When the Ban-Hammer Strikes Again (July 2017 Yugioh OCG Ban list Reaction)

They banned even more cards in Yugioh while I wasn’t looking too. This time in the OCG where Link Summoning somehow did nothing to stop Zoodiacs…

That is until now…

Forbidden:

Zoodiac Broadbull

You know, I thought banning Drident and Barrage was harsh. I thought the deck didn’t deserve such treatment to stop it.

I was wrong. These series of cards actually wrecked Yugioh more than almost any series before them. Zoo became (and has become) standard. You add Zoodiac to any deck and its ceiling raises. Everyone is playing it. Variants of it are among every top cut finish. It’s just an utter nightmare.

Banning Broadbull kills the deck though. I wish there was a way for zoo to exist without being leagues ahead of every other deck. It pretty took the torch from Burning Abyss in that regard of being on another level of consistency. Anyway, Broadbull’s death SHOULD be the end of Zoodiac being a top deck in the OCG, bar some new combo I still haven’t heard of yet.

 

Limited:

Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King

Basically what I said before applies to the True King deck outside of the negative impact on the game (monopolizing the meta). This deck is just very strong and also doesn’t use Link Summoning. Konami wants ppl to use Link Summoning. Ergo we have to hit True Kings. This hit should not kill the deck, but will hopefully give the new cards a chance to shine.
Fairy Tail – Snow

Snow is the most powerful card in self-mill decks. It’s a proud member of the Lightsworn-Infernoid-Zombie family. Also Snow maybe the single best card to mill off of that Grass looks Greener/Lawn-mowing. Realistically an errata to be “Once per turn” would’ve fixed this card, but putting it to one works too.
Dragonic Diagram

So my rationale for True Kings being ok despite this and their boss monster being hit is that this is searchable off of Terraforming, which is somehow still at three… OH WAIT-

Maybe True Kings are ruined now…

 

Semi-Limited:

There are a billion of these new semi-limits so I’m going to be pretty brief)

Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer (Pendulums have been nerfed by the new rules, thus Sorcerer is fair)
Witch of the Black Forest (I’m sure they mean with the same errata as Sangan… right?)
Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss (BA is… dead…)
Rescue Cat (Errata has made the card fair)
Burial from a Different Dimension (Uhhhhh, this seems like a terrible idea, but I guess this card doesn’t scream combo piece like most do)
Card of Demise (NOOOOOOOOOO, and so the dream of just playing the same stun/trap card deck dies)
Preparation of Rites (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, the Nekroz fanboy in me intensifies)
Saqlifice (People deserve to pay 800 and feel great again, oh wait that’s Scout isn’t it?)
Dark Hole (Like…. what?)
Terraforming (Oh, well this is embarrassing I legit didn’t remember this hit when writing the earlier part of this reaction. Anyway if they stop making field spells solitaire then maybe terraforming wouldn’t be broken… oh ok that’s a lie. Terraforming will always be broken)
Union Hangar (ABC will be good forever, no meta perhaps but still good)
Wavering Eyes (Again Pendulums are dead, I guess that makes this fine)
Dragon Ravine (The Dragon Rulers got this banned and all the Dragunity players died out waiting for it to come back)
Solemn Strike (OH LOOK THEY REPRINTED SOLEMN STRIKE IN A STARTER DECK AND THEN LIMITED IT. I WONDER IF THIS WILL HAPPEN HERE TO-

*gets punched out for spamming caps lock/being annoying

Anyway, we all knew Strike would be limited someday. It has to follow the trajectory of Solemn Warning.

 

Unlimited:

Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning (You know what? I don’t want to live in a world where BLS is at three. Regardless of how much play he sees this card should stay at 1 on principle. I mean why on earth would they put him at 3?!)
Wisdom-Eye Magician (Nuff said)
Armageddon Knight (Well ok then, I assume Dark Synchro decks are just nerfed now. I don’t recall anywhere else that Armageddon knight is commonly played)
D/D Swirl Slime (Poor D/D/Ds never got to a meta threat in TCG like they were in the OCG. It feels like they should be dead with links regardless)
Goyo Guardian (Hah! Remember back when Goyo was a threat?)
Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer (Wow, he’s back now that it’s too late to be relevant)
Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier (It’s the guy who lost his job to Coral Dragon)
Brain Control (Yeah, this errata was a mistake. The card is unplayable. You might as well as flipped it to only take Extra deck monsters)

And so ends my random, unprofessional and very sporadic review of the banlist for the card game I really only collect from at this point.

