Prime Speaker Vannifar
Legendary Creature — Elf Ooze Wizard
: Sacrifice another creature: Search your library for a creature card with converted mana cost equal to 1 plus the sacrifices creature’s converted mana cost, put that card onto the battlefield, then shuffle your library. Activate this ability only at any time you could cast a sorcery.
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|Ravnica Allegiance (RNA)||Mythic Rare|
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Prime Speaker Vannifar occurrence in decks from the last year
All decks: 0.07%
All decks: 0.07%
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.02%
GU (Simic): 0.49%
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Prime Speaker Vannifar Discussion
2 days ago
Myronson I like the deck build.
With elves ramping into more ramping elves and creating a snowball effect with your mana base, I personally think you can do without the mana rocks.
Fauna Shaman is a good way to find the creatures that you need to help set up your plays, in exchange for discarding a creature.
Prime Speaker Vannifar is another way to get your pieces straight on to the board by sacking a creature. The main drawback is that you will need a turn for her to overcome her sickness. If you can find a way to continually untap her to abuse her sac ability, you can make your way to the Hulk.
You will get a vote from me!
5 days ago
Thanks for the input psionictemplar! I am really liking the idea of replacing Prime Speaker Vannifar and Gargos, Vicious Watcher with better ETB value. I will definitely consider using Idyllic Tutor. Primeval Titan is always a solid option, and I like the flexibility of Drowner of Hope. Leaning towards fewer creatures and more control sounds like a solid plan also. I'll mess around with some options and see what I can do. Will look forward to more ideas later on. Thanks again!
6 days ago
Here's a tl:dr summary of what I started to post and didn't.
You have multiple ways to get combo pieces out that don't have synergy with each other. e.g. Prime Speaker Vannifar and only 1 Gargos, Vicious Watcher to pull the Agent of Treachery with. The triggered ability on Gargos is really going to waste here. I know that's not it's intended purpose but you could find other 6 drops that give you etb value even if it's only 1 time. e.g. Primeval Titan or Drowner of Hope Why not try something like Weird Harvest or Idyllic Tutor to pull combo pieces.
I think you could do well to cut a lot of the creatures out and run more control elements such as wrath effects and counterspells. It would be more consistent and only leave you more time to assemble your win. If you want to keep the creature plan then up the numbers on things that help you get to the late game more and cut some of the more niche things like Dryad of the Ilysian Grove and Kruphix, God of Horizons. A couple more vannifar's might not be a bad idea if you are really set on the creature route.
3 Other cards to consider: Eldritch Evolution ...more to come later on.
3 weeks ago
In a cEDH setting, Nin is an artifact combo list with a healthy dose of interaction and a little stax. This is because we are slightly slower than the dedicated fast combo decks anyway (Food Chain, Storm, Flash Hulk, etc.), so it is best to pack more interaction to help control the game until we can safely win. Yes, I know Thrasios is king of the infinite mana generals, but I've got a soft spot for Nin and I've enjoyed tweaking the absolute highest power list with her as possible over the years. (I'm confident she's solid tier 2 material. She actually has some advantages over fish man!)
I'll start with the deck's plan, win conditions, my local meta, then break down the card choices by card type. To keep this from being the length of your average thesis, I'm not going to go in-depth into play patterns and such, but I hope you can absorb some of that type of information from my discussion on each of the cards in the list.
Basic Metrics / Gameplan:
Land count: 31
Average CMC: 1.81
cEDH Nin is an infinite mana combo deck. I have tried everything else (Theft, Storm, Sneak Attack Eldrazi) but nothing matches the power and efficiency of the artifact mana kill. Our gameplan is to generate infinite mana using one of our compact 2-card combos and find an outlet to kill the table. Nin fills the role nicely since infinite mana with Nin means you draw your deck (and win, presumably).
Here's how you can get infinite mana:
After you have infinite mana, you have a few options. In order to win, you usually play Walking Ballista for X = 1 million and activate its second ability a million times (holding priority) to kill the table. If you don't have it in hand, you can use Nin, the Pain Artist's ability on herself (or another creature you control) to draw your deck. You can also use Staff of Domination (or the suite of artifact tutors to find Staff) to achieve the same effect. If the Ballista gets exiled somehow, you can still kill the table with Expansion / Explosion by casting it and flashing it back with Mission Briefing. If everything has gone wrong and none of those options are available, it's time to start hitting opponents' creatures with Nin to deck them.
