|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Khans of Tarkir (KTK)||Rare|
|Promo Set (000)||Rare|
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Creature — Human Wizard
Morph (You may cast this card face down as a 2/2 creature for . Turn it face up at any time for its morph cost.)
Whenever a nontoken creature you control dies, draw a card.
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Grim Haruspex Discussion
4 hours ago
Hey, saw your forum post asking for budget card help.
With Izoni I suggest expanding on the strategies of creature sacrifice (enabler/win condition), self-mill (enabler) and reanimation (back-up plan). You have ramp already with one drop Elves, Tribe-Elder and the enchant lands, but you can even expand on ramp. Ramping into Izoni doesn't do much if you don't first have a lot of creatures in your graveyard. Out of all these strategies I think the primary one is creature sacrifice. With sacrifice you can get more value out of your creatures before they go to your graveyard. Izoni herself is a sac outlet which is good with the sacrifice/aristocrat theme, but I suggest expanding on this theme with other creatures who can be free (no mana cost) repeatable sac outlets. Free repeatable sac is nice to be able to more easily get value from creatures the turn you play them/create them as well as get them into the graveyard faster for no cost.
Secondary is self-mill as it's the faster way to get creatures (a lot of them) into your graveyard, but you get much less value from your cards when all you're doing is milling them into your graveyard. Reanimation can be a back-up plan if Izoni fails or be used with Izoni's Insects and reanimation is good when self-milling.
A goal to strive for is to be able to use the Insects the turn you play Izoni, by sacing each Insect for value or to make all your opponent's lose life. Since you can't attack with the Insects the turn they're created you want to be able to utilize them in other ways (sacing them). I would make creature cards the priority because Izoni doesn't do much without having a lot creatures in the deck. There are some exceptions, powerful budget noncreature cards like Skullclamp, Sol Ring, Dread Return, etc.
A Dread Return in your graveyard when you play Izoni can do a lot since you can flash it back by sacing three Insects. This can be powerful, reanimating a creature like Avenger of Zendikar, Protean Hulk or Krav, the Unredeemed, etc. or reanimating an aristocrat/sac outlet (Viscera Seer) to set-up the current turn or your next turn. Krav for instance his ability which you can use the same turn you play him, for one you can sac all Insects/Izoni draw lots of cards, gain lots of life and put a lot of counters on Krav. Being able to easily sac Izoni is helpful and good with ramp because this lets you then play her again from the Command Zone and create more Insects.
Cards to consider adding:
- Llanowar Wastes
- Hissing Quagmire
- Golgari Rot Farm
- Tainted Wood
- Bojuka Bog
- Svogthos, the Restless Tomb
- Dakmor Salvage
- Blighted Woodland
- Woodland Cemetery (non budget)
Cards to consider cutting:
- Demonlord Belzenlok
- Gray Merchant of Asphodel
- Hydra Omnivore
- Loyal Guardian
- Thrashing Brontodon
- Torgaar, Famine Incarnate
- Wild Beastmaster
- Bear Umbra
- Dawn's Reflection
- Growing Rites of Itlimoc
- Myth Unbound
- Song of Freyalise
- The Mending of Dominaria
- Kamahl's Druidic Vow
- Dark Petition
- Necrotic Wound
- Sign in Blood
- Illusionist's Bracers
- Swiftfoot Boots
Good luck with your deck.
4 days ago
I'd say that your ranking of the 4 options is pretty accurate. You missed Smothering Abomination though, which is my number 2 pick I think, especially where it is a sac outlet in a way. Having flying also means it's a bit easier to get dethrone triggers with it if you need to.
I'm currently using Grim Haruspex because it's 3mana and has some wizard synergies, but smothering abomination is very high on my list of potential changes.
Midnight Reaper would be a good include if you needed more life loss cards, or if you needed more card draw and didn't want something like Necropotence. personally i have no issues on those fronts so I've opted to go for the cards i have here. midnight reaper is definitely a good option if you're looking for a low CMC card draw effect to replace Harvester of Souls or river kelpie.
The thing with persist is that other than Glen Elendra Archmage there are only two other creatures that are even worth considering. River Kelpie and Puppeteer Clique. the rest are basically just vanilla creatures essentially in that they have no abilities or other interactions with the deck's gameplan.
as i mentioned before, haruspex is just a more efficient effect than kelpie, 2 less mana is a lot. and i ran clique for a while actually, but i just rarely found myself making good use of the reanimation effect and so i dropped it for something else.
Anything > CMC4 has to be particularly good in my opinion, otherwise it's tough to play in a deck like this since we don't have the ramp that other (Green) decks have available. being able to get the most out of your mana each turn is a big big factor in how effective your deck is.
