At the beginning of your upkeep, reveal the top card of your library and put that card into your hand. You lose life equal to its converted mana cost.
Printings View all
|2011 Core Set (M11)||Rare|
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Latest Decks as Commander
Dark Tutelage Discussion
1 month ago
Add Dark Tutelage for more draw. You can spare the life.
Additions to consider:
1 month ago
Thanks for the writeup. Was interested to see the combo potential of Vilis as I just incidentally got a copy of him to throw in one of my decks. I don't have many suggestions fortunately as I am not much of a cEDh player. Maybe Withering Boon or even Deathgrip (Veil of Blossoms? I am sure there are plenty more trouble green cards too).
Sudden Spoiling because sometimes you just need to freeze the stack.
Terrain Generator to dump extra lands to the field.
If you aren't keeping a ton of creatures around then maybe lean in to black's specialty in boardwipes. Toxic Deluge seems like a great choice.
Definitely think the deck could use some more recurssion loops somehow. I don't know of the combos in monoblack but it can't be too hard to break Gray Merchant of Asphodel with something like Necromancy.
Love the list and I will be watching as you tweak it.
2 months ago
I'm not a huge fan of Ghostly Pilferer. We already have access to Cephalid Inkshrouder which, despite costing one more mana, does add shroud in addition to evasion. Yet, it is still not good enough compared to Invisible Stalker. Having access to a discard outlet on a creature is not that important, as we have many other options and we don't need to discard 3 to 5 cards all at once multiple times during a game. The one mana increase on the Cephalid is simply not worth it. Pilferer, in my opinion, is even worse. He doesn't offer any protection, and evasion is yet again tied to card disadvantage. While this can let you discard a key creature with its first one or two activations, it becomes more and more awkward as the game goes on. Once you are out of creatures, you will be forced to discard cards you actually need. Pilferer's first ability is also extremely clunky. You would need to transform Lazav for during your upkeep (since it will be very unlikely that Lazav's final form after an attack will be that of a Ghostly Pilferer) and then pay another to draw. 4 mana to draw a card is definitely not a great deal. Lastly, the ability to draw whenever an opponent casts a spell from anywhere other than their hand is too situational to be reliable. Sure, it triggers whenever they cast their general. But how many times does that happen during a game? And of those times, I'm not sure if you would be able to get value out of Pilferer because maybe you would need your mana for something else. Let's say you manage to get 3 cards out of Pilferer (which is rather optimistic, in my opinion). Dark Tutelage or Phyrexian Arena will achieve the same result over three turns, but with a lot less hoops to jump through.
The direct comparison that comes to my mind when I think about Pilferer is Key to the City. They both work in the same way. They let you exchange discarding cards for evasion (and also share the same added bonus of drawing a card by paying during your untap step). The thing that makes the Key so much better is the fact that you play it for and never worry about it for the rest of the game. It stays on the field, ready to be used whenever you need and for free. With Pilferer, you have to waste every time you need evasion or a discard outlet.
I'm not saying that Ghostly Pilferer is complete garbage and should never be considered. He tries to do a lot of different things and fits with the deck's playstyle. However, I think we already have other cards that do probably less, but much more efficiently.
2 months ago
So I built this deck and took it to my LGS commander night to test it out, but ended up making one addition which i think you'll really like.
Ghostly Pilferer is a fantastic card that fits right at home here. It's cheap. It's a discard outlet so you can pitch your Lazav targets easily. It gets evasion while doing so. And it can draw you cards. Honestly not sure which creature does more for you in this deck.
2 months ago
2 months ago
Toxic Deluge is an expensive card that I expect to go down in price soon (it's been reprinted in Double Masters, and in my experience masters sets tank their rares, if only for a short while). It'd be especially good since you have a lot of high-toughness cards.
I also think that even in a deck based on walls, you can benefit a LOT from one-mana mana-dorks. Arbor Elf, Elves of Deep Shadow, Elvish Mystic, Llanowar Elves, Deathrite Shaman, Fyndhorn Elves etc. will accelerate you in a way that only green can do. Even with boardwipes, they're worth it. Note that they also let you land your general turn two, if you get the right mana.
Additionally, since you're not a landfall, I feel like you're running too many lands. Replacing some with dorks will let you come out of the gate a lot faster. (I play EDH with a lot of more powerful decks, and your experience may differ from mine. However, I find that being able to land a meaningful turn-one play like Birds of Paradise is good in all power-levels.)
Speaking of lands, your mana base can be improved for relatively cheap. Indatha Triome is about $4 these days, and could easily replace your Jungle Hollow... Fetches are busted, especially when paired with duals like Overgrown Tomb or Savannah. However, if you don't plan on selling a kidney, there're other ways to improve. Slow-fetches (Rocky Tar Pit, Bad River, Flood Plain, Mountain Valley and Grasslands) are super affordable. Note that they can also fetch your non-basic typed lands (like Canopy Vista or Indatha Triome). Other lands of various prices to consider are Exotic Orchard, City of Brass, Reflecting Pool, Llanowar Wastes, Brushland, Caves of Koilos and friends.
Card advantage decides most EDH (and Magic in general) games. Some cards to consider: Sylvan Library, Painful Truths, Harmonize, Night's Whisper, Phyrexian Arena, Dark Tutelage etc. are all good ways. I was going to suggest Runic Armasaur, but you already spotted that one.
Retribution of the Meek is a GREAT wipe for decks like this.
