I've been completley captivated by Karakas ever since I ran (a really suboptimal) Death & Taxes at my first Legacy event. Since then I've attempted many many different builds that utilize Karakas to vary degrees of mediocrity. I think I've hit upon some interesting interactions at last:
4 Mother of Runes
4 Ethersworn Cannonist
3 Vendillion Clique
3 Spellsutter Sprite
2 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Venser, Shaper Savant
4 Force of Will
3 Swords to Plowshares
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
4 Flooded Strand
1 Academy Ruins/Riptide Lab
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
2 Tormod's Crypt
1 Relic of Progenitus
3 Jotun Grunt
2 Sower Of Temptation
2 Llawan, Cephalid Empress - Wrecks Merfolk (which are a tough match) and bounces Progenitus if need be.
3 Spell Snare
What does the deck do? It plays a very defensive early game hoping to land a Mother of Runes and an Ethersworn Cannonist. Those two in concert create a soft-lock which clogs the board and slows the game to 'normal' Magic physics. To back this plan up, 3 Standstills create their own 1 card soft-lock. Vendillion Clique helps to sculpt the opponent's hand into uselessness via Karakas. The ideal board is: Mother, Cannonist, Karkas and a Venser in hand. This is nearly a hard-lock.
How does it win? It wins by swinging with little evasive dudes, hopefully equipped with a Jitte or Sword. Or by slowly bouncing your board into oblivion and then swinging in with 2/2s - classic Legacy!
How does it not die? Well, that's why I'm posting the list. Blue offers a lot in the way of protection for my unique little snowflakes but this deck does have a hard time against aggressive strategies. Sower out of the board helps a lot but I'm also sorely tempted to put in an Elspeth or a Jace, Mind Sculptor to help with board control. I haven't played too many matches against CounterBalance decks or against dedicated control decks in general. My plan with them is to lean on the Aether Vials and my own counters to get some sort of board presence out. It's funny to think that this deck could be capable of ''The Beat Down.' Obviously I'm pretty soft to Engineered Explosives.
Like so many decks here, this is my little home-brew and I'm looking for constructive feedback on it. I will say that I'm willing to compromise on almost anything EXCEPT for Venser and Karakas since that is the heart of the deck for me.
I'm tired like hell, so a short reply from me:
If you are on the defencive mode, SoLS is way better then SOFI .. ;) So I would suggest to switch them, and run SoLS main.
He provides you with some life, protecting your small creatures from the most played removalspell in legacy and returns your mother when she is killed (yes she will die like 80% from the games, or wont even reach the board ;) ) and ofcourse all other small chumpblokking creatures.
That's a good idea. I sided in quite a bit, whether I was playing aggro or control and for similar reasons. Reccuring/protected Sowers of Temptation are pretty nuts.
What's people's opinion on running Academy Ruins or Riptide Laboratory?
The Ruins slows me down but keeps me in Equipment and Ethersworn Cannonist. It's nice to have excursion as back-up if everything goes to shit...but I'm not really going to be digging into my deck for answers at that point am I....
The Laboratory seems more powerful overall I think. Bouncing Sprites is nice, especially on defense. Since I know I'm soft to sweepers more bounce is probably good insurance.
You're running white and Karakas. Put in Mangara.
After a little testing and such, as well as throwing in a couple of my own ideas, this seems fairly good.
4x Flooded Strand
2x Riptide Laboratory
4x Meddling Mage
4x Ethersworn Canonist
4x Spellstutter Sprite
4x Mother of Runes
2x Venser, Shaper Savant
2x Mangara of Corondor
2x Vendilion Clique
4x Force of Will
4x Swords to Plowshares
2x Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1x Umezawa's Jitte
1) It can be somewhat difficult to keep creatures on the board without Mother of Runes. This, plus the fact that she doubles as a win-condition without any creatures to pump and is more difficult to remove, makes Elspeth the better choice.
2) Aether Vial was really good when I tested it, but I'm not sure what to cut at the moment to fit it in. It's the one thing about this list that made me really unhappy.
3) Ethersworn Canonist is probably the best card in the deck, especially with Aether Vial and Clique/Sprite/Venser. Don't go down past four.
4) Mangara can be really slow, but he also does things like eliminate Counterbalance and such, which can be really important during the first game.
5) Meddling Mage is good, especially when you can bounce and replay him. You can also check cards with Clique to make him easily twice as good.
6) Considering that all the legends in the deck are wizards, Riptide Laboratory is, while not as good as Karakas, essentially a necessity in the deck.
