Memnarch, Stealer of Games

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benjameenbear
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Post by benjameenbear » 1 year ago

Winter Orb has been pretty awesome, actually. I've only played a few games with Memnarch lately, but in the one game I remember winning the Orb was crucial in letting me get ahead in mana development against a Golos player, a Nikya player, and another Golos player (Golos HATES the Orb). So that was good. Confounding Conundrum was also very welcome for Fetches and Golos as well, negating the tempo advantage that Golos normally produces. Cantripping is a nice way to help smooth out my draws.

I didn't draw Lithoform Engine or Lodestone Golem nor did I want to tutor for them, so I'm still unsure if they're worth the deckspace. I'll give it a little more time before I pull the Engine out, but it has some good potential that I want to at least explore. The Golem could easily go, probably be replaced by Silent Arbiter so that I can manage my life total better.

Grafdigger's Cage wasn't particularly relevant in the games that I played (no one was really utilizing their graveyard) but I love that it's a simple, clean answer to Underworld Breach, Elsha, Bolas's Citadel, various Reanimation effects, etc. Its applications are very wide, so I imagine that it will stay a part of my decklist until something better gets printed.

I recently took apart my Bolas deck (I never really wanted to pull it out for games) so I'm debating about adding in Consecrated Sphinx into the deck. Having a huge threat as another reward for fast mana. And I have fond memories of the card too.

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Post by benjameenbear » 11 months ago

Commander Legends Review
  • Hullbreacher - um, yeah. Shutting off the various draw 7's and Card Advantage engines in cEDH and turning those effects into mana is GLORIOUS. Auto-include in my opinion and expect I look forward to flashing it in response to a Timetwister or Windfall.
  • Mana Drain - a welcome reprint, I recommend picking up a copy while they're pretty cheap.
  • Preordain - another solid reprint, definitely pick up a couple of copies while they're less than $2.
  • Sphinx of the Second Sun - while this deck can't really make use of it, this is a FASCINATING card design that I hope Wizards is super cautious with. Getting another untap step and draw step is extremely powerful. This would probably be a great card in a Reanimator deck though.
  • Arcane Signet - another welcome reprint, grab a copy for all your decks.
  • Jeweled Lotus - powering out Memnarch a few turns earlier could be critical to establishing control over the board quickly. I don't think it's worth its current price tag but it's undeniably powerful and can help facilitate a T3/T4 Memnarch MUCH more reliably. An interesting thing to note is that resolved permanents in cEDH tend to stick around for a while, so resolving an early Memnarch could be back-breaking to the table. I think this is definitely worth including for that reason alone.
  • Scroll Rack - another powerful reprint, I'm glad they did it. I don't currently play it, and see no reason to, but it's awesome what they did with this set.
  • Rings of Brighthearth - another powerful reprint that I'm not currently using, but it's good to get a copy while they're so cheap.
  • Staff of Domination - see above.
All in all, it's a pretty good set from the reprint perspective with Hullbreacher being the piece de resistance as far as this deck is concerned.

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Post by Wraith223 » 11 months ago

Need to updated your list


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Post by Wraith223 » 11 months ago

Thanks! I have not been playing much since covid tried to destroy my thyroid. I am recovering now trying to get back to playing, working out, and not coughing.....

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Post by Wraith223 » 11 months ago

Is lithoform engine really worth it?

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Post by benjameenbear » 11 months ago

I'm leaning towards a firmer 'No' at this point. It's pretty cool, but it's much more mana intensive than I'd like and it doesn't do anything by itself sadly. I think it will get the axe soon, I just need to figure out what I want to slot in instead.

EDIT: I'm between several 6 CMC options as payoffs for the mana package. I like the idea of another draw 7 (like Echo of Eons or Time Spiral) but the power of Consecrated Sphinx is well demonstrated as is Recurring Insight.

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Post by UnNamed1 » 11 months ago

How are you liking Diving Top in the fast meta we have today? Really haven't used it much outside of comboing. While the card is undeniably good, I have found myself leaning away from running it in my most recent and powerful lists.

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Post by benjameenbear » 11 months ago

I think one of the most underrated Stax pieces in the cEDH meta is Counterbalance. With the right curve, you can blind counter a significant portion of spells that are cast. Combine it with Top, however...

