Balan, Wandering Knight
Legendary Creature — Cat Knight
First strikeBalan, Wandering Knight has double strike as long as two or more Equipment are attached to it.1W: Attach all equipment you control to Balan.
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Balan, Wandering Knight Discussion
1 week ago
Questions for post-Balan, Wandering Knight switch! I see you are still on the Sram, tsk tsk! =P
Why not keep Caged Sun in the 99? Did the deck get too tight that it had to get cut from adding cards?
Would you consider running Ancient Tomb?
What sleeves do you use for you commander deck? Dragon shields, kmcs, ultra pro, etc?
1 week ago
Posting this Cats that don't suck list to research later, as MegaMatt13 commented, Pride Sovereign is a little weak, plus I find that 24 cats is a little short, although I've won games without playing a cat Stonehewer Giant + Puresteel Paladin + Grafted Exoskeleton.
I excluded many aggro cats because I feel that's not the right way to win in a multi-player format.
I'm sure I've missed some cats. I also have added some cats that do suck, but evaluating combos with them.
Adorned Pouncer, Ajani's Pridemate, Ajani's Sunstriker, Felidar Cub, Fleecemane Lion, Hungry Lynx, Initiate's Companion, Leonin Arbiter, Leonin Relic-Warder, Leonin Shikari, Lost Leonin, Metallic Mimic, Qasali Pridemage, Scrounging Bandar, Sunspear Shikari, Whitemane Lion
Brimaz, King of Oreskos, Fleetfoot Panther, Kemba, Kha Regent, Mirri, Cat Warrior, Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist, Mirror Entity, Pride Sovereign, Prowling Serpopard, Qasali Ambusher, Skyhunter Skirmisher, Stalking Leonin
Please recommend any cats i've missed!
2 weeks ago
Hey sagramore, great looking deck! I'm building a Kitty Equipment deck too. It's a Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist Voltron deck so it plays a bit differently, but a lot of concepts transfer. I'll come back and post a link once I spruce it up if you like.
I have to say, Puresteel Paladin is amazing, and for me worth the price. He's a draw engine, and when you pair him with Leonin Shikari things get nuts - free, instant-speed equipping turns your equipment into answers, especially ones like Swiftfoot Boots and Darksteel Plate.
Those two are great fetch targets for Uncage the Menagerie, which is inexpensive both to buy and cast. (I don't rely on Cat Tribal as much, so I usually fetch a Puresteel Paladin and Stoneforge Mystic with Uncage). Also, if you haven't thought about it, Dispatch is one of the lesser-known spot exile spells. A budget card compared to something like Path to Exile, but it works in artifact-heavy decks.
Could I recommend swapping your Hunter's Prowess for Soul's Majesty? Same casting cost, so it doesn't affect your curve. HP is only better draw if your opponent blocks for less than three damage, and is easily interrupted by tapping, bouncing, destroying, or just plain blocking the creature. I ran both in my deck for a time, but I like SM better.
I saw some discussion about Bloodforged Battle-Axe in the other comments - I have to say I like it. As one guy said, it can eat your mana and turns if you focus on equipping all the copies. However, three or four cards mean you don't have to. With Sigarda's Aid or Hammer of Nazahn in play, all of the copies auto-equip when they hit the battlefield! This is especially gratifying when you have a double-striker, because copies of the Axe are made during the first damage step, and auto-equip before second damage is dealt. That quadruples your Axes instead of doubling them. Balan, Wandering Knight can attach copies to himself, so you can do the same trick with him at instant speed for two mana without either of the other support cards. And if you spring for that Puresteel Paladin... then Paladin.
As far as Trailblazer's Boots in your Maybeboard, I currently run it, but I'm thinking of replacing it with Whispersilk Cloak, which you already included. The boots just don't do a whole lot for the card slot they take up when you could have better equipment in its place. On the other hand, I'm running Mirri as my commander, so I don't usually pump with Arahbo, Roar of the World, and Whispersilk prevents you from doing that. Maybe trample is all we really need? Playtesting will tell!
Oh! One last thing: Descendants' Path is a card I ran when I was sticking closer to the Tribal theme. I since removed it, but it means free Kitties!
2 weeks ago
You have quite a bit of +/+ for the cats, what do you think about a Triumph of the Hordes for a finishing attack?
Guys like Leonin Armorguard and Grizzled Leotau seem a little underpowered for the CMC? Have you considered Lost Leonin (if you can give him double strike) or Balan, Wandering Knight to free equip all the swords and recover quickly?
