Niv-Mizzet Reborn - Astral-Living-Genesis

User avatar
darrenhabib
Posts: 400
Joined: 4 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 69 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by darrenhabib » 1 week ago

Image



Image

The infamous Niv-Mizzet. the Dragon Izzet League leader and founder has seen 4 different prints with his inception since the Ravinca plane was revealed to us.


As you can see he was firmly in red and blue until the War of the Spark, where he had been killed by Nicol Bolas, but had prepared plans to resurrect himself with the aid of the rest of the guilds of Ravinca in such a case. His new incarnation possesses the Guildpact, which is an ancient magic that holds the laws of Ravinca to enforce ordinance for various aspects within each of the ten guilds.
As such he has gone from being a 2-color legendary creature to a 5-color legendary creature.

It's a masterful card design and really great story telling within his ability. "Color pair" specifically means that it can only be cards that have 2 colors, and 2 colors only. So you can't have a 3 colored card (like Nicol Bolas, the Ravager for example) being chosen, even though it contains 2 colors, it doesn't meet the stipulations as it has the additional color.

Niv-Mizzet Reborn is a shout out to all the guilds of Ravnica, expanding his knowledge and mastery beyond the mere domain of the Izzet League.

Image

What can Niv-Mizzet Reborn do?

Quantity versus Quality of cards you put into hand
Because you can only choose one of each color-pairing with Niv-Mizzet Reborn, you have an incentive to try and distribute your color-pairings as evenly as possible. Now if you don't then you get more card selection within a color-pairing, but not quantity of cards in hand.
For example you can have a deck that is purely Jeskai within your 99, so you can potentially hit Boros, Izzet and Azorius, but that means you can only get a maximum of 3 cards off his trigger.

If you are hoping to get the highest number of cards off Niv, then you want to have an even distribution of color-pairing within your deck. This has very specific design stipulations in the end.
Often you are balancing the power-level of a cards against the need to spread out your colors more. Finding that balance is a constant shuffle in my experience, and honestly a lot of fun when it comes to the experience of building and playing with Niv-Mizzet Reborn as your commander.

I personally have gone for trying to maximize on quantity and quality, meaning I have tried to get the distribution as even as possible, as well as making sure the quality is perfectly inline for the deck strategy.
Now I do have a range between 4-6 for each color-pairing, so I have made some concessions on the quality of cards, otherwise I'd have each guild on 5 cards realistically. But some guilds just have a slight edge in cards that synergise within this build.


What are your chances of revealing a color-pairing?
Here is a breakdown of number of color-pairings you might have in a deck, and your chances of revealing at least one off a Niv-Mizzet Reborn trigger. It assumes that you've had a normal distribution of draw already, i.e. you haven't drawn a big clump of particular guilds, therefore less likely to reveal those same guilds.

Number in deckChance of reveal
110%
219%
327%
435%
542%
648%
754%
859%
963%
1067%
Given that there are 10 color-pairings in Magic, with the need to play mana sources to cast your spells, you can't really expect to play more than 60-70 spells in your deck that are color-paired.
I'd say the most extreme deck that aimed for quantity would have around 70 color-paired cards, so you could aim for 7 of each of guild colors.
But here we are talking about a 30 land/artifacts to cover our mana costs. It would be fairly inconsistent with having the mana each and every game to cast your cards.
So realistically let's say that it's more like 60 color-paired cards for a deck that looks to get a high quantity of cards. That allows for 6 of each color pair within the build.






Color pairingNumber in deckChance of reveal
"Image" Azorius648%
"Image" Dimir648%
"Image" Rakdos542%
"Image" Gruul435%
"Image" Selesna542%
"Image" Orzhov542%
"Image" Izzet542%
"Image" Golgari542%
"Image" Boros542%
"Image" Simic542%
This deck has around 50 color-paired cards, meaning an average number of 5 cards each between the guilds. It has 12 non-land, non-color-paired cards that really help the deck design.
So I give up some percentages of revealing cards for Niv-Mizzet Reborn, but gain in overall card interactions.

These are the basic calculations for the color-pairings in the deck, given that it assumes that you haven't drawn an abnormal amount of same color pairing already.

With 10 Guilds (color-pairings), you are expecting on average to put around 4 cards into your hand off his trigger.
Spoiler
Show
If you had exactly a 50/50 chance of drawing all your color-pairings then on average you'd put 5 cards into your hand (half of 10). However we are just under this 50% at exactly 42.5% so more accurately we'd say that we would draw 4.25 cards on average. A better way to envision this in terms of actual game play, is that for every 3rd time you have revealed 4 cards, the next time you might expect to reveal 5 cards to make up for the 2.5%.
But of course it is up to the shuffling Gods what is revealed and I have had instances of only revealing 1 color-pair and other times 7 different color-pairings. So just be prepared for variance.

What color-paired cards are good in Magic?
There are thousands of bi-color paired cards within Magic, so there are a lot of directions you can go.
I don't aim to cover them within this primer.
This is by far one of the most unique deck builds that I have created (or even seen), so the focus is explaining the design and how to leverage the mechanics that are within this deck.

Image

How this deck came together..

Bi-colored cards with cycling
During my research around Niv-Mizzet Reborn I noticed that there were a reasonable amount of bi-colored cycling cards. Especially within Alara Reborn expansion as one of it's main themes.
That's a potential 15 of them, and 10 of them have "land" cycling. Note: this deck is only running the land-cycling cards.
Because Niv-Mizzet Reborn is not going to get you lands naturally off his trigger, this has an element of being able to draw you lands. Amazing!

But actually what got me interested in this idea was using these with Astral Slide and Astral Drift and targeting mainly Niv-Mizzet Reborn to exile to return to play for additional triggers off his ability.
If you can imagine that you get to exile Niv-Mizzet Reborn potentially every players turn once you are setup. Because you'll be looking at 10 more cards each time, your chances of drawing into other cycling cards are very high.

You can even using the ones that get lands types; Igneous Pouncer, Jhessian Zombies, Pale Recluse, Sanctum Plowbeast, Valley Rannet to get the land-type cycle lands in; Canyon Slough, Fetid Pools, Irrigated Farmland, Scattered Groves, Sheltered Thicket for even more cycling triggers.
There is almost no way you can miss drawing into further cyclers. It's just a case of having the mana available to pay for each of the cycling cards in the first place.

If you can imagine in a four player game, getting Niv-Mizzet Reborn to trigger four times for one turn round, that you will have seen 40 cards off the top your library! That's literally nearly half your deck.


What to do with all of these cards?
Well let's say in the example of getting a full turn round with an Astral Slide/Astral Drift you get to put 30% of those cards into your hand, a low estimate given an example of a poor outcome.
That's still about 12 cards in hand, with a selection of almost half your deck. What would be the best cards in this situation?

Certainly "Image" Cadaverous Bloom would set you up for an explosive turn(s), but only gives you access to green and black.

With an ordinary mana base, casting multiple cards a turn is going to be very hard. We need a plan...

Hypothetical methods of getting cards into play from hand
How can you get all your creatures into play from your hand? This next section is going to briefly touch on some methods, so that you can see logical steps and conclusions that I made.

Well there are only a few bi-color cards that can really do this sort of thing. These allow for some mana burst, "Image" Faeburrow Elder and "Image" Mirari's Wake, "Image" Cadaverous Bloom.
"Image" Hunting Grounds is another card that can easily reach threshold by discarding due to hand size. This will allow you to get multiple creatures into play every round.
But otherwise you are stuck with trying to gain mana over basically things that can give you small additional gains. Mana creatures or artifacts like Radha, Heir to Keld and Wildfield Borderpost are examples of these.
Better example might be "Image" Kiora's Follower used to untap a mana source that even might give you lots of additional mana (Gaea's Cradle?).
Even Xenagos, the Reveler used with a wide board is decent.

But in the long run trying to cast all your cards is one of the overall bottlenecks of trying to leverage off bi-colored cards. I've investigated and tried a few things and you are normally left with "fair" means of using these types of cards.

What singular cards that are not bi-colored could you potentially use to get all your creatures into play? Omniscience, Myojin of Life's Web, Eureka or even Hypergenesis are all cards that you could potentially use.

Hypothetical methods of getting cards into play from graveyard
Orzov gives you access to bi-colored mass reanimation cards in "Image" Pyrrhic Revival, "Image" Primevals' Glorious Rebirth, "Image" Immortal Servitude.

You would already have cycling creatures in your graveyard, and you could look at discard outlets to put further creatures/legendary permanents into your graveyard. If all else fails you can discard them during your end step to wait a turn.
"Image" Ancient Excavation and "Image" Vanish into Memory would allow you to discard and draw into these types of cards as well.

As far as non-colored paired cards that you could hypothetically look to use are; Living Death, Twilight's Call, Rise of the Dark Realms or even Living End.

Cheating cards into play, how this deck works
I've mentioned two quite unusual cards in Living End and Hypergenesis within this hypothetical framework, and really these are the inspiration and key cards behind this deck, along with the "Image" Orzov mass reanimation cards.

Some of you might be familiar with the Modern deck simply titled "Living End", and it too uses cycling creatures to get cards into the graveyard. It's been a top-tiered deck since Travis Woo first brought his brew to Grand Prix Houston in 2010. There have been many changes and iterations over the years, but it remains a staple to the formats meta as new cards are always being printed that helps to create stronger payoffs and it's just a concept that works really well. This article has a great run down on the decks history and lists => https://article.hareruyamtg.com/article/31390/?lang=en

The way that you can cast these cards is that you can abuse the cascade ability, which will flip cards from the top of your library until you reveal a card that has a lesser casting cost. So with the deck there are no cards that cost less than the cascade cards themselves.
Once again we had Alara Reborn expansion that had a focus on bi-colored cards, and within that they printed a reasonable number of cascade cards. We are looking to use a number of these to help our plan of casting Living End or Hypergenesis.

The question you have to ask yourself, is how to make them consistently hit the cards you want, therefore what is the highest converted-mana-cost you are willing to go? And then what would the rest of the deck look like?
Are you willing to have a deck that doesn't play any cards less than or equal to your cascade cards to make sure that you 100% hit either Living End or Hypergenesis?
For example if you have Lim-Dûl's Vault in the deck then you have a chance of hitting it off cascade. This might not be a bad thing however, but you have to weigh it up.

The conclusion is that it's reasonable to aim for the three mana cascade spells as the "top-end" for your guaranteed no-cost casts; "Image" Ardent Plea, "Image" Demonic Dread, "Image" Violent Outburst, "Image" Shardless Agent.


And now what you can do is look for the rest of the deck to be three or more mana, so that we can guarantee hitting Living End or Hypergenesis.

With triggering Niv-Mizzet Reborn multiple times, you'll have a high chance of finding at least one of these cascade cards.

The pay-off creatures
The cycling creatures are a little underwhelming for the commander format. With a game plan of wanting to put powerful creatures onto the board, we have a select number of bi-colored creatures to choose from in Magic.

There are a number of factors when making the decision on who to include. Primevals' Glorious Rebirth has a stipulation of legendary permanents, so this needs to be a major factor.

