Soul Stair Expedition
Landfall Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may put a quest counter on Soul Stair Expedition.
Remove three quest counters from Soul Stair Expedition and sacrifice it: Return up to two target creature cards from your graveyard to your hand.
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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Latest Decks as Commander
Soul Stair Expedition Discussion
18 hours ago
Other than the 1-of Eternity Vessel, I don't really see what the lifegain part of this deck is meant to be doing. There's no other payoffs other than that, and it seems like it's just hurting the deck, since it's playing bad cards that happen to have lifegain. If you're not too attached to that part, I think I would try to just cut that section out and go more fully in on the landfall theme, since that's the more supported half, so the deck isn't getting pulled in too many directions.
That said, trying to be a more midrange-ish deck with the landfall theme to be able to close out the game seems like it might be alright in more casual settings. If that's the direction this deck is going to go in, you definitely need more interaction to be able to answer the opponent's plays.
Tomb Hex just seems like a bad card. Yes, it fits with the landfall theme, but even if you've triggered landfall, it's still worse than many other removal spells. I'd definitely think about switching that out. Doom Blade/Go for the Throat/Oblivion Ring are okay, but there are definitely better options. Fatal Push, Path to Exile, and Vindicate/Kaya's Guile/Damn as 1-2 ofs could be decent, as more versatile removal spells for a bit later in the game. The discard spells that Caerwyn mentioned are also great, and I'd definitely try to fit some Inquisitions in.
Soul Stair Expedition, Guul Draz Overseer, and Emeria Shepherd all seem like they might not be impactful enough in the deck, seeing as you don't have that high of an amount of creatures, and high creature counts in the deck is what all of those benefit from, Emeria/Stair to recur them, and Guul Draz to buff them, as well as the latter two being very expensive cmc-wise. As much as they do fit with the landfall theme, I think those are probably potential cuts. Felidar Retreat seems like it would be higher impact, and gives you some more cards to fit the landfall theme, you could maybe try that one? Fearless Fledgling might also be decent, and is pretty low cmc.
Also, I know you had a budget for the deck, but there's still some cheapr dual lands you could play that would fit in it. Stuff like Shineshadow Snarl or Caves of Koilos is relatively cheap, and could probably help your mana a bit.
Definitely take this with a grain of salt, as there is some subjectively in building stuff like this, and no 'correct' deck, but I think I would try going with something like this:
4x Caves of Koilos
3x Mind Stone
3x Emeria Angel
3x Night's Whisper
4x Evolving Wilds
3x Fatal Push
3x Fearless Fledgling
3x Felidar Retreat
4x Inquisition of Kozilek
2x Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
4x Path to Exile
1x Retreat to Hagra
4x Shineshadow Snarl
6 months ago
Here is an interesting article on lands (CMC0 Artifacts are lands) https://edhrec.com/articles/superior-numbers-land-counts/
Topic: Card Advantage! (There's lots of discussion on this if you search it, it can be a bit complicated, but ultimately, it means playing more cards than your opponent, in this deck, bringing multiple creatures back again and again is a way, draw is key, you don't ever want an empty hand)
Staying on theme with draw:
Skullclamp is going to be a necessity with your afterlife mechanic and hopefully a Teysa Karlov . Turn creature advantage into card advantage (yes Teysa Karlov make 2x spirits for afterlife 1, and then draws 4! cards when it dies).
Grim Haruspex is a common way to get some draw in and very well suited.
Viscera Seer is another way to get advantage, protect creatures from being exiled or stolen, as well as turn creature advantage into scry and hopefully draw with another ability on-board. This also means if you have recursion in hand but nothing to target, you can make a target.
Village Rites can be ok, if you're holding recursion to, or in response to someone unfavorably blocking your creature or if you just need to dig for an answer. It's not my favorite because its one-shot though.
Midnight Reaper is another way to utilize your deathtouch to remove opponents creatures and refill your hand.
There are some other guys, maybe not within your deathtouch theme, so maybe not right for you Reassembling Skeleton , Bloodghast (kind of like a Soul Stair Expedition effect but on a creature. Check out this deck for more guys like this, Yawgmoth Thran Physician EDH, if interested.
