Birds of Paradise
Creature — Bird
: Gain one mana of any colour.
|Have (4)||Bluboltar , , NineNotesKnives , CompleteWaste|
|Want (11)||vinedrai , Darui , niot5 , metalmagic , CompleteWaste , WumpaWolfy , JMDouglas , redmg , Altirian , abaileyjr , eggman431|
Printings View all
|Mystery Booster (MYS1)||Rare|
|Secret Lair (SLD)||Rare|
|Ravnica Allegiance: Guild Kits (GK2)||Rare|
|Conspiracy: Take the Crown (CN2)||Rare|
|2012 Core Set (M12)||Rare|
|2011 Core Set (M11)||Rare|
|2010 Core Set (M10)||Rare|
|Tenth Edition (10E)||Rare|
|Ravnica: City of Guilds (RAV)||Rare|
|Eighth Edition (8ED)||Rare|
|Seventh Edition (7ED)||Rare|
|Classic Sixth Edition (6ED)||Rare|
|Fifth Edition (5ED)||Rare|
|Fourth Edition (4ED)||Rare|
|4th Edition Foreign Black Border (4EDFBB)||Rare|
|Revised Edition (3ED)||Rare|
|Revised Foreign Black Border (3EDFBB)||Rare|
|Unlimited Edition (2ED)||Rare|
|Collector's Edition (CED)||Rare|
|International Collector's Edition (CEI)||Rare|
|Limited Edition Beta (LEB)||Rare|
|Limited Edition Alpha (LEA)||Rare|
|Promo Set (000)||Rare|
Combos Browse all
- Birds of Paradise + Doran, the Siege Tower + Mardu Ascendancy
- Birds of Paradise + Jeskai Ascendancy
- Birds of Paradise + Expedite + Jeskai Ascendancy
- Birds of Paradise + Freed from the Real + Leyline of Abundance
- Birds of Paradise + Mesmeric Orb + Pemmin's Aura
- Birds of Paradise + Experiment Kraj + Horseshoe Crab
- Birds of Paradise + Darksteel Axe
- Birds of Paradise + Orzhov Guildmage
- Birds of Paradise + Elvish Mystic + Intruder Alarm
- Birds of Paradise + Intruder Alarm + Shrieking Drake
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Latest Decks as Commander
Birds of Paradise Discussion
1 day ago
So, there are several things you have misunderstood when looking at this deck, as it's one I have played and tweaked for the better part of a decade now and am very happy with it's current state. Firstly, the danger of Xenagos really kicks in when you can actually pressure an opponent, so it's best to stick with either trample or flying creatures exclusively, with the few exceptions of those that will really buff and support you such as Birds of Paradise and Oracle of Mul Daya. I chose to go with flyers, the best of which are largely dragons, because people generally do not have many fliers and are not prepared to deal with the power and pressure of many massive fliers suddenly appearing and swinging at them. As for the rest of the suggestions you have, and the part you misunderstood with him, is that you're focused on making more of a midgame and a recovery so you don't falter due to lack of cards. However, Xenagos doesn't really care of need that. Xenagos needs to get to 5 mana and get a single dragon out. One dragon. Then you are immediately swinging for at least 10 if not more, and every dragon has abilities and triggers that further pressures your opponent(s).
Greater Good is a fantastic card, but there are very few times that you want to be sacrificing your creatures since you will always be a massive target since Xenagos is always a threat. The same goes for Life's Legacy and Momentous Fall.
The problem with cards such as Return of the Wildspeaker, Harmonize, and Bonders' Enclave is that they take up most of your turn to draw cards. I have found that as a true gruul deck you don't want to let off the pressure on your opponents. You very rarely need more than a few dragons over the course of the game as Xenagos puts so much pressure on through doubling them and haste that losing an entire turn to draw more cards is a waste. I make an exception for Rishkar's Expertise because it does still allow us to drop a card and keep the momentum going.
Elder Gargaroth is indeed a good card, but it runs into the problem that it's effects aren't good enough for the deck. He is focused on the additional utility abilities, being lifegain, token generation, and drawing a card, which in any other deck are fantastic abilities. But here he doesn't put pressure onto your opponents the way cards such as Terror of the Peaks does. Everything about Xenagos is speed and pressure. You also run into the issue of him dying. With most opponents fielding very few flying and reach creatures when compared with the number of them in this deck, you rarely need to worry about your dragons dying. Every turn your board keeps building and the dragons have such destructive abilities (see Balefire Dragon for an example of such) that they have trouble keeping a strong board presence and fighting back. But all they need is one small deathtoucher, or any pump spell on one of their ground creatures and they stop your momentum. However, they will rarely have enough fliers to do that. That's a big part of the reason why we run so many dragons. Direct damage to your oppoenent, destructive effects to their boardstate (ex. Tyrant's Familiar), and constant psychological pressure and panic setting in. This is the way of the gruul.
