Vivien, Monsters' Advocate
Legendary Planeswalker — Vivien
You may look at the top card of your library any time.
You may cast creature spells from the top of your library.
+1: Create a 3/3 green Beast creature token. Put your choice of a vigilance counter, a reach counter, or a trample counter on it.
-2: When you cast your next creature spell this turn, search your library for a creature card with lesser converted mana cost, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.
Printings View all
|Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths (IKO)||Mythic Rare|
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Vivien, Monsters' Advocate Discussion
1 week ago
2 weeks ago
Hi ShinyZ and DivineKhaos, sorry for the delayed response; things have been pretty hectic IRL, and I haven't had a chance to play much given that most game stores remain closed. Here are my thoughts on the more recent cards to come out. They're mostly theoretical, though I hope to test them soon.
Vivien, Monsters' Advocate - A powerful card with a powerful effect. The main problem with Vivien though is how she fits into your curve. She's very good on the specific turn between when you cast Freyalise and when you combo off, but she's not very good on other turns. Since this deck's goal is to cast Freyalise on-curve, she's not the first thing we'll cast on 5 mana. And on our combo turn she's not very effective, given that she's 5 mana for her tutor effect. She can still be worth it if you can cast her and a 6+ drop given that she can tutor for a Hermit and make her mana cost back, but that requires specific cards and a lot of mana. One of her upsides though is that she can provide a reach token to fend off fliers, and she obviously has a lot of value in grind games. I can see a place for her, but her clunkiness is noteworthy. The bar for noncreature spells that cost more than 2-3 mana is very high, though.
Kogla, the Titan Ape - This card is relatively good, and outshines all previous Somberwald Stag effects given the size of its body for its mana cost. The ability to toolbox into it makes Kogla actually very tempting. The other two effects are unfortunately somewhat niche; our only humans are Eternal Witness and Dosan the Falling Leaf. Looping Eternal Witness is good, but I think there's a nonzero chance Dosan gets cut (see below). As for the artifact/enchantment removal effect, it's also good, but like Vivien shines much more in grind games. It can also be tutored by Fierce Empath/Woodland Bellower via Fierce Empath, which is a relatively big deal, and it has a great base power for Greater Good
Manascape Refractor - Too slow and clunky, unfortunately. As I mentioned with Vivien, it's only good on the turn between when you play Freya and when you combo. However, unlike Vivien, it's not nearly as good in grind games. It's also very fragile, since this deck tends to dodge and blank artifact removal in a good amount of games, while this plays right into it.
Curious Herd - Again, this is a noncreature spell that costs more than a couple mana, which is almost an immediate death sentence. While it can create a decent amount of tokens, it's also conditional, and I'm not sure if the condition is better than that of Beacon of Creation, Spontaneous Generation, or Saproling Symbiosis, all of which have been tested at various points in this deck's history.
CORE 2021 There isn't much here, but Sporeweb Weaver is worth mentioning as a potential anti-flyer check, if you know you're going into a meta with a lot of flyers.
There's a lot to go over here, even though the spoilers aren't even over yet.
Llanowar Visionary is actually playable, surprisingly. This deck primarily values ramp creatures that are 1 mana, but it also values ramp creatures at 3 mana, for the 1-3-5 T3 Freya curve. Of 3-mana ramp creatures, Visionary is pretty strong given that it gives you back your card, and still cycles at minimum during your combo turn.
Allosaurus Shepherd - On to the big one. This card is absolutely absurd. For 1 mana, you get a creature in an extremely relevant creature type that can't be countered, and prevents all our other power spells from being countered as well. Additionally, the 6-mana effect is relevant with Greater Good, since it gives all your elves an effective +3 to +4 power. Immediate comparisons will be drawn with Dosan, and I don't think there is room for both given tight deck space. Shepherd has several benefits over Dosan; it's in a better creature type, it has far more relevant text in games where you don't need the interruption protection, it costs far less mana, and its inability to be countered is key in games where the opponent has multiple counterspells. It's also not legendary, which means that it's a valid part of the Woodland Bellower toolbox. It's also easier to play on turns you don't go off, given that it doesn't shut down other players' abilities to interact with other players' combos. The downsides are worth mentioning though, in that Shepherd only stops counterspells. That means it's weaker against opposing counters + removal, since the Shepherd can be removed and counterspells can be turned online. It also still allows opponents to interact with removal at key chokepoints in certain combo lines, even with a lack of counterspells. However, I think the benefits of Shepherd far outweigh the negatives, and I fully expect to replace Dosan upon release.
