Home Strategy Magic 2014 Masks of the Dimir deck guide: What’s yours is now...

Too awesome to die with the rest of the guilds featured in Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013, the Dimir are back in black (and blue) to wreak havoc upon dueling planeswalkers once more. Well, maybe this is the first time it’ll be wreaking havoc, considering the first one was more of a gallery of overly careful balancing.

Okay, enough with the cheap puns. Like its predecessor Rogues’ Gallery, Masks of the Dimir is neither strong on turn 3 wins nor on big stompy dudes. Instead, it prefers to stay back, carefully weigh its options, and somehow still win in the end.

Because does it really count as winning if you aren’t infuriating your opponent in the process?

Deck overview: New faces, old stomp

Unlocking this deck, it’s easy to feel disappointed. There are no more Cutpurses, no Agony Warp, no Helms of the Ghastlord, because all of those things were way too OP in DotP13, weren’t they. That is not to say that the Dimir have lost all their tricks, of course. Most importantly, they’ve gained a lot of new ones, especially Cipher. Cast once, torture opponent forever.

Overall, the deck hasn’t changed much since its appearance in DotP13. It relies less on power and more on sneaky manipulation, card advantage, and not the least praying to put it through until it can win in the late game. If you play it like Aggro, may the Ghost Council help you.

General strategy: Die fast or start killing

This deck is filled to the brim with enough discard and draw that soon enough your opponent will go into topdeck mode (drawing the cards that you just made them put back on top) whilst staring down your hand being full of potential death and destruction. That being said, while it does have an enormous advantage once it gets going, that point might take a while to arrive, so expect to take some punishment in the early game. If you can stabilise the board eventually, what does a lost life point or ten matter?

Needless to say, this is not a deck for little Timmy mindlessly playing whatever cards he can, so let him go back to his angels. Success with this deck will require not only the tools for stalling and card advantage, but also the proper style to use them. In other words, if you can’t stand sitting around for entire turns doing pretty much nothing, this isn’t your deck.

Masks of the Dimir deck list (by mana cost)*

61 cards, 11 Islands, 10 Swamps, Terramorphic Expanses

2 CMC

  • 3 Dimir Guildmage
  • 1 Countersquall
  • 3 Ravenous Rats
  • 4 Last Gasp
  • 1 Treasure Hunt
  • 1 Hands of Binding

3 CMC

  • 2 Chittering Rats
  • 1 Consult the Necrosages
  • 1 Time Ebb
  • 1 Divination

4 CMC

  • 2 Evil Twin
  • 3 Moroii
  • 1 Reins of Power
  • 2 Lobotomy
  • 2 Sleep

5 CMC

  • 1 Dire Undercurrents
  • 1 Beacon of Unrest
  • 1 Ghastlord of Fugue
  • 1 Followed Footsteps
  • 1 Painful Quandary

6+ CMC

  • 1 Dinrova Horror
  • 1 Stolen Identity
  • 1 Diluvian Primordial
  • 1 Avatar of Will

 

Masks of the Dimir card-by-card analysis (by mana cost)

Thought Scour: 2.5
Look, I know it’s a draw for one mana, you can stop writing comments about it. If it is so great, then why are there Blue tournament decks, quite a lot of them in fact, which run without a full playset of it? Shrinking your deck is only great if there actually is room to do so. Unfortunately, in this one, there are so many single cards that every card is needed to fulfill each role. Not only will Thought Scour only be useful if your deck already runs great without filling a few card slots, it will also harm you directly; Ideally, you will never have too much spare mana, not even on turn one when you’d rather play a fetchland.

Dimir Guildmage: 3.5
First of all, he’s an early body, though he’ll almost never see combat. More importantly, his abilities are expensive yet powerful. In combination with other spells, you can reasonably empty your opponent’s hand by turn 4 or 5 at most, and keep drawing yourself. This, gentlemen, is card advantage at its finest. More than one at a time is superfluvous though, so two will do.

Ravenous Rats: 3.5
Pay two, get a chump for the early game and get the discard train rolling. It’s unlikely that this will hit anything that important, but you have to get rid of your opponent’s discard fodder sometime, right?

Surveilling Sprite: 3.0

I hate this card, and everything it does. That out of the way, its only purpose is being a flying chump blocker that’ll replace itself, assuming that its attacker doesn’t have Trample and that it doesn’t die in some random board wipe before then. Sure it’ll help you draw into the removal you need to actually take care of that threat. You know what also would? Not having this in your deck in the first place!

Countersquall: 3.0
For this deck, it’s a decent counterspell, not to mention it’s the only one. Still, if the time arises, there’s no better insult than injury.

Last Gasp: 4.0
Like Countersquall, your only method of removal. Unlike it, actually plentiful. A -3/-3 in time can save you the entire game, as far as (with some help) taking down those squiggly Eldrazi monsters.

