Karador, Ghost Chieftain - Quest for Control

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pokken
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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

That Tymna and Kraum deck sounds an awful lot like CEDH opus thief deck. The #1 rule with that deck is kill their wheel payoff immediately. The wheel payoffs are usually some mix of:
I have noticed that *on occasion* people will play CEDH decks and label them "strong decks" and I don't wanna assume that's what the guy did, but all of that sequencing seems like a pretty typical Opus thief game. The deck's point is to drop an enabler and wheel by turn 3 if there's no resistance (otherwise just stick a CA engine and wait for an opportunity).

Honestly most of your decks can compete with and ruin the day of a single CEDH deck trying to pubstomp because of your general bias toward efficiency and having lots of removal. I find the same with Ephara, and so I usually won't actively scoop if someone tries to pubstomp, I just focus on them and view it clinically.

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

The Kess deck was definitely not CEDH level but could have been pubstomp level; CEDH Kess decks do not play Thousand Year Storm - too slow.

Living and learnin, I think ur dragon guy was probably right that Kess was the danger in that pod. I've found Kess has a ton of inevitability and I tend to focus on disrupting them where I can.

the nice thing is you can probably count on Krenko and Ur dragon to recognize that they need to race Kess and you probably capitalize on that by getting them after they burn themselves out on Kess.

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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

Since I don't play cEDH I wasn't sure. I had it written up as assuming it was but didn't want to go too far since I didn't see a lot. But, perhaps you are right which means it ends up being more of a "reading the room" issue. Either for me or for them. But, considering the room didn't say cEDH and Pako & Haldan rage quit I am thinking they may have misread it. I am also not sure if they hosted the room or not so you could be right on that. I will have watch out for that.

Not a big deal in the long run; just frustrating.

And I think you are correct which is why I am thinking my overall ignorance to the "combos" is likely what hurt me. I did have two things I could have used to remove Tithe in that case had I just left my mana open. I just need to be more careful and I think I will be alright.

That is good about Kess. The interesting thing is that, had I gone after Kess, I think Krenko might have thought Ur-Dragon was the threat. Since they didn't comment on it until after I did everything it is possible Ur-Dragon would have know enough to go after Kess straight off.

But, I should probably give Krenko the benefit of the doubt there as well so you might be right. And, since my decks do a fair amount of "laying low" you are probably right in that I could have capitalized on their focus on Kess. I guess I will never know though :)

I am going to try to get in a couple more games tonight just to get more used to the meta and the different decks. I have a feeling there are likely some that crop up often enough to be able to ID them at a glance.

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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

Another game. It was awful. I will only detail it because I missed a huge, easy "I win" button in the middle. I still won though because my opponent took 20 minutes to do basically nothing. Well, they did a lot (with a bunch of tutors) but didn't win. I will post a video just because.

I joined this room since it said "No MLD no cEDH, 6-7". My deck is probably above that but I figured I could have a game where everyone has some fun back and forth anyway. Alas, 'twas not to be :(

Basically, the game was me starting off with Collector Ouphe which slowed down two of my opponents. The mono black opponent got down an early Gauntlet of Power thank's to Mishra's Workshop.

I blew it up with Cavalier of Dawn.

The next turn they dropped Skirge Familiar. Not really thinking much of it, I just played out my ramp and passed. Then, on their next turn they took a 20 minute turn. Luckily the replay on MTGO is sped up because it is boring.

As part of this they ended up casting Living Death. This is where I messed up. I wasn't looking at their graveyard and I should have been. They were at 3 life thanks to Vilis, Broker of Blood and I had Kokusho, the Evening Star and Cavalier of Dawn in the graveyard (the latter thanks to Vilis killing it). After they activated Memory Jar I had Entomb in hand. Had I just cast that for Yawgmoth, I would have won on the spot since Cavalier blew up Platinum Angel they got back and Yawgmoth would have let me sac Kokusho right away to put them at -2 and they would have just died. Instead I had to sit through 15 more minutes waiting for them to fizzle and I just blew up the Angel with Beast Within.

Very unsatisfying.

I wish I could have "got" them earlier as that would have felt pretty nice. Oh well. A win is a win. On to the next game :)

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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

Ppl who play solitaire decks on mtgo :P

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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

I can't believe they have the patience to do it. And this opponent typed a question mark right after the first person conceded like they didn't know why. I just don't know sometimes man :) :)

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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

Yeah I won't do the click intensive non-deterministic solitaire online. If I'm in the mood I'll play a combo out but if not I'll just scoop and let the others play it out.

At least you didn't just blink Ephara to the command zone with Thassa :)

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Post by shermanido37 » 1 year ago

My understanding of MTGO metas is that players really dislike instant speed interactions because the software is unintuitive and cumbersome. And MTG becomes a very different game if you ignore the stack, so I guess that tends to attract a specific type of person.

I used to play a Mizzix storm deck. It wasn't even very good. But the result would be that I'd take a 10 minute turn and my friends would just groan, and I wouldn't even really win afterwards. That type of gameplay does not encourage friendship, so eventually I just binned it for something else.

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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

shermanido37 wrote:
1 year ago
My understanding of MTGO metas is that players really dislike instant speed interactions because the software is unintuitive and cumbersome. And MTG becomes a very different game if you ignore the stack, so I guess that tends to attract a specific type of person.
There is definitely a bias toward tapout decks, but I would say it's not as bad as it sounds - and the degree to which it's unintuitive/cumbersome is maybe overstated at times. It's pretty close to as complex as it needs to be to be able to support all the actions you want to take. There're definitely a lot of things they could streamline (particularly commander zone changes are awful and holding priority is pretty awful).

But I do think it is the best way to play commander online and that includes webcam games. Once you get on voice chat it's really a good experience. If they had a 'roll back the last action' that everyone could vote on to fix misclicks I don't think I would ask for much more.

The meta slide toward less interaction more ramp is pretty accurately representative of playing pickup games; most randos I run into at the shop are tapping out every turn and playing big value stuff vs. interacting. It's usually playgroups that develop the interactive lines in my experience.

