Arid Mesa

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vintage Legal

Arid Mesa

Land

, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice this: Search your library for a Mountain or Plains card and put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library.

kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

3 days ago

Guerric

Played another 4 games of 1v1 yesterday against my buddy's Yisan, the Wanderer Bard deck. This mono-green deck used to be the bane of my existence when I first started playing commander so it was fun seeing how Angels stacked up. Unfortunately I didn't get any Pyre of Heroes plays in these 4 games. TLDR - Giada won 3/4 games and I should've mulliganed the one I lost. Also Yisan was a bit rusty piloting his old deck so he didn't have the most optimal lines of tutor.

Starting hand: Windswept Heath, Arid Mesa, Snow-Covered Plains, Seraph Sanctuary, Well of Lost Dreams, Angelic Accord, Emeria Shepherd

While this hand technically has a draw card I had nothing below 4cmc. I did have a form of lifegain so I could potentially activate the Well. What I didn't expect was never drawing another angel for this entire game. I think it ended by turn 6 due to a Craterhoof Behemoth finisher and a bunch of mana dorks swinging in.

Starting hand: Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, Scavenger Grounds, Snow-Covered Plains, Youthful Valkyrie, Angel of Vitality, Folk Hero, Enlightened Tutor

This hand had a perfect curve, an easy draw and a tutor so I obviously kept it. While I could've tutored for Pyre of Heroes I decided to go for the more efficient play and grabbed Pearl Medallion instead on turn 1. So on turn 3 after swinging in with Giada, I played Pearl Medallion for 2, Folk Hero for 1 and Youthful Valkyrie with Giada. I drew into Herald's Horn and played that next turn. That early game was so efficient that the game ended shortly after with no responses.

I also drew into Path of Ancestry which was just great when comboed with Folk Hero and Herald's Horn. If I had an Angel in hand then I would draw then scry and try and leave an Angel on top for the Horn. If I didn't have an Angel then I would scry then draw into an Angel to keep the value train going.

Starting hand: Cavern of Souls, Windswept Heath, Snow-Covered Plains, Linvala, Keeper of Silence, The Book of Exalted Deeds, Winds of Abandon, Oblation

I kept this hand because I had the perfect hate-bear for Yisan. Playing Linvala turn 3 essentially shut down Yisan's whole deck. They couldn't tutor or use their mana dorks so just had to slow play using their lands. Eventually on turn 6 they drew into a Beast Within to kill her but by that time I had gotten so far ahead in board presence that it was another easy win.

Starting hand: Snow-Covered Plains, Snow-Covered Plains, Sol Ring, Pearl Medallion, Battle Angels of Tyr, Luminarch Ascension, Angelic Field Marshal

T1 Sol Ring into a Pearl Medallion felt so great but if it wasn't for the Battle Angels of Tyr then I would've run out of gas quick. While I did get Luminarch Ascension out T2, I only added 3 quest counters on it before I closed out the game so I never saw it perform.

Folk Hero is obviously a good swap, I don't think anyone doubts its future potential for Giada.

Linvala, Keeper of Silence was amazing against Yisan. Any deck that involves activated abilities will be shut down hard with her on the field.

Enlightened Tutor is a strong early tutor, I think it might warrant replacing Steelshaper's Gift. I haven't had much success with Search for Glory the few times I used it but will probably swap it back in when I play multiplayer.

Luminarch Ascension still hasn't been great in 1v1 because the games finish so fast. If you play it turn 3 and you start first then you'll need to wait till turn 7 to start using it. All the games I played yesterday ended by turn 6 or so. I'll leave it in for multiplayer and post about it then.

Path of Ancestry was a nice bump. Obviously it's better with the draw on angel cast cards but on its own provides value. Even if we don't have an angel to play it still taps for white.

kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

5 days ago

Guerric

I wasn't able to play a multiplayer game this weekend but ran 9 games of 1v1. I won 7/9 games as unblocked angels seems to be consistently good. 6 games were against Necron Precron, 2 games against Faldorn Exiles & 1 game against Aesi Landfall. Made a couple swaps to give Pyre of Heroes a shot. Didn't touch the lifegain package but messed with the protection one. Since all 9 games were duels, some of the changes weren't great.

