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 Post subject: Oloro, Life to Grind
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-27 5:33 am 
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Joined: 2014-Sep-30 6:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
(Note: this is a new thread, the old list is here).
Sorry for the delay, but I have been experimenting a lot with the list. Rather than just make a list of roles, I will take some time and explain the roles for each specific card, as many are multipurpose. The deck remains a lifegain control deck that seeks to stretch out the game, but I am experimenting with making noncreature spells matter more. I have also taken out the instant win combo with exquisite blood, because it felt cheap. I will talk more about the philosophy of the deck in the general section.

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic - My first commander remains my favorite. I got him at the time because, being the inexperienced player I was, I liked lifegain. And I still do. This guy is amazing, but you all know that. For a while, due to my own inexperience, and the general loathing for this guy, I have been keeping this deck low on power, but now I am starting to turn up the spike factor. Oloro is weird, in two ways. First is his obviously unique abilities that mean he never needs to be cast, but tying into that is that a deck can both completely ignore him and be completely built around him to an extreme amount of synergy. Initially I went very strong on the synergy front, and I still am. But I have become more comfortable with adding more generic control cards to this deck, and am not afraid to Remove a card with synergy if it is not holding up. One thing I will say, is that even before the changed tuck rules, my philosophy is that it is his deck, I should cast him if I can.


Rhox Faithmender - not much to explain here, he is a card practically designed for this deck. Boon Reflection does the same thing, but it is good to have this effect more than once, and the 5 toughness makes him a good blocker, which is important, as one of the deck's Weaknesses is there are not enough of them.
Wall of Reverence - a great card for this deck, it looks weak but tRust me it is great. It can block a lot of threats, and that lifegain is amazing. It can quickly grow out of control if anything with 5 plus power is out, and worst case scenario, you gain 1 life.
Sun Titan - I feel like I don't need to explain why this card is good, so instead I will count how many cards in this deck combo with him. 17. Not counting the 37 lands.
Mnemonic Wall - This deck has a lot of instants and sorceries, but few ways to recur them. This card does that and gives me an ok blocker.
AEtherling - this card is an amazing finisher, and is right at home in this deck. It may be a bit boring, but no one can say that it is bad. Unless of course you are quoting this to disagree with me.
Deadeye Navigator - I used to not have this card in here because of a lack of ETB effects, but now there are a lot more of them. Plus I realized what everyone else knew ages ago, which is this card effectively says "1U: counter target spell that targets a creature you control."
Vampire Nighthawk - another amazing blocker, this card makes attacking you a very unappealing option, early and late game. And the Lifelink making this thematic is just gravy.
Erebos, God of the Dead - this guy is annoying for me, because he should be a creature way more than he does. I have 13 black permanents in this deck, which is light, but a lot of them are double black, and I seem to only draw him whenever I need something more aggressive. But he is still very good. His lifegain hosing is not always relevant but critical when it is, as mirror matches are Murder for this kind of deck, and while his draw effect is worse than Greed, it is worth it to have it in the deck twice.
Bloodgift Demon - can attack for 5 in the air, and has the ever so good Phyrexian Arena ability, which on this guy can target my opponents if I ever want to. Not much else to say about this guy, he is just good. I always seem to win when I have him out, and I don't plan to pull him from this deck anytime soon.
Ob Nixilis, Unshackled - he starts out as a 6 mana 4/4 with flying and trample, which is ok but not good. Obviously he can grow quickly, though, so this is not a big problem. But his main ability, I mean, don't you love hate cards that still let them do it? Even when they should not? Because it will cost you 10 life and a creature for the privilege of using something as simple as an Evolving Wilds. For a slow bleeder deck like this, he is perfectly on theme.
Burnished Hart - mana acceleration that is in these colors is hard to find, and this card is perfect. For a list of reasons why, ask Joz.
Solemn Simulacrum - this one is a staple in almost every deck ever, and is exactly what this deck needs: acceleration, an early creature, and even a little draw.
Drogskol Reaver - 7 mana is a lot, but read his ability, then read Oloro, then read it again. If you attack with him, that is 3 cards a turn. That is a lot of cards, and helps a lot In the late game when you need more gas.
Treasury Thrull - I used to run a lot more extort in this deck, but I rarely if ever used it. I am keeping this guy in as a good way to recur multiple kinds of cards, but he just makes the cut. He is a bit slow, and the 4 toughness makes him die a lot.
Ashen Rider - very expensive but very powerful. She can Exile anything you need, and is just cruel when paired with Deadeye Navigator. Because this deck does not have a lot of way to cheat her in she is not as high as she would be in other decks, but she is still decent here.


