Maybeboard


Gods do not sleep soundly in the Earth's embrace

Raised by the Izzet. Betrayed by the Orzhov. Ostracised by the Gruul. When the Orzhov came again, looking for slaves, the young warrior wreathed his sword in flame, and channeled his beast magic into a fearsome aura. But before he could cast a Clan Defiance in the defence of his fellow Gruul, he was ripped from his earthly bonds.

His spark ignited, he hurdled through the Blind Eternities, until finally the whiteness lifted, and the crumbling city blocks of Ravnica were gone, replaced with a towering jungle, and a soaring mountain peak. The stench of humid heat was heavy on his neck, and already sweat began to fall down his brow. Something in his chest burned with a warm glow, a new power that infused into every muscle and fiber in his body. There was a deep rumbling in the jungle, a roar like an earthquake that vibrated through his calves. All around him, the deep Mana of Naya surged through his body, and he took to the trees to avoid the Meglonoth that burst through the undergrowth.

Lost in this strange world, he was taken in by the Human Sunseeders, who taught him how to commune with nature, and how to respect the massive beasts that walked the earth, and he caught sight of the massive Godsire who crunched forests under its heel. He walked the Mountain s to better understand this new world, and he meditated under the watchful sun of Naya. He learnt the skills of the Drumhunter , reading the jungle, and how to communicate with, and through nature. Travelling the Shard, he came to respect the beauty and call of nature, and its denizens. The Animals that beat ancient paths became something he looked up to with reverent envy. He sought to admire the many Naya Panorama s, and his journeys took him to Jungle Shrine s around the shard. He grew knowledgable of the beasts and peoples he shared this new world with, and was absorbed in the contentment of this balanced world.

During this time, he met Mayael the Anima who taught him how to revere the creatures he hunted and admired, and how turn them into allies. The elves lived pleasurable, passionate lives, and the human planeswalker indulged in the marvellous lifestyles of those around him. He challenged himself; travelled further, hunted larger prey, and studied and communed with the jungle for longer. The beasts he summoned were ferocious, yet noble: Wooly Thoctar and Paleoloth . Life, passion, community, and the wild, this is what flourishes in the absence of blue and black Mana.

When demonic cults, hiding in the jungle trees in the aftermath of the Conflux, attempted to destroy his village, he again wreathed his sword in fire magic, cloaked his other arm in a spell invoking the ferocity of his newfound loyalties, and summoned a Naya Soulbeast to drive them away. But when the corpses of his friends were summoned by the necromantic forces, his rage escapes him, and he burns down a portion of the forest in his anger.

How do I learn to control this fury? He makes it his mission to learn more about the red mana that erupts so ferociously from his body. The concussive blast that levels the forest forces him to remember the explosion that killed his Izzet parents; The Rakdos assassins who caused the overload escaping into the darkness. What good would his fiery passion do, if his temper erupted in such a way every time? What did this power mean to him? He needs to know more.

Stepping out into the whiteness once more, the world around him is full of high spires and city blocks. Ravnica, his home, welcomes him back into a throng of confusion...


Xenoblade Chronicles Thantis

Commander / EDH Chhris

SCORE: 8 | 6 COMMENTS | 441 VIEWS | IN 3 FOLDERS



Welcome, this is my decklist + primer for Mayael the Anima

This is one of my favourite decks to pilot. It sparks for me so much joy, thoughtfulness, and pride. As a result, Mayael has become one of my favourite cards to write about, read about, and enjoy as a Commander.

Welcome to the Safari Zone -- here, we're all about dropping fat creatures from our library, and holding onto little rocks and bait to throw at our opponent's faces if we need to.

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WHY THIS PRIMER?

I wanted to write this Primer for some very simple reasons:

  1. Mayael the Anima is my absolute favourite commander of all time. I've read match reports, listened to podcasts and written essays (as you'll see further below) about just why Mayael is such a great commander, and how she can not just help power your strategy going forward in the game, but also help you gain momentum, and recover to parity after a board wipe.

  2. If you're ever thought about playing Mayael the Anima before, or perhaps you have tried, but couldn't make it stick strategy-wise, I hope this Primer gives you the help you need to make it work!! I play a relatively budget version of Mayael, so I hope you can find answers to any of your questions here.

  3. I'm just really proud of this list! It's immensely resilient in my Meta, and for the gang I have been playing with for years and years now, I doubt any other deck of mine invokes the same amount of fear or respect or recognition (Seriously, they routinely even forget that I play a Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis deck and have done for years), and so I just really like to highlight it and show it off!

