Teneb vs Meren vs Muldrotha

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Nov. 19, 2018, 7:36 a.m. by Panzerfire

So I want to build a graveyard themed deck but I'm having trouble deciding between Meren of Clan Nel Toth , Teneb, the Harvester , and Muldrotha, the Gravetide . My playgroup uses decks around 50-60% power and under $100. Who do you think I could make work better with those restrictions?

Boza says... #2

Teneb is quite linear and a bit worse than Karador in the same colors. Meren is kind of in a rut - there is a set way to build Meren decks and they end up looking same-y.

Muldrotha is where the fun is. You can focus on any card type, as long as it is a permanent, and you will be rewarded.

I have recently built Muldrotha and decided to win chiefly via Villainous Wealth, so I built the deck around stalling the game. It is a bit over the budget you have, but here it is if it can give you some ideas:

Muldrotha the Wealthy

November 19, 2018 7:50 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #3

Meren is the most expensive, but being in two colors allows for minimal landbase production, so I would suggest it for budget reasons.

November 19, 2018 8:38 a.m.

Panzerfire says... #4

I think I was leaning more towards Muldrotha anyway. Thanks for the suggestion!

I know Muldrotha is all about permanents but would it be a bad idea to include more instants and sorceries?

November 19, 2018 8:38 a.m.

Panzerfire says... #5

True, two colors definitely means I can save on the land base

November 19, 2018 8:39 a.m.

ZendikariWol says... #6

Teneb: worse than Karador, Ghost Chieftain but still it's got some kinda-neat recursion stuff. Karador's big plus is that he's a reanimation commander than can trigger casting effects.

Meren: you either build it as a toolbox or you build it as a tier 1 stax deck. I have a meren toolbox and it's honestly so much fun.

Muldrotha: build it as a toolbox? Problem with her is that you either:

Want things that sac themselves and you're going to have to discard a buncha cards every turn because all you do is use what you already have in the grave,

Or you want to be reanimating sac targets and to make Muldrotha better than any other sac commander you'll need things that sac every type of permanent.

November 19, 2018 8:39 a.m.

Panzerfire says... #7

I never thought of Karador but he could be interesting too. And I wouldn't be limited to permanents

November 19, 2018 8:43 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #8

Karador is more limited than permanents, it is only creatures, Panzerfire.

November 19, 2018 8:45 a.m.

Panzerfire says... #9

Yes true the recursion is limited to creatures. I meant how most Muldrotha decks are limited to mostly permanents. Which isn't necessarily the worst thing

November 19, 2018 8:48 a.m.

SynergyBuild says... #10

Yeah, but other than cost reduction and colors, Muldrotha's ability is 5x better than Karador.

November 19, 2018 9:05 a.m.

ZendikariWol says... #11

Actually SynergyBuild Muldrotha's ability is, like I said earlier, pretty weak unless you have a ton of different sac outlets that sac different permanent types and a ton of different permanent types to be sac'd. Sticking with creatures is more reliable and a lot less clunky. So in short, 5x better? I think not.

November 19, 2018 9:35 a.m.

_Delta_ says... #12

I have a meren deck and it’s really a lot of fun. I will be making a ton of upgrades to it hopefully soon due to all of these good reprints for the deck coming in Ultimate Masters.

November 19, 2018 12:26 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #13

ZendikariWol it depends, you don't need a sacrifice outlet per se, just a Vessel of Nascency, Executioner's Capsule, Sakura-Tribe Elder, Font of Mythos, Nevinyrral's Disk, Seal of Primordium, Seal of Doom, all of the fetchlands, and other self-sacrificing cards. The Capsules, Spellbombs, Vessels, Fonts, Seals, Blighted Lands, Single-Colored-Pain-Land-Desert Cycle, etc.

November 19, 2018 1:04 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #14

November 19, 2018 1:05 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #15

And see, if you do go that route and just have everything in the deck sacrifice itself, how do you go about getting card advantage? Unless you're fetching a truly stupid amount of lands, all you're casting every turn is cards in your graveyard, and then if you're drawing cards on top of that, you're pitching nearly all of them.

