Lord Windgrace

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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

This is ported over from MTGSalvation. That thread will no longer be updated, but I don't want to lose the great discussion over there so here is the link to that thread.

At some point, I will revamp this into more of a "Primer" layout (even if it ends up not being an actual Primer) and I will update this first post at that time.

This deck started out as a league deck where our group of 4 each took one of the precons and then modified it over the course of the league to be more in line with what we wanted. Luckily I got Wiindgrace as that was basically the one I really wanted. As the other thread shows though, the deck (and league for that matter) quickly became degenerate. I had taken the deck apart shortly after the league was done but then Wrenn and Six and some other new cards led to me wanting to really revisit the deck and see if I could come up with a way to make it fun.

The main thing I tried to do was make it different than my Karador deck. Historically, my Jund decks look way too close to Karador which leads to me taking them apart so I put a high focus on not including too many reanimation spells/cards. I feel that this is the main area where the decks overlap and Karador is always better at it so I never want to play my Jund decks. Cutting those and attempting to go in a different direction allows the deck to be different enough where it doesn't just feel like a worse Karador deck.

That isn't to say I don't want any (Phyrexian Reclamation is still here for example) but the ones I do have just return cards to hand. I left in Reclamation because almost all my win cons are creature based so I end up being in a tough spot if I don't have them.

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Lord Windgrace

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1 Lord Windgrace

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1 Crucible of Worlds
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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

I got to bust out this deck the other night against Karona the False God (God Tribal) and something else (I need to type these summaries up sooner or write things down). Maybe this is the game they were playing Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain.

Lord Windgrace came down on turn 4 with no protection. There wasn't much out yet so I figured he could take a hit while still generating some value. Which is what happened. I ticked him up, he got hit, and I ticked him up again. The second turn he was out, I did manage to get a bit of protection for him so I could keep him around.

I didn't really get to bin many lands, but I was still able to tick Windgrace down to ramp a little. At one point, I cast Life from the Loam with only one target to give me more lands to in the graveyard from Dredging. And I had Mina and Denn, Wildborn and The Gitrog Monster so I wanted to get as many lands as I could.

During this process, Karona kept casting Gods. It took a while but they finally got enough Gods with Karona to turn almost all of them on. He swung at me and they all had Vigilance thanks to Heliod, God of the Sun and then he milled me for a bunch due to Phenax, God of Deception. I ended up blowing up Karona to turn them all back into non-creatures and to save myself the damage.

The next turn, since I was just going to get hit again, I cast Wave of Vitriol to deal with the Gods and the other player's Artifacts. I then got down World Shaper shortly after by Entombing for it and recurring it somehow. A little later, I swung at Jhoira with an 11/11 Ulvenwald Hydra. They chose not to block so I sacrificed the World Shaper and got back 23 lands from the graveyard and hit for 34 total which was lethal.

Karona couldn't do anything more at this time so they cast a couple things on their turn and just scooped.

By far my favorite play was the "attack with Hydra; get 23 more lands" play. The game was pretty grindy in general and the main reason I went after Jhoira was because we had finally gotten them empty handed but that deck can snowball pretty quickly so I wanted to take the opportunity to deal with them now.

Wave of Vitriol is one of those cards that I was hesitant to include due to the blowing up lands part. I don't care a lot if mine are destroyed but it is generally not fun for others to have their lands blown up. But, I included it because of things like Darksteel Forge and, now, it has shown its power against Gods too.

I don't really see any cards so far that I feel aren't pulling their weight. The deck seems to be fairly cohesive and it plays well in general.

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Post by OCPunisher » 1 year ago

Not sure if I mentioned this in your other thread, but I've had great success with other Jund planeswalkers in this deck. All three modes on Chandra, Flamecaller, Liliana, Death's Majesty, Garruk Wildspeaker, and Xenagos the Reveler are relevant to the general game plan. Vraska, Relic Seeker has multiple uses, Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury is solid, and all of them allow you to play more board wipes that keep creatures off the Lord's back.
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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

I wouldn't mind moving into having a larger number of Walkers in the deck. Liliana and Chandra seem the best of the ones you mentioned mostly for their Wrath abilities. Freyalise and Vraska are good removal, ramp, token makers (depending on what the current board state dictates).

