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 Post subject: 56 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-28 6:45 pm 

Joined: 2014-Feb-06 3:07 pm
Age: Drake
Commander: Ashling the Pilgrim

Lands (66):
1 Ancient Tomb
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Homeward Path
56 Mountain
1 Opal Palace
1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
1 Temple of the False God
1 Thespian's Stage
1 Tower of the Magistrate
1 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Vesuva

Other Mana (13):
1 Braid of Fire
1 Caged Sun
1 Coalition Relic
1 Extraplanar Lens
1 Gauntlet of Power
1 Heartstone
1 Koth of the Hammer
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mind Stone
1 Pristine Talisman
1 Sol Ring
1 Thran Dynamo
1 Worn Powerstone

Other Creatures (3):
1 Godo, Bandit Warlord
1 Hellkite Tyrant
1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth

Voltron Package (6):
1 Ashling's Prerogative
1 Basilisk Collar
1 Explorer's Scope
1 Sword of Kaldra
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Whispersilk Cloak

Other Removal (2):
1 Contagion Engine
1 Relic of Progenitus

Other Card Advantage (7):
1 Crystal Ball
1 Druidic Satchel
1 Expedition Map
1 Horn of Greed
1 Scroll Rack
1 Sculpting Steel
1 Wayfarer's Bauble

Other Damage Advantage (2):
1 Repercussion
1 Sun Droplet


Some backstory: I love the concept of the 99 Mountain Ashling deck. Simple, elegant, and with a fairly unique gameplan, the appeal is pretty obvious. In execution, what more could you want than a passable mono-Red deck that plays on its own terms, for a change? That being said, simply slapping 99 Mountains together and calling it a deck felt . . . inefficient, if not lazy. What of cards that accelerate your game plan, such as Opal Palace, Caged Sun, or even the humble Explorer's Scope? Surely you've no reason not to include them, and so include them all I did!

Before I go on explaining individual card choices, let me explain that, in general, each card had its worth measured up against a basic Mountain with regards to how much it contributed to the deck--with full knowledge that basic Mountains would be receiving benefits from cards like Valakut, Extraplanar Lens, and Koth of the Hammer. The land count of the deck, furthermore, is actually at a minimum that I'd like it to be: no less than 66 lands total, 52 of which being basic Mountains.

Furthermore, let me also explain that crucial to the strategy of the deck is the use of every two mana. Two mana is a highly significant number to the deck: two mana can summon Ashling, as well as pay each instance of Commander tax thereafter. Two mana can furthermore activate Ashling's ability--obviously the crux of the deck. With nothing but Mountains, therefore, the deck would have an ebb and flow of odd-and-even turns--you get one more set of "two mana" on even turns, but are stuck twiddling your thumbs on odd-numbered turns. But what if you had something productive to do on odd turns--perhaps even something to accelerate you? There are several cards in here that can smooth out your odd turns, from ETB tapped lands (like Vesuva), to Expedition Map, to Basilisk Collar, to Wayfarer's Bauble! This ensures that you frequently have something to do with your mana.

To start explaining card choices, let's start with the the creature choices in the notoriously creature-averse Ashling deck: Godo, Bandit Warlord, Hellkite Tyrant, and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth. Godo is actually the deck's "second-in-command." I gave the deck a voltron subtheme to show that the deck can function (albeit terribly sub-optimally) without needing to summon Ashling over and over again. Godo ended up being the perfect guy for the job, although initially my first choice for this slot was actually Kumano, Master Yamabushi, due to his similarly mana-hungry ability. When I felt that the list needed Ashling's Prerogative, however, Kumano then had to go.

Hellkite Tyrant and Kozilek are much more simple to explain. The former is Artifact hate that serves as an alternate win-condition unto itself. The latter is random mill hate/deck restocking/fairly awesome draw spell/big scary monster. All in all, pretty awesome creature cards.

I mentioned Ashling's Prerogative earlier, and how could I say no to a thematic card that semi-randomly taps down my opponent's stuff? Giving opposing tokens haste might be a bad idea at face value, sure, but playing tokens against Ashling is also a bad idea at face value.

