Overview

Welcome one, welcome all, back once again to The Mad Shaman’s Brewery! I got a bit of a treat for y’all today. My first and probably last cEDH Deck for a long time!

What we have here is a resilient combo deck based around Saffi Erikdotter and the sack of potatoes that she combos with. It can go off as early as turn 2 with a turn 4 average based on the hands you actually want to keep.

Here’s the Primer, hope you enjoy it, and understand it.

Sac Outlet- Any card that allows you to repeatedly sacrifice creatures for value. Examples include Ashnod's Altar, Spawning Pit, and similar effects. Sacrificing is part of the cost, and cannot be responded to. Even Stifle effects cannot stop you from sacrificing creatures.

Recursion- Any card that returns other cards back from the grave or exile (in fringe rare cases). Examples include Reveillark and Riftsweeper.

ETB- "Enters the Battlefield" triggers.

Flicker- Exiling a creature and immediately returning it to repeat ETBS.

The Yard- The graveyard.

Milkshakes- Silver Bullets that hurt your combo potential by forcing key pieces into the wrong place at the wrong time.

Redundancy- Having multiple cards that fill the same role in the event one of them dies off. This is also what I refer to as a “Safety Net”, because they save the combo when it’s likely to fail.


Gameplans

Okay so the main goal is to find a sac outlet and 1 of three cards. Any one of them, it doesn't matter which, it's possible with each. Those along with Saffi Eriksdotter start the combo. They are Pattern of Rebirth, Protean Hulk, or Boonweaver Giant. For the sake of this talk through, I'll start the combo with Pattern of Rebirth.

Alright so you play pattern on any creature and sac it. It doesn't matter which one as long as it isn't Saffi, you can get it back later. It can still be done if Saffi is your only available creature, it's just a bit more difficult.

(Making that happen requires you to find Boonweaver Giant off Pattern of Rebirth, saccing it to find Karmic Guide, get back Boonweaver Giant. Pattern of Rebirth will reattach. Then, sac Boonweaver Giant to get Felidar Guardian, flickering Karmic Guide to get back Boonweaver Giant. Sac Felidar Guardian and Karmic Guide. Then, sac Boonweaver Giant to find Reveillark. Sac Reveillark to get back Felidar Guardian and Karmic Guide. Karmic Guide gets back Boonweaver Giant, and Felidar Guardian flickers it to also get back Reveillark. Then, you just sac Karmic Guide and Reveillark to get back each other and Saffi. If that sounds complicated, it is. But that's the price you pay for sending your boys to the yard without recursion.)

From that death trigger, Pattern of Rebirth finds Boonweaver Giant. Boonweaver Giant gets back Pattern of Rebirth attached to itself. Sac Saffi targeting Boonweaver Giant. At this time, Saffi will be in the yard.

Sac Boonweaver Giant to whatever outlet you have. Pattern of Rebirth will find Karmic Guide, Karmic Guide will get back Saffi. Because you sacced Saffi on Boonweaver Giant, It will return to the battlefield, getting back Pattern of Rebirth. Sac Saffi on Boonweaver Giant again. Now, sac Boonweaver Giant and Karmic Guide. Note that Karmic Guide and Saffi are in the yard, and Boonweaver Giant will be returning.

This time, Pattern of Rebirth gets Reveillark. Boonweaver Giant returns, getting back Pattern of Rebirth. Sac Reveillark, getting back Saffi and Karmic Guide, which will in turn get back Reveillark. At this point in time, you can now infinitely recur Saffi (after saccing on Boonweaver Giant) by saccing Karmic Guide and Reveillark, so I'll leave it out of the discussion in the future.

The next creature we're going to get is Grand Abolisher. (Note that because Pattern of Rebirth doesn't cast it, it can't be countered This adds total safety to the combo, except through the rare Stifle effect.) If they didn't figure out how to stop the combo through your sacrifice branded protection before GA hits the field, they have now lost the game. By the end of this step, all the above creatures will be on the battlefield.

Now that you are completely set up, time to win. Using the Boonweaver Giant combo, you are going to fetch out every creature in your deck. Included in these are Lotus Cobra, Dryad Arbor, and Soul of the Harvest.

With Soul of the Harvest on the field, each reanimation of Saffi will net you up to 3 cards. Using this loop, you're going to draw your deck.

Now with your Wincons in hand, you might realize,"Oh crap! I dont have the mana to play a wincon! I'm gonna mill out!" Not quite.

