TropQuest, vol. III - Silly Simic Pile (Eligeth/Gilanra)

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Rumpy5897
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 6 months ago


Once upon a time, I had a Kumena deck. Once Tatyova got spoiled in the next set, I upgraded my land base to fetches and a Tropical Island to make good use of her. This Trop proceeded to be the bane of my deckbuilding existence, as I wanted to make use of it, yet couldn't seem to hold onto a {G/U}x deck due to the casualness of my group. After Kumena's demise, I tried Eutropia, but the explosive engine building aspect of the deck didn't gel well with the group either. Yet a lot of other guys seem to be running {G/U}x decks and getting away with it. What are they doing right that I'm getting wrong?

Turns out that the group-acceptable {G/U}x builds are goodstuffy, ramp and draw heavy. No crazy high end haymakers like praetors or Expropriate, but more like Avenger of Zendikar tier stuff. I can work with that! I cobbled together a pile of Simic crap around two of the CMR partners - Gilanra is the main commander in the early/mid game, making the first 6+ CMC spell of the turn cantrip. Eligeth is a 6 drop that can be accessed from the command zone, and happens to turn Preordains into Ancestral Recalls. This is quite good for digging in the mid/late game.

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The deck is quite stipulated, there is zero removal/interaction (this is meant to be a super casual deck, and when playing silly I don't tend to use that sort of stuff) and no tutoring (Ecological Appreciation doesn't count as it's so woeful). There's obviously quite a bit of ramp, as there has to be with a 4+ average CMC, and a nontrivial helping of recursion. The deck's quite spell oriented, with some cast payoffs.

If you've made it this far, dear reader, care to help me out? I'm on the lookout for fun stuff to include, in case anything shakes out to be too strong or too weak to run. What you got in terms of cool beans? ;)

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The Quest Begins!
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The Quest Begins!
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07.11.2020 Changes
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21.12.2020 Changes
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21.12.2020 Changes
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31.12.2020 Change
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31.12.2020 Change
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27.02.2021 Changes
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14.03.2021 Changes
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STX/C21 Changes
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Last edited by Rumpy5897 3 weeks ago, edited 22 times in total.
 
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Post by Crazy Monkey » 6 months ago

I know you wanted to avoid interaction, but what are your thoughts on Brinelin, the Moon Kraken for the full 6cmc triggers?

Additionally, copying the mana added by Gilanra, Caller of Wirewood should copy the trigger, I believe. Doubling Cube could therefore be ramp and draw.

I think that Sphinx of the Second Sun and Progenitor Mimic are cool beans.
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Post by darrenhabib » 6 months ago

The deck looks like a lot of fun. I think Kodama of the East Tree is a perfectly fine for your playgroup. You get to put another permanent onto the battlefield which is good value.

Another card that I think would be fun is either Treasure Cruise or Dig Through Time. Could be clunky early but having Gilanra able to pay for one of it and then drawing an additional card is right on Avenger of Zendikar tier imo.
You have a healthy amount of fetchlands, cantrips and cheap ramp spells that you can delve some amount each game.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 6 months ago

Thanks for the suggestions. Copying the Gilanra mana does grant extra draw, which is a part of why I'm running Mana Reflection and Nyxbloom Ancient. Doubling Cube is actually a great call here, as it's mana neutral at 6 already and nets an extra draw. Not bad! The Sphinx of the Second Sun tech is cute, but at this time I'm literally running two instants, so I wouldn't be able to make good use of the untap. I did try Kodama for a game, but unfortunately the game broke. Turns out landing him with a Tatyova effect out, fifty million ramp spells and a dense array of fetches is a recipe for disaster. I shame-scooped after powering out like 15 lands in a turn and drawing a ridiculous number of cards along the way. While this is likely to be the upper limit of Kodama's ability within the shell, the land part specifically is likely to lead to very stupid things happening given the ease of big draw. The delve stuff is good, as you accurately spotted how quickly the bin fills up with debris, but at this point in the deck's construction it's flooding out with cards rather than starving for draw. That might change with reshuffles, so I'll keep the tech in mind!

Swaps!


