[Deck Tech] Help me Improve My Commander Deck!

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Feyd_Ruin
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Post by Feyd_Ruin » 11 months ago

sleepy_mimi wrote:
11 months ago
Hello! New on this forum but I've been banging my head against the wall trying to make this Gallia of the Endless Dance deck work as well as it can. Posted it on MTGSalvation to a few helpful replies but was hoping to get some more eyes on it here. This is the list in question, I'm going for not satyr tribal but just a general aggro approach. I don't have a lot experience with aggro and my main pal who I play with puts me in pretty difficult matchups, so it's been tough for me to gauge if I'm doing anything right.
Your overall level of ramp is low. This is can be fine for aggro, but you'd want to cut out the higher drops — Balefire Dragon, Tyrant's Familiar, and Borborygmos Enraged — because your curve seems off kilter (only five 5cmc threats, but six threats that are at 6-8cmc), and it doesn't seem like you could reliably cast them without just a lucky draw.

If you still want some fat, I'd cut the curve at six for Ruric Thar, the Unbowed, Dragonlair Spider, or Savage Ventmaw. Each has their own merits, but I'd generally choose them in that order.

This deck wants to dig through cards and churn out threats. I recommend Overwhelming Instinct. Given the desire for this deck to swing in multiples anways, Instinct acts as Gallia backup (and/or discard fodder for her). Other draw options include Avaricious Dragon, Guardian Project, Ohran Frostfang, and Keeper of Fables.


I'd look at some of the utility hate that RG can bring to the table. Against a table or strong opponent, you need more than just aggro. Anything that can hurt their plans, give you added benefit, or even just make them hesitate can give you a strong edge — especially if/when they are multiplied against more than one opponent.

Runic Armasaur, Harsh Mentor, Scab-Clan Berserker, and Treasure Nabber might not be as aggressive as other creatures of their cost, but their overall impact is often stronger than a basic creature twice their size.

Cindervines is a Naturalize that can sit on the board and get extra damage in.

Domri, Chaos Bringer is adaptable, and I would suspect he would be a much stronger fit than Chandra, Acolyte of Flame currently is. A little bit of ramp, riot, dig, and a strong ultimate that's not hard to reach.

Klothys, God of Destiny also seems to fit well. Even without Gallia, there's always plenty of graveyard targets. Hitting devotion shouldn't be that hard, and shes ramp, burn, or life gain as whatever the situation warrants.

Since we're not actually going Satyr tribal, with real tribal support, I would cut the non-willow Satyr. Voyaging Satyr might be a Satyr that can get +1/+1, but it's still then just a 2/3. Any of the above would have a much more measurable impact in the game. In the end, when you're running real aggro (not some combo that wins with aggro), every single card has to carry its weight. Every card has to measure up against what your opponent is drawing and playing.
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Post by illakunsaa » 11 months ago

I've been trying out this selvala list:
https://deckstats.net/decks/88154/1628434-selvala

I'm fairly happy with the list but I want to include some cards so I don't really know what should I replace.
I wanna include Drannith Magistrate, Emeria, the Sky Ruin and Emeria Shepard.

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Post by sleepy_mimi » 11 months ago

Apologies in advance if this quote formatting gives you a million notifications, this is how I'm used to doing things on older forums just to make it easier to address points and parse replies.
Feyd_Ruin wrote:
11 months ago
Your overall level of ramp is low. This is can be fine for aggro, but you'd want to cut out the higher drops — Balefire Dragon, Tyrant's Familiar, and Borborygmos Enraged — because your curve seems off kilter (only five 5cmc threats, but six threats that are at 6-8cmc), and it doesn't seem like you could reliably cast them without just a lucky draw.

If you still want some fat, I'd cut the curve at six for Ruric Thar, the Unbowed, Dragonlair Spider, or Savage Ventmaw. Each has their own merits, but I'd generally choose them in that order.
This makes sense - I haven't actually seen Balefire Dragon yet so I can't attest to its usefulness, but as much as I love him I've been thinking I may need to part with angry Borborygmos. Tyrant's Familiar however has done a lot of work and I feel compelled to keep him in, would it make sense to add ramp to keep him at the top of my curve? Or is it better to just lower the curve and end the game faster? I actually cut Savage Ventmaw because I found his lack of haste and relatively low p/t to be kind of a damper, whenever I played him I found myself just wanting to swing, trade with something else, then having that extra 6 mana to do something else with, but I feel like if I want to keep my curve lower then I'm a little confused on how exactly to use it. Could just be a playstyle meshing thing, I just have always had difficulty keeping him alive. Dragonlair Spider is probably going in though, I've been eyeing that one for a while. Nothing ends a party like someone finding dozens of spiders under the couch.
Feyd_Ruin wrote:
11 months ago
This deck wants to dig through cards and churn out threats. I recommend Overwhelming Instinct. Given the desire for this deck to swing in multiples anways, Instinct acts as Gallia backup (and/or discard fodder for her). Other draw options include Avaricious Dragon, Guardian Project, Ohran Frostfang, and Keeper of Fables.
I love Overwhelming Instinct, that one is definitely going in! I can see the benefit of Ohran Frostfang/Keeper of Fables, but I've been sorta operating under the theory that by the time I hit 5 mana with this deck that I want to be putting more pressure on than netting myself advantage, is that thought process wrong? Also re: Avaricious Dragon, I guess it's in the name, but do people really think it's worth running for the extra card in spite of the hand discard? Is the thought that because you're playing red (which I also don't have a ton of experience with) that your hand will usually be empty by the time you get him out?
Feyd_Ruin wrote:
11 months ago
I'd look at some of the utility hate that RG can bring to the table. Against a table or strong opponent, you need more than just aggro. Anything that can hurt their plans, give you added benefit, or even just make them hesitate can give you a strong edge — especially if/when they are multiplied against more than one opponent.

