Harsh Sustenance deals X damage to target creature or player and you gain X life, where X is the number of creatures you control.
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Harsh Sustenance Discussion
1 month ago
First of all I want to say that I read your description, so I know you are not trying to make a killer deck out of the bat. I'm going to give you some suggestions, I understand some might be a bit over your budget (even though I'll try and keep the more expensive cards only around a couple bucks) and some might not be as interesting for you considering your specific playgroup and your goal with the deck, but since EDH is the perfect format to develop a deck during longer periods of time, and I strongly encourage everyone who plays to do so in order to create an healthy and dynamic playgroup, I'm going to suggest some changes that will improve both on the power level and consistency of your deck.
My deck is more expensive (but still pretty reasonable considering 100 cards) but it performs really well in competitive environments without overpowering the board in more fun oriented playgroups. You can check it out and maybe you'll find some other cards you don't know about that might be good for you:
Commander / EDH*
SCORE: 8 | 4 COMMENTS | 635 VIEWS | IN 2 FOLDERS
About your deck now, I'll list the changes I'd make and try to explain why so you can pick and choose when you start making replacements.
You want your plays and reanimations to be more than vannilla creatures, doesn't matter if they make themselves larger if they are easilly blocked and killed, and definitely, if you are running cards over 2 power which are not targets for Alesha, they must enable something game ending, otherwise you are taking consistency out from your deck and not gaining anything in return.
As for noncreature spells I'd take out: Asha's Favor, Berserkers' Onslaught, Blue Ward, Fear, Messenger's Speed, Protective Sphere, Skeletal Grimace, Demystify, Dragonrage (this is kinda okay with double strike, but still, much better options), Harsh Sustenance, Pay No Heed, Profit / Loss, Showstopper, Tenacity, Uncaged Fury, Uncanny Speed, War Flare, Wing Shards (You have no reasonable way to enable storm, so for 3 mana there are numerous better removal options), Coercion (it's one use only. In a multiplayer game you can't possibly gain advantage from picking one card from one opponent in 99% of situations), Kytheon's Tactics, Spectral Reserves and Terashi's Grasp.
I'd take almost all of those auras and instants/sorceries because in my experience Alesha isn't suited for that. She is perfect for a toolbox commander, so you should enforce that and play effects like destroying enchantments, on creatures that you can recurr as you need them instead of on one spell that can be used once. Again, this is relevant because Alesha can use creatures over and over, but not noncreature spells. In decks like Dralnu and such, it would be the other way around. As for ways to pump your creatures, again, it's a one trick pony and then your opponents will be able to block or remove your threat's easilly. Double strike definitely is not the best option, since Alesha likes small creatures, and double strike on small creatures is underwhelming. The trick is to manage a way to keep the board under control, and win little by little or comboing off with something.
I won't change the land base because that's where most money is usually spent and I avoid that as well. Command Tower, Vivid Marsh and Vivid Crag are solid and not very expensive, but again, I don't usually feel the need to improve that much on mana base. But if you feel you are playing this deck for a long time, I'd recommend you pick up a Chromatic Lantern soon. It's insanely important, since Alesha is , and her ability costs so sometimes getting the colours you need for both soon in the game might be harsh. The lantern just saw a reprint so it's lower on price now than it's ever gonna be for a long time after.
What to include then? I'd change a lot, but since you are playing a deck made of what you had laying around, I understand if you don't. I'll go over a few that you should include if you want to improve on the list and you can pick and adjust as you feel it's right. Also, probably all of these will be in my deck, so you can check it and see if there are other options there that you'd want to play instead of those I suggested you'd switch out:
Let's take the more expensive ones out of the way: Reconnaissance (is key to keep attacking with Alesha for her ability even when your opponents have shields up), Cathars' Crusade (this is the way I usually win) and Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit (in a smaller scale, but also good to make creatures bigger and enables one of the easiest combos available too). I believe these are slightly over your budget, but they definitely pull more than their weight. I'd run these no matter what, but Cathars' Crusade is the one that I can't stress enough for you to try out.
Nekrataal, War Priest of Thune, Ingot Chewer (and slightly more expensive Big Game Hunter) are those creatures I recommended for you to run and recurr with Alesha for the effects you had on noncreature spells.
Zulaport Cutthroat and Falkenrath Noble will give you value when your small creatures die. Brutal Hordechief gains you life as well, and lets you choose blockers as you please, most times it's relevant to push through lethal damage and people don't notice that until it's too late.
