Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tomoya, the Revealer -- Deck Skeleton

EDIT: If you're following the comments you'll see I've been making some tweaks as I go, here is the current deck list. Everything that follows [before the comments] is the initial skeleton, with the comments working on taking that skeleton and fine-tuning it. One of the biggest things I noticed is that I lacked a lot of big answers/threats, and effective ways to get to them. That's what drove a lot of the changes from the comments [especially Control Magic/Nevinyrral's Disc.]

You're going to want this open in another window. First, let's remember who my general is [my playgroup is allowing the use of flip cards as generals.] The card reads:

Card 1: 1U -- Jushi Apprentice
Creature -- Human Wizard
2U, Tap: Draw a card. If you have nine or more cards in hand, flip Jushi Apprentice.
Tomoya, the Revealer
Legendary Creature -- Human Wizard
3UU, Tap: Target player draws X cards, where X is the number of cards in your hand.

Well! That's... an interesting general. He's clearly not going to beat people for the win. What he does is he lets us sift through our deck and force people to discard during if we trigger him during their passing of priority at the end of their second main phase [before they discard!] He's locking us into mono-blue, but that's fine. Mono-blue is probably the strongest single color in magic. We're not even going to try and trick out this deck with all the goodies that would make it amazing, like Force of Will. We're just going to try and find ways to abuse our ability to rip through our deck.

But, wait! Before we can do that, we should probably first lock in some ways so that we don't have to discard all those cards we're drawing. We've got 99 cards left to add to the deck, so let's first put in what we absolutely need to abuse our general, then we can go fishing for win conditions. Right now, except for a few cards I'm hand picking to add in to the deck, this is going to be built using my existing collection [I'll note cards I had to go out to buy with a *.]

Card 2 [Land 1]: Reliquary Tower
Card 3: Spellbook
Card 4: Graceful Adept
Card 5: Anvil of Bogardan
Card 6: Venser's Journal
Card 7: Library of Leng
Card 8: Minamo Scrollkeeper [an honorable mention who might get cut in later deck iterations]
Card 9*: Trusted Advisor [an honorable mention who might get cut in later deck iterations]

That's not a lot of ways to get what we want. So, let's add some tutors and a way to recur our artifacts!

Card 10: Trinket Mage
Card 11: Fabricate
Card 12: Long-Term Plans

Card 13: Reconstruction [Here's where my random old cards shine!]
Card 14: Merchant Scroll

Now that we have that, we need to come up with some ways to well, actually win the game. There's a couple of ways. First, we can beat face with big creatures. So, let's get some creatures that synergize with our large hand size we're expecting, and any artifacts that play nice with that. I'll also include two good utility creatures here with reusable effects.

Card 15: Empyrial Plate
Card 16*: Aeon Chronicler
Card 17*: Sturmgeist
Card 18: Brine Seer
Card 19: Oboro Envoy

Ok, but see. That's boring. We want to win in a way that's crazy. You know what counts as crazy? Decking the entire table or yourself for the win. So, let's add some cards to facilitate that.

Card 20*: Laboratory Maniac
Card 21: Jace's Archivist
Card 22: Psychic Possession
Card 23: Soratami Seer
Card 24: Skyscribing
Card 25: Enter the Infinite
Card 26: Prosperity

Ok, this is putting us in a good position for wins out of nowhere! But, the Laboratory Maniac being our only defense to decking ourselves is disturbing. So, let's add some draw replacement effects. [Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar would go here, if I had one! But, these are the only two I thought of at the time.]

Card 27*: Parallel Thoughts [The key is the ruling that you can replace a draw with nothing!]
Card 28*: Words of Wind
Card 29: Feldon's Cane [If we trigger this in response to our forcing everyone to draw obscene amounts of cards, we can keep ourselves in the game if our graveyard is big enough, it's also a Trinket Mage target.]

