Memnarch, Stealer of Games

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RowanKeltizar
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Post by RowanKeltizar » 4 months ago

@benjameenbear Great assessment there! I actually totally glossed over Dress Down. I think that would be perfect for my enchantments only stax/control Bruna list I'm brewing up.

I think the suspend cards are meant to synergize with things like Electrodominance, As Foretold, and especially Cascade. I think they will see a lot of play in those type of decks. Probably more consistent in a deck that can fit a lot of those cards in it. Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder will probably like these.

I am actually pretty tempted to try and build around some of them in Niv...but there probably isn't room. Finale of Promise really sets those suspend cards up nicely. *Sigh* .... too many fun interactions.
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insomnia
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Post by insomnia » 3 months ago

@benjameenbear agree, great blue new card analysis, Dress Down made my buy list, i really like Lose Focus and Suspend.

i have been trying out Sydri, Galvanic Genius as a alternative general for Memnarch in the 99, much less obvious game plan (to some) she has alot of ways to get infinite mana (especially any rock producing 3), and you can get his daddy into the deck Karn, the Great Creator doing useful things including board lock with Mycosynth Lattice and backup for unavailable commander.

Cheap mana cost, great colours and the odd ability to generate blockers at will or turn on land destruction by animating opposing artifact lands via Mycosynth Lattice

What drew me especially was seeing To Arms! as a Dramatic Reversal redundancy and her first ability (Target noncreature artifact becomes an artifact creature with power and toughness each equal to its mana value until end of turn) cheapens the cost of Memnarch theft.

would be interested on your opinion of this commander, greatly

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Post by benjameenbear » 2 months ago

Hi @insomnia
Whew, it's been a while since I've looked at this. My apologies for my delayed response!

Great tech discovery for To Arms! as Dramatic Reversal redundancy alongside Sydri's first ability. That's a very clever way to achieve infinite mana that makes unique use of Sydri as a Commander. Gotta give you props on that one.

I too love the colors that Sydri makes available. Being able to have the best Artifact tutors and some sweet, sweet removal options is VERY enticing. She does have a great CMC as well and the idea of The Death Star Lazer of Doom being able to be a walking robot is awesome.

My concerns with her is that she doesn't directly produce card advantage or board advantage.

Now, Memnarch isn't the greatest case for either of these concepts but he does produce card advantage in the form of card theft; you're taking a card and the resources to cast said card away from an opponent. He doesn't otherwise generate board presence or meaningful card advantage...

But neither does Sydri. If you look at Sydri as being a combo enabler (since she doesn't directly combo with anything besides Reservoir) and you build your deck accordingly, then she should do just fine.

When I look at your list, I'm inclined to think that it's a little short in the card advantage department. Do you find that this is the case or no?

The Ashnod's Altar + Deathmantle combo seems to have little synergy in the deck as well, so I could see that being an easy cut in case you want to add in more interaction or card draw.

TL;dr
Sydri is a great choice as a combo commander, but you need to build a decklist around her to compensate for the fact that she doesn't directly create card advantage or board advantage.

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Post by insomnia » 2 months ago

hey @benjameenbear, not a very delayed response, no appologies needed in any case

so testing results, 2 out of 10 games, managed the To Arms! +Isochron Scepter and Chromatic Orrery + Freed from the Real combos into Memnarch, nothing into Urza, flux got countered aswell.

So to me it felt rather like playing Norin the Wary but with more draw, has the potential to go crazy but without finding Purphoros, God of the Forge or another enabler then the deck does nothing.

I agree about the amount of draw not making up for her lack of draw, i will try to cut down the combos (i got greedy the thought of infinite wurms making infinte mana was too much to resist) and rerun testing block of 10, to make space for more cantrips, and include some of the artifact tutors.

Such a shame she cant take control of artifacts, then she would be Memnarch's perfect girlfriend.

Not sure i would build the deck IRL, great for xmage thou, Memnarch would have to be gutted and my playgroup has a dread of that deck that amuses me.

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Post by benjameenbear » 2 months ago

Oh, I also forgot to do a Set Review for Memnarch with Forgotten Realms. Frankly, there isn't anything that particularly struck me as being worthwhile to even test for the deck, so it was mostly a wash for mono-Blue...

Forgotten Realms Set Review
  • Diviner's Portent - this card is actually pretty decent for a meta/playgroup that's slower, but that isn't this deck.
  • Winged Boots - Lightning Greaves these are not. Still a decent effect and, more importantly, it's a BLUE artifact.
  • Demilich - cool card, but this deck isn't a spellslinger deck. Pass.
  • Tasha's Hideous Laughter - this is actually a pretty solid mill spell for cEDH. You can potentially mill 20-30 cards PER opponent for just 3 mana. Solid value and is a nice proactive Counterspell.
  • Wizard's Spellbook - this is actually a pretty cool effect and the only d20 effect I could ever see myself playing from the set. The fact that you can cast a copy of each spell with a nat 20 is pretty cool. I'll still pass, but it's a pretty interesting card.