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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

I played another game today. I played against Maelstrom Wanderer, Atla Palani, Nest Tender, and Daxos the Returned.

I started with a 1 land hand: a Forest. But, I had Sakura-Tribe Elder, Farhaven Elf, and Green Sun's Zenith in hand. So, turn 1 ramp, turn 2 ramp, tun 3 ramp. I also drew 2 lands in the first 3 cards along with Yavimaya Elder so I never missed a land drop.

Maelstrom Wanderer was he early threat but we were able to deal with it mostly from Daxos's Dictate of Erebos. This was actuallly super important for the rest of the game as Atla started running away with the game. They got a free Avacyn, Angel of Hope and Apex Altisaur and this allowed them to mow through the board (I think this is actually what got rid of Wanderer's board. They also got Kozilek. Before they could attack with it, I exiled Kozilek instead of Avacyn since Spike Weaver on my side at least slowed down their board from attacking but it wouldn't stop Kozilek's trigger.

Daxos mentioned they had a wrath so it probably would have been right to go after Avacyn with that but I don't think it was a bad play. What *was* a bad play was Atla continuing to fight things with Altisaur. They cleared my board and Wanderer's board, after Wanderer cast Magma Giant to trigger Altisaur but then started fighting Daxos's board for some reason which then triggered Dictate. Maybe it was a client/UI issue or they just didn't realize they didn't have to fight something. In either case, this got them down to just Avacyn and Ryusei, the Falling Star.

As part of Magma Giant's trigger, Daxos had Academy Rector die which got them Leyline of the Void. I had expected a removal spell of some sort for Avacyn or a sac outlet or something. I don't think Leyline was the right call there and it never really did much to me which I imagined was the person it was for? I ended up blowing it up a couple turns later though.

Wanderer cast Diluvian Primordial which was enough to get rid of Avacyn as well and Atla scooped. And they cast Terastodon so they immediately became the threat (again). They blew up Dictate, Smothering Tithe, and my Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

On Daxos next turn, they cast Austere Command to clear Wanderer's board and attacked them down to 5. I attacked with the Elephant they gave me and then I cast Gray Merchant of Asphodel to finish them off. I cast Qasali Pridemage as a blocker and something to get rid of Leyline.

Next turn I dropped in Pernicious Deed to deal with Daxos board as I needed to and
I cast Chainer, Nightmare Adept the following turn. I did miss an attack as I clicked through combat but I was basically winning at this point. Deed would have blown their board without killing Chainer or Gray Merchant so the opponent scooped.

Overall, it was very good for a 1 land hand. I did have Entomb at the end where I kept thinking of grabbing Bane of Progress with it so I could reanimate it with Chainer, but I only had 4 black mana so I couldn't do it the same turn and Deed still mostly did the same thing anyway.

This game was mostly about ramp and staying under the radar which worked out pretty well for me in the end. I will link the video below. MTGO has some weird issues with the replay feature where cards I didn't see in the game show up in the replay which crashes the replay. It happened once before with Queen Marchesa as well so I just need to use the "raw" recording I have. It is longer than I would like, but I don't want to take the effort to edit it down. They don't get many views anyway :)

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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

I had a little time so I decided to grind a game with Karador. And it was certainly a grind as it clocked in at almost 2 hours. I still enjoyed it though and I think my last opponent did too until I dropped in Kozilek :)

The decks were Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis, Scion of the Ur-Dragon, and Jori En, Ruin Diver.

I kept a somewhat reasonable hand where I was banking on Satyr Wayfinder to get me my third land. Luckily it revealed 3 lands so I just picked a Swamp over a Forest and Horizon Canopy.

A turn later I cast Harmonic Sliver to blow up an Izzet Signet from Jori En just because there was nothing else going on and I wanted to get some board presence because Jori En cast Ral Zarek.

A couple turns later I cast Yawgmoth, Thran Physician which worked out pretty well since I could sac the Wayfinder and Sliver to draw me cards when I needed. I waited on this since nothing really needed to die and the other players were going after Scion.

Scion had some good plays though where they cast a spell which got countered only to follow it up with Reanimate to get The Ur-Dragon. I had a Damnation in hand since the beginning of the game but I had no reason to use it so I just cast my Fauna Shaman and passed. The idea was to pitch Kozilek, Butcher of Truth for something.

Kynaios copied The Ur-Dragon and Scion attacked to get a permanent on the board. For some reason, Jori En cast Mizzium Mortars overloaded which wiped my board but nothing else. Maybe they felt that doing something to me was still worthwhile even if it didn't do anything to the threats. In any case, I sacrificed my board to draw 3 cards and then cast Damnation.

I probably could have still waited and let the other players go after each other but Kynaios had Ohran Frostfang and was attacking to get triggers and I was wide open. So I felt it best to just reset the board and force others to rebuild as well.

Kynaios dropped in a Flameshadow Conjuring and a Watcher for Tomorrow. They got a copy which ended up giving them a card at the end of the turn. Scion cast Command Beacon and Monastery Siege so I figured I should just cast Bane of Progress. These decks didn't seem to be doing much with Artifacts and Enchantments as it was and getting rid of Conjuring seemed right.

Kynaios then cast Ogre Battledriver which allowed them to sped things up a little. They didn't do a lot with it and still went after the other two players. My next draw was Pernicious Deed but since neither of the other two players were really doing a whole lot, I held onto it. Kynaios tutored for Mimic Vat which Jori En countered. They then cast Tendershoot Dryad.

At their end step, with Kyanios's trigger, I put in Dryad Arbor. I was convinced I was going to have to cast Pernicious Deed to get rid of Kynaios's board.

Scion ended up casting Scion and putting Journey to Eternity // Atzal, Cave of Eternity on it which would have made things tough. They tutored out Tyrant of Discord and swung at Jori En to kill their Commander and put them to 6 life. Jori En then cast Ugin, the Spirit Dragon which was probably the best thing possible for me in that situation.

I had passed with all my mana up since I had a Winding Canyons in play. This was huge for the rest of the game. And on this turn, I sacrificed Dryad Arbor to Phyrexian Tower and Bane to Diamond Valley so they weren't exiled. With the 2 mana, I activated Winding Canyons.

