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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 10:11 am 
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Nah, I abandoned that and went back to Dimir.

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 11:01 am 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
Nah, I abandoned that and went back to Dimir.


Why? It's a solid concept.

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 12:32 pm 
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The mana was bad and I wasn't enjoying it overall.

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 12:55 pm 
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I ran a similar Sultai self bounce list before the latest wedgelands were released. Saruli Gatekeepers was a very important card to the deck - the lifegain allowed the deck to beat aggro without committing too many cards to aggro hate. Back when running 10-12 guildgates was the best option for Sultai, the Gatekeeper was a natural. But if you add in the new wedgeland you won't have enough guildgates to make the Gatekeepers function.

I think it is hard to justify a Sultai decklist now that is not primarily self-mill, especially with Sultai Oracle. And it is hard to justify self-mill without seance, even if it adds a color, due to the flexibility of trilands.

The most powerful thing the self bounce list can do is bounce dinrova horror and replay it every turn. As the card pool has expanded, that feels less powerful than it used to.

I want to give an honorable mention to SteveO's janky self-mill time warp combo deck - it is really boring to play but it is incredibly consistent, I think something along those lines is the best that Sultai can achieve.


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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 1:29 pm 
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[manapie 90 -w u b -r g][/manapie]

Grave Concerns

A one vs. one deck for Magic 2015.

60 Cards (22 :creature: , 15 :instant: , 23 :land:)

Cost 4 cards
■■■
Hedron Crab0/2
■■
Elixir of Immortality
Cost 11 cards
■■■■
Elvish Visionary1/1
■■■■
Satyr Wayfinder1/1
■■■
Treasured Find
Cost 8 cards
■■■■
Necromancer's Assistant3/1
■■■■
Cultivate
Cost 4 cards
■■■■
Archaeomancer1/2
Cost 10 cards
■■■
Species Gorger6/6
■■■
Rescue from the Underworld
■■■
Spider Spawning
Time Warp
Land23 cards
■■■■
Golgari Guildgate
■■■■
Simic Guildgate
4
Forest
7
Island
4
Swamp


A self-mill deck that intends to go infinite by casting Rescue from the Underworld to fetch an Archaeomacer or Species Gorger when the other is on the table, and there's a Time Warp in the graveyard, and 9 mana, with 4 Islands, on the table. It sounds like a very complex and unlikely set of circumstances, but the deck is incredibly consistent at getting you there. Can also win via Mill, or by Spider Spawning. Though the former is mainly for self-mill, and the latter defence, they can both be turned into offensive tools if needed.

Most infinite turns decks fall down in the fact they can't reliably pull Time Warp, relying on random draw, or 2 x Rune-Scarred Demon to tutor, then having to draw their combo pieces or tutor them up too. They then have to assemble this over a series of turns, making it both unreliable and easily interrupted. Here, the fact you have a turbo self-mill engine means you can easily get the pieces you need every game, and you can assemble the combo at instant speed, so if your opponent is tapped, topdecking, or unable to interrupt immediately, they lose as soon as you cast Rescue.

The key strategy early on is to try to have at least one, if not two, mill cards in your opening hand. Mill here enables more mill, so getting off to a good start can create exponential benefits. If you're not milling early, you're not going to win.

The main complexity is the use of Treasured Find, and Rescue from the Underworld. They self-exile, so even though you can reshuffle, these are limited resources and must be used with great care, and are key to assembling milled combo components, or advancing the mill at a greater rate. Most of the time they will be the spells you recover with early Archaeomancers if they get milled as they enable your win conditions, and TF is especially important at recovering a milled Elixir. There's no benefit to going infinite if you just mill yourself.

Therefore if you want to go infinite, you need to keep track of EVERY combo card and quantity in your graveyard, and by association , left in your deck as a result. This is a critical element, as you can easily screw yourself otherwise by rendering it impossible to go infinite by over-milling, though in such a case, your Spider equity is usually a lot stronger as a result so you can take that route instead. Understanding where this crossroads lies, and picking the better route based on the state of your graveyard and your opponent's deck (Can they kill the Gorger? How many spiders can I get?) is key. Remember, the combo can be locked in and used to repeatedly Spawn if Time Warp is unavailable for the same cost.

