Mono-R Control with Jaya Ballard!

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Post by SafetyValve » 2 years ago

I'm really excited about Chandra. The moment I realized she essentially gives any 3CMC or less spells flashback for 1RR, and then potentially AGAIN a turn later for no further Mana investment is crazy

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Post by SocorroTortoise » 2 years ago

Yeah. I was definitely paying too much attention to the loyalty uptick ability until I saw someone play her in modern Jund, where she did ridiculously good work. I'm not sure I have the low CMC spell density to really take advantage of her but I was impressed enough to try.

Anyone give any thought to Fires of Invention? Jaya seems like a reasonable place to play that. There's the obvious holding mana for Jaya activations and the interest in late game mana development means there's already a strong incentive to include mana sinks, which this plays nicely with. The occasional explosive turns involving a bunch of wheels will suffer, which seems like the biggest downside.
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Post by koalakat » 2 years ago

I found it to be very good when I played it, and my deck is actually lacking for wheels only having Khorvath's Fury so I'm not losing out there but I can see how that might be a downside.

Chandra's top 0 is certainly nothing to sneeze at if you have even one other red Walker with a useful effect on board. She enabled me to play Koth of the Hammer -2, play Chandra, Acolyte of Flame 0 her, then next turn I had the option to ritual again without Koth dying thanks to Chandra, or speed up to the ultimate by wiping the board and using her 0 and his +1, then her 0 again into his -5. She'll almost entirely catch your opponents off guard with how subtle but useful she is unless they've seen you do some crazy stuff with her. Also her top 0 can be copied with Rings of Brighthearth and that's honestly pretty useful when say Daretti, Scrap Savant is on board.

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Post by MuchXD » 1 year ago

Any reason to not run Great Furnace?

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Post by SocorroTortoise » 1 year ago

MuchXD wrote:
1 year ago
Any reason to not run Great Furnace?
Upside is that it works well with Goblin Welder/Daretti, Scrap Savant. Downside is that it makes the manabase more vulnerable to artifact hate (where it really isn't now, thanks to being heavily basic lands and ways to find them) and isn't a mountain for Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle or Gauntlet of Might effects. I rarely have trouble activating Welder when I want it and the basic lands are important to the deck, so that's not a worthwhile trade to me. I prefer my existing crop of utility lands over it and there are a few others I would be more interested in finding space for as well. At the end of the day, it doesn't do anything but make a couple already good cards very marginally better and there are other cards I would rather have.
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Post by MeowZeDung » 1 year ago

What are your thoughts on Ignite the Future to go with Commune with Lava and Light up the Stage? Maybe it could take one of the rummaging spell's slot?
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Post by SocorroTortoise » 1 year ago

I like it a lot and have no idea where I want to fit it in. I've had a lot of success with that style of impulse draw in the past and that's a nice cost efficient one. I haven't had an opportunity to get out and play for a few months, which also means no chance to test out potential changes. That one and Chandra, Acolyte of Flame are the ones I'm most interested in right now. I know I already cut Jaya Ballard for something (possibly Ignite the Future?), so that's where I'd start modifying the posted list.

There's also a newly spoiled card that looks promising, Underworld Breach. The power is definitely there so it's mostly a question of whether it's good enough as a one shot effect if you're doing fundamentally fair things. I'm guessing yes. One card replayed is borderline, but two cards seems like a reasonable expectation late game and that's a fine rate. Between Jaya, looting, and wheels there should always be plenty of things to exile (barring opponents sending lots of GY hate your way). I like that it's no-frills enchantment and planeswalker recursion, both of which are useful for this list.
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Post by SocorroTortoise » 1 year ago

Now that we have a full spoiler, here are some thoughts on THB. On the whole this feels like a solid set and there are a few potential pickups for Jaya. As usual for set reviews, I'm going to focus on cards that I think have some chance of finding a place in this particular deck. Feel free to point out cards that I don't mention or misevaluate because I'm almost certainly going to miss some things. I'm not splitting red and colorless cards because most of the options this time around are red.

