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 Post subject: Rafiq of the Many... Eldrazi!
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-10 4:13 am 
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Joined: 2011-Dec-06 5:57 am
Age: Drake
I got the idea for this deck from the recent emergence of Tron decks in Modern.

So I did a gatherer search for cards who can tutor up nonbasic lands so that put me in green & white. Since Expedition Map was on that list too, I immediately thought of Trinket Mage so BANT it was.

For my general I chose Rafiq of the Many because I have a shiny foil From the Vault: Legends version and, more importantly, I wanted to beef up whatever fatties I was gonna ramp into.

I didn't have to think for very long after seeing the one-off Eye of Ugin in the Modern Tron decks and settled for my Eldrazi friends Ulamog, Kozilek, It That Betrays and Artisan of Kozilek.

Here's the list:

Commander: Rafiq of the Many

The ramp:
Primeval Titan
Reap and Sow
Sylvan Scrying
Tolaria West (can also fetch Tormod's Crypt if needed)
Trinket Mage
+ Expedition Map
for Academy Ruins

Mana acceleration:
Oracle of Mul Daya
Garruk Wildspeaker (mainly for his +1 ability)
Mana Reflection
Gilded Lotus
Sol Ring
Coalition Relic
Darksteel Ingot
Krosan Verge
Temple of the False God

The Engine:
Eye of Ugin
Trade Routes (this card is insane in this deck)
Life from the Loam
Crucible of Worlds

Kill conditions:
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
Artisan of Kozilek
Finest Hour

and other fatties:
Avenger of Zendikar
Consecrated Sphinx

Backup plan if something nasty happens to the Eye:
Defense of the Heart (great with Beast Within and Forbidden Orchard)
Tooth and Nail

Tutoring:
Realms Uncharted
Cunning Wish (if the optional sideboard rules are not allowed this becomes Forbid)
Intuition (usually for the missing Urza land(s), Eye of Ugin and Life from the Loam)
Mystical Tutor
Fierce Empath

Utility creatures:
Riftsweeper (great with exiled Eldrazi, Holistic Wisdom & Cunning Wish)
Willbender
Snapcaster Mage
Phyrexian Metamorph
Eternal Witness
Acidic Slime
Mnemonic Wall

Other utility:
Restock
Crystal Shard

Control:
Venser, the Sojourner
Hallowed Burial (also gets stolen or otherwise encumbered Eldrazi back into my library)
Austere Command
Oblivion Stone
Duplicant
Treva's Charm
Bant Charm
Oblation
Path to Exile
Swords to Plowshares
Beast Within
Capsize
Return to Dust
Krosan Grip
Spitting Image (great with Trade Routes)
Rite of Replication
Tormod's Crypt

Card advantage:
Sensei's Divining Top
Sylvan Library
Coiling Oracle (+1 for it's ramp possibilities)
Mulldrifter
Fact or Fiction
Momentous Fall

Urza lands:
Urza's Mine
Urza's Power Plant
Urza's Tower

Utility lands:
Vesuva (reusable later on with Trade Routes and gating lands)
High Market
Homeward Path
Hall of the Bandit Lord
Petrified Field

Other lands:
Command Tower
City of Brass
Reflecting Pool
Forbidden Orchard
Treva's Ruins
Seaside Citadel
Tundra
Hallowed Fountain
Flooded Strand
Azorius Chancery
Adarkar Wastes
Tropical Island
Breeding Pool
Misty Rainforest
Simic Growth Chamber
Yavimaya Coast
Savannah
Temple Garden
Windswept Heath
Selesnya Sanctuary
Brushland
2 Forest
2 Island
Plains

Optional Sideboard:
Condemn
Dismantling Blow
Spell Crumple
Reclaim
Apostle's Blessing
Pongify
Pulse of the Fields
Purify the Grave
Crop Rotation
Trickbind

The mana base might seem a little shakey with all the colourless lands, and I am playing only 36 (one of which is Eye of Ugin), but with all the ramp I haven't had any problems. I used to play Wood Elves and Farseek but they proved to be too much; I'm only playing 1 basic land of each and the full set of duals and shock duals.

