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Creature — Elf Scout
Persist (When this creature is put into a graveyard from play, if it had no -1/-1 counters on it, return it to play under its owner's control with a -1/-1 counter on it.)
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Safehold Elite Discussion
5 days ago
This is a good start. I feel like you are starting to look at cards the right way- assessing how to balance their disruptiveness and value, but the deck still feels a little unfocussed.
Lets look at a core concept in magic- card advantage- and build to that.
There are enablers; cards that don't do things on their own (lands, ramp spells, combo pieces, most 1/1s, etc). Proactive cards that are very good when your play them on their own (kitchen finks type stuff, planeswalkers) Reactive cards that are good at trading 1-for-1 with proactive cards (mana leak, fatal push), Card advantage spells (things that mean you effectively have more cards played, even if they don't always read 'draw a card'.)
If you have more relavant answers than your opponent has proactive cards, then they'll mostly find it difficult to hit you. If you have more playable proactive cards than your opponent you'll probably be able to race them. If you have cards that slot into multiple categories in useful ways, you have virtual card advantage, and can pick the appropriate approach for the particular matchup. These are the core concepts that you need to build midrange.
Lets look at what your deck wants to do. A build around Demonlord of Ashmouth and Demon of Catastrophes, with enablers in the form of small creatures and ramp spells, and a few spot answers with light card advantage tools to clear the way. You're prepared to give up cards to demonlord of ashmouth or demon of catastrophies to have a big threat hitting your opponent. This is a really good start that the rest of your deck should build to support. A big threat that goes over aggro and fights through answers.
So general principals- you want enough card advantage to offset your enablers, or to make those enablers useful in other ways. You want enablers that also help you race down other decks with big flying demons. And you want tools to protect those demons.
Budget lists can't afford the 'universally good' stuff, like Collective Brutality or Cryptic Command, so you need to look at larger groups of teir 2 cards with good synergy and large print runs, preferably with deckbuilding restrictions that cut the price further. So lets cover some general options, explain the why, and then leave you to find things to fill out the list.
You want things that make small creatures and make these big things easier to cast. Llanowar Elves(price listing on this is busted) and Elves of Deep Shadow will let you cut the land count some- and they'll let you slam a big demon earlier whilst providing a body to sacrifice. Turn 1 extra mana is strong enough for people to spend their lightning bolt on it- and thats one more thing not pointed at the threats.
While Sylvan Caryatid is a great card, spending an extra mana to 'blank' a removal spell with hexproof is less relevant when your big stuff doesn't also blank removal, and likely isn't worth the extra mana (its great when your threats are stuff like enchantments or combos which are hard to disrupt).
Scavenging Ooze should be maindeck- its a graveyard meta, and its a decent body that likes you sacrificing creatures, lifegain is relevant, and even against decks that play no creatures it hits their snapcaster targets. Its both a threat and an answer. Cards that give you lots of options are good.
Cards that let you play with +1/+1 and -1/-1 counters are good in sacrifice lists- much like Gavony Township makes Kitchen Finks nigh-unkillable, Cauldron Haze and cards like Exemplar of Strength or Hapatra's Mark/Heartmender/Nest of Scarabs with Young Wolf and Safehold Elite or Black Sun's Zenith can really put in work. You just need to be sure to pick cards that all work well together. While individually they are worse than high value cards, as a group they can outperform- and most importantly, choose them to be versatile.
A card that gives an aggressive and defensive option is perfect for midrange. When building the spine of your deck, look for groups like this to fill it out. Having interseting choices makes the game fun.
Most of all, playtest, and have fun playing. Because thats how you get a top-notch deck. I'd take a look at Rite of Belzenlok decks in standard right now, they showcase a lot of the tools you'll be looking for, and its a good card for the archetype (even if its a little slow).
1 month ago
i just built a deck that uses Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit, Safehold Elite or Kitchen Finks, and Evolutionary Leap to keep repeatedly saccing persist creatures for tons of value. (when a persist creature comes back with a -1/-1 after being sacced to leap, Anafenza resets it) The deck also has other ways to reset persist like Oran-Rief, the Vastwood, Gavony Township, and some Ajani planeswalkers. I'd appreciate your thoughts on the deck. I thought it was a cool idea atleast.
2 months ago
How competitive and aggressive do you want to be in modern?
