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 Post subject: Arcades, the Strategist -- WIP/Theorycrafting
AgePosted: 2018-Dec-05 9:00 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
So I was able to draft a Arcades, the Strategist deck and it was a lot of fun, threw together a standard deck with it... and I got pummelled pretty hard. But I still want to play with this little guy, so..

I figured I would approach this build slightly differently, I went to EDHREC and found the most expensive build I could, then I am going to take it card by card and determine if they should stay or not. I left it in alphabetical order as that was how I found it.

The "A"s

Angelic Wall - solid, likely will stay
Arid Mesa - off color fetch, will be cut
Assault Formation - All Star, must have
Aurification - maybe a pet card? I think I would prefer something else
Axebane Guardian - solid, likely will stay
Azorius Signet = I prefer not running Signets in decks with Green, will likely be replaced with Rampant Growth or varient

The "B"s

Beast Within - solid, likely will stay

The "C"s

Colossus of Akros - expensive, but very solid, likely will stay
Command Beacon - solid, likely will stay
Command Tower - running 3 colors, it will be important
Confiscate - I prefer not to steal things, will be cut
Copy Artifact - flexibility, but probably cut
Copy Enchantment - flexibility, but probably cut
Cyclonic Rift - flexibility, but probably cut

The "D"s

Deep Freeze - on theme, and can deal with annoying commanders
Doorkeeper - not a fan of incidental Mill, but maybe in Magical Christmasland, likely cut

The "E"s

Eladamri's Call - likely cut, I try to limit tutors
Enlightened Tutor - likely cut, I try to limit tutors
Estrid's Invocation - likely won't have many enchantments, so meh
Expedition Map - I am running G, will likely cut
Exploration - we will have to see how much card draw I end up with

The "F"s

Flooded Strand - keep
4 Forest - keep, but might have to adjust how many
Foriysian Interceptor costs 4, but probably still worth it
Fortified Rampart - solid, likely will stay

The "G"s

Gaea's Cradle - recently sold mine for less than they are going for now... probably not needed, but if I can trade for 1 I might
Geist of the Archives - solid, likely will stay
Ghostly Prison - solid, likely will stay
Glacial Wall - solid, likely will stay
Guard Duty - solid, likely will stay
Guard Gomazoa - solid, likely will stay

The "H"s

Hover Barrier - like that it has flying, staying

The "I"s

Idyllic Tutor - likely cut, I try to limit tutors
Invisibility - cutting, I am not a fan of auras
7 Island - keep, but might have to adjust how many

The "J"s

Junktroller - solid, likely will stay

The "K"s

Kaijin of the Vanishing Touch - solid, likely will stay

The "L"s

Land Tax - solid
Ludevic's Test Subject - not sure about this one, that is a lot of mana to flip

The "M"s

Mana Vault - will likely cut, unlikely to abuse it
Marsh Flats - off color fetch, will be cut
Mirari's Wake - solid
Mistveil Plains - good way to get stuff back
Misty Rainforest - solid
Mystic Remora - usually good for a card or two, but it is kinda annoying, not sure

The "N"s

Nature's Lore solid

The "O"s

Overgrown Battlement - All Star in this deck

The "P"s

7 Plains - keep, but might have to adjust how many
Polluted Delta - off color fetch, will be cut
Pride Guardian - solid, likely will stay
Propaganda - solid, likely will stay
Prowler's Helm - on theme I guess? will likely be cut

The "Q"s

Sadly, nothing to see here Quicksilver Wall probably doesn't make it in mine either

