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 Post subject: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-16 12:35 pm 

Joined: 2008-Jun-08 6:41 pm
Age: Drake
Me and Fugu have been talking a lot about decks that apply constant pressure to the table lately. He does it because he's smart. I do it because I get annoyed by decks sitting behind their little pillow forts building defensive positions and ramping for the first six to ten turns. Today while flipping though some cards I was reminded of a suicidal deck I saw a person running at a convention; the goal was to disrupt everybody at the table quickly regardless of the cost to oneself. Lots of mass discard, lots of 'damage all players' effects, and the like. The idea behind the deck is to force people to do things early and often because the opportunity might not be there later.

Is this the most powerful strategy? No, obviously. In fact, as far as actual strategic value of this type of deck goes, it probably sucks (the suicide deck, not the pressure-cooker deck... I've really found the latter works quite nicely). But I'm not building it to blow up the Commander world. It's going to provide me with a nice change of pace. The other goal is to make a deck that might warp my metagame a bit to be a bit more aggressive and less 'value-oriented'. The deck also just seems like it'll be fun to play... at least for a while.

So, here's an example of the type of stuff I need help with:

- Card selection. I want things that convert my mana and cards directly into either damage or widespread disruption. Acidic Soil and Delirium Skiens are poster children for the kind of effects I'm looking for.
- Colours. Yeah, black and red are doing down for sure. But what about a third colour? Blue has some nice disruption, and gives me some tricks. It also lets me use Phyrexian Tyranny, which is rad. Green doesn't give me much of what I want. White gives options like Armageddon and some nice Wraths, including Balancing Act to even the odds against runaway opponents. The problem with white is that I'm super bored with Oros and I want a general who is going to have some good impact. Speaking of which...
- General selection. Obviously hard to do without the colours. But Malfegor is looking pretty good right now. Other ideas? I'd like a general that's a big deal when they come down and provides widespread disruption. Rakdos the Defiler is awesome, but a bit too suicidal even for me. It'll be in my other 99 for sure though.

Here's a list of things that are already primed or being considered to go for the deck.

Mana Hassling:
Burning Sands
Keldon Firebombers
Epicenter
Din of the Fireherd
Price of Glory
Zo-zu the Punisher
Ankh of Mishra
Tsabo's Web
Tectonic Break

Visegrips:
Sulfuric Vortex
Heartless Hidetsugu
Underworld Dreams
Manabarbs
The Rack
Lavaborn Muse

Use It Or Lose It:
Delirium Skiens
Syphon Mind
Unnerve
Cabal Conditioning
Ravenous Rats
Liliana's Specter
Relic of Progenitus
Greel, the Mind Raker
Bottomless Pit
Painful Quandary

Killin Mans:
Damnation
Innocent Blood
Barter in Blood
Fleshbag Marauder
Grave Pact
Magus of the Abyss
Kuon, Ogre Ascendant
Chain Reaction
No Mercy
Abyssal Gatekeeper
Death Pits of Rath

Fix the Board:
Nevinyrral's Disk
All Is Dust
Oblivion Stone

Hurting People:
Breath of Malfegor
Breath of Darigaaz
Flame Rift
Acidic Soil
Earthquake
Fault Line
Molten Disaster
Exsanguinate
Inferno
Pestilence
Pyrohemia

My Own Mans/Beaters:
Fulminator Mage
Rakdos the Defiler
Malfegor
Dread
Hostility
Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief

Make Something Happen:
Mass Hysteria
Grand Melee
Fervor
Need For Speed
Angel's Trumpet
Season of the Witch
Keldon Twilight

These are just some of the ideas I'm bouncing around. Season Of the Witch and Inferno are both a must because they are from The Dark. Anything else is flexible.


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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-16 12:56 pm 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Fumiko the Lowblood, maybe?

EDIT: Also, I have found Consuming Vapors to be pretty darn good in EDH, at least in decks that are already heavy on creature-control.

A semi-relevant rant:

I've really been wanting to use Grand Melee/Fumiko lately, not so much to build my whole deck around, but just to force the issue... that's one issue I have in my group - not attacking/pressing advantage when they should. I play somewhat more tightly and more aggressively than anyone else in my group - they all play defensively. Which is fine if the deck is built properly for that style of play, AND if the board situation warrants it...

But far too often I see players in my group sitting back on a superior board position and not pressing the advantage while they have the chance... which makes them super-angry when a Wrath effect takes out their army.