Uh, yeah. That's it. NOT a good set for Memnarch.

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Post by benjameenbear » 1 month ago

Another set, another review!

Innistrad 3.0 Set Review
  • Consider - this is a pretty good version of Opt. It's probably going to be the new staple draw spell in Standard and it's pretty decent here as well. Basically another version of Opt.
  • Lier, Disciple of the Drowned - a mono-Blue Dralnu with NO downside?! Welp, I'll be getting a copy because I have SO much nostaliga for Dralnu, but it's not as good here as it would be in other decks. I think this Commander makes Mill a viable strategy in EDH, particularly in combination with the recent Mill spells they've printed. Very powerful card.
  • Malevolent Hermit // Benevolent Geist - GET A COPY OF THIS CARD. It's absurdly easy to put in the 'yard and its Distrub cost is extremely reasonable to give all your non-creature spells uncounterable. Extremely powerful card that I HIGHLY recommend you get before it jumps to $10/$15.
  • Memory Deluge - look, they fixed Dig Through Time! It's a good effect for lower-power lists, and won't make it here since there is no way to really take advantage of it, but worth mentioning.
  • Moonsilver Key - an interesting tutor effect to consider. Not sure how to evaluate the card, to be honest, but my initial review is that it's not worth it.

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RowanKeltizar
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Post by RowanKeltizar » 1 month ago

You know I did notice Consider It's probably better than Opt for a deck that wants cards in the graveyard. (a lot of decks do). I think i will take the slight upgrade. I just wish it dug a little deeper. Careful Study and Faithless Looting are my favorite cheap draw spells in the format.

What do you think about Otherworldly Gaze ? Could be a great fit for certain decks. Sure, it doesn't give actual card advantage but in a deck that cares about the top card, or self mill i think it's fantastic!

Oh, and we need to give a shout out to the new basic islands. They are BEAUTIFUL!

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Post by benjameenbear » 1 month ago

I think that Otherworldly Gaze is much better for strategies that care about spell-slinging, which this deck is not focused on. The cantrips in this deck need to replace themselves so that I can dig deep to find the mana and control pieces I need to execute my gameplan consistently, which is why Consider makes the list. It's a great cantrip and I expect it will see a lot of play in 60-card formats since it fuels the 'yard. Legacy will probably see a couple of copies but Modern will probably be heavily impacted by it.

I actually want to see the new full-art lands in person. They look kinda cartoonish to me at times and other times they look phenomenal. I can't quite decide, so I'm waiting until I see some in person before I pull the trigger.

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Post by benjameenbear » 2 weeks ago

Alright, I'm revisiting this decklist more specifically over the next couple of months. I've got my Yawgmoth deck tweaked to exactly where I want it. I've got Kalamax tweaked to exactly where I want it. I've got Kenrith tweaked to exactly where I want it. Najeela flows well and Kaalia is in a good spot too. I updated my Osgir list to a Tevesh Szat + Akiri partner Reanimator list and it's pretty awesome too. Time to come back to my OG decklist and revitalize it!

First things first, it appears I haven't updated my list for the Hullbreacher ban. Can't say that I'm too sad to see it go, but it was a great mana generator for the deck while it was legal. What follows will be a massive brain dump.

I think it's time to consider Leveler + Thassa's Oracle/Jace, Wielder of Mysteries as another combo line that has a ton of flavor built-in. As a reminder, Memnarch was EXTREMELY fond of sending out Levelers every 100 years or so and were his primary method of enforcing or eliminating enemies in the Mirrodin storyline. Being able to include it would be WAY cool, but the cost of Leveler's ETB ability is quite steep for consideration and it does create a clean win-con that doesn't require activated abilities.

Mystic Remora is a great card, just not good for the playgroup that I most often play with, which is very creature and dork heavy. So I'll need to trim the cards out from the list that aren't pulling their weight relative to my playgroup. This includes cards like Counterbalance as well.

I do want to try and get a version of Karn in here, but I'm not sure which version would be most effective. My playgroup plays at a high-power level, so not quite cEDH, but the lists are pretty tuned all things considered. Has anyone had experience with Karn, Scion of Urza in EDH? I have a copy, but it seems pretty weak to me. Otherwise, I think Karn, the Great Creator is going to slide into the list for the flavor win and as a way to recur exiled pieces.

This means I also want to include some Vedalken in the deck that could be powerful. The most obvious is Vedalken Archmage with its natural synergies is the best inclusion as is Vedalken Engineer, but I want to expand my vision beyond these two obvious includes. Filigree Sages combos with Chromatic Orrery, which is interesting to consider as a bomb, so that's worth mentioning as well. Grand Architect is already in the list as a mana source for Memnarch and a combo piece with Pili-Pala. Maybe I can include Vedalken Mastermind + Stasis? I feel like that just wouldn't be super reliable as a combo piece and it doesn't directly win the game for me, so the griefer status would be increased for the deck.