Runic Armasaur, Harsh Mentor, Scab-Clan Berserker, and Treasure Nabber might not be as aggressive as other creatures of their cost, but their overall impact is often stronger than a basic creature twice their size.

Cindervines is a Naturalize that can sit on the board and get extra damage in.
Here's something silly but that I neglected to mention in my previous post, mostly out of embarrassment: the deck has a loose theme/flavor of "Gallia's having a party" so every creature in the deck needs to have some loose narrative tie-in of how it got there. I feel like hatebear/dealing damage to opponents for playing their game isn't really in the spirit of the deck, but Runic Armasaur seems like a good add in to get advantage relatively early. It may be a little bit of an oxymoron to ask how to make my deck better while also saying "I don't want to deal damage to my opponents for free," but I want playing against this deck to be a relatively good time, or at least an interactive experience if nothing else. My play group is a bit more casual leaning so I think this is sustainable as far as build paths go.
Feyd_Ruin wrote:
11 months ago
Domri, Chaos Bringer is adaptable, and I would suspect he would be a much stronger fit than Chandra, Acolyte of Flame currently is. A little bit of ramp, riot, dig, and a strong ultimate that's not hard to reach.
Chandra is in there mostly for that token ability to help trigger Gallia's effect, that dig is useful so I'll definitely slot him in the maybeboard.
Feyd_Ruin wrote:
11 months ago
Klothys, God of Destiny also seems to fit well. Even without Gallia, there's always plenty of graveyard targets. Hitting devotion shouldn't be that hard, and shes ramp, burn, or life gain as whatever the situation warrants.

Since we're not actually going Satyr tribal, with real tribal support, I would cut the non-willow Satyr. Voyaging Satyr might be a Satyr that can get +1/+1, but it's still then just a 2/3. Any of the above would have a much more measurable impact in the game. In the end, when you're running real aggro (not some combo that wins with aggro), every single card has to carry its weight. Every card has to measure up against what your opponent is drawing and playing.
I've been using Voyaging Satyr as basically just a mana dork that always enters with haste because Gallia is basically always on the field when I play her, but I can definitely see how she's the weakest link here (even if I can use her to untap Itlimoc, which is the main reason I've kept her in).

Are there any other obvious cuts you would suggest beyond the curve-topping fatties, especially if it feels like the deck needs more ramp? I like a lot of the cards you suggested but I've been having a really difficult time making space for even my own half-baked schemes :thinking: I've been doing my best to take the "every card matters" approach with this deck but that made cards like Cultivate and Harmonize feel really bad really fast. If you read this far, thank you for sifting through my long reply!

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Post by Feyd_Ruin » 11 months ago

sleepy_mimi wrote:
11 months ago
Here's something silly but that I neglected to mention in my previous post, mostly out of embarrassment: the deck has a loose theme/flavor of "Gallia's having a party" so every creature in the deck needs to have some loose narrative tie-in of how it got there.
No need to be embarrassed! We've all done fun themes before. Heck, we just front page published an article about weird themes with the Tiger King show as the example theme lol.

Now, we do have to understand that limiting card choices because of our theme will directly affect the competitive rate at which it plays. This is just a general concept: anytime you make a choice between card A and card B, if that choice isn't based solely on "which will make the deck perform better" than you're choosing theme/budget/whatever over function, and the function decreases. Which is fine, but you just have to go into it knowing that the deck won't be quite as good as it could be.
Are there any other obvious cuts you would suggest beyond the curve-topping fatties, especially if it feels like the deck needs more ramp?
Before we get there, we need to decide your deck's methodology and goals. We have the theme, but we still need to decide what the deck wants to do when it plays.

So Gallia does two things: she's a Satyr lord and she filters through cards when you swing wide. Since we're not going with the tribal method, her card filtering is a key place to start. Now that can go one of two ways: either you're digging for specific cards or you're digging for more cards.

In other formats, this is often a question of speed or resiliency — ie: try to win quickly — before your opponent stabilizes, or try to win inevitably — in spite of them stabilizing. It's extremely hard for general aggro to ever win quick enough in EDH that you want the kind of speed this looks at, so the aggro question here is: Quality or Quantity.

