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 Post subject: Seshiro - By request
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-02 9:22 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-16 5:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
A couple of folks on twitter requested my Seshiro list in the wake of Sean McKeown's deck doctoring article here. So, here's my take. It differ's from Sean's remake in that I focus almost entirely on aggro. Sean's focus is big mana with Sakiko and Sachi, while mine is all about Seshiro, and fielding as many snakes as possible. I've been playing and modifying mine for three or four days, so there are plenty of holes to be patched still.

General
Seshiro the Anointed

Creatures
Orochi Eggwatcher
Mire Boa
Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro
Ohran Viper
Matsu-Tribe Sniper
Gaea's Herald
Changeling Titan
Tangle Asp
Orochi Ranger
Death-Hood Cobra
Sakiko, Mother of Summer
Marsh Boa
Kashi-Tribe Reaver
Nafs Asp
Game-Trail Changeling
Ambush Viper
Sasaya, Orochi Ascendant
Kashi-Tribe Elite
Sakura-Tribe Scout
Glass Asp
Shisato, Whispering Hunter
River Boa
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Mold Adder
Sakura-Tribe Springcaller
Dosan the Falling Leaf
Orochi Sustainer
Woodland Changeling
Sosuke, Son of Seshiro
Hornet Cobra
Orochi Leafcaller
Chameleon Colossus
Anaconda
Lotus Cobra

Enchantments
Steely Resolve
Asceticism
Fecundity
Beastmaster Ascension
Hibernation's End
Nature's Will

Artifact
Lightning Greaves
Konda's Banner
Coat of Arms
Door of Destinies
Urza's Incubator
Emerald Medallion
Sol Ring
Mana Crypt
Orochi Hatchery
Snake Basket

Sorcery
Overrun
Harmonize
Sylvan Scrying
Endless Swarm
Sosuke's Summons

Instant
Crop Rotation
Krosan Grip
Cobra Trap
Back to Nature

Planeswalker
Garruk Wildspeaker

Land
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
Scrying Sheets
Homeward Path
Tranquil Thicket
Slippery Karst
Reliquary Tower
Ancient Tomb
Mouth of Ronom
Strip Mine
30 Snow-Covered Forests

My version lives and dies by Seshiro. If you can't play Seshiro, or he somehow becomes unavailable, you are going to lose. It is very near certain.

Things to make Seshiro a certainty:
39 lands + mana rocks and some mana creatures: You need to be able to cast Seshiro. I would have gone with 40 lands, but I'm going out on a limb and counting Mana Crypt as a land. Besides, Ancient Tomb could pretend to be 2, right? Snow lands aren't necessary; I'm mostly playing them for Mouth of Ronom, but this deck would not suffer too badly. The mana base also serves as a pseudo-toolbox; I play Sylvan Scrying and Crop Rotation to find Homeward Path, Strip Mine and Mouth of Ronom primarily, though the other lands sometimes need searching out.

Gaea's Herald, Dosan the Falling Leaf, Nature's Will: Each of these serves to stop Seshiro (or really any creature) from being countered. Nature's Will can also let you power out a lot of creatures.

Lightning Greaves, Steely Resolve, Asceticism, Kashi-Tribe Elite, Homeward Path: Each of these is to stop Seshiro from being taken from you, or to protect him from being killed. If he gets killed two or three times, it's possible that it's a wash for a Seshiro player. Asceticism makes snakes into incredibly frustrating ninjas. Kashi-Tribe Elite is also near top quality for snakes in general.

-----

The french-vanilla snakes that are blank except some trivial ability or landwalk are simply bodies. Bodies that become strong in the presence of their general. Landwalk is not to be underestimated. Last are the ones that need specific explanations.

Critters whose presence is not completely obvious:
Sakura-Tribe Springcaller - perhaps justly comparable to Ondu Giant, this guy is not looked on fondly by many. However, he can speed up my Seshiro play by a turn, and he is a snake who can then attack for damage or cards. Finally, he's a Shaman for Sachi, which can be somewhat relevant. What he lacks for being Ondu Giant-esque, he makes up for in versatility and tribal inclusion.

Them changelings - They're snakes, warriors for Sosuke, Son of Seshiro and shamans for Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro. Also, Chameleon Colossus is a boss. I am not too enamoured with Changeling Titan because of his Champion requirement, and he may get cut in the future.

Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro - At worst, she's a snake that pretends to be Sisay's Ring. She can help get Seshiro out, or she can attack and do damage/draw cards like the rest. With a few shaman buddies, she can make it possible to cast a finisher. I used to think she was overcosted, but I can see at 3, she'd be a little too spectacular. Also, the +0/+1 mattered once, when my Woodland Changeling got into a tussle with a Trinket Mage.

Sakiko, Mother of Summer - Sean focuses on this one, and in a few ways he's right to do so. She's very powerful. In this deck, her mana is used to power out more snakes, protective enchantments or a finisher. She was more valuable when the deck had Ritual of Subdual in it, and that card may make a reappearance.

-----

Every deck needs a backup plan. Some are obvious, like Coat of Arms or even Konda's Banner on top of Seshiro.

Finally, the finishers:
Endless Swarm - Because Seshiro has a fair bit of protection in this deck, there is a good chance that he'll be around when you cast Endless Swarm, and it will be really backbreaking. Since Seshiro's draw trigger is optional, you don't have to worry about decking yourself (though, if you have a Reliquary Tower out, drawing a bit will make the Swarm so much the worse). Even without Seshiro, Sosuke, Garruk, or even Oran-Rief can make Endless Swarm unmanageable. Hell, it might be unmanageable without any buffs at all.

Orochi Hatchery - if you can cast this for 6 or 8 mana, it's entirely worth it. Sakiko, Sachi, or Nature's Will can make this very problematic.

Snake Basket - This is sorta like Orochi Hatchery, though it's one-use only.

-----

And that's the list. The deck is not without it's problems; at larger tables, it will fail in the face of many wraths, and it currently has difficulties with large numbers of fliers, though I'm looking to remedy that. I also fear that there is not enough hate for everything. Enchantments like Propaganda are backbreaking, and it is not clear that there is enough to deal with them in the deck. Beast Within is not really an option; it gives an opponent a formidable blocker, and can cost more than bargained for.

Cards I've tried
Ritual of Subdual - I found that when I played this card, I was often already winning. Sakura-Tribe Springcaller, Sachi, and Sakiko all make it manageable in varying degrees for me, while I've seen others paralyzed by it. It might make it back in.

Patron of the Orochi - This guy was a combination sacrifice outlet and big mana outlet while making it so I had defenders. He was also super powerful with Sachi. In the end, he didn't do enough because the deck has so few finishers, and did not often need to block creatures.

Concordant Crossroads - Giving other people's creatures Haste has been more disastrous than giving mine the same. Shuffling around Lightning Greaves should be good enough, except when one of the current finishers is hitting the board.

Shizuko, Caller of Autumn - She seemed like she might help power out Seshiro, more snakes or a finisher, but the final analysis reveals that other player's CMC 6-7 cards will probably be more numerous and better than yours. She helps them more and sooner than it will help you.

Blasted Landscape - I found that I was getting bottlenecked with colourless mana. Between Emerald Medallion and Urza's Incubator, drawing more than a couple of colourless sources is often useless.

Cards I want to try
Hurricane - A finisher, a way to deal with flying creatures. What's not to like?
Squall Line - Hurricane, but instant? Sign me up!
Time of Need - Fetches some snakes and Dosan. Perhaps a good way to react to game developments.
Green Sun's Zenith - Maybe like Time of Need, only better.

_________________
Check out my old column, Generally Speaking, at CommanderCast.com
http://www.commandercast.com/category/a ... y-speaking

Follow me on Twitter: @generalspeak


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 Post subject: Re: Seshiro - By request
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-02 9:54 am 

Joined: 2011-Nov-05 8:42 am
Age: Drake
Location: Glasgow
Green Sun's Zenith and Time of Need seem near necessary against tucking considering how reliant this build is on Seshiro. They also have the added bonus of being pretty good toolbox cards here too when you consider the son and daughter. Plus it would suck to not have a legendary snake when you draw Konda's Banner.

Also have you considered Adaptive Automoton or Gaea's Anthem? Gives you another lord effect for the token horde which has gotta be better than some of the weaker snakes. Naf's Asp and Orochi Leafcaller seem to do absolutely nothing that couldn't be accomplished with another snake, and they could be cut for the green tutors or the automoton to help out if Seshiro gets tucked or stolen.

Great concept this. I'm a sucker for quirky tribal decks. One day they'll print a blue/black ninja legend, and I'll have my very own crazy kamigawa EDH tribal deck....

