|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Duel Decks: Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas||Common|
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Creature — Elf Shaman
Whenever another creature enters the battlefield, you gain 1 life.
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Essence Warden Discussion
2 days ago
EWDijkstra: I don't run Eldritch Evolution because it is a sorcery, and can be harder to cast. Chord of Calling can instant speed fetch whatever I want, and in addition, it has convoke. works really well with me having a lot of elves.
Nettle Sentinel is something I've already tested, and they simply don't end up being good enough, and can't be played turn 1 anyway (or I can't ramp fast enough). Theyre also more fragile to push, and I run imperious perfect because I simply don't have enough lords.
I actually have 2 Elvish Champion in the sideboard (because people keep using spells to steal a bunch of my creatures and attack me with my own deck), I believe you overlooked them while looking at the list.
I will be picking up a copy of Pendelhaven, just not soon.
Thanks for the time you've spent into making suggestions! Since so many people have been suggesting Nettle Sentinel, i'll go back to trying them out. Cheers!
2 days ago
If you're running mono-green, you really want Nettle Sentinels to combo with Heritage Druid. Two Sentinels and the Heritage is enough to let you play a lord and then swing for 6 damage without using any land-produced mana to pay costs that turn. While I personally love Imperious Perfect as a card, Elves wants to play fast, and Perfect's value engine is too slow - if the game goes long enough that she makes 3+ tokens, you've probably already lost. Elvish Champion may be more expensive, but it's much more useful (and you can enable forestwalk by being cheeky and copying what Merfolk does with Spreading Seas: enchanting an opponent's land with Nylea's Presence if your opponent lacks forests/green shocks). Eldritch Evolution is slower and requires a creature to be sacrificed, but it might optimize casting costs for your deck ( is always less than , and Visionaries make perfect sacrificial elves to snag Ezuri with). A fourth Company is practically required since the card is just so good. Essence Warden can shore up matches against other swarm decks and burn lists, being a cheaper alternative to Kitchen Finks (plus, Warden's another elf that can make mana with Heritage or Archdruid). Lastly, you really can cut two lands - I play BG myself, and having 4+ lands means you're flooding. Two more elves will give you more redundancy, and therefore more potential mana generation. I would recommend you pick up a Pendelhaven at some point, as it can make early turns combat math difficult for your opponent, and losing one land to Blood Moon is not really any concern to you.
1 week ago
So your central combo is on the curve and looks fun, but I'm not sure your taking the best advantage of it. For starters you want to have Soul Warden or Essence Warden as a 1 drop in this deck, either would be a better choice than Altar of the Brood as you really aren't setup to win via mill before you can win with damage.
Bramblesnap needs you to tap your tokens, where as Kruin Striker grows just because you activated the combo, except you want to be running 4x of them (this is true even if you keep Bramblesnap) so cut 2x Stoke the Flames so you can.
Stonybrook Schoolmaster doesn't do enough in this deck, but Champion of Lambholt would be great, easily rendering your tokens unblockable, but again ideally you want to run 3x so cut the last Stoke the Flames too.
Lastly, I'm fairly sure this deck could be built as essentially 2 colour either (use red draw like Tormenting Voice and Faithless Looting) or (with a red splash for Elemental Mastery) which might make the mana fixing a bit easier for you.
1 week ago
I am particularly hard on this deck because I know the builder in person, and he has asked for some help. This is not a comment on a random deck tearing it a new one.
Samut, Voice of Dissent is not the easiest commander to build, because the deck is instantly torn between multiple possible play styles. She is strong enough to be a voltron commander, has the colors to be a general big-beast-beat-down commmander, and an ability that makes you want to play utility. Choosing what you want to focus on and sticking to it is going to be key in building her effectively.
One big problem at the moment is that your deck seems to lack focus. It has some generally good cards, like the Exert creatures, who were practically made to work with Samut, but then it has cards like Elvish Piper and Yisan Chord, while having very few creatures of particular use or great value to cheat out. (How often do you think this deck will have two high cmc creatures in hand to make use of Elvish Piper and Samut in one turn?)
Your creature choices suggest you run a big creature deck, yet you have 3 spells that copy instants and sorceries, with nothing in the deck that needs copying. You run Quicksilver Amulet, any only one creature of cmc 8 or greater. Your deck sifts through its creatures, but very few of them do anything, and a number of them reverse their effects when they leave the battlefield.
What you need to do is focus on how you want to win, not what you want to do or what would go well with your commander. Once you have the focus on that, you can find the cards in that vein that will have synergy with your commander.
There are a lot of cards in this deck that just don't need to be here. Maybe they are around from an earlier deck direction that didn't pan out, maybe some other reason, but as it is, they are generally of less value than many other cards could be.
Soul Warden and Essence Warden. This is not a particularly creature heavy deck. You currently have 30, and little to no token production. These cards do not have tap abilities, and so have no synergy with your commander, and your deck as a whole doesn't require a lot of life to function. It's two card slots for minimal life gain, which is a function separate from the deck as a whole.
Ranger of Eos. This card is strictly dedicated to fetching the two above-mentioned cards. It does not have a verity of targets, it does not benefit from untapping. It does not have significant combat value, and ultimately little value to the deck as a whole.
Banisher Priest and Fiend Hunter. These are just weak removal spells. They only target creatures, and they only temporarily remove them. They don't interact with Samut, and they can't be used for combat purposes since they return the exiled cards upon death. They also grant your opponents a stronger board state post-wipe.
