Here is my attempt at a Meren Modular deck. The deck uses Meren of Clan Nel Toth‘s ability to recur Modular creatures, collecting all the +1/+1 counters on fewer creatures. I haven’t had it happen yet, but the ultimate goal was to play Ashnod’s Transmogrant on Meren and drop all the counters on her in her new artifact form. Practical? Nope. Fun? Yeah, I liked it.
The deck did well with recurring ramp, but there aren’t enough Modular creatures for it to consistently function. I could probably increase my self-mill to compensate, but it’s also slow because I don’t have many ways to ramp my experience counters early on. It is fun to play, but I’d like to build a Modular deck with another commander.
Maybe it’s time for me to restart blogging about the projects I’m working on. I guess we’ll see if this sticks.
This is a dice bowl with locking lid I turned and carved. The first to pictures show it in unfinished state. I installed a felt bottom for rolling dice in the large compartment, and the lid holds the dice you aren’t using, as seen in the other pictures. It’s turned from American Black Walnut, a part of the collection of 6×4″ walnut pith sections I bought 20 years ago or so.
The lid is a bit looser than I’d prefer. I’ll need to work on that if I make another one.
The first time I played an earlier version of this deck, I won by feeding way too much mana into a Hydra Broodmaster to make 17 17/17 creatures and a 22/22 with haste on turn 4. In response I took out most of the good cards that allowed this: Concordant Crossroads, Guardian Project, Priest of Titania, Elvish Archdruid, and most of the rest of the permanent card draw other than Chulane. Now the deck just spins its wheels a lot instead of winning.
Chulane, Teller of Tales has gained a strong reputation for being super powerful, even by accident. Since I’m not interested in building a cEDH deck, I think I should limit its use to highly themed decks that need its ability to function at all, rather than trying to build around his abilities. Maybe I should’ve kept my thanksgiving deck together instead?
The point of this deck is: lots of mana ramp via dorks, and big fat X creatures. Having Haste makes this deck work much better; too much better, especially with Mobilize and Vitalize to untap all the dorks and use them again.
The first version tried to minimize board presence: other than land and mana rocks, the only permanent allowed was Shu Yun himself. The deck basically cast Shu Yun once you could protect him, and then built up a lethal hand. On the right turn, you cast enough buff and evasion spells so his activated double strike ability deals lethal command damage, and attack. He was vulnerable after either being attacked or attacking, so it was challenging to take on more than one opponent. The only hope the deck had was politicking itself into the final pair.
The main reason I rebuilt the deck is because it wasn’t very fun for me to play. Most of the time you did nothing other than cull your hand and try to think of new reasons people shouldn’t attack you. I prefer doing things instead of being patient.
The deck listed here is the last iteration of Shu Yun, One-Punch Man. It uses equipment and other permanents for better value, and to help with the longevity problem of the previous version. One-Punch Man With a Cane. It’s a lot more straightforward, and projects its danger through board presence a bit more obviously. It works better than the first version, and is more fun for me to play. However, we have so many Voltron-style decks that this has been pushed to the bottom of the pile. I have a very similar Okaun/Zndrsplt coin-flip deck that I’ll basically always play instead of this one, so… time to strip it for parts.
This deck is a hateful creation. For some reason it feels horrible to play against in 1v1, but isn’t as annoying in multiplayer.
Where the deck falls short is in how fun it is to play. Since most of the deck consists of pain and taxes, playing the deck well is more about pestering your opponents to remember your cards’ triggers, than making interesting gameplay decisions.
Even with all that trigger policing, if the deck wins, it’s typically a bit more Voltron: commander damage from Mogis once you have a few damage multipliers on the board.
It looks like I built two decks into one, again.
This was built long before Theros: Beyond Death came out; there may be some new enchantments that would be worth including. Many of the cards are just weird old cards I’ve never had a chance to play.
What happens when Skyship Weatherlight returns to home port after years of sailing the multiverse? This deck demonstrates by unloading artifacts all over the place until you run out of playmat to put them on.
