Why is this deck moving slow? Help please

Commander Deck Help forum

Posted on Nov. 18, 2016, 8:21 a.m. by timckmorse

I run an Abzan Anafenza duelCommander deck and i personally think the deck is really good. But sometimes it starts off really slow. And it's really bad against Animar. How can I fix the speed of it and also how can I plan for Animar decks effectively?

A Foremost Dangerous Game

Your group lets you play with Braids, Cabal Minion? Wow...because she's banned. A generous group you have going.

Anyway, Tarmogoyf while great in other formats, is not so great in EDH. I'd replace him with a ramp creature such as Sakura-Tribe Elder or Yavimaya Elder. In fact, I'm noticing a distinct lack of ramp in your deck. I know that your CMC is low, but you really need to thin the deck out with some land fetchers like the above creatures. Personally I'd replace your mana dorks with one Birds of Paradise and some ramp spells as Anafenza's ability is one sided and you could stick a Meren of Clan Nel Toth in the 99 or other graveyard shenanigans into your deck and take advantage these kinds of value added creatures while your opponents are unable to due to Anafenza.

Also, no Ashnod's Altar, Grave Pact, or Dictate of Erebos? No Fleshbag Marauder or Merciless Executioner? Anafenza works best when you're controlling the board state. You're lacking these control items that would normally crush an Animar deck. You are running control elements yes, but just not the right ones to take advantage of Anafenza's one-sided ability.

November 18, 2016 8:45 a.m.

Oh also a Sheoldred, Whispering One you defiantly want a Sheoldred.

November 18, 2016 8:46 a.m.

LeaPlath says... #4

Read the words, MTGApprentice2016. Duel Commander.

Animar is always going to be a pain, simply because it grows too quickly for a lot of stuff and floods the board. I always like a Perish in my deck, as while it does hit you too, it also takes Animar off the board and wipes out the dorks they will be playing.

Another consideration is Dystopia as it can just be a "you can't play your mana for 1-4 turns" enchantment.

November 18, 2016 8:57 a.m.

Ah, my apologies I did miss that Duel part up above. Yes Perish and Dystopia would both be good. Perhaps a Nausea (or similar effect) and a Vhati il-Dal with some untap shenanigans?

November 18, 2016 9:09 a.m.

nastolnaya says... #6

I have searched for the card you have spoke of. Animar is quite a solid card but can also be a real pain in the neck to get rid of. I have read that you run an Anafenza deck. It has black and green as well as white. The black and white side is a good source to the best removal cards such as Unmake, Dark Favor, Liliana Vess, Sorin Lord of Innistrad and of course a good staple for removal is Stasis Snare or Door to Nothingness. As for the green side which is quite aggressive, such cards I recommend cards like Giant Growth, Overrun, Garruk Apex Predator, Soul of Zendikar and some trample creatures. They can be of a lot of help and also they can put Animar back in the command zone by using removal on the white side.

I hope this is of some help to you. Let me know if you need more advice.

November 18, 2016 11:51 a.m.

Livingham says... #7

You shouldn't build against a certain deck, you should be aiming to do well against any deck you go up against. Rather than building against animar, you need to consider what about the deck you have trouble with and adjust your deck to handle that.

November 18, 2016 2:58 p.m.

LeaPlath says... #8

nastolnaya like...all of those cards are lack luster or bad. Why play Unmake when Sword to Plowshares exists. Why in a 99 card singleton would you play Giant Growth etc. Like the only one of those cards you suggested remotately viable for duel commander is Sorin and he has been outclassed by his newer 4 mana version.

Something that got suggested when I was looking around was Tragic Arrogance. Quite simply it is a board wipe and answers enahcntments and artifacts and stuff very easily.

November 18, 2016 6:15 p.m.

Panas says... #9

I don't really see something wrong with the deck... You have 8 mana dorks, if I counted right, which means you are more or less sure to get one of them in the first couple of turns of each game.

