[Casual] Real Elder Combo - some input needed

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by Sodomonger, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Sodomonger New Member

    Hello everyone, I' ve been lurking this place for a while now and i like it here. so i decided to ask you people to help me with this blue/green deck i created.

    it wants to abuse the combination of Freed from the Real and Argothian Elder to create infinite mana. that mana is then spent on an enormously large Stroke of Genius. I only have 1 stroke, but i solve this problem with tutoring.

    Tutors in the deck:
    3 Drift of Phantasms (gets Freed from the Real, and is Strokes 2-4 when I combo off)
    3 Worldly Tutor (gets The Elder, dupes can get drifts)
    3 Mystical Teachings (Strokes 5-8 and a little toolbox that can get me a counter or naturalize, as well as worldly tutors if the situation demands it)

    --> if the elder stays around for one turn you enchant him, as long as you have either stroke or drift or teachings in hand your opponnent really needs an answer.

    the rest of the deck is filled with more filtering, counters and 4 walls (should all be wall of roots, but at the moment 2 are still vine trellis) that speed me up and defend the board.

    problem right now: it goldfishes around turn 5, sometimes even 4, if all things go well, but against actual enemies i still face problems. i think it has to do with the right mix of defensive measures and combo pieces.

    Could you please offer some advice as to the right numbers and any other words of wisdom that are not "this decks needs duals!" (i'm simply not willing to spend that much on cards).

    the decklist:

    3 Argothian Elder
    3 Freed from the Real
    1 Stroke of Genius

    3 Drift of Phantasm
    3 Worldly Tutor
    3 Mystical Teachings

    2 Serum Visions
    2 Mystic Speculation
    2 Careful Study
    1 Gifts Ungiven
    1 Truth or Tale
    1 Sensei's Diving Top

    2 Counterspell
    2 Condescend
    2 Intervene
    1 Delay

    2 Wall of Roots
    2 Vine Trellis
    1 Naturalize

    13 Island
    6 Forest
    2 Slippery Karst
    1 Lonely Sandbar
    1 Simic Growth Chamber

    [edit: i might want to add that i'm not too happy with the role of counterspell (the card) in this deck, since it gets me nowhere - codescend scrys - and is harder to cast as elder-protection than intervene. i'm not sure if the deck can support commandeer in its place though, i think it might eat combo pieces too often. also, i hve another top and don't really know what it could replace]

    [and by the way, if there is a way to get the whole deck into cardtags as they do over at mtgsalvation.com i would be glad if someone could point that out to me]
  2. Ephraim New Member

    What sorts of problems are you encountering in practice. Are your opponents putting you on the defensive so that you can't concentrate on executing your combo? Are they disrupting your combo before you can go off?

    Disruption packages are not my specialty but if you could get your hands on Force of Will or Pact of Negation, that might make a suitable replacement for Counterspell. I can't say that I altogether like Condescend. If you're looking at countermagic of the UX template, I would almost always recommend Power Sink over any other alternative because it frequently shuts down further spells that your opponent may have wanted to play that turn. Misdirection is another viable option if your primary concern is protecting your Argothian Elder. If you find that your opponents are seldom leaving themselves much mana, then Mana Leak and Remand are both excellent alternatives.

    If you'd like to introduce a second Sensei's Divining Top to the deck, my preferred cut would be Careful Study. I don't think enough cards in this deck like being in the graveyard to make Careful Study especially effective. In fact, if you could, I would then also take out the remaining Careful Study and the two Serum Visions and replace them with Impulse or Think Twice. I think that Mystic Speculation and Sensei's Divining Top are sufficient for manipulating your topdeck.
  3. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    Hmm.... this is a true combo deck, as it wins with the combo and not much else...

    ...so why not try adding something to stymie opponent's offenses. You could use Evacuation (one of my favorite cards) to clear the board when and army gets too big. Or you could favor individual spot removal. Rather than Unsummon or Boomerang, I like Repulse. It can be found with the Mystical Teachings AND the Drift of Phantasms and it replaces itself. Capsize is another option, but by the time you can make it worth while, you'll want to have won by then.

    As a combo deck, you'll want to find your pieces ASAP. Some of the new Future Sight Scry cards are great for digging into your deck for pieces. I like Cryptic Annelid and Foresee, and I don't know which one I like more. They both can dig 6 deep, but have a different after-effect. The Annelid will can set up your draw to eventually get you your pieces, all while giving you a 1/3 creature to help bolster your defense. Foresee will let you end up drawing two cards that can help you win right now. Determine which is more important for you. I think either will make nice additions.

