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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Windswept Heath: Search your library for a Forest or Plains card and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.
SefTheReject on Hardened elves
3 weeks ago
Flavuss yes, fetches are to thin out your deck and keep the gas coming. Took me a LONG time to come around on fetches, but they really do help make a build competitive. You could also opt for Verdant Catacombs, Wooded Foothills or Windswept Heath as your fetch depending on cost.
Profet93 on Azusa, Lost but Seeking Cthulu [Primer]
3 months ago
Boseiju, Who Endures - Interaction that takes up a land slot
Cavern of Souls - Ensures your huge mana investment into eldrazi doesn't go to waste.
Field of the Dead - Zombies!
Gaea's Cradle - Even better with zombies!
Deserted Temple - Untap cradle
Thespian's Stage - Copy field, deserted, opposing utility land or even an eldrazi temple in a pinch
Petrified Field - Recur important utility land
High Market - Sac eldrazi to prevent theft, prevent your GY from being exiled by saccing an eldrazi to shuffle grave in. Depends on the meta, same with Homeward Path
Momentous Fall - More sac outlets! Draw more cards, gain some life, etc...Be aware though, that sacing is additional cost to cast so watch out for blue player
Mana Crypt - Ramp
Realms Uncharted - Tutor for Eye of Ugin, petrefied field and 2 other utility lands. Damned if they do, damned if they dont. Much better with land recursion effects such as crucible, Ramunap Excavator
More suggestions to come should you enjoy these.
kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
3 months ago
Last game of the year! Sorry I've taken over your comment board, hope all these gameplay interactions help!
Opponents: Koma, Cosmos Serpent, Muldrotha, the Gravetide, Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools / Armix, Filigree Thrasher
Starting Hand: Marsh Flats, Plains, Sol Ring, Serra Ascendant, Serra Avenger, Court of Grace, Breathkeeper Seraph
T1 - Marsh Flats into Plains into Serra Ascendant
T2 - Plains into Sol Ring and Luminarch Ascension (drew into), swung in for 6 damage
T3 - Plains into Court of Grace, drew on endstep, swung in for another 6 damage
T4 - +1 Angel on upkeep, Plains into Giada, Font of Hope and held up mana to make 2 Angels, drew on endstep, swung in for another 6 damage
T5 - created 2 Angels (6 power & 7 power) on opponents end step, +1 Angel (8 power) on upkeep. Cast a Tome of Legends getting ready for the boardwipe. Swung in for 21 damage, drew on endstep.
T6 - nobody at the table had the boardwipe so I cleaned up next turn with Sigarda's Vanguard knocking out each other player simultaneously. I think this was the fastest this deck has ever performed in a 4-man pod and all the damage was dealt by me.
Opponents: Koma, Cosmos Serpent, Muldrotha, the Gravetide, Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools / Armix, Filigree Thrasher, O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami
Starting Hand: Windswept Heath, Arid Mesa, Plains, Bonders' Enclave, Serra Paragon, Gisela, the Broken Blade Meld, Archangel of Thune
Thought about not including this one either as it was a slow hand and a fast game. Muldrotha comboed out turn 4 making 2 million squirrels and nobody had any interaction so we were dead on turn 5.
Opponents: Koma, Cosmos Serpent, Muldrotha, the Gravetide, Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools / Armix, Filigree Thrasher, O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami
Starting Hand: Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, Plains, Plains, Pyre of Heroes, Gisela, the Broken Blade Meld, Battle Angels of Tyr, Angelic Curator
I had played Battle Angels of Tyr but it was quickly removed by Tevesh before I could swing with it, which is fair given a 5-man pod.
Instead I went for the slower play with Giada, Font of Hope, Angelic Curator and Angelic Sleuth on the field. I held Pyre of Heroes in hand thinking I would go for the Inspiring Overseer / Serra Paragon line to draw into some cards and get some clues.
However, Muldrotha again was a huge problem turn 5. They had Scute Swarm and cracked some fetches and played green ramp spells bringing up their total to the low 100s but they only had 32 they could attack with. They decided to swing all of them at me as I was the only one with any sort of board presence. O-Kagachi let the table know they had a fog effect but we elected to use it on the next turn.
At this point I had Giada, Font of Hope, Angelic Sleuth, Righteous Valkyrie and Pyre of Heroes on the battlefield. Once Muldrotha had started producing massive amounts of Scutes I knew they were coming at me. Also I had drawn into Archangel of Thune which I played and swung in bringing me back up to the low 20's.
On turn 6 O-Kagachi used the fog and Muldrotha just set themselves up better for the next round. They cast a Sandwurm Convergence to stop me from knocking them out.
Tevesh decided this was the best time to go off so they tapped out for a Peer into the Abyss. A lot of artifact shenanigans happened and they ended up at 4 life due to Bolas's Citadel, nearly wiped the board with Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and killed Muldrotha with an artifact creature with Cranial Plating and Lightning Greaves. Unfortunately they didn't see that O-Kagachi was out and only -5 for Ugin so they were dead to the dragon on their turn.
I was able to build back relatively quickly as I drew into a Thorough Investigation and cracked some clues. O-Kagachi became the new archenemy as they had their commander out and a Fist of Suns so they were casting high-costed cards with the limited mana they had. Koma used Kiora, the Crashing Wave to negate the damage of O-Kagachi's commander. They also countered a Conflux which could've ended the game.
I tried to swing in once but was stopped by a fog. I also made another misplay with Oblation targeting their Myojin of Seeing Winds as I misheard thinking it was a 10/10 flying indestructible when it was a 3/3 that didn't even fly. They removed the divinity counter drawing 12 and drew another 2 off Oblation. Next turn they cast a Morophon, the Boundless and dropped all the spirits they drew off those 14 cards. If I had held up my Oblation for their fist of the suns instead they would have had no mana for anything else and I could've swung in for the win.
