The End of Eternity [EDH]

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
For the West Coast Commander League, the month of May is going to feature some rather heavy-handed War of the Spark themes. This might mean some decks that depart further from my usual fare. To start off, alongside the usual non-rotating points, we've got...

Bring Friends (+1): Activate a planeswalker ability
God Eternal (+1): Cast a God (creatures with modified creature types and changelings don't count)
Oath of the Gatewatch (+2): Activate a minus ability of 2 different planeswalkers that is greater than their base loyalty.
Command the Dreadhorde (+3): Control a Zombie Army with power 10 or greater.
Super friends (+1): Activate a plus ability of a planeswalker and a minus ability of another planeswalker. Bolas Father (+1): Cast a card with the name "Bolas" in the name.
Dragon Reborn (+1): Niv-Mizzet Reborn is your commander and cast it at least once.
Sacrifice Your Friends (+1): Remove 7 or more loyalty from planeswalkers you control.
A Legendary War (+2): Have a non Niv-Mizzet Reborn legendary creature from War of the Spark as your commander and cast it at least once.
Guild Alliance (+2): Cast 3 spells with the same guild water mark or guild name in the card's name.

I think that I probably made the mistake of going for points in too many different categories in the past. Since I decided not to build a Super Friends deck, I figured I'd go mono-white with the new Oketra. Should easily get points for casting my War of the Spark commander, for casting a god (Oketra is one), and for activating a planeswalker loyalty ability. In a longer game, I've got plenty of Boros watermarks, and I can certainly try to get more planeswalker activations. So here's what I'm going with...

Commander:
1x God-Eternal Oketra

1x Ajani, Caller of the Pride
1x Ancient Tomb
1x Aura of Silence
1x Aven Mindcensor
1x Benalish Marshal
1x Blade Instructor
1x Boros Elite
1x Boros Mastiff
1x Brimaz, King of Oreskos
1x City of Traitors
1x Containment Priest
1x Council's Judgment
1x Daring Skyjek
1x Duplicant
1x Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1x Emancipation Angel
1x Emeria, The Sky Ruin
1x Enlightened Tutor
1x Erratic Portal
1x Fiend Hunter
1x Flagstones of Trokair
1x Frontline Medic
1x Grasp of Fate
1x Hero of Bladehold
1x Ignite the Beacon
1x Isamaru, Hound of Konda
1x Knight of the White Orchid
1x Kor Skyfisher
1x Kytheon, Hero of Akros
1x Land Tax
1x Leave No Trace
1x Light of the Legion
1x Lightning Greaves
1x Mana Crypt
1x Mana Vault
1x Nahiri, the Lithomancer
1x Nav Squad Commandos
1x Oblation
1x Oblivion Ring
1x Odric, Master Tactician
1x Oketra the True
1x Opal Palace
1x Open the Armory
1x Oreskos Explorer
1x Parhelion Patrol
1x Path to Exile
1x Phyrexian Revoker
28x Plains
1x Recruiter of the Guard
1x Savannah Lions
1x Scroll Rack
1x Serra Ascendant
1x Silverblade Paladin
1x Skullclamp
1x Sol Ring
1x Steelshaper's Gift
1x Stonecloaker
1x Stoneforge Mystic
1x Stormfront Riders
1x Strip Mine
1x Sun Titan
1x Sunhome Stalwart
1x Sword of Fire and Ice
1x Swords to Plowshares
1x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
1x Thalia, Heretic Cathar
1x The Wanderer
1x Tithe
1x Umezawa's Jitte
1x Unexpectedly Absent
1x Wasteland
1x Whitemane Lion
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
So I screwed this one up. In reality, the points for the month were supposed to be these ones...

Bring Friends (+1): Activate a planeswalker ability
God Eternal (+1): Cast a God (creatures with modified creature types and changelings don't count)
Oath of the Gatewatch (+2): Activate a minus ability of 2 different planeswalkers that is greater than their base loyalty.
Command the Dreadhorde (+3): Control a Zombie Army with power 10 or greater.

And for the first week, there was to be this one...

Super friends (+1): Activate a plus ability of a planeswalker and a minus ability of another planeswalker. Bolas Father (+1): Cast a card with the name "Bolas" in the name.

And this was the list of optional points that the winner for each week could select one from...