Resolving spells becomes a nightmare for your opponents. Top also helps make hands a little more keepable by being able to dig deep for mana sources when needed.

You're right, in that it's a slower card that doesn't directly impact the board. But I've personally found it to be a solid workhorse card. Not necessarily flashy, but it does its job well.

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Post by benjameenbear » 8 months ago

Not too much from Kaldheim that stands out to me for Memnarch, but it's worth reviewing anyways.

Kaldheim Set Review
  • Mystic Reflection - a great way to stop specific creature combos, I think this card will get proven out over time. I don't think it's super incredible, but it does do a decent job of stopping specific combos.
  • Frost Augur - if you have a strong Snow manabase, this card could be pretty good. I don't and I like my full-art Islands as is, so I'm not running this card.
  • Ravenform - this is a VERY good budget removal spell for you to consider. A 1/1 Flyer is pretty inconsequential in the long run. Sorcery speed is what kills this card for me.
  • Replicating Ring - if you can make the game drag on long enough, this becomes a very good mana doubler. It just takes 9 turns to pay off, at which point it's probably been destroyed or the game's over. Cool card, wish it was a shorter timeframe for it to replicate itself.

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Post by insomnia » 6 months ago

@benjameenbear on the Lithoform Engine i have found it to be under wealming for combo with Unwinding Clock but slightly more useful as a generic clone effect. I have removed it for now, trying it out in my Purphoros, God of the Forge deck as a way to clone goblins like Beetleback Chief

shame the best card in kaldheim isnt , imagine the horror of Tergrid, God of Fright front black, back blue

spot on blue set analysis, especially the very disappointing Replicating Ring could be good with Atraxa, Praetors' Voice though

i have been upping the powerlevel of my own Memnarch deck, as it had a tendancy to take over power 7-9 meta games but not be quite quick enough for cEDH, so aiming for full fat.

your thread has always been a great help in this regard...hope your well and plague free

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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

@insomnia
Thanks for checking in! Me and my loved ones are indeed healthy and doing well! Yeah, I took out Lithoform Engine and haven't missed it at all, so that cut is going to be permanent. I'm glad you're still playing Memnarch! He's da best.

Yeah, Kaldheim wasn't particularly good for mono-Blue Artifacts. Nothing too earth-shattering, but Strixhaven looks mildly interesting. A damn shame that Boros is now the go-to Artifact set in Commander 2021. Still wrapping my head around that one...

Strixhaven Set Review
  • Resculpt - a pretty solid instant speed removal spell, honestly. I'd recommend it to anyone building a deck on a budget since it hits so much at instant speed. The 4/4 isn't too big of a deal, but it could come back to be terrible.
  • Ingenious Mastery - this is an interesting set of cards. The alternate cost can be attractive in digging yourself out of a mess and it's a large X draw spell for when you have a lot of mana. The cost of trading cards for mana resources for your opponent is too exorbitant, though, so I will definitely be passing on this card.
  • Tempted by the Oriq - I have some strong feelings about this card, and I think it's going to be a sleeper hit for cEDH style tables. Being able to steal 2-3 Commanders at once is WAY powerful, and it's CMC is attractive for that as well. I'm ordering a copy of the card, but I expect it might fall flat.
  • Archmage Emeritus - an excellent card for my Kalamax deck, this deck could ALSO leverage this card very well. Isochron Scepter becomes a card advantage engine. All of our counterspells cantrip. I like it, I just don't know if I like its CMC and squishiness enough to open up a deck slot for it.
  • Solve the Equation - a pretty powerful tutor effect for mono-Blue. I think this is one of the cards I will be definitely testing. We'll take whatever tutors WOTC prints for mono-Blue!
  • Wandering Archaic // Explore the Vastlands - OH MAN. I suspect that this card scales in power according to the relative power of your table, and this card absolutely is PHENOMENAL in a cEDH setting. I'll be playtesting the hell out of this card since this deck plays all the fast mana sources possible and this is an incredible payoff card. Doubling up on draw spells, counterspells, ramp spells, and more is just too good to pass up. A well-designed card imo that I want to take advantage of for sure.
That's pretty much all I got for Memnarch!