At their end step, I flashed in Sun Titan which got me back Remorseful Cleric because I didn't have a lot of good stuff and a Flyer was nice to have. I then started my turn and swung at Jori En with Sun Titan to kill them, getting back a land.

I cast Archon of Justice as a way to deal with something on board if needed and Collector Ouphe because it was cheap and something good to sac to Tower. It did shut off Scion's Sol Ring which was nice too. Kynaios bounced Archon with Cyclonic Rift and I let it go since there was nothing worth exiling at the time.

Kynaios started their turn and cast Bribery targeting me. I thought for sure they were going to go with Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre but instead grabbed Fiend Artisan. I found out why a little later, but it was a weird choice and very slow for them.

Scion started their turn at 10 life. They cast Boneyard Scourge and Steel Hellkite. I still had a Path to Exile in hand which I used on Scourge and then swung at them for 10. With Sun Titan's trigger, I got back Harmonic Sliver to blow up Steel Hellkite and get in 10 damage to take them out.

I passed my turn with all my mana up again. Kynaios cast Zealous Conscripts to try to take Sun Titan so I just sacrificed it to Winding Canyons and again activated it. They cast a Consecrated Sphinx so I figured this is worth getting rid of and I flashed in Archon and sacrificed it to exile Sphinx.

On my next turn I attacked with Cleric to prevent their Luminarch Ascension from triggering and passed with all my mana up. They cast Tempt with Vengeance which I took the offer. At the time I figured them having 3 tokens and me having 0 was basically the same as them having 6 and me having 3 but I probably should have not done it in case they had Craterhoof Behemoth or something (which my Artisan could get them).

Instead, they activated Artisan to get Kiki-Jiki and tried to win that way. I flashed in Karmic Guide to reanimate Archon which I sacrificed to exile Conscripts. Disaster averted.

On my turn I cast Deed and meant to activate Cleric and hold priority but I forgot MTGO requires a key to do that (ctrl I think?) so I ended up just exiling their graveyard before Deed could go off. I wanted to activate the Cleric, activate Deed, and then exile everything I was blowing up to be sure to get rid of Kiki. But, Deed still did its job.

Next turn they cast Managorger Hydra and tried to cast Rite of Replication on my Farhaven Elf. Which I just sacrificed. I thought for sure they would have 5 more Hydras but I guess not.

This is when I got in Kozilek and attacked them 2 or 3 times with it. They eventually tried to steal it with Gilded Drake so I sacrificed it to Momentous Fall. Since I was in a pretty commanding position, I decided to make a fun play with all of these cards. At the end of the turn, I put Bazaar of Baghdad on the field with Kynaios's trigger. I activated it and discarded Kokusho, the Evening Star, Cavalier of Dawn, and Sun Titan. I also Entombed for Luminous Broodmoth.

I then cast Vampiric Tutor for Eerie Ultimatum. I activated Bazaar on my turn to pitch a land, Aura Shards and Archon of Justice. Aura Shards was a bad choice and I would have been better with another land, but it didn't really matter.

I cast Ultimatum getting everything back and used Cavalier to blow up Kynaios. I cast Qasali Pridemage to blow up the token. I didn't actually have to do this but I had set the triggers for Aura Shards to always no so I didn't have to deal with them. Otherwise, Aura Shards could have gotten rid of the token.

I attacked and passed. Kynaios cast Mulldrifter and got nothing so they scooped it up. I won with quite a commanding board presence.

As expected, Eerie Ultimatum was a beast. And it really only took 2 activations of Bazaar to make it worthwhile. The Entomb helped a lot but wasn't completely necessary. It would have been much better if I hadn't had to sac Kozilek to Momentous Fall but it was still really good.

The game ended with me with 4 removal spells in hand which meant I would have been able to do quite a bit to ensure I didn't lose even if Kynaios had found something.

Nothing else to really comment on. Every piece played their role very well and I was able to stop a couple of things that opponents tried to do so the deck grinded really well. A 2 hour game is, of course, long. But that is what this deck is all about so that isn't exactly a bug.

I never did cast Karador even though I probably had a couple opportunities. Part of the reason for this is because on MTGO it is kind of hidden anyway so I forgot about him and another reason is that I really had everything I wanted in hand and Winding Canyons was letting me play at Instant timing.

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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

With the full spoiler of Core 2021 and Jumpstart, I have decided to finally post some of my thoughts on new cards. I will separate then by color but Jumpstart and Core 2021 cards will be lumped together.

For Karador, there actually weren't many which is pretty disappointing. But, Ikoria and Ikoria Commander had a lot so it isn't the worst thing to have fewer options with this release as there were cards for other decks.

Here is what I can see as being potentials:

White Cards

Idol of Endurance - We don't have a lot of cheaper creatures so it doesn't hit many. Getting something for 2 mana at instant timing is nice but the impact in this particular deck is so low as to be almost nonexistant.

Black Cards

Liliana's Standard Bearer - This is a great card but it might not quite fit here. I can be good to sort of replace our board after a board wipe, but we aren't fully committing to the board too often so it will likely be a draw 2 (at best) usually. And even then, it will likely be forced into certain situations to even get that. I don't think the deck is currently hurting enough for card draw so I will likely skip this.

Green Cards

Elder Gargaroth - This is interesting as it gives a lot of options for a reasonable mana cost. Gaining life and drawing cards are both good, while the tokens can be used as further attackers or, probably, blockers. But, it doesn't do anything when it enters so it takes a turn to get guaranteed use out of it. Though, since it has Vigilance and can block every turn, its ceiling is exceptionally high (block 3 creatures, attack once, get 4 cards or 4 tokens, or 12 life, or some combination every turn). I think there is an argument there for inclusion in the deck

Trying to find a spot for it is tough though. It might be the card that finally lets me get rid of Greater Good or maybe I cut either Knight of the Reliquary or Scavenging Ooze. I like the card enough, and I have wanted to get rid of Greater Good anyway that 1 mana more for a more versatile creature might be right.

