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 Post subject: Yisan, the Wanderer Bard as a poor man's Birthing Pod
AgePosted: 2015-May-06 11:52 am 

Joined: 2015-Apr-06 3:04 am
Age: Wyvern
I'm running a Doran, the Siege Tower deck that's laser-focused on the Daru Spiritualist / Task Force / Angelic Protector combo with the en-Kor creatures like Nomads en-Kor and 0-equip equipment to target them repeatedly and get infinite toughness. It needs evasion and loves to have haste. It also loves to gain infinite life. Here's the decklist, with a full breakdown. It's called Doran of the Infinite Butts.

I'm running 10 tutors. Crop Rotation can pull out Hall of the Bandit Lord or Rogue's Passage or Miren, the Moaning Well. Two equipment tutors pull out haste and combo equipment (Lightning Greaves is both!), two black "a card" tutors, and 4 creature tutors.

The star of the creature tutors is, of course, Birthing Pod. Almost all my creature combo pieces are in the 2-4 mana range, and there's a wide variety of CMCs to feed the Pod. I've got 5 1-drops that the Pod can eat, and searching for a 2-drop should almost always net me a kill if I have haste and evasion on the board. Chord of Calling works well with the selection as well, plus it can fetch the lone 1-drop combo piece.

OK, here's where Yisan, the Wanderer Bard comes in. In the context of this deck, packed with low-CMC combo pieces and 2 key 1-drops, I think Yisan is as good as Birthing Pod. Here's the plan:

  • 1. If I draw Yisan, I hold onto him until I have haste on the board. Lightning Greaves is ideal, but I'll take what I can get.
  • 2. I play Yisan and give him haste. I leave 2G open.
  • 3. If anyone tries to kill him, Yisan taps to fetch Sylvan Safekeeper, or, if the haste is on equipment, Mother of Runes.
  • 4. If I'm only missing an infinite-targeting effect, Yisan can fetch Nomads en-Kor on my next turn. Otherwise, he fetches one of the protector 1-drops at EOT before my turn.
  • 5. Yisan fetches Daru Spiritualist or the 2-drop en-Kor and the combo goes off, targeting the creature an infinite number of times for infinite toughness. I can gain infinite life a few ways (Trostani being the best one, if I can do the pumping with her trigger on the stack). If Doran's on the board (and the haste is on equipment), I swing for the kill.

Yisan has a lot of drawbacks; that's why he costs 50 cents and Birthing Pod costs 5 bucks. He's a creature, he has to tap to fetch, he's locked into a pattern. But he also has advantages: He fetches at instant speed, he can fetch 1-drops, and, uh, those are his only advantages. But in this deck, where he can fetch instant-speed protection at 1 CMC and winning cards at 2, he's awesome. I hope. We'll see how this goes when I play him.

Uh, thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Yisan, the Wanderer Bard as a poor man's Birthing Pod
AgePosted: 2015-May-06 1:53 pm 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
It sounds like you don't need any help.

Still 6 mana/two turns for a one drop, though.

If you upgrade the budget don't forget about all this crap:
- Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor
- Survival of the Fittest, Green Sun's Zenith, Eladamri's Call, Altar of Bone, Worldly Tutor, Sylvan Tutor, Summoner's Pact, Natural Order, Jarad's Orders.

You need all that crap. Primal Command is not as good as those if you are strictly all in for the combo plan. Don't forget Dryad Arbor can be had for one green mana with GSZ and fetches a 1-cmc off Birthing Pod.

GSZ, E. Call, Altar of Bone, Worldly, and Jarad's Orders are pretty cheap dollars and cents wise.


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 Post subject: Re: Yisan, the Wanderer Bard as a poor man's Birthing Pod
AgePosted: 2015-May-07 1:32 am 

Joined: 2014-Dec-10 9:32 pm
Age: Wyvern
and contagion clasp/engine if you wanna skip some CMCs..

its a bit nit-picking, but i think yeva's more like a pimped hibernation's end.

and speaking of hibernation's end, would you like a second yeva-effect? how about hibernation's end?


