|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Core Set 2020 (M20)||Common|
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Creature — Elemental Cat
: Gain . SPend this mana only to cast an Elemental spell or a Chandra planeswalker spell.
Chandra's Embercat Discussion
2 weeks ago
Welcome to TappedOut :)
Nice start for a budget deck, but it needs more focus on Elementals. You're best cards here are not green they're red Chandra, Awakened Inferno and Cavalier of Flame . The problem is you've made a primary green deck and plugged your two best red cards into it which doesn't work. Both Chandra and especially Cavalier need lots of red in the manabase to support them, to cast them and you don't have this here.
A playable manabase is the hardest part of a deck to get right with such a low budget for this reason consider only one color? Either mono green or mono red? A mono colored deck only has to use one type of basic land therefore don't have to worry about playing dual lands for the second color. Since your two best cards here are red then consider mono red?
Obviously mono red will be a different deck than you have here and would require adding lots of budget red cards. Mono green wouldn't, but mono green wouldn't let you play Chandra or Cavalier. My advice is go with mono red since there's several good budget (less than $1 each) red Elementals in Modern to choose from: Smokebraider , Incandescent Soulstoke , Obsidian Fireheart .
For your current Gruul deck, if you don't like the idea of playing only one color, but wanting to keep two colors then focus on improving the manabase with more red sources. Add 4x Evolving Wilds , 2x Terramorphic Expanse , 1x more Gruul Guildgate or upgrade Guildgate to 4x Temple of Abandon ? The scry 1 is helpful when you play a dual land that ETB (enters the battlefield) tapped. Add Unclaimed Territory especially if you add more red Elementals since it can be make any color of mana to cast an Elemental.
Consider expanding on the Elemental strategy and less +1/+1 counters strategy? Consider building around the idea of ramp with Leafkin Druid and Smokebraider ? Grove Rumbler is a budget Elemental to considering ramping into. Rumbler is a creature to put counters on because it has trample and it gets a pump of power each time you play a land, +4/+4 until end of turn when you play and sac Evolving Wilds /Expanse in the same turn.
Smokebraider is the most powerful ramp creature for Elementals; it's budget and is an upgrade for Chandra's Embercat if using two colors. Incandescent Soulstoke is a budget anthem for Elementals and can cheat one onto the battlefield which has interaction with my next suggestion. Soul of the Harvest is a budget Elemental to ramp into and an upgrade for Vorstclaw and Wakeroot Elemental . A 6/6 with trample for six mana and it's ability to draw you a card whenever a nontoken creature you control ETB is good.
Cheat Soul onto the battlefield with Soulstoke for two mana; attack with a 7/7 Elemental with haste/trample. Not having to pay the six mana to cast Soul gives other mana to use to cast creatures to draw for the turn which is good with Smokebraider and Leafkin. The two mana that Smokebraider can make to cast an Elemental is good to ramp into Soul as well as can pay for Soulstroke or Cavalier of Flame 's activated abilities.
Example of budget ramp Gruul Elementals base (keeping several cards you already have):
- 4x Leafkin Druid
- 4x Smokebraider
- 4x Incandescent Soulstoke
- 4x Grove Rumbler
- 4x Soul of the Harvest
- 2x Chandra's Embercat
- 3x Pollenbright Druid
- 2x Overgrowth Elemental
- 1x Seed Guardian
- 1x Cavalier of Flame
- 1x Chandra, Awakened Inferno
- 5x empty spots for other cards.
The Elemental core of this example is:
- 4x Leafkin
- 4x Smokebraider
- 4x Soulstoke
- 4x Rumbler
- 4x Soul
Leafkin and Smokebraider are the ramp. Rumber and Soul are the creatures to ramp into.
Manabase for this example:
- 6x Forest
- 5x Mountain
- 4x Evolving Wilds
- 2x Terramorphic Expanse
- 4x Temple of Abandon
- 2x Unclaimed Territory
- 1x Flamekin Village : haste can be helpful, letting an Elemental attack the turn it ETB.
This example would add $10 to your current deck cost of $35. I offer more advice. Good luck with your deck.
3 weeks ago
Thanks for the input so far well see how it plays.
3 weeks ago
A couple things:
First of all Shock gives Chandra's Spitfire +3/+0, not +6/+0 - the Spitfire doesn't care how much noncombat damage is dealt, it only cares how many times noncombat damage is dealt. Shock is a single spell that deals one chunk of damage to a single target, and therefore only triggers the Spitfire once.
Second, I have no doubt that Infuriate will sometimes win you a game. More often than not, however, it will be a dead draw. If you're behind, it doesn't get you back into the game. It is not playable when you don't have a creature out. If you have it in hand and draw a creature, it doesn't give that creature haste. It doesn't deal damage to pump the Spitfires, and it doesn't kill blockers to let your Spitfires through, either of which would be much stronger.
