|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Printings View all
|Tempest Remastered (TPR)||Mythic Rare|
|Vintage Masters (VMA)||Rare|
|Promo Set (000)||Rare|
Combos Browse all
Survival of the Fittest
, Discard a creature card: Search your library for a creature card, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
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Survival of the Fittest Discussion
6 days ago
derhealman: Hi! Hopefully I can give some clarification.
1) I'm running reanimation because most of my combos are creature-based, so if they get destroyed, I can recur them without much trouble. Not to mention that the deck is deeply, DEEPLY reliant on Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons, but if she costs 6+ mana to cast things start getting tricky. It's often easier to let her go to grave then recur her through some other method. Not to mention that if I have Survival of the Fittest, I can dump whatever I want into graveyard and reanimate it. The utility has led me really appreciate the reanimation spells, and in fact consider adding more. This is not a dedicated reanimator deck, though (I've already got one of those).
2) As Odysseus_97 realized, Walking Ballista does not go infinite with Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, because of Mikaeus's static +1 boost. I'd also need a free sac outlet (which would make the combo un-fetchable with Protean Hulk without ALSO adding Phyrexian Delver). I have enough combos fetchable with Protean Hulk as it is, no need to add bad ones :)
4) My reanimation spells help me fetch/protect my infinite mana combos. See point #1 ;)
5) Beastmaster Ascension only prevents the Blowfly Infestation combo, though to be fair it does mean I can no longer Skullclamp my tokens. But generally I wait to drop Beastmaster Ascension until I have enough tokens able to swing that it immediately turns on, when it is more helpful than those two aforementioned cards.
Hope that clarifies some things! (I am considering Summoner's Pact, though, btw.)
1 week ago
StopShot: Sorry about the delayed response. I appreciate the thought that went into the comment and wanted to respond in kind.
So to start off (and I will bounce around with your suggestions to group them by function a bit) I will cover Kami of False Hope. I run Spore Frog as a bit of a niche card, but generally I don't deal much with combat decks. It's in there on the odd chance that I do, but most of my meta is full of infinite combo and I don't want to take up extra card spaces for a card which isn't going to add much value 99% of the time. Generally I can win faster than most beatdown decks can assemble and if I see them coming I can either use Yisan, GSZ, Chord or any other creature tutor to get frog. On the topic of Maze of Ith, I'm not overly a fan of the card personally. It's ok but I play a lot of combo and agin don't play against beatdown decks. It's ok in pillowfort lists, but I would rather a land that taps for mana. In this light, Urban Burgeoning isn't great, but if I ran it I would prioritise it on lands like Mikokoro, Center of the Sea or Gaea's Cradle. Don't get me worng, it's not a bad interaction, but it just feels like a lot of effort for not much value. And I would much rather find Skullclamp with Open the Armory. Divine Presence and Ensnaring Bridge kind if fit into the same category here, it's a lot of combat step prvention where my play group doesn't need it and more than that, most combo decks will have either an out that doesn't require attacking or an out that ends up with me having no permanents on the board, only to connect next turn.
There is always an issue with playing pillowfort cards in that they are proactive cards, but they only really stop an opponent from doing stuff to you. This means that you're expending resources on cards that don't in turn actively slow opponents down the way true stax would, which is not a plce you want to be in, For more casual play this is fine, but for games which the deck is designed for it is just a waste of turns and resources.
Authority of the Consuls is an interesting card. it is good at shuitting down a few combos, but it feels a bit too niche in this particular build. If this was a more staxcy build it would probably be quite at home here, however as a singleton stax card I would prefer Blind Obedience as I can use it as a combo outlet as well.
On the point of wraths, it's the same kind of thing as with Kami of False Hope. I don't want to clutter up my hand with a bunch of removal (especially redundant removal) that also puts me back a heap. I would rather run a bunch of cheap, single point removal which I can use to deal with key threats than to clear the board (whcih can lead to an opponent comboing out of the blue). Because sometimes stax cards are better in play, shutting down my opponent. And I like Wrath of God because it's a cheap catch all. Cards like Slaughter the Strong and Citywide Bust are nice because of their cost, however they miss a lot of key creatures. In more competitive games, the majority of creatures you see are a lot smaller (because larger creatures generally have prohibitive mana costs) and if you're going to the effort of wrathing you would rather just hit everything. I used to run Rout before I ran Wrath of God and while it is more expensive than Day of Judgment I think it would be my next goto, especially since it has instant speed mode which is in a lot of ways more valuable than just a second wrath.