The basic idea of the deck is to get out Jhoira and keep her alive long enough to play the rest of your deck in one turn. Every time you cast an artifact, you draw a card. Most of the artifacts are mana stones or mana discounts for other artifacts. Eventually you’re playing mana stones for less mana than they cost, and the only thing left to stop you is running out of artifacts in hand. To avoid this, the deck includes X draw spells and plenty of artifacts that draw additional cards. There are a few protection spells for Jhoira, but the biggest protection is the massive amount of mana available to recast her.
After playing Elsha of the Infinite as a spellslinger deck, I intended to build it into an artifact storm deck. When I read Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain, I decided she’d make a much better commander for this deck. The main problem I had with Elsha was getting stuck when I couldn’t play the top card. After playing this deck I can say that drawing a card after playing an artifact is more effective than just being able to play the top card of the deck.
I think I should start adding a standard evaluation section with my impressions of the deck. Something like this:
Power level: 8
Fun to play: Yes
Fun to play against: once, maybe?
Optimal number of opponents: 0
This is a pretty fast deck that’s very fun to play and has a variety of win conditions, but don’t expect your opponents to have much fun watching you play every card in your deck. There’s interaction, but it’s mostly in the form of preventing other people from interacting with you, or recovering when they do.
I like how this deck provides a place where horrible cards can have their day in the spotlight. I don’t think I’ve ever actually used a Barbed Sextant before, but once your engine is running, drawing 2 cards for 0 mana is great.
The deck originally had a primary win condition of self mill with Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, though it also won with creatures or Psychosis Crawler as well, usually more quickly. Tuning up the deck with additions like Aetherflux Reservoir mostly reduced the length of the last turn rather than decreasing the turn count before it won.
This deck was originally built with cards I had on hand, and then upgraded with 5-10 singles. As I tuned it, I noticed several things about exactly which janky artifacts and support cards work best:
Card draw is better than land tutoring in this deck, so I dropped cards like Wanderer’s Twig. Tutors also slow down an already slow deck, so removing them is best. The deck doesn’t need any of its slow fetch lands either.
Artifact casting cost is eventually discounted to 0, but activation costs aren’t. You’ll rarely want to spend mana on an activated ability, but color fixers like Terrarion are useful since they don’t actually use the mana, and they help you fix your colors to cast Braingeyser.
Mana discounts really speed up the deck. I added the Mages before I had enough discount cards, but now they may not be needed.
Another blog, another early deck I built that it’s time to take apart.
This deck has a lot of Yarok ETB synergy, but not much focus. It’s a toolbox without a single strong path to victory. There are infinite mana combos with Peregrine Drake and Shrieking Drake or other bouncers, and bouncing Gray Merchant of Asphodel is good for lethal damage, and Phyrexian Ingester can get huge when its ETB trigger is doubled. When the deck succeeds, it’s when it happens to draw the cards required to slow the game down long enough to eventually win on its own terms.
This deck is an Elf Bomb: accelerate mana through mana elves and Karametra’s land drops, and win with large X creatures or hordes of elves.
Karametra, God of Harvests helps a lot with ramp, but she also requires a lot of tutoring and shuffling, so it can slow down the game considerably if you also want to time your plays correctly. The main reason I’m taking the deck apart is because I’m going to rebuild it around Chulane, Teller of Tales, who helps with both ramp and card draw, and avoids the delay of constant land tutoring.
This deck is reasonably good, maybe a 6/10 for power. Its fun comes from making giant creatures and/or a lot of creatures. It tends to win more when it goes wide than when it goes tall, due to lack of evasion or trample.
Now that I think about it, this deck has a problem I’ve had before in decks I build: it is basically two decks mashed together. It’s trying to do both Elf Tribal and Big Mana Stompy, but it should just choose one. I built a worse Elf deck with a poor commander, but it needs some of the cards from this deck to work well enough to bother with. I expect I’ll eventually end up with both a Chulane Big Mana deck and another Elf Tribal.