Court of Grace was also amazing here. While 1 card a turn is not the best for 4 mana, 1 card and 1 angel for 4 is amazing. Obviously the Sol Ring did work in getting it out early but against slower decks they had no way to attack me regardless.
Pyre of Heroes was actually useful this time! Pitching the 2/2 body of Angelic Curator into a Righteous Valkyrie is a strong move. I was only able to use it once before the Ugin exile but it helped keep me in the game. Without it, I would've been dead right after Tevesh finished off Muldrotha, perhaps even in the same turn.
Sigarda's Vanguard was also great again. However if I'm not planning out dropping my angels out in the correct turn order then I'm not always getting the full benefit from her. Akroma's Will would save us the headache of counting and planning while also providing the evasion to get through flying creatures. I think I'll still stick the Vanguard as the light recursion package allows us to bring her back on another turn for additional value whereas Will would just languish in the graveyard.
We had a turn 0 discussion before games 2 and 3 and agreed on playing more mid-tier decks as I only brought Giada. The Muldrotha player typically durdles with nothing to do and decided to add in some spicy cards not knowing how they'd perform. Tevesh doesn't always go off like this but Peer into the Abyss is usually a card that gets countered. The table let it resolve due to needing to knock out Muldrotha first.
kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
3 months ago
Got another couple games in today:
I made some swaps prior to today's match incluuding:
Crashing Drawbridge for Lightning Greaves
Smuggler's Share for Esper Sentinel
Search for Glory for Steelshaper's Gift
I think our decks are still functionally the same but I have a lot of the tech you were heavily considering already swapped in and will be focusing on their performance in multiplayer format.
Starting Hand?: Prismatic Vista, Windswept Heath, Myriad Landscape, Soul's Attendant, Generous Gift, Lightning Greaves, Folk Hero
Forgot to snap a picture of my starting hand but I think it was something like that. Important play of the game was Firkraag playing an early Agitator Ant. By turn 3 I had Giada equipped with a Lightning Greaves and slowly played out my hand, focusing on dropping lands and playing removal. I constantly dumped the +1/+1 counters onto Giada and since she had the greaves equipped she was basically untouchable.
After bringing Arvinox and Ryu down to the low 20's with just Giada I began dumping the counters onto a Bishop of Wings that I drew into so I could start swinging at Firkraag. Ryu also got in 2 Hadokens against Firkraag's board to draw cards. I only got 1 swing into Firkraag before they boardwiped.
I was able to recast Giada and cast an Angelic Page drawing me a card off Folk Hero. I also cast a Pyre of Heroes excited to chain it off for some spicy tech. Unfortunately Ryu was at low life and killed shortly after the boardwipe. As the other 2 players had no board they scooped to end the game so we could start the next, giving me the win.
Game 2 (5-man Pod vs. Tevesh/Armix Artifacts, Firkraag Goad Precon, Isshin Attacks, Muldrotha Counters)
Starting Hand: Plains, Mutavault, Pearl Medallion, Righteous Valkyrie, Sigarda's Vanguard, Well of Lost Dreams, Steelshaper's Gift
T1 - Plains into Steelshaper's Gift tutoring Lightning Greaves
T2 - Plains (drew) into Pearl Medallion
T3 - Mutavault into Lightning Greaves & Giada (Sworded by Isshin)
This game had some intense interactions. Isshin had a turn 1 Authority of the Consuls. Tevesh nearly played a turn 2 Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools with a Jeweled Lotus but was countered by Muldrotha. Firkraag played a Pursued Whale giving us all Pirate tokens and forcing us to attack. Isshin played into that with a Combat Calligrapher. The entire table started swinging into each other with increasingly multiplying Inkling tokens. After Isshin's Combat Calligrapher was blown up and they took a bunch of damage from their own Inklings they decided to super wipe the board with a Ruinous Ultimatum but luckily their board was pretty sparse.
I lost Pearl Medallion, Well of Lost Dreams, Sword of the Animist, Lightning Greaves and Righteous Valkyrie. This set me back really far but luckily I had been ramping every turn with Sword of the Animist and kept some strong angels in hand.
I recast Giada, and played Archangel of Tithes, Angelic Field Marshal and Lyra Dawnbringer with Mutavault giving me the extra +1/+1 counter. At this point Isshin started going off and nearly killed me with a combination of Tectonic Giant, Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin, Isshin, Two Heavens as One, Aurelia, the Warleader but they tapped out for Dihada, Binder of Wills to give Krenko vigilance, lifelink and indestructible. When they tried to swing at me, they forgot about the tax for Tithes and instead knocked out Tevesh and Muldrotha. Muldrotha took out Aurelia, the Warleader as retribution.
On the final turn I was left with only Oblation and Breathkeeper Seraph in hand. I had the choice to use it on one of Isshin's creatures but they were in such a dominating position that giving them 2 cards was probably a bad idea. Instead I used it on a tapped Emergence Zone and drew into Thraben Watcher and Sigarda's Vanguard. With the combination of all the angels I brought Isshin down to 3 and Firkraag cleaned up but had nothing against my board so scooped.
Starting Hand: Cavern of Souls, Flooded Strand, Windswept Heath, Esper Sentinel, Path to Exile, The Ozolith, Teferi's Protection
I debated even listing this game as it was over so fast. Alela burst out on turn 1 with an Island into Sol Ring into Arcane Signet. Turn 2 they played a Smothering Tithe. Turn 3 they played a Bolas's Citadel. In one of their turns they cast a Vendilion Clique bottoming my Teferi's Protection. Despite whiffing for 2 turns off the top of their library they were so ahead with ramp that they quickly overtook the game. I died by turn 5 to 35+ damage from a faerie army beefed up with Coat of Arms. The other 2 players scooped as they had no interaction with the Coat.
T1 Esper Sentinel did some amazing work here. I drew off every player at least 2-3 times so it netted me like 7-8 cards for just 1 mana.
