Creature — Bird
Afterlife 1 (When this creature dies, create a 1/1 white and black Spirit creature token with flying.)
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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Latest Decks as Commander
Syndicate Messenger Discussion
1 year ago
I was thinking Deathpact Angel because it has a high CMC and doesn't seem very important to the deck's theme.
Pillory of the Sleepless is okay control but I think you have enough other control and life-loss cards in the deck that losing it wouldn't cause much harm.
Syndicate Messenger is okay, but it's a bit expensive for its Afterlife and flying. Of course, flying is always important in any deck, especially when you run white, but taking advantage of Afterlife in cheaper creatures (which create double the tokens with Teysa) fulfill that part of the deck. (Check out my deck for examples if you want)
Knight of Sorrows is also a little too expensive to be fairly valued for its Afterlife.
Karmic Guide is extremely expensive, especially with its echo cost, and only provides a bit of recursion.
I think it's fair to replace Yawgmoth's Vile Offering with Bone Splinters or Spark Harvest because they provide the same removal and Yawgmoth's Vile Offering only has one card of recursion more than they do and costs more to cast. You could also take out Utter End Vindicate, or Mortify for the similar reason of simply lowering your average CMC.
Also, Worn Powerstone is not a very good mana rock, but it's in for a totally different purpose than the cards I recommended so of course if you need that mana then keep it in.
Hope this was helpful! I really like your take on Teysa!
2 years ago
Okay, so after looking at this deck for a while, considering its sideboard, and adding some cards that I use often for similar strategies, I've come up with a list of edits (well, actually three lists).
Before I get to those, I would like to explain what I found. Firstly, I like the idea behind the deck. Token strategies are always a great way to make a casual deck that can scale to be for optimized. I love the afterlife keyword as it lends itself to this optimization really well. But there were several less-than-savory card choices in here. The two biggest issues that I saw are ones that I see a lot (and full into too). The first of these is that many cards have a very high cost-to-value ratio. That is, there were several cards that cost too much (mana) and do too little for it. Elgaud Inquisitor is a fantastic example. While Elgaud Inquisitor is on-theme with their on-death triggered ability, that is all they have going for them. The lifelink isn't super useful, and the CMC is WAY too high. They are only a 2/2 too boot. Second off, theme isn't the same as function. I understand that there is a vorthos element to this deck, but since this deck isn't a full tribal deck, I think it's better to focus on ways to make the good parts of the theme work great.
I saw lots of cards that were life gaining cards ( Pontiff of Blight , Impassioned Orator , Riot Control , etc). This deck can make a lot of tokens which Tesya gives lifelink. You need not worry about life gain card. The strength of your creatures that make tokens when they die is that you can easily recur them in W/B. In the lists below, there are many cards that give added value to dying creature or make killing your creatures more ways to die. Lastly and most importantly, you had ZERO ramp and ALMOST NO card draw. THESE ARE THE TWO MOST FUNDAMENTAL ASSPECTS IN EDH!!! You NEED to have them!!! You can not rely solely on the one land drop and card draw. I've listed several cards that assist the main strategy and draw you cards (things like Dredge and Altar's Reap ). As for ramp, there is almost no good ramp outside of green. That only means that you have to look harder. Mana rocks are a must. I only have three in the lists, but they are absolute must-haves. Next, I put in several cards that give you mana in other ways. Most of them align themselves with the main strategy ( Ashnod's Altar , Soldevi Adnate , and Pawn of Ulamog to name a few). Similarly, I added cards that draw you cards from creatures dying. There is one card that I would like to point out in particular, Erebos . The important part of Erebos is his last ability. You pay and 2 life to draw a card. Life is a resource, and you'll be making plenty of it. Be sure to spend it. There are lots of cards that help you turn life into various things, like Bolas's Citadel (which I almost put in and still think has a place here). I would encourage you to look into them. Lastly, I would remove 6 lands. You have other ramp now and don't want to be flooded all of the time.
Here is the list of cards that I would remove:
- Healer of the Pride
- Kitsune Healer
- Mausoleum Guard
- Seraph of the Scales
- Seraph of the Sword
- Syndicate Messenger
- Guardian of the Gateless
- Knight of Sorrows
- Lumbering Battlement
- Orzhov Racketeers
- Angelic Skirmisher
- Deathpact Angel
- Patron of the Kitsune
- Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant / Rune-Tail's Essence
- Knight of the Last Breath
- Angelic Edict
- Angelic Exaltation
- Holy Mantle
- Angel of Despair
- Impassioned Orator
- Pontiff of Blight
- Riot Control
- War Report
- Safe Passage
- Orzhov Charm
- Lingering Souls
- Spectral Procession
- Kindred Dominance
- Ethereal Absolution
- Phantom General
- Treasury Thrull
- Sky Tether
I understand that there is a budget to this deck, so I've split my suggestions into two lists. The first is all cards that are cheap and should keep you under budget. The second list of cards is for later edits. If you want to spend more money on this deck, those are the cards that I would recommend buying.
