Heliod's Hall of Horrors

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 11 months ago

This list is one I have had together for a while now. I had updated it very poorly on salvation but its a list I really enjoy playing. There are a number of things that are new since I put it up on salvation. I found that I had a hard time defending myself from all the attackers all the time especially flyers so I added a bunch of very defensive flyers to the list to compensate for that. Having added more defensive flyers and getting vigilance from Heliod I added equipment back into the list as I really like the value of Dowsing Dagger and Sword of the Animist here.

I am recently testing some changes to the landbase. I added fetchlands and crucible to the list as well as Lotus Field. These are mostly untested right now but Lotus Field can lower my land count which can keep Weathered Wayfarer going and also Thespian's Stage can copy Lotus Field and Dowsing Dagger (flipped) which seems kind of insane. Even using Sun Titan to hit fetchlands seems reasonable so that is currently some of my testing.

The idea behind this list is mostly just keep on trucking as the longer it stays alive the better it usually does. Flying lifelinkers are a bit new to the list as well but so far they have been working out for me. As for calling it draw-go, well in a lot of cases it can respond by either dumping mana into tokens or responding. Its not quite as traditional of a draw go and it doesn't have counter magic but it still plays fairly responsively.

Heliod, God of the Sun

COMMANDER (1)


1 Heliod, God of the Sun
Approximate Total Cost:

Last edited by ISBPathfinder 5 months ago, edited 6 times in total.
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Post by xeroxedfool » 11 months ago

Very nice build, looks fairly optimized. My favorite card is Battletide Alchemist.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 10 months ago

Well, I think we are at the point that the C19 product won't have any more new white cards. Maybe another artifact but I thought I would give my thoughts here as I actually feel like there are a few decent options:
  • Commander's Insignia - I like the idea they were going for here but my issue is more that I feel it doesn't pack enough punch. Anthems are weak in commander and this should have been a base +1/+1 and then added in the number of times commander has been cast and THEN I think its still probably a little weak. Its not like you see people running Dictate of Heliod or Collective Blessing very often. I think this needed to be a bit stronger or kick in another static ability like first strike / vigilance just as a kicker.
  • Sevinne's Reclamation - So, I think this card is sort of fantastic but I think its great IF you are running fetchlands. The option for this to be ramp seems great but without running fetches it seems a lot more questionable to me. I am eager to get my hands on this for testing.
  • Song of the Worldsoul - White just cant chain spells in a way to make this work generally speaking. The power of populate tends to be when populating larger tokens and this actually looks to me more like a card that you would want to be in UW or making good tokens before I would really entertain it as a thought. Casting cheap cantrip spells like Brainstorm and getting free good sized tokens would be the ideal situation for this.
  • Bloodthirsty Blade - I think this is an amusing effect. I don't know if it is good or where it would be but I kind of think its cool but probably not ideal.
  • Empowered Autogenerator - This card really really wants untap effects. I think it "could" work in a deck like this but where it would really shine is a deck with untap effects where you crank it up quickly to make a bunch of mana. I don't know a commander offhand but there are a lot of artifact effects to untap artifacts and potentially using it with Seedborn Muse are the places I would want to make the most of it. Without untap effects, I think this effect is too slow to spin up.
  • Idol of Oblivion - This looks fantastic for Heliod. The option to draw cards when I make a token is great and in an emergency that can be a 10/10 blocker. This is definitely a card I want to test here.
  • Pendant of Prosperity - I am always a bit leery of giving opponents value like this but it probably could be in our favor given someone else pays for the effect and we get a free ride. The issue I have is if that player doesn't use this effect. I can't really control my opponents and in a lot of cases my opponents view me as a major threat in games. Due to that, I will probably pass but its an interesting thought.
  • Scaretiller - I would love this card..... except that our commander gives vigilance lol. Recovering fetchlands from graveyard to play sounds great but sadly it won't be a thing.
  • Sanctum of Eternity - For all of the reasons that Homeward Path does not work, this card does. I totally plan to pack a copy here as a means to get my commander out of prison or theft effects.
DECK CHANGES:
  • Settle the WreckageIdol of Oblivion - I like Settle but I have buffed my wraths recently and I think settle has a lot of concerns when being cast on others. My ability to use it on my own tokens has been a little bit lesser so of late and I really could use some more draw.
  • Windbrisk HeightsBlast Zone - I put blast zone in my actual list already I am fairly certain. I am not sure what I cut in my list for it but I know I want it in here. I will have to do a land audit at some point to correct potentially.
  • 1 PlainsSanctum of Eternity - I want this new land. It seems like a great way to keep my commander being mine.
Sevinne's Reclamation is the one card that right now I want in this list but I don't know if I can afford to do it. I don't have a lot of things I am proactively putting in my graveyard and with being mono white my ability to run fetchlands is a bit mitigated. This seems like a GREAT card moving forward but it seems a little better in multicolored white decks than in mono white offhand. I will give it some more thought and see if I can fit it in but I don't know if I can.

