Omnath, Locus of Mana is a mono green general that lends himself to an aggro-ramp strategy. He is fast, aggressive, and powerful, but fragile in that he has no built in protections. However, something often overlooked is that he is versatile. An aggressive strategy in the first aspect with enough ramp as a back up plan and enough removal and card draw to be in the running for a control deck where the game plan turns into "get rid of opposing threats, drop fatty (Omnath) and gg". The aggro strategy is as straightforward as any other aggro strategy would be - turn Omnath sideways, protect and pump him. If he gets locked down or it is unprofitable to attack, don't and he turns into a blocking mana battery that leads to an explosive play on the next turn. I've cast Omnath 13 times from the command zone and still won the game. I've had him tucked 4 times in a single game without having a tutor on deck to get him. He comes to play and he plays for keeps.
Pre-Primer Thread: Ye Olden Days
I initially heard about EDH and thought it would be a cool deck building challenge, and then I saw this legend in the Worldwake spoiler. He does everything I could want - he turns into a big scary guy. He offers extra utility through his ability. He ramps to lead into more awesome cards. Initial builds were gross - they were some kind of mutant elf builds and then based sort of with the multiplayer banlist and then just kind of a good stuff pile (which one could argue it still is or at least has elements of). I tossed up this initial thread because I was proud and impressed with how dominant the deck had been at the local 1v1 tournaments that we had. The list then was odd, including banning Emrakul early due to the annihilator trigger.
Pardon My French
My roommate and main tester, running an Oona deck, and I switched over to the 1v1 Duel Commander rules where we found some more stability. I missed the Edric era due to moving, but I had piloted a flying men version that was very reminiescent of faeries briefly before having to move away from MTG. Now, I've moved again and I'm trying to drum up interest in DC in the local area.
Current Day: Proving Aggro
I haven't participated in the online meta, or against many other competitive decks recently, however, I believe that Omnath is the strongest and most versatile of the mono green commanders and a viable way to rock with some aggro and really apply pressure.
Why Play Omnath?
-You like general-centric decks
-You like aggressive decks
-You like ramp decks
-You like being able to change roles/have a solid plan B
Why Not Play Omnath?
-You don't like mono-green
-You fear over-reliance on the general
-You dislike ramp strategies and/or aggro strategies
Why Did I Choose Omnath?
As I said, Omnath does eveything I could want out of a commander. He applies pressure, he ramps me into other spells and effects, he encourages creatures and creature interaction to create wins and kicks your opponent in the teeth. There is a lot of possibility for resilience and plans B in green, and recovery off the control attacks.
How to Win
This deck wins through aggressive mulliganing into a favorable and explosive start into the aggressive Omnath. It plays 8 turn one accelerants which allow for the turn 2 Omnath which then leads into turn 3 attacking for 5 general damage without a third land drop necessary. You get 2 lands, an accelerant, and a protection spell and you're probably good to go for the game.
The other way to win would be if Omnath gets locked down but retains his abilities, then he can maintain a ramp presence and make sure that mana you use is never wasted. This non-wasted mana makes your turns more valuable than your opponents because your resources are being exploited differently than they can. And then from there, you efficiently use a turn or two and set up a back breaking turn and then are able to win via other huge creatures or tokens if necessary.
So to recap, here are the ways you're most likely to win:
-As a ramp deck
-Tokens and Overwhelming Stampede
This is my first EDH deck. I didn't think Omnath would be all that powerful, I just figured he would do everything I love to do (mana ramp, facilitate creature interaction, win through the combat phase, be a boss). I may have been wrong - he seems to have downed a gallon of PCP and is ready to go.
Omnath, Locus of PCP
Currently 18-9 (as of 1/17/11)
In this version of Omnath, I built the deck with the idea that lands are more stable and profitable to ramp into than creature ramp. This was a response to Generals/Commanders such as Linvala, Keeper of Silence and an abundance of effects which can wipe your board – having your creatures along with your lands die all at once is pretty devastating and not very fun, so I wanted to avoid that situation. This was built with 1v1 games in mind, with the idea that if Omnath is strong and resilient enough, he will win MP games as well. But mainly, completely a competitive 1v1 deck.