Thanks for reading as usual. jail

 

 

When the Ban-Hammer Strikes (June 19th Magic the Gathering Ban List Reaction)

If a card gets banned and I’m not around to hear it…

ulamog2

So Magic as part of their big week of updates (last week) delivered the swift banhammer blow to Aetherworks Marvel. This deck was a powerhouse in Standard mostly due to its ability to cast Ulamog for free. While the deck was not oppressive. It did upset a large amount of the standard players in the same way that the felidar saheeli combo did.

capture

The deck has quickly been replaced by energy “good stuff” decks alongside the already popular constrictor and zombie strategies.

I am happy that Marvel is banned only because standard is meant to have games not decided on turn 4. The mere chance that a deck in standard can craft an effective win that fast is enough reason for me to want it banned. Hopefully, this banning and the upcoming Hour of Devastation set spice up Standard (which has been stale of late).

I basically skipped Amonkhet incidentally. School was hard at that time and if I wanted to play card game that had allusions to Egypt well…

Anyway, thanks for reading as usual.

Jori En – A Primer: A Self-Conscious EDH Storm

(Hello. I’m the same guy from the Grenzo thing. Big thanks to TooManyCardGames for hosting this deck tech.)

Storm is fun. For the pilot. This is a constant in all formats in which storm is viable, which is most of them. Better players than I have demonstrated exactly how true this is in Commander, with lists like this one. While all-in Grixis Storm decks may be the most viable way to win with a high storm count, they have some inherent problems for anyone playing outside a hardcore competitive metagame. Specifically:

  • Maintaining a three-color manabase in an archetype reliant on High Tide is not cheap, and can be inconsistent.
  • They can be incredibly intimidating, and immediately become the threat at the table.
  • They don’t play nice with others.

That last point is key. While there is a decent amount of interaction in Jeleva Storm and similar, most lists aren’t designed for the long game, and don’t have a comfortable plan outside of storming off. This is a huge deal, because there are absolutely tables at which an early storm kill is the least fun thing to have happen. So what can you do? Just not play storm unless your meta is purely competitive? I’m here to present another option: play storm in a combo-control shell.

The theory behind this is pretty simple. The deck has two stances: aggressivly play for the combo turn, or be the control player. Why does this matter? Well, the main problem storm has is the raw time it takes to resolve the winning turn. If you’re winning turns 3-5, and most of the early turns are land-go, you’ve just dominated the total time taken by all players with a five minute turn in a ten minute game. Do this an hour in, after controlling the board and keeping a few other players from winning, and this doesn’t seem quite as bad.

Of course, I can’t guarantee that this won’t still give people the feel-bads. Storm is not something everyone enjoys playing against, and for some people, the mere fact that it is your win condition will be enough for them to hate you and everything you represent. Unfortunately, this seems to be true of practically any deck one could play, so I’ll just be moving on.

Okay, so now we just need to figure out how to play control and combo with the same deck. To be honest, the control part on its own is not an easy task. In a four-player game, the only real types of controlling interaction that scale well are stax and board wipes. Stax is probably going to interfere with our storm plan, and board wipes can be dead or ineffectual against a variety of types of decks, so we will have to rely on traditional countermagic and spot removal as well. Both of these scale… poorly. Holding down an entire table is incredibly difficult. We need a commander that can recoup some of the advantage lost from spending our cards defensively. My weapon of choice: Jori En, Ruin Diver.


Jori is unassuming. She’ll generally draw you a card per round, sometimes two, and occassionally none. The interesting thing here is that as you try to control the table, she’ll often be drawing cards in proportion to the number of threats that must be dealt with. Every time you interact on an opponent’s turn, you have an opportunity to spin it into card advantage. This can actually be enough to tip the scales to where controlling three players is possible. The other key points Jori hits: she is not necessary for the storm plan, so casting her is usually not seen as threating; and she has relatively low mana cost, allowing her to be played while players are still developing.

