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Thread: Braids Stax

  1. #1
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    Braids Stax

    Decklist as of December 2015

    4 Braids, Cabal Minion
    4 Ophiomancer

    2 Crucible of Worlds
    4 Smokestack
    4 Trinisphere
    4 Chalice of the Void
    3 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 Mox Diamond
    2 Bottled Cloister
    2 Trading Post

    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Ancient Tomb
    4 City of Traitors
    5 Swamp
    1 God's Eye, Gate to the Reikai
    4 Wasteland
    2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    3 Toxic Deluge

    SB:
    4 Leyline of the Void
    4 Helm of Obedience
    7 Flex Slots


    Braids Stax is a prison-oriented deck that aims to lock your opponent out of the game via disruptive artifacts such as Trinisphere and Chalice of The Void and pressure your opponents permanents through Stax effects in order to earn a concession. However, unlike other Stax decks that may recur to a stompy way of killing their opponents, that may get dealt with quickly or simply outclassed, Braids Stax plays a much more quiet role, not going for speed kills but grinding your opponents to the bone.



    Chalice of The Void: Due to the low costs of spells in Legacy, Chalice of The Void set on 1 will blank tons of regular spells. Cantrips like Brainstorm or Ponder are shut down, same as Swords to Plowshares, Lightning Bolt, Delver of Secrets, Dark Ritual, and so on. Also because you aren't running any CMC 1 spells you won't suffer a setback at all.

    Trinisphere: Trini can really slow down other decks, specially because it will restrict them to one spell a turn for a long time. This, added to the Stax effects, can prove to be a deadly lock. Also it works as a pseudo-Defence Grid because people will need to leave 3 open mana in your turn to interact with your lockpieces.

    Stax effects:



    Smokestack: As you can read, Smokestack is a card that can get out of hand extremely quickly, and can clean boards in itself. A few activations can demolish an opponent running low on permanents, remember than ticking it up is optional, and you can stack both of it's abilities, so you can sacrifice 0 permanents, then add a counter. Depending on how your board + recursivity effects, knowing when to tick up or not is key. Also it dodges decay and not a lot of decks can take it out of the board G1.



    Braids, Cabal Minion: A smokestack that hits for two, and the best card of the deck. Braids, although always staying on one permanent a turn, has the tremendous benefit that it starts to work as soon as you drop her, which means that your opponent won't be as prepared. However, Braids can get hit by Bolt and Swords to Plowshares, so be sure you have a lockpiece (Trini or Chalice) for those answers. Braids herself was a powerful demential Summoner from Otaria, but unlike other dementia summoners, she retained some degree of free-thinking, which helped her climb up in the Cabal hierarchy. Her cards represents what being close to Braids should feel like: Total pain for everybody.

    However, you may ask, how are you gonna keep up with sacking permanents. This is where the recursivity engines appear. The main idea of the stax effects is that your opponent will eventually wear down and won't have permanents to sacrifice, while you can keep sacking the same stuff over and over again.

    Crucible of Worlds: A staple in every Stax version. Crucible will allow you to bring sacrificed lands back to play, to keep sacrificing them. Also works wonders with Wasteland, as it will allow you to keep wasting a whole manabase.

    Ophiomancer: This hidden commander gem works wonders in this deck. Just on its own, it can stop hordes of creatures creating Snake tokens, that mind you, have Deathtouch, which means that Tarmos, Anglers and Gooses won't be as effective. Also because it checks for the Snake in each upkeep, you can sac one to your Stax effect, get it back in your opponent's turn, block whatever they have, then get it back in your turn and sac it to the Stax again! Ophiomancer is also amazing as an attacker, because it provides two bodies hitting for 3.

    Trading Post: A mini-planeswalker. You will indeed feel that you are in a market, getting the best bargain in each turn. It can feed your stax effects or make chump-blockers, it can also gain life, can recover itself previously destroyed/countered artifacts to the board, or can just "Recycle" a redundant artifact for a fresh new card!

    To conclude the maindeck, a few other disruptive spells:

    Toxic Deluge: A great sweeper to clear any board. Great against Pyromancer and Mentor decks.

    Ensnaring Bridge: Some decks won't get past this card G1. It works great for you to hide behind it while you let your engine do the nasty work for you. Also gives you a decent matchup vs Eldrazi and Sneak and Show.

