Enchantment — Aura
Enchanted creature gets +2/+0 and has trample.
When Rancor is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, return Rancor to its owner's hand.
|Have (4)||, metalmagic , DoctorScarf , Eckat|
|Want (6)||GeminiSpartanX , Pyroraptor , Instinctive , Orzhov202 , Grimlok893 , darkmageofmalakir|
Printings View all
|Mystery Booster (MYS1)||Uncommon|
|Masters 25 (A25)||Uncommon|
|Explorers of Ixalan (EO2)||Uncommon|
|Planechase Anthology (PCA)||Common|
|Eternal Masters (EMA)||Uncommon|
|Duel Decks Anthology (DD3)||Common|
|Magic 2013 (M13)||Uncommon|
|Planechase 2012 Edition (PC2)||Common|
|Duel Decks: Garruk vs. Liliana (DDD)||Common|
|Urza's Legacy (ULG)||Common|
|Promo Set (000)||Uncommon|
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Latest Decks as Commander
2 days ago
So, there are several things you have misunderstood when looking at this deck, as it's one I have played and tweaked for the better part of a decade now and am very happy with it's current state. Firstly, the danger of Xenagos really kicks in when you can actually pressure an opponent, so it's best to stick with either trample or flying creatures exclusively, with the few exceptions of those that will really buff and support you such as Birds of Paradise and Oracle of Mul Daya. I chose to go with flyers, the best of which are largely dragons, because people generally do not have many fliers and are not prepared to deal with the power and pressure of many massive fliers suddenly appearing and swinging at them. As for the rest of the suggestions you have, and the part you misunderstood with him, is that you're focused on making more of a midgame and a recovery so you don't falter due to lack of cards. However, Xenagos doesn't really care of need that. Xenagos needs to get to 5 mana and get a single dragon out. One dragon. Then you are immediately swinging for at least 10 if not more, and every dragon has abilities and triggers that further pressures your opponent(s).
Greater Good is a fantastic card, but there are very few times that you want to be sacrificing your creatures since you will always be a massive target since Xenagos is always a threat. The same goes for Life's Legacy and Momentous Fall.
The problem with cards such as Return of the Wildspeaker, Harmonize, and Bonders' Enclave is that they take up most of your turn to draw cards. I have found that as a true gruul deck you don't want to let off the pressure on your opponents. You very rarely need more than a few dragons over the course of the game as Xenagos puts so much pressure on through doubling them and haste that losing an entire turn to draw more cards is a waste. I make an exception for Rishkar's Expertise because it does still allow us to drop a card and keep the momentum going.
Elder Gargaroth is indeed a good card, but it runs into the problem that it's effects aren't good enough for the deck. He is focused on the additional utility abilities, being lifegain, token generation, and drawing a card, which in any other deck are fantastic abilities. But here he doesn't put pressure onto your opponents the way cards such as Terror of the Peaks does. Everything about Xenagos is speed and pressure. You also run into the issue of him dying. With most opponents fielding very few flying and reach creatures when compared with the number of them in this deck, you rarely need to worry about your dragons dying. Every turn your board keeps building and the dragons have such destructive abilities (see Balefire Dragon for an example of such) that they have trouble keeping a strong board presence and fighting back. But all they need is one small deathtoucher, or any pump spell on one of their ground creatures and they stop your momentum. However, they will rarely have enough fliers to do that. That's a big part of the reason why we run so many dragons. Direct damage to your oppoenent, destructive effects to their boardstate (ex. Tyrant's Familiar), and constant psychological pressure and panic setting in. This is the way of the gruul.
Lifeblood Hydra is too slow. You need at least 8 mana to make him even a little viable, which is too much and too slow. My 8 drops are either extremely powerful, Utvara Hellkite for example, or i'm dropping a 6 drop and holding up a Heroic Intervention or something of that sort.
The Great Henge is also a great card, but again it's too slow.
Berserk is okay, but I prefer my creatures staying alive and pressuring on further turns.
Kessig Wolf Run Honestly just not good enough. The trample is largely unnecessary, and it eats up a minimum of 3 mana to have any effect, mana that can better be spent elsewhere.
Rancor Not good enough
Deflecting Swat Amazing card, but very rarely are cards single targeted any more, at least in my meta. Board wipes are more common.
Ilharg, the Raze-Boar Rather than this, I can just have another dragon which would do much more for my deck.
Sensei's Divining Top Another amazing card, but it just doesn't do enough in this deck.
Now, regarding the high CMC of the deck, of course it's going to be high. We're rushing out to 6 mana and then aggroing out from there. This deck doesn't look to play tempo with a whole bunch of smaller cards being played and set up. That takes too long and allows midrange and late game decks to set up too much. This deck is trying to ramp out and attack.
