Miraculous Kaalia (Seeker of Zeniths)

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3drinks
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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

MysticCrusader wrote:
2 years ago
Love the Astral Slide Deck. Going to take your build out for a play later this week. Will let you know how it goes. Just had one question though. Was curious as to how Exalted Angel fits in the category Greasing the wheel. Is there something I am missing?
Because like back in the day, you play it face down, then you "slide it" and it comes back face up. Redkroma works the same way.

I seem to have misplaced my tormod's crypt angel, so I'm playing Starstorm in it's place right now. Which, probably should be in the deck anyway. A happy misplacement, heh.
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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Played some games tonight. Of note, I found I whiffed on Kaalia's trigger more than once, although I did hit all three types on two occasions, which feels like hitting the jackpot when it happens.

I confused a player when I scooped up a Nameless Inversion off the flip (I have the textless promo), as he did not seem to be able to grasp the idea of tribal instants. That was awkward. Tribal as a mechanic was awkward in general though, I think.

I got to slide flip Redkroma and Exalted Angel. That was cool. Then I noticed I can't slide Redkroma once flipped because prot. white. That was relevant a number of times, so maybe she is a cut.

I botched on the coloured mana symbol distribution. Land count was fine and I never found myself wishing for more land drops, but I overcompensated for w since I had a couple more br duals. I didn't ever need that much w, and my duals more than powered it. I would have been much better off with a higher distribution to r because of tectonic reformation. Which, that card is amazing, you will play this and you will love it.

I never drew nor needed hall of heliod's generosity. I think it could safely be cut, but since I'd only replace it with mouth of ronom, I think it's in a safe place anyway.

Oh, and getting to table both astral slide and archfiend of ifnir at the same time feels a bit like cheating. Your opponents definitely have the right to be pissed at you because this is a backbreaking interaction. But I'm sure we all already knew this.

On a constructive note, I occasionally found myself wanting more stuff to cycle. This may have been a long game and I had run through a lot of options, or I may just need some more cards. Additionally however, I felt like the A/D/D suite was a bit light and even if I'm not going to jackpot every trigger, whiffing entirely is a feeling that I don't ever want to feel again.

Oh, I got to use eternal dragon too. Cycled and recurred twice in one game. It's still pretty good here in this age.
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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

67780871_1981681105266790_7763252760178327552_n.png
Whoa. Who needs a good morph angel when I can deploy any of them at instant speed for no mana and under countermagic? And then flip them that way as well?
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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Got around to a few changes.

-3 snow-covered plains, -1 snow-covered swamp, +4 snow-covered mountain
-1 heartless summoning, +1 dark confidant
-1 redkroma, +1 lyra dawnbringer
-1 desolation angel (I never found an opportune time to even want to 'geddon ever), +1 sunblast angel
-1 decree of annihilation, +1 undead gladiator (my extra cycling need should be satisfied, huge longtime fan of the gladiator)
-1 resto angel , +1 vindicate (oops moment, angel count rising and our namesake card does a better job at this than resto does)

That's a lot of changes. I think I need to leave this be for awhile now.
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Post by MysticCrusader » 2 years ago

I took the slide deck out last night. Got out to a nice start with the Slide out early, but missed more than once with the Kaalia trigger, which was disappointing. I think I was like 6 out of 8 with the Kaalia triggers. I think I got more than one card 2 times. 1 of which I pulled 3.

Based on this game I felt like I would turn down the Cycling synergies for more threats or removal.

It was an odd game, and I think I was getting picked on a bit by the other players. Also one of the other players had a Mill strategy and that was preventing me from using some of the more critical parts of the deck.

Also, I wasn't sure if the intent of the initial design was for 1 on 1 play vs. Multiplayer, but I figured I would try it as is (with your changes from a few days ago.)

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

MysticCrusader wrote:
2 years ago
I took the slide deck out last night. Got out to a nice start with the Slide out early, but missed more than once with the Kaalia trigger, which was disappointing. I think I was like 6 out of 8 with the Kaalia triggers. I think I got more than one card 2 times. 1 of which I pulled 3.

Based on this game I felt like I would turn down the Cycling synergies for more threats or removal.

It was an odd game, and I think I was getting picked on a bit by the other players. Also one of the other players had a Mill strategy and that was preventing me from using some of the more critical parts of the deck.

