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This is my Saffi Eriksdotter deck which I have been working on for a few years now. The deck itself is a graveyard combo deck which is highly synergistic. Check out he primer below for more detail.

The Primer

Saffi Eriksdotter is an interesting choice for a commander. While there are a lot of decks that run her in the 99, it's not so common to see her heading up the deck. Instead, you will see a lot of Karador, Ghost Chieftain recursion decks or Captain Sisay decks or even Derevi, Empyrial Tactician decks who use her as part of a combo. And up until the release of Paradox Engine for Captain Sisay, combo in Selesnya wasn't really a thing. Except for Saffi of course.

But Saffi Eriksdotter as a commander leads a really fun deck. Unlike Karador decks (the go to recursion commander) Saffi decks have a lot more flexibility in the card slots as you're not trying to juggle a third colour/as many staple cards. In turn it means that Saffi can easily be tailored to a particular player without having to compromise the competitiveness of the deck. As well as that, Saffi will typically lead a very synergistic deck, meaning that there are a lot of different lines to victory and a lot of interactions which keep the game interesting.

Pros and Cons

Like all commanders, there are pros and cons to playing them. It is worth noting that Saffi is best suited to a combo build (talked about more in detail later) so if that's your thing then awesome, but if you're not a fan of combo this might not be the deck for you.

Pros of playing Saffi Eriksdotter as you commander:

  • Cheap to cast

  • Highly synergistic

  • Potential to be explosively quick

Cons of playing Saffi Eriksdotter as your commander:

  • White/Green is not known for card draw/tutoring anything non-creature

  • Dependency on graveyard for comboing

Saffi Eriksdotter is the kind of commander that lends herself to a few different builds. There are four main builds: Value Engine, Stax, Combotastic and Draw Combo.

Value Engine Saffi decks typically shy away from combo and try to use Saffi's ability to get lots of value from ETB creatures. Tyipcally these decks will try to win through out-valuing an opponent and through beatdown and will typically feature Avenger of Zendikar and Craterhoof Behemoth, as well as cards like Champion of Lambholt and other large beaters. While good in a casual setting, this build is too slow and too easy to see coming.

Stax Saffi builds try to slow the game down to your speed. White/Green isn't known for its card draw or artifact tutoring, so the objective of this build is to slow the faster decks down to give you a better chance of winning. While strong, I am not a personal fan of this build of Saffi as you have to devote a lot of card slots to making stax work properly and even then it can be a case of too little, too late.

Combotastic builds cram in a lot of different recursion combos as well as a lot of different sacrifice outlets in the hope to draw into a combination quickly. While this is not fundamentally an issue, there are a lot of different pieces which only work with certain cards and take up a lot of card slots in the deck. In these builds you will typically see cards like Melira, Sylvok Outcast, Kitchen Finks and Woodfall Primus as well as sacrifice outlets like Spawning Pit, Fanatical Devotion and Martyr's Cause. The issue with these builds is that you use up a lot of card slots and can ultimately end up drawing either a nonbo (such as Saffi Eriksdotter + Karmic Guide + Martyr's Cause) or different parts of combos that down work together (such as Saffi Eriksdotter + Melira, Sylvok Outcast + Blasting Station).

Instead, this build opts to be a draw combo build. Here, there is still a core number of combo pieces however only the most powerful recursion engines and sacrifice outlets have been kept. A lot of the free card slots have then been consumed with the best card advantage that White/Green has to offer. What this means is that the deck has a constant stream of cards coming in, allowing us to hit our combo pieces more quickly. It also means that it is easier to dig for ramp or removal as quite a large portion of the deck is devoted to card draw. While this build can be a bit more fragile, I have found ot to be the best mix of cards to provide an optimum result.

This deck wins by using two cards (ususally two creatures) to form a recusion engine with a sacrifice outlet to provide the win condition. The main recursion engines are:

These recursion loops are then paired with any of the win conditions in the deck.