I mentioned Lotus Cobra and Dryad Arbor above for this purpose, as they are the easiest (but not only) solution to this very real concern. Dryad Arbor is both a creature and a land. This allows it to be slotted into the recurring combo, netting as much mana as your heart desires. Simply replace Saffi with Dryad Arbor in the combo to net said mana, but remember to ALWAYS sac Karmic Guide or your life will become more difficult when trying to win (You'll have to pull some Saffi shenanigans with Felidar Guardian to flicker KG to get Reveillark back if you forget).

So, you've played your wincon out. The rest is history. Infinite mill is the easiest to pull off, but if necessary Blasting Station generates infinite damage as an alternative (in the event of Titans).

Now I know it sounds complicated, but it's not that bad once you have even the most basic of ideas what to do. The combo is strong. It's resilient to removal, and the pieces find each other. It's very fun to play, and unless you're a prick who makes people play it out, it can be pretty cool to watch.

I mentioned 3 cards above that start the combo, those being Pattern of Rebirth, Boonweaver Giant, and Protean Hulk. Boonweaver Giant and Pattern of Rebirth are simple. They find each other as the combo begins. Protean Hulk is a little different. You still want Saffi Eriksdotter and a sac outlet to start it, but here’s how it goes.

Sac Saffi Eriksdotter on Protean Hulk. Then, sac Protean Hulk to get Karmic Guide. Karmic Guide gets back Saffi Eriksdotter.

Sac Saffi Eriksdotter on Protean Hulk, then sac Karmic Guide. Search up Reveillark with Protean Hulk. Then sac Reveillark to get back Saffi Eriksdotter and Karmic Guide, which in turn gets back Reveillark.

At this point in time you’ve assembled the same combo as before, except with Protean Hulk instead of Boonweaver Giant. Protean Hulk finds all your creatures (Except Boonweaver Giant, funnily enough). Then you just draw the deck, make the mana, play a wincon, and win.

It’s about the same difficulty to pull off, though it would be a lot easier if Pattern of Rebirth and Boonweaver Giant didn’t search each other up. This allows the deck to be a clean 3-card combo no matter which of the main combos you go for.


Safety Nets

Absolute saving graces that can save the entire combo if things aren't going great.

Any smart opponent can see through the stack and figure out the perfect spot to respond, killing the creature you targeted with Saffi while Saffi's trigger is stacked being among the better options. That means if an opponent exiles or destroys that creature at this time, it stays gone. That’s doodoo.

Sometimes, you end up making a mistake. It happens. It’s a relatively complex combo after all, you’re going to screw up once or twice. You’ll sac in the wrong order and send an important combo piece to an early grave, or an opponent will remove a key piece at the perfect time so that you can’t properly reanimate. Well, while that situation is not ideal, we do have a few ways to save the combo.

Renegade Rallier, Sun Titan, Karmic Guide, and Felidar Guardian should be no stranger to any Saffi Eriksdotter deck, but especially one that relies so heavily on comboing quickly. Each of these are crucial to return lost combo pieces from their not-so-final resting places. Not to mention the fact that all of these creatures other than Felidar Guardian generate infinite ETBs with Saffi and a sac outlet. Solid Stuff. And that’s not even mentioning Loyal Retainers, but we’ll get to those lovelies in a bit.

The worst thing an opponent can do to you is to exile a combo piece. Answers to that are few, and VERY far between. Luckily we have access to one that couldn’t possibly be any better. I am of course talking about Riftsweeper. It's amazing. It's cheap, fetchable, returns from exile, and puts into the library to be researched up! I could not be happier with a card to silver bullet my less than ideal matchups.

And that just a few of the many. It IS a graveyard recursion deck after all.

I suppose this is as good a place as any to discuss Elvish Visionary. While this little dude may not seem too impressive, they are actually one of the most important safety nets in the deck. It functions as a replacement to Soul of the Harvest in the bit that draws your deck. As you can probably imagine, it slots in place of Saffi Eriksdotter in the Karmic Guide + Reveillark combo to draw the deck if something happens to Soul of the Harvest. Pretty solid for an unassuming little guy.

Let’s get right down to the meat and potatoes here. Loyal Retainers is N U T S.

For one, it generates infinite ETB’s with Saffi Eriksdotter without a sac outlet. This alone is pretty nutty given Altar of the Brood and similar ETB-centric cards. But that's not why Loyal Retainers is so crazy.

No, it’s because of combo protection of all things.

See, as long as you have Loyal Retainers on the field, almost no spot removal spell can ever touch your creatures. The reason behind that statement is because of the way Loyal Retainers reacts with Saffi.

Oh, the opponent is gonna Swords to Plowshares your Boonweaver Giant before it gets back Pattern of Rebirth? What a horrible situation! Sure would be a shame if Loyal Retainers were on the field, allowing you to rip Saffi back from the grave and use her to save Boonweaver Giant.