Eye of Vecna for Pyre of Heroes

Cosmic Intervention for The Ozolith

Angel of Condemnation for Karmic Guide

Angel of Jubilation for Inspiring Overseer

Starnheim Unleashed for Luminarch Ascension

Search for Glory for Enlightened Tutor

I notably left in Together Forever and didn't put in Breathkeeper Seraph because I wanted to see if there were synergies between Together Forever and Pyre of Heroes.

Lost 1 game against Necron Precon due to a combination of things. I missed 2 land drops early in the game and was forced to use Enlightened Tutor for a Sol Ring so I could play my hand. Later in the game Ioverplayed the hand and got hit by Shard of the Nightbringer followed by Their Name is Death on the next turn. I was definitely kicking myself at the end because I had Emeria Shepherd and played it when I should've held it. Necrons actually did pretty well against this deck overall as they had fliers which stopped some early attacks. In the end though, as with most precons, they ran out of gas while Angels could keep chugging along and beefing up.

Lost 1 game against Faldorn Exiles due to Food Chain & Eternal Scourge with Faldorn, Dread Wolf Herald producing a million wolves on turn 4. With no answers in hand, it was a quick and clear loss.

I was able to get Pyre of Heroes out in several games. One of my favorite combinations was using it on Inspiring Overseer to drop in Serra Paragon and then recasting Inspiring Overseer for the extra life and draw. On the following turn I sacrificed it again to grab Battle Angels of Tyr and hit for even more draw.

During the final game against Aesi Landfall I wanted to see how much value I could get out of Pyre of Heroes so I kept an obviously risky hand. My starting hand consisted of Arid Mesa, Plains, Fabled Passage, Emergence Zone, Mutavault, Pyre of Heroes, and Path to Exile. Aesi had a pretty slow start without much ramp but dropped Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait turn 5 which I promptly pathed. The only Angel I drew was Angelic Curator which I pyred into Inspiring Overseer. I also had Together Forever on the board so when I pyred Inspiring Overseer into Serra Paragon I was able to bounce it back to hand and recast Angelic Curator on the same turn. Next turn I cast Inspiring Overseer and pyred that into Thraben Watcher and started swinging for lots of damage.

In a multiplayer game other players would've had more answers for our board and Pyre of Heroes may not stick around. However, I don't think it seems threatening on its own and most times it's just a value engine. I think there may be a case for swapping it out for Eye of Vecna. They cost the same for 2 colorless. Their activations are also the same at 2 colorless. The differences are the 2 damage we take for Vecna and also that the draw occurs on upkeep before our draw phase and we have to pay the 2 and life if we want the card. If we drop Vecna early game and we're looking for something key, usually a land or a low cost angel and there's no guarantee that we'll get it. So if we're on turn 4, we've expended 2/3 available mana on drawing either a land or a 2cmc angel because we can't play anyting else. If we aren't dropping Vecna early and instead on turn 6-7 then it's pretty slow compared to its counterparts. Yes it replaces itself but nothing else we do will give us cards the turn we need it. All the other draw cards play into our strategy of either playing angels, attacking or gaining life. Also, the ones we pay into can be done on opponents turn when we're holding up answers, so there's no "wasted mana".

Out of the current swaps The Ozolith and Luminarch Ascension were very mediocre. This is likely due to the duel format and will need more testplaying in a 4-man setting. I was able to get The Ozolith up to 18 counters one game but it didn't matter since I was dead the next turn.