With a lack of creatures in the deck, Druidic Satchel is certain to get me something worthwhile. While this deck should frequently get an extra land, the incidental life gain isn't exactly irrelevant, either. (Incidentally why Sun Droplet is in the deck--perhaps best in slot for what it does, even).

The deck uses Scroll Rack and Crystal Ball instead of Sensei's Divining Top simply because Top isn't all that interesting in this deck. Why use your mana just to (eventually) see three Mountains? Doesn't seem terribly worthwhile to me. Scroll Rack, on the other hand, effectively doubles your hand size for just one mana, while Crystal Ball ships extra Mountains to the bottom. The choice here is obvious.

Finally, I'm going to address other cards notably missing from the deck. First of all, no Gauntlet of Might or any other cards on the reserved list, since as far as I'm concerned, the ultimate conclusion of the reserved list is that those cards might as well not exist any more. Next, no Indestructible/Pro-Red effects. I'm more interested in Ashling remaining her own "sac outlet" instead of adding other sac outlets. Finally, this deck has a "maybeboard" of cards that haven't yet fit in the deck, and will be immediately considered if future cuts are required. The cards in consideration are: Chaos Warp, Lux Cannon, Steel Hellkite, and Trading Post.


Last edited by Knightaru on 2014-Dec-21 9:51 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-29 11:40 am 

Joined: 2014-Feb-02 6:40 pm
Age: Wyvern
Argentum Armor works as a decent removal option instead of Spine if you wanted.

Blade of the Bloodchief helps to restock Ash after blowing up if she survives.

Bonehoard can get pretty scary if you manage to get a few good boardwipes off.

Magebane Armor kind of goes against your previous statement of wanting Ash to be able to sac herself, but it is a fun card with great synergy with her so its worth looking at for sure.

Neko-Te Really good at tapping down creatures that you cannot kill by Ash's burn.

Nim Deathmantle After the second explosion, you might aswell just pay the 4 to pull ash back into play for cheap. Admittedly requires 10 mana to 'splode and return, but still worth mentioning.

Strata Scythe Lotsa mountains = big ash.

Countryside Crusher Nullifies the 'Oh, another land' draws and consistantly gets bigger while finding non-land cards to play. Worth his weight just for the deck manipulation IMHO.

Pretty much anything with Deathtouch or Lifelink pays off great. Quietus Spike, Loxodon Warhammer, ect ect.


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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-29 6:08 pm 

Joined: 2014-Feb-06 3:07 pm
Age: Drake
Thanks for the suggestions! Because of the importance I'm placing on having Ashling able to kill herself at instant speed, Equipment that just plain makes Ashling bigger with a static +X/+X without offering any additional value will likely be overlooked. Strata Scythe was initially considered for this deck, but was skipped for pretty much that reason; same for Bonehoard. +X/+0, of course, might be a different story, but Runechanter's Pike obviously doesn't do a lot of work in this deck, and I'm not exactly crazy about trying out Trepanation Blade without a lot more graveyard hate.

That all being said, I actually like the Argentum Armor suggestion. Seems about as reliable a form of repeatable spot removal as I'm going to get, either way. Neko-Te also seems very good for its cost. Nim Deathmantle seems nifty, but I'd definitely add Scythe of the Wretched in far before it.

Countryside Crusher seems pretty terrible to me. The whole reason the deck has a lot of Lands in the first place is that Ashling likes playing a lot of Lands. Why would I want to cut myself almost completely off of drawing Lands? Not to mention the whole "mills two-thirds of my deck" problem . . .

I'm kind of on the fence about Blade of the Bloodchief. Which, considering all the other cards I'd like to put in here now (Vandalblast, Scythe of the Wretched, Argentum Armor, Neko-Te, Quietus Spike, Sword of Vengeance, Fireshrieker, Blight Sickle, and perhaps even Inferno Titan and Thornbite Staff), that means it will probably never be in. The fact that it doesn't actually do anything until after Creatures start dying is a huge minus, I think.


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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-29 7:31 pm 

Joined: 2014-Feb-02 6:40 pm
Age: Wyvern
Knightaru wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions! Because of the importance I'm placing on having Ashling able to kill herself at instant speed, Equipment that just plain makes Ashling bigger with a static +X/+X without offering any additional value will likely be overlooked. Strata Scythe was initially considered for this deck, but was skipped for pretty much that reason; same for Bonehoard. +X/+0, of course, might be a different story, but Runechanter's Pike obviously doesn't do a lot of work in this deck, and I'm not exactly crazy about trying out Trepanation Blade without a lot more graveyard hate.


