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 Post subject: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-19 6:18 pm 

Joined: 2010-Nov-21 7:11 pm
Age: Drake
I built this because my play group is rough and I needed a deck that had a) as many answers as possible and b) as much card advantage as possible. I think it's light on lands, but besides that (my group is easy with mulligans), its a solid deck. Please let me know what needs to go, and why you think so.

Current Damia build. Control-Combo fun.


Damia, Sage of Stone
Greaves

Ramp

Cultivate
Kodama's Reach
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Oracle of Mul Daya
Skyshroud Claim
Solemn Simulacrum
Primeval Titan

Mass Removal

Pernicious Deed
Damnation
Evacuation
Decree of Pain
Oblivion Stone

Spot Removal

Maelstrom Pulse
Beast Within
Krosan Grip
Turbulent Dreams
Spin into Myth
Acidic Slime
Woodfall Primus
Terastodon
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

Steal

Thada Adel, Acquisitor
Blatant Thievery
Bribery
Mimic Vat
Phyrexian Ingester
Duplicant

Draw Engines

Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Sensei's Divining Top
Scroll Rack
Rhystic Study
Phyrexian Arena
Fact or Fiction
Future Sight - Sensei's Divining Top
Consecrated Sphinx

Tutors

Worldly Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Vampiric Tutor
Mystical Tutor

Recursion/Graveyard Engine

Eternal Witness
Genesis
Volrath's Stronghold
Yawgmoth's Will

Mana Engine

Cabal Coffers
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Primeval Titan
Mana Reflection
Profane Command
Genesis Wave

Control

Seedborn Muse
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Time Stretch

Counter

Mana Drain
Voidslime
Spell Crumple
Last Word
Mystic Snake
Venser, Shaper Savant
Glen Elendra Archmage
Pact of Negation
Draining Whelk
Force of Will

Mana Artifacts

Sol Ring
Darksteel Ingot
Gilded Lotus

Land

Utility Lands

Mystifying Maze
Volrath's Stronghold
Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Cabal Coffers
Tolaria West
Halimar Depths
Bojuka Bog

Duals

Flooded Grove
Twilight Mire
Sunken Ruins
Creeping Tar Pit
Dimir Aqueduct
Simic Growth Chamber
Yavimaya Coast
Breeding Pool
Overgrown Tomb
Tropical Island
Bayou
Underground Sea

Fetches

Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Verdant Catacombs

Command Tower
Reflecting Pool

3Islands
2 Swamps
6 Forests

10 Card Sideboard:

Jester's Cap
Jester's Mask
Sadistic Sacrament
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
Exsanguinate
Planar Portal
Brooding Saurian
Arena of the Ancients
Relic of Progenitus
Tsunami


Last edited by KillerKeeb on 2011-Jul-06 7:34 pm, edited 14 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-19 6:21 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-16 5:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
Damia loves some Forbid and Demonic Collusion. Discarding cards is nothing but cycling to her.

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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-20 6:42 am 

Joined: 2011-May-25 7:16 am
Age: Drake
High CMC cards eat up mana and prevent you from casting your whole hand every turn. What about some evoke guys that you can flush out if you've stuck Damia, such as Shriekmaw.

I'm not a fan of Primus/Terastodon/Ulamog/Jin-Git/Kozilek in the deck. Aren't there cheaper finishers?

Also, I'd love to see cards that make your hand into another zone, such as Shared Fate. Then you're drawing 7 every turn.

Skipping your draw step also doesn't matter with Damia out, so cards like Null Profusion/Recycle are great here. The 2 card hand size is also not a big drawback, since you might even WANT to unload some cards that are not useful given the board situation so that you can draw new next turn. And finally, drawing a card when you play one is consistent with Damia's strategy of "cast early, cast often".

I think the most important thing when Damia is on the board is to keep her there. She has to survive the whole round before you replenish the hand you dumped. More Counterspells can help with that.


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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-20 8:59 am 

Joined: 2010-Nov-21 7:11 pm
Age: Drake
Thank you both for the advice...

I should have mentioned this in the original post, but whatever...I'm not a fan of putting cards in specifically to empty my hand. They are too weak if Damia dies. In my view, she is just another draw engine, along with the 9 or so other cards I have in the deck...