There's also some ways to utilize your life total to draw, Bolas's Citadel is amazing (can win games or get you back in them), Necropotence (it's really good if you've never used it, Greed or Arguel's Blood Fast Flip (crappy greed). You have some draw, Eg. Priest of Forgotten Gods , but I would get at minimum 8 draw mechanics into the deck, staying on theme, up to 12 is even good.
Liliana, Dreadhorde General does this pretty good too, and has a nice ultimate but is pricey ($20?), Phyrexian Arena is a classic ($12), Avoid anything with an activation costs on a triggered ability like Mentor of the Meek (static like Greed is ok).
Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord really fits your recursion theme, think he like $2 now, he doesn't draw cards, but gives all your guys lifelink and allows you to recur multiple creatures, and has lifelink himself for the +2 pinging ability.
This sort of led into another Topic: Winning
The most common way for to win is Gray Merchant of Asphodel and recurring him, multiple times. Torment of Hailfire is nice, but you need much more land/ramp. Command the Dreadhorde is really strong too, if you can get a little bit extra life and have protected your life with your deathtouch, can get a bunch of strong/deathtouch back for relatively low life, even hits opponents graveyard.
Not sure i like the payoff for God-Pharaoh's Statue by the time you get there, your opponents will have ramped ( especially) enough mana to pay it.
Archetype of Finality is also not a great payoff for the mana cost, I would rather Command the Dreadhorde or Bolas's Citadel anytime. Plus many of your creatures have or can get deathtouch by themselves.
Just replace some key payoffs and you'll find your high CMC spell require a response from other players. Lots of ways to get there, whatever you like based on the theme.
I'll do one more post tomorrow with some other specific card evals, but quite a bit there. Trying to recommend some cuts as well as I go, I know it can be just as difficult deciding what to cut as it is for what to play.
Staying Low-Mid (battlecruiser/low) means you probably dont need a tutor package, but I'll give some ideas on the interaction package which you'll still need to answer some things your opponents are doing. Check back later. Happy reading :)
6 months ago
Ok, here's a little bit of analysis to consider. Break it up into some comments to read. These are opinions based on experience, playing and watching lots of commander content over the years, doesn't account for your specific playstyle or how you have fun playing commander which are certainly as important of decisions, as is card selection.
You are very low in the mana curve, 11 1-drop, 21 2-drop, 15 3-drop, 16 4-drop, and Orzhov () has lots of pips, but mana ramp is critical to getting your plan onboard as quickly as others, having mana available to advance board state/gain advantage and have interaction, and landing your larger threats sooner.
Sol Ring (CMC1 for 2 = +1 mana) is a must include.
Orzhov Signet I personally don't like (CMC3 for 1 = -2 mana) but also you're in which doesn't ramp as it's core strength.
Arcane Signet (CMC2 for 1 = -1 mana) is a must include, there are only a few archetypes I wouldn't play this in and usually only .
Talisman of Hierarchy (CMC2 for 1 = -1 mana) is a must include in .
I would start with that at least, some fringe ones I like are: Burnished Hart (creature/recursion), Commander's Sphere (draw), Mycosynth Wellspring (to hand, fringe), Pristine Talisman (lifegain, fringe), Solemn Simulacrum (ramp+draw!), The Birth of Meletis (doesn't help with , but ramp, 0/4 blocker, lifegain? it has it all!), Wayfarer's Bauble (ramp).
On a premise of battlecruiser/low/mid power 3-6 I DO NOT recommend these, but there are stronger options out there beyond 6: Phyrexian Altar (combo builds), Mana Vault , Mana Crypt , Chrome Mox , Smothering Tithe , Land Tax (Might not be bad in this build)
Honestly on a Avg. CMC 2.99 mana curve, I would likely have 10-12 ramp.
Some potential cuts for these:
Gorgon's Head you've got plenty of deathtouch already, it's not pairing with a Viridian Longbow strategy or anything, it's redundant, but also the worst. Easy cut. (We can get to Open the Armory / Steelshaper's Gift later)
Pierce Strider CMC4 for a 3/3 is just plain bad, the idea is play, do 3 damage, block/sac it, noone going to pay 3 to prevent it? but they will because it's going to do 3 anyway on return, and if your using recursion on this, your making the wrong play as it has no value engine on it. Easy cut.
Creeping Chill for CMC4 sorcery is not great, you're not playing a mill strategy so you're not really casting it for free often. It's not a strong play, we can find better ones, like ramping into Athreos, God of Passage sooner.