With all of the new creatures in the list I am also considering adding Sword of Fire and Ice and or Mask of Memory to the list. I will probably give it some more thought right now but its something I have been considering of late. I have added so many defensive creatures that it would be nice to have a little more payoff out of them and drawing cards is something I definitely need to do with this list.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 10 months ago

darrenhabib wrote:
10 months ago
How has the Lotus Field been going? I've had this thing where white has quite a few land ramp cards only when behind opponents, and this seems like a perfect solution to turning them back on again.
Thats the idea. I haven't actually found it yet but there can be some downsides to it too which tends to be that I run mana doubler effects in here. Its a bit better in white decks that don't run Caged Sun / Gauntlet of Power but I still want to test it here. Being mono white though it takes a lot of testing to really see your whole deck though.
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 10 months ago

As is the par of the course with you, a very elegant design, and of course you'd include Divine Visitation :P I'm liking the little splash of evasives and value equips, and your argument for Lotus Field is quite sound as well. Mono white has to grasp onto whatever it can. I Sun Titaned fetches for a prolonged period of time in my Daxos, and it was perfectly fine. It'll work here no problem.

That said, some of the evasives feel a little on the vanilla side. Commander Eesha, Dawn Elemental and Seraph of the Sword just kind of... exist. Is the damage shielding meant to have them double up as potential impenetrable walls on defence? If not, you could consider alternate evasives that do more stuff, like Aven Mindcensor or Soltari Visionary.

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Post by Vertierer » 10 months ago

What about Martyr's Cause as another form of protection?
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 9 months ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
10 months ago
As is the par of the course with you, a very elegant design, and of course you'd include Divine Visitation :P I'm liking the little splash of evasives and value equips, and your argument for Lotus Field is quite sound as well. Mono white has to grasp onto whatever it can. I Sun Titaned fetches for a prolonged period of time in my Daxos, and it was perfectly fine. It'll work here no problem.

That said, some of the evasives feel a little on the vanilla side. Commander Eesha, Dawn Elemental and Seraph of the Sword just kind of... exist. Is the damage shielding meant to have them double up as potential impenetrable walls on defence? If not, you could consider alternate evasives that do more stuff, like Aven Mindcensor or Soltari Visionary.
Originally I went a direction of trying to generate more mana and use said mana to defend myself with tokens as needed. I found out quickly though that I lacked flying defenses and there was one game in particular where it went around the table and literally everyone attacked me as I couldn't defend myself well from that. I have a bit of a reputation that makes people want to punch my face regardless of how things are going and it forced me to have to build a lot more defenses than I might have otherwise needed.

I tend to consider these vanilla flyers to be sort of a few copies of Fog Bank. That said, they can attack and carry equipment and Heliod does make them vigilant allowing me to harass opposing walkers and get in for some chip damage with some potential equipment carriers. So far, this deck does fine it just needs to focus on continuing to live and draw more cards and I found that I get away with that by forting up to some degree. Lots of the lifegain effects have come in very responsively after things like Purphoros and such have chipped me down to death.

I found in a lot of cases that this deck performs well for me if I can just stall games out long and so stopping opponents from attacking me has been very effective so far. That all said, I still might play with these cards as they are all very new as of right now but there is also the option for some other similar costing effects like Baneslayer Angel. Baneslayer can be really good as well but has some downside if someone has really big threats. Those brick wall flyers can still sort of mitigate some trample damage where as Baneslayer has to just get out of the way assuming they aren't demons or dragons.

