MTG Commander/Elder Dragon Highlander

[Oathbreaker] Venser, the Sojourner + Aethermage's Touch
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Author:  Jeyal [ 2019-Jun-27 6:37 am ]
Post subject:  [Oathbreaker] Venser, the Sojourner + Aethermage's Touch

META: If this should be in another forum, please let me know.

A handful of players at my local LGS have adopted Oathbreaker as a "don't have time to play a game of EDH" option (that also lets us use some cards that wouldn't normally make decks). We're pretty casual with it...not really much of the brokenness that I expected when I first heard of the format.

I've always enjoyed trying to color-shift strategies, so this deck is my spin on (sort of) W/U Reanimator. The goal is to cheat in something expensive, via reanimation (Karmic Guide/Body Double/Reya Dawnbringer) or via Aethermage's Touch + a blink effect.

Command zone:

Venser, the Sojourner - Re-triggers ETBs, makes creatures unblockable, technically has an ultimate at the bottom, but the next time I activate his ultimate will be the first time.

Aethermage's Touch - Azorius's Through the Breach plays especially well with blink effects (like Venser's +2).

Creatures (22):

Planar Guide
Faerie Seer
Watcher for Tomorrow
Bazaar Trademage
Court Hussar
Identity Thief
Kor Cartographer
Angel of Finality
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV - This guy let's me curve into Venser and Touch on turn 5. Well see if it's worth the target it paints...
Karmic Guide - Unquestionably the best card for this deck to see.
Body Double
Mulldrifter - 95% of the time evoked for three mana to be reanimated later.
Riftwing Cloudskate - Having game before turn 4 is nice.
Angel of Invention
Sphinx of Lost Truths
Sunblast Angel
Linvala, the Preserver
Sphinx of Uthuun
Resolute Archangel
Reya Dawnbringer

Setup spells (4):

Careful Study
Mental Note
Momentary Blink (on any utility creature)

Removal (6):

Swords to Plowshares
Path to Exile
Slaughter the Strong
Time Wipe
Fractured Identity
Hour of Revelation (Could easily be Austere Command or Akroma's Vengeance, but catching PWs seemed pretty important)

Land (26):

Emeria, the Sky Ruin
Hallowed Fountain
Irrigated Farmland
Basic Islands and Plains

Other Options I'm considering:

*Aethersnipe As another card that has an "early game" option. (Possibly for Resolute Archangel, which is generally pretty bad in an opening hand?).
*Scrivener-type effects (Ideally one that could get either instants or sorceries)
*Diluvian Primordial Another possible replacement for Resolute Archangel.
*Ideas Unbound Interestingly, the not being able to discard right away is kind of awkward for the strategy of this deck.
*Emeria Shepherd for Reya? My thought process is that if they're being cheated out, Reya's effect is better (there are no noncreature nonland permanents) and the deck isn't playing ways to get extra landfall triggers.
*Sower of Temptation and Spell Queller - Two off-strategy "generic good" ETB creatures that have been both in and out of the deck. Might add them back if it turns out that my early game needs more to do.
*Another sweeper instead of Fractured Identity, which is primarily just "cute."

Are there any other ETB-creatures/good looting effects that I could consider?

Author:  Cows5467 [ 2019-Jun-27 9:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: [Oathbreaker] Venser, the Sojourner + Aethermage's Touch

Oathbreaker is an amazing format and I’m always happy to see people willing to give it a try. I will fight anyone who says this doesn’t belong here.

Author:  Kemev [ 2019-Jun-30 3:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: [Oathbreaker] Venser, the Sojourner + Aethermage's Touch

I really like the concept here... color shifting a popular archetype is a neat brain bender.

But I think you're missing the best reanimation angel for this idea: Angel of Glory's Rise

What, you say don't have many humans? That'd be pretty to shift around... Here's some generic staple stuff that could be replaced by a Human: Faerie Seer, Court Hussar, Kor Cartographer, Mulldrifter, Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, Riftwing Cloudskate, Angel of Invention

And here's a smattering of cards that do similar things, only more human-ely: Aether Adept, Archaeomancer, Courageous Outrider, Dimir Informant, Fiend Hunter, Knight of the White Orchid, Reflector Mage, Selfless Squire, Silumgar Sorcerer...

...and if you're inclined to make swarms of things, there's a ton of ways humans can use blink effects to build token legions (ie, Captain of the Watch, Geist-Honored Monk, Knight-Captain of Eos) and harvest them for value (ie, Mentor of the Meek).

Adding some humans would also help give your deck some more early-game play, and it'd open up options for Reveillark and Sun Titan. I'd try really hard to shoehorn those two cards in, 'cause they're the best White reanimate cards not named Karmic Guide. I'd also try to fit in Angel of Serenity (it's an outstanding blink target), and maybe some of the blink-your-team cards (like Ghostway and/or Ghostly Flicker).

Author:  Jeyal [ 2019-Jul-01 7:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: [Oathbreaker] Venser, the Sojourner + Aethermage's Touch

Kemev wrote:
Good suggestions

Admittedly, I've played less than 10 total games of oathbreaker, and only 1 game with this deck, but I'm wary to replace a lot of the evasive core for ground-pounder options. There is a pretty high concentration of big-green (Nissas, Kioras, Viviens) and wide-white (Elspeths, Ajanis, even a Teyo) decks, and the ability to go over the top for 3-8 damage is pretty invaluable. That said, I'll look into it and see if the Human synergy can overcome the lack of evasion. (It would give me an opportunity to play Meddling Mage, too, which seems pretty useful in a format where you have 2 cards per player in the command zone...) This would likely also involve swapping the signature spell, Aethermage's Touch, for another blink spell of some sort. Likely, Acrobatic Maneuver for its cantrip ability or Ghostway for affecting more than one target.

I definitely like the idea of Angel of Serenity, though. Breaks board stalls, slow recurs, beats for 5 in the sky. It'll go in for Resolute Archangel if I can pick one up on the easy.

Re: Reveillark and Sun Titan (and Bishop of Rebirth): These cards always struck me more as "tempo" cards than as "reanimator" cards. Maybe this is flawed, I think of reanimator as "cheating costs" and as tempo as "cheap 2-for-1 payoffs." I'm not saying that they are bad, but they didn't fit with the original vision. If I trim the cost down and make it more human tribal, I think [some combination of them] would be a no-brainer.

Author:  Jeyal [ 2019-Jul-17 5:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: [Oathbreaker] Venser, the Sojourner + Aethermage's Touch

Not sure if anyone cares, but here's what I've learned:

At least in my meta, gummy board states are simply a fact of this format. The necessity of protecting PWs coupled with the lower life totals makes blocking way more prevalent than in normal commander. The swap for groundpounders and Angel of Glory's Rise doesn't accomplish getting closer to removing just exacerbates the pile of "stuff in the way" that these games can devolve into. (I imagine if the decks I play against were looking for a more unfair method of victory all of the disruption and early pressure would be necessary, but for now, getting to the 7s and 9s before the opponent does seems like my best plan of action).

In: Angel of Serenity
Out: Resolute Archangel

A big flier that opens up clogged skies? Yes please! The lifegain from the Archangel might be missed, it may make its way back in at some point.

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