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Post by UnNamed1 » 6 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
6 months ago
@insomnia
Thanks for checking in! Me and my loved ones are indeed healthy and doing well! Yeah, I took out Lithoform Engine and haven't missed it at all, so that cut is going to be permanent. I'm glad you're still playing Memnarch! He's da best.

Yeah, Kaldheim wasn't particularly good for mono-Blue Artifacts. Nothing too earth-shattering, but Strixhaven looks mildly interesting. A damn shame that Boros is now the go-to Artifact set in Commander 2021. Still wrapping my head around that one...

Strixhaven Set Review
  • Resculpt - a pretty solid instant speed removal spell, honestly. I'd recommend it to anyone building a deck on a budget since it hits so much at instant speed. The 4/4 isn't too big of a deal, but it could come back to be terrible.
  • Ingenious Mastery - this is an interesting set of cards. The alternate cost can be attractive in digging yourself out of a mess and it's a large X draw spell for when you have a lot of mana. The cost of trading cards for mana resources for your opponent is too exorbitant, though, so I will definitely be passing on this card.
  • Tempted by the Oriq - I have some strong feelings about this card, and I think it's going to be a sleeper hit for cEDH style tables. Being able to steal 2-3 Commanders at once is WAY powerful, and it's CMC is attractive for that as well. I'm ordering a copy of the card, but I expect it might fall flat.
  • Archmage Emeritus - an excellent card for my Kalamax deck, this deck could ALSO leverage this card very well. Isochron Scepter becomes a card advantage engine. All of our counterspells cantrip. I like it, I just don't know if I like its CMC and squishiness enough to open up a deck slot for it.
  • Solve the Equation - a pretty powerful tutor effect for mono-Blue. I think this is one of the cards I will be definitely testing. We'll take whatever tutors WOTC prints for mono-Blue!
  • Wandering Archaic // Explore the Vastlands - OH MAN. I suspect that this card scales in power according to the relative power of your table, and this card absolutely is PHENOMENAL in a cEDH setting. I'll be playtesting the hell out of this card since this deck plays all the fast mana sources possible and this is an incredible payoff card. Doubling up on draw spells, counterspells, ramp spells, and more is just too good to pass up. A well-designed card imo that I want to take advantage of for sure.
That's pretty much all I got for Memnarch!
As a fellow mono-u connoisseur, I agree with a lot of your thoughts here. Albeit I play Thassa, Deep-Dwelling instead of Memnarch. I'm very excited with Tempted by the Oriq, and Wandering Archaic // Explore the Vastlands. Both will definitely get a slot in Thassa for testing, and I've debated some other decks as well. My only issue with Wandering, is the CMC. As an Ad Naus player that is not something I want to see hit!

Beyond those two, not much else had stood out as immediate slot in's to my current deck. Maybe I'm just cynical though.

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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

@UnNamed1
I think that you don't play the Archaic alongside Nauseam because the Archaic is more set it and forget it whereas Nauseam decks are very proactive in executing their game plans, which the Archaic doesn't really do.

I see the Archaic as being super valuable in decks that don't have access to Black tutors, who want to take a more controlling approach to their strategy, or who are more dedicated to Stax builds. As someone recently mentioned (can't remember who) cEDH games are typically won on the stack and the Archaic absolutely punishes this particular element of cEDH games, which is why I want to give it a solid test for Memnarch.

It's a very unique card in that it gives you conditional but extremely powerful Card Advantage and Mana Advantage over the rest of your opponents (Card Advantage because you're copying valuable spells for free and Mana Advantage because you're either taxing your opponents or getting a free spell for no mana). Well designed card imo that I think will be very powerful if you can turbo it out.

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Post by UnNamed1 » 6 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
6 months ago
I see the Archaic as being super valuable in decks that don't have access to Black tutors, who want to take a more controlling approach to their strategy, or who are more dedicated to Stax builds. As someone recently mentioned (can't remember who) cEDH games are typically won on the stack and the Archaic absolutely punishes this particular element of cEDH games, which is why I want to give it a solid test for Memnarch.
That was me btw :)

I see it very much in the vein of a psuedo stax piece that can be single sided and disrupt the stack immensely. I do not look forward to trying to untangle stacks with multiples on the board. My head hurts thinking about it.

