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MTG Commander/Elder Dragon Highlander • View topic - SCD: Isochron Scepter

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 Post subject: SCD: Isochron Scepter
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-26 11:15 pm 

Joined: 2008-Sep-12 8:43 pm
Age: Drake
Location: Madison, WI
I see popping up in lists and I just don't get it. I understand the desire to have a "no stick" or to put removal on there...but it just seems like such a poor card in the format. More often than not, you're only going to be left with half of you awesome combo. Or, you put it on the stick and then the stick gets blown up.

Most lists I see running it have no more than 10 cards they can imprint, so the chances are slim they will even have scepter and a card to put on there when it really matters.

I played "no stick" in extended, and the deck typically ran at least 10 targets in the main + singletons in the board to wish for. That means at least 1/6 of the deck was stuff to imprint on there, often much more. I've seen scepter popping up in commander decks with sometimes only 5 targets.

So, is this just people new to the format overvaluing the card or are they catching something I'm apparently missing? Have you ever run a commander deck utilizing scepter to great effect? Or has it been awesome 1% of the time and then total junk when you draw it anytime past turn 5?

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 Post subject: Re: SCD: Isochron Scepter
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-27 12:02 am 
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Joined: 2009-Jun-19 6:32 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Lappeenranta, Finland
I wouldn't call it a "poor" card. It's pretty easy to turn it into a for half the mana and with random extra effects. Imprint something like , , or whatever. It's not like you can have too many cheap cantrips in your deck, because you have so much time/mana available in this format.

I won't comment on decks that just use it poorly (bad instants, or not enough of them), but it's definitely a great card for anyone who puts some effort into making it good.


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 Post subject: Re: SCD: Isochron Scepter
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-27 6:58 am 

Joined: 2009-Dec-17 4:27 am
Age: Dragon
Location: Stockholm
In extended, you really wanted to get your scepter out as soon as you had mana for it, thus you had to find it and an instant to imprint in the first eight or nine cards. In EDH it's still going to be good if you get it out much later than that and there's a substantial amount of card draw, so you get to go through a lot more cards to find something to imprint. Often it's enough to find an appropriate instant in the first fifteen or twenty cards, something you are quite likely to do if your deck contains ten imprintable insants.


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 Post subject: Re: SCD: Isochron Scepter
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-27 10:29 am 

Joined: 2010-Dec-27 10:59 am
Age: Wyvern
I don't think Isochron Scepter is bad even if you have just five or ten cards to imprint to it. In a long game such as EDH, the scepter can lead to some interesting support roles.

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 Post subject: Re: SCD: Isochron Scepter
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-27 12:42 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-18 11:59 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Some of the best scepter cards I've come across i've come across:


(Don't laugh, 10 1/1's with banding are scary.)
(You can play Development when using it. Three creatures or cards for 2 mana, thanks!)

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 Post subject: Re: SCD: Isochron Scepter
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-27 1:57 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Jul-13 6:05 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Monmouth, OR
Isochron Scepter is pretty much impossible to run effectively in my playgroup. By the time you get to untap with it, it will already have been blown up, bounced, or the Rasputin player blinks out of play with /. You'll be lucky to get one activation from it.

It's the same reason why we have seeing a lot more play than . Imprint cards just scream people to 2-for-1 you.

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 Post subject: Re: SCD: Isochron Scepter
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-28 12:07 pm 

Joined: 2007-Apr-03 12:06 pm
Age: Drake
It was quite effective for me when I played my mono green control deck (creatureless!). I had all of the 2 mana Fog + effect cards to imprint, plus cute things like , , (really underplayed card, much like Predict) and such. It was more for fun than winning, obv, but Scepter + X was pretty strong most of the time.

I still want to put on it sometime.


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 Post subject: Re: SCD: Isochron Scepter
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-28 2:12 pm 

Joined: 2008-Nov-24 2:16 pm
Age: Dragon
I run about 20 stickable spells in my Wydwen deck. Tutors, creature kill, counters, and bounce. The thing is, I'd say all of them are good without the scepter. They have to be. It's generally pretty awesome if it's something like . Counter sticks are way to inflammatory in multiplayer.


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 Post subject: Re: SCD: Isochron Scepter
AgePosted: 2011-Mar-01 10:22 am 
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Joined: 2010-Mar-03 10:07 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Milwaukee, WI
My friend was telling me the other day about the opening hand he had in his Vendillion Clique deck of Island, Island, , Irrelevant Blue Card for Mox, Scepter, , and ... Yeah, he won that game. I hear countering most spells and bouncing those creatures that slip by is pretty good.

Beyond that, I am unconvinced that Scepter is good enough in EDH unless you have at least 15-20 targets in the deck. Sometimes you for , play Scepter with on board, and get there... other times Scepter sits in your hand with no targets and you get your ass kicked because you played Scepter-Abeyance last game. I suppose it CAN be worth it, but you have to build your deck around it to an extent that you don't in formats where you can throw 4 ofs in the deck. Not something you put in your EDH deck for the hell of it.


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