Aminatou: A question of ethics...

Commander Deck Help forum

Posted on Jan. 8, 2019, 8 a.m. by crash328

I wanted to ask my fellow Aminatou, the Fateshifter players a question, do you feel you have to run the felidar/ altar of the brood combo for the deck to be relevant? Ive won with it a few times...but it can feel hollow and feel like it makes me a target in my playgroup... should I remove the altar? Or does that take away too much of the deck's win potential

DrukenReaps says... #2

If you have another way to win and that combo gets you targeted often then you should switch it up. I don't play Aminatou but I am a combo player and I do play with the same people most of the time. If you want to win by combo than you have to change it up every month or two or you will lose a lot more than you will ever win. Unless you go the direction of being more cutthroat...

January 8, 2019 8:17 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #3

Honestly Aminatou has been much more efficient at winning w/o the Altar combo, it is simply a two card+commander combo when a 1-card combo works instead. It is really weak and I am not a fan of it as is.

My list is Aminatou Staxshifter (Esper Stax Primer) for reference, aimed to win games against tier 1 cEDH decks.

January 8, 2019 8:22 a.m.

crash328 says... #4

My Aminatou deck has a "flicker etb tribal" with some top deck manipulation setup. Im not much of a stax or counterspell heavy player, nor do I have the money for a lot of the cards that would require

January 8, 2019 8:34 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #5

Then I assume Altar of the Brood and Felidar Guardian have some decent utility without eachother, just value stuff in your deck, why not run it?

January 8, 2019 8:43 a.m.

crash328 says... #6

well felidar does certainly, but altar is in there strictly for that combo and does nothing else, which is why I wondered if the slot would be better suited to something else. Especially since im running Piranha Marsh which when Panharmonicon Felidar Guardian and my commander are out, infinite drain my opponents just as fast and takes up a land spot instead of a spell

January 8, 2019 8:50 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #7

That combo takes 3 cards, how many tutors are you running? also Sunscorched Desert I recommend for it if you run enough tutors

January 8, 2019 8:54 a.m.

crash328 says... #8

I run mystic and enlightened, saving for vampiric and demonic. I also run Long-Term Plans Lim-Dul's Vault which act like tutors with aminatou as well as a lot of top deck manipulation and draw to churn through my deck

January 8, 2019 9:03 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #9

Nah, that combo takes too many pieces for that few tutors.

January 8, 2019 9:07 a.m.

crash328 says... #10

okay so I won't focus on infinites. Altar just doesn't do anything in my deck outside of that combo so I feel like its a wasted slot

January 8, 2019 9:10 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #11

Oath of Teferi? Could work as a replacement that has minor application if you ever get the mana to cast it.

January 8, 2019 9:13 a.m.

crash328 says... #12

I run that currently as it does have applications and helps the other two planeswalkers in the deck

January 8, 2019 9:14 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #13

Oh, so you have an infinite with Cat-Guard

January 8, 2019 9:16 a.m.

crash328 says... #14

yes and infinites regarding Peregrine Drake coupled with things like Deadeye Navigator and Eldrazi Displacer

January 8, 2019 9:20 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #15

Seems okay then w/o the combo.

January 8, 2019 10:06 a.m.

IAmTheWraith says... #16

I think that Stasis with Aminatou and either teferi is a great place to be if you hate cats. It can be slower and takes a lot more setting up in a non fast combo shell, but for people like me who want to watch the world burn, it's a good way to end games.

In Aminatou stax, the Stasis and Teferi's work great without each other as well, so they should already be slotted in literally every deck that can afford it.

Now that I've said my peace (which SynergyBuild already knew), let me add this:

Altar of the Brood + Aminatou, the Fateshifter + Felidar Guardian is a combo that ends the game. It's strong, and it does have its place in non-stax based builds. That being said, I think that the use of a specific combo largely depends on the deck you want to play. When you consider that both of these combos are compact enough to only require two slots, with a large compression of tutors. They are efficient, and they are both strong in their own right. It's your decision as a deckbuilder to run one over the other.

January 9, 2019 10:03 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #17

IAmTheWraith but does it really end the game? In EDH with Hermit Druid at almost every table, they can flash back a Memory's Journey to put something into their deck, and Dread Return on their main phase, bringing back Laboratory Maniac, and cast the Brainstorm they shuffled back into their deck to win, the Kess deck will Necromancy back a Laboratory Maniac on upkeep, and the Gitrog deck runs Eldrazi to shuffle back their yard.

January 9, 2019 10:08 a.m.

IAmTheWraith says... #18


Your points are valid, so let me say this:

For players getting into cEDH, the combo is a great place to start with Aminatou. I believe that the combo can win against the majority of decks, with Hermit Druid and things like Kess and Gitrog being unwinnable. Even the Stasis combo is fragile. But from a budget standpoint, Felidar Guardian is $0.31, and Altar of the Brood is only $2.55. Whereas the aforementioned Stasis combo is $4.42 for just Stasis, and the more mana intensive Teferi is $15.99.

The Goblin Cannon combo with Basalt Monolith + Rings of Brighthearth costs a total of $37.03. (All TCGPlayer prices)

My point is, the Cat combo is reliable enough to win a fair amount more games when it executes the combo than losses after execution. It has merit as a budget finisher, which leaves more money for the necessary tutors and mana to make it happen.

January 9, 2019 10:21 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #19

I don't think you understand Stasis is a lock piece, not a combo, Winter Orb, Static Orb, Tangle Wire, and many other cards replacing it when you need to shut down an opponent, and that the deck can be built on a different combo, oftentimes Rest in Peace/Leyline of the Void and Helm of Obedience or any walker that can ultimate, the combo isn't a major part of Staxshifter, while being useful. The deck is a Stax deck, and Aminatou can run other cheaper stax when it wants to. Fall of the Thran is a favorite budget stax include, and Bottomless Pit is too.

January 9, 2019 10:25 a.m.

crash328 says... #20

I feel I should emphasize I'm not a staxshifter player, while the playstyle is powerful and effective, it isn't my playstyle and my group tends to steer away from them for the most part as they don't find it fun (apparently they ran off a grand arbiter player) I'm not a cEDH player, and I prefer the blink and top deck manipulation of aminatou over her stax potential

January 9, 2019 11:02 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #21

Fair, can't fault you on playstyle, however still dislike cat combo in a midrange combo deck.

January 9, 2019 11:09 a.m.

TerminalGeek says... #22

It depends on your group. If they all tend to run easy combos, then yours should be fine. If not, perhaps run fewer tutors and include other win conditions. I've won with blinking Deepglow Skate with a Sorin, Grim Nemesis on the board.

January 10, 2019 3:14 a.m.

crash328 says... #23

Terminal, ive been considering deepglow... My favorite win with my deck that didnt include the combo was having Eldrazi Displacer Ashnod's Altar and Grave Titan out simultaneously. Makes two tokens, sac tokens for four total colorless, blink titan make two tokens with one mana floating, repeat until infinite zombie hoard

January 10, 2019 5:50 a.m.

TerminalGeek says... #24

crash328, guess I need an Eldrazi Displacer and Grave Titan for my Varina, Lich Queen deck now. Ultimately, I think infinite combos are fine if they take some setting up. When you just sit back and don't do anything for most of the game until you suddenly go off in one turn to win, that's when I can see it getting a little annoying. Even with a bunch of zombies or life-link vampires, opponents still have a whole rotation to find an answer.

January 10, 2019 8:30 p.m.

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