[Deck Tech] Help me Improve My Commander Deck!

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cryogen
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Post by cryogen » 2 years ago

If you're feeling overwhelmed in building or tweaking your Commander deck, or think your deck list is getting lost among all the other lists, post here with your request. Here are some guidelines to help you get the best possible feedback:
  • Post a link to your deck list thread!!!!
  • What is the specific problem you're having?
  • What is your budget for necessary changes?
  • How competitive is your deck aiming to be, and what is the level of competition in your play group(s)?
  • Are there any considerations that would otherwise exempt certain cards? (e.g. is this a tribal theme deck and the card MUST reference goblins in some fashion?)
Another thing to keep in mind as you post is to be respectful of the help you receive, even if you feel that you receive bad advice. Ultimately, people are helping with good intentions and because they want to, not because they have to. Treat others with the same respect you would want to receive if you offered assistance with someone else's deck.
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Post by Dragonlover » 2 years ago

Sure, I'll bite.

My alt-wincon deck (list here) was the kind of deck where you spend hours poring over your database of choice inputting really specific lines of text to try and get the card effects you need, and I know for a fact that some of the cards in there aren't the best they could be because I just missed the possibility of a different card. The decklist is sectioned out by wincon, if a wincon doesn't have it's own section then it'll just win by itself at some point/doesn't need any support from specific other cards.

The main rules for card selections are as follows:

If you take out a creature, recommend a creature. I'm right on the edge of Mortal Combat not working as it is. EDIT: I actually only have 18 creatures currently, so if at least two non-creatures can be swapped for creatures that would be fantastic!
If something can satisfy multiple wincons, it's more likely to be considered.

Many thanks for the help!

Dragonlover

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Dragonlover wrote:
2 years ago
Sure, I'll bite.

My alt-wincon deck (list here) was the kind of deck where you spend hours poring over your database of choice inputting really specific lines of text to try and get the card effects you need, and I know for a fact that some of the cards in there aren't the best they could be because I just missed the possibility of a different card. The decklist is sectioned out by wincon, if a wincon doesn't have it's own section then it'll just win by itself at some point/doesn't need any support from specific other cards.

The main rules for card selections are as follows:

If you take out a creature, recommend a creature. I'm right on the edge of Mortal Combat not working as it is. EDIT: I actually only have 18 creatures currently, so if at least two non-creatures can be swapped for creatures that would be fantastic!
If something can satisfy multiple wincons, it's more likely to be considered.

Many thanks for the help!

Dragonlover
If you want Mortal Combat to work, then might I suggest Hermit Druid? Would seem to solve many problems.
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Post by Dragonlover » 2 years ago

I have considered Hermit Druid, as it would also help set up a massive Open the Vaults. I do worry a bit that I'll end up milling too much stuff away for other wincons though, but that might just be paranoia. Also I've currently got no way of getting the Druid in the grave, so it can't count itself towards the Mortal Combat.

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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Dragonlover wrote:
2 years ago
I have considered Hermit Druid, as it would also help set up a massive Open the Vaults. I do worry a bit that I'll end up milling too much stuff away for other wincons though, but that might just be paranoia. Also I've currently got no way of getting the Druid in the grave, so it can't count itself towards the Mortal Combat.

Dragonlover
Dread Return would be your best bet. If you want to go off in one shot, then Bridge from Below is great and the same dread return I mentioned previously can get back Flame-Kin Zealot for lethal.

Bridge is risky in this format however as it's pretty simple to trigger it's self-exike clause.
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Post by 3drinks » 2 years ago

Dragonlover wrote:
2 years ago
I'm confused. Why are you recommending Bridge from Below and Flamekin Zealot? Which of the 15 wincons in the deck do they support?

Dragonlover
It was something that played off the hermit druid and dread return idea I also pitched. Since we're dumping our deck into the grave, this was a route to take that didn't need to wait until your next upkeep to win.
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Post by yeti1069 » 2 years ago

My 1st EDH deck was built around OG Teysa, Orzhov Scion. Over the years, I've made adjustments, doubling down on synergy, but as I've focused more on synergistic cards, I've ended up in a position where many individual cards are just super weak unless I have some board state.