Theros: Beyond Death
  • The Akroan War - Long duration Threaten and pseudo-wrath. There's some potential trouble playing this in a creature light deck because you don't want to be the de facto target for everyone's attacks on the second counter. Starting off by borrowing a creature mitigates that somewhat. The biggest thing about it is that it's slow to get to the wrath effect, which is a significant downside.
  • Anax, Hardened in the Forge - This feels a step off of playable here in a couple directions. The tokens not being able to block and Anax not surviving inferno make it awkward with Jaya. This deck typically doesn't have a strong nontoken creature presence either, so the trigger isn't likely to happen all that often. As a beater, lack of evasion kind of kills it. Fun card for another deck.
  • Dreamspeaker Shaman - I like that red has picked up polymorphs. This is a little too high a cost for the effect, both upfront and ongoing, and it doesn't have the same amount of control as the others. I'm not interested in the mana cost for a generic value engine and there are better cards to cheat costs more predictably.
  • Escape Velocity - Repeatable haste that comes out of the yard is nice. I'd put this behind Anger for sure, then matter of preference compared to Fervor effects or equipment. Worth considering, though I'm not planning on swapping anything for this at this time.
  • Furious Rise - I don't turn this on reliably enough to run it. In a list with a higher density of 4 power dudes, this is probably my favorite of this effect. Three CMC upfront, the ability to play the cards at instant speed, untapping with the first card still exiled, and not losing access to the last one if this is destroyed are all very appealing. This is another card that I like a lot which just doesn't fit in my list.
  • Irreverent Revelers - Mentioning this because it's one of the best version of this effect to date. Essentially Manic Vandal with an optional trigger and the ability to go more aggro in a pinch. I'd rather have either a more repeatable effect or one that hits more than a single target and there are more instant/sorcery synergies than creature synergies here, so it's not for me.
  • Labyrinth of Skophos - I like this more than Mystifying Maze for sure, seeing as the blink is more often downside than upside. It's still worse than Maze of Ith as a card, though it takes a different slot in the deck thanks to tapping for mana. I'd go for either the classic or Thaumatic Compass first if you just want a Maze of some kind. There's still merit to running this as either a second or third copy or as a utility land.
  • Nyx Lotus - I'd put this behind Gilded Lotus and Thran Dynamo, neither of which I'm running now. The downsides of coming in tapped and having conditional mana generation greatly outweigh the better cases where you're tapping for 4+ for me.
  • Omen of the Forge - Probably too small an effect, especially for a deck where the general has an improved version of the ETB effect. The activated ability is the only reason this is worth mentioning. Mono-R still appreciates card selection where it can get it and it helps with mana efficiency. In the absence of either devotion or enchantment payoffs, Magma Jet is a superior card that currently doesn't make the cut, so odds are not good for this one.
  • Ox of Agonas - More GY play and this one comes with some card draw. The upfront cost isn't terrible if you're starting either empty handed or close to it - it's likely to cost less than Bedlam Reveler until the very late game. The escape is doable but steep. Mana cost is negligible here, but 8 cards from the GY does take some time to build to unless you chain a bunch of wheel effects together. There are also existing GY synergies that you don't want to eat into too hard. I would expect to cast this twice in a typical game, once from hand and once from the GY. Whether that's enough is up for debate.
  • Phoenix of Ash - Not my favorite phoenix. Going to the field instead of hand makes this a better fit for more aggressive decks. Three cards is much more attainable than eight, but still not nothing.
  • Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded - Mass haste on an indestructible enchantment is great, just not worth 5 mana. A couple people have floated a more polymorph heavy mono-R control variant and this could be a great fit there. Not being able to cheat in colorless creatures (i.e. eldrazi) is a very reasonable restriction that hurts that plan a fair amount. I haven't gone deep into the red and artifact options yet but I'm guessing there's plenty with all of the big dragons. It sounds like a fun big red list even if it's probably better off with a general other than Jaya (like new Purphoros).
  • Purphoros's Intervention - Neither effect is very appealing. Burn based removal is already plentiful and the elemental isn't an effective win con. Stick with more traditional Blaze variants.
  • Shadowspear - I'm mixed on this. Lifelink is great with Jaya and stripping indestructible is useful for a color that can have trouble with it. I'm not sure if the combination of those two things is enough to get it into this particular list, where there isn't much creature combat. Definitely a consideration.
  • Soul-Guide Lantern - This probably replaces Tormod's Crypt for me. Hitting all opposing yards at once is nice, as is having the option to cycle in the rare games where you truly don't need GY hate. It's a small but meaningful upgrade.
  • Tectonic Giant - If the long Jaya primer wasn't an indication, I do really like burn in EDH. There's not enough creature support here to really make use of this, otherwise I'd be all over that trigger. It is going to get at least one use fairly reliably and both options are decent enough.
  • Underworld Breach - This is the big one from this set. The floor on this is usually Regrowth, which is already on the lower end of the playable spectrum. The ceiling on this is much, much higher. Like I said in the last post my expected typical case for this is two cards recurred later in the game, which is a fantastic effect for two mana. I'm definitely finding a slot for this one.
On the whole I'm very happy with this set. I'm reasonably sure that I'm swapping Tormod's Crypt for Soul-Guide Lantern and equally sure that I want to find a place for Underworld Breach. I'm not sure what the cut for that is going to be as I still need to look at the physical deck (think the online list is a couple cards off right now, which will get an update someday when I have time and the deck in front of me).
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Post by MeowZeDung » 1 year ago