Font of Return for CMC6? Yikes. (CMC2+CMC4 for 3 creatures to hand is not great, we can get them on the battlefield for that high a CMC).
Angelic Gift hmm we have flyers, with deathtouch, it replaces itself (draw a card) but unless we flickering it ( Ephemerate or Brago, King Enternal something like that, it sets up easy 2-for-1 if an opponent has instand speed removal.
Topic: Lands! (Umm!)
Average Distribution Build: 38 lands
Average Budget Build: 36 lands
Average Expensive Build: 37 lands
Average Aristocrats Build: 35 lands
Average Reanimator Build: 31 lands (closer)
Your Build: 30 lands (Umm!)
No way you can run 30 lands, and 0 ramp in this deck. I wouldn't shuffle this deck with less than 33 lands, probably 34-36 if I'm playing enters tapped/utility lands. I might (maybe not) go to 33 lands with 9+ ramp spells, but even then, 34 would feel better.
Do you have a combo with Piranha Marsh like Worldgorger Dragon does, if not, just delaying yourself for little value (1 damage). Kabira Crossroads in this same bucket, it's just not work the tapped mana.
Let's be honest, lands SUCK, they are too expensive! Here is a list of lands you should look at:
Lands I don't suggest: Evolving Wilds / Terramorphic Expanse (<$1 fixed color), Scoured Barrens (<$1 fixed color), Isolated Chapel ($6, Not bad but not T1 land), Myriad Landscape (<$1, slow), Temple of Silence (<$1, scry/slow).
Have to head out, I'll review more topics and recs later, but here are some other cards can come out for mana. Gorgon Flail it's on theme and not bad, but let's get that Basilisk Collar or Quietus Spike instead. Soul Stair Expedition I would rather Animate Dead or Reanimate to the battlefield right away, not have to wait for lands (it still sacrifices itself). Not Forgotten we have better removal. Have to head out now! More later to read. :) If it's too much info, let me know!
11 months ago
Cards you could add for added devotion in place of those cards.
1 year ago
Gideon, Champion of Justice could be a sleeper all star. make him huge, then make him a creature the following turn, steal some of his loyalty counters to pay for tayam.
Infernal Darkness could do some absolute stall work in here when you need it to.
if you lean into the tokens Beastmaster Ascension gets you free counters to devour and a combat damage win con
1 year ago
Witch's Cottage looks useful too.
You're right about Soul Stair Expedition being slow. I had a bunch of crack lands and thought it might be worth a try. I'm currently trying out Grim Discovery. Think it will be nice for digging a Stitcher's Supplier or a Carrion Feeder AND a crack land for the Bloodghast. Limited testing on that card.
I play on MTGO, so these decks are changing often!
Have quite a few play hours in. Deck runs really well.
Thanks for the advice buddy!
Lates, Das Butch
1 year ago
Hey DasButch, I like your deck! I have a few suggestions -
Rotting Regisaur is a big zombie that helps discard your Crawlers and Ghasts. Plus you can sac it if you want to stop discarding.
Soul Stair Expedition seems too slow. You want to keep stuff in the grave to boost your Diregraf Colossus, which I think you should 4 of. Why not 1-2 Unearth instead? Creature goes straight to the battlefield. Also Witch's Cottage and Castle Locthwain are good utility lands.
3 years ago
Cool Red/Black Vampires! There are currently only 4 cards you can play on turn 1. I'd recommend increasing the number of cards you can play on turn 1 by adding more 1 cost vampires (perhaps Viscera Seer, Falkenrath Gorger, Insolent Neonate, Indulgent Aristocrat, or Vampire Cutthroat). Perhaps even increasing the number of 2 cost vampires (such as Bloodghast, Gifted Aetherborn, Dusk Legion Zealot, Gatekeeper of Malakir, Kalastria Highborn and Asylum Visitor) will help your early board presence. Also there are some helpful 1 & 2 cost enchantment options (Bloodchief Ascension, Soul Stair Expedition, Call the Bloodline) or burn spells (Lightning Bolt, Feast of Blood) to start fast and get the early advantage. Otherwise you may lose before you can get your meaningful 4 cost cards onto the table. Many competitive Modern decks are able to win by about turn 4. Let us know how you do!