Why Nin over X General?
First, no, Nin is not as strong as 4-color Thrasios (No deck is, I believe it is the best deck in the format). This is partially since Thrasios doesn't care about summoning sickness to draw your library, and the extra colors allow you to take advantage of the best green and black spells out there.
But, Nin has a few unique advantages that I've found very enticing. First, the red splash offers a variety of helpful stax pieces (Blood Moon, Stranglehold) and enables unique cards that few other cEDH decks can take advantage of (Dack Fayden). This makes for a deck with all the payoff cards of a mono blue deck (High Tide, Vedalken Shackles) while still having the spiciest interaction. Second, she can hit herself midgame to refill your hand when running low on gas. Since cEDH is so fast and mana costs are so low, it's common for decks to peeter out quickly without a good draw engine. Nin fits the bill extremely well here, and there have been many situations where I've been able to ping Nin with her ability for 5 cards or so EOT, then win with my massive advantage the next turn. That efficiency just draws more cards than Thrasios/Tymna on average, which gives us an edge.
As for other infinite commanders, most either are useless without infinite mana/storm (Oona, Circu) or need colored mana (Tasigur, Breya) and require more complicated combos than the ones seen in this deck. Among other Izzet commanders, the biggest competition is new Jhoira. But that deck is too glass cannon IMO (reliant on the commander) and is forced to play tons of weaker artifacts just to hit critical mass to reliably draw cards. If Jhoira is taken out, it's very hard to get the ball rolling again. Nin can play both the control role and combo role just as effectively.
As any tuned deck should, this list is tuned for my local playgroup. If you're looking to take inspiration from this deck, feel free to adjust things if you find they won't be as helpful in your pods. cEDH has a lot of silver bullet stax cards, so it's expected to pick and choose the best for your most frequent opponents. On a given day, I'll be against:
Thrasios + Tymna
Chain Veil Teferi
Brago, King Eternal Stax
Yisan, the Wander Bard
Jace, Vyrn's Prodigy
Food Chain Tazri
Approximately 8 million Flash Hulk variants (Tasigur is the main one in this group)
All of these are at or near the cEDH level. If you're not against other cEDH decks, don't build a deck like this. You'll be seen as a pubstomper asshole and it's kinda rude.
Let's dive into the decklist. Here you'll find a quick explanation for every card in the list - separated by card type.
Gilded Drake: Simply best in slot for commander theft. Obviously better than just killing an enemy commander since they'll need to kill it to use it again. Plenty of cEDH decks rely on their commander (Yisan, Selvala, Animar, Yannifar, etc.) and this stops them dead in their tracks (particularly greedy decks like Gitrog that don't interact at all).
Dockside Extortionist: Excellent new guy from C19 - he serves as a piece of ramp and leaves a body to be hit by Nin afterwards.
Metalworker: Yikes, what a card. Any card that can generate more mana than it costs is a contender for cEDH, and lil' robot provides. With 3 artifacts in hand, he combos for the win with Staff of Domination. Otherwise, often taps for a lot of mana, then gets sacrificed to Nin for a fresh hand.
Spellseeker: Can find Dramatic Reversal for the combo, Transmute Artifact to find the Scepter, or countermagic to protect the combo if you already have it in hand. If you're really in a pinch, go find Cyclonic Rift.
Trinket Mage: Basically Sol Ring on a stick. Still worth it even at 3 mana. Sometimes can snag Grafdigger's Cage when an opponent is eyeing their graveyard or about to tutor something directly into play.
Snapcaster Mage: Excellent all-arounder. Works as a double of your essential card draw spell or interaction against disruption. I prefer this over Mission Briefing since the body is relevant (you can ping him with Nin later to draw cards).
Tribute Mage: An even better variant, since it can find combo pieces such as the Scepter or Monolith. If you need to, it can find a different rock or hate piece.
Thing in the Ice Flip: A recent addition but welcome one. It blocks well, has a big butt so I can hit it with Nin for cards, and applies pressure when it flips. A 2 mana creature wipe is extremely rewarding, and shines when your meta is dominated by creature combo decks (as mine is).
