Yarok, the Desecrated - ETB Value, Pod, & Infinite Mana

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Decklist

Eight


1 Terastodon

Reanimation


1 Necromancy
1 Reanimate
1 Unearth
1 Exhume
1 Life / Death
1 Victimize
Approximate Total Cost:

This started out as mostly a "Trade Binder ETB Pile" and ended up pretty fun. The general idea is to use and abuse ETBs. That abuse comes in the form of Searching / "Pod" effects that can tutor creatures to my hand or the battlefield. Then combine that with a reanimation package to get them back. Along the way, there are additional blink effects and recursion effects, and loops that can be made. There's a couple of infinite mana packages, using either Drake or Palinchron with Flicker cards + Witness/Archaeomancer or Deadeye Navigator. Payoffs are Duskwatch Recruiter and Walking Ballista.

Can definitely tune and tweak, but this is what I'm looking at for the moment. It's been fun in the two test games I've had and I look forward to tuning it up. (Also, Dual lands are proxies). I have never really played "green" decks before, so this is an adventure. I'm so used to playing combo or control decks, filled with bad cards that do nothing on their own. This has been a breath of fresh air by comparison.


7/15 Updated manabase (holdover from Muldrotha).
- Dakmor Salvage
- Gemstone Mine
- Island
+ Llanowar Wastes
+ Yavimaya Coast
+ Morphic Pool

Updated cards
- Displace
- Deathrite Shaman
- Hostage Taker
- Plaguecrafter

+ Guardian Project
+ Noxious Gearhulk
+ Venser, Shaper Savant
+ Demonic Tutor


7/25 update
Add
+ Survival of the Fittest (gold bordered, may have to get cut if I register for events with it)
+ Thrashing Brontodon (still wavering between this and Krosan Grip. Not 100% sold yet)
+ Woodland Bellower (Seems nutso, and more value than Grave Titan).
+ Inkwell Leviathan (Big beefy "fair" finisher)
+ Waterlogged Grove (upgrading from Yavimaya Coast. Just need a Nurturing Peatland now)

Subtract
- Snapcaster Mage (lack of targets)
- Solemn Simulacrum (medium at best)
- Grave Titan (lackluster performance)
- Woodfall Primus (without sac outlets, and only hitting one thing, I never got this over Terastadon)
- Yavimaya Coast (upgraded)

Chopping Block (if I see something better, these are gone. They have been medium to lackluster)
- Gonti, Lord of Luxury

Update 9/14
-1 Thrashing Brontodon
-1 Rampant Growth
+1 Nature's Lore
+1 Assassin's Trophy

Just more versatile and hits anything and everything. Plus, searchable off Spellseeker.
Last edited by cfusionpm 9 months ago, edited 23 times in total.
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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

Hey dude, long time no see from the modern threads :)

I like this deck. I have a few brief comments after a quick look at it

* Consider a Deathrite Shaman always been great for me in EDH
* Consider subbing nature's lore for one of the other ramp spells, it's just mostly better than signets even but definitely better than farseek/rampant growth
* Mystical Tutor or merchant scroll are pretty clutch in a flash deck but if you want a critter, spellseeker is the nuts
* Roil Elemental is an under the radar that will put in a lot of work with Yarok
* Woodlant Bellower is the last random etb dude I would suggest. Ok, just kidding, Avenger belongs in this deck I think ;)

From a structural perspective, with the way your ramp is patterned I think you would benefit from playing maybe a couple more 1-drop ramp dorks but some people like those less in EDH. I'd probably play Birds though at least, the fixing is great and you can pod it.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

I like the ideas of Lore, Tutor, and Scroll, I was just trying to do the opposite of what I normally do and jam as many creatures as possible. LOL. Spellseeker is amazing (and I have one in another deck). I totally forgot it was 2 OR LESS. Great for grabbing ramp, reanimation, or Flash. Might need a 1 or 2cmc flicker spell to grab. I could probably stand to put a Birds in... are there any other 1 drop dorks that make anything other than green? Would any of them be worth it? DRS seems awesome, but I was trying to limit myself so that every creature either has an ETB effect or a GY recursion effect, or mana payoff (I think JVP and Walking Ballista/Duskwatch are the only creatures w/o ETB). Are five 2-drops that draw a card too much? I generally run around that many cantrips in a deck anyway...!
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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

For reanimation, Necromancy seems like it would be a must. It returns 2 creatures when Yarok is on the board which is pretty good value. Especially if you end up needing to cast it at Instant Timing.

