Lovisa Coldeyes, the Barbarian Queen

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Airi
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Titles & Recognition

Post by Airi » 1 year ago

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"From the snowy slopes of Kaelor,
To the canyons of Bandu,
We drink and fight and feast and die
As we were born to do."
- Balduvian Tavern Song

Introduction

Thank you for taking the time to look over this primer. :) This is my take on Lovisa Coldeyes, a tribal oriented commander from Coldsnap. It isn't the deck to choose if you are looking to play competitively, but Lovisa provides a fun general with an interesting theme and flavor for a deck that can still pack a punch.

Lovisa was one of the first generals I built, making it one of my oldest decks, and it started out as a strictly tribal theme focusing on keeping the flavor of the Balduvian Tribes. While I'm still trying to hold on to some of that theme, I've changed the deck to be a bit stronger, in line with the stronger cards in her tribes that have been printed in mono red, as well as other strong utility creatures.

I initially choose Lovisa while browsing through mono red creatures on Gatherer, as multiple people in my playgroup had a mono red deck and I'd decided to join in. Her art caught my eye, and she had an interesting ability to match. Her tribes seemed like they could lead to a fun theme deck and that's exactly what I had set out to build. Despite all of the changes this deck has seen, it's a theme I've tried to hold true to.

If you think I've missed anything, or would like to share thoughts or suggestions, feel free to let me know!

The Barbarian Queen

If looks could kill, Lovisa might be Tier 1
Lovisa Coldeyes is the chieftain of the Balduvian Tribes on Dominaria. Unfortunately, there isn't much lore on Lovisa but we do know that she was a key part in several of the battles that shaped Dominaria. She entered into a tense alliance with Kjeldor to defeat the necromancer Lim-Dûl. Later, she would fight against a renegade group lead by Varchild, the former general of Kjeldor's army. She led her army against Heidar and the Rimewind Cult, to prevent them from throwing the plane into a second ice age during the thaw. After Heidar activates the Coldsteel Heart, she dismantles a phyrexian war machine raised by the heart only to be faced with three more. Lovisa is killed when a spear, thrown by Heidar, pierces her heart during the fight. She was lived on by her son, Lothar Lovisason, who married King Darien's daughter Alexandrite, uniting Kjeldor and the Balduvian Tribes to create a new nation called New Argive. During life, Lovisa was known to inspire her troops into a frenzy in battle, a trait that carried over to her card.

As your general, Lovisa is best used in a tribal build based around any combination of warriors, berserkers, and barbarians that you deem fit. With a casting cost of 3rr, she will typically be played during the middle stages of the game. Because lord was removed as a creature type, Lovisa is a human, with no other types and can only benefit from her ability if she is given one of her named tribes (for example, by activating Boldwyr Intimidator). The buff Lovisa gives to your creatures, you have the ability to gain the upper hand during combat, especially when combined with other combat based effects in the deck. However you will be fairly susceptible to spot removal as she is a key piece in the deck.

Her ability to give +2/+2 and hast to every warrior, berserker, and barbarian makes her an extremely powerful lord effect, but it comes with a significant drawback. Her ability is a global effect, and any creatures that your opponents control with one of her types will also benefit from the +2/+2 and haste. To work through this, you want to be sure that you will benefit the most from the effect, whether by controlling the most creatures who will benefit or giving your creatures additional effects (Rage Reflection, Gratuitous Violence, and Berserkers' Onslaught are all good examples of this) to make them stronger in combat. There are a few creatures such as Ogre Battledriver and Paragon of Fierce Defiance that replicate her ability, making it stronger when she is on field and acting as pseudo replacements when she is in the command zone, or elsewhere.

Her ability to grant haste should not be taken for granted. While the pump she grants is quite sizable for a lord effect, giving haste to your creatures is one of the key things that helps Lovisa lists fuction. Traditional beat down suffers in EDH due to the high amount of removal often found in games, but haste ensures that you will be able to benefit from your creatures at least once, letting you be aggressive with attacks. This is particularly important in the late game. With life totals hopefully winding down, you can catch people by surprise by dropping an instant army.

Finally, Lovisa is not the strongest general in mono red. When playing this, or a similar deck keep in mind that while you may want to win having fun is the primary objective.
You may like this deck if....
  • You enjoy playing tribal decks. Lovisa is a very open tribal commander because she branches out across three tribes, giving you plenty of options.
  • You like playing aggro. If there's one thing that Lovisa is good at, it's leading troops into battle for a good old fashioned beat down.
  • You enjoy flying under the radar. Mono red isn't often seen as a threatening color, and many people aren't even aware that Lovisa exists. She isn't among the few notorious red generals, and people often underestimate her ability and can be caught off guard by the amount of damage you can potentially swing in with.
  • You like playing unique generals. As mentioned above, Lovisa isn't a common general, and she's a good choice if you're looking play something different.
You may dislike this deck if....
  • You dislike playing red. If red isn't your color, mono red is probably not going to be enjoyable for you (but don't knock it until you try it!).
  • You want to play in a more competitive group. Red is one of the weakest colors in EDH on it's own. While there are strong commanders in the color (e.g. Krenko, Mob Boss) that can hold their own in a competitive setting, Lovisa is not one of them. This deck is more suited to less cutthroat groups.
  • You dislike aggro. Aggro decks aren't for everyone. Often times, you'll need to focus down the player who is the biggest threat to your game plan. If you're opposed to trying to take one person out of the game as early as possible, this likely isn't a deck you'll enjoy.
  • You don't like being heavily reliant on your general. This deck can function without Lovisa, through swords and other sources of pump, such as Paragon of Fierce Defiance or Goblin Wardriver but many of the creatures rely on her to become threatening and are rather lackluster if she is removed.
Lovisa compared to other generals

Comparable generals are broken down into two categories: similar generals in mono red, and generals outside of our color who could function in a warrior tribal deck (while Lovisa does support three tribes, I've put most of the focus of my deck on warriors as they've received the most support from WoTC).
Alternative Red Commanders
  • Márton Stromgald: Márton is the most similar general to Lovisa in mono red. While he lacks the tribal element that Lovisa has, his pump effect is extremely powerful and can win games on the spot. Though Márton's ability is generic enough that he could support a tribal deck, there isn't much incentive to build tribal when you have other strong creatures in red that could benefit just as much, if not more from his ability.
  • Godo, Bandit Warlord: Godo is the poster child for mono red voltron. He tutors up an equipment of your choice and puts it directly into play as he enters the battlefield. Godo also grants himself an extra combat step (as well to any samurai you may be running) each turn. His status as a barbarian grants him a spot as one of the 99 in this deck, but he doesn't offer any support as a warrior/berserker/barbarian general.
  • Krenko, Mob Boss: Krenko is an extremely popular goblin tribal general, and also one of the strongest generals in mono red. If you want to play a mono red tribal deck, but don't want to run any of Lovisa's tribes, this is a good place to start. Krenko decks are often built as combo decks, with aggro as a secondary strategy but he can support an aggro deck as well. You miss out on too many strong goblin cards to focus on a warrior tribal build with Krenko at the helm however, making Lovisa a stronger choice for her tribes.
  • Purphoros, God of the Forge: Purphoros is the newest contender for the top mono red general. He is cheap to cast, resilient (by being indestructible) and has two powerful abilities. He is very strong when used in a token deck, and has the potential to be explosive. While he could support a creature-heavy warrior/berserker/barbarian tribal deck, you would be missing out on several strong token generators. There are simply more efficient ways to run him.
Alternative Warrior Tribal Commanders
  • Najeela, the Blade-Blossom - Najeela is probably the most obvious choice for a replacement commander for Lovisa, as she gives you access to every color, and is in general an extremely strong card. However, it should be noted that she leans much harder in to combo strategies.
  • Ruric Thar, the Unbowed: Adding green gives you several strong warriors, as well as ramp, trample, and many other pump effects. Ruric Thar doesn't directly support warriors in any way, but he functions well in any creature heavy build and you'll have an easier time killing people with the damage he deals.
  • Zurgo Helmsmasher: Mardu (black/red/white) colors received some strong warrior tribal support in the set Khans of Tarkir (e.g. Chief of the Edge and Raiders' Spoils), and the addition of a legendary warrior in the colors makes this a viable choice now. You'll also have access to effects such as Cathars' Crusade and other white anthems, as well as tutors.
  • Kresh the Bloodbraided: Kresh builds on the foundation for warriors that rg gives you, while adding black for tutor effects, as well as ramp and some of the tribal cards from Mardu (black/red/white) colors.
  • Karona, False God: If you want to include all five colors, Karona is the best choice. You won't use her often, as you won't want to pass your opponents her ability but her pump is a nice addition to a game closing swing. You have access to the benefits offered by all five colors, but the deck will likely be less focused.