Huh, turns out I already wasn't running Consecrated Sphinx? Still, I can easily de-sweat the deck by offing Mana Crypt. The rest of the cuts are various uninspiring drivel, partly from the deck's short stint as an Imoti list. Archetype of Endurance is great there, as with an appropriately loaded top-end there's a good chance of extra cascades when you cast this guy. In a vacuum, he's not that inspiring, and is in fact a form of interaction in a way! :P On similar grounds, Mnemonic Deluge's relative uninspired nature was cool there as it was likely to keep the random chain going. Now that that's not a factor, what will it do? Get a triple Cultivate? Eh. Spark Double was cool for the double cascade with Imoti, but less tempting here. Beast Whisperer just never really wanted to get cast, it's the least useful of the creature cantrippers. There aren't that many targets for Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma. Vigor doesn't really have any synergy beyond letting me kind of recklessly send creatures into combat, which is not horrible, but was enough for me to never cast him.

Aminatou's Augury is a pretty fun "spin the wheel and see what sticks" sort of thing, Reshape the Earth has been a ridiculous power play every single time it's come up, and Hour of Promise is a miniature version of that which is likely to default to Mosswort Bridge and Reliquary Tower. The deck's fantastic at ramping and drawing crazily, but a bit less so at ending - Kamahl, Fist of Krosa should be a reasonable option for trying to get things moving in the game-ending department. Lifeblood Hydra is a card which I like, and can even be a crummy six drop in a pinch. Marit Lage's Slumber (plus a snow conversion of the basics not featured in the change log) and Season of Growth are solid Eligeth synergy pieces. Sphinx Ambassador is a fun mind game of a card that's proven to have created neat moments in the group before, which makes it perfect for inclusion here.

It's quite refreshing, being liberated from my tryhard "gotta fine-tune the deck at all costs" mentality. Grants me quite a bit more freedom in building and playing. It only took six years to get there :P
 
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Post by darrenhabib » 6 months ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
6 months ago
I did try Kodama for a game, but unfortunately the game broke. Turns out landing him with a Tatyova effect out, fifty million ramp spells and a dense array of fetches is a recipe for disaster. I shame-scooped after powering out like 15 lands in a turn and drawing a ridiculous number of cards along the way. While this is likely to be the upper limit of Kodama's ability within the shell, the land part specifically is likely to lead to very stupid things happening given the ease of big draw. The delve stuff is good, as you accurately spotted how quickly the bin fills up with debris, but at this point in the deck's construction it's flooding out with cards rather than starving for draw. That might change with reshuffles, so I'll keep the tech in mind!
Whoops did not mean to steer you wrong with Kodama, honestly thought it would be good fun value not break the board type stuff.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 6 months ago

No worries, I was curious to try him out myself and happily took the nudge :) Seeing how you've got an Eligeth of your own, I would greatly recommend Marit Lage's Slumber. Two mana Tatyova effect off snow basics is seriously pretty decent, as it turns out.
 
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 5 months ago

And for my next trick, a month's worth of changes in one update! 2020, am I right? I started taking swap notes but lacked the motivation to get in here and actually post the thing, the swap list would grow, I'd have even less motivation to report, and so on in this fashion. Hey, at least the bunched up swaps come together into a pretty nice directional shift for the deck, so there's that.


So here's the thing - the initial version of the deck was made up of literally three constituents. Ramp, draw, and 6+CMC haymakers. The ramp and draw were plentiful, and I'd occasionally manage to set up game states where I'd have more mana than the rest of the table put together. Everything worked a bit too well, so this bunch of updates attempts to remedy that. The cuts fall into categories: The replacements take the list in a few different directions. There are a few ramp-adjacent cards (Doubling Cube, Exploration, Into the North, Rampant Growth, Sakura-Tribe Scout, Terrain Generator), but a lot of them take on the form of extra land drops and only properly come online once draw starts cracking. This makes them more temperamental in execution, leading to more entertaining games. Doubling Cube is also more fussy and takes a while to get going while enabling some extra Gilanra mana in a less problematic fashion - thanks Crazy Monkey! There are also a couple of new draw options (Scour All Possibilities, Sigiled Starfish) which only properly come online with Eligeth out. That, and scryfish is a meme as old as the group itself, so that's good for a grin. I've been greatly enjoying casting Genesis Storm, so some of the replacements (See the Unwritten, Unexpected Results) fall into a similar sort of randomised mindset. A nice way to help ensure a balanced game is to scale off what the opposition is doing. In the current era of specialised decks, clones aren't that helpful, but casting spells and drawing cards is a common ground between different foes. Lurking Predators and Mind's Dilation care about the former, Psychic Possession cutely scales off the latter. It already created a fun game state where a guy on Brago chose to not blink his Oath of Jace as it would feed me. Clone Legion is more all-encompassing than trying to copy individual pieces. Given the nontrivial amount of sorceries in here, Swarm Intelligence is a fun amplifier. There's a cute mini-game in Master of Predicaments, a cheap board gummer to help close in Scute Swarm, and a bit of early defensive presence in pet card Fog Bank. There's also a smidge more recursion in Bala Ged Recovery // Bala Ged Sanctuary and Regrowth, which feels like a good idea given the increased spell focus.