Im not sure what the point of instant speed sacrifice is. I can see you needing sacrifice outlets mostly just in case you get Prison Termed or something, but instant speed? High Market and the like may be more applicable. I mean, do you really want to cut a half dozen really good cards because someone *Might* enchant your guy, or just run other multi-purpose cards that allow you to deal with such problems without requiring you to cut a bunch of great cards?
As I said though, Im not sure the whole point of instant speed removal, so you probably have your reasons(something in your meta I dont know about Im assuming).

Knightaru wrote:
all being said, I actually like the Argentum Armor suggestion. Seems about as reliable a form of repeatable spot removal as I'm going to get, either way. Neko-Te also seems very good for its cost. Nim Deathmantle seems nifty, but I'd definitely add Scythe of the Wretched in far before it.


Yeah, Deathmantle is mana intensive I agree, and Id run Scythe over it aswell.

Knightaru wrote:
Crusher seems pretty terrible to me. The whole reason the deck has a lot of Lands in the first place is that Ashling likes playing a lot of Lands. Why would I want to cut myself almost completely off of drawing Lands? Not to mention the whole "mills two-thirds of my deck" problem . . .


Using good cards poorly will make a good card bad. So if you play Crusher on T3, you are using him wrong and he will be bad for your deck. Yes Ashling loves lots of land, but if you did not want to draw non-land cards, you should not add them to the deck. What Crusher does is deck thinning, once you have a bunch of lands in play, other cards become more important. With 6+ lands in play would you rather draw a land or a Caged Sun? How about a Land or a Basilisk Collar? Maybe a Land or Godo? The point being that you are assured powerful game changing cards each turn(Since all your non-lands are great) with Crusher out. Yes getting another land late game might not be as bad as drawing a land with other decks, but that does not mean that it is always a good thing. Crusher is def more of a mid-late game play, but he is good. Sure he might mill a couple of cards, but if you cannot win with the 34 non-land cards in your deck, you are just not going to win, doesnt matter. If you are REALLY worried that you are getting too far through your deck, you can always burn crusher with ash + the equip you drew via Crusher, or sac him to your instant-speed-sacrifice cards.

Knightaru wrote:
kind of on the fence about Blade of the Bloodchief. Which, considering all the other cards I'd like to put in here now (Vandalblast, Scythe of the Wretched, Argentum Armor, Neko-Te, Quietus Spike, Sword of Vengeance, Fireshrieker, Blight Sickle, and perhaps even Inferno Titan and Thornbite Staff), that means it will probably never be in. The fact that it doesn't actually do anything until after Creatures start dying is a huge minus, I think.


If not running any sort of indestructability for Ash, then yeah Blade of the Bloodchief is not worth running.


Anyway, love to talk pros/cons on deck building, so Id love to hear back from ya.


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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-30 12:24 am 

Joined: 2014-Feb-06 3:07 pm
Age: Drake
Not just Enchantments, but I'd also rather Ashling die than be tucked. Building a more "sustainable" Ashling is a completely valid line of play, with tons of cards that support it . . . but it's just not what I'm doing. If anything I'd say that the primary win condition of the deck is more burning the table down with explosions than it is getting through for 21 in combat (even though that is distinctly possible as well), which is why cards that contribute to that plan like Neko-Te and Quietus Spike (in a sense) are really good.

You make a good point about Crusher, but I don't think I'd play it before ensuring a minimum of 12 or so mana on the board, so I don't lose tempo from dropping Caged Sun. I guess being a potential must-answer fatty is a bonus, as someone else can burn their removal on it for me! Of course, my only concern becomes milling my own utility Lands, but at 14 of those versus 33 non-Lands I suppose the odds are in my favor. (Not to mention that some of those non-Lands can simply draw me into extra Land drops anyway.) I guess it's worth considering, especially since Kozilek can always refill my deck if I play it right.

