Nezahal - the perfect MUC commander?

User avatar
DirkGently
My wins are unconditional
Posts: 2289
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by DirkGently » 5 months ago

It surprises me how few people are playing Nezahal, Primal Tide. It's currently the 29th most popular mono-blue commander, despite being easily available with a recent initial printing, and a precon reprint. Honestly, could you imagine a more perfect MUC commander? He's damn near unkillable, to counters, removal, and board wipes. He provides a ton of card advantage. And he's an oh-so-perfect 3-turn clock without any enhancements. So why is he below clunkers like Bruvac, Braids, Gadwick, Naru Meha, and Fblthp?

I suspect there are two reasons: one, he doesn't provide a lot of direction to go. Second, he's kind of expensive if you're trying to play a control game. Tapping out on 7 mana is a bit rough. But given how undeniably powerful he is, I think that does give us a pretty strong direction - figure out a way to play him safely, and then the rest of the deck can be answers to keep control over the game once he's deployed.

So the basic plan is to run a lot of fast mana - anything that will accelerate out our commander so we can start accruing card advantage. And the second prong of attack is to play a ton of board wipes, since we can protect our commander from them with his blink ability. After that, it's just answers and a few value pieces for fun. Because of our wipe density, we eschew just about anything nonland-permanent based that doesn't provide immediate value. Our ramp is either fast mana, or land ramp, and our value is either instant/sorcery or land (mostly transform lands because I just really like them tbh - some are honestly pretty subpar here). Besides not killing our own stuff with wipes, this also gives our opponents a very narrow axis of interactivity. One last note - we're running a lot of the free counters to avoid going fully shields down when we cast Nezahal, even if that's only T4.

This was pretty trivial to build - threw it together last night and got a couple clean victories. Not the most interesting or creative build, but I think a pretty strong one for such an overlooked commander, and pretty satisfying to play for scratching the MUC itch.
Nezahal, the Undertow

Commander (1)


Approximate Total Cost:

Last edited by DirkGently 5 months ago, edited 1 time in total.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

Tags:

User avatar
pokken
Posts: 4035
Joined: 2 years ago
Answers: 2
Pronoun: he / him

Post by pokken » 5 months ago

Outside of Baral, I think Nezahal is probably the best MUC commander for sure. Has some advantages over Baral in that you don't even need to play an infinite combo you can just 21 everyone in 9 turns, which is pretty easy to achieve, phelddagrif style but much faster :P (though you trade in being the archenemy a significant portion of the game).

The Academy Ruins / Oblivion Stone loop is as good as an infinite combo when your general can dodge O-stone, pretty much the ideal wincon I think.

Deck seems fine to me, although I think you will want a Mnemonic Wall / Archaeomancer effect, or some other kind of recycling. Maybe Time Spiral since it's basically free (and you can safely blink nezahal before casting it to keep him safe).

User avatar
RowanKeltizar
Firemind
Posts: 242
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

Post by RowanKeltizar » 5 months ago

No Sapphire Medallion or High Tide? I'm probably going to suggest this in every blue deck till the day I die. Getting your commander out early is pretty important. I see you running a lot of fast mana but I question if it's enough.

I've often wondered why I don't see old Nezzy that often. She's got a lot going for her for sure, albeit a few weak points. Lack of trample or landwalk being the main one. People can chump block her all day long which is something to be addressed I think in the decklist. I see Rogue's Passage and Expedition Map. But I think a bit of redundancy would be nice. I also see you've got a ton of board wipes, and I assume the plan is to blink Nezzy in response, and that's probably pretty good too.

Dragon Wings is a funny card you could use.

I also think not running ANY draw other than your commander is a bit of a mistake given the fact that she costs 7. I think some early draw pieces such as Mystic Remora, Rhystic Study, and Insight would be helpful to keep pace with your opponents even if they get bounced or wiped out later on. Bouncing Mystic Remora is actually a good thing.

