Help me turn my casual deck into a decent EDH deck - Blue/Green draw/hand size theme

Commander Deck Help forum

Posted on Dec. 17, 2016, 5:54 p.m. by bushido_man96

Hi, all. I'm relatively new here, but not new to Magic. However, I was on a long hiatus, and just recently got back into Magic since my kids dug up some of my cards and got interested. Since then, Commander became a thing, and I am hooked on the format. I don't play competitively, mostly casual, and in as big a group I can find (right now its usually 3-4).

To give an idea of when I dropped off the map, it was during the Kamigawa rotation. At that time, I built a casual deck built around getting the hand size up and winging with creatures like Multani, Maro-Sorcerer, Descendant of Masumaro, Masumaro, First to Live, Maro, Sylvan Yeti, and Soramaro, First to Dream.

The idea was to use cards from the Kamigawa block to return lands to my hand, try to draw cards, and hit with the biggies. I ran cards like Oboro Envoy, Oboro Breezecaller, Floodbringer, Elder Pine of Jukai, Soratami Mirror-Mage, Inner Calm, Outer Strength, Graceful Adept, and Soratami Rainshaper. They all had some decent utility in bouncing the land cards. I didn't play EDH at the time, and the deck really never took off for me. I loved the concept behind it, but couldn't really make it work well in a 60-card casual format.

But now, with the possibilities of Commander at hand, I figured there's got to be some way to make this theme work, if not to win, at least to be able to play out for a while. I also had a casual deck I tried to build around Squirrel Wrangler and Groundskeeper, which would fit into a blue/green Commander deck, as well.

So, with all that said, I was hoping I could get some suggestions from the community here as for making this theme EDH-worthy. I'm looking at blue/green primarily, but not exclusively. To start, I need a Commander. I thought maybe Momir Vig, Simic Visionary, but maybe Edric, Spymaster of Trest would be better? Perhaps Tamiyo, Field Researcher?

Another problem I have is after being out for so long, I'm playing catch-up as to what's available. I figured the posters here probably have a good working knowledge of what would fit into a deck themed this way.

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. I run fairly budget, but I've got some decent stuff in my collection, and will splurge at times if I think its worth it, so suggest anything.

Thanks for taking the time to help me out!

MagicalHacker says... #2

As for commander, I'd suggest Kruphix, God of Horizons, as it will let you have hand sizes of more than seven without having to discard. I built around him in that theme at MagicalHacker - Kruphix, God of Horizons, but don't forget to enter your deck into to find other cards for your theme and solid cards for the deck. Also, check out my lists on my profile for staples for commander decks in general.

December 17, 2016 6:01 p.m.

chaosumbreon87 says... #3

Ok i think I might be able to create a fairly compeditive casual deck for you or at least gather some cards. ill try to keep cards 5$ and under unless necessary. My commander in mind is Kruphix, God of Horizons. Is that acceptable? My first question of many to come is the win condition(s) of the deck. Try to pick 2 that can win the game or signify a win. If you would like more colors, I can find other commanders with the requested color identity.

also tamiyo is not a commander but preferred color identity is key.

December 17, 2016 6:06 p.m.

bushido_man96 says... #4

Thanks for the suggestion on the Commander. I'm not sure how I'd use the "colorless mana" ability he has. But worth looking into for the colors. I don't really have the deck put together, so I didn't think I could enter it as a deck being not only incomplete, but just an idea. I'll look at your deck, too. Thank you!

December 17, 2016 6:10 p.m.

bushido_man96 says... #5

chaosumbreon87 - Yes, that Commander would work, I think. Yeah, you're right on Tamiyo, Field Researcher, slipped up there; Planeswalker, not a legend.

For the win condition, my plan was to hit big and hit hard with creatures like Multani, Maro-Sorcerer and Maro (and any others you know of aside from those I listed in the opening). That's the idea, but I'd go with others, too, like a combo if you can think of one that fits the deck.

