Modern Border EDH Challenge (Yeva, Nature's Herald)

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Post by Cow31337Killer » 4 months ago

The Modern Border EDH Challenge

The idea of this challenge is pretty simple. Can you build a commander deck using only cards printed with the modern border? For reference, all cards printed between Eighth Edition (2003) and Conspiracy (2014) used what is now referred to as the "modern" border, as seen on cards such as Ant Queen|M10 and Guttersnipe|RTR. Cards originally printed with an "old" border are fine, as long as they have a modern border printing that can be used. Similarly, any card that was originally printed with a modern border and later reprinted with a "new" border is perfectly acceptable. As long as it's been printed on paper with a modern border at some point, it's good to go.

Now I know what you're thinking:

"Cow31337Killer, this sounds really dumb."

And you're right! It totally does. Still, this challenge is a great way to test your creativity as a deck builder by encouraging you to include cards you may have never even considered before. And, if you're anything like me (for your sake I hope not) you'll love the nostalgia of playing with the same kinds of cards you grew up learning the game with.

Now, a fair warning before you go forward with this challenge: While these decks can certainly be focused and even optimized to a certain extent, at the end of the day they are going to be casual decks. After all, you are only given access to around half of the card pool that a normal deck would have available. But hey, constraint promotes creativity, right?

I really can't overstate how fun this challenge has been for me personally over the years. It's gotten to the point where every one of my EDH decks is built with this particular restriction in mind. Does that make me crazy? Absolutely. But hey, maybe some other crazy people will like it too, and we can all be crazy together!

Anyway, below is my Modern Border Only Yeva, Nature's Herald|M13 deck. I'm currently working on similar decklists for each of the other mono color M13 legends, but this is the one I'm most happy with so far. The deck basically looks to ramp out a bunch of lands and creatures to Overrun|M12 our opponents. I've managed to find some pretty fun cards and synergies that I never would have used if not for this challenge. My personal favorite is probably Worldspine Wurm. I love casting big dumb creatures and it doesn't get much bigger or dumber than this guy. And with all of the ramp in the deck it's not toopen hard to get the mana needed to cast him. Thanks for taking a look and feel free to leave suggestions! (Modern Border Cards only of course!)

EDIT: Okay so it looks like some people are confused by what I mean by the "modern" border so I'll state it plainly here. Cards with borders that look like the one on the M13 printing of Thragtusk|M13 are usable. Any other kind of border is not. If it has a post M15 border as seen on cards such as Goblin Rabblemaster|M15 then its no good. Same goes for cards with the pre-Eighth Edition border as seen on this printing of Carrion Feeder|SCG. Basically, any cards printed (including supplemental products and promos) between Eighth Edition (in 2003) and the original Conspiracy (in 2014) will have the correct border and are ok to use. Any cards without that border are not allowed. Hopefully that clears up any confusion. If you look at the decklist below and see the borders that all of those cards have, that is the one I am referring to. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to look it over!

OTHER EDITS: All other edits so far have just been to the decklist itself. I'm very indecisive and change around cards a lot haha.

Decklist

Commander (1)


1 Yeva, Nature's Herald|M13

Artifact (1)


1 Sol Ring|CMD

Land (35)


35 Forest|M13
Approximate Total Cost:

Last edited by Cow31337Killer 1 month ago, edited 63 times in total.

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Post by Airi » 4 months ago

This has been moved to decklists.
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Post by Cow31337Killer » 4 months ago

Thanks haha I accidentily posted it in the wrong place whoops

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Post by PrimevalCommander » 3 months ago

Natural Order is a must with all the 7+ cmc creatures you are running.
Green Sun's Zenith is also super useful
Seedborn Muse give you Prophet of Kruphix level value.

Also the green 4 mana guy that can bounce your creatures and make himself indestructible. Makes recasting ETB creatures at instant speed really good.