Yes, your commander gives you card advantage if she's on the table, but I don't know if I would rely on blowing everything up and countering everyhting. Ultimately that just pisses people off and makes you archenemy. A fast aggro deck will recover and blow you out especially without early draw.

Teferi's Ageless Insight is also something that I would personally run.

I would probably find ways to up the commanders damage. 3 turns to KO one player seems like too many without any stax effects. Not to mention she doesn't have haste or flash... so she's going to sit out on the table for a whole turn round before attacking. So I would suggest to run a few extra turns to KO faster or stax pieces to slow down the game. Extra turns can also help you build your board and get those land drops early to midgame. I think a good ole Time Warp or Temporal Manipulation would do wonders.

Another way to up the damage would be to copy her with those silly "non-legendary" copy spells. I'm talking about things like Sakashima of a Thousand Faces and Spark Double . Just throwing out ideas here.

Since you don't have any other creatures that can certainly be an advantage to run cards like Crawlspace or Pendrell Mists . Lots of options here if you want to go that route.

Back to Basics or even Winter Orb will just lock things down after she's on the field.
Image
WRBKaalia, Zenith Seeker - Certified Air Raid Material
WBElenda, the Dusk Rose - Drain and Gain
WRAurelia, the Warleader - Tokens/Equipment
URNiv-Mizzet, Parun - Controlled Burn primer
BRGProssh, Skyraider of Kher - One Shotting Since 2013
RGWGishath, Sun's Avatar - I'M YOUR DADDY
GWUBAtraxa, Praetors' Voice - Artifact Stax Beatdown

User avatar
DirkGently
My wins are unconditional
Posts: 2289
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by DirkGently » 5 months ago

@pokken - Maybe it's just my sensibilities, but I don't really get Baral as a commander choice. It's a fine card, but I don't really see what he does for your game plan that you couldn't do without him, just a less efficiently.

My perception is that most people tend to build decks less around a plan, and more around theme - their card choices are dictated by their relationship to that theme, rather than their role within a plan. Baral says "hey, I'm the counterspell guy, so just put in a bunch of counterspells", so people latch onto that, whereas Nezahal has a good plan, but doesn't really spell it out for you.

For my money, I'd rather play Nezahal tbh, since he dramatically simplifies your deck. He provides the CA and a highly durable wincon, freeing you up to focus on control. Witch's Clinic I think was a really solid add for the deck too, since it gives you way to gain significant chunks of life for a minimal opportunity cost. If Baral wants draw, he's gotta run draw, and he's gotta...well, draw it. I he wants a wincon, he's gotta use slots and draw that too. Nezahal has a lot fewer open variables imo, and I dig that. Not to say Baral isn't strong, but I think the Nezahal deck is a lot cleaner and appeals to me more aesthetically.

Anyway, tangential rant aside, it is definitely similar to Phelddagrif, replacing politics with raw power (even down to the unkillable commander). I did definitely become the archenemy, usually after wiping whoever was the previous archenemy. I did have the o-stone loop up at one point (stone got milled I think), but nobody noticed and I didn't actually need it. Instead I recurred the Perilous Vault that got k-gripped, to deny recursion. O-stone lock is one of those things where it could be game-winning, or it could paint a target on my back earlier than I'm prepared for, but it seemed worth trying. Though discarding 3 can be a real cost. Maybe it was just my particular opponents...game 1 an opponent played a Nikya of the Old Ways if that gives you some idea :rofl: and that was a 3-player game where the other player got mana screwed...

Not sure I see the importance of recursion? Pretty much everything is replaceable (the things I'd be most interested to recur are probably the wipes, many of which aren't instants/sorceries). Also unsure why time spiral would be equivalent to recursion - though I do have Commit // Memory which can provide reshuffle if necessary (but it probably shouldn't be, since I've got nexus in there).