The Deck

This is my current list for Lovisa. Please keep in mind that with three tribes, any card you see below is flexible. If you see a card you don't like, feel free to swap it for something else. Due to the tribal nature of the deck, any creature in Lovisa's can work in the deck.
Deck List by Card Type

Commander (1)


5 Lovisa Coldeyes

Instant (2)


3 Chaos Warp
5 Savage Beating

Planeswalker (2)


6 Chandra, Flamecaller
7 Karn Liberated
Approximate Total Cost:

Deck List by Card Function

General (1)


5 Lovisa Coldeyes

Basic Land (22)


22 Mountain
Approximate Total Cost:

Card Choices

Warriors
Archetype of Aggression - This is one of the strongest effects on a creature in the deck, especially at a casting cost of 1rr. Trample is not an effect than mono red can typically grant to other creatures, but this guy does that and more. In addition to giving all of your creatures trample, he takes the ability away from your opponent's creatures, allowing you to make blocks more easily. Being a tribal creature is also a huge bonus, however by being both an enchantment and a creature he is more susceptible to spot removal.

Boldwyr Intimidator - A high cost warrior with some interesting political abilities. His first ability states that cowards can't block warriors. While coward may not be a legitimate creature type, his ability allows you to pay r to turn any targetable creature into a coward, allowing your warriors to swing through unblocked. His third ability allows you to turn any targetable creature into a warrior for 2r, allowing you to grant Lovisa's ability to any non-tribal creatures in your deck (as well as herself). Because Lovisa provides a global effect, these abilities can be used to help another person at the table take out one of your other opponents, by granting them Lovisa's buff and making one person vulnerable to attack.

Brighthearth Banneret - A small ramp effect that is similar to a Ruby Medallion for your warriors. It comes down early and will help you set up a board presence more easily. While less useful, it's reinforce ability to put a +1/+1 counter on a creature could be used to help a creature dodge lethal damage on occasion.

Combat Celebrant - A decent sized body with Lovisa that comes with the ability to double your combat step, which can snow ball games, or at least kills in your favor.

Cyclops Gladiator - A tribal fight bear (cyclops). He works well with any of the swords in the deck, and because his ability triggers when he attacks you can clear out any problematic creatures or smaller blockers before combat damage is dealt. The creature will fight Cyclops Gladiator back, so be aware that he may die before combat damage is dealt, and that it makes him weak to any potential blockers.

Enthralling Victor - While his theft effect isn't nearly as strong as Zealous Conscripts effect is, it's still not a common effect printed on creatures in our tribes and can still take valuable utility creatures from your opponents.

Flamerush Rider - This card is like a less abusable Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker with the upside of being a tribal creature. It also doesn't have the restriction on legendary creatures, so you can use it to get enter the battlefield triggers, such as Godo, Bandit Warlord. Keep in mind that it must copy an attacking creature and can only do so at the attack step, making it unreactive. The copy exiles itself at the end of turn, and won't trigger effects like that care about death.

Goblin Chainwhirler - A low cost warrior that can potentially be used to clear token decks without hurting your own board.

Goblin Rabblemaster - While the tokens generated by this warrior don't fall under any of Lovisa's tribes, they do pump him. Each other goblin you control will need to swing every turn, which can be a problem. However, there is only one other goblin in this deck, so you won't need to worry about losing any creatures. You also will be reliant on the tokens you generate for his pump effect, but he can work extremely well with Paragon of Fierce Defiance any any similar effects.

Goblin Wardriver - A small pump effect on an efficient body. Battle cry doesn't scale up like Shared Animosity's effect does, but it can still be a nice addition to your damage.
Kargan Dragonlord - Level up is a tricky mechanic. It must be done at sorcery speed, and it takes 8 mana to pump him up all the way but the tribal flying, trampling 8/8 that can pump itself will be worth it if you can get there. The level up cost is cheap (r), and after four levels you will have a 4/4 flying warrior to use. He is susceptible to spot removal, but he works really well with swords, Feast and Famine in particular.

Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs - A pseudo pillowfort effect. You gain a 3/3 blocker for each attacking creature if your opponent doesn't pay the mana to swing in to you, or drain a significant amount of their mana if they don't pay. Unfortunately, the tokens themselves don't belong to any of Lovisa's tribes, but it's a unique effect to have in red.

Kazuul's Toll Collector - Because this list runs such a high number of equipment, the Toll Collector can be invaluable, letting you buy pass equip costs, which can even make him a valuable play later in the game, after a board wipe provided it left your equipment untouched.

Manic Vandal - Artifact removal on a tribal body, at a low casting cost.

Markov Blademaster - One of the strongest creatures in the deck. She works extremely well with swords, as having double strike gives you their effect twice. Assuming you land both strikes on an opponent, she gets 2 +1/+1 counters every time she swings, and gets bigger on the second strike all at the low casting cost of 1rr

Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion - Simultaneously acts as flexible card filtering, in that you can choose how many cards you'd like to filter per turn, as well as post combat mana for the spells you do draw.

Neheb, the Eternal - A source of mana to get out your bigger spells on top of fitting nicely in to one of Lovisa's tribes. If you've got enough damage on board, it will also go infinite with cards like Aggravated Assault.

Ogre Battledriver - A worse replica of Lovisa's ability. He is very powerful when the +2/+0 is used with other forms of pump, as it only lasts for the turn you cast the creature but can act as a way to keep up when Lovisa isn't in play.

Paragon of Fierce Defiance - Like Ogre Battledriver, Paragon acts as a secondary Lovisa. He can only give haste to one other creature a turn, but he provides a small lord effect to any red creatures you have on field. He is even better when Lovisa is in play, and has the added bonus of benefiting from her ability.

Warchief Giant - Myriad is a unique ability in this deck, as it lets you scale a creature up in a multiplayer game, something that aggro decks tend to struggle with. Because it fits in to one of Lovisa's tribes, all of the tokens will benefit from any static lord-style effects as well, giving you a decent body to swing at all of your opponents at once.