I've been playing the deck in various configurations since War of the Spark release (May 2019), with mainly the creature base being altered. So I've tried a lot of different creatures.
Going back to making sure you have an even distribution of color-pairings, this has a huge impact on what you play. Given that slots are already taken up by cascade cards and cycling cards in those bi-color pairings we only have room for so many creatures in each color.

Because of the nature of cheating your creatures into play, we really want them to have a big impact when they hit the board. And so through trial, error and success, I feel like I've got what I consider to be a great collection of creatures for this strategy.

On the whole they are what I consider to be the more impactful creatures in the guilds, and have the capacity to take over the game, if not win it on the spot with devastating abilities and stats for alpha strikes. I list and explain these creatures in the "Card Choices" section.

Deck History

The deck design wasn't simply brewed up with the emergence of Niv-Mizzet Reborn. I had built numerous configurations of decks using cascade cards with the idea of specifically hitting Hypergenesis many years ago. The cascade cards went all the way up to 5 casting cost, so all the cards in those decks were 5 and above casting cost (if not specifically a cascade card).
They have all been 5-color brews, with really just changing the range of payoff cards themselves around this shell. The last version I had settled on had another sub-theme around using Grozoth as a potential way to fill your hand with multiple payoff cards when you cast Hypergenesis. So as you can imagine a lot of the cards were 9 casting cost.
So I already had experience with this type of deck design, however Niv-Mizzet Reborn reopened a way to fill your hand or graveyard based on a number of multi-colored cards, and hence why this deck has come to fruition. Being able to marry the already bi-colored cascade cards meant that the number of cascade cards could be reduced because of the help Niv-Mizzet Reborn can be to find those cards.
It is definitely one of my spiciest and unique brews, and I have seen it inspire people to build around similar ideas since I originally started the thread on MTGSalvation.

Alternative Commanders

It's hard to recommend alternative commanders as the deck design is by far the most important element. That is having access to all the colors with the potential to getting the additional draw.
Then even more specifically the idea of designing the deck around bi-colored cards around Niv-Mizzet Reborn ability, really puts this out of the scope of really any other commander.
This I believe is a good thing. It means that the design team did a good job of bringing us something unique.

So although there are commanders who can draw you cards, you might find that they only offer access to a few colors. They might also have additional stipulations.
Spoiler
Show
Prime Speaker Zegana might be the best example of a commander who has an "enter the battlefield" trigger that can put more cards into your hand. But she does need another creature in play to get more benefits, and obviously only gives you Simic colors.
This means that Astral Slide and Astral Drift is off the board, and so for that matter is any chance of Living End/Living Death.

Damia, Sage of Stone would be another example of having potential to draw and putting you into a reasonable amount of colors, but is still lacking in many qualities we want for the overall strategy, including no actual ETB trigger.

Once we get to the 4-5 color commanders we have some more synergistic options:
The First Sliver has in built cascade. We are lacking natural draw to fill our hand and graveyard, but you can build the deck to utilize Slivers to hit Living End/Hypergenesis rather than normal cascade cards. You could try to make up for the lack of draw, by using tribal draw cards (or other) or ways to put cards into your graveyard.

Jodah, Archmage Eternal does have the advantage that if you draw Living End or Hypergenesis that you can actually use his wubrg to cast them anyway from your hand. You could make up for his lack of draw with playing big draw cards instead.

Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder is another cascade commander and you would have the advantage of setting up 1 cmc to hit the Living End/Hypergenesis. This way you can have a lower curve in general. Once again you'd need to have ways to fill up your hand and graveyard with cards outside of your command zone however.

In conclusion however, Niv-Mizzet Reborn is really special and unique to the overall deck design and you have to go fairly out of your way to build around the other commanders in a similar fashion. It just isn't the same.
Why play Astral-Living-Genesis?

You might like Astral-Living-Genesis if..
  • You enjoy reactions of awe of how unique of an idea it is and how well it works.
  • You like getting numerous dominant legendary creatures into play at once. Who doesn't right?
  • You enjoy unusual stipulations behind cards for puzzle solving.
  • You want to build this on a medium budget. Fun and powerful for dollars invested.

You might dislike Astral-Living-Genesis if..
  • You dislike not having any early turn plays, given the cheapest cards are 3 cmc.
  • You dislike being all-in on the combo nature of the deck.
  • You dislike limited interaction, especially during the early game.
  • You have Dracophobia.
"Image"
*Being reborn ended up too literal for his liking.



Image

Niv-Mizzet Reborn - Astral-Living-Genesis

Commander


1 Niv-Mizzet Reborn
Approximate Total Cost:




Image
Spoiler
Show
Cascade into
Literally 2/3 of the name sake of the deck, these cards will more often than not be your path to victory.
Notable exclusions
Show
It must be noted that there are more no-cost suspend cards in every color that you could look at as potential targets.
w Restore Balance is a way to..well balance the game. You could look to wipe the board of creatures if you yourself don't have any, and then even look at the discard portion to empty your own hand to get cards into graveyard. But it works against trying to plan for Hypergenesis if you've filled your hand with Niv-Mizzet Reborn and then you hit this instead, having to discard instead if an opponent has a low hand count.

r Wheel of Fate is a draw 7 effect for everybody. A fine way to get cards into your graveyard from your hand, and also refill yours. However I feel with Niv-Mizzet Reborn ability to get you cards, you want to avoid a symmetrical effect like this that can help your opponents.

u Ancestral Vision is just a bit too weak a payoff card for the format.


Living End - Is often the more appealing card to cascade into, due to opponents playing creatures onto the board and potentially needing to deal with them, so acts as a board wipe as well. Also you can set up your graveyard over the course of a number of turns, where Hypergenesis you want to fill your hand and get the effect off, which is a little harder to do.

Hypergenesis - More random in nature due to not knowing what opponents might have in hand, and less ways to deal with opponents' hand as a resource.
There are times when you cast a cascade card and hit Hypergenesis and then you choose not to cast it. The idea is that your follow up cascade will then hit Living End. But it's important to have both in the deck as you can plan for either, as this deck does have the ability to put cards into your hand and into your graveyard. If you naturally draw one of them, then it means that your cascade cards are still useful. It is possible to cast one, to have your board dealt with, so having access to the other is needed for longer games.



Cascade
As previously mentioned we are only playing the 3 cmc cascade cards, so that allows us to have other 3 cmc cards in the deck for general play.

There are only 4 of these, but I find that between wanting time to setup your graveyard or hand and with Niv-Mizzet Reborn ability to draw you them, you are not waiting too long for one of these. It's the perfect number in my opinion anyway.

Just to clarify some rulings around converted mana cost of cards, split cards like Wear // Tear have a combined converted mana cost of both the halves of the card (while not on the stack). So Wear // Tear actually has a converted cost of 3 mana for the purposes of the cascade ability.


"Image" Ardent Plea - Purely in the deck for the cascade into either Living End or Hypergenesis.

"Image" Violent Outburst - This is the only cascade card that you can cast at instant speed. This means that you can be patient with this and use it in response to what opponents might be doing in their turns. A good example of this is being attacked by a sizable amount of creatures and then either going for Living End to remove the board (and attacks) or even Hypergenesis to give yourself more blockers. But it's even just the surprise value you can do just before your turn, so that you can alpha strike opponents in a very unexpected manner.

"Image" Demonic Dread - Purely in the deck for the cascade into either Living End or Hypergenesis. You need to target a creature, but in multiplayer there is almost certainly something on the board.

"Image" Shardless Agent - Purely in the deck for the cascade into either Living End or Hypergenesis. Will still be on the stack when Living End resolves, so that you still get it into play.



Graveyard reanimation
With more effects helping graveyard reanimation, the overall gameplan is usually to aim for getting cards into your graveyard, Orzov comes to the forefront of offering effects that can do this.
Notable exclusions
Show
The first version of the deck was utilizing Immortal Servitude with the idea of focusing on 6 cmc creatures as the main pay-off. It you break down the deck even its current configuration there are 11 x 6 cmc creatures, which is pretty decent. However I found that needing 9 mana to cast it (with 6 cmc in mind), made this a very late game card, and I just ended up not casting it much at all.
So it's still a card you can play and definitely look to use it, but I just ended up cutting it.


Living Death - One of my all-time favorite cards. When Tempest came out I was just like "this card is bonkers!". Both a creature board wipe and mass graveyard reanimation, there are few effects that can have as big an impact on play as this. Basically a backup to the Living End plan if you might draw it naturally.

"Image" Pyrrhic Revival - Because all the creatures in the deck have high power and toughness the -1/-1 counters doesn't effect the overall impact of being able to mass reanimate your graveyard.
As a bi-colored card, you will have a high chance of revealing with Niv-Mizzet Reborn, so you can lean heavily on having access to this effect.

"Image" Primevals' Glorious Rebirth - This can have the upside of also bringing your planeswalkers into play from graveyard, which the other reanimation spells only effect creatures.
As a bi-colored card, you will have a high chance of revealing with Niv-Mizzet Reborn, so you can lean heavily on having access to this effect.



Hand onto battlefield
Cheating cards into play is the name of the game, and any effect that can help with this is welcome.
Notable exclusions
Show
Hunting Grounds is unfortunately a 2 cmc card so would be a problem for the cascade, but is an excellent alternative to deploying cards from your hand while it remains on the battlefield. Getting the threshold is pretty easy with this deck as well, as often you are discarding cards due to hands size off Niv-Mizzet Reborn triggers. Honestly it's quite tempting to run this card even though it would be another cascade target. It's obviously a lot slower than Hypergenesis or Living End, but as a plus only gives you the benefits (unlike the other two).

Myojin of Life's Web cost 9 mana, but the way the deck works with filling your hand really could help with getting your creatures into play. Note that it has to be cast to gain the benefits so you can't look to cheat this into play to get the effects. It makes cards like Cadaverous Bloom and Mirari's Wake more effect as aiming for 9 mana is feasible, rather than trying to physically cast out everything.


Eureka - This is just a backup to the overall plan of cascading into Hypergenesis, so it's understandable that as a $400 card if you skip making this part of your own build. Honestly not essential. If you wanted a backup plan that doesn't break the bank as much then Myojin of Life's Web is an option. Sure it costs 5 more mana, but at least it's a one-sided effect.



Exile creatures and return to battlefield
These are mainly for targeting Niv-Mizzet Reborn to get him to trigger additional times. But you can use it on a number of your other creatures that have ETB effects, and you can also use them as defensive or protective purposes.
Maybe your opponents are attacking you for lethal damage with creatures, and you can exile them to negate damage. Or opponents target your creatures for permanent removal and you can protect them with the exile abilities.
Notable exclusions
Show
"Image" Mistmeadow Witch, "Image" Turn to Mist, "Image" Legion's Initiative.
The problem with these are that they are costed at less than 3 mana, meaning that they could be hit off your cascade cards. Not what we want.

"Image" Oath of Teferi, "Image" Venser, the Sojourner are fine, but just a little expensive for the effect and this build is not particularly focused on any planeswalker themes.

"Image" Hostage Taker can be used to target your own Niv-Mizzet Reborn, but you need a way to remove the Hostage Taker itself to get it back into play.


