|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Printings View all
|Masterpiece Series: Amonkhet Invocations (AKHMPS)||Common|
|Commander's Arsenal (CMA)||Uncommon|
|Masters Edition III (ME3)||Uncommon|
|Portal Three Kingdoms (PTK)||Uncommon|
Combos Browse all
Creature — Human Advisor
Sacrifice Loyal Retainers: Return target legendary creature card from your graveyard to play. Play this ability only during your turn, before the combat phase.
Loyal Retainers Discussion
3 weeks ago
Loyal Retainers is SO OP. Get legendary bomb with survival, drop it in yard to find Retainer. Play retainer to get back legendary creature. With Volrath's stronghold, the effect is repeatable. I would cut Heroes' Podium as cost to play and use are expensive with a minimal payout.
Maybe add a High Market for additional sac outlet?
1 month ago
I think Liliana, Heretical Healer Flip combos with Saffi Eriksdotter and Loyal Retainers . Saffi sacs herself targeting Liliana, Liliana flips, loyal Retainers sacs for saffi, Liliana targets Retainers with her third ability killing herself... I'm not exactly sure how it works, it might be a little different, but it's tight enough to fit into a Protean Hulk package I'm sure.
2 months ago
Alright, lets look at Loyal Retainers in another way.
You're running 7 legendary creatures outside of your commanders (which we will assume you WONT send to GY), so there are only 7 creatures that Loyal Retainers can return. Assuming a 99 card deck, 7 in starting hand, and 2 specific cards to see (retainers + legend), you've got a 7% chance to get Retainers, and a 41% chance to have one of your legends in your opener. After 5 draws, you're only at a 60% chance to hit a legend.
Now lets compare to Life . Same chance to see the card, 7%, but it works with 29 creatures instead of 7. Geometric calculator is telling me 91% chance to see a creature in your opener that works with Life . After 5 draws, 98.8% that you'll have a critter.
Obviously Retainers does have some benefit. It can be used to make an infinite etb/ltb loop for winning. How valuable is that to your deck though? Loyal Retainers can only be used BEFORE combat on your turn, and Tymna gives you cards AFTER combat. Your main source of card advantage is going to cause you to have to wait a rotation after finding all the pieces to your combo. This is a massive downside. You can already assemble infinite loops with Saffi + Titan, or Saffi + Karmic.
Lets imagine another scenario. You have the Saffi on the board with Retainers, but you have Sun Titan/Karmic Guide in the graveyard. Loyal Retainers can't grab that half of your combo back for you.
- Sacrifice Saffi Eriksdotter targeting Karmic Guide
- Sacrifice Karmic Guide . It returns to battlefield, we put ETB trigger on stack targeting Reveillark
- After Reveillark returns to battlefield, we sacrifice Karmic guide. We now have both Saffi + Guide in GY
- Reveillark is sacrificed, we will return both Saffi AND Karmic.
- We now pull creature 1 we want from GY with Karmic
- Sacrifice Saffi, targeting Karmic. Sacrifice Karmic, it returns from Saffi effect, giving us Reveillark again. Sac Karmic so its in GY, then sac Reveillark to give us Karmic + Saffi. Karmic entering gives us creature 2 from our GY. Rinse and repeat until you pull entire GY and combo finish.
You're running Kiki and splinter twin but you don't have any creature payloads to win. If you want to value reuse/copy creatures with an ETB, there are more cost efficient ways of doing it. I recommend you either cut these or put in Village Bell-Ringer or Combat Celebrant to have a Kiki payload. Overall though, I would just cut this combo.
You're running Yisan and Birthing Pod but you aren't running the cards to make them go. You need effects that untap them based off creature ETBs or actives, which are slot intensive. Yisan is dope, but if you aren't running the cards to support it you're running a slow tutor. Once again, I'd cut these if you aren't going to build around.
You are trying to fit too many combos in. Pick 1 or two that overlap in card usage and cut the others. Its better to do two things extremely well than it is to do 5 things mediocre. You should run reanimation loops + protean hulk + sac outlets, OR you should run kiki combo + pod/yisan lines. The hulk/animation loops both require sac outlets to be present on your field, while kiki/pod lines require untap effects. This will let you reuse your combo cards in multiple spots which will help reduce dead draws. Nothing feels worse than when you're holding 3 different pieces to three different combos that have very little utility outside combo lines. This is also why you're struggling to find space for more stax and ramp pieces.
