If You Wanna Fight That's Fine With Me [EDH]

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by Oversoul, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Haven't put this together physically yet and I'm not entirely satisfied with how it turned out. Showed up to my local EDH league yesterday with a hastily constructed Jhoira deck because it was the easiest option. This time around, I have more advance warning on the points. In addition to the usual nonrotating stuff about winning the game, scoring kill points on opponents, scoring a point for saving an opponent, negative points for quick kills or for too many extra turns, etc., we have some distinctive rotating points available for our next meetup...

    -Points for never having chosen to block with a creature.
    -Points for having a two-color commander on the battlefield alongside three other (nontoken) multicolored permanents.
    -Points for eliminating someone with someone else's commander.
    -Points for eliminating two opponents with combat damage on separate turns.
    -Points for killing opposing creatures with "fight" effects.
    -Points for making five creatures have higher power and toughness than their base stats.

    That kind of lends itself to two-color decks with beatdown, beefy creatures, cards that make creatures fight each other, and cards to make creatures bigger. Bonus points for also managing to work in something to steal commanders and attack with them, but that might be a bit much for one deck. Anyway, the issue is, that's not really my style. Oh, I can be flexible when I want to, but nothing really piqued my interest here. And while a lot of people will not make much of an effort to build that sort of deck, the strongest opponents will probably be piloting something like a Simic deck with lots of +1/+1 counters and Control Magic, or perhaps Rakdos with "Unleash" creatures and Act of Treason.

    If I'm not going to be doing that stuff and doing it better than everyone else, then my thought was, "How about I prey on the players who are playing beatdown/boosts/fight/aggro?"

    [IMG]
    This card was in my rough draft of my decklist, but I cut it.

    I had a lot of different ideas for themes and engines. Pretty quickly came up with a list and it would have been like a 300-card deck. So I needed to trim it. I cut. I sacrificed various fun things I'd wanted to do. And finally, I made it the right size. But I'm not happy with it...

    Commander: Savra, Queen of the Golgari

    1x Abundance
    1x Abyssal Gatekeeper
    1x Agent of the Fates
    1x Archetype of Finality
    1x Arena
    1x Barren Moor
    1x Bayou
    1x Beast Within
    1x Black Sun's Zenith
    1x Bloodstained Mire
    1x Carrion Feeder
    1x Cartouche of Strength
    1x Constant Mists
    1x Contamination
    1x Crop Rotation
    1x Damnation
    1x Dark Ritual
    1x Decree of Pain
    1x Demonic Tutor
    1x Eternal Witness
    1x Fleshbag Marauder
    6x Forest
    1x Gaea's Cradle
    1x Genesis
    1x Glacial Chasm
    1x Gnarlwood Dryad
    1x Grave Pact
    1x Icy Manipulator
    1x Innocent Blood
    1x Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
    1x Lake of the Dead
    1x Life from the Loam
    1x Mana Web
    1x Manabond
    1x Marsh Flats
    1x Maze of Ith
    1x Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest
    1x Mind Slash
    1x Misty Rainforest
    1x Mox Diamond
    1x Nether Void
    1x No Mercy
    1x Overgrown Tomb
    1x Phyrexian Altar
    1x Phyrexian Tower
    1x Plaguecrafter
    1x Polluted Delta
    1x Pounce
    1x Prey Upon
    1x Regrowth
    1x Savage Punch
    1x Seasons Past
    1x Setessan Tactics
    1x Sheoldred, Whispering One
    1x Skullclamp
    1x Sol Ring
    1x Spike Cannibal
    1x Spike Weaver
    1x Spore Frog
    1x Squandered Resources
    1x Status / Statue
    1x Strip Mine
    1x Survival of the Fittest
    11x Swamp
    1x Sylvan Library
    1x Sylvan Safekeeper
    1x The Mending of Dominaria
    1x The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
    1x Titania, Protector of Argoth
    1x Toxic Deluge
    1x Tranquil Thicket
    1x Trinisphere
    1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    1x Vampiric Tutor
    1x Verdant Catacombs
    1x Victimize
    1x Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
    1x Wasteland
    1x Windgrace's Judgment
    1x Windswept Heath
    1x Winter Orb
    1x Wooded Foothills
    1x Worm Harvest
    1x Zuran Orb
  2. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Well, this was a mixed bag. I compromised what this deck could have been too much in order to try for points, and it turned out that some of those points were just not worth it to even go for. But I never blocked with a creature and when I lost, it wasn't to combat damage, so there's that.