Highly recommend Rhonas the Indomitable, 5/5 Deathtouch indestructible for CMC3, can always attack with ANY cat + eminence triggered ability, as well as can pump/trample a cat if needed.
Chameleon Colossus can proc himself too, and as a cat, can get out of hand when you have a bit of mana. +1.
2 weeks ago
Thank you for sharing your great deck. I am a long time follower and I love this deck, because it plays the kind of magic which I enjoy the most: Artifacts and a mono-white build. Let's face it: mono white is the single-worst color in Commander. However, your deck is powerful with strong synergies and a flavourful theme, without swingy, game-ending cards and combos. I am taking a break from competitive commander, because it does not fit for me. There are other formats that do that for me. Therefore, I am strongly considering building a mono-white attrition deck for a more casual meta.
I would love to hear your thoughts on some cards.
Mana Crypt it is amazing, but it can do a lot of damage to you (1.5 a turn on average). It is great for decks that try to win fast. I think its probably fine to add it here since you have lifegain but I feel like you are a little slow to try to push for the win. The damage can add up quickly, especially when you aren't lucky with the random results.
Wayfarer's Bauble is solid land ramp. I would rather have lands in play than a mana stone as they tend to get blown up. It's cheap to use and doesnt leave you with a target for things like Austere Command. It also lets you ramp into a turn 3 Balan, Wandering Knight.
Tithe is instant speed and let's you dropping lands when you fall behind.
Sensei's Divining Top I have started seeing this card a bit less as a staple for every deck.Card selection is always amazing and the more often you can refresh your selection the better this card becomes. It is amazing when you can manage to shuffle once per turn. This means that every turn, you get access to the best of three cards as your draw. It is great for trigger Miracle, like Terminus, even in your opponents turn. However, you don't have a lot ways to shuffle your deck to filter off the bad cards.
Crystal Ball is topdeck manipulation where you dig into the cards you want or need. Whithout many shuffle effects it can make a nice addition.
Mind's Eye is one of the more powerful actual card draw effects available to mono white. It does not provide topdeck manipulation and it consumes a lot of mana. It is no Consecrated Sphinx and it may sit for a round until it provides value. However, it is very reliable card draw, especially if not answered quickly.
Crucible of Worlds is a good backup plan for your many utility lands. It turns Inventors' Fair into an engine. You already run Buried Ruin and Petrified Field which make this setup hard to disrupt. Personally I like including fetchlands if you are going to include this card just to expand what you can do with it. In mono color I tend to not run fetchlands. With Crucible I would consider fetchlands so I tend to have more shuffling, also for Sensei's Top.
Rout can wrath the board at instant speed as a nice surprise option.
Tragic Arrogance and Divine Reckoning work good with your voltron strategy. Keep your best creature and equipment and destroy the rest. Tragic Arrogance can also handle Indestructible and Hexproof, which is a great benefit.
Hallowed Burial Generally speaking I find it hard ever wanting to miracle Terminus. It can be nice with topdeck manipulation especially with Sensei's Divining Top, but I have also concerns with that card. Overall, I feel like the cheaper overall mana cost of Hallowed Burial could be a bit more solid than the random situations where you can profitably miracle cast Terminus.
Grasp of Fate and Angel of Sanctions are both efficient and versatile removal options. Your opponents will typically answer them quickly to get their cards back. I see it more like tempo cards, if you want to push for the win.
Ray of Distortion is costly, but I think it's an underplayed card. Instant speed two-for-one removal is not too bad in my book.
Serra Ascendant is more aggressive and looking for swords. It's a nice and cheap beater.People get really pissed off when they see this on turn one and it usually leads to the whole table running you over first. Anyway, after clubbing a single opponent to under half life people start stabilizing and then you will turn the game into archenemy.
Transcendent Master Not really sure what to say. I think it's a very flavourful option and he gives you something to dump mana into. He can carry equipment and scales well into the late game. On the other hand he is very slow and everybody at the table will see it coming.
Wall of Reverence acts as an amazing blocker paired with its lifegain it grants some great sustainability. You don't need to attack to gain life, which makes it great in more situations against decks that push hard on life. You also get the life end of your turn which can make a differnce.
Gisela, the Broken Blade comes down early, has evasion and lifelink. She's an efficient beater.
3 weeks ago
Balan, Wandering Knight would be better than the previously mentioned punisher.
I really like Hammer of Nazahn as a voltron equipment, as it gives both indestructiblity and makes equiping all ensuing equipment free. I believe Tragic Arrogance should be a consideration as well, your deck looks light board wipes.
