Talran, Sky Failure, What needs changing?

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I have my fiends telling me this is an amazing deck, but i never EVER see it spin off because ican not draw into any of he themes. 

What I want to do with it is:  Be able to cast, copy, and recast spells constantly.

What It Does: Flounders aroun helplesly withoutany means of defending itself.


Commander: Talrand, Sky Summoner


Creaures:  20
Sphinx Ambassador 
Guile 
Tidespout Tyrant
Memnarch 
Consecrated Sphinx 
Arcanis the Omnipotent 
Draining Whelk
Mulldrifter 
Body Double 
Vsuvan Shapeshifter
Venser, Shaper Savant 
Clone 
Archeomancer 
Lunar Mystic 
Daring Aprenice 
Ertai, Wizard Adept 
Temporal Adept 
Voidmage Prodigy 
Spellskite
Lighthouse Chronologist

Enchantments:  8
Confiscate  (want to mak Take Possession)
Leyline of Anticiption 
Rhystic Study 
Mind Unbound 
Telepathy 
Dissipation Field 
Archmage Ascension
Alexi's Cloak 


Sorceries:  12
Drain Power 
Reminisce 
Trade Secrets 
Call to Mind 
Forese  (want to sawp or Time Stretc)
Stolen Goods 
Rite of Replication 
Devistaion Tide 
Time Reversal 
Spelltwine 
Blatant Thievery 
Beacon of Tomorrows    

Instants:  16
Brain Storm 
Spell Burst 
Boomerang 
Counterspell 
Twincast 
Forbid 
Capsize 
Blue Sun's Zenith 
Mana Short 
Cackling Counterpart 
Cancel 
Dissipate 
Rewind 
Cryptic Command 
Evacuation  
Commandeer 

Atfacts:  10
Everflowing Chalice 
Sol Ring 
Sensei's Divining Top 
Ischron Cepter 
Journeyer's Kite 
Sapphite Medallion 
Crystal Ball 
Gilded Lotus 
Mirari 
Sphinx-Bone Wand 

and ofcourse Tami, the Moon Sage   

Cards I don't own but want:
Time Warp 
Time Stretch 
Walk The Aeons 
Jace, the Mind Sculptor 
Jace, Memory Adept 
Patron of the Moon 
Uyo, Silent Prophet


Cards i WILL NOT BUY!:
Force Of Will  
Maze Of Ith 
Pact Of Negation
First off, you need a Cyclonic Rift.

Bribery is also good. So is Desertion.

When dropping a field wipe, you want to make sure to keep your tokens on the field. Wash Out and Inundate are some cards that works.

I don't see your land list.
Play better acceleration (sapphire medallion, doubling cube, extraplanar lens, gauntlet of power, caged sun) and the buyback and retrace spells... so capsize, mystic speculation, clockspinning, forbid, whispers of the muse, oona's grace etc.

3DH4LIF3

Honestly I think you're playing too many creatures. Let the instant/sorcery drakes do their work. Also consider Proteus Staff and then 4 or 5 creatures in the whole deck.
First off, you need a Cyclonic Rift.

Bribery is also good. So is Desertion.

When dropping a field wipe, you want to make sure to keep your tokens on the field. Wash Out and Inundate are some cards that works.

I don't see your land list.



First of all.  Cyclone Rift I found out about today.

Second of all.  Inundate and Wash Out are awesome.  I did not know they exsisted.  Can I Get names of what i should remove?

Third, I did not feel that was relevant to mono blue.  If it is, I do not really care about lands that much.

First off, you need a Cyclonic Rift.

Bribery is also good. So is Desertion.

When dropping a field wipe, you want to make sure to keep your tokens on the field. Wash Out and Inundate are some cards that works.

I don't see your land list.



First of all.  Cyclone Rift I found out about today.

Second of all.  Inundate and Wash Out are awesome.  I did not know they exsisted.  Can I Get names of what i should remove?

Third, I did not feel that was relevant to mono blue.  If it is, I do not really care about lands that much.


Surrakar Spellblade could work in the deck.

Sigil Tracer can also help copy spells.

Cast Through Time gives your spells rebound.