Walking Ballista: The kill card of choice. With infinite mana, you win the game. Remember to hold priority after each activation of his damage ability to prevent people from interacting with you. Can find it with Trinket Mage, Inventor's Fair, and several other artifact tutors.
Pact of Negation: Cheap countermagic is the king of interaction in cEDH. Who cares about the upkeep cost if you win the game the turn you cast it?
Brainstorm: Legacy staple for a reason. Good here because of our shuffle effects (Ponder, Fetches, tutors, etc.). Handy for hiding cards you want in your library right before a Wheel of Fortune.
Chain of Vapor: No one's going to sac a land to copy it. 1 mana bounce is great.
Galvanic Blast: A metagame choice. Brago, Linvala, Meren, Atraxa, Karador, Zur, and Kess are tough to deal with - Blast helps me efficiently deal with these pesky 4-toughness commanders. Sometimes you just have to kill a commander or lose (Yisan, Selvala, Zur). Most don't expect it, and punishes people who go a little too deep with Ad Nauseum. Most often gets rid of a hatebear, which is just fine. Also is a nice spell to imprint under the Scepter when I'm going for Plan D to win, which has happened a few times.
High Tide: 1 mana to make like 5 mana? OK. 1 mana = 1 card with Nin, so I'm down for that. We have lots of basic islands to afford to play with this.
Mental Misstep: A LOT of cEDH cards are CMC 1. The fact that this is free is even better.
Mystical Tutor: Not much that needs to be said here, generically useful tutor effect.
Swan Song: 1 mana hard counter for 3 card types. The bird doesn't matter.
Pyroblast: It's good disruption and combo protection all in one, especially if you know there will be a lot of countermagic trying to interact with you.
Abrade: Very versatile interaction - either blows up a piece of fast mana (Sol Ring, Mana Crypt), hatebear or other relevant creature (Yisan, Thalia, Baby Jace), or stax piece (Trinisphere, Null Rod, etc.). Really helps round out my removal suite since most of my other interaction doesn't hit artifacts or creatures.
Counterspell: Classic. 2 mana is good enough for an unconditional counter.
Cyclonic Rift: One of the remaining board wipes left in the deck, and the one with the most punch. Some decks cut this, but I think Nin makes enough mana to reliably overload it when really necessary.
Dramatic Reversal: Part of the primary combo. Not even terrible when you aren't imprinting it under the scepter, especially when you need to reset Grim Monolith or Mana Vault.
Expansion / Explosion: I'm interested in this as a replacement for Comet Storm (previous back-up plan kill card), so I'm trying it out. You can get Comet storm with Muddle the Mixture, but you can get this with Merchant Scroll. I like that it is a good early interactive spell that can counter opposing counters, or borrow some of black's tutor power when an opponent casts something, all while still being a good outlet for infinite mana when it's time to win (burn an opponent and make another deck themselves, or deck myself and draw into Walking Ballista if I don't have it yet). Besides, I'm not using the burn portion of Comet Storm much since I've been happy with Abrade and Galvanic Blast.
Impulse: Handy and efficient card draw when Nin isn't online. (Can put it under the scepter in grindy games.)
Mana Drain: Oof. I hope you don't need me to explain why this card is busted.
Muddle the Mixture: Secret powerhouse. It finds both pieces of Plan A and Plan B combos, and can also counter things when needed.
Narset's Reversal: Wonderfully tricky interactive spell. Can borrow some of black's tutor power while delaying opponents' tutors, or redirect their removal at their own board. This works nicely against counterspells since you can return your own spell to your hand in response, then recast it.
Negate Unless your meta is filled with Elfball and Creature combo decks, negate will always be great.
Whir of Invention: Chord of Calling for artifacts. The fact that this is instant is huge - not much else to say here. It's a tutor = It's good.
Fact or Fiction: Recently added back into the deck. I thought 4 mana was too much, but turns out that's still a great rate for what you get here.
Force of Will: See Pact of Negation. If this was some 4 color nonsense deck, I'd think twice about using this. We're nearly monoblue, so no regrets.
Gitaxian Probe: Free card draw. Useful for checking if the coast is clear to combo off, and 0 mana to get a Paradox Engine trigger sounds great to me.
Ponder: Obviously good card selection. Cheap and effective.
Preordain: See Ponder.
