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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-19 7:22 pm 

Joined: 2013-Oct-09 7:02 am
Age: Elder Dragon
There are ways to make "Instants and Sorceries Matter" more interactive.
For instance:
Charmbreaker Devils
Djinn Illuminatus
Guttersnipe
Spellweaver Volute
Surrakar Spellblade
Talrand, Sky Summoner
Young Pyromancer
Goblinslide
Skywise Teachings
Soulblade Djinn
Tidespout Tyrant
Mirari
Scroll of the Masters
Veilstone Amulet
Sphinx-Bone Wand

With some of these you can win by having it in play with your general, play a bunch of spells and get a bonus out of it. If you were having trouble with not interacting, consider cutting some of the big blowout instants and sorceries (Epic Experiment and Past in Flames).

Expanding on the silver bullet idea, there are a good number of cards that are awesome in really specific situations:
Domineering Will
Illusionist's Gambit
Mirror Match
Polymorphist's Jest
Radiate


As long as the instants and sorceries effect your opponents in ways that aren't total blowouts and the deck contains other cards that build a board state, interacting shouldn't be an issue.

As a final note, I think Spellweaver Volute is pretty inspiring for creating an instant/sorcery deck.


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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-20 1:05 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Sid the Chicken wrote:
Jace's Erasure, Chasm Skulker and Sphinx's Tutelage all like it when you draw cards. Also Diviner's Wand.

Thanks, Sid. I have added all these cards to my potential list.
Also, thanks Viperion for getting an official answer on that question.

mmcgeach wrote:
Of course, on the other hand, it doesn't matter how many cards you tutor for, because when you cast the first one, the others all get put on the bottom of your library. Which, of course, I suppose you could just tutor up again... Heh, this would be really annoying.

Oh, right that's a good point. If I just tutor for two cards, and at least one of them is an Instant, I can cast both, by responding to the Arjun trigger with the Instant.


MrCool wrote:
As a final note, I think Spellweaver Volute is pretty inspiring for creating an instant/sorcery deck.
Oh, yeah, forgot about this one. I actually ran this in an old Wrexial build back in the day. As to your list of stuff like Charmbreaker Devils, Djinn Illuminatus, etc... I ran nearly all of those cards in my Melek deck. They just didn't WORK. They are all too easy to deal with and the deck does absolutely nothing if you can make them stick, that is precisely why the only way the deck could win was a big blowout spell like Epic Experiement. I tried to make it win along those more interactive means but all that did was make the deck garbage against any deck with even a conservative amount of removal. I may still try this route again, if for no other reason that to give Spellweaver Volute another shot, that card is awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-20 2:38 am 

Joined: 2013-Jan-07 1:45 am
Age: Dragon
thaumaturge wrote:
As to your list of stuff like Charmbreaker Devils, Djinn Illuminatus, etc... I ran nearly all of those cards in my Melek deck. They just didn't WORK. They are all too easy to deal with and the deck does absolutely nothing if you can't make them stick

YES. Totally agree. Some of the "spells matter" enablers are good enough, but it's a small list. Like maybe talrand, niv-mizzet the firemind, and sphinx bone wand? Yeah. Maybe guttersnipe, but only if you're expectation is kinda low, and I haven't actually played that one.

Don't give up on it if you don't want to, tho. A melek deck with a lot of interactive cards can be pretty good. I'll post my list, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-30 2:07 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
So, came pretty close to pulling this off this weekend:

Reins of Power --> Synthetic Destiny. A Daxos deck had gotten pretty greedy and made a bunch of spirit tokens, not to mention having half a dozen cats from Ajani's Chosen. Somethingl like 15 creatures on their side of the board. I was playing the Ezuri deck, but using Edric as the commander. I had the Destiny in hand, and was furiously digging for Reins of Power. I finally found it, after hitting someone with a 6/6 Cold Eyed Selkie, and then casting Shamanic Revelation. But, by that point I didn't have enough mana for the combo, so I passed. Wouldn't you know it, the Kalemne player topdecks Desolation Giant and ruins my plans.

