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Gaea's Cradle Discussion
1 day ago
Yeah, Rith is going to be VERY happy to get out of her box and onto a table again!
And yeah, I was amazed when I noticed the score. I haven't touched it in a while so I wasn't cycling or anything ... it's just been quietly accumulating views and upvotes, and I was blown away by how many!
Thanks so much! :-)
1 day ago
These are the cards above 10 dollars and what to include instead:
- Exploration can be changed for Burgeoning, but Exploration is more explosive since it lets you also cast a one mana creature on turn one and attack with it on turn two, drawing a card.
- Temporal Manipulation can be changed for Part the Waterveil
- Time Warp is very importart, I would recommend you buying it (I'm saving for Capture of Jingzhou since 5 mana take a turn are crucial for going off), but if you are short on money Temporal Trespass may do the trick
- Gaea's Cradle can be replaced with Boreal Druid. Don't use Growing Rites of Itlimoc Flip, since it is too slow. Remember to take out Crop Rotation
- Flusterstorm can be replaced with some other cheap counterspell, maybe Mana Leak, Disdainful Stroke or Swan Song (beware: the bird token blocking your flying creatures is very annoying)
- Force of Will can be replaced with Foil, specially since you will have more basics by taking out fetches. Abjure is another good option.
- Chrome Mox, Mana Crypt and Mana Crypt: fast mana is really important for this deck, maybe Elvish Spirit Guide can replace one, also try Druids' Repository and Nature's Will (specially if there is stax in your meta.
Regarding the mana base, just take of all the fetches, shocks and Cavern of Souls (its not that important) and replace them with duals lands that come into place untapped, like Reflecting Pool and Exotic Orchard (this is very important). If you don't find lands that come into play untapped, just play basics, a high basic land count its actually a good thing since Elvish Pioneer on turn one is one of your more explosive hands (it lets you cast Edric on turn two and attack with a creature).
This is a very "all in" version of the deck. Maybe a budget friendly version could try to be more resilient and run cards like Coastal Piracy, Bident of Thassa and more ways of protecting your creatures from wrath effects, Wrap in Vigor, Chasm Skulker, Hangarback Walker, Whisperwood Elemental, Foundry of the Consuls, Faerie Conclave are just some that come to mind.
This deck started as a budget one, and it did very well then :) it does improve with expensive cards, but not as much as you would think.
Best of luck! Upload yours when you build it and let me know of the results.
2 days ago
Very well, here's my latest jank for your consideration (take your time)
Orzhov Advokist: Boosts one of your creatures and tells you ahead of time whether or not someone is planning on attacking you. This potentially lets it both replace one card from Conflict Escalation and another from Deterrence, which would free up a slot for something else. On the downside, it takes a player turn cycle to become relevant and it's more about quality than quantity (although you could use things like Tetravus, Murder Investigation and/or Hangarback Walker to alleviate this, see also about Elemental Mastery below). Another problem is that it doesn't reward people for attacking each other and it's arguably anti-synergetic with Mystic Barrier.
Harvest Season/(Growing Rites of Itlimoc Flip): More powerful yet less reliable alternative to Cultivate. (Although instead of Itlimoc you could just spend hundreds of bucks on a Gaea's Cradle I guess)
(Thornscape Familiar): The only one in the cost reduction Familiar cycle which affects more than one of the colors in your commander's identity. Aside from Gahiji himself, it works for 33 out of the 99 cards in the current deck (assuming no shenanigans like Celestial Dawn or Feroz's Ban). I dunno if you cast those 33 cards frequently enough per turn to make the cost reduction worthwhile compared to land-based ramp, especially since you got some land matters cards like Mirari's Wake.
Continuing my quest of exhausting every possible card advantage option known to beast, god and man:
Elvish Harbinger: Complement or possibly even a replacement for Wood Elves. Ramps and elf Imperial Seal:s from a pretty diverse pool consisting of Rhys the Redeemed, Reclamation Sage, Wood Elves, Knight of the Reliquary, Mirror Entity, Selvala, Explorer Returned & Oracle of Mul Daya. Since it doesn't have flash, unplanned shuffling is my biggest reservation towards this one. (As an optional bonus, it can form the middle of a threefold creature tutor chain with either of the Recruiters and any elf.)
