Hello y’all! Today I attempted to make one of the cheapest cEDH decks while still making it viable against other, full budget cEDH decks. Selvala, Heart of the Wilds was an easy pick; She is extremely powerful and definitely one of the overall best cEDH commanders to play because she gives card advantage and tons of mana, the two most important things in commander, insanely easily and early. She is also mono-coloured, which allows us to have a very simple mana base without running into the issue of mana fixing cheaply and quickly without fetches or duals. Selvala strategies also uses very unique cards that are often very cheap in order to win. This makes Selvala the perfect commander for a super budget cEDH deck. Though budget Selevala cEDH decks do exist, such as Brostorm, they are often still rather expensive, at least for my standards. So this deck may be for you if you want to get into cEDH but don’t know where to start and are in need of a budget option. Let’s dive in!

So what do you wanna do? Simple; This is a proactive deck, meaning we want to setup and go off for a combo win before others do. So we get Selvala, Heart of the Wilds out as fast possible, hopefully on turn 2. Then play big creatures with small CMC, and by using the mana from Selvala, draw a ton of cards with huge draw spells or tutor for key creatures. Then we combo off in many different ways with many different pieces, as early as turn 3. But how do we do all of this?
In cEDH, turn 1 is very important. In a format where people will try to go off in a matter of minutes, therefore advancing our strategy as early as possible is essential, so we want to setup on our first turn. A way we can do this is with our ramp package, being playable on turn 1. Mana dorks such as our elves like Llanowar Elves, Elvish Mystic, Boreal Druid, Arbor Elf, Fyndhorn Elves or even Elvish Pioneer (only works if we have 3 lands in opening hand) can help with getting Selvala on turn 2 and also synergises with some of our combos with Elvish Archdruid or Wirewood Symbiote (More on that later). Some other less elfy cards will also help such as Wild Growth or Sol Ring, as well as being more resilient and efficient. Once we ramped quickly it's time to play big creatures!
Lets play with Selvala's main gimmick, the biggest creatures we can find but with the smallest CMC. We want them most of the time to have 2-3 CMC, because that's the amount of mana that we will expect to have when Selvala is out, as we want to play them the turn after we play Selvala. Sheltering Ancient and Lupine Prototype will add 5-6 mana through Selvala, if we have access to 3 mana (2 for the creatures + 1 for Selvala's ability), so we want them most of the time. Relic Golem, Phyrexian Soulgorger, Groundbreaker or Ravaging Riftwurm will add 6-8 mana through Selvala, but only if we can have a land drop the turn after we play Selvala. All these big power creatures have downsides, but we don't care too much about that because we don't plan on keeping them for too long. We're just here for some quick mana in order to get our next big things out (for example we can just sack Phyrexian Soulgorger if it's too much of an issue).
We enjoy relying on our powerful creatures as they stick around and act as early game blockers. However, there are alternatives to making creatures huge in order to generate maximum mana. Pump spells! Occasionally, we won't be able to find our key creatures or they don't generate enough for some of our more costly combos. By making one of our creatures or even Selvala herself bigger, even though they're temporary, they might net us just the right amount of mana or card draw needed for our big turn. All our pump spells are 1 mana, staying right on the competetive cEDH curve, with Mutagenic Growth and Invigorate being notable ones as they can be cast for free. Groundswell and Might of Old Krosa are extra effecient ones on our turn making a creature like Selvala 6 power at the very least, with Aspect of the Hydra having similar or even better effect if he we've ramped prior or later in the game and finally Scale Up making any of our creatures a consistent 6 power. Keep in mind the flexability of these spells; we can win unexpected trades by blocking or when one of our creatures is blocked by adding a sneaky pump spell at instant speed, or even survive interactions like Selvala being hit by a rogue Lightning Bolt or a narrow Toxic Deluge. In these cases, pump spells can be more effecient than creatures by giving more potent results for less mana but are more risky as if we don't achieve what we want that turn, we lose all progress.
Hurrah! We've managed to get all our pieces out in order to generate maximum with Selvala. What to do with all this mana? The next step is to find our combo pieces. One of the ways is through massive card draw. Many green card draw spells give you draws relative to creature power, and by chance, we have big creatures/just made some massive. Using Selvala's mana, Soul's Majesty, Return of the Wildspeaker, Garruk, Primal Hunter offers us the possibility to churn through our deck for 5 mana, with Rishkar's Expertise costing 1 extra but with the upside of allowing us to play a card for free afterwards. Life's Legacy, Momentous Fall and Greater Good cost 1 less yet has the downside of sacrificing the creature, so if you planned to cast one of these, make sure you didn't use a pump spell on a vital creature like Selvala.
Nothing keeps the engines flowing like a quick untapping of our commander!Emerald Charm, Instill Energy, Wirewood Symbiote or Quirion Ranger are all only 1 mana and offer us the ability to untap our favourite legend, just to instantly retap her for possibly even more mana if we managed to draw into more pump spells prior. Some of these effects are better used for combos, but if we aren't planning to use em, then no one can resist the indomitable value offered.
Draw is one of 2 solutions to seek combo cards. We have all these tutor effect in order to assemble combos, but what on earth to do with ‘em? They aren't as clear cut as just drawing a butt load of cards! Well hypothetical reader I’ll tell you what and how depending on the situation to do:

With Uncage the Menagerie we want to put 3 mana into it finding Hyrax Tower Scout, Elvish Archdruid and Reclamation Sage but only if we already have a repeatable bounce effect. If not, we want to put 4 into it to find Temur Sabertooth, Voice of Many, Squallmonger and Karametra's Acolyte.