Treasure Hunt: 3.0
Unlike Thought Scour, this will not draw you only lands a subjectively perceived 93% percent of the time. Don’t expect it to draw you more than two or often just one card, but focus on that that card will always be useful. At any stage of the game, it’s a guaranteed spell draw, with the added benefit of giving you any lands that would happen to be in the way, for whatever you want to do with them. (“Don’t eat the cards.”) It does reveal the cards, but so does Oracle of Mul Daya, doesn’t it? Does the Oracle suck?*

Hands of Binding: 3.5
Only one scary guy on the other side of the field? Just one flying blocker? Now they’re gone. Personally, I would have preferred something like Claustrophobia, but you must use what you have. Lovely for its versatility to switch targets if needed, assuming that you can keep hitting.

Chittering Rats: 3.5
Ah, Mirrodin. Back when we all were just some innocent little girls playing with what crap cards we had happened to pull, Mirrodin was still host to weekly metal concerts, and creatures didn’t need to be 3/3 for 1B with a card advantage effect to be playable even in limited. This doesn’t get rid of the card entirely, but it does completely ruin your opponent in the topdecking phase, which seems to be where 90% of decks are most of the time due to greedy land counts.** What happened with the Phyrexians, anyway? Are they just content with dicking up Mirrodin and now spend their time chilling about there?

Slate-Street Ruffian: 2.0

Yay, unblockable 2/2! Except that it will get blocked and die by turn 4 when your opponent’s hand will be empty anyway!

Threads of Disloyalty: 2.5

While the recent expansion has given this more targets, few of them are really worth it. Don’t be a cheapskate, buy a real Mind Control that will actually take cards worth taking.

Consult the Necrosages: 4.0
Mind Rot when you need it, Divination when you don’t, for the easy price of either. Do be careful when selecting targets though, there is nothing more embarassing than forgetting which mode you chose.

Time Ebb: 3.5
It’s like Chittering Rats, except with more Eldrazi disposal. Assuming that your opponent does have the tools to recast the creature, you have effectively wasted one of his turns which he’ll spend on nothing but restoring the board as it was. If it was a powerful Omnomnommer or cheated into play through Summoning Trap or a (now dead) Elvish Piper? That’s pure evil thinking right there.

Doomsday Specter: 3.0

Can allow you to reuse ETB effects for more discard, which is handy since it will never score a hit itself. It’s Coercion on a stick, except tied to a 4 mana 2/3 flier that will sit around for a turn doing nothing other than reducing your board presence. Which won’t hit more than one card anyway unless you’re in a mirror matchup and losing.

Divination: 3.0
There are better ways of creating card advantage, but at least this is never a dead draw. In fact, it can be quite welcome lategame so that you can sift even deeper. Unless you really, really need to make your opponent discard ASAP, better than its obvious comparison Mind Rot.

Mind Rot: 2.5
Mostly worse than Divination. The window to use it is rather brief, starting at turn 3 and ending as soon as your opponent has less than 2 (or 1) cards in hand. Too brief. For each card, ask yourself: “What if I topdeck this card late or early game rather than on its preferred window?” I’ve found that helps a lot in deckbuilding.

Evil Twin: 4.0
Oooh so evil. Creates your very own version of literally anything on the board, and murders the original if it gets to live one turn. Who knew that there were two It That Betrays…es?

Archeomancer: 3.0

I’m sure the Izzet deck would literally kill to get this. Oh wait, they get it every turn, as a 4/4, with insane pump. Never mind then, I guess we’ll just have to throw this away for doing too little in too specific scenarios

Moroii: 4.0
With how this deck seems to be built for EDH (only one copy of any given card per deck), rather surprising. Surprising that they give us a full playset of this bity little devil. Perhaps Wizards wanted to make amends for how much last year’s Dimir deck sucked. Surprising that DotP14′s version is not all that much better. But a 4/4 flier on turn 4 can come in handy. If it doesn’t kill you.

Mark of the Vampire: 2.5

Pumps are great. Lifelink is very great. This card is bad. I like to look down on people saying that auras need to give Indestructible and draw three cards to be worth it even in Draft, but the fact of the matter is that this one just… doesn’t do enough for its money.

Reins of Power: 3.5
Let’s face it: This deck isn’t the greatest. So what better way to laugh defeat in the face than to take all creatures, turn them around, and kill your opponent using *their* alpha strike? If nothing else, include for its potential for hilarious victories torn literally directly from certain defeat. Combos with greedy opponents playing out all their guys and not playing out all your guys.

Lobotomy: 3.5
Would you like a Lord of the Unreal, Jace? *Crushes in hand* Wouldn’t we all. You do need some knowledge of the enemy deck to use this card to its full potential, but beyond that, it can completely ruin certain decks. That it comes out mostly after such decks have already murdered you is unfortunate, but there are plenty of things that this can still hit.

Mental Vapors: 1.5

It has the potential to be more than Mind Rot for but one mana more. Realistically speaking, it will be less than Mind Rot, for one mana more. Even if you can score consistent hits, your opponent just won’t have any targets for it.

