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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:24 pm 
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What's the Akoum Firebird for? Why oblivion sower over sire of stagnation?

To add a little more detail: I don't think Akoum fits the deck's defensive mill theme even if it does have discard/sac shenanigans that can be used with it. I'd add another languish personally.

Oblivion sower vs sire of stagnation isn't necessarily as clear cut for me. The sower's effect almost guarantees value the turn it is played even if they have removal, but the sire does fit the theme and should be better if it sticks. Would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Fun deck to play, more so than turbofog in Green/Blue/Black imo.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:46 am 
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Final version after lots of testing:

Where Ma Cards @?

4 x Salvage Drone
1 x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
3 x Telling Time
3 x Altar's Reap
2 x Fleshbag Marauder
3 x Sphinx's Tutelage
2 x Radiant Flames
3 x Act of Treason
1 x Akoum Firebird
1 x Aligned Hedron Network
2 x Talent of the Telepath
4 x Brilliant Spectrum
1 x Languish
1 x Cruel Revival
2 x Necromantic Summons
1 x Ob Nixilis Reignited
1 x Oblivion Sower
1 x Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

1 x Plains
5 x Island
3 x Swamp
2 x Mountain
1 x Shambling Vent
2 x Smoldering Marsh
2 x Sunken Hollow
1 x Prairie Stream
1 x Drowned Catacomb
1 x Clifftop Retreat
2 x Sulfur Falls
2 x Dragonskull Summit
1 x Evolving Wilds


You can shift a few cards around but this deck will win with mill most of the time and telling time really helps pretty much any time to get the right pieces you need. Ulamog mill is also fairly common with a T8 play of Summons+Treason being deadly.

Early game your first priority is getting out Tutelage if you have it and second is land fixing, if you can stabilize with good land this deck is very tough to beat... Take it for a spin an tell me what you think :teach:

Edit: Dropped vial for an evolving wilds to try and help early game mana.
Really digging this deck! Kind of reminds me of Unfinished Business (just with mill) back in dotp 2014 for some reason.

But have you considered splashing green just for From Beyond? Think that could be great here. Or maybe Oracle of Dust? Hmm well, guess there's not much room really.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:52 am 
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So here's my latest attempt to get Ulamog's Nullifier to do well...

Grixis Devoid Control

3 x Fiery Impulse

1 x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
2 x Tide Drifter
4 x Mist Intruder
3 x Horribly Awry
2 x Telling Time
1 x Disperse

2 x Scatter to the Winds
4 x Spell Shrivel
2 x Radiant Flames

3 x Ulamog's Nullifier
2 x Inspiration
1 x Brutal Expulsion

1 x Disciple of the Ring
1 x Blight Herder
1 x Ob nixilis, Reignited

2 x Drowner of Hope

1 x Ruin Processor

5 x Island
3 x Swamp
3 x Mountain
2 x Smoldering Marsh
2 x Sunken Hollow
2 x Drowned Catacomb
2 x Sulfur Falls
2 x Dragonskull Summit
3 x Evolving Wilds



Sadly I don't get to have real strong results such as the sultai control deck i'm tweaking, but it's fun to play, if you don't mind playing a tier 2 deck and enjoy classic control.

I'd probably need another evovling wilds, but because of the deck not thinning itself very well (unlike green based control builds) I'm trying to cut corners.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:07 am 
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So here's my latest attempt to get Ulamog's Nullifier to do well...

Grixis Devoid Control

3 x Fiery Impulse

1 x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
2 x Tide Drifter
4 x Mist Intruder
3 x Horribly Awry
2 x Telling Time
1 x Disperse

2 x Scatter to the Winds
4 x Spell Shrivel
2 x Radiant Flames

3 x Ulamog's Nullifier
2 x Inspiration
1 x Brutal Expulsion

1 x Disciple of the Ring
1 x Blight Herder
1 x Ob nixilis, Reignited

2 x Drowner of Hope

1 x Ruin Processor

5 x Island
3 x Swamp
3 x Mountain
2 x Smoldering Marsh
2 x Sunken Hollow
2 x Drowned Catacomb
2 x Sulfur Falls
2 x Dragonskull Summit
3 x Evolving Wilds



Sadly I don't get to have real strong results such as the sultai control deck i'm tweaking, but it's fun to play, if you don't mind playing a tier 2 deck and enjoy classic control.

I'd probably need another evovling wilds, but because of the deck not thinning itself very well (unlike green based control builds) I'm trying to cut corners.


Looks interesting. I will try it out.
Are only 6 Cards worth splashing red?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:47 am 
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Well that's a good question, I think it's necessary : Horribly Awry is a decent counter if you are on the play, but what if you are on the draw ? Suppose they get something threatening under you. This is a draw-go deck; so it can't just go t2 reave soul, or t3 Complete Disregard if you are on draw. That's a recipe for disaster.
Fiery Impulse allows you to clean up stuff that went through Awry at minimum manacost, and at instant speed. It's also stellar at sniping lords, baby walkers and trading your weaklings up. Likewise, Languish doesn't fit in this in a deck that doesn't have HUGE haymaker after haymaker post t4, comes late, costs double black and taps you out.
Radiant Flames costs less (t6 flames + hold up counter), and can be customized in some cases if you have a tidedrifter out ot not hit your x/2s.
In sultai I happily run languish, but after t4 i'm jamming walkers, huge bodies and go just as big as the ramp decks. This deck needs to be played more like a scalpel rather than a bulldozer.

Brutal expulsion is just a card that's situationally godly but often an overcosted disperse. You can bounce your own guy during a block and kill a wheenie though, so that's nice if you get a processor effect upon recast.

Don't take this deck too seriously btw, the tools just aren't there imo to make this type of deck in grixis. Barely even in esper, although esper's better of. It's just a pieceof harmless fun that should still give you interesting matches and reward precise play.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:21 am 
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Final version after lots of testing:

Where Ma Cards @?

4 x Salvage Drone
1 x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
3 x Telling Time
3 x Altar's Reap
2 x Fleshbag Marauder
3 x Sphinx's Tutelage
2 x Radiant Flames
3 x Act of Treason
1 x Akoum Firebird
1 x Aligned Hedron Network
2 x Talent of the Telepath
4 x Brilliant Spectrum
1 x Languish
1 x Cruel Revival
2 x Necromantic Summons
1 x Ob Nixilis Reignited
1 x Oblivion Sower
1 x Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

1 x Plains
5 x Island
3 x Swamp
2 x Mountain
1 x Shambling Vent
2 x Smoldering Marsh
2 x Sunken Hollow
1 x Prairie Stream
1 x Drowned Catacomb
1 x Clifftop Retreat
2 x Sulfur Falls
2 x Dragonskull Summit
1 x Evolving Wilds


You can shift a few cards around but this deck will win with mill most of the time and telling time really helps pretty much any time to get the right pieces you need. Ulamog mill is also fairly common with a T8 play of Summons+Treason being deadly.

