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 Post subject: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-17 7:05 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Hello, guys 'n' gals!

I'm here to be the first one (to my knowledge) to post a decklist for a Born of the Gods general. The set is only in its first preview week as I write this, but I've already fell in love. She's beautiful, she's graceful, her majesty is matched only by the countless stars of Nyx itself.

Her name is Ephara and her domain is control. Praise be to her!

Image

Going through the deck, I can't decide how to sort this, so I'll go with card types this time:
TOTAL: 30
TOTAL: 15
TOTAL: 6
TOTAL: 5
TOTAL: 11
TOTAL: 1
TOTAL: 31

The objective of the deck is to utilize Ephara's card-drawing ability to its maximum potential by playing creatures with flash, making tokens and flickering those of our creatures already on the battlefield during the opponents' turns, all of the above eased by ramp and spell-cheapening effects. In the ideal case, the Goddess of the Polis can draw us a card every turn, with her potential increasing with the number of players in the game. With the constantly replenishing supply of flickering creatures, counterspells and wraths, we should gain control over the board. When that's done, we can utilize our evasive and/or bigger creatures to smash some heads. Violently.

I'd like to hear your A/C (Adding/Cutting) suggestions. Thanks in advance! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an offering to make...

MAY THE TEMPLES OF EPHARA BRING EVERY POLIS ON THEROS TO GLORY AND PROSPERITY!!!

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tempesteye wrote:
In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
'Active decks' list here.
Currently hiring servants for my palace, made from my own walls of text.


Last edited by Antis on 2015-Jan-27 10:30 am, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-18 11:28 am 
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Joined: 2014-Jan-13 8:56 am
Age: Wyvern
Location: USA
Some ideas to add/consider:

* Reveilark seems like an auto-include, especially with Karmic Guide.

* Crystal Shard. My oh my, is this card just buckets of fun. Especially when you're going for ETB triggers and controlling the board. Pair it with Filigree Sages and infinite mana for endless fun.

* Some sort of sac outlet (or two) to start chaining things with Sun Titan, Karmic Guide, etc. Maybe Ashnod's Altar, Phyrexian Altar, or Trading Post?

* Thopter Squadron is a lot of fun when you have lots of mana and nothing else to do. Tons of ETB triggers for Ephara.

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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-18 3:48 pm 

Joined: 2009-Feb-09 4:00 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
This deck desperately, desperately needs Reliquary Tower. Like, it's worth running both Expedition Map and Tolaria West specifically to find that one card. With the amount of gating you have, plus the mana-intensiveness of most blink effects, you are going to end up with a million billion cards in hand very quickly.

Along similar lines, I would run no fewer than ten pieces of artifact ramp in addition to the standard 37 lands. Bouncing and recasting guys burns through mana like nobody's business, and you are going to want to have the mana to do stuff on your opponents' turns too.

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Printing generically and boringly powerful cards obviously intended for commander does the format zero favors.

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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-19 6:45 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Thunderheads seems weak - it'll hose someone's attack, potentially, but I think there's better. Have you thought about adding Heliod, God of the Sun and Thassa, God of the Sea? Heliod will fuel your triggers, and Thassa will help put the chaff on the bottom.

Second the call for Reliquary Tower.

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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-19 11:49 pm 

Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Sid the Chicken wrote:
Heliod will fuel your triggers.


I like the idea of maxing out on all the repeatable token makers like Mobilization and Sacred Mesa to keep the flow of cards going.

I'm assuming you're running Plumeveil to try to turn her creature-mode on, but I think Ephara may be one of the gods that's better as an enchantment. A 6/5 without evasion is something most decks can chump block or ignore, and once she's a creature she's much easier to get rid of. An unstoppable card-advantage machine is a lot harder to deal with.

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Last edited by Kemev on 2014-Jan-20 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-19 11:53 pm 

Joined: 2009-Feb-09 4:00 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Kemev wrote:
I like the idea of maxing out on all the repeatable token makers like Mobilization and Sacred Mesa to keep the flow of cards going.

