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At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Sacred Mesa unless you sacrifice a Pegasus.
: Put a 1/1 white Pegasus creature token with flying into play.
Tur on Hidden Power - Mono-Color - …
3 months ago
Hello everyone! This will be a forum post for a "Commander - Hidden Power" series. My goal is to show relatively inexpensive cards which are often overlooked by commander players in semi-competitive and casual play. (This post is not designed for competitive play.) If you enjoy the topic, please upvote the post or provide positive feedback and I will consider creating similar posts.
The powerful cards I plan on discussing are mono-color cards which are strong with big mana in commander.
I will provide one card per mono-color identity. These cards will not include x-spells nor multi-color identity spells. (I.e. no Torment of Hailfire nor Zacama, Primal Calamity)
It is obvious that big mana is a huge part of semi-competitive play. Whether it is from ramping through creatures, artifacts, enchantments, instants, sorceries, or lands. Big mana is pretty fun. Mana doubling effects from lands are especially useful. In this article, I'll be focusing on mana doubling from lands, but other ways to generate big mana are always possible
Here are some common big mana effects for each mono-color identity:
- White (W) : Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, Extraplanar Lens
- Blue (U) : Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, Extraplanar Lens, High Tide
- Black (B) : Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, Extraplanar Lens, Crypt Ghast, Nirkana Revenant, Cabal Coffers, Magus of the Coffers
- Red (R) : Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, Extraplanar Lens, Gauntlet of Might
- Green (G) : Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, Extraplanar Lens, Mana Reflection, Zendikar Resurgent, Nyxbloom Ancient, Vernal Bloom
This is not an all inclusive list as Mana Flare, Heartbeat of Spring, Keeper of Progenitus, Sword of Feast and Famine, et cetera would work just as well. In each mono-color identity the artifacts Caged Sun, Gauntlet of Power, and Extraplanar Lens can be used, however the black and green color identities have an advantage for mono-color double mana effects. Furthermore, green contains cards such as Seedborn Muse, Awakening, and Wilderness Reclamation which allow for more interactions.
Well, let us begin in WUBRG order!
White: Sacred Mesa
This card is relatively unused. According to EDHREC, Sacred Mesa is played in 1511/849227 (0%) decklists and is under one dollar. You'd be surpized how powerful this card is with double mana. Imagine making some number of pegasus at instant speed as either blockers or attackers for your next turn. (The upkeep cost can be paid by making a summoning sick pegasus during your turn.) Not to mention power and toughness buffing effects are ideal with Sacred Mesa, examples include Dictate of Heliod, Cathars' Crusade, Caged Sun, or Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite.
It is often compared to Luminarch Ascension because they have similar effects. Yes, it makes a 4/4 angel instead of a 1/1 pegasus.
However, Luminarch Ascension has many downsides:
- You have to have four quest counters to use the ability. (That is, you have to not lose life during an opponents turn four times.) This creates a huge target on your life total and you'll see it surely chip away.
- Bounce effects, such as Cyclonic Rift really mess it up. Welcome back to square one!
- Common cards, such as Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider prevent quest counters from even occurring. Vampire Hexmage or Hex Parasite are also options to remove the counters.
Sacred Mesa is way more versatile and does not have such downsides. Not to mention is it only three mana, ideal for Sun Titan recursion.
It is very rare to see this wonderful card. According to EDHREC, Compulsion is played in 1000/945324 (0%) decklists and is under one dollar. Having an activated draw ability with very little downside on a blue enchantment is insane. Ideal when paired with Teferi's Ageless Insight or Thought Reflection. There are a few cards which have a similar effect, such as Triskaidekaphile or Kefnet the Mindful without having to discard a card, but having a two mana activation is much more versatile. I suppose that an argument could be made with Training Grounds, but that is too much just to make the Kefnet the Mindful ability more cost effective. Furthermore, discarding a specific card like Echo of Eons, Wonder, or a shuffle Eldrazi such as Kozilek, Butcher of Truth has some nice synergy. (In fact, it should be played in most bant enchantress decks, such as the commander Tuvasa the Sunlit. Replenish for life!)
Black: Chainer, Dementia Master
This is a wonderful card, but a little pricey compared to the previous two cards. According to EDHREC, Chainer, Dementia Master is played in 6344/983251 (1%) decklists and is approximately ten dollars. Yes, we all know that you can abuse Chainer, Dementia Master with Gray Merchant of Asphodel or Kokusho, the Evening Star with sacrifice outlets such as Phyrexian Altar. Suppose we don't want to abuse this card into the ground is it still just good card? Yes. We can fill up or graveyard with Buried Alive or Entomb and get back a creature card, or we can grab a creature card from an opponents graveyard. It can also be used to interrupt graveyard combos, such as Aristocrats by using the ability on an opponents Butcher Ghoul with the undying trigger on the stack.