Fungal Rebirth - I included this here because I think the effect is "good" but I don't know if it is "good enough" to take a spot in the deck. It is an Instant timing Eternal Witness which can do some good work in the deck, but doesn't get us any of our Instants or Sorceries. Being able to get the tokens shouldn't be tough either. Unfortunately, I think the interaction with Sun Titan and being able to get any card puts E Witness above this. And I don't think I have the space to add in another one of those effects when I already have Nethroi, Apex of Death and Eerie Ultimatum that do it better (though, for a far higher cost). I think I am going to skip this for now.

Multicolor and Land Cards

Twinblade Assassins - A worse version of Deathreap Ritual isn't good enough just because it is stapled to a creature. Most of our creatures already die on our opponents' turns and if they don't it is because we cast a sweeper which gets rid of this too. The times this will trigger seems to be very low and isn't worth it at 5 mana.
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Post by shermanido37 » 1 year ago

Elder Gargaroth is definitely top tier when it comes to defending combat in multiplayer, I'll give you that. But any number of cards are much better at impacting the board than that.
My meta has a Krenko, Mob Boss deck that snowballs out of control very quickly, and it could not care less about one or two more bodies when it alpha strikes you for the win on T5. I run two cards that are very effective against it - first is Night Incarnate, second is Cataclysmic Gearhulk. When either is played their entire board is gone, and they are relatively easy to abuse.
If you're worried about fliers, a personal favorite is Hornet Queen. Even if we're not in cube that card is absolutely stellar defense, also great when brought back from the grave. If you're worried about combat in general, people just can't deal with Peacekeeper for some reason. It's a 3 drop 1/1, and somehow it always lives.
Finally, I've gotten an amazing appreciation for Vault of the Archangel. It is just such a threat to activate that people will not dare swing into you, but it's also great when you attack. A recent game saw the deck get down to 5 health with a Chandra, Awakened Inferno emblem attached and ready to kill, but with the help of the land I got back to 20 life after attacking, without caring who lives or not, which was enough to guarantee the win.

Fungal Rebirth screams token deck abuse, but you don't strike me as that sort of deck.

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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

I mean, sure, those 2 cards are great against token swarms (and the Incarnate is only good if all those tokens remain under 4 toughness which isn't guaranteed). Gearhulk is the same without the toughness limiter.

Both Gearhulk decimates my board and leaves each player with their most powerful permanent of each type. And Incarnate seems situational at best. I am not going to say they aren't good but in that situation I already have Fog effects and other wraths to deal with a swarm deck. I don't think I need to double down on them.

And, I am not "worried about" flyers. It was simply a comment on what it could help against; it was not a comment to suggest that I am looking for help against them.

I am also not likely to need the life gain too often. I have already had games where I was at 5 or less life end up with me at 30+ life. My other life gain takes care of that. If the card only gained me life on attack, I wouldn't look twice at it.

No, the Gargaroth is intended to be incremental value to stabilize or simply have something to do in the mid game. It draws me a card when I need it. Gains me life if I feel it is necessary (without costing me 5 mana each turn to do it). It generates tokens if I think I need to come up with a bunch of blockers. The strength is in its flexibility and being able to wear a lot of different hats over the course of a game or across multiple games.

It will die eventually since anything that isn't a finisher is expected to die in this deck. But there is a lot of power wrapped up in a single card. It is likely going to be better than Lifeblood Hydra at that mana cost and does a lot more for me. But of all the cards you suggested, the Gargaroth is still the most enticing.

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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

Here is the change I am going to try with the new releases:
06/30/20

CUTS


Approximate Total Cost:

With as much as I have talked about it, I still don't really like getting rid of Greater Good. It has been in the deck for a while and has done a lot of good things. But, I think now might be the time to cut it and see what happens. I don't think it is really needed anymore with this new addition and I have played, and won, a lot of games without it anyway. If I find I am missing it, I will try to find another cut for it (maybe getting rid of the Gargaroth if it doesn't work out).

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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

I played two games with this deck last night.
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The first was against God-Eternal Oketra, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim, and Neyith of the Dire Hunt, Neyith accidentally skipped their first turn and scooped so it was a 3 person game.

I didn't really start off with much ramp. I just cast Knight of the Reliquary on turn 3 and passed. This was after Golos came down just before it.

Oketra got down an Eidolon of Rhetoric which really helped slow Golos down since they got it down turn 3 and activated it turn 4. They revealed Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Part the Waterveil, and Thassa, Deep-Dwelling. They chose to cast Thassa as their card for turn.

Next turn I cast Oracle of Mul Daya and played a land off the top to hold up Path to Exile mana.

Oketra equipped their creature with Sword of Feast and Famine and I really struggled with this play actually. I could have removed Golos with Path (giving them a land) which would have allowed Oketra to hit them, untap their lands, and make Golos discard. But Path is so atrociously bad against Golos that I ultimately decided not to. They already had access to 11 mana (12 if I pathed and 13 with their land drop) which meant they would have just been able to cast Golos and activate him right away anyway.

They still swung in at Golos and Golos blocked. I felt we were in a reasonable position either way thanks to the Eidolon. Then Golos started their turn and for their spell for the turn they cast Time Stretch. Oketra scooped in response (this was turn 5) and there was no way I was beating a Golos that could cast 6 free spells a turn on turns 6 and 7 before I even got a turn again. I could have Path'ed Golos here and it would have lowered the free spells from 12 total to 9 total. Big whoop.

I am starting to think the only play I could have made differently was removing Sakura-Tribe Scout. It is such a tough play to actually make because the card looks fairly unassuming. And even here it only really worked because they ended up with 4 bouncelands. It is tough to justify spending removal on it but maybe that needs to be the right play against a Golos deck.
Game 2 was far better.
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It was against Barrin, Tolarian Archmage, Radha, Heart of Keld, and O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami.

I had a lower curve starting out this game but still no ramp. I cast a Wall of Blossoms into Harmonic Sliver to blow up O-Kagachi's Anvil of Bogardan. They actually had a fair number of artifacts going on and my long term plan was to cast Bane of Progress I had in hand but I wanted to cut off the card draw everyone was getting, even though the discard was good for me.

