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Creature — Cat
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Savannah Lions Discussion
1 month ago
I believe the rules of these are 60 dollars mainboard, with 10 dollars sideboard?
Anyway, I want to help build this deck up, since it is only ~50$ and has no sideboard!
Cats are a very good "zoo" tribe. They can be very aggresive and kill the opponent before they have a chance to respond. From the most aggresive one drops such as Loam Lion, Savannah Lions, and Wild Nacatl, to landfall creatures like Steppe Lynx and Scythe Leopard (Think triggering landfall twice with Evolving Wilds) you could easily build a very powerful budget deck.
Regal Caracal is a great card, and it looks that way, but at five mana, it is a bit two slow for this deck. I will build a quick decklist below to show you how to build Cats in a more aggressive way:
4x Steppe Lynx
4x Wild Nacatl
4x Loam Lion
4x Longtusk Cub
3x Watchers of the Dead - Against Control
2x Qasali Pridemage - To get rid of enchantments/artifacts
4x Fragmentize - To get rid of even more enchantments/artifacts
3x Prey Upon - Removal for creatures
3x Heroic Intervention - Against Board wipes
2 months ago
Hey, good upgrade to Ferocity, but consider decreasing the mana curve by adding more one drop and two drops Cats? Cutting six and seven drops?
One drop Cats are very mana efficient with Arahbo getting 4 attack power or more when one attacks from eminence. Fleecemane Lion, two drop Cat is amazing with eminence and included in Ferocity.
- Wild Nacatl
- Loam Lion
- Savannah Lions
- Sacred Cat
- Trained Caracal
- Fleecemane Lion
- Leonin Arbiter
- Prowling Serpopard
- Skyhunter Skirmisher
Leonin Arbiter is also included in Ferocity.
Cards to consider cutting:
- Argentum Armor
- True Conviction
- Boundless Realms
- Zendikar Resurgent
- Jareth, Leonine Titan
- Jedit Ojanen of Efrava
- Leonin Abunas
- Traverse the Outlands
- Selesnya Keyrune
- Nissa's Pilgrimage
Some budget dual lands that can ETB untapped:
4 months ago
Also, for aggro, I generally try to have some good one drops that can start dealing early damage. Have you thought about Noble Hierarch (not sure if in budget) but even Birds of Paradise might work with the Gavony Township, but not as strong. A 2/x 1 drop is almost a must for aggro. That's why Savannah Lions used to be a rare back in the day :)
5 months ago
So far none of these Ultra Budgets have been very competitive in modern, considering the speed of the meta I can't imagine them working to well. I want to build a more competitive one. I do really like the idea, and some (Like the elemental fling one) were still very good. The issue was that they were around 40+ dollars, rather than 20-10 dollar price range.
I tried to make one using the Heroic keyword, building it around cantrips that target creatures (like Bandage and Defiant Strike) along with good heroic abilities like Phalanx Leader and Favored Hoplite, filling the mana curve out with Lagonna-Band Trailblazer, Fabled Hero, and Vanguard of Brimaz, and it works suprisingly well, winning turn 4-5 on average, but I did have a game with a turn 3 kill, just because of the synergy that can be acomplished with the strive mecahanic of Launch the Fleet, targetting my two Phalanx Leaders, two Vanguard of Brimaz, and a Fabled Hero to get a board of giant (3/3 & 4/4) cats, and a giant Fabled Hero (5/5 Double Strike) for a big win.
Another Idea for a super budget is a combo deck, one that uses 2x Zombie Infestation & 4x Treasure Hunt, 4x Reliquary Tower and finishing the deck with 25x Swamp and 25x Island, I will let you imagine hoe the deck wins!
Another powerful budget deck is Kithkin! They have one of the cheapest good lords with Wizened Cenn and have Ballyrush Banneret, Rustic Clachan, Goldmeadow Stalwart, and a bunch of other great tribal elements at a cheap price. That kind of deck is also able to be easily upgraded for a still small price, with cards like Knight of Meadowgrain, Honor of the Pure, Militia's Pride, and Thoughtweft Trio for not extreme prices.
An easy deck to build is mono-white "2 for 1", its a deck I built a while back around just dropping cards like Expedition Envoy, Dragon Hunter, Dryad Militant, Mardu Woe-Reaper, Savannah Lions, Elite Vanguard, etc. backing them up by using Brave the Elements, and Honor of the Pure if you want. For a cheap version, you don't need to, and even for one that runs Isamaru, Hound of Konda and Kytheon, Hero of Akros, the deck cost less than 30 dollars.
The point of the comment is that I feel that though these decks are interesting and fun to play with, if competitive decks for a low cost are required, I think more competitive decks for a cheaper (or equal) cost are possible.