Vandalblast: Every cEDH deck uses fast artifact mana, and most use even more artifacts as engines, stax pieces, or kill cards (Like this deck). 5 mana to kill 8+ mana worth of rocks, Cursed Totem, and your Chain Veil? Insane. 1 mana to get your Sol Ring? Still good.
Merchant Scroll: Obvious generically good tutor. Main targets are counterspells, Dramatic Reversal, and Cyclonic Rift.
Transmute Artifact: Best there is. Easiest tutor to sneak Paradox Engine into play early.
Fabricate: Obvious generically good tutor. A tad expensive, but can't complain.
Pyroclasm: Wrecks the elfball / hatebear decks. I wanted a cheap sweeper to fight against creature decks since most of my remaining removal is designed to fight blue.
Wheel of Fortune: 3 mana for 7 cards. We want as many of these as we can get after dumping mana rocks early. Try to use this right after an opponent tutors for something to hand.
Windfall: See Wheel of Fortune.
Chrome Mox: A lot of these will be busted mana rocks, so let me lay it out here - fast artifact mana is absurd in cEDH. In a game like magic that is balanced by limited resources, if you can have 5 or 6 mana on turn 2-3, you'll win a vast majority of those games. There's no mystery why every powerful deck is filled with these 0-2 CMC rocks (minus Animar). In our deck, more mana = more cards with Nin, and a greater likelihood of doing something insane with Dramatic Reversal + Isochron Scepter or Paradox Engine the moment they hit the field.
Lotus Petal: Yeah, still good enough. See Chrome Mox.
Mana Crypt: Busted. See Chrome Mox.
Mox Amber: It's a mox, albeit the weakest of the bunch.
Mox Diamond: It's a mox.
Mox Opal: it's a mox.
Grafdigger's Cage: Stops Reanimation, Hulk combos, Yisan, and Chord effects. Hardly affects me at all.
Mana Vault: Busted. See Chrome Mox.
Sensei's Divining Top: Provides a little bit of extra digging when you need it. You can stack draw triggers when you have a Paradox Engine loop to draw through your deck.
Sol Ring: Busted. See Chrome Mox.
Fellwar Stone: 2 mana, comes into play untapped, makes colored mana. "Rock" solid.
Arcane Signet: Great new rock! Even better than Fellwar.
Grim Monolith: Busted. See Chrome Mox. One of the pieces for Plan B infinite mana combo.
Isochron Scepter: One of the pieces for Plan A/D infinite mana combo. Don't be afraid to imprint something other than Dramatic Reversal if you can't find the combo after a while. Mana Drain / Impulse / High Tide / Whatever every turn is still pretty sick.
Izzet Signet: 2 mana, comes into play untapped, makes colored mana.
Mind Stone: Weakest among the rocks here, but cycles when I'd rather have something else. Still good enough.
Talisman of Creativity: 2 mana, comes into play untapped, fixes mana when you need colored.
Scroll Rack: One of the best ways to dig through your deck, especially after scooping up a bunch of cards after using Nin to refill your hand or a Wheel of Fortune effect.
Staff of Domination: an infinite mana outlet, and a piece to achieve infinite mana in Plan C. Usually we use this to draw our deck.
Vedalken Shackles: A little expensive mana-wise, but much stronger than it looks. Most creatures in a competitive environment are small, so I usually only need a few islands to threaten to steal anything. Makes strategies that rely on a commander very difficult (Yisan, Brago, etc.). Sometimes just steals mana dorks, which I'm fine with since I can hit it with Nin and steal another one the next turn.
Mystic Remora: A cEDH staple that has still gone under the radar in a lot of casual circles. Will either force everyone to play slower for a few turns or draw you like 8 cards.
Power Artifact: The other piece of the Plan B infinite mana combo. Usually find this guy via Muddle the Mixture.
Blood Moon: I live off the tears of greedy 4-color manabases. Straight up locks some decks out of colored mana, and doesn't affect me at all. Stops other stuff that's tough to interact with (Gaea's Cradle, Cabal Coffers, etc.).
Back to Basics: Another excellent payoff for being primarily blue with a light red splash. Decimates greedy manabases of 3+ color decks. Unlike Blood Moon, you can play this when opponents are tapped out to completely lock them off of mana (instead of giving them a bunch of mountains).
Dack Fayden: Consistently awesome and one of the biggest payoffs for going UR. There is always a good mana rock to steal.
