothing. I cast Brash Taunter and fought his commander once he had it cast, throwing the damage back at him and at Uro who was steadily ramping and countering anything that came his way.

There were a few bounces from Uro, and I kept my commander in my hand to recast rather than cast from the command zone, and recast Solemn Simulacrum and Brash Taunter for an impenetrable fortress of sorts. Uro casts Bane of Progress and gets 9 counters on it, then swings it at me next turn, having not been totally cognizant of what Brash Taunter actually does. I block and it bounce 11 damage back at him.

At this point Elsha has scooped as he hasn't had much impact and is slowly being whittled down for life. Avacyn focuses down on Uro, and I cast Dragon Mage with one card in hand and swing at Uro for lethal to refill.

Next turn, Avacyn turns on me with his commander and I Mystifying Maze his commander to exile it and tap it once it enters again. He also has Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite in play. On my turn I sneak in Torbran, Thane of Red Fell, and cast Warstorm Surge followed by Hellkite Charger. I swing with Charger and Dragon Mage, pay 5rr and repeat for lethal.

It was a bit of an arm wrestle, and I spent most of the game wondering how to deal with Avacyn without realising Mystifying Maze did it for me. Also, Brash Taunter is a beast. It must've done upwards of 30-40 damage over the course of the game with absolutely zero help.
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Post by Command » 6 months ago

Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse seems like redundant cards as you can replace them with just Mountains, and I don't this it's worth having one less mana a turn in order to have some synergy with Cavalier of Flame.
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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

Command wrote:
6 months ago
Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse seems like redundant cards as you can replace them with just Mountains, and I don't this it's worth having one less mana a turn in order to have some synergy with Cavalier of Flame.
Mostly, yeah. There is the odd time I've had a land full of utilities and needed a basic. Thing is, if the deck stalls early it's pretty hard to claw back. At some point though, these probably will become Thawing Glaciers and Terrain Generator. Once I can track them down and afford them.
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Post by DirkGently » 6 months ago

Purphoros is low-key one of the most fun commanders to be printed in recent years imo.

There's a 0% chance evolving wilds and terramorphic should be in there lol.

I dig some of the tech inclusions, assault suit is hilarious.

Not sure I buy Ancestral Statue. It's just 3 mana to save a creature? Doesn't really seem worth it, I'd probably rather have another good creature that does something on its own. Plus it's got kind of a combo rep.

Hellkite Tyrant is a must-include, whether cheated or just played that card is absurd here.

Not sure I see why Chandra's Incinerator would justify a spot here. Seems like a lot of work to make good. Taunter also seems kinda meh.

For that matter, maybe I'm missing something but underworld breach looks very mediocre here. You're not running (good) fetchlands to fill the grave, not that there are a ton of options for those anyway, and most of the cards cost a ton so it seems difficult to cast more than a few cards off it in most scenarios. Even if you're chaining magus + rituals you're mostly spinning wheels just to stay even on mana. Idk, I guess I haven't actually tried it, but most Purphoros games I was able to find a win relatively quickly and breach looks very slow to me, especially without Wheel of Fortune.

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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

DirkGently wrote:
6 months ago
Purphoros is low-key one of the most fun commanders to be printed in recent years imo.
He's literally a blast, I haven't yet had a game I haven't enjoyed. I'm actually really surprised he hasn't seen more action. Like, I've had games where people have had to read the card to see what it does, and mistook it for OG Purph. I don't get it. I guess outside of a pretty tight set of commanders mono red just gets glanced past.
DirkGently wrote:
6 months ago
Not sure I buy Ancestral Statue. It's just 3 mana to save a creature? Doesn't really seem worth it, I'd probably rather have another good creature that does something on its own. Plus it's got kind of a combo rep.
Well, the chances of combo here are pretty well zero, I guess it's a way of getting more ETB triggers out. Being honest I haven't seen it come up enough with anything but Solemn Simulacrum to be worth it. I wanna see it in action with something a little more devastating before I rule it out entirely.
DirkGently wrote:
6 months ago
Hellkite Tyrant is a must-include, whether cheated or just played that card is absurd here.
Waiting for a reprint or a spare copy, but totally agree.
DirkGently wrote:
6 months ago
Not sure I see why Chandra's Incinerator would justify a spot here. Seems like a lot of work to make good. Taunter also seems kinda meh.
Taunter has been pretty good thus far. I haven't put any seriously exponential numbers through it yet, but it's a really nice combat deterrent that can lower life totals pretty quick, as well as being a nice way to put people within range of zero. Incinerator I haven't come across yet, but I do want to see how it shakes out. There's enough coincidental burn in the deck that it could add some value. Or it could just be too far removed from the deck's main focus. I'll see in the next little while.
DirkGently wrote:
6 months ago
For that matter, maybe I'm missing something but underworld breach looks very mediocre here. You're not running (good) fetchlands to fill the grave, not that there are a ton of options for those anyway, and most of the cards cost a ton so it seems difficult to cast more than a few cards off it in most scenarios. Even if you're chaining magus + rituals you're mostly spinning wheels just to stay even on mana. Idk, I guess I haven't actually tried it, but most Purphoros games I was able to find a win relatively quickly and breach looks very slow to me, especially without Wheel of Fortune.
I've been....reluctant to play it. Every time it's come up in hand I haven't had enough other pieces to get the sort of game-finishing crazy value from it I would like it to have to justify a slot. I've been on the verge of pulling it out, as it probably does need a few things that either I don't have (Wheel of Fortune) or are too far removed from the simple game plan (Burning Inquiry) to justify inclusion. To be honest, I've been looking at the list for something to cut for Blasphemous Act, and Breach may well be it.
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Post by MeowZeDung » 6 months ago