I had focused on a somewhat controlling build, wanting to lean into Teysa's exile ability, supported by a lot of token production. Dumped some easy life gain on top of that.

Now I'm weighing whether I should swap to another commander, or make some major edits to this list. Advice appreciated!

Decklist here: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=579&p=2683#p2683

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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

yeti1069 wrote:
2 years ago
My 1st EDH deck was built around OG Teysa, Orzhov Scion. Over the years, I've made adjustments, doubling down on synergy, but as I've focused more on synergistic cards, I've ended up in a position where many individual cards are just super weak unless I have some board state.

I had focused on a somewhat controlling build, wanting to lean into Teysa's exile ability, supported by a lot of token production. Dumped some easy life gain on top of that.

Now I'm weighing whether I should swap to another commander, or make some major edits to this list. Advice appreciated!

Decklist here: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=579&p=2683#p2683
here're my instincts about your deck in no particular order:
* I think you have too many open sac outlets. You really only need one and you have like 7. I'd suggest a small revamp there-
--cut one of the altars and blasting station, leave the rest of the dudes. Add beseech the queen which is excellent for getting 1 cmc guys. add vampiric tutor cut diabolic tutor. add night's whisper.
-concept: cut a couple sac outlets for tutors and card draw

* I think you might want to play a stoneforge package with a deck full of weenies and skullclamp. Add sword of fire and ice and you have a reliable draw engine (that can kill your dudes if needed). add umezawa's jitte.
--To make room for this I would cut your worst 6-drop and blood artist who is the worst drain dudebro

* I would consider cutting all of the ETB gain life guys. You don't realy have the payoffs for that and it seems to conflict with the tokens/aristocrats theme. They are bad cards mostly and dependent on having a lot of action. You have plenty of ways to gain life with just
saccing your dudes.

A great replacement for this stuff would be mass reanimation spells like: * I would maybe consider a package of 4-5 token making planeswalkers in this deck to go with Elspeth. They seem like they'd go pretty well.

* hour of Reckoning has been better for me than austere command most of the time. I keep finding Austere leaving me hanging a lot.

* I think retribution of the meek might be good

* I don't think the animate effects belong in this deck. Use more powerful reanimation as mentioned above, for small guys. Also consider brought back and thrilling encore. Maybe even twilight shepherd.

* Nobody needs to play diabolic tutor.

* I always like to play Unexpectedly Absent before Utter End. That is mostly only my opinion so ymmv. I just like the cheaper cost and flexibility.

* I think you could use about 3 more pieces of ramp. Or to cut some more 6-drops. You could really use like a knight of the white orchid and walking atlas and talisman of hierarchy I think.

* Overall thought is that you're trying to do slightly too many things. Few too many fatties for an artistocrats + tokens build, the soul sister subtheme is too much and too demanding of cards. I would refocus on purely aristocrats tokens with Teysa to remove problem creatures, and use your few non-creature spell slots to remove things that ruin teysa (cursed totem effects, etc.)

* Also leonin relic warder and fiend hunter are gross in this deck.

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Post by yeti1069 » 2 years ago

Diabolic tutor was supposed to be Diabolic Intent.

Do you find too many sac outlets to be an issue? In my decks that want to be sacrificing stuff, I've found myself in many more situations where I'm missing a sac outlet than in ones where I have too many. Not to mention, at a table that knows what's up, those are usually the first things to get targeted with removal.

I had thought about a Stoneforge package, but I'm not that keen on putting too many equipment in.

Definitely could use some of the mass reanimates. Been trying to figure out which the best one to put in would be.

More replies to follow later...

Thanks for the feedback

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Post by DrSeaMonster » 2 years ago

Okay, so here's the question that's been hanging over me for a while, ever since Modern Horizons previews started.

Do I make a Yawgmoth deck, do I make a Scorpion God deck and put Yawgmoth in it, do I make a Hapatra deck and put Yawgmoth in it, or do I put all three into a Jund sac-for-value and minus counter deck? Prossh maybe?