    Bottled Cloister: An artifact that will net you an extra card each turn. Hiding your hand in your opponent's turn isn't that much of a drawback, since you don't play any instant-speed spells, and it has a beautiful synergy with Ensnaring Bridge, as you will have cards, but however, in your opponents turn, you will hide them away effectively "fooling the bridge" as having 0 cards in hand.

    The Manabase:

    Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors: Much needed Sol Lands. Will accelerate your mana so you can drop your stuff quicker.

    Mox Diamond: Can get you Black mana, and will accelerate you too.

    Swamp: Basic colored mana never hurts.

    Wasteland: Destroying lands helps to the Stax effects, also great synergy with Crucible.

    Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth: Can fix your mana pretty smoothly, also make tombs tap without you getting hurt.

    Cavern of Souls: Due to the only 2 creatures in your deck being Black and Human, you can bypass countermagic with them.

    God's Eye, Gate to the Reikai: An amazing land for this kind of strategies. Even without a recursion engine, it will feed 2 turns of sacking itself, while also generating bodies. If you have a crucible out, you'll get insane value of it.


    -------Sideboard / Matchups ------
    ------------Still in progress---------
    Last edited by owerbart; 03-30-2016 at 08:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Braids Stax

    Matchup guide

    Death and Taxes: Favorable

    Against this creature heavy deck your best approach is to land a continuous stax effect, even if you dont have a way to keep feeding it. Your main concer are both Flickerwisp and Mangara G1, because those are their ways to beat Ensnaring Bridge. Crucible is an all-star to fight a wasteland battle. Set chalice in 1 to stop vial and swords to plowshares. Braids isnt at her best because they are running 3 karakas. If you can keep their lands short and them without vial, the game will probably be yours. At least in my experience the taxing effect of Thalia wont stop you that much unless theiy also pair it with ports and wastes.

    Board out the trinispheres and some number of chalices, since on the draw they will look silly if your opponemt has a t1 vial. Board in virtues ruin if you have it, as well as phyrexian revokers


    Miracles: Favorable

    Chalice is a beat against them, since you will erase quite a lot of their stuff. The matchup changes dramatically depending if they have top or not. Counterbalance shouldnt be that hard to play against, their only true lock is to have jace on top,. The venser lists may have more chances to interact with you, so beware. Smokestack is an all star because they have a very difficult time taking it out of the game. Do not deploy your creatures if ou cant shield them behind a lockpiece. Miracles will probably realize thata they cant outgrind you and will try to land a mentor t3 and race you. If you already had something countered, go for toxic deluge, ALWAYS FOR more than 2, so he cant save it with prowess if not, try to land a trini or a bridge first to test the waters, then go for it. They will usually fetch basics so wastelands arent at its best. Trading post is also fine as you will be able to grind them out. If you already have chalice on one, set the next one in 3 to stop councils judgement.

    Board out a trini or two, and some number of crucibles and bridges. Bring revoker, virtues ruin, engineered plague for monks.

    Shardless BUG: Even tending to unfavorable

    They run DRS which can be a pain for them to breeak through your mana barriers. Chalice isnt at its best since their only one mana spells are brainstorm, drs and a lone ponder. They wont be able to deal with Ophiomancer that well, your best cards in this matchup are bottled cloister,trading post and smokestack and braids, since they dodge decay. Their only counterspells are 4 fows so go for it landing your stuff.if you manage to get a stax effect plus recursivity, start to tick smokey up up up, they will have a worst time rebuilding than you. If they have a hand without drs try to cut them off green. If shardless is big in yomur meta go for a more heavy trading post build. Set chalices on 0 to stop ancestral.

    Board out the chalices, you may try to bring the helm package in. Perish is also good so is Guardian.

    Storm: Favorable

    Keep a hand with either trini or chalice, they wont be able to beat it g1 unless they are going for a burning wish build, in that case try to waste all their red mana, and go for chalice on 2 too. Go for stax without recursivity to nuke the few lands they play and set them further behind. If you smell they are on TES your first chalice on zero to stop lines with Led and chrome mox.