@RowanKeltizar - Sapphire Medallion almost made the cut - strong card, but we're really anti-nonland-permanents and I didn't feel it was impactful enough at ramping out Nezzy (worn powerstone fell on the good side of the fence for me, just barely). High tide I initially planned to include, but what can I say - I love my utility lands. The odds of having 4+ islands to get dark ritual mana out of it seemed too slim, and even 3 is probably a coin flip.

Mostly I've not wanted to attack while boards were built up anyway. Attacking was mostly something for once the game was pretty locked up - before that, nezzy is a blocker and CA engine. I did intend to include Dragon Wings but I think it got migrated to one of my niche piles as part of my collection organization and I couldn't be arsed lol. But yes it seems like a good inclusion. Wonder felt at least decent and dragon wings is arguably better.

I wanted to stay on the plan and avoid cards that would be collateral damage for wipes or targets for enemy removal. Generally I'd prefer not to keep a hand that doesn't have a strong chance of playing Nezzy T5 or earlier. Watering down the deck with cards that don't contribute to the plan is going to weaken it overall, I think. Replace rhystic study with a mana vault and I'm happier with that hand 100% of the time.

Teferi's insight is pure winmore here. Don't think it contributes positively at all. It also probably increases the risk our opponents choose not to cast spells lest they trigger Nezzy, so I doubt it'd double the draw even in the best case.

Haste isn't really relevant since we're probably not attacking the turn we play nezzy even if we could. Why in such a hurry? This is MUC lol. We'll win when we're good and ready. I generally avoid extra turns - nexus is in there to provide inevitability and in case we deck out. Partly that's an aesthetic choice - I don't think extra turns create positive experiences - but also I think they can pretty easily be a dead card for a long time. If the board is built up and we're on 6 mana or whatever after casting nezzy off a jeweled lotus, what are we going to do with an extra turn besides a glorified explore? To say nothing of the cost of having a card that can clog up the hand providing no value before casting Nezzy if we're stuck on mana. But more importantly, I just don't think they're really necessary. We can win just fine. In the games I played, once I started attacking, the game was basically over. Dedicating cards to speed that up wouldn't improve the winrate and would likely reduce it because of the times they aren't helpful.

Similarly I don't think stax is actually helpful here. Primarily because they complicate our wiping plan, but also because we're not actually set up to take advantage of them. We kinda need our lands. If we play winter orb, then we essentially trade the precise weapon of direct interaction via counters and removal for a much blunter, and imo much less effective weapon that might stop what we want, but may not. Not to mention, we kinda want our opponents to cast all those innocuous spells so we can draw cards, so making them count their mana carefully would be counterproductive. And finally, while this is no Phelddagrif deck, we're not actually hoping to draw the ire of the entire table immediately since our defenses aren't particularly strong until the late-game. So at best, these would be cards that are uncastable until the very end of the game, at which point they probably aren't necessary because we're sitting on 2 wipes, 4 counterspells, and 3 targeted removals.

Incidentally, I put tabernacle in there because I just like having excuses to show it off, and as usual it was basically mediocre. Draws more hate than it's worth tbh. Definitely not playing the version that costs 4 mana and dies to o-stone lol. Crawlspace is definitely better at what we want and I did consider it, but I think I'd still just rather have another wipe. Incidentally tabernacle and crawlspace (much moreso tabernacle) are kinda counterproductive to board wipes since they deter our opponents from overextending into them. So there's another good reason not to bother.

As far as b2b - besides the other stuff, we've got almost half nonbasics. Honestly I often play against 2-3 colors with a higher basic percentage than my mono-color decks. So I rarely bother with nonbasic hate. I'd rather have a bunch of good utility land value than one maybe-effective hate piece that draws the ire of the table. And it's especially bad with all the neat flip lands we're running.

