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J0TheG3ntleG14nt on Your Old Friend Yew
3 weeks ago
After playtesting this deck a few times, I saw that there wasn't much umph to the deck. So, my first revision is as follows.
IN: Archangel of Tithes, Resolute Archangel, Faithbound Judge Flip, and Rogue's Passage
OUT: Springjack Pasture, Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit, Aetherflux Reservoir, and Cosmos Elixir
Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
4 months ago
I am hoping for some community feedback on something. My plan has been to cut Harsh Mercy for Darksteel Mutation, as I found the former didn't help much, and in situations where I wanted it more single target removal was what I wanted. Mutation can also sideline annoying combo commanders, and so I intend to add it. I also intended to add Smuggler's Share in place of another card draw piece, but have had trouble deciding which one. Currently Smuggler's Share is in in place of Harsh Mercy since those situations are set, but I need to go back and cut the draw piece so I can put Darksteel Mutation in. Here are the options as I see them-
Critics of my earliest list didn't seem to care for this card, but I've found it to perform well. It is 3 cmc, which makes it a perfect turn three play, and it allows us to net clue tokens for free every turn since we are pretty much always attacking. Additionally, replacing this with Smuggler's Share wouldn't do anything to lower our curve, whereas cutting a pricier card would. While we do, of course, have to pay each time we want to sac one for a card, I've found that we can often do this and are often happy to do so. With our low curve we often may want to hold mana open for removal, Lapse of Certainty, board protection pieces like Cosmic Intervention, and even creatures with flash. If we don't need to do any I have often been glad to make use of it by drawing cards on my opponent's end step right before my turn. I've also found this card incredible in a blowout. When everything has been destroyed, it is great to be able to spend a bunch of mana and re-draw our hand to keep in the game. It has saved my game at least once. As such I think I am least inclined to cut this one, but I am putting it out there as it is still nowhere near the most superior tier of card draw, which in this deck would be Mask of Memory.
When playing with Mangara I have found him to be a powerful draw engine. His first ability rarely comes into play since I usually have big vigilant blockers that deter attacks. Still, it is there. His second ability has been amazing though. In my playgroup at least, most players are casting at least two spells per turn by the mid game, and I have got a lot of cards off of him. I've found his lifelink ability situationally good as well, since his toughness allows him to attack more often than one might think. The weaknesses of Mangara are that he costs four mana, which is more than we like to pay for an engine piece, and that as a creature he is arguably the most fragile permanent type. I haven't found in my experience that he gets hit with targeted removal too much since I usually have more threatening pieces on the board which draw that. He does die to board wipes though, which is not really true of most of our other draw pieces. That being said, when he dies to board wipes, I have usually already drawn several cards off of him, justifying the four cmc I put him on the board with. As with Thorough Investigation I am not inclined to cut him, but he is four cmc and thus deserves to be considered.
Some might consider it a heresy of sorts that I even suggest cutting this card as it is a staple draw engine in most tribal decks. In my mono-green elf deck it is incredible and makes for one heck of a draw engine. It essentially turns every angel we cast into a cantrip- we draw a card to replace it. We'll usually draw at least one card during our turn off of it, and sometimes we'll draw two. There is also the anthem, which we always appreciate in an aggro deck even if we don't need it. That being said, it's nowhere near as good here as in my elf deck. There I have gratuitous amounts of mana, more creatures than lands, and very cheap creatures, allowing the card to take over the game if not answered. Here our resources are more limited, the 5cmc is felt more, and our ceiling isn't so high. We therefore have to more carefully consider the downsides. The most obvious is that at 5cmc this is our most expensive draw piece. Paired with that, it is a pretty fragile permanent type, as players tend to pack lots of artifact hate. Moreover, this is precisely the type of permanent players tend to remove, as it keeps our tank full of gas in the long run just by doing what our deck does. The floor for this card is that our opponents blow it up before we draw a single card off of it, putting us back a turn at a point we can't afford that. It would be worth it if we could play it and draw two cards off of it the first turn, but at 5 that this is highly unlikely, meaning it has to survive a turn or two before we can get a return on our investment. Also, this is just a personal consideration, but if I cut it I can put it in my Trynn and Silvar deck where I think it will do great work and draw less hate. This card as such is much higher on the cut list than the prior two.