With the thought of Planeswalkers, what is your opinion of Liliana, Dreadhorde Master? She comes down the turn after Windgrace and can potentially clear the board herself. And then allows for some additional card draw. Not sure if 6 mana is just to slow to "only" make players sac 2 creatures, but she seems reasonable.

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Post by OCPunisher » 1 year ago

Liliana, Dreadhorde General is also solid, but I found that Death's Majesty was a little more in tune with the Lord's plan, and I only wanted one of each walker, although the next Golgari Garruk might have something to say about that...
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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

I have decided I really want to try out Liliana, Dreadhorde General to see how good she can be in this deck. While Death's Majesty can help fill the graveyard a little more and can reanimate, I think I value the draw power, and chump blockers, over the reanimation for now.

I am going to try it over Kozilek, Butcher of Truth for now. As my discussion about Ulamog showed, I don't often want my graveyard shuffled in and the draw power of Kozilek can potentially be replaced with the draw power of Liliana. It also lowers my curve.

Another card I am looking at is Murderous Rider. It is a removal spell that can be gotten back with Nissa and Phyrexian Reclamation. The obvious change is to swap out Hero's Downfall for it.

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Post by Cow31337Killer » 1 year ago

WizardMN wrote:
1 year ago

Another card I am looking at is Murderous Rider. It is a removal spell that can be gotten back with Nissa and Phyrexian Reclamation. The obvious change is to swap out Hero's Downfall for it.
Murderous Rider rarely ends up in the graveyard since it puts itself back into your library when it dies. It's still a very good card though.

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Post by WizardMN » 1 year ago

My main line of thinking is being able to Entomb for it and getting it back or just responding to the trigger (with Reclamation at least). It is hard to "loop" though which is a legitimate concern. I do agree that it is a good card and even with those "limitations" I think it is still better than Hero's Downfall.

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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

I finally got a copy of Murderous Rider so I am going to swap it with Hero's Downfall. Hopefully I can get a game in with it this week.
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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

I played this deck the other night but I don't remember all the details of the game, so I am just going to give a highlight of some of the better plays of the game.

The game started off with me getting attacked by the Omnath, Locus of Rage player with Kalonian Hydra and Savageborn Hydra for about 12 damage. They then had a Hydra that had a toughness of 8 so I had to cast Toxic Deluge paying 8 life to kill just their two creatures.

I then top decked Glacial Chasm and paid 6 life into it before sacrificing it. I think looped it with Lord Windgrace for a couple turns and used Spike Weaver to help stall as well. I was, at one point, down to 7 life. I kept digging with Bazaar of Baghdad and Windgrace until I finally found Ulvenwald Hydra.

I used that to get a land but, more importantly, I was able to sacrifice it to Diamond Valley for a bunch of life. I did it again later when I got it back with Phyrexian Reclamation. I also cast, and sacrificed, Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar a couple of times. Multani also helped with bouncing, and thus resetting, Glacial Chasm. which also let me attack intermittently

One of the more interesting plays of the game was casting Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger to exile Xenagos (God) and something else from Omnath. Then, the Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle player cast Altered Ego to get a bigger Ulamog. So, my next turn, I cast a couple small creatures, cast Liliana, Dreadhorde General and made everyone sac two creatures. Arixmethes only had Ulamog so this got rid of basically my opponents' entire boards. I then attacked Omnath. I was able to effectively cause them to deck themselves over the course of a few turns by attacking with Ulamog.

I ended up winning the game with Ulamog, Hydra, and Multani.

I really liked Liliana here as she let me draw some cards and cleared the way for my creatures. Not sure how effective she will be for that all the time, but it was good here. Also, the deck did play out reasonably well overall though I did almost get "got" super early on if it wasn't for Toxic Deluge. Without that, I think I would have lost the game around turn 5.

