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Emerald Medallion Discussion
1 month 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!
1 month ago
1 month ago
I feel like the Medallion cycle deserves a spot on this list.
1 month ago
Focusing on creatures such as Bane of Bala Ged, Sheoldred, Whispering One, and Kozilek, the Great Distortion, would turn this deck in a different direction than it currently goes, becoming more reanimator than control. Putting those creatures onto the battlefield makes me a target, and that's the opposite of what I want to do when I'm playing this deck. The idea is to discourage people from trying to interact with me by promising that they will lose more than I do. If I slam Sheoldred, suddenly A) they are losing value if they DON'T interact with me, and B) I have something important to lose, so the interaction's no longer one-sided in my favor.
Lim-Dul the Necromancer is certainly an option, though I tend to find him too expensive for his effect. I'd recommend trying out Geth, Lord of the Vault over Lim-Dul, since he not only can res creatures without waiting for a death trigger, but can grab artifacts too, all while doubling as another win-con should we get enough mana.
Phyrexian Obliterator is... interesting. My gut instinct is to say that it falls into the same category as Kozilek, the Great Distortion, in that it paints too much of a target on me. That said, if I were to use it properly (that is, mainly on defense), it could certainly be quite effective as a deterrent. I'll play around with it and let you know how it performs.
Gonti, Lord of Luxury is an odd one for sure. The variance on him seems really high - for every time I rip someone's eldrazi titan off the top of their library, there are going to be moments I hit three lands and an Emerald Medallion. If I were killing/reanimating him consistently, he'd be pretty sweet, but I don't know how frequently I'd end up doing that over reanimating Gray Merchant or things from my opponent's graveyards.
Kor Dirge is cute, but I dunno how effective it would be. If someone's actually attacking me, they're likely going for the kill, expecting that I'll interact by removing a lot of their attacking creatures. Dirge doesn't seem any better than any particular kill spell in that instance, and would be weaker in moments when I need a kill, but am not being actively targeted.
Sorin Markov runs afoul of the same limitations as Karn. As a terrifying planeswalker, he's going to draw more attention than he's worth. In addition, it's rare that I'm attacking with small enough amounts of damage that setting someone's life to 10 will be relevant. Either I'm swinging with a huge board courtesy of Rise of the Dark Realms, or I'm not usually swinging at all. Similarly, when casting the game-ending X-cost spells, it doesn't usually matter what life someone's at - either I have loads more mana than I could ever need, or I'm not likely going for the kill. Thus, life-gain strategies tend not to be an issue for me (doubly so since most of them rely on lifelinking creatures, which are easy for me to remove).
2 months ago
For starters you're too deep on dudes unless you're running some kind of Primal Surge deck, which this isn't. You're asking to overextend into a board wipe with too many creatures that don't do a lot alone.
More ramp. You've got some mana dorks, but they die the first second someone drops an Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite or Night of Souls' Betrayal or just casts a wipe. Cultivate and Kodama's Reach are a good start. I'd find a slot for Rampant Growth, Nature's Lore and Skyshroud Claim, plus probably Emerald Medallion.
You need more draw. Harmonize is a good start. Rishkar's Expertise is busted AF. Get one. Selvala's Stampede can do really good work, and Genesis Wave is never bad. Collective Unconscious and Shamanic Revelation are possibly usable here too, and if they are so is Garruk, Primal Hunter who should almost always draw you 4-5 for five mana.
Scavenger Grounds will save your life some game, and it won't hurt you given your lack of colorless lands. Same for Strip Mine when someone starts tapping Cabal Coffers for 14. Plus with those new crazy flip lands from Ixalan everyone gets a Gaea's Cradle and you'll wanna kill that thing ASAP.
There's also Hall of Gemstone but that feels like cheating.
2 months ago
Sorry for the triple posts, but I got into breaking down your deck more. Cards to consider:
Too slow cards to cut to make room for more acceleration:
- Zendikar's Roil
- Warstorm Surge
- Goblin Bombardment Does too little in EDH
- Barrage of Expendables Does too little in EDH
- Magmaw Does too little in EDH
- Rishkar's Expertise Your hich curve makes sure this is not needed
To name a few. It's ofc all up to you, but like this you'll get stuck with stompers in hand without means to cast them against faster decks.
2 months ago
Is this intended to be a budget deck? If not, then cards like Batterskull, Darksteel Plate, and the new Hammer of Nazahn and Bloodforged Battle-Axe would be great additions here. I'm surprised that I'm not seeing Rancor in this list, since it's one of the most efficient green enchantments ever made. Also, 32 lands is not very much. I'd try and add in a few mana rocks like Sol Ring, Emerald Medallion, and Horn of Ramos along with a few more lands or ramp spells like Cultivate, Nature's Lore, Rampant Growth, or Kodama's Reach. Being a mono-colored deck, you can also afford a few more utility lands, like Rogue's Passage, Blighted Woodland, Yavimaya Hollow, Strip Mine, Myriad Landscape, Buried Ruin, Inventors' Fair, and Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers to name a few. Treetop Village can hold some equipment in a pinch if needed as well. A few card-drawing spells would also help like Harmonize or Staff of Nin for longer games.
3 months ago
Hello there. Awesome deck you have! Here are my suggestions; I apologize in advance if any of these are banned under European rules, I'm not familiar with those:
Strip Mine and/or Wasteland to replace Tectonic Edge and/or Ghost Quarter. As far as I can tell, Strip Mine and Ghost Quarter are strictly better. Alternatively, if you're interested in repeatable land destruction and don't mind paying a little more for it, you might consider Dust Bowl.
Thran Dynamo or Worn Powerstone to replace Urza's Incubator. I'm assuming you're naming Angel for the incubator, so I imagine you won't be making use of it very often. You could also consider Cloud Key, Emerald Medallion, and/or Pearl Medallion.
One anti-mill card that seems like it would be very strong in your deck is Wheel of Sun and Moon. I don't know what your meta is like though; unless other people play a lot of mill you'll probably just want to put it in the sideboard.
Lastly, consider Open the Vaults. It's basically a Replenish that works for artifacts and enchantments, yours and your opponents. I don't know how useful you consider Replenish to be or what your meta is like, but it could work pretty good for you.
If you have the time, I'd love your input on my Meren deck. I'm still a pretty new player.