- Altar's Reap
- Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim
- Butcher of Malakir
- Demon of Dark Schemes
- Doomed Dissenter
- Grim Haruspex
- Merciless Resolve
- Open the Graves
- Orzhov Signet
- Pawn of Ulamog
- Pitiless Plunderer
- Rescue from the Underworld
- Soldevi Adnate
- Talisman of Hierarchy
- Whisper, Blood Liturgist
- Burnished Hart
- Living Death
- Phyrexian Reclamation
- Priest of Forgotten Gods
- Sun Titan
- Viscera Seer
- Command Tower
As you're read through these, you might notice that a lot of these came from your sideboard. There are lots of good cards in there.
- Ashnod's Altar
- Black Market
- Crypt Ghast
- Dictate of Erebos
- Divine Visitation
- Erebos, God of the Dead
- Grave Pact
- Hallowed Spiritkeeper
- Krav, the Unredeemed
- Oversold Cemetery
- Phyrexian Arena
- Smothering Tithe
- Sol Ring
I hope you enjoy these changes. Just remember that casual decks don't have to be un-optimized.
2 years ago
I hear you on all points, especially on the Syndicate Messenger ... it's shockingly bad. I'll try sub'ing it out for something else in-block for the moment [going for style points] but if that doesn't work it will likely become a Doomed Traveler or something else more efficient.
No Mercy is a great sub, here's to hoping I can find one at a decent price :)
2 years ago
2 years ago
Tweaks to Lands
The most important thing to change first is the mana base. You might be able to get away with less than 24 lands ultimately, maybe 23 or even 22 if you lower your mana curve, but I'd start with the default of 24 and tweak from there.
You might also consider more mana fixing than a single dual playset, such as fetchlands ( Evolving Wilds ) or Ash Barrens . There's also Azorius Chancery . Since you run so many creatures, you might also be able to benefit from Holdout Settlement .
Other than mana-fixing, some people also like cycling lands, as they can help you draw more useful cards when you get mana-flooded (like Lonely Sandbar and Secluded Steppe ). For control decks, Halimar Depths is a useful way to set up your draws. You can opt for incidental lifegain on lands like Kabira Crossroads , but I'd honestly stick with basic Plains, because you don't want too many lands that enter tapped.
I noticed that more than one of your cards had an effect like "target creature an opponent controls doesn’t untap during its controller’s next untap step". If you wanted to focus you deck on that type of strategy, you could consider Skyline Cascade .
So what to cut to make room for 8 more lands?
I'd cut most of the creatures that are considered "vanilla" or "French vanilla", i.e. have no abilities or only basic keyword abilities like Flying or Lifelink. You want as many of your creatures as possible to DO something other than just being a warm body. So:
-1 Coral Commando
-1 Daybreak Chaplain
-1 Humongulus (also, you want 5+ mana spells to have more of an impact than this)
-1 Knight of the Tusk (same deal as with Humongulus)
-1 Mesa Unicorn
-1 Sky Ruin Drake (same deal as with Humongulus)
-1 Talon Trooper
You could also considering cutting Sunspring Expedition , since effects that solely grant lifegain are generally considered not worth running (incidental lifegain, on the other hand, can be great).
I'd also consider cutting Nimbus Wings , since most of your creatures already have flying.
After making some of the above cuts and additions, really what you want to think about is what is your deck trying to DO. You want to have a unified strategy.
For instance, right now you have creatures like Civic Stalwart , Haazda Officer , Pegasus Courser , and Vedalken Mesmerist that want you to be on the offensive. But you also have creatures with low power / high toughness (several of the ones I suggested you cut, actually), Syndicate Messenger (which makes for a great blocker), and Wall of Mist that want your deck to be defensive.
I think before we can make further suggestions, you'll need to better nail down the direction you want to take the deck — offensive flyers? high-toughness blockers and other stalling techniques to get to your win-con?
2 years ago
I looked at the Orzhov deck and I think that Teysa Karlov is the key to making it work if you want to use sacrafice effects to make it worth it. Until she is in play, killing your own creatures for bonus effects, even when you are getting afterlife triggers, will usually leave you behind because you wont have much card draw. I would focus mostly on cheap creatures with afterlife, and avoid creatures that force you to sacrifice to get good value out of them.