I can't express to you how excited I am for Underworld Breach for my Kykar, Wind's Fury list. Keep in mind it combos with Burning Inquiry or Goblin Lore in a mono red list like yours, although it's more potent in Kykar because I recoup the mana with the spirit (which means Inquiry goes infinite) and also gain access to Tome Scour to make sure my opponents mill out before I do. Even if you don't pursue any sort of combo with Underworld Breach, I think it may be better than Past in Flames, even just for value. The difference between casting the 2-3 best spells in your graveyard once each vs casting the best 1-2 spells in your graveyard 4-5 times is going to be significant enough for Breach to be an upgrade in my opinion.

I also thought of your Jaya list when I saw Tectonic Giant. So close.
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Post by SocorroTortoise » 1 year ago

I'm realistically playing both. PiF has always been great for me and I'm in no hurry to cut it. My tentative cut right now is Karn Liberated. That feels like an overall upgrade even if it leaves me a little colder to enchantments and some indestructible permanents. I don't think I'm GY focused enough for Goblin Lore/Burning Inquiry to be a good fit outside of Breach shenanigans, so I'll probably stick to playing it as a fair card for the time being.
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Post by MuchXD » 1 year ago

Any chance we will be seeing a deck update anytime soon?

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Post by SocorroTortoise » 1 year ago

At some point. I haven't actually had an opportunity to get out and play since around the last time there was an update around 6 months back and I don't like recording changes without actually trying the cards (or at the very least, playing a game or two with the cards in the deck), which slows the process down. The serious considerations right now are all recent cards and have been discussed in the thread if you're interested in my thoughts on them.
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Post by SocorroTortoise » 1 year ago

IKO and C20 releasing at the same time makes for a slightly less compact set review than normal. The themes in both of these are not particularly in line with what I'm interested in doing here but there are always some possibilities. I'm treating them as two separate sets for the purposes of this post, mostly for organizational reasons.

Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths
Red
  • Clash of Titans - A little pricey for what you get. Instant speed and the ability to deal with two threats of comparable size is nice. This isn't good at dealing with one threat unless there's a larger creature on board and it relies on targeting multiple creatures, which can get awkward.
  • Flame Spill - I like the idea behind this card. Noncreature trample is a fun concept for burn heavy decks. The CMC to damage ratio here isn't good enough to make the cut. I'm looking forward to seeing what else comes out of designs like this.
  • Footfall Crater - Low risk source of repeatable haste that can be cycled away in games where it's dead. The trample is going to be useless the majority of the time, though there are occasionally times where it would be helpful. I don't think I'm interested in this but it's as much the backlog of other things I'd like to test as anything else.
  • Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast - There have been conversations in the past about a more combo-y version of Jaya making use of red's increased density of polymorph effects and this would be a solid inclusion there. I like that this doesn't preclude you from using small utility creatures because odds are pretty good you would be exiling Jaya to the -2. My current list has a little too many things I wouldn't want to hit with it so I'll pass on this. If I ever retool the list to take better advantage, I'd anticipate this being a reasonable inclusion. The +1 is pretty bad here, the -7 is passable but unlikely to ever go off. This would definitely only be for the first polymorph with occasional second polymorph.
  • Pyroceratops - This has the potential to get big here, it just doesn't do anything else. It takes a few spells to get out of inferno range and grows fairly slowly. There are better beaters available.
  • Rumbling Rockslide - Generally worse than Skred, particularly after MH1 made snow lands easier to pick up.
  • Yidaro, Wandering Monster - Great creature type, mediocre EDH card. This is not going to be drawn enough for the cheat into play ability to go off, at least not reliably, and cycling on its own is obviously not worth a slot. It's also never something you really want to hardcast as plan A.
Colorless/Land
  • Crystalline Giant - Fun concept, glacially slow, dies to everything. Even if you hit the perfect sequence of keywords, it still dies to inferno in addition to any opposing creature or artifact wipe.
  • The Ozolith - This isn't really the deck for counter shenanigans. There's virtually no support for any of those already in the deck and that makes this a bad fit.
  • Sleeper Dart - Mostly notable for being an inexpensive cantripping artifact. If you're going heavier on Goblin Welder effects, this oculd have some value as an egg. The effect isn't enough to make the cut outside of that scenario.
  • Bonders' Enclave - A cheaper Arch of Orazca if you can meet the requirement. That's by no means a sure thing here (same reason Conqueror's Galleon hasn't made the cut, despite being a great fit on the flip side). Solid card for the format in general - having a 4 power creature isn't nearly as strong a position as in other formats, so this isn't as win-more.
Commander 2020
Red
  • Brallin, Skyshark Rider - The partner obviously doesn't fit here, but Brallin is passable on its own. Looting, wheels, and Jaya discards all get a little extra damage tacked on to a growing creature. My gut feeling is that it's too situational here. I'd anticipate getting 1-3 triggers in a typical game (unless I was already far ahead) and the card isn't good enough if that's the case.
  • Agitator Ant - Pushing some table aggression can be nice and 2 counters a turn is growing at a reasonable rate. My hangup here is that it takes creatures out of inferno range pretty quickly because the opponent makes the choice. This has too much potential to backfire and kill you if you don't reliably have creatures on board.
  • Deflecting Swat - Swerve effects are solid and free ones are even better. Most red interaction doesn't happen with no mana up, so this probably catches people unaware once or twice. Whether it's worth it or not is probably meta dependent more than anything else. It notably functions as a counter against counters, as Swat can redirect the counter to Swat.
  • Fireflux Squad - Another polymorph effect, but this one really doesn't fit into the theoretical shell because it's a creature. This feels like it's aimed more at token decks and other lists that can get value out of repeated value morphs instead of a single high impact one.
  • Frontier Warmonger - The fact that it affects your opponents' creatures when they swing at each other is the reason to look at this. It's a small incentive to swing at other players and helps to push some damage, which plays nicely with a burn-centric win con. Not getting much value without opposing creatures is the big thing that keeps it out of the deck.
  • Molten Echoes - Probably my favorite version of this effect so far, but this is not the deck for it. It needs a much higher creature density, preferably something with some tribal elements, and that's not happening here.
  • Shiny Impetus - Again, pushes some damage and comes with a ramp effect. You're relying a little on the goodwill of your opponent here - throwing this on a token or other small creature probably gets you one treasure and kills off the target. Throwing it on a big creature works until its down to a 1-on-1 situation. I think there's some potential here, though I'll wait to see it in play before making a final judgment on it.
  • Surly Badgersaur - Lives in a similar space as Brallin. If you're triggering it reliably, it's mostly ramp and a way to clean up small creatures (unlikely to grow too large here without repeatedly tossing Squee or a phoenix). It's a little fragile for my taste, though I do like that it pairs with Jaya to punch above its weight.
Colorless/Land
  • Bonder's Ornament - Manalith with late game card draw is still Manalith at heart. I wouldn't expect to see a lot of these at the table outside of precons and I don't think that the card draw is cheap enough to make this worth it.
  • Manascape Refractor - I'm a big fan of powerful lands, so this is a nice effect. I have plenty of solid effects to double up on. I think I'd still go for Mirage Mirror first, which I'm not currently running. This also obviously gets additional value if you regularly see powerful lands across the table.
  • Sanctuary Blade - Notable as a potentially budget Sword. The pro-red is the big reason to run those and fills the same functionality with some offensive options when the primary gameplan falls through.
  • Twinning Staff - This feels like a trap unless your general is copying spells and I'm not even sold on it there. Ten mana for two copies is not good and that's what this will be most of the time, even if you're running several forks already.
  • Nesting Grounds - Neat effect with some possibility for walker shenanigans. The times when this would be good are too niche for me and I'm constantly hunting for more utility land slots, so this isn't going to make the cut.
Nothing that really stands out here from either set. There are some strong cards if your deck supports them, which I prefer to the obvious inclusions in any deck of the color. I'll also say that the polymorph builds look more and more tempting as we get more enablers. Lukka is probably the most interesting one in a while and can work with a less complete build around. It would still involve cutting some of the 4-5 CMC creatures and probably adding another high end creature threat. Not cutting you out of using things like Welder is big for that.

