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Thread: Exploring Dungeons

  1. #1
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    Exploring Dungeons

    At this point everyone knows about the combo of Acererak the Archlich and Aluren. Cast Aluren and then cast and recast Acererak completing Dungeon of the Mad Mage (and drawing into and casting Laboratory Maniac) or Lost Mine of Phandelver (draining your opponent) over and over until you win. The main discussion around this combo was whether it freed up any space in traditional Aluren decks as it is a more compact combo compared to previous ones.

    Recently someone 5-0ed with an Acerarak deck which I think makes it the first one to appear on the competitive stage: https://magic.wizards.com/en/article...-07-10#otaba_-. What is interesting about this list is that it is not similar to a traditional Aluren deck and instead looks like a modified Nicfit with a combo finish (and the inspiration of this thread's name)

    The list is below:


    Planeswalker (2)

    2 Grist, the Hunger Tide

    Creature (11)

    2 Endurance
    3 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
    3 Veteran Explorer
    3 Acererak the Archlich

    Sorcery (12)

    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Living Wish
    4 Ponder

    Instant (11)

    3 Abrupt Decay
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Force of Will

    Enchantment (4)

    4 Aluren

    Land (20)

    1 Bayou
    4 Misty Rainforest
    1 Phyrexian Tower
    1 Savannah
    3 Snow-Covered Forest
    3 Snow-Covered Island
    1 Snow-Covered Swamp
    1 Tropical Island
    1 Underground Sea
    4 Verdant Catacombs


    Sideboard (15)

    1 Acererak the Archlich
    1 Endurance
    1 Grist, the Hunger Tide
    1 Academy Rector
    2 Carpet of Flowers
    1 Crime // Punishment
    2 Fatal Push
    1 Knight of Autumn
    1 Plague Engineer
    2 Thoughtseize


    Living wish is there to search up Acererak and Grist has been a surprisingly decent walker and can be cast off Aluren as well (or searched up with Living Wish). Whether this type of direction for Acererak is better than slotting him into traditional Aluren is an open question, but thought to put up this thread to explore this combo outside the context of just fitting in the new card into existing Aluren lists.

    For example - we can consider if the combo can work in a Sylvan Plug type list (Dungeon Stompy) or even in lists running Enlightened Tutor. If you are running a surplus of silver bullets for the later list then even Urza's Saga might be under consideration. Additionally, this isn't the only 4 CMC two card combo in these color combinations to come out this year. One could consider jamming the Aluren+Acererak combo with Chain of Smog+Witherbloom Apprentice for a double pronged approach (for example, if running 8 cards essentially "guarantees" that you will draw it by turn 3, consider treating Chain+Aluren and one card and Witherbloom/Acererak/Living Wish as another - the chances that one of the two combos will be able to go off by turn 3 looks pretty good).

    TL/DR - this thread is for exploring the Acererak+Aluren Combo other than just taking Aluren lists and finding room.
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  2. #2

    Re: Exploring Dungeons

    Since the combo cards have no overlap, the 8x8 deckbuilding theory doesn’t really apply. Half the time you will have Aluren plus chain of smog or amerack plus witherbloom.

    Show+sneak & griz plus Emmy is twice as likely to naturally draw the combo.

  3. #3
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    Re: Exploring Dungeons

    Quote Originally Posted by Reeplcheep View Post
    Since the combo cards have no overlap, the 8x8 deckbuilding theory doesn’t really apply. Half the time you will have Aluren plus chain of smog or amerack plus witherbloom.

    Show+sneak & griz plus Emmy is twice as likely to naturally draw the combo.
    That off shoot idea was with living wish in mind. Running 3 Lich, 3 Apprentice and 4 Living Wish - you should also have smog or aluren by turn 3 in hand and either wished into or drew into the other piece turn 2 (you essentially have 7 of each in your deck). Not sure if that is a good idea however since that devotes 18 cards for the two combos in your deck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
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  4. #4

    Re: Exploring Dungeons

    Hmmm. In a nic fit deck I would rather just play vet and rectors plus cabal therapy and village rites.

    Sideboard rectors and phyrexian tower mean living wish actually gets both pieces. That plus having a true 8x8 makes you very consistent.

    As a dedicated combo deck the different colours, mechanics, and card types make it hard to bring together, but you could look at DETH.

