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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
As this enters the battlefield, note your life total.
At the beginning of your upkeep, draw a card if your life total is greater than or equal to the last noted life total for this. Then note your life total, replacing your last note.
Whenever you cast a white spell, you gain 1 life.
RiotRunner789 on Trelasarra, Counters and Lifegain
4 months ago
I've been eyeing Sigarda's Splendor for the chopping block and you've convinced me. I tend to try and avoid cutting card advantage but it's just not good enough.
I like pledge of unity but I think you're right again here.
The other sugestions for cuts I'll have to mull. Though, considering Crested Sunmare has popped up in my head as a possibility to cut probably means I'm just procrastinating.
Thank you for the suggestions. It's always these last few cards are like pulling teeth for me.
DreadKhan on Trelasarra, Counters and Lifegain
4 months ago
Pretty tough to cut things, my knee-jerk is to suggest running fewer cards that protect your board, but I'm guessing there are enough wipes in your area to justify this many copies of the effect.
I feel like if your deck is working well you might not need Sigarda's Splendor, and if it's not working well the spell probably will be turned off, this seems so-so for a 4 mana effect with access to Green. My next pick would be Pledge of Unity, this is terrible if you're already behind and might not be enough win-more to win. Not really sure how important the Hexproof is in practice from Shalai, Voice of Plenty, but making people use two removal to actually get to your Commander might be good enough. She does nothing to a wipe though. I think the last one that seems a bit suspicious to me is Crested Sunmare, it's a mix of maybe being too hard to trigger more than once per cycle with being too small of a payoff, and the Sunmare has no protection. The creatures survive some wipes, but a damage based wipe will still kill them as a after the Sunmare is dead. Obviously the card has a high ceiling but maybe cut it so you can playtest and see if you miss it/can count on triggering it on multiple end steps?
KBK7101 on Lathiel, the Bounteous Life Giver
5 months ago
I will always have a soft spot for lifegain decks. They may not be the most competitive but they remind me of when I started playing the game with the M19 Ajani planeswalker deck. They just make me smile. :)
I do have some recommendations, though:
Trostani, Selesnya's Voice might be worth looking into. Works really well with all the big creatures in the deck.
Branching Evolution is probably a "win more" kind of card but it still could be worth checking out, at least.
Sigarda's Splendor might offer some more card draw if needed. Might be a bit of a pain to keep track of on paper, though (I mainly use it in Arena).
Test of Endurance is another lifegain wincon. If you wait another month or so, its price will come down because it's getting reprinted in Dominaria Remastered. There's a borderless, full art version, too!
Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
6 months ago
1) Harsh Mercy OUT Darksteel Mutation IN
Harsh Mercy seemed like it would be amazing, but I find I don't often need to wipe the board in this deck, and usually when I considered using Mercy it was to deal with one or two problematic creatures. Unfortunately, they get to pick what they keep and can always keep something, so this turns out to be not as good as we'd think, particularly as we don't really need it to clear blockers since we fly. More targeted removal seems to be what the doctor ordered, and Darksteel Mutation can sideline problematic combo commanders. I may switch this to Fateful Absence eventually, but for now we'll go for the more durable if less flexible answer.
2) Serra Paragon IN Baneslayer Angel OUT
It should be fairly clear why this card belongs in, as it is amazing and adds on the recursion in the deck for the low cost of 4 mana. We can get her going as early as turn three! Baneslayer is iconic and fun to play, but it is higher on our curve and has never been too synergistic, so it gets the axe.
3) Karmic Guide OUT Emeria Angel IN
I was always nervous about the cmc on the latter, but others have assured me it works great, and this update is lowering my curve across the board so I can afford to raise it two for a far superior version of Guide. Emeria Angel lets us get back whatever we want turn after turn, and is a must answer value piece that can do work in the late game.
4) Angel of Invention OUT Steel Seraph IN
This change is more experimental, but the latter costs three when we cast it here, which lowers our curve by two. Its ability is really relevant and synergistic, and allows us to have lifelink the turn we cast this. I do like what I can cutting though as anthems are good here, so there is a chance I go back or re-add it down the road, but for now we are cutting the curve.
5) Sigarda's Splendor OUT Smuggler's Share IN
Smuggler's Share will no doubt be good in this deck and we need to cut a draw piece for it. I agonized on what to cut as Splendor is better in the early game and less likely to be removed, but is bad late game when it won't give us value. Vanquisher's Banner is amazing in the late game but is a bit more of a high risk, high reward sort of card here. I opted to keep banner because I feel like we need more of the latter category than the former. We'll see how it goes, though others have assured me that banner works well in the late game, and it has indeed done that where I've used it in other decks.