You are also running a pretty high amount of beater cards. You should pare them down and run only the most efficient beater cards with high utility. Cathars' Crusade is a nice card but it does nothing on its own and buckles from Wrath effects. Compare to Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite which gives a buff but can also beat even if its your only creature. It also hurts your enemies board presence greatly. Bitterblossom is a fantastic card but you aren't getting as much value out of it because you aren't running enough pieces to slow down the game. Keep it but consider that a 1/1 flyer doesn't do much if your opponent is able to drop their giant dragon commander, you have to slow the game! Champion of Lambholt will provide you with free swings, but if you just lock the game out instead you don't need the evasion and this card doesn't beat that well. Custodi Soulcaller is a meme card, it requires either haste or an untap step (so its slow), you have to swing to use it, and its limited in what it can grab, and it gets worse the fewer players there are.
Price of Glory is a wonderful hate card, but unfortunately far less effective than you think. Compare to Grand Abolisher . Abolisher can beat down, which is your game plan. Abolisher 100% protects your combo window. Price of Glory doesn't stop the counterspell that stops your combo, it just exacts a massive price for your opponent casting it. However, when faced with the option of losing the game or losing two lands, every single opponent is going to choose the two lands. Strong card but you don't need to run it.
Zombie Infestation is a nice discard outlet, and great when you're ahead and have locked the board. Just like Bitterblossom though, you have to slow the game or this card will be outclassed by the casual stompy 6 drops that are allowed to hit the table. Stax up or cut out.
Cryptolith Rite is strong when you have a mana sink or tons of critters. Tymna will keep you stocked up on cards to dump with, while Tana gives you the critters. If you can afford it, Carpet of Flowers will outperform this card though. Keep it around if you don't have access to the Carpet.
What Goes In
So after cutting down all the shenanigans, heres what you want to add
DORKS: You get cards for hitting with creatures. Dorks are creatures that give mana and come out very fast. The maximum density of turn 1 dorks means Tymna turn 2, means free cards turn 3. This will improve the consistency of your deck more than anything else you can put in. You're currently missing Llanowar Elves Fyndhorn Elves Boreal Druid Deathrite Shaman Arbor Elf Elvish Mystic . These have the bonuses of working well with Priest of Titania and Elvish Archdruid , which will help you if you decide to run mana denial cards like Winter Orb or Armageddon (which I recommend both). Deathrite hates on GY and will ramp consistently with fetchlands which are prevalent in the format, extremely value. Arbor Elf can ramp more than 1 in tandem with Utopia Sprawl and Wild Growth . These dorks will help guarantee strong starts and consistent power to your deck I can't stress this enough.
ROCKS: Adding in the signets/talismans is going to ramp you, color fix you, and work in tandem with shutting off your opponents mana. Really really recommend these especially if your playtesting leaves you unhappy with mana availability.
STAX: This deck only works when you slow the game, I also want to stress this. Yeah you have some neat combos for winning discretely, but you are primarily a beater stax deck. Your commander gives you cards PER TURN, your other commander gives you CREATURES PER SWING. You want to games to go longer so you get more turns for more cards and more free creatures. It really isn't that hard dude. Cards that slow down the game will help you far more than they help your opponent, even symmetrical ones. This is why the deck runs Blood Moon despite being a four color deck. If you let your opponents start tutoring and dropping their big creatures, they will do better in combat than you and you will have a real bad day. If you hit their mana, stop their tutors and draw, and destroy their engines, you will pull ahead from the massive value you generate in the command zone. Please look at Root Maze Winter Orb Armageddon Rule of Law Deafening Silence Eidolon of Rhetoric Stranglehold Collector Ouphe Kataki, War's Wage
If you want to run a stax deck, you have to run the slow down pieces. If you want to build a cool reanimation combo deck, I recommend switching commanders or lists, take a peek at Karador Boonweaver
This list is certainly looking a lot better with the first round of revisions! With some more cuts and shaving off some combos, you will improve its efficiency a lot!
P.S. I couldn't open the choice guidelines tab you made sorry bud.
2 months ago
I finally found a chance to tweak the deck based on what you were saying. After some solo playtesting, I was able to generate notes on what I think.
Adding more stax cards doesn't seem to hurt too much, and if anything, it's really improved the defensive capabilities. While I think my playgroups would definitely get annoyed, it probably won't be too bad so long as I don't go adding stuff like Smokestack or Winter Orb (which this deck isn't even equipped to handle).
I wish I had more sac and/or discard outlets, or drew into the ones I do have more often. It doesn't feel like there are enough, which is a shame, as I keep drawing into my dope recursion spells. Between drafting this deck and the Kess deck I run, you could safely argue that I'm something of a grave whore.
