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Crazy Cat Menagerie, DOM update [Primer]

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Presenting......

Arahbo's Kitted-Out Kitties!!



Prepare fur battle!


Please UPVOTE if you love cats!!


PLEASE NOTE: This is (as all good decks should be) an ever evolving work in progress thanks to the great comments from other tappedout users. Please check any "EDIT" remarks at the bottom of this description if the main description no longer makes sense as I might have moved some of the cards out.

Shout out to helpful users that have made valuable comments to improve the deck: Rivenor, medozzz, MegaMatt13, Arkheid, superhuman21, JAPuckett85, Spirits, solarseraph, and Pickacantaloupe. Thank you!



Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's time for CAT TRIBAL EDH to be a thing, thanks to Commander 2017 and Arahbo, Roar of the World. This is my take on a "Go Tall" equipment-centric cat tribal deck, primarily in but with a decent splash of aiming to keep the price around $300 but still keeping it's claws and making it fun to play.

What do cats like? TOYS! So, let's get into the description and justifications for each card.

  • Adorned Pouncer - A lovely little 2-drop with double strike that comes back as a 4/4 with double strike after it dies. Good card economy.
  • Balan, Wandering Knight - This kitty loves toys and even has a quick, cheap way for you to attach all your toys to it at instant speed!
  • Felidar Sovereign - A bit of a simple wincon for EDH that's also a cat. You've got some lifelink and you start with 40 life anyway so.... Worth putting it in!
  • Fleecemane Lion - Hexproof and indestructible when monstrous and only a 2-drop.
  • Hunting Cheetah - Probably one of the most expensive cat cards that exists (still not that expensive). It's a nice little way to ramp up as well as giving a cat to exert and smash face with.
  • Jareth, Leonine Titan - This is a BIG cat and he can swing hard as well as defend.
  • Leonin Abunas - HEXPROOF ALL ARTIFACTS, 'nuff said.
  • Leonin Shikari - This kitty likes toys so much she lets you equip them at instant speed!
  • Lost Leonin - A very handy 2-drop that does horrid early damage with Arahbo, Roar of the World but late game, with some equipment and trample, can one-shot a badguy!
  • Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist - This is a really nice way to stop your opponents from attacking or defending you!
  • Nazahn, Revered Bladesmith - A tutor for cat toys and if you decide to tutor out Hammer of Nazahn you can pop it straight onto the battlefield.
  • Prowling Serpopard - Playing against a blue player? This will help.... a lot....
  • Qasali Pridemage - Spot removal on a stick as well as a small buff to your big cat when it goes hunting.
  • Qasali Slingers - Spot removal of artifacts and enchantments whenever ANY CAT ETB. ANY! TOKENS!
  • Raksha Golden Cub - A complete +2/+2 and double-strike anthem for all cats as long as this guy has a toy. No-brainer.
  • Regal Caracal - More anthem, this time +1/+1 and lifelink for all cats, as well as giving you a couple of cat tokens.
  • Skyhunter Skirmisher - Much like the Skyhunter Prowler this is a 3-drop flying 4/4 with double strike when buffed by Arahbo!
  • Steppe Lynx - This is a cheeky little 1-drop that, with Arahbo, Roar of the World and landfall, could swing as a 5/6 on turn 2....
These cats would be bored without their toys.
  • Argentum Armor - It's expensive but +6/+6 and "destroy target permanent" every time it attacks? Madness!
  • Behemoth Sledge - Low(ish) cost, decent buff, trample, lifelink.
  • Dowsing Dagger  Flip - A really handy little buff that also gets us a land-type Gilded Lotus.
  • Godsend - This little piece costs you some white mana but it really makes people think twice about trying to chump block you or attack you if the kitty holding it is untapped!
  • Grafted Exoskeleton - I know I know, it's a dirty trick. Just think of it this way though - you've got Brass Squire and Sigarda's Aid on the board and they jsut let your "little" 8/8 cat through rather than sacrifice their blocker. BAM, they're dead.
  • Hammer of Nazahn - Free equip abilities, plus it buffs one cat and makes it indestructible.