Jori isn’t exactly conventional, so let’s compare her briefly to the other options.


Alternative Commanders

Mono Blue

Baral, Chief of Compliance and Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy are both fairly viable for this archetype. Each filters your draws in some way, getting you to the card advantage needed to control the board, and each contributes to the storm plan (Baral by being a cost reducer, Jace by flashing back a critical spell, often High Tide). That said, they don’t directly contribute card advantage, and being mono blue removes Past in Flames and Yawgmoth’s Will as options, cutting some resilience from the storm plan.

Blue/Black

Dralnu, Lich Lord presents an interesting twist on Jace, but the high mana cost and harsh risk make this option unappealing.

Oona, Queen of the Fae is an infinite mana outlet in the command zone. Aaaand… That’s it. For the archetype we are playing, a commander who is only useful when you are ready to win is not a great commander.

Blue/Red

Keranos, God of Storms provides some of the same goodness as Jori, by either drawing a card or controlling the board each turn. Unfortunately, at five mana, the benefits Keranos provides are not sufficient. The majority of the time, this is a lightning bolt once per turn, which is just not enough.

Mizzix of the Izmagnus, and to a lesser extent Melek, Izzet Paragon and Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, can be powerful commanders, with abilities that contribute directly towards the storm turn. Unfortunately for the latter, they cost six mana, and unfortunately for Mizzix, he is very much a known quantity. Mizzix is incredibly dangerous to leave in play, and as a result, he dies. A lot. Further, Mizzix is highly build-around, so if he is not in play, the deck becomes significantly worse. This is just not what we’re looking for.

Nin, the Pain Artist is probably the closest to Jori En, and it would not be unreasonable to run her. At worst, she’s a slow Braingeyser, but when you have other creatures in play, she is repeatable instant speed card draw. Even better, she’s an outlet for infinite mana, and can act as spot removal in an emergency.


Decklist

Let’s assume you accept that Jori En is a viable commander for a control/storm deck. Let’s take a look at such a deck.

Win Conditions

Ultimately, almost every win this deck gets will be through Aetherflux Reservoir. This card makes achieving lethal storm far easier than cards with the actual storm mechanic. This win condition, and to a lesser extent Grapeshot, is supported by two combos, both relatively well-known at this point.

Imprinting Dramatic Reversal on Isochron Scepter with mana rocks gives you arbitrarily large storm, and with mana rocks producing three or more total, infinite mana. Though this does not win the game on its own, in many circumstances, it is easy to transition this into a win.

Having Helm of Awakening, Future Sight, and Sensei’s Divining Top in play will allow you to repeatedly activate top and recast it for free, effectively drawing your deck and building a massive storm count.

Everything else

I’m going to break down most of the deck into several categories.

Counterspells

The countermagic suite includes cards that fulfill at least one of the following requirements:

  • Mana efficient (Mental Misstep, Mindbreak Trap, Swan Song, Rewind, Counterspell)
  • Highly flexible (Disallow, Cryptic Command, Unsubstantiate, Muddle the Mixture)
  • Draws cards (Arcane Denial, Remand)

Keeping roughly to these guidelines lets us split the difference between storm and control. Mana efficient can often mean that Jori En draws more cards, and that velocity is super important.

Removal

The exact mix of removal spells is something I’m constantly messing with, but here’s some examples:

  • Spot Removal
    • Creatures (Lightning Bolt, Pongify, Snap)
    • Artifacts (Dack Fayden, Shattering Pulse, Vandalblast)
    • Flexible (Chaos Warp, Metamorphose)
  • Mass Removal (All is Dust, Blasphemous Act, Cyclonic Rift)

Since it’s rare to get removal mixed into card draw in these colors, I focus on extreme mana efficiency for Jori, with the exception of the more flexible answers in these colors.

Draw/Filtering

There has to be a lot of this, to smooth the divide between combo and control.

  • Cantrips (Brainstorm, Opt, Peek, Quicken, Ponder, Preordain, Gitaxian Probe, Impulse)
  • Tutors (Mystical Tutor, Gamble, Merchant Scroll, Personal Tutor, Whir of Invention)
  • Larger Draw (Fact or Fiction, Dig Through Time, Windfall, Reforge the Soul, Recurring Insight)

These serve drastically different purposes depending upon the circumstance. Cantrips allow Jori En to consistently build card advantage cheaply or velocity when looking for a combo, while deeper digging spells search for either answers or fuel for the storm turn.