Undying is obviously much stronger than persist, but again, there's only really about two cards worth bothering with here.
a card which doesn't do more than one thing isn't usually a good pick in my opinion. a creature like Sightless Ghoul which is basically just an attacker with no really notable abilities isn't worth running when its only significant synergy with the deck is that it's hard to remove. cards like Rakdos Cackler are a much better way to get the same effect.
as for undying cards Pyreheart Wolf and Flayer of the Hatebound are the two (other than mikaeus). flayer is too expensive at 6CMC where all he does is give some incidental damage that can just as easily come from attacking. pyreheart wolf might be a decent include, but since i'm running a lot of cards like gravepact and such i can keep the board fairly clear and don't have to worry too much about blockers.
i find that glen elendra archmage is a very strong card in the deck though. flying makes dethrone easy and like you said, sage of fables makes it a great soft lock.
metallic mimic isn't worth it for me since my tribal synergy is pretty light. i have about 7 wizards and nothing else really overlaps much, but if you focus a bit more on the wizard theme though then it would be a great include for sure.
feel free to look at my queen marchesa deck if you want. it's public on my profile i believe.
1 week ago
I need help with a finisher to draw into off of Grim Haruspex. So I don't deck myself and lose.
1 week ago
Right off the bat there's some automatic includes I like to run in Golgari colors - those cards usually include some powerful effects that can effect the whole board with very little cost to you.
One of the biggest strengths black has is the ability to use what are referred to as Edict effects, which is a reference to a card called Diabolic Edict that forces your opponents to sacrifice creatures. This is powerful because no matter what you will trade a creature of yours for a creature of EACH opponent's - that's a one-for-three trade which gives you a sizable card advantage. Also sacrificing gets through pesky strategies like Indestructible or Hexproof from your opponents' commanders (chances are your opponents are going to try to protect their commanders very well).
For creatures that can do this easily, ordered from most favorite to least, Plaguecrafter, Merciless Executioner/Fleshbag Marauder (they are identical), lastly Slum Reaper. Slum Reaper is a bit more expensive but it's useful if you need more consistency of killing enemy creatures. If you REALLY want to push your opponents' creatures Butcher of Malakir can make sure no creature stays on the battlefield for very long as long as you constantly have creatures to throw into the graveyard.
You also have options in enchantments that can do this effect as well. Grave Pact and Dictate of Erebos are solid options, but should only be seriously considered if you're focusing on a sacrifice theme.
Secondly, I like adding sacrifice outlets. They are powerful additions that give you an out whenever you're dealing with targeted or mass creature removal. Ideally you want your sacrifice outlets to be free, so cards like Ashnod's Altar, Altar of Dementia, Carrion Feeder, and Viscera Seer will make sure you never get nothing from a creature dying on your side of the battlefield. Other options that can play well with Vhati il-Dal are Phyrexian Plaguelord who can turn your creatures into a -1/-1 for a creature that you weaken with Vhati's activated ability. If you're going with a creature-focused combat damage strategy Evolutionary Leap and Mycoloth are good options to trade your weaker creatures for more powerful options.
I'll list some overall good cards to add for Golgari colors, as well. Ramp (Named for Rampant Growth. These are cards that generate more mana for a small investment.)
- Sakura-Tribe Elder
- Kodama's Reach
- Explosive Vegetation
- Wood Elves
- Skyshroud Claim
- Solemn Simulacrum
- Golgari Signet
- Darksteel Ingot
- Cultivator's Caravan
- Sol Ring
- Eternal Witness
- Golgari Findbroker
- Journey to Eternity Flip
- Dread Return
- Find / Finality
- Living Death
- Hero's Downfall
- Malicious Affliction
- Unravel the Aether
- Acidic Slime
- Reclamation Sage
- Krosan Grip
- Beast Within
These are all just some ideas I hope they help you tone the deck into the direction you want it to go into.
2 weeks ago
We like what you've done here; looks fun to play! We have some ideas for you that we hope will make your deck even more fun:
- We would exchange some of the land in this deck for ramp options. Spells like Rampant Growth, Nature's Lore, Cultivate or Kodama's Reach would all work well in that regard. Burgeoning and if you can afford it, Exploration are even better.
- Hermit Druid would be perfect in this deck as it allows you to fill up your graveyard while at the same time allow you to ramp. In this regard, Life from the Loam is even better, but it's also more expensive.
- Royal Assassin seems to fit right in with the overall theme of the deck.
- We would add some cards that would allow you to profit from the death of creatures in the form of drawing more cards. Our picks for that would be cards like Grim Haruspex, Harvester of Souls and Deathreap Ritual. Overall, you could also use cards like Underworld Connections or the more expensive Phyrexian Arena/Rhystic Study to draw more cards. Up to you :)
Cards from your current selection that we would cut to make room:
- Panglacial Wurm/Vorosh, the Hunter/Primeval Protector; powerful for sure, but each is very expensive to cast and not needed for your overall strategy;
- Memory Erosion; nice card but would be more at home in a mill-deck, furthermore you do not have many cards in this deck that profit from what's in your opponent's graveyard to fully utilize this card.
We hope this has helped you some. Please let us know! And if you feel like you have the time/inclination, we would love your feedback on our EDH decks. Have fun with this deck (and MTG overall)!