Narset, Parter of Veils: One of the more recent heavy-hitters in cEDH, Narset is an excellent stax and card advantage piece all in one. Notably, you can Nin opponents' creatures with Narset out, and they'll only draw 1 card (0 if you're doing it on their turn). Also pairs especially well with Wheel effects, since you'll strip opponents of their hands.
Tezzeret the Seeker: Expensive, but excellent. Think of it like a copy of Transmute Artifact, but if you're lucky you can use it twice.
Inventors' Fair: It's a tutor!
Timetwister / Mishra's Workshop / Volcanic Island: The benefit just isn't worth it in real world dollars. I'm not doing any infinite Timetwister loops, so it's just an insanely expensive wheel effect. Mishra's Workshop is not even good, and while including Volcanic Island would be nice, the benefit is marginal for how much it costs.
Past Inclusions + Currently Testing:
Paradox Engine: Goodnight, sweet prince. It was nice while it lasted. RIP
Kuldotha Forgemaster: Too expensive / clunky.
Consecrated Sphinx: Casual all-star, but 6 mana to maybe draw some cards is too much to ask.
Magus of the Moon: Great when Karador, Animar, Kess, and T&T are at the store, but lately there's been a lot of Edric, Yisan, Yannifar, and Teferi (who don't care about this effect).
Great Furnace: Used this to make sure Mox Opal would be active more often, but I've found it's more important to just have Islands (Vedalken Shackles, Blood Moon effects, etc.)
Annul: The blue 1-mana disenchant. The cards I'm most terrified of are Stony Silence, Null Rod, and Cursed Totem - all of which are hit by Annul. Also, there are plenty of scary targets besides the one I mentioned. There are other 1 mana answers that are more useful though.
Thought Vessel: Got cut as the weakest of the 2cmc rocks as more hatepieces made their way into the deck (Grafdiggers, Blood Moon, Stranglehold, etc.)
Voltaic Key: If we're treating this as a mana rock, it doesn't net mana often enough to be worth it. (Grim Monolith, Mana Vault, Sol Ring, Mana Crypt are the only good targets)
Torpor Orb: Karador has mostly left the local meta, so I feel better about taking this one out. The only deck this really messes with nowadays is Animar and Brago, but I have some tech for him already.
Stranglehold: Gets better the more competitive your group is. Brutal when powered out early, since it also turns off fetchlands. Love playing this against Yisan and Sisay players in my group.
Gamble: This card was in the list for years, and it was only recently that I took it out. I understand why it's popular (it's a 1 mana tutor in red!), but in my years of experience I've found it to be overrated. You usually use tutors to find the second piece of your two card combos (Iso/Scepter or Grim/Power). By that time, there usually isn't much else left in your hand, so discarding one of your combo pieces is likely. So, perhaps you use this to just tutor for fast mana or silver bullet stax pieces? But you can't do it when you have any combo piece in hand, since you're SOL if you discard it. Sometimes you're just unlucky. Generally, I only use this card when I've drawn a lot of cards with Nin and the probability of discarding something critical is low. So, most of the time Gamble is a win-more card. I'm testing taking this card out, but who knows. Most cEDH lists use it, maybe I've been using it wrong.
Spell Snare: Just like Mental Misstep, most people in cEDH play cheap spells. This slot was at first reserved for protection against the scariest stax pieces (Stony Silence, Null Rod, Cursed Totem), but I realized that Spell Snare is more useful than most counters not just against these hate cards, but tons of others. Hits Survival of the Fittest, Kataki, tons of hatebears, Isochron Scepter, several counterspells, Grim Monolith, Flash, Thrasios, etc. Currently replaced with Into the Roil since it's more versatile.
Dispel: Turns out cEDH has a lot of good instants to counter. Most non-elfball decks run at least 20-25. Handy for protecting Nin when attempting to shoot herself to refill my hand, or countering disruption during combo turns.
IN GENERAL: the 1-mana "narrow" counter/removal slot(s).... I'm constantly flip-flopping between Spell Pierce, Pyroblast, Annul, and Spell Snare. Judging from other cEDH lists, Spell Pierce is the most popular, followed by Pyroblast...but I'm not too fond on any of these cards.
Thanks for checking out the guide! If you have any questions/suggestions about the deck, feel free to comment below.
