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Doran and the Treemendous Defoffense

Commander / EDH BGW (Abzan, Junk) Combo Stax



best title ever right? anyway...

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"The best offense is a really good defense."

That's the all around quote that describes this deck perfectly. Now I'll be clear, lots of Doran decks have been made, and this deck itself probably won't be bringing anything too new to the table, except for one card in particular (maybe?). I've only been playing Magic for a whole year, and on this site, this is the second deck I've built. I've built decks before, but I'm enjoying making them and getting feedback.

Anyways this deck is big on keeping its commander and your other legendaries on the battlefield for maximum overdrive. Around a tenth of the deck are card tutors, and if you get lucky, the high toughness and rare life gaining will keep you surviving until you get that legendary or a card tutor (The latter being more likely).I'd say Captain Sisay would be a godsend in this deck, but not only does she not really benefit from Doran, but she becomes a bit pointless when you have a decent amount of tutors imho, in which case, to tutor for legendaries, you'd still need to tutor her in the first place.

Anyways lets go through these legendaries.

### The Commander

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This 0/5 CMC of 3 buddy had been my all time want to make into a EDH deck, and this is that attempt. Thanks to his ability, the sweet sweet damage is dealt equal to toughness instead of power. Now of course, this can help certain creatures an opponent controls just as well as hurt them.

Depending on that will make him a slightly smaller target, but with no Hexproof, Shroud, or Indestructible, its pretty clear he'll be a big target for opponents to destroy. That's why, like any good child, you slap a Mask of Avacyn for the hexproof and even the essential +2 to his damage output, or even the classic Swiftfoot Boots or Lightning Greaves. You definitely want him on the battlefield at ALL TIMES, as this deck is built completely around his ability. And if you're so unlucky, that Three CMC will at least provide some relief.

As said, the creatures are completely built around him. Just about every creature in this deck has a toughness that is higher than their power by a difference of 3. Of course I really need feedback to make this into a powerful deck (devoid of any infinite combos, of course. I want to keep my friends.). Of course there are some legendaries in here that are meant to make this deck enormously better.

The Good

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An all around good legendary for this deck, and funny enough, they have the highest power of all the creaturesin this deck. That is not a joke. Of course the all time main strategy to be done with this deck, Ikra will not be able to take part it, however the ability remains the same, and in a deck with high toughness, you'll be getting quite alot of life. He's nothing too amazing, but he's definitely one of the better cards to bring out, since this deck has its tutors.

The Bad

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Oh, you thought I meant bad for you? Oh no. It's actually amazing for you, and bad for your opponent, in most cases. I'm pretty sure in another life, Ikra and Trostani are love partners, because having both of them out is going to keep you in a dang fine situation. Instead of getting good old life on just dealing damage, all you have to do now is play those creatures to get life, and the highest Converted mana cost amongst the creatures in this deck is 6 (one creature), followed by 5 (A few), then 4 down commonly as of the creation of this deck. So you'll be in a good position to bust out some creatures and keep your life up. Not to mention the high toughness in general will give you 'treemendous' defense capabilities.


The Ugly

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Haha oh boy. If you thought that huge amount of life you were gaining will make people hate you. They've yet to witness the coup de grace of this entire deck, as in, if you're playing hardcore, this is the card you tutor for.

Oddly enough, I don't really ever see Doran decks utilize this guy, which is strange as heck. His first ability is nothing special for this deck, but that second ability? Let me followup the quote from earlier, where I said Ikra Shidiqi has the highest power in the entire deck, EVERY OTHER CREATURE in this deck has power 2 or less. So because power isn't effected at all by Doran's ability, Sidar's still applies. So that sweet 2/10 Indomitable Ancients you had just sitting out there? That's 10 unblockable damage. As I said Ikra and Trostani would be happy partners, Doran and Sidar wouldn't be love partners, but they'd probably be best friends. Not to mention if you're into Two-Headed Giant EDH like I am, having an ally with a Sidar as the Commander, you will be in an enormously powerful position, of course this isn't for sure. There's always good creature destroying non perms to keep you down, but of course.. that high life total will keep you safe if worst comes to worse, won't it?