6) Ghost Quarter OUT Mutavault IN
While I like having the extra answer to lands, we can't afford too many colorless lands in this deck and I think this is the least needed as we also have Generous Gift. Mutavault is great obviously for the combo with The Book of Exalted Deeds, but it is also a great way to upper our counters with spare mana. If we activate it on our turn before casting any angels we'll get extra counters on said angels when they ETB. This utility can definitely make a difference over the course of the game even without making it into a Platinum Angel land, and the latter is amazing.
7) Eerie Interlude OUT Guardian of Faith IN
Interlude was always bad because you lose all of your counters on the blink since Giada would re-enter at the same time as them. Guardian is awesome because by phasing out they never leave the battlefield and thus keep all of their counters. Of course if you have Teferi's Protection do feel free to play that in place of either this or Cosmic Intervention
Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
6 months ago
Thanks for the input! I think I'll probably cut Sigarda's Splendor after all. I haven't seen Vanquisher's Banner be bad yet, so I'll keep monitoring things but it's probably better to go for the high ceiling low floor type cards when we get above 3 cmc. As for Darksteel Mutation, the key is simply having a removal place to take the spot of Harsh Mercy. I've found that several times when I had it in hand I didn't need a board wipe but did want a targeted removal. That card wasn't good for that since each player gets to pick a creature type to keep, so it went. Mutation is nice since it can sideline a commander at least temporarily, though there are ways around it. Another good option is Fateful Absence, which simply destroys a creature or planeswalker, but which can be done at instant speed. Either way, it doesn't have to be integral, we just want to up the efficient removal with this slot.
As for other cards, my thoughts are as follows. Linvala, Keeper of Silence is the easiest because this card has saved my bacon more times than I can recount, and has been a true all star for me. I expected her to be fine but she's been a real star. Angel of Jubilation is also solid. We're always happy to have the anthem and when her second ability comes into play we'll be very glad we have her as she shuts down some of the more degenerate shenanigans in the format. Search for Glory is another easy one, and is a very underrated card. We have a lot of amazing legends here, and she can tutor all of them. One which I have used multiple times is tutoring Sephara, Sky's Blade and then immediately playing her for .
Together Forever is a board protection piece and the theory on it is good. I haven't seen it as often as other cards, but when I have I've played it, used it, and been glad to have it. It doesn't stop our pieces from being destroyed per se, but it does preserve the cards themselves for the cheap cost of per card. The biggest danger in this deck is getting blown out with an empty hand, and this ensures that we can at least have a hand if we play carefully. It is also good in less dramatic situations though. When I've enjoyed it most is when I've used it to save Sephara, Sky's Blade only to immediately replay her for the next turn, something that vexed my opponents greatly. Now if I were putting Avacyn in I could consider cutting this card since it is in the same category (sort of), but I've found it to be good and plan on keeping it for the time being. Starnheim Unleashed in this deck is the sort of token splashy card that allows for a big play that can put us over the top. It's not critical to the function of the deck, but where it is good it is generally pretty great. The ceiling is to play it with Crashing Drawbridge on the board or to flash it out on the end step right before our turn with Emergence Zone, where the element of surprise can take over the game. That being said, if you wanted to slot Luminarch Ascension in, something I have thought about doing, it could go in place of this as it has a similar function in terms of being able to pump out a massive amount of angel tokens. Luminarch Ascension has added value as a permanent since it can generate angels repeatedly for small mana. It'd downside is that there is no element of surprise. Our opponents will instantly know the threat it poses and will likely work to remove it as quickly as they can, possibly before we get to activate it at all. I think both cards are good and can justify a place in the deck, though I wouldn't say either is essential.
Angel of Condemnation is a card that I have pondered cutting and haven't really used too much in my playtesting so far, though it's certainly not bad and the theory on it is good. It's one of those cards with a lot of utility. On the one hand it is a removal piece, and a think we can use extra mana on at instant speed to repeatedly disrupt our opponents. Often we shouldn't need to exert him. Just blinking our opponents degenerate piece on their upkeep will generally keep them from exploiting it during their turn. Of course if we do exert him we can sideline a piece until an opponent removes him, and usually only the opponent who owns the degenerate piece will be willing to do so. This card can also be useful on our own stuff. We'll be happy to blink Sanctuary Warden for an extra card sometimes, or maybe blink any of our creatures to gain life off of Bishop of Wings and make an angel token off of Resplendent Angel or put some counters on stuff with Archangel of Thune. I've played enough blink decks to know that we tend to find all sorts of synergies like this if we have a card like this one in the deck and are looking for them.
Needless to say I am pretty happy with the list in general, and most of the cards I haven't liked I've cut. This doesn't mean we can't cut these or any other cards, but the threshold of a new card needs to be high for me to consider it.
kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
6 months ago
I was able to use Darksteel Mutation twice last week and at first it seemed amazing. However, both players I used it against were able to use copy effects to get their commander "back" and keep going. I don't think it's integral to deck performance yet.
