Ephara, God of the Polis - Flash & Taxes

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pokken
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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

Wallycaine wrote:
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".
More specifically that *all* the tokens stick around, so if someone surges/g-waves/sacs infinite creatures/etc., it can backfire (e.g. infinite life with Kitchen Finks or something). Since you end up with arbitrary kitchen finks *and* arbitrary life.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago



Tutorable, check
Sweet art, check
Powerful ability that craps on a ton of things randomly, possibly stronger than Ghostly Prison...check

Autoinclude? Not quite, but man that card is great. Huge upgrade over Windborn Muse most of the time.



Hmmmmm. That is a really powerful effect. Not one I want to do at sorcery speed though. I will play it in Mangara, the Diplomat though I think.

Normally they limit this effect to one catchup but catching up all the way to the land leader is really powerful. Not so much in my build since I tend to ramp a lot of lands.



Actually pretty cool fog effect + removal. I actually kinda like that guy in Feather, the Redeemed and it's a monstrous powerhouse in blink decks.

Not sure I have an immediate use for it but it's super nice design.

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Post by shermanido37 » 6 months ago

The thing with Nils is that it will be incredibly easily removed by our opponents whenever they see fit, and then they will just attack us with larger creatures than they had in the beginning.
Sponsor is surely interesting. It equalizes the number of lands on the board for everyone, but in a way opposite to Balance, while I'm pretty sure we'd rather have the latter effect if possible. I mean there's a reason it stays in so many cubes all this time. Sponsor is still nice to have, and will likely be utilized by several MW or RW decks, but giving those lands to EVERYONE means that you are the last to benefit from them, so it seems like a very political play.

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

shermanido37 wrote:
6 months ago
The thing with Nils is that it will be incredibly easily removed by our opponents whenever they see fit, and then they will just attack us with larger creatures than they had in the beginning.
While that's true it's really the same problem as Windborn Muse but additionally tutorable and coming down earlier. This deck really, really taxes removal so I'm willing to bet hard on static effects a lot of times, especially since I can also protect them with a lot of spells and effects.

NIls has another benefit which is other people take more damage because you can screw up combat math by making things that couldn't attack now have profitable attacks.

Sure, some people attack you and pay, but it's less likely especially if you pick right.

I'm pretty sure I'll give him a shot at some point, if only for the lolz of crapping on the incidental +1/+1 counter effects of which there are quite a lot.

(Arbitrarily large creatures with Cathars' Crusade become not as exciting for sure ;)

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

So anyone have thoughts on potential cuts for Archaeomancer's Map? I'm kinda leaning Chrome Mox, and then adding Devastating Mastery for something...maybe Selfless Squire? Still thinking it's probably my worst card, but there's an argument to be made for Knight of the White Orchid and Phyrexian Altar both being questionable too.

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Post by WizardMN » 6 months ago

I think Knight as a straight swap make sense, but I am not a fan of either Altar or Mox in this deck. I think I might even just say Mox should go as Map mostly makes up for it with its own (potential) ramp anyway. Even if it is slightly slower.

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Post by shermanido37 » 6 months ago

I can't see acquiring Map with a price of 26$. The card, while good, is obviously overhyped, and I'll be waiting for it to calm down before I consider if it's worth it for me.
Also, the effects that require basics are steadily going up. Keeper of the Accord also still wants to go in for me. I don't have enough basics to supply them both as well as Land Tax.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 6 months ago

Yeah, precon cards can be weird in initial pricing. Look at Cosmic Intervention's initial asking price on MTGStocks - what's that about?

I agree basic ratios are a nontrivial thinking point. I actually sat out the CMR crowdland in Daxos because I didn't feel like digging into my then-14 basic slots for it (I've since dipped to 13 to accommodate Snowfield Sinkhole). This is actually a good thing, means that if this sort of basic-caring stuff continues proliferating it will be actually encouraged to spend a lot of your land base on it. And then there will be a pretty broad pool of nonbasics to fill out a comparably small number of slots. Cost friendliness with little performance loss!
 
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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

shermanido37 wrote:
6 months ago
I can't see acquiring Map with a price of 26$. The card, while good, is obviously overhyped, and I'll be waiting for it to calm down before I consider if it's worth it for me.
Also, the effects that require basics are steadily going up. Keeper of the Accord also still wants to go in for me. I don't have enough basics to supply them both as well as Land Tax.
Maps are on ebay for $10, though no idea what international shipping is like there. I think $5 is closer to reasonable but I got a couple just in case :P

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

2021/05/01 - Add Archaeomancer's Map

So I'm sad to dump Phyrexian Altar without properly trying it (except online) but it's really the only expendable thing that does what Map does kinda right now (endgame mana) and since the combo with Altar is quite a bit more fragile than Altar of Dementia I think I can spare it.

In short, this deck would play the hell out of Cultivate and in hour shell it is very likely this card is cultivate+ often Burgeoning. Even just getting its two lands and cultivating is huge, but being able to potentially ramp up to the land leader in one or two turns is enormous.

I hope it's good. I hope they make a friggin foil :) I may do some more manabase adjustments later but for now this is the only card in the set that's a sure thing for me. I do also like Guardian Archon and Angel of the Ruins both quite a lot, but no real room for the them at the moment.



I've got just so many other ideas for things for this deck, I am looking forward to getting back to playing more soon.

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Post by Usagi » 5 months ago

Image

Some of the mh2 card got previewed today, one of the black cards peaked my interest. Since it is part of a cycle I am kinda excited for the white/blue versions. Evoke guarantees they have an ETB ability, you almost always have extra cards available in hand to ditch and when casting them for free with Evoke, Ephara still draws a card. I just hope their ETB abilites are decent.