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Post by Hawk » 3 months ago

Honestly, the reverse of this challenge (as I am exploring in my Darigaaz Thread) seems much harder, especially on a budget that precludes ABU duals. For instance, let's look at the current top 7 commanders of the last two years on EDHREC:

Atraxa, Praetors' Voice: Not having ABU duals stings a little in a 4C commander deck, although the average player probably didn't have 'em anyways. Gemstone Mine is probably a card who's absence is more profoundly felt (although it's actually legal if you're willing to pay x6 the regular price for the Judge's Promo edition). Otherwise, whether you're building her as +1/+1 counters matter, infect, superfriends control, or anything else, the only cards in her list of top played cards that would be rendered illegal in this challenge are Spike Weaver and Worldly Tutor (which can be subbed out now for Eladamri's Call without too much of a loss).

Edgar Markov: Will miss his ABU duals, but can run literally every other card he'd want.

Meren of Clan Nel Toth: It's taken until this year but you can run a Meren list easily enough, now. This is the first commander with some real sacrifices though, assuming you wanted to run a full-power list. Beyond Bayou the other cards you'd really miss are two we've already mentioned (Worldly Tutor and Spike Weaver) and then Survival of the Fittest (Fauna Shaman and Birthing Pod are noticeably weaker) and Strip Mine (a bit niche as a utility pick and easily replaced, but notable). I think the deck would still easily be buildable as a powerhouse 75% Commander without those cards, though.

Muldrotha, the Gravetide: THIS is probably the first commander who loses a significant amount of its power without access to older cards. Losing out on Elephant Grass, Mystic Remora, Necromancy, and Rhystic Study hurts quite a bit on top of the usual loss of ABU Duals, and Muldrotha also misses Strip Mine more than most. And if you wanted to run a STAX variant of Muldrotha, forget about it - it's untenable without older stuff. Stock Muldrotha is still Muldrotha, but it'll be noticeably less able to loop stuff and keep its hand full with those cards off the table.

Breya, Etherium Sculptor: Minus ABU duals, nothing of note is lost - most of the really wild, powerful artifacts Breya likes have a reprint or are from the new era. I will grant that I'm a bit surprised that Metalworker and Mox Diamond aren't in her top played cards though, and that they are minor sacrifices to not have the option to run.

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic: Has to settle for Felidar Sovreign instead of Test of Endurance but is otherwise unfazed.

Nekusar, the Mindrazer: The 7th-place Commander is also the only one that I'd be reluctant to build without old stuff - you lose Winds of Change, Wheel of Fortune, Phyrexian Tyranny, Breathstealer's Crypt, Library of Leng, and Time Spiral, on top of losing the staple ABU duals and Rhystic Study. The average player may also struggle to find the FTV printing of Memory Jar, and those interested in aesthetics may shiver at having to run the hideous white bordered Teferi's Puzzle Box. Losing three wheels (and arguably your three best wheels at that) as well as a few of the cuter tech cards of the list might make Nekusar just straight up unfeasible outside of very casual groups.

EDIT: I will grant that it is probably significantly harder to do this for mono-color - for instance, the only mono commander in the top 20, Krenko, Mob Boss, is buildable with only modern border cards but that's a recent change that's only really been true for the last year or two since they've been aggressively reprinting powerful goblins into Standard and Modern. And even so, you are still losing some of the deck's best cards like Goblin War Strike, Goblin Chirurgeon, Goblin Recruiter, and Brightstone Ritual, and missing out on some of your infinite enablers and powerful utility like Mana Echoes and Wheel of Fortune as well.
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Post by Cow31337Killer » 3 months ago

Hawk wrote:
3 months ago
Honestly, the reverse of this challenge (as I am exploring in my Darigaaz Thread) seems much harder, especially on a budget that precludes ABU duals. For instance, let's look at the current top 7 commanders of the last two years on EDHREC:

Atraxa, Praetors' Voice: Not having ABU duals stings a little in a 4C commander deck, although the average player probably didn't have 'em anyways. Gemstone Mine is probably a card who's absence is more profoundly felt (although it's actually legal if you're willing to pay x6 the regular price for the Judge's Promo edition). Otherwise, whether you're building her as +1/+1 counters matter, infect, superfriends control, or anything else, the only cards in her list of top played cards that would be rendered illegal in this challenge are Spike Weaver and Worldly Tutor (which can be subbed out now for Eladamri's Call without too much of a loss).

Edgar Markov: Will miss his ABU duals, but can run literally every other card he'd want.

