Mavinda, Abject Failure

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 5 months ago

I almost didn't want to record this deck because it's kind of an embarrassment. On the surface I like the idea of Mavinda - take the sweet ability of Kess, Dissident Mage but balance it out by making it mono-white, and then balance it some more by (heavily) incentivizing targeting your own stuff, and as a tradeoff shave a mana off your commander and allow it to work on enemy turns - cool.

Unfortunately, within the realm of mono-white instants and sorceries that target your own thing, there's only a few major categories:

-terrible combat tricks
-protection spells
-flicker effects
-cantrips

Cantrips was a given. A few protection spells, also pretty easy. But then things get kinda tricky - flicker effects are in relatively heavy supply, but there's still only like a dozen, and unlike Feather you don't get to just keep casting forever - just twice per spell. So is it really worth committing to a blink strategy when I might only draw a couple of them in an average game?

Well, I decided no, and decided to instead go a different direction...and ended up far in the weeds. Totally lost track of what the deck was trying to do, and ended up in one of my mono-white defaults of board wipes + planeswalkers. Probably some bias going on there to make me think it was a coherent idea - part of which, most likely, was the fact that I don't have a fair number of the weaker blink spells, which would have been irritating to track down. As a result, the deck is really all over the place, and doesn't do much with Mavinda outside of using her as a source of occasional card advantage and a mediocre body.

I think if I tried to trace my though process, it started off with the cantrippy, value stuff, which pushed me towards a spellslinger strategy using cards like Monastery Mentor which then pushed me towards tokens, which then pushed me towards planeswalkers since some of them make tokens or buff tokens, alongside anthems that also buff tokens...and then I guess board wipes to protect the planeswalkers...it's all over the map.

Despite being fairly scattershot, it's not the worst deck ever. It can still win a decent percentage of games. But it's basically just mono-white superfriends control with a passable card advantage engine in the CZ. If I was going to give it a grade, it'd probably be a 2/5 simply because I like the mono-white superfriends strat (or maybe even a 3/5...I really like mono-white superfriends lol), but it's not really a Mavinda deck by any reasonable standard, so I don't really feel justified grading Mavinda as a commander for this one.

Anyway, maybe I'll try Mavinda again if I feel like committing to the blink strat, or maybe they'll print enough other spells that work with her to justify something else. I do kinda like the mono-white spellslinger strat, but I think there might not be enough fodder to make it work at this time. Or maybe there is, and I just got sidetracked. Maybe I'll take another stab at it. Anyway, for posterity, here's this train wreck.
Mavinda I guess

Commander (1)


Approximate Total Cost:

Also I realized afterwards that I somehow misplaced some really solid cards like Shelter even though I'd separated them initially...oops.
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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

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FenrirRex
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Post by FenrirRex » 5 months ago

I started just eyeballing the deck without going through the initial writeup and was, like, "Did WoTC design this? They do love to be trying to do three things at once in a deck." Respect posting it up, frankly, there is no harm in recognizing when something isn't working and you definitely fell into the trap of trying to do too much.

Mavinda really benefits from a more focused, streamlined strategy- notably I like how big the crossover is between blink and token strategies in a mono white shell. Your base here is actually pretty good if you scrub the walker and control elements for more ETB tokens. Relatedly, I don't think she manages to spam enough spells to make either Livewire Lash or Sphinx-Bone Wand particularly great, though I tend to be unimpressed with those anyway.

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TheAmericanSpirit
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Post by TheAmericanSpirit » 5 months ago

If it can still win games, "Abject Failure" seems a little harsh. How about "Mavinda, Regrettable Disappointment" instead?
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pokken
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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

Yeah, mono-white blink is superbly powerful and definitely the way to build Mavinda in my opinion :) I've made a bunch of decks like that and with Mavinda I imagine it could be quite solid.

It's shame white doesn't have an easy way to cheat the spells back, but at least you get two uses of them.

It's also a huge bummer that there's not more riffs on the 'discard fatties and reanimate stuff' in white, since I love me some Karmic Guide blinking. There's also no huge way to chain Eerie Interlude since white has no Eternal Witness for some reason :P I guess you could create really awkward loops with Codex Shredder and Treasure Hunter :P

What I kinda like with Mavinda is getting your really big ETB effects like Angel of Serenity and Guardian Archon type stuff and just going ham on the fatties, but it's awkward to get the mana and you don't have simple ways to loot/reanimate them because there's just not critical mass of that effect.