Sleep: 4.0
It’s like an Overrun in blue. Or perhaps Overrun is the same in green? Regardless, though costly, this beauty will completely negate your opponent’s creatures (except for static abilities, of course) until the end of your next turn. Count it, that’s two free attacks between which you will not have to fear retaliation, except for creatures that are played on the tapped turn. It’s just too much damage potential to pass up. If nothing else, it’s a free turn for most intents and purposes.

Ghastlord of Fugue: 5.0
BFM: Big Furry Monster. That can’t be blocked. And causes immense card advantage when it inevitably hits. Too bad that you only get one, but… well, we have ways to make more. Also, can you imagine a deck with more than one of its respective spirit avatar? Four, even? Ridiculous just to think about it, isn’t it? Good thing that would never happen in DotP.

Shadowborn Demon: 2.0

Now THAT is some amazing card advantage… FOR THE OTHER GUY!

Dire Undercurrents: 3.5
Okay, it comes out late. No, it doesn’t do anything about the board. However, it’s far from being so late that you wouldn’t have any creatures entering after it. In fact, I’d say it comes in just in time for the clone forge to start rolling. Also, think about it this way: A single multicoloured creature will already put you at card advantage. Having all your stuff that comes after cantrip is just cream on top. Once again, be careful with targeting. Then again, using both triggers on your opponent, perhaps after a Time Ebb, is a wonderful way of being a dick and establishing moral dominance. After all, isn’t that what Dimir is about?

Painful Quandary: 5.0

“Do you expect me to discard?”
“No, Mister Beleren, I expect you to die!”
Painful jokes aside, this alone will kill your opponent. Combine with Dimir Guildmage to confine your opponent to one card in hand to make the life loss an inevitability.

Followed Footsteps: 3.9
I hesitate to rate this 4, since its sheer size as a removal magnet might cause the moon to deorbit and crash on your dude in case there aren’t any Doom Blades, Corrupts, Mutilates, sacrifices, or other black removal which is surprisingly plentiful in this game already aimed at it. Still, if it survives, imagine what you could do. Two things about it though, Evil Twin’s token will be a copy of what the original is copying*** and for the love of SUBJECT DEITY HERE, do not put this on Moroii. There is cutting into your veins to release the sweet venom within which will carry you to victory and then there’s shoving a kitchen knife into your stomach. It can become ugly quickly if your opponent doesn’t die immediately afterwards.

Fool’s Demise: 3.0

Sort of obsoleted with Gift of Immortality in Theros if you’re using it for, well, immortality. Okay, it came out a good few years before that, and is a different colour, and doesn’t allow for stealing creatures. Still, with what it does, one can’t help feeling like it just doesn’t do enough, when it could also be a Ghastlord or even a Shadowborn Demon.

Shadow Slice: 2.0

Useful, except not really. In all likelihood, the Ciphered creature will do more damage to your opponent than this will.

Beacon of Unrest: 4.0
Ooh, the Zenith cycle mimics this original cycle, in its doing something iconic and then reshuffling. Lovely. Aside from sudden realisations, this beauty gives you whatever happened to land in the graveyard on either side for a measly five mana, with free refills if you can find it again. With as much draw as there is within this deck, that’s not too unlikely, either. It depends on stuff dying, but once stuff dies, that stuff will be yours.

Illusionary Armour: 1.0

Terrible and you should know why. Even if it isn’t popped midcombat, did you really expect this to stay on the creature for more than half a second?

Dinrova Horror: 4.5
Although I don’t think it has feet, just imagine for a moment this with a Followed Footsteps stuck onto it. Not only do you get a considerable body, it also allows you to kill anything on the board, with no strings attached. Nothing short of shroud will save it. I think that an ultra-Vindicate which allows for creature shenanigans and has a large body for just six mana is well worth it. (If your opponent does happen to have any cards left in hand by the time this comes out, maybe you’re not playing it right.)

Vedalken Dismisser: 3.0

I want to see this card being good, but at the same time, it’s just Time Ebb with a 2/2 chump. Worth it? Perhaps, if you’re willing to endure running this. Fun and not bland? Nope.

Stolen Identity: 4.0
Sharing is caring. Doesn’t murder the original like Evil Twin does, but can be repeated each turn if necessary. Also, this can be Ciphered onto the token it just created, so if you’re short on carriers, why not use your opponent’s? I know the only thing better than copying your opponent’s Baneslayer is to do it a lot of times.

Necropolis Regent: 2.5

Weaker than one would expect. If you can consistently hit your opponent even with this out, you have probably already won.

Diluvian Primordial: 3.5
It’s unlikely that its ability will be a gamechanger, but even without it, it’s a big guy ideal for lategame facepunching. What more needs to be said?

Smog Elemental: 2.5

Sure, he basically gives all your fliers +1/+1. If only there were many small fliers in the game that really care about its effect other than going from 6/6 to 5/5. For that price. it could at least affect all creatures.