Oh Yeah, I'm Here Too

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Yisan is not really an all star in this deck by any means, but since he's the last legendary I haven't gone over, I will give him a spot. I've heard people say he's a pretty great EDH, but I just don't see it. That's a slow build up, if you were going for high cost/high powered creatures. BUUUUUT you aren't going for that are you? You're going for the cheap cost cards with high toughness. So just keep using his ability to bring out one of your one-drops, I recommend Disowned Ancestor, 0/4 like a few other one-drops in this deck, however that outlast will bring him up to 1/5. Then for a two-drop, why not Fauna Shaman, then you can keep on tutoring even after Yisan is useless! Then so on and so forward. But it's not just the creatures that make this deck great.


The arguably most important part of this deck. Tutors. Getting out those wicked nice legendaries to give your opponents hard times. Pretty much all of them are helpful, focusing on getting creatures specifically, with the exception of Vampiric Tutor. Of course what to tutor will depend heavily on the game itself, but as a default, the legendaries are a safe bet.

The Damage Dealers

So it wouldn't be a good EDH deck without some board wipes, but why hurt yourself? With a maximum power of 3, there's ways around this dilemma. Solar Tide, Dusk / Dawn, Fell the Mighty, blah blah you get the picture. You'll be board wiping anything decent the opponents have, is the point. Grim Contest is really just a potshot to anger your opponent. It's not even worth a CMC of 3, but having your commander beat up theirs is always epic. Oh and finally, if things are looking sour for you, Duneblast and protect either Doran, the Siege Tower , or if you don't mind recasting him, protect one of the legendaries you have (the Good Bad or Ugly)

And of course, if you decide to go the route of bringing out Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa, then Corrosive Gale and Whirlwind is there to punish your opponents for ever thinking of getting past his ability.

Not Gone For Long

The biggest weakness this deck has is not flying/reach creatures, but potshots that destroy creatures you control. Especially legendaries dying will bring things down. So that's why there's a number of cards in here to bring those cards back into the game. Seasons Past Reinforcements Creeping Renaissance Reito Lantern Elixir of Immortality and Disturbed Burial? I just had to list them all, that is all going to help you. Let's just hope you aren't facing a mill deck, then you might be in a tough position.

My personal favorite is Disturbed Burial, however if your mana is low, it will keep you at a low amount, if you so choose.

The Everything Else

Yup. Pretty much everything else, besides well the creatures. Not much detail needs to be given about those guys. But yes you'll have a few equipment to protect your legendaries, and then some lifegainers and card drawers

Crystal Ball and Howling Mine will help you try not to get a low hand, but if you ever do, hope your high defense is enough? (Muahahah)

Angelic Chorus + Trostani, Selesnya's Voice is just plain ridiculous. Haha get it. Plain.It's like someone making a new white enchantment cheated off Trostani's test paper. Not that she's complaining.

The Strategy

This is a deck built to hit your opponents hard and keep them from hitting you hard.

Your main strategy is to tutor out some of those wicked nice legendaries, or hold off in defense until you get them or the tutors, then with either a high amount of life gaining, or unblockability, or both, rampage your opponent, thus coining the term Defoffense. I guess. Keep your toughness high and your Life total higher, and you'll be able to hold off as much as you can. Alot of decks either focus on a high defense or a high life gaining. This does both. And if ever things seem grim, do a pseudo-board wipe and rid yourself of those powerful power creatures your opponents want to throw at you.

This deck is meant for players who aren't extremely competitive, but also don't want to go too easy either. Of course that's up to you. Nobody is forcing you to play Sidar or Trostani. If you want a go at it with just the high toughness damage dealing creatures, go for it. Doran decks can definitely be annoying to players, but they can also make things extremely interesting.

Know Its Weaknesses

Flying Decks

Whether or not you put out Sidar, flying is not a big presence in this deck, and neither really are the flying destroying nonperms. A deck with a huge amount of flyers will be able to work easy around this deck, causing you to wish for the high life gainers to stay alive, so its best not to play this deck if you're to expect alot of stuff in the air. Same with Reach, however I don't think people really make a Reach-based deck, especially in EDH.