Then, this morning I got this little idea from Reddit: Radiate + Clone Legion. I mean, that's obviously good, right? But what I never considered until I saw a reddit post about it, is that if you target yourself with the original Clone Legion, then Radiate it, you'll get token copies of everything everyone else controls first, THEN the original resolves and you get a token copy of everything you control, which by that point includes token copies of everyone else's things. So, basically, you get 1x of everything you control and 2x of everything your opponents control.

Point being, these are the kind of spell-based combos I can get behind becuase, USUALLY, all their doing is giving me a ton of creatures to attack with, so I'm still likely to be winning via the red-zone, or at least via permanents on the battlefield which IS an axis my metagame is able to interact with well.

All this got me thinking about some kind of weird hybrid of an Arjun-led "Spells matter" + "Clones and copying effects tribal" deck... I don't know how deep this pool might go and where I might find overlapping synergies between the two...

But I feel like finding a two-card combo like Radiate + Clone Legion or Reins of Power + Synthetic Desitiny might be a lot easier in an Arjun deck. I would also want to run Blasphemous Act + Illusory Ambusher because sweeping the board and drawing 13 cards for as little as six mana seems fun.

I think if I can find spell-based things like Clone Legion that put things onto the battlefield it will minimize the combo-y feel of spell-based decks and play more along the axis my group is used to. I'm going to brainstorm some more along these lines, but I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any more cute interactions like the ones above.

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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-30 2:32 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Arjun will make it easier to find combo pieces, but harder to find the right two combo pieces at the same time. I like it. Cackling Counterpart, Twinflame, and Heat Shimmer seem like they'd be hits in this deck, and you can use some cards like Mnemonic Wall and Izzet Chronarch to get a ready supply of token chumps. I think the line that determines how combo-y the deck feels is going to be whether you include Dualcaster Mage. That guy does have a tendency to go infinite with token copy making spells.


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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-30 2:41 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
JJackson wrote:
Cackling Counterpart, Twinflame, and Heat Shimmer seem like they'd be hits in this deck, and you can use some cards like Mnemonic Wall and Izzet Chronarch to get a ready supply of token chumps. I think the line that determines how combo-y the deck feels is going to be whether you include Dualcaster Mage. That guy does have a tendency to go infinite with token copy making spells.

Thanks, I like all these cards in general. I love Cackling Counterpart especially. I was thinking about Dualcaster, but forgot how easily he can go infinite with things, but I can probably get away with running him if I'm careful.

Quote:
Arjun will make it easier to find combo pieces, but harder to find the right two combo pieces at the same time. I like it.
True... of course I will be using Scroll Rack and whatever else I can find (Jace TMS, Gustha's Scepter?) to try and work around this somewhat.

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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-30 5:20 am 

Joined: 2013-Jan-07 1:45 am
Age: Dragon
thaumaturge wrote:
I think if I can find spell-based things like Clone Legion that put things onto the battlefield it will minimize the combo-y feel of spell-based decks and play more along the axis my group is used to. I'm going to brainstorm some more along these lines, but I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any more cute interactions like the ones above.

Yeah, this is probably the best thing to do. You could look at my Jeleva list which did this. But, briefly, the best cards do generate a board presence: bribery, acquire, blatant thievery, call the skybreaker, stolen identity, etc.

Also that Clone Legion play is super cute.

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Teferi, Temporal Archmage (blue pillowfort superfriends)
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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-30 5:47 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Thanks for the additional suggestions. Bribery is my jam, so that's a must-run for me. The other stuff is all on point as well. I will have to give serious thought to this, though, as I'm also going to need a fair few creatures in order to make Synthetic Destiny worth casting...

The obvious answer is to run a bunch of actual clones, of course, and that might be good enough? I don't know... but I feel like I want some actual real things too. Obvious stuff like Niv Mizzet and Psychosis Crawler are still great picks here, but is there something less obvious I'm overlooking?

I have a feeling this is going to be one of those decks that's really tought to balance the various things the deck wants to do, and I might be just trying to do too much. I may have to de-emphasize the "spells matter" stuff quite a bit, though still keeping the best elements of it.

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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-30 6:35 am 

Joined: 2013-Jan-07 1:45 am
Age: Dragon
FYI: radiate on stolen identity is awesome.

