Ephara, God of the Polis - Flash & Taxes

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 years ago

That might be why it doesn't say 2/2 :P

I figured you'd windmill Charming Prince pretty hard
 
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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
2 years ago
That might be why it doesn't say 2/2 :P

I figured you'd windmill Charming Prince pretty hard
It's not *that* much better than Flickerwisp so I'm on the fence about it. It's very strong. But flickerwisp is a higher powered flier that can shut off opposing Darksteel forge.

The main advantage over Flick is being able to reveillark it. But it loses out on blinking lands and knocking auras/equipment off of enemy creatures and that kinda thing.

Gaining 3 life is nice. But being honest the 3rd mode is what I would do 90% of the time, so it has to be closely compared to flickerwisp.

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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

Castle ardenvale and shepherd of the flock both seem pretty decent. The castle is slower than the kjeldoran outpost but it makes white mana without saccing anything which is nice.

I don't think either are particularly great but interesting design space.

Main issue with castle is not being a plains and shepherd is not having decent text otherwise.

So far set is pretty underwhelming for us but a bunch of fairly playable cards in different ephara builds.

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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

Wow, I am not 100% sure but I think Brazen Borrower might be better than Capsize.

https://www.mtggoldfish.com/price/Thron ... ower#paper

I'm pretty excited about that one. Good size flash creature with a decent interactive mode, Capsize is great but oftentimes you have to use it in the emergency mode. This card can kinda do a medium capsize impression with bounce effects -- I might need to add a Jeskai Barricade or Quickling if I wind up liking this.

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Post by shermanido37 » 2 years ago

Brazen Borrower is way better than Capsize in my opinion (excluding bouncing lands), at least in our deck.
Firstly it's Recruitable, which makes it way more easily accessible than Capsize.
Secondly, if you're not able to pay 6 mana right away, it's much easier to play and better to have than Capsize.
Thirdly, in our deck it has potential to be bonkers in terms of card advantage. If you consider playing Petty Theft is also drawing a card (that's not in your hand), then this card alone could theoretically produce 3 cards - two when you cast Petty Theft and your Mentor generates a token, and one when you cast the flier.
Fourthly, it can be reused much more easily. I think you're too quick on thinking of Quickling and Jeskai Barricade, when my opinion is that Cloudstone Curio is actually a better bouncer than them in much more situations. Either way the point is that this card can get back into hand much more easily for more shenanigans.
Finally, I think I just dislike Capsize for some reason. It's a card that's best when you can buyback for UU, but when you do it's not really fun for anyone and doesn't advance the game in any way. Borrower draws us more cards while still helping us deal with problems, and can wield equipment to apply pressure.

I think Borrower also pretty much seals the Flickerwisp discussion. Anything the Prince can't handle - the Borrower can, and vice versa, so there is virtually no advantage to be gained in having Flickerwisp, other than flickering lands which is pretty darn niche.
Overall I view the pair of them as much, much more versatile than the duo of Flickerwisp and Capsize, so I would easily make that swap.


I also think you are underselling Harmonious Archon. It's almost always guaranteed to be the largest creature on the board. It doesn't make Ephara a creature on its own, so it harms us less - that reason alone has made me sad at Godhead of Awe. It can be blinked for value. We can bounce it to our hand at will in case our opponents being 3/3s is intimidating. We can even slot in more archons like Archon of Justice, Blazing Archon etc. to make our board more threatening. I'm definitely going to test it, probably over the Titan.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 years ago

Are you a blue deck? Do you have some instants or sorceries? Mystic Sanctuary wants a word :P
 
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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

shermanido37 wrote:
2 years ago
Brazen Borrower is way better than Capsize in my opinion (excluding bouncing lands), at least in our deck.
Firstly it's Recruitable, which makes it way more easily accessible than Capsize.
Secondly, if you're not able to pay 6 mana right away, it's much easier to play and better to have than Capsize.
Thirdly, in our deck it has potential to be bonkers in terms of card advantage. If you consider playing Petty Theft is also drawing a card (that's not in your hand), then this card alone could theoretically produce 3 cards - two when you cast Petty Theft and your Mentor generates a token, and one when you cast the flier.
Fourthly, it can be reused much more easily. I think you're too quick on thinking of Quickling and Jeskai Barricade, when my opinion is that Cloudstone Curio is actually a better bouncer than them in much more situations. Either way the point is that this card can get back into hand much more easily for more shenanigans.
Finally, I think I just dislike Capsize for some reason. It's a card that's best when you can buyback for UU, but when you do it's not really fun for anyone and doesn't advance the game in any way. Borrower draws us more cards while still helping us deal with problems, and can wield equipment to apply pressure.