Token Decks

Spawning out massive amounts of tokens will hurt you more than you think. Not only are just about every token not effected by Doran's ability, but alot of them have flying, which counteracts Sidar, and a power of usually 1/1, which keeps most your boardwipes from helping you out. Of course you still have some advantage because your high toughness creatures will be able to keep Token creatures from blocking too harshly, less they risk killing them off.

Mill Decks

I flat out hate EDH decks that are based solely on getting your decks into your graveyards, and this is coming from the guy who uses Condemn + Tunnel Vision alot in his Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer EDH. But a whole deck? You won't really be able to get around it too much, especially with your tutors often getting milled. The only thing you've got going is the focus on the milling with put less focus on combat, giving you more opportunity to hurt them. But in a multiplayer setting, you'll probably be screwed. Sorry.

I hope you enjoy this deck! It took me about a week to assemble, and some hard brain power, and suggestions from friends.


give me your feedback on this. I want to know how to make this deck even better, without it being too gross. Though I guess if it's already at a competitive level, let me know. I want to know the difficulty of it, to be honest, and there are far more experienced players here than I am. If you do have any cards to recommend, just as much, recommend which cards I should take out. I know there's a bit of fat to trim, but all the cards definitely still help the deck, regardless!




PookandPie says... #1

Anguished Unmaking is better than Grim Contest. Unconditional- hits any nonland permanent. Opponent about to combo off with Sanguine Bond or Exquisite Blood? Not an issue, for 3 mana and 3 life, you just exiled one of them with the trigger on the stack, halting the combo in its entirety. Exile, hits more permanents, and it doesn't require you have a creature on board first. It's extremely good, and I don't recommend you go without it.

Aura Shards- you have 30 creatures. Extremely strong, as most artifact/enchantment based decks can't combo out or establish while it's on the board. It would do you a lot better than, say, Angelic Chorus, which is just life gain on casting a creature (you have Ikra and Trostani for this, you don't need more).

Get rid of the Angel's Feather, Demon's Horn, and Wurm's Tooth. They're terrible cards that aren't worth the slots they're taking up, as 1 life per spell of a specific color is slow, mediocre life gain in comparison to even Soul Warden in a 4 person Commander game. You can do better with those slots, like running Swords to Plowshares to actually kill the things that hurt you so you don't have to deal with them again.

Tree of Perdition is better than Kami of Old Stone, who is a vanilla meh creature. You can make it a 0/40 and drop someone to 13 immediately- it's a pretty solid card.

Treefolk Harbinger isn't bad. Low cost, and tutors up things like Sapling of Colfenor, Indomitable Ancients, or even Lignify, if you ran it.

Tower Defense is better than Corrosive Gale in this deck. +5/+5 and reach is great on the defense, but a +5 attack buff for only two mana is huge when you're attacking.

I would get rid of all of your +0/+3 equipment and run global buffs, like Oathsworn Giant or Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite who gives +2 and in the case of the former, vigilance to all of your creatures, not just one.

Wave of Reckoning is a Doran staple. Run it for sure, as it's basically a one sided board wipe with high toughness dudes.

I wouldn't exactly call this competitive, and you have a lot of room for improvement. Hopefully this helps you a little bit toward your goal though.

August 6, 2017 12:22 a.m.

Calyptic says... #2

Thanks for the suggestions! These are really great, and I've done the exchanges. The only difference is instead of running Elesh Norn, I've put her in the Maybeboard and kept Kami of Old Stone, simply since she's pretty expensive both in actually money terms and mana. I know this deck isn't a budget, but I want to conserve as much as I can. Definitely a good card though, as well as the others.

I've kept in Slagwurm Armor also, but mainly to put on my commander, and now without so much equipment I've switched out Puresteel Paladin with Lignify.

August 6, 2017 12:41 a.m.

vinipc says... #3

Cool deck! But I do have some suggestions.

First of all, I think you can probably change most of those vanilla creatures for more versatile options without making the deck more expensive or too competitive. Citanul Woodreaders has a big butt while also optionally giving you some card advantage. Courser of Kruphix will get you life, improve your land drops and virtually draw you some cards. Selvala, Explorer Returned will give you life, mana and cards. Silklash Spider will wreck opposing flyers AND is a 2/7 body.

