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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
|Pauper Duel Commander||Legal|
Elves of Deep Shadow
Creature — Elf Druid
Gain . Elves of Deep Shadow deals 1 damage to you.
2 months ago
Gidgetimer I very much appreciate the attention and in-depth feedback you and multimedia have been giving this deck. This is my first deck, I started building it back in June. I will eventually slot in non-tap duals, but I'm on a fairly restrictive budget and don't have a large personal card pool to pull from yet.
I 100% agree about Crop Rotation. In this stage of the deck, it's doing nothing for me. I'm not sure I agree about it not being a dredge deck (yet). It's hard to know right now, but when I do get my Fauna Shaman Golgari Grave-Troll engine running, it feels pretty good. Fauna Shaman can tutor for Eternal Witness and Shigeki, Jukai Visionary and allow me to pull cards back from the yard, it might be a little slower than a cantrip, but the number of cards I have my pick from is much better than just peeling off the top of the deck.
Back to budget, I probably can't swing for Mesmeric Orb right now. I also eventually plan to swap out Diabolic Tutor for Vampiric Tutor, but I'm building at the speed of cash. I like Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire though and might be able to find a spot for that! I like that it also has the option to be used diplomatically if someone else has an answer to a bigger threat at the table.
I see the potential for mana dorks and I'm particularly keen on Elves of Deep Shadow. As far as one land per turn, If I get my Fauna Shaman engine going, I can be playing two lands per turn as early as turn 4. Of course, it's nice to have backup since getting the ideal opening hand and first two draws is very low.
multimedia there's a lot of good information in your post as well. Sun Titan seems really promising and a flash enabler would be great here too. I'll keep working this over in my mind and see what make sense!
2 months ago
In the current deck the problem with running Crop Rotation to sac a basic for a dual/tri land is that you don't run many untapped ones. This makes that move incredibly slow. You are tapping a mana to get a tapped land and not going up on land count. Even if you had more untapped duals it would be pretty slow just fixing off of it. Something like Utopia Sprawl would be way better until you get the Coffers.
The more I think about it the more I am convinced that this deck in it's current state is not a deck that wants to dredge. There are not nearly enough additional draws to stay relevant while filling the yard. I think this might be a deck that wants Mesmeric Orb. The good cards that let you tutor it are monetarily expensive, but it might be worth checking out a build with some number of Diabolic Tutor, Mastermind's Acquisition, a Fortnight Grim Tutor (actually a good card, but eww Fortnight), or Varragoth, Bloodsky Sire and the Orb. Then you could focus on ramping into the commander and passively mill while still being able to draw. The downside is that if your friends also run graveyard strategies you are feeding them.
On the subject of ramp, I think you could easily cut 3 lands to slot in 1 MV dorks. You are limited to 1 land a turn, but could play any number of ramp that you can pay for. The ones mentioned above are good and if you are wanting a source to fix black Elves of Deep Shadow is also available.
2 months ago
One drop mana dorks, most are budget, is good ramp with Nethroi because they can also be a nonHuman creature to mutate.
Avacyn's Pilgrim is a Human, but I would still play it. Mana dorks are also excellent fodder for Dread Return flashback. If you were to play these green one drop mana dorks then you would want to adjust your deck's budget manabase to make it easier to make green mana turn one. Llanowar Wastes, Exotic Orchard, Necroblossom Snarl and more basic Forests. I honestly think it's worth adjusting the manabase to play these mana dorks.
Llanowar Mentor can repeatedly create a Elf mana dork for ramp or fodder by discarding a dredge card or any other creature to help to setup Nethroi. Having other discard outlets for dredge cards is important to keep being able to dredge. Fauna Shaman is great, but can't count on always having Fauna.
3 months ago
Welcome to the club, JHM921!
For this deck, I see a focus on getting Sarevok, Deathbringer as big as possible, but I also see some bits and pieces that I think can be switched out. Cards like Butcher of Malakir and Grave Betrayal would work better in a more graveyard-focused deck than what I think this deck wants to be. There's some ramp and mana modification, with Nature's Lore, Sakura-Tribe Elder, and similar cards, but I think some more early cards like Elves of Deep Shadow, Golgari Signet, and Elvish Mystic would help accelerate early game into mid game.
Virus Beetle, Ravenous Rats, and Festering Mummy are all kind of underwhelming in this deck. If you want to force discard, you either want to affect every opponent or choose the discard yourself, and Festering Mummy just has too small of an effect that the deck doesn't really have ways to capitalize on. I recommend adding some more targeted permanent destruction. Depending on how much money you're willing to spend, Nature's Claim, Maelstrom Pulse, Abrupt Decay, and Assassin's Trophy are all viable.
Since your commander is a big part of your win condition, you need to be able to protect it. Regenerate effects like Golgari Charm or Wrap in Vigor, indestructibility from Tamiyo's Safekeeping or Heroic Intervention, or simple unkillable-ness from Supernatural Stamina or Undying Malice will help keep Sarevok fresh and deathbringing.