I don't really like the value added by Basilica Bell-Haunt , Forbidding Spirit , or Grasping Thrull . Similarly Knight of Sorrows and Orzhov Racketeers seem a little too expensive to be worth their stats/afterlife triggers. I also think that Knight of the Last Breath is too expensive and his sacrafice ability is expensive and specific to non token creatures, but it might be worth running 1 of him as a late game way to blow up all of your afterlife creatures once you have a Teysa Karlov and Vindictive Vampire in play. The Teysa Karlov + Vindictive Vampire combo is probably your best bet to win late game by giving you enough of a lead to finish them off with your 1/1 fliers. If you have a Teysa Karlov and one (or more) Vindictive Vampire s in play, don't be afraid to use a Kaya's Wrath This will do a bunch of damage, and boardwipe the enemies armies while leaving you with all of your doubled afterlife triggers.
As for which creatures I think are pretty good, you will need to play around with deciding between all of the low cost afterlifeers Imperious Oligarch , Ministrant of Obligation , Orzhov Enforcer , and Tithe Taker all look pretty good. Syndicate Messenger is a little more expensive but is a solid flyer and Seraph of the Scales looks great, my only concern is that they would be in the same mana cost as both Teysa Karlov and Vindictive Vampire . Twilight Panther , Syndicate Guildmage , Pitiless Pontiff and Impassioned Orator all seem a little underwhelming to me.
Hero of Precinct One could be useful but only if you run mostly multicolored spells and that might not be worth it to aid this single card. Resolute Watchdog might be a good sideboard in case the enemy continues to kill off your Teysa/Vindictives. Priest of Forgotten Gods seems like she is part of a combo in an edh deck, just waiting to happen, but if you run a ton of low cost afterlife creatures, which you are, she might work great. Ideally she would kill two of your creatures right after they block or are blocked, and then draw you a new creature!
Bladebrand seems like a fun way to punsh the other player for blocking one of your small attackers, I think if used well it will add a lot of value to your little attackers, making the enemy afraid to block them. I would opt for Mortify over Final Payment or Expose to Daylight but sideboard the daylights for pesky artifacts. Undercity's Embrace lets the enemy decide what they sac, and you will basically never meet the requirement to get the extra health, so it isn't very good unless like hexproof becomes a problem? I am not sure about Grotesque Demise and Summary Judgment I feel like judgement is cheeper and will deal with most low cost creatures and may handle some bigger ones, so I would opt for that, but Grotesque will help with creatures that have afterlife, if you are running against a mirror. With our play group, you most likely wont be.
Ethereal Absolution too expensive, only sideboard in if somehow you are losing to late game 1/1 creatures or if late game your afterlife creatures are just too weak to finish the enemy, my guess is that it's not going to help much in time. Ill-Gotten Inheritance too in single player and in multiplayer makes you a huge target. If you find in multiplayer games that late game you are widdling away at people but cant ever find a way to attack, this might work. My guess is that Kaya's Wrath / Priest of Forgotten Gods + Vindictive Vampire would do better.
With your life gain, recursion, and death trigger effects, I feel like Kaya's Wrath will often leave you in better shape than it will others. I would run 4 of them however you also need to be careful. If you boardwipe with little or no cards in your hand, other decks will probably rebuild more quickly than you can. Instead, if you are planning a boardwipe, save a few good creatures in your hand, even if it means taking damage for a round or two, then boardwipe. I wish Bankrupt in Blood was instant speed, but running a few might be a good idea to help you recover your handsize after boardwipes. Mortify is better than Bring to Trial unless you are having troubles with enemy enter the grave effects, or idestructable. Could be a sideboard card. Consecrate / Consume is iffy. If you are having troubles with big mean creatures it's a nice card. You could take a hit from the creature for 1 round, then kill it and gain back that life. The ability to use it to draw a card instead id alright, but not great. Revival / Revenge seems pretty fun with this deck. You can use it to get back cheep afterlifers (especially Imperious Oligarch or Orzhov Enforcer ) or, if you draw it late game, you can use it to swing the tide of a game quite a bit.
-[Lands]- This land base looks pretty solid, I would only caution that when running 4x Orzhov Basilica and 4x Orzhov Guildgate you risk getting caught with a very slow start, which is sad when you have such low cost creatures. Ideally you would want to play a Guildgate rnd1, a basic land rnd2, tap for a 2 cost creature, then on turn three play a second 2 cost creature and then a basilica. So that on turn four you can play a four cost creature.