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: Add to your mana pool.
, : Target creature gets +2/+0 and gains vigilance and haste until end of turn.
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Slayers' Stronghold Discussion
2 months ago
I agree with the above statement that early game seems a bit rough. If you're looking for some good early creatures that help ramp, Fertilid and Sakura-Tribe Elder are 2 good options to help search up lands out of your deck. Another decent early game card with late game utility is Tireless Tracker. It gets out of control when you start playing multiple lands per turn, and it lets you draw cards for playing lands. Another decent mana doubler is Keeper of Progenitus. While it may help your opponents, that can be used as a political piece in your advantage. Finally, I'd recommend adding Slayers' Stronghold and Kessig Wolf Run to your lands. They're both great utility lands that work well with Zacama. Slayer's gives him haste when he enters and Kessig is just a good mana sink if you have nothing to do with your mana while Zacama is out.
I also run Zacama so I'm a big fan of seeing what other people are doing with it! Deck seems pretty sweet overall and I wish you the best of luck playing it!
2 months ago
You have lots of creatures, but they're all really expensive. Once Kaalia starts running, you'll be okay, but people are gonna try quite hard to stop you.
To help with this, give kaalia haste. Break Through the Line, Dragon Tempest, Hall of the Bandit Lord and Slayers' Stronghold are a few options. I'd add more tutors so you are less likely to end up with none of your tools; there are plenty in R & W. Also try Maze of Ith which does something similar to Reconnaissance but can also be a defensive tool, and Quicksilver Amulet, which can help get those big creatures into play, if kaalia is having a hard time sticking on board.
2 months ago
Thanks for reading my primer and the kind comments!
One thing that has been great about running a low curve Edgar deck is that it allows you to apply a lot of pressure early but it also allows you to rebuild your forces easily after being hit by a board wipe. Having a low curve also allows me to run a lower land count. I personally haven't had an issue with 33 lands (even though I will admit it is a little greedy) but honestly in a deck with this low of a curve you don't need any more than 33-35 lands. When I initially built this deck I was running 37 lands and it just felt really bad drawing into lands later since the deck can function really well with a lower land count. Another reason why I run 33 lands; it allows me to run more 1-drop vampires in place of lands, since bodies are more important in this deck than ramp. I will say that 34 lands is probably the safest number of lands to run.
As for Slayers' Stronghold; I'm personally not a fan since it doesn't produce colored mana (like most utility lands) and with how color-intensive vampires are it can be pretty bad to draw into a land that doesn't produce colored mana early. If you want to give your creatures haste/vigilance there are better and less mana-intensive options. Some of these cards are: Fervor, Hammer of Purphoros, Olivia's Bloodsworn, or Radiant Destiny. The only utility land I run is Vault of the Archangel and that's because it affects your entire board instead of a singular creature and can really turn games around.
Hope this helped!
2 months ago
Thanks for checking out the primer and the kind comments!
I've experimented with land count a TON in this deck and honestly 33-35 lands is the sweet spot from my testing as this deck can operate really well with a low land count and I've always disliked drawing into lands in the late game. So long as I'm hitting my land drops early the deck operates pretty optimally. I've settled with 33 lands mainly because I opted to run a higher count of 1-drop vampires (also because I'm a little greedy :P), but 34 I would say is the safest land count to run.
As for Slayers' Stronghold; I've definitely considered it in the past, however it never made the cut. This was mainly because vampires required a ton of colored mana and because I'm already running a low land count, it's hard to justify a utility land that only produces colorless mana. If you opt to run a higher land count I think Slayers' Stronghold could work in an Edgar deck. If you're looking to give your creatures haste or vigilance, I would say there are better and less mana intensive options than Slayers Stronghold. Cards like Fervor, Hammer of Purphoros, Olivia's Bloodsworn and Radiant Destiny would be better in my opinion.
As you can see the only utility land I run in my list is Vault of the Archangel and that's because it has the potential to:
Gain us a ton of life.