At the outset it is worth mentioning that this card has a bit of a symbiosis with the last card on the list. When I initially made this deck one focus was on using lifegain for card draw, but since then two of these life-draw pieces, Dawn of Hope and Cosmos Elixir have been cut. As such, cutting either of these last two cards would pretty much eliminate this theme. With that noted, onto the card. This card has almost always been on the chopping block as I revise the deck, but so far it has always made it through, and not for nothing. To begin with, as an enchantment it is a more resilient permanent type. People tend to pack less enchantment removal, and when they have it in hand they are wise to use it on truly game-winning enchantments. I always chuckle inwardly while playing my Teysa deck when someone blows a Disenchant effect on one of my mana rocks just before I play Necropotence or Bolas's Citadel. Needless to say, if they have it they probably aren't wasting it on this card, which will probably last the whole game. This card is essentially an Angel's Feather stapled to a Phyrexian Arena, albeit without the life loss and with a limitation on the draw instead. As such its ceiling is simply drawing a card every turn and gaining some life. It's floor, on the other hand, is just having an over-costed Angel's Feather on the field, which is still just fine. This card as such furthers two of our gameplans- life gain and card draw, and as we cast lots of white spells it will gain us quite a bit of life, especially if Angel of Vitality is on the field. I've found it almost always draws me the card as well. This card will almost never wow us, but Phyrexian Arena continues to be a staple card not because it wows us but because drawing an extra card per turn turns out to be pretty great. Another argument in favor of this card, and this has only to do with flavor, is that it belongs in an angels deck. We have both Bruna and Gisela in the deck, so if we can't have Sigarda herself we might as well have one of her spells. You can also pick up a beautiful, full art foil of this card for about a buck, making it a cosmetic delight. As such I am pretty reluctant to cut this, though I have always considered it.
I have wanted to play this card forever, and this deck was the first commander deck where I had enough life gain to make it worthwhile. I think in considering this card, we need to do a ceiling-floor-middle analysis. The ceiling for this card is incredibly high. We swing in with a crazy amount of lifelink damage, and then dump our mana into drawing a ton of cards. The floor is like with Vanquisher's Banner- we play it turn four and it immediately gets blown up before we draw a single card. Even then, we spent four mana on it and not five. The middle though is really good though, as at per card we will draw lots of cards even with small lifelinkers, and this could arguably be called the most powerful draw piece in the deck for that reason. As an artifact, it is a pretty fragile permanent type and will likely be targeted for removal. That being said, the mid to late game comparison to Vanquisher's Banner is useful. Let's say I have eight mana available and a single big lifelinker in the air. I can play this for four, swing, and then immediately draw four cards off of it when I gain the life. This will usually have made the turn worth it even if the card gets blown up afterwards, and of course, of it does not get blown up, we'll probably win that game. Banner on the other hand would draw us one card if we could cast an angel after it, but wouldn't do much more than that. As such, given this card performs well at most levels, I think it's more likely than not that I keep it in, but it is on the list.