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 Post subject: Re: Yisan, the Wanderer Bard as a poor man's Birthing Pod
AgePosted: 2015-May-07 1:55 am 

Joined: 2015-Mar-04 12:43 am
Age: Drake
I can't imagine how someone having the tools to kill Yisan at instant speed is going to wait until after you equip the Lightning Greaves. In this case, you can't rely on Yisan to fetch its own protection, or need more permanent/flexible ways to grant him Haste.

Apart from that point (which may just be me extrapolating too much from your ideas), I quite like your plan.
Of course, as Sovarius pointed out, there are also a few ways to make it more reliable.


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 Post subject: Re: Yisan, the Wanderer Bard as a poor man's Birthing Pod
AgePosted: 2015-May-07 3:07 am 

Joined: 2015-Apr-06 3:04 am
Age: Wyvern
schweinefettmann wrote:
and contagion clasp/engine if you wanna skip some CMCs..

its a bit nit-picking, but i think yeva's more like a pimped hibernation's end.

and speaking of hibernation's end, would you like a second yeva-effect? how about hibernation's end?


Proliferate would excellent for getting around Yisan's fixed ramp, but I've got an en-Kor and a hitter at 2CMC that I'm aiming for.

Hibernation's End is maybe safer, but how does it work in the deck for speed? Lemme work it out...

If I all I need is Nomads en-Kor (which doesn't need haste), I pay my 4G for HE and wait a cycle around, then I pull Nomads out next upkeep and the combo goes off. That's the same as Yisan, except I can also give Yisan haste and pull Nomads before my next turn. Total cost is 5G for Hibernation's End and 4GG for Yisan. It's actually better than that for HE, because it just needs 4G and doesn't need to spend its (1) until after next untap, while to play Yisan, I need the full 4GG untapped.

If I don't need Nomads en-Kor (super likely with 6 of those effects in the deck), I'd be pulling Sylvan Safekeeper with HE (or, if I have a haste equipment to give her, Mother of Runes), and then waiting another cycle around before HE makes my combo go off withDaru Spiritualist. Meanwhile, Yisan-with-haste has grabbed Safekeeper at EOT before his second turn out, and he fetches Daru Spiritualist a turn earlier.

Total cost is 7G for HE and 6GGG for Yisan (plus the cost of the haste). That's split into [4G][1][2] over 3 turns for HE, and [4GG][2G] spread over two for Yisan.

I was hoping there'd be a really clear answer to which one's faster, but there's really not. I'd be waiting longer to get Yisan started, but he finishes quicker than Hibernation's End.


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 Post subject: Re: Yisan, the Wanderer Bard as a poor man's Birthing Pod
AgePosted: 2015-May-07 3:24 am 

Joined: 2015-Apr-06 3:04 am
Age: Wyvern
lumination wrote:
I can't imagine how someone having the tools to kill Yisan at instant speed is going to wait until after you equip the Lightning Greaves. In this case, you can't rely on Yisan to fetch its own protection, or need more permanent/flexible ways to grant him Haste.


I'd either play him with Hall of the Bandit Lord and leave the extra 2G up to grab Sylvan Safekeeper to protect himself, or attach the Greaves or Boots as soon as he resolves, and leave the 2G up for Mother of Runes. (Or, in an edge case, spend the 4GG right then, fetch Nomads, and swing for a kill.)

Am I missing either A) a chance for him to get Swords to Plowshares'd or B) a card that grants haste to creatures in Abzan colors?


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 Post subject: Re: Yisan, the Wanderer Bard as a poor man's Birthing Pod
AgePosted: 2015-May-07 4:00 am 

Joined: 2015-Mar-04 12:43 am
Age: Drake
There's Concordant Crossroads, but it's a double-edged sword so maybe not optimal. If you wait until you're ready to go off to drop it, it's one more mana.