Unless you have shitloads of ramp, you're drawing too many cards. Unless you're drawing cards, all you're doing is casting the same stuff over and over and over again. Ergo you would need different things to draw cards and other things to ramp and for the engine to run you would need both (not to mention the lands are probably coming into play tapped so they don't matter turn-of anyway).

November 19, 2018 1:26 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #16

Font of Fortunes, Vessel of Nascency, Sidisi, Undead Vizier etc.

There are multiple good card draw spells that are repeatable, and drawing your self to oblivion is common in my version, which happens to be $200, but you could drop some of the expensive fetches and do just swell.

November 19, 2018 1:43 p.m.

Pieguy396 says... #17

I wanted to play Reef Worm in Meren for so long, and then Muldrotha came out and I was very happy. Meren can be way more explosive, as Muldrotha is extremely mana-hungry, but I prefer Muldrotha for the added options.

November 19, 2018 2:32 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #18

Personally between Muldrotha and Karador it always came down to color. White just has way more good outlets and targets than blue. If nothing else it has a ton of excellent token creators.

November 19, 2018 2:44 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #19

With your budget I would stick to 2 color but any of these options are solid choices. Manabases are what normally eats the most into a budget and 2 color is pretty cheap but 3 color you can be sacrificing a lot of efficiency for budget.

November 19, 2018 3:35 p.m.

MagicalHacker says... #20

I say Teneb, because playing Meren, Mudrotha, or Karador usually gets people targeting you very quickly. Teneb not so much.

Plus, he's the best one for reanimating big fat creatures, cause paying 7 mana to get them back with Muldrotha or Karador doesn't compare to Teneb's 3 mana.

November 19, 2018 4:38 p.m.

RoarMaster says... #21

I would say Muldrotha.

Teneb is slower, needs to be able to connect, and is limited to creature builds.

Karador is great because he stays relevant late game, and white offers some nice card choices. But Karador only hits creatures, and one at a time. Muldrotha allows for huge board state changes in a single turn, and has far more varied builds.

Meren is great because her ability triggers for free, but again, obly once per turn. She is pretty dangerous, but an expensive and 'cookie cutter' deck to build.

Muldrotha offers more card advantage than any of the other commanders. She also has more varied builds than the others. Where she misses out on whites recursion, she makes up for it with Blues tutor-to-grave spells such as Fact or Fiction. She can be built well on a budget easily enough.

November 19, 2018 6:47 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #22

I would say that being based in creatures, for an aristocrat deck, is more a boon than a weakness. There's a huge problem of balancing permanent types and sac outlets for different permanent types, and the only real way to subvert that is having a deck full of only self-sacrificing permanents. Not a good plan.

November 19, 2018 7:30 p.m.

SynergyBuild says... #23

ZendikariWol these are also just good value commanders, in which you build a normal deck and jsut occasionally use the effects. In that case Muldrotha blows the rest out of the water

November 19, 2018 7:37 p.m.

DrukenReaps says... #24

ZendikariWol I honestly feel like you haven't faced muldrotha or at least haven't faced a good one. A friend of mine runs her and it is a horrifying stax deck. I blow up one piece and he either replays it or plays a new one or both with enough mana... There are tons of really good self saccing cards too but you don't even have to use sacrifice to make karador or muldrotha good. Simply reanimating things that happen to have died over the course of the game is still good.

In a direct comparison of karador vs muldrotha I would say muldrotha has a higher ceiling and karador has a higher floor. That is karador is easier to make good but when muldrotha is good she is great. Karador will get one creature back in one turn, which is good, but muldrotha will get a creature, artifact, planeswalker, and a land back in one turn. Karador's big thing is he is easier to keep casting. If you play him well he is always , he has to be one of the more annoying commanders to keep out of play...

November 19, 2018 8:02 p.m.

