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Graven Cairns Discussion
2 days ago
Hey, nice budget deck.
There's a few noncreature cards here to consider upgrading with better budget options. All my card suggestions are are less than $3 each.
- Commander's Sphere > Mardu Banner
- Talisman of Indulgence > Rakdos Cluestone
- Animate Dead > Dutiful Return
- Day of Judgment > Fumigate
- Terminate > Walk the Plank
- Chaos Warp > Unlicensed Disintegration
- Boros Charm > Feat of Resistance
A very good budget interaction with Alesha is Karmic Guide + Reveillark . These give you a way to quickly reanimate your aggro army if it's stopped in the mid game. These two creatures together or by themselves can be a reanimation engine for your 2 or less power creatures. Guide can reanimated by Alesha. Buried Alive is excellent at setting up this combo by tutoring for and putting Guide, Lark and another creature such as Anger or Zulaport Cutthroat into your graveyard.
To successfully loop Guide and Lark you'll need a sac outlet such as Viscera Seer or Carrion Feeder , etc. What the sac outlet lets you do is sac Lark thus triggering its leave the battlefield ability letting you reanimate two 2 or less power creatures from your graveyard. Since Guide has 2 power it can be reanimated by Lark, then Guide can reanimate Lark and continue the loop until all your 2 or less power creatures are reanimated.
Adding Cutthroat to this combo can kill all your opponents. Anger as long as its in the graveyard and you control a Mountain gives all your creatures haste. With it reanimate all your creatures before you attack and then attack with all your creatures in one turn. Haste is very good with an aggro strategy as long as you have ways to get Anger into your graveyard.
Here's a few budget lands to consider adding:
- Command Tower : every multi-color deck in Commander should play this land.
- Nomad Outpost
- High Market : sac outlet.
- Caves of Koilos
- Tainted Field : works well with a lot of Swamps.
- Graven Cairns
- Smoldering Marsh : works well with lots of basic lands.
- Foreboding Ruins
Other cards to consider adding:
- Skullclamp : one of the most powerful budget cards to play with Alesha.
- Mentor of the Meek : good draw with 2 or less power creatures.
- Remorseful Cleric : opponent graveyard exile, flying.
- Militia Bugler : can be a repeatable way with Alesha to find and get creatures into your hand.
- Mirror Entity : mana sink to make your 2 power or less creatures much bigger for the turn.
I have other suggestions, but I'll stop here. I offer more help; if you like some of these suggestions I'll help you to make cuts.
Good luck with your deck.
1 week ago
Other spells that may interest you are Breaking / Entering I know you don't run much in the way of creatures, but this can hit any graveyard, and it can get you back your win con if it dies somehow. Dig Through Time because Dig Through Time, enough said. Fact or Fiction and of course its lesser Steam Augury.
1 week ago
Hey, to expand on what others have commented on about the manabase here's some budget playable lands to consider adding. All my suggestions will be $4 or less (most are $2 or less).
- Command Tower: every multi color deck in Commander should play this land.
- Exotic Orchard
- Crumbling Necropolis
- Sunken Hollow: Battle lands have good interaction with lots of Basic lands.
- Smoldering Marsh
- Tainted Peak: good interaction with lots of Swamps.
- Tainted Isle
- Shivan Reef
- Graven Cairns
- Foreboding Ruins: good interaction with lots of Swamps.
- Reliquary Tower
Other cards for the discard theme to consider adding:
- Waste Not
- Quest for the Nihil Stone
- Words of Waste
- Dark Deal
- Magus of the Wheel
- Thief of Sanity
Budget staples in Grixis colors to consider adding:
- Faithless Looting
- Chaos Warp
- Fellwar Stone: every three or more colored deck in Commander should play this mana rock.
- Animate Dead
- Mystic Remora
- Notion Thief: deny your opponent large draws.
I offer more help. If you like some of these suggestions I can help you to make cuts.
Good luck with your deck.
2 weeks ago
A lot of good cards here so making cuts gets a little tougher but we can try... you have a spike at 5CMC so maybe that's the best place to start.
Hornet Queen, while cool, is and expensive overall so maybe cut for those reasons? You would still have 2 targets to pod for/away to get to your top end. Perhaps you could go without one of Liliana Vess or Bring to Light as you seem to have a goodly number of tutors?