    That's my two cents. Pretty much, you just need to present a solid stall/defense while you set up your combo and streamline your ability to find your combo pieces.

    EDIT: After seeing Ephraim suggest Sensei's Diving Top, might I also suggest Scroll Rack (perhaps my favorite card in ALL of Magic) or Soothsaying. Soothsaying is probably the better option with your infinite mana combo.

    Ransac, cpa trash man
  4. Limited Yes, but we won't care

    You could try replacing the Argothian Elder with Krosan Restorer. With this card, you need to have threshold in order to "combo out" but I think you'd want to focus more on sifting through your deck anyway. The main advantage would be that you can use Drift of Phantasms to search for it.

    That said, I would definitely play four Drifts: they serve as both defense and combo-searching.
  5. Sodomonger New Member

    first i'd like to thank all of you for the quick and helpful replies. i made a few changes but i think i still haven't found the (first) final build of the deck.

    the major problem is that i often find myself struggling to survive till i go off. do you guys think i should cut back on the filtering and tutoring in favor of more defenses and take the deckinto a more combo/control direction?

    i replaced 2 serum visions and 2 careful study with a second top and 3 dream cache as it digs deep AND filters, just like foresee, but one mana cheaper. i do like foresee though and i might try it out if the deck changes enough to accommodate it.

    i also took out 2 condescend for 2 power sink and 2 counterspell for another power sink and a meddle i found in the old mirage pile ^^ it's a nice card to save the elders butt.

    i am not fully sure about the power sinks yet. they are hardto use in the final combo turn but slow the opposition down a lot before that. i might want to use mana vapors, too, to make sure nothing happens for a turn. but i might also switch to mana leaks (or more delay, if i can get my hands on it)

    i think that i cann pull the trick off by turn 5 (4 with a wall) once, but after that i will need 5 sources to play the elder and intervene in my hand. or 4 lands if i know my opponent doesn't have spot removal outside of pacifism or comdemn variants.
    yet, if they choose to hold their fire back until i play freed (to 2 for 1 me) - wich sounds like a decent plan on paper - they are normally screwed, because i allways have some sort of counterspell then. this also speaks in favor of leak and delay in place of power sink, i believe.

    [edit: i don't think i can reach threshold cause most of the filtering is "bottom of the library" stuff. so the other elf is sadly out. nice idea, though. 4 drifts are something i'd consider if i'd go into a more combo/control direction]
  6. Ransac CPA Trash Man

    Looking for defense?..... Evacuation! Repulse! :D

    Glacial Wall is another nice blue defensive guy. Also, don't forgot that, if worse comes to worse, Drift of Phatasms IS a 0/5 flier.

    Ransac, cpa trash man
  7. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Fog Bank is only 1U and Wall of Air is always a favorite.
    But neither gives you anything else like Drift does.
  8. Sodomonger New Member

    Maybe I need to communicate the deck's real problem to you guys more well:

    that druid has to survive for one turn, because of summoning sickness.

    the deck never lost when he maneged to see another upkeep, but to accomplish that is incredibly hard. i got him down turn 4 with a wall (and thereby one blue mana open) recently only to see a lightning axe with additional dark withering while i held a single intervene (stupid removal-heavy madness deck). the guy is like the worlds biggest bullseye.

    do you have any idea how i can protect him better without giving up on too much speed (considering how this deck is rather defenseless against a rush)?

    also, i swapped 3 islands and a forest for 2 watery graves, an underground river and an overgrown tomb. i figured that if i have those options i might as well add them, since they get extra mileage out of my teachings if the game goes long (e.g. to grab more counterspells)
  9. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Cast Instill Energy on him?
  10. Limited Yes, but we won't care

    Using Priviliged Position would really help, only it would also really slow down your deck.

    How about, instead of putting the combo in a control deck, you build a more aggressive deck and use the combo as backup? Some UG utility creatures like Trygon Predator and Indrik Stomphowler.. Or a lot of graft creatures like Plaxcaster Frogling (who can protect your Elder on its own) to divert attention.

    Playing a lot of creatures forces them to play creature removal on other target, so they might not be left with any thing that can kill the Elder when you play it.

    Oh, I think you should add Maze of Ith to your deck. He can prevent damage early on, and he also creates instant mana in combination with Argothian Elder.

    Good luck.
  11. Sodomonger New Member

    the utility creature idea is actually rather good, yeah. i think i'll try spiketail hatchlings. it requires them to have one more mana open than they usually would need to kill the druid AND may be seen as dangerous enough to warrant killing itself. i'll report back on how that worked out. also, plaxcaster is an option i'll consider

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