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Thread: Psychonaut

  1. #1
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    Psychonaut

    List is super rough, but I put one together for discussion.




    Psychonaut -

    60 cards
    (12) Land -
    4 Vault of Whispers
    4 Darkmoss Bridge
    2 Urzaís Saga
    2 Agadeemís Awakening

    (10) Initial Mana Source -
    4 Mox Opal
    4 Lotus Petal
    2 Chrome Mox

    (3) Chapter 3 targets -
    1 Tormodís Crypt
    1 Pithing Needle
    1 Hex Parasite

    (7) Instants -
    4 Dark Ritual
    3 Plunge Into Darkness

    (12) Creatures -
    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    4 Deathís Shadow
    4 Hunted Horror

    (8) Piece -
    4 Illusionary Mask
    4 Torpor Orb

    (8) Distruption -
    4 Duress
    4 Thoughtseize

    (15) Sideboard -
    4 Surgical Extraction
    3 Pithing Needle
    3 Tormodís Crypt
    2 Defense Grid
    1 Hope of Ghirapur
    1 Plunge into Darkness

    Artifact count -
    Only 0 cmc: 19
    Total artifacts: 33



    Card discussion -
    Urzaís Saga can find Hex Parasite to make tokens each turn. Hex Parasite can also sink the life total, enough to swing with a huge Deathís Shadow. One can also find Tormodís Crypt or Pithing Needle. Hex Parasite can also remove the counters by 1 to find an artifact each turn. These plans are each secondary.

    The main plan (or the ideal line), Urzaís Saga can find Phyrexian Dreadnought. If you have Torpor Orb in play, this is really strong. If you donít have it in play, you can stall with Hex Parasite to keep the tutor line open.

    Agadeemís Awakening as a land sinks life for Shadow, but the very low cmc of all the creatures means you can get Phyrexian Dreadnought or Deathís Shadow, and a Hunted Horror when X equals 2. Reanimation when X is 1 is also reasonable. Perhaps more of this one since it imprints on Chrome Mox.

    Illusionary Mask cheats Phyrexian Dreadnought into play for 1, Deathís Shadow for 1 and just attack when you are at a safe life total to flip it, and Hunted Horror for 2. You do cast the creature with Mask, much like playing a morph creature. (EDIT) X cannot equal 0, you can pay the mana cost or more than the mana cost.

    Mask is weird because if you attack with an unflipped creature, before it assigns damage it flips automatically. Insane. If itís assigned damage, it flips before the damage is dealt. If a 2/2 blocks something like Lackey or anything else for that matter, it flips. So you can be sure that an unfamiliar opponent is automatically going to be at a disadvantage when they swing into it. You have to be careful tho not to flip the Deathís Shadow until you have a low enough life total, so donít block with it or it will try to assign damage and die when it flips.

    Why play Deathís Shadow with Illusionary Mask? You can cheat it into play with a high life total. If you have multiples unflipped for example, the opponent can swing, and then you swing back and they flip automatically perhaps for lethal. That or get them into play and then find a way to sink the life total. Done this way, the life total can stay high until you need to sink it, like pseudo-haste. Deathís Shadow face down in play is also a nice way to get a threat on the board that eats a removal spell instead of Phyrexian Dreadnought or Hunted Horror.

    Torpor Orb shuts off the ETBs for both Phyrexian Dreadnought and Hunted Horror. The symmetry is great against Goblins, DNT, and Painter.

    Plunge into Darkness sinks life while looking for Mask or Orb, or a creature. A nice way to get your life total low quickly and then flip shadow. Also it can find Deathís Shadow by itself which is excellent if youíre trying to race combo. Petal, Drit, Plunge for 17, Shadow, pass.

    The low curve makes me want to run an indestructible artifact land, seeing as its anti Wasteland tech. So Darkmoss Bridge is a placeholder. The other options are Drossforge Bridge and Mistvault Bridge.


    EDIT:
    Added to how to use Illusionary Mask and corrected some spelling and grammar errors.

    EDIT 2:
    To my surprise, Illusionary Mask automatically flips the creature if it would tap, assign damage or be dealt damage. Absolutely insane.