Primary Win Condition

The main win condition for the deck is Blasting Station. By pairing it with any recursion loop, we are able to deal "infinite" damage to each opponent, as well as any creature which would be prohibiting us from winning. While Blasting Station requires you to tap it to sacrifice a cerature, any of the recursion loops will untap it in the process of running the engine.

Secondary Win Condition

As a backup win condition for the deck, we run Altar of Dementia which can be used in place of Blasting Station to mill each opponent, making them lose on their next card draw. To counteract reshuffle effects, as well as opponents getting a chance to untap their permanents, either Mikokoro, Center of the Sea or Selvala, Explorer Returned can be used to force each player to draw and making each opponent deck out on the spot.

Backup Win Conditions

While a lot more convoluted than either using Blasting Station or Altar of Dementia, the deck runs two backup combos in case we lose access to both our primary win conditions. The first is:

A recursion engine + either Phyrexian Altar or Ashnod's Altar into Titania, Protector of Argoth, Nim Deathmantle, Strip Mine, Mikokoro, Center of the Sea and Green Sun's Zenith

Seems pretty convoluted, right? you are correct. The way the combo works is:

  1. Use your recursion engine with either mana altar to produce "infinite" mana

  2. Tap Mikokoro, Center of the Sea so each player draws a card

  3. Use Strip Mine to destroy your own Mikokoro

  4. Sacrifice Titania to the mana altar and bring her back with Nim Deathmantle (and your infinite mana) twice, returning both Mikokoro and Mine to play

  5. Cast Green Sun's Zenith, failing to find (you can do this even with creatures in your deck) which will still shuffle Green Sun's back into your deck

  6. Repeat Steps 2 through 5 until you have won

Becuase in each loop you are reshuffling Green Sun's Zenith into your deck, you will eventually just have it in your deck which you keep redrawing. Your opponents on the other hand will run out of cards and eventually draw themselves out. While complicated, this is a good backup combo as almost all of the pieces have redundant cards. For example, Titania can be replaced with Renegade Rallier or Sun Titan, Strip Mine can be replaced with Tectonic Edge, even Nim Deathmantle can be replaced with Saffi Eriksdotter + Karmic Guide + Reveillark.

Alright, now onto backup combo number two:

Titania, Protector of Argoth, Nim Deathmantle, Starved Rusalka, Gaea's Cradle and Strip Mine

The way this combo works is:

  1. Tap Gaea's Cradle, producing at least 10 mana

  2. Use Strip Mine to destroy Cradle

  3. Sacrifice Titania, Protector of Argoth to Starved Rusalka and bring her back with Nim Deathmantle twice, returning both Cradle and Mine to play

  4. Repeat Steps 1 though 3 until you have infinite 5/3 elemental tokens

This combo is a lot trickier to start as you need a lot of mana to get going. However each cycle, you will generate two tokens. So with Gaea's Cradle tappling for 8 mana, you can offset the deficit by sinking 2 mana from outside the loop. Note that this is triangluar growth though, so for a 6 mana scenario from Cradle you will need to provide 2+4=6 mana.

Two cards are very common to a lot of Saffi builds, these being Boonweaver Giant who forms a combo with Pattern of Rebirth, and the now unbanned Protean Hulk which can fetch a handful of creatures in one hit. This list however runs neither of these. There has been a lot of discussion regarding these two cards and their deliberate exclusion which is covered individually below:

Why no Boonweaver Giant?