I think it will definitely find a home in the infinite mana Urza builds, as long as they aren't running a poly-tyrant build. Definitely a card to pick up 1-2 copies.

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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

For sure. I just checked the price of the Archaic and it's sitting around the $15-$16 range. Glad I preordered mine when it was $6, lol.

Oh yeah, I would HATE to try and unravel the stack if multiple Archaics. Thank goodness that the Archaic doesn't trigger on when opponents COPY spells...

I'm glad I ignorantly quoted you! lol. You've got a great perspective on cEDH and I enjoy your comments. Even though I think the Breacher should stay unbanned (as I wish Paradox Engine had stayed unbanned... RIP sweet Engine...)

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Post by UnNamed1 » 6 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
6 months ago
For sure. I just checked the price of the Archaic and it's sitting around the $15-$16 range. Glad I preordered mine when it was $6, lol.

Oh yeah, I would HATE to try and unravel the stack if multiple Archaics. Thank goodness that the Archaic doesn't trigger on when opponents COPY spells...

I'm glad I ignorantly quoted you! lol. You've got a great perspective on cEDH and I enjoy your comments. Even though I think the Breacher should stay unbanned (as I wish Paradox Engine had stayed unbanned... RIP sweet Engine...)
Wow, it's that high already??? I much prefer the Thassa's Oracle take of being $6 at release and now the most expensive version is $80. That's always better than super high pre-orders.

I appreciate the kind words, especially since this isn't a very cEDH supported forum. Breacher should stay unbanned, but its amazing how the target switched from Oppo Agent to Breacher. Personally, I believe the overall format to be pretty healthy.

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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

I agree. I'm personally annoyed that Oracle + Forbidden Tutors are the new ubiquitous win condition, but it's much better than Flash Hulk. That was pretty awful to play against, not gonna lie.

I've actually been thinking about transitioning this Primer to the main EDH forums and turning down the power level a lot to high-Power level instead of cEDH optimized. I played against some true cEDH decks with Memnarch recently and I never really got the chance to execute Memnarch's core strategy. Memnarch needs time to develop a board position and I think that cEDH-optimized lists are just faster than what Memnarch can realistically keep up with. Unless Paradox Engine gets unbanned or a card similar to it is printed, Memnarch just can't get the mana output it needs to truly dominate a game.

So, I'll probably be updating the list via toning it down in power level and moving this Primer to the main decklist here shortly. However, this will allow me to play some fun cards, synergies, and strategies that I've been missing or want to explore.

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Post by benjameenbear » 6 months ago

I updated the list to tone it down to High-Power level. It still plays Back to Basics and Hullbreacher to punish greedy decks but otherwise it's all about that ramp plan with some cards I've always enjoyed playing. I've got some cards back in the deck that I've been missing like One with the Machine, Mass Manipulation, Teferi, Temporal Archmage, and Padeem, Consul of Innovation. I'm particularly excited to try out Mass Manipulation since that's 100% on-theme of what Memnarch did in the story.

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Post by RowanKeltizar » 5 months ago

New to this commander and your thread, so forgive me if you've already explained your thoughts on some of these cards, but I didn't see a lot of them mentioned in the primer.

High Tide seems like an ideal mana boosting card in lue of Paradox Engine. I see you mention it in your primer but it's not currently maindecked. It's worked wonders in Niv, but I can only imagine how good it must be in mono U Not to mention, you can put this on a Stick.

Insight - certainly a meta choice, but how many competetive tables won't have at least one green player? Ever since I've slotted this in I'm probably not taking it out since it feels on par with Remora and Rhystic Study at least in my playgroup.

Training Grounds reducing both of Memnarch's ability costs just seems really broken to me.

Sapphire Medallion and Etherium Sculptor. Seem like pretty solid choices.

Thieving Skydiver - I've seen this used to really great effect in my playgroup.

Fade Away - been playing around with this a bit. Seems like it could be decent in the right deck and most likely mono blue which doesn't have a ton of its own wipes.

Sea Gate Restoration - I know this is a cheesy card, but I've been liking it for the simple fact that this could otherwise be just an island if I need it to be.

Vedalken Archmage - nice little draw engine here I think

Stroke of Genius and Braingeyser as blowout draw spells. I know they aren't great early game, but you have so many mana rocks.