Also, some other random additions:

  • Since your creatures have such a high toughness, Pestilence can help you control the board (specially against the tokens you pointed as a weakness) while also chipping away at your opponent's life.

  • Asceticism will do wonders protecting your creatures with its Hexproof AND Regeneration.

If you want, take a look at my somewhat similar Ikra Sidiqi deck. It's also based on big-toughness creatures, but revolves more around Ikra's lifegain ability: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/ikra-shidiqis-big-butts/

August 6, 2017 1:09 p.m.
August 14, 2017 11:37 p.m.
August 14, 2017 11:42 p.m.

filthyc4sual says... #6

Just to explain what you brought up in the description

Yisan is a broken commander because he gets-Wirewood Symbiote-Elvish Visionary-Elvish Archdruid-Temur Sabertooth

Which, along with 3 other elves (not too hard to get) is infinite draw, then infinite mana, than ping everyone to death with a 1,000,000/1,000,000 Walking Ballista. (Tap Archdruid for 5, Symbiote back a Visionary to untap, Sabertooth your Symbiote, recast both. drawn one card.)

And elfball gives you the backup plan of, you know, Craterhoof Behemoth.

He can play stax cards because his mana dorks allow him more mana through Winter Orb.

And his tutoring lets him play more silver bullets than normal.

August 16, 2017 12:40 a.m.

Calyptic says... #7

Oh I gotcha. The master tutoring is definitely nice. And that is a real nice combo.

Unfortunately I don't really ever use infinite combos, my playgroup aren't big fans of them.

I meant more along the lines of besides tutoring for five turns, he didn't have an amazing and broken use in this deck. But he's still needed anyway for tutoring.

Plus what tree doesn't love the sound of bard music

August 16, 2017 8:08 a.m.

Forceofnature1 says... #8

I agree on the infinite combos, my playgroup prefers not to have too many of those.

Two cards I think would be excellent in this deck- Volrath's Stronghold is a GREAT utility land and is cheap recursion. Combo'd with any kind of draw it's amazing, but even just to bring back a legendary creature on your opponent's end step it's good.

The other is Pestilence because you have so many fat butts it's very likely to stay around. You can use it as a recurring board wipe for pesky flyers.

August 16, 2017 11:51 a.m.

Calyptic says... #9

Those are both good suggestions! Also I've been meaning to get a couple more black cards in this deck. Thanks! I'm adding the spell in. The land is rather expensive, so i'll put in on the maybeboard.

August 16, 2017 11:57 a.m.

Axalonk17 says... #10

Behind the scenes from shadows over innistrad seems like it would be fine in a deck like this, granting skulk and the mana sink ability to pump your board is nice if a bit expensive to repeat multiple times in a row.

August 16, 2017 12:42 p.m.

Calyptic says... #11

That is quite a nice card. That is also indeed a very expensive ability, but one I probably don't see myself using very much? In quite a few cases in this deck, bumping up power to 3 or greater renders some of my stuff unusable, even if it is just until end of turn. But Skulk is just gross to use with this deck and I love it. I'm gonna put it in.

August 16, 2017 1:34 p.m.

Axalonk17 says... #12

there is also sight of the scalelords for +2/+2 and vigilance

August 16, 2017 2:30 p.m.

Axalonk17 says... #13

and for anti flyer tech spidersilk armor for +0/+1 and reach

August 16, 2017 2:31 p.m.

Spidersilk Armor is an auto-include really, as it buffs all the butts and lets all your creatures knock down fliers.

August 16, 2017 2:58 p.m.

Calyptic says... #15

Thanks for that! I'd never seen that card before you guys brought it up. It'll make a very lovely addition to the deck.

August 16, 2017 3:18 p.m.

YellingHumus says... #16

I have looked at the deck and all of the comments. I really like this deck, as Doran is a fun commander and has an ability that very few cards have. There is one card I would recommend, but you may feel that it isn't worth it. I feel that even with Spidersilk Armour you may be a little weak to fliers. I know you can tutor a lot, but enchantment removal is quite strong and having only one card that deals with fliers (that is static) may not help. The card is Gravity Well.

August 18, 2017 9:26 a.m.