The deck has some trouble with closing. This might be a me thing, as I often just sit on stuff rather than attack, but it is nevertheless something I need to figure out. Start pressuring people somehow. Or maybe I need to put in different stuff to accomplish this?
 
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Post by WolfWhoWanders » 4 months ago

It's not 6+ mana but maybe Imoti, Celebrant of Bounty would be good. I was thinking about building him as a commander too. Might be able to make a simic deck that isn't so...simic-y with it I figured.
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 4 months ago

Imoti was the original commander for this pile actually. The deck was just too good for its own good - the advantage generated from the flips would spiral wildly out of control extremely quickly. If your group can handle it, she's honestly a blast to play, and encourages her own brand of shenanigans. I remember casting Archetype of Endurance, flipping Sun Quan, Lord of Wu, flipping Skyshroud Claim.

I've actually been considering her as an include in the 99, but given how crazily those Imoti-helmed games went I unfortunately don't think she'd be a healthy constituent.
 
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Post by WolfWhoWanders » 4 months ago

interesting, guess simic can't win at not winning the value train
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Post by Tevesh » 4 months ago

WolfWhoWanders wrote:
4 months ago
interesting, guess simic can't win at not winning the value train
That's exactly why I can't build them. They all play the same. It's why I was rooting for Rumpy's 'Ice Cream Mage' but I guess that was too much for his group.

As somebody who now has two 'stupid idiot' decks, just embrace the jank. This is a great opportunity for you to play cards that you really like but they're awful. You can also toss out mana curve considerations which is how my Golos sort-of operates, especially with all of these extra land drops.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 4 months ago

Yep, Tev, that's what I've been up to here. If a card breaks the game, I take it out and replace it with something goofier. I run a high amount of ramp and use that to fuel a ridiculous array of variably useful 6+ drops. There's only so goofy you can make a ramp suite though. I've taken out some of the staples, I tossed the Sol Rings, but some modicum of functionality is required. I too wish Ice Cream Monk would have worked out, but my group's issues with the deck were at a level so fundamental it was impossible to resolve them. Meanwhile, this deck's premise is "play 6+ CMC stuff", which leaves ample wiggle room in execution if need be.

Speaking of that, let's adjust execution a bit. Wiggle wiggle wiggle!

21.12.2020 Changes
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As much as I'd like to keep Mana Reflection, it's still too good a card given the reality the deck lives in. It comes down too easy and does too much, and the Doubling Cube synergy which I thought would be cute turned out to be horrifying game-wrecking overkill in practice. Six Gilanra mana - yikes! On similar grounds, The Great Henge tends to be too efficient at what it offers. With Eligeth out it's kinda like a Skyshroud Claim, but then it also cantrips off Gilanra, and keeps gaining life, and pumps creatures, and draws cards off non-tokens ETB'ing (hello Genesis Storm et al. flips). The remaining cuts are less about game breaking and more about where I want the deck to go. Kamahl, Fist of Krosa is an "I win" button with a lot of mana and some semblance of a board, but Scute Swarm fulfils a relatively similar role in a funner fashion already. Mind's Dilation is just not that fun - there's a difference between doing Psychic Possession mind games or Lurking Predators flips and nicking people's cards to play for free.