Astral Slide - Perfect for removing both your own creatures or even opponents' if they are threatening to win on the spot with a creature or attack/block.
Even though it's one of the name sake cards of the deck, it's not a bi-colored card so you can't get it off Niv-Mizzet Reborn trigger. There are not a lot of tutors in the deck either, due to the nature of bi-colored cards and also cascade stipulations. This does mean that you are at the mercy of hoping to draw these cards during the game, and statistically speaking you will play far fewer games not having this engine setup, than you will have it.

Astral Drift - The second version has the slight upside of having cycling itself, so you can discard and draw if you already feel you have an engine going with the original Astral Slide. Interestingly this was printed after my initial build, so this was an amazing card to double up on the exile with cycling effects, which was an awesome boon to the deck.

Eldrazi Displacer - Is a backup to Astral Slide and Astral Drift, and there are 11 lands in the deck that provide c if necessary. To be honest not the easiest to get working as an engine, but still if you happen to get the combination of it plus a colorless land or two, then you can use it in a number of ways.

"Image" Soulherder - Can only be used once per turn cycle, but is still perfect for getting an additional trigger from Niv-Mizzet Reborn. Gives you a chance to discard at end of turn as well, meaning you can set up graveyard for the reanimation spells.

"Image" Kaya, Ghost Assassin - Can only be used once a turn if using the [0] ability to exile. It's also a delayed effect so you won't get the trigger if targeting Niv-Mizzet Reborn until your upkeep. This can however "protect" Niv-Mizzet Reborn until your turn, and is a better example of setting up a Hypergenesis rather than a Living End.

"Image" Brago, King Eternal - Can flicker a number of permanents all at once for major gains. Can be used to give your planeswalkers an extra activation. Dragonlord Silumgar, Ashen Rider, Protean Raider, Golgari Findbroker, Prime Speaker Zegana, Tishana, Voice of Thunder can be flickered for additional value.
Of note, will give you infinite attacks with Aurelia, the Warleader.

"Image" Vanish into Memory - On my list of most underused and underrated cards in all of commander. Its draw potential is incredible with Niv-Mizzet Reborn as it not only exiles him (for additional reveal trigger) but you also get the draw 6 from the Vanish into Memory itself. Honestly there is normally a creature on the board that you can get great draw value from in most commander games anyway. Now the discard portion might be seen as a downside, but it this deck it's a bonus as it allows you to put creatures into your graveyard. Unfortunately if you do use it on Niv-Mizzet Reborn then before you get his trigger when he enters the battlefield, you'll have to discard before you get those cards, so need to be careful with this aspect.



Copying creatures
Another way to get additional triggers from Niv-Mizzet Reborn is to actually copy him. Now with the legendary rule you only get to keep one version of the card, but it will enable you to reveal another 10 cards.
Notable exclusions
Show
There are a number of bi-colored copy creatures, and actually I used to run them all; "Image" Evil Twin, "Image" Dack's Duplicate, "Image" Altered Ego, "Image" Progenitor Mimic.
However I found that I wasn't using them much, as often I'd prefer to setup continuous engines, rather than these once off effects.
Also the way copy creatures work with effects like Living End and Living Death is that because all the creatures come into play at the same time, there isn't anything for them to actually copy, so just sort of fizzle.
Still fine cards on their own, you are not wrong for including them in your own build if you wanted to go this route more.


"Image" Repudiate // Replicate - The cheapest way to copy in Simic colors, plus you can cast Repudiate to prevent particular triggers/activation's from happening. It's actually nice to have single "out" effects in a deck to potential scramble to find. An example is that my opponent had a lethal damage trigger on the stack (Lotleth Giant) and I needed a way to prevent it. I used Eldrazi Displacer on Niv-Mizzet Reborn to actually find it!

"Image" Saheeli Rai - Purely used for the [-2] copy ability and one of the cheaper copy methods. However you can cast it out early and use the [+1] scry to help with your early draws if you are lucky enough with a relatively clear creature board.

"Image" Protean Raider - One of the cheaper copy methods, but does have a stipulation that you need "raid", meaning you've attacked with a creature. Normally when casting Niv-Mizzet Reborn you don't have mana left over for casting another card anyway, so waiting the turn to attack really isn't a downside.



Cycling
The cycling cards have been prioritized on cycling specifically for lands. The reason is mainly that we want to be able to consistently fix our mana, but also because "drawing" is not exactly what we want. Now this sounds strange when Niv-Mizzet Reborn ability is to specifically fill your hand with cards, but revealing color-paired cards and normal draw are completely different, and this comes down to not wanting to draw Living End or Hypergenesis during the early part of the game.
So there are some other bi-colored cards that cycle, but after play testing them, I decided that you really only want the ones that allow you to search for lands.











"Image" Ancient Excavation - Can search for basic lands in Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, Forest.
It's also another way of getting creatures into the graveyard for the reanimation cards. Pretty incredible card in the deck as you also get to select which cards you discard, as opposed to a number of cards that make you discard first then draw. So you get to double your hand size and then discard those that you want. It's also at instant speed which is perfect to do on opponent's end step for a big setup.

"Image" Sylvan Reclamation- Can search for basic lands in Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, Forest.
The removal might be important in the face of hate cards that are stopping your strategy, like Rest in Peace.

"Image" Grave Upheaval - Can search for basic lands in Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, Forest.
Can be used to return a powerful creature from any graveyard. It is a lot to cast, so really only if you've been shut off mass reanimation and the target is going to be effective.




Tutors
We have some mono-colored cards that could potentially help, but unfortunately Niv-Mizzet Reborn does not give us access to them.
Notable exclusions
Show
With the cascade stipulations it's not advisable to play top tier tutors like Vampiric Tutor, Demonic Tutor, Mystical Tutor as they are less than 3 cmc.
If you were prepared to wait a turn in some instances then you could play some of these. For example you could have Demonic Tutor in the deck and just tutor for another cascade card if you hit it.

Intuition is a three mana tutor that can also be used to set up your graveyard a little more.
Grim Tutor would be the most premium tutor that still negates getting cascaded into, but is like a billion dollar card.
Beseech the Queen can be cast for 3 mana, so is a good option if your mana base cooperates


"Image" Bring to Light could be used to cast for example Living Death if you spent wubrg.
It can also cast Living End, Hypergenesis, Eureka, as examples of key cards.
You can use it to give you access to other key cards like Astral Slide if you used it to cast Insidious Dreams in the first place.
It gives you plenty of access to draw with Vanish into Memory Ancient Excavation and even Repudiate // Replicate if you copy Niv-Mizzet Reborn.
Then you can also use it for removal with Yahenni's Expertise or Wear // Tear.

"Image" Perplex can be transmuted to get Astral Slide or any of the cascade cards, so is a nice bi-colored option. Weirdly you can go to counter your own graveyard reanimation cards and then discard your hand (to make sure it still resolves) to get all the creatures in your hand into your graveyard. But 9/10 times this will be used for the transmute.

Insidious Dreams - As some of the key cards in the deck are mono-colored with Astral Slide or Astral Drift, having another way to search for these is nice.
It's a way of discarding creature cards as well for setting up mass reanimation, so this is a boon rather than downside.
Also you can set up specifically Hypergenesis or Living End a number of cards down, so that you know what you're going to hit. As an instant tutor you can do this all just before your turn.

Examples of use might be that early on you want to setup with Fires of Invention and Astral Slide. So let's say we cast Insidious Dreams on Turn 4, discarding 2 cards to put Fires of Invention and Perplex on top.
On Turn 5 cast the Fires of Invention and that allows you to cast Niv-Mizzet Reborn straight away. You'll reveal at least Perplex. Then on Turn 6 you can transmute the Perplex to get Astral Slide and cast it with Fires of Invention. Now you'll have the perfect engine to keep cycling cards to get more Niv-Mizzet Reborn triggers.

Later on you might want to set up a specific play with Hypergenesis for example. Maybe you might discard 3 cards to put Saheeli Rai, Violent Outburst, Living End on top of library. You draw the Saheeli Rai and use it on Niv-Mizzet Reborn to reveal the Violent Outburst and then the Living End goes to the bottom of your library. This means that you know for a fact that the Violent Outburst will hit Hypergenesis.

Or you could have just discarded 2 cards to put Violent Outburst and Hypergenesis on top if you were not worried about getting another trigger from Niv-Mizzet Reborn.



Alternative Living End/Hypergenesis "casting"
There are some mono-colored cards to help with casting these if you have them in hand or potentially graveyard. Drawing them can feel particularly bad, so it's nice to potentially have alternative ways to make use of them.
Notable exclusions
Show
Originally I was playing As Foretold for casting Living End/Hypergenesis however it was useless at helping cast the rest of the cards in the deck as everything else starts on 3, so you'd need it in play for 3 turns at least for other spells.

There are the set of "Expertise" cards (for each color) and actually I am always wondering if Rishkar's Expertise is a better option over Yahenni's Expertise.
The reason is with Niv-Mizzet Reborn you'd draw 6 cards, and then if you have Hypergenesis in hand you'd get to cast it and just spam the cards you now have into play immediately.
However I've been very happy Yahenni's Expertise as you often start off the game behind and this card can catch you up during the mid game.


Fires of Invention - allows you to cast these if you've drawn them. It's also a great way to cast several cards a turn and hold up mana for cycling. Honestly the deck is only casting between one to two spells a turn anyway, and your instant speed interaction is pretty limited, so this card is mainly all upside. Casting a cascade spell and then casting the Living End/Hypergenesis does mean that you'd use your two spells for the turn, so you won't be able to do anything else.

Yahenni's Expertise - can be used to kill a bunch of creatures, but you can also use it to cast Living End or Hypergenesis if you've drawn them.
Sometimes a much needed tempo swing when your opponents have come out to a fast start and you still need more time to setup.

Goblin Dark-Dwellers - is able to cast Living End or Hypergenesis from your graveyard. This is a nice backup plan if you've cascaded into one already and wanting to cast again, or even drawn one and then you can discard them due to hand size or other means.
Of note it can cast the cascade cards Demonic Dread and Violent Outburst from your graveyard that you might have previously cast. I've used this as a direct plan when hitting Hypergenesis. You cast it and allow your opponents to put all their creatures into play, and because you know when you cast cascade again it'll get Living End you can wipe the board. So you specifically hold off on committing your own creatures to the Hypergenesis with this in mind to strip your opponents of resources. You can't put it into play off the Hypergenesis hoping to cast the cascade you just cast however, as it is still on the stack.



Removing opponents' graveyards
Because of Living End, Living Death and Pyrrhic Revival, it's nice to have some potential ways of removing creatures from opponents' graveyards before you cast them.


"Image" Ashiok, Dream Render doubles as both a way to remove opponents' graveyards as well as prevent searching effects. It is a planeswalker however and you're not all that well equipped to protect it, so don't expect it to remain in play through the course of the game. It might be that you only play it the turn before you want to reanimate to insure clearing graveyards, or if you have enough mana the same turn.

"Image" Kaya's Guile has a few different modes but you are really using it for exiling opponents' graveyards. Realistically going to probably use the sacrifice creature mode as well.

