Daxos the Returned - Enchantment Speed Bumps Galore

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 3 months ago

Another month, another set. I've got very mixed feelings about AFR - on one hand I can acknowledge that the cards are mechanically cool and call back to Magic's fantasy roots in a way, on the other it's still the first instance of a full blown IP crossover and I don't like that. For now I get to breathe a sigh of relief as nothing makes its way into Daxos and I get some extra time to make peace with external stuff openly parading on cardboard. Yeah yeah, we already had lots of tropes on cards, this is just a baby step onward, but it crosses a certain line that I didn't expect to mind yet somehow do.

That said, two cards stick out above the others:
  • Robe of Stars is very close to being a proper include. The deck likes to operate at instant speed, and having "1W: phase Daxos out" in the arsenal is pretty good. The Robe itself also happens to be a two-drop, so it's a coveted pre-Daxos play if encountered early, and the incidental toughness boost is not too shabby either. It is however a non-enchantment, a little bit on the mana intensive side, and also an external IP set card. It might make its way in eventually.
  • Warlock Class is the sole class worth writing home about. Early game it's a flexible allocation Strategic Planning, and late game it can sprout a damage doubler. Thing is, I'm pretty sure both Cathars' Crusade and True Conviction have the late game oomph base covered better, even if this has a little early game cantripping to its name. Still a somewhat reasonable include.
There's a lot of stuff worth nothing as you can tell they're fiddling around with white. Bit of a bummer that this has to correlate with a power-down, a some of these concepts could yield relevant cards if they weren't pulling their punches.
 
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Post by Advisor » 2 months ago

@Rumpy5897, this primer has been great for me. I've always enjoyed enchantress but wanted to go a different path. This was it. It has helped me immensely. I'm still finalizing my build, so I may have questions in the future since you have played more games with Daxos. Do you plan to keep updating as the next few sets come out?

Cheers!

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 months ago

Glad to hear the write-up is of use, welcome to Daxos :) Feel free to stop by with questions, thoughts on cards, what have you. I'm curious what direction you'll go in. And yes, I intend to keep updating the deck going forward, so by all means call me out if I do something crazy like leave out Anointed Procession :P
 
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Post by Advisor » 2 months ago

To expand on what you mentioned above, shame Robe of Stars isn't an enchantment artifact...

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Post by Advisor » 2 months ago

So here is my take. I did have a lot of influence from your build, but my changes were impact by the local meta. I focused more on the pillow fort aspect and took away the denial aspect. I supplemented with cards like Koskun Falls and Martyr's Bond. To scale power down a bit, I put sub-optimal draw like Greed over Necropotence. I still feel it functions well. Kept all the big mana, though, like Cabal Coffers and the like. Can't leave home without them…

Do you get a lot of use out of Crucible of Worlds?

Would also love to get your take on Decree of Pain. I feel with token production, if you had to play it, you could potentially recover quickly. Another I've seen in the similar area as Slaughter the Strong is Solar Tide. This just removes the choice.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 months ago

I'm not seeing the take, seems the list went AWOL somewhere :P But yeah, if you're faring okay, then awesome. There's a wide spread of power in EDH. Big mana is the most reliable way to go for a win with Daxos, and you can tailor the details to match your group. Koskun Falls I'm not super keen on, as you get wiped and it dies, but Martyr's Bond is an interesting rattlesnake idea - if you get wiped, everyone loses all their enchantments in the process. Bit expensive at six, but if you're turning Necropotence to Greed you are likely in a meta where you can pull this off :P

Crucible of Worlds is great with fetchlands, as you're set forever for land drops. Very nice, given the deck's typical pacing and lack of heavy draw prowess. But if you don't have fetches or the Crucible itself already, not sure it's worth coughing up for that setup, especially given the meta context you provided. You'll live :P

Of the wipe suggestions you're bringing up, I like Decree of Pain better. At least you get a refuel, but sinking eight mana into a board reset is definitely nontrivial. As a recent discussion with Shantu showed, different metas are different, and Slaughter the Strong being bonkers in my group did not translate to similar utility in his. I'd evaluate cheaper options like Citywide Bust, see what they'd accomplish.
 