Zealous Conscripts - A warrior that lets you take control of the best creature on field to swing with or use. She also goes infinite with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, if you happen to have added him to your deck.
Barbarians
Balduvian Warlord - This card tends to create a large headache for most people. You can use this to reassign blockers, letting a creature of your choice (so long as it wasn't blocked by more than one creature) swing damage through. You must reassign the blocker to a legal target. This works well if you have deathtouch or a similar effect that you can redirect a large or otherwise problematic blocker to.

Godo, Bandit Warlord - Godo is the strongest tribal card in this deck. While he has a smaller body (3/3), he provides two incredibly strong abilities for the deck. When Godo enters the battlefield, he can tutor for any equipment card and put it into play. There are six equipment cards in this deck that he can grab, and all of them have strong effects. They become even stronger when paired with his second ability: after you attack for the first time each turn, you may untap Godo and all samurai you control (cards such as Taurean Mauler and Mutavault will be affected by this) and begin an additional combat phase. If you tutored up one of the swords with his ETB trigger, you will get the effect of that sword twice, assuming you dealt combat damage to a player in each combat step.

Kamahl, Pit Fighter - Kamahl can tap to deal three damage to any creature or player and works well with cards that grant him deathtouch. He isn't as strong as his green counterpart, but as a 6/1 he hits hard on his own and even harder with Lovisa and other pump effects. H
Berserkers
Scab-Clan Berserker - Dealing two damage to your opponents for each non-creature spell they cast may not seem like much, but it can add up over time and is a pretty valuable ability on a tribal creature. Giving her renown isn't difficult, as this deck wants to be attacking, as well as making her a decent size (5/5) with Lovisa in play.

Warren Instigator - A cheap double striking creature. While is ability to put goblins into play won't be very useful in this list, he makes an excellent sword carrier because of his double strike ability.
Other Creatures
Etali, Primal Storm - While it doesn't have haste, which can make it somewhat vulnerable, Etali is a great way to get advantage from both you and your opponent's decks.

Inferno Titan - An aggressive creature that can occasionally act as removal with his enter the battlefield and attack trigger. It also has the benefit of self-pump, which can be a mana dump later on.

Purphoros, God of the Forge - Purphoros provides two useful abilities. While you may not get as much use out of dealing two damage to each of your opponents when a creature enters the battlefield under your control as a token or blink deck would, it will help you end the game more quickly with aggro. He also provides a large scale pump effect for your creatures that can be repeated. This is especially useful late in the game when you can use it multiple times in a row.

Solemn Simulacrum - Another ramp card that also acts as a good blocker. He provides you with an extra land when he comes into play, and draws you a card when he dies.
Artifacts
Akroma's Memorial - While Akroma's Memorial is expensive to cast, it provides you with a lot of useful abilities. Protection from two colors (especially black) helps you dodge some forms of spot removal and a combination flying, first strike, and trample will help you get damage through to your opponents.

Blade of Selves - Myriad is a unique ability in this deck, as it lets you scale a creature up in a multiplayer game, something that aggro decks tend to struggle with. If you can equip this to a tribal creature, Lovisa's static effect will also pump any of the tokens created, giving you a decent symmetrical swing which can really make a difference in a multiplayer match. You can also duplicate and ETB triggers you might have, such as Solemn Simulacrum or Purphoros, God of the Forge.

Caged Sun - This card gives you an extra mana for each land that can tap for red mana, but more importantly it will give +1/+1 to all of your red creatures for a small amount of pump.

Conqueror's Flail - The pump effect on the equipment is negligible, but it prevents your opponents from trying to interfere with your turn, an effect which hasn't really be available to red before now.

Gauntlet of Power - This card is similar to Caged Sun, but 1 mana cheaper and with a downside: the ability will affect everyone who uses red in their deck, and it only works on basic lands. Fortunately, red isn't the most popular color in EDH, which eases some of it's downside.

Helm of the Host - While this card can be extremely expensive, especially if you want to use it in the same turn, it can be a part of an infinite combo with Godo, Bandit Warlord. In addition, it's an easy way to duplicate Lovisa's pump effect, which can win games. Even one token is fairly formidable, since it takes you to +4/+4.

Lightning Greaves - This card will give haste to any of your cheap creatures that will come into play before you cast Lovisa, and provide you with a way to protect her in the long run. It is important to note that the creature you are trying to equip can be removed in response but if you manage to get the Greaves equipped, it will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. You should also keep in mind that you won't be able to target the equipped creature with any spells or abilities until the Greaves are destroyed or moved to a different creature that you control.

Mana Crypt - One of, if not the, best mana rocks in the format. The damage it can deal is random, but keep in mind that it may potentially hurt in you a long game. This is an expensive addition to the deck, however it isn't necessary for the list to work, so don't sweat it if you don't have access to one.

Mana Vault - This card is an extremely strong accelerator, giving you 3 mana for a 1 investment. I prefer to view it as a colorless ritual, rather than as a typical mana rock because it is difficult to untap and you'll typically only use it once. One of its strongest uses is to fuel a turn two Lovisa into play.

Ruby Medallion - Ruby Medallion can be a powerful ramp tool as it will benefit any red card that you cast that uses colorless mana in its casting cost. This can be used early on to power out some more threatening creatures that you wouldn't otherwise be able to cast, and later when you have Lovisa on field and want to chain some of your spells for a bigger play. With that in mind, take care not to overextend just because you have the ability to cast everything.
Sol Ring - This card really doesn't have a downside. Many of the creatures in this deck do have mana costs containing rr with little to no colorless mana involved, but it will help you cast high cost spells earlier.

Sword of Feast and Famine - Sword of Feast and Famine is the weakest out of the four Darksteel swords that I run in this deck. Without many instant speed abilities and spells, untapping your lands typically only makes you a target, regardless of how well you'll be able to use that ability. Protection from black and green can be incredibly helpful, as they are both common colors in EDH and having an opponent discard a card provides nice utility but will also put a target on your head. That said, untapping your lands synergizes well with cards like Kargan Dragonlord and Boldwyr Intimidator that let you put the mana to use. It is also a combo with Aggravated Assault, giving you an infinite number of combat steps provided that you can damage an opponent on each swing.

Sword of Fire and Ice - This is the strongest of the Darksteel swords in this particular deck, as it provides you with 2 extra damage, protection from red and blue, and most importantly, card draw. This works well with double strike and multiple attack steps to gain multiple triggers.

Sword of Light and Shadow - While the life you gain for this sword is often irrelevant, it provides us with a way to return creatures from our graveyard to our hand, something that we don't have access to in our color. Protection from white and black is also helpful and allows you to swing through more easily as well as avoid spot removal against opponents that run the colors. You must deal combat damage to your opponent with the equipped creature to gain it's affect.

Sword of the Animist - While this is a slower source of ramp in a deck that runs a lot of low cost creatures, it works well with the strategy of turning dudes sideways, can help you when you start to stall out on land drops later in the game, thins your deck (hopefully allowing for better draws), and it works nicely with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. Keep in mind that because it's an attack trigger, you won't benefit from double strike, but

Sword of War and Peace - This sword is particularly strong in this deck due to it's aggressive nature. Anything that drops your opponent's life totals and helps you kill them quickly is welcome in the deck. Protection from red and white is also helpful and allows you to swing through more easily as well as avoid spot removal against opponents that run the colors. You must deal combat damage to your opponent with the equipped creature to gain it's affect.

Umezawa's Jitte - This equipment has two beneficial uses: after you've accumulated a few charge counters, you can pump one of your creatures, or remove an opponent's creatures. It can even get around indestructible creatures, and works well with double strike.