7) Sower of Temptation and Relic of Progenitus are the only cards I have finalized in the sideboard. A lot more testing will be necessary to figure out what else should be in there.
Last edited by HPB_Eggo; 02-21-2010 at 12:49 PM. Reason: Added the list.
maybe put another jitte so that you will be able to beat merfolk better
This deck interests me very much. Could you explain your sideboard choices please? You did say you have trouble with the aggressive decks. I assume you mean fish and goblins. Why no ghostly prisons s/b? I will try this deck out and post.
I've Pm'd Morningstar about this thread. Perhaps you could shoot him a PM. I believe he has been doing a little testing himself.
Morningstar's list looks great. I just wonder why it does not play Trinket Mage which tutors the best card of the deck: vial, which fixes the mana base and which is bounceable with Riptide Labororatory.
I'd even be tempted to replace Meddling mage with Painter's Servant for MD Llawan tricks and add 1 tutorable Grindstone.Code:Mana 23 3 Riptide Laboratory 3 Karakas 4 Flooded Strand 3 Polluted Delta (+2, shuffling effect) 3 Island 1 Seat of the Synod (seachable with Trinket Mage to find UU) 0 Plains (too many non blue producing lands for a deck that either wants Vial or UU) 2 Tundra (-2, you don't need that much W, Mangara is pretty bad without Vial anyway) 4 AEther Vial Creatures 19 4 Spellstutter Sprite 3 Meddling Mage (-1, I'm really not sure about the use of Meddling Mage in this deck, I'd rather have a good surprise blocker, such as Jotun Grunt) 3 Mangara of Corondor (-1, by the time you can play it you should have found it) 3 Trinket Mage (+3, new tool) 2 Vendilion Clique (-1, not good enough) 2 Sower of Temptation 2 Venser, Shaper Savant (-1 too expensive) Spells 18 4 Brainstorm 4 Swords to Plowshares 0 Daze (considering that the deck plays very few turn1 spells and that it does not play mana denial, Spell Snare is probably always better) 3 Spell Snare (+3, better than Daze in this deck) 0 Familiar's Ruse (-2, really too jank) 4 Force of Will 1 Basilisk Collar (+1, mostly for deathtouch, good with Spellstutter Sprite) 1 Sensei's divining Top (+1, Trinket wise) 1 Relic of Progenitus (+1, Trinket...) Sideboard 15 1 Engineered Explosives 1 Tormod's Crypt 1 Pithing Needle 3 Tivadar of Thorn (I'm quite sure the gob MU isn't that great and it fits the deck perfectly) 2 Relic of Progenitus 3 Umezawa's Jitte 3 Llawan, Cephalid Empress 2 ???
Has anyone thought of running Leyline of Singularity in combination with CITP creatures with broken effects, in a deck like this? Trinket Mage comes to mind and I'm sure that there are a plethora of more effects that can seem broken on critters.
Originally Posted by Vacrix
These are some great, creative ideas. To be honest I don't get a huge amount of time to play, let alone test for Legacy so any ideas/testing that is done is amazing.
As to the SB I made, well it's a bit ramshackle and I made it vs a diverse field, never having piloted the deck before!This deck interests me very much. Could you explain your sideboard choices please? You did say you have trouble with the aggressive decks. I assume you mean fish and goblins. Why no ghostly prisons s/b? I will try this deck out and post.
1 Sword of Light and Shadow - This is great vs so many decks that I think I will swap it for Fire and Ice as suggested. Mother of Runes/Vendillion Clique are great at making this connect and reccuring your dead dudes, which are all pretty fragile.
2 Tormod's Crypt - Vs Dredge, Loam and decks that rely heavily on the 'yard.
1 Relic of Progenitus - See above, variety is the spice of life and of Magic success.
3 Jotun Grunt - Maybe a bit overboard but I wanted to be able to go beat-down vs Thresh and other CounterTop decks while also dealing with their Goyfs. It's also nice to have more cards to bring in for GY hate.
2 Sower Of Temptation - Is a GREAT card vs creature decks since I can protect it with Mother.
2 Llawan, Cephalid Empress - Wrecks Merfolk (which are a tough match) and bounces Progenitus if need be.
3 Spell Snare - Bring it when I'm taking out Forces, usually against non-combo decks. I found it good vs decks like Eva Green and Merfolk. It has a large spectrum of use.
So overall I'd say that the SB above is built for flexibility since I have so little experience with my own deck.