Finally, I have no idea which creatures you are viewing as subpar. The creatures in this deck are exclusively either flying to attack and pressure my opponents, or ramp/dorks to accelerate the deck, or protection in the form of Archetype of Endurance. If you would be willing to expound on that statement i'm curious to hear your opinion on which creatures could be better utilized.
I will say this, all of those suggestions are great and i'm always really happy to hear and see other people's thoughts on improving things. Other than Berserk and Ilharg, the Raze-Boar I have actually run every single one of those cards in this deck at one point or another. However, though many years and a lot of experience with him, this build is what I have found to be the most powerful and reliable one.
1 week ago
Most of my experience with infect comes from playing simic, but I have played the mechanic in all 5 colors. In terms of power, green is the most effective color to play by a very VERY large margin. You get access to the best infect creature in Glistener Elf (along with the slower and safer option of Blight Mamba), you get trample sources to push through damage with Ichorclaw Myr such as Rancor, Predator's Strike, and Larger Than Life, you get protection bundled with buffs in the form of Vines of Vastwood, Ranger's Guile, and Blossoming Defense, and you get the largest pool of very strong power boosts in the form of Mutagenic Growth, Invigorate, Scale Up, Might of Old Krosa, Berserk, Become Immense, Groundswell, Phytoburst, Noble Hierarch, and Pendelhaven. Since infect is an all-or-nothing sort of archetype, even when running the less aggressive versions, the most important characteristics that you need are speed, protection, and evasion. Green offers two of those things in spades but can struggle with evasion. This is why blue is generally considered the next best color to run. You get the insane threat of Blighted Agent, unblockable buffs with Distortion Strike and Aqueous Form, and protection from spells via Spell Pierce, Dispel, Turn Aside, and the odd Spellskite. Black is the next best. Plague Stinger's flying isn't as good as the unblockable on a Blighted Agent but it's still very powerful evasion as illustrated by the ubiquity of Inkmoth Nexus in every non-budget infect list ever made. Black also nets useful control tools like Thoughtseize, Inquisition of Kozilek, Fatal Push, Dismember, and Assassin's Trophy. White was considered the worst infect color for a very long time since its best option (Apostle's Blessing) can be used in any deck, but the recent introduction of Giver of Runes has breathed some life back into the color. Additionally, I've seen a lot of equipment lists popping up that use Colossus Hammer, Kor Duelist, Sigarda's Aid, and Kor Outfitter to see some success. Unfortunately, that leaves red as the current worst color to run in infect. It has some decent buffs but they pale in comparison to green's offerings. The result is that most red infect decks rely on gimmicks like using Razor Swine's first strike to wither enemy creatures, generating infinite mana to pump into an unblocked Ogre Menial, or putting Phyresis on something like a Spikeshot Elder to bypass combat altogether. Your instant tricks definitely fall in this category. That's not necessarily a bad thing though. If your meta is casual enough, red should still work and it will be much more interesting to play with / fun to play against than a more traditional deck. How competitive you want to be is always up to you.
To answer your specific questions, I would probably start by cutting a few creatures. Most lists run about 12 infect sources (and that's including a playset of Inkmoth Nexus). With Hand of the Praetors on your top end, running 16-20 isn't that unreasonable, at least as long as all of them are good. Infect creatures usually become "bad" when they cost more than 2. That's why I wouldn't usually recommend running Ichor Rats or Septic Rats. Both Necropede and Plague Myr are perfectly acceptable inclusions with very similar power levels. They'll rarely be better than Plague Stinger or Ichorclaw Myr but that's okay if you just want more guys to play. As for Vector Asp, it's honestly a pretty bad choice in most circumstances. While you usually won't need to activate it more than 2 or 3 times to win the game, that mana would be better spent elsewhere, and it doesn't even trigger the Hand. However, given the choice of it and a 3-drop, I'd probably take the snake, especially since it would be your only proactive play on turn 1 (barring the inclusion of Glistener Elf or Inkmoths). Better though would just be to run neither and invest in more buff spells to assist in combat and trigger Livewire Lash. I do like the idea of those spells having cycling in theory, but in practice, the mana needed to cycle can short you of the resources needed to close out the game. Plus, cycling spells tend to cost more to account for the added ability. Cycling lands on the other hand should be fine as long as they come in untapped, although it looks like that only describes Ash Barrens and Blasted Landscape. Just like with creatures, I wouldn't run any spells that cost more than 2 unless they can win you the game like Soul's Fire can. This will also allow you to run 20 lands or fewer, opening up even more slots for gas. I apologize if I'm repeating myself about the low-cost-high-speed thing but that is basically the reason the infect mechanic exists. If you prefer a slow and more controlling style, Rakdos wither built around Necroskitter is a fun option that has some overlap with infect.
1 week ago
This seems really interesting, but also pretty narrow. You'd need a critical mass of matching CMC between auras and creatures you can get into the graveyard.
