Survival of the Fittest


Format Legality
Noble Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Vintage Legal
Casual Legal
MTGO Legal
Vanguard Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Pauper Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Tempest Remastered Mythic Rare
Vintage Masters Rare
Exodus Rare
Promo Set 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

Gates88 on [List - Multiplayer] EDH Generals by Tier

4 days ago

sonnet666 I appreciate your response. I'll start off by saying that mentioning the obvious tier 1s (Thrasios, Zur, Tazri) was really just for completeness' sake. In hindsight, it was just a waste of time to mention them and I regret bringing it up.

You're also completely right about Mairsil, I just straight-up didn't do any research on the way that deck was going at all. The Mirror-Mad Phantasm line is great in a Doomsday shell and it's the main draw for it. The Razaketh line is a little bit more questionable since it requires creatures in play and Grixis has few creatures it actually wants to run and it can only be uses once a turn, but turning your commander into Diabolic Intent isn't bad by any means. I still think that Kess and Jeleva are clearly superior Grixis commanders though since they can have 99 cards that are gas and not dilute their deck at all. It's similar to Teferi vs Arcum Dagsson. Teferi runs a couple of bad cards or cards that aren't good for reasons other than The Chain Veil combo (Thran Dynamo, Gilded Lotus, and The Chain Veil itself would be useless without the rules interaction that allows for the combo), but Arcum runs a lot more bad cards because it needs to have artifact creatures to sacrifice and most artifact creatures suck. There's less of a difference between Kess/Jeleva and Mairsil than there is between Teferi and Arcum Dagsson in terms of number of different cards in each deck, but the principle is that Mairsil requires more build-around cards than the other Grixis generals and it hurts him overall. Regardless, I apologize for my ignorance and I think that tier 2 can be a valid placement for now.

I forgot that Razaketh was your pet deck. I won't bother arguing with you about it then.

I disagree about Karador. It's true that he reduces his own cost, but only if creatures are in the graveyard, which there will probably be few unless someone has wiped or you have Survival of the Fittest/Fauna Shaman. In the latter case, you probably won't need Karador since you'll be able to tutor up Boonweaver Giant and a sac outlet (or whatever you're comboing with) relatively quickly anyway. It's true that he casts creatures from your graveyard, but only one per turn, so saying he effectively makes your graveyard your hand is a huge overexaggeration. Being able to cast creatures from the yard is also only useful if you have creatures in the yard, which is not too difficult to achieve but not always a common gamestate. Compare this to Tymna, who generates value at every stage of the game as long as you have creatures, and he looks much less favorable. The Abzan Boonweaver strategy has never really relied on the commander for anything but value, so the fact that Tymna can create more value more quickly than Karador speaks to her advantages and his weaknesses. If you won't put him in tier 3, consider at least moving him down to tier 2.5.

Everything I said about Teferi was in jest. In fact, I believe I even said later in my post that I was just joking around when I talked trash about Teferi. I don't post a lot on tappedout anymore so I don't blame people for not knowing, but I am a Teferi main and although I don't consider myself an expert, I know the deck pretty well. The Blood Pod matchup is probably Teferi's worst matchup (it's even worse than Ruric Thar, which is saying a lot), but it's not enough to keep him out of the top tiers.

Your suggestions for additions to Teferi are understandable but misguided. The primary reason that Paradox Engine and Dramatic Scepter aren't in Teferi is partially because the deck already has two and a half alternate win conditions - Rings of Brighthearth+Basalt Monolith is one, Power Artifact+Monolith is two, and Teferi+Stasis is almost a win condition - and doesn't need to dilute itself by running any more. All the cards I just mentioned are also good on their own - Monoliths for obvious reasons, Rings of Brighthearth for its ability to copy Teferi or Tezzeret's abilities, and Power Artifact for generating more mana while comboing with The Chain Veil. Neither Dramatic Reversal nor Isochron Scepter have utility on their own. Imprinting a Counterspell or a bounce spell on Isochron Scepter is a fine strategy in 1v1 (and I used to play Scepter Chant back in Mirrodin-era Extended, so I know how it feels), but it ultimately isn't good enough in the midgame to be worth running. Dramatic Reversal is effectively just a ritual and has very little utility outside of the combo. We already have access to a lot of good rituals, like Teferi for example, and we don't need another one that badly. Paradox Engine is too reliant on cards that are already in hand and costs 5 mana. Why would you tutor for a situationally relevant card that costs more to cast than The Chain Veil and is not a guaranteed combo? Furthermore, running these additional win conditions would require multiple cuts to either the manabase, card draw spells, counterspells, or bounce spells, which would weaken the deck in some other aspect. It's just not worth it to run these cards.

