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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-03 12:00 am 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Antis wrote:
The only ones worth mentioning are Reliquary Tower, Academy Ruins, Emeria, Ghost Quarter, Halimar Depths and Terrain Generator.

UPDATE 2/28/2014:

-Auramancer (not much for her to do here)
-Dissipate
-Spawning Pit (I found out saccing isn't really this deck's thing)
-Gather Specimens (too expensive)
-Ashnod's Altar (see Spawning Pit)
-Wall of Omens (doesn't do enough)

+Omniscience (with Dream Halls already in, I might as well go all the way)
+Final Judgment (BEGONE! NO DEATH TRIGGERS/RECURSION FOR YOU!!!)
+Basalt Monolith (accel)
+Helm of Awakening (ditto)
+Temporal Aperture (testing...could potentially accel/turn Ephy on...and she likes that :wink: )
+Conjurer's Closet (never actually played one before, so testing on the recommendations of many)

Also, I'm going to my LGS today to take a look at the foil Ephara they've just got. Not happy about the 30$ price tag, but I've always thought that she must look gorgeous in foil, so if that's true, I might just give in :) And I shouldn't have much trouble selling the original one, too :wink:


What about Opal Palace or Tolaria West? The palace gets her to 7 which makes her a three turn clock with no outside assistance which is pretty big.

I'm not sure I like your additions...

Omniscience is truly win more and I don't think you had any combo wins in the deck so it's just going to paint a target on you. Dream Halls is at least symmetrical.

Have you considered Terminus? Miracle does a lot of work with Ephara and tuck can be a lot more painful than exile.

Aperture seems really expensive and random for a control deck. It's far easier to trigger Ephara with something like Trading Post.

Conjurer's Closet isn't really worth it unless you're playing a ton of CITP effects (I'm not sure how many you're running). Blinking just for the blink to trigger her is NOT worth the effect.

A few more suggestions after seeing my deck in action (you may already have these in your deck):

Strionic Resonator - There's no shortage of good triggered abilities and if nothing else it lets you draw two from her upkeep triggers.
Perplexing Chimera - This may just be a "pet" card of mine but I love the ability and it lets you steal things just like Desertion or Gather Specimen would. If you're already running the PW Venser it's a perfect target to reset it every turn or you can even use Homeward Path before the creature you steal resolves after swapping control to keep both.
Spirit of the Labyrinth has been really strong in the deck for me. She's easy to bounce/kill when you don't need her anymore and your card advantage is already coming one per turn so you're not losing much if anything while it completely stops other players from getting any real card advantage. Works great with things like Gwafa Hazid, Arcane Denial, or Words of Wind which are all really good in UW control already.
Ixidron - Possibly another "pet" card but this guy is awesome. You're likely playing a bunch of blink/bounce effects so your guys won't be staying face down for long and it answers everything even getting around hexproof, indestructible, etc. while not letting them recast again for 2 colorless more without jumping through hoops to kill their commander.


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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2015-Jan-27 10:25 am 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Thread Gravedigger, do your thing...

Alright, I've neglected this lady long enough and she deserves better. Time for big update!

Please see the OP, I haven't been updating this thread for eons, so I'm not going to list the changes this time. I was going to sort the list by the card's function in the deck, but since Ephara draws cards for creatures entering the battlefield and many creatures belong to different categories, it was a mess. Therefore I've decided to do a simple sorted-by-card-type this time around.

So far, Ephara is a late bloomer for me, the deck is vulnerable at the beginning, but if left unchecked, it grows into a resilient behemoth whose board position can't be shaken easily. I seek to lower the curve and at the same time put in more answers to make sure she gets to the late game relatively ok.

_________________
I could be wrong. I'm just not in the mood.
tempesteye wrote:
In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
'Active decks' list here.
Currently hiring servants for my palace, made from my own walls of text.


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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2015-Feb-01 12:11 pm 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I would definitely cut your curve down significantly if possible. As has been pointed out before in the thread, it's tough to cast a lot of cards and draw a lot at the same time with more expensive spells.

I recently updated my list through KTK/C14 and it can be found here: http://www.mtgvault.com/epsilon-2/decks/ephara-edh/ There's not much in Fate Reforged that can't already be done better for her though. I love my Ephara deck and she's easily one of the strongest decks I've ever built while still remaining "fair" rather than a turn 4 accidental combo win.

One of the strongest parts of the deck for me is the Tezzeret/Trinket Mage package. He might as well be the blue version of a ramp spell... There are 4 mana producers in the deck that can be pulled out with a -0 and several more powerful options at -1. There's so much control to be had with his - ability or just untap Thran Dynamo and Gilded Lotus every turn for 6 mana ramp...

Top and Rack help a lot to miracle on demand for an opponent's upkeep terminus or an EOT Entreat for a lethal attack on your turn.

White Sun's Zenith is another powerful spell for the deck to just get a dozen tokens or some timely blockers and then redraw it later.

I just picked up a force of will I want to throw in the deck somewhere but I'm not sure what to cut at this point.


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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2015-Feb-02 8:21 am 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Well, your build certainly looks more cutthroat than mine, faster, but I'm kinda happy with the slow behemoth, since I've got a few fast decks already. Some cards, like White Sun's Zenith, I don't run because my manabase still kinda sucks and getting WWW or UUU is inconsistent. Don't want to spend much money at this time. My closest expenses will be Geist of Saint Thraft and Brimaz, King of Oreskos.