14jatwood on Angels and Artifacts for Matt
4 months ago
Potential Removals/Substitutions I would recommend roughly 13 creatures (15 with the commanders) Due Respect Festival of the Guildpact Immolating Glare Niveous Wisps Pressure Point Daybreak Coronet Healing Hands Citywide Bust Kor Outfitter Light-Paws, Emperor's Voice Sleeper Dart
Potential Additions +4 plains/other lands Sram, Senior Edificer Stonehewer Giant Danitha Capashen, Paragon Colossus Hammer Swiftfoot Boots Argentum Armor Masterwork of Ingenuity Sun Titan Knight of the White Orchid Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle Metalwork Colossus Mirran Crusader Divine Reckoning Slash the Ranks Secret Rendezvous Fireshrieker Loxodon Warhammer Nettlecyst Golem-Skin Gauntlets Bloodforged Battle-Axe Sculpting Steel Maul of the Skyclaves Batterbone Angelic Armaments Arch of Orazca Avarice Amulet Battle Angels of Tyr Bonder's Ornament Coveted Jewel Cosmos Elixir Eye of Vecna Flumph Fey Steed Howling Golem Howling Mine Infiltration Lens Mask of Memory Mikokoro, Center of the Sea Otherworld Atlas Seer's Sundial Skullclamp Staff of Nin Stone Haven Outfitter Strength-Testing Hammer Tapestry of the Ages Teferi's Puzzle Box Temple Bell The Celestus War Room Blade of Selves Brass Knuckles Delver's Torch Demonmail Hauberk Dragon Throne of Tarkir Executioner's Hood Heartseeker Hedron Matrix Holy Avenger Moonsilver Spear Ogre's Cleaver Sigil of Distinction Sigil of Valor Skinwing Spellbinder Warlord's Axe Worldslayer
Dencoan on Altered Trostani
7 months ago
Some Ideas for you
Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
10 months ago
Hi Phule451! Thanks for the suggestions, encouragement, and comment and welcome to the conversation! I actually had Cosmos Elixir in the deck until the most recent update. It synergizes well and I have a beautiful foil full-art copy, but at 4cmc it's high for a draw piece and it came down to cutting this or Sigarda's Splendor and I chose to keep the latter for now. That being said, it is a good card, and it could go back in if I miss it. I can definitely consider Irregular Cohort and two bodies are good- I think my general thing about changelings is that they don't fly, which is why I generally prefer actual angels, though I could change my mind. At this phase we're working with a new commander and I am trying to be as open-minded as possible! If you play the deck and try it out, definitely let us know how you like it as it will help us all going forward!
Phule451 on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
10 months ago
Might want to consider Irregular Cohort as it gives you two angelic bodies in one spell. Cosmos Elixir can help with both card draw and life gain. Pretty tight deck I know, but a couple thins to consider...
Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
10 months ago
1) Burnished Hart OUT Pearl Medallion IN
Hart is a great card, and research suggests it's one of the winningest cards in EDH, so naturally in a monowhite deck that a land ramp piece like this would seem to be great. I think the issue for it here is it just isn't fast enough for the deck. Giada doesn't need to ramp a lot to be relevant, and in testing I've found that we often have something more urgent to do cast it initially or sac it to get the lands. It's still a great card, but likely better suited to more controlling decks. What is amazing in this deck, however, are cards that discount creature spells like Herald's Horn, as we can use them to more easily put out multiple pieces in a turn at discount. Making your four drops three drops is incredible acceleration that suits our gameplan just fine. And Medallion does this not just for our creature spells, but any spell in white. It's fabulous!
2) Cosmos Elixir OUT Vanquisher's Banner IN
Elixir is theoretically a good card in this deck as it can draw cards off life-gain or gain life. The problem is it never does both, it draws one extra card per turn at most, and costs 4 mana for the privilege. It's equivalent card would be Sigarda's Splendor, but that always gains us life, and is simply based on not having lost life from the last noted turn, which is more reliable. Banner costs more, but its floor is replacing every angel we cast with a card, and its ceiling is drawing several cards in a turn, so it's better all around. The anthem is just gravy.
3) Welcoming Vampire OUT Mask of Memory IN
While a fabulous card, Giada's ability ensures that we won't draw cards with angels off of vampire. It will definitely find a home in a new deck. Mask of Memory, however, is great. It costs two and equips for one, meaning an easy early line of play would be to cast it turn three, attack it to Giada, and get an engine going. We get to draw two cards and then discard the one in our hand we need least, which allows us to be up a card while moving through the deck to what we need. Sometimes we might even discard a good card only to recur it with another later, so there are lots of nice little possibilities with this one.
4) Mirror Entity OUT Sanctuary Warden IN
So far we've replaced subpar draw with better draw, but no we are upping our count. I've never like entity, but I thought it might be better here since Giada gives it counters that make it more resilient when not being pumped. Still though, like all changelings, its an angel that doesn't fly, which is wicked annoying. Moreover, while its ability is a powerhouse with 1/1 tokens which can be turned to 4 power with 4 mana, it's not so great when the average power of an angel is already 3/3 or 4/4. It will weaken some of your angels, and where it improve them it takes a monstrous amount of mana to do so. Finally, while one might be tempted to add Reveillark to complete the combo with entity and Karmic Guide, we have to remember that Giada shuts entity off from killing the board, effectively shutting down the combo. It's just bad, trust me. This is where a lot of online deck tech's fail. They just throw it in because its an "angel" and a generically good card without thinking through the consequences! Meanwhile, while costly Sanctuary Warden is an absolute powerhouse. It immediately replaces itself, and can draw cards more cards this way for free by being blinked with Sword of Hearth and Home. It's an engine that draws us cards every turn, and we can use our plentiful supply of +1/+1 counters to power it, leaving the shield counters to protect it from most removal and board wipes. It's an all-star card.