Quality is about effectiveness, impact, and weight. It wants the absolute strongest, most effective cards. For aggro, this means large, powerful creatures. Game changers that can crash a table by themselves if they're not dealt with quickly. It wants to drop a Carnage Tyrant that's hard to stop, or a Hellkite Tyrant that can give a massive board swing in one hit. It wants to stop a spellslinger in their tracks with Ruric Thar, the Unbowed, and drop a Omnath, Locus of Rage that will win the game within a few turns. It's about playing a few powerful cards that can win the game.

Quantity is about gaining critical mass that brings the inevitable end. It wants to overrun a table with a large number of creatures that just can't be dealt with outside of some kind of mass removal. It wants to drop Goblin Rabblemaster and Legion Warboss to quickly build an army. It wants to cast a Rampaging Ferocidon and a Scab-Clan Berserker and a Seasoned Pyromancer so that you're putting pressure on your opponents and building an army that they eventually just can't deal with. It's about playing as many cards as possible so that your opponent can't deal with them all.

Both methods absolutely have merit, and most decks aren't completely one way or the other, but the general mindset you're going for is important when you're designing your deck and deciding what you want to do. For Gallia, this means you should either add good ramp and use her drawing ability as a digging tool to find the best creatures, OR skip ramp and use her drawing ability as card advantage and go wide, churning out threat after threat. In the end, she'll always do a little bit of both, but the mindset determines whether you want the ramp or not.

I had based my previous comments on going wider, because that's what it appeared you were going for, and I feel that's generally the better strategy with her. BUT this is your deck that you have to play, so you have to decide what you want.

If you go with Quality and size, you'll want ramp. Land fetching, a little artifact mana, and creature ramp. You'll have a harder time activating Gallia, but when she digs, she digs for the strong threats that are most effective against your opponent. Your curve will go higher, and your big creatures are all welcome to join the party. It's a select party with less people, but they're more interesting.

If you go with Quantity and mass, you'll want to skip a lot of the ramp. You'd then want to focus on smaller costs, card draw, and your ability to play multiple threats per turn. Your curve will want to remain low, stopping mostly at 5 with maybe a few six drops. This means running Avaricious Dragon so you go through more cards. The mindset is that it doesn't matter what you had to discard, you played what you could and you'll have even more coming later. It's a wild party that you want to get out of control with tons of people. Heck, you don't even know some of these people, but who cares, let's cannonball into the pool.

Now, I favor the quantity with Gallia because I think it works better with her ability. It's easier to trigger her with more creatures, and her discard is random — which can be a huge factor. If you go quality, you will find yourself not wanting to use her ability because she might make you discard one of the cards you really want to keep. She loves the idea of burning through cards to play as much as you can as quickly as you can. IE: Avaricious Dragon is actually her drunken boyfriend that inevitably gets into a fight just to wind up becoming best friends with the guy he punched because they realize it was all just a misunderstanding. She loves him anyways, and it just makes the party more rememberable.


I think once you really decide this, a lot of the choices start to become clearer. Either Tyrant's Familiar is the goal, or he's cut. Either Woodland Bellower, Borborygmos Enraged, etc, are dig target, or they cost too much. Once those start aligning, the support starts aligning. Either you need Birds of Paradise and Nature's Lore, which are strong noncontingent mana accelerators, to power out the big bad threat, or you need Grand Warlord Radha and Harvest Season, that both require mass, to make even more mass. I fear that trying to do both can give you a useless Birds of Paradise top draw or a Warlord Radha that has no army.
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Post by metalrain » 10 months ago

Looking for a little bit of guidance for my Will Kenrith and Rowan Kenrith deck. The list is currently somewhere between Storm and Superfriends strategies, and if I had to choose which I want to lean more towards, I'd say the latter. The issues that I'm having, though, are twofold.

First, how are Superfriends decks supposed to protect their planeswalkers? I'm fairly new to the game, and most Superfriends lists I see online (for these commanders and others) run extremely few creatures, but I feel like until I put down Young Pyromancer, Talrand, Sky Summoner or Shark Typhoon, none of my walkers ever get to stick long enough to be useful. Cutting more creatures feels like it would move in the opposite direction.

Second, what's the best way to actually close out the game? I have powerful finishers in the form of Rowan's emblem into multiple Chandra, Torch of Defiance or Ral, Izzet Viceroy emblems or copying big Comet Storms, but these feel really unreliable. Most of my wins have actually been from stuff like getting three Will emblems in one turn and then my opponent's all scooping, but when they don't do that, I've gotten 4 extra turns off a Ral Zarek ultimate when I already had Will's emblem up and still not been able to actually kill everyone.

Thanks for any help you can give, I think these two are very fun but I'm kind of at a loss.

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Post by toctheyounger » 10 months ago

metalrain wrote:
10 months ago
Looking for a little bit of guidance for my Will Kenrith and Rowan Kenrith deck. The list is currently somewhere between Storm and Superfriends strategies, and if I had to choose which I want to lean more towards, I'd say the latter. The issues that I'm having, though, are twofold.