Mayael is the first commander deck I ever designed - she's a terrific entry-level commander into the format for players who are fans of board-presence, and laying down tempo midrange beats on opponents. Mayael's ability lets you retain a strong presence on the battlefield, whether in defence or attack.

Mayael is a commander that gels instantly with creatures that have 'enter the battlefield' abilities, or creatures with passive abilities who have an instantly impactful presence (the amount of times I've used Mayael's ability to put Avacyn, Angel of Hope to save my army from a wipe...). She continues to affect the battle time after time, maintaining tempo for your deck, and creating opportunities to seize momentum in the battle.

What makes Mayael such a beautiful commander to pilot is not the fact you can play ridiculous creatures for 'free.' It's not a simple as the joy of dropping a bomb 15/15 Worldspine Wurm on your friends, because that's a simple pleasure: No, the beauty of Mayael is that it makes that battlecruiser deck you have that much more COMPELLING to play! There are decisions to be made, when do you use her ability, if at all? How do you choose the creatures that are appearing? Mayael is a creature-based deck that actually wants to do more on its opponents turn rather than its own, and that makes it pretty darn special.

It's this flexibility that I believe offers the most versatility to Mayael's ability to be a commander. She's cartable early, and her ability is difficult to counter, i.e.: no Dissipate can stop your stompy creature hitting the battlefield, anymore. Ramp. Ability. Dominate. It's an easy enough strategy to understand, but under Mayael's tutelage, it becomes a multi-faceted approach that can turn a game on its head.

Mayael the Anima in and of itself, is not just a guidepost for the deck, or a theme to fit onto a gimmick. She is one of those rare commanders who is not there simply to benefit off an already top-tier list, like so many inter-changable are. Rather, she exists to perform a three tier function for her own deck:

In this sense, Mayael the Anima is the heart and soul of the deck. Without her, the deck loses its effectiveness completely. It is upon the back of her ability that everything else in the deck begins to take shape; it forms the bedrock, or rather, the building block atop which we lay the cards that will become the framework for our winning strategy. At the heart of every decision in the deck we can safely question where it lies in relation to Mayael: What benefit does it offer? In what situation will we need it? Because Mayael offers the blueprints for success, the decisions we make are far more concise: There is less need for redundant, "work more," cards that would be present in other naya builds.

Eg: Many token decks are non-threatening until they have a Doubling Season or Primal Vigor on the battlefield -- almost all their time is spent either searching for it, looking for it, or trying to draw into it. Many commanders may perform a terrific function, but none of them are a built-in Anointed Procession . What's key about these enchantments is that they're only good after you start producing tokens, not before. They are incredible fuel to the strategy, but playing one when your token production is at its lowest is sub-optimal.

Since Mayael so effortlessly focuses our efforts on supporting our big creatures, our time can be spent constantly challenging and reacting to threats with our remaining hand and mana, AKA controlling the game, rather than playing reactively, waiting for our a time in which we can threaten. With Mayael in charge, and her ability to find tools for us (Large Creatures) and cheat them into play, we create an atmosphere for ourselves that minimises redundant cards. We can threaten at all times, and push to be dangerous by using cards from our hand, and access our graveyard for tools since our creatures help us recur.

This leads into point number 2. Mayael the Anima is good in the early game for establishing strong board presence and creating scenarios for our opponents that are undesirable. A t4 tapped Mayael into a Ruric Thar, the Unbowed is a daunting prospect for any player still trying to gather the tools they need to establish their game plan. But what Mayael does best is actually maintain that momentum for us.

Momentum is tremendously important. When you have momentum, you are continuously moving forward. In MTG, controlling momentum of the game is to be dictating the terms of battle. When we control the terms of battle, and the rules of engagement, our opponent's cannot create a stronghold, or starting point, from which to begin their strategy. To keep our opponents on the back foot, we must be always be challenging their board state, and encroaching on their life total.

An opponent may have an answer for one creature. They may even have an answer for two or three in a row. But they will need to continually ask themselves as to what their biggest threat is. Maya may be providing the creatures, but the 15/15 Worldspine Wurm is what will challenge their life total. Counterspells are diminished by Mayael the Anima 's ability, so kill spell removal or exile is their only option, and if Mayael is not responded too, then the threat continues, as we regain momentum every time we use Mayael's ability.

Her skill to threaten with her ability also frees us up to remain vigilant with the cards that remain in our hand. Often times, draw-go scenarios are the most effective, as our commander itself is enough on her own to either continues to hold momentum, or regain it, meaning spells in out hand can be saved for when they are really needed.

Drawing on points mentioned above, for all these reasons and more, Mayael is also very effective at helping our boardstate, and cards-in-hand situation recover from a boardwipe or reset scenario.

