|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Guilds of Ravnica: Guild Kit (GK1)||Common|
|Duel Decks: Izzet vs. Golgari (DDJ)||Common|
|Masters Edition III (ME3)||Common|
|Ravnica: City of Guilds (RAV)||Common|
|The Dark (DRK)||Uncommon|
|Promo Set (000)||Common|
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Elves of Deep Shadow
Creature — Elf Druid
Gain . Elves of Deep Shadow deals 1 damage to you.
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Elves of Deep Shadow Discussion
2 days ago
Hey, saw your forum post asking for budget card help.
With Izoni I suggest expanding on the strategies of creature sacrifice (enabler/win condition), self-mill (enabler) and reanimation (back-up plan). You have ramp already with one drop Elves, Tribe-Elder and the enchant lands, but you can even expand on ramp. Ramping into Izoni doesn't do much if you don't first have a lot of creatures in your graveyard. Out of all these strategies I think the primary one is creature sacrifice. With sacrifice you can get more value out of your creatures before they go to your graveyard. Izoni herself is a sac outlet which is good with the sacrifice/aristocrat theme, but I suggest expanding on this theme with other creatures who can be free (no mana cost) repeatable sac outlets. Free repeatable sac is nice to be able to more easily get value from creatures the turn you play them/create them as well as get them into the graveyard faster for no cost.
Secondary is self-mill as it's the faster way to get creatures (a lot of them) into your graveyard, but you get much less value from your cards when all you're doing is milling them into your graveyard. Reanimation can be a back-up plan if Izoni fails or be used with Izoni's Insects and reanimation is good when self-milling.
A goal to strive for is to be able to use the Insects the turn you play Izoni, by sacing each Insect for value or to make all your opponent's lose life. Since you can't attack with the Insects the turn they're created you want to be able to utilize them in other ways (sacing them). I would make creature cards the priority because Izoni doesn't do much without having a lot creatures in the deck. There are some exceptions, powerful budget noncreature cards like Skullclamp, Sol Ring, Dread Return, etc.
A Dread Return in your graveyard when you play Izoni can do a lot since you can flash it back by sacing three Insects. This can be powerful, reanimating a creature like Avenger of Zendikar, Protean Hulk or Krav, the Unredeemed, etc. or reanimating an aristocrat/sac outlet (Viscera Seer) to set-up the current turn or your next turn. Krav for instance his ability which you can use the same turn you play him, for one you can sac all Insects/Izoni draw lots of cards, gain lots of life and put a lot of counters on Krav. Being able to easily sac Izoni is helpful and good with ramp because this lets you then play her again from the Command Zone and create more Insects.
Cards to consider adding:
- Llanowar Wastes
- Hissing Quagmire
- Golgari Rot Farm
- Tainted Wood
- Bojuka Bog
- Svogthos, the Restless Tomb
- Dakmor Salvage
- Blighted Woodland
- Woodland Cemetery (non budget)
Cards to consider cutting:
- Demonlord Belzenlok
- Gray Merchant of Asphodel
- Hydra Omnivore
- Loyal Guardian
- Thrashing Brontodon
- Torgaar, Famine Incarnate
- Wild Beastmaster
- Bear Umbra
- Dawn's Reflection
- Growing Rites of Itlimoc
- Myth Unbound
- Song of Freyalise
- The Mending of Dominaria
- Kamahl's Druidic Vow
- Dark Petition
- Necrotic Wound
- Sign in Blood
- Illusionist's Bracers
- Swiftfoot Boots
Good luck with your deck.
3 days ago
Get rid of Demonlord Belzenlok. Exiling your cards is not what you want to do with Izoni. Loyal Guardian is kind of meh, so I'd drop it for something that better fits what you want to do. I think I'd ditch Necrotic Ooze for something more consistent, like Murder or Go for the Throat, or Naturalize for artifact/enchantment removal.