    Board out bridges, crucibles, cloisters, trading posts. Helm package in, revokers for LEd, thorn of ametyst. Keep deluges because they will try to for empty the warrens. Beware of rebuild and meltdown g2

    Aggro Loam: unfavorable.

    Probably this deck worst matchup. The stax effects arent that great and they have tons recursvity too. Your best bet is to try to land a trinisphere and tax them before they can get loam online. Be aware of their manabase and waste properly. Set chalice on 2 to stop loam and p. Fire.

    Postboard aim for the helm kill. Out the chalices and trinis. MULLIGAN AGGRESIVELY to leyline.

    Delver variants:

    RUG: Chalice on 1 cripples them. So does ensnaring bridge. These are your two main tickets to win. Bait their counters with other stuff so you can safely deploy these. They dont run that many permanents so tick up smokestack, they wont be able to rebuild. Expect ancient grudge and loam from their sideboards. Board perish, take out some cloisters.

    Grixis: again,chalice cripples them. Because they dont have Tarmo they are a bit slowr, but they play shaman and pyromancer can keep up with smokestack. Once again, bait the counter, then toxic deluge like a mofo. If you are expecting decays, bring guardian beast. Plague spitter and engineedpred are also good.

    BUG: they can deal with chalice so thatts a problem. But because they cant go wide like shardless, your best strategy is to overload their decays. Keep the cloisters in to fight hymn to tourach and keep up with throwing spells. Perish is good, so is guardian beast.

    Eldrazi: Favorable

    G1 bridge will usually be lights out. Also they arent adequated to deal with your stax effects. Wasteland aggresively. Ophiomancer will hold the fort for a long time. If you have chalice, set it in two to stop mimic and jitte. Beware of worldbreaker and endbringer, so try to keep their mana off them. Go for stax without recursivity and it will be game.

    Board the chalices and trinis, bring the helm package.
    Last edited by owerbart; 03-31-2016 at 01:06 PM.

  3. #3

    Re: Braids Stax

    I can't think of other ways to break symmetry of Smokestack that are black. I never liked Bitterblossom the card kinda just kills you in the end. Especially since you got Ancient Tombs in there. White versions at least had Baneslayer/Timely Reinforcements to offset the life loss. Bottled cloister and ensnaring bridge are great. Also 8 smokestack effects is rather....heavy.

    In EDH, I miss using Braids. I'm back to creating rage with Jhoira.

  4. #4
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    Re: Braids Stax

    Cavern of Souls is quite good with Nether Void, too.
    "There's a legend round here. A killer buried, but not dead."

  5. #5

    Re: Braids Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Keller View Post
    Cavern of Souls is quite good with Nether Void, too.
    This is a good idea for my Demon Stompy deck. Too bad it's an MTGO only thing.

  6. #6
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    Re: Braids Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by Nuke is Good View Post
    I can't think of other ways to break symmetry of Smokestack that are black. I never liked Bitterblossom the card kinda just kills you in the end. Especially since you got Ancient Tombs in there. White versions at least had Baneslayer/Timely Reinforcements to offset the life loss. Bottled cloister and ensnaring bridge are great. Also 8 smokestack effects is rather....heavy.

    In EDH, I miss using Braids. I'm back to creating rage with Jhoira.
    I'm ok with cutting the bitterblossoms for Crucible of Worlds, the problem is finding another wincon.

    What about

    -3 Bitterblossom
    +3 Crucible of Worlds
    -2 Nether Void
    +2 Tombstalker

  7. #7

    Re: Braids Stax

    You may want to look into Ophiomancer.
    Last edited by Jander78; 01-22-2015 at 06:39 PM.

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    Re: Braids Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by Zirath View Post
    You may want to look into Ophiomancer.
    Nice!

    To be honest I didn't even know that card existed. Since it's 3cc it's also nice for Trinisphere.

  9. #9
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    Re: Braids Stax

    Plague Spitter is also very good in this deck if you don't run Bitterblossom.
    "There's a legend round here. A killer buried, but not dead."

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    Re: Braids Stax


  11. #11
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    Re: Braids Stax

    Whelp, I was going to say that U/R Delver was a very tough matchup because of Treasure Cruise and their continuous card advantage eventually pushing out of my lock, but now that thing is less of a concern. Played some games last night in cockatrice, I went 2-1 vs Explorer Pod (once you stabilize, it's over), 2-1 vs BUG Delver (4 mana cost stuff like smokestack, Braids and Cloister hurt them, also wastelanding the so often nonbasic manabase) , 0-2 vs Goblins (t1 Lackey it's quite hard to respond), 2-0 vs Jund Depths, 1-2 vs the same Jund Depths again, and lost 1-2 to RUG Delver.