I'm going to keep Loyal Retainers around a little longer. They're one of two creatures in the deck that can immediately turn my creature tutoring into recursion tutoring. I'd also like to note the infinite with Saffi + Retainers; bust out Cutthroat and that's game (not that I'd go straight for that most games). Because of Splinter Twin , I'm also looking at an outlet for free legendary recursion every turn.
I completely forgot to find room for the mana sources you recommended. Welp. Still dunno where I'm finding space atm.
On one last note, I'd like to add this excerpt from the above linked deck that I feel summarizes a lot of my deckbuilding. Nothing negative intended, I only want to make any intention I have with what I add less confusing or seem less "off" (although the draft you first saw was fairly messy):
Choice Guidelines Show
A lot of cEDH guidelines carried over into the construction of this deck albeit loosely. There are two major rules:
1.) Single-target interaction needs to be limited to CMC 2 or less to maximize mana use efficiency.
2.) If the CMC is 4 or greater, it had better win you the game or make a huge impact on the game.
I follow rule #1 more-so than #2[...]. I can afford some leeway with rule #2 on account of the deck not being [completely] cEDH (and enjoying experimentation), but I try not to stray too much.
2 months ago
Alright, the single most glaring issue here is that you're running Razaketh but you don't have a Razaketh package to win. Normally in competitive decks, Razaketh is used to instantly assemble a combo to win after coming into play, off of the neat tools Life and Lion's Eye Diamond . While its a fantastic combo, LED is some serious $$$, and Razaketh is going to enter and potato for you here. I'd cut it
Second, you're suffering from trying to run too many things. There's simply no reason to have Ghave + Raza + Hulk + saffi/titan + kiki combo. Blood Pod is primarily a stax deck, so its much better to hit your stride on controlling the table than try to race the other (faster) combo decks. It will also free up a lot of slots. You should slim it down to just kiki combo, and up stax pieces. Look at Root Maze and other cards that come down on turn 1/2 and will slow extremely fast decks. Manglehorn is 3 CMC but its stax stapled to removal so its extremely worth considering. You also need to up your hatebear count, because currently you aren't really slowing the combo decks like you need to, just disrupting their mana. Look at Leonin Arbiter Eidolon of Rhetoric Spirit of the Labyrinth Glowrider and ofc both Thalias.
Third, anything over 3 CMC you should cast a real critical eye towards. You're trying to hit the board fast and strangle other players out before they get a strong board presence. Having expensive CMC cards is a double whammy, you aren't playing them early, and if it was different card you COULD be playing that card instead. I'm really looking at Doubling Season Ghoulcaller Ghisa Chainer, Nightmare Adept
Next, cut out utility dorks you don't need. Goodbye Soul Warden Magus of the Wheel Loyal Retainers . If you want life run Serra Ascendant instead. You shouldn't be trying to refill your opponents hands while you're staxing them out with Magus (plus its costing you 5 mana you COULD be doing something else). Loyal Retainers is slow and a meme outside combos, run Life in its place if you are looking for more resurrection effects.
TL;DR pull out expensive beater shiz and add more stax! This is a stax deck!
2 months ago
Deck variant: reanimator aristocrats
Card in question: Blood Moon
Question: How tf do you run that card outside of cEDH mana bases?
Further explanation: Running few non-basic lands is difficult in four colors. I don't run the usual cEDH mana rocks or fetch lands because my decks are only, at most, what people might call "budget cEDH" (not fully up to the "c" in "cEDH", but definitely based on cEDH counterparts). There exists Chromatic Lantern and Gilded Lotus , but to be perfectly honest, I'm not fond of either. I dislike almost any mana rock with over CMC 2 that only produces one mana per tap, and while Lotus might produce three mana, having a CMC of 5 kills it for me.
Play cheaper (money-wise) mana rocks in place (signets, talismans, etc.).
- One of the more viable circumventions. My only objection lies in how lands are more viable strictly in the sense that there are more ways to blow up a rock than there are for lands. Since green is involved, land ramp tutors are a thing.
"Just play x," where x =/= $100+
- Real wallet murderers, these ones. But also super helpful; might be worth it.
- Creatures are easily killed, and although I already planned on needing these, there's no way they can support the mana base that well.
- Playing extra land is amazing... when there's land to play. I generally dislike playing more than 32-33 land in a deck outside of landfall (max 28- 30 colored land + fetch lands, 1-3 utility lands), so odds are moderate, but not super high. Also, again, creatures are easily killed.
- The only thing on the list that might actually work consistently, is below 3 CMC, and below even $10. Bonus: explicit Enchantment removal is still barely a thing. Let's just hope a boardwipe doesn't occur.
