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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
|Pauper Duel Commander||Legal|
Creature — Insect
, Sacrifice Caustic Caterpillar: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
2 weeks ago
What do you usually fetch out with Protean Hulk, and am I right in assuming that's usually how you win, dig out Hulk which digs out an infinite combo?
You might take a look at Dawntreader Elk and Diligent Farmhand, maybe Yavimaya Granger, as ways to ramp while generating XP. It's also nice that Meren can recur one of these if you've got nothing strictly better to be recurring, ramp and XP are generally a good thing that will let you do something bigger later.
It's not cheap, but Entomb is pretty helpful for cEDH Meren, as is Veil of Summer and perhaps Autumn's Veil, you want those two often to deal with the endless interaction. There is also Imp's Mischief to help out. In cEDH I think I'd want to run Culling Ritual, both for the big mana and to wipe out most permanents, people don't run a ton of high MV permanents, so even if it will hit some of your stuff it'll hit everyone else harder.
I would definitely cut Putrefy for something better, probably a creature that removes stuff like Plaguecrafter (there are quite a few that are slightly worse), I would even run a couple of these creatures, they are often a very good thing to recur with Meren. I would remove your other spell-based removal for stuff like that and use Caustic Caterpillar or Foundation Breaker, removal that you can repeat feels good when you're not using much/any mana to do it. You can probably run stuff like Abrupt Decay and Assassin's Trophy, they are among the best removal spells ever printed.
1 month ago
This deck is looking pretty good. I noticed though you don't have a lot of artifact and enchantment hate. Cards you may want to consider include, but are not limited to, Broken Bond, Casualties of War, Caustic Caterpillar, Gleeful Sabotage and Storm the Citadel. Thelon of Havenwood would be a boon for your deck with all the fungus with spore counters on them. As for lands Karn's Bastion would increase your spore counters and Grim Backwoods allows for a reusable sacrifice engine. I hope this helps. Happy Hunting!
4 months ago
I'd recommend adding in sac outlets that allow you to kill your own stuff easier, such as Ashnod's Altar and Phyrexian Altar. Meanwhile, if you wanted to get more use out of permanents entering the battlefield, you could run Altar of the Brood.
Zulaport Cutthroat is also really nice for providing additional redundancy for Blood Artist, and Bastion of Remembrance fulfills a similar role. You can also include Carnival of Souls if you really wanted to for more mana. Pair with Pawn of Ulamog for more mana shenanigans.
I'd also recommend running more removal, such as Nature's Claim or Return to Nature as something like Rest in Peace or Grafdigger's Cage completely screws you over and you don't currently have many cheap ways to respond to those type of effects. Krosan Grip is also great for this. If you want it on a creature, Reclamation Sage is great as it's fairly cheap and you can recur it; Caustic Caterpillar is another option.
5 months ago
I agree with Guerric, look for small creatures with useful effects that sacrifice themselves or can sacrifice another creature with low or no cost. You probably want to be recuring stuff for it's ETB or death trigger. For a few specifics, I think you probably want to look into cards that are similar to Sakura-Tribe Elder, I run that, Dawntreader Elk, Diligent Farmhand, Yavimaya Granger, Fertilid and even Blood Pet to have lots of creatures I can use to ramp repeatedly with. Blood Pet is a bit worse at ramping, but it's one of the better XP sources, alongside Spore Frog by being a 1 drop that can sacrifice itself. You can also run cards like Wood Elves and Farhaven Elf, but these are not as good because they can't sacrifice themselves. With those self-sacrificing rampers, you can easily outramp almost any deck, and the deck likely 'needs' to hit only 3 lands to start working. Noting that I always need to have Green mana meant brutal cutbacks in my Swamp count, but since I run so many ways to find Swamps, I often can ramp out many before I win. If you use tons of Green Creature Ramp (which you should be IMHO), you will always need at least 1 Green Mana to get by, and Green mana can usually get you black on or before turn 4, so keep that in mind. I think you should try to cut out artifact and spell ramp in favour of creature ramp, and do similar with as many other effects as possible. I would strongly encourage you to look for creatures that can do what you need done. Caustic Caterpillar and Foundation Breaker coupled with tutoring should give you some removal options, there are tons more in Green that vary in value. If you have enough creatures, Lurking Predators becomes pretty solid, even you are cheating in small creatures, a 50 creature deck can cheat out 3 or 4 of them per cycle, which is not something other decks will enjoy. A final point, I love running several Plaguecrafter/Demon's Disciple cards, Meren recurring them feels incredibly pushed in some metas.
