Ephara, God of the Polis - Flash & Taxes

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pokken
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Post by pokken » 8 months ago

2021/02/21 - Minor Mana update

I updated to make halvsies of snow-covered islands and plains, so 3 plains and 2 islands to support Field of the Dead


Great suggestion from someone whose post I can't find to recognize them :)

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schai
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Post by schai » 7 months ago

Any thoughts on running Gemstone Caverns? I've been tuning my decks lately and realized that any time I run Chrome Mox, I should probably be running Caverns too. I don't think the extra colorless source is that bad for this deck. I would run it over something like Nykthos, since we are weaker in the early game and probably don't need the extra help late game.

If you're looking for other interesting lands, I quite like Glasspool Mimic/Glasspool Shore. 3 mana clone that synergizes with Recruiter, Revillark, and Sun Titan, and replaces one of our land slots. But depends on how many ETB tapped lands you already have and are willing to run.

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Post by pokken » 7 months ago

schai wrote:
7 months ago
Any thoughts on running Gemstone Caverns? I've been tuning my decks lately and realized that any time I run Chrome Mox, I should probably be running Caverns too. I don't think the extra colorless source is that bad for this deck. I would run it over something like Nykthos, since we are weaker in the early game and probably don't need the extra help late game.

If you're looking for other interesting lands, I quite like Glasspool Mimic/Glasspool Shore. 3 mana clone that synergizes with Recruiter, Revillark, and Sun Titan, and replaces one of our land slots. But depends on how many ETB tapped lands you already have and are willing to run.
It's probably correct. Got to look into foil prices of the tsr reprint

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Post by shermanido37 » 7 months ago

Honestly Glasspool Mimic // Glasspool Shore feels right up your alley. You're looking for all of unique lands, blink shenanigans, and recursion shenanigans. It surely feels amazing with cards like Recruiter of the Guard and Sun Titan. I might end up running the card myself.

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Post by pokken » 7 months ago

shermanido37 wrote:
7 months ago
Honestly Glasspool Mimic // Glasspool Shore feels right up your alley. You're looking for all of unique lands, blink shenanigans, and recursion shenanigans. It surely feels amazing with cards like Recruiter of the Guard and Sun Titan. I might end up running the card myself.
A recruiterable way to tutor for a land is pretty decent actually, I've had one on the list for a while just not gotten it yet. Good call out.

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Post by schai » 7 months ago

Another cool "trick" is that if you need the land early, you can play it "flipped" and then later use something like Ghostly Flicker to blink it, it will come back as Glasspool Mimic.

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Post by pokken » 7 months ago

schai wrote:
7 months ago
Another cool "trick" is that if you need the land early, you can play it "flipped" and then later use something like Ghostly Flicker to blink it, it will come back as Glasspool Mimic.
I don't have any generic permanent flicker anymore but that's a useful thing for sure. I really did enjoy Ghostly Flicker though.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

We got the first card I'm interested in for Ephara other than maaaaaybe Strict Proctor (although it's not a shoe-in it does a lot of interesting things like shutting off Field of the Dead).



That's a pretty nice rate for a sweeper. It's obviously not as good as Hour of Revelation but it's pretty solid and you can use it to earn some political points or balance the game power out, etc. I've been kinda wanting another one and that's pretty solid.

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Post by WizardMN » 6 months ago

I definitely like it. I am not sure I have room for it here, but a 4 mana wrath that, at worst, acts as a mini Cyclonic Rift for a single person seems pretty good. I realize Rift's power is partly due to being an Instant but choosing the player that is the least threatening to save a couple of their permanents seems like a worthwhile tradeoff for making it cost less. And it can still be cost for full price if desired. I will likely throw it into Marchesa and maybe something else. I suppose it might take the spot of Cleansing Nova for me in this deck to be honest.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

WizardMN wrote:
6 months ago
I definitely like it. I am not sure I have room for it here, but a 4 mana wrath that, at worst, acts as a mini Cyclonic Rift for a single person seems pretty good.
I'm thinking I'll probably have to cut into the creature base for it. But maybe better than Phyrexian Altar for me. Hopefully I'll have a few more games to help make up my mind about that stuff.

I really like how the cheap sweepers can turn 7-8 mana into a game winner with Cosmic Intervention, build your own permanent Cyclonic Rift :P

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

I am also giving some serious thought to trying Strict Proctor. I can get rid of him quite easily and I can combo through him with Reveillark (and of course sac him). It really shuts off a lot of things in addition to the normal ETB spam in commander (stuff like Field of the Dead and Omnath, Locus of Rage - landfall in general it kinda punks.

