Creature — Elephant
When Terastodon enters the battlefield, you may destroy up to three target noncreature permanents. For each permanent put into a graveyard this way, its controller creates a 3/3 green Elephant creature token.
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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
1 week ago
This was hard, extremely so: this was very nearly sixteen commanders. Black is well-suited to stand alone, and there are so, so many good choices that I’ve developed a newfound respect for anyone who tries to top ten black. This is almost my favorite color, and while it may be limited in dealing with anything not a creature, graveyard, or a card in hand, good GOD can it deal. All the tutors, all the kill spells, creatures of the night, what music… Sorry, it’s easy to go full Dracula in this area of the pie. In summary, I’ve a lot more to say on this subject than the colors we’ve already covered. However, as always in this project, the point is to celebrate three thematic elements, not drool over all the ludicrous power in this necrotic slice of the pie. Today we’re limiting ourselves to three pervading archetypes: life, death, and graveyard manipulation.
White is a respectable powerhouse in this arena, but black takes center stage with undeniably better style. Whereas white just gains it, playing black means treating your life total as just one more resource to use, abuse, and exploit. Vampirism, folks, and not the glittery sort either. Cruel, properly thirsty vampirism, all about chugging opponents like cheap beer. And if you enjoy masochistic chicaneries that trade life for cards, removal, mana, and eventually victory, look no further.
This guy. This glorious, ludicrous guy. General damage? Check. Lifelink? Check. Game-warping mechanic? Great big ol’ hissing, honking, ball-biting check. A peak, high performance example of boom/bust gameplay. Just be sure to draw as many cards as you can and pray that you find quality lifegain to patch the holes you’ll be blowing in yourself.
Here’s the thing: in mono-black, whenever you gain life it’s at someone else’s expense. An effect that doubles said expense? Please and thank you. board wide Lifelink? Also yes. Throw down some grunts, swipe right, and watch your peanut gallery of jerks like the Blood Artist heckle opponents to death.
You know what’s a great defense, command damage notwithstanding? A huge life total. This is partly why red struggles in EDH: hard to beat down someone with piles of life and a few choice defensive options. In some ways it’s just as hard to vampire them to death. You know who doesn’t care? Erebos. Old Erebos is singularly unimpressed by new Heliod’s jank, and happy to sweeten the deal with reliable draw for a modest fee of mana and life.
The past few years have seen respectable creature removal cropping up even in blue and green. White has oodles of fantastic board wipes, and red can hose everything down with direct damage. But compared to black, they’re all posers. Shrinking creatures, sacrifice and discard are all primarily black stables. Toxic Deluge laughs at your indestructible legions. Grave Pact is amused by your shroud, and will bury you in it. This is the color of Go for the Throat , Diabolic Edict , and Tragic Slip . When black comes for your minions, you better have a mountain of solutions, otherwise the only way to save said minions is to take them off the field yourself.
Spoiler alert: three of the Kamigawa ascendants are going to feature in these articles, and Kuon is the meanest (since the blue one got banned, anyway). I speak from gleefully shameless experience here. For the low, low price of three creatures and a modest downpayment of another every turn, black sacrifice stax can be yours. Add fun things like Magus of the Abyss , Dread Return , and Fleshbag Marauder and all his rude, rude cousins. Trust me on this: Kuon is, if you’ll pardon the pun, enchantingly nasty.
Very few things like boardwipes. However, provided they’ve had a snack first, Yahenni likes them just fine. An affordable commander with a sac outlet (indestructibility on a stick :D) who actively rewards slaughtering anything that could block? Sold! Throw in Fallen Ideal . You won’t be sorry.
In my last article I referred to blue as the heavyweight champion of yoink, but that’s not to say there aren’t other colors in the ring. Forcing opponents to sacrifice creatures and discard cards are both black staples, and boy howdy does Tergrid reward such misbehavior (though the adorable Tinybones, Trinket Thief may be more a discard fiend's speed). If tokens aren’t in the local meta, this will change that.
Green shares a bit of this glory: there’s a pervasive theme in green of both exiling and returning cards to the hand from there. BUT… Black is still the unequivocal graveyard color, leaving the charge in both filling and emptying it, especially of creatures and onto the field. Bojuka Bog . Animate Dead . Living Death . Green may have some good tricks here, but few so dirty as an Entomb followed by Reanimate . So, so dirty. I saw it only once, but it was a turn two Terastodon . Once was enough.
