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Gaea's Herald Discussion
1 month ago
I hear ya; Animar can be tough to hit and actually stick to the 'field. When I first built it I was ruined by mass creature destruction again and again (Day of Judgment, etc), Counterspells are always a problem, and red/blue have enough burn/bounce/steal to ruin your day
Here's a pile of ideas. Venser, Shaper Savant, Mystic Snake, Draining Whelk, Heroic Intervention, Elgaud Shieldmate, Archetype of Endurance, Asceticism, Glen Elendra Archmage, Stratus Dancer, Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, Cavern of Souls, Gaea's Herald, Prowling Serpopard, Tajuru Preserver, Soul of New Phyrexia, Temur Sabertooth, Deadeye Navigator, Cyclonic Rift, and of course your own Counterspell package ;D
2 months ago
I agree that Prowling Serpopard should go in but there might be an argument for Gaea's Herald over Vexing Shusher. Since Animar doesn't run many counterspells, you could look at Dosan the Falling Leaf as a way to stop both counters and removal spells on the turn you want to combo off. If you are willing to look at non-creature inclusions, Autumn's Veil is another option.
I would also suggest considering Scryb Ranger. It's ability can untap Kiki if the opponents tries to stop you from comboing with removal, which would allow you to keep the combo going. It can help with mana ramping by untapping mana dorks or just returning a Tropical Island or Taiga to be replayed if you don't have another land to drop that turn. Its Protection from Blue also makes it a surprisingly viable blocker against a lot of the more aggressive commanders.
Because your life total is only 20 in Duel Commander, red decks are a lot more viable. Lightning Bolt sees a lot of play, as do other burn spells, which means that there are a lot more removal options floating around that can hit Animar. Lots of decks also run a Vintage format style package of blue and black counters and removal. Animar itself doesn't need to worry about the black spot removal but it does have to look out for the higher percentage of blue bounce spells. All of this makes Animar more fragile than it is in cEDH, so you will have to both play the deck more carefully and possibly shave some of the cards that are in for consistency out for a slightly higher concentration of cards that can function as stand-alone threats.
Animar decks used to see around a 1% meta play-rate at duel commander tournaments but was still powerful enough that for a while it was on their watch-list as a potential commander that needed to be banned. Now it looks like it sees less play than that, which is likely due to the life total being dropped from 30 to 20 and making red more viable in the format.
3 months ago
Gaea's Herald I think should stay in. Compared to Prowling Serpopard, it's 2 cmc, which means its a turn 2 drop along with Rhys. I can also tutor for it a lot easier with Birthing Pod than compared to Prowling, as I only have 3 other creatures with 2 cmc. It's also revived by Elvish Soultiller.
You're right about Gaea's Revenge. It's an 8/5 for 7, but if I could play that, I'd much rather play Omnath for 5/5 to make it 12/12 (or more) the next turn. Or just play Protean Hulk. There's not much value there.
I feel the same about Avenger of Zendikar, though if I play him when I'm losing and don't have many counters out, I'd probably win.
Autumn's Veil should probably be kept. Some guys in my playgroup are running Esper...
3 months ago
Yeah those green draws I mentioned are def more expensive so it would depend what else you have going on. I think you should keep both your planeswalkers you currently have. They fit in.
After thinking about your list some more I'd take out:
Gaea's Herald since you already have that other creature that does the same thing.
Gaea's Revenge is just a big baddie that has no synergy with the greater theme of your deck.
Autumn's Veil i really really like this but this is certainly a sideboard card unless if your meta has heavy counters.
And I'll second your motion to remove Doubling Cube. My buddy that plays Rhys ran the cube for a while but it never really made that much of a difference for him.
I think any other cards you take out may have to be the next "weakest" creatures that you have left since your creature count is still in the mid-high 20s.
Anyway, playtesting will def help too!
