multimedia Elven Deck Helper

SynergyBuild says... #1

What is 'Feature Que'ing? I clicked it and don't know what it means, hoping you know!

September 20, 2018 3:54 p.m.

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Hey, KiroiSenko, welcome to TappedOut :) Conclave Cavalier is a good suggestion, the card is definitely strong, but it's not amazing enough to have to change the manabase for it's CMC. It's CMC is very difficult to consistently make. I'm playing Steel Leaf Champion he's a core Elf, many people including myself say he is the reason to play green in Standard. Even with Unclaimed Territory's help (Cavalier is a Knight) it's still too difficult to play both Champion and Cavalier in the same deck, is the problem. Adding Song of Freyalise back into the deck would help.

If I was going to add a card four drop to this deck it would be Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants. Ajani is very versatile being a counters engine or reanimation of Thorn, Emmara or Collector. He's very good with Collector and Emmara putting counters on either getting Collector closer to trample and giving Emmara more toughness so she can safely attack. I'm currently playing one Ajani in the sideboard, wish I could play more, but can't consistently cast cards.

Lava Coil is going to be a big problem for midrange decks in Standard. It's the card red aggro needed to combat Champion, Rekindling Phoenix and Nicol Bolas, the Ravager  Flip. If Cavalier get killed by Coil it's exiled and as a result I don't get the tokens. Loxodon also has 4 toughness, but I got value from him when he ETB since he gives all creatures used to convoke him counters. I'm less upset if Coil exiles Loxodon.

Pelt Collector is an amazing card and I've taken your advice and added a fourth copy cutting 1x Seal Away, thanks. I'm not willing to cut a creature to add a fourth Collector, but cutting 1x Seal is fine. Four Collector does make him potentially worse as a top deck later in the game, but it also increases the consistently, my chances of having him turn one which is more important for the strategy of this deck.

Adding blue for Bant will have to wait until Jan. 2019. Then all ten Shock lands will be in Standard and it will be a wild ride for brewing in Standard. When this deck has access to Breeding Pool then blue and Bant has potential for Negate and Hadana's Climb  Flip. Mirror Image is an interesting suggestion, but I don't think it's good enough card to warrant cutting something else. Maybe as a one of.


September 22, 2018 1:16 a.m.

Hey, Soulcommando, haha lets hope :) The explosiveness is definitely back and there's so many avenues/lines of play that can be good with Selesnya and convoke. Pelt Collector is the one drop Elf who the tribe needed and Guilds of Ravnica delivered. I've surprised myself how fast the pieces fell into place to make Selesyna work. And I'm happy with the results.

The most damage I've done playtesting so far attacking turn four is 20 damage. That's with a god hand: turn one Llanowar, turn two Collector and Emmara, turn three Loxodon, turn four 2x Clancaller and attack with a 6/6 Collector, 4/4 Llanowar, 4/4 Loxodon, 5/5 Emmara and 1/1 token. That's 25 power on the battlefield turn four. Even with only one Clancaller turn four I'm still attacking for 17 damage.

Venerated Loxodon brings the speed with his convoke. He's the new addition and one of the main reasons the deck is now Selesnya instead of Abzan. He replaced Song of Freyalise as the convoke enabler for Emmara. I really like the interaction of Loxodon with Elves especially Pelt Collector putting two counters on him just by convoking. Loxodon can also be slow if I can't play him turn three, but even so he can make a very powerful board state for the next turn. Knight of Autumn being a Knight is super helpful for the manabase with Territory (big reason I can consistently play it turn two) because Steel Leaf Champion is also a Knight. It also helps that both Autumn/Trostani are Dryads and Emmara/Loxodon are Clerics. This makes it easier to craft a hand with these creatures around Territory as my white source.


September 21, 2018 9:17 a.m.

Said on UB Fliers...

#3

Yes, you're right Sabotage is not the best in aggro matchups, but you can't completely build your main deck to be only against aggro. I suggested to plan the main deck to be better against aggro not to make it completely for aggro matchups. Sorry if I worded this strangely.