Well with the 2 Stoneforge Mystics there are essentially 4 Jittes in the deck. The Swords of F&I is also great great great vs Merfolk. So that's 5 MD equipment answers to Merfolk. I think that's sufficient. Don't forget Llawan, Sower and Spell Snare in the SB. The Merfolk match has been thought about.maybe put another jitte so that you will be able to beat merfolk better
One of the reasons I stopped playing D&T is because I was frustrated by how few times I got the Mangara loop active. I find him clunky and slow. With Mother in the main obviously Mangara can have a much bigger impact but I'm not sure he's worth a slot when there's so many other good options that affect the board immediately AND are rec-curable via a 2 card combo - I'm looking at you Venser, my main man! I will concede that the deck could easly bring him into the fold and he does have a strong effect. Test test test.Put Mangara in....
I originally posted this list on MTG Sally and Morningstar joined the conversation, sharing his deck. While I like it and think it's fun I believe it's a similar but fairly different deck. Diverse enough that I don't think that they are immediately interchangeable. My deck tries to slow the game down and create soft-locks. His deck is a classic control deck that depends a lot on the circumstance of each game and choices the player makes to sculpt it. I'd say that Ethersworn Cannonist is one of the cornerstones of my deck, while it barely has a place in his. I have a strong Equipment sub-theme while his deck has little in that way. Though clearly there are enough similarities for ideas to cross-pollinate.Morningstar's list looks great.
I'd disagree here and say that Clique is perhaps the most powerful card overall in this strategy. Venser is more powerful but costs more and doesn't have evasion. Clique and Karakas is super nuts. I think running any less than 3 in a deck that seeks to abuse 'Enter the Battlefield' triggers is a mistake.2 Vendilion Clique (-1, not good enough)
I like Mage a lot too and maybe I'm not good enough to play him but I find him lack-luster. I'd play him since he's on colour, gets protected well, disrupts and carries equipment. He does everything the deck wants to do....to fair I haven't tested him. By all counts he should be one of the first inclusions into any re-hashes of the concept.Meddling Mage is good, especially when you can bounce and replay him. You can also check cards with Clique to make him easily twice as good.
I like Elspeth a lot but since I'm running Vials I really like the Stoneforge Mystic package. It does a lot of things that Elspeth can't do, like remove creatures. I did run Elspeth initially but I made a choice to equipment over her as my win condition. Elspeth and Standstill are pretty awesome together though...This, plus the fact that she doubles as a win-condition without any creatures to pump and is more difficult to remove, makes Elspeth the better choice.
Speaking of Standstill, I don't think that it's a card that should be cut right off the bat. It reinforces the soft-lock aspect of the game and by running Brainstorm we can mitigate a Standstill gone sour. The deck needs card drawing power because we have to assume our little 1/1s and 2/2s get killed more often than not. It's the best way I've found to keep up on cards.
- Trinket Mage isn't main because turn 3 for Vial is a bit late and the other trinkets are a bit underwhelming...
- He noted that it was great in the long game but getting there was a problem. Thus the lack of lategame wizards like Teferi or Azami.
- He has dabbled with the wizardcyling guy as a 2 of and the Azorius Guildmage.
- It's a shame the deck can't handle a blask splash for Dark Confidant and Pit Keeper or UUU for Patron Wizard.
First of all, I've developped the deck significantly since the post on MTGS.
Here's my current decklist:
Jedi Mind Tricks
4 Flooded Strand
1 Polluted Delta
3 Riptide Laboratory
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
4 Spellstutter Sprite
2 Vedalken AEthermage
3 Meddling Mage
1 Vedalken Mastermind
3 Mangara of Corondor
3 Vendilion Clique
2 Sower of Temptation
2 Venser, Shaper Savant
2 Spell Snare
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Force of Will
4 AEther Vial
1 Tormod's Crypt
2 Engineered Explosives
2 Pithing Needle
2 Relic of Progenitus
3 Path to Exile
2 Trinket Mage
3 Llawan, Cephalid Empress
The reason why I'm not playing Trinket Mage maindeck is because it is essentially useless if your only goal is tutoring for Vial.
While it is true that having a Vial on is very important, with Trinket Mage you will only get to play Vial on turn 4, at which point it is almost irrelevant (either you are well on your way to getting the game locked up, or you are behind and will lose before Vial becomes relevant).
That said, I do play Trinket Mage on the side, to take advantage of the several artifacts I side in.
Meddling Mage is a key creature in this deck because it shuts down your opponent's removal spells, which is crucial in a deck that revolves around creatures. It is also amazing against combo, and is a good way to avoid getting Wasteland locked with Loam or Crucible (which is practically the only way you can lose a game against a controlish deck). I've found 3 to be enough, though.