I also attempted to attack with Battle Angels of Tyr but it was bounced to my hand by next turn.
The Ozolith ended up doing nothing this game but that's more due to having no boardstate. Together Forever wouldn't have done anything in this game either so its impact still hasn't been seen. Other players did comment that it could be a problem with a bigger board.
I did have a misplay here as I should have held up mana for removal spells which I had in my hand. My final hand was Vanquisher's Banner, Archangel of Thune, Angelic Accord, Serra Paragon, Valkyrie Harbinger, Path of Exile and Swords to Plowshares. I just didn't expect Alela to quintuple their damage in one turn.
Starting Hand: Secluded Steppe, Emergence Zone, Plains, Pearl Medallion, Thorough Investigation, Angelic Field Marshal, Angel of Vitality
T1 - Secluded Steppe tapped
T2 - Plains into Pearl Medallion
T3 - Emergence Zone into Thorough Investigation and Giada, Font of Hope
I had several misplays this game as it had been a long day. The first was using my Clues too early instead of playing out my hand and refilling it later with the Clues.
Phenax became a huge threat towards mid-game as they had a Haunt of high tower on board along with their commander Phenax, God of Deception. They forced Ghisath to mill 40+ cards with 4 creatures. I had Kabira Takedown Flip in hand but it wouldn't put a dent in the Haunt. Instead I opted for player removal and swung with everything knocking them out.
My second misplay here was not tapping Giada to cast Angelic Field Marshal which would've given all my creatures vigilance. I was so used to swinging with Giada first and then tapping her that I failed to see her as a mana dork. Since I had Archangel of Tithes out it would've prevented huge swings against me as well.
Since I was wide open Gishath took the advantage and swung at me dropping a good number of dinos on their board. However on their next turn when they tried to use Silverclad Ferocidons with Pyrohemia Jared saved the day by sacrificing Primeval Spawn into a Time Warp.
When I tried to rebuild I realized I had no clues left and no attackers to draw into answers. I also made my third misplay by wasting a Path to Exile on a random dinosaur thinking it would sacrifice Pyrohemia but then stupidly played Bishop of Wings so I could trigger my The Book of Exalted Deeds by replaying Giada.
I died on the next turn to due to lethal Gishath commander damage. If I had saved my Path I could've used it on Gishath and played out more angels for the lifegain.
Lightning Greaves was amazing in the 2 games it was played. It was so great that Isshin focused Giada when it came back out. In fact I like it so much that I'm going to try and find a spot for Swiftfoot Boots so I can keep equipping without removing the protection.
Esper Sentinel was also great the 1 game I got it out. Drawing that many cards for 1 mana is just too good to pass up. If you haven't purchased Smuggler's Share yet I'd say go for Esper first.
Archangel of Tithes was SO GOOD. It saved me from lethal once and would've again a second time if I didn't misplay again. With vigilance it does double duty.
Well of Lost Dreams felt a little clunky in game 2. I want to like it, it has a high ceiling but it needs some prep work to start drawing. Either I drop it instead of a threat or I play it much later. I also need lifegain and the mana to draw from it. With the amount of work that goes into it to activate it, a board wipe usually turns it off. We have no other lifegain outside of creature based lifegain. So we would only draw with an established board presence and we're using mana to draw into threats rather than play them. It feels either like a win-more card or a hail mary to get something good. I'm actually debating its place in this deck and what may be a better card draw. Court of Grace at least replaces itself on our end step and provides either an Angel or Spirit on our upkeep. It also requires no additional maintenance to get it going.
Others at the table commented that Authority of the Consuls is a better option to the soul sisters. While I do like the tap mechanic of Authority, it doesn't trigger off my creatures. Also having it be an enchantment means that most people won't bother with it all game. Soul sisters typically get wiped with the rest of the board whereas opponents have to target Authority. I find that I don't usually hit the payoffs on opponents turn but on my own turn. However, I only hit the magic 4/5 life when Bishop of Wings or Righteous Valkyrie is out, not off a soul sister. I know that you really like the soul sisters but practically every game I've had a board wipe and the payoffs haven't been worth it.
Kabira Takedown Flip has its uses but in terms of removal is pretty poor for the slot. After a boardwipe it's practically worthless.
Even though I STILL haven't pulled off Pyre of Heroes properly I'm once again debating Recruiter of the Guard and Weathered Wayfarer. Since they're both humans they can chain into our human sub-theme. Weathered Wayfarer can be sacrificed into Bishop of Wings to get our lifegain payoffs going. It also helps grab lands for Emeria Shepherd if we want to recur stuff from the graveyard. Recruiter of the Guard can tutor for Starnheim Aspirant, Esper Sentinel, Inspiring Overseer, Thraben Watcher and can be sacrificed into Mangara, the Diplomat.
kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
3 months ago
Buddies cancelled so I played 3 pub games instead:
Starting hand: Emeria, The Sky Ruin, Plains, Plains, Path to Exile, Angelic Page, Archangel of Tithes, Sanctuary Warden
As we played through the game it became clear that Esix was the big threat. The board was wiped twice, once with N'ghathrod's Hex and a second time with Sigarda's Day of Judgment. Archangel of Tithes helped get a few early attacks in against Esix as they usually tapped out to play some bigger spells.
I was able to keep Esix in check a few times by using Path to Exile on their commander when they were about to pop off. I also used Oblation again on Esix when they cast a Pest Infestation destroying my Crucible of Worlds and Vanquisher's Banner but netting 12 pests. Finally, I had a Kabira Takedown Flip but only 2 creatures on the field so it couldn't deal with anything on Esix's board so I used it on Sigarda's Soul Warden.
