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 Post subject: Updating an Edgar Markov Deck with M20 (and more)
AgePosted: 2019-Aug-05 9:39 am 

Joined: 2019-Aug-05 8:36 am
Age: Hatchling
After a long hiatus from Magic, I finally got back into it last Summer when a friend introduced me to the beauty that is Edgar Markov. (I first got into Magic in OG Zendikar, so vampires have always been near and dear to me.) At first I was just kind of throwing cool vampires into a pile and doing what I could with them, but as I got a bit more access to funds and more awareness on the important things (like having cards in your hand) I have begun to build a deck that tries its best to focus on card-draw and throwing as many small vampires onto the board as possible, to proc Edgar over and over until I swing wide and swing big.

It currently has very little counterplay against decks that aren't creature-based, but I'm alright with that for the most part. In this post though, I wanted to ask about some potential swap-ins from M20 (and a couple of older cards perhaps.)

The deck currently looks like this:

Creatures:
1 Blood Artist
1 Bloodline Keeper
1 Bloodthrone Vampire
1 Brutal Hordechief
1 Captivating Vampire
1 Champion of Dusk
1 Cordial Vampire
1 Cruel Celebrant
1 Dusk Legion Zealot
1 Edgar Markov
1 Forerunner of the Legion
1 Gifted AEtherborn
1 Indulgent Aristocrat
1 Insolent Neonate
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Legion Lieutenant
1 Mavren Fein, Dusk Apostle
1 Mirror Entity
1 Olivia Voldaren
1 Rakish Heir
1 Stromkirk Captain
1 Twilight Prophet
1 Vampire Hexmage
1 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Viscera Seer
1 Yahenni, Undying Partisan

Artifacts:
1 Blade of the Bloodchief
1 Chromatic Lantern
1 Coat of Arms
1 Commander's Sphere
1 Door of Destinies
1 Eldrazi Monument
1 Herald's Horn
1 Nim Deathmantle
1 Orzhov Signet
1 Skullclamp
1 Sol Ring
1 Urza's Incubator
1 Vanquisher's Banner

Enchantments:
1 Anointed Procession
1 Blind Obedience
1 Cathars' Crusade
1 Dark Tutelage
1 Exquisite Blood
1 Grave Pact
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Radiant Destiny
1 Sanguine Bond

Instants:
1 Anguished Unmaking
1 Crackling Doom
1 Dark Ritual
1 Return to Dust
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Teferi's Protection
1 Terminate

Sorceries:
1 Choice of Damnations
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Diabolic Intent
1 Merciless Eviction
1 Read the Bones
1 Vindicate

Planeswalkers:
1 Sorin Markov
1 Sorin, Grim Nemesis
1 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
1 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
1 Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord

Lands:
1 Arid Mesa
1 Battlefield Forge
1 Blood Crypt
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Caves of Koilos
1 Clifftop Retreat
1 Command Tower
1 Dragonskull Summit
1 Fetid Heath
1 Godless Shrine
1 Graven Cairns
1 Isolated Chapel
1 Luxury Suite
1 Marsh Flats
1 Mountain
1 Opal Palace
1 Path of Ancestry
2 Plains
1 Rugged Prairie
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Sulfurous Springs
4 Swamp
1 Tainted Field
1 Tainted Peak
1 Temple of Malice
1 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Unclaimed Territory
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Westvale Abbey


For a couple of quick explanations, I'm trying to use every Sorin PW for flavour, but I will almost definitely drop that soon, as I don't want to spend the money on the pitifully bad new PW Deck Sorin.. Also, I use Brutal Hordechief instead of Sanctum Seeker because of his mana ability, which I believe makes him objectively better, despite not being on-tribe.

As for the cards I want to add, Knight of the Ebon Legion, Vampire of the Dire Moon, and Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord immediately come to mind, and I have them from a prerelease. I've also considered Thirsting Bloodlord, since he's a lord after all, but his 4-cost may put him above mana-budget for his worth. (Other 4-costs and up serve great utility purposes, like Twilight Prophet, Olivia, or Kalitas; is the +1/+1 buff worth it?)