As for Terastodon and Woodfall Primus, if I'm playing green, I'm playing them

The Eldrazi and Jin were my big concerns, more from a "you shouldn't play that because it pisses people off" then a "they don't belong in this deck"...the reason I put them in is because once my mana engine is up, I usually sit there with Coffers and Urborg able to tap for 30+ mana with nothing huge to cast (the only X spells are Geth, Genesis Wave, and Exsanguinate). The main point of this deck is 2 for 1's and CA, so the Eldrazi are amazing because they have ETB effects, save me if I get milled, and support my alternative plans because Kozilek is another draw engine, and Ulamog is another Primus/Terastodon/Acidic Slime...

Jin is the weakest, and I will consider cutting him. Thank you for looking it over and suggesting cards! Much appreciated!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-20 11:27 am 

Joined: 2008-Mar-24 3:27 pm
Age: Drake
Location: UCLA
Have you thought about Insidious Dreams (and to a lesser extent Nostalgic Dreams)? It seems awesome to Dreams at opponent's EOT, then enjoy the Demonic-Tutor-Draw-7.

In the "protect Damia" vein, how about Asceticism?

Another way to ensure that you get Damia is to run a lot of mana acceleration. If Damia gets removed, you just recast it at a slightly higher mana cost. Additionally, mana acceleration helps you cast all the new cards you draw with Damia. Cards like Burgeoning and Azusa can allow you to do something with extra lands that you draw.

There are 3 ways of dealing with problem generals like Damia...
1) Remove her often, increasing her mana cost.
So play lots of mana acceleration so that it doesn't matter.
2) Control her with a "Control Magic" type effect
Consider Homeward Path, targeted bounce.
3) Tuck her into the deck
You are playing the best colors for card draw and creature tutor.


While it can be a decent card (or merely a lightning rod), Lighthouse Chronologist is somewhat of a nonbo with Seedborn Muse, since you can't level during other players turns.

Time Warp seems really strong, especially with Eternal Witness (and possibly Crystal Shard, another way to "protect" your general). If you cast Damia and have 7 mana sources in play and at least 3 cards in hand, then EOT Insidious Dreams -> Time Warp/Eternal Witness/Crystal Shard/(Land)/(Land) will probably win you the game (the (land) is optional, you have a number of draws to get those lands)).

I don't think cards like Terastodon/Woodfall Primus/Ulamog are needed, as you should be able to draw lots of cards, so you would rather cast 3 spells than any of the above. Also, it sucks to have them Bribery-ed.


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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-20 1:30 pm 

Joined: 2010-Nov-21 7:11 pm
Age: Drake
Billy,
I had totally thought about Insidious Dreams, but, as you'll see below, I'm not huge into getting my combo then winning. I like to have less tutors, more fun, and let the deck go where it will.

But, anyways, thanks, very useful suggestions. I honestly can't take out Primus and the Elephant, they have saved my @$$ on so many occasions. They are just way too good (especially when I get my graveyard recursion engine up and running). Like I said above, if I'm playing green, I'm playing those guys...

As for ramp, I'm running 7 mana ramp spells and the Cabal Coffers + Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth package, so I can get huge amounts of mana relatively quickly. I also have a Gaea'sFor instance, in a game versus to Kaalia's and a Riku, I paid 19 to get Damia out before winning the game.

I think cutting Lighthouse Chronologist for Time Warp is a good idea, but I don't want to be THAT guy that runs infinite time walk loops. I hate being on the other end of that...thoughts?

As for bribery, that may be reason enough to cut Jin and Ulamog, but I think Kozilek is okay...


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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-20 2:33 pm 

Joined: 2008-Mar-24 3:27 pm
Age: Drake
Location: UCLA
I'll note that my observations come from playing Momir Vig as my best general almost since she was printed.

If you aren't planning on "combo", I would cut the Mind Over Matter. It isn't good unless you are comboing out... It requires General AND Multiple-Mana-Producer. It's kinda win-more and most people will assume that you are combo if you are playing it. Another card that I have found much less strong in practice is Arcanis... Generally you don't get to untap with it. While drawing removal is fine in 1v1, in 1vN it is removal that isn't killing someone else's threat. It's a card that I find tends to draw more attention then it is worth.

I don't have a lot of EDH experience with Sheoldred, but he also seems like a 7 mana Edict that only can target one player and then he gets removed. (Same with Jin-Gitaxias)

Insidious Dreams is still *bonkers* even if you don't combo out. Another reason I like it is it isn't particularly good in other EDH decks, so most opponents will be reading it.

