Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jeleva Overhauled

All of the Commander 2013 decks need an overhaul. It's just what I do--what everyone will do, eventually. I'm going to start with Jeleva because of all the decks, this is the one that had the obvious pull: True-Name Nemesis. That's a card which is brilliant in 1v1 matches but in multiplayer, not so much. Plus, I have a merfolk deck to plug it into.

So: let's start with the roster:

Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge
1 Sol Ring
1 Armillary Sphere
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Obelisk of Grixis
1 Temple Bell
1 Mirari
1 Wayfarer's Bauble
1 Eye of Doom
1 Akoum Refuge
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Command Tower
1 Crumbling Necropolis
1 Dimir Guildgate
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Grixis Panorama
1 Izzet Boilerworks
1 Izzet Guildgate
1 Molten Slagheap
1 Rakdos Carnarium
1 Rakdos Guildgate
1 Rupture Spire
1 Temple of the False God
1 Vivid Creek
1 Vivid Marsh
9 Island
8 Swamp
5 Mountain
1 Opal Palace
1 Urza's Factory
1 Augur of Bolas
1 Fog Bank
1 Nightscape Familiar
1 Moroii
1 Nivix Guildmage
1 Guard Gomazoa
1 Guttersnipe
1 Echo Mage
1 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Viseling
1 Mnemonic Wall
1 Charmbreaker Devils
1 Uyo, Silent Prophet
1 Thraximundar
1 Jace's Archivist
1 True-Name Nemesis
1 Terra Ravager
1 Diviner Spirit
1 Hooded Horror
1 Nekusar, the Mindrazer
1 Baleful Force
1 Tempt with Reflections
1 Infest
1 Fissure Vent
1 Incendiary Command
1 Phthisis
1 Cruel Ultimatum
1 Decree of Pain
1 Army of the Damned
1 Prosperity
1 Skyscribing
1 Molten Disaster
1 Vision Skeins
1 Soul Manipulation
1 Grixis Charm
1 Sudden Spoiling
1 Dismiss
1 Wild Ricochet
1 Annihilate
1 Opportunity
1 Starstorm
1 Strategic Planning
1 Crosis's Charm
1 Illusionist's Gambit

1 Propaganda
1 Spiteful Visions
1 Arcane Melee
1 Curse of Inertia
1 Curse of Shallow Graves
1 Curse of Chaos
1 Price of Knowledge

I am going to keep Thraximundar and Nekusar, the Mindrazer in there. Nekusar because it's good to have a substitute general and Thraximundar because it's good to have a 'Bite me,' card. Of the two, Thrax is most likely to come out when I need a 'Bite me' card in a different deck.

Removing; True-Name Nemesis and all the Curses.

I've come around a little bit on the Curses (I'll have a deck to show off why in a few weeks), because I think their place is mostly going to be in 60 card duel decks; in multiples I believe they will be outstanding. In multiplayer, I'm faced with giving my opponents things that I'm going to have to deal with later: cards, creatures, better creatures, or life. If I curse Noah to encourage stonethorn, I still have to deal with stonethorn eventually, only now he'll have more zombies than he did before. Who needs that?

So no. Curse of Inertia is probably the most innocuous because the effect is temporary and Curse of Chaos has the benefit of meshing with Nekusar's ability but again: better in multiples against a single opponent.

As replacements, I put in Cognivore, Magnivore and Trench Gorger. Of these, Trench Gorger requires the most justification but the theory is: removing lands gives me a higher density of spells, which then increases the likelihood of hitting Jeleva's ability. All of them are good monsters though with effects that I think will make this deck more fearsome.

And if Trench Gorger doesn't work out, Trench Wurm is in the wings. Nobody ever likes to see Trench Wurm, which I say is a good thing. 

I took out the Baleful Strix because I recently acquired 3 more, so they're going into a deck with Lieges in them. I put in a Moroii in its place: the life loss isn't much and the efficiency of a 4/4 flier outweighs it easily. 

Finally, the fishy elephant in the room, True-Name Nemesis. Now on the one side, I do like to see Wizards take these chances. Commander offers them an opportunity to inject new ideas into high powered formats like Legacy, where all of these cards are legal to play.

Buuuut TNN is also a very expensive card. I'm not sure how much good it does to inject powerful cards that can shake up a format in such a way that very few people are allowed to play that format. I suppose the exposure might help and, if enough Commander product ships that the cost of those decks are kept in check that might be OK, however current trends are not encouraging; the Mind Seize deck was selling for $60 at the time of this writing-and sold out at StarCity Games. That can only mean that the price will likely go up, when SCG gets more. (The 'suggested' price at Amazon? $150. With a 'discount' to put it down to $60....what the hell?)

Still, TNN is a card that is terrible in multiplayer. That's just the fact of it; it wants to be in duel decks, specifically a merfolk one, which, of course, I have. Swapped for Radiate which feels more in sync with what this deck wants to do, in addition to having cool potential interactions with the Commander format. I look forward to taking this for a spin.

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