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The River Heralds- Explorers of Ixalan

Commander / EDH* Counters GU (Simic) Merfolk Vorthos


“River and sea, jungle and sky. Water flows freely between the two halves of the world. We are creatures of the water.”
-Shaper Tuvasa, the Sunlit

Guardians of the Golden City:

When the sun of Ixalan shines its full glory on the endless rivers below, it sends its blessing coursing through the waterways. Rays of sun pierce the rainforest canopy and reach all the way down to the jungle floor. The entire wilderness is united by the sun, and the River Heralds stand as stalwart protectors of all its bounty. The nomadic Merfolk of Ixalan have inhabited the densest parts of the jungle for centuries and know all of its secrets. The shining city of Orazca that they once protected may have been lost to the ages, but they were there first. And they will make it theirs again.

Deck Descriptors:
• Cunning
• Adaptable
• Opportunistic

Deck Strategies:

  1. Your tribe of clandestine merfolk emerge and rely on each other to adapt to the changing tides of battle. Many Merfolk bestow blessings in the form of +1/+1 counters ( Jade Bearer , Shapers of Nature , etc.) and confer other unique boons ( Swift Warden , Kopala, Warden of Waves , etc.) that allow you to fluidly shape your strategy to outmaneuver opponents as the game unfolds.

  2. Just as the River Heralds are so in tune with the lands around them, so too does your deck rely on lands to function at full potential. Some merfolk in the deck make use of the “Explore” mechanic on their own ( Jadelight Ranger , Tishana's Wayfinder , etc.) but other cards like Path of Discovery can awaken the explorative urge in your other creatures. Exploration is just one way the deck works uses lands. Some lands can be cycled away ( Remote Isle for example) or cast away with Search for Azcanta  if you don’t need them—the act of which can later benefit from World Shaper .

  3. Some merfolk like River Sneak , Merfolk Sovereign , and Tempest Caller focus on evasion and being unblockable. In addition to making them highly effective at circumventing opposing defenses, these effects make them ideal for stealing Sites from players and triggering effects belonging to Dowsing Dagger  or Seafloor Oracle .

  4. Summon powerful elementals to surge into battle! Each elemental in the deck works differently than one another: Avatar of Growth and Risen Reef bring out lands, Wildgrowth Walker synergizes with the Explore mechanic, and Walker of the Grove has a unique scaling effect. Waker of the Wilds and Master of Waves can each produce elementals of their own, the latter of which also combos splendidly with Risen Reef and Path of Discovery.

  5. Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca combines each core strategy of the deck into an all-in-one Merfolk powerhouse. He can reliably be powered up by his Merfolk brethren and become a real threat by making himself unblockable (he's also an ideal target for Emergent Growth !), and can help keep your hand full with his second effect. There is a minor sub-theme of card draw in the deck ( Kumena's Awakening and Overflowing Insight are the best examples) but Kumena himself is the most reliable draw outlet if your field can spare taking some Merfolk out of the fray for a turn.

Part of an EHD Explorers of Ixalan revamp:

1) The Sun Empire- Heirs of the Golden City ( Dinosaurs)

2) The River Heralds- Guardians of the Golden City ( Merfolk)

3) The Brazen Coalition- Plunderers of the Golden City ( Pirates)

4) The Legion of Dusk- Conquerers of the Golden City ( Vampires)


Updates Add


78% Casual

22% Competitive

Date added 1 year
Last updated 3 weeks

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

6 - 0 Mythic Rares

24 - 0 Rares

20 - 0 Uncommons

24 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.16
Tokens 0/2 G Token Creature Plant, 1/0 Elemental, 1/1 U Token Creature Merfolk, C Emblem City's Blessing, 4/4 Elemental
Folders Explorers of Ixalan EDH
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