RoarMaster says... #25

ZendikariWol "I would say that being based in creatures, for an aristocrat deck, is more a boon than a weakness."

I would have to vigorously disagree with that statement. Being shoe-horned into a single card type will always be more restrictive than multiple card types.

"There's a huge problem of balancing permanent types and sac outlets for different permanent types..."

You dont need to balance perm types, run as many of what you want. There is zero drawback to having unbalanced numbers of perm types aside from slightly lowered reliability to recurr one of each every turn. you also dont need to run sac outlets for each perm type, or have them self-saccable; a card can just be a good card without needing to get sacced and recurred for value. And the ability to recurr that good card if it gets destroyed is clutch. But if you really want, search up Claws of Gix with Tolaria West and good to go.

"..and the only real way to subvert that is having a deck full of only self-sacrificing permanents. Not a good idea."

There are a ton of great self-saccing cards that see play in plenty of decks that do not have the amount of recusion capabilities that Muldrotha has. Nor does Muldrotha need to sac things to get value.She doesnt need things to die, but doesnt mind when they do.

November 19, 2018 9:01 p.m.

ZendikariWol says... #26

We are two very different players, RoarMaster.

I am a stubborn, flavor-over-power commander player. That is not to say I brew weak decks, no. What I mean is that you are going for more just general value and I'm going after a theme. You want to play cards that are objectively good. I'm going for a more narrowly good thing. You want to build a good deck. I want to build a good sacrifice deck.

That's chill and I don't judge you for that at all, I'm just saying we're kinda going for two different things here. I can 100% see where and how you disagree with me, and you're right to a certain extent, but I'd stick to my guns on this one. I think effects like Claws of Gix's are very rare and in a 100 card deck that's unrealiable. Only sacrificing creatures is just less hassle and has stronger synergies. We have a few artifact sacrifice synergies, but other than that, we've got near-nothing for enchantments and lands (much like creatures) are an entire new and vastly different deck. Beyond that, there's the problem of overlap; namely that there is none. A few things sacrifice artifacts or creatures, but nothing sacrifices creatures or lands, nothing sacrifices enchantments or lands. This deck would basically consist of three to four very small commander decks, not one cohesive deck.

November 20, 2018 12:37 a.m.

ZendikariWol says... #27

DrukenReaps I'd be willing to concede that if you have 20,000$ to spend and you want to make a deck that's not fun (and yeah I'm talking about stax), then Muldrotha is the better choice by leaps and bounds. But I don't play competitive because it's not enjoyable so I guess this is mostly up to the preference of the fellow who started this thread, whether he/she/etc. plays competitive or not.

November 20, 2018 12:41 a.m.

DrukenReaps says... #28

Seeing as my words are wasted I would like to apologize to Panzerfire for derailing this thread. Maybe you can find something useful in my extra blabber...

November 20, 2018 2:13 a.m.

RoarMaster says... #29

ZendikariWol "You want to build a good deck. I want to build a good sacrifice deck."

Nah man, I want to build a good sacrifice/theme deck too. We are not as dissimilar as you might think. Here is my current Muldrotha build, give or take a few cards Im still looking for. Gravemind

But the point of replying to the OP, is not to tell them how to build a deck, or if it should have a sacrifice theme or not. Its 'What can you do with $100 and a graveyard theme?' And the fact is, Muldrothas ability parallels Karadors, but also allows multiple other perm types to be recurred as well.

"I think effects like Claws of Gix's are very rare and in a 100 card deck that's unrealiable." "Beyond that, there's the problem of overlap; namely that there is none. A few things sacrifice artifacts or creatures, but nothing sacrifices creatures or lands, nothing sacrifices enchantments or lands."

Ill start with the lands. Generally you dont need/want to sac lands. And a ton of lands just sac themselves to do what they normally do. The fact that you can recurr a Terramorphic Expanse every turn(or Fetchland) is a real thing, never mind all of the other techy self-saccing lands. Muldrotha offers up a huge amount of land based options, at no drawback or deck building requirements. Point being, "mana lands" you probably want to keep, and tech lands usually sac themselves, so having the ability to artificially sac lands is needless.