The other things that I was really trying to achieve in this deck were efficiency, consistency, and an ability to win a game without using the General. This was a goal because Omnath doesn’t come with much protection inherent – he can generally avoid damage kills, but everything else is fair to target him with. As such, I had a fear of playing a heavy removal deck that beat me just by killing him every time or tucking him and having no answer. Efficiency and consistency are just keys to an effective deck.
The general piloting of Omnath falls into a couple different mentalities and actually, upon further reflection, has changed from a strictly aggro mindset to an agro/control mindset. The strongest play available is probably turn 2 Omnath, turn 3 swing for 5 and then throw a protection spell onto him and proceed forward. However, the amount of removal and the quality of bombiness of the threats that I play, with or without Omnath, allows the deck to sit back and take a slower approach and grind the game into an advantageous position where it then wins. However, the deck plays smoother in every way with Omnath on the board. Barring Lignify and some other effects, Omnath’s main benefit as being an efficient mana battery is unhindered. This allows you to either nearly 1/10th of the deck to give Omnath some kind of evasion and then quickly win through general damage. As said before, turn 3, 5 general damage is possible. Not hitting anymore mana generation after that and Omnath is 9/9 on turn 4, and 13/13 on turn 5 and the game is won. But for whatever reason (such as a slow hand, or a deck with some superior answers), Omnath has been locked for the moment from attacking at least. If he is there, you just use the excess mana to put yourself into a radically different position. If he is not, about 1/5th of the deck is ramp, generally into lands and this should allow you to cast some game winning spells – Genesis Wave for 15 (18 CMC) or Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre are notables. In this situation, the idea is to lengthen the game into the mid-range where you ought to be playing late game bombs and messing them up.
o Birds of Paradise – T1 acceleration leads to T3 Omnath
o Llanowar Elves – see BoP
o Fyndorn Elves – see BoP
o Arbor Elf – see BoP; impressive synergy with ramp enchantments
o Yavimaya Elder – Get lands for the land drops, cantrip. Synergy with Mimic Vat
o Solemn Simularcrum – Ramp and cantrip. Synergy with Mimic Vat
o Fauna Shaman - Survival of the Fittest on legs. Works while I don't have one/it is banned at my LGS
o Acidic Slime – ETB <3s Mimic Vat; removal. Deathtouch is nice.
o Artisan of Kozilek – Artisan recursion is sexy. Getting back a Pelakka Wurm is one of my favorite plays. Annhilator 2 and being a 10/9 do not hurt.
o Cloudthresher – Flash. Board wipe of a small flying creatures. And extra 2 damage, as well as a relevant 6/6 body.
o Ant Queen - token generation that wins games by herself. Excellent with Overwhelming Stampede
o Wolfbriar Elemental – This one is all about the mass. Regain a tough board position right off.
o Krosan Restorer - Arbor Elf was such a house, and Wood Elves just didn't do enough, that I got the upgraded version of Ley Druid with icing on the cake.
o Terastodon – ETB removal, relevant 9/9.
o Steel Hellkite – 5/5 with flying, the only creature to have it and still be ready to party with Omnath. His destroy effect is that powerful.
o Pelakka Wurm – ETB and ETG effect. Can turn tempo so well, often will buy at least one turn when you are down to be a champ.
o Engulfing Slagwurm – Source of life gain (negligible). Source of board wipe, though, make him worth running. + Lure.
o Fierce Empath – Tutors up most of the creatures in the deck
o Duplicant – kills a general or mimes a huge bomb of theirs
o Tornado Elemental – kills pretty much all flyers when he ETB, including a bunch of generals. Sup relevancy?
o Spearbreaker Behemoth – This guy. This guy is indestructible, and he’s such a buddy that he makes others indestructible too. At a way better cost than some angel. This guy knows what’s up.
o Boreal Druid - not G, but turn 1 mana accelerant is worth it
o Seedborn Muse - untap effect is pretty sweet way to continue the ramp and keep a strong defense as well as the pressure on
o Eternal Witness - I got a copy and bowed to y'all's wisdom and put this one in
o Shinen of Life's Roar - I took this guy over Lure because the Channel effect gets me the wrath that I want with Engulfing Slagwurm or the evasion with any other creature, and is uncounterable
o Seedguide Ash - this replaced Emrakul, I feel like he is insurance against board wipe (the three lands he provide can be used to pay for another casting of Omnath) and he has a good source of 4 damage until he dies.