Early game your first priority is getting out Tutelage if you have it and second is land fixing, if you can stabilize with good land this deck is very tough to beat... Take it for a spin an tell me what you think :teach:

Edit: Dropped vial for an evolving wilds to try and help early game mana.


Playing this for several rounds this morning, and it's a lot of fun. Played against a lot of weird decks, only played ramp twice (split those, probably could have won both but for play mistakes) and no RDW (mercifully, that is probably the worst matchup for this). Did pretty well for the most part.

Why the Akoum Firebird instead of something else? I understand why Hedron Network is in there, but I could also do with a Planar Outburst or something.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:36 pm 
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Grixis Processor

Creature
2x Blight Herder
2x Dust Stalker
2x Fleshbag Marauder
4x Mist Intruder
1x Oblivion Sower
1x Sifter of Skulls
1x Sire of Stagnation
2x Sludge Crawler
3x Tide Drifter
1x Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
2x Ulamog's Nullifier
3x Vile Aggregate
2x Wasteland Strangler

Planeswalker
1x Ob Nixilis, Reignited

Instant
2x Brutal Expulsion
2x Titan's Presence

Sorcery
2x Exquisite Firecraft
3x Processor Assault
2x Radiant Flames

Land
3x Island
3x Mountain
2x Swamp
2x Dragonskull Summit
2x Drowned Catacomb
2x Smoldering Marsh
2x Sulfur Falls
2x Sunken Hollow
4x Evolving Wilds

First time posting here, so if my formatting is off, let me know (and how to fix it, please).

This is a bit Aggro/Control and pretty straightforward. I've had quite a bit of success with it. I'm not sure what I would add, if anything, from Oath, since the Kozilek eldrazi are considerably different from Ulamog's lineage. Any advice?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:02 pm 
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Identity: Anachronistic Noble
Preferred Pronoun Set: Lord/Lady
Alright, I've always been a Johnny at heart, and Magic Duels is a pretty tough landscape for building a combo deck. But today I finally found one that seems to be fairly competitive, fun to play, and solidly in the combo camp. I'd love some suggestions on how to improve it / play it better.

Without further ado, I present my first deck on the forums:

Grixis Reanimator
(Combo + Control)

Removal/Sweepers

3x Sinister Concoction
2x Lightning Axe
3x Fiery Impulse

2x Radiant Flames
2x Languish

Engine

2x Oath of Jace
2x Fevered Visions

Reanimation Spells

3x Necromantic Summons
2x Rise from the Grave
2x Ever After

Payoffs/Targets

2x Prized Amalgam

1x Linvala, the Preserver
1x Greenwarden of Murasa
1x Sire of Stagnation
3x Plated Crusher
2x Breaker of Armies
1x Kozilek, the Great Distortion

Lands (26)

1x Island
7x Swamp
2x Mountain
4x Evolving Wilds

2x Wandering Fumarole

2x Smoldering Marsh
2x Sunken Hollow
2x Drowned Catacomb
2x Sulfur Falls
2x Dragonskull Summit


Curve:

It looks pretty bad at first blush...

Cost | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | X
Number | 8 | 0 | 8 | 2 | 5 | 2 | 9


...until you consider how our lands get played, especially given how many enter tapped. A typical game is:

Turn 1: Play a tapped land (0 Mana open)
Turn 2: Play a tapped land (1 Mana)
Turn 3: Play an untapped land (3 Mana)
Turn 4: Play a tapped or untapped land (3 or 4 Mana)
Turn 5: Play an untapped land (5 Mana)

And suddenly the 1 - 3 - 5 mana curve makes a lot more sense.


Mana Source reasoning

I defer to Frank Karsten's math here.

We expect to play a tapped land on turns one and two (alongside a 1 mana play), then mostly untapped from there.

This gives (counting Evolving Wilds as 3/4 of a source for each color):

12 Blue sources - All of our blue cards start on turn 3, which means we need 12 sources for a 90% chance of playing them on curve. Perfect!

18 Black sources - Exactly enough for a 90% chance of turn 4 Languish. Sinister Concoction might be a reason to add more, but we can get away with casting it alongside a tap land on turn two and cracking it later.

13 Red sources - We'd want 14 (and 14 untapped at that!) for a 90% turn one Lightning Axe or Fiery Impulse - but we expect to play a tap land on turn one. If we're trying to play Lightning Axe / Fiery Impulse turn two, this is just right.

This mana base is optimized for casting our spells, and nothing else. We don't have any space for value lands in a three color deck. If you did this in two colors, there's likely space for two Drownyard Temples - but not here, unless you want all your lands to come into play tapped.


Strategy

The goal of this deck is to survive the early turns by bringing in some of the most efficient removal and sweepers in the format while discarding some big dumb idiot into the graveyard to bring back on turn five.

When you're intentionally trying to put junk into the graveyard, Lightning Axe becomes the best Fiery Impulse you've ever seen, and Sinister Concoction is a better Doom Blade. Of course, we don't always have things we want to throw away, which is why I dropped down to just two Lightning Axes from my original playset, and added in some Fiery Impulses. Radiant Flames and Languish do the same job they do in every control deck; keep that board clean. I don't think Kozilek's Return makes the cut when we rarely cast our Eldrazi, but it's worth consideration.

While doing this, we ideally want to stick Oath of Jace or Fevered Visions. Oath of Jace is excellent for finding lands and tossing reanimation targets. Fevered Visions consistently feels like the best card in this entire deck if you cast it on curve, despite not being part of the ostensible combo. We will always have fewer cards in hand than our opponent, our spells are cheap, and the damage is enough to mean we only need one swing to win, rather than two.

Once you hit five lands, start reanimating things! Here are some ideas for target selection (which will also inform which ones you should focus on tossing into the graveyard):

Always - Greenwarden of Murasaa. The right play here is reanimate Greenwarden, get back your reanimation spell.