Vanquisher's Banner - This card acts as both a pump effect, as well as a draw effect, something that is extremely beneficial to have in red.
Enchantments
Aggravated Assault - Aggravated Assault can be used to turn any unspent mana you have later in the game into extra attack steps. This can be used as a a game finisher, or a way to get multiple triggers of swords or other combat based abilities (e.g. Cyclops Gladiator).

Berserkers' Onslaught - Though not as effective as Rage Reflection, as your creatures on have double strike when they attack, Bererkers' Onslaught is one mana cheaper and provides some redundancy for the effect. Giving your creatures double strike will also cause abilities such as sword effects that are based on dealing combat damage (different than an attack trigger) to an opponent to trigger twice.

Gratuitous Violence - Gratuitous Violence doubles the damage all of your creatures deal. This card is an excellent finisher and it doesn't have as much potential to back fire like other similar effects.

Outpost Siege - Outpost Siege is a utility enchantment with two modes. You choose a mode when it enters the battlefield, and cannot change modes until it changes zones and then re-enters the battlefield (blinked, killed, etc.), so choose carefully! The first mode is Khans, which allows you to exile the top card of your library, and you may play it until the end of the turn. This does include lands, but be aware that you will have to pay the mana cost of the card (if applicable), the card must follow all other game rules (e.g. lands played this way count towards your 'One land per turn', sorceries and creatures must be played at sorcery speed, etc.), and it will remain for the duration of the game if you choose not to play it. The second mode is Dragons, which deals one damage to target creature or player whenever a creature you control leaves the battlefield. This does trigger for boardwipes, mass bounce, exile, and tuck offering you some degree of protection against removal. In most cases, Khans is the mode you'll want to use, but don't be afraid to choose Dragons if you feel it will be more beneficial.

Rage Reflection - Another strong enchantment to provide extra damage in combat for your creatures. Giving them double strike will also cause abilities such as sword effects that are based on dealing combat damage (different than an attack trigger) to an opponent to trigger twice.

Raging River - This is a quirky little enchantment that can divide up your opponent's creatures during combat. It's a little wordy, but once you've declared your attacks, the defending opponent(s) must choose which side of the river (left or right) they would like to place each of their creatures before the declare blockers step. Once they have decided where to place their creatures, you'll decide where to place your attackers. You can split them up evenly or choose to place them all on one side. This works particularly well against decks that don't run many creatures, or have creatures that they'd prefer not to block with, as you can focus your attacks on the weakest side of the river.
Instants
Chaos Warp - Chaos warp is hands down the best spot removal there is in mono red. It allows you to deny someone access to their commander by shuffling it away, and it deals with permanent types that red normally cannot handle (such as enchantments). There is the potential to give them something worse when they reveal the top card of their deck as the spell resolves, but in most cases you'll be better off.

Savage Beating - A very strong on-theme instant that can act as a game ending effect. You may choose to give creatures you control double strike until end of turn, or untap them for an additional combat phase, or entwine the spell to gain both effects. It should be noted that this spell only affects creatures you control, and can only be used on your turn during combat, so you can't use it on one opponent when they swing into another.
Sorcery
Gamble - This is an interesting tutor. It does cost only r, so it can be used as early as turn one. However, it can backfire by forcing you to either discard the card that you tutored for, or another good card in your hand. Use it with caution, but who doesn't love a little gambling every now an then?

Insurrection - This card is typically only going to be cast when you're trying to win, but you can also use it to take out the most threatening players if necessary. I try to only cast it when there will be enough power on board after it resolves (so keep sacrifice outlets in mind) to kill at least one or two players but preferably the entire table.

Shattering Spree - This is a cheap form of artifact removal that allows you to pick as many or as few targets as you choose. It can also potentially take out an artifact as early as turn one, if there are targets on your turn.

Vandalblast - Another form of cheap artifact removal. This may either be cast for it's typically cost to remove an opponent's artifact, or it's overload cost to remove each artifact controlled by your opponents. Like Shattering Spree, it can also take out an artifact as early as turn one, if there are targets on your turn.

Wheel of Fortune - This card is similar to Reforge the Soul, without the miracle ability. Don't be afraid to cast it when you have cards in hand, if you think that you can get value out of it.
Planeswalkers
Chandra, Flamecaller - Between her 0 and -X abilities, Chandra manages to hit two points that this deck sometimes lacks, card draw and removal. The ability to potentially reset the field with a board wipe, as well as refill your hand is invaluable. Her +1 isn't bad either. The elementals may not be tribal, but six damage is a nice addition to any swings you might be making.

Karn Liberated - Typically, Karn will act as a 7 removal spell that can target any kind of permanent. If you think you can protect him from the table, you can try to set up his ultimate, however.
Non-Basic Lands
Ancient Tomb - An extremely strong ramp land. You'll get an extra colorless mana out of it, but it will deal 2 damage to you. Typically, you'll want to use this to hit your curve more quickly, making you more aggressive and giving you a better chance to close out a game with combat damage.

Buried Ruin - Use this land to return important artifacts from the grave yard to your hand. Many of our best artifacts, such as the Darksteel swords, are targets for your opponents and will die as quickly as they can help it, this land will help you get around that though it is a one time use.
Cavern of Souls - Cavern of Souls helps you to work around counterspells. What creature type you name largely depends on what the highest concentration of creatures in your deck are. In this deck, it's roughly a 50/50 split between Warrior and Human. If you have several strong non-human warriors in your hand, name warrior. Otherwise, name human as that will protect several of your important creatures as well as your general.

Forgotten Cave/Smoldering Crater - In most cases, you will use this land to cycle for a new card, but it has the benefit of being able to be played as a red source if you need.

Ghitu Encampment - This mana land turns into a 2/1 red warrior, allowing it to benefit from most of the pump effects run in this deck. It will also gain first strike, but will be susceptible to spot removal while it's a creature.

Haunted Fengraf - This card is somewhat similar to Buried Ruin, but targets a random creature in your graveyard. This can be a way to recover a threat if you are unable to draw into one.

Kher Keep - This land creates red Kobold tokens. Often times, you'll only use this to generate a blocker, but the Kobolds can be affected by cards like Ogre Battledriver and Paragon of Fierce Defiance to name a few.

Mutavault - This card will gain the benefits of most pump effects when it is turned into a creature. As it will remain colorless, it will not be affected by Paragon of Fierce Defiance or similar cards, but it can be a useful tool when attacking open opponents. It will be susceptible to spot removal while it's a creature.

Myriad Landscape - This works like a mono colored Krosan Verge, and is a nice little bit of ramp, though it does come into play tapped. It can also be used lawyer to trigger Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle.

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx - This deck is heavily permanent based, and your colored permanents will allow you to ramp with Nykthos.

Sea Gate Wreckage - One of an aggro deck's biggest weaknesses is stalling out if you're caught with an empty hand. This can help relieve that without taking up a typical card slot.

Strip Mine - This land can be used to get rid of other annoying lands like Glacial Chasm, Gaea's Cradle, Maze of Ith and more.

Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle - While it takes time for it to come on line, as you'll need at least six lands (Valakut and five other mountains), once it is up and running it turns your land drop for the turn into damage.