The only thing that stood out as a "problem" is the length of time it took to play the game. It took just over 2 hours. I have always felt that I prefer long, grindy games of Magic (which I do) but 2 hours was just much too long. A lot of this was because I was on the defensive for a lot of the game so I never really had a good opportunity to try to go on the offensive. But, when I could, I ended it pretty quickly. So maybe this is an outlier. It will be something I will keep an eye on though.

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Post by shermanido37 » 11 months ago

I like big value plays, and Windgrace can certainly perform them well, but I feel like it's not a good enough game plan on its own.
My Windgrace list does several things differently to yours:

1. There's more early game stuff, and you'd be surprised at how incredibly effective it can be despite being cheap. Orcish Lumberjack can actually let you play T2 Windgrace with relative ease, Elvish Reclaimer can grow large quickly and is a tutor on a stick, and Deathrite Shaman is just a disgusting card.
As one that runs dredge cards, I'm also disappointed at your lack of Sylvan Library. Even normally it's just an amazing card, but if you replace the draw it gives you with dredge triggers - you can theoretically keep all 3 cards without paying life.

2. To me, it feels wasteful playing Windgrace if you're going to play a lot of giant creatures - there are better commanders for that purpose, namely Kresh the Bloodbraided, Gyrus, Waker of Corpses, Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, and the list goes on. As a result, my list is much more spell heavy than creature heavy, since I want to blow up the board often. I don't run Wood Elves, Reclamation Sage is only there because I have a promo, Ravenous Chupacabra, Yavimaya Elder and Yavimaya Dryad don't feel like they belong, Acidic Slime may be cute but it feels underwhelming, Fertilid is not your guy, Lifeblood Hydra is only good if you have a sac outlet, and I can go on.
I would think more closely about what the deck wants to do and how the commander fits into that game plan, because I didn't get a clear picture. And if you do decide you want to play a ton of large creatures, may I suggest Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord. It makes giant creatures into a wincon without caring about opposing boards, plus you will have a ton of lands so it is easily recurrable.

More small suggestions:
I love Evolution Sage in this list, since it's just a two card combo with Windgrace, and I'm always looking for more planeswalkers that will be good with it. A few suggestions: Nissa, Vastwood Seer, Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, Nissa, who Shakes the World, Garruk Wildspeaker, Chandra, Awakened Inferno, Chandra, Flamecaller, Jaya Ballard, and the list goes on. It's nice that Lili is working for you, because I actually thought it's not great for you deck.
Speaking of Evo Sage, Tireless Tracker is particularly good with it, as well as a good card on its on.

Sorry for the wall of text. Hope I helped.

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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

shermanido37 wrote:
11 months ago
I like big value plays, and Windgrace can certainly perform them well, but I feel like it's not a good enough game plan on its own.
My Windgrace list does several things differently to yours:

1. There's more early game stuff, and you'd be surprised at how incredibly effective it can be despite being cheap. Orcish Lumberjack can actually let you play T2 Windgrace with relative ease, Elvish Reclaimer can grow large quickly and is a tutor on a stick, and Deathrite Shaman is just a disgusting card.
Maybe Reclaimer is one I should give more attention to. I will pick one up. Lumberjack is interesting too. I don't really like Sacrificing my lands but if it gets Windgrace down sooner, I can just use his ability right away to get that land back anyway. Effectively costing me nothing (and maybe ramping if I used a fetchland already). I will see if I can figure out what I would want to cut to slot these in.
As one that runs dredge cards, I'm also disappointed at your lack of Sylvan Library. Even normally it's just an amazing card, but if you replace the draw it gives you with dredge triggers - you can theoretically keep all 3 cards without paying life.
While the interaction is cool, I have no way to actually do it. I only have one Dredge card so I will still need to pay 4 life for the two cards I did draw. That isn't to say Dredge is the only reason to play Library; it just isn't an interaction that can happen here. Also, Dredge isn't a trigger :)
2. To me, it feels wasteful playing Windgrace if you're going to play a lot of giant creatures - there are better commanders for that purpose, namely Kresh the Bloodbraided, Gyrus, Waker of Corpses, Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, and the list goes on. As a result, my list is much more spell heavy than creature heavy, since I want to blow up the board often. I don't run Wood Elves, Reclamation Sage is only there because I have a promo, Ravenous Chupacabra, Yavimaya Elder and Yavimaya Dryad don't feel like they belong, Acidic Slime may be cute but it feels underwhelming, Fertilid is not your guy, Lifeblood Hydra is only good if you have a sac outlet, and I can go on.
This isn't a bad approach but what ultimately ends up being your wincon without big creatures. Are you just banking on Exsanguinate and Torment of Hailfire due to the lands you (hopefully) get over the course of the game? It probably wouldn't be a bad idea for me to slot at least one of those in, especially with the way the last game dragged on.