In that same vein, Animate Dead and Dance of the Dead don't function right with Yarok. That is, with Yarok on the field, their ETB triggers occur twice but they each try to return the same card from the graveyard. Since the triggers don't target anything, they both still resolve and now you have an Aura with two "Enchant" abilities where only one Enchant ability's condition is met (since the second trigger to resolve didn't return a card, the enchant ability doesn't see it attached to the object it tried to return). Since the other Enchant ability is not fulfilled, the aura goes to the graveyard as a SBA.

They are still good cards, but it might be worth replacing them since your general actually breaks them instead of making them better.

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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

Honestly, I had no idea how Yarok interacted with the reanimation enchantments, I just prioritized 2cmc over 3. But knowing that, I'll be cutting both Animate Dead and Dance for a Necromancy and... somthin else. Between all my decks and piles, I have no shortage of reanimation spells!

Also is there anything else worth keeping Trinket Mage in for? The only targets it can get are Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, and Walking Ballista. Seems like an easy straight swap for Spellseeker.
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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

5 CMC cards need to do more than draw a card for me for sure. at 5 CMC in these colors we're talking like acidic slime as the benchmark creature. All of your 5 drops are basically bombs really...untap 10 lands, drain 14, double kill, double reanimate.

I think trinket mage is pretty bad if you don't want an artifact land and a sensei's divining top as ways to fix land drops, and I don't love that durdling crap in this deck.

With DRS, i think you can think of him as just a 1 CMC ramp spell with an upside (mostly). I really think you want Yarok on 3-4, and your 1 CMC creatures can be podded. I don't know if I would play Birds in this deck, I'm really iffy on that, but I do think his upside is way too high when you want to get to 5 mana early.

That reminds me, I for some reason thought Yarok was a 4 CMC, but he's 5. In that case I would take a hard look at your ramp profile, and probably cut most of the 2 CMC ramp for 1 and 3 CMC.

Given you are not ramping super hard and only playing 35 lands I would play all of the cultivate effects you can and the 3 CMC creatures - as strong as the 2 CMC stuff is, you really want the 3s so you can go ramp on 1, ramp on 2, then yarok on 3 (on 3 lands). This sequence is like...DRS ->
Cultivate, Sol ring -> wood elves, etc.

3 cmc
<1 cmc (mind the budget of mox diamond ofc) I would probably keep golgari signet and maybe simic signet so you can get those stupid Sol ring->Signet draws, but I'm iffy on that.

Personally when I want a 5 drop commander I also will think about worn powerstone and nissa's pilgrimage but I'm really focused on the way my decks ramp possibly to an unhealthy degree ;)
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

I'm not looking to be super duper competitive, or have overly-explosive starts. Looking to grind value over long games, with the occasional random "I win" button. Most of my meta is "competitive" in terms of power levels, but definitely not in terms of speed.

Definitely things to think about though, and I will be going through my stacks and piles of cards to tweak things. Will be looking at 1cmc ramp creatures, as well as a few other swaps. Lots of great info, thanks!

Also, I have to make sure I prioritize keeping Mulldrifter, because I have the AMAZING looking FNM promo. :laugh: :love:
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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

Well, mulldrifter draws 4 cards for 3 so that's kind of a special case lol. If it actually cost 5 I'd say hell no.

I think if you want to get *competitive* you want all the 1 drop creatures, but for casual-competitive or whatever the kids are calling it these days, DRS and GSZ are the two things I would run. GSZ is way too good with Yarok. It does everything you want and also ramps on 1.
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Post by cfusionpm » 1 year ago

I actually have a GSZ, but I don't like that it can only grab green creatures. I have Finale and several other tutor effects already, is it really that much better? (I do not own a Dryad Arbor)

Currently at
- Trinket mage
- Dance of the Dead
- Annimate Dead
- Damnation (may regret this one, but whatevs!)

+ Spellseeker
+ Birds of Paradise
+ Deathrite Shaman
+ Necromancy
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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

I think GSZ is only good if you play dryad arbor. If you do, it's the nuts.
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Post by benjameenbear » 11 months ago

Prime Speaker Vannifar seems like a great inclusion for the deck based on the strategy you've outlined. And Yarok needs its big sister Muldrotha, the Gravetide. It's a great 6 CMC target that furthers the value you can accrue from your deck since it can recur different permanent types than pure creatures.
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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

benjameenbear wrote:
11 months ago
Prime Speaker Vannifar seems like a great inclusion for the deck based on the strategy you've outlined. And Yarok needs its big sister Muldrotha, the Gravetide. It's a great 6 CMC target that furthers the value you can accrue from your deck since it can recur different permanent types than pure creatures.
Is Vannifar worth it without the untap shenanigans? It can't activate the turn it comes down, but I guess is essentially Birthing Pod if she lives a turn cycle. Probably worth a slot. I keep forgetting about most UG cards, since I rarely ever play G in any form (and especially UG).