I got down a Phyrexian Reclamation as well so I could loop the Wall of Blossoms with me High Market but I never really ended up doing this beyond one or two times. O-Kagachi's Angel's Trumpet was an extremely annoying card for a log of the game which slowly drained all of us.

Radha ended up getting Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and started cleaning the board with it. This card will become very important later. They also had Dryad of the Ilysian Grove for a short time before O-Kagachi got rid of it (thankfully).

I drew into Toxic Deluge and waited a turn. Radha cast Avenger of Zendikar and that was the time I figured I should probably clear the board so I did. I still didn't have anything going on beyond Wall and Sliver so it didn't hurt me too much (other than the 6 life I paid into it).

Barrin Scooped right before I cast it. I think they weren't getting lands. It was actually the same person that scooped turn 1 above. I guess they just like scooping rather than playing out games. Maybe they had to go since it was past midnight but I think it was because they missed a few land drops.

We were all low on life and O-Kagachi had Triskaidekaphobia out and was at 13 life. Because MTGO forces you to manually hold priority for your own triggers, they missed the chance to activate their Talisman and lost to their own enchantment. This was a huge misplay and honestly might have cost me the game (since I still had Bane and ways to make sure I wasn't at 13 life). Radha most likely would have died from it 2 turns later.

So, now, it is me against Radha. They cast Radha: I removed it with Unexpectedly Absent. They cast Nesting Dragon. I removed it with Dire Tactics (going down to 3 in the process).

I cast Cavalier of Dawn to blow up their Swiftfoot Boots. I had Pernicious Deed on the field for backup.

They still had Valakut which is also why my life total was so low but they ran out of Mountains when I got to 3 life. I knew this because they had cast Kodama's Reach and Ulvenwald Hydra and neither got a mountain. Soon I was down to 1 life. They tried to attack with Hydra and I tried to block. They cast Berserk and I cast Path to Exile. Alive for yet another turn.

From here, I cast Karador and sacrificed and replayed Wall to gain some life. I missed one very crucial sac when I was at 2 life. It would have put me to 3. They cast Radha, Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar, and Chain Reaction. This is where I messed up. Twice (basically). First, since I hadn't sacrificed my Wall, I was still at 2 life (a virtual 3 since I could sac the Wall now). Had I sacrificed it and replayed it, I could sac it again to go to 4. If I could do that, I could have cast Anguished Unmaking on Multani.

The second misplay was that in the interests on saving my board, I cast Mythos of Nethroi on Multani. Which gave them the option to return it to their hand and bounce two lands (Mountains) to finally finish me off.

The right play, even without getting the earlier sac, was to just sac Wall now. It would put me to 3, Radha would die. I could then cast Wall and sac it next turn to get to 4 and then Anguished Unmaking with Mythos backup.

I would like to use the excuse of "it was late" but I really just forgot about Multani's "bounce lands" ability which caused me to lose. I think I could have won still since they were only at 10 life and I could have continued getting in for Karador beats while at the same time getting back removal with the Eternal Witness in my hand (sacrificing that each time instead of the Wall).

All in all it was still a really good game and really highlights the resiliency this deck has, even when down to 1 life. My misplays don't do the deck justice, but I was still very pleased with the way the deck played out and the way the game went.

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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

After a pretty substantial hiatus (filled with Pokemon, Minecraft, and other Switch games :) ), I have finally gotten back to playing some EDH. I played this deck last night against Brallin, Skyshark Rider & Shabraz, the Skyshark (with plenty of infinite combos) and Omnath, Locus of Creation. And Omnath is absurd in EDH too :)

I started off really slow and had Nurturing Peatland, Dryad Arbor, and Horizon Canopy as my lands to start with. So, not the greatest. I did have a Yavimaya Elder that helped ensure land drops and Luminous Broodmoth let me get a little more use out of things.

But, I really didn't get much going. I had a few options but Partners Windfalled and shuffled my hand away twice which sort of messed up my lines. I never got a sac outlet which was a big deal. Fauna Shaman came down later and got me a couple cards but just wasn't enough. I grabbed Spike Weaver to help against Omnath's 508 Scute Swarms and, astoundingly, they attacked me and Partners while I was at 13 life. They attacked Partners for plenty to kill them and only attacked me for 14 (of which I could block a couple) but there was no way I could go down to 3 or so with Omnath on the field so I had to save the Partners player with Spike Weaver.

I fully expected them to just finish off the partners player right there but their play sort of worked out for them, even if it wasn't their intent. I still ended up getting really low due to Omnath so I tutored for Ulvenwald Hydra with Fauna Shaman which got me Vesuva which then copied Omnath's Glacial Chasm. This saved me from Omnath for a turn but I was at 2 life so I wouldn't be able to pay the upkeep.

On Partners turn, they established the Heliod, Sun-Crowned & Walking Ballista combo but couldn't kill either of us thanks to our Glacial Chasm's so they just wiped the board.

Omnath didn't do anything on their turn as their board had been wiped by this point and then I started my turn. I sacrificed Horizon Canopy to draw a card and didn't get anything to save me. So, while I still had Glacial Chasm, I exiled their Walking Ballista with Anguished Unmaking, killing myself in the process but allowing Omnath to easily take the game from there.

I didn't have the greatest game with the deck but even the end showed that I still had the potential for outs. They didn't materialize obviously but I still felt I could have escaped from that situation with the right draw (Path to Exile or Swords to Plowshares to get rid of Ballista and then hope to fade 2 lands from Omnath) but I was in a pretty poor predicament either way.

Since I was absent for a while, I never did my normal "Set Review" for cards that can go into decks. I likely will just put that off until the release of Commander Legends at this point. A number of things are going on in Magic, and with my LGS, that sort of lessens my desire to get too involved in things. Which is another reason why I haven't been playing. Maybe it will get better in a month; who knows, but for now I doubt I will do much more than these summaries when I decide to play at all.

