Tuesday, December 15, 2015

So Far, So Good, Kaseto

Noah has been making The Mimeoplasm work for him during 2015. It's a strong deck and I'm pleased to say that I did well against it! The biggest key: Sosuke's Summons. That card is just outstanding here and without it I don't know that this deck could perform as well.

I'm not the only one who's been tinkering with Kaseto; Jason Alt at Gathering Magic made a deck with more of a "I get benefits when my creatures are unblocked" theme. I don't really see anything too revelatory there: the goal is to generate a ton of mana for cards like...sigh...Orochi Hatchery. The use of Nature's Will is a good one but isn't exactly what I'm looking for-and I didn't see Bear Umbra, which would help the theme and help preserve the creatures.

Similarly, I don't see that use in Doctor MTG's take on the deck, although he clearly is going for an infinite mana combo in order to break cards like Hatchery or Snake Basket. In addition, I should seriously consider cards like Blight Mamba (which can kill in one swipe), Wasteland Viper and Mold Adder. I'm not so high on Snake Pit because if my opponent isn't running blue or black, the card is dead. Mold Adder still provides me with a snake to trigger Door of Destinies or Sosuke's Summons and if there are black or blue spells being cast by opponents: bonus!

What I do like in Doctor MTG's take is some of the blue additions, especially Leyline of Anticipation and Kruphix, God of Horizons. I don't know if there's room in the deck for them but I'm keeping those ideas on my radar for sure.

One suggestion I'm very excited about is Cryptic Gateway. This is Matt's idea and I am amazed I'd overlooked this card for so long. The combination, especially with Sosuke's Summons, is so good! 3 mana for 3 creatures and the ability to recast Sosuke's Summons? Oh yes.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Kaseto Revised

Most of the games of commander I played against Jason were against the GB Meren deck that he picked up. While this pic is of me playing the UR Mizzix of the Izmagnus---

Brief aside:  the Meren deck is full of a lot of synergies and very, very powerful. The Mizzix deck is explosive if you can get to the mid-to-late game and the Daxos deck can become relentlessly insurmountable if allowed to thrive. I took apart the UG one and nobody cares about the RW one so I can't speak to them but nice job WotC on at least 3 of those decks! Now let's get back.---

The pic is of me playing the Mizzix deck, I spent most of my time working on Kaseto going against the unchanged Meren deck. Here are a few things I learned:

1) Overrun effects win. There were no less than three games where one of us cast Overrun or one of it's children and flat out won the game.

2) U/G decks need creature removal. A 3/4 legend shouldn't pose a huge problem, yet without a way to kill it or force Jason to block with it, I didn't have any other options than: Try to find a way to win before recurring Shriekmaw does me in. Spoiler alert: That didn't happen.

3) I would like to find ways to make dealing damage to the opponent matter: being able to make unblockable creatures is good but in Commander, something that gives me a bonus when a creature does damage to a player would be nice. I don't know that it's possible to work in a subtheme like this, given the weakness of this tribe but as the deck evolves, it's something I'll try to keep an eye out for.

4) Orochi Hatchery is terrible. There's an old rule that says that if you pay 5+ mana for anything, it better impact the board. The Hatchery just doesn't. This is one of the easiest cuts to make.

Let's see what happens when I add in a Capsize ('Snakes, run!') and a Dominate (snake charming?) for the lousy Hatchery and the incredibly underperforming Matsu-Tribe Birdstalker.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Swaps for Snakes

I removed:
Sylvan Bounty
Grim Flowering
Lifeblood Hydra
Soul of Zendikar
Fangreen Pathcutter
Regal Force
Tornado Elemental
Wolfbriar Elemental
Titania's Chosen
Collective Unconscious
Song of the Dryads
Grave Sifter
Loreseeker's Stone
Emerald Medallion
Moss Diamond
Myriad Landscape
Jungle Basin
Gargoyle Castle
and about 9 Forests

Then added:
Kaseto, Orochi Archmage (because the deck isn't a deck without it)
Biomantic Mastery
Colossal Heroics
Wrap in Vigor
Patagia Viper
Broodbirth Viper
Ohran Viper
Mystic Snake
Lorescale Coatl
Coiling Oracle
Orochi Hatchery
Simic Keyrune
Simic Signet
Bident of Thassa
Mirror Match
8 Island
Reliquary Tower
Novijen, Heart of Progress
Thornwood Falls
Simic Growth Chamber
Simic Guildgate
Evolving Wilds
Command Tower
Vivid Grove
Vivid Creek

It doesn't seem like much: I continued going all in on the Snake thing, with blue giving me access to Mirror Match, Bident of Thassa and some of the better multicolor U/G snakes, like Mystic Snake or Lorescale Coatl. There are still questions for me: Orochi Hatchery being a big one. I know Commander is about big spells and dropping a bunch of snakes every turn is a big deal but XX spells are always terrible. Assuming I can get X to equal 4, that's 13 mana for 4 snakes.

