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Snow Creature — Elf Druid
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Boreal Druid Discussion
1 week ago
I think your comment on the whole is pretty on point lagotripha. This deck was originally just splashed snow effects/spells for the sake of having some perks using a budget mana base; and was a lot more midrange-like with having Higher CMC threats to ramp into.
Going harder into "snow-matters" is what got me here now and Im not sure this is where I wanna keep taking this deck. I put Glacial Revelation in here thinking it would act like Lead the Stampede ... but it doesnt... the snow creatures available arent really that great ( Boreal Druid seemed appealing though) and I opted for other snow permanents like Arcum's Astrolabe / On Thin Ice ... there not bad but they just arent performing well for what this deck needs to do.
I like your idea with the artifact mana fixing and the use of Domain/ Shrapnel Blast ... ill play with the list with that in mind thank you.
1 week ago
I'm not sure about glacial/scrying sheets- Into the north is slow, scrying sheets takes you off of desperately needed coloured mana and glacial refills your hand, but can't pick up gas (most creatures non-snow), so Winding Way or Once Upon a Time might be stronger. They are great cards if you want to be midrange, but this is a zoo list.
Since your creatures mostly care about forests (sorry wild nacatyl), you might look at increasing the forest count and running more artifact fixing ( Springleaf Drum , Chromatic Sphere , Navigator's Compass , Paradise Mantle ), which would also let you pick up Shrapnel Blast to finish games. While I'm mentioning burn options, I have seen Tribal Flames in non budget versions of these lists- representing ten points of burn from flames/blast will win games.
There is also the option of trying to make your creatures mostly playable with green mana (like Sunblade Elf , Lupine Prototype or Soultether Golem ), then cast Lush Growth / Nylea's Presence or get a singleton Sacred Foundry off Flower / Flourish . This is a bit more fragile.
If you want to go harder into snow-matters, Boreal Druid and Coldsteel Heart offer ramp, while Frostwalk Bastion is a decent manland, but that will look more like a midrange value list (eventually becoming another Ice-Fang Coatl list, and less like zoo, and may call for dropping to two colours on a budget.
1 week ago
2 weeks ago
Alright, lets look at Loyal Retainers in another way.
You're running 7 legendary creatures outside of your commanders (which we will assume you WONT send to GY), so there are only 7 creatures that Loyal Retainers can return. Assuming a 99 card deck, 7 in starting hand, and 2 specific cards to see (retainers + legend), you've got a 7% chance to get Retainers, and a 41% chance to have one of your legends in your opener. After 5 draws, you're only at a 60% chance to hit a legend.
Now lets compare to Life . Same chance to see the card, 7%, but it works with 29 creatures instead of 7. Geometric calculator is telling me 91% chance to see a creature in your opener that works with Life . After 5 draws, 98.8% that you'll have a critter.
Obviously Retainers does have some benefit. It can be used to make an infinite etb/ltb loop for winning. How valuable is that to your deck though? Loyal Retainers can only be used BEFORE combat on your turn, and Tymna gives you cards AFTER combat. Your main source of card advantage is going to cause you to have to wait a rotation after finding all the pieces to your combo. This is a massive downside. You can already assemble infinite loops with Saffi + Titan, or Saffi + Karmic.
Lets imagine another scenario. You have the Saffi on the board with Retainers, but you have Sun Titan/Karmic Guide in the graveyard. Loyal Retainers can't grab that half of your combo back for you.
- Sacrifice Saffi Eriksdotter targeting Karmic Guide
- Sacrifice Karmic Guide . It returns to battlefield, we put ETB trigger on stack targeting Reveillark
- After Reveillark returns to battlefield, we sacrifice Karmic guide. We now have both Saffi + Guide in GY
- Reveillark is sacrificed, we will return both Saffi AND Karmic.