First, how are Superfriends decks supposed to protect their planeswalkers? I'm fairly new to the game, and most Superfriends lists I see online (for these commanders and others) run extremely few creatures, but I feel like until I put down Young Pyromancer, Talrand, Sky Summoner or Shark Typhoon, none of my walkers ever get to stick long enough to be useful. Cutting more creatures feels like it would move in the opposite direction.
While I don't have a list commandeered by them myself, I do run a grixis superfriends (ish) deck, that deals with the same problem. It always will be a problem with superfriends, and it's something you'll just have to manage. There's a few points here.

Firstly, here is darrenhabib's Will/Rowan primer, it's truly a work of art, visually and thematically. If you want some quick and easy advice, have a look through. It's one of the most viewed decklists here on Nexus, so you should have plenty of research to pore through.

Secondly, there's a couple of ways you can manage this issue; the first is to put some token generators in the deck. Conveniently, some of these are walkers - Saheeli, Sublime Artificer is fantastic, as is Saheeli, the Gifted. Tezzeret, Artifice Master gives you flying cover, and on a related note there's Heart of Kiran. I've personally had good mileage from The Locust God too, but the other thing is that if you're running short on creatures, load up on board wipes. There's no reason not to.

Thirdly, most superfriends decks function well on the concept of threat overload. Because they all represent a certain level of threat and are individually quite tough to deal with, you can quite easily stretch your opponents' resources very thin just by having multiple walkers in play at once. Your life total becomes a little tentative, but the idea is to make hay while the sun shines. Use your time with walkers in play as well as you can, squeeze every ounce of value from them that you can, and try your best to end the game or put your opponents at a disadvantage before they have the opportunity to remove them, while you can. This does include the possibility of comboing off with your walkers, but it's not entirely required to have a successful superfriends deck either. The good thing about them is that once they're cast they cost you no further mana, so if you can chain together several loyalty abilities to really hammer the board you will find yourself pretty well off.

The link to your list is broken, but nonetheless, swing by darren's list as linked above and check it out. He does incredibly comprehensive analyses, and this thread has been around a while, so you should find some good content there. And if you don't, ask him direct - darren is usually really happy to give a pretty thorough analysis of how you can go about managing your problem.

Hope this helps!
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Post by metalrain » 10 months ago

Oh, I had my deck set to private, oops. The link should work now.

I have actually seen that deck list before, when I was first thinking about how to build these two. Really excellent writeup, but the list was... way too tryhardy for my taste, with all the extra turn farming and infinite combos it does. That said, there is a *ton* of material in that post so it certainly deserves another good look through.

Those artifact-centric planeswalkers like the Saheelis and Tezzerets didn't make the cut because I run a fairly artifact-light list, but does that not really matter? Is making a 1/1 every time I cast a spell worth it even if I have no high value targets for them to copy?

Your point about threat overload is really insightful too. Thanks a lot!

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Post by OCPunisher » 10 months ago

metalrain wrote:
10 months ago
Those artifact-centric planeswalkers like the Saheelis and Tezzerets didn't make the cut because I run a fairly artifact-light list, but does that not really matter? Is making a 1/1 every time I cast a spell worth it even if I have no high value targets for them to copy?
I've been running Saheeli, Sublime Artificer in my Kykar list from the beginning and have never activated the -2 ability to date. Getting "free" bodies to throw in front of oppressive attackers or trigger Impact Tremors or whatever else you want to do with all that value is just that: all value. The Tezzerets are probably not as necessary because they cost a lot more mana and they only make one body per turn. I'm not a Kenrith expert, so it's possible that the other Tezz abilities have some fringe value, but at the very least I'd keep Saheeli.
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Post by OCPunisher » 10 months ago

I built my Zurgo deck (below) based on some observations I made from playing online games for the past month. Most opponents were weak to mass removal and removal that exiles instead of destroys or bounces. I also knew I wanted to play a couple specific spells:
- Mythos of Snapdax, because I've had great success with Tragic Arrogance. Choosing which cards they get to keep is incredible, almost game-winning.
- Pestilence. Combines mass removal with the damage to finish off opponents.
- Sunforger. I love the toolboxes you can build with this card.

Unfortunately, the deck I have turned out kinda clunky. The curve is a little higher than I'd like, the ramp isn't great, and I don't have a lot of draw power. Obviously, if I were in either green or blue, this would be easy, but I'm not. Any suggestions on how to make the deck a little "smoother"?
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Post by toctheyounger » 10 months ago

metalrain wrote:
10 months ago
Oh, I had my deck set to private, oops. The link should work now.

I have actually seen that deck list before, when I was first thinking about how to build these two. Really excellent writeup, but the list was... way too tryhardy for my taste, with all the extra turn farming and infinite combos it does. That said, there is a *ton* of material in that post so it certainly deserves another good look through.

Those artifact-centric planeswalkers like the Saheelis and Tezzerets didn't make the cut because I run a fairly artifact-light list, but does that not really matter? Is making a 1/1 every time I cast a spell worth it even if I have no high value targets for them to copy?