Sabotage is an instant way to surveil that alone is worth main deck. In some situations you can counter cards that your aggro opponent plays. If aggro in Guilds of Ravnica Standard is anything close to aggro at all past Standard the last 3+ years then these decks will be playing curve topper four and five drops. Countering these cards gives you an advantage. You can take out some copies of Sabotage in aggro matchups for games 2 and 3. Because of playing Phantasm and Spybug then in my opinion all other cards should surveil. Without lots of surveil these creatures are lackluster especially Spybug. It's surveil that makes them good.

Consider this example:

  • 4x Phantasm
  • 4x Spybug
  • 2x Lazav
  • 3-4x Whisperer
  • 4x Discovery
  • 2-3x Rain
  • 4x Erasure
  • 4x Sabotage
  • 3x Disappearance
  • 3x Trophy

This example has a clear core of cards for the surveil strategy (Phantasm, Spybug, Whisperer, Discovery, Sabotage and Erasure). All these cards either have surveil or can benefit from it. Nightveil Sprite has a good ability to surveil each turn, but this requires that you attack with her and because of that I think she's too slow. Her 1 power is not doing much as far as attacking. Another reason to consider cutting her is that there's a lot of good two drop surveil cards that do something as well as surveil the turn you play them. These cards are faster with both Phantasm and Spybug.

The draw that Discovery and Rain can provide I think is important for card advantage with surveil because surveil is not giving you card advantage in the sense that the mechanic doesn't draw you a card it only filters cards on top of your library. This is still good, but you need the ability to draw the gas you filter otherwise all your doing is just putting cards into your graveyard or leaving them on top of your library.


September 20, 2018 5:10 p.m.

Said on SynergyBuild...

#4

Hey, feature queuing is putting your deck in the Featured Decks of the site. To queue one deck (yours or anyone else's) requires using one feature token. If you don't have a feature token then you can't feature queue. This is what you use the feature tokens in your account for.

At the top of the page there's a deck ad box that shows one featured deck. The featured deck shown is random, it changes when you refresh the page. The point of this ad box is help you get views and upvotes of your deck that you feature. Since this ad box is on every web page of the entire site lots of users will see your deck in this box.

Featured decks of the day are also shown at the Featured tab on the Home page as well as the Deck Builder featured page. Any deck you queue will be featured for a 24 hour period starting the time you queue it. After 24 hours the deck will stop being featured. If you want to feature your deck again then you'll need to use another feature token to queue it again.

September 20, 2018 4:32 p.m.

Said on UB Fliers...

#5

Hey, your really on to something here, this looks very good.

I think both Thief of Sanity and Underrealm Lich are sideboard cards because they aren't good in aggro matchups, but seem great in control and midrange matchups. Sanity being 2/2 three drop and Lich having 3 toughness five drop are not good stats when against aggro. Both also don't surveil; they can't pump either Spybug or Phantasm. At the beginning of Guilds of Ravnica Standard my advice is to plan the main deck to beat aggro. Consider 2x of Sanity and 2x Lich in the sideboard?

Find // Finality is a lackluster card, I don't think you need it. Consider main deck Sinister Sabotage? Sabotage and Notion Rain are the two three drops that have surveil. 3-4x of each main deck is good. Also consider 2x main deck Lazav, the Multifarious his ability to surveil when he ETB is good.

Consider less green in the manabase? Turn one Phantasm is a play you want to make consistently, but to do this you want 12-14 sources of untapped blue. Think of Phantasm as blue's Llanowar Elves, but need to build the manabase around it with blue. Spybug/Ensure/Discovery // Dispersal are also less consisent with so much green. These cards you want to consistently be able to play turn two. I think because of surveil you can get away with playing 8-10 green sources as a splash only for Trophy and Lich in the sideboard. This change allows for more blue and black sources in the manabase. More Islands also helps to consistently play Sabotage.

Consider this 25 land manabase (17 blue sources, 14 black, 8 green) with a focus on being able to play turn one Phantasm (13 blue untapped blue sources) and turn two Spybug/Ensure/Discovery:

  • 9x Island
  • 2x Swamp
  • 4x Grave
  • 4x Tomb
  • 2x Catacomb
  • 2x Cemetery
  • 2x Harbor

Consider Unexplained Disappearance as more main deck removal that can also pump Phantasm or Skybug? It seems like a good tempo play after a turn one Phantasm or turn two Skybug as a combat trick to bounce your opponent's creature and then pump Phantasm or Skybug in combat. Being able to do this makes instant cards that can surveil very good. Trophy as the only main deck removal spell is problematic because you don't want to have to rely on Trophy as creature removal in aggro matchups.