o Moment’s Peace – 2 spells for 1 slot. Players often forget about the flashback cost, and it can set up a false alpha strike.
o Momentous Fall – a removal spell can suddenly become an opportunity.
o Relic Crush – great removal for those magic things
o Vines of Vastwood – protection for Omnath, and an okay pump spell: +2/+2 for 2 mana
o Worldly Tutor – above the curve creature tutor
o Krosan Grip - split second removal. super sexy
o Hunting Wilds - ramp
o All Is Dust - sweeper
o Cultivate - ramp
o Desert Twister – one of the best removal spells in green. Hits creatures
o Gelatinous Genesis – another way to get serious mass on the board, and another wincon
o Genesis Wave – can win games all by itself
o Harmonize – card draw for gas
o Journey of Discovery – ramp. Often able to play it for 6 which makes it pretty effective
o Sylvan Scrying - land tutor, this will matter more once I get better lands, but it's good now since it can fetch Dryad Arbor for more tutoring or Wasteland to knock off an important nonbasic they have
o Search for Tomorrow - ramp, turn 1 play if not ramp
o Regrowth - recursion
o Skyshroud Claim - ramp
o Explosive Vegetation - a 2 for 1 ramp spell
o Overwhelming Stampede – can straight up steal a game with just enough power on the board. Trample is relevant even just to Omnath, and doubling his power is pretty hot.
o Utopia Sprawl - ramp
o Wild Growth - ramp
o Fertile Ground - ramp
o Overgrowth - ramp
o Greater Good – Everything. One of the most disgusting enablers I’ve ever seen. The first night I used it in a tournament it won me both games it came out and in one game I drew around 40 cards.
o Asceticism - protection
o Canopy Cover – protection and evasion
o Lure – mass evasion with any one creature for the rest of your creatures; board wipe if on top of Engulfing Slagwurm
o Rancor – evasion and a power boost, recurrable
o Bear Umbra - enables the turn 5 win even more consistently. Wicked synergy with Omnath, as well as protection
o Extraplanar Lens – ramp. Argues for use of scrying sheets and snow forests, but I don’t have them.
o Weatherseed Totem – ramp and beats
o Lightning Greaves – protection and haste
o Whispersilk Cloak – evasion and protetion
o Loxodon Warhammer – evasion and lifegain
o Argentum Armor – removal and beef
o Mimic Vat – card advantage
o Mind’s Eye – card draw
o Nim Deathmantle – protection and evasion
o Oblivion Stone - sweeper
o Wasteland – removal of problem lands
o Dryad Arbor - I switched this out for Treetop Village because of it's interaction with Fauna Shaman, and that I really wanted to get it when I had Sylvan Scrying last game and couldn't fetch up some kind of answer to win a game
o Slippery Karst – Sometimes you don’t want a land, and late game you can just cycle these away. Other times you need a land, and it can feel painful, but most of the time you won’t lose too much tempo.
o Tranquil Thicket
o 30 Forest
Kodama’s Reach - (This is pretty much the last real ramp spell that I feel the need to get)
Garruk Wildspeaker - (Garruk would be a ramp spell, which is nice, until I used the Overrun. I can't imagine him being all that bad, but the question is really if anything is better)
Scrying Sheets - (I really like how this doesn't require you to reveal that what you're getting unless you get something. And if I converted over to Snow Lands then it could accelerate me, however, I don't know if I run quite enough lands)
Time of Need (I think that this is a card I will probably pick up somewhere and put it in over Emrakul - there is talk about banning him in my LGS, and it would be able to search up Ulamog or Omnath for 2 which seems pretty dandy)
What lands are you actually running? Since you don't seem to have included them, I'm guessing they're all just Forests? In that case, I'd suggest some better lands. Going Snow-Covered is a good idea, and also lets you run Scrying Sheets. Gaea's Cradle also seems like an auto-include, as it goes very nicely with Nomnomnomnath. Ditto Mosswort Bridge. Probably Yavimaya Hollow too.
Otherwise, your threats seem a little bit lacking. I'd at least want Kozilek and Emrakul, it's not as if the mana will be difficult.
For deck tags, you need to precede each card name with a number. Yes, it's redundant here, but it's a consequence of the coding.
