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Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Planechase Legal
Premodern Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal


Creature — Dryad Spellshaper

(Green), Tap, Discard a card: Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn.

DreadKhan on Meren, Clan of Nel Toth

6 months ago

One of my favourite things to do in Meren is to ramp (my deck is on the clunkier side, and it runs very few lands), and one of the better ways to repeatedly ramp is to use more stuff like Sakura Tribe Elder, variations include Diligent Farmhand, Dawntreader Elk, Yavimaya Granger, and maybe Burnished Hart/Fertilid. All of these can find a Swamp for you, each sacrifices itself and thus they have some nice synergy with Meren. I think the only Meren decks that don't want multiples of that effect is if they are building a very high powered list, where this kind of play 'isn't advancing your board' sufficiently. I often find that farming XP isn't a waste of time early, so these recursive ramp sources offer that as well. I think it's very hard to justify running land ramp Sorceries when you can run creatures that do the same thing, and arguably do a better job of it. I would also shave stuff like Arcane Signet or the Talisman for creature ramp, Meren can't recur your rocks for you when they get blown up. In addition to Meren there are tons of things that synergize with creatures, stuff like Beast Whisperer and Liliana's Standard Bearer can draw lots of cards via creatures, and you don't get that synergy with a 2 mana rock. Using Meren to recur Liliana's Standard Bearer is a pretty impressive bulk draw option.

Some generically good cards for a Meren list that I love are Buried Alive, Final Parting, and Jarad's Orders, each of these offers real tutoring power, and none are especially pricey. Buried Alive can find a whole combo for you to win with. Old Stickfingers is probably worth a look for the similar reasons, Meren feels really weak if you have no creatures in your yard to reanimate. I'm not sure if it's too high budget, but Fiend Artisan has a lot of synergy with Meren. You don't have to dig out a combo piece for the card to do useful things.

In my Meren deck it's a much better Rhystic Study (I run a very high creature count), but I suspect you'd get some value out of Lurking Predators. There is also Heartwood Storyteller, in my experience both belong in a deck with even more creatures but they could still be useful I think.

In my limited experience Callous Bloodmage offers pretty good graveyard hate on a very low budget, and if you don't need that it can do other stuff, it's a great card to use in infinite loop since it can do a few useful things.

Mitotic Slime offers you a ton of bodies for only 5 mana, it's not especially hard to go infinite with as a result. I like using it with Demon of Dark Schemes and Pitiless Plunderer (and a sac outlet) to win, the nicest part about using a combo like this is that each piece is independently good. Phyrexian Altar is better than Plunderer, but it's even more money (though the difference has dropped sharply).

Dawnstrider is an extra Spore Frog, one that doesn't require reanimation but offers a discard outlet, letting you put creatures in your graveyard. Silverglade Pathfinder is another discard outlet, but offers ramp instead.

I hope this isn't too try-hard for your deck, Meren is a very fun Commander to build.

KayneMarco on Fog Draw EDH

7 months ago

Just an fyi: you can’t legally run Batwing Brume. Also, here’s a list of creatures that give you permanent fog effects that aren’t in your deck:

DreadKhan on F*** Kevin

9 months ago

Any reason you don't run Meren of Clan Nel Toth in here? You don't lose XP counters when she dies, so you can just recur her with your Commander. You could also try out Coffin Queen and Hell's Caretaker to get more recursion in. Repeatable recursion makes things like Merciless Executioner pop in my experience. Not sure how much you get targeted, but Dawnstrider is a nice second Spore Frog, Dawnstrider is also a discard outlet.

I playtested this vs one of my more salty decks, it doesn't feel too oppressive to play against. I actually think your friend should build a deck designed to tweak your nose back if he feels triggered by your deck! The best way to learn to appreciate a deck or play style is to try it out yourself, obvious exceptions abound but I think there's a kernel of truth. I thought Chaos decks were always a bad thing, but when I decided to throw some Chaotic cards into a deck it worked out very well, and now I enjoy a boarder spectrum of Magic games.

DreadKhan on Meren Reanimation

1 year ago

I have a lot of fun using Meren in an EDH deck, maybe some of my EHD concepts translate?

I really liked stuff like Diligent Farmhand, Dawntreader Elk, and of course Sakura-Tribe Elder are very useful. There is also Elves of Deep Shadow, which is useful if you use the 'trick' of running lots of green ramp that finds Swamps/makes black mana and run less black sources because you only need a few. A few black ramp creatures are Blood Pet and Blood Vassal, Vassal is probably worse. A card I used to use in Meren that might work here is Street Wraith, it'll eat up a bit of life, but it gives Meren something worth getting back if she has low/no XP, I settled on running enough ramp-that-dies to not worry about Meren having nothing to do. Death payoffs like Grim Haruspex to draw some cards when things die might help too.

