pie chart

Warrior Queen [Najeela Midrange/Tempo cEDH Primer]

Commander / EDH Competitive Five Color Infinite Combo Midrange



Please note that this primer has migrated to Moxfield and that the one here will gradually stop being maintained. This includes answering questions unless they are posed over there.

With the release of Battlebond (BBD), WotC kindly delivered a new commander relevant to the competitive scene. Najeela’s viability immediately stood out to myself and others due to her all-encompassing color identity and potential to combo off with a multitude of 1-card win-cons. Her army-in-a-can can single-handedly provide enormous pressure and simply steamroll stalled board states. Finally, unlike with previous slot-efficient, 1-card win-con commanders such as Chain Veil Teferi, Najeela’s win-cons are never fully dead and can theoretically be played at any point in the game for advantage.

Thanks to the many hours of testing, tinkering, and collaboration of the Najeela Discord, we have largely settled on this highly interactive, modular shell. It plays the highest quality ramp, protection, tutors and draw engines in 5 colors.

Compared to the format’s other standout 5 color deck, Food Chain First Sliver, our splashes into and from a core are a bit more significant: they give the deck great inevitability and grind potential and make the deck feel like a true 5 color deck. Competitive Najeela is defined by card quality, efficiency, and relevance.

The deck is capable of consistently threatening turn 4 wins. Additionally, it has multiple routes to win on turn 3 and can, in rare circumstances, win as early as turn 2. Najeela also thrives against stax and is happy to lean on powerful draw engines against interactive pods.

Given the interactive nature of the deck and its access to the game’s entire card pool, customization of the deck’s flex slots to suit your meta is encouraged. Thus, please find a number of additional meta-dependent card suggestions in the list’s Maybeboard.

Finally, I’d like to give one final shout-out and thanks to the entire Najeela Discord and users such as tw0handt0uch, Nakhla, jeacaveo as well as BestSmurgNA (among so many others) for their past and continued contributions to making this deck the best it can be. Without further ado, I present to you: Midrange Najeela.

Come hang out, get your questions answered and check out replays of the deck in action at the Najeela Discord!

Protect the Queen

One of Najeela’s greatest strengths as a midrange commander is her ability to take on a consistent, linear gameplan while also possessing the ability to seamlessly pivot to a more defensive role when the need arises. Although originally used in the context of 60 card formats, “Protect the Queen” is a turn of phrase used by famed Magic player Gerry Thompson that I feel succinctly describes this deck’s most common play pattern. In a nutshell: disregard synergy in favor of raw power. Stick a high-quality threat (in our case, Najeela) on turn one or two and then interact with our opponents to disrupt their gameplans as well as to protect the Queen. Play the most powerful cards available to you and tune your deck to attack the expected meta-game.

In general, it is worth fighting over removal on Najeela as she needs to be in play for us to combo off. Additionally, being able to develop a board with her simplifies our winning lines tremendously while also providing an additional angle of attack through pressure on our opponents’ life totals. That said, she doesn’t always need to be able to attack for us to win; so long as we have an attacker able to connect with all our opponents and the ability to continuously generate WUBRG, we can win off a freshly cast Najeela. Additionally, it is very possible to sneak wins through finite activations of Najeela and the exponential growth of her warrior army. Also note that the printing of Thassa's Oracle changes this calculus a great deal. We are less reliant on Najeela than ever and, as such, it can often be worthwhile to pursue the backup plan rather than fight over Najeela or keeping the board clear enough for her to connect (see "Forbidden Tutors" for more detail).

Najeela’s combos are all relatively straightforward, ultimately boiling down to being able to repeatedly generate during the combat step. That said, there are a few important details to consider: the minimum requirements for each win-con piece, being able to identify which win-con piece to prioritize given the infinite variability of possible board states and, finally, the mechanics and steps of MTG's combat phase.

We will start by examining the minimum requirements of each of the deck’s three combo pieces in the hopes that this also provides some insight into recognizing how to navigate potentially complex board states and knowing which win-con to prioritize in different situations. Bear in mind that these all obviously require Najeela in play and able to activate her ability. Also, you should pay special attention to how the math may change if opponents have creatures they can block with. Finally, note that land enchantments such as Wild Growth and Utopia Sprawl can change the math a fair bit as well.


5 creatures able to declare an attack to generate WUBRG (note that warriors put into play attacking by Najeela’s ability don’t count right away due to the rules for attack triggers).