I happen to like the recursive nature of black which is why I have a fair number of creatures that ramp. And I never care if any of those get destroyed since they do what they need to right away. So, wrathing often doesn't really mean much and they are much easier to recur than non-creature based ramp.

Chupacabra could be cut for something else. I am starting to think I might want Cavalier of Night in that slot for a couple reasons. But I do have plenty of non-creature based destruction. Having something creature based helps out in the long run due to being recurred.
I would think more closely about what the deck wants to do and how the commander fits into that game plan, because I didn't get a clear picture. And if you do decide you want to play a ton of large creatures, may I suggest Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord. It makes giant creatures into a wincon without caring about opposing boards, plus you will have a ton of lands so it is easily recurrable.
Jarad might be a good call. In fact, it almost definitely is a good call. I don't like the card, but not for any good reason. With Ulvenwald Hydra and Multani, this gives me a way to just end the game which is needed. I will have to pick one up.
More small suggestions:
I love Evolution Sage in this list, since it's just a two card combo with Windgrace, and I'm always looking for more planeswalkers that will be good with it. A few suggestions: Nissa, Vastwood Seer, Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, Nissa, who Shakes the World, Garruk Wildspeaker, Chandra, Awakened Inferno, Chandra, Flamecaller, Jaya Ballard, and the list goes on. It's nice that Lili is working for you, because I actually thought it's not great for you deck.
Speaking of Evo Sage, Tireless Tracker is particularly good with it, as well as a good card on its on.

Sorry for the wall of text. Hope I helped.
OCPunisher had suggested more Planeswalkers too. Nissa, Who Shakes the World is probably the one I would gravitate towards first. I don't like the others as much for a variety of reasons but Nissa fits with the deck decently. The main issue I have with most Walkers mentioned is that they all have one ability that works well with the deck but the rest aren't as relevant. Nissa, Who Shakes the World has the mana ramp and the ultimate which is one of the reasons I was thinking of including her when she was spoiled. But I have yet to feel that I need her. I am just not sure. It also requires I find something to cut which is difficult.

As for Liliana, I an not sure she is right either. I called out the play above because it was the first game I played with her in the deck and I wanted to record what she did. It is very possible that, in the long run, she might not be that great. But drawing cards, giving me a chump blocker, and offering a form of removal are all good things to have. We will see how she actually plays out in the long term.

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Post by pokken » 11 months ago

If you're going to add one walker I think Garruk Wildspeaker is low key a baller. Overrun is a thing with how big your dudes are, He's much stronger with cradle of course, but just ramping 2 every turn and then overrunning is great.
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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

Well, that is 3 mentions of Garruk so maybe I would be better served by at least trying him out first. I initially felt that his overrun wouldn't be as relevant but I do have a lot of small-ish creatures that can still do some damage with +3/+3 and trample. Obviously his +1 is super good in this deck but I wasn't sure if it was enough to include him.

So, I am going to try to slot him in as well as Orcish Lumberjack. I like the explosiveness of the Lumberjack and it could help speed up some games. With that in mind, I think I am leaning towards World Breaker, Realm Seekers, and Wave of Vitriol as potential cuts. All three make the list of potential cuts due almost entirely to cost.

