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Graven Cairns Discussion
1 week ago
First off, welcome to the world of EDH! I think you'll find it's definitely one of the most fun formats you'll experience. As someone who has played tribal vampires before, I think I can offer you some suggestions based on my experience. Now I'm not sure what you're budget is for cards so feel free to ignore any suggestions that are out of your budget range.
Vampires are tricky because they don't have as much tribal support as say Goblins, Elves, or even Zombies so you really want the best they have to offer. I think that 44 creatures is a bit too high, even for a tribal deck, so I would cut and refine some of your weaker vampires.
These are a few ideas of some very powerful vampires that could easily be swapped in for some of the less optimal brood.
As with any EDH deck, your mana base is going to always be tweaked and upgraded to make your plays faster and more reliable. Now this is something you can do over time and as budget allows but some major lands to consider are:
Now the latter 3 lands are included for explosive ramping and because I've found most tribal vampire decks are more black than red. Another thing to keep in mind is that generally, you don't want less than 36 lands in your deck unless you have a lot of mana rocks to support less. Olivia is a very mana hungry commander so I would suggest about 38 lands.
Along similar lines, I would include the following mana rocks to further ramp/filter your mana:
While not traditional "ramp", Urza's Incubator can be very helpful in this deck since vampires tend to be a bit higher mana costed.
You'll want to include a few cards to help you draw more cards just to get more power from the deck. There's a lot of options out there but one card I strongly suggest is Phyrexian Arena.
The same goes for your removal. A little spot removal and a few board wipes should have you covered.
I hope these ideas help! Best of luck to you with your deck!
1 week ago
I understand why you wouldn't want to play Scourge of Valkas (it's still a high value card), but Dragon Tempest is HASTE + damage all in one piece. It enables all of your threats the moment they hit the table. It's a good inclusion against control, on an enchantment which is a bit more difficult to get rid of. So unless you are facing off against 3 dedicated control variants that focus on instant speed creature removal, I think tempest performs better than Crucible of Fire. On the same train of thought, why not run Flamekin Village instead of Shinka for more hasty beatings?
Your mana base is also rather slow. I understand that this is a result of the heavy colour requirements on your cards, but you could make it at least a little bit faster by replacing vanilla taplands with filterlands (e.g. Graven Cairns).
Lastly, if you could find space for a sac outlet like Greater Good, Shivan Harvest or Perilous Forays, will dissuade control players from messing with your board as you can respond by gaining value/setting them further back.
Other cards you should consider depending on what you need include:
I like the deck idea overall, but i think it can be improved by a large margin :)
1 week ago
Okay, let's do this! cracks knuckles I love the snarky tone of the description, btw :)
The stax elements of this deck seem strong, mostly. You're missing Winter Orb though. I would normally suggest Crackdown and Meekstone and Moat, but they interfere with Alesha :( Perhaps Smoke or Mudslide? I don't personally like Chalice of the Void in EDH, though, there's just too much variance in the mana cost of powerful cards. And since you're reanimating things anyway, might as well play Big Daddy Smokestack!
However, the land base seems...a little off. 29 mana-producing lands is REALLY really low, doubly so since you will have to pay some of your own "taxes". I know that the Karoo lands help a bit, but I still wouldn't trust this mana base without SIGNIFICANT testing. You might also find the Filterlands useful to mana fix (Rugged Prairie, Fetid Heath, Graven Cairns). I also never leave home without Reflecting Pool, City of Brass, Mana Confluence, etc. Basically, look at Lilbrudder's Leovold mana base and color-shift it XD
I'm actually not really a fan of Nahiri, the Harbinger in EDH. Is she just there for utility, or are you planning to use her ult? If the former is true, there are better ways to get card filtering. If the latter is true, what's your finisher?
That being said, planeswalkers can generally be really good in stax decks. You might get away with including some other walkers that play more into your gameplan, possibly Sorin Markov to reset lifetotals? :)
No Necropotence? :( I guess maybe the card is too much color commitment in tri-color.
If you're going to run Mox Opal with only 18 artifacts, I'd try and include the three on-color artifact lands as well.
False Prophet seems odd here, since you have the ability to reanimate creatures with relative ease.
Yes or no on Mox Diamond? Your land count is already low, but it's so good...
I hope that helps a bit! :) I'll leave more comments if I think of them, and happy deckbuilding!
3 weeks ago
It is very possible that Fire-Lit Thicket may be the same land as Auntie's Hovel, altered by the transition from Lorwyn to Shadowmoor (ironically, the hovel looks to be red/green while the thicket looks to be red/block or green/black). Similarly, Wooded Bastion may possibly be Gilt-Leaf Palace after the transition (again, looking more black and less white than the original), and Graven Cairns may be Ancient Amphitheater.
1 month ago
Graven Cairns seems unnecessary. You're not trying to cast anything with a double red cost. The reason those filter lands are nice is for when you're trying to do something like transition from t3 Liliana to t4 cryptic command. Otherwise you're probably better off with fetches that turn on fatal push.
1 month ago
TheMadRocketeer, I appreciate the advice! I'm thinking Graven Cairns and Blackcleave Cliffs are the best choices for mana diversity, my problem is that they're pretty expensive ($40 decks are pricey to me). I could definitely make a competitive version, but this meant for casual.
1 month ago
Here are my flavor questionable ones.
1x Cryptic Command1x Desertion1x Disdainful Stroke1x Hero's Downfall1x Terminate1x Dark Deal1x Decree of Pain1x Dreadbore1x Spelltwine1x Syphon Mind1x Unnerve1x Whispering Madness1x Worst Fears1x Mind's Dilation1x Omniscience1x Painful Quandary1x Waste Not1x Words of Waste1x Talisman of Dominance1x Talisman of Indulgence1x Myojin of Night's Reach1x Notion Thief1x Ancient Tomb1x Blood Crypt1x Cascade Bluffs1x Desolate Lighthouse1x Graven Cairns1x Shivan Reef1x Sunken Ruins1x Watery Grave
2 months ago
xDELCO Thanks, I'll look into it. Now that I'm running 18 land, 4x Gorge looks a bit more doable, and so does running Graven Cairns instead of Dragonskull Summit to justify. Which is probably what I'll do.
Thanks for suggesting.