One really funny trick that's very easy for Meren to pull off (and that's way better in 1v1) is abusing Spore Frog, this also builds up XP fwiw. I think Dawnstrider is a lot worse in 1v1 than Spore Frog, but it is also a discard outlet so I run both in EDH.

If you want another 'backup Meren', there is also Hell's Caretaker, this is a bit cheaper than Meren and can actually reanimate big stuff on it's 2nd turn (usually much sooner than Meren), but it does eat a body each time.

Another trick I liked using was Gravecrawler + any sac outlet, as long as you've got another Zombie you can just reuse your Gravecrawler, even if you don't want to splurge on something like Phyrexian Altar or Pitiless Plunderer to make it infinite, it can still be pretty good to have a recursive (and cheap) creature.

DreadKhan on EDH Merens Reanimator

1 year ago

If you're interested in playing fair, then you might like Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest. This can take a board full of utility creatures and make them very formidable very quickly. Hell's Caretaker is a card I find useful that doesn't go infinite with anything I know of, it just lets you sneak stuff in once per turn. If you don't include anything like Pitiless Plunderer you can set up repeatable sacrifice loops to generate XP for Meren, probably to reanimate a Protean Hulk or someting else juicy. For this you might use Gravecrawler or Haakon, Stromgald Scourge and probably a 1 drop Knight to have something you can keep killing over and over. Any card that cares about creatures dying will go off, so some stuff that draws on death might be nice, Liliana, Dreadhorde General is a versatile card that fits the bill.

In my experience, the best thing you can tutor up is usually Protean Hulk, Sidisi, or Razaketh, any of these tends to spiral out of control in a deck that can reanimate them on the end step or sooner. Hulk can find various creatures to solve whatever problems you have, but you probably need a sac outlet to ensure it dies right away, the others are more generous. Razaketh notoriously likes abusing Life / Death to set up a pretty quick win when you're ready, you can find stuff like rituals to generate enough mana to go off.

If you want another reanimator that isn't picky, there is Demon of Dark Schemes that helps clear the board of weenies, and as long as you don't have cards that generate mana the Demon won't go infinite with something like Mitotic Slime or Underworld Hermit, they'll just give you lots of triggers for your extra mana. Demon also likes Merciless Executioner type creatures, they can easily generate Energy. Another reanimator I often forget reanimates stuff is Liliana, Death's Majesty, this brings back stuff as a Zombie if you don't want the ultimate, and she survives some wipes as a PW that can make 2/2s while milling you. Some people don't like PWs so ymmv.

I suspect that if you're not sure if you need more wipes, you might want to try one or two more. In Black there is Make an Example that is very brutal as you always hit your priority target for each opponent. It won't clear the board, but it can help manage it, and you can follow it up with a bunch of forced sacrifice. One card that likes seeing a wipe happen (that makes running extra feel less problematic) is Ogre Slumlord, if you run enough 'pay life'effects you might want Sangromancer, and if you think you can kill enough of your opponent's permenants then Kothophed, Soul Hoarder might work out, that can turn a Damnation into a big draw spell.

If your deck is finding it hard to stay alive, you can use Dawnstrider to save you on needing to reanimate a Spore Frog, though I use both as I find Meren can be annoying to certain players.

If you like Phyrexian Arena and aren't using 'win on the spot combos', have you considered Protection Racket? This can draw plenty of non-land cards or deal damage to your opponents, both seem good as long as you don't care if you lose some random 1-3 drops. There is also Black Market Connections, this can provide various resources without being as busted/all-or-nothing as Necropotence.

Hope some of this is helpful! Any Commander that requires a lot of tutoring is very frustrating to learn to play, Commander is incredibly hard to master, but it's easy to get better with practice!

DreadKhan on A Vast Network of Spies

1 year ago

I'm going to suggest a few evasive creatures I use in decks that care about that feature, they're generally higher MV, which I gather is an asset to you! Hope they're not too high budget for your plan! Thieving Skydiver is an evasive creature that can steal a mana rock or Sword, it can even scale up from there. Another I truly love is Sower of Temptation, which steals a body until it dies. If the stolen creature dies you can maybe flicker it (you can also upgrade what it's stolen that way), but it's also a 2/2 flyer. Not necessarily good enough (but strong enough that I feel they're worth a look), Thalakos Deceiver can steal a creature if there is something worrisome (and it's just an evasive 1/1 if not), Thalakos Dreamsower can lock down a problem creature (less useful if people are big on Haste or Craterhoof, very good if they don't), and Thousand-Faced Shadow can copy a creature while offering an evasive attacker in a pinch.