Play orders and priorities matter a lot, as the deck is pretty complex and not forgiving of mistakes. Getting 4 blue sources is also extremely key, which is why Islands top my basic land count, so they can be Cultivated before they all end up being milled. With careful play, you can go infinite in almost every game without a lot of difficulty. Over about 40 wins, I've gone infinite in over half of them, with the option being on the table in almost all the others, but winning via Spawn due instead due to it being the more efficient option at the time.

One funny aspect is people assume it's mainly a Spider deck, and waste their resources trying to frustrate that aspect - using removal on Spiders rather than crucial combo-piece Archaeomancers as they don't want to fuel another Spawn, which gives you the crucial advantage of the element of surprise. If people are wise to your tricks, you can always just Spawn them to death instead.


I just wanted to quote this. I consider this one of the best combo decks in the game when it was made, and it can be updated.

I want to try cutting -4 assistant and adding 1x visionary and 3x sultai oracle, I think SteveO swapped the elixer for a maniac too. Note that this deck is BORING AS HELL to win with because you will often be able to just barely execute the time warp combo.


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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 2:38 pm 
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Interesting, I was just thinking about this (sub) topic. I agree with you. Oracle replaces Assistant in these builds. You don't need both in the same deck. So here is the question, is Sultai Soothsayer sufficiently good to replace Assistants or not? And I'm not so sure. Soothsayer drops cards letting you drop 3 and keep 1, compared to Assistants which simply drop 3 cards. So basically, are two additional CMC for -1 P +4 T, and the ability to filter one card into your hand? I'm not so sure, but I'm considering trying it out. Also, it is pretty clear to me that the soothsayer must replace high CMC cards, and the Assistant should be replaced by lower CMC cards.

Bottomline, I'm still unconvinced Soothsayer can successfully shift the META (or course it will do so in any case, but should it have) from Abzan to Sultai. I tested Abzan and Sultai back before Soothsayer, and Abzan was clearly better. Not sure if anything has actually changed.

Furthermore, people that are switching over to 4 color builds, although they are adding paper power to their decks (e.g.: they look like they can do more), in actual fact, all they are doing is making their decks far less consistent, IMO.


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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 5:59 pm 
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As for Soothsayer, it is one of the most powerful draw effects in the format. Assistant isn't even in the same category. Satyr and Soothsayer provide card advantage and self mill, whereas the assistant is more like the crab in that it just provides straight up self mill.

I think with Soothsayer you might be able to get away with running fewer combo pieces, maybe cut back on one species gorger and one rescue. I would probably add 2 peel from reality, an interactive card that lets you reuse your best EtBs. Win win.

It is hard to compare Abzhan and Sultai in the abstract. Crab is the most powerful self mill in the format and lab maniac is a mighty good win condition for self mill decks. White does not bring as much to self mill, except Seance, which is one of the most powerful cards in the format, period.

With the new trilands I think the above deck might be able to get away with splashing white for Seance... I honestly do not have much expertise on all the self mill archetypes out there because I have not played them much and the lists I see online are unoriginal Golgari lists.


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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 8:08 am 
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With the inclusion of the new Tarkir cards and tri-lands, I started brewing up a Sultai version of my Dimir ETB deck (link here) just to see how it would look. The result ended up not so bad I think, with green bringing to the table some new wincons as well as a new self-mill subtheme and a stronger focus on graveyard interactions.

[manapie 90 -w u b -r g][/manapie]

Sultai ETB

A one vs. one deck for Magic 2015.