Reanimator decks got you down? Here’s a bone, friends. Stealing your opponent’s guys is one thing. Exiling said guys when their owners wipe your stolen board is another. Chainer doesn’t like choices. Chainer likes it all. And Chainer, above all else, loves to break your opponent’s heads with their own toys.
Convinced I like Kamigawa yet? I used to play this janky beast in a standard spirit deck. These days, my thoughts run first to a big pile of Shadowborn Apostle and assorted demons, but that’s just the easy first on the list of tricksy things up Shirei’s sleeve. Again, Blood Artist and friends. Again, deeply unhappy opponents.
Here’s horror for you. Anyone who doesn’t admit to a healthy bout of nervousness when this guy hits the field is a liar (or playing Orbs of Warding . Coming or going, yours or theirs, killed or milled or discarded, if the graveyard is involved then the good syr gets his ping. Have yourself a time with any number of silly combos and tactics: your opponents are guaranteed a Tortured Existence .
And, for my personal favorite...
I ran Marrow-Gnawer for a time, but offloaded it when I realized that I was bored by the deck. A few years later I built Kuon, who quickly became infamous in my playgroup. However, aspects of the deck that I particularly enjoyed were better served when I switched to this villainous wench. With a decent draw effect (especially with Thornbite Staff ) and an imminently breakable ping engine, Ayara is BRUTAL with proper support. Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder . Army of the Damned . And the game-winning monstrosity itself, Plague of Vermin . Revel in countless bodies to exploit as only black can and watch your opponents die of Ayara’s approval.
That's it for this round. Thoughts and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back next week for Red!
1 week ago
TransMarx Thanks for the thoughts! This is a different direction than what I've been going in, but I'll give it a try and see if it works better.
I've never dropped below 3 Archon of Cruelty , that thing is insane when you don't pay full price. I've been looking for replacements for It That Betrays (killer with haste, vulnerable without it), and both Ashen Rider and Terastodon were on the short list. It's probably time to make that change.
Bone Shards is great and worthy of at least a sideboard slot, if not main deck. Liliana of the Veil comes down when this version of the deck wants to be dropping its finishers, but I'll try it alongside your suggested line. I tried Unmarked Grave for a while, but there was only enough space for so many MV2 graveyard fillers, and Collective Brutality and Thrilling Discovery did enough in initial testing to make the cut. I'll revisit it, since it will help reliability, but in the end it's a one-trick pony. If Dark Ritual ever shows up in Modern (not gonna happen), Unmarked Grave would be jammed in immediately.
1 week ago
reanimator is a tough build rn, as dredge is a forever staple to the format (always middle of the pack at the least, and top tier when new tools are printed) every deck will just have great sb options against you even if you pop off game 1, secondly in modern you kind of need your deck to be doing a few things to be viable. Can't just go ALL IN on one strat, the more diversified your play style and more modular your deck the better it holds up in a format with many answers.
my suggestion would be stretch the deck into a midrange/reanimator style deck for reanimator targets I'd stick with Archon of Cruelty as a 3-4 of and add a singleton of Terastodon and maybe an Ashen Rider essentially all your reanimated creatures have to DO SOMETHING as soon as they hit the board.
but yeah got to diversify the deck to do more than one thing, get some just solid value out of everything that is played and like honestly no more than 3-5 reanimator targets MAX.
1 month ago
If you want to make it more competitive, it might not be sexy, but the first and most important thing imo ist to lower the mana curve: For every card, ask yourself if a cheaper card exists that does about the same.
1-Mana Mana Dorks over more expensive stuff. they also fuel Meren really early, which really gets her going
Golgari Findbroker - too expensive. Meren does, that already
Zulaport Cutthroat - the deck doesn't look like it wins via this, so you don't need it
Blood Artist - same
Syr Konrad, the Grim - same - maybe I underestimate the chip damage from these but I really dislike these Cards, because the don't do anything unless they stay araound for a long time. If you only deal 20 damage to the table with blood artist style cards, which seems generous, you still don't win.
I would rather have a more reliable win condition, a combo to end the game asap or a really powerful value engine, that gives you the staying power, paired with a bit of stax, Mindslicer comes to mind, while you get some kind of beatdown (I like Creakwood Liege , Craterhoof Behemoth with a bit of a board also kill one to two people quite quick) or stuff like a few Kokusho, the Evening Star or Gray Merchant of Asphodel triggers.
Nature's Claim - my pet card
1 month ago
2 months ago
Boy Howdy, that's a LOT of land! Your commander does scale with the amount of land you have in play, but I don't see a lot of interaction with opponents in the deck or card draw. So consider this: I agree that you'd probably want to play a bit more lands than in a typical EDH deck, but I could try to aim for somewhere around 40 lands. That way you still hit your land drops into the late game AND you reduce the risk of durdling into lands when you need action late game.