For spot removal, you're right in that swords and path play centre stage. I have tried to run primarily instant speed removal to deal with other combo decks/being able to wait to the last second to break free and combo out myself. Darksteel Mutation isn't bad but my problem with it is slot space. I run Song of the Dryads which is basically a better version under most circumstances (as it hits more). If I needed more removal, mutation is the kind of card which could work its way into the deck however I do need to be careful not to flood the deck with removal (for the same reason as with pillowfort cards). Soul Snare and Condemn are both cheap to cast, however they only work when a creature is attacking. That is enough of a drawback to not run them.
I used to run Qasali Pridemage but in this list I cut it for Caustic Caterpillar. While you need to have 2 open for caterpillar, you can fetch it on turn one with Yisan, the Wanderer Bard which is super good. Don't get me wrong though, if I ever need more artifact/enchantment removal, it will be the first card to go back in. Seal of Cleansing and Seal of Primordium are less good versions of pridemage (creatures are easy to find) and Thrashing Brontodon/Sylvok Replica, while good, are too expensive as you spend 4 mana total to remove something.
I've seen the Scroll Rack + Land Tax combo before and have considered it in the past, but ultimately passed up on it. My problem with the combo is that neither of the pieces provide the card advantage the deck needs separately and while together they are quite strong, the deck lacks the ability to assemble said combo. On top of that, any artifact/enchantment tutors are better suited getting me direct win con lines rather than assembling value pieces. And while I can shuffle my deck with fetch lands, it's still not as consistent as you might think. Blinkmoth Nexus + Mask of Memory is a cute little package, however I have tried to focus on raw card advantage (i.e. cards that outright draw cards). And the value engines I do run are based off individual cards which add enough to the deck outside of those loops. Mirri's Guile has caught my attention on occasion, however ultimately I decided against it since it doesn't actually provide card advantage. And Sylvan Library and Sensei's Divining Top are bother better.
I hope this explains the card choices in the deck and while I have avoided running certain pieces. Don't get me wrong, the cards you have suggested aren't bad and some of the cards and card combos you've mentioned I might commandeer for some other decks (I like the Mask of Memory + Blinkmoth Nexus loop for canadian highlander) however for this particluar list and given my playgroup I have to be very specific on choices. But I appreciate the suggestions, they always force me to evaluate the deck and the particular choices I have made for it.
Grandmaster5327: I'm glad you like the list. The core of the deck isn't too expensive (minus the Phyrexian Altar) however a lot of the cost is sunk in the mana base and some specific cards (Survival of the Fittest, Mana Crypt, etc.). If you replaced these with some omre budget options, the overall price could be brought down much lower. While I haven't specifically put together a budget list, I am confident that you could get the deck down to the $300-$400 mark, which is a 5-6 fold reduction in price.
on Much room!
1 week ago
+1 for the background art.
I recommend adding more Wincons and consistent ways to draw into them.
Some suggestions to consider:
Finding the Combo Pieces
Green grants you access to awesome creature tutors while Black basically fetches anything and everything. You may wish to consider some of the following tutors:
Chord of Calling - Tons of shenanigans you can do with this card. Fetching Craterhoof Behemoth during Combat to buff your creatures, bringing in Blood Artist, Zulaport Cutthroat or Falkenrath Noble in response to a board wipe, etc.
Survival of the Fittest - Repeatable creature tutor. Slightly pricey though.
Demonic Tutor - One of the best tutors Black has to offer!
Dimir Machinations - And the other Transmute cards, depending on the CMC of your combo pieces. Machinations seems like a good fit since Ashnod's Altar, Rings of Brighthearth, Basalt Monolith are all 3 drops.
Keeping the Board in Check
Some creature removals to keep you alive while you gather the combo pieces.
Urborg Justice - Nice little combat trick you can hold in your hand, then say to your opponents "I Die, You Die!"
Living Death - Always fun to see this resolve when we mess with the living and the underworld.
Other Utility Cards
Tortured Existence - Good recursion to bring back the dead and reuse their ETB effects, etc.