Ethereal Forager is a card that I chanced into while browsing Scryfall, and it's quite a fun piece for the deck. Slow, unthreatening, yet also discountable for Gilanra to start getting the value going early, and potentially recurring spells. This whole casty recursion angle is pretty fun actually, and Praetor's Counsel is the big dumb splashy version of that. Sandwurm Convergence helps make a board, slowly, and goofily. Shark Typhoon turns casts into bodies. I played a couple games earlier today, and somehow encountered all four of these, and they all did what was hoped for. Forager came down for three mana, and ended up returning Into the North, Migration Path and Serum Visions to hand before the game ended. Counsel picked up a fat 'yard, and as a little bonus I played and cracked some fetches as lands for turn to get extra use out of them. Convergence was comparatively the meh'est, but still helped gum up the board and acted as a reasonable safety net against Brago's wall of golems potentially getting wings. Sharknado made a reasonable number of tokens, and went ballistic when I had 40+ mana and a couple Regrowths to loop. Normally I'd have kept spamming Aminatou's Augury further times, but by that point I had exiled myself down to ~10 cards in deck, so the Regrowth loop was still quite welcome.

I ran this version of the deck by the guys in the group, and nothing really stuck out. The closest to a problematic card was identified in Pathbreaker Ibex, who is yet to do anything close to a game ruin. This is a sign that the deck's probably fine.
 
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Post by Tevesh » 4 months ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
4 months ago
I ran this version of the deck by the guys in the group, and nothing really stuck out. The closest to a problematic card was identified in Pathbreaker Ibex, who is yet to do anything close to a game ruin. This is a sign that the deck's probably fine.
Yeah, Ibex doesn't leave a bad taste in people's mouths, it's just ends games or require people to spend removal.

I'm surprised Kamahl was too much but I guess he made every board lethal and his ability to turn opponent's Lands into Creatures in response to a Wrath scared too many people?

I'm surprised you don't have Seasons Past as a recursion slot or is that because it would be too egregious even with your glut of 6 drops?

Oh yeah, a very fun surprise card for Stupid Green is Heartwood Storyteller. You're probably running enough Creatures to not be suicide to play it, it helps struggling players and it absolutely punishes those who try to do some spell shenanigans.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 4 months ago

Oh, I'm not taking Kamahl out for power reasons. I just didn't really find him interesting - he'd come down out of the blue, I'd rip a couple overruns, gg. The game has to end, but the game can end in more roundabout ways than that :P Seasons Past sits in that weird spot where it costs so much you get self conscious about it and Praetor's Counsel is just two more mana away. That, and it bottoms itself, which is a bit of a shame - recurring recursion to keep recurring things is not uncommon actually, with the bigger spells (or just a Swarm Intelligence). It might make its way in eventually, Gilanra cantripping off it is nice. I'm not sure how good Heartwood Storyteller would be here - the deck does cast quite a bit of noncreature stuff, so it'd hug everyone else at the table for the privilege.

I'm not fully sure where to take the deck. I'm considering pulling back on creatures a bit, as the spells'y angle has been quite fun to pursue, but then I have a lovely Eligeth value piece in Season of Growth which wants creatures around. Also, a lot of the "what am I gonna get?" spells flip for creatures. That, and I rooted around for various cast synergy/cheat pieces and there honestly isn't even that much. Guess adding red would give me access to stuff like Thousand-Year Storm. All it would take would be swapping Eligeth for Ludevic or Kraum. However, I like Eligeth, and off-colour stuff. So I guess I'll tough it out over here with a cooler partner and a lack of red :P

31.12.2020 Change
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Looking over the cards, I realised each one serves some sort of purpose. Purposes need not be particularly game-progressing, they can be cute little mini-games like Master of Predicaments too. Minus the Lifeblood, that one does nothing. The Hydra got itself added near the peak of the list's mana production prowess, yet there was always something better to do than sink into its X. It comes out, it's a vanilla'ish body that draws a bunch on death, in a deck that's honestly already pretty decent at drawing. The slot was gonna go to Elderscale Wurm for a while, but I realised that it's ultimately a pretty boring body by a similar metric. It theoretically protects me, but I'm not even sure if I want the Sandwurm Convergence anti-flying thing in here in the end. There's a guy in my group who dislikes pillow fort effects, and this deck is supposed to be as fun times as it gets. Trawling for cool cast'y/cheat'y things reminded me of Magus of the Mind's existence, and he's perfect here. Comes out in advance, sits there, waits for a turn with a few spells played, rips and does a bunch of flips. But is it even correct to rip him then? Maybe I should wait for later? Fun, mildly complex and quite possibly winmore - the perfect combination! During his test game, I Progenitor Mimicked him. Despite the horrid clumsiness of the copies needing to wait a full spin 'round the table to go off. That's a good sign.
 