December 17, 2016 6:19 p.m.

chaosumbreon87 says... #6

The colorless mana is a boon to EDH as it allows you to save mana without the mana depleting at the end of phases. The mana could also be used for activating the kamigawa creatures you named. Also welcome back to magic and the commander format.

I'll start brewing tonight and see if I can get a template together. Ill try to keep the cards fun too so your playgroup won't hate/target your deck actively (sorry Sun Quan, Lord of Wu). Ill link it when I get something substantial done.

December 17, 2016 6:23 p.m.

bushido_man96 says... #7

chaosumbreon87, thank you. I'd really appreciate that! I really like the idea of playing casual and not being a threat until its time to do so. I like to build win conditions like that, letting games really develop.

Now, that colorless mana rule you mentioned. That doesn't hold on after the turn ends, does it? (Like Omnath, Locus of Mana) If it does, I can see the benefit! At any rate, thank you for the help!

December 17, 2016 6:30 p.m.

Panas says... #8

Indeed, Kruphix is a manabank like Omnath. Unlike Omnath, he is indestructible, U/G and gives you infinite hand size.

His "drawbacks" being the devotion to swing with him (which is not exactly your strategy here) the colourless mana stored and that he doesn't beef up on landjuices :p

December 17, 2016 6:43 p.m.

chaosumbreon87 says... #9

The mana does empty on thases and turns so Omnath and kruphix are good for those purposes. I think the greatest setup will be a group hug build to "help" everyone, while removing yourself as the focus. Do not be surprised if people smarten up and start attacking you, or if someone takes you out because you are open to attack. It is merely their strategy. Also no problem,ive been building too many compeditive anti fun decks lately so a casual budget deck should be a nice change

December 17, 2016 6:50 p.m.

bushido_man96 says... #10

This is great, guys. I'm really looking forward to seeing the build. It sucks that I can't seem to help myself.

December 17, 2016 6:58 p.m.

Ok i am nearly done with the first version (alpha version?) of your deck. I just need to know now if there are any combos or cards that your playgroup has banned.

December 17, 2016 10:24 p.m.

bushido_man96 says... #12


No, nothing special is banned. I typically try to adhere to the EDH banned list, but its not a big deal, really.

But seriously, why is there a banned list for a casual format? Because they made it competitive, that's why (rant over).

I look forward to seeing the list!

December 18, 2016 12:55 a.m.

i meant like cards or combos that are just degenerate or unfun. and I'm at 108 cards right now so I think I can link the list. Kruphix deck for bushido_man96 if you want some explanations lmk. Meant as a fun group hug deck with the same cards you wanted in the deck. There are only 2 cards over 5$ in the deck so it should be within reasonable budget.

December 18, 2016 1:11 a.m.

bushido_man96 says... #14

Nope, nothing like that. I love combos, so have at it! Thanks, can't wait to check out the list!

December 18, 2016 1:13 a.m.

Aztraeuz says... #15

Group Hug / Fun deck imo is using Phelddagrif as the Commander. It also gives you the proper colors to use Tamiyo, Field Researcher if you so desired.

Also while getting into Commander, you should know that Commander is NOT a Casual format as you said. It is a Social format. Every format has Casual players though, so you should be able to find people to play with.

Many game stores have Commander tournaments with prizes and what not. It can be highly Competitive, it just depends, like every other format, on who you're playing with for how Competitive the game will be.

December 18, 2016 12:17 p.m.

Livingham says... #16

I would recommend partnering Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix and Thrasios, Triton Hero. Thrasios allows you to cycle through your deck incredibly fast and kydele synergizes really well with him, giving you more mana the more you use thrasios' ability which you can use to either draw more cards off thrasios or play the cards you draw. They also work well together considering they go infinite with cards like Crab Umbra, Sword of the Paruns, and Umbral Mantle to let you draw your deck, assuming you've drawn 4 cards in a turn which is easily achieveable.

December 18, 2016 1:09 p.m.