    EDIT 3:
    One must pay the cost of the creature or more. One of the more difficult Oracle wordings I think.
    Last edited by Vacrix; 07-15-2021 at 07:29 AM.
    Luck is a residue of design.



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  2. #2
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    Re: Psychonaut

    Scroll of Fate is a better card in most every way than Mask. Mono-black Dreadnought stuff isn't a real deck b/c it dies to it's own variance of drawing redundant enablers that don't do anything in multiples. Dreadnought is an overwhelmingly blue card, and any thought of deviating died with the printing of Dress Down.

    In terms of building Dreadnought, the easy part is doing the thing. Real success however comes from not having to actually make Dreadnoughts. If your only goal is to dead people with 12/12s, you won't find success in this format.

    On Illudionary Mask, I don't think you've read the card correctly. The only thing that is free is the flipping. It costs mana to face-down a creature.

  3. #3
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    Re: Psychonaut

    Came here expecting Psychatog, leaving disappointed...

    I agree with Fox about Scroll 100%, and in general on his whole post. Going all-in on more combos that lose to removal isn't the best approach. That's the best part of Scroll of Fate, because you can go wide with tokens to create pressure that can help you get there if Dreadnought is answered or they play around Dreadnought. It also allows you to have turns where it lines up so you can combo and protect it without needing a ton of mana.

    Call me crazy, but I think Urza's Sage + Hex Parasite is too slow (and still loses to Wasteland.) I look at all that fast mana and I think: what if the other game plan wasn't tokens, but instead a fairly innocuous card that rewards you for playing a bunch of cheap spells? Not only that but you have synergistic tutors that lower your life total (Plunge) that can find your innocent little card. I'm talking Tendrils of Agony. Cutting the Illusionary Mask, Hunted Horror, and shaving a few other cards lets you play Cabal Ritual, Wishclaw Talisman, and Tendrils of Agony. Sounds awesome and awful in equal amounts to me, but hey, it will be fun. Scroll of Fate can be a sideboard card that lets you play a longer game against the brutal blue midrange decks.

    EDIT: I just realized that puts you in a spot where you only have 4 ways to combo with Dreadnought and less incentive to play Torpor Orb. I think it would be better to just go into Scroll of Fate x4 territory, and then some number of supplemental copies of Torpor Orb but probably not 4, maybe 2. I don't think Hunted Horror is a good card, even with Orb/Scroll. It is outclassed by one of the most played new cards: Murktide Regent.
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  4. #4
    Psilovibin
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    Re: Psychonaut

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    Scroll of Fate is a better card in most every way than Mask. Mono-black Dreadnought stuff isn't a real deck b/c it dies to it's own variance of drawing redundant enablers that don't do anything in multiples. Dreadnought is an overwhelmingly blue card, and any thought of deviating died with the printing of Dress Down.

    In terms of building Dreadnought, the easy part is doing the thing. Real success however comes from not having to actually make Dreadnoughts. If your only goal is to dead people with 12/12s, you won't find success in this format.

    On Illudionary Mask, I don't think you've read the card correctly. The only thing that is free is the flipping. It costs mana to face-down a creature.
    Mask is one mana cheaper. It also helps get Mox Opal back to Metalcraft after something like Lotus Petal, or Wasteland on Vault of Whispers. Further, one can Drit, Duress and then drop Mask afterwards where Scroll would be much slower or unprotected. Itís a stretch to say Mask is better than Scroll in every way. Scroll can only make one creature a turn and the auto flip means I can throw in a distruption spell before I attack to flip something.. An advantage of scroll is it can turn a card (rather than a creature) you can spare into a 2/2 to bait removal or to block, quite useful. Also, itís only tap rather than pay mana so one can wait to protect a flip. However, turning Dreadnought faceup still costs 1 so itís 4 for Scroll while Mask is 3.

    A friend put together a UR Dreadnought list, and Iíve played it. Scroll is good but I donít know that itís strictly better.


    Torpor Orb and Illusionary Mask cost the same amount of mana. At 2, I can get either into play before I would encounter Daze if Iím on the play. Meanwhile, Scroll of Fate comes down turn 3? Turn 1, Duress, turn 2 Mask is still faster. I havenít played with Dress Down yet, but if I play permanents instead they are still in play on the following turn could matter for example if discard + 2 drop piece means I can pass with resources in play and then do the thing next turn.