Your point about threat overload is really insightful too. Thanks a lot!
I can see it now, I'll have a look over and let you know my thoughts.

So firstly, Saheeli, Sublime Artificer is definitely worth it - even if you don't use her loyalty abilities whatsoever, with your storm theme you'll create a ton of servo's. At the very least that can help keep a whole lot of non-tramplers away from you. Even then, her loyalty ability is an absolutely free way to push yourself for ramp a little. Need 3 extra mana? Turn her servo into a Gilded Lotus, or whatever other rocks you have going. Speaking of that, the one piece of secret tech that has literally gone amazing extra miles for me is Honor-Worn Shaku. Walkers are all legendary by default, and they still operate whether they're tapped or not, so there's turn it'll net me 5-6 extra mana easy. I also wonder if you could make use of Coalition Relic? You've got plenty of proliferate in the deck - worst case scenario it does exactly what Commander's Sphere does, best case it goes miles further. Crystalline Crawler does great work for me too, excellent with proliferate.

There's at least a few spells in the deck that are worth reconsidering too - Clockspinning is cute, but it eats up a ton of resource, especially when you already have proliferate in the deck. It seems a bit redundant. Turn // Burn seems a tad weak too, as does Shredded Sails.

I personally think it's worth looking a little further into some of the artifact-centric walkers you could add; Teferi, Temporal Archmage has the 'untap four permanents' thing (which goes infinite with The Chain Veil if you want it to) that can add a ton of resource per turn, and Tezzeret the Seeker does similar, as well as finding you whatever artifacts you desire - the classic play is -1 for Sol Ring or -0 for Mana Crypt if you're lucky enough to have a copy. Bare minimum, both of these guys give you a lot more resource to pour into your spells for storming off. Both work nicely with Dack Fayden too - steal whatever Sol Ring you might want, and ham up the huge resources for pure advantage.

In terms of protecting your walkers, there's a couple of neat tricks I've used or could advise; Faerie Artisans gives you whatever your opponents have. Just one, but it's one of whatever sweet thing your opponents decide to cast, and it's an artifact so you can attack with it and still have it for blocking, and make copies [card=Saheeli, Sublime Artificer]of it. Torrential Gearhulk would be a seriously great addition for you too. It flashes in as a blocker and gives you a free spell, what's not to love? I also wonder whether you draw enough to make use of Ominous Seas. 8/8 Krakens make great forts for your walkers, and if you can otherwise clear the board you have yourself an alpha strike win con. If not, there's a few bits and pieces that could help you with that - Arjun, the Shifting Flame is great for draw, and has evasion blocking. Thryx, the Sudden Storm gives you a flying blocker and security for any big spells you cast. Oh, and Ugin, the Ineffable is seriously underrated too. You get a discount on your rocks, a chump blocker that you literally want to die, and almost unconditional removal, all in one card.

In terms of win conditions, I can definitely see storm being an option, especially with Will in the command zone. You've basically got a two-pronged approach, with Rowan's ultimate to aim for or Will's. I think if it were me I'd just make sure that the spells I'm copying are excellent. I'd look for a place for Electrodominance, Brain Freeze, Ignite Memories (whatever storm cards you wanna run basically), and Blue Sun's Zenith. Any or all of these could potentially be game ending if copied with enough resource and give you plenty of options for application.

Mystic Sanctuary might be worth working around a little more too - you've got Izzet Boilerworks, how about some nice free draw? You could do the same with Foil too, and perhaps Tidespout Tyrant could get you additional plays as well as being a thorn in the side of your opponents. Trade Routes gives you draw, and if you need ways to get the card in the first place there's Scalding Tarn and Tolaria West. They're both expensive, but for good reason.

I hope this isn't too overwhelming. Superfriends tend to get really deep on synergy, so it's easy to do a huge deep dive in terms of making sure you're working the hell out of that.
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Post by yeti1069 » 10 months ago

I'd appreciate some feedback and help with my Tuvasa pillow-fort deck: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=29072&p=89030#p89030

In particular, I have several cards I'd like to fit in, but not sure what to remove for them, or even if they're all worthy of inclusion. Also open to suggestions on things I'm missing entirely...except Steel of the Godhead--I'm intending to pick up a copy.

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Post by Millenhero » 10 months ago

Heja,

have a first draft of my new deck, but wanting actually to be a bit more certain this deck could have some merrit ^^
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=29179&p=89730#p89730

it's a clone/copy deck with some politics in it :)
all help apreciated

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Post by Card Slinger J » 9 months ago

Anyone able to provide feedback for my Kenrith, the Returned King EDH / Commander deck?

viewtopic.php?f=35&t=29764

It's okay if you don't want to reply. Nobody should put building new EDH / Commander decks over the lives of friends and loved ones who're already at risk by this ongoing pandemic. Paper Magic should really be the least of our concerns right now. If Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro knows whats good for them then they need to officially discontinue it already.
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Post by BaronCappuccino » 7 months ago