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Kothophed (mono black control, ETB abuse)
Teferi, Temporal Archmage (blue pillowfort superfriends)
Glint-Eye Nephilim (combat tricks, card draw, & creature pump)
Oloro Upkeep Tribal (enchantment-based control)
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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-30 6:36 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
mmcgeach wrote:
FYI: radiate on stolen identity is awesome.

LOL, yep.

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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Nov-30 11:38 am 
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thaumaturge wrote:
The obvious answer is to run a bunch of actual clones, of course, and that might be good enough? I don't know... but I feel like I want some actual real things too. Obvious stuff like Niv Mizzet and Psychosis Crawler are still great picks here, but is there something less obvious I'm overlooking?


Besides actual clone creatures, these come to mind:
Guttersnipe, Charmbreaker Devils, Djinn Illuminatus, Nucklavee, Uyo, Silent Prophet, Izzet Chronarch, Archaeomancer, Hypersonic Dragon, Talrand, Sky Summoner,

And if you want graveyard theft casting:
Jace's mindseeker, Diluvian Primordial, Chancellor of the Spires,

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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-18 6:19 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Alright, so I finally took action on these theorycrafted ideas kicked around in this thread.

I started with the Mizzix deck, unaltered, and assembled a pile of most the different cards we talked about here. I then just started cutting the cards from the Mizzix deck that I thought were the worst (stuff like that enchantment that makes a 5/1 token every turn, etc) and replaced them with random cards from the pile of stuff.

Were possible I tried to swap out things for better versions of things - for instance, I cut that Meteor Storm peice of crap for, I think, Blasphemous Act. But I also kinda prioritized adding in certain cards that I just really wanted - stuff like Alhammarent's Archive or Radiate that didn't really have an existing equivalent in the original list.

After trying my best to massage the mana curve into something approaching playability, and trying my best to find the right balance of removal/defense with powerful, proactive stuff to do, I goldfished it a few times. My first impression based on goldfishing was that it was a HUGE glass cannon - almost sure to win some games if left alone, but extremely easy to disrupt with just one or two well-aimed peices of timely removal.

In short, I thought it was garbage. But I did try very hard to make it interactive and non-combo-ish based on my complaints about my Melek deck being that way. Finally, I just decided that the deck was probably about as good as I could make it without just scrapping the Mizzix list entirely and starting completely from scratch, and decided to just give it a whirl in an actual game.

So, I found myself shuffling up against an Ephara deck and a Karador deck for a three-way skirmish. I went into this absolutely conviced I was going to durdle around a bit and then have a single peice of removal, MAYBE two, completely wreck my shit.

But what happened was, I spent the first several turns doing nothing proactive, just casting a mana rock or two, dropping a Diviner's Wand and firing off a couple of defensive spells - I think I hit Karador with a Pongify and used an Aetherize against Ephara. Then I hit 7 mana, dropped
Thought Reflection and passed. Next turn I cast Arjun, equipping the Diviner's Wand and passed. Somehow neither Arjun nor the Reflection got blown up, and so on the next turn, I cast a couple spells, getting a couple Arjun triggers and swung at Karador with something like a 36/36 Arjun.

The Ephara player ended up Aetherizing to save the Karador player simply to buy herself more time, because she was not prepared for this to become a 1v1 game so quickly! Plus, by my attacking Karador, I was signaling to her that I considered him more threatening than her, so she calculated that I would continue to go after him as long as she kept her profile low - she calculated correctly, becuase if Karador could set up a Fleshbag Marauder lock or something like that, I was screwed.

Anyway, I had to play a little more reactively and conservatively for a couple of turns, as I was in a position where if I actually had Arjun in play, because of my huge hand-size (thanks, Reliquary Tower!) I could actually only cast TWO more spells without decking myself. Because the Thought reflection actually doubled my hand size every time I cast something, I would very quickly wind up being required to draw somewhere in the area of 120 cards, and lose.