Storm

These cards are primarily useful as setup, fuel, or payoff for the storm turn. As always, there is some overlap (in fact, the more useful these cards are elsewhere, the better). The win conditions already listed above are omitted.

  • Mana Production (High Tide, Mana Vault, Frantic Search, Turnabout)
  • Payoff (Grapeshot, Mind’s Desire, Past in Flames)

You may notice that the cards dedicated just to the storm turn are few. This is intentional. There is enough draw and filtering to find them when the time is right, and the majority of the list should be flexible enough to be useful both when looking to combo and when just kicking back.

Ramp

Both forms of ramp are essential to this deck. Cost reducers lead to turns similar to the modern Past in Flames deck, and turn certain spells mana-positive. Besides the general need to get ahead on mana common to all EDH decks, running the Reversal/Scepter win condition requires some dedication to mana rocks.

  • Cost Reducers (Baral, Chief of Compliance, Goblin Electromancer, Helm of Awakening, Sapphire Medallion)
  • Mana Rocks (Wayfarer’s Bauble, Thran Dynamo, Sol Ring, Mind Stone, Izzet Signet, Gilded Lotus, Fellwar Stone, Chrome Mox)

Lands

First thing first: High Tide is a good card, and to use it we need islands. Second, we intend to be relying on not “whiffing” during the storm turn, which can be caused by drawing too many lands with wheel effects and other card draw. As such, we want a low land count. The high density of cantrips and the engine Jori En provides somewhat compensates for this. Everything else should consistently provide two colors and arrive untapped, with the possible exceptions of Izzet Boilerworks (which works very well with untap effects) and at most one basic Mountain. My current list looks something like this:

20x Islands (including shocks and fetches)

8x UR Lands

1x Bounce Land

1x Mountain

Reading the Table

With the list established, it’s time to talk about what I consider the most important part of playing this deck: figuring out what your opponents want. There are players who want to play against the best you have, and others that would rather the game go long and everyone get a chance to play. As the pilot of this deck, you have the opportunity to give both types of players what they want. Figuring out what’s going on at your table is essential to having a good game of EDH for everyone, and it’s worth going into some of the subtleties.

Commanders

As anyone who has played against multiple opponents knows, the commanders your opponents choose can either be highly indicative or highly misleading. Take the information you have, but don’t make hard assumptions. Certain commanders, like Jace, Teferi, and Zur, can be strong pointers that your opponents are trying to win. Others are more ambiguous, like Breya, Jeleva, and Animar, each of which have viable competitive builds and casual fun modes. Still others are indicators that your opponents aren’t trying to optimize to win, like Norin, Kynaios and Tiro, or Kangee (sorry man).

In short, the information you get on turn 0 is the first clue as to what you should be doing. If this isn’t enough information, you’ll have to move on to the next indicators.

Talking

I know, crazy, right? Full disclosure, I’m generally against fishing for information in a tournament setting, but this isn’t quite the same. Everyone’s here to have a good time, and it’s in everyone’s interest that players be on the same page. If the guy across from you shows you General Tazri, allow yourself to show some natural fear that this may be Food Chain Tazri, and you’ll be dead on turn 4 (you won’t be, most likely, we have a lot of interaction to prevent that sort of thing). You may get a response along the lines of “Don’t worry, I don’t play combos,” or “Haha yeah,” and you can feel free to treat them appropriately.

By the same token, if someone asks you what you’re doing, don’t lie. Honesty in your expectations for how the game will be played is the best way to get the game everyone wants.

Card Choices

If all else fails, the cards don’t lie. From the overt (Mana Crypt, ABUR duals, revealed combo pieces) to the more subtle (cards like Preordain are often overlooked by new players in favor of splashier effects), it should be possible in the first 2-3 turns to figure out roughly what people’s decks are like.

