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 Post subject: Old Man Daretti (refurbishment needed)
AgePosted: 2019-May-31 6:34 am 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Hey, everyone.

I come to you today seeking help to update one of my oldest and most beloved decks. I've had this deck together since the C14 precons were released, but over the past four and a half years I've watched it increasingly struggle with a lack of general direction and with just being outclassed by most other decks in superior colour combinations and even other decks attempting to do the same thing I am.

I'm not looking to win every game I play, but I would like to win at least a few of them. Generally the problem stems from a lack of interaction and mainly playing the game at sorcery speed. I get outdrawn by the blue decks, outramped by the green decks, my artefacts exiled by the white decks, and my graveyard eaten by the black decks, and it feels like I either don't have access to the right tools to combat them or I'm going about this in completely the wrong way. I'm not about to give up yet, though, which is why I'm here.

The deck is supposed to have a grindy midrange attrition plan, but inevitably I peak in the midgame, lack the capacity to finish off one or more opponents, and then lose in the true lategame (see above). I want to correct this, but I'm lacking inspiration. I have only two rules:

1) Daretti must remain the Commander. I know the deck would be much improved just by switching to...any of the other artefact commanders printed since Commander 2014, really, but I'm committed at this point.

2) I do not want to go down the Stax/prison route. Individual disruptive elements are fine- the deck already runs Blood Moon, for example. "My opponents don't get to play" is not.

Other than that, I'm open to any and all suggestions, including complete changes of direction. Here's the list:

Planeswalkers: 4
1 Daretti, Scrap Savant
1Karn, the Great Creator
1 Ugin, the Ineffable
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

Creatures: 26
1 Hangarback Walker
1 Goblin Welder
1 Myr Retriever
1 Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer
1 Feldon of the Third Path
1 Pia Nalaar
1 Scarecrone
1 Scrap Trawler
1 Skyscanner
1 Anger
1 Arcbound Crusher
1 Flametongue Kavu
1 Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Traxos, Scourge of Kroog
1 Kuldotha Forgemaster
1 Combustible Gearhulk
1 Scuttling Doom Engine
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Meteor Golem
1 Myr Battlesphere
1 Bosh, Iron Golem
1 Colossus of Akros
1 Kozilek, the Great Distortion
1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
1 Metalwork Colossus

Sorceries: 4
1 Saheeli's Directive
1 Scrap Mastery
1 All Is Dust
1 Blasphemous Act

Instants: 6
1 Pyroblast
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Skred
1 Abrade
1 Chaos Warp
1 Scour from Existence

Enchantments: 1
1 Blood Moon

Artefacts: 21
1 Mana Crypt
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Sol Ring
1 Wayfarer's Bauble
1 Endless Atlas
1 Ichor Wellspring
1 Mind Stone
1 Smuggler's Copter
1 Throne of Geth
1 Extraplanar Lens
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Hedron Archive
1 Nevinyrral's Disk
1 Trading Post
1 Caged Sun
1 Coveted Jewel
1 Spine of Ish Sah
1 Darksteel Forge

Lands: 38
1 Great Furnace
1 Darksteel Citadel
1 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Inventors' Fair
1 Tomb of the Spirit Dragon
1Phyrexia's Core
1 Drownyard Temple
1 Hanweir Battlements
1 Karn's Bastion
1 Myriad Landscape
2 Wastes
26 Snow-Covered Mountain

Any tips, from specific card changes to suggestions of overall strategy, would be very welcome. Many thanks!

_________________
Current Commanders: 6/32.

Daretti, Scrap Savant (Red Artefacts).
Prime Speaker Zegana (Simic Voltron).
Rubinia Soulsinger (Bant Polymorphs).
Kess, Dissident Mage (Grixis Treasure).
Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper (Jund Apostles).
Tariel, Reckoner of Souls (Mardu Judo).


Last edited by Swmystery on 2019-May-31 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Old Man Daretti (refurbishment needed)
AgePosted: 2019-May-31 8:02 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
What's your budget like?

How do you feel about infinite-loop combos?

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 Post subject: Re: Old Man Daretti (refurbishment needed)
AgePosted: 2019-May-31 8:10 am 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Kemev wrote:
What's your budget like?

How do you feel about infinite-loop combos?


My budget is quite high- no Mishra's Workshop, basically, but I can work toward acquiring most other things over time.