I'm sure yall can figure out how powerful turning off your opponent's removal is, and Loyal Retainers just stops most spot removal there is. It's pretty nutty all things considered.

And don't even get me started with the infinite mill combo that comes with Altar of the Brood and Saffi to kill on turn 3.

Long story short, one of my favorite cards in the deck. Solid stuff.

Felidar Guardian is really dumb. Like, REALLY dumb. I mentioned “shenanigans with Felidar Guardian" a few times above and below. I did this for a reason. A very big reason. See, in a pinch, Felidar Guardian functions as another Saffi in the deck.

All you have to do is replace Saffi with Guardian and let it go. Sac either Boonweaver Giant or Protean Hulk to find whatever. Sac Karmic Guide and Felidar Guardian, the sac Reveillark to get them back.

Karmic Guide will get back your searcher, and Felidar Guardian will flicker it to also get back Reveillark.

At that point, all your fetch pieces should be back on the field, even without Saffi. Because Felidar Guardian is dumb enough to function as a second version of your commander.

Calling it solid is an understatement.


Milkshakes

These cards are bad news. If your opponent gets these down, they are to become threat number 1 to get rid of, because your deck doesn't function properly without them gone.

Aven Mindcensor- This card is annoying. Very beatable, as dictated by random chance. If you do the combo, you will E V E N T U A L L Y find the right pieces in the top 4 if you continue to search the top 4. That's just how it works. It’s less than ideal, but passable. Killing it is preferable.

Linvala, Keeper of Silence- This lady is mad annoying. Obviously without Saffi the deck doesn't like to function smoothly (though it can be done with Felidar Guardian shenanigans). Kill her if you can for the sake of simplicity. If not, just win without.

Narset, Parter of Veils- Of all the Soft Counters, Narset is easily the most hindering. The inability to draw extra cards is painful when you have the combo set up, but can’t draw extra cards to win that turn. Kill it for sure, depending on your hand. If you can win regardless, by all means do that. Pretty much any tutor will allow you to.

Null Rod- Null Rod effects are annoying, but far from unbeatable. You're actually a lot more reliant on your enchantments than your artifacts, because your enchantments tend to be the ones you can fetch up. And once it's going of course, your deck is in your hand so it doesn't even stop your Blasting Station effects as long as you can find an enchantment-based sac outlet (because you are guaranteed to draw an answer.)

Rest in Peace- Obvious reasons. Graveyard deck doesn’t do graveyard things without the graveyard. Kill on sight and get your lost pieces back with Riftsweeper.

Leyline of the Void- Once again, super obvious for the same reason. Kill on sight, get your bits back.

Stranglehold- You can’t search your pieces with it out, so it's gotta go. Search up Knight of Autumn in response and flicker it with a recurred Felidar Guardian.

Grafdigger's Cage- This deck HATES to see Grafdigger's Cage roll up to the party. Can’t do the combo, can’t recur things. It’s completely dependent on either your hand’s ability to deal with it, or your ability to win in response. Especially since the flicker Knight of Autumn plan doesn't work.

Containment Priest- Is EXTREMELY annoying. And I will admit, it's mostly due to Flash, rather than the ability itself. It almost always get a free hit on one of your combo pieces, but there'll be a few situations when you can fetch up the right stuff in response to just beat it and make your opponent wish they were playing blue. Just remember, as long as they hit the field or are in your hand before Containment Priest lands, you're good to go.

Among all flavors of milkshake, one stands far above the rest. A single card that hates on everything our deck wants to do, AND is hard to remove.

And that flavor… is Ashiok, Dream Render.

I see that guy all the time and they're just the worst thing ever. First off, the can't search libraries bit. That's actually the worst. Stops the deck in its tracks. AND THEN, on top of that, they get one easy activation of it, exiling your grave and a few off the top.

Linvala doesn't stop it, it gets one activation no matter what, and there's very little you can do to remove it without searching the deck.

The only real way you can beat Ashiok, Dream Render consistently is to fetch up Archon of Justice with it on the stack and sac it once Ashiok exiles your grave.

Other than that, win in response or pray for Oblation.



Closing

Thank yall for coming out today to check it out. By all means give some suggestions to help out, I'll absolutely test em, no exceptions. Have a great day.

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Casual

97% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 2 months
Last updated 1 week
Key combos
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

2 - 0 Mythic Rares

55 - 0 Rares

26 - 0 Uncommons

9 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.41
Tokens 3/3 Elephant, 3/3 Beast, 2/2 Spawn
Folders cEDH ideas, maybe, NICE, Combo Deck, Commander, Decks, Good
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