Also, I wasn't sure if the intent of the initial design was for 1 on 1 play vs. Multiplayer, but I figured I would try it as is (with your changes from a few days ago.)
I concur, whiffing on the trigger is a feelbad if ever there were one. If you're 6/8, you're doing better than I am, though (iirc I was at 4/7). The initial design was multiplayer, yes. In 1v1 I'd have the whole suite of hand disruption.

Perhaps I'm a more conservative player as I never had a large number of threats out to draw attention to myself (except the one game with both Slide and Archfiend, but you should be going after me at that point). But Kaalia is Kaalia and I'm sure there's some grudges held over that contribute to a player's threat assessment.

Did you like/dislike the deck? Do you see a real future potential in it?
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Post by MysticCrusader » 2 years ago

Did you like/dislike the deck? Do you see a real future potential in it?
I'd give it a few more chances. As I mentioned I felt like the game was a little odd in the way that it played out. I would venture to say about 40% of my cards were milled out during the game. Plus there was a turn 4 Consuming Aberration (that I helped fuel) to put me on the defense real quick.

I don't think that even after being tuned can be super powerful, but playing the Astral Cards makes for very interactive game play and I think that it could be a nice "change of pace" deck for people (like me) who are into that.

When I have some more time I can let you know what cards worked well and what cards were kind of so-so in my game.

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Yes, it felt very interactive to me as well! To the point that I was annoying people with responses to everything. Even when they tried to Path my Archfiend in response to a cycle and I drew with Top to find the street wraith I cycled to save it.

They rolled their eyes. I thought it was a fascinating line of play (I had imperial sealed the wraith to my top deck in anticipation of them not letting me keep demon).
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Post by MysticCrusader » 2 years ago

In my game I wasn't able to play any of the "Grease" cards outside of Astral Slide. So when I was cycling, the only value I was getting was to flicker my creatures, and I was able to do so with Kaalia often. As I mentioned, I hit about 6/8. But on 2 occasions, I only hit another one of the Cycling Angels....which isn't a miss, but sure as heck feels like it when you aren't getting much value outside of the Cycle. I also hit Angel of Condemnation which also isn't that exciting when you already have one of the Astral cards out.

So just based upon this one game, I feel like I would Trim down some of the cycling cards and play some more of the threats...possibly some bigger ones, but the more I think about it, I feel like it would look a lot like your other Kaalia 2.0 deck.

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Thank you so much for that! I had never played a slide deck before so this was a very new adventure for me, all I knew was the stories and the synergies.

I think with scroll of fate I can play more just better threats, and slide the manifest tokens into their real bodies. Or just quit it and go with a more conventional build. Just a couple of blink enablers (strionic resonator sounds good) like my whitemane lion and call it a deck.
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Post by MysticCrusader » 2 years ago

When you mentioned Scroll of Fate the other card that came to my mind was Mastery of the Unseen. So if Scroll works well then perhaps consider adding Mastery too? I was going through my head what might be better. There are pros to both. Scroll can be activated once per turn without paying mana, but Mastery can really start producing some value late game with multi activations.

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

I really don't like mastery because I'm paying 4 mana to blind manifest and then I have to have a cycle and slide to flip it. Too many moving parts.
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Post by RowanKeltizar » 2 years ago

Wondering if Insidious Dreams is a good fit for your list.
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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

RowanKeltizar wrote:
2 years ago
Wondering if Insidious Dreams is a good fit for your list.
No. Why would I? I'm not in need of a discard outlet, and topdeck tutoring a grip of cards. I don't understand the purpose this card offers the strategy?

Elaborate, please.
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Post by RowanKeltizar » 2 years ago

The value of Insidious Dreams over another more cost effective tutor is the discard outlet and the topdeck synergy with our commander (and your miracle cards). I would think for the miracle set up alone that it would be worth consideration. It's an instant speed tutor that allows you to hit literally any ADD you want from your library, ensuring Kaalia grabs us 3 cards on her trigger. This is one of the only cards that enables this in these colors that I am aware of besides Doomsday. Correct me if I'm wrong.

It's worth pointing out that this effect also means we will be shipping less non-ADD cards that we need to the bottom. I hate seeing key pieces getting shipped away from Kaalia's trigger.

You can also set up miracles with it turn after turn if you choose, assuming no other draw.

