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|Commander 2017 (C17)||Common|
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Path of Ancestry
Path of Ancestry enters the battlefield tapped.t: Add to your mana pool one mana of any color in your commander's color identity. When that mana is spent to cast a creature spell that shares a creature type with your commander, scry 1.
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Path of Ancestry Discussion
3 days ago
As for non-basics on a budget, you have Command Tower, Path of Ancestry, Unclaimed Territory, Boros Garrison, Temple of Triumph, Battlefield Forge, Needle Spires. Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse are solid.
Inspiring Vantage and Clifftop Retreat aren't hyper-expensive but for a budget deck you could just run regular tap dual lands (Stone Quarry, Wind-Scarred Crag, etc.) and be competitive enough. Depends on your playgroup.
6 days ago
I feel like you may have gone a little overboard on the self-recurring creatures. Maybe in place of the worse ones you could include a few more graveyard tutors like Buried Alive or Entomb. That way you won't get stuck with a hand full of cards that do nothing on their own.
There are a few really strong draw engines that fit into a deck like this. Deathreap Ritual lets you draw tons of cards off of all the death triggers you generate, while Phyrexian Arena just gives you an additional card each turn. Humble Defector is a nice draw effect on a creature, that can either curry favor with the table or just be sacrificed in response to his ability to keep the card draw to yourself.
Finally, I think your land base could use some work. I'm really not a fan of the tri-filter lands, Savage Lands would be much better. With the fetches you are running, it would be a good idea to include some dual lands with basic land types. Some good ones are Cinder Glade, Smoldering Marsh, Canyon Slough, and Sheltered Thicket. In addition, I really like the new Path of Ancestry . Even if you only get to scry once off of casting your commander, it's still a tri-land with upside.
1 week ago
Breeding Pool, Steam Vents, Stomping grounds, Cinder Glade, Game Trail, Evolving Wilds, Terramorphic Expanse, Frontier Bivouac, Temple of Abandon, Temple of Epiphany, Temple of Mystery, Gruul Turf, Izzet Boilerworks, Simic Growth Chamber, Hinterland Harbor, Rootbound Crag, Kazandu Refuge, Rugged Highlands, Swiftwater Cliffs, Thornwood Falls, Shivan Reef, Yavimaya Coast, Gruul Guildgate, Highland Lake, Izzet Guildgate, Shivan Oasis, Simic Guildgate, Timber Gorge, Woodland Stream, Highland Weald, Arcane Lighthouse, Homeward Path, Kessig Wolf Run, Rogue's Passage, Skarrg, the Rage Pits, Command Tower, Forbidden Orchard, Path of Ancestry, Lumbering Falls, Wandering Fumarole, Savage Ventmaw, Shaman of Forgotten Ways, Somberwald Sage, Xenagos, the Reveler
2 weeks ago
3 weeks ago
The lack of Lost Leonin in this deck is painful! It's a T3 kill with Ajani, Caller of the Pride, Duelist's Heritage or Berserk, Turn 2 even with Mana Crypt, Chrome Mox, or Mox Diamond and the right land drops.
Speaking of land drops, if you're going 1v1 competitive, you have GOT to drop all of your lands that enter tapped. Cathedral of War, Path of Ancestry , and Temple of Plenty are going to be doing more harm than good preventing you from getting your 1-drops out!
I'm not a big fan of the swords in Arahbo outside of Sword of Fire and Ice. The others give your creature protection from green or white, preventing eminence from working properly. Same thing with Lightning Greaves, since Shroud means NO player can target the creature, not even yourself.
For 1v1 competitive, I feel your curve is much too high. You're not going to be able to cast cards like Nacatl War-Pride in time if your opponents can assemble their game winning combos and strategies by Turn 4 or 5. Personally speaking, I think Elspeth, Knight-Errant is the best of your 4 CMC+ drops, and I'm not sure if the others are worth including in 1v1. If you want another 4 drop, consider Triumph of the Hordes, which can knock out a player in one turn with a double striker like Skyhunter Skirmisher or Adorned Pouncer.
You could also use some better card draw and card selection. Tutors like Enlightened Tutor and Eladamri's Call should be might tempting here. For draw, Smuggler's Copter gives you great selection while getting some easy pokes in.
Your deck also has almost no instant speed removal outside of Swords to Plowshares. Get a Beast Within in there as an emergency combo shut off, or other interaction cards like Silence or Lapse of Certainty.