In the case of this deck (similar to neg counters), it requires the opponent to be playing creatures, and also be playing slowly enough, or with out removal, for you to steal them. This deck also doesn't have any way of dealing with the graveyard, has no sideboard, can't remove creatures, enchantments, lands, or artifacts opponents control, and though the deck is slow, it doesn't have the control elements like counter spells to support it, even though it is in the colors... It also can't speed the deck up with ramp or draw even though it is in the colors! Blue/green card draw could also help with Lorescale Coatl and ramp could make Nimbus Swimmer a seriously viable option.
If you do want ramp/draw, Explore is a super cheap option. More cantrip buffs could also help with the deck consistency, and I could go on and on, but it just seems like you didn't look at the deck for play-ability, but instead based on random cards you thought would be cool. I can't help look through every card to try and make this a viable option, because in the end I don't think it is an option, against pretty much any meta modern deck, where as my Heroic deck beats Naya Burn more often than not, and can stand to fight Affinity and Death's Shadow too. It doesn't stand a chance against Tron or make other decks, but this one can't stand against pretty much any.
5 months ago
I'm doing this from my phone, so please pardon any parsing errors.
A few things jump out at me immediately when skimming your list. One: You're not running nearly enough dudes to really capitalize on Edgar's abilities. Two: Your Black count is dangerously low.
Edgar's token ability procs with each vampire you cast, so you'll want to add in a substantial number more critters to ensure that your average draw value is maxed. His secondary ability of growing his squad also pushes this incentive even further. I'd be aiming to have close to 50 blood-suckers running around in your deck somewhere to truly keep the warmachine rolling.
The second point centers mostly around the card Vampire Nocturnus. The card is an animal, and absolutely worth building around. Yes, he isn't a legend so you won't have him every game, but with even a moderate field he can pack a potent punch. To earn this reward though requires you warping your card pool a bit to make certain that he reaches his formidable potential consistently. If there's a card or effect that you run that doesn't have a black symbol, try looking for a substitute card that might be close enough and does contain a black casting cost. Currently, 63 of the 99 cards in your deck are whiffs, so he's online just over once every three turns.
A few card notes:
Blood Artist is a good card, and while it synergizes with Edgar's tokens as a pseudo Goblin Bombardment, I believe that he's better in an Olivia Voldaren-style deck that utilizes sac outlets more freely and effectively. Don't feel bad to run him, but the roster spot could be spent on something else.
Similarly, Bloodthrone Vampire is better in Olivia as well, though I approve of keeping some sac-outlets in the list. I'd suggest Viscera Seer as an alternate, as scry is typically superior to a buff when pitching creatures (usually in response to a board clear).
The Gorger is just a Savannah Lions in a cape enough of the time that I don't believe he merits inclusion. He improves some if you really work to get a madness theme going, but I think the dropoff in overall card quality to meet that goal isn't worth it. If you're hellbent on running him, then I'd possibly look at Sire Of Insanity and Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace to bolster the rest of the discard outlets. Also, you just don't have enough vampires in the deck to take advantage of the free madness reliably anyways.
Olivia, Mobilized for War is pretty mediocre when not paired with Falkenrath Gorger or Oversold Cemetery. Your general already has haste, and there aren't many other vampires that I'd consider powerful enough with haste to discard for. Maybe Necropolis Regent or the specter-style vampires. Her ability to make creatures into vamps is irrelevant in your deck, and the +1/+1 bonus isn't anything too exciting. I'd cut her for something else.
Stromkirk Condemned: pretty much everything I said about Olivia applies here, though he at least is better with the tokens that Edgar makes.
Stensia Masquerade: it's neat that this has madness and the effects aren't terrible, but the enchantment suffers from not being black, and by being largely outclassed by cards like Cathars' Crusade. At the end of the day, the counters from this are too slow to make the cut.
Speaking of slow, playing Guul Draz Assassin is just asking for sadness. Level Up is one of the most feel-bad mechanics when things go wrong. Finally investing enough in your guy, only to have him Swords'ed in response is quite deflating.
Mathas, Fiend Seeker is too group-huggy for my tastes. Assuming that you play multiplayer, letting two or more opponents draw while you draw one is card disadvantage. View the table as one large, cohesive enemy, and not several smaller ones.
Mirri the Cursed is sweet, but overall not very strong. Most opponents won't block unless they can kill her. Running some additonal sabateur effects (other than Necropolis Regent and Rakish Heir) such as Larceny or Pain Magnification would help, but still probably not enough. That said, she is a cat vampire, so that's worth something.
Shadow Alley Denizen is pretty small-game. Intimidate isn't particularly strong with multicolor creatures, and even on the monoblack ones it's still not worth running. A good number of your monsters already fly, which is a better form of evasion.
Stromkirk Noble and Vampire Lacerator are just too low impact to run. They don't do anything besides attack, and topdecking one of them in the late game is nauseatingly painful. The noble suffers from being non-black as well.