I would argue that we absolutely have a need for a discard outlet. The discard allows us to put things in our hand that we don't want to have in our hand into our graveyard for later recursion similar to Faithless Looting. At least in my own playtesting this has been the case. Simply because we have so many creatures, we have a good chance to get them in our opening hand, or draw into them when we are wanting removal but we still need a certain saturation for Kaalia's trigger. We can search for Living Death or otherwise the means to reanimate the creatures that we just discarded.

If you can manage X=4, than that means you can draw into something you really need, and also get 3 hits with Kaalia on your next turn. I could see myself getting Astral Slide or Sneak Attack, and three solid threats, depending on what other pieces I already have. There are many options.

Early game it can set us up to get the ramp and colors that we might be lacking, grab key cards like Astral Slide and late game you can topdeck removal, or game ending pieces. X can be 1 in many instances. It's higher on our curve but I think the value is worth it, especially at instant speed. I don't see any drawbacks other than the cmc which is manageable.


I think you have a lot of good synergy but I agree that you aren't really able to field enough of a threat with the lower cmc creatures. While there are plenty of powerful drops at that 5 cmc mark, my feeling is that we still need a few key ADD that are beyond our established rule. However, this only really works if you can cheat them into play fairly reliably or abuse their triggers, as simply having a single fatty on the board isn't going to do a whole lot for us. I think ADD like Angel of Despair, Knollspine Dragon, or Rune-Scarred Demon are worth considering for this reason and I intend to try them out.

I will have more to say when I've played more games with my own list, but I can tell you that the Worldgorger Dragon combo and Sneak Attack are performing very well for me, allowing me to close out a game to some degree of consistency.

A synergy that wasn't immediately apparent to me but turned out to be pretty awesome is Doom Whisperer and Living Death allowing me to field a bunch of creatures at once. This is great if you have some source of lifegain in those creatures. Victory's Herald which was originally just a stand in from my binder, has actually performed quite well in this regard, although I am sure there are more cost effective options.
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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Okay, so what you mention mechanically makes some sense. The math definitely adds up.

However, here's my issue with a one shot four cmc instant - everything it can do once, can be replicated by scroll rack. Sure it doesn't directly tutour but being repeatable, less mana overhead, and needing fewer setup cards enable it to outperform in the heat of battle. It's true I could find slide, but i have two dedicated tutours just to this card (and my general purpose tutours as needed) and there's at least a couple of other tutours remaining I could play on top of that (cruel tutor & beseech the queen come to mind).

I am however intrigued by the final parting line leading to WGD/Animate Dead, I just want more ways i can pitch the half of it when it lands in my hand. Ironically your Insid Dreams both pitches WGD and fetches the combo, but I digress.

I'm not writing it off completely, especially as this deck is still in the developing stage, I'm just not sure it's at that point yet. Whether it's on this plan, slide plan, or something in between, I don't know yet. Or hell something entirely different.
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Post by Cyberium » 2 years ago

I'll check on the Slide build in bit.

Here is another deck I see online: https://archidekt.com/decks/147114#Kaal ... ith_Seeker

It doesn't use Slide, but it does have a bit of draw/discard theme to it, similar to how we imagine using Kaalia #2 to filter out spells. This deck uses Kaalia to grab creatures, then uses typical red wheel effect to dump them into GY while keeping control/blink spells in hand. I wonder if the same idea could be applied here with Volrath's Dungeon, cast Kaalia to grab 1~3 cards, use it to destroy opponent's hand, blink Kaalia, then do it again.

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Post by Isabelle » 2 years ago

Just ordered the cards I needed for my list.

I think I'm gonna try two different strategies. An aristocrats reanimator strategy, and a Feather/Mirrorwing Dragon strategy.

I might also try a combination of the two but I'm not sure how much room that will leave for interaction.

Hopefully in the next couple weeks the cards will come and I can start testing. Will update here, and on my thread if/when I discover anything worthwhile.

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Cyberium wrote:
2 years ago
I'll check on the Slide build in bit.

Here is another deck I see online: https://archidekt.com/decks/147114#Kaal ... ith_Seeker

It doesn't use Slide, but it does have a bit of draw/discard theme to it, similar to how we imagine using Kaalia #2 to filter out spells. This deck uses Kaalia to grab creatures, then uses typical red wheel effect to dump them into GY while keeping control/blink spells in hand. I wonder if the same idea could be applied here with Volrath's Dungeon, cast Kaalia to grab 1~3 cards, use it to destroy opponent's hand, blink Kaalia, then do it again.
That's something of what I had initially envisioned, the linked list, albeit the threat suite isn't exactly as I'd depict but it's definitely realistic.