Strategy

Using Lovisa
Lovisa's abilities are very straight forward: all barbarians, warriors, and berserkers have +2/+2 and haste. This benefit's the deck greatly, as there are only 6 non-tribal creatures in my build. While giving your creatures +2/+2 may not seem like much, as EDH games tend to be full of large, splashy creatures, it is a significant boost when added on top of other forms of pump, such as Paragon of Fierce Defiance or Ogre Battledriver.

Of course, her ability will affect all barbarians, warriors, and berserkers, including those controlled by your opponents. It likely won't come up often, as these tribes are all rooted in Red, but it can be bad against popular generals like Kresh the Bloodbraided, Ruric Thar, the Unbowed or Rhys the Redeemed. If a situation like this arises, hold off on casting Lovisa. The deck can hold it's own without her, and you'll want to wait until you're in a position to benefit the most from her ability to reduce the chance of it backfiring.

When you do cast Lovisa in a typical game, you'll want to do so when you have roughly 3 or 4 tribal creatures in play to benefit from her ability. She does grant haste, so you can cast creatures later on and benefit from them the turn they come into play. If you have a larger creature, such as Godo, Bandit Warlord or Boldwyr Intimidator, you can get away with having fewer creatures on field while still benefiting from Lovisa.

Spot removal and board wipes can be a concern, as the deck wants to have access to Lovisa's ability, it's the most consistent pump effect in the deck. If having Lovisa shuffled away is a concern in your play group, I would suggest adding sacrifice outlets to your list. High Market, Miren, the Moaning Well, Goblin Bombardment/Blasting Station, and Phyrexian Altar/Ashnod's Altar are all options that allow you to sacrifice Lovisa is response to any effect that would put her into your library.

Fortunately for us, Lovisa likely won't be the highest priority to use spells like Chaos Warp on. Most decks only run one or two similar effects to tuck another player's general, and your opponents will want to save them for a more threatening general if they can help it. To some extent, this also replies to other forms spot removal and counterspells though your opponents won't have the same reservations about using these kinds of spells as they are more abundant.

If Lovisa is removed, don't panic. She is important to the deck's overall strategy, but the deck can get by without her. Don't be afraid to play her because you think she'll be removed. You should be cautious, but if you never make plays your opponents will always have that removal.
What to do if Lovisa is removed
Having Lovisa removed can be bad for this deck. If she is put into the command zone, it will take 5rr to recast her, and it only gets worse from there. Because we are in mono red, we won't always have the mana available to cast her again at a moment's notice. However, all is not lost. You have a couple of options to replay Lovisa:
  • If Lovisa was the target of spot removal, you can simply recast her once you have the mana for it, as long as the rest of your board state remains untouched.
  • If Lovisa died as the result of a board wipe and you have a lot of mana available, you can play a few creatures and cast Lovisa, letting you swing in and recover more quickly. This scenario is likely during the late game, and is a good option provided that you have 2 or 3 creatures to cast alongside her.
  • Otherwise, you'll want to build up your board state again if it was all removed. Wait until you have a few creatures in play to recast Lovisa. In this case, you do not want to lead with her unless you are certain that your opponents are not running much removal. The longer she sits in play, the more likely she is to be removed.
If Lovisa was tucked, you're not a sitting duck, but it will be much more difficult to win the game. This particular list has several ways to supplement Lovisa's ability, and when she's not in play they can act as a replacement:

Static Effects
These cards all provide a static effect that lasts for as long as the card is in play.

Paragon of Fierce Defiance, Gauntlet of Power, Caged Sun, Akroma's Memorial, Gratuitous Violence, and Rage Reflection.

Temporary Effects
The effects of these cards typically last until the end of the turn they are activated.

Goblin Wardriver, Ogre Battledriver, Purphoros, God of the Forge, and Savage Beating.

Self Pump/Single Target Effects
These cards either only affect one target creature, or only have the ability to pump themselves.

Kargan Dragonlord, Goblin Rabblemaster, Markov Blademaster, Inferno Titan, Sword of Fire and Ice, Sword of Feast and Famine, Sword of Light and Shadow, and Sword of War and Peace.

Using these kinds of cards will keep you afloat and potentially push you to victory. Your opponents won't expect you to survive through Lovisa's removal. Keep calm, and work with what you have.
Piloting the Deck
Opening Hand
In other formats, games can be won or lost in your opening hand. Fortunately, multiplayer EDH is much more forgiving than other formats, allowing you to work through bad hands as you typically won't be viewed as a threat by the rest of the table, giving you a chance to catch up.

This deck wants to be aggressive and to start swinging as quickly as possible, so you want your opening hand to give you that option. An ideal hand could contain:
  • 3-4 Lands: You want to start the game with enough lands in your opening hand that you'll be able to make your first few lands drops without relying too much on your draw step. You also don't want too many lands or you likely won't have any threats to play. 3-4 lands is ideal, 5 is iffy but keepable, and either 1-2 or 6-7 will need to be mulliganed away. Color is a consideration as well, as you want at least two, if not more, lands that tap for r, as most of the colored cards in the deck have rr in their casting cost. Having utility lands aren't a bad thing, but getting red mana out there is extremely important early on, to cast cards like Warren Instigator and Kargan Dragonlord.
  • 2-3 Low Cost Creatuers: Ideally, you want to curve up into Lovisa by playing low cost tribal creatures. There aren't any one CMC (converted mana cost) creatures in the deck, but having something like Kargan Dragonlord, Goblin Rabblemaster, and Paragon of Fierce Defiance in your opening hand with 4 lands (at least two red sources) will set you up for the turn that Lovisa comes into play as well as giving you some early aggression. Larger creatures, such as Boldwyr Intimidator are okay to keep in your opening hand if you don't have any other creatures to work with, but are best to be pitched away if you have something you can play early.
  • Removal: You typically won't want to keep more than one removal spell in your opening hand, as this deck wants to be active and play threats rather than reactive and answer other player's threats, but they can be useful to stop early plays that would otherwise put you in a bad position or put an opponent too far ahead.
  • Ramp: Starting the game with 1-2 sources of ramp in hand can help you power out Lovisa earlier in the game, however you don't want to end up with too many or you may stall out while putting a target on your head because you ramped too hard.
  • Other Cheap Threats: This refers to swords, and cards such as Paragon of Fierce Defiance or Raging River. Creatures are still a priority because this is an aggro deck and the longer it takes you to kill everyone, the worse your changes of winning become, but playing one of these type of cards in addition to creatures can help you kill your opponents more quickly. You'll typically want to pitch any cards like this that cost more than three.
Early Game

Your goal early in the game is to set up an aggressive board state for the mid game, where you'll usually cast Lovisa and start trying to take people out. Playing cheap creatures is important in the early turns of the game, because you'll most likely tap out to cast Lovisa and won't be able to take advantage of her haste granting ability immediately, so you'll want something to receive her +2/+2 benefit that can attack. Don't play every creature you have, as you don't want to be taken out of the game later on by a board wipe. Cheap ramp cards are also useful to cast early on, and will help you play some of your larger threats earlier than you would otherwise be able to cast them.

Don't be afraid to attack early, either. Unless one of your opponents has an incredibly aggressive start (ramping extremely hard early on, or tutoring multiple times, for example) you'll need to determine who is the biggest threat to your game plan, and focus them down first. This will most likely be a control player, who can pack removal and counters to slow you down, or a combo player who will try to outrace you. You'll want to focus them for as long as possible, unless another opponent becomes more threatening. If someone does get an aggressive start, you'll want to focus on them to prevent them from getting too far ahead.
Mid Game

This stage in the game is where you'll start to shine. You'll be able to cast Lovisa at this point in the game, if you haven't already, making your combat step much more explosive. You'll also want to begin playing some of your larger creatures, such as Boldwyr Intimidator, swords, or Ogre Battledriver. It's a good idea to start setting up some of your utility cards like Outpost Siege, and something to boost your combat like Paragon of Fierce Defiance.