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 3 weeks ago

MID continues the recent push for white to do things, which is nice. Ultimately none of the cards make it in, but there's a bunch of stuff to discuss.
  • White deserves this. Cathar Commando is a good artifact/enchantment hate utility creature that the colour wanted for years. There's discussions to be had whether it's better or worse than a Reclamation Sage, but I'm just happy it exists. Vanquish the Horde immediately becomes one of the best wipes in the format. While I'm typically opposed to printing borderline autoinclude stuff, white really deserves to have a wipe on the podium of the best mass creature answers. Two mana for a full reset is a damn good deal, and I'm willing to bet Shantu is running it. It's possible that I should too, but I like the trickiness/asymmetry of all of my current wipes.
  • Recursion. There's quite a lot of recursion in Orzhov colours this time around, but for whatever reason it's limited to creatures. This is a considerable bummer, as more fetchland ramp is always appreciated. I'd be carving out a slot for Can't Stay Away if it lacked that clause. Rampant Hawk and Sword of Rampant Growth are both quite inefficient in their returns in the grand scheme of things, and any future fetch ramp is likely to take their place.
  • Removal. Fateful Absence is a callback to Declaration in Stone, and while hitting walkers is nice the free clue is a bit less so. In typical sacrifice removal fashion, Rite of Oblivion secretly costs five at sorcery speed.
  • Enchantment stuff. For the most part, this is more removal, but comes in enchantment flavour for experience counters. Borrowed Time is the third Oblivion Ring. Curse of Silence is one of those borderline include considerations like Rune of Mortality and Robe of Stars, a Nevermore lite that can act as a tempo hit on a telegraphed play or just a preemptive Swords aimed at the command zone. Plus it can theoretically cash in for a card later, which is likelier in big brain non-commander applications. The Meathook Massacre comes with some asymmetry potential, an experience counter and some life manipulation gravy, but it would take a nontrivial amount of mana to try to do the thing. In the process of doing the thing, the spirits would shrink, limiting immediate alpha potential. Extinguish All Hope and Toxic Deluge just do this better.
I haven't gotten to play much EDH lately, the one recent Daxos game I remember I kept using Trap Rock to keep drawing cards. I'm not sure whether this is a sign that I need to up the draw, or just the result of a somewhat stalemate'y board state where I was looking for lines of play. Daxos did not get to bring that one home, one of the foes blasted a damage wipe with a Tamanoa out and went to ridiculous triple digits of life. I would have likely managed to overcome him eventually via sheer girth, but my True Conviction got itself exiled and an Ulvenwald Tracker kept splashing a Spitemare into my spirits, clocking me out before I amassed enough board to take him out. There was quite a bit more interaction in this game than normal for the meta, and it was actually interesting - less goldfishing ships in the night, more actual attempts to trip each other up a bit without fully nuking people to the stone age. I feel on the whole Daxos is reasonably well equipped to try to survive in that sort of environment, what with the various versatile recursion pieces. We'll see how things develop.
 
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 5 days ago

I got a pretty neat game in on Sunday, where everyone got to twirl their moustaches to a degree. It's an interesting case of dynamic flow through the game, and merits documenting despite some similarities to prior written up scenarios.

I kept what I felt was a relatively innocuous hand with Top and Rampant Hawk, but I then skilfully ripped a Sol Ring off the top, making me the initial big bad. I didn't really have any interesting follow-up plays though, so I just poked people a couple of times with the Hawk before that stopped yielding returns. I was hitting consistent land drops and shuffles thanks to a Crucible, my enchantments were few but quite impactful - Righteous Aura, Greater Auramancy and a Kaya's Ghostform on the Daxos. Got Trap Rock for some more mana, but nothing that relevant was showing up, in the big mana department or haymaking or otherwise. Still, my mini-fort was oddly impervious, and stopped me from being interacted by the rest of the table. Rosheen got a crazy mana setup going on with Nyxbloom Ancient, and the rest of the guys started fearing a fireball. Not my problem thanks to Righteous Aura. Intet landed a Gruul Ragebeast, and once the obsolete Rampant Hawk fell to it there were no other targets to consume due to Greater Auramancy. Both of those died in pretty short order, by the way, neither by my hand. It was almost like a three-man game with me off on the sidelines, not interacted with, but also not offering much meaningful stuff to the table. Kept fetching, shuffling, looking for something.