I think Borrower also pretty much seals the Flickerwisp discussion. Anything the Prince can't handle - the Borrower can, and vice versa, so there is virtually no advantage to be gained in having Flickerwisp, other than flickering lands which is pretty darn niche.
Overall I view the pair of them as much, much more versatile than the duo of Flickerwisp and Capsize, so I would easily make that swap.


I also think you are underselling Harmonious Archon. It's almost always guaranteed to be the largest creature on the board. It doesn't make Ephara a creature on its own, so it harms us less - that reason alone has made me sad at Godhead of Awe. It can be blinked for value. We can bounce it to our hand at will in case our opponents being 3/3s is intimidating. We can even slot in more archons like Archon of Justice, Blazing Archon etc. to make our board more threatening. I'm definitely going to test it, probably over the Titan.

Yeah, the more I think about it the more I like it. I still do not love Curio, I played with it for a long time and it was very powerful but often pretty awkward (and tedious, more to the point). It is possible you're right though. Curio is super strong. It was a bit of a brick for me a lot of times though. Either people removed it immediately or it didn't do much cos I didn't have creatures.

I do think Borrower is much better than Flickerwisp. I'll definitely get one to try out at some point. I think capsize is the slot I'd want it in; does a lot of the same thing, but then also puts another body in the deck. I wish there were more of the adventures that were playable because they do a load of what this deck wants to do.

Harmonious Archon is a very cheap way to crap on large creature decks. I also do like Blazing Archon quite a lot. Being able to blink it for dudes is very nice. That's a pretty quick way to end a game making an army of 3/3s. I think for me it would have to go in the slot Tidespout does, so I might try that after I get my fill of spout. So far I have really wanted to see that card a lot -- people tend to run their creature removal out on Soul Herder and Recruiter and stuff.

It's definitely powerful just not sure it's what I want. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled. I have been getting whomped by fat creatures on and off recently.

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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
2 years ago
Are you a blue deck? Do you have some instants or sorceries? Mystic Sanctuary wants a word :P
So oddly enough I don't play enough islands for this. It would have to come in for Emeria and I'd need to add another couple islands to make it work, possibly another island fetch (oof, foil scalding tarn can kiss my butt).

I do like that it's fetchable quite a bit. I also like putting Terminus back on top then terminusing on their turn with Ephara draws.

I'll have to noodle and see if I think that can fit or not. It is very powerful. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of ways to serially abuse it (tidespout, putting Venser PWback in, etc.). And I'm rarely going to have 3 other islands in play.

It's a very generically powerful card though so I'll probably get one just to be on the safe side.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 years ago

You've got three fetchable duals. You should be okay, right?
 
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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
2 years ago
You've got three fetchable duals. You should be okay, right?

with 4 fetchable duals, 4 islands and 6 fetches the odds are in favor of me seeing around 1-2 islands in the first 12 cards or so. Getting 3 islands out before getting this thing is going to be pretty rare, even assuming I do not have to play it from my hand early to hit my mana :)

Getting 7 plains for Emeria usually takes me until very late in the game if it even happens, and I have a lot more plains (+6).

The math on this thing is basically 'play mono blue if you want to hit it reliably' as far as I can tell. Or play 3 color with more island shocks/duals and fetches.

I am not sure it's quite as gamebreaking as Emeria either.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 years ago

Ah right, you've also got a Tundra which I somehow missed. My Cabal Coffers experience in Daxos has me thinking three really isn't that hard to hit, but that may be the specifics of that deck. Still, solid common is solid.
 