Make our creatures trade with other aggro decks (deathtouch).
Deter opponents from blocking our vampires.
2 months ago
Update: really enjoying how this deck plays, I've made some changes and will see how the mana base works after this update. Among them, out went Moltensteel Dragon and in went Temur Battle Rage, as well as:
- 2 x Darksteel Axe -> 2 x Bonesplitter
- 4 x Revoke Existence -> 4 x Disenchant
- 2 x Cartouche of Zeal, Honed Khopesh -> Ghostfire Blade, Cranial Plating, Shuko
- In went 2 x Boros Signet
2 months ago
I really like Invocation in this deck and might recommend even more ways to cheat big dinos into play and protect them like...
- Genesis Wave
- Defense of the Heart
- Descendants' Path
- Kindred Summons
- Pattern of Rebirth
- Oath of Druids
- Tooth and Nail
- Green Sun's Zenith
- Chord of Calling
- Steely Resolve
- Cavern of Souls
Ramp would be helpful, including any combination of Farseek, Cultivate, Kodama's Reach, Explosive Vegetation, Tempt with Discovery, Oath of Lieges, Wayward Swordtooth, Sword of the Animist, Mana Echoes, Mirari's Wake, or Zendikar Resurgent. You might want an Overrun effect or two, as well.
Path of Ancestry is probably good here, as well, and maybe Winding Canyons, Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep, Slayers' Stronghold, or Hall of the Bandit Lord. In addition to Banner, maybe consider Door of Destinies and Coat of Arms.
Enjoy the deck!
3 months ago
Not sure of your budget, but here are some suggestion.
Alternative to Combo Win-Cons
The standard win-con in a Kaalia of the Vast which is not a combo is... Land Destruction! The idea being to use card's like Boros Charm, Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Teferi's Protection to protect yourself; OR have an A/D/D in hand that you can free cast that demands a response, but is hard to deal with no lands, like Hellkite Tyrant or Iona, Shield of Emeria. The key cards to this strategy are: Crucible of Worlds, Armageddon, Ravages of War, Cataclysm, Strip Mine, Waste land, Command Beacon. This is a HIGHLY viable strategy, people may not like facing your Kaalia of the Vast deck, but it definitely isn't a combo strategy.
Master of Cruelties has to be in there, attack with Kaalia of the Vast, drop in Master of Cruelties, during the declare blockers step their life becomes 1 (assuming he is unblocked), and Kaalia of the Vast hits for 2 finishing the player. Not a combo, a necessary Demon.
Another common strategy is multiple attack phases, non-combo, but with big A/D/D beaters, having multiple swings (especially with Vigilance is amazing way to deal damage). The key cards are: Hellkite Charger, Aggravated Assault, Sword of Feast and Famine, Aurelia, the Warleader, Seize the Day. There is a combo with Adarkar Valkyrie + Aurelia, the Warleader + sac outlet out of interest. Adarkar Valkyrie although not working properly with the Kaalia of the Vast mechanics, is still a great recursion angel. Reconnaissance is nice for this strategy too, as you can pull back your Kaalia of the Vast against block heavy decks, as well POST-damage, you can pull back EVERYONE, basically it gives all your creatures Vigilance.
Free A/D/D strategy, you have it with Sneak Attack, Quicksilver Amulet, Mimic Vat so your already there, try a Whip of Erebos gives all your creatures Lifelink, which increases your sustainability in drawn out games (non-combo strategy the only way to win is in a drawn-out game), plus give you another recursion engine. Could use a Sundial of the Infinite to keep them on the board permanently!!
Stranglehold is another good control mechanism, you have a few, can look at pairing it with Maralen of the Mornsong to lock down opponents draw. She has synergy with some other guys like Aven Mindcensor/Ob Nixilis, Unshackled. Eidolon of Rhetoric might stop a Sunforger cast depending on what you did earlier that turn, like a Haste Kaalia of the Vast for example, to consider, or in an Armageddon build will be very bad.