Eventually I located Cathars' Crusade. The remnant of Rosheen's big mana, a Keeper of Progenitus, helped me immediately churn out five bodies, taking me up to 60+ spirit power. It didn't hurt either that I got True Conviction in my next batch of cards. I suddenly had a respectable strike force, and it was time to figure out what I was to do with it:
  • Marchesa suddenly became far and away the biggest threat. A symbolic modular value loop started growing in size, with a Clone Shell digging through the deck and bringing new friends to the party. Triskelion already came out, there's a Mike in there somewhere, no amount of life will save me if that happens.
  • Rosheen wasn't quite the same since the Nyxbloom got itself popped, especially as all the Nyxbloom did was power out a gigantic non-evasive hydra that did not scare me at all. Plus it was actively beneficial for me to keep him around due to the Keeper.
  • Intet started having various value pieces come together, drawing some cards, making some bodies, but the board wasn't super wide and I could handle any crackback via spirits.
Judging off pure threat level, and the fact there wasn't enough modular to keep the entire setup afloat, I blasted the board into the Marchesa. Due to the presence of a sacrifice outlet, I got to deal no damage and gain no life by extension, which made the swing feel like a bit of a punt. However, watching him scramble with blocks and keeping select things around via modular reminded me that I was thinning the board for a reason. Next turn stuff would probably connect, while the slightly beat up board hopefully meant less value accrued in the meantime. Alas, things went south pretty fast - upon untapping, Marchesa landed Arcbound Crusher and Sly Requisitioner. The chump army exploded, while also farming the Crusher, who could then theoretically transfer the counters to the Triskelion and explode... someone? Probably me, but maybe the Intet would actually seem threatening to the Marchesa because of the Thunderfoot Baloth resulting in a reasonably fat tramply board? Another hairpin turn happened after the next untap, as Rosheen found a Decimate. Relevant targets - my Greater Auramancy and the Marchesa's sac outlet. This stunted the value loop and the chump growth, but the board was still wide enough for me to not be able to get through. Production would resume promptly, as at some point the Clone Shell found Sphinx Summoner, who found Arcbound Crusher to hand. Intet followed up on the punch and popped in Terastodon. Relevant targets - Righteous Aura and True Conviction. My fort! At least my board was still fat as hell, but at this point there was one goal and one goal only - find an asymmetric wipe and blast out the two main threats. Possibly everyone, if enough fatness was around.

Untap, Top fish, fail to find. Crucible a fetch, rip it, Top fish, fail to find. The initial Top fish found Sword of Rampant Growth, so that comes out for another reset and a marginal board thin over on Intet's side. Third Top fish... finds a Skybind. Pretty decent for keeping myself alive for the time being. I have Heliod's Mattress Emporium around, and the aforementioned Trap Rock, so I consider shoving Greater Auramancy back on top and doing a Trap Rock draw to get them both in hand. I am one mana short of being able to play them thereafter. As such, I just tap the Top and go for Skybind by itself. At this point, the table scoops. Not due to being overwhelmed by the sheer force of the Skybind, but due to wanting to get food and the game visibly complicating itself. We deliberate the game state further as we drive up to Mickey Dee's. My main angle with the Skybind is to keep Marchesa off lethal Triskelion on me, which would have likely bought me enough time to turn this around. I'd suddenly feel more confident in blasting out Intet and Rosheen, as my odds in the 1v1 seemed pretty nice. Thing is, Intet had a counter, and Skybind was not going to happen. This would start some pretty decisive dominos falling - the presence of Heliod's Mattress Emporium meant that the Skybind was coming back, and Marchesa was very incentivised to expend a whole bunch of resources on killing me. This would take up some amount of focus, allowing Intet to pounce with the Summary Dismissal he was sitting on to stuff Marchesa's value loop once I was out of the equation, making him the likely victor of the game were it to play the remaining few turns out.

Oh, also, as it turns out, the Marchesa took the Mike out of the deck at some point. So me factoring in the infinite was incorrect :P
 
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