Thousand-Year Elixir? Only allows to use abilities as opposed to attacking. On the other hand, it can provide two activations for Yisan the turn it enters the battlefield.


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 Post subject: Re: Yisan, the Wanderer Bard as a poor man's Birthing Pod
AgePosted: 2015-May-07 5:32 am 

Joined: 2015-Apr-06 3:04 am
Age: Wyvern
Sovarius wrote:
It sounds like you don't need any help.

Still 6 mana/two turns for a one drop, though.

If you upgrade the budget don't forget about all this crap:
- Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor
- Survival of the Fittest, Green Sun's Zenith, Eladamri's Call, Altar of Bone, Worldly Tutor, Sylvan Tutor, Summoner's Pact, Natural Order, Jarad's Orders.

You need all that crap. Primal Command is not as good as those if you are strictly all in for the combo plan. Don't forget Dryad Arbor can be had for one green mana with GSZ and fetches a 1-cmc off Birthing Pod.

GSZ, E. Call, Altar of Bone, Worldly, and Jarad's Orders are pretty cheap dollars and cents wise.


The green-only ones don't help 'cuz my combo pieces are white, but there's a lot to be said for, say, Eladamri's Call and (especially) Survival of the Fittest. If I had Survival, I probably wouldn't be running Primal Command.

Thanks for putting all those in a list! That's gonna wind up being a shopping list for me one way or the other.


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 Post subject: Re: Yisan, the Wanderer Bard as a poor man's Birthing Pod
AgePosted: 2015-May-07 6:14 am 

Joined: 2015-Apr-06 3:04 am
Age: Wyvern
lumination wrote:
There's Concordant Crossroads, but it's a double-edged sword so maybe not optimal. If you wait until you're ready to go off to drop it, it's one more mana.

Thousand-Year Elixir? Only allows to use abilities as opposed to attacking. On the other hand, it can provide two activations for Yisan the turn it enters the battlefield.


Elixir is phenomenal with Yisan but doesn't help with most other things in my deck. Order of Whiteclay, maybe. Stonehewer Giant, definitely. I'm gonna get one and file it away under "I will need this eventually."

Crossroads, hmm. Hmmm. It makes Hibernation's End way better, and lets Yisan fetch a hitter much sooner, but like you say, double-edged sword.


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 Post subject: Re: Yisan, the Wanderer Bard as a poor man's Birthing Pod
AgePosted: 2015-May-13 12:47 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
Bulwer wrote:
Crossroads, hmm. Hmmm. It makes Hibernation's End way better, and lets Yisan fetch a hitter much sooner, but like you say, double-edged sword.


I don't know why people say a double-edged sword is bad. It's a sword. With two edges.

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 Post subject: Re: Yisan, the Wanderer Bard as a poor man's Birthing Pod
AgePosted: 2015-May-14 1:31 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Kemev wrote:
Bulwer wrote:
Crossroads, hmm. Hmmm. It makes Hibernation's End way better, and lets Yisan fetch a hitter much sooner, but like you say, double-edged sword.


I don't know why people say a double-edged sword is bad. It's a sword. With two edges.


I think you were being cheeky, but in case not, I believe it is because there is more to the saying than that. The original saying was something like "A double-edged sword cuts both ways". Which, I guess, means it could backfire or be used against you somehow. In the most literal sense, you'd have to be a pretty shit swordsman to cut yourself with your double-edged sword, but these kinds of sayings were never that accurate when taken too literally.

EDIT: That's a flavor text on something, isn't it? Now I kow you were being cheeky.

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 Post subject: Re: Yisan, the Wanderer Bard as a poor man's Birthing Pod
AgePosted: 2015-May-14 7:55 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-10 12:16 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
thaumaturge wrote:
EDIT: That's a flavor text on something, isn't it? Now I kow you were being cheeky.


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