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 Post subject: Ob Nixlis of the Black Oath
AgePosted: 2014-Nov-11 9:22 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
So, I'm about to post my article on tuning up the Ob-Nixilis deck on my blog, and while writing I finally realized something about Ob Nixilis that bothered me. He's open-ended, in a way that Deretti and Nahiri are very much NOT, and while he's good (better than he looked on paper but not super-powerful either), he's also generic...

What I'm getting at is, there are a very high number of decks that I can come up with where if I ask the question of myself "Could this work with Ob Nixilis at the helm?" the answer is almost always "Yes".... which is fine. The problem is, for me, the logical follow-up question is always going to be "Is Ob Nixilis the best option to use as the commander for this deck?" and the answer to that has, so far, always been "No".

So even though he can be a perfectly adequate commander for whatever deck I think of, including the one I currently have built, I feel like there is basically always at least one option that is clearly better, if not many.

So, my question to the forums is this: What deck concept can you come up with where you feel like Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath is clearly THE best possible choice to be the commander? IS there such a deck?

I should point out that I am the type of player who would base the answer to this on mechanical interaction and synergy, not on story-driven themes. In short, how the deck plays and interacts with the commander is more imporant than, say, jamming every card that features or references Ob Nixilis into the deck to make it a "Ob Nixilis, Behind the man, the myth, the demon" kind of deck.

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 Post subject: Re: Ob Nixlis of the Black Oath
AgePosted: 2014-Nov-11 11:58 am 

Joined: 2013-Oct-09 7:02 am
Age: Elder Dragon
You could try something like this.

Removal:
Slaughter
Damnation
etc

Recursion:
Nether Traitor
Bloodghast
Reassembling Skeleton
Phyrexian Reclamation
etc

Pump:
Grafted Wargear
Argentum Armor
Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang
Death Pit Offering
etc

Gaining life is good:
Sanguine Bond
Well of Lost Dreams

Game plan is to remove creatures until you get the emblem then just out value everyone. Game plan two is to get lots of pumped demons and remove bigger threats and just win with attacking. The recursion and removal is pretty standard but the two cards that trigger off of gain life and the pump cards could make the deck a bit more unique. Also Kagemaro, First to Suffer has nice interactions with recursion and the emblem and Tatsumasa, the Dragon's Fang is great with the emblem.


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 Post subject: Re: Ob Nixlis of the Black Oath
AgePosted: 2014-Nov-12 2:44 am 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
My best guess would be some form of control deck with a very high Wrath count. Ob's unique advantages are, really, his emblem and his nature as a planeswalker (so you can wrath the board at will and keep your Commander). Stick Ob, remove threats until you can get his emblem, and proceed to drown your opponents in life and card advantage. The creatures in such a deck should obviously be disposable anyway, so sacrificing them isn't a big deal.

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 Post subject: Re: Ob Nixlis of the Black Oath
AgePosted: 2014-Nov-12 5:00 am 

Joined: 2013-Jan-07 1:45 am
Age: Dragon
I was really hoping for a good black EDH planeswalker out of this set, but like you I feel a little let down. The only interesting ability on this guy is his ultimate. And I think the odds of firing that off are basically zero. So, a more productive avenue might be trying to build around the -2 ability, which, as already stated, is probably good with a lot of wraths. Having an unlimited supply of 5/5 fliers does seem pretty strong, if kind of boring.

The other problem is there's a lot of very good mono black commanders. But maybe this guy is good because he's "less threatening" than the existing good commanders - one thing I think the blue and green planeswalkers have going for them.

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 Post subject: Re: Ob Nixlis of the Black Oath
AgePosted: 2014-Nov-13 8:15 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-16 5:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
Contagion Engine with Ob could let you churn out 5/5 demons for as long as you had life to pay.

Honestly, this guy didn't feel super powerful. However, he is the only monoblack commander that can unconditionally gain you life for the purposes of paying into Erebos, God of the Dead, Greed.

Having your commander ready to supply life to pay out makes many black cards a sweeter deal than they already are. I may build around it with Toxic Deluge, Hellfire, etc. There's also a demon tribal angle that could be pursued (which seems to be what the precon is more or less about).

The Momentous Fall emblem is bonkers, but unlikely. I really like Disciple of Bolas and Momentous Fall, so, it's pretty exciting to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Ob Nixlis of the Black Oath
AgePosted: 2014-Nov-20 8:42 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
mmcgeach wrote:
But maybe this guy is good because he's "less threatening" than the existing good commanders...


Never underestimate the effect of not being the most threatening person on the board. I do not know how many games I have won or even lost but had a good time because everybody was in "Kill Kaalia mode." This is so important when we are talking about multiplayer games... now 1v1 there is a more solid "best option" argument, but here ... it's all subjective. :lol:

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Shabbaman wrote:
The usual answer is "the social contract", but I guess that is not what you are looking for. Try house rules.


With perfect mana, reasonable removal, disruption, and card advantage, we're back to pitchforks and torches. And it's about to get worse for those who do not enjoy the game as Richard Garfield intended, playing as few win conditions as possible and prompting concession after all hopes (and spells) are lost. - Shaheen Soorani


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 Post subject: Re: Ob Nixlis of the Black Oath
AgePosted: 2014-Dec-09 6:32 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I was reading a good article that prompted me to update my own version of Ob Nixilis. Abe Sargent always has some good ideas and so I did a comparison of the decks.

One thing that keeps coming up is I do not have a Gate to Phyrexia. I cant think of how many times I have gone to a card shop planning on grabbing one, but I get distracted by something shiny or they do not have one... odd right? While it is not the best anti artifact removal... mono-black has few (possibly no other) options.

