Draw cards equal to the greatest power among creatures you control.
You may cast a card with converted mana cost 5 or less from your hand without paying its mana cost.
|Have (3)||CompleteWaste , metalmagic ,|
Printings View all
|Aether Revolt (AER)||Rare|
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Latest Decks as Commander
Rishkar's Expertise Discussion
1 day ago
So, there are several things you have misunderstood when looking at this deck, as it's one I have played and tweaked for the better part of a decade now and am very happy with it's current state. Firstly, the danger of Xenagos really kicks in when you can actually pressure an opponent, so it's best to stick with either trample or flying creatures exclusively, with the few exceptions of those that will really buff and support you such as Birds of Paradise and Oracle of Mul Daya. I chose to go with flyers, the best of which are largely dragons, because people generally do not have many fliers and are not prepared to deal with the power and pressure of many massive fliers suddenly appearing and swinging at them. As for the rest of the suggestions you have, and the part you misunderstood with him, is that you're focused on making more of a midgame and a recovery so you don't falter due to lack of cards. However, Xenagos doesn't really care of need that. Xenagos needs to get to 5 mana and get a single dragon out. One dragon. Then you are immediately swinging for at least 10 if not more, and every dragon has abilities and triggers that further pressures your opponent(s).
Greater Good is a fantastic card, but there are very few times that you want to be sacrificing your creatures since you will always be a massive target since Xenagos is always a threat. The same goes for Life's Legacy and Momentous Fall.
The problem with cards such as Return of the Wildspeaker, Harmonize, and Bonders' Enclave is that they take up most of your turn to draw cards. I have found that as a true gruul deck you don't want to let off the pressure on your opponents. You very rarely need more than a few dragons over the course of the game as Xenagos puts so much pressure on through doubling them and haste that losing an entire turn to draw more cards is a waste. I make an exception for Rishkar's Expertise because it does still allow us to drop a card and keep the momentum going.
Elder Gargaroth is indeed a good card, but it runs into the problem that it's effects aren't good enough for the deck. He is focused on the additional utility abilities, being lifegain, token generation, and drawing a card, which in any other deck are fantastic abilities. But here he doesn't put pressure onto your opponents the way cards such as Terror of the Peaks does. Everything about Xenagos is speed and pressure. You also run into the issue of him dying. With most opponents fielding very few flying and reach creatures when compared with the number of them in this deck, you rarely need to worry about your dragons dying. Every turn your board keeps building and the dragons have such destructive abilities (see Balefire Dragon for an example of such) that they have trouble keeping a strong board presence and fighting back. But all they need is one small deathtoucher, or any pump spell on one of their ground creatures and they stop your momentum. However, they will rarely have enough fliers to do that. That's a big part of the reason why we run so many dragons. Direct damage to your oppoenent, destructive effects to their boardstate (ex. Tyrant's Familiar), and constant psychological pressure and panic setting in. This is the way of the gruul.
Lifeblood Hydra is too slow. You need at least 8 mana to make him even a little viable, which is too much and too slow. My 8 drops are either extremely powerful, Utvara Hellkite for example, or i'm dropping a 6 drop and holding up a Heroic Intervention or something of that sort.
The Great Henge is also a great card, but again it's too slow.
Berserk is okay, but I prefer my creatures staying alive and pressuring on further turns.
Kessig Wolf Run Honestly just not good enough. The trample is largely unnecessary, and it eats up a minimum of 3 mana to have any effect, mana that can better be spent elsewhere.
Rancor Not good enough
Deflecting Swat Amazing card, but very rarely are cards single targeted any more, at least in my meta. Board wipes are more common.
Ilharg, the Raze-Boar Rather than this, I can just have another dragon which would do much more for my deck.
Sensei's Divining Top Another amazing card, but it just doesn't do enough in this deck.
Now, regarding the high CMC of the deck, of course it's going to be high. We're rushing out to 6 mana and then aggroing out from there. This deck doesn't look to play tempo with a whole bunch of smaller cards being played and set up. That takes too long and allows midrange and late game decks to set up too much. This deck is trying to ramp out and attack.
Finally, I have no idea which creatures you are viewing as subpar. The creatures in this deck are exclusively either flying to attack and pressure my opponents, or ramp/dorks to accelerate the deck, or protection in the form of Archetype of Endurance. If you would be willing to expound on that statement i'm curious to hear your opinion on which creatures could be better utilized.
I will say this, all of those suggestions are great and i'm always really happy to hear and see other people's thoughts on improving things. Other than Berserk and Ilharg, the Raze-Boar I have actually run every single one of those cards in this deck at one point or another. However, though many years and a lot of experience with him, this build is what I have found to be the most powerful and reliable one.
1 week ago
Card draw! The most important two things in edh are ramp and card draw. Your ramp looks good but card draw is important! I recommend burst draw like Rishkar's Expertise, Greater Good, or even Selvala's Stampede. (Not really draw but gets you a ton of free dragons) Repeatable draw is also good Garruk's Uprising, Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner, Rhystic Study/Kindred Discovery ($$$), and Elemental Bond.
1 week ago
Great questions! I agree with you Retreat to Kazandu does not seem impactful. However, I really like he card and do think it is well worth the inclusion. This is because it is a versatile landfall card that we can play early, before Mina and Denn, Wildborn hit the table. Also, the fact that it does not seem impactful (not likely to draw out removal) and that it's an enchantment (hard to remove) means it’s going to stick around the rest of the game in a lot of cases. So starting with our 4th land drop, we are going to get a lot of landfall triggers over the course of the game. Let’s assume 8 - 10 would be the average. That would be 16 - 20 life already, and that has made the difference between winning or losing in certain games. It is especially relevant when you become the archenemy of the game. This is not a combo deck that wins on the spot most of the time (by design), so after we make an explosive play we are going to have to sustain some beating for a turn or two from the rest of the table to secure the win in those cases. Retreat can help you do that similar to how Glacial Chasm can. It’s just a little less obvious. Those 2 cards are not used together super often, but both increase your resilience quite well on their own. As a bonus, there is this nice play pattern, going Retreat to Kazandu into Mina and Denn into either Garruk, Primal Hunter or Rishkar's Expertise for some extra cardraw.