Alright! So, now we've got ourselves a game plan. We need to stall out until Tomoya can fill our hand so that we can smash face with our big guys/Empyrial Plate wearer, or go off with a combo to deck everyone/slowly eat away people's decks with Tomoya's forced draws before their discard step. If we're going to be doing that though, we need us some graveyard hate.

Card 30: Scrabbling Claws [This is conveniently another Trinket Mage target.]
Card 31: Reminisce [We can use this like Feldon's Cane the turn before we go off if we need to.]

Ok, now that we've got that skeleton figured out, let's decide our mana base. We want at least 36-40 mana sources, with at least 35 of them lands. Reliquary Tower is one of our lands, so we need 34 more lands. Looking through the nonbasics I own, let's add these in:

Card 32 [Land 2]: Quicksand
Card 33 [N/A]: Ice Floe [This is utility, since it doesn't give us mana.]
Card 34 [Land 3]: Faerie Conclave
Card 35 [Land 4]: Minamo, School at Water's Edge [I figure this is where Tomoya went to school, and being able to untap him to make him go off again is good.]
Card 36 [Land 5]: Tower of the Magistrate [Yes, this makes your equipment fall off your Voltron.]
Card 37 [Land 6]: Darksteel Citadel [A Trinket Mage target that would make me very sad, but it is also indestructible, which is good if someone decides to do land destruction.]
Card 38 [Land 7]: Temple of the False God [An EDH staple.]
Card 39 [Land 8]: Remote Isle
Card 40 [Land 9]: Lonely Sandbar [For lands, I'm OK breaking my "no functional reprint" rules in EDH. However, Counsel of the Soratami and Divination are going to be considered "the same" for me.]
Card 41 [Land 10] Coral Atoll [It also returns an Island to our hand in case we're close to flipping, or we see a mass land removal spell coming.]
Card 42-66 [Land 11-35]: x25 Islands [I hope you don't need a Gatherer link for that!]

This is going to leave us with 34 cards to create the defensive barrier and card drawing that we need to survive to either go off or get an evasive creature through to deal damage. So, first, let's throw in two creatures that have evasion and get me cards. They'll also serve for bodies for the Empyrial Armor. Lu Xun, if he gets equipped with it, will probably just knock an opponent out late game if they can't remove him in response since I think I'm the only person I know who has any Portal Three Kingdoms cards.

Card 67: Thieving Magpie
Card 68: Lu Xun, Scholar General

Since we're going to rely on sorcery and instant cards to fuel our defense through counters and card draw, let's also add in some ways to recur them.

Card 69: Archaeomancer
Card 70: Mnemonic Wall
Card 71: Deja Vu

This leaves us with 29 cards to fill with card drawing, counter and defensive creatures. Let's first slot in the four best counter spells available, plus Forbid since it fits into our game plan if we draw it late enough after we've gone off and have a hand of 20+ cards:

Card 72: Counterspell
Card 73: Dissipate
Card 74: Faerie Trickery
Card 75: Hinder
Card 76: Forbid

Now, let's go back and look at some mana ramp/rocks.

Card 77: Sol Ring
Card 78: Fellwar Stone [Not being guaranteed blue is sad, but enough people play color fixer lands that make any color that we should reliably be able to hit blue.]
Card 79:  Traveler's Amulet [I may replace it with Wayfarer's Bauble, but right now, being able to cheat my hand size up to maybe flip Tomoya is more appealing than putting a land directly into play; it can also instantly summon me a land to pitch to Forbid. Also a Trinket Mage target/deck thinner.]
Card 80: Darksteel Ingot [Someone is going to be a dick and blow everything up. This and the Darksteel Citadel at least mean I have some resilience to that, besides "have a freaking huge hand."]

I think this makes a pretty good skeleton to start getting some feedback/discussion going. The rest of the cards are going to have to flex around enabling our game plan.Some of these picks are fairly weak, here I'm looking at the Brine Seer. He's great if we've already gone off, but that's more of a "win more" card, so he might get swapped out [especially since he's a 4 CC creature!]

I need:

10~ Creatures, with a good mix between defense and evasion.