  • Heirloom Blade - The power is great and it means when a kittie finishes off his/her 9 lives it gets replaced by another one!
  • Helm of Kaldra - To compete the Kaldra cycle of cards and we've got tutor for them all.
  • Loxodon Warhammer - See Behemoth Sledge, above :)
  • Mask of Avacyn - Hexproof is good.
  • Masterwork of Ingenuity - Got a good toy on the go? Need another one for a different cat? This is your card.
  • Swiftfoot Boots - A classic, needs no explanation.
  • Sword of Feast and Famine - This card doesn't need much introduction. One of the best equipment pieces out there if you can afford it!
  • Sword of Kaldra - +5/+5 and it REMOVES CREATURES FROM THE GAME!
  • Sword of the Animist - Not only a small buff but you get to tutor our more land. Great card.
Not drawing what you need? Tutor for them! Not drawing enough? Draw more!
  • Eladamri's Call - A very versatile call that brings your chosen kitty (or snake god) to hand.
  • Enlightened Tutor - Really helpful for getting that cat toy your kitties have been waiting for or to pop out one of those killer enchantments, like Mirari's Wake or Aura Shards.
  • Explore - Some extra draw with added land ramp.
  • Open the Armory - Search for a cat toy or that Rancor when you need it most.
  • Rishkar's Expertise - As we're going "tall" and should have some beefy cats out then this will net us a bunch of cards.
  • Soul's Majesty - A little pricey but use it after combat on a pumped cat and you'll be drawing a bucket of cards. You don't even need to attack!
  • Steelshaper's Gift - Find the toy you want, plain and simple.
  • Sylvan Library - Lots of draw and scry-like ability and with the lifelink in the deck you can often just take the damage hit to grab some extra cards.
  • Time of Need - Mid game and you aren't drawing your big cats? This is what you need.
  • Worldly Tutor - Grab a kitty!
You need some rocks and you need some ramps. This is EDH after all...
  • Cultivate - Useful land ramp to get more space for kitties to roam!
  • Farseek - A low-cost ramp spell for even more space.
  • Herald's Horn - Makes all the cats cheaper to cast and helps us draw some more cats too.
  • Mirari's Wake - Amazing card. +1/+1 for all creatures and double mana output from lands.
  • Sol Ring - If you need me to justify this card, you need to go back to EDH 101.
  • Traverse the Outlands - This also works like Rishkar's Expertise in that we should have some big beefy creatures to maximise value from this card.
All good EDH decks should come with ~5 spot removal and ~5 board wipes. Or so my good friend Betulas tells me and seeing as he usually beats me he's either lying to trick me or he knows what he's talking about.
  • Asceticism - A little pricey but gives all the kitties hexproof and regenerate.
  • Brass Squire - This little fellow will follow your kitties around and pass them their toys when they need them the most (instant speed equipping is a good thing!)
  • Heroic Intervention - If you happen to have the mana for it, play this before one of those nasty wipes above and you're almost guaranteed a win!
  • Rancor - 1 green mana, +2/+0 and trample AND you pretty much can keep casting it even if the kitty dies because it pops back to your hand every time it would enter the graveyard. Amazing value.
  • Rhonas the Indomitable - 5/5, indestructible, deathtouch. Thanks to Arahbo's eminence ability you'll be able to attack with him any turn you buff a cat and you can also use Rhonas' extra ability to buff that cat and give it trample! (Thanks Spirits)
  • Sigarda's Aid - Equipment cards, played and attached at instant speed. For .... bonkers good.
  • Teferi's Protection - Will help a lot like Heroic Intervention, above.
  • Triumph of the Hordes - A nifty little finisher enabling trample and infect, which will almost always kill at least one opponent.
There are a number of standard lands in here so I won't list them all, but I will mention the following:
  • Mosswort Bridge - It should be pretty easy to get 10 power of creatures out and cast something big for free!
  • Rogue's Passage is so so handy for helping your big vehicles get through when they're facing chump blockers or even nastier stuff, like deathtouch.
  • Strip Mine can help you get rid of the enemy Maze of Ith or Mystifying Maze.