I think I have probably played this deck something like 15-20 games at least at this point and I can't recall ever having drawn Divine Visitation. Somehow it just NEVER happens for me lol.
Vertierer wrote:
10 months ago
What about Martyr's Cause as another form of protection?
Its a card I am very fond of. My biggest concern is that at 4 mana per token it really is expensive to use it very often. I do really like that effect but I found that I like it more with 2-3 mana tokens. I just haven't been able to maintain the level of token production in this deck to make me happy with Martyr's Cause I guess.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 9 months ago

This list has been doing well of late. I noticed I might need a touch more draw. I did slide in a copy of Sword of Fire and Ice and Steelshaper's Gift but I can't remember what for offhand. I will try to update it soon with how I made those changes but I think I might have cut Ghostly Prison. I am a bit foggy on the details but Azor's Gateway might have also gotten cut in favor of making my equipment plan stronger.

I will see if I can compare my paper and digital lists soon to work it over in the OP.

I had a sweet game the other day where I was juggling Myriad Landscape with Sun Titan repeatedly (rezing it three times) before Sun Titan got blasted lol. I really am enjoying this deck quite a bit of late.
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 9 months ago

Harmonious Archon

Because you already having Divine Visitation wasn't enough. Dammit. Where's my nice things for my decks? :P

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 9 months ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
9 months ago
Harmonious Archon

Because you already having Divine Visitation wasn't enough. Dammit. Where's my nice things for my decks? :P
It seems reasonable. I like that Harmonious Archon beats everything else on stats and giving it vigilance sounds nice. I don't know that I would call it a slam dunk but it seems reasonable and I suppose I would be willing to test it here. Its effect does buff Heliod tokens and makes them trade across which is more than reasonable given that a 2/1 generally trades at best case in combat anyways.

If I were to nitpick lightly though, I wish the tokens had flying, or that it cost like one less mana. The reason for my nitpick is mostly that this effect doesn't have that good of immediate impact and if someone is siting on spot removal. Its not cheap to cast and its return is terrible if it doesn't last. You could say the same about several other cards in my list as well but the Archon also might draw more attention than Lyra Dawnbringer when it comes to considerations for removal.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 9 months ago

Stonecoil Serpent - Its not normally the kind of card I would really consider in commander but the idea of giving it vigilance makes it kind of tanky for commander. If it gets up to or over titan (6/6) sized it becomes a bit spooky in combat. The fact that it beats a LOT of commanders in combat and could be a decent attacker and or defender here really does have me kind of interested in it.

The downside being it is obviously a combat matters kind of creature. The advantage of some of the creatures I run like Dawn Elemental is that it is always relivant on defense where as the serpent needs superior size to do so. It is however nice to have something to swat down big threats though I suppose.

Its a cool card though and I might see if I can make some room for it. Its nice that it could be an early equipment carrier in that its very scaling in how you can use it.
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Post by TheAmericanSpirit » 6 months ago

Pardon me if I missed any provided reasoning for the exclusion, but why not run skullclamp? Seems like it would be insane even if you're buffing the tokens with anthems and whatnot.

Edit: I'll add an additional "Pardon Me" just in case you've been beaten to death with this question over on MTGS.

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 6 months ago

TheAmericanSpirit wrote:
6 months ago
Pardon me if I missed any provided reasoning for the exclusion, but why not run skullclamp? Seems like it would be insane even if you're buffing the tokens with anthems and whatnot.

Edit: I'll add an additional "Pardon Me" just in case you've been beaten to death with this question over on MTGS.
That is a good question. This deck was ported over from salvation so I actually used to have it in here. In the end, paying 3WW to draw two cards just ended up feeling a little heavy. In a lot of cases I couldn't afford to do that early in the game so skullclamp only really became a draw option much later in the game at that cost. In some situations as well I need those tokens to make more mana such as with Serra's Sanctum. I decided that it was better to use other effects instead to get my draw in due to this.

Skullclamp is great, its just that it was moving cards way too slow and it would eat like an entire turn to just draw two cards.
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Post by TheAmericanSpirit » 6 months ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
6 months ago
TheAmericanSpirit wrote:
6 months ago
Pardon me if I missed any provided reasoning for the exclusion, but why not run skullclamp? Seems like it would be insane even if you're buffing the tokens with anthems and whatnot.

Edit: I'll add an additional "Pardon Me" just in case you've been beaten to death with this question over on MTGS.
That is a good question. This deck was ported over from salvation so I actually used to have it in here. In the end, paying 3WW to draw two cards just ended up feeling a little heavy. In a lot of cases I couldn't afford to do that early in the game so skullclamp only really became a draw option much later in the game at that cost. In some situations as well I need those tokens to make more mana such as with Serra's Sanctum. I decided that it was better to use other effects instead to get my draw in due to this.