I personally removed Sigarda's Splendor for my trial run last week. While it does fit thematically with the deck I didn't get sufficient lifegain out of it and drawing the card on next turn and only once per turn didn't provide enough value over the course of the game. If we cast it turn 4 we should start slow playing turn 5+ since we're expecting a board wipe. That means we're holding up cards in hand and playing cards for value or leaving mana up for answers. We're not really storming off with a bunch of white weenies to gain a bunch of life so the lifegain is incremental. That means if someone else is playing big creatures and swings at us and we don't want to chump with an angel, then we lose the card draw. I put it in the same category as Court of Grace which at least gives us the card at end of turn and provides us with a 4/4 body on upkeep rather than the card. Even if we lose monarch, we still get 1/1 bodies that can play into our favor with sufficient anthems. Furthermore, when an opponent has monarch they usually get targeted so another opponent can steal it.
I was initially against Thorough Investigation as it just seemed so slow. But when we're in mid-game and holding mana up for answers, it's nice to use the spare mana to crack clues if we don't use our answers. One time, after a board wipe and I was only holding angels to rebuild I cracked 3 clues on opponent's end step which just gave me so much more gas. The scry from Dungeon of the Mad Mage was highly useful as we don't have that ability otherwise. I even finished the dungeon one game but only got a Youthful Valkyrie off it. Being able to crack these clues convinced me that Luminarch Ascension needs to be slotted in. We could use spare 2 mana to dump out a 4/4 Angel on end steps after a board wipe and just start swinging.
Mangara, the Diplomat was pretty useful the 2 games I got it out. In game 2, I drew 4 for 4 mana and another game drew 2 before a board wipe. It also doesn't draw out the single target removal as our angels are usually the bigger target.
Vanquisher's Banner was also pretty useful the 2 games I got it out. In game 2, I drew 5 for 5 mana and another game drew 3 before the game ended.
Well of Lost Dreams was never played in the 10 games I played. It definitely has a place as it has a high ceiling but it's a dead card in hand without any lifegain on board.
While we're on the topic of replacements I was wondering how the following cards have been working for you:
Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
6 months ago
I am hoping for some community feedback on something. My plan has been to cut Harsh Mercy for Darksteel Mutation, as I found the former didn't help much, and in situations where I wanted it more single target removal was what I wanted. Mutation can also sideline annoying combo commanders, and so I intend to add it. I also intended to add Smuggler's Share in place of another card draw piece, but have had trouble deciding which one. Currently Smuggler's Share is in in place of Harsh Mercy since those situations are set, but I need to go back and cut the draw piece so I can put Darksteel Mutation in. Here are the options as I see them-
Critics of my earliest list didn't seem to care for this card, but I've found it to perform well. It is 3 cmc, which makes it a perfect turn three play, and it allows us to net clue tokens for free every turn since we are pretty much always attacking. Additionally, replacing this with Smuggler's Share wouldn't do anything to lower our curve, whereas cutting a pricier card would. While we do, of course, have to pay each time we want to sac one for a card, I've found that we can often do this and are often happy to do so. With our low curve we often may want to hold mana open for removal, Lapse of Certainty, board protection pieces like Cosmic Intervention, and even creatures with flash. If we don't need to do any I have often been glad to make use of it by drawing cards on my opponent's end step right before my turn. I've also found this card incredible in a blowout. When everything has been destroyed, it is great to be able to spend a bunch of mana and re-draw our hand to keep in the game. It has saved my game at least once. As such I think I am least inclined to cut this one, but I am putting it out there as it is still nowhere near the most superior tier of card draw, which in this deck would be Mask of Memory.
When playing with Mangara I have found him to be a powerful draw engine. His first ability rarely comes into play since I usually have big vigilant blockers that deter attacks. Still, it is there. His second ability has been amazing though. In my playgroup at least, most players are casting at least two spells per turn by the mid game, and I have got a lot of cards off of him. I've found his lifelink ability situationally good as well, since his toughness allows him to attack more often than one might think. The weaknesses of Mangara are that he costs four mana, which is more than we like to pay for an engine piece, and that as a creature he is arguably the most fragile permanent type. I haven't found in my experience that he gets hit with targeted removal too much since I usually have more threatening pieces on the board which draw that. He does die to board wipes though, which is not really true of most of our other draw pieces. That being said, when he dies to board wipes, I have usually already drawn several cards off of him, justifying the four cmc I put him on the board with. As with Thorough Investigation I am not inclined to cut him, but he is four cmc and thus deserves to be considered.