Deck building is an art, I believe, and one that I'm passionate about. I can talk about it all day, even! :D

(Hmm. I'm now considering how well Trading Post would function in this deck. I suppose I'd be discarding a Mountain for 4 life most of the time.)


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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-30 8:37 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Firstly, I think this deck wants to go snow really, really badly. Scrying Sheets is an easy inclusion, and it will hit >50% of the time if the only change you make is replacing your mountains with Snow-Covered.

Horn of Greed is also a great card in land-heavy decks. It looks like a group hug, but really your opponents will run out of lands to play while you keep them coming thanks to the Horn.

If you're using Scroll Rack and have them available, any of the Onslaught/Zendikar fetches are worth including. Being able to rack back 5 lands and shuffle them away is wonderful.

Lastly, the effects that tuck Ashling from play aren't that numerous. Chaos Warp, Unexpectedly Absent, Condemn, Spin Into Myth, Condemn, Hallowed Burial, and Terminus are the ones that I consider "EDH playable." You can dodge most of these with Sword of War and Peace, and the ability to blow up the world over and over is really great. I would advocate for more effects that let her survive explosion and using Miren, High Market, Goblin Bombardment, etc to avoid tucking. Being able to explode her, have her live, and then pumping 5 more activations into her will make the next explosion just huge.


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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-30 4:10 pm 

Joined: 2014-Feb-02 6:40 pm
Age: Wyvern
Yeah, tuck effects can ruin Ash's day alright, although I agree with JJackson that I wouldnt worry about the half dozen cards so much that I would cut other viable strategies. Still if people around you run a lot of it I agree it should be taken into account. I dont think Goblin Bombardment is worth running as it does nothing 95% of the time. Something like Greater Gargadon would be better in my mind. Sure it only protects you for 10 turns(a long time really), but it also gives you a big body at the end if you want, or use it to sac a bunch of stuff to opponents Planar Cleansing/Armageddon. Grab the Reins and Helm of Possession are good instant sac outs too.

JJacksons snow lands are a great idea, also allows the addition of Glacial Crevasses, Sunstone and Rimescale Dragon potentially. Though those are much more defensive cards than Ash tends to like to play.

Trading Post I think would work better if you had a bit more of an equipment and/or artifact theme going on. Post would allow for returning destroyed equip, gain life to offset Ash's burn damage, and make creatures to attach your equipment to if Ash gets too expensive or gets tucked. Added bonus of being able to sac Spine of Ish and make creatures to sac to Helm of Possession is nice too. Myr Retriever/Junk Diver/Duplicant are all great card to use with Trading Post as well.


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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-30 8:19 pm 

Joined: 2014-Feb-06 3:07 pm
Age: Drake
I had considered going Snow. I think I just felt that it might've been too obvious, though? Plus paying effectively three mana for "maybe draw a card" didn't feel like it was worth it to me. I might reconsider that, though, and swap out Shinka for the Sheets. I don't think any of the other Snow support cards are even nearly as worthwhile as Scrying Sheets is, though.

Horn of Greed is genius. My only concern would be opposing Green decks a la Azusa. But I can simply not cast it until I've sufficiently burned their face off.

I generally don't feel comfortable running dual-fetches in decks without both kinds of basics. Yes, it's efficient deck thinning, all the Legacy kids do it, and all that garbage. But it still feels kind of dirty to me. But maybe on the other hand I shouldn't have qualms about replacing four Mountains with fetches if my list uses the likes of Scroll Rack and Mana Crypt? (But on the other other hand, that'd drop Scrying Sheets' randomized hit rate to <50% . . .)

Roar, your point on Trading Post is actually a pretty good one, and makes me reconsider including Mox Opal in a list with a mere 25 Artifacts in it. (I'm used to having more Artifacts available than that, because I'm used to playing with fewer than 66 Lands!) Granted, on its own Trading Post is still a far better card than Opal would be on its own--if only because the life gain mode is actually extremely relevant.

For the both of you, here's one of my biggest problems running cards to let Ashling survive her own explosions with other sac outlets: I can't justify the one without running the other as well. Assuming I even wanted to rely on the various two-card combo packages that this would require, that's still a lot of cards I'd have to individually justify adding to the deck . . . over a lot of other cards. The deck has 14 non-Mountain Land slots and 33 non-Land slots, almost all of which are filled about as well as they can be, and I'm already up to at least 10 more cards that I'd like to shove in there somehow anyway. High Market and Sword of War and Peace are very tough sells when one requests having another.