I actually had Muldrotha in the 99 originally and removed it. Which was sad, since I essentially took apart my Muldrotha Reanimator deck to build this. I don't know if it does enough since I don't have a variety of permanent types to abuse (Last list was tuned to abuse the multiple types). Is it any better than just another Reanimate spell without restructuring the deck? I can't think of any artifact or enchantment I'd really be upset about losing and paying its cost +6 again to play it.
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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

Updated list by taking out
- Elvish Visionary (I figured I had enough 2 drops that draw a card, and it has the smallest upside)
- Sepulchral Primordial (already have Puppiteer Clique, and in the past have always found its effect lackluster, even if doubled, because of the types of opponents I usually face. Feels very 'win more')
- Venser (Remand effect is minimal and bouncing 2 things is OK, but more reactive than proactive. Maybe this is a mistake?)

To add
+ Vannifar (extra Pod value)
+ Phyrexian Delver (extra reanimation tool, extra 5 slot)
+ Unearth (quality reanimation spell, hits a lot of stuff, especially Eternal Witness and Spellseeker)
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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

Was able to finally play some paper games last night with other FNM patrons. Wow. This is by far and away my favorite Commander deck going forward. Endless value, can always mount a comeback, and has a bunch of "oops I win" buttons. Turns out my combo-avoidance in the past made me not realize that Palinchron also just goes infinite with Yarok itself (or Panharmonicon) and at least 7 lands or 6 and a mana rock, without the need of Deadeye. Fun. Conjurer's Closet with Grey Merchant is also nutso. Love this deck.

Also, decided Polluted Bonds is a little too durdely and low impact for me. Swapped it for a Treachery.
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Post by Guerte » 11 months ago

WizardMN wrote:
1 year ago
For reanimation, Necromancy seems like it would be a must. It returns 2 creatures when Yarok is on the board which is pretty good value. Especially if you end up needing to cast it at Instant Timing.

In that same vein, Animate Dead and Dance of the Dead don't function right with Yarok. That is, with Yarok on the field, their ETB triggers occur twice but they each try to return the same card from the graveyard. Since the triggers don't target anything, they both still resolve and now you have an Aura with two "Enchant" abilities where only one Enchant ability's condition is met (since the second trigger to resolve didn't return a card, the enchant ability doesn't see it attached to the object it tried to return). Since the other Enchant ability is not fulfilled, the aura goes to the graveyard as a SBA.

They are still good cards, but it might be worth replacing them since your general actually breaks them instead of making them better.
So does this mean it is bugged on MTGO? When I cast Animate Dead/Dance of the Dead with Yarok out, I target the creature, the enchantment comes in and triggers twice, first trigger resolves, bringing back the creature, and triggering any ETBs that creature may have. The second trigger resolves, nothing happens with the creature, but its etb effects trigger again.
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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

Guerte wrote:
11 months ago
So does this mean it is bugged on MTGO? When I cast Animate Dead/Dance of the Dead with Yarok out, I target the creature, the enchantment comes in and triggers twice, first trigger resolves, bringing back the creature, and triggering any ETBs that creature may have. The second trigger resolves, nothing happens with the creature, but its etb effects trigger again.
It sounds like it is not handling the additional "Enchant Creature" ability correctly. So, yes, it sounds like a bug on MTGO. Which isn't super surprising as it is a bit of a corner case in terms of the rules involved.

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Post by pokken » 11 months ago

I definitely don't think I'd remove venser. Infinite 4 mana remands is good and 4 mana capsize is gross. His second trigger hitting himself is, well, absurd.
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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

pokken wrote:
11 months ago
I definitely don't think I'd remove venser. Infinite 4 mana remands is good and 4 mana capsize is gross. His second trigger hitting himself is, well, absurd.
I had not thought about that..... What to cut?
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Post by pokken » 11 months ago

Solemn or Golgari findbroker would be my picks as the worst cards.