Vendillion Clique is actually the best creature in the deck. Soft-locking my opponent with a recurring Vendillion has won me more games than recurring Mangara. Like Meddling Mage, this gets rid of removal spells and critical threats like Loam, and is also amazing against combo.
The new creature additions to the deck are Vedalken AEthermage and Vedalken Mastermind, both of which fit greatly in the deck. The AEthermage is an instant tutor that gets whatever creature you need at any given time (except for Llawan in the side), and very occasionally can be actually played to bounce a Taurean Mauler, Chameleon Colossus or a proper Sliver. The Mastermind is a tutorable replacement for Karakas and Riptide Lab, with the bonus that it can actually rescue lands and vials.
Regarding the spells, I dropped the Familiar's Ruses for Spell Snares, because the deck really needed to be able to hold the early game and the Ruses were mainly a mid to late game trick.
I can't think of dropping the Dazes, though. Snares are awesome, but they can't counter critical 1 drops like Vial, Lackey or Nacatl, and countering either one is half a game won for this deck and well worth the loss of a land drop (which is only significant if you don't have Vial out).
The other addition I made to the deck was Minamo, School at Water's Edge in the place of an Island, which provides double use for both Mangara and Karakas for no significant drawback (you already have so many "must Wasteland" lands that one more won't make a difference).
As for the sideboard, I've dropped Jittes in favor of Path to Exile, because Jitte is too slow and almost useless against Zoo (they will simply burn the creature carrying the Jitte) and you really need to hold them off in the early game until your karakas/riptide shenanigans get going.
The strength of this deck is that the late game is practically always your regardless of what you're playing against. If you get your Vial up to 3 or 4 and have a bounce land and a Vendillion, Mangara or Venser going, you nearly always win, even if you're at 1 life and playing against Burn (it's happened to me on a couple of occasions).
The flipside of the coin is that you need to survive the early game, which is not easy against some decks - the worst being Zoo (because of the effectiveness of their creatures and their amount of burn to deal with your creatures and finish you off), Merfolk (because of their muscle combined with evasion, protected with counterspells) and Dredge. Thus, the sideboard is mostly dedicated to these three decks.
I have often had to hardcast Mangara, and it has often won me games in those situations. It's evidently better with Vial out, but cutting off that many white mana sources is a mistake IMO.
Basilisk Collar is not worth it for the same reason that Jitte is not worth it.
If you want to run Painter's Servant, then just go for the Grindstone combo to win the game. Painter + Llawan looks cool on paper, but its easy to get out of by just killing Painter.
Tivadar is not significantly better than Mangara against Goblins and has the drawback that it can't be tutored for with AEthermage or bounced with Riptide, furthermore the matchup is much better than either Merfolk or Zoo for you to devote 3 sideboard slots exclusively for it.
You'll lose to Goblins if they get an attacking Lackey on turn 1 and something impressive to drop or have 2+ Wastelands and you don't have Vial. Other than that, you have Vendillion to get rid of their sources of card advantage (Ringleaders, Siege-Gangs and whatever they fetch with Matron), Swords and counterspells to get rid of their early Lackeys and Piledrivers, and their creatures are individually small, meaning you are able to hold them off as long as you keep them from swarming, and thus can get to the late game in good condition.
Jace, the mind sculptor in your deck. He does the same thing, but also bounces problem creatures (Much like Venser's ability), brainstorms, and flat out wins by himself against many decks.
Have you thought of using Spell Pierce instead? This deck is mana hungry and I'm fairly certain you don't want to Daze away your early game setup. Also with only 11 true Islands in the deck Daze might not even be playable for their first turn drops. With Spell Pierce all you have to worry about is Lackey, but with 8 answers to that and some 2 drop creatures you do have a fighting chance to block it.I can't think of dropping the Dazes, though. Snares are awesome, but they can't counter critical 1 drops like Vial, Lackey or Nacatl, and countering either one is half a game won for this deck and well worth the loss of a land drop (which is only significant if you don't have Vial out).
If you do like Daze then this needs to be an Island.The other addition I made to the deck was Minamo, School at Water's Edge in the place of an Island, which provides double use for both Mangara and Karakas for no significant drawback (you already have so many "must Wasteland" lands that one more won't make a difference).