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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
2 years ago
Ah right, you've also got a Tundra which I somehow missed. My Cabal Coffers experience in Daxos has me thinking three really isn't that hard to hit, but that may be the specifics of that deck. Still, solid common is solid.
You've got quite a few more swamps than I have islands plus a lot of other tech (e.g. sword of the animist and crucible) so I think the relative counts are pretty deceptive.

It's a very strong card for sure. I'm sure the foils are going to be off the chain :) Pretty sure I'll play it in Aminatou and Golos blue at some point.

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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

HEY HEY boys I counted the set out too fast.

Hushbringer is a really good hatebear. I am on the fence about whether it's better than hushwing gryff but it might be. Being cheaper, having lifelink, and also shutting off Blood Artist effects is huge. I will definitely have to get one just to have.

Not much more you can ask for than flying lifelink and relevant abilities at 2 mana though. Really strong. Plus if we wanna combo we can sac it to Altar. Good times.

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 2 years ago

why not both?

In a lot of cases, torpor orb hatebears are some of the less situational ones. Not to derail from this thread but I was suddenly contemplating a Chulane, Teller of Tales hatebears list. Not sure if I will follow through with it but similarly to Ephara, Chulane doesn't get hit by a lot of these effects. He isn't as robust as Ephara but it looks like he would draw similarly plus maybe ramp a little. His bounce out effect could also be useful in a lot of ways.

Not that I am asking you to change or anything. I just realized that Chulane was kind of similar to Ephara for a hatebears approach.
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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
2 years ago
why not both?

In a lot of cases, torpor orb hatebears are some of the less situational ones. Not to derail from this thread but I was suddenly contemplating a Chulane, Teller of Tales hatebears list. Not sure if I will follow through with it but similarly to Ephara, Chulane doesn't get hit by a lot of these effects. He isn't as robust as Ephara but it looks like he would draw similarly plus maybe ramp a little. His bounce out effect could also be useful in a lot of ways.

Not that I am asking you to change or anything. I just realized that Chulane was kind of similar to Ephara for a hatebears approach.
Yeah Chulane is very very similar to Ephara. If she cost 4 I would probably be switching my deck around right now. Her 5 CMC cost and increased vulnerability is not something I can get along with even for green (despite how great dorks are, they're not that amazing at getting to 5 except bloom tender). Admittedly Chulane does reduce the risks of playing lots of dorks *and* a healthy number of lands because she can turn dorks into cards, but it's still awkward at 5.

Probably the nicest thing about Chulane is she's more likely to be able to play Thalia, Guardian of Thraben effects (since being in green gives her more creature options for things, e.g. Qasali Pridemage and Mystic Snake effects. The creature counterspells are particularly disgusting.

I think it's possible I can find room for both but I'm not sure I want to run two torpor orb bears given that they shut down a lot of my engines. Might be right though, ETBs have really gotten out of hand in EDH, and Hushwing is often very good.

My thinking is I might try the new one out in the hushwing spot and then see how much I miss it - I could potentially shave Linvala, eidolon or glen elendra (the latter of whom I have noticed is fairly mana medium in my new meta). Even Tidespout and Monastery Mentor could be on the docket.

I am thinking Capsize is probably the correct cut for Brazen Borrower but I'm on the fence about that one too.

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 2 years ago

Yea, I did peak at your OP and it does look like you have a lot more ETB effects then I did when I was doing hatebears previously.

In the end, how ridiculous Mystic Snake creatures are with Chulane might be the reason I don't resort to it.
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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
2 years ago
Yea, I did peak at your OP and it does look like you have a lot more ETB effects then I did when I was doing hatebears previously.

In the end, how ridiculous Mystic Snake creatures are with Chulane might be the reason I don't resort to it.

Yea, mystic snake every turn gets really frigging old, I learned that with deadeye and momir vig many years ago :P

But there're just a pile of other really good card you get that make it so you can run fewer spells and go higher on spell hate like Thalia and Vryn Wingmare and stuff.

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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

Throne of Eldraine set review

Overall this was a pretty good set for us. The adventure mechanic is desirable or Ephara, kind of like modal spells that are also creatures which is very nice. The power level of white and blue is fairly high overall which also bodes well for us.