World Breaker is good to get rid of difficult to remove lands, enchantments, and artifacts but 7 mana is a bit too high. And I have other, noncreature, forms of removal that might work just as well. The only other thing I have that can exile things is Ulamog, but that might not be a big enough deal. Realm Seekers gets me lands but so do other cards. And 6 mana for a big beater is nice, but it can be chumped all day. In the past couple of games, I haven't seen Realm Seekers and I never missed it. This is one of the reasons I am hesitant on including Elvish Reclaimer.

And Wave is really good too but 7 mana to get rid of all my lands is kind of tough without a World Shaper or Splendid Reclamation to get them all back. I get that it deals with indestructible Gods and other enchantments/artifacts and I did have a good game against a Gods deck but, outside of that deck, it hasn't been all that relevant.

I might look into shermanido37's comments regarding things like Yavimaya Dryad. In the game I had the other day, I ended up just discarding the one I had since I didn't actually need it. In general, this means I might have gone a little overboard on ramp and Dryad Farhaven Elf would be the first cuts. I would keep Fertilid mostly because it gets me 2 lands at least and works well with Evolution Sage to get more (even if it is a bit slow).

Hopefully I can decide what I want to do before the next game.

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Post by pokken » 11 months ago

Hmm, I am iffy on Lumberjack personally as like you I do not like sacc'ing my lands. I really like world breaker and you'd have to pry that from my cold dead hands I think. Cutting one of the huge guys is probably right for that (Multani feels kinda boring to me, personally) if you're gonna do it.

I would be inclined to play lotus cobra before it though if you're looking for explosiveness.

I think Farhaven Elf for garruk is a pretty clean swap. I like Yavimaya and Wood Elves for the fixing but Farhaven I never play.
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Post by shermanido37 » 11 months ago

The only dedicated overrun effect which I would run in this list is the big goat. It's better with big creatures than Craterhoof Behemoth which is the other dedicated overrun effect that's worth consideration.

3CMC nissa was mentioned because she can be a very scary menace with Evo Sage - creating several plants then adding a counter means they will continue to grow from the sage. Not to mention her ult is devastating in this deck.
Chandra, Awakened Inferno represents the biggest and best of inevitability. She's another way to win if games go too long.
The rest are skippable niche.
WizardMN wrote:
11 months ago
This isn't a bad approach but what ultimately ends up being your wincon without big creatures. Are you just banking on Exsanguinate and Torment of Hailfire due to the lands you (hopefully) get over the course of the game? It probably wouldn't be a bad idea for me to slot at least one of those in, especially with the way the last game dragged on.
To be honest I run none of those. Although my deck is more spell heavy than creature heavy, it still has several creatures that act as threats, but more importantly they cooperate with the deck's plan - to steadily gain value over time, then blow up the world when it sees fit with a few cards like Obliterate and Wildfire.
Titania, Protector of Argoth, Omnath, Locus of Rage, Rampaging Baloths are armies in a can.
Dark Depths, Daarigaz Reignited, and more can survive blowing up the world and thus leave me with an advantage.

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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

pokken wrote:
11 months ago
Hmm, I am iffy on Lumberjack personally as like you I do not like sacc'ing my lands. I really like world breaker and you'd have to pry that from my cold dead hands I think. Cutting one of the huge guys is probably right for that (Multani feels kinda boring to me, personally) if you're gonna do it.
I have won too many games off the back of Multani to think about cutting him. A huge attacker that can't be chumped as well as a massive source of life gain with Miren and Diamond Valley means he is almost always relevant. In any case, I have never been upset to see him show up (and, in the game I summarized above, I was actively digging for him).

Maybe World Breaker is too aggressive of a cut. I kind of go back and forth on that and Acidic Slime and in Karador I cut both. Maybe I take shermanido37's advice here and just cut Slime while leaving in World Breaker as a Swiss Army Knife of sorts.
I would be inclined to play lotus cobra before it though if you're looking for explosiveness.