I've been working on a Judith, the Scourge Diva Shadowborn Apostle combo deck since Covid 19 shut the world down. Before that, it was an extremely casual and fairly budget Rakdos the Defiler deck. I've put all I can think of into this list, and I'm starting to feel confident, but I'm wavering on whether or not I'm a bit too glass cannon. I'm shooting for about an 8 in power level. To me, an 8 is a well put together deck with minimal card choice compromises where the biggest drawback is the overall commander and strategy - an imperfect strategy done as best as one can. 9s and 10s perfect strategies with minimal and no compromises, respectively - in my reckoning. I recognize that Judith Apostles won't be making waves in the cEDH tables, any time, ever. But, my friends are near budget-less casual players, so I can't come at them with jank. My most common playgroup includes a no-compromises sliver deck, that Naya egg-lover whose name eludes me from one of the recent precons, a Darien, King of Kjeldor, an Olivia Voldaren, a golgari deck whose commander eludes me, but probably didn't particularly matter over any of the others that do the whole graveyard thing - Meren, I think. They love grindy board states. I never win at grindy board states. Any thoughts are welcome.

Here's the list:
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=24247&p=71039#p71039

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Guardman
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Post by Guardman » 1 week ago

I'm looking for feedback for my Rakdos Toggo deck. In particular what black partner should I partner with Toggo for the deck, which is kind of grindy and mainly looking to win either by a big Torment of Hailfire, Revel in Riches, or Hellkite Tyrant. Also, I am looking for card suggestions/critics, and while I do want to put this deck together on somewhat of a budget, I do want non-budget suggestions just in case I might already have that card in my suggestion.

Decklist: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=34824

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Post by yeti1069 » 1 week ago

Need help with a Cleric tribal deck...

So, I've spent nearly a week trying to cut down a pile to something resembling a deck, but it's kind of a mess. I'm taking apart my Teysa Karlov deck, because it felt too clunky. It generally required a handful of permanents to be in play in order to really do anything, with few haymakers able to help the gameplan after a boardwipe...or, it took looong turns with dozens of triggers to drain opponents out. Before this, it had been Teysa, Orzhov Scion, which I liked, and have considered going back to, but first I want to go a different direction.

Basically, I have a stack of 200 cards, and am kind of lost on where to begin.
My dilemmas:
-- Orah, Skyclave Hierophantor Tymna the Weaver& Ravos, Soultender? What about Tymna + another partner (Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools)?
--What direction to go in with the deck? I kind of wanted lifegain as a theme to justify including the soul sisters and their ilk. I like aristocrats, and my other decks in this theme have morphed over time, leaving this as my lone very aristocrat-y deck. I also have a ton of Orzhov token-making cards. But that all seems like a lot to cram in.
--I had been debating human tribal with T&R, with a minor clerics sub-theme, but there are too many cards to make that work. I'm debating including a few of the human payoffs since most of the clerics I'm looking at are human (Species Specialist, Devout Chaplain, General Kudro of Drannith, etc...), but again, it seems like a lot.
--Do I include OG Teysa with the expectation that I'll have plenty of creatures to sac, and plenty of creatures dying? New Teysa for the double-death triggers?
--Do I include Karlov of the Ghost Council to take advantage of clerical life gain even though he isn't a cleric (or a human)?

I've looked at some other cleric lists online, but nothing has gripped me, yet. Ideally, I'd want this in the 7-9 power range, with 1 or 2 potential infinite combos to close out the game, but that require a little work to get to, and some paths to victory outside of combat damage.

Any suggestions on a starting point, or some focus would be appreciated.

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Post by benjameenbear » 1 week ago

@yeti1069
I think the first thing to determine is how you want to finish a game. If you're looking for a 7-9 power range, than I think you should be looking at either a Combo piece in the Command Zone or Card Advantage in the Command Zone. To me, I would either play Teysa, Orzhov Scion (because she has a well-known and efficient combo line with Darkest Hour or Painter's Servant and a free sac outlet) or Tymna the Weaver + Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools partners to create massive card advantage from the Command Zone.

In my opinion, I think that going with Teysa with a mild Cleric subtheme would be the best move for you. It sounds like you have some nostalgia for her, she's a powerful removal engine in the Command Zone, she's got a great CMC, and she acts as a solid Combo piece.

The specific combo I'm thinking you can include should be Razaketh, the Foulblooded + Leonin Relic-Warder + Animate Dead/Dance of the Dead/Necromancy. This is a pretty intricate loop that will allow you to tutor a bunch of times by saccing the Relic-Warder with the Animate Dead trigger on the stack. I'm happy to explain it in more detail if you'd like.

There's also a couple of other cards that I think would be good for your deck and help you push through damage for more concise turns, particularly Cathars' Crusade or Mikaeus, the Unhallowed. Mikaeus helps with resiliency for board wipes and Crusade turns your tokens into a massive horde of doom.

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pokken
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Post by pokken » 1 week ago

I think karlov is probably the best cleric tribal medium high power commander. Just pressure with him while playing dudes and setting up draw into combos. Lifegain draw effects like that well thing and sac card draw like haruspex style.