Beyond those, I also have some older cards I newly acquired, like Bloodghast and Kalastria Highborn that I may add (definitely Bloodghast, less likely Kalastria) and 2 of the Modern Horizons Lands, Sunbaked Canyon and Silent Clearing.

Does anyone have any suggestions on if these cards are worth swapping in, over the cards currently there? I mean, Insolent Neonate can almost definitely come out for one of the new 1-drops, and if I'm dropping the "every Sorin" flavour, I can swap out Lord of Innistrad for Imperious Bloodlord, but other than that I'm kind of at a loss, as I can't decide what should come out for these new value cards.


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 Post subject: Re: Updating an Edgar Markov Deck with M20 (and more)
AgePosted: 2019-Aug-06 7:40 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
(Disclaimer: I realize Edgar's one of the most popular generals in the game, and at the right table he's a super hero... but he's pretty bad at most of my tables, and I'd push him in a different direction than most of the popular builds.)

If I was cutting cards for this list, I'd take a second look at anything 4 CMC or higher, and I probably wouldn't play a vampire that didn't support other vampires.

For example, I wouldn't run Bloodthrone Vampire in this list. It can be a powerful card (free sac outlets tend to be combo-tacular), but i don't think it fits here. Same with Twilight Prophet; powerful card, not much synergy here.

I'd especially look for ways to cut non-creature cards. I don't think the Blood/Bond combo pieces make sense here. Same with the expensive sorceries. And if you're flexible on the Sorin tribal, I'd probably chop the 6 mana Sorins too.

Besides the cards you're already looking to add, I'd want a few ways to give the deck some extra resiliency. Teferi's Protection is pretty great; you could supplement it with Boros Charm and Rootborn Defenses. I would also look at some ways to re-use creatures, like Living Death, Dusk // Dawn, and Phyrexian Reclamation.

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 Post subject: Re: Updating an Edgar Markov Deck with M20 (and more)
AgePosted: 2019-Aug-10 6:18 pm 
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Joined: 2019-Aug-09 9:15 pm
Age: Hatchling
Location: Trying to Arcane Flight myself to DISNEY WORLD!
I make a point to add Wooden Stake to one of my decks because of Markov. The creature generation without bringing Markov on the board is insane.

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 Post subject: Re: Updating an Edgar Markov Deck with M20 (and more)
AgePosted: 2019-Aug-11 9:17 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Sep-19 1:30 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
A fun enchantment to add to an Edgar Markov deck is Possibility Storm. You get double the tokens from casting vampires, and it messes up lots of other decks. Another bit of hilarity is throwing in Divine Visitation - nothing says Sorin Markov like an army of angels...

I'll also second the idea of dropping the Sanguine Bond (keep the Exquisite Blood, though - the life gain is useful). Consider True Conviction as a replacement - the buffs on that are insane with a vampire army. Akroma's Memorial is another good option here. I'd also remove Nim Deathmantle, as it requires open mana to use and removes the vampire subtype from the creature - Phyrexian Reclamation is better for you overall, since you can grab it later, pick what's needed at the time, and you get the cast trigger again.

Other cards I'd switch out are Radiant Destiny (doesn't do enough), Coat of Arms (can backfire if there's other tribal decks), Dark Tutelage (too much life lost per card on average - I'd prefer a Sword of Fire and Ice, Staff of Nin or similar), Door of Destinies (good early game, but a bad late game), Dark Ritual (again, good early but bad late), Choice of Damnations (not that good in multi-player), and Vindicate (replace with Utter End).

Refocus your creatures to being all vampires, and also better vampires. Get rid of Bloodthrone Vampire, Brutal Hordechief, Cruel Celebrant, Dusk Legion Zealot, Forerunner of the Legion, Gifted AEtherborn, and Insolent Neonate. Add in some other vampires that do more, like Anowon, the Ruin Sage, Malakir Bloodwitch, Dark Impostor, Drana, Liberator of Malakir, Elenda, the Dusk Rose, Falkenrath Aristocrat, Patron of the Vein, Sangromancer, Sanctum Seeker, or Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter.