3 weeks ago
If you're interested in making the deck more competitive, I have some major suggestions for you:
First, let's fix up your mana base. More competitively minded Arahbo decks want to hit early land drops and get threats out ASAP. Regardless if your deck is intended for 1v1 or if you want it to hold its own in multiplayer, you don't want your lands to enter the battlefield tapped. Nearly half of your lands enter tapped, meaning you're going to be behind on mana nearly half of the time! For our purposes, I think it would be better to list the lands that enter tapped that I think would be alright keeping:
I'm not the biggest fan of Evolving Wilds or Terramorphic Expanse in 2 color green decks, as you have so many other ramp/fetch options, but for budget purposes they are perfectly fine inclusions. Anything else that can't tap for mana the turn you drop it doesn't seem worth it to me. With the same logic, I'd be mighty tempted to exclude Temple of the False God as well
As far as replacements go, we need a combination of additional lands and ramp. For the lands, while higher end fetches are nice, we can go for cheaper options (mostly under $5 each) that will provide better mana fixing than Selesnya Guildgate and company:
- Canopy Vista
- Fortified Village
- Mana Confluence - A little on the pricey side, but taps for anything.
- Sunpetal Grove
- Temple of Plenty - Enters tap, but provides a scry!
- Unclaimed Territory - Weaker Cavern of Souls!
Outside of these choices, I'd also add more basic lands. While some of the ETB tapped duals are nice, if you have more ramp options that allow you to select basics from your deck, you can pick and choose what colors you want on the fly:
- Oreskos Explorer - Get Plains out of your deck and into your hand!
- Kodama's Reach - Your second copy of Cultivate
- Farseek and/or Nature's Lore - Get a Forest or Plains from your deck. This includes Scattered Groves! I personally prefer Nature's Lore since the land doesn't enter tapped.
- Rampant Growth - See above, but only for basics.
I've got a few more mana rocks for you to consider as well:
- Selesnya Signet - Signets are staples for 2 color decks. People run it for good reason!
- Talisman of Unity - One of the benefits of ally colors is that you get to run a Talisman, which can be dropped off of a turn 1 Sol Ring for massive ramp early!
- Mind Stone - Personally, I believe this to be better than Dreamstone Hedron since it comes out much earlier, even though the ramp and draw is halved.
- Fellwar Stone - This is better in 3+ color decks, but if you need another cheap mana rock, this is about as good as they get.
- Marble Diamond and Moss Diamond - These are weaker than the others, but they can be drop early and pay themselves off in the long run.
While these cards aren't strictly mana rocks per se, they work similar to Herald’s Horn . I'd exhaust your mana rock options before considering these, however:
- Oketra's Monument and Rhonas's Monument: Reduce the cost of your creature spells while provide extra utility in the form of chumps and pumps.
- Pearl Medallion and Emerald Medallion**: Can be dropped off of a Turn 1 Sol Ring, which is where they'd really shine.
Now that we've got your mana covered, let's talk about your win conditions. One thing I dislike about the deck out of the box is that you're split in a few directions - do you go wide with tokens, do you voltron it up/go tall? In either case, lets consider your finishers for each win-con (outside of Arahbos abilities):
At a glance its easy to see how each of these cards could win you the game, but its worth it to take a more critical look at how each of these work, and the best ways to support them.
Lets start with going wide with tokens.
First, Coat of Arms: Ignoring for now that this boosts your opponents creatures as well, we gotta do some math. Worst case scenario, lets say each of your opponents are at 40 life, and you want to swing for the kill. Math wise, were looking at your cumulative damage across the board being equal X*(X-1)+P, where X is the number of cats you control, and P is your total power. If youre in 1v1, the math is simple, as youre swinging all of your cats at one opponent, but in multiplayer things get trickier, as you have to split your attacks. You may find yourself in a position where you have 80 damage on the board, but due to an uneven number of creatures or differences in power, you can still only kill one of your opponents.
In any case, given the exponential nature of Coat of Arms, the more players youre going up against, the less cats you need to generate per player to win. Still, if youre going for quick kills (Im thinking competitive = win asap), then you want to find a way to drop multiple creatures Turn A, then Turn B cast Coat of Arms and swing. Tokens are the best way of doing this, but as far as dropping a bunch in one turn, your options are currently limited to just White Sun's Zenith, Regal Caracal, and Pride Sovereign, with the latter two being limited to 2 tokens a pop unless you include a token doubler like Anointed Procession.
Ajani, Caller of the Pride I believe should go in nearly every Arahbo deck, given how much synergy it offers to the multiple playstyles Arahbo can support. While getting the Ult off can be tricky, you could easily end up with 20+ cats, which would be enough to kill almost any table.