    Losing games against unanswered Lackeys and early-flipped delvers made me realize we need Toxic Deluge in this deck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zupponn View Post
    Bloodghast costs is too mana intensive sometimes, and it need Crucible of Worlds or constant land feeding to keep it online, also he can't block which can be crucial at times where you really need to stabilize. Nether Spirit doesn't work here as well as in Jund Depths because you are already packing Braids too, so just one copy of Braids in the bin means Nether Spirit is out forever, since we don't have that many graveyard manipulation.

    @Zirath Saying that Ophiomancer worked FANTASTIC is an understatement. The sinergy it has with Braids and Smokestack is insane, and because the little Snake has Deathtouch, it helps stabilizing against Goyfs, Mongoose, Kird Ape and Monastery Swiftspear, since if they trade for the Snake, you will get a fresh one to sac in your upkeep. Also being 2B means you don't need that much of black mana.

    I've thought about cutting some of the stax effects but an early Braids can eat unprepared boards on her own. An unanswered T1 Peat Bog into T2 Braids into a T3 Crucible or Ophiomancer may give such an advantage that once the opponent gets free there's new lockpieces in the board. The card is really really nice.

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    Re: Braids Stax

    This isn't really the same deck, but it has a very similar concept.

    lands//23
    4 marsh flats
    4 scrubland
    4 wasteland
    3 karakas
    3 cavern of souls
    3 urborg, tomb of yawgmoth

    spells//13
    4 relic of progenitus
    3 zealous persecution
    4 aether vial
    1 batterskull
    1 umezawa's jitte

    creatures//24
    4 braids, cabal minion
    4 stoneforge mystic
    4 deathrite shaman
    4 mangara of corondor
    4 thalia, guardian of thraben
    4 mother of runes

    sideboard//
    2 grafdigger's cage
    2 surgical extraction
    1 null rod
    4 duress
    3 phyrexian revoker
    1 preacher
    2 sundering growth

    The lockpieces have a decent chance of going uncountered. It probably also wants flickerwisp. Haven't cut relics yet, I was running them in a lot of mainboards when treasure cruise was around, dunno if I wanna get rid of em.
    Originally Posted by Forbiddian

    "Drawing it consistently" is a joke. It doesn't matter whether you have 10 copies or 1 copy. Some games you'll start with it. Some games you'll start without it
    .

    I'm thoroughly convinced that talking to you morons kills braincells. Your parent's should have been sterilized.

  13. #13
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    Re: Braids Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by thefreakaccident View Post
    This isn't really the same deck, but it has a very similar concept.

    lands//23
    4 marsh flats
    4 scrubland
    4 wasteland
    3 karakas
    3 cavern of souls
    3 urborg, tomb of yawgmoth

    spells//13
    4 relic of progenitus
    3 zealous persecution
    4 aether vial
    1 batterskull
    1 umezawa's jitte

    creatures//24
    4 braids, cabal minion
    4 stoneforge mystic
    4 deathrite shaman
    4 mangara of corondor
    4 thalia, guardian of thraben
    4 mother of runes

    sideboard//
    2 grafdigger's cage
    2 surgical extraction
    1 null rod
    4 duress
    3 phyrexian revoker
    1 preacher
    2 sundering growth

    The lockpieces have a decent chance of going uncountered. It probably also wants flickerwisp. Haven't cut relics yet, I was running them in a lot of mainboards when treasure cruise was around, dunno if I wanna get rid of em.
    The idea of Thalia + Braids looks nice, specially since Braids is legendary too it will be a target for Karakas. Never thought about the idea of Karakas' her into your hand at end of opponent's turn, so you don't have to sac anything. FLickerwisp also may be good.

    Still, it looks a lot like a death and taxes kind of game, much far away from Stax. Might be really interesting tho.

  14. #14

    Re: Braids Stax

    I love the idea of a D&T-ish creature based stax, but how are you planning on breaking the symmetry of Braids other than Mangara? What about dropping the Relics and/or ZP for Bitterblossom, Ophiomancer, or even Voice of Resurgence?

