City of Brass
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Cavern of Souls
Birds of Paradise
Carpet of Flowers
Muddle the Mixture
Survival of the Fittest
Green Sun's Zenith
Force of Will
Pact of Negation
Vines of Vastwood
Mother of Runes
Pull from Eternity
The Combo: (7)
Angel of Glory's Rise
Azami, Lady of Scrolls
Removal, etc: (12)
Swords to Plowshares
Most people don't think of broken one card combos when you tell them you have a Scion of the Ur-Dragon EDH deck. It's not like Scion of the Ur-Dragon screams combo when you read his abilities. He seems like the perfect general for a dragon theme deck and he is, but he's also the best five-color general hands down. This makes Scion of the Ur-Dragon the best general for supporting the most broken one-card combo in EDH.
Hermit Druid is so powerful as to be worth devoting an entire deck to finding, protecting, and activating him. The deck doesn't need much in the way of a backup plan, because what's going to win through a turn three Hermit Druid activation with two to three pieces of removal, protection, or countermagic? With this deck, you're letting your opponents know what you're up to almost immediately and daring them to stop you. They won't be able to most of the time.
How the combo works:
Activate Hermit Druid. This will put your entire library into your graveyard because you run no basic lands. Narcomoeba will trigger and be put onto the battlefield. Pay U to unearth Fatestitcher, tap Fatestitcher to untap a land that can produce black mana. Use this land to unearth Dregscape Zombie. You now have at least three creatures which you can sacrifice to Dread Return Angel of Glory's Rise. Angel of Glory's Rise's, trigger will return Azami, Lady of Scrolls, Laboratory Maniac, Sylvan Safekeeper, Imperial Recruiter, and Hermit Druid to the battlefield. Use Azami, Lady of Scrolls to tap Laboratory Maniac, Sylvan Safekeeper, or herself to draw a card and win the game (via Laboratory Maniac's ability). If someone tries to deal with Laboratory Maniac in response to drawing a card, give it shroud with Sylvan Safekeeper or tap another Wizard to win the game in response. About the only cards that can stop this once Dread Return resolves are Stifle on Angel of Glory's Rise's trigger and split second cards.
Now wait a minute...
"Isn't this combo easy to disrupt?" you might ask. Creature removal, countermagic, graveyard hate, and Pithing Needle all disrupt the combo. What happens if Hermit Druid gets exiled? Even a well timed bounce spell on a creature can prevent Dread Return from being cast.
It's a lot harder to disrupt Hermit Druid than you think.
Let's look at the worst case scenario --- after activating Hermit Druid your Dread Return is counterspelled, one of your three creatures to cast it is killed/bounced, or someone Faerie Macabres your Angel of Glory's Rise in response to your Dread Return. Your entire library is in your graveyard and you can't use your combo. It looks hopeless, right?
Not at all.
Pull from Eternity and Memory's Journey can save you from almost any situation. By using Pull from Eternity to bring back an exiled Memory's Journey, you can slowly draw any card in your 99 as many times as you need to post-Hermit Druid activation. It's not an ideal situation to be in, but you're never truly hopeless as long as you can cycle Pull from Eternity and Memory's Journey.
What if Hermit Druid is exiled? If Hermit Druid is exiled, you can tutor for Pull from Eternity to put him into your graveyard and then use Shallow Grave or Postmortem Lunge to combo without hardly missing a beat.
Let's look at some common cards that stop our combo and how many cards we run that get around them:
Tormod's Crypt: 8 cards (Abrupt Decay, Ancient Grudge, Nature's Claim, Beast Within, Force of Will, Mana Drain, Pact of Negation, Cyclonic Rift)
Relic of Progenitus: 9 cards (Abrupt Decay, Ancient Grudge, Nature's Claim, Beast Within, Force of Will, Mana Drain, Pact of Negation, Mental Misstep, Cyclonic Rift)
Nihil Spellbomb: 9 cards ([cards]Abrupt Decay, Ancient Grudge, Nature's Claim, Beast Within, Force of Will, Mana Drain, Pact of Negation, Mental Misstep, Cyclonic Rift)
Leyline of the Void: 3 - 6 cards (Nature's Claim, Beast Within, Cyclonic Rift, possibly Force of Will, Mana Drain, Pact of Negation)
Swords to Plowshares/Path to Exile: 11 cards (Force of Will, Mana Drain, Pact of Negation, Spellskite, Muddle the Mixture, Mental Misstep, Mizzium Skin, Vines of Vastwood, Ranger's Guile, Mother of Runes, Sylvan Safekeeper)
You get the idea. These counts don't even include cards that can tutor for answers. It's not uncommon for this deck to be able to play through 2-3 pieces of hate without breaking a sweat.
Give Hermit Dru--- err, Scion of the Ur-Dragon a whirl. You'll be surprised at how powerful, consistent, and resilient it is.
What can be done to make the deck more optimal/consistent?
Are any card choices sub-par?
Would Spell Pierce be better than one of the Green Hexproof spells?
"We are goblinkind, heirs to the mountain empires of chieftains past. Rest is death to us, and arson is our call to war."
Spell Pierce back when I ran three-color Hermit Druid, and I didn't like it. The hexproof cards protect Hermit Druid from things like Gilded Drake as well as any noncreature spell that targets. The advantage of Spell Pierce is that it can hit things like Pithing Needle, Tormod's Crypt, and Mana Drain, but it is unreliable. It might be worth another look.
I'd probably cut Dispel for it if anything, but I'm not a fan of either card.
There's still no reason not to run the single Moltensteel Dragon in ANY Scion of the Ur-Dragon list. If a player has a ton of disruption for your combo, sometimes it's more efficient just to destroy them rather than dig for fixes for the problem.