When Not to Win

Okay, look, I know this sounds bad. I don’t at all mean to say that this deck is super competitive and has to shoot itself in the foot in order to not utterly overpower your local scrubs, because that is absolutely not the case. What I mean is that there are ways in which you can win that result in only you having fun, and if you’re like me, that probably means you aren’t having fun either. As you play the deck more, you’ll start seeing windows to go infinite relatively fast, because it turns out Dramatic/Scepter is pretty good.Don’t do this if you don’t think the table would be okay with it. By the time you have the opportunity to go for it, you should have an idea whether people are playing fair or not. Ending the game suddenly, especially if most of what the other players expect from a game hasn’t happened yet, will likely not make you many friends.

What I’ve found is that a natural storm turn can actually be more interesting to less competitive players than an easy combo. This is especially true late game, when a couple other players have already tried to push their advantage. As mentioned above, this isn’t always true, but it’s something to consider. The most important thing to remember here is your time. Play fast. Make mistakes. Apologize for taking time, if you have to think for more than a few seconds. You’ll get better at the deck and mess up less eventually, but until then, don’t waste everyone’s time by trying to optimize your every move.

This leads to the most important thing to remember. It’s okay to lose. It’s even okay to lose if you could have won. Unless everyone’s showing up to the table with the explicit intent to compete to the best of their ability, you have nothing to prove. Against non-competitive tables, racing to the kill is like trying to win a figure skating contest by speed skating.


Budget Concessions

As with Grenzo, this is not a fully optimized list. Obvious additions given a higher budget include Volcanic Island, fetches, Mana Crypt, and Wheel of Fortune (though Reforge the Soul does have interesting synergy with Jori En). Other more marginal omissions include Ancient Tomb, Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

Wrapping Up

TL;DR: It is possible to play storm at tables where nobody wants storm and come out not looking like a jerk. I think this is a pretty good way to do that.

Thanks for reading, folks. If you enjoyed this, consider checking out my youtube channel 1600 Horsepower or my website here.

Elder Entity Norden has finally been BANNED! (Yugioh June 12th Banlist Reaction)

Apparently, the only force capable of getting me to post is the ban hammer.

Banned:

The only thing that really matters 

NordenBanned

I have been calling for a ban of Elder Entity Norden for years. It would take Zoodiac variants winning all 32 spots of YCS Pittsburgh last weekend to finally seal the coffin of this blight on the game though. Fusion Substitute broke Norden in Zoodiac by letting them recycle his use (which invalidated limiting him to 1 copy per deck). Norden has been the key piece in degenerate combos since his printing. This is one of the best ban lists in ages just for this one hit. I am biased I admit. I’ve personally thought Norden deserved a ban so much that I never bought another copy after selling it with my ABC deck.

 

Limited:

Speedroid Terrortop

Terrortop is one of the best one-card combo starters in the game. A lone terrortop leads to more plays than any one card should, especially without using your turn’s normal summon. This darn toy while loved by all, deserves to finally be shelved.

That Grass Looks Greener

When grass actually resolves, it generates enough card advantage to win games by itself. I like that Grass made playing more than 40 cards a viable option, but the blowout potential of this card is just too great. It engendered a brief period where people played 60 card decks just to make their opponent’s copies of grass dead. No one card should affect deck design this much. Limiting grass to 1 per deck is yet another good hit.

 

Unlimited:

  • Performapal Skull Crobat Joker
  • Wisdom-Eye Magician
  • Pendulum Call

All of these are just Konami letting full-power pendulum decks be a thing before the rule changes of Link Format kills the mechanic. I’m certain that devoted Pendulum Magician fans are happy that they get one last hurrah with their deck though.

And that’s it. I think these hits were great. I generally hope that they beat back Zoodiac. The deck feels like the new Burning Abyss. Limiting Ratpier to 2 did nothing to stop the deck. Zoo also just seems better than everything else that the game has to offer. Anyway, that’s enough of my bias/salt.

NordenBannedJail

Where you belong old man!

Thanks for reading as usual.

Apparently Felidar Guardian x Saheeli Rai is no longer canon (April 24th Banlist Addendum)

Wizards of the Coast literally 2 days after the initial ban and limited list has added Felidar Guardian to its standard ban list.