I don't think there are any high powered autoincludes like Soulherder but there are several cards I want to try out.

White These are the four white cards I like in the set; there are a lot of cards that are decent. Honorable mentions go to Realm-Cloaked Giant, Shepherd of the Flock and Linden, the steadfast Queen for being potentially strong in various Ephara builds - lifegain, budget, etc.

But these four standouts are great. Of them I think hushbringer is the only one I will play immediately. It gives us a way to fix the blood artist matchup which is a big problem for this deck - that particular deck type in EDH gives us a lot of trouble.

Harmonious Archon is close. It does a lot for us, at a pretty reasonable price point, and also adds some value. I will definitely try to pick one up and think about trying it; it does a lot of the same stuff as Windborn Muse, but it has some big weaknesses -- it's very poor against Voltron and Token decks. A lot of times it's a double anthem for token swarm decks which we struggle with.

Charming Prince is a powerful, flexible alternative to Flickerwisp, even working well with Gilded Drake. It's probably second on my list just due to its flexibility and power. It is a really strong way to reuse our stuff with a side benefit of protecting it from theft. Not targeting permanents is a big weakness however, and the lifegain and scry are not amazing. Lifegain is reasonable and there are scenarios where it'd really help. In the end I don't think I run quite enough ETBs to make this work well. I think it belongs in ETB focused shells.

Deafening Silence is not something I am writing home about but had it been on a creature it woulds be a shoe in to replace Eidolon. It's a very powerful effect aggressively costed, so something to consider if your meta has lots of stormy-type players. The symmetrical drawback is basically meaningless to us.

Blue
There're some other decent blue cards but, I like both of these adventures quite a bit. Brazen Borrower is a shoe in, in my opinion. I'll likely replace Capsize which does similar things but isn't a 3/1 flier. I don't have any way to generate infinite blue mana easily even with Tidespout so capsize isn't really a win condition the way it can be in other decks.

hypnotic sprite is a card I think is going to be pretty meta specific. Having a counterspell on a creature that doesn't get shut off by torpor orb effects is very strong, and flying bodies are always good. I don't think I will play this since my meta is a bit battlecruisery but efficient metas could make really good use of this card (countering stuff like Vampiric tutor). It's a good design for sure.

Multicolored, Artifacts

Nada.

Lands There are no lands in this set I think are autoincludes, but Fabled Passage is really good in budget manabases. I may consider running one but only if I wind up putting a crucible effect in at some point. It's rough because it will cause a lot of opening hands where you can't cast an early rock and Ephara, since we do not ramp lands much at all. I expect I will play this in a lot of other decks but not my current build of Ephara. Glacial Fortress is often enough a sequencing problem.

Mystic Sanctuary - This card is very strong, borderline playable. I think if your Ephara build has more of a blue slant this is a great card to consider. I have 44/37 mana pip ratio which is fairly weighted toward white (and a lot of my early game cards are white, and cards like sacred mesa). I don't think I can play this but I could see it being played. A deck that plays more landsy stuff could definitely get some mileage out of it too -- more cards like wandering atlas, knight of the white orchid, expedition map, crucible of worlds.

Castle Ardenvale - Why it gotta cost 4? As it is it's enough worse than Kjeldoran Outpost I don't think it's worth considering. Maybe in budget decks or decks that really want a token theme. But the mana cost of functionally 5 is very high.


Summary

A few new cards for us, lots of new ones for Ephara in general. Good set. Not great, but solid. I'll probably be adding Brazen Borrower and Hushbringer immediately and try some other cards out later.

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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

I got one game in tonight against Chandra tribal with the new dwarf guy and Ghired tokens. It was a long one, but I managed to win through a Chandra ultimate that let him blast people for 5 to the face or creatures any time he cast a spell, by blinking my Eidolon of Rhetoric to shut off multiple spellcasts (eldrazi displacer MVP - also killed like 4 tokens).

I went to 1 at one point, then gained 6 off swordsing my own sun Titan.