In the event of a board wipe, the relative ease of which it takes us to cast Mayael the Anima again, and the likely event that we will have a haste enabler in the form of an enchantment or Anger in the GY, means that it is not difficult for the deck to recover back its previous position. In fact, it would be easier for this deck to recover than other, non-Mayael based decks, who might be limited in their options due to their cautiousness or resources to commit to a rebuild, or limited in their available responses to any rebuild from an opponent. Instead, we have a situation where we can adapt knowingly to the battlefield around us, wait for the opportune time to respond, and if none presents, activate Mayael in the previous end step before our turn, to better establish our next turn, etc, etc.

In this section I want to talk a little bit about me and my style and philosophy as a MTG player. I want to use this section to highlight choices in the cards distinctive to me, and my meta, and cards that you won't see in my build at the moment, that you might see in others.

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My philosophy ensconces one particular question: How do I have fun playing mtg?

I get great joy in MTG from playing those massive creatures, and having a great board state. That's what it means to me. I have always been a green player, and I love playing beatsticks and hating on fliers. I get immense satisfaction in MTG from knowing I piloted my deck to the best of my ability and executed the plan I wanted to execute. Win or Lose, I walk away satisfied from a game if I can do that.

My approach with Mayael is to take advantage of her terrific ability, and instead of of trying to fix the draws, or predict what cards I will receive, I want to embrace the RANDOMNESS not only does this make the deck incredibly fun to pilot, and get me thinking "Oh, I wonder what I'll Mayael into this turn," but it also makes the deck challenging to play against. If there is one particular way to victory more than an another, it becomes easy to defeat, but if we keep presenting uniquely different and separate (random) creatures, the deck becomes far more potent, and difficult to defeat, as we continue dropping unique threat after threat.

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In line with my desire to keep things random is why I don't have Sylvan Library or Sensei's Divining Top in the Deck.

Just joking, I can't afford them. I'd love to include the Mayael favourite toys: Eldrazi Titans. I'm working on acquiring them, however, as it stands, I have to admit the deck works pretty good as is. If you're working without a budget for Mayael the Anima , then Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger , and Kozilek, the Great Distortion , and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn are additions that overwhelmingly crush your opponents.

I hope that gives some insight into the decisions surrounding the cards I have chosen here. The truth is, if you are playing Mayael the Anima , you will likely not win the game, as you are so constantly dropping much larger threats than the rest of the board. However, the joy comes from piloting this deck to the best of my ability, and that's what matters. Getting a win is a bonus.

I've been playing this deck for almost five years now, and this is now the 17th reiteration of the deck. It's a great deck to add creatures to as new sets are released, as it keeps the strategy fresh and interesting. It performs really solidly in my meta.

Basically, the first thing you want to do is ramp to six mana ASAP. Spells like Farseek can fetch up Cinder Glade and Stomping Ground . There are several ramp spells to help us pull the basic lands out of the deck, and get the mana we need quickly, as well as the token Sol Ring that every commander deck should have. Other Ramp spells include Ruin in Their Wake , and Rampant Growth , Cultivate . If we draw Karametra, God of Harvests or Mayael into her, we have a permanent ramp engine ongoing.

Many of the creatures I have picked because they have strong "enter the battlefield" abilities such as Woodfall Primus , or they have powerful passive abilities. Alongside the ramp spells there are a few utility spells like Response / Resurgence . They fit into the Battlecruiser mentality; we're playing massive creatures to steamroll our opponents through force. We're going to talk about them in more detail in the next section.

In fitting with the "CHEATING IN BIG CREATURES" theme, we stack the deck with spells like Chord of Calling , Tooth and Nail , See the Unwritten and my favourite card, Lurking Predators . One of my new favourites is Dubious Challenge , which has also performed very well. Many of these cards also fit into my philosophy regarding keeping my opponents guessing -- See the Unwritten and Lurking Predators are risk - and - reward propositions, and Chord of Calling only helps me if I have the Mana available, and also forces my opponents to consider what I may be searching for (hint: It's always Avacyn, Angel of Hope .

To top it off, we round out the deck with some strong walkers: Domri Rade and Garruk, Caller of Beasts are exceptional here, and their card draw is their most important utility. If we can ultimate Domri, well that's game over, but it's the end of our start if he goes down early.

The removal package is pretty geared towards the meta I play in: Chaos Warp is cheap and strong, and Creeping Corrosion is there to deal with artifacts. There's a lot of Removal built into the creatures I play as well: Polykranos, World Eater for creatures and Kalemne's Captain for other permanents.