Livingham says... #17

My bad, crab umbra doesn't work. I was thinking of the infinite mana defender combo.

December 18, 2016 1:23 p.m.

ShishkyBob says... #18

If you're going to be drawing a lot, Chasm Skulker and Lorescale Coatl might not be bad ideas to add in.

December 18, 2016 1:31 p.m.

bushido_man96 says... #19

Thanks for the tips, all. I love the suggestions so far. I like the cards that gain counters for drawing.

iAzire I like the idea of using Phelddagrif, and have the bones of deck put together with him, but the list I was trying to use has some expensive options in it that I don't own. If you have an idea that would work with this theme with that awesome hippo, I'd love to see it.

As far as the EDH format goes, I agree that social probably better describes it. But by and large, my MTG experience has always been about the social setting (and therefore, usually pretty casual). If I can play a game that allows for several players to play for a few hours, then that's a great game, and a great time.

Keep all the suggestions coming, everyone! In one of my 60-card versions of this, I ran some Kraklins and Anthroplasms, and they tended to work at times. But those would go well in a token themed deck, too, paired with a Gaea's Cradle. Not sure they fit this theme as well.

December 18, 2016 11:04 p.m.

bushido_man96 says... #20

That should read Krakilin.

December 18, 2016 11:07 p.m.

also, pheldagriff is not as group hug as people spell him out to be. I mean infinite green+1W=opponents kill themselves with their own hippos. see Suture Priest. infinite green is not too hard to do, and green has plenty of tutors for the priest anyway. also ill reupdate the list later for changes or cuts soon.

December 18, 2016 11:47 p.m.

bushido_man96 says... #22

I like the Suture Priest idea. Thanks for all the help, chaosumbreon87.

December 18, 2016 11:51 p.m.

need a backup plan to all this hippo shenanigans? Dingus Staff+boardwipe. Killing them with hippos 3rd wincon is the usual deckout opponents/lab man yourself

December 19, 2016 12:01 a.m.

bushido_man96 says... #24

Those are two nice not-so-group-hug options. No wonder people are leery of the hippo.

December 19, 2016 2:33 a.m.

Why so leery? Im giving all my opponents infinite hippos to use, even to kill me. I cant even Homeward Path the 1/1s as they are my opponents hippos (ownership of tokens goes to whose board the token enters under). What could possibly be bad about that?

December 19, 2016 3:04 a.m.

bushido_man96 says... #26

Ok, loving the Phelddagrif idea more and more now. chaosumbreon87, you mentioned earlier the "infinite green+1W=opponents kill themselves with their own hippos," along with the Suture Priest. I may sound dumb in asking, but is there a favored combo there that I don't know about? What other staples would you throw into a Phelddagrif deck?

December 19, 2016 2:21 p.m.

What do you mean by favored combo? there are really only 2 decks with pheldagriff. Both play as group hug.

Deck A: (more common)

  1. forced fruition- deck your opponents out

  2. Eye of the Storm + Hive Mind

  3. backup- Laboratory Maniac

Deck B: (rogue)1. Suture Priest+Pheldagriff's green ability

  1. Dingus Staff+Pheldagriff's green ability+boardwipe

  2. backup- pick a win condition from the deck A.

If you want after I remove the 9 extra cards from kruphix edh, i can brew together a pheldagriff deck of either plan. Just tell me which plan you like better.

December 19, 2016 3:43 p.m.

bushido_man96 says... #28

Cool, thanks. I hope you aren't getting tired of me already. I'm asking a lot of questions about what most people likely see as basic knowledge, but its taking me a while to catch up.

Looking at Eye of the Storm + Hive Mind , it looks like you would play a spell, then the two bounce off each other. But Eye of the Storm requires a card, but Hive Mind doesn't. I'm missing something there. Does it make a spell go infinite?

I really like both ideas for Phelddagrif, but I think I like the Suture Priest and Dingus Staff idea more. If did one of each, that would be cool, but don't use too much of your time helping me figure out how to build decent decks. Take your time with it.