Keep in mind that as an aggro deck, you'll want to keep attacking the person you've chosen to focus. While it may be necessary to switch targets if a larger threat does arise, you will want to kill your target as quickly as possible but don't waste a combat step if you can't swing through early. Get damage in where you can. The reason this is necessary is that the more players there are at the table at any given time, the more likely you are to be disrupted and the harder it becomes to win the game. While taking one person out may seem mean, the only consistent answer to problems that this deck has is "Hulk Smash!"

This is also the stage of the game where your opponents are more likely to have access to their removal. It is important that you do not overextend during this stage of the game. While having Lovisa in play may tempt you to play your entire hand in order to have more explosive attacks, there is a high chance that someone will play a board wipe. If you haven't left a few creatures in your hand, this may take you out of the game.
Late Game

By this stage of the game, you'll want to focus on trying to win, as well as trying to prevent your opponents from winning.

To win, you'll want to try to pull off explosive attacks with cards like Rage Reflection, Insurrection, or Gratuitous Violence. The faster you can kill off your opponents, the less time they'll have to set up their own win conditions. We do have some answers in the deck (e.g. Chaos Warp), but our standard answer to a threat is to kill it's owner.

Hopefully, either by your own efforts or the combined effort of the table, players will be low on health, which will make your job easier. Work your way through each opponent, unless you can build up enough of a board presence to take out multiple people in one shot. You'll want to pay attention to who is the closest to winning and take care of them first.

You still don't want to overextend, unless you are positive that you won't be answered, or you're dead anyways if you don't go for it. You may have to recast Lovisa during this stage of the game, but try to do so when your opponents are least likely to answer her (e.g. they are tapped out, not many cards in hand, etc.).
Strengths and Weaknesses

As an aggressive mono red deck, your biggest strength will be the ability to attack and deal a large amount of damage in a single turn, but that means that you're not going to be able to react to your opponents very well. This deck runs a limited number of answers, and because of this you will not be seen as a threat most of the time.

While our lack of answers is a weakness, use it to your advantage. Your opponents will not expect much out of your deck, and are more likely to save their answers for another player who could interfere with them. That lets you fly under the radar, as people often underestimate how powerful +2/+2 really can be. You likely won't be able to deal with the threats that other people play. Pay attention, and switch your attacking focus when someone starts setting up a win. It may not be a traditional answer, but they can't win if they're no longer in the game.

As I've stated a few times throughout the Strategy section, board wipes will be an issue for this deck. Spot removal can also hurt, if used on Lovisa or another key card but board wipes can cripple the deck if they are played at the right moment. The solution to this is to hold back. Instead of constantly dumping your hand onto the board, keep a creature or two in hand to use just in case someone does play a Damnation or similar effect. Cards like Soul of New Phyrexia or Eldrazi Monument, for example, can help with this, but you need to have the mana open for it.

Finally, this deck is meant for more casual play, so try not to sweat it too much and make sure that your first goal is to have fun.

Change Log

Spoiler
Show
1/2/2014
Out
Bloodmark Mentor
Ashling the Pilgrim
Barbarian Riftcutter
Stormblood Berserker

In
Chaos Warp
Thran Dynamo
2x Mountain

I've raised my land count from 36 to 38, as well as added in some additional ramp and made room for Chaos Warp, which was unintentionally excluded from the deck. The creatures that I'm removing just aren't cutting it in the deck, Stormblood Berserker in particular. Bloodthirst is difficult to trigger early, when he's ideal to cast and it doesn't work well with Lovisa's haste giving ability. The Riftcutter has a nice ability but is expensive to cast, and kills himself as a cost of his ability.

2/2/2014
Out
Manabarbs
Keldon Champion

In
Archetype of Aggression
Kragma Butcher

Granting trample to each creature I control is pretty big for this deck. My creatures tend to get pretty big once Lovisa hits the field, but there wasn't anything to stop people from just chump blocking them. It also allows me to easily block large trampling creatures that my opponents control by taking trample away from them. Manabarbs is being pulled out of the deck as it's hurt me more often than others, and Keldon Champion isn't worth paying for twice.

2/21/2014
Out
Stingscourger
Zo-Zu the Punisher
Tahngarth, Talruum Hero

In
Sensei's Divining Top
Mind's Eye
Staff of Nin

I'm adding some additional card draw to prevent the deck from stalling out as badly later in the game. Zo-Zu is being removed, as I've had a few games where three of them have all hit the field around the same time because he is in a punisher deck, as well as being another player's commander. It ends the game too quickly, usually before I can set up a position to win. Tahngarth does have a fun ability but is outclassed by Cyclops Gladiator. I've decided that Card draw is more important than the utility provided by either him or Stingscourger.

3/3/2014
Out
Reiterate
Grab the Reins

In
Taurean Mauler
Ruby Medallion

After adding Jet Medallion to my Hythonia the Cruel deck, I've really started to love the effect and decided to try it out in this deck. So far it's been a fantastic source of "ramp". Taurean Mauler has been a really strong creature that can has the benefit of "belonging" to each of the tribes in the deck, letting it receive buffs from cards like Lovisa and Balthor the Stout. Reiterate tends to be inconsistent in my meta, and is being pulled out of the deck because of it. Often times there won't be a spell worth copying or

4/18/2014
Out
Minotaur Skullcleaver

In
Hall of Triumph

Hall of Triumph is a nice little anthem effect for any red creatures that I have in play, and is an improvement over the vanilla body that Minotaur Skullcleaver provides.

6/6/2014
Out
1x Mountain

In
Raging River

I'm cutting a basic land in favor of Raging River. I've noticed that I'm getting mana flooded more often than not, and this is a great opportunity to include Raging River, which has been both an entertaining and useful addition.

6/15/2014
Out
Wrecking Ogre

In
Enraged Revolutionary

The one time effect that Wrecking Ogre has been somewhat lackluster since I first included it in the deck. I'm adding the Revolutionary in it's place as it has a permanent self pump effect.

7/12/2014
Out
Taurean Mauler
Kragma Butcher
Staff of Nin
War's Toll
Lu Bu, Master-at-Arms
Fissure Vent
Into the Core

In
Vandalblast
Shattering Spree
Aggravated Assault
Rage Reflection
Borderland Marauder
Paragon of Fierce Defiance
Soul of New Phyrexia

I've decided to give this deck a bit of an overhaul. Up until this point,I've largely tried to stick to the theme of the Balduvian Tribes, but I want to make this deck stronger and am sacrificing a lot of the flavor of the deck to do so. That said, I've been extremely happy with the changes I've made so far, and it's been easier to hold my own while playing the deck. There will likely be multiple updates like this in the near future as I revamp the deck.

Another reason for this overhaul is that I want to eventually turn this into a primer, and I feel that making the function is more helpful than keeping the strict theme of the deck.

7/18/2014
Out
Barbarian Ring
Academy Raider
Heartless Hidetsugu
Startstorm
Enraged Revolutionary
Pillage
Champion's Helm
Darksteel Plate

In
1x Mountain
Solemn Simulacrum
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Wheel of Fortune
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Feast and Famine
Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of War and Peace

I'm adding in more utility in place of cards that were mostly there for flavor and could easily be upgraded. I've run the swords once before, but now that the deck is starting to be stronger on it's own, I think that they'll be more useful.