(Sidenote: My playgroup allows PEngine, which I've replaced narset's reversal with.)
1 month ago
Mutate... this could be interesting.
Mutate is a keyword action which reads (When a creature mutates, its controller exiles another creature they control and puts a number of +1/+1 counters on target creature equal to its power. That creature gains all types and abilities of the creature exiled this way.)
First and most immediate concern- some of you may be concerned about whether "gains all abilities" is proper templating. Well, WotC has used it before, and you commander players may recognize this templating from... Darksteel Mutation! So yes, this is templated properly.
Second concern- the memory issue. And ya know what, it's not much of an issue. Why? Because of the conventional usage of cards like Banisher Priest. To mutate a creature, you simply place one under the other, and like an aura or a Banisher Priest effect, players check it when they need to check it and if not, they just remember.
Third concern, wordiness. This actually works to the mechanic's advantage, as it would be quite easy to make creatures with a disgusting smorgasbord of keywords and other abilities in a hurry. Less space on the card sort of forces me to limit the amount of stuff that I can put on mutating cards.
At the beginning of your end step, you may mutate Repeat Subject. (When a creature mutates, its controller exiles another creature they control and puts a number of +1/+1 counters on that creature equal to its power. It creature gains all types and abilities of the creature exiled this way.)
Head of Experiments
Creature- Vedalken Wizard
, : Mutate another target creature. (When a creature mutates, its controller exiles another creature they control and puts a number of +1/+1 counters on that creature equal to its power. It creature gains all types and abilities of the creature exiled this way.)
When this creature is exiled, put two +1/+1 counters on target creature that mutated this turn.
Now, some of you may recognize this as Monstrosity. It is. It's near-exactly monstrous.
Something WotC has always alluded to that grinds my gears is bringing mechanics back with a different name. MaRo has referenced it with Bushido and Ninjitsu, and I think this would be the perfect opportunity.
Mutate (Whenever you cast a creature spell, if its combined power and toughness are greater than this creature's, put a mutation counter on this creature.)
Immediate issues: none, really?? That said, some of you may recognize this mechanic as being similar to evolve. Well, it is... kind of. The main difference is what we in the business call "thresholds."
Evolve is a mechanic with a theoretically infinite threshold. As a result, evolve as a mechanic is very linear, and the creatures fight each other for space a lot.
Adding thresholds (that is to say, some creatures need only one mutation counter to gain the full benefit of being mutated, their threshold would be 1. Some need 4 counters, and their threshold would be 4.) means that creatures with this mechanic feel more universal, and the deck becomes less about linear one-upsmanship. I could see you splashing a couple Mutate creatures in a deck that wasn't build to maximize them, where that was not the case with Evolve. Why? Because of the addition of thresholds, the deck no longer needs to be dedicated to make these creatures playable.
As long as Leaping Lizard has a mutation counter on it, it gets +1/+1 and has flying.
Creature- Vedalken Wizard
As long as Cunning Biomancer has three or more mutation counters on it, it can't be blocked.
Vannifar, Simic Biomaster
Legendary Creature- Elf Ooze Wizard
Whenever you put a counter on a creature you control, you may draw a card. If you do, discard a card.
Gyre Clade Visionary
Creature- Elf Wizard
Other creatures you control get +1/+1 for each mutation counter on Gyre Clade Visionary.
Hull Clade Mastermind
Creature- Vedalken Fish Wizard
Hull Clade Mastermind can't attack or block.
At the beginning of your end step, if Hull Clade Mastermind has five or more mutation counters on it, you win the game.
1 month ago
I'm building a 5c toughness matters/wall deck with golos at the helm. Im looking to do more than just the usual business with the deck, by having access to 5c and using cards that woukd otherwise be unable to be used well like Guild Feud
When you visit the deck it's currently set to custom tags and the tags at the bottom are maybeboard options for subthemes in the deck. I was considering a few of these but was looking if anyone could offer some genuine eureka ideas for building this type of deck and having access to 5c. For example I noticed Experiment Kraj would be a 6/6 for 6 that can borrow other players creatures abilities, also Prime Speaker Vannifar is a 4/4 for 4
Another idea I had was to produce tons of mana and have good mana sinks to use with the amount of mana I would produce.