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Post by Rednad » 1 year ago

I really appreciate all the effort you put in the previous analysis of new cards! So please take your time with the new set(s). In this context I also wanted you to know that i was refreshing MTGN on a daily basis for a couple of days or even weeks in hope of seeing your set discussion :). You're doing a great job evaluating all the different pro's and con's and I'm always taking away some things I for myself haven't even considered.

Keep 'em coming (but please take your time doing so :) )!
Permanent Commander Decks
Edgar Markov (based upon ISBPathfinder's primer)
Xenagos, God of Revels (based upon plushpenguin's primer)
Karador, Ghost Chieftain (based upon WizardMN's primer)
Emmara, Soul of the Accord
Nicol Bolas, the Ravager

Flex Commander Decks
Greven, Predator Captain (based upon darrenhabib's primer)
Malcolm & Breeches (10$ Storm Deck by Michael Celani)
Edric, Spymaster of Trest (soon to be cEDH powerlevel)
Araumi of the Dead Tide
Thassa, Deep-Dwelling
Phelddagrif

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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

Here are my overdue card summaries/evaluations for Zendikar Rising and Commander Legends. I just bunched them all together and tried to limit the scope of what cards are being discussed. There might be something I missed of course, but hopefully I got the main ones.

White Cards

Archon of Coronation - So, these effects are pretty decent. Being the Monarch on its own is already good and stapled to a big flyer offers some ways to keep the Monarch as well as dealing some good damage. The last ability can be very good against certain infinite damage effects of just as a fog effect (as long as I am Monarch anyway). But, 6 mana and no Flash means it is unlikely to really do a lot when I need it to. And while I wouldn't mind some additional card draw, I don't think this is the way to do it.

Promise of Tomorrow - This fits in sort of well with the idea of the deck but it is not a good card for it. It is slow, it eliminates the possibility of returning things with other effects, and we can easily get blown out if it is destroyed before the end step. It is not worth the risk.

Black Cards

Drana, the Last Bloodchief - Now this looks like a pretty good card for this deck. It doesn't allow us to choose what to reanimate but there is almost nothing we wouldn't want if we are getting it for free. And since she triggers on attack, we can potentially swing in and get something back before blockers which might allow for some interesting choices of what we get back. 5 mana is a lot, but I think it is worth trying out in the deck if for no other reason than the quality of even our weakest creatures is high enough where it seems unlikely we are disappointed with what we get.

Nullpriest of Oblivion - This fits very well into the theme of reanimation. The cost, however, does not. If it was just 6 mana straight up, it would be a stretch (though 1 mana more than Karmic Guide for a permanent creature isn't bad). But the fact that it needs to be cast makes it basically useless for us. We want to cheat things in and not being able to do that means we can't reasonably try to include this card.

Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools - I don't mind another way to draw more cards as well as get my stuff back in the graveyard. As with anything, the cost is a consideration, but 5 mana for either a couple blockers each turn or a couple cards is pretty good. If I can activate him more than once, which I should be able to without too much hassle, he really starts to show his worth.

Green Cards

Magus of the Order - I don't do a lot with tutoring, but a creature that can sac other creatures to get free creatures can't be totally dismissed. In this deck, it is interesting that Spike Weaver might be one of the more common tutor choices for it, but getting Ulvenwald Hydra to ramp or even another smaller creature can help. And then Karador can get it back to try it again. It is slow where my opponents have a chance to react before it is activated which allows for more interaction but also might lead to a point where it is just too slow. I think it is worth trying to see though.

Multicolor Cards

Nissa of Shadowed Boughs - I don't do much with Planeswalkers in this deck but I think I can make an exception for Nissa. Her ability allows for a lot of things to come back. While Karador and my other effects are better, and I don't often have the land drops to make her truly repeatable each turn, I think she can do good work. Worst case, she is often going to be a 4 mana spell to reanimate or cheat something in which I think is an acceptable floor.

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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

With the cards from Zendikar and Commander Legends, here are the changes I am going to make for now:

Tevesh seems like a reasonable way to either get tokens to sac to Yawgmoth or for chump blocking or just to draw some much needed cards. I doubt I ever get to his ultimate, but I think his middle ability is the best of the three anyway. 5 mana is sort of on the high end, but I want to give him a shot.

Nissa is a really nice effect for this deck. I am not sure how she actually plays out but getting a card for free from the Graveyard or Hand is pretty nice. At worst, I think she "ultimates" the second turn she is on the field and with the other ramp I have, it is possible I can get a couple free creatures out of her before she dies.

Drana is not quite as controllable as Karador or Nissa but she is also a free reanimation effect. And due to the general quality of creatures in this deck, I doubt I will ever be upset about getting any creature back except Lifeblood Hydra. So, as long as that isn't in my yard, I am going to get something useful back. It also allows me to play a bit of politics as well: "hey, let me attack you and you can make me reanimate my Necrotic Sliver so I can blow up Player D's thing".

Magus of the Order is just a way to get an Instant Timing tutor/sac effect which will generally get me to some utility creature like Spike Weaver or Bane of Progress. Maybe even Elder Gargaroth so I can attack with it right away when my turn starts and get some cards or life out of it.

Now, cuts are always hard in this deck but I did have two flex slots as it is: Nethroi and Back for More.

I really like Back for More even at 6 mana but I don't think I can justify keeping it in. If one of these cards bombs harder than expected, I can revisit potentially adding it back in.

Nethroi has a similar problem in that the cost is high and I can't cheat it in; I am paying 7 mana to get the effect. While it is a creature, which allows for more interaction with Karador, Ultimatum is probably better most of the time and I don't think I need both effects. This deck isn't really set up to be a mass reanimation type deck so having two effects trying to do that is a bit of overkill.

The third and fourth cards were really hard to decide on. But, in the end, I decided on Kozilek for one of them. The deck still has a pretty high reliance on the graveyard, but I don't find having both in the deck to be all that necessary anymore. And since Ulamog can be removal, and is Indestructible, I decided to keep him even though the cost is just a little higher.