I think just based on this trial run that Pyre of Heroes deserves a strong consideration especially with Inspiring Overseer. Let me know your thoughts!

kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*

2 weeks ago

Guerric

I love your deck and have been using it as a template as my regular deck for random pub games. While it performed pretty well without any upgrades, I found it ran out of steam mid to late game after I get blown out by a board wipe. After a game or 2, players would usually exile Giada the moment it hits the board, slowing down our ramp signifcantly. Also, if we miss a land drop mid-game, we're basically stuck waiting for a good draw. I realized that building an early oppressive board state begs for a board wipe when everyone else is still building but it sets us back significantly. With that in mind, I cut a lot of the lower CMC angels and built more towards value/recursion. Based on your comments it seems that this deck is more budget focused but since I'm making this my main, I've decided on pulling the best cards from other decks for some spicy upgrades. Let me know what you think below (sorry for the wall of text):

Mana Crypt - What's better than a Sol Ring? A free Sol Ring. Life loss is not concerning.

Mox Amber - With Giada on our board turn 2, this is like an additional land drop.

Mox Opal - I'm currently running 19 artifacts so hitting metalcraft isn't hard.

Land Tax - This card is just straight up good in mono-white. Not so much for never missing a land drop but also so we don't draw into lands on later turns.

Archaeomancer's Map - This one isn't as good as Land Tax but it can help us keep pace with Green ramp and drop the tapped lands on opponent's turns when we can't use them efficiently.

Smothering Tithe - I've played this card in 2 other decks and it's always been great. It usually pays for itself by the time it comes back to you and if not removed can add plenty of mana over the course of the game.

Smuggler's Share - I have mixed feelings about this card. The smarter opponents will play around it, but should still give us some card advantage overall.

Sensei's Divining Top - Helps keep tempo in the game for the cost of 1.

Scroll Rack - Wheeling away a mediocre hand for 1 is strong. Particularly good with Land Tax or Windbrisk Heights.

Lotus Field - I loved Lost Vale so much I wanted another one, especially when someone blew it up.

Flagstones of Trokair - Comboes with Lotus Field.

Thespian's Stage - Copy Lotus Field or Lost Vale.

Vesuva - Copy Lost Vale or Flagstones of Trokair or Myriad Landscape.

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx - Value with a strong board presence.

Ancient Tomb - Helps with the artifacts and equip costs, life loss is not a concern in this deck.

Cavern of Souls - I hate when blue counters our big angels, so this stops it.

All the fetch lands - Arid Mesa, Fabled Passage, Flooded Strand, Marsh Flats, Prismatic Vista, Windswept Heath. This reduces our number of basic Plains to 11-12 but I haven't had issues with it yet so far as long as we have access to colored mana in my starting hand.

Enlightened Tutor - I swapped out Search for Glory as it can hit my rocks early game or stronger equipments mid-game.

Stoneforge Mystic - Amazing with Sword of Hearth and Home. Keep blinking it and grab the rest of your equipment package for free. Second target would usually be Lightning Greaves just to get some protection on the board or make some hasty angels.

Weathered Wayfarer - Comboes well with the newly added lands. Fetching Lotus Field helps guarantee activation while keeping pace with the ramp.

Recruiter of the Guard - Prime targets would be Stoneforge or Wayfarer but can also hit Starnheim Aspirant or Karmic Guide. Also gets the cost reduction from Herald of War which is nice.

Pyre of Heroes - While Search for Glory can fetch some of our legendary creatures, I prefer getting them straight onto the battlefield. I wouldn't use it on the lower cmc Angels, which I mostly pulled out, but on the higher cost ones to cheat out big angels. The dream is to target the one-off 5 cost angels like Karmic Guide or Sigarda's Vanguard to pull Sanctuary Warden for the card draw into Emeria Shepherd for the recursion or Bruna, the Fading Light  Meld to bring out Brisela, Voice of Nightmares  Meld  Meld

Sword of Feast and Famine - This card is probably the best addition to the deck so far. Having the pro green & black which are both popular colors in Commander usually lets us have a free target. The resource denial isn't super relevant but getting an extra untap for lands is super strong. It's even better if we drop a tapped land before attacks and getting all that value on second main phase. It does draw a lot of hate, but even getting 2 swings off is well worth it. We can also recur it with Serra Paragon or Emeria Shepherd.