- We now pull creature 1 we want from GY with Karmic
- Sacrifice Saffi, targeting Karmic. Sacrifice Karmic, it returns from Saffi effect, giving us Reveillark again. Sac Karmic so its in GY, then sac Reveillark to give us Karmic + Saffi. Karmic entering gives us creature 2 from our GY. Rinse and repeat until you pull entire GY and combo finish.
You're running Kiki and splinter twin but you don't have any creature payloads to win. If you want to value reuse/copy creatures with an ETB, there are more cost efficient ways of doing it. I recommend you either cut these or put in Village Bell-Ringer or Combat Celebrant to have a Kiki payload. Overall though, I would just cut this combo.
You're running Yisan and Birthing Pod but you aren't running the cards to make them go. You need effects that untap them based off creature ETBs or actives, which are slot intensive. Yisan is dope, but if you aren't running the cards to support it you're running a slow tutor. Once again, I'd cut these if you aren't going to build around.
You are trying to fit too many combos in. Pick 1 or two that overlap in card usage and cut the others. Its better to do two things extremely well than it is to do 5 things mediocre. You should run reanimation loops + protean hulk + sac outlets, OR you should run kiki combo + pod/yisan lines. The hulk/animation loops both require sac outlets to be present on your field, while kiki/pod lines require untap effects. This will let you reuse your combo cards in multiple spots which will help reduce dead draws. Nothing feels worse than when you're holding 3 different pieces to three different combos that have very little utility outside combo lines. This is also why you're struggling to find space for more stax and ramp pieces.
You are also running a pretty high amount of beater cards. You should pare them down and run only the most efficient beater cards with high utility. Cathars' Crusade is a nice card but it does nothing on its own and buckles from Wrath effects. Compare to Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite which gives a buff but can also beat even if its your only creature. It also hurts your enemies board presence greatly. Bitterblossom is a fantastic card but you aren't getting as much value out of it because you aren't running enough pieces to slow down the game. Keep it but consider that a 1/1 flyer doesn't do much if your opponent is able to drop their giant dragon commander, you have to slow the game! Champion of Lambholt will provide you with free swings, but if you just lock the game out instead you don't need the evasion and this card doesn't beat that well. Custodi Soulcaller is a meme card, it requires either haste or an untap step (so its slow), you have to swing to use it, and its limited in what it can grab, and it gets worse the fewer players there are.
Price of Glory is a wonderful hate card, but unfortunately far less effective than you think. Compare to Grand Abolisher . Abolisher can beat down, which is your game plan. Abolisher 100% protects your combo window. Price of Glory doesn't stop the counterspell that stops your combo, it just exacts a massive price for your opponent casting it. However, when faced with the option of losing the game or losing two lands, every single opponent is going to choose the two lands. Strong card but you don't need to run it.
Zombie Infestation is a nice discard outlet, and great when you're ahead and have locked the board. Just like Bitterblossom though, you have to slow the game or this card will be outclassed by the casual stompy 6 drops that are allowed to hit the table. Stax up or cut out.
Cryptolith Rite is strong when you have a mana sink or tons of critters. Tymna will keep you stocked up on cards to dump with, while Tana gives you the critters. If you can afford it, Carpet of Flowers will outperform this card though. Keep it around if you don't have access to the Carpet.
What Goes In
So after cutting down all the shenanigans, heres what you want to add
DORKS: You get cards for hitting with creatures. Dorks are creatures that give mana and come out very fast. The maximum density of turn 1 dorks means Tymna turn 2, means free cards turn 3. This will improve the consistency of your deck more than anything else you can put in. You're currently missing Llanowar Elves Fyndhorn Elves Boreal Druid Deathrite Shaman Arbor Elf Elvish Mystic . These have the bonuses of working well with Priest of Titania and Elvish Archdruid , which will help you if you decide to run mana denial cards like Winter Orb or Armageddon (which I recommend both). Deathrite hates on GY and will ramp consistently with fetchlands which are prevalent in the format, extremely value. Arbor Elf can ramp more than 1 in tandem with Utopia Sprawl and Wild Growth . These dorks will help guarantee strong starts and consistent power to your deck I can't stress this enough.
