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Ivy Lane Denizen
Creature — Elf Warrior
Whenever another green creature enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.
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Ivy Lane Denizen Discussion
1 week ago
I'm currently without a playgroup at the moment, unfortunately, since I moved states a couple years ago. However in my old playgroup this wouldn't be as big of a problem as it would be in more competitive pods. Either way unless someone counters Ghave, this deck wins more often than not as soon as he hits the field.
If you're worried about him being a big target, there are plenty of ways for the deck to go off without him. There are currently 75 possible combinations of cards using persist creatures that go infinite (Going through this made me realize I really need to update my Full Combo list, so thanks!). We can use any of 5 cards to combo with a persist creature and a sac outlet. These are:
We have three persist creatures to choose from (though you can add more if you want to focus on this strategy):
5 x 3 = 15. That's 15 combinations with any sac outlet. The sac outlets we have available are:
15 x 5 = 75. That gives us 75 possible combinations to reach infinite without Ghave. I didn't include Evolutionary Leap in the equation merely because the sac outlet isn't free. It's kind of a pseudo-Ghave with some possible tutor ability.
It's worth noting that only Blasting Station wins you the game on the spot out of these combos. Otherwise you'll need a Blood Artist effect for the win. However any of the persist creatures give us useful abilities, though Puppeteer Clique is generally more useful in long games with full graveyards. Likely if your group is competitive you won't get that far. He can be replaced with lower cmc creatures like Safehold Elite for instance if you just care about infinite death triggers. However Woodfall Primus can lock out the game by destroying all lands if you want to go that route.
Not to mention we also have our recursion combo using any of Karmic Guide/Reveillark/Saffi Eriksdotter. There are 3 combinations of using any 2 of these creatures and 5 free sac outlets. This gives us 15 combinations, 3 of which win on the spot with Blasting Station. For the other 12, we can add Blood Artist or Zulaport Cutthroat for the win. 12 x 2 = 24. Add Triskelion with any 2 of our recursion creatures for 3 more ways to win. 3 + 24 + 3 = 30 possible routes to win the game from these cards alone.
All in all the deck can work just fine without Ghave provided you know what to tutor for. The way I see it, there are two methods for reaching a game winning combo.
- Be fast and resilient. This is the route I've chosen. There are so many different ways to make a combo that a little disruption doesn't phase us. Obviously I still need to work on my land base to make it faster for this strategy to work consistently for cEDH. Otherwise in more casual groups I can just durdle around and win whenever I want.
- Utilize control. Cut down on the number of combos in the deck and focus on a select few that will win you the game. Use a combination of tutors to draw your combos and control to maintain your boardstate and prevent others from winning until you can play a game winning combo. For this I would go for straight up infinite damage or life drain from continuous sac outlets and forgo the infinite mana/tokens approach. If you feel this is what you need for your meta then go for it. It still works really well, though obviously I prefer the resiliency approach.
Hopefully that answered your question. If not let me know, and I'll be happy to discuss!
I used to have Utopia Mycon in the deck, but it got cut for Phyrexian Altar which is objectively better. Yes you can search Mycon with Hulk who can't get the Altar, but if you're sac'ing Hulk to pull them out, you don't really need the fungus in the first place. Viscera Seer and Carrion Feeder can be brought out with Hulk and aren't restricted to sacrificing just saprolings. I'm not sure Metallic Mimic combos enough with other cards in the deck to merit a spot with Mycon, but it's certainly an approach that can work in other builds.
2 weeks ago
Get an arbitrarily large quillspike, add Obelisk Spider or hapatra for a better payoff.
I go more in depth on all of this in my Mistress of Poisons primer. I retired the deck because my group is pretty casual and the deck won turn 3-5 a few times... Could do better with some tweaks.
1 month ago
Hardened Scales seems like a good card here. Also Vigor makes all other creatures immune to damage and makes them bigger instead. Ivy Lane Denizen could be nice and Champion of Lambholt makes your creatures unblockable while supporting the counter theme.
1 month ago
I really appreciate you going over this and bringing your Ghave expertise to the table.
btw, I think Avatar of Growth is the only etb trigger like that, at least that I've seen
I'm definitely hearing you with Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and the ETB/recursion ability. He's a fantastic option for upping the effectiveness of the deck especially considering cmc's and tutors. For example, I could sack Protean Hulk to bring in Ob Nixilis, Unshackled, then after Protean Hulk is brought back, sack him again for Avatar of Growth. Ob Nixilis and Avatar they are both 6cmc, so fit in Protean's limitations! I could do the same with Fierce Empath though he just puts them into my hand. With Mikaeus on the battlefield and Eldritch Evolution or Birthing Pod in place, I could sac either Ob Nixilis or Avatar to bring the other in. Btw...Mikaus with Fertilid and enough mana for activate his search engine trigger? ohhhh man, match made in heaven!