Infinite loops I would...generally wince at, but I'm coming to the conclusion that we may not have much choice in this case. Tell me more.

_________________
Current Commanders: 6/32.

Daretti, Scrap Savant (Red Artefacts).
Prime Speaker Zegana (Simic Voltron).
Rubinia Soulsinger (Bant Polymorphs).
Kess, Dissident Mage (Grixis Treasure).
Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper (Jund Apostles).
Tariel, Reckoner of Souls (Mardu Judo).


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 Post subject: Re: Old Man Daretti (refurbishment needed)
AgePosted: 2019-May-31 10:52 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
Overall, strategic picture:

1. The deck has too many small-effect, durdle engines. It's no surprise it does well midgame and struggles late game Cards like Trading Post, Smuggler's Copter, Hangerback Walker, FTK... the game is increasingly about launching big, critical turns, and these kinds of cards will never win that way. Even something like Sword of Feast and Famine is increasingly not good enough in most decks (I've unsleeved it from most decks).

2. I think it's got too many artifact creatures. Not only are a lot of them small-effect critters (see above), but they mean you're going to get hit with twice as many sweepers at anyone else at the table. For this list, a Wrath of God is a Shatterstorm, and Shatterstorm is Wrath of God. Diversifying out into other card types would be a big plus... Daretti only ever needs 2 artifacts at a time to make the -2 useful, so there's no good reason to go bananas and run 40 of the most vulnerable card type in the format.

3. Speaking of Daretti, I think this list under-leverages his +2 ability. Red has some solid options for reusing sorceries (like Recoup, Anarchist, Goblin Dark-Dwellers, and the new red Finale -- all cards I would play in this list, btw), and Red also has a lot of powerful haymaker sorceries to end the game with.

4. As far as choice of artifacts, it seems like this list is missing some of the staple, "big mana" rocks. No Worn Powerstone, Thran Dynamo, Gilded Lotus, Gauntlet of Power... these are the kinds of cards that help make the jump from mid-game to late-game.

5. I think you have too many artifact sac outlets. I get that you want some ways to screen from exile effects and keep the GY full, but I suspect you have so many that they're generating negative card advantage, which is causing you to run out of gas late game. This is a problem that would be fixed by playing a smaller number of higher impact artifacts; you wouldn't have 4 different trinkets all at risk of exile, so you wouldn't need the sac outlet, etc...

...to be continued, I got hungry...

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 Post subject: Re: Old Man Daretti (refurbishment needed)
AgePosted: 2019-May-31 2:20 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
High-powered offense options in mono-red:

You could always burn out the table. Assemble a giant pile of mana rocks, start thrown Earthquakes around, and you'll pick up a couple wins. Acidic Soil and Price of Progress are also great burn spells that mono-red is well positioned to play. There are also a few other bomb ass sorceries like Apex of Power or the new red Finale that could close a game. This could turn into a longer discussion, 'cause there's lots of options here.

Alternatively, you could look at some kind of token based win, using various ways to sac or trigger etb effects. I think other generals are better for this game plan, but reanimating something titanic like Ancient Stone Idol with Warstorm Surge in play is pretty fun. There's also some combo havoc you could run with goblins (see below), and using Deretti mainly for the +2 to filter for combo pieces isn't the worst play ever.

Last, if you wanted to win off an infinite loop, mono-red does have a few combos:

1. Dualcaster Mage + either Heat Shimmer or Twinflame. There's no good way to tutor for these in mono-red, so it won't happen too often, but the pieces are all decent by themselves. (Heat Shimmer and Twinflame are handy ways to copy an artifact creature so you have sac fodder for Deretti.) There are a couple other upsides; it's not widely played, so you do have a chance of surprise, and it doesn't take up much deck space.

2. Godo, Bandit Warlord + Helm of the Host. This one's a little easier to pull off, since Godo finds his own combo piece. Again, both pieces are decent on their own, and Godo can also grab other handy cards like Batterskull (or your swords, if you decide to keep them), and you still have plenty of free space to work with.

3a. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker or Splinter Twin + Zealous Conscripts: I'm sort of unenthused about this one, mostly because it sees a ton of play, and other decks can use it better. But again, the individual piece are ok on their own; you have plenty of big creatures to copy with Kiki or hang splinter twin on, and Zealous Conscripts grabs a permanent, so you can always snag an artifact to feed Deretti.