Unknown Opponent - Plated Crusher or Breaker of Armies. Plated Crusher is the safe play, and a good choice if you only have one reanimation spell. Breaker of Armies has higher upside, and is likely worth the risk with backup reanimations.

Ramp - Sire of Stagnation if you have the reanimation spell in hand and think you can beat them to ten lands. Otherwise, Kozilek can tussle with most of their creatures (and sometimes counter a payoff). Keep in mind that you can reanimate from their yard as well - they may have better targets than you. Breaker of Armies is better than Plated Crusher here.

Aggro - Linvala, the Preserver - and you'll probably get it killed in combat just to reanimate it again. Plated Crusher is also a wall they can't remove / tap / bounce.

Control/Mill - Plated Crusher just wins on its own, and is fantastic at eating through Planeswalkers like Ob Nixilis or Sorin (if you even care). Of note, against a pure blue control deck, take care to avoid playing your reanimations into their counter spells. The value of a resolved Plated Crusher is so high against them that you can afford to go multiple turns without doing anything if that's what it takes to play around Spell Shrivel and Calculated Dismissal.

Elves/Aristocrats - Breaker of Armies reigns supreme and sweeps the board. Fleshbag Marauders make the Plated Crusher plan worse than usual.

Good-Stuff Creatures - Kozilek if you have a 3-mana card in hand, Plated Crusher if you don't. The goal is dodging Reflector Mage and Bounding Krasis.

One last consideration is that Sire of Stagnation and Breaker of Armies can be cast au naturel. You also can (and should) cast Prized Amalgams in aggro match-ups, then trade them off just to bring them back.


Mulligans

In Magic Duels, you get a free mulligan to 7 cards. Many decks do not take advantage of this - we do. This deck mulligans a lot (much like the reanimation decks of more established formats). We have a lot of mismatched pieces, but if we put them all together, we don't need as much card advantage to win. You should take your free mulligan for most initial hands that fail any of the following criteria:

1) Has 2-4 lands (2 is acceptable on the draw, probably not on the play without Oath of Jace or Fevered Visions)
2) Has some form of removal
3) Has a fatty and a discard outlet *or* a reanimation spell and a card advantage engine

You should probably mulligan at least a third of your opening hands, possibly as many as half. This deck can (and will) win on 6 cards.


Card Choices

Sinister Concoction, Lightning Axe, and Oath of Jace are the ways we dump junk into the yard, and all of them are fantastic. The only question is how many cards do you want to be chucking in a normal game. I've found having full playsets of all of them to be just a little too much, and Lightning Axe is definitely the weakest. Sinister Concoction is also notable for dealing you one point of damage, so that Linvala heals for five, as well as tossing an extra (random) card into the yard. Both are instant speed one mana removal for most threats in the format. Oath of Jace is usually used to draw into lands (and we badly want to hit five lands on curve if we can).

Fiery Impulse is the best cheap instant speed removal that doesn't come with a drawback, and we can turn spell mastery on at will if we really need to. Not much to talk about here. Same for our sweepers - Radiant Flames is always for three and Languish clears most boards. Don't be afraid to Languish with your own creatures out - we're not here to get chump blocked.

Fevered Visions is flat out amazing. A pure 1-drop aggro deck is probably the only opponent we don't want to cast this against - and I still might if I had it on turn three. It usually draws us five cards and deals 6-10 damage. Even if it gets removed, all the enchantment removal in the format is sorcery speed (aside from Anguished Unmaking - and I'd much rather it target this than our finisher), so we still get a replacement card.

Reanimation Spells: we're playing two short of the maximum. During a normal game, I get between one and three payoffs into my yard - which is enough that the second Ever After feels like overkill. It's also one more mana, can't target opponents, and can't be returned with Greenwarden. Rise from the Grave is just a worse Necromantic Summons, so it should obviously be cut first. As for totals, I'm still playing around - but six has been enough that I usually see two during a game. Extra creatures can sometimes be cast, but these cards are dead without a target, so having fewer reanimations than targets feels right. You can also draw into these, but you need targets early to discard to your kill spells.

Targets: First, Prized Amalgam. It's not spectacular, but it feels like a freeroll, and I'm hard-pressed not to play it. We can even cast it as a 3/3 blocker for 3 before bringing it back. It also serves as excellent protection against Fleshbag Marauder.

Linvala: The best possible target against aggro. It's usually a 4-for-1, and we can bring it back again when they kill it. She can stabilize games nothing else could. She's also one of the best flying targets in the game, in case you need reach or evasion.

Greenwarden: Pure value, since it gives you back your reanimation spell. You can also just keep looping it against a deck with a ton of kill (but not exile) spells - let it die, then reanimate again, getting back your reanimate. Rinse, Repeat.

Sire of Stagnation: A silver bullet against a ramp opponent below ten lands, but also fairly powerful when naturally cast on curve. Discard him last unless you're against ramp and already have a reanimation spell in hand.

Plated Crusher: The best creature for denying interaction. Can't be targeted, can't be chump blocked. The extra point of toughness over Gaea's Revenge is nice, but trample is the real reason for this choice.

Breaker of Armies: Wrath-on-a-Stick. Can't stop it without being unable to block, which usually involves attacking... into him. Bad against fliers and unconditional kill spells, otherwise great. Can be cast from hand in very long games or games involving Fevered Visions.

Kozilek: Good for closing out a game, especially alongside a few removal spells - and his activated ability is very real. We have a lot of three mana spells, which conveniently counter Anguished Unmaking and Fleshbag Marauder. Kozilek plus Fevered Visions is a (soft) lock.

Lands: The only land worth calling out is Wandering Fumarole - it can often close out a game, alongside Kozilek or Breaker of Armies screwing up blocks.


Cards that didn't make the cut (and why)

Removal: Dead Weight is the notable absence here, as another 1 mana removal spell. That said, the usual justification for this card is delirium, and we don't have any. Without that, it's just a worse Fiery Impulse, and we aren't even maxed out on those. Kozilek's Return is the missing wrath, and might be justifiable depending on the meta. I find most things I care about have more than two toughness (and triggering the second ability is very unlikely) but instant speed might be worth it. Grasp of Darkness is also a very good card, but it puts a strain on our mana base that we can't afford without massively increasing the chance our lands come into play tapped, or cutting a color. There is a U/B version of this deck that might play three Grasp and some number of Dead Weight, but it feels a lot weaker. Fiery Temper is also not here, because triggering it when you want to is unreliable and warps your play too much. We don't care about burn to the face, so it's mostly a restrictive Fiery Impulse.