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 months ago

Got some games on the deck. The list exhibited fundamentally troublesome behaviour - it'd ramp to 15+ mana and then start busting out mediocrestuff, which would often be of the variety that got you more mana's worth of stuff for your investment. This led to the silly Simic pile roflstomping decks that I perceived as a good rung or two of power above it. Even though none of the cards are particularly stupid individually, time to bust out the nerf stick again. Also, while I'm at it, I carried out an overdue basics rebalance - the deck's picked up a lot more blue since I last checked.


Aminatou's Augury and Selvala's Stampede are two of my favourite cards in the deck, but they lead to a ridiculous value explosion more often than not. Magus of the Mind requires setup, and Genesis Storm is the deck's OG and benefits from Eligeth having been cast, so they get to stay for now. Pathbreaker Ibex is a conventionally powerful card, and removing it will make me have to work a bit harder to try to end games, including by making more active use of my evasion pieces. Season of Growth may require more setup than The Great Henge and the others, but it still leads to insane refuels. Sea Gate Restoration is an obscenely powerful draw spell when running a rampy deck in lower power land. Turntimber Symbiosis is a card I've always found boring, but ran it for the symmetry with Restoration. Now with the blue counterpart gone, this one can leave too. The deck was running seventeen pieces of ramp, and the rest of the cuts pull back on that. A particularly explosive play line is one-drop ramp into Gilanra turn two, so a lot of the cuts are centred on the pieces that enable disproportionately quick mana ascent.

The replacement stuff leans into the spells angle, with an extra piece of payoff in Metallurgic Summonings. There's also more stuff that looks towards opponents for engagement/outcome, with Diluvian Primordial, Faerie Artisans, Reap, Spitting Image, and Tempt with Discovery + Tempt with Reflections. Playing the sphinx minigames is cool, doing Psychic Possession is cool, so leaning into the opponent-dependent angle more should be fun times. There are also a couple extra spells to make use of Eligeth with in Deliberate, Mystic Speculation, Opt and Reason // Believe. The deck in its prior form mainly used Gilanra to drop high-cost mediocrestuff, with Eligeth in more of a supporting role. Slimming the curve a bit and putting more pressure on the other commander to deliver refuels of less mana intensive, yet still cool stuff should hopefully lead to an interesting game dynamic. I'm also lifting the no-instants stipulation at this time.

Other options that were considered:
 
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 months ago

The nerfs have accomplished the desired outcome - the deck's now considerably slower and less crazy. It can still have massive turns (I ripped a Magus of the Mind for 15 earlier in the evening), but those turns tend to arrive later in the game and be less crazy than what the deck was previously capable of. Continued tweaks with the aim of interesting and group-appropriate gameplay.

27.02.2021 Changes
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Scute Swarm is a hilarious card, but not one that lends itself to particularly interesting gameplay patterns. It comes out, the table has 2-3 turns to wipe, if they don't then game over. Come to think of it, all of the landfall game enders are pretty boring on similar grounds. Rampaging Baloths is quite weak and not that interesting. Avenger of Zendikar stays for now, but might get booted in the future if the deck gets good at winning via alternate means. Recurring Insight showed up in three recent games, and wrecked all three. Drawing 10+ cards for six mana with zero setup required, possibly as the first Gilanra spell, is just ludicrous at providing options. Tempt with Reflections doesn't work like I thought it did, I somehow misread the card (I thought everyone could clone a creature of theirs of their choosing and I'd get copies of them). Pragmatically, nobody's gonna take me up on this. I lack the sort of crazy creatures that could actually tempt people.

Unsurprisingly, most of the adds are from the prior post's potential includes list - Chain to Memory and Condescend as one-mana draw-twos for Eligeth, and Body of Knowledge as a goofy card to shoehorn in. Docent of Perfection // Final Iteration is not quite as potent at rewarding the big spells as Metallurgic Summonings or Sharknado, but there are quite a few cheap Eligeth "Ancestral Recalls" and the various recursion/ramp spells. Getting a winged 3/2 from each of them is pretty good. Along similar reasons, Talrand has entered the peripheries of potential includes, but need to see how Delver Factory fares first.