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Post by yeti1069 » 1 week ago

Here's the rough decklist so far. I think the game plan will be playing out some cheap creatures followed by Tymna with hopefully 1-3 open attacks for some early draw. Drop Tevesh for further protection or card advantage as needed. Draw into something that generates real advantage (like Orah, Karlov, Ayli, etc...), and either control the board enough to put lethal damage through fairly, or draw into a combo.

Combos right now are:
Leonin Relic-Warder + Animate Dead + free sac outlet + something for value (could be infinite mana, life, tokens, drain or draw)
Exquisite Blood + Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose (infinite gain and drain)
Mirror Entity + Rotlung Reanimator + Phyrexian Altar (infinite 2/2 zombie tokens, turned into clerics) + something for value
Fiend Hunter + Angel of Glory's Rise + free sac outlet (infinite humans entering and leaving the battlefield + potentially cleric reanimation triggers from Orah)
Need to cut 13 cards here, and feel like I'm probably missing a few that should be in the deck.
I feel like I could use a couple more (free) sac outlets on creatures, but there aren't any clerics for that, and the deck is already bloated, otherwise I'd be looking at some humans like Cartel Aristocrat or something with more value.
How does this look? Suggestions for cuts and includes appreciated!
Cleric Tribal Pile

Lands (placeholder for land count)


17 Plains
17 Swamp
Approximate Total Cost:


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Post by Dunadain » 1 week ago

So I want to build a goad-themed deck where I just do everything i can to (in game) bash my opponents heads together.

I'm think either Kardur, Doomscourge for a commander or Zurgo Helmsmasher with a lot of ways to tutor up Assault Suit.

Basically:
1. Do you think either commander is better/ is their a third option I should consider
2. besides all the cards that say "Goad" (those are trivial to search up) are their any obvious cards I should be looking at
3. Is there somewhere where the rules for "must attack" effects are spelled out? EG. I know you don't have to attack a player who has a Ghostly Prison out, but if player A has that out and player B doesn't, do you have to attack player B? What if, every player except you has a ghostly prison effect, can the goaded creatures attack you since they "can't" attack anyone else? Obviously I don't expect any explanations here, but is there some post out there that explains it better than my google searches have done?

Thanks guys! deuces

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Post by yeti1069 » 1 week ago

Marisol, Breaker of the Coil could be a contender for commander, as could Xantcha, Sleeper Agent.

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Post by materpillar » 6 days ago

@Dunadain
Grenzo, Havoc Raiser is a pretty solid general for a goad strategy. Fumiko the Lowblood is also.

Non-goad have to attack cards.
Goblin Spymaster, Rite of the Raging Storm, Warmonger Hellkite, Goblin Diplomats, Avatar of Slaughter, Grand Melee, War's Toll

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benjameenbear
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Post by benjameenbear » 6 days ago

yeti1069 wrote:
1 week ago
Here's the rough decklist so far. I think the game plan will be playing out some cheap creatures followed by Tymna with hopefully 1-3 open attacks for some early draw. Drop Tevesh for further protection or card advantage as needed. Draw into something that generates real advantage (like Orah, Karlov, Ayli, etc...), and either control the board enough to put lethal damage through fairly, or draw into a combo.

Combos right now are:
Leonin Relic-Warder + Animate Dead + free sac outlet + something for value (could be infinite mana, life, tokens, drain or draw)
Exquisite Blood + Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose (infinite gain and drain)
Mirror Entity + Rotlung Reanimator + Phyrexian Altar (infinite 2/2 zombie tokens, turned into clerics) + something for value
Fiend Hunter + Angel of Glory's Rise + free sac outlet (infinite humans entering and leaving the battlefield + potentially cleric reanimation triggers from Orah)
Need to cut 13 cards here, and feel like I'm probably missing a few that should be in the deck.
I feel like I could use a couple more (free) sac outlets on creatures, but there aren't any clerics for that, and the deck is already bloated, otherwise I'd be looking at some humans like Cartel Aristocrat or something with more value.
How does this look? Suggestions for cuts and includes appreciated!
Spoiler
Show
Cleric Tribal Pile

Lands (placeholder for land count)


17 Plains
17 Swamp
Approximate Total Cost:

I think you've got a pretty good baseline to start with. I also like your decision to stay with Tymna + Tevesh Szat. They're a very powerful pair of Commanders and I think you'll like the synergies they have with each other.