With Shared Summons and Weird Harvest, if we put 2 mana into it, we can assemble a quick combo win by tutoring Temur Sabertooth + Wirewood Symbiote if we have an elf or Temur Sabertooth/Kogla, the Titan Ape + Hyrax Tower Scout/Great Oak Guardian. Temur Sabertooth is prefered over Kogla, the Titan Ape most of the time because it doesn't have the human restriction and is cheaper. Weird Harvest can always get us an extra elf such as Llanowar Elves by putting 3 mana into it but be careful as opponents search too with this card and might get Notion Thiefs to stop infinite draw. So make sure the coast is clear and you can win that turn when casting Weird Harvest or the opponents might counter your strat with specific creatures or even combo off on their turn.

With Woodland Bellower you should get Hyrax Tower Scout or Wirewood Symbiote onto the battlefield. As the creatures go directly onto the battlefield, make sure to win that turn as people can remove with ease if they see you're about to combo off.

With the rest of the tutors you can just get any combo piece depending on your hand or your board state, most of the time being Temur Sabertooth or Hyrax Tower Scout. You shouldn't always tutor for combo pieces though; interaction with cards like Manglehorn, Reclamation Sage, Somberwald Stag or Eternal Witness can also be great tutors if an opponent is about to close out a game or if you need to remove a permanant like Cursed Totem that shuts down our deck or recur a valuable combo piece. But what are these combos I keep speaking about?

1st Combo: Temur Sabertooth/Kogla, the Titan Ape + Hyrax Tower Scout + at least 7 mana = infinite mana and ETBs. We want to activate Selvala, use 2 mana to bounce Hyrax Tower Scout back to hand, then recast it for 3 to untap Selvala and pay 1 to activate her and repeat the cycle. If we have at least 1 extra from Selvala, infinite mana! Then with infinite mana we can use Temur Sabertooth for infinite ETBs or Kogla, the Titan Ape for infinite human ETBs by bouncing and recasting a creature. If we have a creature that draws on ETB with Temur Sabertooth like Elvish Visionary, Voice of Many, Regal Force or simply the creature with highest power to trigger Selvala, will make us draw our deck and then use any mana outlet to win. If we don’t have access to any mana outlets, we can always use creative ETB abuse such as infinitely recurring Beast Within with Timeless Witness (This also works with Kogla as Timeless Witness is human), then fighting each beast with Somberwald Stag and Kogla, the Titan Ape or infinitely pumping each creature with various pump effects. This is our most reliable combo and will be the one we want most of the time as we rely on 2 different types of combo pieces, one of which can easily be subsituted for similar effect.

2cnd Combo: Wirewood Symbiote + Temur Sabertooth + any elf (preferably 1 cost) + at least 6 mana = infinite mana + infinite ETBs. We want to we want to activate Selvala for mana, use Wirewood Symbiote to bounce an elf back to our hand to untap Selvala, then pay 2 into Temur Sabertooth to bounce back Wirewood Symbiote then recast the elf and Wirewood Symbiote for at least 2 mana, then reactivate Selvala to recommence the cycle. If we have at least 1 extra from Selvala, infinite mana and infinite ETBs like the other combo. This one requires 2 non substitutable pieces + the fact that we ramped with elves, but this option can be prefered over the 1st one if we have access to less mana from Selvala and have ramped with elvesin the early game as it is easier to get out.

3rd Combo: Temur Sabertooth + Great Oak Guardian + at least 8 mana = Infintely large creatures and infinite mana. This one requires a lot of mana but has the advantage of not only pumping our entire board for potentially lethal damage depending on blocks, but also making us utilise our mana dorks instead of just Selvala as Great Oak Guardian untaps each creature. If our opponents aren’t creature heavy or if we have a lot of mana dorks, we may chose to opt for this combo.

4th Combo: Selvala, Heart of the Wilds + Sword of the Paruns/Staff of Domination = Infinite mana / Infinite mana + Draw. Using any of these artifacts and enough mana from Selvala (5-6 mana minimum for each) we can tap then untap Selvala indefinetly for infinite mana. With Staff of Domination, we can draw our deck in order to hit one of our payoffs. (Keep in mind that you can also tap down opponent’s creatures which may come in handy depending on the board state). This is not always the prefered option as we cannot abuse ETBs but if we have an outlet for Sword of the Paruns, it can definetly help to win the game without needing to assemble a complicated combo.