ROCKS: Adding in the signets/talismans is going to ramp you, color fix you, and work in tandem with shutting off your opponents mana. Really really recommend these especially if your playtesting leaves you unhappy with mana availability.
STAX: This deck only works when you slow the game, I also want to stress this. Yeah you have some neat combos for winning discretely, but you are primarily a beater stax deck. Your commander gives you cards PER TURN, your other commander gives you CREATURES PER SWING. You want to games to go longer so you get more turns for more cards and more free creatures. It really isn't that hard dude. Cards that slow down the game will help you far more than they help your opponent, even symmetrical ones. This is why the deck runs Blood Moon despite being a four color deck. If you let your opponents start tutoring and dropping their big creatures, they will do better in combat than you and you will have a real bad day. If you hit their mana, stop their tutors and draw, and destroy their engines, you will pull ahead from the massive value you generate in the command zone. Please look at Root Maze Winter Orb Armageddon Rule of Law Deafening Silence Eidolon of Rhetoric Stranglehold Collector Ouphe Kataki, War's Wage
If you want to run a stax deck, you have to run the slow down pieces. If you want to build a cool reanimation combo deck, I recommend switching commanders or lists, take a peek at Karador Boonweaver
This list is certainly looking a lot better with the first round of revisions! With some more cuts and shaving off some combos, you will improve its efficiency a lot!
P.S. I couldn't open the choice guidelines tab you made sorry bud.
2 weeks ago
You need more lands for sure. Conventional wisdom for lands is 35-40 lands (38 is considered the sweet spot; I like 36). One can go down in lands if you have a ton of one-CMC ramp, like Fyndhorn Elves , Elvish Mystic , Llanowar Elves , Boreal Druid , Birds of Paradise , Exploration , Utopia Sprawl , or Wild Growth , and to a lesser extent two-CMC ramp like Simic Signet , Rampant Growth , Farseek , Star Compass , Prismatic Lens , etc. At like 10+ ramp pieces you can start dropping the land count IMO. Even with eight ramp pieces I'd still recommend around 36 lands.
Looks like a fun deck otherwise! Flavorful and synergistic.
3 weeks ago
Win-cons and strategy seem pretty solid. You have plenty of counterspells too for protection. For the last spots you could add dorks like Joraga Treespeaker / Boreal Druid . I also like Glimpse of Nature as a fallback if Chulane is getting some hate. Noxious Revival is also a great staple to include. Not too sure why Shrieking Drake isn't in here- you could even add Ranger-Captain of Eos as a tutor/silence effect. You could also run Stony Silence to double down on the artifact hate because you run so little rocks.
1 month ago
OLucas: I think Rain of Gore could work in a build that runs Exquisite Blood probably? The symmetry is harder to break, but it is definitely doable, and I don't really find myself targetting myself with heals all that much anyway.
Needlebite Trap unfortunately doesn't work, which sucks because if it worked the way we wanted it would be one of the best spells in the deck. I saw it the other day and nearly gasped, and was so excited and went to tell a brewer friend about it, and he reminded me that Remedy broke it... since Tainted Remedy is a replacement effect, they never actually get healed, so there is nothing to trigger the trap. This does however work in builds that focus on lifeloss instead of Tainted Remedy itself, and could be triggered with something as minor as Grove of the Burnwillows .
I only took out Triskaidekaphobia just yesterday in favor of Phenax. It is a very fun wincon, but I think it really needs a playset of Trees, which kind of makes some form of ramp necessary too. In a build with Red that definitely opens up using Simian Spirit Guide , or if Gruul is the base colors then you can do Boreal Druid or Ponza style ramp to get there (something I definitely toyed with).
1 month ago
Boreal Druid occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.03%