For the uninitiated, the basic premise behind behind the boonweaver combo is to either play Boonweaver Giant, fetching Pattern of Rebirth, or by playing Pattern of Rebirth on a disposable creature and sacrificing them to get Boonweaver Giant which in turn gets Pattern back from the graveyard. From here and with the aid of an infinite sac outlet, the following chain is:

  1. Sacrifice Boonweaver Giant enchanted with Pattern of Rebirth fetching Karmic Guide

  2. Karmic Guide returns Boonweaver Giant which in turn returns Pattern of Rebirth

  3. Sacrifice Boonweaver Giant enchanted with Pattern of Rebirth fetching Fiend Hunter

  4. Fiend Hunter exiles Karmic Guide and then is sacrificed, returning Karmic Guide to play

  5. Repeat Step 2

  6. Sacrifice Boonweaver Giant enchanted with Pattern of Rebirth fetching Reveillark

  7. Sacrifice Karmic Guide and then Reveillark, returning Karmic Guide who returns Reveillark and Fiend Hunter who in turn exiles Karmic Guide

  8. Sacrifice Fiend Hunter who returns Karmic Guide, returning Boonweaver Giant and Pattern of Rebirth

From here you can keep looping Steps 7 and 8 to get any creatures from the deck with Pattern of Rebirth, getting Elvish Visionary and allowing you to draw into your win condition. If the sacrifice outlet you are running is a Blasting Station or Altar of Dementia, you can get to Step 4 and keep looping Karmic Guide and Fiend Hunter straight off the bat.

While this combo seems good at first, there are a few issues with it. The first and the most glaring issue is that you need a sacrifice outlet. As mentioned earlier, this deck is not designed to be crammed full of sacrifice outlets, meaning that there are really only 5 outlets to begin with. Two of these net infinite mana, one of these can draw the deck and the others are outright win conditions.

With regards to Greater Good, there is a concern that you will accidentally draw one of the required combo pieces thus breaking the loop. If this happens, you need to find a way of getting Sun Titan into play and then on board the loop so that you can transition to reanimating on of your win conditions. Ultimately you will have to do that anyway to switch to an infinite loop, but it is messy. You will potentially need to have mana available depending on how the cards fall and what loops you can assemble.

With regards to Phyrexian Altar and Ashnod's Altar, these are the best case scenarios for the combo and the main selling point for it.

With regards to Blasting Station and Altar of Dementia, playing Boonweaver Giant allows you to fetch Gift of Immortality assembling a similar loop to the Sun Titan/Gift of Immortality one, nullifiying the need for the the chain in the first place.

The second issue is that since Saffi is our commander, it is assumed that we will have access to her. At this point, Pattern of Rebirth could be any creature tutor which would in turn fetch any Saffi loop. And since the deck runs such a high denisty of draw/tutor effects, assembling Phyrexian Altar/Ashnod's Altar loops without a way of turning it into a win conditon where a Boonweaver loop could is remote.

On top of these points, Pattern of Rebirth as a creature tutor outside of combo is not a preferred tutor. The major problem with Pattern is that you need either a creature and a sacrifice outlet or a self sacrificing creature to make it work. Yes, Saffi fits that bill, however having to use Saffi in this context to not fetch a combo creature is a bit of a waste of Saffi. As well, you need some form of boardstate to make it work, unlike cards like Green Sun's Zenith or Eladamri's Call.

All of these points together provide the deck enough of a reason not ot run the Boonweaver combo.

Why no Protean Hulk?

Since its unbanning, Protean Hulk has been been the centerpiece of many combo decks. These typically use Flash or Necromancy to deploy Hulk which in turn gets a means to self mill or eventuates in Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, Viscera Seer and Walking Ballista.

Becuase the deck does not have access to blue for Flash or black for Necromancy, most setups will require a hard cast of Hulk. Since white/green also has next to zero sacrifice outlet creatures, the lines to assemble a combo are also messier. The cleanest Hulk line (that I could come up with at least) is:

  1. Play Protean Hulk and sacrifice Saffi targeting Hulk

  2. Sacrifice Protean Hulk to a sacrifice outlet (like High Market) fetching Grand Abolisher, Hidden Herbalists adding GG and Stoneforge Mystic in turn fetching Demonmail Hauberk