At the final turn I had Sanctuary Warden equipped to Sword of Feast and Famine, Righteous Valkyrie and Angelic Field Marshal. In my hand I had Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Emeria Shepherd, Sword of Hearth and Home and a Seraph Sanctuary. Giada had been removed 3 times this game so she cost 8. Esix was at 6 but also had a Sublime Epiphany with open mana and a Craterhoof Behemoth in hand with 19 creatures, mostly 1/1 tokens on board.
As I'm writing this I realized I had the answer but didn't realize it at the time. If I had casted Sword of Hearth and Home Esix would have countered it and bounced my Sanctuary Warden forcing it out of their hand. I could then equip the Sword of Feast and Famine to another angel and swung for lethal since they had no flying blockers. I could have also moved to equip Sword of Feast and Famine to another angel which they could've countered once, but I had open mana to do it again. Despite losing this round let's count it as a win due to my misplay.
Starting hand: Windswept Heath, Sol Ring, Pearl Medallion, Angel of Vitality, Mangara, the Diplomat, Soul Warden
Perhaps this was a risky hand to keep but with the Sol Ring and Pearl Medallion I could literally play everything in my hand if not disrupted so I kept it.
Kraum also kept a risky hand but it paid off for them in the short term. They cast a Show and Tell which let me only drop Angel of Vitality but they dropped an Omniscience and proceeded to play out their hand giving themselves an immense board state on turn 3.
Kraum made a serious misplay here as they used a Cyclonic Rift on my Sol Ring and a bounce spell that returned all creatures with power less than 5. This was supposed to wipe the board but Angel of Vitality was a 5/5. They followed this up with a Wheel of Misfortune paying 35 life expecting us to bet high life totals so they wouldn't get the wheel. Unfortunately for them we bid pretty low numbers and Kraum took the full 35. With no flying blockers on board they were dead next turn.
With Kraum out of the game and a fresh 7 card hand I ended up dominating the board. Some nice synergies were using Sword of Hearth and Home on Sanctuary Warden to 2 cards a turn, one for ETB, one for swinging. Bishop of Wings with Resplendent Angel and Angelic Accord gave me double angels on my end steps. Finally, having Emeria, The Sky Ruin and 7 plains let me fill my boardstate quickly. While the game took longer I never hit another board wipe and closed it out with 64 life.
Starting Hand: Flooded Strand, Path of Ancestry, Soul Warden, Luminarch Ascension, Pyre of Heroes, Folk Hero, Angelic Curator
I was excited about this hand because it had 2 new cards that hadn't come up in the last couple games I played so I wanted to test it out. While it should have curved out pretty nicely, having only Folk Hero as the draw card with a single angel should've been a warning sign. My early board state included Giada, Font of Hope, Soul Warden and Luminarch Ascension. As predicted, Luminarch Ascension was able to get 3 counters on it after a single turn.
However I was hit by a board wipe early on and had to decide whether to use Luminarch's ability or recast Giada. I foolishly recast Giada only to have her removed again with Skysovereign, Consul Flagship. When Sigarda went to blow up Luminarch I produced 3 4/4 angels with 6 mana to give me some blockers. I had also drawn into The Ozolith but it was only able to add 1 counter on it.
For the rest of the game Kykar solely targeted me with their growing vehicle board state. Since Giada now cost 6 and Skysovereign was pinging for 3 every turn I couldn't waste the mana to recast her which turned off Folk Hero. I cast Angelic Curator just for a blocker since it would be hugely advantageous against vehicles but it was promptly removed with Dispatch by Kykar. I was also able to draw into a Mask of Memory but was stalled out since Kykar had Spirit token blockers, Atraxa had their commander and Sigarda also had their commander. I was the first to be knocked out and this was a definite loss. I did cast Pyre of Heroes but didn't draw into any angels until late game so it had no effect.
Luminarch Ascension is a great card but also a lightning rod. In the third game it presented a threat early on and if Giada hadn't been removed twice so early it could've helped end the game. Not getting those +1/+1 counters on the angels hurt my game plan quite a lot.
The Ozolith saw play but had little impact. Again, if Giada hadn't been removed early I could've dumped all those counters onto it and preserved threats.
Pyre of Heroes also saw play but had little impact. The overall flow of the game meant I was essentially stuck. Eye of Vecna would've been more impactful here but since Kykar had such an oppressive board state I would need to play much bigger threats to make a difference.
While Giada may not always be necessary to our gameplan, not having her and being unable to cast her slows us up so much that opponents can just out ramp or out threaten us pretty quickly. Dodging an entire table's board wipes and single target removals is pretty tough and makes me consider Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots again.
Profet93 on Azusa, Just Lost...
3 months ago
Initially you said you want to overwhelm with speed, then you say you want resiliency. One is usually at cost for the other. For me, I've valued resiliency the majority of the time. Given you are playing 3 player (or even 4 for that matter), you should focus on late game rather than trying to be incredibly explosive. Not to say you shouldn't do what green loves to do, ramp, but the way you ramp depends on your goals. I'm going to focus on a resilient deck mindset. That way, you don't get needlessly targeted and are out of the game, it also makes the games as you described.
Good/Bad Fetches - Fabled Passage/Misty Rainforest/Prismatic Vista/Terramorphic Expanse/Verdant Catacombs/Windswept Heath/other fetches that are older and came out more recently that I can't recall. Some are more expensive that others, for you, terramorphic and a few of the cheaper fetches (Listed here and the ones that recently came out, I don't keep up with new sets) should be a great asset to you. Fetches are incredibly important for Azusa. Don't sleep on it
Castle Garenbrig - Ramp
Field of the Dead - RIGHT at the budget mark, VERY powerful. The more nonbasics you get, the more powerful. Think fetchlands triggering this, Acnient Greenwarden doubling the triggers. Azusa + 3 fetches = 6 Zombies! Not needed, but SO powerful, definitely add when you have more nonbasics. This card goes NUTs with effects that brings lots of lands into play like boundless realm/reshape the earth, Scapeshift, etc....