I'm so conflicted.

Send help.
Abzan aligned, Timmy/Johnny with a Vorthos activated ability.

Commander decks: Karador. Riku. Savra. Vorosh. Teysa Karlov. Kenrith. Kaalia, Zenith Seeker.
Balthor the Defiled. Radha, Heir to Keld. Nath. Saheeli, the Gifted. Zurgo Helmsmasher.
Samut, Voice of Dissent. Grimgrin. Ertai, the Corrupted. Nicol Bolas, the Ravager. Elsha.
Glissa, the Traitor. Chainer, Nightmare Adept. Obosh. Nethroi.

Oathbreaker: Ral, Storm Conduit/Teleportal.

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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

yeti1069 wrote:
2 years ago
Do you find too many sac outlets to be an issue? In my decks that want to be sacrificing stuff, I've found myself in many more situations where I'm missing a sac outlet than in ones where I have too many. Not to mention, at a table that knows what's up, those are usually the first things to get targeted with removal.
Thanks for the feedback
In my decks that want sac outlets I only ever want to draw exactly one and I'd rather draw a reanimation spell for it than draw another one most of the time. I really like sac outlets that can protect themselves like viscera seer and claws of gix personally.

The altars are such a flashpoint and you probably can make do without many of them in your deck. but playing one or two seems OK, I just wouldn't run all three of the hated ones. If it were my deck I would consider cutting all three and swapping in altar of dementia as well. Forgot about that one :)

I also forgot, but ranger of eos might be good for your deck. Great for finding sac outlets and action.

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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

DrSeaMonster wrote:
2 years ago
Okay, so here's the question that's been hanging over me for a while, ever since Modern Horizons previews started.

Do I make a Yawgmoth deck, do I make a Scorpion God deck and put Yawgmoth in it, do I make a Hapatra deck and put Yawgmoth in it, or do I put all three into a Jund sac-for-value and minus counter deck? Prossh maybe?

I'm so conflicted.

Send help.
Yawgmoth has the few times I've seen him felt quite linear and boring. I don't think I could play that deck long term. I like the Hapatra idea.

My Scorpion God deck felt way too mana intensive. He was expensive, and his ability was expensive, and even with like 30 mana rocks I wasn't consistently activating it very much.

Hapatra seems to have the most fun gameplan of those to me.

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Post by DrSeaMonster » 2 years ago

pokken wrote:
2 years ago
DrSeaMonster wrote:
2 years ago
Okay, so here's the question that's been hanging over me for a while, ever since Modern Horizons previews started.

Do I make a Yawgmoth deck, do I make a Scorpion God deck and put Yawgmoth in it, do I make a Hapatra deck and put Yawgmoth in it, or do I put all three into a Jund sac-for-value and minus counter deck? Prossh maybe?

I'm so conflicted.

Send help.
Yawgmoth has the few times I've seen him felt quite linear and boring. I don't think I could play that deck long term. I like the Hapatra idea.

My Scorpion God deck felt way too mana intensive. He was expensive, and his ability was expensive, and even with like 30 mana rocks I wasn't consistently activating it very much.

Hapatra seems to have the most fun gameplan of those to me.
The only reason I'm hesitant to do Hapatra is that I already have two BG decks, both with a token component and some sacrificing.
Scorpion God does seem too linear, though. And I'm not sure if I want a BR deck right now. And I'm not a big fan of mono-color EDH,

If I go Jund, I get all three. Plus a wider selection of wither and proliferate effects. I can go really hard into -1/-1 counters. I'm thinking maybe Prossh. He brings all those delicious kobolds to be sacrificed for value... And I don't have a Jund deck, do you think that might be viable?
Abzan aligned, Timmy/Johnny with a Vorthos activated ability.

Commander decks: Karador. Riku. Savra. Vorosh. Teysa Karlov. Kenrith. Kaalia, Zenith Seeker.
Balthor the Defiled. Radha, Heir to Keld. Nath. Saheeli, the Gifted. Zurgo Helmsmasher.
Samut, Voice of Dissent. Grimgrin. Ertai, the Corrupted. Nicol Bolas, the Ravager. Elsha.
Glissa, the Traitor. Chainer, Nightmare Adept. Obosh. Nethroi.