Out of the 99 Considerations
I'm not a huge fan of Reverberate/Shunt, you have Sunforger so I get it, but it will often just sit in your hand. And Kaalia of the Vast is usually splash , so not that valuable. Would rather have a Steel Hellkite or a Gisela, the Broken Blade, or heck, even a Wild Ricochet
Solemn Simulacrum really unnecessary land searching. Use mana-enablers instead.
Boros Garrison/Orzhov Basilica I find it too slow without infinite combo, although it ramps, but you have lots of mana enablers. Field of Ruin colorless mana isn't great, don't need the search. Flamekin Village cost is too high, tapped+, try a Hall of the Bandit Lord. Shadowblood Ridge is also not great (I know it seems like it should be, but it's not!), Slayers' Stronghold is too expensive , use Hanweir Battlements instead, but even then it's borderline (but better), Smoldering Marsh isn't going to come in untapped when you need it, Temple of Malice/Temple of Silence I also don't like, but borderline for me would be my last cuts, Vivid Meadow is no.
Earnest Fellowship I wouldn't do this, might make it hard for you to block (which you have the big creatures that are hard to block already). A little too dangerous for my liking, let opponents pump their creatures, no need to do it for them, and block with your big guys.
Devoted Caretaker I wish she provided protection period so could go unblockable. I think Mother of Runes is enough, but maybe theres someone that gives just protection and doesn't cost a and ? But it does permanents, so I get it.
Kothophed, Soul Hoarder will not be your friend some days during board wipe, but with so little drawing in Mardu, he's a fun one! I would run him in this type of build!
Sun Titan is questionable, what are you bringing back? Lightning Greaves, Sunforger, Animate Dead, Necromancy only stuff. He's discretionary. High Mana cost but utility, he can combo with Fiend Hunter but again combos a different strategy (so can Karmic Guide btw).
Right now, your 46%, 33%, 21% but your mana is 28%, 37%, 35%. In addition, Turn 1: 80%, 10%, 10%! / lands will be your best friends, but balancing / and / lands too. Avoid / that don't provide value, like Mountain, Shadowblood Ridge (awful), Smoldering Marsh, Temple of Malice.
Demonic Tutor doesn't get much better than that! Mortify can be a good utility removal the CMC3 makes it less attractive, Vampiric Tutor although inefficient to pull a Lightning Greaves or Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is still good enough. It's instant so at EOT pull what you need. Rakdos the Defiler can be fun in a Armageddon model. Fetid Heath/Rugged Prairie are not too shabby. Sensei's Divining Top can help look and top-deck the A/D/D you need, IF you have none in hand it can swap places so you don't miss Kaalia of the Vast drops. Cavern of Souls against Grixis/Izzet, Phyrexian Reclamation can keep you rolling once you run out of cards-in-hand, an alternate quasi-draw.
Very good Kaalia of the Vast non-combo deck, looks like a blast to play. Hopefully you found some of these ramblings useful.
3 months ago
AgentJackjohn Great suggestions! I do plan on adding the Slayers' Stronghold eventually, just cant seem to find a copy lol. But it does look like a needed card. I do know the beauty behind Rishkar's Expertise since I run one in my Yidris deck. Absolutely a beast of a card, will need to consider adding that one too.
The other two cards do sound good, but think Ill stay away from the land fall stuff. However that enchantment is pretty sweet.
In regards to the Illusionist's Bracers, this card is far too amazing to do without. Basically you get two abilities for the price of one. It worked wonders when I used Zacamas red ability... tap 3 mana and deal six damage. The other beauty behind that is youre simply copying it. So, you can target more than one creature with the copy.
Im absolutely loving Zacama, but need to find more ways to keep him the beast he is. Im constantly checking out other Zacama decks to gear my own deck in the best direction. Do you happen to have a deck list I can check out???