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 Post subject: Building a black/red(/x) sacrifice synergy deck
AgePosted: 2012-Jul-03 3:12 pm 

Joined: 2008-May-01 3:07 am
Age: Dragon
After seeing Sam Black's Zombie Bombardment deck in action I finally decided to see if I could make something like that work in EDH. (For those who didn't see the deck, scroll down a bit on http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/eventcoverage/gpatl12/welcome#0)

The basic premisse of the deck is combining self-recurring creatures like Bloodghast and Gravecrawler together with free sac-outlets like Goblin Bombardment and Carrion Feeder and stuff that benefits from creatures dying like Blood Artist, to create a synergistic Wrecking Ball.

What I really like about this kind of deck is that it relies solely on synergy. It's an engine. It's power is the combined parts of the deck, while it lacks any real haymakers. Sure, some of the engine oarts are good, maybe even TOO good (looking at you Goblin Bombardment..), but they only get rolling when combined with other stuff. And even then, most of the advantage it creates is small and steady instead of big and splashy.

The problem with small and steady in EDH is that it might just not be good enough to run with the big boys. All this carefully crafted engine work might just be Undone with the casting of one big, powerful spell (or said spell might create about the same effect..). Not to mention that parts of an engine are just that. Parts. Without other parts, they're worthless.

One of most common solutions to the above problem is to make the engine an infinite combo that wins on the spot, but that's exactly what I want to aVoid. I want synergy, not combo. Which I understand has a bit of overlap and what some might call combo, others call synergy.

So, will it work? Is it too clunky? Underpowered? Can it win without resorting to combo? Is it even pretentious to call this combo stuff synergy? Is it nothing more than a glass cannon?

I don't know, but want to find out. Just to see if what's in my head works out. It doesn't have to be all-powerful, but don't like to sit around all game waiting for that one piece to show up either. Preferably without too many tutors. So, that means redundancy.

For now I've selected black as my main color, because of it's sacrificial nature and self-recurring guys, with red as a second and maybe green as third. I don't really want to Savra as a general, which is nothing more than a personal preference: I don't want to play straight GB as a color combination. I do like GBR though, so that's fine. Other color combinations might work too, I don't know.

Here's what I've jotted down so far:

General:
Lyzolda, the Blood Witch
or
Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper
Both work with the theme fairly well. Lyzolda is a sac-outlet and a source of steady cardadvantage. Sek'Kuar has the benefit of doubling your fodder and making your creatures even more resilient, which is a somewhat more unique ability. Lyzolda costs 3 (which apparently is awesome), Sek'Kuar costs 5 but brings another color to the table. Lyzolda is good in a Sek'Kuar deck too by the way.

Warm bodies:
Bloodghast
Nether Traitor
Reassembling Skeleton
Gravecrawler
Endless Cockroaches
Brood of Cockroaches
Krovikan Horror
Ashen Ghoul
Squee, Goblin Nabob
persist creatures - Murderous Redcap, Furystoke Giant, Puppeteer Clique
undying creatures - Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, Flayer of the Hatebound
tokens - Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder, Bitterblossom, Tombstone Stairwell

Sac-outlets:
Goblin Bombardment
Phyrexian Altar
Krovikan Horror (also recurring creature)
Perilous Forays
Attrition
Skullclamp (sort of)
Carnage Altar
Carrion Feeder

Benefits from men dying:
Grave Pact (kills creatures)
Butcher of Malakir (kills creatures)
Savra, Queen of the Golgari (kills creatures)
Vicious Shadows (damage to player)
Blood Artist (damage to player)
Falkenrath Noble (damage to player)
Hissing Iguanar (damage to player)
Stalking Vengeance (damage to player)
Golgari Germination (token)
Pawn of Ulamog (token)
Black Market (mana)

Random ideas:
Tortured Existence
Anger

What do you think? Am I missing something? Which general would you choose, Lyzolda, Sek'Kuar, or someone else (even Savra)?

Let's build this!

_________________
Generals:
Endrek (my main squeeze)
Yeva, Nature's Herald (hold on, I have a response)
Kami of the Crescent Moon (mass draw, bounce and shenanigans)
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (you did this to yourself: mono red edition)


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 Post subject: Re: Building a black/red(/x) sacrifice synergy deck
AgePosted: 2012-Jul-03 5:57 pm 

Joined: 2011-Mar-02 8:37 am
Age: Drake
I think the new Blood Connoisseur is just as good if not better than Carrion Feeder and easier to cast than Scarland Thrinax. Also, don't dismiss end of turn effects like Vampire Aristocrat or Nantuko Husk, they can get pretty big pretty fast.