It's a small point, but I don't think Fellwar Stone should be in over Wayfarer's Bauble. I get that it's faster, but it's still -1 mana the turn you play it, you don't need the fixing, it doesn't ramp you into Purph any faster than bauble unless combined with Sol Ring, and artifact hate sets you back. It's marginal either way, but I'd rather have the land on the battlefield.
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Post by OCPunisher » 6 months ago

One more small point: Hammerfist Giant should probably be something like Crater Hellion that can survive its own damage.
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Post by DirkGently » 6 months ago

MeowZeDung wrote:
6 months ago
It's a small point, but I don't think Fellwar Stone should be in over Wayfarer's Bauble. I get that it's faster, but it's still -1 mana the turn you play it, you don't need the fixing, it doesn't ramp you into Purph any faster than bauble unless combined with Sol Ring, and artifact hate sets you back. It's marginal either way, but I'd rather have the land on the battlefield.
In my experience with Purph, I'd disagree. Once purph is on the field, the most mana you usually really need is about 6. More is cool but the game is super winnable on 6. If someone kills your artifact mana after purph has already been deployed, it's probably NBD because you've probably hit your 6th land by then, and even if you haven't, you can survive on as few as 3 mana for a decent amount of time.

In terms of total cost, bauble is 3 whereas fellwar is functionally 1 since it etbs untapped. Granted, in an ideal circumstance you can play bauble on 1 and crack on 2 and it probably won't matter relative to fellwar, but if you have bauble anywhere except your starter then it's a lot slower.

Also, if you do go up against MLD, it doesn't hurt to have more diverse mana sources. Especially for a deck like this that can very plausibly operate off a couple mana rocks and stabilize. For the matter, a cutthroat version of this deck probably runs Keldon Firebombers and benefits off having mana rocks from its own synergy.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

DirkGently wrote:
6 months ago
MeowZeDung wrote:
6 months ago
It's a small point, but I don't think Fellwar Stone should be in over Wayfarer's Bauble. I get that it's faster, but it's still -1 mana the turn you play it, you don't need the fixing, it doesn't ramp you into Purph any faster than bauble unless combined with Sol Ring, and artifact hate sets you back. It's marginal either way, but I'd rather have the land on the battlefield.
In my experience with Purph, I'd disagree. Once purph is on the field, the most mana you usually really need is about 6. More is cool but the game is super winnable on 6. If someone kills your artifact mana after purph has already been deployed, it's probably NBD because you've probably hit your 6th land by then, and even if you haven't, you can survive on as few as 3 mana for a decent amount of time.

In terms of total cost, bauble is 3 whereas fellwar is functionally 1 since it etbs untapped. Granted, in an ideal circumstance you can play bauble on 1 and crack on 2 and it probably won't matter relative to fellwar, but if you have bauble anywhere except your starter then it's a lot slower.

Also, if you do go up against MLD, it doesn't hurt to have more diverse mana sources. Especially for a deck like this that can very plausibly operate off a couple mana rocks and stabilize. For the matter, a cutthroat version of this deck probably runs Keldon Firebombers and benefits off having mana rocks from its own synergy.
Neither one should be played over Coalition Relic in a deck with a 5 mana commander, imho.

I don't think I would play a lot of land ramp in Purph but I would maximize my chances of getting him on turn 4 with 3 lands, since the likelihood is lots of your games will not have 4 lands by card 11 even with a fairly high land count.