I like Sporefrog a lot, I even run it alongside Dawnstrider in a Meren deck that tends to get targeted. You can easily afford to discard the card in Edric, and the ability can happen each turn.

Edric is a cool deck, interesting choice to build on a budget!

DreadKhan on Thantis the Warweaver

1 year ago

I've always been fascinated by Thantis as a deck, nice to see something even if it's not the Stax build I'd inevitably run (with considerable glee I might add), this seems considerably more fun to play against. I'm curious how your deck ends up working when you get it down to 100, I struggled mightily with a deck once but ended up pretty happy with the result.

For stuff you could pull, Sunder Shaman seems visibly awful, with numerous better and much easier to cast solutions existing. I have never, ever had Clackbridge Troll work out even half-decent for me, maybe you'll be luckier? I'm not sure how many redundant copies you need of the 'everyone has to attack' effect, other than Goad sources which protect you, unless you actually have a big body to block with you might not want people swinging at you, so that might let you cut Goblin Spymaster? You might cut Grand Melee for not being on a body, and Thantis doesn't want to block someone else's Deathtouch creature. I think I understand your plan to use Fogs to force people to swing and grow Thantis, then a Fog renders their attack otherwise moot, have you tested this concept out much? I usually find Fogs to be bad cards unless my deck can derive enormous advantage from 1 extra turn, and that simultaneously stopping one attacker will be enough. Anyways, I worry you won't have enough actual cards that matter with so many fogs, obviously if you've tested this out before and it works well then ignore this! I really love setting up Deathtouch and Trample on a big body, but I can never decide on a good ratio. Deathtouch without Trample is awful on a big creature, but Trample without Deathtouch is still pretty useful, so I tend to run one or two Deathtouch sources like Ohran Frostfang to have the option of 1-shotting someone while not having too many when I'm stuck with a big Deathtouch creature, a frustrating situation in my experience. When I have a deck with Green in it, and I'm less than 4 colours, there is a good chance I'll be running relatively few ramp artifacts, Green just does a better job, why play a Signet with Green in it when you could dig out your preferred land for the same mana, possibly a dual? Artifacts are magnets for removal in some metas, and if you don't run any/many, it opens you up to running more hate against such cards, if you later think you might want to (after playing it). I get that you're giving people tokens, but is Briar Patch actually relevant enough to run? Same with Revenge of Ravens or Hissing Miasma, not sure you want to deter people from swinging against you, but I might be misunderstanding your deck's game plan here. What exactly does your deck intend to do with the mana you generate from untapping your lands via Wilderness Reclamation, I guess Fogs?

As for some general advice, I wouldn't cut any lands beyond 33 with a 6 mana Commander, it's probably the lower end of what you'd want to risk. I would keep an eye on your land count when playtesting, if getting to 8 mana by the time you inevitably need to recast Thantis isn't consistent, you might want to sneak in some MDFC lands, but at this point I'd build the deck first and see what it can do at this land count.

Very much hate to suggest a card, but since I suggested pulling some Fogs, maybe you could replace several fogs with a Dawnstrider to make space in the deck?

Good luck with your building!

legendofa on Lets Shape the Spell

1 year ago

I would suggest an option that includes and , with as a possible third color.

isn't great. Mageta the Lion is a repeatable board wipe, and the other two I would consider are Avenger en-Dal and Devout Witness as targeted removal options.

has a couple of interesting control options. Waterfront Bouncer, Trickster Mage, and maybe Alexi, Zephyr Mage are passable tempo options, Stronghold Biologist and Stronghold Machinist are more color-heavy, and Dreamscape Artist hits color fixing and ramp, unusual for blue.

Spellshapers are generally mana-heavy, but Undertaker gives you a lot of freedom in what you discard, allowing you to switch cards in your hand and graveyard as needed. Notorious Assassin and Greel, Mind Raker are further control options.

offers mostly burn and evasion. Seismic Mage is repeatable land destruction, and Hammer Mage eats artifacts.

is, as always, the best at color fixing, with Greenseeker, Harvest Mage, and Silverglade Pathfinder. Rushwood Herbalist and Dawnstrider protect your creatures, and Jolrael, Empress of Beasts works well with the red options.

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