    I will almost certainly build a Savra deck again at some point, but probably not one with a theme of using "fight" effects.
  3. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Props:
    • Titania for giving me a win by letting me sacrifice all of my lands for 5/3 elementals, beating down my last opponent on the last possible turn before our match would be called a draw to going over time.
    • Worm Harvest for doing exactly what it was meant to do.
    • Grave Pact for putting in work and terrifying my opponents into using their enchantment removal on it instead of on one of my control engine pieces.
    • The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale for doing the most important thing of all in a game of Magic (making my opponents hate me).
    • Sheoldred for being so scary that she was countered 100% of the times I cast her.
    • Seasons Past for being such awesome value.
    • Abundance for letting me avoid all damage from Underworld Dreams and Nekusar, the Mindrazer.
    • Maze of Ith for driving my opponents to attack each other instead of me (they could have gotten damage in, but didn't want to lose value by having their biggest damage sources get removed from combat, so they chose not to attack me despite my lack of blockers).
    • Spike Weaver for letting me "save" other players.
    • Ryan (fellow Canadian Highlander player) for playing an enchantress deck.
    • Jordan for playing a disruptive deck with Gaddock Teeg and (with some help from me) spoiling the attempts by two combo players to go off.
    Slops:
    • Glacial Chasm for never, ever showing up.
    • Setessan Tactics for being dead weight in my hand so much.
    • The Mending of Dominaria for shuffling my graveyard back in my library. Oops (I'd cast it the turn before I drew the stuff that made me really not want it on the battlefield, but I had no way to kill it).
    • Survival of the Fittest for looking so menacing when I couldn't get a creature into my hand no matter how hard I tried.
    • Phyrexian Altar for being such a (surprisingly) scary sac outlet that it drew removal at every turn. At one point, players literally threw the game to make sure that I didn't have access to Phyrexian Altar, because they were somehow convinced that it was the most dangerous card on the board.
    • Aaron for winning with an infinite combo.
    • Mycol for putting Curiosity on Niv-Mizzet and decking himself while killing two other players (he pinged two of us to death and decked himself, arbitrarily handing a win to the last player).
    • Some guy who tried to rules lawyer me about mistakenly untapping my own lands after paying the Tabernacle tax for my two creatures. Like, I try to always hold it against myself if I screw up a rules interaction so that I do better in the future, but everyone in that game had forgotten about Tabernacle payments at some point and had gone back and made them after the fact, including me already by that point and including this guy. Then suddenly when I declare attacks on him for 10 damage he wants to get all "missed trigger game state" about it in an EDH game? Like, I see what you're doing there.
    • Me for forgetting about Grafdigger's Cage after someone else had already made the same mistake. It happened not to matter in that situation (I was casting Victimize as a sac outlet and didn't actually need the creatures in my graveyard). But it's embarrassing anyway.
    • Me for getting greedy and casting Windgrace's Judgment into a counterspell instead of just cycling Decree of Pain, which might have served me better anyway (the player who countered Windgrace's Judgment made a gigantic mistake by doing so because the only valid target was irrelevant to the board at the time and there was a giant threat that affected him more than it affected me, but I shouldn't have even given him the opportunity to mess up in the first place).
  4. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    This sounds like a Prop, not a a Slop :)
    Oversoul likes this.
  5. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Kind of? I mean, Phyrexian Altar is definitely a good card and I think it was right to include it in the deck. But I happened not to get my other sac outlets online that game and I managed to get it back from my graveyard and replay it, but my opponents got scared of it and kept killing it. I thought it was probably the wrong target the first time because I couldn't really exploit it and I had better stuff. That'd be fine, but then later one of the players inadvertently revealed that he was going to try to cast Curiosity on his Niv-Mizzet, Parun. A very explosive combo that I could easily stop with Savra + Phyrexian Altar + tokens from Worm Harvest. The other players were still like, "Nope, Phyrexian Altar has got to go." Didn't really make sense because I had plenty of mana by that point and they had no creatures on the board.

    I think the card is a great inclusion for the deck, but it drew misplaced furor at removing it on that day and I never really got to exploit that. A minor slop, perhaps, but in my view...