Discard Outlets: Jace, Vryn's Prodigy is the odd man out here, as a looter + snapcaster seems to be exactly what a reanimation deck wants. Unfortunately, it feels really bumpy in the current configuration. It's hard to cast on curve (we'd want more blue mana - but more importantly, more untapped turn two mana), it doesn't do anything for a turn, and then it gets to loot once or twice before flipping into a walker we can't protect. It also turns on all our opponent's fiery impulses and languishes, while turning off our own for a few turns. Was unimpressive in testing, though he could easily make the cut in a deck that solved some of those issues. Other discard outlets such as Heir of Falkenrath / Call the Bloodline / etc: if it doesn't generate serious value on its own, why play it when there are cards that do? I'm already shaving a Lightning Axe, and all of these feel much worse for a control deck than that. Catalog is more my language, and saw play when I was just U/B, but there are enough good cards in Grixis that I don't think a card that cycles for 3 mana makes the cut. Playing Catalog on turn three against aggro doesn't feel good.

Reanimation Spells: We're playing all of them. Any questions?

Targets: We've got most of the big guys, but there is probably room for improvement here. The other targets I considered were:

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger - Used to be in the deck, but just doesn't do enough. It's always the second best choice - second best at denying interaction, second best at closing games, second best at blocking, etc. We see enough cards that we can usually find something better.

Alhammarret, High Arbiter - A decent body with a decent ability, but not quite good enough. Any deck that can remove him will often have two removal spells, and their first unlocks the second again. A 5/5 (or even 7/7) flier doesn't close fast enough, and he's bad on defense because he has no self-protection.

Omnath, Locus of Rage - A good way to go wide. Unfortunately, too often we just don't have any lands by this point. It doesn't have great combat stats, it can't force a wrath, it doesn't stop fliers, and a single remove spell ruins it. Most honorable mention, though - when it goes off, it goes off.

Gaea's Revenge - Feels like a worse Plated Crusher in every matchup except Mono U mill. It blocks worse, it gets chumped, and in SOI there are even kill spells for it.

Kothophed, Soul Hoarder - Wins you games you would have won with anybody else, and loses you games you wouldn't have lost. We don't have lifegain, we can't afford to swing with it, it's just not the right card for this deck. It is a big dumb flier, though, so if that's what you need... Bonus points for being castable from the hand.

Boonweaver Giant + Knightly Valor or Consecrated by Blood / Desolation Twin / Eldrazi Devastator - These are all big stat boxes, with nothing else to recommend them. Given that Ulamog is already a bad target most games, I'm hard pressed to justify Desolation Twin. Devastator is the best trampler, but the hexproof from Plated Crusher is worth so much more. Boonweaver + Valor is probably the best vigilant creature which is nice - but it still dies to removal, only brings a 2/2 for value, and costs us a second card slot in the deck for the aura. Might be worth it, but I'm not convinced. Probably good against aggro... but so is Breaker of Armies.

Conclave Naturalists - Sometimes you really need to remove a troublesome artifact or enchantment. Unfortunately, you won't win a lot of games with a 4/4 on turn five. I think you're usually better picking a different target and hoping to kill them before it matters. Of note, the most feared enchantment is usually Sphinx's Tutelage, and we can race that with Plated Crushers they can't remove.

Now you're cooking with too much gas: Archangel Avacyn / Emeria Shepherd + Plains - If you really want to combo somebody, these are some fun cards. They might even be good enough to justify an Esper version of this deck running a different removal package. Note that the Avacyn - Breaker of Armies synergy is amazing... but they are not for this Grixis deck.

Other interesting cards:

Chandra, Flamecaller - Karsten mana math says we're 2 red sources short of casting this reliably, but it might even be good enough for turn 8+. All three modes are very relevant for this deck. Under consideration.

Jace, Unraveler of Secrets - Much worse for the deck than Chandra. None of these modes will win us the game, which is pretty meh for a five mana card we can't cast on curve.

Ob Nixilis Reignited - This guy can be cast on curve - but would we want to? Drawing at the cost of life is okay, but not great. We don't have a lot of life to spare, and a lot of our draws are dead lategame. We need to line up fatty + discard outlet or reanimate + fatty, and we're playing a 26 land deck that doesn't thin much. Turn five is too late to matter against aggro for killing a creature, and we're not here to prolong the game against anybody else because we only get one or two good threats before we run out of gas. A powerful card, but this is not his home.

Erebos's Titan - A good blocker, sometimes indestructible. Synergy with reanimating from your opponent's graveyard, discarding your own reanimation target to his ability, and playing him from hand. Given all that, though, the mana requirement is a killer. Hard to justify in three colors. No denying the power, though.

Mindwrack Demon - A flying blocker (with trample!) you can play from your hand that helps you mill a bit. Delirium is... questionable, though. You'd probably need to play Dead Weight. Taking damage off of him is unacceptable and will lose you the game. I think Languish or tap land / Radiant Flames is a better turn four play, but he's under serious consideration.

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet - The premier lifelinker in the format right now, with some other nice abilities. Probably playable, not sure what I'd drop. Him alongside Radiant Flames is a delight, Languish slightly less so.

Jorubai Murk Lurker - Did somebody say lifelink? Using this with a reanimation target probably closes a lot of decks out of the game - the question is whether you can afford to take a turn to play him (and how much value he brings by himself). If your meta is mostly aggro, I might run a full playset. If it's mostly control or ramp, get him out of here.

Ghoulsteed - Adorable, but bad. You don't have that many spare cards lying around. Mostly good for triggering Prized Amalgam; might see play a lower to the ground, grindier version of this deck.

Drownyard Temple - How many colors are you playing? If you said two, play this land. If you said three, don't.


And that's a wrap...

I'd love any feedback or suggestions to improve this deck - it's been a ton of fun to play, as one of the few competitive combo decks in Magic Duels!


Look at that beautiful curve (of colored mana):

Image

It also really really amuses me that the deck builder thinks this deck uses all six possible "colors".

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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


Last edited by Zerris on Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:04 am, edited 13 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:45 am 
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Zerris wrote:
Alright, I've always been a Johnny at heart, and Magic Origins is a pretty tough landscape for building a combo deck. But today I finally found one that seems to be fairly competitive, fun to play, and solidly in the combo camp. I'd love some suggestions on how to improve it / play it better.