I think Farhaven Elf for garruk is a pretty clean swap. I like Yavimaya and Wood Elves for the fixing but Farhaven I never play.
Lotus Cobra is certainly a good thought and I have an extra one sitting around. I will mull over the Lumberjack and Cobra and see which way I go. As for cutting the Elf for Garruk, I think the Elf is an obvious cut in light of recent discussions. I will see if Garruk is what goes into its spot.
shermanido37 wrote:
11 months ago
3CMC nissa was mentioned because she can be a very scary menace with Evo Sage - creating several plants then adding a counter means they will continue to grow from the sage. Not to mention her ult is devastating in this deck.
Chandra, Awakened Inferno represents the biggest and best of inevitability. She's another way to win if games go too long.
The rest are skippable niche.
The problem I see with Nissa is that without Evolution Sage, she doesn't do a lot. Spitting out a single token each turn, or take a turn off to buff the ones I have a little, seems very underwhelming. Her Ultimate is, for sure, on point. Perhaps for that ability alone she makes sense to include. At that point the other abilities are just icing on the cake but it is hard to justify her inclusion on anything but her ultimate,
WizardMN wrote:
11 months ago
This isn't a bad approach but what ultimately ends up being your wincon without big creatures. Are you just banking on Exsanguinate and Torment of Hailfire due to the lands you (hopefully) get over the course of the game? It probably wouldn't be a bad idea for me to slot at least one of those in, especially with the way the last game dragged on.
To be honest I run none of those. Although my deck is more spell heavy than creature heavy, it still has several creatures that act as threats, but more importantly they cooperate with the deck's plan - to steadily gain value over time, then blow up the world when it sees fit with a few cards like Obliterate and Wildfire.
Titania, Protector of Argoth, Omnath, Locus of Rage, Rampaging Baloths are armies in a can.
Dark Depths, Daarigaz Reignited, and more can survive blowing up the world and thus leave me with an advantage.
I see where your creatures you are using (specifically Omnath and Titania) benefit greatly from a complete board wipe, but they wouldn't do the same for me. So, sure, your game plan of "blow up the world" works much better with those creatures. But my plan is different and thus needs different threats.

I obviously understand the synergy with Omnath and Baloths in this deck. I get the "army in a can" mentality and how that works well with Windgrace. Frankly, I have never felt like I needed them. I cut Baloths early in the life of this deck as well as Avenger of Zendikar because I find them boring. I simply don't like playing with those cards.

Objectively, it is probably wrong not to include at least one of these cards. But, subjectively, I think they are not quite the right fit. However, I could maybe see Omnath finally make it into the deck. He is one I had considered before and I might consider again. If I did go with Omnath, I would just cut Borborygmos for him. Same CMC but works off playing lands (which is what I want to be doing) instead of discarding lands.

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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

With the current discussions, and points being made, I have decided to make a number of changes:
11/24/19
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Farhaven Elf is being cut as a concession to the idea that I might have more ramp than I need. Chupacabra is being cut for the Cavalier as it does something similar (at a higher cost) but also gives me an attacker and a reanimation avenue.

Realm Seekers is becoming one of those cards where I really liked when it was spoiled, and when I initially played with it, but I am starting to think it is just not worth it. 6 mana plus 3 mana to get a land to hand is very slow.

Wave of Vitriol is a tough cut but I am willing to risk it for now. Other than the one deck in my meta that is filled with Indestructible Gods, I can generally deal with pretty much any other threat as it is now. Or, I think I can. I might revisit this later but I am going to try without it.

Borborygmos is just a straight swap with Omnath. Omnath plays better in the deck at that slot since it cares about lands being played and it gives me Lightning Bolts when I need them (presuming I can sac the tokens). Borborygmos is more cute that anything (and works well with The Gitrog Monster) but Omnath brings a little power and reach to that spot which I think is needed.

Cavalier was mentioned above and it just seems a little better. Lifelink might be relevant often as well. I am not sure how often the reanimation will be useful but getting back Eternal Witness alone makes this effect worth it.

Lotus Cobra is being added as a different option to Orcish Lumberjack. I like the idea of trying to get Windgrace down even faster, and Lumberjack is much better at this, I don't like sacrificing my lands (as pokken alluded to). I might be playing it safer than I need to here, and Lumberjack does give me some synergy with Gitrog, but I want to see what the Cobra can do. If nothing else, it can make my Splendid Reclamation and World Shaper much better.