In terms of early interaction, I can see this deck being flooded by decks that go wide. So something like Hurricane may help, as it can even double as a wincon late game. Beast Within is a decent catchall answer for problem creatures. Terastodon and Bane of Progress are late game threats that sweep the board and can hinder opponents if ramped out early. Wood Elves is another just general green staple that ramps you at 3 cmc.
Also consider things that can give your creature deathtouch. With Deathtouch and Trample, 1 damage is enough to be considered lethal to any individual blocking creature, making the rest of the damage spill over. With your commander having the potential to be in the stratosphere with attack, it'd be a headache to block in combat. Basilisk Collar Gorgon's Head and Quietus Spike pair extremely well with your commander!
Also, just a recommendation, if you go more with a landfall theme, some of the fetch lands or things like Evolving Wild are ways to get multiple land drops per turn and thin the deck out a bit!
Good luck beating down some commander players!
3 months ago
Made a number of updates - 20 cards changed in total including commander (Roon removed in favor of Chulane):
Removed Roon of the Hidden Realm , 3x Island , 2x Forest , 2x Plains , Selesnya Signet , Simic Signet , Telling Time , Brainstorm , Ponder , Preordain , Foresee , Time Reversal , Terminus , Kiora, the Crashing Wave , Tamiyo, Field Researcher , Darksteel Ingot , and Terastodon
Added: Chulane, Teller of Tales , 2x Snow-Covered Island , 2x Snow-Covered Plains , 2x Snow-Covered Forest , Flooded Grove , Arcane Signet , Teferi's Ageless Insight , Tatyova, Benthic Druid , Ice-Fang Coatl , Reveillark , Prime Speaker Zannifar, Brago, King Eternal , Vesperlark , Glen Elendra Archmage , Seedborn Muse , Soulherder , Beast Whisperer , and Commander's Sphere
4 months ago
Since you are playing Tatyova, Benthic Druid what about Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait . I dont know if you want the landfall ability in your deck but there are a lot more great inclusions to make in a simic deck. While being on this whole Landfall thingy, Pearl Lake Ancient works then very nice.
I think Reality Shift is not bad but Ravenform should be a better fit here, also there is Rapid Hybridization Since you are already playing big bad creatures what about a good ol' Hadana's Climb Flip Since you are short on removal what about big bad Terastodon , yes it will bounce back with your very flavourfull boardwhipe Whelming Wave but afterall, that's something good, so you can replay it ;) Dont underestimate the value of a Krosan Grip , Splitsecond can catch people on the wrong foot, interrupting combos.
Talking about Whelming Wave why not double down and put a Cyclonic Rift in there aswell? Or for flavour this guy: Kederekt Leviathan . Or something rather stupid: Aethersquall Ancient and since you are most likely to be behind on board i'd slam an Evacuation right in there aswell. And maybe even one River's Rebuke and a Coastal Breach even Inundate should be fine here.
Kodama of the East Tree seems like a good fit here, to cheat out some of the expensive stuff when you cast another one already, also works on lands. Something that works similar would be Imoti, Celebrant of Bounty . More on the topic cheating the mana cost, what about an Elvish Piper or a Quicksilver Amulet
Something protective is always good Thryx, the Sudden Storm
Your carddraw seems to be based on playing creatures with Garruk's Uprising and Elemental Bond (which is better in your deck because of it's Synergy with the tokens from Koma, Cosmos Serpent . But you can double down on that with cards like Guardian Project , Beast Whisperer , and The Great Henge . Colossal Majesty works similar to you but since you are ablte to include very high CMC stuff just slam a Zendikar Resurgent in there aswell.
Now to some more flavour which might not be good, but flavour you know? Kiora Bests the Sea God
and last something very special, you are already very high in CMC, why not double down and play a Keruga, the Macrosage , you can double down and play it as your companion, that'd be fun. You wont miss out on too much. A lot of it is also available in 3CMC like Disallow , Saw It Coming , Simic Locket or Search for Tomorrow Some cards have CMC 3 but you can still do stuff on turn 1 and 2 ;) but that's up to you and how much you want to go down that road of memes and shattered dreams.
Lands looks fine, but since you are able to untapp some lands, maybe use a Lotus Field or atleast a Castle Garenbrig . Since your Devotion can be very high at somepoint Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx but be worth it.