X non-warrior creatures in play and able to declare an attack, Y warriors, and Z additional mana available to generate .

This is a somewhat complicated way of saying that so long as you are able to eventually hit the 5 declared attacks threshold over additional combat phases you can start with fewer than 5 attackers and pay the difference to activate Najeela’s activated ability with other mana sources. This works due to Najeela’s trigger creating new warriors and the fact that her activated ability gives attacking creatures haste whether the attacks were declared or not. Thus, you can theoretically start with the worst-case scenario of 1 attacking warrior and 4 extra mana for the first activation, 2 attacking warriors and 3 extra mana for the second activation, 4 attacking warriors and 1 extra mana for the third activation and go infinite from there (8 mana total). This calculation changes if some number of attackers are not warriors. The worst-case progression for 1 warrior, 1 non-warrior goes as follows: 2 attacking creatures and 3 extra mana (X+Y+Z=1+1+3), 3 attacking creatures and 2 extra mana (X+Y+Z=1+2+2) and infinite from here (X+Y=1+4). Thus, 5 additional mana is needed in this scenario.

Now while this does sound fairly difficult to achieve, it is important to keep in mind that we generally have a reasonably established board state just by virtue of Najeela’s trigger and all our mana dorks. That said, many of us are of the opinion that Druids' Repository is the weakest of our win-cons in a vacuum and not usually the one to prioritize.

Note that the primer list no longer runs Druid's Repository as of 10/04/2020


1 creature able to deal combat damage to an opponent and 5 lands able to generate .


2 creatures able to deal combat damage to 2 different opponents and 3 lands able to generate (one rainbow land and 2 duals with max 1 overlapping land type needed)

3 creatures able to deal combat damage to 3 different opponents and 2 lands able to generate (one rainbow land and any dual needed)

The reason these more advanced lines work is due to how Nature's Will is worded: it creates a separate trigger for each opponent dealt damage rather than for each creature that deals damage. All you need to do is float mana in between each trigger resolving in order to pay the full cost of activating Najeela's ability. Additionally, Nature's Will has some small additional utility in tapping opponents’ lands to protect you over successive combat phases. Thus, Nature's Will is the deck’s main avenue to getting the miracle turn 2 win; as usual, thanks to the format’s busted fast mana.


5 attackers able to deal combat damage to any player(s).


Unlike with Druids' Repository, Derevi, Empyrial Tactician can take advantage of Najeela’s newly-created warriors. Additionally, she can take advantage of permanents able to generate multiple mana and, like with Druids' Repository, she can leverage extra untapped mana sources to help reach the 5 combat damage triggers through multiplying warriors over multiple combat steps. Thus, it is frequently possible to win starting with the worst-case scenario of 1 warrior able to deal combat damage. The first attack will generate 2 untap triggers and require 3 extra mana to activate Najeela. The subsequent attack will generate 4 triggers and only require 1 extra mana (for a total of 4 mana). Further attacks will suffice to go infinite and even generate additional tap/untap triggers. This math naturally changes if you happen to control any permanents able to generate multiple mana of different colors.

Given Derevi, Empyrial Tactician’s ETB trigger means that she often ends up only costing 2 mana, that she can be used to tap down opposing blockers, that she’s a creature herself, that she can even be used proactively to break parity on many stax pieces and the fact that she can untap any available mana source, it is my and many others’ opinion that she is Najeela’s strongest win-con piece. Nature's Will may be just as good or better in some situations (i.e. very early wins). One last thing to keep in mind is that while all of Derevi's combat damage triggers go on the stack simultaneously (and thus, you need to pick targets for them right away), they don't all resolve simultaneously. Thus, you can stack as many triggers on a single permanent as you like (say, a Command Tower) and activate abilities of that permanent in between triggers in order to float enough mana to activate Najeela.

For the Combo

So it turns out that Magic's combat system is a little bit more complicated than many people are aware. The Combat Phase is actually broken down, itself, into 5 steps and Najeela can technically be activated during any of these. Complicating matters further is the fact that mana pools empty between phases and steps. In general, you'll usually want to activate Najeela after declaring attackers and letting her trigger resolve. This will allow you to untap and grant haste to all the new warriors Najeela produces--thus permitting them to attack again in the subsequent combat phase. You can do this at the end of the declare attackers step, after resolving Najeela's trigger, during the declare blockers phase (after your opponents declare any blocks they may want to make), during the combat damage step or even in the end of combat step. It can be tricky to know when to activate Najeela since circumstances can warrant using one step or another. In general, you should know these points:

--Derevi, Empyrial Tactician will require you to activate Najeela during the combat damage step if you happen to be stacking multiple triggers on a single permanent in order to float . If you are simply untapping enough permanents to generate that mana, you can disregard this and activate Najeela in the end of combat step. This can be especially relevant if you are using extra triggers to tap down opponents' permanents such that they won't have access to any mana they float in response to your tap triggers.