I'm actually quite surprised you don't run Brimaz - he seems so natural in Ephara. Thraben Doomsayer is another creature that lets you draw from Ephara the turn you cast her and then any time you miss a creature drop. And I would definitely recommend Monastery Mentor. I was lucky enough to open one at the prerelease and he's really sick. You run Talrand, same as me and this guy is better. Curves into Ephara, triggers off artifacts, enchantments and planeswalkers, he grows, the tokens grow... I've already killed a guy by casting Venser PW, -1 him, followed by Tormod's crypt to get those last few points of damage in, while still having enough mana left for a counterspell.

_________________
I could be wrong. I'm just not in the mood.
tempesteye wrote:
In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
'Active decks' list here.
Currently hiring servants for my palace, made from my own walls of text.


Last edited by Antis on 2015-Feb-02 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2015-Feb-02 10:55 am 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I wouldn't say it's a fast deck by any means... It still plays the control game getting slow advantage until it just becomes unstoppable. I wouldn't really call it cutthroat either. I deliberately avoided cards like DEN which could be super dumb with Ephara triggers in general and completely stupid with Venser and pals. It definitely has some money cards in it but it's all been traded over the years as I don't spend money on the game anymore. (I traded a basic land for the Force of Will and a few others cards) >.>

I could see the Mentor being good in the deck but I don't have any yet and if I did get one it would have priority in my Shu Yun deck first.

It's definitely very strong but has slightly less overall power in my deck. The legendary status matters as well as the double blue devotion and flying tokens... It's a bit of a toss up but Prowess doesn't quite support the "draw go" gameplay as well IMO since you want to buff the attacks you're more likely to overcommit/tap out. If I had a second one I might swap it in for Gwafa...

Brimaz could be good but I also don't own one. He kinda fits in the same spot as Hero of Bladehold though for me and the Hero is just better in that role. No one is going to attack into Brimaz unless it won't make much difference so to me he's just a "token on attack guy" which I already have two or three superior options.

Doomsayer just doesn't do enough IMO. He'd be competing with Trading Post and Meloku in my deck. Both have far more utility and the fateful hour ability is likely never going to be relevant...

I think you're overthinking the mana commitments a bit. It's only a two color deck. By the time you have enough mana to make a relevant amount of tokens off White Sun's (say 3-4+) you should easily have the colors to cast it (50% chance of drawing W, 7 to 8 land drops...) Certainly cards like Cryptic Command can be difficult to curve into but are you really wanting to burn a counter on turn 4 rather than on someone's haymaker on turn 8? You'll have more issues having mana for a turn 3 Brimaz/Doomsayer than you will when White Sun's is a legitimate play.


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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2015-Feb-02 1:24 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Hmm... Good points there, thanks for that. I'll think about it.

What you're saying about Ephara being vulnerable at the beginning of the game and then becoming an unstoppable force, that's my experience, too. That's why I'm looking for ways to start mining her as soon as possible. That's why I like Thraben Doomsayer more than Meloku. Monastery Mentor more than Talrand. It's the curve thing that attracts me: T3 token guy, T4 Ephara, get token, profit. My thought process is that I begin drawing earlier, therefore I get more answers to get me to the behemoth stage safely. Well, I made a few changes lately, I have to test this build some more and then I'll share my notes :)

BTW one other card I grew fond of over time is Illusionist's Gambit. It goes right next to Comeuppance in the "you REALLY don't want to attack me" group. And next to the Angel of the Dire Hour in my case. Also, I need to think about adding Trading Post, that seems like a good idea to me. I think I don't want to add as many artifacts as you're running, but this one probably should get a slot.

_________________
I could be wrong. I'm just not in the mood.
tempesteye wrote:
In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
'Active decks' list here.
Currently hiring servants for my palace, made from my own walls of text.


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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2015-Feb-02 5:37 pm 

Joined: 2011-Aug-18 3:35 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
My gambit is in another deck but I don't think I'd really play it in here. It doesn't quite have the kick that I want and costs too much for my curve. Comeuppance is basically a one sided board wipe which gets it by for the cost while it's just an "alpha strike someone else" for a turn delay. Conversely, it's in my Shu Yun deck where I can say "alpha strike someone else ...and your biggest creature now has double strike".

Meloku might only be better in my deck... It allows me to keep land tax active, fill my hand to dig deeper with scroll rack, draw every turn when mana is no longer an issue (can still drop in with terrain generator as well), bounce lands when targeted for destruction or mass destruction, or just get a massive army of tokens later in the game for an EOT untap -> death with anthem effects or Jazal. Plus he's a wizard so I can save him with Riptide Laboratory and a Legendary so I can recur him with Loyal Retainers... I know, mostly expensive cards that combo with him.

I do have to agree that getting that turn 3 Geist/etc into 4 Ephara for the immediate draw is an awesome effect. I still don't think Thraben Doomsayer is really strong enough for inclusion. Brimaz and Mentor for sure though. (Although Mentor isn't really that turn 4 draw unless you also cast a sol ring or something...) I think my deck is brutal enough that making it faster would be a bit much. So that could be part of my hesitation as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2015-Feb-03 8:24 am 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Epsilon wrote:
My gambit is in ... my Shu Yun deck where I can say "alpha strike someone else ...and your biggest creature now has double strike".
Yeouch :shock:
Epsilon wrote:
I do have to agree that getting that turn 3 Geist/etc into 4 Ephara for the immediate draw is an awesome effect. I still don't think Thraben Doomsayer is really strong enough for inclusion. Brimaz and Mentor for sure though. (Although Mentor isn't really that turn 4 draw unless you also cast a sol ring or something...) I think my deck is brutal enough that making it faster would be a bit much. So that could be part of my hesitation as well.
Fair enough. Well, you seem to be having fun with it and that's all that matters in the end, right? :)

_________________
I could be wrong. I'm just not in the mood.
tempesteye wrote:
In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
'Active decks' list here.
Currently hiring servants for my palace, made from my own walls of text.


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