As far as other perm saccing and crossovers go, I dunno, there is probably 4 or so in colors. Infernal Tribute, theres this wizard who sacs stuff to bounce things to hand, and an enchantment that does the same too I think.

Crossovers, Ertai, the Corrupted jumps to mind, and that black sac artifact/creature guy from kaladesh block. But its pretty slim pickings off the top of my head, you are right.

But the main reason you would run sac outlets for things would be if you wanted them in your grave, in order to recast them and get an ETB effect. Right?** But again, an ETB recursion deck is just one build of Muldrotha, and should not be touted as the only, or best one. Best place obviously taken by stax.

**There are a limited cards that simply are better in the graveyard, but most simply fine with being there. For example: Wonder Vs Gravecrawler. And since we have the best color combo for getting cards from our library into our grave, it should be simple to get them there without even casting them, thus not needing to sacrifice them.


We both build very on-theme decks. There are many ways to build Muldrotha, and ETB, Stax or Self-Sac are just a few. Muldrotha has Karadors ability, plus more options. Options are always good, even if you dont play huge into them(see land example above). They both stay relevant late game due to karadors reduction, and for Mul, Command Beacon.

If you ignore everything but their creature recursion and colors, Muldrotha gets more cards into the grave faster due to blue, giving card advantage. Karador arguably is faster at returning things from his grave to play once they get their, due to the number of white recursion creatures. But this is assuming you can only cast creatures from your grave, nothing else with either of them.

November 20, 2018 6:16 a.m.

ZendikariWol says... #30

Ooh that's actually a really good point RoarMaster. Library-to-grave in Sultai is a thiccc mechanic. I may actually brew this now. It would give me a good chance to actually playtest and see if my assumptions about the results of certain courses of action were correct. I may be taking some inspiration from your deck, actually.

Anyhow I would still say that Karador is just as good a commander, due to the tighter synergies, but Muldrotha is very broad and that offers a lot of sweet options too. Guess like most things in Magic, it's just a matter of preference.

Also, DrukenReaps sorry I came off like sort of an asshole, I have a deep disdain for stax. That doesn't make your comment less uncalled for, but yes, mine was... even more uncalled for.

November 20, 2018 8:51 a.m.

MagicalHacker says... #31

Panzerfire, to clarify, are you looking to build reanimator in the sense of reanimating big fat creatures or in the sense of sacrificing small value creatures in order to get them back over and over?

November 20, 2018 2:05 p.m.

Panzerfire says... #32

That's a good question actually. There's nothing really saying I couldn't build one of each

November 20, 2018 3:17 p.m.

RoarMaster says... #33

ZendikariWol Thanks man, Im glad you liked the build. :) Generally you ramp/remove/draw early game, and then once Mul hits you lock down players with tons of removal while gaining incremental advantage by recurring small stuff with free mana. So far the deck has a pretty good track record, but it could probably use a few more win-cons, as 3/4 times I win with Lab Man via Primal Surge, Mesmeric Orb, or Hermit Druid.

"I would still say that Karador is just as good a commander, due to the tighter synergies..."

I still have to disagree with this. They both have an identical recursion ability, so Karador cannot have "Tighter Synergies" than Muldrotha. Being stuck with only using creatures doesnt make for tighter synergies, just more restrictions. If you wanted to you could run Muldrotha with just the intention of recurring creatures like Karador, and she would be just as 'tight' on synergies as Karador would be.

Ya Karador is Azban, but what does white bring to the table that cant be done just as well in Sultai? Nothing much I can think of. White has recusrion creatures, but black has recursion enchantments for cheaper. IMHO, just the land plays from grave makes Muldrotha superior to Karador, never mind the artifact/enchant/planeswalkers she also hits.

"Guess like most things in Magic, it's just a matter of preference."

Yep, thats what we love about the game :D

November 20, 2018 7:53 p.m.

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