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75% – Kruphixed


Welcome back, readers!

Battlefield Thaumaturge
My goal last week was to have a Kruphix deck sketched out and then hear some feedback from the community about how to make it into something 75% and playable and fun. I received quite a bit of response from the community both on Gathering Magic and on reddit—as well as from my own playgroup. Not all of it was what I wanted to hear, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

What was I not looking to hear? First of all, xcver wrote in the comments on last week’s article that, while there were quite a few good interactions with Battlefield Thaumaturge in the deck—namely Curse of the Swine—there weren’t really enough cards to make it worth it. I resisted a bit first, considering Battlefield Thaumaturge has me very excited about brewing, but there aren’t enough cards that interact with it to justify giving it an entire spot in the deck. Battlefield Thaumaturge is potent and flavorful, but this may not be the deck for it, at least as it’s constructed. Not to worry—he’s already found a home in my Riku of Two Reflections deck, which is being modified to take advantage of his strengths and synergy with powerful spells like Comet Storm.

I can balance that bitter pill with something pleasant: I was somewhat dishonest last week and included a few cards in the list that I don’t think are good fits for a 75% deck. I did this as a way to make sure this whole philosophy made sense to other people, too—and if I could be kept honest and forced to follow my own rules. I was very pleased when /u/Hibernian found out the most egregious offender right away: Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger. One of our rules was that we prefer to deal with our opponents’ things and punish them for doing them rather than prevent them from doing things. Vorinclex, of all of the Praetors, prevents the opponents from doing things the most. Sure, Sheoldred, Whispering One and Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite murder opponents’ dudes, but they don’t stop opponents from playing more or, worse, untapping their lands. Nice catch, Hibernian.

Kiora, the Crashing Wave
Hibernian also recommended cards such as Trading Post and Kiora, the Crashing Wave come out. Trading Post is a personal choice of mine, so I don’t expect others to include that in this or any of their lists, but even though I feel it has a ton of utility and can bail you out of a lot of jams, I wouldn’t go so far as to say there is anything about it that is inherently 75%. He did point out certain cards in the deck make it feel as though it lacks focus slightly. A G/U good-stuff deck is fine, but if that is how we build it, there is nothing really inherently 75% about it. With no theme or motif to restrict our card choices, we’re free to include the best fifty-nine green and blue cards we can find, and if we don’t, aren’t we breaking Rule #1, which tells us not to weaken a good deck? Turning G/U good-stuff into G/U mediocre-stuff isn’t a good way to build a 75% deck.

It wasn’t all cuts, though, and reddit came through with some quality inclusions to help us plug any gaps that develop when we cut stuff that doesn’t belong.

Hibernian taketh away, but he also giveth the suggestions of Verdeloth the Ancient and Wolfbriar Elemental. I like Verdeloth as a colorless mana sink. I don’t think we can rely on having a ton of g unless we’re leaning on Omnath, Locus of Mana a lot. I like Verdeloth though.

xcver recommended adding Hydra Broodmaster. This may not be as flashy as a card like Battlefield Thaumaturge, but it does fit with the theme of the deck much better. I was really hoping someone would point this card out because I like the idea of jamming some new Journey into Nyx cards, and this is among the best mana sinks I have seen.

On twitter, Patrick Lewis recommended adding Doubling Cube. I can dig it. That’s a card I love to run in Omnath after all.

/u/prawn108 recommended Wurmcalling and Praetor's Counsel, advice that was echoed by /u/mmmmmmmmmhhhhhmmmmmm (I am starting to wish I’d been a little more creative when picking a reddit username), who likes Wurmcalling in a deck with Paleoloth.

That’s a lot of good feedback from the community, and I think the suggestions I received were all in accordance with the rules of 75%. However, there was some disagreement about whether Greater Good is a 75% card. I have an opinion, but I think I will reserve judgment and poll you guys instead.

[poll id="348"]

With those suggestions, it’s time to see if we don’t have a version of Kruphix that is a little better, a little less good-stuff, a little more wow-Kruphix-has-a-lot-of-synergy-with-these-cards, and hopefully not at all don’t-play-that-deck-again-man.

This looks dialed in a little better than my first effort. Some of the good-stuff-feeling cards were cut, suggested cards from the community were added, and I think this version is much closer to something I’d run. When the jury (you readers) makes a ruling on Greater Good, we’ll consider that for inclusion as well.

Another consequence of the reddit community weighing in on the last article was that /u/cybishop3 mentioned his Nath of the Gilt-Leaf deck was Elf tribal. Now that is interesting. Is it possible to build Nath that way? It would probably adhere closely to our rules because building around the theme will constrain our card pool—but not the power level—and we won’t have a deck that’s so close to how I built Nath when I tried, namely a bad version of my Prossh, Skyraider of Kher deck or the Shattergang Brothers deck from a previous installment. It seems pretty likely we’ll be diving into Nath next week. Who knows? We may even come up with another principle to add to our list.

Thanks for your feedback each week, both here in the comments on Gathering Magic and on reddit. Keep spreading the good word about 75% EDH, and keep calling it EDH even though Wizards has to call it Commander. I’m not afraid of the Highlander creator’s legal team, although if he sends Adrian Paul after me with a katana, I may change my tune. [Editor's Note: We're a "Commander" over "EDH" house, but we guess Jason can stay.]

Until next week!

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