And just because Manifold Insights isn't as good as Lim-Dul's Vault doesn't mean it's trash. Being able to see 10 cards deep and getting 3 nonlands is a big deal, even if it's the three worst cards in that set. The fail state of Manifold Insights is either getting your 3 worst mana rocks or your 2 worst mana rocks and a counterspell that's not relevant (ex. Flusterstorm at a table full of creature-heavy decks). That's not great, but it's still 3 cards that will likely not be dead. The only major drawback to the card is its sorcery speed, which is unfortunate but ultimately not a dealbreaker. And obviously the card is unplayable with fewer than 3 opponents, but ideally that shouldn't happen.

Finally, do not under any circumstance go with a different decklist than what you have posted. Even though it does not match my personal list and I don't agree with every card choice in it (cough Expedition Map cough), the comprehensiveness of the primer section is encyclopedic, which makes it an excellent resource. It talks about primary combo lines, alternate lines, matchups, single card choices, and even budget alternatives. If you are already vaguely familiar with competitive EDH, you could become a somewhat competent Teferi player just by reading that primer and goldfishing a bit. Something drastic would need to happen in order for that primer to become irrelevant, on the scale of a major banning or maybe a change to the rules interaction between Teferi and The Chain Veil.

As far as Yidris goes, Jim has talked a lot on the discord about his deck and the gist of it is that Yidris is plan B. Plan A is jamming a turn 3 Ad Nauseam, which he aims to do as often as possible. That should give you an idea of how important Yidris actually is to the deck. His current list also still runs Mass Hysteria, so Concordant Crossroads could be a possible addition to improve it. I doubt Need for Speed would work well though, it overlaps with Rain of Filth too much and you'd rather sac your lands for mana than give your dorks haste in most circumstances.

I would argue that The Gitrog Monster can fight through counterspells more easily than Sidisi, Undead Vizier can because of cards like City of Solitude and Autumn's Veil, but you're right in that both decks are linear and somewhat fragile. Gitrog makes up for this by being able to clean up at really weird times, like their own cleanup step.

I think Tier 3 is solid for Atraxa. She has pubstomp written all over her, so it makes sense to put her in the pubstomp tier.

When I said that Dimir was a limited color identity, I meant in terms of what it can answer and how well it can answer it, specifically in regards to artifacts and enchantments. Black can't really interact with artifacts or enchantments at all, and blue only has bounce spells or counterspells. Hurkyl's Recall and other bounce spells are only temporary, and unless you can win the turn after a bounce through countermagic for sure, you will still be in danger of the problem card resolving the following turn again. Swan Song and other counterspells are reactive, which a combo deck really doesn't want to be. Compare this to Grixis, which has access to Vandalblast and By Force, or Esper, which has access to Disenchant and Detention Sphere (in Zur), or Sultai, which has access to every good card in the format, and Dimir looks worse by comparison.Even the creature removal isn't as diverse when it comes to wipes. Dimir only has Toxic Deluge while Esper has Supreme Verdict and Grixis has Rolling Earthquake and Fire Covenant. That's really the only weakness of the color identity, but it's not a trivial weakness and it does make Dimir combo worse than Esper/Grixis/Sultai/4 color combo.

As for your question on Baral, whether High Tide isn't strong or Baral is just bad, the answer is kind of both. Baral is a commander who gets outclassed by Jace in almost every way, and although he isn't weak by any means, Jace isn't outrageously strong to begin with.Jace can loot more consistently, can get more value in the midgame when cards have been binned, and can enable double Tide turns. Baral's cost reduction is nice, but that's about the only advantage he has over Jace. Blood Pod is also pretty brutal against Baral since all the win conditions either require Islands (making it weak to Choke) or artifacts (making it weak to Null Rod and Stony Silence).

Mandalorian on UR-Dargon!

4 days ago

Crystal Quarry and Cascading Cataracts are great for 5 color commanders and go even better with decks that run Fist of Suns like yours.


Patriarch's Bidding

Temur Ascendancy>Anger?

Dragon Broodmother

Hellkite Tyrant

Tyrant's Familiar

Phyrexian Altar and Survival of the Fittest feel a little out of place, since I cant seem to see any creatures that want to be in the graveyard or be sacrificed.

