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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
|Pauper Duel Commander||Legal|
Creature — Human Druid
(1)(Green), Sacrifice Diligent Farmhand: Search your library for a basic land card and put that card into play tapped. Then shuffle your library.
If Diligent Farmhand is in a graveyard, Muscle Burst's effect counts it as a card named Muscle Burst.
2 months ago
Suggestions from someone who started from a total junk Meren deck in 2015, and through the years made it to a cEDH (check the playlist here if you want: Meren Surgical Toolbox [2K22]:
Way too many lands. Never seen any budget deck running almost half the deck on lands only. Consider adding cheap staple cards like Kodama's Reach, Cultivate, or something like Emergent Sequence, Greenseeker (it also discards you a creature that you can pick up with meren at the end of turn), Primal Growth (good sac outlet too), Dawntreader Elk, Deathsprout, Diligent Farmhand, Rampant Growth, and notable Yavimaya Elder. Consider also adding all the 1-mana elves, all of which sit around 0.10$. If you include all these changes you can easily remove 10 lands, and sit at 35 lands total.
Some cards you included are just downright bad, even for a budget deck. You can not only find cheaper but also better replacements for cards like Reprocess, Spider Spawning, Evincar's Justice, Zendikar's Roil. Some cards you have in your maybeboard, like Skullclamp or Buried Alive are much better options. Most definitely include Village Rites and Midnight Reaper for card draw, and Spore Frog for protection. Also Reclamation Sage
Your deck has a very high CMC, 4.05. For a golgari deck this is way too high, considering reaching at least 3.00.
More generally, have a look at EDHREC.com to see what cards best fit a budget Meren deck. No offense, but even as a budget your deck certainly needs much improvement. That is, assuming you don't run cards for their flavor or because you just like them. Then that's totally up to you.
3 months ago
I think my first suggestion would be to increase the amount of ramp in the deck. You seem to be running 35 lands with only 10 pieces of ramp, 3 of which requiring other creatures (Ashnod's Altar + Phyrexian Altar + Pitiless Plunderer ) and some being very high CMC (Mana Reflection + Thran Dynamo especially). Ideally the Ramp should probably be creatures, seeing as you want fodder for your sac outlets, which is probably another argument against the high CMC ramp. I reckon cards like Ignoble Hierarch or even Diligent Farmhand (which sacrifices itself) would be good includes.
I love the concept of the deck!
3 months ago
DreadKhan I didn't even know about Yavimaya Granger and Diligent Farmhand. Those are great, and I need to add them! And you're totally right in what you said on the other thread- "hell is having Meren out with nothing to sacrifice." That happened to me earlier in my Meren career when I was still upgrading the precon, and it was miserable. That's why the self-saccing creatures are so good!
The other big mistake I had was having a great grindy, controlly deck without a clear wincon, which I'll confess is a bit of a noob's mistake. Syr Konrad, the Grim/Blood Artist/Falkenrath Noble + Living Death/Massacre Girl fixed that, and World Shaper + Field of the Dead added a second one. None of the cards from the first "combo" are over $10, and only Field of the Dead is pricier from the second, and while fun to have both you don't need them all. There is also the option of just getting lots of mana and casting Exsanguinate or Torment of Hailfire, but I passed on those ones since it's something I do in my Teysa, Orzhov Scion deck.
If you can fix your engine and have a clear winning "combo" (not an infinite combo, just a bunch of cards that synergize to help you win) you'll have so much fun!
3 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.
3 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.
3 months ago
I started playing with the first Portal, kinda. That was the first set I got cards from. I spent the next few years off and on, getting bits and pieces of collections from people who were leaving the game or offloading bulk commons and uncommons. (I managed to get both Pardic Firecat and Diligent Farmhand and had no idea what Burst meant. I thought it was some action, like untapping, that the rules later dropped.) I started digging in a little deeper in Time Spiral block, then really jumped in with Alara. Since then, I've been either in deep or sitting out.