For the fourth card, I decided on Oracle. I don't like cutting Oracle but it has been on my mind a few times. I don't really have a way to set up my draws outside Sylvan Library and I am expecting to ramp using other cards. It isn't often where I go for Oracle over other cards anymore and when I do get it, it is hit or miss as to whether I can hit lands. I am going to try without it for a while and see if I miss the effect.

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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

Note that not all my most recent changes have been made since Commander Legends isn't released online yet. This is most notable with Oracle below

I played a couple games online with this deck and my absence from playing really showed in the first game. I played against Golos and Riku and I decided to try to blow up Golos's Field of the Dead. But they had a Thespian's Stage so that didn't do a lot.

And then Riku had a Defense of the Heart that I decided not to destroy with Pernicious Deed for some unknown, insane reason and they just won that turn. Not very smart on my part and the Golos player was rightfully upset (as was I) at my sloppy play.

Anyway, I decided to play again and this game was against Narset, Enlightened Master, Neheb, the Worthy, and Yeva, Nature's Herald.

I kept a 4 land hand with Fiend Artisan and Oracle of Mul Daya. I was able to use Oracle to play 2 extra lands over 2 turns before I needed to cast Damnation to get rid of Narset. Yeva, on their turn, blew up Narset's Mana Vault and Narset decided this was enough and conceded. Unfortunate, but not much we could do as letting Narset go off just wasn't smart.

Neheb actually rebuilt quite well and got a decent board state. I ended up casting Fiend Artisan and Karador, Ghost Chieftain with the idea of sacrificing Karador to Artisan to get an actual card. I did this to get Spike Weaver as Neheb was doing a lot of damage.

I cast Chainer, Dementia Master next and got back Karador. I activated Bazaar of Baghdad and pitched Sun Titan, a land, and Pernicious Deed. Next turn I cast Titan and got Deed back from the yard which let me blow the board again after using Weaver to fog twice. This left Yeva with Regal Force (I activated Deed in response to its trigger) and I had Karador.

I cast Sun Titan from the yard on my turn and got a Yavimaya Dryad to ramp. Next turn, I got back Fiend Artisan (and yes, I realized almost immediately I should have done this the other way around). I also cast Chainer from the yard.

Neheb came down again and tried to reanimate their Tahngarth, Talruum Hero but I just stole it with Chainer. They scooped.

On Yeva's turn, they cast a Genesis Wave for 7 and got a few good things. Acidic Slime targeted my Diamond Valley so I just sacrificed Sun Titan for life and used Chainer to bring it back to also get Diamond Valley back.

From there, I just reanimated Gray Merchant of Asphodel a couple times and was able to finish off the game easily. I ended up at 25 life which is pretty good for being at 8 at one point. Diamond Valley really came through to give me life to play with for Chainer.

I really did like Oracle in this game and it is games like this that make that card sort of hard. Fiend Artisan was very poor to start with but did pull its weight later on. It isn't fantastic by any means, but there are lines there to make it worthwhile.

Fauna Shaman made an appearance late and might be a card I look to for cuts eventually. Being as slow as it is, even with the effect being good for the deck, means I might try to find a different card for the slot.

And lastly, I had Eerie Ultimatum in hand for a few turns but never got around to casting it. I probably could/should have to be honest as I had plenty of mana, but I never felt the need to. In all honesty, I was sort of hoping to keep filling my yard with Bazaar so the Ultimatum could be that much better. But, I waited too long and never did it. I don't know what this really says about the card as it would have been a clear game changer when I had 10-12 cards in my yard, but winning without it is certainly notable.

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Post by WizardMN » 10 months ago

I don't actually want to make any changes to the deck right now, but the three color mana base thread got me thinking if maybe there might be a way I could slot in things like the Battlebond lands or the new Pathway lands.

This deck is a little different than most of mine in that the land base is pretty high on "colorless" lands but none that I would actually want to cut. Bazaar, Diamond Valley, High Market, Miren, Phyrexian Tower (sort of colorless), Winding Canyons, Volrath's Stronghold, and Vesuva are the ones that don't inherently produce color (and the first two don't tap for mana at all).

There also may be an argument for going down a couple basics as my land tutoring isn't quite as high as it used to be, though being able to loop Sakura, Farhaven Elf, Wood Elves, and Yavimaya Dryad can make for very explosive games. The last two can get duals though so even then, a high basic count isn't completely necessary.

Now, in this deck, I don't think the Pathways make sense over basics just because of the amount of ramp I have. If I am going to slot in lands, I want them to tap for more than one color. And, though the Pathways let me choose the color at the time, I am still locked into that color which makes it less useful as the game wears one.

Which leaves me the three Battlebond lands. I am not entirely sure if they are needed but if I wanted to get to the point of adding them, I think cutting a Swamp, a Forest, and High Market would be the way to go. Miren seems like the right way to go but I would rather keep it for the life gain. It is possible the cost is just too high though, so Miren might actually be the right cut. Diamond Valley and Bazaar, though they don't tap for mana, are too important, and Vesuva is basically here to copy Bojuka Bog if I need to exile someone's graveyard. Maybe there is an argument for Vesuva too. The fact that it can copy anything though means I am not often "stuck" because I have it in hand so the opportunity cost is fairly low.

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Post by WizardMN » 10 months ago

I played another game online. This time against Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer, Aurelia, the Warleader, and Kwain, Itinerant Meddler.

I had a decent number of lands to start with and Wall of Blossoms and Sylvan Library to look at more cards. I ended up not getting to use Library too often though, thanks to Kwain's Smothering Tithe.

Aurelia ended up with a turn 3 Blood Moon which really slowed me down. It cut me off Black mana for a long time but luckily I already had a Forest and Plains on the field. The plains was because of Kwain taking out my Volrath's Stronghold really early which worked out well in the end. I had gone for the Plains because I had Phyrexian Tower for black.

I did draw into a Qasali Pridemage to get rid of the Blood Moon but I held off for a little while since it didn't do me much good at the time. I ended up drawing into a Harmonic Sliver which I cast to blow up the Moon. But Kwain was protective of their Tithe so they countered it.

Kedena ended up casting Cyclonic Rift to which Aurelia cast Teferi's Protection so I just blew up the Moon in response. Kwain ended up leaving so we were down to 3 players.