I did consider spark double, but it doesn't really speed us up since we're on the commander damage plan. Like Teferi's, the draw seems like win-more (though at least it dodges wipes, though discarding 6 is a decent chunk lol - they can be killed by well-timed instant removal though).
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

User avatar
pokken
Posts: 4035
Joined: 2 years ago
Answers: 2
Pronoun: he / him

Post by pokken » 5 months ago

DirkGently wrote:
5 months ago
Maybe it's just my sensibilities, but I don't really get Baral as a commander choice. It's a fine card, but I don't really see what he does for your game plan that you couldn't do without him, just a less efficiently.

My perception is that most people tend to build decks less around a plan, and more around theme - their card choices are dictated by their relationship to that theme, rather than their role within a plan. Baral says "hey, I'm the counterspell guy, so just put in a bunch of counterspells", so people latch onto that, whereas Nezahal has a good plan, but doesn't really spell it out for you.

For my money, I'd rather play Nezahal tbh, since he dramatically simplifies your deck. He provides the CA and a highly durable wincon, freeing you up to focus on control. Witch's Clinic I think was a really solid add for the deck too, since it gives you way to gain significant chunks of life for a minimal opportunity cost. If Baral wants draw, he's gotta run draw, and he's gotta...well, draw it. I he wants a wincon, he's gotta use slots and draw that too. Nezahal has a lot fewer open variables imo, and I dig that. Not to say Baral isn't strong, but I think the Nezahal deck is a lot cleaner and appeals to me more aesthetically.

Anyway, tangential rant aside, it is definitely similar to Phelddagrif, replacing politics with raw power (even down to the unkillable commander). I did definitely become the archenemy, usually after wiping whoever was the previous archenemy. I did have the o-stone loop up at one point (stone got milled I think), but nobody noticed and I didn't actually need it. Instead I recurred the Perilous Vault that got k-gripped, to deny recursion. O-stone lock is one of those things where it could be game-winning, or it could paint a target on my back earlier than I'm prepared for, but it seemed worth trying. Though discarding 3 can be a real cost. Maybe it was just my particular opponents...game 1 an opponent played a Nikya of the Old Ways if that gives you some idea and that was a 3-player game where the other player got mana screwed...

Not sure I see the importance of recursion? Pretty much everything is replaceable (the things I'd be most interested to recur are probably the wipes, many of which aren't instants/sorceries). Also unsure why time spiral would be equivalent to recursion - though I do have Commit // Memory which can provide reshuffle if necessary (but it probably shouldn't be, since I've got nexus in there).
Baral is a card you can play early game and it makes your countermagic hit land drops. You can cut all the iffy mana rocks you need to support Nez, hit your land drops consistently, and then he can also enable some combos (cost reduction 'stormy' combos). He's basically ramp and a consistency engine. You get a much higher density of spells as well since he needs basically no rocks to support him.

For my money, Baral is pretty superior overall. For all the wasted slots you have in ramp you can easily fit in a small tidy wincondition like Thassa's Oracle or something.

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

Time Spiral provides a way to recycle all your spells, 'combo off' by having a massive turn where you remove a bunch of stuff then stick nezahal, give yourself a fresh grip, and pass the turn with mana up. I've had really good luck with it in control shells. YMMV.

User avatar
DirkGently
My wins are unconditional
Posts: 2289
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by DirkGently » 5 months ago

pokken wrote:
5 months ago
Baral is a card you can play early game and it makes your countermagic hit land drops. You can cut all the iffy mana rocks you need to support Nez, hit your land drops consistently, and then he can also enable some combos (cost reduction 'stormy' combos). He's basically ramp and a consistency engine. You get a much higher density of spells as well since he needs basically no rocks to support him.
I'm not saying he isn't a good commander, but I'm not really seeing how you couldn't do essentially the same thing - just a bit less efficiently - with basically anyone in the CZ. Maybe part of my disdain is that all the Baral players I see are always countering innocuous stuff because they want the loot - maybe to hit their land drops... - then find themselves low on cards and out of counters when actual relevant stuff happens. Most commander players couldn't threat-assess their way out of a paper bag tbh. Playing a deck packed with counters is not a good idea for the trigger-happy and inexperienced.