Krark-Clan Ironworks - saccing your opponents things seems really good especially if they have some way to get their stuff back. Homeward Path for example. But primarily I would see this as a way to ritual into Memnarch. You cast something like Grim Monolith or Mana Vault, tap then sac for a total of 5 colorless. Seems pretty good.

Mycosynth Golem - kind of an interesting card for Memnarch. You'll need a critical mass of artifacts for this to work but if you can get enough early rocks I think it could be good. Then, lategame Memnarch is just free.

Reality Ripple - been liking this one since I'd often rather let the board wipes resolve since Niv is my only real thing I don't want to lose if he's in play. Seems similar with Memnarch.

Steal Enchantment seems like a solid include here maybe. I know Memnarch already steals things but this can steal an early Study, mana doubler, or Smothering Tithe.

Mystic Sanctuary Feels like an auto-include to me.

Soul Barrier - punishes those pesky creature decks. But yeah, mono blue burn is funny.

Rush of Knowledge - probably not good enough, but I've always kind of liked this card.

Emry, Lurker of the Loch really seems like a solid recursion piece for key artifacts

Vedalken Engineer - the fact that this ramps for just 2cmc and produces colored mana seems pretty good.


also...

Witching Well seems really bad. Maybe I'm missing something?
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Post by benjameenbear » 5 months ago

RowanKeltizar wrote:
5 months ago
New to this commander and your thread, so forgive me if you've already explained your thoughts on some of these cards, but I didn't see a lot of them mentioned in the primer.

High Tide seems like an ideal mana boosting card in lue of Paradox Engine. I see you mention it in your primer but it's not currently maindecked. It's worked wonders in Niv, but I can only imagine how good it must be in mono U Not to mention, you can put this on a Stick.

Insight - certainly a meta choice, but how many competetive tables won't have at least one green player? Ever since I've slotted this in I'm probably not taking it out since it feels on par with Remora and Rhystic Study at least in my playgroup.

Training Grounds reducing both of Memnarch's ability costs just seems really broken to me.

Sapphire Medallion and Etherium Sculptor. Seem like pretty solid choices.

Thieving Skydiver - I've seen this used to really great effect in my playgroup.

Fade Away - been playing around with this a bit. Seems like it could be decent in the right deck and most likely mono blue which doesn't have a ton of its own wipes.

Sea Gate Restoration - I know this is a cheesy card, but I've been liking it for the simple fact that this could otherwise be just an island if I need it to be.

Vedalken Archmage - nice little draw engine here I think

Stroke of Genius and Braingeyser as blowout draw spells. I know they aren't great early game, but you have so many mana rocks.

Krark-Clan Ironworks - saccing your opponents things seems really good especially if they have some way to get their stuff back. Homeward Path for example. But primarily I would see this as a way to ritual into Memnarch. You cast something like Grim Monolith or Mana Vault, tap then sac for a total of 5 colorless. Seems pretty good.

Mycosynth Golem - kind of an interesting card for Memnarch. You'll need a critical mass of artifacts for this to work but if you can get enough early rocks I think it could be good. Then, lategame Memnarch is just free.

Reality Ripple - been liking this one since I'd often rather let the board wipes resolve since Niv is my only real thing I don't want to lose if he's in play. Seems similar with Memnarch.

Steal Enchantment seems like a solid include here maybe. I know Memnarch already steals things but this can steal an early Study, mana doubler, or Smothering Tithe.

Mystic Sanctuary Feels like an auto-include to me.

Soul Barrier - punishes those pesky creature decks. But yeah, mono blue burn is funny.

Rush of Knowledge - probably not good enough, but I've always kind of liked this card.

Emry, Lurker of the Loch really seems like a solid recursion piece for key artifacts

Vedalken Engineer - the fact that this ramps for just 2cmc and produces colored mana seems pretty good.


also...