Oathbreaker: Ral, Storm Conduit/Teleportal.

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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

DrSeaMonster wrote:
2 years ago
The only reason I'm hesitant to do Hapatra is that I already have two BG decks, both with a token component and some sacrificing.
Scorpion God does seem too linear, though. And I'm not sure if I want a BR deck right now. And I'm not a big fan of mono-color EDH,

If I go Jund, I get all three. Plus a wider selection of wither and proliferate effects. I can go really hard into -1/-1 counters. I'm thinking maybe Prossh. He brings all those delicious kobolds to be sacrificed for value... And I don't have a Jund deck, do you think that might be viable?
If you build what you are talking about in Jund, it's going to end up being a 95% golgari deck with a splash for red and a more expensive and more annoying manabase for no reason. If you're a golgari person just own it is my advice :)

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Post by DrSeaMonster » 2 years ago

pokken wrote:
2 years ago
DrSeaMonster wrote:
2 years ago
The only reason I'm hesitant to do Hapatra is that I already have two BG decks, both with a token component and some sacrificing.
Scorpion God does seem too linear, though. And I'm not sure if I want a BR deck right now. And I'm not a big fan of mono-color EDH,

If I go Jund, I get all three. Plus a wider selection of wither and proliferate effects. I can go really hard into -1/-1 counters. I'm thinking maybe Prossh. He brings all those delicious kobolds to be sacrificed for value... And I don't have a Jund deck, do you think that might be viable?
If you build what you are talking about in Jund, it's going to end up being a 95% golgari deck with a splash for red and a more expensive and more annoying manabase for no reason. If you're a golgari person just own it is my advice :)
You've got a good point. There's only like five red cards, including Scorpion God, that I know I'd like to include...
I can't depend on some janky combo with Hapatra, Yawgmoth and Morselhoarder to make the deck interesting.
Abzan aligned, Timmy/Johnny with a Vorthos activated ability.

Commander decks: Karador. Riku. Savra. Vorosh. Teysa Karlov. Kenrith. Kaalia, Zenith Seeker.
Balthor the Defiled. Radha, Heir to Keld. Nath. Saheeli, the Gifted. Zurgo Helmsmasher.
Samut, Voice of Dissent. Grimgrin. Ertai, the Corrupted. Nicol Bolas, the Ravager. Elsha.
Glissa, the Traitor. Chainer, Nightmare Adept. Obosh. Nethroi.

Oathbreaker: Ral, Storm Conduit/Teleportal.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 years ago

Don't dismiss Jund too quickly. Back when Gyrus, Walking Disappointment got spoiled, I entertained the thought of a Jund reanimator that ended up as a Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire. I pretty much never cast the commander, instead "lieutenanting" the deck with a pairing of Feldon of the Third Path and Meren of Clan Nel Toth. Creatures kept bouncing back and forth between the 'yard and the table, ramping me to oblivion and doing horribly unfun stuff to the opposition as most ETB worth running is apparently ramp or removal. The salt was high, the deck died immediately. Maybe a similar lieutenant pairing could work for you?
 
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DrSeaMonster
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Post by DrSeaMonster » 2 years ago

Rumpy5897 wrote:
2 years ago
Don't dismiss Jund too quickly. Back when Gyrus, Walking Disappointment got spoiled, I entertained the thought of a Jund reanimator that ended up as a Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire. I pretty much never cast the commander, instead "lieutenanting" the deck with a pairing of Feldon of the Third Path and Meren of Clan Nel Toth. Creatures kept bouncing back and forth between the 'yard and the table, ramping me to oblivion and doing horribly unfun stuff to the opposition as most ETB worth running is apparently ramp or removal. The salt was high, the deck died immediately. Maybe a similar lieutenant pairing could work for you?
I mean, I'm interested in Jund. What is red going to get me that I can't get from black and green? Not even just specifically -1/-1 counter things.
Abzan aligned, Timmy/Johnny with a Vorthos activated ability.

