|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Battle for Zendikar (BFZ)||Uncommon|
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Creature — Human Shaman Ally
Rally — Whenever Firemantle Mage or another Ally enters the battlefield under your control, creatures you control gain menace until end of turn. (A creature with menace can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.)
Firemantle Mage Discussion
10 months ago
I would also suggest adding red if 3 colors is on the table. The speed that Akoum Battlesinger, and Reckless Bushwhacker; along with the added evasion that Firemantle Mage provide could really help. It also provides the ageless Lightning Bolt, and can provide some nice sideboard tech. I have also had luck with Claim//Fame.
As for the creatures you do have, I would absolutely up Hada Freeblade to 4. As someone who has played Allies since OG Zendikar, It is and always will be your best turn 1 play outside of Aether Vial (which should also be included if you do not want Collected Company or Hardened Scales. And it plays so nice with Ally Encampment!).
I would also play a full playset of Expedition Envoy. Yes it does not have any triggers itself -- but it is a mildly aggressive body that triggers all your other ally's abilities for one. In Allies, I like to think of it as a sorcery (that can be played with vial) that reads "put a 2/1 token into play. Trigger all of your creature's ETB abilities again." For one Mana? Now it suddenly becomes a busted card. In my experience, you want as many cheap ways to trigger your ally abilities, and Expedition Envoy does it. It also increases the number of hits you have on Orzhov Charm -- another card I have had a fair amount of success with as a 1-of.
I can also tell you that Drana, Liberator of Malakir + Kor Bladewhirl can be a bit of a non-bo at times as the +1/+1 counters will be placed on the other creatures after they do damage. The first strike damage is also not as effective on the offensive side if you already have evasion. I can see 1 or 2 bladewhirls as a neat combat trick on your opponent's turn with vial -- but the creature that will likely be untapped and can block, Kazandu Blademaster (which should also be an auto-include 4 of), already has first strike.
I see you also have some of what I refer to as the combo allies. These are Kalastria Healer, and Zulaport Cutthroat. I refer to them as this as without some enabler, they do not really do much. Now, you have in your sideboard their best enabler in Rally the Ancestors, but if you want to play a Rally the Ancestors, we are starting to look at a wildly different shell. To abuse Zulaport Cutthroat, we likely need some sacrifice engine. Kalastria Healer does not have quite the same constraints, but I feel there are often cards that do its job better. Need life gain? Go with Ondu Cleric. Want more aggression? Go Bojuka Brigand.
In conclusion, I would likely drop some number of Bladewhirls, Dranas, and maybe a Gideon. I would cut Join the Ranks, and Zulaport Cutthroat. I would also consider cutting Kalastria Healer -- but I can see some merit there in its ability to do damage and heal shrug off some damage. Especially if you do not feel like splashing another color. I would up Kazandu Blademaster to 4, add a playset of Expedition Envoy, up Aether Vial to 4, play with a Orzhov Charm or 2, and then play around with number of Bojuka Brigand and some Metallic Mimics. If you want to splash red, I would definitely add 4 Akoum Battlesinger, 3-4 Reckless Bushwhackers, and at least 1 Firemantle Mage.
For the record, I also do not like the idea of Vault of the Archangel. The mana can already be a little tight to cast non ally spells. No need to make it worse.
10 months ago
4x Hada Freeblade
4x Kazandu Blademaster
3x Champion of the Parish
4x Oran-Rief Survivalist
4x Akoum Battlesinger
4x Kabira Evangel
1x Abzan Falconer
1x Mirror Entity
3x Collected Company
4x Path to Exile
2x Scout's Warning
4x Hardened Scales
4x Cavern of Souls
4x Razorverge Thicket
2x Temple Garden
2x Horizon Canopy
1x Sacred Foundry
4x Windswept Heath
I really wish the time had been taken to build this list, so that I didn't need to spend so much time on it.
A lot of the cards weren't even spelt correctly.