--Nature's Will has the upside of tapping opponents' lands as part of its trigger. As such, if you aren't abusing the multiple opponents/multiple triggers ability of the card in order to float enough mana to activate Najeela, you'll usually want to wait until the end of combat step so that your opponents' mana pools empty before you activate her.

--Druids' Repository (obsolete) triggers during the declare attackers step and for each creature you declare as an attacker. Thus, in theory, you could use the mana it generates to do some cute stuff like activate Najeela to give your attackers trample and lifelink before (or immediately after) blocks are declared. This will gain you a bit of extra life and can possibly help you push through some extra damage thanks to trample. Alternatively, you can always wait on activating Najeela until the very last second to try and hide your true intentions.

Maximizing lifelink

In some grindier games, you may find yourself in a position where you need to activate Najeela's ability a finite number of times to gain some life (yes, the ability gives trample, haste and lifelink to attacking creatures until the end of the turn). This can happen when everybody is low on resources after multiple failed attempts at winning and the game devolves to creature combat. Fortunately, we are very favoured in this position. That doesn't mean we shouldn't/will never need to play as optimally as possible to put ourselves well ahead in the race.

In this situation, you always want to activate Najeela in the declare blockers step after blocks are declared to have the most amount of information possible. This is, unfortunately, your last chance to do so unless you are prepared to pass up the life gain during that particular combat. If you pass priority during this step and none of your opponents play any spells (thus creating a new round of priority), then the game will immediately proceed to the combat damage step where no player normally gets priority until after damage is dealt. Unfortunately, damage doesn't use the stack anymore so we have limited options when it comes to playing around removal before committing mana to Najeela's activated ability.

Taking advantage of Najeela's ability to grant lifelink whenever it's reasonable to do so is more important than ever thanks to the inclusion of Ad Nauseam.

Najeela is well-equipped to fight through all of the format’s commonly played stax pieces. Fortunately, Humility is not commonly played! All of the deck’s win-cons can operate through Rule of Law, graveyard hate, Null Rod and sphere effects. We are only seriously affected by Cursed Totem, Linvala, Keeper of Silence and Blood Moon. Thankfully, we run plenty of answers to all of these effects. Two commonly recommended inclusions to deal with particularly stax-heavy metas (i.e. if you face Blood Moon/Back to Basics/Cursed Totem in almost every game) are a single basic Forest and a Force of Vigor. We can also just beat the offending player into dust through them a lot of the time.

Indeed, six combat steps is usually more than enough to beat down three opponents, based on the following damage progression and the assumption that dealing 120 damage is enough to win:

-- Combat 1 (Najeela attacks alone): 4 damage (3+1 from new token)

-- Combat 2 (Najeela+1 warrior): 10 damage (3+3 from tokens)

-- Combat 3 (Najeela+3 warriors): 20 damage (3+7 from tokens)

-- Combat 4 (Najeela+7 warriors): 38 damage (3+15 from tokens)

-- Combat 5 (Najeela+15 warriors): 72 damage (3+31 from tokens)

-- Combat 6 (Najeela+31 warriors): 138 damage (3+63 from tokens)

Najeela’s access to all five colors and her resistance to stax means that she is highly adaptable to any meta. In general, this fact has resulted in alternate, hatebear-style builds similar to Blood Pod leaning on permanent-based stax for interaction. This has the obvious advantage of increasing the deck’s creature density to help with the deck’s attack-oriented lines to victory but does increase the deck’s vulnerability to board wipes. As it stands, I've chosen to stick to a high density of stack-based interaction due to its inherent versatility as an answer as well as combo protection. Still, many hatebears can be slotted into this more permission-based shell if your meta calls for it. Cards like Containment Priest, Linvala, Keeper of Silence or Notion Thief can be potent answers to many opposing strategies.

Zealous Persecution is a powerful piece of disruption in creature-based metas and can make combat easy to navigate in situations where opponents have a lot of blockers. In more control-oriented metas, cards like Autumn's Veil or even Grand Abolisher are potential answers to opposing permission.