Without further ado, I present my first deck on the forums:

Grixis Reanimator
(Combo + Control)

Removal/Sweepers

3x Sinister Concoction
2x Lightning Axe
3x Fiery Impulse

2x Radiant Flames
2x Languish

Engine

1x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
2x Oath of Jace
2x Fevered Visions

Reanimation Spells

3x Necromantic Summons
2x Rise from the Grave
1x Ever After

Payoffs/Targets

2x Prized Amalgam

1x Linvala, the Preserver
1x Greenwarden of Murasa
1x Sire of Stagnation
1x Alhammarret, High Arbiter
1x Plated Crusher
2x Breaker of Armies
1x Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
1x Kozilek, the Great Distortion

Lands (26)

1x Island
7x Swamp
2x Mountain
4x Evolving Wilds

2x Wandering Fumarole
2x Smoldering Marsh
2x Sunken Hollow
2x Drowned Catacomb
2x Sulfur Falls
2x Dragonskull Summit


Curve:

It looks pretty bad at first blush...

Cost | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | X
Number | 8 | 1 | 8 | 2 | 5 | 1 | 9


...until you consider how our lands get played, especially given how many enter tapped. A typical game is:

Turn 1: Play a tapped land (0 Mana open)
Turn 2: Play a tapped land (1 Mana)
Turn 3: Play an untapped land (3 Mana)
Turn 4: Play a tapped or untapped land (3 or 4 Mana)
Turn 5: Play an untapped land (5 Mana)

And suddenly the 1 - 3 - 4 - 5 mana curve makes a lot more sense.


Mana Source reasoning

I defer to Frank Karsten's math here.

We expect to play a tapped land on turns one and two (alongside a 1 mana play), then mostly untapped from there.

This gives (counting Evolving Wilds as 3/4 of a source for each color):

12 Blue sources - we'd need 13 for a 90% chance of turn 2 Jace, but otherwise fine (we can even cast Alhammarret on curve most games, which comes up occasionally)

18 Black sources - exactly enough for 90% chance of turn 4 Languish. Note that we might want more to play/crack Sinister Concoction early, but we can usually get away with casting it alongside a tap land on turn two.

13 Red sources - We'd want 14 (and 14 untapped at that) for a 90% turn one Lightning Axe or Fiery Impulse - but we expect to play a tap land on turn one. If we're trying to play Lightning Axe / Fiery Impulse turn two, this is just right.

Given those numbers, this mana base is optimized for casting our spells, and nothing else. We don't have any space for value lands in a three color deck. If you did this in two colors, there's likely space for two Drownyard Temples - but not here.


Strategy

The goal of this deck is to survive the early turns by bringing in some of the most efficient removal and sweepers in the format while discarding some big dumb idiot into the graveyard to bring back on turn five.

When you're intentionally trying to put junk into the graveyard, Lightning Axe becomes the best Fiery Impulse you've ever seen, and Sinister Concoction is a better Doom Blade. Of course, we don't always have things we want to throw away, which is why I dropped down to just two Lightning Axes from my original playset, and added in some Fiery Impulses. Radiant Flames and Languish do the same job they do in every control deck; keep that board clean. I don't think Kozilek's Return makes the cut when we rarely cast our Eldrazi, but it's worth consideration.

While doing this, we want to stick at least one form of card advantage - Jace, Oath of Jace, or Fevered Visions. Oath of Jace is excellent for finding lands and tossing reanimation targets. Jace is probably better as a looter than a planeswalker, but he's decent as both. Fevered Visions consistently feels like the best card in this entire deck if you cast it on curve, despite not being part of the ostensible combo. We will always have fewer cards in hand than our opponent, our spells are cheap, and the damage is enough to mean we only need one swing to win, rather than two.

Once you hit five lands, start reanimating things! Here are some ideas for target selection (which will also inform which ones you should focus on tossing into the graveyard):

Always - Greenwarden of Murasaa. The right play here is reanimate Greenwarden, get back your reanimation spell.

In the dark - Breaker of Armies. Always good, usually a wrath that sticks around. There's a reason I'm running two.

R/G Ramp - Sire of Stagnation if you can beat them to 10 lands. Otherwise, Ulamog can win in two swings and Kozilek can tussle with most of their creatures (and sometimes counter a payoff). Keep in mind that you can reanimate from their yard as well - sometimes they have better targets than you.

Aggro - Linvala, the Preserver - and you'll probably get it killed in combat just to reanimate it again. Plated Crusher is also a wall they can't remove / tap / bounce.

Blue Control - Plated Crusher just wins on its own.

Black/White Control - Alhammarret, mostly in there for the backdoor of "just casting him", actually shines here. You can stop Declaration in Stone / Anguished Unmaking / Fleshbag Marauder, Grasp of Darkness doesn't kill him, and he can swing for a four turn clock. Also lets you know what to play around for your second reanimation.

Elves/Aristocrats - Breaker of Armies reigns supreme and sweeps the board.

One last consideration is that Sire of Stagnation, Alhammarret, and Breaker of Armies can be cast au naturel. This is also technically true of Ulamog, but ten lands is a lot tougher for this deck than eight. You also can (and should) cast Prized Amalgams in aggro match-ups, then trade them off just to bring them back.


Mulligans

In Magic Origins, you get a free mulligan to 7 cards. Many decks do not take advantage of this - we do. This deck mulligans a lot (much like the reanimation decks of more established formats). We have a lot of mismatched pieces, but if we put them all together, we don't need as much card advantage to win. You should take your free mulligan for most initial hands that fail any of the following criteria:

1) Has 2-4 lands (2 is acceptable on the draw, probably not on the play without Jace or Fevered Visions)
2) Has some form of removal
3) Has a fatty and a discard outlet *or* a reanimation spell and a card advantage engine

You should probably mulligan at least a third of your opening hands, possibly as many as half. This deck can (and will) win on 6 cards.


Card Choices

Sinister Concoction, Lightning Axe, Jace, and Oath of Jace are the ways we dump junk into the yard, and all of them are fantastic. The only question is how many cards do you want to be chucking in a normal game. I've found having full playsets of all of them to be just a little too much, and Lightning Axe is definitely the weakest. Sinister Concoction is also notable for dealing you one point of damage, so that Linvala heals for five, as well as tossing an extra (random) card into the yard. Both are instant speed one mana removal for most threats in the format. Jace and his Oath are usually used to draw into lands (and we badly want to hit five lands on curve if we can).

