|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Magic 2015 (M15)||Common|
|Magic 2014 (M14)||Common|
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Creature — Human Cleric
T: You gain 1 life.
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1 week ago
2 weeks ago
Great discussion! Love seeing everyone's answers!
The first deck I built was a classic rookie deck.
I had a Red/Green dragon deck that I'd bought from a friend to start me off and My brother had a White/Green Zendikar intro-deck that I'd gotten him. After we decided we wanted Magic, and a lot of it, we bought a couple lots of 1000 cards from ebay(rookie mistake #1) and went to brewing.
Rookie mistake number 2: we thought lifegain was the most powerful, amazing thing ever, so my brother and and went about building an unstoppable 4-color life gain deck!!!!
It was awful.
Chalk full of amazing cards like Predator's Rapport, Pride Guardian, Soulmender, and a single Felidar Sovereign(from the intro pack)! It was a mess to be honest, but a really fun time and a good learning experience. Good times.
The first deck I really, truly brewed, researched, discussed, evolved, bought, and got to a point I was truly happy with was Bad Luck Brion. That's the one I'm proud of haha
2 weeks ago
One, they're the same mana cost same P/T, so we're mostly just comparing their ability to gain life. Thus, Soulmender will only ever gain you one life a turn, although consistently. However one of the other white creatures would give you the opportunity to gain one life every time you play a creature out (if it's Ajani's Pridemate you'll immediately gain the counter on the cat) allowing for the potential of multiple lifegain triggers in one turn. The real icing on the cake though is the fact that it doesn't trigger only on your own creatures, which means now any time your opponent plays a creature, you're gaining life and triggering your synegies. This makes it much easier to gain more than 1 life for each go around and sometimes could be as much as 3-4 life a turn. Another suggestion is to trim on the number of Kambal, as he is legendary and as a general rule of thumb unless you will win the game every time your legendary permanent stays in play, you don't want to draw multiples because if they are not removed any beyond the first is a dead card. I would recommend adding some form of removal in his place, Fatal Push/Path to Exile being the most competitive, while Mortify/Unmake being solid budget alternatives.
Nirkana Cutthroat is likely worse for you than say Vampire Nighthawk which is a very solid similarly costed creature that will not only gain you life but comes right away with flying and deathtouch. Drana's Emissary also plays a similar role of being a solid evasive creature with lifegain.
Another card that I think seems better than it actually is is Diabolic Tutor, it seems great when you think about it, being able to get your best card, but really spending a whole turn to do that sets you back and all your cards are fairly similar in power level. As such maybe you would consider Read the Bones as a cheaper alternative that can get you up on cards.
Then lastly I recommend upping the number of lands you run, as a general rule of thumb I would put 24 lands in any deck, and go lower than 24 when the curve is significantly lower, such as a lot of one drops and two drops, however since your deck reliably wants to get to four mana or so 20 lands is not the ideal number, I would recommend some number of easy to access dual lands (Scoured Barrens, Orzhov Guildgate, maybe even Temple of Silence) which would also help with potential mana problems.
1 month ago
So having a look through.
You've got a random mishmash of archetypes without pay off cards. I see a WB lifegain deck, with really weak cards like Dazzling Reflection and Soulmender, two cards I never really want to draft. The pay off is I get a growing 2/2 who has no evasion. And a dude who drains a little, but I have to stuff my deck with drek that is awful outside getting those 2 cards.
There is a G/W Defenders deck, with nothing really amazing to ramp into and I can't even splash red for the defender who burns people down.
I would look at what you want each archetype to do, the roleplayers and the pay off cards, as well as what cards are good in multiple decks.
For example, I want a W/B lifegain deck with a vampire theme. A r/w token deck that wants to make white tokens and buff with red cards and a R/B deck that cares about stuff dying.
For the pay off cards in W/B I'm looking for Sanctum Seeker. It drains life and supports vampires. For a roleplayer I'm looking for a vampire type with a relevant ability, say Skymarch Bloodletter. It is a 2/2 flyer who drains 1 for 3. Obviously other decks can play it but it has extra value in my W/B deck. Then I'm looking for generically good cards like removal, or other threats that might not be a fit but help my deck, such as Doom Blade.
For W/R I'm looking for pay off cards like Firemantle Mage who make my token hordes harder to block or Goblin Rabblemaster who makes a ton of tokens and attacks for a lot himself. For roleplayers I'm looking for cards that makes tokens. Why not Queen's Commission. 2 tokens with lifelink for 3 mana is OK. And it helps both the W/R deck and the vampire deck.