An extremely powerful and undervalued card. According to EDHREC, Scourge of Kher Ridges is played in 1005/912333 (0%) decklists and is under three dollars. If you're able to untap with Sourge of Kher Ridges and double mana, your opponents are going to have a rough time. As you can put multiple activations on the stack, it provides you with a very high on-board presence. Even within a response to removal. I've heard players complain that Scourge of Kher Ridges dies too quick to removal and my answer is "from your opponents perspective it needs to die before you're able to untap". Ideal with lifelink (and deathtouch) equipment such as Basilisk Collar or Shadowspear.
Green: Kamahl, Fist of Krosa
Typically unseen in play. According to EDHREC, Kamahl, Fist of Krosa is played in 4786/880991 (1%) decklists and is approximately five dollars. It is odd how unused Kamahl, Fist of Krosa is compared to Ezuri, Renegade Leader when they basically have the same effect. Overrun as an activated ability which is stackable multiple times. I agree that Ezuri, Renegade Leader is better in elf tribal decks, however Kamahl, Fist of Krosa is great in most big mana decks. Ideal for wide aggro. Tall aggro will gain the benefit of trample. If you don't have extra creatures you can animate your lands as 1/1 attackers, correction 7/7 attackers. (Pretty interesting because these attackers get around Cyclonic Rift, they're lands.) You can also get some payback by animating your opponents lands in response to a creature board wipe. (From that reasoning it can be paired with cards such as Ascendant Evincar and Crovax, Ascendant Hero to destroy opponents lands through animation.)
All in all, these are relatively unused cards which have a lot hidden power with big mana. If your deck is mono-colored and designed for big mana spells or abilities, think about giving these cards a chance. See if they work well for you and your playgroup.
Squee_Spirit_Guide on Unic0rn D3ck
5 months ago
Nice list! I really like when the less powerful tribes get some love. I had a unicorn/pegasus deck back in the day that ran Sacred Mesa and it was a great mana sink late game (this was before there were enough unicorns or pegasi to have their own tribal deck...). And, in the vein of non-unicorn cards for the unicorn deck, Worship could be really nice with such a high creature count.
Of course, if the goal is to keep it pure unicorn tribal, feel free to ignore me :)
Squee_Spirit_Guide on Unicorn Legacy
8 months ago
Very cool deck for a sadly underrepresented tribe! It's a bit ouclassed these days, but what do you think about Sacred Mesa?
Voodoo_Gremlin on Golos, Tireless Enchantress
1 year ago
Looks interesting. I'm a fan of enchantress. Idyllic Tutor is nice but since you've moved into black Demonic Tutor is a straight upgrade. You may want to find a Trace of Abundance . It's another land aura that can make any colour of mana and grants the land shroud. I'm not a huge fan of Luminarch Ascension because you need to wait turns to activate it. I use Sacred Mesa there is a trade off of sacing a token every turn but with Serra's Sanctum it's rarely an issue. I understand if you don't want to make this trade it's not for everyone.
Chrizz on Zirda, the Dawnwaker
2 years ago
Hey RelinquishedAttempts, thanks for your comment!
I can understand how this deck may seem a bit all over the place. I definitely took it in a different directions than most people do. Most people either use infinite combo's using Basalt Monolith and/or Grim Monolith, or they focus more on equipments. I think both of these strategies are not very interesting. My deck focusses on non-tap abilities that are made cheaper by Zirda to get a lot of value. Because of this, the deck includes many cards you normally don't see because the activation cost is too expensive. Some cards I just find cool to play, for example Chained to the Rocks is usually worse than Swords to Plowshares, but I just like the flavor of the former more. Likewise, Hundred-Handed One is not a very strong card, but it does have some synergy with Zirda, and I just think it's a very funny card. With that said, there may well be some cards I will swap later on, once I've played some more games with this deck (I have only played this deck in four games, due to covid).
As for your suggestions, Brion Stoutarm indeed seems out of place in this deck, since its cost is not reduced by Zirda. For this reason, I have definitely considered removing it, however, there are quite a lot of ways to get big creatures in this deck, for example: Evra, Halcyon Witness, Dark Depths, Phyrexian Processor, Custodi Soulbinders, Ignition Team, Clockwork Dragon, Wine of Blood and Iron, Mirage Mirror, Captivating Crew etc. But like I said, I should really play some more games and decide whether it fits well enough or not.
Dawn of Hope and Sacred Mesa could indeed work quite well. I'm personally not a huge fan of making many small tokens, so I don't want to center my deck around that, but some of them are fine. If after some more playing I discover that a card really doesn't work well, I will consider adding these instead.
As for Gerrard's Battle Cry, it seems almost strictly better than Leonin Sun Standard, however, I don't like having old-bordered cards in my decks. That's just a style thing, if it was reprinted I would definitely add it.
The meta in my playgroup is quite slow, so that's why the average CMC of this deck is a bit higher than what most would consider ideal, but in our meta, you really need to have a strong late game.
You also mentioned the price of the deck. The prices listed on tappedout are way higher than what I paid in Europe. For example, I paid €8 for Smothering Tithe, not $24. I paid €3 for Sword of the Animist instead of $12, and only €3 for Braid of Fire instead of $17.
I also took a look at your deck. I don't quite understand why you have so many direct damage spells, they don't really synergize as far as I can tell. Consequently, I also don't think the spell copying fits that well. Maybe your meta is more reactive than mine, but in my meta this would not make much sense.