Favorite block is Alara. It was the one that I really got in with (if you missed that two sentences ago). I usually prefer multicolor builds to monocolor builds, and I wasn't in for most of Apocalypse and Ravnica. It has a unique and deep setting insert Return to Alara screed here. And the cards are just cool: Maelstrom Archangel, Godsire (Secretly pandering to the OP? Never!), Progenitus, Wall of Denial, Conflux, Sphinx of the Steel Wind, Lich Lord of Unx... Add in stuff like Ad Nauseam, the Cascade mechanic, and Noble Hierarch, and the introductions of Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker, Sarkhan Vol, Tezzeret the Seeker, and Elspeth, Knight-Errant, and it had something for everyone. Planeswalkers were still brand new, and colored artifacts were a shocking and semi-controversial twist.
I don't like the one-set model. I understand that the three-set model and even two-set model had general dropoff after the first set, but the current model is too much, too fast. The mechanics are underdeveloped and unsupported. (In agreement with "it's always been that way" doesn't make it a good thing. I'm still waiting for Provoke to come back.) The planes are either shallow, limited in scope, or "open for exploration when we return" which may or may not happen.
The biggest and most disappointing change for me, though, is the official website. It used to have multiple articles a week: Making Magic, Savor the Flavor, From the Lab, Building on a Budget, Arcana, Card of the Day, theme weeks, it was all fun. Now, it's a couple of third-party articles, occasional short stories for the lore, and a bunch of promotion and self-advertising.
With my "it was better in my day" out of the way, I think the fundamentals of the game are in good shape. Aside from some cosmetic differences and minor rules updates, it's still the same game I was playing fifteen years ago, and there's a lot to be said for that. Sure, there's been some power and complexity creep, but aside from a couple of high-profile missteps that aren't totally without precedent (Urza block -> Mirrodin Affinity -> Zendikar Caw-Blade -> Throne of Eldraine/Ikoria), it's been well controlled compared to other popular TCGs. A deck from five, ten, twenty years ago can still find a home at least at the casual tables.
3 months ago
Thanks for commenting, Lord_of_Cardboard!
This deck would do exceptionally well against a Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger deck. This is for the same reason that cards like Jace's Archivist do so well in the deck: if you have have Muldrotha on the battlefield, any cards you discard might as well still be in your hand cause you can simply replay them from your graveyard. If anything, an opposing Kroxa player is almost helping you by disrupting your other opponents' hands.
As for a budget version of the deck, here's some advice on budget options and replacements. Just note that this is advice specific to my Muldrotha deck, i.e., advice for the big mana and big X-spell strategy. If you'd rather play a more typical creature-based, swing-to-kill type deck, there may be better Muldrotha lists to look at.
The mana base makes up a large portion of the deck's budget, and I would leave that mostly up to your own discretion. Just keep in mind that fetch lands like Evolving Wilds and slow fetches like Bad River are good for being replayed every turn with Muldrotha. Also, for a budget version of the deck, it's important to run more basics than I do since you'll probably need to fetch more with your ramp. Cycle lands like Lonely Sandbar, Tranquil Thicket, and Barren Moor are fantastic, especially with Life from the Loam. Some other good options:
Which brings me to another point: if I had to pick one somewhat expensive card that's worth putting in a budget Muldrotha deck, it's this one. It's a one-card value engine, giving you card draw, mill, and lands. And depending on what utility lands you choose to run, it can do a whole lot more. And if you're worried about Kroxa in your meta, Life from the Loam is a great counter to it, allowing you to fill your hand with lands to discard.
Now to address key cards for the deck's "big mana" strategy. Important cards for generating a lot of mana include Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Cabal Coffers, Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, Crypt Ghast, and Nyxbloom Ancient. You could just replace these cards with normal ramp; casting X-spells for X=10 is still good and easy to accomplish without these cards. If that's unsatisfying for you, you could consider options like Zendikar Resurgent and Mana Reflection. Unfortunately there aren't many great cheap options for producing a lot of mana. This is an important part of the deck though, so it's up to you if it's worth spending some extra money on it.
To avoid this comment being any more lengthy than it already is, here's an extensive list of some budget alternatives for the deck. The great thing about Muldrotha is that being able to replay removal makes a lot of sub-par removal actually pretty good, so it's pretty budget friendly.
Win-Conditions: What's in the deck isn't too expensive, but here's some cheaper options.