Commander decks: Karador. Riku. Savra. Vorosh. Teysa Karlov. Kenrith. Kaalia, Zenith Seeker.
Balthor the Defiled. Radha, Heir to Keld. Nath. Saheeli, the Gifted. Zurgo Helmsmasher.
Samut, Voice of Dissent. Grimgrin. Ertai, the Corrupted. Nicol Bolas, the Ravager. Elsha.
Glissa, the Traitor. Chainer, Nightmare Adept. Obosh. Nethroi.

Oathbreaker: Ral, Storm Conduit/Teleportal.

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Post by pokken » 2 years ago

soul-scar mage is the only really synergistic thing I can think of.

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Post by DrSeaMonster » 2 years ago

I need to outsource this.

I want to play a go wide token deck.

The colors need to be red, white and black minimum.

What do I do?
Abzan aligned, Timmy/Johnny with a Vorthos activated ability.

Commander decks: Karador. Riku. Savra. Vorosh. Teysa Karlov. Kenrith. Kaalia, Zenith Seeker.
Balthor the Defiled. Radha, Heir to Keld. Nath. Saheeli, the Gifted. Zurgo Helmsmasher.
Samut, Voice of Dissent. Grimgrin. Ertai, the Corrupted. Nicol Bolas, the Ravager. Elsha.
Glissa, the Traitor. Chainer, Nightmare Adept. Obosh. Nethroi.

Oathbreaker: Ral, Storm Conduit/Teleportal.

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Post by Toshi » 2 years ago

DrSeaMonster wrote:
2 years ago
I want to play a go wide token deck.

The colors need to be red, white and black minimum.
Hmm, there are certainly some options...

Saskia the Unyielding is an absolute beast with tokens and comes with a lot of g token things.
Queen Marchesa is pretty good with tokens. Going wide helps setting up Monarch status for your liking.
Edgar Markov is pretty obvious but not everyone's taste.
Tymna the Weaver + Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist rewards aggressive strategies with card draw.

I wouldn't want to miss out on g for token builds, so i'd propably check out Saskia the Unyielding.

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Post by JoeyB11223 » 2 years ago

Just posted up the list viewtopic.php?f=35&t=798&p=6633#p6633

I enjoy it immensely but my problem as stated in the thread is the start is often either explosive or a total bust (if I don't land enough early ramp to get a mana doubler going or dont draw one of the big creature based draw spells). The other issue with an explosive start though is if I say [card]Traverse the Outlands[card] on practically any of the creatures once they've had a Xenagos boost, it then means all my land ramp become dead draws. Though obviously I dont want to cut too much of that and not draw any.

It clearly isn't very reactive lacking any real targeted removal but tbh this deck is more about trying to flatten people ASAP, I haven't faced too much of a problem there.

As in the thread I think I might need a few early mana rocks, or some other card draw. Cutting wise I think I might have too many additional land a turn cards?

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Post by DrSeaMonster » 2 years ago

Are there any cards that you'd say are auto includes in a grixis colored Thousand-Year Storm deck?
Abzan aligned, Timmy/Johnny with a Vorthos activated ability.

Commander decks: Karador. Riku. Savra. Vorosh. Teysa Karlov. Kenrith. Kaalia, Zenith Seeker.
Balthor the Defiled. Radha, Heir to Keld. Nath. Saheeli, the Gifted. Zurgo Helmsmasher.
Samut, Voice of Dissent. Grimgrin. Ertai, the Corrupted. Nicol Bolas, the Ravager. Elsha.
Glissa, the Traitor. Chainer, Nightmare Adept. Obosh. Nethroi.

Oathbreaker: Ral, Storm Conduit/Teleportal.

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Post by Toshi » 2 years ago

DrSeaMonster wrote:
2 years ago
Are there any cards that you'd say are auto includes in a grixis colored Thousand-Year Storm deck?
Depends. Are you literally going to build a Storm deck or one with big splashy spells that are broken if copied a few times?

Off the top of my head Finale of Promise and especially Mizzix's Mastery are brutal no matter which approach you have.

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