I still haven't done any testing in a long time here. I got out to play once or twice after making the last post, but not enough to form strong opinions on anything I was interested in for Jaya and now coronavirus concerns are limiting those opportunities for obvious reasons. I haven't shelved the deck or anything, just other parts of life getting in the way. Always happy to talk about it and as usual, let me know if there's anything in the upcoming sets that you think I've misevaluated or missed entirely.
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Post by SocorroTortoise » 1 year ago

I'll come back and do a more in depth review of the M21 options when the spoiler is complete, but I'll lead it off by saying that Fiery Emancipation is exactly the kind of high impact do-nothing I love to play in this deck. I'm pretty sure it's overkill the majority of the time and I'm still slamming it in the deck as soon as I get my hands on a copy. Activating Jaya for 18 to everything isn't even that much of a Christmasland scenario thanks to all the Gauntlets, either by drawing out removal before Emancipation comes down or by fueling it if they're allowed to stick.
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

I had this deck recommended to me, so I threw it together and will be giving it a shot at my LGS tomorrow. Actually a couple people recommended it. Hopefully it lives up to the hype!

One thing I wanted to mention since it sort of bothered me while putting the list together is the exclusion of sol ring and co. Totally understand your playgroup not wanting to play them, and for any non-primer decklist it's totally fine to just focus on your own personal decklist. But if you're doing a primer, ostensibly that's for the benefit of other people, who likely won't have such restrictions. So at least imo, you should probably offer a non-restricted version of the decklist for other people to use (you could also include your personal list for reference, but I wouldn't make that the "main list").
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Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
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Post by SocorroTortoise » 1 year ago

I could, but my views on that would be speculative seeing as I haven't played with or against fast mana (or dedicated combo, or stax, etc). My opinions on what's effective in that setting are outdated at best and including them makes for a worse primer, not a better one. Sol Ring and friends aren't doing anything drastically different from their roles in any other deck in the format and it's not hard to figure out what to cut for fast mana.

Hope you enjoy the list!
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

SocorroTortoise wrote:
1 year ago
I could, but my views on that would be speculative seeing as I haven't played with or against fast mana (or dedicated combo, or stax, etc). My opinions on what's effective in that setting are outdated at best and including them makes for a worse primer, not a better one. Sol Ring and friends aren't doing anything drastically different from their roles in any other deck in the format and it's not hard to figure out what to cut for fast mana.

Hope you enjoy the list!
I agree that there's nothing particularly interesting about sol ring here, it's just a powerful card that could, if nothing else, replace a land and immediately empower the deck. So if it's not hard to figure out what to cut, and it doesn't drastically change the deck, why don't you do so? Having played the deck for a long time in a non-sol ring environment is a lot more useful when cutting a card from the list, than playing totally unrelated decks in a sol ring environment. So why put the burden on your readers?

You say it makes it a worse primer, but imo any primer that's only relevant to a very specific meta isn't a very useful primer. Not having experience vs fast combo or stax is fine, most metas don't include those, but nearly every commander group plays sol ring. Every meta is different anyway, so nobody is looking for your list/advice to be perfectly accurate to every meta. As long as your list is decent and your advice isn't totally nonsense, nobody is going to bat an eye. Having slightly inaccurate opinions on the format at large is a lot more useful to your readers than very accurate opinions that only apply to your own meta.