But then I drew into Sphinx's Tutelage, cast it, cast Arjun and passed with enough mana open to cast Stroke of Genious for X=1, but that didn't matter, as I now had something like 34 cards in hand. I just passed, and waited. Ephara untapped, drew and immediately went for a Planar Cleansing. Karador had some mana open, but as a creature-based deck was unlikely to have anything, so I just went for the kill in response to Cleansing. Stroke, trigger Arjun, I draw 68 and put 68 Tutelage triggers on the stack, draw for Stroke getting one more. 35 targetting Ephara, 34 targetting Karador - since Karador had been milling himself already he was for sure decked out. Slight chance Ephara could get lucky and survive, if we played it out, but she quickly decided it was not worth having 95% of her deck milled.

In short, I more or less combo'ed off and won, with very little interaction. It was pretty exilherating for me, but not at all what I wanted it to do, and not at all fun for anyone else.


Oh! I did, for a moment, think I had stumbled into a much douchier way to win, before I realized it didn't actually work... but I had Radiate and Word of Seizing in hand at the same time and was about to try to Word something and Radiate it - since WoS says "Target PERMANENT" I was going to gain control over EVERY single permanent on the battlefiled, including lands, and UNTAP THEM!

But then I realized that I couldn't respond to my WoS with Radiate due to Split Second. So that was simultaneously both the first time having Split Second on my own spell has screwed me, AND been thankful of that fact! As a side note, is there a card with the same wording as Word of Siezing that does not have Split Second? Cause I still kinda want to try and pull that off at some point?

So I never came anywhere close to pulling off anything cool like "Illusory Ambusher + Blaspehmous Act" or "Reins of Power + Synthetic Destiny". Perhaps if I play the deck a bunch more it might happen, but even though I won that game, it seemed to confim my suspicion that a modicum of removal is all it would take to shut me down - that Planar Cleansing was the first removal spell anyone besides me cast that game, and it would have wrecked me pretty bad, had I not had the instant-speed win in response.

Had Karador found his Fleshbag or Shriekmaw to repeatedly kill Arjun, or had he found Rec Sage to kill the Reflection, I'd likely have been screwed, too. There was a LOT that could have gone wrong and I felt like I was a knife-edge away from losing at all times, right up until the moment I won, but I just got luckly and no one drew any interaction until it was too late. That is pretty atypical for my group, so I wouldn't want to rely on "my opponents never draw answers" as a fundemental part of my deck's operation.

So, in summation, this one is very much in the "back to the drawing board" phase, where I have to figure out if these problems are fixable or if they are intrisic and inseperable to the core concept. Obviously, I can take out the "oops, I win" stuff like Psychosis Crawler and Sphinx's Tutelage, but then I'm not sure the deck can win at all. I'm back to squre one, here.

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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-18 8:10 am 
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I feel ya thaumaturge.

The reality is, unless you win in the red zone, there will always be an inherent "do your opponents have the correct answer or not" to any other win condition you play

Being resilient but interactive is also difficult. They are fundamentally opposite goals really when you think about it.

You just need to fill your list with enough "problems" that aren't necessarily Commander dependant and roll with the idea that if one problem gets answered, you move to the next.

Arjun is the anti-thesis to this, since he works best by basically digging for the most efficient problem you can find each time, which is often the most resilient one and therefore the least interactive or most win or be answered type card.

I think the more interactive Izzet Commanders are Nin, the Pain Artist or Mizzix of the Izmagnus. Nin, because she fundamentally deals with creatures and Mizzix only if you go the spell based make creatures route, treating the discount ability as a bonus to spam lots of creatures on the field like Call the Skybreaker. Your redundancy would be cards like Jace's Sanctum and Seal of the Guildpact to both assist and or substitute for your Commander should he get hated out. Discouting spells should give you that "interactive feel" because you are always getting to do a lot of things each turn.

EDIT: I read your original post again and realised Nin is out, so I still think Mizzix is the better choice, focusing on spells that create creatures basically.

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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-18 12:29 pm 

Joined: 2015-Jan-14 2:58 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Catch is a Split Second-less WoS. Too bad it's attached to the WR Release.

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 Post subject: Re: What does U/R actually do?
AgePosted: 2016-Jan-04 7:52 am 

Joined: 2009-Jul-02 4:25 pm
Age: Drake
There is no real, fair way to build Mizzix and still have any kind of "spells matter" theme, IMO. The amount of virtual mana it generates is just absurd.


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