Vengeful Vampire: 1.0

” … and unsupported by anything but complete incompetence.” Terrible before it dies, useless afterwards, all around waste of air.

Avatar of Will: 4.5
You’ll never pay more than 2 mana for this, and it will never be later than turn 5 or 6 at best, leaving you with enough to buy lunch for the next turn. Immensely cheap for what it does, which is a lot.

Spinal Embrace: 3.0

Can lead to some amazing plays, but relies not only on your opponent having things, but having things that are worth the effect and generally better than yours. In a meta dominated by swarms, usually not worth the price.

Guardian of the Ages: 3.0

Big. Strong. Conditional. It triggers off of fliers, but for that price, it better have some big payoff other than eating removal.

Colossal Whale: 2.5

If it ever swings and survives, it will omnomnom the opposition. If. The problem is that it can either just be swarmblocked or faces a deck with Islands, which generally have no problem disposing of it to get their guys back.

Demon Barghest: 2.0

All new! 10 turn clock, for just seven mana! If you trigger its first ability, you are already losing. Nice body, but suffers compared to the alternatives. Hell, Guardian of the Ages is better if you want a body.

Commandeer: 2.5

Every player who uses it will have stories about jacking that 20 point Banefire for the victory. Likely scenario? No. Very few spells in the game would be worthy of its effect, and fewer yet are worth the price.

Mindleech Mass: 1.0

Okay, now that it’s not our only option, sort of bad. Sort of really terrible.

 

*If you answered yes, I’m afraid I’ll have to meet you outside. No one questions my card wife, alright?
**Which happens to coincide with that 90% of all decks that are played are fucking Illusions. Isn’t statistics something?
***There is literally a separate rule in Magic’s rulebook which treats what happens when you clone a Clone. I love this game.


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48 replies to this post
  1. Damn you Toraka I want to read this but I have 2 hours left to apply for a job… *sigh*….. Looks polished up nicely though =) Just want to stress to people who haven’t read my comments about the deck that quite a few cards are optional such as 4 guildmages 2 evil twins sleep maybe and taking mindleech mass out etc so play around with it first. I’m probably going to get a lot of stick, some cards are a bit touchy =P Thanks!

  2. This is my favourite deck in Duels 2014. Don’t know if it’s really powerful compared to the rest but the only control deck right now. I wish there was monoblue control…

  3. “Considering that there are no decks in DotP14 that can lay a 1 mana guy down and have him be 5/5 two turns afterwards, this card isn’t all too useful.”

    Well except for Champion of the Parish.

    • Without meaning to condescend on you, let’s have an adventure through the dictionary, shall we?

      TTT; Where strategy and satire cross swords.

      Satire; Trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly.

      Irony; The use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning.

      Now that is irony. Can you see any here, kids? Let’s stare at it for 10 seconds and then put a giant glowing ring around it! Yaaay, you were so helpful!

      Sometimes, learning programmes scare me. I hope you saw what I meant how I meant it (Sunday morning 7 AM cartooons) and learned something in the process. Visit us again in the future!

      • That was an impressively defensive reaction!

        You deftly and artfully combined a gross overreaction to a perfectly jovial comment with a bunch of pointless condescension, and the pièce de résistance was that you had the gall to say “without meaning to do [the exact specific thing I am about to do.]”

        Your guides lack the informativeness and interest of wingspan’s, which is fine, that is a high bar to clear and he has a ton of experience, but you could at least do us all a service by not nerdraging at people in the comments behind a thinly veiled (and frankly unconvincing) mask of civility. Seriously, learning programmes? Tsk tsk. Grow up a tad.

  4. Dimir is strictly a 2v2 deck for me but boy is it fun when it works. =)

    I still prefer the 2013 version over this one. However, win or lose, I usually have a blast playing dimir in 2HG.

    Oh, I run Fool’s Demise every time, not on their creature but my own. It combos fantastically with Dire Undercurrents – especially since a lot of your creatures with summon-effect abilities already.

    • Fool’s demise can be pretty fun =P and yeah much more suited on your own creatures with the lack of removal. Kinda like an indestructibility.

  5. This deck could use something that will offset the punishment you take on early turns.. A couple of vampire nighthawks would be nice.. VS faster decks, Its too reliant on removal if you dont have them early on then you might not be able to recover from the punishment you took…

  6. Says this,

    “Success with this deck will require not only the tools for stalling and card advantage”

    Leaves out Ravenous Rats?

    You dirty Troll you.

    • There are better things to stall and better ways of card advantage. Also, keep in mind that this is basically a polished (read: completely rewritten) version of a fanmade guide. While I’m fairly certain that you’ve read it already, you can find it under https://www.dropbox.com/s/q0s5hdyoq97faby/Masks%20of%20Dimir.txt
      for completion’s sake.