Myth Realized - I have not had a chance to use this card yet, but I am intrigued by its possibilities. This deck has a lot of noncreature spells to trigger its ability, and this deck could use some more mana sinks. I do not know if this is good yet, and as a dumb beater that is still very vulnerable while in creature form, I am not 100% sold.
Blind Obedience - this enchantment is very effective at slowing down aggro decks and artifact combo decks alike. The extort is also nice, and it comes down early enough to get more use than some of the other cards with it, though it still is not as common as you would think.
Rest in Peace - Fuck you, The Mimeoplasm. I ain't got time for your shit. I know, this card is often frowned upon, but hey, remember what Team America taught us about dicks and a- actually I am just going to stop before this post gets too weird. The more important point is, I took out 2 one time use graveyard hate cards and replaced them with one card, and that is worth it to me.
Angelic Accord - a good value engine, it is not hard to get this thing going. I am gaining 2 a turn by default, and I can easily get that to 4 by just playing the deck. And this thing triggers on each end step, not just your own. While it is harder to gain life on your opponents' turns, it is not too difficult.
Boon Reflection - Just like Rhox Faithmender, except it trades a body for being harder to Remove. Amazing in this deck.
Monastery Siege - I am experimenting with this card. I am not sure if it should stay in this deck, but I definitely want to give it a shot. I find despite Oloro having a draw ability I am always in need of more gas, and this card lets me dig, and with so many artifacts and enchantments as well as creatures in this deck the second option is very powerful as well.
Control Magic - While this card is not very thematic or needed to fill a gap, I feel like the effect could be useful. It is a powerful card, and I hope that it will do fine. Plus, I think that it is something Oloro would do, I mean look at him, he is covered in the weapons and armor of his Defeated foes, he is very much the kind of guy to do this!
Phyrexian Reclamation - Cheap, repeatable graveyard recursion is valuable in any deck, even one with a low creature count. Actually, it is more important in a deck with a low creature count. This card is rarely a dead draw, and the life loss is not even noticeable.
Dark Tutelage - Ok, I get it, I need to just get Phyrexian Arena, I am working on it. Until then, this card does fine. Even though there is a chance of losing 8 life in this deck, I am still gaining so much life that I almost never feel any real pain.
Greed - in this deck, it might as well read "B: draw a card" so it is amazing and anyone who disagrees will be punched in their face and stomach.
Sanguine Bond - "At the beginning of your upkeep, target opponent loses 2 life."
Vile Consumption - a forgotten about and undervalued piece of tech, this card is perfect in a deck both light on creatures and heavy on life. It is one of those things where most people will just pay the life to get it over with, and soon they realize that over the cores of 4 turns with 3 creatures they have lost 12 life. And against tokens decks, this might as well say "If you have more than 5 creatures, Sacrifice creatures until you have 5" as most players just won't be able to sustain that much life loss a turn.