60 Cards (26 :creature: , 10 :instant: , 24 :land:)

Multicolored8 cards
■■
Treasured Find
■■■
Sultai Soothsayer2/5
■■■
Dinrova Horror4/4
Color 4 cards
■■■■
Peel from Reality
Color 13 cards
■■■■
Undying Evil
■■■
Brain Maggot1/1
■■■■
Liliana's Specter2/1
Shadowborn Demon5/6
Sheoldred, Whispering One6/6
Color 11 cards
■■■■
Elvish Visionary1/1
■■■■
Satyr Wayfinder1/1
■■
Pelakka Wurm7/7
Craterhoof Behemoth5/5
Colorless24 cards
■■■
Dimir Guildgate
■■■■
Golgari Guildgate
■■■
Opulent Palace
■■■
Simic Guildgate
6
Forest
4
Island
7
Swamp


I wanted to keep the core theme of ETB creatures combined with ETB enabler effects. I also kept the strong discard sub-theme so key cards such as Undying Evil, Peel from Reality, Liliana's Specter, Brain Maggot and Dinrova Horror are still there in unchanged numbers.

My first idea was to replace the Phyrexian Ragers and the Think Twices by some great early green cards also bringing card advantage, namely Elvish Visionary and Satyr Wayfinder, the latter also contributing to some extent to mana fixing and self-mill.

Sultai Soothsayer was an auto-include for it's semi-tutoring capabilities and also contributes to self-milling. If casted on curve it can also help blocking annoying weenies. A bit slow for this purpose but still serves as a stabilizer of some sort by itself as a 2/5.

With all the self-milling going on Shadowborn Demon and Sheoldred, Whispering One feel more at home than ever here even if they were already performing great in the Dimir version.

Treasured Find isn't a card I like a lot in this list since it doesn't have much synergy with other cards, but I felt it was necessary to get back some key cards lost to milling. Also serves as a limited tutoring option in the graveyard.

With the tutoring taking place more in the graveyard or in a more limited way with Sultai Soothsayer, the Rune-Scarred Demons felt less needed to me here so I replaced them by Pelakka Wurms. The loss of 2 big flying creatures is a bit of a pain, but the Wurms do great at stabilizing the board in the late game an offset early losses and the bonus card advantage when they die is always welcome. Having Sheoldred + Shadowborn Demon in play also allows for a nice card advantage + lifegain loop with Pelakka Wurm in the late game if you can set up such a board.

Finally Craterhoof Behemoth was included to help finish the game quicker, especially with Sheoldred in play. I lost too many games before in the Dimir version in cases where the opponent board was locked and his hand empty and all I needed was a bit more time to finish him but he top-decked a banefire to kill me. So I think having a brutal wincon like this one to push things your way immediately can help.

This deck is still in testing but if you have any advices or impressions on it I'd be glad to hear them. One note however: I know that the deck would be definitely better with the inclusion of Spider Spawning in there but I wanted to focus on the ETB theme and not build another version of the Spider Spawning self-mill graveyard deck that has already been done to death.

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Last edited by Dream Maker on Fri May 08, 2015 11:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 10:28 am 
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 11:30 am 
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Yeah I definitely wanted to include this card as well but I still don't know what to swap for it... Need to consider the impact on the deck speed as well.

Also pondering whether or not I should include 4x Cultivate. Would probably remove all the visionaries or go 2x Visionaries and 2x Satyrs to include it. Cultivate is a nice card advantage for cheap and could help reducing the number of taplands I'm running. Also ramp could help speeding up the deck like playing the Soothsayer faster to help against early aggro.

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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 12:00 pm 
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And finally, I'm toying around with this one today.

[manapie 90 -w u b -r g][/manapie]

Blood-Bond GY Combo

A one vs. one deck for Magic 2015.

