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Thread: UB DoomCeph

  1. #1

    UB DoomCeph

    This is not exactly a new deck, but it is an update on a unique Cephalid Breakfast deck by The461 in a tournament 9 years ago (https://mtgtop8.com/event?e=983&d=209044&f=LE). The461's idea combines a few different cards that I love. With the printing of Thassa's Oracle, I think it can be pretty strong.

    I felt that moving into three colors for Nomads en-Kor was not really worth it. The instant speed is nice, but with the ability to take away the opponent's ability to do anything to the combo via discard, I think keeping the mana base two color is better. The Doomsday game plan also works better with Astrolabe, since we can use the Asttrolabe's with the Cabal/Dark Ritual mana to be able to play Cloud of Faeries.

    To use the Doomsday plan from the sideboard, it requires BBB for Doomsday, plus the ability to draw 2 cards (so 1x U cantrip in hand plus another card in hand - the Doomsday pile can have Brainstorm on top). That allows the play of Shelldock and Cloud of Faeries into an immediate Emrakul. So 1BBBUUU are needed for the combo, or one fewer U if Brainstorm is already in hand.

    Alternatively, the pile could be built with a Thassa kill in mind. I think maybe a 1x Ideas Unbound in the sideboard might be good for building piles related to that.

    4 Cephalid Illusionist
    4 Shuko

    1 Dread Return
    1 Thassa's Oracle
    4 Narcomoeba

    3 Cabal Therapy
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Thoughtseize

    4 Ponder
    2 Preordain
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Lim-Dul's Vault

    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Arcum's Astrolabe
    3 Snow-Covered Swamp
    3 Snow-Covered Island
    4 Prismatic Vista
    3 Polluted Delta

    Sideboard
    1 Shelldock Isle
    1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Doomsday
    1 Cloud of Faeries

  2. #2

    Re: UB DoomCeph

    The main advantage of breakfast is that your whole combo is castable off of cavern of souls or vial, which makes it effectively uncounterable. Additionall the instant speed is extremely important so that the combo can go off in the face of removal. Requiring shuko or doomsday makes it considerably more disruptable because now you lose to both fow/daze & bolt/plow.

    If you don't want to run cavern of souls doomsday pairs much better with paradigm shift than breakfast. If you want to run breakfast diving witch makes much more sense than doomsday.

    if you plan on stripping the opponents hand with discard anyways, what are the advantages of this half spell half creature combo over doomsday/tes/ant?

  3. #3
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    Re: UB DoomCeph

    I like how streamlined the deck looks...it isn't messing around with a bunch of Doomsday pile variants, it's just play Breakfast with a Shell-Drazi sideboard plan. It suffers the same problems as other all-in combo decks though: there really isn't a plan B. Current Cephalid Breakfast decks play really powerful pieces like Teferi, Time Raveler, Aether Vial, and Cavern of Souls to get their combo going uncountered. One prominent version actually plays Stoneforge Mystic as a tutor for Shuko, which gives it an alternative mid-range plan with Jitte and Batterskull. It's a pretty cool deck that plays as a fast combo deck that can also grind.

    In straight UB I think something like Thopter/Sword combo would be pretty awesome out of the sideboard (or even maindeck as a 2nd combo.) It's still somewhat graveyard dependent, just like Illusionist, but you would have something to deal with that out of the sideboard. Eight slots dedicated to Thoper/Sword takes up a lot less room and allows you to have 7 other flexible slots to deal with stuff thrown at you.
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  4. #4
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    Re: UB DoomCeph

    I agree with Mr Safety and Reeplcheep. UW Breakfast with Vial, Cavern and Teferi seems more resilient than UB with Shuko.

    With Doomsday SB, G1 the black is only there for discard at the cost of worse combo consistency and sorcery speed. Is that good enough? Combo really needs to win G1. Why discard their counters when you can just play through them? Relying solely on discard is also weak to Veil and resolved disruption (Oko, Spyglass, Karn), while Teferi both shuts off counters and bounces hate.

    The other thing to consider is that once you run Thassa's Oracle, you can already win with Paradigm Shift without needing all those combo slots (Narcos) or having graveyard vulnerability. Merfolk lists can squeeze in that combo with little cost, still having a main beatdown plan and the protection of Cavern and Vial.

    What if your gravehate-dodging SB plan was just Paradigm Shift instead of Doomsday? It requires so much less mana than that Doomsday pile (and fewer SB slots). +4 Paradigm Shift, +3 Thassa's Oracle. 8 free slots.

  5. #5

    Re: UB DoomCeph

    Thanks for the replies!

    Concerning some lines for this deck, I think it can routinely play something like:

    T1 - Astrolabe/Cantrip
    T2 - Discard + Labe/Cantrip
    T3 - Discard + LDV/cantrip (or just the combo)
    T4+ - Discard + combo

    I think that Karn and new Teferi (Master of Time) are the only PWs that affect this deck. I can cast LDV in response to Time Raveler being cast, so it is not a big deal. I don't need to hold up mana with this deck.