I don't think building on a strat with one card (Volrath's Dungeon) is a viable Avenue because it's so easily removed. 5 life is nothing for a 40 life format. The red rummage draws plus reanimation is a good look, though.

[mention]Isabelle[/mention], how would you go about building to Feather? What is the purpose of Mirrorwing Dragon? I'm interested in the tricks and synergies involved.
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Post by Isabelle » 2 years ago

3drinks wrote:
2 years ago
Isabelle, how would you go about building to Feather? What is the purpose of Mirrorwing Dragon? I'm interested in the tricks and synergies involved.
So I'm not sure whether this build is viable but it is something I want to test out. Here's the idea:

There are a bunch of single target blink cards in white (e.g. Cloudshift). There are a couple single target "quick reanimate" cards, which function similarly to blinks (e.g. Supernatural Stamina). There are also a couple red token effects, most notably Heat Shimmer and Twinflame.

All told this is 15 cards which is a nice base for a Feather, the Redeemed and Mirrorwing Dragon package. We can then mix in some protection (Shelter) and some other goodies (Tainted Strike) and I think you could have a legit deck. We could get some good ETB effects with our ADD and rely on Kaalia's ETB to keep us drawing gas.

There are some issues with the gameplan:
  • Outside of Kaalia, and black tutor's there's no reliable way to grab Feather/Mirrorwing Dragon out of the deck, and I'm not sure how good the single target spells are going to be without them
  • There is a lack of instant/sorcery support in Mardu which limits our resources within a game.
  • The plan is pretty all-in and kinda fragile, as I'm assuming Feather/Mirrorwing Dragon are going to be removal magnets, which makes me reluctant to build it.
Mixing this strat with aristocrat reanimator is kind of appealing to me as it makes the plan less fragile, and makes tutoring Feather/Mirrorwing Dragon out of the deck easier. However, mixing all these elements spreads us pretty thin and we run out of space for interaction within the list. I think I might be alright with this though as it's been a while since I've built the kind of deck that just drops threats all the time and asks your opponents to have answers.

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Well, definitely keep me posted on it. I'm quite interested where that goes. I even just added mirrorwing dragon to my saved for later.
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Post by Cyberium » 2 years ago

3drinks wrote:
2 years ago
I don't think building on a strat with one card (Volrath's Dungeon) is a viable Avenue because it's so easily removed. 5 life is nothing for a 40 life format.
They can only remove it via the 5 life option on THEIR turn. You can technically empty a player(s)'s hand before they have a chance to remove them using that.

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Post by MysticCrusader » 2 years ago

In respect to the Feather deck, I think using Kaalia 2.0 as Commander to support a creatures like Feather and Mirrorwing Dragon is kinda of a stretch. I don't like the idea of playing a lot of spells with Kaalia 2.0 because you are just decreasing her value in order to basically play a Feather Commander deck with Black. Like you said, it looks fragile, but not only that....what is the payoff? Tainted Strike?!

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Cyberium wrote:
2 years ago
3drinks wrote:
2 years ago
I don't think building on a strat with one card (Volrath's Dungeon) is a viable Avenue because it's so easily removed. 5 life is nothing for a 40 life format.
They can only remove it via the 5 life option on THEIR turn. You can technically empty a player(s)'s hand before they have a chance to remove them using that.
I just am having a really hard time seeing this card's worth in a multiplayer format. I presume this is just my having not seen the card in actual play.
MysticCrusader wrote:
2 years ago
In respect to the Feather deck, I think using Kaalia 2.0 as Commander to support a creatures like Feather and Mirrorwing Dragon is kinda of a stretch. I don't like the idea of playing a lot of spells with Kaalia 2.0 because you are just decreasing her value in order to basically play a Feather Commander deck with Black. Like you said, it looks fragile, but not only that....what is the payoff? Tainted Strike?!
Perhaps. But I'm not so stubborn so as to not allow myself to see a strategy work out. Maybe it is magical Christmasland, but without real data to compare it with we could be closing our mind off to what might have been a legitimate strategy.
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Post by MysticCrusader » 2 years ago

You seem pretty stubborn about Volrath's Dungeon. What data show's us that it is not a viable option?!

I am just giving my input based upon playing a lot of Feather and knowing what makes that work.

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