Mirrorpool - Not at all needed, a pet card of mine. Getting another Terrastodon, eteranal witness or just any powerful nonlegendary spell really. I like to copy Greenwarden myself.
Reliquary Tower - When you add much more card draw (which you seriously need), then add this.
Sanctum of Ugin - The way my deck works is that I have various land tutors to search for this or Eye of Ugin. Then I cast a spell like All is dust/akroma's memorial to sac sanctum to find either Kozilek to refill my empty hand. Depends on how many 7+ colorless spells you end up running. I think you should run both Kozilek's for sure. Ulamogs are upgraded removal > Desert Twister. But you don't want too many per your comment, so this land remains to be seen in how effective it is. For your build, I'm inclined to say no, but given it's saved my ass more times than I could count, I wanted to bring it to your attention.
Strip Mine - With crucible of worlds = GG. Although from my understanding, you don't want to do that. Nevertheless, it's still useful for getting rid of opponents Cabal Coffers, Cradle, Nkythos or any other utility land that's giving you an issue. You could also utilize another Land Destruction land which is less oppressive should you wish, I could name a few.
High Market/Miren the Moaning Well - Sac lands prevent theft, exile and trigger death (Greenwarden, Kura, etc...).
Thespian's Stage - Meta dependent, not needed. If they run Urborg + Coffers, you can copy their coffers. I use it to copy my field of the dead (imagine 2x zombies per land + 3 fetches = 12 zombies if I'm doing match correctly, combine that with ancient greenwarden to swarm!). All depends on the lands you end up choosing and your opponents lands. Meta dependent as well. I know some people combine it with Dark Depths for Marit Lage token in more casual playgroups should you be inclined for that synergy. Crucible of worlds makes this repeatable. Just remember that the token itself is legendary.
Garruk, Primal Hunter/Soul's Majesty - Garruk is better for sure as it is a permanent to come into play with Genesis Wave (unsure why you aren't running it, $?) and is more versatile. Not sure of budget at the moment, but he also provides tokens which he can use his 2nd ability to draw from. Ult is largely irrelevant.
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth/Kozilek, the Great Distortion - The primary purpose of these cards is to refill your hand. While there are other cards prior mentioned to refill your hand, card draw is insanely necessary in Azusa. Given distortion is cheaper and better IMO, I would go with distortion. Just ensure you have enough utility lands in the deck (I'd add like 5-15, 10 probably, more depending on your preferences). I understand you want this to be a green deck and don't want to rely on them as a wincon, thats fine. I see you already run Avenger + Craterhoof.
Abundant Harvest, Broken Bond (eh, its okish), Desert Twister, Nature's Lore, Nissa's Pilgrimage, Reshape the Earth, Groundswell , Naturalize (Return to Nature is a strict upgrade, but I would run neither), Primal Bellow, Wrap in Vigor (Heroic Intervention upgrade), Primal Rage, Retreat to Kazandu, Caged Sun (with less basics, its less effective), Opal Palace, Jungle Basin, Darksteel Citadel, Undergrowth Champion , Ulvenwald Oddity , Seedborn Muse (you are not a passive deck), Scythe Leopard Kalonian Twingrove/Dungrove Elder (see caged sun), Brawn , Arboreal Grazer
Obviously it's your deck and depending on your meta, making your deck really good could make it less fun for your opponents. Or they could improve their synergy as well. Azusa is a very powerful commander, Like Tier 3 IMO which is pretty high, especially in a casual meta like yours.
If you have any questions regarding why I recommended a particular cut or suggestion, please let me know. I love to help fellow Azusa players :)
kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
3 months ago
Played another 4 games of 1v1 yesterday against my buddy's Yisan, the Wanderer Bard deck. This mono-green deck used to be the bane of my existence when I first started playing commander so it was fun seeing how Angels stacked up. Unfortunately I didn't get any Pyre of Heroes plays in these 4 games. TLDR - Giada won 3/4 games and I should've mulliganed the one I lost. Also Yisan was a bit rusty piloting his old deck so he didn't have the most optimal lines of tutor.
While this hand technically has a draw card I had nothing below 4cmc. I did have a form of lifegain so I could potentially activate the Well. What I didn't expect was never drawing another angel for this entire game. I think it ended by turn 6 due to a Craterhoof Behemoth finisher and a bunch of mana dorks swinging in.
This hand had a perfect curve, an easy draw and a tutor so I obviously kept it. While I could've tutored for Pyre of Heroes I decided to go for the more efficient play and grabbed Pearl Medallion instead on turn 1. So on turn 3 after swinging in with Giada, I played Pearl Medallion for 2, Folk Hero for 1 and Youthful Valkyrie with Giada. I drew into Herald's Horn and played that next turn. That early game was so efficient that the game ended shortly after with no responses.
I also drew into Path of Ancestry which was just great when comboed with Folk Hero and Herald's Horn. If I had an Angel in hand then I would draw then scry and try and leave an Angel on top for the Horn. If I didn't have an Angel then I would scry then draw into an Angel to keep the value train going.
I kept this hand because I had the perfect hate-bear for Yisan. Playing Linvala turn 3 essentially shut down Yisan's whole deck. They couldn't tutor or use their mana dorks so just had to slow play using their lands. Eventually on turn 6 they drew into a Beast Within to kill her but by that time I had gotten so far ahead in board presence that it was another easy win.
T1 Sol Ring into a Pearl Medallion felt so great but if it wasn't for the Battle Angels of Tyr then I would've run out of gas quick. While I did get Luminarch Ascension out T2, I only added 3 quest counters on it before I closed out the game so I never saw it perform.
Linvala, Keeper of Silence was amazing against Yisan. Any deck that involves activated abilities will be shut down hard with her on the field.
Enlightened Tutor is a strong early tutor, I think it might warrant replacing Steelshaper's Gift. I haven't had much success with Search for Glory the few times I used it but will probably swap it back in when I play multiplayer.