Witching Well seems really bad. Maybe I'm missing something?
Hey @RowanKeltizar, good to see you here. You have some good card suggestions and I'll address each of them:
  • High Tide - this is a great card and it has a lot of utility for decks that look for explosive turns. This isn't really that kind of deck, frankly. At its heart, Memnarch rewards consistent mana generation that you can leverage over multiple turns so that you can steal more permanents with greater consistency. I think that if I included this card that I would have to find ways to untap lands so that the burst-power that High Tide generates can be maximized. I've moved away from Palinchron as a combo line, but it might be time to revisit it. I do like the idea of putting it under a Scepter though...
  • Insight - didn't even know this was a card. Great suggestion and I'll definitely include it since Green permanents are pretty common at optimized tables (which is what this deck would be playing against most frequently).
  • Training Grounds - with the shift of moving away from cEDH optimizations, this card is already on my radar again for putting back into the deck. I thought I addressed it in the Primer, but I'll add a note in the Card Section as to why it's good.
  • Etherium Sculptor/Sapphire Medallion - good cards, and I just took them out to test a few new changes to the OP. We'll see how they do and I'll then make a decision if they come back to the deck.
  • Thieving Skydiver - I haven't really considered this card, tbh. I think I initially dismissed it since it's redundant to Memnarch's ability, but I see the appeal of having a creature that generates mana tempo.
  • Sea Gate Restoration // Sea Gate, Reborn - I really should include this since the opportunity cost is so low. Duly noted.
  • Stroke of Genius/Braingeyser - I'm already playing Blue Sun's Zenith. One of these effects has been sufficient.
  • Fade Away - interesting card, but more often than not I think it will fail to remove the creatures that I need to have removed or inordinately affect one player.
  • Vedalken Archmage - I've generally tried to stay away from creatures in this deck unless they're really powerful or provide consistency. The Archmage is too squishy for what it does and there are some turns where it fails to provide card advantage at all.
  • Krark-Clan Ironworks - this deck shies away from Ritual type mana effects because the deck's core strategy naturally rewards and is gravitated towards consistency. Sac-ing stolen permanents to generate solely colorless mana isn't what I do; I'm more interested in actually leveraging the stolen permanent in a significant way.
  • Mycosynth Golem - it doesn't do anything by itself and doesn't meaningfully generate real mana for Memnarch's abilities or for the instants this deck thrives on.
  • Steal Enchantment - a solid effect, but I don't actually see too many enchantments that are high-priority steal targets that Memnarch can't grab.
  • Witching Well - it helps smooth out early draws since I'm playing a lower land count and it turns into a Divination when I'm holding up mana. It's not the flashiest of cards, but I'm playing it instead of Ponder and I haven't been disappointed with it. It's also nice being able to recur it repeatedly with Academy Ruins.
  • Rush of Knowledge - I'm already playing this effect with One with the Machine.
  • Mystic Sanctuary - uh, yeah. I don't know why it's not in my list. Duh.
  • Soul Barrier - why burn a player when you can steal their creature instead?
  • Emry, Lurker of the Loch - she is a good recursion piece and I think she's worth a second look as I've changed the OP again.
  • Vedalken Engineer - I've generally trended away from creature-based ramp like this over my MTG career. I haven't really missed it and I'm already playing the best mana rocks available.

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Post by RowanKeltizar » 5 months ago

@benjameenbear Just stumbled across the card Retraced Image. Have you ever seen this card before? This is basically: "put an Island into play from your hand." which is incredibly unique for mono U.

Makes me think for sure, especially since it's a sorcery and I can recur it and copy it. It pays for itself as well. Only reason I mention it here is that your deck is mono blue and has a ton of islands. Could be decent as a early ramp spell?

EDIT: I just re-read the card and this counts your opponents permanents as well. Makes this A LOT stronger and more consistent. Chances of your opponents having an Island in play is pretty high. But this also works for anything else. Rhystic Study, Hullbreacher, Consecrated Sphinx, etc...

Also, did you see my reply over here: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=29165
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Post by benjameenbear » 5 months ago

RowanKeltizar wrote:
5 months ago
@benjameenbear Just stumbled across the card Retraced Image. Have you ever seen this card before? This is basically: "put an Island into play from your hand." which is incredibly unique for mono U.

Makes me think for sure, especially since it's a sorcery and I can recur it and copy it. It pays for itself as well. Only reason I mention it here is that your deck is mono blue and has a ton of islands. Could be decent as a early ramp spell?