Fiery Impulse is the best cheap instant speed removal that doesn't come with a drawback, and we can turn spell mastery on at will if we really need to. Not much to talk about here. Same for our sweepers - Radiant Flames is always for three and Languish clears most boards. Don't be afraid to Languish with your own creatures out - we're not here to get chump blocked.

Fevered Visions is flat out amazing. A pure 1-drop aggro deck is probably the only opponent we don't want to cast this against - and I still might if I had it on turn three. It usually draws us five cards and deals 6-10 damage. Even if it gets removed, all the enchantment removal in the format is sorcery speed (aside from Anguished Unmaking - and I'd much rather it target this than our finisher), so we still get a replacement card.

Reanimation Spells: we're playing two short of the maximum. During a normal game, I get between one and three payoffs into my yard - which is enough that the second Ever After feels like overkill. It's also one more mana, can't target opponents, and can't be returned with Greenwarden. Rise from the Grave is just a worse Necromantic Summons, so it should obviously be cut first. As for totals, I'm still playing around - but six has been enough that I usually see two during a game. Extra creatures can sometimes be cast, but these cards are dead without a target, so having fewer reanimations than targets feels right. You can also draw into these, but you need targets early to discard to your kill spells.

Targets: First, Prized Amalgam. It's not spectacular, but it feels like a freeroll, and I'm hard-pressed not to play it. We can even cast it as a 3/3 blocker for 3 before bringing it back. It also serves as excellent protection against Fleshbag Marauder.

Linvala: looks like the best possible target against aggro. It's usually a 4-for-1, and we can bring it back again when they kill it. She can stabilize games nothing else could.

Greenwarden: Pure value, since it gives you back your reanimation spell. You can also just keep looping it against a deck with a ton of kill (but not exile) spells - let it die, then reanimate again, getting back your reanimate. Rinse, Repeat.

Sire of Stagnation: A silver bullet against a ramp opponent below ten lands, but also handy to cast on curve. Extra consideration has been given to any useful creature that we can naturally cast.

Alhammarret: Same as Sire - a silver bullet for a few situations, and castable on curve when needed.

Plated Crusher: The best creature for denying interaction. Can't be targeted, can't be chump blocked. The extra point of toughness over Gaea's Revenge is nice, but trample is the real reason for this choice.

Breaker of Armies: Wrath-on-a-Stick. Can't stop it without being unable to block, which usually involves attacking... into him. Bad against fliers and unconditional kill spells, otherwise great. Can be cast from hand in very long games or games involving Fevered Visions.

Ulamog: Hilariously, not actually very good. Probably the worst target in this deck - but sometimes, you just need to win in two turns against non-exiling kill spells and a collection of walls/fogs. Casting him is probably a pipe dream.

Kozilek: Good for closing out a game, especially alongside a few removal spells - and his activated ability is very real. We have a lot of three mana spells, which conveniently counter Anguished Unmaking and Fleshbag Marauder. Kozilek plus Fevered Visions is a (soft) lock.

Lands - the only land worth noting is Wandering Fumarole - it can often close out a game, alongside Kozilek or Breaker of Armies screwing up blocks.


Cards that didn't make the cut (and why)

Removal: Dead Weight is the notable absence here, as another 1 mana removal spell. That said, the usual justification for this card is delirium, and we don't have any. Without that, it's just a worse Fiery Impulse, and we aren't even maxed out on those. Kozilek's Return is the missing wrath, and might be justifiable depending on the meta. I find most things I care about have more than two toughness (and triggering the second ability is very unlikely) but instant speed might be worth it. Grasp of Darkness is also a very good card, but it puts a strain on our mana base that we can't afford without massively increasing the chance our lands come into play tapped, or cutting a color. There is a U/B version of this deck that might play three Grasp and some number of Dead Weight, but it feels a lot weaker. Fiery Temper is also not here, because triggering it when you want to is unreliable and warps your play too much. We don't care about burn to the face, so it's mostly a restrictive Fiery Impulse.

Discard Outlets: Heir of Falkenrath / Call the Bloodline / etc. If it doesn't generate value on its own, why play it when there are much better cards that do? I'm already shaving a Lightning Axe, and all of these feel much worse for a control deck than that. Catalog is more my language, and saw play when I was just U/B, but there are enough good cards in Grixis that I don't think a card that cycles for 3 mana makes the cut. Playing this on turn three against aggro doesn't feel good.

Reanimation Spells: We're playing all of them. Any questions?

Targets: We've got most of the big guys, but there is probably room for improvement here. The other targets I considered were:

Omnath, Locus of Rage - a good way to go wide. Unfortunately, too often we just don't have any lands by this point. It doesn't have great combat stats, it can't force a wrath, it doesn't stop fliers, and a single remove spell ruins it. Most honorable mention, though - when it goes off, it goes off.

Gaea's Revenge - feels like a worse Plated Crusher in every matchup except Mono U mill. It blocks worse, it gets chumped, and in SOI there are even kill spells for it.

Kothophed, Soul Hoarder - wins you games you would have won with anybody else, and loses you games you wouldn't have lost. We don't have lifegain, we can't afford to swing with it, it's just not the right card for this deck. It is a big dumb flier, though, so if that's what you need... Bonus points for being castable from the hand.

Boonweaver Giant + Knightly Valor or Consecrated by Blood / Desolation Twin / Eldrazi Devastator - these are all big stat boxes, with nothing else to recommend them. Given that Ulamog is already a bad target most games, I'm hard pressed to justify Desolation Twin. Devastator is the best trampler, but the hexproof from Plated Crusher is worth so much more. Boonweaver + Valor is probably the best vigilant creature which is nice - but it still dies to removal, only brings a 2/2 for value, and costs us a second card slot in the deck for the aura. Might be worth it, but I'm not convinced. Probably good against aggro... but so is Breaker of Armies.

Conclave Naturalists - Sometimes you really need to remove a troublesome artifact or enchantment. Unfortunately, you won't win a lot of games with a 4/4 on turn five. I think you're usually better picking a different target and hoping to kill them before it matters. Of note, the most feared enchantment is usually Sphinx's Tutelage, and we can race that with Plated Crusher being unbounceable and Ulamog unfogable.

Now you're cooking with too much gas: Archangel Avacyn / Emeria Shepherd + Plains - if you really want to combo somebody, these are some fun cards. They might even be good enough to justify an Esper version of this deck running a different removal package. Note that the Avacyn - Breaker of Armies synergy is amazing... but they are not for this Grixis deck.