Additional graveyard hate such as Grafdigger's Cage (also great against Yisan) or even Leyline of the Void is easily slotted in and should be considered in a meta overrun with Hulk, reanimator and/or Kess decks. Null Rod and Stony Silence disrupt storm and Paradox-Scepter Thrasios decks. We are even able to run Rule of Law or tax effects of our own if the meta calls for it (though at this point I would suggest trimming on stack-based interaction). Feel free to slot in a basic Forest and Force of Vigor if you face off against Blood Moon often.

Edric, Spymaster of Trest, Skullclamp, Meltdown, all have a super high ceiling for value with an appreciably high floor as well. They might not always be the perfect fit for any meta, however. Edric, Spymaster of Trest in particular can be risky in metas overrun with other creature-based decks (although in my experience he's less risky than say, playing a Timetwister at some point in the midgame). Skullclamp is best reserved for grindy matchups where it allows you to offset the risk of getting blown out by boardwipes by allowing you to trade Najeela's tokens for concrete (and often substantial) card advantage. Finally, Meltdown is less of a lock than Null Rod is--but it has additional value as removal for annoying static hate pieces such as Cursed Totem if you happen to see it a lot.

Layering alternate win-cons


As a final note, Najeela's modularity also enables her to be built with layered win-con packages on top of the basic Najeela-focused plan. While my personal preference is the more straightforward plan described here, different metas (or your playstyle) might incentivize the ability to threaten earlier wins at the expense of some card quality. In particular, Flash + Hulk layering can be a very elegant option in such situations as it provides a Najeela-free win-con, at instant speed, for only two mana and happens to take advantage of a good number of cards this list already runs. I happen to maintain a layered Najeela + Flash Hulk build that you can find here:

Oracle Queen

i.e. Tainted Pact, Demonic Consultation and Plunge into Darkness.

Yes, I know these tutors look scary. Demonic Consultation, in particular, runs the risk of backfiring and exiling our entire library. Like with Food Chain Tazri, it is often worth taking these risks simply due to the incredible power-level of these tutors (and the boon that is having a super-high tutor density in a deck). It is important to note that most of our deck is simply redundant good stuff and, by having redundant 1-card win-cons, we can afford to lose some permanently in the name of running some of the game’s strongest tutor effects. If all else fails, put your faith in the queen, I guess? :shrug:

Tainted Pact is often an instant speed Demonic Tutor (strictly better Demonic Tutor?!) and Demonic Consultation can often be even better than that by imitating an instant speed Demonic Tutor for just the low cost of a (wew). All for the small risk of losing on the spot (typically) less than 1/10th of the times you end up using it.

Plunge into Darkness is a modal Impulse that can either cantrip for a small life payment early on or dig super deep when the time is right. Cards like these three increase the deck's overall tutor density tremendously and represent a powerful method of exploiting in-game resources to your advantage.

Incidentally, these cards also open up the possibility of playing backup win-cons like Thassa's Oracle. Simply put Thassa's Oracle into play, respond to its trigger by casting either Tainted Pact or Demonic Consultation to exile your entire library, and win when its ETB trigger resolves. The beauty of this secondary gameplan is that it is highly resistant to the type of answers that are especially effective against Najeela--board wipes, Abrupt Decay, multiple pieces of spot removal, etc. Additionally, it costs only a single deck slot to have this alternate angle of attack. The power of Thassa's Oracle to win out of nowhere--often for as little as --should not overlooked. Indeed, upwards of 50% of my wins often come from such lines in recent testing. Simply put: we are much less reliant on Najeela these days and, as such, it is important to keep the ability to pivot between Najeela and Oracle gameplans in mind as a game develops.

Ad Nauseam

As of the 10/04/2020 update to this primer, I am now running Ad Nauseam. Truth be told, I've been testing this card for some time now and feel quite confident about finally recommending it. This new inclusion of an old staple raises the question: why weren't we on Ad Naus before, despite our Naus-friendly low average CMC?

For a long time, the cardpool available to us mostly incentivized Najeela-oriented wins even after resolving Naus. On such lines, there was always a certain blowout potential if an opponent aimed removal at Najeela before we could take advantage of all the cards we just picked up or if we simply couldn't connect for damage. Basically, Ad Naus' dependence on Najeela being around made it about as effective as any tutor for a win-con. New cards being added to the game means that this is no longer true.