Don't run Blood Moon
- I cooould, but nah. I pulled one in a pack I got myself for an early birthday present. It's up there with wanting an excuse to use the Doubling Season I pulled a few months back (that nobody wants to buy off me), as well as wanting to use the foil Loyal Retainers and prerelease copies of Sun Titan , Teysa Karlov , Vivien's Arkbow , and Sheoldred, Whispering One I have. All of those might not happen, but I can try, right?
So yeah, any and all thoughts welcome.
2 months ago
Hey RNR_Gaming, I'm not a huge fan of
because of its cost and it doesn't necessarily combo with anything to push for a win. I do like
though and will find a spot for that because it is easy to combo with Chulane's bounce.
SideBae, thanks for your suggestions- I appreciate the feedback. I do agree about including some blue staples, namely Ponder / Brainstorm , but I'm unsure what I'd remove for them. My meta is pretty aggressive with little blue and counters, so I'm going to hold off on Carpet of Flowers and some of the non-creature spell hate cards. I do like the idea of Narset though because she is just good anytime. I was also thinking about including Loyal Retainers for value or maybe with a Saffi Eriksdotter combo, but I could only really think of Altar of the Brood as a mill win-con, which can just be done better with something like Eternal Witness / Winds of Rebuke with infinite mana. As for my budget, I plan on getting a Mana Drain , Horizon Canopy , Cavern of Souls etc. when I can because right now my land base is meh. Cyclonic Rift is going in once I find a slot for sure.
I really don't know what I'm going to do about Finale of Devastation . A lot of Chulane decks use Finale and/or Mirror Entity for big swings with their infinite mana, but that doesn't seem too reliable without trample or Mirror'd minions having haste. This is why I have so many combos in the deck because I'm unsure which 2-3 to really hone in on. I enjoy the idea of Laboratory Maniac and using infinite untaps and bounces for mana/drawing- but what's a more reliable way to win? My first thought is Walking Ballista because it can stand alone outside of the combo and wins with infinite mana. What combos do you think fit best with Chulane?
2 months ago
I highly, highly suggest putting in Ponder , Preordain and Brainstorm . These may not look like much, but they belong in every blue deck -- Brainstorm especially since you already have fetches like Wooded Foothills . They dig for whatever you need whenever you need it.
Narset, Parter of Veils is very quickly becoming a staple in blue. Since you're running a largely creature-based deck, her minus ability will not likely be relevant; however, her static ability more than makes up for that, especially if you choose to run something like Windfall (you should).
With your Arbor Elf , consider Utopia Sprawl and Wild Growth . By themselves these enchantments represent the same value as a one-mana mana dork (occasionally more), but with Arbor Elf out they become particularly good.
Words of Wind is a great card I've always enjoyed. In all likelihood, you'll have better things to do with Aluren while your general is out, but this may be fine in itself as a method of slowing down your opponents. This becomes especially powerful if you run something like Elvish Visionary , which in turn is powerful if you run Wirewood Symbiote . (For more on Visionary, Symbiote and friends, see Legacy Elves.)
If you're planning on fetching Aluren with Academy Rector , you should at least consider Omniscience . It's more mana to cast, but its better if you fetch it off Rector and with the amount of mana I suspect this deck is capable of generating, hardcasting it is totally conceivable.
If you meta is heavy with the counter-magic, Veil of Summer is REALLY good. Similarly, Carpet of Flowers and Compost can be powerful in the right meta. Aura Shards is similarly powerful, the difference being that it is pretty much good in ANY meta. In more powerful metas, you may have luck with Lavinia, Azorius Renegade -- I know I have.
Survival of the Fittest is a fun card. Consider including Loyal Retainers for a reanimation package. Pitching a creature to find a legendary creature, then pitching the legendary creature to find the retainers means that you can pretty easily reanimate Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite or Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur . Though this does not necessarily go with your combo-win condition, both of these can end a game on their own and may be worth including anyways. (Historical note: This combo is why Iona, Shield of Emeria is now banned.)
I don't know your budget, but since you're already running Force of Will I feel I should point out that Mana Drain is a strictly better Counterspell . If you have access, including it or sub-ing it in seem good.
You may want to consider actually REMOVING some combo pieces. In my experience, combo decks lose power with more than two or sometimes three combo win-conditions, simply because they end up with higher likelihoods of drawing into non-compatible halves of combos. If you choose to go this route and remove something like Isochron Scepter , Collector Ouphe and Stony Silence seem like really, really good cards to include.
Cyclonic Rift is an amazing boardwipe, at instant speed.
Right. That's all I got. Good luck!
Loyal Retainers occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.0%