I was browsing the web and came across an article discussing cards that don't do well in just any deck but have abilities that just beg to be built around. One of the cards mentioned was Ghost Council of Orzhova. I mostly enjoy playing blue and closely followed by red and black. Since I havent really played decks that arent blue (with the exception of the kaalia pre-con) I wanted to build my own non-blue deck. Ghost council looks like the perfect "build around me" card and it doesnt have blue!!
This is my new project! I am going to build Ghost Council of Orzhov from the ground up. It will start off with whatever cards I have at my disposal then I will gradually purchase cards as I play the deck and find a style I like.
I have no idea where I want to take this deck and expect to playtest it severely to find out whats going to work and what wont.
This is on a slight budget but I'm still open to suggestions of any kind.
Welcome to Orzhova. GCO is the greatest commander in the whole game, of course that's just my opinion, and I am biased, but that's ok, right? It's been my "go to" deck for like 3 or more years now, and I'm about to make some more changes for the Innistrad cards.
I'm hesitant to tell you to look at my GCO decklist/thread, as it sounds like you may be wanting to insure a direction/build of your own. It's a huge thread full of explainations and special sections on combo/synergies/tricks and even has a section on tailoring the deck to your own prefs/playstyle. Just remember, combos can't be unseen The link is in my sig.
If you're going to go the Emeria land route (and it is awesome), you might throw in a Land Tax. You don't want to water down the plains count too much, but Phyrexian Tower and High Market are pretty much staples in sacrifice & recursion strategies (or any deck that can run them for that matter).
Land tax seems like what I may end up the first card I procure when I start spending money on this deck.
The phyrexian tower and High market see like obvious choices and as soon as I can get a bit of expendable income, I will get them!
Ive been glanceing at the link in your sig and it's been instrumental in helping me understand how to play this deck! Thank you very much for that!
So far the games I win:
-have me ending with massive board postion.
-are a direct result of me recovering faster than other players
-are because of me playing cold war then protecting myself from the impending nuke.
-come down to me making the right play at the right time (and it really is all in the timing).
So far the Games I loose:
-are because I drew absolutely no draw spells whatsoever.
-I get outraced on board postion and cant recover.
-I happen to be unlucky enough to be the guy who gets hit just becasue everyone is at an even playing field.
-I never draw te right removal.
Im very happy with the way this deck is turning out and will keep this post updated with my field studies.
Any comments, questions, etc. are always welcome!!
sensei's divining top-I havent used it much but I'm never dissapointed with what I draw. It's probably taking the spot of a wonderful card I'm missing.
That's always how I felt about it and Crystal Ball. In the end, I'd just rather have another spell.
Unmake-Its expensive for a single creature. Exile is nice, but will probably be the first of my removal to go.
Agreed. I use it as another double trigger for Deathbringer Liege, but they're both getting cut next week.
Akroma's Vengeance-I HATE blowing up all my enchanment. It will probably be replaced with a different boardwipe. Its all I have for now.
I'm a fan of going light on sweepers. I hate to lose my own stuff.
Elixer of Immortality-I still cant decide if the 5 life and library recycle is worth the creatures out of my graveyard. Im sooo undecided.
I go back and forth on this too. I use it to protect against stuff like Relic of Progenitus and Bojuka Bog. In the end, I just rely on a little good luck rather than using up a slot for something that may be useless.
Karmic Guide-Another Recursion Engine! Not on the top of my list but it would hurt me.
Should be a priority, she's awesome! Combos with Lark and does wicked things with Deathmantle or Vat.
Eternal Dragon-I would love to test this guy out. Plainscycling to get Emeria active, Not a bad body, and recurs himself late game? I think it might work.
I used to run him, he's good, but as time went on and deckspace became more valuable he lost his job. He's good though.
Careful putting him on the vat. If the vat gets destroyed, he's gone forever. A trick you can use - Make sure to have instant removal and the mana to play it when he's on the vat, that way you can kill something and imprint it in response to the vat killing spell, so Yosei goes to the yard instead of exiled. There's also a trick with GCO to protect against this in my decklist explaination.
Glad you're enjoying the deck, it gets more fun as time goes on and you refine what you're doing. Even after 3 years playing it, it's still my favorite deck. And you're right, it's all about timing. The deck takes a lot of "finesse".
One thing I might suggest is replacing Disenchant. We've got so much better available. Anything that comes with a body that we can sacrifice or skullclamp and re-use is great. Archon of Justice and Mangara of Corondor are great, and I've used Necrotic Sliver to great effect as well. Any of the 3 are nuts with Mimic Vat, Deathmantle, Corpse Dance, and the last two are recurrable with both Lark and Titan. Of course, Vindicate is great, but it's $pricey. I got lucky and got mine cheaply in a trade.
If you find any cool new combos or tech along the way, be sure and stop by my Ghost Council thread and let the rest of us Orzhov fans in on it.:thumbsup:
@Blackjack: Thanks for the post! I know I have a Necrotic Sliver and Archon of Justice somewhere so Ill be searching for those. Vindicate is a bit too far out of my price range (at least for now) but maybe someday I can get my hands on one. Plus it isnt a priority compared to land tax and high market.
I'm not with you for removing sensei's divining top but this type of card was personnal choice if you didn't like this ability it's you but in a deck where everycard was important and order of playing it was the secret. I recommand Sensei for your deck.
Kamic Guide was the best creature in this deck IMO. You can recure it with a lot of ability and she sac himself at your next upkeep... Do you really want something better... Crazy engine with Nim Deathmantle
Unmake remove creature from the game... Yeah you cannot reanimate it but IMO it's better because nobody will reanimate it.