Next turn I cast Wall of Blossoms and Library again. I could have (maybe should have) cast Damnation there as Kadena was almost tapped out and did not have a blue source. My thought was that Aurelia was the clear target so I just let them continue. However, at the end of their turn, they turned up Den Protector to get back Cyclonic Rift and then they attacked me anyway.

This put me in a terrible position and I didn't really make the right choice anyway. Since I was the target, I ended up tutoring for a Spike Weaver. My Toxic Deluge was in the graveyard so I needed a way to cast Damnation and still have something in my back pocket. But then I didn't do that. I just figured I would cast the Weaver, use that as protection, and then leave myself the Unexpectedly Absent in my hand as insurance. And then they just Rifted (which, of course they did; I knew they had it) and then Absent wasn't enough to stop them anyway (and one of their face down creatures was a counterspell as it always is).

So, I just lost due to a questionable decision to go without casting Damnation and bad choices on what to tutor for and/or how to play the cards. Kadena then cast Temur Sabertooth and Aurelia scooped it up as they couldn't deal with "infinite" Rifts.

I still had a chance in this game and then just punted because I thought Aurelia was a bigger threat than me and I wouldn't be attacked. It just goes to show that sometimes trying to play politics just doesn't work out. Though, it could be argued that I was playing them wrong and I should have just wrathed and tried to ensure Aurelia would go after Kadena. Looking back on it now, I think that was a better choice. And I still would have had Vampiric Tutor for Bane of Progress to wipe out Aurelia later. Just poor decision making on my part. Not much else to say to be honest, The deck did everything it could to keep me in the game and I did everything I could to throw it away. Looks like I won that battle in the end :P

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Post by WizardMN » 9 months ago

Now that we have the entire set spoiled, as well as the Commander Decks, here are some of the cards that stand out to me for this deck:

White Cards

Cosmic Intervention - This allows for a lot of shenanigans with fetch lands and other cards. I don't have a lot of sac outlets in this deck but this works well with them. And might get me to finally include Viscera Seer. I am not entirely sure how much I care about this in this deck but I think having a safety valve for wraths beyond just trying to recast things from the yard would be helpful.

Glorious Protector - This is basically the same as Intervention but on a creature which works out even better with Karador. It doesn't save noncreatures but I think I might still try to find a place for it in the deck.

Green Cards

Toski, Bearer of Secrets - I just wanted to have something else to talk about but I don't think this is quite right for the deck. I don't attack with a lot of creatures too often since the plan is incremental advantage. Which means this ends up not being good enough all that often.

Multicolor Cards

Binding the Old Gods - Removal and ramp in one isn't bad. But since it is 4 mana, it seems that Deathsprout is just better.

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Post by WizardMN » 8 months ago

Karador

I got another game in with this deck and it ended up being pretty bittersweet. I played against Samut, Voice of Dissent, Ruric Thar, the Unbowed, and Arcum Dagsson.

I kept a hand of 5 lands and a Satyr Wayfinder and used my Vesuva to copy an opposing Myriad Landscape to ramp a little. But I still wasn't doing a lot. I did draw Nissa of Shadowed Boughs and I was just waiting for the right time to play it. I did need to worry about Arcum Dagsson as well.

Their first tutor was for Darksteel Forge so now we were all behind while we couldn't deal with their board. I cast Nissa and cheated out Sun Titan to ramp a little and give me a board presence. Ruric Thar got rid of Forge with Chaos Warp so I destroyed Arcum with Mythos of Nethroi.

This slowed them down a little but they just got Arcum Dagsson back and this time they had a Nevinyrral's Disk. Samut had an Aura Shards to help but strangely went after things that were not the Disk. I realized my board was a little out of control so they wanted the wrath but Forge and Disk (they were obviously going to get Forge back) is a very tough lock to beat.

They did expect our Planeswalkers would be able to get through but then Arcum dropped in a Whirlermaker which meant they now had Indestructible blockers. So, I just went further in on the Walker plan with Tevesh Szat. Nissa was able to get some damage in with the land but eventually they got two tokens so that stopped.

Sure enough, Samut was unable to deal with the lock (that, again, they could have stopped), and they scooped. I just continued biding my time with Nissa and Tevesh using Tevesh to draw me deeper. I was still able to interact as I got my Cavalier of Dawn on the field to blow up their Tezzeret. And they were only creating tokens so it wasn't a fast clock.

I did draw a Bane of Progress which was helpful but not yet. I then drew into an Archon of Justice. So, I cast Spike Weaver as bait and a way to Fog for a turn, then I cast Archon, sacrificed it to Tevesh, then cheated in Bane of Progress with Nissa and got rid of their entire board. I also had Aura Shards that I never got the chance to cast because they scooped it up right after this play.

I am really liking Tevesh Szat in nearly every deck he is in. I have seen great things in Marchesa especially, as well as Lord Windgrace, but even other decks he has been phenomenal. I was worried about the 5 CMC but he has shown that he is able to pull his weight.

Also, I am loving Nissa as well. She is far better in Windgrace in terms of being able to reanimate/cheat things into play, but she is pretty powerful in her own right. I don't normally go too deep on Walkers, and I don't expect that to change much, but I do think these two are great additions.

There isn't much else to say about this game, or the deck as a whole. Everything is really working well together and Satyr Wayfinder is still likely the weakest card in the deck. Which isn't a bad thing by any means as I do like the Wayfinder.

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Post by shermanido37 » 8 months ago

Lack of judgment about threats can be one of the most annoying things to deal with. Good on you for somehow having a plan that was resilient to that kind of thing.
However, I have a feeling that the second game went that way mostly because of Arcum's choice in removal. If they had something like Imprisoned in the Moon or Memnarch, you would have been in much, much more trouble.
I can accept Szat in this deck, because of his love of creating blockers and sacrificing things. But Nissa feels like it could have been any number of other cards. What did Nissa do there that other cards couldn't have done?
I mean Nissa could have been Utter End for much better results.
Also, since you like Archon of Justice, do you have anything against Ashen Rider?

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