May I suggest a revised version that is more flexible?
Amdael, Dire Auramancer
Legendary Creature - Troll Shaman
Aura cards you control have "As an additional cost to cast this spell, you may pay . If you do, as this spell resolves you may return target creature card with converted mana cost less than or equal to X plus the converted mana cost of this aura from your graveyard to the battlefield and attach this aura to that creature."
An alternative wording of the ability:
Aura cards you control have "As you cast this spell you may pay the mana cost of target creature card in your graveyard reduced by the mana cost of this aura. If you do, as this spell resolves return that creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield and attach this aura to it."
This was actually more difficult to create than what I intended. Initially I wanted it to basically become Animate Dead with an additional cost attached to it equal to the difference in CMC between the aura and the creature. However that idea was kinda screwy as is the text on Animate Dead.
It does provide some benefits over the OP's suggestion
- For one you can use a Holy Strength to resurrect Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite with a mana investment.
- Basically as long as you have an aura, you can play any creature from your graveyard. Yes, that makes Rancor or Flickering Ward extremely beneficial in this deck. However you're also playing an aura centric deck, that naturally sets you a bit behind.
- You don't require a very metrical combination of creatures and auras to make it function, so it opens you up to experiment more with auras. Auras in general is not favored in Magic, so I think we can afford them some flexibility here. I get that one of the OP's points was that restrictions makes people creative. I fear it makes the deck type too narrow to only include mid-costed auras and low costed creatures. My revisions are not hindering that tactic as the cost reduction is still the same, you just have a higher ceiling.
- It's one package - meaning one Counterspell takes care of the whole lot. It also means you can effectively reanimate creatures that cannot sustain themselves, say Force of Savagery, as there's no time in between the creature entering and the aura attaching, where state based actions are checked and would kill the Force.
- A flaw; there's no target when reanimating as it happens during resolution - so no interaction, no exiling the target in response. Can just be seen as an upside that you wont have paid the cost of the creature for nothing. The alternative wording I made fixes this flaw, but that also opens it up to so much vulnerability. Suddenly a Scavenging Ooze becomes an unlimited Essence Scatter for .
- A flaw; to simplify the design I made the additional cost which means you can bypass color requirements/intensity. The alternative wording I made should solve this problem - if you cast a Aura and intent to cast a creature, you still need to pay as the aura can only reduce the generic mana cost in this instance. The problem is that this wording makes it a LOT more complex to fully understand.
1 week ago
Greater Good - The best card in the deck, add it immediately. If you listen to anything I say, this is it. Someone mentioned it before, don't sleep on this card. Seriously, I cannot under state this. If you add a cradle before adding this, then I am shocked
Life's Legacy - Be wary of additional cost to sac
Momentous Fall - Use in response to removal. Be wary of additional cost to sac
Return of the Wildspeaker - Use in response to removal
Harmonize - For much needed draw
Bonders' Enclave - Not needed but nice to have
Elder Gargaroth - Very useful
Lifeblood Hydra - Remove my creature, I dare you
The Great Henge - Ramp and card draw for cheap, very useful
Berserk - Don't worry, my malignus doesn't have trample.....oh you're gonna attack my other opponent, here, get buffed and die doing so! Very fun and versatile
Kessig Wolf Run - Don't underestimate utility in the mana base
Rancor - Makes a 1/1 into a 3/1 into a 6/4 trample.
Deflecting Swat - Counter counterspells, redirect targetted removal, draw, abilities, etc..... for free? Too much utility to ignore
Ilharg, the Raze-Boar - Cheats things into play for cheap, highly recomended
Sensei's Divining Top - Not needed but very nice to have.
I have other ideas of additions and cuts but don't want to overwhelm you. Be sure to let me know what you think of each suggestion as I think each will tremendously improve your deck. You high too high of an AVG cmc as well as some subpar creatures which can be swapped to be more efficient.
1 week ago
Nice Idea but I think you need more removal maybe even enchantment based removel (at least one card to fetch with Idylic Tutor) I playtested this Deck against my Atraxa Superfriends version and almost won Turn 5 by enchanting Atraxa with Rancor, Ethereal Armor and Tainted Strike but Cyclonic Rift saved the day :)
From there On I equiped my Atraxa with Sword got Protection from White and Blue and it was over :)
2 weeks ago
I definitely agree with the above comment, infinite power/toughness alone is not enough to consistently win.
I think with U/G colors you could even get away with Rancor here or something similar. Green has tons of trample options, blue has tons of Unblockable options; just search around and find something that works for you so that a 1/1 weenie blocker doesn't completely negate your massive creature combo there.
3 weeks ago
First, play whatever cards you want or feel like. Your deck, your gameplay, and Have Fun!
