Many people were curious about the cuts I made in my previous article about adjusting the pre-constructed commander decks. Many people probably would have made different choices, and that’s one of the fun parts about deckbuilding, especially in EDH: no two people are going to have the same decks, which makes for fun and interesting game-play. That said, I’ll try to defend some of my choices and see what you have to say.
Eternal BargainThopter Foundry: There is certainly an artifact sub-theme, but this did too little for my taste. I’m not sure when I would ever want to sacrifice an artifact to get a Thopter token. Gaining life is nice for the deck, but there are already plenty of ways to do that. Sun Droplet: Another nice source of life, but again, there are plenty of ways to gain life, and this doesn’t really do too much besides that. Azorius Herald: This is a one-time life gain card that doesn’t do much else. Unblockable is nice, I suppose, but that’s not what this deck is about. Pristine Talisman: I was on the fence about this one, and if I had to do it again, I’d probably keep it in. With Oloro out, this artifact reads, “T: Gain 1 life. Draw a card. Each opponent loses 1 life,” which is pretty good. On the other hand, there should be plenty of other sources of life in the deck, so I’m not sure how necessary having this in the deck is. When it’s all said and done though, I probably should have cut a different card, like one of the curses or Tidehollow Strix. Disciple of Griselbrand: As with Thopter Foundry, sacrificing a creature is not really something I want to do just to gain some life. It’d be fine if there was a need for a sac outlet, but there isn’t. Spinal Embrace: This is an interesting card, and though it was probably included because of the life gain aspect, it still comes with a nice effect. Another card I was on the fence about keeping, but this deck seems like the type that wants to sit back and drain rather than one that plays combat tricks. Marrow Bats: Being able to regenerate with life is great, but I don’t really want a 5 converted mana cost 4/1 flier in the deck. Kongming, “Sleeping Dragon”: I love that the Portal Three Kingdoms cards were included, but this doesn’t really fit in the deck. Curse of Inertia: Yet another card that doesn’t quite fit with the theme of the deck. It’s a fine inclusion, and it will encourage players to attack someone else, but I didn’t like it enough to keep it in. Tower Gargoyle: See above about 4 power fliers and this deck. It’s an artifact in the right colors, but that’s all it has going for it.
Nature of the BeastEternal Dragon: This is a great recurring card for making sure you hit your land drops, not to mention being a big body. The only problem is, in the Naya colors, we already have access to green and other big bodies. Eternal Dragon also doesn’t really fit the “Will of the Wild” theme in the deck, so I decided not to put it in. Keeping it in would have been perfectly fine and justifiable, but it just didn’t fit in with how I wanted the deck to look. Street Spasm: It’s just too expensive with or without the overload cost. Grazing Gladehart: I get that there is a landfall theme. I just don’t see gaining 2 life as something I need to do with that landfall. Ravenous Baloth: I’m not sure when I’ll want to sacrifice a Beast to gain 4 life. The answer is probably never. Archangel: Another card that just didn’t seem to fit the theme of the wild for me. Not sure where an angel fits in with all of these beasts and elementals. Fiery Justice: A nice effect for multiplayer politics, where you can simultaneously help one person while harming another. Still, neither the damage nor the life gain is anything incredibly exciting. Tower of Fortunes: An artifact that draws cards is nice, especially since getting to eight lands shouldn’t be much of a problem, but it seemed a bit out of place in the deck. I would have preferred to use something like Greater Good for card draw. Of course, that’s not an option if we’re sticking to the budget, but I think the deck runs fine even without either card. Restore Balance: An odd way to get a land. It’s nice to take someone else’s sweet Maze of Ith, but it’s very situational. I’d much rather just search my library for the land. Slice in Twain: Artifact and enchantment removal is always nice for EDH decks, but I decided not to keep this one. Acidic Slime hits more stuff and comes with a deathtouch body, so that went in the deck instead.