Cathartic Reunion and Tormenting Voice would likely be better as actual draw spells than rummaging spells. I know they work with madness and the Cemetery, but I like things that net you cards a lot more. If you wanted, Kheru Mind-Eater and Fiend of the Shadows are tribal means of getting ahead on cards, and both black (even if they aren't great cards otherwise).
Cover of Darkness: fear is better than intimidate, but this still isn't impactful enough to run.
Necropotence is one of the most busted cards ever printed in Magic, and in Commander is a complete trap. The downsides are too steep in a multiplayer format, and only a handful of decks are set up to wield it properly. Look elsewhere for advantage. Look at your mana base and the casting cost while you're at it too.
I don't see the reason for running Expedition Map- is there an interaction I missed?
Boros Charm, Teferi's Protection, and Rootborn Defenses: These cards are all reasonable, but may be superfluous. One of Edgar's strengths is being able to churn out an army quickly, and doesn't even need to be in play to do so. It gives you a small hedge against Wrath effects; nobody at the table should be able to recover as well as you do. The rhetoric against non-black cards applies here as well. You know your meta better, so it might be right to play them, but if you really need the protection then Eldrazi Monument or Avacyn, Angel of Hope might do the job better.
Swords to Plowshares is the single greatest spot-removal spell in the format, so I'm never going to tell someone that it's wrong to play it. However, it might not be the "most right" to play it here either. It being white is a powerful strike against it, and revealing it to your opponents doesn't feel great either. You're sitting on 14 pieces of removal at the moment, which leans on the high end. Again, it could be a good meta call, but even if that number is what you want, perhaps some upgrades could be found. A black instant perhaps, such as Terminate or Silence the Believers; Vindicate as another means to deal with enchantments; or vampires that kill: Shauku, Endbringer, Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter, Dark Impostor, or Olivia Voldaren count. So would Butcher of Malakir in some circumstances, Gatekeeper of Malakir in others, and Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet. There are a lot of vampires that kill things dead, so maybe start there for your removal, and cut the Swords and Path to Exile.
I like mana rocks as much as the next man, but your curve is fairly low, and their colorless identity is less than stellar. Perhaps trim down to the best five, and go from there?
On the subject of mana, your mana base needs an overhaul. I know this is like the Magic version of being told to eat your vegetables, but it's so true: if you're going to spend money anywhere in your deck, start with the lands. I understand ABUs (Badlands etc) aren't in everyone's budget, but at least pick up the fetch lands (e.g. Marsh Flats) and the filters (Graven Cairns). You probably don't need any Red/White duals, but the ones that produce black will prove invaluable. If you discover that you hate paying vampires or something like that, you'll always be able to play the lands in a different deck. They aren't flashy, but they are the most important part of Commander.
Well, that's about all I have for you at first blush. If you want a list to cross-examine, I've been playing vampires since Worldwake and converted my Olivia list into Edgar when he was first spoiled. Here's the link if you'd like: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/formerly-olivia/
Feel free to send me an ask if you have any questions, I usually respond within a week. God bless, and good luck out there. McDeity.
5 months ago
Having looked at my inventory I don't have a Savannah Lions but I do have some possibly appropriate 1-drops that would be pretty powerful.
Glittering Lynx would be an indestructible 4/4 unless the opponent pays 2, which they're unlikely to do early game.
Loam Lion is permanently 2/3 (so 5/6 with Arahbo) if I have a Forest.
Steppe Lynx would be a 5/6 every time a land came down.
5 months ago
Savannah Lions would work so well with that commander. Makes for a nice early threat hitting for 5. Equipements love an early holder as well. Nice simple deck with a lovely presentation to boot, nice work!
6 months ago
It's also worth noting that some abilities don't make something strictly better or worse, just kind of different. Shroud, infect, and phasing come to mind. Each abilities have pros and cons, so whether or not something is strictly better/worse will depend on the deck they're used in or the meta.
For example, Grizzly Bears isn't strictly worse than Humble Budoka in a deck that can target its own creatures. In a deck that's 56 Forests and 4 2/2 creatures, Humble Budoka is likely going to be better.
Card subtypes and colors are another thing to keep in mind. While we joke in here about arcane, sometimes that matters. Expedition Envoy could be considered strictly better than Savannah Lions simply because it's a human ally.
This is all kind of moot, however. MtG Salvation's Wiki has a list of each card in each set that's strictly better, a reprint, or a functional reprint (the link I posted is for Avacyn Restored).
I wouldn't try to go through and list each card individually because you're bound to miss some. I think you'd have an easier time with this if you went through the wiki for each set and recorded each instance. What the wiki doesn't have is a way to sort or search for cards that are strictly better. Compiling a list where people can use ctrl + f would be most appreciated.