Takeaways - Takeaways - Vivien, maybe. Kogla, strong maybe. Refractor, no. Herd, no. Visionary, maybe. Shepherd, yes. No other cards worth discussing. Potential cuts:
Ramunap for Kogla - Depends on which toolbox you value more; creature removal or land recursion.
Song for Vivien - The problem with this cut is that Song is much easier to cast and is one of our few answers. Vivien's strong, but it's really hard to find a noncreature to replace. You can replace Carpet if you're going into games where you know that you're not playing against blue, but I think the potential cuts are low.
Ramunap for Visionary. I think if you don't cut Ramunap for Kogla, cutting Ramunap for Visionary is very tempting. While Ramunap is an additional recursion piece for Cradle and Nykthos, Visionary is simply far more proactive, and the more I play this deck, the more I value proactive cards.
Dosan for Shepherd. Unfortunately, I think Dosan's time is up. He's a pet card of mine, and he's served his purpose well over the years. However, Shepherd is extremely powerful, and I don't think there's room in this deck for two cards with this same effect.
2 weeks ago
5 mana plus the requirement to play a creature in order to tutor for a creature whose cmc is limited by the first creature we play? That’s pretty bad as far as tutors, go. Besides we already have 13 tutors that aren’t Protean Hulk, all of which are better than Vivien. That’s more than enough I think.
Cryptic Trilobite, however, is an excellent combo piece with Ghave. I just haven’t done the math to decide how many combos he enables and whether or not he’s worth replacing one of the existing combo pieces
3 weeks ago
Dragonsteak - Ah, thank you very much!
The main point of the deck is to merely get value off of the top of the library. Future Sight and Vivien, Monsters' Advocate offer powerful engines whilst Mirri's Guile and Scroll Rack, or effects of that ilk, manipulate said top for consistency.
The deck has two combos, but are for the late-game when combat options no longer exist. God-Eternal Kefnet, Scroll Rack, and Temporal Mastery grants infinite turns, whiles Omniscience and Momir Vig, Simic Visionary, given other chicanery, can win around 60% of the time.
Thassa's Oracle wins sometimes with Omniscience, but exists primarily as a value creature.
3 weeks ago
Hey, nice budget upgrade of the precon.
You should avoid the mentality of thinking the manabase will come later. Sure, more expensive land upgrades could come later, but you still want to configure the manabase to reflect the rest of your deck. That's not something you can leave for later. The manabase is one of the worst parts of the precon and you haven't changed it to reflect the upgrades you've made.
The upgrades you've made are good, but they don't help much if you don't also change the precon manabase. Predator Ooze while a good card with Otrimi is not worth playing so many Forests. That's the reason for the high number of Forests compared to all other basic lands in the precon to satisfy one card which is not good deck building by Wizards. Ooze is the only card in the precon and in your upgrades therefore it's not worth hurting your ability to cast Otrimi who needs to cast turn four or sooner.
Priority should be to able to cast Otrimi since he's the Commander who can do Commander damage with and that's your best chance of winning. There's many other creatures than Ooze that have much easier mana costs to mutate too. I would cut Ooze until you can consistently cast it while also being able to consistently cast Otrimi. 11x Forest does not give you consistency of casting Otrimi which is more important than casting Ooze. Nightveil Predator is also not worth it while it may be a good creature to mutate too the casting cost is not realistic with the manabase.
You want a close to equal ratio of each color which comes from basic lands and from dual lands. Until you can upgrade the manabase with more expensive dual lands then use a closer to equal amount of basic lands. More Forests then the rest is fine since a Forest helps to cast early game mana dorks and land ramp spells which can then help to color fix for blue and black, but 11x Forest is way too much. Adding a Farseek and Zagoth Triome, Farseek can search for a Triome, would help with ramp and color fixing in one.