He also has a lot more "sac for value" aspects than mine does, I have more tutors etc. part of this is that it was originally designed to be 1v1, but luckily my group has been better at getting 4+ people the last few times we have played.

He does include Iname, Death Aspect but t here is only 3 spirits in the deck. Granted these are Nether Shadow, Nether Traitor and Bloodghast which makes a lot of the sac engines tick. I am not sure about this I do think that Buried Alive or Entomb might be better here as that would give some more flexibility and a significant discount in mana.

For reference http://www.starcitygames.com/article/29876_Lurking-In-The-Shadows.html

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Shabbaman wrote:
The usual answer is "the social contract", but I guess that is not what you are looking for. Try house rules.


With perfect mana, reasonable removal, disruption, and card advantage, we're back to pitchforks and torches. And it's about to get worse for those who do not enjoy the game as Richard Garfield intended, playing as few win conditions as possible and prompting concession after all hopes (and spells) are lost. - Shaheen Soorani


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 Post subject: Re: Ob Nixlis of the Black Oath
AgePosted: 2014-Dec-09 6:48 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
thaumaturge wrote:
So, I'm about to post my article on tuning up the Ob-Nixilis deck on my blog, and while writing I finally realized something about Ob Nixilis that bothered me. He's open-ended, in a way that Deretti and Nahiri are very much NOT, and while he's good (better than he looked on paper but not super-powerful either), he's also generic...

What I'm getting at is, there are a very high number of decks that I can come up with where if I ask the question of myself "Could this work with Ob Nixilis at the helm?" the answer is almost always "Yes".... which is fine. The problem is, for me, the logical follow-up question is always going to be "Is Ob Nixilis the best option to use as the commander for this deck?" and the answer to that has, so far, always been "No".

So even though he can be a perfectly adequate commander for whatever deck I think of, including the one I currently have built, I feel like there is basically always at least one option that is clearly better, if not many.

So, my question to the forums is this: What deck concept can you come up with where you feel like Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath is clearly THE best possible choice to be the commander? IS there such a deck?

I should point out that I am the type of player who would base the answer to this on mechanical interaction and synergy, not on story-driven themes. In short, how the deck plays and interacts with the commander is more imporant than, say, jamming every card that features or references Ob Nixilis into the deck to make it a "Ob Nixilis, Behind the man, the myth, the demon" kind of deck.


The only way I can see ONotBO being the "best choice" as a commander; is when run TONS of wraths; and then use him to trigger the Exuisite Blood or Mindcrank combo. The other good monoblack generals are just.....better.

So, no - there isn't a "good" deck to use ONotBO, except for a solid wrath/combo deck - which isn't exactly the sort of deck I'd call fun playing or against. At best - you run the standard monoblack goodstuff deck with him leading from behind - offsetting a bit of life loss and supplementing your army with demons. If you can get to his Ultimate and make an Emblem, he definitively becomes more powerful, but a 5 mana Walker that either goes to 5 counters when you play him; or goes to 1....isn't very good.

I'd say - take a standard Xiahou Dun list; make ONotBO the commander, and stuff Xaihou Dun in somewere into the deck...


Anyway, since it's relevant - I'll share what I suggestions I put forth[budgeted] here - http://mtgjoz.tumblr.com/post/101512750 ... -monoblack ; using Chainer as the commander.


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 Post subject: Re: Ob Nixlis of the Black Oath
AgePosted: 2014-Dec-09 7:10 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Hey Joz, I did read your budget rebuild of the precon, and I agree that Chainer would be a better general for many reasons. I agree with many of the points that you brought up, it has been a few days since I read it so I cannot think of other specifics.

But I want to play with the new guy and I have found that picking the most powerful option is not always the best idea in my play group.

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Shabbaman wrote:
The usual answer is "the social contract", but I guess that is not what you are looking for. Try house rules.


With perfect mana, reasonable removal, disruption, and card advantage, we're back to pitchforks and torches. And it's about to get worse for those who do not enjoy the game as Richard Garfield intended, playing as few win conditions as possible and prompting concession after all hopes (and spells) are lost. - Shaheen Soorani


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 Post subject: Re: Ob Nixlis of the Black Oath
AgePosted: 2014-Dec-11 9:54 am 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Outside of the aforementioned wraths.dec, I think Ob would be a really interesting theme general. He has a pretty cool story having been the brutal commander of legions, turned to a demon and manipulated through the Hedron. Perhaps you can look for cards that can help tell his (previously unknown) story.

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 Post subject: Re: Ob Nixlis of the Black Oath
AgePosted: 2014-Dec-11 10:07 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
specter404 wrote:
Outside of the aforementioned wraths.dec, I think Ob would be a really interesting theme general. He has a pretty cool story having been the brutal commander of legions, turned to a demon and manipulated through the Hedron. Perhaps you can look for cards that can help tell his (previously unknown) story.


last paragraph, original post wrote:
I should point out that I am the type of player who would base the answer to this on mechanical interaction and synergy, not on story-driven themes. In short, how the deck plays and interacts with the commander is more imporant than, say, jamming every card that features or references Ob Nixilis into the deck to make it a "Ob Nixilis, Behind the man, the myth, the demon" kind of deck.

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 Post subject: Re: Ob Nixlis of the Black Oath
AgePosted: 2014-Dec-11 1:58 pm 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Ah, Right, skimming through a forum topic is not always wise, never mind me....

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 Post subject: Re: Ob Nixlis of the Black Oath
AgePosted: 2014-Dec-12 2:17 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
specter404 wrote:
Ah, Right, skimming through a forum topic is not always wise, never mind me....

Eh, I was just being snarky, it was a valid answer in a vacuum.

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