Other interesting cards:

Chandra, Flamecaller - Karsten mana math says we're 2 red sources short of casting this reliably, but it might even be good enough for turn 8+. All three modes are very relevant for this deck. Under consideration.

Jace, Unraveler of Secrets - much worse for the deck than Chandra. None of these modes will win us the game, which is pretty meh for a five mana card we can't cast on curve.

Ob Nixilis Reignited - this guy can be cast on curve - but would we want to? Drawing at the cost of life is okay, but not great. We don't have a lot of life to spare, and a lot of our draws are dead lategame. We need to line up fatty + discard outlet or reanimate + fatty, and we're playing a 26 land deck that doesn't thin much. Turn five is too late to matter against aggro for killing a creature, and we're not here to prolong the game against anybody else because we only get one or two good threats before we run out of gas. A powerful card, but this is not his home.

Erebos's Titan - a good blocker, sometimes indestructible. Synergy with reanimating from your opponent's graveyard, discarding your own reanimation target to his ability, and playing him from hand. Given all that, though, the mana requirement is a killer. Hard to justify in three colors. No denying the power, though.

Mindwrack Demon - a flying blocker (with trample!) you can play from your hand that helps you mill a bit. Delirium is... questionable, though. You'd probably need to play Dead Weight. Taking damage off of him is unacceptable and will lose you the game. I think Languish or tap land / Radiant Flames is a better turn four play, but he's under serious consideration.

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet - the premier lifelinker in the format right now, with some other nice abilities. Probably playable, not sure what I'd drop. Him alongside Radiant Flames is a delight, Languish slightly less so.

Jorubai Murk Lurker - did somebody say lifelink? Using this with a reanimation target probably closes a lot of decks out of the game - the question is whether you can afford to take a turn to play him (and how much value he brings by himself). If your meta is mostly aggro, I might run a full playset. If it's mostly control or ramp, get him out of here.

Ghoulsteed - adorable, but bad. You don't have that many spare cards lying around. Mostly good for triggering Prized Amalgam; might see play a lower to the ground, grindier version of this deck.

Drownyard Temple - how many colors are you playing? If you said two, play this land. If you said three, don't.


And that's a wrap...

I'd love any feedback or suggestions to improve this deck - it's been a ton of fun to play, as one of the few competitive combo decks in Magic Origins!


It also really really amuses me that the deck builder thinks this deck uses all six possible "colors".




Needs more fat. Going to cut Fiery Impulse and add full copies of Lightning axe cuz that card is boss in this deck type and prolly +1 breaker of armies and another plated crusher


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:05 am 
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Can't believe how many times im getting stuck on 3 land when deck has 26. That's f in ridiculous. One thought im thinking is we need to move into green... Maybe cut blue? But anyways green has much better put stuff into graveyard cards


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:43 am 
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Actually, after some consideration, I'll probably start with the simplest change:

+1 Breaker of Armies, +1 Plated Crusher, -1 Alhammarret, -1 Ulamog

The idea of silver bullets isn't as relevant when we can't tutor for them, and Breaker + Crusher are the most generically good targets. Ulamog's indestructible was nice before SOI came out, but now there are very few commonly played cards that kill Breaker but don't kill Ulamog. Reprisal, Gilt-Leaf Winnower, and Planar Outburst are the ones I've seen - but Breaker outclasses Ulamog by miles if they both live because he protects you while attacking. In the matchups where Breaker can get killed, Plated Crusher does a good Ulamog impersonation while dodging even more removal. Sire of Stagnation is still justifiable as an easy to cast 6-mana threat that does something, but Alhammarret doesn't really make that cut.

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If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:47 am 
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Have to admit, if you can smack sire out turn 5 it's pretty brutal. Seen some builds that can even turn 4 him (with some Scion luck), and that can break the back of some decks.

Nice in-depth write up btw. More players should do things like this :)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:32 am 
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Writeups used to be the norm, not the exception. I'm going to give this a look, thanks for posting.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:49 am 
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@ Zerris - You mention Erebos's Titan for a lot of synergy but list concerns for casting (and I agree it would be tough to cast and best as a reanimation or a discard enabler based on grabbing from your opponents bin). Yet you pack Linvala, the Preserver and Plated Crusher which have to come from the bin and could never be cast (at least Titan is on color and has the potential to be cast). Has there been many games where they are dead cards? I'd also think in the case of Linvala, that she's getting the HP trigger but how often do you hit the creature clause considering the number of sweepers/removal you're running? I'd imagine you'd only get one (maybe two) reanimations out of her, and wonder how relevant her abilities are here over another card on color.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:52 pm 
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@elk: Mana costs on payoffs are rarely an issue - I tend to discard one or two more cards than the number of big creatures I draw, so I can easily put everything in the bin. And if I'm discarding things for value, I don't really care whether I could have cast them or not; reanimation's the same either way. The main problem with the massive-value Erebos play is that in order for it to work, you need Erebos to already be in the graveyard. If you don't plan to cast him, then you could have just discarded whatever other fatty you exchanged him with later. If you are casting him, his triple black cost matters a lot. If you're directly reanimating him most of the time, he's a worse target than anything else. Either way, I have trouble fitting him in.

As for the value of Linvala - she's not the best reanimation target in a control or midrange match (that's Plated Crusher or Breaker of Armies) but in a match where she's going to get both her triggers - most Aggro matchups - she's a 4-for-1 and the best possible target. You get both triggers without too much difficulty against Mono Red or Mono White because you don't play any creatures to the board and you have super efficient removal. (Note that Prized Amalgam comes back at end of turn, so it doesn't count for her trigger on reanimation.) If they play one threat a turn, you just run them over with removal and could hard-cast Sire of Stagnation before they win. So usually the play pattern is they play a threat or two, you respond one-for-one until you have to wrath the board, they dump the rest their hand in response... straight into your reanimation turn, where you bring back Linvala. She gets both triggers, they have a near-empty hand, and they trade most of their board for her. Then you reanimate her a second time and they concede. Aggro decks can tap/bounce a single threat, but the combination of two threats and lifegain is amazing. There's also no game you could lose where she won't get the lifegain trigger, so at worst she's a 5/5 (7/7?) flier with upside and you can just choose not to make her your first target.

If people like my decks/writeups, I might post more - I do enjoy deckbuilding, even if I'm not the most amazing at it!