The key to piloting this deck is knowing when to 'Explode.' It's very easy to keep up a board presence, and in some cases, you might want to just hang tight with 1 or 2 creatures, just as a defence or insurance policy. You need to know when the proper moment is to go H.A.M on the fatties. A great time is after a momentum-shifting play: perhaps your opponent attempts a board wipe, only for you to Mayael the Anima or Chord of Calling into Avacyn, Angel of Hope .

Wait for an opponent to overextend themselves, or tap out their mana, in order to abuse Chance for Glory to take an opportunity to end the game, or Tooth and Nail for Craterhoof Behemoth and Avenger of Zendikar .

Read your opponents' mana and make informed guesses on their capacity to answer your threats at instant speed. This deck can continue pressuring opponents on the back foot until they simply run out of the ability to deal with you.

1. Be careful around around decks: Mayael the Anima sits within burn range of a lot of different spells: she is the main key for powering the deck, so play wisely. She's cheap enough to cast that re-casting her again and again is possible, but annoying and a waste of good mana. Try and get Swiftfoot Boots in your opening hand or consider running something like Canopy Cover if you're coming up against these problems.

2. The same danger lies against decks running Path to Exile .

3. Always activate Mayael the Anima either in response to something an opponent does, e.g. targeting Mayael with a spell, or a Wrath of God , or in the end-step of the previous player so you get a fatty to attack with next turn.

4. Mulligan: The ideal hand is literally all land. If you don't have at least 5+ mana in your opening hand, consider taking a mulligan on that hand unless you get some ramp spells in there.

5. Remember that you WILL be a target with all these stompy creatures running around and hitting people. MTG players are reactionary, and even if you only intended to use that Godsire for defence, no one cares, and they WILL kill it. Be prepared that if you play a Mayael the Anima deck, you will cop a lot of hate and attention from the other players. Be patient. Be smart. Know that there is another game-changing creature waiting for you just behind the next 5 cards of your library.

I play 36 creatures. 34 of them will land with Mayael the Anima .

The KEY here is that each of these creatures has a secondary effect or static ability we want to take advantage of

These abilities are going to power the deck going forward turn-to-turn, help us catch up to parity when behind, or help us get ahead of our opponents. Every creature should have a purpose outside of merely being huge -- having a 8/8 creature by itself is great, but in commander, you need to have more utility than just being a big thing to beat down the enemy.

CREATURES

  1. Graveyard Recursion: Dawnbreak Reclaimer , Greenwarden of Murasa , Angel of Serenity all these guys interact with our graveyard to get us those big beaters back to the field to help us punch through defences.

  2. Destructo Monsters: Novablast Wurm , Polukranos, World Eater , Terastodon , Woodfall Primus . Walking nuclear warheads on a stick.

  3. Card Advantage: Combustible Gearhulk , Protean Hulk , Soul of the Harvest .

  4. Durability: Angel of Grace , Exquisite Archangel , Platinum Angel , Keeps us alive longer, and 2 of them also synergise with Chance for Glory .

  5. Protec the Creatures: Avacyn, Angel of Hope , Soul of New Phyrexia , Ruric Thar, the Unbowed , Iroas, God of Victory . The key to any good offense is defense. These creatures help protect our battle plan, either by saving a devastating board wipe, or ensuring that our stuff is harder to remove/prevent.

  6. Lockdown: Dragonlord Dromoka , Ruric Thar, the Unbowed , Iona, Shield of Emeria , Platinum Angel , lockdown the opponents' game plan and make things MUCH harder for them.

  7. BEAT FACE: Avenger of Zendikar , Decimator of the Provinces , Godsire , Gisela, Blade of Goldnight , Meglonoth , Nylea, God of the Hunt , Scourge of the Throne , Soul of Theros , Worldspine Wurm , Xenagos, God of Revels . Double Damage, Extra Combat Turns, Trampling, Lifelink, creature buffers, army buffers; these guys and girls are here to come in, and cause as much destruction as they can. If you catch someone in a 1v1 situation, you will always be coming out on top with the strength of these creatures.

