6/3/2014 RC: "A Devoted Initiative"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's ReConstructed, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Is Eidolon of the Great Revel really that good? I've never played with or against it. But it seems to me in a world full of Coursers, Revelations, and Gray Merchants, it'd cost you many games when you're taking damage from almost all your spells.

JesusKong wrote:

Is Eidolon of the Great Revel really that good? I've never played with or against it. But it seems to me in a world full of Coursers, Revelations, and Gray Merchants, it'd cost you many games when you're taking damage from almost all your spells.

 

Having played the same deck, I'd say he is quite the force. He was usually a target for removal, most of which is at 3 or less cmc. Effectively card advantage. Most importantly it brings the opponent closer to Fanatic of Mogis range in a deck with little to no burn. If you're behind against a green-based creature deck you can always chump block. In fact, having your opponent feel it's on his side could allow for a few free swings, then oh! comes the combo. :D

Looking at the list again makes me feel there should be room for a Mizzium Mortars or two in there...

Cortu wrote:

 

JesusKong wrote:

Is Eidolon of the Great Revel really that good? I've never played with or against it. But it seems to me in a world full of Coursers, Revelations, and Gray Merchants, it'd cost you many games when you're taking damage from almost all your spells.

 

 

Having played the same deck, I'd say he is quite the force. He was usually a target for removal, most of which is at 3 or less cmc. Effectively card advantage. Most importantly it brings the opponent closer to Fanatic of Mogis range in a deck with little to no burn. If you're behind against a green-based creature deck you can always chump block. In fact, having your opponent feel it's on his side could allow for a few free swings, then oh! comes the combo. :D

 

 It just seems like you're assuming a lot though. I can definitely see it being a target for removal. But let's say you play it on turn 2, your opponent passes their second turn, turn 3, you play a creature or two, which this deck is designed to do, take 2 or 4, try to attack only to have an opponent use a kill spell. Or worse, they use Pharika's Cure, effectively neutralizing it. Most Black Devotion decks still have it on the sideboard and it's the biggest deck out there. They also have the beastly Pack Rat, which turns the tables on it too. They can make Rat tokens all day while you're taking damge from every spell you cast. I mean I could be wrong, maybe it does shine in certain decks, including this one, and I understand there aren't many choices out there with the RR casting cost, but I feel it'd do more harm than good, especially in a deck with 4 Firedrinkers, 4 Sacred Foundrys, and 4 Mana Confluences. Maybe I'll try it out after Pack Rat, Revelation, and Blood Baron rotate out.

JesusKong wrote:

 

Cortu wrote:

 

JesusKong wrote:

Is Eidolon of the Great Revel really that good? I've never played with or against it. But it seems to me in a world full of Coursers, Revelations, and Gray Merchants, it'd cost you many games when you're taking damage from almost all your spells.

 

 

Having played the same deck, I'd say he is quite the force. He was usually a target for removal, most of which is at 3 or less cmc. Effectively card advantage. Most importantly it brings the opponent closer to Fanatic of Mogis range in a deck with little to no burn. If you're behind against a green-based creature deck you can always chump block. In fact, having your opponent feel it's on his side could allow for a few free swings, then oh! comes the combo. :D

 

 

 It just seems like you're assuming a lot though. I can definitely see it being a target for removal. But let's say you play it on turn 2, your opponent passes their second turn, turn 3, you play a creature or two, which this deck is designed to do, take 2 or 4, try to attack only to have an opponent use a kill spell. Or worse, they use Pharika's Cure, effectively neutralizing it. Most Black Devotion decks still have it on the sideboard and it's the biggest deck out there. They also have the beastly Pack Rat, which turns the tables on it too. They can make Rat tokens all day while you're taking damge from every spell you cast. I mean I could be wrong, maybe it does shine in certain decks, including this one, and I understand there aren't many choices out there with the RR casting cost, but I feel it'd do more harm than good, especially in a deck with 4 Firedrinkers, 4 Sacred Foundrys, and 4 Mana Confluences. Maybe I'll try it out after Pack Rat, Revelation, and Blood Baron rotate out.