7/22/2014
Out
Extraplanar Lens
Hamletback Goliath
Aftershock
Balduvian Horde
Reverberate
Hall of Triumph

In
Hellrider
Karn Liberated
Fire Diamond
Faithless Looting
Gamble
Akroma's Memorial

I've made more progress on bringing the deck up to where I want it to be. This is another round of removing cards that were either there because they fit the theme of the deck, or cards that have been lackluster in performance. In their place I've added in more utility to the deck, as well as Hellrider and Akroma's Memorial for the boost to combat they both provide.

7/28/2014
Out
Blood Moon
Price of Glory

In
Mad Prophet
Act on Impulse

I'm pulling some of the meta specific cards that I ran in the past that have lost their effectiveness to add in another filtering effect that isn't combat damage reliant like Academy Raider was, as well as an additional source of card advantage.

8/4/2014
Out
2x Mountain

In
Ghitu Encampment
Haunted Fengraf

I'm replacing some of my basic lands with some additional utility. I'm running enough basics at this point that I'm comfortable thinning them out a bit in favor of other useful lands. Ghitu Encampment benefits from most of the pump effects in the deck, and has the added benefit of being a tribal creature. Haunted Fengraf, despite the effect being random, provides us with a form of recursion to regain a threat.

8/26/2014
Out
3x Mountain

In
Buried Ruin
Forgotten Cave
Kher Keep

I've reduced the number of basics that I'm running enough that I likely won't be removing any more. I'm adding in a way to recur any important artifacts, such as the swords, as well as a cycle land for the draw, and Kher Keep which has some cute tricks with cards like Shared Animosity and Paragon of Fierce Defiance.

8/28/2014
Out
Stranglehold
Warstorm Surge

In
Prophetic Flamespeaker
Reforge the Soul

I haven't decided between running Prophetic Flamespeaker or Mad Prophet. For now, I'll run both and cut whichever one proves to be the least useful once Khans is spoiled. This update marks the removal of the last of my meta specific cards, as Stranglehold isn't as effective as it once was. Warstorm Surge is a high cost spell that comes down too late to really do much. I'm adding in Reforge the Soul as a secondary effect to Wheel of Fortune.

9/15/2014
Out
Comet Storm
Prophetic Flamespeaker

In
Dragon Throne of Tarkir
Leyline of Punishment

I'm swapping in Prophetic Flamespeaker for the new Dragon Throne, as Flamespeaker hasn't been consistent enough for me to keep it over Mad Prophet. Dragon Throne provides the deck with a scaling pump effect, as well as trample though it is expensive to cast, equip, and use.

I wouldn't normally include Leyline of Punishment, however there has been an overabundance of life gain and especially damage prevention effects in my playgroup that this deck has problems dealing with.

9/18/2014
Out
Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
Temple of the False God

In
Ancient Tomb
Strip Mine

Shinka is a cute trick on occasion, but Strip Mine provides much better utility by dealing with problem lands. This deck wants to be faster, and I think that Ancient Tomb is a much more useful upgrade to Temple of the False God.

10/21/2014
Out
Balduvian Barbarians
Mind Stone

In
Goblin Rabblemaster
Mana Vault

I've finally decided to take my pet card, Balduvian Barbarians, out of the deck. I'm replacing it with Goblin Rabblemaster, who has preformed promisingly so far. With only one other goblin in the deck, forcing other goblins you control to attack has minimal draw back, and it provides the deck with both tokens and a self pump effect. I'm adding Mana Vault to the deck over Mind Stone, as it provides a nice ritual effect that can potentially let us play Lovisa as early as turn two.

11/6/14
Out
1x Mountain
Borderlands Marauder

In
Myriad Landscape
Umezawa's Jitte

I finally picked up a Jitte for this deck, and I've liked it so far. Both abilities have been incredibly useful, and another source of potential spot removal is nice. The landscape provides a nice little bit of ramp, and only takes up a land slot.

12/1/2014
Out
Dragon Throne of Tarkir
Leyline of Punishment
Mad Prophet

In
Avatar of Slaughter
Commander's Sphere
Loreseeker's Stone

I'm pulling some of the clunky cards out of my deck for alternatives that have worked much more smoothly.

While Leyline does stop fog decks (which are prevalent in my group, or does feel like a wasted card slot more often than not. Alternatively, Commander's Sphere has been very strong in my testing, providing b both ramp and on demand draw, both of which this deck needs.

I'm swapping Mad Prophet for the Loreseeker's Stone. Mad Prophet tends to die quite easily in my group, and the discard can really hurt.

Finally, I'm adding in Avatar of Slaughter in place of Dragon Throne of Tarkir. Both can be used as win conditions, but the Avatar doesn't require you to continuously spend resources on it. It is somewhat of a tentative addition, as I need top be able to close out the game quickly, however.

2/11/2015
Out
Loreseeker's Stone
Soul of New Phyrexia
Avatar of Slaughter

In
Outpost Siege
Flamerush Rider
Volcanic Offering

I like Avatar of Slaughter as a win condition, but there are just too many variables that can cause it to backfire on you (removal, being unable to win that turn, etc.), and Flamerush Rider fits the theme of the deck, while being a warrior with a really strong ability.

Despite my initial dislike of the card, Volcanic Offering provides a lot of utility, largely due to the stipulation that it can't target your cards. I'm swapping it in for Soul of New Phyrexia, which while very useful, is too slow in most cases.

Outpost Siege is much more efficient than Loreseeker's Stone. You run the possibility of being unable to cast the exiled card, but it isn't expensive and it has a secondary mode which can occasionally be useful.

3/10/2015
Out
Renegade Warlord

In
Inferno Titan

I've noticed that Renegade Warlord is no longer considered a warrior, and have switched him out with Inferno Titan for the time being.

4/23/15
Out
Sensei's Divining Top
Act on Impulse

In
Commune with Lava
Berserkers' Onslaught

I haven't gotten much use out of SDT, unfortunately, so I'm going to cut it. I'll also be upgrading Act on Impulse to Commune with Lava, the latter being much more flexible in my opinion.

Berserkers' Onslaught has been fantastic for me as well, having a second mass double strike effect has won me a few games already.

6/5/2015
Out
Thran Dynamo
Mind's Eye

In
Gilded Lotus
Warren Instigator

I'm swapping Thran Dynamo for Gilded Lotus, as I feel the colored mana is worth the extra mana it takes to cast it.

A while back, ISB recommend that I run Warren Instigator as a cheap sword carrier. Having obtained a copy, I'm swapping it in for Mind's Eye, which I don't use to it's full potential in this deck as is.

8/19/2015
Out
Hellrider
Vengeful Firebrand

In
Scab-Clan Berserker
Enthralling Victor

Scab-Clan Berserker​ is a better fit for this list than Hellrider is (both in damage, because I don't often attack with a large army, but rather only a couple of creatures and in theme), and I've never been extremely impressed with Vengeful Firebrand despite it's damage potential. Enthralling Victor has a useful ability which has a large range of targets in my group.

9/10/2015
Out
2x Mountain
Fire Diamond

In
Smoldering Crater
Mana Crypt
Sword of the Animist

I finally found a copy of Smoldering Crater while sorting through our commons, so that's been added to the deck, as well as my sole copy of Mana Crypt (I don't have another deck that needs it, so this deck gets it!).