3b. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Lightning Crafter + (a third combo piece of your choice): This one's a bit more work to set up... by themselves, they create infinite EtB/leaves play triggers, but you'd need a third piece to win the game. That could be as easy as something that gives all your creatures haste (Anger in the GY, Hammer of Purphoros in play, etc), 'cause then the infinite Lightning Crafters can tap to bolt everyone to death. Something like Purphoros or Impact Tremors would do fine too.

In some ways, this one of the weaker combo clusters available in mono-red; Lightning Crafter's a dead card in isolation, and both it and Kiki are very kill-able. The upside is that they're both goblins, so they can be tutored/drawn with cards like Goblin Matron, Goblin Recruiter, and Goblin Ringleader. Goblins have some nice other artifact synergies and they're thematic with Deretti, so there's another plus if you'd be interested in adding a goblin subtheme.

The trade-off here is that you're taking up a lot of slots if you go with option #3... I feel like if this is a route you're interested in, you go ahead and run part A and B, and throw in some other token options. This turns into a pretty big deck makeover.

4. Mana Geyser + Reiterate: This last one is very conditional... you need your opponents to control at least 7 tapped lands, and you need 11 mana to kickstart it (ie, cast Mana Geyser, target Mana Geyser with Reiterate paying the buyback cost, the copied Mana Geyser resolves for 7 or more, then replay Reiterate with buyback...). This is basically the D-list option for this deck.

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 Post subject: Re: Old Man Daretti (refurbishment needed)
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-10 1:17 am 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Thanks very much for your (thorough, and thoroughly helpful) advice, Kemev. I wanted to take the time to ponder it properly before overhauling the deck.

Your overall strategic points are spot on, particularly 1), 4), and 5). Too many small artefacts, most of them sacrifice outlets, and not enough ways to swing the game in my favour. Speaking of which:

"Alternatively, you could look at some kind of token based win, using various ways to sac or trigger etb effects. I think other generals are better for this game plan, but reanimating something titanic like Ancient Stone Idol with Warstorm Surge in play is pretty fun."

"2. Godo, Bandit Warlord + Helm of the Host. This one's a little easier to pull off, since Godo finds his own combo piece. Again, both pieces are decent on their own, and Godo can also grab other handy cards like Batterskull (or your swords, if you decide to keep them), and you still have plenty of free space to work with."

After some thinking, I think these are the most appealing paths of improvement. I prefer the Godo/Helm or Hellkite Charger/Sword of FAF style of combo to KikiScripts or Splinter Twin (although Twin may make it in anyway, to use with Warstorm Surge and friends). Maybe the difference is just an aesthetic one, but the former seems "fairer" or more disruptable than the latter- more acceptable to my local tables, at least. Godo does also fish out the Swords, which I would like to keep at least for the moment (and maybe add Sword of Truth and Justice to go with them?)

I'm sketching out a draft rebuild at the moment, which I'll post when it's done. The main question I have right now, though, is which of the Warstorm Surges are worth including. Electropotence and Surge itself, naturally, but what else? Pandemonium seems likely to get me killed before I untap. Stalking Vengeance, maybe? Heart-Piercer Manticore, to use with Daretti's +2?

_________________
Current Commanders: 6/32.

Daretti, Scrap Savant (Red Artefacts).
Prime Speaker Zegana (Simic Voltron).
Rubinia Soulsinger (Bant Polymorphs).
Kess, Dissident Mage (Grixis Treasure).
Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper (Jund Apostles).
Tariel, Reckoner of Souls (Mardu Judo).


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 Post subject: Re: Old Man Daretti (refurbishment needed)
AgePosted: 2019-Jun-13 10:54 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
Swmystery wrote:
...The main question I have right now, though, is which of the Warstorm Surges are worth including. Electropotence and Surge itself, naturally, but what else? Pandemonium seems likely to get me killed before I untap. Stalking Vengeance, maybe? Heart-Piercer Manticore, to use with Daretti's +2?


I think once you have Warstorm Surge, Electropotence, and Purphoros, God of the Forge, you're done. (Purphoros only dings for 2, but he hits every opponent, and the team pump is handy.)

...

I forgot about the Hellkite Charger + Sword of Feast and Famine combo. Aggravated Assault fits in there too (and again, falls into that category of "combo pieces that are decent on their own." Sometimes you don't need all the attack steps -- two or three are fine.)

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