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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Creature — Beast
Vigilance, reach, trample
Whenever Elder Gargaroth attacks or blocks, choose one —
- Create a 3/3 green Beast creature token.
- You gain 3 life.
- Draw a card.
2 weeks ago
1 month ago
I don't have a definite answer for how many token producers is the minimum, but right now all of your sorceries, all but one of your enchantments, all but two instants, and a good handful or artifacts and creatures create tokens in one form or another. That's almost half your deck, and the other half is mostly lands, so I think you're okay there.
To address your first question slightly differently, how much does this deck need counterspells and ramp? I tend to go on the side of "no such thing as too much interaction," and this deck does have a potential weakness to board wipes. If this deck is performing at the level you want, then you hit the right level. If it feels slow, or vulnerable, or a certain effect is punishing it too much, I would say it's safe to remove several token producers so you can protect and enhance your investment. On that line, if you do decide you can afford to drop a couple of tokenators, Asceticism and Heroic Intervention would also be worth looking at.
Elder Gargaroth is a big stack o' value, and it can throw out four 3/3 tokens each turn cycle by itself, or eight with A&N. Anything else just makes it better. I say it's worth it.
1 month ago
You're probably right on all of those points. I have a couple more questions I'd like opinions on, while I have your ear.
First, I'm leaning towards making this a Midrange deck, but the biggest problem is making sure to have enough token producers. All the token doublers in the game won't do me any good if I'm not creating tokens regularly. So if, for instance, I add Counterspell, Mana Leak, Arcane Denial, etc., I'm naturally removing token producers to fit them in. Same for removal. That's why the counters on this list are the ones I chose. Same problem for ramp. So the question is, how many token producers is too few? In other words, what's the minimum number of them I should have?
Next, what are your thoughts on Elder Gargaroth? I keep trying to make myself believe it's an awesome card. 5MV for a 6/6 with 3 keywords and a modal attack trigger??! I'm thinking that it would be a great option for Esix and others to copy. Am I wrong? Is it as great for this deck as I want to believe it is?
2 months ago
Hey, thanks for the reply! In the range of 6-7 we want to start doing unfair things; not quite the territory of combo, but you are right, we should be threatening a win by turns 6-8. It seems like you are running an aggressive on-the-board win, which means we need to target your creatures, and see where we can squeeze in more power. As a note, I'd rate your current deck construction at a 4-5 due to the fact that there could be a lot more optimization, and you seem to be missing ways to threaten a win.
Your best win condition seems to be playing Craterhoof Behemoth into a board of other creatures. Something we want to address if you want to improve the power of the deck is how do we get our win condition out of our deck. We can do this by drawing cards, tutoring from the deck, etc. A deck that is a 7 will usually have one or two ways to directly tutor their win condition, as well as powerful card draw engines that let the deck draw 2 to 3 extra cards a turn.
Cards to Add:
- Shigeki, Jukai Visionary
- Courser of Kruphix
- Selvala, Heart of the Wilds
- Tireless Provisioner
- Tireless Tracker
- Oracle of Mul Daya
- Questing Beast
- Scavenging Ooze
- Elder Gargaroth
- Avenger of Zendikar
- Rampaging Ferocidon
- Hazoret the Fervent
- Harsh Mentor
- Eidolon of the Great Revel
- Ash Zealot
- Magus of the Moon
- Magus of the Wheel
- Treasure Nabber
- Generous Patron
- Runic Armasaur
Something to sit on, and maybe test out: are there cards that are worth playing even though they are non-creature spells? My answer is yes! Here are a few I'd say are worth playing in your deck:
- The Great Henge
- Birthing Pod
- Finale of Devastation
- Sylvan Library
- Once Upon a Time
- Greater Good
- Eldritch Evolution
- Summoner's Pact
- Escape to the Wilds
Sorry if that was a lot! I can recommend cards to take out of the deck if you want, but here is a list of my recommendations. Let me know if you want to further the conversation or have any questions
3 months ago
Hey! I'm glad you liked Elder Gargaroth in action!
I don't like giving options for opponents with Selvala's Stampede, but, if you're using it, make it so that all creatures are relevant/powerful when flipped with the Stampede (so no Sakura-Tribe Elder, for example).
As always, I like to know how this deck is going - I even playtest it every now and then to know how it is to be playing the best cards for Ghired, Conclave Exile. Cheers!
3 months ago
I was now able to do some playtests with the current set. I still changed some more cards.
- Elder Gargaroth for Keeper of Fables
Elder is crazy good, drew it 2 times, and it gave me so much options. for example with token doubler and Elemental Bond or with Quartzwood Crasher.
- Exploration for Chrome Mox
I dont like the Cardloss from the mox, and when I have good card draw, I can get rid of additional lands
- Selvala's Stampede for Tendershoot Dryad
Still not drawn, but this card seems like crazy good. Tendershoot has to less synergy, as it doesnt trigger my 4 power card draws.
- Growing Rites of Itlimoc
Flip for a Forest
probably dumb, still not drawn. I probably have to switch it for a "Ramp" slot. Right now this would probably Sword of Hearth and Home
- Kenrith's Transformation for Swords to Plowshares
I like that kenrith is denying a commander, and no life gain. But you lose instant speed. Still not sure which better
- Jeska's Will for Farewell
Its always easy to cut a Boardwipe, and mostly not the best Idea...2 boardwipes left...but I want to test how Jeska works in this kind of deck.