5) Plains OUT Tome of Legends IN
I'm hoping I don't regret going down to 35 lands, but I think the deck can sustain it, especially when we are upping the draw. Tome is an amazingly good and underrated card. It can net us an extra card the turn we cast it, and can draw one every turn as long as we attack with out commmander, something that isn't too hard to do here. Keep in mind, Giada has vigilance, so even if we want to tap her to cast an angel we can always do so on our second main phase! The best part of this card is that it costs only two mana, allowing us often to ramp it out turn three with another angel or put it out early with another two drop. It's been great in other decks and I expect no less here!
6) Archaeomancer's Map OUT Eye of Vecna IN
This might be a more controversial cut, but I don't think I need the ramp map theoretically provides, and it can be a tricky card to play here. Ideally you'd want to get this down turn three, in order to ramp lands based upon your opponent's turns, but you'll have to discard if you do unless you played a one drop turn one. It's not as great late game, and the ramp is conditional based on having the extra land in hand and not missing a land drop, which can happen without enough draw. Eye immediately replaces itself and draws one card every turn for the low cost of 2 life, which we aren't worried about at all here. The only downside is that Angel of Jubilation shuts it down, but that is a narrow enough case that it isn't worth not playing a 2cmc draw spell over.
7) Disenchant OUT Together Forever IN
We have plenty of removal and I think we can afford to cut our least relevant piece. Together Forever is amazing, cheap, efficient protection for our entire board, including Giada. It can save our stuff from being destroyed by removal or damage, and has value as repeatable single-target protection and board wipe protection. I expect this to be an all-star piece.
8) Desert of the True and Drifting Meadow OUT War Room and Bonders' Enclave IN
I hated these cycling lands in early testing because they are just not worth having the lands come into play tapped. War Room and Enclave actually draw us cards, and come into play untapped. Sure, 4 mana is a lot for a single card, but there are times we will be happy for it, and in a monocolored deck the colorless nature isn't too much of a drawback.
9) 2x Plains OUT Emergence Zone and Seraph Sanctuary IN
Why not attack lifegain to a land? Sanctuary is just an obvious card for this build that I somehow missed the first time around. Zone is a deeply underrated card that allows you once in a game to get the jump on your opponents by becoming a one turn Vedalken Orrery. The element of surprise is what often wins you games in aggressive decks, and this card allows for that!
So that's the first update! I'll have updates to the primer coming later today or tomorrow. Hope this helps all of you as you build and play the deck!
Guerric on Oloro's Gambit
10 months ago
I think the key thing with Oloro is figuring out the direction you want to take him, as he can be played many ways. In any deck, you want to gain life and use life as a resource to do what your deck already wants to do. So, in addition to some of the cards you have here, people tend to play things like Phyrexian Arena, Necropotence, Dawn of Hope, Eye of Vecna, and Cosmos Elixir that draw cards off of lifegain or pay life to get cards. They then try to multiply these effects with cards like Teferi's Ageless Insight and Alhammarret's Archive. The Soul Sisters (Soul Warden and Soul's Attendant do a lot of work towards gaining this life as well.
Beyond that, there are several approaches towards winning. One is the pillowfort control/disruptive aggro approach. This type of deck uses pillowfort cards like Propaganda, Ghostly Prison, Norn's Annex, and Crawlspace or Sphere of Safety (if you have a lot of enchantments) in order to keep attackers from messing with you. They then use counter-spells and removal to keep other players from winning, and win by attacking in the air with large creatures who often have lifelink, with cards like Dream Trawler, Serra Ascendant, Archangel of Thune, and Drogskol Reaver being optimal choices.
I'll post the other option in a second.
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