Nacatl War-Pride is another great finisher that actually works in non-token strategies as well, given the blocks that it forces. If you can enable trample on your creatures across the board, then this can easily kill with Coat of Arms and your opponent just controlling a handful of creatures. Coat of Arms also boosts your creatures that arent attacking the same opponent as War-Pride, so you dont have to be forced to pick off one opponent at a time!
Other than that, flickering Regal Caracal with something like Felidar Guardian could also assist with the token generation.
The same principles above apply to Jazal Goldmane the more tokens you have the better. Jazal costs 9 more cumulative mana than Coat of Arms does, however, so you really want to focus on ramping out as much as you can in order to make the most effective use of him, and in extension your biggest potential token generator, White Suns Zenith.
If youre keen on the tokens route, you can instead focus on getting the most bang for your buck with those tokens. Turn them into mana generators with Cryptolith Rite, or make each individual token a massive threat with cards like Beastmaster Ascension and True Conviction. I particularly like those latter cards because they work well with non-Cat tokens just the same. Im thinking cards like Oketra's Monument like I mentioned earlier, which provides additional tokens for you to use that wouldnt necessarily help out with Coat of Arms. But getting a 6/6 Soldier instead of a 1/1 thanks to Beastmaster Ascension? That seems like a hell of a great deal to me!
For all of the above token strategies, its no surprise that Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist is your best friend. Only being blocked by one creature per opponent means your threats will almost definitely go through. Still, you know that by default, they will also block your strongest creature given the choice. Thankfully, you can take away that choice thanks to Krosan Vorine. Its an old card with the Provoke ability, which also happens to be a Cat Beast! I dont think your deck could be asking for more synergy here this card allows your game ending-threats to go through with ease.
Thats the extent of what I have to offer with token-based wins. Ill cover some general token boons for your deck shortly, but before that Id like to touch on the Tall/Voltron focus your deck has.
If I can speak frankly, I strongly feel that if you want to go the voltron/equipment route, you should make Nazahn, Revered Bladesmith your commander. He is better suited for going for a commander-damage win, and you have equipment toolbox tutoring whenever you need it with him in the command zone. The more I personally playtested my Arahbo deck, I found myself short on actual cats to boost with him when I ran too many equipments. Personally speaking, your deck would be best optimized if you either lessened the equipment focus, or changed the commander.
If you intend to keep the focus as is with Arahbo sitting at the helm, I still have some pointers that should hopefully help you out.
Youre going to want to get Artifacts that give you the most bang for your buck. This can either be in value these equipment provide, or them being high power for their cost.
Skullclamp is included in the base deck, and I feel it should be definitely part of your 99. No, you dont have many 1/1s currently to abuse the draw, but Skullclamps value necessarily stem from repeated draws like youd see in Marath, Will of the Wild and other token decks. Just being able to replace your one card with 2 is immensely valuable. Youre already running Heirloom Blade, and I feel Skullclamp in the long run is more valuable than that card.
Sitting down at competitive tables means youre going to be seeing some big name cards, some that may be too big or expensive for your own deck to run. But that doesnt mean you cant play them still! Look no further than Masterwork of Ingenuity, which copies any other equipment on the field. I cant afford or Umezawa's Jitte, but Im sure Masterwork would be in your budget range.
Speaking of masterworks, Stoneforge Masterwork is a best of both worlds kind of card, working as hybrid between your tall and wide strategies. It effectively turns any one of your cats into a Pride Sovereign, which is nothing to scoff at!
If you have the budget for them, consider some larger (and easier to cast!) equipment threats like Darksteel Plate, Godsend, and Sword of Fire and Ice if youre a real high roller. I wouldnt run any of the other swords given that I believe they all have protection from White or Green, meaning you couldnt boost the same creatures with Arahbo. In a Nazahn deck, however? You could go nuts!
The one additional thing I would offer for you in regards to voltron-ing it up would be to add evasion to your creatures. Trample enablers are nice, but youre missing a pretty significant one in the form of Rancor. Not an equipment, but its cheap and your opponents will be hard pressed to remove it for good. Gryff's Boon is in the same vein on the flying side of things, with similar recursion. While it lacks recursion, Shield of the Oversoul is another aura that will make your creature nigh unstoppable.
Speaking of flying, Fleetfeather Sandals is a slightly weaker version of Swiftfoot Boots that offers flying instead of hexproof. Ive personally been running it in my own Arahbo deck over Lightning Greaves given that Shroud prevents me from targetting my own creatures with Arahbos eminence ability. Ajani, Caller of the Pride (who I mentioned in my token coverage earlier!) also enables flying!