My issue with this plan - and one of my issues with Ephara in general - is that it's kind of difficult to cast all those extra cards you're drawing when you're spending 2W or 2WW every turn to make terrible bodies. Having eighteen cards in hand is nice and all but it doesn't really do anything for you unless you start, you know, casting them.

And it's worth remembering that, once you have enough cards in hand, you should be able to chain creatures together without the need for very inefficient token generators. Those seem like cards of last resort, to be honest.

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kaldare wrote:
Printing generically and boringly powerful cards obviously intended for commander does the format zero favors.

Sidisi - Nin


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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-20 6:22 am 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Thanks for the replies! :D

"IN" suggestions:
Reveillark, Crystal Shard - probably will add them in the next update
Phyrexian Altar - maaaybe, but I'll definitely add Spawning Pit before it
Thopter Squadron - "activate as a sorcery" is a no. Maybe Pentavus...
Heliod - nah, four mana per token is way too expensive
Thassa, God - not too helpful for the strategy at hand, IMO
Reliquary Tower - already in, I just stopped writing lands in my decklists lately, since I find it redundant

"OUT" suggestions:
Thunderheads - I always thought this card was cool and I'm willing to give it a fair chance before judging
Plumeveil - this will probably have to go. I like the card, but as always, too much competition. Loses to Thunderheads because, as Kemev correctly stated, gods are usually better as non-creatures.
Aggro_zombies wrote:
My issue with this plan - and one of my issues with Ephara in general - is that it's kind of difficult to cast all those extra cards you're drawing when you're spending 2W or 2WW every turn to make terrible bodies. Having eighteen cards in hand is nice and all but it doesn't really do anything for you unless you start, you know, casting them.

Very true. In this early stage I often have problem with unused potential. I need to add more manarocks MWAHAHAHAHAHA :twisted:

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I could be wrong. I'm just not in the mood.
tempesteye wrote:
In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
'Active decks' list here.
Currently hiring servants for my palace, made from my own walls of text.


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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-22 9:33 am 

Joined: 2013-Jan-07 1:45 am
Age: Dragon
I think this card is awesome. I wonder if it isn't just better in Bant decks, tho?

Anyway, there probably should be some kind of instant-speed token makers, as previously suggested. Maybe sacred mesa or kjeldoran outpost or moorland haunt. Or twilight drover. I feel like there's other good white cards that do this, but, I'm not an expert on those kinds of decks.

Probably giving yourself flash with teferi, mage of zhalfir or leyline of anticipation or vedalken orrery is good, too. That lets you trigger draws more.

I think you want Cathars' crusade as a win con, probably. Or something else that gets value out of the myriad ETB triggers you're basing the deck around. (sadly no aura shards, or soul of the harvest or garruk's packleader... bant, I miss you!). I think if you're going the ETB/flicker route you probably want chancellor of the spires, that's gotta be the strongest game-ender in that theme this side of palinchron.

Finally, it's a good point that drawing a ton of cards in these colors doesn't immediately translate into a win, and there's fairly few ways to leverage that into some kind of combo-ish epic play. (again, I miss green for hypergenesis / eureka). There's omniscience but that's kind of dumb; dream halls might be better and more fun. You could try to turn a huge hand into huge life: venser's journal or ivory tower; or a big dude with empyrial armor. Meishin, the mind cage could be a nice pillow-fort card for use with a large hand. Or Soramaro, first to dream; Kiyomaro, first to stand could become good beaters.

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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: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-22 11:52 am 

Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Aggro_zombies wrote:
Kemev wrote:
I like the idea of maxing out on all the repeatable token makers like Mobilization and Sacred Mesa to keep the flow of cards going.

My issue with this plan - and one of my issues with Ephara in general - is that it's kind of difficult to cast all those extra cards you're drawing when you're spending 2W or 2WW every turn to make terrible bodies. Having eighteen cards in hand is nice and all but it doesn't really do anything for you unless you start, you know, casting them.

And it's worth remembering that, once you have enough cards in hand, you should be able to chain creatures together without the need for very inefficient token generators. Those seem like cards of last resort, to be honest.