1 year ago
May I recommend replacing one Firemantle Mage with one Kabira Evangel? While both give pseudo-unblockable, you can use the evangel as protection at instant speed by Aether Vialing in an ally, for use against removal. Otherwise, it's a pretty darn neat deck, it's got decent aggro and a great midrange with the lifegain.
1 year ago
ef: Good questions all of them. I would say the Mirror Entity slot is meta dependant. It REALLY shines in grindier matchups and randomly allows out of nowhere kills (and even got me out from under a Torpor Orb just recently). The other options for this slot are Kabira Evangel which needs colored creatures to have an impact, and Firemantle Mage, which just needs creatures to be effective. Period. Where I play, there is affinity, tron, control, combo, and burn, and I feel that Mirror Entity just has the most impact. I also like how it takes advantage of Harabaz Druid mana.
Lack of healing has rarely ever been an issue for me, because when I lose, it's normally because I have a weaker board state and wasn't going to win anyways. In that case a bigger threat would normally be more valuable. In my experience, I already have a great matchup against burn/aggro, but if there were more of those decks at my gamestore, I'd probably set a few Ondu Clerics to mainboard to further improve my matchup.
1 year ago
In my opinion, you got to much going on here and not enough "straight-lined" synergy. Do away with Halimar Tidecaller and anything with "awaken". Do away with Auriok Windwalker, Stoneforge Acolyte, Steelshaper's Gift, Stonehewer Giant and all the artifacts. Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper seems like a loner in this deck, ditch him.
Where the allies really shine is in their enter the battlefield abilities like rally. Consider putting in Munda, Ambush Leader, Kazuul Warlord, Hada Freeblade, Firemantle Mage, Highland Berserker, Munda's Vanguard, Relief Captain, Kazandu Blademaster, Talus Paladin...etc. I run a boros ally deck hence the colors of the cards mentioned above but there are literally dozens of ally creatures with the rally ability.
1 year ago
I love the idea of this deck. I play a boros ally edh deck commanded by Munda, Ambush Leader to ensure that I play an ally every turn and take advantage of all the etb abilities.
1 year ago
So having a look through.
You've got a random mishmash of archetypes without pay off cards. I see a WB lifegain deck, with really weak cards like Dazzling Reflection and Soulmender, two cards I never really want to draft. The pay off is I get a growing 2/2 who has no evasion. And a dude who drains a little, but I have to stuff my deck with drek that is awful outside getting those 2 cards.
There is a G/W Defenders deck, with nothing really amazing to ramp into and I can't even splash red for the defender who burns people down.
I would look at what you want each archetype to do, the roleplayers and the pay off cards, as well as what cards are good in multiple decks.
For example, I want a W/B lifegain deck with a vampire theme. A r/w token deck that wants to make white tokens and buff with red cards and a R/B deck that cares about stuff dying.
For the pay off cards in W/B I'm looking for Sanctum Seeker. It drains life and supports vampires. For a roleplayer I'm looking for a vampire type with a relevant ability, say Skymarch Bloodletter. It is a 2/2 flyer who drains 1 for 3. Obviously other decks can play it but it has extra value in my W/B deck. Then I'm looking for generically good cards like removal, or other threats that might not be a fit but help my deck, such as Doom Blade.
For W/R I'm looking for pay off cards like Firemantle Mage who make my token hordes harder to block or Goblin Rabblemaster who makes a ton of tokens and attacks for a lot himself. For roleplayers I'm looking for cards that makes tokens. Why not Queen's Commission. 2 tokens with lifelink for 3 mana is OK. And it helps both the W/R deck and the vampire deck.
Now in R/B I want stuff to be sacrificable. I can play Skymarch Bloodletter as a 2/2 for 3 which is acceptable, but really I quite fancy getting my hands on Goblin Rabblemaster to pair with my Goblin Bombardment or Makeshift Munitions so there is always damage going through. I might also want a card like Ruthless Knave to turn any incidental treasure into draw or provide more ammo for Makeshift. And oh look, Blood Artist is a vampire who drains who rewards me for sacrificing stuff!