Ultimately, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed becomes another node in the network the gives multiple new routes to the goal - that's what I need in this deck, so thanks for that!
I've seen the Karmic Guide + Reveillark mentioned often and see them ringing alarm bells for people when they are played. Someone's obviously getting up to something at that point! I'm going to play test them, but may keep them on the "maybe" for the sake of trying alternate routes out first. You are so very right though, the recursion package is going to be a big key to this deck hitting a rhythm. I know I'll end up trying them in here, but I'm going to dig for alternatives for now. ... even without those two in here though, Saffi Eriksdotter seems like a great add. I put together a rough version of the deck, set to private, just to play test it. I was missing having early drops that offer value and support to the machine while helping it move forward. Saffri could potentially be one of those.
As for other recursion options: what do you think of Meren of Clan Nel Toth + Skullwinder (who also deters attacks) and/or Eternal Witness? I'm thinking this could be a good alternative for bring back Pir's Whim or another way to get Field of Ruin back. Meren would also get that Avatar of Growth ETB again in a turn - getting up to 6 experience counters with Ghave would be no problem at all.
Also - one that has worked really well in play testing, because of the lands matters aspect, is Emeria Shepherd. She's amazing recursion actually. With all the great land spells I have that can drop larger amounts of land on the battlefield, I can bring in multiple plains at once to return creatures Avatar of Growth, enchantments (Pattern of Rebirth or Wound Reflection), or artifacts Ashnod's Altar back to the battlefield together for a final boom.
Ghave initially made sense with the built in sac engine for Pattern of Rebirth, for fueling fertilid, utilizing the counters Ob Nixilis got, as well as his colours. I also knew that he had such great value engines because the second EDH deck I ever built was Ghave (with many of the combos) and I figured, once it was time to start filling the deck out, I know I have helpful options available. It's started to make more and more sense though as things have progressed.
For example: If I get into the landfall token creation I'm producing good fuel for the sac engines like Ashnod's Altar, food for Skullclamp and triggers for Bloodspore Thrinax or Ivy Lane Denizen type engines and Mentor of the Meek.
Great point on the infinite sacs for infinite flying demon, I didn't even make that obvious connection with Ghave's infinites and his trigger... And let's not forget, he's got trample! So, unless they are blocking with a flying, first strike deathtoucher, that's game for that opponent. I foresee the deck being able to combo off killing all but one opponent in some instances, so having the secondary "death-con" built into the primary is pretty nice.
What I love about going the land-matters route is bringing in Ob Nixilis, the Fallen and taking the "pain" theme further with his landfall trigger. I could bring in mass lands from the big "search engine" ramp, token triggers to fuel ghave/altar/clamp/thrinax/mentor, then deal direct damage and grow a monster (unfortunately non-flying/non-trample). I do see the value in keeping some control in mind as well and am open to ideas for priorities there. Finding the balance will be the journey, for sure.
Thanks so much for taking the time Abzkaban! I'm glad you can appreciate the jankier version of Ghave. He screams for the efficient infinite combos, it's written all over him, and I'll never tire of playing that style of him...
Yet! his abilities and colours are pretty fun enablers and I have a few other ideas for him (though this is the jankiest of them so far). I'm excited to see this keep evolving, and with something that feels so unique in some ways, it's been pretty fun having folks like you step up with new insights that seem to take it to such a greater level. Another example is Hi_diddly_ho_neighbor's idea of Biorhythm... Something I don't think I've seen in a Ghave deck, yet Ghave can use it so well, and it brings everyone within easy reach of a Field of Ruin + Ob Nixilis, Unshackled search to death!
So again, thanks for being part of it :)
1 month ago
I love the strategy of the deck. It's so far removed from what you would expect from a Ghave deck that it'll take most people by surprise.
I personally like the land matters strategy but I feel the black control fits the flavor and theme better. Honestly I think you can have a good balance of both. Once you've got Ob Nixilis, Unshackled out there, I think ETB effects can be your friend especially since you should be able to abuse them. The flicker strategy works really well, there, but I would also suggest Mikaeus, the Unhallowed. He would be good on two fronts. First he'd be great for using ETB effects multiple times, but he's also great recursion to keep Ob Nixilis in play. You just need Ghave to remove the counter and you can bring him back again. If you can manage it you could create an infinite recursion loop with him, Ghave, and Ashnod's Altar or Phyrexian Altar. Unfortunately this would be a 5 card combo since you'd need Mikaeus, Ghave, Ob Nixilis, an altar, AND Avatar of Growth or someone similar. I'm not sure if there is anyone else who forces a search like he does, though.