I think shermanido37 convinced me to at least try Nissa. I am going to go with her over Garruk for now for a few reasons, but I am curious to see how impactful she can be in games.

And, finally, Underrealm Lich is being added based on another comment shermanido37 made regarding Sylvan Library. While I am not going to add Library just yet, Lich works very well with it. And it works well to fill my graveyard with lands which Windgrace, as well as other cards, works well with. It also lets me dig much deeper when trying to search for a specific answer/threat. And, interestingly, it gives myself a way to not lose due to having an empty library. While the Lich's inclusion is more likely to get me to the point of having an empty library, I still wouldn't mind having an out in the case a game goes long and I draw a lot of cards.

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Post by OCPunisher » 11 months ago

Good to see this thread getting some more activity.

The inevitability on Chandra, Awakened Inferno is tantalizing. I'll be adding a copy to my list as soon as I can.

Wanted to get some input from the crowd on a couple of newer cards:
- Lotus Field: I've been extremely pleased at how impactful the "hexproof" keyword has been.
- Field of the Dead: I play this in every deck with more than one color, and this one is no exception. Every time I see it, it's basically free value.
- Syr Konrad, the Grim: Currently just a limited card, but it's so easy to trigger it.
- Springbloom Druid: Another card that has been making its way into every deck that can legally cast it. Does everything you want to do.
- Garruk, Cursed Huntsman: Lots of positives with this card: two reasonable bodies per turn, middle ability is solid removal, and the biggest one is that the ultimate emblem only takes one more loyalty to achieve (see Nissa, Vital Force).

Also had a couple of questions about some current card choices:
- Soul of New Phyrexia: I've tried to make this card work in a number of different decks, and every time I end up cutting it right away. Both the casting cost and the cost of the activated ability are just too much for my taste.
- Lifeblood Hydra: I agree with shermanido: it doesn't look like a fit on paper without some other sac outlet. How has it performed for you?
- no bounce lands: They've been on and off the chopping block a lot for me, wanted to hear more opinions.
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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

I am holding off on Chandra for now due partly to the mana cost. It seems that it is mostly her +2 that is any good. A "sweeper" that deals 3 damage doesn't do a lot and targeted damage is fine, but it can't it a player. Her +2 might be good enough to include, but 6 mana makes that tough.

Lotus Field entering tapped kind of throws off the curve a bit in the early game and almost doesn't matter in the late game. And, arguably, the Hexproof keyword is almost irrelevant since I should have much better targets for lands to blow up than "just" a Black Lotus, I don't see it having an extreme impact when I want it to though it does tie into Windgrace quite nicely. Without Windgrace though, it is a worse bounce land.

I had considered Field of the Dead based on other discussions around it. So far, I have held off mostly on the basis of it only producing colorless mana. With that being said, I can see where it would be insanely powerful in this deck. I should probably pick one up and give it a try. I might wait a little bit since the price is still kind of high for some reason (I would have expected it to drop off after being banned).

Syr Konrad just seems like he does so little. Maybe I am underestimating how many things actually hit the graveyard from different zones and maybe, with a couple of the "army in a can" cards talked about earlier, he becomes that much better.

When I saw Springbloom Druid spoiled, this was the deck I though of including it in. It is a Harrow on a stick and does work to ramp as well as mana fix (if needed) and other cards in the deck can get the sacrificed land back. I think it could be a fine ramp option at the 3 drop slot and, for the list I have, arguably makes more sense than Yavimaya Elder now that I cut Borborygmos. I might try making that swap.

Garruk was one of the Walkers I considered when discussing adding more walkers due mostly to being a pain to deal with on Arena. I think for a curve topper, he can be very good. I am mostly interested in his ability to spit out blockers to begin with which then fuel his ultimate. And, since it is an Emblem, it can stack over the course of a few turns. I like him. At the very least, I like him more than Chandra, but that is more of a personal playstyle preference than one being objectively better than the other.