Sol Ring - Do I even have to explain it?
Sun Droplet - like a lot of the life gain in this deck, the trigger is far more important than the actual lifegain, which is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Actually, it can be very good as it can ruin Attrition based decks, although this deck is already strong against those. The best part of it is how it triggers on other players turns, allowing me to pull off all sorts of shenanigans.
Darksteel Ingot - Something something hard to Remove acceleration/color fixing
Crawlspace - a great card for dealing with pesky token decks that want to try to use swarm tactics to keep my life total in check. Not that amazing, as voltron commanders are still a pain, but definitely good.
Chromatic Lantern - oh, I have to pay attention to what lands I tap? LOL NO.
Chalice of Life - This card will almost always transform after the first tap, and 5 life a turn for free is a very fast way to kill someone. A highly underrated card, and a very flavorful and on theme one at that. Not amazing, but one of my pet cards.
Pristine Talisman - It looks like crap leftover from the precon, which is true, but I mean, with Oloro out it basically says "Tap: Draw a card, gain a life each opponent loses a life." And even without him, it isn't terrible.
Well of Lost Dreams - The best draw ability in the entire deck by far. No contest. I seriously have to not pay mana to draw sometimes because I won't be able to cast anything and I have too many cards in hand already.
Etherwrough Page - another underrated card. It is low on the power curve, but it is very utilitarian, very flexible, and very on theme. It gains even more life when you need it, which is more often than you would think, it fixes your draws when you are stuck, and it bleeds whenever you have nothing else to do.
Norn's Annex - Another great way to bleed out token players. Like Vile Consumption, it is very underplayed and at first most players will not notice it, but soon they will realize that they have essentially traded 2 life for every bit of damage that they dealt to me, damage that often will have been Negated by the time they untap.
Lightning Greaves - the classic way to protect your general is useful here. What, do I need to say more?
Darksteel Plate - I am often reluctant to cast Oloro because of my own wraths killing him, so this is a nice way to keep him safe.


Path to Exile - a neat way to Accelerate my mana. I mean, I guess it could be an amazingly powerful and efficient way to kill anything that looks at me funny but hey, that's just crazy talk.
Swords to Plowshares - similarly, a great way to gain some life that people keep Insisting is the best removal spell ever made in the entire game.
Return to Dust - most of the time, this will be cast at sorcery speed, but whatever. It is still a good card. I do feel bitter, though, about buying this before it was reprinted and the price collapsed.
Rapid Hybridization - I actually think I might have too many removal spells in here. This one is pretty high on the chopping block if it comes to it, but I like it enough to keep it for now. It is not a good as the Exile effects on the white removal spells, but having 3 different ways to kill with only 1 mana open is very good.
Swan Song - no one really expects this one, so it is almost never played around. It is great at breaking combos, and the bird is pretty insignificant against this deck.
Counterspell - The classic is still a great choice, and just works great. Plus I have a borderless extension the Jace vs. Chandra art, which is Bad Ass!
Mana Leak - obviously worse than Counterspell, but still effective. A lot of people think that it is not very good in commander, where you have a lot of mana available, but in fact, a lot of people mindlessly tap out, never expecting this card to show up.
Cyclonic Rift - The Izzet specialize in making the table scoop.
Dissolve - an ok Counterspell, I am not in love with this, but it is above average and it gets the job done. If I find something more effective and affordable, it is out, but right now it is fine. I really just need a 4th counterpell, not this effect.
Go for the Throat - I prefer this to Doom Blade, but either could work here.
Hero's Downfall - I don't usually have to deal with walkers, but this is a nice just-in-case card that is not a dead draw when the second line of text is not needed.
Sphinx's Revelation - great draw spell that is also on theme? I wanted this card for the deck for so long and I finally got one. The deck has a lot of ways to repeatedly draw, but drawing is actually a Weakness because there are not enough straight up draw spells. This card is a great fix.
Utter End - Vindicate would probably be better, but it is a bit pricy for me. The Exile effect and instant speed make this card arguably as good, though, so I might run both if I could.