EDIT: I just re-read the card and this counts your opponents permanents as well. Makes this A LOT stronger and more consistent. Chances of your opponents having an Island in play is pretty high. But this also works for anything else. Rhystic Study, Hullbreacher, Consecrated Sphinx, etc...

Also, did you see my reply over here: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=29165
I actually totally forgot that this was a card, frankly! I remember seeing it back in the day as a legit way to ramp in mono-Blue but I literally haven't seen or thought about this card in the past 5-6 years. Good look!

Ironically, the number of decks that play basic Islands or the powerful Blue cards you mention is pretty slim. Still, it's a pretty good way to Explore in mono-Blue, and that's never a bad thing by itself.

Yup, gave a lengthy reply on your Atraxa thread!

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RowanKeltizar
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Post by RowanKeltizar » 5 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
5 months ago
Ironically, the number of decks that play basic Islands or the powerful Blue cards you mention is pretty slim. Still, it's a pretty good way to Explore in mono-Blue, and that's never a bad thing by itself.
You know, I just got Retraced Image in the mail from ebay and have been solitairing with it in Niv-Mizzet. I've been putting it aside, then drawing a hand of 6 cards and nearly every time I've been able to cast it and Explore just from having 2 islands in hand or drawing into one in the first 3 turns. With all the cheap draw and hand filtering I have, I think this is actually workable.

The fetchlands aid this as well, since I can fetch into EITHER a basic Island or basic Mountain to enable it. I run Fabled Passage and Prismatic Vista. I will likely be swapping back to basic islands for some of the worse dual lands and not adding in Frostboil Snarl simply because I don't need it. Having a lot of Islands also supports High Tide.

Long story short, my opinion of this card is high. I think this should be run in virtualy any mono blue or two color spellslinger deck in place of a durdly mana rock. I replaced Izzet Signet with this. Sure, if you've got synergy with artifacts, you probably won't want this, but if you've got Magecraft or similar, and/or running storm, copy effects, or recursion for instants and sorceries, than this is the card you want. I especially like this in Niv because it just becomes a free draw spell lategame. With a draw doubler, I'm drawing 2 cards for zero mana.
Image
WRBKaalia, Zenith Seeker - Certified Air Raid Material
WBElenda, the Dusk Rose - Drain and Gain
WRAurelia, the Warleader - Tokens/Equipment
URNiv-Mizzet, Parun - Controlled Burn primer
BRGProssh, Skyraider of Kher - One Shotting Since 2013
RGWGishath, Sun's Avatar - I'M YOUR DADDY
GWUBAtraxa, Praetors' Voice - Artifact Stax Beatdown

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Post by benjameenbear » 4 months ago

@RowanKeltizar
Yeah, I think that Retraced Image is for a more Spellslinger based deck, which this deck is not. It's still a pretty solid card and I wouldn't fault anyone for running it!

Modern Horizons 2 came out and it's time to do a set review! There's definitely some interesting cards!

Modern Horizons 2 Set Review
  • Dress Down - this is a great way to shut off a player's combo turn and it cantrips to replace itself. Very powerful card and I'll be grabbing a copy simply to add it to my Counterspell suite.
  • Filigree Attendant - while I won't be playing it, I'm really appreciating the fact that they're printing more Blue Artifact creatures. It opens up different deck-building strategies for purveyors of Mono-u and I respect that.
  • Inevitable Betrayal - they printed a semi-fixed Bribery! This should help any budget players who are playing in a more casual meta where there are juicier targets in opponent's libraries. I don't think I'll include it in my own list, but it's very good.
  • Subtlety - it's a cool card with a good ETB ability, but it's not super synergistic with this deck. If you crack a pack and find a copy staring at you, I wouldn't fault you for including it, but this deck doesn't have a ton of ETB synergies to abuse this Elemental.
  • Sol Talisman - more mana is never a bad thing, but they really nerfed the power of this mana rock. I'll probably acquire a copy because it's decent in the early turns... but quite awful in the late game as a top-deck.
  • Urza's Saga - yup, the fact that you can tutor out a mana rock from your land and create a Construct token to block things is great. Fantastic card and I could easily see this card making Crucible of Worlds more attractive as a card in the main-deck. I'll be picking up a copy whenever I sit down and place my pre-order.

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