Najeela now has a powerful Naus plan largely buoyed by two new cards: Thassa's Oracle and Dockside Extortionist. Thassa's Oracle gives us a mana-efficient, game-winning plan to pursue after resolving Ad Naus that isn't reliant on Najeela's survival or ability to connect. Additionally, the deck is able to produce mana more explosively than ever before thanks to Dockside Extortionist. This card can often single-handedly give us enough mana post-Naus to assemble a win or it can simply bank enough mana to make sure we get to Naus in the first place.

Just be careful about the timing of your Naus. We aren't optimized around casting Ad Naus with 0 mana floating in main phase 1. If you can cast Naus at instant speed right before untapping, winning should be trivial. I recommend starting with a reasonably healthy life total and at least 2-3 mana available (including a possible land drop) post-Naus if you plan to cast it during your own main phase. Keep in mind that you can occasionally use non-lethal Derevi or Nature's Will attacks as rituals to either cast Naus or generate some extra mana post-Naus. Additionally, always consider possible windows where you can sneak in Najeela activations to take advantage of lifelink. Long-term, expect additional small refinements to the decklist meant to further bolster this plan when it is possible to do so without compromising overall card quality.

And what if I hate Ad Nauseam?

Finally, I know this change may not be universally loved. In order to accomodate y'all to the best of my ability, I have decided to maintain a no-Naus build of Najeela alongside this one. You can find it here:

Warrior Queen [No Naus]

-- Sword of Feast and Famine: It's inarguably a strong card, especially 1v1. The fact that it has a somewhat high mana cost (3 to play, then 2 to equip), always requires from 5 lands (making it pretty slow), plays poorly with Null Rod effects, and has reasonably high blowout potential (somebody destroys it or the creature it’s equipped to as you move to combat) makes it weaker than the options we currently run. Ultimately, it’s almost always easier to depend on having 3 or so attackers along with a tiny amount of leftover mana than it is to expect to have 5 lands in a cutthroat format like cEDH.

-- Bear Umbra: It's nice in that it doesn’t require you to actually connect with the creature it’s attached to but, at 4 mana and with insane blowout potential (i.e. somebody removes the creature being targeted by it in response to its cast), I feel extremely uncomfortable running this card in competitive pods.

-- Cryptolith Rite: This seems alright on the surface given its usefulness early on and efficiency. When you actually crunch the numbers to see what the minimum requirement to go off with it is, however, it turns out that you’ll typically need something on the order of 10 warriors minimum before this card gets you there. Expecting to have a board of 2-3 creatures is not unreasonable; expecting to have 10 warriors on the board is a little too optimistic for my liking and, as such, I’m not feeling it. It’s not a terrible card though, so more power to you if you want to try running it.

-- Laboratory Maniac: With the presence of Tainted Pact and Demonic Consultation in the list, this guy looks appealing. For very little mana and deck slots, it’s possible to win with next to no board state, through just about every stax piece and without needing Najeela. In fact, this is the go-to win-con for an increasing number of competitive decks.

So, given all that, I tried it out. The biggest issue with it in this deck is our relatively low density of cantrips makes it much harder to pull off in practice than one would expect. We are basically on the “pass turn with Laboratory Maniac out and use Consult/Pact in upkeep” plan…which is highly telegraphed and not usually where you want to be with such an all-in win-con.

All that said, I think this is currently the backup win-con with the most potential to make its way back into the deck—perhaps with the addition of a few extra cantrips such as Gitaxian Probe and Opt.

-- Ad Nauseam (obsolete): Another card that was put through its paces and tested for a good amount of time. While this deck is, in theory, an excellent Naus deck (look at dat average cmc tho), in practice it turns out that we can't really win by just casting it and drawing 20. As we are required to have a somewhat established board to win, Naus ends up being a very powerful--but also very expensive--draw engine. This alone is probably an okay reason to run it but what makes matters worse for the card is that we aren't on the same density of fast mana as more dedicated Naus decks (e.g. Dark Ritual, Mana Vault, Grim Monolith, etc.) such that it is both harder to actually hit 5 mana to cast Naus and it's also less profitable to do so.

The power of the card is undeniable, however. Don't be surprised to see it potentially come in and out of this deck as I continually test and retest different tweaks.