"Image" Lochmere Serpent can use the ub exile ability from your graveyard which ties in perfectly with the discard plan of the deck. Also provides another beefy body to pressure opponents.
Unlikely going to use the sacrifice portions of the card, although during an alpha strike unblockable is nice, and with Fires of Invention in play sacrificing a Swamp isn't going to set you back for drawing card. However it is not a legendary creature for Primevals' Glorious Rebirth.



Draw related creatures
I've previously alluded to the fact that you don't want to be "drawing" too many cards during the setup period (early game) as you don't want to draw your cascade targets before you've cast a Living End or Hypergenesis. However once you've cast one of them, you are wanting to draw as many cards as you can after that. This really helps with being able to reapply pressure in the face of removal.


"Image" Niv-Mizzet, Parun - It's good if you get a creature draw effect like Prime Speaker Zegana or Tishana, Voice of Thunder as part of the Living End/Hypergenesis plays as you get to distribute damage that might clear the way of troublesome creatures.

"Image" Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind - The draw element is nice, and you can combine with Niv-Mizzet, Parun to really stack up damage in meaningful ways. I have used them with draw cards like Vanish into Memory and Ancient Excavation to finish off opponents on low(ish) life totals to avoid them winning on the spot.

"Image" The Locust God - Rounding out the Izzet legends we have this God, who can combine with a number of the draw cards to better play against sacrifice effects, as well as provide chump blockers. There are a few pumps effects in the deck that can be used to send a mini army in at times as well, with Violent Outburst, Flame-Kin Zealot, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight giving bonuses to each creature.

"Image" Underrealm Lich - Is perfect for sculpting both your hand and graveyard. You can easily discard all your bigger pay-off creatures in preparation for reanimating.
If you have The Gitrog Monster as well you can end up going through your deck as you can just keep putting land cards into your graveyard. You will need to stop at some stage to avoid decking, so don't be too greedy as eventually you'll need to discard 2 spells.
Also because it actually replaces draw, you will not get the benefits from Niv-Mizzet, Parun, Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, The Locust God draw triggers. It is not a legendary creature for Primevals' Glorious Rebirth.

"Image" The Gitrog Monster - Being able to play additional lands can come in useful, as you can turn the land cycling cards into additional land drops. Cycling the land cards also gives you an additional draw. There is nothing designed to be broken unlike decks designed around him, but he fills in a nice spot for Golgari.

"Image" Prime Speaker Zegana - Is another creature that you can use "exile" effects on for additional draw triggers. It must be noted that if you are getting Prime Speaker Zegana into play off a Living End or Living Death that it won't get a trigger off other creatures as nothing is in play at the time she also comes into play. That means that you will only draw a single card in this instance.

"Image" Tishana, Voice of Thunder - Requires a number of creatures in play already to get additional draw, but has the advantage over Prime Speaker Zegana in that with Living End or Living Death you will get the draw as the trigger goes on the stack and then you'll draw a card for each of your creatures.



Mass haste creatures
Too often you find that you can get a big play off, filling the board with your massive army, only to have them wrath away before you can get value.
Giving haste to all your creatures I've found is an important element to making your plays really work, as you can alpha strike opponents for lethal after a Living End/Hypergenesis type play, often killing at least one player (if not all). It just allows you to make sure that you get value out of these big setups, which is very important as you invest a lot of time and resources into these plans.
Notable exclusions
Show
Dragonlord Kolaghan - Although the lose life ability isn't really a factor in singleton commander, the mass creature haste is. I replaced him with Chainer, Nightmare Adept for the haste effect, but Kolaghan is definitely good in this deck.

Rhythm of the Wild - Great versatility with giving haste and making sure creatures can't be countered. As you are more pushing through sorcery spells for your game plan this isn't as relevant as it could be, but it's certainly nice to be able to cast Niv-Mizzet Reborn without being countered.


"Image" Flame-Kin Zealot - Gives haste and a +1/+1 bonus to all creatures, and I've used the fact that it's Boros to give a balance to the color-pairings. It is not a legendary creature for Primevals' Glorious Rebirth.

"Image" Chainer, Nightmare Adept - Is perfect with the fact that most times your creatures are not being cast, meaning that they get haste. The discard element is also perfect for setting up your graveyard. It might be that you use the ability on each of your opponents' turns to get a creature into the graveyard. It's a bit of a tell however.


"Image" Garna, the Bloodflame - Gives all your creatures haste, but also has a way of getting your creatures back from removal. The perfect example would be if you set up a Living End and then an opponent cast a board wipe. You could cast Garna, the Bloodflame at instant speed to get them back to your hand. Then can set up for another cascade, and because the Living End has already been cast, you know it's going to be Hypergenesis. With all the creatures back in your hand, you can put them back into play.

"Image" Samut, Voice of Dissent - Gives your creatures haste, and provides sizable stats to attack with. The untap can be used with some select creatures in Faeburrow Elder and Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind.



Removal creatures
There are a few creatures that can deal with permanents, and these can be important. They'll be particularly relevant with mass reanimation and hand into play effects to try and nullify the fact that your opponents also get to put cards into play.


"Image" Dragonlord Silumgar - Stealing is pseudo removal and the tempo swing can be back-breaking for an opponent. During a Hypergenesis it's great to have this card in your hand as your opponents are likely to put something of value to steal. so you just get to negate your opponents' best play from this effect.

"Image" Gruul Ragebeast - Can be a key card after a mass reanimation or hand into play effect to mitigate your opponents getting advantages out of them as well. Just make sure that you stack the "fights" so that you can avoid lethal damage happening to a creature. You can specifically target a creature that is going to die (with a fight) with the creatures you don't want to have to fight other creatures, to avoid taking any damage. With high power and toughness of most of your creatures you should have the upper hand in most cases anyway to successfully remove your opponents board while negating causalities yourself. It is not a legendary creature for Primevals' Glorious Rebirth.

"Image" Ashen Rider - Provides a trigger on coming into play and dying, so you can lean on it to get multiple triggers during a game if you have access to it. Is able to remove any permanent so can be a catch all for any problematic card your opponents might put onto the battlefield. During a Hypergenesis put this into play last, so that you give opponents a chance to play their big card only to have it removed immediately. It is not a legendary creature for Primevals' Glorious Rebirth.



Best of the rest creatures
The legendary creatures are rounded out by sweet variety of abilities and effects.
Notable exclusions
Show
Between all the pay-off creatures you have a plethora of options within Magic. My creature selection has changed a lot over time, and it's a constant juggling act of trying to keep color distributions as evenly as possible.
But when you break down the general shell of the deck some guild parings have less slots available than others. It basically boils down to ally pairings have the cascade and cycling cards.
So although there are better creatures in some colors, for the sake of distribution you have to make concessions, otherwise you'll fail to reveal enough cards from Niv-Mizzet Reborn to be able to discard due to hand size, or get a good threshold of cards in hand.

A good example of this is that Azorius has much more powerful creatures in general than Golgari does. But because a couple of slots are taken up already for the cascade and cycling, the concession is that we need to look for more Golgari cards instead of Azorius (or whatever) even though on a one-to-one comparison you'd prefer to play a card over another.

Below I've listed out potential creatures you can look at


"Image" Azorius - 2 slots taken: Ardent Plea, Sanctum Plowbeast.

Swans of Bryn Argoll - I was playing this for it's potential to draw cards with both Niv-Mizzet, Parun and Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind even going infinite with them. However I also found my opponents getting good use out of it as well. Because you don't get to decide on creatures coming into play off mass reanimation effects, often my opponents would use damage spells to draw cards. Lots of them sometimes. So I actually found Swans to be a bit of a liability in the end.

Grand Arbiter Augustin IV - Just because you are playing all the other colors, not as effective as you might hope for cost reduction, and it's not like you are casting that many cards anyway. But taxing opponents is always annoying for them.

Dragonlord Ojutai - Solid creature. All the Dragonlords are good.

Azor, the Lawbringer - If you don't have mass haste creatures, then you are vulnerable to board wipes. Azor can offer at least a turn to avoid sorcery and instant board wipes. Even possibly combined with the Astral engines for constant lockdown.

Rasputin Dreamweaver - Is able to produce more mana which I've always held in high regards with the bi-colored cards. However didn't do enough for me so ended up cutting it.



"Image" Dimir - 2 slots taken: Ancient Excavation, Jhessian Zombies.

Taigam, Sidisi's Hand - Perfect for setting up your graveyard for mass reanimation cards. Really want to add this guy to my deck but Dimir slots are very full.

The Scarab God - Seems like it would be good as a backup plan with the reanimation theme, but investing 2ub isn't really where you want to be at. I cut this guy fairly early as there is no Zombie theme either to make use of the scry.

Havengul Lich - Casting cards from graveyard is not exactly what you want to be doing, but during grindy games this ability could be used to fight through more disruption.

Hostage Taker - Can be used to target your own Niv-Mizzet Reborn so that you can look for more triggers, but you need a way to remove the Hostage Taker itself to get it back into play. Otherwise it's great removal against opponents.

Notion Thief - Great creature but it's not legendary and the deck doesn't have any symmetrical draw effects, like Wheel of Fate. You might be able to see where I'm heading with that one, you could have a build that has Wheel of Fate as part of the cascade targets and look to leverage off Notion Thief.

Psychatog - The discard could be used to setup your graveyard. I actually had this in my first build, but the conclusion is that you want as many big fatties as you can rather than more setup creatures.

Mindleech Mass, Silent-Blade Oni, Wrexial, the Risen Deep - All these have a "use your opponents cards against them" type theme, so I could see a framework for an Aikido style deck if you backed this up with other cards.



"Image" Rakdos - 3 slots taken: Demonic Dread, Igneous Pouncer, Grave Upheaval.

Rakdos, Lord of Riots - I actually played him and ended up cutting it because I found it hard to get online. Not realistically casting it on Turn 4 (because needing loss of life), and so the only times I was getting him into play was off cheating methods anyway, and then his cost reduction didn't seem to be a factor as already had all my creatures in play.

Dragonlord Kolaghan - Although the lose life ability isn't really a factor in singleton commander, the mass creature haste is. I replaced him with Chainer, Nightmare Adept for the haste effect, but Kolaghan is definitely good in this deck.

Kaervek the Merciless - I've highlighted that removal in creatures is really sort after. But just because you need to wait for opponents, you can't get the benefits straight away. But he does lock out opponents of many things once he hits the board. Opponents are paralyzed sometimes to cast anything.

Sire of Insanity - Might seem insane to play it, but actually it's about casting a Living End/Hypergenesis and then keeping your board. So this coming into play can mean that opponents discard their removal that they might have had. I have quite a bit of draw, so is a bit of a nonbo with my build, but you could easily remove draw related creatures in favor of more controlling creatures instead.

Malfegor - Just like Sire of Insanity you'll discard your hand, but a great way to control your opponents board after a Living End/Hypergenesis type play.



"Image" Gruul - 2 slots taken: Violent Outburst, Valley Rannet.

Ruric Thar, the Unbowed - Pretty impactful, certainly stops storm strategies from gaining traction on the board.

Dragonlord Atarka - Big beefy creature and has a small element of removal. Could be used with exile effects to control creatures and planeswalkers.



"Image" Selesnya - 2 slots taken: Sylvan Reclamation, Pale Recluse.