Green Sun's Zenith: Banned in modern and probably something you've already considered. Puts green critters directly onto the battlefield and is self-recurable. It can pick from a pretty diverse pool that includes (among other things) Den Protector, Oracle of Mul Day, Reclamation Sage, Tireless Tracker, Wood Elves, Knight of the Reliquary, Mirri, and Selvala.
Worldly Tutor: Creature Vampiric Tutor, might be a bit slow without an available draw source. (Congregation at Dawn) takes things further, but with the presence of other (shuffling) tutors and a lack of great draw power it seems questionable. Eladamri's Call is the Demonic Tutor equivalent, dunno if it can compete with Green Sun's.
(Evolutionary Leap): Unsure about this one, but could be nice with things that give a benefit upon death (be it naturally or trough Skullclamp with 2 or more toughness) and/or are disposable (especially cheap ETB creatures that can be recurred with Sun Titan).
(Defense of the Heart): Obviously very powerful if it goes off, but I assume that it's too conditional & vulnerable to removal to be worth it.
Magus of the Wheel: Complement to the classic wheel that's already present. I prefer the Magus over Wheel of Fate & Reforge the Soul due to not requiring you to have all the mana at once and/or because it's more predictable for something that discards your hand (although slower without haste). As a bonus, it's recurable with Sun Titan (and tutorable with either of the Recruiters).
Other misc. cards which you've probably already considered and rejected, but just in case:
(Luminarch Ascension): On one hand, Ant Queen on steroids. On the other, draws a lot of hate and/or takes at least four turns to become not-useless (assuming no helpful proliferation) which makes it more and more of a dead draw over time. (Sacred Mesa is a weird compromise.) There's also Emeria Angel/Retreat to Emeria for if you want to expand on the land subtheme, but it doesn't have the same explosive potential as the aforementioned manasinks (although Hazezon Tamar might be a decent compromise).
Elemental Mastery: Channels a quality creature (e.g. a beefed up Knight of the Reliquary or just Gahiji himself) into a quantity of tokens which better synergizes with Gahiji's ability. On the downside, since the tokens only lasts one turn you can't increase their power on the long term with e.g. Curse of Predation. The card also has the two usual problems associated with Auras in that it requires the presence of an appropriate creature to be useful and that single-target removal against said creature becomes a two-for-one deal (and this is further exasperated by the fact that you're encouraged to increase the power of the creature by e.g. putting counters on it). Also too expensive for Sun Titan. Dragon Throne of Tarkir gives somewhat similar quality-to-quantity conversion in a more resilient equipment form.
(Path of Ancestry) vs one of Temple of Abandon/Temple of Plenty/Temple of Triumph. Less reliable scry that only works with Gahiji & the changeling, but taps for all the relevant colors. Dunno how frequently this is relevant for you.
(Rith, the Awakener): Token generator alternative. I'm guessing you've rejected it because the tokens lack evasion and/or the token generation is too conditional. (But hey, at least it's a combat damage effect for Duelist's Heritage to interact with)
(Marton Stromgald): Potentially explosive token amplification but hard to keep alive.
Mass Hysteria: In case you're not getting enough haste from Slayers' Stronghold. Also works with the group slug aspect, but I dunno if it will backfire by e.g. letting powerful tap abilities come out of nowhere. (There's also Concordant Crossroads if you're not worried about it being replaced by another World Enchantment.) Samut, Voice of Dissent is another option that has quite a few other features as well, but I fear she'll come in a bit too late. Got similar feelings about (Urabrask the Hidden), who's also kinda detrimental to the group slug theme and/or will draw too much hate. ((Akroma's Memorial) is even worse in the lateness department.)