Luminarch Ascension still hasn't been great in 1v1 because the games finish so fast. If you play it turn 3 and you start first then you'll need to wait till turn 7 to start using it. All the games I played yesterday ended by turn 6 or so. I'll leave it in for multiplayer and post about it then.
Path of Ancestry was a nice bump. Obviously it's better with the draw on angel cast cards but on its own provides value. Even if we don't have an angel to play it still taps for white.
kirbysan on [Primer] Helming the Host of Heaven *Update*
4 months ago
My typical decks are Muldrotha, the Gravetide recursion, Teysa Karlov aristocrats and a Shorikai, Genesis Engine mechs. Those three usually have big flashy plays for instant wins so this deck definitely plays different. I looked over your whole primer and took your advice to heart to reduce the number of changes and focus only on your new additions and lands. I ran a few games using your methodology for mid-range aggro decks and listed how the deck performed. Let me know if this helps helm the host!
1x Snow-Covered Plains for Cavern of Souls
1x Snow-Covered Plains for Mutavault
1x Snow-Covered Plains for Crucible of Worlds
1x Snow-Covered Plains for Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1x Snow-Covered Plains for Path of Ancestry
Rogue's Gloves for Sword of Fire and Ice
Karmic Guide for Emeria Shepherd
Baneslayer Angel for Serra Paragon
Angel of Invention for Steel Seraph
Sigarda's Splendor for Smuggler's Share
Starting hand was very strong, I held a Youthful Valkyrie, Bishop of Wings, Righteous Valkyrie, Vanquisher's Banner as my draw card and 3 lands which included a fetch and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.
T1 - Fetch to Plains
T2 - Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx + Giada, Font of Hope
T3 - Plains + Bishop of Wings + Youthful Valkyrie
T4 - Plains + Using Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx to cast Pearl Medallion & Mangara, the Diplomat which I had drawn into.
T5 - I drew 1 off Mangara, the Diplomat. Jhoira had played a Words of Wind forcing us to bounce Pearl Medallion. Yuriko saw our scary board state and hit us with a few unblockables but we still remained above 40 life.
Land + Pearl Medallion + Smuggler's Share (drew) + Starnheim Aspirant (drew) + Righteous Valkyrie.
T6 - I drew 1 off Smuggler's Share and 2 off Mangara, the Diplomat. Jhoira started building their boardstate with their commander out and a bunch of rocks. Yuriko had a few creatures out and was chipping away at our life totals.
At this point I could've slow played it further but with 2 draw engines out I felt comfortable in restocking my hand.
I played Vanquisher's Banner + Archangel of Thune + Valkyrie Harbinger drawing 2 and swung in for a bunch bringing both of them to their low 20's while I shot up to 60+ life.
I drew 1 off Smuggler's Share and 1 off Mangara, the Diplomat but Yuriko played a Toxic Deluge for 11 wiping our creatures and bringing their life total into the low 10s.
T7+ - At this point my memory is foggy, I replayed Giada and a few low cost angels with Vanquisher's Banner which refilled my hand a bit. But Yuriko miracled a Devastation Tide and played an overloaded Damn. Eventually Jhoira got knocked out by Yuriko after trying to rebuild their board state twice. By the end I had whittled Yuriko down to lethal and played Bruna, the Fading Light Meld reanimating Gisela, the Broken Blade Meld from the graveyard but never got to swing with it as Yuriko conceded.
Starting hand was decent but I don't remember much of it since it got wheeled away with a turn 3 Windfall.
T1 - Fetch to Plains + Soul Warden
T2 - Seraph Sanctuary + Giada, Font of Hope
T3 - Plains + Crucible of Worlds
Lost 5 cards in hand to Windfall and drew a new 5. Jhoira played a Winter Orb and Yuriko played a Null Rod to shut down Jhoira's mana rocks. It also shut down my equipment in hand which was a Sword of the Animist and Mask of Memory. I stopped keeping track of the turns and cards played since the whole game slowed to a crawl. The one saving grace was that I never missed a land drop with the fetch land in the graveyard.
Yuriko kept playing Thieves' Guild Enforcer and changelings to try an alternate mill win strategy. I was hit with a board wipe and Giada was targeted twice. I overloaded Winds of Abandon which left the Jhoira open to be killed. I attempted to cast Emeria Shepherd which would've been perfect with my fetch land and 20+ cards in the graveyard but it was removed after it hit the board. Yuriko played 4 extra turns spells to try and whittle me down from high 30's to 8 but they ran out of answers and were dead on the crackback.
I should've mulliganed this hand as it didn't have a draw spell but I didn't want to hold up the table and the curve looked good.
2x Plains, Teferi's Protection, Angel of Condemnation, Starnheim Unleashed, Resplendent Angel, Herald of War
I was able to build up a decent board state and there were no wipes all game. However, Faldron played a Wand of Wonder and began using my removal spells against my angels. Marneus dropped a Divine Visitation mid-game and started pumping out 4/4 Angels w/ Vigilance which stalled my attacks towards him signifcantly.
Towards the end of the game I was able to tap Starnheim Unleashed for 9 creating 4 Angels with Giada on the board pumping them to double digit beasts. Marneus had the scariest board state but only 4 Angels at the time so I figured I could swing wide and knock them out.
Unfortunately the Ulamog player attacked with a single unblockable voltroned Wurmcoil Engine against Marneus who cast an Entrapment Maneuver netting 10 4/4 Angels.
In the end Marneus had 16 Angels attacking me and I tried to buy time with a Teferi's Protection which got countered with a Dovin's Veto.
Starting hand was great against these commanders:
4x Plains, Dowsing Dagger Flip, Battle Angels of Tyr, Smuggler's Share
T1 - Plains
T2 - Plains + Giada, Font of Hope
T3 - Plains + Smuggler's Share
T4 - Plains + Dowsing Dagger Flip & equipped, swing and flip to Lost Vale, cast Battle Angels of Tyr with Giada and Vale.