December 19, 2016 6:09 p.m.

It is fine. eye of the storm and hive mind just make the game fun with trying to figure out where each of the copies go (especially with a large stack under eye). For example, try out yourself how Grapeshot, Counterspell and Pact of Negation(the actual win con of the pheldagrif deck) would work with the combo (you may assume nothing under eye, all 3 are separate cases, and the counterspells have a valid first target.

I do not mind brewing as Ive been doing this for ages now so i'm fine with spreading my knowledge. So suture priest and dingus staff combo. I can do just need the final win con input before I can get started with that:

win con A: forced fruition- deckout opponentswin con b: laboratory maniac- deckout selfwin con c: hive mind+pacts

Dont think of it as thinking of a lot of questions, I regularly brew strange interactions so this is good practice for me.

December 19, 2016 8:39 p.m.

bushido_man96 says... #30

Ok, so with Eye of the Storm, does the ability activate when you cast a spell, and then trigger for that spell and every other card already removed from the game? That sounds crazy. Let me know if I'm wrong. I can see where the stack can get really screwy, too. I'm not sure I could work through all the rulings on a stack like that.

For the deck, I think I like the Laboratory Maniac idea for a win condition, and the Dingus Staff + Suture Priest as a secondary win. The others might be a bit aggressive right now, as I play with my kids mostly, and that strategy might frustrate them. Is there some tactic to avoid taking too much damage of my own with that combo? I also imagine it would need to run some other strategies to avoid taking damage, like Island Sanctuary and the like?

December 20, 2016 12:49 a.m.

So hive mind and eye of the storm work this way (representing players as A,B,C and D. You are player A):

  1. A casts an instant or sorcery spell
  2. Players B, C and D would cast the same spell (D would resolve first, then C then B)
  3. Player A exiles the original spell and casts the stack under Eye of the storm
  4. Player A chooses the order of spells put onto the stack, then Players B, C and D copy the spells choosing targets if applicable
  5. Start resolving spells so D's copy of the stack under eye, C's copy, B's copy, then A's copy. (spells fizzle or become useless if their target is countered or removed)


  1. B, C or D cast a spell
  2. The other players copy the same spell
  3. resolve cards in reverse turn order

Also this method is very mean since they will have to pay for all pacts each time this cycle repeats or lose the game (ex. 2 Summoner's Pact, 1 Intervention Pact and 1 Pact of Negation would force the opponents to pay unless they countered one of their own pacts)

Ill start building the pheldagriff deck requested after I finish the other 2 decks I have put on hold. The deck plays a pillowfort style so cards like Ghostly Prison, Sphere of Safety, and Propaganda effects. Island sanctuary effects help too. In the meantime, check out the kruphix deck and see how you like it.

December 20, 2016 1:27 a.m.

I definately second the idea of Kruphix for a commander. He synchs with what you want to do and he is easy to play. Just ramp mana and play things that draw you cards then slam the board with fatties.

December 20, 2016 1:35 a.m.

bushido_man96 says... #33

Hive Mind and Eye of the Storm is crazy, especially with those Pacts you listed. Probably a bit more than I want to do. It would be fun once, but I think the group would catch on when they see it, and hate to play it.

Thanks for all the help everyone! Learning tons as I go on here.

December 20, 2016 5:58 a.m.

bushido_man96 says... #34


I do like the way that card looks, and once it hits the board, it should stick around for a while. And since it holds the mana for me, I know I can dump some into it at the end of the last player's turn before my next, and keep options open during the other players' turns. That's some great flexibility. Wish I'd have stumbled onto him earlier. What other strategies get played with that one?

December 20, 2016 6:03 a.m.

bushido_man96 says... #35

chaosumbreon87, I've got some pieces of a Phelddagrif deck that I started, mostly from a list I've seen on this site (but I don't remember whose...). I could give a list of what I have, if that would help. I don't recall it having the Suture Priest and the blue cards you mentioned. I could start another thread with what I have, if it would help.