Goblin Bombardment will let you shoot something in response to your creatures getting killed.
Sol Ring is a must include in every EDH deck and is cheap as it has ever been right now, Rakdos Signet, Boros Signet and Orzhov Signet are very relevant ways to ramp and fix your mana a bit, while Burnished Hart gets lands of your deck at an impressive rate.
And finally these aren't in my deck, but I believe should be in yours: Ichorclaw Myr, Core Prowler, Septic Rats, Ichor Rats and Whispering Specter. You should have more than a couple infect creatures to ensure you can finish someone once you start hitting with infect damage.
I hope this was of help, it's really cool you are making a deck out of scraps, per say, so you can easilly bring new players in, that's something admirable, since most times the biggest barrier to new players is the intricate play levels of their potential playgroups. I usually lend my decks to new players until they feel comfortable enough with the format to build their own, but that kind of approach making almost a "limited" EDH deck is pretty cool and perfect to help new players improve. As I said, EDH is perfect to improve deckbuilding in time, so that's an awesome way to kick it off!
2 months ago
Grasp of Darkness is not very good while Murderous Cut is very good as a 1 or 2 of. I recommend Fatal Push. Also Lingering Souls instead of Harsh Sustenance and 1 Westvale Abbey Flip. Angel of Invention seems slow, it can probably be switched out for Midnight Haunting or Spectral Procession.
3 months ago
Thank you sir! in fact,i created this deck thinking to my old cleric deck,the only disappointment is that Doubtless One is uncommon :(Anyway,i thinking about Scholar of Athreos but 3 mana for 1 damage it's too much,my idea it's to use 3 mana at the end of enemy turn for cast Harsh Sustenance and try to win, or have enough mana for some instant or some use of pestilence.Maybe i can do some game to try it,then I'll let you know how i fell!
4 months ago
I love these types of decks, i am making one myself but without focusing on allies, here's my deck that i'm working on Orzhova life sucking., and i have received great help from a guy in the comments, he mentioned his own deck there look it up, now some Advice!
Since you are constantly gaining life from something you should use it, you already are with the Bloodbond Vampire and Cliffhaven Vampire, but you can take it to the next level with these cards: Malakir Familiar Bloodchief Ascension and Ajani's Pridemate, although the pridemate is hard to find in my case, the rest are pretty helpful and easy to find,
There you go i hope that this advice helps you.
4 months ago
I like this idea a lot, life drain decks have always had an appeal to me. Have you considered Palace Siege for grinder matches? I'd recommend maybe one in main and one in side if you want to run it. Also, how is Ayli in this deck? I feel as though she is a bit out-of-place, and I think a third Kambal would be good in place of her.
As far as sideboard goes, I think you can cut Essence Extraction, Thalia, Heretic Cathar (you already have Authority of the Consuls), Felidar Sovereign (it's a cute wincon, but I think it should probably be main boarded if you want to use it), Surge of Righteousness, Harsh Sustenance and one Virulent Plague and Flaying Tendrils. This leaves 2 spaces open for whatever is in your meta. I'm not the best at sideboards, but this is what I can recommend for now. :)
Hope this helps!
5 months ago
Well, to start I would cut Eaten by Spiders, Feed the Clan, Pulse of Murasa, Sigil Blessing, Altar of the Brood, Elixir of Immortality, and Sigil of the Empty Throne. This will get you down to 54 cards.
I would replace Nissa's Pilgrimage and Sylvan Scrying with 4 Cultivate and maybe 2 additional Rampant Growth. This would help with you speed issues. I would also add 2 more Harsh Sustenance with the rest of the deck it would a good finisher. I would look at cutting a couple other card just so you can get more Might of the Masses and also add removal - maybe Mortify or Swords to Plowshares - to deal with flyers or fatties.
Remember: the more cards over 60 your deck is, the less like you are going to see certain cards.
6 months ago
You might want to look into getting some Godless Shrine and Isolated Chapel to fix your mana color during the game. I have never been a fan of Harsh Sustenance because it is too conditional. If you have a lot of creatures out, it is awesome. If you get a slow start or someone just played a boardwipe, it's dead card until you can build back up. I would try adding Soul's Attendant for life gain, or Selfless Spirit to protect your tokens, Brave the Elements which can protects your creatures and make them unblockable for a turn.