Heliod, Sun-Crowned: board wipe control

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

This is the latest version of one of the archetypes I like a lot: play a bunch of board wipes, and keep your creatures alive by playing a bunch of vehicles, planeswalkers, token-makers, indestructibles, etc. Basically simultaneously play an aggro and a control game, by clearing away blockers while keeping your own stuff alive, and generating lots of difficult to stop value by keeping the board clear while your planeswalkers tick up.

In this case, the angle is that Heliod himself is indestructible, and also provides a lot of potential power. The counters he generates can be put onto your protected creatures, or heliod himself, and thus easily persist through board wipes.

The obvious elephant in the room, with Heliod, is the infinite combos available with him, as well as the strength of the always super fun to play against aetherflux reservoir. For now I've left them out of the deck - but I'm going to bring them along to my LGS if I decide I want to play hardball.
Heliod, Sun-Crowned

Commander (1)


What format is this? Oh, right. (3)


Approximate Total Cost:

Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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pokken
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Post by pokken » 1 year ago

Boreas charger and a small suite of plains finding would likely be good here. Tithe gift and perhaps oreskos explorer. I think you could probably be playing wayfarer with ancient tomb and nykthos.

The old kheldoran outpost maybe a consideration too.

Really like the cconcept all around. Heliod presents a lot of power with all those wipes.

I would jam a shadowspear with all the destruction wipes i think too.

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

In general, any 3-drops really need to prove themselves, essentially to the point of being comparable to 4-drops, since Heliod is going to be our 3-drop in almost every game. Also I'm not sure what Boreas charger does here. I don't think the deck is going to be particularly interested in ramp. Wayfarer is more plausible, it does have some pretty strong nonbasics.

Kjeldoran outpost I considered but cut. Tokens are kind of an incidental synergy here, because a lot of planeswalkers make them. Compared to castle ardenvale, outpost is pretty weak, and I'd run springjack pasture over outpost as well. But with Emeria in the deck, I want my plains count to stay fairly high.

Shadowspear does do some things the deck is interested in, so I could see running it. I haven't seen a lot of indestructibles recently, though.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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Hawk
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Post by Hawk » 1 year ago

My wife's take on the deck is more aggro so a lot of the differences make sense - she has less planeswalkers and vehicles, and more cheap aggro weenies like Mother of Runes, Serene Steward, Knight of Meadowgrain, Precinct Captain, Mentor of the Meek. I imagine those don't work for you, but one card that has been a rockstar for her list is Tome of Legends. Heli-god is great at attacking regularly, and card advantage is a major problem for white. Most of her losses are when she starts drawing dead after her initial blitzkrieg doesn't pummel enemies into submission, and while Mentor is the wrong call for your version I think Tome is worth a look. I can also confirm that Weathered Wayfarer is an absolute rockstar even with a fraction of the nonbasics you are running.

You are probably right to not run Outpost and Pasture - Castle Ardenvale is essentially free and has been really marginal over a dozen or so games, so I can't imagine running weaker lands that aren't essentially free is a good idea for Heliod.

weltkrieg
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Post by weltkrieg » 1 year ago

Some cards seem kind of underpowered for what they do. I understand that you want to gain life and do things with it. That makes sense. However, cards like pristine talisman, fountain of renewal, altar of the pantheon just don't do much. I personally believe you really want the devotion token makers in here...Anyone of the soul sister like effects of which you run a metric *expletive deleted*-ton of, heliod, and (evangel of heliod/springjack shepherd/reverent hoplite) do a reasonably good impression of a finisher, or the beginnings of one. They also work insanely well with lots of other cards in your deck (the demigod, linden, etc. ).

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Hawk
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Post by Hawk » 1 year ago

weltkrieg wrote:
1 year ago
Some cards seem kind of underpowered for what they do. I understand that you want to gain life and do things with it. That makes sense. However, cards like pristine talisman, fountain of renewal, altar of the pantheon just don't do much. I personally believe you really want the devotion token makers in here...Anyone of the soul sister like effects of which you run a metric *expletive deleted*-ton of, heliod, and (evangel of heliod/springjack shepherd/reverent hoplite) do a reasonably good impression of a finisher, or the beginnings of one. They also work insanely well with lots of other cards in your deck (the demigod, linden, etc. ).
I will stick up for Altar of the Pantheon - it looks bad, but as it contributes to devotion, ramps, AND gains life, it hits every box this deck is looking for. My wife's list is, again, a bit more aggressive and has a much less powerful manabase so maybe it isn't worthwhile with Crypt and Tomb.