Of the cards that you've listed, I'd recommend cutting the following cards from your list:
Spoiler
Show
  • Beloved Chaplain - it's a vanilla creature that doesn't meaningfully advance your board state.
  • Etchings of the Chosen - the Anthem effect is cute and I guess it's a sac outlet, but I think you have more powerful options and synergies that you'd want to focus on.
  • Vizkopa Confessor - you already have Sin Collector, so I would play either one or the other.
  • Frontline Medic - I think this cut is simply a consequence of having too many cards. I'd cut it.
  • True Believer - doesn't do anything by itself and has no direct synergies with the deck. Unless having shroud for yourself is important for your playgroup?
  • Cleric of Life's Bond - it's redundant to the other Soul Sisters lifegain you have, and I'd recommend cutting maybe one more simply for deck space constraints.
  • Authority of the Consuls - another card you could cut since you need deck space. It's a good card, and it gains life, but I think you have plenty of lifegain effects in the deck.
Hope that helps! Some cards that I think you're missing that would be very powerful for you are:

yeti1069
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Post by yeti1069 » 6 days ago

benjameenbear wrote:
6 days ago
yeti1069 wrote:
1 week ago
Here's the rough decklist so far. I think the game plan will be playing out some cheap creatures followed by Tymna with hopefully 1-3 open attacks for some early draw. Drop Tevesh for further protection or card advantage as needed. Draw into something that generates real advantage (like Orah, Karlov, Ayli, etc...), and either control the board enough to put lethal damage through fairly, or draw into a combo.

Combos right now are:
Leonin Relic-Warder + Animate Dead + free sac outlet + something for value (could be infinite mana, life, tokens, drain or draw)
Exquisite Blood + Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose (infinite gain and drain)
Mirror Entity + Rotlung Reanimator + Phyrexian Altar (infinite 2/2 zombie tokens, turned into clerics) + something for value
Fiend Hunter + Angel of Glory's Rise + free sac outlet (infinite humans entering and leaving the battlefield + potentially cleric reanimation triggers from Orah)
Need to cut 13 cards here, and feel like I'm probably missing a few that should be in the deck.
I feel like I could use a couple more (free) sac outlets on creatures, but there aren't any clerics for that, and the deck is already bloated, otherwise I'd be looking at some humans like Cartel Aristocrat or something with more value.
How does this look? Suggestions for cuts and includes appreciated!
Spoiler
Show
Cleric Tribal Pile

Lands (placeholder for land count)


17 Plains
17 Swamp
Approximate Total Cost:

I think you've got a pretty good baseline to start with. I also like your decision to stay with Tymna + Tevesh Szat. They're a very powerful pair of Commanders and I think you'll like the synergies they have with each other.

Of the cards that you've listed, I'd recommend cutting the following cards from your list:
Spoiler
Show
  • Beloved Chaplain - it's a vanilla creature that doesn't meaningfully advance your board state.
  • Etchings of the Chosen - the Anthem effect is cute and I guess it's a sac outlet, but I think you have more powerful options and synergies that you'd want to focus on.
  • Vizkopa Confessor - you already have Sin Collector, so I would play either one or the other.
  • Frontline Medic - I think this cut is simply a consequence of having too many cards. I'd cut it.
  • True Believer - doesn't do anything by itself and has no direct synergies with the deck. Unless having shroud for yourself is important for your playgroup?
  • Cleric of Life's Bond - it's redundant to the other Soul Sisters lifegain you have, and I'd recommend cutting maybe one more simply for deck space constraints.
  • Authority of the Consuls - another card you could cut since you need deck space. It's a good card, and it gains life, but I think you have plenty of lifegain effects in the deck.
Hope that helps! Some cards that I think you're missing that would be very powerful for you are:
My thinking with Beloved Chaplain, Frontline Medic, and Life's Bond were that they would be good creatures for getting through to trigger Tymna, but they're certainly among the weaker cards.

Skemfar I was thinking about, but felt like I wanted to wait until I've playing the deck a bit to see if I have enough creatures in play at a time to make it worthwhile.

Lurrus I had considered, but being neither a human nor a cleric had me passing over him, though he does have a lot of targets here... His types also mean he is unlikely to come back out of the graveyard.

Reveillark is kind of in the same boat, even if it is powerful.

Specialist I was considering, but I'm not sure how much work he'll do in this build, yet. Also, with two pieces of card advantage in the command zone, I was putting less of a premium on other cards that do the same.

I'll definitely have the Abbey in here. I was just lazy about copying down lands, and I have a solid idea of which I will run.

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Post by yeti1069 » 4 days ago

Wanted to get a game in with the deck, so I made some hasty cuts: Other than some issues with the mana (I think I have too many colorless, and not enough black sources), and a mulligan of a hand that was all CMC 3, the deck was pretty nuts. Even with a few turns where I could have attacked with a flyer to get Tymna's trigger, it drew a ton of cards! My hand was basically full from turn 5 until the end of the game.
Pyre of Heroes was fantastic!
Taborax was a ton of value.
My life total went down to 21 before rebounding to 55 by the time I was taking my final turn.

This was through a mini board wipe that didn't kill Taborax, another boardwipe that didn't kill Taborax, Ravos, or Auriok Champ, and a couple of pieces of spot removal at my team. Tevesh got to 10 counters, then got knocked back down a bit before he could ultimate, but the tokens and card draw were obviously a tremendous impact. Ultimately, Taborax drew about 12 cards, Tevesh drew either 4 or 6, Tymna drew 1, and the Yawgmoth I fetched with Pyre drew 5.

Probably some better edits to make, but on the first run, it looked pretty solid.

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