_________________
Current Commanders:
Xenagos, God of Revels group facilitator party time
Urabrask the Hidden big red
Nahiri, the Lithomancer equipment soldier tribal
Isperia the Inscrutable flying tribal
Experiment Kraj fun with activated abilities voltron
Kresh the Bloodbraided cares about death
Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter b/w tokens
Sedris, the Traitor King ambush reanimator
Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest Jeskai instant & sorcery tribal


"Trapped in safety is still trapped."


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 Post subject: Re: Seshiro - By request
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-02 10:08 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-16 5:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
Karousawai wrote:
Green Sun's Zenith and Time of Need seem near necessary against tucking considering how reliant this build is on Seshiro. They also have the added bonus of being pretty good toolbox cards here too when you consider the son and daughter. Plus it would suck to not have a legendary snake when you draw Konda's Banner.
I've never had Seshiro tucked, despite playing against mostly decks with blue in them. There is a lot of protection in there.

Still, I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't worried. The possibility of tuck is one of the major reasons Green Sun's and Time of Need are on the table, and I really do want to squeeze them in.

Quote:
Also have you considered Adaptive Automoton or Gaea's Anthem? Gives you another lord effect for the token horde which has gotta be better than some of the weaker snakes. Naf's Asp and Orochi Leafcaller seem to do absolutely nothing that couldn't be accomplished with another snake, and they could be cut for the green tutors or the automoton to help out if Seshiro gets tucked or stolen.
Adaptive Automaton should be in here, I just don't own one. I'd absolutely want to play another snake that does something other than.... well, you get the picture.

Gaea's Anthem, not so much. Yeah, it wont die in a wrath, but it also wont do anything on its own. Part of the power of this deck is that it piles on as many bodies as I feel I can, so I will have enough to start making dents in life totals as early as possible, but so there's a higher capacity to recover from sweepers. The more creatures you have initially, the more you can draw with Seshiro, and the more you'll be able to keep up the pressure.

The low-curve dorks? They're actually kind of essential. The best way this deck plays out is when it drops Seshiro on turn 4 or 5, and there are already two or three snakes ready to knife some players and bring home some cards. The low-low curve stuff, like Nafs Asp and Orochi Leafcaller are actually really important in making this work, even though they appear to be abysmal losers with the only redeeming quality of being a snake. Besides, Orochi Leafcaller works with Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro for great things, sometimes.

Quote:
Great concept this. I'm a sucker for quirky tribal decks. One day they'll print a blue/black ninja legend, and I'll have my very own crazy kamigawa EDH tribal deck....
I do love my Kamigawa stuff!

I, too, feel the call of the Ninja. Give Sygg, River Cutthroat a try. He's in the same vein as the ninjas, being blue and black, and rewarding connecting with players. My problem with Ninjas in EDH is that there are 8 of them.

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Check out my old column, Generally Speaking, at CommanderCast.com
http://www.commandercast.com/category/a ... y-speaking

Follow me on Twitter: @generalspeak


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 Post subject: Re: Seshiro - By request
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-02 10:42 am 

Joined: 2011-Nov-05 8:42 am
Age: Drake
Location: Glasgow
Sinis wrote:
...My problem with Ninjas in EDH is that there are 8 of them.


My sentiment exactly. Higure, the Still Wind helps as does the U/B colour combo. I'll try it one day. I'm literally just after taking my old casual ninja 60 card apart so the components are available:P

On the subject of curving out into Seshiro, wouldn't wrath effects do a real number on this? It seems like with a plan like that a turn 4 Earthquake or Wrath of God would just take this deck apart. It feels slightly like Kaalia but in reverse (as in comes into play to enable mad beatz), in that if you walki into an early wrath you kinda have to just sit back and twiddle your thumbs for a bit.

I've got this unfortunate habit of casting Kaalia right after someone has decided that when they untap they have to end the early game madness with fire. Maybe its just my playgroup, but people in EDH can be kinda knee jerky when they see stuff happening too quickly.

OT: I suppose I've gotta plug Creeping Renaissance here, if only to act as a nice insurance policy for a deck based around playing lots of little bodies that are actually creature cards rather than pure tokens. Actually Praetor's Counsel might be better as you get some use out of the maximum hand size clause.

Bellowing Tanglewurm would be good here methinks.

_________________
Current Commanders:
Xenagos, God of Revels group facilitator party time
Urabrask the Hidden big red
Nahiri, the Lithomancer equipment soldier tribal
Isperia the Inscrutable flying tribal
Experiment Kraj fun with activated abilities voltron
Kresh the Bloodbraided cares about death
Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter b/w tokens
Sedris, the Traitor King ambush reanimator
Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest Jeskai instant & sorcery tribal


"Trapped in safety is still trapped."


