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Thread: [EDH] Arcum Dagsson - Prison Tinkerer

  1. #181

    Re: [EDH] Arcum Dagsson - Prison Tinkerer

    4 Arcum Dagsson
    3 Trinket Mage
    3 Grand Architect
    3 Trophy Mage
    3 Sai, Master Thopterist

    5 Tezzeret the Seeker

    0 Mana Crypt
    0 Mox Opal
    0 Tormod's Crypt
    0 Lotus Petal
    1 Grafdigger's Cage
    1 Expedition Map
    1 Mana Vault
    1 Pithing Needle
    1 Skullclamp
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Aether Spellbomb
    1 Sensei's Divining Top
    2 Guardian Idol
    2 Lightning Greaves
    2 Winter Orb
    2 Grim Monolith
    2 Defense Grid
    2 Thorn of Amethyst
    3 Tangle Wire
    3 Trinisphere
    3 Thousand Year Elixir
    3 Basalt Monolith
    3 Rings of Brighthearth
    3 Staff of Domination
    5 Citanul Flute
    5 Paradox Engine
    7 Spine of Ish Sah

    0 Hangarback Walker
    0 Walking Ballista
    0 Memnite
    0 Ornithopter
    2 Silver Myr
    2 Plague Myr
    2 Manakin
    2 Millikin
    2 Hedron Crawler
    2 Spellskite
    2 Phyrexian Revoker
    2 Etherium Sculptor
    2 Myr Retriever
    2 Pili-Pala
    3 Metalworker
    3 Junk Diver
    3 Skyscanner
    4 Lodestone Golem

    2 Copy Artifact
    2 Artificer's Intuition
    2 Power Artifact

    2 Reshape
    2 Transmute Artifact
    3 Fabricate

    0 Pact of Negation
    2 Mana Drain
    3 Whir of Invention

    Mishra's Workshop
    Strip Mine
    Seat of the Synod
    Darksteel Citadel
    Inventor's Fair
    Mishra's Factory
    Inkmoth Nexus
    Blinkmoth Nexus
    Scalding Tarn
    Flooded Strand
    Polluted Delta
    Misty Rainforest
    Ancient Tomb
    City of Traitors
    Crystal Vein
    Phyrexia's Core
    Minamo, School at Water's Edge
    Tolaria West
    Academy Ruins
    Buried Ruin
    Hall of the Bandit Lord
    Cavern of Souls

    95 cards

    I slotted Sai into the deck because the activated ability is serviceable and I realised it's bonkers with Clamp

    One thing that has me semi-interested is Coveted Jewel and how strong it is if you can copy it. Sculpting Steel and Metamorph potentially become 0-mana Recalls if you have Jewel on the battlefield, and if you have cast Arcum only once then Echo Storm + Jewel nets you 1 mana and draws you 6 cards. The last few slots of the deck therefore could be something like Jewel + Sculpting Steel + Metamorph + Kuldotha Forgemaster

    Otherwise cards on the shortlist include
    - Quicksmith Spy
    - Lion's Eye Diamond
    - Retrofitter Foundry
    - Gush / Reverse Engineer/ Thoughtcast / Thirst for Knowledge / Remora / M19 Tezzeret
    - Voltaic Key
    - Thought Prison (this is one of those cards I want to be good like Possessed Portal and Mindslaver but unfortunately it most likely just isn't)
    - Static Orb / Sphere of Resistance

  2. #182

    Re: [EDH] Arcum Dagsson - Prison Tinkerer

    Updates / thoughts on the deck after over a year:

    - Paradox Engine has been banned which unfortunately de-powers the deck by a lot. Rings/monolith is now the go-to infinite combo again

    - Some people suggest playing the combo of Isochron Scepter plus Dramatic Reversal, which I don't think is worth it, as Isochron scepter has little-to-no synergy with the rest of the deck and Reversal is not (easily) tutorable. Power Artifact is similarly this kind of incidental "it doesn't do much by itself but can be part of a clean infinite if drawn with the right piece" but it combos with more different cards (2x Monoliths instead of 1x Scepter) and the monoliths are cards you would be playing in the deck anyway, unlike Scepter. The upside of the scepter combo is that it also untaps Arcum when you assemble it, potentially letting you search for the kill spell and win immediately from only 1 natural Arcum activation, but this requires a lot of things to go right (naturally drawing the Reversal and then having enough creatures to sac to Arcum, and also having enough mana-rocks to go infinite while paying 2 for Scepter each time)

    - Citanul Flute was only 'discovered' for the deck to enable the combo with Paradox Engine, but even though Engine is banned now, I don't think Flute should be replaced (e.g. by Myr Turbine). It is similar in terms of making free creatures (by paying 0 to tutor for a 0-mana creature) and it has additional relevant utility by searching for various other creatures. Some suggest a 'combo' with Myr Turbine and Unwinding Clock (you use Arcum to search for Myr Turbine, then the next search you sac a Myr to get Thousand-year Elixir, untap Arcum with Elixir and sac the 2nd Myr to get Unwinding Clock, then every turn from then onward you get 1 free search assuming you have an artifact to pay 1 for the Elixir activation). I don't like this combo because it spends 2 tinkers just to get set up, and Clock and Turbine aren't very good cards to have in your deck. (Outside of this combo Clock is basically a brick, and Myr Turbine is mostly worse than Flute, with the notable exception that casting Memnites through your own spheres is sometimes annoying).

