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 Post subject: Kess, Polymorphing Mage
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-03 10:55 pm 

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

I don't normally post decklists here, but I'm in new and strange territory for me and I'd appreciate a consult of sorts.

I used to have a Rubinia Soulsinger deck which revolved around stealing enemy creatures and Polymorphing them into big threats of my own for value. Wizards then announced the shifting of polymorph effects into Red (from Blue). Rather than never get any new cards for my old deck, I've tried to convert it to Grixis- using Kess as a means to re-use the polymorphing spells- and I'm not sure the end result will work too well.

Due to not having a theft effect in the Command Zone, I've moved away from the "steal and polymorph" plan and more toward generating tokens to serve as fodder for the Polymorphs. Shifting Shadow is excluded because it's an enchantment, and OG Polymorph didn't make the cut due to the crowded 4-drop slot, sadly. I've had to warp the decklist a little for Possibility Storm, which is one of those cards I've been itching to play.

The manabase is a bit wonky for a deck with harsh colour requirements, but that will improve naturally over time. My two concerns are not having sufficiently powerful/resilient threats to finish a game and not having strong enough defences/lifegain to contend with pressure from my opponents. Grixis really isn't my comfort zone, as I said before, so I'm not sure if there are obvious cards I should be using for this type of strategy or if I'd be better just shifting the deck back to Bant. Should I have more token makers, for instance? Does Grixis even do that?

Kess herself is something of an ancillary piece in the deck as it stands. I have plenty of decks where I want to play "protect the queen" and grind out value turn after turn from my Commander, and I don't particularly want to do that here. Her main purpose is to recast my removal to keep me from being overwhelmed and to get extra value from my Polymorphs. Maybe we should shift the deck in a more controlling direction with the Polymorphs as finishers? Let me know what you think.

//Creatures: 23
Kess, Dissident Mage
Baleful Strix
Gilded Drake
Snapcaster Mage (possibly bad to Polymorph into, but plays good defence).
Withered Wretch
Young Pyromancer
Burnished Hart
Drana, Liberator of Malakir (flying defence early and synergises well with tokens later).
Jalira, Master Polymorphist
Slithermuse
Solemn Simulacrum
Dragonlord Kolaghan (Mass Polymorph --> CHARGE!)
Grave Titan
Massacre Wurm
Noxious Gearhulk
The Locust God (provides flying blockers and token fodder).
Torrential Gearhulk
Sepulchral Primordial
Magmatic Force
Inkwell Leviathan
Void Winnower
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

//Sorceries: 10
Vandalblast
Cut // Ribbons
Hordeling Outburst (supplements the low creature count. Should I also add Dragon Fodder et al?)
Indomitable Creativity
Painful Truths
Chain Reaction
Damnation
Past in Flames (Kess won't always be on the battlefield)
Mass Polymorph
Cruel Ultimatum

//Instants: 17
Countersquall
Cyclonic Rift (can be overloaded from your graveyard with Kess)
Rakdos Charm
Rush of Vitality (lifegain and protection on a spell is hard to come by).
Terminate
Counterflux
Crosis's Charm
Sudden Spoiling
Commit // Memory (have tried to favour counterspells which can be Storm'd into).
Cryptic Command
Fact or Fiction
Illusionist's Gambit
Refuse // Cooperate (pet card).
Reins of Power
Silumgar's Command (as with Cryptic and Commit)
Synthetic Destiny
Divergent Transformations

//Planeswalkers: 3
Saheeli Rai
Jace, Architect of Thought
Ob Nixilis Reignited

//Enchantments: 1
Possibility Storm

//Artefacts: 7
Sol Ring
Wayfarer's Bauble
Commander's Sphere
Darksteel Ingot
Loxodon Warhammer
Proteus Staff
Hedron Archive

//Lands: 39
Command Tower
Reflecting Pool
Crumbling Necropolis
Path of Ancestry
Watery Grave
Blood Crypt
Drowned Catacomb
Swiftwater Cliffs
Shadowblood Ridge
Temple of Epiphany
Sunken Hollow
Smoldering Marsh
Sunken Ruins
Izzet Boilerworks
Rakdos Carnarium
Hanweir Battlements
Myriad Landscape
Rogue's Passage
Bojuka Bog
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Thawing Glaciers
Maze of Ith
7 Island
5 Swamp
5 Mountain

Any feedback would be most appreciated.

_________________
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: Kess, Polymorphing Mage
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-16 7:30 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Have you gotten to play this deck yet? I'm curious if it's too wonky. There seems to be a number of different strategies the deck is attempting to pull off, some of which may or may not really help the others in any meaningful way. You're trying to play control with Kess while also having some Polymorph effects on the side (although I feel like you've got a lot of actual creatures to be trying that, many of which would be disappointing to lose a Polymorph effect to) while even further doing this Possibility Storm thing...all the while I feel like you'll be light on mana at times. My guess is you'll have a few good plays, maybe even games, but otherwise doesn't quite work like you want it to. Doesn't seem like you have enough of a primary game plan--more like multiple game plans all at once and hoping one sticks.

I could be wrong though, so please let me know. I have a Polymorph deck with Rashmi that I like, and I'm intrigued by using Kess.

_________________
Current:
Decklists are posted here. They can all be found in the Decklist Forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Kess, Polymorphing Mage
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-17 5:27 am 

Joined: 2013-Jun-23 10:18 am
Age: Elder Dragon
"Wonky" is an excellent description of this version, Segrus. I've had about 5-6 games with the deck now, and there are a couple of structural problems that need addressing. Ramp and the right balance of control spells to polymorphs to threats to...other are the major two.

The way I envision this playing out is that we play a defensive/control game for the opening turns (probably until about 7-8 mana total), developing something of a board presence along the way. Then we Polymorph as our draws allow- I'm specifically adopting a no-tutors stance for this deck- and use Kess to recover and rebuild assuming those initial threats are dealt with. So we're sort of alternating between the control game and cheating in substantial threats.

The concept is more sound than it appears, I think, but it's going to take a few iterations to get it right. I'm working on a second version of the list right now, which I'll update in the next couple of days. Thanks for your interest :)

_________________
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: Kess, Polymorphing Mage
AgePosted: 2017-Sep-17 5:46 am 
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Joined: 2012-Nov-27 4:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Midgard
Have you seen Dralnu decks take off? Seems like that would be a great corollary to how Kess should be acting in your early game (except in Grixis and only on your turns). I'm also very on board with a no-tutors stance. Probably helps give you a couple more spaces to do what you want.

If I have some time I might come up with my own list to see how it plays out because I like the idea of Polymorph decks. I like being able to play BIG/BIG creatures and feel like it's part of what EDH is all about, but just straight cheating creatures into play can sometimes cross the line. Polymorph does well in making that process semi random. But I don't want to just play Jalira since it greatly limits the available big creatures. Anyway, that's where my interest stems from.

Well, also because I have a budget Dralnu deck that I have fun with.

_________________
Current:
Decklists are posted here. They can all be found in the Decklist Forum.


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