I also feel like there are Blue cards I'm overlooking: not just Ophidian (which I don't really have space for) but something else that could be truly beneficial. I suppose I shouldn't be that surprised: I narrowed my focus to what was in the Paragon deck and what I could strip from the Kaseto deck. Some playtesting will help, so that's next.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Commander: Patron of the Orochi -> Kaseto, Orochi Archmage

We start off with one Patron of the Orochi:

1 Titania's Chosen
1 Wolfbriar Elemental
1 Silklash Spider
1 Grave Sifter
1 Tornado Elemental
1 Terastodon
1 Lifeblood Hydra
1 Kaysa
1 Mire Boa
1 Nemesis of Mortals
1 Nessian Asp
1 Death-Hood Cobra
1 Kashi-Tribe Elite
1 Kashi-Tribe Reaver
1 Kashi-Tribe Warriors
1 Orochi Eggwatcher
1 Orochi Leafcaller
1 Orochi Ranger
1 Orochi Sustainer
1 Shisato, Whispering Hunter
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Sakura-Tribe Scout
1 Sakura-Tribe Springcaller
1 Sakiko, Mother of Summer
1 Matsu-Tribe Birdstalker
1 Matsu-Tribe Sniper
1 Sosuke, Son of Seshiro
1 Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro
1 Seshiro the Anointed
1 Ambush Viper
1 Hooded Hydra
1 Soul of Zendikar
1 Regal Force
1 Fangren Pathcutter
1 Skullclamp
1 Sol Ring
1 Emerald Medallion
1 Moss Diamond
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Seer's Sundial
1 Predator, Flagship
1 Door of Destinies
1 Loreseeker's Stone
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Beastmaster Ascension
1 Song of the Dryads
1 Gaea's Anthem
1 Harrow
1 Fresh Meat
1 Sosuke's Summons
1 Fog
1 Naturalize
1 Whirlwind
1 Overwhelming Stampede
1 Overrun
1 Grim Flowering
1 Collective Unconscious
1 Desert Twister
1 Wave of Vitriol
1 Praetor's Counsel
1 Cultivate
1 Tranquility
1 Sylvan Bounty

1 Crystal Vein
1 Gargoyle Castle
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Haunted Fengraf
1 Havenwood Battleground
1 Jungle Basin
1 Myriad Landscape
1 Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
1 Slippery Karst
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Tranquil Thicket
25 Forest

This is a half assed spin on a mono green commander that I took from the skeleton of last year's Freyalise deck, figuring hey, snakes! There were a few tweaks but I'll just admit this was an attempt for me to make an underused tribe into a thing. I didn't tech it out heavily or playtest it, so now's the time to do that.

Except Wizards goes and prints Kaseto. OK. Fine: Let's add in blue and see what happens. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Wait...You Were Working On A Sliver Deck, Right?

This is true! I was. Am.

Well, what can I say. The holidays are a good time to play Magic, sometimes and sometimes I end up playing a lot of Commander instead.

I did get one final game in with Jason against a UW Miracles deck that wasn't using Counterbalance. Early beats combined with a few misplays using Sensei's Divining Top and the best reset Jason could find being Devastation Tide meant that I could put the hurt on before any kind of delay tactics could win him the game. I held on to Collected Company as a way to try and recover from Terminus, if I saw it but fortunately for me, games never got that far.

I made a few final tweaks to the deck: Frenzy Sliver came out for a second Leeching Sliver because the guaranteed life loss triggers are better than possible power increase triggers.

A second Necrotic Sliver was put in because it's one of those cards that opponents hate to see and I should run as many of those as I can. Similarly, I swapped a Manaweft Sliver for a Predatory because more pump is good and opponents hate to see that card. With the two Cavern of Souls, I think my mana issues will be fine.

In the end, I'm satisfied with this list-it's almost tournament worthy, I think. Here you go:

4 Sliver Hive
14 Forest
2 Cavern of Souls
2 Mana Confluence

1 Blade Sliver
1 Bonesplitter Sliver
1 Two-Headed Sliver
1 Striking Sliver
1 Shadow Sliver
1 Sidewinder Sliver
2 Sinew Sliver
1 Ward Sliver
1 Brood Sliver
1 Horned Sliver
2 Manaweft Sliver
2 Gemhide Sliver
2 Predatory Sliver
1 Harmonic Sliver
2 Necrotic Sliver
1 Sliver Hivelord
1 Sliver Overlord
1 Sliver Queen
3 Bone Harvest
1 Galerider Sliver
3 Collected Company
1 Venom Sliver
2 Leeching Sliver
1 Crystalline Sliver
1 Winged Sliver
1 Syphon Sliver

2 Vines of Vastwood