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

Usagi wrote:
5 months ago
Some of the mh2 card got previewed today, one of the black cards peaked my interest. Since it is part of a cycle I am kinda excited for the white/blue versions
Yeah I had the same thought when I saw evoke. Blue or white evoke mythics rate to be very good if this is a template :)

If they wind up being Reveillark'able that'd be sick but it seems unlikely. Hopefully the white one is Hope! And also that it's good :P

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago



Whooboy they sure are throwing bombs at us. That's a big fat body that makes your dudes unblockable (or immune to targeted removal) which is pretty sick. I am not 100% sure I have room for it but I'll probably get one and think about it.

Definitely bodes well for the power level of white in the set.



Ramps much better than Sword of the Animist. Combos with Gilded Drake for the lockdown, and it might be worth the squeeze. I'd have to think hard about it given how hard I've worked to eliminate that attack surface, but I could definitely be convinced that going back to a sword heavy build was right - I always did enjoy Stoneforge Mystic.

We'll have to see what else comes -- all things considered I'd much rather play Collector Ouphe, but it's possible that the sword is better than Eldrazi Displacer who really strains the manabase.

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Post by schai » 5 months ago

Image

Seems pretty awesome. Creature-Force-of-Negation that replaces itself, plus has the modality of just casting as a mini Voracious Greatshark. Though sadly not tutorable or easily recurrable. But still quite strong and I will 100% be testing this.

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

schai wrote:
5 months ago
Subtlety
Seems pretty awesome. Creature-Force-of-Negation that replaces itself, plus has the modality of just casting as a mini Voracious Greatshark. Though sadly not tutorable or easily recurrable. But still quite strong and I will 100% be testing this.
Hmm, I dunno. It being 4 mana, hard to find, and narrow makes me think it isn't really for me. It's definitely got some power. Not hitting on-board things is kinda iffy to me.

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago



Woof. That's a spicy meatball. Sure that's gonna set me back :)

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

Wow, I think Esper Sentinel is probably good enough to play. It's not Rhystic Study but it is a dude. Worth thinking about, especially in a +1/+1 countery build.

Solitude also looks superbly playable. Not sure what I cut for it but we can tutor for it, it's got lifelink (which I love) and it can be done free at instant speed if needed. Very powerful effect.

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Post by WizardMN » 5 months ago

I agree. Both cards looks solid and I think Solitude is the better one for us but a 1 drop creature that potentially keeps providing card advantage is worth a try. I am cautious on how little it might do since it taxes a single spell per player per turn (if that) so there is the real chance that it doesn't do enough in general.

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

WizardMN wrote:
5 months ago
I agree. Both cards looks solid and I think Solitude is the better one for us but a 1 drop creature that potentially keeps providing card advantage is worth a try. I am cautious on how little it might do since it taxes a single spell per player per turn (if that) so there is the real chance that it doesn't do enough in general.
Yeah the more I think on it the more I think I probably won't bother with Esper Sentinel because I just don't have a ton of need for more CA. I think I'll try it out in some other decks though.

I'm a lot more interested in Solitude but I can't really think of what to cut at this point. It's pretty narrow only hitting creatures and 5 mana is a damn lot, so most of the time I am gonna want to do it for free. It's rough.

That said, blinking it is savage.

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Post by WizardMN » 5 months ago

I might still try out the Sentinel here just because it is a 1 drop and still replaces itself at least once (with Ephara on the board) but I agree that its power is likely limited in this type of deck. It likely comes down to whether I feel I have any flex slots in my list that can be reasonably cut just to try it out. Though I am kind of where you are when the list is fairly tight without a complete overhaul of direction.

With that being said, Solitude is basically a shoo-in so I will need to find something to cut for it. Blinking it is awesome but just being a flash creature is enough to warrant wanting it. Same with Subtlety. I think "free" creature spells can really help out in certain cases and neither of these are exactly poor. I get that Subtlety is a worse Venser but I think being able to cast it for free as a hail mary likely puts it in the same camp.

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Post by shermanido37 » 5 months ago

Ok guys, I think Sanctifier en-Vec is the real deal. It might only activate against red and black, but it is legit Rest In Peace on a dude, that also has pro RB.
It looks like a snap include for me, but I'm afraid its price will be too high since every white deck in modern will play it in their sideboard.
Thoughts?

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

shermanido37 wrote:
5 months ago
Ok guys, I think Sanctifier en-Vec is the real deal. It might only activate against red and black, but it is legit Rest In Peace on a dude, that also has pro RB.
It looks like a snap include for me, but I'm afraid its price will be too high since every white deck in modern will play it in their sideboard.
Thoughts?
Hmmmm, feels just a hair too narrow to me. Modern sideboard staples tend toward $5 (see Rest in Peace Stony Silence ) so I wouldn't fear the price.

It's darn close though, prot black/red is real strong. It does tend to stop a lot of the combotastic things in grave shenanigans.

I don't think I will play it, but I could see it being played.

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Post by shermanido37 » 5 months ago

That heavily depends on the sideboard piece. As we speak Auriok Champion is 40$, and it seems very similar to this guy.

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Post by Wallycaine » 5 months ago

shermanido37 wrote:
5 months ago
That heavily depends on the sideboard piece. As we speak Auriok Champion is 40$, and it seems very similar to this guy.
Auriok Champion had 2 extremely limited printings, one in a third set waaaay back when, and one in one of the late masters sets that largely bombed, and had relatively few other money cards in it. Given the sheer number of money cards we're seeing in this set, I'd be very surprised if Sanctifier en-Vec ends up at all expensive.

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

It's not super exciting, but Always Watching on a dude is pretty darn fine at the current state of the deck where the only real token guy is Nadir Kraken.



Vigilance is probably the best keyword for this deck and that's a solid rate. It's definitely something some Ephara decks should play. I'll probably pick one up to try sometime.

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