So that is an example of what you might go with?
There is also a lot of really poor removal and other cards in the cube, so you really need to decide on a power level and the draftability of some cards. Like Guardians of Meletis is a card I am never going to want to draft even in the G/W defenders deck, while Wall of Tanglecord might just make the cut. The lands really discourage splashing as well and some are so much better than others that it is unreal. You also have a lot of cars, but that pushes the format towards a snowballing playstyle with premium uncommons like the 4/4 for 4 who grows with each attack.
A lot of the 2 coloured cards you have just feel thrown in. Like what is Manaforge Cinder in service too?
A suggestion for some exploration archetypes. When you say exploration I think Lands, deck manipulation, landfall, being on the attack and movement.
G/W Defenders/Ramp that goes into something like eldrazi
R/G Dinosaurs with land based ramp (lets you get elementals with landfall as a side note)
U/B reanimator focused on sea leviathans and things like Inkwell Leviathan.
U/W Lands/Awaken Control. Slow but unstoppable with smaller things that make lands into creatures or buy time.
R/W Tokens or Allies (all the best allies are in R/W)
U/R Pirates/Raid/Spells as you loot through your deck and always be aggressive.
U/G Merfolk with a subtheme of counters (you can do more than just +1/+1 with the right support)
W/B Vampires Lifelink/Drain
G/B Explore/Graveyard. Explore lets you bin things, stuff grows from explore, cards reward you from putting something in the graveyard. The idea of you exploring somewhere and the Unearthing something seems fitting.
1 year ago
TheDuggernaught:Unintentional essay incoming.
In regards to Munda, more often than not a Kabira Evangel would secure a victory, and I'd gladly ditch my chance at topdecking a CoCo to dig for an Evangel. Virtually guaranteeing an ally etb per turn and getting a 3/4 haste is well worth it (bonus points against lantern control). Also, if a god-draw CoCo is truly your only out, you can choose not to activate his ability, or just pitch the cards on top. That said, it's still a 4-drop, so I'm always considering his place.
I agree, Aether Vial is superb, if absolutely nothing else, it protects turn 3 Kabira Evangel, but it does SO much more. Combat tricks, speeds up aggro, flexibility, I honestly think it would work better here than in Merfolk cause flash etb. Unfortunately, the cost has been prohibitively expensive, so I don't have any [so says he with 3 Cavern of Souls (I got them when they were $14)]. Every time it was suggested in the past, they were a minimum of $35 each, and I had no money. Now I'll watch the price and see if it drops with the re-print.
I have considered Expedition Envoy before and even made a deck oriented more around hyper aggro (Akoum Aggressors), but I'm not as much of a fan, as is that there is virtually no synergy. He provides no buff, he doesn't have haste, and his body's so lame he trades with mana dorks. However, I have often found myself casting 2-drops on turn 3, and being able to surge a Bushwhacker instead is thoroughly satisfying. I will test this variants with the Envoy and see how they fair.
I felt like Kor Bladewhirl was really just filling a spot for an actually good 2 drop ally since didn't actually put presence on the board. Metallic Mimic might just be the replacement I need. I will definitely test it out.
An older version of my deck used Mirror Entity to good effect. Unfortunately, it's too slow and weak. I found that your opponent tends to wait for you to sink the mana, then uses their removal, effectively wasting a turn you could have spent casting an ally. Lastly, I don't know what to do about Firemantle Mage, I want to put him in mainboard over Kor Bladewhirl, but that 1 extra mana slows him down. I want to put him in sideboard, but I don't know what to take out, I might remove Captain's Claws.
Thanks for your suggestions, I'll see how the different cards work out. As soon as I found out about Allies 4 years ago, they've been my favorite deck. Both of the Zendikar blocks are my favorite, even if I wasn't around for the first one, and while I was first very disappointed in the newer allies, some of the cards REALLY pull their weight. Namely Bushwhacker, Gideon, and especially the encampment.
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