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Whenever you play a spell, you gain 1 life.
4 months ago
Patolea thanks for the response. I think you are right. It's exactly what happens to me as well. I now decided to rotate some of the cards constantly, not necessarily lowering the powerlevel, but at least be unpredictable. I took away now some of my bigger flashier plays, like Wound Reflection and replaced them with cards like Sudden Spoiling .
Maybe a way of gaining life back might be interesting, although I don't think a 6/6 flying lifelink is really staying below radar as well. I played it in my karlov deck and it rarely survived a turn... I think things like Contemplation , Umezawa's Jitte or Sun Droplet might be more interesting to play if we need some survivability.
6 months ago
6 months ago
Thanks for giving me some insight on your choices. Most important with commander is that you play what you love most. Voltron is definitely a style you need to like and I'm not even sure if Karlov is the best commander for the job, since he has no build in protection.
I totally agree with some of the explanations you do, even to the point where Elspeth, Sun's Champion is now gone from my decklist as well. Yeah she can win you games, but like you said often killing off Karlov in the proces. Wich for me is reason enough to remove her from the deck. You're completely right on that.
Card's like Tablet of the Guilds and Contemplation are really good if you need a lot of lifegain triggers, but less good if you want big lifegain triggers. I think your deck wants big ones, so maybe they aren't the right card for you.
If you are totally fine with Karlov dying here and there, then Mother of Runes is also less important, but Eight-and-a-Half-Tails might be a bit different. 78/100 cards in your deck are permanents (including land) and he protects all of them for only 3 mana (if the spell is white only 2 mana). Often he saved my planeswalkers or enchantments and even lands.
The other one I am not completely agreeing with you is Sunscorch Regent . Yes it seems like a budget card with a price not reaching 1 dollar, but he does so much work. The turn he hits often results in 4-5 lifegain triggers after, since your oppponents are gonna play spells. Wich also results in a 9/8 with evasion in the form of flying. It's really really good.
One other card I would really suggest giving a go is Archangel of Thune . She is an absolute beast and of all the cards we are talking about probably the one with most impact. She can literally win you games the moment she hits the battlefield. You play 24 creatures wich will all benefit from here fast. If she enters when there is a Soul's Attendant she will trigger. She is the ultimate pay off on a stick for any lifegain deck and she has build in evasion and lifegain.
All the other explanations I completely agree with, especially looking at your deck from a bit of a different angle. Now with you explanation I can see why you have a hard time cutting something hahaha. If this was my deck I would probably switch around something like this:
I've played Divinity for quite some time and always liked the card. The thing is he is more cute than he makes a big impact. He is difficult to cast (if you have a utility land you are already screwed) and basically he is just an 8/8 flying lifelink. In my opinion both Archangel of Thune / Sunscorch Regent have the ability to make way more impact on the game for the same amount of mana. Wich will actually benefit your entire board state when one of these 2 is out. Where archangel will boost all of your creatures and Sunschorch Regent will start triggering cards like Karlov of the Ghost Council , Crested Sunmare as soon as he hits the battlefield (unless he gets countered) but that's the only way he won't give you life. With all the lifegain doubling triggers you play I see him generating more life than Divinity of Pride will ever do it's entire time on the board.
This is maybe a bit of a controversial one. But this week I actually cut Elesh Norn from my list. Yes she is amazing, but often she does not survive a round and I found the mana investment way too high to justify playing her. On top of that for me she really felt off place in a lifegain deck. You don't really need +2/+2, so in my opinion the only upside on here is the -2/-2 on the opponents side. That is a crazy good static ability. That being said, I think that Archangel of Thune will do more work for you and maybe already in one turn give more than the +2/+2 Elesh permanently provides. Don't get me wrong, people want to see her go as bad as they do Elesh, but the Archangel just does more for your deck. There is more synergy and eventually more threath wich can lead in the win for your deck. I've played games from being behind to winning the game thanks to her.
What to cut for Eight-and-a-Half-Tails I have no idea. I think the 2 slots above are the only 2 flex slots you have in my opinion and since Eight tails is not a bomb like elesh or divinity it's hard to justify a swap like that.