$750 budget Najeela tempo: $750 Budget Warrior Queen [cEDH Najeela Tempo]

Lower budget versions of the deck are likely possible at the cost of even more manabase consistency; this first version is a compromise between a generally affordable price tag and an attempt to make the manabase work. I know this is likely still out of reach for many people. Stay tuned for attempts at even more budgeted versions of the deck and, in the meantime, try cutting more fetches and shocks in favor of the remaining pain lands, check lands and possibly some 2-cost mana dorks.

10/04/2020 -Summoner's Pact, -Negate, -Edric, Spymaster of Trest, -Null Rod, -Counterspell, -Druids' Repository, +Ad Nauseam, +Lotus Petal, +Vexing Shusher, +Deflecting Swat, +Drannith Magistrate, +Fierce Guardianship. Some major changes this time around to both the list and the primer. It's possible that after more testing a few of these specific swaps will end up shifting around for other cards still in the deck. You can at least feel confident in picking up the new cards listed even if the exact swaps end up changing.

Note that I've added a section to the primer on Ad Nauseam specifically so I won't go into it again here. Lotus Petal is in to bolster that line while also being good early acceleration for Najeela or Najeela + the ability to hold up 1 mana interaction. I've chosen to cut Null Rod to reduce anti-synergy with Dockside Extortionist and our fast mana on Naus lines but it can definitely still be included as a meta call. Vexing Shusher is an incredibly powerful tool to have as the meta gets increasingly grindy and counterspell-focused in response to the rise of Oracle Hulk. It also lets us turn excess creature tutors into protection.

The three new cards from Ikoria and Commander 2020 are in many respects no-brainers for us: the two from C20 are powerful free spells if you control your commander (and we want to cast Najeela on t2 every game if possible) that let us tap out more regularly while still representing interaction. Deflecting Swat in particular can be a powerful answer to removal as well as counterspells with applications against both Abrupt Decay as well as Dovin's Veto. Drannith Magistrate is a new white cEDH staple that can lock people out of casting their commanders if it comes down early enough (which helps keep the board clear for Najeela!) while also hosing a number of win-cons and value engines like Kess, Dissident Mage, Yawgmoth's Will, Underworld Breach, Food Chain, Isochron Scepter, Elsha of the Infinite, etc. It even has 3 toughness to survive Pyroclasm or block Tymna the Weaver forever. Summoner's Pact is gone because it is our narrowest and trickiest tutor to time effectively. Counterspell has been cut mainly for mana-base considerations over a card like Delay (this may be wrong) while Negate has also been cut due to it being one of our weaker counterspells (this may also be wrong). As mentioned earlier, the exact swaps are still subject to change following more testing and you will definitely want to adjust them according to your specific meta.

01/09/2020 -Swords to Plowshares, -Nature's Claim, -Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, +Drown in the Loch, +Red Elemental Blast, +Thassa's Oracle. Our buddy Jace just got seriously powered up. Unfortunately, this represents an even bigger upgrade to Hulk strategies. As a preliminary update, this is meant to improve our game into Oracle/Fish Hulk while also cleaning up our own backup line. I might make more significant changes as soon an I manage to get in more testing. Note that Grafdigger's Cage is relatively ineffective against this new breed of Hulk due to their ability to seamlessly pivot to manual Consultation lines.

13/10/2019 -Fyndhorn Elves, +Oakhame Adversary. The madmen at WotC printed a second warrior Dark Confidant--praise Grob! Given how dominant Thrasios, Tymna and mana dorks are in the format right now it is extremely safe to assume that Oakhame Adversary (Grob) will basically always come down for only 2 mana. Following that, he has an impressive statline that attacks through anything or blocks and kills anything thanks to deathtouch. He draws a card every time he connects and will also spew out an extra warrior as super sweet incidental upside for Najeela specifically. A slam dunk.

Cutting a mana dork hurts but is not without reason. Probabilities computed from the hypergeometric and bimodal probability distributions suggest that trimming one mana dork shouldn't dramatically hurt our ability to start every game with a t1 ramp piece while simultaneously increasing the probability we start with exactly one by a small margin. In testing, I haven't yet noticed a tremendous difference. That said, I'll be continuing to monitor how I feel about the swap and may end up cutting a card with relatively minor utility such as Noxious Revival instead if I feel like I want the extra dork.

Finally, some quick notes about the sideboard. First of all, the GSZ package hasn't really jelled with me. I'm leaving the package there for the time being as I'm still interested in hearing other peoples' experiences with it. Secondly, Drown in the Loch is a neat new card that seems really powerful on paper but has a bit of antisynergy with Rest in Peace. Additionally, I do have concerns about its early-game applicability. It's powerful enough that I want to try it out so it may make it into the mainboard at some point in the future if I find it as impressive in practice as it seems on paper.