Maybe. I think we have different ideas for the deck; I'm envisioning something relatively grindy, where most of your action happens on your opponents turn. If your opponent played something worth a counter or removal, you can respond appropriately, or if they didn't do anything relevant, you draw a card instead (like in Constructed where a control deck can set itself up to choose between Mana Leak or Think Twice).

It seemed like a cool idea, since it's usually pretty tough to play draw-go control in EDH.

You're right that the mana bit is tough to work out.

mmcgeach wrote:
I think this card is awesome. I wonder if it isn't just better in Bant decks, tho?


Ephara and Derevi sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G...

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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-23 7:33 am 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Kemev wrote:
I'm envisioning something relatively grindy, where most of your action happens on your opponents turn. If your opponent played something worth a counter or removal, you can respond appropriately, or if they didn't do anything relevant, you draw a card instead (like in Constructed where a control deck can set itself up to choose between Mana Leak or Think Twice).

It seemed like a cool idea, since it's usually pretty tough to play draw-go control in EDH.

You're right that the mana bit is tough to work out.

That's what I'm going for, myself. Lots of good reccomendations here, thanks for that. So far, I've identified four cards to lay off: Glory, Dismantling Blow, Lifeline and Plumeveil. I'm inclining to replace them with ramp, since I need A LOT, as it shows. I'm thinking Solemn Simulacrum,, Burnished Hart, Knight of the White Orchid, Druidic Satchel (could be good here - token equals draw after all), Walking Atlas (Terrain Generator works fine) etc.

Also, about Omniscience, do you guys find it THAT much of a hassle, if played "fair", i.e. no tutoring or cheating it into play?

Thanks again for the replies! :D

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I could be wrong. I'm just not in the mood.
tempesteye wrote:
In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
'Active decks' list here.
Currently hiring servants for my palace, made from my own walls of text.


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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-23 10:37 am 
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Joined: 2011-Mar-17 5:41 pm
Age: Dragon
No one like to watch someone play their entire deck for free while they sit there twiddling their thumbs.

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Edric, Spymaster of Trest. 1-3 drops, time magic and counters.
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Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief(Changes constantly)
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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-23 11:08 am 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
FuegoRedux wrote:
No one like to watch someone play their entire deck for free while they sit there twiddling their thumbs.

Sure, but from my experience, fair-played Omniscience isn't broken. The deck has no infinite combos, no Academy Rector and such stuff and Ephara cannot draw more than one card per turn. I play Omniscience in Riku and it's definitely strong, but has enough answers. For ten mana, it seems ok to me and my opponents as well.

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I could be wrong. I'm just not in the mood.
tempesteye wrote:
In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
'Active decks' list here.
Currently hiring servants for my palace, made from my own walls of text.


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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-24 11:42 am 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Kemev wrote:
Ephara and Derevi sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G...
You're not thinking dirty enough...

Ephara and Derevi having a nasty three-way with Prophet of Kruphix. That's more like it.

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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-24 2:09 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
thaumaturge wrote:
Kemev wrote:
Ephara and Derevi sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G...
You're not thinking dirty enough...

Ephara and Derevi having a nasty three-way with Prophet of Kruphix. That's more like it.

A human woman, a goddess and a male Aven... G'D NIGHT, EVERYBODY!

_________________
I could be wrong. I'm just not in the mood.
tempesteye wrote:
In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
'Active decks' list here.
Currently hiring servants for my palace, made from my own walls of text.


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 Post subject: Re: Ephara, Goddess of Card Advantage
AgePosted: 2014-Jan-24 2:26 pm 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Antis wrote:
thaumaturge wrote:
Kemev wrote:
Ephara and Derevi sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G...
You're not thinking dirty enough...

Ephara and Derevi having a nasty three-way with Prophet of Kruphix. That's more like it.

A human woman, a goddess and a male Aven... G'D NIGHT, EVERYBODY!


Derevi is female, actually.

EDIT: Sorry for contributing to the thread drift without actually contributing to your deck. Will try to think of on-topic response.

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