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Each creature has protection from its colors.
Earnest Fellowship Discussion
1 month ago
Think I'm going to have to pass on Earnest Fellowship . I might be getting sidetracked by the commander damage subtheme, but I dislike the conflict with colored buff sources like Goblin Motivator & Elspeth, Knight-Errant . However, I can easily see a purer token deck where those cards have been replaced.
1 month ago
Cats off the Lawn! - more of a temporary use/haste focused deck. I like what you've done with yours though. Distinctly different, yet still viable. From what I've playtested, surprising workhorses have been Evolutionary Escalation , Oath of Druids , Earnest Fellowship , Wishmonger .. Earnest fellowship is hilarious, always funny to see opponents start to realize they really want to invest in removing this 2 CMC enchantment. I've found that a little evasion voltron subtheme is surprisingly good. The swords are strong in many EDH decks, but I've found they are above average strength in a Marisi deck.
1 month ago
Here's some goofy fun: Bedlam , Magistrate's Veto , Earnest Fellowship , Wishmonger , Nature's Revolt , Titania's Song , Oath of Druids , Evolutionary Escalation -- Several pet cards that are phenominal with this commander, exciting times for combat-forcing and aggressive group gifting tactics. Only Rakdos is comparable right now.
1 year ago
1 year ago
Any Tribal deck with high cost creatures is begging for Cryptic Gateway. Best thing about Cryptic Gateway over cards like Elvish Piper or Quicksilver Amulet (which are also good cards for the deck) is that you can activate it as soon as it enters the battlefield after only paying 5 mana and you can activate it many times. Champion of Rhonas and Deathrender are more options to consider for te task if you like some redundancy in your deck.
Wave of Reckoning, a boardwipe that can affect you the least if you have creatures with higher toughness and enables Enrage.
The deck is heavily lacking on card draw, I always try to run at least eight card draw engines. My recomendations are Elemental Bond, Shamanic Revelation, Mouth / Feed, Rishkar's Expertise, Life's Legacy, Garruk, Primal Hunter, Soul's Majesty, Hunter's Prowess and maybe even Vanquisher's Banner. Also Seasons Past for recursion.
Path of Discovery has been workking amazingly for me in many decks.
Forerunner of the Empire is another no-brainer here. You tutor for a dino and get another enrage enabler while you devastate token based decks.
Needletooth Raptor this little guy have been an overperformer for me.
To make room for this recomendations I'd remove:
Warstorm Surge Good card, but high cost and slow, I'm trying also to lower the costs here.
Rage Reflection not as good as True Conviction and not as important as card draw.
Gratuitous Violence The triple red cost may be a problem, I still to much damage support and card draw is still needed badly.
Kindred Boon I've been using this card and it's not as good as it looks like, it's really slow and opponents see its on the battlefield and can play around it, I would change it for Boros Charm or Heroic Intervention.
Radiant Destiny Anthem cards are better with smaller creatures, in fact it's a bit weak.
Quest for Renewal You don't have enough abilities for this to be deserving a slot.
Earnest Fellowship Messes with some interaction of the deck, mainly Enrage and may benefit more your opponents than yourself, nice card choice though.
Ajani Vengeant The first two abilities are not really that good in commander, and you can't really count on using its ultimate.
Coat of Arms better use in smaller token decks, you'd probable be helping more your opponents than yourself.
Titanic Ultimatum super expensive and super conditional.
Armageddon You're the guy with supper high costs, It can be a game ender in the right circunstances but most of the time it will be a dead card in your hand.
Selvala's Stampede I've used it and it was bad for me. You'll be the only one voting wild and your opponents seeing you have few cards in hand by then will vote free and the effect will be a bit disappointing.
1 year ago
These are just some observations, you definitely want to keep in-line with your own style/flavor.
Magic uses something in mathematics called, Hypergeometric Distribution, which basically describes the probability/successes in random drawing. You have an average CMC of 3.62 so you need 4 lands.
Right now, with 31 lands, you only have a 70.7% chance of having 2 lands in your opening hand, and only a 47.1% chance of hitting land drops on turns 1 through 4.
I've done a lot of testing, for Kaalia of the Vast 36 lands is the right amount, statistically, it increases your chance of having 2 lands in opening hand to 79.9%, and your chance to play 4 lands to 62.1%. Right now more than half the time you miss a land drop by turn 4, that needs to be addressed.
Some budget conscious (but let's be real, lands are ridiculously pricey), Isolated Chapel in your wheelhouse for <$5, Evolving Wilds/Terramorphic Expanse enter tapped (BUT they mana fix and they lower the land saturation in the deck, by using up 2 lands, which means less land draws later in the game) for $0.25 each, City of Brass <$7, Ash Barrens a bit pricey ($8?) but if you bought any commander decks might have one!