I also suggest cutting some cards. I don't think Path to Exile is very good in EDH, where one-for-ones need to be REALLY good (like Swords to Plowshares or non-type specific like Mythos of Nethroi), and Path to Exile ramps your opponents. They're very likely to just use the extra mana to deploy a more dangerous threat. Glyph of Doom is interesting, and might be good, but I don't think it would be (granted that's not based on direct experience). I think you could probably just use a more powerful card in that slot. I also think you can cut some of the equipments for more influential cards. For example, if you cut Spidersilk Net and friends you can run things like Collector Ouphe and Stony Silence. If you're running mana dorks, you'll have ramp while your artifact-based friends get nailed.
Right. That's all I got. Hope this helped!
6 months ago
Here are some otions for replacments of three drops. Despark Swords to Plowshares Path to Exile Mystical Tutor Enlightened Tutor There are some three drops that are hard to not consider. Dark Tutelage Vindicate Rhystic Study
7 months ago
Continuing my advice, streamlining high CMC cards becomes an important step when choosing what cards to cut. Streamlining means you cut unnecessary high CMC cards, four CMC or higher that are not vital for your deck. Some cards that are redundant, there's two or more cards that do the same thing and one/more of them are not as good as others. Tutors help to break high CMC card redundancy because you can use them to get the better high CMC card thus leaving out others. Streamlining starts at the top of the mana curve and then work your way down.
When streamlining, the cards that are not selected doesn't mean these cards are bad, they're less needed in your deck than others. For streamlining your deck I would look to decrease cards from the 4, 5 and 6 CMC spots.
You've recent update is good, other cards to consider cutting:
Temple of the False God: will not tap for mana until you have four other lands. That's not good enough when you want to be casting low CMC cards and extort.
Armillary Sphere: isn't ramp since it puts the basic lands into your hand not onto the battlefield. Playing a mana rock that is ramp instead of this will help.
Life's Finale: has great artwork, but is lackluster for a creature board wipe especially at 6 CMC. Tutoring for and putting creatures into your opponents graveyard will most of the time backfire in Commander since reanimation and recursion are popular.
Hedron Archive: can get repeatable draw from other sources and four drop colorless ramp is not what you want with Karlov.
Mire in Misery: sorcery speed makes this a lackluster removal spell.
Burnished Hart: is too slow as ramp since the basic lands you search for ETB tapped. For six total mana you get two basic lands that ETB tapped and don't even get a body because you have to sac Hart to get the lands. Just about any mana rock that ETB untapped is more helpful than Hart.
Fountain of Renewal: effect is limited, only happening once at your upkeep and that's all it does. There's more impactful repeatable life gain in your deck.
Beacon of Unrest: there's too many five drops here and Beacon is the worst of them. The potential repeatable reanimation is not really worth five mana. It is nice that this spell can reanimate any opponents creature or artifact, but even so for five mana that's not really helping your strategy with Karlov. For five mana you would be better off casting Exquisite or Bond or a tutor to get one of them.
Solemn Simulacrum: can be great for midrange strategies, creature dying/reanimation strategies, but it doesn't fit here since it's too high CMC for ramp.
Sangromancer: is the least good source of repeatable life gain. It's too situational for a four drop, only triggering when opponent does one or two specific effects.
Underworld Connections: requires tapping the enchanted land to draw which means you can't use mana from that land on your turn. There's better repeatable draw sources here.
Kaya's Wrath: has too difficult to make colored casting cost.
Some upgrades to consider:
- Rogue's Passage > Temple of the False God
- Scheming Symmetry > Armillary Sphere
- Open the Armory > Life's Finale
- Mask of Memory > Hedron Archive
- Serra Ascendant > Ray of Distortion
- Walking Ballista > Solemn Simulacrum
- Suture Priest > Mire in Misery
- Ruin Raider > Burnished Hart
- Blood Artist > Sangromancer
- Mother of Runes > Fountain of Renewal
- Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim > Beacon of Unrest
- Arcane Signet > Orzhov Cluestone
- Divine Reckoning > Kaya's Wrath
- Dark Tutelage > Underworld Connections
Scheming Symmetry and Open the Armory are excellent cards to add for streamlining, they can do a lot here for their budget prices and low CMC. Scheming can tutor for any card and has great interaction with Bolas's Citadel since it puts the card you tutor for on top of your library. Yes, you choose an opponent and they also get to tutor for a card, but that is a cost you pay for having to use an alternative budget one drop unconditional tutor. Armory gets one of the best cards with Karlov, Shadowspear. Seriously, this card does everything you want to make Karlov a threat.
Mask of Memory is an underrated source of budget repeatable draw. It goes well with the voltron strategy of attacking with Karlov and equip 1 to draw two cards is nice. Equipment is good with Karlov and by adding Mask of Memory then Open the Armory can tutor for one of four different effects that can be repeatable with equipped Karlov: Shadowspear/Basilisk Collar for lifelink, Mask of Memory for draw, Sword of the Animist for ramp, Lightning Greaves/Swiftfoot Boots for protection.
If adding Serra Ascendant and Walking Ballista then I wouldn't cut Ranger of Eos since it can tutor for both of them and that's a powerful play for a four drop. If not adding Ascendant or Ballista then Ranger could be cut. Divine Reckoning can be a powerful board wipe with Karlov because it doesn't kill him and it can clear the battlefield of an opponent with many blockers. Yes, each opponent gets to keep their best creature, but most likely Karlov will be bigger than all the other creatures on the battlefield.