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 Post subject: Re: Seshiro - By request
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-02 11:32 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-16 5:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
Karousawai wrote:
Sinis wrote:
...My problem with Ninjas in EDH is that there are 8 of them.


My sentiment exactly. Higure, the Still Wind helps as does the U/B colour combo. I'll try it one day. I'm literally just after taking my old casual ninja 60 card apart so the components are available:P
Mostly, every time I look to build it on paper, it ends up being some other deck with creatures and a ton of evasion, and way less ninja-ey than I want it to be. Still, you could have a ninja/assassin themed deck :P

Quote:
On the subject of curving out into Seshiro, wouldn't wrath effects do a real number on this? It seems like with a plan like that a turn 4 Earthquake or Wrath of God would just take this deck apart. It feels slightly like Kaalia but in reverse (as in comes into play to enable mad beatz), in that if you walki into an early wrath you kinda have to just sit back and twiddle your thumbs for a bit.
Wrath is something you're going to have to suffer through. Fecundity helps, but it's never going to be a complete solution. Eldrazi Monument does well also. If I could find one, I'd probably at least try it. If this deck had white in it, I'd be looking to Ghostway and Planar Guide, but it's only green :P

I've also considered Wrap in Vigor, because many Wraths are not specifically anti-regeneration. Enough of them are to make it not worthwhile.

Ideally, you'll draw two or three cards the turn you play Seshiro, and then if they wrath, it's mostly zero sum on your end, even though your opponents are closer to truly unmanageable plays. Mostly, you're going to have to hold back once you've got around 4 or 5 snakes on the table, and when they wrath, you churn out a bunch more. If you get wrathed with no cards in hand, you'll pretty much be dead in the water (though, that goes for pretty much anyone). It is just before you play Seshiro and swing that you are most vulnerable to wrath.

This is also where Urza's Incubator and Emerald Medallion are key; more than anything, you lose a ton of tempo when someone sweeps. The cost reducers will let you recover much faster.

Quote:
I've got this unfortunate habit of casting Kaalia right after someone has decided that when they untap they have to end the early game madness with fire. Maybe its just my playgroup, but people in EDH can be kinda knee jerky when they see stuff happening too quickly.
In fairness, it might just be Kaalia, and that they don't have spot removal on hand. Usually, if Kaalia gets to swing, it's a sign that you're going to get badly ruined.

Quote:
OT: I suppose I've gotta plug Creeping Renaissance here, if only to act as a nice insurance policy for a deck based around playing lots of little bodies that are actually creature cards rather than pure tokens. Actually Praetor's Counsel might be better as you get some use out of the maximum hand size clause.
Both those cards are pretty expensive mana-wise. Seshiro's draw trigger is meant to guarantee you'll have gas to continue pressure and to hoard in case of a board wipe.

Though, perhaps these are worthy of consideration, even though you'll basically be doing nothing that turn.
Quote:
Bellowing Tanglewurm would be good here methinks.
I had forgotten about this one. I'll definitely think about including it (maybe in place of the Changeling Titan who disappoints me on a few levels).

Edit: yeah. 04/03/2012
-Changeling Titan
+Bellowing Tanglewurm

Bellowing Tanglewurm is just a big snake? Right? RIGHT?

Edit: 05/06/2012
-Back to Nature
+Bramblecrush
-Shisato, Whispering Hunter
+Adaptive Automaton

Back to Nature was near-unplayable because this deck enjoys the inclusion of several boss enchantments, all of which make playing this deck immensely satisfying. Bramblecrush is the new removal, because it is cheap and flexible, though I may switch it for Naturalize or perhaps Rending Vines. The deck still feels as though it lacks removal, but it's hard between needing to retain a high creature count, and protection for Seshiro.

Shisato was weak; his upkeep was often untenable, and he was, at many times, a win-more card. Very rarely could I surprise someone with lightning greaves and belt them out of the game. If I could squeeze in Swiftfoot Boots, and had more confidence playing Concordant Crossroads with this deck, he'd be a better inclusion. Adaptive Automaton should have been in there from the start. It isn't affected by Emerald Medallion or Urza's Incubator, but he's still a decent snake for cost, and another lord in a tribe with few.

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Check out my old column, Generally Speaking, at CommanderCast.com
http://www.commandercast.com/category/a ... y-speaking

Follow me on Twitter: @generalspeak


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