Notorious Throng get some extra flyers.


If the deck didn't work the way you intended it to, start at the basics.

Here's what I would do -

-  Remove all the creatures from the deck save the commander.  Then replace a small amount of them who's abilities were absolutely relevant:  Drawing cards, from what I can see.
-  Decide on a package of spells - Decide what you want that package to aim for and go with that over anything else. 
-  Remember that copying spells does not get you sky drakes.

Specific suggestions for spells:

Merchant Scroll
Turnabout
High Tide
Relearn
Mystical Tutor
Impulse
Ponder
Long-Term Plans
Clockspinning was a good idea from Niheloim, it helps Tomato.
... and etcetera.  I would go for more spells that are like cantrips if not cantrips.  They not only help you sift your deck but get you creatures.

Helpful things like:
Swiftfoot Boots
Lightning Greaves
Thran Dynamo

If you're focusing on getting drakes, focus more on getting drakes.
Reworking the creature package is a good idea. Take out the dumb beats and play creatures that focus on your theme of instants and sorceries. Mnemonic wall, archaeomancer, scrivener, snapcaster mage... then play strong creatures that draw card and sakashima to double up on drake tokens.

3DH4LIF3

Time Spiral in place of Time Reversal.

Deep Analysis in place of Foresee
I am thinning down creatures to just the following:  Sakashima, Concecrated Sphinx, Arcanis The Omnipotent, Guile, Spellskite, and Lighthouse Chronologist (6) Which will open up 14 card slots off the bat.
 
Blue sorceries and instants I will add:
Cyclonic Rift
Time Stretch
Bribery
Time Warp
Overwhelming Intellect
Ponder, High Tide
Ertai's Meddling
Relearn
Impulse
Mystical Tutor
Inundate
Wash Out  (12)

Removed/replaced Sorceries: 
Drain Power --> Cast Through Time 
Foresee --> Deep Analysis 
Stolen Goods --> Omniscience
Time Reversal --> Time Spiral

Artifact Trades/Additions:
Journeyer's Kite --> Caged Sun
Thran Dynamo
Lightning Greaves
For extra turn, there is Walk the Aeons if you can afford the buyback cost.

Vedalken Shackles Treachery and Volition Reins gives more control options.

If you can afford the discard, then Dream Halls can also help bypass mana cost.

Invoke Prejudice can give non-blue creature decks a hard time.

Opposition you can make use of your numbers to tap down certain cards.


Ok.  The enchantments that steal and the artifact are nice, but dont quite cut the cheese for my deck.

Dream Halls is way to risky in my play group. The last three i love them! What Should i remove for Opposition, Invoke Prejudice, and Walk The Aeons?
You could drop Telepathy for Opposition or Invoke Prejudice. Telepathy should only be used with using more hand control.

Walk the Aeons can replace Time Warp, unless you want more extra turn.

Recurring Insight might be better than Overwhelming since it Rebound and gives you two shots.

Here are some Counter Spells you can look at.
Hinder, Spell Contortion, Spell Crumple, Dismiss, and Spelljack.

Hinder and Crumple get rid of the opponent's Commander.
You could drop Telepathy for Opposition or Invoke Prejudice. Telepathy should only be used with using more hand control.

Walk the Aeons can replace Time Warp, unless you want more extra turn.

Recurring Insight might be better than Overwhelming since it Rebound and gives you two shots.

Here are some Counter Spells you can look at.
Hinder, Spell Contortion, Spell Crumple, Dismiss, and Spelljack.

Hinder and Crumple get rid of the opponent's Commander.



Fair enough.  As far as gettig hinder and Spell Crumple go, that is hard because my local store is almost always sold out of them.   The same thing applies to Time warp, Time Stretch, and Walk the Aeons.
Overwhelming intellect is cute, but really needs the rest of the deck to be awesome.

Recurring insight is sort of the same thing. A 6 mana sorcery that draws you a bunch of cards can be a bit dodgy if you tap out and your opponents are free to win.

You need a good counterspell suite before loading up on tap out big spells and/or fantastic mana acceleration. So any hard counter that costs two is playable (remand might be an exception, and ertai's meddling and delay are likewise suspect... though funny with teferi). Then three mana spells that aren't cancel, rethink is pretty good too in a number of situations. Then your 4+ counters- foil, cryptic command, force of will and pact of negation.