Some budget lands to consider adding:
Jarad's Orders lets you tutor for two creatures; put one into your hand and the other into your graveyard. It can tutor for a creature to mutate to and put a mutate creature into your graveyard to recur with Otrimi. Final Parting also does this except the two cards you get can be any cards. Neoform is sac a creature you control to tutor for a creature with one more CMC and put that creature onto the battlefield. It's powerful for a two drop and less than $1. Of course you don't want to sac a mutate creature because then all the creatures are put into your graveyard, but sacing a creature to upgrade the creature before you mutate could be a strong play.
Vivien, Champion of the Wilds lets you mutate at instant speed with flash. With vigilance she also makes the mutated creature able to attack and then also block on opponents turns. Her last ability can be repeatable way to potentially find a creature to cast. She interacts well with Vivien, Monsters' Advocate who've you've added since then you can cast the creature cards you see on top of your library at instant speed.
Crystal Shard is another repeatable bounce effect for the mutated creature. Having more of this effect is helpful to save the entire mutate pile from removal especially removal that exiles or lets you change the first creature that's mutated.
Good luck with your deck.
1 month ago
I've been considering the move of Vivien, Monsters' Advocate(I want another one) it's just she's not really a sideboard card...
I am still seeing how this plays before I add Umori, the Collector in as a Companion.
I still have different ideas for how this deck might jump off. Hence my Maybe board. I also like the idea of adding Gilded Goose for better Ramp.
It's like, Theros Beyond Death and Ikoria have the foundation stones and building blocks but maybe Core 2021 or Zendikar Rising will have the proper mortar to solidify this deck. Thanks for the Upvote.
Anything you are working on you would like me to check out?
1 month ago
Any thoughts on finding a slot for Vivien, Monsters' Advocate? Her static ability of playing creatures off the top of your library seems crazy strong with all the topdeck manipulation this deck utilizes (Sensei's Divining Top, Sylvan Library, Mirri's Guile). Plus, her minus ability is a straight tutor-from-library-onto-the-battlefield effect. I can only imagine casting Craterhoof Behemoth, only to grab Avenger of Zendikar and slam it onto the battlefield before the team pump trigger resolves.
1 month ago
(WOW... It's been so long. So where do we begin?)
As of this Post, I now need to cut 47 Cards to get to the 99 + 1 CMDR Ruling.
If what CommandCast (JoshLeeKwai) said about Planeswalkers being awesome w/ the best NOT needing to use an Ultimate for a way to use a Walker for that Reason Alone, the Following is to Stay; like it or not:
Chandra, Awakened Inferno/Chandra, Torch of Defiance: The First Chandra in this case can't be Countered as a Static Ability; & her +2 can easily be repeatable; & Scorch all opponents as a Wincon Altogether; plus, it DOESN'T target, so it Bypasses Hexproof or "Super-Hexproof". Torch of Defiance's first +1 goes Impulsive Draw (WotC, you need an Evergreen Term for that; pronto. YOU HEAR ME???), so it goes well w/ Aminatou's +1, & even the Top: which will be used ALOT. Even otherwise, 2 Damage to Each Opponent; again, Anti "Super-Hexproof". Plus, her other +1 is literal Mana Ramp "Add ."
Elspeth, Sun's Champion: +1 for 3 White Soldier Creature Tokens? -3 to essentially Wipe a board of Mayael the Anima/Atla Palani, Nest Tender made Army of Gluttonous Fat? Awesome. Even her -7 Ultimate gives your creatures +2/+2 & Flying. This is Not always needed, but soaring in the Air can be useful in a Pinch.
Garruk Wildspeaker: OH. CRAP. This is massive. Garruk #1's +1 can Untap Lands; especially ones that enter play Tapped, or hell, reuse them for Mana & Abilities. His -1 creates a 3/3 Beast. I'd say anything about his -4, but Garruk, Cursed Huntsman already has a -6 that's basically the same thing; but in a way that makes me ask: "WotC? How do you kill off Emblems?"