The "R"s

Reflecting Pool - solid
Rhystic Study - annoying, likely to be cut

The "S"s

Savannah - I have one open, but it was earmarked for Bant Merfolk...
Scalding Tarn - off color fetch, will be cut
Selesnya Signet - again, I don't care for Signets in G
Sensei's Divining Top - I don't think I have one open, so probably won't be added
Serra's Sanctum - Sadly sold these as well, since I am cutting most Enchantments this would just not seem a reasonable inclusion even if I had one available
Simic Signet - see above
Snow Fortress - kinda cool, did not know this existed I'll have to find one
Sol Ring - kinda auto-include huh?
Song of the Dryads - solid, likely will stay
Stalwart Shield-Bearers - I would like 4 more of these please
Sunscape Familiar - solid, likely will stay
Sylvan Scrying - prefer these to put them into play, but if I end up with lots of cool non-basics this is nice

The "T"s

Take Possession - likely cut for reasons mentioned above
Teferi's Protection - solid, likely will stay
Traproot Kami - solid, likely will stay
Tree of Redemption - solid, likely will stay
Tropical Island - I have one open, but it was earmarked for Bant Merfolk...
True Conviction - not sure, this can be a blow out, but... I don't know yet
Tundra - I have one open, but it was earmarked for Bant Merfolk...

The "U"s

Nothing to see here either, Ulvenwald Captive probably doesn't make the cut here either

The "V"s

Verdant Catacombs - off color fetch, will be cut

The "W"s

Wall of Denial - solid, likely will stay
Wall of Faith - don't like that it cost 4, but will likely stay
Wall of Frost - solid, likely will stay
Wall of Glare - solid, likely will stay
Wall of Light about $15, I am not sure it is worth that...
Wall of Nets - solid, likely will stay
Wall of Tears - solid, likely will stay
Windswept Heath - solid
Wooded Foothills - off color fetch, will be cut
Worldly Tutor - likely cut as I try to avoid tutors

No X, Y or Z in the list.

I think I will add in some shock lands and a few more creatures, 27 doesn't seem like quite enough. So what do you think, is this also going to flop? Disagree with my opinion on some of the cards?

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 Post subject: Re: Arcades, the Strategist -- WIP/Theorycrafting
AgePosted: 2018-Dec-05 12:12 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
I'm going to rain on your parade a little, because I don't think this is a good way to build a deck. (I say this with love, because I think a lot of people try this, and I would like them to get better at building fun decks.) Instead of looking at a price tag, I'd rather dig in and look at the nuts and bolts of how cards interact. So a couple critiques...

This list is expensive primarily because it has a lot of expensive lands, which doesn't necessarily make it better than another list. With Arcades, the Strategist, you're basically playing Wall tribal... when folks ask, "Is my tribal deck good?" what they usually mean is, "Is my deck on-theme? Will it win some games?" With the list you're working from, the answer to both is "not really." This list has a meandering enchantment/pillowfort thing going that doesn't jive with the rest of the deck, and a lot of the actual walls are not very good.

Just to clarify -- I don't see stuff like Hover Barrier or Pride Guardian as good cards. Yeah, I get that they cantrip with your general. But is a 6/6 bird with no abilities a good EDH card? What about a 3/3 with lifelink? A deck would need a really good reason to include these, and I'm not sure that getting-a-cantrip-maybe is a good reason.

I'd rather start with a deck that looks more like this one: https://edhrec.com/deckpreview/6b/5e/15f22bb9

It's more along the lines of a aggro/control build; small, tribal-theme creatures that tend to net card advantage, supported with some asymmetrical control cards. If I were tweaking that list, I'd probably chop a couple near-vanilla cards for a few brawny titans (ex, Soul of the Harvest, Ulvenwald Observer, Primordial Sage, Sun Titan) that support the card advantage engine. Plus there's a few good annoyance generators like Soulsworn Jury, Opal-Eye, Konda's Yojimbo and Portcullis Vine that the author missed.

It also looks like a few players at EDHrec are running a few blink cards. This is a pretty strong direction, and I'd run with it. There are a few people playing Eerie Interlude or Ghostway; I'd run both, and supplement them with Archaeomancer, Displace, Ghostly Flicker, and Illusionist's Stratagem. Floodgate becomes a good card as well.

Last, I'd look for room for some combination of Retribution of the Meek, Engulf the Shores, Elspeth, Sun's Champion, and/or Solar Tide, just to keep the field free for my attackers.