I actually agree with you on Soul of New Phyrexia. It is really just a hold over for when my group was super into MLD and I haven't wanted to cut it yet due to the fear of not having an answer to that (beyond the Heroic Intervention in the deck). In the last game, it was scary enough for someone that they did actively try to get it out of my graveyard. But, when that happened, I couldn't have cared less about it. It was just "filler" at that stage of the game. I think the time has likely come where that card gets the "axe" (perhaps Garruk's).

Lifeblood Hydra is very good when I need it to be. I have 4 sac outlets in the deck and the deck is built around getting all of them (as well as every other land) onto the battlefield. I like my sac outlets and very often, my Realms Uncharted gets me 2 or 3 sac outlets to be absolutely sure I have one. I can't remember the last game I played where I had the Hydra and didn't have a way to sac it. I could see discussing the card based on other things, but "not having a sac outlet" is not a concern.

I hate bounce lands. I had kept one or two in the deck for Borborygmos for a little while but even that wasn't worth the tempo loss so I cut them. I am not as concerned about them getting blown up in this deck but I just don't think they are worth a spot in the deck over anything else already here. And I am not sure what deck I *would* actually put them in. They don't ramp and are more vulnerable to land hate. I get they make sure you have a land drop later so you don't miss land drops, but i haven't often felt that to be of any real concern.

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Post by OCPunisher » 11 months ago

@bounce lands: that's pretty much what I wanted to hear. Been cutting them just about everywhere else.
@Field of the Dead: I didn't count how many colorless lands you have, but it looks like quite a few after the Bazaar and the Valley. Speaking of which, do you need the redundancy of Diamond Valley, High Market, Phyrexian Tower and Miren? I like my sac outlets too, but that still seems a bit much. Maybe cut the Miren for FotD since it costs extra to use?
@Chandra: it's funny...I usually stop reading the text on her after the first ability, but you make a great point that the other modes aren't very good, and that casting cost is a thing.
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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

Sac outlets: to be fair, this deck probably needs them less than, say, my Karador deck. But Miren and Diamond Valley are the two main ones due to the life gain. Their interaction with Ulvenwald Hydra and Multani has been nothing short of stellar. With the addition of Omnath, I want all four to make sure I can sac the tokens that are created when I need to. Perhaps, in time, I will find that I have too many (especially with the tutors I have to get them) but High Market would be the first to cut if I went that route.

If I ever pick up a Field of the Dead, I might try to swap it with High Market to see how much I really miss not having that 4th sac outlet. I like the different options now, but it is possible I have at least one too many.

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Post by OCPunisher » 11 months ago

Did a bit of testing last night with Garruk, Cursed Huntsman in my list, and it was a great addition. I'm more focused on making tokens and planeswalkers, so the fact that this guy spits out two bodies per use was really strong. As I expected, being able to get an ultimate emblem after just one turn was game-breaking (again similar to Nissa, Vital Force), and even the middle ability was relevant at times.

[mention]WizardMN[/mention], I also took your advice and cut the bounce-lands, and haven't looked back.

One more small note: Chandra, Flamecaller continues to impress. All three of her modes are surprisingly useful.
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Post by WizardMN » 11 months ago

Garruk is the cheapest of the Borderless Planeswalkers so it doesn't break the bank to pick one up. I am planning on doing so when TCGPlayer does their Black Friday sale. I am glad to hear he seems to be working out well for you.

I am glad to hear that regarding the bounce lands. I feel they are decent budget options, but there are better budget options and they feel like sort of a trap at times. I think you will not miss them.

Since Flamecaller has been mentioned a few times, I might keep my eye on her. I do like her better than Awakened Inferno but I still think her 0 is likely the best of the abilities and the one I would use at least 80% of the time.

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Post by OCPunisher » 11 months ago

Yeah, the 0 ability is definitely the most relevant one, as it generates so much action and movement within your deck. I'm always leery of discarding some of the more important spells in my hand when I play her, but usually I just shut my eyes, activate for 0, and look up to see a whole new hand that's just as strong. Plus, with all of the recursion in this deck, it's not hard to get any one key piece back if you really need it.
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