Mid-game Shorikai played an Organic Extinction doing a one-sided board wipe and started hitting for double digits with vehicles. I tried to rebuild with Emeria Shepherd but she was countered by Aesi. Fortunately, Shorikai ended up scooping to play Warhammer making it a 3-man pod and all our board states were pretty even. I had drawn a card on each of his turns due to their Shorikai ability. Aesi had provided me a couple treasures but wised up and started dropping lands on opponents turns with Burgeoning.
This game lasted quite awhile so there was plenty of back and forth and a lot of answers were used on my board. Both Muldrotha and Aesi had an Unnatural Growth and were staring down each other. I patiently waited until they were both tapped out and had no answers to pull off this sweet combo:
I had Bishop of Wings & Giada, Font of Hope on the battlefield and tons of mana. I cast Bruna, the Fading Light Meld into Emeria Shepherd. Cracked a Myriad Landscape for 2 Plains bringing back Righteous Valkyrie & Gisela, the Broken Blade Meld. Since they had no responses I was able to merge to Brisela, Voice of Nightmares Meld Meld. Due to all the Giada triggers and lifegain I shot up from 20 life to 62.
Aesi was hamstrung due to Brisela's static ability and their creatures weren't big enough to swing into my massive angels. Muldrotha on the other hand attempted to swing in for a massive 59 damage due to Unnatural Growth but I used Teferi's Protection and won the game on my turn.
Starting hand had no draw again but did have lifegain synergies so I decided to keep.
2x Plains, Cavern of Souls, Windswept Heath, The Book of Exalted Deeds, Archangel of Thune, Angelic Field Marshal.
I was only able to get one use out of The Book of Exalted Deeds trigger before Archangel of Thune was blown up and The Scarab God exiled it and copied it for their board. I actually drew a Mutavault and decided to do the combo of putting the Enlightened Counter on it. However when we got to the mid-game I felt like that was the wrong move to do so early.
Late game I had the following:
Seraph Sanctuary & a bunch of other lands
Angel of Vitality w/ 3 +1/+1 counters
Angelic Field Marshal w/ 4 +1/+1 Counters
4x Clue Tokens
Between the Soul Warden, Angel of Vitality and Seraph Sanctuary I was gaining 2 life whenever they cast a creature and 3 whenever I cast an angel. If I'd let the book stay on the battlefield longer I could've had a free 3/3 angel on each of my turns. Instead I cracked clues rather than play out my hand to draw into more answers and win the game. The Enlightened Counter never came into play, but I reminded the table at the end that without any land destruction, I could've gone to negative life and still not lose.
Forgot to take a picture of my hand this game but I kept Smuggler's Share as my draw card which ended up doing nothing. The Faldron player had already played a few games against the Giada deck so purposely missed double land drops to not give me a treasure.
Faldron cast an Etali, Primal Storm turn 6 with no haste enablers so I blew it up my turn. However, Lazav decided to copy it and the board had no answers. Lazav began swinging and got 2 rounds of Etali triggers which was pretty brutal. Since Lazav became archenemy, we teamed up to take him down bringing his life total to 4.
Perhaps the most memorable moment this game was that Faldron had suspended a Wheel of Fate so the whole table was playing out their hands for 4 turns, completely expecting to draw 7. When he went to removing the last suspend counter, Lazav cast Notion Thief so instead of us each drawing 7, he drew 28 cards. Unfortunately for him, he didn't have any way to use those cards to stop the flood of salt from the table and was killed shortly after by a pissed angel.
I was able to clean up the table after a few rounds with this final board state:
Angel of Jubilation - just an anthem and would've shut down my fetches but I played it late game
Linvala, Keeper of Silence - didn't stop anything on my opponent's board because they were all triggered abilities
Starting hand was top heavy but decided to keep:
Plains, Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, Pearl Medallion, Sword of Hearth and Home, Well of Lost Dreams, Sword of the Animist, Archangel of Thune
I figured with 2 ramp equipments and lifegain comboed with the well I'd be setup for mid-game pretty nicely. What I didn't plan for was missing land drops for 2 turns and having Giada blown up twice. By this time, the Aesi/Faldron player had figured out that Giada was consistently winning and decided to put a stop to it.
However, that let Ydris really take the game away. By the end I only had 4 lands, Archangel of Thune equipped with Sword of Hearth and Home and a Pearl Medallion. Aesi died to a single 30+ swing from Ydris leaving myself and Lazav to deal with the massive board state.
I thought I slowed him down by playing Darksteel Mutation on Ydris when he had no cards in hand but he topdecked Sakashima's Protege to copy Ydris and start the pain all over again. With Ydris having lethal on board next turn the only way to stop it would be to top deck the one board-wipe in the deck. But Lazav shot himself in the foot by playing Gyruda, Doom of Depths tossing my top 4 cards into the graveyard. The top card was Winds of Abandon and Lazav whiffed on the Gyruda trigger much to his chagrin.
Starting hand was decent: Plains, Plains, Thorough Investigation, Thraben Watcher, Search for Glory, Dowsing Dagger Flip, Sword of Fire and Ice
T1 - Plains
T2 - Plains + Giada, Font of Hope
T3 - Plains + Thorough Investigation
T4 - Plains + Thraben Watcher
T5 - Nykthos + Dowsing Dagger Flip & equipped, flipped to Lost Vale, Sword of Fire and Ice
On turn 6 I was able to knock out Ghyrson Starn, Kelermorph with the sword setting him back a turn. He responded the next turn by blowing up my sword. After a 2 board wipes Ghyrson was back in a threatening position. I cast Darksteel Mutation on Ghyrson which completely shut down his strategy.
