Developing Consistency within League Restrictions

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on April 12, 2017, 4:12 p.m. by JaceTheSwagSculptor

The commander league at my LGS like many others has a score sheet that determines the amount points you accumulate after each game. The score sheet heavily discourages combo's, MLD, and extra turns by giving large amounts of negative points that can incrementally rack up depending on how far you go. With this being said, I have been running my Sigarda, Host of Herons voltron deck in said league quite effectively. The issue that I'm running into is that it is my only deck and I would like to build a second one, however I am having difficulty finding a non-voltron deck matches Sigarda's consistency yet does not net me excessive amounts of negative points.

Is this possible or am I just looking for something that does not exist? (Essentially I'm looking for whatever you believe would be most helpful - whether that be advice on strategies/commanders, experiences with decks you've done well with in league play, a deck list, or even a simple "no.")

Additional Information:

What is the meta like?

The meta looks like a bell curve (with the end points being poor deck builder low income and amazing deck builder with a high income) the most commonly occurring player being one with a high disposable income and slightly above average deck building skills (It is not too far-fetched to see things like Mana Drain be played).

Do you know the exact negative point values for the MLD, comboing and extra turns?

Unfortunately, no. I do not have a copy of the points sheet on hand. To the best of my knowledge the wording for infinite combo is as follows: "Repeat the same loop 5 times in a single turn. Every additional time after the fifth nets you the full negative point value (I'm not sure what the value is)." MLD is worded: "Destroy 3 lands an opposing player controls in a single turn. Every additional land after the third nets you the full negative point value (I'm not sure what the value is)." Taking extra turns is worded: "Take more than three extra turns. Each turn after the third nets you the full negative point value (I'm not sure what this value is)."

Is there a limit on tutors?

No, I run pretty much every white and green tutor in my Sigarda, Host of Herons list.

Does the ban list differ from the official commander ban list?

No, it is the same.

What is the round structure?

One hour per round, everyone has 40 life, and 4 people per pod. This makes it fairly difficult to win with normal combat damage.


MindAblaze says... #2

Hard to say without an idea of what penalizes you. It sounds like tutors are a no-no, so...lots of draw? Graveyard shenanigans? Dredge and recursion can be very consistent.

April 12, 2017 4:39 p.m.

Lost_Ascendant says... #3

Yeah if you could post the restriction list we could help more effectively.

April 12, 2017 5:19 p.m.

@MindAblaze: I listed the two main things that penalize you at the beginning of the post - mass land destruction and infinite combo's. If you want me to be more specific, the wording as best I can remember off the top of my head is "Repeat the same loop more than 5 times in a single turn. Every additional time after the fifth nets you the full negative point value (I'm not sure what the value is)." MLD is worded: "Destroy 3 lands an opposing player controls in a single turn. Every additional land after the third nets you the full negative point value (I'm not sure what the value is)." I'll put more details about my deck, meta, and miscellaneous details in the post.

April 12, 2017 5:26 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #5

1v1 matches or some kind of multiplayer thing? I'll assume 1v1 and give advice on based on that. here is a list of commanders by tier This will probably be the best place you can look for what you want.

These are commanders you could consider that I think are overlooked:

Sram, Senior Edificer: he is cheap so he gets out fast and can be replayed easily, I realize he seems like a voltron guy but you can play the auras and equipment on anything :P, white tends to lack on draw but with cheap auras and equip cards this guy makes up for it.

Memnarch doesn't need infinite mana to be powerful, just focus on mana producing artifacts and Doubling Cube you will have a lot rather quickly and steal all the cool things.

Zada, Hedron Grinder, Norin the Wary, Grenzo, Havoc Raiser are all hilarious in their own way as well as effective, grenzo can force bad attacks and mill with enough goblin tribe support.

Sydri, Galvanic Genius uses a combo that doesn't need to loop over and over. her + Aetherflux Reservoir going off once usually wins the game, although in 1v1 i guess you dont even need sydri just life gain and tutors for the reservoir.

I would generally recommend something cheap to cast so you can easily use it several times when it dies.

April 12, 2017 6:06 p.m.