Good luck with your deck.


September 20, 2018 12:17 p.m.

I've been getting some requests for the old final Gruul version of this deck. If you're still interested in this version then I've included the deck list in the deck description area at the top of the page. To see the deck list click on the show button. I'll leave it on the page until Oct. 5th rotation.

When I get around to updating the Timeline then that's the place that the final Gruul version deck list will be after Oct. 5th :)


September 18, 2018 2:19 a.m.

Hey, I just suggested Grand Warlord Radha and now that I think about it she can be a reason to play a more aggressive strategy with Jund. I've been playing Radha and Thorn together in current Dominaria Standard in my Gruul Elves deck. They have great interaction together because you can use six mana that's created with Rahda, other attacking creatures including Thorn and your lands to pump Thorn to a 6/7 in combat.

Warboss has synergy with Radha because each time he or more likely a Goblin token attacks it makes mana even if the token dies then at least you got some value from it. You can use mana made by Rahda and other attacking creatures to ramp into Whisperer/Contempt or make it easier to play Vraska and Trophy. The mana made is not black, it's green or red mana, but it's still free mana.

Consider this example:

  • 4x Thorn
  • 3-4x Branchwalker
  • 4x Warboss
  • 3-4x Radha
  • 3-4x Whisperer
  • 4x Tropy
  • 3-4x Strike
  • 4x Contempt

This more aggressive strategy has potential and is worth testing. Cutting out the need for could potentially help the manabase enough that land fixing with Guide isn't wanted.


September 18, 2018 1:44 a.m.

Hey, you're welcome.

Have you considered that because of the new Lava Coil, Contempt and upcoming graveyard strategies that will require players to play graveyard exile that Rekindling Phoenix is not what you want to play post rotation? If you cut Phoenix then you can reduce the amount of red you need for more green.

As you know Golgari is in Guilds of Ravnica both Gruul and Rakdos are not therefore until Jan. 2019 maybe focus more on the green and black side of Jund and only splash red with Dragonskull, Rootbound and 2x Mountain? Of course a red splash like this can't support cards. In my opinion Trophy, Contempt and Whisperer are big reasons to play more green and black than red.

I think with this Jund midrange strategy that having enough lands to cast you're spells is more important than having early game threats. I would rather have too many lands then not enough especially with Vraska. The top end is really powerful here, cards like Whisperer can by itself stabilize you in a game. Trophy and Contempt especially Trophy are cards that can allow you to play much more into the mid game, worrying less about the early game other than removal; you can take advantage of this versatility. The curve out is nice to have, but for the strategy here in my opinion I think the curve out starting with an explore two drop into District Guide land set-up is more beneficial to get you into the mid game than playing early game threats like Thorn and Warboss.

Unfortunately, one of the best cards for Jund is not in Jund colors, it's in Selesyna and that card is Knight of Autumn. This card screams Jund because of the options/versatility and it can be a 4/3 for three which is above the curve power for a three drop, just what Jund wants. Because of Autumn you should strongly consider Abzan instead of Jund because both Golgari and Selesnya are in Guilds of Ravnica, the manabase can be really good. A four drop option to consider with red is Grand Warlord Radha. She's a powerful card that's seen zero play, but that could change post rotation.


Lava Coil is a good card, but it's less here needed because you're playing black and have Contempt to exile any creature. Consider however playing both Coil and Strike? Strike main and Coil in the sideboard? Coil and Strike can be your early game removal and Trophy and Contempt can be your mid and late game removal? You're going to want some removal other than Trophy for aggro because as powerful as Trophy is using it in the early game to kill your opponent's aggro creature is helping your opponent out a lot by giving them a free land. Of course there are situations where your aggro opponent is flooded with lands and in this case then killing their only creature with Trophy thus giving them another land hurts them. But more times than not giving your opponent a free land in the early game is not good especially if their playing top end threats for example Aurelia, Demanding Dragon, Siege-Gang, etc.