    @Reeplcheep
    Concerning the uncounterable nature of Vial and Cavern, I think that the hand disruption is likely enough. I looked at decks on MtG Top8, and the most disruption among Storm lists was 6. This deck has 11. Veil of Summer is a card, but not a lot of lists are running 4x main deck. However, with the density of discard in this deck, it is not back breaking.

    Concerning the advantages over DD, TES, ANT, there are more cantrips and discard spells in this deck. The combo itself is smaller and requires less mana and deckbuilding restrictions. LED is a powerful card, but it does limit the lines a deck can play. Additionally, the transformational sideboard plan that this deck has is an advantage. By relying on the graveyard in game 1, and then not using it at all in game 2, the opponent likely has a number of dead cards. Also, this deck does not really get affected by a Chalice on 0 (relevant in games 2/3).


    @Mr. Safety
    I think other Breakfast decks having an alternate plan is a good feature, but, again, I think the transformational sideboard and discard spells give this a unique angle that is worth considering. Also, I thought about Thopter/Sword, but I really don't want to rely on the graveyard at all in game 2. I would like to blank the opponent's Leylines/Rest in Peace.

    @FTW
    Paradigm Shift is likely better. I think I will switch the sideboard over to that. I love Doomsday, but that is much more compact. I will consider what to do with the remaining slots. They should be things that come in almost every matchup, as I have 13 cards to take out of the main deck (Illusionist, Shuko, DR, Narcos).

    Sorcerous Spyglass and Chalice are painful game 1. Karn can usually be avoided via discard, I think. I don't see how Oko really hurts this deck. I don't need to play Shuko until I go off most of the time, since it is just a 3 mana combo. If they use Oko to elk an Astrolabe, that is also not really the end of the world.

    Thanks for the feedback. I will post some updates this weekend.

    EDIT:

    Sideboard:
    4 Paradigm Shift
    3 Thassa's Oracle
    4 Planar Void
    1 Helm of Obedience
    3?

  6. #6
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    Re: UB DoomCeph

    Quote Originally Posted by Whoshim View Post
    Sorcerous Spyglass and Chalice are painful game 1. Karn can usually be avoided via discard, I think.
    The only thing I'd worry about is that Karn decks want to curve out Chalice @ 1/3sphere into turn 2 Karn. That line happens to shutdown your discard plan. Then Karn's static shuts down Shuko, Karn threatens a fast clock, and you have 0 maindeck ways to remove it other than "scoop".

    This was a problem I encountered brewing other artifact-based combo decks (Jeskai Breach, Bant Zirda). It was Force Karn or concede G1, and you don't even have Force. I would not underestimate how scary Karn is vs artifact-based combo. TES also tends to scoop to Karn.

    Maybe you want FoW in that extra SB space. It can come in against most decks. You have many cantrips and you're boarding in more blue cards. It lets you beat things like Chalice @ 1 when they go first.


    I don't see how Oko really hurts this deck. I don't need to play Shuko until I go off most of the time, since it is just a 3 mana combo.
    Good point. I was thinking of it spread over 2 turns. You can easily play around that deploying them both at once.

    Pretty sure Planar Void + Helm of Obedience doesn't work.

    I get your enthusiasm to troll Rest in Peace though. One of my Jeskai Breach SB plans (in the ETutor version) was to board into RiP+Helm instead of trying to beat both gravehate and stormhate. Turning their own RiP against them is too funny. Who expects RiP in a grave-based combo deck? Sadly it wasn't worth it because RiP doesn't see enough play these days. But if it did!!

  7. #7

    Re: UB DoomCeph

    Quote Originally Posted by Whoshim View Post
    @Reeplcheep
    Concerning the uncounterable nature of Vial and Cavern, I think that the hand disruption is likely enough. I looked at decks on MtG Top8, and the most disruption among Storm lists was 6. This deck has 11. Veil of Summer is a card, but not a lot of lists are running 4x main deck. However, with the density of discard in this deck, it is not back breaking.

    Concerning the advantages over DD, TES, ANT, there are more cantrips and discard spells in this deck. The combo itself is smaller and requires less mana and deckbuilding restrictions. LED is a powerful card, but it does limit the lines a deck can play. Additionally, the transformational sideboard plan that this deck has is an advantage. By relying on the graveyard in game 1, and then not using it at all in game 2, the opponent likely has a number of dead cards. Also, this deck does not really get affected by a Chalice on 0 (relevant in games 2/3).
    My point is that the strength of cephalid breakfast is that allows you to ignore most of the opponents game 1 interaction, in return for getting bodied by their sideboard (plague engineer, needles, graveyard hate & stifles all stop it). If you plan on discarding all their interaction anyways there are better combo packages.

    I do agree that running comboes without fast mana is very different than ones with fast mana.