So, semi-back to the drawing board which is actually kinda of exciting to consider again.

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Post by RowanKeltizar » 2 weeks ago

Good on you. I like that you also consider flavor when making card choices. It's nice to find that sweet spot when cards are good but also fit the theme. I feel like Stasis could be a bit too risky if you don't have a combo piece for it. If you want to slow down your opponents there are some other options that are more asymmetrical. Frozen Aether is a card i would like to give a try though. there is Back to Basics of course, Confounding Conundrum and others.

I never consider any deck of mine to be at a state of perfection. There are always games where the deck doesn't quite perform... small inconsistencies. Plus there are ALWAYS new cards to consider. Some of my decks never seem to have enough card advantage or ramp to keep up with some other decks in my playgroup, but part of that is due to the fact my commanders don't all have built in card draw as many of the new ones do.

The treasure rituals have actually been a fantastic addition to Niv and I am looking forward to adding a few to the primer. I hope we get a few more and better ones. Ramp was always the thing i felt Izzet struggled with, especially Niv because of his color weight. Colorless ramp isn't great for that deck.
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Post by benjameenbear » 1 week ago

Thanks! I guess what I mean by the remainder of my decks being tweaked to exactly where I want is that I've scoured dozens of lists, EDHRec, and tested cards extensively to have a pretty solid gameplan of how I want a deck to execute and each list is executing in the way that I envisioned.

I'm settling in on a list that I'm going to test the next time I play with my group. It has a higher creature density because they're all more combat oriented and I need some chump-blockers to preserve my life total until I can get Memnarch down and start stealing out boards.

What's really nice about the list I've jotted down is that I can totally and almost freely switch out Memnarch for Urza (who's in the 99) and there would be virtually no difference in how they execute. This gives me additional modularity with the list, which I again appreciate. I also rediscovered Ugin, the Ineffable and the utility he has for Memnarch particularly, as both a mana reducer, card advantage/board advantage outlet and pinch removal for problem permanents. I think he's getting in the list.

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Post by benjameenbear » 1 week ago