I would not play *any* 2 cmc ramp spells (except Grim Monolith if it's in budget) that can't cycle themselves since you do not want to play critical mass of 4 cmc ramp spells (which is where 2 cmc really excels, ramping into another ramp spell). No Fire Diamond or any of that.
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Post by MeowZeDung » 6 months ago

@DirkGently I wasn't factoring in MLD since it tends to be the exception not the norm. Yeah, Bauble isn't great outside turns 1-3, but neither is Fellwar. I guess I'm looking at the ceiling rather than the floor for Bauble, but outside of a MLD meta in casual(er) land where Vandalblast, Cyclonic Rift, Austere Command, Cleansing Nova, and Hour of Revelation hose rocks on a regular basis, that extra mountain looks great.
pokken wrote:
6 months ago
Neither one should be played over Coalition Relic in a deck with a 5 mana commander, imho.
Sure relic belongs, but if you're building so hard toward missing land #4 and still having outs to cast Purph, why bother with Thrill of Possibility? Just cut it and a couple lands to stuff Worn Powerstone and more big chungus in the deck.

EDIT: actually, if your plan is 3 lands + accelerants to cast Purph, I'd argue for more 2 cmc rocks rather than fewer since you both increase your odds of t1 sol ring → rock and t2 rock → t3 rock. If the plan is to function on 3 lands, then the only other type of ramp to look at would be coalition relic, seething song, and powerstone, right?
Last edited by MeowZeDung 6 months ago, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

MeowZeDung wrote:
6 months ago
Sure relic belongs, but if you're building so hard toward missing land #4 and still having outs to cast Purph, why bother with Thrill of Possibility? Just cut it and a couple lands to stuff Worn Powerstone and more big chungus in the deck.
There are not enough 3 cmc effects that make 2 mana to make that reliable in my opinion - and Thrill of Possibility is pretty good at helping fix 2 landers as well which is nice :)

Your +2 mana options (that I can recall) are:
You need closer to 10 to be able to count on reliably hitting one, and even then you need to hit that *and* 3 lands.

I'd definitely be on Basalt Monolith and Coalition Relic before any 2 cmc rocks though.
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Post by MeowZeDung » 6 months ago

Ahhh you beat my edit. Go check it out. To clarify, I think thrill should stay, I just don't jive with the 3 land notion.
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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

EDIT: Eldrazi don't work with Purphoros. Duh.

Wurmcoil Engine looks lovely as a way to build a board state while getting value out of Purphoros. Blightsteel Colossus to randomly one-shot fools who don't leave blockers.

Erratic Portal as another way to reuse ETB abilities.
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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

Well, regarding the rocks, it is a pretty awkward place. I know Dirk's list ran/runs a huge amount of creatures to ensure you have something to sneak and a full grip of them wherever possible. That really narrows how many slots you have for rocks. This list operates similarly, although at present I do have less rocks than Dirk runs. Partly it's lack of access to things like Mana Crypt/Grim Monolith, partly it's just not having quite the right mix of rocks to add at present.

As far as bauble vs fellwar goes, I fall on the side of fellwar - costing 1 functionally and providing useful resource right away is more helpful than the speed at which bauble operates, which isn't amazing. As far as further rocks go, Dirk is right - this deck is totally capable of running quite well on the smell of an oily rag, so the leaner, cheaper to cast, get us going ASAP rocks are what I'd prefer. Coalition Relic I sort of get, although I'd prefer to use it in a deck with counter synergy/proliferate, but I'm not sure the monoliths are really necessary, especially without an easy way of untapping them.

@benjameenbear both would be stellar adds obviously. I think they're almost certainly outside of my budget at present even with upcoming reprints (lets be honest, neither one is going to drop THAT much, especially in a reprint set designed for whales). You probably could still run Eldrazi too just for the annihilate effect, but it does seem a bit lamentable to miss the cast triggers. Perhaps something like It That Betrays would make a nice addition.
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Post by Sinis » 6 months ago

@toctheyounger Given the use of rituals, have you considered Vessel of Volatility? It's good on 2 or 3 for a next turn Purphoros, and while not as good as a mana rock, it might be another card resembling the rituals you're running.

Also, how much mileage have you gotten out of Flayer of the Hatebound? Obviously good with Cauldron of Souls, but there doesn't seem to be much other synergy around (just Ox of Agonas I think?)...

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Post by toctheyounger » 6 months ago

Sinis wrote:
6 months ago
@toctheyounger Given the use of rituals, have you considered Vessel of Volatility? It's good on 2 or 3 for a next turn Purphoros, and while not as good as a mana rock, it might be another card resembling the rituals you're running.

Also, how much mileage have you gotten out of Flayer of the Hatebound? Obviously good with Cauldron of Souls, but there doesn't seem to be much other synergy around (just Ox of Agonas I think?)...
That could be usable, I'd forgotten the vessels even existed. Mostly they're a bit weak for this format, but it's possible that could work. It does make a bit of a weak draw late game, but it's probably easy enough to wheel away.