In this deck I would run no less than eight counterspells.

If you build it right then recurring and overwhelming can be really good.

3DH4LIF3

Bosium strip

3DH4LIF3

Whispers of the Muse
Preordain
Stone Calendar
Mana Matrix

Sapphire Medallion

He's better off using Artifacts to give him more mana.

Ashnod's Altar can sac tokens for an extra 2 mana.

Extraplanar Lens is a must if running Islands. Snow Covered Islands will make it harder for opponents with normal Islands to get mana.

With Snow Islands, you could also use Heidar, Rimewind Master.
Overwhelming intellect is cute, but really needs the rest of the deck to be awesome. Recurring insight is sort of the same thing. A 6 mana sorcery that draws you a bunch of cards can be a bit dodgy if you tap out and your opponents are free to win. You need a good counterspell suite before loading up on tap out big spells and/or fantastic mana acceleration. So any hard counter that costs two is playable (remand might be an exception, and ertai's meddling and delay are likewise suspect... though funny with teferi). Then three mana spells that aren't cancel, rethink is pretty good too in a number of situations. Then your 4+ counters- foil, cryptic command, force of will and pact of negation. In this deck I would run no less than eight counterspells. If you build it right then recurring and overwhelming can be really good.



You have failed to read my primary post properly:  I WILL NOT BUY FORCE OR PACT! Last guy who played pact got slavered and lost because of it.

On top of that i hae, counterspell, cryptic, Rewind, and more.  Further more i wold probably ony play Insight if i ad flash.
No, I read the op. I just think you're wrong. Getting mindslavered and losing isn't a reason to not run pact. If you get slavered losing is to be expected.

As for hating counters... you have to understand that mono blue kinda requires them to have a chance. You can't complain your deck isn't doing well then refuse to play the very thing your deck needs to do well. This goes back to what you said in the op, " ...flounders aroun helplessly withoutany means of defending itself."

3DH4LIF3

No, I read the op. I just think you're wrong. Getting mindslavered and losing isn't a reason to not run pact. If you get slavered losing is to be expected. As for hating counters... you have to understand that mono blue kinda requires them to have a chance. You can't complain your deck isn't doing well then refuse to play the very thing your deck needs to do well. This goes back to what you said in the op, " ...flounders aroun helplessly withoutany means of defending itself."



Aiai, Nih, he said he will not buy them.  End of story.

As for blue being a little without without counterspells is not quite true.  It's a choice at this point.  He doesn't need either FoW or Pact.  There are plenty of substandard counters to use.

@ Singe, there isn't anything saying that one could not use both artifacts and mana reducers.  Besides, Medallion is already in the list, which is why I suggested others.  Most of the suggestions for those things are to help with buyback costs and general utility. 

  My personal preference is not to use mana boosters that help everyone.  I'm unfriendly that way.  Extraplanar lense is not good enough in my opinion, I would rather use Caged Sun.   

@ Taiku, I think you should remove Mind Unbound for Invoke Prejudice.  And Opposition is about the only good enchantment, not even Invoke, that should really go in to the deck. 

The complete creature package, I suggest, is as follows:

Consecrated Sphinx
Frost Titan
Man-o'-war
Peregrine Drake
Cloud of Faeries
Aether Adept
Scrivener
Deadeye Navigator 

Instants and Spells - For what I suggested earlier, but to reiterate:

Brainstorm
Impulse
Ponder
Preordain
Merchant Scroll
Mystical Tutor
Personal Tutor (if you can find one, they're pricey)
Turnabout
Echoing Truth
Hurkyl's Recall
High Tide
Counterspell
Rewind
Cancel
Interdict
Whatever else for counterspells and others you already have on there.

Oh yeah, and a couple of artifact suggestions:

Vedalken Orrery
Leyline of Anticipation    
True true... force and pact aren't necessary, but what mono blue is going to be competitive without counters? The general tone I got was "I hate counters" which is a losing mentality in monoblue.

