|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Born of the Gods||Rare|
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Scourge of Skola Vale
Creature — Hydra
Scourge of Skola Vale enters the battlefield with two +1/+1 counters on it.
T, Sacrifice another creature: Put a number of +1/+1 counters on Scourge of Skola Vale equal to the sacrificed creature's toughness.
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Scourge of Skola Vale Discussion
2 weeks ago
Absolutely fantastic deck Cougz! Honestly, you should have kept it private, tested and tweaked and brought it to a tournament. The fact that it is monoblack makes it all the more fantastic. I've made a copy - I liked it that much - and have been tweaking and playing around with it. A few things strike me as clunky for competitive modern:
Abyssal Persecutor: I agree that it is quite the beater; a 5/5 in the air for BB is nasty (I am assuming that the reduced cost is the most common scenario Abyssal Persecutor will be played as a turn 4 flying 6/6 is not that special in modern when most decks can simply win by that point). You get your opponent down to 0 life and sac it, and you win. However, you already have massive beaters in the form of Eater of Days, Hunted Horror, and Leveler. There is an argument to be made that you don't need Torpor Orb or Sundial of the Infinite for Abyssal Persecutor and so you break from being combo dependent but relying on transference of the creature to prevent your opponent from winning is effectively playing defense. This deck is designed to control turns 1-3 (through hand control with Inquisition of Kozilek and/or Thoughtseize) and win on turn 4. (Sundial of the Infinite, Heartless Summoning, and Sac outlet into Eater of Days or Leveler into Endless Whispers on turn 4 with the hope of sac'ing your game winner the turn Endless Whispers comes into play). You have even more control by killing any threat they can throw at you with your big creatures playable as early as turn 2 with Hunted Horror (although then they get the Centaurs) or turn 3 with anything else (including a torpor'ed or sundial'ed horror). The majority of your damage is non-trample thus for all your big baddies, the opponent can just throw up weenie blocks while they set up their own win condition mitigating the awesome power/toughness that the deck wields so early. In other words, you're not trying to aggro them with this deck; you'd need some form of acceleration to get your Hunted Horror or heartless summoned other baddie out on turn 2 to really be aggro for which you'd need green or Gemstone Caverns. If you want aggro, you have to go more 2 and 3 drops that can be played after heartless summoning as 0 or 1 drops. There is something to be said for this approach because so many at the 4 drop slot make you dependent on Heartless Summoning instead of just synergistic. But if you build more of a control shell, I think the current number of 4 drops is reasonable. If it were up to me I'd say go with Inverter of Truth instead of Abyssal Persecutor as your 6/6 flyer (presumably 5/5 with Heartless Summoning) which has much greater synergy with Torpor Orb/Sundial of the Infinite and Endless Whispers - i.e. its another win condition. Given that your monoblack, you can throw in Bojuka Bog for some of the Swamps to hopefully turn your Inverter of Truth effectively into a Leveler.
Dimir House Guard and Krark-Clan Ironworks - I think these are too clunky. Even with Dimir House Guard doubling as a tutor for your win condition and Krark-Clan Ironworks generating mana (perhaps for a backup Torpor Orb or Sundial of the Infinite), I still worry they are too slow. I've been trying to figure out how better to optimize the sacrifice component of the deck. I've been going back to 4 cards: Life's Legacy, Tormented Thoughts, Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim, and Bound by Moonsilver. In this deck, Life's Legacy is effectively a draw 7 or somewhere there abouts. That's arguably better than Ancestral Recall so long as you can take advantage of the additional hand the turn you cast Life's Legacy which, at only you should be able to. Tormented Thoughts is effectively target opponent discards his or her hand. This may be a more powerful effect than Life's Legacy, especially against a control deck. It also more assuredly guarantees your win by forcing your opponent into top-decking. I like Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim because she'll survive a Heartless Summoning's -1/-1, her deathtouch makes her still relevant as a 1/2, and against non-damaging decks, you'll quickly get to 30+ life which makes her ability relevant. Bound by Moonsilver effectively turns into a reusable Pacifism. Of course all of these except for Tormented Thoughts introduce another color into the deck. The fact that these are turn 3/4/5 plays means that splashing is much easier - and in modern splashing is simple - albeit expensive. It does open you up to bloodmoon and other forms of land hosing which was a former strength of the deck although that form of control doesn't seem to currently be prominent in the meta top 8. I haven't playtested these yet, but given the sac is a late game play, I'd lean heaviest towards Tormented Thoughts. With all that said, none of these options synergize with Heartless Summoning. Ideally, we could figure out a creature version of a sac outlet to benefit from Heartless Summoning's acceleration. The best thing I could come up with was Scourge of Skola Vale. With Heartless Summoning it costs , it survives the -1/-1 coming into play with two +1/+1 counters, and you get to effectively transfer the P/T of the sac'ed creature (which is already an incredible rate) albeit not to block the fatty you just gave them with Endless Whispers as the Scourge of Skola Vale will be tapped. The issue with Scourge of Skola Vale is that I fear it is a win more condition, at least with Endless Whispers on the battlefield. If they are getting your Eater of Days, Inverter of Truth, or any of the others, you should just be winning the game, regardless. That's why I like Tormented Thoughts as insurance.