Depending on how far you want to push the theme, Mortician Beetle and Rockslide Elemental can get pretty big. If you find they don't grow fast enough for you but you still want big, dumb beaters there's always Lhurgoyf, Mortivore, and Bone Hoard.

I prefer Culling Dais over Carnage Altar and Phyrexian Altar because the sacrifice is free.

If you're playing Sek'Kuar, Pandemonium and Warstorm Surge can be fun. Try to live the dream: Sek'Kuar + Goblin Bombardment + Stalking Vengeance + Golgari Germination + Warstorm Surge. Bombarding a non-token 1/1 gets you 12 non-combat damage.

Savra, Lyzolda, and Sek'Kuar were the first three EDH decks I built, partly because I like killing my own stuff and partly because a lot of the parts are interchangeable and they're easy variations to build with a small card pool. I don't play them often any more so the lists don't have cards I've picked up from some of the newer sets, but here are my lists (Lyzolda is here).

Sek'Kuar:
Commander (1)
Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper

Sac Outlets (13)
Critters (7)
Carrion Feeder
Vampire Aristocrat
Scarland Thrinax
Dimir House Guard
Skullmulcher
Phyrexian Plaguelord
Mycoloth

Spells (6)
Goblin Bombardment
Attrition
Grab the Reins
Greater Good
Momentous Fall
Perilous Forays

Acceleration (8)
Sol Ring
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Cultivate
Kodama's Reach
Fertilid
Solemn Simulacrum
Oracle of Mul Daya
Reap and Sow

Draw/Tutoring (9)
Skullclamp
Demonic Tutor
Fecundity
Phyrexian Arena
Yavimaya Elder
Syphon Mind
Diabolic Tutor
Graveborn Muse
Mind's Eye

Removal (15)
Critters (6)
Sylvok Replica
Murderous Redcap
Savra, Queen of the Golgari
Acidic Slime
Deathbringer Thoctar
Butcher of Malakir

Spells (9)
Terminate
Ancient Grudge
Krosan Grip
Putrefy
Wrecking Ball
Grave Pact
Damnation
Decree of Pain
Black Sun's Zenith

Other Creatures (3)
Hissing Iguanar
Sprouting Thrinax
Stalking Vengeance

Recursion (11)
Critters (5)
Reassembling Skeleton
Nether Traitor
Eternal Witness
Puppeteer Clique
Geth, Lord of the Vault

Spells (6)
Phyrexian Reclamation
Nim Deathmantle
Oversold Cemetery
Mimic Vat
Living Death
Cauldron Dance

Others (2)
Golgari Germination
Insurrection

Land (38)
Utility Lands (7)
Bojuka Bog
Ghost Quarter
Phyrexian Tower
Spawning Pool
Svogthos, the Restless Tomb
Tectonic Edge
Treetop Village

Mana Lands (31)
Command Tower
Evolving Wilds
Golgari Rot Farm
Savage Lands
Tainted Peak
Tainted Wood
Vivid Crag
Vivid Grove
Vivid Marsh
9 Swamp
8 Forest
5 Mountain

Savra:
Commander (1)
Savra, Queen of the Golgari

Removal (20)
Critters (11)
Sylvok Replica
Bone Shredder
Withered Wretch
Fleshbag Marauder
Quagmire Druid
Indrik Stomphowler
Anowon, the Ruin Sage
Phyrexian Plaguelord
Acidic Slime
Butcher of Malakir
Terastodon

Spells (9)
Bone Splinters
Oblivion Stone
Plague Boiler
Krosan Grip
Attrition
Putrefy
Damnation
Grave Pact
Black Sun's Zenith

Acceleration (7)
Critters (3)
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Fertilid
Solemn Simulacrum

Spells (4)
Sol Ring
Cultivate
Kodama's Reach
Reap and Sow

Recursion (9)
Critters (5)
Reassembling Skeleton
Nether Traitor
Eternal Witness
Hell's Caretaker
Gleancrawler

Spells (4)
Phyrexian Reclamation
Oversold Cemetery
Mimic Vat
Living Death

Card Draw (11)
Skullclamp
Culling Dais
Demonic Tutor
Phyrexian Arena
Yavimaya Elder
Syphon Mind
Graveborn Muse
Greater Good
Momentous Fall
Skullmulcher
Krosan Tusker

Token Generators (5)
Pawn of Ulamog
Golgari Germination
Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder
Mitotic Slime
Mycoloth

Sacrifice Outlets (6)
Spawning Pit
Bloodflow Connoisseur
Vampire Aristocrat
Helm of Possession
Dimir House Guard
Doomgape