I don't have a Kozilek, Butcher of Truth and I don't really like him too much anyways. I ran Emrakul and took him out due to the complaints.
Mosswort Bridge and Gaea's Cradle both seem really good, I just don't have them. Yavimaya Hollow and Winding Canyons are both more lands that I'd like to include but don't have either. I'll also have to look for a Scrying Sheets, though I don't think I have one since that seems like pretty good acceleration. An Explorer's Scope might do the trick for a little bit.
I will look to see if I have enough snow forests, that is a pretty good idea. Also, I am currently running 30x Forest
30 Forest is hardly enough. Run something like 37-39 to get consistent 3-4 cc drops. Moment's Peace is bad because its conditional, doesn't alter board position with limited reuse. Spike Weaver is better. Arbor Elf, Llanowar Elves, Fyndorn Elves are all bad drops late game and wrathable. Use other sorcery ramp like explosive vegetation, Three Visits, even Sylvan Ranger. Huricane, lure are conditional and one time uses so cut them. Stampede should garruk/overrun/overwhelming stampede. Better removal includes Terastadon, Woodfall Primus, Indrik Stomphowler.
Are you suggesting Indrik Stomphowler over Acidic Slime? I prefer the versatility of being able to hit lands. I was using mold shambler but I took him out because I felt Acidic Slime's ETB effect is more powerful than a kicker. When I get a copy of Woodfall Primus I will find a slot for him. I already have Terastodon.
Arbor Elf actually isn't a bad drop late game because of the potential for synergy with 4 enchantments. While that sounds pretty lame, it actually stacks up pretty well because Arbor Elf reads: "Tap to add GGGG or GGGGGG". Llanowar Elves and Fyndorn, sure, they are wrathable, but most things are. They aren't the main mana sources like in an elf deck, but they do allow for very explosive starts.
How is Spike Weaver better? It is wrathable and also has limited use and isn't tricky. Moment's Peace is far more valuable because it can let them play into an alpha strike and allow me to steal a game and the flashback can be forgotten about. There is a fog with a buyback cost of sac a land, and that is a card I am considering but I don't like the buyback as much. But what do you mean it's conditional? They need to be attacking and I need to have mana? Omnath is around - I have mana. Omnath isn't around - I'm not tapped out. They aren't attacking? I don't use it.
Stampede is an instant. Garruk needs protection and is obvious, overrun and overwhelming stampede aren't instants. I was running overwhelming stampede but I never saw it really advance my position too much. Hurricane is a win condition by itself. Lure has a lot of synergy with engulfing slagwurm and is actually not a one time use. It can just remove a chump blocker or two or some tokens or is a one time use because it wins the game.
And the 30 forests is pretty fine. It's 33 green mana land sources and 21 cards of ramp along with Omnath who can function as a ramp source by himself if it's a slow start (which sucks, but hey, it can happen and the deck can function). With that in mind, it's 54 cards dedicated to mana, and 55 cards if you count Omnath. An intelligent mulligan at times usually fixes any mana issues in the opening hand. After that, ramp gets you the rest of the way.
@whidye: Mold Shambler does indeed kill planeswalkers, but I felt that the ETB effect is more powerful because of the potential to combo with Mimic Vat. Another thing is that there aren't a lot of planeswalkers in my meta for the guy to hit, so -1 cost, +ETB effect made it worth it. And the deathtouch is a nice bonus.
@BFeingersh: Seedborn Muse would probably be nuts. Another card I don't have, unfortunately.
@Dalamar_85: I was looking at Lignify and Treefolk Harbinger, especially since I was already running the Forests and a Dauntless Dourbark. I was also considering trying to find a spot for Timber Protector and Liege of the Tangle, since I have a fair amount of protection and a forest of 8/8 seemed pretty good. Rootgrapple would quickly find its way in as well with that package.
I'm not too sure what to take out for anything though.
Chameleon Colossus does seem like a boss, especially because he just lets me win against black decks which seems like such a great added bonus.
Also, Nim Deathmantle is pretty good. Once it gets online, it just kind of starts to wreck. And it can combo with ETB effects, and you can save multiple creatures with it.
it suddenly looks a lot more tribal. However, I see the point with Evacuation or a couple those other nasty answers. It just seemed like something crazy and fun.