Yesterday on Looking for ways to abuse ...

5 days ago

I might remove a few utility lands to replace with search lands for exactly that reason, and I somehow missed Survival of the Fittest which is a perfect inclusion actually. Thanks!

Enral on Angelic Devotion

6 days ago

I would say replace it with one of your planeswalkers or reanimation spells. Since you run a bunch of reanimation spells, you can cheat your more expensive angels out with discard outlets like Geier Reach Sanitarium/Compulsion/Survival of the Fittest.

Schuesseled on Looking for ways to abuse ...

1 week ago

combine Survival of the Fittest and Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre and Greater Good or Birthing Pod

Sacrifice the wurm to either draw loads of cards and search for a better creature. Next use survival of the fittest to search for ulamog or other eldrazi, then repeat dumping in ulamog in the graveyard. Everything shuffles back in and you can use survival or a fetch land to give you the opportunity to grab the wurm.

Bit mana intensive though to cast him for not much reason.

multimedia on Nissa Super Ramp

1 week ago

Why no one mana, mana Elves? Being able to play Nissa or a three mana land ramp spell, you have many of them, turn two seems very good putting you far ahead. Consider cutting Undergrowth Champion, Scute Mob and Forgotten Ancient for Llanowar Elves, Elvish Mystic and Fyndhorn Elves?

Since this deck is not budget I suggest Exploration as it's one of the best cards to play when using Nissa as a Commander. Consider cutting Lignify for it. Rishkar's Expertise is an amazing draw spell when playing large creatures. Consider cutting Sandwurm Convergence or Verdant Confluence for it.

Fauna Shaman or Survival of the Fittest are very good when you using a large toolbox of creatures with different abilities. Obviously Survival is way more expensive as well as the better of the two, but Fauna is also insanely good. Consider cutting Fog for it.

When doing a lot of land ramp Tireless Tracker can be a great draw engine. Consider cutting Managorger Hydra for Tracker. Blighted Woodland and Myriad Landscape are good lands with Nissa because they can be tapped for colorless and then later on be used to land ramp, two Forests each. Consider cutting 2x Forest for them. Temple of the False God has more application as ramp than Shrine of the Forsaken Gods because Shrine only works as ramp with the two Eldrazi where as Temple works with everything including the Eldrazi as long as you have five lands in play which is easy with Nissa.

The Great Aurora can be broken fun with Nissa. It's essentially a reset that you can benefit from because you get to put as many lands that you draw right into play which is much better with your Commander than others. Due to the amount of lands you'll have in play that are shuffled back compared to your opponents you'll draw a lot more cards than them. Consider cutting Sandwurm Convergence or Verdant Confluence for it.

Good luck with your deck.

multimedia on Green from Ground Zero

1 week ago

I also began playing Commander by getting Guided by Nature and used the premade made deck as a starting point for my Elf Commander deck, Ezuri's Fury (Budget). Fury is a budget upgrade of Guided by Nature. There's detailed write-ups of the process I used to build Fury out of Guided by Nature. As a new player to the format It might give you some ideas.

For a first Commander deck you have an excellent starting Elf core here, good card sense. Here's some suggestions of other Elves to consider Quirion Ranger lets you bounce a Forest to untap an Elf such as Elvish Archdruid or Priest of Titania this interaction can produce a lot of mana for a simple one drop Elf. If you can bounce her with Wirewood Symbiote or other ways you can play her again and untap another Elf or the same one again. Because of the amount of Elves you're playing Sylvan Messenger can be very good. She can also be bounced to be used again which can be a lot of value. Fauna Shaman although not budget I would find room for her in any Elf deck, she's Survival of the Fittest with an Elf body, very powerful. Being able to discard say a mana Elf when you really don't need it in a game to tutor for Regal Force or Ezuri is great. Elves have a toolbox of creatures with various abilities being able to use an Elf to tutor for any of these tools is amazing.

Two instants that are very good with Elves are Heroic Intervention and Benefactor's Draught. Both are budget and can do a lot for only two mana. Intervention is especially important because it's the cheapest green mana instant spell that can give all Elves indestructibility letting them survive most board wipes while also protecting Elves, Freyalise and other permanents from targeted removal. Lifecrafter's Bestiary is one of the better artifacts to use with Elves.

Good luck with your deck.

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