Wrath of God - Bury all Creatures
Day of Judgment - Destroy all creatures. Ok, I will elaborate. This deck relies heavily on sweepers to control the board, as one really big threat or a ton of tokens can Overwhelm my few blockers and take me down faster than my lifegain can tick up. Especially early game, where I am gaining life slowly, it can be crippling, so cheap sweepers are super important. The exact number, however, is a debate I am having with myself. Should I add cards like AEtherize, is my current count fine, or should I take out the more mana intensive options?
Reanimate - the main reason I am running this is the fact that it says "a graveyard" because I don't have quite enough creatures to need this all the time, though I do use this on my guys a lot.
Toxic Deluge - the cheapest sweeper out there, and with a minimal drawback. Can also take out creatures that are both Hexproof and indestructible with ease.
Diabolic Tutor- I used to have a few more expensive tutors in here, but this deck does not really have that many combo pieces to pull, so I never felt like I needed them. I still want to have at least one in here, and this one is easy on the wallet. As I write this, the tuck rules are being changed, which also makes tutors less needed.
Curse of the Swine - Oink! Oink! This sweeper/spot-removal hybrid is a good fit for this deck. As a deck with both white and black, I am not sure if this is the best option, but I like how I can use it early game to take out a couple of threats without hurting my own guys.
Supreme Verdict - Wrath of God: Judgment Day: The Supreme Version
Debt to the Deathless - I used to run Exsanguinate in this spot, but this one is better, and I felt like I didn't need the effect twice. It is probably the most on theme card in the deck, and while it isn't actually needed, I feel like it would be wrong to not run it.
Merciless Eviction - a bit pricier than the other wraths in the deck, but the amazing versatility as well as the bonus of the Exile makes it worth it.


Sorin Markov - To be completely honest I run him more for the first ability being super on theme than the second one, which is admittedly also on theme. He really is just the perfect planeswalker for this deck. I used to run the Dark Ascension version as well, but it was never really great, and I needed for a modern deck.


I will not talk about the ones that exist to fix my mana, just that I work with the mana base that I have, not the one I want.
Strip mine - the classic, the best
Ghost Quarter - the disappointing son
Vault of the Archangel - good value card and threat
Bojuka Bog - graveyard hate with little downside


Propaganda - while I like this card a lot, it was a bit too redundant, and often Backfires
Reckless Spite - the inability to destroy black creatures paired with the chunkiness of the two creature requirement made this one a fairly easy cut
Revoke Existence - Return to Dust says hi
Honor the Fallen and Relic of Progenitus - two slots become one. And one of them is still a 1W rare illustrated by Terese Nielson
Lim-Dul's Vault - this one looks so good, and to an extent it is. It just never worked well for me. I would stack my deck a little, but it never mattered, and it basically always put me a card behind.
Increasing Ambition and Diabolic Revelation - I decided I wanted less tutors. Besides, they were slow and clunky
Archaomancer - I am considering putting this one back in, the effect is very good. But for now I want try out a bunch of new cards, and something had to go.
Unburial Rights - I just did not have enough creatures to need this
Obzedat's Aid - While this one is much more useful, I still felt like it was a dead draw a lot. Also, it is a much better fit in my artifacts deck.
Divinity of Pride - I LOVE THIS CARD SOOO MUCH. And it is very on theme. Plus it is pretty good. But I have serious issues with overcommitting to themes, and I have been working hard to break away. So I have painfully cut this card to try to show myself how it is okay. So expect this card to be back in the list 3 months from now when I give up. It is not needed in the deck, but it does well in the deck.
Vizkopa Guildmage - was fine, but not as powerful as one would expect. It was just annoying to have to pay 3 a turn to keep the effect going, and it died to everything.
Exquisite Blood a�� Was great, did amazing, deck definitely sucks a lot more without it. But while it alone did fine, and Sanguine Bond alone did fine, together they just were unfair. One had to go, and this one was not as good on its own.
Thrull Parasite- the extort was almost never used, and the counter tech was surprisingly underpowered
Cradle of Vitality - while most of the lifgain combos in this deck trigger on simply gaining some, this one is based more on the amount gained, which was tough. Then you had to pay for it, which hurt more. Then you had to have a creature out. Then you had to make sure that creature did fine. The card was actually pretty good, but it was not as useful as I had hoped, so I pulled it out again. It may go back in if the deck gets more aggressive, but for now it is on the bleachers.
Swiftfoot Boots - Lightning Greaves are just better
CRackling Counterpart - was a completely off theme good stuff card that did not actually do much good stuff
Thespian's Stage - I wanted so hard for this card to be good. But I never, ever used its ability ever. I mean that liteRally. I always had something better to do, and if I didn't then it was useless anyway.