Torpor Orb and Sundial of the Infinite: your deck revolves around these effects. I think they are a mandatory 4 each of. On review, I think the Sundial of the Infinite may actually be the better card for the deck as you don't need to sacrifice it once you have Endless Whispers. Of course, the Torpor Orb hoses so many modern decks that rely on ETB effects, that they are both fantastic additions. But you absolutely need one of these in play for your deck to work. The deck's primary weakness then is the loss of either or both in play. Looking at the meta, as artifacts and with such big creatures, your deck will trump Lightning Bolts. HOwever, Terminates and especially Path to Exiles will ruin your day and a well-timed Abrupt Decay will end the game for you. Jund and Junk are probably your most dangerous matchups. Your early hand control with Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize can hopefully protect you against Tron, Scapeshift, Living End, and other combos. Thus you either need backups in play or some form of instant-speed protection. This could mean adding blue for counter effects. But the streamlined mono-black is not something I'd quickly give up. I don't have a great suggestion here. You have the benefit of knowing their hand with your Inquisition of Kozilek/Thoughtseize type effects... Wish I could offer more here.
Finally - and these were just other ideas I was tossing around - your deck shell might accommodate morph/manifest and/or exploit mechanics. The morph is nice because you effectively cheat in ETB-like effects (flip-up effects) while maintaining Torpor Orb and manifest offers an alternative mechanism to get these win-condition creatures into play without having to suffer ETB effects. In fact, if you manifest any of your win-condition creatures with an Endless Whispers already on the battlefield, you never even need flip the creature; just sacrifice and transfer the face-up to the opponent. For those players only familiar with the meta, this will be one heck of a nasty surprise. Keep in mind that Heartless Summoning while no longer offering benefit to the flipped creature's CMC, still affords cheaper morph costs. I bring up morph and not just manifest because you'd want to take advantage of the fact that your opponent won't know what the face down creature is and there are cards (like Grim Haruspex)) that have very inexpensive flip costs. Exploit will be trumped by torpor orb but offers an alternative sacrifice mechanism which, presumably, would be occurring after you sac the Torpor Orb anyway as you want the opponent to suffer the ETB effects. One thing I was thinking about was the combo decks out there. Then again, adding in these effects may be trying to do too much. You might simply want one Jeskai Infiltrator or one Whisperwood Elemental or, heck, one Mastery of the Unseen. Qarsi High Priest would allow you to stay in color... I look forward to yours and the community's response.
1 month ago
just some thoughts. GL
1 month ago
Crafting your decklist with the evolve mechanic in mind is a great take on a Simic EDH deck. However, since Ezuri is very much a build-around-me commander, there are some specific questions you need to ask yourself for each and every card:
Question #1: Does it not also benefit from, but also synergize with, +1/+1 counters?
Technically, the evolve mechanic is counterintuitive to Ezuri's +1/+1 counter-stacking ability, but cards like Experiment One, Gyre Sage, and Simic Manipulator who have counter-related abilities benefit from the extra boost. Other cards that have silly combinations with +1/+1 counters are Sage of Hours (obviously), Fathom Mage, Mycoloth, Champion of Lambholt, Forgotten Ancient, Chasm Skulker, and Crystalline Crawler.
Question #2: If it has power 2 or less, does it have a relevant ability?
Just because it can trigger Ezuri's ability doesn't necessarily mean the card is fit for EDH. If it's an evolve creature, keep it for your deck's theme, especially if it has a powerful ability. Card considerations in this category would be Cold-Eyed Selkie, Hornet Queen, Blighted Agent, Mulldrifter, Vorel of the Hull Clade, Eternal Witness, Coiling Oracle, Trygon Predator, Mystic Snake, Sakura-Tribe Elder, Solemn Simulacrum, Reclamation Sage, and Thrasios, Triton Hero.
Underpowered cards to cut:Beetleform Mage, Bond Beetle, Frilled Oculus, Mist Intruder, Nimbus Swimmer, Palace Familiar, Reverent Hunter, Sandsteppe Scavenger, Scourge of Skola Vale, Sidisi's Faithful, Verdurous Gearhulk, Vinelasher Kudzu, Dromoka's Gift, Hydroform, Lead by Example, Unnatural Aggression, Slip Through Space, Bonds of Mortality, Retreat to Coralhelm, Cranial Archive, and Verdant Haven.
Beetleform and Oculus's abilities aren't relevant enough to keep, Reverent Hunter and Kudzu both suffer from the problem of vanilla big creatures that don't really synergize with Ezuri, Mist Intruder isn't good in traditionally multiplayer EDH, Swimmer and Scavenger are too expensive, Beetle is cute but doesn't do enough, Palace Familiar might be worth keeping if you absolutely need card draw, but it's pretty weak otherwise, and Sidisi's Faithful is too slow and bad in multiplayer. Skola Vale uses +1/+1 counters, but it's not terribly good. I ran Gearhulk in my decklist for a short period of time, but if you aren't running proliferation or ways to make the spreading out of the counters relevant, it's not worth it. Dromoka's Gift is too expensive for its lack of control, Lead by Example is too weak, Hydroform makes a land vulnerable to removal for a turn, Unnatural Aggression is too expensive, Slip and Bonds are alright but there are more powerful options (Aqueous Form and Arcane Lighthouse), Retreat doesn't help your gameplan, Cranial Archive should only be played if there is a mill or graveyard deck in your meta, and Verdant Haven is outclassed by better cards (Utopia Sprawl/Fertile Ground).