So yeah, Arahbo and his kitted out kitties! It is not a deck full of complicated mechanics that mean your turns take 30 minutes each and have your opponents checking their watches. It is, however, fun as hell to play, full of cat-flavour, and it'll hopefully win a few games for you too.

The deck is designed to have a low curve and play out quickly so you can start swinging hard, which is how I justify dropping a few lands in place of more instants/sorceries than similar decks.

There is a strong push for a cat tribal to go into tokens pretty hard, and I have thought about this. However I think that the best thing to do in these situations is pick one thing and focus on doing it properly. In this deck we look at equipment synergy. I will almost certainly be making another cat tribal deck based around the same commander but looking primarily at token generation and going very wide, rather than tall. Watch this space!!

There are a number of cards I know could go in this deck, and probably lots I haven't considered. But here's a list to pre-empt a few of the suggestions that might come up:

  • Bloodforged Battle-Axe - This might actually go in there, I'm not sure yet... need more playtesting.
  • Leonin Arbiter - I like this and it might be good, however we're running a few tutors and it works against us as well!
  • Green Sun's Zenith - There aren't enough creatures in this deck to make this worthwhile I don't think....
  • Umezawa's Jitte, and some of the other big swords - These are great, I want them, but I don't own and can't afford them right now. The deck should function without them but if you've got them then by all means throw them in!!
  • Grafted Exoskeleton - Lost Leonin (when he's finally showed up...) has played really nicely, even leading to wins on Turn 4 previously, so this is a strong maybe to add but I haven't done it yet.
  • Expensive pain lands, fetch lands, etc. - If you own them, put them in. I don't :(

Thanks for reading and if you liked it, put it in a folder, or feel like commenting then please do and please don't forget to UPVOTE and comment!!


And so the edits begin.... I decided the deck needed a little more streamlining for the "Go Tall" strategy and some of the cards that we had been using were better suited for lots of cats rather than a few strong ones.

Out:

  • Jazal Goldmane - Still a great card that might come back in but it works better with "wide" strats rather than tall ones.
  • Harmonize - Swapped out for Soul's Majesty
  • Kindred Summons - Again, this works better with lots of cats on the board and we're only going to have a few big 'uns.
  • Uncage the Menagerie - There are other tutors in there, although I really like this card so it might come back.
  • Aura Shards - Once more, fewer bigger cats means less value for this card.
  • Skullclamp - There aren't enough outlets for this really, however good it is.

In:

Some helpful comments via the Commander Society's FB page as well as medozz have led to some further changes!

Out:

In:

Some helpful insights via the Command Zone's YouTube video on Arahbo as well as MegaMatt13 have led to yet more changes!