September 18, 2018 1:10 a.m.

Hey benjonator, is this the old deck list you're looking for?

  • 5x Forest
  • 1x Mountain
  • 4x Unclaimed Territory
  • 3x Aether Hub
  • 4x Rootbound Crag
  • 3x Sheltered Thicket
  • 2x Hashep Oasis
  • 4x Llanowar Elves
  • 3x Narnam Renegade
  • 4x Elvish Clancaller
  • 4x Thorn Lieutenant
  • 3x Servant of the Conduit
  • 4x Steel Leaf Champion
  • 3x Rishkar, Peema Renegade
  • 2x Rhonas the Indomitable
  • 3x Grand Warlord Radha
  • 4x Abrade
  • 4x Blossoming Defense

Sideboard:

  • 2x Banefire
  • 2x Deathgroge Scavenger
  • 2x Aethersphere Harvester
  • 2x Reclamation Sage
  • 2x Vine Mare
  • 2x Lifecrafter's Bestiary
  • 1x Walking Ballista
  • 1x Vivien Reid
  • 1x Nissa Vital Force


September 18, 2018 12:32 a.m.

Hey, saw your forum topic. I don't think Planar Bridge is a good card and I don't think you need it here :)

Instead consider Fierce Empath? This Elf can tutor for any one of the Eldrazi Titans or other big stuff like Vorinclex or Elderscale. Empath doesn't put the creature you tutor for onto the battlefield like Zenith does, but it can tutor for creatures that Zenith can't such as Eldrazi. Empath puts the creature you tutor for into your hand this can be just as good with Selvala as putting it on the battlefield. With Empath your essentially paying an extra three mana to first cast Empath and then just play the creature you get with Empath.

Consider Ghalta, Primal Hunger? It's another creature who can benefit from Ancient and other low CMC high power creatures. You can reduce Ghalta's mana cost up to . It can be a potential consistent 12/12 creature for two mana in this deck and that's busted with Selvala.

Consider Wirewood Lodge? This land can untap Selvala or Treespeaker letting you use their mana abilities twice a turn. If you have more than one Lodge in play then you can untap Selvala even more times.

Good luck with your deck.


September 17, 2018 9:28 a.m.

Hey Hex, short answer is I don't need it. Territory can't help to turn on Check lands, that's the main reason I've cut it down.

Territory is less needed because of Tomb and Garden that can ETB untapped turn one or any other turn to make one of two colors and a single one of these lands turns on all the Check lands. I've left Territory as a 1 of for now because it's still a good land with Elves because it can ETB untapped, but I don't want an opening hand of two of them.

The big difference is with Abzan I have 8x Check lands that I want to turn on. In contrast with Golgari I only had 4x Cemetery and lots of Forests which can turn on Cemetery. Territory is fine with a Golgari manabase because it's only bad with 4x Cemetery. With Abzan Territory is bad with 8x Check lands, in my opinion that's too many.

Using District Guide and with the most likely upcoming presence of Trophy in Standard, basic lands are good. I've however reached the limit of the amount of basic Plains and Swamps that I'll play (2x of each is still a lot, would rather only play 1x of each) any more and I risk hurting the consistency of playing Steel Leaf Champion and Llanowar Elves.


September 17, 2018 8:24 a.m.

Said on Need to cut ......

#12

Hey, the four cuts to consider: Obsessive Search, Boomerang, Opt and Everflowing Chalice.

Cards to consider as upgrades of current cards:

Cards to consider to cut for these:

  • Twin Cast
  • Deadeye Navigator
  • Reality Spasm
  • Reality Shift
  • Whir of Invention
  • Mind Stone


September 17, 2018 7:47 a.m.

Hey, nice post rotation deck.

To help the manabase consider District Guide instead of Scavenger or Warboss? With a lot of basic lands and three different double cast costs , and in the sideboard the land fixing that Guide can provide helps. Turn three Guide can help (just about guarantee) to make your fourth land drop which with the current build is good to fix lands to cast either Phoenix or Contempt.