Lifeblood Hydra is too slow. You need at least 8 mana to make him even a little viable, which is too much and too slow. My 8 drops are either extremely powerful, Utvara Hellkite for example, or i'm dropping a 6 drop and holding up a Heroic Intervention or something of that sort.
The Great Henge is also a great card, but again it's too slow.
Berserk is okay, but I prefer my creatures staying alive and pressuring on further turns.
Kessig Wolf Run Honestly just not good enough. The trample is largely unnecessary, and it eats up a minimum of 3 mana to have any effect, mana that can better be spent elsewhere.
Rancor Not good enough
Deflecting Swat Amazing card, but very rarely are cards single targeted any more, at least in my meta. Board wipes are more common.
Ilharg, the Raze-Boar Rather than this, I can just have another dragon which would do much more for my deck.
Sensei's Divining Top Another amazing card, but it just doesn't do enough in this deck.
Now, regarding the high CMC of the deck, of course it's going to be high. We're rushing out to 6 mana and then aggroing out from there. This deck doesn't look to play tempo with a whole bunch of smaller cards being played and set up. That takes too long and allows midrange and late game decks to set up too much. This deck is trying to ramp out and attack.
Finally, I have no idea which creatures you are viewing as subpar. The creatures in this deck are exclusively either flying to attack and pressure my opponents, or ramp/dorks to accelerate the deck, or protection in the form of Archetype of Endurance. If you would be willing to expound on that statement i'm curious to hear your opinion on which creatures could be better utilized.
I will say this, all of those suggestions are great and i'm always really happy to hear and see other people's thoughts on improving things. Other than Berserk and Ilharg, the Raze-Boar I have actually run every single one of those cards in this deck at one point or another. However, though many years and a lot of experience with him, this build is what I have found to be the most powerful and reliable one.
1 day ago
1 day ago
rkjunior, great feedback, thanks! I’ve also experienced mulling for more than two lands as well, quite a bit actually. Things are pretty tight to cut as is, which is a reason I was asking for thoughts on adding Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch in place of Cultivate and Kodama's Reach to hopefully fix mulling if one of those are in hand with two lands and hope that we draw into at least one other land. Though two extra lands or even one more isn’t asking much so I’ll try to get those adjustments made. I’ll keep Flagstones of Trokair in mind for inclusion. I’m staying away from Strip Mine and Wasteland because having the colorless mana in opening hands is brutal. I’ve experienced this with Field of the Dead and that’s the only colorless I run.
The planeswalkers have been considered, I just had a hard time justifying inclusion at the time and only went with Nissa, Vital Force, but even she just got cut for a tutor.
I have also experienced an abundance of unused mana at times and because draw has been an issue, I was considering replacing stuff for x cost draw effects, such as, Pull from Tomorrow, Finale of Revelation, Sphinx's Revelation or even Hydroid Krasis.
As threatening as an eldrazi Titan would be and the flavor fits Zendikar well, I think I’ll pass on the idea for now.
Let’s continue to discuss this. We are making great progress at tuning this deck.
1 day ago
4 days ago
Now about your mana-base! I would eventually consider adding some of the following lands/ramp cards!
- Windswept Heath
- Temple Garden
- Razorverge Thicket
- Wooded Bastion
- Sunpetal Grove
- Fortified Village
- Canopy Vista
- Horizon Canopy
- Bountiful Promenade
- Sungrass Prairie
- MAYBE City of Brass and Mana Confluence
- Ancient Tomb
- Prismatic Vista
- Strip Mine
- Exotic Orchard
- Reflecting Pool
- Nature's Lore
- Selesnya Signet
- Kodama's Reach
- Birds of Paradise
- Sylvan Caryatid
- Emerald Medallion/Pearl Medallion
- Lotus Petal
5 days ago
Scuttlemutt can come out cheap and make mana but most importantly it can change the color of something to take advantage of Animar's protection abilities.
on Flying Tanks
1 week ago
Also before I forget you might like some of these for ramp:
1 week ago
4x Birds of Paradise 2x Noble Hierarch 4x Courser of Kruphix 2x Tireless Tracker 4x Siege Rhino 4x Abzan Charm 2x good 4 mana planeswalker (One of the Sorins or Vraska) 2x good 6 mana planeswalker (Elspeth it Liliana) 2x Murderous Rider
Something like that