Been enjoying the list thus far, although I've been very underwhelmed with Commune with Lava.
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Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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SocorroTortoise
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Post by SocorroTortoise » 1 year ago

All primers are meta specific to varying degrees. Browse through the multicolored ones and see how many don't include the relevant ABUR duals, which is an even easier inclusion if you're trying to present the optimal list in a primer. I'm not trying to write the definitive resource on Jaya Ballard, Task Mage, nor do I think I'm presenting it that way. I'm writing a primer for the deck that I run. If I were trying to write a primer for a more general meta it wouldn't make sense to include things like Gauntlet of Might either, given that most metas aren't going to have anyone running that card. While we've both been playing long enough to have access to a lot of this stuff, recommending things like Wheel of Fortune or Scroll Rack is putting the same burden on the reader for the average commander player and all of those cards are more relevant to the deck's game plan than Sol Ring. I'm making an assumption that the majority of the people who are reading this are capable of making adjustments for their own metas (especially given that mono-R control is a pretty niche game plan to begin with). I'm also happy to engage in the thread and theorycraft with anyone who's interested in having those conversations, so it's not like I'm going to leave anyone who needs the help figuring out how to adjust the list out in the cold.

I've been generally happy with Commune, though I'll admit that its power level is fluctuates a lot with game state. It may be worth revisiting at this point - when I added it originally, there weren't a lot of options that kept the cards around through your next end step. I do still like the flexibility that being instant speed gives it. The deck is primarily tap-out control, but Jaya does allow for more reactive lines when she sticks and it can be nice to have a large card advantage option late game if you're already holding up an inferno. I look at it as more of a threat (like most X-cost red spells) than a card advantage spell.
[Pr]Jaya | Estrid | A rotating cast of decks built out of my box

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

I wouldn't consider excluding duals, or including gauntlet, as a meta call so much as a budget call. And I absolutely do think it's a good idea to have a budget version of the decklist available as well as an "optimal" one (and I do just that in my Phelddagrif primer). And then I also have my personal list as well. All that in addition to explaining how to compose a list from scratch to match any budget or meta restrictions.

Budget or lack thereof are both common situations for commander players, so making a primer even for just one or the other is still useful to a decent number of people. Excluding sol ring because of local meta rules is not a common situation. Including or excluding expensive cards makes the primer more useful for those who do, and who don't, have those cards, respectively. For whom is the primer made more useful by excluding sol ring?
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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Flux
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Post by Flux » 1 year ago

DirkGently wrote:
1 year ago
I wouldn't consider excluding duals, or including gauntlet, as a meta call so much as a budget call. And I absolutely do think it's a good idea to have a budget version of the decklist available as well as an "optimal" one (and I do just that in my Phelddagrif primer). And then I also have my personal list as well. All that in addition to explaining how to compose a list from scratch to match any budget or meta restrictions.

Budget or lack thereof are both common situations for commander players, so making a primer even for just one or the other is still useful to a decent number of people. Excluding sol ring because of local meta rules is not a common situation. Including or excluding expensive cards makes the primer more useful for those who do, and who don't, have those cards, respectively. For whom is the primer made more useful by excluding sol ring?
You are looking for a general primer for the most optimized deck. This is a primer for their personal deck rather than a theoretical best deck. All this extra work doesn't seem particularly necessary when its to share how they play their deck. Its a different style of primer. From the amount of discussion just having this primer and the variations that sprang up through the comments in mtgsalvation as well as here, Id say that's pretty useful in itself. I feel like this is just digging for a cut and paste list more than actually reading card choices the author made and feels lazy on your part more than anything.

Variations discussed from salvation include a heavy mana rock dragon based deck that evolved into eldrazi more. A more combo based version with godo package. A spell based one with chandras goggles. A goblin tutor package version. Personally when I played Jaya, I was on a heavier spell and land fetch version that also removed sol ring. Hitting land drops in a less combo oriented meta was more important than ramping faster.

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

Flux wrote:
1 year ago
You are looking for a general primer for the most optimized deck. This is a primer for their personal deck rather than a theoretical best deck. All this extra work doesn't seem particularly necessary when its to share how they play their deck. Its a different style of primer. From the amount of discussion just having this primer and the variations that sprang up through the comments in mtgsalvation as well as here, Id say that's pretty useful in itself. I feel like this is just digging for a cut and paste list more than actually reading card choices the author made and feels lazy on your part more than anything.