With the deck being so mid-late game oriented I wonder why you only play 4 Swords effects main. 4 has never been a magical number, it's just been the maximum number. Until Path to Exile became a card. If Zoo and Merfolk are the worst matchups then by all means you should run more than 4 swords effects. You have the means maindeck to blow up Chalice or Counterbalance, so putting a lot of removal in the 1cc slot will guaruntee you have the answer to the opponent's turn 1 play, as well as their midgame creatures.The flipside of the coin is that you need to survive the early game, which is not easy against some decks - the worst being Zoo (because of the effectiveness of their creatures and their amount of burn to deal with your creatures and finish you off), Merfolk (because of their muscle combined with evasion, protected with counterspells) and Dredge. Thus, the sideboard is mostly dedicated to these three decks.
Vedalken Mastermind is cute, but terrible. He is awful by himself, and only helps you win games where you're already ahead. Let your manabase be your tricks and let your other slots be your answers and threats. Just because you have the potential to search for Wizards doesn't mean you need to start toolboxing sub-par ones.
Initially I would do the following to your list:
-3 Daze (you need your lands)
+2 Path to Exile
+1 Spell Snare
-1 Vedalken AEthermage
-1 Vedalken Mastermind
+2 Jace, the Mind sculptor
Originally Posted by Nick "Tasteless" Plott
I can't Vial him into play, and have few ways to protect him other than having Karakas/Riptide Shenanigans active, and if I do have them, I don't need Jace in the first place.
The deck really doesn't need any more late game cards, as it already wins the vast majority of the games where it reaches the late game.
Also, Spell Pierce requires me be passive on turn 1, rather than play Vial, which is why I want Daze in the first place.
I've been playing and developping the deck for around 9 months now, and have seldom found casting Daze to be a problem.
It's not true that it will only win games where I'm ahead. The deck only gets significantly ahead once the Karakas/Riptide shenanigans are on, and Mastermind allows for an alternative way to accomplish this that doesn't get disrupted by wasteland.
I know it is near useless on its own, but with 14 other wizards it can combo with, it won't be alone very often, and is worth running as a tutorable singleton.
I haven't test it extensively yet, but thus far I've been pleased with it.
I think not running Ethersworn Canonist is a mistake. It makes everything in the deck better, especially Vial, and it slows everything down, which is good because, as has been pointed out, the deck wins when it makes it to the late game.
Aggro decks either have Vial (Goblins and Merfolk) and will thus be able to get around Canonist, or have lots of removal (Zoo) and will just burn Canonist and proceed with beating your face.
Against control decks, it will end up hurting you more than your opponent, particularly in games where you don't have Vial. When you cast your Mangara or Vendilion and your opponent counters it or aims a swords at it, you surely want to be able to counter back.
I disagree, but this probably results mostly from the fact that I play Mother of Runes, while you do not. It makes all the difference, since you can then keep it on the table.
There are two distinct decks being discussed in this one thread. Mine and Morningstar's.
Krak Addict is a deck that uses Mother of Runes and Ethersworn Cannonist as it's base.
Jedi Mind Tricks uses a different base entirely.
We share some common cards and some common strategies but the overall deck design in very different. I enjoy the Jedi Mind Tricks deck a lot but if people agree that these are two different decks then we're working at cross purposes talking about them in the same thread. So when it's suggested that Cannonist goes into Mind Tricks I can understand the response of "No, doesn't fit." While the same suggestion in Krak Addict would illicit "Yah, I'd never take it out."
Are these decks distinct enough that they should be in separate threads? I can't help but feel a but like this one is getting derailed from my perspective.
EDIT: On second thought....The decks are very similar and I suppose another perspective is that through discussion we'll find out the optimal cards/version of the deck.
Although the decks differ in a lot of details, they do share a common core.
I don't think it would be productive to try to converge into a single version, but surely discussing potential cards for both decks together should be helpful for the development of both.
My deck is obviously more focused on bounce shenanigans, using Riptide Lab as additional (less restrictive but more costly) copies of Karakas, which in turn constrains the deck to play essentially Wizards.
Your deck is about halfway between my deck and the UW Tempo deck that's been around lately. Being less focused on bounce shenanigans means that it isn't as strong in the late game as my deck, but also that it is more versatile and less dependent on reaching the late game as it can assume an aggro role.
I like your build overall, but I don't think you can support Standstill with only 3 AEther Vial and no manlands. I would drop them for the 4th Vial and Swords and 3rd Daze.
I also find it strange that you run no Mangara, given that the Mangara + Karakas lock wins so many games on its own and you even have Mother of Runes to protect it.
Last but not least, you could try out a couple of Weathered Wayfarer (which are played in UW Tempo) to tutor for your key lands.
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