For your tall builds, dont be afraid to branch away from the equipment focus if you stick with Arahbo. In addition to thos enchantments, I personally am I massive advocate of Duelist's Heritage, which you can use to your advantage by encouraging your opponents to take each other out first! It comes out much earlier than Raksha Golden Cub, and while it lacks the additional anthem it provides, being able to swing a few turns in advance with it makes it worth considering.
If you want a quick and dirty equipment win, look no further than Grafted Exoskeleton. With Arahbos eminence, if you enable double strike on the equipped creature, one unblocked attack is guaranteed to knock out an opponent thanks to infect. This very much depends on your playgroup, so please consider it carefully. Im personally a big fan of infect, so I consider this single card one of my primary win-cons in my Arahbo deck, even though theres not as big of an equipment focus as yours.
For the above, youre going to want to be able to toolbox the right equipments and auras for the right scenarios. Open the Armory is a very cheap tutor that would serve you well, which you can later upgrade to Steelshaper's Gift or even Enlightened Tutor.
Anything more Id have to add about your win-cons would be dependent on what direction you eventually take the deck. In the meantime, Id like to cover some general utility and quality of life improvements for your deck!
One thing that would help would be to lower the curve of your deck. Your average CMC is 3.65 currently, meaning most of your cards are being dropped turn 3 or 4, by which point more competitive decks would already have gotten the ball rolling. We can fix this by reducing the number of large cards youre running, or at least making sure that those cards are REAL power plays.
Personally, I dont play anything of CMC of 6 unless I know it can contribute to an actual victory on a regular basis. Cards in your deck like Argentum Armor, Jareth, Leonine Titan, Jedit Ojanen of Efrava, and Spirit of the Hearth are big and flashy but wont turn the game around for you.
Instead, something like Felidar Sovereign is another large cat in the same range, which can add some additional win-cons for you! More low costed threats that can be just as big and deadly like Mirror Entity (technically a cat!), Lost Leonin (gotta love infect!), and Adorned Pouncer (built-in double strike to take advantage of eminence!) would be massive boons that help make you a threat much earlier in the game.
There are also a handful of cards I feel are entirely outclassed in your deck. Relic Crush, for example, is practically a worse version of Sylvan Reclamation which exiles AND has cycling on it. Instant upgrade! Other small removal improvements would be the inclusion of Swords to Plowshares and/or Beast Within, which both offer great utility.
Right now, its difficult for me to suggest some specific cuts, as that is dependent on what direction youd like to take the deck. For now, Id like to offer you a few resources which can hopefully help you make up your mind.
First, my own deck!
I implement many of the above ideas in my own deck, so hopefully it can give you a good idea of what a more heavily modified Arahbo deck looks like.
Second, this excellent article on MTGGoldfish on upgrading Arahbo on a budget:
If you implemented all of my suggestions, things would add up pretty quickly. This article should give you a quick idea of what some quick easy changes you could make would be.
Third, the CommandCasts podcast episode on the Arahbo deck!
These guys know EDH like the back of their hands, and they offer some insightful tips on how to improve upon the strengths of the Feline Ferocity deck. Another episode of theirs worth watching is the one where they cover the basics of deck construction, which has significantly improved my own deck building after watching:
Finally, the holy grail of EDH utilities: EDHREC!
This page lists the most popular cards used in Arahbo decks. Experiment with the filters, putting in cards youd like to use, or cards you dont like, and see what people with similar tastes are running!
I really hope this all helps. I know I wrote a novel here, but Id love to hear your thoughts on my suggestions, and hopefully we can take things from there!
3 weeks ago
It would seem great minds think alike! Nice deck name you have there. ;D
For real, I do have quite a few things I'd like to suggest quite a few things that should hopefully help you out!
The first item I'd like to point out are a handful of outclassed cards. Sylvan Reclamation in GW is for all intents and purposes strictly better than Relic Crush. Subbing one generic mana for one white mana for both exile AND the option to cycle? Count me in! Dreamstone Hedron does provide two colorless mana, but I feel Mind Stone being potentially dropped earlier makes that a more worthwhile option to me. Grappling Hook is nice when you can force your opponent to block how you like, but if you're going for the double strike option I believe there are better options that can come out earlier and work better to your advantage. Fireshrieker is a cheaper double strike equipment, and Duelist's Heritage can boost your opponents' creatures on turns where they are not so inclined to be attacking you to make your opponents finish each other off more quickly!