Rafiq is there mostly for the colours but he's a great play the turn after I've played an Eldrazi :)

I think the deck needs some kind of reusable evasion like Dragon Wings or Dragon Fangs for example but Ulamog's & Kozilek's reshuffle abilities don't play nice with these. I could use Rancor instead and stack the triggers so that Rancor is returned to my hand before my graveyard is shuffled into my library but there's always the danger of fizzling. Any other ideas?

The sideboard was thrown together rather quickly, but I think sideboards are frowned upon around here so I'm not expecting a lot of suggestions for improvement there ;)

The deck has loads of synergy and is a blast to play. What do you think? Any ideas or suggestions to improve it would be greatly appreciated!

_________________
Gambling with mages never is.



Last edited by misterQ on 2012-Apr-25 4:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rafiq of the Many... Eldrazi!
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-20 8:12 pm 

Joined: 2009-Aug-14 12:18 pm
Age: Drake
Is this not the perfect deck for Realms Uncharted?

Any Bant deck should consider Finest Hour, and for Rafiq and this deck it's especially synergistic.

It That Betrays without black mana seems just wrong, as there isn't going to be enough forced sacrifice to really abuse it like you can with Barter in Blood. This led me to think of All Is Dust, Martyr's Bond and Wing Shards, all playable forced sacrifice effects in your colors. Don't underestimate Wing Shards, as it easily takes down any Voltron-style deck (Uril, the Miststalker in particular), as these decks don't generally have a lot of spare creatures to sacrifice, and when they do those creatures usually aren't attacking. Dispense Justice is similar, but tends to get much less value unless you consistently have metalcraft.

Weathered Wayfarer is criminally underpowered in a deck that can run green ramp, as you should be able to run a lot of cards that keep you ahead on land rather than running a card that only works when you're behind. Is the basic land singleton deliberate, or do you really think you're better off with City of Brass and Forbidden Orchard? Sure, WW can search for non-basics which is your theme, but it's completely dead as soon as you've cast the Primeval Titan or started using Oracle of Mul Daya, and is tougher to activate more than once or twice even if you cast it on turn one if you're using any acceleration. If you want to keep it though, consider cards like Fieldmist Borderpost and Khalni Gem in addition to your Selesnya Sanctuary to reduce your on-battlefield land count without reducing your mana output. I just brought that up because I have trouble using the Wayfarer in a mono-white deck if I'm going first, as hitting a land drop every turn until somebody plays a sweeper going first seems to keep me from ever falling behind enough to use it.

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 Post subject: Re: Rafiq of the Many... Eldrazi!
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-22 7:31 pm 

Joined: 2011-Jun-04 2:20 pm
Age: Dragon
Weathered Wayfarer isn't that bad if you use it to search up the bounce lands.


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 Post subject: Re: Rafiq of the Many... Eldrazi!
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-25 3:54 am 
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Joined: 2011-Dec-06 5:57 am
Age: Drake
Etsap wrote:
Is this not the perfect deck for Realms Uncharted?


Yes it is! Great suggestion! I haven't played between Kamigawa and Innistrad so I'm discovering new gems every day ;)

The deck has undergone a few changes since my last update, mainly to the manabase. Only 35 mana-producing lands with so many colorless lands just wasn't right so I found some place for more land. Here's an overview:

- Reliquary Tower
- Miren, the Moaning Well (might be swapped with High Market, need to evaluate if I can consistently pay Miren's cost)
- Dust Bowl
- Riftstone Portal
- Hinder
- Spell Crumple (moved to the wishboard instead of Forbid)
- Holistic Wisdom
- Lightning Greaves

+ Forest
+ Island
+ Brushland
+ Adarkar Wastes
+ Yavimaya Coast
+ Hall of the Bandit Lord
+ Petrified Field
+ Restock

and soon:
- Temple of the False God
- Mana Reflection
+ Cavern of Souls
+ Terminus

I've also replaced Ray of Revelation, Krosan Reclamation & Misdirection with Crop Rotation (duh!), Reclaim & Apostle's Blessing in the wishboard.

I've been considering cutting Weathered Wayfarer but I needed a little nudge, so thanks :) I think you're right about It That Betrays as well. I don't want to commit a bunch of slots to accomodate him because the only time I fetch him is with Tooth and Nail, never with Eye of Ugin. I had Finest Hour in the first draft of the deck and it should have stayed there.