That being said, you do make a good point that we found Pristine Talisman (which only makes colorless instead of white and doesn't add to devotion) wasn't good enough, and meanwhile Reverent Hoplite has been the go-to tutor target for any game that my wife doesn't want to instant-win with Ballista since it is bonkers with Linden or a Soul Sister. In Dirk's more controlly build I could see how Evangel of Heliod (at 6 CMC) and Springjack Shepherd (only making 0/1s) aren't good enough but I'd definitely try to find room for Hoplite. For the record, my wife is running Evangel and Hoplite but not Shepherd - although that may be because I forgot it existed, and it has shot up to the top of the maybeboard. It is competing with our newly-freed up Elspeth, Sun's Champion and Secure the Wastes for a slot though.

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

I haven't actually gotten to run the list because...well...I can't leave my apartment...but I really like pristine talisman conceptually. Gaining life every turn is pretty neat considering it comes staples to an otherwise-useful effect. The cmc is awkward since it competes for Heliod, but otherwise I really like the idea of it. I had altar of the pantheon with heliod in limited and it felt pretty bonkers, even though I never had enough devotion to make heliod a creature. And in this deck, I think turning him into a creature is kind of a double-edged sword, and we're mono-colored. So I really don't feel like the gap between talisman and altar is very big.

As far as the token-makers, I guess they're pretty good but I don't have a great idea of what my devotion is going to look like, or how often I can keep a soul sister-esque effect on the board. I count 8 of them in the deck, but that's including attacking and dying triggers, which are a bit slow, potentially. And if I'm playing it for devotion of 5, is that really enough? 11 power for 5 mana? Idk, I guess it's alright but I'm not over the moon about it. Plus our whole thing is board wipes, which committing to a big board kind of undermines. Yes, I can put the counters onto a vehicle or a manland or whatever so I can protect them from wipes, but that still really cuts into the efficiency. On the other hand, having a bunch of tokens does help protect my walkers until I do wipe. So idk. But right now they feel counter to what I'm trying to accomplish so I don't think I'm interested. This version isn't trying to get a ton of value with heliod quickly, it's trying to get value over time, control the board, and find opportunities to crack in with big inflated pseudo-creatures that are hard to kill. I'm just not sure that making a bunch of tokens really benefits that.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

Got to play a couple games with it at my LGS finally, now that things have opened up a bit. Managed to win both, surprisingly. The first one I was behind for a long time, mana screwed and then hand-screwed, but managed to get an early Ajani Steadfast ult, so I was a crappy attack target and managed to go unmolested for most of the game, and eventually even a Elspeth, Knight-Errant ult as well while the others fought it out. Got a bunch of counters onto a Blinkmoth Nexus and killed my opponents with it.

Second game was a 5p against Pramikon, Sky Rampart, which protected my Elspeth, Sun's Champion so it could ult. Then I killed everyone else one turn at a time, easy peasy.

Overall the deck could really use more draw, but otherwise it's pretty strong, has some nice explosive power but also some decent value with the planeswalkers. Probably a solid 7 or so, power-wise. Keeping track of life and triggers gets a bit tedious though.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

weltkrieg
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Post by weltkrieg » 1 year ago

DirkGently wrote:
1 year ago
Got to play a couple games with it at my LGS finally, now that things have opened up a bit. Managed to win both, surprisingly. The first one I was behind for a long time, mana screwed and then hand-screwed, but managed to get an early Ajani Steadfast ult, so I was a crappy attack target and managed to go unmolested for most of the game, and eventually even a Elspeth, Knight-Errant ult as well while the others fought it out. Got a bunch of counters onto a Blinkmoth Nexus and killed my opponents with it.

Second game was a 5p against Pramikon, Sky Rampart, which protected my Elspeth, Sun's Champion so it could ult. Then I killed everyone else one turn at a time, easy peasy.

Overall the deck could really use more draw, but otherwise it's pretty strong, has some nice explosive power but also some decent value with the planeswalkers. Probably a solid 7 or so, power-wise. Keeping track of life and triggers gets a bit tedious though.
If you're after draw and you're aiming for the long game, 3 artifacts that will stand you in good stead are:

Mind's Eye
Endless Atlas
Book of Rass

You can also run the usual suspects of Well of Lost Dreams and Dawn of Hope . All 5 will help you with the theme.

Just to note: I run a board wipe tribal variant of my own, I run all 3 of the artifacts I listed and I only run 3 sources of lifegain (Resolute Archangel , Ancestor's Chosen , and True Conviction ) with true conviction being the least useful (reanimator/wrath list). Any time I resolve even one of those first 2 artifacts, if it makes it back to my turn, I am 99% to win. It's hard keeping up with a deck with 25+ wraths and if that self same deck gets a hand refill, all but the most obnoxious spell based combo lists will have trouble with it.

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