(a lot of the descriptions are basically notes to myself and are guesses with very little playtesting, so I could be very wrong)
Baleful Strix - great early blocker, he used to be a bit too pricy for me, but I will get him ASAP
Oath of Lieges - this deck needs non artifact acceleration, and this has been recommended to me so I will give it a shot.
Hanna, Ship's Navigator - recurs artifacts and enchantments, something this deck needs
Lady Evangela - Ok, Joz, you win. Sadly the fucking bullshit of tiny leaders has made her price skyrocket.
Phyrexian Arena - it's been over a year. How do I not have this one yet?
Druidic Satchel - its acceleration, it's a token maker, its lifegain, all things this deck likes
Arcane Lighthouse - great way to answer annoying Hexproof generals
Sen Triplets - very powerful effect, good control card not sure if worth the $15 to experiment with them, but I am interested
AEther Barrier - and we get to the first of a series of cards that will make this deck super annoying. I am not going to turn this list into stax, but let's just say that the cards after this one are mostly there to make my opponents groan. This card in particular is a very effective and cheap way to slow down aggro decks and is not so bad that it will eat removal fast
Bloodchief Ascension - a very powerful card, it can help this deck in Attrition wars and gains even more life. For only a single mana, and the ease of getting 3 counters, this is a cad I can't wait to get my hands on.
Painful Quandary - a great way to whittle down life totals, it will often cause players in late game major problems, as their life totals dwindle but their hand sizes stay small as well.
Polluted Bonds - the card is a bit expensive at 5 mana, but the effect is great. In 60 card magic this card is not very good as 5 mana is often where people curve out, but in EDH this can trigger a lot, even late game
Pschogenic Probe- for 2 mana, this is very, very good. It will come down early, and will punish fetchlands, tutors and other common spells.
Spelltithe Enforcer - while I think that the effect is powerful, I am not as sure about this guy. He is a 5 mana 3/3 that dies to everything. I still may give him a shot, though.
Aura of Silence - this card is great because it is not only an proactive way to annoy your opponents, it is also a threat and an answer. You can use this to take out any problem cads, and it will deter anyone from playing anything really Threatening. Plus if it is Removed, you can usually target something first.
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV - this guy is the big one. He used to be a giant target, and still is, though newer options have stolen the spotlight. I actually am not sure why I am not running him in the deck, but getting him is a big priority.
Isolation Cell - most players will be willing to just pay life, but in a deck with a long game plan like this one, it can add up after a while. Not sure if it is worth making room for it, as some other cards are more efficient
Rhystic Study - this infamous enchantment is the kind of card that most players would run in any blue deck regardless of theme, and this card is on theme. I don't know why I don't own one yet, to be honest
Ankh of Mishra- a much cheaper version of Polluted Bonds, this classic could do a lot of work against ramp
Leonin Arbiter - a fragile body makes this less appealing than other options, but the potential to screw up early lands such as Evolving Wilds is tempting
Copper Tablet - a simple way to deal lots of damage over time, there is not a lot to this card. I am not sure if it does enough to be in the deck, but I plan to give it a shot at some point
Hatred - a very different card then most of this deck, this card can win a game out of nowhere, and I am practically guaranteed to have higher life then my opponents. I have hesitated to put it in the deck because of how swingy it is, but I am really considering putting it in.
No Mercy - yet another way to seriously hurt Attrition and token decks that want to keep my lifetotal in check, I am not sure if it is needed enough to justify spending 10 bucks on it.
Defense Grid - a good way to protect against interference, I am not sure about this one because it can easily Backfire by preventing me from stopping someone else's combo
Sphere of Resistance - a Miserable, annoying card, I don't think I need it, but I think I could try it out one day
Suppression Field - good way to handle less aggressive tribal decks and artifact decks
Dimir Guildmate - a good manasink, I am not sure if the vulnerability to my own removal combined with the sorcery speed restrictions make it good enough
Azorius Guildmage - similar problems as above, while it can be more powerful it also has more restrictions
Bottomless Pit - the most annoying card I could add, I am not sure if I could draw enough to offset the loss. This deck is not too combo dependent, so the random element is not as big of an issue, though it still hurts
Arcane Laboratory - good against combo, can cause me some problems as a large chunk of this deck is made up of reactive spells
Necrogen Mists - not as powerful or dAngerous as Bottomless Pit, though same comments apply
Paradox Haze - neat combo with Oloro's abilities
Aurification - a weird variation on No Mercy that seems to get very little play.


