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Gaea's Cradle Discussion
1 day ago
I understand Spike Feeder and Archangel of Thune combo perfectky well, simply in a competitive environment, either one will be countered, or they will be removed with something like Chain of Vaporing the Archangel, in response to the first activation of Spike Feeder. That is a blowout like a Time Walk since you can't activate it again without killing the Spike Weaver. Felidar Sovereign with Chord of Calling is your best actual wincon, but I mean... 9 mana/creatures? What turn are you on? If this deck consistently puts out creatures and mana like that by turn 3, since you need to win by turn 4 at the latest for this to be a combo/aggro cEDH deck, then run it, I just don't think that is plausible.
2/2 Cats aren't a real strategy on their own. They don't make mana, and so don't combo out and win, simply put, I could get into Commander theory and the 'Aggro Problem', but I will just copy and paste the work I already did for something else:
This is too much for them. Generally there are a few way aggro compensates, one of which abuses the already built-in system of 'Commander Damage.' Building up a ton of auras and equipment on a commander to make it huge and swing in for 21 damage works in a lot of cases, and is called "Voltron." The main issue with this is a cheap and fast commander like Rafiq of the Many is too easily prone to removal like Swords to Plowshares, and more controlling commander like Sigarda, Host of Herons or Uril, the Miststalker are generally a bit too , slow to get around board wipes like Toxic Deluge, Wrath of God, Damnation, Day of Judgment and Supreme Verdict.
But there are other tricks aggro has up its sleeves, think infect. Really, infect is just as powerful in Modern or Legacy than in EDH, right? Well, not exactly, yes infect still only needs to deal 10 poison counters to kill a player, but you still have to deal at least 30 damage given your opponents can't kill faster than you, or if they are also playing infect. It's tracked differently, so if someone is at one life, they can take up to 9 poison counters and still live. Running Atraxa, Praetors' Voice can give some inevitability to your infect win, and stuff like Saskia the Unyielding can also be run to make you only have to deal 20 damage to win with infect.
The biggest issue with infect is that players generally frown upon it, and will target you, or player cards like Solemnity as a counter to it. Some playgroups set the poison counters needed to kill to 15 or 20, and some outright ban it. Also, since there are no commanders other than Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon directly support it, there is little consistency to infect decks, despite there explosive turns and wins.
Well, that is the aggro problem, it is what leads so many decks to be control, midrange, combo, or hybrid builds, and why the format is generally considered slow. This isn't to say decks can't win turn 1 or anything, tons of combo decks can, however, this is what leads to the final point. Combo is generally the best win condition, not to say a deck like Edric, Spymaster of Trest shouldn't beat face to win, but for most decks, combo with differing levels of disruption is the best strategy.
Many playgroups don't use combos, whether they are more casual, frown upon combo, outright ban it, or simply run more beatdown strategies and don't care for combo particularly. This is perfectly fine, and reasonable, but it is the work-around for the aggro problem, while not relying solely on control.
Okay, so now you see the problem with aggro, and why 2/2 cats in essence aren't a wincon, Archangel of Thune can be removed in response to the first Spike Weaver activation, and so aren't as instant win as you thought, and even so, unless you have enough creatures to kill each other player, it isn't going to win the game, as they will simply win on their turn, in a cEDH meta. Since Felidar Guardian combo is too slow generally, and you only run 4 tutors for the Thune-Weaver Combo, it isn't a fast combo deck.
That isn't to say it isn't competitive, you could make it stax, run the fast elf-ramp, and Armageddon until you win, but that still requires a different gameplan.
Again, all of this is meaningless if you don't want to make it stax or fast combo, but without blue, your card draw isn't their for permission control, and that means you aren't able to consistently make this cEDH competitive, but I won't claim it is bad or anything, it is simply a high-powered mid-level EDH deck, and I think that is fine.
On ramp, most of the options you mentioned were sub-par, Tithe, Cultivate, Kodama's Reach, Growing Rites of Itlimoc Flip, Mirari's Wake all are either too expensive or not impactful enough, 1 mana ramp is where you want to be, the fast rocks, Ancient Tomb/Gaea's Cradle/Gemstone Caverns, elves, etc.
1 day ago
Thanks for the suggestions, will take me a bit to go through it. Here's some additional followup questions.
Survival of the Fittest makes sense to me CMC3 to tutor a creature (if I have a creature).