IMO Unmake was better than Victim of Night, it's 1 more mana but easier to cast because you can use B or W mana to cast it and you can target Vampire, Werewolf and Zombie. Yeah, who care about werewolf, but the biggest problem was he cannot target Zombie and after that Vampire (Drana...).
And if you didn't like Unmake play his big brother Swords to Plowshares.
And by the way, find a room for Swords to Plowshares, it's the greatest creature removal ever print.
Elixer of Immortality wasn't a good card. Just play smoothly don't drop everything in your grave and you will be fine. Graveyard removal isn't a problem. A lot of time I force people to use Relic of Progenitus with Leonin Relic-Warder when my grave didn't have important thing in it. Necromancy was fun to for instant reanimate for saving something when someone try to resolve graveyard removal. Be creative and you will see Elixer of Immortality was a dead card in this deck and you cannot respond to Relic of Progenitus with Elixer of Immortality...
A other card you can include that can be really good with Dawn of the Dead (It's win me a lot of game). Puppeteer Clique it's a little move I found. You have Puppeteer Clique on the battlefield without -1/-1 counter. At the end of turn of your opponent before your turn come.
Sacrifice Puppeteer Clique with a sacrifice ability, and sacrifice it again to drop it into your grave. So you reanimate 1 creature from opponents grave.
Untap, Upkeep, Dawn of the dead trigger and reanimate Puppeteer Clique, sacrifice it and you reanimate 2 other creatures.
Now you have 3 creatures with haste and it's your opponents creature. If you are lucky you can get crazy creature.
@fenris: Top is just very underwhelming. It requires me to use mana and I find that this deck is played with a great deal of "mana management". I need every bit of mana I can get and can afford to waste it on mediocre abilities. Besides, I would rather pay 1 mana to: blink and protect my general and sac something like wurmcoil, grave titan, or sun titan. Plu I leave mana open for removal a lot of the time.
I'm definitely going to get a karmic guide. I just have to wait til I get some disposable income.
Unmake is going to stay in until I Need to cut it. But it just hasnt been all that great for me. Often times I will use a 2 drop kill spell to send my stuff to the graveyard while I have grave pact out. that way I hit 3 creatures for 2 mana instead of 1 creature for 3.
There isnt really much graveyard hate in my meta. I only ran elixer to gain 5 life and reshuffle if the games go to long just in case I deck myself.
If I can find a copy of dawn of the dead I will definitely try it out.
Puppeteer Clique Tricks: Puppeteer Clique + Ashnod's Altar + Nim Deathmantle = Massive hasty alpha strike with every creature from every other graveyard. Here's how it works:
Sac Clique to Altar (2 mana in pool), persist brings it back.
Sac it again (4 in pool), use the 4 mana to bring it back with deathmantle, not persist. You control both triggers so you get to stack it however you want. Now you've got clique and two opponent reanimated hasty creatures. Do that as many times as you want, swing.
Clique + Corpse Dance - You can reanimate Clique (+ another creature) with Corpse Dance and never have to remove Clique from the game. Sac him to whatever outlet, he persists and comes back (+ another creature) as a completely new creature, so Corpse Dance can't find him at eot.
Nether Traitor - He's a great guy for any black deck that runs small creature sac outlets like this. He comes back super frequently for more sac fodder, gets in for hasty shadow damage (which can be deadly when backed up by the likes of Lashwrithe, Nightmare Lash, swords, etc), and he forms infinite combos with Phyrexian Altar + one of a few other cards (Pawn of Ulamog, Teysa, Orzhov Scion, Field of Souls, Genesis Chamber)
Speaking of which, each of the above (Pawn, Teysa, Field, and Genesis Chamber) are great sources of additional sacrifice fodder, especially when combined with Bloodghast/Nether Traitor/Reassembling Skeleton. Genesis Chamber in particular merits special mention, as it triggers every time a creature enters the battlefield, so it can be used in conjunction with Ghost Council to ensure he always has something to sacrifice to his blinking.
Borrowing another trick from fellow Blink-constantly general Norin the Wary, Honor-Worn Shaku is a decent consideration. Since Ghost Council is likely to be blinking out repeatedly, you will almost always have him available to tap. That means that Shaku will be worth 2 mana on your turn (putting it above par with Worn Powerstone). And then, you always have mana up during other player's turns to blink the Council away from danger. Shaku + Genesis Chamber means you are guaranteed to be able to blink Council at all times, and it doesn't hamper any of your other development in any way. Martyr's Bond plays Gravepact #3, and as such is a great inclusion.
You may also consider a few other sac outlets. Phyrexian Altar, Ashnod's Altar, and Altar of Dementia are perennial favorites for free sac outlets. Sadistic Hypnotist can be used to empty hands, while Helm of Possession lets you upgrade your 1/1 tokens and Bloodghasts into the best thing on the field, which can then be sacrificed if you would lose control of it.
two cards that i get a lot of hate for when playing with my deck are curse of death's hold, and humility.
Humility, while not good with GCO it basically turns all creatures into 1/1's and they lose any abilities they have...
Curse of death's hold then comes in and takes care of who ever has the most board presence and essentially wipes their board of all creatures...
i agree it is more or less a rather hefty mana cost for what you get.. but i would rather play more board wipes and a few less creatures with the decks that are played in my meta...
Hmm...that seems like it must be a meta-intensive choice. It is SO expensive.
Chances are, if I'm going to Wrath it's because my opponents have toomuch on the board for me to gimmick my way out. That also means that my board probably isn't worth keeping. Usually I end up wrathing and having enough to save Ghost Council which puts me ahead of everyone by a lot more than they consider.