@iWumbo: Actually, I do value evasion over recurability, but if they come in the same package I'm all the happier (Nim Deathmantle, Rancor). And Dalamar brings up an important point where troll shroud is much superior.
All the other picks don't necessarily seem like straight upgrades as much as a different way to do something. I am considering Silklash Spider over Hurricane, however, Hurricane can be used to win. Switching it out for Squall Line does seem like a pure upgrade though, so there's another ought to acquire card.
Also, this evening I went 3-1 for a first place win at a tournament. The only difference was
I think you might be undervaluing Cloudthresher. He has flash, so he swoops in and hits all token fliers and players, and blocks a flying general and will most likely survive. He has proven extremely strong for me.
Why do you think Arashi is better than Silklash? The activated ability for Silklash can start immediately, and it is a repeatable flier board wipe where Arashi has to take them down one at a time. The low number of fliers (one) would make Silklash's board wipe effective as well.
The only thing is that Squall Line/Hurricane just seem so much more powerful and can outright win a game by themselves that they seem to be worth the spots.
And Tornado Elemental has been a house for me too, he again wipes entire boards and sets up a win. And he has super trample, so that's kind of sweet.
Updated first post with decklist, current tournament record, and better organization and more reasoning behind card choices. I will probably also make a post at some point about the tournaments that Omnath has played in.
About the lands: in our group/tournament scene, we do not use Partial Pairs mulligans, we do 1 free mulligan followed by normal mulligan rules. I probably use the free mulligan every game.
However, I've worked out the probabilities, and with the free mulligan and the 7 turn one mana accelerants that lead into a turn 2 Omnath, there's around a 65% chance of hitting it.
This evening, I went 5-0-0 at the tournament and got it every round. That's only a 12% chance, so definitely got lucky and that was great. However, in my testing I have found a lot of consistency in the ramp and I don't think I would want to up the land count to anything too much higher.
Basically, I don't mind running only 33 lands because Omnath generally makes it feel like I run more than that, and a lot of my accelerants only require one or two lands to start making it look like I have a lot more and then that just starts the ramp process and it begins to get out of hand.
@Mulligan2One: I don't have an Eternal Witness, though I agree it is a good card. I think that Regrowth is a lot better because it is cheaper and the ridiculous things that I can do with Woodland Guidance also makes it stronger. I'm not sure that I need a third spot for that kind of recursion, or that I should seek it out instead of finding a Genesis.
@Dalamar_85: Actually, I retweaked the list after I updated it yesterday and came to the same conclusions that you did. I switched out the Dauntless and the Seedguide for an Ant Queen and a Boreal Druid, also cutting Kusari-Gama, Vorrac Battlehorns, and Tower of Calamities for Fauna Shaman, Gaea's Bounty, and Bear Umbra.
Tower of Calamities was okay, but it was only useful when I was pretty much already on top. It may need to go back in, but normally I'm racing and that is a side road that I don't need to bother with. Fauna Shaman can turn late game Llanowar Elves into anything relevant, Gaea's Bounty should be good ramp until I can find and switch out a couple (mainly find Kodama's Reach over Harrow like you said, maybe finding a spot for Explosive Vegetation). Bear Umbra seems like a house, it was in the deck at first and was removed for some other kind of answer, but it seems that it will keep him off board wipe and targeted removal and advance my position so much.
I would love to run Sylvan Library. Gotta find myself one. Genesis as well. Eternal Witness - eh, I think I have slightly better right now. I'm not too interested in Chord of Calling because of the huge mana requirement and I like for the idea of the tutors to be a bit more efficient. However, it is better than Natural Order because I can go get whatever, so that is definitely attractive, and I can see it's uses for sure. I run Worldly Tutor, but I don't think I'd work with Defense of the Heart because it's generally over by the time that would hit. I want more control over it. Primal Command seems really strong. How does the Pact's upkeep cost worry you? Not at all, pretty much?
I like Extraplanar Lens, but mainly because it can come down faster. I don't think I'd run Gauntlets of Power or Vernal Bloom just because they are too symmetric, however, Mana Reflection looks to be on point.
Primal Order doesn't seem like it would matter. At that point, they are almost dead and I just want to advance that. Hall of Gemstone could be decent, but I don't feel like the tempo gained through it makes up for the loss that it generates for my overall plan.
