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Author Topic: Looking for help with a Kalamax deck, I had too much fun  (Read 213 times)

Barfy

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Looking for help with a Kalamax deck, I had too much fun
« on: November 21, 2022, 02:33:54 am »
Hi there everyone, I've been making my first deck that uses infinite loops and have been having a blast. Building around Kalamax was really fun to discover new card interactions, but I fear that I've found too many cool strategies to try to jam into one deck! I am aiming to make a deck that makes an infinitely big creature, possibly fling it, and have a secondary lab man win condition sitting around in the deck.

Here is a link to the deck:

https://deckstats.net/decks/136478/2809875-kalamax-s-revenge#show_description

Do you guys think it would work at all to retain all three strategies, but just cut a ton of cards out of each pool of strategy?  I don't know how it could work without cutting all the removal and interaction... It's not fun to play solitare while assembling Exodia.

Thank you for any advice you could give to me!
« Last Edit: November 21, 2022, 10:58:18 pm by Barfy »

Morganator 2.0

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Re: Looking for help with a Kalamax deck, I had too much fun
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2022, 02:52:16 am »
Considering that you're using 132 cards and a commander deck is 100, yes, you're going to need to cut down on something.

You can definitely get rid of the things like Dragonguard Elite and Quandrix Pledgemage. You're already getting the +1/+1 counters on Kalamax.

You currently don't have a way to draw out your entire deck, so the Laboratory Maniac win can be cut.

jlutzxinc

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Re: Looking for help with a Kalamax deck, I had too much fun
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2022, 05:05:46 am »
Appending #show_description to the end of your Deck link will display your Description so we DON'T have to click through to your page to read it.  I'm probably about to miss the point, but I'll TRY to help (by writing a wall of text, apparently; oops).

Kalamax DOES feel fun, but 132 Main, 30 Sideboard is ridiculous.  You could easily drop almost HALF of your Deck and lose very little value (allowing for additions you overlooked of course); you could even KEEP all three of your wincons, if you emphasized consistency over running every POSSIBLE card.  Notably, Kalamax copying the first INSTANT could be leveraged (further than it already is) by FIRST casting a Sorcery-speed Tutor and THEN a Fork clone to get three or four copies of the Tutor and find EVERY card you want instead of only one of them.  You're also missing a LOT of Fork effects; if the goal IS getting an infinitely big Kalamax to use for other stuff, then you'd want to run as many as possible and as LITTLE "other stuff" as you can.

Ertai's Meddling will get rid of Dovin's Veto (I noticed you particularly hate that card).  If it's Lab Man you want, then Chord of Calling (which you have) for 5, copied with Kalamax, will get you Leveler and Thassa's Oracle, which will replace that wincon without ANY Draw power, plus it won't fall to Nars3t or Notion Thief (but instead to Opposition Agent).  Also, you have a couple of Vehicles; I feel leaning into that angle may be more consistent at tapping Kalamax than relying on bizarre Stax effects or Springleaf Drum clones (but the Drum is really good), plus they might let you still have Combat even if Kalamax is your only Creature, so you can reduce the advantage your opponents would build up.

Barfy

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Re: Looking for help with a Kalamax deck, I had too much fun
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2022, 11:43:59 pm »
Hello guys, thank you for what you've shared with me so far.

Morganator, the thought was that Kalamax will be a lightning rod for removal and will eventually cost too much to cast. Having the magecraft creatures who get +1/+1 counters offer other (less efficient) routes for a big creature who can attack for lethal or be a target for Chandra's Ignition. Do you think the redundancy isn't necessary?

And the method to draw the entire deck was using a Greater Good style draw effect once a creature has been made really large.

jlutzxinc, thank you, I appreciate the wall of text because there's a lot to correct with this deck. Thank you for the #show_description lesson, I updated the original post. I'll take your advice chunk by chunk:

"you could even KEEP all three of your wincons, if you emphasized consistency over running every POSSIBLE card."
Do you think as a starting goal I should reduce the amount of cards in all of my categories to 9 or something? My main problem here is I don't know how to balance my copying effect ratio with the other pieces of the puzzle. The three main things are getting Kalamax tapped, be ready with a fork effect, and then have a way to win once I've copied those effects. If I cut all of my removal (of which I admit I went for weird chaos warp effects that seemed really fun instead of staples), and all of my protection, I'm still way over my card count. It seems like there isn't enough room to ever draw into the combo engine if I'm going by Normal Deckbuilding Advice™ of always having a chunk of ramp, removal, and protection.