@Bhaal666: It is multiplayer as stated under the "What is the round structure?" question. Nonetheless I'm a interested in your last two suggestions, namely the mono red legends and Sydri, Galvanic Genius if your could elaborate more on how they would work for multiplayer. They sound the most interesting.

April 12, 2017 6:32 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #7

oh cool multiplayer competition. I do want to mention in case you don't know about it, pretty good resource for finding neat things.

Well then Sydri, Galvanic Genius + Aetherflux Reservoir is pretty solid. You need to gain a bit of life as you need a minimum of 51 to pull it off but animate the reservoir then give it deathtouch lifelink, pay 50 life, do 50 damage, rinse repeat. 4 man pod means you are not hitting the 5 times per turn loop limit either. 2 card combo and half the combo is in the command zone, your LGS may frown on this as it is infinite and they wanted to discourage infinite.

Zada, Hedron Grinder likes cards like Expedite, Titan's Strength, Heat Shimmer, Balduvian Rage, Young Pyromancer basically takes these silly small useless effects in commander and makes them totally nuts. you need other creatures but red gives goblins which quickly and easily pile up. down side is if zada isnt out a good portion of your effects become useless but you have redundancy from Mirrorwing Dragon and can run a token subtheme with Purphoros, God of the Forge. I dunno if it would be competitive in multiplayer you could certainly smash one person.

Grenzo, Havoc Raiser is better for you then i was thinking since goad means they have to attack but cant attack you unless given no other options. grenzo, Bedlam, and goblin tribal will keep everybody swinging every turn and if you have enough goblins (or whatever you use) no one will be aloud to swing at you. Bonus is you can mill cards from opponents for each of your creatures that hit them and cast some stuff you mill off them.

Norin the Wary is chaotic, hilarious, and sometimes just plain cruel. etb triggers are key to this deck and norin is extremely hard to get rid of and cheap if he does die. Confusion in the Ranks, Warstorm Surge, Panharmonicon, Purphoros, God of the Forge, Grip of Chaos, Possibility Storm, Conjurer's Closet, Impact Tremors. these cards create a confusing board state so you may regret playing the deck if you are not well versed in the rules of the game, even if you are you may question your sanity. However norin would likely be the best of the red legends, the deck does like Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker but does not need it so you dont need to run infinite combos. with all the chaos and all the etbs going off the deck is very disruptive and people wont always know how to deal with it.

keep in mind going mono-red has its downsides, originally I assumed 1v1 which red does fine in as it is highly aggressive. In multiplayer being mono means you lack the ability to answer some things unless you want to include less efficient things like Spine of Ish Sah

April 12, 2017 7:37 p.m.

Nekusar wheel and deal?

Nath Elfball?

Xichao prison?

Are you penalized for Infect or arbitrarily large combos?

April 12, 2017 7:45 p.m.

chaosumbreon87 says... #9

Dont know where your budget exactly is for this but ill put a couple of ideas down and tell me which you find interesting and I can expand from there. Note: these prices listed can probably be reduced if not optimized. The price just assumes fully optimized, no theoretical budget.

Expensive (3000$+):

teferi/GAAIV stax- fairly simple, slows your opponents down, great with reacting

riku- so many combos can be done here. just slap in some favorites and go infinite (mana)

nekusar- the wheels on the bus go round and round... (keep wheeling effects)

Leovold/prossh- no fun. you die now.

Mid price (1000$):

Yisan- toolbox green. highly consistent and responds well to threats.

melek/karador- going infinite without turns? Yay.

Selvala- infinite mana win cons

Low (500-100$?):

Sidisi, undead vizier- tutor, tutor tutor, win.

saffi eriksdotter- creatures. creatures everywhere.

Let me know what you'd think and ill see if I can match a commander to you. or at least point you in a direction

April 13, 2017 1:24 a.m.

AlexoBn says... #10

this screams for Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord graveyard combo. You will easily win with it. Just check reddit cEDH for a perfect decklist. This deck can win easily while not being "infinite" combo based

April 13, 2017 3:47 a.m.