Capture234555

I agree fully with this ban (long diatribe about the combo preventing diversity and linking it to the old Splinter Twin combo). The only issue is that this entire situation makes the WoC game devs seem bad at their jobs. If they were considering banning Felidar Guardian, there was no reason to wait 2 days after the normal ban announcement. This whole situation was likely just a reaction to the negative publicity surrounding them NOT banning Felidar Guardian in the first place. It also made me have to post two days in a row on the same topic (those fiends).

2433

Anyway, thanks for reading as always. Standard most likely saved now… hopefully…

The Ruin of Magic the Gathering Standard (April 24th Banned/Limited List Reaction)

So yesterday WoC released their Banned and Limited announcement for Amonkhet (the most recent set). You can see the rationales here though I’ll summarize what happened quickly.

CaptureApr24

Nothing has been banned in Standard. The format has been dominated recently by the Saheeli Rai/Felidar Guardian combo and Mardu Vehicles using Heart of Kiran/Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.

CaptureGoldfish

As you can see here from mtggoldfish metagame breakdown these decks represent over 50% of the Standard meta. This is unhealthy for the format and stifling for innovation and new deck design. While WoC seems to claim Amonkhet will provide the answers  to combat these decks, many players remain skeptical (myself included). We will have to wait for the Pro-Tour to see if these decks remain dominant. At that time we may finally see a ban if necessary.

I apologize for the lack of entries this month, college has been rough.

c1h3hduxgaa8mkj_orig

Thanks for reading as usual.

Magic the Gathering “Competitive” EDH Primer: Breya, Etherium Sculptor Artifact Combo?

(The following article was submitted by a guest)

I’m here to talk about my favorite commander to build around in EDH. Breya, Etherium Sculptor might be the most flexible combo/control commander in the game right now. Her flexibility comes from various elements: (1) unconditional removal at instant speed, (2) an infinite mana outlet, (3) a value engine, (4) and life gain (write something snarky). Beyond this you get access to the colors that an aspiring artificer dreams of, giving you cards like thopter foundry (esper card) and scrap mastery/daretti (monored cards) in the same deck is absolutely fantastic. In addition, Breya is also just a really great body–4 mana for a 4/4 with 2 1/1s is so above rate in EDH that once you cast Breya it’s very unlikely for you to get attacked after that. Also look at that art. In this article I will talk about how I like to build breya (more inconsistent and janky), and a non competitive thopter tribal build at the end.

Here is the main deck list so you can follow along

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/27-11-16-breya-control/

Firstly let’s go through Breya herself.

Image

Breya is a 4 color (non green), artifact creature, that summons 1/1 thopters when she enters the battlefield. She has 3 abilities that require an activation cost of sacrificing 2 artifacts: deal 3 damage to a player, give a creature -4/-4 until eot, and gain 5 life. The most common play pattern with breya is play her on 6 mana and leave up mana to kill a creature at instant speed, looking at one of the previous deck techs on this blog, Grenzo, Dungeon Warden almost just folds to that play pattern. But there is so much more. Her next ability, deal 3 damage to target player, is the win condition of this deck,. This is where it gets a bit complicated. You see breya herself is an artifact creature, so she can sacrifice herself. This means that with infinite colored mana the deck wins on the spot, because you can just sac breya and a thopter to recast breya and deal infinite damage to every player. It also means that combos like nim deathmantle with Ashnods Altar/Krak Clan ironworks are also instant wins. Her last usefull ability is her enters the battlefield effect, make 2 1/1 thopters. This is a massive effect for cards that care about hitting your opponent, providing chump blockers (which often gains you more life than if you sacrificed them), and most importantly sacrificing them to skullclamp, essentially turning breya into a 6 mana draw 4. Her final ability, gain 5 life, is situational at best, only really good when you have a card like necropotence or ad nauseam.

Image (1)Image (2)Image (3)

How I build the deck.

The biggest concept that makes my breya deck unique is my focus on one huge theme, making salvaging station and artificer’s intuition appear not just good, but broken. Essentially the combination of these two cards in this deck is equivalent to survival of the fittest plus recurring nightmare, a massive recursion plus tutor engine that wins games by itself. As such, there is a large focus in this deck on artifacts that cost 1 mana or less with around 10-15% of the deck being made up of these trinkets.