It would be nice to one-shot people with the general, but 34 life is a ton to have to pay. Maybe if I also ran Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon so I'd only need to pay 12 life. This deck only runs 40 cards that make mana which makes me wonder how often I'll be casting Scion of the Ur-Dragon.
I wonder if a Scion of the Ur-Dragon toolbox would be worth running. It would probably have Balefire Dragon to kill opposing creatures/stave off damage, Steel Hellkite for removing low-mana problem permanents, Dragon Mage and/or Nicol Bolas to get problem cards out of people's hands/refil my hand/discard combo pieces if I draw them, and Moltensteel Dragon and Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon for killing people.
I don't think it's possible, but maybe Worldgorger Dragon combo could be in here as well.
I don't have a whole ton of experience with this deck yet. I've played Hermit Druid decks before, but not this one. It'll be hard to evaluate suggestions right now, but keep them coming!
Stifle. Trickbind is too much mana for what it does. Proactive answers are better than reactive answers. I can play proactive answers whenever I have mana, but I have to play reactive answers when my opponents dictate, however inconvenient. I can EOT a Nature's Claim on their Tormod's Crypt and then have the mana available on my turn to do other things.
I'd like to try Stifle, but I can't find room for it. Do you have an idea for what to cut?
Bojuka Bog is only a problem if it's coming out at instant speed via Crop Rotation or Knight of the Reliquary, or if something went horribly wrong and I'm cycling Pull from Eternity and Memory's Journey.
Hate diversification is a good thing, for sure. I'll see if I'd rather have a Stifle or Crumble as I play and I'll see if the change is worth it. The card certainly has other uses and it pitches to Force of Will and Misdirection in a deck without many blue cards.
This seems a tad like a 1v1 list - do you happen to have a multiplayer variant or some suggestions for that as well? Or is this list also good for multiplayer?
It's also stupid good 1v1.
Sneaky Pirates of Doom - The drinking will continue, until morale improves!
Originally Posted by ACDC
Oona, Queen of the Fae. It's roughly as fast and many times more resilient.
I've thought about Cabal Therapy before. If you do have a piece stuck in your hand, you'll still need an extra creature to sacrifice to the Cabal Therapy, which is kind of awkward. The deck does run ways to get pieces out of your hand, namely Survival of the Fittest and Brainstorm, but I'd like to add more as long as they don't impede functionality.
I'd like to give Cabal Therapy a shot, but the list is pretty tight. If you can suggest a good cut, I'll try Cabal Therapy.
w00t, post number 1000!
How well is the deck going to perform without the ridiculously expensive cards (i.e. Grim Tutor, Imperial Seal, Imperial Recruiter) and what would you replace them with?
Grim Tutor, Imperial Seal, and Imperial Recruiter with Cruel Tutor, Fauna Shaman, and Scroll Rack to keep functionality as close as possible. Also, there's always Stifle, Apostle's Blessing, Dispel, and cards of that nature to make sure your Hermit Druid sticks around.
Return to Ravnica changes:
- Maelstrom Pulse
- Personal Tutor
- Path to Exile
+ Mizzium Skin
+ Abrupt Decay
+ Treasured Find
At three mana, Maelstrom Pulse was a little more expensive than I'd like my answers to be. Abrupt Decay is pretty much a straight upgrade. The "same name" clause is almost useless in EDH and most of the things I want to kill cost three or less anyway. Personal Tutor was slow and unnecessary as it could only get Hermit Druid indirectly. Since Path to Exile and Pongify have almost the same functionality, but one of them pitches to Force of Will and Misdirection, I made the switch.
Mizzium Skin gives me another way to protect Hermit Druid that also pitches to Force of Will/Misdirection. Treasured Find is practically Regrowth number two. Running more ways to re-use removal/tutors/Hermit Druid seems good.
Updated first post.
I've got a new, more efficient kill stolen shamelessly from the Cephalid Breakfast thread.
Angel of Glory's Rise
Azami, Lady of Scrolls
This takes one less card than the Devoted Druid/Morselhoarder/Necrotic Ooze/Shivan Hellkite kill.
You put your entire library into your graveyard just like before. Dread Return Angel of Glory's Rise returning Azami, Lady of Scrolls and Laboratory Maniac to the battlefield (you also get back Sylvan Safekeeper, Hermit Druid, and Imperial Recruiter as well). Tap either Azami, Lady of Scrolls, Laboratory Maniac, or Sylvan Safekeeper to win the game.
There are pros and cons to this new kill.
- It takes up one less card slot in the deck.
- It can win through some cards that Shivan Hellkite couldn't, e.g. Energy Field, Solitary Confinement, and Leyline of Sanctity.
- Two of the win conditions are blue and can be pitched to Force of Will and Misdirection in a dire emergency.
- Scion of the Ur-Dragon can be switched to something more useful, perhaps Child of Alara or a yet unprinted card.
- Split second cards like Wipe Away and Trickbind can now interact with the deck post-Dread Return.
- Stifle on Angel of Glory's Rise's trigger is super awkward.
- Buried Alive is no longer an option. This is both good and bad, as I'd never actually needed to use Buried Alive switching kills frees up another slot in the deck.
- Angel of Glory's Rise is a lot harder to cast than Necrotic Ooze if it gets stuck in your hand.
I think the pros outweigh the cons significantly.
- Devoted Druid
- Necrotic Ooze
- Shivan Hellkite
- Buried Alive
+ Angel of Glory's Rise
+ Azami, Lady of Scrolls
+ Laboratory Maniac
+ Personal Tutor
+ Maelstrom Pulse
First post will be updated when I get home.
Assuming I don't have either Imperial Seal or Grim Tutor, what are reasonable substitutes?
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