4 months ago
4 months ago
- Dosan the Falling Leaf - prevents casting on other player's turns
- Gaea's Herald - creatures can't be countered
- Leyline of Lifeforce - creature's can't be countered
- Price of Glory - destroy all lands tapped on other player's turns
- War's Toll - inhibits control strategies
- Choke - islands don't untap
- Autumn's Veil - practically protection from blue and black for one turn for all creatures
- Hammer Mage - artifact boardwipe every turn
- Viashino Heretic - targeted artifact removal every turn
- Molder Slug - hurts them more than it hurts you
- Vandalblast - a staple and for good reason
- Wave of Vitriol - kills all artifacts, and enchantments for good measure. Also ramps mana
- Arbor Colossus - large body with reach that can kill a flier
4 months ago
I run Cavern of Souls but I'm not super fond of it. I consider it a necessary evil. It has helped me get Animar down, but a lot of the time it's just a land that produces colorless mana (aka, often anywhere from lackluster to useless). If you are facing a lot of counters then it may be worth it, but otherwise you may find it more of an annoyance then a benefit.
I don't like Dosan the Falling Leaf. The double green to cast it is a pain if you are trying to cast it the same turn you are wanting to combo off, and I wouldn't want it to just sit on the board where it prevent your opponents from interfering with each other.
Gaea's Herald is mana efficient but potentially helps decks like Gitrog to get its commander down past counterspells. You will either have to let is sit in your hand as a dead draw until you are ready to combo, or you cast it to get a counter on Animar and run the risk of your opponents getting use out of it before you do.
Your experience with Prowling Serpopard was interesting to read. I don't have enough experience with it to offer an educated opinion.
Vexing Shusher's cost is at least flexible, using up the red mana that you may not otherwise use that turn. I don't think that it fits into any of the faster plays that Animar may want to make, but if the game gets stalled out it might work for getting a key spell through. It seems pretty clunky most of the time though.
I think Dosan and Herald should be struck from the list entirely. The others are pretty "meh" and are more likely meta picks than potential core cards for the deck.
4 months ago
Here's another discussion question or everyone. Lately I've been revisiting the available cards that can make our creatures uncounterable. There are a few good ones (sorry, savage summoning) and I've been considering playing one in Phyrexian Metamorph's slot.
First, it's important to note that a lot of the best counters in cEDH can't hit creatures. this is the reason i rarely play anti-counter tech in the deck; frankly its somewhere between overkill and actively damaging, especially when we need an important noncreature to go though and it ends up eating 2-3 pent-up counters that weren't able to be used earlier. Nevertheless, I think a few of the following cards may have merit for us:
Cavern of Souls: almost exclusively used cast Animar early on, so it's not quite the same as the rest of these options, but its worth mentioning since free is always my favorite cost. I could add Crop Rotation to the deck to get access to Cav and Cradle more frequently, but neither is so essential to the deck that i'd want to play such a narrow tutor.
Dosan the Falling Leaf: basically a City of Solitude that works better with our tutors. My issue when testing this guy in the past was that he prevented the rest of the table from stopping other decks from winning on their turns. very risky.
Gaea's Herald: another universal effect, this time much more favorable to us. Very easy to cast and tutor as well. But i hate the idea of protecting opponent's casts.
Prowling Serpopard: in most ways, the upgraded Herald. Uncounterable itself and one-sided. The cost is annoying but not too onerous. my main issue is that by covering our creatures, he puts our non-creature casts at real risk of eating those pent-up counters. in my testing, this wwould sometimes get something as minor as a Gamble countered just bc the counters were feeling like dead weight. obviously this is mitigated in a big game with lots of active opponents, but I ended up rejecting this guy bc he was more often than not some combination of useless, expensive and actively detrimental.
Vexing Shusher: No way around it, this guy is not mana-efficient (at least by Animar's standards!) But he can be used a lot more flexibly than the other options i listed, most importantly to protect our noncreature casts. He can proactively help an opponent win a counter war to save the game, or simply protect our key casts like the other options. he has no downside beside costing 2 CMC. hell, you can't even Stifle the little guy if I have enough mana to keep activating him. He's kinda like having as many Red Elemental Blasts as we'll ever need. I'm not sure we really need any, but if I wanted to add one, he'd get the nod.
So what do you guys think? do you have trouble with counters? which of the options above do you prefer? Shusher is probably my 101st card for the deck right now, but do you think Metamorph is worse? feels like old tech to me, all things considered, but im open to discussion.