While Yavimaya Elder is normally very strong, I think it's weaker in a deck that doesn't want lands in hand. I don't think that Buried Alive is THAT strong in this deck... sure, it can get Genesis + creatures, but if Genesis gets removed somehow it's basically a card that does nothing.

I don't find that Yawgmoth's Will is that strong... the cards that you want to recur are usually ones you don't want removed from your graveyard... How about Hollistic Wisdom or Nestolgic Dreams instead?

I think you might cut Perplex for something like Arcane Denial. I don't think Draining Whelk or Mystic Snake is that strong without a way to bounce them (but then, you should be playing Crystal Shard... it's great with almost every creature in your deck, especially your general). Keep in mind that if you bounce your general you can play it from your hand for it's original mana cost.

Other very important cards:
Winding Canyons
Vedalken Orrery
Capsize (perhaps the best spot "removal" spell, also scales well with infi-mana or Seedborn Muse)


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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-20 4:07 pm 

Joined: 2010-Nov-21 7:11 pm
Age: Drake
I really appreciate your thoughts. I want versatility, so I can play the deck casually, but it can kick into high gear if I'm in a vicious game (I play a lot at a large store, and unfortunately not all people follow the "gentelmen's agreement")

I removed The Mimeoplasm,Jin-Gitaxias, Ulamog and Lighthouse Chronologist for Decree of Pain, Time Warp, Insidious Dreams and a game ending card I had forgotten about: Tidespout Tyrant.

As for buried alive, it's way too good of a tutor for Eternal Witness, Genesis and Primeval Titan, which gets my mana-engine online. It can also get Kozilek as a guarantee anti-mill strategy.

I really like having the Mind Over Matter and Arcanis the Omnipotent as a back-up combo in the deck. Arcanis is like a second Damia, if he makes it your drawing a bunch of cards.

Yawgmoth's will is so powerful, and I usually get my permanents back, so the exiled graveyard doesn't really matter.

Definitely considering Capsize, that's a great idea. I need to figure out what to cut for it...
I'm thinking of adding Oblivion Stone and definitely thinking about cutting Sheoldred, maybe the elder (although that only leaves me 6 mana ramp spells)


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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-21 8:53 pm 

Joined: 2010-Nov-21 7:11 pm
Age: Drake
I'm thinking of adding manabond, it's kind of nuts with Damia in play


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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-22 10:03 am 

Joined: 2010-Jan-11 10:50 am
Age: Wyvern
General: Damia, Sage of Stone

3 Fetches
6 Duals
Academy Ruins
Cabal Coffers
Command Tower
Eye of Ugin
Gaea's Cradle
Golgari Rot Farm
High Market
Maze of Ith
Reflecting Pool
Simic Growth Chamber
Strip Mine
Tolaria West
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Volrath's Stronghold
Wasteland
6 Forest
5 Island
5 Swamp
===
40

Magus of the Library
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Azusa, Lost but Seeking
Eternal Witness
Yavimaya Elder
Oracle of Mul Daya
Genesis
Seedborn Muse
Primeval Titan
Avenger of Zendikar
Terastodon
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
===
13

Green Sun's Zenith
Raven's Crime
Spell Burst
Vampiric Tutor
Counterspell
Demonic Tutor
Exsanguinate
Go for the Throat
Naturalize
Profane Command
Turbulent Dreams
Beast Within
Chord of Calling
Cultivate
Forbid
Journey of Discovery
Krosan Grip
Last Rites
Maelstrom Pulse
Spell Crumple
Voidslime
Cryptic Command
Damnation
Explosive Vegetation
Insidious Dreams
Demonic Collusion
Primal Command
Time Warp
Walk the Aeons
Spitting Image
Tooth and Nail
Time Stretch
===
32

Burgeoning
Expedition Map
Exploration
Sol Ring
Lightning Greaves
Crucible of Worlds
Necrogen Mists
Oblivion Stone
Oppression
Words of Waste
Words of Wilding
Abundance
Leyline of Anticipation
Mana Reflection
===
14

Kinda similiar to OP's list, I think. The plan is to use Damia as a draw engine in various ways, either by giving yourself additional land drops via green acceleration, setting up a soft-lock with Forbid (or Seedborn Muse + Spell Burst), or simply casting Demonic Collusion 3 times in a turn and ending on an Eldrazi.