One thing worth pointing out is that Mirri isn't dependent on cats. While there are plenty of cats and cat-based cards that work well with Mirri, don't be afraid to tip your toes outside of the tribal focus a little bit here. Oketra's Monument is a good example of a card that can boost your strategies with non-Cat creatures. Other cards that work well would be Martial Coup, Secure the Wastes, and Elspeth, Sun's Champion. While a little costly on the mana side of things, Hornet Queen provides great flying defense that this deck typically lacks. These token producers would also allow you to take greater advantage of Skullclamp (or Mentor of the Meek if you choose to add it as well) for some nice card draw.
While Hornet Queen is fresh on the mind, I'd like to point out Sandwurm Convergence as another great defense against flying decks.
Tribal vs non-tribal aside, let's talk about how to tap Mirri outside of combat. You'll want to get her tapped every turn you have her out, but sometimes swinging away just isn't a viable option. Cards like Cryptolith Rite and Glare of Subdual allow you to get plenty of non-combat utility out of Mirri as you enable her. Don't forget lands that tap your creatures, including Survivors' Encampment. Cards with Convoke can also be beneficial, especially with all the token generators you have. Chord of Calling and Obelisk of Urd are probably the two best for your deck.
Fun fact, if you're looking for a cheap and on-theme infinite combo. Combine Cryptolith Rite, Oketra's Monument, Whitemane Lion, and Leonin Battlemage for an infinite number of tokens and an infinitely large creature!
In regards to your manabase, I have two concerns: I believe there are too many ETB tapped lands, and you don't have enough ramp.
For the ramp side, you should look to squeeze in Selesnya Signet and Talisman of Unity - they are great to drop early, and allow you to drop Mirri as early as turn 2! Getting some redundancy in your deck with Kodama's Reach wouldn't be too remiss of you either... wouldn't you want to double your chances of drawing into Cultivate early?
For the lands, the only ones you're running that enter tapped that I'm a fan of are Path of Ancestry and Selesnya Sanctuary. While the other provide solid fixing, being set back a turn on mana when you should be aiming to generate as much as possible to get your token production up can really slow you down. More basics, and cheap duals like Sunpetal Grove, Fortified Village, Canopy Vista, and Temple of Plenty that either enter untapped under the right conditions, or at least provide some extra utility, I believe would be preferential. To put it in perspective, would you rather gain 1 life, or scry 1? Would you rather have a guildgate, or Scattered Groves that does the same thing, but can be cycled AND more easily fetched?
In addition to that fixing, more utility lands would also be worthwhile for you. Hashep Oasis and more relevantly Shefet Dunes provide mana for you while also giving you the option of pumping your creatures. I personally run other cards in my own Arahbo deck like Homeward Path and Scavenger Grounds as well, but you could tailor those to your personal meta.
I'd also like to discuss putting some redundancy in your deck.
When it comes to your commander, Mirri is nice since she locks down combat, but there are other options here that can perform similar roles! Crawlspace provides a similar protection effect, although it allows two creatures attacking and not one. Citadel Siege allows you tap one of your opponents' creatures each turn, so they can only ever attack you with their second best option! On the offensive side, Krosan Vorine is another cat(!!!) that with provoke forces your opponent into bad blocks. Likewise, Odric, Master Tactician provides similar combat control.
I notice you have a pretty heavy equipment focus, but with the amount of token generation that Mirri benefits from, more anthem-esque effects like Mirari's Wake and Marshal's Anthem would be appreciated. Two that I can think of off the bat would be Spear of Heliod and Bow of Nylea. Both provide excellent utility outside of their offensive boosts. If you have Mirri and the Spear out, 3 open mana means your opponent KNOWS that their creature can die that turn. Likewise, the Bow makes blocks even tougher even WITHOUT Mirri, not to mention it's such a Swiss Army Knife otherwise!
The last thing I'd like to cover are you win conditions. Going wide with your tokens is critical to your strategy, so let's find a way to take maximum advantage of that. Throne of the God-Pharaoh and Jazal Goldmane stand out to me as some of your best finishers, but we can add more. If you have the budget for it, Craterhoof Behemoth is one of the best token finishers out there, but if you're looking for a cheaper option (albeit slightly weaker), Decimator of the Provinces provides a similar Overrun effect on a body. I'm a big fan of infect, so Triumph of the Hordes is something I would include in my own Mirri deck, as it's such an efficient blowout card. I can understand if you're not keen on infect, though. Finally, True Conviction can quickly turn games around when you'd otherwise be down and out thanks to the massive lifegain it provides, not to mention board-wide double strike often being enough to end games.
I know I went on and on here, but I do help this was of help to you! Please, I'd love to hear your thoughts.