All these combos create infinite mana, so we’re running Squallmonger and Goblin Canon as the main way to use it all for a win. In cEDH, people want be losing a lot of life through effects like fetch and shocklands and don’t often attack, especially against a creature deck so us having the highest lifetotal will be the case most of the time. This makes Squallmonger great as we will often be able to ping everyone to death whilst keeping us alive. If we activate Goblin Canon’s ability in response to itslef will ping everyone to death before we have to sacrifice it.

In cEDH, people will combo off and shut down decks with ease so having quick and easy removal is essential. Nature's Claim and Natural State can be cast only needing 1 mana open and shuts down most dangerous artifacts and enchantments in the meta. Leaving mana open and not spending it is a loss of resources so having 1-2 CMC removal is important. Barrier Breach can exile up to 3 things and can be cycled in case of emergency and Kenrith's Transformation is a rare green card that easily deals with creatures and stops them from being recast. Removal on creatures will be what we want in the end because they can bypass a lot of disruption and can be abused with tutors, Selvlala and bounce effects. But what do we want to remove? Effects that stops activated abilities like Cursed Totem and Linvala, Keeper of Silence will simply shut down the deck and we won't be able to win without removing these cards. Cards that stop casting a lot of spells such as Rule of Law, Eidolon of Rhetoric or Arcan Laboratory will stop us from recasting spells infinitely with a repeatable bounce source and will even simply stop our usual big draw, tutor and untap turns with Selvala, so these make great prey for cards like Barrier Breach. It is no secret that Selvala draws a ton of cards so anti-draw effects such as Notion Thief, Narset, Parter of Veils or Spirit of the Labyrinth won't stop tutor effects but will cripple our engines. Then finally targetted removal on Selvlala will most of the time stop our combos or value with average counterspells like Mana Drain or Force of Will or destroy/exile effects with Path to Exile or Lightning Bolt. This is why it's vital to protect Selvala as without her, we have an extremely hard time advancing our stratagy. Savage Summons, Destiny Spinner and Autumn's Veil will stop counter magic or very common blue removal which helps us get Selvala or any key creature out safely. Blossoming Defense and Wrap in Vigor will prevent basic removal too. If she ever gets removed, it's priority number 1 to get her back out. But what if we can't? What if she gets stolen by a Gilded Drake for example?
Selvala is great, but we won’t always rely on her to win, especially when she gets stolen or too expensive to recast. Something like Drannith Magistrate could really become a thorn in our side if we’re unable to deal with it early. So we’ve got a couple of ways to replace her: Karametra's Acolyte and Elvish Archdruid. Both do not require big creatures to be effecient, just a large board state that either includes a lot of green symbols or elves. They can generate a lot of mana just by tapping them just like our commander so the same combos still apply to both of them if big creatures aren’t an option. In cEDH, relying on one creature in order to combo can make winning impossible sometimes as disruption is everywhere so having some tutorable back up options is essential.
Ideally in your opening hand, you want a way to get out Selvala, like 2 lands and a Ramp Spell. We don’t want to stagnate waiting to get the mana for Selvala, especially in cEDH. Then a way to make a lot of mana off Selvala, such as one of our iconic Big Boys or a pump spell. And finally a way to draw a ton of cards of tutor for those cards once set up. Having a hand with these essentials will help us try to combo off consistently. If you can’t seem to find key pieces, it’s not a bad idea to opt for a more disruptive removal heavy hand, to give us time to get into Selvala and start our strat, making the deck a little more reactive than proactive in the early game if necessary. But the deck is no made to do this, so keep this as a last resort against particularly hard decks. Occasionally we will have to take some risks, and potentially keep a lacking hand that’s only cards away from being amazing, given that our opponents are so fast and we’re so budget. It’s up to you to assess what to do depending on what’s in your hand and especially what you are playing against.
So here is my take on a budget cEDH Selvala deck and every step for those wanting to try it out or sipmly those curious on how busted this elf is even on a budget. Yet, unlike Selvala, I am not perfect. Please of please feel free to give me some suggestions that I may have missed, new cards from recent sets, cards that should be removed, questions on aspects I haven't been clear on, or just generally cleaning up some of my mistakes. Yet if you will suggest cards, please keep budget in mind and check the maybe board for it prior to typing. Thank you for those who helped and thank you for reading so far into me freaking out about how a 2 scouts keeping bouncing on a random sabertooth or a big ape.


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85% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 11 months
Last updated 1 month

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

4 - 0 Mythic Rares

22 - 0 Rares

32 - 0 Uncommons

16 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.83
Tokens 3/3 G Token Creature Beast, Wurm 6/6 G, 1/1 U Token Creature Faerie, Timeless Witness 4/4 B
Folders Uncategorized, Looking into cEDH, Commander / EDH, cEDH, CMDR, buys, Want to make
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