Meren of Clan Nel Toth: It's taken until this year but you can run a Meren list easily enough, now. This is the first commander with some real sacrifices though, assuming you wanted to run a full-power list. Beyond Bayou the other cards you'd really miss are two we've already mentioned (Worldly Tutor and Spike Weaver) and then Survival of the Fittest (Fauna Shaman and Birthing Pod are noticeably weaker) and Strip Mine (a bit niche as a utility pick and easily replaced, but notable). I think the deck would still easily be buildable as a powerhouse 75% Commander without those cards, though.

Muldrotha, the Gravetide: THIS is probably the first commander who loses a significant amount of its power without access to older cards. Losing out on Elephant Grass, Mystic Remora, Necromancy, and Rhystic Study hurts quite a bit on top of the usual loss of ABU Duals, and Muldrotha also misses Strip Mine more than most. And if you wanted to run a STAX variant of Muldrotha, forget about it - it's untenable without older stuff. Stock Muldrotha is still Muldrotha, but it'll be noticeably less able to loop stuff and keep its hand full with those cards off the table.

Breya, Etherium Sculptor: Minus ABU duals, nothing of note is lost - most of the really wild, powerful artifacts Breya likes have a reprint or are from the new era. I will grant that I'm a bit surprised that Metalworker and Mox Diamond aren't in her top played cards though, and that they are minor sacrifices to not have the option to run.

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic: Has to settle for Felidar Sovreign instead of Test of Endurance but is otherwise unfazed.

Nekusar, the Mindrazer: The 7th-place Commander is also the only one that I'd be reluctant to build without old stuff - you lose Winds of Change, Wheel of Fortune, Phyrexian Tyranny, Breathstealer's Crypt, Library of Leng, and Time Spiral, on top of losing the staple ABU duals and Rhystic Study. The average player may also struggle to find the FTV printing of Memory Jar, and those interested in aesthetics may shiver at having to run the hideous white bordered Teferi's Puzzle Box. Losing three wheels (and arguably your three best wheels at that) as well as a few of the cuter tech cards of the list might make Nekusar just straight up unfeasible outside of very casual groups.

EDIT: I will grant that it is probably significantly harder to do this for mono-color - for instance, the only mono commander in the top 20, Krenko, Mob Boss, is buildable with only modern border cards but that's a recent change that's only really been true for the last year or two since they've been aggressively reprinting powerful goblins into Standard and Modern. And even so, you are still losing some of the deck's best cards like Goblin War Strike, Goblin Chirurgeon, Goblin Recruiter, and Brightstone Ritual, and missing out on some of your infinite enablers and powerful utility like Mana Echoes and Wheel of Fortune as well.
Not sure why you felt the need to tell me you think your restriction is better than mine, but ok. Also it looks like you're confused about what I meant by "modern border" (even though I thought I made it pretty clear in the original post.) Modern Border refers to cards printed between Eighth Edition and M15, so a lot of the cards you mentioned (Atraxa, Meren, Muldrotha, Edgar, etc.) are not modern border, but rather "new border," as evidenced by their thicker black borders and holo-foil stickers. Basically, anything printed after the original Conspiracy set is off limits, as is anything printed before Eighth Edition. When you realize the full scale of those restrictions, the challenge gets a lot more interesting (at least for me it does haha)

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Post by 3drinks » 3 months ago

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Post by Cow31337Killer » 3 months ago

3drinks wrote:
3 months ago
You're too broad in your "challenge". By wording it as you do, you allow conspiracy, battlebond, archenemy, planechase, ultimate masters and much much more, making this not really a challenge at all. Narrowing your vision not only makes for a healthier challenge to research yourself with, but also easier to follow for anyone who may come in and take a passing interest in what is happening. Try, for example,

Modern Legal Commander. This means exactly as it says - modern legal format (8ED and on, MRD and on), plus commander sets. If you were feeling extra spicy you could opt to add Battlebond since many of the cards would appear to be commander plants although this is a bit more of a contingent addition that could stand for some debate among your target audience. I personally don't see the need, although I recognize it adds some depth in commanders as well as a few key cards (land tax, peregrine drake) as well as unique cards such as bramble paragon, which is a non-zero percent of relevancy you look to add. In such a format, you're able to have a much more concise banlist because if you look, the most egregious of offenders to traditional commander turn out to be undercosted tutours and copious amounts of fast mana, all of which being old cards.