    - Mystic Forge has been released, which is possibly an attractive card both for being a standalone value engine and for the infinite combo with a cost reducer + Divining Top. The reason why my initial enthusiasm has died down is Grafdigger's Cage is one of the most popular pieces of disruption in the format due to how popular Protean Hulk is, so you don't want other people's Cages to incidentally hit you. Also, because Cage doesn't interact with your core strategy (or any card in your deck, barring a rare situation where you might want to Reshape/Whir an artifact creature into play) you want to play Cage yourself.

    - Mirror of the Forebears is possibly a strong card for this deck. Naming artificer allows you to get an Arcum copy later, which is a potentially better trick than a card like Magewright's Stone because:
    1. The copy is still an artifact, so it can tinker itself without needing an additional fodder.
    2. If Mirror has been in play since the start of your turn you can play Arcum and then immediately copy it, so rather than get a free tinker you instead get a pseudo-haste effect.
    Both of these plays involve legend-ruling the original Arcum away but I can see this being worth it in many situations.

    - Corridor Monitor has a similar effect to the above Mirror, in that once Arcum has resolved it counts as a "free" search all by itself (untaps arcum and acts as fodder to sac, in one card). Additionally, it is searchable from Citanul Flute, so in a situation where you were 'stuck' without fodder, you can tinker for flute, get memnite, take your next turn, pay 4 mana to get corridor monitor and play it, and then you get 2 tinkers that turn to "catch up" from the turn you "skipped" to search for flute. In further turns you can pay 2 mana for flute to get Myr Retriever then 4 mana to Retreive Corridor Monitor and get 2 tinkers again, but if the game gets to that point you're probably winning anyway. Similarly, in any situation where you want to tutor for a particular artifact (e.g. you want to search for Spine to immediately destroy an opponent's permanent), if you would have 3U left over you can use Corridor Monitor to also put Flute into play tapped from your deck for free, so you are keeping up with the necessary interaction but you still have resources to follow up with another play next turn.

    - Crashing Drawbridge is a very straightforward new addition. 2 mana artifact creature that can give your whole team haste has obvious application.

    - God Pharaoh's Statue is a card that went under my radar at first. 6 mana seems like a lot for a sphere-effect, but the deck wants a card for the following situation:
    a) Arcum has resolved and can activate, but you don't have the resources to activate it more than once. (So you can't combo off this turn)
    b) You expect that if you don't disrupt your opponents this turn, they will win, so you want to disrupt the opponents, and not use an Arcum activation to only set up some advantage for your next turn. (In a 4 player competitive game this is true almost 100% of the time).
    c) You want an effect that can disrupt all opponents, rather than target only one
    d) Ideally you want the effect to both stop your opponents from winning and also protect Arcum somehow, so that after you have made it safely to your next turn you can try to combo off.
    Options that have been considered for this effect in the past are:
    1. Possessed Portal: Extremely powerful effect but at 8 mana is difficult to cast if drawn, and depending on the situation it is not totally reliable at ensuring you end up in a more favourable position than your opponents.
    2. Winter Orb: Ok at locking down the opponent's spells while not affecting you much, but in more cutthroat games most opponents won't be affected by this much either. (Too many manarocks / manadorks).
    3. Mindslaver: Requiring 4 additional mana to use is a problem, and while you can sometimes use one player's resources to screw over the others it also suffers from the "targeting one player" issue.
    4. Trinisphere: Usually the most effective card at stopping the opponents from casting spells, but has no effect on opponents trying to ramp into something big, and the symmetry can be annoying.
    God Pharaoh's Statue is the perfect mix of these attributes:
    - 6 mana is on the pricy side but considerably less than 8. (Overall the manacost is not too important).
    - Same strength as Trinisphere on 1-mana spells, only slightly worse against 0-mana spells, and better against everything else
    - Doesn't affect you at all
    So it's a potent card, and I can see it frequently being the go-to artifact in situations where assembling a combo is not immediately possible. (Sadly it's legendary so you can't copy it, otherwise that would enable a very strong play pattern, but following it up with Tangle Wire or something should be similar).

    - Scrapyard Recombiner is a new tutor that does a lot of interesting things:
    a) At worst it's an artifact creature and Arcum can eat it.
    b) Is an outlet for infinite mana because it searches for Ballista.
    c) Can get a 'free' tinker from Arcum by searching for Corridor Monitor.
    d) Can help to assemble an infinite by searching for Metalworker.
    e) It can actually complete that infinite by searching for Voltaic Construct. (Not sure if this is worth playing or not, but it is notable that by playing Metalworker from Recombiner on one turn, the next turn you probably have enough resources to tutor for Voltaic Construct, play that and go off for infinite mana, then use that mana to untap Recombiner with Voltaic and search for Ballista to win immediately). Unfortunately Voltaic Construct has almost zero interaction with the rest of the deck, and you already have a 2-card infinite with Metalworker that is tutorable by everything else (Staff).
    f) Can grind advantageby searching for Scrap Trawler or Hangarback Walker
    g) It can sac itself to modular onto Ballista if you desperately need to kill something
    Overall I don't know if this card is worth playing but it's certainly very interesting/close.
    If I did play this card I would likely add Voltaic Construct and cut the Pili Pala combo.