Sword of Fire and Ice - I haven't added this one in yet but I think it's a strict upgrade over Rogue's Gloves. Getting the pro blue/red and pinging things off the board is just so much more value for the extra 1 cost.

Lightning Greaves - Short of board wipes, single target removal is the bane of this deck. I usually voltron Giada with all my equips and let the other angels synergize the board.

Angel of Destiny - Needed an alt-win con option and this can provide a way out to knock out combo players. The double strike is also relevant as most of our equipments are based on combat damage so we get 2 triggers.

Emeria Shepherd - Especially strong recursion with fetches. Dropping this on the right turn with a fetch in hand can be game ending.

Serra Paragon - Doubles as a Crucible of Worlds and can grab our swords back when destroyed, and it's an angel to boot. Definitely an auto-include.

Steel Seraph - Haven't playtested this one yet but I like that it's a 3 drop with relevant abilities. The dream is to cheat out Emeria Shepherd with Pyre of Heroes as a turn 3-4 play.

Yesterday on Are all fetchlands banned on …

6 months ago

FWIW, everyone I know IRL refers to all... fetch lands as "fetch lands", and the Arid Mesa cycle are distinct by being "pain fetches".

Balaam__ on Suicide Hammer - Budget - Feedback is welcome

6 months ago

Have you considered the Pathway  Flip lands? They’re not as outrageously expensive as something like Sacred Foundry or Arid Mesa, and I think they’re Pioneer legal. But they wouldn’t count as a basic land type so that might not work necessarily. Just a thought.

AstroAA on Lae'Zel Master Chef +1/+1 counters

7 months ago

Adding in because it dawned on me after the fact: If you wanted to further trim your CMC, replace Juniper Order Ranger with Good-Fortune Unicorn. Not as good as Juniper Order Ranger as it doesn't place a +1/+1 counter on itself, but it does still place a counter on the ETB'ing creature for two less mana.

Managorger Hydra and Knight of Autumn are both really strong. Avenger of Zendikar can get ridiculous really quickly. You should also look at including more spot removal, like Nature's Claim, Beast Within, and Generous Gift. Tutors like Chord of Calling, Worldly Tutor, Eladamri's Call, and Green Sun's Zenith can help add in redundancy.

Also, I'd advise replacing the taplands (lands that ETB tapped) in your landbase. These slow you down a lot. Things like Brushland, Bountiful Promenade, City of Brass, Mana Confluence, and maybe even sometimes Razorverge Thicket can be helpful. Also, fetches like Windswept Heath, Arid Mesa, Misty Rainforest, and Prismatic Vista can also speed you up tremendously because they filter lands from your deck, meaning you're more likely to draw a card that you can play instead of a land - albeit playing fetches like the ones I've listed can get rather expensive $$$ wise very quickly.

rambunctiousOrator on it's a deck alright

7 months ago

Hey, sweet deck. Let's take a look at win conditions and lands. I've identified a problem with your deck: You aggressively want to control the board with your 1-3 drops. While other players are playing 6 mana bombs every turn your are trying to eke out board advantage with 3 or 4 creatures a turn.

  • You don't need board wipes in this deck, they actively go against your game-plan, and in no way help you win.
  • Less removal in general. I counted 18 pieces of removal in your instants and sorceries. Keep Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, and Damn and get rid of the rest. You ARE the threat, if your deck is running slowly to the point that you feel like you need removal, you need better creatures.

As for lands, use this mana base.

Lands:

How would I change your win condition...well you are trying to do knight tribal...

Consider these cards:

Remove these cards:

-15 pieces of removal from instants and sorceries, keep Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, and Damn

Good luck, and happy hunting. Let me know if you want to continue the conversation or have questions

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