I hope you realize enchantments don't trigger Sram's card draw, only auras do. Things such as Darksteel Mutation for controlling and Shielded by Faith for voltroning, and the like. You also may consider vehicles too, Conqueror's Galleon Flip could work well in this deck, among a small amount of others.
I like your deck a lot though, looks like a lot of fun to play. +1 from me :)
3 weeks ago
Hey, so basic suggestions:
3 weeks ago
If you're interested in making the deck more competitive, I have some major suggestions for you:
First, let's fix up your mana base. More competitively minded Arahbo decks want to hit early land drops and get threats out ASAP. Regardless if your deck is intended for 1v1 or if you want it to hold its own in multiplayer, you don't want your lands to enter the battlefield tapped. Nearly half of your lands enter tapped, meaning you're going to be behind on mana nearly half of the time! For our purposes, I think it would be better to list the lands that enter tapped that I think would be alright keeping:
I'm not the biggest fan of Evolving Wilds or Terramorphic Expanse in 2 color green decks, as you have so many other ramp/fetch options, but for budget purposes they are perfectly fine inclusions. Anything else that can't tap for mana the turn you drop it doesn't seem worth it to me. With the same logic, I'd be mighty tempted to exclude Temple of the False God as well
As far as replacements go, we need a combination of additional lands and ramp. For the lands, while higher end fetches are nice, we can go for cheaper options (mostly under $5 each) that will provide better mana fixing than Selesnya Guildgate and company:
- Canopy Vista
- Fortified Village
- Mana Confluence - A little on the pricey side, but taps for anything.
- Sunpetal Grove
- Temple of Plenty - Enters tap, but provides a scry!
- Unclaimed Territory - Weaker Cavern of Souls!
Outside of these choices, I'd also add more basic lands. While some of the ETB tapped duals are nice, if you have more ramp options that allow you to select basics from your deck, you can pick and choose what colors you want on the fly:
- Oreskos Explorer - Get Plains out of your deck and into your hand!
- Kodama's Reach - Your second copy of Cultivate
- Farseek and/or Nature's Lore - Get a Forest or Plains from your deck. This includes Scattered Groves! I personally prefer Nature's Lore since the land doesn't enter tapped.
- Rampant Growth - See above, but only for basics.
I've got a few more mana rocks for you to consider as well:
- Selesnya Signet - Signets are staples for 2 color decks. People run it for good reason!
- Talisman of Unity - One of the benefits of ally colors is that you get to run a Talisman, which can be dropped off of a turn 1 Sol Ring for massive ramp early!
- Mind Stone - Personally, I believe this to be better than Dreamstone Hedron since it comes out much earlier, even though the ramp and draw is halved.
- Fellwar Stone - This is better in 3+ color decks, but if you need another cheap mana rock, this is about as good as they get.
- Marble Diamond and Moss Diamond - These are weaker than the others, but they can be drop early and pay themselves off in the long run.
While these cards aren't strictly mana rocks per se, they work similar to Herald’s Horn . I'd exhaust your mana rock options before considering these, however:
- Oketra's Monument and Rhonas's Monument: Reduce the cost of your creature spells while provide extra utility in the form of chumps and pumps.
- Pearl Medallion and Emerald Medallion**: Can be dropped off of a Turn 1 Sol Ring, which is where they'd really shine.
Now that we've got your mana covered, let's talk about your win conditions. One thing I dislike about the deck out of the box is that you're split in a few directions - do you go wide with tokens, do you voltron it up/go tall? In either case, lets consider your finishers for each win-con (outside of Arahbos abilities):
At a glance its easy to see how each of these cards could win you the game, but its worth it to take a more critical look at how each of these work, and the best ways to support them.
Lets start with going wide with tokens.
First, Coat of Arms: Ignoring for now that this boosts your opponents creatures as well, we gotta do some math. Worst case scenario, lets say each of your opponents are at 40 life, and you want to swing for the kill. Math wise, were looking at your cumulative damage across the board being equal X*(X-1)+P, where X is the number of cats you control, and P is your total power. If youre in 1v1, the math is simple, as youre swinging all of your cats at one opponent, but in multiplayer things get trickier, as you have to split your attacks. You may find yourself in a position where you have 80 damage on the board, but due to an uneven number of creatures or differences in power, you can still only kill one of your opponents.