    A direct comparison of the of paradigm shift package to the breakfast package (assume 1 oracle already for doomsday):
    4 shuriko
    4 Narcomeba
    at least 1 cabal therapy
    1 dread return
    4 Cephalid Illusionist
    =14 combo cards

    Shift:
    4 paradigm shift
    3 Oracle
    =7 cards
    Which is twice as efficient. 7 less dead cards main is massive. If you want you can also add thoughtlash and Jace, welder of mysteries to be 3-4 times more consistent in the same number of slots. Additonally the extra blue cards in the shuriko slots probably raise your blue count high enough to run FOW, which would also be a large power boost.

    From an interaction point of view paradigm shift is about 0.5 turns slower than shuriko + cephalid, and thoughtlash is 1.5 turns slower. However it is immune to removal and artifact hate, and mostly immune to graveyard hate (leyline/rip will slow combo down but is not lights out, don't care about other cards)

  8. #8

    Re: UB DoomCeph

    @FTW
    Doh! Helm + Planar Void doesn't work. That is why I was going to wait for the weekend instead of firing off a new list just before work. Chalice into Karn does shut the deck down, so FoW is probably needed in the sideboard.

    @Reeplcheep
    Paradigm Shift does not work as well in this deck as it does in Merfolk. It cannot just be a 7 card combo. That is part of why I included Planar Void in my sideboard idea. I will not have a high U count on board, and I will have used fetch lands and discard spells, so my new library will not be small enough to just run out Thassa's Oracle a lot of the time. I cannot expect all of my opponents to mulligan until they get Leyline of the Void, though that would be generous of them.

    Thoughtlash is a fun card, and it is worth considering. It does make the deck slower, but if I combine it with some Forces, then I can play a more controlling game 2.

    Concerning mana costs though, Shuko + Illusionist is 2U. Paradigm Shift +Oracle is 1UUU. Thoughtlash + Oracle is 2UUUU, so that would have to be done over separate turns most likely.

    I will think more about your ideas. Time for my lunch break to end. Thanks again.

  9. #9

    Re: UB DoomCeph

    Here is an updated list. I think the deck would have to jump through a few too many hoops to run Paradigm Shift well, so the main deck is still Breakfast. I also think this does give an advantage, because it uses the graveyard, and the sideboard will move away from using the graveyard.

    4 Cephalid Illusionist
    4 Shuko

    1 Dread Return
    1 Thassa's Oracle
    4 Narcomoeba

    3 Cabal Therapy
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Thoughtseize

    4 Ponder
    2 Preordain
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Lim-Dul's Vault

    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Arcum's Astrolabe
    3 Snow-Covered Swamp
    3 Snow-Covered Island
    4 Prismatic Vista
    3 Polluted Delta

    Sideboard:
    3 Thassa's Oracle
    3 Thoughtlash
    1 Snow-covered Island
    4 Force of Will
    4 Force of Negation

    The sideboard plan is to remove:

    4 Cephalid Illusionist
    4 Shuko
    1 Dread Return
    4 Narcomoeba

    and two other cards - either discard spells or cantrips.

    The extra island is in the sideboard because getting to 4 mana for Thoughtlash is important.

    I am also thinking that maybe 2x Force of Negation could be card draw instead, though I am not sure what would be best. Maybe 2x Intuition?

  10. #10
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    Re: UB DoomCeph

    4 FoN seems like overkill. With your SB mapping, 2 FoN is enough to swap combos, and that frees up 2 flex slots for anything. It could be more protection like Flusterstorm or Spell Pierce, or it could be hate like Surgical Extraction, or random value.

    Is Paradigm Shift that hard to support? I don't see why Thought Lash looks better than Paradigms 1-4.

  11. #11

    Re: UB DoomCeph

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Is Paradigm Shift that hard to support? I don't see why Thought Lash looks better than Paradigms 1-4.
    I think so. Thassa's Oracle will come down for X=2. For that to trigger the win, I need to have <3 cards in my graveyard at the time of casting Paradigm Shift. Running fetches, cantrips, and discard spells means that I likely have 2 cards in the graveyard by the end of turn 1. In order to not have that, I would need to be running Tormod's Crypt or Planar Void (or a second copy of Shift in hand). I suppose it is okay, but it does become a 3 card combo.

    The Paradigm Shift version would look something like:

    3 Thassa's Oracle
    4 Tormod's Crypt
    4 Paradigm Shift
    4 Force of Will

    The Surgical Extraction plan is better, I think:

    3 Thassa's Oracle
    3 Thoughtlash
    1 Snow-Covered Island
    4 Force of Will
    2 Force of Negation
    2 Surgical Extraction

  12. #12
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    Re: UB DoomCeph

    There are also Delve spells. Are Gurmag Angler and Murderous Cut worth it to enable Oracle Shift? Maybe that's going too far for a SB plan.

    Good luck with the build.

  13. #13

    Re: UB DoomCeph

    Thanks. I think my preferred path is to keep the combo at two cards and use the rest of the mana for discard spells and cantripping. I appreciate the feedback.

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