The recent games have featured some pretty cool moments, so storing them here for posterity:
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A friend remembered today that he once fiddled with a Golos Emeria deck, so he dusted it off and we got slinging. Once Recurring Insight wrecked him and I apologetically took it out as it was its third consecutive strike, he figured that Sire of Insanity would be pretty good to include in the deck. He'd still get to recur stuff via Emeria, while everyone else got severely hampered on plays. So games turned into him tutoring it out with alarming regularity, and me falling over and dying to it most of the time. One time I did not - I had a decent board, including like 20 power of Delvers, and just needed to find an evasion piece to get around his various gum and kill him. Uh oh Sire, 15-card hand of various utility and potential dig down. Well crap. Untap, draw, Arcanis draw, locate a Rishkar's Expertise in the four-deep, rip it. Go fourteen deep, twice, and fail to find any of the two evasion guys. At this point I've gone through 80 cards in the deck and feel like I should have seen one. I scrape together mana for See the Unwritten and finally find Archetype of Imagination. He dead! And all it took was ripping through 40+ cards of deck, despite untapping hellbent.
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Later in the evening, my group assembled for a couple games. One of the guys was rocking a Titania list, and things were coming together for him - Zendikar Resurgent, Elemental Bond... I could smell the fat turn a mile away, so he got to hold Psychic Possession. It did not disappoint - he had a crazy turn and I drew intensely as a result. Fun card! I untap and set down Body of Knowledge, with the debutant's 40+ girth being enough to kill anyone once it gets back to me and I can make him evasive. Alas, it was not to be - a third guy promptly channeled Shinen of Life's Roar onto his Spitemare and swung into me. The Body's damage got splashed back at it, and I got decked. One of the more amusing ways I've died in a while.
 
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 months ago

Yeah, this is working. The deck's weaker than it was previously, but it's got more interesting stuff going on in terms of gameplay dynamics. I'm of the opinion that partner decks can be some of the cooler, more varied, yet still consistent performers - you've got two potential things to synergise with out of the command zone, so you can go modular to support it and still have the requisite enabler at the ready. In this case, it's the combination of Gilanra's desire for big spells and Eligeth's natural gravitating towards low-cost scries. They actually work well together, as you drop in the 6+CMC bomb for Gilanra to draw off of, and then spend the remaining mana on whatever, such as cheap Eligeth scry stuff. Delver Factory has quite liked seeing the various cheapo spells, and has also liked eating a Spitting Image (or three). This power of cloning is not something that needs to be Clone Legion size to be cool, as it turns out. The secret to being able to run a clone-rich deck in 2021 is to have some stuff of your own you wouldn't mind copying. And there's plenty of that here - Ulvenwald Hydra, the mini-game sphinxes, Delver Factory, what have you.

14.03.2021 Changes
Approximate Total Cost:

Avenger of Zendikar was earmarked as a potential cut in the last update, I drew him, he didn't spark joy. This frees me up from all landfall win conditions, which is a good thing. This puts more pressure on the Sun Quans in the deck to help provide whatever mediocrestuff wide with evasion prowess, and that makes games more interesting as that's another piece of the puzzle I sometimes need to find. Clone Legion is the last of the problematic high-end haymakers, as it can single-handedly undo an opponent's advantage and flip gears on the game. In its last appearance, I had the power to repeatedly recur and cast it 10+ times in one turn, and it managed to yield a board state that was unreasonably powerful and took over an opponent that had no business being caught up with. Marit Lage's Slumber may be the least obnoxious Tatyova, but it is still a Tatyova. Migration Path does not need to draw two on top of ramping two. Nezahal is a sad one to cut, as he's the original "whenever opponent" card in here, but he is also the most boring of the lot, in fairness. He did not spark joy and sat in hand more often than not recently. Rishkar's Expertise makes me feel guilty more than anything - it's not that insane a draw spell, even with Eligeth out, but it just feels like a big boy tryhard card and I'm trying to avoid running those that aren't necessary in here.