I saw two new cards this game --
1) Mastery of the Unseen - would have been exceptional were it not for Leyline of Punishment (UGH). I did blink an archaeomancer off it which was very good. Overall I think it was worse than Sacred Mesa this game, although it would have taken the game over had I not misplayed and allowed the Chandra ultimate.

2) Tidespout Tyrant closed the game triumphantly when I eliminated the Chandra player then tidespouted the opponent's lands and tokens. I probably woulda won without it, but it made it a sure thing. I really like this card. I tend to have a lot of cheap spells I can cast. I could have actually made infinite colorless and won this game with Venser+Displacer but I failed badly at magic. As is often the case after I don't play Ephara for a while I start missing lines.

I also Archaeomancer'd Swords to Plowshares a bunch of times which was great.

Game ended just with mastery of the unseen + Ephara beats, after repeatedly clearing the opposing board.

Trample continues to be an annoying problem for me. Elspeth hit the board in this one and died immediately to tramples. I could have minus'd her to kll all the tramplers, but mistakenly thought the beast player would kill the Chandra ultimater first - though he probably correctly assessed the problem of Elspeth. Had I minus'd Elspeth she woulda been exceptional there.

Overall, the deck still feels in a very good place. I probably need to play it more instead of working on dumb decks, but it feels a bit too strong for the shop most of the time - and also tends to play pretty long games.

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Post by shermanido37 » 2 years ago

I think Hushbringer is a card that is very critical, and can even be a two-sided sword. There is just an insane amount of death triggers in MTG and this is a card that can break them for better or for worse.
Leonin Relic-Warder, Fiend Hunter, Spell Queller become absurd with a sac outlet. Angel of Serenity can get rid of anything. Thought-Knot Seer becomes Thoughtseize on a stick. Arcane Artisan becomes insane if you can get it to stick.
However it can be just as harmful. It shuts off our own Glen-Elendra Archmage and Reveillark when they go to the yard.

I think that since we can overcome the drawbacks of our other creatures, i.e. Containment Priest, Hushwing Gryff, Eidolon of Rhetoric, the Faerie is definitely welcome. But I think I'd double check how far that card can hurt you, and always try to have a workaround available.

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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

The open sac outlet is getting more and more powerful for sure. Wish we had one on a body
shermanido37 wrote:
2 years ago
I think Hushbringer is a card that is very critical, and can even be a two-sided sword. There is just an insane amount of death triggers in MTG and this is a card that can break them for better or for worse.
Leonin Relic-Warder, Fiend Hunter, Spell Queller become absurd with a sac outlet. Angel of Serenity can get rid of anything. Thought-Knot Seer becomes Thoughtseize on a stick. Arcane Artisan becomes insane if you can get it to stick.
However it can be just as harmful. It shuts off our own Glen-Elendra Archmage and Reveillark when they go to the yard.

I think that since we can overcome the drawbacks of our other creatures, i.e. Containment Priest, Hushwing Gryff, Eidolon of Rhetoric, the Faerie is definitely welcome. But I think I'd double check how far that card can hurt you, and always try to have a workaround available.

I've been doing some more noodling on this and if I wind up cutting Capsize I don't have very many ways at all of getting rid of the Hushbringer if I need to -- I have Altar of Dementia and Tidespout Tyrant, sweepers, targeted removal, and that's pretty much it.

That said, I think that's enough ways most likely.

I really, really wish there was an open sac outlet in white (or blue) on a creature that we could tutor for. Mirror Entity is as close as it gets but it's very vulnerable to creature removal which is a bit not great.

The unfortunate thing about the effects that are buffed by Hushbringer is that most of them also are shut off - so there's a pretty narrow range there where you drop the hushbringer after them to be good.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On a completely other topic, I realized that we have a very narrow potential wincon that's pretty funny -- you can make an infinitely large Soulherder with Leonin Relic-Warder and Phyrexian Metamorph. This is not always going to kill people but there're times where it'll win games. :)

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Post by shermanido37 » 2 years ago

That combo kill is actually much more valid with an ETB or LTB abuse card. Soulherder is definitely not the best of them in my opinion.
The most obvious is Altar of the Brood. Tutorable by Trinket Mage and costs almost no mana, also great with the Tidesprout combo with something like Mana Crypt.
Also playable is Goldnight Commander that actually opens you to the very real option to attack for lethal that very turn, plus it's Recruitable.
Less preferable is Glassdust Hulk that lets you actually oneshot a player because of its evasion, and is fetchable by Enlightened Tutor.
Even less preferable is Kindred Discovery that lets you draw your deck.