Nel Toth Community College and Round Table is my Meren build based on all that (it's more than your desired budget, but it's got lots of fluff alongside pretty cutthroat stuff). It also has a good win con you can throw into a full on Dredge deck: Haakon, Stromgald Scourge is a really good way to generate repeated recursion, since you can just recast any Knights in your graveyard. Ashes of the Fallen and Maskwood Nexus can both make everything a Knight, but if you've got 4-5 to work with, you'll probably do okay. If you have a limited budget, it'll probably not be able to go infinite, but Haakon with Aristocrats should squeeze people out. If you want to go infinite, the best cards that are close to your budget are Pitiless Plunderer and Ashnod's Altar. Both work wonders. If you do use Haakon, you'll want some discard outlets in the deck, fortunately there are lots of good discard outlets in Green and Black. My deck has a few of them in it, and due to the available tutors as well, I am almost never stuck.
5 months ago
Hi again peterbdude! Welcome to Meren! She rocks. I thought I'd put some suggestions and general guidance from my many years of playing her. Thankfully you can play a powerful Meren deck on a budget, so I'll try to avoid any splashy options.
To begin with, I've found that the most important thing is to lean into cards with the dredge ability (which is rated a 10 on Mark Rosewater's storm scale), play lots of self-saccing low cmc creatures that can help you stack counters and recur for profit, and to play as few non-creature spells as possible. Non-creature spells don't feel as good as it's tough to recur them once they are dredged into your graveyard, and you can't as easily repeat them for value. The best card in my deck is one that might push your budget just a little but is so good is Life from the Loam. I did used to play without it and it works, but it is really nice and if there were one more valuable card I'd recommend for the deck its this one, it just makes games so smooth its hard to overstate it. The other power card in this deck is Living Death, which combined with Syr Konrad, the Grim and some creatures on everyone's board will often win games. Recurring it with Eternal Witness can also put your opponents in a nasty lock.
The biggest problem I see so far with your build is just that there aren't many ways to put things into your graveyard. Dredgers like Golgari Thug, Golgari Grave-Troll, Stinkweed Imp, and Dakmor Salvage are critical build pieces, and cards like Underrealm Lich and Hermit Druid help a lot too, though the latter is probably on the top end of your budget. On top of this, you want a lot more low cmc self-saccing creatures. You are playing Caustic Caterpillar, which is great, but you want a lot more of this. Dawntreader Elk is like an extra copy of Sakura-Tribe Elder and is great, and there are a lot more like it which you can see in my deck here- Recycling for Profit: Dedgin' the Fill with Meren.
I do think you have a lot of fun cards in your deck and one of the great things about Meren is that she can be customized a lot to suit your own personal approach. The danger of Meren is simply in not having a good engine set up where you always have great targets to sacrifice and bring back to the battlefield each turn, and that happens when we don't have cards that can sac themselves and we don't have ways to dump more cards into our yard, and that is what I would work on tuning here! A lot of times it is the boring things and not the splashy cards that make the difference!
5 months ago
In my time playing Meren, I find that you can play her a lot of different ways, but one way of playing is XP farming, where you're actively trying to get your XP high enough to allow you to reanimate things like Sakura-Tribe Elder or Wood Elves (I run a lot of such creatures atm), then to reanimate Sidisi, Undead Vizier (you'll probably tutor for her) to repeatedly tutor until you're ready to reanimate Protean Hulk and win off of it. You can also reanimate things like Merciless Executioner or Ravenous Chupacabra when you need creature control, or Foundation Breaker/Caustic Caterpillar to hit non-creatures. If you find your creature count keeps creeping up, one of the best 'not quite cEDH' cards for really high creature count decks is Lurking Predators, which can cheat in an ungodly number of creatures if your count is high.
2 Steves I run that are probably most worth a look are Diligent Farmhand, the slightly worse, and Dawntreader Elk the slightly better. Both can generate XP for Meren, both can help get her out early, and both can be used to ramp immediately after you get Meren out. I greatly dislike running non-creature Ramp in Meren, because it's such a huge upside to be able to recur them potentially, or just sacrifice them for value. I can't really sac a Golgari Signet to help Meren reanimate Protean Hulk, but I can use Blood Pet to get Meren out early and make sure I'm gaining XP right away.