Captain Sisay - With around 20 legendary cards in the deck, you can fill your hand each turn with a choice selection. Good for getting clone/exile effects like Saheeli Rai, Kaya, Ghost Assassin to set yourself up for big plays. Then you can just fill your hand with the other big fatties. I was playing Sisay, but ended up cutting her as I just found that unless she is a Turn 4 play that she is a little slow to help the deck that much. Needing to wait a turn to tap her means that during a Living End/Hypergenesis she didn't actually do much to impact the board.

Sigarda, Host of Herons - Perhaps more of a meta call if you are used to opponents playing mass sacrifice effects. There is already Tamiyo, Collector of Tales in the deck to help with this.



"Image" Orzhov - 2 slots taken: Pyrrhic Revival, Primevals' Glorious Rebirth.

Angel of Despair - Removal for any permanent so a great option for having more security during the Living End/Hypergenesis plays.

Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter - Could be used as removal, but having to sacrifice creatures in order to do it doesn't seem optimal. An idea is to use the sacrifice aspect to setup a Hypergenesis into Living End type play, where you bait your opponents to playing out their cards, as you commit your stuff as well, only to follow up with Living End and you can sacrifice in response to get them all back into play. A bit too much of a corner case however for me to be interested in that.

Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts - Very defense creature, which this current decks configuration is looking to be offensive.



"Image" Izzet - 0 slots taken.

Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius - I did play this version of Niv-Mizzet as I wanted the flavor of having all of them in the deck. Is a fine choice, with some cards like Wilderness Reclamation or Fires of Invention you can have mana up for the ur ability.

Arjun, the Shifting Flame - An unusual card for the build, it has the element of being able to put your cascade targets on the bottom of your library if you draw them, but it also has the element of drawing them as well when you didn't want to. Let's say you cast a cascade card and you'll end up drawing a bunch of cards and possible draw the Living End/Hypergenesis that you were wanting to cast. But on the same note it allows you to put them back into your library if you've drawn them. Also you can turn your land cycling cards into potentially more action. Interesting card for sure, would need to test it before pass more judgement.



"Image" Golgari - 0 slots taken.

Storrev, Devkarin Lich - Is another graveyard to hand creature and it's likely with the trample aspect that you connect with it to get the ability. Any recursive ability like this is welcome as you can just return a creature that land cycles to get value.

Gleancrawler - I had this in the deck previously and basically misread it as creatures would return at any end-step. However it's only your own turn, and really this doesn't cover the sorcery speed removal that you are hoping to get the value off. Simply it's ability never became a factor.

Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis - The boogeyman is a big body, but the clauses are hard to wrap your head around. Doesn't really matter as you'll be cheating it into play most times, but trample isn't really that big of a deal in commander from one body.



"Image" Boros - 0 slots taken.

Duergar Hedge-Mage - Needs to have a supporting land base to make this more viable. Unfortunately that realistically means the unlimited dual lands (Plateau, etc).



"Image" Simic - 0 slots taken.

Prime Speaker Vannifar - I tried to come up with sequences that would work with Niv-Mizzet Reborn but nothing really worked out.

Rashmi, Eternities Crafter - Has the ability to cast for "no mana" so potentially could be used to cast Living End/Hypergenesis. However it specifically needs to be the top card, which isn't really at all possible to setup in any consistent way. Mystic Sanctuary would be the best way to try and make use of this I think.





"Image" Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero - Is a fail safe against board wipes.

"Image" Aurelia, the Warleader - The ability to get an additional attack is as good as getting an additional turn in this deck with the ability to alpha strike your opponents to death with a mass board presence. Can get infinite attacks with Brago King Eternal.




"Image" Gisela, Blade of Goldnight - Impacts the board in so many ways. She makes combat very difficult for your opponents, proving both to threaten lethal attacks and any blocks or attacks are going to result in your opponents creatures dying, while yours remain in play. Also makes cards that look to remove creatures via damage pretty ineffective,

"Image" Medomai the Ageless - One of the best pay-off creatures in the deck, as the haste creatures often allow you to connect with it. The additional turn allows you to truly create lethal attacks on all your opponents, while also allowing for setting up other plays if necessary.

"Image" Dragonlord Dromoka - Great against control decks that look to interact with you at instant speed. If you are up against a heavy blue deck that is obviously holding up something to stop your cascade payoffs then it does pay to be patient and wait to cast it (if in hand) and wait a turn if need be. Make them have removal for Dragonlord Dromoka, otherwise you get to push your spells through.

"Image" Archon of Valor's Reach - All sorts of ways you can use this card. If you are wanting to prevent sorcery mass removal then this can do the trick. This deck also plays no artifacts and hardly any enchantments, so can easily name either of those to shut down decks that rely on those strategies. Even naming instants works as a way to stop control/counterpsell decks looking to disrupt you. It is not a legendary creature for Primevals' Glorious Rebirth.



Graveyard to hand
For toolbox options there are a few cards that allow you to get back cards from graveyard.


"Image" Golgari Findbroker - It's an "enter the battlefield" trigger so you can use the exile effects to get multiple uses out of it. You can use it to get cycling cards back for further triggers, or maybe a card you just want to deploy normally. It is not a legendary creature for Primevals' Glorious Rebirth.

"Image" Find // Finality - The Find portion of this card might seem a little counter intuitive to use considering you want to keep creatures in your graveyard for the mass reanimation effects, but you can use this to get back cycling creatures for further use.


"Image" Tamiyo, Collector of Tales - Can be used to fill up your graveyard and as a way to get any card back. What to name? With Niv-Mizzet Reborn you do get information on what you've put onto the bottom of your deck, so just be mindful of what has gone. Often if I'm not trying to find something directly to do with the game state at the time, then I'll name Astral Slide or Fires of Invention, as these are some of my favorite engine cards in the deck.



Removal
Some removal is fine especially for hate cards that might specifically shut down your strategy, but this deck is skewed towards a proactive plan of going over the top, rather than dealing with what opponents are doing.
Notable exclusions
Show
There are plenty of options you can add to any Niv-Mizzet Reborn deck, in fact my very first parley with him was actually a control deck.
But this deck has a very specific plan and dedicating too many slots for removal isn't the best when you are looking to have a threshold of action cards. Really you want as much removal in the form of creatures as well, because of the Living End/Hypergenesis plan that can get them into play.

These are all fine examples of 3 cmc and over cards you could play in the deck if you wanted a bit more interaction.
Targeted removal; Aura Shards, Knight of Autumn, Anguished Unmaking, Utter End, Vindicate, Bedevil, Putrefy, Maelstrom Pulse, Casualties of War
Mass removal; Fire Covenant, Last One Standing, Kaya's Wrath, Gaze of Granite, Merciless Eviction, Time Wipe, Supreme Verdict.


"Image" Wear // Tear - Having some removal that isn't a creature can help against hate cards that turn off creature abilities (like Torpor Orb). Can remove an artifact and enchantment in one go.

"Image" Find // Finality - The Finality portion can be used to wipe the board of creatures, which does work with the deck not really committing creatures until the mass board plans. Also the stats on your beefy creatures will enable you to survive the -4/-4 if you were to cast it with creatures in play.



Additional Mana
Besides the "cheating" cards into play plan, we do have a few sources of providing additional mana which can help with all the expensive spells in the deck.
Notable exclusions
Show
There are plenty of bi-colored creatures and artifacts that can tap for mana, but this is for fair Magic only. Nickel and diming is not what this deck is about. This is about breaking the bank in one fell swoop.

But here are some options with 3 cmc and over;
Leyline Prowler, Gyre Engineer, Draconic Disciple, Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle, Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix.
Fieldmist Borderpost, Mistvein Borderpost, Veinfire Borderpost, Firewild Borderpost, Wildfield Borderpost.
Domri, Anarch of Bolas, Domri, Chaos Bringer, Xenagos, the Reveler,
Mirari's Wake,

These are less than 3 cmc so can't be played in this deck;
Deathrite Shaman, Radha, Heir to Keld, Zhur-Taa Druid, Llanowar Dead, Kiora's Follower, Maraleaf Pixie.


Wilderness Reclamation - With one plan of casting Niv-Mizzet Reborn and then using Astral Slide/Astral Drift it's nice to be able to have mana available immediately to use on cycling. The 4 mana is perfect for casting on Turn 4, so that you can cast Niv-Mizzet Reborn on Turn 5. For this reason Seedborn Muse can do this (and a more), but you can't curve the same way, so that is the reason for no Muse as well.

"Image" Faeburrow Elder - Just on its own it provides 2 mana, however with Niv-Mizzet Reborn in play can be tapped for 5 mana. Perfect for being able to cast another spell(s) after you fill your hand with cards with Niv. Same as Wilderness Reclamation as far as being able to hold up mana for cycling.

"Image" Cadaverous Bloom - You often have to spend a whole turn to cast it, but you can start exiling cards immediately to gain mana. But it is more likely that you use it to set up for following turns. It's going to depend on how many cards you have in your hand as well, and be careful not to exile cards that you'd prefer to discard for reanimation. Because you can get 2 mana per card, you can use it for cycling during opponents' turns which is a factor when you have the Astral engines going.



Lands
The lands in the deck can be rearranged in many different ways to suit your budget. But it is important to have a number of them that have the basic land types for the purposes of searching with the land cycler cards so that you can fix your colors appropriately.

Because we are 9/10 times cheating our big fatties into play, it's not so important to fix the colors on those particular cards.
You might see Niv-Mizzet, Parun and think that you need a lot more blue and red, but really the secret is that you are only casting cascade and support cards more. You obviously need the wubrg to cast Niv-Mizzet Reborn, so fixing is still important however.
Notable exclusions and budget options
Show
If you have a number of unlimited dual lands (Tundra, Badlands, etc) then of course these are an upgrade to many of the lands in the deck. My build doesn't have any to basically prove you don't need them if wanting to build this deck.
If you do have unlimited dual lands, then you could easily replace either shocklands, or even just include them additionally and remove pain lands (Brushland, Caves of Koilos, etc) and then the Eldrazi Displacer.

Also the fetchlands (Bloodstained Mire, etc) can go a long way to smoothing out your color fixing, and you can easily include these to create a more consistent mana base. I've already mentioned that I don't play them because again want to prove you don't need to spend the money, and I do avoid too many shuffle effects because of the Living End/Hypergenesis cascade plan and Niv-Mizzet Reborn puts cards onto the bottom, so sometimes you have perfect information on which you'd cascade into.

The problem with trying to play a bunch of basics in this deck instead of duals is that well it's obvious that fixing colors is going to be harder, and there really aren't any bi-colored cards that gain you benefits of basic land ramp.
Most of the land ramp in Magic is single colored cards. Things like Kodama's Reach, Burnished Hart, to name a few are unable to be revealed by Niv-Mizzet Reborn.
The only bi-colored land ramp cards are Deathsprout, Exploding Borders, Frenzied Tilling. There are bi-colored cards that get additional lands into play from hand/top of library, but this is more of a specialist thing (like Growth Spiral and Risen Reef).
So there just aren't that many rewards for running too many basics.
Having said that the deck current runs one basic land of each type so that the "basic land cycling" cards with Ancient Excavation, Sylvan Reclamation, Grave Upheaval can be used to fix your colors as needed.
So you could run another set of basics bringing the number to 10 if you were really struggling with your budget. Then it's possible that you make some concessions and run some number of mono-colored mana fixing, keeping in mind that they need to be 3 cmc or greater.
Kodama's Reach and Cultivate being solid options.