I also think Baral's weakness is that he usually lacks a variety of tools. Every problem is a nail in need of a counterspell(/hammer). Nezzy doesn't care what you use to control the game, so you can use whatever is most effective - which is going to be a healthy mix of wipes, counters, and targeted removal. Baral is usually answering every threat preemptively because that's often the only time he has a way to interact with it. You don't have to build the deck that way, ofc, but most people I've seen do build it that way. And he does motivate you to do that since he's not exactly synergistic with ugins and ostones.
For my money, Baral is pretty superior overall. For all the wasted slots you have in ramp you can easily fit in a small tidy wincondition like Thassa's Oracle or something.
I wouldn't say oracle on its own is a reliable wincon - now you've gotta dedicate more cards to support decking yourself. Not to mention the lack of durability if you're relying on some single, or small number, of wincons that might get discarded, countered, etc. Big dino always available! Big dino smash! :P Though I think the bigger issue in terms of dedicated deck% and risk-of-not-drawing is the draw power. Baral improves your card quality, sure, but if you don't hit a way to draw more cards, you're going to bottom out. And I really don't like being motivated towards using counters suboptimally in order to loot. Imo counters should generally be a weapon of last resort since you're always trading 1:1 with a relatively low amount of information.

Yes, Nezzy does want ramp that baral doesn't need, but you only ever really need 1 piece in your opener, and you can likely survive without it anyway. Baral needs reliable draw over the course of the game to keep topped up with all the 1:1 trading he's doing.

EDIT: I will clarify that Baral is WAAAAY better in 1v1 though, no question. In 1v1 you can happily afford to 1:1 trade all day and win off card quality. But in multiplayer I've usually seen it crash and burn.
Time Spiral provides a way to recycle all your spells, 'combo off' by having a massive turn where you remove a bunch of stuff then stick nezahal, give yourself a fresh grip, and pass the turn with mana up. I've had really good luck with it in control shells. YMMV.
I don't really need a draw 7 with Nezzy in play - if anything that's usually a downgrade for me, and potentially upgrade for my opponents. Densifying the deck with spells is all well and good, but I wouldn't spend a card on it. Plus it does the same for our opponents so that's probably not a huge benefit.

How am I playing a bunch of removal AND casting Nezzy AND keeping mana up, all in the same turn? Time spiral is free ofc (maybe +1 mana with ancient tomb) but I'm not really seeing how it's helping me accomplish all that other stuff.

Definitely a strong draw spell in decks that need draw spells, don't get me wrong. I just don't think this is a deck that has a need for it. Plus personally I dislike refilling enemy hands. Especially in MUC where the rest of the deck is dedicated to outvaluing our opponents through gradual CA value.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

User avatar
pokken
Posts: 4035
Joined: 2 years ago
Answers: 2
Pronoun: he / him

Post by pokken » 5 months ago

DirkGently wrote:
5 months ago
I also think Baral's weakness is that he usually lacks a variety of tools. Every problem is a nail in need of a counterspell(/hammer).
His cost reduction works on all instants/sorcs so really while you want a high density of counters nothing prevents you from playing Reality Shift
DirkGently wrote:
5 months ago
I wouldn't say oracle on its own is a reliable wincon - now you've gotta dedicate more cards to support decking yourself. Not to mention the lack of durability if you're relying on some single, or small number, of wincons that might get discarded, countered, etc.
Obviously not, but you can play dumb stuff like Enter the Infinite and just hard cast them or cheat cast them (Spelltwine type stuff). And wind up only needing a couple slots vs. 10 ramp spells.

Cheat casting from the graveyard is something Baral does enable pretty nicely too, enabling stuff like Torrential Gearhulk Scholar of the Lost Trove Spelltwine etc.