I think you could easily pull yourself into a win with just Pattern of Rebirth using Protean Hulk if you add in a recursion combo. By using Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Saffi Eriksdotter + a sac outlet, you can continuously bring back Hulk and search for any creature in your deck that you want. You could grab Ob Nixilis, Unshackled and Fertilid or better yet Avatar of Growth. As long as you have a free sac outlet, you can continuously bring back Avatar and trigger Ob Nixilis until you drain everyone. Not to mention that they're great single card recursion on their own except that Reveillark isn't able to bring Ob Nixilis back.
Even with utilizing lands and black control, I do think it's a missed opportunity not to utilize Ghave's abilities in some way. If you're using him just for his colors, than any Abzan commander would work. You mentioned on my deck that you wanted to adopt some combos here. Which ones did you have in mind? Adding in some combo pieces with Ashnod's Altar like Bloodspore Thrinax or Ivy Lane Denizen would allow you to use Skullclamp, Mentor of the Meek, or Fecundity to draw into your win cons. Combos like this could also bee good for Ob Nixilis as well. Infinite sacrifices means you'd have an infinite/infinite flying demon. I know that's not the focus of this deck, but it could be an alternate interaction.
Excellent idea! I look forward to seeing how this all comes together.
1 month ago
Yep, Pattern of Rebirth was made for ghave!
Elenda, the Dusk Rose + Blade of the Bloodchief (as mentioned) is a great combo in my Vampiric Ghave deck - I suppose it woould be taking away from the intensity of combo synergy here. However, Elenda seems like a good powerhouse to have around - an infinitely large giant life-linker ready to swing in.
Pitiless Plunderer is in another version of Ghave I have and, with any sac cycle, he will make it infinite. I'm sure someone has recommended him already, but just in case.
This is awesome to see. Ghave is definitely a favourite of mine as well - he's pretty good for enabling janky strategies.
Here's my Janky Ghave work in progress:
Commander / EDH*
SCORE: 8 | 29 COMMENTS | 543 VIEWS | IN 3 FOLDERS
I'd appreciate any ideas for speeding it up and enabling the general strategy. While I use some of the strategies you listed here in my regular Ghave, seeing them here have given me an idea on what to adopt for the Jank version. I've got the core idea in, but now I think it's time to bring in the altars, undying, and a few cheaper counter multipliers like Bloodspore Thrinax and Sigil Captain and Ivy Lane Denizen as Cathars' Crusade is interfering with Ghave's casting turn and the rest of the combo (in my context).
It's great to see Ghave at his best. My friends hate seeing him come out - I don't get room to breathe cause no matter what's happening on my board, the know it's a matter of time before the explosion of spores happens.
1 month ago
Redundancy is what this deck is built on, so it wouldn't be a problem to add in additional ways to get the same combos. However I already have so many that can combo with Earthcraft that also function as combos elsewhere that I have a hard time justifying the token doublers.
Cathars' Crusade, Bloodspore Thrinax, Ivy Lane Denizen, and Juniper Order Ranger also combo with Earthcraft for infinite tokens, but they also combo with persist creatures while the token doublers don't.
Sigil Captain is one I like and used to be in the list at some point. I took him out to help with resiliency of other combos since I already had 4 or 5 others that did his job. I'd put him back in if I could rationalize a reason he would be better than something else I'm running.
Retribution of the Ancients is interesting. It would be good with infinite counters as long as I had the mana, but Deathspore Thallid seems to do that job better. Infinite saprolings to sacrifice to him boardwipes my opponents and gets around indestructible. Retribution does this, too, with infinite mana, but I have more combos that I can use Deathspore with since he only needs infinite tokens. Retribution needs infinite counters and mana.
1 month ago
Well, let's start with the honest truth - ever since the last set of changes, I DO want to add 1-2 more land, and probably one more source of draw. I just haven't had time to play the new version of the deck enough to figure out the best cuts (due to computer issues and grad school applications).
But, with that said:
1) The deck runs nine strong tutors, so I rarely have significant trouble finding what I need. Most of our combos are either cheated out (cough Defense of the Heart and friends cough), or are relatively low-CMC (Devoted Druid + Ivy Lane Denizen, for example). Devoted Druid shows up nearly every game as well: it's important as a mana source here even when not part of a combo.
2) The deck mostly prioritized tutors over draw, but it's worth mentioning that most of the sources of draw are repeatable. I never really liked 1-shot draw effects in this deck (like Read the Bones for example), they didn't fit well when I tested them. I do tutor for Generous Patron very frequently, to be fair. She's BONKERS here ;)
3) Like many Golgari decks, the deck also focuses a bit more on reusing pieces that go to GY than digging deeper into the deck. Once I tutor for something, if it dies, I can Reanimate it, etc. We don't care as much about having card advantage if we can retrieve the combo pieces (or aggro power boosters) we need. Not to mention that Meren of Clan Nel Toth (another frequent target of tutors) is card advantage in and of herself.
(Also, the functional curve is lower than it looks, since I really don't intend to hardcast the high-CMC creatures in most games.)
Does that answer your questions? :)