Power HungryElvish Skysweeper: There are plenty of kobolds to sacrifice, but I don’t know if I want to pay five mana to destroy a creature with flying anyway. Furnace Celebration: There’s going to be plenty of sacrificing, but the effect is still very mediocre for the cost. Tooth and Claw: I get to sacrifice two creatures to get a 3/1 creature. I think I’d rather just feed them Prossh. Silklash Spider: This guy blocks fliers pretty well, but its activated ability doesn’t work very well with Prossh out on the field. Brooding Saurian: It’s nice to be able to get your own cards back, but it’s a lot more vulnerable than something like Homeward Path. Spine of Ish Sah: I love this card whenever there’s an artifact sacrifice outlet. Unfortunately, this deck is all about creature sac outlets. Reincarnation: This is a nice card, especially with a sacrifice outlet and tokens to spare. I’m actually not sure why this was part of my cut list in the first place. If I did the list again, I would keep this and drop a curse. Blood Rites: Similar to Furnace Celebration, I wasn’t too excited by this card. I wanted to sacrifice to pump my creatures, not as spot removal. Endless Cockroaches: A recurring creature is always great because you can sacrifice it over and over, but that’s all it has going for it. There should be plenty of critters to throw at Prossh so I didn’t think this card was necessary. Scarland Thrinax: I wanted to keep this card, but he’s just going to take Prossh’s food, and we can’t have that, can we? There are other cards that I might cut instead of this one, but it was just the unlucky one that I chose.
Mind SeizeFog Bank: It’s a fine blocker, but I don’t think anyone will have any trouble dealing with it. As a whole, the card is unimpressive in the deck. Guard Gomazoa: See above. Mnemonic Wall: Better than the above walls because it gives you back an instant or sorcery, but it still didn’t survive the cutting board. Vampire Nighthawk: In a deck that’s not a vampire tribal — even if it does have a vampire commander — I don’t think I want to be running card. Annihilate: I’d rather not pay five mana to kill a creature. And this can’t even kill every creature either. Infest: There will be too many times where this card will do nothing. In EDH games, people love putting down huge creatures, so -2/-2 will only be mild annoyance to them. Guttersnipe: It hits every opponent and works with all the instants and sorceries. That said, you’re not going to be chaining tons of spells, and he’ll probably get hated out before doing much anyway. Phthisis: A very cool card with very nice art. If you can cast it without suspending it on a pumped-up creature, it’s great … but therein lies the issue. Fissure Vent: Artifact removal is great and all, but I didn’t like it enough to keep it in. If you really want to keep artifact removal in the deck, check out cards like Vandalblast or Shattering Pulse. Curse of Chaos: It’ll give people incentive to attack others, but it’s not as strong as the other curses. I didn’t like this card enough to keep it in, but there can definitely be some fun politics with this card in play.
Evasive ManeuversSelesnya Guildmage: This kind of effect seems more suited for the Naya deck rather than this deck. Thornwind Faeries: You’ll be able to do one damage multiple times with the tapping and untapping, but that’s not too amazing. Curse of the Forsaken: This might be the least impressive of the curses. I’m not sure if it’ll even be effective at encouraging others to attack the targeted player. Leonin Bladetrap: Two damage for that cost isn’t enough, especially when most attacking creatures will have more than two toughness. It’s great for going up against Krenko, Mob Boss, I guess, but that’s a very specific case. Thunderstaff: This card also works well with the tapping and untapping mechanics in the deck, but it also doesn’t have amazing effects. Leafdrake Roost: I actually like this card as a source of 2/2 fliers, and if you have the mana, untapping can help you pump them out faster. It didn’t quite make the cut because it doesn’t disrupt the enemy enough for me, but it’s not a bad card for the deck. Presence of Gond: Similar to the above card, except the target it enchants is much more vulnerable. It’s just too easy for that creature to die. At least Leafdrake Roost survives board wipes. Phantom Nantuko: Being able to untap this creature should help it get bigger. I’m just afraid that it won’t be fast enough, and you’ll end up tapping and untapping for nothing. Tempt with Glory: This card just doesn’t seem to fit the theme of the deck to me. I guess it’s fine if you want a way to make your creatures bigger, but with a sub-theme of flickering, there are probably plenty of times when you don’t want +1/+1 counters. Restore Balance: This card is just too unreliable for me. Part of it might be because my playgroup frowns heavily upon too much land destruction, but I don’t see it having too many targets.
I hope that clears up some of the choices I made. I’m sure most of you would have cut different cards and added others. Let me know what you would have cut instead in the comments below!