Closed out the game with an overloaded Winds of Abandon and swung lethal at Roon. I was also able to hardcast Sephara, Sky's Blade which would've stopped any board wipe coming from Ghyrson. Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx was amazing yet again this game. I was able to tap it for 10 white using 8 to pay for the Winds and God-Pharaoh's Statue tax.
Starting hand was strong if a little slow: Fabled Passage, Windbrisk Heights, Eye of Vecna, Sanctuary Warden, Pearl Medallion, Battle Angels of Tyr, Serra Avenger
Ramp wasn't ideal and I saw the limitations of having too much colorless sources. The Plains, Windbrisk Heights and Giada, Font of Hope were the only 3 sources of white most of the game.
There were some pretty wild swings this game as Jared got all 5 colors turn 4 with some ramp and started dropping Kavu's. He played Knight of New Alara turning them into 8/8 tramplers and started swinging in for 24 damage each turn. Isshin dropped a Tectonic Giant, Fervent Charge & Aurelia, the Warleader to swing in with 21 damage each combat & an additional 6 to the face. With so much damage flying around, the loss life from Eye of Vecna was actually pretty annoying. I used it 4 times during the course of the game when I probably should've played the bigger threats since a board wipe seemed unlikely.
Battle Angels of Tyr was blown up immediately but I was able to drop a Angelic Skirmisher & Righteous Valkyrie mid-game. If I had attacked more early game with Skirmisher out I could've had this one but I made a huge misplay. Jared swung in with everything at me after pumping 2 Kavu's up to 13/13's. As I was only at 46 life, I didn't get the anthem off Righteous Valkyrie so I had to take 26 bringing me down to 20. Isshin swung in everything at Jared knocking them out and on second combat came at me when I was at 8. As Righteous Valkyrie was only a 6/7 blocking into their 7/8's I figured I could survive the turn with one unblocked and just gain the life back next turn. Isshin was tapped out but had 2 treasures that I forgot and used a Boros Charm to get lethal.
Starting hand was ok, no draw engine but great lifegain:
Flooded Strand, Secluded Steppe, Emergence Zone, Soul Warden, Starnheim Aspirant, Angelic Skirmisher, Segovian Angel
T1 Soul Warden netted me a ton of life over the course of the game as Jared & Isshin did not play any board wipes. After playing Angelic Skirmisher as well and a couple angels, I was developing an oppressive board state.
Tevesh/Arminx drew a lot of hate early game because they played a strong ramp turn with a bunch of expensive mana rocks but then durdled for most of the game. Jared played a Two-Headed Hellkite that they pumped to 10/10 and just started swinging. Isshin tried going wide with Adeline, Resplendent Cathar and a few combat tricks but with Soul Warden on the field I ended up always being net positive after thier attacks.
Eventually the board grew massive and any one of us could've knocked out Tevesh/Arminx as they were wide open. I was sitting comfortably at 60+ life due to Soul Warden and Angelic Skirmisher. Tevesh/Arminx ended up playing Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and wiping all our creatures.
We all rebuilt our boards pretty quickly with Tevesh only having Armix, Filigree Thrasher and a couple equipments. Isshin tried going for the combo and knock out 2 of us with Godo, Bandit Warlord & Helm of the Host but misplayed and couldn't equip Godo.
Jared and I knocked out the Isshin player because of the obvious combo but Tevesh/Arminx equipped their commander with Commander's Plate, Cranial Plating, Skullclamp and swung 17 commander damage at Jared. I blew up their Cranial Plating with a Generous Gift and brought them down to lethal. The game ended next turn like dominoes, Arminx killed Jared and I killed Arminx.
Game 3 loss was due to Marneus just having the better plays here. Even if I were able to prevent some of their bigger combos, they could've won off straight value. Removal and threat assessment by the other 2 were pretty light towards Marneus which definitely helped them win.
Game 7 loss was due to 2 players getting mana screwed. After not being able to curve out with Giada it was almost impossible to come back. Top-decking that Winds of Abandon may have helped but they were so far ahead it's doubtful.
Game 9 was a misplay. Playing against the Isshin deck I should've known that there would be combat tricks but I was used to slow battlecruiser decks and not 2 mid-range aggro decks.
Smuggler's Share has been hit or miss. If I'm playing against blue, I'll typically get the draw, if I'm playing against green, I'll get the treasures. However, if the opponents aren't playing either of those colors and/or play smart, they can often get around it and it's a dead enchantment on board. I'm still leaving it in because when it does work, it works very well.
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx has been great overall. Early game it may not do much but mid to late game it really shines. I usually leave 2 lands and Nykthos up after T5/6 fully expecting a board wipe and using it to activate abilities or crack clues. I'd highly recommend this land over a basic plains.
Crucible of Worlds was a powerhouse in Game 2. Unfortunately I only ever drew it in 1 other game and it was immediately blown up after I used it once. I think it's worth it because if left unchecked provides you tons of ramp and if it draws out a threat then our draw artifacts or equipments live.
Emeria Shepherd is a bomb. 2 games it was instantly blown up because of how big a threat it was. When it was left unanswered, it absolutely carried the game. I think it's a definite swap for Karmic Guide to get that last push end game.
Darksteel Mutation was great the 2 times I used it. I think there's a need for another one-sided board wipe against decks that go wide and have flyers. In game 3 Marneus out angeled the angel deck and we simply didn't have enough token generation to get through.
Folk Hero wasn't mentioned in the gameplay reviews but I did draw and play it a few games. Unfortunately it was played later in the game when I already had other draw engines on board so its impact was minimal. However, it's definitely an improvement over Dawn of Hope as I didn't have to pay mana for the few cards I did draw.
You've mentioned that Avacyn, Angel of Hope deserves a place in this deck and I wholeheartedly agree, mostly because I bought the new borderless version from double masters specifically for this deck. However, her close cousin Sephara, Sky's Blade almost accomplishes the same thing except she only protects creatures. I think the only reason to end up running Avacyn is to lean into the land destruction that she's known for.
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