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    Re: Braids Stax

    For anyone interested here is the current list I've been running.

    3x Bottled Cloister
    4x Chalice of The Void
    3x Crucible of Worlds
    2x Ensnaring Bridge
    2x Lotus Petal
    4x Mox Diamond
    4x Smokestack
    4x Trinisphere

    4x Braids, Cabal Minion
    3x Ophiomancer

    1x Nether Void
    2x Toxic Deluge

    4x Ancient Tomb
    4x City of Traitors
    4x Wasteland
    8x Swamp
    1x Gods' Eye, Gate to the Reikai
    1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    2x Peat Bog
    Last edited by owerbart; 01-23-2015 at 06:50 AM.

  16. #16
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    Re: Braids Stax

    I know you're not trying to run a Black D&T variant but isn't Lodestone Golem a natural include for a Braids/Smokestack-based deck? If one doesn't go for the white splash for Thalia or play stuff like Sphere of Resistance, I think that Lodestone still stands out as a card with a decent power-to-mana ratio and a compelling effect for a Stax pile.

    Nice catch on Ophiomancer, I also had no idea that card was a card. It doesn't read very well but it clearly would fit right into Braids.dec.
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    Re: Braids Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by TsumiBand View Post
    I know you're not trying to run a Black D&T variant but isn't Lodestone Golem a natural include for a Braids/Smokestack-based deck? If one doesn't go for the white splash for Thalia or play stuff like Sphere of Resistance, I think that Lodestone still stands out as a card with a decent power-to-mana ratio and a compelling effect for a Stax pile.

    Nice catch on Ophiomancer, I also had no idea that card was a card. It doesn't read very well but it clearly would fit right into Braids.dec.
    This is a common misconception. Lodestone golem is actually unplayable beyond maybe a 1 of. You want all of your cost modifiers to have low manacosts, so that you can screw with the opponent's spells during the opening turns. This is because you want to follow up cost modifiers with manadenial to keep them relevant. If you simply try to add cost modifiers without following it up with any form of mana-denial, they can draw out of it with cantrips and lands naturally.

    I moved thorn of amethyst back into the mainboard of my brew for tests, it and thalia seem to do a good job+mana denial.
    Originally Posted by Forbiddian

    "Drawing it consistently" is a joke. It doesn't matter whether you have 10 copies or 1 copy. Some games you'll start with it. Some games you'll start without it
    .

    I'm thoroughly convinced that talking to you morons kills braincells. Your parent's should have been sterilized.

  18. #18
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    Re: Braids Stax

    Quote Originally Posted by TsumiBand View Post
    I know you're not trying to run a Black D&T variant but isn't Lodestone Golem a natural include for a Braids/Smokestack-based deck? If one doesn't go for the white splash for Thalia or play stuff like Sphere of Resistance, I think that Lodestone still stands out as a card with a decent power-to-mana ratio and a compelling effect for a Stax pile.

    Nice catch on Ophiomancer, I also had no idea that card was a card. It doesn't read very well but it clearly would fit right into Braids.dec.
    Both Lodestome Golem and Sphere of Resistance were cards that I would've loved to find any space for, but since you are also playing 10 colored spells, both of them kind of clunk you a little bit, while Trinisphere does not.

    I played yesterday against Miracles, RUG Delver, Death and Taxes, and Reanimator. I'm still not sure on the sideboard, so I decided to go with 4 Leyline of the Void, 4 Helm of Obedience, 4 Pithing Needle, 3 Mindbreak Trap.

    Miracles:

    G1: He drops top T1, and I go T1 Chalice at 1 crippling his card draw and miracle engine, since Brainstorm and Ponder are no longer online. He drops a T2 Counterbalance, which is met by a T2 Ophiomancer. Since he fetched for his duals, I start to Hit him with ophiomancer while cashing my wastelands for his duals. Eventually I manage to jam a Nether Void which I didn't realize works great against Miracles. He supremes verdict through nether void (goddamn uncounterable) and I end up puting a crucible, while he's stuck in 4 lands unable to cast anything. His counterbalance+top always keep jace in the top so my Braids and Smokestack are sealed out of the game. Eventually I manage to put a Trinisphere and Wastelanding my own Gods' Eye, Gate to the Reikai, to bring a spirit token and seal the deal.