Now in R/B I want stuff to be sacrificable. I can play Skymarch Bloodletter as a 2/2 for 3 which is acceptable, but really I quite fancy getting my hands on Goblin Rabblemaster to pair with my Goblin Bombardment or Makeshift Munitions so there is always damage going through. I might also want a card like Ruthless Knave to turn any incidental treasure into draw or provide more ammo for Makeshift. And oh look, Blood Artist is a vampire who drains who rewards me for sacrificing stuff!
So that is an example of what you might go with?
There is also a lot of really poor removal and other cards in the cube, so you really need to decide on a power level and the draftability of some cards. Like Guardians of Meletis is a card I am never going to want to draft even in the G/W defenders deck, while Wall of Tanglecord might just make the cut. The lands really discourage splashing as well and some are so much better than others that it is unreal. You also have a lot of cars, but that pushes the format towards a snowballing playstyle with premium uncommons like the 4/4 for 4 who grows with each attack.
A lot of the 2 coloured cards you have just feel thrown in. Like what is Manaforge Cinder in service too?
A suggestion for some exploration archetypes. When you say exploration I think Lands, deck manipulation, landfall, being on the attack and movement.
G/W Defenders/Ramp that goes into something like eldrazi
R/G Dinosaurs with land based ramp (lets you get elementals with landfall as a side note)
U/B reanimator focused on sea leviathans and things like Inkwell Leviathan.
U/W Lands/Awaken Control. Slow but unstoppable with smaller things that make lands into creatures or buy time.
R/W Tokens or Allies (all the best allies are in R/W)
U/R Pirates/Raid/Spells as you loot through your deck and always be aggressive.
U/G Merfolk with a subtheme of counters (you can do more than just +1/+1 with the right support)
W/B Vampires Lifelink/Drain
G/B Explore/Graveyard. Explore lets you bin things, stuff grows from explore, cards reward you from putting something in the graveyard. The idea of you exploring somewhere and the Unearthing something seems fitting.
3 months ago
Hexcimal my man, sorry for taking so long to reply to your comment, but as you can see a lot has changed in my deck. I believe I have reached its final iteration, although I'm always trying new things. I got rid of the Soulmender since it wasn't doing much and Bloodbond Vampire it came in too late to be relevant. Also changed Lone Missionary for Augur il-Vec I know it seems like a bad idea for a creature, but I bassicaly use it as controlable life gain, waiting for the best moment to sac it and get 4 life or to sac it to Hidden Stockpile and get the scry and token, this allows me to better control my draws and start the self feeding engine assuring a creature entering the battlefield every turn.
As for alternate win conditions I got a sweet infinite combo that just drains the opponents life combining Exquisite Blood and Cliffhaven Vampire. Beating my oppponent to the ground is still the main idea but this combo has won me games where the board state was unfavorable or I was way too low in lifge to risk attacking.
Removal also got some upgrades with Anguished Unmaking to eliminate anything but lands and Unmake to take out big problematic creatures. Fatal Push is still on trial period. I'm considering Path to Exile and Swords to Plowshares to replace it since they are more flexible.
Lands got pimped too, Scoured Barrens is just lovely and also cheap, the downside of Caves of Koilos is practically negligible thanks to the nature of the deck, the scry provided by Temple of Silence comes in very handy most of the time, and Shambling Vent have done a good job at blocking and attacking when I'm low on creatures or need some life gain to occur. I'm only missing to acquire the Isolated Chapel (their recent price increase hasn't helped tho, but I'll get them soon).
Let me know what you think of this new and almost final version, I'm also thinking about building a sideboard that would transform it into a B/W tokens deck, just to throw off my opponent and have two strategies in one deck.
3 months ago
One of my favorite B/W strategies is lifegain since it's budget-friendly and not terribly complicated to play. Efficient cards that gain life like Vampire Nighthawk, Lone Rider Flip, and Soulmender set up other cards that benefit from lifegain like Ajani's Pridemate, Wall of Limbs, and Divinity of Pride. You can finish things with lifedrain on Sanguine Bond or Vizkopa Guildmage, or try to resolve a Felidar Sovereign if you're feeling lucky. Even if it's not your strategy of choice, you still might be able to borrow some elements. Nighthawk, in particular, always shines in midrange black decks.