Dragon Reborn (+1): Niv-Mizzet Reborn is your commander and cast it at least once.
Sacrifice Your Friends (+1): Remove 7 or more loyalty from planeswalkers you control.
A Legendary War (+2): Have a non Niv-Mizzet Reborn legendary creature from War of the Spark as your commander and cast it at least once.
Guild Alliance (+2): Cast 3 spells with the same guild water mark or guild name in the card's name.

So I used a War of the Spark commander and put a bunch of Boros-marked cards in my deck, but couldn't collect points for that. Overall, this deck did not perform well. I have myself to blame for this misunderstanding, but I don't know that it matters much. In the first game I got manascrewed (greedy, should have mulliganed) and was one turn away from killing both opponents before the Omnath deck finally got going and murdered both of us in one fell swoop (he cast Blighsteel Colossus, equipped Swiftfoot Boots to it, and made it unblockable with Rogue's Passage to kill me, while swinging in with the rest of his team to finish off the third player). And after that I lost to big, flashy combos (planeswalker loops with The Chain Veil, Paradox Engine, and Sunbird's Invocation in one game and Arcanis + Mind Over Matter in the other).

I'm pretty consistently scoring lower than the people who are just bringing the most powerful decks (so long as they avoid killing opponents before they've had six turns or removing basic lands from the battlefield). Now, this last time I did botch the points/themes and I had fun anyway, but still, this has been one of those lessons where it's "Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on me...fool me eight times..."

It seems like every Sunday I'm telling them that I should just stop building fun, thematic decks and just build murder-decks to murder them all, but by the time Tuesday rolls around, I feel guilty that maybe I'll make things less fun for newer or less enfranchised players (this has almost always been a non-issue). Because I've warned them all so many times in the past, they have no reason to credit my warnings anymore. And that's really too bad for them, because this time it's for real.

It's like some twisted version of the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" story. Only there's no boy and instead of a wolf there's an axe-murderer and he keeps telling the villagers that he's going to murder them, but they get used to it, then one day he actually kills them. :p

But seriously, not sure what I'll actually bring next time. I do know that the rotating point is the Niv-Mizzet one, which is frankly way too specific. I do not like the card, do not like the idea of having a point for a specific individual commander, and do not own the new Niv-Mizzet yet anyway. So if I'm not going for that, the field is wide-open. I'm leaning toward a Chain Veil Teferi deck, but maybe that's too fast and I need something slightly slower.
 

Spiderman

CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant
Staff member
I can't tell exactly but from what it sounds, just "Bring The Thunder" once and see how it goes...
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Yeah, I think that's exactly right. Should probably have led with that last paragraph. I don't know that I'll bring more explosive decks every single time from here on out. I had fun with some of the goofier concepts, especially "Epic." But I'm going to try something with more power at least once, and since I have no interest in the Niv-Mizzet thing, this seems like a good time.
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
I pulled out Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, and Sol Ring to put them in the Chain Veil Teferi deck, but the rest of this is still all together. Since the bonus point for having a War of the Spark commander other than Niv-Mizzet is happening for real next time, I figure I might as well return to this deck. I'll make some modifications though. No need for all those Boros cards and I can probably figure out some other adjustments...
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Trying this concept again tomorrow. This time I really can get points for casting my commander. But that guild-based point thing isn't available and I'm taking the Boros-themed cards out. Changelog:

-1 Blade Instructor
-1 Boros Elite
-1 Boros Mastiff
-1 Daring Skyjek
-1 Frontline Medic
-1 Leave No Trace
-1 Light of the Legion
-1 Nav Squad Commandos
-1 Parhelion Patrol
-1 Sunhome Stalwart
+1 Kinjalli's Sunwing
+1 Mother of Runes
+1 Restoration Angel
+1 Selfless Spirit
+1 Solemn Simulacrum
+1 Spirit of the Labyrinth
+1 White Knight
+1 Disenchant
+1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
+1 Gideon Blackblade
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Also of note when it comes to bling...