Ok, here's going to be my analysis of each component of the deck. Each card won't necessarily be included, but this is the shortlist for the cards that will be in the 99.
Mana Sources
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  • Mana Crypt - this is a no-brainer. It's in.
  • Mox Opal - this is both a reference to Mirrodin and a solid mana rock for the deck. It's in
  • Jeweled Lotus - I'm actually back and forth on this one. Memnarch demands consistent mana generation for him to truly shine and the Lotus does not provide consistent mana to fully maximize Memnarch's value. However, there IS value in getting him into play during unexpected moments when the game is in transitional periods. I also like that I can recur the Lotus with Academy Ruins as a way to overcome potential Commander tax. I'm thinking I'll give the Lotus a try, since I just acquired a 2nd one, and see how it performs.
  • Sol Ring - duh.
  • Mana Vault - a pretty solid mana rock, moreso since I plan on actively tutoring for Unwinding Clock pretty aggressively in this list to maximize Memnarch's power.
  • Grim Monolith - see above.
  • Arcane Signet - another auto-include as far as I'm concerned.
  • Fellwar Stone - I want every mana rock to be able to tap for mana ASAP, and the probability that Fellwar taps for U is pretty decent in my current group.
  • Vedalken Engineer - I've decided to consider this card since I'm planning on focusing more on Memnarch's abilities as a core function of the deck's gameplan AND I want to try and maximize the deck's flavor/Vorthos elements. I'm also going to try and increase the overall artifact density in the deck so that the Engineer is always tapping for something in my hand in the event that Memnarch isn't in play. It can also be a chump blocker when needed too.
  • Liquimetal Torque - this doubles up as being a generic mana rock AND as a way to basically reduce Memnarch's ability by 50% by eliminating the need for his first ability. Great mana rock that I completely missed in my analysis of Modern Horizons 2.
  • Basalt Monolith - this spits out quite a bit of mana for its mana value and is great with Unwinding Clock. I have multiple copies and it's proved powerful in the past, particularly with the draw-go style of this deck.
  • Grand Architect - combo piece and a dedicated Artifact mana source. If I had to choose between the Architect or the Engineer, I'd probably choose the Architect as my situational mana source.
  • Thran Dynamo - pretty solid mana rock that closes the gap between my current mana source and the magic number 7 that Memnarch needs in order to see the battlefield. I'm probably going to keep this card in the list.
  • Urza, Lord High Artificer - I love Urza. He's not going anywhere.
  • Solemn Simulacrum - it ramps a land and is a good chump blocker.
  • Gilded Lotus - I consider this card a staple for my more controlly, mono-color decks. Being able to tap for UUU at any time is extremely powerful.
  • Teferi, Temporal Archmage - I'm going to consider Teferi as a mana source since my most frequent use of him is to untap four permanents.
Card Advantage
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  • Preordain - I like Preordain because it filters away cards from the top of the deck to the bottom to help smooth out draws while also replacing itself. Great cantrip. Oh, I have a foil copy of it too.
  • Witching Well - I value the Scry ability pretty highly, and this acts as an instant speed, overcosted Divination when I need it to. It's a blue Artifact that can boost my card draw in the mid/late game.
  • Serum Visions - the new art with Jin-Gitaxias is just AWESOME.
  • Sensei's Divining Top - besides being another great card-filtering mechanism, it also acts as a pseudo-combo piece alongside Future Sight. It's getting a slot.
  • Brainstorm - since the playgroup that I'd be rolling this deck out against is in the high-power range, I want to value card advantage engines more highly then one-shot effects. I do have 3 fetch-lands to help maximize Brainstorm's power and I am considerate of Future Sight as well, but I wonder if this card is actually worth it. On the flip side, could I call myself a proper U mage WITHOUT running it in the 99?
  • Mishra's Bauble - I have a copy and I like that it replaces itself. Not the strongest card, but it's cool to have as another cantrip option that I can recur via Academy Ruins or use as fodder for Reshape-type effects.
  • Arcum's Astrolabe - being able to filter colorless mana into U is HUGE. I'm probably going to include this card since it helps the Dramatic Scepter combo line be more consistent while ALSO acting as a cantrip effect.
  • Ponder - I'm not sure how I feel about including cantrips, since I'm retooling the deck to be more High-Power and less cEDH. I'm still playing a pretty low land count, so they still might be more valuable to include. It's either this one or Brainstorm that'll be cut from the list, or maybe neither one.
  • Impulse - fits under a Scepter and helps to dig deep into the deck at instant speed.
  • Rhystic Study - ah, the Commander classic card that, in all honesty, probably started the salt meter on EDHRec, lol. It's still a great card.
  • Timetwister - this acts as a pseudo-yard hate piece that I can also leverage for the fast-mana hands that this deck can produce. I've come to appreciate its power to refill my hand when empty and to also semi-disrupt my opponents under the guise of a "beneficial" effect.
  • Blue Sun's Zenith - infinite mana outlet in case I can't use Memnarch for some reason.
  • Narset, Parter of Veils - I have mixed feelings about including Narset, but the fact that I can force a mini-combo of 'Twister + Narset to strip away most of my opponent's hands is a nice back-pocket synergy to keep in mind.
  • One with the Machine - I really like this card. With Memnarch out, it becomes a draw 7 for 4 mana. Great value.
  • Fact or Fiction - I want to make sure I have enough Card Advantage cards in the 99 to keep the deck humming smoothly. FoF is one of the best.
  • Chemister's Insight - I like that I can cast this multiple times by pitching dead cards to its Jumpstart cost. Not particularly excited about it.
  • Padeem, Consul of Innovation - protects my Commander from spot removal. Then, if i Memnarch Padeem into an Artifact, I get global hexproof for my Artifacts. SUPER powerful. The card draw will also probably consistently trigger since my Commander is an Artifact, so Padeem is definitely going to get a slot.
  • Future Sight - extremely powerful card draw engine, I'm personally ok with giving away information in order to get access to more cards.
  • Consecrated Sphinx - one of the original bomb.com cards. I remember when this card was only $17. Sigh...
  • Ugin, the Ineffable - the first ability that I use here is his first to create blockers and act as pseudo-card draw for the deck while ALSO acting as a cost-reducer for my Commander. I really like it.
  • Recurring Insight - a fantastic card draw bomb that restores my card advantage. I have a copy that's been collecting dust and it might be time to revise my list and see if I have enough top-end slots for this.
  • Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur - I have a copy of Jin-Gitaxias and I think there's enough ramp in the deck to justify it in the 99 as a bomb that can take over the game.
Combo List
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Utility/Value
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I'm going to carefully consider if I want to try out a Leveler combo for the deck, but I'd REALLY hate to have it in hand without a combo piece either. At least with the Forbidden Tutors, you can actually put a card into your hand, so they have utility outside of being combo pieces (marginal utility, but utility nonetheless).

The land package is pretty solved in my mind, at 34-35 lands with 9 non-Islands present in the deck. Academy Ruins, Inventors' Fair, Ancient Tomb, Urza's Saga, Mystic Sanctuary, Seat of the Synod, 3 Fetch lands.

EDIT: Ok, I think I'm getting closer to a beta list that I want to try out, perhaps this Friday.
Memnarch, Revised 2.0

Commander


Utility/Miscellaneous (3)


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