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 Post subject: Re: Arcades, the Strategist -- WIP/Theorycrafting
AgePosted: 2018-Dec-05 12:45 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Jul-18 9:59 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Floodgate does not become a good card in a tri-colour deck, IMO. That's certainly some card though.....

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 Post subject: Re: Arcades, the Strategist -- WIP/Theorycrafting
AgePosted: 2018-Dec-11 8:36 am 

Joined: 2009-Aug-20 12:10 pm
Age: Wyvern
I built my own Arcades deck and in my experience you can hit people surprisingly hard out of nowhere if your commander goes unanswered. Like, as early as turn 4 you can be attacking for 8-12 damage, and you will likely continue to have good attacks for the next few turns if your commander is not dealt with as your creatures are so much bigger statwise than what your opponents can deploy.

I specifically disagree with Kemev about Hover Barrier - a 6/6 flyer is massive in the early turns. But I agree about Pride Guardian - I think that card's pretty weak. Most of the walls that trigger when they block are not that great. It's fun to imagine bouncing and exiling your opponents' stuff with Wall of Tears, Kaijin of the Vanishing Touch and Wall of Nets but the reality of those cards is that people just won't attack into them. That's great if you're trying to ward off aggression, but you're a wall deck. Pretty much any card that plays into your theme is going to do that.

So instead of walls with abilities geared to make you less appetizing to attack, I'd recommend walls that do something else. Wall of Blossoms, Wall of Omens and Carven Caryatid are spells you're perfectly happy to cast without your commander. Wall of Reverence gives you repeatable lifegain. Wall of Mulch is a sac outlet. Soulsworn Jury, as Kemev suggested, answers creatures with powerful ETB effects. Mnemonic Wall gets back sweepers or ramp spells and loops with blink effects.

I think you have to be really picky about walls that cost 4+ mana. You really want to cast several walls in the same turn and draw a bunch of cards. I actually don't like Jungle Barrier because of this, and I think Wall of Faith is really weak - all it does is "be really big" with your commander and you can do that much more efficiently with a card like Wall of Shards or Fortified Rampart. Snow Fortress is going to feel so bad to cast, even though it's a random old card that people will have to read, which is always fun.

Keyev suggested several board wipes that don't affect most/all of your team, which is a great idea. In addition to the ones they listed, there's also Crackdown, Dusk//Dawn (Dawn is pretty nuts if nobody toasts your graveyard), Wave of Reckoning and Meekstone.

There's one more angle of attack that your base deck doesn't touch, and that is planeswalkers. I really don't like planeswalkers in this format most of the time because they tend to take a lot of chip damage from random flyers or the like. But I like them more in this deck because it's really good at blocking, even if your commander's not on the battlefield. If you go Wall of Blossoms into Hover Barrier/Guard Gomazoa, then you're in a pretty good position to defend a turn-4 planeswalker. And there's a lot of good options in your colors, like the aforementioned Sun's Champion.


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 Post subject: Re: Arcades, the Strategist -- WIP/Theorycrafting
AgePosted: 2018-Dec-11 10:38 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
KingRamz wrote:
And there's a lot of good options in your colors, like the aforementioned Sun's Champion.

Also, since someone mentioned using blink, Venser, the Sojourner seems like a house in this deck, both generating card advantage and setting up devastating attacks.

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 Post subject: Re: Arcades, the Strategist -- WIP/Theorycrafting
AgePosted: 2018-Dec-12 2:44 am 

Joined: 2009-Aug-20 12:10 pm
Age: Wyvern
Sid the Chicken wrote:
KingRamz wrote:
And there's a lot of good options in your colors, like the aforementioned Sun's Champion.

Also, since someone mentioned using blink, Venser, the Sojourner seems like a house in this deck, both generating card advantage and setting up devastating attacks.

For sure. I've played one game with my Arcades deck and Venser finished my last opponent.


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