My Savannah Lions, White Knight, Disenchant, and Swords to Plowshares are all Beta copies. Elspeth, Knight Errant and Gideon Blackblade are Mythic Edition versions. Hero of Bladehold is a prerelease foil version because that's the only version I own! Basic lands are all Unlimited. Enlightened Tutor, Land Tax and Stripe Mine are the old black-bordered original versions. So are most other cards worth mentioning, actually. Sol Ring and Mana Vault are non-notable white-bordered editions because I was too lazy to switch them out for fancier-looking ones. But this deck has some very nice and classic cards in it, even if it probably won't win much in the way of actual games.
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
It worked better this time around! I killed at least one opponent every round and killed all three of them in the first round. I activated planeswalker abilities and cast my commander, which was a god, so I picked up points for stuff like that. In fact, I picked up the most total points for the day and now I've got a bounty on my head for the first time in the League (on the 26th, people can win a point by being the one to kill me). So yeah, much better this time around and I was happy with the changes, although it's mostly the same deck anyway and it just performed better.

Props:
  • Umezawa's Jitte, which scored me a couple of kills. Such a powerful card.
  • Mana Vault, because turn 2 Oketra is fun for everyone involved.
  • Aven Mindcensor. Didn't even flash it onto the battlefield in response to anything. Just played it and watched my opponents not have removal for it all game.
  • Ignite the Beacon. First time I ever cast this spell and it put in some very nice work, grabbing Elspeth, Knight Errant and Ajani, Caller of the Pride. Really pushed my double-striking commander over the top.
  • Oreskos Explorer for just showing up at the wrong times and not the right ones. I think it's a fine card and that including it in the deck was probably a good decision, but it just hit the wrong side of variance yesterday.
  • Eric for his unsustainable pattern of finishing his decks for these events increasingly later. This time he was opening up his deckbox from last week when I walked into the store, hurriedly going through it for cards to fill in his unfinished deck. Before that, he'd finished his deck at 3 in the morning on the day of the event and before that he'd finished his deck at midnight or something.
  • Kytheon, Hero of Akros. What a delightfully flexible creature/planeswalker. The transformed Gideon planeswalker ate a removal spell pretty quickly when I got it, but I'm quite happy with the card.
  • Emancipation Angel for rescuing Brimaz from KC's Contagion Clasp when Brimaz was down to being a 0/1.
  • Odric, Master Tactician. This card dominates combat and opponents are pretty much forced to use their removal spells on it. I've only drawn it once in this deck and it salvaged a game that would otherwise have been a horrendous manadrown for me, because I was able to keep pressure on opponents even as I wasn't getting new creatures to build my board.
  • White Knight, because sometimes a classic beatstick is still good enough. Haven't had an excuse to run good old White Knight (or Black Knight) in a long time and the card accounted for itself nicely.
  • KC for his amazing Superfriends loop nonsense. This month, decks like his with Atraxa and a ton of planeswalkers, have been enormously popular. It's not really my thing normally, but he put a twist on it, using Copy Enchantment on Doubling Season and managing to kill and replay his own planeswalkers in the course of one giant turn, eventually winning with the new Jace, Wielder of Mysteries.
  • The Wanderer for nuking both Nicol Bolas, the Ravager and Atraxa, Praetors' Voice in the same game. I only threw it in because it seemed like a decent planeswalker I might actually cast to clear blockers or something and I wanted a higher planeswalker count for the points system. But the repeatable Reprisal-like effect is generally useful in EDH and the card has grown on me.
Slops:
  • Sword of Fire and Ice for costing so much mana to cast and equip within the same turn. I know it's a good card, but five mana was just too much at the time!
  • Scroll Rack for only showing up when my hand was already empty. I draw it in two games and it wasn't useful in either of them, although I think the first time it was on the turn I was winning the game anyway and the second time it was when I was about to lose. Still, it was an unfortunate topdeck both times.
  • KC for countering my Tithe with Mana Leak when I already had four Plains in my hand. I mean, I don't know if I was trying to bluff a manascrew or if I was just trying to cast it to thin lands out of my deck to help counteract my actual manadrown, but it was a silly way to waste a Mana Leak (that should probably have been used on someone else's real card).
  • Nahiri, the Lithomancer for costing so much and then taking forever to do anything. Seriously, what I was I thinking running this card? I mean, I know. It's a planeswalker and I needed more of them.
  • My opponents in the third game for proliferating each others' stuff. Like, what am I? The archenemy or something? Stop helping each other! You're opponents.
  • Mike (if I remember correctly) for stealing my Oketra and then dying because it couldn't save him. It would have saved me! He did steal it with a very flashy two-card combo, but it still couldn't save him from the giant zombie army that was coming for him.
  • The points system, for having this silly "Command the Dreadhorde" as a thing to strive for in the first place. Others will disagree (particularly Eric, who was managing to get a 10+ power zombie army with remarkable consistency in previous weeks simply by using the card Hatred). But the points are allegedly meant to reward good deck design and the "Amass" mechanic is clumsy. A lot of people were going for big zombie armies by proliferating, and they'd deliberately slow games down and use proliferate effects to help each other get the points. They were having fun, so maybe it's not a slop. Seemed silly to me, though.
  • Me for failing to note the presence of the 8/8 zombie army blocker when I attacked with Oketra one time. I should pay more attention and I suck.
  • Eddie for having his zombie army like a foot away from the rest of his creatures. Obviously it's not my fault I didn't remember it was there to block my Oketra.
  • Gideon Blackblade for never showing up. I'd hoped to try that card out. Oh well.
Anyway, it was more successful than I was hoping and I like this deck. I'm now of a mind to keep it around or revisit it, but without the specific card choices meant to focus on the West Coast Commander League points system. God-Eternal Oketra isn't what I'd call a low power commander, but maybe more of a medium power one. I don't play a ton of monowhite decks, but this seems like something appropriate for most casual EDH settings, and it puts pressure on opponents to do stuff instead of durdling. Oketra is a strong card, but mostly, I expect that in EDH decks, she'll show up in the 99 or not at all. There are just so many benefits to having a second color. But I can say that the general concept is fun and explosive, even if it's not top-tier or anything. I expect I'll return to this thread someday with yet another updated version of this deck...
As far as the West Coast Commander League goes, we've got one more Sunday in May and I already offered that I'd go for the silly zombie army point thing next time. I intend to hold myself to that. I'm also the bounty for the first time, so I feel like I want to bring something powerful. I'm honestly a bit stuck right now and I'm hoping I suddenly have some flash of brilliance or something. I don't know what to build!
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Do others notice that stuff?
Ah, you posted while I was posting. :p