5~  Ways to draw cards, possibly more [or, I may just remove Deja Vu for more card drawing! Preferably reusable card drawing not attached to fragile creatures.]

5~ Defensive tools [I'm looking at Propaganda and War Tax, along with equipment to protect my creatures like Lightning Greaves. Crawlspace and Thunderstaff are also really appealing as they screw over swarm strategies.]

Right now the deck feels right. But I'm not sure how it will play. By next weekend, though, I should have the last few cards I need to start testing it out.


  1. Deckbox Link: Click.

    I'm adding in some cards there. First: Ensouled Scimitar and Cobalt Golem to give me Fabricate targets that can combine with the Empyrial Plate to win the game.

  2. Some card drawing engines: Scepter of Insight and Temple Bell; the Scepter is expensive to draw off, but the Bell is likely not to see hate since everyone likes drawing cards.

  3. Let's just accept that we're in blue: We should be running Cancel.

  4. To round out our artifacts to add in, let's add Crawlspace, Swiftfoot Boots and Lightning Greaves.

  5. Tidewater Minion let's us reuse our other tap creatures and a 4/4 is acceptable. Let's add a Wall of Air, Wall of Water and Glacial Wall to give us some good ways to stop things, but better defensive creatures would be preferred. That brings us up to 21 creatures; six interrupts, and some recurring card draw. With only 8 card slots left, we really need some more card draw and defense.

  6. Card drawing! Counsel of the Soratami, Foresee, Library of Lat-nam, Deep Analysis, Whispers of the Muse

    Defense: Capsize, drop the Swiftfoot Boots for Dismiss, Floodgate [We'll have lots of Islands, so, yay?], Ray of Command [We can steal an enemy Commander and have it smash its owner in the face to remove them from the game. Bribery or Control Magic may be technically better, but this seems pretty fun, especially since it is an effect that isn't blue any more, it could be a nasty surprise!]

  7. Deckbox says it would cost about $80, but a lot of the commons/uncommons people probably already have. The most expensive card (Lu Xun) you can get from one of the Commander packs for almost as much as you'd pay for him as a single [specifically, Evasive Maneuvers], which will also get you a Sol Ring and some of the other useful for everybody Commander cards. That would also let you just straight one-for-one trade the Lightning Greaves for Swiftfoot Boots to lower the cost another $5. Honestly, for a first draft, it seems pretty economical to me.

  8. -1 Fellwar Stone, +1 Prophetic Prism. It keeps the same mana cost and lets me get a card. I just didn't realize I owned one.

    -1 Brine Seer, +1 Nevinyrral's Disc. I had no board sweepers, no ways to deal with enchantments on the field, and no way to exploit the fact that I can have a gigantic hand size and other people could not. It was this or Evacuation, and Evacuation lets my opponents get all their ETB effects again.

  9. -1 Cobalt Golem, +1 Viseling. Another victory condition if Jushi Apprentice goes off.

  10. -1 Island [bringing us to 35 Lands with 3 Artifact sources of mana and a land search artifact] for Annex. Ramp is an issue, and everyone in multi-colors is going to be playing Guildgates/Ravnica bounce lands. Annex will give us acceleration, or at least, force someone to burn an enchantment destruction spell. Also, Tempo. And dickery. Mainly dickery.

  11. -1 Trusted Advisor, +1 Control Magic.

    The Advisor is only 1/2. He won't even chump block effectively. He's only useful if we draw him early along with none of the other ways to increase my handsize. Control Magic is a staple because it lets me steal something powerful. Bribery is better, but it is also a $15 card, and we're trying to keep the first draft before we play under $100. Our recent changes have brought the price up from $87~ to $92 [primarily adding in the disc. The disc is such a staple though that, like Sol Ring, if you're playing EDH, buying yourself one isn't as painful as buying an expensive card solely for one color/deck archetype, like Bribery would be.]


Are you commenting? Thank you! Please be nice; I'm lazy and would hate to actually have to moderate things.