I never get too upset if someone Wrath's away my Akroma, if I got a couple of swings out of her... but when the have a Simic Sky Swallower on the table for 5 or 6 turns and never swing - even though there is NO valid reason they shouldn't, based on the board state - it kinda frustrates me.

I like to win, but I kinda hate winning off my opponents' bad plays. Plus, since these people are my actual friends and I want them to WANT to play EDH with me, I want them to win some games too.. so it kinda frustrates me when they inadvertently hand me (or some other opponent) a game they by all rights should have won.

To that end, I've considered adopting Grand Melee, and a few other cards that kind of force my opponents to be more proactive. So I will be watching this thread closely to see how this idea develops... I will likely incorporate at least a few ideas into some of my decks.

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Last edited by thaumaturge on 2011-Feb-16 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-16 1:07 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
First off, any deck that needs to apply pressure needs to have A. steady stream of new threats and cards (card drawing); and B. stuff that doesn't go away easily (troll shroud, shroud, indestructible, non-creature threats, etc..)


So, obviously you want green for troll shroud 8/8's; black to provide steam via Necropotence, damnation; decree of pain; overwhelming forces and entwined Promise of Power; both G/B get the two best titans for EDH; and both can do crazy mana acceleration that helps you keep the preasure up. the draw 4 for 8 tower (can't remember its name,) as well as a liberal helping of Acidic Slime style green creatures and black creature wraths (kagemaro, bane of the living, reiver demon,). Green/Black also have wonderfull tutor access.

Red can help build pressure with Shivan Hellkite style cards; and large burns to take out specific targets or large life chunks; and its flying beatsticks are top tier EDH material.


For terms of suicide, thats all about personal play style, and its hard to emulate Suicide black (or any color in EDH) because of both format restrictions; and the more correct way to play "suicide" in EDH is just not show how unhappy you are when someone blows your stuff up.


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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-16 1:13 pm 

Joined: 2008-Nov-30 12:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Joz wrote:
... and the more correct way to play "suicide" in EDH is just not show how unhappy you are when someone blows your stuff up.


LOL, that's actually pretty funny, Joz. True, but funny. Kudos.

I can see Joz's point about Green being a solid choice of third color, and while I personally might be more inclined to go with Blue, either would work FAR better than White, and both Green and Blue have good card drawing, which Joz rightly pointed out as being rather important.

Kaarthus might be a good general choice too. HASTE is going to be an important ability, so you'll want some big, hastey threats, and Kaarthus is just that, besides the obvious stealing-dragons thing...

So yeah, green is certainly not a bad idea...

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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-16 4:43 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-15 2:37 pm
Age: Dragon
Its not that great of a card, but it does fit the flavor. Death's Shadow. All that life loss and disruptive play, and now you have a creature to show for it. Or, if you have Grave Pact on the field, you just drop this guy in, watch him die, then watch everyone else pay the price.


Last edited by LilyHaze on 2011-Feb-16 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-16 4:47 pm 

Joined: 2010-Sep-11 12:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Grave pact + Death's Shadow + Phyrexian Reclamation
1BB: Everyone else sacrifice a creature, and make Death's Shadow bigger.

And you can use it from 40 life; all the way down to 3.


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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-16 6:59 pm 

Joined: 2009-Feb-20 8:16 pm
Age: Dragon
I've definitely run into this problem, and my answer is usually to build a deck specifically to force people to interact earlier. Usually, this means building some sort of terrible Sligh deck or suicide black deck. If you build these right, you'll almost always be able to kill at least one player before they do much to disrupt you, especially if everyone's focusing on cards that cost 4+ to start interacting with other players. Play either an aggressive suicide-sligh style of deck with Sulfuric Vortex and Flame Rift and stuff like that, or an aggressive, but fragile, combo deck.

D0su built a sweet mono black Doomsday combo deck awhile ago. That style of deck is a BLAST. you just run all the "draw some cards, lose some life" effects, some marginal beaters and whatnot, and just try to crush people as quickly as possible. It'd make Malfegor a little better, at least, since you'd have more cards, and it'd give you an impetus to win quickly.

If you're willing to consider mono-colored decks, I think you get a number of cool options.

Zo-zu and Adamaro make sweet sligh generals. Zo-zu + Grafted Exoskeleton is some kind of disruption. Both would be built to drop their general on turn 1 or 2 as frequently as possible, back it up with some 1cc disruption like Crack the Earth and Tremble, and you've probably got a deck that will warp the metagame pretty harshly.