Warboss looks out of place. Yes he can create a Goblin each turn and that's good, but you must attack with that Goblin. Warboss is great with an aggro weenie strategy because you'll have lot of other creatures who your opponent has to deal with, but that's not the case here, it's midrange. Warboss and it's token are easy to block if they're your only early game aggressive creatures. You don't want to be using Trophy to pick off your opponent's blockers to let Warboss and his Goblin(s) get through. If the Goblin token didn't have to attack then it would be very good with Vraska's +2 sac ability.

The Goblin token is good with burn removal such as Lightning Strike. With Strike you can kill up to a 4 toughness creature when it blocks your 1/1 token. If your opponent knows you play Strike and you have two mana available it's much less likely they will block the 1/1 instead just take the 1 damage. This then helps you to be able to use the token(s) as sac fodder for Vraska.

Jund is about getting value from the cards you play and this starts with the two drops. Consider a two drop who can help you to set-up the game to play Whisperer and Phoenix? Merfolk Branchwalker or Seekers' Squire? Both these two drops can help to get a land into hand giving you better chances of making your fourth and fifth land drops or help to filter the top of your library to find Whisperer. Seeker is better with the manabase here as there's more black than green and if you explore without revealing a land it gets 3 toughness. Scavenger is a good card, but more of a sideboard card for now until we know more about new Guilds of Ravnica Standard.

Good luck with your deck.


September 17, 2018 6:56 a.m.

Brewing with Elves for Guilds of Ravnica Standard has been amazing fun because Elves have so many options right now (and more are still to be revealed). More than any other time I can remember there's been this many playable Elf options in Standard :) Elves are in both Golgari and Selesyna guilds and each guild brings something different to the tribe. So many possibilities; why not combine them? This weekend I've done just that and as a result this deck has changed, it's now Abzan.

White for Emmara, Soul of the Accord and Trostani Discordant and black for Assassin's Trophy and Swarm Guildmage. Having access to both black and white for the sideboard will open up a lot of versatile options; some are Knight of Autumn, Shalai, Voice of Plenty, Midnight Reaper and Duress. Emmara and Trostani add a new Solider token theme with Elves. New Trostani is pretty powerful for a five drop with Elves because she can give them all +1/+1 as well as make tokens who have lifelink. She's great at stabilizing against aggro as well as making my army of Elves and tokens safe from Goblin Chainwhirler's ETB ability.

Shes another anthem effect for the tribe to go along with Elvish Clancaller. Against control she puts out 5 power, 8 toughness over three bodies, good recovery from a board wipe. Trostani is great with ramp with Elves following a Trostani after a Steel Leaf Champion is a power play. Currently I'm playing 2x Trostani main deck, but I could see playing a third copy since she's another anthem effect for Elves.

A three color manabase is tricky and it's the main thing I worked on this weekend; can't play three colors if the manabase is shitty. I came to conclusion that Abzan could work with Steel Leaf Champion and Assassin's Trophy because of Overgrown Tomb, Temple Garden and by adding two cards District Guide and Song of Freyalise. Both these cards can help to fix colors of mana.

Guide is an underrated card. I tested Elvish Rejuvenator instead of Guide, but came to the conclusion that Guide is better even though if I reveal a land with Rejuvenator I can put it onto the battlefield tapped (including a dual land). Guild only puts the basic land I tutor for into my hand, but the difference is Guide can as long as I have a basic land in my library tutor for a land. Rejuvenator can miss in the top five of my library. With 30 creatures I was finding this was happening and Rejuvenator is a terrible card if he doesn't get me a land.

The 1 toughness vs 2 toughness is another factor since I'm relying on Elvish Clancaller as the tribal lord (reason to play Elves) or Trostani as anthem effects. A 3/3 Guide is much better than a 2/2 Rejuvenator with one of these anthems. 2/2 Guide survives Chainwhirler's ETB, 1/1 Rejuvenator doesn't.

I've been waiting for a reason to play Song of Freyalise with Elves and Emmara, Soul of the Accord is now the reason. Emmara and the tokens she can create have amazing interaction with Song. With Song Emmara can be ramp of any color as well as create more fuel for even more ramp the next turn. This interaction creates more creatures for more ramp, more color fixing, but these creatures are also making Song much better for it's chapter three ability which can be a win condition now.