Beats (3)
Blood Artist
Bonehoard
Vulturous Zombie

Land (38)
Utility Land (5)
Bojuka Bog
Grim Backwoods
Phyrexian Tower
Svogthos, the Restless Tomb
Tectonic Edge

Mana Lands (33)
Barren Moor
Command Tower
Golgari Rot Farm
Polluted Mire
Slippery Karst
Tainted Wood
Tranquil Thicket
Vivid Grove
Vivid Marsh
Woodland Cemetery
13 Swamp
10 Forest

_________________
My decks


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 Post subject: Re: Building a black/red(/x) sacrifice synergy deck
AgePosted: 2012-Jul-03 8:57 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Oct-31 7:06 pm
Age: Dragon
Any deck that has green and lots of creatures dying needs Fecundity.

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"Flavor is flexible enough that you can justify just about anything. The color pie has to be held mechanically to a higher standard."


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 Post subject: Re: Building a black/red(/x) sacrifice synergy deck
AgePosted: 2012-Jul-04 8:36 am 
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Joined: 2012-Apr-01 1:06 pm
Age: Drake
Cauldron of Souls, Woodfall Primus. It's easy to combo out with them, and if you are a good person and don't want to, they're amazing cards on their own.

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If you can't kill it with a counterspell or a wrath, it might be just a bit broken


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 Post subject: Re: Building a black/red(/x) sacrifice synergy deck
AgePosted: 2012-Jul-04 8:57 am 
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Joined: 2011-May-04 9:09 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Saskatchewan
Jivan wrote:
Any deck that has green and lots of creatures dying needs Fecundity.


Heartily agree with this. You might also want to look into using Dragon Appeasement if you use the orc. A buddy of mine has a similar setup as this and it's pretty effective, but be prepared to do a lot of wittling down.

Also, Blood Artist is bitchin in this kind of thing. Just saying.


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 Post subject: Re: Building a black/red(/x) sacrifice synergy deck
AgePosted: 2012-Jul-04 2:36 pm 

Joined: 2008-May-01 3:07 am
Age: Dragon
@ spin13: Blood Connoisseur is indeed better, as is Scarland Thrinax, I'll add them to the list. Carrion Feeder was mostly on the list because it's a zombie for Gravecrawler so he'll stay for now. Vampire Aristocrat and Nantuko Husk are maybes for me, mostly because they are most useful when you can grow them in big bursts, which I'm not sure this deck will be doing. Husk, and Phyrexian Ghoul might be worth it if Gravecrawler sticks, though.

I want to push the theme as far as possible, so I'll add Mortician Beetle and Rockslide to the list as well, same as Khabal Ghoul. Lhurgoyfs are not where I want to be I don't think.

Never used Culling Dais, to be honest. The thing I like about Carnage Altar is that you can chain it if you have the mana (for example with Black Market) and you get the card immediately.

Pandemonium Scares me, for some reason I have a feeling that my opponent will benefit more than me. Warstorm Surge however, seems quite awesome, but expensive on the mana. Might Scare people more then I intend as well. Not sure about that one. Although, the scenario you lay out there IS hilarious.

Cool decks btw. I don't have the time right now to go over each and every card, but I think I will be able to get a lot of Inspiration out of them.


@Jivan: Yes to Fecundity. A good reason to go green imho.


@Grand_Abolisher: Cauldron of Souls is awesome. I'm not sure how often it will actually bring a creature back if I intend to play a lot of X/1's, but I'll keep it in mind. Woodfall Primus is too big for my taste, although I might need it in the end. I'll keep it in mind as well, silly how I forgot to add it to the list of good persisters.


@Ukkmaster: I don't think I've ever seen anyone play a Dragon Appeasement, but I do remember someone recommending it to me a long time ago when I was working on a different Sek'Kuar deck. I like cards that are not often played, so this is a big draw. Expensive though.

Wittling down, I'm prepared to do! That's exactly what I was aiming for :P



Thanks so far for the responses! A lot of great cards to consider, I'll add them to my list when I have the time. Maybe even post a rough decklist as well. Sweet.

Some cards I remembered myself are Deathbringer Thoctar and Goblin Sharpshooter. Maybe along with Phyrexian Plaguelord. Makes for a nice machinegun-esque setup.

_________________
Generals:
Endrek (my main squeeze)
Yeva, Nature's Herald (hold on, I have a response)
Kami of the Crescent Moon (mass draw, bounce and shenanigans)
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (you did this to yourself: mono red edition)


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 Post subject: Re: Building a black/red(/x) sacrifice synergy deck
AgePosted: 2012-Jul-05 2:26 am 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-13 6:01 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Washington D.C.
As I mentioned in the mini-combo thread: Deathbring Thoctar + Death Baron. You can create a one-sided wrath that will lock the board down until they can remove either.