60 Cards (24 :creature: , 10 :instant: , 26 :land:)

Multicolored6 cards
■■■
Treasured Find
■■■
Sultai Soothsayer2/5
Color 7 cards
■■■
Hedron Crab0/2
■■■■
Archaeomancer1/2
Color 10 cards
■■
Bloodghast2/1
■■■■
Necromancer's Assistant3/1
■■
Sanguine Bond
■■
Blood Tribute
Color 11 cards
■■■■
Elvish Visionary1/1
■■■■
Satyr Wayfinder1/1
■■■
Spider Spawning
Colorless26 cards
■■■
Arcane Sanctum
■■■
Crumbling Necropolis
■■■
Opulent Palace
7
Forest
6
Island
4
Swamp


This is a pure combo deck that aims to put all of it's pieces into the GY and then kill the opponent using Blood Tribute and Sanguine Bond. I'm not interested in any other ways to kill here or additional threats, simply put everything into the GY and pull the combo pieces back out. As a backup plan, almost everything in this deck is a creature so Spider Spawning really does a lot of work here. Because of the high mana requirements I'm running 26 lands. (edit: also, should you happen to get a crab or two in your opening hand you really want a land every single turn if possible).

Anyway, I have yet to test this online, but I'm just putting it here for now, while I think about how to improve it and make it more consistent.

Suggestions on a replacement for Archaeomancer?

Not good enough, moved to Conflux - see it here: viewtopic.php?p=294030#p294030


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:31 pm 
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My very first Sultai deck which is pretty much a dual strategy of Self Mill / Necromancer. You can easily change tactic in the middle of the match depending on how it's headed / what got milled. Would love to hear everyone's thoughts.

ColorlessWhiteBlueBlackRedGreenAzoriusOrzhovBorosSelesnyaDimirIzzetSimicRakdosGolgariGruulEsperJeskaiBantMarduAbzanNayaGrixisSultaiTemurJundGreenlessRedlessBlacklessBluelessWhitelessRainbow

Neo's Sultai

A deck for Magic 2015.

60 Cards (24 :creature: , 12 :instant: , 24 :land:)

Creature24 cards
■■
Bloodghast2/1
■■■■
Satyr Wayfinder1/1
■■
Laboratory Maniac2/2
■■■■
Necromancer's Assistant3/1
■■■■
Gravedigger2/2
Vengevine4/3
■■■
Sultai Soothsayer2/5
■■■
Nemesis of Mortals5/5
■■
Rune-Scarred Demon6/6
Sheoldred, Whispering One6/6
Spell12 cards
■■■■
Tome Scour
■■■■
Think Twice
■■
Treasured Find
■■■■
Cultivate
Land24 cards
■■■
Dimir Guildgate
■■■
Golgari Guildgate
■■■
Opulent Palace
■■■
Simic Guildgate
6
Forest
6
Island
6
Swamp


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:51 pm 
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I've been playing offline for quite some time. I mainly just play the AI. And unknowingly built a deck similiar to Stevolutionary's "Grave concerns" deck. But since I'm using the most recent cards, I thought I'd post what I have and talk about my concerns. I'm a bit stuck with the current deck.

ColorlessWhiteBlueBlackRedGreenAzoriusOrzhovBorosSelesnyaDimirIzzetSimicRakdosGolgariGruulEsperJeskaiBantMarduAbzanNayaGrixisSultaiTemurJundGreenlessRedlessBlacklessBluelessWhitelessRainbow

Disturbed Graves

A deck for Magic 2015.

60 Cards (21 :creature: , 16 :instant: , 23 :land:)

Creature21 cards
■■■
Hedron Crab0/2
■■■■
Elvish Visionary1/1
■■■■
Satyr Wayfinder1/1
Laboratory Maniac2/2
■■■
Archaeomancer1/2
■■■
Species Gorger6/6
■■■
Sultai Soothsayer2/5
Spell16 cards
■■■
Peel from Reality
■■
Treasured Find
■■■■
Cultivate
■■■
Rescue from the Underworld
■■■
Spider Spawning
Time Warp
Land23 cards
■■■■
Golgari Guildgate
■■■
Opulent Palace
■■■■
Simic Guildgate
4
Forest
8
Island
4
Swamp


So, the only real changes from Grave Concerns to mine...
- 1 elixir
- 4 Necromancers Assistant
- 1 Archeomancer
- 1 Treasured Find

+1 Laboratory Manic
+3 Sultai Soothsayers
+3 Peel from Reality

Here is are my concerns:
1) There are alot of 5 cmc cards. This forces slow play. Accordingly, without the natural trade off deterant the necro assistants used to provide, the deck can get swamped by aggro.