(interestingly I also had forgotten about Jace, Vryn's Prodigy // Jace, Telepath Unbound who is another really solid candidate for best MUC commander. But I think Baral is probably still better.
DirkGently wrote:
5 months ago
Definitely a strong draw spell in decks that need draw spells, don't get me wrong. I just don't think this is a deck that has a need for it. Plus personally I dislike refilling enemy hands. Especially in MUC where the rest of the deck is dedicated to outvaluing our opponents through gradual CA value.
Can't argue with that. I'd like to see some way to recur some spells and/or your library when games go long but Commit is probably sufficient outlet there.

You also might well be right that you have sufficient duplicate effects that you don't need to worry about recursion.

I do think you should be on Mystic Sanctuary though, pretty low cost of doing business there.

User avatar
DirkGently
My wins are unconditional
Posts: 2289
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by DirkGently » 5 months ago

pokken wrote:
5 months ago
His cost reduction works on all instants/sorcs so really while you want a high density of counters nothing prevents you from playing Reality Shift
The issue I've generally seen is more with the lack of wipes for a creature-light deck than lack of targeted removal, though it tends to be light on that too. Against a creature-based deck that plays a bunch of medium-powered creatures, I've usually seen Baral either desperately try to counter everything until running out of gas and dying, or steadily taking hits while praying to draw their lone cyc rift.

Basically the problem imo is that counters are really bad in commander. Necessary sometimes, but a weapon of last resort. Wipes let you gain CA and tempo while answering, and targeted removal lets you wait to see where it's going, what's coming with it, who's the threat, etc. With counters you have little information and you're always trading 1:1. Obviously some stuff has to be countered, and they are relatively universal, so they certainly have a place, but playing an unpopular commander like Baral that waves a big flag saying "I'm going to try to counter everything you love" and then also having few ways to answer existing wide boards and a bunch of inefficient answers doesn't seem like a recipe for success to me. And I don't think I've ever seen a Baral deck win. It seems like a deck built either for 1v1 or cEDH, but one that falls on its face in a 75% multiplayer game where people attack a lot.

EDIT: actually the ultimate Nezzy killer is Trickbind. This deck basically insta-scoops to it lol.
Cheat casting from the graveyard is something Baral does enable pretty nicely too, enabling stuff like Torrential Gearhulk Scholar of the Lost Trove Spelltwine etc.
As I said, I think the necessity of draw power is where more of your slots are going relative to Nezzy. The issue with non-commander wincons is in their fragility and unreliability more than their deck slots.
Can't argue with that. I'd like to see some way to recur some spells and/or your library when games go long but Commit is probably sufficient outlet there.

You also might well be right that you have sufficient duplicate effects that you don't need to worry about recursion.

I do think you should be on Mystic Sanctuary though, pretty low cost of doing business there.
I don't think I've wanted to play Memory so far, and I doubt I would. Everything else aside, the smaller the library, the greater the chance of drawing nexus. Sanctuary I'd probably run if I was playing fetches, but I don't feel like moving them over. Playing it at sorcery speed doesn't really impress imo. Though at least it does count for things like Engulf the Shore, so maybe it's still worth it.
Last edited by DirkGently 5 months ago, edited 1 time in total.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

User avatar
RowanKeltizar
Firemind
Posts: 242
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

Post by RowanKeltizar » 5 months ago

The more I think about it, the more I realize how much of a threat Nezzy is once on the field. The fact that she can't be countered AND can basically dodge any removal you might throw at her is pretty insane.

I've been thinking about how I would deal with your deck if I saw it at my table, and franky blowing up your mana rocks is the best I've got. Maybe Wipe Away? Or just hitting it with Reality Shift followed by Chaos Warp and hoping you don't have 6 spare cards to discard by then. I guess I would hope my opponents can toss in some additional instant speed removal while her ability is on the stack.

Failing that, anti-control staxy stuff.

Btw, I would personally run Thran Dynamo over Worn Powerstone. It can essentially refund you 3 mana the turn you cast it. It's been good for me in a lot of decks.