Look through your deck, and for each card, ask yourself, "Why is this card in here? Does it advance my win condition? Does it remove an opponent's specific threat or problem? Does it protect my board?" If the answer to any of these is no, then it can probably be replaced with something more directed to this particular deck.
For some more specific suggestions, I assume Cloak of the Bat is to make Sarevok harder to block. I would switch that for something like Whispersilk Cloak. You don't have a solid Vampire base for Indulgent Aristocrat, and the Vampires you do have don't contribute much to your winning strategy, so I would save the Vampires for another deck.
I think if you tighten up the focus, this deck will become very solid. Happy brewing, and above all, have fun!
3 months ago
Hey, good start on a low budget. I think you can optimize what you currently have even more since there's 16 high mana cost cards here.
Some advice to consider, fill the rest of the deck spots with one, two or three CMC cards since the high end part of your deck is done? One drop budget creatures who can sac themselves are excellent support with Meren.
Viscera Seer and Carrion Feeder are sac outlets which could use more of those to get experience counters. There's not much draw here that Meren can take advantage of. Consider more repeatable draw when you sac creature/creature dies?
Morbid Opportunist can trigger on an opponents turn if any creature dies not just your own creature. Body Launderer loots each time a creature you control dies, helps to setup Meren reanimation. Can also get more draw from single effects.
Budget one drop mana dorks can be ramp who can be saced/die later on for experience counters.
Good luck with your deck.
5 months ago
Elves of Deep Shadow is kind of like a Llanowar Elves that taps for , so it might be good to include. I also like Essence Warden for the life gain and Wood Elves for the ramp. Pendelhaven and Pendelhaven Elder might be useful as well.
7 months ago
Elves of Deep Shadow are a bit more money than Elvish Mystic, but give you access to Black mana instead, if you're concerned your ramp is mostly in Green.
Vs flying heavy metas, I do like Spidersilk Armor, but I also like Silklash Spider and Squallmonger as repeated answers to as many flyers as they have. I also run Sandwurm Convergence, and am back and forth on Katabatic Winds, which is much less mana but is a Reserved List card, the makers of Magic have 'promised' way back they wouldn't reprint any Reserved List cards (they stopped putting cards on the Reserved List in 1999 IIRC). I haven't fit Winds in anywhere yet, but it's a strong enough effect to look at. If you like the effect, I'd buy it sooner rather than later, it's price could 'spike' hard at any time, because there are so few copies of it that were printed compared to any Modern playable cards. Most Reserved List cards aren't super-good, but the odd effect was underpriced enough to be playable.
Still, Dreadlord is pretty neat, and if you can hit 7 mana it's a pretty good wipe to have around. I think that's a stronger card than Findbroker, which feels really bad when you have no synergy pieces out.
7 months ago
Have you thought about running more 1 drops that ramp? Llanowar Elves, Elvish Mystic, Fyndhorn Elves, Elves of Deep Shadow and even Birds of Paradise are all very good cards in most Meren decks. I also like Blood Pet and Dawntreader Elk. I even use Fertilid atm, probably could replace it with something better though. I feel like a Meren deck should be gaining as much XP as possible early game, if you can recycle a Sakura Tribe Elder (or similar card) a few times, you might have the most mana out as well as have respectable XP, so I feel like running lots of creatures that find lands and die on their own is a good choice. I run 30 lands in my Meren deck, and I made a point of testing how little fixing mattered in a deck like Meren, sure enough it's not remotely picky. It's 2 colours, and if you've got a heap of ways to use Green mana to get access to Black, you really only need as many Swamps as you expect to fetch out in a game. I think this is especially true if you decide to trim a few lands for 1 drop ramp creatures, you can't keep hands without Green, but can keep a hand without a Swamp just fine if you can find one via a ramp creature (or generate Black via one). Higher land count is better if you really expect to see lots of wipes (you should run Rise of the Dread Marn if that's true), but if players only run a few per deck you might not see one early enough to matter. More competitive decks tend to run fewer wipes (and more combos), but more counters/removal, since they don't usually want to lose their own board. If you're playing against fairly competitive (but not cEDH) opponents, I'd go with the dorks, if you play vs Casual decks, you might want the lands! Sorry if that's confusing, but hopefully it helps.
Ohran Frostfang is really good in grindier Meren decks. Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest is good if your deck consistently is sacrificing stuff (and even better if other people sacrifice stuff in your games). Fiend Artisan is a sac outlet that can tutor up creatures, and it can be big enough to swing with sometimes. Helm of Possession is a really sneaky old card that you don't see much, but it combines a sac outlet with a theft effect. It's a removal magnet, but it's a really strong and off-colour effect in Golgari. Coffin Queen is another weird old card that can reanimate stuff from any Graveyard, but it exiles it when it dies. This is normally bad for a combo deck, but in your build it might be fine. Old Stickfingers might be worth a look, very good at putting lots of creatures into your yard without dumping other cards you might want. Dawnstrider is a nice card if you play vs lots of attackers, this is a fog that won't use up your Meren reanimation, and it also lets you discard creatures to reanimate, so it has a pretty high ceiling in more casual Meren.
Cool deck, looks like lots of fun!