I really want to thank you for your big reply I love discussing cards especially when it's about a theme (lifegain) I'm so fond about! Looking forward for your reaction!
7 months ago
Hey Ripwater! Thanks for the kind words. I've been playing Karlov since he was released back in Commander 2015. I've spend the last four years tweaking this deck and editing it, and as you can see from my edit history I still make edits when need be. Let me kind of explain my thought process behind why this deck is the way it is. I've been meaning to put this in yhe description of the deck but I just haven't yet. Then let me give you my thoughts on the cards you suggested to me. Here it goes:
Ever since I got big into magic back in RTR I've loved Orzhov and Life Gain strategies. Up until 2015 I spent a majority of my time playing MTG and hearing about how life gain is a bad strategy. Then Karlov was spoiled and my Obzedat, Ghost Council deck was forever changed! I of course looked at Karlov and thought Voltron. Honestly, who doesn't? Here's one of my problems though, I hate Voltron. I just do. My other problem was that V oltron ISN'T life gain. Yes you're adding life gain to the deck to make Karlov beefy, but you aren't gaining life for the purpose of winning. Celestial Convergence , Felidar Sovereign , and Test of Endurance are all ways I win with life gain. Yes this deck runs Aetherflux Reservoir , and I'd be lying if I said I didn't win with Karlov. Plus I'd be stupid not to try and win with him. That's why I run Rogue's Passage , and Elspeth, Knight-Errant . One makes him unblockable and the other makes him a huge flying boy. I'd also be lying if I said that the orginal version of this deck was good. I first made this deck when I fourteen years old. I didn't know much about previous magic cards. I didn't research cards all that much. The first draft of this deck was AWFUL. It wasn't until about a year after I built the first draft and play tested it and made a ton of changes that this deck kicked ass. I started sitting down at tables in gamestores and have people laugh or scoff of me when I told them it was a life gain deck. Then I'd leave them stunned after I won. In conclusion, Voltron isn't my style and wasn't what I wanted to create when I started building this deck. I wanted to make a Business Casual life gain deck what could win consistently and effectively, and I think that's what I've done. Even if Karlov isn't on the field. I can win. If he is on the field and I can't attack with him I can exile creatures. Karlov is only a resource in this deck. Not the centerpiece.
As for Your suggestions. These cards aren't bad suggestions and may find a way into the deck: Contemplation , Tablet of the Guilds , Archangel of Thune , and Ajani, Caller of the Pride . My only problem is that I have a hard time cutting things from this deck haha. It took me three days to finally decide my last batch of cuts! Let me explain why I dislike the other suggestions.
Let me start with Elspeth, Sun's Champion . Elspeth is my favorite planeswalker, and this card specifically is my favorite planeswalker card ever printed. The original version of this deck actually ran Sun's Champion; however, I found that Elspeth, Knight-Errant 's two plus ones were so much more useful. Making one dude isn't nearly as good as making three, but it can still trigger Soul Warden , Soul's Attendant , Suture Priest , and Auriok Champion . Her other plus one works amazing with Karlov, but also works well with creatures like Serra Ascendant and Divinity of Pride . Nine times out of ten you won't get a Planeswalker's ultimate off, so honestly all the ultimate abilites of the planeswalkers I use are irrelavent. Another thing is that Sun's Champion minus ability had the potential to kill large bombs like Karlov and Serra Ascendant .
I feel like Sunscorch Regent costs to much for an ability that doesn't do much for the deck. There are better turn five plays. This card just isn't that good. I probably would've played this when I was on a budget four years ago.
The fact that Flickering Ward flickers back to your hand is cool, but mono colored EDH decks aren't the most common thing and the fact that this can't be casted at instant speed makes it not worth my time. Yes multicolored cards still cant target whatever creature has this enchantment attached to it, but there are plently of ways to get around this card. There are also other, better one drops I'd rather play in this deck
Lastly we have Whispersilk Cloak this card is decent, but as I said, Karlov isn't the main focus of this deck. I ran this card for a brief period about two years ago, but ultimately cut it for Mana Vault . Whispersilk just wasn't doing what I needed it to do, and the only creature I found it useful on was Karlov.