      He does seem to know what he’s doing though, and I see her points. Stalling isn’t done by tossing 1/1 chumps into the meatgrinder, that’s just throwing away cards.

      Oh, I don’t mean to imply that I think you meant that, of course. Gotta be very careful since some people keep thinking I’m defensive and passively insulting them.

      Anyhow, stalling is done, as you probably know, by making the enemy not want to attack. A 1/1 body isn’t going to help much on that front, even though it’s completely expendable and your opponent knows that. You need other things to help it do that job, and then you wonder, why not just run those other things on their own instead?

      Also, discarding one for 1B is not exactly a good deal, but it’s exactly what Ravenous Rats’ intention seems to be. Ditch one card which will probably be the first discard of the game, so it will hardly really hurt them, and get a 1/1 chump block which, for most intents and purposes, might just as well not be there.

      Besides that, as mentioned above, this build is not entirely TTT’s own. One might think that writing a guide about a deck which you didn’t build yourself or, for that matter, ever even played seems like insanity and pretentiousness combined. To which I’d reply simply by linking
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6dq_tbapBY
      After all, my name is literally Doctor Awesome. Well, technically it’s Toraka, but Doctor Awesome is my alter ego in most games, dating back to the Assassin’s Creed multiplayer mode where I always play as the Doctor. So I suppose you can just call me the Doctor if you like.

      • I agree with BOTuna… Ravenous Rats is one of the few cards that nearly guarantees card/tempo advantage… same with Chittering Rats. Even the Sprite is not that bad. I’m not saying they’re amazing cards, but in Masks you can’t be too picky about early game critters.

      • Great, just turn against me! I thought we were friends, Wing! I thought we were friends! ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

        In that sense, yeah, probably run some. If you just stack up enough 1/1, I suppose that gets the job done as well. As for how to make room for them, I suppose you can kick Mental Vapors and probably one or two of the high-cost cards. Though, if you run a lot of rats, I’d definitely keep the Specter in, as some sort of evil combo.

        I see why cheap cantrips like Thought Scour and the Sprites are decent, but I don’t think the deck really needs to be any technically smaller than it is, especially with the Sprites as they need to die to activate. If you put in 3 Ravenous Rats to the build as is, you’ll have 8 cheap critters, which I think should be enough especially when most of them are dispensable although 1/1.

        Sure it has flying, but that’ll rarely matter since they won’t handle any large thing without a Moroii’s help, so they might as well not have it for the purposes of blocking. If you use them to attack, you’re basically just wasting deterioration and a possible draw for a single point of damage.

      • Yeah Toraka, gee!… ha, I did actually suggest putting the Ravenous Rats in so don’t get me wrong, but out of the two drops the rats and sprite just seem bottom end (don’t forget Last Gasp) and the deck isn’t too strong on 3 drops so I picked chittering over ravenous which have a similar effect to try fit a better curve, maybe. Hmm… I’ve suggested quite a few changes and options to suit different players/styles.

        Also, destroying Avacyn with Garruk, played my friend and won 4-0 (even and a game I got screwed on 3 mana). Should be interesting.

  7. I actually built it more for an all rounder across all game modes seeing as you can only have 1 save a deck and it’s a pain changing cards constantly. Looking at the cards again for a 1v1 I’d probably say take out 1 Archaeomancer, 1 Mental Vapors and 1 Mindleech Mass and add in another Evil Twin or guildmage and 2 Ravenous Rats or something along those lines.

  8. I do agree that thought scour is a bad card in the deck. Just as the one card that milled 8 for UB in 2013, they are great in a mill based deck, not so great in the control style play. Everyone always makes the “it’s only one mana to draw a card at instant speed” case, but in reality there is so much card advantage in better forms late game, when card advantage really comes a priority, than at turn one or two. Also mark of the vampire isn’t a bad card in the deck, mainly because everyone sees it on a creature and throws whatever form of removal at it when really they should be waiting on the cards that get cipherd as they are the real threat. I find its good to draw removal and make way for Moroii and even better to gain life your sure to be losing early on while your still trying to set up shop

    • I also like the irony of putting Mark of the Vampire onto a Moroii… if only it dealt damage to you.

      Also, Thought Scour does have some applications, mainly to turn Chittering Rats into a true discard for only 2UB on your turn. I only wonder if it’s actually worth it to spend 2UB and two specific cards out of which one does not return advantage for a 1/1 with discard and mill 1. No, it isn’t exactly.

  9. Very interesting take on the deck, vastly different to mine – but I had limited success so I’ll try this build (biggest difference being the Moroiis).

    HOWEVER|

    We must agree to disagree (read: you’re wrong) on the Ravenous Rats the Thought Scour. Wing already covered the Rats, so I’ll elaborate on the Scour.