December 21, 2016 6:33 a.m.

Either would work. Feel free to mention me in the comments and ill see if I can help tune the deck. Most Phelddagriff decks are either purely group hug or kill through different means.

December 21, 2016 12:12 p.m.

Kruphix generally plays pretty simply. As I said it revolves arround ramp and card draw. X mana spells are great too because they make for a good outlet when you have loads of mana or can be played earlier if needed. Cards I play that go great with this strategy include Overbeing of Myth, Prime Speaker Zegana <- also a good option for a commander, Blue Sun's Zenith, and the new ones Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix and Thrasios, Triton Hero. Doubling Cube is really good mana rock for this deck and can allow you to just go nuclear with the mana and dump it all into a Blue Sun's Zenith to mill an opponent out, or my personal favorite wincon Genesis Wave

December 21, 2016 3:40 p.m.

bushido_man96 says... #38

AwesomeOctopus, chaosumbreon87 mentioned several of the cards you mentioned in the deck he put together for me. I really like Overbeing of Myth. I really like all my old cards, too, and Krakilin would make a great mana sink for all that mana. Verdeloth the Ancient comes to mind, too, but they don't quite go with the theme of the deck. But, they would go great with another theme, along with Anthroplasms. I guess the question is, would those creatures be worth playing? I see lots of posts recommending this card over that card and so on, but half the fun of playing Magic is playing with the cards you like and want to really play with, in my opinion.

My ideas when building decks have usually been making something that is casual, not too aggressive, fun to play, but with a way of winning eventually (but not necessarily immediately). Have I lost games for laying back when I could have smote someone? Sure. But who cares? I'm in to have fun, and not go too broke doing it.

Well, that was a rant. Sorry about that. Back to Kruphix. I wonder if there is something cool I could run with more of an X mana theme as opposed to the "fatties with power/toughness equal to cards in hand" theme. I'm sure there is, and I'm sure there would be decent cards out there to protect those critters when they hit the board. When I thought of all that mana, I also thought of cards like Soothsaying and War Tax. Cards I have that I've played around with a little in the past that could see some use in EDH.

Anyways, I thank both you guys for your thoughts and time here so far, and I look forward to any and all other ideas you'd have in regards to what I've mentioned here. If I come up with something, I'll be sure to share it.

December 22, 2016 8:36 a.m.

Omeros says... #39

If your goal is still specifically to focus on cards that bounce lands and/or let you draw cards I recommend you have Gush in your 99 if it's not already. You're also going to need ways to play more than one land per turn so that you don't get behind on land count. Here's a few options that do it directly: Exploration, Burgeoning, Azusa, Lost but Seeking. Since you prefer casual games, if you're into having some group hug elements you might also like Ghirapur Orrery. You can also supplement your land for the turn with green spells that play lands directly from your library, such as Cultivate, Kodama's Reach, Nature's Lore, and Skyshroud Claim. Even a Coiling Oracle or Courser of Kruphix can help you out.

Azusa and Exploration are a lot more expensive than the other cards on this list. Everything else is quite budget-friendly.

December 22, 2016 11:13 a.m.

OK since some people are making repeat suggestions

here is the decklist in its current state. The extra land suggestion will be added to the maybeboard until I have time to test it. Happy holidays/happy new year everyone.

Kruphix deck for bushido_man96

Commander / EDH* chaosumbreon87


December 22, 2016 12:58 p.m.

Omeros says... #41

That would indeed have been useful to look over ahead of time.

December 22, 2016 1:10 p.m.

I might have made it too small in comment 13. this should help stop some repeats. I did not mean to offend there, I was a little sick of seeing the same suggestions that was already in the deck. The land suggestions have been added to sideboard now and I will test at my earliest convenience (I have 8 decks to work on [this deck is in position 6 at the moment]). possibly will update after new years

December 22, 2016 1:19 p.m.

This discussion has been closed