- Emblem of the Warmind for Rampaging Baloths
Cheapest "all Creaturs get Haste" card in MTG. Cutting Baloths was not easy and maybe Omnath, Locus of Rage is the better cut, as it is more expensive and harder to cast. never drawn actually. but haste is insane for this deck. so lets give it a try.
- Gisela, Blade of Goldnight for Titanic Ultimatum
I still waiting for Gisela, so never played it. But for Budget, Titanic is still a very good card. It won me games or saved me from loosing at certain points due to lifelink. Gisela seems more powerful and easier to cast.
- Rishkar's Expertise for Garruk, Primal Hunter or Rampaging Baloths still not sure.
Feedback to new or rarely played cards:
- Quartzwood Crasher is insane good. Thematically, and also its easy to get like a 10 or 15/15 Token, which you can copy with ghired, after that its gonna be snowball. Surely one of the best cards in this deck. Similar with Elder Gargaroth
- Selesnya Eulogist: Surprisingly good card, I rarely drew it beside the fact thats it a day 1 card of this deck. But targeting creatures from other graveyards (or the own) to prevent reanimate or similiar, and getting blockers is very good!
Cards I am uncertain:
- Wulfgar of Icewind Dale: he is nice, as I have some cards with attack triggers. But maybe he is too expensive. If he goes out, Rampaging Baloths will come back
- Hofri Ghostforge: Only played once, with already strong board. Here he is really nice. best with ETB creatures like Dockside Extortionist with this one i was most sceptical, but I think I will keep him.
Still the deck has a lot of protection, and I am not sure if it too much, but as Ghired is quite expensive, I will right now, not cut a indestructible spell.
About your utility Lands. yeah Gavony Township might be a cool manasink. But Right now I dont have it, as I put it in another deck. also i have a lot of utility lands right now. Kessig wolf run I removed, as having Trample seems no problem in my last plays.
4 months ago
Yeah, Mirri a am also not so happy with probably. But I want to test her. In the end she probably just dies after an attack. Keeper was kind of clumpy but its ok, I switched it with a proxy Elder Gargaroth to test the difference. Also soon Dhalsim, Pliable Pacifist will release. Which seems nice for 4 mana. About Helm of the Host in most of my plays it didnt bring its value. As it cost mostly 2 round to get it going and my meta is kind of removal heavy. So it was to slow for me. Maybe I bring it in again. Also having right now 4 protection spells might be a little to much. But It also can be that I like it. I have to playtest it. otherwise i will remove 1 or 2. Akromas Will is an insane card. I love to play it.
About the Lands. I own both but I never use them as I mostly need the mana elsewhere. I think about it, I like the idea with mossfire valley or similiar lands. Skyshroud elf I removed, as I have many ramp cards right now, and creature ramp always is the most unrelaible, but maybe it gets back in. I really like it..Cutting is a hard business :D .D
4 months ago
The way a Xenagos deck typically operates is that you have your ramp, your big beaters, draw and interaction.
Your options include creature ramp such as Llanowar Elves/Arbor Elf and other 1-3 CMC mana dorks as well as cards such as Cultivate. Having a lot of ramp is crucial in any deck, as it enables you to get your expensive commander out more quickly. Most people prefer artifact ramp, but given that you are running green, it's better to either use mana dorks or land ramp spells listed above. Land ramp is the most preferred because it ensures you don't miss land drops and they are less susceptible to being removed by your opponent.
Next you have your big beaters, the damage dealers. Xenagos plays one big creature at a time that gets buffed and swings for lethal. Your deck has a bunch of smaller, less impactful creatures. Even your big creatures are not that threatening. For example, a Malignus with your commander and a source that gives it trample is game over if they don't have interaction. There are many options for beaters of different budgets, cmc's and more. I prefer beaters with built in protection such as Carnage Tyrant as I can use a draw spell on it with little fear of them removing the creature in response. Others prefer beaters with built in evasion such as a flying Balefire Dragon (I run both).
Without draw, it's difficult to maintain pressure on your opponents towards the late - middle game. It doesn't seem you have any draw in your deck. With such a low CMC and low draw, I imagine you run out of cards pretty quickly. There are 2 kinds of draw, burst and steady. Examples of burst card draw include Rishkar's Expertise, Return of the Wildspeaker, and Greater Good (fyi, greater good is the BEST card in a Xenagos deck, no matter what, add it, thank me later). Examples of steady card draw include Outpost Siege, War Room/Bonders' Enclave and Elder Gargaroth. Burst is definitely much more effective, but riskier, as if an opponent removes your creature in response to your draw spell, you will be out of luck. A mix of both is usually ideal.
Interaction Some of your interaction is not bad at all, ancient grudge and fling are great! To further improve your interaction, I would include cards such as Inferno Titan, Terastodon, Kogla, the Titan Ape, Beast Within, Hull Breach and Decimate (Note, you need 4 targets for decimate).
There are many other cards to suggest, but I don't want to overwhelm you. I would definitely take a look at other Xenagos decks on the site to get a better idea of how it is traditionally played. This is my deck, while not updated as of 2020, it still has most of the core cards. There are expensive ones as well, but those can be easily replaced with more budget options. Another good resource is EDH Rec, as it gives you an idea of how the decks usually play out.
Let me know if you have any questions, comments, want more suggestions for cards to add or what you feel should be removed. I have been playing Xenagos for several years and I love it. It's the deck I play when I'm too tired to think, because all you need to do is just play big dudes and swing!