 

True, I have actually not played the Black Devotion deck with this. (My meta is mostly Monster Midrange.) It is though, at least a little, better than what you make it look. You will attack, usually, prior to playing any creatures. Also, Pharika's Cure will net them 2 life regardless of where they point it at. At least you get ahead on that deal, if only for a life point. But, regardless, it seems Black Devotion would win that race. With that in mind, what would you change or sideboard in to better that match-up?

It bugs me when people refer to cards like Ash Zealot as "this guy". She's pretty clearly female.

can't (detmine the) sex (of) a lady bug by it's shell

NO WAR

On Entrance; put a land you control owner's hand.

: gather , or .

and tap a creature you control: add or remove

   an underground counter to or from that creaure.

Creatures with underground counters

  can only block or be blocked by

  other creatures with underground counters.

  ~ancient and forgotten dwell

 

Cortu wrote:

 

JesusKong wrote:

 

Cortu wrote:

 

JesusKong wrote:

Is Eidolon of the Great Revel really that good? I've never played with or against it. But it seems to me in a world full of Coursers, Revelations, and Gray Merchants, it'd cost you many games when you're taking damage from almost all your spells.

 

 

Having played the same deck, I'd say he is quite the force. He was usually a target for removal, most of which is at 3 or less cmc. Effectively card advantage. Most importantly it brings the opponent closer to Fanatic of Mogis range in a deck with little to no burn. If you're behind against a green-based creature deck you can always chump block. In fact, having your opponent feel it's on his side could allow for a few free swings, then oh! comes the combo. :D

 

 

 It just seems like you're assuming a lot though. I can definitely see it being a target for removal. But let's say you play it on turn 2, your opponent passes their second turn, turn 3, you play a creature or two, which this deck is designed to do, take 2 or 4, try to attack only to have an opponent use a kill spell. Or worse, they use Pharika's Cure, effectively neutralizing it. Most Black Devotion decks still have it on the sideboard and it's the biggest deck out there. They also have the beastly Pack Rat, which turns the tables on it too. They can make Rat tokens all day while you're taking damge from every spell you cast. I mean I could be wrong, maybe it does shine in certain decks, including this one, and I understand there aren't many choices out there with the RR casting cost, but I feel it'd do more harm than good, especially in a deck with 4 Firedrinkers, 4 Sacred Foundrys, and 4 Mana Confluences. Maybe I'll try it out after Pack Rat, Revelation, and Blood Baron rotate out.

 

 

True, I have actually not played the Black Devotion deck with this. (My meta is mostly Monster Midrange.) It is though, at least a little, better than what you make it look. You will attack, usually, prior to playing any creatures. Also, Pharika's Cure will net them 2 life regardless of where they point it at. At least you get ahead on that deal, if only for a life point. But, regardless, it seems Black Devotion would win that race. With that in mind, what would you change or sideboard in to better that match-up?

 

Hmm, for that match-up specifically, I'd probably swap the Eidolon for Mizzium Mortars, like you suggested. It can kill off one Pack Rat early, or an army of them later. I'd probably want a third one on the sideboard, along with a couple Skullcracks, but beware playing them with Iroas out, it'll stop his damage prevention effect, although there probably aren't many scenarios where that'll happen. Now that I think about it, bringing in an extra Iroas on the sideboard might push your army through Mono-Black. Or maybe a single Assemble the Legion. There's just not many good red 2-drops out to choose from if you're looking for a direct replacement, especially ones with the RR cost to help power up the Fanatic. You pretty much have the Eidolon and Frostburn Weird to choose between, although the Weird can attack into a Courser or Sylvan Caryatid without help from Legion's Initiative. One possibly is to go with a card costing 1R like Gore-House Chainwalker or Firefist Striker, since it's only two slots in your deck and can be played on turn two following a Burning-Tree Emissary. Or Wojek Halberders since you have access to white. It would be a 4/3 for two with the Initiative out. Honestly if I was going to play something like this, I would go deeper into white and try to fit in Precinct Captain, and run less Fanatics. The tokens would still trigger Purphoros when they arrive, but you'd lose em when activating the Initiative. It would change the deck around a lot, and you wouldn't have the same kind of combo, but I think it'd be more consistent. You'd still be able to activate the Initiative, get a bunch of Purphoros triggers, then attack since they have haste when you get everything back, maybe denying a couple blockers with Firefist Striker. If you want, I can write up a decklist that's more white and less centered on Fanatic of Mogis. Like the article says, you can go faster with it or go slower and bigger. My approach would be on the faster side.