This build of Geth is all about creature removal, discard, and card advantage. So, I didn't bother playing Omnath, since he was just going to die. Instead I ramped up the first couple turns, laid an Extraplanar Lens turn 3 and had the Wasteland for my opponent's Cabal Coffers. My opponent got a Mind Shatter and took my hand of 5 into a hand of 1, losing Artisan of Kozilek, Mind's Eye, Engulfing Slagwurm, and one other card that I forget. I was left with Ant Queen and topdecked and then resolved an Ascetism, and then I laid down Ant Queen with mana up to regenerate or to make a token. My opponent was able to bring out Geth, and Reanimate my Engulfing Slagwurm. End of turn, I made a token. Next turn, I drew Overwhelming Stampede and passed. We spent the next couple turns with him attacking me, chumping with tokens. I was able to get 7 tokens between two different end steps and cast Overwhelming Stampede for the win.
Game 2 vs Oona, Queen of the Fae
This build is more about theft of threats and doesn't have any infinite mana combos. I won the roll and went first. My opening hand was 2 forests, a Boreal Druid and a Llanowar Elf. The other cards didn't matter too much, as I laid down a turn 2 Omnath, turn 3 attacking for 4 (I misplayed the Boreal Druid first because I was excited to see it). From there it was lay a land, hit for 7, rinse, repeat. My opponent didn't get much and was also colorscrewed on his lands (Only 1 source of black mana).
Game 3 vs Numot
I wasn't involved with tweaking this deck (the first two were my friends, and we've worked on our decks together), so I don't know exactly what this one is all about, but I know it has some pretty great spells. Anyways, I won the roll, threw away a decent hand for the free mulligan off the chance to get that turn one acceleration. I get it, but I have forest, treetop village, arbor elf, birds of paradise, and fyndorn elves. Vines of Vastwood and relic crush rounded out the hand. So, I wasn't able to get the turn 2 Omnath (didn't draw the forest I would have needed), but turn 3 OMnath with 2 extra green mana. Next turn, there was an attempt at Control Magic but vines of vastwood stood in the way. Turn 4 swing was for 9, turn 5 swing for 13.
Mulliganed and kept 2 Forest, Birds of Pardise, Genesis Wave, and a couple other things. Turn 2 Omnath, Turn 3 start swinging. Vhati came down and made that a less effective strategy, but I just carried on putting the pressure, upping my mana pool, Genesis Wave for 10, landed a bunch of permanents and Regrowthed the Wave, and had mana up for the Nim Deathmantle that came from the Wave. I had or drew a Woodland Guidance, and next turn tried to get the wave and generate some extra mana, but I misssed it and flipped a Forest. Loxodon Warhammer was down, I drew a Rancor, I put both onto Omnath and it was done.
Game 5 vs Gaddog Teeg
Mulliganed twice, keeping Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Canopy Cover, Forest, Llanowar Elves, and two other cards that I don't remember. I lost the roll, he went first, I drew the Forest and got the Turn 2 Omnath. I started attempting to put the pressure on, but he got Story Circle, naming green, and then from there I just kept Omnath with Canopy Cover on him and turned him into a mana battery. I laid down a land eventually and jacked him up to 15 mana exactly, laid Emrakul and won the game. I was also able to lay down a Terastodon, blowing up some lands just to ensure that my opponent wouldn't have too much left to recover with - he was stuck with one Forest after my second swing with Emrakul.
Updated the first post with the new decklist, updated tournament standing.
This should have been another 5-0 sweep, but I made two play-mistakes. The first one was that I refused to play mana denial and take out my roommate's ability to use blue in his Oona deck through a well placed Acidic Slime, which gave him the opportunity to drag the game out until he was able to finally come back. And exile every one of my answers and hold onto a counterspell for a just in case scenario. The other, I played Loxodon Warhammer instead of Nim Deathmantle against a white deck and got him to 17 general damage and he was able to hit Omnath with Wing Shards and I didn't have the answer, the game went on for a little bit more but he ramped into Kozilek and I conceded.
Hi all, Omnath is still on PCP. Here's an updated deck list, with the numbers equal to casting cost where appropriate. I'm going to try to update the first post and get this to be the official Omnath list linked and DC primer, but we'll see. Lots of edits to do.