In any case, given the exponential nature of Coat of Arms, the more players youre going up against, the less cats you need to generate per player to win. Still, if youre going for quick kills (Im thinking competitive = win asap), then you want to find a way to drop multiple creatures Turn A, then Turn B cast Coat of Arms and swing. Tokens are the best way of doing this, but as far as dropping a bunch in one turn, your options are currently limited to just White Sun's Zenith, Regal Caracal, and Pride Sovereign, with the latter two being limited to 2 tokens a pop unless you include a token doubler like Anointed Procession.
Ajani, Caller of the Pride I believe should go in nearly every Arahbo deck, given how much synergy it offers to the multiple playstyles Arahbo can support. While getting the Ult off can be tricky, you could easily end up with 20+ cats, which would be enough to kill almost any table.
Nacatl War-Pride is another great finisher that actually works in non-token strategies as well, given the blocks that it forces. If you can enable trample on your creatures across the board, then this can easily kill with Coat of Arms and your opponent just controlling a handful of creatures. Coat of Arms also boosts your creatures that arent attacking the same opponent as War-Pride, so you dont have to be forced to pick off one opponent at a time!
Other than that, flickering Regal Caracal with something like Felidar Guardian could also assist with the token generation.
The same principles above apply to Jazal Goldmane the more tokens you have the better. Jazal costs 9 more cumulative mana than Coat of Arms does, however, so you really want to focus on ramping out as much as you can in order to make the most effective use of him, and in extension your biggest potential token generator, White Suns Zenith.
If youre keen on the tokens route, you can instead focus on getting the most bang for your buck with those tokens. Turn them into mana generators with Cryptolith Rite, or make each individual token a massive threat with cards like Beastmaster Ascension and True Conviction. I particularly like those latter cards because they work well with non-Cat tokens just the same. Im thinking cards like Oketra's Monument like I mentioned earlier, which provides additional tokens for you to use that wouldnt necessarily help out with Coat of Arms. But getting a 6/6 Soldier instead of a 1/1 thanks to Beastmaster Ascension? That seems like a hell of a great deal to me!
For all of the above token strategies, its no surprise that Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist is your best friend. Only being blocked by one creature per opponent means your threats will almost definitely go through. Still, you know that by default, they will also block your strongest creature given the choice. Thankfully, you can take away that choice thanks to Krosan Vorine. Its an old card with the Provoke ability, which also happens to be a Cat Beast! I dont think your deck could be asking for more synergy here this card allows your game ending-threats to go through with ease.
Thats the extent of what I have to offer with token-based wins. Ill cover some general token boons for your deck shortly, but before that Id like to touch on the Tall/Voltron focus your deck has.
If I can speak frankly, I strongly feel that if you want to go the voltron/equipment route, you should make Nazahn, Revered Bladesmith your commander. He is better suited for going for a commander-damage win, and you have equipment toolbox tutoring whenever you need it with him in the command zone. The more I personally playtested my Arahbo deck, I found myself short on actual cats to boost with him when I ran too many equipments. Personally speaking, your deck would be best optimized if you either lessened the equipment focus, or changed the commander.
If you intend to keep the focus as is with Arahbo sitting at the helm, I still have some pointers that should hopefully help you out.
Youre going to want to get Artifacts that give you the most bang for your buck. This can either be in value these equipment provide, or them being high power for their cost.
Skullclamp is included in the base deck, and I feel it should be definitely part of your 99. No, you dont have many 1/1s currently to abuse the draw, but Skullclamps value necessarily stem from repeated draws like youd see in Marath, Will of the Wild and other token decks. Just being able to replace your one card with 2 is immensely valuable. Youre already running Heirloom Blade, and I feel Skullclamp in the long run is more valuable than that card.
Sitting down at competitive tables means youre going to be seeing some big name cards, some that may be too big or expensive for your own deck to run. But that doesnt mean you cant play them still! Look no further than Masterwork of Ingenuity, which copies any other equipment on the field. I cant afford or Umezawa's Jitte, but Im sure Masterwork would be in your budget range.
Speaking of masterworks, Stoneforge Masterwork is a best of both worlds kind of card, working as hybrid between your tall and wide strategies. It effectively turns any one of your cats into a Pride Sovereign, which is nothing to scoff at!
If you have the budget for them, consider some larger (and easier to cast!) equipment threats like Darksteel Plate, Godsend, and Sword of Fire and Ice if youre a real high roller. I wouldnt run any of the other swords given that I believe they all have protection from White or Green, meaning you couldnt boost the same creatures with Arahbo. In a Nazahn deck, however? You could go nuts!