In mono-black, you've got the Doomsday suicide combo, and you can also run Maralen suicide combo. Just run Maralen, 80 some swamps, Ad Nauseam, and some combo finish. That'd be a pretty cheap way to beat people into doing stuff.


The problem with each of these plans is that they'll just encourage people to run cheap counters and spot removal, which is fine if it's in place of wraths and stuff, but isn't as good if they cut actual win conditions.


The other problem with these decks is that people hate them so much. Games are boring when everyone thinks they can play control, but no one likes when you apply the pressure, and you'l frequently get hated off the table so fast your head will spin. It's the kind of deck that I pull out once or twice every couple of weekends just to keep people honest.


I really do think, though, that some mono-colored deck that forces interaction is the way to go. As soon as you start playing Malfegor and other high cc cards, you're not really playing a beatdown/pressure/tempo deck, you're hellbent-themed control deck.

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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-17 1:17 am 
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Joined: 2010-Jun-13 2:13 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Memphis, TN
Price of Progress frequently kills two players in my playgroup, but naturally you need to build your manabase around it.

Wild Ricochet is fantastic disruption. In fact, today I Ricocheted someone's Regrowth targeting the Gaea's Cradle that I'd just killed. They got back a Windswept Heath instead. I got back Price of Progress. Whee!

I think you're better off reacting to a cluttered board by upping the ante than by sweeping. Insurrection-type stuff is good. If you build for it, Twist Allegiance is a fine Insurrection #2. If you add blue, Reins of Power is even better.

Greel is bad. How many times do you need to Mind Twist someone? Just play Mind Twist and save yourself 3BB, two cards, and an untap step.

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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-17 4:21 am 
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Joined: 2008-Nov-08 5:27 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Canberra
A friend of mine uses Slaughter to great effect.

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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-17 6:14 am 

Joined: 2008-Aug-08 6:34 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Rouen, France
Something I know that get's a lot of people is drawing cards that you can't use, generally because your opponent makes you discard them directly.

Memory Jar at the right time, Winds of Change*, Chandra Ablaze's second, Burning Enquiry. You're buring through decks, reducing player's options but you also run the risk of letting them "hit" on a good cards occasionally.

One thing about this strategy is that you yourself will need to draw a lot of cards to keep playing these pressure spells. That can play into your Burning Enquiry type effects too.

*Winds of Change is probably hands down the best turn 1 play a deck like this can make. Everyone does their mulligans and sculpts their hand, you go first and totally remake everyone's hands randomly. They sink or they swim from there. The beauty of it is that, after the red producing land and the Winds, the rest of your hand is pretty much irrelevant because you are going to shuffle it away so unless you have a great curve of early disruption that you can top out with this, you can keep a 1-land, Winds & six 8CC spells hand quite happily.

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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-17 9:09 am 
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Joined: 2008-Feb-29 5:57 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Duvall, WA
Urborg Syphon Mage? not sure if it is strong enough but it kills everyone a little and gives you more juice for life payments. its also a way to make dead cards do stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-17 11:20 am 
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Joined: 2010-Jul-28 2:32 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I ran an Adamaro, First to Desire deck for a while that was based roughly on the Owling Mine strategy backed up by mass-LD. The idea was 1. run Adamaro out as fast as possible 2. drop Howling Mine effects and 3. profit blow up all lands, then burn and beat my way to the finish. The deck was never completed (I never found Anvil of Bogardan or Shield of Kaldra, and Darksteel Plate hadn't been printed.) I took it apart for a couple reasons- first, it wasn't particularly fun to play even when it worked ("I draw three, swing with Adamaro for 7, discard three, pass the turn" gets tiring after a while.) and second, when it didn't work (Adamaro dies at an inopportune moment, someone Duresses away my Decree of Annihilation) I found myself constantly resetting the board to delay the inevitable, making games frustrating, boring, and time-consuming as hell ("draw, not a land, discard, pass" repeat ad infinitum.) Basically, I loved it, but I also hated it, and everyone else just plain hated it.

A suicide strategy would solve the "time-consuming games" problem, though.

Edit: Also, Geth's Grimoire and Words of Waste. Empty everyone's hands, if you've got the mana.

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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-17 12:25 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Jun-19 6:32 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Lappeenranta, Finland
Cards like Acidic Soil are going to feel really weak unless you have tons of life total pressure to back them up. Cards that only deal damage don't really synergise well with cards that don't deal damage at all. I've been playing my Kaervek RDW for about a year now, and there was never much room for cute tricks (even something like Death Pits of Rath in a deck where everything deals damage) if I wanted to make the opponents feel pressured through damage. Every card needs to work towards the same goal for that kind of strategy to be effective consistently.