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If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:35 pm 
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Further tuning:

+1 Ever After, +1 Plated Crusher, -1 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, -1 Breaker of Armies

Jace has felt underwhelming; we can't protect him and we rarely have the mana/time to flash things back, especially given that none of our card draw is instant/sorcery and Ever After doesn't land in the yard. He also turns on our opponent's small removal, which is otherwise entirely dead. Since he can't flip until turn 4-5, he also makes our wrath timing awkward. As icing on the cake, he was the card we were least able to cast on curve with our mana base. The card I've been wishing I had most often instead was Ever After, so I figure another of those is probably the best exchange.

The Breaker/Crusher tradeoff is that Breaker is undeniably stronger - but you sometimes get blown out. Crusher is always safe. I think moving towards more Crushers improves the consistency of this deck, which is it's weakest point.

Updated original post to match changes.

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If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:06 am 
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Zerris, great write up. If I was just starting Magic, this type of summary with the strategy and mulligan notes would have been REALLY helpful. I think the only thing you didn't mention is how the deck has been performing for you.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:30 am 
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Deck feels solidly Tier 2, mostly on the basis of consistency. I'm winning about 50% of my games in the 30-40 ranks. Meta has been mostly mono-white humans, vampires, ramp, mill, and walkers/removal.

A draw of removal discarding a relevant fatty into sweeper into reanimate on curve is solidly Tier 1 and has a good matchup against any deck I've seen on play or draw.

Most games, though, you've got some but not all the pieces. You're either short a reanimation spell or removal spell, your big creature isn't the right one for the matchup, or you stall on lands for a turn or two. These are close games that get decided by a turn either way.

Some games, you're missing two pieces, and you fall flat on your face. You can also mulligan into oblivion.

On average, I'd say the mono-white matchup is unfavorable on the draw, and even on the play. Mono red and any slightly slower aggro deck (vampires, R/B Eldrazi, etc) feels favorable. Mill is an even match that depends on how quickly we can reanimate and whether we can target Plated Crusher. Ramp is favorable, they have trouble removing any of our threats without wrathing their own and reanimation on curve is the same speed as double ramp spells on curve. Walker/Removal is generally unfavorable, but mostly depends on how many Fleshbags they can find - also, big Gideon can be a struggle because none of our removal hits him and Fevered Visions can't damage him if he +1's. Go-wide decks that take time to build up like good-stuff creatures and Elves are favorable; we can usually find a sweeper before they kill us, and they don't have enough efficient removal for our threats.

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If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:41 am 
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Here's a Grixis Madness deck I've been toying around with after getting bored of playing Abzan constantly.

1x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy - Sifter and discard enabler
2x Thing in the Ice
3x Call the Bloodline - Discard enabler, gives all madness spells a 1/1 lifelink body
4x Murderous Compulsion - Discarded off turn through any discard enabler means instant speed removal
2x Avacyn's Judgment

3x Broken Concentration - Typically costs 5 mana (madness and discard activation cost), but it's one of only a handful of useful madness cards and I want a counterspell in the deck anyway.
4x Fiery Temper - Not quite Lightning Bolt good, but close!
2x Radiant Flames - This is chosen over Languish due to it not killing my own creatures and being cheaper to cast.

1x Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet - He looks awkward in a control deck, but with all the vampire tokens and zombie tokens floating around he's certainly one of your win cons.
2x Elusive Tormentor - Discard enabler and something that helps close games. Very difficult for opponents to deal with without an exile or -X/-X effect.
2x Brutal Expulsion
2x Welcome to the Fold

1x Wolf of Devil's Breach
2x From Under the Floorboards
1x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1x Ob Nixilis Reignited

1x Sire of Stagnation
1x Kozilek, the Great Distortion - I put him here mostly as draw and a big finisher, but then after a few games I realized he's also a discard enabler in a weird sort of way and generates card advantage by countering and playing the madness card.

3x Island
3x Swamp
3x Mountain
2x Wandering Fumarole
2x Smoldering Marsh
2x Sunken Hollow
2x Westvale Abbey
2x Drowned Catacomb
2x Sulfur Falls
2x Dragonskull Summit
2x Drownyard Temple - This is super useful in this deck for discard fodder in an emergency since you can still get it into play and adds colorless mana for Kozilek.

The issues with this deck so far have been when it comes to draw. This deck has zero draw, aside from creature Jace, until you're at the top of the curve with your Planeswalkers and Kozilek. Sire helps, but it's not reliable. The good news is, most cards can be played with a 1/1 lifelink body attached or in rare cases can two for one off a Wolf of Devil's Breach. Playing this deck is an exercise in patience and waiting until you can get full value from your cards.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 8:54 am 
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Over in the XBox One Fight Club, PeepySqueeps put together an incredibly fun Dimir Brain In a Jar deck. During a lull I played around with it and thought adding red would help its Madness interactions, provide more creature removal, and add some burn reach. It takes a little getting used to, but I've found it to have game against most of the field. Esper Control is a tough matchup but not unwinnable, especially if you can resolve Brain T2 on the play. Anyway here's the list:

GRIXIS BRAIN IN A JAR
2 x Fall of the Titans
3 x Lightning Axe
2 x Avacyn's Judgment
2 x Languish
2 x Oblivion Strike

4 x Catalog
4 x Artificer's Epiphany
2 x Pore Over The Pages
2 x Nagging Thoughts

2 x Brain in a Jar

1 x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
2 x Thing in the Ice
1 x Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1 x Ob Nixilis Reignited
2 x Rise from the Tides
2 x From Under the Floorboards

5 x Island
3 x Swamp
2 x Mountain
2 x Smoldering Marsh
2 x Sunken Hollow
2 x Westvale Abbey
2 x Drowned Catacomb
2 x Sulfur Falls
2 x Dragonskull Summit
3 x Evolving Wilds


While the best starts for this deck involve landing a T2 Brain and ticking it up every turn, it is by no means necessary to win. You have a good amount of removal to survive into the late game, where your card advantage and selection spells will help you take over. The great thing about the deck is that you can threaten your opponent with single, huge threats like Thing, Kalitas, Ormendahl, or planeswalkers, or you can go wide with a Madness- or Brain-fueled horde of zombies. Few decks will be equipped to handle both angles at once. And you have solid reach in Avacyn's Judgment and Fall of the Titans to close out the game.

Important to note, if you weren't already aware--Brain In a Jar lets you cast sorceries at instant speed. You can do some pretty busted stuff by casting Languish, Oblivion Strike, or Pore Over the Pages on your opponent's turn.

EDIT: Also, be careful with your sequencing when you have Thing In The Ice on the board to avoid exiling your own zombie tokens.

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