Another reason I added Song is to make Beast Whisperer better. Using Elves as ramp instead of attacking to play even more Elves and draw cards. This is doing things that are good with Song it's adding more creatures to the battlefield who can be more ramp the next turn and it's creating a bigger army to smash my opponent with chapter three of Song.

I don't want to be attacking with Whisperer unless I know for sure it's safe. He's much better to have alive on the battlefield then attacking and doing some damage. With Song I can use Whisperer as ramp to help to play Elves which in turn is making Whisperer double useful (draw and ramp). Whisperer's draw allows me to trim the numbers of cards making it easier to build a clear core (4x Llanowar, 4x Thorn, 4x Clancaller, 4x Champion, 4x Trophy) while also having enough draw power to help to draw supporting cards.

I'm playing both Swarm Guildmage and Conclave Guildmage. It's amazing that both the Golgari and Selesyna Guildmages are Elves; these guys provide a lot of utility for the tribe. I'm been very impressed with Swarm, much less so with Conclave. Swarm in combination with Song's chapter three ability can wreck my opponent. Song gives all my creatures vigilance, I can attack with all of them including Swarm and then with five mana I can tap Swarm and give all my creatures a pump and menace. Song gives vigilance, trample and indestructible to my creatures until EOT and Swarm gives them menace EOT making my army pretty much unstoppable for the turn potentially winning the game.

Conclave is a lone 1 of because it's abilities while good are less needed and as impactful as Swarm. Giving Steel Leaf Champion or 6/7 Thorn Lieutenant trample are good reasons to play Conclave, but these are too situational scenarios. Emmara is the same exact casting cost as Conclave and she's a much more integral part of this deck's new strategy.

Assassin's Trophy is a card that's worth playing and heavily testing a three color manabase to play it. This card is powerful that theoretically I don't need to play any other removal because it can destroy anything including a damn land. Giving my opponent a basic land that they can put into play untapped does have it's disadvantages though when against aggro especially red with burn spells. As a result Trophy is a not good removal spell for the early the game, it's a mid and late game removal spell when lands matter much less to my opponent. I'm playing 4x Trophy main deck right now, but if aggro is dominate in Standard then I could see cutting some for other removal early game removal like Seal Away or Cast Down.


September 17, 2018 2:53 a.m.

Said on Esper Angels...

#15

Hey, how much have you playtested? I ask because white is the most important color if you want to play Angels and it has the least amount of sources (12) in the manabase. Needing for Resplendent and Lyra who are together the Angel engine you'll want more than 12 sources of white.

It's difficult to support cards with a playable Esper manabase for Guilds of Ravnica Standard you really need Hallowed Fountain or Godless Shrine, but won't get these lands until Jan 2019. Consider Anticipate? It lets you look at three cards and choose one of them. This gives you more selection to help to find lands. The combination of 4x Opt and 3-4x Anticipate can give you enough library selection to help to find white lands as well as set-up/find the Angel you need. Consider cutting Knight of Grace for Anticipate?

Grace and Malice is a great team, but Grace is mediocre without Malice because the only card that can pump him here is Malice. Malice on the other hand is good because he can be pumped by the Angels. I suggest putting Grace in the sideboard.


Consider Jeskai? Jeskai lets you play the new Aurelia (Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice) another Angel as well as Teferi and Search. A Jeskai manabase can more easily support because you can play 4x Sacred Foundry, 4x Clifftop Retreat and 4x Glacial Fortress and 4x Plains giving you 16 sources of white. It also gives you 8x Shock lands which can turn on all the Check lands making a three color manabase smooth in game play. Shards (Grixis and Naya) and wedges (Jeskai, Sultai, Abzan) can use two different Shock lands in the manabases making these color combinations much better with Check lands. Shards and wedges that can only use one Shock land (Esper, Jund, Bant, Mardu, Temur) are less favorable for upcoming Standard.

An 26 land Jeskai example (16 white, 13 blue, 16 red):

With Jeskai and red you could play Boros Locket as ramp (turn four Lyra/sac it later on in the game to draw cards), Lava Coil as removal that exiles and Deafening Clarion as a three drop board wipe against aggro that can also be a nonLyra way to give Angels lifelink.