2) Even ONE early flyer can ruin your day.

I'm considering changing the Rescue from the Underworld to Dead Reckonings to fulfill a similiar role while also providing some defense. I'm also considering removing the Peels and replacing them with some Nylea's Disciples as fodder for the dead reckonings and giving the deck some resistance to aggro. I also think it's a shame not to add Sheoldred somehow.

But, I'll take any advice you will offer.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:37 pm 
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-3 Peel from Reality
-2 Rescue for the Underworld
-4 Cultivate

+1 Sheoldred
+1 Rune-Scarred
+1 Shadowborn Demon
+1 Treasured Find
+4 Necromancers Assistant
+1 Dinrova Horror

All creatures added but one. This will.make Spider Spawning much better. Added some interaction vs the board with Shadowborn and Dinrova.

Check out Hakeems channel for his Laboratory Maniac/Seance/Craterhoof build for inspiration. Adding white gives him Planar Cleansing, Seance (which is stupid good in decks like this) and some other goodies.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:24 am 
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The Necromancers are much better than the Soothsayers as they come down sooner, are easier to cast colour-wise, have a higher attack to deter big creatures attacking, and their low toughness means they always trade, thus filling your graveyard. At 5cmc you want to be moving into getting extra turns, rescuing creatures or putting down spiders.

Sheoldred is nice, but not for this deck. It's not specifically a reanimator deck, and your graveyard is not a toolbox. You'll never hard cast her, so will often be a dead draw, and while powerful when she gets out, is a parallel win condition that isn't worth the effort regarding watering down what you're trying to achieve. The same goes for Shadowborn and Dinrova. They act as removal in a deck that doesn't need it (you just defend), and water down the combo by taking spots from combo enablers.

The strength of the deck is in its singular focus. You are an infinite turns deck that then wins via self-mill or spiders, with the spiders as a defensive wall, or on occasion, a win condition. You are not a reanimator toolbox deck.

Dead Reckoning is not a substitute for Rescue either. The strength in Rescue is locking in the combo at instant speed - when your opponent is tapped out or only has sorcery speed responses. It also doubles the enter the battlefield effects without requiring the additional mana costs of recasting - which is why Peel isn't great either. The deck simply does not work without Rescue. It's the cornerstone. Cultivate is essential. It mills via the Crab and gets you to the 9 mana you need, in the correct colours, asap, which the combo requires, before you mill those lands. It's often a T4 Archaeomancer target after a T3 cast.

The deck, as it currently function is a pretty tight list that doesn't have room for subs as they make the deck wider at the cost of losing the laser focus, and thus the combo reliability, which is the major strength. The only updates I made with the DLC was to swap 3 x guildgates for Sultai lands (need the same amount of basics for Cultivate) and swap the Elixir for the Maniac as he increases the Spider equity by 1 and can be rescued as well as TF'd, whereas the Elixir could only be TF'd.

The strategy changes slightly though, as locking infinite turns is not the instant win it was before due to him being more removal prone (though the majority of the time they'd kill the Archaeomancer first if they could) and costing 2 mana more to get down in less time, as you can't trigger a reshuffle when locked to get the extra lands out, meaning you sometimes need to interrupt the lock to play him, which can be fatal, so the Elixir variant is still decent, and not necessarilly bettered by the Maniac.

tl;dr - Swap 3 Guildgates for Sultai lands and possibly the Elixir for a Maniac, depending on taste, as it makes the deck slightly more and less reliable in different areas, and the strategy is slightly different too. The combo is too tight to accomodate any other changes without fundamentally changing what the deck is trying to do.


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