The following are all friendly suggestions not in any way meant as criticism of your deck. But the singleton thing should get stopped. Figure out which elves work best for your local metagame and the decks you play against. Then go to 2 or 4 copies each of them. Cut the situational cards and put them in the sideboard for game 2 or remove them entirely. I would also follow abby315's list of suggestions and his suggestion of ditching weak pump spells and replace them with the various lords or creatures with a pump capability like others have suggested. Here is a list of cards that may be decent replacements or adds to your deck:
Ezuri, Renegade Leader is probably one of the better elf cards for aggro elves. Provides Regeneration for any other elves you have and Overrun at will. I would go to a 2 count
Imperious Perfect: Replace Wirewood Hivemaster with this card. The hivemaster produces insects so they wont bonus from your anthem/lord effects. Is not legendary so you can have up to 4 copies. Besides pumping all your other elves, they even produce them every turn. Worth 2-4 copies.
Reclamation Sage: Replace Deconstruct with this, maybe go to 2 copies main deck. But if the deck is for 1 on 1 put them in the sideboard for game 2.
Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen: Replace Stream of Life with this guy, go to 2 copies of this maybe
Loxodon Warhammer, Rancor or anything like them: Replace your instants that boost creatures with permanents like these or similar instead. Or if you are going to have a combat trick in your hand then make it something like Overwhelming Stampede, Wrap in Vigor or Heroic Intervention like abby315 suggested. If it's not a permanent you want a card that is going to change the game state dramatically not just boost 1 creature for 1 turn. Remember, if you have a card like Ezuri, Renegade Leader or your Timberwatch Elf you can activate his ability at instant speed which surprises people if they lose track of what you have in play.
Return of the Wildspeaker: An example of a go big instant instead of cards like Giant Growth. Replace any instant you have with this card. Its modal to refill your hand or giant growth all of your elves. At instant speed.
Beast Within: If you want instant speed removal, use a catch-all card like this instead of 1 card for artifacts, 1 card for creatures, etc. It doesnt need to be this card specifcally but one that targets any permanent at instant speed. And run at least 2 copies of it main deck to always have an answer in your deck for your opponent's stuff.
Lifecrafter's Bestiary: Replace wurm's tooth with a copy of this card instead. It will accelerate your deck. 2 copies wouldnt hurt.
Some good utlity cards:
Bow of Nylea: Excellent all around support card. Does many things but the big one is giving your elves deathtouch so even when you attack with them when they are tiny, they kill stuff. All the other utility is amazing value.
Leyline of Abundance: Another mana ramp/anthem/lord option that has a chance of getting put into play on turn 1.
Nullmage Shepherd: This card is like repeatable Naturalize. Sometimes holding an instant in your hand is better, but sometimes repeatable wins games.
Titania's Chosen: Replace stuff like Wurm's tooth or Nomadic Elf, Norwood Ranger with cards like this or some of your other better creatures you should be running more copies of.
Masked Admirers: Another good elf creature that provides a repeatable benefit that can be used to replace other cards you arent thrilled about.
Creeping Renaissance: Following someone wiping the table, this card or Fresh Meat can get you right back into the game.
Planeswalker suggestions. Because they are resistant to removal and can add a lot to a game if it goes long. Multiple repeatable abilities are strong. They are expensive, and I would try to trade for them if possible. If interested:
Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury: She makes llanowar elves! And she basically does all the things in Green's pie. Makes lots of elves, destroys artifacts and enchantments at will and draws cards.
Nissa, Who Shakes the World: Not on theme for elves, but she is so strong that I would feel lame not mentioning it for a mono green deck. Her static ramps you crazy style and her ultimate can finish games.
Nissa Revane: Basically, her ultimate would put all 24 of your elves into play in one turn. If you do want to put copies of her in your deck, I would also suggest replacing some other elves with 4 copies of Nissa's Chosen for added value.
Vivien Reid: This is a well-balanced walker for any green deck. Built in card advantage, removal and flyer killing, and then her ultimate is an emblem better than almost any other lord/anthem effect you can put in the deck.
Garruk Wildspeaker: My lowest choice for the list, but he plays early and produces creatures.
Land Suggestions. You may not need them, being mono-green doesnt mean there arent a couple good lands for your deck:
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood: While this is in play, most every creature you cast will get a counter. Basically a free boost for a little tempo loss.
Rogue's Passage: Does what it says, sometimes you only need 1 more hit to win. And it taps for some mana.
Pendelhaven: As long as this is untapped, a shock spell wont kill an elf! Kind of situational but useful.
Treetop Village: A forest that's also a 3/3 creature when you need it.
Again, these are just ideas to get you thinking about ways to improve your deck. The most important thing is to focus on what you want to do with the deck. Then get 4 copies of every card in your deck that makes that happen. Everything else after that should provide support, advantage or acceleration for those main cards.