I guess the simple answer is yes. But from what I've seen over the years, that's not necessarily been true in all times and places. I'd say that among the players at this store, there's a kind of culture around foils specifically. Players who try to foil out their whole decks or who prefer to buy foil versions of cards when they can afford them, etc. Some people are really into it and some less so. To very roughly estimate what I've seen for myself, I'd guess that about half of the players are foil-hounds to one degree or another. And the remaining half might be about evenly split between...
  1. Players who have their own specific aesthetic preferences like never using old border cards or preferring specific art styles and trying to work them into decks. Trying to build decks with all Russian cards, seeking out as many prerelease-stamped foils or judge foils as possible, etc. Basically they openly present some flair but it might be unique to them alone and not something cared about by anyone else.
  2. Players who don't really care about or even like foils, but who do prefer to use rarer version of cards in other ways, like using old border rares of cards that are much more readily available in Modern reprint sets. All else being equal, they'll probably try to play with the original printing of a card, although sometimes they might throw in some other quirk like choosing a reprint because they like the art better than the original version or using a gold-bordered (World Championship decks) version of some uncommon just because they think it looks cool.
  3. Players who seem to completely ignore aesthetics in favor of financial interests, seeking out played/scuffed copies of the cheapest versions of cards out there, so they can save money and buy more of the cards they want for their decks rather than sacrificing that for the appearance of cards. An Unlimited Edition copy of Berserk might set one back by $80 or more. But you could pick up a reprint from Conspiracy: Take the Crown for less than $15. A foil-loving player who wants Gaea's Cradle would have to shell out $1,200 for the (Reserved List violating) judge foil and even the regular original printing is probably above $350. But if you are budget-minded and you don't intend to use the card for tournament play anyway, a beaten-up old gold-bordered version might found somewhere for close to $50. A considerable savings!
But yeah, I think most people tend to notice the really old cards, especially since a lot of these guys don't own them and rarely see them. In particular, there's one that stands out. A lot of these guys have spent a lot of money on foils for Modern and EDH, and some of them spent a lot to buy key old cards for their EDH decks like Revised Edition dual lands, but they've already bought some of those Commander precons so they use a copy of Sol Ring out of one of those because they don't own cards from Revised Edition other than those dual lands they deliberately purchased or traded for. I own lots of Revised Edition cards so that's my default place to grab a Sol Ring when I'm putting one in a deck, and that doesn't raise any eyebrows. On rare occasions someone will have acquired a Kaladesh Inventions version of the card, which does look cool. Even more rare is the appearance of a judge foil version. And some people have noticed and commented on my Unlimited Edition version. But if I get cheeky and put my Beta copy in my deck instead, then that really gets some attention, especially because sometimes people have never even seen such a card in their entire lives. I used to run it in my Karador deck, but it's been a while. I kind of accidentally started a tradition of using the card in the decks I build for the Magic of Browns Point budget events, which seems weird to me now and wasn't something I did on purpose (their budget constraints go by the average of near-mint prices for the cheapest edition of a card, so my $600+ Sol Ring counts as like $5 against my budget).
Now, by this point I've played against a lot of the same people many times and when I did play Beta White Knight, they all knew me as someone who owns a lot of old cards, so some of them just rolled their eyes at me. But that still counts as noticing! :p
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Hm, it's only tangential to this thread, which was supposed to be about the Oketra deck, but I really am hung up on what to play next time! I chose "Bolas Father (+1): Cast a card with Bolas in the name" as the weekly rotator, so I feel obliged to go for that. I also kind of committed to making a sincere effort at achieving "Command the Dreadhorde (+3): control a zombie army with power 10 or greater" so I feel obliged to go for that one too. But I also have a bounty on my head, so I feel obliged to do something that makes my opponents really work to kill me. And right now, nothing comes to mind. Some kind of Superfriends deck?
 