A nice flying blocker for 1W is also legit.

can't say I love the new 'let's make everything a 1/3 so recruiter can't find it' though :P

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

Strixhaven Set Review

Not a ton of cool stuff in here for us, mostly by virtue of there not being an Azorius color combo in the set. Also, the white focus for this set is mostly +1/+1 counters that are not really that great for us. I could see some of the cards being solid in a counter shell of Ephara though, particularly Leonin Lightscribe.

There is one pretty much slam dunk for Ephara --



4 mana board-wide sweepers are great in Ephara. Hour of Revelation is amazing and this is very close. This one has a clause that is totally fine. If I add another sweeper it will be this and I'll definitely get one and give it some serious thought.



This card covers a lot of bases, mostly stomping on the same stuff things like Hushwing Gryff does, but also getting Field of the Dead and all landfall in general. Landfall is kind of an achilles heel for this deck.

I'll definitely pick one up and see if I can make room for it.

Some kinda fringe cards that I find interesting

Mavinda, Students' Advocate - this is a pretty darned powerful card. Letting you spam loop Eerie Interlude and Ephemerate and other cards like Ghostly Flicker is definitely a powerful angle of attack. It turns a card like Cryptic Command into a strong soft lock too if you have enough bodies to enable keeping on casting it (great with Nadir Kraken). Allowing second uses of cards like cryptic command/eerie interlude/Mystic Confluence and so on can lead to some pretty huge plays.

Semester's End is a solid card, especially if you have more walkers. Not really my bag, and worse than Eerie Interlude in most Ephara decks.

Resculpt is pretty playable removal; hitting artifacts is very nice. I think I'll pick one of these up just to have, it's definitely playable if I wanted more spot removal that can double as trading a mana rock for a creature and an Ephara draw.

Solve the Equation is playable particularly in a more instant/sorcery heavy build, though not really my jam.

The Biblioplex is pretty playable in Ephara decks with more control elements; I'd guess around 30 instant+sorcery to be about the right level, particularly if playing Scroll Rack. I don't think I'd play it but I could se it.
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 6 months ago

I'm not fully following your Mavinda logic - doesn't she exile the card? Doesn't even work with Ephemerate as rebound checks for being cast from hand.
 
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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
6 months ago
I'm not fully following your Mavinda logic - doesn't she exile the card? Doesn't even work with Ephemerate as rebound checks for being cast from hand.
You're correct, I missed the exile clause! Still pretty powerful.

No idea how I derped so hard on that lol :) Thanks for the catch.

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Post by shermanido37 » 6 months ago

I'm not big on Strict Proctor. Most permanents that do stuff ETB are creatures, and in a competitive setting it's even less likely to find noncreature permanents with ETBs, unless perhaps you're up against Brago, King Eternal or Yarok, the Desecrated. Even Muldrotha, the Gravetide isn't guaranteed to run noncreature permanents with ETB effects.
And while creatures are the majority, effects like Hushwing Gryff and Hushbringer are much preferred. Besides, we're not really a tax deck, so if the opponents have something big that comes into play, they'll just pay the 2 mana tax for it.

I'm pretty sure Feather, the Redeemed players are getting giddy about Mavinda, Students' Advocate. Surely if you are doing what it wants to be doing, it's an unprecedently powerful effect for white. However, I'm lukewarm on it for Ephara, because to actually utilize it effectively we have to stuff our deck full of cards that usually aren't very good - not every card that targets our creatures is Cryptic Command.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

shermanido37 wrote:
6 months ago
I'm not big on Strict Proctor. Most permanents that do stuff ETB are creatures, and in a competitive setting it's even less likely to find noncreature permanents with ETBs, unless perhaps you're up against Brago, King Eternal or Yarok, the Desecrated. Even Muldrotha, the Gravetide isn't guaranteed to run noncreature permanents with ETB effects.
And while creatures are the majority, effects like Hushwing Gryff and Hushbringer are much preferred. Besides, we're not really a tax deck, so if the opponents have something big that comes into play, they'll just pay the 2 mana tax for it.

I'm pretty sure Feather, the Redeemed players are getting giddy about Mavinda, Students' Advocate. Surely if you are doing what it wants to be doing, it's an unprecedently powerful effect for white. However, I'm lukewarm on it for Ephara, because to actually utilize it effectively we have to stuff our deck full of cards that usually aren't very good - not every card that targets our creatures is Cryptic Command.
I think you're underestimating the non-creature ETBs because they're less flashy and obvious. There's a landfall deck at almost every table in my experience, at least every other game, and there're a lot of enchantments and artifacts that ETB (Treachery and Spine of Ish Sah being the two that jump out).