Full Decklist (Excluding most lands)

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic
Rhox Faithmender
Wall of Reverence
Sun Titan
Mnemonic Wall
AEtherling
Deadeye Navigator
Vampire Nighthawk
Erebos, God of the Dead
Bloodgift Demon
Ob Nixilis, Unshackled
Burnished Hart
Solemn Simulacrum
Drogskol Reaver
Treasury Thrull
Ashen Rider
Myth Realized
Blind Obedience
Rest in Peace
Angelic Accord
Boon Reflection
Monastery Siege
Control Magic
Phyrexian Reclamation
Dark Tutelage
Greed
Sanguine Bond
Vile Consumption
Sol Ring
Sun Droplet
Darksteel Ingot
Crawlspace
Chromatic Lantern
Chalice of Life
Pristine Talisman
Well of Lost Dreams
Etherwrought Page
Norn's Annex
Lightning Greaves
Darksteel Plate
Path to Exile
Swords to Plowshares
Return to Dust
Rapid Hybridization
Swan Song
Counterspell
Mana Leak
Cyclonic Rift
Dissolve
Go for the Throat
Hero's Downfall
Sphinx's Revelation
Utter End
Wrath of God
Day of Judgment
Reanimate
Toxic Deluge
Diabolic Tutor
Curse of the Swine
Supreme Verdict
Debt to the Deathless
Merciless Eviction
Sorin Markov
Strip Mine
Ghost Quarter
Vault of the Archangel
Bojuka Bog

Well, that was a lot of text! I hope those of you who survived it can give me some feedback!

_________________
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Last edited by DarksteelElephant on 2015-Mar-28 2:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Life to Grind
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-27 9:30 am 
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Joined: 2009-Mar-31 8:25 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Zealand
Why not Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath instead of Sorin for the Planeswalker spot? Less douchey, free 5/5's are great.

I've said this in another thread, but spoilers don't actually make a list easier to read or at least see the list cohesively. You can keep the explanations in spoilers, but add at least a general list of cards. I personally can't "see" lists unless they are organized by effect instead of type, but that's just me. Basically, there is nothing wrong with running 20 enchantments that all do different things, but running 14 pieces of removal, or tutors or life gain might be too much and a place to suggest a cut.

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 Post subject: Re: Oloro, Life to Grind
AgePosted: 2015-Mar-28 2:10 pm 
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Joined: 2014-Sep-30 6:38 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Thanks for the advice. Fixed.

I actually have been considering him, I don't know why I did not put him in. I probably would run him with Sorin, though I might swap him out if I want to make the deck a bit less brutal.

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