Most of the new includes are various flavours of clones, as those make for interesting, interactive gameplay. As mentioned, I've got some decent targets for it myself, so I've got a decent fail case if nobody else has anything worth copying. Followed Footsteps is like a garbage tier Progenitor Mimic, and is pretty fun because of the badness. Saheeli's Artistry is the Clone Legion replacement on account of being less ludicrous. In the interest of thoroughness, I should note that it nominally enables an infinite - given enough mana and a Doubling Cube, it can be mana positive when cast. Needs appropriate recursion to keep this up, most easily in the form of a recursive body like Eternal Witness to copy. This is yet to come up in gameplay, and I've put quite a few games on the thing recently, so it's unlikely to need addressing. Stolen Identity is pretty neat as it can go live on Eligeth. In its debut appearance I kept making Gilded Lotuses until I had a flipped Delver Factory to start copying instead. In terms of non-clone includes, there's the Eligeth-minded Crystal Ball. Repeatable scry-draw stuff is quite nice, and this is another piece of that. Kiora's Follower is the strongest include in a while, as it checks a lot of high power boxes. It's a two-mana ramp spell, helping power out Gilanra haymakers from turn four onward. It actually untaps Gilanra, so said haymaker will draw two cards rather than one. It also untaps various renowned big mana things like Doubling Cube. It's seriously no slouch. But it is also a creature, so it's pretty easy to deal with in the grand scheme of things. It's come out a few times by now, it's quite good, but it's not game-wrecking. And it synergises nicely with what the deck is after, so it stays.

It's unfortunate that all forms of multi-Regrowth get rid of themselves in some capacity. Reap has been nothing short of amazing, and once the mana comes together it can be used in intense recursion setups. Remember that mention of 10+ Clone Legions in a turn? That was thanks to Reap (and a secondary Regrowth to pick the Reap up). Seeing how the cast angle makes good use of Sharknado variants, I'm considering Mirage Mirror as a way to try to get more of those online.
 
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Rumpy5897
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 1 month ago

STX/C21 is all about instants/sorceries, so to no real surprise there are a few cool cards to stick in here.

STX/C21 Changes
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Body of Research generates a gigantic vanilla piece of beef, and is a spell for all the cool casting synergies. Plus I somehow tend to like "body of vaguely academic term" names, as evidenced by Body of Knowledge being a pet card in the deck. Deekah, Fractal Theorist was a design I was expecting when Magecraft got itself spoiled, I won't say no to another Metallurgic Summonings variant. Ecological Appreciation is a tutor, how dare I do this! To be fair, it's an extremely crummy tutor, as evidenced by my dismissal of it in every single one of my "proper" Gx decks, and this deck's all about audience participation. I expect most piles to oscillate around Ulvenwald Hydra, Progenitor Mimic, Delver Factory and an evasion piece, with decreasing likelihood of receiving them as the list progresses. Geometric Nexus is just a fun card - comes out early, counts everybody's instants/sorceries, and can potentially churn multiple vanillas if it gets to stick around and the spells keep coming (which we tend to do). It's the least good of the whole Sharknado family, but I'll happily take it nevertheless.

Diluvian Primordial just didn't really spark joy. What if there aren't any really good spells to nab? Or what if in turn there are too many good spells to nab and I'll look like a dick? Caused a bit too much overthinking and not enough fun. Doubling Cube became a very centralising card in the list, often becoming copied for further dumb, and that infinite combo with Saheeli's Artistry came together a number of times as the deck is very draw-happy. The nail in its coffin came when I found out that it in fact does not make copied Gilanra mana draw cards. Dammit :P I did like the card quite a bit, mind you, but I don't think it was super fun for the opposition to have to endure it. Followed Footsteps just took a bit too long to wind up, the lack of immediate benefit was surprisingly noticeable given the other copy options. Sandwurm Convergence was in a weird no-man's-land where it kind of did stuff, but at the same time cost a lot and didn't feel like it was worth it in most games. Plus the few times when the stars aligned and it stopped a massive flying army were quite feelbad. This is meant to be a weak, fun deck. I'm not trying to impede others from executing their game plans.

Also, I don't tend to discuss non-includes in my non-primers, as I've got enough to track for those already, but Jadzi, Oracle of Arcavios would be incredible here. To the point where it might actually be correct to have her helm the whole recursion loop spam deck, as it dumps the deck out onto the field in the process for minimal investment. However, I'm pretty sure the card would be busted beyond belief at the desired power level. Oh yeah, also I tried out Mirage Mirror and wasn't that impressed. I got to Progenitor Mimic a Kalonian Hydra, and the Mirror had a Corpsejack Menace to turn into, but it still felt rather middling despite objectively contributing.
 
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