That being said, here are the changes I'm considering:

Mountain -> Arid Mesa
Mountain -> Bloodstained Mire
Mountain -> Scalding Tarn
48 Mountain -> 48 Snow-Covered Mountain
Mountain -> Wooded Foothills
Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep -> Scrying Sheets
Jeweled Amulet -> Horn of Greed
Mox Opal -> Blight Sickle
Tenza, Godo's Maul -> Fireshrieker
Bonfire of the Damned -> Vandalblast

What do you think?


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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-30 9:15 pm 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Knightaru wrote:
I had considered going Snow. I think I just felt that it might've been too obvious, though? Plus paying effectively three mana for "maybe draw a card" didn't feel like it was worth it to me. I might reconsider that, though, and swap out Shinka for the Sheets. I don't think any of the other Snow support cards are even nearly as worthwhile as Scrying Sheets is, though

Shinka is still a fine inclusion. I'd probably replace 1 mountain with Scrying Sheets, 1 with Mouth of Ronom, and the rest with snow mountains. You still would have more basics than most decks have total lands. You're right that it isn't great value to spend 3 mana to flip a coin on drawing a card, but monored has a big problem with card advantage so that is about the best they get.


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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-31 1:03 am 

Joined: 2014-Feb-02 6:40 pm
Age: Wyvern
Knightaru wrote:
I had considered going Snow. I think I just felt that it might've been too obvious, though? Plus paying effectively three mana for "maybe draw a card" didn't feel like it was worth it to me. I might reconsider that, though, and swap out Shinka for the Sheets. I don't think any of the other Snow support cards are even nearly as worthwhile as Scrying Sheets is, though.

For the both of you, here's one of my biggest problems running cards to let Ashling survive her own explosions with other sac outlets: I can't justify the one without running the other as well. Assuming I even wanted to rely on the various two-card combo packages that this would require, that's still a lot of cards I'd have to individually justify adding to the deck . . . over a lot of other cards. The deck has 14 non-Mountain Land slots and 33 non-Land slots, almost all of which are filled about as well as they can be, and I'm already up to at least 10 more cards that I'd like to shove in there somehow anyway. High Market and Sword of War and Peace are very tough sells when one requests having another.


Snow is a good way to go I think, its also cool tech with extraplanar lens unless your opponent is also running snow-mountains, less likely than normal mountains.

Im not sure what you mean by two-card combo packages either. Pretty much anything that stops Ash from blowing herself up is basically a 1 card combo. You already wanted to run instant speed sacrifice outlets right? Or were you just meaning Ash's own burn ability?

Heres some of the changes I would probably go for myself.

Forgotten Cave - Seems counter intuitive to your plan. You want land right? ETB tapped sucks too. Odds of drawing a non-land card = low. All around very sub-par for this deck.
Replace with:
High Market - It doesnt produce red(bummer), but you have enough red sources that this is not going to be an issue. Gives you a free instant sac outlet.

Reliquary Tower - With nothing that will draw you more than a full hand at best in your deck, I would not bother with this. Sure some one might make you draw a bunch of cards, but with the number of land you are running you should not have any sort of issue with discarding a few if need be.
Replace with:
Miren, the Moaning Well - Another sac outlet, but this one can give you a big life boost that can push you above your opponents if you have fallen behind one or more.

Astrolabe - What kind of inefficient is this? Maybe playable in a 2+ color deck if you needed some color fixing aswell, but here... bleh.
Replace with:
[cardWorn Powerstone[/card]? - T2 Ash, T3 Powerstone, T4 your ready to activate 3 times if you want.

Mox Opal - Not very reliably activated here.
Replace With:
Horn of Greed

Tenza, Godo's Maul
Replace with:
Loxodon Warhammer - Still gives you trample and the same power bonus, and gives that all important lifelink.

Jeweled Amulet
Replace with:
Blightsickle/Vandleblast

Bonfire of the Damned - Basically just a fancy ash burn.
Replace with:
Quietus Spike - Burns creatures like Bonfire, but also doubles as a wickedly lethal combat fallback option aswell.