Some might consider it a heresy of sorts that I even suggest cutting this card as it is a staple draw engine in most tribal decks. In my mono-green elf deck it is incredible and makes for one heck of a draw engine. It essentially turns every angel we cast into a cantrip- we draw a card to replace it. We'll usually draw at least one card during our turn off of it, and sometimes we'll draw two. There is also the anthem, which we always appreciate in an aggro deck even if we don't need it. That being said, it's nowhere near as good here as in my elf deck. There I have gratuitous amounts of mana, more creatures than lands, and very cheap creatures, allowing the card to take over the game if not answered. Here our resources are more limited, the 5cmc is felt more, and our ceiling isn't so high. We therefore have to more carefully consider the downsides. The most obvious is that at 5cmc this is our most expensive draw piece. Paired with that, it is a pretty fragile permanent type, as players tend to pack lots of artifact hate. Moreover, this is precisely the type of permanent players tend to remove, as it keeps our tank full of gas in the long run just by doing what our deck does. The floor for this card is that our opponents blow it up before we draw a single card off of it, putting us back a turn at a point we can't afford that. It would be worth it if we could play it and draw two cards off of it the first turn, but at 5 that this is highly unlikely, meaning it has to survive a turn or two before we can get a return on our investment. Also, this is just a personal consideration, but if I cut it I can put it in my Trynn and Silvar deck where I think it will do great work and draw less hate. This card as such is much higher on the cut list than the prior two.
At the outset it is worth mentioning that this card has a bit of a symbiosis with the last card on the list. When I initially made this deck one focus was on using lifegain for card draw, but since then two of these life-draw pieces, Dawn of Hope and Cosmos Elixir have been cut. As such, cutting either of these last two cards would pretty much eliminate this theme. With that noted, onto the card. This card has almost always been on the chopping block as I revise the deck, but so far it has always made it through, and not for nothing. To begin with, as an enchantment it is a more resilient permanent type. People tend to pack less enchantment removal, and when they have it in hand they are wise to use it on truly game-winning enchantments. I always chuckle inwardly while playing my Teysa deck when someone blows a Disenchant effect on one of my mana rocks just before I play Necropotence or Bolas's Citadel. Needless to say, if they have it they probably aren't wasting it on this card, which will probably last the whole game. This card is essentially an Angel's Feather stapled to a Phyrexian Arena, albeit without the life loss and with a limitation on the draw instead. As such its ceiling is simply drawing a card every turn and gaining some life. It's floor, on the other hand, is just having an over-costed Angel's Feather on the field, which is still just fine. This card as such furthers two of our gameplans- life gain and card draw, and as we cast lots of white spells it will gain us quite a bit of life, especially if Angel of Vitality is on the field. I've found it almost always draws me the card as well. This card will almost never wow us, but Phyrexian Arena continues to be a staple card not because it wows us but because drawing an extra card per turn turns out to be pretty great. Another argument in favor of this card, and this has only to do with flavor, is that it belongs in an angels deck. We have both Bruna and Gisela in the deck, so if we can't have Sigarda herself we might as well have one of her spells. You can also pick up a beautiful, full art foil of this card for about a buck, making it a cosmetic delight. As such I am pretty reluctant to cut this, though I have always considered it.
I have wanted to play this card forever, and this deck was the first commander deck where I had enough life gain to make it worthwhile. I think in considering this card, we need to do a ceiling-floor-middle analysis. The ceiling for this card is incredibly high. We swing in with a crazy amount of lifelink damage, and then dump our mana into drawing a ton of cards. The floor is like with Vanquisher's Banner- we play it turn four and it immediately gets blown up before we draw a single card. Even then, we spent four mana on it and not five. The middle though is really good though, as at per card we will draw lots of cards even with small lifelinkers, and this could arguably be called the most powerful draw piece in the deck for that reason. As an artifact, it is a pretty fragile permanent type and will likely be targeted for removal. That being said, the mid to late game comparison to Vanquisher's Banner is useful. Let's say I have eight mana available and a single big lifelinker in the air. I can play this for four, swing, and then immediately draw four cards off of it when I gain the life. This will usually have made the turn worth it even if the card gets blown up afterwards, and of course, of it does not get blown up, we'll probably win that game. Banner on the other hand would draw us one card if we could cast an angel after it, but wouldn't do much more than that. As such, given this card performs well at most levels, I think it's more likely than not that I keep it in, but it is on the list.
Guerric on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
6 months ago
I just haven't decided which one to pull for it. It will probably be Sigarda's Splendor, I am just pondering it a bit, and I knew I wanted Harsh Mercy out and Smuggler's Share in so it was just a temporary measure. I am also going to put Emeria Shepherd in for Karmic Guide, I just haven't physically moved the cards yet. I try not to change anything here until I do it in the physical deck otherwise I lose track of things. I'll probably post a full update once changes are finalized.
|Have (2)||Galdelonian , orzhov_is_relatively_okay819|
|Want (3)||Amaterasu312 , Lunar_Wing , Jayce_Ran|