Of all of these the Herder is the one that is the least dead in our deck, so it's cool that we have that combo without even trying to devote slots to it.

--

I've also been curious at Wormfang Manta. Yes, the card is horrible, but it's Recruitable and it's great with Torpor Orb effects (of which we now have 2). Combined with Torpor Orb and Soulherder we actually get infinite turns! Plus that creature is flying so it's great to beat opponents in the air with.
It's probably silly and way too win more, though.

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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

shermanido37 wrote:
2 years ago
That combo kill is actually much more valid with an ETB or LTB abuse card. Soulherder is definitely not the best of them in my opinion.
The most obvious is Altar of the Brood. Tutorable by Trinket Mage and costs almost no mana, also great with the Tidesprout combo with something like Mana Crypt.
Also playable is Goldnight Commander that actually opens you to the very real option to attack for lethal that very turn, plus it's Recruitable.
Less preferable is Glassdust Hulk that lets you actually oneshot a player because of its evasion, and is fetchable by Enlightened Tutor.
Even less preferable is Kindred Discovery that lets you draw your deck.

Of all of these the Herder is the one that is the least dead in our deck, so it's cool that we have that combo without even trying to devote slots to it.

--

I've also been curious at Wormfang Manta. Yes, the card is horrible, but it's Recruitable and it's great with Torpor Orb effects (of which we now have 2). Combined with Torpor Orb and Soulherder we actually get infinite turns! Plus that creature is flying so it's great to beat opponents in the air with.
It's probably silly and way too win more, though.
Yeah the issue with Wormfang Manta is that it's just bad on its own. I could see it in a deck trying to establish a torpor effect as part of its chief strategy though, and Ephara is very good for that since she still draws cards. If your plan is to hunt for Torpor Orb as #1 control goal then I could dig it.

Generally speaking I think that the relic warder/metamorph/soulherder is just a nice way to occasionally get lucky and kill someone with all good cards -- Altar of Dementia is so much more impactful as a value card in this deck though (open sac outlet GOOD) that I couldn't see focusing on the relic warder combo at all.

It is nice that all the pieces of it are easily tutorable, but it's quite a bit more fragile than the altar/lark/guide combo (dying to creature removal being the biggest issue).

If we ever got a really strong card that was incidentally a way to kill with relic warder/metamorph, I would really consider cutting altar for that. Since that's really what that slot is -- our single concession to combo killing. is very close but we would really need it to be on a creature or cheaper.

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On yet another complete side note, re: Tidespout Tyrant -- I have been really surprised with this card and how often it straight up wins the game if I resolve it. I have really liked having it as an option. The infinite colorless mana it often generates is surprisingly useful too, and often generates a win simply by casting Whitemane Lion 10 times or something.

I'm not sure if the card is going to stick around but I have really been impressed every time I see it. When a game has gone on a long time it's basically an instant win button. I have usually accumulated enough mana rocks for it to go infinite or have the ability to do so.

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pokken
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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

Another note I wanted to make:

I am nearly 100% sure I need to be playing Ephemerate at this point. Card has looked just...insane in modern soulherder, and Ephemerate turns Archaeomancer into a pretty ridiculous engine card (blink arch get something, blink arch again get ephemerate back off rebound).

Any thoughts on cuts?

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shermanido37
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Post by shermanido37 » 2 years ago

As someone who can't afford a Mana Crypt, I'm sad that I won't get to play around with that combo - Sol Ring alone is not efficient enough. I don't think I'll run Tyrant without the possibility to combo off, because it's cumbersome and expensive.

Ephemerate seems strong for you, both because of Arch and because of Mentor. However it's really bad with Eidolon of Rhetoric. I'm so sad that it only targets our creatures so it can't be amazing removal with Containment Priest.
I still recommend taking out DDT for it.

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