I think if you're on Mikaeus, you might want to look at Walking Ballista, it's just a better Triskelion option that Protean Hulk can find at the same time as Mikaeus and win without further resources. This is a cEDH win con I'd argue, but people play it elsewhere I've noticed. Good if you want to increase the power of your deck. A really, really funny reanimation card is Demon of Dark Schemes, a card that is somewhere between very good and excellent. It wipes small stuff, and it can be used to infinitely reanimate creatures potentially, especially if you have something like Mitotic Slime and a Pitiless Plunderer, or a Gravecrawler, or in a pinch Haakon, Stromgald Scourge can generate energy for the Demon to win for you.
I think you should take a look at Callous Bloodmage to either generate card advantage or remove graveyards, it's a really reasonable creature that is almost never a completely dead card. If you can infinite reanimate it somehow, it's potentially infinite life, card draw and tokens.
Two tutors I really like in Meren are Jarad's Orders and Final Parting, both on the clunky side, but both very, very pushed in their own way. While they aren't quite Buried Alive, they can be better if you need a card in hand. Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire is a so-so option, mostly useful because you can politic people sometimes (you make them tutor for an answer to something, which they have to cast and you also benefit from). Fiend Artisan is a 'busted as heck' tutor in most metas, combining a sac outlet with the ability to find whatever creature you want. This works very well with those Sakura Tribe Elder like creatures, because you can quickly get to the point where you can cheat out a Protean Hulk and win.
Vraska, Golgari Queen is a reasonable card if you're light on sac outlets, want more card draw, and want slightly more access to removal (her minus is pretty decent, most competitive environments feature mostly low MV stuff). If you don't want that entire package, you should look for something that excels at what you need instead.
Cool build, Nel Toth Community College and Round Table is my Meren deck if you want to see a more creature driven Meren build, where I've gone out of my way to shave non-creature versions out for creature versions of almost everything.
5 months ago
Balaam__: it's definitely one of my favorite games of all time. Thanks for the blindly brand-loyal support! XD
Henchman31: lol what... This deck is missing SEVEN cards?! What the hell am I even doing?
Alright, firstly this deck needs ways to find Bloodbriar, or else it needs an alternative to Bloodbriar. That is the main issue with all the Brian decks I've played and seen. And that means this the most Vorthos of the three decks you picked.
Since this deck needs seven more cards, I'm going to look to see if I have 4x Commune with Nature and 3x Commune with the Gods, or something along those lines. That might be overkill, but this is basically a combo deck and you need to assemble your pieces, so that's where I'm starting.
Now as for a sideboard, Lightning Bolt, Red Elemental Blast and Pyroblast are all safe bets. Additionally, stuff like Caustic Caterpillar, Gleeful Sabotage Hull Breach, Natural State and Naturalize will all be useful. Shoulda mentioned Relic of Progenitus and Tormod's Crypt in all three decks, but I'll do it again here.
And a final thought, look up some Top 8 pauper decks and just quickly go through different sideboards in your colors to get some more, probably better ideas, lol. There you go, enjoy!
6 months ago
The artifact land versions were better, and torque really improved them - splinter just felt like a way to strip win conditions out of decks in them, but it hit hard. Magnetic Mine back in the day used to be a casual list like this, but by the time torque was printed it'd morphed into low cmc artifact destruction and animation, with creatures that destroy artifacts to be both win condition and removal.
It needs a specific meta to run properly - the idea is if you are usually sideboarding in Natural State type cards, you can instead put 10 artifact hate cards mainboard alongside coating + torque and auto win some matchups, while still packing reasonable removal for the rest, and freeing up sideboard slots for whatever you feel weak against.
To make this competitive I'd look really hard at Cleansing Wildfire and creatures that can apply pressure and kill artifacts - your Tin Street Hooligans,Reclamation Sages, Outland Liberator Flips or whatnot to kill key threats.
With Slagwoods Bridge/Sojourner's Companion you can fix to most colours pretty easy if you are prepared to lose a turn, and artifact land access also opens up artifact synergies to get more value from torque/coating.
I tried to get a Scrap Trawler combo line built in alongside the list with the idea that you can use sacrifice + coating to get a lot of value, returning Caustic Caterpillar and what not for a value gameplan, but it never really ran smooth enough because everyone packs ways to exile the graveyard.
A white/green Qasali Pridemage version would get access to various white artifact hate cards, but it never quite ran smooth enough.
Best of luck tinkering, and I hope you find the perfect parts for the list.