Mogg Infestation/(Settle the Wreckage)/Fell the Mighty/(Righteous Fury)/(Sunblast Angel)/(Angel of the Dire Hour): One of the Token Beatdown variants favors board wipes, but all of the listed cards have a tendency to kill your fatties and leave your opponent's weenies alive. In case you want a source of emergency non-targeted creature removal in the main deck and/or the variant, here's some additional options that can leave your own creatures alive, even if they're a bit more expensive than e.g. Wrath of God (or, in the case of Settle the Wreckage, potentially profitable for an opponent). Special mention to Mogg Infestation for still keeping the group slug going by being Beast Within on steroids & Angel of the Dire Hour for bypassing indestructible in addition to shroud, if that's relevant in your meta (although a plain (Arcane Lighthouse) might be better then).
(Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite): Saving the most prominently obvious card for last, I assume the reason you've rejected it is because it's not explosive enough to act as a 1v1 finisher, while being detrimental to the overall group slug strategy when there's more than one opponent alive.
3 days ago
6 days ago
Yeah, there are not a lot of sacrifice effects in this deck that would take complete advantage of Thornbite Staff, i would just mention it since in a Krenko, Mob Boss deck which i see as sort of the goblin equivalent of this deck, that card is busted. But no, i dont see any card that would be a good switch, all of the cards in the deck seem more useful than Thornbite Staff.
Growing Rites of Itlimoc Flip : I agree on the slow aspect, but 4 creatures is an easy task for an elf deck, have succesfully flipped it on turn 2 once. It was an amazing opening hand, with 2 forest, 3 mana dorks, Growing Rites of Itlimoc Flip and Heritage Druid. My reasons for mentioning it was that it would add 2 options for infinite combos as it would work as an replacement for Gaea's Cradle in the 2 combos in your description. It will also allow you to look for a creature in the top 4 cards of your deck, which is a decent effect.
1 week ago
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx doesn't seem like it would do much for you, by the time you pay the two mana to add whatever you devotion is going to be. Being outside mono color, it just doesn't seem like it would help much. Do you have better luck with it?
1 week ago
Wow! Thank you for all the responses. I am making my way through the decks mentioned and seeing a lot of good stuff.
TheDevicer It sounds to me like there are a few things that could help. First up, if your opponents feel like they have to team up to win they may need to look at what their decks are lacking. Usually when this happens it boils down to speed, budget, or subpar pet picks.
Speed: Prossh, Lord of the Food Chain created this problem in my group. The deck was too fast for any of us to deal with so I began to craft my Tactical Beauty to be able to inhibit or at least slow this and other fast paced combo decks. Your table's game doesn't need to go faster, but your opponent's need to understand they can control the pace of play if they understand what tools they have available and how to correctly disrupt decks that are blatantly faster.
Budget: This can be rough to work through but discussion forums like this are great at finding budget solutions to problems. Usually the budget options are just more narrow or cost 1 more mana. Thanks to cards like Manglehorn and Eidolon of Rhetoric though budget lists are becoming more and more viable. Also remind people that putting value into their cEDH deck instead of their binder or random box is a great way to ensure your collection gains value over time due to staples always steadily increasing.
Subpar Picks: This is often the hardest point to get across. Often times what the deck needs is not what the player wants. I wanted to run Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Zealous Conscripts in Marath Says No but that isn't what the deck needs. I needed to focus on disruptions and low cmc high value plays to make up for not drawing very many cards and often destroying all lands. Over time players become so attached to their pet cards and combos they don't even consider that they might be holding the deck back. Crowd sourced feedback is the best way to get around this. My group will often times have one player sit out and work on their deck while the rest play. This keeps the others playing but creates an environment that the builder can be asking for feedback in real time as the deck is being crafted. Someone should always play devil's advocate but make it clear that they are only challenging the idea to ensure it holds up to scrutiny not just disagreeing because of opinion.
I hope that helps work through that situation.
1 week ago
Yeah...it's a proxy lol. Normally I try not to proxy cards that are that expensive since I'll probably never get one, but Gaea's Cradle is just crazy good in here and I wanted the power level a little higher. I also have Growing Rites of Itlimoc Flip in there. :)