Variations discussed from salvation include a heavy mana rock dragon based deck that evolved into eldrazi more. A more combo based version with godo package. A spell based one with chandras goggles. A goblin tutor package version. Personally when I played Jaya, I was on a heavier spell and land fetch version that also removed sol ring. Hitting land drops in a less combo oriented meta was more important than ramping faster.
I'm assuming that the reason those other variations aren't subject of this primer is that @SocorroTortoise either thinks they're less good, less fun, or just lack the je ne sais quoi of his deck. Whichever of those reasons, I don't mind that a bit. If I wanted perfect optimization I'd play cEDH. I'm here because somebody thinks this deck is fun and I want to build a tested fun deck without building it and testing it myself, because I am lazy.

But sol ring isn't being excluded for one of those reasons, it's being excluded solely because his playgroup doesn't allow it. Which to me, the reader, is not something that I care about. If he thinks sol ring makes the deck less fun then that's totally fair, but that's not what it says (and also I really doubt it'd make the deck less fun though I guess it's possible).

He's basically forcing anyone who wants to play this deck in their own meta to do the homework of cutting a card to replace with sol ring, presumably without any context of having played the deck. Or just playing the deck without sol ring (which is what I've done because I don't know the deck and don't know which card should be cut...but it's probably commune with lava).

"All this extra work"

Literally cutting one card to replace with sol ring. Or maybe 2 for crypt, I guess you can't claim budget when you're running fetches and gauntlet. Vault and monolith might be good but they're not obvious inclusions, if they were excluded I wouldn't bat an eye. I'm not asking for testing or anything, just pick the card that he'd cut if he could include sol ring/crypt. Best guess is fine, it'll be a lot better than my best guess.

"digging for a cut and paste list"

You are 100% correct, that is what I want yes. I want someone to tell me what the deck is, that's why I'm looking at a primer and not building my own. I'm probably only going to play the deck for a week or two, unless I fall in love with it and build it separate from my collection. My situation is a bit unique, but again, I don't see any reader who benefits from not including sol ring in the list. It's just an extra step to build the deck, and for no substantive reason.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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MeowZeDung
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Post by MeowZeDung » 1 year ago

DirkGently wrote:
1 year ago
He's basically forcing anyone who wants to play this deck in their own meta to do the homework of cutting a card to replace with sol ring, presumably without any context of having played the deck.
On the one hand you aren't wrong. On the other. . . it's a casual format in a fantasy card game with cartoons and the primer is. . . free. If netdecking the list as is leaves you feeling that you only got 99 cards worth of netdecking value out of it instead of the full 100 then I suppose you could ask for a refund.

Ok, maybe that was too cheeky. It seems to me your intention is to provide a critique with the intent to improve the primer, which is a perfectly noble thing to do. I do feel you are likely weighing the "problem" too heavily though. IMO the "homework of cutting a card to replace with sol ring" is going to be startlingly easy for 99% of players who wanted to run this list or some variation on it: Gauntlet out, sol ring in. Done. The 1% of players that own a gauntlet and the other pricey cards in the list will have to be a little more involved with their "homework", but that player is also the most likely to have the experience and skill to make the best decision after all. That, and as @SocorroTortoise has noted, anyone can post questions and discuss adds/cuts here anytime.

I think what it comes down to is that you are seeing yourself as a consumer and you don't want any "shadow" work. I get it. Sometimes at the grocery store I go to a checkout with a clerk even if there's a line because, darn it, I don't want to scan my own groceries that I already hunted for in the maze of shelves for the past 45 minutes and will be paying for with my hard earned money. I think where that mindset loses some of its validity here is in the fact that this particular good/service is 100% free.
Kykar primer and other active decks (click!)

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

At the end of the day it is a very minor issue. The primer is still very useful and the list has been fun to pilot, thanks Socorro. And it's not like the deck doesn't function totally fine without a sol ring. So I don't want to blow it out of proportion. But I do think the primer would just be strictly more useful with a list developed for a broader meta, that's all. Speaking as a fellow primer writer who thinks a lot about what's going to be useful for readers.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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SocorroTortoise
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Post by SocorroTortoise » 1 year ago

I'm glad you're enjoying the list! I appreciate that you're making suggestions to improve the primer and not taking it as a personal attack or anything. We're probably going to disagree on this point and that's fine.