And all the land switches you were mentioning of course.


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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-31 2:01 am 

Joined: 2014-Feb-06 3:07 pm
Age: Drake
See, the "tech" with Extraplanar Lens is exactly what I meant by going Snow being too obvious. I had always thought it to be ridiculously cheesy. Unless Scrying Sheets is worth it (still debatable), I'd rather just run plain ol' Mountains, so I can at least build the ROE mural several times over (what else are you going to do with 48-52 Mountains?).

What I mean by two-card combo packages is, no, I'm not running much in the way of sac outlets in the deck. Why would I? Ashling kills herself and everything else already, anyway; "0" card combo (which is basically how the 99 Mountain Ashling deck worked in the first place). If I were to put in a card that stops her from killing herself, I'd then have to put in another card to be a proper sac outlet.

Forgotten Cave and Astrolabe were included to give the deck something to do with an odd number of mana (as I mentioned in the OP). Thinking on it some more, though, I'd have no qualms parting with the labe for a real mana rock (like, as you say, Worn Powerstone).

Forgotten Cave for High Market, though, is again a harder sell. Forgotten Cave is simply more deck thinning. High Market, while not a bad card by any measure, is the one that's counter-intuitive to my plan. I have to keep one mana (the one from Market) open so that, as a backup plan, I can ditch Ashling for 1 life? Again, not bad so much as iffy.

Miren, however, is bad. Keeping a whole 4 mana open when I can be using that to pump Ashling instead? No thanks. You make a good point about Reliquary Tower, though, which was mostly in here just as a staple because "why not".

Loxodon Warhammer is also not bad, and the payout for Lifelink is obviously potent, but for what it does it seems a little mana-intensive. Trample isn't as important if you're blowing up all the Creatures anyway. This slot is probably going to be taken by Fireshrieker, if only because of the cheaper Equip cost, but I could easily go another way here. Like Neko-Te.

----

Mouth of Ronom is terrible in this deck! I'm generally not going to want to sacrifice my own lands (and if so it'd at least be a Tectonic Edge or something--still not very good outside of a specific meta, though), the mana-to-damage ratio is horrendous . . . it's not a Mountain! All three strikes against it. It's out.

If I did decide to go the Snow route, though, I'm thinking I might replace Reliquary Tower instead of Shinka.


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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-31 6:34 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Knightaru wrote:
Mouth of Ronom is terrible in this deck!

I'm not going to disagree that it is horribly inefficient, but it definitely isn't terrible for the deck. The thing you're giving up (one mountain) is something you have a ton of redundancy on. The thing you're gaining (a way to kill a small pro:red creature), is not something you have a lot of. It isn't going to matter either way in the majority of games, but it will probably benefit you more than it bites you in the ass.


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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Mar-31 1:45 pm 

Joined: 2014-Feb-06 3:07 pm
Age: Drake
I already have Valakut and Koth, though . . . both of which would rather I simply play a Mountain in that slot.


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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Apr-02 12:22 am 

Joined: 2014-Feb-06 3:07 pm
Age: Drake
OP updated:

Reliquary Tower -> Ancient Tomb
Astrolabe -> Wayfarer's Bauble
Jeweled Amulet -> Worn Powerstone
Mox Opal -> Quest for Pure Flame
Tenza, Godo's Maul -> Horn of Greed
All Is Dust -> Pristine Talisman
Bonfire of the Damned -> Hellkite Tyrant
Mimic Vat -> Relic of Progenitus

Just making a few cheap and/or awesome adjustments here. I don't think one can get more "Artifact hate" than a Hellkite Tyant in a deck with multiple ways to give it Haste (one of which also gives it Shroud). Unfortunately, I'm losing my "Enchantment hate" from All Is Dust, and I'd really like to fit in a Throne of Geth + Spine of Ish Sah combo to replace it (particularly considering the Tyrant's synergy with a sac outlet for certain Artifacts), but I couldn't find anything else to take out for them.

Other cards I'm also still keeping an eye on: Blight Sickle, Crystal Ball, Scythe of the Wretched, Trading Post.