With kind regards,
Mrs. & Mr. NV_1980
3 weeks ago
First I want to stress that there is no universally "correct" stax deck - the best deck for my meta is likely TOTALLY different than the best deck for yours. My list may serve as a good starting point, but everyone will need to tune things individually for their own games!
At this point there is little to no creature aggro in my meta (which now consists of T1/T2 CEDH decks). I suspect this is true for many other CEDH metas, as creature aggro is generally not viable at the strongest of tables (it is possible to kill players with this strategy, but often difficult to actually win the game entirely). As a result, my answer to the question of, "How do you deal with low-to-the-ground token/aggro decks?" is simply, "I don't have to." Of course, some sweepers are still extremely useful for destroying generals, utility creatures, mana dorks, etc, so you'll see a few in my list (Toxic Deluge, Yahenni's Expertise)... BUT, I don't have to always be prepared to stop a token horde on T4... it's simply not an issue I need to deal with.
Of course, my experience is unique and totally different than many metas! If your opponents have more combat-focused decks, swap in tools to deal with them. Again, my deck is a good general starting point, but will need lots of tuning for any particular meta. You could consider repeatable sweepers like Pestilence/Crypt Rats, one-timers like Shrivel/Drown in Sorrow/Infest, more exotic workarounds like Living Death (these cards vary in competitive viability, but you get the picture)... what about Archfiend of Depravity? It's not a comp-viable card but if you are constantly facing down token swarm, it seems pretty darn good.
Note that if your opponents are more devoted to creature combat, that means they're LESS devoted to the things MY particular build is designed to stop - you may find that the slots for Trinisphere and Damping Sphere are better filled with creature removal; if that's true, then it's a change you should make!
Your more specific questions:
- Grim Flayer - He is basically a better Sensei's Divining Top in this deck. Being able to plow through your topdeck if you don't like your options is extremely useful when our goal is to stall out the game (Top is much worse - it costs you mana and you're stuck with what you see). The fact he beats and blocks well is nice, but he is played for the card sifting.
- Midnight Reaper - In some respects this is actually a BETTER Grim Haruspex - because it draws cards for itself when it dies (Grim Haruspex excludes itself). The life loss is unfortunate but the tradeoff for an extra card and more versatility (being OK with it dying) is the benefit here. However, remember that in more comp games, this isn't drawing us 30 cards, it's drawing like 2-4 (so the extra card off itself, bumping that number to 3-5, is actually a big deal). In more casual games with many more creatures on the battlefield and more draw triggers it's probably better to go with Haruspex to save yourself the life loss.
- Necropotence - I cut it as an experiment to see how the deck ran without it. Currently undecided on whether I will put it back. Obviously Necropotence is a card advantage powerhouse, but it's just awkward to actually play - the colors are rough to hit early on, and in an early hand, its timing often conflicts with the stax or interaction you need to be playing.
- Animate Dead and Regrowth - Currently testing these out to see if they help the deck's flexibility. Obviously, a lot of the recursion engine relies on Meren - and if there isn't an opening to play her or she dies, it can really create issues. This give us alternatives for making sure the effects in our graveyard remain accessible.
- Tangle Wire - Just play this ASAP. The earlier it hits, the harder it hits, and waiting until after Meren is almost surely too late. Remember, Tangle Wire is inherently asymmetric (taps the table for 4-3-2-1 and taps us for only 3-2-1-0 [or 2-1-0-0 once you consider you can tap Tangle Wire itself]). Additionally, we already play tons of mana dorks and mana rocks, so we are usually the least affected by the tap effect in the first place. If Tangle Wire hits too late, opponents have enough permanents to pay for it and can play around it - but a VERY early Tangle Wire (pre-Meren) can Time Walk the entire rest of the table 1-2 times, while we can often still play around it (due to so many dorks/rocks and asymmetric tap tax) and leap far ahead.
3 weeks ago
Butcher of Malakir would be crazy, thanks pearl-of-dragons. Diregraf Captain is a similar effect and boosts the zombies to, though the life gained of Blood Artist would be really handy. I was thinking of Grim Haruspex for extra value as well.
4 weeks ago
ok so i realized you only go online every now and then so let me shove all my questions in one post and hopefully you shallsee them one day XD ive been playing a variant similar tho this and to great success!!
firstly i have some card questions:
grim flayer: is he there fgor the extra beating or mainly for the Sylvan Library effect? also how oftendo u get delirium early. would you play it over a stax piece turn 2?
Midnight Reaper. am i missing something or is this a worse Grim Haruspex?
Necropotence iremmeber when ifirst saw this it was on the list, wha thas changed? did it not come out early enough or does the lifeloss really hurt.
- Tangle Wire when would the proper time to bring it out be, before or after meren assuming we dont know the matchup
next question is some matchups.
, how do you dealwith very low to the ground aggro decks that spawn tokens like krenko or kari zev? what about the cat arahbo deck. theres alto of heavy aggro around here any tips? sometimes because of mass tokens stax pieces hurt me a ton.
thank you for any insight good sir and sorry for the triple post! i love the deck