Coalition Relic has also been pretty good. An investment of 3 for essentially 2 colored mana is a good rate.

Terrain Generator?
Image
WRBKaalia, Zenith Seeker - Certified Air Raid Material
WBElenda, the Dusk Rose - Drain and Gain
WRAurelia, the Warleader - Tokens/Equipment
URNiv-Mizzet, Parun - Controlled Burn primer
BRGProssh, Skyraider of Kher - One Shotting Since 2013
RGWGishath, Sun's Avatar - I'M YOUR DADDY
GWUBAtraxa, Praetors' Voice - Artifact Stax Beatdown

User avatar
TheGildedGoose
HONK HONK
Posts: 267
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: it /its
Contact:

Post by TheGildedGoose » 5 months ago

Nezahal is indeed underrated and is exactly who I would play if I was on MUC. I just don't see much reason to play MUC outside of enthusiast reasons.

Mystical Tutor? Solve the Equation? Merchant Scroll? Vedalken Shackles?

User avatar
DirkGently
My wins are unconditional
Posts: 2289
Joined: 2 years ago
Pronoun: he / him

Post by DirkGently » 5 months ago

RowanKeltizar wrote:
5 months ago
The more I think about it, the more I realize how much of a threat Nezzy is once on the field. The fact that she can't be countered AND can basically dodge any removal you might throw at her is pretty insane.

I've been thinking about how I would deal with your deck if I saw it at my table, and franky blowing up your mana rocks is the best I've got. Maybe Wipe Away? Or just hitting it with Reality Shift followed by Chaos Warp and hoping you don't have 6 spare cards to discard by then. I guess I would hope my opponents can toss in some additional instant speed removal while her ability is on the stack.

Failing that, anti-control staxy stuff.

Btw, I would personally run Thran Dynamo over Worn Powerstone. It can essentially refund you 3 mana the turn you cast it. It's been good for me in a lot of decks.

Coalition Relic has also been pretty good. An investment of 3 for essentially 2 colored mana is a good rate.

Terrain Generator?
Nezzy felt pretty weak against really creature-dense decks (at least if enough people are playing creature-dense decks). Also ofc if people are all throwing removal at her, 3 cards each adds up quick. Though it's really more like 2 cards since the removal itself will draw you a card unless it's Ravenous Chupacabra or something.

I went for powerstone over dynamo because it gives a better curve into Nezzy imo. Both turn 5 nezzy but powerstone leaves you tapped out on 3 instead of 4. Costing functional 1-mana late is neat but by that point in the game we don't really care about ramp for the most part. It's definitely close though. Coalition relic is also solid but didn't quite make the cut. Both reasonable cards, just depends how much ramp you want I'd say. WP is probably my last-pick ramp spell in the deck, that or lotus petal.
TheGildedGoose wrote:
5 months ago
Nezahal is indeed underrated and is exactly who I would play if I was on MUC. I just don't see much reason to play MUC outside of enthusiast reasons.

Mystical Tutor? Solve the Equation? Merchant Scroll? Vedalken Shackles?
No reason over a multicolor control deck, or you don't like heavy control at all? I'd say the main reason for me is that Nezzy itself is a pretty sweet card that provides a very clean plan. Also, I've made a ton of multicolor control decks already. Actually quite a few MUC decks too. I just make too many decks.

I focused on artifact tutors because they can provide ramp or a wipe. T3 fabricate for jeweled lotus into T4 Nezzy is a strong pattern, for example. I think the diversity of options is better there than compared to an instant/sorcery tutor. Also I think we're more likely to be digging for one of the more permanent, artifact-based wipes than a counterspell, or targeted removal - cyc rift is great obviously, but as long as we've got the mana I'd probably rather get o-stone since we hardly hurt our own stuff anyway and it's a more permanent solution. Shackles isn't used because it's a nonland permanent (though it's usually a good reason to play MUC).
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic

Return to “Decklists”