Third, Chandra's Embercat is fine. Icon of Ancestry is fine. But you're looking at this from a "what's the best case scenario" perspective, instead of a "what's a likely scenario" or "what's the worst case scenario" perspective. Sure, draw the Cat on turn two, play it, have it survive the next three turns while making your land drops every time and not dying, and it'll ramp out your Chandra, Awakened Inferno . What's far more likely is that you'll play it on turn two, and it'll get zapped by removal, sweepers, or be killed in combat. The best case is that it gets you Chandra one turn earlier - the worst case is that it does nothing for you. Meanwhile, beefing up your removal suit with some Lava Coil s or Chandra's Triumph s etc would be more effective at making sure you survive the extra turn necessary to play the Chandra on curve.
Icon's in a similar boat - the most likely scenario is that you take a turn off from casting more creatures or removing your opponent's threats to deploy an artifact that gives whatever creatures you already have (again, assuming they've all lived) and small boost. The worst case is that you draw it when the control player's just killed all your creatures, and you get to spend a turn playing it, a turn activating it, and a turn deploying the creature you find, while the control player gets two-three turns of no pressure to close out the game.
3 weeks ago
Icon of Ancestry also boosts creatures like Chandra's Embercat forcing a coil and higher drop destruction/counter/removal etc. having multiple ancestries in play. The deck is still fast and workable without them, but they really get a nice ramp going fairly quick when one or two drop early. Thunderkin Awakener lets me throw creatures out of the graveyard which gains haste and +1 effects from Icon of Ancestry . Cats also play out Chandra walkers and moves Chandra, Awakened Inferno out much earlier, most people are most concerned with the Shock trigger on Chandra's Spitfire which is easily ramped again for 1 red mana giving you a flying 7/4 for 2 mana and with 2 icons out a 9/6 for two red. More of a concern than the 4/4 cat which pops out a plains walker for you earlier than expected.
3 weeks ago
Add in some Chandra, Acolyte of Flame to synergize with your elemental subtheme and to buff the other walkers, and up the count of 4-mana chandra's while you're at it. I'd drop the Infuriate s and probably also the Chandra's Embercat s, since neither are particularly strong.
1 month ago
Legendary_penguin_of_death - Thank you I'm glad you like it so much! I do think that is a good suggestion. I'm not entirely sold on Living Twister as I think the body is good but the abilities are a bit mana intensive at times. Chandra, Acolyte of Flame is a little more important as those 1/1's get me some great value out of Risen Reef and Overgrowth Elemental , but I can see cutting one of them to include Thunderkin Awakener s, which I will change in the deck to playtest.
You are right that with the shocklands, mono red will be a difficult matchup. The main reason I included Overgrowth Elemental was to put some lifegain in the deck as during playtesting a lot of people would kill the Risen Reef s and Omnath, Locus of the Roil s, and so I wanted to get some value out of that. Similar decks do not include Overgrowth Elemental and I've seen many play a full playset of Chandra's Embercat s instead. I have to continue to playtest to see how well Overgrowth Elemental works against mono red, but I may end up including some Healer of the Glade s. I used it in my initial iteration of the deck but I cut them after I realized Runaway Steam-Kin was an elemental.
Thank you for the suggestions and enthusiasm, I appreciate it!
1 month ago
Could be really cool, if the Chandra deck became a thing. There are a few changes I'd make here though:
- Take out Chandra's Embercat . It's very low impact and I imagine it rarely does anything other than turning on the opponent's removal, chump block and occasionally survive to get out a Chandra, Awakened Inferno on turn 5.
- Take out Light Up the Stage . In a deck with a lot of expensive cards on top of almost nothing to make it cost 1 early on, makes it a liability more than a reliable card draw engine. If you feel like you need more ramp and card advantage, you could consider something like Treasure Map Flip. It ramps, fixes early draws and draws a lot of cards later on. I'd probably go up to 4x Chandra, Fire Artisan though, she's great. Same with Tormenting Voice - without synergy it's basically just a 2-mana draw 1.
- Take out Chandra, Flame's Fury . She's too expensive for what she does. PW deck planeswalkers just aren't quite there for constructed play. Sarkhan the Masterless on the other hand looks amazing here, I'd go up on those instead.
- You're going to want Shock against aggro decks, maybe even Lava Coil . Also Chandra's Triumph seems a bit better than Lightning Strike , since it can often take out Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and other bigger stuff alike.
- I saw someone playing Mobilized District for additional win conditions. Could be a nice way to add creatures, without having to take anything out.
Good luck with the brew :)
1 month ago
Actually Fiender, I like your suggestion about Fire Shrine Keeper but after looking at it, it's not a post rotation card. I will have to change it back to Chandra's Embercat unless you have another suggestion, but it has to be post rotation. Thanks a lot for the suggestion though.
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