  5. #5
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    Re: Exploring Dungeons

    Sure enough. As I said it was a throw away idea. This thread is just for providing room for discussion of this combo outside fitting it in to existing Aluren decks. IDK if the 5-0 NicFit list is the correct starting point or if there are other options.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
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  6. #6
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    Re: Exploring Dungeons

    If you do play Nic Fit, Assassin's Trophy seems much better than Abrupt Decay. It kills more things and you're already playing a deck that doesn't care about giving them basics (and they may be out).

    But Nic Fit seems unnecessary when you only need to ramp to 4 and could just play a BUG value shell, similar to the other Aluren decks, but with more free slots.

    Intuition can find either combo piece and also set up Uro.


    //Spells: 27
    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    4 Thoughtseize
    2 Fatal Push
    4 Living Wish
    3 Assassin's Trophy
    2 Intuition

    //Creatures: 9
    3 Baleful Strix
    3 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
    3 Acerarak the Archlich

    //Enchantment: 4
    4 Aluren

    //Lands: 20
    4 Misty Rainforest
    3 Polluted Delta
    2 Prismatic Vista
    3 Snow-Covered Island
    2 Snow-Covered Forest
    1 Snow-Covered Swamp
    2 Tropical Island
    2 Underground Sea
    1 Bayou

    //Sideboard: 15
    1 Acerarak the Archlich
    1 Grist, the Hunger Tide
    1 Plague Engineer
    1 Karakas
    1 Collector Ouphe
    1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
    3 Endurance
    2 Veil of Summer
    1 Flusterstorm
    1 Darkblast
    1 Abrupt Decay
    1 Sylvan Library

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    Re: Exploring Dungeons

    10th place in the Challenge was a Hybrid of these:
    https://magic.wizards.com/en/article...asabi_th_place

    A little Nic Fit, a little value


    //Spells: 23
    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    3 Green Sun's Zenith
    3 Cabal Therapy
    3 Living Wish
    1 Diabolic Intent
    1 Abrupt Decay

    //Creatures: 13
    1 Veteran Explorer
    2 Spellseeker
    3 Ice-Fang Coatl
    3 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
    3 Acerarak the Archlich
    1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest

    //Enchantment: 4
    4 Aluren

    //Planeswalkers: 1
    1 Grist, the Hunger Tide

    //Lands: 19
    4 Misty Rainforest
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    3 Snow-Covered Island
    3 Snow-Covered Forest
    1 Snow-Covered Swamp
    1 Tropical Island
    1 Underground Sea
    1 Bayou
    1 Dryad Arbor

    //Sideboard: 15
    1 Acerarak the Archlich
    1 Grist, the Hunger Tide
    1 Plague Engineer
    1 Karakas
    1 Collector Ouphe
    1 Reclamation Sage
    1 Brazen Borrower
    2 Endurance
    2 Carpet of Flowers
    1 Veil of Summer
    1 Force of Vigor
    2 Thoughtseize


    I like the use of GSZ and Spellseeker to trim down on copies of more conditional cards (Decay, Explorer, Grist) and have both a greater toolbox and more combo tutoring power.

    Spellseeker -> Living Wish -> Acerarak or toolbox creatures
    Spellseeker -> Diabolic Intent -> Aluren

    To set up the combo it's slower and clunkier than just using Intuition, but unlike Intuition it has added utility of getting Decay, Veil, discard, or cantrips and then trimming down on spots that are not combo pieces.

  8. #8
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    Re: Exploring Dungeons

    Given the reduced number of explorers I think the trend would be to just remove them in the next iteration.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
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  9. #9

    Re: Exploring Dungeons

    Quote Originally Posted by Cire View Post
    Given the reduced number of explorers I think the trend would be to just remove them in the next iteration.
    Theres also only 1 Grist and only 1 Leovold, do you think these should just be rounded down to 0? What a weird / wrong idea

  10. #10

    Re: Exploring Dungeons

    Quote Originally Posted by kombatkiwi View Post
    Theres also only 1 Grist and only 1 Leovold, do you think these should just be rounded down to 0? What a weird / wrong idea
    I think they have some lines with Spellseeker --> GSZ --> Leovold/Grist, though I don't know how often that comes up.

  11. #11
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    Re: Exploring Dungeons

    GSZ means they still have virtual 4 copies of Explorer for the early ramp when they have Cabal Therapy and need lands, but this way they aren't topdecking Explorers when they need combo pieces or getting landflooded (Nic Fit ramps to 6-8, this just needs 4).

    Same with Grist. Instead of 2 copies main and having to topdeck it when you don't want it, they can just find it with GSZ or Living Wish.

    I like the toolbox approach here.

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