I would appreciate if you bluntly told me which of my categories are unnecessary.

"Notably, Kalamax copying the first INSTANT could be leveraged (further than it already is) by FIRST casting a Sorcery-speed Tutor"
This never occurred to me because I don't like playing with tutors. This would certainly be the first step to ditching all the random crap in my deck and having it run consistently, but upon doing some scryfall searching I only see Solve the Equation as a sorcery speed tutor for what other instants/sorceries I want. Mystical Tutor does the same thing as an instant. Which ones am I missing?

"You're also missing a LOT of Fork effects;"
I am? There's only 12 fork effects at instant speed that come up while doing a scryfall search, (https://scryfall.com/search?q=id%3Atemur+t%3Ainstant+o%3A%22copy+target+instant%22) and 28 of them if I include all types of cards, which I didn't think would be too helpful as Kalamax only copies instants. What syntax am I missing to see what other fork effects you're talking about? This is a case of ignorance, I know old cards are worded differently but oftentimes I simply don't know how to find all instances of the effect I'm looking for.

"Ertai's Meddling will get rid of Dovin's Veto (I noticed you particularly hate that card).  If it's Lab Man you want, then Chord of Calling (which you have) for 5, copied with Kalamax, will get you Leveler and Thassa's Oracle, which will replace that wincon without ANY Draw power, plus it won't fall to Nars3t or Notion Thief (but instead to Opposition Agent)."
Awesome card suggestion, I didn't know that Ertai's Meddling existed, that's a great one to know about! I lost a game this past weekend to a friend casting Boros Charm and then Obliterate, I could have stopped it there too. I also hadn't known of using Leveler + Thassa's Oracle, that can really clean up having an alternate wincon without all the weird jankiness of my method to draw my deck, get lab man out somehow, then draw a final card. Thank you!

Maybe I need to put the words "Low Power Inconsistent Budget Jank Combo" into the deck title  :P
« Last Edit: November 22, 2022, 12:01:24 am by Barfy »

jlutzxinc

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Re: Looking for help with a Kalamax deck, I had too much fun
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2022, 02:04:50 pm »
Actually, I thought of using Tutors for some of your OTHER cards, so you wouldn't have to run so many copies of each piece.  Again, I admit I rather overthought that aspect.  I don't have any more ideas for improvement; I just wanted to clarify that.  And yes, you don't need backups for Kalamax because you can just run MORE protection so he WON'T get removed.

"Should I just run 9 cards in each category?"  Sure!  In fact, the 8x8 method (36 Land and 8 groups of 8 each) may help you consolidate somewhat (with a few tweaks of course; you don't need 8 copies of Fling, obviously).

EDIT TO ADD: I just noticed that I should point out: Ertai's Meddling will only DELAY Obliterate (but will probably make it symmetrical, and at the start of their turn, too, where it would most hurt); it stops single-target uncounterable like Dovin's Veto because the original target becomes invalid.  You COULD possibly stall long enough to win (or at least draw a Heroic Intervention type card to protect your stuff).
« Last Edit: November 22, 2022, 03:24:22 pm by jlutzxinc »

Barfy

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Re: Looking for help with a Kalamax deck, I had too much fun
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2022, 03:30:28 am »
Cool, thank you. Yeah, in that situation with Obliterate I would have had a lethal board state to leverage so that it never got cast as long as X could have been 2. (I was next in turn order)

I'll retool the deck tomorrow, thanks for your suggestions. I'll remove the redundancy of other creatures and cut down on fling effects and see where I'm at. I'm still curious about what other Forks I'm missing are out there, though.

I must seem like a real babe in the woods to you guys, but your input is greatly appreciated.


Barfy

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Re: Looking for help with a Kalamax deck, I had too much fun
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2022, 07:26:08 am »
Alright, I cut it down a bunch. Any thoughts in this decks' current form would be appreciated