Mardu () isn't really the best at draw, if you try too hard to force draw it won't work because it doesn't build on the colors strengths, and won't compete against colors that have that strength, like switching to Grixis (), or forcing ramp, switch to Jund (). gives us access to the best removal and protection, as well as tutoring for artifacts/enchantments!
Most draw cards are expensive, has some, like Read the Bones/Sign in Blood/Others $0.25, Disciple of Bolas $2. I would try more graveyard recursion instead, Phyrexian Reclamation $2, Whip of Erebos $3, maybe but probably not Unburial Rites. Dragon Mage <$1 too! But I find he can assist opponents with drawing into solutions for your Kaalia of the Vast.
With all the cheating in, in this type of deck, I would Sundial of the Infinite, simply wait for a Whip of Erebos/Sneak Attack/Others EOT to trigger, then end your turn. Keep the creatures forever. It's a dead draw sometimes, but tutor the other pieces. Diabolic Tutor is a cheap replacement to Vampiric Tutor/Demonic Tutor in the meantime.
Anguished Unmaking <$3 is the best removal, add that, Mortify is decently modular for $0.50, and Angel of Despair I think $1 maybe $2 is cool to recur/flicker. Steel Hellkite is always fun if you can get him through.
Build some multi attack phases, since your goal is to beatstick people to death (and having a Whip of Erebos lifelink helps too).
Angelic Arbiter slows the pace of the game, so you can get rolling mid-range, I would play him. Bladewing the Risen also has recursion. Aegis Angel $0.35 forces them to deal with him before Kaalia of the Vast. Bogardan Hellkite.
There's too many things in commander (4-player multi), Shunt/Reverberate are not going to be good cards to draw into, you'll likely hold them, no synergy/advancement of the plan, especially Reverberate, Shunt at least might protect Kaalia of the Vast, but I would make those 2 cards lands.
You have Mother of Runes, so Devoted Caretaker seems redundant, most of the time him and the mana will stay untapped and un-utilized, plus only offer protection from spells not from creatures. I would argue Earnest Fellowship will hurt you as much as it helps you in the long game, but I guess forces games to finish quicker (usually by Kaalia of the Vast losing because she has high aggro level from opponents). Whispersilk Cloak is slow, but for Equip you protect and make unblockable.
Sorry don't have a draw solution for you, it's really not the Mardu way! Tutor/Recursion is the way to beat the draw.
Best of luck! I can see this is already a highly enjoyable deck to play, sometimes getting more competitive means less fun, but more consistency and bite!
1 year ago
Spirits, wow thank you for the super detailed writeup. Really appreciate it!
Budget is certainly an issue for me so most of the dual-lands and expensive cards like Mana Crypt, Cavern of Souls, Demonic Tutor/Vampiric Tutor are probably out of the question for now... But definitely something I'm keeping an eye on. In the meantime, do you have any good budget substitutions?
To give some context, my meta is multiplayer casual-competitive (slightly more casual than competitive) and not super fast by any means. Our games usually go long and end from attrition or someone goes off and has an explosive turn. I'm trying to build Kaalia to be a bit more competitive since she is a tier 3 commander going against potentially other tier 1-2 commanders. My specific playstyle is definitely more fun oriented. I like being able to go off, but also enjoy the interactive parts (hence the Sunforger). I'd rather not go MLD and rob other people's fun (same reason I'm not a fan of infinite combos or auto-win conditions like Master of Cruelties). I like the idea of adding multiple attack phases with my current free A/D/D via reanimation or cheat-in-ability strategy.
My primary concern with Kaalia is running out of cards/not having enough lands to be able to do things if Kaalia gets shut down. Which is why you see a lot of protection spells (Earnest Fellowship Devoted Caretaker Shunt), ramp (Solemn Simulacrum Land Tax Gilded Lotus), and recursion (Sun Titan). I'm curious how you play around this or what your thoughts are on this? I don't mind losing, but not being able to do anything in a game is the worst haha... so adding those cards is meant to add some consistency.
I'm definitely still working on the mana base, but your mana breakdown analysis is super helpful. I'll take that into account as I get more lands
1 year ago
Not sure of your budget, but here are some suggestion.
Alternative to Combo Win-Cons
The standard win-con in a Kaalia of the Vast which is not a combo is... Land Destruction! The idea being to use card's like Boros Charm, Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Teferi's Protection to protect yourself; OR have an A/D/D in hand that you can free cast that demands a response, but is hard to deal with no lands, like Hellkite Tyrant or Iona, Shield of Emeria. The key cards to this strategy are: Crucible of Worlds, Armageddon, Ravages of War, Cataclysm, Strip Mine, Waste land, Command Beacon. This is a HIGHLY viable strategy, people may not like facing your Kaalia of the Vast deck, but it definitely isn't a combo strategy.