For what it's worth, my group doesn't ban Sol Ring. You're not going to find it in any of the regular's lists, but that has more to do with the fact that we've been playing together for almost a decade and generally all got tired of some of the format staples independently. There are still a few people who haven't been playing with us as long who run Sol Ring. I'm not omitting it because it's banned, I'm omitting it because it's a card that I don't think adds to the format and one I'm not interested in playing. The fact that I play with a like minded group is more of a bonus.

If I was looking for a cut to include Sol Ring without budget consideration (i.e. not a straight swap for Gauntlet), I would be looking at one of the colorless utility lands. I'd probably start with Myriad Landscape or Thawing Glaciers for better possibility of explosive starts, and would likely swap a couple of the land drop artifacts (Armillary Sphere, Journeyer's Kite) for other mana rocks to build that up more. Lean less on card advantage elements with the expectation of a longer game and more on faster development with a slight shift to be more focused on the burn aspect. Landscape and Glaciers both play well with trying to get to the late game while building up incremental advantage, but there's a lot of internal tension with those and things like Ring/Crypt. I also think Mana Crypt in the list-as is is a mistake. There's already a moderate amount of self-inflicted damage, mostly because of the emphasis on Jaya infernos, and the game plan involves going long enough for Crypt's trigger to be relevant. That's admittedly a pretty hot take without any testing to back it up and there's a strong possibility I'm wrong on that, so take it with a grain of salt.
[Pr]Jaya | Estrid | A rotating cast of decks built out of my box

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Flux
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Post by Flux » 1 year ago

MeowZeDung wrote:
1 year ago
DirkGently wrote:
1 year ago
He's basically forcing anyone who wants to play this deck in their own meta to do the homework of cutting a card to replace with sol ring, presumably without any context of having played the deck.
On the one hand you aren't wrong. On the other. . . it's a casual format in a fantasy card game with cartoons and the primer is. . . free. If netdecking the list as is leaves you feeling that you only got 99 cards worth of netdecking value out of it instead of the full 100 then I suppose you could ask for a refund.

Ok, maybe that was too cheeky. It seems to me your intention is to provide a critique with the intent to improve the primer, which is a perfectly noble thing to do. I do feel you are likely weighing the "problem" too heavily though. IMO the "homework of cutting a card to replace with sol ring" is going to be startlingly easy for 99% of players who wanted to run this list or some variation on it: Gauntlet out, sol ring in. Done. The 1% of players that own a gauntlet and the other pricey cards in the list will have to be a little more involved with their "homework", but that player is also the most likely to have the experience and skill to make the best decision after all. That, and as @SocorroTortoise has noted, anyone can post questions and discuss adds/cuts here anytime.

I think what it comes down to is that you are seeing yourself as a consumer and you don't want any "shadow" work. I get it. Sometimes at the grocery store I go to a checkout with a clerk even if there's a line because, darn it, I don't want to scan my own groceries that I already hunted for in the maze of shelves for the past 45 minutes and will be paying for with my hard earned money. I think where that mindset loses some of its validity here is in the fact that this particular good/service is 100% free.
This sums up pretty well how I feel and gave me a good laugh too so thank you lol.

That being said not all primers are perfectly optimal, the experiences with each card are explained here which makes it better than just a plain old decklist. Old cards that are cut, new ones that are tried can be found. With a bit of effort you can find small changes that suit you best. Finding it too slow? Add ring, look at the reason it was originally omitted which the primer covers. Having trouble closing out games? The primer and comments have a huge amount of options and variety to improve the deck to suit you with peoples experience as to why its good or bad. I get you are trying to improve the primer as well but trying to say it is lacking because of a single card omission is a bit absurd because it "Forces people to play one way". The purpose here offers a base list that works in one meta with alternate card options. Generally speaking as you get a more competitive format single card changes have a much higher impact and lists are more finely tuned and optimized. The beauty of EDH decklists and primers that are aimed to be strong might mean they aren't 100% optimized and require adjustments to suit your needs. A bit of critical thinking and experience is needed to make the deck match your needs in such a wide format. There isn't always a perfect 100 cards for everyone to use.

As you say in your own primer "These decklists shouldn't taken as gospel – this is just to show how one should structure the deck."

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