Yeah, I don't think that Mavinda, Students' Advocate is any good in my deck but I think there is an Ephara deck out there where you can play a critical mass of blink effects and it becomes very good there. cards like:
There's a pretty solid deck there that looks to blink/reuse creatures with spells. And that's without me even looking very hard just running off memory.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

Wow, cool stuff in the commander decks.



This thing might actually go in my main deck, it represents quite a ridiculous amount of ramp potentially, and it's pretty nice for finding lands as well. I'll have to think about it. I will put this in a TON of white decks though.



This card is potentially bananas for artifact ephara. Shimmer Myr turns a pile of crap artifacts into a lethal board state and a bunch of cards.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 6 months ago

Yeah, this is totally an Archaeomancer's Map deck. I don't think it's gonna be an omnipresent format staple, as it's a freaking sorcery speed Tithe for 2W in its base mode, but it's going to find a home in slower, draw-happy, green-less decks that will get to use its Burgeoning reliably.

I'm a bit bummed Daxos does not fit that bill, but what you gonna do :P
 
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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
6 months ago
Yeah, this is totally an Archaeomancer's Map deck. I don't think it's gonna be an omnipresent format staple, as it's a freaking sorcery speed Tithe for 2W in its base mode, but it's going to find a home in slower, draw-happy, green-less decks that will get to use its Burgeoning reliably.

I'm a bit bummed Daxos does not fit that bill, but what you gonna do :P
Yeah, it's definitely a niche card, but its failure mode of finding two basic plains is pretty decent still, and its upside is wayyy above Land Tax where you can ramp quite a lot. The fact that the lands do not ETB tapped is really huge.

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Post by capitacommunist » 6 months ago

Archaeomancer's Map seems like a strong card indeed. Having a floor as a slow Tithe is fine, and if there's a green ramp player at the table it can ramp you quite a bit too. I also like how it plays well with the other land search effects in white, in particular Weathered Wayfarer, where you could potentially do some nice tricks at instant speed.
I think this makes Lotus Field and similar better as well, which in mono white we're already quite playable.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

capitacommunist wrote:
6 months ago
Archaeomancer's Map seems like a strong card indeed. Having a floor as a slow Tithe is fine, and if there's a green ramp player at the table it can ramp you quite a bit too. I also like how it plays well with the other land search effects in white, in particular Weathered Wayfarer, where you could potentially do some nice tricks at instant speed.
I think this makes Lotus Field and similar better as well, which in mono white we're already quite playable.
Yeah I will definitely be putting Lotus Field and Archaeomancer's Map in my lower powered white decks. It might even be good enough in this deck tbh, given the volume of things that care about being low on lands (knight, wayfarerer, potentially rampant hawk, map, tithe).

Inclines me to play more karoos in some non-green white decks as well.

The interaction with Sun Titan in some builds is also very nice.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago



This card seems really good. It gives you some outs against a lot of things like Craterhoof Behemoth (potentially), beats a few types of infinite persist type combos (though I need to noodle on that sequencing lol) and in a pinch it lets you make an instant speed clone of something. It's a bit dependent on stuff but it could lead to some nasty blowouts.

It's not a complete defense against Genesis Wave but it does usually beat Primal Surge and probably does a lot of hilarious stuff I am not thinking of.

Neat card design for sure. Not being available in foil is probably the clincher that'd make me not play it, but I'd definitely consider it in a shell with more spellslinging.

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Post by shermanido37 » 6 months ago

I feel like Faerie Artisans is just miles better for Ephara while doing something very similar. True, you don't get instant gigantic boards, but usually if your opponent is getting a giant board it means you're already losing.
Essentially this card requires you to let your opponent essentially win to be any good, but Artisans does that while getting gradual value over the course of the game.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

shermanido37 wrote:
6 months ago
I feel like Faerie Artisans is just miles better for Ephara while doing something very similar. True, you don't get instant gigantic boards, but usually if your opponent is getting a giant board it means you're already losing.
Essentially this card requires you to let your opponent essentially win to be any good, but Artisans does that while getting gradual value over the course of the game.
I think it is going to be good in a design looking to play more at instant speed but in my build mostly agree with you.

There's a lot to be said for surprise and dealing with overwhelming plays that often beat us but to be fair counterspells do that too.

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Post by Wallycaine » 6 months ago

I think a relevant upside over Faerie Artisans is that the token sticks around, where the Faerie token is likely to get replaced in fairly short order. So while it can be a counter to someone dumping a bunch of stuff into play, it can also just be a value "I too would like an Avenger of Zendikar".

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