@Bhaal666: Thank you for explaining all that for me!

@Karns_Pyromancer: The arbitrarily large combo would work if we don't have to repeat the same thing 5 or more times. If I'm not mistaken I believe that the Nath list on cEDH wins by the Squirrel Nest + Earthcraft combo, but I don't think the others have easily accessible optimized lists.

@chaosumbreon87: I am trying to win or at least place in the league so the point would be to not rack up ridiculous amounts of negative points by comboing off or blowing up everyone's lands. I usually start my decks off around $400 and if I like the deck enough to keep optimizing, then it does not really matter. The only themes I care about in a deck are consistency and how well it fits within league restrictions. I'm not really partial to playing anything, unfortunately. As for your suggestions, the only one's that I could use seem to be Teferi/GAAIV and Nekusar. To my knowledge all the rest of those are combo decks that would net me negative points. That Azusa, Lost but Seeking elfball list you posted awhile back on the cEDH tier list seems like it would work well actually lol.

@AlexoBn: I agree! The cEDH Jarad list is pretty great, however isn't one of its main win-con's the Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Triskelion combo?

Purphoros, God of the Forge seems like another good candidate, however mono red feels as though it has some consistency issues despite Purph's 2.5 tier listing. Thoughts?

April 13, 2017 8 a.m.

AlexoBn says... #12

Oh, my mistake. Had a different list in mind. Razzliox list is indeed not that suitable. Still you can go for Phyrexian Dreadnought,the dragon and that five mana dude that lets your opponents lose life equal to your devotion. This often does the job for me. The rest could be a solid reanimation package plus control and just the few "combos".

April 13, 2017 8:45 a.m.

@AlexoBn: Agreed, that sounds solid. I'm definitely interested in the Jarad deck you had in mind, so please post it if your able.

April 13, 2017 9:29 a.m.

@JaceTheSwagSculptor- aah ok. Since you already know of the cEDH list, you already know the lists are consistent in themselves. I'm still trying to test if semistax/tax azusa works in my personal list (going well so far/trinisphere is so good when you dont care about cmc). Turns out azusa does break symmetry.

As for the lists, leovold, melek, yisan, and sidisi all do not break the infinite combo you mention, do not break the infinite lists (might have to look at sidisi again to be sure)

April 13, 2017 9:54 a.m.

Zaueski says... #15

Atraxa, Praetors' Voice has a lot of really fun builds and synergies and very rarely goes infinite. My list runs a bunch of planeswalkers and controls the board until I can cascade ultimates together and win the game through them. Ulting Tamiyo, Field Researcher into a Doubling Season and drawing a bunch of cards off of everyone's ultimates is usually enough to win either on the spot or within two turns. If you want more of a budget then she still has a lot of fun with +1/+1 counters, -1/-1 counters, and level up creatures.

April 13, 2017 12:53 p.m.

AlexoBn says... #16

I will list some of the best synergies, later. Although I don't have a complete list. (needed to get my jarad deck more casual in order to wreck people with karador boonweaver)

April 13, 2017 1:02 p.m.

@chaosumbreon87: Yes, I peruse the cEDH tier list quite a bit looking for ideas. Your Azusa list definitely appears to be shaping up. It feels unfortunate though that Craterhoof Behemoth is one of the only ways to win through normal combat damage.

I definitely missed it, but you are correct - Yisan is elfball with stax elements, Leovold is Doomsday, and Melek and Sidisi are storm. As far as I can tell from a quick look over, the only thing that would net me negative points is the Staff of Domination combo in Yisan (which is easy to sandbag if need be).

@Zaueski: How consistent has your deck been in league play? My impression is that walkers are generally too fragile in multiplayer unless you are incorporating MLD.

@AlexoBn: Awesome, thanks! I look forward to your next post.

April 13, 2017 1:17 p.m.

Zaueski says... #18

I win about 2/3rds of the time on Xmage, but I dont participate in any real super competitive leagues

April 13, 2017 1:25 p.m.