Is I think it’s necessary? No, not really. Can it be cut for something else? Definitely :). I just happen to really like it still.
2 weeks ago
Ashaya, Soul of the Wild is better than you think. I promise you, it's better.
You think a 5 mana creature variant of mono-green Cryptolith Rite that is massive is all? Nope.
First off it's bigger than massive, like, a lot bigger. It is monstrous in many decks. Ever seen a lot of lands and creatures out? I see a 40/40 Ashaya. I wonder if Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, Soul's Majesty, Rishkar's Expertise, Traverse the Outlands, or Overwhelming Stampede would be good?
But even in a deck where it isn't that big, Ashaya is REAALLLLLLY good.
Not to mention... combos. Oh yeah, so... Quirion Ranger is an interesting card. It lets you bounce a forest to untap a creature.
Yep, just those two go infinite together, only infinite casts, as you net even, but a Glimpse of Nature, Beast Whisperer, Primordial Sage, or Soul of the Harvest and you'll be just fine. Remember, it's a land that keeps entering, landfall infinitely, with a Lotus Cobra, Tireless Tracker, or similar, and you'll be well on your way to an easy win.
Have a Priest of Titania? Now you have infinite mana.
(Scryb Ranger can do similarly, another super easy combo)
Also, remember you can run Oblivion Stone, and all the rest too.
That's a lot of damage. Not to mention:
This card can be both a powerful commander or mana ramp/combo engine in decks.
Titania, Steward of Argoth and other lands -> creatures style effects (think Rampaging Baloth) allow you to get a to get a ton of value from your creatures, reusing them for 4/4s and 5/3s.
Liege of the Tangle. Easy, clean reason why this card is hilariously fun!
You can Leyline of Abundance for more value too, didn't mention that. Was gonna click start a new thread and just thought of it. Gonna click it now before I think of ten more!
2 weeks ago
I would suggest Sigarda, Host of Herons as its an angel and protects your board. Also when able to upgrade some of your removal and interaction pieces for more in green like Nature's Claim. I would also suggest more land ramp such as Cultivate and Nature's Lore. Depending on what you are doing Armageddon is fun but may hurt your own strat as well, so maybe changing to a different boardwipe like Wrath of God for flavor or Wave of Vitriol to have something different. Also captain sisay is great for the amount of legends you run, but think about more tutors for creatures so you can get your board state presence up really quickly, or be able to find the two pieces of Gisela and Bruna easier. If you can afford it maybe an Enlightened Tutor for enchantments, Worldly Tutor or Rishkar's Expertise or Life's Legacy for creature tutor. Also just neat draw spells since green white doesn't have a lot of draw might be Return of the Wildspeaker or Harmonize. Harmonize is undervalued but it is a solid draw 3 in green for 4 mana with no conditions, and return of the wildspeaker is versatile since you can use ot for draw or to buff your angels and swing in for big damage. I hope this helps in your deck building!
2 weeks ago
Oooofffff. Mutate and infect are a disgustingly good combo. I love the idea of playing Rishkar's Expertise and getting a free mutate out of the deal.
Random question, do you have any mulligan troubles in the deck only having 33 lands? I’ve been having some shitty opening hands in my green decks when i go below 35.
3 weeks ago
Wow what a cool looking Primer. Solid deck, you did an absolutely great job! I'm a big Elf tribal fan, because Elves where my first deck ever.
Cool cards that I personally enjoyed playing:
- Vivien, Monsters' Advocate = best green planeswalker atm! Cut Yeva and a Forest for Vivien and one/two of the following lands:
- Emergence Zone / Winding Canyons = instead of some Forests
- Sylvan Messenger / Collected Company / Lead the Stampede = much needed carddraw
- Survival of the Fittest / Birthing Pod / Yisan, the Wanderer Bard = best green Tutor-engines
- Ohran Frostfang / Runic Armasaur = really solid carddraw (/Rishkar's Expertise / Return of the Wildspeaker)
- Bane of Progress / Lignify / Song of the Dryads = very good green removal
- Isolated Watchtower / Terrain Generator / Path of Ancestry = cool lands you should consider instead of forests
- Aether Vial + enough draw can snowball really fast
- Cloudstone Curio = an insane combo piece/enabler, especially with: Aluren or Concordant Crossroads
This deck looks already pretty strong, if you want to play on a cEDH table, you just should do some small adjustments:
- Allosaurus Shepherd / Destiny Spinner = instead of the Herald
- Null Rod + Collector Ouphe!!
- Mana Crypt!!
- Chrome Mox / Mox Diamond
- Gemstone Caverns / Ancient Tomb
- Damping Sphere / Thorn of Amethyst = to stop storm decks and slow down other decks
- Sylvan Scrying = to tutor for Cradle or Cavern
- Carpet of Flowers/Wild Growth/Utopia Sprawl
I played elves in almost every format and cool combo from modern was: Cloudstone Curio + Heritage Druid + Nettle Sentinel = infinite mana or with something like Elvish Visionary or Beast Whisperer you can also draw your entire deck if you want
1 month ago
If you can fit it into a 3 color mana base Rogue's Passage to get ur big dude through is very good
Poping the sacrifice ability on Glaring Spotlight to make the hydra squad unblockable ends game fast.
Hydras are targeted for removal a lot so Greater Good to sack in response and draw a butt-ton is crazy good