Najeela's Hulk Pod Project (cEDH Primer)

Commander / EDH Winterblast

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Further improving consistency and speed —Oct. 9, 2017

After a lot of testing I finally made the decision to cut some of the hatebears (for example Aven Mindcensor or Notion Thief ) and replace them with cards that actively help the strategy. With this deck I want to be the threat, not the one who prevents other people's combos. Gaddock Teeg still ruins several plans and everything else is there to find and protect my own win options. Grand Abolisher has replaced Vexing Shusher because while it can be countered, it's better against decks that have no counters but other methods of interaction.

Making the deck faster also required cutting Sensei's Divining Top . While it's a good card with so many fetchlands and tutors, the mana to manipulate the top cards is too often needed for more important stuff. Therefore I rather use the draw and top manipulation engines that don't require any further costs after being cast: Mirri's Guile , Sylvan Library , Nissa, Steward of Elements and Dark Confidant are so much faster and less mana intensive. The late game, in which divining top really shines, won't be reached that often with this deck.

I've been able to acquire a Bazaar of Baghdad , so I have put in Crop Rotation and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth in the deck as well. Discarding reanimation targets is really important, because in some cases there is no way to go around one specific card, if it's stuck on the hand.

The Birthing Pod combo has now more options when I'm not able to kill within one turn. Flametongue Kavu now replaces Notion Thief in the alternative cmc 4 slot because fetchable creature removal is often necessary (mostly to get rid of hatebears that stop my combos or fuck up my manabase like Magus of the Moon ). I have recursion in the cmc 2 and 3 slots with Snapcaster Mage and Eternal Witness but I'm also testing Renegade Rallier instead of witness because it's probably better in the early game and it brings the cards directly into play (also Animate Dead or fetchlands)

Having a mana sink in the command zone and a deck with lots of reanimation plans makes me consider the use of the Worldgorger Dragon combo. Exhume could be replaced with Dance of the Dead and Mana Echoes with the dragon. Mana Echoes is a great combo piece with the commander but since I don't play Academy Rector anymore (it was in the deck in the very beginning when I played Aluren instead of Hulk) there's no way to get it into play directly and that means it's a 9 mana combo that has to be cast as it is. The dragon is riskier but it's also easier to pull off and does the same with Sliver Queen - produce an infinite mass of tokens. Having lands that can produce all colours (one Command Tower or duals that together contain every colour) also means I would be able to cast Sliver Queen with the combo.

In the last playtests with the current build I've been able to kill consistently (in games with 2, 3 and 4 players) between turns 2 and 4, often with backup plan and/or interaction. I'm really satisfied with the deck now but as written above, there's still room for discussion.

Lorderos23 says... #1

Can you explain the reason forNissa, Steward of Elements? I am a bit confused on this card. Is it mainly for the scry 2? Then maybe get lucky with a dude. I feel like there maybe a better slot here, but you designed this particular version, so before I bash the card I am trying to understand the selection

August 26, 2017 9:06 a.m.

Winterblast says... #2

Lorderos23 yes exactly it is mostly for free manipulation of the draw, like Mirri's Guile and Sylvan Library and to bypass counterspells. I have often been more happy to see nissa than for example Sensei's Divining Top because she does her job without further costs and can surprise with an uncounterable creature (or additional land drop), especially after a tutor that puts a card on top. If I draw her later in the game a high value for X can be quite hard to deal with, never a dead draw.

August 26, 2017 10:08 a.m.

Lorderos23 says... #3

I can dig it. I forgot she just dumps the dude onto the field. Fairly sweet tech, I like it.

August 26, 2017 10:24 a.m.

Wurmlover says... #4

why don't you run Grand Abolisher instead of Spellskite, since its the same cmc and is much better protection.

August 27, 2017 9:24 a.m.

Winterblast says... #5

Wurmlover it's there because it can protect my stuff during ALL turns (which was the main purpose in almost all games in which I had spellskite) and because I can pull off the hulk combo in an opponent's turn as well...and it's easier to cast if it's outside the hulk combo. Double white isn't easy to get for a 2 drop. Another bonus is that it has the potential to interact with targeted stuff that opponents want to cast on their own creatures and artifacts, for example to steal a Power Artifact or something like that.

I might exchange Vexing Shusher with grand abolisher though...but then, if Abolisher doesn't even resolve, the shusher is better again.

August 27, 2017 10:51 a.m.

Wurmlover says... #6

That's an interesting point. I'll have to keep that in mind when building my own.

August 28, 2017 6:35 a.m.

Winterblast says... #7

Wurmlover maybe that's because i don't play it as an all in combo but rather try to get it through with protection and backup and have some hatebears and interaction available.

August 28, 2017 6:51 a.m.

Wurmlover says... #8

ah I see. My build would probably be balls-to-the-walls combo, considering there is only one pact of negation in my whole meta.

August 28, 2017 10:50 a.m.

Wurmlover says... #9

what would you say would be a budget version of this deck (like cuts/replacements)? I'm looking for a base to build off of, and then upgrade over time.

August 29, 2017 6:04 p.m.

Winterblast says... #10

Exchange the duals with lands that produce all colours for some drawback. You will be paying far more life and some of these lands have stupid restrictions but it's most likely still playable. Chromatic Lantern and Vizier of the Menagerie can help you over missing expensive lands as well. The creatures aren't what makes the deck expensive anyway so you won't gain anything from cutting and replacing key cards. Fewer tutors is also no option because you want to find your stuff reliably.

August 30, 2017 2:10 a.m.

dalton345 says... #11

Have you ever been hit with a Containment Priest while trying to combo off? Do you find you have enough creature removal to deal with such a disruption? Sweet deck, definite +1!

September 14, 2017 3:44 p.m.

Winterblast says... #12

dalton345 I don't think anyone here plays that one because it either would disrupt their own deck or they don't play white. I do have some removal though, also walking ballista can be cast from the hand to shoot hatebears like that or magus of the moon. If I knew someone played containment priest I'd try to get elesh norn rather than going all in with a combo.

September 14, 2017 5:20 p.m.