You don't need to overload... but losing to someone else's counterspell or not being able to protect a horde of drakes from board wipe seems part of the problem identified in the op.

As for extraplanar lens... play snowcovered (as has been said) . It can be a bit metagamey but giving someone a minor boost with either lens or gauntlet while you receive a massive boost is fine. It comes down to how good your deck is. If your deck isn't up to the task then the boost you give your opponents is your end.

Its a lot like jace beleren and arcane denial- letting your opponent draw is only bad if your deck isn't good. Giving your opponent a boost isn't the end of the world if your own gameplan is solid.

3DH4LIF3

I've been running Talrand for a little while now.  Here's the creature base I'm using: Snapcaster Mage, Voidmage Husher, Venser, Shaper Savant, Glen Elendra Archmage, Sower of Temptation, Azami, Lady of Scrolls, Magus of the Future, and Consecrated Sphinx.  Sphinx is the only non-Wizard, and Cavern of Souls and Riptide Laboratory are awesome with the rest. 
Guile seems interesting, but I think there are better things to do with 6 mana.  Since you're mono-blue he's going to be a huge target, so if you don't have mana up to protect him you probably won't get anything out of it.

I'm running 13 counters, plus Counterbalance and a few counter-creatures.  Fifteen draw spells plus Rhystic Study, Tamiyo, JTMS, and new Jace.

How about Disrupting Shoal?  It's a conditional free counter, basically a budget Force of Will.
I've been running Talrand for a little while now.  Here's the creature base I'm using: Snapcaster Mage, Voidmage Husher, Venser, Shaper Savant, Glen Elendra Archmage, Sower of Temptation, Azami, Lady of Scrolls, Magus of the Future, and Consecrated Sphinx.  Sphinx is the only non-Wizard, and Cavern of Souls and Riptide Laboratory are awesome with the rest. 
Guile seems interesting, but I think there are better things to do with 6 mana.  Since you're mono-blue he's going to be a huge target, so if you don't have mana up to protect him you probably won't get anything out of it.

I'm running 13 counters, plus Counterbalance and a few counter-creatures.  Fifteen draw spells plus Rhystic Study, Tamiyo, JTMS, and new Jace.

How about Disrupting Shoal?  It's a conditional free counter, basically a budget Force of Will.

He could run Abjure and sac a token for the cost. Also Deprive. Interdict. Spell Syphon. Squelch. Unified Will. Dream Fracture.
@ niheliom:  $70 for force.  Not spending that much on one card!  EVER!  Pact has caused EVERYONE in my play group who ran it to lose the game..EVERY SIGNLE TIME! also $30 for a counter not happening.  As for hating counters, I do not.  I love them i just think i can make a great (Not competitive) deck with out Force/Pact.  Now if some one got me a force as a gift i would run it, but i am not going to spend 70 to get one myself.

@Malpheous:  I STRONGLY dislike your creature package.  They dont fit my kind of play style, and as such I woul not have as much fun with it as the list of creatures i placed earlier in the thread.  Personal Tutor is only 20 bucks at my local store....they have about 40.  Asside from that, the enchants i run are good and help my flavor a lot.  Further more, I do need VO, and more ramp in my deck.

@JBTM:      THere are 0 Counterbalance available to my store and pay group because my friend bought the last of them 3 weeks ago for a legacy deck.b  I run Spell Burst and Forbid, Disrupting Shoal is nice but pricy if I can not huck the card for it.  '

@Singe:  I did originally run Abjure in the deck.  I was going to put it back in once i got talrand and did.  It is wonderful and mean.  I have a Deprive, will and Dream Fracture as well.
Cost can be an issue in a card game. But of counters that cost 5 pact and force are the playable ones. Force can be gotten for around 60 on ebay. And pact is about 15-20.

Honestly though losing because of pact of negation is not something that happens often. So forgive me if I don't believe pact has caused a loss "every single time." I suppose you're playing it wrong if you are losing. Its meant to be the counter that you hold for when you win the game... which makes it hard to lose on your next turn.

As for hating counters... your exact words were "i hae" and a list of counters. I misread the context. You had a list with a dearth of counters and then post "i hae" ... I guess you meant "I have" not I hate.