I mean if I read your post correctly, you can only go through the same card activation 5 times per turn before you start losing points, if you have a mana dork to tap for 7, you can use 3 activations of the staff to give you 9 in the pool, activate yisan and untap him (5 staff at this point), get wirewood symbiote/quirion ranger, congrats have fun. 3 more should win you the game. but yeah id look through t1-2.5 and eliminate the infinite combo commanders and go from there. I'm continuously working on the tier 3 lists (exceptions being kydele and amonkhet ones [college and work keep my magic to a minimum]) so if you see any you like, lmk. Im still working on krenko (92% done) and I cant figure out the missing pieces to hazezon ut they should be on the page still. lmk and ill see if I can brew up something spicy enough.

April 13, 2017 2:56 p.m.

@chaosumbreon87: Well you got me there. That combo works without losing me points. Side effects of being at work and trying analyze deck lists at the same time lol.

I'll probably have to proxy things like Candelabra of Tawnos;Lion's Eye Diamond; City of Traitors; and Gaea's Cradle, but I'll test out the decks nonetheless.

I was also interested in Purphoros, God of the Forge as he seems to fit the restrictions in my league as well, but I can't say I'm a huge fan of the deck on the EDH tier list. Do you have any insight on Purph?

April 13, 2017 4:19 p.m.

purph seems good as combo (like so many of the cedh decks lists) commander. The problem is he needs panharm if you want to get the kill in 5 activations. Otherwise youll only be dealing 20 and become the threat. I'd sooner run Kiki cause I could diversify. Purph doesnt seem as worth it too me. Maybe arcum, muzzio, or teferi would work but I digress. Ill see if I can brew something spicy enough without needing to combo more than 5 times with the same card (or loophole). Stax seems indefinitely better to me as it stops interaction from everyone else while allowing you to play the game. To each their own then.

April 13, 2017 4:47 p.m.

DuTogira says... #22

While I don't have a 100% competitive list (my playgroup and I prefer to keep things at 75%), Ezuri, Claw of Progress is a surprisingly powerful and consistent commander.
He doesn't deal in true infinite combos (minus the one with Sage of Hours, but I'm sure with 3 extra turns you can get out of almost anything) but has crazy powerful options.
Spike Weaver/Spike Feeder
Cultivator of Blades
Triskelion/Walking Ballista
And then of course a whole host of token generators to do well vs creature decks and tech options like Glen Elendra Archmage, Acidic Slime, etc. against more spell heavy strategies.
You're welcome to check out my ezuri list if you'd like, just know that it's missing some big players like Survival of the Fittest and Sage of Hours.

April 13, 2017 9:53 p.m.

@chaosumbreon87: You don't have to build it for me if you don't want to lol! Regardless, why is Purph tier 2.5 if he is just okay? To my knowledge, T3 is where generals begin becoming just "good enough".

@DuTogira: Thanks! I'll give it a look over.

April 13, 2017 10:42 p.m.

im sorry im like 70% complete with the second version of cEDH samut so purph seems just ok to me at this point. Ill concede that t3 is the playable to okay range but tier 2.5 seems dead to me at this point. if hapatra seems to be this good, i might need a break from t3 building

April 13, 2017 11:21 p.m.

@chaosumbreon87: No worries. I think everyone has helped enough. At this point it'll just be up to me to figure out what works best for me as well as build a Purphoros, God of the Forge list that I can be happy testing with.

Good luck with your Samut list. We'll see with Hapatra, she is low cmc and half of combo with Blowfly Infestation, but the problem is that you have to get her started and a lot of the -1/-1 counter cards seem mediocre.

April 14, 2017 12:11 a.m.

black suns zenith, smokestacks, persist, i think this might be workable. Thanks for the luck. I need to make 11 cuts before I can add 10 mana dorks and 30 lands. Good luck with your league and purph

April 14, 2017 12:19 a.m.

AlexoBn says... #27

The main cards for Jarad are:Kokusho, the Evening StarPhyrexian DreadnoughtLord of ExtinctionMikaeus, the UnhallowedChainer, Dementia MasterGolgari Gravetroll

You can get them back with Oversold Cemetery and reanimate spells

Going to list more soon

April 16, 2017 3:49 a.m.

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