Flayer of the Hatebound has been ok, if not spectacular. As you mention, fun with Cauldron of Souls, and direct damage is always handy, but it's not exactly a must have. I'm sort of keeping an eye of 2XM for reprints. If anything like Hellkite Tyrant or Utvara Hellkite comes through it'd be easy enough to drop in favour of one of those. Wurmcoil Engine and Blightsteel Colossus would also be great adds, but I can't see their prices dropping enough to be affordable for me.
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W BrunaUB DralnuUB High House Shadow
G NissaGB Glissarugb Raest
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_R Bronze Purphoros_
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Post by MeowZeDung » 6 months ago

So, I don't want to belabor the point beyond this post since, 1) it's not my thread nor is it the purpose of the thread and 2) we're talking about fractions of win percentage points with this, but I find it fascinating. I'll spoiler it as a courtesy and an attempt to not hijack too much:
Spoiler
Show
toctheyounger wrote:
6 months ago
As far as bauble vs fellwar goes, I fall on the side of fellwar - costing 1 functionally and providing useful resource right away is more helpful than the speed at which bauble operates, which isn't amazing.
Well, they both give you the same thing in one regard, which is an additional mana onto your total mana production the following turn, but at a different cost right now. This really comes down to an ROI calculation and the longevity/resiliency of the investment. I disagree that Fellwar Stone (or any 2cmc rock that taps for 1 in a monocolored deck) provides a useful resource right away by itself. It's -1 mana the turn you play it. Now, it gives you ROI in terms of mana faster than Wayfarer's Bauble, which is -3 mana before it starts paying dividends, because Fellwar costs one less and can create mana right away unlike the tapped land from bauble:

Fellwar Stone hits 100% mana ROI the 3rd turn after you play it:
Spoiler
Show
- Turn X play stone, tap for 1 mana
- Turn X+1 tap for 1 mana
- Turn X+2 tap for 1 mana
- Turn X+3 tap for 1 mana, 100% ROI achieved
Wayfarer's Bauble hits 100% mana ROI the 6th turn after you crack it and fetch the land:
Spoiler
Show
- Turn X crack the bauble, put the land in tapped
- Turn X+1 tap for 1 mana
- Turn X+2 tap for 1 mana
- Turn X+3 tap for 1 mana
- Turn X+4 tap for 1 mana
- Turn X+5 tap for 1 mana
- Turn X+6 tap for 1 mana, 100% ROI achieved
Now, I'm guessing you aren't explicitly doing all this (admittedly simple) math out in your head; it's just intuitively obvious that the bauble is "slower" in this regard. But here's the point that I think actually matters: you aren't playing either of these cards for the benefit they give you on the turn you play them (there is none in this deck that I see right off hand) nor are you playing them to hit some mathematical threshold of mana ROI efficiency. You are playing them because they can get you to 5 mana prior to turn 5, or get you to some multiple of a turn sooner. I find it a tough sell to say that Fellwar does that better than Bauble, or at least significantly "better" enough that the added layer of vulnerability is worthwhile.

However, I find it a very easy sell to say that Harmonic Sliver, Austere Command, Trygon Predator, Vandalblast, Disenchant and a zillion others exist and fill this format. It's all fun and games until the Roon of the Hidden Realm player starts a Deadeye Navigator/Reclamation Sage bouncefest. Go redo the above ROI calculations on bauble vs stone after a Cyclonic Rift has put you back to 5 mana instead of 6 AND you have to redeploy Purph. I mean, even this list runs Steel Hellkite and Meteor Golem and can ruin the rock enthusiast's day. Cards don't live in a vacuum.

I think some of the same issues exist for Everflowing Chalice. While you do have the ability to pull some nonsense in the late game like multi-kick for with still available to still get in two activations this turn and have a huge follow up turn (if it makes it around the table), I know many players would certainly take advantage of the opportunity to Negate that in a hurry, or time walk you with a Krosan Grip before you can tap it and recoup half the mana you just spent.

If your meta has MLD, this is a different conversation as Dirk pointed out. Assuming that isn't the case for your meta and with the strength of rituals like Irencrag Feat and Seething Song for ramping out Purph and getting you multiple activations sooner, I would argue that you should be leaning away from most rocks except for the truly great ones and maybe even toss in Shatterstorm or Subterranean Tremors to slingshot your way ahead of the table on mana.

TL;DR - After the stellar ramp options of Sol Ring/rituals/Solemn Simulacrum/Coalition Relic in this deck, for my money I would want that additional basic mountain on the table from Wayfarer's Bauble. It's definitely at it's best turns 1-3, but even apart from that I think it gives a better chance for you to both get to the next multiple of for Sneak Attacks and STAY there.
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