    Your statement ‘the deck doesn’t need to be any smaller than it is’ shows a fundamental miscomprehension of Magic. That’s like saying “your deck doesn’t need to be better than it is”. Hint: There’s a reason there’s a minimum deck size and not a maximum. Also a reason the weaker power of limited decks are 40 cards instead of 60. Smaller, thinner deck = more chance of drawing the best cards. If you could make a 20 card deck, you would, and you would beat everything.

    Thought Scour essentially reduces your deck’s size by 2 cards, and this deck really has a lot of fat to trim.

    Secondly, and more importantly in this format without dual-lands, *it lets you draw into land early*. This card alone makes an enormous number of unplayable 2-land draws into viable starting hands. And it lets you do it at instant speed at the end of your opponent’s turn, so you could keep mana open for a Last Gasp then use it instead. Not to mention a few cute combos with Time Ebb, Chittering Rats etc – and if you’re not interested in that sort of cuteness, may I direct you to Ms Avacyn :)

    That’s my only point of contention with the guide though, I will definitely be trying this basic build out tonight!

    • But since Dimir can’t win with deck milling, Thought Scour ultimately is simply a 1 mana spell to draw another card – in another word, pretty useless.

      Sure, you might mill a few choice cards or pull a few combos to remove something but it’s too inconsistent and in the end, it neither threatens your opponent nor does it slow them down.

      TS is a good card but in this deck, where delay and card advantage is crucial to win, it doesn’t fit with the deck strategy.

      Wing’s take on the rats are legit though.

      • point 1: Trim fat.

        Why bring an extra card to trim the fat by one card when you can just not bring it and draw something you need in the first place?

        point 2: Draw land.

        Again, you are trading 1 card or 1 card so in the end, it’s probably better to just have an extra land.

        I think you are, like me at the beginning, too caught up with the 1 card draw. In 2013 Jace, it made sense because it kills the opponent’s deck by 2 and effectively replaces itself. In Dimir, it’s just replacing itself which begs the question, why bring it in the first place.

    • I get what the card is trying to accomplish here, but in my opinion there just isn’t space in the deck for it. Sure it has convoluted combos which won’t really affect the game the five percent of times you pull them off. (Hint: There’s a reason why Time Ebb costs more than other bounce which puts the creatures into their hand instead.)

      There are much better forms of draw in this deck, and especially when we squeeze in the Rats, I don’t see any cards that might as well not exist. It needs all the cards in it, so deleting some of them will only leave you with less options overall.

      In a deck like Crosswinds, sure, I’d take it. Here however, there is already so much draw and so few redundant cards that I don’t see why you’d want to shrink it even more.

      Ultimately though, this is a case of testing. Go ahead, rebuild the deck in paper or one of the various softwares floating around, trimmed down to only 40 cards, and test it against friends using other DotP-style decks or even a 60-card version of this one.

      • Let me answer you both in one.

        Trimming is always good. This is a universal, fundamental law in magic. Smaller deck = better deck. That’s why Manamorphose is worth so much money for an out of rotation uncommon.

        If you aren’t sure what needs cutting, put it this way: If you were making a 40 card version of this deck, what would you remove?

        Everything that wasn’t the MOST powerful tier of cards would go. The first of those you’d take out should be instantly cut for Thought Scour (eg Mark of the Vampire).

  10. Hello,

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  11. Alright i don’t understand how not a single person argued that Guardian of ages the 7 colorless 7/7 defender that turns into a trampler when the other person attacks is a good card. The deck is based on stalling and if you are running the moroii that are killing you on top of the all the damage you’re taking before you drop him you kinda need to not take damage if the other person wont attack then they are doing what the ENTIRE deck is doing and that’s stalling for bombs. If they attack then they give you what you are stalling for and that’s a 7/7 trample bomb and if you so happen to draw a late mark of the vampire while big guy is down then he is a 9/9 blocker with life link that can turn into a 9/9 bomb with trample. making i nearly impossible to lose unless its firewave and they are using nothing, but fire spells in your face but firewave seems to be the only real 100% counter to this deck all around besides the white weenie deck and if you’re going to argue that he high cost and you will never play him my counter argument would be you have so much draw and if you run all the guild mages on top of all the draw you already have you will have more lands then you can ask for. I normally end my games with 10-12 lands. One last thing sorry for all the typing i just want to maybe change people minds and decks for the better. The card seems to help me a lot.

    • Maybe switch out the Mindleech Mass for him then (a card I WILL swap eventually, probably with promo’s, can’t wait). I understand your points. About the cost it’s not particularly hard to reach that land so long as you survive the early stages but once you do get to 7 land you probably had better options to win the game for example Dinrova Horror followed by Stolen Identity or something along those lines by which you are usually in control if the job was done right. Guardian of Ages will rarely get the chance to attack or block and survive if your opponent isn’t dumb enough, sure he can stall but too late? I know the deck doesn’t have the best of options but it does feel like he should do more… Take a look at Pelekka Wurm for example. Most mine end at 8-ish land. But hey if he’s working well for you I’d say why not ;)
      Thanks.