3DH4LIF3

@Malpheous:  I STRONGLY dislike your creature package.  They dont fit my kind of play style, and as such I woul not have as much fun with it as the list of creatures i placed earlier in the thread.  Personal Tutor is only 20 bucks at my local store....they have about 40.  Asside from that, the enchants i run are good and help my flavor a lot.  Further more, I do need VO, and more ramp in my deck.



Yeah, I run utility creatures, most of the time.  It was an example of ETB (CITP) creatures.  Your style or not, your deck could use some utility creatures.  Almost as if the base type of spell is meaningless in the deck, aside instant and sorcery.

Personal tutor for $20? FFS, I'll take 4.  What is the phone number of the store?

@ Niheloim, he said "Signle", (sic) him carefully.
Echo Mage could be helpful.
Stronghold Biologist and Stronghold Machinist can offer more counters.

Ur crackin' me up malpheas. Its surprisingly hard to quote on my kindle. Darned auto spell.

Ghostly flicker and recursion creatures seem more on theme... and omniscience. Lets him actually cast stuff forever-like. Also plays well with peregrine drake EoT for a loop on the ghostly flicker to win.

3DH4LIF3

I was kind of hoping for 'Derpive', personally.
Ghostly flicker and recursion creatures seem more on theme... and omniscience. Lets him actually cast stuff forever-like. Also plays well with peregrine drake EoT for a loop on the ghostly flicker to win.


Ghostly Flicker on Peregrine Drake (or Palinchron) and Archaeomancer is infinite without Omniscience.
You can use Feldon's Cane in place of Reminisce. There is also Mnemonic Nexus if you need to hit all players.

Since you haven Isochron Scepter, there could be some useful cheap spells you could try with it. Curfew, Diminish, High Tide, Pongify, Visions of Beyond, Impulse, Ovinize, Perilous Research, Reset, Snap, and Telling Time.
@jbtm- yes, I know. It was two overlapping combos.

Ghostly flicker + recursion creature +omniscience.

Ghostly flicker + peregrine drake + recursion creature.

Both let talrand go nutty.

3DH4LIF3

quicken can make a ponder act like a brainstorm or any sorcery an instant. Also it nets you a drake and a card.

truth or tale acts like a 2nd fact or fiction
Out of that list I would use only Think Twice and Forbid is another one that has been mentioned.  The rest are... eh?  Maybe Flash of Insight.

Truth or tale is a REALLY weak version of FoF.  You separate the piles, giving any opponent information about what you think is important and then they get to choose a pile for you to keep a single card from.  I realise you can bluff this, depending on what is revealed, but it's too risky, imo.  Last and not least:  The cards go on the bottom of your library instead of in to the second library resource:  The graveyard. 

Yikes, maybe I'm just in a snarky mood.  Opinion stands, though.       
I'm still debating on fervent denial in my niv deck. I'm running quiet speculation to nab flash back, but never seem to want to get past in flames. By the time its relevant its usually time to win some other way.

So I agree with malpheus. Flashbacks I would play in blue? Deep analysis, think twice, flash of insight if you really need to.

I think bosium strip would be better to reuse all your cantripping spells.

3DH4LIF3

...So I agree with malpheus...



Now you're just messing with me.

Messing with you? Never.

3DH4LIF3

If Talrand's tokens are your win-con, more or less, you might want to add a way for his tokens to be better than French-vanilla 2/2 flyers. Maybe Akroma's Memorial for the haste, or any other way to give all your instant tokens haste. Otherwise, they'll be sitting around for a couple opponents' turns hoping you are alive to abuse them on your next turn.

Just a thought, and an early one. Sure, you can do other things with them, but the good old-fashioned combo of "creatures' power" vs "opponents' life total" is one of my all-time favorites.
If I'm right, I'm right. If I'm wrong, I still believe I'm right. Think of it as religion. dubito ergo sum.
Memorial isn't a big help, unless the Pro-Red or Black makes a difference.  Haste isn't usually an issue because you're making the tokens at instant speed. 
I use Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power and Favorable Winds in my deck to buff the tokens.  3/3 tokens are a huge step up from 2/2s.