You can consistantly manage 12 budget 1 drop manadorks in G/W (Elvish Mystic, Llanowar Elves (I don't know why the price listing is broken), Avacyn's Pilgrim), followed by very efficient creatures in the 3/4/5 slot. Its best if those creatures let you stabilize, having an immediate board impact- Obstinate Baloth is loved for that reason, but there are plenty of alternatives.
If you want to run that an aggro deck to cast dinos, then look at Crested Herdcaller, Deathgorge Scavenger, Runic Armasaur, Siegehorn Ceratops and Thrashing Brontodon. However, as a lot of them are in standard, you might want to wait for rotation before building it in modern as it will be substantially cheaper.
GW hatebears has some older budget lists which can be plundered for ideas, and some new card printings (notably Vizier of Remedies ) allow for very powerful interactions even with budget cards (Safehold Elite looks a lot stronger).
There are also lists built around Knight of New Alara that, while long in the tooth, have solid ideas.
The strongest way to build in budget is to spot a theme across a lot of sets (that means a lot of similar cards have been printed), and grab the cheap ones that work well together (in price and cmc), so that while no part of your deck is spectacular, you can consistantly win a lot of matchups.
Green also has the benifit of access to a lot of card fixing in the form of things like Adventurous Impulse- there are like eight variants, which makes building around card interactions a lot smoother, whatever you pick.
Good luck, and happy brewing.
2 months ago
If you're running them, just mainboard Qasali Pridemage.
In terms of hyper-budget deckbuilding, I find its a lot easier to focus in on a 'gimmick' strategy than look for pure value, which is why a 'multicolour matters' build is good. I'd give some thought to degenerate Vizier of Remedies/Heartmender/Safehold Elite interactions myself, but pure multicolour matters can be strong.
Cute interactions- its what sets a budget deck apart from being a worse version of an expensive deck. Wild Pair and Trostani's Summoner. Playing to a value 3-4-5 drop plan can do a lot. Worm Harvest and similar offer a lot of value to back up Knight of New Alara. There are countless strategies around.
Well is worth a look for sideboard tech.
Giantbaiting has done well in some of my past budget lists, as has Boggart Ram-Gang. Spirit Bonds is an interesting engine to run alongside a more traditional wheenies list, which might help against 'value oriented' midrange metas.
The main thing is to settle into a gameplan. For aggro, its 'how do I do early damge, how do I bypass a strong board to close out the game'. Cards with haste, cards that want to attack turns 1-3, cards that deal a ton of direct damage turns 4-5.
For midrange its 'how do I make my hand worth enough more than my opponents and cash it in for damage'. Cards that do things when you do something you are doing anyway- jamming a ton of Brindle Boar variants with a Gutter Grime works in some metas.
For control its 'how do I stop my opponent closing out the game and slowly win'. Its real tricky on a budget.
For this specific deck, you need to make a choice- The 2-3-4 drops are very strong, but you need to commit to either producing creatures which are hard to remove an create a lot of value midgame, or end the game. Keep that choice in mind when picking cards and you'll get something great.
5 months ago
Maybe the three Gideon's Lawkeeper for Birds of Paradise as the Birds of Paradise can accelerate you into casting things faster, and I don't really see the point of the lawkeepers. Also, I would go down 2 Safehold Elites for the Kitchen Finks and the Genesis Hydra for Walking Ballista.
8 months ago
Red seems good for Impact Tremors and Hissing Iguanar than Commune with the Gods finds all your combo pieces and can even mill Faithless Looting for a free flashback.
Also, Ivy Lane Denizen and Safehold Elite are the core of your combo, why not run 4 copies of Wirewood Herald as he finds them both?
8 months ago
@ lukas96 thanks for the suggestions! I've been going back and forth as to if Safehold Elite is worth the room in this deck, so I've been swapping out Dryad Militant constantly as I play test. Overall I do think the Dryad provides a greater board presence overall. But I do love keeping my persist guys on the battlefield. Wondering now without them if Melira is still worth keeping in my main deck.
I've added another Stony Silence and a Naturalize too, which I planned on doing anyways. I see what you mean about the Firewalker. I just don't know about Rule of Law or Eidolon of Rhetoric and if I see room in this deck for them, tho they are 2 great cards. Guess I'd have to do some playtesting there.
9 months ago
I'm not sure those infinite combos work. I thought that Safehold Elite when sacrificed with Viscera Seer will come back and do the one damage / one life gain but after that it will have 1 x '-1/-1' counter and 1 x '+1/+1' counter. So when its sacrificed again it will have a '-1/-1' counter on it and go to the graveyard.
I may be misunderstanding though :)