      • I instantly took Mindleech Mass out because you should have the enemy down to no cards at all. Not much you can do with a no card hand that drops anything worth playing instantly seeing by the time you get 5ISS you enemy can play all the cards he/she has in the deck. Also seeing how most decks do even run 6 drops and if they do its like one(unless its drag pile) Also i play with avatar so i try to discard enemy’s hand when i got her to pretty much drop her for free with other things giving huge advantage, but that’s just the fun of magic not any deck should be the same as the other because there is ALWAYS a few cards that come down to what you think/ want. some people will just play cards because they are fun to use, but don’t commonly do much for you or win games lmfao. When i got bored with the older magics i would always build a deck all weird and goofy and see how it goes.

      • Yeah, that’s why it’s only got a 2.5 rating and I’ve said like a million times now about taking it out for something else. It sucks because of its cost but it’s fun. =)
        What I do like to do with him is make the opponent draw a card with the guildmage or undercurrents and then yoink it straight off of them :P

  12. Thought Scour is good with the limited options in this deck. Mark of the Vampire? Mindleech Mass? Both are less than spectacular and by less than spectacular, I mean garbage. Especially the Mindleech Mass, being a whopping 8 mana for a useless ability (why would they even have cards in hand when you get to 8 mana?!).

    Even the single blue to draw one spell is good enough, but it also mills two. Which could be relevant, usually won’t be. Sometimes though, it’ll mill a nice tasty target for a Beacon later one.

    • Clearly didn’t read the million times I said to take it out or the fact you can make them draw a card to steal it straight from them. Never mind.

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    • As “I” said above, casting Treasure Hunt for the lands is the wrong mentality. Assuming a sane land count and a turn 2 play, the odds of hitting six or more lands with it are about half a percent. Interestingly high, yet too low to hope for.

      You can think of it as a one-time use of Abundance, with card advantage built in. I know you understand this, but hear my point out.

      Card advantage is only real if the cards you gain are actually relevant to the game. That is why Cultivate does NOT generate card advantage the same way that Divination does. Sure you get two cards for one, but they’re lands!

      In that way, Treasure Hunt is actually a more consistent Divination.

  14. soooo like half of these ratings on cards are horribly wrong…Surveilling Sprite?? 1.0??? its a flier that can get cipher thru….AND get you draw…AND its a blocker….-_-….AND cmon Fools Demise??? are you joking?? before Followed Footsteps this was the go too creature enchantment we bounced our and opponents ETB with -_- and you give that a 2 ..smh…no offence…but the deckbuilder for this particular Dimir deck misses the true value of the underhandedness this deck can dish out,.

  15. I know I’m late to the party, but the party’s never over on the Internets.

    I’ve been playing Masks of the Dimir exclusively since this came out, and consider myself to be pretty decent at running it. You do a great job explaining the playstyle one must bring to the table when piloting MotD, but I have to disagree strongly with a few of your card evaluations:

    Moroii — 2.0, not 4.5. This might surprise some, but it’s actually not very controversial on the DotP forums. Moroii is a well-costed, strong flier, yeah… but it’s a trap, designed to sucker you in just like those life gain artifacts try to trap newbies: Moroii is terrible in MotD. It’s the antithesis of everything this deck is about, and dilutes its real strengths. Moroii is a very aggressive card, in a deck that’s all about control. Moroii puts you on a clock, in a deck that wants to play the waiting game (and often bounces back from the brink of death). Moroii does nothing to help your primary goals (suffocation via disruption and board control, until winning becomes a fait accomplit regardless of the number of beefy fliers you have in play). This card gets as high as 2.0 only because certain aggro-control builds of MotD can make adequate use of it alongside Illusionary Armor, Sleep and other MotD cards that are generally left out of the disruption-control build.

    Hands of Binding — 2.5, not 4.5. A fragile, situational card with a weak effect, it basically amounts to temporary spot removal that lasts only until your opponent plays a blocker or can remove your cipher’d attacker. Much like your reasoning on Divination, this deck has far better options for creature control.

    Necropolis Regent — 3.5, not 5.0. This deck is not your average control deck: It does not win with beefy fliers. It wins long *before* you’ve run your opponent out of life—it wins when it’s suffocated him/her under an avalanche of disruption and control, to the point that rats and guildmages (and stolen identities, and dinrova horrors, and…) are enough to strike the killing blow. As such, expensive, beefy fliers are unnecessary “win-more” cards. The Regent’s triple-black cost hurts in a deck that needs a lot of blue, and it’ll spend more time sitting in your hand wishing it were something else, than being cast. All that being said, it IS a bomb, and actually playing it is never a bad thing—which is why I didn’t rate it a 2.0.

    Sleep — 1.5, not 3.5. If you need Sleep to defend yourself from an imminent Alpha Strike, then you’ve already lost and are only delaying the inevitable by a turn—and, aside from some cipher shenanigans (of which Stolen Identity is the only one worth playing), this is the only use Sleep has in the traditional disruption-control build of MotD. It joins Moroii and Illusionary Armor as being valid inclusions in aggro-control builds of MotD only, but even there its value is suspect.