Once again I thank you for your suggestions, and if I do end up adding the cards I liked from your suggestions making cuts will be very hard! Also thank you for the engaging comment, and for the upvote. My opinion on your deck is this: I personally think it could use more tuning, but it's a grrat start. Here's the other thing I have to say, it's not my deck. It's yours. You built it. If you like it then good. What I think is irrelevant. There's no right or wrong way to build your deck. Voltorn is your deck's main style, and mine is using Life Gain to win. We all have our own ways to play, so as long as you enjoy your deck that's what matters!
7 months ago
Is it me or are you a bit low on the lifegain side? I do like your take on trying to control the board through other cards than Karlov. But I feel, when looking at this list, you might have problems getting Karlov going consistently. I mean no tutors: Demonic Tutor , Vampiric Tutor , Ranger of Eos etc.
When it comes to lifegain triggers, I play about 25 in my deck, wich often result in a 8/8 Karlov by turn 3.
You can always take a quick look at my list if you want, maybe it gives you some ideas! :)
Commander / EDH*
SCORE: 9 | 2 COMMENTS | 311 VIEWS | IN 2 FOLDERS
7 months ago
I'm happy my tips help, I can understand that some of the swords are harder to get a hold off, especially the expensive ones. But do understand that there are more ways of giving Karlov evasion. Did you know the card Eight-and-a-Half-Tails ? I think you can pick it up for around 2 euro's or something and is not a highly played card, but it will perform well for Karlov.
You really gonna like Smothering Tithe it will give you a retarded amount of mana :-)
And if your LGS has Archangel of Thune that would also be one of the first cards I would pick up, since it's an alternate win con.
Cards that I would cut I think:
Overall I went for a more active approach of gaining life. So whenever something enters or when I do something, so cards like I said before Contemplation effect or Soul's Attendant . And I have cut all of the "Gain 1 life in your upkeep"effects in my deck, like Nyx-Fleece Ram , I really found those to slow and triggering only once to little impact. I think if you are looking for more consistency thats where to start. You really should look towards your support dudes like whenever something happens, I wanna benefit from it. Be greedy, be like Karlov ;-)
7 months ago
Cool deck! Just a quick question: The only 2 token generators I see are Regal Bloodlord and Regna, the Redeemer is that enough fuel for your sac outlets? The thing is I don't see a lot of other creatures you want to throw in the meat grinder, since they all give quite some value.
I think I would cut the token theme and, like theemptyquiver said go for Sword of War and Peace or Sword of Light and Shadow . Hell I would run all of em, just for the protection, it makes Karlov unblockable. The other effects are the value bonus. Oh don't run Sword of Body and Mind it's trash ;)
Also have you considered: Mother of Runes , Eight-and-a-Half-Tails , Contemplation , Tablet of the Guilds , Shizo, Death's Storehouse , Crested Sunmare ? They all have a lot of synergy with Karlov and the way he runs the deck.
Try to go for as much lifegain triggers a turn, not just once in your upkeep. It will make you much much faster, to the point where you can exile creatures AND swing in for commander damage, instead of doing one of the two.
Hope it helps! And if you are curious or need some inspiration this is my list: [[Primer]] Karlov's Will. Maybe it gives you some idea's! :)
7 months ago
What about Tablet of the Guilds and Contemplation ? They are cheap and do way more work then for example Nyx-Fleece Ram and Palace Siege . Sure you lose the drain of Palace Siege. But you compensate that with the total amount of creatures you play.
I found out that in my Karlov deck ([[Primer]] Karlov's Will) I really want to have a lot of lifegain triggers and not just one once in each upkeep. Thats way to slow. Maybe my decklist provides some ideas for your build, even tho I skipped all the vampires. They are nice beaters, but with the arrival of Edgar Markov they kinda found their commander. There are lots and lots of creatures who benefit lifegain triggers if you ever think about replacing them :)
If you need any help or tips I would love to Brainstorm with you about your deck :-)
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