Sword of the Realms (aka Halvar) - Stabbing people with your commander doesn't deal commander damage?

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 8 months ago

New Decklist!
Halvar/Sword of the Realms (mostly sword of the realms)

Goodstuff (3)


Approximate Total Cost:

It's not a terribly focused decklist, but the main idea is to loop value creatures with Sword of the Realms, while using wipes to control the board. There are a few ways to win - grinding out enemies with repeated wipes, escalating value off a combination of the extra value cards, or simply going infinite with some sort of recursion loop (reveillark, karmic guide, griffin) although you'll still need some extra help to actually turn that into a win, so hopefully it's not too easy.

OP:

I really like Halvar, God of Battle // Sword of the Realms. As bad as it almost always is, mono-white equipment is always that underdog I never stop rooting for. And being able to run an equipment as your commander is a unique new twist.

Actually building him, though, is pretty tricky to think about.

So on the surface, both sides seem like they have overlapping synergies. Havlar cares about equipment, SotR IS an equipment. So it's just a normal mono-white equipment build that can play either side, right? But the more I think about it, the more I don't think that's true. Because the two sides can't usually appear at the same time, nor easily switch between the two, I don't think there's much motivation to build towards flexibility. No matter how you build, you're most likely going into the game with a plan to cast either Halvar or SotR, not picking one on the fly. I mean, maybe you could end up with a deck that usually wants SotR, but draws all equipment and no creatures and so plays Halvar, or the reverse and plays SotR. But aside from disaster scenarios, I think it makes the most sense to specialize in one side or the other.

So what do the two builds potentially look like?

Halvar does benefit from equipment, but I think he gets maximum benefit from auras. Cheap, cantrippy auras can maximize the benefit from his first ability, and he can set up auras to then move them later, for example to protect himself the turn he hits. The moving-around ability is really neat but seems difficult to exploit too much beyond that, and some minor advantages is moving stuff around on the fly to get maximum attack benefit. Playing out a Pentarch Ward or a Spectra Ward early, and then moving them onto Halvar seems neat, for example. Of course, strong equipment like swords, jitte, etc still make good sense, as do creatures with strong saboteur abilities to get maximum benefit from the double strike, though he could also work as a pure voltron pretty well.

SotR seems very different to me. As an equipment in a normal equipment deck it looks...fine. The boost is decent if unamazing, the recur ability is nice but kinda slow for a deck that wants to be fast. But where it does grow some legs is in two ways - first, it has some potential shenanigans with ETBs, as a way to keep retriggering them, and second, it does excellently with board wipes, especially when used in conjunction with the first thing. Set up some ETB dork as an attacker/blocker, swing, if it dies just replay and re-equip, and then when your opponents go wide, you go boom.

Perusing the most popular ETB/LTB/die triggers on EDHrec, we've got:
(here's my search for anyone who wants to peruse further - white zone trigger creatures)

Anyway, beyond strong ETBs, we'd want a lot of creature-wipes (or at least non-artifact wipes), and some sac outlets to trigger ETBs more often than just through normal creature death and wipe death.

Those are my thoughts so far. Any suggestions or additions appreciated!
Last edited by DirkGently 8 months ago, edited 2 times in total.
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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Ruiner
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Post by Ruiner » 8 months ago

Masterwork of Ingenuity and Sculpting Steel would allow you to have both sides of the commander in play simultaneously. Play the commander as equipment, play one of these, legend rule kicks in, get rid of the original that is your commander card, replay on the creature side. This probably wouldn't be too tough to pull off given White's equipment and artifact tutors. Not sure if this is something you may want to keep in mind?

Phoenixlance
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Post by Phoenixlance » 8 months ago

If you go the ETB route, Martyr's Cause is a pretty nifty sac outlet that also allows for some nice political shenanigans.

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pokken
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Post by pokken » 8 months ago

A buncha just random thoughts--

I think the recursion control build is a bit more interesting to me. I think cheap baneslayery creatures that have value from sitting on the board might be a bit more interesting, e.g. dudes like Brimaz, King of Oreskos, but etb dudes that make tokens might also be fun. Archangel of Thune is a bit nasty if it just keeps coming back :P

Some kinda Soul Warden theme might be pretty fun, since recurring very cheap guys to gain lots of life seems good. Being able to spam Martyr of Sands feels interesting to me too.

Knight-Captain of Eos might be kinda neat with a bit of a soldier subtheme?

The Fiend Hunter class of creatures is pretty solid too, and Palace Jailer is absurd.

I thnk it's 100% a Martyr's Cause deck though and that enchantment is super fun (to me:P).

Akroma's Will is pretty sweet with a very cheap general who isn't vulnerable to creature removal so

Generally speaking I think Balan, Wandering Knight and Sram, Senior Edificer are both better equipment focused generals but the always having a recursion effect feels rather interesting.

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 8 months ago

Just put up a decklist. It's a little scattershot but it should hopefully give some idea of where I want to go with the concept.
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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Ardeyn
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Post by Ardeyn » 8 months ago

I don't know if this is your cup of tea, but if you have Puresteel Paladin, your Sword Commander and a Zero Cost Creature such as Ornithopter, you could go infinite with any free Sac Outlet - preferably Blasting Station for the win.

Ardeyn
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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 8 months ago

If there are synergistic cards in my deck that happen to go infinite (i.e. the reveillark combos in this one) then I'll allow it (provided it's not too easy to assemble and becomes the primary way for the deck to win) but I wouldn't put in cards with the exclusive purpose of comboing. Also kinda goes to my rule about not playing cards which are exclusively win conditions (see my title for further information).

Anyway if that's how I wanted to win Koll, the Forgemaster is way way better at that sort of combo.
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 » 8 months ago

Played three games with it tonight, of which I won two.

First game was 3p, one playing gisela. Early Court of Grace gave me a small army of angels, which killed the 3rd player the turn Gisela came down, followed by a wipe. After some back and forth, I was eventually able to get control of the game with an every-upkeep Ranger-Captain of Eos (%$#%$#% that card is great here) and beat down ftw.

Second game was going decently when I got craterhoofed. A bit of bad luck in the turn order - P1 had a very threatening board, and I knew P4 was going to play a scary board too, but I was P3 and felt I needed to wipe. Ultimately P4 went avenger into craterhoof on the next turn to win.

Third game was another 3P, my life total stayed generally high and I looped solemn a billion times to get 15 lands or so in play. The landfall deck was somewhat scary but easy to chumpblock, and I kept a Rout in my hand that ended up being crucial to saving me. The other player was playing Teysa Karlov and drained life a bunch, though my life total never got too low. Ultimately won off a karmic guide loop.

Overall the deck's not too bad, but it can be a bit grindy. I was impressed by the effectiveness of Thorn of Amethyst and especially Deafening Silence.
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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