1 month ago
poorpinkus, I just recently made a Kraj deck for the same reason, to see it grow beyond control because it was designed to choose its own evolution. Doi. I have been having the same results at the moment (alpha version of the deck) and that Kraj kicks off by turn 6 or 7: I am trying to cut that down to a turn or two sooner. One thought I had was increasing creature ramp. I saw you have a 'Transmute' card, I use that mechanic heavily in another deck (Nekusar RBU) specifically to get my combo items within the 2, 3 and 4 CMC range.
Here is my deck: Kraj-Maga Tap Dancing
You'll see about 3 or more versions of the same mechanic within the deck, especially with creatures. One of the fastest guarantee win items is the tap-to-ping creatures. Just tap once, deal damage to creature or player (must include player) and there you have it. At this point I have been considering just adding more creature ramp, transmute spells, creature tutor and counter spells.
Creature ramp is the big money money of the deck and gives you a chance to bring Kraj out sooner and as you noticed, the moment Kraj is in play it just goes off. For the creature ramp though I have been trying to stick to the 2-or-more mana per tap creatures. Gyre Sage, Gyre Engineer, Incubation Druid are great since the last two can give easier access to infinite untap andthough the Engineer will produce infinite colorless/green mana if you have a single blue untap ability ready. Ilysian Caryatid is another good option for potentially having 2 blue mana (with Kraj in play) to grant true unlimited mana for all colors. But I see you've already solved the mana conversion problem with Orochi Leafcaller and Pili-Pala (sick card for this deck).
Transmute and Tutor will get you what you need (obviously) and I've added as many ways as I can to do just that. I understand though you're using a budget to keep this deck real and some tutor spells are really pricey. Chord of Calling, Green Sun's Zenith, Birthing Pod are good but are probably out of budget, but Prime Speaker Vannifar has dropped considerably and Neoform is a similar outlet. Vannifar could be a superior solution to a Kraj deck because with a +1/+1 counter on her you could have infinite untap-access to her ability, but only in sorcery speed. Another star contender is Momir Vig, Simic Visionary but for Momir to really be effective he relies on both green and blue creature spells. A way around this is using spells that "change the text of target permanent" cards like Trait Doctoring or Whim of Volrath which also has a buyback but that already has too much work involved around a 'guest star' creature. Cool thing about Momir and Vannifar: they are both elves, so if yo have a sac outlet you can add Wirewood Herald that will tutor one of them to your hand. Transmute is also a good way around your deck, simply find your win condition creature combos by CMC and get the Transmutes you need. My deck's winning combos are almost all between 2 and 4 mana, I honestly don't think I need anything over that cost, one being Endbringer at 6 CMC because there are more tap-ping guys that cost less but honestly I am considering dropping it for another ramp creature or counter spell, granted its also a draw-card source.. On to Counter spells...
I am seeing a lot of "trample" and "unblockable" but honestly this experimental blob needs to just sit and make magic happen: no need for attackers. It is far too easy to get what you need in play and use the activated ability to achieve victory; that being said, enter the counter-turtle! Infinite mana seems to be the fastest thing I can get rolling for this guy, once that happens its a matter of time before the other shoe drops for a win, a strategy is to play safe and deny as many things as possible coming your way or in the way of a boardwipe. Rake up as many counterspells as you can, especially the 'split second' ones like Last Word. Another route for spells is kicker, multikicker and strive since mana 'ain't no thang' to Kraj.
All other spells or abilities that give more +1/+1 counters and such I feel are wasted placement cards because once Kraj gets untapping things get out of hand immediately. But, Grafting is definitely the way to at least get that started so it can save you a step if you're looking for the budget route. For example, Doubling Season: sweet card but we don't make tokens and all I need is one +1/+1 counter, not double. But, I do have Vigean Hydropon to distribute +1/+1 counters to my homies entering the battlefield. In several cases the 'Graft' option can work with Momir Vig if he's in play since some are blue/green creatures.
These are all really just ideas and options I've seen work for me but I'm also bouncing them to get feedback and find that chunk of fat that can be trimmed to make a leaner and meaner Experiment Kraj deck. Essentially all my cards involve the greatest of the greatest that I am assuming I have infinite mana, untaps, etc. instead of the 'once per turn'. I want everything, all the time and without end. Good ol' "Nah brah thanks, I'm here to break the game not have tea" attitude.
Thanks for sharing and thanks for reading the great wall-o-text!