I've really liked Sword of the Animist so far, even though it's not the fastest form of ramp. But it really helps in longer games, which are common in my playgroup, and has a really nice synergy with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle.

1/25/2016

Out
Volcanic Offering

In
Warchief Giant

I know that removing the offering is probably not going to be a popular choice, but I haven't been particularly happy with the card even when it was added. Warchief Giant, however, has been much more useful than I had imagined. There aren't many cards that allow aggro decks to scale up in to larger games, but he does, and because lord effects are static, all of the copies will benefit from Lovisa or any other lord as well.

3/3/2016
Out
1x Mountain
Burnished Hart
Commander's Sphere
Falkenrath Marauders

In
Sea Gate Wreckage
Blade of Selves
Kazuul's Toll Collector
Chandra, Flamecaller

I'm cutting Falkenrath Marauders, as it's a fairly vanilla beater for the most part, in addition to both the Hart and Sphere. I've really cut down on my curve for this deck since I originally added them, and in the case of the Hart, it tends to be extremely slow anyways.

Myriad has been an awesome mechanic for dealing with larger games and it works well with lord effects, which is a nice benefit. Kazuul's Toll Collector was something I almost overlooked, but due to the sheer amount of equipment I run, it's been an all star. I love Chandra, and despite her casting cost, all of her abilities provide something relevant to this deck. Lastly, while I've been on the fence about Sea Gate Wreckage, but it's a fairly easy card to slip in, and it's nice to potentially have it available to get me out of a tight spot if something like Sire of Insanity happens.

5/16/2018
Out
Jeska, Warrior Adept
Balthor the Stout (RIP)
Ash Zealot
Shared Animosity
Reforge the Soul
Faithless Looting

In
Oketra's Monument
Neheb, the Eternal
Etali, Primal Storm
Helm of the Host
Goblin Chainwhirler
Conqueror's Flail

Essentially, I'm cutting out some of the more vanilla effects for either high impact cards (like Etali), or a bit more versatility (like Chainwhirler or the Flail.

3/27/2019
Out
Commune with Lava
Oketra's Monumement

In
Vanquisher's Banner
Combat Celebrant

I ended up liking Banner as a better 'on cast' effect over Oketra's Monument, just due to how much straight card draw is needed in this deck, as good as monument can be. Adding a lord effect on top of that makes the card too good to pass up. As for Commune with Lava, it is being cut because it is a high risk card. You risk losing high value cards to exile based on your mana situation as well as potentially over committing to the board to avoid exiling cards. Cutting it for Combat Celebrant, which I've been looking to include for a long while, seemed like a no-brainer.

8/8/19
Out
Gilded Lotus

In
Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion

The mana from Lotus isn't as beneficial in this deck just due to how much the rock costs up front, and the filtering by Neheb on a tribal body is too good to pass up.
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Squareman
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Post by Squareman » 1 year ago

First I wanted to say, that this is one of the cooler tribal decks I have seen so far.

Second, is there a reason why you aren't running a Blood Moon in this deck?
Are you against this or doesn't it fit your theme of play in with this deck.

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NoNeedToBragoBoutIt
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Post by NoNeedToBragoBoutIt » 1 year ago

A cool tribal deck indeed!
Why is it that you aren't running Shared Animosity yet? All but 9/29 Creatures aside from your commander are Warriors so the buff can be really significant! I run it in my Goblin (Zada, Hedron Grinder) and Elemental (Omnath, Locus of Rage) lists and it doesn't take much effort to swing hard at an opponent.
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Airi
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Post by Airi » 1 year ago

Sorry for the slow replies! I just got back from vacation. :)
Squareman wrote:
1 year ago
First I wanted to say, that this is one of the cooler tribal decks I have seen so far.

Second, is there a reason why you aren't running a Blood Moon in this deck?
Are you against this or doesn't it fit your theme of play in with this deck.
Originally, I ran a lot of the hate effects, but my group goes through so many phases of "Oh, we're super heavy on multi-colored!" or "MONO COLORED FOR LYFE YO" that I ended up largely cutting cards like Blood Moon that weren't really doing much half of the time. It's a super strong effect, and I do actively encourage people to run it, but even when it is effective in my playgroup, it's often crippling the wrong decks (hamstringing the more casual players while the people I want to punish are left comparatively unhurt).
NoNeedToBragoBoutIt wrote:
1 year ago
A cool tribal deck indeed!
Why is it that you aren't running Shared Animosity yet? All but 9/29 Creatures aside from your commander are Warriors so the buff can be really significant! I run it in my Goblin (Zada, Hedron Grinder) and Elemental (Omnath, Locus of Rage) lists and it doesn't take much effort to swing hard at an opponent.
I believe it's in my changelog somewhere, but I ran Shared Animosity for a long time. The point it got cut was mostly around the time I started trying to open up some of my deck to other types of effects, rather than just "pump up dudes and swing". Strong, certainly, but not really something that solves some of the issues that come from mono red aggro. ^.^
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Squareman
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Post by Squareman » 1 year ago

Airi wrote:
1 year ago
Originally, I ran a lot of the hate effects, but my group goes through so many phases of "Oh, we're super heavy on multi-colored!" or "MONO COLORED FOR LYFE YO" that I ended up largely cutting cards like Blood Moon that weren't really doing much half of the time. It's a super strong effect, and I do actively encourage people to run it, but even when it is effective in my playgroup, it's often crippling the wrong decks (hamstringing the more casual players while the people I want to punish are left comparatively unhurt).
What cards would you cut from this deck if you wanted to play some hate effects like Blood Moon, Ruination Stranglehold or other good suggestions? My playgroup is heavy on combo-ing, fetching etc.
Would love to try this deck, but I don't think it can keep up with all the fetching etc.

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Post by Airi » 1 year ago

Squareman wrote:
1 year ago
Airi wrote:
1 year ago
Originally, I ran a lot of the hate effects, but my group goes through so many phases of "Oh, we're super heavy on multi-colored!" or "MONO COLORED FOR LYFE YO" that I ended up largely cutting cards like Blood Moon that weren't really doing much half of the time. It's a super strong effect, and I do actively encourage people to run it, but even when it is effective in my playgroup, it's often crippling the wrong decks (hamstringing the more casual players while the people I want to punish are left comparatively unhurt).
What cards would you cut from this deck if you wanted to play some hate effects like Blood Moon, Ruination Stranglehold or other good suggestions? My playgroup is heavy on combo-ing, fetching etc.
Would love to try this deck, but I don't think it can keep up with all the fetching etc.
I would probably cut back on some of the bigger, splashy cards that don't directly contribute such as Akroma's Memorial or Etali, Primal Storm. As well as some of the support cards that aren't super necessary like Gilded Lotus/Gauntlet of Power. Opening up a lot of those higher cost spots, and even some of the more vanilla tribal creatures can definitely open up a lot of room!

As an aside, because I uploaded an older version of this deck by mistake when I ported it over, in my own list, Gilded Lotus has been replaced by Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion. The mana from Lotus isn't as beneficial in this deck just due to how much the rock costs up front, and the filtering by Neheb on a tribal body is too good to pass up.
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RGW Marath [PR] | WUBRG Kenrith | WUBRG Najeela | UB Yuriko | GR Neyith
WBG Tayam | BGU Otrimi the Ever-Cute | UW Yorion | RW Zirda | GW Kaheera

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