The next biggest concept in the deck is this set of cards (open the vaults, faith’s reward, scrap mastery, second sunrise) Yes, this is an eggs deck, albeit a tame one. Lots of wins will come from sacrificing your whole board, and then casting a massive open the vaults that nets you like 20 mana 6 draws, and hopefully a way to recur your mass reanimation spell. I personally love this way of winning the game, it feels powerful to grab your graveyard and just dump all of it onto the battlefield, the perfect combination of a timmy feeling with a johnny combo.

Image (6)Image (7)Image (15)

Another key element of my version of breya is its control elements. The deck runs six counterspells, four board wipes, 4 targeted removal spells (including breya herself), That’s around 25% of the spells in the deck being devoted specifically to disruption. And if you count the approximately 10-15% of the deck that’s devoted specifically to card draw and tutor it’s pretty reliable that you can stop the opponent from winning. Standouts from these categories include Merciless Eviction, which is the second best boardwipe in EDH outside of Cyclonic Rift in my opinion, mostly because of how often it’s a one sided mass exile for the most problematic category of permanents that you are facing. The counterspell suite is geared towards either costing one mana (mostly so you can force through whatever it is you are trying to do even with constrained mana), hitting every type of spell possible, or at the very least drawing a card(because if you set yourself and an opponent back you are oftentimes helping the opponents you aren’t countering more than yourself, at least with Arcane Denial and Dream fracture you aren’t setting yourself back).

Image (4)Image (5)Image (17)

So, let’s go through how this deck wins. Almost every combo in this deck will involve some combination of Krark-Clan Ironworks and a mass recursion spell (Scrap Mastery, Open The Vaults, Second Sunrise,  Faith’s Reward), mostly because if you have any number of artifacts with a beneficial effect you can often win off of the 20-infinite mana that you generate. Say you have 5 artifacts that draw a card when they go to the graveyard and 3 artifacts that do literal nothing, then Krark-Clan plus a 5 mana mass recursion spell becomes draw 5 cards get (18-5-4=11 mana) then have Krark-Clan and the artifacts back in play getting you another 18 mana and another 5 cards. Now you’ve drawn a 10th of your deck and have 29 mana which means you can likely find another way to bring back all your artifacts or if you find a Codex shredder you just win on the spot because you infinitely recur your mass recursion spell. At that point if you have the colored mana which you should have because you’ve been drawing a bunch of artifacts that make mana you should be able to repeatedly recur Breya and ping everyone to death.

Image (8)Image (16)

Key cards that makes this combo nuts.

Artificer’s Intuition-if you have a hand with artificer’s intuition in this deck you keep it no matter what. This card finds you artifact lands, sol ring, nihil spellbomb, skullclamp, artifacts that draw cards, fills your graveyard with reanimation targets, basically if you have this card in play it feels very hard to lose unless your opponent is playing a very hateful deck.

Image (9)

Ichor Wellspring-An unassuming card, it basically draws 2 cards off of every time you cast a mass recursion spell, this card often times is the difference between your open the vaults comboing off and doing nothing.

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Alternative Combos

Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek

Sacrifice the Sword to the Foundry -> Sword returns the battlefield. Basically means that every mana you have turns into a 1/1 flying thopter and 1 life. Combo also works if you have thopter foundry in play and sword of the meek in the graveyard and another artifact in play.

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Salvaging Station + Artificer’s intuition

Basically Gets an absurd amount of value for this deck, getting you a 1 mana artifact that you tutored from your deck every time a creature dies for every blue mana you have

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Salvaging Station + Sol Ring + Skull Clamp + Thopter Foundry-

Tap sol ring for 2 colorless, sac sol ring to thopter foundry (1 colorless, 1 thopter), return sol ring to the battlefield with salvaging station and tap sol ring for mana (3 colorless, 1 thopter), sac sol ring to thopter foundry (2 colorless, 2 thopters), attach skullclamp to thopter untap salvaging station and return sol ring again and tap it (3 colorless, 2 cards, 1 thopter). The combo draws your deck and nets a large amount of colorless mana. This is the main back up plan if your Krark-Clan Ironworks gets exiled.

Nihil Spellbomb+Salvaging Station-

1 player can no longer use their graveyard

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There is a lot more I could talk about but that’s probably enough for now

And here is a fun thopter tribal list i’ve been working on

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/27-02-17-thop-thop-thop/