The flicker engines (esp. slownjurer's closet) are ones I would consider as possible cuts as well, but they are pretty powerful once you get going and especially with witness. I might do something like:

-closet
-displace
+mystical tutor
+venser

Spellseeker, mystical tutor can find your ghostly flicker.
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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

Any reason to run Mystical Tutor over Demonic Tutor (if I run a non-creature-based tutor at all)? Spellseeker can get either, and DT can get errythang.

Looking over what I have, and reflecting on my games last FNM (before, between rounds, and after, lol), Hostage Taker seemed kind of medium (compared to the straight steal of Sower of Temptation), and Plaguecrafter felt SUPER awkward to have to double sac my own stuff. Even with my recursion, just seems like an overall nonbo.

Conjurer's Closet is slow for sure, but was pretty nuts blinking a Gray Merchant of Asphodel for 3 turns, killing everyone else. :halo: I could see cutting it though, as it only blinks one thing.

I like Golgari Findbroker as extra insurance to get back Walking Ballista to hand (all reanimate spells put it on battlefield).
It also enables super value chains like Neoform a 2 drop to get Eternal Witness, Witness back the Neoform. Neoform Witness to get Findbroker, which gets back Witness, which gets back Neoform. GASSSS.

Additionally, Findbroker was pretty slick in this line I ended up with: I had Palinchron and Yarok in play + 7 lands, so infinite mana, but nothing to do. I Spellseeker for Finale of Devastation, Finale out Walking Ballista, it dies, goes to yard, then Birthing Pod Spellseeker for Findbroker to put Ballista into my hand to cast. Probably would have been fine with Demonic Tutor, but this convoluted chain felt super fun.

I also just had a Guardian Project arrive in the mail, that I totally forgot about.... I'll play around with things and move stuff to see what's worth keeping and swapping. Also toying with adding something to the six slot (likely Noxious Gearhulk).

I totally agree on Solemn Simulacrum. It's a sweet value card, but likely one of the weaker ones...

Is it too dirty to add Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir? :omg: :laugh: :laugh:

Lastly, I just don't like Deathrite Shaman. I don't think he does enough. Has no ETBs and is just a random value 1 drop that may or may not impact things. I like Birds of Paradise as a 1, but I think I'll be cutting DRS.

Overall though, I don't think I've been as excited for a Commander deck as I have been for this. I love everything about it.
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Post by pokken » 11 months ago

Ah, I didn't notice you didn't have DT already. But yes I think DT is fine, I usually run it before MT myself (depending on the deck; MT better in decks with miracles).

I mostly agree with your assessment of the glut of 4-drops. Solemn is the weakest. mostly I think I would run skullwinder spawnbroker though. Hostage taker seems quite mana intensive which is not my favorite.

I think you are going to be tuning the balance of ETBs in this deck for a LONG time :) hehe.

Teferi is great in this deck. Making your creatures flash and shutting down interaction. I use it in Ephara and it wins games.

DRS vs. BOP just really depends on your group dynamic--I've won games with the exile abilities. Hitting reanimation targets, burning my own card out from under a spelltwine, If your group abuses the graveyard a lot DRS should be savage. But lots of groups don't really.
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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

Here's a visual of what I got currently. Seems to feel (and look) good.
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Post by pokken » 11 months ago

I like this a lot. Most of my adjustments would be with the 2 CMC ramp package but I like almost every card in there in some way.

I think you'll find long term that dorks and 3-drop ramp are the way to go with this deck, and being able to play bane of progress with fewer issues will be worth it. That card is ridonkulous.
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Post by cfusionpm » 11 months ago

After a few more games I found myself asking a very, very strange question: Is Snapcaster Mage even good enough here? Seemed very medium compared to straight-up put-in-hand cards like Witness, Findbroker, and Archaeomancer....
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Post by pokken » 11 months ago

snapcaster mage is pretty bad in edh unless you're playing a huge number of instants and sorceries. I play it in two decks:
1) Inalla - who has a pretty good reason to want it, since I will on occasion double snap ponder/preordain or snap fact+counterspell. And is playing like 40 spells.

2) Ephara, God of the Polis who has 15 or so targets but more to the point usually gets to draw a card off snap so worst case I can cycle it. Sometimes it wins me the game by snapping a sweeper or enlightened tutor. Most of my instants/sorceries are super high impact.

I don't think it's great in this deck cos you're almost never going to double it.

Maybe replace it with Yavimaya Druid? Satyr Wayfinder might be OK too if you wanna stay at 2.
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