Basically you wind up being a Nykthos deck which is cool but kinda limited.

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 5 months ago

FenrirRex wrote:
5 months ago
I started just eyeballing the deck without going through the initial writeup and was, like, "Did WoTC design this? They do love to be trying to do three things at once in a deck." Respect posting it up, frankly, there is no harm in recognizing when something isn't working and you definitely fell into the trap of trying to do too much.

Mavinda really benefits from a more focused, streamlined strategy- notably I like how big the crossover is between blink and token strategies in a mono white shell. Your base here is actually pretty good if you scrub the walker and control elements for more ETB tokens. Relatedly, I don't think she manages to spam enough spells to make either Livewire Lash or Sphinx-Bone Wand particularly great, though I tend to be unimpressed with those anyway.
Well I still like the idea of focusing on a spellslinger strat, if only because everyone else is already doing blink. But the walker stuff does probably need to get excised, if only to refocus on the Mavinda part of the deck.

Wand is real expensive, but I think I'd want to keep it simply to retain realistic spellslinging wincons. It's kinda hard to get there on the back of Vanguard of Brimaz.
TheAmericanSpirit wrote:
5 months ago
If it can still win games, "Abject Failure" seems a little harsh. How about "Mavinda, Regrettable Disappointment" instead?
It's more of a failure than disappointment. It was still relatively fun to play so it wasn't really disappointing, but I think as a deckbuilding exercise it was a total failure.
pokken wrote:
5 months ago
Yeah, mono-white blink is superbly powerful and definitely the way to build Mavinda in my opinion :) I've made a bunch of decks like that and with Mavinda I imagine it could be quite solid.

It's shame white doesn't have an easy way to cheat the spells back, but at least you get two uses of them.

It's also a huge bummer that there's not more riffs on the 'discard fatties and reanimate stuff' in white, since I love me some Karmic Guide blinking. There's also no huge way to chain Eerie Interlude since white has no Eternal Witness for some reason :P I guess you could create really awkward loops with Codex Shredder and Treasure Hunter :P

What I kinda like with Mavinda is getting your really big ETB effects like Angel of Serenity and Guardian Archon type stuff and just going ham on the fatties, but it's awkward to get the mana and you don't have simple ways to loot/reanimate them because there's just not critical mass of that effect.

Basically you wind up being a Nykthos deck which is cool but kinda limited.
Problem is, if you do go blink, there are stronger ways to do that in other colors. I mean, Mavinda compared to Brago is a bit of a joke. I worry even within her own deck, she'd be overshadowed by the likes of Eldrazi Displacer simply because the blink just isn't reliable enough with so few blink spells and only 2 shots at each.

If you like white discard + reanimation, might I recommend Plargg, Dean of Chaos // Augusta, Dean of Order? :D
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

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FenrirRex
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Post by FenrirRex » 5 months ago

DirkGently wrote:
5 months ago
FenrirRex wrote:
5 months ago
I started just eyeballing the deck without going through the initial writeup and was, like, "Did WoTC design this? They do love to be trying to do three things at once in a deck." Respect posting it up, frankly, there is no harm in recognizing when something isn't working and you definitely fell into the trap of trying to do too much.

Mavinda really benefits from a more focused, streamlined strategy- notably I like how big the crossover is between blink and token strategies in a mono white shell. Your base here is actually pretty good if you scrub the walker and control elements for more ETB tokens. Relatedly, I don't think she manages to spam enough spells to make either Livewire Lash or Sphinx-Bone Wand particularly great, though I tend to be unimpressed with those anyway.
Well I still like the idea of focusing on a spellslinger strat, if only because everyone else is already doing blink. But the walker stuff does probably need to get excised, if only to refocus on the Mavinda part of the deck.

Wand is real expensive, but I think I'd want to keep it simply to retain realistic spellslinging wincons. It's kinda hard to get there on the back of Vanguard of Brimaz.
Yeah, I definitely get wanting to try and go in a different direction than what appears "best," the real problem is that I just don't see enough good targeting white spells that are not flicker effects. The cantrips are fine but they are not exactly designed to carry, and they don't have the value generated by Feather or Zada. The next best thing is going wide, which you've got built in to this shell already with a little more support, but even that really begs to see Geist-Honored Monk type cards bounced around. You might try tokens + things like Phalanx Tactics that target and create mini overruns, letting you lean into slinging still.

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