Gleancrawler would be nice as well. Shouldn't affect Gravecrawler or Bloodghast either. Perilous Forays would be worth including if you run Bloodghast as well.

EDIT: I recommend Sek'Kuar or Kresh for the general. Sek'Kuar would give you more bodies to bombard with, while Kresh would just become an immense body for your opponents to have to deal with.

_________________
My decks on Tappedout.net


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 Post subject: Re: Building a black/red(/x) sacrifice synergy deck
AgePosted: 2012-Jul-07 12:39 pm 

Joined: 2012-Jul-07 12:31 pm
Age: Hatchling
I just saw this post and decided to register. Just got done working on kes'suar myself. Except I went for more of a get rid of everyone's creatures plus my own. Put a few token generators in as well. Would love to see the list.

One interesting combo I found was furnace celebration + ashnod's altar


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 Post subject: Re: Building a black/red(/x) sacrifice synergy deck
AgePosted: 2012-Jul-07 2:08 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Jun-01 10:21 am
Age: Drake
Location: Montreal, QC
You seem dead set on going with green for this type of deck, but blue can also give you some good options. Vela the Night-Clad comes to mind, so does Sygg, River Cutthroat. Thraximundar would be a good general, and a plan B for the deck (if the engine doesn't come together in the first 6 turns...)


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 Post subject: Re: Building a black/red(/x) sacrifice synergy deck
AgePosted: 2012-Jul-08 11:14 am 

Joined: 2008-May-01 3:07 am
Age: Dragon
@Superstrength79: Deathbringer + Death Baron is awesome! I'm just afraid Death Baron will do nothing with the rest of the deck and be a dead card most of the time.

@tomohr: Welcome! Furnace celebration + Ashnod's Altar are both cards I will look into, thanks!

@SicariusV: hmm, interesting. You are quite right, I never thought about going blue. Sygg doesn't really excite me, but Vela the Night-Clad, and maybe even Diregraf Captain are quite awesome. Thraximundar is just a different Kresh as far as I'm concerned, but that's not a bad thing.
For now, however, I decided to go straight Black/Red. I just wanted to get started and my mind has a tendency to logjam when I have too many options, so 2 colors made sure I went ahead and build the deck. Black/Blue would've been an awesome options as well, probably with Grim-Grin as general and more zombies, and might be something I'll try in the future. For now, I couldn't resist dealing damage with Goblin Bombardment (one of my favorite cards ever)

I made a decklist thread in the other part of the forum. Come check it out!

Lyzolda: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=12196

_________________
Generals:
Endrek (my main squeeze)
Yeva, Nature's Herald (hold on, I have a response)
Kami of the Crescent Moon (mass draw, bounce and shenanigans)
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (you did this to yourself: mono red edition)


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 Post subject: Re: Building a black/red(/x) sacrifice synergy deck
AgePosted: 2012-Jul-09 5:36 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Dec-13 6:01 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Washington D.C.
Squirrely wrote:
@Superstrength79: Deathbringer + Death Baron is awesome! I'm just afraid Death Baron will do nothing with the rest of the deck and be a dead card most of the time.

True. I do have enough zombies in my deck that Death Baron is more relevant. I also run Basilisk Collar as a back up... with possibly one more deathtouch card as well iirc.

Could always toss in Basilisk Collar, Gorgon Flail, or even Nightshade Peddler instead.

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 Post subject: Re: Building a black/red(/x) sacrifice synergy deck
AgePosted: 2012-Jul-10 11:29 pm 

Joined: 2008-May-01 3:07 am
Age: Dragon
I might do both: add more zombies and add some deathtouch enablers. Although the zombies would be mostly for Vengeful Death.
I actually really like Basilisk Collar (and maybe others) because of its synergy with Lyzolda and it might be a good solution to my haymaker problem. Might as well toss in aGoblin Sharpshooter, which has synergy with the deck anyway.

Would you mind taking a gander at the decklist to help me choose cards to cut? I've only played some 6 games with it, so not everything came up yet and maybe others can help single out cards that are worse then they look on paper (or better).
For example: Ashen Ghoul played a big part in a game yesterday, a card of which I was sure wouldn't make much impact.

_________________
Generals:
Endrek (my main squeeze)
Yeva, Nature's Herald (hold on, I have a response)
Kami of the Crescent Moon (mass draw, bounce and shenanigans)
Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs (you did this to yourself: mono red edition)


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