    Ravenous Rats & Surveilling Sprite — People have already commented on these, so I’ll just add my opinion to the throng: Ravenous Rats is essential in this deck, a must-include. Surveilling Sprite is less so, but still far better than the 1.0 credit you’re giving it. At virtually no cost, the Sprite can buy you a turn—in a deck that’s all about buying itself turns.

    Vedalken Dismisser — 3.5, not 1.0. Yes, I do indeed consider this card to be on par with Necropolis Regent. Understand that this deck wins by successfully beating the opponent on four fronts: “Card Advantage”, “Disruption”, “Tempo” and “Board Control (Removal/Presence)”. Vedalken Dismisser is the ONLY—yes, ONLY—card in MotD that scores consistent, reliable hits against all four fronts when it is cast. Combined with Stolen Identity (or, for those of you with the promo unlocks, Followed Footsteps), it’s a soft-lock that becomes a HARD lock if you also have a Chittering Rats on the board. Before the promo unlocks became available, I ran two copies in my deck and absolutely loved them.

    • Perhaps I should get around to updating this months old guide once in a while…

      Anyway. Two points where I’d like to disagree with you:

      Moroii DOES help you stall out the board and win later on, since it’s pretty much the only non-finisher creature bigger than 2/2. Do you prefer to have your opponent’s 3/3 swinging in freely despite having five creatures out?

      I also hate Sleep, but it has saved me far too often not to run it. Regardless of board state, it buys you an entire turn, in a deck about buying turns. Also, it’s still a game of killing your opponent, where a surprise Sleep can do wonders. Just look at what it does in Sealed.

      • Ahh yay, about time. I Lol’ed at Painful Quandary. =)
        You’re not late, you’re right about a lot WorthyMessiah, the ratings and the build were quite outdated with the new promos and build.
        I gotta agree with what Toraka says too.

        Moroii has lost its worth since then too, which is probably why it was rated higher.

        Did I give Necropolis Regent a 5.0? What was I thinking ermm… I did take her out a long long time ago and told Toraka why (which is the same reasons you gave) although I’d love her in a different black deck. I’d go with 2.0 being fair.

        I have to disagree with Hands of Binding though, as stated the deck needs to stall… It can stall pretty damn well. It can almost shut down big threats like an enchanted creature in GoL. Also, I’m never afraid to stick this onto something fragile either like Ravenous Rats. Tapped, ok stalled, now what? You possibly spend a turn removing/wasting a removal on a Ravenous Rat or play another creature to keep one back to block, again, stalling. It also works in the late game to get attacks through.

        I’d give Ravenous Rats a much much higher rating now, 4.0? Probably the best 2 drop for MotD, I’m still highly against Surveilling Sprite, they do nothinnnggggg, if you want to chump just play anything else, why can people not see that they’re bad bad bad. I haven’t seen a single person win because they had a Surveilling Sprite and chumped that 1 creature or got a card they could already have had. I want to discard their hand pretty early if possible so Rats+Mind Rot is nasty and does the work for me.

        Vedalken Dismisser… God I hate it when the AI plays these on me… They’re fairly decent but they’re just too high costed for my liking being around the top end when I have my more preferred Dinrova Horror, or or or a Time Ebb for half the cost which I wish I had more of. Does combo well like you said though. It was probably rated 1 with the old build/without promos because it was a struggle to even live that long making its uses less useful.

      • That’s the point about the Dismisser; It’s annoying, but by the time that you can cast him, your opponent can just recast that creature, often times just as threatening. Considering that it could also be a Dinrova Horror, I think I’ll take the selective anything sacrifice, thank you. (If your opponent still has cards in hand when you play the Horror, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.)

        Also, after realising that a Guildmage kind of makes or breaks your game as Dimir, bumped them up to 3, in exchange for 61 cards. If you’re that determined to tryhard, I guess remove Reins of Power or perhaps a Moroii for him. Protip: The ratings are ordered so that all cards which I find just playable are rated 3.0, so feel free to swap them around within reason.
        … speaking of which. Bumped Surveilling Sprite down to 2.5, because fuck Surveilling Sprite. Look, if it was ETB, or 1/2, or 2/2, or Runewing… maybe. Not like that.

        This deck is fun. I think I prefer Firewave as a titankiller, but it straight out STOMPS demons harder than even Izzet and doesn’t do too terribly against other decks. In fact, I pulled off victory against AG despite phenomenal topdeck luck on him. 1 life left, piece of cake *cough*. Who would’ve thought that even the great and powerful would lower herself to playing burn spam? It’s surprisingly good against Izzet as well, though that might’ve been due to jacking an Opportunity with Reverberate (LOL) and optimal draws. Though I have to admit myself, I only won thanks to plays which not everybody would think to do.

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