Quick question, if you combine Aurelia with Legion's Initiative, would you be able to activate Initiative after dealing combat damage the first time, thus blinking your army and resetting Aurelia to give yourself 3 attack phases? Is that possible?

JesusKong wrote:

Quick question, if you combine Aurelia with Legion's Initiative, would you be able to activate Initiative after dealing combat damage the first time, thus blinking your army and resetting Aurelia to give yourself 3 attack phases? Is that possible?

 

Wow! Yes, she's a whole new woman!

 

Also, I'm interested to see your proposed list. Note, however how the Initiative only pumps toughness on mono-W creatures. But it sounds (reads?) like you have something going on there. Please share!

Cortu wrote:

 

JesusKong wrote:

Quick question, if you combine Aurelia with Legion's Initiative, would you be able to activate Initiative after dealing combat damage the first time, thus blinking your army and resetting Aurelia to give yourself 3 attack phases? Is that possible?

 

 

Wow! Yes, she's a whole new woman!

 

Also, I'm interested to see your proposed list. Note, however how the Initiative only pumps toughness on mono-W creatures. But it sounds (reads?) like you have something going on there. Please share!

 

Okay here's what I got so far, I kinda threw it together overnight, it hasn't been tested, and could probably use some work:

 

23 Lands

 

4 Mana Confluence

9 Mountain

2 Plains

4 Sacred Foundry

4 Temple of Triumph

 

28 Creatures

 

4 Dryad Militant

4 Firedrinker Satry

4 Ash Zealot

4 Burning-Tree Emissary

2 Firefist Striker

3 Precinct Captain

3 Prophetic Flamespeaker

3 Purphoros, God of the Forge

1 Iroas, God of Victory

 

9 other spells

 

3 Chained to the Rocks

4 Legion's Initiative

2 Spear of Heliod

 

Sideboard

 

2 Assemble the Legion

2 Banishing Light

2 Boros Charm

1 Chandra, Pyromaster

1 Deicide

3 Mizzium Mortars

2 Stormbreath Dragon

2 Wear // Tear

 

 

Notes: First off, I hated cutting Boros Reckoner, it's a great card, but I was trying to lower the overall cost of the creatures. I also cut the Fanatics because I moved away quite a bit from the red devotion theme, and I feel they would've lost some of their power. The point of the deck is to get as many creatures out as fast as possible and attack, attack, and attack some more. Prophetic Flamespeaker is great for finding more creatures, and helps make sure you don't run out of gas, It's another reason why I wanted to drop the cost of my creatures. I don't know if you've ever played a deck with both the Flamespeaker and Burning-Tree Emissary, but exiling a Burning-Tree with it is awesome. It almost guarantees you'll be able to play both cards exiled. It was a toss-up between Dryad Militant and Soldier of the Pantheon for the one-drop slot, I love the Soldier, but I chose the Militant because it can be played off of Burning-Tree Emissary's green mana. It's also pretty good against control decks that like to reuse their spells with Elixir of Immortality. BG self-mill decks are gaining popularity too and that helps some against Deathrite Shaman too. Like you said, mono-white creatures only get a toughness boost from the Initiative, so I added a couple copies of Spear of Heliod to help push as much damage through as fast as possible. Precinct Captain tokens will trigger Purphoros, and can give you a respectable army with the Spear. Spear can also act as an attack deterrent, while you send your creatures to the red zone turn after turn. The combo of Legion's Initiative and Purphoros is still there, but the Fanatic isn't around so it doesn't have the same surprise ending, although the Initiative and Purphoros can close out games with a few other creatures. If it doesn't kill your opponent, you'll be close enough to swing for one last attack, preferably with a Firefist Striker to clear your path. But always keep in mind that the Initiative can be used as a Ghostway against sweepers if you need it to. You may have to mulligan more aggressively with this version, because you have cards costing RR and WW as two-drops. Also, I'll admit I'm not the best sideboard builder and that could probably use some work. Try it out and let me know how it goes.

JesusKong wrote:

 

Cortu wrote:

 

JesusKong wrote:

Quick question, if you combine Aurelia with Legion's Initiative, would you be able to activate Initiative after dealing combat damage the first time, thus blinking your army and resetting Aurelia to give yourself 3 attack phases? Is that possible?