  • Wing Shards swapped for Beast Within - The Wing Shards are just not great and Beast Within really is!
  • Planar Cleansing swapped for Rout - You don't want to wipe all your precious equipments away!
  • Stoneforge Masterwork swapped for Mask of Memory - Draw in this deck is quite low and we needed a way to improve it.
  • Leonin Squire swapped for Fleecemane Lion - A 2-drop swap and we're not running so many 1-drop artifacts to get value from the Squire.
  • Dragon Throne of Tarkir swapped for Asceticism - Yes, this is swapping an equipment for an enchantment but the Dragon Throne needs you to have a big creature to buff lots of other creatures. We're looking more at having just a few big creatures so I don't think it fits here. Asceticism, while a little pricey, gives all your creatures hexproof, which is amazing when you really don't want them to die!
  • Sword of Vengeance swapped for Smuggler's Copter - The sword was always a little weak and the card draw from the copter is amazing. It also flies, does damage, blocks, and if you have some reduced equip costs it can use the equipment too.
  • Frantic Salvage swapped for Hunter's Prowess - Yes, it would be bad to lose some equipment, but a lot of it is indestructible and this way we can just draw for more.
  • Caged Sun swapped for Cultivate - I am worried about the cost of the Sun and Cultivate gives more direct, cheaper ramp.
  • Gavony Township swapped for Heirloom Blade - I love the Township but we aren't that bothered about a couple of +1/+1 counters when we're going tall. This Blade helps to keep cats on the board.
  • Leonin Elder swapped for Sacred Cat - The Elder only gives a tiny bit of life gain but the Sacred Cat does lifelink and has card value in the Embalm ability. Much much better card.
Having looked around and done some more thinking I decided it was time to beef the deck up to the next half a level or so with some decent cards. Now I just need to source/buy them.....

A simple tweak to the mana base to help with speed and possible land hate. I have removed myraid landscape , Mystifying Maze, Maze of Ith, and Tree of Tales for 3 x Forest and 1 x Plains.

A reasonably large exchange of 10 cards. I won't go through each one specifically but the overall aim of the update was to lower the average CMC of the deck, streamline some of the mechanics, speed the deck up, and remove some of the cards that didn't seem to be performing as well as I had hoped.

OUT:

IN:

  • Taj-Nar Swordsmith out, Hunting Cheetah in. This looks ridiculous because I'm taking out an equipment tutor for more ramp, however in all my playtesting I have *never* cast the Swordsmith with an X above 0 (never had the mana at the right time). Plus, the Cheetah is really nice ramp!
  • Pride Sovereign out, Prowling Serpopard in. Another one that looks weird on the surface of it. My justification is that with U creeping into my meta more & more and this deck being very much a "go tall" (you often only have 1 or 2 cats at a time) deck I value the protection from counters more than the tokens and (slow) big cat.
  • Mask of Memory out, Grafted Exoskeleton in. Some people hate it, but in a pseudo-voltron deck like this one the ability to shove infect on a cat is REALLY strong. This exoskeleton won me a game the first time I played it.

Simple swap of 1 Forest for the new Bountiful Promenade from Battlebond.

  • Kemba, Kha Regent out, Jareth, Leonine Titan in. Seeing as this is a "go tall" rather than "go wide" deck I think Jareth might be a better fit. He's also great at blocking.
  • Selesnya Signet out, Explore in. Swapping a mana rock for some land ramp/draw. Not sure if this will work out better but it's what green does best!
  • Aura Shards out, Loxodon Warhammer in. The Shards are amazing, but they rely on you bringing lots of creatures in to be effective. I don't think we run enough creatures to warrant it and we do have Qasali Slingers doing this already. The Warhammer gives us more swing power and trample.
  • Urza's Incubator out, Teferi's Protection in. Again, Urza's is amazing ramp in a tribal deck but we need to cast two or three more cats after it comes down for it to benefit us at all. I think the Teferi's might be a better card in the slot.

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52% Casual

48% Competitive





Compare to inventory
Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 month
Exclude colors UBR
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.14
Tokens 0/1 Plant, */* Horror, 3/3 Beast, 20/20 Avatar
Folders Arahbo, COMMANDER, Commander fun, Other Decks worth checking out, Cats from others, Inspiration, EDH, Feline Ferocity (For Gray's EDH Cat Deck), Interesting edh, Printed, See all 32
Top rank #12 on 2017-09-15
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Revision 27 See all

1 month ago)

-1 Aura Shards main
-1 Urza's Incubator main
+1 Explore main
-1 Kemba, Kha Regent main
-1 Selesnya Signet main
+1 Teferi's Protection main
+1 Loxodon Warhammer main
+1 Jareth, Leonine Titan main