I also see some cards that I have considered, but ultimately rejected. (Planar Bridge, Umbral Mantle, Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient), the reasonings are explained in the description of my deck. I have also considered Rings of Brighthearth, but decided against it because the value is usually not that high in my deck, because most abilities are non-tap abilities and activating the ability again is often cheaper or the same cost as paying the 2 mana. Staff of Domination was rejected for a similar reason, I think the value is just not that great in my deck (the life-gain is meh, most abilities are non-tap, so untapping is not necessary, and drawing a card for 3 is not great).
Furthermore I noticed that your deck has some equipment synergy (Stonehewer Giant, Godo, Bandit Warlord and Open the Armory) even though your deck only contains 4 equipments.
I think a big difference between our decks is that my deck has mostly non-tap abilities, and yours has more tap abilities. This explain why you put in cards like Manifold Key, Staff of Domination, Umbral Mantle and Voltaic Key
Neither strategy is wrong of course, but if there is one thing I would recommend, it is to reconsider whether the direct damage spells in your deck make sense. Thanks again for your comment and your suggestions. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
RelinquishedAttempts on Zirda, the Dawnwaker
2 years ago
I have bit to say about your Zirda deck as a fellow Zirda deck user. Some of your reasoning confuses me, but you do you I guess. Also, I suck at wording some things, and I don't want to explain everything, so I'm sorry if I sound rude and stuff. I understand that you won a game with Brion Stoutarm, but I don't think it really fits your deck. Evra is the only card in there that seems to work with it, but even then it's sorta iffy since Zirda doesn't interact with Brion either. You don't have any tutors in your deck and that means that you can't make consistent board states, at least in this context, meaning Brion could just be a wasted slot. I don't really understand your deck that much. It seems somewhat focused on doing some sort of aggro-ability strat where you make tokens and stuff, but I think that you can do some more interesting things, but I guess that just comes from the fact that I am more of a control player than an aggro player. However, some cards that you should look at to help your strat are Dawn of Hope or Sacred Mesa (instead of Custodi Soulbinders). Custodi kinda just is entirely out-classed by Dawn of Hope and Sacred Mesa because the latter two are enchantments that are harder to remove than creatures and aren't based on counters and have a cheaper casting cost. Gerrard's Battle Cry would be really good too. Looking at your deck, your group probably doesn't have much board interaction, but you should add some(kill/destroy spells and stuff). I don't know how my Zirda deck would compare to yours in an actual game, seeing as to how you have some cards I wish I had(I ain't that rich) and we went down different paths, but I like mine more (obviously I guess), I don't fully understand my deck either, but I think it's mainly about value, though I have some stupid things in there because I thought of doing some sorcery damage stuff but that is pointless and doesn't synergize with Zirda or the rest of my deck. I used to have Basalt Monolith too, but I also took it out because it was cheesy. If you were to look at my deck, it isn't what I want it to be because I just ordered cards and I'm not going to update it until I actually have them, but I don't know. I just think your deck is somewhat strange. I need to improve my deck too. Writing this comment makes me feel really scatterbrained because the entire time I was trying to think about your deck and my deck and if I should talk about some cards you should remove or not. In any case, good luck out there.
tripod62 on Be Fruitful and Multiply
2 years ago
-1 Swords to Plowshares +1 Path to Exile
This change is minimal but I have been facing many ramp decks recently and the lifegain from Swords to Plowshares has been more relevant than I like.
-1 Sacred Mesa +1 Cathars' Crusade
Sacred Mesa can be a powerhouse but as the commander format continues to speed up it never seems to do enough when I get it into play. I have replaced it with a card that should have been in my deck years ago.
-1 Wolfbriar Elemental +1 Tooth and Nail
I can see Wolfbriar Elemental finding its way back in the deck if it becomes more focussed on generating large amounts of green mana. However, for now it is the casualty of Tooth and Nail which makes this deck more consistent and allows wins on the spot by grabbing Craterhoof Behemoth & Avenger of Zendikar
-1 Fresh Meat +1 Qasali Pridemage
The pridemage is easily tutorable removal in a deck with limited interaction. I found myself holding mana up for Fresh Meat that often would go unused when the wrath I was playing around never came. This change helps improve one of the decks overall goals of being more proactive.
-1 Llanowar Elves +1 Concordant Crossroads
I hate to see llanowar go but he's low impact and Concordant Crossroads is the opposite, allowing the decks combos to go off immediately and win before opponents have a chance to react. It is to be saved only for winning the game as it also gives your opponents haste.
Hi_diddly_ho_neighbor on Inniaz: Aces High
2 years ago
There actually are a large amount of flying token generators in . Luminarch Ascension, Sacred Mesa, Entreat the Angels, and Emeria Angel are among the best. There is also Thopter Spy Network, Sharding Sphinx, Migratory Route, and Stolen by the Fae.
You also might want to consider Anointed Procession, Cathars' Crusade, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, or Divine Visitation if your budget allows for those cards.
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