 

 

Wow! Yes, she's a whole new woman!

 

Also, I'm interested to see your proposed list. Note, however how the Initiative only pumps toughness on mono-W creatures. But it sounds (reads?) like you have something going on there. Please share!

 

 

Okay here's what I got so far, I kinda threw it together overnight, it hasn't been tested, and could probably use some work:

 

23 Lands

 

4 Mana Confluence

9 Mountain

2 Plains

4 Sacred Foundry

4 Temple of Triumph

 

28 Creatures

 

4 Dryad Militant

4 Firedrinker Satry

4 Ash Zealot

4 Burning-Tree Emissary

2 Firefist Striker

3 Precinct Captain

3 Prophetic Flamespeaker

3 Purphoros, God of the Forge

1 Iroas, God of Victory

 

9 other spells

 

3 Chained to the Rocks

4 Legion's Initiative

2 Spear of Heliod

 

Sideboard

 

2 Assemble the Legion

2 Banishing Light

2 Boros Charm

1 Chandra, Pyromaster

1 Deicide

3 Mizzium Mortars

2 Stormbreath Dragon

2 Wear // Tear

 

 

Notes: First off, I hated cutting Boros Reckoner, it's a great card, but I was trying to lower the overall cost of the creatures. I also cut the Fanatics because I moved away quite a bit from the red devotion theme, and I feel they would've lost some of their power. The point of the deck is to get as many creatures out as fast as possible and attack, attack, and attack some more. Prophetic Flamespeaker is great for finding more creatures, and helps make sure you don't run out of gas, It's another reason why I wanted to drop the cost of my creatures. I don't know if you've ever played a deck with both the Flamespeaker and Burning-Tree Emissary, but exiling a Burning-Tree with it is awesome. It almost guarantees you'll be able to play both cards exiled. It was a toss-up between Dryad Militant and Soldier of the Pantheon for the one-drop slot, I love the Soldier, but I chose the Militant because it can be played off of Burning-Tree Emissary's green mana. It's also pretty good against control decks that like to reuse their spells with Elixir of Immortality. BG self-mill decks are gaining popularity too and that helps some against Deathrite Shaman too. Like you said, mono-white creatures only get a toughness boost from the Initiative, so I added a couple copies of Spear of Heliod to help push as much damage through as fast as possible. Precinct Captain tokens will trigger Purphoros, and can give you a respectable army with the Spear. Spear can also act as an attack deterrent, while you send your creatures to the red zone turn after turn. The combo of Legion's Initiative and Purphoros is still there, but the Fanatic isn't around so it doesn't have the same surprise ending, although the Initiative and Purphoros can close out games with a few other creatures. If it doesn't kill your opponent, you'll be close enough to swing for one last attack, preferably with a Firefist Striker to clear your path. But always keep in mind that the Initiative can be used as a Ghostway against sweepers if you need it to. You may have to mulligan more aggressively with this version, because you have cards costing RR and WW as two-drops. Also, I'll admit I'm not the best sideboard builder and that could probably use some work. Try it out and let me know how it goes.

 

Hey JesusKong! I like the Flamespeaker over Reckoner against MonoBlack but think he's far worse against any Green based Midrange in this deck. Without the Fanatics, 1 lost Loyalty is no big deal and he does provide card advantage. More Iroas could help push him through.

 

Dryad Militant over Cackler seems to add some inconsistency, and playing it off Burning-Tree Emissary is rarely a strictly better play: Either you've started with 3 1-drops or with 2 and a Temple of Triumph (and an Emissary). Given her worse stats and her loss of the Legion's power pump I feel she's not worth it.

 

I like Spear of Heliod if we are going with swarming and Precinct Captain is strong but he often ends up a 3-drop, and 2 (or sometimes 3) power at that point doesn't push through.. The Spear is easily replaced by Hall of Triumph so I'm not willing to play Plains for the Captain alone.

 

I would start by replacing Dryad Militant and Precinct Captain with Rakdos Cackler and Akroan Hoplite, and perhaps 1 Spear of Heliod with a Hall of Heroes. Another deck in the colors I'm in love with is RW Heroic with Launch the Fleet and Anax and Cymede.

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