Obviously some cards like Exsanguinate and Molten Disaster are good in pretty much any deck, but Ankhs and Flame Rifts require more dedicated builds to be truly worth playing. Burn and disruption are completely different things, unless you just want to build another griefer deck and not play to win at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-17 1:51 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Jun-13 2:13 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Memphis, TN
This seems like a good place to post my Ashling list. Its strategy is the constant life total pressure that Filth described. One of its features is that the mana-budget is extremely tight. The games don't last long, and every two mana can be spent quite profitably on Ashling herself. I don't want to spend two mana on anything that isn't very helpful in a short amount of time. Moreover, it's very hard for me to get flooded, so each spell is actually in fierce competition with Mountain for its slot. I'm considering cutting cards like Gratuitous Violence, Seer's Sundial, and a couple others that ask a lot of mana for their effect. I'm on the lookout for more cards that turn mana into damage efficiently. Acidic Soil is just the sort of thing I want. Price of Progress is my MVP and Acidic Soil seems like PoP #2. If you know of any good Earthquake variants I'm not running, pipe up. I don't think I'm interested in Fireballs, for the most part, unless they can hit two players at once like Comet Storm.

Ashling the Pilgrim

40 ain't so much (These usually get played as soon as I draw them.)
Ankh of Mishra
Zo-Zu the Punisher
Sulfuric Vortex
Psychogenic Probe
Repercussion
Gratuitous Violence
Furnace of Rath (This sometimes gets held back for the winning turn.)
Heartless Hidetsugu

Card flow
Chandra Ablaze
Wheel of Fate
Wheel of Fortune
Seer's Sundial
Temple Bell
Sensei's Divining Top
Godo, Bandit Warlord (I might cut him since I'm down to four equipment.)
Mind Stone
Relic of Progenitus
Smash
Ignorant Bliss
Crimson Wisps

Rituals
Mana Vault
Mana Geyser
Soulbright Flamekin (this one is really bad but someone gave it to me in foil)
Koth of the Hammer

Plan A (These are the cards I use to sculpt my winning turn.)
Price of Progress
Pyrohemia
Earthquake
Inferno
Fault Line
Comet Storm
Molten Disaster
Elemental Appeal
Soul's Fire
Grab the Reins
Insurrection
Savage Beating (Actually quite narrow in this deck; cuttable.)
Recoup

Plan B (Sometimes 40 is too much.)
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
Sundering Titan
Vicious Shadows
Jokulhaups (For use with floating mana, Vicious Shadows, or Darksteel Plate.)
Mindslaver

Equipment (I just cut the Kaldra set for being too inefficient.)
Darksteel Plate
Lightning Greaves
Magebane Armor
Sword of Vengeance

Nice manabase!
Blood Moon
Ruination

Other
Wild Ricochet
Heat Shimmer

Lands
Mishra's Factory
Mutavault
Darksteel Citadel
Forgotten Cave
Tectonic Edge
Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
43 Mountain

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 Post subject: Re: Suicide/Pressure Strategy
AgePosted: 2011-Feb-17 2:17 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Jul-28 2:32 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Mogg Maniac might be worth looking at- drop it before firing Molten Disaster to effectively double the damage to any given opponent (giving the Maniac Darksteel Plate and then just going nuts with Pyrohemia would be priceless.)

Are you running Smash just for the cantrip? If not (or if you can find room for moar artifact kill) Into the Core and Shattering Spree are just miles better. (Killing a no-stick by pointing a dozen copies of Shattering Spree at it is quite cathartic.)

You might want to include Expedition Map and Boseiju, Who Shelters All just to give your gigantic Comet Storm a reasonable chance of resolving.

Magus of the Moon might be nice just for redundancy. Grafted Exoskeleton gives you a nuclear option. Even if you cut the Kaldra cycle, you may want to trade the shield back in just for 1) a redundant Darksteel Plate effect and 2) hopefully psych people into holding onto countermagic/whatever in anticipation of the other pieces which aren't actually there.

Also consider the artifact lands and Trash for Treasure. Nobody sees recursion in coming mono-R.

And why in the name of Christ are you running Jokulhaups? Uncounterability makes Obliterate so much better, and Decree of Annihilation is perhaps the best Red world-destroying effect ever printed. Just so long as you don't do something silly like hardcast it, the Decree will let you sew up a game without having to worry about finding Darksteel Plate.

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