    - Tribute Mage
    Trinket Mage and Trophy Mage are both worth playing in my opinion, but Treasure Mage is not, and neither is this new one I don't think.
    To summarise:
    a) Trinket Mage gets all the overpowered cards in the deck (e.g. Mana Crypt), most of the best disruption (e.g. Grafdigger's Cage), Memnite if all you need is an artifact creature, and is an outlet for infinite mana (Ballista).
    b) Trophy Mage gets most (all?) of the A+B combos (Basalt Monolith, Rings of Brighthearth, Metalworker, Staff of Domination) and is an outlet for infinite mana (Staff).
    c) Treasure Mage is obviously not great because the deck only has a handful of things it can even search for and most of them you want to tinker directly from your deck into play anyway (e.g. Spine). It's not an outlet for infinite mana.
    d) Tribute Mage can't search for mana-rocks effectively (Mana Crypt / Sol Ring obviously much better than Grim Monolith or Fellwar Stone), doesn't help to assemble infinite combos, and it doesn't act as an outlet for infinite mana unless you also play a bad card like Illuminated Folio or Sacred Armory

    - Emry
    Is potentially strong, but the deck doesn't have too many self-mill effects to help enable it. The deck probably already has enough grindy recursion options available (like Scrap Trawler) so it's probably not worth considering one that's not easily tutorable and is a nonbo with Cage.

    - Empowered Autogenerator
    Costs a lot of mana and doesn't do anything the deck cares about. Once it has enough charge counters on it you can go infinite with Filigree Sages but this takes so much mana to set up and the cards aren't worth playing by themselves.

    - Damping Sphere
    Is more appealing now because the main combo doesn't involve chaining a bunch of spells with Paradox/Flute, but still might not be worth it

    - Conqueror's Flail
    Not a very new card, but has been brought to my attention recently as an analogue of Defense Grid with slightly different pros/cons

    - Karn the Great Creator
    One-sided Null Rod is good disruption in EDH, but 4 mana is quite a lot, the animate-artifact ability is not super exciting and the 'outside the game' ability doesn't function without sideboards. It might be able to get something back from exile every now and then, but I don't know if the card is worth playing overall.

    - Urza
    Individually none of the effects are worth playing for 2UU but together maybe it is good enough
    1) Makes an artifact creature for Arcum food
    2) Pseudo-academy mana generator
    3) Outlet for infinite mana

  3. #183

    Re: [EDH] Arcum Dagsson - Prison Tinkerer

    M21 has one new interesting card:

    Chromatic Orrery {7}
    You may spend mana as though it were mana of any color.
    {T}: add {C}{C}{C}{C}
    {5},{T}: Draw a card for each color of permanent you control
    The first interesting thing is that this is effectively a mana rock that taps for UUUU, which is a more powerful effect than Gilded Lotus. Adding more mana than this from 1 artifact requires a lot of extra effort (e.g. Nyx Lotus or Empowered Autogenerator). While I don't think that Gilded Lotus is a card that the deck should play, it at least is an effect that can be useful in a variety of situations. (E.g. you can tutor this out and pass the turn leaving UUUU up to cast a counterspell, or if you have a card in your hand that you would prefer to cast compared to tutoring an artifact from your library, then you can search for this and then have enough mana to cast the card that you want).

    The other interesting thing about this new card is that it's a 2-card win-the-game combo with Filigree Sages. It taps to add 4 and then you pay 3 to untap it, giving infinite mana, and then you can use that mana to activate the "draw card" ability of the Orrery while untapping it with Sages to draw your entire library. Filigree Sages is kind of clunky/inefficient in most situations, as being 4cmc makes it hard to cast and having to pay 3 mana to untap an artifact means that situations where its ability is useful are rare. (It can't generate mana with things like Crypt/Vault, only maybe Metalworker, and paying 3 mana to e.g. get an additional search from Citanul Flute might not be worth it in many situations). However, the upside is the combo is a 2-artifact infinite that doesn't care about summoning sickness. These combos in the past either care about summoning sickness (Metalworker + Staff) or only make infinite mana without a wincon (e.g. Rings + Monolith). This combo might be worth playing for this reason, possibly with a higher emphasis on things that can tutor for the pieces (e.g. Kuldotha Forgemaster) or things that have synergy with the pieces. (e.g. Voltaic Key is strong with Orrery, effectively adding 3 mana,, and is also good with other tapping artifacts, which may also be synergistic with Filigree Sages. What these artifacts actually are, I don't know. Unban Time Vault).

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