Burnished Hart and Tortured Existence would be good additions to make. Tortured Existence basically allows you to turn your graveyard into a toolbox. Brawn is a creature you want to put into your graveyard, along with a card like Filth if you can find ways to abuse it (Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Blanket of Night, even Mystic Compass). I think I would personally run fewer cards like Cultivate and Overgrowth for more mana dorks, like Blood Pet and Blood Vassal, who work well with your graveyard theme, and Birds of Paradise and even Elves of Deep Shadow. These mana dorks help your curve out with early drops, and they can be sac fodder down the road if you need it. Good cards for sacrifice decks include Dictate of Erebos and Grave Pact. A card like Fecundity provides even more card draw.
Hope these help you out!
1 week ago
This is a good start. I feel like you are starting to look at cards the right way- assessing how to balance their disruptiveness and value, but the deck still feels a little unfocussed.
Lets look at a core concept in magic- card advantage- and build to that.
There are enablers; cards that don't do things on their own (lands, ramp spells, combo pieces, most 1/1s, etc). Proactive cards that are very good when your play them on their own (kitchen finks type stuff, planeswalkers) Reactive cards that are good at trading 1-for-1 with proactive cards (mana leak, fatal push), Card advantage spells (things that mean you effectively have more cards played, even if they don't always read 'draw a card'.)
If you have more relavant answers than your opponent has proactive cards, then they'll mostly find it difficult to hit you. If you have more playable proactive cards than your opponent you'll probably be able to race them. If you have cards that slot into multiple categories in useful ways, you have virtual card advantage, and can pick the appropriate approach for the particular matchup. These are the core concepts that you need to build midrange.
Lets look at what your deck wants to do. A build around Demonlord of Ashmouth and Demon of Catastrophes, with enablers in the form of small creatures and ramp spells, and a few spot answers with light card advantage tools to clear the way. You're prepared to give up cards to demonlord of ashmouth or demon of catastrophies to have a big threat hitting your opponent. This is a really good start that the rest of your deck should build to support. A big threat that goes over aggro and fights through answers.
So general principals- you want enough card advantage to offset your enablers, or to make those enablers useful in other ways. You want enablers that also help you race down other decks with big flying demons. And you want tools to protect those demons.
Budget lists can't afford the 'universally good' stuff, like Collective Brutality or Cryptic Command, so you need to look at larger groups of teir 2 cards with good synergy and large print runs, preferably with deckbuilding restrictions that cut the price further. So lets cover some general options, explain the why, and then leave you to find things to fill out the list.
You want things that make small creatures and make these big things easier to cast. Llanowar Elves(price listing on this is busted) and Elves of Deep Shadow will let you cut the land count some- and they'll let you slam a big demon earlier whilst providing a body to sacrifice. Turn 1 extra mana is strong enough for people to spend their lightning bolt on it- and thats one more thing not pointed at the threats.
While Sylvan Caryatid is a great card, spending an extra mana to 'blank' a removal spell with hexproof is less relevant when your big stuff doesn't also blank removal, and likely isn't worth the extra mana (its great when your threats are stuff like enchantments or combos which are hard to disrupt).
Scavenging Ooze should be maindeck- its a graveyard meta, and its a decent body that likes you sacrificing creatures, lifegain is relevant, and even against decks that play no creatures it hits their snapcaster targets. Its both a threat and an answer. Cards that give you lots of options are good.
Cards that let you play with +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters are good in sacrifice lists- much like Gavony Township makes Kitchen Finks nigh-unkillable, Cauldron Haze and cards like Exemplar of Strength or Hapatra's Mark/Heartmender/Nest of Scarabs with Young Wolf and Safehold Elite or Black Sun's Zenith can really put in work. You just need to be sure to pick cards that all work well together. While individually they are worse than high value cards, as a group they can outperform- and most importantly, choose them to be versatile.
A card that gives an aggressive and defensive option is perfect for midrange. When building the spine of your deck, look for groups like this to fill it out. Having interseting choices makes the game fun.
Most of all, playtest, and have fun playing. Because thats how you get a top-notch deck. I'd take a look at Rite of Belzenlok decks in standard right now, they showcase a lot of the tools you'll be looking for, and its a good card for the archetype (even if its a little slow).