For lands, look at adding Vault of the Archangel and Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion. Kher Keep is also very good, since it can make sacrifice fodder for your effects. Probably remove Terramorphic Expanse and possibly Westvale Abbey for them.

An enchantment to consider adding is Legion's Landing. I also cannot stress enough just how good In Garruk's Wake is. And finally, where is New Blood!? That card is amazing!!

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 Post subject: Re: Updating an Edgar Markov Deck with M20 (and more)
AgePosted: 2019-Aug-12 5:52 am 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
I hadn't thought about Possibility Storm and Edgar working together with cast triggers... that's pretty clever.

I wouldn't cut Cruel Celebrant though; it's a cheap cast that can harvest a lot of damage.

One thing to keep in mind is this list's mana base is tuned for a very aggressive build; if you swap a lot of the low-CMC vampires like Forerunner of the Legion for 4-6 drops like Anowon or Patron of the Vein, the deck's also going to need to drop a lot of nonland, noncreature cards for more lands and ramp.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it'd make for a very different looking list.

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 Post subject: Re: Updating an Edgar Markov Deck with M20 (and more)
AgePosted: 2019-Aug-12 5:08 pm 

Joined: 2019-Aug-05 8:36 am
Age: Hatchling
Okay, lots to go through here!

Firstly, I do agree that those higher CMC vampires can be incredible when used at a clutch moment, and can bring a lot of value. However, I reluctantly ended up cutting most of them for the very reason Kemev stated; they make for a very different decklist, and what I'm trying to go for relies mostly on getting card-draw so I can fill my hand with low cost vampires, and flood the board with them and the tokens I get from them.

Secondly, I'm so sorry we're that much of a nuisance to you Niathria! :P

Next, I do agree that Boros Charm, and to a lesser degree Rootborn Defenses, would be a very good addition to prevent a clear wipe of my creatures that leaves me with an empty hand and empty board. I will get on that right away! I'm also really liking the swapping of Nim Deathmantle for Phyrexian Reclamation; that seems like an all around better card in most situations, and it's cheaper too. (Since most of my vampires are low-cost anyways, paying 2 to reclaim them any time I want, and then paying their CMC would be better than paying 4 to bring them back without another cast trigger!) Getting rid of Twilight Prophet is probably not in my best interest though, due to my vested need for card-draw with this deck, but I can see how Bloodthrone, Neonate, and AEtherborn can all be subbed out for better creatures. (Bloodghast, Ebon Legion, and Dire Moon, for instance)

I don't know why Legion's Landing never came to mind, but yes, it is definitely a good add as well! Sanguine Bond can go, I agree; I only have it because almost all of the decks in my old playgroup revolved around comboing off, and it often came down to who could combo first, not who ran out of life the good old fashioned way. Coat of Arms is a mainstay for me, as I often have Edgar v Edgar v Edgar battles with friends, and who doesn't want to be swinging around a bunch of 30/30 tokens?? Dark Tutelage can definitely be swapped for something that does its job better, but the Sword is too unreliable, and Staff of Nin is incredibly high cost, which would put me back a full turn potentially, in a pivotal point of the mana curve. That one I'll need to look into. Door of Destinies and Dark Ritual have both given me quite a few edges through playtesting, so I would be slower to cut them, but if the need arises in the future I will note that they can be on the chopping block. And Choice of Damnations always was just a flavour wipe, really :P It can definitely be replaced by a better one. Vindicate for Utter End is a bit of a conundrum for me though; exile is objectively better than destroy, but is it worth the extra mana?

Finally, Possibility Storm seems like just the right amount of hilarity and utility to me! That's gonna go in straight away :P

Thanks so much for all of the useful feedback thus far!


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