Reiterate, Reverberate, and Increasing Vengeance. This is not an instant/sorcery deck. This is not a control deck. Sure, these are good for controlling blue decks, but again, not a control deck. If you want to go that direction, you have to dedicate more resources to it, otherwise, you're spreading yourself too thin and overall weakening your deck. Remember, you need to be building towards your win condition, your endgame, otherwise you end up with a deck that can delay someone else's, but without a goal of its own. (Which is essentially what this deck seems to do)
The Primordals. Not bad cards, but not that great. Not particularly on theme with the deck. Their abilities have situational uses, so they are cards that you hold in hand until needed, not cards that you cheat in early. They don't benefit from your commander's ability, nor do they contribute to her combat capabilities. They have ok bodies, but as far as big creatures are concerned, there are far better for the cost. Molten Primordial especially, since your current build isn't a rush deck, and you don't have many sac effects, his one-time swing won't be particularly game changing.
Viridian Shaman. Why? It's half a Naturalize on a weak body for more mana. I could see this in an Animar deck, where casting creatures gains you additional benefits, but this deck gains nothing from weak bodies. He neither contributes to Samut, nor does he benefit from her ability. This card is actually a prime example of why this deck doesn't work. "Too much for too little." Card slots dedicated to minor contro/removal aspects, with no advancement towards your own victory.
I'm gonna stop there. A lot of cards don't work in this deck, and as you said, this deck doesn't work. I'm not trying to be mean, I know I'm coming down hard, but hopefully these examples emphasize the core of what's wrong with this deck. I'd suggest a redesign towards a more focused approach with your end game in mind.
Better tap abilities should be included if you want to make the most of your commander's utility ability. Cards like Mother of Runes, Mangara of Corondor, and Intrepid Hero have abilities that are easy to reuse and will actually gain you value to use multiple times in a turn.
If you want to continue the cheating in mentality, big creatures that actually pose a threat, and/or empower your commander should be included. Stonehoof Chieftain is a perfect example of the cards you should be looking for for this style. By itself it's an 8/8 Indestructible with Trample. That's a threat, hard to remove. Instant boardstate. Additionally, however, it gives Indestructible and Trample to your commander, (as well as any other attacking creatures), advancing you towards a commander damage win.
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite buffs your commander, the rest of your field, and is a soft wipe to your opponents. And the buff synergizes well with your commander's Double Strike.
Avacyn, Angel of Hope is a fantastic cheat in. That said, you're in green. I prefer ramp to cheating in creatures as it is. But I will not deny the potential of tapping Elvish Piper twice, so long as you have useful cards to put in with her.
My point is that you need to find things that serve an ongoing purpose to your boardstate. If you're going big creatures, find some that work together, as well as stand alone. Think of them in conjunction to your commander, and ask what value they will have together, continuing, and towards the end of the game. During a match, you are always pushing towards the win. During deckbuilding, that same mentality should be applied.
1 week ago
-Angel of Jubilation: meta-tech card against oloro and marchesa decks. I've tried trostani before and her token ability is just kind of slow
-Tolsimir Wolfblood: gone on my next deck revision for hour of devastation
-Privileged Position: helps protect wincon permanents from spot removal, but otherwise lackluster, might cut it later
-Collective Blessing: sits in your hand until a critical mass of tokens is reached, no different than something like overrun or thunderfoot baloth
-Night Soil: weaker graveyard hate than the other two, but significantly stronger in this deck, especially against a 4/5 man pod
-Kamahl, Fist of Krosa: wincon and boardwipe protection. you can use the overrun if it's late in the game or hold up mana to turn other people's lands into creatures when a boardwipe hits. I haven't gone full elfball enough to run ezuri yet
Garruk Wildspeaker: is both ramp and an overrun. he either survives a turn, in which case I got to ramp a bit and "gained" some life, or he keeps surviving, allowing me to ramp and threaten an overrun (planeswalker removal is kinda rare in my group, i'm really the only green player)
-Champion of Lambholt: i want to test her out in a normal game before i make a decision
-Cathars' Crusade (mentioned above): it's a card that really only needs to be out for a turn and then everything gets out of hand. I might cut it later, but i'm not ready to yet
1 week ago
Cards i would cut and some replacement suggestions:
- Soul's Attendant: doesn't advance board state. Elvish Mystic.
- Essence Warden: ibid. Llanowar Elves
- Angel of Jubilation: really difficult mana base to achieve on turn 4. Trostani, Selesnya's Voice.
- Tolsimir Wolfblood: not enough impact late game. Angel of Sanctions
- Privileged Position: wipes should be your main worry and concern Fresh Meat.
- Collective Blessing: how can you be reliably sure there will be enough creatures to take advantage of this?
- Night Soil better of just running Tormod's Crypt or Relic of Progenitus token synergy notwithstanding.
- Kamahl, Fist of Krosa: too mana hungry. Needs to just be lower in expense. How about Ezuri, Renegade Leader.
- Garruk Wildspeaker: planeswalkers are notoriously fragile. He ramps on turn 4 but i'd rather have a Explosive Vegetation or a Cultivate honestly with the mana problems this deck has.
- Garruk, Primal Hunter he's not bad I'd just find another way to draw cards. Maybe Slate of Ancestry.
- Champion of Lambholt you could use some more lower cmc token producers in place of these. You have a lot of cards that make tokens better early on which doesnt do you any good with no tokens. Maybe Awakening Zone.
Try some of the weird new embalm stuff from amonkhet as well. Can help you recover from boardwipes and utilize your left over doubling seasons etc.