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Jeleva, a heleva good Commander

Commander / EDH Budget Casual U/B/R (Grixis)




This is an inexpensive but solid upgrade to the Mind Seize pre-con. I'm aiming for a 75% build, high in flavor, with no tutors.

Thanks in advance for your comments and recommendations!

You can play this deck for around $72. Just get the pre-con from Amazon or your LGS, pull these cards, add these, and tweak the basic lands. You can get the cost down to about $50 if you stick with Swiftfoot Boots instead of upgrading to Lightning Greaves, use something besides Temple of Epiphany in your mana base, and swap an inexpensive recursion or artifact hate card for Kolaghan's Command.

Kudos to michael921 for playtesting and advice.

Inspiration for this deck came from Jason Alt at Gathering Magic; Jimmy Wong, Josh Lee Kwai, and Alex Kessler at The Command Zone podcast; Bennie Smith at Star City Games; and the collective wisdom of the Jeleva fans at EDHREC.com.

Finally, please check out my Naya decks sometime: Smashface Gardening with Rith and Sandbagging with Hazezon. I'd appreciate your comments there too!

Thanks again!
- Clay

P.S. Please don't forget to +1 Upvote if you like it :-)


Updates Add

I've been playtesting some new spells, and added them to the sideboard.

Comments View Archive

I love the command zone

October 26, 2015 1:36 p.m.

griffstick, me too. They're AWESOME!

October 26, 2015 1:38 p.m.

Episode #73 was my idea. I sent them an email about lingo and slang used in MTG. It was really cool when they emailed me back it was even cooler when they made an episode about it and shouted me out as joseph g. magic jargon

October 26, 2015 1:55 p.m.

griffstick, no way!
That's so cool!

I actually listened to that episode just the other day, on a drive up to Dallas!

October 26, 2015 2:02 p.m.

Nice deck +1! A couple of things I would think about adding: Spellbinder is really great and cheap too. I would cut Clockspinning with only three (if I counted right) suspend cards. I would also cut Nekusar, the Mindrazer and Temple Bell as the card draw is less important to you since you'll be focusing on casting with Jeleva and you're only giving fodder to opponent combo decks.

December 6, 2015 10:01 a.m.

Thanks, hosshughes!
I really like the idea of a Spellbinder, and I agree with you on Nekusar and the Bell. I've become much less of a group hug fan over time, and pulling those will make room for more goodstuff!

I've gone back and forth on Clockspinning though. I'll be all ready to pull it and then I'll combat trick some dude attacking with +1/+1 counters or totally mess with a Planeswalker, and I'll be all I LOVE THIS CARD. Until it whiffs on me again. But I really appreciate the outside look at it, and I feel it's even more on the fence now.

Thanks again!

December 6, 2015 12:23 p.m.

I've been playing with this and i never play control ever. But this was so much fun to play.. dang it.. What are your thoughts about adding Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker?

December 31, 2015 3:05 p.m.

I'm so glad you're enjoying the deck! I had a similar experience ... I pretty much hated playing black, until I saw it through Jeleva's eyes!

I think Planeswalker utility is really meta-dependent, so it's hard to say. My group pretty much lives to hate on 'walkers, so I would never run one as powerful as Nicol Bolas personally ... except maybe in some hypothetical 5-color deck with Doubling Season, so I could drop-then-immediately-ultimate him! I think if I had an extra ~$10 to put into the deck, I'd probably get some slightly better lands and either Insurrection or Thassa, God of the Sea off my maybeboard. Or maybe save up for a Scroll Rack.

Do you think your group would let you proxy him for a game or two? If they'll let him make it around the table a couple times, I think he'd be awesome.

December 31, 2015 3:35 p.m.

I like Phthisis and I think about using it all the time never actually add it into my decks. Just wondering when you use this spell its never for it's suspend cost that would not work very well but when you do cast cast it how effective is it and how often does this do leathal amounts of damage.

December 31, 2015 4:14 p.m.

I like the card, but am not in love with it. For whatever reason, I don't think I've ever exiled it with Jeleva, so I've only cast it from hand. Early game it's great, because I can cast with Suspend and it literally puts a clock on the board which totally affects gameplay. I've had folks desperate to play a fatty who've agreed to not beat on me for a few turns if I agreed to not target them when the Suspend came off. And I've had folks deliberately wait an extra turn to play a fatty, just so I'd zing someone else and not them. I can't recall ever casting it late game though ... if I have it certainly wasn't for the win. :-)

Hope this helps!

December 31, 2015 4:40 p.m.

clayperce, I have him already, that's why I kinda want to use him, haha. My budget for decks is a total of $100, including cards I own already. That is a rule we do in our group as to not break banks but keeping thing somewhat even. With that in mind, I am trying to figure out what to upgrade to get to that mark.

December 31, 2015 4:41 p.m.

Oh, I'd totally play him them. Worst case, he doesn't live long enough to even get a +3, and you just swap him out for something else next game. Best case, he's the Best Card Evar! :-D

December 31, 2015 4:46 p.m.

So what lands would you upgrade then?

December 31, 2015 5 p.m.

Hmm, I'm not actually sure. Broadly, I'd like to get rid of as much as I possibly could that says "enters the battlefield tapped", while still keeping the same amount of color fixing. I think a small investment in land could really speed up the deck. Not a full turn of course, but a lot.

In practice, I'd basically review the Lands part of Epochalyptik's article on Building an EDH Deck, then pull up the Jeleva page at ManabaseCrafter, set the minimum rating to 4-1/2 or 5 stars and the retail price at $2.00 or $2.50, and fiddle around with it for a while ... swapping cards in and out here on TappedOut and Playtest II'ing until I had something I liked.

Sorry I don't have more specifics, but hope that helps!

December 31, 2015 6:18 p.m.

Insidious Dreams is nice with Jeleva. You can put the spells you want on the top of your library right before casting her.

February 2, 2017 12:33 p.m.

Yeah, Insidious Dreams would certainly be good in a lot of Jeleva decks, but you may have missed this in the deck description: I'm aiming for a 75% build with no tutors.

Thanks though!

February 2, 2017 1:20 p.m.

Fair enough. I've never heard of 75% deck building before but it sounds cool. It's very similar to my EDH philosophy

February 2, 2017 1:38 p.m.

I've been playing around with my own Jeleva deck and I come back to this deck for ideas on little tweaks. I thought I would pass on a few more cards that have been a lot of fun for me and might be enjoyable for you too.

--Metallurgic Summonings has been one of my favorite cards to get on the board. Gives me some great blockers and potentially all of my spells back to my hand.

-- Jori En, Ruin Diver is a nice card draw engine that is pretty cheap. She's easy to trigger since one of your spells per turn is usually free with Jeleva.

-- Finally, Din of the Fireherd can be pretty mean but it is a way to slow down an opponent without outright murdering someone.

PS-- It sucks that you keep getting all these spam comments

July 20, 2017 7:38 a.m.

Thanks so much ... love all your ideas!

And yeah, I have no idea why this deck is such a spam magnet!

Draw well!

July 23, 2017 3:51 p.m.

Compare to inventory
Date added 2 years
Last updated 4 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.85
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, 2/2 Drake, 3/3 Golem
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1 year ago)

+1 Mind's Dilation side