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 Post subject: Re: 52 Mountains Ashling
AgePosted: 2014-Dec-21 9:35 am 

Joined: 2014-Feb-06 3:07 pm
Age: Drake
Updating the OP again:

Cloudpost -> Mountain
Forgotten Cave -> Mountain
Glimmerpost -> Mountain
Sandstone Needle -> Mountain
Thran Turbine -> Sword of Kaldra
Lightning Greaves -> Whispersilk Cloak
Reforge the Soul -> Crystal Ball
Quest for Pure Flame -> Repercussion

I was briefly considering actually building this deck for real if I managed to land a certain job I was shooting for. Even if that hadn't fallen through, though, the more that I thought about it the more that it seemed like a bad idea. No matter how much it is I try, I just can't seem to have any significant amount of fun while playing Commander, and in general I do not like the direction Magic is headed in--the cost to play (a good deck) has honestly gotten as exorbitantly outrageous as Yu-Gi-Oh! was five years ago to my similarly jobless self.

Still, the idea was there that, apart from a few . . . choice . . . cards, this deck would be a comparatively simple and inexpensive foray to build once I actually had an income--more than half the cards in it are basic Mountains, for goodness sake--and so I took a look back here to see what all exactly it would entail. So, like any artist who leaves their work for an extended period of time and comes back, I saw some room for improvement. Whether or not I'm actually building it, it'd be a disservice to the list to not at least acknowledge that.

*I should note that there were a few post-M15 cards that caught my attention--perhaps most notably Burn Away--but if I actually did go forward with building this list, none of those sets would be getting any of my commerce.

So, anyway, the changes, first being the Lands. Unlike my Kozilek deck (which, in spite of all my copious room for improvement there, will pretty much never get changed for the foreseeable future due to apathy), turns out assembling a combination of Loci isn't very worthwhile when so many cards care about me having Mountains specifically. (Gauntlet of Power, Koth, et al.) Thespian's Stage and Vesuva are better off copying something like Valakut or Opal Palace. Sandstone Needle would be perfectly fine if this were a tempo deck, but somehow I doubt that to be the case.

Forgotten Cave I actually have the most qualms over, but figured to be the weakest of my non-basics--though, I did have my eye on Ancient Tomb (since when Ashling explodes, it hurts me too) and Tower of the Magistrate (situational voltron hate? with other uses I guess maybe?). For whatever it is worth, this means there's plenty of room for supporting non-basics now, so I don't see much reason why fans of fetches and Snow Lands can't go hogwild. (Personally, I find something inherently repugnant about using fetchlands in a deck that doesn't use both applicable Basic Land types. It feels very much like putting greed before need. A big part of one of the reasons I don't play any more, to be honest.)

As for the other cards, I found Greaves and especially Turbine to be redundant (specifically with Prerogative and Braid of Fire, respectively), and while I understand how redundancy is usually favorable (particularly in the case of something like Greaves), I think variety is better when experimenting with a deck like this. So both cards got switched to overall strengthen the Voltron package (and, incidentally, Godo's position as alt-Commander). Sword of Kaldra is actually an excellent answer to some of Ashling's problems--sometimes, even Deathtouch just doesn't cut it, and for that we now have exiletouch (which, in a few corner cases, does not make Deathtouch redundant)! The +5 to Ashling's toughness is, for obvious reasons, not an issue here.

Repercussion, to be blunt, is honestly the biggest reason I'm here right now. You know how you find a card that's perfect for your deck that you didn't know existed earlier? The only downside to using it is that I would get damaged faster than a player with no Creatures--in which case I would probably be focusing my attacks on them anyway before I needed to blow up. In almost every other situation, it is basically a game-winner for Ashling, and makes Quest for Pure Flame look like a party trick. (And if multiple players have no Creatures [not unlikely if Ashling exploded earlier], I'd simply not play Repercussion until they did.)

Finally, Reforge the Soul is obviously excellent in specific situations, but Crystal Ball is more consistent, and combos excellently with Scroll Rack to ship extraneous Mountains to the bottom of my deck (drawing two virtual cards for 1 mana).

Cards that can't fit in here today, but are still worth thinking about for reasons: Chaos Warp, Lux Cannon, Steel Hellkite, Trading Post.


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