If you want to build this deck and only have limited options, then please leave a post and I will help you with what you've got. Just list what lands you do have and we will make it work for you. I'm an expert when it comes to molding a deck around a budget when needed.

Just one further tech you can look at with an unlimited budget is to actually incorporate Mystic Sanctuary into your land base. Now because of the stipulation of needing 3 other Islands in play you'd need to probably play more Islands duals like Underground Sea, Tundra, Tropical Island, Volcanic Island, and possibly Prairie Stream, Sunken Hollow as additions.
The reason is that you can use it to put either Living End or Hypergenesis back on top of your library in response to a cascade spell, ensuring that you cast what you want. You can get reuse out of these spells simply with a land. What's also good is that Mystic Sanctuary is itself an Island so that you can use fetchlands like Polluted Delta to search for it. So all your fetchlands that can get an Island can be used in this way.
An example would be that you've already cast Living End so that it's in your graveyard. You have a cascade card in hand and a fetchland that can get you an Island. You might have specifically been patient and not used it (fetchland) for potentially setting this up. You can search for Mystic Sanctuary and put the Living End on top of your library and now cast your cascade spell.


Bi-colored cycling lands - Canyon Slough, Fetid Pools, Irrigated Farmland, Scattered Groves, Sheltered Thicket.
These are perfect for the Astral Slide/Astral Drift plan, and are also able to be search with the land cycle cards as well.
You can in a perfect world with the Astral Slide engine going, use a land cycler like Pale Recluse to search for Scattered Groves and then cycle the Scattered Groves as well to get two triggers for Astral Slide if need be.

Shocklands - Stomping Ground, Steam Vents, Godless Shrine, Watery Grave, Hallowed Fountain, Breeding Pool, Overgrown Tomb, Sacred Foundry, Blood Crypt.
If you can't afford some of these then you could look at the ally colored "Battle lands" as potential replacements; Canopy Vista, Cinder Glade, Prairie Stream, Smoldering Marsh, Sunken Hollow. It's important to keep the number of dual lands that you can search for with the land cycle reasonable high.

Pain lands - Adarkar Wastes, Battlefield Forge, Brushland, Caves of Koilos, Karplusan Forest, Llanowar Wastes, Shivan Reef, Sulfurous Springs, Underground River, Yavimaya Coast.
As well as decent color fixing, I have these in the deck specifically for Eldrazi Displacer's ability needing colorless mana. If you have other duals then you can easily play these instead, and just cut Eldrazi Displacer from your build.

Basic lands - Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, Forest.
There is one of each mainly so that you can use the "basic land cycling" cards with Ancient Excavation, Sylvan Reclamation, Grave Upheaval to fix your colors as needed. It's also nice to have some leverage against non-basic land hate like Blood Moon and Path to Exile is a constantly used card, so fixing your mana base off an opponents' removal comes up a lot.

Multi colored lands - Command Tower, City of Brass, Mana Confluence, Exotic Orchard, Murmuring Bosk.
The deck is rounded out by some lands that can give you a multitude of colors. There are plenty more options like Tarnished Citadel, Grand Coliseum, Path of Ancestry to name a few, so you can just make things work accordingly to your budget. Of note Pillar of the Paruns was particularly bad in the build when I tried it, as it doesn't cast your mono-colored spells and this is a huge factor in some games, so please avoid that one.




Building on a budget
The deck is actually pretty reasonable priced, except for a few cards. Let's identify the cards over $10; Living End, Eureka, Insidious Dreams, Kaya, Ghost Assassin, Dragonlord Dromoka.
Now there are quite a few of the lands that are currently over $10 as well, and in the future that number will rise. But I've already gone over budget land options in the "Lands" section, so you can make this deck suit your budget with a little help from me if you want more advise.

The only card that is not replaceable in this list is Living End. Get it now!!

The other cards are easily replaceable; But it doesn't need to be a one-for-one trade, there are plenty of ways you can build around depending on what you have.

That goes for any cards in the deck you may or may not want in your build for budget or even personal choice.
The "big fatties" are all up for different potential configurations. You might have a bunch of bi-colored creatures that you have already, or want to play. As long as you get your distribution of colors fairly evenly then you can make a lot of things work. Feel free to leave a list of cards that you have or want to included and I can help you with your color distributions.

Even further still, if you look at cards between $5-$10 it's easy enough to fit other cards into most of those slots. Of the $5-$10 cards the only ones I strongly suggest you splash out for is the Boros legends; Aurelia, the Warleader and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight. They are really great in the deck and fill the Boros slots out perfectly.
Example of budget deck list
Show
This is an example of exchanging cards to get around a $140 version of the deck.

The land base does mean that a lot of the lands come in to play tapped, so the deck is slower. Let's say you are going to be 1 to 2 turns slower during the course of the game.

The "bounce lands" like Azorius Chancery normally can be awkward with discarding due to hand size because you have to return a land to hand, but in this deck you are happy to discard your creatures cards. This version has Mina and Denn, Wildborn to help you with putting extra lands into play specifically because of the bounce lands.



Niv-Mizzet Reborn - Astral-Living-Genesis Budget

Commander


1 Niv-Mizzet Reborn
Approximate Total Cost:





Image

You've already got a comprehensive idea of the general game plan and interactions within the deck. This section is going to help you get a better idea of things you can expect through the course of the game, and potentially a few more interactions you can look for to help you win.

Starting hands and Mulligans

"Image"
We know for a fact that we have no Turn 1 or Turn 2 plays because of our cascade strategy. So by default this deck is not looking to come out of the blocks early.

As such you are really just wanting to play lands during the early stages, so the most important aspect of keeping hands is to, well just have a good amount of lands. Now it is important to note that there are all the land cycle cards, so you can basically count these as lands as well in your opener.

Honestly there is nothing spell wise that you are looking for specifically in your opening hand, and even if you have a lot of big uncastable cards (until turn 6 or whatever), the plan is to use your "cheating" into play plans, so you can be happy to just keep any hand as long as you have lands to play.

There are 35 lands in the deck or with the 8 land cycling cards you could almost say 43 lands. However I find myself having to mulligan quite aggressively to make sure to get enough lands in the opener.
Realistically you'll want at least 3 lands as part of your mulligans. If you have 2 lands and a land cycler then that is probably going to be good enough (depending on number of mulls already).
I find that even though it has a fine land count, that on average I'll mulligan more than other decks that have similar land counts. I figured out the reason why is that most other decks have a lot of early turn plays. Things like Sol Ring, Birds of Paradise, Signets, to name a few. So statistically speaking in these decks you might get a two lander, but the complimenting Sol Ring makes it an easy keep. This deck on the other hand doesn't have these early turn complimenting cards to entice you to keep two lander hands.
So you do end up mulligan quite a lot to get your 3 lands, as no other hands seem appealing.

If you have Living End or Hypergenesis in your starting hand you can basically count as being a card down, so unless the rest of the hand is good enough, I'll often send it back as it's such an important plan to cascade into them.

Early game

"Image"
As mentioned there are no Turn 1 or Turn 2 plays. Honestly it doesn't matter if you are not doing anything to effect play through the early part of the game.
One of the better elements I've found with the deck is that if some opponents have really quick starts with mana, they end up emptying their hands. This makes your Hypergenesis much more effective as they've spent all their resources already and are often punished for fast starts because of this.

Now it is possible to do a Turn 3 cascade card in the hopes of hitting Hypergenesis, but casting it early does mean that your opponents have full hands as well so is risky. I'd only do this if I have a really good hand to back this up.
Examples might be if I have removal creatures like "Image" Dragonlord Silumgar, "Image" Gruul Ragebeast, "Image" Ashen Rider so that I have a chance to deal with the most problematic permanents opponents might put into play.

Other interactions I might look for is combining creatures like "Image" Prime Speaker Zegana with "Image" Niv-Mizzet, Parun or "Image" Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind to draw a sizeable amount of cards and deal damage in perhaps a meaningful way to remove any problematic creatures.

Even a mass haste creature and a combat damage specialist might be enough of an incentive.
For example "Image" Samut, Voice of Dissent would allow "Image" Medomai the Ageless to connect the same turn, and you can use the additional turn to set up before opponents get a chance to get the advantages of the cards they put into play.

Probably your best Turn 3 play is casting an Astral Slide or Astral Drift if you are lucky enough to have drawn one.
Eldrazi Displacer or "Image" Soulherder are also fine to setup for the future.

"Image" Faeburrow Elder is also a great boon on Turn 3 and can really accelerate your ability to exact your plans.

But most of the time you are probably spending 2 on a land cycling card during the early game to fix your mana.

There are a couple of planeswalkers in "Image" Ashiok, Dream Render and "Image" Saheeli Rai that you can cast on Turn 3, but I'm not just going to cast them into creature attacks, so more often than not I'd be holding onto these until I can get value.

Mid game

"Image"
This is where you are leading up to casting Niv-Mizzet Reborn to fill your hand with more spells.
The best cards that you can play leading up to this are usually your recursive engines. These are Astral Slide, Astral Drift, Eldrazi Displacer, "Image" Soulherder, "Image" Brago, King Eternal for multiple exile effects allowing for additional Niv-Mizzet Reborn triggers.

Other perfect Turn 4 plays are Wilderness Reclamation or Fires of Invention.
Wilderness Reclamation means that you can cast Niv-Mizzet Reborn and have mana up for cycling cards or other interaction.
The dream really is Turn 3 Astral Slide, then Turn 4 Wilderness Reclamation or Fires of Invention.

Often this deck only has enough mana to cast one spell a turn during the mid game, so Fires of Invention allows you to cast two spells a turn and leave up mana for cycling. Plus it allows you to cast Living End or Hypergenesis if you've drawn them.

The main thing you are looking to do for setting up is often just casting Niv-Mizzet Reborn to get some more cards and start discarding due to hand size or sculpting your hand a certain way.
It literally might be that all you've done is play 5 lands and cast him as your only plays for the first 5 turns, and this is fine. The deck is designed essentially to "do nothing", until it just does everything.

It might be that you only discard a couple of cards at first. On the following turn you are looking to get at least another trigger from Niv-Mizzet Reborn to really get the card flow going.
Cards like "Image" Vanish into Memory, "Image" Kaya, Ghost Assassin, "Image" Saheeli Rai, "Image" Protean Raider, "Image" Repudiate // Replicate are perfect for this if you don't have a exile engine going already.

At this stage you might have drawn a cascade card or two. So the question is "when do you cast it?"
There are a number of factors that come into play. However more often than not I don't look to spend too many turns trying to get "the best possible outcome".
Do you have enough of an impact with your graveyard if you hit Living End or do you have enough in hand to be happy with Hypergenesis?
Chances are the you are always doing more than opponents, and by quite a bit, so firing them off is always going to be in your best interest, even if they are not winning on the spot.
The major factor of firing them off relatively early is that you'll find that the effects you get from getting permanents into play also helps with subsequent setups for the future.
Maybe that is in the form of drawing lots of cards. Creatures like "Image" Niv-Mizzet, Parun, "Image" Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, "Image" Underrealm Lich, "Image" The Gitrog Monster, "Image" Prime Speaker Zegana, "Image" Tishana, Voice of Thunder can help with this.