Skullclamp is great, its just that it was moving cards way too slow and it would eat like an entire turn to just draw two cards.
That makes sense given that the deck is focused on steadily snowballing, but the scenarios in which I posit clamp shines most are when Plan A has already been set back or outmatched. For example, say you have 4 clerics, heliod, and some other advantage engine, and someone drops an eldrazi or some other sorcery speed threat that either a) outclasses your available resources, or b) otherwise demands an immediate answer. Clamp allows you to turn 4 dudes into 8 cards in that turn for 4 mana, and very few cards available to this piece of the pie can do that. Weirdly enough, I think it might be worth playing more token generators to facilitate clamp rather than exclude it for lack of fodder. It's just so unbelievably strong if you give it even the bare minimum commitment to work with.

That being said, I concur that 3WW isn't the right price for two cards a turn, so I understand if you're still wary. But I personally believe it's one of the strongest options ever printed for any creature oriented edh deck, so perhaps give it a second look if you later feel inclined to up the token element of the deck.

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Post by OCPunisher » 5 months ago

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Post by pokken » 5 months ago

Yea that card is conkers, 4 power for 4 mana half of it flying and lifelink.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 5 months ago

Wow, yea Archon of Sun's Grace is gonna be insane for Heliod. Looking forward to getting my hands on that. It should be fairly easy to slot it in for one of my random defensive flyers.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 5 months ago

Ok, I have been sort of slow to get everything updated since Theros came out. I have a few updates I suppose but I haven't really gotten to play any magic in most of the last month.

DECK CHANGES:
  • Return to DustHeliod's Intervention I like Return to Dust in a lot of decks but I use it almost exclusively as a sorcery for said decks. I actually value the instant speed of effects here so that sort of makes Return feel worse to me. Given that, it felt like a good move to me to move to the Intervention since most of what I was looking for was a value removal effect at instant speed and Return to Dust kind of isn't what I was looking for there.
  • Dawn ElementalArchon of Sun's Grace When you can cast Dawn Elemental with no problems its great, but that devotion cost while being great to enable Heliod totally sucks sometimes. I still get a four mana flyer here but it has far better synergy with the deck.
  • Anointed ProcessionSmothering Tithe I struggled with this for a while. I often struggle with token double effects because well....... they don't do anything by themselves. I often like them a bit more when my commander directly makes tokens but Heliod is so slow to make tokens that I think its better to just push mana and let Heliod function on his own. Smothering Tithe is overrated in my opinion but given I actually have a mana dump I figure its probably something like a Gilded Lotus for me that can be stockpiled. I am not sure that I really value it much here if people actually pay the tax but I guess we will see how it goes. Generally speaking I like to have a little faster clock to value the taxation effect of this.
  • Divine VisitationSoul-Guide Lantern Similarly to with Anointed Procession I think I need to not worry about making Heliod's tokens better. Honestly, I don't think I ever saw Divine Visitation when playing this deck but my draw here is kind of low even for mono white. Soul-Guide Lantern seems like a great add for most any deck. Either its the grave hate you need or its a cheap cantrip.
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 5 months ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
5 months ago
Smothering Tithe is overrated in my opinion
Interesting call, but there's merit to it. I only run it in one of my three Wx'es, and it's the mana-dumpy Daxos that likes it. It felt a bit clumsy in the other deck I tested it in. Given the fact you're also mana-dump'y here to some extent, it should be okay. Still, given the fact you just trimmed two pieces that synergised with the token flood, your mileage may vary?

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 5 months ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
5 months ago
ISBPathfinder wrote:
5 months ago
Smothering Tithe is overrated in my opinion
Interesting call, but there's merit to it. I only run it in one of my three Wx'es, and it's the mana-dumpy Daxos that likes it. It felt a bit clumsy in the other deck I tested it in. Given the fact you're also mana-dump'y here to some extent, it should be okay. Still, given the fact you just trimmed two pieces that synergised with the token flood, your mileage may vary?
The hard thing about Heliod is that I pay 4 mana to cast and get zero board presence out of him. Then another 4 mana in to make a 2/1. Its a lot of mana investment to spin him up and adding more things that are dependent on him was just a bit too slow for me.

Heliod is still great, but this deck needs to stall for time first and foremost.
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 5 months ago

In that case, you won't mind people paying for Mana Study. That's less mana for them to do stuff to you with, plus I've found that if people pay they don't tend to have a whole lot going on. Which is good news for you.

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