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 Post subject: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-14 10:03 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Hi! Are you in the mood for some house-ruled general action? Behold the mighty Evershrike!

Image

First Things First wrote:
Evershrike is not Legendary and is therefore an illegal general and requires consensus of the group to allow its play. When I use it, I treat it as if it was Legendary, with all consequences that implies.

That being said, I've chosen it because it's a very unique creature that is, in my opinion, worthy of ascendancy to Commanderhood.

One glance at the card should make the strategy clear: Aura-based voltron. Now, Evershrike is sure to draw comparisons with Uril, a much-hated general, so I feel I should adress that:

1) The biggest reason why Uril is drawing hate is, of course, the fact it has hexproof. Evershrike trades that for the ability to rise from the dead if you have an Aura in hand. So on one hand, it can be dealt with a lot easier, but on the other, not for long. It's an interesting tradeoff and it makes Evershrike more social contract-friendly than its Beastly cousin, IMO.

2) While they both cost five mana, Uril is a 5/5 dumb beatstick, while 'Shrike is a 2/2 flier. The built-in evasion makes the latter more open to Auras that don't grant that, but are good in some other way, including my pet card of this deck, Shadow Lance.

3) The last, but in no way small difference is the color identity. Without red and green, I have limited access to ramp, haste and trample. Cards like Fires of Yavimaya, Runes of the Deus and Rancor, as well as most Enchantress effects, are out. What do I get in return for this martyrdom? Turns out, a lot of neat things, actually.

Black Auras are a frightening bunch. For starters, there are cards like Animate Dead that are very versatile in their use. Some others don't buff my general per se, but add nasty effects should something happen to it. Examples are Casting of Bones, Dying Wish and Dying Wail. In fact, it turns out with these Auras, Evershrike is much more of a control deck than Uril could ever hope to be.

Well, enough prattle, time for the list (the formatting with the diamonds is shamelessly plagiarized from Willbender, because it seems very practical - saves a lot of scrolling without having to resort to "spoiler" tags):

First, the deck has A LOT of Auras, obviously (35 to be exact), since every Aura doubles as a reanimation spell for my general. Let's start with those that do a particularly good job in this regard:
Quote:
These are special, since they return to my hand when they die, so I can repeatedly use them to reanimate Evershrike. I've come to especially appreciate Fallen Ideal through its use in this deck. That thing is basically a next-to-unkillable sac engine. Next, we have a few whose main point is to discourage blocking or killing the boss in the first place:
Quote:
Following are Auras that are for their creatures:
Quote:
There's also some grey area Auras that can both buff my guys and neutralize opponents':
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The rest are direct buffs to 'Shrike's strength and/or survivability:
Quote:
With the (most of the) Auras out of the way, what's left?
Quote:
And just for the sake of completeness:
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Rocks'n'dirt: 38

So far, the deck has good record and hopefully it isn't as obnoxious as Uril. It's great fun to play for me :)

Suggestions, praise & death threats welcome! :D

Antis out.

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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.


Last edited by Antis on 2016-Oct-02 8:09 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-15 11:00 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Antis wrote:
death threats welcome

Image
I'm coming for you! How dare you step on my turf!?

_________________
"The President's job - and if someone sufficiently vain and stupid is picked he won't realize this - is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it." -- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide tot he Galaxy Radio Transcripts predicting the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-15 12:52 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Jun-14 2:24 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Trapped in my own twisted imagination.
I like it. Shadowmoor/eventide was filled with creatures that woulda made fun commanders.

Flickering Ward seems like it may like this deck.

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My Decks:
Ulasht, the Hate Seed: Tokens and the joy of one-sided boardwipes.
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Sek'Kuar, deathkeeper: It's ALIVE! And so is that one! In fact, ALL the formerly dead stuff is alive!
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 Post subject: Re: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-15 8:02 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Sid the Chicken wrote:
Antis wrote:
death threats welcome

Image
I'm coming for you! How dare you step on my turf!?

Bring it, Fuzzhorn! :P

_________________
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: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-17 1:08 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Antis wrote:
Bring it, Fuzzhorn! :P

Image


By the way, Antis, you have Gift of Immortality under buffs, but it should be under your reanimation section. It's a little nitpicky of me to point it out, I guess...