If the cascade is random on either getting creatures from graveyard OR from your hand into play, then how can you plan around which one it is?
Well first of all remember that if we are seeing a reasonable amount of the deck with Niv-Mizzet Reborn, then there is a chance that it will reveal either Living End or Hypergenesis, or even perhaps both, and because they are not color-paired cards, we stick them onto the bottom of the library. In this respect we are certain to know which one we are going to cast when using a cascade spell, and you can plan accordingly.
With land cycling cards you just have to be mindful that cycling will end up shuffling your library.
But ultimately you can plan around both. Maybe you've discarded some creatures already, and also have a bunch of cards in hand, meaning you're going to get massive value either way.

But more often than not, I'll specifically plan for Living End. The reason is that it's simply easier to setup your graveyard over a number of turns rather than mold your hand due to potentially having too many cards in hand anyway.
The important thing is that you don't have to cast the Hypergenesis or Living End if you reveal it. Sure you might be hoping for a particular one and fail to get the one you want, but now on subsequent cascades you'll know which one you'll get.
It does burn up your cascade spell, but there are a lot of games where you will have multiple cascade cards so can afford to cast them out without casting the effect.

There are a few other trick you can do to wait and see which one you hit. An example is that you might have a full hand of cards you want to put into play from a Hypergenesis, however you hit the Living End instead. With "Image" Perplex you can go to counter your own spell, but discard your hand instead to get your creatures into your graveyard. "Image" Ancient Excavation can also be used in this way to discard your hand.

Another play is casting Hypergenesis as a way to bait out opponents creatures, so that you can board wipe them with Living End on your next cascade.
So it might even be that you were hoping for Living End as you've set up your graveyard, but get the Hypergenesis. You can still cast the Hypergenesis even if you don't get many benefits with this in mind.
If you have two cascade cards you can cast then this is a perfect sequence.

Back-to-back cascades of Living End into Hypergenesis can often happen if you get the big draw as well off the Living End.
An example might be that you get to draw a bunch of cards off "Image" Tishana, Voice of Thunder and you end up drawing another cascade card with further big fatties in hand that you drew (or had already). You can cast the cascade card for the guaranteed Hypergenesis meaning you get to effect the board even more.

This works vise versa as well, in that you cast Hypergenesis and draw a bunch of cards off your creatures, and then at end of turn you get to discard a bunch of creatures to setup for the Living End that you know you are guaranteed to hit with the other cascade you have.

Of the cascade cards "Image" Violent Outburst is the most versatile as you can cast it at instant speed. This means that you can wait or respond to what opponents are doing. An example is waiting for combat and your opponents attack you. You can cast it and if you hit Living End it send their creatures to the graveyard, or if you hit Hypergenesis then you can put some impressive blockers into play.
You can cast it just before your turn to make sure you get the first turn of advantages of the creatures put into play.

But it must be said that if your opponents are allowing you time to setup even further then you can take the opportunity to be greedy, as often this just means you can produce lethal attacks all in one turn.
Cards that you are hoping to avoid through these turns is graveyard hate if looking to setup mass reanimation. A Bojuka Bog feels terrible if you've spent the game setting up your graveyard. Honestly I'll weigh up how many opponents are playing black sometimes to make my decision on playing out further turns to risk it for the biscuit.

Late game

"Image"
The deck is full of late game hay-makers, so as long as opponents haven't locked you out someway you are happy to get to play out some of your more expensive plays like "Image" Pyrrhic Revival or "Image" Primevals' Glorious Rebirth.

Even casting additional mana sources with "Image" Cadaverous Bloom, can really mean that you can play a "fair game" by simply casting out your big beefy creatures. Fires of Invention can be used in this way as well, where you just cast out your two best spells.

There are a few grindy elements like using the graveyard to hand cards like "Image" Golgari Findbroker and "Image" Tamiyo, Collector of Tales to recur potent cards multiple times.
"Image" Ashen Rider used with a recursive exile engine will be enough to grind opponents out of threats.

But it really this isn't strategically the way to look to win. This deck wins via the "Cheating" permanents onto the battlefield, and these often lead to win within a turn or two if not answered.

The deck is able to fight through several mass removal effects. There are 4 mass reanimation cards; Living End, Living Death, "Image" Pyrrhic Revival or "Image" Primevals' Glorious Rebirth, so unless your opponents specifically have a way to remove your graveyard, you can just keep looking to get all your cards back.

Additional strategic advice

"Image"
Another thing to look out for is if your opponents play graveyard hate. This is when it's nice to have Hypergenesis and Eureka at your disposal as you can plan/play around it.
It is harder, as I say getting a threshold of impactful cards into your hand is more tricky, but there are plenty of ways to do this.
Niv-Mizzet Reborn trigger being one of the best. If you get to trigger him several times in a single turn, then you reveal 20 cards.
That might just mean casting two copy spells like "Image" Saheeli Rai and "Image" Protean Raider and a cascade card which is only 9 mana which is very reasonable for the late game. Or even you might have a trigger effect in play already like casting "Image" Saheeli Rai the turn before, so only needing 6 mana for this type of play.

Of course if you have the Astral engines going then you can just keep filling up your hand through opponents turns and you'll have infinite ammo to use on your opponents.

A play pattern that I've recognized is that this deck is great against the boogeyman Cyclonic Rift. With Hypergenesis in the deck you can just completely make the Rift have seemly done nothing and often catch the opponent (who cast it) off guard for an alpha strike. The common example would be that you've done a big Living End play. Now you know your cascade target is going to be Hypergenesis so if your opponents cast Cyclonic Rift then you know you can get all your permanents back into play off a cascade card.
Notable example play
Show
Just had to tell you of probably the most satisfying sequence I've had with this. I had cast Ardent Plea to cascade into Living End bringing a bunch of creatures into play. I had a mass haste creature with Garna, the Bloodflame, and an opponent waited until my attack phase to cast Cyclonic Rift. One of the other attackers was Aurelia, the Warleader so I had an additional attack now stored up. I also had Violent Outburst in hand, so cast it immediately to cast the Hypergenesis, meaning I could put all the permanents that got returned to hand back into play straight away. I used the additional attack to then attack with my creatures and Aurelia, the Warleader was a "new" copy so allowed for an additional attack trigger again. Killing the opponent for lethal, like they had never cast the Rift in the first place. Ahhh, these are the plays I live for.

One more thing to consider is whether to send Niv-Mizzet Reborn to your graveyard or command zone during removal. The reason is that with the mass reanimation often it's beneficial to send him to the graveyard instead.
This comes up with copy effects like; "Image" Saheeli Rai, "Image" Protean Raider, "Image" Repudiate // Replicate, where you have to choose which version to keep, and it might be that you actually keep the clone copy instead to send Niv-Mizzet Reborn to the graveyard.
It is more risky as your reanimation spells might be stopped, meaning you have less access to Niv-Mizzet Reborn. The other thing is that you can't exile to return to play the clones if wanting more Niv-Mizzet Reborn triggers. So really you have to figure out which is going to work with the cards you have access to already which zone will help you more.



Image
Last edited by darrenhabib 3 days ago, edited 37 times in total.

Tags:

SirGregarious
Posts: 5
Joined: 4 months ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by SirGregarious » 1 week ago

Hey Darren, glad to see you revisiting this deck. I've been playing this deck almost exclusively as my casual deck since War came out. Every time I bust it out, people are in awe of how unique of an idea it is and how well it works. I've made a few changes to my list since we last talked about it, and it looks like you've made some changes to yours as well. It seems we're on the same page of cutting the self wheel effects like Heartwarming Redemption and similar cards. I almost always found them to be dead cards in hand. You have some cards that definitely seem like meta calls, but I have a couple questions about some of the other cards in your list, and I wanted to know your thoughts about a couple of the cards I'm fond of.

From your list:
Fires of Invention - I'm really on the fence about this one. I like that it lets you cast Living End and Hypergenesis from hand, which is obviously the intended purpose, but I don't like that it limits your ability to cast cards on enemy turns and it means you can't cast anything besides your cascade card if you intend to cascade into one of your pieces. I fear I would just find this as a dead card in my hand most of the time. Have you found it to be useful?

Duergar Hedge-Mage - The removal sounds good in theory, but the two mountain/plain stipulation seems hard to meet as I think about it. I don't feel like five mountains/plains (Shocks + Basic) is enough to reliably turn this guy on, in which case he's just a regular 2/2 and I would rather have any beater. Do you have it turned on consistently?

Repudiate // Replicate - I'm curious as to why you replaced Altered Ego with this one. That's pretty much it. I feel like the clone creatures are better than clone spells because you can use them with the Living End/Hypergenesis. Just as an example, cheating Ashen Rider into play goes from powerful to absolutely back breaking if you also cheat in a clone. Cheating in Zegana and one of the Niv Izzets can deal 20+ damage if you make some clones of Zegana at the same time.

Flame-Kin Zealot - I can't believe I missed this guy, gonna have to pick up a copy. Haste enabler in another color combination is absolutely huge.

From my list:
Faeburrow Elder - I've found this card to be an absolute monster. The vigilance is what really pushes it over the top. It's great to have early because it can enable a turn four Niv, and it's great to have later because it's a huge body that can attack and make mana after. I ended up cutting Mina and Denn, Wildborn in favor of this one because I feel like the turn four Niv is more important that the bonus land drop from turn 4 onward and that it just doesn't pull as much weight later. It felt like a direct upgrade honestly.

Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis - I'm on the fence about this one as well. I think I care more about the guild balance than you do, I have 5-6 cards in each guild in mine and I don't want to deviate because I'm still fishing for the juicy 10 draw off Niv. I find that the Golgari cards are the least useful, as most of the best effects are almost counter-intuitive to what the game plan is. I was originally using Molderhulk just to get a land back if I had cycled it away, but I didn't' really find it to be useful. I tried switching it up to Lord of Extinction but I ran into a similar problem where I would set up a mass reanimate only to find he's a 5/5 without any abilities. Hogaak fits the bill of being a huge beater as an 8/8 with trample, and he comes with the bonus of almost always being able to be cast in a pinch because my graveyard is always loaded.

Dragonlord Kolaghan - I think we talked about this one before, but he fits perfectly into the Immortal Servitude plan as a haste enabler in another guild and a 6 CMC creature. I noticed you didn't include Immortal Servitude in your list, but you still have the little blurb about it in your write up. I also had a funny experience where I played him against someone's Shadowborn Apostle deck and got reminded that his second ability isn't just flavor text.