    G2: He keeps a lowland hand, he goes Volcanic into top, and I drop a Peat Bog. He tops in his upkeep, drops a tundra and passes. I go Peat Bog-> Lotus Petal-> Trinisphere which enters the battlefield. Then I wasteland his volcanic, and he's stuck with one land while I get a Smokestack T4.

    RUG Delver:

    G1: This game he doesn't drop single creature, and pretty much everything he does is counter, counter, and counter everything I have, while we also exchange wastelands. Eventually I manage to grind him out of countermagic in turn like 7 and I drop a Trinisphere while he only has two lands. by the moment he finds a third one my board is already developed and he scoops.

    G2: I board the 4 Leyline of the Void to combat Tarmogoyfs and Mongoose. I board out a Crucible, the Nether Void, a Bottled Cloister and a Smokestack. (Probably this is a dumb idea, I'm still not sure in which cards should I have in sideboard nor how to proper exchange pieces)

    I mull to 6 drop a T1 Leyline but no T1 lockpiece... which is met by T1 and T2 Kird Ape. My wastelands keep kird apes forestless while I jam a trinisphere, but eventually his countermagic eats my toxic deluge and I'm unable to get rid of the Kird Apes in time while also taking damage from my tombs.

    G3: I mulligan to 6 again, I keep 4 land, petal and trinisphere. He FoWs my T1 trinisphere and from there I draw land the next two turns which keeps him without any real pressure. When I'm finally able to get a lockpiece, Kird Apes are presenting lethal.


    Death and Taxes:

    G1: I really thought that this was a really easy matchup, but then I realize that a quick vial or cavern of souls can bypass some of my hate. He drops T1 vial, I go T1 Chalice but a Cavern of souls and puts thalia and vial drops a Mom in my endstep. He swings while I put a trinisphere. He puts me to ten but at that time I manage to defend myself with bottled cloister + ensnaring bridge. By the time he gets a flickerwisp, his board is already dead from a previous Toxic Deluge.

    G2: He opens with Vial, I have a good hand but no early pressure. He drops a mom from the vial, and starts to port my land, which sends me down a little bit. At some point I'm pretty sure I misplayed it since I should've waste the port that was driving me crazy, instead of his cavern of souls. He has two flickerwisps to swing through my Ensnaring Bridge with Batterskull two times, and I'm pretty much done.

    G3: I drop a T1 peat bog which meets a T1 Vial. I drop a T2 Braids which goes unanswered, and she eats his board very very quickly. ( I had to play and sac lands for two turns before finding an ophiomancer to feed Braids with, tho)

    Reanimator:

    G1: T1 Chalice, sends him waaay too much behind. He spends his turns countering my stuff without being able to put any monster in his yard. Eventually I manage to jam a Braids which sends him even more behind.

    G2: He mulls to five, and plays ponder T1, which is met by my turn 1 Trinisphere. T2 he can't do anything more but to pass, and from then a quick smokestack + ophiomancer seals the deal.

    I'm really, really, really liking this deck. You guys who've suggested cavern of souls through Nether Void are right, as it also makes counterbalance look really silly. Against RUG I'm still optimistic about the matchup, but you need to keep the threat of a lockpiece every-single-time. Death and Taxes made me also think about running some Dread of Nights in the sideboard, also Brainstorming quickly, maybe the new Pyromancer + Delver + Monastery Swiftspear variants can be fought nicely with an Engineering Plague naming Human.

  19. #19
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    695

    Re: Braids Stax

    Bane of the Living! I vouche for this card, it will straight up win games (goblins, elves, delver?) on its own. T1 Chalice, T2 morph, go. Haven't played played Braids Stax in a phew years but I remember having great results with that creature in particular and players just scooping after it flipped in several tourneys.
    May your suffering equal your weakness
    --Ihsan's Shade

  20. #20
    Member
    ReAnimator's Avatar
    Join Date

    Oct 2005
    Location

    Toronto Canada
    Posts

    385

    Re: Braids Stax

    Coercive Portal
    Is an upgrade to Bottled Cloister unless you expect discard effects to make a come back in the format.

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