Powerful cards to add:Cold-Eyed Selkie, Mycoloth, Champion of Lambholt, Gyre Sage, Oran-Rief, the Vastwood, Hornet Queen, Blighted Agent, Mosswort Bridge, Forgotten Ancient, Mulldrifter, Eternal Witness, Trygon Predator, Prime Speaker Zegana, Mystic Snake, Swiftfoot Boots, Sakura-Tribe Elder, Simic Signet, Krosan Grip, Solemn Simulacrum, Chasm Skulker, Kodama's Reach, and Reclamation Sage.
1 month ago
Solidarity of Heroes is great with hydras, and Scourge of Skola Vale is great for if your own hydras are about to die. I agree with the above suggestions for cuts. In addition, I'd suggest cutting Genesis Wave. Man I never thought I'd type that. So many of your creatures require mana to do anything but die as they come in as 0/0s, and the wave would do just that. Shaman of Forgotten Ways is great for his second ability.
1 month ago
Many of the instants you have will not pack enough punch to make them worth the slot. You want to focus on things you can re-use. For example, Vault Skyward looks like a good combat trick, but most of the time, people will be prepared for flyers. Better is Cobbled Wings or Fleetfeather Sandals, which last more than one turn, can be re-used if the creature dies, and can be reassigned to a blocking creature after the attack. Better still is Archetype of Imagination, that makes all your creatures fly and prevents your opponents' fliers from blocking. Or you can use something like Shadow Rift or something stratight up unblockable (Whispersilk Cloak) that will be more likely to get the damage through. If you are concerned about blocking fliers, Spidersilk Armor is a good bet, and affects your whole team on a permanent basis. For Commander, you're playing 4 other people. Each card needs to pack a big punch, so cards like Blustersquall & Cyclonic Rift are better because you can also cast them for their Overload effect.
Drop: Peema Outrider, Jolt, Cerulean Wisps, Noxious Revival, Vault Skyward, Triton Tactics, Reclaim, Ornamental Courage, Aerial Formation, Aquastrand Spider, Growth Spasm, Kozilek's Predator, Nest Invader, Keeper of Progenitus, Blisterpod, Parallel Lives, Gilder Bairn (You need to have ways to tap it, and I think it's too much work for the effect), Sasaya, Orochi Ascendant, Gnarlid Pack, Coiling Oracle, Transguild Promenade, 1x Forest, Scourge of Skola Vale
It's not a final cut, but I think you'll be within 5 or so of 100. At that point, you'll really need to look at your creatures and decide which ones you really want, and which ones are maybe second string players. Once you have a list and play a little, you'll know what you're weak to (do you see a lot of mill? Do you need more graveyard recursion? More flying?), and you can adjust from there. Good luck!
2 months ago
So ou appear to be going for red/green landfall.
First of all, as a general rule, you shouldn't have more than two of a single legendary permanent in your deck. So that cuts one Mina and an Omnath. Second, can I recommend cutting Atarka, because you do not have any other dragons. Continuing with the landfall idea, maybe streamline more towards elementals, including cards like Satyr Nyx-Smith, Flamekin Bladewhirl, or Flamekin Harbinger for a tutor. I have a deck like this, except if focuses solely on abusing Omnath, Locus of Rage's abilities. My decklist is basically this;
Scourge of Skola Vale x3 --sacrifice is fun with Omnath
Generator Servant x3 -- Ramp
Pyretic Ritual x4 -- More Ramp
Heartlash Cinder x3 -- Later Game Push
Bloodbriar x2 -- Death Boosts
Rot Shambler x3 -- See Above
Explore x4 -- Ramp
Abundance x2 -- Land Search
Sylvan Scrying x3 -- Fetchland Search
Attune with Aether x3 -- Land Search
Blighted Woodland x3 -- double search
Myriad Landscape x4 -- Fun searching
Thawing Glaciers x3 -- and we thought the free search wasn't over yet :(
Assorted Basics x19 -- They are the fuel of the deck
3 months ago
With Bred for the Hunt it especially helps if you have flying or trample. And the problem with Ezuri is that he buffs few creatures a ton. Stuff like Brawn and Craterhoof Behemoth really help. Murkfiend Liege helps with Vorel of the Hull Clade and allowing you to attack and not worry about having blockers. Arachnogenesis is based on your meta. I play against a few decks that swarm with creatures. I once dropped this on about 200 zombies and got over 200 counters in that game. Killed them next turn with Scourge of Skola Vale lol.
3 months ago
Looking good. Here are some suggestions to make the most of Yasova's ability.