Master of Cruelties has to be in there, attack with Kaalia of the Vast, drop in Master of Cruelties, during the declare blockers step their life becomes 1 (assuming he is unblocked), and Kaalia of the Vast hits for 2 finishing the player. Not a combo, a necessary Demon.
Another common strategy is multiple attack phases, non-combo, but with big A/D/D beaters, having multiple swings (especially with Vigilance is amazing way to deal damage). The key cards are: Hellkite Charger, Aggravated Assault, Sword of Feast and Famine, Aurelia, the Warleader, Seize the Day. There is a combo with Adarkar Valkyrie + Aurelia, the Warleader + sac outlet out of interest. Adarkar Valkyrie although not working properly with the Kaalia of the Vast mechanics, is still a great recursion angel. Reconnaissance is nice for this strategy too, as you can pull back your Kaalia of the Vast against block heavy decks, as well POST-damage, you can pull back EVERYONE, basically it gives all your creatures Vigilance.
Free A/D/D strategy, you have it with Sneak Attack, Quicksilver Amulet, Mimic Vat so your already there, try a Whip of Erebos gives all your creatures Lifelink, which increases your sustainability in drawn out games (non-combo strategy the only way to win is in a drawn-out game), plus give you another recursion engine. Could use a Sundial of the Infinite to keep them on the board permanently!!
Stranglehold is another good control mechanism, you have a few, can look at pairing it with Maralen of the Mornsong to lock down opponents draw. She has synergy with some other guys like Aven Mindcensor/Ob Nixilis, Unshackled. Eidolon of Rhetoric might stop a Sunforger cast depending on what you did earlier that turn, like a Haste Kaalia of the Vast for example, to consider, or in an Armageddon build will be very bad.
Out of the 99 Considerations
I'm not a huge fan of Reverberate/Shunt, you have Sunforger so I get it, but it will often just sit in your hand. And Kaalia of the Vast is usually splash , so not that valuable. Would rather have a Steel Hellkite or a Gisela, the Broken Blade, or heck, even a Wild Ricochet
Solemn Simulacrum really unnecessary land searching. Use mana-enablers instead.
Boros Garrison/Orzhov Basilica I find it too slow without infinite combo, although it ramps, but you have lots of mana enablers. Field of Ruin colorless mana isn't great, don't need the search. Flamekin Village cost is too high, tapped+, try a Hall of the Bandit Lord. Shadowblood Ridge is also not great (I know it seems like it should be, but it's not!), Slayers' Stronghold is too expensive , use Hanweir Battlements instead, but even then it's borderline (but better), Smoldering Marsh isn't going to come in untapped when you need it, Temple of Malice/Temple of Silence I also don't like, but borderline for me would be my last cuts, Vivid Meadow is no.
Earnest Fellowship I wouldn't do this, might make it hard for you to block (which you have the big creatures that are hard to block already). A little too dangerous for my liking, let opponents pump their creatures, no need to do it for them, and block with your big guys.
Devoted Caretaker I wish she provided protection period so could go unblockable. I think Mother of Runes is enough, but maybe theres someone that gives just protection and doesn't cost a and ? But it does permanents, so I get it.
Kothophed, Soul Hoarder will not be your friend some days during board wipe, but with so little drawing in Mardu, he's a fun one! I would run him in this type of build!
Sun Titan is questionable, what are you bringing back? Lightning Greaves, Sunforger, Animate Dead, Necromancy only stuff. He's discretionary. High Mana cost but utility, he can combo with Fiend Hunter but again combos a different strategy (so can Karmic Guide btw).
Right now, your 46%, 33%, 21% but your mana is 28%, 37%, 35%. In addition, Turn 1: 80%, 10%, 10%! / lands will be your best friends, but balancing / and / lands too. Avoid / that don't provide value, like Mountain, Shadowblood Ridge (awful), Smoldering Marsh, Temple of Malice.
Demonic Tutor doesn't get much better than that! Mortify can be a good utility removal the CMC3 makes it less attractive, Vampiric Tutor although inefficient to pull a Lightning Greaves or Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is still good enough. It's instant so at EOT pull what you need. Rakdos the Defiler can be fun in a Armageddon model. Fetid Heath/Rugged Prairie are not too shabby. Sensei's Divining Top can help look and top-deck the A/D/D you need, IF you have none in hand it can swap places so you don't miss Kaalia of the Vast drops. Cavern of Souls against Grixis/Izzet, Phyrexian Reclamation can keep you rolling once you run out of cards-in-hand, an alternate quasi-draw.
Very good Kaalia of the Vast non-combo deck, looks like a blast to play. Hopefully you found some of these ramblings useful.
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