FlavorPolice says... #17

You have an average cmc of 3.37, 31 land and no dorks, rocks or land ramp spells. How do you ever have mana?

August 18, 2017 9:52 a.m.

Calyptic says... #18

I'm not sure what you mean? I've never had too much trouble with Mana with this deck.

Maybe I've just gotten lucky but you've seen the average CMC, so you should know that for the most part once I have 5 mana I'll be able to afford most spells in the deck. If there were alot more high-cost cards in this deck then I'd 100% agree with you.

August 18, 2017 10:05 a.m.

FlavorPolice says... #19

31 land in a 99 card deck is the equivalent of 18.78 lands in a 60 card deck.

If you tried to build a 60 card deck with an avg cmc of over 3 with no ramp, no rocks, no dorks and no draw/filtering.....with only 18-19 lands....you would rarely be able to cast anything or get past your 2nd land drop, and anyone critiquing your decks would point that out quickly. Very aggressive Modern decks with maybe a 2 avg cmc for the deck still have a hard time dropping below 20 lands and maintaining consistency. With your current land count, your average opening hand should probably have about 2 lands in it with that count, and then about 1 out of every 3 cards after that would be a land on average; meaning it would take you until turn 5 (in multiplayer) to see your 4th land on average and until turn 8 for your 5th land on average.

I'd say you have been lucky, or your group is extremely lenient with mulligans to the extent that you can abuse it (knowingly or not) by running low land counts and just mulligan-ing until you get enough lands in your opening hand. I suspect if you were only allowed one 7 card mulligan before dropping a card each time that you would see very quickly how low you land count is. You'd probably have a lot of dead hands and games, or at least lots of games were people outpaced you quickly. Even with a lower 3.0 avg cmc for a deck, if you aren't running any rocks, dorks, land ramp or draw/filtering, you should really be running closer to a 21-22 60 card deck land count equivalent, which is about to 36.

August 18, 2017 10:22 a.m.

Calyptic says... #20

Well that may be true, but I 'do' only Mulligan once, if at all during games.

But I see what you're saying, I can add in 2 more Forests and Plains, and 1 more Swamp. That'll bring up my land count to 36 and bump up the average land count a bit.

August 18, 2017 10:59 a.m.

NV_1980 says... #21

For some Doran-redundancy, I'd suggest adding Assault Formation. Skinshifter is a great creature to add in this deck. Bar the Door could be nice too for some sudden bonuses. Last but not least, Abzan Beastmaster and Phyrexian Arena could provide you with some card-draw.

August 19, 2017 4:02 p.m.

Calyptic says... #22

Thanks for the suggestions! I've added all of those in, except for Phyrexian Arena.

Something just rubs me the wrong way about making myself lose life, even if I have it to spare.

Maybe if I end up having way too much problem with cards I can roll with it for that extra chance at card draw.

August 20, 2017 2:38 a.m.

Samba71 says... #23

I enjoyed looking through your deck, and really like some of the creatures (i.e. Abzan Beastmaster, Jaddi Lifestrider)! You have made many of the same choices I have for my Doran deck, which emphasises lifegain, (activating) defenders, etc. I included some cards that do things with creatures of toughness 4 or more which you might find interesting. Cheers

September 13, 2017 10:29 a.m.

Looming Altisaur is strictly derpier than Kami of Old Stone

November 9, 2017 6:34 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 3 months
Last updated 2 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.30
Folders EDH, 1. Commander Projects, EDH, Other People's Decks, Cool Doran Decks, To play test, Commander Decks, Maybe Builds, Commander, mime
Top rank #8 on 2017-11-10
Views 1380

Revision 6 See all

2 months ago)

-2 Ukud Cobra main
+1 Abzan Beastmaster main
+1 Bar the Door main
+1 Skinshifter main
+1 Assault Formation main
-1 Anguished Unmaking main
-1 Swiftfoot Boots main
-1 Retribution of the Meek maybe
-1 Abzan Beastmaster maybe
-1 Bar the Door maybe
-1 Skinshifter maybe
-1 Assault Formation maybe
-1 Volrath's Stronghold maybe
-1 Spidersilk Armor maybe