Oversoul

The Tentacled One
Made some modifications to extend the useful life of this deck. I'd like to keep a few decks around that aren't for the West Coast Commander League and that aren't for cEDH (GCMLDA). So here's something that looks reasonably fast-paced and doesn't put pressure on my collection for other deckbuilding...

-1 Ajani, Caller of the Pride
-1 Council's Judgment
-1 Ignite the Beacon
-1 Mana Crypt
-1 Nahiri, the Lithomancer
+1 Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit
+1 Frontline Medic
+1 Mox Diamond
+1 Ornithopter
+1 Vryn Wingmare

The End of Eternity version 1.3

Commander:
1x God-Eternal Oketra

1x Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit
1x Ancient Tomb
1x Aura of Silence
1x Aven Mindcensor
1x Benalish Marshal
1x Brimaz, King of Oreskos
1x City of Traitors
1x Containment Priest
1x Disenchant
1x Duplicant
1x Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1x Emancipation Angel
1x Emeria, The Sky Ruin
1x Enlightened Tutor
1x Erratic Portal
1x Fiend Hunter
1x Flagstones of Trokair
1x Frontline Medic
1x Gideon Blackblade
1x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1x Grasp of Fate
1x Hero of Bladehold
1x Isamaru, Hound of Konda
1x Kinjalli's Sunwing
1x Knight of the White Orchid
1x Kor Skyfisher
1x Kytheon, Hero of Akros
1x Land Tax
1x Lightning Greaves
1x Mana Vault
1x Mother of Runes
1x Mox Diamond
1x Oblation
1x Oblivion Ring
1x Odric, Master Tactician
1x Oketra the True
1x Opal Palace
1x Open the Armory
1x Oreskos Explorer
1x Ornithopter
1x Path to Exile
1x Phyrexian Revoker
28x Plains
1x Recruiter of the Guard
1x Restoration Angel
1x Savannah Lions
1x Scroll Rack
1x Selfless Spirit
1x Serra Ascendant
1x Silverblade Paladin
1x Skullclamp
1x Sol Ring
1x Solemn Simulacrum
1x Spirit of the Labyrinth
1x Steelshaper's Gift
1x Stonecloaker
1x Stoneforge Mystic
1x Stormfront Riders
1x Strip Mine
1x Sun Titan
1x Sword of Fire and Ice
1x Swords to Plowshares
1x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
1x Thalia, Heretic Cathar
1x The Wanderer
1x Tithe
1x Umezawa's Jitte
1x Unexpectedly Absent
1x Vryn Wingmare
1x Wasteland
1x White Knight
1x Whitemane Lion
 
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