  3. Saffi's trigger resolves, returning Protean Hulk to play

  4. Cast Demonmail Hauberk and equip Protean Hulk, sacrificing itself

  5. Protean Hulk's ability triggers, fetching Karmic Guide which in turn reanimates Protean Hulk

  6. Equip Demonmail Hauberk to Protean Hulk, sacrificing itself and fetching Reveillark

  7. Loop Karmic Guide, Reveillark and Hidden Herbalists using Demonmail Hauberk to generate infinite green mana

  8. Loop Reveillark and Saffi with Karmic Guide which allows you to loop Protean Hulk, fetching Elvish Visionary (or any draw card effect)

  9. Dig for and cast Blasting Station, comboing out

To make this combo work, you need to have Saffi in play as well as a sac outlet (such as High Market) and then sink 9 mana into setting up the combo, 7 for Hulk and 2 to cast Demonmail Hauberk. It also means you need to find space in the deck for Hauberk and Hidden Herbalists on top of the Protean Hulk. While the cost of the combo can be reduced by deploying it via Eldritch Evolution, it is still an expensive combo to deploy and adds additional cards which are only useful inside of combo.

While this combo works quite well, it is quite mana intensive and relies on too many cards which are dead draws outside of combo. Ultimately I do not believe it warrants a spot in the deck due to the amount of cards devoted to making the combo work. I do maintain a separate list which is based around the aforementioned hulk line which is listed below.

(Under Construction)

So now that we know how the deck as a whole works, let's talk about individual cards. Each card can be broken up into at least on of the following:

Win Condition

These cards that are directly involved in winning the game. The two most obvious cards in this category are Blasting Station and Altar of Dementia.

Card Advantage

These are cards which help dig for additional resources. Approximately one quarter of the deck is devoted to providing the deck with card advantage. In addition to single tutor/draw effects, the deck is able to assemble multiple card advantage engines. Some of the more powerful ones are:

Ramp

These are cards which help increase the mana output of the deck. (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

Removal

These are cards which help get rid of problem cards our opponents run. (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

Sacrifice Outlets

These are cards which let us sacrifice permanents (in this cas creatures). (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

Recursion

These are cards which bring back other cards. (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

These are cards which serve niche roles/that don't fit into the other categories. (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

Of these, the four big ones which should be common to any commander deck are Win Condition, Card Advantage, Ramp and Removal. If a deck is lacking any one of these, it will always suffer when compared to a deck that has all of these elements. It is however important to strike the correct balance between these elements. Due to the inherent weakness of card advantage in green/white, the deck weighs more heavily towards card advantage than the other three.

As well as this list, I maintain a more cEDH focused lists:


Just Stay Dead: cEDH Edition

Commander / EDH* enpc

SCORE: 8 | 25 COMMENTS | 1793 VIEWS | IN 3 FOLDERS


The list is even more streamlined in digging for combo and while it trades out a piece of synergy, it it slightly faster on the whole. This list list (the one you're on right now) however is a more well rounded, less meta dependent list.


I maintain a list based around making Protean Hulk work:


Just Stay Dead: cEDH Hulk Edition

Commander / EDH* enpc

SCORE: 1 | 9 VIEWS | IN 1 FOLDER


The list devotes a lot more card slots specifically to making the hulk combo work, however provides the deck a quick combo rollout.


Thanks for checking out the list. As always, comments, criticism and feedback are important! Let me know what you think. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

And remember, if you like the deck then show your support with an upvote!

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Date added 4 years
Last updated 3 weeks
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.30
Tokens 4/4 Elemental, 3/3 Beast, 1/1 Elemental
Folders Commander/EDH, Awesome EDH, Decks I Like, edh i like, EDH Options, Watch, Nice Decks, EDH, Personal Decks, Selvala ideas, See all 126
Top rank #13 on 2018-09-20
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Revision 106 See all

1 month ago)

+1 Temple Garden main
-1 Temple Garden main
+1 Silence maybe