The one additional thing I would offer for you in regards to voltron-ing it up would be to add evasion to your creatures. Trample enablers are nice, but youre missing a pretty significant one in the form of Rancor. Not an equipment, but its cheap and your opponents will be hard pressed to remove it for good. Gryff's Boon is in the same vein on the flying side of things, with similar recursion. While it lacks recursion, Shield of the Oversoul is another aura that will make your creature nigh unstoppable.
Speaking of flying, Fleetfeather Sandals is a slightly weaker version of Swiftfoot Boots that offers flying instead of hexproof. Ive personally been running it in my own Arahbo deck over Lightning Greaves given that Shroud prevents me from targetting my own creatures with Arahbos eminence ability. Ajani, Caller of the Pride (who I mentioned in my token coverage earlier!) also enables flying!
For your tall builds, dont be afraid to branch away from the equipment focus if you stick with Arahbo. In addition to thos enchantments, I personally am I massive advocate of Duelist's Heritage, which you can use to your advantage by encouraging your opponents to take each other out first! It comes out much earlier than Raksha Golden Cub, and while it lacks the additional anthem it provides, being able to swing a few turns in advance with it makes it worth considering.
If you want a quick and dirty equipment win, look no further than Grafted Exoskeleton. With Arahbos eminence, if you enable double strike on the equipped creature, one unblocked attack is guaranteed to knock out an opponent thanks to infect. This very much depends on your playgroup, so please consider it carefully. Im personally a big fan of infect, so I consider this single card one of my primary win-cons in my Arahbo deck, even though theres not as big of an equipment focus as yours.
For the above, youre going to want to be able to toolbox the right equipments and auras for the right scenarios. Open the Armory is a very cheap tutor that would serve you well, which you can later upgrade to Steelshaper's Gift or even Enlightened Tutor.
Anything more Id have to add about your win-cons would be dependent on what direction you eventually take the deck. In the meantime, Id like to cover some general utility and quality of life improvements for your deck!
One thing that would help would be to lower the curve of your deck. Your average CMC is 3.65 currently, meaning most of your cards are being dropped turn 3 or 4, by which point more competitive decks would already have gotten the ball rolling. We can fix this by reducing the number of large cards youre running, or at least making sure that those cards are REAL power plays.
Personally, I dont play anything of CMC of 6 unless I know it can contribute to an actual victory on a regular basis. Cards in your deck like Argentum Armor, Jareth, Leonine Titan, Jedit Ojanen of Efrava, and Spirit of the Hearth are big and flashy but wont turn the game around for you.
Instead, something like Felidar Sovereign is another large cat in the same range, which can add some additional win-cons for you! More low costed threats that can be just as big and deadly like Mirror Entity (technically a cat!), Lost Leonin (gotta love infect!), and Adorned Pouncer (built-in double strike to take advantage of eminence!) would be massive boons that help make you a threat much earlier in the game.
There are also a handful of cards I feel are entirely outclassed in your deck. Relic Crush, for example, is practically a worse version of Sylvan Reclamation which exiles AND has cycling on it. Instant upgrade! Other small removal improvements would be the inclusion of Swords to Plowshares and/or Beast Within, which both offer great utility.
Right now, its difficult for me to suggest some specific cuts, as that is dependent on what direction youd like to take the deck. For now, Id like to offer you a few resources which can hopefully help you make up your mind.
First, my own deck!
Commander / EDH
SCORE: 12 | 1652 VIEWS | IN 7 FOLDERS
I implement many of the above ideas in my own deck, so hopefully it can give you a good idea of what a more heavily modified Arahbo deck looks like.
Second, this excellent article on MTGGoldfish on upgrading Arahbo on a budget:
If you implemented all of my suggestions, things would add up pretty quickly. This article should give you a quick idea of what some quick easy changes you could make would be.
Third, the CommandCasts podcast episode on the Arahbo deck!
These guys know EDH like the back of their hands, and they offer some insightful tips on how to improve upon the strengths of the Feline Ferocity deck. Another episode of theirs worth watching is the one where they cover the basics of deck construction, which has significantly improved my own deck building after watching:
Finally, the holy grail of EDH utilities: EDHREC!
This page lists the most popular cards used in Arahbo decks. Experiment with the filters, putting in cards youd like to use, or cards you dont like, and see what people with similar tastes are running!
I really hope this all helps. I know I wrote a novel here, but Id love to hear your thoughts on my suggestions, and hopefully we can take things from there!