User avatar
darrenhabib
Posts: 400
Joined: 4 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 69 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by darrenhabib » 1 week ago

SirGregarious wrote:
1 week ago
Hey Darren, glad to see you revisiting this deck. I've been playing this deck almost exclusively as my casual deck since War came out. Every time I bust it out, people are in awe of how unique of an idea it is and how well it works. I've made a few changes to my list since we last talked about it, and it looks like you've made some changes to yours as well. It seems we're on the same page of cutting the self wheel effects like Heartwarming Redemption and similar cards. I almost always found them to be dead cards in hand. You have some cards that definitely seem like meta calls, but I have a couple questions about some of the other cards in your list, and I wanted to know your thoughts about a couple of the cards I'm fond of.
Hey, yeah opponents are always like "does your deck do this often?" .. and I'm like "yeah every game, this is what it's designed to do.".
I'd have to say this is my crown jewel as far as unique decks.

Yeah I just never cast the discard/draw as I had other things to do and had enough to work with, so they just kept getting cut.
Fires of Invention - I'm really on the fence about this one. I like that it lets you cast Living End and Hypergenesis from hand, which is obviously the intended purpose, but I don't like that it limits your ability to cast cards on enemy turns and it means you can't cast anything besides your cascade card if you intend to cascade into one of your pieces. I fear I would just find this as a dead card in my hand most of the time. Have you found it to be useful?
The important part is that it leaves your lands untapped, which means that you can freely cycle. I don't really have much instant speed interaction, besides the Astral aspects.
Perplex, Violent Outburst, Sylvan Reclamation, Kaya's Guile, Wear // Tear, Repudiate // Replicate are the only cards I think.
The other thing is that I'm usually only casting one spell a turn, so in many ways this feels like a Mirari's Wake in that I get to cast two spells with my mana base.
Also if you cast Fires of Invention on Turn 4, and then cast Niv-Mizzet Reborn on Turn 5, you can cast another card (like cascade) and possibly hit a Hypergenesis, so can get value straight away.
I can't say I've ever had the dream of casting Astral Slide Turn 3, Fires of Invention Turn 4, but this is exactly what you want.
Duergar Hedge-Mage - The removal sounds good in theory, but the two mountain/plain stipulation seems hard to meet as I think about it. I don't feel like five mountains/plains (Shocks + Basic) is enough to reliably turn this guy on, in which case he's just a regular 2/2 and I would rather have any beater. Do you have it turned on consistently?
Definitely isn't the greatest, and I've never got both (artifact and enchantment) to trigger in a game. So yeah under performed and can easily be cut.
Repudiate // Replicate - I'm curious as to why you replaced Altered Ego with this one. That's pretty much it. I feel like the clone creatures are better than clone spells because you can use them with the Living End/Hypergenesis. Just as an example, cheating Ashen Rider into play goes from powerful to absolutely back breaking if you also cheat in a clone. Cheating in Zegana and one of the Niv Izzets can deal 20+ damage if you make some clones of Zegana at the same time.
I just kept cutting the clone creatures as I wasn't using them as much as I was first expecting.
Simply went with Replicate as it's one mana cheaper than the clone.
The thing with the clones is that even though they are creatures, when it comes to Living End and Living Death they have nothing to copy as they all come into play at the same time, so fizzle.
I can't really say the Repudiate part is game winning, but I did save 3 of my lands from a Terastodon once :P
Flame-Kin Zealot - I can't believe I missed this guy, gonna have to pick up a copy. Haste enabler in another color combination is absolutely huge.
I'm always shifting slots due to keeping color-pairing balances, so I'm actually playing Chainer, Nightmare Adept in this slot recently.
I'm in the process of overhauling this thread for peer review primer status, so I have a few more changes that I'll introduce when I've completed that.
Faeburrow Elder - I've found this card to be an absolute monster. The vigilance is what really pushes it over the top. It's great to have early because it can enable a turn four Niv, and it's great to have later because it's a huge body that can attack and make mana after. I ended up cutting Mina and Denn, Wildborn in favor of this one because I feel like the turn four Niv is more important that the bonus land drop from turn 4 onward and that it just doesn't pull as much weight later. It felt like a direct upgrade honestly.
Yes I have added this to my list :) I cut Dragonlord Dromoka for the slot, as the 6 drops are not as important anymore.
Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis - I'm on the fence about this one as well. I think I care more about the guild balance than you do, I have 5-6 cards in each guild in mine and I don't want to deviate because I'm still fishing for the juicy 10 draw off Niv. I find that the Golgari cards are the least useful, as most of the best effects are almost counter-intuitive to what the game plan is. I was originally using Molderhulk just to get a land back if I had cycled it away, but I didn't' really find it to be useful. I tried switching it up to Lord of Extinction but I ran into a similar problem where I would set up a mass reanimate only to find he's a 5/5 without any abilities. Hogaak fits the bill of being a huge beater as an 8/8 with trample, and he comes with the bonus of almost always being able to be cast in a pinch because my graveyard is always loaded.
I'm trying Storrev, Devkarin Lich as another Gologari card at the moment. Haven't put it into play yet however.
Dragonlord Kolaghan - I think we talked about this one before, but he fits perfectly into the Immortal Servitude plan as a haste enabler in another guild and a 6 CMC creature. I noticed you didn't include Immortal Servitude in your list, but you still have the little blurb about it in your write up. I also had a funny experience where I played him against someone's Shadowborn Apostle deck and got reminded that his second ability isn't just flavor text.
Yeah Immortal Servitude is out, I just never had the 9 mana to cast it consistently (for the 6 drops), so actually I need to change the thread to reflect this, but as I said I'm in the process of doing this.
Yeah I guess you can try Chainer, Nightmare Adept as a cheaper option, but I can see playing it as well as.

SirGregarious
Posts: 5
Joined: 4 months ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by SirGregarious » 1 week ago

darrenhabib wrote:
1 week ago
The important part is that it leaves your lands untapped, which means that you can freely cycle. I don't really have much instant speed interaction, besides the Astral aspects.
Perplex, Violent Outburst, Sylvan Reclamation, Kaya's Guile, Wear // Tear, Repudiate // Replicate are the only cards I think.
The other thing is that I'm usually only casting one spell a turn, so in many ways this feels like a Mirari's Wake in that I get to cast two spells with my mana base.
Also if you cast Fires of Invention on Turn 4, and then cast Niv-Mizzet Reborn on Turn 5, you can cast another card (like cascade) and possibly hit a Hypergenesis, so can get value straight away.
I can't say I've ever had the dream of casting Astral Slide Turn 3, Fires of Invention Turn 4, but this is exactly what you want.
That's precisely the problem I have with it. If you cast Niv on turn 5, then cast a Cascade card, Fires prevents you from casting whatever you cascade into. The curve of Astral Slide into Fires + 4 drop into Niv + something sounds sweet, I just don't see it happening often enough to justify limiting your cascades and the few instant speed cards.
I just kept cutting the clone creatures as I wasn't using them as much as I was first expecting.
Simply went with Replicate as it's one mana cheaper than the clone.
The thing with the clones is that even though they are creatures, when it comes to Living End and Living Death they have nothing to copy as they all come into play at the same time, so fizzle.
I can't really say the Repudiate part is game winning, but I did save 3 of my lands from a Terastodon once :P
You're absolutely right. I've been playing that interaction incorrectly this entire time, I even asked a judge at one point because I wasn't sure and they told me it would enter as a copy of something still. That kind of sucks, but I guess they can't be perfect all the time. I'm going to have to replace the clone creatures in my list. On the bright side, that's three easy cuts that I can replace with new fun stuff. I'll definitely give Chainer, Nightmare Adept a slot to test him out.

I'm going to need a new Dimir card and a new Simic card to replace Altered Ego and Evil Twin. I'm liking the sound of Hostage Taker, Ashiok, Dream Render or Vela the Night-Clad because I'm still on the Immortal Servitude plan. Simic is tougher though. Rashmi, Eternities Crafter seems like it could be pretty sweet, or maybes just an Oko, Thief of Crowns to remind people that there's no escape from him.

User avatar
darrenhabib
Posts: 400
Joined: 4 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 69 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by darrenhabib » 1 week ago

SirGregarious wrote:
1 week ago
That's precisely the problem I have with it. If you cast Niv on turn 5, then cast a Cascade card, Fires prevents you from casting whatever you cascade into. The curve of Astral Slide into Fires + 4 drop into Niv + something sounds sweet, I just don't see it happening often enough to justify limiting your cascades and the few instant speed cards.
That is a good point. But there are not many instances where I'm casting cascade AND another spell in the same turn.
So holding up mana for flicker effects is still nice even if you only get to cast cascade + living end/hypergenesis.
The Fires of Invention definitely has the Astral Slide, Astral Drift, Eldrazi Displacer element in mind, which only happens so often with games, because they are only 3 cards in the deck, and as we know drawing them isn't up to Niv-Mizzet Reborn.
But also being able to cast Living End/Hypergenesis makes this card I feel pretty great. I've never been disappointed to play it.
Because at the end of the day you can just cast two big spells a turn as well during a setup period, while probably being able to cycle for a land to get your land drop for the turn.

User avatar
darrenhabib
Posts: 400
Joined: 4 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 69 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by darrenhabib » 6 days ago

Well I've given this thread and deck the full primer treatment so if you wanted more details on card interactions, etc, it's a lot more comprehensive. Still not 100% finished but good enough.

When I first posted the new thread I didn't detail changes that I had made since the move from MTGSalvation to MTGNexus. So I'm posting now so you can get an idea of cards that had been tried.




Then I made some more changes over the last week or so. I keep the guild color-pairing in mind so it's not about one-for-one trades, but balancing the numbers as well.


SirGregarious
Posts: 5
Joined: 4 months ago
Pronoun: Unlisted
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by SirGregarious » 4 days ago

Looks great dude, you covered just about everything. The only cards that I didn't see show up on your list of other notable cards were Angel of Despair, Hostage Taker and Rhythm of the Wild. You only have 4 Gruul cards in your list right now, surely Rhythm is an easy include?

Oh also, in your "best of the rest" section for each guild, you have the Gruul emblem next to your Rakdos section.

User avatar
darrenhabib
Posts: 400
Joined: 4 months ago
Pronoun: he / him
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 69 times

Titles & Recognition

Post by darrenhabib » 4 days ago

SirGregarious wrote:
4 days ago
Looks great dude, you covered just about everything. The only cards that I didn't see show up on your list of other notable cards were Angel of Despair, Hostage Taker and Rhythm of the Wild. You only have 4 Gruul cards in your list right now, surely Rhythm is an easy include?

Oh also, in your "best of the rest" section for each guild, you have the Gruul emblem next to your Rakdos section.
Thanks my good man, I've added those things.

Not 100% sold on Rhythm of the Wild yet. It's not like you are casting that many creatures anyway except for Niv-Mizzet Reborn.



Just made a few changes, couldn't live without Dragonlord Dromoka in the end, and I've also added Archon of Valor's Reach to round out the Selesnya slots.
Had to make the very hard cuts of Aura Shards and Mirari's Wake, but I just wanted to make sure I have enough beefy creatures.
When Aura Shards is good it's bonkers, but sometimes I felt like it was a win more card, as I don't have that many on curve creatures to make use out of it during the early stages of the game.
Then Mirari's Wake is a bit slow taking a turn off, and you don't even guarantee you get the benefits of it, if it gets removed before you get to untap. Sorry Selesnya, somethings had to go.


Post Reply Previous topicNext topic

Return to “Decklists”