Because I don't have haste, Fauna Shaman is less effective, but perhaps still required (just to get more consistency).
Instead of creatures, like Avacyn's Pilgrim because I don't have haste, I tried to go more low-cost spell based mana ramp. As well as having no real way to Counterspell mass removal, they are susceptible. Here is some examples:
Nissa, Vastwood Seer Flip - in hand Forest (or if no other land drop that turn) = Net ramp cost or best case (Special note: I was testing to see if the slowness/poorness of the ramp, was offset her +1 Draw/Ramp once flipped. So far I haven't had her flip, so she hasn't worked yet.
I think the overall I get is, I don't have enough ramp? I'm thinking these would be good?
Or is it better to go 1/1 Elf, to get the Priest of Titania + Staff of Domination route? Will I be able to get enough 1/1 Elf into the deck without losing the 2/2 Cat Commander? My spouse will not play 1/1 Elf.
I use/tutor Alms Collector all the time, Spirit of the Labyrinth worries me because it shuts down my draw Sylvan Library, Puresteel Paladin, Sword of Fire and Ice, Skullclamp, Hunter's Insight, etc. But I understand that Selsnya () isn't the same draw level as other commanders, so perhaps, slowing everyone including myself down would be ok.
Archangel of Thune and Spike Feeder can win the game on the same turn, even if both do not have haste. Remember that Archangel of Thune gives a +1 to each creature (not just the Spike Feeder), so any creature becomes "Weaponized", and with the Trample/Evasion built in, can usually strike 1 or more players. Also, usually I Chord of Calling in the Archangel of Thune to try and protect her and allow her to avoid summoning sickness, and attack on my turn. Yes, I can win next turn with a Felidar Sovereign or Chord of Calling > Felidar Sovereign. Once she resolves unless they can stop Activated or Triggered abilities, I get the Infinite Life.
I'll do a more indepth review later. I'll also share some of your $50 suggestions on KimJongman deck later as well.
1 week ago
2 weeks ago
So I just want to let you guys know that I think Sylvan Awakening is a new mainstay in any version of omnath that has access to a Gaea's Cradle. The last few times I've played, searching up cradle followed by animating all my lands and dropping craterhoof has killed the entire table. 2 of those times I also had plant tokens from avenger of zendikar in play as well, and awakening was the difference between killing only 2 players and killing the whole table. It almost feels like you cut out the middle man of needing omnath in play to make an army and just use your ramp + hoof to put it away in some games. Just thought I'd share that with you all for possible testing purposes if you haven't tried it yet.
3 weeks ago
I am jelly of my own Gaea's Cradle.. but guess how many I have?
4 weeks ago
@SynergyBuild - That is some pretty sweet tech. I'm gonna have to look into that little guy. Thanks!
@Aiding - Sorry this took awhile, really appreciate the recommendations...let me break them down.
Spore Frog going in as soon as I get one.
Night's Whisper is good, but I dump my hand so fast, and my meta is actually pretty slow, so the three cards ultimately just outweighs it for me personally.
Harmonize on the other hand is strictly better, so it will replace Cravings as soon as I acquire one. :p
Life // Death - Another meta call, board wipes are often at instant speed in my meta due to other effects and getting my entire mana base scrubbed would be devastating.
Both Zeni...Zeniths?...are great, I just don't own them and while I do ramp, it seems little underwhelming unless I buff my ramp package.
Triumph of the Hordes - I absolutely adore giving people poison counters! This has been on the acquire list for awhile, I just haven't gotten there yet. :p
Birthing Pod should be here...just Another case of I yet to own it. Haha.
Dark Prophecy is another card on the acquire list...along with Necropotence I don't really have a budget constraint...I'mjust not gonna pick up something like Gaea's Cradle. Anything under like $50 is probably cool tho.
I actually have Kokusho, the Evening Star in another deck...but he fits much better here. I'll make that swap for sure. What would you take out?
1 month ago
Okay yeah I could see that, but this still needs more cards (unless this is only for huge instants), as the mana will disappear after combat. So Upwelling, Kruphix, God of Horizons, Omnath, Locus of Mana, Alchemist's Refuge, Leyline of Anticipation?
Alternatively, 4 or more mana from 2 lands (2 bounce lands, Gaea's Cradle, Growing Rites of Itlimoc Flip or Cabal Coffers) and Umbral Mantle and the like works fine too. Use Cascading Cataracts to filter your colours.