Good luck with your deck.


September 16, 2018 11:39 p.m.

Said on Oloro - On ......

#16

Hey, you asked for my help. This is a well built budget Commander deck. Only $137 for a complete playable Commander deck is nice, good job.

Chromatic Lantern is down more than 60% in price (less than $5 now) since it's been revealed to be reprinted in Guilds of Ravnica. Lantern is now a budget Commander card, as it should be :) The prices haven't updated yet for this site, but if you add (GRN) to the end of Lantern in the text editor it will show up as the GRN version with the updated low price.


Your decklist is already really well done/streamlined, it's going to be difficult to make cuts without adding some additional price... Here's a list of cards to consider adding/cutting:

If these lands upgrades are too much then I think you're better off playing more basic lands then the three Guildgates, Barrens, River and Boneyard. More basic lands at least work better with the Bounce lands (Azorius Chancery, etc.).

Good luck with your deck.


September 16, 2018 5:04 a.m.

Hey, please don't hub your work in progress decks as competitive. This is a brew that has some potential for Guilds of Ravnica Standard, but it's not yet competitive.

Consider Gift of Paradise? It's ramp and good color fixing as well as life gain. The land that's enchanted can be untapped with Teferi's +1. Bant Turns (featuring Nexus of Fate) uses this strategy and it helps to make the deck play much smoother. As far as four colors go I suggest Sultai splashing white. Sultai instead of Bant because Sultai can have an amazing manabase with 4x Watery Grave and 4x Overgrown Tomb both turn on all the Check lands which is important for a control manabase that's four colors. You can splash white for Teferi, Seal Away, Chromium and other single white sideboard cards with Temple Garden, Glacial Fortress and Isolated Chapel. Sultai gives you consistent access to all the good Dimir as well as Golgari cards in the Guilds of Ravnica.

Making the manabase easier to play both Trophy and Contempt is a direction to consider because both these cards are going to be pretty powerful in upcoming Standard. Sultai more than Bant in my opinion is the better color combination to play both these cards consistently as well as to take the best advantage of surveil.

I think it's worth playtesting a small creature base of flash/surveil creatures (House Guildmage, Whisper Agent) who can be fodder to turn on undergrowth for Mausoleum Secrets. With Sultai, two drop Glowspore Shaman also has potential as it puts cards into your graveyard for Search or Mission while also helping to make land drops. Secrets is busted with Trophy because it only takes two creatures in your graveyard to tutor for Trophy. Secrets being an instant two drop tutor is nice for control.

Good luck with your deck.


September 14, 2018 10:53 p.m.

Hey Sephigeta, thanks for the upvote. I save lists all my versions, here's the previous Gruul version:

  • 5x Forest
  • 1x Mountain
  • 4x Unclaimed Territory
  • 3x Aether Hub
  • 4x Rootbound Crag
  • 3x Sheltered Thicket
  • 2x Hashep Oasis
  • 4x Llanowar Elves
  • 3x Narnam Renegade
  • 4x Elvish Clancaller
  • 4x Thorn Lieutenant
  • 3x Servant of the Conduit
  • 4x Steel Leaf Champion
  • 3x Rishkar, Peema Renegade
  • 2x Rhonas the Indomitable
  • 3x Grand Warlord Radha
  • 4x Abrade
  • 4x Blossoming Defense

Sideboard:

  • 2x Banefire
  • 2x Deathgroge Scavenger
  • 2x Aethersphere Harvester
  • 2x Reclamation Sage
  • 2x Vine Mare
  • 2x Lifecrafter's Bestiary
  • 1x Walking Ballista
  • 1x Vivien Reid
  • 1x Nissa Vital Force


September 14, 2018 5:12 a.m.

Hey djnewellmit, thanks, lots of good new Elves in the set I'm excited to get to brewing. I've already updated with the first version, it's back to Golgari, but Selesnya with Emmara, Soul of the Accord, Conclave Guildmage with Radiant Destiny and Shalai, Voice of Plenty also has real potential.