Anyway, I wanted to say it looks fairly solid. I mean, I've seen the deck perform, and I would say my only qualms with it is how suddenly it pulls into wins. A couple of the games now you've managed to hang on for a number of turns without making any real impact to the board, when suddenly you Ethereal Armor + Battle Mastery + Spirit Mantle someone to death. I think it's just an unfortunate consequence of Voltron decks though, so there's not much to be done about it.

The deck is fine though, since with well-timed removal breaks the glass cannon. Anyway, I feel like Ajani's Chosen doesn't really help you quite enough. Sun Titan or Sigil of the Empty Throne would probably be better cards for this spot (as they both have very desirable effects). I'm playing both Chosen and Sigil in my A/C deck, and Chosen never does quite enough in this format. Then again, these might have too high a cost for your deck, in which case I would suggest you use this spot to invest in the plethora of White enchantment removal (specifically Oblivion Ring or Banishing Light or possibly even Gelid Shackles if you want).

Another change I would consider is Land Tax for Chromatic Lantern (if the cost isn't too prohibitive). You won't be specifically ramping with Land Tax, but I feel you'll want to grab lands every chance you get--you are only at 31 lands. You admittedly don't need a lot of lands, but Tax will help out a whole lot. Plus, you could always consider running Empyrial Armor with it.

That's all I have for now.

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 Post subject: Re: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2014-Oct-17 7:41 am 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Thanks for the SherlockScan(tm), Segrus :D Well, the reason Gift is in that category is that it works more like Indestructibility and totem armor than Animate Dead. True reanimation is meant to be primarily cast on opponents' creatures.

You nailed that voltron thing down, but ATM it's really my only real voltron deck (I count Anax as 1/2 voltron, 1/2 aggro), so I went with it.

About your recommendations: I, too, am not very content with Ajani's Chosen's performance and will probably replace it. Sun Titan and Sigil are kinda expensive and don't help that much in this case, IMO. I mean, if I'm to recover after a Wrath, then in this deck, it's better for me to cast Auramancer and revive Evershrike with an Aura I got back into hand. And Sigil doesn't do anything the turn I cast it, so that's kinda deterring me from using it. O-Ring... I want to add more answers in time, but I haven't really thought about it yet. I'm thinking about dismantling my Child of Alara deck and in that case, 'Shrike would probably just inherit Vindicate. And Parallax Wave. I love Parallax Wave. Land Tax is a possible addition, too.

_________________
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: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2015-Jun-14 7:03 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
SO! After some eight months, I actually got around to...*drumroll*...MAKE A PAPER VERSION, WOOHOO!!! :D

And of course it's different from what I constructed online, so I've revamped the whole decklist from scratch.

I've already gotten some games in and it's fun to play. I'm asking my opponents how they feel about the deck, because Uril's stigma is strong in some, but so far it seems they're cool with it.

_________________
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: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2015-Jun-15 3:20 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
Antis wrote:
because Uril's stigma is strong in some

Evershrike doesn't have Hexproof... at least not naturally. That I think is the biggest thing people hate about Uril - if he sticks, you can't use spot removal on him, you need to play a sweeper, or have some other tech to deal with him. Evershrike can be bounced/killed MUCH more easily, which makes the possibility of sudden death by voltron seem much more fair. It's also much harder to give this thing trample, which means chump blocking is a much more viable option.

_________________
"The President's job - and if someone sufficiently vain and stupid is picked he won't realize this - is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it." -- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide tot he Galaxy Radio Transcripts predicting the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2015-Jun-18 9:02 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Sid the Chicken wrote:
Antis wrote:
because Uril's stigma is strong in some

Evershrike doesn't have Hexproof... at least not naturally. That I think is the biggest thing people hate about Uril - if he sticks, you can't use spot removal on him, you need to play a sweeper, or have some other tech to deal with him. Evershrike can be bounced/killed MUCH more easily, which makes the possibility of sudden death by voltron seem much more fair. It's also much harder to give this thing trample, which means chump blocking is a much more viable option.
Yeah, that's what I was hoping for when building it. I find it's much more interactive than Uril. With Uril, you don't really have to pay much attention to the rest of the board, you just make your guy big and go for it.
With Evershike, I often find myself putting auras on a lot of different creatures, because either my opponents have ways to kill Shrike the moment it hits the table, or the aura in question is something like Casting of Bones or Strands of Undeath, cards that don't neccesarily have to be on my general to do their thing. Or it's one of the auras that is beneficial on my creature, but can also be used against an opponent's creature. I very much enjoyed the eye-bulging surprised look I generated in an opponent one game, when I cast Vampiric Link on his T3-cast Marath :twisted:

_________________
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: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2015-Jul-19 10:10 am 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
More games played, more fun had. This deck is shaping to be a permanent addition to my arsenal. I'm quite happy with the gameplay, it's unlike anything I've built and that's coming from a guy who did have a Uril deck at one point, mind you.

Unlike that hexproof beast, Shrike kills slower, it's usually only about 6/6 or so, enough to scare off blockers (and attackers), but not exactly screaming "KILL ME NOW!!!"

I found I have enough Auras to throw them around at my leisure while still keeping one or two aside for reanimating my commander.

Non-buff Auras are a lot of fun. "Cast Pentarch Ward on your Wall of Frost, naming green, just so I could cantrip." "Here, your guy can regenerate now. When 'I' pay for it. Oh and you discard two cards when this comes into play. Have a nice day!" :)

Had a funny moment against my friend's Phenax deck when he cast Consuming Aberration with Phenax and Lightning Greaves on the board. I had enough cards in my graveyard that he could mill me dead immediately. But I also had Nomad Mythmaker in play and Prison Term in said graveyard. So I activated and I targeted. At that point, he realized he had a choice: either he could let it happen and let Prison Term arrest his Aberration before he could even equip it, or he could pop his Tormod's Crypt to prevent that, but then the Aberration would only be 1/1 (third player), so he couldn't kill me with it before I finish him on my turn. Busted! :twisted:

_________________
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: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2015-Aug-14 8:16 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
Thanks to my friend Petr for this:
Image
It's the only foil Evershrike I've seen in my life, but he got it for me. And it looks AWESOME!

You rule, man! :)

_________________
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: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2015-Aug-14 11:04 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
You've got some pretty good friends over there.

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 Post subject: Re: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2015-Aug-15 6:10 pm 

Joined: 2012-Oct-09 1:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Stoke-On-Trent, England, UK
Antis wrote:
Thanks to my friend Petr for this:
Image
It's the only foil Evershrike I've seen in my life, but he got it for me. And it looks AWESOME!

You rule, man! :)


definitely hard to find, I have one in my Chromanticore deck :-), you do have good friends!

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 Post subject: Re: Ever wondered how to Shrike?
AgePosted: 2016-Oct-02 8:02 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
UPDATE 10/3/2016:

Ahh, the good ol' 'Shrike... I love this deck. Built before Daxos 2.0 came out, this was my impatient, house-ruled choice for my dreamed-about black enchantress deck. Actually not quite, since it's focused on Auras, not on Painful Quandary, Grave Pact, Wound Reflection and other black powerhouses I had in mind originally. Nevertheless, it's fun to play and over time, it became rather popular in my group, being original and much more fun to play against than a certain Naya beast of similar abilities. Main difference from Uril (color identity aside) is that since Evershrike lacks Hexproof, it's way riskier to overcommit with Auras on it alone, so instead I spread them more evenly. To make this easier, my selection includes many Auras that are (potentially) harmful to opponents, or that have ETB/LTB triggers, but don't do much otherwise. Even the purely beneficial ones can become powerful political tools, I learned ("I cast Strands of Undeath on your guy, make a third player discard two and your dude can now regenerate...if I feel like it ;) ").

I know I'm missing a few obvious cards. That's because I'm very lazy, which some of you may have noticed already ("Antis, what was that about a meetup in Prague you were talking about a year ago?"). Anyway, what does the deck look like now?

Changes:

-Yoke of the Damned
-Chosen of Heliod
-Kithkin Armor
-Scavenged Weaponry
-Thrull Retainer
-Sorin, Solemn Visitor
-Land

+Anguished Unmaking
+Merciless Eviction
+Infernal Scarring
+Murder Investigation
+Battle Mastery
+Daybreak Coronet
+Scourgemark

Cheers! :)

_________________
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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