Sefris of the Hidden Ways - the Eidolon Shuffle

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 3 months ago

Sefris at first blush looks like a relatively straightforward payoff for the typical sacrifice-themed strategy, outside of his ties to dungeons. On another read, while it's limited to once a turn, it can trigger on EVERY turn, giving the possibility of 4 triggers per turn cycle in a normal commander game. But it wasn't until I'd read the card a couple times that I noticed it triggers from a creature hitting your grave from anywhere, not just the battlefield. This gives the options for:

from play (sacrifice)
from hand (discard)
from deck (mill)
from exile (?)
from the stack (...countering your own spells?)
from the command zone (........?)
from ante (ok I'll stop)

From play is boring. From deck seems inconsistent - I'd love to see someone try, but it won't be me. The other options aren't real afaik. So that leaves discard. Of course there are many cheap discard outlets which could be activated every turn, but we need fodder to fuel them.

So how do we get as many creatures as possible to discard?

While we could just rely on drawing cards naturally, considering the low impact of most discard outlets it seems like we'd likely run out of gas. There are a decent number of creatures that can self-recur to hand, but most of them cost enough that you'd be better off just playing more draw.

Except for one little cycle that everyone forgot ever existed: the eidolon cycle. Damn do I like finding uses for old junk cards.

Okay, neat, but just having a few cards that self-recycle isn't exactly a huge payoff for having to fill the deck with gold cards. We need a way to set it up. Luckily in esper, we have two amazing setup cards: Buried Alive and Intuition. Now we're cooking.

So here's the plan:

1) Get Sefris out.
2) Cast intuition/buried alive to get the eidolons.
3) Get a discard outlet.
4) Play multicolor spells to fuel discard and trigger Sefris every single turn for "free"

I see a few risks for this deck.

1) It might end up being pretty dependent on getting one of the key tutors, which we have good but not guaranteed odds on getting, without running a lot of mediocre tutors. Hopefully the generally-high-quality of multicolor cards makes this less of a risk.
2) It might be a bit slow to get going.
3) It might not have enough payoff. I chose not to lean heavily on the reanimation trigger from Sefris, so there aren't any super exciting targets. I'm hoping to win via a lot of small value off dungeons, which may not be bursty enough to reliably get there.

Anyway, here's the decklist:
Decklist

Commander (1)


The Setup (2)


Less Tangible Means of Control (5)


Approximate Total Cost:

I will confess I didn't go very thoroughly through my mono-color boxes, so there's probably some useful stuff I missed there. I think there's a solid chance the deck might end up with an excessive number of multicolor spells to where it's kind of redundant, so there's probably an argument to be made for including more monocolor and artifacts - but I think I want to run the deck a couple times first.
Last edited by DirkGently 3 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

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TheAmericanSpirit
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Post by TheAmericanSpirit » 3 months ago

Skirge Familiar and Call the Bloodline come to mind.

Edit: Compulsion, Hypochondria, and Mortiphobia are also some neat chaff.
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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 3 months ago

TheAmericanSpirit wrote:
3 months ago
Skirge Familiar and Call the Bloodline come to mind.

Edit: Compulsion, Hypochondria, and Mortiphobia are also some neat chaff.
Considered those (I actually dug through scryfall for all "discard" cards in esper, which is a fair number), but I opted to avoid most things that had an activation cost beyond discarding. Although I almost forgot, I did want to shove in Zombie Infestation. Let me figure that out real quick.

Skirge familiar I think is too expensive. And the mana is kinda awkward since I won't necessarily have an easy way to use it on enemy turns. To justify a 5 mana discard outlet I think I'd want more reliable value.

EDIT: also forgot Archfiend of Ifnir. Blerg.
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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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 2 months ago

Got to play this twice tonight and the results were very interesting.

First of all, it's a pretty strong deck. Won both games pretty solidly. It seemed pretty reliable to set up the eidolon loops, and I always had plenty of multicolor stuff - probably a bit more than needed, but not a lot more. I almost always went for mad mage, and I think I completed it 2 or 3 times the first game, and 4 or 5 the second game. So yeah, a LOT of venturing.

Part of why I wanted to make this deck was to see how dungeons would (or wouldn't) fit into my "mini-goal" idea. On one hand, they're basically impossible to interact with by your opponent. On the other, they're value but they're not a permanent sort of value the way and emblem is.

Overall, I think they provided a really fun thing to strive towards in the game. There's a kind of escalating action, where you get more and more excited as you get close to completing it, and then a bunch of value, and then you reset and start to build up again (please no metaphors...). It was really cool to get to the end of a dungeon because it felt earned. I also think the number of decisions was fun but definitely not paralyzing.

(I should point out that I've done some dungeon stuff in limited but it plays very different - I've almost always done Phandelver in limited because it's so much harder to progress, so it doesn't have quite the same effect)

Beyond the goal of completing dungeons, I really had fun setting up the engine of discard outlet + Sefris + eidolons. That was kind of a fun mini-goal in itself. Obviously Sefris and/or my discard outlet would get killed on occasion but it wasn't hard to set back up again, so long as my eidolons were still available.

On the negative side, it did end up playing out as a pretty harsh control deck, which I think annoyed a lot of my opponents. That's not exactly intrinsic to the deck, although I think a certain degree of interaction is necessary to protect our little value engine and to make sure the game goes long enough to generate a worthwhile amount of value from it. One can certainly imagine a version of this deck that didn't play out that way, but I suspect it would be less focused on setting up the elaborate but efficient dungeon looping.

Overall I had a lot of fun with the deck and will probably play it some more. I may make some tweaking to diminish some of the control elements, although I also really like playing control so maybe just screw 'em. I'll be in a new meta in a month so maybe they'll be less salty about that sort of thing, lol. I do think it would probably be more fun for my opponents if I did put in some classic wincon creatures to reanimate, though, so the game doesn't drag on while I'm trying to find a win. I love spinning control value forever but other people don't necessarily appreciate that, apparently. I was kinda shocked how long some people took before conceding tbh.
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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