Hey joaoguaxinim and vomitpile, thanks for the suggestion. Ochran Assassin is in the sideboard when I get a chance to playtest her this evening/weekend in place of Midnight Reaper; we'll see if her ability is better than Reaper. Reaper may not be an Elf, but it's a powerful card against removal/board wipes cards Elves have problems with and is good if I want to keep the aristocrat strategy. The theoretical decks I'm playtesting against right now are Boros Goblins, Mono Green Midrange and Mono Red Midrange. 1 toughness of Assassin is not good against Goblin Chainwhirler. Reaper survives Chainwhirler's ETB and if Chainwhirler kills any of my 1 toughness creatures like Llanowar Elves I'm drawing a card for each one while also losing 1 life.

Chainwhirler will however help if I want to play undergrowth. It may actually be beneficial to play more 1 toughness creatures who die to Chainwhirler, but realistically going to need more self mill and a low mana cost card/no mana cost sac outlet, to play undergrowth. Glowspore Shaman is a good start, but it's not enough yet. I really like that Secrets of the Mausoleum can tutor for Izoni, Thousand-Eyed or Underrealm Lich depending on how many creatures are in my graveyard. If I can't tutor for either of them then I can possibly get Assassin's Trophy or Vraska, Golgari Queen. Secrets is a good two drop instant tutor payoff to want to play undergrowth, but need more enablers.

I may be over-hyping Beast Whisperer because he's a four drop who without ramp I can't get value the turn I play him. He's also not very good with undergrowth if I choose to play it. With Whisper I want to have in my hand and play Elves to draw cards, but with undergrowth I want to do the opposite. I want to get Elves into the graveyard before they're even cast. If I play undergrowth than Vraska will most likely be my four drop in place of Whisperer since she can be an enabler to get Elves who are on the battlefield into my graveyard while also providing draw.

Surveil is a nice mechanic with undergrowth, but I don't see myself playing Sultai with blue currently because the mana situation is problematic, having only one playable blue dual land, Hinterland Harbor that can make green mana. Chart a Course, Dimir Informant, Nightveil Sprite, Rain of Notions, House Guildmage all seem like good blue undergrowth enablers, but I don't think splashing blue just for some undergrowth enablers is where I want to be. Explore (Jadelight Ranger, Merfolk Branchwalker) is a good green mechanic with undergrowth, but like surveil there's no Elves with explore.


September 14, 2018 12:12 a.m.

Hey, you're welcome. The manabase is so much better, nice Fetch lands :)

Consider decreasing the avg CMC? It's currently 3.7 this is pretty high if you're wanting to be aggressive with Zombies and playing a Commander who's counting on having a some what established battlefield of Zombies to attack with when you play her. I see a lot of four and five drops here consider cutting most of them for lower CMC cards? Your four drop play is Varina this means that any other four drop should be a better card than her to warrant playing. Focus on one and two drop Zombies with the three drop lords if you're trying to be aggressive with Varina.

As far as the five drops go this spot on the mana curve is already occupied with your combo pieces (Archfiend, Havengul, Alhammarret). For the strategy here these are the five drops you want to draw. Are they the best five drops to play with Zombies? Nope, but for the combos and the combo strategies here you need them and want to draw them. Other than the combo pieces consider the five drops that reanimate all the Zombies in your graveyard with one spell: Living Death and Patriarch's Bidding? These would be the five, five drops I would play and cut all the rest.

I understand the desire to play so many combos in the deck, more choices can be good, but I feel you're not playing enough to the strengthens of Varina with some of these combos. Consider cutting the Amulet/Orb combo and the Betrayal/Pact combo? These combos in my opinion are the least good of the options because they aren't focused on Zombies or with Varina. Amulet/Orb is fine together, but as stand alone cards they aren't doing much. Betrayal/Pact combo costs too much mana, too much set-up, not enough payoff.

Cards to consider adding:

I don't think you need all the high mana cost spells that create Zombie tokens. I think all these cards are too expensive for what you're trying to do here which is be aggressive with Zombies with Varina to draw and set-up a winning combo. Consider cutting: Army of the Damned, Necromancer's Covenant, From Under the Floorboards, etc.?


September 13, 2018 9:41 a.m.

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