15/08/2019 -Lotus Petal, -Tymna the Weaver, +Dockside Extortionist, +Rhystic Study. got a (unfortunately not shiny) new toy in C19. If you haven't seen Dockside Extortionist in action yet, do yourself a favor and give the card a whirl. It's bonkers. While Najeela isn't the type of deck to necessarily want a huge burst of mana, Extortionist offers too much to not try out; I can see a lot of lines starting off with this exciting new ritual. Lotus Petal has always been the lowest value piece of acceleration and shouldn't really hurt too much to cut.

More interestingly, I've recently been testing with Tymna cut for Rhystic Study. While Tymna is arguably a more consistent source of burst card advantage, it has historically been a little tough to play her out and hold up interaction at the same time due to being in double splash colours. Rhystic Study is a little less consistent as a draw engine but is substantially easier to cast, increases our blue card density for Force of Will, taxes opponents at minimum and is a decent soft hate piece against decks like Food Chain First Sliver. Additionally, having it in play instead of Tymna reduces the impact of potential board wipes. All-in-all, I've been happy with the change.

Finally, you may notice a more dramatic change to the list: I've added a Sideboard! This small selection of cards is intended to give you all a better idea of what ideas I'm currently testing and what could potentially make its way into the list in future revisions. More data is always better so if you feel like testing things with me I'm always happy to hear your impressions of some more experimental cards.

14/07/2019 -Narset's Reversal, +Veil of Summer. M20 didn't give us a whole lot in the way of playable cards for cEDH but Veil of Summer in particular is one I really want to test. Potentially drawing a card on a pseudo-Silence effect that can also protect our stuff from Abrupt Decay is a lot of upside. Narset's Reversal has done some crazy things for me but is clearly one of the most flex slots in the list. This will be taking its place for the time being.

17/06/2019 -Yavimaya Coast, +Waterlogged Grove. New Canopy lands! Waterlogged Grove is an easy replacement for Yavimaya Coast considering we don't lean too heavily on our life total. A bit of extra flood insurance/possible protection for Jace lines is always appreciated. Fiery Islet is also on my radar but I am a little hesitant to go down too low on fetchable duals so don't expect the addition of a ton of these lands.

Force of Vigor, Collector Ouphe, Green Sun's Zenith are now in the Maybeboard. The new green Force is a fantastic tech choice for Blood Moon heavy metas. Collector Ouphe can be a replacement for Null Rod if you want that effect on a stick but, more importantly, I am now considering a small Green Sun's Zenith package that includes Ouphe, Vexing Shusher, Derevi and Edric. There are some not-insignificant downsides to GSZ. Notably, 4 mana for Derevi lines can often mean we don't get to weave in as many protection spells and the inclusion of two tutors that pull straight from the deck (the other is Eldritch Evolution) makes Grafdigger's Cage and Containment Priest less free as tech choices. I haven't included it in the primer list as it's still very theoretical at this point. If you get a chance to test the package, let me know what you think.

30/04/2019 -Spell Pierce, -Laboratory Maniac, -Horizon Canopy, +Narset's Reversal, +Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, +Hallowed Fountain. War of the Spark has been exceptionally kind to us and the cEDH community at large. While Spell Pierce can often be great, it quickly loses value in grindy games. The fact that the meta has gotten more interactive as of late has me wanting to try something with more potential impact in its spot and Narset's Reversal definitely fits the bill. New Jace, while mana intensive, vastly improves our backup Laboratory Maniac line by turning it into a true 2-card win-con with a forbidden tutor (instead of needing a cantrip or other draw effect). As a side benefit, he's another thing to do to generate value in games where everybody's resources get depleted. All things considered, I still generally expect him to be in exile more often than in play (much like Lab Man before him).

Finally, goodbye Horizon Canopy. We barely knew you. Removing Lab Man (and thus the need for random draw effects) and increasing our blue mana requirements has me wanting additional blue mana fixing without compromising too much in our ability to generate other colours. I am also currently testing a swap of Gaea's Cradle for Forbidden Orchard in order to bolster the deck's ability to fix colours even further. This change is still in testing and thus is not reflected in the primer list. Expect another update sometime in the very near future as I continue to put all these new additions to the test.