2 weeks ago
Frank, thank you for taking your time to write! If you could provide me with a link to your decklist I could maybe offer more assistance, but I'll try to reply to your points now. But first I must say a few words on the design of this deck. This list is far from being the most powerful Animar list out there and that is entirely intentional: my regular playgroup with long-time friends is not the most competitive and since this list was designed for that environment I have on purpose omitted a number of traditional Animar key cards such as Survival of the Fittest and the fast mana such as Mox Diamond, Chrome Mox, Mox Amber, Utopia Sprawl and one mana ramp dorks. If I were to power up the deck, I'd start with adding more fast mana and tutors.
Ancestral Statue I would recommend running as an 'emergency win button' for those games that last for hours. If you feel like adding more power, add Purphoros, God of the Forge and/or Walking Ballista, but even Statue itself helps put games away with arbitrarily large Animar attacking.
Part of the reason for me running Sakura-Tribe Elder, Burnished Hart and Solemn Simulacrum is that my meta runs quite a lot of removal, and these cards listed above all leave something behind in the case of Animar leaving the table. Since Animar draws quite a lot of hate I've tried to include cards that provide value even without Animar on the table.
Gilded Drake is a card I play in my 100% tuned combo-Animar list, but here I have omitted it for power level reasons. Caustic Caterpillar is nice, but I prefer running Ainok Survivalist over it since it synergizes better with Cloudstone Curio. I had Maelstrom Wanderer in the deck for a while but I eventually cut it for Balefire Dragon because in this list Wanderer can hit something fantastic, but more often than not it hits random 1- and 2-drops that don't really affect the game at all, so I cut it. The dragon does a lot of work in my meta: all players play creatures and having access to one-sided sweeping effect is just too good to pass. The Dragon is also handy in the 7-drop slot because of Birthing Pod. Tutoring up Bane of Progress with Imperial Recruiter, playing it blowing up everything and saccing it to Birthing Pod the next turn is one of my favorite lines in this deck :) With haste effects Balefire Dragon is just too good to pass. If you don't have it I'd recommend adding it if your meta runs slower creature decks like mine does. Bane of Progress is one of the Imperial Recruiter toolbox creatures that I have found very useful. This deck runs only a tiny number of artifacts or enchantments so it is basically a one-sided board-wipe. Heroic Intervention I have just found inferior to counterspells. Intervention doesn't stop Toxic Deluge or Living Death but Mana Drain does. Then again against Supreme Verdict counterspells look pretty awful, but I think your deck would be better off with counterspells if your mana base allows it. Spellseeker is a card I have considered, but it might be too strong for this meta. I do run it in my 100% powered list and I just love it.
Hardened Scales is a card I am considering at the moment and you might see it quite soon in my list :) It is a good card but I'll have to see if it is too strong.
2 weeks ago
So Green Sun's Zenith is inferior to Congregation at Dawn, Eldritch Evolution, and Fierce Empath. Going the creature route for now as noncreature spell tax is built-in to the deck. I get how good the card is overall and thank you for suggesting it but in this list it's often straight dead. I still like Defense of the Heart as though it can also be negated by Teeg, it's payoff is double creatures at a quarter of the cost of GSZ's rate.
Not sure about mana dorks. If I'm going the mass land destruction route it makes sense but drawing them late game is not worth drawing them early game.
As for Strip Mine, Wasteland, and Crop Rotation, I run those in my Titania, Protector of Argoth deck where there is inherent advantage for lands being sent to the graveyard. I would have to add them in place of spells here as this deck is colored mana-intensive. Maybe if I played 1v1 this would be valuable enough but in multiplayer I can do better. If I want land tutor effects for cards like Yavimaya Hollow I'll let Knight of the Reliquary do that for me.
Overall playing sorceries and mana rocks seem unnecessary here. Do I need more tutors? Maybe. Survival of the Fittest comes to mind as it is repeatable. Do I need more ramp? Maybe. But taxing everyone is a reverse ramp in and of itself that allows me to play at pace while forcing everyone else to slow down. It may not be a universal truth but I like that deck philosophy here.
Hey thank you again for your input!
2 weeks ago
2 weeks ago
Iquasi, thanks for posting this list. Yours is one of a very few non combo (or minimal combo) Animar lists that is being actively updated.
I am not playing Ancestral Statue but am interested in making the deck efficient outside of combo.
Survival of the Fittest is the only tutor I am playing that you are not.
What changes would you recommend to increase the efficiency of my deck without adding infinite combos?