Abundance + Urborg + Raven's Crime, Insidious Dreams, Last Rites, Turbulent Deams, Oppression, Necrogen Mists, and Burgeoning all become extremely asymmetric and abusable when Damia is in play, so the ramp is necessary to ensure that she stays out there. The Words enchantments are quite good, I've never been dissapointed to activate them.

The real heart of the deck is the manabase, as setting up High Market + Eternal Witness + Volrath's Stronghold is the basic long-term plan to grind out your opponents. Academy Ruins doesn't have many targets, but the ones it does will probably end up getting put back multiple times each: Expedition Map, Oblivion Stone, and Crucible / Greaves since they're alays getting blown up by your opponents. Eye of Ugin is there so you can always find a shuffle effect for your graveyard or an absurd fatty, both of which are exciting.

There are a few 'pet' cards that need a bit of explanation. Journey of Discovery is either a mini-Summer Bloom if you have a lot of lands but no ramp engine, or an Elder activation that costs 2 less if you have a ramp engine but no lands. If you have neither, then it's a slightly more expensive copy of Explosive Vegetation, to thin your deck so you have a better chance of drawing the cards you need with Damia. Any of the modes are good for you, depending on the situation. Spitting Image is similar, as you can either ice somebody's General or give yourself another Oracle of Mul Daya / Eternal Witness, every turn. Magus of the Library I thought was too cute to pass up, since it either draws you more stuff to cast, or taps for mana to help you cast the cards in your hand so you can draw some more next turn. It's never a dead card, which I like.

I'd like to find room for a Null Profusion (gets nutty with the Words) and some kind of instant-speed discard outlet, as well as Filth and Wonder to give all of my Bear tokens evasion. I'm very torn on whether or not to run Psychosis Crawler, as he seems really good, but also very fragile.


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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-22 7:09 pm 

Joined: 2010-Nov-21 7:11 pm
Age: Drake
Wow man, this deck is awesome, although I'd cut the eldrazi and just run bribery. There are so many cards I like that I'm not running. turbulent dreams is so powerful, and I'm putting it in tonight. Also, your enchantment package is crazy, I'm thinking of getting Burgeoning, how is abundance? Any suggestions for cuts in my deck?


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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-24 10:40 am 

Joined: 2010-Jan-11 10:50 am
Age: Wyvern
KillerKeeb wrote:
Wow man, this deck is awesome, although I'd cut the eldrazi and just run bribery. There are so many cards I like that I'm not running. turbulent dreams is so powerful, and I'm putting it in tonight. Also, your enchantment package is crazy, I'm thinking of getting Burgeoning, how is abundance? Any suggestions for cuts in my deck?


Abundance is tremendous. You can pretty much guarantee that you're going to be -1 card for Damia if you can make a land drop every single turn. However, the first time you have Azusa in play and get 3 lands off of Damia to shove directly into play, you'll never go back. Or, you can just dump your hand with Turbulent Dreams and use Abundance to get 7 lands for the Raven's Crime sitting in your graveyard. Or how about Insidious Dreams for Azusa + Exploration + Words of Wilding, and using the rest of the draw triggers to get your 4 lands, leaving you with 0 at end of turn and a sick token generator in play? It's a very subtly powerful card, especially in a deck like this which can take major advantage of both halves. You can either draw business, or the mana to cast the business already in hand. Don't leave home without it, lol.

Burgeoning has honestly been pretty hit or miss in my games the times I've drawn it; I don't think I play enough lands to really take advantage of it. If I draw it in my opener, I might put 2 more lands into play, but then I have no way to abuse it since I don't have very many cards in hand, not enough lands to cast Damia, and no way to dig for either more lands or cards. If I was playing 50+ lands (like a traditional Azusa deck) it might be worth it, but all the other accelerants are good enough.

The Eldrazi are primarily to act as a shuffle effect for my discard outlets, but I'm thinking of cutting them both for a Loaming Shaman, since Chord of Calling at that point acts as an instant-speed way to stop graveyard hate, as well as a way to hate on my opponent's graveyards (a glaring weakness of the original list).