INTERACTIONS

  1. Avacyn, Angel of Hope + Novablast Wurm

  2. Chance for Glory + Platinum Angel

  3. Lurking Predators is amazing.

  4. Uncage the Menagerie for X=6 + nets us up to 14 cards

  5. Angel of Serenity + Greenwarden of Murasa

  6. Ruric Thar, the Unbowed + Dragonlord Dromoka

  7. Exquisite Archangel + Chance for Glory

  8. Gisela, Blade of Goldnight + Xenagos, God of Revels

  9. Illusionist's Bracers + Mayael the Anima

  10. Avenger of Zendikar + Craterhoof Behemoth // Decimator of the Provinces

  11. Deceiver of Form + Scourge of the Throne

  12. Elemental Mastery + Craterhoof Behemoth // Decimator of the Provinces

Mayael the Anima is a popular commander, its true. For many people, she is their first commander, and even searching the decks here on TappedOut shows how varied and amazing all the different lists and approaches people take her. She can enable Wurm Tribal, Eldrazi Titans, Naya Fliers, Naya Primal Surge, Goodstuff or just typical Battlecruiser.

If I had to sum up The Safari Zone in one word, it would be: Resilience

I also havent seen anyone else running Chance for Glory . And I havent seen them run Chance alongside Exquisite Archangel + Platinum Angel + Gideon of the Trials . It makes my deck surprising to play against, and difficult to beat in the traditional ways.

I also havent seen anyone taking advantage of Deciever of Form. Who is Legit BONKERS in this deck. It helps you manage the top draw, as well as possibly turn all your creatures into Worldspine Wurm or Scourge of the Throne . Game Over.

Elemental Mastery is another tool I use that I dont see many people using. This is handy to get some blockers if I need them, or, I can Chord of Calling into Decimator of the Provinces as a win con.

The combination of recursion, protection, indestructible and "you cant lose" creatures I use is pretty unique to me, and it makes my time with this deck amazing.

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I see this deck as having three possible routes to victory:

WIN

  1. OVERPOWER **

Use those big creatures, and beat the opponent down, and down and down. Our creatures will always out-muscle anything we have facing us. There's a lot of ways to smash through and get our power on the board translating to damage on our opponent. Double damage, trample, Xenagos, God of Revels , etc.

  1. COMBO

If we get stalled on the board state. We need to patient and wait for the opportunity to use Chord of Calling or Tooth and Nail to fetch Avenger of Zendikar and Decimator of the Provinces . This combo should eliminate 1 or all our opponents. Note: you need Anger in your graveyard, or Hammer of Purphoros on the field. Craterhoof Behemoth works better for this combo if you have access to one.

  1. ALPHA STRIKE

Chance for Glory . This has rapidly become one of my favourite cards of all time. I don't think people are really clued-in to how good it is. Time your strike right, and make sure your opponent is helpless, and watch them scoop in the face of a double-turn beatdown from trampling, indesctructible creatures. Fun fact: If you have Exquisite Archangel or Platinum Angel on the field, you don't lose the game. And you retain the indestructible on your creatures for the rest of the game.

Firstly, I need to thank so many of you who have given me their time to read the primer, and look over the decklist. It humbles me to see this list getting so much traction, and I thank everyone for their time. Also thank you to Noa, Mooncomix and Retsok909 for being my playgroup for so many years, helping shape this deck, and being on the receiving end of many beatdowns. (They give as good as they get)

Everyone has given terrific suggestions. This is a list of upcoming changes to the deck, I have either ordered these cards online, and am in the process of acquiring them, or I have them, and need to add them to the deck. What follows is a list of the changes I plan to make, which may not have been added to above list yet:

With War of the Spark spoilers, and so there are cards I know will fit this deck amazingly:

  1. God-Eternal Rhonas
  2. Rhonas the Indomitable
  3. Wilderness Reclamation
  4. Ilharg, the Raze-Boar
  5. Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger

Likely coming out:

  1. ???

Feedback welcome!! There are some creatures that I find have less impact on the game and board state than others, or I find rarely live up to their potential. I keep them in the deck, and list possible replacements in the maybe board.

If you can think of any cards that can help the deck improve, please feel free to help. To help with suggestions, the main commanders played in my group are currently Izoni, Thousand-Eyed , Karador, Ghost Chieftain (Which wins often), and Jori En, Ruin Diver .

BUT, Chhris, WILL THIS DECK EVER BE FINISHED?

NO

Cheers for sussing the deck! This remains my favourite commander deck to play. If you like my list, and enjoyed reading the Primer, go on, give me a vote! and if you have any suggestions, please drop them in the comments :)

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Top Ranked
  • Achieved #1 position overall 4 days ago
Date added 4 years
Last updated 46 minutes
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 5.25
Tokens 1/1 Elemental, Garruk, 0/1 Plant, 5/5 Wurm, 3/3 Beast, 3/3 Golem, Gideon, 2/2 Satyr, Domri, 3/3 Elephant
Folders My EDH Decks, playtest these, Mayeal decks, EDH (Battlecruiser), Primers, Deck Help, Competitive, Not My Stuff, Riped off Stuff, naya, See all 15
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