4/2/2019 -Forest, -Natural State, +Dovin's Veto, +Horizon Canopy. Dovin's Veto is a fantastic new addition while Natural State has always been kind of medium. Horizon Canopy comes in over a basic forest to bolster our white mana fixing while also providing some extra flood insurance and a bit of synergy with the backup Lab Man plan. These changes are speculative until War of the Spark comes out and I get to do thorough testing. This does make the deck slightly weaker to Blood Moon but we still have the option of countering it on the way down or just beating our opponents down with it in play. An early mana dork can still give us some outs to removing it as well.

2/10/2019: -Hallowed Fountain, -Evasive Action, +Laboratory Maniac, +Gitaxian Probe. Experimenting with Lab Man + forbidden tutor (i.e. Tainted Pact/Demonic Consultation) as an alternate win-con again. It is extremely low opportunity cost to run, works through just about any stax piece and even opens up some new, fast all-in lines for racing pods. Previously I found Lab Man unnecessary (and may again come to the same conclusion with further testing) but given that Najeela has become far more established and understood since then, I think it's worth retrying some older ideas.

19/11/2018: -Mana Leak, +Evasive Action. This one looks weird, but hear me out. Preliminary testing with Evasive Action has suggested it is equivalent to Mana Leak over 90% of the time in the early game. Mana Leak has always been underplayed due to how it's efficacy falls off in the late-game. Evasive Action has potential to maintain its effectiveness in longer games while still being as effective early on. It requires additional care while fetching, but this has always been an important skill to develop while playing Najeela. It's critical to always be cognizant of what colors of mana our lands can produce for Nature's Will lines and we often want the entire Domain (or at least 3-4 of the 5 land types) in duals anyway. As an experimental include, the card has thus far held up way better than initially expected. NOTE: You will want as much of the fetch+shock+ABUR dual manabase as possible to maximize its consistency. Run Mana Leak or another good card instead if you don't have access to these cards.

17/10/2018: -Into the Roil, +Mana Leak. The addition of Assassin's Trophy as another super-versatile removal spell has led me to reconsider the deck's removal/counterspell ratio. Mana Leak is the next best piece of permission in cEDH and arguably underplayed.

10/05/2018: -Abrade, +Assassin's Trophy. Guilds of Ravnica is finally upon us! Assassin's Trophy is an incredibly versatile removal spell that will definitely see a ton of play in cEDH. Blowing up a The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale should be satisfying.

9/02/2018: -Skullclamp, +Zealous Persecution. Clamp has proven to be either busted or utterly useless. Very "feast or famine" and I don't particularly like such situationally good cards. Zealous Persecution is also situational but the floor seems higher given that everybody is playing green with mana dorks these days. While those blockers only occasionally prove problematic in my experience, wiping opponents' dork mana can be very strong.

Don't forget that the card actually represents a +2 power/toughness swing in our favor which means that a warrior token can gobble up an attacking Tymna the Weaver without trading. The card can have a very high "gotcha" factor if you make otherwise poor attacks into opponents with blockers up.

8/31/2018: -Meltdown, +Natural State. Meltdown hasn't impressed me that much and I'd prefer to have another instant speed response to artifact combo pieces/stax. Natural State is also much stronger in the face of Blood Moon--which I've been seeing a lot more of locally as people wise up to its effectiveness against "the 5c deck."

8/22/2018: -Steam Vents, +Hallowed Fountain. White is a more significant splash than red, even if we technically need red mana early to cast Najeela. A very small change but worth testing.

8/20/2018: Testing Meltdown, Skullclamp

If you enjoyed this primer, click here to upvote it. It's greatly appreciated! :)


Updates Add

Comments View Archive

Top Ranked
  • Achieved #1 position overall 1 year ago
Date added 2 years
Last updated 4 weeks

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

29 - 0 Mythic Rares

43 - 2 Rares

14 - 0 Uncommons

14 - 2 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.67
Tokens None Treasure, 1/1 Warrior, 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Bird
Folders Uncategorized, Primers, 5 color, cEDH Ideas, Cool decks, Commander, Competitive edh, Deck Ideas, Interesting Decks to Study Better Later, Online decks, See all 166
Ignored suggestions
Shared with

Revision 33 See all

4 months ago)

+1 Ad Nauseam main
+1 Deflecting Swat main
+1 Drannith Magistrate main
+1 Fierce Guardianship main
+1 Lotus Petal main
+1 Notion Thief maybe