Banned as commander;
Erayo
Oloro (debatable, but as the deck plays best as permanentless control, such an uninteractable deck is likely better for the format if it's not available)
Edric
Derevi

Banned cards;
Serra Ascendant (or errata'd to "if your life total is ten more than your starting total")
Trade Secrets
Sol Ring (contentious, but without the other fast mana this might actually be OK)
Painter's Servant
Ad Nauseum

If you see, most the banned cards traditionally speaking are banned because of how quick they come down, but without the fast mana normally available, many of these cards are much safer since they come down later and thus have much more of a chance to be interacted with and stopped.

Hope this helps.
Another person who didn't read my original post before responding. Please read through my intro and you'll see that I am clearly restricting myself to cards printed between Eighth Edition and Conspiracy, with the border present on cards like the M10 printing of Ant Queen|M10. Also I don't know why you're talking about banning cards? This isn't a separate format it's just a fun restriction I put on myself for creative purposes. It sounds like you just wanted to complain about cards you don't like in EDH, in which case there is another thread somewhere for that.

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Post by Hawk » 3 months ago

Cow31337Killer wrote:
3 months ago
Hawk wrote:
3 months ago
Honestly, the reverse of this challenge (as I am exploring in my Darigaaz Thread) seems much harder, especially on a budget that precludes ABU duals. For instance, let's look at the current top 7 commanders of the last two years on EDHREC:

Atraxa, Praetors' Voice: Not having ABU duals stings a little in a 4C commander deck, although the average player probably didn't have 'em anyways. Gemstone Mine is probably a card who's absence is more profoundly felt (although it's actually legal if you're willing to pay x6 the regular price for the Judge's Promo edition). Otherwise, whether you're building her as +1/+1 counters matter, infect, superfriends control, or anything else, the only cards in her list of top played cards that would be rendered illegal in this challenge are Spike Weaver and Worldly Tutor (which can be subbed out now for Eladamri's Call without too much of a loss).

Edgar Markov: Will miss his ABU duals, but can run literally every other card he'd want.

Meren of Clan Nel Toth: It's taken until this year but you can run a Meren list easily enough, now. This is the first commander with some real sacrifices though, assuming you wanted to run a full-power list. Beyond Bayou the other cards you'd really miss are two we've already mentioned (Worldly Tutor and Spike Weaver) and then Survival of the Fittest (Fauna Shaman and Birthing Pod are noticeably weaker) and Strip Mine (a bit niche as a utility pick and easily replaced, but notable). I think the deck would still easily be buildable as a powerhouse 75% Commander without those cards, though.

Muldrotha, the Gravetide: THIS is probably the first commander who loses a significant amount of its power without access to older cards. Losing out on Elephant Grass, Mystic Remora, Necromancy, and Rhystic Study hurts quite a bit on top of the usual loss of ABU Duals, and Muldrotha also misses Strip Mine more than most. And if you wanted to run a STAX variant of Muldrotha, forget about it - it's untenable without older stuff. Stock Muldrotha is still Muldrotha, but it'll be noticeably less able to loop stuff and keep its hand full with those cards off the table.

Breya, Etherium Sculptor: Minus ABU duals, nothing of note is lost - most of the really wild, powerful artifacts Breya likes have a reprint or are from the new era. I will grant that I'm a bit surprised that Metalworker and Mox Diamond aren't in her top played cards though, and that they are minor sacrifices to not have the option to run.

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic: Has to settle for Felidar Sovreign instead of Test of Endurance but is otherwise unfazed.

Nekusar, the Mindrazer: The 7th-place Commander is also the only one that I'd be reluctant to build without old stuff - you lose Winds of Change, Wheel of Fortune, Phyrexian Tyranny, Breathstealer's Crypt, Library of Leng, and Time Spiral, on top of losing the staple ABU duals and Rhystic Study. The average player may also struggle to find the FTV printing of Memory Jar, and those interested in aesthetics may shiver at having to run the hideous white bordered Teferi's Puzzle Box. Losing three wheels (and arguably your three best wheels at that) as well as a few of the cuter tech cards of the list might make Nekusar just straight up unfeasible outside of very casual groups.