    Opponents get scared of card and go out of their way to remove it, which frees me up to do the actual dangerous thing I was trying to do: prop.
    Opponents get scared of card and go out of their way to remove it, and I did need it but it was still a mistake for them to kill my card: slop.
  6. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Huh. I would have thought it would be a prop *because* it was a mistake for them to kill the card and they were directing all of their attention on it instead of doing whatever their decks were supposed to be doing. Like a diversion or something.
  7. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    So I just realized something while writing my previous post. There's a line with Phyrexian Altar, technically available to this deck, that goes infinite. I don't think I was approaching the components for it in any of my games, but it's noteworthy because it is infinite and I didn't notice that it existed. You'd need...
    • Phyrexian Altar on the battlefield.
    • Life from the Loam in hand (if it's in graveyard, dredge it back to hand).
    • Worm Harvest in graveyard (in hand also works potentially).
    • A land in hand to retrace Worm Harvest.
    • A cycling land either in hand or in graveyard (Barren Moor or Tranquil Thicket).
    • At least six other lands in the graveyard.
    • Any one of Regrowth, Seasons Past, Eternal Witness, or Victimize in hand.
    • Enough mana to get the engine started.
    If all of that sounds so highly specific that the whole thing is a cornercase, well, this deck wasn't build to work toward such an engine, but the sheer power of Life from the Loam helps make most of these conditions easy to meet, given a few turns to get going. If only some of the conditions are met, a finite engine can help the deck work toward true infinity over the course of multiple turns. Even if you dredge and put a card you want into your graveyard, Genesis can put Eternal Witness from your graveyard back into your hand.
    How it works is that once you have a land in hand and at least seven in graveyard, you retrace Worm Harvest and make eight worms. Sacrifice them to Phyrexian Altar for green mana (and black if you need it for Barren Moor). Use two of that mana to cast Life from the Loam and get back your cycling land and one other land (if the cycling land is the one still in your hand, get back some other land and nothing else). Use another one mana to cycle your land, but replace the draw with dredging up Life from the Loam. Use the remaining mana and the remaining land in your hand to retrace Worm Harvest and make eight worms. At this point, if dredging Life from the Loam didn't put more land cards into your graveyard, the loop is still mana-neutral, but you don't care because you can keep repeating it until Worm Harvest is making enough worms to sacrifice to Phyrexian Altar to generate mana with each iteration of the loop. Next, repeat the loop until you don't have enough cards in your graveyard to keep dredging anymore.
    The next part is non-deterministic because it depends what the bottom few cards of your library are, but you should have a way to get them. If Loam-dredging gets you to an exactly empty library, then great. If it gets you to just one card left, cycle a land. If it gets you to two cards left, cycle both of your cycling lands. From there, the rest is easy. If Seasons Past is in your hand cast it. If you had Regrowth instead, use it to get Seasons Past and then cast that. Same deal with Eternal Witness. If you had Victimize, then use Victimize on a worm token to get back Eternal Witness and use Eternal Witness to get back Seasons Past. Cast Seasons Past to get Worm Harvest, a cycling land, Regrowth, and whatever. Cast Worm Harvest, sac worms for mana, cast Regrowth on Worm Harvest, cycle the land in your hand to draw Seasons Past, cast Seasons Past and get back Regrowth, a cycling land, and whatever. Rinse, repeat. Phyrexian Altar will make enough mana off Worm Harvest that you'll have plenty left over.
    You now have infinite mana of any color and infinite 1/1 black/green worm tokens. Because you can sacrifice Eternal Witness after casting it to get it back into your graveyard, it can come along for the ride and bring anything else with it, so you can get any spell back out of your graveyard and into your hand and then cast that spell. From there, you probably win with infinite mana/creatures and Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord.
  8. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Right, but if it's a diversion from the thing that someone else is imminently using to kill them, then that doesn't really benefit me. I don't like to put a target on my own head for the sake of letting another player sneak in a win (in this case, the player didn't win, although it's a bit strange that he didn't build his deck to be able to interrupt the combo that he knew would cause him to deck himself eventually).
  9. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    As far as infinite loops go, that's not what this deck was about and I actually cut the card Reap from my list during construction specifically for that reason. With enough mana and black permanents controlled by opponents, Reap + Regrowth turns into dangerous loop. I did not eschew infinite combos when I built the Captain Jhoira deck because that one was on such short notice, but when it comes to decks for the "West Coast Commander League" I'm going to deliberately avoid building infinite combo decks, at least for now. Might revise that position if I keep losing to infinite combos myself.

    So this deck could go infinite, but I didn't see that and wouldn't have run with this list if I'd spotted the infinite loop. I accounted for a similar possibility early on with Reap, but I figured the final list was free of such potential. It turns out that Seasons Past is just an amazing magic card and will enable some silly stuff if you let it. All hail.
    [IMG]
  10. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant


    Oh, it sounded from your blurb that everyone was concentrating on it and there was nothing else on the table that was posing a possible threat.
  11. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I see. Yeah, I wouldn't have minded that at all!

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