- Weathered Wayfarer
- It That Betrays
+ Realms Uncharted
+ Finest Hour

As for City of Brass & Forbidden Orchard, the deck used to have 35 lands of which 11 or so produced only colorless mana. They were needed. But now that ratio has changed to 38/9 so that might change.

I also think Sun Titan might make a return to this deck. Even if it's only to recur lands.

_________________
Gambling with mages never is.



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 Post subject: Re: Rafiq of the Many... Eldrazi!
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-25 10:03 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Yeah, I'd definitely recommend taking out Forbidden Orchard... perhaps for Caveron of Souls or something. It gives opponents things to sac to Annihilator, which is in direct opposition to your deck's core synergy.

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The Command Zone (my MTG Blog).
Commander 2015 Set Review


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 Post subject: Re: Rafiq of the Many... Eldrazi!
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-26 10:37 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Dec-06 5:57 am
Age: Drake
Does anybody have any experience with Burgeoning?

At some point in the game I always seem to have excess land in my hand and not enough turns to play them all :) Could also be handy with the "comes into play tapped" and bounce lands.

Because of that I'm also considering returning Reliquary Tower to the deck and replacing Restock with Praetor's Counsel. The additional 3 mana shouldn't be a problem in this deck and I'm pretty sure it will regrow more than 2 cards most of the time. The rest is gravy.

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Gambling with mages never is.



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 Post subject: Re: Rafiq of the Many... Eldrazi!
AgePosted: 2012-Apr-30 9:31 am 

Joined: 2009-Aug-14 12:18 pm
Age: Drake
Burgeoning is pretty powerful, though there are cheaper ($) options in your colors, if that's an issue. Also, depending on the game, your opponents may decide to ease up on playing lands if they think they've got enough and see you with a full hand. Azusa, Lost but Seeking is perhaps the most powerful alternative, but is also rather narrow. Oracle of Mul Daya is among the best, because it can get you quite a bit of card advantage too. Patron of the Moon can be pretty amazing, but the high up-front cost means it's definitely a late game hand-emptier and not an early accelerator. I do have decks that can vouch for Sakura-Tribe Scout as unexpectedly powerful, and Budoka Gardener does the same job with a little extra punch. These work especially well with bounce lands.

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 Post subject: Re: Rafiq of the Many... Eldrazi!
AgePosted: 2012-May-07 6:34 am 
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Joined: 2011-Dec-06 5:57 am
Age: Drake
I decided not to include Burgeoning after all and instead went for Druidic Satchel. Oracle of Mul Daya is already in the deck and I like the idea of Azusa, but like you said, she's a little narrow. I've made some other changes to the deck too:

+ Druidic Satchel
+ Brainstorm
+ Scroll Rack
+ Banishing Stroke
+ Sun Titan
+ Praetor's Counsel
+ Reliquary Tower
+ Forest
- Mana Reflection
- Coalition Relic
- Trade Routes
- Restock
- Treva's Charm
- Oblation
- Petrified Field
- Forbidden Orchard

Brainstorm and Scroll Rack have great synergy with Druidic Satchel, miracle's and fetchlands. At first I opted for Jace, the Mind Sculptor instead of Brainstorm because it's reusable but then I figured Jace isn't going to survive a turn and gave the nod to the common instant.

This deck has major problems with flyers and I've been searching for a good solution. If only Arashi, the Sky Asunder cost 1 mana more so I could fetch him with Fierce Empath. My preferred option right now is Predator, Flagship, but I'd feel compelled to add Enlightened Tutor. Kor Haven maybe? I'm already playing so many colorless lands... Any other suggestions?

_________________
Gambling with mages never is.



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 Post subject: Re: Rafiq of the Many... Eldrazi!
AgePosted: 2012-May-07 9:07 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I'd still go with Jace over Brainstorm. For one thing, if all you ever do is Brainstorm over and over, some opponents will eventually get over their knee-jerk, oh-shit-kill-it-now reaction and let you keep him a couple turns. More importantly, his bounce ability is far more relevant than you'd expect in a Rafiq deck as removing a key blocker for one turn is often enough to end a game, or at least give you an amazing tempo gain.

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Commander 2015 Set Review


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 Post subject: Re: Rafiq of the Many... Eldrazi!
AgePosted: 2012-May-21 1:24 am 
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Joined: 2011-Dec-06 5:57 am
Age: Drake
Added Deadeye Navigator to the deck and he's fast becoming the MVP :)

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