EDIT: I will grant that it is probably significantly harder to do this for mono-color - for instance, the only mono commander in the top 20, Krenko, Mob Boss, is buildable with only modern border cards but that's a recent change that's only really been true for the last year or two since they've been aggressively reprinting powerful goblins into Standard and Modern. And even so, you are still losing some of the deck's best cards like Goblin War Strike, Goblin Chirurgeon, Goblin Recruiter, and Brightstone Ritual, and missing out on some of your infinite enablers and powerful utility like Mana Echoes and Wheel of Fortune as well.
Not sure why you felt the need to tell me you think your restriction is better than mine, but ok. Also it looks like you're confused about what I meant by "modern border" (even though I thought I made it pretty clear in the original post.) Modern Border refers to cards printed between Eighth Edition and M15, so a lot of the cards you mentioned (Atraxa, Meren, Muldrotha, Edgar, etc.) are not modern border, but rather "new border," as evidenced by their thicker black borders and holo-foil stickers. Basically, anything printed after the original Conspiracy set is off limits, as is anything printed before Eighth Edition. When you realize the full scale of those restrictions, the challenge gets a lot more interesting (at least for me it does haha)
Sorry, wasn't trying to be a dick - I thought I was replying to your main page thread about this challenge in general, and also totally misread it. My bad!

It is in hindsight an interesting challenge - you get a lot of what we've come to see as Staples (thanks to the first few Commander decks + Conspiracy I), but avoid a lot of the power creep to the format we saw in Khans block on when they started going nutso in "designing for Commander" while also having limited access to the broken shenanigans and powerful answers of the early days.

As to your deck in specifics, I did have a few thoughts:

- Given Yeva being Yeva, I suspect that you'd fine Scavenging Ooze or Loaming Shaman to be better than Ground Seal and find Eternal Witness to be better than Revive.

- How has Plummet been for you? You don't have access to much better given your restrictions, but I'd wonder if the added flexibility on Crushing Vines is better, and/or if more "fight" cards (especially Ulvenwald Tracker for repeated fights) are better.

- I also have to rep Sakura-Tribe Elder as a great add and a great way to ensure you can slam T3 Yeva more often; I'd cut a 4mana ramp spell for it. Staple card is staple for a reason.

The rest of the list is tight so it's hard to suggest too many changes - there's some obvious staples like Lightning Greaves but your deck seems like it has a well-calibrated balance of ramp, answers, and the finest beef this era has to offer. Maybe Leyline of Vitality? The lifegain and the toughness bump both seem pretty minor.
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Post by Cow31337Killer » 3 months ago

Just wanted to give an update for this thread. Over these last few weeks I've had the chance to test out the deck more and more, and I'm happy to say that it's been doing pretty well! Even more importantly, it's loads of fun to play, and feels like a unique build given the modern border restrictions. Creatures like Primordial Hydra|M12 and Terastodon|WWK are so fun to slam down, especially at instant speed with Yeva. Personally, the best games are the ones where I manage to get my favorite card Worldspine Wurm|RTR out on to the field. After using the deck quite a bit and shifting around some cards I think I've come to a point where I'm very happy with how the deck performs. I've found that the deck is surprisingly interactive for being mono green, probably due to Yeva's ability and the decent number of removal spells included in the decklist. This keeps games pretty interesting in my opinion, because even if you don't win, chances are you've done something to influence the course of the game pretty significantly. In terms of weaknesses, like most mono green decks it's pretty vulnerable to board wipes and control strategies, but if you've ramped enough it's usually not too hard to rebuild a good board state. The deck doesn't win all the time, but when it does manage to win, it's usually with an Overwhelming Stampede|M11 of creatures that ends the game in a spectacular fashion. At this point I probably won't be making too many more changes, as I'll be moving on to my next Modern Border EDH Challenge deck, Krenko, Mob Boss|M13. Please feel free to keep leaving comments and advice in this thread for Yeva, Nature's Herald|M13 and big thanks to everyone who has already taken the time to do so!

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