Jace, the Mind Sculptor: If he is that OP, be it his +2 to Fateseal anyone; EVEN YOU when you want to Get an Advantage. 0 is a Literal Top Effect. -1 bounces a Creature back to it's owner's hand. -12 might be why this was OP when it was released back when Worldwake was released. Exiling a Library is amazing, & forcing one to use their Hand as a Library would mean one thing: Ashiok, Dream Render. Forbidding your opponents to Search for the one Key Card needed. Ashiok, Dream Render + Jace, the Mind Sculptor may be Ultimate Excessive, but I'd keep either anyway.
Nahiri, the Harbinger: Her +2 Has her Rummaging (Discard one to Draw one), but she shines in Exiling. She can Exile an Enchantment as one-shot Removal, & by Tapping either a Creature or Artifact, they are just as susceptible from such Exiling. As you have Zilch other Creatures, Nahiri's -8 won't work there. Even your Artifice isn't worth Tutoring just to keep into play by Aminatou's Flickering. An amazing Walker All-Around.
Nissa, Vital Force: Her +1 Turns a Land you control into a 5/5 Elemental Creature with Haste that's still a Land. -3 even can recur a Permanent from your Grave to your Hand.
Oko, Thief of Crowns: Oko's +2 has Oko being his own Chef w/ Food Tokens all over. His +1 is the closest Superfriends/Avengers has for a Humility w/ A Planeswalker Spark. Why would you trade anything w/ his -5 when you should ,make them suffer for Allowing WotC to BanHammer Oko, Thief of Crowns is EVERY FORMAT; Official or not, LIKE IT OR NOT.
Sarkhan Unbroken: He can +1 to Draw you a Card, & Add one Mana of any Color. Already he's a Brute; but even his -2 can grant you a 4/4 Red Dragon Token w/ Flying. Why would you suffer to use his Ultimate to Search for nothing?
Tezzeret the Seeker: You can Untap 2 Artifacts for +1, but this can also be used as a Tutor for your Artifacts. -X, & it Enters the Battlefield; requiring it to be Tapped on the Rules Text or not. Either way, you're getting a Machine; so why would you convert any of them into Vanilla Artifact Creatures? That kinda ruins the Purpose...
Vivien, Monsters' Advocate: A Stretch? Yes. A Static Ability in Mono- to look at the top of your Library at any time? OMG Yes! A Durdle Maker for +1 that makes a 3/3 Green Creature Token for the Choice of a Reach Counter, Vigilance Counter, or the OBVIOUS Trample Counter? You don't even need her -2 to Tutor up Fat when you have so much versatility here! Now how to Distribute all those counters to other Creature Tokens... XP
Xenagos, the Reveler: Get an Army of Tokens Ready. For +1, You Add X in any combination of & where X = Number of Creatures you control. & for 0, Xenagos creates a 2/2 Red & Green Satyr Creature Token with Haste. Why would you Exile the Top 7 Cards on your Library just to get even one Land?; there isn't that many lands regardless!
Alright. These are my best Walkers with no real need to use their Ultimate in Superfriends/Avengers (Sorta for a couple.). These are all to be kept in this deck though their use of Consistency. I'd like some suggestions for what to/what not to cut though. Yes, I need help yet again. Or should I get that help from the Forums? Either way, I hope it helps this time. I've other things to Attend to...
A Sen Triplets Aikido Deck...
A Zirda, the Dawnwaker Activation Cost Matters Deck...
A Pramikon, Sky Rampart Toughness Matters Deck...
A Vorthos Deck Centering around my Biggest Fear; It's Like Merinthophobia, but the Sub-Phobia of Being Gagged also applies at the same Time creating a New, Unnamed Phobia for the Vorthos Deck to be Based Upon (Companion Mandatory for Thematic Reason!)...
Many Updates to my old Decks...
Even a Pet Project of mine Outside the MTG Community.
Welp, now I have to do Mental Healing to prepare for MY OWN Vorthos Deck. I wonder what YouTube has...
...I mean, every TV Show/Movie/Literary Fiction/Interactive Fiction/Real World Event/etc. has it. There is no such thing as even one concept of media not having this. Sorry for that Episode, but it truly feels like it Transcends beyond Omni-(Insert Anything/Everything/Azathoth (Yep. I'm going H.P. Lovecraft on this.) Here.)
I'll Work on my Pet Project until I elicit a Response. Thanks again for what help you can. :)
& sorry again for the last few bits of this comment. X/