1 week ago
my favorite version of meren uses a heavy elf package with Arbor Elf,Boreal Druid,Deathrite Shaman,Devoted Druid,Elves of Deep Shadow,Elvish Mystic,Fyndhorn Elves,Llanowar Elves, Sylvan Ranger and Priest of Titania. Of course you dont have to go this in depth with mana dorks but I would definitely consider running a fair number of any of these cards.
As far as what I'd cut, its tough to say since you seem to be split between a reanimator and a aristocrats theme. But regardless I think these are easy drops:
- Solemn Simulacrum: Its a good card but since you are in green and already have access to better ramp I think he would be a easy cut
- Mortician Beetle: Strong in 1v1 but not really all that great in multiplayer
- Golgari Signet: good ramp piece but if you are going to be using lots of mana dorks then its unnecessary.
On a side note I'd also recommend shelling out a few bucks to upgrade your manabase. Lands may not be the most glamorous purchase, but when it comes straight down to it a solid mana base will help you win more games than you would think. Even if you dont want to shell out a small fortune I'd still recommend any of these lands
Winterblast on WUBRG
1 week ago
First thing I'd do is getting rid of the bad ramp (kodama's reach, cultivate, farseek, skyshroud Claim, dakrsteel ingot) and replace it with mana dorks. Being in 5c you could play ALL cmc 1 dorks but I would suggest at least: Noble Hierarch, Birds of Paradise, Deathrite Shaman, Elves of Deep Shadow, Avacyn's Pilgrim...Arbor Elf would be great if your lands had more forests among them but that's only possible with using original duals in addition to the shocklands. Or you use more basic forests (could also use Utopia Sprawl then).
Nature's Claim, Mystic Remora, Brainstorm, Ponder are just universally too good to not play unless you have a strong reason not to. On the other hand Counterspell and Utter End have rather restrictive mana costs for interaction slots in a 5c deck. I would definitely try to keep instant interaction with one coloured mana and cmc 1 if possible. Dispel, Flusterstorm, Mental Misstep are all solid choices. Pact of Negation is questionable if you aren't a fast combo deck because you don't really want to use it as a response but rather protection to push through your win (while not planning on paying the pact).
2 weeks ago
So I prefer Elves of Deep Shadow over Sentinel for any GB Elves list because Sentinel only really serves to make your nut draws even better when you have both Sentinel and Heritage Druid, but other times, he's just a 2/2 with pseudo-vigilance, which isn't necessarily bad, but in my experience, having more mana dorks has been better, as they let us drop our payoffs (Elvish Archdruid and Ezuri, Renegade Leader) on turn 2, which is often enough to let us win a full turn earlier.
tl:dr = Sentinel makes our nut draws better, and our average draws worse, but as our nut draws are good enough 99% of the time, more dorks are better in my experience.
Scooze is a card that I originally had in the sideboard, with the additional 2 Lead in the main, but I've been testing with it in the main, and it's been pretty good, especially with dredge picking up in popularity recently. It's also just good against Snappy, Goyf, Delve Threats, as well as grindy matchups where our stuff often dies.
As for Steel Leaf Champion, I just don't like it in this deck. We want dorks that synergise well together, you'll notice that every single creature in this deck does something other than turn sideways. Maybe it's personal preference, but I prefer to be a synergistic aggro deck rather than straight beatdown (I'm not hating on the card, it works very well in the standard G aggro decks).
In my experience, Westvale Abbey Flip is a trap. If we have 5 creatures out, we're generally pretty fine anyway, and in a format full of Path, LotV, Terminus, Bridge etc. it seems to be more of a bane than a boon most of the time.
2 weeks ago
Looks like a fun pretty standard build. How are you liking Elves of Deep Shadow? I still like to use Nettle in that spot.
Do you face a lot of decks that you need Scavenging Ooze in the main? If not with i really enjoy Steel Leaf Champion as 2x. It just always a threat even after a wipe, and landing on a co co with a lord is just a beater.
3 weeks ago
Radha, Heir to Keld might be better to that end actually, or if you're looking for the odd self-infliction to embody Death's Shadow, Elves of Deep Shadow could perform well. Unless Death's Shadow is just for ETB and LTB triggers.