- Mass Manipulation
- Gelatinous Genesis
- Mind Grind
- Hydra Broodmaster
- Other hydras (there's lots of them)
- Plaguecrafter / Demon's Disciple
- Seal of Doom / Shriekmaw / Executioner's Capsule
- Night Incarnate
- Outland Liberator Flip
- Thrashing Brontodon
- Kenrith's Transformation / Frogify / Kasmina's Transmutation
- Vraska the Unseen / Ob Nixilis Reignited
- Sidisi's Faithful
Draw / Mill:
- Vessel of Nascency
- Satyr Wayfinder
- Tatyova, Benthic Druid
- Mirror-Mad Phantasm
- Dreamborn Muse
- River Kelpie
- Witching Well
- Courier's Capsule
- Omen of the Sea
- Fact or Fiction
- Forgotten Creation
- Kiora, Master of the Depths
- Springbloom Druid
- Burnished Hart
- Dawntreader Elk
- Diligent Farmhand
- Kodama's Reach
- Wayfarer's Bauble
- Font of Fertility
- Omen of the Hunt
- Yavimaya Elder
- Kiora, the Crashing Wave
Control and other good stuff:
- Zur's Weirding
- Siren Stormtamer
- Drown in the Loch
- Elephant Grass
- Scribe of the Mindful
- Malakir Rebirth Flip
- Raven's Crime
- Malevolent Hermit Flip
- Energy Flux
- Other counterspells
If you have any other questions about budget options, let me know. I'm always happy to help!
5 months ago
Ohran Frostfang and Toski, Bearer of Secrets offer you some repeatable card draw for doing what you want to be doing. Frostfang's Deathtouch is really handy earlier game, draw is always handy. Midnight Reaper and Grim Haruspex are also good, but might be too many payoffs if you don't need the card draw. Blossoming Bogbeast and Thunderfoot Baloth are good ways to get Trample and a buff, handy especially if you've got deathtouch, 1 damage kills then. If you run enough Trample effects, you could also consider Saryth, the Viper's Fang or Bow of Nylea, as there are more good trample providers, some budget some not.
Over Diabolic Tutor, you could run cards like Jarad's Orders and Final Parting, or even Buried Alive to find Gravecrawler and a sac outlet, or Haakon, Stromgald Scourge and a 1 drop knight to generate a ton of death triggers, Universal Automaton is infinite mana with Ashnod's Altar I guess. Haakon always has to end up in the yard to work, but these are similar MV to Diabolic to maybe find a value engine. Gravecrawler loves Carrion Feeder or any other infinite sac outlet, but it also loves Pitiless Plunderer, at which point you can go infinite with this, making your army very tall. Haakon is more rugged than Gravecrawler, but is jankier. If you use Haakon, you can also try Liliana's Standard Bearer, both as a way to recover from a wipe and to draw cards via Haakon's recursion.
Over 'find a land when ___ dies', I would look at some options that let you sacrifice the creature for the land, such as Diligent Farmhand, which is always a source of a death trigger, even if you don't have an outlet out. Dawntreader Elk is also very good. Not saying Wood Elves are bad, but it's nice to have a death trigger attached. You might run more ramp period, any reason you don't run 1 drop mana like Birds of Paradise or Llanowar Elves, or even Elves of Deep Shadow to speed up your deck, getting to your Commander quicker is a big advantage in higher power games, especially with a powerful effect like your Commander.
Especially if you don't run more 1 or 2 MV permanents, you should look at Culling Ritual, that card is terrifying at higher power games, keep an eye out if people play a lot of 1 and 2 drops in your group to see if it will be relevant, but it can be very good.
Sarulf, Realm Eater is a crazy thing you could sneak in as a way to deal with an out of control opponent, your Commander can pump him with counters, and once he's big enough, he can clear the board completely (after you sacrifice stuff), so you can still use something like Living Death to put your dead creatures back into play, opponent's without a sac outlet have everything exiled. Sarulf will very quickly be big enough to clear the entire board, and he doesn't die when he does it, so it's back to your Commander and Sarulf vs the world, but if other players have used too many resources, they might not be prepared to come back. Maybe not a good choice if your area plays cards like Mindslaver a lot, but that's one of the biggest wipes around.
Props for using Mazirek!