    The point of the variation was to explore a more explosive list with a discard package. The enablers are redundant, but they donít do anything in multiples is nonsense. If the opponent destroys or counters one of them, then I have another one is handy. The same could be said of creatures in multiples. 8 discard isnít remotely as interactive as another list with closer to 17 interaction.. but thatís a control deck, and this list is combo. Perhaps I should run more discard and or interaction? Mistvault Bridge and Dress Down over the other bridge and Torpor Orb?

    Iím perfectly content tuning and optimizing a tier 2 or 1.5 deck that nobody is familiar with. I canít afford this format on paper anymore anyway, I like brewing.

    I thank you though for your thoughts on the redundancy of the pieces, Dress Down which I hadnít read since spoilers. I thought it was a Torpor Orb until end of turn with a cantrip but itís much more versatile.
    Luck is a residue of design.



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  5. #5
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    Re: Psychonaut

    I'm confused about the artifact land manabase. Is that just to enable Mox Opal acceleration? Playing tapped 4x Darkmoss Bridge seems to undo tempo gains from Opal... Meanwhile you walk harder into losses from Collector Ouphe, Meltdown, Null Rod, Karn, the Great Creator, Blood Moon and friends. As a reaction to MH2, the format is boarding into more mass-answers for artifacts instead of the usual 1-for-1 Disenchants. Seems like the worst time to play artifact lands just for small value.

    Dreadnought+Hunted Horror Torpor Orb decks have been tried before. Fox would know about this best. From what I remember it was strongest in the Mental Misstep era when the format slowed down but this deck could run 0 Stifles and still cheat out Dreadnoughts under Misstep (Mask), making fast Stiflenoughts without casting any 1 cmc spells. Maximum trolling.

    Otherwise Torpor Orb is so bad in multiples and seems unnecessary with Dress Down printed (see DeathNought thread).

    4x Dark Confidant seems very strong here. This deck runs a ton of card disadvantage and should run out of steam if the first 12/12 is answered. But the curve is also low, so Bob recovers cards cheaply, and the lifeloss pays off for Shadow.

    Scroll of Fate does a few things that can be more valuable than speed:
    1) makes uncounterable Dreadnoughts (with Torpor they can let it resolve and answer Dreadnought. you spend 2 cards and opponent only needs to answer the 2nd. they have to answer Scroll itself)
    2) makes Dreadnought at EOT for surprise factor, dodging sorcery speed interaction
    3) converts dead cards into 2/2s (redundant Scrolls, Orbs, lands)

  6. #6
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    Re: Psychonaut

    It's not even a gain in speed is the thing. Sure you can Rit -> Thoughtseize -> cast Mask or Torpor, but then you're done. You still have to find the extra mana to cast the big guys face-up or face-down...so you're really no faster than turn 1 Seize -> turn 2 land, Rit, Scroll; which beats Daze. In either case you're not attacking until turn 3.

    Go with Mask/Torpor and you just tossed your payoffs into dies-to-sorcery-speed windows. While Mask and Torpor can multi-drop threats, you have to have cards in hand [which you won't in a deck with Rit and Opal]...so these don't really make more pressure than a Scroll. Multi-dropping dudes is also still possible with Dress Down.

    The main benefit of Mask is a card that doesn't exist yet, which has to have a cmc of 0 or 1, keyword morph/megamorph, and some like 20 mana unflip cost that says you win the game. Mask ignores that cost, and furthermore you can announce a split second spell to the stack, use Survivors' Encampment to pay costs, and have the win the game trigger protected by split second. Even here though, this is only marginally faster than going through Scroll. Note that Encampment is a Desert, and keyword Desertcycling exists, and thus it's only a matter of time before they undercost this novel fetching pathway.

    While the Desert stuff seems like a tangent, it's kinda like the only future this heavy black Stiflenought stuff has to hope for. The strategy you need to enact is a not yet existing fetchable pathway into Dunes of the Dead and spamming Smallpox profitably...and then being able to grab the 1x Encampment to do the split second not yet existing win the game trigger...even there though, I'd still go with Scroll of Fate as the primary, using Mask b/c it has a different card name [Surgical/Revoker] and favorable mechanics vs C Priest.

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