I've recently decided to bring my Azusa, Lost but Seeking deck back from the dead, I always enjoyed this deck and my recent return to EDH has lead me to believe this power curve might be needed from time to time. The deck runs 54 lands and has yet to be land flooded, which most people in my group hate hearing lol. I've tried to add teeth to everything, making things pull double duty (even the lands). The deck's main strategy is ramp on crazy steroids used to exaggerate a hefty dose of resource denial. The majority of creatures in the deck are capable of bringing hoards of tokens to the field, destroy something when hitting the field/attacking, or work to achieve Azusa's dream of big mana while sapping the opponents.
There are a few cards I saw when throwing this together that I wanted to throw in, but couldn't make room for..Sylvan Scrying, Natural Order, and Chord of Calling to name a few. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, my knowledge of anything M12 on is shaky at best.
buried ruin has been the biggest thing to happen to azusa sine eye of ugin. buried ruin lets you recur oblivion stone and your draw engines, which are integral to the decks success. i have been a HUGE advocate of this card in a ton of decks, but in azusa its just insane.
i also noticed you are not playing eye of ugin. this card throws the deck over the top, giving you constant access to eldrazi, steel hellkite, duplicant and the rest of your good colorless stuff at will.
The game usually moves so fast that I never use Constant Mists, but it's always nice to have around for a fall back. An earlier version of this deck ran Lotus Cobra, but it was largely useless in the deck. I would have Kozilek, Butcher of Truth in the deck, but he was traded off in a recent trade involving me getting a Gauntlet of Might...lol.
As of now I would only want to add Kozilek back in, and get a Diamond Valley...but the only one around is owned by someone who while not using it wont trade it purely because it's from Arabian Nights...sucks. That and The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, who couldn't go for that?
Early Harvest would be alright, but it a one shot effect that I really don't think the deck is in need of. The Smokestack lock was alright, but I favor a Storm Cauldron lock as it's really hard to deal with, and is effective much quicker than Smokestack...but each unto their own...that and Storm Cauldron + Gaea's Cradle = win all day.
honestly, cut storm cauldron. with any draw effect you have out, the disruption it provides is mitigated. thats bad news for the azusa pilot. i ran it for a while and it only worked the way i wanted to about 30% of the time.
oh...here is a piece of my super secret tech for azusa.....MASTICORE! its creature removal that the deck so desperately needs that we can tutor up AND its a decent body thats hard to kill.
First things first, I want to applaud you for being the first person online that I've seen running the correct land count for Azusa. In fact, your land base is about the same as the list I have in my signature. I believe this is optimal because you are better able to consistently take full advantage of azusa's land drops and the CA, ramp, and control slots you sacrifice are replaced by your utility lands. But of course you already know this.
There are a few cards in your deck that I would not run however.
Storm Cauldron: I used to run this card, but I came to the realization that it runs counter suit to the overall goal of this deck. Yes, its true that Azusa is the only deck that can play under this card, but when you play this card, it ensures that you cannot gain tempo over your opponents as all the extra land drops you have are wasted by tapping. The goal of any Azusa deck should be to out tempo the rest of the table collectively, but when cauldron is out this is impossible and the hate it draws is inescapable.
Concordant Crossroads seems cute, but its power level seems to be much lower than everything else you could be doing.
I would be careful with how many mana sinks you are running. Yes cards like Nemata and Kamahl are great when you are out of cards and have nothing left to do with all the mana you have at your disposal, but if you run more draw engines, you shouldn't run out of cards any ways. I suggest testing Garruk, Primal Hunter and similar effects.
Cards you might want to try:
Regal Force: Great all around and allows for more crazy Tooth and Nail piles. It should be especially good in your build since you run more token generators than I do.
I assume The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale is out of your price range? If it isn't I'd say it should be an auto include. It just shuts down about 90% of EDH decks without any investment.
Mana Crypt is probably the same thing pricewise, but even if it is expensive for you to attain, I couldn't recommend this highly enough if I tried. Easily the best card in the deck. This is the only way this deck can reliably play Azusa turn one without stretching and the plays it sets up are amazing. Sol Ring is similar in that it allows more consistent early Azusa plays, so I would put both in unless you are using the French Ban list or something.
Natural Order: Cheapest creature tutor that can fetch anything from Primeval Titan to Avenger without any extra investment, plus it allows you to sac Azusa and replay him so that you can play 2 more lands.
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth I think is too important not to run. Its generally the best target for eye of ugin and gives the deck another source of much needed draw. By extension, this turns things like Crop Rotation, Prime Titan, Realms Uncharted, Natural Order/Kin for Prime Titan into draw engines.
Overall, I like your deck. I suggest looking at the list in my sig for ideas.
I love all the input, really awesome ideas here, also wish I owned your deck lol. I can see Mold Shambler and Acidic Slime getting axed as once they've popped that one thing they're really underwhelming to look at in this deck. Concordant Crossroads always seems to be that one card I'm looking for to seal the deal, and I hate having a card like that, that and it doesn't always pan out for me, often leading me to overextend when I shouldn't.
I still love Storm Cauldron, yes it slows tempo, and yes it generates unbelievable amounts of hate lol. I normally try to land this bad boy when I have Gaea's Cradle or Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger on the field...and with that being the case I'm really hoping to make use of it with only 2 cards in the deck and for that reason should cut it.
To touch on the budget you mentioned, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale and Mana Crypt are both amazing cards that I would love to own, and would gladly receive if you felt like mailing to me; that being said, those cards are pretty out of my budget, and probably will be for a very long time unless I win the lottery that I don't play...so yeah I love em, want em, and can't afford em.
I need to trade for/buy another Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, that's pretty obvious. I like the idea of Regal Force and will be getting one soon enough. Those two aside, what I am looking at for this deck is:
Not all of them, just what I have set on the table for the deck...that I own lol, I don't proxy.
Pulled: Concordant Crossroads, I was often searching for this card to win a game, and it is for this reason it is getting pulled. I don't want the deck focusing on a single mediocre card when I could be using something so much more.
Small update to the deck. I've been looking for a replacment for Wolbriar Elemental, the card never wows me, and I finally found it. Regal Force should make for some crazy power plays, what green deck couldn't use more draw? and what green deck could handle massive draw better than this?
Edit Bear Umbra has never been all that useful to me...I've never actually used it, and never found myself looking for it either, so out it goes. Got my hands on Kozilek, Butcher of Truth for a huge body, draw, and yard shuffle.