In this deck I would think that Edric, Spymaster of Trest helps your opponents as much as you and may make your plan a little harder to enact.
Despite the number of non-basic lands, given the theme of value on ETB/LTB I'm surprised not to see Solemn Simulacrum here. Though Graven Cairns seems an odd inclusion as red is the only color you're not playing. Is Expedition Map purely for color fixing? If so, I would think Wood Elves would fit the deck better. And is Glacial Chasm part of the strategy or was it meant to be Glacial Fortress?
I think this one will need some playtesting to see what comes out in the wash so to speak. I like all of your creature choices overall, there are just too many and I think it may come down to pulling the ones you least enjoy putting into play.
4 weeks ago
Alesha's attack ability is the outlet to continually recur Guide who then continually recurs Reveillark. The sac outlet is to continually sac Reveillark to trigger it's leaves ability. Guide can always go back to the graveyard to be reanimated by Alesha again just don't pay it's echo cost. Buried Alive can set-up Guide/Reveillark for Alesha putting both of them into the graveyard. Skullclamp is very good when you're sacing creatures. Consider cutting artifacts for these cards and more enablers to get creatures into your graveyard such as Faithless Looting, Gamble and Cathartic Reunion?
Lands to consider adding:
1 month ago
Like the above comment said, your mana and ramp is probably fine. With Ravnica: Allegiances coming out, you'll soon have access to Rakdos locket and a cheaper Blood Crypt which could be nice for you. Commander's Sphere is an auto include in most decks. Building a good land base can get expensive quick, but Graven Cairns is my go to budget "dual" land.
I also agree with the comment above, burn is not particularly good in commander. Using this logic, most of your instants, and creatures that tap for damage like Prodigal Pyromancer or Thermo-Alchemist. Effects that say Destroy are normally much better, like Terminate, which you have, or Dreadbore which you don't. Additionally, you'll need answers to artifacts, and boardwipes. Blasphemous Act is one of my personal favorite, but many of them can get fairly expensive.
There are two types of effects that excel in commander. Effects that affect all players, and effects that generate continuous value. Consider Palace Siege. Either mode is relevant and can either accelerate the game while keeping you safe, or bring your creatures back when they inevitably get destroyed.
Tl;DR burn is not good. You need board wipes, and more direct removal for both creatures and artifacts/enchantments.
As a final note, I would check out The Commander's Quarters on Youtube. The decks he builds are more budget than yours, but you could find some great inspiration there.
1 month ago
Fan of the deck, but what is your budget?
I think running less tapped lands, more lands like Sulfurous Springs, Blood Crypt, fetches, Graven Cairns, Luxury Suite, Shadowblood Ridge, etc. are all great choices for the deck, as well as rocks such as Talisman of Indulgence, Fellwar Stone, etc.
The more mana the better in a Xantcha deck, am I right?
1 month ago
A few thoughts that you may want to consider. Some will have to be weighed against budget but I think they all bring the deck a little more of an edge. Alesha, Who Smiles at Death has to be a fast deck to be effective as she will quickly get burned out if things move too slowly for you.
Faster dual lands that don't come into play tapped give you an edge early game that is not to be underestimated. They are a little pricey but if you can grab them they will certainly up the pace. The pain lands Sulfurous Springs, Karplusan Forest, Caves of Koilos The filter lands Graven Cairns, Rugged Prairie, Fetid Heath The check lands Dragonskull Summit, Isolated Chapel, Clifftop Retreat Also Talisman of Indulgence is an pretty damn good budget mana rock in your colours.
Just a couple more card draw options Read the Bones and Painful Truths are both better than Cathartic Reunion in my opinion. Usually I wouldn't advocate for higher cost cards but Mardu suffers from card advantage and I think its worth it not to lose those two cards....or have to, at the very least, worry about recurring them.
Break Through the Line is an interesting enhancer you may want to consider
I am not sure you need so many board wipes. Even so I think Day of Judgment might be one to consider replacing a more mana intensive card
Village Bell-Ringer would be a good addition to keep your defenses up as you'll probably want to be attacking all the time. You also could consider Selfless Spirit to bolster you creatures in combat. Hope of Ghirapur can shut down an opposing player pretty hard if you can recur it