Now, if you feel you are too slow, then you need to up your ramp at the expense of some of your control cards. Maybe cards that let you play more lands like Rampant Growth or Explore.

It's either that, or you reduce your ramp to amp your control. Animar in duels is the same combo-oriented animar you see in multiplayer commander? If so, then your colours might have limited options to interact with him, as he has protection from 2/3 of your deck. Extra "sucky" points for those 2/3 being your removal package. With that said, Animar really dislikes to fight against AoE removals. Pernicious Deed hates him, Wrath of God and Damnation hate him, Culling Sun hates him, same with Duneblast and Merciless Eviction. Other than that there's Song of the Dryads but not much else... Maybe a Sudden Spoiling if you can follow it up with something else?

Honestly, Animar is just a really bad match-up for abzan :(

ps: another way to rub an animar's face lies in Curse of Exhaustion, Eidolon of Rhetoric and Rule of Law. But these are at best silver bullets. These can also lock a player out of the game in tandem with Knowledge Pool, for you to win with, oh i don't know pinacle helix or some other absurdity... I don't advocate hard locks such as these though.

November 18, 2016 8:50 p.m.

Panas says... #10

correction: eidolon and rule, lock everyone out of the game if there's a knowledge pool, so you'd need your win con out already.

November 18, 2016 8:59 p.m.

camick says... #11

Simple: You have no finishing creatures and very little draw. You can get everything out by T4, but after that it is really just a cheap creature a turn. You will get destroyed against Temur, Naya, Jund, Gruul and Simic decks.

November 19, 2016 1 a.m.

PookandPie says... #12

I think it may be beneficial to point out that combo Animar, Soul of Elements relies on its Commander for its fastest win methods, so eliminating him is the easiest out against that deck.

Interestingly, your deck has only a copuple outs it can use against Animar itself, and not a single of your 9 instants can deal with Animar (they're either black, white, or is a sacrifice effect which is hilarious when Animar runs more 1-2 mana dorks than you do so the Edict will never hit Animar unless you Mindslaver them first. Dromoka's Command won't kill Animar unless you don't have a white or black creature. So, good luck with that). Unless Beast Within was banned when I wasn't looking, that should be one of the first cards you put into the deck as it can handle a wide variety of situations. Giving them a 3/3 may suck a little bit, especially since the format's life total fell again, but being able to handle most permanents at instant speed is very valuable. Song of the Dryads is a little bit worse than Beast but still answers any permanent type, and it can really deal with combos that don't pop at instant speed, Voltron, and Animar, especially the latter if it doesn't have a tutor in hand to get Reclamation Sage to un-tree Animar (so it can typically buy you a couple of turns, which is generally all you need. I swear Animar should have cost 5 mana, I mean, honestly).

Anyway, easiest way to deal with an Animar deck is to kill Animar if you have to, before things snowball and the board gets flooded. Your deck is never going to be able to kill as fast as Animar does, because that's just what Animar does and you're going to have to accept that. Slotting in the above two cards won't magically make your matchups great against that deck, but you'll at least have a 4/99 chance of dealing with the typical lynchpins or Animar (Song, Beast, Council's Judgment, Toxic Deluge, or 5/99 with Command if you draw Tarmogoyf or Thrun before Animar gets 4 counters to go infinite), which is better off than you were before.

Beast Within could straight up take Maelstrom Pulse's slot (unless there's a token deck you're desperately afraid of), and Song of the Dryads could take something else's slot. Hushwing Gryff might be worth a slot as well, as it's generally good against most deck types and stops Animar's repeated bouncing nonsense that makes the deck absurdly fast (mind that he still gets his counters, but that's less scary than bouncing Imperial Recruiter chains to flood you out).

You're playing a more midrange approach to Duel Commander, which means you're typically going to be a little slower than your opponents, but that's not a problem if you have appropriate answers for their strategies and to bring them into your tempo. If you cannot do that, then you may have to revisit elements of the deck and potentially adopt a sideboard solution to handle specific troubling decks.

November 19, 2016 1:40 a.m.

This discussion has been closed