I've updated the list to include Muddle the Mixture and Drift of Phantasms to give a little extra tutor power, as well as lowering the curve a bit. Constant Mists has been a real sleeper hit, since I can avoid all the nasty stuff my opponents are playing off of my Heartbeat of Spring. Mana Reflection got cut for Heartbeat, since it's cheaper, tutorable with Drift, and is less likely to get blown up if it's helping my opponents too. Burgeoning stays, since it gets pretty nutty with a Consecrated Sphinx + Abundance in play...

3 Fetches
6 Duals
Academy Ruins
Cabal Coffers
Command Tower
Golgari Rot Farm
High Market
Maze of Ith
Petrified Field
Reflecting Pool
Simic Growth Chamber
Strip Mine
Tolaria West
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Volrath's Stronghold
Wasteland
8 Forest
7 Island
7 Swamp
===
45

Sakura-Tribe Elder
Azusa, Lost but Seeking
Drift of Phantasms
Eternal Witness
Loaming Shaman
Yavimaya Elder
Oracle of Mul Daya
Genesis
Seedborn Muse
Consecrated Sphinx
Primeval Titan
Avenger of Zendikar
Terastodon
===
13

Green Sun's Zenith
Raven's Crime
Spell Burst
Black Sun's Zenith
Constant Mists
Counterspell
Demonic Tutor
Exsanguinate
Muddle the Mixture
Profane Command
Turbulent Dreams
Beast Within
Chord of Calling
Forbid
Krosan Grip
Spell Crumple
Voidslime
Cryptic Command
Damnation
Insidious Dreams
Demonic Collusion
Primal Command
Time Warp
Walk the Aeons
Spitting Image
Tooth and Nail
===
26

Tormod's Crypt
Zuran Orb
Burgeoning
Expedition Map
Exploration
Sol Ring
Lightning Greaves
Crucible of Worlds
Heartbeat of Spring
Oppression
Rites of Flourishing
Words of Waste
Words of Wilding
Abundance
Leyline of Anticipation
===
15


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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-25 8:55 pm 

Joined: 2011-Jun-25 4:15 pm
Age: Hatchling
billyh wrote:
I don't have a lot of EDH experience with Sheoldred, but he also seems like a 7 mana Edict that only can target one player and then he gets removed.


I have to disagree with your evaluation of Sheoldred, Whispering One. While yes she could only end up edicting one opponent before being removed, or even none at all, the same could be said of any bomb. It's the "dies to Doom Blade" argument that kept popping up whenever a decent creature was previewed in standard. Yes it can be removed, but it is the same with any threat. It could even be countered, and there are a lot of counterspells in Commander. But that still doesn't mean that because somebody could answer it that you should not play it, because if she isn't answered, she generates massive card advantage, not only shrinking your opponents board but by recurring the best creature from your yard each turn.


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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-29 6:27 am 

Joined: 2010-Nov-21 7:11 pm
Age: Drake
I played a few games with this deck last night, and I am very happy with it. First off, it does draw hate, especially if you drop mana reflection or mind over matter. Given that, mind over matter and Arcanis (if he survives) are stupid good together, but not a broken-@$$ game ending combo. They just give you a bunch of card draw. Timetwister was MVP. I got Cabal Coffers and Urborg online, dropped a tidespout tyrant, and then cast timetwister with a bunch of mana open. I drew a bunch of spells and bounced my final opponents Riku and Sphinx. Super fun deck! I was playing against someone running eldrazi, so I'm now running phyrexian ingester and duplicant over greaves and stomphowler.


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 Post subject: Re: Damia, Sage of Stone - strong build, but I need advice
AgePosted: 2011-Jun-29 12:05 pm 

Joined: 2008-Mar-24 3:27 pm
Age: Drake
Location: UCLA
RegalFantom wrote:
I have to disagree with your evaluation of Sheoldred, Whispering One. While yes she could only end up edicting one opponent before being removed, or even none at all, the same could be said of any bomb.


You may be right, I haven't played with her. My worry is not that she is expensive and dies to removal, it's that she's expensive, dies to removal, and is an immediate problem for all other players in a multiplayer game.

Dread, for example, is a card that is expensive and dies to removal. But because it doesn't immediately mess with every opponent's board, they are more likely to point their removal at something that does. Players are incentivized to expend resources immediately to deal with Sheoldred.

In a 1v1 game, or if you have ways of getting Sheoldred into play more quickly, I agree with your assessment.


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